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. “Corbyn is the best thing that has happened to Labour in a very long time”

    And there I was, thinking it was Tony Blair who won three elections for them.

    Just goes to show I shouldn’t try to understand the mentality of some on the left.

  2. Corbin, Sanders & Trump, all represent frustration with a political consensus felt by those who believe that the current system is stacked against them and who want an alternative to what they see as a political elite who are more alike than different even when they are in different parts.

    That’s why sanders supporters say they won’t vote Clinton, trump conservatives booed the even more conservative Christie, corny supporters see Blairites as no different from cameron and why Red tories worked so well for the SNP.

    The majority of politicians see them as divorced from political reality. for most MP’s i’s about accepting the limitations of the system and using it to the best of your ability, so those limitations mean that largely the differences in policy between Parties aren’t huge, more variations on a theme.

    For them and their Party machine the insurgent candidate would throw out the baby with the bath water, be it Trump and Sanders trying to re draw the world order and reverse Globalisation, or Corbyn’s semi marxist ideal of rewriting the rules of economics.

    I suspect somewhere in the middle there is a more effective but not really radical alternative to neo liberalism (in Scotland a vague notion of “the Common Weal” seems to be in vogue) but both sides are too dug in to find it or even want too.

    Oddly enough I think that’s what Brexit will turn out to be. Two sides warned it would be a disaster if they lost, the Outsider side calling for radical change won, and now what they called the political elite will make it work with something that isn’t that different from what we have now.

    Having shook everything up on both sides of the Atlantic in a couple of years we’ll look back and wonder what all the fuss was about, except that in the case of the Labour party the battle for it’s heart will likely end with one side or the other ripping it out!

    Peter.

  3. LIZH

    An interesting reaction from you at 12.40pm.

    I recall that a number of JC’s backbenchers, including people who agreed to serve under him in the SC have said that, when they try to discuss concerns & perceived areas of difficulty with him he declines to engage with them.

    Similarly I remember reports of difficult PLP meetings at which he -in the chair-sat silently by without intervening in disputes & disagreements.

    This is clearly a Corbynite trait. I might have suggested to you that, when we come to tv debates in a GE campaign, this strategy might not be an electoral winner.

    But you aren’t too worried about that are you?

  4. @ DAVID CARROD

    Thanks again. That is useful to know :)

  5. @ DavidCarrod
    I’ll try to be as clear as I can about this one more time…

    You are making statements about someone’s fitness to take part in public life based on your perception of their lifestyle and cultural influences, which is pretty much a textbook definition of class prejudice.

    Whether they relax to Made in Essex or Wagner has no bearing on the value of their contribution unless you have a strong cultural prejudice; nor does it mater whether they wear trackies or an MCC tie. What matters is their ability to define and articulate a point of view that is representative, and whether they are prepared to put the work in to represent their constituents. Neither of these are determined by their cultural or social background.

    To assume otherwise is prejudicial and is EXACTLY the point CR was making…

  6. …………….and now an 80 year old priest & his handful of parishioners at worship in their church in rural France.

  7. DAVID CARROD,

    For people on the Left Blair won three elections by copying Tory policies.

    He didn’t repeal antiunion legislation, he didn’t stop right to buy or build lists of social housing, he had his own version of the tory NHS internal market, he backed trident, brought in tuition fees, pushed PFI, let the banks get away with murder and invaded Iraq, costing up to Bush like Thatcher did Reagan.

    For the left he was Wolf in Sheep’s clothing and having tory policies under a labour badge is jus electing tories. For them “what good to inherit the Earth f you lose your Soul”

    It’s a bit of a stereotype and I don’t really agree with it but it illustrates the fault line in Labour and to an extent the Tories over the Free market v Sovereignty.

    All Political Parties are a cross between;

    “This is what we believe lets convince people to vote for it”

    and

    “This is what people will vote for lets convince them we believe it”

    For Corbyn diehards it’s all about the first, for core Blairites it’s the second that gets you into No 10.

    The Labour right believe;

    “You can do nothing without Power”

    the Labour left see them as people who believe

    “Without Power you are nothing”

    It’s a life and death struggle with no compromise between too dug in factions, both of which are neither entirely right or wrong.

    Which is why the only likely outcome is the two sides strangling each other to death. A Solomon would look on and shake his head in despair as both mother ripped the child apart.

    Peter.

  8. @PC (SNP)

    What I found heartening about Owen Smith’s interview last night (a good start, but still some way to go) was the emphasis on the values of shared provision, spreading risk, joint endeavour etc. The *community* aspects of socialism – actually derived more from the co-operative movement – have potential enormous appeal since they are inclusive not divisive.

