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. If we were serious about giving the public a say, the question should in my view be something like:

    These are the best terms that the government can get from the EU – do you want to a) leave with no terms b) accept these terms or c) remain in the EU.

    In order to be fair to leavers one should be allowed to state preferences. If one option has a first choice majority it wins, if not second votes are counted.

    My assumption is that unless we were going to get a very very soft Brexit, the decision only to count first choices in a vote with three options would produce a remain win.

    A binary choice between any form of Brexit and crashing out would produce a win for the negotiated settlement.

    A binary choice between any form of Brexit and remaining in the EU would be hard to predict. There is probably a very slight majority for remain but some remainers would change their minds or vote for Brexit for democratic reasons, some brexiters would change their minds and some Brexiters might be so disgusted by the compromises suggested that they would abstain

  2. @Colin

    Here’s a study from the BMJ. It’s a bit old (1996) but that’s OK for illustrating what I called the traditional picture:

    http://www.dannydorling.org/wp-content/files/dannydorling_publication_id1451.pdf

    I’m not sure if posting a link to a pdf works, so in case it doesn’t, here’s the summary:

    Results: For the years surrounding the three elections of 1983, 1987, and 1992 overall standardised mortality ratios showed substantial negative correlations of -0.74 to -0.76 with Conservative voting and substantial positive correlations of 0.73 to 0.77 with Labour voting (all P<0.0001). Correlations were higher for male than female mortality. Conservative voting was strongly negatively correlated (r = -0.84) with the Townsend deprivation score, while Labour voting was positively correlated (r = 0.74) with this. Labour and Conservative voting explained more of the variance in mortality than did the Townsend score. In multiple regression analyses for the 1992 election Labour voting (P<0.0001), Conservative voting (P<0.0001), the Townsend score (P = 0.016), and abstentions (P = 0.032) were all associated with mortality. Labour and Conservative voting explained 61% of the variance in mortality between constituencies; when Townsend score and abstentions were added this increased to 63%. Conclusions: Conservative and Labour voting are at least as strongly associated with mortality as is a standard deprivation index. Voting patterns may add information above that provided by indicators of material deprivation. People living in better circumstances and who have better health, who are least likely to require unemployment benefit and free school meals or to rely on a state pension in old age, and who are most able to opt out of state subsidised provision of transport, education, and the NHS, vote for the party that is most likely to dismantle the welfare state.
    ?
    Key messages
    ? The places where people are most likely to die young are also the places where people are most difficult to count when alive
    ? The places where people are most likely to die young are also the places where people are least likely to choose or to be registered to vote
    ? This study provides further evidence of the strength of self interest in voting in Britain
    ? There are wide ranging social, economic, and political implications from the polarisation of health and voting in Britain

  3. SOMERJOHN

    Thanks.

    I note this in “Conclusions ”

    “Conservative voters may therefore assume it is sensible for them to support a party that will improve their already (generally) privileged economic situation through apparent tax reductions, while dismantling the components of the welfare state that are most
    needed by others. Such “I’m all right, Jack” thinking is shortsighted. Across nations overall life expectancy is more favourable in countries with redistributive taxation and with leftist
    governments committed to greater social expenditure”.

    :-) :-)

  4. Does anyone know when the Syria Statement/Debate is timetabled for today?

  5. @Somerjohn

    Interesting – I tried to find analogous correlations between SMRs and Brexit voting. I couldn’t find any but there are correlations with obesity levels, low education levels and proportions unmarried – all predictors of poor health. The correlation with age should go the other way, since the younger you are the healthier you are but as that is taken into account in SMRs, I would imagine that the Brexit vote is strongly associated with SMRs. How one explains that would be interesting.

  6. From earlier thread.

    @Ronald Olden

    I have just come across your comment:
    ‘Historically speaking the Tories are doing even better still. For a party in power to be ahead at this stage is phenomenal. The only Prime Minister who’s party was ahead, or even near level pegging, in the polls at this stage, in modern times, was Blair.’

