Ipsos MORI have published their monthly political monitor and it shows another towering lead for the Conservatives. Topline voting intentions are CON 47%(+7), LAB 29%(-5), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 6%(-3). The eighteen point Conservative lead is the highest they’ve managed in any poll since 2009, and the highest lead for a party in government since 2002. Usual caveats apply about any poll showing such a large shift in support over a month, but in terms of direction this does echo the ICM and YouGov polls earlier this month that also showed shifts towards the Conservatives. Full details are here.

A quick word about that UKIP score of just 6%. While it is obviously very bad, it’s not the sudden collapse one might assume. For whatever methodological reason, MORI do tend to show significantly worse scores for UKIP than polls from other companies. It is NOT a case of UKIP support being at 11% with ICM and YouGov last week, their MEPs getting into a fist fight and their support collapsing (however tempting such a narrative is!). MORI has been showing them at significantly lower levels of support for several months anyway – 9% last month, 6% in August, 8% in July. Nevertheless, it does appear as if the Tories are beginning to claw back support they’d previously lost to UKIP.


693 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 47, LAB 29, LD 7, UKIP 6”

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  1. Tancred

    You have a very “school textbook” interpretation of the French Revolutions of the late 1780s!

    Like one can say of almost every historical event – “It was a lot more complicated than that!”

    As to your explanation of the Brexit vote motivation, the LSE research that I quoted, on a previous thread, suggested that values were a more important correlation with referendum voting – specifically, the best correlation was with attitudes to capital punishment.

  2. Hi all, I’ve been busy today on more important things like on-line chess and going for a pint, but I’ve had a bit of a catch-up on what’s been going on since my last post. Here are some responses to posts that caught my eye:

    John Pilgrim
    Interesting essay last night, though I don’t agree with your premise or conclusions.

    Tancred
    “We have had only 43 years of EU membership but have existed as a united nation for 315 years (England for 950 years) and during that time the majority of people endured hardship and suffering that was only alleviated by emigration. Only an aristocratic elite enjoyed the fruits of the nation’s wealth.”

    Balderdash. That may have been true once upon a time, but not for several hundred years. Have you never heard of merchant adventurers or 19th century capitalists and philanthropists such as the Cadburys, Frys etc? Was it only the aristocracy who enjoyed the fruits of the nation’s wealth in the 1960s?

    TOH
    “I don’t think we will have a clear answer until 2025-2035 anyway.”

    Quite true. I wish I had your ability to keep out of the argument. It’s just that if we all withdraw from the field the other side appears to win.

    Maura
    “If ‘ethnically challenged’ is your idea of being ‘politically correct’ then I’m afraid you’ve misunderstood the concept.”

    It was a joke. Something the English used to be known for.

    Somerjohn
    “…I believe the Norwegian objection to the readmission of the UK to EFTA…”

    It would be a shame, being as we started EFTA.

    Al Urqa
    “Thanks to Margaret Thatcher I also had two years on the dole,”

    Rubbish. Why didn’t you get a job? Perhaps you were just being too picky? There were plenty of jobs in the 1980s, just like now.

    Sea Change
    “The UK has been one of the wealthiest countries in the world for the past 3 centuries. And it will continue to be so while the populace innovates and trades, strives to better themselves and their communities and remembers to celebrate their unique and successful culture.”

    Well said. Optimists v pessimists again.

    Somerjohn
    “In 300 years, we have gone from wealthiest country in the world to 35th currently (in gdp per capita).”

    Out of interest, where were we before we joined the Common Market, and can you give a link to your historical figures?

    S Thomas
    “it seems many would prefer to stand amidst the wreckage shouting that they were right rather than turning their minds to how we can turn this to our nations advantage”

    Absolutely right. The obsession with trade with Europe is ridiculous. We now have 44% of our trade with them apparently, though this has been falling since the 1990s. We had about 30% of our trade with the original 6 countries before we even joined, so no big deal. The EU is also a shrinking share of the global economy.

