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. Typo…Israeli should have read Israeli government

  2. Also messed up spelling of Yitzhak.

  3. @Guymonde – Maybe I’m naive but I’ve never come across any trace of anti-semitism amongst my Labour party colleagues.”

    Me neither, although I do remember my days in student politics, when various disparate leftist groups were dangerously accepting of the need for bus bombings in Tel Aviv as a balance to percieved wrongs committed by the Israeli state. These were not my colleagues.

  4. Alec

    To some extent Ii agree with your last post but I would say that the Right has a ” rights and obligations policy” as to ” just rights policy” on the Lefts approach. As someone on the right of politics I can also assure you that we also see ourselves as morally decent people.

  5. @TOH – “As someone on the right of politics I can also assure you that we also see ourselves as morally decent people.”

    Yes – I totally agree and understand that. I’m just saying that there are some on the left who consider themselves to be morally superior to others, and this state of mind sometimes leads them to justify the unjustifiable.

  6. Funny anecdote. If I’m known for anything around campus it’s for being well connected in Labour circles (for the tiny amount that’s worth in practice). I was at a friend’s birthday party last night, and a bloke walks up to me, shakes my hand and says “Ah, you’re the Liberal Democrat character aren’t you?”

    Not quite, pal. Nearly there.

    Should be going campaigning in Brightside and Hillsborough today but I need to get my magazine out so can’t spare the time. By all accounts it’s unlikely to change much on the GE last year.

    It’s sad being in Sheffield now as compared to last year. Far less visual pageantry around the election – and of course none of the same excitement.

  7. Good morning all from a lovely sunny Stevenage.

    Very interesting tweet…

    Mike Smithson [email protected] 3m3 minutes ago
    What if #EURef splits like in Opinium poll
    ENGLAND 41%-43% to OUT
    WALES 35%- 42% to OUT
    SCOTLAND 51%-34% IN
    OVERALL 42%-41% to IN
    ……………

    Disclaimer….No Muslims or Jewish were harmed in this comment but some morris dancing Brexiters may want to look away. ;-)

  8. @carfrew

    Good so we are agreed that major economic problems were not confined to a few difficult years in the 1970s as you said elsewhere.

    The substance of the rest of your comment reveals the underlying lack of rigour in your analysis which I have followed throughout even if I did not comment.

    Specifically, you almost bring yourself to recognise that “boomers” are not an homogenous group by referring to boomers in the “north” (wherever that is in your thinking) perhaps not having had it quite so good. And obviously there are many other members of the boomer generation who did not do so.

    Your comment also reveals the weakness of your historical analysis by compressing long periods of time. So you say that boomers were well established in their careers by the eighties so despite the economic woes of that decade they could exploit it. But boomers born in the later part of the boomer period would not have been.

    There are other issues raised which you do not respond to presumably because they do not support.your superficial generalisations which become as much as a caricature of reality as those who respond by talking about young people and their smartphones as evidence of the contrary. None of which illuminates some major and serious issues facing some young people in some parts.of the country. To maintain and continue a sterile debate of this sort might be thought to be indicative of being some form of self indulgence posturing.. Or summat.

  9. @ Alec

    ” ..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… ”

    I’m sure it’s not what you intended, espcially in the context of a discussion on antisemitism, but that reads to me as though you are asserting that oppression and denial of human rights is ok so long as you’re up front about it.

  10. @ Guymonde

    ‘Maybe I’m naive but I’ve never come across any trace of anti-semitism amongst my Labour party colleagues.’

    That is also my experience and I agree with your entire comment – well said.

  11. Mr N
    He could have been winding you up. If he shook your hand rather than high-fiving, he was obviously a Tory.

  12. Pete B,

    He seemed genuinely shocked and apologetic when I told him, not that I actually minded. A lot of people were shaking my hand as a greeting – I was wearing a suit (fancy dinner earlier in the evening, I’m not the sort of person who usually wears a suit to a party).

  13. @Kentalian – no, as you guessed, that wasn’t what I had in mind.

    @Syzygy – as I said, that is also my experience. However, I am aware that in some parts of the labour party there is a tolerance of views of varying level of offence.

    For example, the infamous tweet from Naz Shah MP, for which a full apology has been given, is, to my eyes, quite astonishing from someone aspiring to high office in the UK.

    Notwithstanding her full and outright apology, I can’t for the life of me think why anyone would find such a tweet remotely interesting or worth sharing, and anyone with a basic level of human understanding would surely think that tweeting about relocating Israel, with all the connotations that involves, is beyond the pale?

