ORB’s weekly poll in the Sunday Telegraph has topline figures of CON 46%(nc), LAB 32%(+1), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 7%(-1). The changes since last week are by themselves insignificant, though it’s worth noting that the Labour share of 32% is the highest they’ve managed in any poll so far in the campaign. Precise fieldwork dates are not available yet, but the Telegraph’s write up says it was at least partially before the Labour manifesto leak.

Opinium in the Observer have topline figures of CON 47%(+1), LAB 32%(+2), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 5%(-2), GRN 2%(nc). Again, the changes are small, but reflect a narrowing of the lead and the highest Labour score of the campaign so far. The Tory lead is still extremely large, but it appears to be getting a little smaller. Once again, fieldwork for this poll started on Tuesday, so would have been mostly before the Labour manifesto leak. Tabs for that are here.

A third poll from ComRes for the Sunday Mirror and Independent has topline figures of CON 48%(-2), LAB 30%(+5), LDEM 10%(-2), UKIP 5%(-2). The narrowing is much sharper here, but that’s because it’s a different time scale: ComRes’s previous poll was conducted straight after the election was called when most polls were giving the Tories a twenty-plus point lead, so the changes here are echoing the decline from twenty-point leads to leads in the mid-to-high teens that we’ve already seen from other companies. Fieldwork here was Wednesday to Friday.

Overall the pattern seems to be a slight narrowing of the Tory lead, but it’s a case of a truly humongous lead becoming merely a towering one: a lead of fourteen to eighteen points will still deliver a very hefty majority. The election also seems to be becoming more and more of a two horse race. UKIP’s support fell sharply at the start of the campaign and only seems to have gotten worse since then and while many (including me!) expected the Liberal Democrats to increase their support during the campaign, it has yet to happen. If anything, Lib Dem support seems to be being further squeezed.

Still to come tonight we have the YouGov/Sunday Times poll. We’ve also had an ICM poll every weekend of the campaign so far (either for Robert Peston’s show or the Sun on Sunday), but I’ve no idea whether we will have one this week or not. I’m not around tonight, so will update on any other polls that emerge tomorrow morning.


176 Responses to “Saturday night polls from ORB, Opinium and ComRes”

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  1. According to bookies, SNP still favourites in Argyll and Bute.

  2. For Labour there is, obviously, a mountain to climb – and not very much time to climb it in – but 32% is a bigger share of the vote than either Brown or Miliband got; if Labour’s vote holds up even at its current level it will be very hard to argue that Corbyn is a uniquely awful vote-loser. It’s also striking that the last time Labour had more than one poll at 32% or above was June 2016. Something happened round about then, didn’t it? Or a couple of somethings.

  3. @Might go some way towards explaining the polling…

    I think many people object to private companies in effect exploiting monopoly positions and extracting economic rents – so it wont actually lose Lab any votes.

    Personally I agree whole heatedly with Labour’s manifesto – however for many voters the issues that are currently at the forefront of their minds are not the ones for which Labour has the most appealing position.

  4. RogerH
    ‘Keir Hardie, George Lansbury, Atlee… ?’

    I’ll give you Keir Hardie, though some of his views might not be particularly popular among socialists today. e.g. “It would be much better for Scotland if those 1,500 were compelled to remain there and let the foreigners be kept out…”

    I didn’t think Lansbury led his party in a GE, though I could be wrong, and wasn’t Attlee towards the right of his party at the time – e.g. promoting NATO and commissioning our own nuclear deterrent?

  5. Re commuting

    I took the train to work for a year, and now happily drive. At least once a week there would be some reason why I couldn’t get home – frozen points, freight train broken down blocking the line, person under a train, too hot, tracks melting, too cold, frozen points, signal failure. guard missing, driver late…I could go on. But it was when I was left stranded from 6pm until midnight one winter night with no information or support that was the final straw. Then add the cost and the train parking fees the council kept increasing to pay for their diminishing budgets.

