ICM’s regular poll for the Guardian is out today and has topline voting intention figures of CON 41%(nc), LAB 40%(-1), LDEM 8%(+1). Fieldwork ws Friday to Sunday and changes are from the large ICM poll in mid-January. Tabs are here.

The latest Survation poll meanwhile has topline figures of CON 40%(+3), LAB 43%(-2), LDEM 8%(+2). Fieldwork was the previous weekend, and changes are since the start of December. While Labour’s lead has fallen away since the previous poll, I suspect this is largely a reversion to the mean after an unusual poll last time. Full tabs are here.

Survation also ask how people would vote in a second referendum on EU membership (and unlike some other polls that ask this question, weight it by likelihood to vote!). In the latest poll the figures are Remain 51%, Leave 49%.


298 Responses to “Latest ICM and Survation voting intentions”

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  1. Carfrew

    Don’t know why I keep double and triple posting. Very sorry

  2. PRINCESS RACHEL

    Interesting post :-)

    SPD’s youth wing aren’t happy. It goes to Members next so not a done deal till then.!

    The eternal dilemma for politicians-Power , or Purity ?

    Actually I think Shulz has walked all over Merkel if I read the reports of the deal correctly.

  3. @ COLIN – The history books of the future will IMHO look back to Merkel’s cowardice in not going for a min-govt and judge her poorly. Oswald Mosley was a boiling pan that we took the lid off. Brexit the same (hopefully).
    Nailing down the lid and then turning up the heat – not good, not good at all :(

  4. TREVOR WARNE

    She’s an empty vessel now surely?

    TM must have a wry smile or two :-)

    Interesting Times.

  5. @Colin

    “Its GDP per capita contribution actually”

    ——-

    Yes, of course. Indeed I indicated to Sea Change he ideally needed to use same for his mining figures. As I said 5.9% GDP per capita by 2050 indicates that CURRENTLY it’s very much in the shadow of what continental resources contribute. (Even before we consider that at issue was impact of policy differences, not total impact of immigration).

    I can agree mining would go in the opposite direction without even checking the links. Commodities tend to deplete and Aussies have a policy of ramping up immigration to 38 million by 2050 in that report, where it would be 24 million otherwise.

    Indeed, shifting to domestic consumption isn’t unusual, though how you go about it, and where the balance should lie is so,etching else…

  6. @PRINCESS RACHEL

    “Don’t know why I keep double and triple posting. Very sorry”

    ——-

    Oh don’t be sorry Rach, these things happen. I’m glad you post!

  7. Sea Change,
    ” You could also add in the sheer capital cost and debt repayments necessary to fund the building of all the infrastructure required for such rapid population growth.”

    Surely, it would be self financing from the incomes from the property. That seems to be the view of housing associations and local councils? Probably even turn a profit., in a relatively short time. Hasnt this been the experience of new town projects?

    Garj,
    “I’d agree. One thing that we do know with certainty is that well-paid and highly skilled migrants provide a substantial boost to GDP per capita”

    Do we know that? Lets explore…First, why this emphasis on per capita GDP? Some things, such as servicing national debt, are clearly easier if the total GDP is greater. Others might be too, for example if the UK becomes a large enough market to support car companies selling solely into the Uk. Or sufficient to cover development costs of energy, novel space rockets, whatever. A larger NHS has greater bargaining power, and could get significantly better deals than a small country might be able to get. More population implies a bigger military, and double the number of soldiers can do things half the number cannot.

    But I degress. Suppose the UK economy creates a certain number of well paid jobs, and a certain number poorly paid. Are brits better off, if we take the well paid jobs and leave the poorly paid ones to immigrants, or if we do the low pay jobs, and lett them get the well paid ones? Ah. It isnt just a question of per capita GDP. But which capita are being well paid, and which badly. All the jobs might need to be done, but dont we rather keep the money ourselves and get them to do the work?

    Or put this another way. If we ban low paid immigrants it would be necessary either to equalise pay rates so cleaners get the same as directors, or force some people to stop being directors on big salaries and become cleaners on low. Would the currenly well paid prefer to beome less numerous, or to be less well paid?

    I suggest that considering the GDP atributale directly to immigrants is missing the GDP attribuatable indirectly to them. Or, am i personally better off working as a director for a lot of money and hiring a cheap immigrant gardener, chauffer and home help to care for mother?

