Ipsos MORI have released their monthly political monitor. It’s their first poll since Theresa May became Prime Minister, so the changes since last month show the same honeymoon boost we’ve seen in other companies’ figures. Topline figures are CON 45%(+9), LAB 34%(-1), LDEM 7%(-4), UKIP 6%(-2), GRN 4%(nc). The Conservative figure of 45% is the highest MORI have shown since back in 2009 (and note how low UKIP is – MORI tend to show some of the lower figures for UKIP and other recent polls haven’t shown them nearly as low, but it’s hardly positive). Full tabs are here.

Yesterday ICM also put out their latest voting intention polling. Topline figures were CON 40%(-3), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 14%(+1), GRN 4%(nc). Still a very robust twelve point Conservative lead, but down from the sixteen point peak in ICM’s last poll. Tabs are here.


348 Responses to “Latest MORI and ICM polling”

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  1. @Alan

    If the ONS ain’t enough for ya, how about this Bank of England report…

    “http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/quarterlybulletin/2016/q1pre.pdf

    …the section entitled “the persistent weakness of Wage Growth”?

  2. @CARFREW

    Note how wages peaked in 2009. I.e. the slump occurred mostly once Coalition abandoned stimulus etc., which is a disaster from certain perspectives.

    I must apologise, mea culpa, I thought that LSE report would be another of those ‘we shouldn’t have voted for Brexit, look how bad things are getting’ type reports, but it’s actually saying wages have fallen in real terms since 2009.

    I suppose that all depends on circumstances of individual households. The present Mrs C has worked for the same company for the past six years, and has had salary increases of around 2% each year. I stopped earning a wage in 2013, and my state pension goes up by 2.5% annually.

    We are both devoted disciples of Martin Lewis, and through his MSE site have saved hundreds of pounds on utilities, insurance, cards, etc., so I can’t honestly say we’re worse off now than in 2009. Others may disagree.

  3. @David Carrod
    You are no doubt OK, with your earnings protected by the ‘triple lock’ and MrsC in a steady job with a company with an unusually generous approach to pay rises. I’m also lucky, being an old git living mainly off a private pension, though it will gradually erode now it’s linked to CPI rather than RPI.
    It’s younger people, the very many ‘self-employed’ which often means occasional casual work, the vast majority of people who work in the public sector and, in fact most of the workforce, who are suffering.

    @CR
    If you really are concerned about ethical gambling, campaign against Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in bookies offices which as well as being a mid-range money laundering device par excellence are also a superbly efficient way of reducing people to penury at £200 per play.

  4. Guymonde

    What are you people doing to me. Now I have to go to a bookies as well as buy a lottery ticket

  5. I just got banned from the People’s Campaign for Corbyn facebook page for sharing Mori’s topline voting intention on their page. They were reporting it as Con 41% Lab 36% by using the All giving a voting intention figure instead of the topline.

    They then removed the article, replaced it with Mori’s actual poll result and said the original had been removed because of “TROLLING”. I have been now been unbanned too – it is a small victory for honesty in poll reporting don’t you think? :)

  6. CAMBRIDGERACHEL
    Funding ‘good’ causes does not excuse ripping people off

    I agree. I would go further in that although it’s reasonable to pay retailers a commission to sell the tickets, the operating company should be a Not For Profit one.

    I would also give punters the option of choosing how their charity contribution should be spent and binding on the National Lottery Distribution Fund, with a range of about 10 categories, e.g. famine relief, cancer, animal welfare, museums, public sports facilities, competitive sport, &c. At least it would stop unscrupulous Governments from diverting it for their own ends.

  7. Colin

    What goes on? What do you think is happening? The GMB seems to be taking a hard line, wonder why

  8. @Barbazenzero – “….the operating company should be a Not For Profit one.”

    Any company, for profit or no, can bid for the contract. The idea is that the one which offers the best value (highest sales etc, so greatest public good) gets the contract.

    Nothing stopping you set up a nfp company and bidding yourself next time round.

    [Actually, ‘not for profit company’ is a bit of a misnomer. Charities are not for profit, but bencoms, CIC’s etc are profit making, it’s just that the profit is committed to a social use].

  9. RACHEL

    @”What goes on? ”

    Bad headlines & stories about Labour Party problems.

    @”What do you think is happening?”

    What the BBC reports I presume.

    @”The GMB seems to be taking a hard line, wonder why”

    I presumed they were just doing what Unions do-particularly when the client is The Labour Party.

