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. Scully has a blog post on proposals for reforming local Government in Wales.

    What is most intriguing is the suggestion from the Welsh government that each council should be able to choose for itself whether they should be elected by FPTP or STV.

    The possibilities for an intervention by Mr Jerry Mandering are obvious – perhaps a local referendum would be better to make the decision rather than self-interested councillors?

    http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/2017/02/13/welsh-government-white-paper-on-reforming-local-government/

  2. @ Tancred

    I think you are being naive if you think some members of the EU won’t entertain separate discussions with us, they will and they already are. If anything is going to fail in the near future it’s the Eurozone, warnings abound including by Alan Greenspan.

  3. A lot of Leavers appear to dwell in some kind of land where the UK is driven by the Will Of The People and all the negotiations will be done purely by us, whilst a gagle of clear-headed, but oddly weak robots from the EU will accept our demands based on pure economic logic.

    These feeble, weak and easily cowed robots are, nevertheless, a terrifyingly powerful dictatorship that must be overcome, but because of Reasons, these remarkably simple negotiations can only take place when you are out of the EU, which is why countries like the US and Russia are all absolutely delighted with the existence of the EU because they drive such weak bargains.

    In fact, the EU is not some monolith who are pure economically-driven bystanders in this affair. Each state has – and this is going to come as a surprise to the Candys of this world who appear completely unaware of this – an ELECTORATE, in many ways rather like ours, who might actually demand things of their leaders that are not, strictly speaking, in their purest economic interest.

    Imagine, for example – and I’m taking an example purely at random here – the French had a bruising election this year and someone on a reasonably populist platform wins.

    Goodness knows where I get that idea from.

    Now, the French – who, as we all know, absolutely love the UK and have never, ever acted against our interests even when we feel their own interests might be better served by helping us – might conceivably look at the arguments advanced by the likes of Candy and not see an admirable and clear-sighted pragmatism, but a massive pile of delusionary arrogance. You can form your own views on whether that is fair or not, I am merely describing the putative views of an imaginary French populist who might have a mandate after a bruising election and not need to seek another one for a while. Now, furthermore, the French people might well, having had a bruising election, be feeling a bit ornery and awkward – as we all know, a wholly atypical state for the French electorate, but bear with me – and they may feel that they’d quite like the UK to be taken down a peg or three *even if it hits them in the pocket*.

    Now, of course, we all know electorates never vote for something that they know might hit them in the pocket, even if it is motivated by a dislike of a foreign institution, but bear with me once more.

    If there is the faintest chance that EU heads of state might be influenced by electorates who might be given to wanting to see the UK taken down a peg if we seem to be getting a bit big for our boots, then arguments like the ones Candy is advancing are a REALLY REALLY BAD IDEA. This isn’t a business negotiation where the bottom line is shareholder value and all decisions can and should be made on purely economic grounds.

    Ultimately, the UK could be seriously materially harmed by messing up these negotiations, and whilst the EU as an institution might be, the individuial member nations, with the exception of Ireland – who could really come out of this very badly AND WILL BLAME US – will, at worse be severely inconvenienced – FOR WHICH THEY WILL BLAME US – and the sooner people get that into their heads the better. Ultimately the arbiter of the EU deal will not be what ‘the EU’ wants – because despite the Leaver rhetoric the EU is not yet one monolithic superstate – it will be what the individual leaders of the EU member countries – and therefore, by extension, their electorates – want.

    Theresa May going out and making nice is *exactly the right thing to do*.

  4. Chris
    Amusing essay, but in my experience it’s the Remain side who are obsessed with the (so far) non-existent economic consequences of Brexit, whether they turn out to be good or bad. Leavers just want the government to get on with it and get the best terms they can. This is real people I have spoken to, not just posters on here.

    And why are you worried that Ireland will blame us? Who cares? Unless of course you’re implying that the IRA might kick off again.

  5. ” This is real people I have spoken to, not just posters on here.”

    Hell it turns out i am imaginary!!!!!!

    Peter.

  6. It is.striking how well the Brexiters on here so fully match the finding of the BES study of those who voted to leave the EU.

  7. Peter C
    “Hell it turns out i am imaginary!!!!!!”

    Yes, I just see your posts in my nightmares :-)

  8. Chris

    I am always wary of people who post in capitals. It is like writing in green ink. It has the taste of….well…obsession.