  8. @Sea Change
    @Danny

    “Surely, it would be self financing from the incomes from the property. That seems to be the view of housing associations and local councils? Probably even turn a profit., in a relatively short time. Hasnt this been the experience of new town projects?”

    ——–

    Plus the construction itself can provide a boost to the economy. Doesn’t seem to do the SE any harm…

  9. Centre Right foils the latest “elite-driven project that will only end up making the EU even more remote from the voters than they already are,”

    https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-02-07/macron-still-backs-pan-eu-parliament-lists-despite-strasbourg-setback

    But Macron , who now stands at the top of the EU pile, will get the EU he wants in time.

  10. @Danny

    “Do we know that? Lets explore…First, why this emphasis on per capita GDP? Some things, such as servicing national debt, are clearly easier if the total GDP is greater. Others might be too, for example if the UK becomes a large enough market to support car companies selling solely into the Uk. Or sufficient to cover development costs of energy, novel space rockets, whatever. A larger NHS has greater bargaining power, and could get significantly better deals than a small country might be able to get. More population implies a bigger military, and double the number of soldiers can do things half the number cannot.”

    ———

    The emphasis on per capita was to contrast impact of immigration policy here with Aus. Since we have a bigger population we could have a worse policy and still appear to do better on pure GDP.

    But you’re right that many benefits can accrue to just increasing GDP overall. Which is another reason for building space habitats…

  11. @Danny

    Or to put it another way, a smaller country might have quite a bit less immigration, but better value per person, thus vindicating the policy. But in terms of just GDP the bigger country might gain more, even though less value extra per person, because of more immigration.

    (Turns out Aussies are having a lot of immigration anyway however…)

  12. Sea Change: The addendum to the question of staying in the Customs Union was about the benefits or consequences of doing so. By not staying in the Customs Union this would affect 27% of our total trade. It would be misleading to use the 43% figure which includes services. Services are dealt with by the Single Market (though it is only partial and one of the UK’s bugbears).

    I think I’m beginning to understand why some many Leavers misunderstand so much. Clearly they just cannot get their heads around the most simple concepts.

    Right. Let’s have another go.

    You said that the CU accounted for 43% of UK trade, but that included services , which you didn’t want to include, so you knocked the figure down to 27%, which was your claimed goods-only figure.

    I said: actually the goods only figure is 49% for the EU (and thus almost certainly over 50% for the CU, which adds in Norway, Iceland, Turkey – I’m not sure how Switzerland is counted). I linked that to the source – ONS November figures.

    So you’re saying 27%; the ONS is saying >49%. Both are goods-only figures.

    Do you understand that an argument based on a statement that “not staying in the Customs Union … would affect 27% of our total trade” is weakened by the real figure being 49%, not 27%? (And also by the fact that while you talk about “total trade” you actually mean trade in goods).

  13. @ COLIN – I’m actually feeling quite sad for Merkel and the future for Germany. She made one huge blunder and that will be her legacy used as the knife the AfD and far-left parties use to kill off the great German centre that gave 70yrs of stability to the core of Europe.

    Whatever happens with Brexit, Germany and France will be our near neighbours and stability and economic success there will continue to be important.

    I agree she will probably become an empty vessel. I hope Merkel achieves a smooth change over to a new CDU leader in say 2020 and under an invigorated new leader my fears prove false.

    “You Either Die A Hero, Or You Live Long Enough To See Yourself Become The Villain”

    UK impact? Well we already knew Macron was primus inter pares after Merkel’s GE performance and rational German business was probably always going to “take one for the team”. In a min-govt she might have had more say, but as SPD’s handmaiden for “the project” obviously less so. Exit terms are already punishing enough that we should IMHO walk but there might be some politically wise merit in letting the “punishment terms” seek into the electoral masses and get them to dictate the BINO v WTO choice that IMHO we have faced ever since May’s own electoral disaster. Time is tight for WTO though and the UFT version concerns me.

    Interesting times indeed.

    P.S. I’ve kept out of the Australia debate but surely the only important thing is whether or not their economy is resilient and flexible enough to handle the future “weather” it might face. IMHO, they are in good shape with a very sea worthy vessel!
    One of my big global event risk concerns is China is a bubble economy that gets old before it gets rich (mind you I’ve been saying that for years!). India, now that is where I’d be putting my money ;)

  14. @Princess – “Don’t know why I keep double and triple posting. Very sorry”

    Sorry – I missed that.

    Could you say that again?