    I now happily commute down the m4 into London each day – if there is an accident there, google maps happily informs me and its down the m3 instead. I spend an hour a day less travelling, save £150/month vs train plus parking and wonder what ever made me take the train in the first place.

    It is a failed method of transport, single point of failure brings the whole thing to a crashing halt on a regular basis and then you get stranded in the freezing cold and never see your family.

    It didn’t work in the 1970’s and it still doesn’t work in 2020…politicians use it to make their points, but it will never work as it is one long iron road with no way past any point of failure.

  6. Roger H

    You could equally (in fact, more accurately) say that May’s Brexit will give the SDLP fresh hope to get everything it ever wanted.

  7. @PeteB

    Hard to argue that Attlee wasn’t a socialist given the reforms his govt introduced, and that he himself identified as a socialist. By today’s standards he would be dismissed as a communist dreamer.

  8. @PeteB

    Hard to argue that Attlee wasn’t a socialist given the reforms his govt introduced, and that he himself identified as a socialist. By today’s standards he would be dismissed as a communist dreamer.

  9. @PeteB

    Hard to argue that Attlee wasn’t a socialist given the reforms his govt introduced, and that he himself identified as a socialist. By today’s standards he would be dismissed as a communist dreamer.

  10. apologies for the triple post – internet issues

  11. RICHARD

    I think your travelling experience might be the exception. At least when I travel in on the train I use the time to clear emails or to even just log on to this esteemed site. I find the trains significantly less stressful than being stuck in a car on a motorway

  12. @PETE B: “Attlee towards the right of his party at the time – e.g. promoting NATO and commissioning our own nuclear deterrent?”

    Major Attlee was a socialist, not a pacifist.

  13. Re: railways

    I well remember the dirty carriages, poor service and surly staff from BR days. I got my bus pass a few years ago which allows rail travel as well, and I use it on the odd occasions when I need to go to Birmingham after a gap of perhaps 30 years since I last used a train. We have two different rail companies serving my local station, the trains are prompt and very clean and I was very impressed. Granted, I don’t have to travel during the rush hour, and I was surprised that there is rarely an attempt to check my ticket at either end of the journey, but in general the service was very good, and saves on parking costs in the city.

    The situation may well be different in other parts of the country, but it’s fine here. According to Wikipedia train journeys have just about doubled since 2005, so they must be doing something right.

  14. Charles – re the Comey effect. Nate Cohn of the NYT has published quite a neat summary showing that Clinton fell in the polls before the Comey announcement, and rose after it. The “trick” is the delay between conducting the poll and publishing it. The polls published shortly after the Comey announcement showed her falling. But in fact those polls were conducted before the announcement.

  15. Redrich and Rogerh

    OK. I understand that you don’t agree with me. I was just trying to give ol’ Corby a crumb of comfort, but fair enough. I don’t really care who is the most left-wing Labour leader ever.

    G’night all.

  16. As ever I advice yet again to watch the Tory Share of the Vote. The distribution of votes between the loser parties is largely irrelevant

    The Lib Dems’ poor poll performance however reflects Farron’s abysmal campaign to date, a position from which it will now be impossible for him to recover.

    Leaving aside Farron’s own lack of personal credibility, the Lib Dem campaign was based solely on competing for the lion’s share of the Remain Vote.

    And the Lib Dems’ regular advice to people vote for a variety of other parties of themselves, and in some cases simultaneously advising voters to vote for and against the same Party, has been an unmitigated disaster.

    But as I have said in the past. This is all a hopeless strategy.

    There are several other competitors for the Remainer voters, and the parties doing so, have made a serious mistake in assuming that Remain voters are anti democratic, anti British in nature, and will vote tactically for the Lib Dems to undermine the UK’s negotiating position and to overturn the result of the Referendum.

    The way the Lib Dems and others see Remain voters says more about their own hatred of Britain, than it does about the voters who made an honest patriotic decision to vote Remain, in the hope that they were doing the best for Britain.

