There are new YouGov voting intention figures for the Times this morning, with topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 30%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 3%. The Conservatives continue to have a solid lead and there is no sign of any benefit to Labour from their party conference (fieldwork was on Wednesday and Thursday, so directly after Jeremy Corbyn’s speech).

Theresa May has been Prime Minister for two and a half months now, so we’re still in the sort of honeymoon period. Most of her premiership so far has consisted of the summer holidays when not much political news happens and she’s had the additional benefit of her opposition being busy with their own leadership contest. Now that is over and we approach May’s own party conference and the resumption of normal politics.

Theresa May’s own ratings remain strong. 46% of people think she is doing well, 22% badly. Asking more specific questions about her suitability for the role most people (by 52% to 19%) think she is up to the job of PM, she is seen as having what it takes to get things done (by 53% to 19%), and having good ideas to improve the country (by 35% to 27%). People don’t see her as in touch with ordinary people (29% do, 40% do not) but that is probably because she is still a Conservative; David Cameron’s ratings on being in touch were poor throughout his premiership. The most worrying figure in there for May should probably be that people don’t warm to her – 32% think she has a likeable personality, 35% do not. One might well say this shouldn’t matter, but the truth is it probably does. People are willing to give a lot more leeway to politicians they like. In many way Theresa May’s ratings – strong, competent, but not particularly personally likeable – have an echo of how Gordon Brown was seen by the public when he took over as Prime Minister. That didn’t end well (though in fairness, I suppose Mrs Thatcher was seen in a similar way).

The biggest political obstacle looming ahead of Theresa May is, obviously, Brexit. So far people do not think the government are doing a good job of it. 16% think they are handling Brexit negotiations well, 50% badly. Both sides of the debate are dissatisfied – Remain voters think they are doing badly by 60% to 10%, Leave voters think they are doing badly by 45% to 24%. Obviously the government haven’t really started the process of negotiating exit and haven’t said much beyond “Brexit means Brexit”, but these figures don’t suggest they are beginning with much public goodwill behind them.

Finally, among the commentariat the question of an early election has not gone away (and will probably keep on being asked for as long as the Conservatives have a small majority but large poll lead). 36% of people currently want an early election, 46% of people do not. The usual patterns with questions like this is that supporters of the governing party do not normally want an election (they are happy with the status quo), supporters of the main opposition party normally do want an election (as they hope the government would be kicked out). Interestingly this still holds true despite the perception that an early election would help the Conservatives: a solid majority of Labour supporters would like an early election, most Conservative supporters are opposed.

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1,094 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 39%, LAB 30%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 3%”

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    Thank’s for taking the time to clarify your thoughts. I hoped that was the explanation, and fair enough. It just seems strange to me that you want Reaminers as well as Brexiters and people in the EU to suffer to make a point.

    Let us just agree that we disagree totally on what is best for the UK going forward, in almost every way it seems to me.

    I suspect in 20 years time those of us left standing will wonder what all the fuss was about.


    @”But economic migration largely of human resources which have had the training and experience to provide needed skills in northern European economies,including the UK.”

    The ones I had in mind were young Spaniards fleeing crushing levels of youth unemployment; and young Eastern Europeans using the Open Borders route to much higher pay.

    Economic migrants-just like thousands of others from Africa & Asia.

  3. Colin:

    “young Spaniards fleeing crushing levels of youth unemployment… Economic migrants-just like thousands of others from Africa & Asia.”

    That is such a depressingly negative view of the extraordinary enrichment brought by the movement of young Europeans between countries.

    Consider the other side of the coin: a young, unemployed Brit who gets on his or her bike and finds work in another European country, learns the language and culture, makes lasting friends, then returns to Britain confident with new language skills, and far broader horizons.

    I know a few young Spaniards who have moved to my nearest large(isn) town. One teaches Spanish and Italian in a local education centre, plus English to immigrants: he is a shining example of hard work combined with real enjoyment of what he does and where he is. He plans to move on to do the same in Italy for a while before returning to Spain.

