I’m just catching up on the YouGov London poll earlier in the week for LBC – full tabs are here. Last May Labour enjoyed a solid swing in their favour in London and ended up nine points ahead of the Tories, they’ve largely maintained that support – YouGov’s London voting intention figures with changes from the general election are CON 37%(+2), LAB 44%(nc), LDEM 4%(-4), UKIP 11%(+3), GRN 2%(-3).

London mayoral voting intentions are KHAN 45%, GOLDSMITH 35%, WHITTLE 6%, BERRY 5%, PIDGEON 4%, GALLOWAY 2%. Sadiq Khan’s lead over Zac Goldsmith is slightly larger than the Labour lead, but not by very much. There are very few Tories saying they’d vote Khan or Labour voters saying they’d vote Goldsmith – essentially it looks like an electorate splitting along their normal partisan loyalties and in a city that tends to vote Labour that’s a good sign for Sadiq Khan.

In the last two mayoral elections Boris Johnson managed to reach out beyond the usual Conservative vote, but he is a rather unique politician and it remains to be seen if Zac Goldsmith can do the same. It may be that current polls are just picking up people’s default partisan loyalties, and that as we get closer to the election people people’s votes will become more influenced by their attitudes towards Goldsmith and Khan. If they don’t, Khan will have an obvious advantage in a city where Labour romped home in 2015 and where the direction of political movement is towards Labour.

158 Responses to “YouGov London poll shows Khan ahead”

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  1. It’s spelt Khan.

  2. Rehashing my post from last time, the poll was done for LBC, rather than the Evening Standard as in the past. The percentages including DKs, after excluding the 7% who said they were certain to not vote the Mayoral poll are:

    Khan (Lab) 31% (+5)[1]

    Goldsmith (Con) 24% (-)

    Whittle (UKIP) 4% (-)

    Berry (Green) 3% (-)

    Pidgeon (Lib Dem) 2% (-1)

    Galloway (Respect) 2% (n/a)[2]

    Other 2% (-)

    WNV 3% (-2)

    Don’t Know 30% (-2)

    So it looks as if Khan is picking up votes while the Tory campaign is stalled, though there’s still quite four months to go. Presumably a lot of DKs will not vote – turnout was only 38% in 2012[3] – but Khan would also pick up more transfers than Goldsmith[4] and the final two candidate vote is Khan 55% (+2), Goldsmith[5] 45% (-2).

    [1] Changes are from 18-21 Nov, a poll which the ES didn’t bother to publish (though they did use some questions on terrorism from the same survey) but for which tables are available with some questions asked for Shelter on housing. We’ve seen the ES keeping quiet about polls that don’t favour the Conservatives before, hopefully with the change in commissioner the same thing won’t be happening so often.

    [2] The Gorgeous One wasn’t included in the November list and presumably took his votes from Khan, which makes the latter’s rise a bit more impressive.

    [3] A drop from 45% in 2008, but similar to 37% in 2004.

    [4] The questions don’t quite replicate the supplementary vote process, so it’s difficult to be sure. There is possibly a chance for Goldsmith to pick up more transfers from UKIP, though he’s not exactly a candidate designed to appeal to such voters.

    [5] On the theme of no one being able spell the names of the candidates, please note that it’s Zac not Zak as per some people in the last thread. Also he’s only about a quarter Jewish (if that) and as it’s through the paternal rather than maternal line, it doesn’t count for religious purposes. Though he has fairly recently married a Rothschild.

  3. There’s also Westminster VI figures for London:

    Con 37% (38) [35]

    Lab 44% (42) [44]

    Lib Dem 4% (5) [8]

    UKIP 11% (9) [8]

    Green 2% (4) [5]

    Other 2% (1) [*]

    Figures in () are from an accumulated survey 8 Jun – 12 Aug, possibly with different weighting:


    [] figures are actual percentages of the vote in May 2015. WNV is 10% and DK 19%, both quite high by YouGov GB standards, though it’s possible that different weighting and collection methods may have had some effect.

    Again it looks like very little has changed since May and certainly since Corbyn’s election. The most notable feature is the further collapse of the Lib Dem vote, though neither Con or Lab seem to have benefited over the other.

  4. Yet another poll showing little movement between Labour and Tories, despite the avalanche of press attacks on Corbyn. What will happen if the electorate begin to tire of that trend, or even start to actively reject it?