  9. I ALWAYS THOUGHT IT MEANT SHOUTING

  10. @Chris Riley

    If the French populist you refer to wins, then the EU is over, and we will simply make a series of bilateral agreements with various states.

    A bit like the ones the Germans are so anxious to make with us on defence, except it will be on trade.

    BTW, you seem to believe that trade agreements arn’t a business negotiation, but they are ALL about business.

    What else is trade about, but businesses in one country selling goods to businesses in other countries?

  11. There is not much that is comical on this website at present, but the idea that foreign nationals in the UK should be pleading with their host governments to save their right to stay here really is comical.
    Now, the UK fighting to save the right of its geriatrics to stay in Spain – that might be a less comical idea.

  12. Chris Riley

    I was quite taken aback by the ferocity of Candy’s approach to the art of negotiation. The trouble with “we need to take a hard line now” is that it invites a reciprocal response. And two lots f negotiators determined to take a hard line aren’t going to get very far.

    But if this attitude is widespread amongst Brexiteers, it does explain quite a lot. I’ve suddenly realised that to those with a certain world view, the idea of states cooperating for the common good; accepting that they’ll win some, lose some; setting narrow national interest aside in favour of abstract concepts like the environment, peace, goodwill amongst men … all that wishy-washy stuff is anathema. If you want the good red meat of jingoism, you must long to shove the lentils back down the throats of those goddam vegans preaching at you.

  13. @BANTAMS

    Discussions are one thing, deals are another. No EU member is permitted to make trade deals separately from the whole of the EU.

  14. @Guymonde

    Foreign nationals should consult their own govts, those after all are the people who are responsible for them.

    It is how the world works at the moment – each govt is responsible for it’s own citizens and nobody else’s.

  15. Somerjohn
    “If you want the good red meat of jingoism, you must long to shove the lentils back down the throats of those goddam vegans preaching at you.”

    How refreshing to be able to agree with you!

  16. @CANDY

    “If the French populist you refer to wins, then the EU is over, and we will simply make a series of bilateral agreements with various states.”

    She won’t win. Certainly not. It will probably be Fillon, who will be fairly sympathetic to the UK, but only up to a point. There will be no bilateral deal.

  17. Candy

    “each govt is responsible for it’s own citizens and nobody else’s.”

    That’s only partially true.

    All EU members are bound to give full consular support to the citizens of any EU country – when they are outwith the EU.

    The Governments of the devolved nations in the UK are just as accountable to, and responsible for, all members of their electorates – regardless of their citizenship.

  18. @PETE B

    “Somerjohn
    “If you want the good red meat of jingoism, you must long to shove the lentils back down the throats of those goddam vegans preaching at you.”
    How refreshing to be able to agree with you!”

    Vladimir Putin will no doubt also agree. And when he readies his tanks and planes for the next act of aggression we will all wish him a hearty appetite! All in the name of good old fashioned nationalism.

  19. @Candy
    All quite delusional and a little chilling

  20. Tancred
    Le Pen is consistently ahead in the French polls. I don’t know the details of how their system works, so I suppose it’s possible that all the others could gang up against her in some way. However after Brexit and Trump, it is brave to make a definite forecast either way.

  21. @SAFFER

    Thanks for those figures.

    -Graham if we take these and apply average swing since the 2015 GE my maths says the Tories win Copeland, but not by much, and Labour comfortably hold Stoke though with a reduced percentage majority of course.

    (Also you’re right there’s a 11-16 Tory lead spread and not 13-16 like I thought on the most recent results of every polling company)

    @Candy – German/EU – UK military co-operation

    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-19/germany-forging-post-brexit-defense-road-map-with-the-u-k

    This is one of the UK’s Aces that it’s already putting into play ahead of the negotiations, sensibly in my opinion. Fallon’s comment on what France faces is telling. With perceived chaos on the other side of the Atlantic I seriously doubt the EU is going to alienate the UK. I’m very confident that cool heads will prevail as I’ve always advocated.

  22. @SOMERJOHN

    “If you want the good red meat of jingoism, you must long to shove the lentils back down the throats of those goddamn vegans preaching at you.”

    Yes, until you find that mad cow disease has addled your brain. Then you’ll wish you had that mushroom risotto instead.
    Looking at many Brexiteers, even on this forum, I can see that the mad cow disease is already making deep inroads.

