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”

1 4 5 6 7
    “we need to see how the party holds up after the split post Corby win.”

    As with my family’s standing joke about the apple being eaten during the lean years of the first World War by my Mum – “Can I have the cork, Glad?” – there ain’t going to be no cork.
    There ain’t going to be no split. Bad luck, mate.

  2. ALEC

    I agree.

    I think he would be completely demolished in a GE Campaign.

    How do I locate that “Private Window” you refer to ?

  3. ALEC
    “the spat with Smith over talks with IS. Corbyn claimed ‘no talks”
    On the other hand Corby clearly would, on the evidence, talk or get his ministers to talk, with such as Hamas and Hezbullah; and would, had he had the opportunity, have talked rather than gone to war with Saddam and Geddalfi, and – like even conservative governments and prime ministeres of the era – have provided financial and technical aid to Palestine, Iraq and Libya, with a general objective of encouraging a movement towards regional democracy and trade which would permt dialogue and peace with the West – and in recent developments a platform for managed migration.

  4. ALEC
    In other words, what more reputable and historically supported interpretation might there be, in terms of likely intention and behaviour, for manageing dialogue with fundamentalist or militant islamic states? That is, one which would reconcile fundamentally differing economic and social systems.
    John Gray’s Black Mass (which I had the honour of discussing with him during its writing) points to the difference between a western belief – based as he sees it in Christian fundamentalism which Blair and Bush shared – in a linear time leading to a Utopia of democracy and material development – and a belief system – not only Islamic but found more widely in peasant and tribal cultures – which sees a cyclical social time in which family, production and exchange systems are concerned with sustainability and renewal.
    You may be right that, in that context, Corbyn’s position is equivocal.

  5. Allan Christie and others saying that Putin is more popular than Western politicans, that Putin and Western leaders are comparable, that Putin is just looking out for the good of the Russian people etc,

    You are missing some crucial points about the environment Putin has created in Russia, and how it differs from Western environments:

    -Putin controls/owns almost all of the Russian mainstream media, which in turn promotes whatever viewpoint suits the agenda of that moment. Western governments have to face a largely independent media that is keen on getting readers/viewers through stories about scandals, and while individual outlets are usually somewhat biased they are biased in different ways so a wide variety of viewpoints is on offer at your local newsagent, from the Morning Star to the Daily Telegraph. (A little thought experiment for doubters: Would the Russian media have dared to imply that Putin had been intimately involved with farm animals the way the West did with sitting Prime Minister Cameron? We can laugh at our leaders and openly mock them in a way that Russians cannot.)

    -A long string of high profile assassinations of prominent opponents of Putin: opposition leader Nemetsov shot outside the Kremlin, vocal critic Litvinenko poisoned by polonium-laced tea, investigative journalist Politkovskaya shot by hitmen, lawyer Magnitsky killed in police custody, human rights activist Estemirova kidnapped and found dead, investigative journalist Klebnikov shot outside his office, Liberal party leader Yushenkov shot outside his home… the list goes on and on and on, year after year. The effect of these murders, which always seem to conveniently involve opponents of Putin rather than supporters, is to make people literally fear for their lives if they say or write something critical of the president. When opponents are regularly murdered, people’s sense of self-preservation will start to have an effect on their political viewpoint whether they know it or not. Even opinion polls must be considered slightly suspect under such circumstances.

    -Western leaders submit to term limits, resign/lose elections and hand over power peacefully to a rival or opponent: Blair, Brown, Cameron, Clinton, Obama etc. They expect to lose their jobs within the next 5-10 years from the very moment they take power. Western citizens can change leaders, leaders expect to be challenged and deposed, political careers in the West have long been seen as a transient greasy pole. Russia is nothing like that, it has little history of leaders handing over power willingly. Putin has NEVER handed over power to anyone, nor does he expect to do so. The so-called term limit in the Russian constitution is meaningless because it can be sidestepped by temporarily becoming a one-term PM with additional powers and then reverting to President with restored powers, over and over again, and this is exactly what Putin has done.