  5. As a provincial, it is depressing to have London mayoral candiates with so many connections with overseas interests. Are we going to have a contest on the basis of policies in the Middle East rather than the economic and socal welfare of Londoners who are long-term residents in the capital?

    Given that Johnson also has considerable overseas links, and Livingstone Irish ones, one wonders whether a grassroots Londoner will ever have a realistic chance of becoming mayor.

  6. Are we going to have a contest on the basis of policies in the Middle East rather than the economic and socal welfare of Londoners…

    Interesting that Zac Goldsmith has lots of connections to the middle-east. I didnt know that.

  7. I would be very surprised if Khan did not win the election (but then, I would have been far more surprised to see a Conservative majority in the last election and we know how that turned out).

    A Khan win will also put Boris in a stronger position for the Conservative leadership as it will demonstrate his winning credentials.

    Though I think there’s still a chance that Cameron will be leader at the time of the next general election.


    As a provincial, it is depressing to have London mayoral candiates with so many connections with overseas interests. Are we going to have a contest on the basis of policies in the Middle East rather than the economic and socal welfare of Londoners who are long-term residents in the capital?

    Well given that at the last Census only 61.1% were born in England


    it seems entirely possible that only around 50% of 2011 Londoners were born there[1]. Given that both Goldsmith and Khan actually were, then if anything it’s a rather unrepresentative contest (Boris was born in New York).

    [1] 63.3% were born within the UK which implies 2.2% born in Scotland/Wales/NI which had 16.1% of the population in 2011. Since 71% live in England outside London, pro rata you would expect them to provide another 9.7% of Londoners, bringing the London-born down to 51.4%

  9. London tends to be a Labour voting city these days but not overwhelmingly so, and not on such a scale that we should credit Johnson with some extraordinary political achievement when he won the mayoralty in 2008 and 2012. The 2008 election took place at a time when Brown’s Government was deeply unpopular and the global financial crisis was taking hold. Even so his win, on a 42% turnout, by a mere 6%, wasn’t exactly the stuff of political earthquakes and in 2012 he only just squeaked it against Livingstone by about a 3% margin on a 38% turnout. On the first ballot, allowing for the low turnout, he secured the vote of about 18% of those Londoners eligible to vote.

    He won both elections fair and square, but I think he may well be a political legend in his own lunchtime. He’s secured two narrow victories, by small margins and on low turnouts, in a city that is by no means monochrome red in political hue.

    Now, if he went up to Sunderland and won up there!


  10. @frederic stansfield
    Wot overseas interests? It’s hard to imagine anyone more of a Londoner than Sadiq Khan and whilst any billionaire is unlikely to confine himself to one city Zac Goldsmith doesn’t seem much different. Cf Boris

  11. At the moment Sadiq will win by default. I am less and less impressed by Goldsmith every time I see him; I think the problem he has is that the things he cares most about are green issues and electoral reform (it was his Private Member’s Bill that became the Recall of MPs Act 2015). By contrast Londoners care most about house prices, not an issue billionaire Zac has ever had to deal with personally.

  12. Anthony’s link doesn’t actually provide all the tables from this poll (presumably LBC want to spread the results over several days). There’s also two other datasets one of which includes the question asking How well or badly do you think Boris Johnson is doing his job as Mayor of London?


    which gives Well of 58% as against Badly of 29%.

    These figures aren’t untypical. If you look at the tracker for this question in YouGov:

    ht tps://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/4f1kank0fq/YG-Trackers-London.pdf

    his Well figure has never dropped below 50% and has often been above 60%. I find it a mystery which I can only put down to two factors. One is the unwavering support of the Evening Standard[1]. It’s impossible to overestimate the influence this paper has in London. Its monthly print readership is 4.9 million for 8.5 million Londoners:

    ht tp://www.pressgazette.co.uk/nrs-daily-mail-most-popular-uk-newspaper-print-and-online-23m-readers-month-0

    The corresponding figure for the most popular national UK newspaper is the Mail on 10.6 million for a UK population of 64.1 million. Even with some readers living outside the London, it’s still a level of penetration many times higher for the ES. It will be most people’s main, maybe only, source of information on London-wide matters. And in elections where only around 40% vote, maybe 80-90% of that more interested section will read it.

