Last week I wrote about the unusual YouGov poll showing a four point Conservative lead and said I personally thought it was more likely to be statistical noise than the first sign of the Conservatives opening up a lead in voting intention.

However, at the weekend we also had a new poll from Opinium that had topline figures of CON 42%(+2), LAB 39%(-1), LDEM 7%(+1). Fieldwork was Tues-Thursday and changes were from mid-January (tabs). This morning’s Independent reported partial figures from a new BMG poll that apparently had Labour and Conservative equal on 40% each – this would be an increase of three points in the level of Tory support since the last BMG poll in December.

The government have done little to endear themselves to the public in the last few weeks, nor have Labour done much to lose support. There is no obvious reason for movement in the polls, so I’m still a little sceptical (in themselves the changes are within the margin of error, and it’s perfectly possible for random chance to spit out a couple of polls that just happen to show movement in the same direction). Nevertheless, it’s possible we’re seeing some movement in the government’s direction. If we are, what should we make of it?

This far from the next timetabled general election voting intention polls have very little predictive value, all the more so when we have a known unknown as large as Brexit looming ahead of us and at least a fair chance of a change of Conservative leader before the next election. However for better or worse, mid-term voting intention is the barometer that we tend to use to measure how well the government and opposition are doing against each other, and that is reflected in the morale of the political parties and media perceptions of how well or badly they are doing. If it turns out to be genuine it may bolster Theresa May’s position a little, and may put Labour on the back foot, but we shall see.


536 Responses to “Latest Opinium & BMG polls”

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  1. sam: Technicolouroctober

    Re DUP decision. I too was struck by the possible similarities of events within the DUP. Might this explain it – power without responsibility, for the foreseeable future?

    https://www.irishnews.com/news/politicalnews/2017/12/06/news/arlene-foster-no-longer-in-the-dup-driving-seat–1203942/

    Ha! I have run out of free articles on that site, but looking at the first line, the idea of DUP Westminster having all the power and no responsibility and Arlene Foster having responsibility but no power does seem about right.

    My opinion of Foster tends to go up over time. She did the right thing by going to McGuinness’s funeral and it was appreciated. She did the right thing by visiting an Irish language school and speaking a few words of Irish, which was again appreciated.

    The latter is quite significant for someone from a party with the miscreant of the ‘Curry my yoghurt’ incident http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-29895593 refers. This is an incident which is still raised on Slugger O’Toole. I think that if Campbell had apologised sincerely and managed to say ‘I am sorry’ with 3 or 4 words of Irish, the incident would be forgotten and things would actually be further forward than if he had never said ‘curry my yoghurt’.

    It is notable that in her statement on the collapse of talks, McDonald [SF president] is careful to point the finger around Foster rather than at her and to uphold her position as DUP leader

    “It is up to Arlene Foster to explain this given that the DUP and Sinn Féin leaderships had achieved an accommodation across the issues involved.

    “In fact we had a draft agreement by the end of last week. At that time we advised the DUP leadership that the deal should be closed before those opposed to it could unpick what we had achieved.

    “We made it clear that if there was a delay there was every chance that the package would unravel.

    “The DUP failed to close the deal and went on to collapse the talks process.

  2. SF president MacDonald’s Statement can be found here: https://sluggerotoole.com/2018/02/15/the-fallout-continues/

  3. Thank you, TO, have visited the link already.

    Mr Mallie seems to have a good source I would say.

    “My Stormont insider who has had a bird’s eye view of processes at work down the years is unambiguous about the shape of the final package that was on the table.

    The Unionist people have shown their politicians their teeth.”

    http://eamonnmallie.com/2018/02/sinn-fein-dup-deal-crashed-eamonn-mallie/

    His final sentence is not, I think, quite accurate. The last time i looked at polling on the ILA it was around 70% of Unionists polled who objected to it and a similar percentage of Nationalists wanted the ILA. Sticking points for both sides but power in Westminster for DUP cemented with absence of Stormont. GFA perceived by Nationalists to be in trouble.

  4. Crofty,
    “But that, deviously, to keep them on board, she made the right noises to suggest a hard brexit.”
    Had she obtained a workable majority, or indeed something as polling suggested with up to a 30% lead, then we would have hard brexit by now. The hard brexiteers would have taken it as absolute confirnation they were right.

