ICM’s fortnightly poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 42%(+1), LAB 42%(+1), LDEM 7%(nc). As with other recent polls there is no sign of any obvious movement. The national polling position appears to be largely stable, the government may be struggling with Brexit, Theresa May’s approval figures may be falling, but voting intention is pretty static. The two main parties are both around 40%, with most polls showing a small Labour lead (ICM tend to produce the best figures for the Tories – hence the neck-and-neck figures in their most recent polls).

Today’s ICM poll also asked a couple questions about a “no deal” Brexit. 45% of people said they expected the Brexit negotiations will not conclude successfully (though I haven’t yet seen the wording of the question, so I don’t know if the question defined unsuccessful as meaning no deal at all, or included poor deals), only 30% expect them to be a success. ICM also asked how people would feel if Britain and the EU failed to reach agreement by the time Britain leaves the EU – the most common answers were those connected with doubt and trepidation – “worried” (50%) and “confused” (29%), followed by the more negative “furious” (24%) and the more positive “pleased” (14%).

Tabs to follow when available…


630 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 42, LAB 42, LDEM 7”

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  1. What’s it like to be one of the 14%,TOH?

  2. @Norbold

    I can tell you what it’s like being one of the 24% if you want.

  3. Is the House of Lords giving the government a warning by defeating it 255 to 205 on blocking cold-calling on pensions?

  4. Test

  5. Cons holding up amazingly well.

    Didn’t JC say he would be PM by Christmas ?

  6. As we progress through the EU response to Brexit; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance

    I think we’re moving steadily onwards.

    The Sceptred Isle must hold steady.

  7. COLIN

    Nope. That was your imagination Colin. Con are holding up better than I thought but it’s only six months since they were twenty points ahead.
    So not a cause for celebration I’d suggest.

  8. Colin

    The problem for Corbyn is he has to be in power while brexit talks are ongoing or risk losing support amongst his younger voters once it really is a done deal .
    However this is going to be difficult to achieve because in my view May is a good deal tougher than the media give her credit for and the conservative vote remains strong at its core.
    Labours vote on the other hand is more fragile because it’s neglecting its core vote amongst its traditional working class voters in it’s chase for votes amongst the younger more middle class voter . I also think that it’s opposition to all things brexit or at least that’s how it’s coming over in the media will cause them a real problem in the next GE especially if they try to subvert any deal that might be struck, as those Labour working class voters who voted leave get there own back.

  9. Anthony

    Your points on the previous thread about the use of special characters is noted – but surely most of these refer to the nonsense created by automod?

    Perhaps those of us that use the term “pecul!ar” from time to time, and need to insert the special character might need to follow the example of Theakston’s in adjusting the spelling of that fine English Ale (and one of my favourites) “Old Peculier”.

    That does have the same effect, but I’m afraid it is the incompetence of the programming of automod which is the biggest villain (or maybe villein?

  10. TURK

    A done deal on Brexit is only the start. Many of us will begin the fight for our return to the EU. If you think Corbyn’s young middle class support will dissipate you are in for disappointment.

  11. Mike Pearce

    When E&W have quite finished with storming off in a huff, and decide that pooling sovereignty with other states on some issues, isn’t actually a bad idea, then Scotland and Ireland will be relieved.

    Sadly, when members of your family choose to be silly, there’s not a lot you can do about it – until they grow up.

    I’m sure that E&W will stop being stroppy adolescents in a few years, but in the meantime we just have to thole their tantrums.

  12. colin

    “Didn’t JC say he would be PM by Christmas ?”

    He didn’t specify which one.

    turk

    “The problem for Corbyn is he has to be in power while brexit talks are ongoing”

    Why?

    ” or risk losing support amongst his younger voters once it really is a done deal .”

    Why?