    -Putin and his government is able to scapegoat groups at will, look at the way homosexuals are being treated like paedophiles by the authorities using the “gay propaganda” law. Even something as simple as saying homosexuality is normal or just waving a rainbow flag can get you arrested, and it is illegal to advertise any kind of pro-LGBT event because any public gay-positive information is deemed to be dangerous “propaganda”. Gay people are kicked in the street, gay events are picketed by angry mobs, the police do very little to stop it. This also goes beyond gay-bashing: Demonstrating government power to persecute minorities will, consciously or subconsciously, make people fear doing anything that might make them stand out from the crowd or annoy people at the top.

    …given all these circumstances, you cannot compare the Russian and Western political environments.

    If voters are never allowed to properly see a viable alternative, never hear a wide range of opposing viewpoints, regularly see political opposition leaders murdered, and are scared to even voice opposition, their “support” for a leader or party cannot be seen as meaningful or legitimate.

    It is astonishing that some people are being so wilfully blind to this. Is Putin’s strategic opposition to the EU is making him be seen by Farage and other Eurosceptics as “my enemy’s enemy”? That is a pretty dangerous path to go down: if he gets rid of the EU, guess who will be next on his list of powerful neighbours to subdue?

    (This is also the key point about NATO: you might not particularly want to defend a specific faraway country about which you know very little, but what if YOU are that faraway country, as Britain was to many isolationists in the USA during World War Two? Do you really want us at the mercy of larger neighbours, without the safety net that collective defence offers?)

  6. Alec – “It also hasn’t really got anything to do with whether or not the British public would support a war and in what circumstances”

    It’s got everything to do with public opinion. Has the Blair era not taught anyone anything? If you can’t take the public with you when you declare war, you don’t declare war.

    And post-Brexit, the voters have never been so powerful.

    Here is a scenario: Suppose Mrs May gets knocked back in her negotiations with the EU because the Eastern Europeans block a deal where Britain is allowed to trade but doesn’t accept free movement. Much as they did when Cameron was negotiating and the Commission suggested a freeze as a compromise, but they said No.

    Then they demand that we send troops to defend them from the Russia because a war is imminent. The public is not going to say “Oh good, let’s spend blood and treasure on a bunch of people who wouldn’t lift a finger to help us”.

    There would be pushback. The press would roar into action, highlighting every authoritarian, homophobic, racist thing about the eastern europeans – and there is plenty of material – and asking “Does Britain really want to defend these horrible people?”

    I don’t think the Eastern Europeans understand how all these relationships work on reciprocity.

    It is also a bad idea to enter treaties of this nature with countries that you don’t care about and about whom there is no gut response of “Of course we’ll help”.

    World War 1 is a great example how we got drawn into a war over issues and countries we didn’t care about, just because a bunch of treaties were carelessly entered into, without thought of consequences.

    If a treaty is not fit for purpose seven decades after it was entered into, then you exit it. Just as we have exited the EU because it no longer suits our needs. Nothing is forever, and you have to look at things again from time to time with a cold objective eye.

  7. @Edge of Seat

    Everything you say about Putin is correct.

    Still doesn’t mean that Britain wants to go to war with him.

    There are loads of countries and leaders on the planet we dislike intensely, but are not going to bother to go to war with them.

    Liberal intervention died when Blair left office.

  8. CANDY
    “Liberal intervention died when Blair left office.”
    Except for aid and trade, and of these aid is due for some serious reevaluation.

  9. @Candy – i think many of the Eastern Europeans are well versed in the concept of reciprocity.

    You also again misunderstand my central point. If we are discussing whether to go to war to defend a small and farway country to which we are allied, then NATO has already failed. The point is, the mutual defence pledge is designed to prevent such a condition, and it has achieved this remarkably well.

