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. (the other thing – anecdotal obviously – is that I know a fair few long term Tory voters who have switched since Brexit – it basically opened their eyes to the way they have been manipulated and don’t like the outcome. So they aren’t voting Labour now to avert Brexit, that’s probably a done deal, they are voting Labour because all of a sudden they don’t believe much of what they’ve been fed about anything since 1979)

  2. COLIN

    “I suppose a ” why I don’t like Labour ” post would spoil the party ?”

    The utter cheek of it !

    You’ll be on safe ground if you stick with new Labour I expect – they were awful.

  3. @davewel

    I can’t see anything in your linked document which says anything about Lord Duncan’s remarks at the NFUS conference which were quite clear as reported here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-41775222

  4. @COLIN

    “I suppose a ” why I don’t like Labour ” post would spoil the party ?. :-)”

    ——-

    Already been having them. The oft-repeated line, many many times, is that folk may not vote Labour because of the Seventies, or that if they do, it’s naive youngsters who didn’t experience those times. Or, that people may not vote Labour because of the “threat to growth”.

    So the questions is, how much is the case people are affected by the media etc. on this, and will polling capture any change. Yougov’s new model did capture it, the others were a bit more variable.

  5. @Valerie

    “Lastly, it is a mistake to think that all baby boomers are in clover. I have a carer, aged 59 who is divorced and works full-time. She was a housewife with three children and only has a state pension to look forward to. She does a demanding physical job and has to cycle between visits as she can’t afford a car. She doesn’t think she will be able to do this for the next eight years.”

    ——-

    We’ve quite often mentioned this. There are low-paid public sector workers, and then those who suffered during the deindustrialisation and more besides. We don’t necessarily add this qualifier every time boomers are mentioned, but I think most are aware of it.

  6. Nick P
    “But might explain why all those (like TOH) who benefitted massively think that Thatcherism is highly successful, but those coming after wonder where all the money went.”

    I find it Interesting that you seem to equate my financial success with the Thatcher years only. I agree I did very well during the 80s but I also did very well in the 60s and the 70s and for that matter in the 90s and later (I retired in 1992). I think the main reason I did well in the 30 years I worked was because I worked very hard, certainly much harder than most of my contemporaries, and was very good at the jobs I did, particularly with my ability to make good decisions quickly. Something that is essential in the fast moving consumer goods industries of the period. Thereafter I have continued to do well financially because I invested wisely, foresaw the 2008 crash and prepared for it. All that the Thatcher years did for me was allow me to keep more of my own hard earned cash by reducing taxation, something long overdue..

    I accept I was lucky to be born at a time when higher education became available for free and I actually got a grant, so I have a lot of sympathy with the aspiring young of today. I was also lucky that after my marriage in 1942 I was moved to the north east so that we were able to afford to buy a house almost immediately

    I would suggest that the people who benefited most from Thatcherism were those like my wife’s parents who were able to buy their Council house at a low price. They were born much earlier than the “baby boomers “and were both working class (bus conductors) who started with nothing but were able to leave a tidy sum to their grandchildren and great grandchildren when they died. They really enjoyed the Thatcher years.

  7. Nick P

    Sorry typing error I married in 1962. I had no interest in getting married when i was 2.

    :-)

  8. TOH – it was naughty of me to use you as an example.

    Happy for your wife’s parents. Pity their council weren’t allowed to re-invest the proceeds of the house sale into building more social housing so that next generation could have the same opportunity.

  9. NickP

    No problem.

  10. @ HIRETON – I have no problem with appropriate protectionism for certain industries of which one would obviously be agri-food. If we end up with a “minimum” deal then we could and should have tariffs on EU27 food which, since we have a massive trade deficit, would incentivise UK production. I’m sure someone will try to justify butter is not a “commodity” product but given it is perishable and ‘bulky’ anyone who believes in any aspect of the “gravity” model for trade would accept that it makes no sense to import from RoI and export to China.

