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”

1 2 3 4 5 6 8
  1. I continue to be surprised as to the belief that subverting the FTPA will be simple.
    Firstly repeal: repeal requires a majority in both houses of Parliament: repeal formed no part of the Tory Manifesto nor is it a money bill and so the Parliament Act cannot be used. Whilst a majority in the house of commons is a possibility it is not a certainty (the Soubry factor) and a Majority in the House of Lords would be virtually impossible at this stage.
    Secondly two thirds majority in the House of Commons (of all elected members not just those who vote) I consider the possibility of this as vanishingly small.
    A vote of no confidence in the government. The political consequences of a government organising a vote of no confidence in itself are beyond prediction: even if they said we are only doing this as a tactic to have an election I think the reaction to such a gerrymandering approach would be significant and a number of honourable Tories I know would be horrified by it: I cannot see T. May organising a situation where she votes that she has no confidence in her own government!

  2. I continue to be surprised as to the belief that subverting the FTPA will be simple.
    Firstly repeal: repeal requires a majority in both houses of Parliament: repeal formed no part of the Tory Manifesto nor is it a money bill and so the Parliament Act cannot be used. Whilst a majority in the house of commons is a possibility it is not a certainty (the Soubry factor) and a Majority in the House of Lords would be virtually impossible at this stage.
    Secondly two thirds majority in the House of Commons (of all elected members not just those who vote) I consider the possibility of this as vanishingly small.
    A vote of no confidence in the government. The political consequences of a government organising a vote of no confidence in itself are beyond prediction: even if they said we are only doing this as a tactic to have an election I think the reaction to such an unprincipled approach would be significant and a number of honourable Tories I know would be horrified by it: I cannot see T. May organising a situation where she votes that she has no confidence in her own government!

  3. I have a comment which is identical to the above but for one word in moderation the word “G%[email protected]

  4. @Graham

    What you propose is definitely possible and I am not ruling it out, There are a lot of balls up in the air at the moment and for that reason we cannot reliably predict how things might turn out. As always politics and events dictate.

    The 2018 boundary review does act as a club against unruly MPs that both Corbyn and May can use to help enforce discipline. It could also be used, as I have pointed out, to call an early election where MPs particularly on the Labour side would prefer to face an election rather than face a re-selection.

    I still think May won’t attempt to call a 2017 election. Though some of Ron Olden’s arguments do have merit and bear more consideration. Once we are in the negotiation proper there will be a lot of lurid reporting in the papers. A bigger majority (based on the average of recent polls and Corbyn’s unelectability) and a longer timeframe to see through those changes has attractions rather than facing an election in 2020. The problem for a 2017 election is once we have Brexit they’ll only have 2-3 years before facing the electorate with the full effects of Brexit in 2022 unless there is a transitionary deal.

    On the other hand, repealing the FTPA and then going to the country at her choosing in late 2018 or early 2019 with (or without) the boundary review before the full effects of Brexit is my preferred strategy if I was running the Tory party. That has potential to be the best long term electoral plan. As they would then have 5 years to mitigate Brexit impacts before the next election.

    Finally there is another game-plan that would combine elements from both. Like Ron’s it has the hurdle of a 2017 election. Go with the Ron plan and have an early election if possible. Repeal the FTPA. Prepare to go to the country again in early-mid 2019 with the deal so you have 5 years of Brexit before facing the electorate again.

  5. @ WB

    I think you are confusing the Parliament Act with the Salisbury Convention! The Parliament can be used in respect of all primary legislation blocked by the Lords. Money Bills cannot be blocked by the Lords so the Parliament Act would not arise.
    The Salisbury Convention means the passing of Bills relating to commitments made in the governing party’s election manifesto will not be blocked by the Lords.

  6. @WB You are incorrect about the Parliament Act.

    The Commons can override the Lord’s veto on any bill subject to a one year waiting process. Money bills can only be delayed by 30 days.

  7. “There is huge resentment against Scotland in England and Wales.

