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. @theexterminatingdalek

    Con+DUP+TIG = 334
    Lab+SNP+LD+others = 307 (308 after Peterborough, since it’s probably safe to assume that won’t be a Con gain whatever happens)

    Finding 28 Con MPs to not show up might be tricky [1]. Agreeing on a caretaker leader acceptable to all sides might also be tricky. I suspect if there was enough support in the Parliamentary party to do it this way, then it would be easier just to change the leadership challenge rules.

    Also, would it actually work? May would no longer be PM, but she’d still be leader of the Conservative Party, and under no technical obligation to resign. And she doesn’t appear inclined to resign just because her MPs ask nicely either… could she just run down the clock for two weeks (her speciality!) and then say “either put me back in charge or we get a general election”?

    [1] Convincing Corbyn to play along and actually propose the VoNC might also be tricky. There’s not really anything in it for him unless the 28 Conservatives also don’t show up two weeks later either. So would one of the 28 actually have to go a step further and propose it?

    I was wondering if either Corbyn or Cable might try proposing a VoNC this week or last to attempt to tie TIG to the Conservatives and sink them in the EU vote – but if the idea did cross either of their minds, they presumably decided that TIG were sinking perfectly well already.

  2. “I shall for the first time not vote Labour. I’ll be voting for a remain party.”

    Let me know when you find one.

  3. Always vote labour but Im voting green in the euros (im in yorkshire). Labour needs to be pushed towards remain – and highlighting the importance of an impending environmental catastrophe is something else that needs doing.
    Labour needs the political cover of losing votes en-masse to remain parties in order to shift its position. Fence sitting and constructive ambiguity has run out of road. I think it was the least worse option for labour – but not any more.

  4. Danny,

    “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.”

    Why would BXP collapse if the big parties came out for Remain? The core driver behind this party is Leave voters who believe the main parties are not doing enough to deliver Brexit, so it seems far more likely that if both major parties actively push against Brexit, this would rather significantly strengthen BXP through desertion of more Leave supporters – potentially to the point where it could become an existential threat to the Tories (some would say it already is).

    I get the impression your logic is that if Con/Lab tell voters not to support Brexit, then voters will stop supporting Brexit. But this is essentially what was tried in the referendum campaign, with the vast majority of both parties, including the leaderships, actively campaigning for Remain and yet still losing because voters don’t just follow the instructions of the party they vote for; rather, it tends to be the other way around.

  5. Reggie – I respect your view and others like CB and can understand the decision, although mine is that Labour will move anyway based on evidence so pressure is not needed.

    Robbie – when I say Hard Remain I mean those that do so without the plus part Shevii and I have been stressing. Also those parties who have the luxury of not having to deliver as, whilst their MPs can be important in tight votes, only a policy adopted by either Tories and/or Labour can deliver a HOC majority. To an extent their is a symmetry between the ‘just get on with it’ brigade and those saying Labour should just come out as remain as neither position recognized that neither hard Brexiteers or second ref supporters can command a current HOC majority.

  6. Shevii,
    “I think the big rise in UKIP though was mainly under austerity (ie 2015).”

    Or when the libs failed the disaffected who had switched to them in 2010? Where to go then?

    “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.”

    What would be the moderate/middle of the road choice, if you had been failed by lab,con and lib? i mean, what other choice would there be with any hope of effective outcome?

    imperium3,
    “Why would BXP collapse if the big parties came out for Remain? The core driver behind this party is Leave voters who believe the main parties are not doing enough to deliver Brexit,”

    Indeed, so what remain need to do is persuade these people that leaving is a bad idea.

    Maybe you have missed it, but con mps and even lab MPs keep saying we can leave the EU, it is just a question of finding the right deal. When the reality is quite obviously there is no deal good enough to satsify any of them or voters

    If MPs start saying it isnt possible to find a deal like leave have promised, then voters might actually start wondering whether this is true. All the time the parties keep agreeing with Farge that it is possible to get what he wants…why would they change their minds?

    And what idiot would vote for con or lab, if they say we can get a good leave deal and leave, and then just keep not doing it? I mean, its daft!

