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. Ron Olden

    “Old Nat is wrong”

    Well, that wouldn’t be extraordinary, but since I wasn’t talking about any advantage that the Tories might get from a GE, your point seems somewhat irrelevant (to say the least!)

    “Scotland is the Tories big secret weapon in England and Wales. ”

    It wasn’t very secret in 2015! I can see the electoral advantage for Tories in England to demonise Scots and the SNP, but I’m not quite sure how that would benefit a united UK.

    Perhaps they don’t want a united UK, and their 2014 rhetoric was a tissue of disengagement from truth? Perhaps you can elucidate?

  2. S Thomas

    I did say in my original post on this that “I expect Twitter to be full of false crowing from victors and excuses from losers – as in every election.”

    I had expected a rather more sophisticated attitude from those on here, but sadly, you continue to disappoint my expectations. :-(

  3. Defence decoupling from Europe

    As Europe plans its new defence policy and works out how to pay for its own defence with no individual country ,of course, wishing to pay more the UK is decoupling fast. The news that US fighters will fly from UK aircraft carriers inevitably means greater defence co-operation and is the perfect riposte to the EU.It almost guarrantees that future out of region actions will be joint US -UK operations.

    EU will be bit player. As Osborne said in the HC -if you do not shape world events,world events will shape you.

  4. Squeezedmiddle. The reason Labour are not losing that many votes to UKIP in local elections in the North of England is simple. The Labour Party candidates are people from their own communities many of whom they know, and with attitudes like themselves.

    People in the North of England vote for councillors they want to represent them in their Ward and differentiate local councillors from the Corbyn Metropolitan elite. When they vote Nationally however they look at National Politics including Brexit.

    Scotland doesn’t matter one way or the other. UKIP has never done well there and it doesn’t matter to Westminster whether the SNP wins all the seats, although the SNP does indirectly give considerable assistance to Tory prospects in England and Wales.

    The really crucial by election test for UKIP and Labour will be Leigh in Greater Manchester when Andy Burnham stands down in the New Year. Assuming there’s not a General Election I think Labour will hang on ahead of Paul Nuttall but the electoral damage will be enormous. If Labour lose it they’ve had it.

  5. oldnat

    Well as a scottish nationalist you have long experience in continuing disappointment of expectations. You must be used to it by now.

    Long May it continue.

  6. Britain Elects (Hope they got it right this time!)

    Chudleigh (Teignbridge):
    LDEM: 51.5% (+38.8)
    CON: 35.6% (+2.8)
    UKIP: 6.7% (+6.7)
    LAB: 6.1% (-8.8)
    Ind(s) and Grn didn’t stand this time.

    All my previous comments about by elections apply, but I wonder if there wouldn’t be an advantage to understanding the variations in the English polity if the pollsters could be bothered to run proper polling in the regions of England (outwith London)

  7. SAMS

    Yes; it was a satire. A satire on the LP.

    Colin
    While some Labour people are deluded about the meaning of polls (conspiracy) the Russian influence on the Brexit vote came from the Labour right, which is not left at all.

    I, as a leftist, am despaired by looking at the LP. And the last paragraph of my comment is the key. They should go and find out how a largely incompetent ?imo) government is so much ahead and think and do.something about it. They have the financial resources. The LP can’t play the Brexit game, and it cannot just leave it. So – re-examine your assumptions, Labour. Really painful.watching it.

    However, just to have my satire better, this appeared on the G after I posted my comment. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/15/labour-plans-jeremy-corbyn-relaunch-as-a-leftwing-populist

  8. S Thomas

    It would be good if I could say that comment was “beneath you”.

    Sadly, it isn’t.

  9. chudleigh seems strange

    In 2015 the independent got 25% and the Green 15% . the liberal got 13% and labourr got 15%.

    I note the independent and the green did not stand this time. (presumably not due to a donation from the libs)Oddly the liberals seem to have benefitted greatly from this.

  10. Ron Olden
    ‘. The Tories will get an overall majority approaching 100.’

    No indication of that in today’s Mori poll which would indicate a Tory majority nearer 30!

  11. S Thomas

    Certainly, in parts of Scotland, there is a tendency for Independents to get votes from people who might otherwise vote Tory or Lib Dem.

    I know nothing of Chudleigh, but is it possible that a similar situation exists there?