    By walking away from the certainty of mutual defence, Corbyn would greatly assist in bringing about the conditions of which you talk.

    The way NATO works is not about war fighting, but about preventing the conditions that would permit potential enemies to fight wars.

    You raise the question as to whether the British public would support military intervention in Eastern Europe, but you fail to realise you are too late – they already have. Because of NATO, the UK has already sent 500 troops to Estonia, 150 to Poland and a further rapid response force of 3,000 has been created expressly to be deployment ready at all times for action in the Baltic. NATO as a whole has sent 4,000 troops to Poland and the Baltic.

    It’s already happened, and frankly I don’t see a squeak of protest in the press – quite the reverse, it seems.

    This is precisely how NATO works, by assessing threats and then configuring multinational defence forces to deter these.

    We should be extremely careful about walking away from such commitments, as @Edge of Seat points out, to the US and Canadians, we are that faraway country.

  10. @Colin – Private Window.

    It depends on your browser. In Firefox, click on the menu in the top right corner (three horizontal bars) and then the ‘Open Private Window’ option.

    In Google Chrome it’s the same thing (top right, 3 bars, but they call it an incognito window).

    Don’t know about other browsers. The idea of the private window is that you aren’t tracked by websites, and with the DT this usually means you can get round their 20 pages a month limit without paying.

  11. Thanks Alec

  12. @John Pilgrim – thanks for your two intelligent posts. I agree.

    What I found intriging about the issue in the Labour hustings was that certainly Corbyn, and possibly also Smith, were being dishonest in their responses, passing by each other as they crossed to the other side.

    I don’t know Smith’s past views, but I would have thought he might be more disposed to the media friendly line of ‘no talks with IS’, but was clearly keen to impress a left of centre electorate in this context.

    Corbyn, in contrast, seemed to have lost his nerve and was trying to run to the press agenda and against his own left wing past, and did so unconvincingly.

    As it happens, had Corbyn stuck to his principles I would have backed him. What Smith said was completely sensible, although still a faux pas in PR terms. Any conflict needs dialogue at some point, and the most complex ones need the most dialogue.

    In this, I am generally supportive of Corbyn’s world view, although his presentation of it sometimes comes across as one sided and naive, with too strong an impression of ‘friendship’ with armed groups and an excusing of barbarity.

  13. Definitely an interesting set of views on all sides of the debate about Russia. I personally don’t think Russia is much of a threat to the West with a military budget 9 times less than that of the USA. And only 20% higher than the UK’s budget.

    The question for the Russians is if they were to invade the Baltic States, would the USA come thundering in? And what possible advantage would the resources of those states be to Russia in any case?

    As to Crimea, yes it is a thorny issue, caused by Khrushchev handing a Russian province to the Ukraine in 1954. Clearly the average Russian considers the annexation of Crimea the righting of a 60 year injustice whatever the rest of the world thinks.

    And I suspect the average Brit doesn’t feel too strongly about the Ukraine or the Crimea (or the Baltic States for that matter).

    Nevertheless the idea that the British voting public (and particularly the more patriotic working classes) will back a politician that openly declares the cornerstone of our defence and alliance policy for the last 75 years invalid is far-fetched. Especially one that is on tape calling the likes of Hamas as “friends”.

    Surely the Tories would crucify Corbyn during a GE campaign on this point and the current Labour VI would sink.

  14. Alec

    You really should stop with misinformation about the reasons for the coup. Here is yet another article about the coup months before it happened


  15. Alec – ” i think many of the Eastern Europeans are well versed in the concept of reciprocity. ”

    We shall see in the upcoming Brexit negotiations, won’t we?

    As for voters views – we’ve got a small taste on June 23rd. A big part of it was about disentangling ourselves from Eastern Europe..