    BZ
    “However, it would only become possible to implement that deal once the UK had left the EU ”

    We could do all the background work first though. And even if we did sign before we left the EU, what are they going to do?

    Alec
    “Britain’s biggest banks are preparing to relocate out of the UK in the first few months of 2017 amid growing fears over the impending Brexit negotiations, while smaller banks are making plans to get out before Christmas.”

    Then they will lose my business, and probably many others’.

    JOSEPH1832
    Great post at 9:55. I’d just add that if UKIP do implode, and the Remainers win somehow, what replaces UKIP might not be so moderate.

    Tancred
    “I DO NOT want it to work! ”

    Why on earth not? If it works isn’t that a good thing?

  3. Hireton
    Well, it is true that I don’t know the detail of the Canada trade deal but the French have accepted it, so it cannot be that bad. I suspect an open country like the UK, which wants to trade world wide, rather than be part of a protectionist club like the EU would therefore find little difficulty with it.

    Bbz

    Of course nothing can be signed till we have left but I would be amazed if there was absolutely no contact, off the record of course, with the likes of Canada, Australia etc before then. So I guess effective well before 2022.

    Colin &ToH

    I fully agree with your comments on Mrs. May. I think she has made a very good start to her premiership and by the looks of the polls, it would seem we are not alone in thinking that way.

    Alec

    Re big banks. HSBC, is closing branches at the rate of 10 or more per week. It’s not going to be a big bank in the uk for long, I fear. Vast swathes of the country will have no bank in a few years time. How high street businesses manage, I can’t imagine.

  4. Robert Newark

    “How high street businesses manage, I can’t imagine.”

    Perhaps they do a lot of their transactions online? Just as so many individual customers do – “hence HSBC, is closing branches at the rate of 10 or more per week.”

    But domestic banking has little to do with the international activities of the corporate banking giants – and doesn’t provide any of the export balance and tax revenue that the City of London delivers.

    Whether successive Tory & Labour governments were wise to base the UK economy on such a “volatile source” as banking, when it doesn’t have any necessary physical location in the UK is, of course, entirely another matter. But we are stuck with what they decided to do.

    In the words of the old joke about a local being asked “How do I get to the city?” The response “Well, I wouldn’t start from here” seems very apposite.

  5. Pete B: “Out of interest, where were we before we joined the Common Market, and can you give a link to your historical figures?”

    Take a look at:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_regions_by_past_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

    The earlier data is based on estimates and estimates vary. In fact, 300 years ago, Britain came second to the Netherlands in per capita GDP; some time around 1840 we moved ahead. So our decline to 35th should be dated from then.

    If the data in wikipedia is accurate, between 1950 and joining the EU in 1973, the UK’s per capita gdp was overtaken in western Europe by Belgium, France, Netherlands and Sweden (Denmark and Switzerland were already ahead in 1950). In the first 30 years of our EU membership, no further places were lost (not even to Germany) and one was regained (from France).

  6. @SOMERJOHN

    It’s a pity that despite all the economic facts the brexiteers are as obstinate as ever. When you are talking to a mix of pensioners and losers (underclass) the economic arguments don’t wash. They don’t care, and in many cases actually want an economic decline, so that the remain supporting educated classes suffer. Read the Mail or Express and you will see the bile that is spewed out every day.

  7. Tancred

    I am an obstinate Remainer! (though hopefully much less partisan and condemnatory than you in my views of those I disagree with!)

    In any major political division, there are the passionate supporters on both sides. In polling terms we don’t matter a damn.

    The only people of importance in a democracy are those who are not totally committed to a particular stance. They are the ones who might change their minds from a position that they formerly took (sometimes marginally), and thus alter the balance of opinion within a polity.

    That idiots [1] on both extremes accuse their opponents (but never themselves) of obduracy is what one expects from idiots.

