The Times have released a new YouGov poll of party members – the report is here and the tables here.

Theresa May’s time is essentially up. Party members are normally the loyalist of the loyal, but even here there are few good words to be said. Only 20% of her own members think she is doing well and 79% think she should resign. Asked about her record, 25% of Tory party members think she has been a poor Prime Minister, 38% a terrible Prime Minister.

Let us therefore move swiftly onto her replacement. The obvious frontrunner with party members remains Boris Johnson. He is seen as a good leader by 64% to 31%, and is the first choice of 39% of party members, easily ahead of his rivals. He has the highest positive ratings on every measure YouGov asked about – 77% of party members think he has a likeable personality, 70% that he would be able to win a general election, 69% that he shares their outlook, 67% that he is up to the job, 69% that he would be a strong leader, 61% that he would be competent.

Johnson is very clearly in pole position – yet in past Conservative leadership elections the clear early frontrunner has not necessarily gone on to win (and indeed, there is no guarantee that Johnson will even reach the final round or get to be voted on by party members). One can recall the time when Michael Portillo was the obvious frontrunner to succeed William Hague, or David Davis the obvious frontrunner to succeed Michael Howard.

Looking at the rest of the field, Dominic Raab is in second place in first preferences on 13%. As the other candidate to have resigned from the cabinet – and likely to be see as a “true Brexiteer” by members – he comes closest to Johnson in the head-to-head match ups and beats ever other candidate in head-to-head figures. Considering he has a substantially lower profile than Johnson, it is a positive finding.

Of the Brexiteers in the cabinet, Michael Gove is the second best known candidate after Johnson, but polls badly on many counts. While most see him as competent and up to the job, he is not seen as capable of winning an election or having a likeable personality. Andrea Leadsom is seen as likeable, but not as an election winner. Penny Mordaunt receives high don’t know figures on most scores.

Looking at the candidates who backed Remain in the referendum, Sajid Javid seems best placed candidate from that wing of the party. In first preferences he is in joint third with Michael Gove, and in the head to head scores he would beat Hunt, Hancock, Mordaunt or Stewart (and tie with Leadsom). He scores well on being likeable, competent and up to the job, but his figures are more mixed on being seen as an election winner.

These are, of course, only the opinions of party members. While they will have the final say, they do not get a say on who makes the shortlist. That is down to MPs, and as things stand there is very scant information on who is doing well or badly among that electorate.


955 Responses to “YouGov polling of Tory party members”

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  1. @hireton

    link doesn’t work for me – whats the gist? Shes discovering that she could work with Johnson as PM?

  2. Alec,

    “This does raise something of a question for remainers who favour a second referendum. To have a second vote, we need a proposition to vote on. I’m really not sure why they wouldn’t accept the deal, contingent on approval by referendum, where the status quo remain was the alternative.”

    I agree, and that does seem to be the most sensible approach to a second referendum. Per recent supportive coverage (1) the argument for opposing the deal seems to be that pro-second-ref MPs think they can only win a Parliamentary vote on the subject if it’s a choice between a second referendum or no-deal (and in some cases that the referendum should be a choice between Remain and No-Deal). I can only describe this as profoundly irresponsible brinkmanship, however, as it’s the only political force keeping no-deal alive as a realistic option that might happen, and stonewalling like this is the main surce of the Brexit uncertainty that’s becoming a nightmare for businesses.

    Additionally, there is a question of how this squares with the EU’s timetable. If MPs agreed to hold a second referendum now then there would be time to hold it before the A50 extension runs out in October. If they stonewall until autumn and then call a second referendum, then it’s impossible to hold without either getting another extension (something the EU is very unwilling to agree) or revoking A50. I can’t help wondering if this strategy is a highly cynical attempt to force revokation of A50, and therefore kick Brexit into the long grass regardless of the result of a second referendum.

    =====

    (1) – This Guardian article from the director of the IPPR: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/21/theresa-may-brexit-withdrawal-bill-parliament-vote

    “The most eye-catching announcement was that MPs would be offered a parliamentary vote on a second referendum if they supported the bill at its second reading. But most pro-referendum MPs have concluded that the best chance of getting a majority for a second national vote would be in October, in the face of a fresh Tory leader genuinely willing to crash out of the EU with no deal. They know that without brinkmanship, the numbers simply aren’t there. So May’s offer won’t wash.”

