There have been three more voting intention polls out today (or more, if you count BMG publishing their back catalogue). The regular YouGov poll for the Times had topline figures of CON 42%(-1), LAB 38%(nc), LDEM 7%(-1). This was conducted on Monday and Tuesday, so is the first poll we’ve seen conducted since Amber Rudd’s resignation – not that it has had any obvious impact. Asked specifically about that 51% of people thought she was right to resign, 19% think she should have remained in the job.

Asked about immigration policy, the Windrush scandal does not appear to have led to any wider perceptions that immigration policies are too harsh – 21% of people said they thought the government’s immigration policy was too strict, 15% that it was about right, 44% that it was not strict enough. Full tabs are here.

Secondly, BMG released a new poll with topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 38%, LDEM 11%. Fieldwork was in mid-April, so before the Windrush scandal really below up. While this is the first published BMG poll we’ve seen for months, they have apparently been conducting them, and have published the backdata for the last four months at the same time. All of that is on their website here, along with the tables.

Finally Survation published a poll containing voting intention for the London local elections overnight. It recorded very similar vote shares to those in the YouGov/Queen Mary University poll a week ago, with CON 31%, LAB 51%, LDEM 12%, Others 6%. Full tables are here.


1,041 Responses to “Latest YouGov and BMG polls, plus Survation London local polling”

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  1. @BARBAZENZERO

    We’ll see where that ferry eventually sails between!

    No deal on transition and future trading will make everyone poorer, UK., Ireland and EU.

  2. I can hardly believe my eyes reading these suggestions that the ROI can have anything like the level of trade it currently has with the EU let alone at the same profit as it currently has, without the co-operation of the UK.

    First of all the UK itself has the largest Trade deficit with Ireland of any EU country. So if that trade alone stopped Ireland would be on it’s knees forthwith.

    If there’s no Free Trade agreement between the the EU, and UK, the ROI’s economy will be strangled.

    Furthermore according to the new Eu budget proposals Ireland stands to lose a large chunk of its farm support. Lets see what Irish voters have to say about that.

    Of course there all for the EU there. If I was Irish I’d be for the EU. For a start they’re dependent on the ECB for a currency, and to guarantee their banks,

    But they also think they can have their subsidies from it, stay in it, and still have free movement between the UK and Ireland.

    But the UK if it wanted to, could knock free movement from the ROI to the UK mainland on the head as well. All we have to do is issue the British population of Northern Ireland with UK passports free of charge and require that they produce them, if they want to come and visit the mainland.

    I very much doubt if Unionists would be complaining very much about getting free passports.

    The only way the ROI could retaliate would be to stop UK people going to work there. But how many actually do anyway? And try and close the Northern Ireland Border.

    Let’s see how that goes.

    The UK has all the cards in these negotiations, and always will have, because:-

    (a) we have a huge Trade Deficit with the rest of the EU,

    (b) we have far higher proportion of our Trade with the rest of the World than any other major country in the EU does,

    (c) we have our own currency and Central Bank

    (d) because the ROI is FAR more reliant on us both as customers for their exports and a route into the rest of the EU, than than we are on them.

    (e) owing to the small size of the Northern Ireland economy in relation to the rest of the UK, we could if we wanted to be really difficult, slash business taxes in Northern Ireland alone, and wreck the ROI economy completely.

  3. Ronald Olden

    Almost certainly the majority in East Lewisham will be cut, on turnout alone. If half the number of voters turn out and vote in exactly the same shares the absolute majority would be halved. As the election is pretty much a done deal, I can’t see it becoming an intense battle which would push the turnout up for a by election.

    Share of the vote might be interesting, although this could be distorted in a low turnout election. No doubt people will try to spin it one way or the other but it’s unlikely much information will be gleaned from it.

  4. @Ronald Olden

    “The UK has all the cards in these negotiations..”

    Because who GAF about the Good Friday Agreement, right?

