This morning’s Times has a new YouGov poll of Conservative party members, asking mainly about Brexit and the party leadership.

Party members are a generally loyal bunch, so as you’d expect all the main players are seen as doing well, though Michael Fallon and David Davis stand out as having the best job approval. While everyone has very positive ratings overall, there are some contrasts between members who voted remain and leave, most obviously in the case of Boris Johnson. 83% of Tory members who voted Leave think Boris is doing well as Foreign Secretary, only 42% of Tory remainers think he is.

Despite the strongly positive ratings for Davis, there are doubts over the Brexit negotiations. 61% of Tory members think the government are doing well, 33% badly. Asked about what the government’s approach should be, 59% agree with Theresa May’s aim of leaving the single market and customs union and negotiating a new deal, 19% would rather just leave immediately with no deal, 12% would rather Britain did remain a member of the single market and customs union, 9% would rather Britain remain a full EU member.

In terms of the details of Brexit Theresa May appears to have some degree of flexibility with her members so long as Britain makes a clean break. 58% of Tory members would think a transition deal was fine (even if it includes payment and following EU rules), 61% think a one-off payment to settle Britain’s financial liabilities is fine too. Trickier would be any ongoing financial payment in return for market access (70% of Tory members would see this as unacceptable) or Britain remaining in the single market (69% would see it as unacceptable).

Looking to May’s future, there is very little appetite for her immediate removal (only 13% of her party members would like her to go now or in the next year), but equally there is relatively little support for her still being around come the next election (only 29%). Most Tory party members would like her to leave after Brexit (38%) or just before the next election (13%).

Who would be a likely successor is unclear. Boris Johnson leads the field as first choice, but only of 23% of members. Second is Ruth Davidson on 19%, third is Jacob Rees-Mogg, suggesting there are actually real party members who think he’d make a good leader, rather than just journos struggling to fill column inches in silly season. David Davis has now dropped to fourth place on 11%, Amber Rudd is on just 6%.

Asked what is most important to them in a leader the vast majority of party members say ability to win an election or competence as Prime Minister, rather than whether they agree with them politically. Their actual preferences paint a different picture though, with consistent differences between Remain and Leave Tories. Tory members who voted Leave say their first choices are Johnson (29%), Rees-Mogg (23%), Davidson (14%), Davis (13%). Tory members who voted Remain say their first choices are Davidson (29%), Rudd (14%), Hammond (11%), Johnson (10%).

YouGov also asked about various potential candidates individually. 58% think Davidson would make a good leader, 56% Johnson, 55% Davis, 42% Rudd, 32% Hammond, 31% Fox, Javid 29%. While the poll included some less high profile figures who have been talked of as potential leaders of the future, most party members didn’t really have an impression of them – 49% said they didn’t know enough about Dominic Raab to have an opinion, 65% said the same about Tom Tugendhat. Notably, of all those asked about Ruth Davidson was the only candidate that both Remain voting Tories and Leave voting Tories thought would make a good leader. It would be an extremely positive sign for a Davidson leadership campaign… if, of course, she had any interest in moving down to Westminster or seeking the job.

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549 Responses to “YouGov poll of Tory party members”

1 2 3 4 11

    “ I noted with some interest the University of Leuven Report which indicated that reverting to WTO tariffs would cost the UK 500,000 jobs and the EU 1.2 million. “
    It’s a lot of job losses on both sides but considering the EU has about 10 times the population as ol Bighty then they would need to lose about 5 million jobs to have the same impact as the UK losing 500k jobs.

  2. @ CHRIS RILEY – I agree we need to do a lot more on training and I’d also agree to a small nudge up in taxes (pretty sure Hammond will push through the NI hike that he had to U-turn on before but 1p on top rate of tax and a little bit of fiscal drag might be enough).

    I don’t think we need to go OTT though. We need to stay competitive and keep the jobs that pay the most tax.

    T-levels, apprenticeship schemes, etc. probably need a lot more but with tax incentives, appropriate financial assistance (don’t want to reopen that discussion in full), etc then improving our skills deficit wouldn’t have to hurt the public purse too hard.

