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”

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  1. Danny

    you are making a mistake here. Austerity is not a policy objective it is means to an end. The end is the eradication of the deficit.That is the policy.

    So if the deficit is ended and we move into surplus austerity as a process is no longer necessary.To say that austerity is the flagship policy is wrong.because it is the eradication of the deficit which is the policy and austerity the means to achieve it.

    And this is what labour will have to come to terms with. In 2022 we may well be in surplus and the tories will be praising the electorate for its sacrifices.and austerity will have done its job. For Jezza to go round the country telling everybody that austerity must end when it is already ended would be bizarre.

    Also posters such as PR need to ask themselves why a left wing political party has never won in recent history.In 2017 labour was able to avoid scrutiny because everybody thought they were going to lose. Which they did.Those who lived through the 1992 election need to tell corbinistas what a real election is like. Labour will go into it breathing fire and will not row back. if they ahead in the polls the markets and the pound will be under attack. The tories will say that vote labour and vote for higher mortgages and voters will be asked to choose: cause financial damage to your family and cancel foreign holiday due to proposed exchange controls or vote for the party that offers stability.

    now Labour did well in 2017 because the DK,s broke for them.Will they break for them again?

    On the other hand Labour has advantages:

    1.Labour has the best ground army of the enthused;

    2.Tories will have been in power for 12years;

    3. the very fact that the current deficit has gone may allow the electorate to support their favourite spending party;

    so. I am not saying the Tories will win but i can see a way for them not to lose and new found jezza supporters need to realise that the election could be 5 years away and a lot happens in 5 years.Mutte, macron and trump might have gone,junckers could be in rehab etc. That is why i am looking for a political bet that Labour will not increase its seats total in 2022.

  2. S Thomas,
    “you are making a mistake here. Austerity is not a policy objective it is means to an end.”

    I am not making a mistake. Conservatives have a policy objective of reducing government spending as a proportion of the economy, and in deed in absolute terms. Nothing to do with balanced budgets, and it could be argued they have chosen not to balance the budget.

    Redistribution of wealth is essential in any economic system where that wealth tends to pool in one group, which is exactly the situation we have. Obviously: if most of the people dont have any money, they cannot spend it. Recycling of money is what grows an economy.

    Reducing the size of government has been conservative policy since mid Thatcher. Austerity is merely the same policy rebranded.

  3. S Thomas,
    “posters such as PR need to ask themselves why a left wing political party has never won in recent history”

    A left wing party has not stood for election in recent history. Blair won on a programme of apeing the tories, though it is arguable he could have won perfectly well on Corbyn’s policy, or even on a Harold Wilson programme. The electorate threw out the tories and changed to the default opposition (though their dissastisfaction with them too was reflected in a big boost for libs at the same time)

    An interesting question which occurred to me is whether the curently outlined Corbyn programme would in fact be more right wing than the program of the first Thatcher govrnment. Their direction of travel might be different, but the staus quo now is far right of where Mrs T began.

    Any views anyone?

  4. Wake up to the headline….Brexit: Boris Johnson sets out four Brexit conditions

    Im trying to think of another example of when a cabinet member, days before a party conference, so openly undermined their own leader.

    I was in the school of May wont sack Boris, but am definitely moving towards she will just resign.

  5. @ DANNY – I hate to break it to you, again, but its not the 1970s. We live in a highly competitive global economy. Countries like RoI have a 12% corporation tax (until the EU stop them at least).

    Trickle down should indeed have the valves opened slightly to ensure enough wealth is being redistributed but if you go back to a 1970s model that was pre-globalisation, pre-internet, pre global free trade there will be a lot less wealth to redistribute! If you whack up corporation taxes just as we leave the EU and leave us lost in transition as Starmer probably would then we will lose a chunk of the high tax paying jobs and businesses.

    Money trees have very shallow roots.

  6. Good morning all, off for another walk after breakfast. Feels great to be alive.

    Alec
    “While I haven’t done the numbers, taking @Peter Cairn’s sage guidance in mind, these numbers do indeed look really bad for the UK in comparison.”