  3. @Andrew 111 @JiB; one additional point on the 3 mid Wales Lib Dem targets; those are three very rural seats (Brecon and Radnor is the least densely populated seat outside the Highlands I think) and personal votes count for a lot. The Ceredigion seat will be a fight between two popular local candidates, the present PC MP and his LD predecessor in a scenario where both parties are seeing their national (as in national Welsh) VI go up, albeit the Lib Dems by more. In Montgomeryshire (a seat the Lib Dems lost in 2010 because of the local candidate’s antics) the Tories seem fairly entrenched with a popular if slightly eccentric MP; his only risk is if voters feel he’s passed his sell by date. Brecon and Radnor though is the open goal as the MP has just been convicted for fraud and the recall petition is now open….

    The other obvious LD target in Wales is Cardiff Central, the seat for the UK’s largest Russell Group Uni, where the sitting Lab MP has been relentlessly Remain as anything else would doom her

  4. Old Nat

    On tactical voting for that last Scotland seat, you are simply not recognising what I am saying.

    The polls are giving us confident advice on which way to vote to secure a winner who is definite Remain but not SNP. The polls are NOT confidently predicting the winner.

    Who wins the 6th seat probably depends on how many voters with this Remain outlook vote tactically rather than sticking to previous election choice.

  5. If the YouGov numbers are roughly right, we’re looking at a possible complete wipe-out of Con MEPs. Greens and Lab will get 1 MEP in most constituencies, and LibDem will get 1 in most, 2 in some. After subtracting 3/4 SNP and 1 PC, Brexit will get all the rest for up to half the mainland MEPs.

  6. I don’t think Yougov will be a million miles out @ 37% for Farage & Co, it was carried out a couple of days later than the others and the other big poll for Best for Britain put them on 34%.

    At the moment it looks like a shoe in for them in the Peterborough byelection unless something staggering happens, 4/6 odds now if you like a flutter.

  7. @ Alec

    I think it is a bit early to make judgments on these elections until the results are in. A lot will depend on turnout as well in forming that judgment.

    Preliminary thoughts are that it has been a surprise to find so many Lab and Con voters appear to be deserting them- mostly I think over the Brexit issue. Anyone who has canvassed for these two parties, even in a bad year, find a regular section of supporters who always vote for them and always will. A bad year you find the floating ones have left you and the inclination to turnout is low. That seems to have changed- if might be a one off because of the issue or it might be the signs of traditional party loyalty disintegrating. I think the squeeze will still be there in the two horse races in 2022 or earlier but there may be some cracks and it may set up a possible new battle in the following election, if for example BXP or Lib Dem or Green get some good 2nd places. All depends on the outcome of Brexit, who is to blame and what the economic conditions are like next time and what the parties are offering in an election that may have Brexit residual issues.

    The polls as they stand are much what we would expect for a Brexit dominated election with groups split into 1/3rds- the final balance of those thirds into 36% or 30% groupings won’t tell us that much especially if you consider the Greens and Nats voters may have slightly different motivations to the other remain parties. It was also a tradition that a lot of Labour and perhaps Lib Dem as well would choose Greens where they had a chance.

    Turnout will be important and I don’t have any clue about this. You can’t really treat it like a 2nd referendum if only 40% vote. If the figure reaches 60% then it’s a good indication of the motivation of remain and leave but at 40% I’d argue no-one cares as much about either side of Brexit as others argue they do. My “why haven’t we left yet” inlaws had their postal votes sat on their mantelpiece unopened on Sunday.

    The undoubted success has been the Lib Dems both on Sunday and in the locals. They have seen off ChangeUK very comfortably and have squeezed both the Green vote and the Lab vote, although the Lab vote was there to be squeezed just not obvious to which other party. I wonder though whether there will still be some sense of realism about the result because they are not back to 2009 levels and without their part in the coalition government I suspect they would be looking at way better results and perhaps even challenging BXP. 1985-2010 they could be all things to all people, now I think it is going to be harder, especially to get back all Lab tactical voters.

  8. I should add that for me personally this has election has been horrible seeing the support for Tommy Robinson in the North West. 300-600 people turning out each night from whatever council estate he was visiting. Ordinary women coming for a cuddle or selfie, ordinary families turning out with their kids- I don’t feel from the pictures that this was anything other than a turnout of people from the immediate locality. I have no idea what his vote will be and whether he really has a chance of a seat but I am very sure he will get more than the 1.5% shown in the last Yougov poll and I am fairly sure he will beat ChangeUK at a minimum.

