Following the MORI poll earlier today, there is also a fresh ComRes voting intention poll and a new Survation EU referendum poll.

ComRes for the Daily Mail is in line with what we’ve seen already in the YouGov, ICM and MORI polls – the Conservative lead has collapsed. Topline figures are CON 37%(-1), LAB 35%(+4), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 9%(-3). The poll was conducted Friday to Sunday, at the same time as IDS’s resignation. Tabs are here

Meanwhile a new Survation EU referendum poll has topline figures of REMAIN 46%(-2), LEAVE 35%(+2), DON’T KNOW 19%(nc). Fieldwork was again at the end of last week (so before the Belgium bombings) and changes are since February. The poll was conducted by telephone, so in this case the robust Remain lead in telephone polls remains mostly undiminished. Full tabs for that are here


195 Responses to “ComRes/Daily Mail – CON 37, LAB 35, LDEM 7, UKIP 9”

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  1. The final opinion polls very slightly understated Labour in 2010, 1983 and Feb 1974.

    But you need to look at all precedents in relation to Labour’s current polling position, and I would place greater emphasis on more recent precedents than those from the sixties and seventies.

  2. John Woodcock is at it again…Telegraph reporting he wants Labour MPs to rise up against the leader as “we can’t go on like this”.

    All Labour has to do this side of the referendum is keep quiet…the people just see the Tories attacking each other, and, as usual, don’t like it.

    Talk about Labour scoring own goals….

  3. ‘But you need to look at all precedents in relation to Labour’s current polling position’

    Looking at all parties, the main Opposition was not doing well in the polls at this stage in the Parliaments of 1959 – 1964 – 1966 – Oct 1974 – 1983 – 1987 – 1997 – 2001 – and 2005.

  4. @Jasper 22

    John Woodcock only represents John Woodcock. Perhaps in his next public utterance he can reveal his grand plan – for DC to lead the Labour Party.

  5. “With regard to a Government recovering from a poor polling position , the most striking example remains that of Harold Wilson’s Labour Government in 1970. Whilst it still – surprisingly ! – lost, the margin of defeat at less than 2.5% on a GB basis compares with Tory leads throughout 1968 and most of 1969 of 20 – 28%.”

    ————–

    And if Ramsey hadn’t subbed Charlton a few days previously…

  6. “But you need to look at all precedents in relation to Labour’s current polling position, and I would place greater emphasis on more recent precedents than those from the sixties and seventies.”

    ———-

    Well if we’re playing any important games – especially against old foes – shortly before the election…

    (And if we are, we need to know if the coach has any plans to remove the key midfield architect without whom Germans can steam through the middle. Polling doesn’t necessarily take enough account of the tactics of footie managers…)

  7. @Carfrew

    Is there any evidence at all that the 1966 and 1970 GE results were influenced by the England team’s performances at the England 66/Mexico 70 world cups?

    It seems like an urban myth.

  8. “Looking at all parties, the main Opposition was not doing well in the polls at this stage in the Parliaments of 1959 – 1964 – 1966 – Oct 1974 – 1983 – 1987 – 1997 – 2001 – and 2005.”

    In each of the last 6 Parliaments you’ve cited, Labour went on to do worse at the subsequent General Election.

  9. @RAF

    ”Is there any evidence at all that the 1966 and 1970 GE results were influenced by the England team’s performances at the England 66/Mexico 70 world cups”

    ———-

    Not at I know of. That’s partly why I brought it up. Lack of evidence doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an influence. It just means it’s hard to test or no one’s been bothered…

  10. @RAF
    ‘”Is there any evidence at all that the 1966 and 1970 GE results were influenced by the England team’s performances at the England 66/Mexico 70 world cups”

    Certainly not in 1966 because the election took place four months before the World Cup!

  11. ‘In each of the last 6 Parliaments you’ve cited, Labour went on to do worse at the subsequent General Election.’

    Not so regarding 1987. Moreover in four of the other five Labour was in Government – so I would expect them to perform less well than in Year 1. Mid term blues had yet to occur.

  12. The Euro Referendum date seems to have been chosen with some regard to EURO2016, so there’s great potential for further myth-making.

    Current odds are 2/13 for England to REMAIN in the Euros after the Group stage (as of 23rd June), but almost equally likely to LEAVE before the final, as we’re 5/1 to negotiate our way through the next 3 knockout matches.

