There were four voting intention polls yesterday – an unusual flurry, largely it appears because of the military action in Syria. YouGov and Opinium were their regular polls, but ComRes seems to be asked on Wed & Thurs in order to measure support for an attack beforehand, Survation was conducted on Saturday to measure support afterwards.

YouGov‘s voting intention figures for the Times yesterday were CON 40%(-2), LAB 40%(-1), LDEM 9%(+2). Fieldwork was Monday and Tuesday and changes are from the previous week. We’ve already seen YouGov polling on Syria earlier in the week, which asked specifically about missile attacks and found 22% support, 43% opposed. Tabs for the voting intention poll are here.

Opinium for the Observer had topline figures of CON 40%(-2), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 7%(+1). Fieldwork was Tuesday to Thursday. It included only the briefest of questions on Syria; asked which leader people would trust the most to respond to the situation 35% said Theresa May, 20% said Jeremy Corbyn. The full details of the poll are here.

ComRes for the Sunday Express is the first voting intention poll the company have produced since the general election (I was beginning to ponder whether they’d given it up!). Looking at methodology changes, ComRes appear to have dropped the socio-economic turnout model that resulted in such problems at the last election and returned to essentially the methodology they used at the 2015 election, weighting by just standard demogs and past vote, and weighting by self-assessed likelihood to vote. This produced topline figures very much in line with everyone else – CON 40%, LAB 41%, LDEM 7%.

On Syria, ComRes asked about whether people agreed Britain should join the US and France in taking “military action against President Assad in Syria”. 29% of people agreed, 36% disagreed, and 35% didn’t know… another poll showing the balance of opinion opposed to strikes. Full tabs are here.

Survation for the Mail on Sunday is the only poll conducted after the missile attacks, with fieldwork wholly conducted during the day on Saturday. As regular readers will know, Survation typically show the largest Labour leads in their polling, but today’s figures are very much in line with everyone else – CON 40%(+2), LAB 40%(-5), LDEM 9%(nc).

Survation asked about whether people supported the “missile strikes on Syrian government facilities overnight in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack”. 36% of people said they supported it, 40% said they were opposed – a closer division than in some of the pre-strike polling, which may be because the question specifically linked it to the chemical attack, or may be because people just become more supportive once it has actually happened.

Survation also found 54% of people thought May should have sought Parliamentary support beforehand (30% did not), but on balance tend to approve of how she has handled the situation. 37% think she has dealt with it well, 29% badly. In contrast 19% think that Jeremy Corbyn has handled it well, 36% badly. Full tables are here.

Looking at the situation overall, headline voting intention polls continue to show Labour and Conservative neck-and-neck on average. On Syria, differently worded questions produced results that vary from clear opposition to just slightly more opposition than support, but it’s clear the public did not whole-heartedly support military action in Syria.


732 Responses to “Survation, ComRes, Survation and YouGov polls on voting intention and Syria”

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  1. So neck and neck then despite the constant attacks on Corbyn in the press.
    It looks like voters are entrenched in their views and not much is likely to change until after a Brexit has been completed

  2. Thanks AW, a very helpful summation of the polls. As I said earlier I think the Survation poll the most interesting and certainly the most dramatic. The change from a seven-point Labour lead to equality seems significant although there is always the chance that it is an odd sample. It certainly looks as though the two major parties really are neck and neck. That does not mean that the Tories won’t get a good kicking from the voters in the Locals, I think they will with Labour, and particularly the LibDems gaining many seats.

    The Survation result on Syria are interesting as there is a much closer for and against polling. The questions also reflect Corbyn’s major weakness when it comes to questions relating to national security. In contrast May has a positive rating on her handling of the affair (+8) and a significant lead over Corbyn(+18).

  3. The first three look unremarkable, perhaps the start of a small shift towards the LDs, but more likely MoE.

    The Survation polls is the more interesting one as it has not only shown a dramatic change but is the first poll from this company since the GE not to show a robust Labour lead. Indeed, even the last one was a significant lead in a sea of Tory leads from other companies.

    On it’s own maybe not significant, but against the backdrop of declining personal ratings for JC this shows everything other than building on last year’s surge which would be needed for JC to have a chance of getting a majority.

    However, a week is a long time in politics!