  7. Tactical voting in the Euros

    The usual caveats apply about sampling errors and this being based on a single YouGov survey. For the Rest of South I have assumed that opinions are consistent across South-East, South-West and East of England constituencies, for Midlands and Wales: across East Midlands, West Midlands and Wales with PC uprated by a factor of 4 for Wales alone (because it has 1/4 of the euro-seats), and for Northern: North-West, North-East, and Yorkshire and Humber.

    London (8)
    BXP(1) 26
    LD(1) 24
    Lab(1) 20
    Grn(1) 14
    BXP(2) 13
    LD(2) 12
    Lab(2) 10
    BXP(3) 8.67
    just missing out LD(3) 8.0

    SouthEast(10)
    BXP(1) 40
    LD(1) 22
    BXP(2) 20
    Grn(1) 14
    BXP(3) 13.3
    LD(2) 11
    BXP(4) 10
    Con(1) 8
    Lab(1) 8
    BXP(5) 8
    just missing out LD(3) 7.3

    SouthWest(6)
    BXP(1) 40
    LD(1) 22
    BXP(2) 20
    Grn(1) 14
    BXP(3) 13.3
    LD(2) 11
    just missing out BXP(4) 10

    Eastern(7)
    BXP(1) 40
    LD(1) 22
    BXP(2) 20
    Grn(1) 14
    BXP(3) 13.3
    LD(2) 11
    BXP(4) 10
    just missing out Con(1) 8

    EastMids(5)
    BXP(1) 42
    BXP(2) 21
    Lab (1) 15
    BXP(3) 14
    LD(1) 14
    just missing out BXP(4) 10.5

    WestMids(7)
    BXP(1) 42
    BXP(2) 21
    Lab (1) 15
    BXP(3) 14
    LD(1) 14
    BXP(4) 10.5
    Grn(1) 9
    just missing out BXP(5) 8.4

    Wales(4)
    BXP(1) 42
    BXP(2) 21
    PC(1) 16
    Lab (1) 15
    just missing out BXP(3)/LD(1) 14

    York&Hum(6)
    BXP(1) 39
    BXP(2) 19.5
    LD(1) 17
    Lab(1) 15
    BXP(3) 13
    Grn(1) 13
    just missing out BXP(4) 9.75

    NrthWest(8)
    BXP(1) 39
    BXP(2) 19.5
    LD(1) 17
    Lab(1) 15
    BXP(3) 13
    Grn(1) 13
    BXP(4) 9.75
    LD(2) 8.5
    just missing out BXP(5) 7.8

    NrthEast(3)
    BXP(1) 39
    BXP(2) 19.5
    LD(1) 17
    just missing out Lab(1) 15

    Scotland(6)
    SNP(1) 40
    BXP(1) 23
    SNP(2) 20
    SNP(3) 13.3
    LD (1) 12
    BXP(2) 11.5
    just missing out SNP(4) 10

    So Remainers wishing to vote tactically should vote LD in London, South-East, South-West, East Midlands, North-West and North-East, Green in West Midlands, and Yorks&Humber, Plaid/LD in Wales and SNP/LD in Scotland.

  8. @Crossbat11
    “One Nation” Toryism is a myth, a nonsense, it has never existed. Both Cameron & May declared they were “one nation” conservatives! Johnson’s claim is merely the most spurious. The myth also embodies a repellent Victorian paternalism: the rich should help the needy poor. There are national institutions such as Comprehensive schools & the NHS but the Tories have always disdained both & wished to hierarchize the former & privatise the latter.
    It is linked to the “National Interest”, which all politicians claim to represent: another myth. The last time one can identify a National as opposed to sectional interests was in the 1940s, given the undesirability of a German invasion & an agreed need to rebuild the UK’s economy & infra-structure post-’45. If Brexit has proved one thing, it is the impossibility of identifying a National Interest.

  9. @leftieliberal

    I’m not going to say it absolutely can’t happen, but
    “NrthEast(3)
    BXP(1) 39
    BXP(2) 19.5
    LD(1) 17
    just missing out Lab(1) 15”
    is certainly on the implausible side even starting from a YouGov poll.

    I think assuming that Labour support is equal across the entire North is not justifiable: the Northeast is a much stronger region for them than the North as a whole.

    At the moment for the NE I would say Brex-Lab-Brex is the most plausible order of election, and it’s not at all clear whether voting Labour (to turn it into Lab-Brex-Lab) or voting Lib Dem (to turn it into Brex-Lab-LD) is the more effective anti-Brex vote.