  13. Usual lack of objectivity on UKPR with contributors interpreting polls in the context of what they want to see.

    The fact that Corbyn may be ahead of Cameron on approval is not as extraordinary and revealing as some people want it to be.

    There was similar misplaced excitement before the last election here on UKPR regarding the high dissatisfaction ratings of the Conservative led government before the last election.

    ‘Approval’ or ‘satisfaction’ questions are too crude to be that revealing, simply because we don’t know the composition of the dissatisfied.

    Most contributors here want to believe all the dissatisfied are potential Corbynites. In reality there will be many who will be currently dissatisfied from Cameron’s right given his stand on the EU.

    Corbyn is in a different position, being able to engender very high approval on his wing of the party and not yet having to make the policy choices of government.

    It may surprise politically engaged contributors here on UKPR but much of the nation doesn’t really focus on the opposition leader until much closer to a general election.

    Questions such as “would make a competent Prime Minister” or even better “which of these candidates would make a better leader?” are usually more revealing.

    The absurdity of some comments here on Cameron/Corbyn respective leadership approvals is revealed by the link below.

    Which leader had the highest approval just before the last election and had a clear lead since Yougov starting including his name 2 years earlier?
    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/04/22/leadership-approval-ratings-farages-lead-narrows/

    An analogy is the US Congress which has recently had an average approvals of around 15% and a low of 9% (!).

    To Fox News the message is clear; the government is incompetent and we should have less of it. In fact much of the country is angry because it doesn’t do enough.

    In reality the progressives, the social conservatives, the libertarians et al all hate Congress for OPPOSING reasons.

  14. JP

    “In reality the progressives, the social conservatives, the libertarians et al all hate Congress for OPPOSING reasons.”

    True, and Kellner outlines how people can agree on what the problems might be, but have very different explanations of the cause and, therefore, the solution.

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/03/24/eu-referendum-provincial-england-versus-london-and/

    From the YG/Prospect poll on the EU, he identifies a critical difference between Brexiteers and Remainers –

    We listed ten possible causes of our economic problems and asked people to say which two or three they blame most. The top three picked by the “in” voters are completely different from the three picked by “out” voters:

    For “in” voters, the top three are: British banks, the Conservative-led government since 2010 and growing inequality.
    For “out” voters they are: EU rules and regulations, immigrants willing to work for low wages and the last Labour government.

    These findings suggest that voters are becoming increasingly polarised, not just between “in” and “out” or Left and Right, but between two different conceptions of how Britain got into the condition it is in and, therefore, how to escape to a better future.

    Lots more good points in the article.

  15. JP, you are absolutely correct when you examine the question that is asked about the crude measure of ‘satisfaction’, which doesn’t really mean anything.

    I don’t think Miliband ever went ahead of Cameron on the question of who would make the best PM, even if he did sometimes go ahead of him on overall satisfaction.

    The British public are enormously sophisticated, and are also extremely fair, so that occasionally, they can seem overly generous to a leader, and then promptly reject said leader at a general election. The best example of this was Miliband’s energy price freeze promise.

    It gave Miliband’s supporters all the ammunition they needed to fool themselves into believing the public would make him PM, despite the overwhelming evidence that the same public stopped voting for overtly left wing governments over 35 years ago.

    As Ed himself said in the run up to the election – ‘the public will get it right’. They did, and they always do.

  16. @JP

    Your post, rather angry and intemperate in tone if I may so, misses the point a little. You’ve created a straw man too. You claim that “Most contributors here want to believe all the dissatisfied are potential Corbynites.” Really? Most? In fact I’d be doubtful anyone holds that view. Some of us have remarked on the sudden change in the the respective approval ratings of Cameron and Corbyn in a couple of post Budget and IDS resignation polls, and how rapidly the originally wide difference has narrowed, but nobody is claiming, certainly not I, that these changes tell us anything about Corbyn’s prospects in a General Election in over four years time. All we’ve said is that Corbyn suddenly having more positive net approval ratings than Cameron points to a change in public opinion brought about by recent events, but this change could well be a blip and a mirage. No one knows, but it would be silly to claim that its meaningless and devoid of interest. You may well be irked by the development, even discomforted by it, but that make you think that you can glibly deride other people’s opinions.