    Actually facepalming right now…

  5. @Ronald Olden:

    If there ended up being “no deal”, I can imagine Varadkar’s popularity plummeting and Ireland turning round to the EU in horror.

    The whole thing started with the UK and Ireland sharing a goal, and the DUP and Sinn Fein writing a joint letter. It could end in disaster.

    But the EU are very confident that they can use the Irish border to cause the UK to give up on Brexit – and the Irish have been offered a side-bet on advancing unification. Ultimately, no border is smuggler-proof (and a lot goes on at the Irish border today where there are different rates of duty), so the EU can set its level of tolerance to “zero” or to something more relaxed, and reject or accept solutions accordingly. It knows that Ireland is not a back route into the rest of the EU, so it could drop those objections if it wanted.

    The EU’s agreed approach means that Ireland will either get all of what it wants, or its worst case scenario.

    I dare say the EU is very sure that the UK will give up.

  6. @Enigma: “Because who GAF about the Good Friday Agreement, right?”

    The EU’s approach is to champion to the hilt Irish nationalist sentiment should there be a single CCTV camera near the border – but be utterly indifferent to Unionist sentiment if the GB/NI border becomes like an international border policed by EU customs agents?

    Or to see North-South economic co-operation as a thing of overriding importance – but not really be worried if a tariff and regulatory wall is created between GB and N. Ireland. Because, the EU’s approach is that the Nationalist interest is its interest, and the Unionist interest is the UK interest, so none of its concern.

    And that is in keeping with the Good Friday Agreement, how?

    I think the standard answer to this is that Brexit is the UK’s fault, so it must solve all issues arising at all costs to itself. But leaving the EU is meant to be a right – or does the mantra of a “union of Sovereign states” not really mean that it is legitimate to leave?

  7. It’s an interesting phenomenon that some of the more foolish Brexiteers are so convinced that those inferior people, who aren’t privileged enough to be UKanian/British/English, haven’t thought about the issues – or if they have, must be misguided.

    It’s similar to the lack of self-awareness demonstrated in 1650 by Cromwell [1]

    “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”

    [1] Since Turk considers that mid 17th century texts from English politics are relevant to today.

  8. OldNat

    I think Gilbert & Sullivan had it nailed with “For he is an Englishman”

  9. @Crossbat11 – It’s going to be close but with SF not taking their seats there are still a few votes in hand. It is likely to go through on the narrowest majority.

  10. joseph1832,

    The nationalists want an open border because they want a reunited ireland. The unionists want an open border, because the fear any attempt to close it will eventually result in N. Irish revolt and cessesion from the Uk to join the south.

    The current compromise has suited both sides, because the nationalists can move freely around all Ireland, while the unionists can claim to govern in the north. It has become in the interests of the unionists to ensure the nationalist continue to get their part of the deal. And thus the DUP insist on an open border. Whats more, they probably decided to go into coalition to guarantee an open border.

  11. BZ at 9.22pm

    Tying yourself in knots a bit there in your attempts to attach a meaning to the GFA which simply isn’t supported by the text. I am no lawyer, so I’m happy to be corrected by one if my understanding of the correct use of punctuation in legal texts is wrong, but there are two uses for a semicolon: to make it clear that two or more statements, which you might otherwise write as separate sentences, are related; and to separate a statement from another if one of those statements itself contains commas. The paragraph we’re talking about falls under both of those categories. Indeed, it has to be seen in the context of section 2 of the GFA as a whole. The section starts with a short sentence ended by a colon, followed by a series of paragraphs numbered (i) to (iv) and separated by semicolons. The punctuation makes it clear that the section is intended to be read as a whole, and is a way of constructing lists within lists of interdependent statements. It has been written that way precisely to make that nested meaning clear and to stop people like yourself from trying to separate out small sections and twist their meaning. If that were to leave you in any doubt, it is then followed by the text inserted into UK law in order to make this part of the GFA binding:

    “1. (1) It is hereby declared that Northern Ireland in its entirety remains part of the United Kingdom and shall not cease to be so without the consent of a majority of the people of Northern Ireland voting in a poll held for the purposes of this section in accordance with Schedule 1.
    (2) But if the wish expressed by a majority in such a poll is that Northern Ireland should cease to be part of the United Kingdom and form part of a united Ireland, the Secretary of State shall lay before Parliament such proposals to give effect to that wish as may be agreed between Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom and the Government of Ireland.”

