Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor is out in today’s Evening Standard. Topline voting intention figures with changes from last month are CON 40%(-2), LAB 29%(-4), LDEM 14%(+4), UKIP 9%(+2), GRN 3%(nc). The 14 point score for the Liberal Democrats is the highest MORI have recorded for five years.

So far we have had three polls since the Richmond Park by-election and while ICM and YouGov did not have the Lib Dems doing as quite well as MORI, all three have shown them improving, suggesting they have received a boost from their by-election victory and the publicity it gave them. Whether that leads to any lasting recovery, or fades away again once the by-election is forgotten, is a different question.


355 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 40, LAB 29, LDEM 14, UKIP 9, GRN 3”

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  1. THE OTHER HOWARD
    I understand your point but I would suggest party preferences will only change if Labour is seen as likely to run the economy more efficiently than the Tories.

    Fair comment. May probably has until next summer if she does nothing daft.

    But if Brexit is not going ahead smoothly by then, I could at least imagine her support amongst the leavers starting to split towards UKIP and the remainers moving towards LD. Just as the referendum result came as a shock – even to you! – the movement could come from both ends of the Con spectrum simultaneously.

    If the poor domestic news continues [eg on NHS & railways], I could even imagine Corbyn’s Lab taking a share, although that seems unlikely just now.

  2. Scottish Budget Day today (thought the processes are a bit different from Westminster)

    Political parties react as political parties do, but Fraser of Allander Institute notes that the principal point is an increase of 2.3% to local government budgets. [1]

    Cynics will, of course, note that the demise of SLab is likely to mean that the SNP become the majority (or at least largest) party in many more councils after the May elections.

    And yes, I’m a cynic! :-)

    [1] Since FAI had predicted further cuts to LAs, that seems a fairly neat bit of finessing by Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay.

  3. @BARBAZENZERO “I suggest you look at their policies a little more closely. They will bring forward indyref2 IF Brexit will leave the UK out of the EEA. There may well exist a few unionist europhiles who would consider the EEA insufficient, but there will be far too few of them for indyref2 to succeed.”

    A new general election could afford a new manifesto, in any case my argument is whether the SNP would support a General Election or not. And I think they would if they felt it could lead to circumstances more favourable to the outcome they ultimately want.

  4. SEA CHANGE

    You’re entitled to your opinion so we’ll have to agree to differ.

    The question then, though, would be: What circumstance do you think the SNP would consider more favourable and why?

  5. Sea Change

    “I think they would if they felt it [General Election] could lead to circumstances more favourable to the outcome they ultimately want.”

    Maybe, but I’m not sure that a UK GE would be the best course anyway.

    With Green support (which is solidly there on EU issues) the SNP could force a Scottish General Election, whenever it wanted.

    It could also force a mini-UK GE on the same day by all 56 MPs elected for the SNP resigning, and having simultaneous by-elections with the Scottish GE.

    There would only be purpose in a UK GE, if there was some likelihood of a change of government at Westminster which might somehow be favourable.

  6. Meanwhile as we discuss Brexit the EU is discussing this;

    http://ec.europa.eu/smart-regulation/roadmaps/docs/2016_grow_006_cwp_european_defence_action_plan_en.pdf

    Looks very much like extending the single market to defence with the U.K. outside it.

    With Trump backing America first I think we will increasingly see the UK buying American and it’s defence industries relying on a share of US programmes.

    Being at least in part locked out of the EU market would over time be bad news for one of the UK’s most successful manufacturing sectors.

    We can of course still sell arms around the world, but if the EU start to achieve the kinds of economies of scale they are capable of then UK defence companies could see itself squeezed between the US and the EU in the West and Russia and China in the East.

    Peter.

  7. “The polls before the 2015 GE understated the shy Tory vote”

    Is it possible that the polls are now over-stating the shy Tory vote and that perhaps Labour voters have become more shy than they used to be?

  8. @COLIN

    “@”‘But of course, the real issue may be what the press think.”
    Ah yes-of course-the dastardly Right Wing Press whose every word a Nation of Zombie Voters follows with robotic obedience..
    Yep-I’d forgotten them. That’l be the problem then”

    ————

    Wow, so you think the media have no influence??

