There is a new Opinium poll in the Observer with topline figures of CON 37%(+3), LAB 31%(+2), LDEM 6%(-1), UKIP 15%(-2), GRN 4%(nc) – changes are from a month ago. The Conservatives have a healthy lead, but not the sort of big honeymoon lead that ICM and YouGov both showed them enjoying.

The Observer’s write up concentrates on the Labour race. Among current Labour voters Jeremy Corbyn is the preferred choice of 54%, Owen Smith of 22%. Labour voters do not, of course, necessarily reflect the preferences of the Labour members and supporters who get a vote, though the previous YouGov polling of Labour party members also suggested a large lead for Corbyn. On who would make the best Prime Minister (among the general public, rather than just Labour supporters!) Theresa May leads Corbyn by 52% to 16%.


441 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 37, LAB 31, LD 6, UKIP 15”

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  1. OLDNAT @ Roland Haines
    Of course, borders are flexible arrangements, so you may wish to cede your territory north of the wall

    Drat, you reminded him! ;<)}

  2. ANDREW111

    I here what you say and I think there is no chance of that happening. Just a personal opinion but I actually believe May’s commitment to controlling immigration, not the ” tens of thousands” bit which i think a silly target but here commitment to Brexit meaning Brexit.

    So for now, I am quite happy. In the longer term we shall see who is correct.

  3. @BZZ

    “My guess, shocking though it is to me personally, suggests that England is happy to be ruled by an unreformed Westminster. Less surprising is that Scotland is less keen on Westminster calling all the shots and, perhaps, sees the EU institutions as safeguards rather than hindrances.”

    ———–

    That would niceky suit an Indy slant on things, but for fairness need to consider other reasonable options, like the fact the the Scots quite like unions, as evidenced by Indy ref and EU ref, and the fact that the EU may preferred owing to keeping the oil!!*

    *The oil is also associated with the rise of SNP, for further grist. Coups thinks my pointing this stuff out is because of being jealous of the oil. You will note, that this isn’t really very helpful, since…

    – the oil is much more important for a much smaller economy like Scotland’s

    – even if the most jealous person alive made the argument, their being jealous wouldn’t change the argument

  4. TANCRED
    It is Scotland that started the whole independence thing not I. Rather than have their constant whining about how badly done to they are, just go. Their party of nationalism is now controlling almost their entire country. What does that tell a clever boy like you? Our government, which I support very strongly, is the Conservative and Unionist party, the recent and present leadership of which is desperate to keep the Union together. It is wee Burney and co who do not. Therefore, who is the wrecker? As for your hopeless support for the EU, I am bored to tears with it. I was 27 when the grocer took us into Europe, I thank God, that I have lived long enough to see the arse end of it.

  5. The Other Howard

    Were you the “Howard” in the Newsnight audience yesterday?

  6. CARFREW @ BBZ
    But you won’t care about the torrent coming the other way it seems, a deluge of trumped up claims.

    This not being a saltired thread and without any useful indications of May’s intentions regarding the 5 polities concerned in Brexit, I have no plan to comment on claims relevant to indyrefs 1 or 2, whether trumped up or no, on this thread.

    That said, and definitively on topic, I am surprised that AW didn’t include the SNP 6% shown on the grauniad website in the first para, as well as the PC 0%.

  7. Tancred

    Your post at 5:27 is perhaps less clear than you might think (at least I sincerely hope it is!)

    As a degree educated middle class, middle of the road person I welcome Europeans as my kinfolk

    1. That suggests that only those with degrees (or who are “middle class”) are capable of having such feelings

    2. From that text, you could actually be a nasty racist – who only accepts Europeans as kinfolk, and rejects those nasty dark-skinned people as others.

    but the average English manual worker is unable to view Europeans as anything over than foreign.

    From what I read in the English media, lots of well-educated and wealthy folk in England think exactly the same, and the anti-Scots/Welsh/Irish/Scouser/Geordie/Mancunian etc comments suggest that there is a nasty set of attitudes to anyone, even slightly different from them that runs throughout English society [1]

    A lot of this is the fault of successive British governments who have not properly educated people into the need for European solidarity and unity.