  4. If Labour and the Tories were to remain neck and neck, the result of the next election might depend on whether May can get the boundary changes enacted. How likely is she to be able to do so?

  5. Typically approval after military action has actually happened is higher than approval beforehand.

  6. TOH

    “That does not mean that the Tories won’t get a good kicking from the voters in the Locals, I think they will with Labour, and particularly the LibDems gaining many seats.”

    _____

    The locals are an interesting one. When you compare the national polls with this time four years ago then yes, Labour are up by 4-5%, but the Torres are up too, and by more like 7%. I don’t think that will translate into a good result for them though, the authorities being contested are all too urban for there to be much of a UKIP vote for them to hoover up, and Labour will likely have a good ground game to drive the kind of turnout that could make the difference.

  7. @ToH

    “I stick by my opinion but it is just my opinion. There are many reasons why 17.2 m people voted to leave, I’m just very happy they did so. I have my opinion, you have yours, Charles has his, others probably have other views as to what was the main factor or factors. The thing that matters most to me is that they did and we are leaving the EU.”

    ——–

    Yes, it wasn’t just expressing an opinion though. It was pointing out that to use the economics polling to claim that it therefore must be Sovereignty instead doesn’t work logically.

  8. “Survation also found 54% of people thought May should have sought Parliamentary support beforehand (30% did not), but on balance tend to approve of how she has handled the situation. 37% think she has dealt with it well, 29% badly. In contrast 19% think that Jeremy Corbyn has handled it well, 36% badly. Full tables are here.”

    ——-

    Of course, Jeremy wasn’t in a position to do much in terms of ‘handling’ it, so Theresa might be given an advantage there. Considering a question that specifically asks who has the better policy on the matter might have its virtues.

  9. CARFREW

    Given that the Sunday version of the Mail is less rabid than its daily sister, it does seem a little odd that they didn’t ask a better policy question.

  10. @TOH

    “As I said earlier I think the Survation poll the most interesting…. ”

    @Andrew Myers

    “The Survation polls is the more interesting one….”

    :-) :-) :-) :-)

  11. I have one point about the polls which has applied generally since the election, when UKIP managed 2% of the vote.

    In these 4 polls UKIP are between 3% and 5%,actually an exact average of 4%.

    UKIP would not get anything like that in an election at present.They wouldn’t have candidates in many (most I think) seats and even where they did are very unlikely to match their last vote let alone beat it.

    Local elections confirm this trend everywhere.

    There is in effect at least 3% of the vote floating free to whoever can get it,either by second preference or as a result of abstentions adding extra weight to existing shares.

    This is not negligible when the two main parties are so close although the shares could of course make it so. Obviously this could change by 2022 but for the present there’s nothing to suggest UKIP will recover.

  12. @ David Butler

    “If Labour and the Tories were to remain neck and neck, the result of the next election might depend on whether May can get the boundary changes enacted. How likely is she to be able to do so?”

    I have had it on good authority that it is about 80% likely that the changes will go through. The DUP were a sticking point but are rumoured to be happy now and all Tory MPs that will lose their seats have been told they will be redeployed wherever an MP retires (rather than a new candidate selected).

    I have always wondered why MPs are allowed to vote on boundary changes rather than have them enforced by the independent Electoral Commission. Surely this is a huge conflict of interest?

  13. from the last thread:

    AL
    “Council housing for example makes a profit in the longer term even when it is on sub-market rates, and can be used to subsidize other services.”

    Unfortunately, that is illegal. The money in a Council’s Housing Revenue Account is ring-fenced and can only be used for purposes related to housing. it can be used to pay down debt incurred in building houses, to build more houses or to improve existing houses. It cannot be transferred to the Council’s General Fund. See:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/261122/131126_Letter_to_CFOs_of_stock_holding_authorities_re_HRA_account.pdf

    This all goes back to Thatcher’s time when IIRC the concern was that Councils were using Gereral Fund monies to subsidise the Housing Revenue Account. So, if you want to change that, you need Primary Legislation first.

  14. @ sen5c

    “Obviously this could change by 2022 but for the present there’s nothing to suggest UKIP will recover.”

    Ironically, I think the only thing that could revive UKIP would be if somehow Brexit didn’t happen. (I believe that is very unlikely, by the way.)