    Why? Didn’t Scotland vote to stay?

    Surely the resentment would have been reserved for a leave vote?

    Did England want Scotland to leave? They should have said so.

  8. @ GRAHAM
    you are quite right
    My reference to the Parliament Act was in reference to the ability to delay for two sessions of Parliament. So that this would mean that no repeal could take effect before 2019 at the earliest.

  9. @WB “My reference to the Parliament Act was in reference to the ability to delay for two sessions of Parliament. So that this would mean that no repeal could take effect before 2019 at the earliest.”

    Not true. There are usually two sessions of Parliament per year.

    Therefore the Parliament Act can be enforced within one year.

  10. To further explain the Parliament Act.

    The 1911 Act specified that a bill could be delayed over three sessions. This was reduced to two sessions by the Attlee Government enshrined in the 1949 Act, which means one year.

    In practical terms, the Government could repeal the FTPA by mid to late 2018 using the normal legislative process IF the lords blocked it. And by spring 2018 if it really wanted to push it through the Commons and then override the Lords veto.

    It may be able to get it done and dusted far faster. The general feeling in both the Lords and the Commons is that the Act is an aberration.

  11. @seachange

    “The general feeling in both the Lords and the Commons is that the Act is an aberration.”

    Could you link to the evidence to support that? If true, it seems odd that the issue has not been addressed.

  12. @Hireton

    You can go back to Hansard and read the debates in both houses when it was introduced. There was general disquiet about the Act from many quarters, but the decision was taken because Parliament felt that a strong coalition was necessary after suffering the worst recession (negative 21% GDP) over the previous 21 months. The Act was used to prop up a coalition in a time of perceived national need.

    My musings assume the worst and that the Lords will block it. The fact remains that if the Government wanted to have an election in 2018, it could do.

    I personally think that no Opposition could realistically block an election in 2017.

    What are the likes of Labour and the SNP going to say. “No we don’t want an election. We support the continued Hard Brexit Tory Government!”

  13. The Jeremy Corbyn comedy-horror show continues:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/15/labour-plans-jeremy-corbyn-relaunch-as-a-leftwing-populist

    There are some highly amusing BTL comments there.

  14. SEA CHANGE @Hireton
    What are the likes of Labour and the SNP going to say.

    Until at least the SC ruling and anything referred to the ECJ has been determined any thoughts of triggering A50 will remain just that, quite possibly for some years.

    If May wants an early election, she can rig a vote of no confidence in herself and let Corbyn be PM throughout the GE campaign. As a disciple of Jo Chamberlain, May will be well aware of what happened to Balfour’s government after Chamberlain resigned.

    But why should Lab prefer to fight an early election in opposition rather than #10? Most of the print media are going to be against them anyway, but being in government, for however short an administration, would give them far more broadcast coverage as well, and would give the public some first hand knowledge of what they’re about.

    Even after A50 has been triggered, the same stunt might well be needed. Both Lab & SNP could snipe from the opposition benches and ensure that committees did not lamely accept everything May proposed re Brexit. If the polls still favoured the Cons, why should Lab commit electoral seppuku?

    The SNP would be more concerned to move the deal to full EEA – more likely in the current HoC than after a comprehensive Con win.

  15. @seachange

    Thanks but somehow I doubt whether the views of Parliament in 2016 can be assumed to be the same as in 1949. So I assume there is no current information about parliamentary views on the Parliament Act.

    “What are the likes of Labour and the SNP going to say. “No we don’t want an election. We support the continued Hard Brexit Tory Government!””

    A number of assumptions there.

    Firstly that there is a “Hard Brexit Tory Government” and that would be May’s pitch to the electorate. Given that about half of the population don’t want Brexit at all that doesn’t seem to be necessarily a vote winner.

