A quick update on polls in the weekend papers. The Independent on Sunday is no more, but the Sunday edition of the Indy’s website seems to be continuing with their monthly ComRes online poll (shared with the Sunday Mirror). Topline voting intention figures are CON 35%(-3), LAB 30%(+1), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 16%(nc), GRN 4%(nc).

ComRes still have the Conservatives ahead in the polls, but their online polls are consistently the most favourable for the Tories – the Tory lead here (and the contrast with other companies polls) are solely down to likelihood to vote weighting; before running the answers through ComRes’s turnout model Labour were ahead. The trend is exactly the same as in other polls, a deteriorating Conservative position. It’s a five point Tory lead this month, but a month ago it was nine points, a month before that fourteen points. Full tabs are here.

There was also a new Scottish poll by Panelbase, carried out for the Sunday Times. Holyrood constituency VI is SNP 51%, LAB 19%, CON 18%, LDEM 5%; regional VI is SNP 47%, CON 19%, LAB 18%, LDEM 4%, GRN 8%. Panelbase have Labour and the Conservatives essentially neck-and-neck in Scotland (and given the distribution of the vote and the impact of the regional vote, it may well produce more Tory MSPs than Labour ones) – this is something that YouGov Scottish polls have also shown, but Scottish polling from other companies has tended to show Labour in a clear second place.


148 Responses to “Sunday Polls – ComRes GB and Panelbase Scotland”

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  1. Is it odd that the Tories seem to be losing ground to Labour overall, yet might be overtaking Labour in Scotland? Is it because the SNP are hoovering up mostly Labour votes?

  2. Thanks, Anthony, and very interesting to see the detailed cutbot.net projections, which could of course turn out to be very accurate or completely useless come May.

    Another interesting analysis is Prof. C’s excellent 2016 Scottish Election Briefing, which is being woefully misrepresented in today’s Sunday Herald.

  3. PETE B
    Is it because the SNP are hoovering up mostly Labour votes?

    I suspect not. Most of the switch to SNP occurred in the immediate aftermath of the referendum.

    It may simply be within sampling error margins but if it’s real then perhaps diehard unionists are simply upset at Labour’s Scottish leadership abandoning the last vestiges of New Labour, except for the PFI albatross, of course.

  4. Good morning all from a sunny rural Hampshire.

    AW thanks for the link to Cutbot Scottish Parliament Seat Forecaster. I’ve never visited the site before and it’s well presented.

    However I’m not convinced the Tories will win my old seat of East Renfrewshire from Labour and this will in fact be an SNP gain, however the Tories may well take Dumfriesshire from Labour which is being contested by the son of Scottish Secretary David Mundell who holds the equivalent Westminster seat

    UK wide the Tories have taken a dip but the big test for them is what happens after the EU vote but despite the issues the Tories face, Labour should be polling far far better in England.

    Anyway I’m off to put my feet up and settle down in front of the tv. First up Celtic v Rangers and then the remainder of Bournemouth vs Liverpool. I’m predicting wins for Celtic and Liverpool.

    As we say in rural Hampshire…”It’s all good in da hood”

  5. @ Pete B

    This is only one poll showing Labour and Tories level in Scotland. Looking at Scottish polling overall, I don’t think the position between Lab and Con in Scottish Election polling has really changed much in the past 4 months or so, with most clustered around a 3 point Labour lead (for 2nd place)

  6. @Allan

    I never imagined rural Hampshire as ‘da hood’.

  7. @Allan

    UK wide the Tories have taken a dip but the big test for them is what happens after the EU vote but despite the issues the Tories face, Labour should be polling far far better in England.

    This is correct IMO. The evidence points to the Conservatives falling back, but Labour certainly isn’t benefiting too much.

    (Although a lot can happen four years out from the GE).

  8. One point I’ve not seen about Brexit.

    If we leave the EU, it will mean one of the big, heavyweight countries will not be there to put the brakes on further integration. The EU is all about integration (which is why, in part, the UK strongly supported expansion to water down further unification). With the UK gone, I would expect to see a renewed attempt at further integration — with the banking union probably being pursued with renewed vigour.

    If we leave, how unified and how strong will the EU become in 20 years time? If the EU is much stronger then an economy of 400+ million peoples will be much more able to throw its weight about. In that case I would predict we will be back in but on their terms. But hey, you reap what you sow!

