ICM have resumed polling for the Guardian. Topline figures for their first post-election poll are CON 41%(-3), LAB 43%(+2), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 3%(+1) – changes are from the election result.

In terms of methodology, ICM have dropped the turnout model that produced such large, but ultimately incorrect, Tory leads as well as their political interest weighting. This isn’t going all the way back to their 2015 methodology (ICM also made a change to how they reallocated don’t knows who refused to give a past vote and, of course, switched from telephone to online), but it’s a long way in that direction.


310 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 41, LAB 43, LDEM 7, UKIP 3”

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  1. Boris J rowing back on public sector pay increase, on Radio 4 this am
    also referring to Jezza’s plans as ‘Corbynite’, sounds like a deadly substance for Tory politicians! IMO of course.

  2. More lucrative work for lawyers coming up if the Indy’s Brexit faces potential court challenge over ‘technical flaw’ in way Article 50 was triggered proves to be correct.

    The report is based on a statement in the Welsh Assembly by Baroness Eluned Morgan, the shadow minister for Wales in the House of Lords.

    The origin of this is covered in the Indy’s Brexit: Article 50 is an ‘illusion’ and was never actually triggered, argues leading barrister, including:

    The wording of the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 gave Ms May the authority to trigger Article 50 but the act does not explicitly state that Parliament makes the decision to leave the EU following from the referendum result, he added.

    As the referendum and Parliament did not make the constitutional decision to leave the EU, no decision was made and therefore there was nothing to notify Brussels about, and in turn, nothing to negotiate, he wrote.

    Could make for an interesting summer if it has legs.

  3. REDRICH

    Whats interesting in the Ashcroft data is that in the under 45’s (who we know tended to break for Labour) Brexit scored relatively highly (2nd or 3rd) and as a demographic they tend to favour remain. So I thinks its fair to say for a key section of Labour’s current support this is a driver in VI, I would also add that their loyalty to Labour is not that tribal.

    I’m not saying that Brexit is unimportant for Labour supporters or voters under 45/50, just that it is not the overwhelming, vote-determining topic that it is for Conservative and older voters. Labour voters see it as one (interlocked) issue among many that determine their vote.

    In fact I was actually surprised by just how low the 8% for Brexit was as the most important reason in Ashcroft for Labour voters. It may be higher for those age groups associated with voting Labour, but that must be because it is rated highly by the minority among those groups who voted Tory or Lib Dem or whatever. Otherwise there’s no way that the 8% figure could be so low.

    Maybe voters are less tribal, but pundits have been saying that since the 60s and I don’t think there was ever a golden age when the vast majority of voters obediently followed family tradition. Only 11% of Ashcroft voters gave “I have always voted for that party” as their main general (as opposed to issue) reason for voting:

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/GE-post-vote-poll-Full-tables.pdf#page=28

    and there’s not much variation by age.

  4. Alec

    Not weird at all Alec, you need to read my recent posts carefully again.

    As you say we are agreed that there will be an economic hit as we leave the EU. Were we differ is I believe the long term benefits will produce a net benefit from leaving the EU although as you know economic benefit was not my main reason for wanting to leave the EU.
    I have also been carefull to agree that the fall in th value of the £ has negative effects as well as positive effects on the economy.

    Where we differed yesterday is that I believe the biggest negative effect of the economy at the moment is the high levels of consumer debt, something which has very little to do with leaving the EU. You have actually agreed in the past that this level of consumer debt was a threat to the economy so if any body is being inconsistent its you I’m afraid.

    Finally could you please not use words like “weird” when addressing other posters views, it’s not polite and you are generally polite.

  5. I think for the “young” (i.e not retired or thinking about it), Brexit and the vote to leave has both politicised previously unengaged voters AND toxified the Tories who, fairly or unfairly, both personify some aspects of the archetypical little Englander and also (rightly) blamed for holding the vote in the first place for their own internal politics.