    The second reason for Johnson’s success is how people seem to see the role of the these elected Mayors and perhaps especially that in London. They were intended to be executive presidents running the city, but instead have tended to be more about representing it in a head of state fashion – being London’s King rather than PM. Now Boris is fairly good at that sort of thing and it’s the part that people see the most so people tend to think he is doing all the job well.

    Of course these two factors also reinforce each other – an uncritical press will highlight to PR part of the job and ignore the more substantial bits. But it helps explain those high rating – and maybe also why those ratings didn’t translate into the overwhelming electoral support you’d think that would imply.

    [1] Boris tends in any case to get a much more favourable reaction from most media simply because, as a journalist, he is one of their own and so has all sort of ties of friendship, employment and influence. It’s impossible to imagine another politician, never mind one in office, getting £250k a year from a newspaper without accusation of bribery for example. Many of those on the ES, including the editor, are long-standing personal friends and previous supporters there have been rewarded with jobs.

  13. Meanwhile I thought Oborne’s report of the Haines plan was nonsense, but it’s one of the characteristics of the (New) Labour establishment to believe that something must be possible just because they want it – hence the punting of this idea in places such as the New Statesman. We saw the same sort of thing immediately after Corbyn’s election when confident announcements were made that he would be dethroned by Christmas, even though it only took five minutes for even an outside such as Colin or myself to look up Labour’s constitution and see this simply wasn’t technically possible But when reality refuses to comply with their demands it will always be someone else’s fault for the Blairites and their fanboys in the media.

    Oborne knows all this perfectly well of course, but is pushing it[1] because he despises the political class (and has written eloquently against them) and loathes the nominally red part even more than their Tory equivalents. Presumably he’s hoping to tempt them into some self-destructive folly[2]. But although he says that only maybe 20 MPs are hard-line Corbyn backers, it doesn’t mean the other 211 (plus Danczuk) are fanatical opponents either. Loyalty or self-interest would almost certainly keep a majority of Labour MPs in the official Party and without that they wouldn’t even be the official opposition.

    On the ground things will be even worse – maybe only 5% of ordinary members will be thinking of defecting. Kendall’s very poor showing showed just what little backing the Blairites have. And, unlike with the SDP, there will be no influx of those new to politics to replace them – the various membership booms of the last few years will have swept such people up.

    [1] I’m particularly amused by the attempt to paint Joe Haines as an all-wise sage when as his Wiki entry suggests:


    he’s somewhat unreliable as a fount of knowledge – and his fellow journalists have usually the first to point this out over the last 40 years if not longer.

    [2] It’s worth remembering that, under much more favourable conditions, only four SDP MPs held their seats after defecting.

  14. @ Roger Mexico

    I think that a lot of the nonsense is what is called ‘gas lighting’…

    ‘Gaslighting is .. where the abuser manipulates situations repeatedly to trick the victim into distrusting his or her own memory and perceptions….Gaslighting makes it very likely that victims will believe whatever their abusers tell them regardless as to their own experience of the situation.’

    The media constantly tells us that this speech or that resignation means that Corbyn will certainly be deposed. However, the only way that Jeremy Corbyn can go, is if he chooses to resign. At least, that is whilst he has the support of the membership, and presumably they are the target audience. The aim is to disillusion and demoralise (or bore?) the grassroots.

    According to Oliver Tickell, the editor of the Ecologist, the strategy of the Right wing Labour MPs:

    ‘Operation ‘kill Corbyn’

    So here’s the plan: seize on any perceived weakness and attack, attack, attack. Hit hard, hit often, in public and in private. Backed up by the entire spectrum of Britain’s ‘mainstream’ media who are only to happy to join those Labour MPs in puttting the boot in.

    And the objective is clear: kill Corbyn. Wipe him out. Discredit him so utterly that not only will MPs and media unite against him, but even his supporters in the wider Labour Party will lose faith and either leave the party in disgust, or refuse to re-elect him after the leadership challenge they are building up to.’


    I don’t know how Mr Tickell would know but it does seem to fit the observable evidence.

  15. SYZYGY

    @” Discredit him so utterly”

    One is tempted to suggest that they won’t have to try very hard then .

    More seriously such a phrase is meaningless without specifying the group or electorate with which he is to be discredited.

    And here, of course, we always come back to the designation you have just defined , & which Mcdonnell did on C4 News,-calling MPs who don’t support Corbyn-“Right Wing”. (Actually McDonnell called them ” Far Right”. !)

