We’ve had three new voting intention polls in the last four days. ICM‘s regular poll for the Guardian came out earlier today, with topline figures of CON 42%(-1), LAN 28%(+1), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 11%(-1), GRN 3%(-2). Full tabs are here.

Opinium had a new poll in the Observer at the weekend. Their topline voting intention figures with changes from a fortnight ago are CON 41%(+1), LAB 29%(-3), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 12%(-1). Full tabs are here.

Finally YouGov at the tail end of last week had topline figures of CON 42%(+1), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 8%(-2), UKIP 11%(nc). Full tabs are here.

All three polls show the Conservative lead still up around 12-14 points, suggesting that the narrowing in the Ipsos MORI poll last week was indeed just a reversion to the mean and that the polls are settling into a consistent position of the Tories up around 40% and Labour marooned around 30%.

Ahead of the Autumn statement both Opinium and ICM asked economic trust questions – Opinium found May & Hammond with a 26 point lead over Corbyn & McDonnell on who they’d trust to run the economy (44% to 18%), ICM gives tham a 33 point lead on which team would be better able to run the economy (48% to 15%).


827 Responses to “Latest voting intentions”

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  1. Candy,
    I was going to argue with you about Thatcher’s “mandates” but you have so eloquently destroyed your own position by postimg the percentages!

  2. Tancred,
    “I think May will choose option 1. Risking upsetting Sturgeon would be judged as a lower risk than causing further delays to her Brexit crusade” [1=revise Uk laws to eliminate scottish rights about involvement]

    The Scottish case is angling towards Scotland having a right under EU legislation to be consulted. If this were upheld by the EU, then possibly no amount of tinkering with Uk law might remove a Scottish right to be consulted. At minimum very messy and delaying, at maximum it might make article 50 an impossible route for Uk exit from the EU. We might have to simply revoke the Uk legislation giving power to the EU court. The thrust is that it might already be impossible to leave the EU in a lawful way without the consent of Scotland.

  3. Charles:

    While I think you could well be right that the EU will progress faster and in a somewhat less neoliberal direction without the UK as a member, I fear you may be over-optimistic in thinking that a chastened UK will seek re-admission.

    It seems more likely to me that rather than returning cap-in-hand to the EU, an impoverished, embittered, divided and possibly dismembered UK, struggling as its bilateral trade deals make it the dumping-ground for the world’s exports, will continue to plough its lonely furrow as an offshore island divided from its continent. Cuba here we come!

  4. The next few months could be interesting.

    Trump seems to be worried by recounts in some states, with some suggesting that there needs to be checks on actual votes, to check that hacking of electronic vote counters has not happened. If it is found out that there have been errors or hacking, with Trump losing some states, then the political situation in the US is going to be a nightmare.

    With Brexit the legal challenges seem to be growing with another judicial review being sought by other parties concerning EEA membership. This is reported on the BBC online site. If we end up with months being taken by court processes, i could see Theresa May not meeting her timetable and not being able to proceed. Perhaps Article 50 is a flawed process for the UK and it is not possible without having gone through major UK legislation first.

  5. A fascinating legal development this morning that threatens to expose the full idiocy of having a one off ‘in or out’ EU referendum before we have an exit plan.

    This morning there is a legal challenge announced on membership of the EEA. This gives tariff free market access, along with payments into the EU budget and acceptance of free movement. It is not, however, membership of the EU (no CAP, for example).

    Some highly experienced and stern legal minds are highlighting the fact that although all EU members are automatically EEA members, the two are not synonymous. They argue that as there is an express clause in the EEA agreement dating from 1990 (Article 127 – remember that, as it will sit alongside Article 50 in the life on the ranks of internet experts) provides an express withdrawal mechanism for leaving the EEA. Because of the presence of A127, it is argued, the EEA agreement implicitly excludes any other form of leaving the EEA – such as leaving the EU.

    The argument is therefore that both A50 and A127 need to be triggered, with this new judicial case asking for an opinion on whether parliament needs to be consulted on A127.