    Secondly, there is no reason to suppose that Article 50 will be blocked in Parliament even if the SC rules that it has to trigger it. So without such a defeat the “casus belli” for an early election would look weak especially given May’s statement that she would not seek an early election. If she does nonetheless, it would undermine her credibility and open her to accusations of “cutting and running” for purely party political reasons at a time when she has been arguing for a united approach.

    Third, the SNP will say there is no need for an election. The Scottish electorate has made its views on Brexit plain, they simply need to be acted on and however Scotland votes in a UK General Election will have absolutely no impact on the outcome as the UK will get the Government which England votes for. May has a Parliamentary majority based on a 2015 manifesto which she can clearly implement.

  16. @BBZ

    I know you are technically correct, but I just wonder how hard it would be for JC and Labour to refuse the offer of a General Election.

    It is officially their policy to support one, so opposing one would require some pretty acute political gymnastics of a kind that Peter Mandelson can achieve but are rather harder for the more rigid-thinking figures that dominate now.

    Arguing that your party should not be given the chance to defeat an evil Hard Brexit Tory government (TM)* because, well, you’re afraid you might lose, is not really the stuff political positioning is made of.

    Any figleaf put up as the “reason” would be the subject to constant challenge by the media, and probably ridicule by even the most left-leaning parts of the comedy entertainment industry. It could be a really damaging stance to take.

    I think the prospect of an early GE over Brexit is a real one, although still an unlikely one. But I think that real prospect will have some influence on Labour tactical thinking on Brexit and A50. A showdown may in the end not be good for them. What they need is for the government to get its way, but to look bad doing so, and to hedge their bets between Brexit-catastrophe and Independent Britain Euphoria.

  17. *see what I did there?!…

  18. @Hireton “Thanks but somehow I doubt whether the views of Parliament in 2016 can be assumed to be the same as in 1949. So I assume there is no current information about parliamentary views on the Parliament Act.”

    We are talking about the debate in Parliament in 2010 and 2011 over the FTPA. Nothing to do with the Parliament Act. The vast majority of Parliament has not changed since then (Lords+Commons)

    “Firstly that there is a “Hard Brexit Tory Government” and that would be May’s pitch to the electorate”

    Nope this is the current refrain from the SNP, Lib Dems and Labour about the Tories.

    May could call an election saying wants a mandate from the country as PM (as stated before I think she will wait until 2018/9) and challenge the Opposition.

    What are they going to say?

    No?

    Think about the political implications for opposition parties to say they support the Government and support May staying in power. Imagine how that would be perceived by their own supporters. A total betrayal. “Let’s keep the NHS wreckers in power!”

    The only party who would do well out of that would be UKIP.

  19. @SEA CHANGE

    “You can go back to Hansard and read the debates in both houses when it was introduced. There was general disquiet about the Act from many quarters, but the decision was taken because Parliament felt that a strong coalition was necessary after suffering the worst recession (negative 21% GDP) over the previous 21 months. The Act was used to prop up a coalition in a time of perceived national need.”

    ———–

    It rather depends on the interpretation of “perceived need”. Yes there had been recession, a big one but despite the banking !meltdown we had already astonishingly gotten back to over 2% growth inside two years. This growth was choked off real quick once the cuts kicked in, until the housing stimulus post-omnishambles…

  20. I must have drifted onto fantasy island reading some of these posts.

    a. There will be no election before 2020. Full stop.

    b. The SC will say that an act of Parliament must trigger A50. Ther e will be an act of Parliament by 31st mrch 2017;

    c. A50 will be triggered and negotiations will begin;

    d. the revocability or otherwise of A50 is irrelevant to the triggering of it save if it is revocable then the government can trigger by the royal perog.sooner rather than later.

    e. sorry to p*** on your parade.

  21. @Carfew

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/timeseries/ihyr/pn2

    2008Q3 -1.4%
    2008Q4 -4.0%
    2009Q1 -6.1%
    2009Q2 -5.7%
    2009Q3 -4.0%
    2009Q4 -1.4%
    2010Q1 +0.8%
    Election May 2010

    That was the backdrop to the Coalition and the decision to put the FTPA to Parliament as part of the coalition agreement. So yes I think their was a definite perceived need at the time.