    Proportionally they do, but of course in making comparisons you are not taking into account the starting base. Unemployment in the UK is currently less than half that of the EU and when one examines youth unemployment the comparison is much worse in some EU countries. The increase in the EU will not be evenly spread either so bad news for the EU IMO. As I suggest it could have an effect on EU stability.

    S Thomas
    “Long term bet: La bour to have less seats at the general election than now. Worth £20 of anybody’s money supporter or not”
    If the current government goes the full term I would bet a lot more than £20 for many of the reasons you give.

    John B
    Like Alec you have not thought it through on the jobs issue, see my comments to Alec above. Ihave ignored the mild ad hominem, their wasted on me.

    Danny
    “Reducing the size of government has been conservative policy since mid Thatcher. Austerity is merely the same policy rebranded.”
    If that were true they have been very unsuccessful. I would like it down to 35% and with an increase in defence spending.
    Have a good day.

  7. @S Thomas – “you are making a mistake here. Austerity is not a policy objective it is means to an end. The end is the eradication of the deficit.That is the policy.

    So if the deficit is ended and we move into surplus austerity as a process is no longer necessary.To say that austerity is the flagship policy is wrong.because it is the eradication of the deficit which is the policy and austerity the means to achieve it.”

    I would say you are half right here – austerity isn’t, in itself, a policy objective, but equally neither is ending the deficit. As has been pointed out, the real objective is to move to small state model, and Osborne sought to use the crisis as cover for that.

    I’ve pointed this out many times on UKPR, but one of the most significant, and significantly under reported, political statements of recent decades came from Cameron in the 2010 election campaign. He was asked by a fire service employee during a live TV appearance whether, when the deficit was eliminated, the cuts would be reversed. He said no.

    Virtually no one picked this up at the time or since, but it is the clearest admission that fixing the deficit wasn’t the Tories prime objective – they simply wanted to roll back the state sector, hand more and more of the economy over to the private sector, and use the recession and austerity as cover to do this.

    I also don’t believe your analysis of the potential situation will be appropriate in 2022. Either the deficit will have been eliminated (highly unlikely, in my view) or it won’t. Both scenarios are not really relevant, as we will be in a 1997 situation anyway, regardless of the actual deficit level.

    I believe you are making the mistake of viewing ‘austerity’ as amerely technical financial term, based on one measure of the public finances. Voters under austerity differently – to us, it’s about crumbling infrastructure, lengthy queues at the doctors, pot holes in the roads, unsafe tower blocks etc etc.

    Indeed, there is strong historic evidence that if the deficit has indeed been closed by 2022, ‘ending austerity’ will be a particualry potent message, as voters will be told the financial crisis is over but still reeling from the impacts of austerity. Labour tends to do much better in such circumstances.

  8. CARFEW
    ” 33% think it’s a good idea but needs some changes”.
    Correct “changes” to “regulation”, and you have what many would regard as having been,with basic human rights and the rule of law, the centre ground of social democracy and market economies since the turn of the 19C.
    That also makes this a meaningful comment on present choices. Capitalism in the UK, for example, current reflects unfettered migration from the EU under the rules of the single market, underlying local stresses in the social and economic basis of the market economy, and is seen in the shadow cabinet’s policy proposals to be open to correction and strengthening by regulation but not control of migration and by state intervention in investment and service provision in areas and sectors dependent on migrant labour in favour of host communities. That is essentially what Pope Francissays in his recent statement on migration,, stressing investment in the economies of transit countries as a moral dimension of migration in capitalist countries.

  9. Sadly not surprised by BoJo, leopards don’t change their spots. It’s beyond stupidity to keep washing the CON laundry in the tabloids but May can’t sack him and he won’t fall on his sword.

    Even worse in many ways his points are valid – its just his choice of how and where to express them that is the problem.

    Brexit conditions:
    – max 2y transition – agree, lost in transition is a huge risk, although some minor issues could still be phased implementation (e.g. NI still in special status until the technology is ready)
    – no payments for access to SM after transition – agree, paying in when we have such a huge trade deficit in goods is bonkers. Paying full fees for transition is generous enough.
    the last two need to be joined
    – shadow (but not accept) new EU rules – agree, back in Spring 2016 commonly referred to as the Swiss+ approach. It might be difficult to insist on during transition but if its only 2yrs then we can compromise that issue away.

