Over the New Year the Times had an end of year YouGov poll, conducted in mid-December. The tables went up on the YouGov website today here. Topline figures were CON 39%, LAB 29%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 17%, GRN 3%. The rest of the poll, covering a lot of the trackers that YouGov used to ask on the regular daily polls, illustrate some of the real problems facing Labour as well as a couple of opportunities.

The net doing well/doing badly figures for the party leaders are minus 6 for David Cameron, minus 13 for Tim Farron, minus 18 for Nigel Farage and minus 32 for Jeremy Corbyn. Not long into the job Corbyn already has pretty dire figures (to be fair, they are up since YouGov last asked when it was minus 41 – albeit at the time of the Syria vote). On who would make the best Prime Minister David Cameron has a solid twenty-six point lead over Corbyn, on 49% to Corbyn’s 23%.

However, on any “best PM” questions we need to keep in mind that Cameron probably won’t be there. Corbyn still trails behind the likely replacements for Cameron, but not by quite as much, head-to-head against Boris he would be fourteen points behind (Boris 43%, Corbyn 29%), head-to-head against Osborne he would be twelve points behind (Osborne 39%, Corbyn 27%).

Asked about which party they’d trust to handle the big issues of the day Labour are ahead on their reliable banker of the NHS (though by only seven points) and on housing (by five points). The two parties are essentially neck-and-neck on education (Con 28%, Lab 27%) and on immigration UKIP lead (29%, to the Tories on 24% and Labour on 15%). On law and order and on economic issues the Tories lead – on tax by 13 points, the economy in general by 23 points, on unemployment by 12 points.

Unemployment is an interesting one here. As I’ve written many times before “best party on issues” questions tend to move in tandem, if the Conservatives improve on education, they also improve on tax, on housing, on transport and so on. Each party has strong and weak issues (so Labour will always do better on the NHS, the Conservatives will always do better on crime) but a lot of the change in figures seems to actually reflect underlying perceptions of a party’s general competence, rather than their specific statements or policies on that subject. What is really interesting on these questions therefore is when a measure moves relative to other ones – over time unemployment appears to have done so. If you go back to old Gallup or MORI questions from the 1980s and 90s, under Thatcher and Major unemployment became an issued “owned” by the Labour party, up there with the NHS. Whatever their other failings, people trusted Labour with the issue of unemployment. A decade ago YouGov were giving the Labour party a lead of 13 points on the NHS, and 25 points on unemployment. Now it’s switched over, the NHS is still a safe issue for Labour, but unemployment is an issue where people trust the Conservatives.

The other economic questions in the survey were also relatively optimistic (or in the case of personal economic expectations, not as pessimistic as in the past). By 35% to 26% people now think the economy is in a good state, and 21% of people expect to be financially better off in the coming year, compared to 25% who expect to be worse off.

Improving economic expectations are a two edged sword for the government of course. At one level, George Osborne still has a lot of cuts to make to hit his targets, and if people think the economic problems of the country are solved it will be harder for him to sell them to the public. Equally, as perceptions of the economy improve people stop worrying about it. On the question of which issues are most important to the country the economy was practically nailed on to the top spot for years after the financial crisis began in 2007-2008. For a while seventy to eighty percent of people regularly named it as a major issue facing the country. Then, as the economy improved, it started to fall. By 2014 it began to dip below immigration, now it’s down in third place behind health, with just a third naming it as an important issue. Despite the Conservative party’s current strong position in voting intention, UKIP and Labour are the parties people trust the most on what they see as the two big issues facing the country, immigration and health. Then again, perhaps that just illustrates that it’s not really issues that drive voting intentions.

Finally YouGov are still finding a very close EU referendum race – 41% would vote to stay, 42% would vote to leave.


271 Responses to “YouGov end of year poll”

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  1. @Mark W

    Conventional reactors use solid fuel in pellets. Unlike molten salts used in Thorium reactors, this solid fuel carries with it both the risk of meltdown, and it’s also very inefficient: only around one percent of the fuel gets used up.