    I’m most concerned with loosing the higher tax band jobs. London pays a lot of tax. More needs to be done spreading that to other areas of the country but let’s not kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    With the employment rate so high (unemployment so low) service levels are going to drop further in NHS, etc. Some efforts to recruit from non-EU might reduce the damage but you’ll get no argument from me that we need to pay front-line nurses a far more competitive wage to encourage retention, returns and future recruitment.

    @ MARKW – I doubt McCluskey and Lansman will be able to help Corbyn so much when he has to negotiate with global leaders on new trade deals but then he probably doesn’t want new trade deals which beings you back to why does he want to leave the EU? :)

  3. RC

    Sorry taken so long to reply been out all morning I don’t think any particular council result for any party has particular relevance to anything happening in the broader political landscape.
    If council elections were held on the day of GE then you may be able to draw a correlation between the two events but as that rarely happens then I think council elections should never be bet on ,as they frequently throw up surprises that cause people to draw the wrong conclusions from.

  4. TOH – 2.30

    The reference to Leuven is worth following up, I think. I would like to know how they arrived at those figures. Leuven is one of the great historic European universities,and ought to be listened to.

    That said, 500k of jobs lost in the UK is a sizable proportion of the total (1 in 75?), whereas the loss of 1.2m in the EU would be 1 in 300, perhaps? Still quite a hit, but I would have thought that 1 in 75 is a considerable loss. Of course, thinking rather cynically, some people who are retired don’t need to worry about finding a new job do they…….?

    Of course, the 500k UK jobs which go will belong to the EU citizens who will be leaving anyway – or at least I bet the DWP hopes so!

  5. Norbold

    You dont do contingency planning for something you think will never
    happen. Besides that is not the point . we all know it will happen. The labour mistake was acknowledging that it might happen . Without that it could have been dismissed for the wider electorate as project fear put about by the tories. Hubris i am afraid.

    Princess rachel

    You demonstrate my point. you look back to the last election and say well we put on 20% then why not 10% now. You are fighting the last election. The next will be different and some if not all of my points may come into play. Of course i could compile a tory list as well but as it was a betting post. i was suggesting a bet against the currently perceive d favourite and thus better odds.

  6. @S Thomas

    “You dont do contingency planning for something you think will never


    They didn’t do it for our credit rating though. That wasn’t supposed to,happen either.

  7. Don’t bother Norman – not worth it.

  8. Thanks Jim Jam. I was going to respond to that ridiculous nonsense from S Thomas, but you’re right, it’s really not worth it.

  9. carfrew

    you and i are too long in the incisors to think their will be no run on the pound if their was a labour victory. if i was the tories i would like to see the war gaming.The markets will look to make a killing. Soros and friends will want to test our resolve.what are the options:

    1. defend the pound. we tried that before.

    2. Exchange controls. welcome to the seventies . Young labour voters will be pleased to know that they can only take £50 to europe.Let us see how they like their travel plans disrupted.

    I think it is important that labour shares its game plan with us so that we can all get the feel of the first days of a labour government. On second thoughts the flight of capital from the uK will be so huge if labour look like winning and have planned to impose exchange controls that they will inherit a crisis of their own making.

  10. Norbold

    jim jam

    you can”t respond because you know it is true. it is a gift to the tories.Are you saying that in the light of the labour programme there will be no run on the pound?
    Or are you getting hot under the collar because you know it is true and you cannot face it?

  11. @Trevor Warne – you do make me smile sometimes:

    “@ ALEC – the job numbers make wild assumptions.

    IMHO the following would happen in the short-term in a no deal situation…..”

    [Then follows a list of, err, wild assumptions….]

    I’m also quite entertained by the concept of ‘reshoring’ agriculture. The UK has one of the most intensively farmed landscapes in the entire EU, and the farming sector is additionally one of the most efficient in the union in most sectors. I’m just pondering how Brexiters are going to create the land required to increase our food production.