  12. Ronald: I agree with your summary of Lewisham East. It will be an absolute snoozefest, the only interesting thing will be the Labour selection battle, which may give us some insight into how far the internal balance has shifted, and whether Momentum are now organised enough to make their numerical advantage count. I suspect they are.

  13. I see the lords has voted to stay in the EEA. More interestingly perhaps, since it has been doing this sort of thing a lot, is that this was opposed by both tory and labour party. Suggests the lords are not minded to listen to the parties but keen to follow their own line.

    Presumably we will get lots of huffing and puffing about the lords must give in to the elected commons, but why should they? What happens if they do not? Nothing?

    Presumably the government could still change its schedule and have a sudden end to this parliamentary session, so that it could use the parliament act against the lords. I dont quite understand why it chose to have one extra long session, which seemed immediately intended to hand more power to the lords, who always seemed the most likely people to oppose brexit.

    Are there more problesm which would be created by ending this session early?

    If the withdrawal bill falls, then the Uk does not leave the EU as far as the Uk is concerned. Where does that leave the EUs position? I already mentioned this, but article 50 requires any member to properly follow all its constitutional processes before giving notice to leave.

    A situation where a member’s parliament refuses to enact the necessary legislation to leave doesnt really sound like it has followed all the necessary procedures.

    I recall we already discussed the question whether the act nominating the PM as the person with authority to notify the EU of our leaving, also instructed her to give this notice. A refusal to pass the wirhdrawal bill could imply that parliament did not and does not consent to her on her own volition giving this notice, so it would be invalid. She jumped the gun.

    Whatever, the whole business makes the Uk a laughing stock. It is the same problem as with the referendum, that the Uk has to have a chosen destination before it can make a decision whether it wants to go there, or make the necessary arrangements.

    Its pretty clear there is no agreed destination, by parliament or voters.

  14. To be more accurate labour were neutral on the issue as they asked their peers to abstain rather than vote against. Which pretty much sums up labour’s line throughout

  15. The Tories were going to introduce an elected second chamber in 2012. They were stopped by a backbench rebellion led by Jacob Rees-Mogg and David Davis.

    Oh, the sweet taste of karma.

  16. “TREVOR WARNE
    PS I agree Lords are making Brexit harder – increasing probability of no deal, the hardest Brexit of all :)”

    Yes indeed, and of the demise of the Lords itself. No deal exit has been the most likely for some time now. Short term pain, but much better than staying in the EU which would be a long term disaster IMO.

    Delighted to say sun still shining down here and much more to do. Planting out my young runner beans today.

  17. NeilJ
    Abstaining on the issue of EEA is not neutral, it is against in the context that many Labour peers were going to defy Corbyn on it. Corbyn has made his opposition to the Single Market quite clear, and has repeatedly whipped MPs and peers to try and prevent the Tories losing any vote on it, this time unsuccessfully.

  18. Re Lewisham East
    The Lib Dems are certainly up for this one and the Appeal has already gone out.
    Personally I think around 30% of Labour voters will be sufficiently dischuffed with Corbyn’s position on Brexit to give him a kick, and they will be joined by enough ABL Tories to give the Lib Dems second place as in Witney.

  19. Andrew111,
    ” Corbyn has made his opposition to the Single Market quite clear,”
    No, he hasnt, and nor has May. Both essentially have a policy of doing the best for the country, whatever that turns out to be.

