There are two new polls on the EU referendum today. While the YouGov and ComRes polls conducted after the draft renegotiation showed a sharp movement towards LEAVE, these two paint a far steadier picture (though given one is online and one was conducted by phone, their overall figures contrast with each other!). ICM’s last poll had shown LEAVE nudging ahead, today’s new online figures are back to REMAIN 43%, LEAVE 39% (tabs here). Ipsos MORI’s latest telephone figures are REMAIN 54%, LEAVE 36% – virtually unchanged from their previous poll (tabs here).

MORI also released their monthly voting intention figures, which stand at CON 39%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 12%, GRN 3%


353 Responses to “Latest MORI and ICM referendum polling”

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  1. Why is your “latest voting intention” widget nearly always about two weeks out of date?

  2. Nicholas Elmslie

    Apologies if I have misidentified you – but haven’t you been on here before, whining that Anthony (who runs this blog in his spare time) doesn’t give you exactly what you want, in the format that you want it?

  3. More practically I suggest if you want up to the minute polling news you follow Britain Elects on Twitter.

  4. Interesting that Mori shows the Tory lead dropping to 6% from 9% in late January. It also puts Labour on 33% – in line with the 32% from ICM.

  5. I’d love to see more discussion (from all you who know this game better than I do, which is most of you) about the difference between phone and web polling. How much evidence is out there for how much this affects accuracy?

    At the moment, the difference between phone and web is the difference between Remain and Leave. That’s quite a profound effect!

    I guess the short answer is that if anyone knew the answer they wouldn’t bother with the other type of polling?

  6. New Survation Holyrood poll for Record.

    As previously, Survation is the only pollster suggesting that UKIP will gain seats (according to Scotland Votes site).

    UKIP gaining 7 seats on 6% of the vote (even if they got that many) seems rather unlikely.

  7. So one poll shows the those in favour of remaining in the EU with a 18 percentage point lead and one with a 4 percentage point lead. After the fiasco of the general election polls all failing to predict the final result, what exactly is the point of this nonsense? What, in fact, is the point of this website? And, as one of your commentators points out, why does it take you so long to transcribe poll results onto your so-called ‘latest polling intention’ list?

  8. @Christopher Bowring

    And if you have such a low opinion of both polling and this site, why on earth are you lurking on here, and occasionally commenting??

  9. @ OldNat

    So compared to January Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem support appears to be slightly shrinking, while SNP and UKIP support is slightly up and the SGP stay the same.

    Why is Ross Harvie more popular than all the other leaders, than Sturgeon?

    I note that in 2011 the pollsters, with the exception of Ipsos-Mori, all underestimated SNP list support by 6% to 9% – YouGov being the worst.

    Ipsos-Mori was spot on in the constituency vote for SNP and YouGov was nearly within the margin of error.

    The Lib Dems were polling 7% to 10% in the constituency vote in 2011 and ended up with 7.9%, so how low would thy have to go to lose those two constituency seats.

    In terms of the list polling they were at between 6% to 9% in 2011 and ended up with 5.2%

    The Greens were polling between 6% to 8% in the list polling and ended up with 4.4%.

    In 2011 UKIP, BNP, Scottish Christian, National Front and Christian Peoples obtained approximately 1.9% combined, so UKIP appears to be up 4% beyond that.

    And finally is Margo MacDonald running as Independent on the Lothian list again?

  10. Andy Shadrack

    Margo sadly died in 2014.

    One of the many interesting things about the Lothian Region is how those who voted for her in 2011 will cast their List vote in 2016.

    Pat (not Ross) Harvie had a “good” referendum campaign, and is well regarded by many outwith the SNP. Whether that will translate to more List votes is an open question.

    Perhaps one factor could be the prominence given to the different parties by the broadcast media.

    The BBC, in their wisdom, have decided that UKIP are just as important a minor party as the Greens, though the evidence for that is somewhat lacking.

    Since it seems certain that the euref and the SG election campaigns will overlap, UKIP will get infinitely more exposure. Of course, that exposure may mean that they are even more thoroughly rejected by the Scottish electorate than previously.

  11. Andy Shadrack

    Re Pat Harvie – I meant to say he is well regarded within as well as outwith the SNP!