    I disagree with that . It is a bit of a myth that a re-elected Government should be trailing at this stage of the electoral cycle.
    Post-1959 election Macmillans’s Tory Govt led Gaitskell’s Labour party for 2 years – not until Autumn 1961 did Labour edge ahead. It was not until 1962 following the Liberal success at Orpington plus some Labour by-election wins that things became really choppy for the Tories.
    After Labour was re-elected in early 1966 the Tories did not really build a clear lead until mid-1967.Similarly in the October 1974 Parliament, it was not until Autumn 1976 – the IMF crisis – that the Labour Govt fell well behind in the polls.
    The Thatcher Governments re-elected in 1983 & 1987 enjoyed clear poll leads well into both Parliaments. Following the 1987 election, Kinnock’s Labour Opposition did not pull ahead until mid-1989.

  7. Charles,

    “How one explains that would be interesting.”

    Well for a start i’d look at loss aversion, peoples fear of losing what they already have or having already lost what they are entitled too.

    Both sides tried it but a big focus for leave was immigration and particularly the drain on key services like health and education.

    It’s not hard to see how those who were struggling and more reliant on the state, for education Health and housing could be persuaded that if their were fewer people coming from abroad they would get a bigger share.

    That doesn’t make them thick or scroungers, just struggling and feeling that they weren’t getting their fair shares.

    The carrot and stick was the £350 a week for the NHS and the idea of health tourism. You’d all get more if they weren’t here.

    Osborne attempt to spook voters with fears of poverty and job loses predictably didn’t cut it with the poor jobless as much as the idea that foreigners were responsible for you being poor and Jobless.

    Peter.

  8. Equally,

    “You’ll be poor, unemployed and won’t be able to afford a pension or to buy a house!”

    Didn’t really cut it with that other big Leave demographic;

    Retired, Middle Class Pensioners, who didn’t need a job, and who had a pension and owned there own house.

    Peter.

  9. @Colin – “Does anyone know when the Syria Statement/Debate is timetabled for today?”

    Statement/questions 3:30 pm (Source BBC).

    Debate, if agreed by Speaker, as scheduled by Speaker, but I’m guessing possibly straight after questions?

  10. Thanks Alister.

  11. Russia and Syria have refused the UN team permission to enter the site of the suspected gas attack.

    No comment needed really.

  12. PETER CAIRNS

    So Project Fear failed in the EU referendum because it was aimed at the group who were already likely to vote remain in the first place. What they probably should have done is target the older generation with the message that without EU immigration house prices and rents would stagnate, care and other labour costs would go up, and the devaluation of the pound caused by Brexit would lessen the value of their pensions.

  13. @Peter Cairns – Thanks for interesting response to my question. Immigration (sometimes glossed as a sovereignty issue i.e. control of borders) was clearly a central driver of the debate and your post helps explain this.

    Ironically it’s arguable that immigration is good for the NHS (look at whom it employs), state education (look at the improvement in London schools) and the health of British Industry and hence employment (look at the response of CBI). what matters, however, is not how things actually work but how they are seen to work and to this your post is highly relevant.

  14. I wa

  15. I was not pleased with Sarah Montague`s pussyfoot handling of the Home Office minister, Caroline Nokes, on the World at One programme just now, about our dealings with West Indians long resident in the UK.

    There were no hard questions or ridiculing of CN`s replies; she stated several times that the Home Office would make it easy for these UK residents to prove from old records that they have lived here.

    Sarah should have put to her that these folk should automatically be allowed to stay in the UK, not to pay £200 plus and have to hunt around for documents and fill up forms.

    I wonder how many of the 60+ yea

  16. (continued – why oh why are my messages being suddenly posted)

    of 60+ year olds on UKPR have records from when they were teenage or at school.

