Following on from the ORB and ICM polls at the start of the week, there are two more EU polls today that both have small movements towards Leave. YouGov in the Times have topline figures of REMAIN 41%(+1), LEAVE 42%(+3), DK/WNV 17%(-4), while Survation for IG have topline figures of REMAIN 45%(-1), LEAVE 38%(+3), DK 17%(-2). I’m dubious about whether this is an Obama effect, but it does put to bed the idea that the series of polls last week showing a movement towards Remain was the start of some sort of breakthrough.

An interesting thing about the YouGov poll – while their headline EU voting intention figures have changed very little over the last few months, there has been movement in Remain’s favour on the economic argument. Back in February people thought Britain would be worse off outside the EU by only a two point margin, it’s now thirteen points (35% worse off, 22% better off). YouGov’s regular EU questions have also shown increasing belief that leaving the EU would be bad for jobs, and bad for people’s personal finances. Yet this hasn’t translated into any movement in the headline figures.

This may be because it’s being balanced out by factors favouring Leave, like immigration or the NHS, or it may be that the economic argument hasn’t started to bite yet. I’m reminded of the experience of Scotland, where people swung towards YES during the campaign despite telling pollsters they thought that an independent Scotland would be worse off economically… but ended up swinging in favour of risk aversion and what they thought was their best economic interest in the final fortnight. Anyway, time will tell.

Finally YouGov have voting intention figures of CON 30%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 20%. That twenty percent for UKIP is a record high from YouGov, though I am a little dubious about it. While it seems perfectly feasible that during a referendum campaign the only significant political party backing one side of the argument may get a boost in support, we haven’t seen such a big boost in support echoed in any other polling. Wait to see if that’s reflected in any other polling before getting too excited.

361 Responses to “YouGov/Times – Remain 41%, Leave 42%”

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  1. @ Colin

    I’m thinking of launching bifocal goggles.

  2. YG has poll “(in Springtime) on Hitler and Germany”.


    Excellent idea-they will do well I feel sure.

    May I suggest a USP something along the lines of :-

    ” Eliminates all ocular class bias-infinitely adaptable -objectivity guaranteed”

  4. @carfrew

    ‘re full employment and security of employment, this was certainly not a feature of the 1980s when you seem to think that the boomers were uniquely favoured. Unemployment was never below 6% and was actually above 10% for the majority of it.

  5. Mmm. So why are SNP supporters far more supportive of Ken L than Labour voters? And why are they far more likely to believe that hating Israel is NOT anti-Semitic ? Could the explanation be one or more of the following ?

    A. SNP supporters are generally better educated/read and able to comprehend the distinction between anti-Semitsm and being anti-Israeli ?

    B. SNP supporters are more likely to hold views on these issues akin to those of the traditional far Left in UK ?

    C. Some SNP supporters may hate England and do not want to risk being called r***st as a result

    D. SNP supporters like Ken because he has a Scottish-sounding surname

    E. It’s just a Cross Break so insignificant (but YG highlighted it)

    F. None of the above (but what IS the explanation

  6. Welsh Borderer

    G. Why are “the full poll results” unusually not “the full poll results”?

    H. YG don’t normally do an SNP crossbreak in their GB tables (you would only expect a party with 5% of the GB vote to be highlighted if it was the Lib-Dems – pollster inertia is a wonderful thing)

    I. The article is by Will Dahlgreen, so don’t expect too much ! :-)

    J. If the tables do have an SNP crossbreak, I’m sure Anthony will tell us why – and if this is going to be a regular event, or just a one-off before a Scottish GE.

    K. Have YG done this poll off their own bat, or was it commissioned by some interested party – if so who?

    If we do see the detail in the data tables, and the numbers are sufficiently high to suggest they are meaningful, then it would be interesting to see

    No doubt, the answers will appear in due course – but after the Sunday papers have picked up Dahlgreen’s comments and used then in a manner that they deem most appropriate (Eastwood is seen as a possibly close-run contest).

  7. @OldNat

    Red Flag on that Opinium Poll – Matt Singh of NumberCrunchrPolitics reporting that the VI Q was asked towards the end of the Q’s – not at the start. Whether this is more accurate or not, it surely calls into question the comparability of this poll with their other Westminster VI polls.

  8. I think a while back Anthony suggested that a way to deal with the polling errors at the election might be to add a specific Scottish weighted (or regional) sample to the UK one rather than just balance across the UK.