    One of the frustrations of UKPR at times is how rapidly some people descend into anger when polls move in ways that displease them and how they rush to rubbish opinions that irritate them. My rule of thumb is that when I see a poster accusing another of “absurdity”, I conclude that most of the argument has been lost and all that’s left is the venting of anger and frustration.

  17. I wonder if it might be more revealing if the public were asked to score leaders on a scale of 1-10 for satisfaction, where 1 is very dissatisfied, and 10 is perfectly satisfied?

    I would give Corbyn 2 (not 1 because he does seem to try to stick to his principles), Cameron 4 or 5 depending on how grumpy I’m feeling, and Farage perhaps 4 or 5 as well because of his sacking everyone who seems to have a slightly different view to himself. I don’t know enough about others to even give a score.

    If given a choice between satisfied or dissatisfied I might well say that I’m dissatisfied with all of them. Attaching a score and then averaging across respondents might give a more nuanced picture.

  18. More from that Peter Kellner article on YG’s EUref polling.

    Taking the UK as a whole, the aggregate figures are striking: together, London, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland divide 60-40 per cent for staying in the EU, while provincial England – that is, all the English regions outside London – divide 53-47 per cent for Brexit.

    Much has rightly been made of a backlash north of the border should Scotland be forced out of the EU by the votes of provincial England; but maybe some thought should be given to the consequence of a narrow “in” majority, in which provincial England is thwarted by a coalition of Londoners and Celts.

    Chris Hanratty comments on that –

    Based on figures in that piece:
    Remain lead > 2%: All UK votes to stay
    Remain lead > 0%, but 0%, 5%, 13%: NI dragged out by E&W, Sco
    Looking at the betting markets, implied probability of a narrow Remain win (50.01-52.5%) is a little over 10%
    That’s quite a high probability for what would be an absolute political nightmare and nurse incredible grievances south of the Border

    Like the Scottish referendum, the political consequences of whatever UK voters decide may not be what either victors or losers anticipate.

  19. Making Hanratty’s comments clearer (bloody HTML!)

    Remain lead greater than 2%: All UK votes to stay
    Remain lead greater than 0%, but less than 2%: Eng is kept in by Sco, Wal, NI
    Leave lead greater than 0%, less than 5%: Sco, Wal, NI dragged out by Eng
    Leave greater than 5%, less than 13%: Sco, NI dragged out by E&W
    Leave greater than 13%: NI dragged out by E&W, Sco

  20. A week or two ago some were saying on here that Labour has no chance at the next election because of the polls and the fact Labour were so far behind.
    In the last week or so Labour have closed the gap and as a result some say Labour cannot win the next election. Seems a funny old world.
    Personally I do not know who will win this far, suspect it will come down to the economy and just maybe if one or other of the parties still appear disunited.
    What I can say though is that writing either party off at this stage is silly

  21. Labour moves into lead as MP’s move to replace Corbyn.
    “We cannot go on like this any longer” says John Woodcock.

  22. I don’t know about what will happen in 2020, but what some people seem to be forgetting is that we have had about a year of being continually told that Corbyn is ‘unelectable’ and consequently a liability.

    On that basis, shouldn’t Labour be about 20% or less in the polls by now?

  23. CROSSBAT11

    “My rule of thumb is that when I see a poster accusing another of “absurdity”, I conclude that most of the argument has been lost and all that’s left is the venting of anger and frustration.”

    How much I agree with that.

  24. NeilJ

    “What I can say though is that writing either party off at this stage is silly”

    I agree with that, at least for the 2020 election. Whilst I found it quite easy to forecast the result in 2015, 3-4 years earlier, I think the 2020 election is difficult to forecast until we know the following:-

    1. Will Corbyn still be Labour leader in 2015
    2. Who will replace Cameron as Tory leader
    3 The result of the EU referendum.

