In terms of support for Brexit we end the year in pretty much the same place as we were on June 23rd. Among some there is a desire to jump on the slightest bit of evidence to suggest that people have changed their mind one way or the other. Overall however, the polling suggests that public opinion remains largely unchanged.

There have been numerous polls since the referendum that have asked how people would vote in another referendum tomorrow (below are all the polls I can find in the last three months):

ComRes/CNN (18th Dec) – Remain 45, Leave 47 (Remain 49, Leave 51)
Gallup International (7th Dec) – Remain 54, Leave 46 (Remain 54, Leave 46)
ComRes/Mirror (27th Nov) – Remain 46, Leave 47 (Remain 49, Leave 51)
YouGov (25th Oct) – Remain 44, Leave 43 (Remain 51, Leave 49)
BMG (24th Oct) – Remain 45, Leave 43 (Remain 51, Leave 49)
Survation/ITN (12th Oct) – Remain 44, Leave 44 (Remain 50, Leave 50)

All except the Gallup International poll are within the margin of error of the referendum result (I think the contrast is because the Gallup poll has a very large proportion of university educated respondents, which correlates with support for EU membership). On average they show only a small movement towards Remain and – looking closer – even that may be illusionary. Looking at the actual tables for the polls none of them show any real net movement between Remain and Leave voters, the small move to Remain is only because people who didn’t vote last time claim they are more likely to vote Remain this time. I would treat that with some degree of scepticism – of course, it could be those people took the result for granted and would be spurred into action in a second referendum… or it could be those who couldn’t be bothered last time probably wouldn’t be bothered in a second referendum either.

In addition, YouGov have asked a regular question for the Times on whether people think leaving was the right or wrong way for Britain to vote. That too shows no obvious evidence of Bregret:

YouGov (5th Dec) – Right 44%, Wrong 42%
YouGov (29th Nov) – Right 44%, Wrong 45%
YouGov (15th Nov) – Right 46%, Wrong 43%
YouGov (12th Oct) – Right 45%, Wrong 43%

Both sides of the debate have taken other figures to try and claim that the balance of opinion has shifted in their direction. In recent days I’ve seen several people who really should know better getting excited over voodoo polls in local newspapers that claim to show a big shift towards Remain – rather than let this post get overtaken by a rant, I’ve addressed that elsewhere. On the other side of the divide, some Brexit supporters have a tendency to misinterpret this YouGov poll to claim shows 68% now support leaving the EU. This is a little disingenuous – the poll doesn’t show that support for leaving has grown from 52% to 68%, it’s a different question asking about what the government should do. The 68% includes 23% of people who say they do NOT personally support Brexit, but that the government has a duty to do it.

Neither does there appear to be much current appetite for a second referendum. ComRes for CNN found 35% thought there should a referendum on the terms of exit, but 53% thought there should not. A similar recent question by Opinium for Keiran Pedley found very similar results – people opposed a second referendum on the terms of Brexit by 52% to 33% and also opposed one if the economy worsened, again by 52% to 33%. A poll by YouGov found that only 26% of people thought it was legitimate for those opposed to Brexit to campaign for a second referendum, 59% thought it was not.

As things stand public opinion does not appear to have moved since the referendum and people do not want a referendum, but as ever they are only a snapshot, not a prediction of how attitudes to Brexit may change in the future. Is there anything we can tell from current polls about how public attitudes towards Brexit might develop? There are two obvious “known knowns” ahead that could potentially change attitudes to Brexit: the negotiations and the economic impact.

The financial angle depends on what the economic impacts are and how long they take to show themselves. I am not an economist so won’t seek to speculate. I will urge caution though about polls showing that people would turn against Brexit if it cost them x amount of money, caused a recession, unemployment or so on. Should the economy collapse, I have no doubt that it would have a major impact on attitudes to both the government and to Brexit. I am less confident about what impact more modest economic bad news will have. Polls attempting to measure this assume that people will blame any economic ups and down on Brexit, and I don’t think they will – or at least, they will interpret it through the prism of their existing support or opposition. People who opposed Brexit will blame economic bad news on it, but people who supported it will blame it on other factors, or on obstructive Europeans, or Remoaners talking Britain down or whatnot. It is the nature of human beings that we are very good at defending our beliefs against data that might challenge them.