    I there is a logic to creating a balanced UK sample from adding together balanced regional samples might give us better results.


  9. Latest opnium poll has the Tories with an 8 point lead, up from 1 point. Looks seem very plausible.

  10. RAF

    Yep. Right at the end of a long set of EU questions. However, Westminster election is a long way off and polling on it somewhat academic at the moment.

    Maybe we should consider red flagging any EU polls which don’t ask that question before Westminster?

    Opinium don’t seem to have given any reason why they constructed a UK wide representative sample, but then excluded the 60 from NI from the poll! I think that makes the EU aspect of the poll not comparable wityh the previous one either.

  11. @HIRETON

    “re full employment and security of employment, this was certainly not a feature of the 1980s when you seem to think that the boomers were uniquely favoured. Unemployment was never below 6% and was actually above 10% for the majority of it.”


    Nah, you’re confusing two things. Admittedly some of it I explained in the past. Attempts to secure full employment were a feature of the formative decades in the careers of boomers. They were less likely to get halfway into a career then have to start over again or be held back by a spell of unemployment and could build up resources for when things became tricky in the Eighties.

    By the Eighties, position established career-wise, they could cash in with the property etc.

    But as mentioned in the past, obviously numerous boomers in more Northerly industrial towns took a hit.

    The bigger contrast lies with those in more protected sectors, and benefiting these days from QE, housing policy, infrastructure etc.

    Obviously one avoids having to repeat everything for the fly-by-nights who only come barrelling in occasionally, and one hopes peeps might be able to fill in some gaps for themselves, but it’s all been dealt with before.

  12. @ Old Nat

    Yes, it’s very odd that Opinium included 60 people from N Ireland in their sample, but there are no results in their tables from N Ireland as there are for Wales, Scotland and England.

    My understanding is that most companies are simply conducting GB polls on the EU, so that we should bear in mind that there needs to be a slight adjustment made to reflect the whole of the UK.

  13. Carfrew

    “Obviously one avoids having to repeat everything for the fly-by-nights who only come barrelling in occasionally”

    I’m one of the more regular posters on this site, but that just means I have the time to do so.

    For any of us (more prolific) posters to describe those who post less frequently, in such a way, is distasteful, dismissive, arrogant and offensive. Hopefully it is also out of character.

  14. ON
    Well said.
    I note that the Opinium polling site says that “Targets for party propensity are taken from previous Opinium research and adjusted weekly based on a rolling average of the results of the relevant questions in our regular polling”

    This is a bit vague, but I note that UKIP supporters were downweighted by quite a lot. As we are nearing the Referendum, I wonder whether UKIP might be gaining support, as suggested by recent polls. If that is the case, the adjusted UKIP figures could be understated and that therefore Leave might be doing slightly better than the poll suggests.

  15. Excuse my ignorance, but can anyone tell me if polling companies are weighting their referendum polls by differential turnout amongst age groups?

    In the case of the GE, it appears it was the crumblies wot won it, with their higher propensity to vote, and vote Tory.

    Given that the same demographic leans heavily to Brexit, on the face of it, logic would appear to suggest that this time round, Cameron may be the victim of the phenomenon that preserved his job last May. Especially if differential rates of voter registration are added to the mix.

  16. The reason why there are no tables for the YouGov poll about anti-semitism is that this is a Live Survey – the daily poll that they put up on their website and often devoted to such weighty matters as the future of BHS or how you pronounce Farage’s surname. I think the people who answer these polls are self-selecting – the sort of people who visit the YouGov site regularly. The samples are weighted in a similar way as ‘proper’ YouGov polls[1], but effectively they’re a sort of upmarket voodoo poll which will have an intensified version of the normal online problem – far too many people who are interested in politics.

    The interactive display of the results is here:

    They show a sample of 4406 which if the sample was pro-rata (and there’s nothing to say it would be) would suggest an SNP sub-sample of under 200. The attitudes don’t seem that much statistically different except perhaps when dictated by party preference (Tories are most opposed to Livingstone) where it may just be because SNP voters are less involved.

    [1] For some reason they still use the old age-ranges rather than the revised ones for example. So also it’s possible that the political weighting is less sophisticated than the current YouGov regionally based one.

  17. Roger Mexico

    Thanks for the explanation.

    Hopefully, political journos are as contemptuous as I am of virtually anything Dahlgreen writes – on any topic.

    However …..