  17. DAVWEL

    “Sarah should have put to her that these folk should automatically be allowed to stay in the UK, not to pay £200 plus and have to hunt around for documents and fill up forms.”

    _____

    How would ‘automatically’ actually work in practice without becoming a blanket right for anyone of Caribbean descent and over the age of 60 to claim pemanent residence?

  18. @GARJ
    Don’t be taken in too easily, two can play that game. Just looking at the latest YouGov and ComRes polls (because I can’t be bothered to do it for all of them):
    People 18-24:
    Labour 64%
    Conservative 17.3%
    People 25+:
    Labour 38.6%
    Conservative 42.1%
    You could translate that to mean that the Tories are winning among the over 25s, and technically that’s true, but it’s not really an accurate picture. The crossover point is somewhere around 50, and both parties have pretty healthy support either side of that.

    Not so sure the cross over point is around 50, looking at the You Gov poll
    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/jfvhk2jlbk/TimesResults_180410_VI_Trackers.pdf
    In the 50 to 64 age group Labour and the Conservatives our tying at 37% each. Would suggest the cross over point is around 57-58 years of age.

    I agree not as dramatic as 64 but still pretty impactive

  19. Neilj

    I suppose to some extent for Labour to win with there current set up they really do need that 18-35 group to turn out to vote.
    Having knock more than a few doors for the Conservative’s over the years it was always my impression that those over 50 were much more likely to turn out to vote not always for my party true but nevertheless to vote.
    I’m sure Labour will be able to generate enough support amongst the younger voters to increase there vote share but as the voters age increases the Tories begin to have an advantage on those likely to vote.
    As I’ve said before if I were to have a guess I think come next GE we will be on course for another minority government or one with a few seats majority I know it’s early days but to date I’ve seen nothing in the polling to suggest otherwise.

  20. @ 1.23 pm

    There`s usually two sides to any story about Syria and poisoning, and I don`t believe Mr Trump and allies are always more truthful than the Russians. It seems stronage that when Russia and Syria asked for the OPCW investigation, to check on the US/UK/France certainty, they should delay it. A German news site has a report on this mornings OPCW proceedings:

    http://www.dw.com/en/us-uk-accuse-russia-of-interfering-in-opcw-douma-investigation/a-43403709

    “Russia, which found itself accused of persistently obstructing chemical weapons investigators work, fired back at its critics.

    The Russia Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, denied that Russia was blocking the OPCW fact-finding mission in Douma, saying that the investigators had not been allowed in because they lacked the necessary UN permit.

    Additionally, the Russian Embassy in the Hague tweeted that the US “tries to undermine the credibility” of the OPCW mission in Syria. Russia also said it “confirms its commitment to ensure safe (sic) and security of the mission and will not interfere in its work.”

  21. Garj @ 3.01 pm

    I can`t see what harm to the UK it would do to allow “anyone of Caribbean descent aged over 60 to have permanent UK residence”.

    The numbers of these 60+ yr olds coming new to the UK would be negligible, and they would largely joining Caribbeans already long settled here.

    It`s the obsession of some hard-Right folk to make life unpleasant for not-born-in-Britain citizens that I find so irritating. At the very least the Home Office and Theresa May should say there will be no charges to register, and all the £200s paid in the last 3 years will be refunded.

  22. @Graham

    “It is a bit of a myth that a re-elected Government should be trailing at this stage of the electoral cycle.”

    Good to see you posting again. I’ve been away for some time, and may have missed your occasional posts during that period, but it’s always nice to hear from some UKPR veterans!