    We saw what happened in polling as the Press changed tack during/after Levinson. Initially targeting Tories with Omnishambles etc. and Tory VI suffering. Moreover, intially press did not really go along with the austerity argument and you could see that reflected in polling too,

    Then Cameron relented on Levinson, and press switched to the austerity argument, blaming Labour, and ramped up the focus on immigration. And we saw the poling on immigration rise in consequence.

    Moreover AW has posted before evidence on how peeps’ impressions can be divorced from reality, and coincidentally seem to follow the media hype, benefits being a good example.

    I mean, there’s plenty more. But my point was you left several possible explanations out, and just assume it’s policy. SOME policies maybe, but numerous policies might actually be popular, given the polling on things like nationalisation…

    You also failed to take into account the split vote. Some policies may be popular but offered by other parties too. Not only Greens and SNP, but we are seeing UKIP targeting Labour voters more and more.

    And this is before considering the abandonment of austerity etc…. Even Tories have been rejecting some of their old policies and moving left…

    I mean, you may be right, but you haven’t put up much of a case. You don’t have to of course, no pressure…

  9. @BBZ @OLDNAT “There would only be purpose in a UK GE, if there was some likelihood of a change of government at Westminster which might somehow be favourable.”

    That’s my argument. That a Tory Landslide in England is a favourable outcome for the SNP in Scotland. Anything that says the UK government (and UK polity) is unrepresentative of the views of the Scottish people plays into the SNPs hand. That’s why the Brexit vote in England versus the one in Scotland was manna for the SNP and why they have played it for all its worth.

    @SQUEEZEDMIDDLE “Is it possible that the polls are now over-stating the shy Tory vote and that perhaps Labour voters have become more shy than they used to be?”

    I imagine there are now a lot of shy Labour voters. Just too shy to actually go out and vote now!

  10. Additionally, one notes that peeps of the right frequently complain about BBC bias. But when it comes to the press, suddenly any bias no longer matters. Only the BBC have the power to sway peeps, it would seem. No one knows why…

    (Of course, the Beeb often follow the press headlines anyway…)

    One might add, that it isn’t necessarily just the press, but polling too may have an influence, if they disproportionately follow the MSM agenda.

    Sometimes, polling doesn’t necessarily even do that. For eggers, they polled on whether Corbyn was a liability but when Cammo etc. hit the front page in similar fashion after intelligence services raised reservations on policy, did polling ask about that?

    I mean, I asked at the time and no one said ote but I coulda missed summat in all the excitement…

  11. @Sea Change “I imagine there are now a lot of shy Labour voters. Just too shy to actually go out and vote now!”

    Is it the case that those missing Labour voters are going to other parties or are they just not intending to vote for anyone?

  12. I should make clear, that polling on not just immigration but also Austerity and who got the blame for the economy etc. switched after press changed tack on both these things…

  13. One should further add, that for boomers and retirees with plenty of time, for eggers, they have plenty opportunity to check numerous sources etc.

    (Although one notes that stuff like MMT and critiques of capital do not tend to be high on their reading list. Many don’t even know what socialism is, taking their cue once again from the interpretation foisted by the MSM.)

    But for some hard-pressed Labour voters juggling several part-time jobs, time may well be limited and info from MSM will dominate…

  14. @SQUEEZEDMIDDLE

    Some will surely stay at home. Others will go to the other parties depending on how deep their tribal loyalties run.

    A poll of Labour voters at the 2015 would be instructive in this regard on how they would vote if Corbyn led Labour into the next General Election.

  15. Looking at the patterns in the polling companies figures, I have the very plausible explanation that Putin has personally hacked the polling companies results (as he did apparently with Brexit and the presidential election, prepares for the French and German elections – at least he didn’t intervene in the Italian referendum, or at least I haven’t seen any claim) to make the “establishment” relaxed, while he is preparing to put forward a bearded (as opposed to tufted), teetotaller, vegetarian (as opposed to beer gulping, gluttonous candidates) anti-establishment figure to be elected as UK PM. Hopefully, some of the patriotic newspapers will publish Putin’s righthand man’s letter just before the election, and hence foiling the crafty Russian plan.