    There are a number of people on both leave and remain arguing that there is no halfway solution to Brexit, it is either in or out. The fallback position of labour is to remain if no workable brexit can be negotiated. A number of tories would seem to agree.

    Leavers are fixated with the idea that there can be no change of decision to leave the EU, but that is obviously an untenable position. If no one can come up with a form of leaving which is better than staying, then we must stay. And that is what is being explored right now. MPs want this, and voters also want this.

  20. Danny,

    You corrected Andrew before me.

    Labours position allows for single market membership or access but does not want to make it the only option which passing such amendments would.

  21. Danny and Jim Jam,

    I am not going to accept “correction” on this

    One of many examples I could find:
    https://inews.co.uk/news/scotland/jeremy-corbyn-single-market-hold-uk-back/

    Corbyn wants “cake and eat it”. It is just a different cake from Theresa. The Single Market will hold back his socialist ambitions, which is why Corbyn has never actually been in favour of being in the EU, going back many decades. The membership forced him into reluctant backing for the EU in the referendum, just as the Lib Dem membership forced Clegg into a position on tuition fees he never believed in…

    The deal Corbyn says he wants from the EU is not remotely on the table…

  22. JIM JAM
    You corrected Andrew before me.
    Labours position allows for single market membership or access but does not want to make it the only option which passing such amendments would.

    Precisely he is keeping all his options open and he also knows that to display whole right opposition would cause many problems for him in the party

  23. It cannot reasonably be argued that the Labour party’s leadership supports the UK staying in the Single Market when Labour peers voted against the Whip to support remaining in the SM

  24. @DANNY

    I believe that if the parliamentary session ends then all Bills that are still in progress through the many stages would be lost, so that option probably isn’t viable. In any case the HoL could have an interesting basis for saying the govt were circumventing the Parliament Act rather than applying it and it could trigger something of a constitutional crisis.

    The main advantage (I think) of a marathon session is that Bills that stir up more controversy than expected can effectively be put on hold and quietly resumed or buried later, rather than having to be either forced through or publicly Climbed Down from while they’re in the headlines.

  25. Re: Lewisham East. Those of us who are long in the tooth enough to remember the Bermondsey by-election in the 1980’s should not be so sanguine about the eventual winner, London by-elections have been a problem for Labour in the past. The selection for Labour is important, but also important is the way in which the person selected is portrayed in the media. I hold no brief for Peter Tatchell but his portrayal in the media in the by-election was mercilessly negative on all fronts. Whoever is selected for Labour this time can expect the same.

  26. Sam – that would have made that the only option for Labour have which would be an earlier than necessary narrowing of policy

    If the amendment had said disagrees with HMG ruling out SM membership Labour could have supported (as long as other clauses were acceptable).

  27. WB – and Greenwich, who could forget Deidre Wood who allowed the vapid Rosie Barnes to be appear to be a strong candidate?
    IIRC, this lead to the NEC controlling selections in By-Elections to a greater degree, choosing the short-list I think for the local party to select from.
    NB) In Copeland Labour had a decent candidate who was a victim of circumstances.

  28. ANDREW111

    @”The deal Corbyn says he wants from the EU is not remotely on the table…”

    Correct, and reports indicate that the EU intends to ensure he doesn’t get it by default.

  29. Andrew111,
    “Corbyn wants “cake and eat it”. It is just a different cake from Theresa.”

    Of course everyone wants ‘cake and eat it’ but it is not going to happen. Then we get to what is really possible and make a choice.

    Sam,
    “It cannot reasonably be argued that the Labour party’s leadership supports the UK staying in the Single Market when Labour peers voted against the Whip to support remaining in the SM”

    Wasnt there a parable about someone being told to bathe in a particular river to get well, and the recipient of the advice griped that he couldnt see what was wrong with other rivers? If what it takes to achieve an outcome is to first vote against it, so be it.

    Do you not like politics?

