Here’s a round up of polls over recent days. For a quiet February week in a post-election year, there’s quite a lot to rake over.

The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 11%, GRN 4%. Full tabs are here. The Conservative lead is up slightly from last month’s ICM poll (Martin Boon’s comments that “Labour drop three, which is perhaps a more realistic level of performance than the 35% we measured last month. Once again, this phone poll sample recalled voting in a Labour government in May 2015, the sixth time out of nine that our phone polls have done so since the election.”)

At the weekend we had the monthly online ComRes poll for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror. Voting intention figures there were CON 41%, LAB 27%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%, GRN 3%. (full details are here. The twenty-seven percent for Labour equals the lowest they’ve recorded since the election (and indeed, since 2010) but ComRes have tended to produce the worst figures for Labour in recent polling, largely because they’ve made the most extensive changes since last year’s polling error. ComRes have shifted to a turnout model based on socio-economic factors, while most of the other companies have produced comparatively minor interim changes while they wait for the polling inquiry to report. This may, of course, end up being the penultimate poll in the ComRes/Indy on Sunday series, though John Rentoul tweeted at the weekend that he hopes the ComRes polls will continue in the Sindy’s bright new online future.

Thirdly there was a fresh YouGov Wales poll this morning, as usual Roger Scully offers a full write up over on his elections in Wales blog. In short, they show no real change in Westminster voting intentions, a boost for UKIP in Welsh assembly intentions (Constituency vote is CON 22%, LAB 34%, LDEM 5%, Plaid 19%, UKIP 18%, Regional vote is CON 22%, LAB 31%, LDEM 4%, Plaid 19%, UKIP 18%) and movement towards LEAVE in Welsh EU referendum voting intentions – REMAIN 37%, LEAVE 45%, DK/WNV 19%. It’s worth noting that while Scottish opinion on the EU referendum is far more pro-EU than Britain as a whole, Welsh opinion seems to be similar to that in England.

Fourthly, there’s a fresh ComRes/ITV telephone poll on the EU referendum. As has been discussed a lot lately (I wrote about it here) there is a significant contrast between telephone polls on the EU referendum and online polls on the EU referendum, with the former tending to show a much better position for the REMAIN campaign. Today’s ComRes poll is the first telephone poll since the draft details of Cameron’s renegotiation were released, and they show a significant tighting of the race compared to previous telephone polls – topline voting intentions are REMAIN 49%(-5), LEAVE 41%(+5). The eight point lead for Remain is still much more positive for them than online polls are suggesting, but the movement towards leave since the draft deal was announced is the same. Full details of the poll are here.

Finally, YouGov announced today that Peter Kellner is going to retire as YouGov President at the end of March. Peter was YouGov’s Chairman for many years and was in charge of YouGov’s political polling until Joe Twyman took over the team in 2010. He’s continued to be our best known media face and an incredibly valuable source of wise counsel and good advice since then. I expect Joe or I will write more in due course, but he will be hugely missed.

95 Responses to “Latest ComRes & ICM, YouGov Wales and EU ref polls”

1 2
  1. I have family back in Swansea, many of whom are voting ukip. They have previously been lifelong labour voters and then has gone back several generations. UKIP seem to have taken the labour alternative vote in largely working class areas such as Swansea east where there has previously been little alternative to labour. Many of these formerly industrial areas feel little link to plaid as the proportion speaking Welsh is low.

  2. @ Laszlo

    I’m confused… if Alec is not a supporter of the Labour Party then why the line ‘ I am, in general terms, a Labour supporter’ in his earlier post!?!

    It was that I was referring to.

  3. @Chrislane1945

    I read the same. Also much about Mr Corbyn being largely absent from the referendum campaign, which is to be led for Labour by the more ‘media friendly’ Alan Johnson.

    This would seem to be shrewd move for the remain campaign, and, indeed Labour. Better a leader who stays silent and ‘above the fray’ rather than one who causes further division and disunity.

