A brief election post-mortem before I get some rest – hopefully we will have an actual London result by the time I finish writing! It is almost exactly a year since the polling error at the last general election. Yesterday’s elections were the first real test of the polls since then (there was accurate polling for the Labour leadership election, but polling party members really is a completely different exercise).

Scotland

Taking Scotland first, all the polls obviously had the SNP winning, but that was hardly a challenge. Perhaps the bigger challenge was second place. In the event Labour narrowly held onto second place in the constituency vote but were pushed into third in the regional vote – the polls conducted in the last few days of the campaign did get this right, but all the Scottish polls did underestimate the level of Conservative support, and apart from YouGov’s final poll there was an overestimate of SNP support in the regional vote (though many of the polls finished some time before the election – the TNS face-to-face poll in particular – so it may be that SNP regional support dropped in the final week.)

Constituency . Regional
Pollster CON LAB LD SNP CON LAB LD SNP GRN
FINAL RESULT (5th May) 22 23 8 47 23 19 5 42 7
YouGov (2nd-4th May) 19 22 7 48 20 19 6 41 9
Survation (1st-2nd May) 19 21 7 49 20 19 6 44 7
Panelbase (23rd-28th Apr) 17 23 6 49 19 22 4 44 6
Ipsos MORI (18th-25th Apr) 18 19 6 51 19 17 7 45 10
TNS (1st-24th Apr) 17 22 7 52 18 22 5 45 8

Wales

YouGov was the only company to poll in Wales, and thei final poll held up very well, with Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem and Plaid all well within the margin of error. The only fault was an overstatement of UKIP support.

London

As I write, the mayoral results STILL haven’t been announced, and given how late they were in 2012 I’m not waiting up to write about them. Based on the live count of the first 90% of ballots the polls seem to be roughly in line with the expected result, and projections of the second round score suggest the polls are going to be close to it. You’ll apparently find out around midnight so you can compare to the polls below… but I intend to be asleep.

First round . Second Round
Pollster Goldsmith Khan Pidgeon Whittle Berry Others Goldsmith Khan
YouGov (2nd-4th May) 32 43 6 7 7 5 43 57
ComRes (28th Apr-3rd May) 36 45 6 4 6 3 44 56
TNS (26th Apr-3rd May) 33 45 7 5 4 5 43 57
Opinium (26th Apr-1st May) 35 48 4 5 5 3 43 57
Survation (21st-25th Apr) 34 49 3 5 3 6 40 60

All in all, the performance of the polls was far more credible than last year, though it looks like there may still have been some issues with the Tories in Scotland (and to be fair, most of the polling companies have been very explicit in saying they are still addressing their issues and developing their methods – the problems of last year are not going to be addressed overnight).

On a personal note – I’m most relieved the broad narrative was right. After the general election there were plenty of people saying how they knew the Tories would win, their instincts told them they would, how could those silly pollsters not spot it? Well, many of us silly pollsters thought the Tories would end ahead of Labour too: questions on leadership and the economy favoured them, we expected the polls to move towards the Tories… but the data just kept on showing the parties neck-and-neck, and ultimately a pollster’s job is to measure the answers the public give us, not report what we think they should say. We trusted the data, but it turned out to be wrong.

This time round it was the other way round. I never quite believed that the Conservatives could come second in Scotland. Yes, Scottish Labour was a mess, but Scotland would surely never vote for the hated Tories. My instincts said it wouldn’t happen in the end. A few months ago when YouGov were the only company showing Labour and the Tories neck and neck in Scotland I worried whether we’d get egg on our faces, but the data said it was happening, and I had to have confidence in the methodology corrections we’d made and in what the data was telling me… and this time, the data was telling the right story and the Tories really did come in second. Phew!


741 Responses to “Election polling post-mortem”

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  1. Lol James, you beat me to it!!

    Interestingly it seems OK for Indy peeps themselves to consider what would have happened. E.g. if we’d had a sovereign wealth fund.

    Indy peeps have special dispensations, like with the referenda triggers etc. No one knows why…

  2. @Syzygy

    Very good spot with that article on the election strategy. Still digesting the implications.

    But you can immediately see how important these battlebuses were in making up for a lack of campaigners on the ground in marginal seats.