    The Lib Dems would have been better advised to do what Mrs May has done, Accept the will of the people and promise to make the best she can of it.

    The Lib Dems have however surrendered that big fertile field of voters to the Tories and concentrated on competing for a dwindling band of embittered Remainers.

  17. @ Pete B

    My parents certainly thought Attlee was to the right of the LP in 1945.

  18. @ Lurgee

    ‘I suspect Labour getting to the giddy, oxygen deprived heights of 32% in the polls will trigger a new bout of derangement in the Blairites.’

    I think that extremely likely :). In fact, I think we’ve already seen the rumblings with Tom Watson suddenly surfacing.

  19. I thought this site was supposed to be non-partisan and all about polls but we seem to veer off into economics. So, on the latter…..

    It is pure Ponzi scheme economics to simply state that increasing government borrowing and expenditure leads to increased growth and increased tax revenues. That is only half the story. The problem is that the increased tax revenues will never match the increased borrowing (there never has been nor never will be a 100% return) so government debt will rise. This may be useful where a large stimulus is required, such as in the 1930’s and as suggested by Keynes (the pay-people-to-dig-holes-and-fill-them-up-again philosophy), and helped in 2008-10, but it cannot ever be a long term solution. The UK has been running a substantial deficit for 14 years now so it is very depressing when we still have people suggesting that we “pump” yet more money into the economy. When does it stop? Debt of 100% of GDP? 200%? Our unemployment rate is just 4.7%. The economy has been growing reasonably, and generally above the G7 average, for over seven years. Not even Keynes would be suggesting increasing borrowing at this time.

  20. @SYZYGY @ Lurgee ‘I suspect Labour getting to the giddy, oxygen deprived heights of 32% in the polls will trigger a new bout of derangement in the Blairites.’
    I think that extremely likely :). In fact, I think we’ve already seen the rumblings with Tom Watson suddenly surfacing.”

    To be fair, with the Tories on 49%, Watson was simply stating the bleeding obvious that May will get a Thatcher-type majority at the minimum.

  21. What is continuing to surprize me is the continued decline in the LibDems. I had expected them to double their national share to about 15% and win the same number of seats as at the dissolution (9). However, their campaign has been so inept and Farron’s performance so lightweight that given the projected Tory high tide I now wouldn’t be shocked if they were finally after several centuries of evolution eliminated from parliamentary representation altogether.

  22. I would not be surprised if the Liberal Democrats end up reduced to five seats or fewer.

  23. On Corbyn and the troubles in Northern Ireland. Here’s a discussion on Watson’s entryism dossier that then reflects on the kind of ammo the Tories could lob at Corbyn over N.I
    https:[email protected]/labour-entryism-and-northern-ireland-8d9f7c738a09

    Let’s not get bogged down in the veracity of that debate but from a polling perspective, I suspect what is going on is that self-defined patriotic people in social classes C2, DE groupings are being targeted with the kind of attack ad imagined at the link above already.

    I’m quite sure that Crosby is being “a busy little bee” after all the Tories are now at 49%, with less than 4 weeks to go.

    His priorities will be fourfold:

    1) Ensure maximum UKIP -> Con conversion (Ads: Deliver Brexit, Cut Immigration)

    2) Defend Tory-Lib Dem 2015 Gains & Marginals (Deliver Brexit – outside of London, Corbyn Economic Project Fear – inside London)

    3) Labour Leave Voters (Deliver Brexit, Protect Jobs)

    4) C2, DE Patriotic Lab Voters (Corbyn Pacifism, Terrorism Sympathizing etc)

    He ‘d be looking primarily to gain votes from 1 and 3. Hold the fort and suppress the lib dem vote in 2 and suppress the vote in group 4.

    Obviously, this is very basic. There would be many more intersecting groups and tactical strategies. For instance, the Tories may want to target people susceptible to going Lab->Lib Dem (or vice versa) and send ads to get them to shift their vote between other parties so a Tory could win in a 3 way marginal.