  25. @Rory,
    Corbyn’s weakness is his difficulty in appealing beyond the core vote. The hope is that he will compensate for this by motivating traditional non voter groups to turn out.the nature of UK politics in that the Big Two each have a floor to their VI support. That floor can change, but it does so glacially. I’ve not seen anything in the last 10 years to suggest that Labour’s floor is less than the mid 20s and since the post coalition meltdown of the LibDems it probably isn’t much less than 27-28%.
    But to that floor you have to add the votes of a large and extremely fickle cohort of floating (I prefer to call them “retail”j voters who will plump for whichever party is currently tickling their fancy. These voters often have a complex and sometimes internally inconsistent range of opinions. Because of this, the news agenda (broadcast more than print these days) is very important to their current VI. On the whole These voters lean left on economic issues, so tax/spend issues favour Labour. But they also like a party to seem to “have a grip” which on the whole benefits the Tories. Whenever the Tories lose this impression of competence (most famously over the ERM but also when infighting over the EU) it tends to push many left-leaning retail voters back to Labour’s stall. Osborne. whilst often very savvy seems to have the occasional blind spot at budget time and fails to roadtest his packages against a basic feeling of balance/fairness. I suspect that the recent disability fiasco will have a long term effect because it comes at a time when Tory competence is already being challenged by splits over the referendum, and they are also embroiled in a dispute with the BMA in which virtually the entire electorate sympathises with the doctors.
    So at the moment and I suspect for the rest of the year at least Corbyn has a pretty permissive environment. I have little doubt that Labour will end the year with a clear and consistent lead. But we’ve been here before and the key word in everything I’ve written is “fickle”. Whilst there’s plenty of appeal for Corbyn on economic justice issues there are a lot of areas where his views are at right angles to those of the undecided. If the news agenda is on unfertile soil in 2019-2020 the picture may be very different.

  26. @NeilA
    “That floor can change, but it does so glacially”
    I refer my learned friend to Scotland, where the glacier melted spectacularly last year. The same has been true in recent times in many countries, notably Italy, Greece, Spain. Perhaps it’s down to global warming, I don’t know.

    At some stage I think there will come a point where the impoverishment of working people will become a major issue. At the moment it’s masked by low interest rates, low inflation, ballooning house prices, and the corresponding ability to live on the never-never, which is the foundation for all our current growth.

    I have no idea if this will come before 2020, and whether Lab under Corbyn would be able to benefit from it. Or Lab under anyone else for that matter. Plus what TOH says. Leading to a view that it’s quite impossible to call 2020.

  27. @NeilA

    I agree with a lot of what you say and Labour’s hegemony in the late 90s and for most of the 00s was based on them being seen as the safe pair of hands and the Tories as the risk. Interestingly, I don’t think those positions have turned entirely turtle and while the Tories got the benefit of the safety/risk argument in May last year, it didn’t feel like either a resounding or deep rooted victory. Their mandate felt a grudging one to me, more condemnation of the alternative rather than any ringing endorsement. Accordingly, they walk on much thinner ice than any previous majority Tory Government and while the floor of Tory support is pretty solid, the ceiling is now much lower. Considering the state of Labour in both 2010 and 2015, it still seems extraordinary to me that the Tories couldn’t get above 36-37% of the popular vote. This suggests to me that maybe they never will.

    Now, this new reality doesn’t automatically benefit Labour if it can’t make an electoral offer that resonates with the swelling numbers of pathological non-Tory voters, now a solid 64% of those who vote, climbing to 75% of the whole electorate. It should help psychologically because they’re not up against some great popular movement, but the Tories are in a very strong position now with our electoral system the way it is and they won’t be easily dislodged from power, especially, as you say, if the economic conditions are relatively favourable in 2019/20.

    Their enemy may be a combination of boredom with a not wildly popular party and set of politicians and Labour suddenly finding a leader and narrative that herds the disparate army of non-Tory cats out there. Blair routed Major in fairly benign economic circumstances in 1997, but I can’t see those political and economic planets aligning like they did then in 2020. It’s too early to make any firm predictions about that election, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was another very messy and uncertain outcome, quite possibly with the Tories coming through on something like about 35% of the vote.

    For those who would be desperately unhappy with that outcome, the hope to cling to is that it’s very difficult to envisage the Tories being a more united, happy, popular and better led party in four years time than they were in May last year.

    The key question, as always, is whither Labour then?