  3. @Carfew

    It is particularly interesting with the knowledge of subsequent events… the stories of bullying, the unfortunate suicide and now the election expenses. If you read the comments on other threads, it becomes clear how many Conservative Association activists were concerned and unhappy with the 40-40 strategy at the time .. and indeed with the reports of the behaviour of the young Conservative Road Tripsters.

  4. @ Carfew

    I think the targeting, voter profiling and secrecy also raises some questions about the nature of the democratic process.

  5. Re election expenses
    I see this as no trivial matter irrespective of the amounts involved
    The expenditure limits are fundamental to the type of democracy we have- so that a wealthy or large party can not just buy a seat
    A limit is to ensure a levelish playing field and it can not be elastic in some way or it is gradually eroded
    A breach is a breach and it is not clever to try and cheat your way round it
    It shows no respect or indeed understanding of the principles of our democracy .This is not a partisan comment
    I don’t care what party-or all parties offends
    They must be brought to account or the rules may as well be binned

  6. SYZYGY
    I think the targeting, voter profiling and secrecy also raises some questions about the nature of the democratic process.

    It certainly does, and many thanks for the Con home link. To my surprise, nobody had yet archived it, but it is now available for posterity at http://archive.is/WH7ZH.

    The RoadTrip 2015 section seems particularly relevant to the EC concerns.

  7. @ BARBAZENZERO

    Thanks for archiving properly … it is a different order of preservation to my ‘cut and paste’ into Word.

  8. SORRY THIS IS SO LONG :)

    The point is that oil prices are strictly irrelevant when you’re talking about broken promises about the EU referendum.
    Just because all parties (yes, the unionist side too, and independent analysts) got the oil price forecasts wrong. I’d dispute that it makes any difference at all to the logic of capacity for Scotland to function as an independent country but this is all, anyway, besides the point.

    When the No campaign said (repeatedly) that a No vote was the only way to secure EU membership, this either a lie or a promise that could not be kept. That depends on who exactly was speaking at the time. Any Conservative saying it was lying, since their party then promised an EU referendum and is now holding one. Had Labour won the election, perhaps there wouldn’t have been one (or perhaps there would, who knows), but in any case a Labour promise was effectively a promise that the Conservatives would act in a particular way. I’m not sure what would bring a Labour politician to promise something on behalf of the Conservatives, but that’s what seems to have happened.

    Compounding all this is the fact that the Conservative party is not actually in favour of us staying. So we have the extraordinary position now where a constitutional referendum contained promises from one side that have now been shattered by the main party making them, both in legislating for the opportunity for that promise to be broken, and by failing to campaign to for the promise to be kept. And Labour (and Lib Dem) No-ers underwrote the Conservative promise that has now been broken.

    This is the context in which we speak about a possibly indyref2. No other broken promise or poor prediction comes close to this. It’s the explicit constitutional arrangement that was campaigned on and voted on.
    Other factors, such as Clydeside job losses, closure of tax offices, volatile oil prices, NHS privatisation are serious issues, but none of them warrant a new referendum. That is because they are the product of factors such as the way the state is run and the economic circumstances. But the constitutional position of the country is utterly central to the argument.

    I believe I am being fair-minded about this. You know me, I oppose the Conservatives and the union, but we had a vote and although my belief in independence is undimmed, I don’t want to see a new indyref. But. When you analyse the layers of government, the legislative procedure, the constitutional and legal pathways for redress and resitution, the protection from the state. Both Leave and Remain campaigners would agree that the EU is utterly central to our current constitutional settlement. Simply put, a vote to Leave changes the outcome of the indyref. The outcome voted for will have expired so soon after the indyref as to nullify it all. All of it. The Yes campaign too. If this happens, everybody must realign. People who believe in independence must deal with the new reality that indpendence might now mean either indy outside the EU or, depending on timescales, rejoining. Accession rather than continuity potentially changes the approach, and such people need to reconsider whether independence is still desirable and what the stance is on rejoining the EU. And people who believed in the union need to reconsider whether the new constitutional arrangement is better or worse. And if it seems worse, they need to consider whether leaving the UK and rejoining the EU (or not) is going to ameliorate or worsen the situation. And I think the level of fluidity between positions will cause enough people to switch sides that to claim that the indyref of 2014 is anything other that a historical curiosity would be utterly disrespectful of the new beliefs of the people of Scotland.

