ComRes have a poll in Sunday’s Independent and the Sunday Mirror. Most interestingly, it found that people agreed by 45% to 39% that John Bercow was right to refuse to invite Donald Trump to address the Commons, but also that people thought by 47% to 37% that the Queen should meet Donald Trump if he visits the country. As we’ve already seen elsewhere, the British public have little sympathy for Donald Trump’s immigration policy (33% think he was right, 52% think he was wrong) though it’s worth noting that the question wording went considerably wider than Trump’s actual policy (ComRes asked about halting immigration from “Muslim-majority” countries in general, whereas Donald Trump’s policy deals with seven specific countries they claim have an issue with terrorism or vetting).

The poll also had voting intention figures of CON 41%, LAB 26%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 11%, GRN 4%. This is the first ComRes voting intenton poll since way back in June 2016 – after one of the poorer performing polls in the EU referendum (the final ComRes poll had Remain eight points ahead), they paused their voting intention polls while they conducted a review into their methods. They have now recommenced voting intention polls with – as far as I can tell – no changes to their pre-referendum methods. ComRes’s view appears to be that the referendum was an exceptional event, and while the turnout model they adopted after the polling errors of 2015 worked badly there, it worked well at the London mayoral election, so is being retained for Westminster polls. For better or for worse, the ComRes results seem to be very much in line with those from other companies, with a Conservative lead in the mid-teens.

Full tabs for the ComRes poll are here.

While I’m here, I should also mention a BMG Scottish poll that came out at the start of the week (I’ve been laid low with a heavy cold). Voting intention in a second independence referendum stood at YES 49%(+3.5%), NO 49%(-3.5%). This is the lowest lead for NO that any Scottish Indy poll has recorded since the EU referendum. This was interpreted by the Herald as a response to Theresa May’s announcement of her negotiating stance on Brexit. I think that is somewhat premature – so far we’ve had two Scottish polls conducted since May’s speech, a Panelbase poll showing a very small (and not statistically significant) movement towards NO and a BMG poll showing a somewhat larger (but still barely significant) movement towards YES. In short, there is nothing yet that couldn’t be normal sample variation – wait for the next few polls on attitudes towards Scottish independence before concluding whether there is or is not any movement. Full tabs are here


325 Responses to “ComRes/Indy/Sunday Mirror – CON 41, LAB 26, LD 11, UKIP 11”

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  1. @AC

    So, what is your Lib Dem prediction for Stoke and Copeland?

    I am very confident they will way exceed the national swing predicted by the polls. I think they will poll 7% in Copeland and 12% in Stoke Central

  2. @ AC

    I doubt that these by-elections will shed much light on which pollsters are getting the Lab:LD split right.

    There is a strong expectation that Lab have gone backwards since the GE in these constituencies, and that LD maybe will gain a bit of that, but equally they could end up squeezed out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see ammunition for both sides of the argument.

    I don’t think we will have anything of substance to go on until the next round of Local elections in the spring.

  3. Carfrew,
    The British version of Liberalism is indeed based on individual freedom but has never (or not for over 100 years) included Nietschian survival of the fittest or the right of corporations to exploit workers in the way that right wing versions have.

    In contrast British Liberal thinking brought about redistributive taxation, the welfare state, old age pensions, National Insurance, and the NHS through Lloyd George and then William Beveridge.
    More recently, the Liberal Democrats result from a merger with a Social Democratic party so it is not surprising they have been left of centre and in Blairite times left of the Labour Party, with the exception of the aberration of the Orange Book tendency..

  4. CATMANJEFF

    My expectations are much higher than yours but I see you’re already getting ready for some good spin should the Lib/Dems poll 7% and 12% respectively,

    Personally, I’m going for 15% in Copeland and 20% in Stoke. Anything less than that then I’m afraid it’s busted flush territory when considering the spectacular local results the party have been achieving.

  5. EXILEINYORKS
    @ AC
    “I doubt that these by-elections will shed much light on which pollsters are getting the Lab:LD split right”

    “There is a strong expectation that Lab have gone backwards since the GE in these constituencies, and that LD maybe will gain a bit of that, but equally they could end up squeezed out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see ammunition for both sides of the argument”

    “I don’t think we will have anything of substance to go on until the next round of Local elections in the spring”
    _____________

    I agree with your entire comment but don’t tell CATMANJEFF ;-)

    As with any by-election, we can’t read into what it would mean for a GE but I’m really looking forward to the spin from all the parties after the results.