    As usual, you shed some interesting light on both political history and polling precedents, and I think you’re spot on about some of the current mythology. I thought I was a lone voice in questioning this assumption that the Tories should be trailing significantly in the polls by now on the basis that this was the fate of all governing parties at this point in the electoral cycle, and the fact that they weren’t represented some extraordinary political miracle occurring. I suspect some of this is disingenuous and an attempt to talk the Tories up, but it’s essentially nonsense. We are still in the first year of a recently elected government with very little if any significant political shocks occurring in the intervening 10 months. No economic calamities, no real events dear boy and nothing that I can see that would lead to the governing party crashing in the polls. Indeed, the government’s aggressive Brexit policy is probably bolstering them before the nitty-gritty of the negotiation unfolds. Accordingly, it doesn’t surprise me at all that there has been hardly any movement since the GE. No by-elections, 18 months until genuine mid-term arrives, no local elections; absolutely zilch to generate major opinion shifts.

    Of course this will change in time but this idea that May is pulling off some unprecedented political miracle by broadly still being where she was when elected 10 months ago is utterly risible.

  23. Garj,

    “a blanket right for anyone of Caribbean descent and over the age of 60 to claim pemanent residence?”

    Given that we had a fairly open immigration policy when they came here and fairly open for the Caribbean ever since, just how many “illegals” over 60 might slip through?

    Do you make it difficult and distressing for tens of thousands just in case a few dozen who shouldn’t be here but have been for decades get caught.

    That would be a parody of Powel with Rivers of Red tape in the streets…..

    Peter.

  24. @Crossbat11.
    Good to see you here too. Of late I have become a lurker – largely on account of being utterly bored with the Brexit issue!

  25. Graham,

    “largely on account of being utterly bored with the Brexit issue!”

    Bored with Brexit.????

    Do tell me you actually have a life?

    Peter.

  26. @Turk
    As I’ve said before if I were to have a guess I think come next GE we will be on course for another minority government or one with a few seats majority I know it’s early days but to date I’ve seen nothing in the polling to suggest otherwise.

    Tend to agree,

  27. Peter,

    The fact that political anoraks such as myself are so bored with the Brexit issue confirms my view that it has far less salience with the electorate than so many people assume. I also remain firmly convinced that Corbyn’s success last June lay in his ability to change the subject of the campaign by raising questions which were far less technical – and of genuine interest to voters.

  28. Turk,
    “As I’ve said before if I were to have a guess I think come next GE we will be on course for another minority government or one with a few seats majority I know it’s early days but to date I’ve seen nothing in the polling to suggest otherwise.”

    I wouldn’t necessarily disagree that there is no evidence to suggest otherwise, but I would remind you of Brexit. It boosted turnout a lot. It is likely its effects will unravel and matters return to some sort of status quo ante. Which granted, didnt really suggest a clear winner either.

    But Brexit may yet produce a clear winner or loser between the two main parties. We still have no clear indication what Brexit means.

    And on the economic front, the cycle has turned a little more since Brexit intervened, and we are likely further round the wheel to labour rising.

  29. DAVWEL, PETER CAIRNS

    I know, I know, I’m a terrible villain for suggesting any limitations on immigration. I don’t really buy the idea that a total freedom for people over 60 from Commonwealth countries (pop. 2.4 billion) to move to the UK would involve ‘negligible’ numbers. Even if you give people who came over as children an automatic right to reside here, which you should, you still need some mechanism, however basic, of trying to establish that that is really the case. It’s not that the government is wrong to try to check these things, it’s that they’re going too far in doing so and putting too much of the burden of proof on the people affected.

    NEILJ

    True, probably a bit higher, but the Tories haven’t really lost much support among younger age groups (aside from the 18-24 bracket), so much as Labour have gained it. Labour have also lost boatloads of support among the over 65s. It’s also clear from the responses on important issues that this is still all very coloured by Brexit, so it’s very hard to know how much of Labour’s vote is a protest against Brexit, and vice versa how much Tory support is to ensure that Brexit goes ahead. I think things will shake out again after Brexit happens and people return to voting on domestic issues, but I don’t reckon that Labour can necessarily take all of that younger support for granted any more than the Tories can do the same for the over 65s.

