YouGov’s latest voting intention figures are CON 42%, LAB 25%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 12%, GRN 4%. It was conducted over last weekend, so shortly after the Liberal Democrats’ success in Richmond Park. The 11% for the Lib Dems equals their highest from YouGov since the election, but it’s not a huge bounce and not a record breaker. More notable is the Labour score – 25% is the lowest that Labour have recorded since back in 2009 (as others have commented, it appears to be the lowest they have had in opposition since all the way back in 1983, though that should be seen in the context that there were fewer small parties in the 1980s and the big parties normally had higher scores than are typical these days)

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378 Responses to “YouGov – CON 42, LAB 25, LDEM 11, UKIP 12”

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  1. Shocking numbers for Labour. Not so much the headline but the underly!ng numbers. Losing a third of your (losing) 2015 GE voters tends to suggest Corbyn isn’t the answer. They’re certainly not flocking to the banner.

  2. More dire numbers for Labour, after an embarrassing by-election result. And the first signs of a much anticipated LibDem revival.

    There is a sense that with the LD strong commitment to Remain that they might capture the metropolitan middle classes. And we see UKIP targeting Labour’s working class support.

    It is premature to talk of a Labour collapse, and the LDs are still a long way back, but the seeds are there.

    I think Sleaford is very significant: this was a straight fight for second place, where Labour had the advantage of finishing second, and where the LDs did very poorly, last time. Quite simply, there is no excuse and no feasible explanation for Labour’s dismal show. Other than the fact that the party is increasingly unpopular and irrelevant.

    They really are in trouble.

  3. Labour need to decide what they will do on Brexit. While they go the “middle” way they are distrusted by both sides. My guess is that they are more likely to go the way of the majority of their support and go for the remain side as that comes much more naturally to the members.

    But in that case why would anyone vote for them over the Liberals, who are far less equivocal? And of course the stategy that their supporters had nowhere else to go has already got them into a mess once. Will they make the same mistake twice? Can they afford to?

  4. First of all Labour need a ‘normal’ bloke as leader, not an old bearded leftie. Someone like Ed Balls, as Candy pointed out, would be ideal, but he shows little enthusiasm to return to politics. With Balls in charge and a more sensible set of policies, Labour would be back in the 30s quite easily.

    On Brexit, Labour should not simply ape the Tories but show a willingness to go against it unless there are guarantees in place.

  5. One might have thought that the beneficiaries of the lost Labour votes would be the smaller parties, but it does seem that voters have moved from Labour to Tory.

  6. @SORREL

    “Labour need to decide what they will do on Brexit. While they go the “middle” way they are distrusted by both sides. My guess is that they are more likely to go the way of the majority of their support and go for the remain side as that comes much more naturally to the members.”

    Labour should be open and honest and say that remaining is still the best way forward, while observing the referendum vote. So they should openly press for staying in the single market and customs union. This would not be a ‘middle way’ but an honest compromise.

    “But in that case why would anyone vote for them over the Liberals, who are far less equivocal? And of course the stategy that their supporters had nowhere else to go has already got them into a mess once. Will they make the same mistake twice? Can they afford to?!”

    Because Labour is the party of ordinary people – the Lib-Dems are still tainted by Clegg’s deal with dodgy Dave. This is the problem for the Lib-Dems – they have alienated their more leftist supporters by backing a Tory government in return for nothing.

  7. @THOUGHTFUL

    “One might have thought that the beneficiaries of the lost Labour votes would be the smaller parties, but it does seem that voters have moved from Labour to Tory.”

    UKIP had gained a bit of support from disaffected Labour voters, but not enough to make a difference. And the Lib-Dems will struggle to win working class voters over, even when these are remainers. The best hope for the Lib-Dems is to encourage tactical voting.

  8. @Thoughtful
    “the beneficiaries of the lost Labour votes would be the smaller parties, but it does seem that voters have moved from Labour to Tory.”
    Do take a careful look at the YG figures in the panel to the right.
    The ten Con figures since the beginning of October, including this one, were
    42 42 41 40 42 42 41 40 42 42
    I don’t see much gain (or loss) from anywhere.