    Presumably somewhere that the Ordnance Survey haven’t officially mapped yet are whole forests of magic money trees that be cut down and turned to tillage so all those horny handed sons and daughters of the British soil can fill our shelves with goodness.

  12. Hmmm….

    Run on the pound after Brexit = great opportunity for our exporters

    Run on the pound after Labour victory = disaster that needs war gaming

    I think I get it.

  13. Alec

    we have absorbed the brexit run by not resisting it hence it held and is now recovering.

    labour says it planning contingencies to deal with a run. It cant be dont interfere because that does not need planning . So what are the measures that labour plan to put in place to deal with a run on the pound?

    I think we need to be told? those people who own property in spain or in the Jura would be well advised to make their own contingencies if Jezza looks like winning.

    we did not see it in 2017 because even those who supported Jezza thought he would lose and lose big so no-one did anything to move money. Next time will be different. Other financial advice is available.

  14. YouGov Live poll showing the challenge for LAB to win over more CON voters from here:

    “Do you think Jeremy Corbyn and those with views similar to his are or are not part of the political mainstream?”

    Total (LAB/CON)

    Yes 32% (49/18)
    No 37% (22/59)
    DK 31% (29/23)

    It’s a slightly odd term ‘political mainstream’ but its possibly a proxy for being in the evoked set?

    One piece of good news for SLAB though might be the SNP breakdown where more SNP view JC as mainstream than LAB!! (61 v 49)

    Could that be Remain hiding in LAB VI that aren’t au fait with the Corbyn agenda – 51% of LAB VI either don’t think JC is political mainstream or DK!

    The highest age demographics for DK are 18-24 (37%) and 25-49 (37%) so its quite possible those polled just don’t accept it as a defining term or are quite willing to not be in the political mainstream.

    Point is most CON voters that might have gone to LAB VI have probably already done so and each extra 1% will be tougher to pull across that the previous 1%.

  15. allan christie

    “Gooft afternoon all from a humid Central London.”

    And a very gooft evening to you from a damp, slightly humid Barnard Castle, where we had heavy rain overnight and throughout the morning but are expecting a bright, sunny day tomorrow.

    In fact the rain was so heavy that we needed to put Rosie and Daisie’s little coats on for their morningwalk [which makes Daisie sulk.] Luckily the rain eased as we got to the woods so I was able to take them off and let them investigate stuff more freely.

  16. paul croft

    i hope you are talking about dogs and not children:-)

  17. @Trevor Warne

    Maybe I’m being totally dense, but the wording of question vs a Yes/No answer is very poorly written and unclear.

    If I had to re-read it several times to work it out, then I suspect many of the respondents may not have understood the question.

    Perhaps this explains the high level of DK.

    (I do write reports and work instructions for the shop floor at work and I’d get mocked for writing a question like that.)

    If the splits are accurate, then it simply shows a party biased split. I would expect nothing else really.

  18. For a bit of balance here’s an old but relevant article from no less than the BBC!

    “Most voters are in the centre-ground. Most party members and most MPs are not,”

    Great little trip down memory lane.

    This quote sums it up and shows nothing ever really changes:

    “Some political scientists have described the centre-ground as like a thermostat. If things get too hot under Labour – too much government – the centre wants to cool things down and move to the right.
    Equally, if things are too cold under the Conservatives – inequality rises for instance – then the centre moves left to a warmer policy of more welfare.

    Pretty cold under CON at the moment it seems but how far left has the ‘average’ voter moved?

    If anyone has some more up to date polling info or articles on UK political spectrum please post.

    I think this is the crux issue for a post-Brexit GE

  19. “And a very gooft evening to you from a damp, slightly humid Barnard Castle….”

    Good to see Barney getting a mention on UKPR.

  20. @ CMJ – I paraphrased the responses to make it quicker to read. I think I put in a lot of caveats in my analysis of the poll.

    @ ALEC – I think I said lots of unknowns (or similar). I looked at a lot of the Project Fear analysis back in early 2016 and they had no issue taking all the -ves and missing any +ves or short-term factors. The short-term boost to consumer spending due to a drop in the pound was blindly obvious to anyone who had thought it through. Anyway, I digress.