    “corrected” on CAP? The new version of CAP is land (area) based approach. You are either still thinking of the old version or do not understand the new system. You may care to read this so you can correct yourself:
    https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/sites/agriculture/files/policy-perspectives/policy-briefs/05_en.pdf

    The more “creative” farmers are making sure to fulfil the “green” and “young farmer” requirements to maximise their payments (see p8)

  11. The Other Howard: Sorry typing error I married in 1962. I had no interest in getting married when i was 2.

    You were 7 in 1942, so you could have been interested.

  12. Hireton @ 2.11 pm

    Many thanks for posting the link giving some key points in what Lord Duncan said on the ending of CAP at the Scotland NFU conference.

    I had been looking without success for a speech by Lord Dunlop, named in your earlier message. Maybe this was another fluctuation in Tory Brexit policy, and they swapped the two lords.

    So clearly for CAP the UK government is pushing Michael Gove`s line of an end in March 2019 and a new detached UK system of farm subsidies operating thence.

    No wonder the Scottish Government minister was apprehensive – it`s far too short a time to organise anything different or better.

  13. Gove has a massive once only opportunity to integrate Food Production Policy with Environmental protection, replacing unfocused Direct Land Based subsidy with payments for specific environmental outcomes & farming innovation & development.

    He is not short of excellent advice and has £3bn to play with:-

    https://ntplanning.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/j1478-wlcl-sustainable-farming-v7.pdf

  14. Alec @ 10.23 am

    Sorry for the delayed response. Sunday mornings we`re out at church, and today were celebrating the Reformation. Dipping into Scottish and German musical culture with Martyrs, Peebles and Eine feste burg is very satisfying.

    Anyway I think “incentivised inertia” was a rather trite description of the present Scotland version of the CAP. It has a core of truth, as Trevor has pointed out in his simplified way. But it is to a fair extent what people in general now want.

    No longer is there wide support for big drainage schemes, reclamation of moorlands and rough grazings, creation of big fields, etc. Rather we are trying to “tinker” with the existing set-ups. I think every farm has to “green” in some way, e.g. unmanaged strips around cereal fields, a pond or two, a block of woodland.

    So the present Scotland CAP system seems reasonably good to me, although some farmers such as Mr Smart of Torphins are managing to exploit it.

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/scots-farmer-pockets-nearly-3m-8942046

  15. The Scottish Farmer info can be read direct from the horse’s mouth here:
    https://www.nfus.org.uk/news/news/union-committed-to-striking-the-right-brexit-deal-for-farmers-and-crofters

    Project After’s biggest issue with growing more produce in UK is going to be available labour. Efficiency gains are tricky in agriculture but at around 70,000 currently Scotland’s Ambition 2030 (double agri-food to 30bn by 2030) is probably going to need 50,000+ more workers.

    IMHO Project After should devolve all agriculture and immigration policy. Agriculture is already devolved so I can’t see how Westminster can try and keep those kind of powers returned from Brussels. I don’t know what immigration policy we’ll end up with but some regional “quota” style set-up could work for Scotland. Although hardly natural friends SCON and SNP should be teaming up to get a good deal for Scotland.

  16. Trevor Warne

    Of course, NI dairy business dies with Brexit and third country status

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/11/brexit-barriers-would-ruin-northern-ireland-dairy-farms-mps-told

  17. ToH
    Although born in 1940, you fit all the criteria of Baby Boomer, ‘free’ university education, full grant, no irritating National Service obligation. And then the opportunity to work hard and prosper. Well done! Oh lucky man!
    Interesting that your wife’s parents were able to buy their council house cheap, as you put it. Did they have enough savings to buy it outright? Lucky them!
    Still not 100% sure of your bona fides ToH.

  18. Howard’s bona fides are irrelevant, surely? He represents a point of view common back in late Victorian times – my country right or wrong, sovereignty and being English trumps all – a load of old tosh if you ask me, but it is a not uncommon viewpoint.

    i can remember arguing with a guy in Gillingham about the sinking of the Belgrano. In the end he said he supported the sinking because he was patriotic and that if I didn’t, i wasn’t.

