Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor for the Evening Standard came out earlier today. Topline voting intention figures are CON 40%(-3), LAB 29%(-2), LDEM 13%(+2), UKIP 9%(+3). The Tory lead remains pretty steady (note that the increase in the UKIP vote is probably largely a reversion to the mean following an anomolous 6% last month).

Satisfaction ratings with the party leaders are plus 17 for Theresa May (53% are satisfied, 36% are disatisfied) and minus 38 for Jeremy Corbyn (24% satisfied and 62% disatisfied). That includes 22% of Tory voters who say that are “satisfied” with Corbyn’s leadership… I suspect they don’t mean that in a complementary way.

Nothing else has been published yet (MORI normally ask a few other questions, but I expect they’ve held them back to give the Standard another story), all the details so far are over here.


538 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 40, LAB 29, LD 13, UKIP 9”

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  1. Jasper22: “No, it meant leaving all those things as well.”

    So as far as you were concerned, voting no “meant leaving all those things as well.” That was your interpretation. It’s as good as any other. But it was an interpretation, not ‘knowledge’. Or as Blair put it: imperfect knowledge.

  2. Interesting take from RD – https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/17/britain-starting-to-reassess-us-ally-scottish-tory-leader-ruth-davidson-says

    It is a note of realism that Brexiters would do well to appreciate.

  3. Alec

    It’s not Brexiteers who need to get real – it’s those Remainers determined to live in La La Land.

  4. RICH……The Democrats in the US and the Left / Liberals here, are In disarray, they lost and can’t deal with it, straw men abound, EEA, Single Market, Customs Union, etc., they are all there,with ’em in the echo chamber, swivel eyed obsessives, irrational fears clouding their judgement, ideal candidates for room 101..
    I had breakfast with friends from a US investment bank this morning, they have a meme doing the rounds based on a Pete and Dud sketch, anything bad is blamed on Brexit, ” run out of croissants today!! ” Ah, ( sigh ) Brexit eh? ” yep “. ” a bit cold this morning ” ” Brexit ? ” sigh, ” yeah “. And so on, it started in NY where Trump is the reason for all ills, try it, it’ll give you a bit of respite from the grinding pessimism of desperate losers. :-)

  5. Jasper22

    You need to accept that you won. It’s your show. You’re centre stage. We’re in the audience and we’re loving the performance. It’s a hoot. As you haven’t got a script, you’re having to ad lib a lot, but don’t worry: you’re keeping us mightily entertained.

    But one tip: if you’re going to make a success of this lark, you’ve got to keep the audience involved. Otherwise they might vote with their feet. And I really don’t think locking the doors is the answer.

  6. Alec

    Davidsons views are already well known and she seems to be reasonably balanced.

    The last three paragraphs of that piece in the Guardian seem very sensible to me.

    Ken

    Great story, I’ll try the same approach with my friends and family! Should get a few laughs.

  7. The Mori poll giving the Tories a lead of 11% represents a swing of 2.2% in their direction from Labour across GB since 2015. Applied universally that would result in 15 Tory gains at Labour’s expense – reducing Labour to 217 seats and giving the Tories a majority of 42. However, the details of poll tend to confirm the pattern shown by Opinium two weeks ago – ie that a very strong swing to the Tories in Scotland is hiding relatively little change in England. The Tory lead in England as stated by Mori is also 11% – but it was already 9.5% in 2015. That would imply a swing to the Tories of just 0.75% and would only lead to 7 Tory gains from Labour. Labour would still retain 225 MPs and the Tory majority would be 26. Moreover , most of those 7 vulnerable Labour seats have MPs newly elected in 2015 and who could reasonably expect a first – time incumbency boost in the same way enjoyed by Tory MPs in marginal seats in 2015. On that basis, very few seats might change hands at all between the major parties. The strong Tory performance in Scotland does raise the possibility of several gains from the SNP.At the same time some of the Tory gains from the LibDems in 2015 might be reversed – though not many!

  8. Somerjohn

    “Otherwise they might vote with their feet.”