    It’s been a bit depressing coming on here to read all the arguments about leave and remain but little talk about what the plan is for deprived areas attracted to people like Robinson. To respect the working class leave vote while supporting remain then policies need to change radically under a remain environment. There is going to be a social problem if people like Robinson are normalised in certain areas and ALL parties need to address this.

  9. @reggiside

    Yes that exactly!

  10. @Imperium3 – indeed. Everyone is playing games with our future.

  11. @bantams

    Be careful about extrapolating from the EU results to the GE by-election results.

    In YouGov’s recent big poll the results were – as GE / EU
    Con: 24 / 9 (-15)
    Lab: 24 / 15 (-9)
    Brex: 18 / 34 (+16)
    LD: 18 / 17 (-1)

    Even allowing for a couple more points Lab->LD and Con->Brex swing in their latest EU-only poll, and applying those same points to the GE numbers, applying UNS (to either the 2015 or 2017 result) gives the seat *easily* to Labour as the Con/Brex vote split is much worse for them than the Lab/Lib split is for Labour.

    People having different priorities for EU and MP elections, people making different choices in PR and a winner-takes-all FPTP, very different intensities of local campaigning and getting the vote out.

  12. @shevii

    “To respect the working class leave vote while supporting remain then policies need to change radically under a remain environment. There is going to be a social problem if people like Robinson are normalised in certain areas and ALL parties need to address this.”

    The policies would need to change radically under a leave environment too. Unfortunately I can’t see it happening under either result. Leave isn’t going to solve the issues of deprived areas and it probably isn’t going to ‘make britain great again’ for the retired daily mail stereotype either. After they realise their ‘prize’ is a spray painted cardboard cup they’re going to be just as disaffected as before. Ditto if we ultimately remain (still more likely I think) and nothing changes. I don’t think there’s much grasp of this in the westminster bubble, including in the media.

  13. Shevii – endorse both your recent posts spot on analysis and sentiment imo.

  14. @Shevii/JamesB

    I don’t know to what extent the working class leave vote and attraction to Farage’s movement are motivated by deprivation, but a UN report has come up with a pretty sobering assessment of the situation:

    ?A leading United Nations poverty expert has compared Conservative welfare policies to the creation of 19th-century workhouses and warned that unless austerity is ended, the UK’s poorest people face lives that are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”.

    In his final report on the impact of austerity on human rights in the UK, Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty, accused ministers of being in a state of denial about the impact of policies, including the rollout of universal credit, since 2010. He accused them of the “systematic immiseration of a significant part of the British population” and warned that worse could be yet to come for the most vulnerable, who face “a major adverse impact” if Brexit proceeds. He said leaving the EU was “a tragic distraction from the social and economic policies shaping a Britain that it’s hard to believe any political parties really want”.

    Full story at:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/may/22/un-report-compares-tory-welfare-reforms-to-creation-of-workhouses

  15. BritainElects are reporting a new Opinium

    Brex: 38 (+4)
    Lab: 17 (-3)
    LD: 15 (-)
    Con: 12 (-)
    Grn: 7 (+1)
    Chuk: 3 (-)
    Ukip: 2 (-)

    No tables on Opinium’s site yet.

    Like the final Yougov, seeing a swing to Brex and away from Lab, though from a different baseline.

  16. @Hireton

    Davidson’s changing stance on Johnson doesn’t surprise me and he may become the last lifeboat afloat for those now watching in horror as their Tory ship lists and starts to sink. If he dons some One Nation Tory clothes, as indeed it looks as if he might, then many will delude themselves that he is the remaining buoyant life raft that will eventually take the Tory tribe to sunlit shores. If they conclude that, and swallow the delusion, then you watch how soon it will be “All for Boris”. Even people like Rudd will jump aboard eventually. It’s called an instinct for power and survival. It may well be horribly misplaced faith, but as old disreputable politicians used to say, a la Davidson, if you don’t like my principles, well, I can change them, you know!

    As for that latest You Gov poll, it does look a little out of step with the others, but, whichever poll you choose to believe, all or none, it still shows a pretty even split between the overt Brexit and Remain parties, with this 20-30% Labour/Tory vote share intriguingly open to self-serving interpretation. My hunch would be it’s a tribal loyalist Remainy biased vote, but only a referendum would tease the truth of that out.