  22. S Thomas

    I agree with you – save for some doubt as to your certainty that ” if it is revocable then the government can trigger by the royal perog.sooner rather than later.”

    The Supreme Court in considering the much wider constitutional arguments presented to it, compared to the case in the E&W High Court, may decide that Parliament requires to legislate to trigger Article 50 for other reasons than outlined in the English case.

    None of us know what they will conclude, so certainty on these issues might be misplaced.

  23. @S THOMAS “a. There will be no election before 2020. Full stop.”

    Sorry, but that’s hubris.

    Events could change dramatically. The government could lose its majority. There could be a lost vote of confidence. The FTPA might be repealed. May could attempt to call an early election. e.t.c

  24. NEIL A @BBZ
    I know you are technically correct, but I just wonder how hard it would be for JC and Labour to refuse the offer of a General Election.

    It is officially their policy to support one, so opposing one would require some pretty acute political gymnastics of a kind that Peter Mandelson can achieve but are rather harder for the more rigid-thinking figures that dominate now.

    I agree that Mandelson would have been in his element organising it, but it shouldn’t require a Machiavelli to pull it off if May really does want an early UK GE. If the SC does rule that Westminster have the lead role in setting off A50 then the committees will come into play and MPs will have plenty of meat to chew on, in the process perhaps uncovering some red lines [the Working Time Directive springs to mind as an obvious example] which Corbyn won’t want to cross.

    It could be that Corbyn is daft enough to want a UK GE soon but if the polls are anything like recent ones then even he may be wary of an early one.

    Time will tell, of course.

  25. Unions are starting to really hit hard with their strike action.

    http://news.sky.com/story/staff-at-18-airports-to-strike-before-christmas-10698589

    48 hour strike from 23rd December at 18 airports, just as people are going away for the Christmas period.

    I can see it getting really bad next year, if companies don’t start to offer decent pay rises, after years of pay freezes.

  26. @R Huckle

    No, because there are virtually no unionised workforces left. There are train drivers, and doctors, and that’s about it.

    This is of course partly why there have been no pay increases…..

  27. @seachange

    Sorry I thought you were referring to the Parliament Act.

    Repeal of the FTPA would not be straightforward as it requires specifying what it is to be replaced by. It seems that the Royal Prerogative would not simply be put back in place by repeal so at the very least the Government would have to legislate to restore the RP and any Bill would be open to wide amendment.

    The mantra about the Tory Government is not “Hard Brexit” but drift and division as it clearly cannot reach any agreement internally on the way forward. The SG is simply arguing that Scotland’s place in the Internal Market should be maintained. So you are tilting at windmills.

    May is on record as saying that she has the mandate she needs. She could cut and run through weakness or for partisan opportunity, neither would be a good option for her.

  28. Surprised to see we’re still talking about an early GE, given how unlikely it is. The only way I really see it happening is if the Tories lose their majority followed by a vote of no-confidence.

    In other news, I saw the new Star Wars film last night and thought it was excellent. Far better than last year’s rehash of Ep. IV.

  29. @BBZ “Even after A50 has been triggered, the same stunt might well be needed. Both Lab & SNP could snipe from the opposition benches and ensure that committees did not lamely accept everything May proposed re Brexit. If the polls still favoured the Cons, why should Lab commit electoral seppuku?”

    I think you’d need to address the huge political damage that would occur for the likes of the Labour party to be seen to be keeping the Tories in power.

    What is the official opposition for if it is not meant to be a government in waiting? Hence the term “Shadow Minister”.

    The Labour party’s official position is that they are willing to fight an election if the Government tries to call one.

    So is the Lib Dems.

    And I would be amazed if the SNP wanted to be seen to be keeping the Tories in power. That would be used against them in Scotland by Labour. Whether they are overly worried by that prospect at the moment is another matter!