    Anybody who want’s to leave the UK for foreign parts because of Brexit has my best wishes for a successful future. We really don’t need people who are not prepared to help make it work. The interesting thing is some of those who have threatened to go are still around. maybe the UK is not so bad after all.

  9. On th US as an ally, Trump is an opportunity and a risk.

    Diplomacy should not be too personal. We do want in 2019 to have a US Senare full of vengeful Democrats anxious to help the EU in “Project Help Remain”. we can’t build an alliance on a personal relationship.

    However, it is better than when Remain were thrilled collecting declarations from world leaders of how insignificant the U.K. Is without Europe.

    However, there is no point I alienating him as a goodwill gesture to the EU.

  10. TOH

    “Vote with their feet” is a metaphor. My allusion to a show and audience was a metaphor.

    But I’m glad to hear you think it’s incumbent upon those who lose a vote to help the winning side. I bet 42 years of hard graft helping make the UK’s membership of the EU a success after the ’75 referendum must have been tough for you, but it’s good to know you rolled up your sleeves and got stuck in.

  11. Somerjohn

    “but it’s good to know you rolled up your sleeves and got stuck in.”

    Yes, but the more I saw inside the more I wanted to get out, hence my vote in the referendum. :-)

  12. Graham

    Your analysis is very interesting I will follow up on that, you may have something there. It would explain why the Tories are not making many gains in Council by elections despite their national polling.

  13. Really good interview at the LSE between Mervyn King and Professor Rick Pildes of New York University about the American election. The analysis of the Trump and Clinton campaigns is particularly interesting:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV6PQSdkj4A

  14. The Other Howard

    I’ll assume that one was aimed at me…

    I still aim to leave, whether it be for a job or PhD. I aim to do this before the shutters come down on Brexit. If you are right in that it’ll take 15 years to show any benefits then that’s when I’ll start to consider returning. If it’s sooner then I can return sooner. The faster you guys make a success of it the sooner I can enjoy the benefits… Chop chop!

    I don’t see why I should pay 15 years worth of Brexit tax when avoiding it is so simple. You guys roll the dice, I’ll wait and see what number turns up before placing my bet. That’s the beauty of a free option.

    In the meantime, I’m an economically inactive MSc student, not contributing toward “making it work”, looks like it’s down to someone else in that regard.

  15. THE OTHER HOWARD……Aye, and, like you, I don’t think that day can come soon enough, and when it does, I’m sure we’ll be able to persuade our reluctant friends that the water is ok once you’re in. ;-)

  16. Alan

    Not particularly, some of the people I know in the City voiced such comments after Brexit, and they haven’t left.

    For somebody who believes, as you do that freedom from the EU is not worth any short term economic price, your stategy is very sensible. If i was your age and thought like you I would probably adopt a similar strategy. When the UK is really motoring, once we have cast off the costraints to trade I for one would be happy to welcome you back.

  17. Neil A,

    Fully agree with that.

    Indeed, if the EU insist that they will not discuss a new trade agreement until the exit talks are concluded, then the logical approach for U.K. Is to pursue cleanest / quickest exit possible so that we can start work on the trade agreement soonest.

    Remember that the 2 year period after triggering Art 50 is a backstop to prevent years of discussion. There is nothing preventing the parties reaching agreement within days of negotiations starting – though it would still take months to complete the necessary consultations / ratifications.

    Leavers will of course complain that this is “ultra-hard Brexit”, but that does not prevent it being in the best interests of the country.

  18. @ Paul H-J: there are some lawyers that argue that the EU is precluded from discussing future trade deals with a country exiting under Article 50: the argument runs that the wording
    “the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.”
    provides for an agreement on withdrawal only and the requirement is to take account of a framework for future relationships, not to conclude those future relationships which cannot be clear until the withdrawal agreement is clear

    Personally I think that is a very strained interpretation. However interpretation of treaty obligations is a matter for the ECJ and if a case is brought it could scupper any progress.
    I feel that we have entered into a game where no-one is sure of the rules (remember Art. 50 was never meant to be used and is therefore very crudely drafted) where there is no referee and where anything can happen. It reminds me of those traditional village football games at Christmas, I just hope there are fewer casualties.