    A momentous day for me tomorrow. I’ve finally decided, after much soul-searching, that I will lend my vote to the Liberal Democrats as they are the biggest and best placed pro-Remain and anti-Brexit party standing in these EU elections. The latest Ian Lavery outburst persuaded me and whilst I will no doubt return to my lifelong Labour voting and campaigning habits at the next GE, I feel Labour haven’t merited my vote in these one-issue set of EU elections. I thought Corbyn’s interview with Marr on Sunday was a masterpiece of equivocation and evasiveness. He deserves a humiliating set of election results this weekend.

    Labour probably deserve a better leader too, but that’s another story for another day.

  17. CHRIS IN CARDIFF

    Glyn Davies has announced he is standing down at the next election in Montgomeryshire.

  18. Rosie and Daisie,
    “Three years in it is proving impossible to actually get any deal through parliament – and that situation is very likely to continue.”

    It is arguable we should have repeat referenda every month until one produces a remain result. Because leaving is impossible to do, and remain is the only way out of the stalemate.

    carfrew,
    “Those who are aware of and value things like the utility of municipal socialism, as a means of overcoming the corporate stranglehold on our services, and empowering local people, are going to be worried about efforts to stymie it.”

    Surely, not in britain, where we gave up such things since Thatcher? isnt this another straw man argument?

    jonesinbangor,
    “Let’s wait for Thursday’s results before making pronouncements on referenda. We should have a clear idea of where the UK is going after that, as well as a new Prime Minister to lead that process.”

    You dont think that current hype over removing May is simply intended to boost support for the Euro elections, and will disappear again afterwards?

    Canada,
    “Compared to the last 2014 EU election the refusal of the Labour and Conservative parties to reconsider the Brexit referendum has caused them to lose 59.4% of their support.”

    I thought that a nice way to put it, although maybe not quite approproate for con. However, the failure of the two main parties to argue the case for remain must be depressing the remain total vote. it is possible that if they were arguing for remain, then Bxp would be in collapse at this point.

    “In contrast the Conservative party is stuck implementing Brexit or it risks losing 84% of it’s supporters and if they succeed in implementing Brexit and it fails that will deservedly be the end of the Conservative Party.”

    This has been my argument why, in reality, conservatives have obstructed and sought to avert Brexit. However, as I just suggested, it isnt clear how deeply con supporters believe in brexit, and to what extend they would just flip to remain, if conservative leaders aregued this was necessary.

    The thing is, while conservatives are failing to deliver Brexit, they are still saying it is a good plan. How would you expect voters to react to that except to take the conservative’s own advice that it is a good plan, and vote for someone actually willing to do it?

    Cim,
    “It’s only the oddity of the European elections having constituencies large enough to plausibly do individual crossbreaks for (Survation and YouGov don’t, though) that means people are paying so much attention to them. ”

    Plus the fact that in effect the electoral system is different in different constituncies, because of different numbers of people elected and to a lesser extent different parties.The national share becomes even less meaningfull than usual.

    Yougov did run a big sample poll on a constituency basis in 2017. Would be easier for the europeans. But I doubt it is worth it to anyone to pay for the detail.

    Shevii,
    “It’s been a bit depressing coming on here to read all the arguments about leave and remain but little talk about what the plan is for deprived areas attracted to people like Robinson. ”

    What with con still espousing austerity, and lab still attacking Corbyn for being too left and redistributive, there isnt one. They all seem to be adressing the symptoms but not the cause.

  19. @ CIM

    If you fancy Labour you can get 2-1 though after the results on Sunday they might be even more favourable.

  20. @ James B

    You are quite correct that leave does not solve these problems, Arguably leave does not even make the solving of these problems easier (although it might allow a government to invest more heavily but I think in general any EU/WTO rules on subsidies have a way around them).

    My comment is more along the lines that those voters will never know that it didn’t work, blame the “establishment” and vote for anti-establishment parties in greater numbers. The whole Robinson campaign is based on being working class where 96% (his figures) of parliament is not and it has been carefully managed that the incidents show up protesters in a bad light. I groaned at the videos from Oldham showing muslim protesters attacking his rally (allegedly from Huddersfield- so not “locals”) – in a sense they have every right to but it was a massive own goal.

    Ultimately the only way to stop the likes of Robinson is to get to the heart of deprivation and change it but more people need to start realising this is a serious problem.