  23. @PETE B

    “Tancred
    Le Pen is consistently ahead in the French polls. I don’t know the details of how their system works, so I suppose it’s possible that all the others could gang up against her in some way. However after Brexit and Trump, it is brave to make a definite forecast either way.”

    Do you not know how the French presidential election works? It’s not the barmy FPTP that we use here. They have an initial round, then a second round of voting between the top two candidates. If Fillon ends up second to Le Pen, the supporters of Macron will surely move to Fillon in order to block Le Pen. She has no chance. She is currently polling 26% of the vote, which is way too low for her to have a chance of winning – she needs to be over 40% by now.

  24. Now now, calling Candy a mad cow is a tad ad hominem ;)

  25. Can we stop the ad hominem attacks please? Just because someone has a different view to you does not necessarily mean that they are deranged, stupid or anything else. It is more productive to try to find areas of agreement.

  26. @SOMERJOHN

    That there should be forced repatriation of EU citizens is definitely a minority view even amongst Leavers as polls have showed. I really believe all this discussion on that topic is overheated and highly unlikely to come about. I fully expect a sensible reciprocal approach will be quickly agreed once A50 gets tabled.

  27. @ Tancred

    Depends which mushrooms you use in the risotto, the result could still be an addled brain or even worse!

  28. @Guymonde

    You seem to have the old paternalistic/Imperialistic attitude that Britain is responsible for the world because the natives can’t look after themselves properly.

    Now that is delusional.

  29. Pete B:” It is more productive to try to find areas of agreement.”

    Well, yes, and I was very impressed that you did that with my bit about lentils.

    So I’ve been trying to find something Candy has said that I can agree with. The trouble is, I can’t find anything. She doesn’t seem to do lighthearted stuff, or “on the other hand” reflections that show a willingness to see both sides of the question (or empathise, as we wishy-washy types put it). And she’d probably say the same about me. Ah! Something we can agree on!

  30. Tancred
    I do have a rough idea of how the French system works, I’m just not interested in the minutiae. I repeat that making definite predictions is very brave. I’m happy to say that you are very brave, if that helps.

  31. Cheer up Somerjohn, soon you’ll get your Spanish citizenship papers and you won’t have to deal with Brexiteers or Brexit Britain again!

  32. @Somerjohn – “I was quite taken aback by the ferocity of Candy’s approach to the art of negotiation. The trouble with “we need to take a hard line now” is that it invites a reciprocal response. And two lots f negotiators determined to take a hard line aren’t going to get very far.

    But if this attitude is widespread amongst Brexiteers,…”

    Yes indeed. Very amusing to see @Candy reference that arch intergrationist Maggie T as a model of relentlessly tough negotiating.

    She offered massive compromises across huge policy areas in order to secure what she wanted from the Single European Act, because she knew that objecting to everything she didn’t like would get her nothing she wanted.

    I find it even funnier that Brexiteers who have spent a long time telling us ‘we don’t want a European army’ are now lauding their leader for having defence bilateral which isn’t even a Commission competence. What on earth is the relevance of that to Brexit?

    And of course, they will come back and say that hard negotiation means we’ll refuse to deal with the Hun on defence cooperation if they don’t give us the Brexit deal we want.

    Great! They’re even prepared to walk away from mutual defence benefits not related to the EU and make the UK less safe as part of their ‘hard bargaining approach.

    There are some very stupid people out there.

  33. Just popped by for some stimulation. As ever on here, not disappointed. Thanks everyone, ain’t it great to be British. ;-)

  34. @ALEC

    “There are some very stupid people out there.”

    If you are referring to Brexiteers, which I believe you are, this must be the greatest understatement I have ever come across.

  35. Alec
    “There are some very stupid people out there.”

    Unnecessary, and unpleasant.

    I would ask why a bilateral defence agreement with Germany has any point when we’re both in NATO? It seems like a political manoeuvre to me. Perhaps a German attempt to undermine NATO?

    On the poll details posted earlier on this thread, I see that UKIP’s VI is still holding up. Quite surprising in some ways.

  36. @Sea Change – “That there should be forced repatriation of EU citizens is definitely a minority view even amongst Leavers as polls have showed.”

    I would very much think you are correct.

    Which is why May’s stance on this is so crass. Goodwill really does go a long way in any form of negotiation, contrary to what some may say.

