There are five polls with fieldwork conducted at least partially since the weekend – I don’t know if there are more to come overnight (I think there may be at least one more. ComRes and Survation have both polled during the campaign, but I don’t know if either are doing a final call):

Panelbase (14th-21st May) – BREX 30%, LAB 25%, LDEM 15%, CON 12%, GRN 7%, ChUK 3%, UKIP 3% (tabs
Kantar (14th-21st May) – BREX 27%, LAB 24%, LDEM 15%, CON 13%, GRN 8%, ChUK 5%, UKIP 4% (tabs)
Opinium (17th-20th May) – BREX 38%, LAB 17%, LDEM 15%, CON 12%, GRN 7%, ChUK 3%, UKIP 2%
YouGov (19th-21st May) – BREX 37%, LAB 13%, LDEM 19%, CON 7%, GRN 12%, ChUK 4%, UKIP 3% (tabs)
BMG (20th-22nd May) – BREX 35%, LAB 18%, LDEM 17%, CON 12%, GRN 8%, ChUK 4%, UKIP 2% (tabs

The broad story across the polls is the same – the Brexit party are ahead, Conservative support has utterly collapsed, the Lib Dems are doing well in the mid-to-high teens, and both Change UK and UKIP have failed to shine. There is more variation in the detail, and particularly in how well or badly Labour are doing. Kantar and Panelbase have them not far behind the Brexit party; Opinium and BMG have them down in the teens, YouGov have them below the Liberal Democrats in third place.

This isn’t an election like 2017 when pollsters took very different approaches and the differences are easy to explain. The polling companies aren’t taking radically different approaches – there are some differences in turnout modelling (BMG and Opinium, for example, are taking only those most certain to vote, which will be boosting the Brexit party and Lib Dems), Kantar are estimating the likely vote who say don’t know based on their demographics and answers to other questions, which explains their comparative low figure for the Brexit party (they’d be on 31% otherwise). And don’t overlook simple things like when the fieldwork was conducted – all the polls have been showing a downwards trend in Labour support, so it may not be co-incidence that the polls from Panelbase & Kantar whose earliest fieldwork is over a week old have higher support for Labour.

The bottom line however is that this is a tricky election. Firstly, turnout for European elections is normally low (and one of the problems with polls in recent years is getting too many of the sort of people who vote, and not enough of those who don’t bother). Secondly, most polling companies rely on some degree to weighting by past general election vote to make sure their samples are representative, as how people voted at previous elections normally correlates pretty well with their current vote. An election like this, when an awful lot of people are not voting for the party that they voted for at the last election, will make those techniques less effective. We shall see on Sunday.

In the meantime, several people have asked me about exit polls tomorrow. There won’t be any. The big, offical BBC/ITV/Sky exit poll is only conducted at general elections anyway, but even if they wanted to, they couldn’t do one tomorrow. For the European elections the rules that ban the publication of exit polls until after polls close apply across Europe, so it wouldn’t be legal to public any exit poll until the polls have closed everywhere in the European Union… and some countries won’t finish voting until Sunday night.


1,788 Responses to “European Election polls”

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  1. BIGFATRON

    Thanks for your thoughts from the Companies House point of view, which are pretty clear.

    What I don’t follow is why the Electoral Commission failed to prevent him from displaying the LIMITED on ballot papers, which would at least have ensured that some voters knew what they would be voting for.

  2. @Barbazenzero

    The Conservative and Unionist Party regularly appears on ballots as The Conservative Party. As pointed out above, the Labour Party is allowed to call itself “Scottish Labour” on ballots in Scotland despite that being – at best – an internal subdivision rather than any externally recognised entity.

    The Electoral Commission requirements are around identifiability, not a requirement that the party has identical names on all paperwork.

    Whether a political party is structured as a limited company, a non-limited company, an unincorporated association, or one of the many other options available, is more a matter of how it structures its internal affairs than what it is politically.