  6. @AC

    If the Lib Dems poll like that, Labour will likely lose both seats.

  7. CATMANJEFF

    I can’t see Labour losing any of the seats but their percentage share will take a hit for sure.

    If the by-elections were held pre 2015 then in Stoke Central the Lib/Dems would probably be getting squeezed by The Incredible Flying Brick of the Raving Monster Looney party and the Christian Peoples party. But how things have changed, now we’re talking about them hitting an astonishing 7% in Stoke!! WoW ;-)

    Anyway, bed time for me. Night night.

  8. @Andrew

    Yes, we haven’t explored the more extreme versions of economic liberalism, in part because EU keeps us in check regarding employee legislation etc.

    But in terms of the impact on the individual you speak of, the EU also visits plenty of competition upon the workers by virtue of being undercut via free movement, plus you must surely take note of the trend locally towards zero contract hours etc., And the impact on peeps of liberal banking deregulation and the Crunch etc.

    Yes, Liberals introduced some welfare, although in significant part via an insurance system, and this was necessary to try and alleviate the poverty associated with the economic liberalism of the era. One can also see this as being consistent with the idea of liberty and freedom from poverty, free to participate etc.

    Unfortunately proved woefully inadequate in the face of the more extreme outcomes of liberal economic policy of the era, notably the Crash and ensuing Great Depression. Consequently, having had their fill of economic competition followed by then loads more competition in the War, peeps had quite had their fill of Liberalism by the Fifties and hence Liberal VI was in the toilet.

    Faced with this, politicians adopted the cuckoo strategy, to take over other parties by stealth. Critical to this, is to convince peeps that Liberal policies are fact the true values of the host party all along. This is normal politics and hence meanwhile other ideologies get stigmatised and Fudded up. Consequently alongside Liberalism, it’s often necessary to explain what socialism is, since that’s another poisoned well.

    It doesn’t help that being such a powerful ideology, its name got co-opted by Soviets and Nazis, who weren’t actually very socialist at all. Meanwhile Labour, having battled the militant cuckoo, then let themselves be taken over by the liberal cuckoo. Sometimes it seems like it’s cuckoos, all the way down…

    Since you bring it up, prolly worth pointing out a difference between socialism and liberalism regarding redistribution. Socialism contains a redistributive element, as can liberalism, though as I say, some liberals might prefer an insurance mechanism. But under Socialism, the workers ALSO control the means of production, and hence may have more power to change their circumstances, whereas under liberalism you get Capital in control, setting your terms of employment, zero hour contracts etc., but you might get some cash tossed your way to help a bit.

  9. @Andrew

    “More recently, the Liberal Democrats result from a merger with a Social Democratic party so it is not surprising they have been left of centre and in Blairite times left of the Labour Party, with the exception of the aberration of the Orange Book tendency…”

    ————

    Now, see, one can take such things in more than one way. They might genuinely have moved leftwards. Or they ‘appeared’ to move leftwards for the votes, but weren’t very committed to it. Now, if on achieving power, they rejected the move leftwards after all, you might like to reflect aypt your leisure on which is the more likely interpretation…

  10. AC
    Re -the chart in Ashcroft’s tweet. That graph is all very well , but it is distorted by being too Yougov centric given that circa half the polls included in the moving average are likely to have come from the Yougov stable. A similar moving average – ignoring Yougove – would have produced a much more stable picture – which ,I suspect , is more accurate. My gut feeling is that Labour are currently on 28/29% across GB – though perhaps doing rather better in England & Wales than those figures imply because of ongoing weakness in Scotland.

  11. Catmanjeff
    ‘If the Lib Dems poll like that, Labour will likely lose both seats.’

    I disagree there. In Stoke the LibDems are competing with UKIP for the NOTA or the ‘pissed off’ vote. They could well take many votes which would otherwise have gone to UKIP – which would actually be helpful to Labour.

  12. @ Carfew

    ‘They might genuinely have moved leftwards. Or they ‘appeared’ to move leftwards for the votes, but weren’t very committed to it. Now, if on achieving power, they rejected the move leftwards after all, you might like to reflect at your leisure on which is the more likely interpretation…’

    :) Cuckoos are like that. Laying their yellow eggs, red eggs, blue eggs, green eggs, or whatever colour you like eggs into the nests of unsuspecting host parties. But when it comes to power… the cuckoos reveal themselves. It’s a sort of avian version of invasion of the body snatchers.