    As for ‘reshoring’, manufacturing is the biggest oppo (IMHO) if you look at the car import/export data for example and wage levels for skilled factory workers. No reason why we shouldn’t make more cars in UK – provided we keep a flexible workforce with competitive taxation levels of course. With regards to agriculture CAP has changed to a less crazy model but now encourages owners of large swathes of farmland to keep their fields empty (e.g. SMogg and Dyson). At least EU is no longer dumping product on Africa in such a large scale but the new system has some serious issues. Anyway the point was we have empty fields. The ‘farmer’ next to me doesn’t grow crops but fairly happy to take the EU money. His ‘business’ seems to be running 1,000quid a pop shooting parties for the toffs, kindly subsidised by CAP payments <:<

    Sadly, I expect CON will photocopy the EU approach as it suits their VI – Scottish borders another example I could give but will skip another n=1 anecdote.

  21. Meanwhile the EU have issued a new statement on Brexit!


  22. @Trevor Warne

    The issue with any conversation about the ‘centre’ suffers from a lack of good definition.

    The centre would appear to assume there are two positions, x and y, and there is theoretical path between the two. It implies the more you move from x to y, the less x and more y is what you get.

    I think our politics is far more multidimensional, and left and right don’t mean a huge amount. Add to the traditional left/right axis an EU Leave/Remain, for example. You might easily argue an axis for social liberalism that has nothing to do with economic liberalism.

    Polling evidence shows that many people, even Conservative voters, support a nationalised railway, yet I would suggest very few voters, even the most left wing people, would support the nationalisation of a baked bean factory.

    I think a simple left/centre/right system of labels is a quick shorthand that doesn’t match the complexity of real voters.

    Perhaps this underpins why in recent times political parties and political analysts have failed to judge how voters tick – their models may be totally flawed.

  23. It’s Straw clutching central on here today

  24. @ CMJ – I agree the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ are catch-all terms that skip over the multiple dimensions but people focus on bucketing the broad policies into ‘left’ or ‘right’.

    RACHEL and I have discussed the spatial and temporal issues as well (e.g. Norway have a ‘right’ PM who would be ‘left’ on a UK scale, Corbyn is to the right of Foot, etc)

    The article was more interesting if you loosely plot which party was running the country at the time and hence the ‘too hot’ LAB or ‘too cold’ CON thermostat quote.

    I’ve clearly got a partisan bias but the historical reference was more a +LAB piece I thought?!?

    Polls often show voters most important issues and clearly Brexit is somewhat unique at the moment – particularly as in substance the two main parties both want the same outcome, for different reasons not withstanding. Most of the other major voting issues can be crudely bucketed into ‘left’ (larger state, higher tax+spending) or ‘right’ (smaller state, lower tax+spending).

    For now VIs probably have two ‘dominant’ dimensions Brexit and the crude ‘left’-‘right’. LDEM will keep the torch lit for Remain for ever I suspect but post Mar’19 I seriously doubt either LAB or CON will want to go down a new referendum route so assuming we have actually left the EU then we’re crudely back to a ‘left’ versus ‘right’ two-party system (Scotland will drop from 3D to 2D – Indy/Union and left/right).

    I know its a crude measure and in Blair/Brown v Cameron times the divide was so small other factors became important but currently their is a v.large ideological difference between LAB and CON and although crude the ‘left’ to ‘right’ divide is how people will look at it.

  25. IMHO of course

  26. @TW – not too sure about the ’empty fields’ bit.

    Under CAP reforms, set aside was abolished in 2008. There are issues with subsidies for sporting estates, but under CAP rules they can only get the subsidies if the sport income is under a certain proportion of the overall business income – can’t recall the exact details.

    I think you are wide of the mark here. As the wine lakes and butter mountains shrank, so did the empty fields.

    And even if we can increase productivity, that runs counter to good environmental practice.

  27. The main lesson from the UKIP conference is that the great populists didn’t realise they were cribbing the Premier League logo.