  10. Nobody’s spotted the PanelBase yet? It’s a little bit different again:

    BREX: 30% (+10)
    LAB: 25% (-8)
    LDEM: 15% (+8)
    CON: 12% (-8)
    GRN: 7% (+3)
    SNP: 4% (-)
    CHUK: 3% (-2)
    UKIP: 3% (-2)

    via @Panelbase, 14 – 21 May

    They don’t seem to have PC. Tables are here:

    https://www.drg.global/wp-content/uploads/W7181w20-ST-GB-tables-for-publication-210519.pdf

    Rather long field work period, so not good for late drifts. They also have 54/46 for Remain/Leave, so little difference there from recent indications.

  11. @Trigguy

    Strange tables. They take 1,000 Scots, then lump them into a 2K GB poll and hide the Scottish part (and weight by a referendum 5 years ago). Not really reliable.

  12. The mid day news featured the encounter between conservative MP for monmouth David Davies and the leave supporter, which was quite informative. The activist was perfectly civil, if vehement and was saying much the same as our recent contrbutor Lee Moore.

    Now Davies claimed to be a leave supporter because he had indeed campaigned for Brexit and voted for the government deal. The activist asserted he could not be a leaver if he had voted for the deal.

    Lee moore confirmed the view of many that the deal does not constitute leaving because it amounts to becoming more subordinate to the EU than now. Does anyone here dissent from the interpretation that it makes the Uk more subordinate? i dont.

    Now, i would argue that a no deal Brexit would also make the Uk more subordinate to the EU than now, as well as more subordinate to other major world powers. This is spelled out explicitly in the deal so it is now raising objections, but the same would apply in future deals the UK would make with others. ‘No deal’ does not mean no deal, but merely a mad scramble to create deals after leaving without them.

    Davies and his colleagues seem to regard the deal as a compromise between two sides, which he as an example thinks achieves the goals of leave sufficient to go for it. probably he follows my reasoning above, that it is better we make the deal before leaving rather than after.

    It is pretty clear the nation does not agree the deal is better than remaining. Some do, but it seems most leavers do not. What the MPs are all saying is that in their view, the deal is better than no deal. Implicitly, that all the disadvantages of the deal will just be worse with no deal.

    Yet they are making no attempt to convince people this is the case. Presumably because to do so would be to fundamentally argue that there is no kind of leave better than remain. Which leavers regard as treachery, as the activist demonstrated.

    Yet if MPs fail to explain to people why it is impossible to get what leave promised and are still promising, they can never get off the hook of being instructed to deliver.

  13. Danny: Yet if MPs fail to explain to people why it is impossible to get what leave promised and are still promising, they can never get off the hook of being instructed to deliver.

    But the great majority of MPs are subject to the Tory and Labour whips. Is it reasonable to expect them as individuals to do what their party leaderships signally fail to do?

    If brexit happens, whether deal or no deal, the chickens will come home to roost and the two major parties will be under the roost getting covered in …fallout.

  14. Somerjohn,
    “If brexit happens, whether deal or no deal, the chickens will come home to roost and the two major parties will be under the roost getting covered in …fallout.”

    Nice to see more people are agreeing with my reasoning. More than enough motivation for a grand conspiracy of every MP.

    The logical thing to do would be to try to quietly persuade voters brexit cannot work, and only when you have done all you can, come out for remain. May has been known to say it, its this deal or remain. That people voted for pain.

  15. @CIM

    Re. the North East:

    “At the moment for the NE I would say Brex-Lab-Brex is the most plausible order of election, and it’s not at all clear whether voting Labour (to turn it into Lab-Brex-Lab) or voting Lib Dem (to turn it into Brex-Lab-LD) is the more effective anti-Brex vote.”

    I had looked this up before since it’s my region (and weird for having only three seats so d’Hondt gives us something more towards FPTP behaviour versus PR behaviour compared to other regions). Did you mean that when voting for LD you would be aiming to get (BXP-Lab-LD) or {BXP-LD-BXP)? The former is possible I suppose, but seems predicated on a bad day at the office for BXP and the exactly correct split between Lab and LD (or alternatively getting BXP->LD switchers!). I thought the scenario flipping a Lab seat to LD looked more plausible if “Remain” votes tactically switched from Lab->LD, to get a “more Remainy” seat.