    That Ken is still defending this tweet, long after it’s author has withdrawn it and apologized in full, and is doing so by implying Hitler was a Zionist and didn’t go off the rails until well after he had authored Mein Kampf, suggests that at worst, a form of anti semitism is alive and well in parts of the labour movement, and at best that there remains some fundamental failure to understand historical context and sensitivities around these issues.

    Both these individuals are closely linked to Corbyn, and I believe Labour genuinely has a serious problem here. There is abudant baggage carried by this leadership on this issue, and sadly I see this as being incompatible with the chances of a Labour victory in a GE.

  14. @ Allan Christie

    ENGLAND 41%-43% to OUT
    WALES 35%- 42% to OUT
    SCOTLAND 51%-34% IN
    OVERALL 42%-41% to IN

    It’s not that unlikely a scenario. Incidentally, Northern Ireland would need to be added, which might mean Remain winning by 2 points.

    The answer of course would be that we stay in the EU, but that it could lead to some on the right seeking to hasten Scottish Independence. The ‘English Democrats’ already hold this position, but UKIP do not, and I can’t see it gaining much traction.

  15. Alec

    You could argue that rescuing Jewish children from the Nazis was “transportation”.

    It is a bit of a stretch to link suggesting that a Jewish safe haven should be in a less dangerous part of the world to transporting people to death camp.

    Whilst I fully accept the sensitivity of the terminology, the argument is illogical.

  16. THE OTHER HOWARD
    “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”
    _____________

    With all the circus antics within Labour over you know what then I’m not surprised they have taken a hit on VI. It’s come at a real bad time because of the elections we have coming up but I can’t help thinking some within Labour are using Ken Livingston as an excuse to get rid of ol Corby.

    If Labour lose badly in Wales, don’t gain over 100 council seats and lose the London Mayor election then Corby will be spit roasted in front of Labour HQ at Kings Manor. Scotland is a lost cause since 2007.

    A good result for Corby would be, staying in power in Wales, gaining over 200 council seats and topping the percentage poll and of course winning the London Mayor.

    I know I know it’s a tall order.

  17. @Guymonde

    “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.”

    I’ve never been a Labour member. I was for a brief period from Charles Kennedy (RIP) to the election of Nick Clegg, a card carrying member of the Lib Dems. While some others may describe me as on the left, I have never seen myself as anything other than a social democratic centrist.

    Now on to Ken…

    Ken is not anti-Semitic. We’re he to be so he could have (and still can) be arrested. Anti-Semitism is a crime.

    I read the totality of his comments in context and an genuinely struggling to see how they are being viewed as anti-Semitic. I guess people have latched on part of his morning radio interview on Thursday and not looked at the rest.

    Anti-semitism, like Islamophobia, is on the increase in the UK. This is something that needs to be rooted clean out of society. Attacking someone because of their race, religion or creed is so outragoeus that it shouldn’t need to be said. It is probable that the rise in hate crimes against Jews and Muslims in the UK stems from the same root. It can probably traced back to a surge in nationalism following our involvement in a whole swathe of Wars and conflicts after Tony Blair. Society has changed. The norms of acceptable discourse has changed. In the Press, on the trains and buses, in calls to radio stations and Internet forums. This has mainly been against Muslims, but if as a society we tolerate racism/extreme prejudice on a daily basis against one group, what is there to stop people also engaging in racism/extreme prejudice against another group. Islamophobia, anti-Semitism are two parts of the same coin.

    However, political discourse, for example about whether and if so to what extent nationalist movement are racist, exclusive and/or prejudiced, needs to be allowed. Also, it must be acceptable to consider the differential responses to allegations of racism/prejudice in the corridors of power. For example, why are some forms of nationalism considered more acceptable than others? This is a legitimate question.

    Politicians of various stripes, particularly those described as “characters” or “loose-cannons”, such as Boris and Ken often say stupid things. Boris has said a lot of highly objectional things against Sadiq Khan in the Mayoral race which if said in connection with someone else (a non-Muslim for example) would have been seen for what it was. Instead it was brushed under the carpet. Ken made rather crude comments (although in its full context largely accurate comments) that were immediately challenged and dominated the broadcast and print media agenda for 4 whole days.

    Surely, we can find a way of allowing legitimate discourse without being offensive and insulting? As things stand however, what is considered legitimate depends on a line only the Press (itself a serial offender) is allowed to draw.