  15. @Somerjohn

    A big part of online discussion is clarifying things!

    He thinks that since your figure is bigger that you must have got the figure wrong by including services.

    Not that he might have got his figure wrong.

    When you say 49%, it looks like he thought you meant the 43% combined figure he used.

    Maybe if you point out that even the 43% figure is way out. (Assuming it is, I haven’t checked…)

  16. Crofty 10.23 and Colin 10.24

    Thank you!

  17. idem Carfrew 10.40 and 10.42

  18. I just caught sight of the regional estimates relating to the effects of Brexit. No deal entails a serious drop, and especially so for those regions normally affected by “normal” recessions. Does the government want to be seen to be causing a recession? Hmm, I doubt it.

    Regarding the polling figures, still polldrums. Should we take them as face value? I am inclined to say yes, being as politics in general has a higher profile than usual. There’s also a higher expectation than usual of another election soon. I am assuming that bringing politics into the forefront tends to make voters think more clearly about their votes, hence we get more reliable polling figures. But I am prepared to be wrong…

  19. Trevor Warne,
    “surely the only important thing is whether or not their economy is resilient and flexible enough to handle the future “weather” it might face.”

    That does not appear to be the standard you apply to brexit? By this statement, I take you for a remainer.

  20. From Kuenssberg

    Here is the full regional breakdown of the economic impact assessments that MPs have now been able to see

    https://twitter.com/bbclaurak/status/961280595233001473

  21. Crofty 12.19

    ‘Better In, Nasty Out.

    [That also has the benefit of being a typical Scotch weather forecast that can be easily abbreviated.]’

    Whisky weather? Perhaps you meant Scottish. Having said that, of course I realise that in times past the word ‘Scotch’ was also used as an adjective referring to this beautiful country.

    Better In, Nasty Out.
    Certainly as far as the EU is concerned.

  22. @Carfrew

    Yup, thanks. But I actually had about 3 goes at explaining this as simply as possible this morning. And it really is a very simple, basic point. Hence my comment that it seems some Leavers “just cannot get their heads around the most simple concepts.” (Actually, it’s probably more that they can’t be bothered to read and digest others’ points before firing off replies that reflect badly on their powers of comprehension).

  23. DANNY

    “why this emphasis on per capita GDP?”

    Because its a substantially better measure of national prosperity than GDP. There may be some economies of scale and international bragging rights that accrue from having a larger GDP than your neighbours, but on an individual level GDP per capita is what matters. The UK may be a bigger country on the world stage than Norway, but Norwegians certainly have a much better standard of living.

    “It isnt just a question of per capita GDP. But which capita are being well paid, and which badly. All the jobs might need to be done, but dont we rather keep the money ourselves and get them to do the work?”

    I suppose, if you want to differentiate people who live and work in the UK on racial grounds. The question of ‘which capita’ is very important though, and another reason we should be wary of embracing the growth created by immigration without questioning where the proceeds of that growth are ending up. It is the shareholders and landlords of the world who benefit from a growing population and supply of low-cost labour, not the workers. One of the oft repeated complaints of the business lobby post-Brexit is that costs are going to be driven up as a result of their having to pay better wages. Nobody is going to have to have their salary capped or be forced to give up running a company to clean floors though; where the labour is unavailable employers will have to invest in productivity-boosting technologies, and if that doesn’t work then they will have to pay their migrant cleaners a high enough wage to meet the visa requirements. It’s mass low-waged migration which will create a situation where the bulk of the population work precarious hours on low wages for the benefit of an international elite. You might say that we’re already part way there.

    “am i personally better off working as a director for a lot of money and hiring a cheap immigrant gardener, chauffer and home help to care for mother?”

    Well, you might be if you can find a well enough paid job, but I don’t think society as a whole will be. Countries where large numbers of people work as servants are not reknowned for their high levels of equality. In a more productive and equal future you’ll buy a Roomba (and the lawn-mowing equivalent), take self-driving Ubers to get around, and your elderly mother will be looked after by a robot.

  24. @Somerjohn

    But I actually had about 3 goes at explaining this as simply as possible this morning.

    ——-

    Three goes is quite good actually! Lord knows how many times Anthony had to explain margin of error…

  25. And UFT? Qu’est-ce que c’est?

  26. BBC Scotland report on UK’s Brexit projections

    In the regional breakdowns that emerged on Wednesday, every part of the UK is also predicted to have negative growth under all three scenarios.