  13. @syzygy
    @Andrew

    Yes, cuckoos abound and it’s a devil of a job for voters to determine what’s cuckoo and what’s not. Finding out the hard way can seriously affect VI. Of course, a fair amount of the time the battle for the soul and direction of the party is more open and obvious, e.g. Labour at the moment…

    Andrew suggests that merging with the SDP dragged Liberals leftwards, and there might be summat in that, a bit, however SDP had already experienced something of a liberal takeover, making amalgamation much easier.

    I posted about this last year, following Finkelstein’s article in the Times about it. Finkelstein was involved at the time of course, and noted David Owen’s concern that Jenkins’ liberalism had won out, thus harming SDP prospects for securing the northern working class vote, Owen having noticed this voter,s response during Suez.

    In some respects the SDP were a response to old Labour resistance to the liberal takeover within the party. Labour in the early Eighties being not that keen on EU etc…

  14. (…Owen having noticed these voters’ response during Suez…)

  15. @andrew
    @syzygy

    Of course a salient thing is the way the media have become very liberal, seemingly without peeps noticing. Again, they’re more aware in the States of liberal media dominance. But here, despite being openly liberal, ‘liberal, but not with the truth’ etc., the Graun is often taken to be a left wing or Labour paper.

    They also often support the Liberals in the GE. The same is true of the TImes, and both have supported Nulab, who offered plenty liberal policy. Even the Telegraph openly supports economic liberalism in their editorial as I posted the other day. The Independent supports liberals in GEs too. But somehow people have not noticed the liberal takeover. And of course the beeb takes a lot of its lead from the press…

    Such is the liberal hegemony in the media it seems that liberalism has been accepted by some as some kind of orthodoxy by supporters within numerous parties. It’s not an ideology but the natural order of things.

    At least until recently, with Brexit, and Tories and Labour parties taking issue with liberalism withih their ranks. Even the liberals though, do not necessarily seem to fully understand what liberalism is. Boy did they paint those cuckoo eggs good…

  16. Carfrew,
    It is a very good job for us Liberals that we have you to explain to us what we should think!

    However let me tell you in return that the Soviet Union was definitely Socialist, pretty much the definition in terms of economic and social policy! Very authoritarian of course, an extreme version of what we had in Britain in 1945.

    I did not say BTW that the Liberal Party moved significantly left when they merged with the SDP. They were natural allies in most areas. The Labour Party on the other hand has lurched around the political spectrum like a yo-yo over the last 50 years, which is how they managed to be right of the Lib Dems the last time they had any real electoral success..

  17. @Andrew

    Cheers for the dig!! I didn’t tell you how to think. Bigfatron contested my use of liberalism so I explained that, you contested the SDP thing so I paid you the respect of explaining that, by citing what people involved at the time thought about it. If you think that is telling you what to think, that;s your issue. I was telling you what I think, and what others say they think etc…

    And no, the soviets weren’t very socialist. It was more communism than socialism anyway but the essence of socialism is workers having control. But in the USSR, the workers couldn’t even elect a different party, and gulags awaited the dissident. Same as when nazis took over in Germany.

    1945 wasn’t the same. There was a lot of state action, but people could vote against it if they wanted to. And they did vote Labour out. We didn’t have proper socialism though, and to the extent we did, it was state socialism, the state acting as a proxy for the workers, which is a rather poor relation. Proper socialism, where workers have direct control, does happen though. If you work for yourself, that’s a socialist mode of production…

    I have to agree with you about Labour though. Tories been lurching too. Lurching abounds.

  18. Andrew,
    Labour may have been to the right of what the LDs presented to the Electorate but as we know when the LDs got in they enabled legislation that was further to the right than anything Labour did.

    Personally, I reckon the LDs would happily of supported the Darling plan with a couple of bones chucked its’ way had it been Labour on 300 seats in 2010.

    This lack of real soul is not just an LD thing though, the Tories (apart from 6 years after 1997) will do anything to get Elected and Nu-Labour turned triangulation in to a science.

    The brutal truth is that without trimming getting elected so you can implement the few things you really care about is nearon impossible.

    This is one of the attractions of JC to his supporters that he appears to put principle above crude Electoral calculation.