    I guess it is just as good as any other seeing high voting figures for an exceedingly hapless government (including the transport minister who doesn’t know traffic rules) – even if Christmas is coming.

  16. @Sea Change is there any evidence of where the missing Labour voters have gone?

    Are there any polling figures to show how many now support other parties and how many are now saying they Don’t know etc.?

  17. SEA CHANGE
    That a Tory Landslide in England is a favourable outcome for the SNP in Scotland. Anything that says the UK government (and UK polity) is unrepresentative of the views of the Scottish people plays into the SNPs hand.

    Up to a point, Lord Copper. I doubt any member of the SNP actually wants any Con anywhere near government anywhere, but ……

    The predominantly unionist media including the broadcast media [which in Scotland are mainly old Lab] would have a field day should any story of SNP doing a deal with the Cons be published, whether true or not.

    Even if the “plot” worked, as long as a Con government in Westminster followed and independence had not been won, those Cons are likely to resist everything the SNP want from control over excise duties to full fiscal autonomy.

  18. Sea Change

    “Anything that says the UK government (and UK polity) is unrepresentative of the views of the Scottish people plays into the SNPs hand”

    That argument has already been won with most folk who could be persuaded by it, and why would you think that Scots would consider an ELab government much of an improvement?

    Once upon a time, Scotland voted Lab, and England voted Con. Now more Scots are likely to vote Con than Lab, so that dualism has little power any more.

    Why would (yet another) demonstration of that reality be worthwhile? It might sway a few that haven’t already been, but the fundamental fault line isn’t Tory/anti Tory any more – it’s the constitutional issue(s).

  19. ‘@Sea Change is there any evidence of where the missing Labour voters have gone?
    Are there any polling figures to show how many now support other parties and how many are now saying they Don’t know etc.?’

    @Squeezedmiddle
    The tables give you these details – they suggest out of 244 Labour 2015 voters surveyed that 190 will still vote Labour, 14 LDem, 13 Tory, 6 Green, 5 UKIP, 1 each Plaid and SNP, plus 6 undecided, 6 will not vote and 1 refused to answer (I presume that adds up!)

  20. Good evening all from Itchen Valley

    ANDREW111
    Allan Christie
    “If the Lib Dems are regaining over 25 seats at the next election that will be a truly remarkable turn around in fortunes…
    However perhaps you could let me know how many seats the SNP won in 2015 that voted unionist in the Scottish referendum?
    40% is more than enough to win many Westminster seats.”
    __________

    40% may be more than enough to win many seats but can you tell me which unionist party in Scotland is likely to win 40% in mutable seats?

    To answer your question…The SNP won quite a lot of seats that voted No in the Scottish indy ref but the SNP unlike what the the Lib/Dems appear to be going to do didn’t go into a UK election on the result of a referendum result.

    All I’m saying is that the Lib/Dems are making Brexit an issue for the next UK election and as such they need to be gently reminded that half of their former seats voted to leave the EU, Who knows they might pick up some disgruntled remain voting seats from Labour and the Tories!

    The SNP at least acknowledged the fact that quite a number of people who voted for them also voted No in the Scottish indy ref but there again the SNP are a big party and the Lib/Dems are a bunch of diddly wee opportunists.

  21. CARFREW

    @”Wow, so you think the media have no influence??”

    Did I say that?

    Now then old chap-you know what sarcastic rhetoric looks like as well as I do.

    I was being sarcastic because I don’t think the “Press” has the influence you infer-at least the influence implicit in your ” the real issue may be what the press think”

    First you have to define “the Press”.

    We have only recently discussed here the topic of on-line sources of news & the alleged echo-chamber effect of both voluntary & covert filtering. Its a huge subject because so much news is consumed on-line now-particularly by younger people. The allegation however is not the changeing of minds-it is the confirming of existing biases.

    Then there is Dead Tree Press -the news source which, I venture to suggest , those who allege Tory bias have mostly in mind. We both know that it is a dying industry ( see previous paragraph) . And if voluntary & covert filtering is producing echo effects on-line , why not on the News stands? Don’t we mostly buy papers we are politically comfortable with? But look at the circulation trends-is this the power that is alleged for it?