    I am quite sure there is a lot of Machiavellian fun being had by a battery of unclubbable social gamers.

  24. “We have never voted for strongly left wing Labour governments except when the country is already in a real crisis. 1945 and 1974 are the obvious examples. We’re not presently in such a ‘crisis’ no matter what a few on the left might think.”
    @baldbloke May 13th, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    I tend to agree with your summary, but I think you miss some points that should not be ignored.

    First, the Tories have no skill in negotiating — no one has done this for 40 years, whereas the EU has. So while they will win the election it does not mean they will be successful in the forthcoming talks.

    Furthermore, it will be nigh on impossible for ‘true Brexit’ to achieve economic success for several reasons:

    * If we really retrict immigration we won’t have access to the skills to compete in the wider world. And if we are annoying the existing EU citizens living here we may also lose some of those skills that we do have;

    * We are not investing in getting ‘home grown’ skills because the focus is on cutting public spending — just at the time we shouldn’t;

    * Even if we had a massive investment in education it will take a generation to reap the rewards (I would say 20-25 years minimum, probably much longer);

    * The EU has to be seen to win, for internal political reasons; all this talk about ‘they need us’ is rubbish if that means other member states leave and the EU collapses; our importance in the EU may be that great, but I personnally doubt it; time will tell;

    * We can ‘stand alone’ but rebuilding the economy via new trade deals will take a decade at a minimum, assuming we succeed (and that’s a non-trivial assumption); will the electorate stomach our economy being impoverished for so long, just so we ‘get back control;’ and even if they do, what control will we lose to the emerging economies in the East? Out of the frying pan into the fire?

    * We are getting on for a year since the vote and, apart from platitues and ‘Brexit means Brexit’ it is glaringly obvious that no one has a clue.

    This last point is the most worrying of all. We are being led by a team who cannot agree and has to date failed to offer a credible outline of how we will succeed.

    So back to Baldbloke’s quote at top of this post. While we are not currently in a crisis, we may be by 2022.

    In addition to the points I’ve made above there are lots of other things to consider. The UK and World economies are shifting, and Labour’s backward-looking view to the 1970s is as useless as is the Tories gung ho optimism; we will never go back to the industries offering mass employment — those days are gone. Equally, automation and the Internet are shifting the employment landscape forever. We have to accept there will always be fewer jobs and find alternative social solutions.

    Of course on the last point I could be wrong — I have no idea. But that’s the point. Nobody has.

  25. @ Tony Dean & Thomas

    I agree. One taxi (not 2) may be enough for all the LD MPs post the GE.

  26. partygoers

    As we enter another week of this election some observations:

    Labour.

    some satisfaction that JC is performing well and enthusing his core vote as i posted. His increased support is IMHO coming from ,in part, labour voters who had given up voting for Insipid tory-lite Labour and may well have given up voting at all. His manifesto is the charge of the red brigade straight into the tory guns and the consequences will be the same.Having said that Labour under an insipid Cooper or Benn etc would be doing worse.If they come out of the valley of death with 180 plus seats they will survive for better days which must surely come.
    There have been some posts about the contents of the manifesto.Putting it together must have been a joy. I would love to have rifled through the waste paper bin to see what insanity had been rejected.I suspect nothing was rejected in a pythonesque meeting where everybody shouted out what they wanted and JC wrote them all down with a pen.
    there is no doubt in my mind that it was leaked deliberately by JC and it is gratifying to see the low cunning .By getting the policies out there like this they could shout that it is all properly costed which will be revealed at the official launch. it wont be of course but the policies have had an unchallenged week between dream and reality.
    There have been a number of posts about the railways.Those who favour the state running the whole caboodle fall into 2 categories:

    a.Those who spend sundays on obscure stations talking train numbers;and
    b.Those who are too young to remember how bad it was when BR ruled the roost.

    the truth about railways is that they lose money.They cannot survive in the free market.the only argument is as to how much the taxpayer has to support the user.If the government owns it all it will avoid putting it on the user and will either subsidise more or ,more likely, subsidise to the same level and cut future investment and go ,once more into decline.