  9. TANCRED

    As support falls that which is left is (expectedly) more dyed in the wool long term support, who would rather die than vote Tory.

    In normal time the floating voters are happy to switch between the two main parties, the switchers in this poll are not the normal floaters though.

    Perhaps you might have a point that the catalyst here is Brexit, and if there is little support / confidence for Labour here, maybe some Labour Brexiters have moved across.

  10. Tancred

    i do not know what planet you are currently living on but to describe remaining in the single market with consequent unlimited immigration and being unable to enter into trade deals as a fair compromise does seem a little blinkered.

    I just wish you were on the EC negotiating team (for them of course)

  11. I don’t see how Labour can handle Brexit. So, they really have to hope that it happens soon. Also, as long as the limbo is going on, the government’s approval rate will remain (npi) high.

    They also have a little problem with the grand left alliance. Considering that their candidate was a kind of Corbynista, the Greens (who didn’t have a candidate – a kind of habit perhaps) called for the support of the independent candidate. One wonders …

  12. Small Scottish sample does not give much basis for drawing conclusions! but ….

    Lab on 12% in Scotland is no longer a ludicrous concept. Of course, they might be as high as 16-17% as the Full Scottish polls in Sept/Oct found.

    SNP 50% : Con 26% : Lab 12% : LD 6% : UKIP 5% : Green 2% (for those want to see the numbers)

  13. @Millie

    ” I think Sleaford is very significant: this was a straight fight for second place, where Labour had the advantage of finishing second, and where the LDs did very poorly, last time. Quite simply, there is no excuse and no feasible explanation for Labour’s dismal show. Other than the fact that the party is increasingly unpopular and irrelevant.”

    There are plenty of excuses. They don’t do any good but they are there and they are obvious.

    People are looking for black and white. Anyone offering grey (or gold for that matter) is going to get short shrift. But that doesn’t mean that this is the wrong approach. It is probably the right approach but it requires playing a longer game.

    Sleaford is actually unremarkable. It most ordinary times it would have passed without comment. Tories hold on in heartland a year after a GE with a small fall in its vote share. This is as ordinary as ordinary can get.

  14. I’m not convinced it’s all doom and gloom for Labour. For now May is getting the benefit of doubt from a lot of voters.No one knows how Brexit will impact either in the medium or long term. You can be optimistic or pessimistic but you still don’t know what will happen.

    We may be in a very different situation three years down the line.

  15. @SORREL “Labour need to decide what they will do on Brexit. While they go the “middle” way they are distrusted by both sides. My guess is that they are more likely to go the way of the majority of their support and go for the remain side as that comes much more naturally to the members.”

    @Tancred “Labour should be open and honest and say that remaining is still the best way forward, while observing the referendum vote. So they should openly press for staying in the single market and customs union. This would not be a ‘middle way’ but an honest compromise.”

    So called “Soft Brexit” is a crazy policy for Labour. It only makes sense to their heavily Remain London constituencies. 70% of their constituencies voted out and immigration was one of their chief concerns.

    Why on earth would you pursue a policy that only 30% of your current seats would accept as not a betrayal.

  16. @ TANCRED

    What you say seems a sensible approach for Labour – I think it’s not far off what Kier Starmer has been trying to do.

    But it’s quite a complicated message to convey.How to sell it to people who don’t know what the custom union is? That’s the difficulty with the nuanced position.

    I wish, thinking about it, there was polling on questions like “Do you wish to stay in the Customs Union?”, just so we could see what people think – and what percentage go with “don’t know”. My guess is that people will answer as if they had been asked about the EU.

  17. @SORREL

    “But it’s quite a complicated message to convey.How to sell it to people who don’t know what the custom union is? That’s the difficulty with the nuanced position.”