  28. @Guymonde,

    Labour in Scotland is certainly as close as we get to the distinctly un-glacial shifts that have occurred (across politics – but most profoundly on the left) in many continental countries. But Labour’s 2015 catastrophe, although pretty abrupt, was the culmination of a process that took place over a decade or more and was rocket-fuelled by the independence referendum. Time will tell the extent of the shift in core vote – the SNP are very much “on a roll” and we haven’t really seen anything go wrong since Salmond became their leader. Core vote is about “how low can you go”. Labour in Scotland seem to have gone from the low 30s to barely 20% as a core vote. Dramatic. But not PASOK territory (30% to 5% support over a decade).

    I will concede though, that during the process of reminding myself of the stats on VI for Scotland, the change has been far more dramatic than I had thought when I wrote my original comment. 2014-2016 has been a nightmare for LiS.

  29. I agree with TOH-it is impossible to see too far at present because so many fundamental changes will take place.

    Leaving aside those to do with Labour for one moment( though Corbyn , or not Corbyn makes one helluva difference) , Cons will be unrecognisable from their current state:-

    The Referendum result could permanently open their Euro -rift.
    I wonder if a Stay vote might be more unifying than a Leave vote. Europhobes will have to recognise the will of the UK electorate , and could be reduced to the same sort of grumbling noises off about a fait accompli which we now get from SNP at Westminster, and be treated with the same weary disdain. Boris would be among that group & his leadership credentials might not be enhanced by Heath like grumbling resentment from his supporters. Osborne on the other hand could be poised to take advantage of backing the winning horse-but has he already blown it? If so , is there a Conservative MP with leadership qualities AND the personal attributes to make a real connection across the electorate. -a Theresa May with Warmth , or a David Cameron without the Flashman? If this person exists and PROVIDED the economy hasn’t tanked, he/she could push Labour very hard-and given Corbyn as an opponent could easily clock up 40% VI.

    If the vote is Leave, however , one can imagine chaos in the Conservative Party as Boris is crowned leader on a wave of euphoria , and his performance before Andrew Tyrie’s Select Committee becomes the disastrous public face of the Conservative Party. If Labour have replaced Corbyn by then , with someone who doesn’t frighten the horses on Security & Economic competence, Cons could be smashed.

    Actually, I’m not at all sanguine that Boris would beat Corbyn anyway.

  30. @Crossbat,

    I think that may be unduly pessimistic from a Labour perspective, although of course we can only be whimsically uncertain this far out.

    The Tory leadership election is such a bit unknown that everything else seems to me to pale beside it.

    The public have demonstrated that, although they grudgingly trust Osborne on deficit control (at least, given the Labour alternatives), they really don’t like the man at all. It seems extremely unlikely that his leadership of the party would be anything other than a drag on their VI.

    McDonnell, although I loathe many things about his views, has been trying quite hard to create a new paradigm for fiscal discipline, with the emphasis not on the belief that extra spending will cure the deficit (or “deficit denial” as Tory critics would put it) but on the idea that the deficit should be cut by increasing revenue at the expense of the rich. That’s not a particularly unpalatable recipe for most people on the Centre-Right like me. If he can keep a check on his gaffes and “jokes”, and become a bit more statemanlike, he may stand a chance of getting traction against an Osborne-led Tory party with an appeal to “give us a chance to finish the job”.

    I think the great unknown is Boris Johnson. My money is definitely on him to be the next Tory leader. The question has always been about whether his unusual style will translate from “figurehead” politics (as a Mayor with few powers) to “man at the helm” politics (as a PM where the consequences of stupidity are immense).

    The default position seems to be that Tories “have some doubts” about what the public would make of Johnson as leader. However, the belief on the left is almost universal that Johnson would, in time, fail spectacularly as his antics turn off the public.

    What if, though. What if. What if Johnson were to somehow make the transition? What if he kept some of the boffin-ish classicist trappings which no one really gets (on account of not studying Greek or Latin anymore) but which make him sound clever. What if he kept some of the playful “man of the people” mannerisms, but managed to treat genuine political issues with due seriousness. What if he surrounded himself with the best advisors and speechwriters the Tories could afford?

    That I suppose would be Labour’s true nightmare. Teflon Boris, with added gravitas, a brain the size of a planet. Hard to hate. Proven connection to apolitical voters. Flexible principles but the ability to sound earnest about whatever position he just decided it was useful to support. A unity figure on the EU (whichever way the referendum goes). I suppose it is easier to believe that this can’t happen than it is to contemplate it.