    The others work in a local Spanish restaurant, which is absolutely authentic in that the owners, cooks and waiters are all Spanish speaking. You can easily forget you’re in the UK. By contrast, there’s also a ‘French’ bistro. It looks great – French posters on the walls, authentic decor, French language CDs playing in the loos – but it’s all on the surface. The staff are all English, the baguettes are limp and tasteless, the food is bland.

    The point of this extended anecdote is that we are hugely enriched by cultural exchange, particularly of young people. They are the future, not we old folk who have had our chance to make our marks on the world. It is so sad that we as a country seem to have sunk into such a miasma of depressed negativity.

  4. Somerjohn

    I agree 100%. This is the point of view that most people under 30 have instinctively..

  5. COLIN

    One problem I have with the ‘economic migrant’ classification is that the reality of people’s’ lives, now and in the past, is so complex that they just don’t seem to fit into those neat boxes. My Grandfather came here from Ireland during the First World War because there was well-paid, by his standards, work in the mines and on the roads replacing those who had gone to fight. When the work ran out he went home and when it was available again he came back, this time with a wife and children, and then went back again! When he could he always sent money home.
    In the 1950’s my parents came from Ireland for the same reasons and followed the same pattern. My husband came here, from the USA, for his education and we have lived mainly here but also in the States. I have a daughter-in-law whose family came from Pakistan but who was born here. Some of her family have returned, some have remained. I suppose we’re all products of ‘economic migrants’ who at times have sacrificed their own circumstances to help their families back home. Perhaps the balance is different now but it’s always seemed to us that both the country of birth and the new place have benefited and we’re very proud of our family and it’s heritage.


    @” would the right UK policy be to export non hrd production capacities to countries with the hrd – as in the transfer to Spain and Korea of Clarks shoe factories?”

    If the alternative is to become increasingly uncompetitive because of lower labour costs in other countries with emerging skills in your industry-then you have two choices:-

    Lose all your UK jobs completely over time & your brand’s market share to an overseas competitor.


    Lose your UK manufacturing jobs now , set up overseas production at lower cost, and retain your brand’s position in the market-including in UK.

    C. & J. Clark International Ltd, chose the latter route some years ago.
    The company now has over 1,000 branded stores and franchises around the world and also sells through third-party distribution.It is the 31st largest private company in the UK. More than half of its £1.4bn pa sales are generated abroad, and the company has stores,in India and China.
    Street remains the Global Headquarters & epicentre for company operations, with a distribution facility with the capacity to process 1 million pairs of shoes per week.
    Clark employs 15,000 people worldwide.


    I made no comment on the cultural aspects of economic migration to UK by young Spaniards.

    I commented on the circumstances which drove them to come here-which were economic, not cultural.

    It is this sort of emotional mishmash with regard to discussing immigration which leads to frustration & resentment.

  8. MAURA

    It can be difficult to distinguish economic migration from genuine Refugee status-and I think this has definitely been the case with regard to recent waves of immigration into Europe.

    UNHCR makes a clear distinction :-

    Of course UN’s interest is mainly in Refugees, and they have strict criteria & procedures for granting official status. But when you read them it is clear that the bureacracy involved is only suitable for a controlled & ordered environment such as a UN Refugee Camp.

    Trying to make UN style distinctions for uncontrolled large scale migration of the sort encouraged by Merkel , has proved virtually impossible after the event. Something which Germany & other countries are now struggling with.
    Even more is this the case with illegal flows like those from Africa to Southern EU.

    It is a massive problem .

  9. MAURA

    I didn’t address your key point-I’m sorry.

    re @” the country of birth and the new place have benefited and we’re very proud of our family and it’s heritage”

    Absolutely-of course.

    I live near Battle in East Sussex. The town is celebrating s celebrating the 950th anniversary of the massive wave of immigration to UK which brought the emerging Anglo Saxon Kingdom to an abrupt end & imposed a Norman French culture & rule.