    Of course, that is true. Traditionally, governments of all hues have used the propaganda, education system (and historians) at their disposal to push the concept of the homogeneity of those within their power to consolidate their power, and to create awareness of differences.

    In that sense, UK governments have been lamentably poor at reducing the concepts of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish to the same level of Mercian.

    [1] Scots etc are no better than the English in this regard, but you chose to write about the English.

  8. ON
    Mercia is not dead. Greater Mercia shall rise again!

  9. @BBZ

    I Wasnt just referring to indyref stuff, but trumped up anti-English digs that can crop up in any thread, plus the relentless ad hominems.

    As for it not being a Saltired thread, funny you should call on that because it didnt stop your victim thing in the first place!! And you dont complain when other Indy peeps disregard the Saltire!!

  10. Pete B

    :-)

  11. @Andrew111

    “All the Labour MPs (and all the other MP’s) are facing reselection due to the boundary review. ”

    This is far from the case. I can’t speak for the other parties, but in Labour’s case the NEC will determine whether new boundaries are to be deemed to represent an existing seat. In which case the current rules for trigger ballots etc. will apply.

    Previous custom is that this process has been very generous so that, even where a previous seat is split in half , if more than half of a new seat comes from an old seat then the new seat is deemed to be the old seat for the purposes of party organisation.

    The reason for this is that it is extraordinarily complicated to dissolve party organisations and establish new ones. It is far easier to maintain the existence of a party unit and to simply change the geographical area it corresponds to (albeit with some members of the party changing their CLP, just as they would if they moved house). When that happens, the MP associated with the “moved” party unit is, de facto, the sitting MP.

    Of course, sometimes the new seat is demographically very different and not such an attractive proposition, in which case the sitting MP might seek nomination elsewhere. But that can happen anyway (although it rarely does).

  12. @Carfew

    My point, which I am tired of making is that oil whether price or quantity does NOT effect the polls, therefore keeping banging on about it only confirms it as part of your agenda, and as this is a polling site is a waste of everyone’s time.

    And whatever the price $XXXX shared amongst 5 million is a lot more than it is shared amongst 60 million. Because of our excellent Scottish education system nearly all Scots understand that.

  13. CARFREW
    That would niceky suit an Indy slant on things

    No. It means currently that Westminster do not have absolute control of Scotland by virtue of EU institutions and the ECHR, which could be lost at Westminster’s whim post Brexit. What Scotland will do about it is not definable until Westminster publish their Brexit plans.

  14. Time for Carfrew to take a few of his Thorium enhanced sedatives, methinks. :-)

  15. Shevll
    I don’t really disagree. However, if sufficient MPs resigned to force by elections and returned to the Commons there might be the possibility of them becoming the Official Opposition. That would significantly affect the dynamics of the next General Election campaign. I made the point in an earlier comment that it was a serious error on the part of defecting Labour MPs back in 1981 NOT to resign in this way. Had they done so and been re-elected – and there was strong evidence that they would have been successful – far more of those MPs would have retained their seats in 1983.
    I have suggested 150 – because that would certainly create a shock effect in the media at large!

  16. PETE B
    It is alright for you to encourage the Mercians. We live very much on the borders of Wessex and Mercia. The consequence is, that constant raiding and counter attacks are across our land and villages. There is hardly a wench who does not have a Mercian bastard. Rest assured, I shall report your comment to the ffyrd on my forthcoming visit to Winchester.

  17. @Roly

    You can report your comment to the ffyrd(d) but I’m not sure what the Welsh road network will be able to do about it.

    Perhaps the fyrd might get up in arms on your behalf?!

  18. But I suppose as an ethnic Dane it would be remiss of me to get upset with the Mercians for border raiding…

  19. PROFHOWARD

    No, sorry to disappoint.

  20. @OLDNAT

    I’m getting a little tired of your tendency to make inflammatory posts, so I won’t dignify your latest one with a response. Just take what I said at face value.

