More Brexit polling

A year on from the EU referendum there was some new YouGov polling for the Times this morning. The country remain quite evenly split over whether Brexit is right or wrong, 44% think leaving was the right decision, 45% the wrong decision. There is not much optimism about negotiations – only 26% expect the government to achieve a deal that is good for Britain, 31% expect a poor deal, 15% expect no deal at all (that said, most don’t think Labour would be doing any better – 24% think they’d get a better deal, 34% a worse deal, 20% that it would end up much the same).

Asked to choose between Britain having full control over immigration from Europe or British businesses having free access to trade with the EU people preferred trade by 58% to 42%. As I wrote in my last post, there’s a lot of variation in questions like this depending on the specific wording, but the overall picture suggests that when people are pushed to choose they do think trade is more important than control of immigration (though among Conservative voters the balance is the other way round).

On other matters, on the question of who would make the best Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn now leads Theresa May by a single point – 35% to 34%. This is the first time that Corbyn has led in the question – this is partially because of a sharp drop in Theresa May’s ratings (before the snap election she was consistently in the high 40s), but is also due to a significant increase in Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings. Again, if you look at the longer term ratings he used to be consistenty down in the teens.

Full tabs are here

I should also add an update on polling about the second referendum. In my last post I mentioned the Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday which found that the balance of opinion was in favour of having a second referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal. This was the first time any poll had shown this, and I said it was worth looking to see if other polls found the same. Well, so far they haven’t – Survation also had a poll for Good Morning Britain on Monday, that also had a question on a second referendum, and it found 38% of people supported it and 57% were opposed. Tabs for that are here.


451 Responses to “More Brexit polling”

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  1. I mean Corbyn is to some considerable extent Corbs is just winding things back to the way Thatch left them, free tuition, nationalised Rail and Post etc.

  2. Carfrew

    “Difficult to make the case it was centrist” re:Blair

    I couldn’t describe Blair as been right wing. Then again he wasn’t particularly left wing either.

    Blair’s mix of liberal free market policies allied to some more traditional labour values – social justice, minimum wage etc I believe make the case for arguing that he was in the centre of British politics.

  3. @Mike Pearce

    “It wasn’t just about the failure of the Tory campaign”

    I think you’re right. It’s tempting, and we can all be guilty of this in a variety of walks of life, to both wilfully and self-servingly misinterpret events in order to mitigate our disappointment, sometimes anger, about a particular outcome. This can involve impugning the motives of our opponents, belittling their achievements and convincing ourselves that their success was exclusively down to our mistakes, soon to be rectified, and had nothing to do their strengths. This leads to us easily convincing ourselves that whatever was achieved by our opponents was illusory and transitory and down to facile fads soon to pass. Normal service to be resumed and all that.

    This isn’t a preserve of the right by the way, it affects those of us on the left too, and I remember only too well how we consoled ourselves during the long years of Thatcher’s hegemony. The voters were fools, it could never last, Thatcher was a populist charlatan; you get the self-deluding gist.

    Even though the Tories won the election on June 8th, albeit in a morale=shatteringly and anti-climactic Pyrrhic-esque way, there appears to be a headlong rush to explain it away in a manner that I think risks missing the lessons that could be important to them if they are to prosper again.

    Accordingly, if I was a Labour strategist I might not be totally unhappy
    to hear Tories ascribing Corbyn’s 40% Labour vote to a bad Tory campaign, a “perfect storm” for Labour never to be repeated again, a few youngsters getting enthused for a few weeks before inevitable boredom sets in and some uncosted manifesto bribes. I think the sensible Tories, and there are quite a few, are looking at the last election in much more cerebral and less superficial ways. I suspect this will involve a lot of self-critical introspection which, in my view, is long overdue.

  4. @Pete B

    “My last comment went into moderation for some reason, but the gist was that I couldn’t think of anyone in Labour who was 10-20 years younger than Corbyn who would be likely to enthuse people in the same way.”

    Is that a good or a bad thing? Few could think of Jeremy Corbyn as being a candidate to enthuse people in a “Corbynesque” manner until over halfway through the campaign where he was elected leader of the party.