    I’m hoping he will develop that theme a lot more in the promised forthcoming policy speeches. It’s an underlying philosophy (something that has been missing from Labour ever since managerialism took hold) that can span all areas of politics from the local (public libraries, road sweeping) to the global (transnational cooperation to keep global corporations in check).

    It’s a fundamentally different perspective from the rather condescending paternalism that I perceive (from a distance) to have been a substantial component in the decline of Labour in Scotland, and also the alienation across the UK of the “working class” however defined.

  9. Good afternoon from the sunny but slight possibility of showers later People’s (Socialist) Republic of London.

    @shevii

    Agree with a lot of your 10.53 post, however I think the assumption that will still hold true in the next election (snap or 2020) is the side that leads on economic competence and leadership will win. The political climate seems similar to the 70/80’s, which led to Thatcher’s electoral dominance. Politically she was way to the right of centre on many issues, but given FPTP and lead in these two areas (at the time of the elections – yes she had very low ratings in 80/81) she won in ’83 and ’87.

    Over the next two years either left or right could win out – but you have to get into power. On the leadership, in terms of voters perception it is the respective party leaders ability to lead in the interest of the whole company as well as holding together a united party. This is why May and every other Conservative PM makes speeches aimed at the One Nation Tory appeal – with varying degrees of sincerity. Blair was very effective at doing this. In most cases this tends to be spin/perception rather than a reflection of actual policy positions.

    The extent to which this is ‘winning from the middle’ is open to debate. On economic competency, how the electorate view it can vary over time and circumstance as can its stomach for a radical change. However, given that most people tend towards risk aversion in this area a more ‘centrist’ not rocking the boat approach tends to predominate – especially in times such as we are currently witnessing. An exception to this was the recent referendum where on a specific topic for many voters other concerns trumped this, but that was not under FPTP where in certain marginal constituencies I would expect swing voters to exhibit more traditional behaviour.

  10. I seem to have dodgy i on my keyboard that’s playing up…that and I should really proof read before posting!

    Peter.

  11. @LizH
    “If we go down fighting for democracy so be it.”

    C’est magnifique, mais ce n’est pas la démocratie.

  12. COLIN.
    Hello to you.
    The murder of our priest saying Mass today near Rouen is horrific, and it happens every week in certain parts of the world and is ignored by many media outlets.

    Our eldest daughter found a Mass to attend recently in Istanbul. It is held in secret and our people pay an armed guard to watch over the congregation, with the doors of the Church locked when Mass starts;

    for me that was a clinching argument for GB exiting from the EU with the former Tory PM wanting to build his road from Turkey to Brussels.

  13. @ LizH

    ‘It is about democracy’

    I agree. What we have seen, up to the point where the rebel PLP capitulated and issued a formal challenge to the leadership, was a devious, dishonest and undemocratic attempt to remove Corbyn.

    Since the candidature of Owen Smith was announced, we have seen nothing but slurs, abuse and more dishonesty from his campaign.

    I certainly do not think that Jeremy Corbyn walks on water and I can find things to criticise (as I would of any leadership). My support for him is that he shares my values and my politics whereas the opposition he faces do not. They are New Labour (… and do not tell me about this MP or that being soft left or any other such fudge. Their behaviour speaks to the truth).

    The LP conundrum is that overwhelmingly the membership have different values and politics to the overwhelming mass of Labour MPs. The reason that we hear no policies from the PLP is because they know that the majority of the LP membership will no longer buy the slightly-to-the-left of Tory approach. The tipping point was Harriet Harman’s decision to abstain on the welfare cuts, because it demonstrated so clearly the difference between the social democrats and the socialists.

    I’m really tired of the leadership/personality/he broke into my office rubbish. This is political not personal … and there is such a thing as a compromise too far.

  14. @BIGFATRON

    “What matters is their ability to define and articulate a point of view that is representative”

    And there you have my whole argument in a nutshell. The sort of people I’m referring to can barely articulate their own name, let alone string together a coherent argument representing a point of view.

    Ever see an interview with Wayne Rooney after a game?

  15. @Peter Cairns – I think your posts sum this up all rather nicely.

    As someone on the far left, but not prepared necessaily to fall into some of the more common tropes on that side of the debate, I have managed to rationalise my position with reference to the bell curve of a normal distribution in statistics.

