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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    I think that you can analyse who voted what and why they voted what, until you are blue in the face. The bottom line is that far more people thought that the Tories would make a reasonable fist of things, than thought Labour could be trusted. I think UKIP are a mixed blessing for both sides. They steal votes that should be Tory, but they also attracted votes from the white working class, who have finally realised what Labour is about. The other major issue is leaders. A serious looking candidate for PM does matter. Strange facial expressions or the appearance of a homeless person, may be fine for the hard left, but not the population at large.


    Don’t worry, that option is a non starter. You seem to continue to think that all who disagree with your view of the EU are idiots or need a psychiatrist. Neither is true, they just have a totally different viewpoint from your own. Why don’t you just accept that.

  3. It would appear Stronger In Campaign Team were not very competent. Vote Leave used fake accounts to sign on to their media mailing lists and could prepare rebuttals before the stories appeared in the press. Stronger In thought they had a mole in their midst.

  4. @Andrew111

    “The current rule book is irrelevant because it will be torn up in the interests of fairness.”

    Torn up? Perhaps to be replaced with a single sentence: “Jeremy knows best”? As for “in the interests of fairness”, I think fairness would be the last thing on the minds of those doing any re-writing.

    As I noted, rule changes will need to be agreed by Conference. It is far from clear that a wholesale re-writing of the rulebook would go through.

    Just to re-state. Every CLP already has a process for triggering a full reselection procedure, into which every member has the opportunity to contribute. What is there that needs re-writing? [Apart from the ridiculous buy-a-vote scheme.]

  5. On a side note, has anyone followed the recent polls in America?
    CNN, Rasmussen, Gravis and CBS all giving Donald Trump leads of between 1 and 5 points over Hillary.

    The recent email scandals showing how the Democratic party officials were trying to undermine Sanders and his campaign from the beginning doesn’t bode well for the democratic unity. Already Sanders supporters are planning protest in the convention and I can’t see lot of them flocking to the Hillary camp.

  6. @Mactavish

    This is entirely to be expected. US conventions normally give a ‘bounce’ of between 5 and 10% of the vote to the relevant party – I believe the average is around 7.5%. However this often fades pretty quickly.

    McCain and Romney were both ‘winning’ after their Republican conventions, but nevertheless fell behind gain in due course and eventually lost by some margin.

    The key measure is whether the ‘bounce’ is retained past the Democratic convention – i.e. in about three weeks time.
    personally I suspect that it will not be, but after the events of the last eighteen months who knows?!

  7. The overcrowding/insufficient housing debate is interesting. It seems the problem is to a large extent confined to London and the southeast, where increased demand for housing units arises both from social changes (people living longer; couples splitting up into separate housing) and the internal and external migration caused by the concentration of economic growth and employment growth in that area.

    It’s clearly a supply-and-demand issue. So what can be done to increase supply and reduce demand?

    I think there’s vast scope for more efficient use of existing developed land. For instance, take the average large supermarket. It’s a single storey building, flanked by an even larger area of car parking. It would be possible to put the car parking under the store, and a storey of apartments above the store. (I know this has been done in one or two laces; it could be far more widespread). Likewise with office developments: if new developments had to include some housing (or were incentivised to do so), not only would there be more housing, but reduced need for travel and transport infrastructure – and currently sterile-after-work business areas would become part of the city social fabric.

    What about demand reduction? That currently focuses almost exclusively on the reduction of external immigration. But if employment in the southeast continues to grow, while external immigration is choked off, the result will simply be to replace that with internal migration: people will move there from Barnsley or Bradford instead of Brasov or Budapest. Result: just as much pressure on housing down there, with more empty housing up north.

    So: move the jobs. Remember the Location of Offices Bureau? Whatever happened to that? (answer: planning got swept away in favour of letting market forces rip). How many government jobs could be moved to the regions (answer: a lot more, including some complete ministries. Why is DEFRA (or its successor) based in London?

    If there were a concerted effort to address the imbalance between London and The Southeast and the rest of the country, the housing problem could be quickly solved.

  8. Robin

    Why don’t you explain the process for triggering reselection? You are implying something that isn’t strictly accurate

  9. Somerjohn

    I suppose one way to reduce demand is to reduce standards of living relative to other countries.

    If instead of moving from Darlington to Deal, people started moving to Duesseldorf that would certainly sort out your demand problem!

    The NEC has been recently changing rules willy nilly. The have set a precedent. No need to stick to old rules.