    He then also makes some points challenging Hammond which are again mostly valid in principle but totally the wrong time and place to express those views.

    The problem for May is two-fold:
    – who will rid her of this turbulent F.Sec? (if she sacks him he becomes a back bench martyr and if he resigns he becomes a back bench lightening rod)
    – if she takes on board too much of his vision, conditions, domestic agenda then it’s back seat driving.

    LAB conf was excellent for Corbyn – avoided Brexit, rule changes to strengthen the leadership, united

    CON conf starting in chaos – talking about nothing but Brexit, challenge to the leadership, divided

  10. @ ALEC – we have to pay interest on our debt. Osborne inherited a pig but tamed it. Interest from memory is around 6% of HMG spending. If we just let the deficit rip again then the amount of debt goes up and the rate paid on that debt would probably also go up. QE is distorting the long-end of the yield curve but in essence we are already printing money.

    “We live on the kindness of strangers” as Carney would say. Printing money (using expanded QE) or ramping up the deficit has consequences – higher spending on interest, a debt burden for future generations, risks for the pound, etc.

    Hammond dropped Osborne’s balance budget timeline, has higher tax receipts and has fiscal drag so he has both the political wiggle room and the hard cash to let some moths out of the public purse. He’ll probably even add a little to NI (national insurance) and if he has any political savvy maybe 1p on top rate of tax as well? Who knows, we’ll probably get some clues in the next few days and then some trial balloons and leaks nearer 22Nov.

  11. Trevor Warne

    All he is doing is reminding May of the principles set out in her original speech and the White paper.

    I agree on the Labour Conference but of course all the ludicrous IMO uncosted promises are actually storing up potential problems for the future.

  12. https://www.fca.org.uk/news/speeches/andrew-bailey-speech-free-trade-financial-services-matters

    Really good article linked above. Andrew Bailey CEO of the FCA on free trade markets in financial services and about challenges being faced.

    I agree that if Brexit is to happen, that the UK cannot allow cross border trade between UK and EU to be frustrated. If any 2 year transition is not going to be enough to protect UK interests, we need to be flexible. In my opinion Boris Johnson is simply wrong in his article in The Sun today.

  13. Thought I’d link to this as labours policy on Privatisatiion has been discussed.

    I pass no judgement on whether it is correct.

    Water was never privatised in Scotland do comparisons now should hopefully be a better basis for discussion than comparing Privatised Utilities today with State Monopolies in fifty years ago.

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/rachel-graham/water-in-uk-public-versus-private

    Peter.

  14. Here’s a thought for the weekend.

    What happens if a US serviceman on parade knees for the national Anthem?

    What if it spreads through the ranks?

    Could it bring down Trump?

    May you Live in Interesting Times!

    Peter.

  15. R HUCKLE

    @” In my opinion Boris Johnson is simply wrong in his article in The Sun today.”

    I agree.

  16. Danny “Recycling of money is what grows an economy.”
    Please tell me, if I give half my money to my son and his friends, and they buy a few gallons of petrol to go on holiday to France, buying much more wine over there than they would have bought here, how does this grow the UK economy?
    What grows an economy is entrepreneurs and their workers developing new products and services which people want to buy. The wealth is then redistributed to people who deserve to get it.

  17. @S THOMAS

    I think that austerity is not a means to an end. The Tories’ aim is to reduce the state as you can increase taxes if you want rather than cutting staff salaries of public servants and cutting money for services and welfare.

    The point is that getting a surplus will require people to feel better in terms of pay and conditions and what is clear that unless we get a good deal from brexit that is not going to happen soon. If we have a transition then anything that one could hope to mitigate with more opening of markets will be slow to produce and not as easy as people think.

    My view is that the Labour party does not need to get more seats than the Tories they need to be able to effectively block the Tories from power and so all they need to do is keep their 40+% and get the tories below 40% and then they have achieved it. I think it is easier to do than for the Tories to get 45% of the vote since again where do they get it from.