  10. I suspect @TOH and others like him will be quietly satisfied with the last couple of days good economic indicators.

    Yesterday we had some positive employment data and a rebound in household confidence, today the retail sales figures are backing up this trend.

    Elsewhere, the PMI data at the start of the month was pretty dire, but that could still fit with an interpretation of a sudden shock from the Brexit votes leading to a fit of panic, gradually calming as the days pass by, with things getting back to near normal within a few weeks. Mind, we can’t say that this is what has happened yet, only that there is a hiatus in any impact on consumers. The PMI data next month will be worth watching.

    The big questions really are whether this consumer bounce back continues, what inflation is going to do (and here we do have some less benign signs that devaluation is driving some sharp price rises in the coming months), and whether investment will slow.

    One other point to make is that the rise in retail spending today seems to be largely driven by credit. This is not a particularly welcome or sustainable route, and it may be that the BoE’s emergency measures have driven down the price of credit, which in turn has boosted spending.

    If that is the case, then it may be a case of short term ‘job done’ for the BoE, but Brexiteers might not be wise to be as confident that the worst has passed, if this is just a reaction to the emergency measures. In truth, we seem to have bobbed back up from the immediate plunge, and only time will tell what next is in store.

  11. Sigh – the reason why bookies offer a higher pay out rate is that they aren’t designed to raise money for good causes. Part of the sales pitch for the lottery is that it funds these things, in exchange for reduced winnings.

    That’s the point!

  12. I thought the sales pitch was

    “It could be you” or “don’t let it be him”

  13. ANDREW111

    The BBC “Projected National share” also has the Lib Dems up by 4% from 2015 to 2016

    https://electionsetc.com/2016/05/06/bbc-projected-national-share-pns-of-the-vote-2016/

    The actual % is not reliable, but the change is, and is the first increase since 2010.

    But you need to be careful comparing anything with a year when the Locals take place on the same day as a General Election. A lot of people will be voting who don’t normally vote in the local elections and so the pattern will be very different that if it had just been a ‘normal’ year. Neither the PNS nor R&T’s ENV figures duplicate the GE result in GE years, because some people do split their votes. But they get pretty close to them and Lib Dems have always done comparatively worse than they would otherwise. So a rebound from that is not surprising.

    That said, I’ve sometimes referred to the Lib Dem ‘local premium’ that is the number of percentage points by which the Lib Dem PNS or ENV exceed the Lib Dem polling average at the same time. Historically this was around 7, though lower in GE years (it was only 3 in 2015). But it was only about 4 in 2013 and 14 as well, suggesting the Lib Dems losing their LA advantage. Assuming their poll standing was around 8% this May (with fewer polls and many methodology changes this is more difficult than in the past) a rating of 15 (PNS) or 14 (ENV) suggests that this is starting to return to normal.

    However as I pointed out in the last thread, the figures for PNS and ENV have to be treated cautiously this year because comparisons with 2012 (when most of these seats were up for election) show a mismatch between the change in percentages and the change in seats won.

    For some reason I can’t find the usual Rallings and Thrasher data for 2016

    It’s available in their regular HoC Library Briefing Paper published on the local election in late May

    http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7596/CBP-7596.pdf#page=16

    which also gives their ENV figures projected back to 1979

  14. ALEC
    Any company, for profit or no, can bid for the contract.

    I realise that’s the current situation, but I’m not clear who writes & maintains the software. That should be owned by the NLC and provided & maintained free of charge to the operating company.

    Having been an expat since long before CICs were invented, I had to read up on them and agree that they should certainly be allowed to bid along with NFPs.

    What I find wrong is that the government should have any say except in the tax take [which is itself a bit odd for a charity project] or that the state broadcaster should give large amounts of free air time to a company run for profit.

  15. I really don’t think there is any conspiracy behind GMB’s stance.

    They can’t really step back, and they have the weaker hand (due to the conference).

    It is tricky, but postponing the conference would outweigh anything – so a solution would be found.

  16. ALEC
    I suspect @TOH and others like him will be quietly satisfied with the last couple of days good economic indicators.

    Agreed, but I hope he and others like him will be concerned by the top story in today’s instalment of the BBC’s Brexit Watch:
    A new report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission has highlighted a “very worrying combination of a post-Brexit rise in hate crime and long-term systemic unfairness and race inequality”, in the words of its chairman David Isaac. The review found that black and ethnic minority people in Britain still face “entrenched” race inequality in many areas including health, education, employment and housing.

    BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins said the report also concluded there had been “a spike in racism and hate crime in England and Wales after the Brexit vote” while Scotland, where a majority voted to remain in the EU, showed lower levels of hate crime.

    Worrying times. If May watches the Swiss TV News this evening, she’ll find it’s the only UK story mentioned.

  17. @CR

    Do you actually believe that anyone watching the current Olympics (or the 2012 Olympics) is unaware that lottery money goes towards sport?

    In 2012, talk of lottery funding for the Olympics and how it made it happen, was everywhere. And in these Olympics, every single British athlete mentions funding in every single interview – and as they’re winning lots, there are a lot of interviews.

    Most spending on the lottery is people contributing £1 to their work pool, or buying a ticket now and then for a bit of fun, along with some chocolates at a newsagent.

    There isn’t much expectation of winning, the thing has been going on for so long, everyone knows how rare it is to win. In return they get all this Olympic entertainment and a feel-good sense that they helped make it happen in a tiny way.

    If you look at studies about gambling problems, they mention online gambling as the thing that is most destructive, because the stakes can be unlimited and people do it alone so there is no peer pressure to stop the way there is on a night out with friends at a casino. They never mention the lottery, because no serious gambler bothers with it – as pointed out elsewhere, the fact that a big chunk of the proceeds go to charity instead of the winner makes it only worth playing for a bit of fun and to be social at work. .

  18. @CR

    Do you actually believe that anyone watching the current Olympics (or the 2012 Olympics) is unaware that lottery money goes towards sport?

    In 2012, talk of lottery funding for the Olympics and how it made it happen, was everywhere. And in these Olympics, every single British athlete mentions funding in every single interview – and as they’re winning lots, there are a lot of interviews.

    The public isn’t as uninformed as you think they are.

  19. Candy

    To be precise: some lottery fund is going to sport, and some of it effectively paying wages. Fair enough, Olympics hasn’t been an amateur event for some time (and if we include Eastern Europe, then since 1952).

    However, I think if you asked if the winning pot would be increased by 5.6% a draw or not and finance 1,500 athletes wages, and the maintenance of some sporting fields, you may get a surprising answer – to you (outside the current Olympic fever).

  20. UKIP’s MEP and Welsh AM, Nathan Gill, seems to be an interesting chap!

    http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics/ukip-wales-leader-nathan-gill-11769988

    However, I note “he argues that if he resigned from the European Parliament, taxpayers would have to pay around £5m for a by-election.”

    Isn’t that wrong?

    I thought the arrangement for MEP vacancies during a Parliament was the same as for List seats in the Scottish Parliament – the next person on the party list becomes the new member.

  21. Candy

    What I’m saying is that people who rarely play the lottery are very cavalier about how lottery money is spent, I’m sure most of the habitual players would prefer more prizes. If Olympic sport is such a public good, and i believe it is, why not fund it from general taxation

  22. Finally, as it seems that people go on their pet subject.

    The problem with National lottery

    Chances:

    Jackpot 1 in 13,983,816
    5+bonus 1 in 2,330,636
    5-match 1 in 55,491.33
    4-match 1 in 1,032.40
    3-match 1 in 56.66

    Rewards

    Jackpot: million +
    numbers Jackpot
    5 main numbers + Bonus around £50,000
    5 main numbers around £1,000
    4 main numbers around £100
    3 main numbers £25

    It is quite clearly a flawed, deliberately skewed system, encouraging gambling for a single lucky draw, ignoring all probabilities. It’s actually quite similar to earlier drinking laws.

  23. Oldnat

    You know things are bad when someone is being accused of corruption by Neil brown paper envelope Hamilton

  24. @Laszlo

    The lottery has been going on for so long that people are fully aware of how rare it is to win. If it was a brand new thing, your argument might hold, but people are well aware that practically no-one wins, and that money goes to charity and sport.

    Nobody plays it in a serious way – there are much more enticing options for those with an addiction.

    Most people just buy a ticket when they are feeling lucky, along with a Mars bar. The price of a ticket has been flat for decades too, even as earnings have risen in the last 30 years. Paying £1 for a ticket now and then isn’t breaking anyone’s bank. It is purchasing much vicarious pleasure at the success of our Olympic athletes, and the public are chuffed that they can take a tiny bit of credit for the success.