    The tories had a thoroughly comfortable majority to push through anything. It is hard to say if the party predicted the result, but the seeds of why it could all go wrong were present at the start. It was predictable the vote would coalesce on Brexit lines, and it might come out labour/remain on top. It was clear from the numbers that the tory lead was because of labour losses, not tory gains, which means they were open to being drawn back to labour by a good tribal campaign. We had the odd vote where libs did very well, because they grabbed the remain vote.

    The party assessed the prospects of Brexit and found them bad. It therefore needed to be assured this was really what the people wanted. They didnt. They dont. Political disaster stems from that.

    I’d agree that Mays platform was ‘vote for hard Brexit and a golden future’, while Corbyn’s was ‘vote for more for the ordinary man and a golden future’. Tories (and this was not a one woman band) did their best to make this a one issue election. They declined to argue on policy and brought up Brexit at every opportunity. Labour avoided Brexit. Two sides talking about completely different things. Labour didnt need to sell the benefits of remain because they are the status quo. It did come up with a suite of policies otherwise which tories generally liked (except for the tribal label).

    If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would suggest that what tories dont like about brexit is not that it might make the country poorer, but that in doing so it would undermine the narrative that most should go to the already rich. It was the push into poverty created by both world wars which then caused the subsequent swing agaist the rich and the imposition of redistributive policies. Brexit might do the same. Yet tories have argued the way to recover from brexit would be tax policies giving yet more to the rich. Crunch coming if we go that way.

  5. Very good set of Council by elections yesterday with three gains from the Tories.

  6. I should have said for the LibDems of course.

    Have a good day all.

  7. Brexit Poll wording – tricky.

    @ BFR – The two polls asked very different things. One was a binary style choice(WTO v BINO), probably similar to the choice MPs will have in their ‘meaningful vote’ and possibly the choice that gets kicked back to the electorate if HoC becomes gridlocked (stacked probabilities here = 15% chance). The other poll (with WTO tied to BINO) was a cake+eat it list.

    ‘Labelling’ creates a heuristic response. ‘Hard’ sounds bad and ‘Soft’ sounds cozy. Remain press created these terms and they stuck. Leavers are pushing ‘vassal state’ v ‘BINO’, etc as works for them.

    Unfort that is the way it works. Remain are going to need some new names to compete with ‘vassal state’ v BINO if/when we get a new ref. Leave haven’t even started yet. A lot of legal challenges ready should May back slide.

  8. “I agree that a more federalist Europe is needed to put the common currency on a stable footing. Given, however, that few have bothered to even try to persuade voters of the necessity of these moves, the ground is fertile for a counter-movement that has the potential to muster support from large swaths of the political spectrum, from staunch conservatives all the way into the middle class.”

    Spot on I reckon.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/opinion-german-election-troubles-show-political-instability-could-arrive-here-a-1193755.html

  9. @TW
    Which makes my point – in this instance it’s all about what you call policies (or how you phrase the question), not what the policies are in practice.

    So claiming resounding support for one policy or another on the basis of either of these polls is deeply flawed…

  10. Another example of ‘labels’ was LAB’s ‘death tax’ tweaked slightly to ‘dementia tax’ by CON. The idea behind ‘dementia tax’ was good. Rich boomers whose kids wouldn’t look after them in old age would payback their winnings from the postcode lottery. Dropping from a triple lock to a double lock also a good idea, stopping Winter fuel allowance for richer pensioners – both sensible ideas. But oh no, LAB told folks this was a ‘triple punch to pensioners’, LDEM even set up some daft estate agent stunt and the result was it cost CON some seats (Eastbourne most obvious, possibly a deciding factor in others).
    Outcome, sensible policy idea, poorly ‘marketed’ (and with some wrinkles that needed fixing) gets scrapped and the huge issue tackling the funding issues from ageing population gets kicked into the long grass.

    If/when any party is feeling brave enough with MP seats to tackle these issues again the #1 priority is to give it a nice label! The actual policy is far less important :(

    ‘Intergenerational transfer tax’?? Bit too long.
    ‘Care for Grandma package’?? Maybe??

    P.S. Before SJ or some other Remainer mentions Vauxhall jobs this is old news and nothing to do with Brexit. Important to remember 500,000+ jobs have been created in UK since 23Jun’16 (versus the Project Fear claim that we would lose 500,000+ jobs, or net over 1,000,000 error on the part of Project Fear 1.0)
    https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/vauxhall-job-cuts-nothing-do-output-or-performance-says-boss

  11. @Sea Change

    So sorry to have linked to some opinions you disapprove of. A lot of people are angry and disgusted (the piece is *very* popular).

