This morning’s Times has a new YouGov poll with topline figures of CON 28%(-4), LAB 32%(+1), LDEM 11%(-1), BREXIT 8%(+3), UKIP 6%(-1), GRN 5%(+1), Change 3% (new). Fieldwork was Wednesday and Thursday and changes are since the start of April. This is the first standard YouGov poll that’s included Change UK – now they are in the process of registering as a political party I expect we’ll start to see them included in most polls.

The Conservative score of 28% is the first time YouGov have shown them dropping below 30% since 2013. While one can never be certain about what has caused changes in voting intention, it is hard to avoid the obvious conclusion that they are shedding support to more unambiguously pro-Brexit parties like UKIP and the Brexit party.

As ever, one should be cautious about reading too much into any single poll, but this is pretty much in line with other recent polling. A BMG poll last week put Labour 2 points ahead and the Conservatives down at 29%, a Survation poll this week (unusually of England & Wales only) produced a four point Labour lead. Kantar’s latest poll produced a three point Labour lead (and a startling 9 point drop in Tory support, though I suspect that was at least partially a reversion to the mean after an usually high Tory lead in their previous poll). Across the board Conservative support seems to be falling away.

The YouGov poll also included voting intention for the European elections. Initial headline figures there are CON 16%, LAB 24%, LDEM 8%, BREXIT 15%, UKIP 14%, GRN 8%, Change 7%.

I should add some caveats here. It is, obviously, very early – the European elections have only just been announced and people are unlikely to have put much if any thought towards who they will support. This early measure however suggests that the Conservatives will, as widely predicted, suffer badly. As yet they are narrowly in second place, but I would by no means assume that will hold (not least, the Brexit party will still be largely unknown and many respondents will be unaware that they are now the party of Nigel Farage, rather than UKIP, and I’d expect them to gain support as they gain publicity. Equally, it remains to be seen what impact there is on Change UK support once they officially launch as a party.

Full tabs for both questions are here.

1,689 Responses to “YouGov voting intention for Westminster & the European elections”

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  1. Crossbath

    I’ve just read your post comparing my in-laws ranch to that of one owned by the mass murderer Manson and that fellow contributors on here would be at home there presumably because there views differ from yours.

    I can only assume your you were either drunk when you posted such nonsense or your rather a stupid childish offensive type of person with little or no wit or both.if you want to become the sites resident troll that’s a matter for you but please keep your offensive remarks to yourself.

  2. Cloudspotter,

    Put into Electoral Calculus (Scotland)

    You get;

    Con 3 (-10), Lab 1 (-6), LibDem 4 (0), SNP 51 (+16), UKIP 0 (0), Green 0 (0) Minor 0 (0).

    This makes no allowance for Brexit or Change as individual Parties and the calculator doesn’t let you enter a minor score so it is only based on 93% voting and assumes that on 4 and 2 neither Brexit or Change can win a seat.

    However if Brexit on 4 hurts the tories most then they might not get all three and Labour, the SNP or the LibDems might pick up an extra 1.

    Overall good for the SNP and from the point of the Scottish impact making a UK minority Government more likely with Labour and the tories 16 seats down and the current Government down 10 of those.


  3. Peter and Others posters in Scotland?

    Would Green supporters be more likely to turn out?

    I think 3 x SNP, 1 x Lab and 1 x Brexit seem highly likely with Green, Cons and a 4th SNP all being possible for the final seat but I have a hunch Greens might over-perform the YG poll VI.

  4. @Turk

    “I’ve just read your post comparing my in-laws ranch to that of one owned by the mass murderer Manson and that fellow contributors on here would be at home there presumably because there views differ from yours.”

    OK, that might have been a stretch too far, but I did say it was Manson minus the death cult. I presume I’m right about that aren’t I?

    What about the wurzels though? Was I right about those?

    (And, by the way, because I’m an inoffensive sort of fellow, I was talking about vegetables and animal fodder when I referred to wurzels. Not Colin and TOH.)