  18. London Mayor odds (best available on Oddschecker)
    Goldsmith 10/1, Khan with pleasing symmetry 1/10.
    Sadly, Sandi Toksvig (not standing) has disappeared from the lists having attracted some smart (?) money earlier in the week to bring her in from 125/1 to 66/1.
    To make up for that, Russell Brand (not standing) has entered the betting at 125/1

    Something that we forget was very kind to many boomers was inflation. My £100K mortgage was daunting when I earned £25K but much more comfortable three or four years later when I was on £40K. It also was a great help for my final salary pension scheme.

  19. Always rather liked Ken, having lived under the old GLC and generally followed his path sticking up for the less fortunate, but I’ve finally lost patience with his lack of discipline and serial inability to be part of a team.

    I’m stunned that he is still trying to claim that his ‘facts’ are true, when it’s patently obvious he has made a complete historical howler, let alone a massive political blunder, and his attempts to categorize people like John Mann as embittered Blairites is laughable.

    I was always dubious of Corbyn giving Ken any kind of responsibility within his team, and seeing the response to this storm further indicates to me that Corbyn isn’t a leader.

    I get the feeling that Labour are slipping away into angry irrelevance. As with the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, where Scotland goes, does England follow?

  20. Somerjohn

    “Excuse my ignorance”

    Excuse it?? Most of us share it! :-)

    Pollsters vary in how they select their headline figures. Some weight by “certainty to vote”, and that will undoubtedly include more older folk (and more Scots they suggest).

    The only sensible way to see how things are going is only to compare the same pollster over time – and even then, only if they haven’t changed methodology!

  21. Alec
    As I posted on another thread, I assume Ken was talking about the Haavara Agreement of 1933, which was between the Nazis and German Zionists to send German Jews to Palestine, which did happen.
    However what baffles me is what he thought he was trying to achieve by mentioning this. Someone on another thread did try to explain it to me, but it was very complicated. To me, it came across that because Hitler did a deal with Zionists, that therefore it was ok to be anti-Zionist. Maybe it is, but bringing Hitler into the argument never helps your case.

  22. Alec

    “where Scotland goes, does England follow?”

    Were that true, you guys would have ditched the Tories already – before turning your attention to removing Labour and the Lib-Dems. :-)

    Different political systems don’t necessarily operate in similar ways.

  23. @Pete B – yes, I now understand the specific points he was making, but he is wrong, and wrong headed.

    There have always been parts of the left that have gaping blind spots when it comes to unacceptable behaviour by a few people in some minorities, and where the Middle East is concerned, this clouds their ability to be sensible.

    I think this is toxic, and presents a real test for Labour. No more excuses.

  24. @Oldnat

    Thanks for your constructive response. I’m aware of likelihood to vote weighting, but I suppose what I was really getting at is the possibility of pollsters getting caught out again by underestimating the differential turnout.

    I suspect, for instance, that when older voters say they’re going to vote, they generally do (maybe because they don’t have many other demands on their time) but the good intentions of the young are easily undermined by all the other interesting things going on in their lives. But as I said, that’s a hunch and I wondered if the issue has been seriously addressed by pollsters in a referendum context, as opposed to the GE post mortem.

    However, there’s an exception to most rules and I’m happy to report that my son in New York has successfully applied for a postal vote. He tells me that amongst the generally high-achieving young Brit ex-pats of his acquaintance there, support for remain is solid.

  25. Pete B

    I think the argument he was trying to make is that you can oppose Zionism but not be anti-semitic, but be anti-semitic and support Zionism. The latter springs to mind with the support given to Israel by American right-wing evangelical Christians, who I do not associate with being that keen on Judaism. As I understand it, their support is based on a highly anti-semitic interpretation of the book of revelation.

    Of course, he could have just been rambling incoherently.

  26. Alec

    The reason that Israel is unpopular is that they do stuff like dropping white phosphorous on civilians. The Palestinians are unpopular because of the terrorist activities of groups like Hamas.

    There is blindness on both sides.

    The only way Israel can survive in the long run (America and Europe will not be a hegemon forever) is to have a credible peace settlement with its neighbours, which means talking to people like Hamas. There is no point in negotiating with groups that are not in charge in Palestinian territories. Blindly supporting Likud makes that less likely to happen and risks disaster.

    There needs to be some tough love here.

  27. Alec

    “There have always been parts of the left that have gaping blind spots when it comes to unacceptable behaviour by a few people in some minorities, and where the Middle East is concerned, this clouds their ability to be sensible. ”

    Isn’t it also the case that parts of the right can have gaping blind spots when it comes to unacceptable behaviour by a large number of people in some majorities, and where the Middle East is concerned, this clouds their ability to be sensible?