  13. Turk

    The main issue for Labopur core voters as well as the young is not Brexit at all. It’s the NHS, Universal Credits, Education, Pay, Travel, Utilities…….on all of which Labour now has a substantial lead amongst its voters core and new. That’s what the Tory Party has to address and is unable to address while it clings to its outdated austerity policy. If nothing else, the 2017 General Election was proof of this and a guide to how future elections will play out.

  14. I’d love to be hypothetically predictive and know how the polls would look were the Conservatives to ditch their albatros of a leader. There again, if Labour were to ditch their albatros of a leader too, wouldn’t it be interesting. I suspect the polls are pretty static because the unpopularity of each leader rather cancels each other out!

  15. norbold

    Whilst I agree with your basic point it does seem odd – a concern for some of us – that the polls don’t really demonstrate this conclusively.

    I wonder if the younger voter is picked up in actual elections now – but not in opinion polls?-

  16. Still in the normal honeymoon period. Why should we expect a big shift?

    The current perception of government/PM shambles started before polling day.

  17. @Princess Rach

    Have replied on the previous thread. I don’t claim that limiting state housebuilding is the on!y reason house prices went up. There are numerous candidates including the one you state, plus QE, possibly the Buy to Let thing, foreign money coming in, banks wanting less risky investments, more single people living alone, population growth/immigration etc…. however cutting housebuilding can make it harder to accommodate some of these other factors.

  18. “That does have the same effect, but I’m afraid it is the incompetence of the programming of automod which is the biggest villain (or maybe villein?”

    ———-

    Automod has become self aware, is gradually inserting itself into all our computer systems and is messing with us on a grand scale. Only Arnie can save us now.

  19. “the most common answers were those connected with doubt and trepidation – “worried” (50%) and “confused” (29%), followed by the more negative “furious” (24%)…”

    ——–.

    Why can’t you be all three?

  20. Norbold

    While I agree with you on the key issues (and their influence on voting) – Brexit sits very uncomfortably with them.

    By all evidence the youngsters vote for Labour not because they share some social democratic values, but because of single, networked social issues (in isolation). So they don’t have loyalty to the Labour Party.

    We actually have the evidence for this in polling.

  21. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the best thing about the trump presidency. It’s gotta be the most difficult job in history. But she’s doing a fantastic job of keeping the ship from sinking even tho the captain is blind drunk

  22. OLDNAT

    I’m sure that E&W will stop being stroppy adolescents in a few years, but in the meantime we just have to thole their tantrums.

    It’s possible Wales is already shifting. The one poll we’ve had (YouGov f/w 4-7 Sep):

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/v05j7vbpt2/WelshBarometerResults_170907_W.pdf#page=9

    gave the result:

    If there was another referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union tomorrow, how would you vote?

    Would vote to Remain 46% (+4)

    Would vote to Leave 42% (-3)

    Would not vote 4% (-2)

    Don’t know 8% (+1)

    Changes since May so there may be some post-GE re-weighting and no LTV adjustment. And it’s only one poll, but maybe a hint.

  23. Meanwhile BMG have also been asking about Brexit:

    http://www.bmgresearch.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/BMGIndependent-Poll-The-Majority-of-the-public-EU-negotiations-are-going-badly-for-UKs.xlsx

    Do you think both sides will reach a deal on the UK’s future relationship with the EU, or do you think the UK will exit the EU without a deal in place?

    A deal between both sides is extremely likely 5% ???????
    A deal between both sides is fairly likely 32% ???????
    A deal between both sides is fairly unlikely 30% ???????
    A deal between both sides is very unlikely 16% ???????
    (Summary: Likely 37%, Unlikely 46%)
    ???????
    Don’t know 17% ?

    So not much optimism there. Or indeed afterwards:?????

    In your view, if no deal was reached between the European Union and the United Kingdom in the Brexit negotiations, would this be a good thing for Britain, a bad thing for Britain, or would it make no difference?

