The Evening Standard have published a new BMG poll of the Richmond Park by-election, suggesting a significantly less exciting race than some people thought (and than the Lib Dems hoped). Topline voting intention figures are:

GOLDSMITH (Ind) 56% (down 2 from the Con share in 2015)
OLNEY (Lib Dem) 29% (up 10 from the LD share in 2015)
LABOUR 10% (-2)
OTHER 5% (-5)

While there is a month to go, this suggests that Goldsmith should hold the seat relatively easily. The idea that, with both main candidates opposing Heathrow expansion, it could become an by-election about Brexit in a pro-EU seat doesn’t really seem to working out at present. 25% of voters say that Brexit will be the most important issue in deciding their vote, but they are mostly voting Lib Dem and Labour already. Goldsmith’s voters say their most important considerations are Goldsmith’s own record and views, followed by Heathrow opposition.

BMG also asked people how they would have voted if the Conservatives had put up an official Conservative candidate against Goldsmith. Topline figures would have been GOLDSMITH 34%, LIB DEM 25%, CONSERVATIVE 20% – so the race would have been far more competitive, but with the Tories trailing in third place. It was an unusual decision not to stand, but the polling suggests it was the right one for the Tories (or at least, neither option would have produced a Tory MP, but the Conservatives presumably prefer Goldsmith winning to a Lib Dem). Full details are here.


522 Responses to “BMG/Standard poll of Richmond Park gives Goldsmith 27 point lead”

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  1. Not standing is the perfect solution. In Zac we have a loyal Tory (if not a Conservative), who is pro Brexit, but does not want Richmond and Bushy Park overflown by even more jumbo’s. Labour will certainly want him to win, hoping that he will be a big sharp stone in May’s kitten heels. Plus of course, Labours chance of winning anything outside of South Yorks, Manchester and East London is negligible.

  2. he talks nice

  3. A Romanian friend staying with us once pointed at our cat flap and said
    “What is point of?”
    This is precisely what I want to know about the Richmond Park by-election. Goldsmith will almost certainly be returned – does this mean most of his constituents oppose Heathrow? Well we know that anyway and if he doubted it there must be cheaper ways to find out. (Maybe he could use some of his considerable fortune to carry out an opinion poll).

    If I say I’ll resign from my job on a point of principle I don’t think people would expect me to reapply for it under exactly the same conditions. If I did, and then said to my employer “By the way the whole process of reappointing me will be very costly” somehow I think I would be politely told that if I wanted the job I should stay in it and if I wanted to leave I should go! It’s an expensive vanity project.

  4. So far the only message that is out there in the wider non-political domain is ‘Zac keeps his promise to stand down’, which is pretty favourable to Goldsmith.

    I guess the Lib Dems chances of swinging the necessary 15% of voters away from the Tories are dependent on convincing soft-right, remain-supporting voters that Zac is UKIP in disguise.
    Reminding them of some of the more unfortunate pronouncements from his lacklustre mayoral campaign and his pro-Brexit stance may help, but it is a tough ask…

  5. @Maura –

    Agreed it’s little more than a depressing display of virtue signalling and a huge waste of public time and money.

    Clearly a good decision from Tory HQ not to put up a candidate.

  6. In other news, the NI High Court has ruled that rhere is nothing in the Good Friday Agreement that would prevent the Government from triggering Article 50

  7. Belfast Court Ruling from Mr Justice Maguire:

    “It is the court’s view the prerogative power is still operative and can be used for the purpose of the executive giving notification for the purpose of article 50. This, however, is said without prejudice to the issues which have been stayed and which are under consideration in the English courts,” the judge said. “In respect of all issues, the court dismissed the applications.”

    The plaintiffs intend to appeal to the Supreme Court.

  8. @The Monk

    To clarify a little… The NI High Court has ruled there is nothing in the Good Friday Agreement that allows that specific court the power of judicial review over triggering Article 50. But then goes on to say that other courts do have such power.

  9. Morrisons increase the price of Marmite by 12.5% It is also reported that:

    “Morrisons has also hiked the prices of other Unilever food brands. In the past two weeks, 92 of the 228 Unilever food lines stocked at the supermarket have gone up in price, while only 19 have been reduced, according to the Grocer, citing data from Brand View.”

  10. @Jayblanc

    To be more precise, the NI high court does not have an opinion on whether other courts have the power to delay A50 – which isn’t surprising as the caae waan’t argued before it.