  21. Shevii,

    The left behind towns is well understood by many Labour MPs and typically those most keen on Brexit delivery and against ref 2 are from these constituencies.

    Remain has to be remain plus but Labour cant execute the plus unless in Government which creates a dilemma of course.

  22. Cim,

    I agree with the point about not extrapolating EU results to Westminster elections. However I would follow that up with a caution that UNS is not particularly useful in by-elections either: low turnout, local issues and the national spotlight can all conspire to produce significantly different results to the crude national average.

    The last comment I’ve seen from a user in Peterborough (can’t remember who it was unfortunately) said the Tories are completely AWOL in this election, which would suggest that that vote might go wholesale to BXP as the main opposition to Labour, moreso than nationally.

    One could posit several explanations for this:

    1) The Tories know they can’t win there and are purposely stepping aside to let BXP try and defeat Labour.

    2) Local Tory activists tend to be hardline Brexit supporters, so they may have deserted en masse, leaving the party without much of a local campaigning presence.

    3) The party is in a national muddle right now and barely has a message for the European elections, so has failed to assemble a by-election campaign due to divisions and lack of will at CCHQ.

    Additionally, one must remember that this election is being held because the previous Labour MP was forced to stand down after perverting the course of justice, which is likely to turn some voters off another Labour candidate.

    Overall I still have Labour as narrow favourites, but think it will be extremely close and the chances of BXP taking the seat are high.

  23. @CIM

    “the other hand it’s expecting Green to be on only 3% in London, half what it expects them to get on average, and lower than their conventional crossbreak. For a constituency Green have consistently done well in for several elections…
    I can’t tell if it’s the MRP being odd, the input data being off, or a genuine last minute collapse in the Green vote there.“

    That stood out to me too.

    I know cross breaks can have internal weighting problems as well as sample size but in nearly all the cross breaks I’ve seen both Green and Change do better in London than nationally. The big Best for Britain one had Gr 14 Ch 6 in London with Gr 12 Ch 4 nationally.

    The QMUL full poll of London of 7-10 May had Gr 14 Ch 7 when a contemporary national poll from Yougov of 8-9 May had Gr 11 Ch 5.

    That the MRP weights both parties down rather than up in London does make me doubt that the MRP is any good at all. If Greens really do get 3% in London then surely Yougov have been massively wrong.

  24. Jim Jam,
    “Labour cant execute the plus unless in Government which creates a dilemma of course.”

    We had a decade of labour – didnt solve the problems which were there waiting when along came Farage. It might be argued he succeeded with working class labour exactly because labour was in power and not helping?

  25. @Imperium3

    Agreed, UNS doesn’t work particularly well at a seat level. I wouldn’t want to make a firm guess at which way it’ll actually go without a lot more local knowledge. The national situation I think favours Labour, though, to hold it.

    Whether the previous MP’s actions are tainting all of Labour for enough voters will definitely be one of those local issues I don’t know about.

    When the by-election happens relative to the WAB second reading vote, and when/if Jim Jam’s predicted change of Labour stance on Europe happens will also be fairly crucial factors not reflected in current national polling, too.

  26. “JIM JAM
    Shevii,

    The left behind towns is well understood by many Labour MPs and typically those most keen on Brexit delivery and against ref 2 are from these constituencies.”

    And yet they are, if anything, more likely to get left even further behind should we leave the EU.

    I really don’t get the logic of that analysis from such MPs.

  27. Danny – agree 100% and much of that vote went away in 2005 with Labour only hanging as the Tories were still less attractive.

  28. Northern Ireland

    SF 26.3 (-1),
    DUP 21.8 (+1.6),
    TUV 9.3 (+0.8),
    Alliance 11.6 (+0.3),
    Green 3.3 (-1.3),
    SDLP 13.3 (+0.2)
    UUP 11.8 no change.

    LucidTalk poll.

    Lucid talk.
    Change from last week.

  29. @ JimJam
    “Getting 6million or so for Brexit+UKIP is hardly an overwhelmingly indication of support in the country for hard Brexit; or for that matter 5million or so for hard remain.”

    Hard Brexit = No Deal Hard Remain = Remain

    You seem implicitly to be recommending a Corbyn Soft Brexit compromise?.
    What is a soft Brexit? How is it to be achieved in Parliament? How can the terms of such a Brexit be guaranteed for the future?

  30. Jim Jam,
    “Danny – agree 100% and much of that vote went away in 2005 with Labour only hanging as the Tories were still less attractive.”