More interesting are the negotiations. We don’t yet know what sort of Brexit the government will be aiming for (well, not in any useful terms. We know what colour Brexit they want, but this is of limited use in judging potential public reactions) but given there are different possibilities and people have different preferences, once firm targets are announced some people will likely be disappointed.

Lots of polling evidence shows that the public would like to maintain free trade with the EU, but would also like to limit EU immigration – in Boris Johnson’s words, the public’s preference is clearly to have their cake and eat it. This is unlikely to be available.

If they have to choose, the polling evidence suggests the public are very evenly divided. There have been various polls using various different wordings that amount to a forced choice between EU market access or cutting EU immigration – all show a tight divide. An ORB poll this month found people agreeing by 44% to 40% that more control over immigration was more important than keeping EU free trade; a YouGov poll in November asking a forced choice between market access for British exporters and reducing immigration broke down as 49% for market access, 51% for immigration; ComRes in November found 42% would prioritise the single market over immigration, 43% would prioritise cutting EU immigration; NatCen found 49% of people said we should accept freedom of movement as the price of staying in the single market, 51% that we should not.

Looking only at immigration vs market access is probably taking to tight a focus anyway. I suspect the public will judge it as a overall package – as a whole, does it seem like a good deal for Britain? Even there is evidence is contradictory though: Opinium asked people to pick between a “soft Brexit” scenario and a “hard Brexit” scenario and people preferred the former by 41% to 35% (though the question also made clear that soft Brexit was economically better, which the public won’t necessarily think). YouGov have asked people to rate a number of scenarios – a hard Brexit on WTO terms, a limited trade deal along the Canadian model and a Norway type deal remaining in the EEA. On those a Canadian type deal polls significantly better than a Norway type relationship – 50% think it would be good for Britain, 65% think it would respect the referendum and 51% would be happy. In comparison the figures for a Norway type outcome would be 34% good for Britain, 33% respect the referendum, 37% happy (WTO terms would also be bad – 34% good for Britain, 66% respect result, 37% happy).

That is the narrow path which Theresa May must navigate – a Brexit that doesn’t mess up Britain’s trading relationship with Europe so much it sinks the economy, yet is not perceived by Leave voters as a betrayal. If we end up with a Brexit that has tougher consequences that some Leave voters expected then there is potential for public opinion to move against it. On the other hand, if we end up with a Brexit that retains more links with the European Union than some Leave voters hoped for there is the potential for a betrayal narrative to take hold, presumably to the benefit of UKIP. Either situation may bring division within the Conservative party, which has only a wafer thin majority to begin with.

Ultimately, I suppose those are two questions that matter about public opinion on Brexit. One, will public opinion move sufficiently against Brexit to make it avoidable? Two, how will it impact on the popularity of the Conservative government and opposition parties?

To answer the first one, as yet there has been little or no net movement in opinion since the referendum, the majority of people think the government have a duty to implement the results of the referendum and and the majority of people are opposed to revisiting the question. However, given the vote was only 52-48 it wouldn’t take much to tip opinion in favour of staying once the consequences become a bit more visible. It remains to be seen if the negotiations or economic developments do change things. Getting majority support for a second referendum is a much bigger ask and would be a necessity if there is any chance of a second referendum (well, counting 1975 a third referendum) has any chance of delivering a different result to 2016. Anti-elitism was an important factor in the vote, and the perception that an uncaring and distant political elite didn’t like what the public said so wants them to vote again differently would be a very powerful narrative.

As for the political parties, Brexit is the mission that has been forced upon Theresa May’s government and the yardstick they will inevitably be judged by. Thus far the public think they have been carrying it out badly, yet this has not damaged their position in the polls (presumably because it is still early days). If Brexit doesn’t work out well for them, they will suffer – especially given the high expectations of some Brexit supporters. The government’s great challenge will be to sell the compromises that will be necessary, the difficulty will be persuading the public that such compromises are either unavoidable or in Britain’s interests… as opposed to being the result of government ineptitude, backsliding or lack of ambition. If people believe the latter – that a government led by someone who never really wanted Brexit anyway is failing to be ambitious enough in our Brexit negotiations, I imagine it will be UKIP who benefit. If they deliver Brexit that’s hardness is beyond doubt, but the economy collapses, who knows who will benefit…


475 Responses to “Where public opinion on Brexit stands”

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  1. MOG

    I think we are on a similar (if not the same) page on this, as far as UK wide referendums are concerned.