    No deal would be a good thing for Britain 11% ???????
    No deal would make no difference to Britain 22% ???????
    No deal would be a bad thing for Britain 45% ???????
    Don’t know 22%

    So it looks as if the hardcore over-the-cliff Leavers are 11-12% here as well.??But even a deal doesn’t fill people with enthusiasm:

    Thinking about how the negotiations have progressed until now, if a deal is reached between the EU and the UK, which side do you think would come out on the better side of the deal?

    The UK 21% ?
    ??????
    The EU 48%
    ???????
    Don’t know 31% ???????

    ?????

  24. Meanwhile BMG have also been asking about Brexit:

    http://www.bmgresearch.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/BMGIndependent-Poll-The-Majority-of-the-public-EU-negotiations-are-going-badly-for-UKs.xlsx

    Do you think both sides will reach a deal on the UK’s future relationship with the EU, or do you think the UK will exit the EU without a deal in place?

    A deal between both sides is extremely likely 5%

    A deal between both sides is fairly likely 32%

    A deal between both sides is fairly unlikely 30%

    A deal between both sides is very unlikely 16%

    (Summary: Likely 37%, Unlikely 46%)

    Don’t know 17%

    So not much optimism there. Or indeed afterwards:

    In your view, if no deal was reached between the European Union and the United Kingdom in the Brexit negotiations, would this be a good thing for Britain, a bad thing for Britain, or would it make no difference?

    No deal would be a good thing for Britain 11%

    No deal would make no difference to Britain 22%

    No deal would be a bad thing for Britain 45%

    Don’t know 22%

    So it looks as if the hardcore over-the-cliff Leavers are 11-12% here as well. But even a deal doesn’t fill people with enthusiasm:

    Thinking about how the negotiations have progressed until now, if a deal is reached between the EU and the UK, which side do you think would come out on the better side of the deal?

    The UK 21%

    The EU 48%

    Don’t know 31%

    (A slightly less quizzical version)

  25. Norbold, Turk
    “The main issue for Labour core voters as well as the young is not Brexit at all.”

    It has been argued that the main reason for many voting leave was not the EU at all.

    I agree with Norbold, that Labour/corbyn will simply benefit as time passes and there is no good resolution of Brexit. The ball is in the conservatives hands to turn into triump or disaster, though maybe we should indeed treat those two imposters just the same. Tory triumph in delivering Brexit may lead to electoral disaster, while disastrous parliamentary defeats might lead to an eventual triumphant outcome.

    Sniping from the sidelines may allow labour to step in decisively when an opportunity presents, or afterwards to claim they were on the right side all along. If it turns out a conservative Brexit triumph, then nothing has been lost because it would have been triumph anyway.

    The brexit dynamic is exactly the same as it has ever been. Tories plainly do not believe in Brexit, or they would be proceeding much more openly towards an actual chosen outcome. Labour most probably agree with them, and are more than happy to be spectators untill there is an opportunity to take credit for a change of policy.

    The Bank of England was concerned by levels of debt before the 2008 crash, I remember reading their comments. While they might have been prophetic, in fact a UK collapse was forestalled by events in the USA. But the debt fuelled economy was already being questioned. Although the conservative administration since has been pretty obsessed with cuting public debt, one of its means for doing so has been to encourage private debt. In fact, public policy since Thatcher has encouraged private debt, at least for the majority, by roling back resistributive policies and my manipulation of such things as the property market and banking generally.

    For my ten cents, the only way for policy is swing left. The libs had a big success in 2010 on left policies such as Corbyn is presenting now. University fees worked for them, and its working for him now. The wrath of voters has been terrible to the libs once they recanted their promises. Corbyn’s manifest is popular. Conservatives know it is popular, and are trying to give the appearance of adopting such policies. Remains to be seen if they will do so, or even if they do whether it will be credible.

    So I think scepticism with a willingness to turn to outright remain if the opportunity presents is the best path for Labour. But as said, on other policies events are on their side. And crazy as it seems, the libs could just possibly have a chance to snatch triumph form disaster, if they can position themselves as tory light at the moment of a tory party implosion.