    YouGov (8-17 May, n=435) has BXP:35; LAB: 26; LD:12; COM: 9
    ComRes (15-16 May, n = 62) has BXP: 31; LAB: 22; LD: 15; CON: 8

    Above are the NE crossbreaks. Are there any more recent/different companies polls that show something different?

  16. @profhoward

    An insight into Brexit and the social media generation! Perhaps laughing and crying would be appropriate.

    Revolutions normally start to consume their own children at some point but Brexit may be setting a new benchmark by doing so before having happened.

  17. Danny,
    As an aside regarding David Davies and the Brexit campaigner, i thought Davies came across as an arrogant pr*t

    The type who gives the House of Commons a bad name

  18. @CrossbatII

    Like you, I have been mulling over who to vote for tomorrow. A lifelong Labour supporter, I have only ever voted LibDem, when Labour had no chance of winning, or Green in the local council elections, to give them a bit of a boost.

    I am not going to vote Labour tomorrow for the reasons you state in your post. But I wasn’t sure if I can bring myself to vote LibDem. I haven’t forgiven them for the enthusiastic way they jumped into bed with the Tories in 2010. Between 2010 and 2015 we had a Lib Dem MP. Having voted for austerity he spent a lot of time slagging off the council for the cuts it was making to services. Talk about hypocrisy.

    But having read your post, I am going to hold my nose and lend my vote to the LibDems. After all, it is only a loan and I can take it back for the GE.

    Thanks for helping me make my mind up :-)

  19. @Andrew 111. I actually thought David Davies came across reasonably well; her actions were deliberately intimidating (sorry what is the point of 1:1 filming like that otherwise?), she was ignorantly insulting him (he’s a long time very committed Leaver) and she was incapable of debating with him so in the end I think he decided relatively calmly to ignore her.

  20. ” and it fails that will deservedly be the end of the Conservative Party.
    They after all are the ones who chose to roll the dice ”

    This is a little ahistorical.

    The Conservative Party was joined in the decision to roll the dice by the Labour Party, whipped through the aye lobby by interim leader Harriet Harman in a gesture that was utterly pointless (as the Conservatives would have won anyway) but robbed it of any high ground it might have held for its previous stand.

    If both are now disappearing down the sewer that decision opened it may deservedly be both their ends.

  21. @CIM

    Once you have to start assuming where the strength for a party lies within the YouGov polling areas, it becomes impossible to analyse for tactical voting purposes. In the North-East case you either have 2 hard Brexit (BXP) plus 1 soft Brexit (Lab) with the Remain (LD) just behind, or you have 2 hard Brexit (BXP) plus Remain (LD) with the soft Brexit (Lab) just behind. In either case it makes sense for tactical voters to vote for the one Remain party either because it gains a seat or it avoids losing it.

    I’m fairly doubtful about the consistency of opinions across the Southern area as well, but it is encouraging that my approach from one opinion poll sample gives quite similar recommentations to Gina Miller’s.

    Also, in the larger euro-constituencies the difference between the last place and the ‘just missing out’ is often below 1%, indicating that tactical voting could make a difference even here.

  22. Oh, and the LibDems voted for it too of course, but they actually like the things so I don’t blame them as much.

  23. To vote Lib Dem or to vote Green.

    That is the question

  24. Peter W,

    Yes, no Corbyn Acolyte me but I have defended him internally pointing out the position the party finds itself in has its’ origins in HHs’ poor judgement.

  25. Valarie,

    Depends if your bothered about the seat count in which case you need to look at tactical voting sites perhaps.

    If just aggregate votes that matters to you then Green would seem to satisfy your desire to send a message while not voting for a party that facilitated Austerity in your opinion.

    Not that I advocate voting for anyone other than Labour of course.

