YouGov’s regular voting intention figures this week are CON 42%(+1), LAB 42%(nc), LDEM 6%(-1). Fieldwork was Sunday to Monday and changes are from mid-January, showing the stable levels of support that have become the norm in recent months.

One thing that is notable in the tracker questions is the question on whether Brexit was the right or wrong decision: 40% said right, 46% said wrong. Six points is the largest lead for “wrong” that YouGov have shown in this tracker, which has provoked some comment. In YouGov’s last poll there was a blip in the opposite direction and the results put “right” ahead for the first time in months. That didn’t mean anything in hindsight, so I’d urge caution on this one too. All polls have a margin of error, so you get extremes one way or the other – the thing to pay attention to the trend (which does now tend to show slightly more people think it’s the wrong decision than the right one) rather than get wrongly excited about the outliers.

Full tabs are here.


444 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 42%, LAB 42%, LD 6%”

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  1. “…strangely reticent to comment on yesterdays largest ever one day points fall.”

    ——-

    Maybe he thinks it’s fake news…

  2. @ Neil J

    It will be interesting for several reasons: (1) UKIP polled well more in North Wales than the rest of Wales in the last assembly election, the UKIP candidate was third in this seat and there is no UKIP candidate this time. The Labour majority is circa 5000 and UKIP vote was approaching 4000 where will the votes go?(2) As far as I am aware this is the first ever Welsh Assembly By-Election: turnout in the Welsh General Election was just under 46% what will it be now? (3) Jack Sergeant has refused to take part in the televised candidate debates, will this negatively impact on the natural sympathy vote towards him? (4) Loss of the seat for Labour will once again place Labour in the minority (at the moment one Lib Dem and one ex PC AM make up the Labour numbers as ministers).

  3. @NEILA

    “The UK public are either supportive of, or not really bothered about, all of the other “Leave” obsessions, from the ECJ to the budget contribution to the Customs Union/Right to Sign Trade Agreements.”

    I agree. Ironically, if things go according to the Smog plan, we will implement change to all the ‘other Leave obsessions’ but likely retain freedom of movement of labour, albeit probably protected with a figleaf.

  4. Norbold 12.40 a.m.

    Got it in one! And Old Nat, 12.32 last sentence, absolutely right.

    The decision to rush to leave the EU before having thought about immediate and long-term consequences and the need for a workable plan was a mistake. I would have thought that even TOH would agree with that, though it may be that in the present rather fraught setting he cannot bring himself to admit it.

    I think the last few days have moved the UK towards an inevitable quick Brexit, and, with it, the end of present arrangements in Ireland.

    Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
    The present only toucheth thee:
    But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
    On prospects drear!
    An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
    I guess an’ fear!

  5. Looks like the Equities Bull Run has reached an end.

    The era of Oceans of Central Bank created LIquidity & ultra-low interest rates stutters to an end , and the return of “normal” inflation hits equity prices.

    The irony that US wage growth finally triggered this correction says everything about the wierd world of Funny Money we have all been living in for a decade. , as investors try to remember what “normal” interest rates are.

  6. Nicely put, John.

    Meanwhile the Tory-leaning, Home-Counties-focussed BBC reviews the papers on Radio 4 this morning (7.40 am) with the quotes overwhelmingly from the Mail, Sun and Telegraph, and only 1 from a centrist paper (Guardian). So a token gesture of balance from Ms Sands.

    Jeremy Paxman on University Challenge again mispronounces Marischal College last night. When Paxman is so blinkered in his Southern England outlook, you would have thought someone on UC would be watching out for his failings before they record shows, but then the whole programme has a private-school bias with lots of questions on Classics that most schools no longer teach. It`s funny how Paxman never gets Oxbridge colleges wrong, but Aberdeen is probably somewhere he has no interest in.

    Radio 4 newsreaders also failing on Barrow-in-Furness, again a town outwith their focus.

    Lest people think II am always grumbling, the UC team from Merton College was superb, as was the singing from Magdalen, Oxford, on last week`s Choral Evensong.

  7. John B

    Just to put your mind at rest John, I am very happy with the way Brexit is proceeding. I was particularly pleased with May’s clear statement on our exiting the customs union which helps to ensure the clean break i want.