    [1] As in “someone who acts in a self-defeating or significantly counterproductive way”

  8. “Rubbish. Why didn’t you get a job? Perhaps you were just being too picky? There were plenty of jobs in the 1980s, just like now.”
    @Pete B October 22nd, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    Oh dear. Alas you are reinforcing the stereotype of a Brexiteer. Prove to me that you are not an igorant and arrogant man. That you can thoughtfully consider the issues. This is a genuine question, because SOMEONE has to answer it:

    What must we do about Northern Ireland?

  9. “Or Gibraltar?”
    oldnat October 23rd, 2016 at 12:53 am

    Yes, I did think of adding that, but let’s not complicate the question!

  10. Al Urqa
    You’re changing the subject, but I admit that Northern Ireland (or more particularly its border with Eire) is a problem.

    Why do you think I am ignorant and arrogant? I was made redundant 3 times in the 1980s and found a new job without much trouble each time so that I could support my family. I never went on the dole. Why didn’t you find a job? Unlike you, I will not use insulting language, but the only people I knew in the 1980s who didn’t work for as long as two years were worthless scroungers. I am sure you had other reasons which you have not explained except to say that it was somehow “Thatcher’s fault”.

    G’night all.

  11. Just to add, my question is not a wind-up. It must be answered if we leave the EU. And yet I cannot see an answer. I put it in the same category as squaring the circle.

    It’s all well and good having the ‘we played twice and won both world wars,’ but we also, in our wisdom of managing the Empire, created the conundrum that is the island of Ireland. Well done Blighty!

    Pete B: I challenge you to untie that Gordian Knot.

  12. PETE B
    I take it you weren’t a school leaver then.
    You actually believe the 3 million plus unemployed were just lazy?
    So what made more than half of them stop their laziness under the Blair government?

    Really, I don’t think I will be reading your comments here in future.

  13. “worthless scrounger”
    @Pete B October 23rd, 2016 at 12:56 am

    Well this worthless scrounger had just left University with a music degree. That was in the middle of the 1981 recession, when I, with no work experience and still green behind the ears, was competing with however millions of other unemployed people for the odd jobs that were around. This was in the North of England, an area that the genial Mrs T loved and respected so much. (spit)

    Indeed because I failed to get any work I got a one-way ticket on the Magic Bus (remember that?) from London to Athens, and ended up sleeping on the beach and picking fruit for several months, while we, as I recall from the scant newssheets I saw, bombed the hell out of the Argies.

    It was hard, but I fought against the odds and finally did get a ‘proper’ job. And I’ve moved on leaps and bounds since then. My travels made me far more open minded, and I can see that Brexit is a mistake.

    The one silver lining I can see is my retirement is looking reasonably comfortable and I will certainly be able to retire before I get to the state retirement age. So from that perspective I have no cares about how Brexit will ravage pensioners.

    I can then retire and become a “worthless scrounger” yet again (or rather, idle rich).

    Nice!

    Now your homework for tomorrow is to solve the NI question, and then, for bonus points, answer OldNat’s Gibralter question as well. I’ll be giving extra points for added detail and reasoned argument.

    Good luck.

  14. OLDNAT

    “I am an obstinate Remainer! (though hopefully much less partisan and condemnatory than you in my views of those I disagree with!)
    In any major political division, there are the passionate supporters on both sides. In polling terms we don’t matter a damn.”

    How sensible, of course that is right.

    PeteB

    I m posting less than normal simply because there is little point. We collectively go over the same ground time and again and Remainers and Brexiters here are unlikely to change their minds. Don’t worry they have not won, it’s just a fruitless debate. Events will be decided by what this country looks like in 10-20 years. As OLDNAT says we don’t matter.

    I am much more interested in returning to what this site is supposed to be about, discussing what polling is telling us.

  15. @S Thomas “we have surely faced darker days and triumphed.”

    – Absolutely agree with you. I’m just leaving China, after having visited the Philippines. I will be opening a company in the UK to take advantage of the new opportunities.

    @Alan

    – As I said before, you absolutely should travel, work and gain experience. Travel because that’s what you’re motivated to do, not because of a perceived lack of opportunity in the UK which is just not true.

