Kantar have published a new voting intention poll ahead of the budget, the first I’ve seen from them since the general election. Topline figures are CON 42%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 5%. Fieldwork was between last Tuesday and this Monday.

This is the first poll to show a Conservative lead since September and the largest Tory lead in any poll since the election. As ever, it’s best to look carefully at any poll that shows an unusual result before getting too excited/dismayed. The reason for the unusual result appears to be methodological, rather than from some sudden Tory recovery, and down to the way Kantar treat turnout. As regular readers will know, many polls came horribly unstuck at the 2017 election because instead of basing turnout on how likely respondents said they were to vote, they predicted respondents likelihood to vote based on factors like their age and class. These methods assumed young people would be much less likely to vote, and produced large Conservative leads that ended up being wrong. Generally speaking, these socio-economic models have been dropped.

At the election Kantar took a sort of halfway position – they based their turnout model on both respondents’ self-assessed likelihood to vote, whether they voted last time and their age, assuming that older people were more likely to vote than younger people. This actually performed far better than most other companies did; Kantar’s final poll showed a five point Conservative lead, compared to the 2.5 they actually got. As such, Kantar appear to have kept using their old turnout model that partly predicts likelihood to vote based on age. The impact of this is clear – before turnout weighting Labour would have had a one point lead, very similar to other companies’ polls. After turnout weighting the Conservatives are four points ahead (the full tabs and methodology details are here).

(Another noticable difference between Kantar’s method and other companies is that they use the leaders’ names in their voting intention question, though given there is not nearly as much of a gap between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings as there used to be I’m not sure that would still have an impact.)

633 Responses to “Kantar- CON 42, LAB 38, LDEM 9, UKIP 5”

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  1. @TOH – well the garden plan went out of the window with thr snow and perishing temperatures.

    Air temperatures aren’t that cold, but there is a dampness in the air which makes everything feel really chill, with no sun to warm things up.

  2. My understanding of the Minford plan is that he wants us to remove all tariffs from all countries on imported goods even if we get no reciprocal arrangements for our exports to those countries. Is that correct?

    A critique of it here

  3. Alec

    Very cold here first thing with sharp ground frost but lovely day now. had a short walk and dug soime leeks and carrot. Some of the later already consumed in a tasty soup which I made.

    England v Samoa in an hour, I’ll watch the England ladies afterwards as my wife and i are great supporters of ladies rugby and cricket.

  4. Alec

    …………some of the latter……..

  5. I doubt that the lack of comments since 1 pm means that everyone has been watching the rugby.

    But what a match it was. England seemed to be tiring towards the end, giving Tonga a chance for their backs to race the England props.

    A pity that we had only a shortened version of the game, typical of the BBC`s outlook that rUK matters less than Southern England.

  6. Arlene Foster about to lay the law down on ‘no hard border on the island of Ireland’, apparently.
    Well,well, well! Come on Arlene…That’ll send Gove in to a flat spin.

  7. rjw

    there is already a hard border. we are only talking about goods.

  8. StT
    Quibble by all means, goods is what this is all about. As you well know. Oh and the ability of Paddy and Billy to go to their respective places of employment unhindered by border checks.

  9. RJW: Arlene Foster about to lay the law down on ‘no hard border on the island of Ireland’, apparently.

    Here it is:


    Hard brexit then.

  10. I think the key question in the next few months is going to be whether/when the Tory rebels decide enough is enough and put country before party. That could mean defeating key clauses in one or more of the Brexit bills, joining teh Schapps faction to bring down May, or even voting for a no confidence motion.

    But that’s the only way they will achieve the softer (or non-existent) Brexit they want. Foster holding a gun to May’s head is going to prevent talks progressing, which will lead to a no deal catastrophe.

    Do they have the guts?

  11. @trevorwarne

    “3. is IMHO the glaringly obvious choice! Politically dumps the EU in the poop, would work well with old/new friends without overly restricting future trade deals. Quite time consuming so let’s get on with it.”