    And therein lies the problem for Labour. It is a diffcult message to send because it implies a position that is not clear cut. People always like a clear ‘either or’, not something that appears to be a fudge.
    However Labour can clarify their position by explaining the choices to people and stress that leaving the EU does not have to be a cutting of all ties, which is what UKIP and the Tory right want.

  18. @MIKE PEARCE

    It’s not great for Labour. Even if Labour manage to grab some of those Tory voters back they will need to persuade one heck of a lot before being able to win a general election, especially with the new boundaries.
    I just don’t see it happening.

  19. @SEACHANGE

    “So called “Soft Brexit” is a crazy policy for Labour. It only makes sense to their heavily Remain London constituencies. 70% of their constituencies voted out and immigration was one of their chief concerns.
    Why on earth would you pursue a policy that only 30% of your current seats would accept as not a betrayal.”

    Well, you could look at it that way, but this runs counter to what most Labour members, let alone MPs believe in. What is the point of a party when it changes its stance on a key issue so easily? If Labour fully embraced brexit with no qualifications then this would lead to a full split in the party. Not a good idea.

  20. Tancred
    “….leaving the EU does not have to be a cutting of all ties, which is what UKIP and the Tory right want.”

    I’m not quite sure what you mean by this, but I don’t think anyone wants to cut all ties with the European nations. Co-operation on security for instance surely must be a good thing.

    The latest poll does indeed look dire for Labour, and some of their patriotic supporters will continue to drift to UKIP, thus keeping UKIP numbers at a steady level despite the recent infighting.

  21. @Tancred ” If Labour fully embraced brexit with no qualifications then this would lead to a full split in the party. ”
    I assume that ” a split in the party” would be between some members and others, or perhaps divide many MPs from most of the membership?
    I think the split Labour should be most worried about is the one between the party and its voters. The programme in which the MP was followed on the doorsteps of Stoke-on-Trent (a city I know quite well, and considered an unbreakable Labour stronghold) was a real eye-opener, as were the expressions on the party members faces at the responses to their enquiries about Brexit.

  22. I remember the post AW made on no Bregrets.

    The onus is on those transacting Brexit and not the remainers.

    If were an advisor to Labour then I would just advise to snipe from the sidelines and hope that it doesn’t work well enough to satisfy all the Brexiters. There only needs be a small swing to change an outcome.

    One thing though that I’m not sure Labour currently have is patience, and another is subtlety.

  23. @S THOMAS

    “i do not know what planet you are currently living on but to describe remaining in the single market with consequent unlimited immigration and being unable to enter into trade deals as a fair compromise does seem a little blinkered.
    I just wish you were on the EC negotiating team (for them of course)”

    The referendum only obliges the government to leave the EU organisation – NOTHING else. As you can be part of EFTA/EEA, the single market and the customs union without being part of the EU then it is a perfectly reasonable path to go down.
    As was mentioned before, being part of single market does not necessarily entail having to accept unfettered freedom of movement. Restrictions can be put in place. And the customs union offers consumers free trade in Europe – why go to all the trouble of working out complex deals outside Europe that can take years when we have a market of over 400 million on our doorstep?
    The alternative to all this is a full break and operating under WTO rules, which would be disastrous to our economy.

  24. Let’s not make this thread a complete re-hash of the Brexit debate. Again.

    Comments about Brexit should be confined to the effect on the VI of the parties, now and in the future. Yes we all know that if it goes swimmingly the Tories will benefit. Yes we all know that if it is a disaster the Tories will suffer. Yes we all know that everyone has strong opinions about whether it will be a disaster or not, but we’ve been there and done that. A lot.

    So far as I can tell noone has really shifted their position as a result, so the value of showing and telling one’s views on the subject is probably exhausted.

    For now the Brexit story is how the parties cope with the political fallout from having supporters and potential supporters with a range of different views on it.

  25. It has been said on here that 25% is Labour’s floor. We may soon find out whether that is true or not. The trend line is downwards with nothing to suggest it has bottomed out.

  26. @PETE B

    “I’m not quite sure what you mean by this, but I don’t think anyone wants to cut all ties with the European nations. Co-operation on security for instance surely must be a good thing.”