    This exposes even further the logical fallibility of those arguing that ‘brexit means brexit’ and there is no need to trouble ourselves with any further democratic mandate.

    As @TOH and others keep saying, the June 23rd vote was about leaving the EU, and their argument appears to centre around public statements made by our government before and after the vote about what the vote meant. While this argument is extremely weak to start with, as neither the mechanism for leaving nor the arrangements replacing EU membership were acknowledged, this argument is totally destroyed by the fact that none of these statements referred to the EEA. Whatever brexiters might say, the EEA was not on the ballot paper, and we didn’t vote to leave the EEA.

    This is in many ways a legal technicality, but if we wish to ‘bring laws back home’, then we live or die on such British legal niceties. If voters did not understand the practical difference and legal distinction between the EU and the EEA then that’s tough.

    I doubt that on it’s own this will carry sufficient political weight to persuade enough MPs to back a second vote, but it opens up another legal front that could confuse further the government response, and may also provide a mechanism for parliamentary action to delay or alter the terms on which we leave. It may well prove to be significant, but it’s main significance at this stage is to highlight just how ignorant many Brexit supporters are, including many in government.

  6. @John Pilgrim,

    I never doubt that I may be wrong in my opinions, and I hope that I would have the good sense and courage to admit that and change them if presented with evidence that justifies it. My views have certainly changed considerably over time as it is. I was mocked at University after my housemates found a little written “doodle” of a possible future in which the EU became a single country, with me as president, before finally uniting with the US and Canada to become a “Union of the North Atlantic”. That’s certainly not something I dream about any more…

    I am certainly not convinced that adding a further 15m human beings to this country would be achievable without a large-scale loss of green spaces, habitat and wild flora and fauna. It seems to me that the effects on those things of adding the last15m people are clear to see. And in a global context, people who know better than me are crystal clear on the effects of human population growth on the prospects for other species.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/10/27/two-thirds-of-the-worlds-vertebrate-wildlife-could-be-gone-by-2020-report-warns/?utm_term=.f52012572f42

    I absolutely accept that the impacts of population growth on the living standards of human beings can be mitigated by greater investment in housing and infrastructure. But my belief is that the additional houses, roads, rail lines, schools, hospitals and business spaces would add further to the decline in green spaces and non-human life.

    I am a great believer that even when development is necessary and unavoidable, that it could be done more carefully to reduce the impact (taller buildings, more densely packed, measures like tunnelling, green corridors, eco-bridges etc) but my firm belief is that this won’t be done so that even the moderate mitigation that is available is a smokescreen.

    I also don’t dispute that on balance migrants have a positive effect on the overall economic health of the country. That is important but it isn’t my driving force. I don’t look at the concrete spreading across the Sherford Valley and think “oh, wonderful, look at that additional GDP”.

    I also worry that we are effectively writing off a million or two UK citizens as basically being economically useless because they can’t or won’t do the work that immigrants can and will do. I accept that this is a bit of a Gordian knot, but I suspect that turning off the tap of eager, dedicated minimum-wage employees might concentrate minds on finding ways to improve the education and skills base, health and work-habits of the people who (to borrow a phrase) have been “left behind”.

    On your other point re: refugees and the construction of “external border” outside the EU, I am open to that kind of approach although I don’t necessarily see the Turkish deal on that basis (I see it essentially as us bribing them to do what, were they a proper country based on rule of law, they should be doing anyway). I am a firm supporter of Cameron’s position of being among the most generous countries in the world for supporting displaced people in the region whilst being among the most parsimonious countries in the world for offering them the prospect of a New Beginning if they risk everything and trek thousands of miles.

  7. @Somerjohn – “….struggling as its bilateral trade deals make it the dumping-ground for the world’s exports,…..”

    Yes I’ve often wondered why Brexiters are so convinced that bilateral deals with countries with far lower wages and production costs would bring great economic benefit to the UK, especially to those Brexit voters engaged in more manual production jobs. Ho hum.

  8. An interesting symmetry in political reaction in Italy & France.

    In Italy , among demonstrators against Renzi’s Referendum are union members protesting his plans to make it easier to dismiss employees; & teachers angry about new rules to give Heads more power.