    It remains to be seen whether this is the plan and whether it does indeed deliver the votes from the soft left that the ‘remain’ campaign undoubtedly need to prevail.

    In days gone by a charismatic Liberal leader in the form of Ashdown or Charles Kennedy might have been good for a few million of these votes. I’m sure remain would give their hind teeth for such a figure bearing alike gifts right now.

  4. @Assiduosity

    I’m not sure there are any charismatic figures who could drag soft left votes easily to the remain side.

    Ashdown and Kennedy were leaders when the EU had not been through the turmoil of a crisis in the Eurozone, or when an expanding Middle East conflict was pushing a large number of migrants through it’s borders. These ‘events’ gate crash any soft soaping by media friendly politicians.

    I myself stuck with being keen on EU membership for many years, hoping it would start to listen to the disquiet of citizens and reform itself. I waited. Then I waited some more. Nothing.

    No more for me, that’s it. If lefties like me, once a supporter of the EU project, have turned their backs on it, it’s in real trouble.

    I expect the remain campaign to focus on economic uncertainties to persuade waverers to cling to nurse. I suspect it will work.

    I am now in the leave camp, much to my surprise

  5. AW,

    I have a post that has gone into moderation for some unknown reason.


  6. @Assiduosity – for the benefit of those who don’t know me, perhaps I should have said I ‘generally support Labour’s world view’, or something like that.

    Even then, technically I would probably mean I I ‘generally support what I think Labour’s world view should be’, but I hope you get my general drift.

    @Laszlo is nearer the mark, but I wouldn’t describe myself as a right wing green either.

  7. Ashcroft EU poll (via Number Cruncher)

    REMAIN 50
    LEAVE 40

  8. There seems to be surprise and disappointment that Wales isnt Scotland in her attitude.

    We are different to South East England but also to Scotland, though not especially to Northern England, best parallel is North East England not Scotland.

    The fact that UKIP is doing well has little to do with English retirees, where UKIP was strongest was the valleys, great place under rates culturally but awfully few English retirees there.

  9. @AW

    Catman’s post appears to be still in moderation. Help!!

    Would quite like to read Catman’s post, even if he is one of Stallman’s disciples…

  10. Good Morning All.
    I did not read your post as a ‘rant’ or partisan

    I think you objectively describe how, as the polling figures show, the Labour Party is being driven metaphorically off the cliff.

    Tories should, I think, be wary of this, as a credible opposition is vital for good governing to happen,

  11. @Chrislane

    They are, of course, very wary of it. So wary, that they are changing the boundary thing, changing voter registration, changing the number of MPs, even cutting the short money (after Labour upped it when Tories were in opposition).

  12. I haven’t heard too much criticism from the left of Labour’s governing in Wales, despite nearly 17 years of power with only the faintest moments of opposition. Blairites, at least, look back at 1997-2005 with fondness.

    Most Tories would also say that their best days were in the 1980s, when the opposition was divided and Labour were a mess.

    So I’m not sure how many people believe that credible oppositions are that useful, when the people they want to be in power are in power. It’s still probably true, though.

  13. Well, being in coalition with the Lib Dems didn’t act as any kind of break on the storage tax…

  14. I don’t think credible opposition is really about numbers, it’s more about your policies taking flak from eloquent and united opponents who have realistic alternatives that appeal to the public, and therefore cause you to either present a really good case, or alternatively to think long and hard about whether what you’re doing is going to work out.

    At the moment Labour are in a situation where their leadership attack the government over something, but their leadership’s position is so extreme that the attack itself gets attacked by their own colleagues and not just by the government.

    Partly that’s about subject matter – Labour need to move the conversation onto subjects where they can all agree. But mainly it’s just about personalities, trust, fear about the future and political positioning. A party needs to have a good idea of what sort of government it would be, and achieve some sort of consensus amongst it’s team, to be an effective opposition. After all, the Tory majority is tiny and so if that was the sole criterion they should be facing much stronger opposition now than even in the early 1990s.