    Leaving the EU doesn’t automatically mean a majority will favour independence (though I believe that shift would happen). Nor is it inevitable that we will leave the EU (I believe we will vote to Remain). There are still strong reasons to stay in the UK even if a Brexit, unwanted in Scotland, happens. But those arguments are rather secondary to the issue at hand, being the fact that the justification for a new indyref would be incredibly strong. The idea of a new indyref does not rest on the merits or demerits of independence, which are disputed, but on whether the circumstances have changed sufficiently that the people of Scotland think the question is worth revisiting. In this sense, the country does not divide into believers of independence thinking there should be another indy ref, opponents believing there should not be an indyref. Because in between these sides are a vast sea of waverers whose opinion is not as polorised. I’m not one of them, obviously, but I’m a relatively moderate nationalist in that I would oppose a new referendum any time soon except in light of a material change of circumstance. And I could list any number of things that I wish hadn’t happened that are individually and collectively insufficient for a new referendum. But I won’t bore you any more than I already have: the rule is simple. No won under a promise of a certain constutional settlement. If that settlement is removed, the result becomes archived.

    The one single thing on the horizon that fits that bill is a Brexit heavily rejected in Scotland. And I’m out campaigning for us to Remain. I want to avoid this situation. Talking about oil prices simply isn’t going to cut through here. You’re fighting the wrong fight. And (anecdotally) I’m seeing that our position is getting through. There are even Conservatives I know wavering on independence because they want to remain in the EU and can see a scenario where indy is the only way to preserve that. These are exactly the people who need to be listened to in this debate. This isn’t about the SNP’s supporters. Don’t waste your time on us. You need to talk to those people such as my Conservative workmates who are wavering. Tell them why Brexit is good, or why a Brexit UK is better than an EU indyScot, or why if Scotland votes Remain but we Leave anyway, that this is something that they should just swallow and carry on. Tell them. Because I’m telling them that this one limited but imminent scenario is a gamechanger, and I think they are listening.
    And if you think you cannot tell them any of the above, then tell others that they should vote to Remain, and be honest about the fact that a Leave vote could cause people on the Remain side to be pulled across to the Independence side. And do it now, because honestly, all this talk of oil prices isn’t really cutting through to that key swing group of pro-EU pro-UK who may well be forced to take sides when they find that the Tories have broken the promise that they could have both.

  9. SYZYGY:
    “I think the targeting, voter profiling and secrecy also raises some questions about the nature of the democratic process.”

    Important point, that. I suspect that targeting swing voters is precisely the cause of some people feeling disconnected from mainstream politics, and is itself a direct consequence of FPTP. Briefly put, if your marginal gains are concentrated by the voting system, your engagement with voters will trend towards only those margins.

    I think this is what nearly killed the Labour party, and could yet poison the Tories electorally. I hope it does, at any rate. Both Labour and the Tories deserve to suffer from their own historic adherence to FPTP for selfish electoral reasons. The kicking that Labour received in Scotland in 2015 was an important moment.

  10. Alun
    “Both Labour and the Tories deserve to suffer from their own historic adherence to FPTP for selfish electoral reasons.”

    Absolutely. Unfortunately there are still many tribal voters for these two parties, who just vote out of habit or because their parents voted a certain way. The Scottish and Welsh systems seem to work quite well on the whole. It’s a shame England can’t have something similar (maybe tweaked to improve on any weaknesses discovered in practice).

  11. SYZYGY
    Thanks for archiving properly

    It’s very easy to use archive.is….

    1st time just go to http://archive.is/ and paste the URL you want to preserve into the red box.

    If you find you want to use it reguarly, just drag the button marked archive.is near the top of that page on to your own bookmarks toolbar. Forever after you can just go to the page you want to archive and press that button for the whole process to happen automatically.

  12. @ BARBAZENZERO

    Thank you :) I’ve cut and pasted for future reference.