    Our life today is a huge tapestry of influences from both cultures & histories. But the transition was imposed & bloody .

    It is better if a People can choose & control the way in which their population will grow & change. In today’s circumstances of population growth in Africa, and wars in the Middle East, achieving that control is presenting a huge political test for Europe.

  10. Colin
    “Even more is this the case with illegal flows like those from Africa to Southern EU.”

    We (Europeans) should set up and pay for a massive camp in some relatively stable North African country if there is one. Morocco??
    Then intercept the boats, take the people to the camp and sink the boats. Offer help to return people to their own country if they want to and have valid papers.

    “The point of this extended anecdote is that we are hugely enriched by cultural exchange, ”

    Yes, we have been enriched by honour killings, FGM, mass grooming of young girls for sexual purposes, no-go areas in our own cities, gangs of Romanian beggars and muggers. Unrestricted immigration truly is an unalloyed blessing. And yes, I’m aware that not all those things are caused by ethnic Europeans.

    “It is so sad that we as a country seem to have sunk into such a miasma of depressed negativity.”

    See above.

  11. Tancred
    ” I am more of a social conservative than an economic one”
    I googled “social conservative” and found “Social conservatism is a political ideology that focuses on the preservation of what are seen as traditional values. The accepted goals and ideologies related to preserving traditions and morality often vary from group to group within social conservatism.”
    That seems to me to allow you to believe what you like, for example that tomatoes are, or should be, exclusively greenhouse plants.
    On the political front, I’m a supporter of the 1689 Bill of Rights, which seems to me to aim to prevent central government becoming overmighty, and as Wikipedia puts it:- asserted “certain ancient rights and liberties”, accepted in this country when most European States were literally small governments.

  12. Pete B: ” And yes, I’m aware that not all those things are caused by ethnic Europeans.”

    You cite 5 phenomena, of which 4 are almost exclusively non-European (‘almost’ largely because there is an ethnic British component in some of these activities). As for the Roma: this is a trans-national grouping whose migrations long precede the EU (tinkers, gypsies etc). As with another more prominent trans-national people, a final solution to the ‘problem’ was sought not so long ago. I don’t know about you, but I would be very wary of endorsing the sort of thinking that constitutes the first step towards a re-run of that ‘solution’.

    As Tancred is bolder in pointing out than I would be, many of the problems associated with immigration, the most egregious of which you cite above, are a legacy of commonwealth immigration from the 1950s onwards. Absolutely nothing to do with the EU, but there is a persist tendency – as you have demonstrated – to conflate the two and, by implication, to blame our EU membership for child grooming etc.

  13. Somerjohn

    As someone who is getting out the map of Europe (and other parts of the world but right now Europe seems to be the destination for my personal Brexit) and “oiling the chain of his bike” I can’t exactly disagree with you!

    Not certain about the returning bit at this stage, it’ll depend on how Brexit turns out. If economic conditions change and it makes sense to return then Britain will always be on my shortlist.

    I make no bones about my decision being purely economic. I see the pound falling as effectively a “Brexit tax” and it’s more likely to get larger than smaller in the short term. I see it as a tax not worth paying as I won’t get anything of value in exchange for it, others may disagree and be happy to pay it in exchange for “control”. The easy solution is to get paid in a differently denominated currency, that way, all income is “Brexit Tax” free (and I even get Tax Credits when coming back to visit!)

    If employers want to give more of these less valuable pounds in return for my labour all well and good, if the government wants to offset the fall in the pound with a reduction in tax so my take home pay is roughly equivalent, fantastic!

    If employers choose to try and use the fall in the pound to get away with lowering labour costs then they aren’t exactly trying very hard, I’ll go abroad and help foreign companies out compete us.

    I don’t think this behavior is wrong in any way, if an overseas company wants to pay me significantly more or a countries government wants to tax me significantly less to attract my labour, what’s wrong with being attracted by that? That’s the whole point isn’t it? If someone wants to pin an “Economic Migrant” badge on me, I’ll wear it with pride.