    Tories

    I like TM but only because ,i suspect, i do not know TM.The electorate seems to be placing great faith in her.In these times the very qualities that might lead voters to be indifferent to her become great positives.her limited communication skills, her lack of self confidence and slowness of thinking on her feet are put to one side while the virtue of just getting on the job,resolution and being taciturn are extolled as great qualities.her calling of the election still surprises me.Circumstances have handed her the opportunity to be considered a great prime minister surpassing even thatcher but she will have no -one to blame if it goes wrong.
    It is hard to criticise a campaign that still has her 14-20 points ahead and i suspect for the general public it is quite adaquate. For those who seem to have a passing interest in politics it is pretty poor fare but w e are not the Crosby targets. That small group of crucial voters in that small group of key constituencies are possibly being relentlessly courted.

    Liberals

    surprisingly could become almost extinct after this election. It looked so positive for them. By election win and very good locals and a good strategy in theory of galvanising the remain vote as labour collapsed. Where did it all go wrong?

    1. Labour have not imploded;
    2.The remain strategy has hit the wrong tone. All the militant remainers left in the UK seem to be posters on this site!. In the country voters seem to have more respect for democracy and do not want to relive the divisive campaign a second time.Nick Clegg has typified them flouncing around like Miss Haversham shouting at the electorate that jilted him
    3.Farron.
    4. The return of names and people we prayed had been consigned to the dustbin of history ie Cable,Hughes Davey
    5. Bad judgement. This is not the election to talk about legalising Cannabis .Heaven knows we may need to reach out for a spliff if Corbyn wins or brexit fails but did they need to make it a centre piece now!
    Inept does not do it justice. A failure will highlight the extraordinary disparity in influence which they should democratically exert and the one they do exert through the Lords where the awful Baroness Kramer and her ilk hold sway.Reform of that institution cannot come soon enough.

    sorry about the long post. the firealarm went off in the hotel and i had nothing else to do.

  27. S THOMAS

    Great post, may the fire alarm go off again soon.

  28. SEA CHANGE

    Fascinating analysis of Tory strategy. Have you considered applying for a temporary job to advise Sir Lynton?

  29. It does seem that there was an element of fake news in the assertions that the NHS was all running on Windows XP. I wonder how the worm got in then. As with most things it is probably down to individual error or inaction. Will we ever find out?

  30. @ s Thomas

    Hope the encouragement of the Lib Dems did not lead to you rollling up a spliff in your hotel room :-)

    I agree with almost everything in your post – and I don’t usually. Particularly on May and the ineptitude of the Lib Dems campaign. Especially the liberalisation of cannabis – while arguably a sensible policy it is absolutely guaranteed to estranged a proportion of their voters – a bizarre decision mid campaign, and one which will now be tied to them for the future too.where I would differ with you is in relation to the Labour campaign where I think you do not give enough credit to them for understanding the mood of the times where honesty for once seems to be the best policy. Crosby and May should be reflecting on that carefully – a few from the heart statements about key issues would keep them on course imho

  31. I tend to look at the poll %s as “flow” of voters. We’ve seen LDEM is a “churn” party with only around half of their voters “loyal” on VI versus 2015 vote. The “new LDEM voter” VIs having come from CON and LAB (almost certainly remain voters in both cases)

    As acceptance of Brexit (or at least acceptance that LDEM will not be able to stop/reverse it) spreads further over the next few weeks I expect the “new” LDEM VIs will continue to drift back whence they came.

    This is a little bit of good news for LAB. LAB has high remain voter interest and hence more risk of losses to LDEM. In many seats where LDEM were never going to win their was the risk they would take Rem-LAB voters and “accidentally” make the seat easier to be a CON gain, LAB loss.