    Processing and reprocessing these fuel rods, however, is very lucrative. Consequently the industry isn’t in a rush to develop Thorium tech.

  2. NATO and nuclear deterrent: avoiding all the waffle about machoism or about necessity it is very simple. With a pacifist and neutralist leader shadow chancellor and neutralist and pared back ‘defence’ policy there is no foreseeable probability that Labour will win a GE. It will even trump the economy amongst the all important over 60 demographic as the joint key issue alongside migration/ leaky borders (another policy area where the current leadership are way out of step with public opinion).

    Regarding the nonsense about ‘anecdotal conversations’ proving that Corbyn is seen as the new messiah…well I will just leave that there!!!

  3. @LASZLO

    I may only be revealing my own prejudices, but I am puzzled by the number of people saying that JC is likable, given the enthusiasm with which his attack dogs rubbished the outgoing shadow cabinet members. Is it like Tony Blair remaining untarnished to start with while A Campbell and co did the dirty work?

    PS I have yet to see any sign that JC has a sense of humour – always worrying.

  4. The DT is reporting a ‘deal’ is being reached on the EU migranmt welfare issue. This looks like helping Cameron, albeit with potential pitfalls.

    The outline seems to be a flat rejection of the UK’s ability to discriminate between migrants and UK citizens in the welfare system, with the expectation that the 4 year exclusion from benefits rule will apply to UK and EU citizens. Then it gets interesting. The reports suggest that the UK would then be free to find a way to compensate those UK citizens affected (18 – 22 year olds) that would not challenge the rights of EU citizens but would pass any legal challenge. It sounds all wrong, but would be a perfect example of how the EU makes things up as they go along.

    If these reports are true, it looks like a big relief for Cameron. There may still be risks, however. It appears that this deal would remain at the mercy of European court judgements, and there is always the complexity of whatever fix is applied to avoid UK youngsters being caught out – one slip here, and there would be a group of UK citizens being worse off.

    I guess this will head off a major issue in the referendum, but I doubt it will silence Cameron’s critics. It’s clearly a bodge, and I suspect the anti EU caravan will simply move on to the next issue.

    Which brings us on to events in Cologne, other German cities and now Helsinki also. Lots of liberal handwringing, and a very poor response to multiple allegations of outrageous sexual assaults by non white gangs during New Year celebrations. Some truly dreadful responses by the authorities it seems, and once again the failure to learn the lesson that not talking about issues of criminality that may be the responsibility of some within specific ethnic or migrant groups is not a good way to maintain sympathy for those wider groups, or for the maintenance of wider social cohesion.

    It’s a toxic mix, but once again, western societies appear to be failing their citizens by a refusal to apply an even handed approach to matters of law, due to fears around race and migration. This serves nobody, least of all the migrant groups themselves.

  5. It’s worrying if they have a sense of humour too, through. It was peeps with a sense of humour that gave us the storage tax…

  6. I’m completely with @Rob Sheffield on Labour’s current folly; they will be massacred on defence on foreign policy.

    The non nuclear approach will encourage some, but create excessive attacks from other quarters that are likely to be highly potent and crowd out any sensible analysis of whether the UK should renew Trident.

    Any hints around dropping NATO membership would be an unmitigated disaster, in my view. Complete anathema to large chunks of the electorate. The very fact that Livingston was permitted to go with 500 miles of a TV camera and suggest this as a topic to talk about, let alone have an opinion on, shows just how badly Labour are currently managing their media profile.

    I remain in complete despair with Corbyn’s Labour party on two counts; party management and defence.

    He is allowing divisive characters to appear to run key parts of the party agenda, and does not appear capable of managing some basic tasks of party leadership. On defence, he has taken one of Labour’s weakest areas and placed it centre stage.

    Carry on like this, and Labour really does need to prepare for a wipe out. And I rather like Corbyn.

  7. Although the risks are clear I welcome a debate about nuclear weapons. It is wrong to avoid the issue just because it is challenging to debate openly, should we never revisit difficult issues?