  15. @Carfrew

    Thank you for your concern.

    The post went straight on moderation, so maybe it had a few ‘bad’ words in.

    I don’t think I’m automatically blocked, as my second post appeared straight away.

    Regarding Stallman, I feel very flattered :)

    The news about Apple not helping to hack an iphone is interesting. That is on the new frontier on privacy and freedom.

  16. @Neil

    “it’s more about your policies taking flak from eloquent and united opponents who have realistic alternatives that appeal to the public”


    Well, they might have, but after it’s been reframed to suit the agenda of the media, it might look rather different. Or maybe they’ll ignore it altogether and focus on the polls instead. Or immigration…

  17. Not sure that good oppositions necessarily make governments better. There may be a case that effective oppositions, or at least oppositions that seem to have a chance of winning, might actually harm governments in the sense that they shy away from tackling difficult issues. Whether this is good or bad probably depends on your political stance.

    We do have, I believe, a good current example of where oppositions make governments think, however. It was reported in the DT last week that EU leaders were speaking openly to the UK media and suggesting Cameron had significantly under pitched his offer. Specifically, he could have asked for the welfare benefit restrictions to run for 6 years, and crucially secured opt outs from the Social Chapter. This latter point is seen as very important by many anti EU Tories.

    On this, Corbyn played a smart hand. I still can’t quite believe the daftly nonsensical approach advocated by the New Labour types, who were telling Corbyn he must back the EU way before we knew Cameron’s terms. Crass and stupid, in my view – give a Tory PM a free hand to negotiate whatever he liked, saying you would support him come what may – what were these New Labour people on?

    Fortunately Corbyn isn’t that daft, and understood that Cameron would whip us out of the Social Chapter if he possibly could, so Corbyn made some decidedly luke warm noises about EU membership and specifically said that he would pick a fight if diminished workers rights were part of Cameron’s ‘reforms’.

    In doing so, it appears that Corbyn managed to dissuade any thoughts of this from the government, and in doing so has helped secure trade union backing for a remain vote. Had the opposition not been wise enough to mount that particular operation, we might be in a position where we had many more Tories happy with the deal, and many more voters unhappy.

  18. @Carfrew,

    Well, immigration policy is still a government policy and a valid battleground. It’s not the media’s fault if the public view on it is much less enthusiastic than the Labour Party’s.

    In general terms though I’m not sure the media is really the problem. Broadcast media is pretty balanced in the UK (dumb, certainly, but not biased). The right has an overwhelming advantage in print media, but print media is dying and doesn’t have the influence it once had.

    The left has the edge in social media and the entertainment industry.

    I don’t think the media portrayal of the opposition is entirely divorced from whether the opposition is united, eloquent and effective…..


    Maybe. I suppose there’s a case to be made that some of the government’s recent U-Turns were made because they thought Labour were useless and wouldn’t capitalize on them. Personally I think they were just a conscious political decision to seize the vacant middle ground.

    On the EU referendum, I think the Labour party has some pain to come, not just the Tories. Many of their natural supporters will be firmly in the “Leave” camp and not because of the Social Chapter.

  19. Afternoon folks.

    @NeilA 12.43 – I couldn’t agree more – it’s very striking looking back at Election Night shows from 2001 and 2005 how more credible the Lib Dems were as an opposition to New Labour than the Tories under Hague and IDS. Particularly in 2001, Hague was focussing on Europe and law and order which were incredibly low salience issues during the boom times of the late 90s.

    On the present polls, the headline figures are probably of less interest than the overall direction – the *perception* of the Labour leadership among the general public is at the moment poor. We can argue about methodologies, weighting etc, but there are no real signs that Corbyn is attracting much support in the voter groups and regions in which Labour would need to make gains to be a realistic credible alternative over the coming years. Events can change things, for example, global financial concerns, EU referendum, the Syria conflict, a potential new Conservative leader, and it would also be ridiculous for the LPP to consider defenestration in the absence of an uniting figure who would be acceptable to a broader swathe of the party membership and the country as a whole.