    A two horse race suits LAB better than a split Rem-vote. I still expect CON to come out with a manifesto further to the centre/centre-left than maybe many voters expect, grabbing a lot of DKs and “shy Tories” plus a final campaign week designed to motivate turnout (e.g. EU bashing, show of strong and stable, etc…)

    My concern for LAB would be motivating the VIs to turn out. The seeds of doubt about Corbyn as a leader, knowledge your vote won’t really make a difference, maybe some softer CON policies that make you think they wouldn’t be too bad, etc. all point to low LAB turnout. CON’s loyalty, demographics, etc are strong and a lot of anger in Leave voters that will make them more likely to turnout than be complacent. All IMHO!!

    Not changing my predictions, but the wilder CON majorities that might have happened if LDEM had split the Rem-LAB vote are looking less likely so my probabilities are centring closer on CON 430 seats with the skew out towards 500 dwindling.

  32. “We have never voted for strongly left wing Labour governments except when the country is already in a real crisis. 1945 and 1974 are the obvious examples. We’re not presently in such a ‘crisis’ no matter what a few on the left might think.”
    @baldbloke May 13th, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    I tend to agree with your summary, but I think you miss some points that should not be ignored.

    First, the Tories have no skill in negotiating — no one has done this for 40 years, whereas the EU has. So while they will win the election it does not mean they will be successful in the forthcoming talks.

    Furthermore, it will be nigh on impossible for ‘true Brexit’ to achieve economic success for several reasons:

    * If we really retrict immigration we won’t have access to the skills to compete in the wider world. And if we are annoying the existing EU citizens living here we may also lose some of those skills that we do have;

    * We are not investing in getting ‘home grown’ skills because the focus is on cutting public spending — just at the time we shouldn’t;

    * Even if we had a massive investment in education it will take a generation to reap the rewards (I would say 20-25 years minimum, probably much longer);

    * The EU has to be seen to win, for internal political reasons; all this talk about ‘they need us’ is rubbish if that means other member states leave and the EU collapses; our importance in the EU may be that great, but I personnally doubt it; time will tell;

    * We can ‘stand alone’ but rebuilding the economy via new trade deals will take a decade at a minimum, assuming we succeed (and that’s a non-trivial assumption); will the electorate stomach our economy being impoverished for so long, just so we ‘get back control;’ and even if they do, what control will we lose to the emerging economies in the East? Out of the frying pan into the fire?

    * We are getting on for a year since the vote and, apart from platitues and ‘Brexit means Brexit’ it is glaringly obvious that no one has a clue.

    This last point is the most worrying of all. We are being led by a team who cannot agree and has to date failed to offer a credible outline of how we will succeed.

    So back to Baldbloke’s quote at top of this post. While we are not currently in a crisis, we may be by 2022.

    In addition to the points I’ve made above there are lots of other things to consider. The UK and World economies are shifting, and Labour’s backward-looking view to the 1970s is as useless as is the Tories gung ho optimism; we will never go back to the industries offering mass employment — those days are gone. Equally, automation and the Internet are shifting the employment landscape forever. We have to accept there will always be fewer jobs and find alternative social solutions.

    Of course on the last point I could be wrong — I have no idea. But that’s the point. Nobody has.

  33. @S Thomas @Baldin1

    Good summation which I agree with. The let’s invite 50,000 Syrian Refugees In along with the let’s get stoned campaign highlights the ineptness of the LibDems at the moment. How they miss Rennard or a competent replacement.

    Farron has to be the worst Liberal Leader since Clement Davies in the 1950s.

    @BALDBLOKE

    I would very much enjoy wargaming out strategy and tactics for political parties. Unfortunately, my business interests take too much time. Perhaps in the mid-2020s!

  34. Morning all.

    Looking at the overnight polls the one consistent thing about them is that in all four both the LD and UKIP vote potential has declined. It really does seem to be a two horse race in England & Wales.

    The Tory Leads vary between 14% and 18% and estimated majorities (Electoral Calculus) of 100 (Orb) to 146 (YouGov) I suspect that the Tories will be very happy after three weeks of electioneering.