    Back to leccy, anyone else look at gridwatch ? You can see where our supply is generated, its fab fun.
    Over the last three months I have seen open cycle gas turbines running six or seven times. These are expensive to run and only used when supply is flaky.
    This appears to show security of supply is weaker than we are being told.

    I know from reading this site for years that only shocking events move the polls. Would power cuts be shocking enough?

    One thing I am unclear of, are we short of generators or are we short of sensible financial arrangements? Could it be the open cycle is run when the amount of electricity generating capacity purchased in advance is inadequate or is it really a shortage of real capacity?

  8. ALEC

    Re the problems in Cologne, there have been some stats reported recently about the make up of the wave of immigrants to EU. Around 70% , I think, are single young men. Gender Balance in the populations of some smaller Northern European Countries is being skewed.

    All completely mad.

  9. @Mark W – “One thing I am unclear of, are we short of generators or are we short of sensible financial arrangements? Could it be the open cycle is run when the amount of electricity generating capacity purchased in advance is inadequate or is it really a shortage of real capacity?”

    There is a shortage of capacity. The buffer over and above the forecast peak demand is currently just 1.5%, ie we have 101.5% of peak demand available if every single generator was producing at their maximum rated output. This figure used to be 120%.

    National Grid has in effect increased this buffer to 5% this winter by signing contracts with emergency generators to stay on permanent standby. This includes some gas, but mainly banks of diesel generators. Consumers are paying something like £0.3B for this, plus a lot more if the backup is called on.

    On top of this, measures to suppress demand are also in place, via interruptible supply contracts to big businesses and high demand users. Again, these cost money, but it means these users can be cut off with 30 minutes notice.

    It’s a bit of a mess really.

  10. “Back to leccy, anyone else look at gridwatch ?”

    ——-

    Dunno if it’s the same thing, but Alec’s posted a link before now to a site showing gauges for where our Leccy’s coming from. 15% power coming from wind!! Etc.

    Sadly there’s no Thorium gauge tho’…

  11. Anyone seen the new BMG poll? I think it might be the worst question i have ever read…
    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/labour-fears-as-68-of-voters-want-corbyn-to-cut-links-with-antiwar-group-a3150811.html

  12. I understand that the reason Thorium was passed over in the 40’s/50’s is due to the fact that you can’t make bombs from it. Carfrew will correct me is that is wrong. I suspect that it is passed over now, particularly by the green lobby, because there are too many powerful vested interests, who purport to be ‘green’, who have backed the windmill idea. A bit like the battle for VHS and Betamax. Betamax was the better system but VHS despite being inferior, had more powerful backers, so won the day. Albeit, both systems have long been consigned to history, by technology advances, as I am sure inefficient wind turbines will be too eventually.

  13. JP

    I don’t have any worries about my moral construct , thank you, nor as far as I can remember did I make any foolish remarks. I suspect that most people who know me would consider me a highly moral person, if a little old fashioned in my views.

    I suspect that what you don’t like is that I don’t share your opinion about the death penalty. Don’t worry, lots of people disagree with me about all sorts of things. If you don’t like my posts, as I said to somebody else, just don’t read them.

  14. Good Afternoon everyone.
    MILLIE.
    Thank you for your analysis of the leader of the Labour Party’s world view.

    I agree with everything you have said here.

    Nye Bevan said something about the impotence of those who desire purity while concomitantly eschewing power to which I hope mainstream Labour supporters pay attention.

    More broadly the wider Left to which Corbyn belongs is approaching politics along the lines of Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire; suggesting that false consciousness of the electorate is to blame.

  15. I could understand the nuclear deterrent in relation to the cold war but cannot see how it would ever work against a threat like Isis.
    It is highly unlikely they would ever get a nuclear weapon, but for the sake of argument let us imagine they did. Does anyone really think they would be deterred from letting one off in the UK because we had nuclear weapons?

    Imagine the scenario, some how, however unlikely, ISIS has managed to set off a nuclear bomb in the UK. Which area of the middle east do we drop a nuclear bomb on. Isis itself has relatively few fighters, around 30,000, spread over a large area. Any bomb will kill many more innocent civilians than terrorists, not to mention our Arab allies who would be effected by the fall out.