  19. Paulh-j: “Leavers will of course complain that this is “ultra-hard Brexit””

    I know leavers are very much at sixes and sevens as to what they want from Brexit, but I think you’ll find the likes of TOH are very happy with an ultra-hard Brexit.

    (OTOH, when you wrote “leavers” you could well have meant “remainers.”)

    I think the resources of HMG are going to be stretched to the utmost in the next 2 years with negotiating A50, building the administrative machinery to take over myriad EU responsibilities, and doing the preparatory work for the multiple FTAs we’re going to be seeking post-2019. Plus sorting out the NHS, schools, social care…

    It may be convenient to blame the EU for not adding simultaneous negotiation of an EU FTA to that burden, but I think that if we did take that on, we would be woefully under-prepared and under-resourced for the task. And anyway, we wouldn’t know the outcome of A50. How can you negotiate a FTA when you haven’t sorted out the terms of the divorce?

  20. @Somerjohn

    Brexiters and Remainers are all humans, all free thinking individuals and mostly all UK citizens/voters.

    We really are all in this together. It’s not really as Them and Us as you present it, and polling appears to confirm that.

    After all, the PM you dislike so much is a Remainer herself, as is the chancellor, the Scottish Tory leader and a whole host of other people charged with “making it work”.

    I expect most Brexit supporters (and quite a few “My side lost, so be it” Remainers) are content to let May and her government get on with what happens next. They appear to have a reasonable degree of confidence in her if the polls are right.

    It’s not the job of anyone here, Brexiter or otherwise, to “make it work”. We are the audience just as you are. It’s just that Brexiters don’t tend to squawk constantly, like the crows on the telephone line in Dumbo, about what a disaster it’s going to be.

    I certainly disagree with some, possibly most of what Brexit supporters like Sea Change, Jasper, Candy and others say here. But I see no point in getting in an argument with them about what May should do next. That’s up to May. So far she seems to be on top of it. If there was a GE tomorrow I expect she’d get my vote, along with 40% of the electorate.

    This site is for discussing what the polls are telling us, and (up to a point) what we think will happen in the polls in the weeks, months and years ahead – based on current and anticipated political developments.

    I think what the polls are telling us is that the Tories have a stonking great big lead, and a very popular leader, almost two years into a parliament when they are a government with a tiny majority, appalling headwinds and a pretty universal view that they were doomed.

    I certainly hope that they can bring the UK through Brexit with the Union and most of our economic prosperity intact. You may have no interest in whether they achieve that or not, or like Tancred you may actively want them to fail to “teach them a lesson”. That’s up to you.

  21. Corbyn’s aide Simon Fletcher quits citing lack of direction:

    http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/jeremy-corbyn-hit-by-new-turmoil-as-top-aide-quits-over-labours-lack-of-direction-a3469616.html

    Is this the “End of Days” for the Corbyn Project?

    Some predict that its a McDonnell takeover
    https://www.totalpolitics.com/articles/news/labour-insiders-sense-%E2%80%98mcdonnell-takeover%E2%80%99-top-corbyn-aide-quits

    Are the polls having their impact: what will the actual results in six days do for his position?

  22. @WB

    I have actually warmed to McDonnell since his appointment. I think he’d do better than Corbyn, although still very badly. And of course warming to him doesn’t mean I’d ever contemplate voting for Labour under him.

  23. @ Neil A

    I think the problem with McDonnell as leader is almost the same as for Corbyn, the baggage. He is from the same era where left wingers engaged with groups such as the IRA (maybe for principled reasons and after all that’s what Major and Blair did in the end too) and the manner in which they did gave an image of being an apologist. I am of the view that McDonnell wants to be the “eminence gris” supporting (controlling?) a young left wing leader. This is why I have always believed the Corbyn project has been about controlling the machinery of the Labour Party. If that can be achieved at the Conference in September I think that Corby will say I am tired, its for the good of the party etc. and make way for a young left wing candidate who will not get many PLP nominations but will win Corbyn’s party constituency.