  15. Russian threat to wage dirty campaign against Britain elite

    Spy chiefs are braced for a Russian revenge attack in which Kremlin-backed hackers release embarrassing information on ministers, MPs and other high-profile people

    The Sunday Times

    ———————————————–

    Oh dear, yet more things for ‘our elite’ to worry about.

  16. Crossbat11

    Can I had a few :-) :-):-):-):-)

  17. Valerie

    At least they won’t be picking on there old mate Jeremy.

  18. @Andrew Myers
    Boundary Commission proposals have always been intensely political. I have been involved in several, local as well as national, and much of the political skill comes from constructing arguments that look reasonable to the Boundary Commissioners, while at the same time giving an advantage to your Party (this does not always transpire as boundaries may be set several years away from the next elections).

    So I don’t have any problem with MPs voting to accept or reject Boundary Changes as a whole; my objection is to them specifying badly what they wanted the Boundary Commissioners to do. Here in London with three-member wards, moving a single ward into or out of a constituency can take it from below the minimum electorate to above the maximum or vice versa. Had they either increased the allowed range to more than +/- 5% or instructed the Commissioners to go down to Polling District level, they could have achieved the changes with far less disruption. As it is, the rules cause major changes, which could damage the relationship between a MP and their constituents

  19. Valerie,

    “a Russian revenge attack in which Kremlin-backed hackers release embarrassing information on ministers, MPs and other high-profile people”

    Unlikely, the FSB see the dirty they have on foreign politicians as the Crown Jewels. It gives them the ability to coerce or disable key opponents. You can only do it once.

    Much like not firing at Allied planes, they will support Syria but they won’t go to the wire for it.

    Also they would way up the loss of who they might expose…Trump, May with who would replace them…Pence, Rees Mogg.

    Better the idiot yo know!

    Peter.

  20. @BBZ

    “Given that the Sunday version of the Mail is less rabid than its daily sister, it does seem a little odd that they didn’t ask a better policy question.”

    ———–

    Indeed, I braved a visit over to the site and you can see the headline at least is not fawning over May:

    “May faces struggle to win over MPs and public in crucial Commons showdown as poll shows UK is split down the middle on Syria strikes.”

    But in terms of making polling more useful, we could use some better questions. Learning to control variables and so forth would have some merit.

  21. PC

    More to the point who would be stupid enough to believe anything coming out of Russia.
    The problem with never ending fake news from our Russian friends is in the end only the gullible/conspiracists and some on here believe it.
    On a more serious note any attempt to undermine democracy in the U.K. by attacking the democratically elected Government by miss information or fake news is an attack on all of us anybody that doesn’t see that is certainly a idiot.

  22. “Labour will likely have a good ground game to drive the kind of turnout that could make the difference.”

    ———

    Given the youth of some of the Labour activists, are we likely to see the ground game improve as they get more experienced, and if so how much do people typically improve? Or is it more likely to fizzle out?

  23. Carfrew,

    Young inexperience but enthusiastic workers can be a double edged sword.

    They can help you knock on far more doors, but can also end up arguing with voters you want to persuade.

    I ‘ve found that either getting them to leaflet while other talk or pairing them up helps to keep them motivated but can also temper them if they get to combatative.

    They are also great for getting out the identified vote and if they have a car leafletting outlining areas.

    Having to or three cars with two or three teens going up and down rural roads lets you leaflet lots of house others ignore or can’t reach while letting them have a really good time.

    They just need to knock in the leaflet, not really talk to the voter as in rural areas many voters appreciate that a party has made he effort to knock on their door.

    Given that Labour are weaker out with cities and towns, if you have them to use it could be a worthwhile way to use them.

    Peter.

  24. The reticence about supporting military action against a clear breach of international law shows the damage Blair and Campbell did in 2003.

    Like many other examples of Blair’s clumsy disregard for our constitution, his damaging legacy lives on long after he himself has become irrelevant.

    Personally, I was always opposed to Blair’s adventure in Iraq. Syria is an entirely different matter, and, had we intervened in 2013, the situation there would be very different today.

  25. “Better the idiot yo know!

    Peter.”

    In my view, not approving of a politician like May, and not voting for them, doesn’t make them an “idiot”.