    Except you are proposing opening up part of the UK agricultural sector to significantly more competition with no indication of what UK agricultural policy will be post Brexit. Overall I don’t see how that works well for a Tory government. I also doubt whether the EU would find it especially.difficult to absorb the impact of your approach even if they agreed to it.

  12. TO

    Thanks for the link to the report on the DUP Conference.

    So – a conference to the faithful. Never much of a guarantee of what leadership will actually do, though it usually takes a lot of Kremlinology to work out what hasn’t specifically been ruled out.

    The end of the report suggests that there may not be total agreement within the ranks (or that delegates have been warned to keep their mouths firmly shut, in case their phraseology carries different nuances.

    Elected representatives from district councillors right up to DUP figures at Westminster declined to speak without permission from the party’s press office about their views on Brexit, the border or other controversies.

  13. Robin

    “Do they have the guts?”

    All they need to do is go on “I’m a [very minor] Celebrity”.

  14. @mikepearce

    ‘re negotiating tactics, the new book by Tim Shipman of the Times is revealing.

    May (advised by Timothy) took decisions about negotiating “red lines” without Cabinet discussion with the objective of getting a good reception at her first party conference as PM.

    She also ignored Ivan Rogers advice not to commit definitely to a date for triggering A50. His advice was to use the leverage which that gave to the UK to attempt to influence the EU’s negotiating guidelines in particular to obtain parallel.divorce and trade talks. Once the Government had committed openly and irrevocably in political.terms to triggering A50 by end of March 2017 that leverage was lost. ( and remember the official leave campaign d ok document said that the negotiations to leave need not be rushed and A50 would not be triggered until all issues including trade had been resolved!)

    It is also clear that the Foreign Office embassies have not been able to work in concert with the UK negotiating team as there has been weak and divided Cabinet government and consequently Government policy.

  15. I’m a little confused by some of the posts here on NI. Isn’t what Arlene Foster is saying, that there can be no border of any sort between NI and the mainland of UK? Therefore there *has* to be a hard border between NI and the republic. Unless we create a new CU with the EU as a whole (seems unlikely now).

    If so, I doubt how many of her constituents really want that hard border. Though there will be lots of ‘business’ opportunities for those not too bothered about the law.

    And quite possibly war, of course.

  16. If I had a reputation, I would stake it on a hard Brexit, if I want a bottle of Montrachet, or Extra Virgin Olive oil, or a Beemer, or wish to spend time in my Spanish house, I don’t foresee any problems.
    My banking friends are pretty much sanguine about the outcome, whichever route is chosen……IMO, therefore little or no change.

  17. Patrick Brian

    “Isn’t what Arlene Foster is saying, that there can be no border of any sort between NI and the mainland of UK?”

    I don’t think so. NI, for example, has its own Civil Service, separate from the UK one. It operates only within the borders of Northern Ireland.

    Even these borders are not undisputed. Ireland (with good legal basis) argues that NI is simply a land enclave of the UK, so it has no territorial waters, but only extends to the low water mark.

    RoI has never pushed the question to international arbitration [1], but a successful ruling in their favour would have interesting consequences. For example, flights between GB and NI would require permission from Dublin to fly.

    Circumstances are seldom just as clear as politicians might suggest.

    [1] Possibly due to a realistic assessment of how the UK’s international “soft power” might extend into international tribunals – but what has Brexit done to UK influence?

  18. rjw

    1. how many in reality cross the border to work?

    2. and if they do there is a hard tax border. One pays tax at different rates and vat is also different.Also diffferent employment laws. To read this site one would think that there was one Ireland and Brexit was going to split a unitary state.

    Oddly enough people manage to deal with it.This concept of people adapting to changing cirucumstances seems strange to many posters on this site who are political luddites in that they will not contemplate change or innovation to meet a challenge. Their motto is :it is therefore it must always be so.
    there clearly must be a land border for goods which can be ameliorated to a greater or lesser extent by technology. Hardly a cause of war!!

  19. @Trevor Warne

    Thanks for your comments.

    Yep, I agree that Labour and Conservatives look headed for roughly equal seats in a hung Parliament.