  24. SOMERJOHN

    “I know leavers are very much at sixes and sevens as to what they want from Brexit, ……….”

    Whats your evidence for that?

  25. I find McDonnell strangely chilling. Talks as though he thinks carefully about how not to scare the horses.There is something behind the eyes which occasionally registers a threat. I am sure that eminence grise is the natural role for him.

    Corbyn by contrast is a Michael Foot throwback-What you see is what you get-Crumpled Old Lefty .

  26. Neil A

    That really is a most sensible post. I hope others agree.

  27. Neil A

    Thanks for that thoughtful post.

    My irascibility today was the result of being told that I lost so I must stop being devastated and just shut up.

    It is the assumption that remainers are sitting around moping that is the most annoying. Is it wrong to say, “we’re not moping, we’re laughing”?

    Because so many posts from Brexit supporters are woefully thin. Like Trump, they haven’t adapted to the responsibility of success. It’s no longer enough to catcall and slag off the EU.

    I would love to see the focus switch to making the best of Brexit. But apart from a few vague aspirations – a more environmentally-driven farming policy (some hope!), some trade deals, um…can’t think of anything else.

    All the hopes for Brexit seem to be negatives, often tilting more at perceptions than reality. So: less immigration. Less regulation. Less cooperation with our neighbours.

    Fine. But isn’t it time for the positive vision? Pious hopes about more trade with far flung countries, and trying to make the country work with fewer young, fit immigrants arriving and more OAPs returning , don’t constitute a vision.

    To return to polling, as you were rightly nudging me, why isn’t there any polling trying to find out what people want from Brexit? Is it really enough to say, “don’t bother your heads with that, leave it all to Grannie May”?

    Actually, I could sketch out some alternative strategies for Brexit. Real blue-skies thinking. I wonder why no-one else is doing that? We need a vision of the promised land. Not just “we don’t like it here.”

  28. @chrisriley

    Re. education etc, a report which has not yet seems to gain much attention raises some disturbing issues on health suggesting that there was a spike in the mortality rate in England and Wales in 2015 (which may have persisted in 2016):

    “The rise in deaths from 2014 to 529,655 in 2015 was the biggest in percentage terms in almost 50 years and the mortality rate was the highest since 2008. The excess deaths were largely among older people who are most dependent on health and social care”,

    More details here:

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/17/health-cuts-most-likely-cause-major-rise-mortality-study-claims

    The DH are dismissive but it seems that its spokesperson has not used comparable statistics in attempting to rebut the report findings.

  29. NeilA

    Oh dear, I thought it was too much to hope for.

    Never mind, the weathers mild, the sun was out today and the forecast for next week looks good.

  30. @neila

    “It’s just that Brexiters don’t tend to squawk constantly, like the crows on the telephone line in Dumbo, about what a disaster it’s going to be.”

    Isn’t that exactly what many of them were doing for nearly 40 years about being in the EU, often straining facts to the point of breaking in order to do so? It would be very surprising if having achieved their lifetime ambition they would then say it’s going to be a disaster.

    You can have confidence in May if you want, from my perspective she seems to be following a narrow policy of securing the Tory party position in England by attracting back as much UKIP support as she can at the expense of the UK and its people.

  31. Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 40% (-)
    LAB: 24% (-)
    UKIP: 15% (+1)
    LDEM: 11% (-)
    GRN: 4% (-)

    (via YouGov / 12 – 13 Feb)

    via Britain Elects

  32. Thank you Graham .. that makes a good deal of sense.

  33. @WB – I saw that Corbyn resignation story but declined to post it as I felt that might be seen as provocative by some.

    It’s what rather annoyed me during his second election campaign, with the focus from some on insisting that Blairites and plotters were out to get him, when there was plenty of evidence that many, many former friends and allies, and particularly people who had worked closely on his team, had walked away realising that he was, in fact, hopeless.

    @S Thomas – “The problem with the Blair insurgency is the fact that its very existence irrespective of its merits is likely to damage the negotiations.”