  5. @Danny

    You really are engaged in wishful thinking.

    Tories were run by two blue Liberals who were never happier than when good old Cleggers was there two take the blame for their soft policies.

    To appease the nasty true Tories, they promised a referendum……..

    There is no conspiracy, just complete and utter incompetence.

  6. This will be controversial no doubt, but it’s an interesting piece of research into the links between industrial decline, economic deprivation and rising crime. It concentrates on the Thatcher era and the social effects of de-industrialisation in the 1980s. I recall the loud rebuttals from the British Right at the time that there was any such link and while the Left argued that there had to be, there was little in the way of hard proof. The rebuttals won the political day but this piece of research, 30-40 years after the day, might go some way to providing the hard evidence of what we always suspected to be the case: –

  7. @EoR and @Tonybig – thankyou.

    Maybe the conversion of Cartesian coordinates into a Rector vector is what is meant by God moving in mysterious ways?

  8. @alec

    Or in a non-Euclidean space.

  9. CB11

    @”I’m not sure they are, are they?”

    Yes -I think so.

    Fr. Magill spells it out doesn’t he? what he calls “the extraordinary act of non violence ” by “the women of Derry” dipping their hands in the red paint. He says this was his motivation for saying what he said in church.

    He spells it out doesn’t he ?:-“People want our politicians to move, and they want them to move now.”

    As I said before-one of the relatives who spoke in church closed with the demand-“lets get to it”.

    Why this popular & visible rejection of the New IRA , and the willingness to associate with PSNI should result in a call for political dialogue & reinstatement of representative government in NI is not hard to imagine is it?

    A political vacuum which provides the room for a small bunch of crackpots to disrupt the normality of 21 years of peace is bad enough. But when that results in the murder of a young journalist , one can well imagine that enough is enough.


    I’m happy to concede borders already exist between NI-GB and RoI-NI and somewhere on those two (or the third option of RoI-EU26) some modest “hardening” will be required and I’ve discussed the options with likes of PTRP. There is a limit to what we can do unilaterally but IF we have to then we will not be hardening our side of the NI-RoI border for long enough to see what EC-EU27 decide to do (legal challenges take time)

    My argument with yourself centred around the fact that in the end WA broke any opportunity for deal in NI/RoI border

    You accept that basically we would have to have regulatory alignment between NI and RoI and that means a border in the Irish sea. The initial backstop did this. It was May that added the rest of the UK into the backstop not the EU which is why it would take a brexiteer to acknowledge that NI has to be treated separately. it would mean throwing the DUP under the bus and that cannot happen without a GE and a overwhelming Tory win (+35 )

    I believe we agree that at the moment nothing changes but it also restricts what the UK can do and what the EU will want to do They will keep the border open as far as they can but they will want a permanent solution that is legal both side will want that or else they can not move forward. For example if we have a deal that allows hormone infused beef or chlorinated chicken then how to we police the NI/RoI border in the end you have to have a border down the Irish sea it is the only practicable solution and to make the border between NI and RoI frictionless and infrastructureless means regulatory alignment it is not rocket science……How you finesse this is the problem because basically it breaks several red lines UK as a single entity (we are breaking up the UK in parts a free port here and next a city state there in a country which is arguing at one level against fiscal transfers (scotland and yet pushing for fiscal transfers….but that is an aside)

    It is the fact that it cannot be finessed that I believe is the problem no amount of it is not regulatory alignment but….can resolve this and I suspect one of the post to me was that we had to dupe the DUP into this, if you remember

    As I said to you SF are laughing at everyone since we leave with no deal they win, we leave with regulatory alignment they win. That 30% of unionist have broken ranks and joined with 90% Nationalist community which will demographically be the majority electorate wise soon it would be interesting how the Conservative and Unionist party copes. Remember you told me that U in DUP stands for Unionist……

    As for SCON: I believe the problem they have is that you are now into what can get you a win time. For SLAB they offer nothing that can not be got from the SNP. I suspect that SCON are actually following the issue of English CON. They are still austerity bound after all you cannot argue against fiscal transfer to scotland and then say what you need is fiscal transfer to scotland it is incoherent unless you basically are feathering your own support bases’ coffers makes it look rather more corrupt. You end up with everyone needing a bung and if we could do that now we could have done that before…… again it is a choice a philosophy not a necessity.

    it is why the Tories are in a quandary. The can’t say that Corbyn is mad when they are going to do the exact same policy money spending wise.