  21. Neil A

    “But I suppose as an ethnic Dane it would be remiss of me to get upset with the Mercians for border raiding…”

    Though it does you great credit that you are upholding the great tradition of your people by taking vast sums from the English Treasury, to protect them against malefactors. :-)

  22. Tancred

    OK. I’ll take your post at face value.

    You aren’t willing to treat non-Europeans as kinfolk.

  23. Tancred

    Oh, and saying that middle class, university grads capable of nice inclusive thinking, while working class folk aren’t, isn’t “inflammatory”?

    You obviously live in an entirely different political culture than I do, if such statements as yours aren’t challenged, questioned, or treated as risible.

  24. Tancred

    “but the average English manual worker is unable to view Europeans as anything over than foreign.”

    I know that the media likes to portray us like this but I don’t think its actually that true, it’s the same thing as we are all racists. But the truth is we live and work with immigrants, we fall in love and marry immigrants and we have children with immigrants. The middle class are much more racially segregated than us, intermarry less than us and have fewer mixed children than us.

    But the middle class is not competing for resources with immigrants. We were already competing with each other for a dwindling share of national resources before this latest set of immigrants arrived. We are at the sharp end of globalization and immigration from Eastern Europe is making it sharper. At the moment its easier to blame immigration for these problems than the ruling classes.

    Ironically the biggest reason that freedom of movement will continue is that the ruling classes need immigrants to blame for the lack of resources and worsening standards of living. Otherwise we might start looking to blame them

  25. @OLDNAT

    “You aren’t willing to treat non-Europeans as kinfolk.”

    What axe are you grinding? I never said that – I meant Europeans in general terms, not specifying any ethnic groups.

    By the way, I don’t agree at all with your Mazzini inspired view that a nation can be made up of anyone who wants to be a member of it. This is nonsense and one of the root causes of the current Brexit crisis. In Germany the political class is pathologically and morbidly afraid of any nationalist sentiment – a fear that is related to Germany’s troubled 20th century history. The influx of two million middle-easterners came about because Merkel and her allies are aiming for a dilution of German ethnicity and identity in order to lessen any possibility of nationalist feeling ever arising again. This is an official policy in Germany and will lead that country to disaster.

    My view of nationhood is not racist but I do believe that in order to become truly a part of a nation you need to be willing to fully immerse yourself in the culture, traditions and heritage of that country. This is something that many Muslims in Europe have not managed to do and one of the causes of the current crisis of identity for many European Muslims.

  26. @OLDNAT

    Interesting that I am now facing a two-front war on this forum, on the one side from the far-Right, i.e. Haines, Carrod, Howard and Newark, and on the far-Left from the likes of yourself.

    I was referring to the English working class – not the Scottish one. And this is not inflammatory, unlike your statement accusing me of racism.

  27. Id just like to throw this out there

    I often mix in middle class circles, i have many middle class interests, which is probably why I’m posting here. One thing I’ve noticed, working class people talk racist but act non racist, middle class people talk non racist but act racist. Ok a huge generalisation but there is something there

  28. Tancred

    For many Brexiters immigration is per se not an issue, but controlling the level of immigration is. That is why they like the Australian type approach, with a points based system. To use OldNat’s phrase, they are perfectly capable of inclusive thinking.

  29. @Tancred

    What do I mean by ‘a meaningless fudge?’ I was trying to summarise Joseph1832’s concern that ‘Democracy has to allow for responses to changes of circumstances. However, I have no confidence that such changes will be anything other than collusive.’

    Personally I want to stay in the EU but I don’t think that we can do this without genuinely trying to respond to the concerns of those who voted out. Simply telling people that they voted the wrong way and asking them to vote correctly this time is not democratic and probably wouldn’t work anyway,

  30. CAMBRIDGERACHEL
    Ironically the biggest reason that freedom of movement will continue is that the ruling classes need immigrants to blame for the lack of resources and worsening standards of living. Otherwise we might start looking to blame them

    Perhaps that’s why the PLP and the media are so anxious to stop him as well as why he is only 75% for the EU.