    Arguably the libs moving to the right and supporting a conservative government was no different to what labour had done. Doubly offensive to their voters perhaps, because many were already refugees from a too far right labour party.

    So then Corbyn was elected as labour leader because he was more to the left. Gee. How was that not predictable?

    The risk of over wide british politcal parties seeking the middle ground is they lose their natural base. Both lab and con have done it. In the name of being elected, they have made themselves unelectable.

    Or maybe, a two party system just cannot be made to work in a modern complex society where there are far more than two sides. In trying to force voters into that system, the two parties have lost all support.

  31. Prof Howard,
    “DUP 21.8 (+1.6),”

    Didint I just hear a DUPer rubbishing the government deal?

    Did they support the government only to obtain a platform from which to attack it?

  32. Interesting to note that DUP voters are happy with their approach to working with the Tories. Lib Dems take note.

  33. Danny

    “Did they support the government only to obtain a platform from which to attack it?”

    That is one way of putting it.

  34. The 19-21 May yougov has Bxp on 25% support. UKIP 2%. Maybe a few hard leavers still in the other political parties, so maybe 30% of the population.

    It is simply not enough people wanting it to justify the consequences. The problem for lab and con is how to recover their positions as neutral on the issue and keep together the 70% who are either remain or neutral.

    Maybe their big mistake was to ignore the 30% who did not vote for either, who effectively voted against their lives being turned upside down by Brexit. The result of the referendum was woefully misinterpreted. It was never a win for leave.

  35. Isn’t it lovely to have so much polling to talk about, just like the old days :-)

    I still haven’t decided whether to vote Labour or Green, the first will almost certainly see someone I mostly agree with get elected, the latter will deliver a message but be a completely wasted vote. When I was in my twenties I’d make my mind up when I got to the polling station, since I’ll be sitting in one for fifteen hours tomorrow I’ll have a good amount of time to decide how to complete my postal vote and hand it to myself to put in the right packet at some point.

    Anecdotally, someone working on the elections here says that the postal votes received are way lower than they would normally expect by now, I’m expecting a lot to be handed in tomorrow, not used, or received late. Someone was saying yesterday that a friend in Australia reported receiving their postal vote yesterday morning, I don’t think that’s going to make it back in time.

    Reading and listening to the Tories going into meltdown over the WAB, putting in letters to Graham Brady and trying to devise ways of hastening Little Nell’s long predicted demise, another scenario has just occurred to me, which would be calling a vote of confidence under the FPT Act and working out how many need to be unavoidably detained elsewhere.

    Assuming they would be able to engineer this (even though the Tiggers will refuse to vote for Christmas as they’ve previously announced, and presumably the DUP would support the government under their agreement even if the Tories don’t actually really want them to).

    This would give Tory MPs fourteen days to appoint a caretaker PM, which wouldn’t need to be Boris as they won’t have time to take it to the members, so they could actually try to unite around someone relatively innocuous and sideline a proper contest until after the summer recess, by which time they could probably hope that their membership might have calmed down a bit. If they use this as an excuse to sideline the WAB, the recess as time to reflect, and conference to decide how they are going to run the leadership election they could still run Brexit right up to the current deadline, keeping alive rose-petal-coloured dreams of no deal until the exit date needs to be extended again.

    There’s no way Corbyn would be able to gather enough support to form an alternative government, so as long as they could install Matt Hancock or Graham Brady or someone that not even the members know anything about to dial it all down a bit, safe in the knowledge that not even they can mess up with that one.

  36. Hireton, oh that was nice.

    She is right that the government deal will not deliver what was promised. But nothing will. The government is not prepared to come out and state clearly no one can deliver what was promised. They dare not tell their voters they are wrong, but cannot deliver what was asked because it is impossible. It is a condition for inevitable failure. So here we are.

    They have to bite the bullet and remain. Preferably with as long as possible before the next election to sell it. which brings us back to why they called that election at the last possible moment. They knew this moment was coming.

  37. Hireton

    I tried to post that vid last night and it got moderated. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    What I can’t understand – why did she have a microphone?

    She sounded like someone who has learnt how to behave on twitter and has transferred that to everyday life.

  38. Michael Gove follows Ruth Davidson in discovering qualities in Johnson which had previously escaped his notice:

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/boris-johnson-is-a-man-of-flair-elan-distinction-and-intellect-gushes-michael-gove-c3587rqn9

  39. @Reggie
    In the link, take out the last “/” and all the text after it for it to work.