  9. I’m ready to make my prediction for Holyrood. Remember that you’re only allowed to mock me for being horribly wrong (which I inevitably will be) if you make a similary prediction AND yours is closer than mine :)

    SNP 68
    Labour 26
    Conservative 20
    Green 7
    Lib Dem 7
    Ukip 1 (ugh)

    Edinburgh Pentland vulnerable to Tories
    Lib Dems to hold Orkney by skin of their teeth
    I’ve got my eye on Edinburgh Southern too… Labour’s putting in a *big* ground operation, so it might come down to whether Tories switch tactically to Labour, as in 2015, or whether they weigh in for the Ruth Davidson Party.

  10. @Al Urqa

    Of course, it is just as possible that a United States of Europe could fall apart in total acrimony, as millions of people realise their national identity has become merely a small regional tag.

    Is there really a thirst among European nations to have such a Union? I suspect there isn’t.

  11. @Allan

    “UK wide the Tories have taken a dip but the big test for them is what happens after the EU vote but despite the issues the Tories face, Labour should be polling far far better in England.”

    I disagree with this. Labour couldn’t be expected to be doing substantially better in England just a year after the GE – a year in which their leader has come under constant internal sniping from allies if the last but two leader of the party; and more recently with the EU Ref. They’ve done well to hold their vote in these circumstances.

    Their real chance may come with a Remain vote that isolates the Tory leadership from both many of their backbenchers and also their rank and file supporters.

  12. Al Urqua:

    A very perceptive comment and a point of view which is curiously ignored in the UK. Could it be that the UK is a cuckoo in the nest and, once flown, the rest of the nest will thrive?

  13. Some of the discussions about the consequences of leaving the EU seem to be based on the presumption that the UK will be able to negotiate individually with EU Member states – for example I’ve heard it said that we’re want to sell us their cars, and the French will still want to sell us their wines’.
    bound to have free trade ‘because the Germans will still
    The French and Germans may well want to do so, but if (for example) the Romanians are not happy with the UK’s position on freedom of movement, they would be able to block such a deal. It’s worth remembering that some East European countries would not have a great deal to fear from the loss of the UK market for their exports, but their agreement is still needed for any future EU/UK trade deal.

    The most likely outcome would be years of deadlocked talks, with the UK needing extensions to the 2 year period allowed for negotiating its exit.

  14. Some of the discussions about the consequences of leaving the EU seem to be based on the presumption that the UK will be able to negotiate individually with EU Member states – for example I’ve heard it said that we’re bound to have free trade ‘because the Germans will still
    want to sell us their cars, and the French will still want to sell us their wines’.

    The French and Germans may well want to do so, but if (for example) the Romanians are not happy with the UK’s position on freedom of movement, they would be able to block such a deal. It’s worth remembering that some East European countries would not have a great deal to fear from the loss of the UK market for their exports, but their agreement is still needed for any future EU/UK trade deal.

    The most likely outcome would be years of deadlocked talks, with the UK needing extensions to the 2 year period allowed for negotiating its exit.

  15. It is not the first time I have seen Al Urqa’s view expressed; admittedly it’s a minority position but I have read some arguing in favour of a Brexit vote in a self-sacrificial sense, to prevent the UK from further stultifying what’s seen as a benign process of further European integration.

    “Is there really a thirst among European nations to have such a Union? I suspect there isn’t.”

    Al Urqa was talking about the state of the EU in 20 years’ time, not the present tense.

  16. Rangers win 5-4 on Penalties…..

    All other news is meaningless, while the Earth opens and we are all sucked into the Bowels of Hell!

    Not that Iam biased!

    Peter.

  17. One of the problems with polling is that only with the arrival of postal ballot papers do some people learn who the candidates are in their constituency.

    Panelbase shows 7% with a VI for “Others” on the constituency poll, yet there are only 22 candidates across Scotland who could be so labelled.

    11 Independents : 4 TUSC : 3 Green : 2 UKIP : 1 Christian : 1 Liberal.

    Many constituencies are like mine. Only SNP, Con, Lab & LD have candidates, so in most places those “Other” VI folk are going to have to abstain or vote for the SNP or the larger Unionist parties.

    Perhaps this situation helps to explain why the 2011 polling underestimated the actual SNP votes? Could this be replicated in 2016?

  18. Peter

    Have we had a Cup Final before where both teams come from the “2nd Division” (to use the proper terminology, instead of the current nonsense).

  19. Oldnat,

    Sadly, I think the true reality is that, every year every Scottish finalist is from the Second Division!