    And of course there is TV news -hardly ever mentioned , but a very significant source of news for many people. Dominated in UK by BBC-so we are straight into the old chestnut of bias at the Beeb.. Thankfully our Host has frowned on this topic in the past so we can move on quickly.

    In short-I think the topic of Political INFLUENCE exerted by ” The Press” is very complex . Reinforcement of the political opinion of consumers of news-yes quite possibly-but actually changing opinions in a significant way?-I’d like to see the proof.

  22. @LASZLO

    I take it your post at 8:05 is satire. As for the Russian interference in the US election theories, it’s naught to do with the polling numbers themselves (which, as it turns out, were well within the MoE), but rather hacking of the DNC and release to Wikileaks.

    As for the IPSOS poll, it falls right in line with the other pollsters; dire for Labour and encouraging for the Tories. One does wonder, though, if perhaps they have overcompensated for the ‘Shy Tory’ effect. It’s also worth discussing the potential for low-propensity voters to turn out in greater numbers in upcoming elections, something we have already seen this year in both the Brexit and US votes.

  23. SAMS

    I’m not so so sure that Laszlo was being satirical.

    I think the increasingly bizarre bunker in which some on the Left find themselves-a Polling Deficit which they simply cannot understand-may well lead to explanations such as cyber attack by a Foreign Power.

    YouGov infiltrated by the Kremlin-or Trump Tower.

  24. Thanks Bigfatron,

    Based upon those figures it seems Labour have lost about 20% of their 2015 GE voters – 5% to Don’t know/won’t vote, 5% to Lib Dems, 5% to Tories, 5% to others.

    That suggests Labour are not losing voters in any particular political direction (and of course it doesn’t take into account Labour gaining voters from other parties).

    That could be of some comfort to Labour as it would mean all their seats would become just a little more vulnerable. They might just get away with it when tactical voting is taken into consideration.

  25. Allan Christie,
    The lib dems have maintained a consistent policy on Europe for 50 years, while the others have blown in the wind like tumbleweed! I know which I would call “opportunist” and it is certainly not the Lib Dems!

    My point was that the SNP won many seats in Scotland despite the electorate disagreeing with them on their main issue. If the Lib Dems get back to 2010 support levels they will win back quite a lot of seats that voted Leave. You can take that as a conditional prediction if you like.. Or you can throw a few more gratuitous insults at the Lib Dems if it makes your day better!

  26. @Colin

    Thanks for the quibble-fest Col.

    Obfuscating over “which media” is a comical distraction. In the examples I gave, when wondering which media, if we take a couple of examples it was those media outlets which switched to fingering Labour rather than the banks, with polling sentiment following, and started majoring on immigration, on welfare etc. etc., with polling following suit…

    I mean, did you miss all that? Are you so out the loop I’d have to dredge up all the headlines?…

  27. “The lib dems have maintained a consistent policy on Europe for 50 years”

    ———-

    Yes unfortunately it was consistency regarding their manifesto and pledges etc. that seemed a bit iffy…

  28. I love OLDNAT’s idea of all 56 SNP resigning on the same day to force effectively, a Scottish General Election…
    They’ve got 56 out of 59? of the Scottish Westminster MP’s, what more of a mandate/landslide do they want ?

    They’d be rightly pilloried for wasting the tax-payers money to score political points, and given the partial recovery of the Tories and Lib/Dems in Scotland could well lose a couple of seats….madness !!

  29. @Carfrew
    but they are hardly the only party to renege on election promises – remember the pledge not to raise VAT for example? Or the cast-iron Tory pledge in 2010 to increase IHT thresholds?
    It’s a bit weird that the Lib Dems are quite so ruthlessly pilloried for doing what every party coming into government has done on occasion….

  30. @SueezedMiddle

    I’m currently looking through YG data for 2016.