  12. Brexit

    The Heads of State (European Council) and Commission have agreed that the Commission will be the negotiator on Brexit.

    Details of the EU process are here –

    http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/european-council/2016/12/20161215-statement-informal-meeting-27_pdf/

  13. Three Lib Dem wins in Devon and Somerset local by-elections with huge swings…. Continuing a pattern in the West Country ever since the referendum

    Post Brexit politics is not as simple as some people think, it appears…

  14. @ANDREW111

    I am confident that as people see what folly Brexit is that there will be huge swings towards the Lib-Dems in many Tory seats all over the south. This will worry May, as the longer Brexit gets bogged down, the more damage it will do her.

  15. The key indicator for the Tories and Lib Dems post Brexit will be the county council elections next May of course..

    Less so for the Labour vs UKIP contest since the Mets are not voting…

  16. @ETE B

    “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.”

    The nationalist working class is already voting Tory, so the Labour core are the internationalists, hence the lack of drift.
    UKIP’s claim that they can make further inroads into the Labour vote is therefore false. In fact, I expect UKIP voters to move towards the Tories more and more.

  17. @ PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    You really need to understand British Aerospace’s business instead of (mistakenly) relying on it’s name. For at least a decade now, it has really been an American business with a large UK presence. Uniquely (for a ‘non-American’ company, it has full Pentagon security clearances. It sells more in the US (36%) than in the UK (23%) It has almost as many employees in the US (30 thousand) as in the UK (34 thousand). It is *integrated* in the US defense complex, with major projects for the US Army, Navy and Air Force.

    Indeed, given the UK’s involvement in the Typhoon and F35 programmes, ‘locking the UK out of the EU market’ would leave the EU relying on a single fighter, the French Rafale, which is regularly outperformed in NATO exercises. Furthermore, BAE’s economies of scale, increasingly based on supplying the US forces are likely to exceed any European consortium for the foreseeable future.

  18. I don’t understand Old Nats comments about the possibility of an early election in Holyrood accompanied by the SNP members at Westminster resigning and having elections on the same day.

    Why would they do that? There might be a prospect of Unionist Voters voting tactically to cause some losses to the SNP. The best the SNP could hope for is that the result would be similar to what it was in May 2016 but with the Tories gaining on Labour at Holyrood.

    The only gain the SNP would hope for would to recover their overall majority without the Greens. So with that prospect why would the Greens support them in calling the election in the first place and lose their influence at Holyrood.

    I assume that the suggestion relates to somehow underlining the fact that Scotland is anti Brexit. But we know that already. Just as we know that Richmond Park is. It makes no difference to Brexit. There’s no need of an election to tell us again. The UK is leaving the EU regardless of what Scotland thinks.

    If Scotland wants to stay in the EU it has to have an Independence Referendum quick and make sure it applies for and achieves a promise of membership for when the UK leaves in 2019. It’s already probably much too late to do that, and the EU has made it clear it will not negotiate until Scotland is actually Independent. It’s likely the EU wouldn’t entertain the prospect of a new member at all and Spain has already made it clear it will veto it. But admitting Scotland would require Treaty change and referenda in several EU countries all of which would have to vote Yes.

    But if Scotland wants to try, I doubt of any if the rest of the UK will object to an Independence Referendum. But if so it needs to arrange it immediately.

  19. Ron Olden

    “I don’t understand Old Nats comments”

    You could always try reading them in the context of the debate that was being held. It often helps to understand the context.

    Most people would think it courteous to address points directly to the person concerned. However, standards of courtesy vary.

    Your assumption is, incidentally, wrong, so the rest of your post lacks relevance to anything.

    As to Scotland remaining in the EU, your points may be correct – or very out of date.

    As with most things in this developing crisis, we’ll need to wait and see.

  20. Tancred
    “The nationalist working class is already voting Tory, so the Labour core are the internationalists, hence the lack of drift.”

    That’s the conclusion I came to as well if you read my earlier post. However I’d just like to point out that I used the word ‘patriotic’ rather than your ‘nationalist’. There is a difference.

    G’night all.

  21. The Scottish Government will publish its proposals for a special Brexit deal on Tuesday.

    Then we can see how other entities (and Scots voters) react, and have a little more idea of what might happen.