    In France , Unions have promised national “mobilisation” against Fillon if he is elected President. They describe his policy of 39 hrs per week for the public sector as “slavery” & will fight his policies on jobs ( 500,000 public sector jobs -out of 5.64 million ) to go, and healthcare policies to curb excessive use of free medicines.

    We went through all this 30 years ago. And they are still clinging to the wreckage.

    If Fillon is elected President Thatcher v Scargill will look like a tea party.

  9. @Colin – while it does superficially hark back to the 1980’s, there is one clear difference – the financial crash of 2008.

    While I have long held that the public sector has a deep and abiding obligation to be ‘efficient’ (however one defines that) due to the fact that it coercively takes people’s money in order to provide services, I’ve long held that the biggest problems the UK had was not around public sector spending, but on the neol!beral inspired narrowing of the tax base.

    The entire financial architecture derived from the 1980’s settlement revolves around shielding assets and income from tax, and it’s the tax gap that is the fundamental problem, not how many hours per week teachers work.

    I do see some of the work practices in France and wonder, but at heart, are we saying that the response to global financial mismanagement and criminality is to make public sector workers pay, or should we be looking to reform th system that created the whole suite of problems in the first place?

  10. ALEC

    I disagree.

    The professional & trade cartels & restrictive practices these people cling to are very reminiscent of the UK economy pre Thatcher.

    It is interesting that two politicians have emerged in Italy, and now France who perceive their adverse effects .

    I think Renzi is a gonner-but France could prove to be very interesting. It will certainly test the French voter -assuming the Left is now so discredited that Vals **gets nowhere ;- Fillon provides the return to French “Culture” that Le Pen offers-but without the whiff of Godwin. So the battle is economic-Le Pen’s traditional Protectionism & Dirigisme vs Fillon’s hated “Anglo Saxon model”.

    ** I assume Macron won’t come through the middle-but perhaps he will-the ghost of Blair :-)

  11. If the Remainers really try hard enough & employ enough lawyers, I am sure they will find some obscure law which stops us from ever leaving the EU. under any circumstances.

    What joy. How they will endear themselves to half the UK electorate :-)

  12. ALEC

    ……and even Macron; one time protege of Hollande , now “Independent” thinks it’s a problem :-

    “”France is blocked by corporatism of all kinds,I reject this system.”

    Emmanuel Macron.

  13. I must say I am glad I didn’t post last night. When abuse is flung around it’s time to take a rest. I notice that even normally reasonable Remainers are descending to that level, which is a pity.

    Instead I had a really interesting and enjoyable time with one of my daughters and her family

    Neil A

    Although I want to leave the EU in totality as Somerjohn rightly points out, I agree with most of what you wrote in your vision of our future approach to the EU and the World in general

    Colin

    Like you I had to laugh at those who said that Mrs T ‘s election wins were not an endorsement of her policies.

    Finally as a counter to the doom and gloom written above. There is an alternative view of the future. In twenty year time we may welll look back and say how prosperous we are now, and how right we were to leave what turned out to be a failing EU.

  14. @COLIN

    “If the Remainers really try hard enough & employ enough lawyers, I am sure they will find some obscure law which stops us from ever leaving the EU. under any circumstances.
    What joy. How they will endear themselves to half the UK electorate :-)”

    Just as the Brexiteers have endeared themselves to the other half?

  15. Test

  16. @R HUCKLE

    “Trump seems to be worried by recounts in some states, with some suggesting that there needs to be checks on actual votes, to check that hacking of electronic vote counters has not happened. If it is found out that there have been errors or hacking, with Trump losing some states, then the political situation in the US is going to be a nightmare.”

    Trump would need to lose all three states in order for the result of the election to be overturned. I think this highly unlikely. It’s possible that Michigan will go to Clinton after a recount but the other states unlikely in my view. Trump had a 27,000 majority in Wisconsin, which is not that small, and 70,000 in Pennsylvania. I’m no Trump fan but all these petty manoeuvres to interfere with the election result don’t do any credit to his opponents.