  30. Danny

    Interesting idea from you “That people who were labelled left in their youth are conservatives in old age, might simply mean the conservatives have adopted most of what the youth demanded.”
    I think there is a good deal in that argument. After all the Conservatives have always put being elected first so policy has changed over the years.

    GarJ
    Thanks for taking the trouble to present the figures in another way. Clearly it is the very young who are so left wing and I would certainly agree that the divide between the very young voters and the very old voters is huge.

    Mark
    Thanks for sharing your personal life experiences with us, it was interesting. I don’t agree with you about nuclear weapons. Personally I think I have moved further to the right as I have got older although my political profile (much to my amusement) came out as similar to the LibDems in 2017 when i did it recently.

    Charles
    I think there is little chance of a second referendum, or at least I hope so because if would be profoundly undemocratic IMO. Fortunately the policy of both main political parties is against having one.

  31. Howard

    I am confused by your insistence that a UK-wide vote on the finer details of brexit is somehow “undemocratic”.

    I get that it has the potential to be a nuisance for both of us, on opposite sides of the debate, as we might lose – one of us certainly would.

    But “undemocratic” just sounds really odd.

    In which way does a nation-wide vote become undemocratic, in your eyes?

  32. Garj @ 5.17 pm

    Thanks for a sympathetic response on the Caribbean settlers and possible newcomers.

    I have been listening to the 5 PM Rad 4 news programme, and was more convinced by Amber Rudd`s HoC clips on this than by Theresa May`s longer statement on Syria.

    If a numerous arrival of Caribbean over 60s starts, then there might be justification for the long-resident Caribbeans digging out their evidence and getting stay permits. But meantime the Home Office should just give up on the evidence hunt, apologise to those they have chased, and refund the £200s recently charged. As for a Task Force to sort this out, surely the Home Office has more important problems to solve.

  33. Danny

    The outcome of brexit is such a unknown factor in any future election we will have to wait to see how it plays out.
    The consensus amongst many economists have predicted a downturn in the U.K. economy post brexit if indeed that does play out then management of the economy will be front and centre come 2022 as I understand it Labours policy proposals mean a large increase in public borrowing. It’s entirely possible that the electorate will agree to this even though a increase in taxation is likely to pay for it.
    Having observed many political cycles over the years I don’t get any sense of either the Tory or the Labour Party being on the rise ,rather stalemate seems to be the order of the day.

  34. Danny
    “We still have no clear indication what Brexit means”

    But Danny, Brexit means Brexit, surely that has been made perfectly clear?

  35. Ugh, the Windrush case is pretty bloody awful, isn’t it? It’s days like this that make me wonder whether AlienatedLabour’s Marxist fantasies might not be so bad after all.

    I think the whole case has demonstrated the Tories have totally misunderstood their base. Even Daily Mail readers have always distinguished between “good” and “bad” immigrants. The Windrush, who speak English, are well-integrated and have generally worked all their lives, are on the “good” side of this (debatably artificial) divide. Hence the universal condemnation from everyone across the political spectrum, which has in its own way been quite uplifting.

  36. Crofty

    “In which way does a nation-wide vote become undemocratic, in your eyes?”

    We had one, the decision is taken. Both major parties agree that the referendum result to leave should be honoured. I have explained many many times. In my view any action which prevents Brexit happening would be antidemocratic, just my view.

  37. theexterminatingdalek,
    “But Danny, Brexit means Brexit, surely that has been made perfectly clear?”

    I toyed with mentioning that, but the PM has enough troubles.

  38. @garj

    “How would ‘automatically’ actually work in practice without becoming a blanket right for anyone of Caribbean descent and over the age of 60 to claim pemanent residence?”

    Well we are talking about people who have lived, worked and brought up families here for decades so if not automatic perhaps the presumption should be that they are British citizens ( as they are) unless the Home Office can prove the contrary rather than our fellow citizens having to produce 4 pieces of documentary evidence for every year they have beenn in the UK. (One person affected by this produced confirmation from HMRC of 37 years of unbroken NI contributions which the HO would not accept). As it is, people have been made redundant, homeless, refused cancer treatment and, it now seems likely, wrongly deported.