    I don’t much chance of either polling much higher, so a clear gap is most likely to come from one party having declining support.

    Who could that be?

    If Brexit really does go belly up (a fair chance in my view) then the Conservatives look in trouble….except that given Labour’s Brexit policy is basically very similar to that of the Conservatives, that is having your cake and eating it, they may not benefit much.

    I think Labour will have Corbyn up to the nexy GE, but if TM goes after we leave the EU, her replacement could do well/do badly (*delete as applicable).

  20. S Thomas

    “Hardly a cause of war!!”

    Do you have any awareness at all of irish history?

  21. StT
    I didn’t mention war. Although some of the technological ‘fixes’ suggested include Dirigibles and Blimps with surveillance devices on board, big old targets for cheapo fire and forget shoulder launcher missiles.
    As to numbers of people crossing the border to work, there may be relatively few at the moment, but it holds the prospect of increasing normalisation of relations between the two states. Not regression to the state of play that existed before the GFA.

  22. Patrickbrian

    I do and that is why i deprecate hyping war up or even contemplating it.It is not a civilised response and usually threatened by armchair commentators who would not have to live with it.
    Poll the Irish: pre customs checks on goods or war and return to the troubles?

  23. Compare and contrast:

    The first sentence of a recent short post:

    “I do and that is why i deprecate hyping war up or even contemplating it.”

    and the final sentence:

    “Poll the Irish: pre customs checks on goods or war and return to the troubles?”

  24. A belated thanks to CMJ.

    I don’t think labour should be bothered about the best PM deficit it is within an acceptable range bur more importantly Corbyn v May is unlikely at the next GE.

    The Economic policy deficit is more of a problem and imo needs to close.
    I would take the view that the later the GE and the longer austerity continues, the better for Labour as the view that austerity was wrong in 2010 and thereafter will gain more traction. (Others will disagree of course).

  25. Trevor Warne,
    You outlined four options for the future, Bu I’m afraid i see only three. Reman a member, soft Brexit ‘Norway, or ‘no deal’ hard Brexit. Your option 3 negotiated minimum deal is in effect the minford plan 4. If you wish, there would be an option 4 ‘have cake and eat it’, which is what the government have been pushing, but it isnt going to happen and it isnt one of those you suggested.

    All the evidence suggests my three are only possibilities.

    “Being the leastworst option to remainers, it would almost certainly win hands down if put to another referendum without further tarnishing the Con brand.”

    While it might gain national consensus, it would alienate hard leavers, who would resonably desert the tory party, cause a split and destroy its already flakey core vote. While remainers might accept it as a compromise but would still resent the tories for making it necessary. Its not the future of the nation which matters, but the future of the tories. Most routes do not give them one.

  26. I see no good future for Brexit. In the short run most people seem to agree it brings economic pain and some loss of national prestige.

    Such things already seem to be with us, a reduced pound, squeezed living standards, poor productivity, gloomy forecasts, contemptuous leaked documents on our negotiating stance, no judge for the first time for a long time on the international court at the Hague,

    In the medium term we may, for all I know do OK. But if we do we will have to strike trade deals and make accommodationsand spend money on regulating things in much the same way that the EU once did. It is possible that we will be able to have more flagrantly crooked bananas but to he honest this seems a lot of pain to go through for such a nugatory gain,

    So what I object to is that we are suffering for an illusion. And what I want is a counter illusion – something that makes itappear that things have changed when they haven’t.

    One possibility that occurs to me is that we simply revoke article 60 and when the rest of the EU object (as we might secretly urge them to do) take them to court. Immediately after this we should exercise a veto over something that most states don’t want anyway and follow that up with some repatriations of out of work EU citizens who have not been able to support themselves.

    This tough stance would be, of course, for internal consumption. In other ways we should be excellent Europeans, contributing to the budget collaborating on science, and helping to make the planes land on time, =perhaps even contributing to defence.

    More to the point we could actually get on with other things whether that be selling goods to China or ending the scandal of people sleeping outside on a night like this, None of which IMHO has anything to do with the EU.