  12. Figures from Survation’s Holyrood poll:

    Constituency ballot :

    SNP 53% (+1)
    Labour 22% (+1)
    Conservatives 16% (n/c)
    Liberal Democrats 6% (-1)

    Regional list ballot :

    SNP 45% (+3)
    Labour 18% (-1)
    Conservatives 15% (-2)
    Greens 9% (n/c)
    Liberal Democrats 6% (-2)
    UKIP 6% (+1)

    The end of the SNP honeymoon, heralded roughly every five minutes since about July 2007, doesn’t seem to be upon us quite yet.

  13. An Duine Gruamach

    “The end of the SNP honeymoon, heralded roughly every five minutes since about July 2007, doesn’t seem to be upon us quite yet.”

    It wasn’t just “Heralded”, but “Recorded”, “Scotsmanded”, and “BBCed” too.

    One of the more interesting aspects of much of the MSM commentariat’s response to the shift in Scottish politics, is their daily demonstration that they have little idea of why it has come about.

  14. @Oldnat,

    While UKIP are relatively miniscule in Scotland, at the GE they performed pretty much the same (got more in total, but not more per seat) up there. I don’t see your dispute.

  15. @previous post
    should read “pretty much the same as the Greens”

  16. It would seem that the signals coming out of Brussels suggest no deal, or atleast no deal that Dave Cameron could sell to his party or the country.
    If so would the referendum be put back, perhaps into next year, while further negotiations take place.
    An interesting day for those who are involved in or just like politics, which could have far reaching effects.

  17. Good Morning All from a cold and sunny seaside here in Bournemouth East.

    REMAIN look ahead of LEAVE I think.

    GRAHAM.
    Is Labour’s stunning score of 33% below where the ‘people’s party’ was under Ed M in 2011, Neil Kinnock in 1984 and M.Foot in 1960?

    Thanks for your help with this!

  18. @ crossbat11 re @Christopher Bowring
    I guess that if I lived in Kent I would commute to London by train, and from time to time complain if the trains were usually late and sometimes didn’t reach their advertised destination.

  19. @ChrisLane1945

    “Is Labour’s stunning score of 33% below where the ‘people’s party’ was under Ed M in 2011, Neil Kinnock in 1984 and M.Foot in 1960?”

    I’ll certainly be intrigued to find out how Michael Foot was faring against MacMillan in 1960.

    Michael Foot; the Martin Peters of British politics. 20 years ahead of his time. Still the “peoples party” though.

    :-)

  20. NeilA
    I find it quite unbelievable that DC is being treated with such disdain in his negotiations. That the second largest net contributor to TH eu could exit seems not to bother other leaders one bit. And he hasn’t asked for much. I voted in in 1975. If I had known then what I know know, I would have voted out. I am genuinely don’t know at the moment, however, as there is more to take into account than there was in 75.

    However, unless something changes, I will vote out. Cameron’s error was not demanding meaningful changes and making it pretty clear that he would recommend ‘in’ whatever he got. I also don’t see how the vote can be held before the eu parliament has ratified whatever is agreed, without amendment.

  21. Sorry that post was in reply to NeilJ not NeilA.

  22. CROSSBATT.
    Thank you. I thought I had written 1980!

    As to 1960 of course, Hugh was under performing against Super Mac, until his ‘ten thousand years of History’ speech, when, in his words:
    ‘all the wrong people’ were applauding him.

  23. Robert N
    I agree that the vote should not take place until the deal is done, which means the E.U. Parliament has ratified it.

    From the noises coming from M.E.P.’s it is clear that no one can guarantee any of the proposed changes will be made or how they may be ammended, so cannot see how it can be put to a referendum until people know exactly what they are voting on

  24. @Robert Newark – 9.09

    Your comment on the ‘disdain’ shown to Cameron by other EU leaders points out a real difference in how these matters are seen by other EU countries, by differing parts of what is still (for the time being) the UK and , perhaps, by different generations.

    In my view, the other EU leaders are treating Cameron’s proposals very seriously, anything but ‘with such disdain’, but of course, the UK Tories’ tantrum is not the most important issue facing the EU at present.

    Secondly, the UK is not limited to the south of England, and the more south of England voices claim to speak for the UK the less support they will find in other parts (e.g. Scotland).