  11. Zac has resigned on a point of principle….Bloody Mindedness.

    The LibDems want to talk about anything but that Principle.
    Therefore the LibDems have no principles.

    The Tories aren’t going to put up a Candidate.
    So they don’t have any principles either.

    Labour will field a candidate to lose on a Principle….Bloody Mindedness.

    The Reputations of everyone and politics in general will be further diminished, but Politicians will say it had to be done…

    On a Point of Principle!

    Peter.

  12. The most important aspect is that UKIP aren’t standing. Inside sources deny that it is because they can’t afford to :-)

  13. However we must remember that Boris is going to lie in front of the bulldozers which, to be fair, is more of an obstacle than Zac resigning/unresigning. Unless, of corse, Boris decided to resign and fight a by-election on the single issue of whether or not he should lie in front of the bulldozers and, if he did, what position he should assume. He could choose a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ place to lie.

  14. Whatever chance the libs have, its the only show in town.

  15. Hifreton – “Morrisons increase the price of Marmite by 12.5%”

    Asda have responded by cutting their Marmite price to £2.

    So the 250g jar is now Asda £2, Tesco £2.35 (the original price), and Morrisons £2.64.

    Gotta love Brexit, as previously there wouldn’t have been a response from Asda. Wonder how long Morrisons will keep theirs at £2.64?

  16. On topic – Given that this is a Remain area and Goldsmith was a Brexiteer, if the LibDems make this all about Brexit, and Zac wins, will people take this as a confirmation that Remainers are turning Brexiteer? :-)

  17. Candy,

    I think we all know by now that; if Zac wins (or loses), all the Parties will claim it vindicates their Campaign and position!!!!

    Peter.

  18. More important than the price of Marmite is the tribunal ruling that Uber cannot claim it’s staff are self employed.

    This is a highly significant judgement, and is going to make quite a difference in some sectors most affected by the march on online marketing technologies.

    While they grew out of a non conformist independent minded movement originally, internet firms have developed into serial abusers of both workers and tax authorities. This judgement might well be the start of governance catching up with the new technologies.

  19. Anyone know the format for presidential election night counting? Done a good google and not come up with the answer.

    In particular what GMT time do the exit polls and TV stations start calling states? Does this all start at the same time with the different time zones so as not to influence the outcome? I’m sure I remember watching one year and those preliminaries all seemed to happen at once.

    Not ordering any popcorn yet as it does tend to look like a clear Clinton win and the polls would have to move quite a bit for me to put an order in.

    Also can we get Fox news live online anywhere- the only place to watch it :-)

  20. PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    Really rather funny Peter, good one.

  21. Shevii

    Trump will probably win on Fox, try and find another channel!

  22. marmite is worth its weight in gold

  23. @The Monk

    I direct your attention to this part of the Judge’s statement. “This, however, is said without prejudice to the issues which have been stayed and which are under consideration in the English courts”

    ie, “Some parts of this case were postponed and taken out of my jurisdiction, because they are the jurisdiction of other courts who are considering the issue, and will come to their own conclusions.”

    This decision is very very narrowly targeted to the specific arguments that were presented on the specific ability for the court to order a legal review due to conflict with the Good Friday Accords. Large amounts of the case have been punted to other courts, and it has been left open that a higher court may re-examine the Good Friday Accords in that wider scope.

  24. @SHE I I

    See, http://www.270towin.com/closing.php for times.

    States have different closing as you move from East to west.

  25. This could cause a few problems to Clinton:-

    Breaking news, FBI director James Comey has said the bureau is reopening its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

  26. @jayblanc

    We’ll have to agree to differ on this. My understanding is that the NI court ruled on whether the NI accords could be used to delay A50 – they can’t. The bit which was referred elsewhere was whether A50 can be invoked without a parliamentary vote.

  27. It doesn’t seem like this poll is correctly weighted to the EU referendum result unless I am missing something

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richmond_Park_by-election,_2016

    “The constituency is not co-terminous with any local authority, and as the results in the EU referendum on 23 June 2016 were reported by local authority, the exact referendum vote in Richmond Park is not known. However, Chris Hanretty, a Reader in Politics at the University of East Anglia, estimated through a demographic model that Richmond Park saw one of the dozen lowest ‘Leave’ votes in the entire country.[17] His latest estimates suggest that 27.7% of Richmond Park voters voted ‘Leave’, and thus that 72.3% voted ‘Remain’.[27]”

    vs the tables show (Q13) approx.