    So, yes, Labour voters were remainer voters, but I can’t see many switching allegiance because Labour don’t support remain in the HoC. They still look a better bet than the Tories to deliver something useable.

  6. Roger Mexico

    If you were a passionate remainer at the last election, you effectively had a choice in most constituencies between a Hard Brexit party and a Slightly Less Hard Brexit party. Or you could waste your vote and achieve nothing with Lib Dems or Greens. You certainly wouldn’t vote for either of them because of Brexit, so you wouldn’t give it as your reason.

    This doesn’t mean that a big proportion of lab voters don’t care about leaving the EU.

    The much touted fact that 85% of voters voted for a Brexit party simply reflects the fact that remainers were offered no real choice in this matter.

    As earlier posters have pointed out, there are a lot of problems with how the questions are being asked.

  7. @TOH – “Where we differed yesterday is that I believe the biggest negative effect of the economy at the moment is the high levels of consumer debt, something which has very little to do with leaving the EU. You have actually agreed in the past that this level of consumer debt was a threat to the economy so if any body is being inconsistent its you I’m afraid.”

    I disagree. Yes, we do agree that consumer debt levels are a risk, but the current growth of this is a direct response to the Brexit – devaluation – inflation – loss of living standards chain of events.

    Of course this doesn’t mean that all consumer debt is the result of Brexit, but the rapid rise we are now experiencing is by and large directly attributable to Brexit. The fact that this will probably become the main driver for the wider economy in the next few months simply compounds the impact.

    And please – don’t worry about ‘weird’ – I can be pretty weird myself at times, as I’m sure others will attest to.

  8. I’m not sure what point posters who are arguing people voted Labour for Remain-y reasons are trying to make. If it’s false, then there’s no reason to think they’re more likely to vote Tory next time. If it’s true, they’re even less likely to vote Tory because Labour is clearly (on the whole) less pro-Brexit than the Tories, and it’ll be the Tories carrying brexit out. And Labour oppose the Tories and almost certainly will oppose the outcome whatever it was.

    I don’t see the point of the debate. The only realistic argument is that it could cause an exodus to the LDs. But Corbyn was very clear about being pro-Brexit during the campaign, and the LDs were very clear on the reverse. Yet in the election LDs fared badly, only making gains in Tory areas – not Labout ones. Feel like people are clutching at straws here.

  9. Personally on the Brexit/Remain polarisation by party, I would argue its correlation, not causation. One of the most interesting findings post-referendum was that one of the strongest predictors of whether you voted to leave or remain was whether you had socially liberal views or socially conservative / authoritarian views. One particularly strong predictor was the question of whether or not you supported the death penalty.

    I’d argue that this explains a great many things about the election result. Tories have gone much more in the socially conservative direction since Brexit, scaring off their liberal (overwhelmingly younger) voters – who voted primarily to remain. Whilst Labour leave voters saw their party become unrecognisable in light of Corbyn and the lack of a space for socially conservative views within the party.

    That to me explains far more about the realignment on age lines. There’s far less evidence that older voters are much more economically right wing than young people (just look at what UKIP voters thought about nationalisation) than there is in terms of social views.

    In other words, young, remain voters voted Labour not because of remain. They voted labour because labour are the socially progressive party which aligns with their views on these matters – the reverse is true of older voters with the Conservatives.

  10. Alec

    Fair enough on “weird”, although I cannot imagine anybody who knows me well would consider me in anyway weird, dour yes, weird no..

    It would appear we fundamentally disagree then on the cause of the high levels of consumer debt.
    The chart in the BBC piece here h ttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-38370219 shows that consumer debt has been rising fast since 2012 well before the referendum. Clearly people spending above their means, little to do with Brexit.

  11. @ Alec

    Arguably the main reason for increased consumer credit is the 07/08 world Banking crash and the Governments economic policy since 2010. A deliberate decision was made to reduce increase in state spending, increase number of lower paid jobs and to encourage increased household debts. If you look back at George Osbornes budgets, they stated that growth would be fueled by consumer debt and spending. Banks were encouraged to make credlt available.