    Peter

  20. My main doubt about the Cutbot prediction is it seems to have UKIP at 0% for the regional vote. A possible factor in whether the Tories do better in Seats than Labour may well be how many Tories vote UKIP.

    It would be ironic if Cameron’s decision to go in June cost Ruth Davidson the position of Leader of the Opposition in Holyrood.

    Having said that, both in Scotland and south of the border UKIP currently seem to be making a pigs ear of what in theory should be a great opportunity to do well in May to boost them for June”

    Peter.

  21. Just took a closer look at the Cutbot predicted Tory Constituency results ( if you click on a blue square it takes you to that prediction) and wondered what people thought.

    In all five cases, one in the West and four in the South, they have close to the average of the Tories up 10% and Labout down 10%, with the SNP up marginally ( normally less than 5% in each).

    That would seem to suggest a POST REERENDUM swing from Labour to the Tories not the SNP!

    Are people comfortable with that?

    Peter.

  22. “POST REERENDUM”

    Sounds vaguely obscene…..must be subliminal reaction to the football result!

    Peter.

  23. Peter Cairns

    I’m not completely convinced by Cutbot which is still being developed, but Anthony’s projection seems to come from not assigning any of the regional figures for Other to UKIP, RISE and so on. If you split that 4% 3/1 then David Coburn gets elected in H&I. Sorry ’bout that.

    (Actually I think it’s a mistake in the model and if UKIP do have a chance it will be in South).

  24. Peter Cairns

    The ‘cutbot prediction’ as linked by AW does indeed have UKIP at 0% on the list; but the input is editable. As it is, 4% is missing from the regional allocations.

    If you allocate just 3% to UKIP, you will find that cutbot allows them 6% in the Highlands. This is enough to give them one seat, at the expense of SNP.

  25. @Raf

    “Their real chance may come with a Remain vote that isolates the Tory leadership from both many of their backbenchers and also their rank and file supporters.”

    True, up to a point, but it depends on the scale of the Remain win. If it’s 60:40 or better, then it will be something of a personal triumph for Cameron and his allies in the Tory Party and while the party’s Brexit element will be sore and bitter, they will be greatly weakened. They couldn’t cry foul, with any plausibility anyway,and I would think Cameron’s revenge would involve the sacking and demotion of most of his Brexiteers in his first post Referendum reshuffle. He could also argue, with some justification, that he’s lanced a 30 year old simmering boil within the Tory party and settled the issue for a generation. He may flake off a few renegades to UKIP, both in his parliamentary party and amongst his membership, but they will be joining a tarnished and defeated rabble. Whither Farage, I wonder, if he’s routed in the referendum?

    Now, there are other scenarios of course, and the one that’s starting to look very possible, according to the polls, is a narrow Remain win. That spells all sorts of problems for Cameron and the Tory Party because the Brexiteers will be wounded and bitter but far from defeated. Cameron will be further diminished, a lame duck who could limp around for another three years but who would, more likely, be challenged by a reinforced Johnson way before he wanted to go. Blood on the carpet but no corpse. Ingredients for a Tory civil war. If Leave win, then the Right more or less take over the Tory Party and they abandon the political centre ground. Narrow vote outcome either way and I’d say the Tories may be stuffed. A lose/lose situation. Cameron and the Tory moderates need to win big.

    My problem, which I will mull over between now and June is where does my vote fit into all this. I have many agendas at play here and I must ponder on them all deeply.

    :-)

  26. Good evening all.

    CATMANJEFF

    “This is correct IMO. The evidence points to the Conservatives falling back, but Labour certainly isn’t benefiting too much.
    (Although a lot can happen four years out from the GE)”
    _____

    Yes a lot can happen and I predict the two current party leaders (Cameron & ole Corby) wont be around before the next GE. Corby’s appeal can only reach out to the Labour core vote so I can’t see Labour hitting much into the 30’s when he is leader.

    The Tories as I said are taking a dip at the moment for a number of reasons but it’s the aftermath of the EU vote that is the big unknown for them. Maybe all will be fine and DC will limp on until 2019 or we me see the battle of the Alamo but the good news for them is that they have 4 years in which to recover.

    On a more important note….Ronny Deila………….TAXI..

  27. Nice quote Professor Curtice’s article, as linked by Barbazenzero above:

    “voters are not sure they want to be distinctively Scottish on tax after all”

  28. RAF
    @Allan
    “UK wide the Tories have taken a dip but the big test for them is what happens after the EU vote but despite the issues the Tories face, Labour should be polling far far better in England.”
    ……………..