    There are three dangers for the Tories. The first is that the left is correct about Johnson and he bombs.

    The second is that their contempt for Corbyn leads them to stick Osborne forward on the “a donkey with a blue rosette could beat Labour” principle and it Corbyn and McDonnell manage to focus 2020 on a “fiscally tough, disciplined but fair” message and keep it off defence/security/immigration.

    The third is that they realise the first and second dangers, and plump for another candidate (probably from the right) who turns out to be an even worse liability than either of them.

    All I would say about all of this is that if I were a Tory party manager, I’d rather face these possibilities against Corbyn than I would against Burnham or Cooper (or even Ed Miliband).

  31. Labour is canvassing hard today in Liverpool for “Stay”.

    I agree with those who say that it’s impossible to call 2020 now. Too many events may occur that could bring radical changes – but also how long the forces that brought radicalisation in the last few years ensure a kind of continuity in shifts.

  32. As has already been mentioned on this thread, unknowns for the next election include the outcome of the EU referendum, plus who will be leading the Conservative and [possibly] Labour parties.

    I suppose ‘retail’ voters who get fed up with the government will start to shop round for alternatives. Rather early even to guess who they might turn to, Just for fun I will speculate that this will not be UKIP as they seem to be marginalising their most capable future leaders. LDs could hope for a modest revival, or the Greens if Labour move to the right.

  33. @Guymonde

    I think you’ll find that Labour in Scotland started losing in 2007, when they lost control of Holyrood. And then lost again in 2011 within a voting system that was designed to prevent overall majorities, but the SNP nevertheless won one. All 2015 did was confirm something that was hidden from the rest of us by Gordon Brown’s presence up to 2010.

    Just because the rest of us were not paying attention until 2015, doesn’t mean it happened suddenly in 2015!

    I think these shifts take about 10-15 years to play out. So Lab was dominant from when Blair was elected leader (1994) to 2010.The SNP are dominant from 2007 to perhaps 2020? Tory dominance only started in 2010 and has a long ways to go – maybe 2025 before they exhaust themselves.

  34. Anecdote: I don’t think the Remain side can take the ethnic minority vote for granted in the EU ref.

    I was talking at work to someone of South Asian descent, who is a normal liberal lefty (anti-Iraq, war anti-Syria war etc). And they’re voting Leave. This is because she thinks the Eastern Europeans are racists (has actually experienced some racism, plus was also upset by catching an eastern european relieving himself into a neighbours hedge, despite there being a pub round the corner).

    Anyway she’s been stewing silently about this for years and feels this is her one and only chance to do something about it.

    It’s hard to know how widespread this is, because it’s hard to tell how much racism there is from eastern europeans to our other ethnic minorities, if you are not the target of it. If it is widespread, then Leave have about 10-13% of the vote up for grabs.

  35. @Candy

    It would be interesting to see some figures. We need one of our geeks to delve into the tables and see if anyone’s recording ethnic data..

    I can see some potential there, though. In what have become “traditional Asian areas” (East London etc) the accession of Eastern European countries to the EU saw the same influx to those areas as it did to everywhere else. I remember working in East Ham and almost overnight seeing white faces in the streets where previously there had been (virtually) none. Given the pressure on housing and other services I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that locals resented the influx. Plus obviously the cultural differences between Eastern Europeans and British Asians are probably greater than with white Britons (alcohol consumption, attitudes to sex etc).

    Also, I have been given the impression from some reporting that communities that have an interest in promoting non-EU migration (for example, the Indian restaurant trade) feel that the sheer quantity of EU migration has drowned out their own requirements. It may be no coincidence that the president of the Bangladesh Caterers Association is one of the signatories to the recent Pro-Leave Business letter.

    Honestly though I don’t think this is really the constituency where the referendum will be won or lost. Whilst it’s true that Remain can’t take BME votes for granted, I don’t actually think they do or that they need to.

  36. NeilA
    “The default position seems to be that Tories “have some doubts” about what the public would make of Johnson as leader. However, the belief on the left is almost universal that Johnson would, in time, fail spectacularly as his antics turn off the public.”

    The left made the same mistake regarding Trump and there he is, almost certainly the Republican nomination for President.