  19. I should add, if you work for yourself, have your own equipment, and are in a position to turn down a contract etc., that’s closer to the socialist ideal, as opposed to being technically self-employed but in practice forced to accept employers’ onerous terms etc.

  20. Carfrew,
    No I think what I am saying is that inflation is inflation, just as Brexit is Brexit. There may be all sorts of contributing factors which interact, but they end up with one total the voter will experience. I am particularly puzzled you differentiate bewteen factory workers and home carers. In truth employment is a market place, and right now carer wages are rising such that they will attract more factory workers into this area. It may be more difficult for car workers to become carers, but they will do so if the car factory relocates.

    I would suggest as a discussion point for elsewhere that the runaway inflation of the 60/70/80 was all a consequence of economic instability following the oil price explosion. Rising unemployment did not bring this under control. What brought it under control was an acceptance by workers of lower relative wages, which has significantly continued since. But the pendulum has been swinging.

    As to pensioners outstripping workers in their standard of living, I suggest that is about excessive housing costs, wheras pensioners already bought their homes outright much cheaper. Housing is hugely distorting the economy, and driving up labour costs making the UK less competitive,

    Peter Cairns,
    I would think a sensible approach is you pay the one man school teacher a bit more for having to run his own school, but less than the head of a big school. Perhaps bureaucracy cannot handle pragmatism.

  21. @danny

    I’m not sure where I was on about carers? Maybe I forgot, can you point out where?

  22. S Thomas

    “headline ought to have been- “Remainers clutch at straws-again”

    Absolutely, it’s why I am trying hard not to enter the discussion on Brexit is so much nonesense.

  23. The LibDems will certainly get squeezed in both Stoke and Copeland. However, there may be a shift towards them from a combination of Remainers, and disaffected Labour voters anxious both to send a message to Lab, and reluctant to vote either Tory or UKIP.

    So I expect around 10-12%.

    The May elections will be interesting because there is a strong Tory bias in the distribution, and they did particularly badly last time. Labour did ok last time, but they are poorly represented. I think there is a chance that Labour will be the fourth largest party in total votes cast. Probably not in seats won, but even that is a possibility

  24. Carfrew

    “Or else invest in edible hats, which must surely be a market opportunity…”

    Already filled. I developed one years ago based on chocolate. Mind it should never be actually worn as it tends to make the head very sticky in warm weather. It’s just held in reserve for incorrect forecasts.

  25. Carfrew,
    I think you are confusing the left-right axis in Political compass with the Authoritarian- Libertarian one. In Britain all the parties subscribe to the democratic ideal ( even though they refuse to implement the obvious necessity of PR to have true democracy). But workers never had true control any more than they did in Russia.. communism is the authoritarian version of socialism but they are not so far apart on the left right spectrum. POUM in Spain was the libertarian version of socialism..

  26. @Danny

    “No I think what I am saying is that inflation is inflation, just as Brexit is Brexit. There may be all sorts of contributing factors which interact, but they end up with one total the voter will experience.”

    ————–

    This may be true, but it’s a change of subject and hence a straw man. The outcome of different types of inflation may be experienced the same, but we were discussing whether inflation is inevitable in the first place, or whether to some extent self-correcting. And what determines the self-correction is the source of the inflation, the cause of it.

    So if caused by excess money sloshing about, then may be offset by upping production. If caused by rising import prices. may be offset by substitution.

    Regarding the Seventies, the inflationary nightmare was indeed mostly caused by oil price spikes following the Yom Kippur war in ’73 with OPEC nations displeased at foreign policy of US etc., and agreed, wage restraint was an important part of containing the inflation. I have said the same myself before now.

    That was the short term response, but I was talking about the longer term, how by changing the energy mix we stopped oil prices being quite as onerous when they occur.

    I used this to show how import substitution naturally helps to correct inflation of that kind over the longer term. Bringing up wage restraint doesn’t negate my point!! You don’t seem to engage with the points I make but cast around continually for new straw men!!

    In the Sixties though, it was just the typical battle with inflation you have when at full employment. Plus there were commodity buffers to smooth our oil price fluctuations, but Nixon reversed that policy as 5he sixties drew to a close, leaving a greater vulnerability to oil prices. They had their own oil though, so weren’t quite as worried…

  27. Sea Change,
    ” We would need to see truly momentous change in circumstances for the Tory Party to do an about face and be able to stay in one piece”
    I dont agree at all. The tories have signed an internal armistice to accept the will of the people. It cuts both ways. If the will had changed but the leave faction broke this accord, then the government would split.