    I suppose it depends why you determine he has enthused people. Is it his innate personal charisma which had been hidden under a bushel for thirty years and now is shining and “selling” policies that people wouldn’t otherwise buy? Is it because people appreciate a relative lack of “personality”: rather that he is seen as straightforward, honest and constantly-principled in supporting policies they like?

  5. TREVOR WARNE @ SEA CHANGE / BBZ

    Flattery will get you everywhere but I claim no constitutional expertise. I suspect that the answer to most of your questions are buried somewhere in Erskine May. How deeply, who knows?

    I don’t see CON engineering a confidence vote by choice when they are down in the polls.

    I agree with that, but given that DUP fiscal policies are roughly in line with Lab whilst their social ones are well to the right of re:smog, what the DUP will do is still a QI “nobody knows” which hardly promises stability.

    I could imagine a Con/Lab coalition to achieve at least a transitional deal by 2019 with an agreed GE date, but that would probably require May to stay in place as figurehead, plus a serious number of cabinet seats for Lab and Starmer sharing the negotiations with Davis.

    Done properly, it would be a huge boost to Corbyn’s credibility, though, and the Cons probably need to try governing as a minority alone before they even consider it.

  6. Popeye
    I don’t know why he has enthused people either, but there’s no doubt that he has. I thought that he did come across quite well on TV during the campaign but I refrained from whooping and chanting myself!

    Perhaps as someone said upthread, it was simply that for the first time in years there was a real choice. I was one of those who had been moaning until recently about no real difference between Tories and Labour.

  7. Sea change, I was referring to the figures for life expectancy not being unduly depressed by high infant mortality by the 1920s as you implied in an earlier post.

  8. @TonyBTG

    “I couldn’t describe Blair as been right wing. Then again he wasn’t particularly left wing either.

    Blair’s mix of liberal free market policies allied to some more traditional labour values – social justice, minimum wage etc I believe make the case for arguing that he was in the centre of British politics.”

    ————

    Yes I’m not arguing he was right wing either. He had a lot of Liberalsim going on. Purists will argue not entirely Liberal because a bit authoritarian, but economically and socially really quite Liberal in numerous respects.

    So was Cameron. Thatch was economically Liberal but not so much socially. Social Liberalism is not “traditionally Labour, Jenkins et al started with the Social Liberalism in the Sixties, but trad Labour kicked against it hence Jenkins et al had to breakaway to form the SDP.

    Similarly, the Selsdon set introduced economic liberalism to Tories in late sixties, hence Heath deregulating banking.

    Eventually Blair accepted both social AND economic Liberalism and Cameron followed suit.

    People have some to associate economic liberalism with Tories, and social liberalism with Labour, and to see these things as “centrist” when it ain’t necessarily the case. Especially with the electorate increasingly rejecting social liberalism (free movement etc.) and rejecting economic liberalism (privatisations, tuition fees etc.)

  9. @ TONYBTG, CARFREW

    “Difficult to make the case [Blairism] was centrist. Economically even more liberal than Thatch, even more privatisations, and more extreme in terms of social liberalism too, Championing free movement.”

    There is a curious air of unreality about discussions of the Blair/Brown years on this site.
    According to the IFS, the increase in spending on “public services” 1979-1997 averaged 0.7% per year. From 1997-2010 it increased at over 4% per year: eg., spending on NHS/Education increased from 10% to 15% of [a larger] NI.
    There were also v large increases in transfer payments to families with children & lower-income pensioners. Brown also brought in the minimum wage as an opener, etc.

    You can call this Centrist or Bentrist: you can repeat the line heard on here that Blair was no different from the Tories, but these data indicate, for better or worse, that Blair/Brown broke with Thatcherism.

  10. @Pete B

    If as suggested the “real choice” was the enthusing factor, looking for particular younger individuals to forge on for Labour as future successors wouldn’t be so important, would it?

    In that case, the crucial issue for Labour would not be the leader, but maintaining a differentiated option to the electorate. The most important attribute for a figurehead would presumably then be that they believed in (and could therefore credibly present) such a policy offering.

  11. @Popeye

    “Is it his innate personal charisma which had been hidden under a bushel for thirty years and now is shining and “selling” policies that people wouldn’t otherwise buy? Is it because people appreciate a relative lack of “personality”: rather that he is seen as straightforward, honest and constantly-principled in supporting policies they like?”