    The don’t knows swung Labours way and it appears that most of the DK were labour supporters so I am of the opinion that unless there is a brexit to sort out still we will be fighting on austerity job cuts in the public services to pay for wages increases (see BoJo Sun article and indeed the current policy of no new money but looking for efficiencies to give a slight better below inflation pay rise)

    The other point what happens if you have a surplus? How does that change anything? We have a surplus but we have had 5 years of tightening belts and basically a need to spend the money it would a excellent time for Labour to get back in with the level of ‘optimism and hope’ (1997)

    The reality is at some point the Tories have to sell a new story and it will have to be believable and at the moment I look at them and say meh. I thought that May had understood it with her JAMs speech but I fear the whole immigrant are driving wages down meme is going to found out to not be true where that belief is strong as TREVOR WARNE says in places where there are immigrants doing you delivery pizza job then you may have less people doing it but you are not going to pay more you just have to wait longer and where there are no immigrant it will be the same poorly skilled indigenous people doing the jobs and nothing will change, The reality is there i nothing to change those pizza delivery jobs into something that generates enough value as far as I can see and that is where our problems lie.

    I feel that Tories only positive is that they got 42.4% which means they have a loyal following even when they have a poor leader but I am not sure they get more votes and surprising I don’t see Labour getting less since I believe that had the election campaign gone on for another week I could see swapping numbers at the top.

    The interesting side issues are if LibDem ever get back into the South West then Tories lose seats there, I doubt it but it is the only way back for the LibDems they are not going to compete with Labour. The marginals are rather interesting in the South (Rudd seat is on a knife edge, Soubry’s will be hard fought and I believe they are pushing these seats hard now working them for gains. I do not see that sort of ground game by the Tories. This is what will get youngsters to vote. The other issue is that Labour won the under 40s vote so it is more than the youth vote and looking at why they voted and what they care about definitely seem to swing the issues labours way.

    Will the Labour increase their seats by 50? No can they increase them by 20? I think that is a real possibility can the Tories do better in Scotland against the SNP? I cannot answer that oen but that is where they ‘won’ the election. Will the SNP have learnt their lessons? Something that for PETER CAIRNS/ HIERTON to answer may be

    but how I see it is that it will be close in terms of the popular vote and people will be more comfortable the longer it goes on. I am not expecting much change until Brexit is over so for me if you are a Labour supporter you’d want a no deal

  18. The motivations of Boris are clear.

    He wants to be PM, and Murdoch is very supportive of this. I think that the owners of the Mail, Express and Telegraph are on the same page as Boris.

    Is Theresa May the new John Major? The similarities are stark, both prisoners of a wing of their MPs, and running a party determined to undermine itself with differences over Europe.

    If I were Mrs May, I’d say s*d this for a game of marbles, quit, and go run a small holding somewhere nice and sunny.

  19. @DAVE

    How does the entrepreneur get his money to develop these services and and products? via debt so where money so there is always some one in debt and someone in credit you know the paradox of thrift comes into play her, so the circulation of money or it velocity is important. It was a lack of velocity that caused a problem for the banks

  20. @Passtherockplease
    “Labour won the under 40s vote so it is more than the youth vote”
    It is the vote of people who do not remember the Labour governments of the 70s, and who have been educated under the system in place from say 1980 to 2010. That also applies to a good proportion of the Shadow cabinet, whose general capability is not impressive (not that some of the Tories are much better).

  21. @PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    I don’t think anything new happens. I see Trump doing one term and completing it I also see him galvanise his base. GOP supporters are loyal. They preach tribalism above policy so my party right or wrong and then they deal with the consequences after.

    It is like the Tories, winning is everything and the party is everything. where as the left have this complete hard on for principles it seems

    Trump will tweet he is an SOB and will try and have an executive order to stand at national anthem and flag but essentially it will be a lot of hot air.

  22. @TW
    ‘Trickle down should indeed have the valves opened slightly to ensure enough wealth is being redistributed but if you go back to a 1970s model that was pre-globalisation, pre-internet, pre global free trade there will be a lot less wealth to redistribute!’