    Or any intermediate left/right stance among those who see themselves as members of sub-state nations and who have an instinctive sympathy with those that they see in similar positions (Catalans, Basques, Palestinians, Kurds etc etc)

    Or any intermediate left/right stance among those who believe in the existing order of states, and oppose any diminution of the power of existing states.

    Political views aren’t the simple binary that you appear to suggest influence attitudes.

  28. Somerjohn

    My son in North Carolina has been there for 15+ years so doesn’t qualify for a UK vote not that it matters since he has always taken the view that since he lives outwith the UK, the governance here is a matter for those who live and work here.

    Which explains his support for the indyref electoral roll position in 2014 – though he would have voted Yes. :-)

  29. Hawthorn
    Thanks, that makes it clearer to me, though I suspect the subleties will be lost in the media frenzy.

  30. I think the underlying mistake is to let oneself be consumed by anger and hate.

    Arguing for a change in Israeli policy, or for western governments to reduce their political support for Israel, is one thing.

    Getting red-faced and frothy-mouthed at the mere sight of the Star of David something else.

    One must always remember that levelling the family home of an alleged terrorist, or using excessive force in dealing with insurrection are bad, but that they are (to say the least) not as bad as wanting to eliminate an entire nation, or deliberately murdering civilians.

    You can disapprove of both sides in a conflict. You don’t have to jump in with both feet. The enemy is the conflict itself, and the best weapons are patience, resolve, moderation, discretion and… *ahem*… diplomatic language.

    Also, anyone who uses the expression “Zionist” in any context other than to describe someone who is active in the movement to encourage and facilitate the migration of jews to Israel, is so far as I am concerned an anti-Semite.

    Once you start talking about “Zionists in the banking system”, “Zionist control of governments” and that kind of cr** then you’re a bigot, pure and simple.

  31. Neil A

    Absolutely right on the last paragraph. On the penultimate paragraph, it a strong indicator of anti-semitism or extreme ignorance at best.

    This is why I get so angry when reasonable criticism of Israel gets labelled as anti-semitism as it muddies the waters. There are some on the pro-Israel right who do this, and it is dangerous.

  32. Incidentally, my argument earlier for being tougher on Israel is predicated on the western support for Israel being mainly for the usual expedient reasons rather than being based on some wacko anti-semitic conspiracy.

    I am not sure the Israelis should rely so much on the Republican Party which has in the past a strong isolationist as well as anti-semitic wing.

  33. As I understand it, Evangelical support for Israel is based on the biblical proposition that the Saviour will only return once the Temple of David has been rebuilt. Whilst this is sort of an ulterior motive, I see it more as superstition rather than as evidence of self-interest or any inherent disrespect to either Jews or the Palestinians.

    Whilst theologically similar to the Islamist belief in the confrontation at Dabiq, the implementation of it doesn’t seem to involve quite the same level of inhumanity to man.

  34. The Middle East is a nightmare. Everyone hates Israel, Assad is fighting ‘moderate’ rebels, ISIS and the Kurds, who are also fighting Turkey. Iraq is fighting ISIS. There’s a rebellion in Yemen or Bahrain or somewhere being put down by the Saudis. Hezbollah (or is it Hamas?) are helping Assad. Etc etc. If they didn’t have oil, it would be easiest just to let them get on with it. However…

    20 years on, have we even tried the Marmite solution? If not, why not? And I’m being serious. Or just get them all to eat leavened bread unless it’s against some weird religious doctrine.

  35. While the whole “Ken and Godwin’s Law” thing has been kicked around the media the last few days, it has struck me how there seems to be a parallel with the political debate about Islam over the past few years.

    We seem to have a reasonably well-established language among the mainstream political class to deliberately delineate between Muslims as private religious people and Islamism as a political philosophy of an Islamic state (whether peacefully pursued or otherwise). Are we equally comfortable with distinguishing between Jews as private religious people and Zionism as a political philosophy of a Jewish state (likewise)?

    The data on public opinion posted is interesting, but it tends to focus on one single group at a time. I wonder if there is any attempt to compare public opinion on these issues across religions? (You’ve also got things like political Christianity in the USA, say)

  36. @Guymonde

    “Something that we forget was very kind to many boomers was inflation. My £100K mortgage was daunting when I earned £25K but much more comfortable three or four years later when I was on £40K. It also was a great help for my final salary pension scheme.”