    Thirdly, I was too young to vote in the Wilson Referendum. For me, and, I suspect, for many in my generation and younger, being a European and wanting to be part of Europe is a given. And the more I hear from the Exit camp the less British I feel – if they represent what it means to be British!

    @An Duine Gruamach
    Whilst I agree that the SNP ‘honeymoon’ is not yet over, it is nonetheless a sad situation where there seems to be no alternative government in waiting. After so many years in power (by 2021 it will be 14, I think) a government in a democratic systemn needs ‘time out’. Perhaps we need to vote Green in order to force the SNP into a coalition.

  25. @NeilJ

    I forgot to add that I agree entirely. How can we be asked to vote on something not yet completed and secure? Cameron has got himself in a real mess, it seems to me.

  26. ROBERT NEWARK

    I am in the same place as you on this Referendum-struggling to justify an IN vote at present.

    I don’t think DC has been treated with “disdain”-though there have been MEPs who have voiced rejection of the whole idea of special terms for UK.
    Actually, I think DC has stuck at this manfully,but the frustration with EU decision making must be taking its toll by now. It is this aspect which drains my dwindling support for membership-the interminable meetings which try to marry the national interests of all these countries with their much tarnished dream of EU “unity”.

    Meetings which end in some cobbled together compromise & a grandiose announcement of decisions which never actually result in any action. Their attempt to cope with the tides of humanity from North Africa & Syria are a case in point. Meanwhile children still drown in the Aegean.

  27. @ChrisLane1945

    “As to 1960 of course, Hugh was under performing against Super Mac, until his ‘ten thousand years of History’ speech, when, in his words:
    ‘all the wrong people’ were applauding him.”

    Just pulling your leg on the dates because I’d presumed you’d mistyped 1960 instead of 1980. Gaitskell had an uphill battle against MacMillan in the late 50s and early 60s because, as SuperMac himself said, the British people “had never had it so good!” A slight exaggeration, maybe, but living standards were rising for the many and, in those circumstances, the incumbent government is not easily dislodged. Blair benefited from this in 2001 and 2005, as Thatcher did in the 80s. This is a simplistic analysis, I accept, but most governments going into an election with living standards rising for the many usually ends up winning. Major might have been an exception to this rule in 1997, and possibly Wilson in 1970, but there were probably other political circumstances applying to those governments that explained their electoral demise. Wilson’s defeat was a major surprise, but Major was presiding over a deeply divided and hapless party, even though Clarke had got the economy growing again by 1997 after the 92 ERM debacle. The old “lack of economic credibility” millstone did for the Tories and they never got their mojo back on this issue until Brown and the financial crash in 2008 gifted it back to them.

    Were you a fan of Butskellism, by the way? Can’t imagine McDonbornism cropping up in this Parliament, can you?

    Nick

  28. @Colin 10.15

    Children would not be drowing in the Aegean if the UK and others supplied the ships necessary to bring them safely to our own shores. Simples…..

  29. Good to see some new faces on the board – makes a change to have some different opinions.

  30. “it is nonetheless a sad situation where there seems to be no alternative government in waiting.”

    It’s sad in the sense that minor parties in Holyrood have gotten themselves in a situation where the electorate hold them in such contempt. But that’s no reason to vote for them, is it?

    I think you should always vote for what you believe in. Especially on the list vote. If that means voting for a party that’s could end up taking about half of the seats, that’s not a failure of democracy. That’s either because that party is full of talent, or that the other parties are really awful.

    A failure of democracy would be if a party won because the press was overfriendly and uncritical. A failure of democracy would be if a party won a majority with a distinct minority of votes. I don’t think the press and polling show that is likely to be the case in Scotland, so I will sleep easy in my bed tonight.

    The polling points, at the moment at least, to a situation not hugely different from now. And from a purely personal perspective, the slight shifts that are projected to take place are well deserved on the basis of how those parties have performed in Scotland.

  31. JOHNB

    ………..or indeed if Assad & Putin stopped bombing their homes & families……….or if the UN Refugee Camps in the region were better resourced by The World………..or if Iran & Saudi stayed the hell out of Syria & stopped their murderous Proxy War between Sects of the same religion…………….so these children could just go Home.

  32. @Colin

    I wonder whether our view of ‘interminable EU meetings’ is perception coloured somewhat by reporting.