    I also think your ideas about creating Brexit peers would be counter productive. Leave supporters who had accepted the result of the process would likely be rather distrubed that the other side could not do so too.

    Perhaps you should calm a little and look forward to exciting times as we all do.

    But I do think the remaining countries might conclude they would prefer the UK left. It might be too complex in the time available even to impose new stricter terms on the Uk for staying, such as giving up vetos. But on the other hand again, formally rejoining does not need to take longer than the actual negotiations. It could be apply today and be in tomorrow. Similar considerations might apply to an independent Scotland.

  28. Meanwhile we now need another axis, Nationalist/Internationalist. Prewar Germany was extreme on the Nationalist and Authoritarian axes, but quite Socialist on the left-right one. Lib Dems and Greens are currently the most Internationalist parties in the UK and that position is both losing and gaining voters and members for the Lib Dems. A realignment is going on here post-Brexit in the internal politics of the political parties and with the complex splits in Labour it is not clear where it will end up.

  29. @Danny

    “As to pensioners outstripping workers in their standard of living, I suggest that is about excessive housing costs, wheras pensioners already bought their homes outright much cheaper. Housing is hugely distorting the economy, and driving up labour costs making the UK less competitive”

    ———–

    Well no doubt rising bills is an issue too, but the research appears to differentiate between that and pay, e.g.

    “It warned that the impact of earning less coincided with a bleaker outlook for home ownership, with baby boomers 50% more likely to be paying a mortgage on their own property by the time they were 30. Meanwhile the shift towards renting and higher rents meant that at 30 millennials had paid £44,000 more on rent than baby boomers.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jul/18/millennials-earn-8000-pounds-less-in-their-20s-than-predecessors

  30. Carfrew,
    Sorry for the dig BTw!

  31. JC

    @”This is one of the attractions of JC to his supporters that he appears to put principle above crude Electoral calculation.”

    ie-a Protest Movement.

    Ergo JC is in the wrong place.-or The Labour Party is now a Protest Movement.

  32. @Andrew

    You seem to be missing the point of Socialism. You cannot properly have authoritarian socialism, because socialism is essentially democratic. It is about the workers having control, not the government, not Capital. If it’s authoritarian it isn’t very socialist!!

    Just because there might be some redistribution, doesn’t make it socialist.

  33. @andrew111

    “Carfrew,
    Sorry for the dig BTw!”

    ———–

    that’s ok Andrew, no worries!!

  34. if the Con leadership are serious about Brexit then seemingly Ukip no longer have a reason to be

    on the other hand if it’s just a trick designed to kill off Ukip after which they can revert back to Europhile then i’d have thought Ukip ought to have a pretty persuasive line in Stoke i.e. keep the pressure on May.

    for Con leaners a Ukip win in Stoke doesn’t hurt the Cons directly, keeps pressure on Brexit and hurts Labour while for Labour leaners it keeps pressure on May for Brexit.

    you’d think that would work reasonably well?

  35. Yes Colin – that is my view but the notion that the disaffected and DNVs will return and vote Labour outnumbering those that are lost to the centre is one that JC (or more likely his successor) has earned the right to test.

    Sadly, whether fair or not losing support due to lack of competence is making the notion hard to test.
    Certainly, those advocating the leftward direction of travel will point to disunity, caused by the PLP, as one reason for lack of success. Also, though, when the time comes they may well turn on JC to say that the notion failed because we had the wrong leader promoting it but with x leading progress is inevitable. (some will be kinder and say JC good but media and PLP created an image of incompetence he could not shake)
    Then when a modest improvement is achieved that will be evidence that the trajectory is right.
    As, I posted a few days ago, imo not all is lost as I genuinely feel that the soft Brexit approach while problematic is overwhelmingly supported within the party and the fundamental Tory divide is still greater but the truce is holding for now.

    If I accepted a contact meme on here the LDs will be ahead of Labour soon anyhow!!

  36. For those interested in the economy the CPI for January is 1.8% up from 1.6% last month. Still increasing but the increase was smaller than many forecasters expected.

  37. @jimjam
    @Colin

    well, it won’t just be a protest if they can get more people on board. Which depends on… JC competence, the party stopping the infighting, and either swaying the media or bypassing them or forcing the media’s hand a la Trump.