  16. ALEC
    Thanks for that. However, on “I am generally supportive of Corbyn’s world view, although his presentation of it sometimes comes across as one sided and naive, with too strong an impression of ‘friendship’ with armed groups and an excusing of barbarity ” I did not see the exchange, but wonder if being out there in the far reaches of recognising legitimacy of cause and intent on the part of movement and regimes which support an oppressed by alien culture and polity, and seeing them as representing humanity, Corbyn past statements are not too easily manipulated. To understand the man and his potential in achieving and exercise leadership is not helped – if that is the intent – by cherry picking his past statements – and this probabl won’t be the basis of his support in the party or the country.

  17. ALEC
    Sorry for the muddled language, but you probably understand.

  18. Candy:

    Alec – ” i think many of the Eastern Europeans are well versed in the concept of reciprocity. ”

    We shall see in the upcoming Brexit negotiations, won’t we?

    So what is the reciprocal of, “we want to leave the EU and we don’t want any more Eastern Europeans coming here, than you very much. But please could you cut us a nice deal on trade?”

    Could it be something like, “get stuffed”?

  19. Sorry, I think I should make the attributions in my last post a bit clearer:

    Alec – ” i think many of the Eastern Europeans are well versed in the concept of reciprocity. ”

    Candy “We shall see in the upcoming Brexit negotiations, won’t we?”


    So what is the reciprocal of, “we want to leave the EU and we don’t want any more Eastern Europeans coming here, than you very much. But please could you cut us a nice deal on trade?”

    Could it be something like, “get stuffed”?

  20. If anyone needs some good political news, the Respect Party has been deregistered: http://search.electoralcommission.org.uk/English/Registrations/PP362

  21. @SOMERJOHN I think the Eastern European States care far more about the UK’s foreign policy and their security over whether some of their citizens have right of free movement in the UK post Brexit.

    The UK’s negotiation stance should be passporting rights for the City in exchange for a commitment towards a foreign policy defence of the EU and a deal on free trade for goods and services seeing as we have a massive trade deficit with the EU The UK must be prepared to implicitly threaten a WTO trading relationship if it doesn’t get passporting rights.

    It is in the interests of EU foreign policy (let alone the economic policy) that the UK is accommodated.

  22. Edge of Seat

    It is a fair assessment of Russia’s internal affairs (some of the assassination are probably due to the triangulation between organised crime (starting from Gorbachev’s Dry Law), the oligarchs (starting with Yeltsin) and politics (starting with Putin’s grip of power).

    I could also add that Russia has set up news websites (not a few) with fake news stories (RT is nothing in comparison) in different languages that are, for some incomprehensible reason, are picked up by social media, and spread.

    To a much lesser degree it happens all over in Eastern Europe – the once in a lifetime chance (privatisation) combined with the weak economies created a strong, and unholy alliance between the three parties mentioned earlier (in Poland, Hungary and Romania witnesses (arrested criminals who are connected to politicians) die mysteriously in police custody).

    The scale is really unbelievable. The Hungarian PM came from a poor background, but his father is now very rich. His birthplace village got a football stadium (with football academy) and a tourist railway (the latter was financed by the EU- the number of passengers is about a thousand of what was promised in the tender document). After falling out with his university friend (shared the room with him), who became extremely rich, suddenly all state orders from the friend’s companies disappeared. The EU money for fighting corruption was given to a friend’s company without a tender. The Nantional Bank of Hungary established funds (from exchange rate gains) to finance good causes (among these a research on libraries in East Africa – well, the researcher is a friend of a friend of the president of the bank). Some of the funds has the relatives of the bank’s president on their boards (nephew, wife). When enquiries were made, the government said that by transferring the money to these funds it had ceased to be public money, hence not subject to the freedom of information act. It took ages to get the information of the projects financed. Selling cigarettes is licensed – (at least some of) the licenses were given on the basis of political affiliation (and once the licenses were awarded, the retail margin (regulated) was doubled). State owned land was given away to party supporters (suddenly one man, the mayor of the PM’s birthplace village became a major landowner 3,000 acres just in the county of the village)

    The state of the country: in the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games the reporter of the public television called the indigenous people migrants…

    The same, to different degrees, would be valid all over in Eastern Europe.