  26. Wide variation between polling companies. Generally they’ve roughly adding up as:

    BXP+CON+UKIP = 47ish
    LAB+LDEM+Green+ChUK+NATS = 53ish

    With the main differences between companies being on the “intra” splits (eg Panelbase gives a higher % sticking with the two main parties where as YG/Opinium have higher % for “protest” parties and ComRes in the middle)

    Opinium looks a little rogue as BXP+CON+UKIP= 52%
    (although if the older voters have higher turnout then it is possible)

  27. @popeye

    On something like the Yougov crossbreak the result would be Brex-Lab-Brex and basically nothing anyone could do about it. No chance of Labour overtaking Brexit, no chance of the Lib Dems getting high enough to beat Brexit/2. YouGov are currently giving very low Labour scores compared with any other poll, though, which means they’re going to either be highly praised for accuracy or highly criticised for seriously messing up on Monday when the results come out.
    (And the Comres crossbreak will have errors above +/-10% due to its tiny sample size and lack of internal weighting, so that’s not much help either)

    If you instead take the results from the Comres MRP model (which should, if done properly [1], mitigate a lot of the accuracy issues with small crossbreaks), you get
    Lab 34
    Brex 33
    LD 13
    That’s going to be Lab-Brex-Lab or Brex-Lab-Brex … and getting LD up to the 17+ they need for the third seat is probably tougher than making sure Lab stay just ahead of Brex.

    But, if there was a small error in the Comres MRP that meant that it allocated 3% more to Lab and 3% less to LD (a change well within typical polling margins of error), you could instead be in a situation like
    Brex 33
    Lab 31
    LD 16
    That’s Brex-Lab-Brex … but it would take 2% extra to Labour to turn it into Lab-Brex-Lab … or only 0.5% extra to LD to turn it into Brex-Lab-LD

    At the moment the polls are ranging as follows (most recent for each company, recent fieldwork only)
    Brex: 30-38 (8% range)
    Lab: 13-25 (12% range)
    LD: 12-19 (7% range)
    (YouGov on 37-13-19 are contributing a lot to the extremes there, you’ll notice)

    So there’s really a lot of uncertainty, and my advice to people wanting to keep Brexit out of the third seat [2] would be “I don’t know, no-one knows, vote whichever of Labour or Lib Dem you like the non-Brexit policies better”. But if it ends up Brex-Brex-LD, or even Brex-Brex-Lab, that’s going to be an incredibly bad result for Labour considering that the NE is normally their strongest region. Brex-Lab-Brex (which I think is the most likely) would already be a terrible reseult for Labour compared with their historical performance.

    And this is just in a “simple” 3-seat constituency. Predicting what the last few seats in the 10-seat SE will look like is going to be incredibly unreliable.

    (I’m going to give it a go later anyway, because there’s no point in having all this polling if we don’t at least have a go at predicting an actual answer. But the margin of error will be ridiculous…)

    [1] It’s given some odd results both times it’s been run, so I’m not going to have a lot of confidence in it either. But it’s probably closer than a 60-person crossbreak is.

    There was a Welsh Opinium crossbreak recently which had no Lib Dem voters in it at all. On the over 10% margin of error on that small a crossbreak, that could still easily be “within margin” on the actual result, but it makes using them to determine what’s going on really tricky.

    [2] My advice to people wanting to elect 2 Brexit MEPs for the Northeast is obviously a lot more straightforward.

  28. You know that Brexiteers are getting desperate when they resort to arguments like this:

    https://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2019/05/anthony-browne-policy-gains-from-brexit-3-restoring-duty-free.html

  29. STATGEEK

    your 12.32

    Peculia r gets me every time…

    JAMES [email protected]
    “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).”

    She would do it on the say so of the HoC, whether before or after another VoC I can’t remember. She’s not likely to refuse, unless she’s forgotten what happened to Charles I.

    CIM

    It seems from all the frantic twitting going on this afternoon that finding a few to vote against their own side might not be difficult, finding fifteen or so could prove more difficult, but the way they’re going on at the moment who knows?

    I think Corbyn could go either way, he’s not likely to do it unless there was a real chance of winning, I wouldn’t blame him if he were just to tell them to get knotted and that he’s not going to be complicit in their silly games. Alternatively, particularly if the Tiggers do better than expected tomorrow, he could use it to demonstrate the hyp ocrisy of a grouping supposed to represent a new way of doing things who are terrified of elections.

    If they can’t get rid of her by any other means then they are going to have to do something drastic, and it will probably be utterly transparent and stupid, probably triggering a Bercow rant which will be enjoyed by those who agree with him, and much tutting from Labour who would never dream of doing such things. A test will be whether Vince’s grandfatherly admonishments will be reported anywhere other than the Graun, and will indicate whether they are yet considered to be anywhere approaching readmission to the club, media wise.