    That just seems a rather pointless and juvenile thing to write.

  26. Turk

    “On a more serious note any attempt to undermine democracy in the U.K. by attacking the democratically elected Government by miss information or fake news is an attack on all of us anybody that doesn’t see that is certainly a idiot.”

    And yet you are completely blind to the disinformation and misleading attacks by the right wing press on Corbyn, virtually round the clock?

    You really have no kind of self awareness, do you?

  27. CARFREW @ BZ

    Thanks for your bravery. Interesting that they’re taking a realistic view of recent events. Hope you weren’t infected on that site.

  28. @TOH – “Absolutely not, you really are inconsistent because last night you appeared to have accepted my post last night:” (FPT)

    There you go again! Someone not answering a post isn’t the same as them agreeing with it. We did try to explain that last time…..

  29. Crofty,

    Rather the Idiot you know is simply a reference to preferring the poor leader your opponent currently has than a more competent replacement.

    As to mays ability.

    May total messed up the election, going from a huge poll lead to losing her majority, largely because when put under scrutiny she had nothing but hollow slogans and when pressed appeared to run from debate rather than face it.

    Her conduct from the start on Brexit again sloganeering: “Red White and Blue” “Best Trade Deal in the World”,”Bold and Ambitious” “Strong and Stable” “Deep and enduring” but when changely for detail has been weak.

    Nor despite her longevity in the post was she a particularly good or effective home secretary.

    As PM she shows little ability to do the job well.

    She is no better than Brown who was poor and less capable that Cameron or Major and not even close to Thatcher or Blair.

    I am not a fan of any of the others but it’s hard to see how if you objectively rank the last six PM’s May would make the top three and i’d put her at best 5th.

    Peter.

  30. NickP

    Having read some of your posts I would think your the last person to accuse anybody of having no self awareness in there political views.

  31. @BBZ

    “Thanks for your bravery. Interesting that they’re taking a realistic view of recent events. Hope you weren’t infected on that site.”

    ———–

    It wasn’t easy but I’m recovering by listening to some Brian Auger

  32. @Peter C

    Thanks for your post on how to best deploy the new recruits. I was just wondering though, is it liable to make a real difference over time as they get more experienced. What kind of improvement in getting out the vote might we see?

  33. Peter C

    I really don’t need a breakdown of May’s faults and have never voted for and never would vote for her.

    But, to repeat, that doesn’t make her an “idiot”.

  34. @Trigguy: “Ironically, I think the only thing that could revive UKIP would be if somehow Brexit didn’t happen. (I believe that is very unlikely, by the way.)”

    I think there is nothing ironic, if that did happen. Certainly the failure to leave the EU will lead to radical changes in the parties. This is particularly because to overturn it in the summer will be by way of a Westminster Palace coup. It would require Grieve, Sourby & Co to defect to support a Starmer/Thornberry government.

    The alternative is that the EU simply takes another huge bite of concessions in the Summer, before coming back for the rest of Brexit during the so-called transition. That way potentially leaves the genuine Brexit supporters isolated from the rest of the Conservative party – whereas a quick kill for Brexit splits the strongest Remainers from the Tories.

    A slow kill keeps Corbyn in place, as well, so there need be no realignment on the left.

    You really don’t know what the public will make of this. For Remainers, the public was meant to be overwhelmingly anti-Brexit by now, allowing re-entry to the EU to be carried along by public opinion that has learned to appreciate the EU and hate the Brexiteers for leading them astray.

    Instead they may have to make do with a narrow victory based on the EU having taught us who was boss. That is liable to lead to a post-IndyRef-style bounce in favour of parties who had lost. Winning on a “resistance is futile” platform will not necessarily leave a good taste in the mouth of the many Eurosceptics who vote to remain on that basis.

    If we remember the Soros business earlier this year – the Remainers were clear that the EU wanted to see a clear majority for remaining in the EU. So the EU may tell its supporters in the UK that they will have to wait, and this summer is too early for victory.

  35. @Joseph1832

    With all due respect, your conspiracy theories are worse than those we get from Danny.

  36. Carfrew,

    The big difference you can make pre campaign, particularly if you have students is in voter Id over the summer.

    If you have bodies when the weathers fine then getting out and asking people who they intend to vote for is effective.