  13. @ ALUN009

    I agree. ‘Nudge’ and these techniques are those of advertisers, and as Will Leggett writes:

    ‘… behaviour change is not politically neutral, as some of Nudge’s advocates like to suggest. Instead, it raises fundamental questions about the citizen’s relationship to the state and the market, about which social democrats and neoliberals will have very different things to say.’

    https://policyandpoliticsblog.com/2014/02/03/the-politics-of-behaviour-change-nudge-neoliberalism-and-the-state/

  14. SYZYGY

    You’re welcome, and you’re the one who did the hard bit of tracking down a page well worth archiving and likely to be taken down if any any the of 40/40 constituencies are the ones being investigated.

  15. ALUN009
    SORRY THIS IS SO LONG :)

    Long or not, given all the diversionary posts on the previous dozen pages, it needed to be said and was very well expressed.

  16. In clearly the most important current electoral news, a clean sweep for the right and soft left in the Sheffield Labour Students AGM yesterday. A surprise given how many members joined post-Corbyn!

    I imagine Anthony might be reticent about us discussing the election expenses issue, but it would be interesting if we had another 1980s Northern Ireland style mass by-election date.

    The first referendum posters have started to appear in Sheffield – one apiece so far.

  17. MRNAMELESS
    In clearly the most important current electoral news, a clean sweep for the right and soft left in the Sheffield Labour Students AGM yesterday. A surprise given how many members joined post-Corbyn!

    Perhaps not so surprising in the light of the MSM coverage of Corbyn, including that by the broadcaster who must not be criticised.

  18. @Neil A
    ‘Then, perhaps, the Tories might lose their majority in the ensuing by-elections. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe we’ll see a return to the coalition! I certainly don’t think a Labour/Nat rainbow coalition is possible on the numbers even in the event that every affected seat is lost’

    We can only await developments on this, but if 20 – 25 by-elections follow as a consequence, the Government would actually lose its majority in advance of those elections taking place – assuming they occur at the same time. Should there be – say – 20 by-elections the Tories would immediately drop to 310 and would become dependent on Unionist and UKIP MPs to get business through the Commons. There would be a whiff of scandal in the background of such elections , and I would expect the Tories to lose well over half of them – including Thanet South to UKIP. No way would the LibDems go back into Coalition with the Tories – a painful lesson has been learnt there! It is quite possible that Labour and the LibDems would each gain half a dozen seats which would lead to a House of Commons of – say – Con 317 Lab 238 LD 14 SNP 56 Plaid 3 UKIP 2 Green 1 SDLP 3 Lady H 1 DUP 8 UU 2. A minority Tory Govt would continue which would be very vulnerable to further by-election reverses. Also -bye bye to any boundary changes!
    The suggestion that any Blairite MPs would rescue the Government is bonkers – they would face expulsion and deselection.

  19. There is seemingly no shortage of spurous reasons Indy peeps come up with for why we shouldn’t discuss bollox from their team, but it’s cake and eat it time again.

    If you wanna highlight nonsense propagated by your opponents, fair enough, but expect in the interests of non-partisan balance that nonsense from your own side will also get an airing.

    You can complain about the EU thing, but stuff like the oil and currency claims will also likely be explored.

    As for the EU thing, peeps keep saying it was central to the No campaign, and it may well be, but no one’s provided much evidence of this. If it was that central, surely it shouldn’t be hard?

    And in any case, when you vote for summat, or someone, it’s quite often the case that things don’t work out like you planned. When Labour enacted Devolution, there prolly wasn’t an expectation that SNP would take over and shove them into the wilderness but that’s just the way it is. You have to try and take what’s likely to happen into account. Many Lib Dems voters didn’t expect austerity, some SNP voters prolly thought they’d be holding the balance of power with Labour, not ushering in Tories.

    Which, you know, are not insignificant things. But this talk of fighting the wrong fight… Dunno about other peeps, but I’m not fighting any fight. I’m not against Independence, I’m in two minds about the EU, I don’t even mind if Scots have another referendum. And as I have said in the past, I don’t think the oil price has to rule out the case for Independence. (But it does change how things impact on peeps so needs to be honestly addressed. Especially when you may not find it that easy to borrow…)

    I just like to see fair discussion to get to the heart of things. So if bollox was talked about the oil price, or the currency, that should be acknowledged. If about the EU, then that too. If there are to be circumstances to trigger referenda or elections, seems unfair only Indy peeps get a say.