  26. “Do you think both sides will reach a deal on the UK’s future relationship with the EU, or do you think the UK will exit the EU without a deal in place?
    A deal between both sides is extremely likely 5% ???????
    A deal between both sides is fairly likely 32% ???????
    A deal between both sides is fairly unlikely 30% ???????
    A deal between both sides is very unlikely 16% ???????
    (Summary: Likely 37%, Unlikely 46%)
    ???????
    Don’t know 17% ?”

    —————

    What about the option for people who think we’re not actually going to leave or change anything much? It’s not listed explicitly the way leaving without a deal is.

    I mean, surely we have to entertain the possibility. Many Tories business backers aren’t keen to leave. Corbyn might want to leave but membership not so much and he goes with the democratic will. The demographics will likely swing towards Remain and we may wind up rejoining anyway on worse terms, and while those who don’t mind a few more years of Austerity due to Brexit may not be around to see it, those who are will probably vote out the government who delivers more economic troubles.

    The Government are stalling for a transitional arrangement which will give the opportunity to park the whole thing when demographics change, , immigration has remained high for years, no one has a Scoobies what to do about Customs, airlines, Irish Borders, etc. etc…

    …Is a possibility polling should be allowing for at least?…

  27. TURK

    I don’t think I can remember such uncertainty in UK politics.

    Paul Croft.

    :-)

  28. Norbold

    What’s it like to be one of the 14%,TOH?
    At many times in my life my views have been minority views, it’s never bothered me to be honest, why should it? That doesn’t make my views wrong IMO. I am sure you have also had periods in your life when your views were very much in the minority. Did it bother you? I suspect not.

    Colin

    “Cons holding up amazingly well.
    Didn’t JC say he would be PM by Christmas ?”

    Yes it really is interesting that the party has held up so well. I think it’s partially a reflection of the deep split in society which is apparent to all, between the old and the young, on Brexit, on the economy etc. However Mike Pearce makes a very valid comment reminding us both of how disastrous the last election campaign was for the party.

    Mike Pearce

    “A done deal on Brexit is only the start. Many of us will begin the fight for our return to the EU. If you think Corbyn’s young middle class support will dissipate you are in for disappointment.”

    I agree with your first sentence, I am sure that’s true, and it would have been equally true in reverse if remain had won the referendum.Those who wanted to leave would have fought on.Your talking about those strongly committed one way or another.

    However once we have left I suspect most people will revert to the norm and be more concerned about everyday things like jobs, wages, cost of living etc. The EU has only been high on the agenda since the referendum for obvious reasons.

  29. Tory polling
    Labour ought to be very concerned about the polling. Yes they are probably 2 points ahead but the worry must be that this is peak corbyn. Factors of concern:

    1. Tories at a time of internal division, strong media attack and with all the Brexit who ha are still polling about 40%
    2.THE BMG poll shows the general public have a very low expectation of the results of negotiations, believe the uk will be shafted by the EU and think it will be bad for the UK. In other words failure is already priced in to the polling.A slightly better result of the negotiations could potentially be rewarded by the electorate as a difficult job well done.Also there does not seem to be a downside on the expectations.
    3. Labour has already shown us what is in its locker. The element of surprise and low expectation will not be on its side;
    4. The market response to an expected labour victory will be worrying in the run up. I think the prospect of a rise in mortgage rates,a run on the pounfd etc will play to the tory agenda and worth about 2% to the tories.

  30. Wondered how long it would be before we had new reports of ‘peak labour’.
    If the reality of Brexit is anywhere near as bad as the predictions then far from being peak Labour we could well see a collapse of Conservative support, or at least a substantial number sitting on their hands come the next election.
    But my main objection to reports of ‘peak Labour’ is we had it throughout the last election campaign when it was the cry put out with each new poll. Until the next opinion poll of course which showed a Labour rise and then that became ‘peak Labour’, until the next one of course

  31. There is a common view amongst some Tory supporters that the labour supporters a triggered by brexit in the same manner that Tory voters are. Every poll that has quizzed people on the importance of issues have put the shown Tories more concerned about issues associated with Brexit such as immigration and and less concerned with issues such as the NHS and education for example.