    (As bigfatron points out, that structuring may well benefit Farage in various ways – but at this stage this probably isn’t a practical problem for the party, and if it becomes more successful, then he might need to change it anyway to accommodate the egos of the elected representatives)

    @Somerjohn

    One of Remain’s major long-term problems I think has been that it’s not really made much attempt to raise that level. See for example the major remain campaigners, rather than going “we’ve got a chance to influence EU policy and legislation for at least another five months, and maybe longer, so the stances our MEPs take are very important” were largely accepting the Brexit Party attitude of “The purpose of electing MEPs is to send a message to MPs and indicate support for a Brexit resolution option”.

    Hence all the debate since on whether “Leave” or “Remain” “won” the European elections. Highly inconclusive in those terms, but I think a major strategic mistake for Remain to have ever accepted those terms in the first place.

    @trigguy

    Yes, I think your general election analogy is a good one there. Agreed that the way it was reported in the summary isn’t exactly backed up by the question asked. As with a lot of polls, the tables are better than the writeup.

  3. @Crossbat, Pete B, R&D

    As a Villain married to a Gooner (I took her to the Emirates for her 70th birthday present and we met Charlie George) I am glad to see Villa back in the top flight, although they will need to significantly strengthen the team if they are to stay up next season.

    The Arsenal Stadium History book describes the events before the 1919/20 season as follows (p 45):

    “At the end of the 1914/15 season Tottenham Hotspur had finished 20th and last in Division One, with Chelsea one place above them. Above Arsenal in Division Two were Derby, Preston North End, Barnsley and Wolverhampton Wanderers in that order. Before the 1919/20 season it had been decided to extend the Division One to 22 clubs and the normal procedure would have been to re-elect the bottom two clubs and add the top two teams from Division Two.”

    “Somehow, between the end of the war and the Football League’s AGM in July 1919, Norris persuaded the Football League that Arsenal should be promoted in place of Spurs. Norris had been knighted in 1917 and became a Tory MP the following year ….”

    [The book then devotes a number of paragraphs to the shenanigans that went on at the AGM]

    The lessons we should all draw are:
    1) Tory MPs have a long history of dirty dealings, so we should come to expect it of them, and
    2) Corbyn is being hypocritical in supporting Arsenal; he should be a Spurs supporter in recognition of the injustice done to them by the Tories.

    :-)

  4. CIM

    But the other parties are NOT limited companies. How true Welsh/Scottish prefixes are, as some parties use, is moot but not totally misleading and would be available to THE BREXIT PARTY LIMITED if Farage wished.

    Not displaying the fact that it is a close limited company on ballot papers is in a different league.

  5. How many ‘remain’ Tories were there in the 2017 GE, 30%?

    If they tack far to the no deal side of things under Boris or Raab then surely they will suffer heavy vote share loss in Cambridgeshire, Oxford and Surrey. I suspect their majorities there are so great that they won’t lose too many seats. But they could certainly wave goodbye to the likes of Lewes, Eastbourne and Richmond to the LDs for starters and open themselves up for the first serious opposition in those parts of the country since the first decade of the 20th century.

    The LDs could easily flex their campaign in these seats to a variation on the theme of, the coalition wasn’t so bad was it…

    For them the SW is much more problematic because of its support for leave. St Ives, Bath and Cheltenham aside.

    Finally, on the subject of the Lib Dems, what chance of Swinson losing her seat in any GE?

  6. @John Smith

    “what chance of Swinson losing her seat in any GE”

    Electoral Calculus suggests this:

    Chance of winning

    LIB 39% (3/2)
    SNP 51% (Even)
    CON 6% (50/3)
    LAB 4% (25/1)

  7. @ Leftieliberal

    1) Tory MPs have a long history of dirty dealings, so we should come to expect it of them, and
    2) Corbyn is being hypocritical in supporting Arsenal; he should be a Spurs supporter in recognition of the injustice done to them by the Tories

    1) I give you Ian Lavery, I have a book somewhere with details on dodgy political characters of all parties who ran football clubs. The Arsenal story takes some beating though.