  17. Looks like the EEA A127 challenge might well have some legs.

    The AGREEMENT ON THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AREA [41 page PDF] lists the individual EU countries as CONTRACTING PARTIES including the THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND [pp 4 & 5 of the PDF].

    Article 127 [p40 of the PDF] states:
    Each Contracting Party may withdraw from this Agreement provided it gives at least twelve months’ notice in writing to the other Contracting Parties.

    Immediately after the notification of the intended withdrawal, the other Contracting Parties shall convene a diplomatic conference in order to envisage the necessary modifications to bring to the Agreement.

    Article 128 re joining on the same page is also perhaps relevant in stating:
    1. Any European State becoming a member of the Community shall, and the Swiss Confederation or any European State becoming a member of EFTA may, apply to become a party to this Agreement. It shall address its application to the EEA Council.

    2. The terms and conditions for such participation shall be the subject of an agreement between the Contracting Parties and the applicant State. That agreement shall be submitted for ratification or approval by all Contracting Parties in accordance with their own procedures.

    The agreement was last updated on 2016-08-01.

    The fact that 9 years after the Lisbon Treaty, when EU A50 was introduced, is not mentioned lends credence to the argument that Article 127 must be invoked separately from EU A50. As such, if the A50 challenge requires parliamentary rather than prerogative action is ruled by the Supreme Court it looks probable that EEA A127 would require the same action.

    Well done, Prof. Yarrow and chums. Should they prevail, getting parliamentary majorities against invoking EEA A127 should be a lot easier than EU A50.

  18. @Colin – you’re probably right on France. As I say, I don’t know enough to have a strong opinion, but I suspect that there are restrictive practices that eventually end up having a knock on effect to citizens and tax payers that may outweigh the benefits to individual workers and their families. I would still argue though that it is fair to argue in general terms that we need ti understand that there is no division between people and the ‘economy’. The economy is simply the sum total of what people do, and we can seek to organise this is a way that benefits people more, and corporations less. I would, however, accept a wider definition of ‘corporations’ to include not just business enterprises but also other interest groups like unions and public sector workers.

    I just become innately suspicious of attacks on these sectors while the business class carry on [email protected] the system to their advantage.

  19. @Tancred – tend to agree with you on the US recounts. My only reservation would be if there is evidence found of tampering, with the electronic voting machines apparently being theoretically possible to hack. If any evidence emerges of this, then I would want lawyers and investigators crawling all over everything to do with the vote, as such events would be devastating for democracy.

    However, even Stein admits they have no evidence of such tampering. If none is found they should just get on with the business of accepting he result, and possibly also explaining why they thought it was a good idea to put up a Green candidate with no hope of doing anything other than handing the election to Trump.

    One thing should be troubling to [small ‘d’] democrats though. Trump believes he won by ‘a landslide’, if the alleged illegal votes are discounted. He offers no evidence for any fraud, yet clearly believes he has a popular mandate.

    Having such a delusional extremist in charge is worrying.

  20. @Colin – “If the Remainers really try hard enough & employ enough lawyers, I am sure they will find some obscure law which stops us from ever leaving the EU. under any circumstances.”

    That’s a very silly comment. We have rules, laws and lawyers for a reason, and if you want to start arguing that the government can discard those it doesn’t like, we would end up with a rather frightening country.

    The problem here isn’t with remainers or their lawyers. It l!es four square with the cackhanded government who didn’t bother to check what the legal ramifications of an EU vote to leave before they set up the referendum.

    Don’t blame citizens who wish to see the rule of law upheld. And I hav repeatedly said, no one can argue against another vote when all the information on the consequences is available.

  21. @NEIL A

    “I am certainly not convinced that adding a further 15m human beings to this country would be achievable without a large-scale loss of green spaces, habitat and wild flora and fauna. It seems to me that the effects on those things of adding the last15m people are clear to see. And in a global context, people who know better than me are crystal clear on the effects of human population growth on the prospects for other species.”