    Yes, earlier someone remarked on how you can’t fairly consider price inflation without considering wage inflation. These days of course, there’s much analysis about how in more recent times wages are closer to flatlining in real terms, since the demise of full employment etc.

    @” which means talking to people like Hamas. ”

    ” Yet negotiation is not on Hamas’s agenda, as Corbyn ought to know. In its charter Hamas states: “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement… There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad.”

    It isn’t a peaceful negotiated solution that Hamas wants; it’s the destruction of the Jews. Here is a direct quote from Hamas’s charter: “The prophet, prayer and peace be upon him, said: ‘The time will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews (and kill them); until the Jews hide behind rocks and trees, which will cry: O Muslim! there is a Jew hiding behind me, come on and kill him!’”

    13. Aug 2015

    @” they are (to say the least) not as bad as wanting to eliminate an entire nation,”

    Absolutely-seems to me there is a a very simple test of a person’s espousal of anti-semitism. :- Ask them if they agree that the State of Israel has a right to exist.

    I make the assumption that anyone appearing regularly on Press TV would need to think quite hard about their answer.

  38. The latest Opinum Poll shows a 1 point lead for remain. It also shows a big movement to the Tories from Labour.

    Tories 38% +5
    Labour 30% -2
    UKIP 15% -2
    LDem 5& -0
    Green 4% -1

    This is in stark contrast to the last YouGov poll. I must say I think the Opinum poll probably is a better reflection of the current position.

  39. In other words it reflects you own bias and that of your social circle.
    ” Ask them if they agree that the State of Israel has a right to exist”

    No state has a right to exist. Groups have a right to self-determination, but you don’t get to use ethnic cleansing to manipulate the demographics of a group in your favour.

    As for the Hamas charter, it’s worthwhile comparing with the Westminster Confession, the creedal document of fundamentalist Presbyterians like Ian Paisley, and what it says about Catholics. It ultimately didn’t prevent the Good Friday agreement. Hamas is not a monolithic organisation either, and what is written in a document doesn’t always reflect the views of even senior leaders. Yes, no doubt, a lot of the Hamas leadership are anti-semites, potentially genocidal ones at that. But almost everyone can be brought to the table when they can’t see a clear path to victory through violence, and by talking peace can be achieved even between people who want to see each other dead, given the choice.

  40. @Oldnat

    “For any of us (more prolific) posters to describe those who post less frequently, in such a way, is distasteful, dismissive, arrogant and offensive. Hopefully it is also out of character.”


    We know you like to bat for Indy peeps, but that’s a ludicrously trumped up charge even by your standards. All I did was suggest they fly by occasionally, and you whip it up into “distasteful, dismissive, arrogant and offensive.” And absolutely hilarious given your own past behaviour. (Amber still hasn’t returned…)

    Also, cannot help noticing you were posting criticisms of Slab without doing the decent thing and pointing out how SNP also have issues, e.g. over expenses.

    Clearly this sort of thing needs looking out for, thanks for drawing our attention!!

  41. @various – it appears my comment last night re Ken Livingston ‘after he went mad’ has initiated a detailed and entirely spurious discussion on the Arab/ Israeli conflict. Everyone appears to have missed the point entirely.

    I fully agree with most of the posts, and I fully agree that ‘Zionism’ is a tricky topic to deal with, not just because of racist connotations, but also because people differ in how they interpret it’s meaning. It is actually extraordinarily easy for a politician to state that they support a two state solution and are opposed to violence and persecution on either side. There – I’ve just said it. You don’t need to say anything further.

    Everyone is swimming with the red herrings it seems. The point that my post was addressing, and why Ken has been a complete idiot, is nothing to do with the rights and wrongs of the conflict, but a simple point of fact – was Hitler a supporter of a Jewish state?

    To claim this is to veer so far into the realms of David Icke loonyland that you automatically class yourself as way beyond any mainstream political party in the UK (and I include UKIP in this category). There is no historical basis whatsoever for this, and to then continue to defend your remarks by refering to a laughably poor semi historian who is so dim he thinks that Jewish groups making deals with Fascist dictators in 1930’s Europe after ten years of rising fear for their safety, means that those dictators loved the Jews and the Jews were collaborators. Offensive claptrap, disproven time and again in proper history books.

    Hitler described Jews as sub human and an abomination on the planet preventing human development, years before 1933 and the deal to allow some of them to leave Germany. Germany itself stopped this deal shortly afterwards anyway, expressly because it feared the creation of a Jewish state.