  19. rjw

    “Still not 100% sure of your bona fides ToH.”

    You need to give this a rest.

  20. @ SAM – another great link, thank you. As the article says:

    “That [ value add ] business could ultimately be picked up in Northern Ireland after Brexit, but there was not enough time in two years to build facilities to replace those in the republic, he said.”

    So we’re agreed on the long-term benefits but as with everything else concerning NI the issue is transition and “special status” would allow that.

    Great to hear the largest cheese production plant in Europe is in N.Ireland and that the author likes copy+pasting EU regulations!

    As with Scotland the biggest concern might be labour to cope with the increased opportunity for NI, as the author notes:

    “local people don’t want to work in the food processing”

    I had a part-time job working on a chicken farm from age 13-16 and it was very hard work although combined with a 30minute bike ride each way it certainly kept me fit!

  21. Bottom four of the premiership have English managers.

    Top nine are from Spain [2], Portugal [2], Argentina [2], Italy, France and Germany.

    After Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd winning multiple titles with Scottish managers there is now not a single one in the division and – as far as I can see – very, very few Scottish players either.

  22. @Guymonde

    “Blair and his cohorts levelled off the rate of decline and arguably reversed it a little”

    ——–

    Or possibly accelerated it. Compare house prices under Nulab vs. under Major with their house price “correction”. Then there’s the impact on incomes of immigration sans attempt to use controls, the advent of all the ATOS and workfare stuff, tuition fees, more privatisations etc.

  23. @ RJW – we live in a meritocracy with the “opportunity to work hard and prosper”

    Today’s entitled youth did not live through the high unemployment in the 1980s nor the high repossessions in the property market bust of the early 1990s.

    The “momentum” view of the past certainly doesn’t represent my experiences and although there has always been those more fortunate than others it is worth remembering that the only party that had Robin Hood tax policies against those who won the lottery of birth in both time and place were the Tories!

  24. @Guymonde

    Then there’s what happened to pensions under Brown, the taxes on socialising etc.

  25. @Trevor Warne

    “Today’s entitled youth did not live through the high unemployment in the 1980s nor the high repossessions in the property market bust of the early 1990s.

    The “momentum” view of the past certainly doesn’t represent my experiences.”

    ——–

    Yes, they aren’t necessarily comparing today with the unemployment of the eighties or the house price slump of the nineties… (Which incidentally allowed a lot more people back on the ladder), but with how it was beforehand, when there were policies of full employment, affordable housing etc.

    The young have the problems of that era and more, with tuition fees, inflated bills, poorer pension provision, zero hours etc.

  26. @Trevor W

    Oh and they aren’t getting the cheap privatisation shares, building society carpetbagging, not so many cheap council houses left etc.

  27. Jim Jam @ 8.50 am

    Sorry for the delay in replying.

    But I very much endorse your view of the Killhope lead mining museum. And we would recommend intending visitors to allow several hours.

    Killhope is probably better for families with younger children than the quite similar Wanlockhead mining museum, with chance to do more things, like go into levels underground.

    But Wanlockhead has one of the earliest subscription libraries showing the miners had much broader horizons than mere physical labourers, and then there`s gold panning.

    http://www.leadminingmuseum.co.uk/miners-library/

  28. Carfrew @ 11.38 am

    Yes, I do remember now that discussion of yourself and Alec.

    And I acknowledge your excellent memory, better than mine, of something fairly trivial.

  29. Sorry Paul,
    It’s just that ToH and I share a particular thing in common: advanced Prostate cancer, together with the fact that we both were obliged to retire early, with medically enhanced pension pots. I received life saving treatment on the NHS, which would have cost me many tens of thousands of pounds. ToH on the other hand made a point of denigrating the NHS, as I recall, stating that he had paid for the treatment that saved his life. Everything in his life is down to his plucky, principled, individualism.
    Don’t get me wrong, I hope he is real! But the problem I have is that the various aspects of his life all have a moral lesson attached which point to the superiority of his narrow economically liberal view of things.