    Colin

    “Looks like the Equities Bull Run has reached an end.”

    Yes i sold riskier investnments before Christmas. As to the rest as always in a downturn i just hope that neither my wife or i die during it. Of course i hope that anyway.

    :-)

  8. DAVWEL

    @”Lest people think II am always grumbling”

    Perish the thought Davwel.

    How could the Home-Counties types who seem to constitute the whole of England’s population & Media in your world, possibly gain the impression that you have Scottish Chip in your shoulder?

    I think your remarks about University Challenge are hilarious.

  9. TOH

    A correction had been signalled for a while.

    I just think that it says so much about the last decade that wage rises cause a Stock Market fall :-)

  10. @ ALEC – it’s called sarcasm, lowest form of wit I know but it is a good English tradition and we both enjoy a good laugh at each others posts ;)

    @ SJ – an apology from y’day. I’ve been slow to spot the “new” final straw, snake oil tactic of Remain is to denounce leavers as n4zis, not those still fighting the n4zis – quite the flip but clearly Planet Remain are buying the “new” version. I found the source of your post:
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/04/when-brexit-fails-it-wont-be-fault-of-tory-right-jacob-rees-mogg
    This might be a quibble and no one expects APA format citations but instead of plagiarism then polite request for the source for credibility check.

    @ MARAAN – If I give a long post it will mean I lost the argument but in a watered down variety I would suggest Economists for Free trade or a quick read on the “new” topic of why full clean Brexit is so important then try:
    http://brexitcentral.com/relish-opportunities-life-outside-eus-single-market-customs-union/
    (NB I disagree with Lyons re:tax and minor issues elsewhere but hopefully it covers the gist of the full Brexit argument)

    At the risk of an own goal for mentioning the war I’ll add some more dark humour:
    Q: What’s the difference between the German election of 10 April 1938 and the European “election” on 15 July 2014?
    A: One of them at least pretended to be democratic.

    Juncker appointed by 26/28 (UK was one of the two who said “non”) then less than 0.0001% of population actually got to vote for him. I’d suggest if you have an issue with democracy you might want to reconsider that line of argument but thank you for posting. Freedom of speech and the right to question people’s assumptions, etc is a very important part of democracy – let’s hope we never start burning the books of those with different opinions to a specific ideology!

    P.S. i’m blaming the largest 1day ever fall on the Dow on Brexit – Guardian citation coming by end of the day ;)

  11. @Colin , “I just think that it says so much about the last decade that wage rises cause a Stock Market fall :-)”

    Doesn’t it just!

  12. For some reason I have a post in moderation. I linked to this unobjectionable piece by Katy Hayward

    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2018/02/06/categorically-clear-what-being-outside-a-customs-union-with-the-eu-will-mean-for-the-post-brexit-uk/

  13. Back to polling. YouGov poll on LDEMs:
    http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/crpgg05738/InternalResults_180202_LibDems.pdf
    Obviously at 8%ish in general polls the findings will be partisan skewed against them but IMHO it does show the “baggage” issue of CON-coalition means if Remain want to make an impact they need a new party. I respect any and all MPs right to opinion but clearly one name in CON party sticks out as someone to join this new party if/when it ever forms.

    In terms of sources does anyone have the polling info behind HuffPosts:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/poll-jeremy-corbyn-will-haemorrhage-votes-to-the-lib-dems-if-labour-backs-brexit-at-next-election_uk_5a78e706e4b018ad894f0bc9

    possibly a second instalment to the LDEM poll?
    If anyone sees the source info and tabs please post otherwise some cynics might view this as fake news ;)

  14. Ms Hayward’s piece points out the problems Uk business may experience. I added that the negotiations between WTO, EU and UK had barely started and raised the possibility that Cake might eject the PM

  15. I see Anna Soubry has thrown her toys out of the pram and is now threatening to quit the party if a Brexiteer becomes leader.

    I suspect she is getting little support for her wish to stay in the SM & CU from fellow MPs judging by her shrill imprecations denouncing the likes of Johnson & Co.

    Here was the most interesting data I’ve found on Tory MPs current views:

    “Last week a survey of MPs by scholars at Queen Mary University found that on the Conservative side 80% favour leaving the single market, 76% feel that the Brexit vote prohibits remaining in the single market, almost 75% think it would be unacceptable for freedom of movement to continue during transition, 63% oppose the European Court of Justice having jurisdiction in Britain after March 2019, and only 12% back the idea of an ‘open-ended’ transition.”