    Good luck with “making a success of it”, once you’ve done that I’ll look at coming back, so it’s in my interest that Britain does succeed eventually but I reckon (as does the chancellor) that it’ll take quite some time.

  14. Alan:

    You are a shining exception to my moan about negativity!

    You may be moving abroad for purely economic reasons, but I hope and expect that when you come to look back on the experience, money will be the least of the treasures you will have accumulated.

    And if you do eventually return, Britain will be the richer for your enhanced experience.

  15. Somerjohn

    I do expect the experience to be rewarding culturally as well without a doubt. Even before Brexit I had long term aims of living and working in Japan (and not for the money).

    Given an equal choice of living and working in either Eindhoven or Essex, I’d have to say that moving to the continent would be the more interesting. Post Brexit, I don’t even see it as an equal choice any more.

  16. @Somerjohn,

    I’m sure your anecdote is true of the feeling amongst many idealistic young who have not given a thought about how the French culture has evolved over the centuries to be uniquely French. Ditto for the Spanish. Ditto for the British. They shout and stamp their feet and say “No more borders”. But it was those very borders that allowed those unique cultures to develop..

    So the very differences that we can celebrate and enjoy will be wiped away if we become one big amalgam of humanity. The British culture will not survive if too many people keep arriving with no plan for integration for these people into the parent culture.

    So yes to controlled cultural exchange and a big fat no to open borders.

  17. PETEB

    Yes-how to find a country which wants to co-operate though?

    The problem is Libya-they all head there because it has no government. A stable & law abiding Libya would not allow the traffickers free access.

  18. Isn’t arguing against free movement of people arguing against the free market? Aren’t the movements of people worldwide a result of market forces?

    I have no problem with arguing against market forces but it seems a strange position for rightwingers to take.

  19. Sea Change

    Culture always evolves. It’s one of the defining characteristics of culture. You can’t bottle the 1960s and keep it on the shelf. With modern technology culture changes fast. Historically you could find era’s where nothing changed much in 100s of years, as technology has progress we saw a very different culture developing though the 50s ,60s, 70s and 80s. Now the pace of culture is shifting possibly as fast as it has ever done and it’s not down to immigrants. Even among cliques of ethnically British people, culture has changed and it isn’t because a Frenchman moved in across the street.

    The internet is responsible for large cultural changes with a rapid growth in the exchange of ideas, should we take that away from people too in order to “preserve culture”?

    I’m sure AW might be a bit disconcerted if the powers that be turned the lights off here in the name of restricting the flow of ideas. Then again, belonging to an illegal underground “politics club” might be quite exciting!

  20. @Alan – You absolutely should travel and live in other cultures, if you are able to, and there is something you can add to their society. My advice is never be a burden, and always be respectful. Learn what languages you can.

    Apart from England I have lived and worked in France, lived and worked in Australia, lived and worked in Thailand, lived and travelled around the First Nations Peoples of Canada. They have all been great experiences. I have been fortunate enough to travel to over 70 different countries often staying for a month or two. The uniqueness of the places is what makes them special.

    Japan has to be at the top of the list. A truly wonderful, complex and often unfathomable place. I do hope they keep their strict immigration policies in place and don’t allow metropolitan internationalism to dilute their culture. It would be a travesty.

  21. @CambridgeRachel

    Not sure there is any common ‘free market’ position on the right side of politics. There is a big difference between say US Republicans and UK Conservatives. In the US, they are actually quite protectionist, whereas in the UK we have a current government who believe in markets with limited protections through regulation.

    In regard to Brexit, i am puzzled why some believe this is a done deal. That the referendum result must be implemented and it does not matter what flavour of Brexit is negotiated. This means that they accept all economic consequences and if it is bad for UK businesses/jobs, that we just have to make the best of it, because in the long run they think the UK will be better off. This does forget that the referendum was not binding on government and it is government through parliament that will implement any changes. This will not be a smooth ride and there will be obstacles in the way, including the courts getting involved.