  11. Another tale from inside the PLP, this time from their leader in the lords, who now backs Smith, after being upset by Corbyn claiming the success of defeating the government on tax credits.

    She says that Corbyn wasn’t interested, and never attended meetings discussing how to do this, and was uninterested in shadow cabinet meetings. Corbyn’s spokesperson has countered that the leader of the opposition shouldn’t get involved in tactical meetings in the HoL, but as numerous other shadow cabinet from the commons were involved in developing the strategy, this rings hollow. It’s clearly upset former supporters in the PLP who were working with Corbyn but who now believe this is impossible.

    Again, these people could be Blairite MI5 stooges, but this seems unlikely. It follows an established pattern of underperformance and an unwillingness to engage in the day to day requirements of the job.

    I get the distinct feeling that Corbyn doesn’t actually believe in parliament, as he seems to have spent the last ten months giving speeches at rallies but failing to be a parliamentary leader of the opposition or develop any clear policy developments. ‘Uninterested’ is an adjective that keeps being used.

    I’m prepared to expect that some PLP people are biased – I was extremely annoyed at a couple of Labour MPs that tried to paint the May elections as a disaster for Corbyn, even before the votes were counted, but there are simply too many former supporters who have tried to work with him only to find he is something of an empty vessel.

  12. ALEC
    Wot a shock.

  13. None of it matters a damn if Trump becomes President. He wont support Eastern Europe if (or when ) Vlad the impaler attacks them.
    With the US, NATO’s chances are slight, without them it will turn into a nuclear holocaust. It might help if our “friends in Europe” had a testicle between the lot of them.


    You don’t understand my post. I was pointing out the fact that the Daily Express are not even giving the government the chance to negotiate before jumping the gun – to me this seems deranged behaviour. They have B


    What’s the size of your testicles?

  16. Sarah Champion MP has un-resigned and been taken back into the shadow cabinet.

  17. @LIZH

    “It would appear Stronger In Campaign Team were not very competent. ”

    A huge understatement I’d say.


    What would be the point of nuking a country you hope to take over?

    Britain couldn’t hope to fight a war in any event, our only realistic option would be immediate and total surrender!

    Can you seriously imagine todays generation snowflake pointing a gun at anyone? They’ve be a lump of quivering jelly at the thought of anyone challenging their world view, or world offending them!

    We could barely feed the population in the 1940’s today we wouldn’t have a chance of even beginning to feed a much larger population even with more productive farming methods.

    Surrender would be the only viable option.

  19. Roland Haines: “With the US, NATO’s chances are slight, without them it will turn into a nuclear holocaust. It might help if our “friends in Europe” had a testicle between the lot of them.”

    What, you mean something like setting up a combined defence force? It could then take over funding and running the French nuclear deterrent. Would that give “our friends in Europe’ big enough cojones for you?

  20. Tancred

    Can you imagine my shock when opening up my browser the first words i see are these….

    What’s the size of your testicles?

    Thats an extremely personal question, even on tinder such a line of questioning is considered uncouth.


    “Britain couldn’t hope to fight a war in any event, our only realistic option would be immediate and total surrender!”

    We have Trident. Enough said.

  22. Syzygy

    Good news for the Labour party


    It was Haines who started going on about European testicles in his post. I just carried on from there.


    Trump has the usual convention lift but he won’t win. He can’t win, anyway, as he alienated too many minorities which, when put together, form almost a majority of US voters. Having said, I expect him to surprise people and do well.

  25. @ CR

    Good news .. perhaps from her former role as shadow home office minister for domestic abuse, she recognised some uncomfortable patterns of behaviour from the rebel PLP.

  26. Yes, we have TRIDENT. The Russians would come across the Polish steppe and North German plain so fast that we would need Trident as the only way to stop them. Of course, it would put an end to worries about Brexit. Sorry what was all that about the French nuclear deterrent ? It made no sense to me.

    I did not “go on” about testicles, I merely said your western European buddies just don’t have any. The Germans most certainly did have, but their history has chemically castrated them. The Poles are great men, but not big enough or rich enough to stop the hordes from the east.

    Give this some thought.
    How much was MacArthur prevented from taking the Japanese mainland after Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

    In any event i did not say the Russians would go nuclear 1st. We would have to stop them marching up Burlington Arcade.

  29. @ Summerjohn

    I appreciate the point about London and the South East in terms of housing shortages which obviously is extreme. However here in Wigan the core development plan has a requirement to build at least 15,000 houses over the next 15 years and I imagine other local authorities will have similar plans. ‘m no expert but I believe these enforced targets come from central government.