  23. Mr Nameless
    anyone needs some good political news…

    …or Galloway clearing the way for the new NEC to readmit him to the Labour Party.

  24. Mr Nameless

    It is good news :-)

    Muddy Water

    I hope not … But only 8 of the 33 members of the NEC are elected by the members, so who knows what the unelected Blairite members are up to :-) :-)

  25. Apologies – Muddy Waters (the s was deleted by iPad …)

  26. Sea Change: “The UK must be prepared to implicitly threaten a WTO trading relationship if it doesn’t get passporting rights.”

    Threatening to shoot yourself in the foot unless you get your way at least has the merit of originality.

    Moving to WTO trading arrangements with the EU, with no single market membership or passporting rights, would be gravely damaging to the UK as it would lead to an exodus of foreign companies who use the UK as their base to serve EU markets, and a very significant reduction in ongoing foreign direct investment.

    As for threatening to withhold “a foreign policy defence of the EU” unless we get passporting rights: well, I’m not sure quite what you mean, but I don’t think a position for the UK as the EU’s no1 cheerleader and defender in the world would be very credible.

    The fact is, we are the ones who’ve given two fingers to the EU, yet we are the ones who need a good deal on passporting. We need to be making friends and influencing people, not resorting to bluster and threats such as abandoning our NATO commitments. We look bad enough in the eyes of the world as it is.

  27. @Somerjohn – “So what is the reciprocal of, “we want to leave the EU and we don’t want any more Eastern Europeans coming here, than you very much. But please could you cut us a nice deal on trade?” Could it be something like, “get stuffed”?”

    It’s “We’re happy to give you the deal you want if you promise not to walk away from NATO and leave us undefended”. Especially as the Germans, Italians etc famously refuse to pull their weight.

    If they say No – we say “Get stuffed, go defend yourselves”.

    They’ll have to jack up their defence spending. They’ve actually violated the Treaty requirements to spend 2% of GDP on defence, rendering the Treaty null and void, and we’ve generously overlooked it.

    But if they want to play silly b*ggers then fine, let them increase their spending and defend themselves.

    Of course that will create financial problems for them – they are constrained by the EU’s draconian rules on budget deficits. For countries like Latvia and Estonia raising their defence by 1% of GDP will require cuts elsewhere of 1% of GDP. But that’s the crackpot EU for you!

    Without the UK in NATO, they might need to raise defence spending by more than 1%. In the lead up to WW2, we were spending 13% of GDP on defence – that’s what it’s like when the threat is real.

    They need to decide whether that kind of pain is worth playing hardball with us over free movement and passporting.

    People keep comparing us to Norway and Switzerland – but the proper comparison is Turkey.

    Look at how Turkey is running rings around Merkel and co – and all because Turkey controls something the EU badly wants resolved, the migrant situation.

    We also have considerable leverage in a different field, and we’ll use it. Voters will back the govt on this.

  28. Good news for Tommy Sheridan as well.

    Court of Session appeal judges have upheld ruling that News Group must pay him the £200,000 originally awarded, prior to the perjury case.

    Not that I have much time for Tommy’s personal life (or some of his politics either), but I dislike the Murdoch press more. :-)


  29. Sea Change,

    Big wishful thinking on your part there!

    Under WTO rules we will almost certainly have a worse trade deficit with the EU, since tariffs will necessarily be equal but hidden barriers will gradually be raised against us. And without the passporting our surplus in the service sector will evaporate as many of the companies relocate to Frankfurt or Paris.

    The EU financial sector will probably be lobbying for no deal at all while the politicians will offer us an EEA deal like Norway, with possibly a freeze on migration for a few years. That will be “take it or leave it”. There will be no single market deals without freedom of movement. (well, that is my prediction, and if I am wrong I will engage in metaphorical hat-eating!)