    Anyhow. I promised (like anyone cares…) to keep people updated on the polls for the upcoming Irish general election, now just 9 days away! There have already been 2 leaders’ debates, one with the four main leaders on TV3, which descended into a bit of a shouting match, and a second which included three additional minor parties, which was rather well-moderated by Claire Byrne on RTE. There will be one more four-way debate next week, which may yet be decisive (or not).

    There haven’t been seismic changes in the poll averages recently, but there has been some softening in the governing coalition’s share of the 1st preference votes. In contrast to my belief of a few weeks ago, it now appears to be a challenge for Fine Gael to reach 30%. The Taoiseach himself has had a fairly mediocre campaign, and on RTE on Monday night, looked a bit tired. The Tanaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Joan Burton of Labour had a torrid time, and much like Nick Clegg during the UK campaign, is in the position of trying to defend a coalition while trying to differentiate their party policies. Although Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has had two strong debates (of the four main leaders, he is by far the most accomplished speaker), the boost in the polls for both FF and Sinn Fein has been negligible. The RTE debate included Renua (vaguely social conservative party), the Social Democrats, and the AAA-PBP (loose coalition of left-wing parties). Renua will struggle to win any seats (apart from their leader, Lucinda Creighton who may hold on in a very competitive constituency). The SDs don’t have many candidates, but could win 5 or 6 seats and could be key in any post-election agreement. The AAA-PBP group will win a few seats (as will a further dozen or so independent candidates), but are highly unlikely to be involved in any coalition discussions.

    Prof Marsh (a kind of Irish John Curtice!) has produced seat estimates from the poll averages: At the moment, his breakdown is FG 54, Labour 14, FF 30, SF 30, Greens 3, SD 4, Others 23. At this moment, I’ll stick my neck out and say that, on the current vote share, I’d have FG 57-58, Labour 9-11, FF 35, SF 27, Greens 1, SD 3, AAA-PBP 4, Others 21. I’d be very surprised if FG were as low as 28%, and I think FF will do better on transfers than SF in the election. 3 for the Greens seems a bit high, as it’s hard to identify likely winners (other than leader Eamon Ryan). But hey, what do I know? And there’s still more than a week left, and the polls are probably rubbish anyway :)

  20. @Neil A

    Yes, I’m not saying they should never talk about immigration. Or polling for that matter. I’m saying that they may prefer to talk about those things to other things, e.g. more potentially saleable aspects of Labour policy. Or else hype Labour policy negatively.

    As for Beeb, they tend to follow the agenda set by the press…

    But the point is, it’s not all about whether Labour policy is electable in itself, but what it looks like to the electorate after media have been at it. Or if they indeed ignore it…

  21. @Catman

    “Thank you for your concern.”


    No probs. Anyways, you can’t be blocked, you’re the only catman we’ve got!!

    Re: Apple. Yep, corporates flexing more and more. How long till it’s the Corporate Wars, like in Rollerball!!??…

  22. It’s a potentially awkward moment for Apple, as it’s much less “hypothetical” than previous discussions.

    It boils down to “no, we won’t help catch terrorists who randomly kill US citizens, because our customers’ privacy is more important to us”.

    That may be right, ethically (I am a bit conflicted) but it’s a hard sell to the US public.

  23. I have to say that I’m more in the Graham camp on these polls rather than that of our more hyperbolic UKPR brethren! Self evidently, they are poor polls for Labour but I’m not sure that they are harbingers for the 2020 General Election, albeit they may suggest trouble ahead for Corbyn and Labour in the various elections taking place in 11 weeks time. If the last Parliament told us anything it was that opinion polls conducted some four years ahead of an election are ephemeral things, snapshots of a transitory mood as opposed to predictors of behaviours long into the future. I was a victim of such delusion in 2011 as the polls picked up the now legendary Lib Dem diaspora to Labour. That turned out well, didn’t it?