  20. Also, did Scots peeps seriously not entertain the possibility of a referendum on the EU, given the rise of UKIP, the salience of immigration, splits in the Tory party over Europe, etc.

    And I have mentioned the problem of instability with the uncertainty over neverendums, but no one seems to give a stuff about that, nor that they are casting aside the vote of the majority not long ago.

  21. @Neil A @ Graham:
    It has occurred to me that the state of the Conservative party post referendum depends on the result: if, as is predicted by the polls it is a close result then I cannot see either side accepting that’s it for a generation. If Remain win by one or two points I can foresee, given the visceral nature of the Tory Brexiteer’s view on the EU that they would remain loyal to the result and in particular loyal to a leadership which procured that result by methods which (in their terms) would be considered unfair. Conversely if Leave win I would foresee an attempt by the current leadership (and perhaps even BoJo given his stated position) going back to EU to attempt to wring further concessions and aim for a second referendum.
    In that context a sudden mini general election of 25 seats, all of them Conservative, where the existing MP would, by definition be precluded from standing, and where selection of the right “sort” of candidate would be paramount to each wing, I can imagine an actual split amongst conservatives. If that were to happen the differences between the Liz Kendall’s and the Damien Green/Ken Clarke wing of the conservatives.
    It is conceivable that a concatenation of coming events could lead to a complete re-alignment in party politics.

  22. If that were to happen the differences between the Liz Kendall’s and the Damien Green/Ken Clarke wing of the conservatives would be limited

    BLOODY KEYBOARD

  23. “In clearly the most important current electoral news, a clean sweep for the right and soft left in the Sheffield Labour Students AGM yesterday.”

    ————-

    Yep, that settles it: must be time for another Indy Ref!!

  24. WB
    In IT we usually found that most problems were PEBKAC. (Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair) :-)

  25. @Pete B

    Whilst I am fully in agreement with you as to the true cause of the problem, I am of course a human being with that species’ innate ability to attribute any phenomena to an inanimate object rather than take the blame
    ;-)

  26. King coal is gone.
    No electricity is being generated by coal at present, and for a time yesterday.

    http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk

  27. CARFREW:
    “And I have mentioned the problem of instability with the uncertainty over neverendums, but no one seems to give a stuff about that, nor that they are casting aside the vote of the majority not long ago.”

    Let me be a little more explicit about this. It is precisely because of the uncertainty generated and the mandate of the No vote that I oppose, in general, a new referendum soon. However, my opposition is reversed in the scenario we’ve been discussing.

    Funnily enough, you’ll find that my view happens to chime with the message coming from the SNP leadership. Unless you can show me a statement from Sturgeon, Swinney, etc. that differs from it, you should take it from me that you are fighting straw men.

    As for the other issues, I restate my point that these are interesting points, but it’s pure whataboutery. Good to cover that issue when it’s relevant, but when discussing a potential rerun of a referendum it isn’t. And if it is, then all sorts of other things can be wheeled in like job losses on the Clyde, tax offices being moved. I know it suits some people to muddy these waters. But this EU broken promise is not something that’s going to get clouded out. In terms of Scottish independence, it’s the only conversation going.

  28. @Syzygy

    Yes, I hadn’t considered it in the light of the bullying thing. I’ve read a few comments… Quite a few caution that the main reason for the victory was rise of UKIP, SNP etc., and some worry that in the longer term such an approach may hollow out the party some more.

    There’s the odd comment about impact on democracy too. Of course, this targeting the few yields such rewards because of FPTP, and alongside more parties and split votes, allows a party to prevail with even less of the vote.

    From a polling perspective, the approach shows the power of polling, to micro-target peeps, if you can get the demographics and questions right. It also shows the importance of stoking competition to get results from your activists, alongside rewards, even if just a curry. (Of course, it isn’t just a curry, but networking opportunity…)

    It also perhaps shows the difference between hiring Messina vs. Axelrod. Longer term, Axelrod’s approach of building a base via training up peeps to foster local action may pay off, but perhaps too slow for that election?