    The charisma question is interesting. I went to an event not long after he was elected leader where he gave the concluding speech. It was utterly dull, read from notes, no animation, no contact with the audience. Compare and contrast to Glasto. It’s amazing what support can do to confidence and what confidence can do to charisma.

  12. @TonyBTG

    More generally, there’s a danger of reading too much into how people vote. If people vote Tory, or Nulab, does that mean they are gung ho for more Privatisations? Have they suddenly become neoliberal? (Polling on nationalisations would stpiggest otherwise…)

    Or has the vote been split and they have been persuaded that summat else is more important? Before Corbyn got direct exposure during the campaign, people weren’t keen on Corbyn because had been persuaded by media there were issues over his competence.

    It DIDN’T necessarily mean people wanted more Austerity or disliked Corbyn’s policies. Equally, did Blair win because he was considered centrist, or because Tories were in the floor? It was prolly the latter because even against Brown after the crash, Tories still couldn’t win outright.

  13. Jeremy Corbyn has stormed ahead of Theresa May in a new opinion poll just weeks after the Prime Minister failed to win a majority in the latest election.

    Labour is five points ahead of the Tories at 46 per cent, found the Sunday Times.

    The survey, which took a random sample of 5,000 people, also found that Ms May’s approval rating is at minus 17, a mirror opposite to Mr Corbyn’s plus 17.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-leader-jeremy-corbyn-more-popular-opinion-polls-theresa-may-brexit-sunday-times-philip-a7807421.html

  14. @TonyBTG

    More generally, there’s a danger of reading too much into how people vote. If people vote Tory, or Nulab, does that mean they are gung ho for more Privatisations? Have they suddenly become neol1beral? (Polling on nationalisations would suggest otherwise…)

    Or has the vote been split and they have been persuaded that summat else is more important? Before Corbyn got direct exposure during the campaign, people weren’t keen on Corbyn because had been persuaded by media there were issues over his competence.

    It DIDN’T necessarily mean people wanted more Austerity or disliked Corbyn’s policies. Equally, did Blair win because he was considered centrist, or because Tories were in the floor? It was prolly the latter because even against Brown after the crash, Tories still couldn’t win outright.

  15. Guymonde, Perhaps he was down as he knew what was coming?

  16. @Robbiealive

    I dunno what posts you’re reading but I have been very clear Blair was different to Thatcher. He did additional privatisations for a start, introduced tuition fees. Academies. ATOS and more besides and was obviously more socially liberal with free movement sans transitional controls etc.

  17. Colin,
    “I wonder iff all this hero worship by the young is an achilles heel for the Party given JC’s age?”

    All they need do is find another MP with similar views. Ah.

    baldbloke,
    ” it was the comparison between him (coming over as a decent man as you say) and TM (coming over as quite the opposite of what her presidential style campaign claimed ie weak and wobbly not strong and stable etc) ”

    I dont think so. I do think that Corbyn needed to overcome the image of him which his opponents both conservative and labour had developed, but that part was simply restoring his image of being capable of the job. A necessary but not sufficient condition. beyond that he had to demonstrate something positive to be worth voting for, and he did, even if it was ‘I am not one of them’.

    But I think it more than that. Corbyn has managed to crystalise national mood as demanding an end to austerity. Brexit is a policy of austerity and would demand more austerity on top of the conservative’s mantra that austerity is necessary. He has turned around a national mood of patience to one for change. Government’s fall when they make sufficient mistakes to upset voters, and voters just decided it is time.

  18. It’s very interesting reading the contributions today, particularly from our more right of centre colleagues. Before the election there was a lot of Labour has no chance because of Corbyn, no-one’s going to vote for him, he’s hopeless, carries too much baggage etc. Now the commentary is all about how personally popular Corbyn is and that with another leader Labour might not do so well. He is carrying the Party etc. What a change round! Make your mind up chaps and chapesses.

    Incidentally, in my CLP, all the Corbyn supporters are very happy with the term Corbynistas and that’s how they all refer to themselves.

  19. Danny
    “Government’s fall when they make sufficient mistakes to upset voters, and voters just decided it is time.”

    Except, of course, they didn’t fall.

  20. Guymonde,
    ” It was utterly dull, read from notes, no animation, no contact with the audience. Compare and contrast to Glasto.”