    This is the direct consequence of May’s “hostile environment” policy and until today’s u turn the UK Government have been utterly indifferent to the problem despite its clear unfairness and the very likely adverse effects on post Brexit relationships with the Commonwealth and on the attitude of EU nationals currently resident in the UK and vital to its public services and economy.

  39. David Lammy’s coruscating speech in the Commons on the Windrush scandal is worth watching:

    https://twitter.com/DavidLammy/status/985906022798774272?s=19

  40. The BRE January Interim Report on Grenfell is not the same as the Moore-Bick Inquiry Interim Report that is due out about now.

    The shocking facts that BRE have now found, on the recent refurbishment much reducing the tower`s resistance to fire, must be causing quite a few individuals to be contemplating prison:

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/shock-grenfell-dossier-reveals-disastrous-refurbishment-turned-tower-into-a-tinderbox-a3814866.html

    It`s another UK story of profit being of greater importance than care, especially if the folk not being cared for are not in the upper echelons of society.

    Also it`s informative on UK attitudes, that safety standards on buildings have been reduced over the last 50 years.

  41. Roger Mexico

    “Actually neither of those is really true.”

    I disagree.

    No only did I not say that Syria was an “an entirely colonial invention with a modern name”, the name Syria was created by the Macedonian Empire for their colony that they had taken from the Persian Empire.

    Various empires controlled bits of modern Syria before the Ottomans, who were the ones that established Damascus as the principal city of its province.

    The current border was created by the UK and France, when oil was discovered in the region of Mosul, when that (mainly Kurdish region) was transferred from French to British control in 1920.

    If you look at the border between Syria and Iraq, the pre 1920 deal between the UK and France continued the straight line section of the border to the Iranian frontier – placing the Mosul area in French controlled Syria. Did you say something about Syrian oil being unimportant in geopolitical terms?

    Which brings us to oil (and who controls it).

    As you say, (post 1920) Syria doesn’t have the vast reserves that other ME countries have (but I didn’t say it had).

    However, exploitation of the oil in the Israeli-occupied section of Syria has been handed over to one of Cheney’s companies.

    Russia and Iran have already agreed with Assad that they will have the major oil concessions in Syria. The route of the “Friendship” gas pipeline is also an issue, as well as the Russian and Iranian wish to counteract Saudi’s depression of oil prices.

    “Colonial” control of territories in the Middle East is ancient and modern, and always done in the interests of the colonialists and not the colonised.

  42. Michael Crick asks “If the Home Office is making all these cock-ups over the Windrush generation, how can they possibly hope to register the more than 3m EU citizens living here? I suspect that this is just a tiny taste of what is to come post-Brexit”

    It seems a bit unfair to describe decisions such as those which deported the children of Caribbean immigrants as “cock-ups”.

    Civil servants were simply implementing May’s “hostile environment” created under the 2014 and 2016 Immigration Acts.

    The legislation was clearly inappropriate, inadequate, incompetent and foolish. The same description presumably is accurate for the MPs and Lords who made these rules into law.

    The UK is not unique in this, of course.

    Luke Butterfly comments on the hypocrisy of the Irish who complain of the treatment of the “undocumented” Irish citizens in the USA, while pursuing a policy of harassing “illegal” immigrants in Ireland.

    http://www.righttoremain.org.uk/blog/st-patrick-was-undocumented/

  43. It’s with some amusement that I see that some Labour supporters on here have switched attention from today’s Syrian questions to for them the safer ground of the Windrush debate.
    I thought May was in control today with a rather surprising amount of support from the opposition back benches . Corbyn and his front bench looked rather glum during the session you can’t help feeling that he he continues with appearing to side not exactly with Russia but against the U.K. and her allies then his own standing will continue its downward projectors both inside and outside his party which may have an effect on Labour itself.
    As for Windrush the government needs to get its act together there’s no excuse for any deportations if any have indeed taken place I’m surprised that no government has thought fit to have granted automatic citizenship rights to this group of people over the many years they have been here, having said that the Tory government must carry blame for any deportations and quickly put matters right.