    What evidence do you have that remaining in the EU will add another 15m people to the population? Or are you simply extrapolating statistics?
    Also, are you not aware that the UK is one of the few nations in Europe with natural population growth? I.e. from births rather than immigrants.

  22. Colin – “In France , Unions have promised national “mobilisation” against Fillon if he is elected President.”

    The burning question is whether they will vote him into the Presidency first before they say, ugh, we didn’t want you as president we are going to mobilise against you! Or will they abstain?

  23. @ALEC

    “@Tancred – tend to agree with you on the US recounts. My only reservation would be if there is evidence found of tampering, with the electronic voting machines apparently being theoretically possible to hack. If any evidence emerges of this, then I would want lawyers and investigators crawling all over everything to do with the vote, as such events would be devastating for democracy.”

    I agree, but the evidence needs to be there and convincing at that. I would rate the chances of the presidential election result being overturned as around 5% at present. $7M is a small sum in a country awash with money but it’s still a huge waste. I only see justification for recounts when the entire result hangs on the result in one state alone, not three.

  24. @BARBAZENZERO

    “The fact that 9 years after the Lisbon Treaty, when EU A50 was introduced, is not mentioned lends credence to the argument that Article 127 must be invoked separately from EU A50. As such, if the A50 challenge requires parliamentary rather than prerogative action is ruled by the Supreme Court it looks probable that EEA A127 would require the same action.
    Well done, Prof. Yarrow and chums. Should they prevail, getting parliamentary majorities against invoking EEA A127 should be a lot easier than EU A50.”

    True. Voting against leaving the single market would not invalidate the referendum result so MPs would free to do so without being accused of hampering ‘democracy’ and all that rubbish. However, I also think that there should be a separate vote on whether to remain in the customs union. Being in the single market without the customs union would seem rather pointless to me.

  25. The only way to find evidence of tampering with an electronic voting machine, is to do an audit of the records. (And it’s not possible at all with the ones that stored no offline records.)

    The combination of statistical evidence and evidence of state-sponsered hacking of the Democratic party, strongly suggests that there is a reason to perform such an audit.

  26. “And I hav repeatedly said, no one can argue against another vote when all the information on the consequences is available.”

    —————-

    That’s not to say you couldn’t have more votes before all the info becomes avaikabke. Vote early and often seems to be the thing: some peeps can’t get enough of this voting malarkey. That’s why they join polling panels as the next best thing…

  27. @ALEC

    “That’s a very silly comment. We have rules, laws and lawyers for a reason, and if you want to start arguing that the government can discard those it doesn’t like, we would end up with a rather frightening country.”

    It is indeed, but it exemplifies the illogical, crusading mentality of the typical Brexiteer. The law is viewed as an obstacle rather than an asset. This is very worrying – it’s reminiscent of the mob rule that came into Germany in 1933 and saw the rapid suppression of all opposition to the government, completely against the rule of law. The law exists to protect essential rights and prevent one group from dictating to the whole country.

  28. Fantasy law

    If as nick Clegg now concedes there is in reality no parliamentary way of stopping A50 being triggered and the very fact that the government has to go through that process is predicated on the basis that it is irrevocable the 127 argument is dinner party law.
    To suggest that the UK should remain in the EEA presumably outside the ECJ with no freedom of movement conducting free trade agreements with all and sundry and yet be part of the single market because the EU cannot expel us seems unlikely and ,in fact, deeply offensive and damaging to the EU.
    Should we not stop being perfidious albion and do this Brexit in a straightforward and honest way for both ourselves and EUROPE

  29. @[email protected]

    “Colin – “In France , Unions have promised national “mobilisation” against Fillon if he is elected President.”
    The burning question is whether they will vote him into the Presidency first before they say, ugh, we didn’t want you as president we are going to mobilise against you! Or will they abstain?”

    It would be funny if the unions have to suppport a neo-fascist against a hardline Thatcherite. Fillon is the lesser of two evils, but he is also a very divisive figure in French politics, though not as much as Le Pen. If he wins, as looks likely, he will need to tone down his policies instead of trying to be another Trump.

  30. @ALEC

    “Test?”