    For Scotland, the UK government analysis predicts:
    Single market membership – GDP 2.5% lower than projected
    Free trade deal – 6% lower
    No deal – 9% lower

    The figures are remarkably similar to those produced by the Scottish government last month – which were dismissed at the time as “completely over-the-top scaremongering” by the Scottish Conservatives.

    The Scottish government figures were:
    Single market membership – GDP 2.7% lower than projected
    Free trade deal – 6.1% lower
    No deal – 8% lower

    Note the response to the Scots report from the (now strangely quiet) SCon MPs!

  27. Last sentence was mine. Not one to be expected from the Beeb!

  28. @ SOMERJON / SEACHANGE – I’ve tried to track down the start of your discussion in case I’ve missed something about this ammendum thing? I will however, link to latest ONS data:
    https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/balanceofpayments/bulletins/uktrade/november2017

    Of note section 4:
    “The narrowing of the trade in goods deficit was due to an increase in exports to non-EU countries [5.3% (£2.3 billion) to £44.7 billion] while exports to EU countries were relatively unchanged [£42.9 billion] in the three months to November 2017″

    That is 51% non-EU v 49% EU but it is just in goods and it is for just the last 3mth period. A 47% number sounds plausible for a longer period as EU has been doing well lately and its % has probably picked up a little (and we are talking a little here). ONS has all this info, easy to check.

    Services are mentioned in the aggregate numbers but since they are measured very differently the breakdown comes in a separate report. 2016 is here:
    https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/internationaltrade/bulletins/internationaltradeinservices/2016

    see 1.
    “Total UK exports of services (excluding travel, transport and banking) showed record growth in 2016, rising from £123.2 billion in 2015 to £142.7 billion in 2016 an increase of 15.8%.”

    That is 2016 and excludes some big numbers so I’m going to guess that growed by 10% (2/3 of previous year) but leave out the excluded bits (can keep digging if reqd). Then x4 on the last quarterly goods numbers.

    Total goods exports : 350bn (of which EU is 49% or 172bn)
    Total service exports (2017 guess, excl. a bunch of stuff) : 157bn

    Total goods + service exports: 507bn (excl. a bunch of services)

    % of EU goods exports to total goods+services exports = 34%. The travel, transport, banking could be the missing bit that makes that 27%

    Customs Union does not cover services, Barnier has been very clear on this. Staying in the CU without a deal on services has been ruled out even by the likes of Hammond as it is a very bad deal (the dark threat of causing an EU banking crisis not withstanding if we reciprocate a block on passporting/equivalence+)

    Neither goods nor service imports will go to zero when we leave.

    With goods in a WTO deal then EU->UK and UK->EU trade will both drop (every forecast has this volume drop, I have a beef with the “value” component and how that then feeds in to GDP – how HMG responds is the most important factor IMHO)

    If EU renege on passporting/equivalence+ then we’ll be taking them to court – they know this, I doubt the UK public do. Of course that court is currently the ECJ but it sends a loud message to the World, especially likes of Singapore and NY – you can’t cherry pick who is and isn’t “equivalent” unless one side reneges on the “equivalent” bits. If they try to drop UK, they will either have to drop rWorld or lose a court case (messy though that process would be).
    Services are different to goods – its regulations, not tariffs – very different. A lot of UK lawyers rubbing their hands in anticipation, that EU try this on.
    NB We could reciprocate a drop of equivalence – I really hope we don’t go that route, bad, bad, bad.

    @ SAM – just spotted your link on last thread regarding TRQs being “agreed”. Well, as they say in Brussels, “nothing is agreed, until everything is agreed”. Without UK’s global trade deficit in goods the EU’s bully status is seriously diminished. 3rd countries doing trade deals with EU has been partly to access the UK consumer, the UK is much more than a gateway for manufactures to export to the EU.

  29. @John B

    C’est “Unbelievable Free Trade”
    n’est-ce pas.

    Or in French, “Libre Échange Incroyable”

    HTH

  30. UFT = Unilateral Free Trade (zero tariffs for everyone exporting to UK but with no expectation of reciprocal treatment)

    We can’t offer EU free trade in goods under WTO without having to offer the same to everyone.

    The EU possibly see this as a win-win. BINO is great for them. WTO with UK going UFT is almost as good (bit of pesky competition from rWorld but they can keep CET up against UK)

    For agri-food in particular (as we import a lot of food from EU27) if we crash out to WTO at the last minute we will not have time to sort out WTO schedules, etc and UFT could well be the only way to avoid food shortages, etc.