  22. Graham

    There’s no reason to suppose that today’s poll is the definitive one on the subject. It shows a much higher Lib Dem number than all the most recent ones conducted virtually at the same time. It’s nonsensical to look at just one poll. You have to look at them all, the trends, and exercise judgement. Have we learned nothing from May 2015?

    Even so this recent poll is still an unusually favourable position for any Conservative Government in power when the thought of an actual election is not in the mind of the people polled.

    And crucially as I pointed out, any election in May 2017, would be AFTER Article 50 has been invoked. So the question at issue is who’s best to negotiate Brexit, May or Corbyn.

    Hardly anyone in England and Wales is likely to take the view that Brexit is best negotiated by some sort of coalition of Corbyn, the SNP, and (even) the Lib Dems.

    And owing to Northerners being so keen on Brexit Labour is far more vulnerable in its Northern Marginal seats that the raw data applied in UK Polling’s out of date swingometer suggests. All of Labour’s lost votes will be in exactly the locations where it can least afford to lose them.

    I mentioned a figure of ‘up to’ 100 majority for the Tories. The swingometer I use, and my estimate of the final % share based on what we might expect from recent polls had it at about 120. But I was being cautions.I would be astonished if a Tory majority in May 2017 were less than around 60.

    The Tories are very closely in touch with their vital swing voters and from what I hear those voters (and more) and still well on board, whereas Labour’s critical base is ebbing away in droves.

    But May should nevertheless keep an eye on the polls. If they stay as they are she should go for an election on the grounds I stated. But if her lead deteriorates significantly she should hold back. The data they’ll be getting from the constituencies will be crucial.

    She can after all rely on significant favourable boundary changes in 2018 ready for 2020, But on balance I think 2016 is much her best option.

    But whatever the maths the Tories are the only party which can conceivably win an overall majority in May 2017 and given the circumstances of Article 50 having been invoked by then, that alone would be enough to sway enough voters to give them a fairly big majority.

    Swing voters are not particularly partisan. They make careful sophisticated judgements based on the facts and tactics, and are much more sophisticated than strongly politically motivated people.

  23. Ron Olden

    “Swing voters are not particularly partisan. They make careful sophisticated judgements based on the facts and tactics, and are much more sophisticated than strongly politically motivated people.”

    I’m sure some swing voters match those criteria, but others will randomly vote on a whim.

    I don’t know of any analysis of swing voters that would suggest the proportions of swing voters who are sophisticated or otherwise, but you clearly think that you know the answer.

    How about providing a link to the research that justifies your statement?

  24. Oldnat

    Evidence from research?? Heaven forfend!

    In my experience swing voters often base their vote on the flimsiest of reasons, such as posters showing Alex Salmond stealing money out of some nice-looking English person’s back pocket…

  25. ‘She can after all rely on significant favourable boundary changes in 2018 ready for 2020, But on balance I think 2016 is much her best option. ‘

    No she cannot! It is far from certain that the boundary changes will be approved in 2018. That will increasingly be the case if the Government’s majority is eroded further by by election reverses. There are known to be Tory rebels on this issue.
    It is a bit late for 2016 now!
    To return to my earlier point , this Mori poll shows a swing from Lab To Con of just 0.75% in England – which would imply just 7 Labour losses there. Of the Labour MPs affected , no less than 6 could expect to enjoy a first time incumbency bonus.On that basis very few seats would change hands!

  26. Ron Olden,

    Your election in May 2017 scenario still has to overcome the not-inconsiderable hurdle of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act. This has been gone over many times on here, but the gist is that Theresa has to get Labour MP’s to vote for a General Election. I suspect that whatever the public posturing Labour would find a pretext to abstain and the required 2/3 majority would not be achieved… Some Tories in Heathrow-affected London seats (for example) might not be very keen either…

  27. @LASZLO

    I often found myself agreeing with you in the months I read through the comments before starting to post myself, and its good to see that isn’t changing. Sections of the LP left seem to have drifting to the same place many over here who supported Trump live in – an alternate reality the rest of the country doesn’t exist in. Charlie Sykes, in an Op Ed for the NYT, described it perfectly. “The echo chamber had morphed into a full-blown alternate reality silo of conspiracy theories, fake news and propaganda.” Being a conservative radio talk show host, he was, of course, one of those who helped create it.