    Trickle down economics is the economic equivalent of climate change denial; belief in a simplistic outcome in the face of all evidence simply because it reflects what one wants to think is true.

    Trickle down is a total myth – each time a government has been restructured in line with Chicago school theories it has delivered rapid wealth accretion for the top 1% and, normally, stagnant real wages for the bottom 95-98%.

    The original proponents of New Classical Macroeconomics genuinely believed it would deliver widespread benefits through trickle down (Milton Friedman even believed that it would necessarily lead to democritisation of previously dictatorial regimes!) but modern US right wing economists have given up on the notion of trickle down and justify maximising freedom of capital simply by the contention that it generates the most wealth, regardless of its distribution.

    Some have even started questioning whether true freedom of capital can be achieved in a democracy – slightly worryingly, it is not democracy that they consider to be the non-negotiable essential of the two principles…

    @Alec
    Agreed, the objective of New Classical economics, of which Osbourn and Cameron were fans, is a smaller state; however the reasoning behind this specific objective is that every increment to state involvement reduces the freedom of capital, which is the ultimate objective.

    As an example, privatisation of the NHS is an objective not because they have a philosophical desire to ‘destroy’ the NHS but because they have a philosophical drive to eliminate any restriction on the maximising of returns on capital. Therefore the NHS must be opened up to capital and public provision must be ended.

  23. @TOH – “All he is doing is reminding May of the principles set out in her original speech and the White paper.”

    Coming from you, that is a highly enlightening comment.

    It implicity suggests that current government policy is now departing from the white paper and May’s original speech – otherwise, why would Boris feel the need to state these terms now?

    You have consistently stated, often in the face of the actual evidence, that there has been no change in May’s approach to Brexit, but Boris seems to be suggesting that there is indeed a creeping alteration of the UK’s acceptable terms.

    On the four points themselves;

    – May has not confirmed the two year period – only saying ‘around two years’, so this is open to extension.

    – EU rules during this period, including any new rules and the role of the ECJ would be accepted according to May’s Florence speech: Market access “should continue on current terms” and that the framework for this “strictly time-limited period” must be “the current structure of EU rules and regulations”.

    – On future payments for SM access, here May is unclear, saying only that we will pay “our fair share of the costs” in “specific policies and programmes”.

    – On shadowing SM rules in the future again this is unclear, although May has accepted that standards need to be kept aligned and that a binding supra national dispute resolution system is needed. This implicitly suggests that we will be mirroring elements of EU regulation in the future – if we could do what we liked, we wouldn’t need a dispute resolution system. Outwith the SM, and specifically in relation to citizen’s rights, May has accepted that the UK parliament would not be able to change these once agreed and that ECJ interpretations would continue to have force in UK law.

    Of the four Boris red lines, May has already overtly breached one of them, left open two others and implicitly breached the fourth. Interestingly, Boris didn’t issue a fifth red line about the ECJ and citizen’s rights, which would have been another major shift.

  24. PTRP

    @” We have a surplus”

    We haven’t :-
    https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmentpublicsectorandtaxes/publicsectorfinance/timeseries/dzls/pusf

    @”what happens if you have a surplus? How does that change anything? ”

    You could ask the Germans perhaps ?

    @”It was a lack of velocity that caused a problem for the banks”

    The “lack of velocity” in question was actually a cessation of all transmission. As the Banking sector realised that they could all be sitting on Mortgage Backed Securities which were severely impaired, and no one knew who had what-they all stopped lending to each other. The first casualty in UK was a bank with a business model based on borrowing short ( inter-bank) and lending long ( mortgages) -Northern Rock. The rest of the house of cards collapsed as the sliced & diced US sub-prime lending was written out of bank balance sheets and/or they collapsed.

    Subsequently a real problem with “velocity” was addressed by Central Bank liquidity on a gargantuan scale worldwide. No one knows the effects of reducing these massive increases in Central Bank Balance Sheet totals as they begin-which they will in US & UK as interest rates rise.

    Money circulation doesn’t overcome lack of investing confidence.

  25. PTRP

    RE my link to ONS PS Net Borrowing-suggest choose :-
    Chart/Year/1997 to 2017.