  30. @DAVWEL

    “Yes, I do remember now that discussion of yourself and Alec.
    And I acknowledge your excellent memory, better than mine, of something fairly trivial.”

    ——–

    Thanks Davwel, now if only I could remember the important stuff!!…

  31. @davwel

    Sorry I meant to say that I got my Scottish Office Lords mixed up, Lord Dunlop being Lord Duncan’s predecessor.

    The Gove policy seems very odd and inconsistent at many levels with the UK Government policy on transition.

  32. Hireton

    “Ye see yon birkie, ca’d a lord,
    Wha struts, an’ stares, an’ a’ that;
    Tho’ hundreds[1] worship at his word,
    He’s but a coof for a’ that”

    [1] Burns was prone to exaggeration – in this case of the Scottish Tory faithful.

  33. RJW

    Nae prob – but I have a feeling that Howard IS real !!

    Like you I have nowt but praise for the NHS – certainly as far as my own experiences have evidenced so far. Which, given my finances, is a bleedin’ good job.

  34. Hireton

    You also got your terminology mixed up!

    It was the “Scottish Office” last century, but the “Scotland Office” in this one. The latter appellation correctly defines its role as the UK Government’s office for dealing with Scotland – which is why it has so vastly expanded its array of spin doctors from the time of Murphy to Fluffy’s current occupancy of the role.

  35. @trevorwarne

    “IMHO Project After should devolve all agriculture and immigration policy. Agriculture is already devolved so I can’t see how Westminster can try and keep those kind of powers returned from Brussels. I don’t know what immigration policy we’ll end up with but some regional “quota” style set-up could work for Scotland. Although hardly natural friends SCON and SNP should be teaming up to get a good deal for Scotland.”

    The UK Government has already ruled out any regional differentiation for immigration policy after Brexiters with the support of the SCons.

    Re agriculture May signalled in her Lanacaster House speech that trade policy and maintaining the UK “Single Market” would take primacy over devolution which has to mean that agricultural policy will be decided at UK Government level (possibly with some minor regional flexibility). May also said that no decisions currently taken by devolved administrations would be taken back to Westminster; an empty gesture as if those decisions no longer need to be taken at all they will not have been returned to Westminster. Again SCon support this approach.

  36. oldnat

    Did he write any proper, English poetry – about daffodils and stuff for example?

  37. Technicolouroctober

    For somebody who says he or she does not read or reply to my posts I find it interesting that you have posted to me twice in the last couple of days.

    Incidently your maths seems worse than mine since I was born in 1940. Try again.

    RJW

    My parents in law borrowed from relatives and managed to get a mortgage is the answer to your question. The was no way they could buy outright. Why would you think that?.

    ““Still not 100% sure of your bona fides ToH.”

    Why would i worry about that?

    Re your post to Paul.

    Sorry to hear that you also have advanced prostate cancer. I hope you still have many years left. I have managed 14 years so far with periods of remission but not at the moment as it is slowly returning.

    I believe the NHS is reaching the point where free at the point of delivery is unlikely to be an option for much longer. Some better means of funding is required IMO. Your correct in the sense that I feel i was let down by the NHS ( I was refused a biopsy which I then had privately, confirming my fear that i actually had cancer), and yes I have used my health insurance to pay for my treatment thus reducing the burden on the NHS at considerable cost to myself.

  38. Paul Croft

    I assure you Paul i am very real as is my love of music. :-)

  39. Paul Croft

    Only when he chose to write in Standard Scots English – even then, I don’t think he chose to muse on daffodils – that would have made him a narcissist!

  40. RJW

    “I have is that the various aspects of his life all have a moral lesson attached which point to the superiority of his narrow economically liberal view of things.”
    Maybe that’s why I think as I do, life’s experiences plus the fact that my father drummed into me every day until I left home that “the World doesn’t owe you a living son”.