    Since the Brexit vote, of course it has not helped, as Pounds Sterling has dropped significantly and the uncertainty is not going to make businesses plan much beyond March 2019. Why would any business producing goods in the UK to export to the EU, invest in new productions lines, new staff etc ?

    As for longer term benefits of Brexit, nobody knows this. People who voted Brexit did so mainly for independence reasons and not anything to do with economics. The crunch will come before March 2019, when many people might have changed their minds and politicians have to respond.

  12. @PATRICKBRIAN “If you were a passionate remainer at the last election, you effectively had a choice in most constituencies between a Hard Brexit party and a Slightly Less Hard Brexit party… The much touted fact that 85% of voters voted for a Brexit party simply reflects the fact that remainers were offered no real choice in this matter.”

    Yup totally agree it must be galling and you have my sympathy. The boot was on the other foot for most of the last 40 years for Leavers.”

  13. @charles – thank you for your post, but I’m really not sure I deserve the plaudits.

    I suspect the main bits of ‘Brexit bad news’ haven’t been recent at all, but have been very obvious from the start. However, they have been largely denied by many leavers.

    Right from the off, the EU made it plain that they would control the timetable and that this meant no concurrent negotiations on trade and leaving arrangements, at least until the latter were sufficiently defined according to the EU’s interpretation. This always offered a horrendous problem to leavers, and as soon as first contact was made in the negotiations post election, the UK government accepted this fact.

    The second issue is the notion that EU exporters would be campaigning for a good trade deal for the UK. Again, even when David Davis addressed a conference of German industrialists in the autumn, and was told in no uncertain terms that German exporters worry much more about preserving the single market than getting good terms for UK trade, the government still trotted out this line.

    Thirdly, the UK expected to have sector specific trade deals as easy wins, particularly for the auto and finance sectors. Again, the EU said no, right from the start, and the UK has been forced to cave in on this as well.

    All the while, UK business knew these things and saw the mismatch between government rhetoric and reality, even if voters were still taken in by the ‘Red white and blue’ Brexit nonsense.

    Businesses have been adjusting their expectations and taking the necessary steps. Even the BoE is requiring financial institutions to have readiness plans in place and ready to activate instantly that assume a ‘hard ‘ Brexit takes place. Essentially, the BoE is telling London financial institutions to be ready to do whatever is necessary to continue trading with the EU, which for most of them means establishing alternative centres outside London.

    The leeching of jobs, companies and investment is gathering pace. Uncerainty abounds, which is the one thing business hates the most. The recent election wasn’t, in itself, a problem, although the result does naturally compound uncertainty, but rather it the is the open war that the result has ignited within the Conservative Party that adds the final level of doubt to UK businesses.

    There was no sense of shape or form to May’s pre election pronouncements on Brexit to start with, but she successfully managed to convey some semblance of authority about what she was seeking, even if it was obvious that this wasn’t going to be possible. The uncertainty now extends from how close May could have got to what she was asking for, right to the heart of what our government actaully wants.

    There is pretty much open warfare within the cabinet over our negotiating priorities, so it’s no wonder that business confidence is slipping away.

    Confidence, for me, is the big problem. The practical hits are still largely to come, in terms of disruption and costs. The big threat now is in the dithering incompetence of our government, the secrecy and their inability to agree on the chosen path, even before they get into discussion with the EU.

  14. @TOH – I don’t disagree with that, but the fact that last month the household saving rate fell to it’s lowest since records began in 1963 (!) following the devaluation and consequent inflation does tell us that recent events have made a difficult situation critical.

    As I said a while ago, I voted remain in part at least as I felt the UK was very badly placed to handle Brexit at this time. I still believe that was the correct call.

  15. Alec

    I’m glad you now agree with the primary cause. I’m happy to say the fall in the £ and inflation are not helping. I think you have to agree I was being totally consistent.

    “As I said a while ago, I voted remain in part at least as I felt the UK was very badly placed to handle Brexit at this time. I still believe that was the correct call.”