    ——–

    Yes, well it’s not looking good at the moment. India have the upper hand again.

    We might need a recount…

  31. @S THOMAS

    “Should we not stop being perfidious albion and do this Brexit in a straightforward and honest way for both ourselves and EUROPE”

    I don’t really understand what you are saying but we have been ‘perfidious Albion’ ever since June 23rd. On that shameful day we chose to betray our European sister nations and unilaterally abandon the EU project.

  32. @S THOMAS

    “To suggest that the UK should remain in the EEA presumably outside the ECJ with no freedom of movement conducting free trade agreements with all and sundry and yet be part of the single market because the EU cannot expel us seems unlikely and ,in fact, deeply offensive and damaging to the EU.”

    I think you misunderstand. Staying in the EEA means that there would have to be freedom of movement! And no, we would not be able to negotiate any trade deals outside the EU. We would be in a Norway style situation.

  33. BZ & Alec

    “Well done, Prof. Yarrow and chums. Should they prevail, getting parliamentary majorities against invoking EEA A127 should be a lot easier than EU A50.”

    As you know I uphold the law and it will no doubt be for the lawyers to sort this out. If we have to trigger Art 127 as well as Art 50 you may be right, that it will be easier for those parliamentarians who want to disrupt us leaving the EU to vote to stop triggering Art 127.

    If that proves to be the case I am sure that we can still leave the EU as such, by triggering Art 50. However of course as I understand it by not being able to trigger Art 127 we will not be able to leave the EEA and we will be bound by the four freedoms. Not being able to control our borders will not go down well with those who voted to leave, and I have no doubt that it will enrage the Prime Minister and Government. In this case I suspect the Government will either find ways of having an immediate election, or less likely will just leave the EU, but remain in the EEA until the next election when with I suspect a greater majority it is able to remove us from the EEA.

    It will be very irritating for people like me but I think the delay and antagonism caused will make remaining in the EU and EEA even harder in the slightly longer term.

  34. Alec,
    The problem here isn’t with remainers or their lawyers. It l!es four square with the cackhanded government who didn’t bother to check what the legal ramifications of an EU vote to leave before they set up the referendum.
    Don’t blame citizens who wish to see the rule of law upheld. And I hav repeatedly said, no one can argue against another vote when all the information on the consequences is available.

    Indeed,
    David Davies (a leading member of ‘Vote Leave’) is in charge of this and it seems to me that he needs to decide what he wants to do and how he plans to do it. But, whatever he does he needs to make sure that he obeys the law. Otherwise, he can have no complaint if people challenge him in court.
    On the second vote, I have thought for a while that a second referendum is not necessarily anti-democratic as Vote Leave was not explicit about what they were asking people to vote for. Therefore, giving people the chance to vote on what is suggested as an ‘exit agreement’ is not undemocratic (it is asking a question which is new and has not been asked before). You could argue that the second referendum should be to ratify the agreement (similar to the original vote to join the EEC) but as it may be voted down that could cause a huge problem. A second option would be a hard Brexit or soft Brexit referendum. That would respect the original referendum but would look a bit odd if neither were looking like a good outcome. All in all, it is not a great position for us to have got ourselves into. Plan anyone?

  35. Interesting that people who largely support Brexit on here are looking at Fillon as pursuing Thatcher style Labour Market reforms that they feel are long overdue on the continent at the same time as those here and in the US are revelling against the system that brought in those reforms.

    On the one hand they think it is right for leaders on the Continent to pursue policies that cut the public sector and reduce barriers to employment, like redundancy and employment rules or a 35hr week, while following a free trade route.

    On the other they attack the “Political and Metroploitan Elites” because while the rich have got richer working people’s wages have stagnated and we have lost jobs to abroad!

    There seems to be not the slightest inclination that the policies of Thatcher that they so admire and advocate, from weakening the Unions to boosting the Banks, might actually be as much to blame for why so many now struggle to get by as Brussels and Washington!

    Peter.