  30. DANNY @7.07
    “article 50 requires any member to properly follow all its constitutional processes before giving notice to leave. ”
    We’ve done that. There was a court case to determine that Parliamentary approval, rather than Royal Prerogative, was required, and parliamentary approval to give notice was obtained. We are now beyond Point X in Article 50 below, and getting near to Article 50(3). If there is no agreement [failure to agree, NOT ‘if we walk away’] by 29 March 2019, we leave – subject to unanimous agreement to continue talking.

    Article 50
    1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

    2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. [X] In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

    3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

  31. So the big question is which leader has the biggest Brexit problem?

    Corbyn – EEA back to HoC for a vote and his current policy on CU with cake has been ripped to shreds?
    Does he:
    a/ continue on the LAB-Remain Primrose Path as desired by a large chunk of the PLP and his VI and in doing so alienate the Leave vote in the large swathes of marginal seats in the Midlands and the North
    b/ out himself as a Leaver and alienate the PLP, the majority of his VI and simply vote stack further in safe metropolitan seats?

    May – The “crunch” can kicking can’t go on for ever, so does she:
    a/ risk losing votes in HoC that would challenge her leadership
    b/ risk a leadership challenge if she “decides” on tasking DD to negotiate NCP
    c/ procrastinate knowing she can’t sort this mess out and wait until EC give her a deal so bad she can turn it down (then face a/ or b/)
    or for the fantasists:
    d/ break CON manifesto and her red lines and back a Turkey+ or BINO deal

    (NB there is no new referendum amendment, so there is no e/ try to revoke A50 and remain in EU (supposedly on the same terms with which we voted in Jun’16?!?)

    I’m almost moving over to wanting a GE to resolve this mess but a few more pieces to fall into place first and a littl more time to elapse as well. ;)

  32. @ TOH – Full credit to yourself for seeing the end game ever since the 2017 GE. I’ve wavered a little since the 2017 GE on the likelihood of no deal (and the specific details of no deal – crash out v transition and WTO v UFT).

    The timing and sequence of events is tough to call but it again seems very likely that come the Autumn we’ll be faced with “no deal” or “very bad deal”.

    What is your view on how this plays out from here?

    Hopefully we’ll get some useful polling soon. I expect folks and especially CON VI folks will not like Turkey+ or BINO and hence one way or another we’ll end up with “no deal” (“no deal” will of course be “min deal” and IMHO the mini-deals within “min deal” will almost certainly include the 21mths transition hence we can transition to a reciprocal WTO and if EU want to come back with a better offer in that 21mths then that is up to them)

    Enjoy the planting. Sadly I’m stuck behind a desk all day.

  33. TREVOR W

    If you receive answers to that interesting question, Trevor, I suspect you will find a wide variety of answers.

    I have no idea what Corbyn will do. He should support the idea of remaining in the SM and CU. The great majority of economists are united in the view that to leave the EU, however it is done, is economically damaging. If Corbyn supports remaining in the EU he will be acting in the interests of the UK and of his base support.

    It seems likely enough that Mrs May would like the UK to remain in the EU. Her policy is to have no policy and that will remain her policy, I believe. It is also possible that the EU will allow the Irish can to be kicked again. The main interest of the EU now is likely to be an orderly Brexit . No cliff edges and fixing new supply lines for EU industry where necessary. Money in the bank for the withdrawal agreement. Post transition the UK can properly exit on WTO terms assuming no deal can be made.

  34. TREVOR WARNE

    @” (“no deal” will of course be “min deal” and IMHO the mini-deals within “min deal” will almost certainly include the 21mths transition ”

    Can’t see that happening. Failure of EU to agree a Trade Agreement or Technical based NI Border solution means default to Option 3-which DUP , & therefore this Government will not accept .

    So no NI Border agreement =no Withdrawal Agreement=crash out next March.

    Frankly the political options now available are becoming so complex ( to me anyway) , one wonders if THe Lords has in effect forced a GE to take place. ( Perhaps that was their intent).