    As Neil A said earlier I think Brownfield tag is a bit misleading. If ever there was an area that would have that potential it would be Wigan (ex mills and industrial) but I’ve already seen developments here where areas of ancient woodland attached to an industrial site disappear along with the industrial site itself. That’s before we get onto the golf courses making way for concrete. There’s a regular pattern developing of council objections overturned on appeal.

    So I don’t think you are right to suggest this is just a big city issue.

  30. Anthony, can’t you find another survey to post, please … so that we can talk polling not politics – if what is going on at present even counts as politics.

  31. I think Trump will win and then there must be a risk of WW3. Not likely but still a risk as Trump is totally unpredictable and could quite easily lead to ww3.

  32. @Roland

    “In any event i did not say the Russians would go nuclear 1st. We would have to stop them marching up Burlington Arcade.”


    For some reason, the disarmament peeps don’t seem to get the deterrent effect of these things, including deterring the use of conventional forces…

  33. The purpose of nuclear weapons is to deter conventional attacks, not so much nuclear ones. Or at least for “enlightened” western states it is.

    The purpose of of nuclear weapons for Russia and China (and perhaps for the USA to some extent) is to give you cover so that noone can challenge you militarily when you launch a conventional war.

    The “game” is that you can go so far with p*ssing off the nuclear states by messing with their friends, because they’ll be reluctant to test the theory of MAD. But if you go too far, they’ll challenge you with conventional military using their nuclear deterrent as a shield against you responding to this with nukes.

  34. @CR

    “Why don’t you explain the process for triggering reselection?”

    I’m not 100% sure the same rules apply everywhere, which is why I was a little vague. Also, I haven’t had direct experience of this aspect of the current rules.

    I would guess that, in the majority of cases, the decision will be taken by the CLP management committee, which is drawn from delegates elected by each constituent ward plus some affiliates. At the very least, individual members will have had the opportunity to seek election as/vote for delegates.

    In other cases (my own CLP for example, although we don’t nor are ever likely to have a sitting Labour MP), all members may be entitled to attend/take part in CLP meetings.

    In either case, once the NEC sets a timetable for the reselection process, notice will be given of a trigger vote, at which it will be decided by simple majority whether to confirm the sitting MP or to move to a full selection process.

  35. ALEC

    Your beginning to get it.

    Parliament is not the centre of gravity in the Corbyn Project.

    It is there to be “influenced” by Corbyn’s “Social Movement”-aka Momentum organised Text -a – Mobs.

  36. This idea that without american support Putin would sweep across Europe and set up residence in buckingham palace needs some thought

    Firstly Putin isn’t insane so before he embarked on such a venture he would need a really strong motive. Can anyone suggest a reasonable motive?

    Secondly has anyone checked the relative strengths of the Russian military as compared to the European forces? It could be that Russia has a numerical advantage but i suspect that in terms of equipment and professionalism that Europe has the edge.

    Thirdly, lets assume that the European forces don’t cooperate with each other and that Russia overruns country after country. so first poland and then Germany but given the asymmetric nature of modern warfare, the Russians will be having to deal with polish insurgents while fighting the Germans, and with polish and German insurgents while fighting the french, etc etc

    There are a lot more holes i could poke in this, its a very silly notion

  37. @Neil A

    “But if you go too far, they’ll challenge you with conventional military using their nuclear deterrent as a shield against you responding to this with nukes.”


    It also then places something of a limit on either side progressing too far conventionally….

  38. Robin

    You should do some research, its not so easy for the members to trigger a reselection and they have relatively little influence over the result.

  39. @CR

    I agree that a Russian sweep across the entire EU would be pointless and ultimately fatal.

    I don’t think that’s the concern, really.

    Much more likely is a series of hybrid conflicts, with cyber attacks, insurgencies and ultimately invasions in the Baltics, Ukraine, Finland and possibly eastern parts of Poland (to create a contiguous piece of territory with Kaliningrad – an echo of what Tancred was saying about what he seems to think were Hitler’s perfectly reasonable territorial ambitions in the 1930s).

    As for the motive, well Russian nationalism would be the basic sell, although the real motive would probably be to solidify the grip of Putin’s Organized Crime Network over the Russian state, to deflect criticism that may arise from economic woes and internal dissent.

    This leads to two concerns. Firstly, without the US would European countries feel strong enough to react militarily. Are we going to do a Desert Storm and march into Eastern European countries to expel the Russians? Secondly, if the Russian incursions were “successful” (i.e. Putin managed to gain and retain control, install pliant regimes and reorganize his forces) might he be tempted to repeat the process further west.