    I mean cutting economic and trading ties.

    “The latest poll does indeed look dire for Labour, and some of their patriotic supporters will continue to drift to UKIP, thus keeping UKIP numbers at a steady level despite the recent infighting.”

    I hate the way you imply that anyone supporting remain is not patriotic! How dare you say that? It’s a bit like a German saying that all patriots voted for the Nazis in 1933. You can be patriotic and hold almost any political belief.

    I don’t believe UKIP is capable of attracting hordes of Labour voters. UKIP’s ceiling of support is probably around 15% of the electorate. All this talk of UKIP winning loads of Labour seats is pure hot air.

  27. This poll is within MoE of the last Yougov poll, so we should not read too much into it. However, 42% for the Tories has happened quite often while 11% for LD unusual and 25% for Labour the lowest for a long time.
    Breakthrough for the Lib Dems would be 13% – not achieved from YouGov since 2010.. if Labour bounce back to 27%, the 25% will not mean much.

    What we need is more polls!

  28. If I was to hazard a guess at the significance of the statistically insignificant changes, I would suggest UKIP to Tory and Lab to lib dem

  29. No obvious reason why the Tory lead should have increased by 5% in just a week. Why would the Tories add thee points post Richmond with Labour losing two? It is rather counterintuitive in that Labour was rather irrelevant in that contest , and makes me wonder whether one of the last two YouGov polls is an outlier.

  30. @Graham,

    I don’t think the headline figure is really significant. All well within MOE. It’s the continued stark difference in the relevant performances of Tory and Labour that is what matters. Its persistence rather than its size.

    I suspect the Richmond by-election may have given the Westminster bubble a slightly wonky view of how things stand. The news may be full of the resurgence of the LDs and the victory of the Remainers, but if on balance the swing voters are more Brexity than Remainy, that may just have highlighted the different perspective between them and London’s cosmopolitanism.

  31. Neil A

    “For now the Brexit story is how the parties cope with the political fallout from having supporters and potential supporters with a range of different views on it.”

    True, but parties who only have an FPTP electoral system to work with, also have to pay close attention as to which blocs of voters may be moving their position on the EU.

    For example, there has been discussion on here as to how voters in the North [of England] might move VI based on Brexit positions.

    Geographical crossbreaks are very weak evidence bases for judging such matters, but since there is virtually no polling evidence (outwith London) of how such issues are playing out in the English regions, it might be worth keeping a tentative eye on them for clues.

    Comparing this YG poll with its predecessor on that final “hindsight” question, and just looking at the gap between “Right” and “Wrong” in different areas, shows some differences – although the overall balance in GB remains much the same.

    Specifically –

    London’s lead of Wrong over Right has reduced by 9 points, while in the Rest of Southern England the lead of Right over Wrong has increased by 10 points.

    There is very little difference in the Midlands and North of England.

    In Scotland, the lead of Wrong over Right has increased by 8 points.

    All of these may simply be due to sampling variations. In which case you would expect to see swings the opposite way in future polls.

    However, a trend may indicate that some significance may be attached to the shifts.

    AW did say, at some point in the past, that the geographical crossbreaks can’t be relied on – but a consistent pattern of difference tells you something.

  32. @OLDNAT

    Small sample or not, 12% for Labour in Scotland is a foreboding lesson as to what can happen to them in their Northern English heartlands if they do not reverse their current London centric trajectory,

    Brexit is lost. Labour must wake up to the clear danger they face of their traditional working class base abandoning them.

  33. Sea Change

    I have posted links previously to academic analyses of how “non-attributable” spending by the UK Government is disproportionately skewed to the SE bit of the UK.

    The three most wealth producing parts of the UK (London, SE England, and Scotland) also get the lion’s share of the expenditure.

    Were I a UK enthusiast in any other part of the UK, I might consider that I was being taken for a mug.