    I can agree with you on this. It is a difficult conundrum with those of us who think the current government are taking us down the wrong Brexit path (and yes, there really are very many Brexit futures out there).

    Certainly, major public pressure developing for remain will embolden the EU, and could conceivably leave us with a worse Brexit deal. But to not speak out is to walk away from our patriotic duty to try and help our country do what is best for it’s citizens.

  34. SOMERJOHN

    An interesting response to NEILA.

    Your post reminds me of a central theme of Brexit /May criticism-the lack of a “Plan”. This criticism was made from day 1-no allowance made at all for a need to get to grips with the complexity & prepare for the negotiation. But even when May produced her 12 point Objectives-and then put them in a White Paper -they still did not meet this demand for a “Plan”.

    A complete BluePrint is really what these critics seemed to be demanding. A detailed list of every aspect of UK/EU interface and how they would all look after Brexit .

    Does anyone really believe that Leave Voters imagined such a thing existed when they voted?-or that such a thing was possible to prepare in advance of complex negotiations with 27 other countries?

    I know , from reading your posts that this perplexes you & makes you feel that Leave voters could not possibly have registered their votes in any way which you can consider “informed” or rational. This is what Blair is really saying too.

    I heard a R5 discussion on the Blair intervention today . One Leaver said she voted because she just “wanted my country back”.

    Yes-I can feel you squirming at this vacuous meaningless reaction. But you-and Blair -may just have to accept that many people-just like that lady-want a Government which is 100% accountable to them, and they don’t want to hear any more UK MPs saying-can’t do anything about that because its an EU matter.

    Speaking for myself-I didn’t vote because I thought both sides of the Campaign behaved badly. I didn’t get the nice Balance Sheet which I could pore over & inform my vote with. I now realise however that there isn’t one. To this extent -for an Accountant-yes it is a leap in the dark. But I think May has written 12 sensible overarching principle objectives & so I have confidence in her.

    But I also know that achieving them is not solely in her gift.

  35. I see that one of Blair’s 4 points is the devaluation of Sterling. He evidently thinks this is a bad thing, which very much calls into question the rest of what he says.

    Before 1997 Ken Clarke very skilfully maintained a policy of keeping the pound 5% under-valued. A very successful policy, A slightly under valued currency is very helpful to a trading economy and brings prosperity. Blair inherited an economy in very good shape, and reasonable balance; which he proceeded to trash.

    Gordon Brown’s ‘economic policy’ consisted of little more than asking the City what they wanted him to do. Blair/Brown immediately went for a high pound policy, increasing City profits. This led to terrible damage to manufacturing (Manufacturing went up under Thatcher, by the same modest % as her post war predecessors. It went down by 25% under Blair, and he was out before the worldwide recession hit). Thatcher started with a high pound policy, but after 2 years realized it wasn’t a good idea and sort of gave it up, although not completely.

    The British economy has long been a trading economy, and for that to be successful you need currency about on par. A group at Bruges University some years ago invented the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) for currencies, with respect to the trading performance of their economies. That measure has now been adopted by the EU and other banking authorities. It tells you what the exchange rate should be for a currency based on a country’s trading performance. There is a different value for every country in the Euro zone.

    Back in May last year the pound had reached the dizzy heights of 35% over valued under REER, a viciously damaging situation for trade that Osborn was actually proud of.. Since Brexit it has come down – we should be at about $1.15 to the £, so there is some way to go. A consistently overvalued currency (20 years) becomes a structural problem with very serious implications for the economy. Fixing it is painful and not at all easy.

    The reason that such high exchange rate were supportable was because Blair and Brown, then Osborn, had moved the economy substantially away from the trading economy they inherited to one based on banking, and bizarrely, property. Those outside the glittering inner circle of the UK establishment can see this is a big mistake, but Blair cannot.

    For those that say “but we haven’t seen any benefits of devaluation”, you won’t, it takes a long time because the life cycle of bidding to delivery is quite long (2 to 5 years for most things), but benefits there will be.

  36. Colin

    Again, an interesting pst and thanks for that.