  27. @Jim Jam


    I broadly support your comments too.

    Labour do seem have picked up their game in Parliament tactically compared to last term (of course facing a minority government helps). However, I think they need to really set out their stall more to nation about what they would do, in at least a broad brush to the world outside Westminster.

    Governments can be rubbish, but unless people think the opposition are better, they vote for the devil they know.

  28. I see that ,as a reward for resigning, Mugabe is getting a $10m payoff, his salary for life and immunity for his family.

    Cameron really was a total amateur at getting the rewards due to someone who screwed his country.

  29. oldnat: Cameron really was a total amateur at getting the rewards due to someone who screwed his country.
    The present lot are having a good go, although I doubt they will get the army to escort them out of office.

  30. OLDNAT…….Mugabe is a typical Yorkshireman, it’s no coincidence that his name is, ‘ e ba gum ‘ backwards ! ;-)

  31. Ken

    I’m bored!

    So your post set me off on a exploration of names and phrases.

    In Shona Mugabe means “the strongest one”.

    “Ee ba Gum” is just a “minced oath” meaning “by God” – who Christians think is omnipotent.

    So, no reversal is required. They are simply both references to the exercise of power. Mugabe just made more cash out of the process than William Hague.

    God (or at least her/his organisations such as churches) of course, has made far more cash than either of them.

  32. TOH, aren’t you retired (had cancer too)?
    just how old will you be in 2030?

    I do note, those that say they’ll be short term pain due to brexit aren’t the ones who will feel this short term pain…must be nice watching others suffer.

  33. ROBIN

    Would the Tory Brexit rebel’s want to bring down May? That’s a dangerous game as it could lead to a Brexiteer as PM.

  34. Sunday Times reporting that “The amount of money Theresa May will pay to the EU to settle accounts will be kept secret, so that supporters of Brexit, will not complain.”

    And Arlene Foster thinks she can trust ECon not to sell the DUP out?

  35. @MIke Pearce

    They’d bring May down for exactly the same reason the hardliners play up. To remind everyone that they are playing for keeps and that they *can* bring down a PM who doesn’t do as they wish.

    Any Brexit rebel group who could bring May down would be just as able to bring down a Brexiteer.

    I would urge everyone to read Anna Soubry’s interview with the Graun. She’s not the only one who thinks Brexit is going to destroy the Tories. You just need enough Tory MPs who think that enacting Brexit will kill the Tories and things get very interesting.

    I think they’re more likely to bring the Government down and let the problem become Corbyn’s than act directly to stop Brexit though as that is (incredibly) politically safer.

  36. S Thomas

    A section of the Irish population has long held the view that civilised responses don’t work where the English are concerned.

  37. Irish Options

    At the risk of descending into the stereotypical the old Irish joke about not wishing to start from here seems apposite. The Irish political class is frozen on the day the UK voted to leave the UK and is still shaking its head in denial.To still be suggesting that the only acceptable Brexit solution for Ireland is for the rest of the UK to abandon Brexit is a tad unrealistic. And then to threaten that if that is ignored they will stop a trade deal the consequence of which would be to bring calamity on themselves and the very hard border for goods that they objected to in the first place. What then are the solutions :

    a. Unification. Not wildly unrealistic but not without years of Chaos. There would need to be a referendum possibly in the ROI as well. Oddly enough the rest of the uK with the possible exception of scotland would be either be indifferent or positive to the idea.However the People themselves might be reluctant to give up the NHS and benefit structure of the UK. Of course the EU might help with vast sums of German money so that might not be insuperable. What would IMHO be impossible to overcome would be the political side.Whilst that might be asauged by a huge amount of autonomy or joint sovereignty for 100 years it would not be quick and would not be pretty
    and cannot offer a solution to Brexit in the timeframe.That is why it remains fantasy politics.If we discount that political solution what are we left with?