  26. @ BIGFATRON – please give me some examples of successful Socialist or Communist countries, take the whole globe since the days when the first cave man hit another cave man with a rock. I’d exclude authoritarian countries but if you want to include those then be my guest.

    The only one I can think of, that is a true democracy, is Norway who have fairly unique circumstances – huge natural resources, sovereign wealth fund and a socio-cultural heritage where folks look out for each other.

    oh and some peeps have pointed out they actually have a ‘right’ party leading them.

    @ TOH – I agree with what Boris said just not how and where he said it. I’m coming to the view that maybe we have to have this leadership issue resolved just to clear the air and get on with the day-day stuff. The lack of a clear choice that could win the next GE is the only reason I’ve been hoping May can hold it together until after Mar’19

  27. Johnson’s Sun article once again emphasises the obsession with dogma over process.

    In the same way that it is blindingly obvious – especially as everyone seems to insist on the “divorce” analogy – that a financial settlement has to follow the tedious task of working out assets and liabilities, and how they are to be shared, rather than coming up with a figure beyond which one party will refuse to go, so Johnson does the same yet again.

    The idea of a transition period is based on practicality: therefore, what determines the length of time it will take clearly has to take practicality into effect. Saying it should go:”not a second beyond two years” is rather like insisting that you will get from Newcastle to Edinburgh in two hours – and not a second more.

    It is plainly childich posturing and I am amazed that nobody seems to be highlighting this point in the media.

  28. BFR

    @” Therefore the NHS must be opened up to capital and public provision must be ended.”

    Whilst the reverse of this supposed Tory policy is most certainly explicit Labour Party policy, I am not aware of a formal Government statement that your assertion is correct.

    The increase in Private Sector provision is small proportionate to the whole-and was started under New Labour.

    In both instances , I believe the reasoning was that Private Sector providers could give good value for state spending to taxpayer & patient which would enhance the total NHS output.

    I would be interested in any statistics on the comparative levels of failure in patient care standards as between Private Sector & Public Sector provision in NHS , and indeed on comparative cost per unit care delivered.

  29. PAUL CROFT

    @”The idea of a transition period is based on practicality: therefore, what determines the length of time it will take clearly has to take practicality into effect. Saying it should go:”not a second beyond two years” is rather like insisting that you will get from Newcastle to Edinburgh in two hours – and not a second more.”

    Spot on imo-absolutely right-and bleeding obvious ( not a criticism of you of course-but of Boris :-) )

  30. @ PRINCESS RACHEL – I doubt CON are worried about membership. They don’t let the tail wag the dog so why do they need a bigger tail?

    They appear to have a serious issue with the youth vote which is a different matter to membership.

    If CON let the membership run the party you’d get the following:
    – someone like Trump as leader
    – reinstate capital punishment
    – travel bans
    – a fence across the NI/RoI border that they’d want the EU to pay for
    – slap retrospective import duties on German car imports
    – etc

    No thanks, lets keep democracy with the whole electorate in a single layer that can chose to reappoint CON, or not, at the next GE. The journey down layering of democracy brings you to USSR or EU situations.

  31. Cons are in a helluva bind:-

    May has lost considerable authority in her Party-but seems determined to fight the next GE.

    Boris is upsetiing the delicately balanced apple cart for purely personal reasons-and May seems reluctant /unable to sack him.

    Party Members want Boris-in my view a disastrous prospect against a popular & populist Labour opposition.

    Amongst the other candidates for leader , one isn’t a Westminster MP, one is likely not to be an MP at the next GE, one lacks any charisma, and one is least popular with Party Members.

    Corbyn’s populist bandwagon requires a new, younger, candidate free of baggage & image negatives-and we haven’t heard from/about him/her as yet.

  32. @TW @BFR

    Writing about competing politico/economic systems on this site is a waste of time and energy: firstly it demonstrates partisanship (a no-no) secondly you are either preaching to the converted or alternatively ranting at the implacably opposed, in the first instance you are engaging in the echo chamber beloved by TOH in his I agree comments, or you e.g. BFR are speaking in Esperanto and he/she e.g. TW is listening in Pohnpeian, there is no common ground from which you can gain a foothold in explaining your position let alone convincing the other person of its validity.