    2) Don’t mention Corbyn and Spurs in the same breath, not a happy combination these days!

  8. If the Tories move to a 4-candidate final member ballot, I wonder if the addition of Steve Baker to the mix would peg back Johnson and allow someone like Gove to just sneak in front?

    Whilst I can’t stand Tories in general, Gove to me is at least intelligent, comes across quite well (albeit a little roboty like most politicians this century). He looks like a geek so the young will like him, and he’s Scottish so could do some repair work north of the border. Also has a humble background, being adopted by a Labour-supporting family and worked hard to get where he is.

    FAR prefer him to silver spooners like Johnson!

  9. There have been some insinuations by certain posters on here, that those advocating Brexit are somehow doing so in ignorance of what the EU is, and does.

    That may be true in some cases, but not in mine. When I completed my Law degree a couple of years ago, I scored a Distinction mark in the European Law Module, which was and is a compulsory element of the course. I would like to think, therefore, that I know as much as, if not more than, most about the EU, its history, its institutions, its infrastructure and its powers.

    When the referendum was proposed, I told my children (then aged 33 and 35) to do their own research, consider all the arguments for leaving or remaining, and reach their own conclusions. Both independently decided on Leave as their preferred option, and we said that we would go along with what they decided.

    From my viewpoint, I am not particularly motivated by the prospect of keeping out Romanian Rapists, or of some Utopian vision of the UK regaining its place as one of the world’s leading independent trading nations.

    What concerns me is the integrity of our common law system, developed over nearly 1,000 years, and adopted in one form or other by around a third of the world’s countries. Most of the EU 27, with the exceptions of Ireland, Malta and Cyprus, have a civil law legal system, which means that everything has to be codified, and they do not consider judicial precedent (case law) which is the mainstay of the common law system.

    This is why we have such a huge number of Regulations and Directives emanating from the EU, which have to be incorporated into UK law. My concern is that this can’t go on, we have to take back control of our own legal system, and preserve what in my opinion is the finest legal system in the world.

  10. @BZ,JiB

    Here is the reason, explained in a Guardian ‘Long Read’, why Farage founded the Brexit Party Limited.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/may/21/brexit-party-nigel-farage-italy-digital-populists-five-star-movement

    Although I knew about Beppe Grillo, I had never heard of Gianroberto Casaleggio who is the power behind the throne at 5*M. How he got the 5*M membership to vote for an EP alliance with Farage’s UKIP, rather than with the Greens is a masterclass in subverting the democratic will of its members. George Orwell would have been impressed.

    @TonyBTG

    I can imagine ‘I’m a politician, get me out of here’ for the Tory Party leadership contenders, but I suspect that most people would vote to keep them all there until they succumbed to to some horrible tropical diseases. In the meantime we could have a VoNC, Speaker Bercow elected to lead a unity government and Brexit revoked to give us all time to think about the right way forward.

    My own opinion is that Rory Stewart’s Citizens’ Assembly approach is the only way to bring the country back together, but I doubt that the Tories will be sensible enough to choose him even if he makes it to the final two.

    https://constitution-unit.com/2019/04/05/citizens-assemblies-breaking-the-brexit-deadlock/

  11. @bantams

    “Resorting to insults doesn’t solve anything. I’d tell you how I really feel, but I wasn’t born with enough middle fingers to express myself in this case:)”

    It is a simple staement of fact. If a Brexiter doesn’t know about the EU single market in aviation services ( similarly for road transport) then they are profoundly ignorant about major aspects of the EU and the role and influence which the UK had had in shaping them. I have yet to see a Brexit supporter on here demonstrate any great depth of knowledge or willingness to inform themselves. Instead, we repeatedly see the arrogance of ignorance on display.