    Most previous referendums have been called by UK Governments trying to legislate for changed governance of nations/regions of the UK.

    Simply transferring the right to hold such referendums to the nations and regions (with some form of demonstration of wider support) would seem useful.

  2. @Oldnat

    No problem at all with sub-UK referenda being the responsibility of the affected people. I think, from what you say, that we probably agree that the same rules I suggested for the UK regarding proof of wide support should equally apply within the affected region in these cases.

    There remains a problem where the smaller entity directly affects the larger. So, looking wholly hypothetically at the case of Scots (or Welsh or Northern Irish) separation from the UK, there is no doubt a decision within the nation seeking separation, but what about the UK as a whole, which is also substantially affected? I have no answer on this. Any “solution” I can think of seems to disturb as many hornets nests as it covers up.

  3. MOG

    “So, looking wholly hypothetically at the case of Scots (or Welsh or Northern Irish) separation from the UK, there is no doubt a decision within the nation seeking separation, but what about the UK as a whole, which is also substantially affected? I have no answer on this”

    Nor have I – except to complicate it further by suggesting that exactly the same position applies to the UK leaving the EU.

    “Sauce for the goose…”? :-)

  4. Oldnat,
    Sorry if I seemed to accuse you of selectivity! That was aimed at the Tories, not you..

    Sorry also that I missed your post mentioning the mayoral referenda outside London..

  5. @Oldnat

    I agree.

    Politics is not a zero-sum game, it’s often a zero-solution one.

  6. Andrew111

    No problem – it gave me the opportunity to bring in the Scottish temperance Act! :-)

    MOG

    Can we settle for a “less than optimum solution for each side, but Meh, it’s the best compromise” solution? That often works fairly well. :-)

  7. @Oldnat

    Let’s shake on it (and legislate against referenda!).

  8. MOG

    If these young folk would just leave these difficult problems to you and me ….. :-)

  9. @MISERABLE OLD GIT

    “So, in order to ensure any referendum is for genuine constitutional reasons, rather than for party management, there should be a rule that states that all parties exceeding a certain threshold of parliamentary representation (say 5% or 10% of seats) must support the proposal to call a referendum for it to take effect.”

    Interesting suggestion, but I have simpler one: in order to enact a valid and binding referendum there should be at least a two thirds majority in the Commons in favour of holding it.

  10. @Oldnat
    I say, leave these decisions to the young folk who generally have a better understanding and certainly have a bigger stake in generational issues like Brexit.
    After all, Brexit seems to have been brought about by genuinely Miserable Old Gits outpointing Young Whippersnappers on a close points decision.
    I predict a dreary 2017 with not much happening (one hopes Fox might shoot his, and Boris get into trouble with his Johnson, or some other calumny).
    Trump will be all mouth and limited trousers.
    Elections will have no very surprising results.
    Chelski will win the Premier League with Liverpool plucky runners-up
    A number of financial institutions will quietly commence to relocate operations to Paris, Frankfurt and New York. One or two will make a big splash in the media.
    Some major industrials will announce relocation of investment outside the UK. Others will confirm their commitment after discussions with the government (and secret bribes)
    The production sector will continue to be sustained by the weakening pound
    The Daily Mail will report a number of export success stories on the front page and miss the vast majority of negative stories.
    Real earnings will continue their slow decline for ordinary people: the government will fail to raise the rate of housebuilding to approach the 2010 level
    Colin and TOH will remain convinced that Brexit is a superb opportunity for the UK
    Tancred and Guymonde will continue to view it as a slow-burn catastrophe

  11. People keep forgetting that the referendum was not binding and the result of the referendum does not force the government to obey its recommendation.
    Next week we could have a referendum on executing murderers by boiling them alive in hot semen. No doubt the Daily Mail and Express would strongly support this, but does anyone seriously think that if the result of such a referendum was in favour that we should go ahead and do it? For a start where would we get such a lot of semen!!
    The point I’m trying to make is that referendums appeal directly to populism by giving people an opportunity to vent their anger at institutions or organisations that they blame for their own personal problems, irrespective of whether these grievances have any objective merit in their own right. For instance, a company might be governed by a CEO who is brilliantly effective but a real bast*rd who is hated by his workforce for making them work longer hours, cut their holidays etc. Should there be a referendum within the workforce on dismissing any CEO who is unpopular, irrespective of how effective he is at delivering value for the company’s shareholders? Utter nonsense of course. And this is the fundamental problem with direct democracy – letting key political decisions be determined by the ignorant and uneducated masses.