    That lot have about as much genuine connection and solidarity with the working man as Jacob Rees-Mogg.

  28. @ PR

    “It’s Straw clutching central on here today”

    Can’t say I’ve ever been tempted to clutch Jack Straw, but each to his/her own.

  29. Rachel

    Wow! I could see Sinn Fein coming to Westminster on the basis of that!

    I have that eminently sensible and practical suggestion by Guy Verhofstadt may cause a bit of political earthquake!


    Up here you could always spot the UKIP team on election night when we were doing the Count as they were all clad almost head to foot in tweed.

    As one of my mates said; ”
    I didn’t even know Rupert Bear was a candidate!


  31. Andrew 111,

    Just wait till they suggest UK NI citizens be allowed to uses the ECJ…

    Ian Paisley Jr will choke on his on expenses paid lunch!


  32. The question about Corbyn was one of yesterday’s Live Survey ones:

    the wording is confusing of course Do you think Jeremy Corbyn and those with views similar to his are or are not part of the political mainstream?[1], but there are two other problems.

    The first is that people may not know what is meant (and in particular what the questioner means) by the phrase “political mainstream”. This is clearly a problem for many people because 31% said Don’t Know and politically there was not much difference[2] between those who said this, so it wasn’t caused by bias[3].

    The second problem is simply that we don’t know if people consider not being “part of the political mainstream” as a bad thing (as YouGov seem to imply) or a good thing. Or neither. Indeed Corbyn being seen as not like other politicians is often stated as part of his attraction. So while the political class have been shreiking “Extremist!” at him, others may be thinking “Breath of fresh air” and considering switching their vote.

    [1] “and those with similar views” would surely have been more comprehensible as well as shorter.

    [2] As a rule of thumb if over 20% say DK to a question, it’s badly worded. If it’s over 30% it’s probably the wrong question.

    [3] There were the usual demographic variants with women, young people and C2DEs more likely to say DK, but no real political difference.

  33. @Roger M

    Yes, and in order to both be non-partisan AND get more useful info., They ought to ask the same about how part of the mainstream the other parties are perceived as being.

    Especially because in terms of being part of the mainstream, the Tories only polled two percent more than Corbyn’s Labour.

    Similarly, it’s interesting to ask the question about capitalism, but they should fairly ask the same question about socialism. Because we live in a mixed economy in which capitalism and socialism co-exist.

  34. Must say the question on capitalism is interesting though. Some might say sobering….

    2. Which of the following comes closest to your view on capitalism in Britain today?

    Capitalism is working well in Britain and does not need tinkering with 17%

    Capitalism isn’t working properly and Britain, and needs to be fixed as it is the best way we have to run 33%

    Capitalism is harmful to Britain and there are other, better ways to manage society 17%

    Don’t know 33%

    so, a total of 50% have real issues with ccapitalusm, and thinki captalism needs to be fixed, or else is outright harmful. Versus the 17% who think everything’s fine and dandy with capital.

  35. I wonder what the results would be like if YouGov did a poll where it had list of statements made by say a half a dozen politicians say three each and asked people to match the statement with the politician.

    If we tried to match them with say conference statements linked to a particular policy it might give us some ideas on how many were interested and what policies they associated with each Party.

    Just after Conference season might be the time to do it……


  36. Carfew

    Of course you could say 33% seem to have no view on capitalism 33% think it’s a good idea but needs some changes 17% seem to think it’s a good idea with no further changes needed.
    And only 17% think it’s a bad idea so 50% for and 17% against ,maybe Corbyn really is only talking to the rather more committed socialist supporter rather than the public in general.

  37. @Turk

    Yes, just as 33 plus 17 think Capitalism has real issues…
    … in a symmetry, 33 plus 17 also think nonetheless we should persist with capitalism.

    Though of course none of the main parties propose doing away with capital.

    Question is, when it comes to fixing capital, which party is favoured? And given this polling on capital, which party is closer to the mainstream?