  12. An excellent in the Guardian newspaper today by the Labour Party Chairman, Ian Lavery in which he attacks “sneering Left Wing intellectuals” for looking down on ordinary working people.
    And that’s the truth of it…..these People Vote fanatics don’t really like the traditional Labour folk with their socially conservative views. When they “do as they’re told”, they are useful , but when they express their opinion in the “wrong” way, then they are to be pilloried and told they don’t understand.

    Jeremy is being undermined by the Peoples Vote organisation, and true Labour folk can see it.

  13. @imperium3

    @alec has already explained the difference betwen simple third party access aviation agreements and the EU internal aviation single market ( which als existed for road and maritime transport).

    The agreement which has been reached with the EU is solely about the UK having third party access until the end of March 2020.

  14. Barbazenzero:

    What I don’t follow is why the Electoral Commission failed to prevent him from displaying the LIMITED on ballot papers, which would at least have ensured that some voters knew what they would be voting for.

    Because if they did that the Labour and Tory party details would not fit on the ballot paper.

    For instance the Labour party has a property company called Labour party properties Limited registered at there Victoria Road site. I am sure the Tories have the same thing.

    The labour party has at least 2 different parties under its umbrella. The Labour party and the Labour and Co-operative party. I don’t know how they are represented on the ballot papers. are they just called labour?

  15. @ davidcarrod

    “What concerns me is the integrity of our common law system, developed over nearly 1,000 years… ”

    By “our” you presumably mean England’s common law system. As a fully informed Brexiter, you will know that Scotland has a mixed civil and common law system and that the UK has not been in existence for a thousand years.

  16. John Smith

    “For them (LDs) the SW is much more problematic because of its support for leave. St Ives, Bath and Cheltenham aside.”

    You should add Totnes to that list. There is strong Remain support here, and whether or not Sarah Wollaston stands again – she might even stand for the Lib Dems – the seat is clearly winnable. As might be St Austell if the Labour vote collapses.

    Four or five seats in the South West would not be a bad tally.

  17. Hugo

    ““sneering Left Wing intellectuals””

    Yes, i just saw that. I suppose he’s talking about me. Phew! We’re watching both Labour and Tories tearing themselves apart, simultaneously.

    Even more unpleasant than Leadsom calling Stewart a “suicide bomber”.

    Can it get much nastier?

    (probably)

  18. @lewblew

    “He looks like a geek so the young will like him”

    uh.. I’m not sure that follows lol.

  19. @VGFLEET
    “The labour party has at least 2 different parties under its umbrella. The Labour party and the Labour and Co-operative party. I don’t know how they are represented on the ballot papers. are they just called labour?”

    The Labour Party and the Co-operative Party are different parties. “Labour and Co-operative” is a joint description, which is allowed for under the relevant legislation for or use by a candidate standing in the name of both or all of two or more parties jointly.

  20. Which is not to say that a single party can’t have multiple descriptions registered mind, and obviously only one of those can be its official name if it’s incoprporated.

    The grounds for refusing registartion are narrow
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/41/section/28A

  21. The Ashcroft question discussed above was actually as follows:

    What do you think would be the best outcome from the Brexit process?

    The UK leaving the EU without a deal 27%

    The UK leaving the EU with a different deal from the one Theresa May has negotiated 15%

    The UK leaving the EU with the deal negotiated by Theresa May 8%

    The UK remaining in the EU 46%

    Don’t Know 4%

    It makes no sense to aggregate all of the brexits to give (as Lord A himself did) a total of 50% in favour of “brexit”. Firstly, because they are mutually exclusive and any proposal from the government can be only one of them. Secondly, it is a mistake to assume that anyone in favour of one of the brexits would also choose one of the others (over remain).

    In an STV vote, it is a fair bet that redistributing votes from eliminating the “deal” options would take remain over the 50% line.