  29. @ Márk W

    During the weekend electricity prices were negative in Germany so much renewable (it is except for UKIP supporters) energy was produced by households.

  30. Apologies for the acute on the “a”.

  31. CARFREW
    As for the EU thing, peeps keep saying it was central to the No campaign, and it may well be, but no one’s provided much evidence of this. If it was that central, surely it shouldn’t be hard?

    I have no intention of attempting to discuss this with you, but if you want evidence a good start woud be Scottish independence: Is EU debate common sense? from February 2014, when the issue seemed to be flavour of the month with the broadcaster who must not be named.

  32. Mark W: “No electricity is being generated by coal at present, and for a time yesterday.”

    Solar must be helping a bit. At this time of year, my solar panels belt it out and, as my electricity supplier has left my meter unchanged since pre-panel days, it’s a real pleasure to watch the meter whizzing backwards. Little things…

    On another topic, interesting to see Michael O’Leary’s comments on Brexit:

    “”The longer term effect though is we will invest less in the UK, we will certainly switch some of our existing UK investment into other European countries because we want to continue to invest in the European Union and it will be bad for air travel and British tourism.”

    UK air fares could also rise sharply in the long term if a vote to leave threatened Britain’s access to EU air services agreements, he added.

    Also interesting that the BBC, running this story, failed to mention any of this, just concentrating on his preceding comment that in the short term they might have to reduce fares to counter Brexit shock.

  33. – If you wanna just stick to broken promises over the EU and rule out the consideration of other broken promises, no one can stop ya. But it doesn’t make it fair, and the problem is other voters may also not care for the cake and eat it thing. Hence possibly the rise of Tories and loss of the majority

    – Clearly peeps who want a referendum soon, are not that fussed about instability or overriding the majority will so soon

    – I don’t get the significance of the Sturgeon, Swinney thing? If I’m guilty of a straw man, at least tell me what it is, lol.

    – yes other things can be wheeled in. That’s the point. Both sides tend to break promises, or claim too much. So complaining about a specific broken promise to suit and ignoring the rest is quite the stretch.

    Thing is, I’m not much fussed about the Independence thing. But that’s not really that important, of greater salience is what Scots peeps think. The real issue, is that there were not enough Scots who didn’t care about oil prices or currency or other advantages of union. For all you might wish these sorts of things away, it’s quite a hard ask, to persuade Scots en masse not to bother themselves about oil prices, or currency,etc. and just to focus on the EU thing.

    Not enough Scots bought into the idea of overlooking currency and stuff, so to try and sway some of these, activists across the net wanna just hype unionist flaws and gloss over Indy flaws (while some of ’em also wanna have a good pop at the English as well).

    Works up to a point, but it may have reached the stage where it’s becoming counterproductive, because there aren’t many left who will be swayed by that stuff and the remainder are more likely to be disturbed by it, and Gordon Brown sensed this when he appealed to Scots to take a lead in influencing instead of rejecting the union.

    I suspect the limits may have been reached in terms of trying to wish away the advantages of the Union and dissing English peeps.

  34. @Barba

    That’s an article about how easily Scots could get into the EU on independence etc.

    It doesn’t offer much in terms of the point at issue: the claim that the No campaign promised to stay in the EU, a promise now broken we are to suppose.

  35. A fairly minor point – which may well change if we get a glut of new data this weekend.

    But it’s now (at five days) the longest period we’ve been without a new poll on the referendum since February.

    It’s also by far the longest period since January we’ve been without a telephone poll on the subject (at 17 days since the ICM that closed on 26 April).

    This may well be a simple effect of pollster exhaustion post last week’s elections – and the exhaustion of client budgets to boot.

    But that long gap since the last phone poll is quite striking, especially when one considers the mode effect which has shown them to be so much more prone to give healthy remain leads.

    I wonder how some of the pollsters clients in certain quarters of the media – who, as we know, have strong views on this matter – will chose to spend their money in the days leading up to 23 June.

  36. “If I’m guilty of a straw man, at least tell me what it is, lol.”

    The straw man is that the SNP keep going on about independence and pushing for a new vote. They don’t. The subject is raised time and again by unionists pretending that the SNP are on the verge of calling a new referendum.
    The straw men you appear to be fighting are not necessarily of your own making, but the Tories do love to bring up indyref2 any chance they can in order to manufacture outrage at the very idea.