    I think anytime is better than not leaving , but of course i would say that. We should have left during the 80’s when the Tories had big majorities but of course the Tory europhiles prevented that, mores the pity. One of Thatcher’s few failures IMO.

    Nice to talk, i have to go out now.

  16. @TOH – “I’m glad you now agree with the primary cause.”

    Now now! That isn’t actually what I said.

    We have a long standing problem with consumer debt, but that isn’t the only issue – nor even the main one. Brexit
    was a self inflicted wound, which makes this, and everything else, a lot worse.

    Indeed, arguably consumer debt is less of a problem now than previously as the average unit cost of debt (in terms of interest rates) is lower now than at any time for the last 20 years.

    The point is that Brexit has severely weakened consumers finances. It was a voluntary choice to do this to ourselves, and so no, we aren’t really in agreement, although this doesn’t mean we can’t agree some basic points around the issue.

  17. Alec

    “Indeed, arguably consumer debt is less of a problem now than previously as the average unit cost of debt (in terms of interest rates) is lower now than at any time for the last 20 years”

    When interest rates are the primary tool for guiding and controlling the economy then high levels of consumer debt are a problem even when rates are low. There really isn’t much wiggle room for policy makers

  18. @ Analyst V. Interesting.

    “In other words, young, remain voters voted Labour not because of remain. They voted labour because labour are the socially progressive party which aligns with their views on these matters”

    & one could add that younger voters had already turned out for Corbyn in Sept. 2015, i.e. pre-Brexit.

    “Tories have gone much more in the socially conservative direction since Brexit, scaring off their liberal (overwhelmingly younger) voters”
    Ok. & the evidence (aside from Brexit) that the Tories have taken a much more socially conservative direction is what exactly: Grammar Schools, Foxhunting, abolishing free school meals?
    Such policies may have been unattractive to younger voters, but was it not a general perception that the Tories offered a return to the past, symbolised by a fierce committment to a hard Brexit, which alienated younger voters.
    As you admitted in yr 1st post “Lab is clearly less pro-Brexit than the Tories.”

  19. Robbiealive

    “one could add that younger voters had already turned out for Corbyn in Sept. 2015, i.e. pre-Brexit.”

    The average age of the Corbyn recruits of 2015 was over 50, and actually higher than the average age of the pre-2015 members. The 3 pounders were even more heavily biased.

    As a matter of fact proportionally more young people joined Labour during Milliband’s reign than during Corbyn’s.

  20. @ Lazlo
    “The average age of the Corbyn recruits of 2015 was over 50, and actually higher than the average age of the pre-2015 members. The 3 pounders were even more heavily biased.” Thanks for that!

    A higher proportion of Corbyn’s support in both leadership elections came from the <40s? Though In the 2nd one it's thought that a majority of <24s voted Smith.
    All this suggests that Brexit had bigger influence on 2017 young voters than @ Analyst allows? Disgruntled with Brexit, & having had their fingers burned by the Lib-Dems in 2010, who else could they vote for?

  21. @Robbiealive

    “Such policies may have been unattractive to younger voters, but was it not a general perception that the Tories offered a return to the past, symbolised by a fierce committment to a hard Brexit, which alienated younger voters.”

    Agreed. But I’d argue that again (and even you state) that it’s symbolic, rather than the actual causal factor. If Labour argued strongly for Brexit but offered an entirely different vision – e.g. of the Bennite kind (which happens to include open borders), I think in that scenario we would find very similar electoral coalitions to what we have at present.

    Fundamentally I’d argue it’s not about ‘Brexit’, and whether or not one supports that. It comes down to values. I think Brexit stances are reflected in those values, not the other way around.

  22. @Oldnat

    “BBC Scotland News helpfully broadcast that “In the last quarter the Scottish economy grew by ONLY 0.8%”

    BBC now dropped it from the page in favour of Rangers, local news, Lib Dem MP spouting “stop indyref2 plans” etc.