    I do wonder sometimes whether people overlook that Corbyn/labour had no power to call an election. Only the tories could do that, and they would not do so unless they believd they would win.

    Corbyn was crticised for not opposing the dissolution of parliament, but it was the greatest christmas present he ever had. Of course he didnt risk opposing it and possibly succeeding.

  21. Norbold, well given what you say I should stop being so stuffy, it certainly takes the sting out of it’s earlier use.

  22. Regardless of Tory implosions, Corbyn managed to execute FOUR critical elements in the campaign.

    Firstly, policies that would survive or neuter a media onslaught, secondly, finding a way to leverage the big increase in membership on the ground to take seats hitherto off the radar, thIrdly, to change the electorate’s opinion of him, and fourthly to harness social media.

  23. Pete B,
    “Except, of course, they didn’t fall.”

    Ah but they did. They asked for a vote of confidence and got a raspberry. Their position is worse now than before the election, so they failed. Unless you are arguing that aimed to lose their majority, which i have argued is certainly a possibility, and in that case they did succeed.

    Throughout Brexit I have argued the conservatives need to get labour involved in the process so as to pass over blame for the outcome. If that is indeed the plan, it isnt entirely succeeding but there are grounds for hope.

  24. @Tony BTG

    “I wake up this morning to see reports that Andrea Leadsom think that broadcasters need to “be a bit more patriotic” when reporting on the Brexit negotiations. So what does she want. No scrutiny? For us to be told not to worry about ours and our children’s future and that it’s all going to be great, we’ll get 350million a week for our NHS and Britain will be great again.”

    It seems that Andrea is harking back to the good old days, when the censored British press could only report good news about the First World War, or even make up good news that didn’t exist!

  25. Regarding the polarisation. What do the Lib dems do. They are only holding seats from the days when they were strong. In most seats in South west Labour now second.

    They are not national force and only support candidates were they have a chance. So do they seek some form of alliance or merger with the Greens. It costs them a fortune in lost deposits. Greens £228,500 and LibDem £187,500.

  26. @Guymonde

    “The charisma question is interesting. I went to an event not long after he was elected leader where he gave the concluding speech. It was utterly dull, read from notes, no animation, no contact with the audience. Compare and contrast to Glasto. It’s amazing what support can do to confidence and what confidence can do to charisma.”

    ——–

    Plus we are talking about a guy who hadn’t even been a junior minister! He was having to make quite a leap, was bound to take some adjusting. He wasn’t given much time before peeps set about him, and having your colleagues resigning en masse etc. prolly doesn’t help confidence…

  27. Danny
    Yes it was a very bad result for the Tories of course. But it seems to have escaped your notice that they are still the government. The government did not fall.

    Norbold
    “Make your mind up chaps and chapesses.”

    I assume I’m included in this. I’ll freely admit that Corbyn confounded all expectations (and not just mine). When Labour’s ratings hit 30% I said he was doing very well considering the negative press. As (I think) Enoch Powell said “When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do?”

  28. @ Matt

    It seems the Lib Dems are still suffering from Nick Clegg’s unfortunate decisions in 2010…they may have to wait until those mistakes are well and truly forgotten.

    Furthermore, in a bipartisan system where the two parties are so far apart, on very much left and the other very much right, what ground is available for the Lib Dems? In the months leading up to June 8, the media made much of the so-called Middle Ground, but that turned out to be No Man’s Land.

    Sorry for the First World War analogies…I rested tutored a couple of students on that A Level subject.

  29. @Pete B

    That quote is usually attributed to John Maynard Keynes (although some reports suggest this isn’t correct).

  30. rested = recently

  31. CMJ
    I stand corrected.

  32. PETE B @ DANNY
    As (I think) Enoch Powell said “When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do?”

    I thought of using that quote myself yesterday and checked who it was.

    Mostly it’s attributed to Keynes, but the evidence shows it was Samuelson, another famous economist.

    See http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/07/22/keynes-change-mind/

  33. @Matt126

    A Green Lib Dem merger is highly unlikely.

    That did occur you would overnight see the resignation of at least half the Green Party.

    Anyhow, the GP is very democratic (sometimes to a fault) so it wouldn’t get that far.