    If you know your vote before election day you can get them out on the day.

    Keep it light and fun and have a laugh.

    Three quarters of your time will be walking between houses and you’ll likely only get about 1 in 4 in during the day and not much better in the evenings, so chatting as you go alone is important to keep them motivated interested.

    It also to break down potential barriers between the old probably less radical members and the new young ones.

    Also its important to remind them to keep it clean, it’s about democracy first not winning. A lot think it will be like the West wing when it’s more like Crossroads.

    Try to suppress the Baldrick notion of winning with a cunning plan, winning is about lots of mundane hard work, which is why starting light in the good weather is best as not to put people off and try to create a team spirit early on.

    When things are tough people will be more likely to put on a coat and come out for friends than comrades.

    A good mid term idea is small window stickers.

    Most won’t put them up but those that do then identify themselves come the campaign.

    As well as leaflets give out A4 window posters and put them through the doors of every house with your sticker. With luck half of them will put them up and that makes a good impression.

    Identifying your vote even if in relatively small numbers it lets you find where your vote is likely to be.

    You can also go back to a sample of those identified early campaign to check to see if they are still on board to check your real strength with the polls.

    Another good one for young new recruits is a Midnight Poster Run.

    Pre campaign identify where the key poster sites are.

    Get your team together to prepare the posters, say the Sunday before the official campaign begins.

    Then you all meet up before midnight on the day before the Campaign officially begins.

    At 12.01 you all move out and from then till about 2.00 in the morning you put your posters up at all the best sites.

    it’s a fun activity, young activists like it, it gets the Campaign off on a high.

    Next morning the area wakes up to your posters everywhere. It sends a message to the voters and your opponents and it fires up your side.

    Even if you are outsiders in the area you are working remind people that like Partisans; your job is to draw of the enemies strength from where it’s needed.

    Equally organising our Young activists into a group that can travel to another constituency to lend a hand is another thing they might well like.

    Also even if you don’t look likely to win here, there could always be another Iraq or Coalition.

    If when people question their current Party they remember you knocked their door and were polite and friendly that impression can let you move from their second or third choice to giving you a try.

    Peter.

  37. If we had “intervened” to carry out regime change in 2013 the Sryian state would have colllapsed and ISIS would have declared their caliphate in Damascus instead of Mosul.

    It was the best piece of political judgement our parliament have made in a generation and spared the Syrian people the fate of being trapped under the rule of ISIS or the other jihadist head choppers indefinitely.

  38. To intervene or to not intervene is the question ?

    You can’t make decisions in hindsight and history is only helpful to a certain extent.

    Syria is a mess and has been a mess for years, with the situation being unlikely to change in the next few years.

    The UN is a waste of time, because Russia will always use their veto, so no mandate for action will be available through that route.

    Many non Tories would support Theresa May in deciding to use military force against Syrias chemical weapons assets, because it was a proportinate act, after chemical weapons were used in a civilian area. I believe many Labour supporters and MP’s will support the Government, no matter what Jeremy Corbyn has to say on the issue.

    The big issue with Corbyn is national security and whether voters would trust him to be PM making the decisions. I would say that Corbyn might be making a mistake to believe that voters are anti interventionist after Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. I don’t get the impression that voters want a PM or Government that will put the UK on the international sideline, preferring to mostly use soft diplomatic power with military power restricted to purely protect UK direct interests. E.g UK mainland, overseas dependencies.

  39. @Alienated Labour

    I agree, the last intervention David Cameron wanted, was just wrong. It would have helped ISIS and Parliament correctly decided that the intervention was not logical.

    Given the proxy war that is going on, which Iran and Saudia Arabia amongst others are taking part in, I think the only solution is available is in the region. Somehow they need to get all the regional powers to agree to work together and find a solution.

  40. ALIENATED LABOUR,

    “If we had “intervened” to carry out regime change in 2013 the Syrian state would have collapsed and ISIS would have declared their caliphate in Damascus instead of Mosul.”

    Wrong on two counts.

    Firstly, Chaos Theory; If you make a change to a Dynamic System two things result.

    One; You alter the final Outcome. Two; That income is inherently unpredictable.