  12. Guymonde

    “I say, leave these decisions to the young folk who generally have a better understanding and certainly have a bigger stake in generational issues like Brexit.”

    In my long professional career of managing young people, I can confidently assert that control by elders, whom they can’t get rid of, is the best way of directing them into the paths appropriate to their ambitions to replace us when they age.

    Imposing silly regimes like school uniform, with an apparent intensify, allows them to vent their adolescent rebellion against the unimportant things. as they loosen their tie, or raise their hem height they can imagine they have defeated the system.

    Managing young adults (those under 55) isn’t that much different. A higher proportion will have conformed to their learned expectations, but for the others some populist offering an easy solution will do – Farage or Corbyn, it matters not.

    As we showed in 1930s Germany, we can easily manage them – oh, BUGGER!

  13. @BARBAZENZERO

    “Perhaps May’s Red, White & Blue Brexit was a hint that she wants an EEA Brexit. Iceland and Norway both have Red, White & Blue Flags whilst Liechtenstein’s is Red & Blue.”

    Sadly not. I take her cryptic comment to mean that she wants a full, hard Brexit with no more British attachment to the EU in any way, shape or form.

  14. @OLDNAT

    “Managing young adults (those under 55) isn’t that much different. A higher proportion will have conformed to their learned expectations, but for the others some populist offering an easy solution will do – Farage or Corbyn, it matters not.”

    Thank you for putting me still into the ‘young’ category when I am now old enough to be a grandfather!

  15. The Other Howard,
    “I believe there is very little chance of that happening with public opinion virtually unchanged since the referendum”

    The question of course is not what we believe MPs might do, but what voters might believe. Voters may not be reasoning logically.

    “Governments are voted for by people, not business and the thing that the Tories always want most (IMO) is power. So she will listen to the voters or should I say, she has already done so,”

    The tories won the last election on something like 30% of the possible national vote, maybe less? It isnt a matter of what all voters want, but whether you can get just enough of them on your team. However, it still all comes down to who the government believes is correct over the economic outlook of Brexit. If you believe it will be a fantastic success, then going full pelt for Brexit is a no brainer. If you believe it will be a dismal failure, then following through is just as much an electoral liability as not doing so.

    What May and co. have actually done thus far is nothing more than start to prepare a considered view, and stall.

  16. Tancred

    Judging by some of my more energetic students (and their parents) that makes you in your mid-20s. :-)

  17. OLD NAT
    You mutually respectful exchange ith MOG rather neglects the fact that 2016 “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” was critically different in substance from previous referenda on domestic constitutional issues, of which its implication for the rights of regions was only one aspect. Others were the half century of legislation in trade, labour rights and the movement of labour, fishing and agriculture, environment, security and intellectual property in which the UK Government has jointly enacted legislation and regulations with the EU. All of these devolve as rights of all individuals and corporate structures within all of the UK, from that of regional governments and major financial institutions to my granddaughter’s access to life, education and culture in Europe wide institutions – now to be denied.
    I find AWs account of the polls, including that of voodoo polls in his previous post just a bit leary in not seeing that a shift of opinion from 48/52 does not require to be “vast” and that it may in fact have occurred and be evident in any poll of polls based already on those which he cites. One of the reasons for a shift would be the recognition that the 2016 referendum was an insult to the complex and organic nature of the UK’s relationship to Europe and the rest of the world, and not an answer to the impoverishment of regions or sectors to which bad government in the last few decades has led, rather than migration or EU membership.

  18. Danny

    May has made it quite clear to those who listen that she wants to have control of UK borders and be free of the controlling influence of the ECJ. I believe ahe will proceed on that basis.