    To quote stars wars “I can feel the conflict within you……”


  11. TURK

    Old CB does like to have a sharp dig & then plead innocent humour if challenged.

    It is irritating I know-but the way I see it , his predictable excuses and evasions are a sign of his little weakness.

    I see old CB as the kid in the playground who gravitates to the nearest punch up and stands on the sidelines shouting-yeah hit him harder.
    When teacher appears & drags the school bully away, CB is nowhere to be seen.

    …but I hasten to add this little scenario is only a joke & not meant to be offensive in any way.

  12. JiB @ 2.04 pm

    Yes, and you haven`t as many heather-dominant moors as the rUK outwith Wales. Also you have heavier sheep-stocking, so combined with the managed grouse-estate fires, there won`t be many stands of tall old heather liable to bad fires.

    I met a farmer in upland Aberdeenshire who is very keen on his Lleyn sheep. And I see on their breed web-page they claim this breed will be ideal if Brexit stops livestock subsidies. The web page says the Lleyns are suited to upland grazings, and I wonder if this is true from your knowledge of NW Wales.

    The Aberdeen flocks were exclusively on grass leys.

  13. ALEC

    I did wonder whether the word was entirely appropriate-and didn’t look up a precise definition at the time. It is in fairly common parlance as I used it.

    But just checking now is see :-

    ” VECTOR-in Physics & maths -a quantity having direction as well as magnitude, ”

    So I think it fits Fr. Magills sermon pretty well actually .

  14. Non-Ecumenical space, shurely?

  15. COLIN
    “All that matters is that the politicians of NI respond to the wishes of their people.”

    Tricky thing to measure, “wishes of the people” though, as Brexit shows.

    At the last assembly election SF had a platform that was clear that if the result but them in a position where they were required to appoint a FM or DFM they would refuse unless preconditions were met.

    The DUP had a platform that was clear that if the result but them in a position where they were required to appoint a FM or DFM they would not agree to those preconditions.

    A clear majority gave first preference votes to the two of them. The DUP refused to consider preconditions. SF refused to appoint a DFM. And so we are where we are. Because of the wishes of the people (or their votes anyway).

  16. YouGov link to the poll.

    As well as Westminster it also covers the Euro’s and Independence.

    Independence at 49% which is high and the euro poll;

    Con 10, Lab 14, LibDem 6, UKIP, Green 7, Change 6, Brexit 13, SNP 40.

    It needs someone smarter than me (they’ll be a queue) to say what that means in seats!

    Can’t see a link to the tables!


  17. @ PETER (SNP) – I would expect BXP to be hurting SCON VI most in SCON seats (ie the hit to SCON will be worse than UNS and Electoral Calculus).

    Although most analysis shows every Westminster constituency in Scotland voted for UK to Remain in EU the distribution shows lowest Remain %s were in the seats that SCON currently hold (which I’ve crudely called “Turf and Surf”/RoC seats) and you continue to see Scottish Leave are mostly in SCON VI

    A lot will depend on whether or not Farage specifically targets Scottish seats (see earlier post) and what happens with Brexit (eg a CU or a sell out on fishing will give BXP room in a “Soft Brexit” outcome if Farage is astute enough to respond – which I expect he is).