    Constantly blaming the media for the polling numbers, or deriding them as biased and liars does not help the LP. The polls show, and have for the best part of a year, that there are real problems with Corbyn. Unless something changes drastically, there’s no reason to expect Labour’s VI to improve. If the Lib Dems manage to gain steam, I would not surprised to see many remainers switch over.

  28. First try went into automod… lets give it another go.

    @LASZLO

    Thought so, but you can never be sure over the internet. Sections of the LP left seem to have drifting to the same place many over here who supported Trump live in – an alternate reality the rest of the country doesn’t exist in. Charlie Sykes, in an Op Ed for the NYT, described it perfectly: “The echo chamber had morphed into a full-blown alternate reality silo of conspiracy theories, fake news and propaganda.”

  29. Re: Possible 2017 GE

    I agree that TM would likely love to have a GE in May/June, however for the reasons mentioned many a time, actually getting one to happen seems near impossible. Meeting the requirements of the FTPA is difficult, to say the least, and circumnavigating it would allow their opponents to accuse them (rightly) of political gamesmanship in a time when populism and anti-establishment sentiment are thriving. Never mind getting around it is probably just as hard as actually going through it properly.

  30. there is no possibility of a GE in 2017

    Forget the polls .the electorate is volatile;Brexit would play in a n unexpected way.TM could only lose and she knows that.

    Reinforcements are coming in the redistribution.Corbyn is going nowhere.He is not going to resign now or even after an election defeat in 2020.The liberal resurgence will have faded once A50 is triggered.

    Calm heads will say 2020.

  31. Ron Olden

    Given thst May has already ruled out a general Election I would be surprised if she went back on her word. She comes across as inflexible according to some of her colleagues. Besides she would need Parliamentary approval to go to the country given the current fixed term legislation in place

  32. @Ron Olden
    I don’t think any Lib Dem would consider their actual vote share to be 14%; IPSOS-Mori polls appear generally favourable to LibDems, whereas Opinium and ICM appear to be negative.

    What seems to work fairly well is to take and average of these three and a couple of YouGov polls – that would suggest LibDems around 11%, compared to previously being around 8 1/2% before Richmond.

    Regards by-elections, clearly you can’t draw much from individual council or even parliamentary by-elections, but a trend can perhaps be perceived over the longer term (e.g. since the May locals) – we are seeing persistent Lib Dem gains with large swings, particularly in the South West, and few gains at all for Labour.

    Add that to Richmond, Witney and Sleaford and there is a strong suggestion of a real recovery, albeit small, in Lib Dem fortunes – the recovery is strongest in the South and South West, which are areas with a historically strong Lib Dem presence and where otherwise the Tories would have no effective opposition at all.

    Unless Brexit goes well (and by that I mean in a way that meets the concerns of the conservative element of the 48% as well as the ‘gentle’ Brexiters that are often Tory voters), May could easily find herself by spring facing the loss of a dozen or more seats to the LibDems in the South West, London and South.

  33. When,

    I am well aware of the profile of BAe profile and nothing you said contradicts my post. It will become increasingly reliant on the US market but the extent to which it continues as now will be influenced by Trumps America first policy.

    As to aircraft, the Typhoon is nearing the end of production, the Rafale has beat it in orders for India and Brazil and you forgot the Gripen E as last time I looked Sweden was in the EU.

    What matters isn’t where companies are now it’s where they are going. Germany and France have already combined their tank manufacturers and that makes the Leopard 3 front runner to be the pan EU tank for 2030.

    The biggest shake up will be in ship building where, Germany, France, Italy, Spain & Holland all largely make and market their own Frigates, Destroyers and Submarines.

    When that starts to consolidate the UK will struggle to compete and we haven’t built a new build Frigate, Destroyer or Submarine for a foreign government in decades as it is!

    Peter.

  34. Worth noting from last night’s by-elections is not just that LibDems gained 3 seats, but that they were all in the South West, on huge swings:

    Blackdown (Taunton Deane) 71.2% (+49.9)
    Chudleigh (Teignbridge):LDEM: 51.5% (+38.8)
    Bovey (Teignbridge) 43.9% (+20.3)

    I make that 12 council seats gained in the South West since May – in Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire.

    The LibDem revival is clearly about much more than remain sentiment. That will have helped them in Richmond Park, but in the SouthWest, they are recovering in spite of Brexit.