    So long as Corbyn’s supporters continue to see the rest of the Labour Party as “Right Wing” , they will fail to understand that the alternative to the current Conservative Party doesn’t have to be a Bennite Resurrection, that most voters don’t see politics in sectarian terms -and that if Mr Corby discredits HIMSELF with the average UK voter , it really doesn’t matter what sectarian divides his supporters want to impose on the Labour Party. It will lose at the GE-which is the ONLY place any of this stuff matters.

  16. According to the Sunday Times, Dan Jarvis may leave Labour if unilateral nuclear disarmament becomes official policy. That would be a disaster for the party.

  17. @Colin

    In the end, it is likely Corbyn is aware that a Bennite resurrection is not necessary to get elected. After all, Blair and Brown and indeed Cameron are perhaps not the most Bennite, and they took power.

    Chances are, he’s seeking to shift the centre of political gravity. This is frequently what is going on. Thatcher did it, Blair did it over ID politics, SDP did it recently, Tories changed perceptions on the deficit.

    Corbyn will know that alternative perceptions are possible because we were closer to them after the war, and some of them e.g. on nationalisation persist.

    That’s not to say he’ll necessarily succeed, but he’s not necessarily being quite as irrational as painted.

    Hence all the attacks. Whether Corbyn himself attains power, he may still help shift the Overton thing, e.g. Tax Credits.

  18. @Syzygy

    I gave an explanation of the Polywell on the previous thread.

  19. “The chairwoman of a Labour pressure group has resigned from a party policy review group because she feels it is impossible to work with the leadership.
    Alison McGovern told the BBC the shadow chancellor had suggested the group she chairs, Progress, co-ordinated the resignation of three shadow ministers.
    John McDonnell also accused Progress of having a “hard-right agenda”, Ms McGovern said.”


  20. “A Labour Party spokesman said: “Alison McGovern was invited to a discussion on child poverty but the initiative has not been launched or confirmed.
    “She is resigning from something that doesn’t exist.”


    Isn’t this beginning to look like two different Parties who can no longer co-exist?

  21. I’ve waxed lyrical about Corbyn’s political shortcomings, and how I feel he’s played a pretty strong hand surprisingly maladroitly since his election as leader, but the current debate raging about him is the stuff of utter froth and nonsense. Here’s how I see the thing playing out: –

    Firstly, there will be lots of Conservatives […] believing that Corbyn is their political life assurance, guaranteeing the shoo-in re-election of a Tory Government in 2020. They’re desperately hoping that Corbyn survives until then. This makes up about 95% of the Tory Party and their supporters, I would think. The honest ones admit it, whilst the more disingenuous bleat about the need for a strong opposition and how terrible it is for democracy to see an enfeebled Labour Party. I don’t believe a word of it.

    Secondly, there are people on the right who genuinely fear and loathe Corbyn and what he stands for in equal measure. I’d put most of the British media in this box.

    Thirdly, there will be the malcontents within Labour who feel that Corbyn will prove to be, maybe is proving to be, an ineffectual leader incapable of winning Labour an election. To some extent, apart from a few hardened Blairites like Mandelson, they will be acting more in sorrow than anger, prioritising the long term interests of their party over the short term interests of party unity. What they’re doing and saying is damaging but I sort of get where they’re coming from. If something you care about appears to be heading for disaster, then they may feel it’s beholden on yourself to do something. Whether their fears are justified, or whether their panic is premature, I’m not entirely sure.

    Fourthly, there are those who genuinely believe in Corbyn and his brand of politics. They may well feel that centrist Blairism and Cameronism has frozen them out of politics for 20 years or more and Corbyn is allowing them back in. The old British left, if you like, socialists who make up about 20% of the electorate. A wholly honourable and respectable political tradition who’ve now found their voice and a political totem. Can such a tradition reach out to form an election winning coalition of voters? Syriza did in Greece but in exceptional circumstances, and the next 4 years will test the theory to destruction in the UK.


  22. @Robert Newark

    One person is never larger than a party.

    If the mass of a party want to direction A, and a minority would rather go direction B, they can either live with the democratic decision of the majority, or leave if they feel strongly enough.

    This applies to many things.

  23. @ Colin

    Well, Progress is really only small group, rather than a party in the party (I think has about 1,500 members – although obviously some more followers as Kendall got 6% or so in the summer, and she was their candidate).