    In short the bad SNP have not respected the wishes of the Scottish people. The evidence for this is that other people keep asking about an indepenence referendum. If the SNP truly respected the democratic will of the people, how come the Tories keep talking about indyref? Bad SNP.

  37. “dissing English peeps”
    Myth. Much more anti-Scottish bile out there than the other way around. I’m not Scottish, and nor are a great number of those in my local branch. The SNP is in no sense anti-English.

    I canvassed a lot of people before this election. I encoutered two instances of racism. One from a crazy woman who thought we should nuke all Muslims. I didn’t get the bottom of her political preference, but she didn’t like Sturgeon which is a hint away from us. The other was another woman who identified as “anti Monarchist, anti English, and I’m not voting for you lot” before slamming the door in my face. Quite where to place her politically I’m not sure, but again, she didn’t like us.

    I sense we’re at a total impasse on the EU betrayal thing. You cannot help yourself bringing other subjects into it, and that’s fine. Disappear down that warren if you like, but I’m not following. I will always make sure I end this by bringing it back to the fact that the indyref is nullified by an enforced unwanted Scottish Brexit. I’ve set out my reasons above why tangents to this are not the issue. I will respect anyone who disagrees, but I will always bring the focus back to this point. Other issues were relevant for the indyref, and would become relevant again if there is another indyref. But before that point happens, we need to work out whether the agreed settlement has dissolved and, if so, what can be done to react to that. The answers I have are “not yet, but it might”, and “another indy ref”. Answers I personally won’t accept are the ones that start with “but what about…”

  38. Just a question about the alleged Con overspending in a number of seats at the GE election which I hope someone here can answer. (My apologies if it has already been asked, but wading through 635 posts is a quite resistible challenge.)

    If and when prosecutions are brought, might these cases take months if not years to progress to decisions? Which might mean that the ‘offending’ MPs continue in post, perhaps even until GE 2020? If the central issue is about whether the costs of the battle bus activists’ costs (eg hotel bills) should or should not be included in the candidate’s calculations, would it be appropriate for a single case to be expedited by the CPS?

  39. Oh I see, you have arbitrarily decided that we cannot discuss the Implications of Brexit on Indyref 2 because SNP have not actually set a date for an Indyref!!

    The fact that it’s SNP policy to consider a referendum on Circe like Brexit, is to be ignored, then you can claim it’s a straw man.

    We also have to ignore the fact that I wasn’t responding to SNP anyway but to the posts of various peeps on here, discussing the implications of Brexit, initially by Andy Shadrack, Oldnat, Graham etc. and the. drawing in others like me and Barba.

    But you never told them off, lol. Apparently we were all pursuing straw men because you have decided that not only can we not discuss Currency or Oil prices but now we can’t even discuss Indyref 2 and EU? Even if there’s polling on the EU?

    You’re right, ere was a straw man, but it wasn’t mine.

  40. @Mike N

    I believe that anyone found guilty of election offences around this matter would be barred from standing for election.

    This means that anyone who had won could not remain in office, thereby forcing a by-election.

    I think.

  41. CARFREW
    It doesn’t offer much in terms of the point at issue

    I only said it was a good start, and it is. Had Ms Sturgeon known of the Con’s EU referendum promise would anyone believe that she would not have mentioned it? [rhetorical]

    If you trawl the UK media for the first 8 months of 2014 I doubt you’ll find a promise of an EU referendum from anyone but UKIP.

    If I didn’t know your response would be incomprehensible I would ask you how anyone in Scotland was supposed to know something that had not been proposed before the 2015 UK GE campaign by the Cons?

    In any event, HMG did publish a colour booklet on 12 June 2014 and delivered it to every home in Scotland, called What staying in the United Kingdom means for Scotland.

    The only references to the EU are on Page 6, stating: The United Kingdom is a leading member of the UN and the only country in the world that is also a member of NATO, the EU, the Commonwealth, the G7, the G8 and the G20. As one of the EU’s ‘big four’ nations, the UK is more able to protect Scottish interests in areas like agriculture and fisheries.