    The reality is that brexit is a rallying cry for may Tory supporters once Brexit is done no matter how it is done then the remaining problems such as the NHS, housing, investment and training and how will our society be structured to cope with changes that lay ahead.

    I am not sure that Brexit solves the Tories basic problem which is austerity and the cost of living problem seem to have them behind labour in terms of thought processes and answers (importantly they are as incoherent on these policies as they are on brexit itself) I would suspect the Labour ‘moderates’ (I am not sure why they are called moderates) would be also equally triggered by Labour move to more statist approach but they could hardly argue with their voters and the members

    THE OTHER HOWARD is correct about the idea that once brexit is done that people will get on with their lives. In fairness the EU was way down the list of issues even when UKIP were polling at near 20% it was Cameron’s strategic mistake since the EU referendum meant different things to different people (I have heard on the doorstep everything from kicking out muslims to rescuing our fish through to the arguments of what EU may or may not become and why we should not stay), I am sure that felt it was tactically brilliant to have a referendum since it shored up his vote was the thinking, yet having a majority scuppered it.

    Since the GE2015 winning has created the sort of problems for the ‘winners’ that used to be associated with losing. I find that most fascinating as if winner has not be al that it has cracked up to be.

    I put the fact that we have accepted that Iraq is a complete clusterf#@k most people do not talk about it any more, it is not news, it is a disaster, we just get along with it as an example of people making or supporting a decision and then either disowning it in some way of just moving on.

    Once you have blown your foot off you bitch and moan about it but eventually you get used to it and you make the most of your position it matters not that it could have been better it matters about the now.

    In truth the difference between being in the EU or out matters little compared to building more housing or tax policy or investment policy. The EU at it best amplified what was good about many countries that decided to use it to do so and it amplified what is bad in most countries that decided to do bad things, hence you can have Greece, Slovenia, UK, Germany and Sweden all in the EU with vastly different economies and vastly different approaches to their economies (it is why I do not buy the sovereignty jibe by the way).

    Hence whilst I am a ‘fanatical’ remainer I also believe we need to sort out what we do with the economy and society and in truth that has always been more important although I have no party that represents my views.

    That does not mean that people would give up reentering the EU but I feel having let go of the reins we will have lost our comparative power to effect the debate in the EU. I am not sure that if we gave up our veto at the security council that anyone would want us to have it back is the best analogy I could give people of our situation at the moment.

  32. @PRINCESS RACHEL

    Huckabee Sanders is a symptom of the failure. We now have a person whom lies and obfuscates as seen as the most important part of the administration and we are holding it up as a success.

    OK I understand that you are correct in your analysis but what is scary is that just 6 months ago what Huckabee Sanders is doing now would have been ridiculed as an outright failure by everyone. What is now a problem for me is that we have normalised trump as a failure but Huckabee Sanders and General Kelly as a success.

    My thought experiment is to take the worst thing that Obama said during his presidency or Josh Earnhardt said as press secretary and compare it with Huckabee Sanders and I think we would be shocked at what we would be accepting

  33. So 42% in the polls is now poor performance? When in the last 40-odd years has that been significantly exceeded in an election?

  34. So 42% in the polls is now poor performance? When in the last 40-odd years has that been significantly exceeded in an election?

    The key is which side erodes to the mid-thirties. It is easy to see why the Conservatives might. Indeed, Survation may be showing such a slide already.

  35. Reuters has interviewed senior business executives in the UK about Brexit negotiations, particularly the possibility of a transition period. The link is here along with a short extract

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-companies/executives-spooked-as-hopes-for-early-brexit-transition-deal-fade-idUSKBN1CT2GN

    “May consistently says a transition … period will be agreed because she truly believes she will have an agreement on a future trade deal by March 2019,” said another banker at a major international lender. “She is the only person in the entire world who believes that is possible.”