    2.De Facto Unification. This is where there is no political unification but NI remains in the customs union and in the single market when the rest of the UK leaves either permanently or a fixed period until technology advances enough for there to be no hard border for goods.This might necessitate a longer transition period for NI/ROI of say 5 years. The practical effects could not be judged until the UK/EU trade deal if any takes shape. Nor does that offer the Scottish Government any succour.Kicking the can down the road has an appeal and a longer transition period for goods would certainly satisfy many of the political concerns of both sides. The ECJ might be a sticking point but not beyond the whit of man to negotiate.

    c.No trade deal brexit or even a trade deal Brexit. There has to be a border for goods. The logical place for it to be is on the border. Alternatively turn the Entire province into a “border zone” ie defence in depth and combine that with electronic means. NI is almost unique because to get to the rest of the UK there is a natural barrier.Thus the symbolic free movement of goods could be maintained whilst ensuring checks could be made. This would however create a bespoke area in the EU and logically the ROI would need to be a border zone as well. The practical consequences could not be assessed until it is known what if any trade deal is agreed.
    d.Custom check for goods on the land border.Not wanted by both sides.

    e. customs checks for goods on the sea border.Permanent de facto unification.Politically unacceptable to at least one side.

    IMHO we need to explore the extended Irish transition period option but the full effects could only be seen when and if a trade deal is done.The start of trade talks should not be a reward for a solution but the only hope of a solution being found.

  38. leave uk should read leave eu

  39. The irish won’t let us move on to trade unless we stay in the customs union or common market. My suggestion is that we revoke article 50 on the grounds that there is no time to negotiate a reasonable deal and this is the EU[s fault. At the same time we declare that we are taking control of our borders in the sense that we will deport any EU citizen found guilty of welfare tourism; We can declare that the EU can take us to court on both of these crucial matters and that we will of course be having a referendum on the alternative possibility of a hard Brexit.

    This is a) democratic – the British people have a realistic choice b) fair on the other parts of the EU who can be reasonable to us or see us go c) possibly helpful to them as clarifying what might be involved in an outside tier,.

  40. Is Ireland the biggest Brexit issue ?

    My gut instinct is that there will be a customs border in the Irish Sea, so that there is no border between Ireland/N.Ireland. The customs border in the Irish Sea is easily implemented, with there being an electronic customs declaration required at Irish/N.Irish and UK ports, for flights/shipments between the two areas.

    Yes the DUP don’t like this, but if Theresa May had to ask Philip Hammond to write another cheque for a few billion, I am sure he would find a way to help N.Ireland. They might call it the N.Ireland development fund to strengthen trade between N.Ireland and Ireland. Money flowing from UK treasury to N.Ireland, which also helped the Irish economy. Obviously subject to rules to stop goods/services being subsidised to the detriment of Irish businesses.

    Most of the Brexit issues can be resolved with money and commonsense. Yes it will be very expensive and add to the national debt, but that is what people voted for. Brexit means Brexit, with no conditions being applied. It does not matter if Brexit costs an additional say £200 billion over the next 10 years. And it does not matter, if the ECJ still has some limited role in dealing with UK issues.

    It seems to me that Theresa May has decided to try to work with the consensus in Parliament across parties. She won’t win over hardline Brexiteers and those that don’t want Brexit to happen. The only way of making Brexit happen, is to make compromises, find middle ground and plough on. If she manages to do this, then she might get through Brexit staying PM until June 2022.

    The nightmare for Theresa May and the Tories is a bad Brexit, together with a very bad period for the UK economy. By June 2022, Labour are likely to have a new leader and John McDonnell will be gone as well. Both Corbyn and McDonnell are probably too old to contest a 2022 election and younger talent will take over.

  41. pete: TOH, aren’t you retired … ?
    just how old will you be in 2030?

    No, don’t go there. According to different calculations, he was born in 1940 or 1935, probably due to his ‘bot operator thinking that the voting age in the UK was 18, when he said how many years he had been voting for.

    It upsets him to be reminded.

  42. Catmanjeff,
    “Yep, I agree that Labour and Conservatives look headed for roughly equal seats in a hung Parliament.

    I don’t much chance of either polling much higher, so a clear gap is most likely to come from one party having declining support.