  22. Patrickbrian

    I think this , in some ways, shows that Brexit is a cover for a more profound shift in our politics.
    May identified this when she first entered No 10 but was a useless communicator and the ideas came from her advisor, Timothy. He saw that the patriotic working classes were ripe for a “Joe Chamberlain” type of Toryism and I think he envisaged a sort of “National” party against a middle class internationalist metropolitan “social democrat” party.
    This is the battle going on now, I think, and as I have said before, the likes of Blair, Campbell and Yvette Cooper see EU membership as a brake on Jeremy’s more left wing plans. I think the likes of McCluskey and Lavery can see this, hence the turmoil in Labour at the moment.
    With the Tories, at least the leadership contest allows them to sort them selves out in this regard but the shadow of Farage is never far from them.
    In itself, the polarisation of our politics is not a bad thing as it can be argued that, since Blair, both parties have faced a number of ways on issues to keep both wings of their parties happy.
    Brexit has blown this to smithereens as it is not a “left/right” issue, more a “somewhere/nowhere” matter.

  23. @ Alec

    I considered my position as a member back in 1996 and decided I could no longer be a member and starting voting Green with an occasional Labour vote thrown in if it was tactical or through past friendships or personal knowledge of candidates

    The main reason for doing this when I resigned from the party that was my spiritual home was that I saw no way in which I could influence things as all the key decision making bodies has been closed down to any form of membership democracy.

    That situation doesn’t apply any more- at some stage you will be able to vote for NEC members directly elected on one member one vote. In due course you will also be able to elect a new leader. Had that been the situation in 1996 I would not have felt I had to resign and were the Labour Party to elect someone in the image of Blair I would not now feel I had to resign because I would expect there to be a core of membership that would keep the party from going too far one way or the other.

    I disagree with you on Campbell- I’m not one to snitch on anyone like Crossbat and friends in the past have even said they voted tactically to keep the Tories out type thing and it happens and no big deal to me. With Campbell I just don’t feel there was much commitment to Labour except in his image and I don’t feel that having done it once there was any reason to think he might not do it again and eventually defect. It seems a bit ridiculous to have someone a member of the party who doesn’t seem to have any commitment to vote for it.

    Still cross with Crossbat! I get the one off nature of his vote and the commitment to carry on campaigning and I kind of accept the reasoning but I personally found it a bit insulting to the people who had suffered under the coalition when there were alternative remain parties he could have voted for…

  24. @David Carrod – “There have been some insinuations by certain posters on here, that those advocating Brexit are somehow doing so in ignorance of what the EU is, and does.”

    Just for clarification – there were no insinuations – just statements of fact. :)

    More seriously, I can agree that there are valid reasons to argue for Brexit. I’m perfectly OK with that, and have quite a few concerns myself which nearly tipped me into the leave camp. Ultimately, it was looking at the complete shower of a government that we had that was a critical factor in keeping me on the remain side, because I felt that if we were to leave, these would be the very last people I would want in charge in such circumstances, and in this I feel somewhat vindicated.

    Also – before someone else mentions it – in you paean to ‘UK law’, your learning and research did cover the fact that there is no such thing as UK law?

    We actually have three completely separate legal systems; English law, Scottish law and Northern Irish law. Some argue that since 2007 we now also have a separate Welsh legal system, but that is a bit debatable.

    I’m also not entirely convinced that we have the ‘finest’ legal system in the world, whether it be one, three or four systems. There is a tendency amongst us Brits to claim that we’ve got the finest …..legal system/broadcast media/democracy/constitution/football league/weather/etc etc etc, whereas we actually have a system that is OK but could learn a little bit from others, as indeed many other countries have.

    Our legal system(s) is certainly hugely expensive, but cost doesn’t always align with quality.

  25. Hugo,

    I thought Lavery’s article was pretty poor if you lay aside the partisan point-scoring.

    He talks about opposing No Deal but gives no clue about how. I understand from the article that he does not intend to do anything to stop it (i.e., revoke A50 or call for another vote) but will let No Deal happen “to respect democracy” and then hope to profit from the chaos afterwards.