  22. @Alan – To your post of 12.00 – I agree but cultures develop uniqueness when they are not overwhelmed and have some stability to form a core identity.

  23. @TOH

    >Let us just agree that we disagree totally on what is best for the >UK going forward, in almost every way it seems to me.

    >I suspect in 20 years time those of us left standing will wonder what all the fuss was about.

    I think the view will be split. And for some it will be more like the Miner’s strike where there are still fundamental differences 30 years later.

    I live in one of the areas where Scargill and the NUM attempted to enforce his will by threats and violence after having failed to allow a democratic vote (which he may have won), and if you scratch my surface I will still say that the NUM simply had to be defeated for “who rules the country .. the Govt or the Unions?” reasons.

    That kind of Trade Unionism belongs with the dinosaurs, but seems still to be half-alive and slightly kicking.

    That Scargill is a self-serving sh*t is now recognised by all.

    TU leaders still find it politically impossible to contemplate that the Tebbit Laws enforcing democratic votes before strikes probably saved them from themselves, and the far left continues to wallow in oppression myths they have told themselves to this day.

    I think the EU vote may be equally fundamental, and that died-in-the-wool remainers will still be bitterly grumbling into their lager in 2046 when the world will have changed and the EU may have been forced by hisrtory to reform into something more suitable for the 21C.

    I am more hopeful that for the younger generation who country claim betrayal may recognise that they have been quite significantly lied to concerning education by the Remain campaign, but it depends on the outcome of negotiations for that perceptin to be changed.

  24. Oops. Miners’ strike – there was more than one.

    >Isn’t arguing against free movement of people arguing against the free market? Aren’t the movements of people worldwide a result of market forces?

    No and not necessarily. Believing in the free market doesn’t mean not believing in some regulation.

    The insistence that the free market requires “the four freedoms” is a matter of degree, dogma and politics. There are huge areas (eg services) where the market is only partial, and very major exceptions and sudsidies.

    >I have no problem with arguing against market forces but it seems a strange position for rightwingers to take.

    Perhaps a more nuanced definition of “rightwingers” would be appropriate?

  25. “I suspect in 20 years time those of us left standing will wonder what all the fuss was about.”


    This is possibly happening already for some peeps…

  26. Sea Change

    I agree there, I just don’t feel overwhelmed at the present.

    I understand that many people do, although I suspect that is as much to do with the pace of change of society as much as immigration.

    I doubt that Brexit is going to slow the pace of change by much.

    I understand that there needs to be a core of stability and London aside which has it’s own unique culture as a cosmopolitan international city, I don’t see a huge impact on life by immigrants.

    I agree that Japan is quite different and they are going to have very stark choices when it comes to restricting immigration and maintaining a labour force. I suspect any changes will happen quite slowly, possibly too slowly as politics trump economics. I get the feeling that Japan would just repurpose any western culture which was introduced anyway.

    I do agree with the sentiment when you go abroad try to fit in as much as possible, while maintaining personal identity, I recognise that I’ll never “become part of Japanese society” but I do hope at least I’ll won’t keep banging up against it by ignoring their culture.

    I fear most of the problems with immigration is with microcultures developing within the country which don’t try to fit in and instead try to recreate their own culture abroad. It works (to an extent) in cities like London or New York but elsewhere it can make people very uncomfortable. I’d certainly not want to become part of an expat enclave abroad.

    I’ve found that if a Pole or German comes into the pub, introduces themselves and becomes a regular, then everyone seems to be quite comfortable and welcoming towards them. It’s when a group of people sit in the corner of the pub, keep to themselves (and speaking in their own language is a big barrier) that it can be quite weird and intimidating.

  27. Matt Wardman

    Of course it’s political, no one ever said it wasn’t. Just like Brexit is political.

    It’d be quite weird for us to take a decision based on politics and hope to change their position with arguments on the economics while maintaining that our own political red lines are inviolable.