  35. 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”

    Yes, but the downside of this for Tories is that the lack of a credible alternative is masking Voters’ views on the tories themselves. Its the US 60% disliking both candidates all over again.

  36. @ S Thomas

    I think people should presume a 2020 election because of fixed term parliament and the current government with a massive task on their hands. It is not just Brexit, but the state of the economy, with an increasing debt and so much that requires extra investment.

    As i said the other day, i think 2017 will be a horrible year for Theresa May and her government. It would not surprise me to see a few cabinet resignations over the next few months. There is no agreed Brexit plan, as David Davis recently admitted, as they are still working on the details. Depending on what the plan is, i think you will see a number of government ministers not being happy. I could see a growing anti Brexit feeling in parliament, with MP’s not happy with the way government is proceeding. At the moment most MP’s are staying quiet on Brexit, particularly if their electors voted leave. But given good oppportunity to oppose Brexit in parliament they will do so.

    On the economic side, Philip Hammond is facing a nightmare situation, with the debt still increasing and very few cuts in spending possible. Education is facing a £3 billion cut up to 2020, with schools struggling to meet budgets. Apparently some of the accademy chains are carrying debts. The NHS will find it difficult to make savings to fund improved services and Trusts are still getting into debt. Brexit must be making it difficult to recruit EU mainland Doctors and Nurses to fill vacancies. Might mean more spending on agency staff, increasing costs.

    If these is going to be an early election, it will be because parliament has blocked government proceeding with Brexit or applied conditions that they can’t live with. Theresa May would not want to leave it too long before any election, because she will want a strong mandate as quickly as possible. Therefore a October 2017 general election is possible, but only if Theresa May can gain support in parliament for this, because of the fixed term parliament act protections making it more difficult.

  37. DANNY

    “Yes, but the downside of this for Tories is that the lack of a credible alternative is masking Voters’ views on the tories themselves. Its the US 60% disliking both candidates all over again.”

    I see no sign of that in the polls. For the last month the Tories have led by an average of 13%, with an average vote indication of 41% compared with Labours 28%, traditionally landslide territory.

  38. SAFFER

    I agree the LD revival is what the Tories should be most concerned about, it could dent their majority at the next election.

  39. LASZLO

    Thanks for that G link.

    Looks like Red Len is ahead of his protege in the Populism Stakes.:-

    “Unite’s general secretary, Len McCluskey, has said the union must listen to the concerns of working people and push for an end to free movement of labour.”

    Guardian

  40. There is clearly a major LD revival under way in the South West.

    It is possible that this reflects irritation with the laughable bungling of devolution in Devon, Somerset and Dorset, where the Tory leaderships are indulging in some fearful in-fighting.

  41. PETER CAIRNS (SNP)
    When,

    What contradicts your post is that BAE has no significant interests in the EU, and so will be unaffected by the EU maneuverings. It’s integration in the US, and being treated by the Pentagon as a US company will mean that it is unaffected by any Trump maneuverings..

    I am puzzled how you can claim that the Rafale ‘beats’ the Typhoon. It only won one of the orders you claim having lost the Brazilian bid to the Swedes, and (looking at total orders) 127 Typhoon foreign orders (Austria 15, Kuwait 28, Oman 12, Saudi 72) beats 66 Rafale foreign orders (6 Egypt, 36 India, 24 Qatar) by almost two to one.

    I’d forgotten about the Gripen. I was working in Stockholm when the Social Democrats voted, to a man, to kill the project (they lost by 9), and with five subsequent Social Democrat governments, I’d assumed that it was moribund, if not dead. In fact, 66 have been sold to Brazil, South Africa and Thailand. My error.

    However,

    As far as naval sales are concerned, I’d have thought that you should be more concerned at the poor productivity in the Scottish shipyards that is responsible for this state of affairs. Brown’s disgraceful ordering of two aircraft carriers without planes (rather than one carrier with planes) demonstrated that the UK naval orders have been used as job (or, more likely, vote) buying exercises by the last Labour government, Unfortunately,this is unlikely to be remedied until after a Scottish departure from the UK allows shipbuilding to be relocated in a more rational fashion.

  42. @ronolden

    “There is huge resentment against Scotland in England and Wales. People talk about it as much as they do the EU…..”

    Any polling evidence to support this description of the salience of issues in thd minds of English and Welsh voters and their attitudes to the SNP? Or are you just projecting your views on to the whole population?