  19. “Danny

    May has made it quite clear to those who listen that she wants to have control of UK borders and be free of the controlling influence of the ECJ. I believe ahe will proceed on that basis.”
    @The Other Howard January 2nd, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Hmm. ‘Brexit means Brexit’ and ‘Red, White and Blue Brexit’ neither mention borders or ECJ. Methinks wishful thinking is going on here. The bottom line is half the country don’t want what the other half want. If she comes off the fence there will be trouble. Best to keep the legal stuff going.

  20. THE OTHER HOWARD @ Danny
    May has made it quite clear to those who listen that she wants to have control of UK borders and be free of the controlling influence of the ECJ.

    That does indeed seem to be her goal, perhaps to compensate for her total failure to control non-EU immigration as Home Secretary. A pity, then, that neither of those issues was given a place on the ballot paper.

    Perhaps her plan is to ride out the current Brexit mania being challenged on such issues in the courts.

  21. AL URQA

    Snap!

  22. AL URQA & BZ

    “Best to keep the legal stuff going.”

    I am sure that is your view, my own is just to wait as patiently as I can until Art 50 is triggered and we start to leave the EU, something I am looking forward to.

    Incidently to my my mind the ballot paper was quite clear and I don’t see much Brexit mania apart from a few Remainers. The rest of the country can’t wait foir her to get on with it IMO.

  23. TOH,

    Fully agree. The pity is that it is ardent remainders who will no more listen to the PM than they do to the people.

    (Last line of Tancred’s 12:56 post is particularly illuminating. Why he thinks anyone should listen to his views after that statement amazes me.)

    PHJ

  24. This ECJ stuff. What is the problem with it? I don’t understand.

    What I do know is this. Currently if the French decide our wine is not good enough to be sold in France they will ban it. Oh la la, we will say. You can’t do that; so we will go to the ECJ and moan at them. They will decide whether the French are right or wrong, and we will then move forward with everyone accepting the result.

    Now after we have left the EU we can’t go to the ECJ. But we can go to the EFTA court and do more-or-less the same. What? We don’t want the EFTA court telling us what to do? No EEA for us? Ok, so it’s WTO. That’s still another court TELLING US what to do. What’s the difference? Apart from the WTO taking god knows how many years, by which time our wine businesses will have gone bust.

    THE UK IS NOT SOVEREIGN. If we want to play in the big wide world we have to accept someone else will want to tell us what to do now and again.

    As I say. I don’t understand.

  25. PAUL H-J

    Thanks, I find all the endless futile discussion very boring so I don’t post much at the moment. I think the wishful thinking is basically what the remainers are about, but of course everyone has a right to their opinion.

    Tancreds post are always interesting, if often undemocratic and lacking in good manners..

  26. THE OTHER HOWARD @ AL URQA & BZ
    Incidently to my my mind the ballot paper was quite clear

    The question was indeed straightforward and clear: Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

    Three things it does NOT mention are border control, the ECJ and the ECHR.

    I accept that a majority of both remainer and leavers may well have wished that these and other European issues has been on the ballot paper as separate questions. Had that been the case, as an advisory referendum, it would have provided very useful information to HMG and the Westminster parliament on the mood of the five UK polities polled, perhaps resulting in the outcome you seem to want.

    As it is, I suspect a lot more discussion in both the Westminster parliament and the courts will be needed before the next UK GE. Time will tell, of course.

  27. TOH
    I agree with you that May has made those particular aims perfectly clear, which is not surprising since they are in line with her personal obsessions..
    I also agree that you are posting less often than Tancred at the moment!

  28. @ Colin on the question of how well informed voters were I think to assume that they read the Government’s propaganda leaflet and digested the key details is as civil servants would say, “heroic”. Slogans and feelings (as per usual in political debates) determined how people voted not detailed “facts” and the Govnt lost its credibility as a neutral arbiter in the referendum very early

  29. OLDNAT

    @”Is it your contention that I was being told that a Leave vote meant we would exit that ( Euratom) too?”

    Er…….no. If you take a little time to read what I said, I was proposing that UK voters were given a very clear view of the alleged risks of leaving ” The Single Market ” in a Government circular to households.

    I don’t know why you raise membership of Euratom. It appears to be a separate issue entirely :-

    http://democracy.blogactiv.eu/2016/06/16/euratom-after-brexit-votes-uk-will-remain-a-community-member-for-nuclear-non-proliferation/

    Though I have no doubt that armies of bureaucrats & lawyers will wish to spend much expensive time & effort on the matter.