    They are both the ‘anti politicians, politician’ and therein lies their popularity. They are not seen as sle-aze balls, who fiddle their expenses and worse. They tell it like it is, rather than dressing it up in political speak. Many see that as honesty. If it upsets a few, so what? is their response. Look at the polling.

    Whether Trump will beat Hillary is another question altogether, of course and it certainly makes for an exciting election.

  37. @Robert

    Actually I profoundly disagree with your comparison of Trump and Johnson. There are superficial similarities – primarily their hair, their high profile from TV appearances and their seeming immunity to bad publicity.

    But Johnson is an absolute political insider. He’s been deeply embedded in the Conservative establishment since university and is completed wedded to the principles of our parliamentary democracy.

  38. People refer to Labour’s ‘catastrophic ‘ defeat last year and there is truth in that. But it doesn’t compare with the Conservative’s catastrophic defeat in1997 when Blair gained a majority of 179. Cameron has a majority of 12. Yes 12. I think gaining their first overall majority for 24 years, and being freed from the constraints of the Coalition has gone to the Tories’ heads.
    Take the proposals to force all schools, primary and secondary alike, to become academies – a policy which was not in the Conservative manifesto.
    I’m looking forward to watching Nicky Morgan attempt to steer that through both the Commons and the Lords.

  39. Osborne or BoJo for the next PM? I think this is another instance of Conservatives living in dreamland. :-)

  40. Cameron is head and shoulders above his party in terms of his appeal to the voters.. The idea that Osborne or Johnson would just slip into his shoes is frankly laughable..

  41. @Valerie,

    The “catastrophe” reference was to Labour in Scotland.

    As to the idea that Osborne or Johnson will be the next PM, I think it’s about 90% certain that one or other will be. I suspect you’re thinking of “PM after the next election”…

  42. NEILA

    @”But Johnson is an absolute political insider”

    ……..which, when it becomes clear, will destroy his USP-different from the rest, an outsider to a club full of insiders..

    The unavoidable image of Yet another Tory Toff really won’t support his attempt at being “different”. It will be just More of the Same.

    Worse-More of the Same with even more Bluster & Evasion when put under serious ;public scrutiny. Andrew Tyrie’s exasperated search for some facts , & impatience with Johnson’s “busking, humorous approach to a very serious question for the United Kingdom” will be replicated in every General Election TV interview.

    Thrusting a hand into his unkempt mop & putting on that world weary smile, to signal tousled exasperation with the World by an ordinary Honest Joe , will very soon become the image of Blustering Boris-Master of Evasion.

  43. Rory “I don’t know about what will happen in 2020, but what some people seem to be forgetting is that we have had about a year of being continually told that Corbyn is ‘unelectable’ and consequently a liability.
    On that basis, shouldn’t Labour be about 20% or less in the polls by now?y don’t know about what will happen in 2020, but what some people seem to be forgetting is that we have had about a year of being continually told that Corbyn is ‘unelectable’ and consequently a liability.
    On that basis, shouldn’t Labour be about 20% or less in the polls by now?”

    The few people on here who predicted an initial drop in Labour Polling numbers followed by a slow rise once the initial attack by hostile media died down were forceably shouted down and accused of being partisan by those on here predicting low 20’s Polling figures.

    I’m wonder what else we’ll be right about in the coming months?

  44. Observing from afar I would suggest that the current Labour Party membership is to the left of the PLP. In the upcoming local government elections the Labour Party will need to mobilize it’s volunteer base, something a Conservative Party engaged in internecine warfare is going to find hard to do.

    I further surmise that part of the problem for the Labour Party in the 2015 GE was that Miliband’s insipid leadership, indecisiveness, failed to mobilize the Labour Party base, something Corbyn is much better at doing. What the Blairites in the PLP are failing to recognize is that their ship has sailed, in that Blair’s policies, particularly on Iraq, drove away a large part of the base that Corbyn is now bringing back with his policies.

    The UK media, many of whom are apologists for the Conservative Party and the neo-liberal economic agenda, obviously do not want Corbyn to succeed in pulling the PLP to the left, as there is always a possibility that an enlivened Labour Party could pull the electorate to the left.

    Ever since the end of the “cold war” social democratic parties around the world have increasingly looked and sounded like “left leaning centrist” parties – hence the emergence of parties to the left of them in Greece, Spain and now possibly Ireland.