    It would be good to see some more Scottish and Welsh polling now.

  35. Scottish LDEMs – I just reviewed my Scotland s/s putting in the Green pulled candidates and noticed it tips Edingburgh West back to SNP and puts Dunbartonshire East on a knife-edge. The Green vote was only 2% and 1.4% in 2015 but when margin are that close it might make the difference.

    I don’t think we’ve seen a Scottish polls for a while but if LDEM slip just a little in Scotland similar to what we’ve seen UK wide then they don’t look likely to make any gains in Scotland. CMJ/others have you followed the cross breaks enough to see if we should expect a lower LDEM % in Scotland?

    Orkney and Shetland looks safe

    Still good odds at 7/2 for LDEM getting under 10 seats across UK! Also a specific Scotland U/O 2.5 LDEM market but it is very thin.

  36. @AL URQA “First, the Tories have no skill in negotiating — no one has done this for 40 years, whereas the EU has”

    Say what you like about Tory policy, but give the Tories some credit –
    they are not stupid. They will surely be scouring the globe for the brightest minds to form their backroom negotiating team.

    Other than that, you have raised valid points on the medium-term risks that we face with Brexit.

    And you are right that we are taking a leap into the unknown.

    When you boil everything down essentially we are leaving a protectionist union of 27 countries to compete with the rest of the world without the pros and cons of that protection. But then that’s what 90% of the world’s population does in any case.

  37. AL URQA

    “So back to Baldbloke’s quote at top of this post. While we are not currently in a crisis, we may be by 2022.”

    Whilst I do not agree with much of your post above it is I suppose just possible that we could be in crisis by 2022. If it’s a crisis brought on by Brexit who will the voters blame? I guess your assuming they will blame the Government and I agree a proportion would but would that proportion be enough to force a change of government? Remember the EU will be blamed by the right wing press and I suspect most Leavers will go along with that.

    “Equally, automation and the Internet are shifting the employment landscape forever. We have to accept there will always be fewer jobs and find alternative social solutions.”

    I think many of us can agree with that but at least the UK starts from a point of low unemployment, 4.7% Europe currently has double the UK rate at 9.5% so the issue is even greater for them.

  38. THE OTHER HOWARD

    Good morning – I agree that Scottish and Welsh polling would be helpful, it would indicate the overall trend/drift towards the Conservatives and the extent to which the Labour vote might be stabilising.

    I have begun to wonder whether the Conservative ‘onslaught’ on Labour will actually materialise. With their VI in the mid to upper forties consistently, why would they bother? I suspect their own polling puts them in the upper forties.

    “two horse race” – did you mean ‘one horse’!

  39. Sea Change

    “When you boil everything down essentially we are leaving a protectionist union of 27 countries to compete with the rest of the world without the pros and cons of that protection. But then that’s what 90% of the world’s population does in any case.”

    That sums it up rather well.

  40. @Phil – “….if Labour’s vote holds up even at its current level it will be very hard to argue that Corbyn is a uniquely awful vote-loser. ”

    No it won’t be – it will be remarkably easy, because we have ample hard EVIDENCE to tell us this.

    The category mistake that you and everyone else obsessed with what poll percentage Corbyn gets completely forgets about, is that this is not 2010 or 2015. Every election is different, and simply comparing one parties performance in one against it’s performance in another is a grossly simplistic application of a thoroughly duff statistical analysis.

    First, we know Corbyn is a vote loser because every properly constructed poll tells us so. That on it’s own is enough to settle the matter, but we also have ample evidence from multiple doorstep engagements. This comes even from Corbyn supporters and existing shadow cabinet members.

    Second, we need to think about the specific circumstances in 2017. We’ve had 7 years of austerity and an extremist economic mantra where we are now seeing the real world effects. In 2015, the government were still getting away with the idea that you can have massive cuts through ‘efficiency savings’ and not see any real world impacts. We now know that’s baloney. Against this backdrop, maybe Labour should be making hay?