  43. “The LibDem revival is clearly about much more than remain sentiment. That will have helped them in Richmond Park, but in the SouthWest, they are recovering in spite of Brexit.”

    Not necessarily. To be sure on this we would need to know the ward by ward leave/remain breakdown, but it’s also worth thinking about the impact of Lib Dems becoming the focal point for remain voters, which means they could win seats while not needing a majority of voters.

    There will have been many Con remain voters who now may feel sufficiently discomfited to move across the Lib dems, but I also think that Lib Dems are picking up Con and Lb voters in a more normal rebalancing since 2015.

  44. Wyrn,

    The Pentagon will do as it’s told be that the deals it’s done on Airforce 1 replacement or the JSF. If Trump pushes it the most likely outcome is a split to make BAe US a seperate company.

    As to the Typhoon v the Rafale, The Typhoons export performance isn’t great considering the biggest order for 72 actually came fromm the UK allocation and the Indian order for Rafale may be for over 100 if the India government moved to expend it towards the original 147 target”

    Slightly mute anyway given that Typhoon is a pan European programme, which you oddly put down as a BA success while contending that they don’t really do any business in Europe.

    What about Meteor, Scalp/Apache and Neuron, aren’t they all major European programmes that BA is a partner in.

    The Rafale is over priced as is the Gripen but that’s the cost going it alone with a small domestic market. The point of EU defence integration is to overcome that and we will be on the outside.

    The only combat aircraft Britain actually makes is the Hawk 2, which we’ve sold to India, but we lost out to the Leonardo Master in Singapore and Israel and it isn’t even in the running for TX in the states.

    Our next fighter will be American ( probably from the new production line in Italy) our transports American and European, our Martime Recon America as well as our next attack helicopter.

    It’s hard to look at this the UK facing a squeeze than being on the up.

    Still we can always rely on the Saudi’s for sales and that relationship is in safe hands with Boris at the foreign office!

    Peter.

  45. @Ron @Graham @R Huckle @S Thomas

    I agree with R Huckle that only a blocking of Brexit in 2017 is likely to mean an election in 2017. I maintain that elections are highly unlikely until after the Boundary Reform.

    However there is a circumstance where Labour MPs might vote en masse for an early 2017 election. To prevent re-selections ahead of a boundary review!

    When talking about the FTPA this is not as big an impediment as some are making out. The solution is simple. Repeal it. And I think you’ll see that in the next Queen’s speech. The Parliament Act means it can be rammed through the Lord’s within a year if they were stupid enough to block it. The general view is the Act is an abomination concerning how Parliament has traditionally functioned in any case.

  46. Hireton

    I’ve never regarded the LDs as soft-left. I associate them with woolly localism rather than coherent federalism – and I like to think I’d have noticed if they’d come up with some sensible proposals for English devolution.

    They also have a credibility problem which predates their spell in government. I have never understood why a party whose signature issue was proportional representation thought that offering AV as an alternative was a good idea…

  47. @Sea Change

    You – like quite a few other people – are placing too much store on boundary changes that may never happen. There are strong rumours that in due course we will be having a by election in Thanet South – a seat which I would expect the Tories to lose . If that occurs the Government’s majority drops to just 8. Very few Tory rebels will then be needed to scupper the proposals.
    If May were wise she would abandon plans to to reduce the number of MPs to 600 and simply proceed with a Boundary Review on the basis of 650 MPs. It probably would require legislation – but there is still time to carry out such a Review to be in place for a 2020 election. If she simply goes ahead with the Autumn 2018 vote she risks being defeated and being stuck with the 2015 boundaries because by that date it will be too late to carry out the Review I am suggesting!

  48. @Alec:

    “The LibDem revival is clearly about much more than remain sentiment. That will have helped them in Richmond Park, but in the SouthWest, they are recovering in spite of Brexit.”
    Not necessarily. To be sure on this we would need to know the ward by ward leave/remain breakdown

    Yes. of course – to be 100% certain. But the sheer number of LD gains in the SW makes this unnecessary. There’ve been too many LD gains, and no losses, in SW council by elections since May. It’s highly unlikely that these have all been in remain wards.

  49. I think it very unlikely that there’ll be a general election in 2016.

  50. Comparing VI’s and % of votes at different elections is useless without turnout figures.
    Best practice would be to compare actual votes cast.

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