  30. CHRIS IN CARDIFF

    No doubt-just as heroic as assuming that every voter reads & digests Party Manifestos before voting in General Elections.

    The issue is not the Voters’ inclination to be informed about a Political proposal being placed before them -but their opportunity to have been so informed.

  31. Colin

    Thanks for the link to that opinion piece on Euratom.

    It presents a legal argument (and like all such arguments, it would have to be tested in the courts – see below) why the EU could not force the UK out of Euratom.

    However, that wasn’t the question I asked.

    It is precisely because Euratom is “is legally distinct from the European Union (EU), but has the same membership, and is governed by the EU’s institutions” (Wiki) that I brought it into the discussion.

    If the intention was to “take back control”, then why would Leavers want the UK to continue in a body governed by the institutions of the EU (including the ECJ)?

  32. Interesting to see Len McCluskey, a man facing re-election and being criticised by his opponent for being too close to Corbyn, now suggesting that Corbyn would need to consider his position ‘by 2020’ if is poor poll ratings don’t improve.
    This is the first real sign of a crack in the hero worship of the Great Leader, and should give pro Corbyn fans food for thought.

    In some ways it is no more than a statement of the obvious, but given Corbyn’s unwillingness to recognise some pretty basic realities facing his party, it is nonetheless newsworthy.

    The only two real questions now remain as whether McCluskey is just saying this as his own re-election prospects feel uncomfortable, and when McCluskey will press the button, if indeed he remains in post.

    Most normal people would probably think that once the anniversary of Corbyn’s re-election approaches, if dire poll rating continue, then two years is more than enough. However, pro Corbyn Labour members don’t necessarily fit into the ‘normal’ category, and Corbyn certainly doesn’t, but we are at least beginning to see a realisation on the left that they are in an absolutely dire electoral position, and that much of that stems from the leadership at the top.

  33. Alec, claiming people are not normal because you fail to agree with them is a poor slur and leads to some unpleasant conclusions.

  34. Al Urqa. This is the difference, outside the EU someone else will set rules about selling our wine in France, and we can respond in kind. Inside the EU, they will not only tell us the rules for selling them in France, they also will apply those rules here. And they will fine us if we ignore them, oh and there is no appeal process either.

  35. @Markw – “Alec, claiming people are not normal because you fail to agree with them is a poor slur and leads to some unpleasant conclusions.”

    I disagree. Many pro Corbyn supporters claim he isn’t a ‘normal’ politician, and wear this badge with pride. It all depends on whether you class being normal as a plus or a minus, and I don’t think you should claim this is a slur.

    I don’t believe there is anything wrong with being abnormal, but I do think there is evidence that the unconventional view taken by many Corbyn supporters regarding their parties poll ratings is wrong, and that their vision of a mass movement is insufficient to win power.

  36. Perhaps some more education is required before progress can be made. My two suggestions are that the treatment can be worse than the disease and nothing is forever.

  37. Alec, it was a slur. Calling someone not normal cos you lack the ability to understand their position is a slur.

    Your first use is clearly not the same as the second.

  38. Good afternoon all and a Happy New Year from a crisp cold sunny rural Hampshire.

    “In terms of support for Brexit we end the year in pretty much the same place as we were on June 23rd. Among some there is a desire to jump on the slightest bit of evidence to suggest that people have changed their mind one way or the other. Overall however, the polling suggests that public opinion remains largely unchanged”
    _______________

    I think it’s called “The Brexit quo” and I’m not surprised public opinion hasn’t changed since the vote. People really meant it when they wanted to give the EU the boot.

    I see some peeps are predicting what will happen in 2017…Here’e my take.

    Celtic will win the treble.

    Celtic will end the season with over 100 points.

    Celtic will win the Scottish premier league in record time.

    Celtic’s goal difference will be greater than that of all the other Scottish premier clubs combined by the end of the season.

    Aberdeen will end the season ahead of Sevco.

    Have I missed anything oot?

    On other matters…I sent 20 Christmas cards this season and received 65…I must be more popular than I thought!!

  39. just seen the new you gov poll

    tories only 15% ahead

    pro/neutral A50 parties 88%

    UKIP gain more support than liberals

  40. My prediction is that the unexpected becomes the expected and sadly the unacceptable may become the new norm.

    I don’t feel optimistic.