    Certainly the amount of time committed by politicians (as opposed to diplomats) to the renegotiation of what is, by a very long way, our most complex and far reaching set of international commitments (NATO is as important but a relatively simple Treaty arrangement in comparison), is small.

    Given that the referendum legislation itself ultimately passed with barely a murmur in the house, this whole process has probably impacted on the time of senior ministers much, much less than a full Spending Review or highly complex or contentious piece of domestic legislation, yet the impact will be much, much greater in the end.

    That the Prime Minister has thrown himself so fully into the negotiating sphere is more to do with a trend – partly since Thatcher, certainly since Blair – to downgrade the role of Foreign Secretary to something of an ornament. It’s noticeable that some of the meetings the PM has attended have been with deputy PMs and foreign ministers of other countries – was his need to be present real or more to do with appearance?

    Yet, unlike the lamentable reporting of the slow processes of Westminster – even an excellent Lord’s committee hearing like Gove’s recent appearance in front of the Justice panel in which they effectively dissected his Bill of Rights proposals are ignored – every part of European discourse is reported with an air of high drama worthy of grand opera.

    We are left, I fear, with the false impression that our parliament and politicians are (according to preference) lazy do nothings / models of efficiency and that Europe’s wheels grind infinite slow by comparison.

    I’m sure that in part this is intentional – the UK has been one of the prime movers in establishing much of the regulatory framework of the EU – yet our politicians claim to disdain it. The whole European exercise has been for British politicians – of all hues – something of an exercise in exporting blame and responsibility for their decisions to Brussels.

    Yet, if we compare European institutions with other international bodies – the UN, ASEAN, AU, Arab League they are (relative, I stress, relative) models of speedy cooperation.

    Equally we have only to look at the US Congress to see that any institution that has to balance the interests of powerful states against a larger structure and map that against conflicting political views is likely to suffer from inertia.

    We may – rightly – lament the apparent inability of the EU to solve the refugee and migrant crisis in 18 months – but the US congress has had 40 years to deal with the constant flow from Latin America across its borders, and where is it?

    We seem to expect higher standards of the EU than are achieved by other institutions and instruments of government, both domestic and international, and even when it is the EU’s constituent governments that collectively fail, the EU carries the can.

    As for ‘compromise and grandiose statement’ isn’t that the history of most government everywhere since forever, and better that than war.

  33. @Colin / Robert N,

    I too am struggling with a “Remain” vote. I’ve always seen myself as someone who was unhappy with the direction of travel of the EU, but in support of our membership if it that direction of travel could be halted. I am now edging towards thinking that a simple halt to further integration is not enough and that the deal being offered doesn’t reverse up the tracks sufficiently far to convince me.

    A genuine “Don’t Know” at this stage.

    @John B / Colin,

    Colin has pointed out before that the ethical approach, if we are to accept refugees once they arrive, would be to go and get them (although I don’t suppose that Colin actually agrees that we should accept them and is simply following the logic of Merkel’s policy to date).

    The problem is that you wouldn’t be sending ships just to collect those who are currently assembling the funds to pay traffickers to put them in dinghies. Once the ferries, frigates and cruise ships started mooring off the coast of Turkey and Lebanon, literally millions would want to board them. We would effectively decant half the population of Syria (plus equal number of migrants from elsewhere tagging along) and sail them back to Europe.

  34. @Colin

    “………..or indeed if Assad & Putin stopped bombing their homes & families………&c”

    Indeed, all of which is matter that really is for the broader international community as well as the EU.

    The EU’s success in helping facilitate the conditions for the establishment of arguably the largest area of freedom and prosperity on the planet is what makes it so attractive to these refugees and migrants (let’s not forget some could turn East to Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Russia but do not). We tend to lose sight of the first part of that fact when understanding the second.

    In the same vein, whilst the action that was taken by Germany and others last year, within a European framework, may not have been one which others here agreed with – or that public opinion now supports – it surely averted in the short term terrible scenes in the Balkans and Greece, had those who had successfully reached the European continent been trapped in its poorest nations.

    For that reason, public opinion may hold Chancellor Merkel and others in lower esteem than before the crisis, but how would they now be perceived if not only were children ‘dying in the Aegean’ but also staving and freezing and suffering from cholera in the Balkans.