    Interesting to note that Corbyn seems to have been continually poking our Nell with the pointy stick labelled “confirmatory vote” over the last few days. I think it likely that there will be movement there, and probably quite quickly, after tomorrow’s shambles has taken place.

    VALERIE & all others like me who are struggling with the idea of lending votes to the LibDems

    Polling-wise, I’m guessing that turnout will be lower than expected, and that Farage’s Ltd Co will do less well than anticipated, in much the way that what used to be described as the “working class vote” would tend to stay at home when Labour were expected to do well since it was presented in the media as a foregone conclusion. It’s just a hunch, but if they were to poll nearer, or below, 30% than the figures polling is suggesting, that this will then be spun as a failure among hard Brexiters and a remain surge, where it will actually be neither. I certainly sense that remainers are probably more motivated than Brexiteers, although I may be completely wrong, which is why I don’t think that tactical voting in a system which is specifically designed to prevent being gamed is a very uncertain sport.

  30. sorry, I meant that it IS a very uncertain sport…

  31. @VALERIE
    And while I’m on the subject, so did Lucas.

    LibDem, Green, Lab, Con, all got us into this mess, all no doubt assuming they’d win. Of the parties with sitting MPs only the SNP has clean hands

    The first two display similar confidence this time, acting again as if they are bound to win. Pardon me if I’m not necessarily prepared to be so certain they’ll not blow it again.

    Think I’m going to do something deliberately for the first time tomorrow. In the absence of a party that has the courage of its remain convictions I’m minded to give it a miss.

  32. MV4 numbers. Buzzfeed keeping tabs on all the rats leaving May’s sinking ship:

    MV3 failed by 58 and so far 40 CON MPs who backed May’s deal last time have said they’d vote against this time (so set to lose by 138+ unless LAB/others come to the rescue which seem v.unlikely to me)

    MV2 lost by 149 which was my guess for MV4 but can she break the MV1 number? 230+ the target!

    Of course she might pull it but then what? Summer recess starts on 20Jul’17 so that is a lot of time to kill – even for an expert can kicker like May!

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/alexwickham/tory-mps-vote-against-withdrawal-bill

    PS Yes, I know MV3 was “different” and WAB is not strictly MV4 but just keeping it simple as its basically the same thing and worth keeping an eye on the names in each faction.

  33. Regarding LeftieLiberals’s full translation of a YouGov poll into EU seats upthread today 1:57 pm, this is not only informative but politically devastating.

    Unless I have missed something it seems to show Brexit Party winning big, no surprise there, but also Conservatives winning only one seat overall, in their south-east of England heartland.

    This has political significance, as it must reduce the likelihood of a new Cons prime minister calling a general election – though arguably this is what should happen.

    Perhaps it could offer her/him a weapon though. The new PM, with a fresh mandate, could plump for something – exit immediately, a new compromise or revoke and simply say that if this is rejected they will start the process under the FTPA for an election. Labour and SNP could hardly refuse.

    It might even lead to revoke under the Nixon to China syndrome – and more importantly for some on here we will find out at last if Danny is right.

  34. @leftieliberal

    The claims of revitalised ‘other seaside towns’ is particularly hilarious. Even with actual ports, such a reintroduction would only benefit the port owners/workers and nothing more. Few people on the booze cruise would actually stop in places like dover and contribute to the local economy.

  35. I can’t really understand why people who are normally committed Labour supporters would countenance voting for a more overtly “Remain” party in an attempt to push Labour into a more Remainy position. There are three reasons why I think this is not a good idea.

    1. I don’t see that in the grand scheme of things it will prove anything and that because the LibDems or Greens get more votes than might be expected, it is not going to change the way Labour are looking at Brexit. A lot of Labour supporters will also be voting Brexit if we are to believe the polls and anecdotes, so will that make Labour more Brexity? Who is going to know who won this battle of the defections? And why should one side win out over the other?
    2. In the long term I would hope that the people saying they are going to “lend” their vote to another party would want Labour to win the next General Election. Unfortunately a poor vote in the Euros and a rise in the Greens and LibDem vote will damage Labour in the longer term and will see a resurgence in support for these other parties, making Labour’s task of winning the next GE more difficult.
    3. If the Left Wing vote is split in the Euros, it makes it more likely that Brexit will win more seats in the Euro Parliament than they might otherwise have done and the ironic thing here is that, if the Remainers get their way, and we stay in the EU after all, it will mean that for the next five years we will mostly be represented by Brexit MEPs and fewer Labour MEPs. Is that really what those who are abandoning Labour in these elections want? Really?