    Pre-prepared interview hoped for recession, but they had to carry it through despite GDP news.

  23. Barbazenzero

    Re the “technical flaw”

    Drakeford may well be right when he said that the politics might trump the technicality.

    However, if the Brexit negotiations [1] turn out to be a mess, it might provide a mechanism for a new PM to have the whole issue re-examined.

    [1] It’s hard to see how there can be effective “negotiations” when one side doesn’t seem to have an agreed position. Bernier, on the other hand, has restated the EU position with what David Allen Green describes as “importance is in its emphasis and clarity.”

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-17-1922_en.htm

  24. I guess Rangers new will get more hits

  25. Robbiealive

    I commented on the 2015 leadership election. There is some data on the 2016 one too, but I can’t look for it right now.

    I actually think that it wasn’t Brexit with the youth, but the perception of injustice in the elections. I can’t really support it with data as there were no such questions in any of the polls, it is just from having too much (?) interaction with the youth from various social classes.

    The whole narrative wast there, but it wasn’t too difficult to create one (just as the public sector pay cap is framed as such by everyone except from Hammond – I even feel (not really) sorry for him as he cannot win the debate. The appropriate outcome by public perception seems to be foregone (Declaration of interest: removing the cap would financially benefit me).

  26. Jim Jam

    It seems reasonable to assume that Rangers were just responding to the call by one of the Orange Order speakers at the weekend rally in Glasgow. “We must get out of Europe. It is run by Catholics”. :-)

  27. @ Lazslo

    Re: Corbyn appealing to over-50s

    That’s really surprising. Are there any numbers you could link me to?

  28. SSSIMON

    The point was explicitly about the 2015 Labour leadership elections, and new members.

    There’s a better link, but I can’t look for it now. This will do for the time being. Actually all the articles from this ESRC project (including Cons, UKIP) are interesting. The surveys were done by YouGov.

    http://www.smf.co.uk/%EF%BB%BFask-the-expert-revolting-peasants-labours-changing-membership-who-they-are-and-what-they-want/

  29. DANNY

    Something which has crossed my mind from time to time. Difficult to phrase questions so they are not prone to misinterpretation. The yougov poll someone linked above analysing reasons for voting in the last election, might indeed suffer from that. It says ‘ what issues were most important to you in deciding how to vote’ and then has a list, including ‘Britain leaving the EU’. Some people might have interpreted this option as including ‘whether or not Britain should leave the EU’, but some might have interpreted it as ‘supporting Britain leaving the EU’ and deliberately not chosen it because they saw it as the opposite of their view.
    So the survey might in fact be self biasing. The finding that conservative leavers are more motivated by Brexit than labour remainers might be false. Nice catch.

    That’s always true of course and getting questions right is tricky. The main thing that the YouGov ones tend to be trackers, so you hope that, even if some people are misinterpreting them, the degree of confusion will be constant across time and so at least the movement will be accurate.

    With YouGov’s option of “Britain leaving the EU” 57% of Leavers chose it as one of their (up to) three issues, but so did 47% of those who voted Remain. So widespread misunderstanding seems unlikely – it’s just that only 35% of those who voted Labour chose it[1], so even the concerned Remainers may be disproportionately for other Parties.

    As it happens YouGov then went on to ask all 927 who did choose it, in what way it was “important to you in deciding how to vote in last week’s general election”. 42% of Remain said it was to “protect Britain’s access to the single market” and 31% to “fight against” Brexit[2] while 51% of Leave wanted to make sure Brexit went ahead and 38% to ensure a hard Brexit. So people seem to have known what they were choosing.

    In Ashcroft the option is given as “Brexit/ making sure we get the best deal with the EU/ making sure we leave the EU/ making sure Brexit happens on the right terms”:

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/GE-post-vote-poll-Full-tables.pdf#page=42

    so respondents were either given a lot of options or free-form responses were translated into categories. It was the most popular issue for voting (28%) but still only got 8% of those who voted Labour[3].