    Looking at the EU’s transition position this gives credence to @WB’s view that we are more likely to be heading for WTO.

    I’m coming to the conclusion that if things go badly during the transition talks that both sides may pursue a WTO-Plus as an alternative. Basically WTO but with enhanced customs procedures to mitigate non-tariff barriers with a view to a bespoke free trade agreement down the line which will take time.

  16. TW: @ SJ – an apology from y’day. I’ve been slow to spot the “new” final straw, snake oil tactic of Remain is to denounce leavers as n4zis, not those still fighting the n4zis – quite the flip but clearly Planet Remain are buying the “new” version.

    Baffling. I’ve made no reference to the party you mention.

    I did reference the Versailles treaty as an example of one-sided ‘negotiations’ where the demands and red lines of the weaker party were just so much bluster, signifying nothing.

    Have you turned that into a plot to “denounce leavers as n4zis?”

    Could it be that you’re under the impression the Versailles treaty was negotiated in 1945?

    If so, your grasp of history would seem to be on a par with your grasp of economics.

    Or perhaps you’re confusing me with someone else.

  17. @Sea Change – I certainly think that the poll data from Con MPs points that way, but do we know how comprehensive the data is? We must also bear in mind MP’s willingness to alter their views subject to circumstance.

    I’ve never really felt that Brexit is something that is being led by mainstream politicians, and I still don’t. They are responding to external developments, rather than making the weather. The entire process has been about how MPs and the parties they are members of can respond to events they didn’t predict and mostly didn’t actually want.

    If WTO becomes the only game in town, this will trigger a further series of events outside politics and parliament. Once business starts to settle on what Brexit actually looks like, they will start making hard decisions. I don’t pretend to know how all of this will pan out, but it’s clear that so far, business has accepted Brexit on the basis of promises made by May and Hammond that everything relevant will stay the same.

    If it becomes clear that it won’t, and if the date at which the big changes will commence becomes March 2019, I think we can expect to see a series of adjustments and impacts. MPs will then be faced with responding to this further set of external stimuli, and I don’t opinions will stay quite as fixed as they appear at this point.

  18. @ SAM – excellent post, thank you. I think most people on both sides would agree “What is less certain is the means by which the consequences of this move will be managed.”

    In terms of the final question posed:
    “Is negotiating ‘any’ customs union with the EU really more devilish than throwing British businesses and consumers into the deep blue sea?”

    Then I’d highlight, as I have often done:
    1/ We have a 100bn+/yr trade deficit in goods with EU. Managing the consequences of this reshoring opportunity requires an HMG of sufficient energy. That trade deficit is the “carrot” for 3rd country trade talks and without the carrot it is pointless leaving (this is a BINO outcome)
    2/ Unlike goods, services are not fully open in EU and hence UK’s main developed competitive advantage (DCA) has been stifled relative to axis countries’ DCAs within EU (see also trade deals like CETA that place axis country priorities above UK). This issue goes back to 1980s if not before.
    3/ UFT is IMHO a huge risk, that really is throwing our economy into the deep sea and I think we would drown. I don’t buy that this risk would be offset by a drop in the currency and fully diminishing abnormal profits that exist in monopolistic exporter’s pricing. UFT might end up a default scenario though and just behind EEA+CU this would IMHO be the 2nd worst case Brexit. (I’ve called this full-Minford in the past which for the sake of a quibble isn’t 100% accurate but I’m sure you get the point)

    I’d like to see the final new Treasury models contain a HMG policy implementation add-on (ie how they would affect the weather for different base forecasts). Politically sensitive, econometrically non-robust, etc so n4ive on my part but the “implementation plan” is IMHO far more important than the decimal place of a model prediction. Lancaster House and the accompanying White Paper was over 1y ago and although HMG have done nowhere near enough planning they clearly have done some and I’d like a lot more of it released (as would likes of SMogg and Soubs – one of the few things they agree on!)

  19. @Alec “…if the date at which the big changes will commence becomes March 2019, I think we can expect to see a series of adjustments and impacts. MPs will then be faced with responding to this further set of external stimuli, and I don’t opinions will stay quite as fixed as they appear at this point.”