  30. Lazlo

    Indeed. Whatever his personal delusions, it still looks like a long shot. But under current circumstances, who knows?

  31. @Candy,

    As I pointed out earlier, all three Baltic States and Poland have committed to increasing defence spending to 2% or more (in fact Poland and Estonia already appear to be above 2% in 2015) http://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/pdf_2016_01/20160129_160128-pr-2016-11-eng.pdf

    In fact all the E European states I have looked at appear to be making similar commitments (of course it remains to be seen if they will do it…)

  32. @Andrew111

    And how much more will they have to pay if Britain exits NATO? That is what they need to ask themselves. Especially as the Germans and co are unreliable.

    Meanwhile Mrs May’s bucket of bargaining chips gets bigger: the fall in the pound means Opel are having to cut back staff:


    How much worse it would be if they had tariffs on their cars on top of the exchange rate problem.

  33. ^^ Opel are cutting staff hours in Germany.

  34. @Andrew111 I don’t necessarily disagree with your analysis on the raising of trade barriers – which cuts both ways. However WTO rules will hurt the EU states more than the UK as they have a surplus with us. The key obviously is to come to a mutually beneficial arrangement but we must imply that we are willing to walk away over the issue of freedom of movement.

    My main point was our negotiation is not just about trade, it is about the security of the European continent. In military terms, in intelligence terms and in diplomatic terms. All of which the UK is a major European player if not the main player and is the USA’s prime link into Europe in all those domains as well.

    @summerjohn Nobody is saying that we’ll actively shirk our NATO commitments (apart from Corbyn). I’m pointing out we hold more cards than people think and we’ll not be forced by the Eastern European States into accepting free movement for a trade deal – they will care far more about their security.

  35. I seem to have caused a stir over at vox political after I criticized their reporting of a recent poll. Amusing that they have dedicated a whole article to rebutting my criticism


  36. Candy

    This shooting yourself in the foot tactic seems more popular than I realised.

    So we leave NATO in order to punish the Eastern Europeans for not supporting a deal for the UK giving us continued free trade in services and passporting rights, but a stop to freedom of movement.

    Could it be that leaving NATO will have some substantial costs for the UK? Like having to be prepared to pay to defend ourselves on our own, instead of relying on elective defence (heavily underpinned by the USA)? Your figure of 13% of GDP in the run up to WW2 is salutary.

  37. @CA – “You really should stop with misinformation about the reasons for the coup. Here is yet another article about the coup months before it happened”

    I think we can all agree that when the leadership performs so poorly, a coup was always likely to occur. The only issue was when and what the trigger would be. Had Corbyn played an absolute blinder during the referendum campaign and overseen a hard edged and tough Labour remain campaign, then it would have been harder for the plotters to justify their timing. Instead, he went on holiday and generally made a complete horlicks of the campaign, to the extent that we have polling evidence showing many Labour voters didn’t know what his line was meant to be.

    This was crucial in determining the timing of the plot, which is all I have ever said. I think you should consider whether you might wish to apologise for claiming I have been spreading misinformation.

  38. @Candy – “As for voters views – we’ve got a small taste on June 23rd. A big part of it was about disentangling ourselves from Eastern Europe..”

    I think this signifies your capitulation on the point, with an attempt to segue the discussion onto to a completely unconnected point.

    June 23rd was never about NATO. Indeed, you will find that the Brexit camp expressly called for a leave vote in order to protect NATO, which they saw as our main security shield that was being undermined by an EU intent on developing into other competencies like defence.

    Based on the campaigns, June 23rd theoretically proves the UK public are actually more, not less attached to NATO, although in truth, claiming this would be stretching the point. The long and the short is that June 23rd had nothing to do with NATO or disengaging from our defensive alliances.