    It isn’t really the future UK-EU interface that interests me. I suppose I’ve mentally written that off, accepting that we will have a trading agreement of some sort and continuing cooperation in some areas. But that clearly isn’t where any enhanced opportunities are going to lie; whatever agreements we end up with will be less conducive to trade than what we’ve currently got.

    So it’s the alternatives that interest me, and where I’m disappointed not to see more discussion. It’s like that corny old interview question: where do you see yourself in five years’ time? Ask that of Brexiters and you usually just get a bunch of platitudes – trading with the world, making our own way in the world, setting our animal spirits free , restoring our greatness.

    I don’t expect a blueprint, just some broad-brush outline of alternative strategies.

    For instance, my own feeling is that we’re like a footballer flouncing out of his team. We’re going to struggle playing on our own, so we need another team. And the only one I can see is NAFTA. If I were a Brexiter, and into that white anglo-saxon anglophone thing, that’s where I’d look, probably aiming to tack on A/NZ as well.

    Others should be able to come up with alternatives. We could throw in our lot with China and/or India. But, of course, the moment you have concrete proposals, they are up for debate and demolition. People might say, “actually, I think the EU seems preferable.” So it’s as if there’s a policy to keep it vague and not frighten the voters, until it’s too late and we’ve burnt our boats.

    Maybe I’m a crow sitting on a wire, but I like to think I’m a bit more principled than that.

  37. @Somerjohn

    I think I see where you’re coming from, and I certainly think it’s fine to be interested in what people’s aspirations are, so long as you’re not simply trying to draw them out for the next attack.

    For me, the best long term future for the UK wouldn’t really be as part of a bloc, but as a close friend and ally of many blocs.

    A UK with decent FTAs with NAFTA, EU, Asia and South America would be well placed both to conduct her own trade, and also to function as a “neutral ground” for the blocs to do business with one another.

    For me, a future UK government would be well advised to focus on technology, R&D, education. The things that would potentially equip us for such a “capital of the world” type role. Of course, there’s no guarantee that the UK will get trading agreements at all, let alone decent ones. We may very well get shafted by big blocs. The government we elect may neglect the areas I think they should be focusing on. I have no illusions that there’s any guarantee my aspirations will be met.

    But if the population of the UK never exceeds 80m, that will be something…

  38. Colin

    That’s an interesting proposal. It might or might not work; my own feeling is that our negotiating position with the blocs you mention would be quite weak, and we would find it hard to do deals that are to our net benefit. But certainly worth working up as scenario for economic modelling.

    Another possibility that’s been mentioned is trying to turn the Commonwealth into a trading bloc. Empire Preference lives on!

    But let’s get these alternative visions out in the open. Let’s have a national debate about where we’re going. This constant looking back at the referendum and points scoring by Brexiters is so negative. If people think it’s going to work, let’s hear their vision for HOW it’s going to work.

  39. In the meantime in the faraway land of Stoke by election, the ukip candidate didn’t turn up in a husting (because he had to write his speech for some regional conference or something), an independent candidate is arrested for inticing racial hatred, and the BNP candidate made an illegal video.

  40. SOMERJOHN

    @”– trading with the world, making our own way in the world, setting our animal spirits free ”

    Actually I don’t see these as platitudes. But I suppose it all depends on your view of EU membership. If you think that is what gave UK international relevance & economic growth then you will believe that arguments in favour of non-membership are mere platitudes.

    But if you believe that UK’s undoubted historic global soft power can still be awakened as an independent Free Trader you have a different view.

    But I willingly concede that 4 decades of compound institutionalisation inside a protectionist trading bloc may have dulled those animal spirits somewhat.

  41. Roger

    “For those that say “but we haven’t seen any benefits of devaluation”, you won’t, it takes a long time because the life cycle of bidding to delivery is quite long (2 to 5 years for most things), but benefits there will be.”

    I think there will some benefits before that but I certainly agree with your basic tenant. I was pointing out how overvalued the £ had before the Brexit vote recently. Yoiu make the case for a return to that of a trading nation very well.