    I’m sure we’ll come to the best arrangement possible given the constraints of our mutual red lines, which could end up quite constrictive. To try and claim that they shouldn’t have red lines because they are just political isn’t likely to be successful.

    TM will make a calculation on how far she can move the red lines away from “Complete and Utter Brexit” in exchange for a better set of mutual constraints and a more optimal economic solution. She’ll try and weigh up the political cost of moving red lines with the economic cost and will be judged on it at the next election.

  28. ICM poll with a 17-point lead for Conservatives.

    Not good news for Comrade Corbyn. Is the socialist revolution on hold?

    Shame, if so.

  29. I’m working so don’t have time to trawl through the tables (or comments here), but here’s the link:

  30. @Maura, Somerjohn and others.

    I think you are taking an overly qualitative and underly quantitative view of immigration.

    Like you I have no objection in principle to migration. My own ancestors migrated from Denmark to Africa, and then to the UK.

    My experience of migrants in the UK is mostly positive, and I certainly don’t think that, on the whole, foreigners are worse people than native-born Brits.

    It’s fantastic for young people to be able to travel and experience the world. I used to be a frequent visitor to the States, to where my own brother migrated decades ago, sometimes staying for a month at a time.

    But, but.

    The numbers are not remotely even. The numbers of young Brits moving abroad for work. The numbers of young Europeans moving to Britain for work are large. This shows no sign of being a temporary blip. There is simply more to draw people here than vice versa (partly because of are lack of facility with foreign languages, and the universality of English).

    Lots of Irish people came to England, it’s true. Many stayed, and a large minority of Brits (like Maura) have Irish roots. But this is acceptable because Ireland is small and the rest of Britain is much bigger. Even large (for Ireland) flows of migrants didn’t massively change the areas they arrived in. And of course, Ireland was part of the UK for much of the time that this migration was taking place, and the cultural difference between the Irish and the UK are small (if frequently exaggerated by Republicans in order to maintain divisions).

    But go back a bit further in history and look at when the migration was the other way around. The “Anglo-Irish” Normans in the early middle ages were never fully integrated, and were seen as a distinct group even 800 years after they arrived. The plantations into Northern Ireland have had repercussions for the past 400 years. It’s not as if Ireland is a shining example of how mass migration doesn’t lead to disharmony and bloodshed. But then, of course, Ireland is small and the rest of Britain is much bigger. A relatively small (by British standards) number of migrants heading to Ireland creates a major impact on the places where they arrive.

    That’s in a nutshell what the UK has faced in terms of the EU. When the EU was a tight group of wealthy, stable countries there was migration from the UK to the EU and from the EU to the UK and whilst it wasn’t even it wasn’t massively out of whack either.

    Then free movement was extended, too early and too broadly, to Eastern European countries that were economically light years behind the UK. There are virtually no migrants from the UK to Eastern Europe, and millions in the opposite direction. And the UK is small, compared to the much bigger EU. Relatively small numbers (by EU standards) of migrants make a big impact in the areas where they arrive.

    I voted for Brexit, and I did so entirely because of migration pressure. But that isn’t at all the same thing as saying that I don’t like migrants, or that I don’t value their contribution, or that I am xenophobic, or that I don’t like Europe or that I am taking one small step on the route to Shickelgruber’s final solution. I voted because I believed that the UK had made a massive, historic mistake, that thousands of acres of green space were being lost as a result, and that literally the only lever that had been placed in front of me, which if pulled might conceivably make any difference, was the “Leave” box on my ballot. I wasn’t happy about voting for Leave. It doesn’t really match my view of myself as someone who believes that all people are equal and that there is good in every nation and culture. I certainly don’t identify with some of the supporters of Brexit. But in the end I didn’t feel like I had a choice.

    Noone, literally no one, seems to care about the loss of land to development anymore. Even the Green Party talks in favour of building on the green belt. Corbyn talks about building 1m new homes. The Tories talk about relaxing planning laws. The LDs talk about something. Not sure what, I don’t really listen any to them any more. But it’s certainly not about preventing development. The days of anti-roads protests, and people chaining themselves to trees, seem to have vanished. Now it’s all about “investment to mitigate the effects of migration” (i.e. cover that green valley in concrete, build houses, roads, factories and facilities for the extra millions).