  44. Should be projection not projectors

  45. Turk

    “the Tory government must carry blame for any deportations”

    How about those that lost their jobs, or were denied health care because of the 2014 & 2016 Immigration Acts?

  46. GARJ

    How would ‘automatically’ actually work in practice without becoming a blanket right for anyone of Caribbean descent and over the age of 60 to claim pemanent residence?

    The problem isn’t that these people have no documentation, it’s that the Home Office is demanding impossible levels of proof. Payslips from every year for example – even though there will be records of NI contributions held by the government. Decisions are arbitrary and it costs a lot of money to apply and appeal – and these aren’t rich people.

    It should actually be pretty easy to verify in most cases that people have been here since the rules changed in the early 70s and to naturalise them (or rather re-naturalise as their citizenship was taken away without their knowing it). The problem is that they have now made the procedures so rigorous and administered them so incompetently and carelessly that it’s difficult even for better-resourced people to sort things out.

    Part of this is the legendary incompetence that the Home Office has long been famous for. That unprofessionalism has been long permitted because of institutional racism – behaving like that to nice middle-class white people from Surrey and there would be uproar. But it is also been made worse by the ‘hostile environment’, which is why so many of these cases have come to light and people were unable to produce documentation they never knew they needed and so lost jobs, housing and so on.

    What is amusing in a grotesque way, is how some people have suddenly discovered this has been going on. There have been cases in the media for a couple of years and they have clearly been triggered by the ‘hostile environment’ which the same people (and papers) were so happy to support. But then “How dare you do what I told you to!” has long been a characteristic of the British Establishment.

    The British public are not happy however. One of the questions in YouGov’s live results today was:

    https://yougov.co.uk/opi/surveys/results#/survey/59c510c1-4156-11e8-8feb-f36816a7f072/question/81af9294-4156-11e8-8feb-f36816a7f072/politics

    Until 1962 all citizens of Commonwealth countries had the right to come and live in Britain. Many Commonwealth citizens who came here at that time do not have paperwork proving when they came and have faced legal difficulties with their immigration status in recent years. In principle, do you think Commonwealth citizens who came to Britain many decades ago before immigration rules were tightened should or should not have the right to stay?

    Should have the right to stay 78%

    Should not have the right to stay 9%

    Don’t know 13%

    There is suprisingly little difference by politics or demographics (once you take the usual pattern of DKs into account) – even UKIP identifiers are 69-22 in favour and the opposition is not above 11% anywhere else.

  47. Something like 4 to 1 of 2017 Labour voters agree with the idea that Russia is a source of evil.

  48. @turk

    Nice attempt to sidestep the Windrush issue while showing you completely misunderstand it.

    I have been posting about it for a few weeks now and as far as I can remember none of the usual government supporters such as you surfaced to say how wrong it was.

    Secondly and most importantly this group do not need to be “granted” citizenship rights. They are alreafy British citizens who are being deported, detained, made redundant, made homeless and denied cancer treatment by your Government following its policies. It is not a bureaucratic mistake nor an unfortunate oversight. It has been Government policy.

    Finally I am not a Labour supporter.

  49. @oldnat

    Apparently No 10 are now briefing that May was unaware of the request from the Caribbean heads of government to meet her to discuss the Windrush issue at the Commonwealth summit although No 10 rejected the request!

  50. Irish Foreign Minister saying tonight that the Irish Government want agreed legal text on the NI backstop by June Council otherwise there will be no withdrawal agreement and no transition period.

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