  25. @candy

    The price of a lottery ticket is £2 and has been for some time.

  26. OldNat: I thought the arrangement for MEP vacancies during a Parliament was the same as for List seats in the Scottish Parliament – the next person on the party list becomes the new member.

    So did I. I think that’s what happened when Lucas stepped down as an MEP to take her seat in Westminster. But I haven’t checked and right just now I need a shower and some food.

    Not a lot to be said for closed party lists in my opinion, but yer UKIP guy may have inadvertently reminded us of one thing in their favour.

  27. Oops. Must have stuffed up the html tags… Sorry.

  28. LASZLO

    @” encouraging gambling for a single lucky draw,”

    Actually I suspect that is the central driver for ticket purchase.

    A chance of One Sodding Great Life Changing Win-on a basis where your chances of getting it are just the same as anyone else-whatever their wealth or education. And for a tiny insignificant sum of money for a ticket.

  29. Colin

    Yes it is. This is why the earlier non-existent 2-number – free ticket was introduced.

    I don’t have a problem with it, if it is sold like this, but the tailored rewards are also mentioned, which confuses the the picture (and very different from other legally available lotteries).

    It is really a lucky dip for 2 quid. However, people, by the survey evidence, spend more as they try to optimise their position (which is futile – if there was a more chance based distribution of winning, it would make sense, but then it would invite people you don’t want).

  30. @CR

    “Oldnat
    You know things are bad when someone is being accused of corruption by Neil brown paper envelope Hamilton”.

    That reminds me of one of the all time great defences to an allegation of corruption. Step forth Father Ted Crilly:
    “The money was just resting in my account.”.

  31. LASZLO

    @”It is really a lucky dip for 2 quid”

    Exactly .

    And “people” will buy as many chances as they want with their own money.

  32. Raf and CR

    :-)

    Colin

    “And “people” will buy as many chances as they want with their own money”.

    Possibly even more, if it’s someone else’s money they have got hold of!

  33. Actually the National lottery is better in keeping out money laundering schemes than many other state or private lottery systems.

    My problem is with the uninformed, small syndicates …

  34. I find the lottery scratch cards far more pernicious.

    The lottery is drawn infrequently. There is little chance for the quick buzz. On the other hand I see folk in front of me in the local shop buying scratch cards, quickly scratching the card, and buying another instantly. It’s the sort of quick hit gambling, like slots, that can be a real problem.

    Personally, as someone familiar with odds and probability, I don’t play the lottery. Given the odds of winning the big one is only a bit more likely than the chance of being killed by lightning in the UK, I equate that to ‘so close to zero it makes no difference’.

    Or perhaps I’m just a tight Yorkshireman (a Yorkshireman is a like a Scot with all the generosity wrung out).

  35. Out of automod…

    I find the lottery scratch cards far more pernicious.

    The lottery is drawn infrequently. There is little chance for the quick buzz. On the other hand I see folk in front of me in the local shop buying scratch cards, quickly scratching the card, and buying another instantly. It’s the sort of quick hit gambling, like slots, that can be a real problem.

    Personally, as someone famili*ar with odds and probability, I don’t play the lottery. Given the odds of winning the big one is only a bit more likely than the chance of being killed by lightning in the UK, I equate that to ‘so close to zero it makes no difference’.

    Or perhaps I’m just a tight Yorkshireman (a Yorkshireman is a like a Scot with all the generosity wrung out).

  36. Reading the Ipsos Mori tables is not very exciting, but I hope the relevant LP people read them, and interpret it appropriately.

    The key point is that the slogan of let’s unite and go after the Tories is all wrong (although I understand that this is a necessity of the campaign) – it is really a daily job, and has all its characteristics, which you don’t really win members with.

    One is quite clearly the need for Labour to get as many people on the electoral role as possible (it’s a huge task), and get them committed to vote (well, I know …). At least you don’t talk to people who can’t or won’t vote, you don’t waste your time. Changing the shape and content of the sales funnel :-). It is really moving the demographics for your benefit. The tables suggest that it would about halve the Tory lead. Not much, but something.

    Secondly, talk to people who are not Tory – even if there is about 10% of the Conservative vote that seems to be floating (I could have miscalculated this, but I didn’t save my spreadsheet …), the real gain is elsewhere – why don’t vote Conservatives, and can a better offer made to them (than their current party preference).