    It’s almost as if there were two separate election campaigns. The one dominated by Brexit which was what the Conservatives, the Lib Dems and the media were expecting and promoting and a more usual ‘normal’ one covering a range of issues that Labour pushed and which more and more voters latched onto as the campaign progressed.

    [footnotes to follow]

  30. [1] We don’t have the Remain/Leave split among Labour voters for this particular poll. YouGov’s more general survey at the same time (which I have some concerns over the weighting of):
    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2017/06/22/how-did-2015-voters-cast-their-ballot-2017-general/
    suggests 2017 Labour voters were 71% Remain, 29% Leave.

    [2] Oddly 15% of Remain said it was to make sure that Brexit would go ahead “and not go back on it”. I’m not sure if this is changed minds, people swayed by the ‘democracy’ argument, or masochism.

    [3] There was clearly some influence on 2017 voting as the figures compared to 2015 vote show:
    Con 48% (+8); Lab 8% (-5); LD 31% (+5); UKIP 33% (-10); Green 14% (+5); SNP 13% (-3)
    though a lot of this must be due to UKIP voters moving – mainly to Con. But there’s no massive alteration.

  31. OLDNAT @ BZ
    Drakeford may well be right when he said that the politics might trump the technicality.

    Indeed so, and thanks for the Barnier link. Worth noting that in the fuller version of the speech, beyond the line of asterisks, where he leaves a tiny chink of light in his:
    Whatever the outcome of the negotiations will be, from midnight on 29 March 2019, as things stand, the UK will be a third country which therefore will not have the same facilities or the same rights as a Member State. That is the UK’s choice, not ours.

    As Wolchover, the lawyer who spotted the issue, put it:
    In short, it may be asked whether this was collective blindness and ineptitude or whether there was method in the madness.

    I suspect the ineptitudes have it, but it could prove useful if someone does test it in court.

  32. With all this talk regarding progressive Labour maybe we should take a moment and think what this actually means if people mean Labour continues to be a tax and spend party yes I agree as far as I could see all Labours major policy pronouncements were about increasing taxes of course they were rapped up in the lie that only the rich would pay for the many give always as if the rich wouldn’t pass on those tax rises to the less well off with increased prices and loss of jobs.
    However I fail to see how any of this is progressive just the opposite a series of socialist policies almost guaranteed to cause the maximum damage to the economy especially as the economy is already set to take a massive hit over brexit.
    If this current Government survives till after brexit is concluded we have at least to ask the question what happens to Labour as it appears that its surge in support has come from predominantly white middle class voters frightened of leaving the EU or wanting a free ride at university . It was notable that Corbyn seems to only be interested in talking to that audience at the moment I personally think that it’s because he far from being a progressive politician just a rather traditional middle class socialist who feels more at home talking to kindred spirits at Glastonbury than visiting a Labour Working mans club .

  33. I think it’s clear for everyone that May will get a super majority of 340+. Bookies never get it wrong, despite last polls showing an insignificant Labour increase.

    :D

  34. BZ
    Sounds like a job for Gina Miller.
    ;-D

  35. “but the rapid rise we are now experiencing is by and large directly attributable to Brexit.”

    It really isn’t.

    It’s directly attributable to a government trying to reduce a deficit by eliminating spending.

    Since reducing the deficit requires the private sector to take on debt and run down savings it is an inevitable consequence of the policy.

    The deficit and the net-savings of the private sector are accounting counterparties. They are two sides of the same coin. If one goes down, so does the other.

  36. “Confidence, for me, is the big problem.”

    I’m sure it is for anybody who thinks the country is run for the benefit of business rather than the population.

    As Kalecki pointed out ” The social function of the doctrine of ‘sound finance’ is to make the level of employment dependent on the state of confidence.”

    But once we release ourselves from the shackles of the EU treaty ‘business confidence’ is merely a nice to have and we can concentrate on improving our social infrastructure with our personnel rather than the pockets of global corporations.