    An apparently open and warm hearted gesture, such as some kind of formula unilaterally agreeing that EU nationals working in the UK before a certain date can stay indefinitely if they wished would have gained a lot of respect, at the cost of – absolutely nothing, as we are going to agree this anyway as you say.

    Instead, by introducing this as a public negotiation tactic, while not triggering the actual negotiations, and then trying to blame the EU for not talking to her, May has given the impression that she is prepared to use human beings and their relationships as bargaining tools, creating anger and distrust, when we all know a deal to let them stay will be reached anyway.

    That’s how useless this process has already become.

  37. @BANTAMS

    “@ Tancred
    Depends which mushrooms you use in the risotto, the result could still be an addled brain or even worse !”

    Trust me I stay well away from the ‘magic’ mushrooms. Being a convinced European I usually stick to porcini.

  38. @PETE B

    “Unnecessary, and unpleasant.”

    An excellent and concise description of Brexit.

    “I would ask why a bilateral defence agreement with Germany has any point when we’re both in NATO? It seems like a political manoeuvre to me. Perhaps a German attempt to undermine NATO?”

    No, why should it be? Probably reflecting a worry from the Germans that the USA might one day withdraw from NATO, despite noises to the contrary for now from Trump’s administration.

  39. 1. In the New Statesman there was an article “2017 is the worst year to leave the EU”, this was referring to various elections in key EU countries.
    2. It is extremely difficult to announce a trade deal in two years. Many might say almost impossible. It took Greenland three years to leave the EU (arguable whether comparable) and seven years for CETA. TTIP was a long way from being signed after three years of intense negotiations and now under Trump looks very unlikely.
    3. If T May wants to be remembered for a good trade deal three years may well be not enough. After two years all 28 countries must want it to carry on or we may leave on the WTO basis. With one year to a General Election I doubt all 28 would agree.
    4. I studied Economics at university and one thing that seems obvious is that a good trade deal for BOTH sides needs to be negotiated over time, particularly when 28 countries are involved.

    My conclusion is that it will either be a very hard Brexit in two years time.

    Or looking at these polling figures and to give T May credit for being a “non-elected” PM it might be good to go for an election this May (get her own party and Labour to beat the 2/3 limit) and expect her to win easily, give her (potentially) five years to negotiate and due to the 600 seats have an excellent chance of winning five years later. I don’t think this will happen….but after a very hard Brexit would the Conservatives get the seats they require even under the new system?

    At the moment if I was Theresa I would not tell anyone, start Article 50 on Friday 31st March and say we need a good strong party to take us through the leave process and announce the election for Thursday 4th May.

    By the way I support Labour and voted remain, but I do think trade deals take time and these figures would indicate that now is the time to take a chance.

  40. The certainties that some (on both sides of the EU debate) have as to what will happen, seem somewhat premature.

    Fortunately, none of them will be in the negotiating rooms!

    FT has, what appears to be a more sensible article on how the talks might unfold.

    https://www.ft.com/content/4466ffbc-f6aa-11e6-bd4e-68d53499ed71

    Whether the UK negotiators (civil servants or politicians) have the breadth of knowledge or understanding as to precisely what a “deal on principles” actually commits them to at the detailed stages of negotiation remains to be seen.

  41. Candy: Cheer up Somerjohn, soon you’ll get your Spanish citizenship papers and you won’t have to deal with Brexiteers or Brexit Britain again!”

    Ah, you do do lighthearted stuff. I take it all back.

    Actually, I’m quite happy with my UK citizenship and hope dearly that Brexit won’t put the kibosh on my other life in Spain. Only another three weeks till I head back there to get my fill of all things euro.

  42. @CHRIS JAMES

    May will threaten and cajole but ultimately it won’t wash. You can’t negotiate your way out of the EU in just two years. Article 50 was devised so that it would never need to be used; they never actually calculated the necessary time to negotiate your way out.

    I think we’ll get out on WTO terms and May will simply blame the EU for hampering the process. The jingoism won’t work this time and business will turn sharply against the Tories – big time- especially if Corbyn has been replaced by a more electable Labour leader by then. There will also be sharp splits emerging in the Conservative Party.

  43. Tancred

    Although you say you stay away from magic mushrooms…. i am not convinced.

  44. The Germans want a defence deal with the Uk because both countries have defence budgets under immense pressure while the next generation of weapons are looking to be even more expensive than the last.

    So sharing R&D makes sense for both regardless of Brexit and Nato.