    Or… changing the leader to someone membership find acceptable, but there’s the nomination issue. Also, Tories gradually moving leftwards too. So it’s quite a tall order…

  38. More on the inflation figures from ONS:-

    Main points
    The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose by 1.8% in the year to January 2017, compared with a 1.6% rise in the year to December 2016.

    The rate in January 2017 was the highest since June 2014.

    The main contributors to the increase in the rate were rising prices for motor fuels and to a lesser extent food prices, which were unchanged between December 2016 and January 2017, having fallen a year ago.

    These upward pressures were partially offset by prices for clothing and footwear, which fell by more than they did a year ago.

    CPIH (not a National Statistic) rose by 2.0% in the year to January 2017, compared with a 1.7% rise in the year to December 2016.

  39. @Carfrew

    I appreciate you explaining your views, however I believe you are fundamentally mistaken.

    I still contest your usage of the word ‘liberal’, particularly in relation to economic policy, but I suspect we will bore people if we go on, so I am going to limit myself to one reply only.

    I would describe blanket deregulation as a tenet of Libertarianism, rather than Liberalism; liberalism is about maximising personal freedoms within a context of not inflicting harm on others by doing so, rather than the pure freedom of action regardless of consequences that is inherent in libertarianism.

    I’d be interested if Andrew agrees with me about this definition, as he appears to be another person who – like me – sees himself as philosophically ‘liberal’, although not necessarily LDem supporting.

    For example, liberals (Mr Cable for example) were pretty much the only people pushing for tougher banking regulation before the banking crisis, in the face of strong support for deregulation from labour and ALL wings of the Tory party; to describe deregulation as inherently ‘liberal’ is incorrect, because you can only do so by ignoring the central liberal requirement ‘to do no harm to others’.

    You describe the great creations of Beveridge and Keynes – IMHO the greatest steps forward in protecting and supporting ordinary people in this country – as ‘some welfare’; this is unnecessary, as is your characterisation of the great depression as a result of ‘liberal’ economics! Attempting to minimise genuine achievements of liberal thinking, or falsely ascribing problems to liberalism, appears to reflect your own clear anti-liberal prejudice and rather undermines your argument, again IMHO.

    You describe Trump as anti-liberal, which he is; but you ignore the fact that he is dedicated to REMOVING regulations over banks (that protect the economy), over industrials (that protect the environment) and over energy (that protect the planet). If regulation is inherently un-liberal as you say, then why is someone who is defined by his anti-liberalism committed to tearing up these regulations? Is he also a secret liberal?

    And to say the media is ‘dominated’ by liberals is laughable – you only manage it by defining the Telegraph, Times, Guardian etc as ‘liberal’ papers, on the basis that each of them supports SOME aspect of either liberal or libertarian policy.

    You may believe your definition of ‘liberal’ is widely accepted, but I think you are wrong, and – worse – are misleading people about what the word really means.

    All the best
    BFR

  40. @The Other Howard

    “Already filled. I developed one years ago based on chocolate. Mind it should never be actually worn as it tends to make the head very sticky in warm weather. It’s just held in reserve for incorrect forecasts.”

    ————-

    this sounds like an investment opportunity and you should bring it to market forthwith. You;d make a tidy sum just on here.

    Polling industry might be regular customers!!

    Don’t let the sticky head thing bother you, see it as an opportunity to sell some wipes alongside the hat. Then you can sell a bin for the wipes etc…

  41. CARFREW

    “Don’t let the sticky head thing bother you, see it as an opportunity to sell some wipes alongside the hat. Then you can sell a bin for the wipes etc…”

    Good thinking, we will make neoliberal of you yet!

    :-)

  42. BFR – Cable a Social Democrat.

  43. @Jim Jam

    This is getting ridiculous – Carfrew defines everyone from IDS to Gordon Brown as ‘liberals’ because they support banking deregulation, but I can’t define Cable, who even CALLED HIMSELF in my hearing a liberal, a ‘liberal’?

    I’m giving up and joining the jesuits….

  44. @BFR

    I accept your case that deregulation etc. in extremis tends to the LIbertarian etc.

    I’ve kinda said summat similar recently, in that some liberalism can be palatable, but too much liberalism can tend to have extreme and not always palatable effects.