    Unfortunately, opinion polls are unable to test (at least with any reliability) what people might have thought in the situations that might have been.

  35. @Assiduosity,

    I think you are too broad in your interpretation of the motives for reaching the EU.

    Economic opportunity, economic opportunity, economic opportunity.

    We should certainly be proud that our country can offer that to incomers. And we certainly do have a lot of freedom and security by international standards. But it is the opportunity to put money in your pocket and food on your family’s table that is the attraction, in my opinion, far above any other political or cultural factors.

    Once within the EU itself, I think the most important factor after economic health is the perceived willingness of the individual countries to grant permission to stay. France is seen as hard case on this, hence the pileup of refugees at Calais. Germany offers both prosperity and a high likelihood of acceptance, which is why they are Number One.

  36. @NeilA

    ” Once the ferries, frigates and cruise ships started mooring off the coast of Turkey and Lebanon, literally millions would want to board them. We would effectively decant half the population of Syria (plus equal number of migrants from elsewhere tagging along) and sail them back to Europe.”

    What you describe is, essentially, though stretched over a longer period and managed by commerce not government, how much of victimised, impoverished and disenfranchised of Europe escaped oppression and poverty in the 19th and 20th centuries. Literally half of some communities disappeared and found their way on to cruise ships at Southampton, Liverpool and le Havre.

    The problem for the world now is that there is no big ’empty’ America to be filled, no Ellis Island, no Liberty inviting all the the nations of the planet to “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”.

    Australia and Canada too, which fulfilled this role to some extent post 1945 regard themselves as ‘all full up’.

    Until public opinion, particularly in Europe, makes the paradigmatic leap that migration isn’t a ‘problem that can be parcelled up and passed on’, it seems unlikely that a solution will be found.

    Contrary to the belief here that Germany is simply acting out of some kind of delayed ‘guilt’ for the second World War, it is just as likely that another variable in public opinion is the large number of Germans who have grand parents / ancestors who were made refugees by the forced repatriation of German speakers from Poland and elsewhere post 1945, and the others who had their families split apart by the cold War.

    This makes at least some of the German people peculiarly aware of plight of refugees in a way not common amongst other western Europeans. Excellent series of programmes on this on the World Service at present which I would heartily recommend.

  37. NEILA

    Thanks-you put the consequences of a flotilla of “rescue” ships very succinctly. And pointing out the moral hazard inherant in it merely reinforces the pull factor which Merkel’s invitation exerted on so many-before the fences & the borders were erected & re-erected in a variety of “national interests” as reality dawned.

    Your response to ASSIDUOSITY is well made too-on the day that the vast army of EU economic migrants working in UK is identified by ONS.

  38. ASSIDUOSITY

    @” how would they now be perceived if not only were children ‘dying in the Aegean’ but also staving and freezing and suffering from cholera in the Balkans.”

    That isn’t too difficult to guess at is it?

    Because that has happened & is happening too. Drowning in the Aegean & Freezing to death in the Balkans were simply the unstated hurdles to access , in Merkel’s invitation-if you can avoid both-come on in.

    Of course, the public are also aware of the tv news footage of the razor wire & customs posts subsequently erected in the path of those children.

    The whole thing was a ghastly example of remote gesture political decisions , completely unattached to any levers of control.

    As I understand it German Public Opinion is amply demonstrated in Merkel’s popularity ratings.

  39. Very interesting interview with Drew Scot on BBC website/News/Scotland regarding the status of those powers which are currently exercised by the EU and which are therefore not ‘reserved’ to Westminster. Would those powers (e.g. agriculture and fisheries) automatically go to Holyrood, should there be Brexit? That’s a recipe for even more chaos, and an issue which the ‘let’s leave’ brigade have not, as far as I know, addressed.

    Other comments (above) will have to remain without a response for the time being. Apologies!

  40. @John B

    It’s an interesting angle, that hadn’t occurred to me before.

    Perhaps not really that contentious though. Agriculture and fisheries seem eminently sensible areas for devolved government. If it means that the Scottish government gets a good chunk of the money that returns to the UK from their EU contribution, then that’s fine with me.