  38. @Turk

    You could say that, but only if you had your head in the sand. You can question the sampling, the phrasing of the question, whatever. You can scrub out the DKs. You surely can’t deny though that its a massive eye-opener if only 17% of those polled (or 25% of those with an opinion) think that the countries economic system is working properly.

  39. Carfrew,

    I’d be more interested in asking people what they thought, Capitalism, Socialism, Liberalism, Communism and Facism were, letting them choose for say four or five definitions of each.

    I think we might find that the general public have fairly fluid notions of what they all mean.

    You could then ask which of the five “isms” best describe, the various Parties and indeed things like Google or the NHS etc.

    I suspect it would come close to Anthony’s warning that it’s really hard to discern exactly what the public believe because they aren’t always sure themselves.


  40. Peter,

    From time to time Anthony reminds us of the responses to policy questions ascribing them to onee party or another.

    Tell them it is a Tory policy and many more Tories surprise surprise agree than when the policy is just stated and the same with Labour. Dislike of policy works the same way in reverse of course.

    The pick the quote from AN Other politician and wrongly ascribe to a left or right wing politician is a favourite pastime for Journos of course. Best example in the recent GE I can recall was Fallon condemning remarks as he assumed they were Corbyn when they where Johnson’s.

  41. Positioning for leadership of the Tory Party has started on the eve of Conference. Ruth Davidson has criticised Boris in the Times while Boris has set out his four redlines for TM in the Sun.

  42. As to biased questions…

    It doesn’t come any close to national consultation (mailed to all voters in Hungary) and will be used (even if there is one return) for the general elections in 2018.

    The Hungarian government is in agreement with @ToH’s stance.

    You only have agree or disagree.
    1) Soros wants to persuade the EU to accept at least 1 million migrants from Africa and the Middle East, and settle them in the EU, hence in Hungary.
    2) Soros, alongside with Brussels also plans to force the member states and such Hungary to dismantle the border fences, and open the borders to the migrants.
    3. It is part of Soros’s plan to achieve a compulsory redistribution of the migrants gathered in Western Europe, to Eastern Europe. Hungary will have to take their share.
    4. According to Soros’s plan Brussels will force every member states to pay 20,000 quid state to every single migrant.
    5. Soros also wants to achieve that migrants would receive a lesser punishment for a criminal act than the natives.
    6. The aim of the Soros-plan is that the culture and language of the European nations would be suppressed so that the integration of the illegal migrants could happen quicker.
    7. It is part of Soros’s plan to start a political attack against countries opposing migration, and impose heavy financial penalties on them.


    Hungary is a member of the EU, the government party’s MEPs are members of the dominant coalition.

    And here I am, not wanting the UK to be a member of a club that is a member in which such a government could be a member (by the way, according to the polls, the current Hungarian government will probably get 80% of the seats), yet, the leavers have the same arguments as the Hungarian government (OK, anti-Semitism is a bit more subtle), and claiming that the DO suppresses opposition, when quite clearly the Hungarian government can stand nakedly (an awful picture) disproving the argument.

  43. DO=EU and other minor autocorrects, apologies.

  44. The poll is interesting in that winning is more important than ideology for Tory Members so my view of Ruth Davidson getting in has changed.

    Politicians can be chameleons so like May, turning into a leaver and indeed Boris moving from Remain when Mayor of London to Leave, I am not sure that I can see Ruth donning an anti immigration, pro leave hat in the style of many leave voters would want, but hey it could happen. Indeed this was a social conservative revolution more than anything else in my view. So whilst I can see her doing well because people think she can win. I also believe that the SNP have started to understand that making it about austerity should have been their most important point. (indeed I was very disappointed that they did not hammer the Tories about austerity and link them more with the London government) I feel she may be blunted by the fact that the SNP will be less conservative in their approach. They need some big wins politically

    The point about Ruth is she is seen as a winner which reminds me somewhat of May’s success, First PM to win a mid term, did well in the council elections, +20% in the polls, No Policies for the JAMs and Labour does have means loss of 16 seats

    The reality is that that our polls suggest it is not leadership in itself that wins but leadership and policies. For example I could not see Osborne and Cameron surviving if they went all austerity on people and even here the like of S THOMAS (who is always interesting) is saying austerity is going to end soon.