    Of course, this reality isn’t necessarily much comfort to Corbyn and his party because there is no immutable law that says things will inevitably get better for him. I don’t think he’s got a lot of time, if any, to alter the early impressions of him formed by many of the voters and, as we discovered with Miliband, once the impressions are formed they tend to stick. I think Corbyn is of the school of thought that slowly, slowly, catches monkey in politics and that people will eventually warm to his affability, geniality and distaste for conflict and that his innate decency will win the day. Some may describe this as grace under pressure and Zen like calm, others may view it as fatal complacency bordering on delusion.

    After what I think are likely to be very poor results for Labour in the May elections, Corbyn’s project could well be tested to destruction during the summer fall out. He will need to invoke a lot of Zen if he’s to get through it, I fear.

  24. Yup the only thing that you can predict is that the future will be hard to predict.

    Labour and Corbyn are like athletes going into the Olympics carrying an injury. If they lose, it will be easy to look back and say “oh, of course they didn’t stand a chance”. But with some painkillers, a bit of strapping, some True Grit and a metaphorical Zola Budd for the Tories to trip over, who knows what might happen.

  25. Agreed that the future is not necessarily to be found in today’s OPs.

    So we have to wait for some real Election results. But supposing these are as bad as anticipated for Labour-how does that translate to a change of leadership.?

    We are constantly reminded by Corbyn about his famous “mandate”. It doesn’t derive from the UK electorate-they aren’t relevant. It derives from Labour Party Membership. And this electorate famously changed dramatically as a result of Corbyn getting on the ballot , and the £3 entry route.

    It is the keyboard warriors of Momentum , and the idealistic young undergrads who will decide whether the Corbyn “Project” comes to an end.

    And I am not at all convinced that mere Election Results feature on their radar.

    Actually, I,m not convinced that they feature on Corbyn’s radar either.

  26. @Colin

    I’m sure I’ve seen some analysis that said that although the “Three Pounders” leaned heavily towards Corbyn, that even if you exclude them he would have easily won amongst the previously registered members.

    I don’t think it’s really a case of entryism. More like the membership had suppressed their socialism in the pursuit of a Labour government, and felt the need to express their true feelings once a proper socialist managed to somehow squeak onto the ballot paper.

    That’s always been how I’ve read these boards, actually, with those speaking from a Labour perspective generally doing so from a position quite to the left of the mainstream leadership.

  27. “The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 11%, GRN 4%.”

    “At the weekend we had the monthly online ComRes poll for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror. Voting intention figures there were CON 41%, LAB 27%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15%, GRN 3%.”

    Two opinion polls with wide variations…they haven’t done much to convince us that they’ve fixed the gremlins that were exposed in May of last year.

  28. @Michael

    I think one of the concerns about polling was the tendency to herd. Maybe divergent polls are a good thing?

    We need to see VI and VI leads as a margin rather than a definite figure.

    The Tories are somewhere between 5% and 15% ahead…

  29. louiswalshvotesgreen

    Thanks for the Irish election update.

    I see the polls but have insufficient background to contextualise them.

    Your posts are very helpful.

  30. @ Alec

    Apologies for the classification. I have friends from the Green movement (and party members) – some are Conservatives really, some are Liberals, some Labour, some Communists in different issues. I didn’t mean any stigma.

  31. Odd conversation with about 20 people today on the EU referendum (I don’t have a voting right on this, but they have). Almost all want to leave – so this is what they would answer to a pollster, but after probing: “we shouldn’t leave without a fight (and they don’t consider the PM’s negotiations as – fight). So, they actually would abstain or vote staying.

    Warning: unrepresentative sample from NW metropolitan areas (A, B and C2).

  32. NEILA

    I hadn’t seen that analysis-it surprises me. I really did think that the Membership changed in response to his candidacy. Not only changed , but changed in order to elect him. But if you are right he is probably less vulnerable to the fickleness of the younger accolytes.