    Agriculture and fisheries seem one area where there are genuine topographical and climatic reasons, as well as political ones, why Scotland should devise her own policies. She may want to steer more money to hill farming and small-scale trawlermen for example. If that results in a benefit to Scotland from an enhanced share of fishing quotas, that seems a perfectly reasonable consequence of you happening to have a massive coastline surrounded by a lot of fish.

    In the unlikely event that Cameron doesn’t get a satisfactory deal and the Tories plump for “Leave”, I am sure such arguments will be at the cutting edge of Ruth Davidson’s campaign!

  41. @Oldnat

    “It wasn’t just “Heralded”, but “Recorded”, “Scotsmanded”, and “BBCed” too.”

    Very good.

    For what it’s worth:

    Survation January (List) – Con 16%, UKIP 5%
    Survation February (List) – Con 15%, UKIP 6%

    MoE + House Effects methinks.

    TNS’ Feb poll has Con (17%) + UKIP (0%) at 17%, and Ipsos Mori even less, so not getting too interested in the UKIP on 7 seats (yet).

  42. @ NeilA

    I already have one comment in moderation, so will be careful to ensure that I stick to relating my comments to public opinion – and cutting down on the number of links (which is a shame as they do help illuminate).

    I grant you that popular opinion now perceives economic advantage as the prime motivating factor for people seeking to leave and their choice of destination; however, this seems less borne out by facts.

    Of those who have left Syria – which is where this original comment started, the UNHCR has noticed a considerably lower process of through migration amongst the communities that have found temporary refuge in Jordan and Lebanon than in Turkey.

    Simply put, in spite of the appalling circumstances in Jordan and Lebanon, where both nations face economic and social collapse under the weight of refugees, and there are very limited opportunities for refugees and migrants other than to live on basic hand outs, people are staying put.

    In Turkey, where the situation is complicated by many of the refugees and migrants (especially those of Kurdish descent) facing substantial discrimination, the through flow of migration is much, much higher. This would lead me to believe that at least as important as economic advancement is freedom from oppression – where this is available, at least to some degree, in Jordan and Lebanon, more are remaining in place. The same freedom is unlikely to exist in the caucuses.

    On the arrival side, whereas you put forward the commonly held view – reflected in poll after poll that Britain is ‘a soft touch’ and therefore a magnet for migration, this is not borne out by the statics at all.

    In 2015, you are quite right that Germany, with its ‘open door policy’, but also as Europe’s most populous nation had the largest number of asylum claims. However, this was followed by Hungary, Sweden, Italy, Austria then France. The UK then comes in a cluster with other Northern European countries, followed by Romania.

    It seems based on these facts that proximity to ‘the European border’ is the clear determining factor, followed by whether that country has displayed a ‘welcome to refugees’. It’s difficult to explain why Hungary – where public opinion is amongst the most hostile to new arrivals – would finish so high up in the rankings otherwise.

    As to the number at Calais – estimates put the total at between 1500 and 6000. The majority of case workers state that the individuals claim a family connection in the UK (extended rather than immediate) and that this is their primary motivation for choosing to come here rather than go to say, Germany or the Netherlands. Whether true or not, this is a very small proportion of the total number of people on the move – 6,000 out of 1.3million who made claims last year, and let’s not forget many of those at Calais have been there since before 2015.

    So I would say based on actual behaviours, rather than our perceptions that there are a far more complex set of drivers at work here – the first and foremost being the desire to escape persecution, the welcome offered to refugees and the opportunity to make a better life in the long term.

    The painting of the third of these as the sole determiner for the choices of refugees and migrants in public discourse, seems to lead to a coarsening of the debate and skew public debate and public opinion on a whole range of matters.

    For example, one hears politicians use the maximum of 6,000 people at Calais as a reason for completely altering the social security system. Reforming the welfare state may or may not be a good thing to do – but to do so on the basis of 6,000 people in a camp at Calais is a bizarre way to fashion public policy or for public opinion to be formed.

  43. ASSIDUOSITY

    @” 1.3million who made claims last year, ”

    But those making asylum claims does not define the Refugee/ Economic Migrant components.

    In 2014 In 2014, EU countries offered asylum to 184,665 refugees. In that , more than 570,000 migrants applied for asylum .

    It remains to be seen what proportion of the huge increase in 2015 -and presumably 2016 are actually granted Asylum/Refugee status.