    I’m rather in favour of resources from wealthier areas being re-allocated to the poorer ones in ways that help to boost their own economy. That’s what the EU Regional Assistance budget was designed to do, and if my taxes go to help infrastructure funding in the former communist parts of the EU, or to Cumbria, Wales, Cornwall etc etc, then that’s fine by me.

    Providing additional cash to SE England because the Treasury makes the rules seems somewhat pointless.

  34. It’s beyond parody, to be honest. Farage has told the DT that he could help Trump negotiate peace in the Middle East. “I’m not suggesting that I can do everything, but I do think that I’m quite good at negotiating. I’m quite good at bringing people together,”

    That’s right. Farage thinks he is good at bringing people together. From his own mouth.

    This is why political satire is dead. There is no longer any point to it.

  35. @ SEA CHANGE
    “Brexit is lost. Labour must wake up to the clear danger they face of their traditional working class base abandoning them.”

    Good points, and I sense Labour are well aware of the threat.

    The biggest danger for Labour is if UKIP morphs into a populist working class party based on local issues. They do not yet face the same threat (the SNP) that utterly destroyed them in Scotland.

  36. Oh! What fun!

    The Irish courts may be asked to refer the question of the revocability of Article 50 to the ECJ.

    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2016/dec/09/irish-courts-to-be-asked-to-intervene-in-brexit-legal-process-article-50?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    I did point out previously, that the UK SC wasn’t the final arbiter on that question – though I couldn’t see who might raise the issue via another EU state’s legal system.

    Who knows? The arguments on whether the UK has followed its own “constitutional requirements”, if the SC rules against the devolution arguments could also still be raised.

    Questions to the ECJ don’t have to asked by the highest court in a legal system (indeed any court-like tribunal can do so).

    Might the Catalan or Basque courts think it worth raising the question?

  37. Alec,
    “It’s beyond parody, to be honest. Farage has told the DT that he could help Trump negotiate peace in the Middle East. “I’m not suggesting that I can do everything, but I do think that I’m quite good at negotiating. I’m quite good at bringing people together,””

    If it wasn’t such a serious issue, it would almost be worth seeing what happens if people take him at his word and send him off to the ME.

    Farage’s political career consists entirely of tearing things down with nothing to replace them.

  38. @OLDNAT “The Irish courts may be asked to refer the question of the revocability of Article 50 to the ECJ.”

    Since both sides in the SC case conceded that Article 50 was irrevocable, that case will be decided on that basis. the ECJ won’t rule on it till after the decision so it will not be material. In the highly unlikely event the ECJ was to fast track a decision and it was revocable then the Government’s case would only be strengthened.

    However if that does happen, the EU will likely then be emboldened to offer so called “punishment terms” thinking the British will blink. That would badly backfire and we’d likely both be left with the “hardest of Brexits”. The EU Commission has excellent form in screwing things up so this is a strong possibility if revocability is allowable.

  39. @Various
    Farage couldn’t do much worse in the Middle East than Blair did.

    @Tancred
    “I hate the way you imply that anyone supporting remain is not patriotic! How dare you say that? It’s a bit like a German saying that all patriots voted for the Nazis in 1933.”

    I didn’t imply any such thing, and your reference to the Nazis is entirely inappropriate. I just think that traditional Labour voters – i.e. working class, salt of the earth types, probably aren’t that enthused by the current Labour leader who wants to get rid of our nuclear defence, and hobnobs with people who support Hezbollah etc. Whether we like it or not, perceptions of a party’s leader are important to the way a party is viewed.

    “I don’t believe UKIP is capable of attracting hordes of Labour voters. UKIP’s ceiling of support is probably around 15% of the electorate. All this talk of UKIP winning loads of Labour seats is pure hot air.”

    The last few governments have been elected with just over 20% of the electorate. e.g. Labour 21.7% in 2005, Conservative 24.4% in 2015. Therefore 15% of the electorate is significant. I don’t think UKIP will win loads of Labour seats but they finished second in over 100 seats at the last GE (including Tory seats), and might make further inroads next time unless Labour do something to reconnect with the traditional working class.