    In particular, ordinary hard working people whose main crime appears to have been to work hard at school and get decent jobs are sick and tired of being called ‘the elite’ by the likes of IDS and Rees Mogg and watching these gentlemen do nothing to bring about the thing they’ve supposedly wanted all their lives. If you can’t see this is a problem then you’re so out of touch it isn’t funny.

    What if millions of people *don’t* accept the result of the referendum? What if their grounds are that it was conducted under false pretences? What if they feel that legitimate concerns about the conduct, influences and funding of certain very influential Leave supporters justifty their refusal to accept? What if they have grounds to believe the referendum was not actually democratic? What if they have grounds to believe that the conduct of Government and Leavers post-referendum has not been democratic? Snarky social media posts from people unwilling to accept an issue is not going to resolve that problem in a hurry.

    As Joseph so shrewdly observes, it’s not at all clear that the electorate really consents to what is now happening, and the project is so big that doing it without consent would be an act of folly unparalleled in modern UK history.

    The question Leavers never, ever answer is this: what if it becomes clear that the public don’t want Brexit on the terms it is offered? This is not an academic question, it is a live one your team is frantically trying to avoid.

  12. @Crofty – like your 6.46am post.

    We know May supports staying in the EU, if she is honest with herself. Inside a party that has a majority for leave, with many other MP colleagues openly campaigning for leave, if she really believed leaving was the best option then she would simply have said so in the referendum. She campaigned only quietly for remain, not because she didn’t believe it, but because of personal ambition to lead the party.

    This makes her switch to a hard Brexit post referendum rather easy to understand. It’s a simple sop to the extremists within her party that she needs to keep onside long enough for her to try and deliver a softer and less damaging Brexit. I’d say that by and large it has worked.

    On UKPR, we get people like @TOH who have been completely fooled (in my view) into thinking that she actually wants what they want, to the extent that they continue to express satisfaction in progress so far, even when we agree deals that are now being written up into UK law that promise full regulatory alignment post Brexit if need be.

    At every step – the money, the need for a transition, the need for ECJ oversight during transition, etc, etc the pronouncements of hard Brexiters saying that this will be unacceptable have been nodded at by May and then she’s gone and agreed something completely different with the EU, leaving the hard Brexiters to scratch around for evidence to convince themselves that she still is doing their bidding. For example, there was a time when we wouldn’t be bound by the ECJ during transition. Then, we weren’t going to be subject to any new rules during transition. Now, we’re down to arguing about how the EU takes enforcement action against us. Yet hard Brexters can’t see how they’re being rolled back? Lots more of this to come, I suggest.

    My current view is that in the emd, the cliff edge ‘take it or leave it’ offer will be presented not to remainers, but to hard Brexiters.

  13. @ BFR – Oh dear. You missed the fact that I paraphrased the WTO v BINO poll. They didn’t actually ask WTO v BINO, they used a full sentence to explain what WTO meant v what BINO meant and that gave a large win for WTO. I added the paraphrasing – feel free to check the actual poll wording and let me know if you disagree with the paraphrasing part.

    I also went on to add what would happen if they included the potential difference in divorce bill. Boost for WTO option? I’d guess so but no one is asking the kind of questions we need polling on. Hindsight or ‘do-over’ ain’t gonna happen. How about:

    WTO and only pay to Mar’19 (or Dec’20)
    BINO and pay 20bn+ more than we legally have to

    If the likes of DANNY or yourself would like to highlight some polling evidence to support BINO (wording that captures that scenario) then please post the link.

  14. @ TOH

    “Very good set of Council by elections yesterday with three gains from the Tories.”

    To be honest, my first impressions from last night’s results was that it was a good night for the LibDems. Three gains from Cons. But obviously these by-elections are open to all sorts of interpretations.

    My instincts (which are probably wrong) is that the ‘surprise’ of the May elections will be a resurgence of LibDems locally. This would be completely meaningless in terms of GE prospects, but will be interesting to see how it is spun (probably as a protest against the B word).

  15. @ TOH

    Sorry, just spotted your correction!

  16. @ B&B – that poll looks a lot like what happened to LAB party!

  17. @ CR – I’ll bite:
    “The question Leavers never, ever answer is this: what if it becomes clear that the public don’t want Brexit on the terms it is offered? “

    Well, we do, regularly.