    UKIP never really made much impact in Scotland in terms of Westminster seats so perhaps BXP won’t. The other option is for Farage to write-off Scotland and morph Brexit into E+Wxit (UKIP were popular in Wales) – plenty of polling showing E+W Leave voters happy for an Independent Scotland if it means E+W get a “Clean Brexit”. If he goes the E+W route that will help SCON of course (directly by not splitting the RoC-Leave vote and indirectly by strengthening SCON as the most “Union” option)

    Current evidence: BXP #1 candidate in EPs is Louis Stedman-Bryce[1] which suggests BXP HQ are aware that Scottish Leave voters are a bit different to the stereotype English Leave voter perhaps?

    Farage has time to decide what he will do regarding Scotland. Certainly some voices pushing him the E+W route and in that regard possibly a “pact” opportunity with SNP perhaps?

    If SNP win nearly every seat in Scotland in next GE then it should become obvious to most UK wide parties that Scotland is political baggage (sadly, from my perspective, CON probably last to work it out but I’m sticking with CON for now for Westminster, BXP for EP)

    [1] I’d never heard of him, nor had any of my Scots family/friends. Not much info on his views beyond the demographic stuff and that he is also more “Green” than the BXP stereotype. Since BXP aren’t bothering with a manifesto then I’m not sure we’ll find out much more about his broader views or BXP policies until after EPs.

  18. Some more polls via Britian elects

    European Parliament voting intention:

    BREX: 28% (+16)
    LAB: 28% (-1)
    CON: 14% (-3)
    LDEM: 7% (-3)
    CHUK: 7% (+3)
    GRN: 6% (-)
    UKIP: 3% (-10)

    via @OpiniumResearch
    Chgs. w/ 12 Apr

    Westminster voting intention:

    LAB: 33% (-3)
    CON: 26% (-3)
    BREX: 17% (+17)
    LDEM: 6% (-2)
    CHUK: 4% (+4)
    GRN: 4% (-)
    UKIP: 4% (-7)

    NEW: UK European Parliament Voting Intention (changes vs EP election ’14) from 1,999 interviewed adults aged 18+, April 17th-25th.
    CON 16% (-7
    LAB 27% (+2)
    LD 8% (+1)
    UKIP 7% (-20),
    GRN 4% (-4),
    SNP 3% (+1),
    BXP 27% (new),
    CHUK/TIG 4% (new),
    OTH 4% (-4).

  19. TW,

    Louis Stedman-Bryce appears on Twitter but his Linkedin and Facebook pages are now unavailble.

    On his twitter feed there are quite a few SNP faces!!!!


  20. @ PTRP – Welcome back and good to see we still broadly agree on NI and the problem of where to “fudge”.

    I’m not going over it all again or picking out minor difference of opinion or where you misrepresent my views in your post but perhaps you mistake ME for an Arch Unionist?

    I was OK with the NI only backstop as I never wanted the DUP pact (back before the Mayb0tch GE disaster I expected NI to get “special status”) – we’ve discussed that is v.v.unlikely while CON rely on DUP C+S (but see my post to JIB for more info). I’ve been keen for a redo of the 2017 GE to help resolve that but time is running out for CON to adopt a “Cleaner Brexit” now they’ve let Farage rise from the grave.

    Anyway, I’d be quite happy with a United Ireland and an Independent Scotland (via democratic referendums or just “velvet divorces” like break-up of Czechoslovakia)

    I not biting on the Corbyn-lite stuff but since I want the Barnett formula scrapped and Scotland to “live within its means (not English taxpayers wallet)” I’d certainly NOT promote Corbyn-lite for Scotland but demand they adopt a Stability Growth Pact style agreement if they want to stay in UK but with the key difference to the EZ version being “allowing” a UK nation to quit the Union if they break the SGP deficit limit (that gets rid of Scotland very quickly)

    Scrapping Barnett formula is one of several recommendations one of the Trevor’s has sent Farage. It’s mostly a cut+paste of what we sent and keep sending to CCHQ via the Essex branch of the “collective” and would necessitate Farage morphing his party into E+W only – fingers crossed he sees Scotland as the same economic and political baggage as we do ;)

  21. TW,

    “Scrapping Barnett formula is one of several recommendations one of the Trevor’s has sent Farage.”