  40. Sea Change

    It’s a little more complicated than that!

    Have a look at this fuller report from RTE.

    http://www.rte.ie/news/2016/1209/837852-article-50-challenge/

    Ultimately, the litigants would pose two questions regarding European law.

    The first, is Article 50 reversible once it is triggered?

    The second, does the triggering of Article 50 mean that Britain also automatically leaves the European Economic Area (EEA), the organisation which legally enshrines the link between the EU and Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein.

    Remain campaigners have argued that if Article 50 were reversible it would increase the pressure on the British government to opt for a soft exit, or even a rethink on Brexit altogether.

    Because of the nature of the questions raised, Mr Maugham hopes that the questions, particularly that on reversibility, would be referred to the European Court of Justice.

    I note your opinion of the effect that revocability might have. That is, of course, only your opinion about how the complex negotiations might operate.

    However, I remain puzzled by the attitude of many who want to proceed without the faintest idea of the legal scenario that they are operating within – because they don’t want the questions to be asked, in case their are answers.

    [Incidentally, I still have no idea whether I used the correct form of their/there in that last line – since it related neither to place nor ownership!]

  41. Pete B

    “salt of the earth types”

    That phrase has always puzzled me. A highly saline environment is very unproductive – even if you are harvesting kelp or fish.

    Some salt is clearly necessary, but it should be kept to the minimum level required. :-)

  42. Hoho

  43. For those interested I’ve run You Gov VI post 2015 GE up to ,this poll through R, in the form of EWMA.

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzTTW1ecy-NDd2J3SlZjOHAyWTg

    Very briefly, the Conservatives and Lib Dems doing well, UKIP and Labour doing badly, and the Greens treading water.

  44. Old Nat

    Wrong form – no idea why, just wrong…

  45. For those holding the view that the current Labour leadership is only going to result in backsliding in the North, what exactly is it about the current leadership? Their industrial policy? Social attitudes? Presentation? Absolutely everything?

    It seems to the casual observer that agitators from the two ends of the Labour party are attempting to highlight the failings of the other wing not only to address those failings, but in an attempt to wrest control in a more broader context. If economic and employment policy from the more right wing side of the party go down less well, the more left wing side of the party want to use this as a vindication of a shift to the left on *all* issues, both on the economic and the social spectrum. If the left-wing predispositions of the current leadership on say foreign affairs or immigration are seen as a turn-off, this is used by the more right-leaners to try to shift economic policy to the right too.

    If there is a split in the electorate’s desires vis-a-vis these wings of the party, for arguments sake if the target electorate preferred the more left side of Labour’s approach to economic, employment and industrial policy and the more right side of Labour on defence, international affairs and social policy, is there any hope for Labour while acknowledging such a reality is trumped by an impulse to avoid ceding philosophical group *within* the party on any issues at all?

  46. It’s amazing how over 3 years the landscape politics has been massively altered by 2 significant referendums. In Scotland politics looks to have become an Independence vs Unionist fight with the SNP and the Tories benefiting from having strong positions. Labours weaker sounding position sees them decline even further after the referendum.
    UK as a whole has Brexit which looks to at the moment benefited the Tories by gaining votes back from UKIP and gaining Brexit supporting Labour voters. Interestingly looking at the YouGov tables and other poll tables, there is still LD votes going to the Conservatives. I presume these are the types of voter who switched tory in 2015 still switching, Natural tory voters, middle class couldn’t quite bring themselves to vote conservative 1997- 2005/2010. I would now expect to see the LD’s gaining Remain supporting Metropolitan types in Outer London and the south east from the conservatives.
    Labour have no strong soundbites in the areas dominating the news at the moment, they talk policy and detail. I don’t think this is the way to win voters, people unfortunately do not understand what they are on about, so zone out. If Labour are seen to stop Brexit then I could see them loose a massive chunk of Core vote, if they Embrace it they could lose the remain voters to the LD’s. Yet again the Labour vote has a split in it, yet again the party has no Idea what to do. It’s going to take the Conservatives slipping up for them to have a chance. Even then I would expect Disaffected Brexit Tories to go to UKIP and Remain Tories to LD. Lab wouldn’t be the main beneficiaries if they remain the same.
    The Conservatives are theoretically topped out in my opinion, they have UKIP votes back in house and Labour Brexiters, but have a retention in the 90’s. As details emerge of Brexit, some of these people are going to get annoyed and surely go UKIP or LD. So basically if the Government do a “good” job on Brexit or be seen to have done so, they win a landslide in votes. If not it’s going to be a very Hung parliament!!