  31. NEIL A
    Thank you for pointing out my spelling error, its because i usually write in Saxon. You also prove wrong the myth that Danes are just bone headed sea marauders. Please interest yourselves in the East
    Midlands and leave us alone. They say Lincolnshire is very nice.

  32. @CAMBRIDGE RACHEL

    “In England Ukip is not an acceptable alternative to labour for the more politically aware but it is and could be for the ordinary voter.”

    Actually, putting on one side the EU question, UKIP had a manifesto of policies for the 2015 GE, many of which would appeal to Labour voters, and which, if put forward as official Labour policy, wouldn’t raise any eyebrows. Here is a ‘top ten’ selection:

    – Raise the personal tax allowance to at least £13,000, taking those on minimum wage out of tax altogether

    – Fund 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs and 3,000 more midwives

    – Increase social care funding in total by £5.2 billion between 2015 and 2020

    – Introduce a flexible state pension window so you can still take a slightly lower state pension at age 65 even as the state pension age increases

    – Increase Carers’ Allowance to match Job Seekers’ Allowance – £572 more a year

    – Waive tuition fees for science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) subjects at university

    – Build one million homes on brownfield sites by 2020

    – Scrap HS2: this is an expensive, politically-driven vanity project for which there is no good business case. It will blight our countryside and not solve the problem of capacity

    – Support renewable energy where it can deliver electricity at competitive prices

    – End the abuse of zero-hours contracts

    I doubt that many Labour supporters would argue with any of that.

  33. @CR

    “the biggest reason that freedom of movement will continue”…

    …is that we have an ageing population that requires immigration of younger people to keep the economy going. Precisely the same reason that Merkel effectively opened Germany’s borders to Syrian refugees.

  34. Tancred

    “I meant Europeans in general terms, not specifying any ethnic groups. ”

    Yep! That’s why I said “non-Europeans”. If you are now saying that you think Native Americans, Asians, Australian aborigine people and those from Africa are “European”, then you have a remarkably Euro-centric view that the whole world is European!

    “By the way, I don’t agree at all with your Mazzini inspired view that a nation can be made up of anyone who wants to be a member of it.”

    Of course, you then disagree with yourself in the last paragraph, where you accept that people can move from elsewhere and become a member of a nation – but only if they adopt some mythical monoculture with identical “culture, traditions and heritage”.

    By your reasoning, those from the Western Isles, the Northern Isles, Northern Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, NE Scotland, Scottish Highlands, Lowland Scotland, the Scots-English Marches, Cumbria etc etc etc , not to mention all those that have come from elsewhere in the world, can’t be a part of a single nation without abandoning their own “culture, traditions and heritage “?

    To use your own terminology, that is “nonsense”.

    You seem to be part of that interesting group who describe themselves as “not racist, but”.

  35. @CAMBRIDGERACHEL

    Thanks for your reasoned post.

    My identification of the English working class as being fundamentally nationalistic is based on a cultural appreciation of this class. It is true that the English white working class is unusual in being relatively non-racist when compared to say, the French, however this is because the West Indian immigrants who came to this country in the post-war era tended to share many values, religion and cultural attributes with white working class people and also, importantly, language. The Asians, particularly Muslims, have found it much harder to integrate due to being a lot more ‘different’ in cultural terms.

    In terms of Europe, the perception of the English white working class is that it is fundamentally alien. Anyone who went to school will have been inculcated with the history of Elizabeth I and the Spanish Armada, the war against Napoleon, and the two world wars. All the enemies were continental Europeans. There is a deep rooted distrust of Europeans that goes back centuries, a fundamental ‘us and them’ mentality that never went away.

    Your comment about competing for dwindling resources in not just a working class challenge – being middle class does not necessarily mean being able to afford public school fees and three week holidays in Florida. It’s a question of outlook, of priorities. I have to deal with immigrants and foreigners all the time, in this case Indians in the world of IT. I can assure you there is plenty of resentment of the way that the IT industry has been off shored to India in the last 15 years or so, but we need to face the challenge and get on with life.

  36. @OLDNAT

    You are jumping to conclusions here and there without thinking it all through.