    I think that’s untrue. May is not alone.

  36. Here is someone as deluded about Brexit as Mrs May. (I don’t think he can spell.)

    http://brexitcentral.com/dublin-denial-brexit-irish-politicians-new-strategy/

  37. Just listened to Jo Johnson on R4. Phew! He seems to be channeling Stanley Baldwin circa 1932.
    How about ‘[email protected], marry, kill’ with the Johnson siblings in mind? That’s Rachel, Jo, and the Foreign Secretary. (How come Jo isn’t Joe, which is the usual male abbreviation, is nothing sacred?)
    StT
    In most constituencies the 7-8% LD vote is eminently squeezable for Team Red. This IMO gives them the edge for a small OM.

  38. @TREVOR WARNE

    I am not sure how I am making your life difficult but if I am hell you need to examine what ist is that is making it difficult
    ;-)

    I am not throwing stones. The issues with austerity were well known when they were first instituted, but people still felt they were correct and no the same people think it is not correct because of the new problems it has brought. The problems we have with QE in the manner that we have pursued it was also well know and hotly debated. Indeed there was an argument that basically pointed to debt forgiveness which basically is what has happened in the past but was stoically opposed by asset holders like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan because they were being bailed out via the second order effect of baling out AIGs of this world.

    My point has been that this is actually more complicated that we have given credence to and therefore there is no simple answers.
    Lets take the building of more houses:

    it is clear we need to build more houses, indeed I agree with the idea of spending money to build more houses and actually attempted to give a worked example of it that you at the time rubbished ( i had used the wrong yields apparently) but building more houses would mean cheaper houses and cheaper houses would mean that anyone that put money in to their house rather than a pension would be losing out. There are going to be a lot of asset holders that will lose out they are spending all their disposable income on servicing their debt over servicing their saving and their debt will always incur more charges than their savings which make debt servicing more important. So how to you cope with that situation since you need high house prices to mean that they can pay for their care since their pensions will not. basically every solution shuffles limited money around the different groups. The groups realise that they get more money by voting so they vote and hence at the moment the young are voting because they feel they have been shafted. they are energised by the fact that just by voting they have already affected the debate but the point is now that the young include people up to 50 (I barely escape being young under that definition). The real problem is that making money via capitalism has some interesting flaws. it is adversarial so there has to be losers (something I point out in the Stoke versus Bristol argument) and we have never been sure how to deal with the losers and that has in part meant that more people feel like losers and more people are treated like losers

    My point about the student of now and my experience is to point out the complexities of the problem. basically your graduate income in the late 80s got you a 1 bed flat within 20 minutes walking of the old Philips building in Southampton or the university. Now that is a 42 minute car journey and 22 miles away at almost double the level of debt to earnings ratio, 3 year ago that was alright and not a problem hell 1 year ago that was alright and not a problem apparently. At the other end my mum has a 2 up 2 down house with a downstairs toilet and bathroom which would sell 250K that was bought for £7000 in 1972. she sits on a huge amount of asset wealth you think but as she gets older she loses that wealth since she has to pay for her own care.
    meanwhile her two grandchildren as they enter university have the prospect of having debt of twice their graduate earnings. Now my mum wants to allow her grandchildren to inherit her accumulated wealth to ease their financial burdens indeed she would be at my estimation help them get on the housing ladder and then I will face the same issue for their children and so on. How do break the cycle how do you reverse this and this is not the only cycle to reverse. it is just the obvious one

    The unbalancing is harsh the rebalancing is equally as difficult. it is why I can not support any of the parties at this time they really cannot do anything radical enough to solve the problem and more over much of what people are doing is tactical and tribal. AS I said politicians are changing their mind not because it was the right thing to do but because people are objecting. that in itself is thoroughly annoying in my view.