    It seems to me the money wold be far better spent on conventional Forces

  16. TOONIE

    What happened to the tables of the You Gov poll for The Times and the Opinium poll for The Observer both taken at the end of December and showing better figures for Corbyn and Labour?

    No one seems to have answered this from a couple of days ago, so I’ll hazard a guess. The YouGov poll concerned is presumably this very ‘end of year’ one (as linked above) which was taken 17-18 Dec, but the tables weren’t released (and presumably the findings not discussed in the Times) till early January.

    Which is a slightly odd way to treat any ‘end of year’ findings because such things normally fill the papers just before or after Christmas, when people are looking back and, frankly, there’s nothing much else to report on. I can only assume that the change in Corbyn’s popularity, though still showing him well in deficit[1], was enough to spook them into disbelieving it as alien to the Westminster groupthink. As I’ve noted previously on this thread not every poll gets published promptly.

    The Opinium poll was presumably this one:

    http://ourinsight.opinium.co.uk/sites/ourinsight.opinium.co.uk/files/vi_15_12_2015_update.pdf

    which was taken 15-18 Dec. It doesn’t show better figures for Corbyn or Labour than their previous published poll which was in September[2], rather worse if anything.

    [1] There was a change in the rating of Do you think Jeremy Corbyn is doing well or badly as leader of the Labour party? from 24 – 65 = -41 to 28 – 60 = -32. There was also a slight drop in the Conservative lead, but only margin of error stuff.

    [2] I have a suspicion that there were other polls not used in between. In particular the Observer reported some NHS-related questions from a poll with fieldwork 13-15 Oct, but gave no indication of VI figures.

  17. @Robert Newark

    Well, it’s a bit complicated. Thorium itself, although radioactive, isn’t fissile. You can’t therefore get a chain reaction from it.

    However, you can convert it into a fissile version (isotope) of Uranium in a reactor, and that’s how you use Thorium to get the energy. You convert it into summat more suitable for a chain reaction.

    However, this isotope of Uranium you convert Thorium into, being fissile, can be used for weapons. In theory. In practice it tends to come along with another isotope that has such a powerful radioactive signature you can’t conceal it from detectors, so in practice it’s not much use for weapons.

    I think this is part of the problem with Thorium. Many aspects are complicated so some peeps may lose faith in their ability to tell if they’re being sold a pup or not; windmills are rather less complicated.

    I mean, the actual maths required for an optimally efficient windmill is not for the faint of heart. But the basic principles of air pushing a windmill round are not so tricky. Nor are the drawbacks so hard to get your head around.

    With nuclear, there have been numerous other issues you have to deal with besides proliferation. The problem of long-lasting waste, pressurised vessels, meltdowns, fuel efficiency and so on. And with Thorium and molten salt reactors, these issues have been designed out.

    By using molten salts, it can’t melt down, because already molten. And being liquid, more complete mixing means much less fuel wastage. Because salts stay liquid at higher temps, which are more efficient, you don’t need pressurised vessels. Thorium produces safer waste, you can even use it to burn up nasty waste, it’s much more abundant and less radioactive itself.

    Also, you have to explain how nuclear is so energy dense and so you can have lots of small reactors without all these long cable runs etc. etc…

    All these conventional nuclear caveats have to be addressed and explained, in ways that don’t leave much doubt, whereas with windmills… It all seems so much easier… If you want to explain why Thorium produces safer isotopes as waste now you have to start talking nuclear physics…

    Part of why Thorium got sidelined seems to have been down to political decisions made by Nixon in the Seventies. He wanted to preserve electorally significant jobs in conventional nuclear…

  18. Colin

    “perhaps it has escaped your notice that the current downturn in commodity prices & the consequent disaster hitting emerging economies is because China’s seemingly insatiable appetite for primary materials has come to an end. It was fuelled by overinvestment, excess capacity & debt-Chinese Debt.”

    Like I said, by shifting all the supply to the east while keeping demand in the west (paid via ever increasing trade deficits and debt) the Chinese export economy was tethered to the west – and by extension so is their demand for raw materials to make the exports from.