    If the Blairites do not engage in a genuine dialogue with Corbyn the alternative could be a long slow death of the Party, which appears to be somewhat quicker in Scotland as a result of the available alternative of the SNP and thanks to proportional representation the SGP too. The latest poll for the 2016 Welsh Assembly also shows Plaid Cymru on an uptick too.

    Contrary to a belief being expressed by some on this list and elsewhere that Corbyn is a liability to the PLP, Corbyn, like Sanders in the Democratic Primary, is inspiring confidence that there is more than just extolling the virtues of “centrist pap”. In Canada the rise of the social democratic NDP came at the expense of the demise of the nationalist demise, the Bloc Quebecois.

    If the Labour Party is to survive beyond being in perpetual opposition, and it may have a very real opportunity in 2020 if the Conservatives splinter after the EU referendum and/or remain deadlocked with an enlivened UKIP, the Party will have to offer something more than the insipid policies of Tony Blair.

    I, as a political activist, was lost to social democracy in the early 1990’s and have now found a permanent home in the Green Party.

    The longer the Blairites attempt to freeze policy direction in the past, in different socio-economic times, the more likely it is that it is they who will be responsible for destroying the PLP, just like the problems facing the respective Republican and Democratic leaderships in the US. Politics should be about inspiring the younger generation to engage in building the future of their dreams, something Bernie Sanders has clearly done in the Democratic Primaries.

    In 2015 in Patcham I will never forget the first time male voter who told my canvass partner of the same age that he would never forgive the PLP for allowing Tony Blair to take the UK into Iraq, an event that would have occurred when this young man was in his pre-teens. Unless and until the PLP can erase that memory from the psyche of younger voters I observe that the Labour Party will not become government in the UK.

  45. Neil A – “As to the idea that Osborne or Johnson will be the next PM, I think it’s about 90% certain that one or other will be.”

    When is the last time the Tories elected a front-runner or “big name” as leader?

    Cameron, IDS, Hague, Major, Thatcher were unknowns who came from nowhere to take the crown.

    I think Osborne is done, and that’s a good thing – the polls have consistently shown he is unpopular. I don’t think Boris will get it either – it will be a fresh face with clean hands and no baggage.

    It would be lovely if it was someone like Sarah Wollaston – it’s a real shame Cameron has refused to promote her because she’s criticised him on various things. But perhaps the Conservatives can overlook lack of ministerial experience in favour of her other strengths, such as centrism and popularity.

  46. LIke Candy I find it hard to see either BJ or GO emerging as the new Tory leader.

    The dark horse is Michael Gove who seems to be keeping a low profile in spite of opting for brexit …. possibly a post referendum compromise candidate ?

  47. Sarah Woollaston is wonderful, but not really reflective of the bulk of Tory party thinking.

    I think if you’re looking for a dark horse female candidate it’s probably Priti Patel.

    But I still think they’ll end up with Johnson, for better or worse. The final say is with party members, who like him.

  48. Michael Gove would reduce the Tories almost literally to their core vote.

    It’s hard to find anyone who isn’t fairly partisan who doesn’t hate the man. I think it’s unfair, but that’s the reality. I think he’s been a victim of a certain amount of “othering”.

  49. NeilA
    Boris may be a political insider but he gives the impression that he isn’t. You have misunderstood what I meant if you think I was saying that Boris & Trump are the same. Quite clearly they are not but the left has made the same mistake with both of them. ” They’re nuts, they’re mad, they’re stupid, you can’t take them seriously, what they say is outlandish, they don’t think before they speak, etc, etc.

    The facts are; Boris has twice won elections in Labour dominated London. He appeals beyond his party. Trump has defied the odds to (almost certainly) become the Presidential candidate. So they each have something that is in demand at the moment. Maybe it is the simple fact that they are not clones in grey suits, they are individuals in their own right.

    Whether that is good or ill, I don’t know, but they do bring some colour to the scene, in an otherwise monochrome political world.

  50. @Valerie

    “Cameron is head and shoulders above his party in terms of his appeal to the voters.. The idea that Osborne or Johnson would just slip into his shoes is frankly laughable..”

    You’re right about Cameron being above his party, however, Boris did win the London Mayoralty TWICE in a Labour dominated city. To say Corbyn would challenge Boris at a general election is even more laughable.

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