    It’s already UKIP policy.


  22. Peter

    Scottish seats (per YG poll)


    1. SNP (Alyn Smith) 2. SNP (Christian Allard) 3, SLab (David Martin) 4, SNP (Aileen Macleod) 5, Brexit (Louis Stedman-Bryce) 6. Either SNP (Margaret Ferrier) or SCon (Nosheena Mobarik)

    Holyrood (by Scotland Votes – substituting Brexit for UKIP)

    SNP 63 (nc) : SGP 11 (+5) : SCon 25 (-6) : Brexit 5 (+5) : SLD 7 (+2) : SLab 18 (-6)

    Westminster (by Electoral Calculus)

    SNP 51 : SLD 4 : SCon 3 : SLab 1

  23. @Colin

    “I see old CB as the kid in the playground who gravitates to the nearest punch up and stands on the sidelines shouting-yeah hit him harder.
    When teacher appears & drags the school bully away, CB is nowhere to be seen.”

    Some would say wounding metaphor, others would say complete gobbledegook. Maybe I should leave my avid readership and large fanbase on UKPR to decide. :-)

    Your metaphor is so laboured it could have come out of Alan Partridges classic autobiography, “Bouncing Back”.

    “A political vacuum which provides the room for a small bunch of crackpots to disrupt the normality of 21 years of peace is bad enough. But when that results in the murder of a young journalist , one can well imagine that enough is enough.”

    I think we’re talking across each other a bit here. My point was that there has been no sea change in Northern Ireland as a result of the murder of McKee. That took place decades ago when the community renounced violence, and denounced its perpetrators, and embarked on a journey towards living together and sharing power. That’s how and why the Good Friday Agreement was brokered and secured. People ahead of the politicians.

    What I interpreted Father McGill as doing was expressing the impatience of the people with the current NI and Westminster politicians. He wasn’t tapping into a new found public revulsion with violence. There was no need to do that for that was already long established. He was channelling their impatience and frustration with the politicians.

  24. Stunning numbers for the Brexit party in the latest polls for the EU elections from Opinium and Survation respectively, 28% equal with Labour in the former and 27% equal with Labour in the second, Tories trailing in third place in both.

  25. Davwel

    Did you see the report that Scottish Fire and Rescue are following South Wales Fire and Rescue in training fire fighters in the use of controlled burning to deal with wild fire?

  26. There has been some debate recently about the effect of immigration on competition for jobs. As several posters mentioned, the informed research on the labour market points to there being little or no overall effect.

    Nevertheless, despite the actual situation, there were (and still are) a lot of anecdotes and general assertions about “foreigners stealing our jobs”.

    However the idea that this argument influenced the 2016 referendum is questionable, since the polling data points to the majority of leavers being people who are retired, about to retire or not looking for work. In other words, exactly the people that do not need to worry about competition for a job with an immigrant.

    I dug back into Ashcroft’s 2016 exit poll for some figures. A full 72% of leavers were 45 or over and a bare majority (51%) were 55 or over, even. In the 55-65 bracket only 52% were still working and only 11% of the 65+.

    Looking at the working status, the biggest demographics for leave were retired on state pension (69% leave), retired on private pension (56%), houseperson (62%). None of these were, by definition, looking for a job.

    Even those 45+ still contemplating another job would most likely be looking for an experienced role and therefore not in competition with immigrants for entry-level jobs.

    The remainers were (of course) the mirror image: 60% of them were under 55. And 73% of 18-24s voted remain, exactly the people most likely to feel competition from immigrants for jobs. Also, 62% of the 25-35 age group.

    So the idea that competition from jobs from immigrants might have been a factor in the referendum result is not borne out by the overall statistics. It might have affected some individuals but we do not see it in the averages. The trend is in fact strongly in the opposite direction.