    In essence she was glib on all leadership Qs, but said she would work with anyone (including Boris), and then she moved onto more solid territory of SNP scare-mongering.

    @Trigguy
    Samples seem to be heavy on the over 65s (mostly leavers). Not sure if that’s an accurate reflection of turnout predictions or not.

  40. @TED

    Someone was saying yesterday that a friend in Australia reported receiving their postal vote yesterday morning,

    Not only Australia, in France too:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48351281

    Apparently, councils were sending their postal votes via The Netherlands, because it was cheaper!

  41. @AW

    It would be good if you could whitelist the word “familia” (ends in “r”). It gets missed in most posts, and gets modded. It took me 4 attempts to spot it.

  42. @ Danny

    I think the big rise in UKIP though was mainly under austerity (ie 2015). Let’s face it the bottom line in politics is that people go for radical/extreme options when things are not going well for them.

    For what it is worth I think Blair’s main success was in education, although it came with a lot of financial baggage like PFI, but what he failed to do was to transform it into working class/middle end jobs at the end of it and education was geared towards some high skilled end product (university education) which really wasn’t necessary for most people (I never went to University and ended up in a career job in the 1980’s).

    But the big thing that has changes is that SEN is under great pressure now, so the “every child matters” is gradually being eroded because to some extent it is discretionary in terms of how much support.

    @ Jim Jam
    Agreed (again). I think the Snells and Nandys of this world are looking desperately for that remain plus angle but they absolutely cannot just agree to simply remain without the plus option. I mean Nandy is probably safe whatever so it is not a case of her looking at her job- she just wants to represent her constituents. i always felt it was unlikely that she would facilitate Brexit but I can’t see her facilitating remain either without something on offer for the deprived areas of Wigan. The Labour leave vote was arguably the first time in 50 years where they felt they had a say and it is very difficult just to drop this without being happy you can sell the outcome.

  43. @ ProfHoward

    “What I can’t understand – why did she have a microphone?”

    I don’t entirely understand what was going on there, but I suspect she was broadcasting her actions live to some YouTube (or similar) stream. There have been worse things broadcast in that fashion.

  44. I wonder if the compulsory liquidation of British Steel will affect NE voting tomorrow.

    It’s apparently the biggest corporate failure since Rover in 2005. I’s being attributed to the triple whammy of :

    * EU customers going elsewhere because of Brexit fears
    * Flood of cheap Chinese steel as knock-on of Trump tariffs and
    * The malign effects of gung-ho (ad)venture capitalist owners

    In other words, it’s a near-perfect example of Faragism in action. But I suppose in the looking-glass world we live in, that could well translate into more votes for Farage.

  45. TED

    “… Tory MPs fourteen days to appoint a caretaker PM …”

    As I understand it, Parliament cannot appoint a PM, only HMQ can do that.

    In the circumstances you mention, would she approve someone who might not survive the initial vote of confidence of the whole house? (i.e. not just the Tory Party).

    Similarly, if following a leadership election, it seemed likely that the winning candidate (of the Tories) might not survive the initial vote of confidence, would she be inclined to appoint that leader?

  46. @ Statgeek

    Turnout will certainly be key, the YouGov tables suggest the usual pattern of higher turnout for the older voters. That will presumably favour BXP and leads to the sort of VI figures they’re getting right now. If the younger voters do find a little bit more motivation to go out and vote, then that could change the picture. If not, well it’s just the inevitable consequence of not voting that you’re going to get ignored. Voting doesn’t guarantee you’ll be listened to, but not voting guarantees you won’t. But I’m preaching to the converted here!

  47. @ R&D

    I don’t think you have the right analysis of those MPs.

    Not once has Lisa Nandy voted for any Brexit option on the table. Her idea is people’s convention- a sort of what are your issues that led to your Brexit vote, how would this be achieved in a deal and vice versa on the remain side. Personally I think the result of this would be remain plus- although I am aware that this is an extremely difficult thing to define and put into any constitution (rather like global warming I guess).

    As I say there is nothing on the table so far that would make Lisa Nandy vote leave in parliament (although this might change depending on what forced vote is put before her). I personally think the is the same for the Labour position- they won’t vote for a bad leave and so far it has only been bad leaves offered (remainers will of course say there is no good leave!).

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