  37. “Well, I for one am intrigued to know how you see the golden future of Brexitland panning out. ”

    Once outside the EU and with the borders in control, and the Bank of England ‘Ways and Means’ account returned to the government, we can, if we wish, ensure that everybody has a living wage job that wants one.

    Exports are a real cost, imports a real benefit. Any sovereign nation wants to export as little as it can and import as much as it can. That’s what terms of trade are.

    So outside the EU we concentrate on domestic provision – which is the vast majority of the UK economy anyway. Any export impact from the EU, which will be minimal anyway, will result in resources being redeployed to develop import substitutes (Yorkshire Feta cheese, etc).

    The change is one from globalist/open borders towards a nation that can take a different approach to social provision, work and return business to the status of servant of the people, not master.

    The losers will be banks and global corporations. I can’t see many tears getting shed over that.

    There’s more to life than GDP growth. See Japan for details.

  38. RJW @ BZ

    Francis Urquhart applies: You might very well think that; I couldn’t possibly comment.

  39. @ Lazslo

    Many thanks. Interesting findings.

    It would appear that the perception of being ‘in touch with common people’ and ‘holding strong political beliefs’ would be the main drivers of Labour’s membership rise under Corbyn (at least in 2015 anyway).

    I suspect the perceived absence of those qualities is hampering a similar recovery in Tory membership numbers, despite recording their highest voting % since 1983.

    Yet perhaps the other qualities valued by older members (being a good communicator; appealing to the average voter; the ability to unite the nation; the ability to unite the party) would go some way to explaining Tory gains in traditional Labour heartlands.

  40. I have no brief for Vince Cable (myself arch Leaver, he convinced Remainer, and viz personal contact we did not hit it off ), however I think he has a very ambitious gambit. Minimum Leader of the Opposition within a year. Perchance PM.
    Now the Momentum deselection purges are starting of Blairite and Brownite New Labour MPs (seemingly with Jewish Luciana Berger first) to make way for the hardest of hard Marxists, I think Vince Cable means to attract at least 128 Labour MPs to join his Party during this Parliament.
    This would make him Leader of The Opposition. Indeed if he could get nearer to 220 Labour MPs, then he could target Conservative Remainers. Not easy to do this but it could make him Prime Minister this Parliament.
    A cunning scheme ?
    Vince has one ace. Speaker Bercow has confirmed if Labour MPs breakaway in force to form a new party, that as this party did not contest the General Election, then it can not be official Opposition.
    Vince can offer national party office space, party offices around England, Wales, Scotland. He has supposedly 100 000 members. He has some voting base for the brand. He has some finance.
    It may lead to mass defection by Labour councillors fearing deselection. this can give the LibDems control or powershare in many councils.
    Worst case, Vince can lead the troops into an election (promising to step down after for Labour-Lib big beats to fight for top job).
    Beware an old man in a hurry.

  41. Barbazenzero

    Legs?

    “Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

    A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.”

    http://openeurope.org.uk/today/blog/the-mechanics-of-leaving-the-eu-explaining-article-50/

    “The change in the law required to implement the referendum’s outcome must be made in the only way permitted by the UK constitution, namely by legislation,” the judges said in the key phrase of their ruling.

    Therefore, they added, “The supreme court holds that an act of parliament is required to authorise ministers to give notice of the decision of the UK to withdraw from the European Union.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/24/article-50-judgment-key-points-supreme-court-ruling

    There was an act of parliament to authorise use of article 50.

  42. Chances are Labour splinter party from PLP is tiny and I think only those opposed to the LP are suggesting otherwise.

    ON – nice one.

  43. @JSB

    That would make a great book :-)

    (in the fiction section of course)

    ;-)

  44. @john stuart brown

    “Now the Momentum deselection purges are starting of Blairite and Brownite New Labour MPs (seemingly with Jewish Luciana Berger first) to make way for the hardest of hard Marxists, I think Vince Cable means to attract at least 128 Labour MPs to join his Party during this Parliament.”