    I am on one outlying wing of the distribution, and always will be. My ‘job’ is to try to move the median position towards my point (something Corbyn has been successful with, to a degree) but always accepting that I will never occupy the central average position. Politically speaking, by definition I will therefore always be personally disappointed.

    I find that viewing my situation and relationship to the political spectrum in this way helps me avoid the ‘purity or bust’ concept that so bedevills some of the left, without robbing me of the willingness to seek radical solutions.

  16. @David Carrod
    Your argument has become perfectly circular – they are unable to articulate their own name because they are chavs, and they are chavs because they are unable to articulate their own name.

    But you initially defined ‘chavs’ by social and cultural behaviours (clothing, preferred entertainments) that you believe indirectly determine someone’s fitness for public office – that is class prejudice, pure and simple…

    I’m giving up at this point…

  17. @SYZYGY
    I agree with everything you said (1:27 post). You can see how much part of the Establishment New Labour is by the unjustified reaction of not just the PLP but the entire media against Corbyn. Cronyism, nepotism and the gravy train will end for all these people. I hope one of the first things Corbyn brings in is media reforms.

    New Lab would be much better off forming a new party with the Orange Bookers and Cameroonians. I don’t want a broadchurch Labour Party which contained right wing elements. I think the best solution is a realignment of all parties and PR. That way we all know what we are voting for and everyone might get some representation.

  18. @ Alec

    ‘I am on one outlying wing of the distribution, and always will be. My ‘job’ is to try to move the median position towards my point (something Corbyn has been successful with, to a degree) but always accepting that I will never occupy the central average position. Politically speaking, by definition I will therefore always be personally disappointed.’

    I think that sums up my position as well. However, there is clearly room to differ over the degree to which the median can be shifted… and I have little doubt that I shall be personally disappointed, regardless of ensuing events.

  19. @Syzygy

    Are you seriously suggesting that the media and internet are not awash with slurs, personal attacks and dishonesty emanating from the Corbyn camp?

  20. @ LizH

    ‘ I think the best solution is a realignment of all parties’

    Yes and long overdue! It is not just the LP which tries to encompass incompatible ideologies. All of the mainstream parties including the Greens, SNP and Ukip are in the same mess.. just further ahead or behind in their denouement.

  21. @ CR

    That made me giggle .. and you are spot on :)

  22. ICM poll:

    https://www.icmunlimited.com/polls/

    Conservative 43% (+4) Labour 27% (-2) UKIP 13% (-1) Liberal Democrat 8% (-1) SNP 4% (nc) Green 4% (nc) Plaid Cymru 1% (nc)

  23. test

  24. @CR

    Two responses automodded, not sure at all about the second.

    We will simply have to disagree. As far as I can tell, what has been said about Corbyn has been in good faith. The same cannot be said of the abuse of the rebels.

  25. DAVID CARROD
    “Corbyn is the best thing that has happened to Labour in a very long time”
    ….
    “And there I was, thinking it was Tony Blair who won three elections for them”

    “Just goes to show I shouldn’t try to understand the mentality of some on the left”
    _________

    Tony Blair at that time was the best thing for Labour and appealed to middle England as well as the Labour core but the party has moved on from Blair and it now appears to be splitting between those who want to keep some sort of blair witch entity and those who want the party to go back to its socialists roots under ol Corby.

    Unfortunately for Corby appealing to the left alone ain’t going to win him an election. The left in Scotland has mostly gone over to the SNP and in Wales it looks to be split between Labour, PC and the Kippers and in England a lot of the left may well end up going to the Kippers although that hasn’t really been proven yet as fars as GE”s go.

  26. Ron Olden
    ‘2020 is already lost for Labour whatever they do’

    I actually agree with most of your comment but believe the above to be a non-sequitur. Even the Opinium poll would only give the Tories a majority of 6 during May’s honeymoon . Time and a new leader could easily move opinion sufficiently to make Labour the largest party in 2020. Nor is it certain that the boundary changes will be approve when presented to Parliament in Autumn 2018.

  27. GRAHAM
    You may believe anything you like, but Labour is probably at the point of no way back. If you think that some pygmy like Smith is going to make Labour electable in the next 10 years, you delude yourself.
    But then that’s part of being Labour is it not, self delusion.

  28. One last comment. I think lots of women must find him attractive although I can’t see it. He is thrice married after all.

  29. David Wearing has written a very clear piece in the Gu-ardian which sums up the situation:

    ‘This Labour battle isn’t Blairites v Corbynistas. It’s over progressive change’

  30. ALLEN CHRISTIE

    No you see that is where you are wrong. If you have a plump woman with green hair following you around, with a dozen young Asian girls laughing and giggling about, it proves how very popular, nay, loved you are.