    I agree with what you’ve written. Essentially the EU and the UK would have agreed to disagree and there would be no transition. I’m not sure how the MPs could respond to such a development apart from perhaps bringing down the Government.

    Would Tory Arch-Remainers seek to bring down the Government (I think this unlikely because of Corbyn). Would the DUP do so (very unlikely for the same reason). Would even Corbyn want to? (I don’t think so – I think he’d rather hang Brexit on the Tories and try the next GE).

  20. @ SJ – your 6:03pm y’day:

    “The stab-in-the-back myth is already being dusted off and prepared for action by brexiters who will need to find an excuse for the failure of brexit.”

    Since Brexiters typically relate the Versailles Treaty to the Troika bailouts I gave you to courtesy of assuming you had taken the Dolchstosslegende “stab-in-the-back” view (as Cohen did). If you want to discuss the Versailles Treaty and its relevance to EU current situation then we can have an interesting discussion on Socialist values. WW2 had many contributory factors. Versailles punishing terms was the first seed. Merkel currently seems paranoid about the minority govt risk. Buba still focussed on the inflation risks (although influence over ECB is on the wane). Disturbingly no one in EC seems to worry about the populist risks. This is becoming a long post, so I’ll end there.

  21. @TW

    Ah, I sort of see where you’re coming from now.

    You have seen my prediction that ardent brexiteers disappointed by a brexit that fails to match up to their expectations will resort to the “stab in the back” metaphor, ie claiming that the problem lies not with the original policy, but the failure of lily-livered faint-hearts to negotiate properly and/or execute the policy properly. With implications that shady establishment cliques have betrayed the people and a noble ideal.

    You have interpreted “stab-in-the-back” as a sly suggestion that brexiteers are no better than Mosley and his German role-models.

    You take analogies too literally. Did my Versailles analogy mean I accept that the stronger side in the brexit negotiations is being vindictive, revanchist, unreasonable and laying down trouble for the future? Of course not. Did my suggestion that ardent brexiteers are unlikely ever to accept that brexit was a stupid idea, and prefer to blame flaws in execution or dastardly plots, mean they are closet nasties? Of course not.

    FWIW, I understand and used the “stab in the back” phrase in the immediate post-WW1 context, where the Weimar Republic came under attack from disappointed nationalists. As wiki puts it:

    The stab-in-the-back myth (German: Dolchstoßlegende) was the notion, widely believed and promulgated in right-wing circles in Germany after 1918, that the German Army did not lose World War I on the battlefield but was instead betrayed by the civilians on the home front, especially the republicans who overthrew the monarchy in the German Revolution of 1918–19.

    The parallel is that, when it becomes clear that brexit is a national disaster, brexiters will start casting around for “enemies of the people” to blame, instead of accepting that their idea of national salvation through making opponents of the rest of Europe was a fatally flawed idea.

  22. New IBM Poll for the Guardian

    Conservatives: 41% (no change from Guardian/ICM two weeks ago)

    Labour: 40% (down 1)

    Lib Dems: 8% (up 1)

    Ukip: 4% (no change)

    Green: 3% (no change)

    —-

    We asked respondents how they thought the process of leaving the EU was going. Here are the results.

    Well: 16% (down 5 from Guardian/ICM in December)

    Neither well nor badly: 25% (up 2)

    Badly: 53% (up 2)

    Don’t know: 6% (no change)

    Next, we asked a question intended to find which leading politicians people most supported on Brexit. We asked people to put aside their general views of these politicians and to tell us instead whether they agreed or disagreed with their stance on Brexit. Here are the results.

    Boris Johnson

    Agree: 32%

    Disagree: 34%

    Net disagree: -2

    Theresa May

    Agree: 31%

    Disagree: 36%

    Net disagree: -5

    Keir Starmer

    Agree: 10%

    Disagree: 17%

    Net disagree: -7

    Nigel Farage

    Agree: 30%

    Disagree: 40%

    Net disagree: -10

    Michael Gove

    Agree: 17%

    Disagree: 28%

    Net disagree: -11

    Philip Hammond

    Agree: 14%

    Disagree: 27%

    Net disagree: -13

    Jeremy Corbyn

    Agree: 23%

    Disagree: 39%

    Net disagree: -16

    Tony Blair

    Agree: 18%

    Disagree: 42%

    Net agree: -24

  23. My exchange with @TW prompts the further thought that a Corbyn government could be in line for a Weimar experience.

    The comparatively blameless inheritors of a disastrous situation, trying to make the best of a bad job, could end up being blamed for the whole mess. Where things would go from there, goodness only knows.