    Who could that be?”

    This is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison, are we talking percentages or numbers? If numbers, then both parties have benefitted from normal bystanders being motivated to come out and vote, so this isnt a zero sum game as is implied by always quoting percentages. Obviously the total vote will be 100%, but theoretically there are enough no shows to make a big increase for anyone who could motivate them. The recent election had growth on those turning out for labour. I think the turnout growth probably had already happened on the leave side, but it transferred to conservatives from UKIP.

    In theory there could still be more increased turnout due to Brexit on either side, but I only see boosted impetus to vote likely on the remain side, because all the news re Brexit is bad. So I would argue it is still possible to increase total numbers for labour, assuming they are still seen as remain.

    Whereas, as you say, there might yet be switching between parties on this score, and potential to demotivate dissilusioned leavers who then do not bother to turn out for anyone. This could result in rises for labour and falls for tory, yet in fact it isnt simply people swapping sides but dropping in or out of voting.

  43. ROI

    Perhaps we were misreading the ROI foreign Minister when he talked about a 5yr Brexit transition.We thought he was talking about the whole of the UK but perhaps he was talking about a bespoke Irish solution

    A 2 yr transition for the UK with a 5 year transition for ireland. NI will leave the EU on the same date as the rest of the UK .The uk will leave transition after 2 years and Ireland after 5 . who knows by then the UK and EU trade arrangements might be very close to what they are now.

  44. http://qpol.qub.ac.uk/brexit-views-local-communities-central-border-region-roi-ni/

    “Finally, Brexit is exacerbating the sense of marginalisation and invisibility felt by residents in the Central Border Region, in both jurisdictions. This is quite clear from the fact that ‘opportunities’ arising from Brexit that were identified by our respondents tended to be framed as being at the expense of the jurisdiction/economy on the other side of the border. It is apparent from this research that the risk of a return to back-to-back development will have profoundly damaging effects not just economically but socially too.”

  45. @Charles – I wouldn’t be averse to that scenario myself.

    It would also have the other advantage of giving the EU time to consider some serious reforms, as they now know that the UK is serious about voting to leave, so may be more minded to initiate the kinds of reforms that could have been offered in 2016.

  46. @Oldnat – “Sunday Times reporting that “The amount of money Theresa May will pay to the EU to settle accounts will be kept secret, so that supporters of Brexit, will not complain.””

    That’s exactly what I predicted months ago, as this is precisely why the EU framed the money question in the way they did.

    They don’t want a sum – merely an agreement on the method of calculation, and one of the reasons I think they will have wanted this is to try to sidestep the British press and some of the nuttier Brexiters in parliament.

  47. the sea border between great Britain and norn iron may seem like the most sensible solution and would – perhaps – be supported by a majority in NI.
    But The DUP are opposed and can bring down the government. But – that is not the real sticking point. If you could buy the DUP off – you will not buy off the headbanging loyalist ultras who make up their core support.
    They will literally go to war over this – these are people who throw nail bombs at primary school kids because they don’t like the route they take to school. They will do their very best to make the country ungovernable – and could start a spiral of violence that breaks the GFA.

  48. s thomas: Irish Options

    The Irish political class is frozen on the day the UK voted to leave the UK and is still shaking its head in denial.To still be suggesting that the only acceptable Brexit solution for Ireland is for the rest of the UK to abandon Brexit is a tad unrealistic.
    There are other suggestions that Ireland leaves the EU and joins the Commonwealth. Are these any more realistic?

    And then to threaten that if that is ignored they will stop a trade deal the consequence of which would be to bring calamity on themselves and the very hard border for goods that they objected to in the first place.
    Cart before horse. Essentially, the British position is de facto that there shall be a hard border [out of SM & CU, no exemption for NI], despite British gov’t denialism. So the hard border calamity is a given in the circumstance that Ireland would stop a trade deal.