    Like Unilateral Nuclear Disarmament this is not a good idea. You can’t uninvent nukes and would be very n4ive to think everyone would disarm just because we did.

    Gradually over time however, now your talking ;)

  31. “Unilateral Free Trade (zero tariffs for everyone exporting to UK but with no expectation of reciprocal treatment)”

    ——-

    Incroyable!!!

  32. Apologies for the bold and italics mess in previous but one post. Time to stop for today I think. I’ll end with

    UFT would be SAD

    (Self Assured Destruction)

  33. TREVOR WARNE

    @”UK impact? ”

    On Brexit?- Merkel’s influence diminished………..whatever effect that has.

    After Brexit?-Significant imo-German resistance to Fiscal Union/Fiscal Transfers declines as Shulz supports Macron. EZ becomes the central Pillar .
    How we can wade through pages of Brexit stuff here devoted to forecasts about UK’s future without seeing similar discussion about the entiity we are encouraged to stay in , which itself is on the verge of change is beyond me.

  34. @TW

    Thanks for confirming my point.

    I’d already linked to the same ONS report which shows in 3 months to Nov, EU accounted for 49% of our goods exports.

    @SeaChange was saying CU membership wasn’t that important because goods exports to CU were only 27% of our total goods exports; I was saying they were 49% to EU (which means over 50% to CU, which adds Turkey and others).

  35. @ COLIN – OK, I take your point. I keep forgetting some think Brexit isn’t “settled” or the “ship has sailed” and they think we might get a new ref or something. Yes, this is ammo for full-Leave if/when needed for a ref on the terms and defense for not returning under A49 at/after 2022 GE.

    I also often forget the LDEM party still exists. Alive and well on UKPR if not in the VI – tactical voters, unrepresentative samples, or EU citizens/UK expats no longer eligible to vote – probably a mix ;)

    Have a great evening. The pub is calling and need to do my patriotic duty ;)

  36. GARJ,
    ” on an individual level GDP per capita is what matters.”

    But it is not at all. What matters to you is how much share of the national wealth comes to you. Why should I worry if immigrant labourers get paid very little for working hard, while I get paid well for taking it easy in my office?

    Simple example, population 100, add 100 immigrants. 200 people’s worth of work is done. Assume a fair wage is the average, £200, and that is what people got before.

    All the original inhabitants now get paid £300 per week (they are management). All the new ones get paid £100 per week. So the original inhabitants have seen their real income increase 50% and are happy. The Polish immigrants would have earned £50 back home, so are happy.

    The per capita national earning is unchanged at £200 per head despite the immigrants, so some would say they have contributed nothing. Yet all the original citizens are now 50% better off.

  37. @Danny
    “Ah. It isnt just a question of per capita GDP. But which capita are being well paid, and which badly. “

    What you get paid is only a measure of how well you do out of society too not your objective worth to that society. The metaphorical sewage worker stops thousands dieing of typhoid but is paid minimum wage whilst the sterotypical idle rich might reap huge sums in rent based only on inherited ownership while contributing next to nothing. We want real wealth, i.e. goods and services not money. Leaving the EU and investing heavily in training would make us more productive than staying in and not. Of course there may be nothing requiring us to leave and we could stay in and do the training.

    Boosting trade by wage lowering ‘efficiency’ won’t help most of us. We either need to have material things others want or processes we’re good at and can do better than others so we can trade our rare, better or cheaper goods for theirs then we both win. I voted to remain not because I love the EU or it is our only option but because I don’t see the need to leave and if we do the useless Tory clowns in charge with their nonsensical ideology with make a massive mess of it.

  38. @Danny

    “But it is not at all. What matters to you is how much share of the national wealth comes to you. “

    I see you get it. Although I’m not sure I’d be happy living on the backs of immigrat labour. Mind you that’s a thread we in the rich west with a conscience don’t want to pick at too heavily.

  39. @ ALBERTO
    ” The metaphorical sewage worker stops thousands dieing of typhoid but is paid minimum wage ”

    I can assure you most Water Company (PLC) employees enjoy a reward package far in excess of the minimum wage.