  33. @Colin

    I would be interested in any statistics on the comparative levels of failure in patient care standards as between Private Sector & Public Sector provision in NHS , and indeed on comparative cost per unit care delivered.

    I think this may be tricky.

    From what I’ve observed (but happy to corrected if wrong) it seems private provision has cherry picked the more routine easy stuff, such as cataracts operations. I’m not aware of private provision running A & E or heart transplants, or other expensive and more risky areas, with a higher mortality risk due to the patients being much more ill in the first place.

  34. @TW
    You are creating a false dichotomy; there are many more economic models of government available than simply New Classical (i.e. Chicago school) and socialist/communist.

    This is a tactic used heavily in the US (anyone not a neo-con/alt right must be a socialist); I am not for a moment suggesting that you are doing this deliberately, just that is is a widely used meme and therefore easy to slip into.

    Germany follows neither model and has been reasonably successful…

    @Colin
    I didn’t say this was official Tory policy – it’s not, because it would be wildly unpopular with those pesky voters. (Although IIRC the Independent reported after May came to power that for the first time the Cabinet had a majority of members who had spoken at some time in favour of a privatised health service for the UK.)

    And it’s not about whether privatised services are more or less efficient than socially provided services (although interestingly the recent Commonwealth Study ranked the UK first, once again, amongst all major country’s international health provision for efficiency despite having the highest proportion of socially provided services).

    The point I am making is about the philosophical reasoning behind the Tory right’s (think Jacob Rees-Mogg) economic agenda. The NHS was simply an example…

  35. @Colin

    Cons are in a helluva bind:-

    Perhaps she needs a leadership contest or call a GE?

  36. Must say that if were in TM’s shoes [ouch…] I’d just walk and leave them to their ferrets in a sack routine.

    However, I would never want to be a politician of any variety as it seems to involve a great deal of wasted time and not much sleep.

    [And probably not a lot of time for classical guitar etc etc.]

  37. “They don’t let the tail wag the dog so why do they need a bigger tail?”

    Well apart from letting them elect the leader I suppose.

  38. BFR

    @”I didn’t say this was official Tory policy”

    You said :-

    ” the objective of New Classical economics, of which Osbourn and Cameron were fans, is a smaller state; however the reasoning behind this specific objective is that every increment to state involvement reduces the freedom of capital, which is the ultimate objective.
    As an example, privatisation of the NHS is an objective not because they have a philosophical desire to ‘destroy’ the NHS but because they have a philosophical drive to eliminate any restriction on the maximising of returns on capital.”

  39. BFR

    @”And it’s not about whether privatised services are more or less efficient than socially provided services”

    Well I suppose I need to be careful of what you actually mean by ” its not about”.

    But for me-and for any Conservative Administration it most certainly is.

  40. CMJ

    @”Perhaps she needs a leadership contest or call a GE?”

    I predict with some confidence that those words or something like them will emerge from Corbyn’s mouth with increasing regularity after the Tory Conference. :-)

  41. @ ALEC – no system is perfect :)

    The CON method for selecting a leader would indeed worry me if we went through that process now – as the poll leading this thread shows!

    Some pre-contest process would occur as various factions tried to put one candidate forward knowing how the system works. A few no-hopers would throw their hat in as well just to get some future role by later swinging behind a more likely candidate.

    Hopefully enough of the bad choices (like BoJo) would have knocked each other out and the final outcome would be a ‘Macron’ candidate – baggage free and better than the alternative. However, you are correct about leaving that decision to the members!! Maybe CON do indeed need more members for that one and only reason. I have trust in MPs dog self-interests in staying elected in the next GE – bit less faith on the ‘tail’ electing a leader that could win a GE even though the AW poll shows that would be very high on their criteria list.

    Who this Macron ‘least bad choice’, baggage free character is though is unknown as Colin pointed out. I mentioned a few names on a post on previous page. I don’t really want a newb but you have to respect the times you live in.

  42. @ BFR – indeed a 3rd way exists! Germany though? OK I’m taking WB’s advise now before I get drawn into a discussion about a 4th way.