  36. NEIL A
    On environmental, sociall and urban planning to absorb an increased population, you write:
    ” this won’t be done so that even the moderate mitigation that is available is a smokescreen.”….
    “I also worry that we are effectively writing off a million or two UK citizens as basically being economically useless because they can’t or won’t do the work that immigrants can and will do”

    Taking your generous response further, you might, I suggest, be prepared to accept that these are feasible policies and investment programmes and strategies, cf elements in Lab, LD, Green and SNP stated policies.
    If you can bring yourself to compare their practicality and likelihood with the uncharted supposition that a continued Tory government will – say, over the next twenty years – have brought UK immigration down to below 100k p.a.,kept economic growth, gdp, unemployment and inflation figures at present level, and created the alternative measures for meeting the existing stresses of unequal regional development, you may concede that – while they may depend on election results and satisfactory Brexit outcomes – the former may not be what you wish but are a possibility which the opposition parties will continued to work for.

    TANCRED @ Neil A
    “What evidence do you have that remaining in the EU will add another 15m people to the population? Or are you simply extrapolating statistics?”

    Neil was quoting my figures which are taken from the EC Ageing Report 2015 http://europa.eu/epc/pdf/ageing_report_2015_en.pdf member country data sheets, which show forecast migration figures in relation to employment, pensions and gdp data. These are based, of course, and their and Eurostat assumptions but also on the input from the concerned Treasury expert. (The point about them is not that they are necessarily right but that they are based on accessible sources and assumptions by a reputable source on which EU and member country migration and related are based. What was suprising to me in the referendum debate was the repeated failure of both sides to be able to quote the UK and EC figures which are routinely made available to policy makers.)

  37. Paul Nuttall is now the UKIP Leader.

  38. Peter Cairns,

    I think that it’s possible that people have considered your opinions and disagreed with them. One of the interesting things about politics is that you can then go on to debate with them.

    Similarly, there are people who have looked at the double-digit unemployment in France, and thought “This isn’t a problem for social democracy and with strong trade unions, this is a problem with the Euro/neoliberalism/Germans/THATCHER/etc.”

  39. Peter Cairns,

    I made the mistake of using the n-word in my comment, but the key point is this: there are people who disagree with you, and thinking that they’ve made some simple mistake of reasoning is not going to help you with your goals.

  40. CatmanJeff,

    This couldn’t come at a worse time for Labour. Paul Nuttall may prove to be a poor leader for UKIP, but it’s probable that he’ll be much more effective in reaching out to Labour voters than Nigel Farage ever was.

  41. The Other Howard,
    “Like you I had to laugh at those who said that Mrs T ‘s election wins were not an endorsement of her policies.”

    Well they werent. We all know how few people need to vote for a party for it to win, the Uk system pretty much guarantees the winner will have only minority support.

    Margaret Thatcher has become an iconic figure, but it is always unclear how much a person’s image is spun to fit the times, or to what extent they are purely a figurehead for others behind them, while the leader herself may nor agree with everything she has to front.

    We are sufficiently distanced from Thatcher to see that while voters may have supported her stated aims, the outcome from those policies was not what she might have wished, nor the voters. For example, halting the construction of council houses, with the stated belief that the market would meet the shortfall. It did not. Did Thatcher plan a housing shortage? Did she plan rocketing bills for housing benefit? I don’t think she did.

    S Thomas,
    “If as nick Clegg now concedes there is in reality no parliamentary way of stopping A50 being triggered and the very fact that the government has to go through that process is predicated on the basis that it is irrevocable the 127 argument is dinner party law.”

    The government chose to argue that article 50 is irrevocable, whereas this is in fact just another of the uncertainties about Brexit. I heard suggestions they may now have decided to argue the reverse. The question anyway is about whether the Uk could unilaterally change its mind and not leave. Its pretty clear the negotiated final deal could be to remain in the EU, but this would require consent of the various EU parties.

    JohninDevon,
    If there is a second referendum, it would be ridiculous not to offer the alternative of halting Brexit. No doubt this is what is concerning the leave campaign. It would equally be ridiculous not to have a referendum on the actual proposed deal for brexit. I am a little bemused by the concept that voters are never entitled to change their minds.