  39. Alec

    The article makes clear that the timing was already decided, it refers to it being the last chance before the party conference. Even if remain had won the coup would have still happened, we have the evidence from countless articles and media briefings.

  40. Alec

    Yes I’m sorry I should have said that you have been wilfully spreading misinformation. But you are wrong

  41. Oops, that should read

    “Im sorry I should *not*…..

  42. @CR

    I saw that on my Facebook feed (the original post), and just laughed that someone could take one poll, misreport it, and then claim it shows a change.

    It’s like this site gets comments occasionally complaining that x is in a better position, before the shifty pollsters weighted the poll.

  43. With big allowances for the argument about that poll.

    The trouble is that there is a comparable raw poll by Ipsos Mori from July in which Labour was 4% ahead (almost certainly an outlier) and hence Labour dropped 9% in the raw figures (and not catching up). Which is what one would expect after this [avoiding the automod word] of summer of the LP.

    It is of course possible that the turnout would be very different from the model, but there is no evidence (and won’t be till 2020).

    By best guess (and I’m not very good in it) is that Labour is 6%+ behind the Tories. With settling of the leadership contest it may go to about 4%+. So then they have a task …

  44. @CA – sorry, but unless I’ve gone blind, the article (published in April) in your link has no reference whatsoever to the EU referendum, only saying that some plotters wanted to move before the conference season when rule changes might be pushed through by Corbyn.

    You also omit to mention the bit where it talks of many moderates not supporting such action, so your assertions that this ‘proves’ the timing was pre ordained regardless of the result is just plain wrong. It may have been, but this article says no such thing.

  45. Alec – “June 23rd was never about NATO”

    True. It was about our feelings towards the EU and towards Eastern Europe in particular. And also towards Turkey to a lesser extent.

    We wanted to disengage.

    And those feelings bleed into other areas but you are in complete denial about this.

    If you asked voters whether they wanted to defend Eastern Europe or Turkey they’d say no. Hopefully there will be some polling on this, which should settle the issue once and for all.

    As you know I do not like Corbyn at all. But he has hit on something with this. In the same way Trump has in the USA.

    The trouble with making politics all about who is saying something, rather than what they are saying, means pundits miss these shifts in sentiment. Nobody is 100% wrong and no-one is 100% right. Sometimes your opponent may have a point. Corbyn is onto something here, just as Farage was onto something about the EU.

  46. Alec

    “June 23rd was never about NATO. Indeed, you will find that the Brexit camp expressly called for a leave vote in order to protect NATO, which they saw as our main security shield that was being undermined by an EU intent on developing into other competencies like defence.

    Totally agree Alec, as a very committed Brexiter I would be appalled if we left NATO. It is NATO which has kept the peace in Europe not the EU IMO.

  47. There is actually some YouGov polling on whether people think that the UK should automatically defend NATO members if they are attacked, though it’s from a couple of years ago (31 Jul – 1 Aug 14):


    Asked As a member of the NATO alliance, an attack on one of the NATO members is considered to be an attack on the UK and the UK is obligated to come to the defence of the NATO member that has been attacked. Do you think the U.K. should maintain its commitment to defend NATO allies when attacked or is this no longer necessary?
    the answers were:

    Britain should maintain its commitment to defend NATO allies 57%

    The commitment is no longer necessary 18%

    Not sure 26%

    so you might think that fairly clear cut, if not overwhelming. But YouGov probed further and asked Should the UK be willing to use military force if Russia attacks any of the countries listed below? (all figures willing – not be willing):

    United States 52% – 23%

    France 51% – 22%

    Poland 43% – 27%

    Latvia 32% – 33%

    Turkey 29% – 35%

    Ukraine 25% – 38%

    So support drops and becomes more nuanced once people begin to consider any actual cases and there is actual opposition in relation to some countries (I would also be unsurprised if support had gone down even more in some cases – eg for Turkey – in the two years since).