    “I disagree with this. Labour couldn’t be expected to be doing substantially better in England just a year after the GE – a year in which their leader has come under constant internal sniping from allies if the last but two leader of the party; and more recently with the EU Ref. They’ve done well to hold their vote in these circumstances”

    “Their real chance may come with a Remain vote that isolates the Tory leadership from both many of their backbenchers and also their rank and file supporters”
    _______

    “”I disagree with this” Oh you do? Fancy coming to da hood in Hampshire for a square go? ;-)

    Actually you’ve hit the nail on the head and in part answers what I was saying to CATMANJEFF and that is Labour under Corby have probably limited themselves to early 30’s in terms of VI although I was referring to Corby only appealing to the Labour core vote but I agree Labour have done well to hold their vote under considering the backstabbing from within.

    Labour may well exploit any Tory splits after the EU vote but the Tories do have 4 years to sort themselves out.

  29. I can’t see the EU falling apart. After all, the nations can’t go back.

    Imagine what that would mean to them. Especially the smaller ones — if Schengen was to collapse it will have a big impact on some of their economies. So while there are those that don’t like the EU, on the continental mainland something would have to replace it.

    The hostility to the EU is not really there in Europe — there are of course those that don’t like the EU, but there are many more that do. And remember their politics are more progressive than ours, so their electoral systems mean you get a wider selection of opinions, and any strong hostility is kept to the smaller parties, rather than polluting the larger parties, as it has done to the Conservative Party in the UK.

  30. @ JAMES E
    ” we’re bound to have free trade ‘because the Germans will still
    want to sell us their cars, and the French will still want to sell us their wines’.

    The French and Germans may well want to do so, but if (for example) the Romanians are not happy with the UK’s position on freedom of movement, they would be able to block such a deal. ”

    So the Romanians will knock a hole in VW and BMW sales and so profits? Then with UK out, where will the money come from to subsidise Eastern Europe?

    Incidentally, how is free movement of EU citizens working with fences going up along so many borders?

  31. JAMES E
    “voters are not sure they want to be distinctively Scottish on tax after all”

    Droll indeed, but perhaps better commented on the WST site, which doesn’t penalise partisanship.

  32. AL URQA

    “The hostility to the EU is not really there in Europe”
    _________

    It certainly is there and it may be a minority for now but it’s an increasing hostility.

    The whole fabric of the EU (Schengen) is under threat. Border controls going up, the rise of the far right in Germany and France, fascist government in Poland rejecting refugees and a currency on the blink.

    The hostility to the EU from within the EU on mainland Europe is growing.

    I think you have got your tinted bifocal specks on or you’ve been reading that daft little booklet Cameron sent out.

  33. #brink

    So many typos

  34. @ Barbazenero

    I don’t think it was a particularly partisan point on my part, unless you think that Curtice’s point is also partisan. Also, it is based squarely on more than one company’s polling. Here it is in its full context:

    “… in an echo of one of the findings of the poll that Ipsos MORI conducted for BBC Scotland at the beginning of the campaign, voters are not sure they want to be distinctively Scottish on tax after all. No less than 69% agree that ‘people in Scotland should not have to pay more income tax than people in England’, while just 9% disagree. Even 62% of those who voted Yes to independence 18 months ago agree with this proposition. This suggests that even for those who wish to leave the UK, England is evidently still a powerful point of comparison, an outlook that could well make it difficult for Holyrood to make extensive use of the substantial new tax powers that it is now set to obtain.”

  35. Dave

    My point was that the UK’s post EU referendum negotiations would be with the EU as a whole rather than individually with the Germans, the French and so on.

    Are you saying that per my example, the Romanians (or any of the other 26 remaining members) would be easily forced to drop their objections for fear of weakening the EU budget?

  36. Allan Christie,

    The Euro on the Brink!

    More Brexit wishful thinking, more Countries hold Euros in their currency reserves than Sterling by far and no one is discussing the Euro falling against a surge in Sterling in the UK votes to leave.

    Schengen is struggling but so would a non Schengen Europe with 4 million people on the move. Without support from the ECB and the rest of the EU over immigration, Greece would have collapsed and been walled off!

    The worst you can say is that for at least the next couple of years we will have something between Schengen and what went before.

    I suspect it will be something like hold up your EU passport when you walk through or Chunnel style number plate recognition that confirms the car is registered to an EU citizen all backed up by the same random checks we have now.

    Of course as some here have suggested if the UK leaves we could see greater integration and Schengen backed by a Pan EU security and intelegence force. That way if the UK wanted free trade we would need to give it personal details on all UK subjects.