    @TOH

    – I’ll give it a read for sure.

    @ANDYJS

    – Thanks for posting the Opinium/Observer Poll:

    UKIP looking a little stronger in the last two polls you’ve posted which is surprising given the craziness of the last couple of weeks. LibDems again nowhere. Labour still pretty dire. Very good ratings for the PM considering all the flak she is taking.

    @Hireton “As a great conservative thinker said there is a great virtue in daring to be fearful when all around are filled with presumptuous self-confidence.”

    – I’ll counter that with:

    “I am of the opinion that the boldest measures are the safest” Horatio Nelson

    Indeed Churchill quoted Nelson when asked to alter a radical course he had set out upon.

    @Tancred “There is no advantage I can see with Brexit, only failure, and yes, I DO NOT want it to work!”

    So even if it does work, you’re going to sulk, because your beliefs have been proven wrong? Strange and blinkered thinking IMO.

    @Somerjohn “In 300 years, we have gone from wealthiest country in the world to 35th currently (in gdp per capita). That precipitous decline leaves no room for complacency.”

    – Yes we have dropped down the rankings and we need to up our game outside of the strait-jacket of the customs union. I’d point out that the Top Ten “Countries” are all city states or are virtually city states. As are many of the next 25 countries. So not an entirely fair comparison.

    I’m sure if we had London as a city state, without the responsibilities of a larger and diverse country to be part of, it would be near the top as well. Compared to the vast proportion of the world’s population we have an enviable GDP per capita.

  16. COLIN
    “Some 46% of voters now think more positively about her than they did when she became prime minister while only 15% think more negatively, with 51% judging her first 100 days to have been an overall success. This compares with only 29% who said the same of Corbyn 100 days after he was elected Labour leader for the first time in September last year.”
    46% and 29% are figures which have a striking similarity to the polling figures for Con and Lab voting intentions. Analyses of the occupational class and age status of the two are becoming a bit stereotyped, but clearly do lend some credibility to a divide which is partly tribal and partly based on the real experience of substantial groupings; on the one hand those whose working and life experience is that of having or expecting rewards and dependency on a Europe wide rights based economy, and having the skills and access to information and motivation to benefit from it, and, on the other, those that don’t.

  17. One possibility is that a relatively uninformed electorate are more comfortable with a relatively illiterate government offering mythologies rather than unpalatable or incomprehesible fact.
    Since the days when the dependency on the service sector and the decline of manufacturing was being deplored and warned against in the ‘sixties, the economic solution has, so it seems, been to become a massively increased service based sector which serves the European economy .It has adopted variously Keynesian strategies of employment creation in construction, health, food supply and processing to service. the needs of an inflated metropolitan wealthy community and its institutions. The question, if you don’t have manufacturing, who are you going to provide services to, has now been replaced with if you don’t have the European Union who is your economy designed to serve? It is not answered by saying “the rest of the World”. In the words of the great Lady Day: God bless the child that has its own, that has its own.

  18. SEA CHANGE

    Nice set of responses I loved your Nelson quotation which I think perfect for Brexit.

    Good to see you comments about China and the Philippines your attitude is exactly what this country needs going forward. Best of luck to you.

    I have done much travelling around the globe and your right it really broadens the mind, one of the reasons i see Brexit as such a huge opportunity for the UK. I think your advice to Alan very sound.

  19. contrary to superficial analysis Brexit makes scottish Independence less rather than more likely.

    Not without risks but brexit may have saved the union.

  20. JOHN PILGRIM

    @” on the one hand those whose working and life experience is that of having or expecting rewards and dependency on a Europe wide rights based economy, and having the skills and access to information and motivation to benefit from it, and, on the other, those that don’t.”

    I thought you would be singing from Tancred’s song sheet before long.

    All in all, I prefer his brutalist honesty , to your faux intellectual snide.

  21. Colin

    “Theresa May-or Those much respected & deeply loved Bankers , and the Brussels Punishment squad?”