    You can logically assert that if we had intervened in 2013 things would be different today, but it isn’t valid to claim that there would be a predictable result.

    Secondly; You never fight them same war twice.

    In Iraq we didn’t have a plan for what to do next, and crucially we disbanded the Iraqi Army leaving both a vacuum and a recruiter for the resistance.

    For your chosen (very much to suit yourself) scenario to work we would have to have repeated both or either of those very well documented and accepted mistakes, hardly a likely scenario.

    Peter.

  41. R Huckle

    Interesting and thoughtful post from you. I agree with you, and particularly with

    “Many non-Tories would support Theresa May in deciding to use military force against Syria’s chemical weapons assets, because it was a proportionate act, after chemical weapons were used in a civilian area. I believe many Labour supporters and MP’s will support the Government, no matter what Jeremy Corbyn has to say on the issue.”

    I guess time will tell if we are both correct. I had serious doubts about action before it took place but now we know how clinical and proportionate it was, I have changed my mind. I am also pleased to see the US following up with new sanctions on Russia.

  42. R HUCKLE

    @” I would say that Corbyn might be making a mistake to believe that voters are anti interventionist after Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns.”

    The Survation Poll asked “opposers” of the action in Syria what their reasons for opposing were. ( 40% were opposed)

    34% of them feared civilian casualties. ( none reported thus far)
    31% of them feared retaliation by Russia ( none reported yet)

    Only 28% were opposed to all military action.

  43. Peter Cairns

    On the contrary the scenario I have outlined, where the collapse of the Syrian state leads to a power vacuum that would be filled by ISIS, Al-Nusrah and all the rest of the Islamist militias, was by far the most likely scenario. Not only is this exactly what happened in Libya when we overthrow the government there, leaving the country in the hands of hundreds of Jihadist warlords, but subsequent events in Mosul and Kobane show us that ISIS were the only military power on the ground in Syria able to step in to fill that power vacuum with a state of their own creation.

    At that time ISIS was by far the most powerful rebel group fighting the Syrian government, they had tens of thousands of men on 3 sides of Damascus, and only the combined efforts of the Syrian Arab Army, the Russians, Iran, the Kurdish PYD and the entire coalition were able to defeat ISIS after a massive 4 year bombing campaign and vicious attritional warfare with our Kurish allies on the ground. Had we granted then air support and bombed their targets for them we would have effectively rolled out the red carpet for them and allowed them to take power with our support.

    The vote in 2013 spared the Syrian people this hellish fate, and is the strongest argument for abolishing the crown powers and enshrining into law a clear legal principle about who has the right to declare war (parliament) and in what circumstances.

  44. The Barzah and Jamrayah facilities were inspected by OPCW at the end of November 2017, and they found no scheduled chemicals or evidence of activities breaching Syria’s obligations.

    If we assume that US/UK and France had intelligence that the clean bill of health no longer applied, then it seems surprising that they didn’t pass on that intelligence to OPCW, whose inspection team had just arrived in Syria, instead of immediately bombing them.

    What the reasons actually may have been (possibly different to what governments said) for the airstrikes, I don’t know – and neither do any of those polled.

    Humanitarian concern seems the least likely explanation.

    Attacking Putin’s nasty ally for behaving in a very similar way to our nasty allies may have excellent geopolitical logic, but little in the way of moral purpose.

  45. I just saw this on Twitter:
    4 GE Polls released yesterday summary (5852 People):

    4381 People – 18-64:
    Con: 32%
    Lab: 47%
    LDem: 8%
    Other: 13%

    1471 People – Over 65:
    Con: 62%
    Lab: 23%
    LDem: 7%
    Other: 8%

    This should be sobering for the Tories.

  46. The unfortunate phraseology in my last post – it seems surprising that they didn’t pass on that intelligence to OPCW, whose inspection team had just arrived in Syria, instead of immediately bombing them. – might have been taken to mean that I was suggesting that USA/UK had bombed the OPCW team.

    Although, they might have done so if it had suited their geopolitical objectives, clearly they did not do so.

  47. @Jonesinbangor:

    Conspiracy theory?

    On a day when MPs of all parties are appearing at demonstrations launching a movement dedicated to overthrowing Brexit? When the EU’s best case scenario is that we throw our hand in? It’s as if Brutus and Cassius had spent their time chatting openly about how best to whack Caesar.