    Remain 50%
    Leave 50%

    I’d like to see a properly weighted poll by EU referendum result.

    For now I’d say this is closer than this poll represents.

  28. Poll says 25% of voters support the new runway. Which way will they fly with both favourites opposing?

  29. Interesting that the odds on Trump are shortening and Clinton’s odds are lengthening. Hilary remains odds on….. for now.

    One of the crumbs of comfort from the EU Referendum was that the myth surrounding the bookies was well and truly crushed. They didn’t have a scoobie and that has always been the case. They go with the money and do not have any more of an idea than the rest of us.

  30. Roger Scully draws attention to an “interesting” comment from Paul Nuttall in his leadership campaign.

    Under my leadership there will be no half hearted solutions to the English Question. We will have an English Parliament for English People.

  31. Mike Pearce
    “One of the crumbs of comfort from the EU Referendum was that the myth surrounding the bookies was well and truly crushed. They didn’t have a scoobie and that has always been the case. They go with the money and do not have any more of an idea than the rest of us.”

    I don’t think anyone believes that the bookies have some magical insight. As you say, they follow the money, but the point is that the money is usually (but not always) right.

  32. @Monk & Jayblanc
    The English courts may decide that they cannot interfere with the Royal Prerogative when applied to a Treaty. Because the issue has been brought before them does not necessarily mean they are able to decide it.

    @Pete B “they [the bookies] follow the money, but the point is that the money is usually (but not always) right.”
    But the bookies follow the money to be able to adjust the odds to make a profit, not to predict the result. As usual, push to an extreme to see how it works.
    Suppose result X is favoured by a larger number of small bets, and result Not X favoured by a much smaller number of large bets but more money in total. If the result is likely to be close, the bookies will hedge against paying out and offer worse odds on Not X, which those who have not yet bet will take as a belief that Not X will win, while it is merely a means of the bookies not losing if it does.
    The bookies won’t say to themselves “there are all these small stake folk to vote for X, so X will win” for they are well aware that the numbers betting are many fewer than the numbers voting in any important national choice, and the heavy betters may have inside knowledge, or even influence. They do indeed have to follow the money, which says Not X will win.

  33. It seems to be accepted that the Evening Standard will back Zac to the hilt?
    We are used to newspapers backing political parties. But surely if the Standard backs Zac by name it will count towards his expenses? Particularly as it is a free sheet?

  34. Well, it’s a slight swing in favour of the Lib-Dems but not enough to make a difference. My feeling is that the inhabitants of Richmond have been getting richer and more Tory since the ’90s, so no great surprise.

  35. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “Breaking news, FBI director James Comey has said the bureau is reopening its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.”

    Very interesting, but is it all too late to help Trump? It could be a dramatic next few days in the run up to the big vote. This is certainly the most dramatic American election in my lifetime.

  36. Perversely it might actually help Clinton.

    She’s not been very sure-footed in dealing with the issue. Being able to say “I cannot comment on an ongoing investigation” might be a useful way of closing it down.

  37. Tancred @ TOH

    Always worth remembering that headline writers are seldom scrupulous of trivial matters like accuracy!

    Newsweek has a more useful account of what has happened.

    http://europe.newsweek.com/fbi-reviewing-more-clinton-emails-514825?rm=eu

    “In his letter, Comey did not use the phrase being touted by Republicans that the case had been reopened. Technically it was never closed. Nor did he signal at all about the importance or unimportance about the emails.”

  38. Nissan – Quelle surprise!

    “Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal to keep Nissan investing in Britain opened the floodgates on Friday to demands from rival car companies chasing their own assurances from the government that they won’t be hurt by Brexit.”

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-nissan-politics-idUKKCN12S24D

    And more wondering if this is an indication that a “soft Brexit” is envisaged.

    “I think (the government) almost certainly made it clear that British negotiating objectives will be to remain within the customs union,” [Vince] Cable said. “I can’t see how anything other than a customs union arrangement would satisfy the car industry.”

    {Memo to self – become better informed about the distinction between the Customs Union and the Single Market!}

  39. CETA moves forward as “the amended version of the deal addressed some Belgians’ fears that a framework to protect foreign investors could strengthen multinationals to the disadvantage of the local population. The agreement also provided a safeguard clause for farmers.”