  18. It’s also worth remembering that there was a precedent for this in the 2005 GE result. The Tories received more VOTES than Labour in England, although the overall result was a Labour victory (and Labour did win more English seats).

  19. JAMES E

    “It’s not that unlikely a scenario. Incidentally, Northern Ireland would need to be added, which might mean Remain winning by 2 points”
    ……….
    As a Brexiter I’m troubled by that thought.
    ………….
    The answer of course would be that we stay in the EU, but that it could lead to some on the right seeking to hasten Scottish Independence. The ‘English Democrats’ already hold this position, but UKIP do not, and I can’t see it gaining much traction.
    ____________

    I’ve often held the view that Scottish independence may come about the same way Czechoslovakia split, Prague telling Bratislava “Here have your independence” and they both lived happily ever after.

  20. So Tim Farron boasts the Lib/Dems are on the way back and have won many local by-elections but is rather muted when asked if he is expecting to make gains during the up coming local elections!!

    Daft wee party, daft wee leader. wee expectations.

    I’m off…

  21. @Hawthorn – “You could argue that rescuing Jewish children from the Nazis was “transportation”.”

    Umm, no you couldn’t. That’s a completely stupid argument.

    “It is a bit of a stretch to link suggesting that a Jewish safe haven should be in a less dangerous part of the world to transporting people to death camp.”

    Yes, which is why I didn’t do that.

    If it was really that harmless thing to do, why didn’t Naz Shah propose to move the Palestinians to somewhere like Eygpt, so ‘The Jews will get their land and life back’?

  22. @RAF,

    I don’t think anti-Semitism is, per se a crime any more than any other sort of racism is.

    Inciting Racial Hatred is a crime. I don’t think anyone is accusing Livingstone of that.

    Shah may have sailed close, but still not over that line.

    I suppose it’s the difference between holding a prejudice, and trying to persuade others to act on your prejudice.

    I think we’re in the realms of untangling what views are acceptable in mainstream politics, rather than who is a criminal.

    @Alec, Syzygy,

    I can remember well being the main (and pretty much only) Tory at my university student union who prepared to stand up and speak in those rather pointless, toothless political debates they held. 90% of the other speakers were from various colourful shades of the left, including mainstream Labour students. Most of the time it was a straight them and us (or “them and me”).

    However, when the periodic “This motion condemns the evil campaign of racial genocide by the cabal of Zionist murderers in occupied Palestine and the West” style debates came up, one of the main Labour student officer – who happened to be Jewish – would switch to being my straight man, before switching back again to speak against “British Imperialist policy in occupied North East Eire” or whatever was next.

    This is a fault-line that has been around a long time I think.

  23. THE OTHER HOWARD
    @TOH
    “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”

    I rather doubt that. It contradicts both YouGov – which showed a 3% Labour lead – and an online ICM poll – which gave the Tories a 1% lead. It seems highly unlikely that support for all those Opposition parties would suddenly fall and switch to the Tories. Next Thursday should give us something more tangible.

  24. @Allan Christie
    ‘If Labour lose badly in Wales, don’t gain over 100 council seats and lose the London Mayor election then Corby will be spit roasted in front of Labour HQ at Kings Manor. ‘

    When these council seats were last fought in 2012 Labour made gains of well over 800 seats. That was midterm in the last Parliament . Why should Labour be expected to do better than that now, a mere 12 months into this Parliament? It is actually quite normal for a re-elected Government to perform quite well at this stage of the electoral cycle – contrary to what many believe and assume!

  25. I cannot believe that this is still going on.

    It’s completely irrelevant whether Livingstone and Khan is antisemite or not (I don’t think either of them is). What they said and tweeted has an independent, objective existence and it’s up to the public to decide on it (the YouGov poll is pretty clear on it).

    You just simply don’t put Hitler with anyone else in the same sentence, because that shows that you are going for ad hominem. Livingson’s switch from British mandate Plaestine to Israel shows that he probably ment to offend. With bringing in Zionism, he blurred the line between Israel and the Jewish people. That’s it. By the way Haartz has a very good article on it today.

    As to Khan – the only way to relocate Israel, if you move the Jewish people (I wonder what she wanted to do with the Palestinian citizens of Israel). You just don’t say things like this. And you don’t talk about saving money and alike. Try to replace the Jewish people in that horrible meme with Palestinians, and it will be clear that is antisemitic. She was probably just mindless.