    The point I see is that the EU referendum for many people was about the fact their lives were not going well as Lord Ashcroft pointed out in his book on the EU referendum and what I see is that the Tories are not sure how to change this without basically conceding they were wrong to do some of the policies they had backed.


    The real problem is that I believe that May will stay because there is not a consensus for whom to replace her amongst the party. The next scottish parliamentary elections are in 2021. I would have thought that the SNP would have got something out of the idea of having a conversation on tax and services. I am not sure that we will know what Brexit really means since May has tried to push this out to 2022 so we will not have got to a trading agreement in 2019 after all we have not even got through all the item of leaving so I am not sure you would change your PM during the middle of the negotiation.

    So I think this is all in vain

  45. @CARFREW

    These figures are unsurprising. During the EU referendum I spoke to a number of low skilled people whom were voting to leave. They all admitted the problem was that they could not find a way to compete. There were not enough well paid jobs for their skills and thus they needed a way to balance the field. So the easiest meme is that EU low skilled workers are taking my job and lowering my salary. it sound like market forces working but actually it is not many work for companies that contract to state and they see that for their companies to win business then they are the ones to pay.

    You see the same thing with free trade. If you say that this is globalisation by another name then it means something different an you get lower score in favour.

    Basically we like competition when we win but when we lose it is not much fun,

    The best argument I had about Brexit was from a VC whom argued Stoke versus Exeter, if you had a million pound where would you invest it? Take skills one has a university and a reasonably skilled population, Stoke has a lower than the national average skill rating, access to London about the same housing? better in Exeter, one is a growing town and the other is not. it becomes easy to do and there is not a Romanian or Pole in sight. You can guess which one voted Remain and which one voted Leave and that is the problem across the country. The reality is those that are successful are beating those that are not. WE can blame immigration but actually it has nothing to do with it.

    Hence our dissatisfaction with capitalism. it basically depresses low skilled pay either by automation or by the fact that no one will want to pay money for the services.


    In my opinion Boris’s priority is leadership and not Brexit and why he is continually undermining the PM. The other candidates will campaign so Boris doesn’t get a shoo in.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if TM resigns.She doesn’t look well and her eyes look teary and distant. Some of the things she has been saying are quite strange eg there not being enough debates before the election & Tories were not prepared for snap election. It is almost like she has memory lapses.

    There have also been reports from other prominent Tories that the party is collapsing so maybe they have given up winning next time anyway.

  47. Boris is the UK’s Trump

    I’d vote for him just to see how bad it would get

  48. Tory party membership is below 100,000 according to sources inside the party. Apparently they are quite worried about it

  49. The Other Howard,
    “Yes it is the UK that has decided to leave, but in the context of my 10.12 post it will be the EU which will get the blame IMO”

    This is quite interesting. The conservatives tried hard to blame the EU for everything before the election.It didnt work. Probably best you could say is that those inclined against the EU belive it, while those inclined in favour do not. Questionable if it shifted views. However, there is real risk of the average disengaged voter being taken aback by the vehemence of the attacks on the EU, dismissing them for exageration, and therefore the tories losing credibility. I think this happened.

    “TM should sack Boris.”

    But she doesnt want to sack him. Any more than he wants to sack her. They are both fulfilling an important function for the conservative party, which is trying to appeal to as wide a spread of views on Brexit as possible. So it has to have people speaking different versions.

    S Thomas,
    “what must be worrying even for the starry or stary eyed followers of Labour is that there is no real pullaway from the Tories.”

    I looked at the polling, where yougov have approximately 30% tory 32% labour but 16% undecided. This is a similar situation to the start of the last campaign, and the undecideds went labour. Labour’s policies are measurably popular and it is hard to see how the tories can respond without ditching their flagship policy of the last 8 years, austerity. If they do ditch it, they are saying they got it wrong for 8 years, which is a recipe for disaster. The only way to save credibility in such a situation is to lose an election and then quietly reboot.

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