  31. I see the rejects (Milliband & Clegg) are trying to form an anti democracy coalition to stymie Bexit negotiations, by pressing for a parliamentary debate on it.

    The problem they create, as I see it, is that instead of doing that, they make the prospect of a total hard Brexit (Exit with no deal at all) much more likely.

    IMO people like this who risk endangering the entire country for their own selfish ends should not be in politics at all, and certainly should not be allowed to influence political opinion policy or debate.

  32. ICM poll highlights-

    (1) Tories 30% ahead among women voters.

    (2) Tories 70% ahead among 75+ voters.

    (3) Tories 10% of Labour in Scotland.

    (4) Tories ahead of Labour among all social classes, including 33% ahead amobg AB voters.

    (5) UKIP down a bit. Possibly squeezed by the Tories and hurt by recently yobbery/confusion.

  33. A very good ICM poll for the Blues..
    The Brexit line of the new PM appears to be playing well in the country.
    The “scribblers” and opinion formers never cease to amaze me as to how easily they forget this is a small “c” conservative country.

  34. Bashing the elites and vested interests is very popular as long as you don’t actually mean it

  35. @Alan

    I think I agree, though i am not sure what “complete and utter Brexit” is – can you help?

    I suspect that that is a bit of a straw man by party or parties unknown to make Brexit sound extreme.

    I think the education negotiations will be interesting.

    There is no reason I can see why we should stop participating in Erasmus (the student visit programme), since it has had non EU members in it at the core for at least a decade – Turkey has been involved since at least 2004.

    The research funding (Horizon 2020) is more challenging, but I want to see how EU members will deal with the pre-eminence of UK and Swiss Universities in Europe.

    Of the 14 European Universities ranked in the global top 50 elite, 7 are British and 2 are Swiss. Figures from the TES last week: From the

    It doesn’t change very much if you go some way down the rankings.

  36. @Bill

    Tories also ahead of Labour in the North.

    Labour only ahead in Wales.

  37. If we get polls like this next Spring there must be a good prospect of Corbyn being challenged again – probably with greater success.

  38. GRAHAM

    I agree they’d lead to a challenge, probably by a more ‘heavyweight’ candidate.

    I disagree, for better or worse, that it’d be any more successful. Challenging within a year was a terrible move by rebel MPs. It means that, just as Conservatives have spent six years blaming Labour, they can be held responsible for polling figures indefinitely.

    They should have supported him fully, then tried to oust him a couple of years down the line.

    Now an army of committed Corbyn voters runs the party and Corbyn has the NEC, if only by a whisker. Any arguments made against Corbyn are negated by shared (or unevenly distributed) blame.

  39. As always, let’s see. ICM methodology often favours the Tories. We’re coming off the back of a fairly solid Tory conference and continuing Labour turmoil, plus the worst week for UKIP that I can ever remember.

    This poll should have been great for the Tories, and it is. The gargantuan lead may simply reflect a bit of top end MOE on a to-be-expected gap of around 8-12%.

    I still think we’ll see Labour leads within 18 months to two years of now.

  40. Neil A,

    I didn’t even to bother to look at that column. Astonishing.

    Labour should be dreading the locals. I wonder if they’ll have any councils left in Scotland. And local by-elections suggest that there’s a bit of a protest vote on the centre-left for the Lib Dems, which could help them and hurt Labour.

    Labour should hope that something favourable happens, like the Tories put forward some divisive policies, or UKIP fall into chaos, or Leave wins the Brexit referendum.