  41. @trevorwarne

    “…. we end up with a “minimum” deal then we could and should have tariffs on EU27 food which, since we have a massive trade deficit, would incentivise UK production. I’m sure someone will try to justify butter is not a “commodity” product but given it is perishable …”

    Well EU27 tariffs will apply to all WTO members unless the UK has a comprehensive trade deal with them.

    I see you haven’t caught up with or don’t support the refrigeration revolution which enables the UK to import butter from New Zealand, bananas from central America and so on. If we are not going to import food from more.distant suppliers or export to them as you seem to be saying why would we want to impose tariffs on our nearest suppliers and markets?

    On CAP, I clearly know more about it than you as is abundantly clear from your posts!

  42. TOH

    my father drummed into me every day until I left home that “the World doesn’t owe you a living son”.

    Then you should have no complaints about the doctor who chose not to do a biopsy, as his father had probably also taught him that you “didn’t deserve a living” :-)

    If you choose a dog eat dog philosophy, then sometimes you are lunch (apologies to Paul for the analogy).

  43. “THE OTHER HOWARD
    Paul Croft
    I assure you Paul i am very real.”

    I knew it !!!!

    [Do I win a fiver?]

  44. @oldnat

    I think it would be easiest if the UK Government just had an Office for the Celtic Fringes.

    I’m catching up with the Vietnam War series as well. Powerful and uncomfortable viewing. I wonder whether the UK could now produce such a rigorous and self critical historical programme.

  45. Hireton and Trevor W @ 6.57 pm

    Well I`m keen on devolving immigration policy to Scotland, and think it well worth the Scottish government and all our MPs plus as many as possible from outwith Scotland forcing that on the UK government.

    I am undecided on full devolution for agriculture, since this could potentially hinder a lot of current marketing, and some things like herbicide controls would not benefit from separate systems.

    I am also unsure of how efficiently complicated systems of farm subsidies can be managed at Scotland level. Why have there been such delays here in getting out payments to farmers in 2016 and 2017; do we not employ enough staff to do a proper job or are they not sufficiently high quality?

    To run these systems efficiently might Northern England be combined with Scotland, having many similarities in its land mix.

    A few years ago I found that the management of Scotland trunk roads was still being done from Northern England, Warrington for the M6 and M74, although nominally the latter was run from Edinburgh.

    There are great opportunities here to create good sustainable, eco-friendly agriculture as Colin`s link earlier today showed. But it all seems too rushed.

  46. Looks like Sarwar thinks he is going to lose the leadership vote

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/15626146.Sarwar_campaign_obtains_QC_opinion_that_brings_legality_of_leadership_contest_into__quot_serious_question___/?ref=twtrec

    But if he isn’t going to challenge the result in court, then the only point of this “legal opinion” would seem to be to strengthen his hand in the next one.

    On SLab’s track record that should be around June 2018.

  47. Give all of this personal stuff a rest – all of it. No more. Enough. Grow up.

  48. SAM

    “Give all of this personal stuff a rest – all of it. No more. Enough.”

    Ok, fair enough, been guilty of that myself in response to horrendous claims from those who will go unnamed,, but we all lose our rag from time to time. If only we could be sure such a truce would hold…

    “Grow up.”

    Oh dear, who made you the responsible adult, exempt from your own rules?

  49. @davwel

    There were problem with CAP payments in England, Wales and Scotland as I recall. But perhaps you are right and Scotland shouldn’t be trusted to run a complicated NHS, legal ystem, educational.system and so on as well.

  50. Davywel

    “I am undecided on full devolution for agriculture, since this could potentially hinder a lot of current marketing, and some things like herbicide controls would not benefit from separate systems.”

    So, across the North Channel, do you propose that RoI should determine what happens in NI, or that NI (aka Whitehall, if direct rule goes ahead) should decide what happens in the Republic, or that neighbours should simply agree mutually advantageous solutions?

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