  34. Where on earth did Survation find their Scottish sub-sample?

    Recalled 2017 vote share (Table 10)

    SNP 32.5% – OK
    Lab 47.5% ??
    Con 13.1% ??

    Did not vote+ Refused to say – 9%

  35. Excuse my ignorance, but has the Queens Speech been voted through yet? And if not, when do the votes take place?

  36. Michael siva

    I think the point Leadsom was trying to make was instead of the endless negativity from those sections of the media that were opposed to brexit ,as the leavers actually won the vote then perhaps there should be a more balanced line of questioning instead of the usual rather hysterical comments of gloom and doom surrounding any attempt of the government to negotiating brexit.

    Still we live in times that those who lose are convinced they actually won and if they keep saying it long enough everybody else will see it to. Maybe Orwell was right after all.

  37. Trevor Warne,
    “I accept that BBZ, yourself, others believe their is a significant difference between LAB and CON as expressed in their manifestos. I’m on the side of several other posts that think they are very similar”
    What i think is that as usual they both try to be all things to all men. However, labour have allowed themselves more space to reject Brexit, if that is what the eventually chose to do. Not that they will, but they have the option.

    In the meanwhile, I would expect in power labour would negotiate the best deal they could, not unlike the tories. But at the end they would review what had been achieved and decide if it was good enough to proceed. If on the other hand matters proceed as now, I expect labour will seek to ambush the government wherever they can to keep open the option for entirely rejecting Brexit, or piecemeal rejecting aspects the government proposes.

    I don’t know if May will continue to push for hard Brexit. Presumably it depends on which group of voters she thinks most reliable in the future. If she has it in mind to have another election this year then I expect we will see more and more prevarication instead of negotiation. But I would mostly expect her to choose a course and steer for it, not planning for an election unless comprehensively defeated.

    It may be she is forced to continue as PM despite very largely failing to control parliament.

  38. My comment about Corbyn is more about the effects of environment on charisma than it is on Corbyn per se.
    As to my view of Corbyn, I never had any problem with his policies or vision but I didn’t think he was electable (baggage, no charisma) and I didn’t think he could run an opposition, never mind a government.
    I was almost certainly wrong about electable (I think it’s very probable he is electable but I don’t think it’s quite proven, because I suspect a few people voted Lab on the basis they had no chance). The jury is still out on competence, in my book. I think he is accepting a weak team – understandable, but a potential weakness.

  39. @ Turk

    It’s a bit rich of Andrea to be complaining about media giving Brexit negotiations a hard time, when she didn’t make a peep about the biased media coverage in her party’s favour in the months leading up to the General Election. I guess she expected the media to ALWAYS be on her side….

    She got a bit of a wake-up call, when the right-wing media started to look for scapegoats when the Tory party let them down in the GE.

  40. @ Guymonde

    “I don’t think it’s quite proven, because I suspect a few people voted Lab on the basis they had no chance).”

    I’m not so sure about that….

    The latest opinion polls, posted on this thread, show that since the GE, Labour are now 45-39 ahead, and while May’s personal approval is -17, Corbyn’s is +17. That seems to indicate that more people want to give Labour a chance.

    The best way to test that theory is for the Tories to call a new election, but they seem to be running scared now, because a lot of their grandees fear that the Conservative Party will lose yet more seats if another poll is held.

  41. Its always the issue with divisive referendums. Those on the losing side will never give in.

    The Scottish Indy ref shows the questions arising are never put to bed. I guess if the Scots voted 52/48 to leave UK we would still be seeing attempts by unionists to remain in the Uk and endless arguments about soft and hard exit from the UK

  42. DANNY @ TREVOR WARNE

    Fair comment re the manifestos.

    We’ll have to wait and see how May decides to proceed unless she’s deposed, which seems very unlikely.

  43. @Sarissa

    There is a possibility that the sub-sample of Scotland might be telling us something. Hard to know when we have so little to go on and it will be a small sample BUT its not outside the realms of possibility that the Corbyn surge is still pushing up the vote disproportionately in Scotland and there could be a certain amount of despair in Scotland that the Tories have effectively ‘got back in’ on the back of Scottish voters deserting the SNP / Labour in recent times.

  44. Turk

    Probably best that we don’t open up our partisan divisions by reigniting the biased media arguments again. Don’t you think?