    Whatever-if UK crashes out next March with little or no preparation the Big Question is -who will the Voters blame ?

    Have you read this ?-I think the author is a Remainer !

    http://politicalbetting.com/

  35. COLIN

    That article has it about right. If we are to leave then by far the best long-term outcome in terms of neighbourliness and future relations is for us to sign up to a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, and to cooperate as fully and widely as possible on every area (such as security, travel, research etc) that we can while remaining separate polities. This is not an extreme position, every other developed country on earth follows a similar model for neighbourly relations; and it is not cake, we would have no customs union, single market, or freedom of movement, all of which the EU claims are positive benefits of membership. This would be the outcome that has the greatest potential benefit for both parties.

    Unfortunately, the Commission is being aided by numerous parliamentarians to try to wreck the prospects of a mutually beneficial deal. Some of the opposition simply hopes that they can trash the process sufficiently so that the government is left owning the resulting disaster and a wrathful public votes them out of office, never mind the damage caused along the way. Remainers are hoping that they can push the government into a position where it is faced with a choice between BINO or no-deal, so that it will pick BINO and eventually we rejoin (albeit substantially chastened and diminished in influence, and without any of our rebates or former concessions). The Commission hopes to offer a similar BINO or no-deal choice, but would probably rather the UK were kept in a permanent state of vassaldom where they can safely pass laws and regualtions without the worry of the British veto (such as a financial transactions tax so as to capture most of the City’s tax revenues), and where we serve as a reminder to other nations of the consequences of defying the empire. None of those represent a good outcome for the UK, and in the long run they don’t represent a good outcome for the EU either.

  36. GARJ

    Thanks.

    Their stance on Galileo has shocked me. I thought Security co-operation was the one thing on which there would be complete harmony of purpose.

    https://sciencebusiness.net/news/excluding-uk-europes-galileo-system-would-be-gift-putin-says-mep

    It is an awful Parliamentary mess at the moment. I wish I could understand the next steps/options.

    It doesn’t help at all that The Cabinet is still not agreed on the FTA model.

  37. Dave,
    strikes me we still might not have passed section 1, where a decsiion has to be made.

    if we never properly made the decision, then it is moot whether notice was made in the right form, because it could not lawfully have been delivered by May. law is a bit like snakes and ladders.

    Trevor Warne,
    if there is another election, this year is surely the time. because it will be about the Brexit Impasse. At the last election May did not get either result she needed. A big majority confirming the nation wanted to leave. A clear rejection proving the nation wanted to remain. So she will seek a clearer result. Most probably she will stand on a doft brxit platform, and labour will stand on remain, but it all depnds how far the retrenchment has gone by then.

    If the withdrawal bill returns to the commons (the government might delay yet again), what happens to it there might be informative, because a defeat wiuld immediately precipitate a crisis. if the commons rstores it, but it returns to the lords who rejct it again, that too would be a crisis, because indefinite ping pong at this point is not a viable government position.

    Mostly May keeps stalling, so she could even drag out leaving past the time we are supposed to leave by simply doing nothing. The withdrawal bill as amended might prove so toxic she would rather let it fall.

    Colin,
    ” one wonders if the Lords has in effect forced a GE to take place.”
    No, May has been angling to create the circumstances for another election, because getting out of power is the only way out for the tories.

  38. Garj,
    “Unfortunately, the Commission is being aided by numerous parliamentarians to try to wreck the prospects of a mutually beneficial deal”

    There you go again, it all depends on which set of glasses one is wearing whether any action helps the Uk or hinders it. Many agree the best deal is to remain, and it is pretty simple to negotiate. just difficult for the tories to sell to their voters. Very difficult indeed.

  39. COLIN

    Their stance on Galileo has shocked me. I thought Security co-operation was the one thing on which there would be complete harmony of purpose.