    OK, so in the UK we have this system called democracy where we elect MPs every 5yrs (sometimes less) and they work as agents for us. To have elections more frequent might mean nothing ever gets done.

    Every 40 or so years we’ve been able to have a referendum to decide something that is important and non-partisan. Our elected MPs then deliver on the result of that referendum.

    Do you want the numbers from 23Jun16, the Article 50 vote or the 2017 GE? Which part of UK democracy is it that you object to?

    Now, if our elected MPs can’t make a decision and then decide to kick it back to us then we get to see the terms on offer (e.g. WTO v BINO) and can decide (CON would probably prefer a new ref as it would keep them in power and LAB, who aren’t in power, clearly would prefer GE to new ref)

    I expect our MPs will sort it out but UK democratic system provided mechanisms to ensure a decision eventually gets made – even if that means crashing out in Mar’19 (I don’t think many people want that but it is more likely if the process is frustrated)

    Finally, once we have left then any party can campaign with a ref to trigger A49 in their manifesto – it will take years and who knows that EU will look like by the time that party gets to power but if the people will for UK to rejoin then the mechanism to do so is there – start with convincing Corbyn, rebuilidng LDEM or formind a new party. Good Luck ;)

  18. trevor Warne,
    “Rich boomers whose kids wouldn’t look after them in old age would payback their winnings from the postcode lottery.”

    I see there is an attempt to insert a new fallacy into the national discourse. Time was, governments set in place policies so that the young could get richer over time and end as comfortably off pensioners. It worked. Here they are.

    But then the scheme was dismantled, so youth today do not have this open to them. Now the plan is to recreate equality by taking away the assets of the people who benefitted from the scheme in the past. So it will be as if this wealth redistribution had never happened.

    Surely the real answer is to recreate the opportunities for youth?

    ” once we have left then any party can campaign”
    This is the bit democrats taking the normal definition of the word have a problem with. Democracies do not allow campaigning to be banned.

  19. alec

    Ta.

    I just think Danny’s view is wrong.

    Had May got a 100 plus seat majority – as was expected initially – she would have had amazing power. It follows therefore that, if we are right and she thinks a hard brexit will be damaging, she could have pretty much ignored the Rees-Mogg tendency in the negotiations with the EU.

  20. “The problem with brexit is, as you say, that the referendum was 52/48 to leave, amounting to only about 1/3 of the electorate for leaving. It isnt enough.”
    @danny February 16th, 2018 at 4:17 am

    If the vote had been 60-40 that would have ended it. If it had been 48-52 it would have been even more horrible than it is now.[1] By winning they ‘won the argument’ (‘the people have spoken,’ etc) but have squandered that victory by not having a plan.

    My opinion is that 52-48 is, in the long run, the best result. When we get to March 22nd (the EU summit) the Cabinet will have to have come off the fence. That they have been unable to means we will get another 04:00 flight (with supporting dramatic pictures) around March 20th when both sides have ‘brokered a deal.’ Ie the UK will have decided BINO.

    No one wants another vote. Those in my neck of the woods (NW England) who voted leave knew (and still know) nothing about the EU. They mainly wanted to kick the boot in, as many round here will tell you they are fed up of Thatcher policies.

    Labour people round here will never vote Tory. You’d have to pull out their fingernails to get them to change. They will either vote Labour (and sigh if Labour turns to Remain) or not vote at all (‘see, what’s the point, they are all the same.’).

    I was rather disappointed on June 24th, but as time has gone on and the Leavers have been unable to organise even the standard brewery event, it is now patently clear leaving isn’t going to happen.

    As I said previously, I have tubs of popcorn lined up ready.

    [1] See https://chrisgreybrexitblog.blogspot.co.uk/ for analyses of Leavers as happiest when they see themselves as victims.

  21. @Trevor Warne – “Another example of ‘labels’ was LAB’s ‘death tax’ tweaked slightly to ‘dementia tax’ by CON.”

    Sorry, but this is completely and utterly innaccurate. Labour’s policy wasn’t ‘tweaked’ – May’s proposals were absolutely and fundamentally different, and I’m gobsmacked that you have the sensibilities to try and comment on something that you so clearly know next to nothing about. Lets not make new myths here, so best to stick to the facts.

    Labour’s policy was to levy a charge after death on all estates, based on a means tested percentage with a stated maximum of £20,000 for the very wealthiest estates and nothing for small estates. These numbers were suggested, but they entered the 2010 election without a specific policy on the levy thresholds but instead promising to hold a royal commission to devise a fair way of funding care based on a means tested post mortem levy.