    As to the rise of the right, with some here predicting UKIP getting a highland list seat in our 129 seat Parliament I suppose people on the right on the continent will be preparing because the SNP’s days are numbered!

    Peter.

  37. “The hostility to the EU from within the EU on mainland Europe is growing.

    I think you have got your tinted bifocal specks on”
    ALLAN CHRISTIE April 17th, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    You may be correct. But EU progression comes in waves. When there is political discontent that’s when, eventually, everyone sees the looming abyss of the EU failing and all pull together to solve the problem. It has to be bad to get everyone on the same page. And since 2004 we now have all these smaller Eastern European countries to contend to.

    But I Islam and the Middle East crisis being the catalyst to force the Northern States to take the issues in the south more seriously. There will, of course, be a quid pro quo. And that, I expect, will be further integration.

    Germany won’t give money to the southern states because their electorate see it as giving good money after bad. But if it means helping to stop the flow of Syrians, et al, then that may be sold as a price worth paying.

    I’ve no idea what will happen. But I do know the the European project is not something trivial.

    On the other hand if the EU falls apart god help us. Everyone for themselves — that sounds very worrying.

  38. But I Islam = but I see Islam…

  39. PETER CAIRNS (#twovotesSNP)

    .The Euro on the Brink!
    ……..
    “More Brexit wishful thinking, more Countries hold Euros in their currency reserves than Sterling by far and no one is discussing the Euro falling against a surge in Sterling in the UK votes to leave”
    _____

    It’s not so much wishful thinking it’s just the way I see it but I hope you’re right on the old currency stuff but every political party in the UK have said we are better off without the Euro…I wonder why?

    …..
    “The worst you can say is that for at least the next couple of years we will have something between Schengen and what went before”
    ____

    Schengen will never recover to what it was pre refugee flow. I think the days of free movement without border checks are over. If we do vote to leave the EU then it might be the wake up call the EU needs for some proper reforms, not the silly nonsense Cameron is trying to spin.

    A Brexit might make the EU sit up and ask, ” Where did we go so wrong that we have just lost our biggest partner?” and on the back of that they might reform properly in case the whole damn thing implodes.

    I wouldn’t really worry about UKIP in the Scottish parliament, they won’t get any MSP’s and compared to some of the far right stuff across the EU they are quite modest. I think the fact the UK has a party like UKIP keeps a lid on the far right loony’s such as the BNP which should be a blessing to us all. .

  40. Didn’t Prof Curtice say the last time an opposition party lost council seats in a non election years was over 30 years ago? Labour have to be, and surely must be, doing substantially better than what they are.

    The Tories have had their worst month in government since the 1990s, and Labour are either just level pegging, slightly ahead, or even behind in some polls? Even if you don’t start buying into extrapolating local elections into general election results (and I don’t, either way), that is dire for Labour.

    Of course, it could all change, but how much worse can the Tories do and how much better can Labour do with their present ‘leadership’?

  41. AL URQA

    Firstly I’m not wanting the EU to fail either if we stay or bolt. I’m not convinced by it and it’s like a snake creeping into our own sovereignty.

    I don’t go along with the idea that we must remain part of the EU so we can solve our problems together, we solve problems with other countries and not tied to their apron strings.

    The problem with the middle east migrant crises is that it shows just how complex it is when you try to force 28 nations into a one shoe fits all scenario.

    The EU can’t even unanimously agree on what the extent of the sanctions against Russia should be but you did say the EU was a project….time for a new project manager me thinks.

  42. ALLAN CHRISTIE April 17th, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    The Euro and Schengen.

    As I said you may be correct. But I suspect it is you is looking at this from a single perspective. Schengen and the Euro project both came about during a period of confidence in Europe. Schengen has been widely seen as a good thing, even by people who don’t know much else about Europe, because it is so visible.

    I go to Europe every week and once I get into Schengen travel is easy. Of course recent events have raise some questions, but the benefit of free travel is very strong, so other methods of tracking individuals will be used. After all, even if they bring border controls back again without an integrated security system to track travel outside each country there will be no real security benefit.

    When they created the Euro don’t you think they thought about the absence of a fiscal union? The idea was that, in the good times, the Euro would also be seen as an obvious benefit to those countries that used it. All financial systems will eventually have to face a crisis, and the Euro would be no different. Europe is a political project, and the way to solve the Euro is not to abolish it, but for member states to continue their process of integration.