    But the one thing that security co-operating needs is security. And when you can’t even get the Cabinet to agree on which impractical alternative they want and when leading Conservatives are going round assuring the media that even if something’s been agreed, they feel entitled to to go back on it at any time, why should the EU feel that they can rely on the UK?

    It’s the unreliability and the arbitrariness that is unsettling them. They can’t predict what is going to happen any more than the rest of us. So they’re going to back off, just as any other organisation would in those circumstances.

  40. DANNY

    I have long held that there are two sensible end positions that the UK could find itself in: either we leave the EU and have a free trade agreement, or we remain a full member. I voted for the latter in the referendum, but the other side won. I do not see a realistic prospect where this government (or the opposition) will sign the UK up to remaining a full member, nor do I think the EU will actually allow us to resume our voting rights as one (something which would require the unanimous agreement of all member states). Even if they would, I don’t think that the British public is accepting enough of such an outcome for it to hold for more than one or two parliamentary terms; I simply don’t buy the idea that you can put the Brexit cat back in the bag. The result of a campaign to prevent the sensible free trade option will be poisoning of the political discourse and recriminations lasting for decades. The UK’s relationship with Europe would continue to be toxic, and I fear that the eventual break would be of the catastrophic no-deal kind. Indeed, the actions of remainers are making the no-deal option even more likely as they seek to play a high-stakes game of chicken in order to overturn the referendum result. I think that it’s highly likely that will backfire, and that the harm caused if it does will be immense.

  41. @TW 10:54

    Corbyn has a third option – a free vote.

    In favour:
    Avoids dissent in the PLP;
    Can portray it as representing the sovereignty of Parliament over the Executive;
    Can call for the Tories to do likewise.

    Against:
    Can be seen as weakness;
    Could upset both Remainers and Leavers.

    Outcome
    If the Tories reject free votes and impose a 3-line whip, the Lords’ amendments are defeated but any later failures are clearly the fault of the Tories.

    If the Tories accept free votes, the Commons accept the Lords’ amendments with a chance of an implosion in the Parliamentary Tory party when the Brexiteers decide to defenestrate TM.

    From Corbyn’s point-of-view this must be the best option. Even if he does not realise it, no doubt Seumas Milne will.

  42. @ COLIN – any transition deal is not part of Article50 although it is mentioned in the DRAFT Withdrawal Agreement. Both sides have agreed a transition deal in principle but it is not legally dependant on the WA – hence IMHO (and that of legal input) the transition deal (as already agreed in principle) could be a “mini deal” pushed through in an 11th hour panic as both sides have a huge economic and political interest in avoiding a “crash-out” scenario (Euro parliament elections are later in 2019).

    Of course Macron might say “non” but if you see the legal, economic or political argument differently then please let me know.

    @ SAM – your forgetting that pesky inconvenience of democracy, parliamentary process and the default legal position and even if all your wishes comes true do you think voters will fall for Project Fear 2.0 after Project Fear 1.0s predictions totally failed? 17.4milion people voted Leave last time – what % of UK electorate are economists and how many of them voted Leave and would switch to Remain?

    @ DANNY – any GE will for sure be due to parliament being unable to agree on Brexit (or EU giving HMG a deal so bad they refuse it but HoC want to accept it) and hence current polling of little use. To get to a GE situation we’d probably have:

    Corbyn – backing Turkey or BINO (possibly including FoM)
    May (or her replacement) – backing clean exit
    LDEM/SNP/Green – backing attempt to revoke and remain (or rejoin if they were being honest).
    (CON and LAB would both have some MPs on the “wrong team” but the numbers would be small and to get to this situation it would probably be around 17+ CON-Remain and 3+ LAB-Leave)

    Timing wise, tough to tell. From CON’s perspective they have some control over the timing and for sure late 2018 would be likely although their is a risk it spills past 29Mar’10. To win a clear majority CON need to:
    a/ spit the opposition vote (LAB=BINO, LDEM=Rejoin)
    b/ drop austerity (replace Hammond and saddle him with the blame)
    c/ offer a +ve future (cake)

    You should also not it is the marginal voter in the marginal seat that counts. Vote stacking in safe seats doesn’t win local councils and most certainly doesn’t win GEs!