    The Scots, Irish, Welsh, Cornish etc are part of the BRITISH culture and identity, which you seem to resent so much. There is no need for them to abandon anything because we are all part of the complex mosaic that makes us Great Britain.

    It is really odd being on this forum and advocating British national identity against English and Scottish nationalists!

  37. @ CAMBRIDGERACHEL

    ‘One thing I’ve noticed, working class people talk racist but act non racist, middle class people talk non racist but act racist. Ok a huge generalisation but there is something there’

    I agree that there is something in that.

  38. Tancred

    “I was referring to the English working class – not the Scottish one. And this is not inflammatory, unlike your statement accusing me of racism.”

    For shame. I did not accuse you of racism. My original response hoped that your posting was just somewhat ill-expressed.

    Since I also noted my belief that the Scots working class (or any other class for that matter) were no better or worse than their English (or any other) relations, then your comment seems strangely inappropriate.

    However, we can agree that your status is a “not racist, but”. Under those circumstances your willingness ” to deal with immigrants and foreigners all the time, in this case Indians in the world of IT” demonstrates the strength of your “butness”.

  39. @OLDNAT

    “Yep! That’s why I said “non-Europeans”. If you are now saying that you think Native Americans, Asians, Australian aborigine people and those from Africa are “European”, then you have a remarkably Euro-centric view that the whole world is European!”

    I never said that. Europe is not just a geographical expression – it’s about culture, heritage, history and shared values. It’s perfectly possible that someone of African descent like Thierry Henry can be a European – why not? However, can two million middle eastern refugees suddenly become European? Erm, no, I don’t think so.

  40. Sheesh, it’s a good thing we’re all so interested in discussing polling; otherwise this thread might have turned into a bizarre and unappetising mixture of unevidenced conspiracy, stereotyping, prejudice and anecdote.

  41. It’s very interesting to come to this thread late in the day, and see the variety of topics considered which are definitely more politics than polling, but it is difficult to respond to particular points when the debate among regulars has moved on.
    What else do you all do with your time?
    On ‘free movement’: It is perhaps better to look at Article 3 before Article 45 to see how the EU regards its importance.
    On 150 by-elections: They would not be a simple competition between pro- and anti-Corbyn Labour candidates. The Tories would have a strong motive in wishing to increase their majority; UKIP would seek to increase its support in Labour areas; how many such seats tend towards being marginals, open to being lost if the Labour vote is split? If Labour cannot unite its candidates, will all people who voted Labour vote for one or other of the alternatives? How many will not bother?
    On lower immigration: the figure always quoted is simple net immigration. If changes reduce the attraction of UK for Europeans, especially those seeking low paid work; if that also encourages such people already here to leave; if general economic conditions in UK deteriorate so that better-educated people raise emigration to the figures before say 1980 when there was a net 50,000 ‘brain-drain’ then the net immigration figures might be halved or even reach the desired level of tens of thousands.
    How much is the feeling about immigration driven by the increase in violent incidents in other European countries, and a reaction “We don’t want that brought here.”

  42. Tancred

    “It is really odd being on this forum and advocating British national identity against English and Scottish nationalists!”

    Nothing odd in that at all – except in so far as most British Nationalists fulminate against their being any such thing!

    It’s quite nice to see someone outing themselves.

    Actually, I agree that there is a “British”[1] identity, in that I am part of a shared cultural inheritance along with other parts of the UK, and neighbouring territories outwith the UK – the Isle of Man, the Channel islands, and Eire.

    It’s damn all to do with “nationality”, citizenship, or any other of your “not racist, but” factors.

    The Asian community in Glasgow is just as much part of my Scotland as my English friends who have moved here. We share the same economy, services, laws.

    I find it rather sad that you are so unaccepting of others, but then, I would describe myself as just “not racist”. The “but isn’t needed for anyone.

  43. @OLDNAT

    “I find it rather sad that you are so unaccepting of others, but then, I would describe myself as just “not racist”. The “but isn’t needed for anyone.”