    In return, Labour were promising a National Care Service which would be fully funded from the levy and free at the point of delivery.
    In effect, this was a means tested compulsory insurance scheme which would spread the burden across the full population. There was to be no distinction between care and medical costs, no one would need to sell their house to cover costs, and the government would fund the system between the point of needing care and retreiving costs from the levy after death. No new financial products or involvement from the discredited personal finance industry would be required.

    The Tories plan was to make people pay for their own care needs, unless these were healthcare costs. People dying of cancer wouldn’t need to pay, but those with Alzheimers, for example, would.

    Elderly people would pay 100% of the costs of their care, until such time that their assets were worth £100,000, when the state would take over. There was no proposal or even basic concept with the Tory plan as to how the government would pay for it’s share of the care package.

    To ensure no one had to sell their properties to pay for care, the government promised as yet unknown personal finance products that would allow people to draw down income from their properties to cover care costs. These would be provided by the private personal finance industry, at a profit, and expose sick and elderly people to the magnificent morality and social conscience that is the financial services sector.

    The care provided would need to be paid for at the point of delivery.

    There is not, and never was, the remotest connection between Labour and Conservative policies on social care. They are built on entirely different principles, different delivery methods, and completly different funding models. It astonishes me that you can see any connection between the two.

    I have to say, there are times when you simply talk garbage. I really don’t know why you do this, as if there is anything you are not too sure about, just spend a few minutes online to refresh your knowledge, and perhaps think twice before posting.

  22. @ Alec

    ‘My current view is that in the end, the cliff edge ‘take it or leave it’ offer will be presented not to remainers, but to hard Brexiters.’

    FWIW you sum up my view. I couldn’t make sense of calling a GE unless it was to dilute the hard brexiteers… and more substantially, we know that the City of London overwhelmingly wanted a Remain vote. IMO we are being offered an elaborate piece of theatre designed to convince the British and European electorates that a ‘soft’ Brexit is being hard won. My suspicion is that the eventual ‘offer’ is already pretty much determined and ready to be signed off…. and includes beneficial arrangements for the CoL.

  23. @ Alec

    Just to finish off my previous post. The weakest bit for me was over the ROI/NI border. If the UK govt and NI electorate are happy to have an open border, why would Mrs May feel across a barrel? If the EU require a hard border, that’s up to them to impose on ROI. The idea that the UK should have to align to EU rules and regulations as a result, is totally implausible…. and very much suggests that it is exactly what Mrs May wants to do.

  24. There are those who insist that nothing untoward happened after the Brexit vote. The retail sales graphic here suggests otherwise – https://twitter.com/samueltombs

    Smoothing out the month to month erratics, the pattern is abundantly clear: somewhere around the middle of 2016 something happened that after another quarter or so of time lag, sent the previous pretty robust growth in retail spending into a prolonged decline.

    Now I wonder, what could that have been?

  25. @Syzygy – I think the issue with the NI/RoI border is going to be how it’s kept open. I agree, in that the position of Dublin isn’t that strong after all. The only real leverage that Dublin and the EU have over the UK is to impose a hard border, which is precisely what Dublin doesn’t want, so their control over this element has severe limitations.

    I think the bigger problem is what voters in NI want. No one seems to want a hard border. Although the DUP might not be so troubled by this in terms of political sentiment, the economic impacts will surely affect their supporters, and obviously nationaist voters will be aghast at such an outcome. It’s whether the economic ramifications are deemed too severe to accept.

    That then moves us on to NI/RoI alignment and an Irish Sea border, which is something the DUP just couldn’t accept. I therefore don’t think that the EU/Dublin has May over the barrel on NI, but whether the DUP do.

    My answer to this is to admit that I honestly don’t know. Ireland remains an intractable problem in all manner of ways.

  26. @Danny “I see there is an attempt to insert a new fallacy into the national discourse. Time was, governments set in place policies so that the young could get richer over time and end as comfortably off pensioners. […]

    Surely the real answer is to recreate the opportunities for youth?”

    But monetary wealth is only an ability to make a future claim on resources, outbidding others. It’s a zero sum game. Making people wealthy intrinsically reduces the opportunity for everyone else. What does add to the nett sum of civilisation is increasing the available pool of resources by more than the wealth you accumulate as compensation.