    The oligarchs and their 30 year off-shoring scam was always going to end like this once western debt got too high to sustain China’s export growth.

  19. I believe that Labour fought the 1964 election on a pledge not to go ahead with Polaris. Whilst this was not honoured , it did not prevent Labour gaining office despite the Tories having made it a major issue in the campaign!

  20. @Graham,

    Didn’t we still have air-carried nuclear weapons in the 1960s? Was the Labour commitment to abolish the deterrent or just not to shift it to submarine systems?

  21. Alec, thanks for replying to my grid capacity question.

    I have read about the demand reduction strategies. It may be a situation like the flooding, cut corners and crossed fingers will only work for so long.

    This winter looks OK but several big power stations are closing by march I think, a few gw of capacity, next winter looks edgy even with demand control measures.

    Any power cuts would surely be a crisis for the government. I just don’t have think we would all manage as well as we did in the seventies.

  22. “Any power cuts would surely be a crisis for the government. I just don’t have think we would all manage as well as we did in the seventies”

    ——–

    My God, imagine it. Once the batteries ran out we wouldn’t even be able to post.

    Would polling be awkward with power cuts?

  23. I suspect that it is passed over now, particularly by the green lobby, because there are too many powerful vested interests, who purport to be ‘green’, who have backed the windmill idea.

    This did make me smile.

    The idea that any form of renewal energy is conected to powerful vested interests lacks a bit of perspective I think.

    The renewal energy industries have been swept aside, and support pulled away.

    Any potential vested interest in renewables of any sort is massively over-whelmed by the comparatively massive vested interests in petroleum energy sources.

  24. Look at the bright side of power cuts.

    It would get our kids (and ourselves too) off screens.

    We might even talk to people in our households!

  25. This is interesting:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35261637

    BNP are now de-registered as a political party. While they can easily re-register, it shows how utterly disfunctional their organisation has become.

  26. Good evening all from a not too cold but quite damp Stevenage.

    CATMANJEFF

    “BNP are now de-registered as a political party. While they can easily re-register, it shows how utterly disfunctional their organisation has become”
    _____

    Good riddance to them but I do miss our own Reg fae the BNP. He could trace his roots back to Neanderthal man and was quite sympathetic towards pig farmers on remote Scottish islands.

  27. @AC

    I see Britain First has been a registered party since Jan 2014.

    There is always room for a far right party, so perhaps they will become more active and pick up the baton.

    The EDL seemed to want get organised for elections a while back, but never quite got there.

  28. CATMANJEFF

    I’m sure Britain First will pick up the baton and for political balance within UK politics we do need a far right party because at present we have a far left Marxism–Leninism under ole Corby. ;-)

    Okay I’m kidding but although I’ve been quite vocal on FPTP over the past few years the current system does act as a sort of safety net and prevents some of the lunatics being elected to parliament

    That said, it is quite tragic a party can pull over 4 million votes and end up with 1 seat.

  29. Carfrew
    Thanks for your further explanation on Thorium. Very enlightening.

    on another subject I see that following criticism of her appointment from within Labour, Emily Thornbury retorts she is fully qualified to be in charge of defence because her brother in law is a soldier. Wtf? Does this woman ever think before she speaks?

    TOH
    With you all the way on the death penalty issue. Sadly and for the foreseeable future, taxpayers are saddled with keeping these evil individuals in luxury for their ‘life’ sentences.

  30. On Thornberry’s recent appointment:

    An audit of government ministers who have actually worked in the fields they oversee in any capacity outside of politics would be….interesting.

    I suspect Thornberry’s point in mentioning that her brother in law is a soldier, is that she has family who would be directly affected and endangered by poor decision making on her part, thus giving her a stronger incentive to exercise good judgement. I don’t know enough about Michael Fallon’s family to comment on whether he would be able to say the same.