    Doing so, the DK is likely influenced in various ways (could go to Conservative, for example), but it is a part of a democratic process.

    Now, the prerequisites aren’t really policy issues (aren’t the hustings boring) – judging from the supplementary questions, but expectations from the parties and hence their leaders to deliver on these promises. This is the single biggest problem for the LP. If Corbyn (Smith may win, but …) wins, it has to show a party (including the PLP) that is committed to what he says (whatever vague it is – we are talking about politics) they would do. These are really administrative matters.

    Knowing the stickiness of public opinion, the timeframe is rather tight for Labour – essentially getting over the administrative issues in two months, and starting the campaign for the 2020 elections from January on the basis of the polls rather than abstract ideas (which are important of course).

  37. I’ve played the lottery in a work consortium since it first started, even though the majority of us don’t work there any more.
    I am utterly relaxed about spending a pound or two a week on something that I (nearly) know I’ll never win but would be life changing if I did.
    I cannot see the point of putting a tenner on a horse in hope of winning £100 (if it’s a real outsider)
    I’m delighted that lottery money has undertaken a major restoration of a stately home and park near my home that had been gradually mouldering away for lack of public funding for decades, and I’m delighted that it supports other causes like sport. And I don’ give a monkeys that it reduces my chances of winning the jackpot to once every 10 million years from once every 5 million years. I can still have the odd fantasy.

  38. @CA – “I thought the sales pitch was

    “It could be you” or “don’t let it be him””

    Well if you go to the national lottery website you’ll see Sir Chris Hoy on the front page saying “Thankyou. By playing the national lottery you are part of Team GB”. If you then click on the link you can see multiple webpages on the athletes and teams supported by the lottery.

    Nothing is ever perfect, but I often feel somewhat depressed at the over serious and rather grudging way much of the left seems to approach life.

    It isn’t necessarily my bag, but the lottery has worked really rather well, the money raised is generally well used, people have a choice as to whether to play or not, and most people that do play seem to enjoy it.

    Do we have to complain about everything?

  39. CARFREW

    I wasn’t challenging the fact that wages have decreased in real terms, that is quite typical after a recession. If you want to prove a causal reason, there are statistical analysis techniques that will do that. If an author attributes their own reasons to it without producing the proof, I mentally throw it in the pile of voodoo research.

    The only specifics I brought up were that in one table in the report the average wage reported was equal to the highest wage reported. Some selective editing of the figures by the author.

    The other graph seems to make no account of any other factors, so although it may not be incorrect, it means that the author can attribute the reasoning to anything that suits his viewpoint rather than drill down into the data to verify that it actually does.

    That was just from scanning through the report.

    I can accept economic reports aren’t done to 5 sigma (although some statistical analysis is necessary if you you wish make make a claim) because these aren’t actual laws but observed trends in data. My problem with them is a deliberately flawed analysis can be used to help sell one argument or the other. Omit a key factor in a regression and boom you have a significant trend which otherwise disappears. You print a pretty graph and everyone who shares your political viewpoint will hail you as a messiah.

  40. There’s likely to be some concern in NATO over Corbyn’s remarks at the Birmingham hustings when he was asked whether he would come to the aid of another NATO member attacked by Russia. Basically Corbyn implied he wouldn’t, suggesting instead that there should be peace throughout Europe through closer discussions etc.

    Very noble, and no one would disagree with that, but we are in NATO and it has certain treaty provisions which Corbyn appears willing to tear up. This is, I suspect, electorally more devastating for Labour than the Trident debate. I suspect it’s also more destabilising in geopolitical terms, as Corbyn’s views will be pure manna from heaven for Putin.

    His one abiding aim with the west is to neuter NATO, and it is by no means beyond the bounds of possibility that he would try to do this by agitating in some of the Baltic states and calling NATO’s bluff. Hearing that the UK opposition leader would not support action against him in such circumstances is very encouraging. Were Corbyn ever to become PM this would be Putin’s first task of splitting a major NATO player from the pack accomplished, without any effort on his part.

    All that matters on UKPR are the polling consequences, but with each hustings event and each platform speech, I become more and more convinced that the Conservatives will tear Labour to shreds on defence and security if Corbyn wins, without even having to mention Trident.

  41. Were Corbyn ever to become PM …

    No chance. If MI5 thought there was the remotest chance of this becoming a reality, Corbyn would suffer some kind of tragic accident, or contract a terminal illness.