    On the military equipment front I am inclined to agree with you. The fall of Communism rather betrayed the reality of Russian military might. They have invested heavily since then, of course, but we probably have better kit and more motivated troops (assuming the F35 doesn’t turn out to be the turkey some analysts believe it might be). We just don’t have enough kit and enough troops without the US. After all, in the circumstances I outline, we’d be fighting away from home, within a few hundred miles of the Russian heartlands, and our naval forces couldn’t be brought to bear at all.


    Not sure what your discussion about gonads has to do with dealing with the Russians. Should I assume that you mean not having the courage to deal with Putin? I think Putin is all bluff anyway. The Russians can’t afford to spend too much on the military – the Chinese spend more, let alone the Americans. I don’t think nuclear weapons would even be needed to stop Putin.

  41. ALEC.
    Good Evening from a hot Bournemouth.

    Yes, you are right.

    Corbyn does not, and never has believed in Liberal Parliamentary Democracy.

    What is a very silly notion is that Russia could give a toss about any partisans they might encounter. They don’t have the BBC and Guardian in Russia dear. They have an army that kills people by the village by the town by the city, including the dogs. If you have heard of the great patriotic war, you will know that the Russian armed forces see the death of 2 million people not as a tragedy, but as a statistic.
    Our media did not show naked corpses strapped on the front of T72 tanks, as they advanced driven by “Ukrainian friends of Russia”, actually Russian armoured troops in civvy’s. If you think the battles at Moscow, Lenigrad, Stalingrad, Kursk, crossing the Vistula and then the Oder, were a long time ago, the Russians have not become more civilised in the interim. Neither has their

  43. @NEIL A

    I think we need to draw a distinction between Danzig and Kaliningrad. Kaliningrad was for centuries know as Koenigsberg and a completely German city, the birthplace of famous philosopher Immanuel Kant. It was seized by the Russians in 1945 and its population killed, expelled or deported to Siberia. Stalin was able to draw up any border he liked because (apologies for going back to the subject of gonads) the western allies lacked the balls to challenge him at the Potsdam conference. Only General Patton was willing to do so and he suffered an unfortunate car ‘accident’ in December 1945. Therefore, the Kaliningrad Oblast is merely a trophy of war, not a genuine and traditional Russian land. Putin would have a more valid claim to take northern Kazakhstan, which largely Russian speaking, and even seek a political union with Belarus.

    Your a twerp.


    I think Putin’s generals have already calculated the effect of a nuclear attack and whether Russia could continue a conflict after such an event. I think it’s worth bearing in mind that Russia’s huge size makes it a very difficult target, and even if Moscow, St Petersburg and various other cities received nuclear hits, there would not necessarily be a complete breakdown. On the other hand, hits on London, Birmingham and Manchester would probably be enough to cripple the UK logistically, industrially and militarily.

  46. NEIL
    Well there you are, a history of the Baltic by a buffoon who doesn’t think Russia has much military tackle.


    Your a twerp.”

    A wonderfully intellectual statement – thank you. Anyway, why would you be worried about Putin? Surely your idol Nigel Farage would welcome a Russian invasion, would he not?


    Oh dear, why do I always have to teach the ignorant?

    As you can see in the link below, Russia spends less on the military than the Isis lovers Saudi Arabia:

    I think we should be more concerned about the Saudis, especially given what is going on in the middle east currently.


    Power of Little Boy dropped on Hiroshima 15 KT
    Power of Fat Man dropped on Nagasaki 21KT

    Power of Tsar Bomba dropped on Novaya Zemlya 50 MT !!! and it was throttled back to half it’s potential yield !

    The two are simply not comparable!

    This video demonstrates the difference:

    The notion that we could hang around until a point when we could or would resort to nuclear weaponry is naive, we would run out of food & oil very quickly.

    Having said all of that a Russian invasion is extremely unlikely as post Afghanistan the Russian public have proved themselves even more averse to the deaths of soldiers than the Americans have.

    I believe that the threat from Putin has been vastly overstated for various reasons. I can’t see an advantage for Putin in any invasion.

  50. Tancred,

    Yes , I was going to post that link about the European countries combined having sufficient cojones (2 per country? Is that enough???)to outspend the Russian Federation many times!

    However there have been many contributing to this ridiculous discussion of Russian foreign policy.. Putin cares about Russian minorities but is not out to invade other places. He is pretty pragmatic… so yes, a worry for the Baltic states, which is why they joined NATO

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