    Tory policy upto 8th June 2017 was austerity no proper house building strategy, no real help for the JAMs. They won the popular vote based on that strategy. Only the fact that they lost their majority changed their minds not the economic facts not the philosophical issues indeed there is less to credit them than that.

    I see you trying to shoehorn Metrosexual man in to Dr Misogynist (there is a great in joke there). We end up attempting to unbalance the imbalance without due thought of wider implication and often reach for the biggest sledgehammer to do this.

    That is my caution in terms of the debate. We are going to create a set of loser who should be the losers and why is the first question you should answer. As CARFEW said about the definition of socialism it often mean that the asset rich are the losers but we have different classes of asset rich and often you end as with tax system getting to hit the relatively poor whom if they have asset have little control over them rather than the rich whom have mobility in their assets

    Just food for thought

  39. THE OTHER HOWARD

    […] However Mike Pearce makes a very valid comment reminding us both of how disastrous the last election campaign was for the [Conservative] party.

    Except it really wasn’t, as some of us have been pointing out since, paradoxical as it may seem. The Conservative Party campaign was actually very successful in what it set out to do. The basic idea was to consolidate the pro-Brexit vote behind them, while hanging on to their own Remain voters by pointing to Scary Corbyn. They managed to collapse the UKIP vote, not just from 2015 levels but down to those of 2001, but still held on to about 30% of those who voted Remain. And the Conservatives gained an extra 2.34 million votes on 2015.

    There was an interesting piece from John Curtice earlier in this month:

    http://www.natcen.ac.uk/blog/why-did-brexit-not-work-for-the-conservatives

    making a similar point, though I think he doesn’t really take into account how the changes in Tory-voting demographics were influenced by the influx of UKIP voters.

    Curtice concludes “calling an election on an issue on which the country is more or less evenly divided is inevitably something of a risk”. But, given the situation May was in and the pressure on her to call one (I suspect against her natural inclinations) so as to take advantage of Labour’s perceived weakness, the basic strategy was probably the best imaginable. Even some of the tactics, such as May’s low TV profile and over-stage managed appearences, were similar to what Cameron did in 2015.

    The failure was less to do with what the Conservatives did wrong , but with what Labour did right. And that had little to do with Brexit, but other topics, mainly related to the failed austerity agenda. However the political classes and commentariat still seem unwilling to contemplate that they were wrong, especially about Corbyn and what he represented.

  40. For those who think the Tories are “holding up well”, ask yourself one question – which party would welcome another GE this year?

    The answer is obvious – Labour will gain more seats if there’s another GE any time soon. The Tories are running scared from the prospect of another GE.

    It’s also worth remembering that the ICM/Guardian polls previously underestimated Labour’s support. It’s possible that more of their supporters will turn out to vote, as happened in June. The polls who got it right were Survation and YouGov, before John Rentoul called the poll “bunkum and balderdash”, and YouGov felt obliged to do another poll reducing Labour’s support.

  41. Michael Siva

    It was equally “obvious” that the Tories would pick up a lot of seats in June. We know how that turned out.

  42. There is an interesting analysis of the views of other EU countries on Brexit.

    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2017/10/24/survey-evidence-europeans-support-the-eus-hard-line-in-the-brexit-negotiations/

    Europeans are generally in favour of a hard or uncompromising approach by the EU to Brexit negotiations – even in Germany. That position may change as the economic costs to members of the EU become clearer.

    Those Europeans who are more pessimistic about the effects of Brexit for the UK are between ten and twenty per cent less likely to vote in favour of leaving the EU. In contrast, those who are more optimistic about Britain’s prospects outside the EU are much more likely to support an EU-exit of their own country.

  43. JONESINBANGOR,

    As we progress through the EU response to Brexit; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I think we’re moving steadily onwards.
    The Sceptred Isle must hold steady.

    Yeah, and the Wehrmacht only paused outside Dunkirk because they were afraid of us!