  42. @Laszlo

    On the ‘not doing something stupid test’, does that just leave the Tories, Greens and the incredible flying brick?

  43. TOH,

    Thank you for your response. It is a sore point with me. I was travelling around the North East in 1999 watching good export lead companies being thrown away by the high pound policy – all justified on the radio by Labour apparatchiks, “It’s good for the economy”. No, it wasn’t.

  44. Re: Blair

    The idea of Blair fronting the “Open Britain” campaign made sense in the way it got the press involved. But I’m not sure it makes any other kind of sense. Is Blair the worst polling ex-UK member of parliament still involved with mainstream politics? Probably close, give or take Neil Hamilton.

    Surely to win over the Brexitiers, the argument should be led by someone who was in favour of Brexit but has changed their mind. Otherwise – like this Blair statement – it’s just the same old echo chamber appeal to those already converted to the cause.

    They need to poll who would be trusted by those currently in favour of Brexit, not by someone who is a well-known remainer. Have someone at the front who supported Brexit and have them admit they were wrong. It could happen, if the economy tanks. Or failing that, convert the one person in Britain who the public would definitely listen to: Teresa May.

  45. Somerjohn
    “For instance, my own feeling is that we’re like a footballer flouncing out of his team. We’re going to struggle playing on our own, so we need another team.”

    Nice analogy, but alternative ones are possible. For instance, we’re like a gang member who leaves the gang to make an independent life for himself. The last thing he needs is to join another gang.

  46. Back to polling.The latest YouGov poll (13/14th Feb) is now up on their website.

    Looking at the detail there are some interesting trends developing
    .
    Best Prime Minister May 49% (+1)
    Corbyn 15% (-1)

    The Tories have improved on every single one of the “best at handling questions” including the NHS which surprises me. They now have a solid 6% lead on education which used to be a strong question for Labour and on the economy their lead has now stretched to 32%.

    On negotiating with the EU there has been further improvement for them:-

    Total handling well 36% (+2)
    Total handling badly 43% (-4)

    When will cross over occur? When we trigger?

    Right to leave the EU continues with the 4% margin over wrong so no signs of any change there then.

    Have a good evening all.

  47. Colin: “But I willingly concede that 4 decades of compound institutionalisation inside a protectionist trading bloc may have dulled those animal spirits somewhat.”

    Why should it have? Other countries in the EU – not just Germany, but Spain for instance – have enjoyed strong export-led growth. (Not many people realise that Spain has a bigger car industry than the UK, based almost entirely on supplying the EU market). What is it about UK businesses that make them complacent, and why will that change outside the EU?

    Actually, there are plenty of examples of animalistic UK businesses. Rolls Royce seems to have had no trouble entering into the spirit of global trade practices, likewise several UK banks operating in the USA and attracting billions of dollars in fines for their tigerish take on what’s ethical. BAe hasn’t been exactly backward in supplying what Saudi decision makers need in the way of support.

    It’s the middle-ranking UK companies that can’t be bothered with exporting. And if they can’t be arsed to sell in the Single Market, what makes anyone think they’re going to do any better in Indonesia, or Brasil, or China?

  48. []

    In my view [Blair’s] intervention will move public opinion towards Brexit. Any polling on this over the next few days will be interesting.

  49. Pete B: “we’re like a gang member who leaves the gang to make an independent life for himself.”

    I guess that sums up the debate: remainers see the EU as a team, leavers as a gang. Either way, splendid isolation looks a bit uncomfortable to me. Time will tell.

  50. @Somerjohn

    Yes, that’s been the refrain, on the quiet of a lot of the Chambers of Commerce. British management is often just not that good and is very good at blameshifting.

    Well, Brexit is going to blow away one of their favourite sources of blame and send a lot to the wall if they can’t adapt. It is going to be very hard for some firms.

    I agree with Neil A that we need to refocus as an R&D led country that leads in innovation. But that is going to take a complete overhaul of business and especially political culture.

    We have historically got away with an unfathomably low R&D spend in this country. We won’t be able to any more, and the Govt is going to have to convince people to put their hands in their pockets to fund it.

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