    It is also not a question that the right of Labour attempts to use it against Corbyn, but in this case it’s the Left’s own making (McDonnell said in March that the offences discussed above should mean lifelong expulsion from the Labour Party – to his credit).

  26. Lazlo
    I don’t think you mean Khan do you? The MP for Bradford West is Naz Shah!

  27. @Laszlo

    I think you mean Shah, rather than Khan. Khan is Labour’s candidate for London Mayor. Shah is MP for Bradford. There is no suggestion that Shah’s comments were anything other than wrong and she has apologised for them.

    “You just simply don’t put Hitler with anyone else in the same sentence, because that shows that you are going for ad hominem. Livingson’s switch from British mandate Plaestine to Israel shows that he probably ment to offend. With bringing in Zionism, he blurred the line between Israel and the Jewish people. That’s it.”

    You certainly shouldn’t reference Hitler. Not because it means you are attempting an ad hominem attack but simply because of Godwin’s Law – any comparison howsoever it is made between the actions of Hitler (even by refence to a very short period of his office) nd that of almost anyone else is bound to be a seriously flawed comparison.

    “It also not a question that the right of Labour attempts to use it against Corbyn, but in this case it’s the Left’s own making…”

    Partly. Shah’s comments were made before she was an MP. The Tories were looking for historic dirt. Ken’s comments were his own fault but in the context (albeit very crudely and stupidly expressed) of saying that being anti-Zionist isn’t being anti-Semitic (although it could be in some circumstances). He would have been better off not referring to Hitler, and making a simple argument that anti-Zionism isn’t racism. Or not saying anything at all!

  28. @ RAF

    Sorry, iPad autocorrected – indeed Shah. Should have read it befor pressing the button. Apologies.

  29. @ RAF

    Thanks, you put it more precisely (about Livingstone) than I did.

    I’m less certain about the second part – yes, Tory’s sought these bits (which are there …), but if Labour right had not jumped on it, the Conservatives could have been kept at bay on this (after all, buying Nazi outfits as wedding present is probably more offensive).

  30. The lastest EWMA chart for VI:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzTTW1ecy-NDOWxWQkpZZnVCaFk/view?usp=sharing

    Overall, both Labour and Conservative are treading water. UKIP appear to be on a gentle ascent, but haven’t broken through a control limit yet. This would require a run of polls in the 20% area. If I recall well enough, UKIP seemed to have a ceiling about 20% up to the GE.

    It seems both main parties are trying really hard to not take advantage of the relative weakness of each other, by doing frankly dumb things.

  31. ICM EU poll:

    Remain: 43%
    Leave: 46%

    ICM poll: CON: 34%, LAB: 32%, LD: 7%, GRN: 3%, UKIP: 18%

  32. CMJ
    Thanks for the interesting charts. In the Euro election 2014, UKIP got over 26% of the vote, so I wonder if in referendum year their support could end up over 20% in the forthcoming elections, if only because of differential turnout.

  33. @ RAF

    ahh but does Godwins Law apply even to discussions on Hitler and the Nazis ?

  34. @Catmanjeff

    You table does not include some of the ICM online EU polls which also contained party Voting Intention data. One poll early last week had figures of Con 33 Lab 32 LD 7 UKIP 17.
    I have also just posted details of another poll in today’s press!

  35. @ Allan Christie

    ‘I’ve often held the view that Scottish independence may come about the same way Czechoslovakia split, Prague telling Bratislava “Here have your independence” ‘

    Wouldn’t there need to be another referendum? :-)

  36. Can someone tell me whether or not UK ex pats abroad are included in the opinion poll samples, and if not, are the proportion that are allowed a vote likely to make a significant difference.

  37. Panelbase/S Times Holyrood poll today – nothing surprising.

    Party : Const VI : List VI : SV seat pred : Cutbot seat pred

    SNP : 49% : 44% : 70 : 69
    LAB : 22% : 22% : 27 : 30
    CON : 17% : 19% : 23 : 22
    GRN : __ : 7% : 6 : 6
    L_D : 6% : 4% : 3 : 1
    UKIP : __ : 3% : 0 : 1

  38. Panelbase/S Times Holyrood poll – EU question

    Remain 57% : Leave 33% : DK 11%

  39. @ Alec

    ” @Kentalian – no, as you guessed, that wasn’t what I had in mind. ”

    But if you were a prominent public figure then someone could selectively ascribe a quote to you, in a manner that you clearly never intended, and next thing you’re deluged by a media frenzy out of all proportion.