  36. Will the vote taking place bank in the middle of exams at most universities affect turnout amongst students?

    My daughter has a postal vote but my son can’t be arsed when he has his finals.

  37. Danny : Now, i would argue that a no deal Brexit would also make the Uk more subordinate to the EU than now, as well as more subordinate to other major world powers. This is spelled out explicitly in the deal so it is now raising objections, but the same would apply in future deals the UK would make with others. ‘No deal’ does not mean no deal, but merely a mad scramble to create deals after leaving without them.

    It’s a view, espoused partularly by people who think that commerce is fundamentally a top down operation flowing from government policy, rather than a bottom up operation flowing from the myriad, unco-ordinated, decisions of consumers and producers. Undoubtedly those who think no deal is no problem (like me) have more confidence in the natural adjustment processes of free markets.

    EU bans UK ag exports ? UK farmers adjust and sell somewhere else or produce different stuff. The UK joining the EEC was a far greater economic shock to NZ than the UK leaving the Single Market will be. And they certainly went through some painful readjustment of their trade focus. But NZ per capita GDP has grown much faster than the UK’s since losing its preferred access to UK markets.

    And a floating exchange rate automatically adjusts all sorts of prices to take care of trade shocks. So there’s no doubt that the sudden imposition of EU tariffs and non tariff barriers on UK exporters will cause temporary disruption. But nothing serious in the medium term – ie in 5-10 years we’d be ahead (so long as we didn’t ape EU regulation.)

    Most people have very little idea how businesses actually work in a free market. When you read that XYZ plc has increased its sales by 25% in the last 5 years., it doesn’t mean they’ve kept all their customers from 5 years ago and added 25% more. It’s much more likley that they’ve lost a third of their old customers and gained lots of new ones to make up. Free market commerce is dynamic. Businesses suffer shocks all the time. That’s what management is for – to deal with them.

    And that’s why folk who think it’s all down to some central plan find the free marjket reply “I don’t exactly know how it’s all going to work out OK, it just will” deeply unsatisfactory. But the reality is, it will work out fine, but I can’t tell you exactly how. That’s how free markets work. People jiggle and wiggle and do what they can and they finish up keeping their heads above water more often than they sink.

    The other thing that most folk don’t understand is that even in a very tradey economy like the UK, foreign trade is still pretty small compared to domestic trade. Which is why agreeing to heavily regulate your domestic market, to win better access to foreign markets, is almost always a mistake. The 80% of domestic trade pays the reguatory price of the 20% of foreign traders. Which is why plumbers and window cleaners and domestic businesses hate the EU, and all the business support for it comes from the big boys.

    But anyway, I said I would shut up on non poll stuff and I have been drawn back in, so I really will shut up now.

    Looking forward to Sunday’s results. My current view is that the last couple of polls are likely overstating the Brexit party’s score. I expect them to get 30- 35%, in rather a low turnout. If there’s a higher than usual turnout – for EU elections – they may go below 30. I’ll be disappointed with less than 30% and ecstatic if they break 35% GB wide.

  38. Cue Tories showering Mrs May with praise when she packs it all in later today.

    Truth is she has been a disaster throughout.

  39. Norman – you and I think like members they think like supporters. Supporters by definition are not as committed as members.

  40. Oh and one more thing about all this tactical voting chatter.

    WTF ?

    Who cares who gets elected ? There’s about four hundred people in the whole country who could name more than six current MEPs. There will obviously be a certain amount of quiet schadenfreude to be had at the Tory MEPs losing their place at the trough, but since they weren’t expecting another chance at it anyway, most of the pleasure fades away.

    It’s just a big opinion poll.

  41. @ LL – Being outside of EU state aid rules so that we could rescue a vital national security industry such as steel and the 20,000+ direct and supply chain jobs impacted would be a darn good Brexiteer argument.

    I hope BXP are making that case in NE.England.

  42. Trevor,

    National security allows state support within current EU but our Governments have generally chose not to exercise. Redcar being a case in point under the coalition.