    @Hireton “Repeal of the FTPA would not be straightforward as it requires specifying what it is to be replaced by. It seems that the Royal Prerogative would not simply be put back in place by repeal so at the very least the Government would have to legislate to restore the RP and any Bill would be open to wide amendment.”

    There’s nothing to stop Parliament returning to how it operated prior to 2011 with a straight repeal in law. Of course there might be a political fight to try and put something else in place.

  30. @seachange

    Legal.advice is that the Government would have to legislate to restore the Royal Prerogative.takin power away from Parliament and the people who elect it. Doesn’t fit very well with the populist narrative.

  31. Labour will “lose the debate” on immigration if it does not accept voters want to control free movement, an academic has said.

    Matthew Goodwin, Professor of Politics at the University of Kent, spoke out as researchers claimed Brexit was fuelled by poorer voters who felt they had lost trust in politicians and control over their lives.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/labour-lose-debate-immigration-without-9464411

    Prof Goodwin said the “populist right” would beat left-wingers who fail to look past hard economic arguments.

    And if politicians continue backing free movement, he said: “The left in British politics will lose that debate quite heavily.”

    He added: “There’s absolutely no question – every single piece of research you look at, immigration was front and centre of the Leave vote.

    “We should accept that most people want limited or controlled immigration policy, in my view.

  32. @Hireton

    Yes as part of the repeal bill would be a line reviving the previous way Parliament operated before 2011 as there must be a way to dissolve Parliament!

  33. I wonder if the poll increases and by-election results for the Lib Dems do indicate a (relative) surge in popularity. It seems quite likely now.

    But how much are the Lib Dems going to replace the Labour Party, maybe only in some areas. I think previously (before 2010) quite a lot of left-leaning voters considered the Lib Dems a virtual proxy vote for Labour: hence their shock when in 2010 that wasn’t how things turned out. But now the Lib Dems have a single clear policy (remain) which they won’t compromise on. Will it be enough to attract Labour voters to them, especially in the south?

    Might be all over by 2020, if that’s when the election is, which may cause the Lib Dem vote to decline again. But it could be the start of a shifting of political allegiances, especially if Labour remain so inept.

  34. @HIRETON

    “Legal.advice is that the Government would have to legislate to restore the Royal Prerogative.takin power away from Parliament and the people who elect it. Doesn’t fit very well with the populist narrative.”

    The people voted to restore the sovereignty, and by golly, we will do so!

    @SEACHANGE

    You keep insisting a new GE will happen, and that both the SNP and Labour would vote for it but why on earth would either do that right now. The SNP have nothing to gain and have no desire to see the Tories cement their majority, while Labour, as foolish as it has been for the last 18 months, does not seem stupid enough to go into an election where they virtually guaranteed to lose seats and strengthen the Tory majority.

  35. Thoughful

    Immigration may have been the biggest factor in those areas of the UK which voted to leave the EU (though probably not in County Antrim!), but for other areas, such as Scotland, immigration is seen, on the whole, as positive. I find the whole discussion on immigration distasteful and close to, if not outright, racist. But then, what do I know? I’m only married to an immigrant and obviously biased in favour of free movement of people – especially my wife!

  36. Sea Change

    “there must be a way to dissolve Parliament!”

    The air quality in London has been very effective in doing precisely that. As to dissolving its members …… :-)

    There are alternatives to legislating to give the PM the sole power to do that using the royal prerogative.

    For example, Westminster devised a system for the Scottish Parliament –

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/46/section/3

    The Parliament can dissolve itself by a vote of two-thirds of its members, or
    The FM can resign and her party not nominate a successor, but vote against any alternative. Unless the remaining parties can agree on a single candidate, and get a majority of MSPs to support her, then an Extraordinary GE will be held.

    There is no need to involve antique procedures like RP to achieve the same end.