    Nice point, I can actually see the EU and it’s leaders becoming a real object of hatred for large numbers of people in the UK. Sad, because there is already enough hatred in the World. I think they are really frightened by the long term effects that Brexit will have on the EUand think a hard line will help. I don’t think it will especially when we make a success of Brexit.

  22. PETE B
    We could do all the background work first though.

    I suggested that would be possible.

    And even if we did sign before we left the EU, what are they going to do?

    Veto the UK’s attempt to convert EU WTO membership to “personal” membersip, perhaps.

  23. @ Tancred
    “What about all of that EU funding? Has that not given any benefit?
    And what about the rights people enjoy due to EU legislation?”

    The UK has been paying more in taxes to the EU than we have received in grants from the EU.
    Very few of the rights have been improvements on what was there before, some have actually made things worse for small businesses to grow and be successful.
    We can keep any good rules and discard those that parliament feel are not good for our country and we can get rid of our government if we don’t like what they do. We cannot stop what the rest of the EU do if we disagree withthem.

  24. ROBERT NEWARK
    Of course nothing can be signed till we have left but I would be amazed if there was absolutely no contact, off the record of course, with the likes of Canada, Australia etc before then. So I guess effective well before 2022.

    I wrote that the negotiation can begin quietly any time. It cannot be formally signed before the UK regains individual WTO membership. If we play sily Bs [1] in the EU negotiations that is not necessarily going to be easy or swift, and May has no way of knowing when the A50 challenges will be resolved by the courts.

    You may be right that it could start before 2022 but you’re being optimistic there.

    [1] If the pick ‘n mix suggestions in the media of late are true, for example.

  25. Just a small point about that Nelson quote:

    British naval leadership s so convinced of the effectiveness of Nelson’s ‘up and at ’em’ maxim that they were still relying on it 100 years later, when the Germans outgunned us at Jutland, demonstrating that gung-ho enthusiasm is no substitute for good strategy, equipment and training.

    Strangely haunting parallels, don’t you think…

  26. Old Nat
    My comment about HSBC (and other banks) for that matter was a bit tongue in cheek as I’m sure you realised. Of course the reason for the closures is the fact that everyone uses the internet nowadays, although my point about small businesses was more to do with getting the daily takings into their account. Even that though will cease to be of importance as contactless cards are used more and more.

    It’s the old adage, “use it or lose it”. On the bright side, there are some magnificent pubs and wine bars around and it is quite strange to sit in one, which was a branch you worked in 40 years ago. All sorts of memories flood back.

  27. “I am of the opinion that the boldest measures are the safest” Horatio Nelson

    ———-

    It’s possible, that had he lived, after being shot because left himself exposed on the deck, he might have revised this opinion, and come up with

    “I am of the opinion that the safest measures are the safest”.

  28. Gibraltar

    The problem with Gibraltar is that, like Greece, it wants two disparate things. If it wants to stay in the eu then the obvious solution is to accept Spanish sovereignty. Greece didn’t want the hair shirt but it also didn’t want to ditch the currency or organisation which was making it wear the hair shirt.

  29. BBZ
    Re the legal challenges, these are being fast tracked and the court of Appeal is being bypassed. The case will go straight to the Supreme Court with a judgement by early January. This is why Mrs May undertook not to enact article 50 till the new year, to give the courts time to hear the cases.

    Of course, there may be slippage here if reference has to be made to the ECJ in the interim about reversibility of 50 but I imagine they will be told to look at it with urgency, given that the eu keeps telling us to serve notice without delay.

    How the clause could be so badly drafted not to cover that point in the first place, really does leave you to believe that lawyers deliberately draw up legal documents in a manner that ensures plenty of work for their colleagues in the future.

  30. BIGFATRON

    Not at all.

    Remember despite losing more ships and men than the Germans at Jutland the battle effectively neutered the German High Seas fleet for the rest of the War. They were no longer a threat to our shipping.

  31. TOH (5.15am): “I m posting less than normal simply because there is little point. We collectively go over the same ground time and again and Remainers and Brexiters here are unlikely to change their minds.”