    I obviously want CON-Leave to win that GE but if they c0ck it up then it is LAB-BINO probably relying on SNP and/or LDEM – so not long before the horror of BINO and that messy coalition falls apart and we get the Brexit “tie-breaker” to settle the 1-1 draw ;)

  43. Garj,
    ” I simply don’t buy the idea that you can put the Brexit cat back in the bag”

    no, nor do I. But leaving will no more settle that debate then remaining. If we leave, we will rejoin, and probably fairly quick. The collateral damage to the Uk will be pretty bad, and the blame will fall on whoever was pushing through brexit. That is why the tories are so tied in knots.

    However, it is by no means too late to simply stop Brexit right now. This is the easiest solution. The government has been very reticent to properly investigate this option, most probably because they have always held it in reserve.

  44. @ LEFTIELIBERAL – very good point. Along a similar line a carefully managed small number of LAB “abstain” (e.g. MPs in strong Leave seats) would do the trick, the numbers will be very tight.

  45. @ DANNY – “If we leave, we will rejoin, and probably fairly quick.”

    LDEM resurgence? You think LAB or CON want to go through the nightmare of Brexit in reverse (let alone the public). Matt Singh did a poll on rejoining – not looking good and that is before the honesty of no rebate, etc!

  46. DANNY

    “But leaving will no more settle that debate then remaining. If we leave, we will rejoin, and probably fairly quick. The collateral damage to the Uk will be pretty bad, and the blame will fall on whoever was pushing through brexit. That is why the tories are so tied in knots.”

    _____

    That’s where I disagree. Even leaving onto WTO terms still only represents a slowing of growth, not some economic collapse. The gloomiest predictions of the affect on growth from a FTA (which are debatable in themselves) have to be compounded for decades in order to get to a significant figure. The man in the street just won’t notice that subtle a change.

    Much of the opposition to Brexit is instinctive and totemic, and because people can see that the process is a bit of a nightmare. Once it has been completed and when things trundle along thereafter without much noticable difference, while people realise that they can still go to Europe fairly easily and the sky hasn’t fallen in, then the desire to stir up all the uncertainty over again in order to try to rejoin will dwindle away. The vast majority will just be glad that the whole rigmarole is over and done with.

    If Brexit is cancelled, on the other hand, then I don’t see leave voters taking it well at all. It’s a recipe for making Brexit the major political issue not just for this and the next electoral cycle, but probably the one after as well.

  47. Ian Dunt gets stuck into Labour’s leaders.

    http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2018/05/09/lords-vote-no-place-left-for-corbyn-to-hide

    “Failing to support this amendment is a betrayal of everything the Labour leadership say they stand for. They say they want a democratic party which reflects the will of its members, but 87% of Labour members want to stay in the single market. They say they have solidarity with immigrants and against the injustices of Windrush, but rejecting the Lords amendment ends free movement and throws three million European citizens into the chaos of Theresa May’s immigration system. They say they believe in workers’ rights, but they are demanding we leave the part of the European project which most protects them. They say they will defend jobs, but rejecting the EEA puts manufacturing and agriculture in particular at risk. They say they stand for the young but they ignore the 72% of them who say they want soft Brexit.”

  48. I don’t see how a new general election would help at this stage, or who with the power to cause one would benefit from doing so. The polling suggests little movement since the last GE – another hung Parliament would be the most likely outcome. Nor, despite their internal arguments, can I see the Conservative party actually splitting over it and forcing one. The DUP could cause one – but they must know how slim the chances are of a new GE result giving them the kingmaker role again.

  49. 87% Sam where this?

    IIRC, the most recent poll of members had a majority supporting the line.

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