    Three polls in row from YG gave Labour around 34%in March/April. The 2015 Labour voters on average broke as follows:

    Con – 2%
    Lab – 73%
    LD – 2%
    UKIP – 4%
    SNP/PC – 1%
    Other – 2%
    Will not Vote – 2%
    Don’t Know – 14%

    The last three YG polls average were as follows:

    Con – 5%
    Lab – 56%
    LD – 7%
    UKIP – 4%
    SNP/PC – 2%
    Other – 3%
    WNV – 3%
    DK – 20%

    The change from March/April to now:

    Con +4
    Lab (17)
    LD +5
    UKIP +0
    SNP/PC +1
    Other +0
    WNV +0
    DK +6

    So 2015 Labour voters have drifted away, splitting fairly equally to Con, LD and DK.

    These figures do look desperately poor for Labour.

  31. Correction

    @SueezedMiddle

    I’m currently looking through YG data for 2016.

    Three polls in row from YG gave Labour around 34%in March/April. The 2015 Labour voters on average broke as follows:

    Con – 2%
    Lab – 73%
    LD – 2%
    UKIP – 4%
    SNP/PC – 1%
    Other – 2%
    Will not Vote – 2%
    Don’t Know – 14%

    The last three YG polls average were as follows:

    Con – 5%
    Lab – 56%
    LD – 7%
    UKIP – 4%
    SNP/PC – 2%
    Other – 3%
    WNV – 3%
    DK – 20%

    The change from March/April to now:

    Con +3
    Lab (17)
    LD +5
    UKIP +0
    SNP/PC +1
    Other +1
    WNV +1
    DK +6

    So 2015 Labour voters have drifted away, splitting fairly equally to LD and DK, then to Con.

    These figures do look desperately poor for Labour.

  32. I’ve been taking for granted the notion that the constitutional issue is THE faultline in Scottish politics. That is, after all, what the polling tells us. But I’d like to indulge in a bit of speculation (maybe it’s more like wishful thinking…)

    I can’t help wondering if the constitutional faultline an artefact of the state of the various parties and that what Scotland wants isn’t independence per se, but policies suited to Scottish circumstances and endorsed by the Scottish polity. That would be consistent with the high level of support for devo max.

    Labour have suffered because, in government, they failed to deliver what Scottish labour voters wanted. It doesn’t help that Scotland (like the north of England) gets Tory governments even when it votes Labour, which make voting Labour seem rather ineffective.

    I suspect that the SNP are winning on competence rather than policy. They may eventually come a-cropper because they can’t or don’t deliver change. Their rhetoric has been soft left, but their policies more timid. They have an advantage over Labour, however, in that they can always blame their failure to deliver transformational change on Holyrood’s lack of power. They haven’t made full use of the devolved powers but continue to argue for more, apparently succeeding in persuading voters that it doesn’t make sense to use the fiscal powers they do have, because they can’t control the wider context.

    Imagine if there were a competent, soft-left opposition party in Scotland. That party would probably – as a minimum – support further devolution and perhaps some form of federalism on practical grounds, as the only way to ensure that Scottish voters get the policies they vote for. I don’t think it has to support independence though. A UK-wide party offering devolution/federalism across the board would be offering voters outside the SE the possibility of seeing policies suited to their regions’ completely different needs and political cultures. It ought to do well in Scotland, the north of England, Wales and possibly Cornwall (not sure Cornwall would vote soft-left, although I think it would go for devolution). But it doesn’t exist. We don’t even have the kind of debate I’d like to see about what level various powers should be devolved to, how to resolve the conundrum of the two-speed economy without setting the regions against each other and how to arrange redistribution.

    I’d be interested to know what others think.

  33. CMJ
    Very interesting figures. A bit of a surprise (to me anyway) is that there is no drift from Labour to UKIP. It rather dents the theory that the old-fashioned patriotic working class were moving that way.

  34. @Pete B

    Me too.

    I guess it shows the prevailing political media view on something isn’t always accurate.

  35. CMJ

    Interesting data. thanks.

    I’ve always found it odd that partisans (of every party) have a tendency to think that those who voted for their party, last time round, are committed to the cause – as opposed to voting that way because it seemed to be the least bad choice at the time.

    The direction of travel of these folk is always worth noting, but assuming that they were strongly “Labour” in the first place (and i don’t suggest that you do) is probably an error.

  36. Carfew. Agree with a number of your recent posts. All this stuff about the BBC having a left wing bias is nonsense. If anything there is a right wing bias amongst their political journos with the likes of Kuensberg,Evan Davis and Dimbleby on the payroll.