    I feel it’s a great shame that this is the level of what generally passes for political discourse these days.

    Maybe it was ever thus and just more noticable in the age of Twitter and rolling 24 hour news.

  40. LASZLO

    @”(McDonnell said in March that the offences discussed above should mean lifelong expulsion from the Labour Party – to his credit).”

    If reports & analysis in ST are anywhere near the truth , this is the fault line in the Labour Party-not “embittered Blairites”

  41. @Kentalian – indeed, but if I was I would correct myself.

  42. Kentdalian
    “Maybe it was ever thus ………”
    Gilray

  43. Having watched the “Hitler” debate go round and round I am going to try to be constructive and suggest a few things that hopefully most people can agree on and which, even though they are still the SNP’s no one opponent, might help the Labour Party;

    1) ZIONISM;
    Drop the term completely and use something like “Israeli Government or State policy.

    The term Zionism is now tainted and so linked, or easy linked, to Antisemitism that it is now undoubtly more trouble than it’s worth. Using it does more harm than good.

    2) THE REFERENDUM TEST;
    Whether a state should exist, or continue in whatever form, should be subjected to the referendum test.

    If there was a free vote in Israel tomorrow it would be overwhelmingly for Israel to remain a state and one linked inexorably with Judaism.

    In the same way the Palistinians would vote for their own state, so we should support a two state solution.

    It goes without saying that both groups have substantial numbers, perhaps even majorities, who would express the opposite view about the others territories, but your right to self determination doesn’t extend beyond your own territory.

    TREAT STATES AS THEY TREAT THEIR CITIZEANS;
    If a state denies freedoms or rights to some or all of it’s people then you cannot have open relations with it and should be free to take actions.

    Even if they are friends or allies you cannot have open equal relations and respect for a nation that does not treat it’s people fairly.

    This might mean at national, or international level, in our case the EU, deliberately classifying nations into two classes, free and restrictive. A real challenge but it makes a difference and gives us a clear way to fairly address issues of human rights and conflicts.

    THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM;
    We should openly declare that the UK believes that there is no place for Nuclear Weapons in the Middle East and that Israel is a Nuclear Weapons State.

    The current political response; that because Israel, neither confirms or denies it is a nuclear power, we can’t either is a ludicrous farce that convinces no one and makes us look complicit.

    As to what action we take then; just accept it, campaign to change it, demand inspections or introduce sanctions, well that’s a different issue and the next step, but we should acknowledge publicly what everyone already knows as not doing so makes us look clearly either, stupid, culpable or both.

    Hope all that helps!

    Peter.

  44. Alec

    I my mentioning of removing children from Nazi Gemrnay was a reducio ad absurdum. Transportation is transporting people or goods around. Arguably it is an Americanism.

    On the matter of saying stupid things, I recall the Alan Clark diaries (the first published). On page 185 (19 December 1987), he records the following:

    Quote
    …[Francis] Maude, supported by David H-A [Heath Amory], said [Nigel] Lawson couldn’t be Foreign Sec as a Jew. This made Ian [Gow] very indignant. “Do you mean to tell me today, this very day, in this the Conservative Party – I take it that we are all members of the Conservative Party? – you are seriously suggesting, no asserting…” and so on.

    Ian then switched to “he’s not a practising Jew, anyway”. But we couldn’t quite swallow it.
    Unquote.

    Good job that nothing came of that Maude fellow eh?

    Of course, in his diaries, Alan Clark also recorded that he had a picture of Hitler (“The Wolf”) hidden in his attic, so perhaps he is not a reliable narrator.

    Perhaps Guido has never read that book.

  45. @Hawthorn
    There might actually be a reason for not having certain types of people as Foreign Secretary or equivalent. I always thought it was stupid of the Americans to send Madeleine Albright to negotiate with Muslim states because of their attitude to women. The results were not likely to be good. Similarly if we are involved in the Middle East, which seems to be always, it would be unproductive to send a Muslim to negotiate with Israel or a Jew to a Muslim country. Not because of their abilities, but because of the negative reaction they would be likely to cause.
    It seems unlikely that Lawson was discriminated against as a Jew because he became Chancellor of the Exchequer (and a pretty good one as I remember).

  46. @Peter,

    Unfortunately I don’t most people could agree on that, because whilst you state that “self-determination doesn’t extend beyond your own territory”, the fundamental objection to Israel from much of the Islamic world, and their supporters in the West, is that Israel is the Palestinians’ territory and doesn’t belong to Israeli jews.