  26. Lavery’s language and silly, broad categorisations, such “working class patriots” and “sneering left-wing intellectuals” comes over all a bit North Korea to me.

    It’s worth checking him out on Wikipedia by the way. He doesn’t come out of it very well at all – would probably horrify a working class patriot [whatever one of those is.]

  27. @Barbazenzero

    I’m not sure why the internal structure of a political party is of such great importance to the electorate that it must be mentioned on the ballot paper. Either it’s a valid way to structure a political party, in which case it feels like superfluous detail, or it’s not a valid way, in which case the Electoral Commission won’t allow them on the ballot as a party at all and they have to stand as independents.

    We don’t require a summary of the party’s policies – or for the EU elections, even an indication of which EU Parliament grouping they’d join – to be on the ballot paper, despite those usually being far more relevant to someone’s choice of vote.

    @leftieliberal

    I think there’s two problems with a Citizens’ Assembly

    1) If representative of the country, polling suggests they’re pretty likely to end up in the same deadlock as the houses of parliament, where no specific proposal is able to get to 50% support (and you’d probably want to require more than 50% support for the CA proposal, if the idea is to be unifying)

    If unrepresentative of the country – and it would require great care in its design to allow a truly representative set of participants [1] – it could of course decide anything, but not necessarily anything actually useful.

    2) It won’t have legislative powers superior to the Commons and Lords. So anything it decides will *still* have to get through those. If Stewart calls a Citizens’ Assembly, and after three weeks of deliberation, it decides “we’re bored of this, let’s just say ‘revoke’ and go home” is he really going to put that to Parliament? Would his MPs vote for it if they did? Likewise if they say “let’s just say ‘no deal’ and go home”, that still won’t get a Parliamentary majority.

    Every MP who wants to will be able to find some reason the Citizen’s Assembly’s recommendation – if it reaches one at all – isn’t suitable on either process or content grounds.

    [1] Parents of very young children, or carers for other relatives, may well be unable or unwilling to attend. Self-employed workers may not be in a position to give up an indeterminate amount of time at short notice and lose out on contracts and business continuity. People with an aversion to spending weeks packed together with angry strangers debating politics probably won’t show up. Some of this might be fixable with the right design … a lot of it probably isn’t, and with the need to rush it into action to stand any chance of getting an answer between Stewart’s election and Hallowe’en, even a lot of the fixable ones probably won’t be.

  28. Hugo

    What do you mean by a “somewhere/nowhere” matter?

    I don’t know if this is relevant, but when Mrs May called me a “Citizen of Nowhere” I found it deeply insulting, an attack on my identity and integrity, and will never forget it. When Lavery accuses me of being a “sneering left-wing intellectual”, I know he intends to be insulting, but I can sort of see where he’s coming from. I do think that those who voted leave, whatever class they came from (and they came from all classes) were wrong, and mostly poorly informed. That’s not sneering in my book, but I don’t vote or support labour any more, so he has a right to have a pop at me (and other posters on this site!)

    My worry is that the Labour leadership will thoroughly insult both sides and end up with nobody but hard liners. And a very low VI.

  29. l

    But what is “No deal”?

    It means we have no trade agreement with the EU.

    We can still trade with them. Just like the yanks and others.

    We will carry on trying to negotiate a deal after we leave.

    The vote was to leave – not to leave with a deal.

    Democracy must be respected – even when it means an action we don’t like.

    I was passionately against a Welsh Assembly, but we lost by 5000 votes – 50.6% to 49.4%. But we had to have the Assembly, and rightly so.

    This is only still being resisted because the great and the good think leaving the EU is a bad idea…..if they thought it was a good idea, we would have left in March.

    But it doesn’t matter what they think. We have to leave.

  30. Rosieand daisie

    Surely it doesn’t matter if Lavery doesn’t come out of Wikipedia very well – surely it’s about the point he is making on this subject.