    This is complete fantasy land stuff. There have been some mutterings by party members within CLPs against mps who actively campaigned against corbyn – but weather that leads to any being deselected remains to be seen. I doubt it will result in very many – if any . The number of hard core anti-corbynites probably only number a few dozen.

    As for defections – how many mps are going to desert labour when it has its best chance of winning a general election since in a decade – for a party whose vote share has been sub-10% since 2010 and looks to be going nowhere?

    This is some blairite plan for if corbyn had been thumped at the last election – and was not that convincing then – let alone now.

    And finally – why in earth is luinda bergers jewishness relevant to anything?

  45. Just to be clear about the trigger ballot rules as some media outlets (Huff Post for example) are getting wrong.

    Within each CLP there are branches which are council ward based (often several wards for one branch) and TU affiliates plus some Coop parties (I think).

    Each branch has a vote whether to re-adopt an MP wishing to re-stand and a simple majority in each branch carries yes or no vote.

    There has to be a majority of branches supporting automatic reselection or else a full open contest is triggered. E.g 15 branches the MP needs 8, 16 needs 9.

    Not 50%+1 of the membership as some have suggested.

    Some in momentum want, what I think is the SNP system of, a full open contest every GE but I believe the main proposition on the table is for 2/3rd of branches to have to vote in favour of re-adoption without a ballot otherwise a contest is triggered.

    NB) I have dome from memory and not checked the rule book fully so apologies if slightly out but I think the gist is there.

  46. SAM @ BZ

    I am well aware that the Westminster parliament authorised May to serve A50. Not having read the act myself, I made the unwise presumption that it would have been drafted carefully.

    Now we have the two articles I link two near the top of this page, which suggest that the act contained no confirmation that the Westminster parliament wished to leave the EU but merely gave May the right to serve an A50 letter if she so wished.

    Presumably, only the Supreme Court can determine whether the contention of Wolchover [in the 2nd article] is correct or mistaken.

    In a real world, I’d have thought that HMG might be interested in knowing whether the UK’s constitutional requirements were met re A50, but I suspect that if they don’t ask the courts for a ruling somebody else will.

    The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 is short enough to quote in full:

    An Act to confer power on the Prime Minister to notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU. [16th March 2017]

    Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
    1 Power to notify withdrawal from the EU
    (1)The Prime Minister may notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.
    (2)This section has effect despite any provision made by or under the European Communities Act 1972 or any other enactment.
    2 Short title
    This Act may be cited as the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017.

    That the act does not mention parliament’s desire to leave the EU seems pretty non-controversial to me.

  47. Neil Wilson: “Exports are a real cost, imports a real benefit. Any sovereign nation wants to export as little as it can and import as much as it can. That’s what terms of trade are.”

    Really? Put that way, it sounds like disconflation on your part.

    I can see that a nation will want to get as much value for its exports as it can and give as little value for its imports as it can. Behaviour is governed by these value propositions and the positioning of the nation’s economy vis a vis other nation’s economies.

    Thus China for example, having a huge surplus of labour, has made huge efforts to export the product of that labour and gain the value from it, deploying the value to gain foreign assets, rather than solely sucking in imports. And made a huge success of it. Or so it seems to me.

    But I know nothing about economics.

  48. Jim jam, it’s more complicated than that as far as I can tell, it’s the opaque nature of some of the affiliates that is the major problem and the fact that no matter what the size of the affiliate it’s vote counts as much as a branch. It’s questionable how democratic some of these affiliates are. The 2/3 thing is to rebalance the vote towards the members but it still falls a long way short of OMOV.

  49. BBZ

    This is another of your fantasy legal actions. You touted the supreme court case as an end to brexiit, then some other crackpot legal action to seperate leaving the EU from the EEA and then finally you touted some Irish legal challenge. Needless to say they all bit the dust the latter two without even taking off. Now you posit the legal ramblings of some welsh druid who has clearly spent too long in the forest clearing with dubious fungi.
    It is good for you that you do not live by conditional fee agreements.

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