    In addition through EADS and Airbus,they already have wide scale integration with France and Italy.

    Given that they have already amalgamated their tank business with the French, I think they might want to rope us into Leopard 3 as opposed to us buying Abrams because I don’t think we can afford to build a replacement for Challenger.

    If we turn our back on this and what Europe is trying to do with greater defence integration our options are to just buy American and hope we get a share or be a junior partner on Turkey or Indias current 5th Gen Fighter project.

    Peter.

  45. This is an interesting link:

    https://tradebetablog.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/why-uk-already-under-wto-rules/

    There’s also no need to negotiate an all-encompassing trade deal within two years. The details could be sorted out later.

    Also, the EU has a trading surplus with the UK, whereas we have a deficit with them. Therefore we have the stronger negotiating position.

    G’night all. I’m still hoping for constituency polling on Stoke and Copeland so we have something more interesting (and OT) to discuss.

  46. @Candy

    “You seem to have the old paternalistic/Imperialistic attitude that Britain is responsible for the world because the natives can’t look after themselves properly.”

    No, that’s another of your fantasies.

    It obviously hasn’t occurred to you that Germany (for example) is quite unlikely to lift many fingers to assist its young doctors to stay in the UK. I can only assume that because you want rid of them you can only imagine everybody else must too.

  47. Sea Change,
    “That there should be forced repatriation of EU citizens is definitely a minority view”
    Its funny how the Uk electoral system means politicians pander to minority views as its just that last 5% they need to get them over the winning line.

    Pete B
    “Perhaps a German attempt to undermine NATO?”

    Nato as a cover for an army of occupation by the US within Europe is on its last legs. It is no longer in the US interest to maintain an army here, and instead it wants the europeans to take responsibility for policing Europe. Its a symptom of imperial decline by the US. Trump is the expression of this, not the cause. The US will leave.

    The Uk has the choice of engaging in this process or leaving it to the EU to dominate new European defence arrangements. Someone said that Brexit was about increasing UK sovereignty. An armed force is the traditional expression of this, and as ours shrinks, it seems the EU is developing theirs.

    Jasper,
    I was trying to express that whereas some feel a hard nosed approach to bargaining will encourage others to compromise, rather I feel it will simply lead them to conclude that no deal is possible, so there is no point at all in compromise.

  48. @Alec “Which is why May’s stance on this is so crass. Goodwill really does go a long way in any form of negotiation, contrary to what some may say.”

    May comes across as somewhat risk-adverse. What would happen if we did this unilateral act of goodwill and then the EU refused the same for UK Citizens? Or Poland for instance demanded that their citizens could continue Free Movement in order for UK Citizens to still reside in other EU countries?

    She would get slaughtered at home if that happened as totally incompetent. Why take the risk, however small?

  49. @Chris James “My conclusion is that it will either be a very hard Brexit in two years time.”

    And that is definitely a possibility. Which is why I think the Tories will attempt to repeal the FTPA by Autumn 2018, indeed they would be bloody foolish not to do so.

  50. Pete B, Alec,
    “There are some very stupid people out there”
    I am sure there are. However I doubt any stupid people post on this website. If expressed views seem stupid, it is by design and not because of anyone’s stupidity. The referendum result clearly demonstrated the tactical benefit of persistence in the lie over Uk contributions.

    Pete B,
    “On the poll details posted earlier on this thread, I see that UKIP’s VI is still holding up. Quite surprising in some ways”

    The conservatives are seeing the limitations of appeasement as a policy.

    Chris James,
    “announce the election for Thursday 4th May.”

    My reasoning has been that May needs an opposition to take some of the responsibility for Brexit and so could not afford to defeat them in an election. But by now conservatives may have concluded brexit is going so badly, the best they can hope for is to secure 5 years and then worry about the next one when it arrives.

    Against this, the party probably still wants to prevent brexit and having a big majority would make that far more difficult. They might even be hoping for some signs of labour recovery. The other majority party in first past the post is their siamese twin. While they may wish to dominate, they know they live or die together.

    Tancred,
    I get the distinct impression May is already aiming for WTO terms, if only because negotiating a deal in the time is plainly impossible. She might still be angling for EEA/etc as the compromise, where we effectively remain in while a more realistic timetable for negotiating is put in place. Her aim is the best result for the Tories, not for the UK. Defeating UKIP is the name of the game, and this might best be done by crashing out of the EU.

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