  24. New ICM/Guardian

    CON 41 (-)
    LAB 40 (-1)
    LDEM 8 (+1)
    UKIP 4 (-)
    GRN 3 (-)

    Not much change in the grand scheme of things, within MoE

    Brexit:

    Going well 16 (-5)
    Going badly 53 (+2)
    Neither 25 (+2)
    Dont know 6 (-)

    Not surprising really but could change sharply if there is a breakthrough of some kind.

  25. TREVOR W

    Thank you, Trevor.
    This is apparently from the FT. I found it on the Slugger o’t website part of a post by Brian Walker.
    “Britain and the EU are heading for another big clash over Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit status, as Brussels pushes for greater clarity on a fragile compromise over the Irish border. The EU side is within weeks of publishing a legal text of December’s Brexit divorce agreement that would lay out exactly how Northern Ireland might need to “align” with the union’s single market — a move that would give much greater definition to the ambiguously worded deal. Senior negotiators see the Irish border issue as the single biggest risk in talks before a March EU summit, in which Britain is hoping to agree a transition deal and begin trade talks. “If this blows up over the next two months it will be over Ireland,” said one senior EU figure involved in talks. “That is the flashpoint.”

    “The fudge will not survive,” said one senior EU diplomat in direct contact with Downing Street over the issue.”

  26. Re: stab in the back, from my GCSE history i seem to remember that the German population kept being given propaganda saying they were winning the war when they actually weren’t. So, when they were suddenly told they had lost the war, it came as a big shock and some people struggled to believe that they actually had lost the war and this gave the ground for people to say that they had been stabbed in the back by their own side.

  27. Tony Blair
    Agree: 18%
    Disagree: 42%
    Net agree: -24

    ———

    This is odd. Blair came bottom of the lot. Yet Robbie was just saying how well Blair would be handling the EU thing, making it “clear” to voters etc.*

  28. @Frosty

    It was widely promulgated by General Ludendorff after the war as a way of deflecting responsibility for his failure. He was an ardent right-wing nationalist and was involved with Hitler in the Beer Hall Putsch of 1923.

  29. TW

    “Then I’d highlight, as I have often done:”

    Very true.

  30. Making it clear to leavers that he disagrees with them probably means that most leavers would disagree with his position though, accounting for the 42% disagree. Some remainers might disagree with his position too, or they just don’t trust/approve of him full stop, accounting for the low agree position.

  31. @Alec

    “I’ve never really felt that Brexit is something that is being led by mainstream politicians, and I still don’t. They are responding to external developments, rather than making the weather.”

    ——–

    One might be a little relieved they’re following not leading. Consider what rabbit holes we might be led down if they made the weather!!

  32. “Making it clear to leavers that he disagrees with them probably means that most leavers would disagree with his position though, accounting for the 42% disagree. Some remainers might disagree with his position too, or they just don’t trust/approve of him full stop, accounting for the low agree position.”

    ——-

    Well that’s the problem with making his views “clear” on Brexit, he winds up 8 points lower than Corbyn on the matter.

  33. @Carfrew “Well that’s the problem with making his views “clear” on Brexit, he winds up 8 points lower than Corbyn on the matter.”

    One could also say Corbyn has made his views very clear on Brexit…for the past 40+ years in fact!

  34. The issue with polling on what people think of named politicians’ view on Brexit is that it is polluted by bias, based on the image of that person.

    It’s like asking “Do you agree with the policy xxx” vs “Do you agree with BNP policy of xxx”

    You get different answers.

    Given the public are as confused as politicians on the details of Brexit and who really believes what, I see this type of polling as pointless.

  35. CMJ

    Absolutely.

    In the circs. the 8% gap seems remarkably small and completely unremarkable.

  36. @SEA CHANGE

    “One could also say Corbyn has made his views very clear on Brexit…for the past 40+ years in fact!”