    Oddly (I think) on LabourList the explanation was different (McDonnell’s remark). I won’t be bothered to watch it though to find it out.


    ” According to the Sunday Times, Dan Jarvis may leave Labour if unilateral nuclear disarmament becomes official policy. That would be a disaster for the party.”

    clarification in the Huffingto post –

    “A spokesperson for the former shadow foreign minister told HuffPost: ”Dan has always been Labour and always will be. He firmly believes in strong defence and Britain’s nuclear deterrent and will be arguing for that to remain as party policy.

    “As the current leadership demonstrates, it is perfectly possible to be a Labour MP and not always agree with the official position of the Party. We are a broad church.”

  25. Interesting to see some of the certainties expressed here about UK politics. I’ll mark it off on the diary that Labour won’t win a GE until 2035, or that they will implode if Dan Jarvis (who, he?) steps down.

    These things may come to pass, but before 2010 nearly everyone (not me) said Tories were nailed on for a big majority, and before 2015 nearly everyone (including me) said a hung parliament was nailed on. Please everyone – if you are certain about politics, perhaps it’s time to go away. What’s the point of discussion on UKPR if you already know the outcome?

    Interesting to see the results of a FT survey of economists regarding risks to the UK economy. Of 100 responses, only 3 said the government deficit. The big risks identified were the reliance on debt fuelled consumer spending, and the attendant trade and current account deficits – which are huge.

    We’ve been sold a simplistic pup of an economic theory by the government, that there is one and only one threat to economic stability. In trying to sort out that one and stay on the right side of the political debate, they have exacerbated other structural imbalances within the UK economy, which could in time cause major ructions.

    No one knows what will happen politically, and no one knows what will happen economically. All we can really opine about is what state each of the parties are currently in to capitalise on any future events, expected or otherwise. That is a very long way from knowing precisley what will or what won’t happen in the next decade or two.

  26. One person leaving a party is never a disaster. Why is Mr Jarvis so worshipped by some? I just dont get it.

    As for trident I just don’t believe anyone is that worried anymore aside from long term unilateralists and guffawing sabre rattlers.

  27. Fun to speculate and postulate though Alec about possible scenarios – I think some apparent certainty is merely a function of attempts at brevity with posters thinking they do not need to put caveats and imho etc every time.

  28. @ Colin

    ‘More seriously such a phrase is meaningless without specifying the group or electorate with which he is to be discredited.’

    I’m sorry I thought that I had – the target audience is the LP membership.

  29. “I think some apparent certainty is merely a function of attempts at brevity with posters thinking they do not need to put caveats and imho etc every time.”


    It can also be the case that those with a political objective may not wish to undermine their campaigning with caveats etc.

  30. “That is a very long way from knowing precisley what will or what won’t happen in the next decade or two.”


    Indeed, the rise of Corby himself was not predicted by many before the leadership contest.

  31. Catmajeff
    Of course one person is not bigger than any party. My point was that as a proven ‘leader of men’, he is exactly the kind of person labour needs to have in the party especially if they seriously ever want to run the country again, as he most certainly has the potential to be leader of Labour and one can imagine him as a PM. He not only looks the part but He would have appeal to non Labour core voters as well. Labour cannot win without that appeal. JC is many things, including being a man of principle but a leader of men he most certainly isn’t and the policies he is seemingly developing will not appeal beyond a certain section of Labours core vote.

    Of course he will argue his position. I didn’t say he wouldn’t. In that respect the HP offers no clarification at all. It merely states the obvious.

    I fully agree that if JC remains leader in 2020 and are offering CND type policies to the nation, then they will not win the GE.

  32. @ Carfew

    Wow! That really is hopeful :)

    Thank you for taking the time to explain so clearly. I know the difference between fusion and fission but didn’t realise that it is the immense gravity acting on the sun’s core, which together with the high temperatures, facilitates the fusion.

    The most significant piece that you identified was the integrity of the Polywell chamber being maintained which I imagine is essential for any scaling up of the process. (I also note that direct production of electricity would permit your space aspirations.)

    No wonder you’ve relegated Thorium to the second division!

  33. Being an army employee proves nothing about your leadership skills. The army works on hierarchy and orders.

  34. @Mark W – “As for trident I just don’t believe anyone is that worried anymore aside from long term unilateralists and guffawing sabre rattlers.”