    TOH (8.00am): “Nice point, I can actually see the EU and it’s leaders becoming a real object of hatred for large numbers of people in the UK. Sad, because there is already enough hatred in the World. I think they are really frightened by the long term effects that Brexit will have on the EUand think a hard line will help. I don’t think it will especially when we make a success of Brexit.”

    Could it be that what you’re bored by, TOH, is hard-to-answer, fact-based explanations of why Brexit will be a disaster for this country? And what you’re as fond of as ever is the ““I am of the opinion that the boldest measures are the safest” Horatio Nelson” type of comment?

    Of course, in Nelson’s day, no-one was bolder than Napoleon. And where did that get him? To Waterloo. Where, incidentally, it was only with the help of European allies that Wellington defeated him.

  32. @ToH
    Strategically a win, but only because the Germans needed a decisive victory and failed to achieve one. The British performance on the day was poor, due to an emphasis in training on rate of fire over accuracy, and aggression over organisation.

    You need to check the details – gunnery stats, relative accuracy, susceptibility of ships to damage due to poor working practices, use of radio to control operations etc. In all these areas the Germans were well ahead.

    In fact you make my point – a relative failure was portrayed as a roaring success because to do otherwise would be to ‘do Britain down’…

    Excusable perhaps in war, but not in peace time, surely?

  33. TOH,
    Very sensible view regarding hatred, but do you accept that EU leaders are mostly just doing what they said they would, and the press is busy whipping up hatred against them? Not to mention people who go on about “punishment squads” on social media?

  34. Andrew111

    I think most EU leaders are as you saying doing what they said they would, so in that sense we agree so far. However i went on to say why they are doing it, IMO of course.

    Some of the comments that people like Juncker have made are definitely likely to stir up hatred, he comes across as very arrogant and the one thing that probably we can all agree on is that there is a mass movement Worldwide against the arrogant elites. One of the reasons May is riding high at the moment is that she is seen as not being like Cameron, Osborn and co.

  35. BIGFATRON

    So you can turn a strategic victory into a defeat. I’m afraid my mind boggles at your misreading of the effect of Jutland on the war. Jutland was a success because the Germans never ventured out again and a major threat to our shipping and indeed our coastal towns was neutered.

    I suggest you give up trying to teach me history.

  36. ROBERT NEWARK
    Of course, there may be slippage here if reference has to be made to the ECJ in the interim about reversibility of 50 but I imagine they will be told to look at it with urgency, given that the eu keeps telling us to serve notice without delay.

    The court transcripts show that it was a real concern for the judges. As someone [OLDNAT?] has already pointed out on these threads, the London High Court can put the question directly to the ECJ.

    Given that the EU are champing at the bit to receive it, I imagine the EC will be asking the ECJ to give the matter priority.

    Should the ECJ rule that it is reversible, the challenge may well fail with the courts ordering HMG to get parliamentary approval within the two year deadline.

    If the ECJ rule it is not reversible, I find it hard to believe that HMG will prevail.

  37. ANDREW111

    Sorry i didn’t reply to your bit about the media. On social media I cannot comment as I don’t and never would use it. As to the newspapers I had to give up on the M on Sunday as unlike the DM it is so silly in it’s attitude to Brexit. Generally i take the newspapers with a pinch of salt but i guess a lot of people still take notice and no doubt the DE is whipping up anti EU stuff, I don’t know I’m only guessing at that.

  38. OLDNAT
    No tables yet from BMG Scottish poll

    More questions and full tables now available here

    Leader satisfaction:
    Sturgeon +16%
    Davidson +14%
    Harvie +10%
    Rennie -3%
    Dugdale -10%

  39. S THOMAS
    contrary to superficial analysis Brexit makes scottish Independence less rather than more likely.

    Do you have less superficial analysis to demonstrate your claim?

  40. @ToH

    I think I will give up – because you seem determined to read into what I say what you want to see, not what I actually say.