    As for your options, well yes. Every single one of them is unacceptable to someone.

    a] Unacceptable to DUP, tories
    2] Unacceptable to DUP [with tories as stakeholders in DUP disgruntlement]
    c] This is d] or e]
    d] Unacceptable to everyone, except possibly DUP
    e] This is 2]

    Magic borders are not credible, so I suggest that it will be decided on who is the weakest objector

    There is of course option f] cancel brexit, which will upset UKIP and a lot of the tories in the country

    Overall, I think it really comes down to 2] or f] and I think that the determinant will be British mainland public opinion. 2] will lead to a]. TM could, I suppose, talk down 2] and muse publicly that this will leave Scotland with a precedent for SM & CU, so the customs post at Carter Bar on the A68 comes into play, which might touch British Mainland public opinion, without being something that the hardest brexite could justifiably be upset about.

  49. @ HIRETON – thanks for your reply on my #3 adopting a larger than ‘fair’ chunk of TRQs

    It wouldn’t be significantly more competition in the vast number of sectors (lamb would be the obvious one but CR would be happy with less sheep ruining our countryside anyway).

    Much would depend on whether or not we have tariffs with EU, how quickly UK producers could react to the net changes and how willing HMG was to “smooth” the process – hence desire for 2y transition and having a sunset provision on the 3rd country amounts.

    “Overall I don’t see how that works well for a Tory government”
    Why not? Gove has morphed into an environmentalist and I don’t see the impact being that significant – certainly well within the limits of a new domestic CAP style policy targetted at the sectors hit hardest by the new trade regime.

    Depending on the specific TRQ the EU would have a political issue in many countries IMHO. The farming lobby is much higher than in the UK and EU are very protective.
    They could certainly absorb the economic impact but the political blow-back would be IMHO be more of a problem for them and one they would wish to avoid.

    However, the clock is ticking down so we need to start thinking of alternative solutions to the stalemate and I see TRQs as a card in UK’s favour if, and only if, May+DD are prepared to play it soon and will visible signs that they mean to play out the bluff if required.

    @ NEILJ – Independent critique on a Extreme Brexit plan is hardly going to be positive is it! That would be like someone posting a Remain critique from the Daily Wail. Happy to discuss the many flaws in Minford’s plan but not starting from an arch-Remain perspective.

  50. @ CMJ – Who could that be?

    Do you look at demographics and more importantly turnout by demographics? All the LAB partisans are putting blind faith in the 2017 GE boost being even bigger in the next GE but this ‘straight line interpretation’ approach is a common error from the field of economics.

    The youth turnout is already highest in 25years and due to the drop in older vote in recent GE the gap between youth and old votes in the narrowest it has been in 40years (as far as I’ve seen records for it). Even if you accept this could happen (I do run that scenario) then you have to look at the seats that it will impact and it is mostly vote stacking in safe seats – YouGov’s seat prediction model would probably pick this up if they restarted it.

    The other LAB partisan belief is the SW and this has more validity IMHO. The story goes that LDEM are “confused” about tactical vote but in many seats they are now clearly 3rd and hence would tactically vote LAB. If you look at the CON and LDEM seats in Scotland you can see the tactical voting process needs a few rounds to find an “optimal” outcome. I think it is fair to assume Greens would tactically vote LAB everywhere except Lucas’s seat. UKIP pulled so many seats last time but did still post some and that means they could still effect the outcome.

    Far more likely, as you suggest, we need a major Brexit factor and/or a leadership issue to change the polls – both of which would be covered by the 3 categories you highlighted in your blog piece. This is where the CON partisan belief kicks in.

    It is very dangerous trying to back-fit models but did you happen to run your three criteria as a seat predictor? Just eyeballing the numbers we look a lot more like 2005 than 1997 right now but that was before the rise of SNP which due to geographic bias of a FPTP system has made the hung parliament risk far greater than the days of LDEM.
    The other weird result was 2010. LAB should have been hammered in that GE based on the rankings in your three criteria. Singh has been down this path and it helped predict the “shy Tory’ in 2015 but failed dismally in 2017!

    Sorry for long post but I enjoy talking models and analysis on the never ending quest for the best predictions!

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