    Next stages –

    “The agreement will be applied on a provisional basis once the European Parliament has consented to its conclusion, pending ratification by all of the member states. Provisional application will concern essentially the provisions of EU exclusive competence.”

    http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2016/10/28-eu-canada-trade-agreement/

  40. Oh dear. The price of a cup of tea is set to rise, as tea manufacturers are saying that they cannot absorb the sharp increase of imported raw materials.

    Hope @Candy’s army of angry warriors is ready for this one, if they aren’t too busy enforcing the price freeze on shoes, petrol, iPads, Marmite, etc, etc

  41. @OLDNAT

    “And more wondering if this is an indication that a “soft Brexit” is envisaged.”

    I hope you are right, but then why has May been making bloodcurdlingly harsh speeches that would make even UKIP stand back in surprise? Or is it just posturing to look hard before settling for a soft Brexit? If so, it seems a strange approach indeed.

  42. @ALEC

    “Oh dear. The price of a cup of tea is set to rise, as tea manufacturers are saying that they cannot absorb the sharp increase of imported raw materials.”

    Frankly, who cares? I prefer to pay more and buy Twinings rather than the stale rubbish from the cheapo brands.

  43. @OLDNAT

    ““In his letter, Comey did not use the phrase being touted by Republicans that the case had been reopened. Technically it was never closed. Nor did he signal at all about the importance or unimportance about the emails.””

    Maybe so, but it brings back an issue to the forefront that Clinton would like buried. I can’t see how this will do anything but damage her as it shows that there are big question marks over her trustworthiness.

  44. Tancred

    I’m making no predictions!

    Simply suggesting (as do others, more knowledgable than me about these matters) that what we are actually seeing, detached from the rhetoric, would be consistent with some form of “soft Brexit” – at least in terms of a customs union with the EU.

    After all, Turkey has been in a customs union with the EU for 20 years, so trading in many goods shouldn’t be a problem – after a time gap, I suspect!

    .Of course, many areas of key economic activities can be, and are, excluded from a customs union, so the road ahead would still not be pothole free!

    On a polling site, we should be more interested in the possible VI implications of whatever May eventually decides to pursue (and thinks she can get). That, however, would be pure (or probably impure) speculation.

    On its simplest level, however, on party political advantage, would May worry much about UKIP gaining votes in the industrial parts of England? I doubt it.

  45. Prehaps melodramatic but could we be facing a situation where whoever is the incoming president is they face immediate impeachment. That would be a horrible situation

  46. @OLDNAT “Under my leadership there will be no half hearted solutions to the English Question. We will have an English Parliament for English People.”

    Thanks. That is an interesting point of difference that UKIP could pursue now that the Tories have taken on their mantle of grammar schools and Brexit.

  47. Dave
    “They do indeed have to follow the money, which says Not X will win.”

    Exactly.

    ON
    “…would May worry much about UKIP gaining votes in the industrial parts of England? I doubt it.”

    It’s nice to agree with you for once. My impression is that there are large numbers of traditional Labour voters who have become disillusioned over the last many years, but who would never vote for the Tories. A viable alternative party such as UKIP could do well. They were 2nd in a lot of northern seats at the last GE, even if by a long way in most cases, but there is a base to build on, particularly if Paul Nuttall becomes leader. G’night all.

  48. “Perhaps melodramatic but could we be facing a situation where whoever is the incoming president is they face immediate impeachment. That would be a horrible situation”

    ———-

    Well I s’pose it saves impeaching them later. And that is one advantage of going to the trouble of electing them: so you can impeach them.

    Is there any way of impeaching the voters?…

  49. @Pete B

    “It’s nice to agree with you for once. My impression is that there are large numbers of traditional Labour voters who have become disillusioned over the last many years, but who would never vote for the Tories. A viable alternative party such as UKIP could do well. They were 2nd in a lot of northern seats at the last GE, even if by a long way in most cases, but there is a base to build on, particularly if Paul Nuttall becomes leader. G’night all.”

    ———–

    Yes, well one way of reading Oldnat’s post is that there’s an implied electoral advantage for the govt. in pursuing a soft Brexit if it might drive voters in the north away from Labour and into the arms of UKip.

  50. Carfrew

    Im not sure how much you can blame the voters when they are faced with such a choice

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