  43. The membership problem does matter for the tories.

    The labour parties mass membership does make a difference on the ground – they are internet savvy, enthused and have the numbers. From dominating social media to winning over people in face to face conversations to voter registration and getting people to the polling booth.
    It gives labour a campaigning strength that the tories – with their older, less active, less net savvy and much smaller membership cant match.
    The tories can rely on large chunks of the print media and throwing money around – but this leads to problems with electoral law (i.e they are in trouble for setting up call centres that were canvassing under the guise of market research) – and the influence of the print media is demonstrably in decline.
    And whilst the tory members have no real role beyond envelope stuffing they do elect the leader – and they will be very unlikely to pick the sort o f remain leaning social liberal that might appeal to people under 40.
    Tory electoral policy has been cynically targeting the boomer generation for decades – but that may be running out of road. Hence the push for boundary reform and “anti voter fraud measures” in elections – which is actually about voter suppression.
    Labour’s civil war over socail democats/socialists and the pro-market liberals looks to be over.
    The tories now have to reconcile a split between its own pro-remain liberal wing (i.e. Obsbourne, Davidson) and the brexit traditionalists (rees moog, fox, most of the membership and Johnson – in so far as he actually believes in any ideological postion other than himself) This mix is further queered by those who want a more “one nation” approach – backtracking on austerity – and those who are committed to free market approaches and state shrinking.

    Could they split? The oldest political party in the world is nothing if not resilient – but brexit is massively destabilising and rouses all consuming passions on both sides.
    Labour can navigate this far easier as they are not in power and its brexit wing see it as a means to an end – rather than an end in itself – and are unlikely to die in a ditch over membership of the single market.

    With the tories its fundamental – as its history shows. Come the (inevitable) push back from the foot dragging political class as we approach the brexit crunch – especially if we are in a “no deal” situation – I think we will see a civil war in the tory party that will eclipse the recent agonies of labour.

  44. I think Cons should learn the lesson of the Labour Party-that MPs have a feel for who can win General Elections -and Party Members don’t.

    ……………oh…….wait a minute.!

  45. CMJ

    @”From what I’ve observed (but happy to corrected if wrong) it seems private provision has cherry picked the more routine easy stuff, such as cataracts operations. I’m not aware of private provision running A & E or heart transplants, or other expensive and more risky areas, with a higher mortality risk due to the patients being much more ill in the first place.”

    If that is the case I don’t really see it as a criticism of the policy. If “the easy stuff” can be provided at a sensible cost & given acceptable service levels it merely relieves the huge technical investment in NHS State provision to concentrate on the more “difficult stuff”.

    And cost comparisons and /or service level comparisons must still be valid-if they are available.

  46. The membership problem does matter for the tories.
    The labour parties mass membership does make a difference on the ground – they are internet savvy, enthused and have the numbers. From dominating social media to winning over people in face to face conversations to voter registration and getting people to the polling booth.

    It gives labour a campaigning strength that the tories – with their older, less active, less net savvy and much smaller membership cant match.
    The tories can rely on large chunks of the print media and throwing money around – but this leads to problems with electoral law (i.e they are in trouble for setting up call centres that were canvassing under the guise of market research) – and the influence of the print media is demonstrably in decline.
    And whilst the tory members have no real role beyond envelope stuffing they do elect the leader – and they will be very unlikely to pick the sort o f remain leaning social liberal that might appeal to people under 40.

  47. Paul Croft

    How’s the Dowland going?

    I meant to ask do you know the Sting CD of Dowland and if you do what do you think of it?

  48. Labour’s civil war over social democats/socialists and the pro-market liberals looks to be over.

    (sorry about the non-sequiter – im trying to identify whats triggering the auto moderation)

  49. The tories now have to reconcile a split between its own pro-remain liberal wing (i.e. Obsbourne, Davidson) and the brexit traditionalists (rees moog, fox, most of the membership and Johnson – in so far as he actually believes in any ideological postion other than himself)
    This mix is further queered by those who want a more “one nation” approach – backtracking on austerity – and those who are committed to free market approaches and state shrinking.

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