  27. CB11

    I think we are now swapping semantics. We probably agree-but don’t like to say so :-) :-) :-)

    Whether attitudes have changed in Londonderry is-as far as I am concerned -something which locals know more about than me. Which is why I believe them when they say they have.

    Loved your other comments-for which I waited in fervent anticipation. What can I say to the consummate Alan Partridge tribute act ?

    erm…….one man’s wounding metaphor is another man’s innocent joke?……….yes-I think you will understand that.

  28. Looking at the lastest polls, the Brexit party is doing very well but it looks mostly at the expense of UKIP and also to a lesser extent the Conservative vote
    Labour are holding up surprisingly well and the Change Party does not look to have made any breakthrough, for now anyway

  29. @ PTRP (add on as kids taxi service delay) – rather than sensing the conflict within me perhaps it is more a case of misunderstanding that I respect the Bismarck quote:

    ““Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best”

    I understand the “maths” in the HoC well enough (via actually following the voting records) to know we’re way the down my preference list of “next best” (or “least bad” as I usually refer to it). It’s a long list and we’re not at the bottom of it (that would be Revoke and try again in a few years post (the hopefully brief) need for da yoof to see Unilateral Socialism doesn’t work). However, the “best” and “better” options have been killed by May’s incompetence (GE disaster and DUP pact, agreeing sequential talks, never being brave enough to sack Hammond, etc)

    My only current conflict is whether to fully jump to BXP or stick with CON. I accepted the “bad bits” of CON (which you’ve highlighted as the “Raab” issue) so not much of a step to accept the “bad bits” of BXP. Both are far “less bad” than Marx Bros but I respect BXP splits the RoC-Leave vote (and hence creates a conflict)

    PS Feedback from Essex was BXP are absolutely not going anywhere near manifestos and deliberately keeping it “single policy” for as long as possible (second policy = ambiguity on everything beyond Brexit).

    I can’t make “informed consent” yet and I/we generally need to keep our CON membership cards for what we hope is an upcoming CON leadership vote. If/when it comes it to I/we’ll be Team Nige – warts ‘n all (I know you like to focus on individual views but you can this happening in polling info across a lot of CON-Leave VI)

  30. @Tonybig – “Or in a non-Euclidean space.”

    Could this be a Papist plot?

  31. @ PETER (SNP) – BXP were smart enough to delete social media of candidates BEFORE announcing them (unlike ChUK-TIG’s schoolboy error there!)

    They might come across as idiots but they understand the game.

    Regarding Stedman-Bryce mixing with SNP “faces” then maybe that “alliance” of shared interest in Indy happening is more than my wishful thinking?

    I would expect it to be have been “behind closed doors” though.

    I’m sure Farage will “borrow” heavily from other parties policies once he gets around to UK GE and pretty sure Stedman-Bryce can be “reassigned” to a metro English constituency if/when he gives up his MEP seat (pretty certain BXP will get 1 of the Scottish MEP seats and he is #1 on the list)

    Right, taxi service time at last. I hope English NATS and SNP can work together on their common interest in the future (I’d suggest Sturgeon proposes something along the lines of ongoing rUK presence in Losiemouth and Faslane and a “Velvet divorce” – skip the divisive referendum stuff where the best l!ar wins, sort it all out in advance and just split)

  32. “I’d suggest Sturgeon proposes something along the lines of ongoing rUK presence in Losiemouth and Faslane”


    The former will be a Scottish Air Base, if such a thing is wanted, and the latter is not wanted. If you think Scotland will store your WMDs, think again.

  33. If Scotland continues to produce GE results with 90% of the MP’in Scotland from the SNP this makes it constitutionally necessity for Both Scotland and the UK for Scotland to be independent given that it makes it very difficult for UK parties to obtain majorities in parliament and all of them are reluctant to work with SNP MP’s. Possibly the only way out of this would be electoral reform to more proportional voting system across the UK resulting in less SNP influence. Don’t see this argument for electoral reform on the right of British politics.