    ————–

    Well there seems to be a vague on this. Some complain Corbyn hasn’t made his policy clear, some say he’s always been less than keen on the EU.

    As Catman points out, one can’t extrapolate too much from this polling, but you can certainly see that in relative terms, that Corbyn’s approach is doing rather better than Blair’s.

  37. @Catman

    “The issue with polling on what people think of named politicians’ view on Brexit is that it is polluted by bias, based on the image of that person.”

    ———

    Well of course it’s polluted by bias, that’s one of the things polling measures, bias!*

    So yes, in this instance, if Blair does badly on the issue that will partly be down to what people think of him and his “clarity”. So it is measure of how people view the policy and the delivery and the person delivering it.

    * However in this instance those polled were asked to put their general views of the person aside, however much that is worth…

  38. @Catman

    I should add, that if they include control questions, they can make more of this sort of polling, check how well the instruction to set general views aside worked, try and ascertain the amount t of how’s etc.

  39. @Carfrew

    I think the poll is meaningless too. The only thing you can take from it is the visibility of the people.

    Farage has the highest with 70% willing to express an opinion on his view while Starmer just 27% do.

    As to Corbyn, his voting record on the EU is unambiguous and anything but vague. 1975 Ref he voted Leave. Elected On the 1983 Labour Manifesto to withdraw from the EU. Voted against the Single European Act. Voted against Maastricht. Voted against Lisbon. Whipped the PLP to vote for A50. Voted against a 2nd Referendum amendment.

  40. @Crofty

    “In the circs. the 8% gap seems remarkably small and completely unremarkable.”

    ——–

    If you think the media have no impact maybe. But you already noted how Cameron got a relatively easy ride and as a fellow liberal*, so does Blair.

    In media terms Corbyn has the problem that the Daily Mail, Telegraph etc. will back Tories, while Independent and Guardian give a positive voice to Blair and tend to trash Corbyn.

    So under the circs, you might say Corbyn is doing rather well.

    * Excepting the centralising streak etc.

  41. @Sea Change

    “I think the poll is meaningless too. The only thing you can take from it is the visibility of the people.”

    ———

    Well visibility impacts many polls. And is Starmer really more visible than Corbyn or Hammond??

    To just spuriously dismiss it like that is a bit convenient.

    Regarding Corbyn, yes his past is less ambiguous, but since he became leader he has a tendency to subjugate his own views to that of the party. Look at Trident for example.

  42. @Carfrew “since he became leader he has a tendency to subjugate his own views to that of the party”

    I’d say Trident was the exception that proves the rule (he hasn’t changed). And I’d also say he has simply holstered his weapon over Trident for the time being. He’s always talking about reviewing that policy.

  43. @Sea Change

    Thing is, Trident indicates a willingness to be politically expedient. The manifesto in 2017 was another indication of this, carefully weighted.

    So the vague is whether he’d continue with Brexit if demographics shift some more against leaving, for example.

    The other vague people mention though is not about leaving per se, but the nature of the settlement he’d go for.

  44. Pesky internet issues but ICM full tabs here:
    https://www.icmunlimited.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/ICM-Guardian-05thFeb18-BPC.pdf

    Caveats from other posters noted regarding partisan splits, name recognition, etc but in terms of new leader, new party or early GE then a few interesting things if we look into the X-breaks on p12+

    LAB side, VI total, Leave, Remain
    Corbyn +28, +16, +35
    Stamer +6, -2, +13
    Blair +1, -35, +18

    1/ Corbyn’s strategy is working and being in opposition he isn’t going to be forced into a decision.
    2/ The challenge for someone like Khan or Umunna to set-up a new party seems to be clear (this is where the issue of loyalty and “name” recognition comes in)
    3/ LAB in general possibly not that interested in Brexit (Starmer DKs)?