    I think the issue is important, and will play heavily negatively for Labour, less so for the actual issue of replacement or not, but rather on two counts.

    Firstly, party unity. This destroys parties chances, and the worst and most visible splits are those where there is a principle at stake. With a binary replace/don’t replace choice on offer, this split won’t be reconciled.

    The second reason I think this is harmful to labour is that it plays into an area where Corbyn is already seen as weak. It isn’t just defence, but foreign policy as well. He could look to use the savings from Trident to bolster the severely weakened conventional forces, and try to counter these impressions. This is logical and would attract the support of a good many serving and former military people, but I don’t think he will do this.

  35. Robert Newark
    I think too much can be made of this ‘leader of men’ idea. Did people such as Clement Attlee – Alec Douglas-Home – John Major – even Harold Macmillan come across as ‘leaders of men ‘ before reaching the position of Prime Minister? I would suggest that if he became PM – not that I am predicting that he will! – Corbyn would be seen in a different light as a result of the aura and power that automatically comes with the office.
    I also would contest the suggestion that a person who has displayed leadership in the military arena necessarily has what is required to lead in the political world.Military leadership owes a great deal to the physical and to discipline whereas political leadership is much more subtle and intellectual – encompassing the ability to build alliances etc. Whether Dan Jarvis has both I do not know – but it is far from clear that the one translates into the other.

  36. Dan Jarvis in the Guadian Interview on saturday –

    ” ..Would he be willing to go into the next election on a unilateralist manifesto? “I couldn’t vote for it,” he parries, “and my advice would be not to go into it.” But if Labour conference ultimately backs scrapping Trident, would he fight on that ticket? “That’s a big question. To my core I have always been Labour and always will be, but I would feel deeply uncomfortable fighting as a Labour candidate on a manifesto that committed us to getting rid of our nuclear deterrent, not least because we would lose the election. It’s an issue of such strategic importance with the public that it would be catastrophic for us to go into an election with that as our policy.”

    To report that as ..” Dan Jarvis may leave Labour if unilateral nuclear disarmament becomes official policy.” is disingenuous to say the least.

  37. What surprises me about the London Mayoral elections is that all journalists and commentators refer to “the immigrant community”, as if it was a homogeneous collection of (largely brown) people who can be relied upon to solidly vote Labour.

    Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greater_London says that the GL population is 5.1% Hindu, 1.5% Sikh, 1.8% Jewish. According to the Indian Times, the Indian community in the UK votes 80% Labour. The few Indians I know in London say quite simply that they would cut off their hand before they vote for a Pakistani Muslim. I know rather more Jews in London, all Labour voters, and they will definitely not be voting for Mr. Khan.

    The same article gives a 12.4% Muslim population in London, but most would be Labour voters anyway, although a feeling of connection with Mr Khan might aid turnout. But then Islam is a religion riddled with schism so I wonder about the Muslim vote too.

    A previous poll, as I recall, gave a figure of 30% “would not vote for a Muslim as mayor” (apologies if I have it wrong). There is a lot of evidence that on single issue questions, specifically Referenda, the average voter doesn’t really make up their mind until the last few days. The Mayoral election is normally a Labour/Conservative decision so the usual polling protocols apply, but I wonder if this one might be a bit different.

  38. I cannot quite understand why a policy of nuclear disarmament appears to be electorally so damaging. With the exception of France the rest of Europe is perfectly content to shelter under the US umbrella and their citizens seem generally content with that position. Why is it seen as so extreme and unthinkable for us to contemplate doing the same thing? I sometimes think that Labour leaders might be advised to spend time reminding the British people of the long list of states that have foregone these terrible weapons – it actually might be quite effective and cause many to pause for thought – ie the Scandinavian countries – Germany – Italy – the Benelux countries – Spain – Portugal – Ireland – Greece – Hungary – Poland – Switzerland and others.
    The sheer humbug and hypocrisy of our stance is a separate issue – we insist that such weapons are essential for our defence and yet seek to deny them to other countries. Surely the people of Iran are entitled to share our fears?

  39. Alec, I can’t find a poll I saw that showed trident to be a non issue for most, immigration and austerity concerns are most in peoples minds.

    I accept the media and opposition will make a fuss but the nation should not flinch from this debate, esp when many people are suffering cos of austerity.