    We can see it as a continuum, where progressively liberalism tends towards the libertarian. To some extent, the problems increase when things progress beyond freeing things up, to instead increasingly forcing things.

    Thus, some improvement in free trade or immigration, might be palatable, but once you start forcing globalisation, and big movements or capital, and big movements of free movement, things become problematic.

    Now, the problem here, is that you are seemingly very motivated to defend your party, which is ok, but I am not posting especially with the LDs in mind. I am looking at how the ideology of liberalism has been getting traction in politics, the media etc., and from there we can use that to inform polling.

    So it may be that Cable was for regulation, and hence in that regard, he might not have been very liberal in ideological terms, but then if they were chasing after disenchanted Labour voters you would expect that.

    Part of the problem is that to some extent, moving towards the extremes of liberalism has become normalised. Thus, free movement and migration of millions is quite a big deal, quite extreme, but in their enthusiasm for Europe LDs accept that. Globalisation is a massive power grab by capitalism with huge effects and yet accepted by many.

    Only now, people are kicking against it. Regarding the 1945 implementation of Beveridge Report, Welfare State, NHS etc., I think you will find it was Labour who implemented that, not the LIberals.

  45. @BFR

    Incidentally you mischaracterise my argument routinely to attack it.

    E.g. it is not just some aspect of liberalism assorted media support, instead it is not unusual for them routinely to come out in favour of the Liberals in elections, or else Nulab with lots of liberal policies.

    Or in the case ot the Telegraph they clearly advocate economic liberalism. Not just some tiny bit of liberalism.

    The Graun clearly calls itself liberal. I’m sorry, you just ignored all the evidence and dismissed it. Like dismissing actions of LDs when in power and just going by what they said beforehand and then went against.

  46. JIM JAM

    @” the notion that the disaffected and DNVs will return and vote Labour outnumbering those that are lost to the centre is one that JC (or more likely his successor) has earned the right to test.”

    Not just the “right”-the only way to prove I think.

    When Tom Watson flatly stated , Marr, that the leadership issue is “settled” for this Parliament, I think that is what he meant-look Jeremy now has to face the Real Electorate-then we can talk about the Leadership again.

  47. @BFR

    “You describe Trump as anti-liberal, which he is; but you ignore the fact that he is dedicated to REMOVING regulations over banks (that protect the economy), over industrials (that protect the environment) and over energy (that protect the planet). If regulation is inherently un-liberal as you say, then why is someone who is defined by his anti-liberalism committed to tearing up these regulations? Is he also a secret liberal?”

    ————–

    This is again, scraping the barrel. I clearly indicated question marks over what Trump is gonna do, and yes if you go through line by line you will find exceptions to the anti-liberal stance.

    I should have anticipated your response and stressed that Trump was rather CAMPAIGNING on a more anti-liberal platform for votes but yes, may in practice be a bit different, especially in ways peeps may not notice so much like the things you describe. I’d assume you’d get that because LibDems campaign differently to what they deliver in office too.

  48. @BFR

    I should add, you can’t just use your party to define liberalism. Parties to not usually stick rigidly to an ideology and indeed may betray it for expediency and power. Hence just because Cable is for regulation doesn’t suddenly make deregulation no longer part of the ideology of liberalism.

  49. JIM JAM

    @”imo not all is lost as I genuinely feel that the soft Brexit approach while problematic is overwhelmingly supported within the party”

    I agree-the potential for a Brexit which produces economic problems for UK cannot be denied. Any Opposition which failed to capitalise would only have itself to blame.

    My only caveat is the strange ( apparently) one way street which the A50 process seems to entail. Unless it is reversable, all talk of, and demands for a “meaningful vote” which potentially instructs TM to “return to the negotuating table” are surely meaningless.

    The 27 may have looked at their watches & calendars, dismantled the Table-and gone back to Brussels to continue arguing whether the EZ should be a Country or not.

    We will be Out.

  50. Liberalism.

    It’s surely much better to judge politicians by what they do, rather than by what they say. On that basis, the LibDems showed themselves to be practically indistinguishable from the Tories during the coalition years, and certainly far to the right of Labour.

    Labour have a solid, equality/socialist ideology because they are an explicitly working-class party, with middle-class sympathisers. LibDems are almost exclusively middle-class and their ideology is ‘able to adapt to the needs of the moment’, i.e. is left-wing in left-wing areas and right-wing in right-wing areas.

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