    Factor in the Sun and Mail are the biggest selling dai!y papers ably supported by the Express,Telegraph and Times and you have a clear advantage to the right in British po!itics.

  37. @sorbus

    The party is called the Lib Dems and they – and their predecessors – have been promising federalism/home rule for about a century. Time expired.

  38. @Pete B

    I live in a safe Labour seat, and I’m not really sure a patriotic working class voter really exists as described by Paul Nuttall in great numbers.

    Perhaps Labour to UKIP switchers are in the increased ‘Don’t Know’ group, not quite ready to jump, or shy Kippers?

    Perhaps they didn’t vote Labour on 2015, so don’t appear in that group?

  39. @barbazenzero

    Another interesting Government announcement by Fox made quietly in the past couple of weeks is that the Gvernmemt has begun the process of establishing UK WTO schedules. It seems the plan on tariffs is to try to adopt the current EU ones as nearly as possible. The plan on tariff quotas is not spelt out apparently because the process is fiendishly complicated. And it all requires individual.agreement by the other 163 members in the next two years if A50 is triggered in March.

  40. If I were ‘squeezedmiddle’ I wouldn’t count on the polls understating the ‘shy’ Labour Vote. Historically there has never been a ‘shy’ Labour Vote. Labour people always overstate their enthusiam rather than the other way around, which is why they always overestimate their chances of winning. Think anecdotally of your own experiences. How often, even now do you hear people proclaiming their support for the Toroes as opposed to vociforously criticising them.

    More importantly people are more likely to be saying they are Corbyn supporters when they can’t in fact be relied upon to vote for him.

    The Richmond Park By Election was the first election I have ever heard of where the Labour Vote was actually lower than the number of people in the Constituency who are members of the Labour Party. There are any number of people who purport to be ‘enthused’ by Corbyn and have joined the party because of him. But they are not loyal reliable Labour voters. On the day they will vote Green, or tactically for the Lib Dems if they think it helps avoid Brexit, or not vote at all.

    Labour has managed a self inflicted double whammy. Corbyn has alienated the people in the North who used to loyally vote Labour, in favour of a much smaller number who’ve joined the party and go to his rallies, but who can’t be relied on to vote Labour, even with him as Leader. They are there to ensure he stays as Leader rather than to campaign for, or even vote Labour.

    This is an extraordinary state of affairs and is set to destroy the Labour Party for good as a serious electoral force.

  41. Local election results are rarely valuable indicators – especially this near to Xmas! Derisory turnouts, I presume.

    Leven, Kennoway & Largo (Fife) result:
    SNP: 49.0% (+8.0)
    CON: 24.6% (+17.8)
    LDEM: 18.9% (+9.0)
    LAB: 5.1% (-30.2)
    GRN: 2.4% (+2.4)

    Higher Croft (Blackburn) result:
    LAB: 58.2% (+12.1)
    UKIP: 25.0% (-8.3)
    CON: 16.7% (-3.8)

    (via Britain Elects)

    5more apparently, and I expect Twitter to be full of false crowing from victors and excuses from losers – as in every election.

  42. @catmanjeff Thanks.

    I too am very surprised that Labour are not losing votes to UKip considering the impression given by the national media.

    It seems that a lot of those missing Labour voters have become ‘Don’t know’.

    I am wondering whether former Tory voters are now more likely to admit they will vote for the Tories and that former Labour voters are now less likely to admit they will vote for Labour. If that is so, then is it being reflected in the headline poll figures?

  43. @Bigfatron

    “but they are hardly the only party to renege on election promises – remember the pledge not to raise VAT for example? Or the cast-iron Tory pledge in 2010 to increase IHT thresholds?
    It’s a bit weird that the Lib Dems are quite so ruthlessly pilloried for doing what every party coming into government has done on occasion”

    ———

    Been through this before… Of course they aren’t the only party to do u-turns. However, their’s was pretty wholesale, just austerity alone allowed for many things many supporters wouldn’t have wanted, and more on top besides that.

    Worse still was the rubbish excuse for it. And how they squandered bargaining power on attempted party advantage – miserable compromise etc.