  37. @Sam S

    I have not insisted an election will happen! The discussion was kicked off by Ron Olden. We are just discussing the merits of whether it would be possible or not. My view is the Government’s best strategy is to call an election in late 2018 or early 2019 after repealing the FTPA.

    This is what I wrote earlier:


    @Graham What you propose is definitely possible and I am not ruling it out, There are a lot of balls up in the air at the moment and for that reason we cannot reliably predict how things might turn out. As always politics and events dictate.

    The 2018 boundary review does act as a club against unruly MPs that both Corbyn and May can use to help enforce discipline. It could also be used, as I have pointed out, to call an early election where MPs particularly on the Labour side would prefer to face an election rather than face a re-selection.

    I still think May won’t attempt to call a 2017 election. Though some of Ron Olden’s arguments do have merit and bear more consideration. Once we are in the negotiation proper there will be a lot of lurid reporting in the papers. A bigger majority (based on the average of recent polls and Corbyn’s unelectability) and a longer timeframe to see through those changes has attractions rather than facing an election in 2020. The problem for a 2017 election is once we have Brexit they’ll only have 2-3 years before facing the electorate with the full effects of Brexit in 2022 unless there is a transitionary deal.

    On the other hand, repealing the FTPA and then going to the country at her choosing in late 2018 or early 2019 with (or without) the boundary review before the full effects of Brexit is my preferred strategy if I was running the Tory party. That has potential to be the best long term electoral plan. As they would then have 5 years to mitigate Brexit impacts before the next election.

    Finally there is another game-plan that would combine elements from both. Like Ron’s it has the hurdle of a 2017 election. Go with the Ron plan and have an early election if possible. Repeal the FTPA. Prepare to go to the country again in early-mid 2019 with the deal so you have 5 years of Brexit before facing the electorate again.

  38. JOHN B

    Please would you tell us what racism actually is?

    The word ‘racism’ is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything – and demanding evidence makes you a ‘racist.’ Thomas Sowell

    I know & talk to people who have moved to other countries in Africa to be with their partners, and the things they tell me about the way the West is viewed now is amazing.

    Discussing immigration is NOT ‘racist’ in any way and it seems that these days this word has no meaning at all other than as a means to censor freedom of speech and expression !

  39. @OLDNAT Ha! Yes indeed. Apparently the internals are now crumbling too.

    You’re right, there are other options and there could be a political fight to put something else in place other than giving the power to the Government to call elections.

  40. @John B: I also have a non-British wife, but then so does Nigel Farage. One of the deplorable things in modern immigration control is that it now gets in the way of love marriages across borders. Why? Because after EU law entitles one lot of incomers unconditionally, and human rights backs up the claims of others and generally denounces anything that targets particular problems as discriminatory, there are few available targets left.

    Labour’s problem is that its middle class voters will be the sort who think that opposing large scale immigration is the same as spitting in the face of foreign born friends.

    Working class voters can see it as employers having a ready supply of workers willing to work below their skill level for little pay and in poor conditions. (If you know your Trade Union history, the bosses used to do the same within the UK – the “blackleg miner” was just an impoverished Scot trying to feed his family, but also the means by which bosses resisted attempts to make them treat locals decently.)

    That is Labour’s problem, it cannot please both parts of its coalition. Even if it turned things round for remain, the structural problems that large scale migration cause will reassert themselves. Given that it is large “net migration”, the dynamic is being spread to new areas. I would love it, love it, love it if we brought it to teaching – improve schools, drive down costs, rub the left’s face in diversity for a change.

    It’s best hope is to ensure that Brexit is a non-issue, which means a successful negotiation. Unfortunately, the best way for Labour to help this is to make it clear that the EU cannot hope that a bad deal will lead to the UK’s unconditional surrender.

    NB: I should add that my wife is horrified that I voted Leave, but then our first row was over the Euro over a decade ago.