  43. @ Norbold

    Obviously everyone is moving into a directly political arena now with voting this, voting that, which is not the purpose of the site although I guess the site still manages a high level of discussion anyway.

    For what it is worth I agree with you though- not so much on all the points as I do think it might just push Labour more towards remain anyway but I think it was heading there anyway and it won’t be a sudden change.

    The main thing I still believe is that the size of the BXP win WILL be the headline not accumulated vote shares or any other factor- they appear set to slaughter all other parties and Lib Dems picking up 10-12 seats is just a subtext.

    The first spread of seats shown from opinion polling I saw had Labour 3 or 5 seats behind BXP, this is now up to around 20 seats and Labour still have a narrow lead over LD (12 and 10 seats). This has moved the headline from Farage won by a bit to Farage wins by a landslide as well as having far-ish right much more heavily represented in the EU parliament than otherwise. Same is actually true for one nation Tories who have deserted their party.

    I’m hoping Crossbat and Valerie will have a reverse Tory Kinnock moment in 1992 with pen poised over the ballot paper and simply couldn’t vote for him :-)

    But anyway, the horse has bolted- it is going to happen to a lesser or greater degree and probably greater.

    Weirdly I am likely to be the reverse of the others as very often I vote Green in these ones to highlight Green issues but this time Labour to support for a difficult situation that they are trying to traingulate as best they can.

  44. I see that Farage said in a speech he wants to abolish the Electoral Commission.

    As I suspected in my post yesterday, unregulated campaigning is what he wants.

  45. Thanks Jim jam and Norbold

    I honestly think I won’t know/decide until I’m poised will pencil in hand.
    Maybe I’m labour til I die.
    I’ve never been a floating voter before.
    I’ll report back. :-)

  46. @ Norbold

    I have great sympathy with your view, and I’ll have to admit that my reason for not voting Labour tomorrow is not particularly principled, it is perhaps more tinged by pride and stubborness. But fundamentally, I’m fed up with being told that my vote for Labour is (or was in the GE) a vote for Brexit. Admittedly, it’s mostly people like David Davis that say things like this, but I’ve heard Labour politicians making similar comments. So, on this occasion, I want there to be no doubt. I don’t say Brexit shouldn’t happen, I just want to say ‘not in my name’.

    (Like others, also still wavering between LD and Green)

  47. The Trevors,
    ” Being outside of EU state aid rules so that we could rescue a vital national security industry such as steel and the 20,000+ direct and supply chain jobs impacted would be a darn good Brexiteer argument.”

    The government could save british steel. It wont, because that would set a precedent for every other company demanding a brexit bailout, and that would bankrupt the government.

  48. @ Valerie

    Leave it until tomorrow, if you feel ippy dippy in the morning vote Green, if you don’t vote LD :)

  49. ” There will obviously be a certain amount of quiet schadenfreude to be had at the Tory MEPs losing their place at the trough,”

    The irony of that given what farage and the other ukip (now bxp) meps have been doing for years.

  50. Norbold

    While I can understand your argument (and even have a sympathy for it), it is flawed.

    There is no Labour policy for the EP election (c.f. the leaflet being distributed). There is no coherent message. Th he leader is a nationalist-statist whose rhetoric is extremely close to the Brexit Party (not the goal!), i.e. Let’s talk about what I want to talk about. And it is nationalist-statist, not an iota social policy in it (not to mention that he still doesn’t know that the UK is a devolved nation, or for that matter that he cannot dictate what Manchester does with health and education). SO, we have a social democratic party with a nationalist-radical at helm with a significant followership in the party. So, at the moment Labour is not on the left, but an unwilling ally of the ultra right.

    It is not the voter’s task to deal with this problem of the Labour Party – it is the task of the members and the administration. Currently it is heading towards where Die Linke was before they managed to get rid of the leader, and now they are a social democratic party again. Ok, weaker, but at least not as right-wing than the current Labour leaderagip. It is serious. Why Labour doesn’t take the example of let’s say the Portuguese socialist party? I know it is against the leader’s will, so what? Even Stalin was criticised in the Pravda. The complete lack of moral compass in the Labour leadership, covered very carefully with moral language (well, Christian socialist really) is really striking (exactly because of the antagonism between the style and the content).
    To your third point – the EP represent us, not the MEPs from the UK (unless you think that the 2014 outcome represented us).

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