    CON side, VI total, Leave, Remain
    May +52, +46, +32
    Boris +41, +64, -19
    Farage +24, +57, -45
    Hammond -12, -22, +8

    1/ May’s ambiguity is working but time is running out and she does not have the luxury of opposition
    2/ Boris gets his overall boost from LAB. My quick look suggests he is the only “name” to get +ve boost from “opposition”. LAB-Leave give him +9. LAB-marginals give him +6 (important if we get a pre-Brexit GE?)
    3/ No one likes Hammond. +8 from CON-Remain is awful. Comes a little with the job I guess. Soubs is bluffing. She could quit CON and avoid a by-election but her credibility would collapse unless she took the by-election route. Looking at her seat she would almost certainly lose a by-election (probably to LAB but depends on who stands and on what basis)
    4/ Where would SMogg have been? With less baggage I’d guess either Boris+ or Farage+? The LAB component in marginals would have been interesting to see.

  45. somerjohn: My exchange with @TW prompts the further thought that a Corbyn government could be in line for a Weimar experience.

    The comparatively blameless inheritors of a disastrous situation, trying to make the best of a bad job, could end up being blamed for the whole mess. Where things would go from there, goodness only knows.

    You have expressed quite succinctly my unvoiced concern.

    I think it applies regardless of the hardness or softness of brexit. For a hard brexit, Labour and Corbyn take the blame for not ‘making the most of the opportunities’ as and when the economy takes a hit. For a soft brexit, UKIP may surge again and Labour take the blame for Corbyn’s tacit collusion with the government as being ‘part of the establishment which denied us a real brexit’.

    Where it goes from there could well be that simple people become enchanted by simple solutions offered by clever people with analyses along the lines of back-stab, much like post-weimar.

    Tactically, Corbyn has done extremely well from right before the referendum. But strategically he should not sit on the fence because he is likely to take the blame either way in the long run. For the country, I think it would have been and still may be far better for him to declare for brexit. At least that way, remainers and leavers alike can make their own judgements.

  46. DAVWEL

    If this is something you might attend it would be good to have feedback from you if you do attend.

    https://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/11542/

    “This is a very timely event, as the UK will have to reshape its trade relationship with its most important trade partner, the EU, as well as its relationship with the World Trade Organisation and third countries, following Brexit. This seminar will set out the key questions for the UK and the EU as both sides embark in the negotiation of their future trade relationship.

    The seminar will take place on Friday, February 9 between 4pm-5.30pm in New Kings 1, after the talk, a discussion will take place with the audience.”

  47. Especially for @colin here is an introduction to some of the complexities surrounding rules of origin for exporters outside a customs union but in a free trade agreement:

    https://medium.com/@SamuelMarcLowe/explaining-cumulative-rules-of-origin-2c13fb4dfca1

  48. @ SAM – NI is tricky. IMHO it shouldn’t be impossible but clearly EU see it as a way to achieve their best possible outcome (BINO, aka EEA+CU). What happens when an “unstoppable force” hits an “immovable object”?
    Guessing at the maths within CON party since the GE I think the unstoppable force prevails. Of all the “bluffs” May is holding off calling ultimately her own job will IMHO be the one thing she wants to hold on to. Whether or not that causes DUP to break and what Corbyn then does is speculation – obviously I have a view on that but it is n=1 ;)

    @ REMAIN HISTORIANs – seems to be lots of confusion about which war and what happened in between. I’m happy to stop mentioning the war(s) and the causes of them but if a stone gets thrown then expect one back.

    Speaking of which I see Clegg has thrown the towel in (again) – maybe a new book coming? Lawyers, consultants, journalists and authors certainly sectors seeing a jobs first boost from Brexit ;)

  49. https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201617/ldselect/ldeucom/72/7209.htm

    “185.Mr González García thought reaching an agreement in the WTO on TRQs “will potentially become a problematic exercise”, because some third countries “will feel they deserve a bigger share of the UK or EU market”.256 Mr Ungphakorn agreed: “most, if not all, countries that currently use the TRQs have an interest in negotiating the UK’s, plus possibly some new players”.257

  50. Especially for @Hireton here is a neat tool to see UK’s net trade in goods (e.g. use the drop down to select someone like, ooh lets go for Germany and see the nice little graph that conveniently goes back to the start of the Euro!)
    https://visual.ons.gov.uk/uk-trade-partners/

    It would be nice to have a transition but let’s make sure we know who is benefiting most from THE customs union and don’t turn Brexit into a Greek tragedy.

    P.S. If you click USA you’ll see why we should not be looking to sign a deal with Trump. Pretty OK as we are there, just a quick cut+paste of current terms if you please.

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