  31. Fascinating and surprising LSE blog:

    ‘Just after the general election, and as part of our ESRC-funded project on party membership in the twentieth-first century, in conjunction with YouGov we conducted surveys not only of members of these parties but also of their most enthusiastic supporters who, for whatever reason, weren’t actually members. ‘

    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/ideology-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder/

    It seems than on the objective measures, Ukip supporters were to the left of the LDs and the Conservatives were markedly more to the right than any of the 5 other parties. Labour supporters were found to be the most left-wing, then the Greens, the SNP, Ukip, LDs and the Conservatives in that order.

  32. @SYZYGY

    Thanks for posting, that is indeed interesting. I think there is an important point to realise about the authors’ ‘objective’ measures: they are built from detailed responses on ideological questions posed to the party’s enthusiastic supporters. But these don’t necessarily reflect the actual policy positions or ideology of the party leaders.

    I am reminded of my strongly anti-austerity, anti-war, anti-privatisation acquaintance, opposed to the bombing of Syria, opposed to tax credit cuts………………naturally as you might expect a staunch lifelong Conservative supporter, who was mortally terrified by the thought of the radical communist Ed Miliband winning the general election, and who thinks Corbyn is even more terrifying. Meanwhile David Cameron is lovely and apparently didn’t really want to bomb Syria. Somehow it’s all Corbyn’s fault, for some unexplained reason he pushed Cameron into it all. Apparently. Yes this is a real person.

  33. @LURKINGGHERKIN

    It is difficult to believe your acquaintance exists .. but I think that we’ve all met them. In fact, my daughter’s work colleague is just like your acquaintance – a staunch Conservative and anti-austerity, anti-war, anti-privatisation. And that’s what I thought was so interesting about the research. It was an attempt to see behind the simple voting preference.

    Btw I’ve just read a blog saying that 28% Ukip supporters want to remain in the EU!

  34. @SYZYGY

    That said, it is interesting to see that the supporters of all the main parties apart from the Conservatives are, on ‘objective’ measures, grouped within a fairly small span of the authors’ Left-Right wing scale.

    One characteristic of pretty much all the Conservative voters I know is that it does not matter in what regard they hold the party’s leadership du jour; whether they love them or despise them, they just always vote Conservative, like automatons (the Curse of TINA).

    But if you ask them detailed ideological questions they may break into groupings spaning a range comparable to the ‘fragmented left’ of the authors’ study. It would be interesting to see some sort of cluster analysis of what’s going on inside that Conservative category.

    Maybe it’s just that Conservatives have figured out how this FPTP thing works.

  35. (I’m sorry, “like automatons” sounds a bit partisan – what I meant to say was that, anecdotally speaking, I just don’t know any Tory voters who muse over the possibility of voting for another party at election time. But I’m not party to their private doubts of course, and my sample size is a small one)

  36. i have to say I do have a quick lurk on here from to time, but not with the same kind of obsessiveness since the GE, due to those polls not giving a result that they were all hinting – my confidence is shot in them for evermore;-)

    Anyway, new era now. There is definitely something happening out there regarding this elderly softly spoken man and I think he will become surprisingly unstoppable, I don’t think this will show up too much in the first 18 months of his leadership….even think there could be a shy Labour factor developing that will make voting intentions very hard to call accurately.

    I also think the reasons given in this surprising article today, Corbyn actually become the ‘rage against the machine’ choice of even the more traditional blue voter. This is why they are so worried.
    http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/01/letting-rip-against-all-this-reshuffle-garbage.html

  37. Peter Oborne got his ‘unexpected support’ in even earlier.

    ‘Why I’m cheering for Corbyn… even though I utterly disagree with much of what he says!’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3249778/PETER-OBORNE-m-cheering-Corbyn.html

  38. Thanks for the interesting links.
    It only makes me feel more that this misplaced political serenading of the dead centre ground as the place to be, is actually just a carcass that the Tory wets and Blairites like to fight over as if it is some justifiably moral place to be.
    I think Jeremy Corbyn is to Labour now as what Margaret Thatcher was to the Tories. He is definitely here to stay until 2020 and put against Osborne or Johnson ….one really does wonder.

  39. I think we will see more of the ” the voters are wrong” stuff as frustration sets in among the new Model Corbynite Army.