    My perception of Labour supporting posters here is the same as yours-one only has to read ChrisLane & Rob Sheffield to reach that conclusion-but I have no way of knowing how their profile matches that of the average Labour Party Member. Must say I had always imagined a pretty solid core of Old Labour types-particularly up North.

    They say that the Corbyn phenomenon is a very London centric thing.

  33. @Colin and @NeilA

    It’s noteworthy that there have been left of the party candidates for the Labour leadership in the very recent past – Diane Abbott in 2010. Indeed, she got on the ballot paper with the same ‘borrowed nominations’ from MPs that Corbyn was reliant on for his candidature.

    Though Abbott’s undoubtedly considered a ‘tricky customer’ by some, she certainly had a higher public profile than Corbyn outside the Labour Party when she stood, yet only collected shy of 7.5% of the votes in the first round, finishing fifth of five.

    Some of this difference will be down to the effectiveness of campaign – Corbyn did run a very effective grass roots campaign that everyone seems to have forgotten, town halls packed out etc etc – his apparently affable personality and consistent principles. The effect of social media on galvanising both the young and politically engaged.

    But for the Labour party to shift as a whole – because when the figure were finally released they did reveal a Corbyn majority amongst the full members – something else must have been at work.

    I have some sympathy with the view that Labour members – who are more to the left than the parliamentary party, just as Conservatives are to the right of theirs – wanted a leader who finally reflected their views.

    But I think that they wanted a leader that reflected their views whatever the electoral cost, as the Conservatives did in the late 1990s and early 2000s. ‘A leader of their own’ almost without reference to electability.

    In the Conservatives case this was borne out of a – quite correct – view that they were going to be out of power for a long time almost whatever they did, given the size of the electoral tide that swept them away. In Labour’s case, I would still contest that the party membership were the final consumers of brilliant Crosby / Conservative strategy.

    After the election the airwaves and papers were full of ‘historic victory’, ‘Labour mountain to climb’, ‘Tories in for a generation’, there was even I have to say some of that on this site. Yet this is a distortion of reality – this is a government with a small majority and we live in – politically speaking – much more uncertain times than the late 1990s.

    It seems as though the Labour Party may be pleasing itself with its leader in part because it feels as though it’s already lost the next election. Whilst for many of those within the ‘Corbyn tent’ losing at the next election is neither here nor there as they are in this for ‘the long haul’.

  34. @DW

    “The fact that UKIP is doing well [in Wales] has little to do with English retirees, where UKIP was strongest was the valleys, great place under rates culturally but awfully few English retirees there.”

    That’s partly true, in some parts of the south Wales Valleys UKIP does do very well, emerging as an opposition to Labour – though miles behind at the moment. In others Plaid Cymru are still in second place.

    However, with regards to the apparent lead for ‘leave’ amongst the Welsh electorate in referendum polls, which is what I and some others were commenting on, the matter of English retirees is still very significant.

    If you look at those areas where English retirees are concentrated, ie the North Wales Coast, rural mid Wales, Vale of Glamorgan, Gower and Pembrokeshire you will find the bulk of the Conservative vote (and seats), which I dare say, in turn is a significant contributory factor to sizeable support for ‘leave’ across the nation, if the polls showing a prevailing wind for leaving within Conservative ranks are to be believed. We will not know of course until the referendum votes are counted.

    Interestingly, the two suppressant factors on the UKIP poll seem to be Conservative MPs and the number of Welsh speakers. If you have a sitting Conservative MP or a high proportion of Welsh speakers in the population with a constituency, then the number of UKIP voters falls.

  35. I agree with CB11 that the current opinion polls are not necessarily harbingers (great word that) of the 2020 GE result. It is much too early.

    It is perfectly possible though for the most radical sections of the Labour Party to support the current leader with sincerity, confirmed by similar views among those they meet every day, and at the same time for the LP to lose because they do not appeal to voters in marginal seats. (The elections this May will give some inkling if this is right.)