    It’s also worth pointing out the large numbers of Don’t Knows involved in all cases – including the general question. While some of this may be indifference, it is likely that a lot of it is about wanting to consider individual circumstances of ‘attack’. All of which suggests that, from a polling point of view, Corbyn might actually have been wise to avoid giving unconditional support in the case of any attack on a NATO member. Indeed the criticism could be that he wasn’t vague enough and you can’t help suspecting that, even if he had been all gung-ho, exactly the same people would be going “Corbyn gaffe – he says UK should support Turkey”.

    However even if public support for NATO is less solid than it looks, I’m not really convinced by Candy’s idea that such reluctance might be much of a bargaining tool. In the end what matters from the NATO side is American support – with it intervention will happen, without it even British and French support will be useless (remember Suez). As with so many arguments from the Leave side, this seems to subconsciously based on the idea that foreigners will have to do what we tell them because we are special and the globe is painted pink.

  48. Us political polling geeks might wonder why YG (and other pollsters) seem to ask strange questions from time to time.

    For example, YG has a poll on attitudes to death


    which confirms that fewer of us oldies are scared of death, than younger folk – but that more of us quite like the idea of living to an older age than younger people say that they do.

    Confirmation that what seem “common sense” assumptions are actually the case, however, can be useful.

    Equally, it’s not clear why YG asked Scots about which “of the following historic figures do you believe has been MOST important to Scotland’s history?” – except that it may have been a random Q added to an unpublished poll on Scottish politics (there seem to have been a few of these recently).


    FWIW (not much since it was a closed list which gave a simple note of who they were), –

    The total of Science & Technology figures came top at 52% (Alexander Fleming coming first with 28%)

    Political figures totalled 49% (Bruce & Wallace sharing 32%) and the sole sporting figure (Alex Ferguson) in last place with a mere 1%.

    That whoever created the list is clearly misogynistic is amply demonstrated by their only being two women on the list of 11 people – Mary QoS on 2% being beaten by Elsie Inglis (3%) who should have been ranked very much higher by a clearly ignorant panel (I may be demonstrating a slight bias there!) :-)

  49. Colin

    Apologies – I didn’t see your comment earlier.

    I know that I didn’t clip those wings (how can I?), but in spite of your points, I’m sure that, with the appropriate adjustments, it is the only way to Labour to th election (my main point was the ability to to talk to different, and divergent groups).

    What I said derives from what Corbyn advocates, but it has massive implications.

    In our ward there are about 12,000 people (including kids). There are three councillors. I have seen one over 22 years and that was at an election. It is not the way, if Corbyn wants to take his own idea seriously. What is the measurement of taking the message out? I would say that It has to be over 50% participation rate in council by elections (yes I know, but they are talking about a movement) if you don’t have it, you are not talking to the electorate, which is supposedly the corner stone.

    So, what hasn’t changed: They aren’t out to sell their ideas (which are supposedly new and refreshing) to the public, but simply stay in the echo chamber. This seems to be what we hear from Guymonde and also from some research. With higher turnout Labour wouldn’t have lost a council seat in Kent, and perhaps would have gained the two seats in Thanet DC. Still there are leakages from the echo chamber.

    I don’t know why it didn’t come across, I don’t have high hopes in Corbyn and his people because what they are talking about has huge prerequisites and they don’t seem to care about them at all. I think it can be done, and I also think that even if he wins (very likely) it won’t be done.

  50. I see the Observer is carrying a story that Sadiq Khan is supporting Smith – “Ditch Corbyn now or lose to Tories, Khan warns Labour” runs the headline.

    That was from George Eaton of the New Statesman who tweets the front page with the comment “Sadiq – Labour’s most senior elected politician – backs Owen Smith.”

    Presumably Khan being Mayor of London makes him “most senior” in the eyes of Londoners, but he has far less authority or power than Carwyn Jones in Wales, so the ranking of him seems rather presumptuous.

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