  31. @Hugo – “And that’s the truth of it…..these People Vote fanatics don’t really like the traditional Labour folk with their socially conservative views….”

    This is a gross oversimplification. I would probably count as one of Lavery’s ‘sneering intellectuals’, but I do most of my work in and with community groups within Labour’s traditional heartlands.

    I can tell you that there are solid Labour voters in these areas that are extremely socially liberal, and equally some that fit your socially conservative description.

    It’s true that avocados and lesbians were relatively late arrivals in Spennymoor, but that doesn’t mean everyone up here is socially conservative.

  32. SOMERJOHN

    @” If one of the considerations in his mind was that this structure gives him total effective control, unhindered by troublesome democratic procedures, then that would, IMO, be concerning.”

    From a brief research , that does seem to be the objective-control & . freedom from voting members, executive committees or general secretaries.!

    One Brexit Party insider close to Farage is quoted as saying “This is our great advantage. We are able to move quickly, react to what is happening. They [Change UK] just can’t, they are trying to do politics by committee — it’s their fundamental mistake.”

    Others have made comparisons with Italy’s 5Star party which operates a private online platform where supporters can vote for party policy — a model of direct democracy that Farage says he favors .Another model is His other influence is the far-right Dutch populist Geert Wilders, who is the only member of his party. This allows Wilders to dictate the party’s finances and political course.

    The BP Ltd.memorandum of association states that The Brexit Party Ltd.’s objective is to “establish and maintain an organization to campaign for the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union.”
    Other than that, the Brexit Party must be non-discriminatory, develop “a full range of policies for domestic and foreign affairs,” protect “the integrity of the United Kingdom” and “free individuals, families and businesses from excessive government interference.”

    Its constitution — a separate document which The Electoral Commission has published ,adds that it is “a democratic, classical liberal Party” that will seek to “promote and encourage those who aspire to improve their personal situation and those who seek to be self-reliant, whilst providing protection for those genuinely in need; favour the ability of individuals to make decisions in respect of themselves; seek to diminish the role of the State; lower the burden of taxation on individuals and businesses.”

    BP Ltd claims to have 100k ” Registered Supporters”. Its website sets out the legal qualification criteria for donations.

    So it would seem to be in the mould of UK politics at large-committed activists in the hundreds of thousands , a minority compared with voters who express support in the ballot box.

    If BP Ltd’s legal structure is compliant with UK Electoral Law, the only question which remains is-do its voters know what they are voting for?

    The company had no manifesto. Its memorandum of association contains a single political objective. My guess is that the 5m people who recently voted for it knew that & voted because that was its sole objective in that election.
    I would further hazard a guess that a goodly number of them were just voting for NF personally. In that respect, a party which NF controls absolutely , doesn’t really depart from the wishes of his voters.

    So for me the issue of BP Ltd’s legal structure-and the narrow control it provides was not a matter of concern in the 2019 EP Election.

    If BP Ltd stands candidates at a UK GE, I think the issue of control may become of concern. Particularly on Funding. But it will be for voters, in my view, to decide whether they wish to send an MP to Westminster who is not subject to influence by traditional party membership , which they may join should they wish.

    And my guess would be that the majority of ordinary voters might decide that there is little difference between a candidate selected by Mr. Farage, and one selected by an unrepresentative group of local political obsessives.

  33. “HUGO

    Surely it doesn’t matter if Lavery doesn’t come out of Wikipedia very well – surely it’s about the point he is making on this subject.”

    Well, I would say it undermines his credibility and also, of course, he doesn’t come out very well in the article either.

  34. Alec

    Methinks you doth protest too much.

    It’s exactly the point.

    And I’m sure there are socially conservative people in Islington.

  35. Not in defence of Campbell but there is a tweet by Corbyn from 2012 enthusing about Galloway’s victory – I.e. against Labour. Considering where Galloway’s political stance is now; one would be very suspicious …

  36. @ PatrickBrian

    ‘ When Lavery accuses me of being a “sneering left-wing intellectual”, I know he intends to be insulting ‘

    Yes, that’s an interesting one isn’t it.