    A very holier than thou argument. Enough said,

  44. @DAVE

    “How much is the feeling about immigration driven by the increase in violent incidents in other European countries, and a reaction ‘We don’t want that brought here’””

    Hmmm. Yes, partly, but not entirely. And all this talk about pressure on schools, NHS etc is complete and total BS, as is the issue of benefits and tax credits. Just red herrings.

    The white working class is opposed to EU immigration because of two very basic and brutal factors: (1) cultural/language and (2) fear of being undercut and/or having jobs ‘stolen’ by the foreigners. Your average English plumber wants to be paid £100 just for turning up at your door. The Polish guy will do the job fist and then charge you for the actual work done.
    Have you ever asked for a job on MyHammer? Well, if you do you’ll see that the best quotes invariably come from the east Europeans. Last month I had an issue with my front door lock and the English geezer who turned up to fix it, which took all of 10 minutes, charged me £92! So who do I choose, the Pole or the bloke down the road who expects to live in a 4 bed detached and maintain 3 noisy sprogs?

  45. That was an extraordinary Marr interview with McDonnell. Just caught up with it.

  46. Tancred

    ” However, can two million middle eastern refugees suddenly become European? Erm, no, I don’t think so.”

    I think my main problem with your posts is that you don’t think about what the words you use actually mean.

    Refugees may become migrants, if they decide to stay, and not return to the country that they are seeking refuge from. They are not seeking to become members of the host community, simply wanting to be safe.

    Migrants do usually maintain their cultural links to their homeland for several generations. Those of us who welcome migration as a way of enhancing the existing culture see that as a positive.

    Of course, their can be negatives too. The Orange Walks by the families of immigrants from Northern Ireland (part of your glorious UK culture, of course) fall into that category.

    Yet I wouldn’t ban them. They provide a useful demonstration of just how futile discriminating between people, on the basis of their background, is.

  47. DAVE
    On ‘free movement’: It is perhaps better to look at Article 3 before Article 45 to see how the EU regards its importance.

    An excellent post overall, and you’re right re Article 3, given the ordering of the objectives:

    Article 3
    1. The Union’s aim is to promote peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples.

    2. The Union shall offer its citizens an area of freedom, security and justice without internal frontiers, in which the free movement of persons is ensured in conjunction with appropriate measures with respect to external border controls, asylum, immigration and the prevention and combating of crime.

    3. The Union shall establish an internal market. It shall work for the sustainable development of Europe based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress, and a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment. It shall promote scientific and technological advance.

    It shall combat social exclusion and discrimination, and shall promote social justice and protection, equality between women and men, solidarity between generations and protection of the rights of the child.

    It shall promote economic, social and territorial cohesion, and solidarity among Member States.

    It shall respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity, and shall ensure that Europe’s cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced.

    ….

    I must confess I hadn’t re-read it since the 2009 consolidation came out. The link to the whole thing is upthread.

    The order of points 1 to 3 is pretty clearly the pecking order of priorities:
    Peace, Freedom [inc movement], Free Trade

    No wonder Cameron’s renegotiation was doomed to failure.

  48. I don’t think Article 2 is really any clearer than “Brexit is Brexit”.

    It allows “free movement of people, alongside appropriate measures with respect to…. immigration…..”

    I think it would be reasonable to interpret that as allowing a degree of flexibility to control immigration within the wider context of free movement.

    No one is proposing that we stop EU citizens from coming to the UK, just that we should have a degree of control over whether they stay here permanently.

  49. Barbazenzero @ Dave

    Thanks for those comments and links.

    While no one (other than a few of the political geeks to be found on here) can be expected to be able to link to, let alone know, the details of international treaties, one has to wonder if the Brexit vote might have been a tad different, if the Remain campaign had prioritised what the EU was about – instead of just doing Project Fear 2?

  50. @OLDNAT

    Come off it! The refugee concept has been abused for decades. How many of the millions of refugees in Germany is genuine? Many are single men of military age – deserters, not refugees. And even the genuine family refugees are hardly likely to ever return to Syria when they get free handouts and housing in Merkel’s Germany.

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