  42. Alec @ 11:06

    “Do we have to complain about everything?”

    Alec @ 11:20

    ” I become more and more convinced that the Conservatives will tear Labour to shreds on defence and security if Corbyn wins”

    :-)

  43. @Alec

    Corbyn might not be that out of step on Russia…

    On August 9th Theresa May had a phone conversation with Putin, and then on August 12th Boris Johnson made public remarks about “normalising relations with Russia”.

    It was co-ordinated. I wonder if this is to put pressure on the Eastern Europeans in negotiations. The Eastern Europeans are the ones keenest on insisting free movement of people is part of any deal with the UK. But they also want us to send troops to defend them, plus planes to patrol their airspace. While they don’t even try to meet their 2% of GDP spending on defence mandated by NATO.

    If Corbyn is making sympathetic noises, that helps Mrs May’s negotiating position – the EU can’t hope for a different stance from the opposition and stall hoping for a change in govt.

    For the Europeans, increasing spending up to 2% of GDP from their current 1% is expensive, especially as they have to meet the EU’s budget deficit criteria. It is easier for them to get us to do the defending – but we will want a deal on free movement in return. Either way it is going to be expensive for them!

  44. Alec suggesting that Russia is about to launch a nuclear strike on the Weatern world, Candy and s suggesting that Russia is encouraging or discouraging (unclear) East European migration to the UK.

    We havent’t forgotten the comments in which the imminent collapse of the Russian economy was brought up.

    Russia is playing regional games in Eastern Europe (Hungary is certainly an ally it it, and so is Greece probably, although they might have been put off by the Turkish thaw). Estonia and Latvia are dependent on trade between the EU and Russia, so is Slovakia (but to a lesser extent). There is also the question of Moldavia, which will remain an interesting game.

    But these are really unimportant things for Russia. There are many ways to manage the relationships. Their strategic interest is the broader Middle East, in general, and also in the contexts of the Chinese interest (which then expands the Middle East all the way to Pakistan).

    The Americans seem to recognise it by offering power sharing (what a nice mid-1900 expression).

    Now, in this context the UK is quite important, but not the nuclear warheads.

    We are in the 21st century with a lot of path dependencies, but they actually do not define the current situation.

  45. Laszlo

    “We are in the 21st century”

    Indeed – and thanks for that interesting post – but some things remain pretty constant throughout the centuries.

    Primarily, that states act in what they see as their own interests, and onlookers from “State X” are mistaken in imagining that “State X” is necessarily the prime concern for other states.

    However, since those in “State X” are also concerned for their own interests, it’s only human to see other states’ actions in terms of how “State X” may be affected.

    That does have the disadvantage of frequently misinterpreting what others are doing.

  46. Laszlo – “Candy and s suggesting that Russia is encouraging or discouraging (unclear) East European migration to the UK.”

    I’m not suggesting Russia is encouraging migration to the UK at all.

    What I’m saying is that the UK will be engaged in negotiations with the EU and free movement of people is one of the sticking points, as the Eastern Europeans in particular want to export their unemployed to us.

    Separately the Eastern Europeans want us to defend them from Russia, and patrol their airspace, while they don’t meet their treaty obligations to spend 2% of GDP on defence.

    I think Mrs May is trying to link the two to put pressure on the Eastern Europeans. If you want us to defend you, we want something in return (no free movement but access to the market).

    If they don’t agree, well we’re not obliged to defend them as they aren’t meeting their treaty obligations. If they do agree, we’ll overlook that they’re not paying their share and send troops.

    The only way they can force us to send troops is for them to comply to the letter with the NATO agreements by increasing their defence spending, and then insist we comply by sending troops – but this is expensive for them.

    And Corbyn’s stance is helpful in this case, because the EU can’t stall hoping for the opposition to take control of the British govt with a different policy towards Russia. His policy is to wash his hands completely off the Eastern Europeans. Which means Mrs May’s policy is the only game in town.

  47. David

    “Were Corbyn ever to become PM …

    No chance. If MI5 thought there was the remotest chance of this becoming a reality, Corbyn would suffer some kind of tragic accident, or contract a terminal illness”

    Ahh, the famous democratic deficit!

  48. CR @ David

    No surprise to those of us who smuggled a copy of Spycatcher into the UK, when Thatcher had it banned! :-)

  49. Has there been any polling of MI5?

    “Will that nice jeremy have an accident if he gets too close to power”

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