  47. MILLIE
    There is no excuse and no feasible explanation for Labour’s dismal show. Other than the fact that the party is increasingly unpopular and irrelevant.
    NEIL A
    “For now the Brexit story is how the parties cope with the political fallout from having supporters and potential supporters with a range of different views on it.”

    Millie, “unpopular” yes, “irrelevant” – not if you look at the Party’s commitment to an international socialist movement, and to the fallout that @Neil doesn’t discuss, that of a disconnect between continued high level os immigration and attempts to impose a policy of UK or EU control, The driving forces of migration are that of the international labour and its responses to differential economic development and markets, and that of demographic change specifically of a young, relatively skilled and unemployed group, notably in E. Europe and Africa.
    A thought out response to this which says we have to accept the need for the UK econom, ageingy and service needs to be met by immigration, and that the nearly a million (930,000 in 2015/16) migrants in and out of the UK are making a massive investment in economic systems here and overseas which are now a major driver of wealth creation and distribution,, is not going to be popular, but it will be true to the facts, increasingly a reality imposed on political choice, and honest.

  48. @Oldnat

    This Jolyon Maugham proposal looks interestingly awful.Will you, please, try to take me gently through the possibilities?

    I think it is possible for the Irish Supreme Court to take the view that there is no need for any parliamentary debate to trigger leaving the EU and, obiter, the debate over whether triggering A 50 can be done by government prerogative or only by UK parliament is unnecessary. The Irish Supreme Court might take the view that it is clear that the UK has taken the decision to leave the EU and that the EU is aware of that decision. A 50 has already been triggered, in that case, and the clock is running.

    If there are different Court judgements in different countries within the EU about what may have already occurred regarding A50 then I suppose the matter would have to be determined by The ECJ. Is that analysis correct?
    If it is correct, how does the matter come before the ECJ? Or, what would trigger ECJ involvement?

    If A 50 has already been triggered, then the time limit for negotiating exit becomes relevant? If so, it would seem reasonable to have that as an element of any ECJ involvement and a decision might be necessary to identify, if that is possible, when A 50 was triggered. Neither the UK government or EU representatives believes that A 50 may already have been triggered. If neither the UK government or the EU has attempted to negotiate the terms of exit of the UK is it possible to change the timetable for conclusion of negotiations?

    None of this need stop the UK government from doing what it thinks it needs to do while having regard, or not, to the decision of the UK Supreme Court.

    It seems possible that the question of LCMs, how membership of the EU interacts, if at all, with the constitutional position of Northern Ireland, whether the UK government must have an equality impact assessment regarding the people of NI, might also go to the ECJ for one or more decisions.

    As you say Oldnat whether the EU has behaved constitutionally might have to be decided. That might also apply to the UK government.

    It seems to me that there may well be opportunity for the Labour Party to improve its poll ratings as a result of Brexit.

  49. OLDNAT

    @” A highly saline environment is very unproductive”

    Far from it :-

    A highly saline environment is very unproductive

    The lesson of science’s search for all the denizens of Earth’s Biota , is that they exist everywhere. One species’ ” unproductive” environment is another’s specialist niche.

    Life evolves to fill all habitats. As in Politics too.

  50. SAM

    @” there may well be opportunity for the Labour Party to improve its poll ratings as a result of Brexit.”

    With a “who would handle Brexit best” rating of 9% in this Poll-they have some work to do in order to achieve that !

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