    I have heard this -people vote Conservative without thinkiing about it properly -stuff from one in my own family.

    But since Corbyn’s whole political life has been spent rageing on the streets & high up on a HoC Backbench , against elected governments-even those of his own party-I think this is his comfort zone. It is where he will want to take the Party.

    Who will walk away from him in frustration first? The New Model Army -or his MPs ?

  40. Colin,
    There are of course people who always vote Labour (because it’s the party working people although this axiom is less powerful since new labour) but whose views on Europe, immigration, welfare etc are probably closer to the Tories.
    As there are people who always vote Conservative but whose views appear to be closer to Labour; I think there are 2 types here. First a diminishing deferential voter who buys in to the noblise oblige and ‘born to rule’ notions but a second more considered group who have bought in to the notion that only the Conservatives can run the Economy as Labour allow their hearts rule their heads leading to over-spending etc.
    I disagree with this of course but this is the group that Blair (and in particular Smith then Brown) managed to get some of especially after Black Wednesday.
    The Corbynisters might be right that there are more than enough disillusioned, abstainsers and minor party supporters to compensate for losing votes in the centre and he deserves the chance to try but I doubt it.

  41. Robert Newark

    Thanks for that, sadly we are in a minority these days. However, I think eventually it will return at some time in the future.

    Paul Bristol

    “This is why they are so worried.” Who is worried? Certainly not the Tories, they cannot believe their luck. I assume you mean moderates in the Labour Party is that right?

  42. JIM JAM

    THe numbers are probably out there somewhere, but my guess is that the majority of voters don’t fall into the groups & sects which political activists & obsessives like to imagine & pour over.

    My guess is the majority receive some vague perception about the parties of the day & their leaders from their news sources , whilst getting on with the demands of their busy lives between elections. These are tucked away at the back of the mind , where they gradually settle into some broad preference based on things like perceived competence, honesty, authority, public presence etc.

    When the ballot box appears, these perceptions are brought to the fore, given a final test-and used to vote with.

    And I think that the Blairs & Camerons of this world understand this well, whereas the Corbyns & Livingstones don’t. Actually there is a really interesting debate to be had about which of these two “types” actually lives in the “real world” of “ordinary people”.

  43. SYZYGY
    @”Peter Oborne got his ‘unexpected support’ in even earlier.”

    ….and today reports the Haines plan for Labour MPs to escape from their nightmare -which he predicts will come to pass !

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3391297/PETER-OSBORNE-Labour-MPs-handed-knife-assassinate-Corbyn.html

  44. @ Colin

    I actually would like seeing this scenario. There would be plenty of surprises (not to mention a minor constitutional crisis – if it went through, then, considering the looming EU referendum, there would probably two Conservative parties too) for the Labour right.

  45. The Haines plan looks like it would totally smash the party.

    Perhaps though, the long term drift of the PLP from membership is bound to end somewhere like this, so you might as well get it done quickly and move on.

  46. LASZLO

    Can’t see it happening-even I can think of a number of problems, and I know nothing of Labour Rules or Constitutional convention.

  47. I raised the possibility of what Joe Haines has advocated a couple of months ago myself. It would amount to the PLP setting itself up as a separate political party which would immediately become the Official Opposition as the largest non -Government party in the Commons. It would face the problem of lacking an external legal structure and would be denied the national assets of the Labour Party. To succeed it would need the support of the affiliated organisations – particularly the big unions. On the other hand, some might argue that the Labour Party is pretty well de facto ‘bankrupt’ – so that ‘winding it up’ and starting again from square one might be an attractive option.
    It would also create problems for the Broadcasters – Would PLP candidates be entitled to party political broadcasts and pro rata campaign coverage in 2020 – given that it did not exist as a separate political party at the previous election in 2015?

  48. Haines idea a non-starter.

  49. @COLIN

    Oborne reports the Haines plan, but what does Oborne actually think of it?

    “However, I disagree with Joe Haines’s analysis, principally because he does not set out any credible argument as to who might replace Corbyn. Despite all his undoubted faults, Corbyn is the only Labour figure to have set out a distinctive vision.”

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