    The bottom line is to switch your thinking around and then test the results. If Labour had dumped Brown in early 2010 or Milliband in early 2015 and gone into either of those elections with Corbyn as leader, do you seriously think they would have either improved their poll percentage and seat count or done worse?

    I think we all know the answer to this, and there really isn’t much debate about that.

    Corbyn is a net vote loser, even if some of his policies might not be. This is not to say Labour won’t improve their vote share on 2015, but the question is how much better they would have done without Corbyn – your post is examining the wrong question.

  41. David West

    ““two horse race” – did you mean ‘one horse’!”

    I’ll give you a view on that on June 9th. :-)

    I don’t think “onslaught” would be the right approach. A clear analyrical destruction of the policies and costs associated would be better.

  42. @ TOH, others

    CON will be looking beyond the GE and beyond Brexit. This is about becoming a serious option in before hand taboo parts of the country – not just for now, but for the next generation!

    Midlands, North, Scotland and Wales.

    This is why I also expect a slight shift to the Left in their manifesto.

    A lot of voters in many parts of the country would never consider voting CON but with lack of alternative options you grab market share and make it stick.

    Some people think CON want Corbyn to do well enough to stay but I think they have a much longer term plan. The manifesto will give us an indication: stay old-school CON or make a bold grab for the vacated Centre? My money is on the latter (well maybe bold is over stating it!)

  43. Missed the final sentence…

    Instead of just giving voters reasons why they shouldn’t vote LAB give them a reason why they should vote CON!
    They would have worked out a timetable and with plenty of reasons to not vote LAB my guess is they turn on the reasons to vote CON.

  44. TREVOR WARNE

    I think you are right about the Conservatives having a long term plan and are not over-bothered whether Corbyn stays or goes. In fact I think they would actually prefer him to go and politics reverts back to the days of oppositions being genuine governments in waiting with a bit more of the old humour and rough and tumble (not that May scores especially high in the humour stakes)

  45. The Tories never genuinely move to the centre-left as the consequences of that would be to bring in policies that their financial backers dislike. However, they do appeal to the centre-left quite successfully throughout history by presenting themselves as “National” as in we are all a “national family” (TM is instinctively good at this), and that they have a charitable disposition to mitigate their position on wealth retention (TM is also credible as this, being a vicar’s daughter and all….).

  46. Dunham111
    “I agree. One taxi (not 2) may be enough for all the LD MPs post the GE.”

    Might be that a tandem would have too many seats!

  47. Sea change,TOH,
    You two agree we are about to embark on something 90%of the world has to live with. I would point out 90% of the world are poorer than us, and suggest this correlation is not a coincidence. That is the cost of brexit.

    On the subject of trains, we have trains in order to enable commuting to work. Yes, some of us might swap to cars but if we do this would simply create different crowding problems. Maybe trains are intrinsically more expensive though I have seen documentaries to the effect our English rail system is particularly expensive by international standards. However, we subsidise them to enable a paternity of concentrating an available work force inside cities, principally London. To eliminate trains we need to disperse the workplace, with ramifications for permitting land development in the south east where it is currently and absurdly forbidden.

  48. Maybe Carline Lucas and Tim Farron could share the tandem as the only two non major party MPs in England!

  49. The First Minister of Scotland getting challenged on the numeracy of Scottish children on Andrew Marr.

  50. Corbyn seems to be doing quite well. Voters seem to have concluded that while labour are rather pro brexit, there is no hope of a meaningful lib victory which could challenge the conservatives in parliament. And thus they have pragmatically chosen labour as the best remain party. The logic for a remainer is to vote tactically for labour, but this does not rule out support for libs where they are challengers.

    Which tells us little about corbyn. The previous thread reported his manifesto was well received by the public. His greatest difficulty is the disunity in the labour party where mps remain in rebellion against him. But even this might in some respects be seen as a benefit by tory remainers. Plainly the conservatives fear him more than anything. Think trump. Think macron

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