    All I will say on this is that we – the people – were sold Brexit by a vote of 52 to 48 because enough people were convinced that things will be better outside than inside the EU. What we need is the media to be balanced, yes. But we also need a media that scrutinises rigorously the promises that are being made to justify the leavers promises of a land of milk and honey.

  45. @Guymonde

    “As to my view of Corbyn, I never had any problem with his policies or vision but I didn’t think he was electable (baggage, no charisma) and I didn’t think he could run an opposition, never mind a government.”

    ———

    Yes, to many, what you see are his weaknesses, baggage, lack of charisma, are considered strengths.

    His “baggage”, even if some consider it naive, can be considered by many as an attempt to be fair, see both sides. Similarly an absence of charm and charisma can also be considered a positive. Or, some see being good at listening the mark of a leader, rather than bravado etc.

    Thatch was forthright, and so was Blair to some extent, but how much did that make them more electable, as opposed to the good fortune of a split vote or Tories on the floor?

  46. Mattt126

    Yes it’s true about referendums.

    I remember having one in 1975. At that time remain won very convincingly,

    However, the leave moaners and their supporters in certain elements of the press kept on moaning for 40 years.

    Of course, they had a right to go on campaigning, Because, the last time I looked, we still lived in a democracy. In a democracy, just because you lose a vote it doesn’t immediately invalidate your viewpoint.

  47. Well said Tony. Many of us will fight for our return to the EU.

  48. Trevor Warne,
    Read your piece from adam smith. Personally, i think it is they who are behind the curve. They argue britain joined just as the world was changing making membership unnecessary. I’d argue Britain is contemplating leaving just as the reverse situation is about to take hold, making membership vital.

    They argue the EU has become a pointless middleman simply passing on regulations agreed with external agencies. I’d interpret that as refuting the arguments that the EU imposes rules upon the UK and we could escape that by leaving. They do point out that regulatory barriers to trade are far more important now than simple tariffs, which to me usggests that the world’s reaction to the WTO has simply been to continue protectionism by other means.

  49. Tonybig

    Whether the UK stays or leaves the EU is of no further interest to me as I no longer live in the UK my real point is there is a strong left wing bias in some sections of the media who believe those views that differ from there own view that some how a bunch of poorly informed people largely apparently unable to think about any of the likely consequences of leaving made the huge mistake of voting out.
    As a person who voted in Im appalled by the arrogance of people who don’t get there way whether it be in the brexit vote or the GE or anything else come to that thinking that it’s ok to belittle those who think different to them by trying to close down any conversation other than there own of course.

  50. Regarding the Scottish subsamples, the Pollbase poll has a sample size of 5,000, meaning there should be a 400-450 sample of Scottish voters in that poll. I think the Scottish subsample for Survation was about 80, if I recall correctly.

    400-450 isn’t an amazing sample but if there’s been a big movement, it should pick it up. It’s big enough enough to be useful (many American polls have samples of 500 – and the only other two VI polls we’ve had since the election by Survation have been around 900), but there’s significant margin of error. So if the movement isn’t dramatic (i.e. Labour haven’t gained more than about 5 points in the Scottish subsample), it’s unlikely to be useful evidence to support this trend.

    That’s not to say that absence of evidence = evidence of absence, though. There are good reasons to think Labour could be making a lot of progress in Scotland, with the SNP in decline, and the Tories doing badly in the rest of the UK, there’s potential to be making gains in the polls on two major fronts. There’s a much smaller pool for Labour to be making gains in VI off any parties other than the Tories in England. So even if the Panelbase poll doesn’t show a shift towards them in Scotland when the tables are out, I’d still look out for one in any future polls (though preferably we’ll get a Scottish poll – no clue when this will be though, could be many months).

    Gains in VI in Scotland is of course crucial for Labour. They can gain a majority in parliament with a relatively small (maybe 2-3 point – about the same swing they got at GE17) swing from the Tories in England – as opposed to the required 5 on a uniform swing – if they can gain a majority of the Scottish seats next time around. Since there’s a recent precedent for that (2010 they gained 41 of the 59 seats, if I recall correctly), there may be a lot of ‘soft’ votes for the other parties which could come back to them. Obviously depends on a huge number of variables though which I won’t go into now….

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