    Any attempt to veer the conversation towards a general handwringing over the Middle East is to avoid addressing this single, central concern, that Ken Livingston has been guilty of one of the most offensive political interventions I can recall, has declined to retract what he said (unlike the Israeli PM who said something equally offensive last year and who Ken quoted in his defence) and has instead attempted to scour the depths of the anti-semitic cesspool for further justification.

    I normally stay reasonably calm on UKPR, but this time I’m not. My disgust is now starting to shift from Ken’s stupidity towards the Labour hiearchy, who by faffing about, instead of taking swift and direct action to tear up Ken’s party cards for good, are now part of the problem.

    I’m actually rather glad this morning to see a poll showing a huge slump in Labour support, as this is no more than they deserve.

    And I don’t agree with those who say there is some symmetry between left and right in their treatment of offensive regimes and individuals. I say this, because the right doesn’t pretend to have human rights and the opposition to oppression as one of their central guiding principles. The left does, so you won’t go round claiming Hitler was nice to Jews and get away with it.

  42. Are there any polls yet to be published today.

  43. Alec
    Good post although I’m not sure what you mean when you say that the right doesn’t pretent to have human rights as a guiding principle and the left does. In my book there is no difference between the extreme left and extreme right except one is run by a politburo and the other by a dictator. Neither believe in human rights and both oppress the people.

    The effect on the elections of Kens deliberations is going to be interesting and will create much debate, post Thursday. Is the latest Opinum poll reflecting a change already?

    Ken has very successfully ensured that Michael Cricks crusade against the Tories has been well buried in the news agenda.

    Either, Ken hasn’t heard of the saying, when you are in a hole, stop digging, or he has replaced Lynton Crosby and is a Tory secret agent.

  44. @Carfrew
    Yes, flatlining in real terms but also in nominal terms. My heady rise from £25 to £40K was largely inflation, but it eroded my debt and my mortgage repayments good style.
    One of the reasons we’re in this slump (whatever the headlines say, that’s how I interpret it) is there is practically zero inflation so nobody’s debts get eroded, including the government’s.
    I wouldn’t argue for 25% inflation but a touch of the 5-8%s wouldn’t hurt, at least in feelgood factor.
    At present inflation and the attendant feelgood factor is confined to house prices (in most areas). The inflation of the value of your or my house is of course of very little practical use unless we load ourselves up with more debt (so we can buy a luvverly new German car and iPhone and help the balance of trade) and is positively alarming for the unhousepriced, but the feelgood factor still applies.

  45. Alec
    “where Scotland goes, does England follow?”

    Electing a centre-right nationalist government?

  46. Maybe I’m naive but I’ve never come across any trace of anti-semitism amongst my Labour party colleagues.
    Ken Livingstone has always had moments of megalomania and idiocy and this is by some distance the worst i can remember.
    Suspension seems precisely the right response, and for those of us not glued to 24 hour news it seemed to come pretty fast. It’d be nice if the investigation and conclusion happened swiftly too.
    Of course that idiot John Mann, by making a major spectacle of it for whatever reason has probably in practice done more damage than Ken to Labour’s vote.

  47. @Robert Newark – “…… I’m not sure what you mean when you say that the right doesn’t pretent to have human rights as a guiding principle and the left does.”

    All I mean is that the left tends to adopt a rights based approach to policy, in public at least, whereas the right tends to sound more like they want to take pragmatic approaches, which might or might not include working with unpleasant individuals and regimes. Historically the left has been based on fighting injustice much more than the right, but the distinctions are less clear now.

    I know this distinction isn’t by any means clear cut, and I wouldn’t want to launch another debate into the air on this, but I think it is a fair representation to suggest that left wingers, in general, think of themselves as more morally decent people because they support concepts of human rights more clearly.

    This is why I suggest that the problems in parts of the left when it comes to Jews, probably the most persecuted minority in human history, can be highly disturbing.

  48. Neil A

    I believe the evangelical interpretation involves Jews converting to Christianity.

  49. Colin

    Well, the Israelis had better get cracking then. I don’t doubt it would be difficult. It would have been easier to do it with the PLO (smart move there Israeli), and also if Yizhak Rabin had not been murdered by the nutter right. Whatever the rights and wrongs, it is impossible to hold territory by force alone forever and the consequences of Israelis thinking it is do not bear thinkng about.

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