  40. Garj,
    ” It is the shareholders and landlords of the world who benefit from a growing population and supply of low-cost labour, not the workers”

    The question of who gets the benefits of immigration is rather different to whether there are any. It is the identical problem, whether we are in or out the EU, whether there is immigration or none. It is completely a red herring for the Brexit debate, like the question of whether managers could work harder at improving productivity or seeking export markets.

    ” they will have to pay their migrant cleaners a high enough wage to meet the visa requirements.”
    Isnt that the worst of all worlds? The immigrants reap real rewards of high salaries, rather then the original inhabitants benefitting, and immigration is as high as when all the complaints about it started? But you also forget that some of these people are engaged in companies which have to compete internationally. All you have done is force up their costs to the point where their real choice might be to cease operating in the UK.

    My guess is that Brexit will force down wages, because work will dry up and the good jobs will be lost. Immigration has not been driven by people wanting to come here, but because the Uk has encouraged people to come here to meet our needs for cheap labour. And as I said, while we might be paying low wages, the work accomplished is not necessarily of low value to the Uk economy.

    Trevor warne,
    “NB We could reciprocate a drop of equivalence”

    But only is we apply the same rules to the rest of the world, as you said. So bang goes our plan for open trade with anyone.

  41. @Colin – “She’s an empty vessel now surely?”

    Shurely ‘an empty vassal’?

  42. Its a day for irony. Anyone worked out how well the predicted hit from brexit correlates with the vote to leave? An initial glance suggests the more strongly an area voted to leave, the worse the hit will be?

    (there was already a correlation that the lower the immigrant population, the higher the vote to leave)

  43. Danny

    Are you including Scotland and Northern Ireland in your proposed analysis of Leave areas being hit hardest?

    If so, it seems an unlikely correlation.

  44. John B

    Under Foolish Theresa

  45. Those wishing to discuss migration issues (outwith the SE corner of These Islands) may find the “Discussion paper on evidence, policy and powers for the Scottish Parliament , relevant to Scotland’s population needs and migration policy”, a useful document.

    A number of the points would be equally valid for the other devolved nations and large swathes of England.

    http://www.gov.scot/Resource/0053/00531087.pdf

  46. My region gets off lightest, and was fairly Leavy I think (SW England). The least of the English Leavy bits, but still Leavy.

  47. @OldNat

    Hardly a neutral assessment!

    Apart from anything else, it starts from a blanket assumption that population growth is ‘A Good Thing’ and the first few pages basically amount to “inward migration is great, so we thought we’d try and persuade you of that”.

  48. @ Seachange – I cant believe SJ took the bait, I teed him up but will give you first dibs as in the rubber dub. Net numbers and this issue of CU not covering services seems the soft flesh imho

    @ Danny – reciprocate. He who blocks first blocks all. He who is blocked need merely reciprocate against the blocker (as all those being blocked would). The key thing is not to take first blood – the others would them simply freeze you out but stay equivalent with each other.

    @ Oldnat – I don’t think anyone took the Scottish Parliament Brexit impact analysis seriously. Per capita was an issue but from memory the ‘i’ factor was the comical bit. Indyref was going to give a mysterious ‘indy’ boost from productivity but Brexit would be a -ve ?!? No political bias of course ????

  49. Neil A

    Did you bother to read the bits on demographics? The Scottish Government attitudes on migration haven’t changed much since the inception of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 – regardless of the which parties were in power.

    Areas of the UK with a long history of outward migration (often to the overcrowded SE of England) have different needs.

    For example, the communities in the Highlands are keen to expand their populations, while the successors to the landlords that cleared the people out, want the status quo.

    https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/scottish-estate-owners-warn-against-reversing-highland-clearances-1-4680544

    You don’t want your local green fields built on. Folk in Sutherland would rather like to have more people to build a more vibrant local economy.

    Why would you want to stop them via UK rules that prescribe an income level that would be wholly unrealistic in the Highlands?

  50. Oldnat

    Presumably in areas which have depopulated, no green fields will need to be built on as there should be more than enough built environment already?

    I understand a desire to plug the gaps created by a declining population, but the report explicitly starts from the view that a growing population is, in of itself, a good thing.

    It seems to me that the overall population of Scotland is growing, the overall population of the UK is growing. If there are parts of Scotland where noone wants to live, that is a matter of regional policy – correct the deficiencies that lead to that situation or accept that those areas no longer require the population they once had. There is no particular reason to drag in populations from poorer countries to artificially inflate those areas – they will only follow the path of the previous inhabitants, moving to the cities and other areas where there is employment, including England.

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