  41. @Thoughtful

    We have entered a bizarre reality where the rest of the world outside of the EU has borders and immigration procedures and you have to pay your way and any dependents for public services if you emigrate into those countries for a number of years (or forever)…

    …But as soon as the UK discusses mass immigration, curtailing freedom of movement, stronger borders, or insisting new arrivals can’t have free access to the NHS or social benefits for a period of time then it’s suddenly racist or borderline racist.

  42. The reason for posting it was that it appears that there is a rift developing in the Labour party over immigration issues.

    We now have a professor of politics pointing out that unless Labour accept this they will fail to win an election.

    So if they carry on ignoring the people using the excuse that even discussing it is ‘racist’ they are unlikely to see power ever again.

  43. @SEA CHANGE

    Sorry, I have mostly been skimming through comments and either misread what you wrote, or conflated it with what someone else has said. Still view repealing FTPA as highly dubious, due to the lack of majority in the HoL.

    @Thoughtful and John B

    Discussing immigration in itself is obviously not racist, but certain positions taken or points made in the debate could be considered as such. The Turkey argument during the Brexit campaign, for example. Also it seems Labour are accepted the narrative that the Brexit vote was an anti-immigration one, even if Corbyn won’t. Andy Burnham in the G today: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/16/take-back-control-immigration-debate-labour

  44. It’s odd that so many people accept that immigration from rEU to the UK is bound to exceed flows the other way.

    I know a narrative seems to have been set in stone that the UK is growing faster than the eurozone; but how confident can we be that that will remain the position? Already several eurozone countries have been growing faster than the UK for multiple years; in my view, that number will increase. Some of those countries (e.g. Poland, Romania) are some of the biggest sources of net migration to the UK.

    As the UK economy tanks, we are going to see many of those migrants returning to their booming homelands. Their loss will exacerbate our economic problems; and their likely replacement by Commonwealth immigrants will hardly enthuse the stereotypical Brexit voter.

    I don’t know for sure how this will all pan out. But I like the fact that the pressure is now on Brexiters to live up to their promises.

  45. @Sam S – yeah no worries. I agree that HoL might veto which is why the government might need to use the Parliament Act and why it is unlikely for the FTPA to be repealed before 2018.

  46. Scottish Liberal Democrats

    Any recent polling evidence for an improvement for the Scottish Liberal Democrats? I am hearing that Willie Rennie has had a spring in his step lately.

  47. @ PROFHOWARD
    Are there any other Pro-union and Pro-EU parties other than the Scottish Lib Dems? While the Conservative leader is definitely also in agreement with that, the rest of the her party many not be so the SLDs have the position mostly to themselves.

  48. Somerjohn

    “It’s odd that so many people accept that immigration from rEU to the UK is bound to exceed flows the other way.”

    It must be months since I banged on about the crucial nature of “narrative” in a polity affecting how people think and vote.

    Narratives are created by powerful media sources as well as by political parties.

    If a narrative is established, then all parties have to fall in line to some extent or other.

    The “immigration” narrative appears to be so well established in E&W that not accommodating it would be counter-productive for those seeking votes.

    S&NI seem to be less engaged with that particular narrative (since they each have their own ones!)

    Successful narratives appeal to the stereotypes that people have about “their” polity (I blame history teachers for that! :-) )

    I’m not making any “moral judgement” about any narrative being intrinsically good or bad, but I would suggest that the UK is becoming increasingly divides by the particular narratives that have been established.

    I’m pretty confident that the UK Government will dismiss whatever proposals the Scottish Government publish on Tuesday.

    For VI and polling, however, that really doesn’t matter that much. What will matter is how well the SNP have engaged with a particular Scottish narrative, and whether the UK response can accommodate that – or cause further alienation.

  49. J1832
    “Labour’s problem is that its middle class voters will be the sort who think that opposing large scale immigration is the same as spitting in the face of foreign born friends.”
    A fairly damning comment on the intelligence of middle class Labour voters.

  50. R huckle

    Let’s hope they keep at it and give us another “winter of discontent”, because that worked so well last time?

1 2 3 4 5 6 8