    I accept the risks but am glad the issue is being pushed. I don’t want trident renewed in any form.

    Thirty odd warheads or missiles, USA and Russia have ten thousand or more together. Our power is a myth.

  40. Apols, trident force has 160 warheads currently. Not many.

  41. @Graham

    I agree – people have an odd and misplaced confidence in the ex-military. I recall the appointment of a recently retired brigadier, with no relevant experience or knowledge, to head up the Ombudsman for Corporate Estate Agents.

    I remember expressing surprise that we didn’t ask an estate agent to lead the Falklands Task Force.

  42. MARK W
    “160 warheads – Not many”
    Put that number into the hands of a declared enemy, it looks rather bigger.
    Nuclear weapons are unlikely to deter multiple small-scale acts of terrorism, but there is a deterrent effect which is not often remarked on.
    An effective atomic weapon needs both warheads and a delivery system. The latter is more effective if it can still be used after an enemy first strike. How many nations have that? Further, a ballistic missile system gives little time to react, and such missiles are not easy to stop.
    That means that a political leader launching a major attack on a power with an effective nuclear deterrent is very likely to die, and at best to be ruling a devastated country, whose surviving population might not be happy with the result.

  43. I see the news is suggesting that Corbyn as well as wanting to do away with Trident is also advocating doing away with NATO – ie all Europe stepping out from under the US “nuclear umbrella”.

  44. Good afternoon all from a cold Westminster North.

    “London mayoral voting intentions are KHAN 45%, GOLDSMITH 35%, WHITTLE 6%, BERRY 5%, PIDGEON 4%, GALLOWAY 2%”

    Anyone but George Galloway thank you.

  45. The UK’s nuclear deterrent? Who is it deterring? The French nuclear deterrent? Who is it deterring? and more to the point, what country or countries are threatening us? Sweden and Finland are not nuclear powers or part of NATO yet despite being next door to Russia (The new boogyman) both countries don’t appear to be in danger of invasion from Russia or anyone else for that matter.

    However North Korea’s nuclear aspirations, who are they wanting to deter? The USA of course.

    The Chinese nuclear deterrent , who day they want to deter? The USA of course.

    Iran’s nuclear aspirations, who do they want to deter, Israel and the USA of course.

    The Russian nuclear deterrent, who day they want to deter? The USA and NATO of course.

    The American nuclear deterrent, who do they want to deter? I really don’t know of any country on the planet who is actually threatening their security but can think of some countries who want to guarantee their own sovereignty from them hence the nuclear arms race.

  46. Graham
    “I cannot quite understand why a policy of nuclear disarmament appears to be electorally so damaging.”

    From memory all the polling on the subject shows the voters strongly in favour of our deterrent.

  47. ALEC

    @”No one knows what will happen politically,”

    Quite right-and that includes the Conservative Parliamentary Party.

    There is huge danger for them in this period of Labour turmoil-its called Complacency. If they indulge in it, Cameron is replaced by a dodgy leader, and Corbyn is replaced by someone sensible , Cons could lose in 2020-easily.

  48. MarkW
    “Being an army employee proves nothing about your leadership skills.”


    My quote from the article in the ST is no more disingenuous that yours from the G. Specifically it reads, “Jarvis, a former army major, also suggested he could quit Labour if the party adopts unilateral disarmament.”

    “I remember expressing surprise that we didn’t ask an estate agent to lead the Falklands Task Force.”

    Corbin probably will, if he was ever in a position to sell it to the Argies.

    “political leadership is much more subtle and intellectual – encompassing the ability to build alliances etc”

    You missed off Mrs T, who was neither subtle, nor intellectual but had buckets of practicality and had no difficulty building alliances with Regan and Gorbachev, such that between them they brought down the Berlin Wall and ended the Cold War.

    Intellectuals can be seriously overrated, what is often required is a dose of common sense.

  49. TOH
    ‘From memory all the polling on the subject shows the voters strongly in favour of our deterrent’

    I have acknowledged that. It does not,however, answer the question as to why British citizens feel that way whilst in the other states people are happy to rely on the US umbrella without having their own deterrent.

  50. Is it possible that the reason our voters may be in favour of a deterrent is that, like France, we’ve had these overseas territories and stuff. Which can bring us into a bit more conflict elsewhere than those who don’t.

    A hangover from Empire if you like…

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