    Events over the last few years have increased the entropy in the chaotic systems that govern our lives to the point where extremes once avoidable become possible.

    I got the GE wrong, the referendum on the eu wrong and i got trump wrong so i am not making any more predictions, oh and i dont like football.

    I hope everyone has a secure and safe new year.

  41. ALEC

    “I disagree. Many pro Corbyn supporters claim he isn’t a ‘normal’ politician, and wear this badge with pride”

    “I don’t believe there is anything wrong with being abnormal”
    ________

    Not normal in the sense that he’s not part of the establishment and political elite…..If that’s being abnormal then we need to see more of it.

    ol Corbyn might trash the Labour parties chances of winning the next UK election but he is giving a substantial minority of the British public a voice in parliament which New Labour left behind.

  42. OLDNAT

    @”If the intention was to “take back control”, then why would Leavers want the UK to continue in a body governed by the institutions of the EU (including the ECJ)?”

    Because the Uk’s elected representatives , acting as Legislators in it’s Sovereign Parliament decide that this is a co-operative organisation which it is in UK’s interests, to be a member of…………..if that is what they decide.

  43. Allan, I agree with you about JC. Politics benefits from a wide set of views being debated, and real choices being offered at election time.

  44. Colin

    “Because the Uk’s elected representatives , acting as Legislators in it’s Sovereign Parliament decide that this is a co-operative organisation which it is in UK’s interests, to be a member of…………..if that is what they decide.”

    I’m always happy to find areas of agreement with people.

    I wholly concur – as the UK Parliament will also decide on such matters as the EU Customs Union, and the EEA, and the Single Market.

  45. “New” (fieldwork 9-13 Dec) Herald/BMG Scottish poll – tables not yet out

    Support for indy/UK Union unchanged (excluding DKs)

    Most don’t want a 2nd indyref in 2017 – but since there is no likelihood of one this year, it was a fairly daft question for the Herald to ask!

    Doubtless, other bits of this poll will be trickled out over the rest of the week.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14997280.Majority_of_Scots_oppose_second_independence_vote_in_2017__poll_shows/

  46. OLDNAT

    I have no great wish to enter into a further debate on Brexit as I am sure you are quite clear on my position as I am of yours.

    However I think you have made a mistake in your last answer to Colin which needs correction. Surely it will be the EU and it’s negotiators who will have the last say on UK membership of on such matters as the EU Customs Union, and the EEA, and the Single Market, once Art. 50 has been triggered by the Prime Minister?

  47. “Because the Uk’s elected representatives , acting as Legislators in it’s Sovereign Parliament decide that this is a co-operative organisation which it is in UK’s interests, to be a member of…………..if that is what they decide.”
    @Colin January 2nd, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    WHAT? I think I must stop taking the little pink pills. I read the above as meaning because our Parliament decided (on our behalf) that the ECJ is ok then there’s no problem.

    I’m going to have a lie down.

    Nurse! NURSE!

  48. MARKW

    It’s important to have someone like JC in parliament. He might not win the next UK election but maybe he can change the course of some of the policy decisions the Tories have come out with and he certainly brings a different perspective to UK politics.

    The party that I’m most likely to vote for in 2020 has certainly disadvantaged many of the people ol Corbyn attracts. If he along with the SNP can make the Tories see sense over some of the political motivated austerity measures before 2020 then that will help my conscience.

    However….that’s where my love affair with ol Corbyn ends. I’m not quite prepared to live in a socialist utopia promoting brutalist architecture to house big government,

  49. Fleshing out the latest YouGov the figures are

    Conservatives 39% (-3)
    Labour 24% (-1)
    LD 12% (+1)
    UKIP 14% (+2)

    Using Election Calculus this gives a Tory majority of 90 on 2015 boundaries or 88 on 2018 boundaries.

    Are Labour at the bottom yet?

  50. TOH

    I’m sure the EU would have “the last say” on these matters – but only if the UK expressed a wish to remain members of the EU Customs Union, and the EEA, and the Single Market.

    It was that decision I was referring to.

    However, it may be that Parliament(s) will not get much, if any, opportunity to decide on any of these matters, if the SC rules in favour of the Government – though we’ll know that fairly soon.

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