    Labour’s own official policy has studiously avoided any criticism of the EU, and has generally gloated at every problem for the UK. The only bit of “taking back of control” they appear interested in is in respect of how the Single Market may thwart socialism. Their main success to date has been to promote a total stand-still transition – since described by Mr N. Clegg as a “humiliation”, “ensures we negotiate from weakness” and “no French politician would have agreed it.” So if Labour actually intend to meaningfully negotiate Brexit with the EU, it would be a massive departure from their direction of travel to date.

    It is hardly a conspiracy theory when so many are perfectly open about the ends – and others are obviously so sympathetic to that result that they’ll turn their coat given a chance.

    The way to overturn Brexit is obviously by way of or a bad deal – so the first, most important step is well in train. (Bad deal = either (a) economically bad, so clearly disappointing hopes of Brexit supporters, or (b) makes Brexit pointless even in its own terms.)

  48. The UK Government’s political tone deafness seems unabated:

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/15/why-the-children-of-windrush-demand-an-immigration-amnesty

    Conservative commentators are pointing to its implications for a successful liberal Brexit:

    https://capx.co/britains-immigration-system-mixes-ineptitude-with-cruelty/

  49. ALIENATED LABOUR,

    In 2013 ISIS only operated in Eastern Syria and hadn’t reached near Aleppo. The were far from the force they reached by mid 2014 and even at their height were no match for the Syrian Army even without Russian Support.

    The idea that ISIS would gain advantage against a post Assad Syrian Army potentially united with the opposition and Western Support is nonsense.

    ISIS territory looks impressive on a map but most was empty space between the few key locations they held and the strategic worth of what they held in Syria was extremely limited.

    As we saw in both Aleppo and with the Kurds, after their initial rapid advances against a mediocre Iraqi army there effectiveness against determined resistance was far less impressive.

    I make no prediction about what would have happened if the West had targeted Assad with true purpose, but the idea that your scenario was the likely outcome is just self indulgence.

    Peter.

  50. One thing that has to be pointed out about the Survation poll is that it took place over a very limited period. According to their tables fieldwork took place “Thoughout Saturday April 14th 9:00am to 4:00pm”:

    http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Mail-On-Sunday-Syria-Tables-Twitter.xlsx

    Although they do a lot of weighting and the sample was decent (2060), it’s possible that this gave rise to distortions – there will have been many panel members who would have been unable to reply due to working or whatever and despite the weighting this might mean those who replied were biased in a way that such weighting might not correct. For such reasons most polls try to run over near 24 hours if not more – YouGov’s normall start around 6pm and run to the following afternoon.

    One hint of this might be in the gender divide that Survation shows on VI (Con %- Lab %):

    Survation: Men 47 – 33 = +14. Women 32 – 47 = -15

    Compare this with the other polls released this weekend:

    ComRes: Men 38 – 40 = -2. Women 43 – 42 = +1

    YouGov: Men 39 – 39 = +0. Women 42 – 41 = +1

    Opinium: Men 42 – 39 = +3. Women 38 -41 = -3

    Now we’ve seen a modest and possibly growing gender divide in other polls (the previous YouGov had Men +6, women -4), but while the ComRes and YouGov rough equality may be unusual, the Survation figures are wildly disparate. It’s not the first time we’ve seen this from them – their previous 7-8 March poll:

    http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Final-GMB-Tables-070317NFCH-1C0D3H8-1.0.pdf#page=7

    had Men +3, Women -17; while their famous eve-of-poll one had a more modest Men +3, Women -2. (Ashcroft’s GE day poll had Men +8, Women -2) But the difference here is enormous.

    Now it could be that men are reacting ‘patriotically’ to the Syria attacks, while women are reacting against them. But all these polls show that opinion on Syria is not as closely correlated to VI as is usually assumed (in this it is like previous interventions) so that is unlikely to be the main driver. It’s more likely that the unusual sampling is the cause – though the already large gender gap we see in Survation’s (alas few) other VI pollsshould also be looked at.

    Of course if you want to monitor responses for something that happened on Friday night for a Sunday newspaper, you haven’t got an alternative the what Survation did, but it’s worth pointing out the possible shortcomings.

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