    That is the reality of FPTP and the constituency system, and it would take a truly great leader to appeal right across the poitical spectrum.

  36. political

  37. @Colin

    “It is the keyboard warriors of Momentum , and the idealistic young undergrads who will decide whether the Corbyn “Project” comes to an end.”

    I’m not sure that this is right. As Neil A observes, a good chunk of the old membership plumped for Corbyn, partly because they wanted a change in direction for the party after the long, largely very successful, New Labour years and also because of their disillusionment with the other leadership candidates. What will do for Corbyn are these old election warriors, hardened over many battles, and a largely hostile PLP, collectively deciding that Corbyn is an electoral liability. If they do, he’s toast, especially if kings appear over the water.

    The three pounders may well have lost interest and gone back to the Greens and Respect by then.

    Anyway, less of the keyboard warrior talk. That’s you and I you’re talking about!


  38. @NeilA @Michael Siva

    Those polls look within normal variation and error.

    If they all converge that is suspicious.

  39. @Crossbat11

    To a degree I think you’re right, but these ‘old election warriors’ have to (a) have the means at their disposal to get rid of Corbyn (b) the motivation to do so, in the shape of believing they can win again and (c) perceive there to be a credible alternative to Corbyn who can unite rather than fracture the party.

    That figure almost needs to be a combination of a Kinnock who can unite what is – even more than normal – looking like a disparate party, and a, dare I say it Blair, who can undo the damage done to Labour’s reputation amongst the wider electorate.

    I don’t mean either of these in personality of policy terms, but rather with regards to the task which falls to the next leader. I see no ‘kings across the water’ that are up to that task. If indeed the task of pleasing both the Labour membership and electorate is a doable one at the moment.

  40. @ Crossbat

    I should also have said that I’m charmed but unconvinced by the idea that Greens, SWP supporters and the like will drift away from the Labour party as a result of electoral failure.

    It’s grist to their mill, surely?


    @”It seems as though the Labour Party may be pleasing itself with its leader in part because it feels as though it’s already lost the next election.”

    One of the CLP Secs in the Guardian piece I linked to said something to the effect that some of his new members had the view-well we lost-so might as well lose next time in a good cause.


    I have been influenced by those analyses in the Guardian. I agree that if the New Disciples get tired & decide to go off & root for some other cause, he is at risk. But the point I was making to NeilA was that I’m not too sure what their criteria for a Corbyn “failure” would be. Seems to me that for some of them failure would be reneging on the policy positions he has espoused -the ones they find so attractive-not losing an election.

    ie-Sticking to Ideological Purity & losing to the Tories is not necessarily a “failure”.

    Its the old ” we need to move further Left to win” faction-well their modern day counterparts.

  42. ‘One of the CLP Secs in the Guardian piece I linked to said something to the effect that some of his new members had the view-well we lost-so might as well lose next time in a good cause.’

    I don’t actually know any LP member who is saying this, although the media constantly asserts it. There is certainly a strong feeling amongst many that a return to Blair’s command and control New Labour is a compromise too far, and that only 4.5% of the membership voted for the blairite candidate rather supports that view.

    I also believe that caution must be applied to the words of CLP secretaries that were reported in the press. The officers of many branches and CLPs are often those that have been in place pre-2010, and tend to come from the right wing of the LP. Hence, their comments must be taken with that in mind.

  43. @Assiduoisity/Colin/Syzygy

    I’m sure that there are those within the Labour membership who value ideological purity over electoral success and equate popularity with selling out, but I think they’re more loud than numerous. It’s not that long ago, and well within the memory span of most party members, when Labour was a bit of an election-winning machine and people grew to quite like the feeling. It won’t take too many defeats to rekindle those yearnings and fond memories.

    It was the urge to win again that marched Labour out of its long wilderness years in the 80s and 90s, and put paid to Militant and the hard left. Very few serious political people enjoy losing and most want power and the ability to govern.

    At some stage Labour will find a will and a way, but it may be a long and winding road.

1 2