  41. @Bill

    I think the problem for Labour is that May’s new policies are divisive. They divide “right thinking folk” (the 30% of the electorate that might support Corbyn) from “everyone else” (the 70% of the electorate that probably won’t). That may shatter the uneasy red Labour / blue Labour alliance that has given the party the chance of victory over the years. Polarizing is great if there are more people on your pole than there are on the opposite pole. And nothing’s quite so polarizing as a lot of Poles……

  42. Kester Leek

    But by next year Corbyn will have had two years to prove himself, and IF Labour is performing as poorly as this in midterm – backed up by actual election results – it will be obvious to all but the most delusional that disaster awaits. At the end of the day , I don’t believe the party will opt for comitting suicide.
    Having said that ICM has recently been rather out of line with other pollsters . Perhaps they have overadjusted for the 2015 polling debacle. Let us see what other pollsters come up with. Prima facie these ICM figures putting the Tories 30% ahead amongst women but just 11% amongst men look decidedly odd!

  43. Matt Wardman

    I don’t think there is a definite definition yet. I just meant it as the optimal solution we’d get to if there was no shifting of any red lines and both sides were completely intransigent.

    There’s no real definition of Hard or Soft Brexit either and people use those terms, I just happened to add more colour to Brexit by offering a whole range of possible adjectival phrases.

    All sorts of options are available to us “Diet Brexit”, “Caffiene free Brexit”, “I can’t believe it’s not Brexit”, “Brexit Ultra”, “Brexit 2.0”

    Allowing the Erasmus exchange to continue would constitute a move from “no immigration unless we have complete control” towards allowing Erasmus to have some level of control. That would be a movement of a red line and one I’d hope to see. I’m sure some Brexiteers on the extreme edge would still see them as foreigners and we should have complete control over their numbers.

    23% think that Brexit means compulsory repatriation (probably of everyone not just EU citizens), I have no adjectives to describe the type of Brexit which would satisfy them.

  44. It has to be said, 2017 may not be the best time for Labour to be fighting for council seats in non-metropolitan county councils. Talk about picking your fights…

  45. @Neil A “I still think we’ll see Labour leads within 18 months to two years of now.”

    I want some of what you are on!

    How could that be even remotely possible?

  46. @Sea Change,

    The weariness of office and the economic difficulties of Brexit. All that oppositions have to do to pull ahead is to not be the government, and for the government to have problems.

    Don’t get me wrong, I fully expect a Tory victory in 2020.

  47. @Neil A
    ‘It has to be said, 2017 may not be the best time for Labour to be fighting for council seats in non-metropolitan county councils. Talk about picking your fights…’

    To some extent Labour will be helped by the fact that they did not perform very well in 2013 – partly because the anti -Government vote was split by the UKIP surge coming off the post Eastleigh by election boost. UKIP will be very much on the defensive next year

    @ Sea Change
    It needs to be remembered that YouGov recorded three Labour leads as recently as last March/April.

  48. NEILA

    @”. Now it’s all about “investment to mitigate the effects of migration” (i.e. cover that green valley in concrete, build houses, roads, factories and facilities for the extra millions).”

    We left Cornwall about ten years ago. Last weekend we had friends from there up to stay . Outdoor types all their lives-love walking. He is a published Local Historian. Like so many of their generation from Cornwall, devoted to & steeped in its culture & history .

    Chatting about the places we lived in & loved, they told a tale of ever spreading housing & road building. New Supermarkets and the impossibility of parking in town.Crowds where there was peace & quiet-even on the beaches in winter.

    They told us that “Cornwall is being ruined”. They meant the Cornwall they grew up in & loved.

  49. @Graham

    The image I think Labour must be dreading is the possibility of a clean sweep. Most of the counties are solid Tory. Notts and Derbys went Labour, Derbys by a landslide, but those don’t necessarily seem like great areas for Labour right now.

    Scotland looks like being funereal, so hopes for “balance” on the night must rest with a decent showing in Wales, and maybe taking the West of England Mayor slot – although that’s one where the LDs must surely have some chance? A three way fight I’d assume.

  50. @Colin

    Brexit in a nutshell.

    The idea that a bit of regional spending makes those 3,000 houses on the hill outside your town OK slightly misjudges the emotions of the locals I think.

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