  34. A large number of SNP MPs bolsters the remain arithmetic in parliament especially if it would mainly be at the expense of Tories.

  35. @Davwel

    A lot of the sheep around these parts seem to be a bit of a mixed bunch, a lot of scraggy Welsh Mountain sheep. But the Llyn sheep are a fine breed but note I’m not a farmer! A lot more cattle on the uplands again which are axing to the habitat diversity in Snowdonia. Anglesey and Llyn tend to be bowling greens with the odd oasis of wildlife.

  36. Correction= adding to, not axing….

  37. TW,

    “I’d suggest Sturgeon proposes something along the lines of ongoing rUK presence in Losiemouth and Faslane”

    Good idea, if you want free entry to a Psychiatric Ward!



    I suppose in terms of winning an IndyRef it makes some sense? To argue that Brexit will be terrible for Scotland’s economy and to also argue that the most immediate impact of Independence should be to force more jobs out seems a tricky sell, especially given that those whose VI rests on disarmament aren’t likely to be the people Sturgeon needs to convince in order to turn loss into win.

    Some kind of fudge that reassures Indy waverers she’s not going to embark on economic self-harm on principle, but also reassures believers that it’s only a matter of time before the awful things are banished, that feels like something that could work politically?

  39. Just some further examples of the London-based media`s lack of knowledge of the UK beyond the Home Counties.

    The i newspaper had St Anne`s Cathedral in Londonderry on two separate pages on Friday, before managing to restore it to Belfast today.

    Three weeks ago they assigned Bolton Abbey to Bolton in Lancashire. Then in their weekly list of mistakes they apologised, saying Bolton Abbey was actually in West Yorkshire. Next week they had to apologise again, saying Bolton Abbey was in North Yorkshire.

    Surely they should have been more careful, especially about the major funeral.

    The i also excelled themselves in not listing Ian Blackford as a boycotter of Theresa May`s banquet, despite including Vince Cable, whose party has less than a third of the MPs in Ian`s parrty.

    It`s no wonder then, that we have these repeated ignorant and wrong comments from the Trevors on the Barnett Formula. They ought to look at the actual data, not the Tory London papers` biased stories.

  40. From an economic perspective there is a lot to be said for Eurozone membership for Scotland which has made sense for Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, and other northern EU member states.

  41. Faslane isn’t the major problem. While that is the base for the UK’s submarine fleet and negotiating a lease for that shouldn’t be an insuperable problem.

    The difficulty is with RNAD Coulport, which stores and handles the UK’s 150 – 170 nuclear warheads, and their regular movement by road between Coulport and Aldermaston, where they are refurbished – more than 6 times the distance between Aldermaston and Portsmouth.

    The subs aren’t the problem (though they do currently prevent oil and gas exploration off Scotland’s south west coast), nor are the Trident missiles – they are stored in the USA.

    It’s where the warheads are stored and loaded onto the subs that creates the real difficulty.

  42. Many thanks to Old Nat for that useful link to a BBC Scotland report on fire fighters starting to use a new technique of controlled ring burning. Also the locations of moorland fires in the last two months,

    It`s certainly good to be training them, but the whole task of prevention looks difficult to me and will become worse with climate warming, reduced traditional burning in Scotland, and more long heather.

  43. Davwel

    I liked that two industrial leaf blowers can do the same job as 10 folk beating the flames.

    Wasn’t there something upthread about technology allowing greater productivity among workers?

  44. I think the SNP decision on currency in the event of independence is a good move, and fits with the general effort to get viable solutions for difficult questions aligned prior to any second referendum.

    While the 2014 independence vote offered Scottish voters a far, far more advanced and coherent set of independence proposals that the Brexit leave campaign ever did, there were still some fundamental gaps that caused major problems.

    Understandably I think, one of these was founded on the SNP’s desire to provide an independence offer on the basis that whatever voters liked would stay the same, and the currency fitted into this. While there were significant debates on UKPR over this issue, the concept on offer of retaining sterling while maintaining complete fiscal independence was not a coherent plan, but the need to limit the sense of disruption overruled the obvious economic disadvantages.