    The sticking points are the ability to accept “facts on the ground”, and the question of how long after an injustice is committed does it cease to be relevant to current policy.

    These aren’t issues that relate exclusively to Palestine of course. The historic grievances of the First Nations in North America, and the indigenous peoples of Australia and New Zealand are an echo of this. So is the political divide in Fiji between “native Fijians” and the now more-numerous ethnic Indians. Then you have the Chinese in Malaysia, the Russians in what was Eastern Poland, the “British” in Ireland, the Spanish in South America, the Turks in what is now Turkey etc, etc.

    If you want to go back far enough one could call into question the “justice” of the Holy Land being Islamic in the first place, given that this is the result of military conquest and forced conversion. After all the Anglo-Saxons were in Scotland before the Muslims took Jerusalem and tensions in the island of Britain aren’t exactly fully resolved….

  47. Good evening all from a lovely fine evening here in Stevenage. Spent a lovely day with my cousin,her wee one and my granny at Brocket Hall. Well worth a visit if you’re ever in the area.

    GRAHAM
    @Allan Christie
    “When these council seats were last fought in 2012 Labour made gains of well over 800 seats. That was midterm in the last Parliament . Why should Labour be expected to do better than that now, a mere 12 months into this Parliament? It is actually quite normal for a re-elected Government to perform quite well at this stage of the electoral cycle – contrary to what many believe and assume”
    _______

    It’s the perfect storm, the Lib/Dems are stuck in obscurity, the Tories are picking each other off over the EU, we’ve had a shambles of a budget, David Cameron’s dithering over his panama stuff and you don’t think Labour should be making gains on the back of all them goodies?

    I’ve seen a number of interviews on tv by Labour MP’s who have said it themselves that a bad result for them is not acceptable and if Labour actually do go back the way then it will have been the first time since the 1970’s that a opposition party has slid back. (Or something like that)

    Now I know some within Labour are having an internal debate at the moment on whether Jewish people have big noses or not and if Hitler colluded with the Yeti to create a Jewish state in the Himalayas but that shouldn’t detract from the fact that the Tories are ripe for picking.

  48. JAMES E
    @ Allan Christie
    ‘I’ve often held the view that Scottish independence may come about the same way Czechoslovakia split, Prague telling Bratislava “Here have your independence” ‘

    Wouldn’t there need to be another referendum? :-)
    _________

    I don’t think so. From what I gather one bit got sick of the other bit and gave them independence.? We could see the same scenario in the UK if Scotland keeps the UK in the EU, Cameron gets the boot, a more anti EU Tory leader is chosen and then he grants Scotland independence, holds another EU vote, Wales then keeps rUK in EU, bumps Wales off, holds another EU, vote, NI then keeps rUK in EU, bumps NI, holds another vote, Cornwall keeps England in the EU then calls it a day.

    But I don’t think it will come to that because the polls do look like favouring Brexit and that’s even after the Obama intervention.

  49. @AC,

    I think the point is that it is now something of a “constitutional” convention that the breakup of the Union could not be enacted without a referendum in at least the part that was leaving.

    For England to detach herself, it would require a referendum in England. Not legally of course, parliament is sovereign, and could vote through such a change (although it would need to be passed by the whole House of Commons not just the English MPs). They simply wouldn’t.

  50. Neil A

    There are two strands to be being in favour of an Israeli state:

    1) Control of the Holy Land by Jewish people.
    2) Protecting the Jews from harm given the appalling suffering they have had over millenia.

    The first does not make sense to me as a non-religious person; it seems obviously fair that it should be shared. The second I consider to be crucial.

    On a factual point, it was the Emperor Hadrian that abolished Judea in 135AD; it is at that time that the Jews there became a minority when it became Syria Palaestina. The Kingdoms of Israel and Judes were both long-gone by that time.

    Islam of course was not founded until the 7th Century. Whilst of course they persecuted the Jews, Judea was already gone centuries before. You need to be careful not to blame Roman villainy on other religious groups.

    It is also worth bearing in mind that over that time period, the Celts lived in central Europe. However, if Plaid Cymru ever suggested restarting the Hallstatt kingdoms in modern day Austria, they might just be considered a bit mad. Of course, thanks to EU free movement, individual people of Celtish ancestry could choose to go back to their roots. Another reason for Wales to vote “Yes”. (This last paragraph is tongue in cheek).

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