  31. @LizH

    “I don’t want a broadchurch Labour Party which contained right wing elements. I think the best solution is a realignment of all parties and PR.”

    But the third needs to come before the second needs to come before the first. Without a broadchurch party of the left committed to some form of PR, all a realignment does is hand the country to the Tories in perpetuity.

  32. ROLAND HAINES
    GRAHAM
    “You may believe anything you like, but Labour is probably at the point of no way back. If you think that some pygmy like Smith is going to make Labour electable in the next 10 years, you delude yourself”
    …………..

    ROLAND HAINES
    ALLAN CHRISTIE
    “No you see that is where you are wrong. If you have a plump woman with green hair following you around, with a dozen young Asian girls laughing and giggling about, it proves how very popular, nay, loved you are”
    ______

    It must be ROLY time lol.

  33. @Robin,
    The Tories have a small majority so this is the ideal time for all parties to try and debate PR openly. That is what the PLP should be engaged in rather than plots,coups and smears.

  34. LiZH – “I don’t want a broadchurch Labour Party which contained right wing elements. I think the best solution is a realignment of all parties and PR. That way we all know what we are voting for and everyone might get some representation.”

    And after you get PR you will still need to deal with those “right-wing” elements in order to form a govt.

    Basically either you deal with a coalition within</i a given party or you make a coalition with others outside your party.

    The difference between the two is the former requires members and MPs to thrash out the coalition deal together and then present the compromise manifesto before a general election. While the latter deals with things behind closed doors after a general election, and it is usually just the leaders negotiating in a small room. The latter tends to produce things that no-one has voted for at all, such as the FTPA.

    But there is no getting around making compromises with people you don’t quite agree with in a country as big as ours.

    The choice is really between having a compromise presented to voters before an election, or a compromise produced after an election. The former is better for voters.

  35. @Candy, Coalitions are formed between similar thinking parties and they would have red lines they would not cross. I know the LibDems had no red lines but that is usually not the norm.

  36. @Peter Cairns

    At one level I think your observation (pragmatist v’s idealist) is correct and I can think of numerous historical examples that support it. However, in this case there is an underlying difference between the two sides on tactics, especially between those on the socialist wing of the party, as this is not a pure left/right wing SD/Socialist split. Both sides seek power.

    There is an argument that given FPTP and the current political climate you can win with getting your core vote out – as G W Bush junior did. For Labour this would mean ditching the ‘moderate’ voters and re-connecting appealing to and motivating its disillusioned traditional voters. The lesson this group took from the Blair years was that appealing to the centre was both self-defeating and unnecessary. Corbyn, who is viewed as ‘genuine’ is seen as the best candidate to do this.

    Others are thinking that in order to move the political consensus to the left you need to maintain the broad church as the ‘core vote’ is not enough to get you into power. From this perspective the lesson from Blair is that it was a missed opportunity but electorally you still need to ‘reach-out’ to certain groups of voters who do not automatically identify with Labour. To this group Corbyn is seen as a major bloc to the party increasing its support.

    In terms of eventually strangling themselves to death, while that may be the hope of some, I don’t think that will be the outcome but a lot will depend on events. What is likely is that the Labour Party will take a pasting a the next GE – and one of these tactics at least will be discredited.

  37. @LIZH

    Suppose the Labour party split up into the Corbyn party and the “right-wing” non-Corbyn party. Then there was a general election and the only way for the Corbyn party to get into govt is to make a coalition with the non-Corbyn party.

    You are back to square one, arn’t you? Except that the dealing to make the compromise will be held after the election and may not end up exactly as the voters wanted.

    As for “red lines”. If these are set in stone, then the Corbyn party will never be part of a govt – the non-Corbyn party will just do a deal with the LibDems or whoever is more open to compromise. In which case why didn’t the Corbyn people stay put in the TUSC – that way they get everything they wanted – purity, permanent red-lines and never being in govt. Why bother with Lab at all if that’s what you want?

  38. New thread

  39. @Candy because Labour is our Party. New Labour are as their name says new in the party.

  40. Named Person Scheme

    To be fair to Nicola Sturgeon she wanted to introduce this for the best of intentions. I think that some of the commentary around this fails to recognise this basic point.

  41. Peter Cairns

    Regarding the Labour government of 1997-2010 I think it unfair to say that it was just the same as a Conservative government. There were many reforms during that period that the Conservatives would not have done.

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