    The booklet is still available from gov.uk here

    Had a UK-wide in/out EU referendum already been announced, a caveat somewhere [probably in 6-point type or less] would have been tucked away somewhere inconspicuous amid meaningless small print.

    If you can provide any publicly available evidence of the Con plan to call the EU referendum which pre-dates 18 September 2014 please share the links.

  42. Carfrew
    “The fact that it’s SNP policy to consider a referendum on Circe like Brexit, is to be ignored, then you can claim it’s a straw man.”

    For clarification, does Circe mean ‘circumstances’? I don’t want to get involved in any convoluted debate, just trying to understand.

  43. Catmanjeff

    So, ” found guilty of election offences” seem to be the key words. So, MPs being prosecuted remain in office – which could be until GE 2020.

    And whether they are prosecuted comes down to interpretation of the electoral rules.

  44. Myth?

    There have been epic examples of it on here. But that mostly ended a while ago. (There was talk of someone hating Tories though, so there are still echoes…)

    You’re keen to personalise this unhelpfully. You talk of me disappearing down a warren and yourself not budging, but you’re not getting the point. It isn’t about what I think, or even to some extent what you alone think.

    The issue, is that Indy peeps need to persuade enough No peeps that oil prices don’t matter, and currency doesn’t matter, and that if you leave on Brexit you might have to accept the Euro to be in the EU and that it’s ok to rerun the referendum again against their previous vote.

    Cos. if you’ve got a deficit due to oil prices and don’t have a Currency union, it won’t help deal with any resulting difficulties to say that peeps can’t consider these things, they can only consider the EU ref.

  45. There’s a lot of, ‘string ’em up and hang ’em,’ mentality re this expenses thing. Seems to be a lot of fuss over a few hundred quid incorrectly allocated but in good faith at the time it was done.

    I think it would be a very brave official who took the overtly political act to enforce by elections which could totally destabilise the government of the country.

    Its all a bit like, cut someone’s hands off because they stole some fruit.

    I wonder if Mr Crick and his fellows at Channel 4 news would have pursued this story with such venom, if it had been the other side at fault? I suspect not, Channel 4 news left wing bias is legendary.

  46. @Pete B

    It was supposed to be “circs”, but autocorrect had other ideas. It’s a little known fact, but autocorrect was invented primarily to confound boomers who have programmed in COBOL. So it’s not my fault.

    And yeah, I didn’t invent circs as an abbreviation of circumstances. Like I didn’t invent peeps. (I didn’t even invent “carp”…)

  47. @Barba

    Ah, ok, you’re switching it. You have no evidence of a promise to stay in the EU, so now you wanna switch it to the fact that the intention to hold a referendum wasn’t announced.

    Well ok, let’s go with that. Let’s suppose there’s summat in it. But like I keep saying, you gotta consider both sides. So, didn’t the Indy campaign indicate the ref. was supposed to be a once in a generation thing?

    Then break that promise and say it could be much sooner according to circs?
    They never mentioned that at the time of the ref…

  48. CARFREW
    Myth?
    …..
    if you leave on Brexit you might have to accept the Euro to be in the EU

    Yes, that is indeed a myth which you repeat ad nauseam.

    The actual position is very clearly stated on the Europa.eu website: The euro is not the currency of all EU Member States. Two countries (Denmark and the United Kingdom) have ‘opt-out’ clauses in the Treaty exempting them from participation, while the remainder (several of the more recently acceded EU members plus Sweden) have yet to meet the conditions for adopting the single currency.

    Note that there is no deadline for meeting the conditions for adoption.

  49. The myth thing clearly related to the stuff about the English.

    As for the Euro, others are more up on that than me, I’m mostly going by Extensive convos on here about it in the past and am open to correction on the matter.

    However, you are wording it carefully. You’re not denying it might be a condition of being in the EU, you’re just hoping in practice they might not be in a hurry to enforce it in practice.

    And more recent entrants might have more stringent terms of course.

  50. CARFREW
    So, didn’t the Indy campaign indicate the ref. was supposed to be a once in a generation thing?

    In the course of the campaign Salmond did say that his personal view was that or words to that effect, in what I suppose you could call a Chamberlain moment.

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