    Establishing a new currency was always the more coherent option, and the SNP have now got the confidence to bite the bullet and go with this.

    The second big problematic issue was EU membership. In 2014, the assumption projected by the SNP that continued membership should be taken as read was simply false. Continued membership would almost certainly be granted for iScotland, but only with the unanimous acceptence by all member states – including rUK. This handed huge negotiating power to Westminster. If Scotland wanted to stay in the EU, they would have to accept the leaving terms that Westminster wanted.

    Scotland has, since 2016, quietly and carefully positioned itself as a European state, being carried away from it’s friends by an ignorant and unwanted partner, against it’s own, very clearly expressed, democratic wishes.

    Should Brexit proceed, the only thing that would interfere with a seamless retention of EU membership for iScotland would be the border arrangements with rUK, but as there are no hang ups over peace agreements or ideological barriers to theoretical and physical border infrastructure, these issues become a purely economic consideration and are resolvable.

    Should Brexit not proceed, issues would remain, but I suspect that Scotland now retains so much more affection amongst the EU27 than England does, the pressure on Westminster to offer a sensible deal and accept a 29th member state would be strong, such has been the shockingly awful period of governance we ave experienced of late in Westminster.

  45. Alec

    “I suspect that Scotland now retains so much more affection amongst the EU27 than England does”.

    “Affection” doesn’t necessarily make any difference in realpolitik – which is why the Scottish Government followed the Irish Government model of intensive diplomatic lobbying of other EU governments/politicians from the beginning.

    There is no guarantee that that will succeed in allowing an easy transition to associate, then full EU membership – but it’s a damn sight better approach than the English/UK Government adopted!

    As to the currency question, the leadership looks well pleased with the result of today’s conference vote. The “6 tests” to be satisfied before creating the new currency remain in place, but a new currency to be created “as soon as practicable”. That gives huge flexibility to the first independent Parliament, and in the meantime we’ll use sterling.

  46. The UK will move Trident from faslane it’s own expense, it has too!

    No Country has ever even considered let alone tried to base even part of it’s strategic deterrent in a non nuclear nation.

    The closest was the USN having Polaris on the Holy Loch, but that a partnership that saw the UK get the same missile for it’s subs based next door.

    The very fact of Scottish Independence creates a weak link in the chain, a third actor in any emerging conflict with a nuclear armed opponent over which the UK couldn’t guarantee full control.

    For the UK deterrent Independence means “Move it or Lose it!”

    If it goes to Milford Haven, then the UK has full control and Trident has credibility and is an effective deterrent.

    If it stays at Faslane there is a question mark over it’s operations which undermines it’s credibility and it stops being an effective deterrent.

    Deterrent theory and logic dictates it’s moving, get used to it!


  47. @Davwel

    “…..controlled ring burning.”

    That was a rather painful experience I last underwent after dining at a Balti Indian restaurant in Sparkhill some years ago.


  48. @ PeterCairns

    “Milford Haven” “full control”

    What if Wales votes for independence? Are you assuming London will just impose this on Wales?

    Not sure I want Pembrokeshire in the sights of Putin and Kim thank you.

  49. Peter

    Creating the nuke silos at Coulport cost c. £2 billion at mid 90s prices, and took over 10 years.

  50. Interesting to see how Brexit has changed EU voting intention 2014 vs today’s Opinium

    UKIP -25%
    Brexit +28%
    Cons -10%
    Lab +3%
    Chuk +7%
    SNP +2%
    Green -1%

    Overall the biggest change is from Conservative to CHUK.

    Brexit+UKIP are pretty much level with where they were in 2014.

    The Tories have managed to lose both their Brexiteers and their Remainers.

    Council results this week should prove interesting. Is this just an EU poll effect, or are we starting to see the demise of one of the great parties, with their voters also abandoning them in council elections?

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