  42. TOH
    I absolutely agree that the EU is not without its own risks & stresses.
    Some of them quite feasibly could be fatal.
    A number of them will begin to crystallize during the A50 negotiations.

  43. ALEC

    @”Don’t blame citizens who wish to see the rule of law upheld”

    You mean these “citizens” ?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Influence

    Not exactly the Tolpuddle Martyrs are they? :-)

  44. CANDY

    The vote will be fascinating in France. I don’t know enough about their demographics to forecast how a Fillon v LePen contest would be resolved by French voters.

    I wonder if Macron might present a surprise too-what was that old phrase?……….a Third Way :-)

  45. @TOH – I can agree with your 11.49. It’s is sensible and correct, in my view.

    You haven’t gone down the route of some others and decried the attempts to clarify legally the distinction between EU and EEA membership, but equally, you have highlighted the political issues here.

    While I believe we must abide by the law, in certain areas legal issues collide with political realities. Whether it is politically sensible to obstruct the leaving of the EU and EEA is a separate question to whether the two require different and distinct decisions.

    At present, my guess is that maintaining membership of the EEA would be difficult to explain to many voters, given the need for free movement, although having said that, with 48.1% backing remaining in the full EU, perhaps this isn’t such a big ask. Would the 1.9% required to move across the divide be tempted by protecting free trade in exchange for reduced payments, getting id of our obligations under the CAP and fisheries policy, but retaining free movement? I think that may well be an open question, although I suspect most would be motivated not by thinking that the EEA option is a positive move, rather than a less negative one than leaving outright.

    I would also suggest to remainers that it would be churlish to argue that these maneuvers are solely designed to ensure a proper constitutional process. It’s clear in my mind that many behind these legal cases simply want to stop Brexit – which is their right. My guess is that they are hoping that by muddying the water and hopefully delaying the process, they invoke the Micawber approach of ‘something will turn up’ to envisage the conditions when sufficient people decide that staying with the EU is on balance a better option.

  46. @Bill Patrick

    My thoughts exactly.

    He is the person Labour did want to win.

  47. Correction

    @Bill Patrick

    My thoughts exactly.

    He is the person Labour did not want to win.

  48. Alec

    Thanks for that. It is nice to know, although whilst not agreeing on what is best for the country, we can agree on issues like upholding the rule of law.

    It will be interesting to see what happens. The more I think about it the more I feel that if we have to trigger Art.127 as well as Art 50 the resulting irritation amongst those who wish to leave will mean that I get what I want eventually – to leave the EU fully..

  49. TOH

    Thanks for yours of 9 a.m. yesterday. I agree that the question is not ‘whether’ we leave the EU, but ‘how’.

    That said, the ‘how’ question includes the relationship between the EU, the ECJ and the Devolved Settlements. To ride roughshod over what has been achieved in the past twenty years, particularly in Northern Ireland but also in Wales and Scotland, would not be a good idea, it seems to me.

    As for my views on England and the English, I agree that my last couple of sentences might have been better had they been less strongly worded. That said, however, a couple of weeks ago I was offered a considerable promotion, but taking up the job would have involved leaving Scotland and going to live in the south of England.

    Now, you may wish to try and convince me that the Express, the Mail and the Telegraph are representative of only a small minority of rather unfriendly people and that their views on throwing my Italian wife out of the UK (she is an EU citizen, and she and I are constantly being made aware of anti-EU sentiment coming from those newspapers) are not representative of the majority south of the border. But in the absence of any such hint of welcome for those who are not UK citizens we decided to remain in Scotland. We would rather be poorer amongst friends than be richer and live surrounded by those who wish us ill!

    Now, if our views are unfair, then we apologise. But perhaps those who wonder about our fears might try to put themselves in our shoes and listen to what is being said by many of those publications which seek to lead, or reflect, people’s thinking in England. Some who contribute to this site are no less threatening!

  50. @Catmanjeff

    “He is the person Labour did not want to win.”

    That may be true of the PLP who understand such things but I suspect that the leadership will be oblivious.

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