    Of course , this in turn begs the question , how-if at all -, and to where, will EU return those large numbers whose applications are rejected.

  44. @Colin

    I think you’re being rather disingenuous to say the least.

    Perhaps you could point to the credible reports of children in numbers freezing to death or dying of cholera in camps in the Balkans in order to support your argument?

    As to Chancellor Merkel’s popularity, it has taken a heavy hit without a doubt. That said I’m sure that the leaders of many centre right parties in Europe would remain envious of being consistently 10 opinion points ahead of the main opposition, who also happen to be your coalition partners, and with a further right group in opposition that has only once crossed the 12% barrier in a national opinion poll.

    On a personal basis, she still retains the confidence of between 45-55% of the German population, remind me how often our own Prime Ministers (of any party) have managed to get over 50% in the recent past on a consistent basis…

  45. @Colin

    Sorry, perhaps you could clarify what point you’re making and what it has to do with my comment?

    I merely identified that in comparison with the 1.3 million people making asylum claims in Europe last year 6,000 individuals at Calais (some of whom may have been there from previous years, none of whom has yet made a claim), are very small in number and can therefore not be used to prove the case that the UK is the ultimate magnet for all refugees and migrants. As such making policy and guiding public opinion on the premise of ‘the jungle’ seems flawed.

    As to the proportion of those 1.3 million who will ultimately be successful in their applications for asylum – a separate issue – we will have to wait and see.

    For someone who claims to have been following the conflict in Syria with interest, you will no doubt be not unaware of the changes in circumstance both within that country and in the neighbouring reception states of Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey between 2014 and 2015 that might have precipitated a significant movement of people from all four states to Europe.

  46. Question for the geeks…

    When using the D’Hondt method, in the event of a dead heat in a given round, what’s the procedure for seat allocation?

    e.g. Party A gets 10,000 votes, Party B gets 5,000 votes, and let’s say three other parties get 1,000 each. Assume all parties got 1 constituency seat (while divider = seats so far +1):

    Round 1:

    Party A: 10,000 / 2 = 5,000
    Party B: 5,000 / 2 = 2,500
    Parties C-E / 2 = 500

    Party A gets a seat.

    Round 2:

    Party A: 10,000 / 3 = 3,333
    Party B: 5,000 / 2 = 2,500
    Parties C-E / 2 = 500

    Party A gets another seat.

    Round 3:

    Party A: 10,000 / 4 = 2,500
    Party B: 5,000 / 2 = 2,500
    Parties C-E / 2 = 500

    What happens then? Most initial votes? Party with least list seats so far?

  47. @Neil A and John B

    Fisheries policy is subject to rafts of international treaties whether we are in or out of the EU. As such I would have thought the UK government would be loathe to have this devolved to Scotland as it would necessitate the Scottish Government’s representation on various standing bodies and in future negotiations, something they would be keen to avoid.

    Likewise, if we are to continue as EEA members and WTO members following a ‘Brexit’, agricultural policy would also be subject to free trade agreements (which is where free trade began to an extent after all). Again, I can’t see the Westminster Government wanting separate Scottish representation in what are likely to be highly complex talks.

    A good way for the SNP to seek a transfer of powers and ruffle feathers though.

  48. According to the Scottish Government website, agriculture, fisheries and forestry are all devolved matters.

    Given that they are all within the purview of the UN FAO, shouldn’t Scotland be independently represented there already?

    Foreign Policy is a reserved matter. Wouldn’t that cover membership of international organizations and assent to treaties?

  49. @NeilA

    Marine Scotland the executive agency / NDPB of the Scottish Government manages the fish quota and controls day to day activities of fishing vessels.

    It works with the UK Government (ie makes representations to HMG) on EU and international treaties all of which remain reserved to Westminster.

    Administrative devolution rather than policy devolution.

    I’m sure if more money came back that might be devolved, but I fail to see how even under any interpretation of ‘devo max’ you could have a part of the UK negotiating separate international treaties, that would require independence.

  50. I’m a bit confused as to how to square that with the first paragraph of your previous comment?

    I think we’re in agreement. Scotland can run her own agriculture and fisheries policy, and spend any money that is attached to that, but in accordance with the terms of any international conventions or treaties that exist. However, the voice representing the Scottish people in those bodies and negotiations will be a UK one.

    Is that right?

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