    Think of the EU as a 100 or 200 year project. In 100 years how many people will have parents or grandparents from different states? How strong will nationalism be then? The idea is much less.

    the UK only sees this as an an economic project. That, in my view is very short sighted. As I said at the start of this post, you may be correct and I may be wrong. But it would be folly not to consider alternative views. After all, I may be right!! :-)

  43. Alan Christie,

    “every political party in the UK have said we are better off without the Euro…I wonder why?”

    Because every political polls says, they don’t want it…that’s why no party with any substantial support is offering big tax rises either!

    “then it might be the wake up call the EU needs”

    More Brexit “Wake up Britain” nonsense.

    Even without the UK and if the EU ends up absorbing 8m there will still be 40 existing EU citizens for every new one and the vast majority of those forty will over time want a return to free movement.

    “Where did we go so wrong that we have just lost our biggest partner?”

    Is that the US or China or if you are just thinking of the EU,when we we bigger than Germany?

    The EU won’t want the UK to leave but expecting over two dozen Countries to change direction because one has is more wishful thinking….

    If we lag back amongst the U-Boats, I bet the convoy will turn back to join us so that they can join us amongst the U-boats.

    If we leave then after what it has spent bailing out Greece and the lead it has taken on refugees I think the EU will rally around Germany’s financial muscle and moral authority and Germany will set the pace and direction for a decade to come.

    I can see why a lot of people in the UK wouldn’t want to be part of an EU with Germany in the lead even without a little Englander mentality but if we leave we will have to learn to live with an EU lead by Germany.

    While we have been fighting over whether to stay Germany has been fighting to hold it together and if we go it isn’t going to stop doing that and may well pull the whole thing closer around it.

    As to UKIP I think as they have an MSP and the euro vote is just around thr er I’d given them a slightly better than even chance of getting one seat.

    Peter.

  44. JAMES E
    I don’t think it was a particularly partisan point on my part, unless you think that Curtice’s point is also partisan.

    Your point was not in the least partisan.

    In his more academic work the Prof. is also entirely non-partisan. I would defy anyone to express the 2016 Scottish general election scenario in a less partisan way than he does in the paper I link to in the 2nd comment on this thread. In his blogging for the ScotCen subsidiary of NatCen, however, he does occasionally let himself go a little.

  45. ALLAN CHRISTIE…….Ah, but what does the, ‘Fat Controller’ think ? :-)

  46. BERT

    I caught some of the Daily Politics this morning and it appears the expectations for Labour are so low that a good outcome for them would be if Sadiq Khan wins the London Mayor, never mind Scotland, Wales, local elections, police commissioners, London assembly…everything rests on Sadiq Khan.

    I personally like ole Corby and will never say anything against any politician who stands up to austerity and thinks out the establishment box but I think he has a very low ceiling appeal with people outside the Labour core vote and that will be a problem for Labour to address.

  47. @ Peter Cairns

    While I agree with much of what you say, I don’t think your view of an EU without the UK is widely shared. The effect of UK leaving would be to shift the overall balance of power away from Germany, and the other northern European countries, who have tended to be our closest allies within the EU, and towards the mediteranean countries. Politically, it would probably be France which gains much of the influence which we would (voluntarily) give up.

    Germany would of course remain the largest net contributor, though.

  48. AL URQA

    I don’t dispute the economic benefits free travel has brought to mainland EU but for the UK it is debatable. Rising rents, overcrowded infrastructure and soon. I know I’m going off track a bit but surely an Australian points system would be beneficial to the UK than wholesale movements of millions of people into the UK in such a short period of time?
    …….

    “Think of the EU as a 100 or 200 year project. In 100 years how many people will have parents or grandparents from different states? How strong will nationalism be then? The idea is much less”
    ___

    That;s a depressing thought, ;-) I already have parents from different nations, father is from the UK, Scottish and mother is from Italy but I don’t oppose the EU and a nationalistic stance, for me it’s about holding accountability to our own elected representatives.

    Your paragraph on the Euro, yes okay you’ve made an excellent point on that but I’m not conceding anything else. ;-)

  49. James E,

    Just why would the withdrawal of the second largest economy weaken the position of by far the largest. By the Mediterainian Countries you mean, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, all of whom have recently or currently look to Berlin for support for their economies!

    It’s a bit like saying if the Couple who pay rent in the top flat leave, the people in the basement who’s rent is paid by the DHSS (showing my age here) will have a strengthened hand against the landlord….Don’t see it myself.

    Peter

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