  41. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “Nice point, I can actually see the EU and it’s leaders becoming a real object of hatred for large numbers of people in the UK. Sad, because there is already enough hatred in the World. I think they are really frightened by the long term effects that Brexit will have on the EUand think a hard line will help. I don’t think it will especially when we make a success of Brexit.”

    I’m sure that the 500 million members of the EU are quaking at the thought :-)

    It would be monumentally stupid for Britain to seek confrontation with the EU, given that we have few enough friends as it is. And if Clinton wins, as looks likely, the USA won’t have much sympathy for us either.

  42. This was more than 20 years ago. All the Brexit arguments are there. And what’s behind them.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=f6a_weyzkY4

  43. BIGFATRON

    Very sensible you cannot win that one the facts are against you.,

  44. TANCRED

    I really don’t know what you are talking about.

    If you care to actually read my post you will see that I was not talking about the peoples of the EU just some of its leaders and how they are perceived by many UK voters IMO.

    I don’t think that the UK wants confrontation with the EU, actually the reverse we want to leave it.

  45. LASLO

    Very amusing piece, those two were always good value for a laugh, thanks for the clip.

    Not relevant to any sensible discussion of Brexit though IMO.

  46. SOMERJOHN

    Sorry just seen your earlier post, too busy watching the cricket and amusing myself with the occasional post.

    “Could it be that what you’re bored by, TOH, is hard-to-answer, fact-based explanations of why Brexit will be a disaster for this country?”

    No, I am afraid your wrong again my 5.15 am answer was exactly how I feel, neither Remainers or Brexiters are going to change their views, so it is all rather pointless.

    Actually I am always open to fact based argument but I see it very seldom on here from Remainers. I see lots of opinion and posting of other peoples opinion, but not facts. I have said to you come back to me in 2025 and let’s discuss what has actually happened then we can discuss fact based opinion.

    As to Napoleon, I am a great fan, at least of his military abilities. Have you read David Chandler’s “The Campaigns of Napoleon”. to my mind the definitive account. He met his match at Waterloo where Wellington fought a splendid defensive battle, and yes there were European allies in his army and the Prussian intervention sealed the victory. The British have always been good at utilising allies in our victories. John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough was another who was brilliant at it, especially at Blenheim and Ramillies.

  47. Barbazenzero

    before Brexit the scots nats argument was that they would be an independent nation within the EU at a time when GB was in the EU.Voters were offered no real change in their relationship with England or at least no change that they needed to come clean about or be pinned down about.
    Now the choice for an independent scotland has clarified. There are 3 options:

    1. be independent of both England and the EU. that would be bizarre as the reason for calling the second referendum is the leaving of the EU and wanting to stay in it;
    2. join EU. No one has invited them and spain will block them; they will have to accept the Euro with all the financial adjustments required and relinquish sovereignty to the EU and possibly have trade tariffs with the rest of UK; Of course it does mean that they can have as many migrants as they want and have an EU quota imposed on them so that is good.
    3.Stay with rest of UK.Better the devil you know some might say.

    Given the now clear choices i think it is less likely that the scots will vote for independence. I think Sturgeon knows it too.

  48. @bz

    I guess we will just have to wait for s Thomas’ in-depth analysis.

  49. @TOH, Somerjohn,

    I think of Waterloo not so much as a battle the British won with help from their European friends, but as a battle the Europeans won thanks to the contribution from their British friends.

    In that context, it offers perhaps a different lesson for future relationships between the EU and the UK. We are very clearly setting out our desire to be their good friends and allies in the decades and centuries to come. So far they seem (whether for tactical reasons vis stopping Brexit altogether, or as a genuine plan) to not want to be our friends unless we are in the EU.

    We sent young British men to die in Belgium at Waterloo, and have done so twice since. We weren’t in the EU for any of those engagements.

    My personal view is that we are seeing a combination of shock and disappointment at the vote, and some coordinated negotiating tactics. Europeans can be bloody minded, but to want to drive the UK away forever is not something I believe a continent of generally sensible democrats will really believe in.

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