    This is before the hopeless indignity of being the fig leaf, rolled out to announce less fragrant policies.

    Candy added another way of looking at it: that they didn’t just u-turn but betrayed core issues, much as if Labour went against the NHS or Greens started advocating fracking or summat.

    I mean I could go on, there’s so much material. I mean they even enabled Tories to do the EU ref…

  44. CMJ
    I’ve looked at the results in my own safe Labour seat, and UKIP increased their vote in 2015, but so did Labour. UKIP’s advance was largely at the expense of the Tories. Perhaps the patriotic working class used to mainly vote Tory rather than Labour (a la Alf Garnett)?

  45. @Mike Pearce

    Well, Anthony doesn’t care of too much discussion of BBC bias as in the past it’s been a bit of a bottomless pit. So I shan’t get involved in it but, you know, one tries to be fair and resolve points of contention where possible, and my own view is that both left and right have a point, if one sees the Beeb as being to the left on identity politics, pro EU, multicultural blah, and to the right on economics. .

    In other words, if one sees them much like the Graun, as Liberals.* Which you might expect from luvvies etc., who value the multicultural exchange of ideas but wanna keep the resulting loot. Thus far no one has objected to this interpretation which I trot out to nip things in the bud. I’m hoping we can reach board consensus on some of these issues!!

    * Of course the Graun, like the Beeb, is often characterised as of the left. Despite the times they back the Liberals, or quasi-Liberal governments like Nulab. Their current subscription campaign is headed “Liberal, but not with the truth”.

  46. Britain elects have corrected the Leven result – turns out that the Lab vote wasn’t all doing Xmas shopping after all!

    SNP: 37.0% (-4.1)
    LAB: 28.4% (-6.9)
    CON: 18.5% (+11.7)
    LDEM: 14.3% (+4.3)
    GRN: 1.8% (+1.8)
    Oth 0% (-6.8) – that’s the bit they always miss.

  47. Even the Times is a bit Liberal…

  48. Old Nat is wrong. There is every advantage to the Tories in having a General Election in May 2017 immediately AFTER Article 50 has been invoked. And I’m sure that’s what will happen.

    The country would then be asked ‘who do you trust to negotiate the best Brexit deal and stand up to the EU, Corbyn or the Tories’. Given that there’s no hope of a majority Corbyn Government and given the state of the Labour in the polls at the moment there can be only one outcome. The Tories will get an overall majority approaching 100.

    Theresa May can credibly say that she wants this fresh mandate as she has never been elected PM herself and she wants the mandate to provide the best united front possible to get the best she can get from the EU. Otherwise it’s a totally ‘Hard’ Brexit. She can also probably successfully argue that the opposition and her small majority is hampering her negotiating hand.

    There are also attractions for 2017 because it will put the date of the next General Election after that back to 2022 giving some time for things to settle down after we leave the EU in 2019. If she leaves the election till 2020 she risks economic turbulence and poor economic conditions in 2020. She’s better off going while she knows she can win.

    By going in 2017 she can also be sure Corbyn will still be in place and with him still not having been Leader for very long by then he’ll likely still be there in 2022. Which will likely destroy the Labour Party for good. If she leaves it till 2020 that would likely be his last gasp as Leader and it will give Labour a fresh start sooner.

    As for Scotland, it has never been less relevant in Parliament. Even if the SNP won all the seats there, (which they won’t) it would mean only a single seat loss for the Tories in Westminster. Scotland is the Tories big secret weapon in England and Wales.

    There is huge resentment against Scotland in England and Wales. People talk about it as much as they do the EU, and the sight of the SNP just makes people more likely to vote Tory as happened in 2015. It’s much worse now, since Labour voters in the North think the SNP is trying to frustrate Brexit and are highly likely to defect to UKIP and the Tories in revenge.

    The SNP has incapacitated Labour not the Tories. The Tories don’t need Scottish seats to win. Labour needs a large number. The Tories are in an unassailable position, and it’s all been handed to them on a plate by Labour, the SNP and Brexit.

  49. oldnat

    leven

    scottish tories on the march! who would have believed it. Presumably unionist/brexit support growing.

    Not the inevitable march to independence then.Perhaps the caledonians are not jacobites after all.

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