    Peter.

  44. @ CARFREW – My posts are long enough as it is but HMG should tackle social/affordable housing as a separate issue. Anyone involved in a front-line service job: teacher, nurse, police, etc. should be able to buy in their local area.

    I’m sure you are good at maths (as I’m sure PTRP is) so can run some different scenarios to make average house prices a lower multiple to average salaries.

    EG 10years of 3% inflation 0% change in house price and 4.25% rise in wages (min wage has been going up by about that).
    In 10years time 10x drops to 6.6x
    In 20years you’d be down to 4.3x

    PTRP, MARKW, yourself and others seem to suffer from nostalgia which the youth then twist into jealousy. Being “youth” in say 1910 or late 1930s wasn’t so good if you got drafted in to the army. Being “youth” in places like Syria far worse than anywhere in UK. The lottery of place of birth, time of birth and parental/societal influence is a fact of life? We can’t change the past but we can have policies to attempt to address the imbalances in a sustainable manner that doesn’t crash the economy or blow the budget deficit.

    HMG should try to level the playing field but simply stirring up jealousy in the youth for unrealistic opportunities and eventualities is creating a serious societal problem for the future IMHO and we saw how quick Cleggmania turned to ash!

  45. @ PTRP – I think I’ve made it clear in the past that I think May has been a serious let down. If/when we get a leadership contest I hope we get someone like James Cleverly to replace her and Sajid Javid as CoE perhaps.

  46. TW at me,

    “yourself and others seem to suffer from nostalgia which the youth then twist into jealousy.”

    You then talk about the thirties and syria. I suggest that this is more circumlocution on your part.

    The voters in a particular polity will obvs be little affected by their Grandad’s national service or the Cambrian mega extinction event.

    I don’t suffer from nostalgia, I suffer from a sense of social justice.

    The young have every right to be worried, and to imply this is jealousy as you do implies a lack of understanding perhaps at the depth of despair that exists.

    When I walk my dog I see several collections of tents in the woods, occupied not by ‘ tramps’ but by young people.

    A street near me is full of caravans, for the most part they are not trustafarians but young people locked out of housing.

    Another group of vans has shown up this week under a flyover near my house.

    And that is just housing.

    I am suprised the young havent got more antsy than they have so far.

  47. @Norbold
    If nothing else, the 2017 General Election was proof of this and a guide to how future elections will play out.

    History teaches us that the issues at play in the next general election will be different to those in the previous one.

    Who in 2015 would have expected the next election to center on how Britain should leave the EU, the rise of the hard left and a dementia tax?

    Who in 2010 would have guessed the next election would be dominated by the rise of UKIP and Scottish nationalism?

    Who in 2005 would have thought the next election would be focused on an economic disaster and MPs expenses?

    Who in 2001 would have suspected the next election to be a referendum on a war with Iraq?

    Etc Etc.

    Refighting the last election is a sure-fire way to lose.

  48. “Refighting the last election is a sure-fire way to lose.”

    The Conservatives didn’t even refight the last election though.

    With their obsessions about Labour’s 1970s industrial policies, the independent nuclear deterrent, and the provisional IRA, they felt like they were refighting 1979. 1983 at best.

    Why are we even surprised they struggled against the young? It’s a miracle they appealed to anyone at all under 50.

  49. “MICHAEL SIVA
    For those who think the Tories are “holding up well”, ask yourself one question – which party would welcome another GE this year?”

    More pertinent is the fact that only one party has the power to call one.

    The importance of the fact that Tories and Labour are roughly equal in recent opinion polls – especially when Labour were looking as though they might head into a substantial lead quite recently – is the breathing space that that gives the Tory leadership.

    After that we are into “events, dear boy”, as the saying goes. But it does give May a fighting chance of hanging on; and it does give her party a longer time frame in which to elect a new leader, without getting it hugely wrong and/or looking like panic.

    Time might, or might not, be on their side; lack of it most certainly was not.

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