    Land rights (home ownership) are maybe a good indicator, being one of the most pernicious generational dividing lines. If a generation have the resources stitched up as a honeypot of buy-to-lets, how do give another generation the same resources without taking them from the first lot? The finite nature of the resource isn’t limited to land of course, it’s just a very easy one to visualise!

  27. @ Alec

    Thanks for reply. Your point about the DUP is a good one but there was also a lot of game-playing over the need for their support. The reality of ‘brexit’ is that it cuts across both Labour and the Conservative parties. If Mrs May offers a ‘take it or leave it’ soft deal, she would almost certainly have a majority with the votes of the different opposition parties as well as her own ‘remainers’.

  28. Britain Elects

    “Grassmoor (North East Derbyshire) result:

    LAB: 48.9% (-10.3)
    CON: 39.2% (+22.1)
    LDEM: 11.8% (+11.8)

    No UKIP (-23.6) as prev.”

    Now that’s a fun one. A simple interpretation is UKIP votes going straight to Con, and LibDem splitting the left leaning vote. That’s the sort of result that the Torys are hoping for on a large scale.

  29. Some relevance here for those suggesting we can increase agricultural productivity in response to Brexit – https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/16/dutch-cow-poo-overload-causes-an-environmental-stink

    There are limits to what would be acceptable, which the Ditch farming sector has already passed. The point about Dutch biodiversity is interesting, and not a route the UK would generally like to go down, I imagine.

    There are already areas within the UK (mainly high output dairy areas) where air quality is becoming an issue. It’s only very recently that the firm links to animal muck and air pollution have been made, but the health effects are striking.

    Talk of Brexit indicing greater economic growth by removing environmental regulation really would be taking us in the wrong direction.

  30. @TW

    So your answer to the question ‘what if it becomes plain that the electorate doesn’t want Brexit’ is ‘We leave anyway without bothering to check’.

    That’s not a very good answer. Not a very good answer at all.

    At least we can answer the about question of the part of British democracy *you* object to. It’s the part where you actually seek the consent of the electorate to pursue the course you are set on. You object to that bit. Quite explicitly.

  31. @Trigguy

    What you conjecture in Grassmore does seem to be what is happening in parts of the Midlands but not others. I think Derbyshire and Notts are worth keeping an eye on as interesting things are happening there.

    However, what you’re looking at does require the Lib Dems to be stronger than hitherto, especially at getting their message across. That probably needs some help from the left-leaning press, which looks unlikely, and even some tacit support from the Tory press (which looks *very* unlikely.

    In related news, has any party ever been as ungrateful for political support as the Tories were to the Lib Dems from 2010 to 2015? You’d think the Lib Dems had single-handedly kept the Tories out of power rather than delivered the first Tory PM in a decade and a half!

  32. New thread

  33. popeye,
    “The finite nature of the resource isn’t limited to land of course”
    Total land in the UK may be finite, but our ability to exploit it is truly remarkable and very far from exhausted. What we do not have is a planning policy to bring about more housing. We have the ability to make more houses and provide one to every young person, thereby considerably solving the problem, and it wouldnt even cost the government anything! But several vested interests would be out of pocket (falling property prices, rents falling, bank profits reduced, disgruntled mainly tories displaced from the greenfield land used)

    syzygy,
    ” The reality of ‘brexit’ is that it cuts across both Labour and the Conservative parties. If Mrs May offers a ‘take it or leave it’ soft deal, she would almost certainly have a majority with the votes of the different opposition parties as well as her own ‘remainers’.”

    If may delivers any kind of brexit with the help of labour votes, she wins the next election. If labour sits on their hands and allows Brexit through, we might have another draw. If Labour oppose brexit (any kind), then they just might win the next election. Though I’d agree their best bet is to take the last possible opportunity of halting it, as the mess will just get worse.

  34. @ Danny

    ‘If may delivers any kind of brexit with the help of labour votes, she wins the next election.’

    70% Labour held constituencies voted Leave.

  35. @ Danny

    Absolutely, no arguments there!

    What I was trying to get at though was that the resources available and the allocation of the resources are two separate issues. If you release more land to housing use (as much an ideological issue as a practical problem) then that doesn’t benefit the landless unless you assign the released land to them, overriding any kind of free market and negating the purchasing power of the already wealthy. In that situation, you’d be taking away the existing financial wealth from the wealthy, in that their wealth was now worthless, for land purchase at least. It would no longer be wealth in that narrow context. That’s all I was getting at.

    And while we might change land usage considerably, that still doesn’t make it infinite!

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