    “Sneering” is clearly insulting, though possibly quite justified in many cases, so can’t complain too much.

    “Left-wing” is presumably not an insult, coming from a Labour man. It may be an insult in some people’s vocabulary, but surely not a Labour MP? Or perhaps “left-wing” is not left enough, only “hard-left” people are OK, and being merely “left-wing” is despicable?

    And then we get “intellectual”. Now is that an insult? Again, maybe it is coming from some people. I would like to think of myself as being at least a little intellectual, and I prefer to be that to many other things I could have been. Coming from a relatively poor background, I can only be thankful for an excellent state education system and public libraries while I was growing up, which I put in part down to the Labour party of the past. If “intellectual” is an insult, then turning working class people into intellectuals is perhaps not what Ian Lavery wants to do from now on.

  37. This:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/29/britain-existential-crises-beyond-brexit

    on the other hand, is a really serious and interesting article about the UK and all its problems.

  38. Hireton

    “Instead we repeatedly see the arrogance of ignorance on display”.

    Having read your post I find myself in perfect agreement.

  39. @Shevii – thanks for the thoughtful post.

    I don’t think this is actually about Campbell as such. It’s about management of the party, the politics of the situation and the ability to appreciate how things looks in the country as a whole.

    On this wider view, the Campbell move has been a disaster and has made the Labour hierarchy a laughing stock. When they don’t summarily eject members who have threatened violence against their own MPs and take years to investigate allegations of antisemitism, but chuck out Campbell for [allegedly] voting for someone else within 24 hours, what gives?

    There is, I think, another reason why this is a deeply stupid move, which is the fact that Labour will, in all probability, benefit in the future from tactical voting.

    How, for example, can they urge Green and Lib Dem voters to ‘lend us your votes’ in an attempt to beat the Brexit Party in Peterborough, when they’ve just demonstrated such petty vindictiveness in throwing out Campbell for tactical voting?

    And why haven’t they suspended Peter Kellner and Charles Clarke, amongst others, who have also stated they have voted for other parties in the past?

    We can argue about whether or not Campbell is true Labour or not (personally, I think that when you go down the path of deciding whether other people are ‘true disciples’ or ‘the enemy within’, I think you are on dangerous ground – Labour isn’t exactly awash with ethically pure supporters and needs all the help it can get) but the simple fact is that real people out there won’t understand this, and it makes Corbyn look more and more of of touch.

  40. Well Lavery could have read this survey of party membership (admittedly f3om 2017.

    Mind it was writt3n by intellectuals, although not left wing.

    https://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/qmul/media/publications/Grassroots,-Britain's-Party-Members.pdf

  41. R&D

    @”This on the other hand, is a really serious and interesting article about the UK and all its problems.”

    Well- I took you at your word & read it.

    So its an article by some bloke who doesn’t like Thatcher or Tax Cuts & thinks there are a lot of domestic policy issues being ignored at present.

    Umm-right-but what is the “existential crisis ” he mentions in his headline ?

    Went back to the beginning-ah something Barnier said apparently-there is a clickable link to the phrase ” The UK is in a crisis as big as the country itself.”. Ah-so this must be it-obviously

    Click

    The article starts with :-

    “The European Union’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has called on pro-EU forces to defend the fragile union from populism, saying there is now “a Farage in every country”.
    In a speech at the conference of the powerful centre-right European People’s party (EPP), Barnier did not go into details of the deadlocked Brexit negotiations, but warned the EU project was “under threat”.
    “We will have to fight against those who want to demolish Europe with their fear, their populist deceit,” he told more than 700 EPP delegates in Helsinki, before naming the former Ukip leader Nigel Farage.”

    So this “existential crisis” is in the EU then?

    Well Barnier said that in November last year. We now have the votes -and he was right.

  42. @ Hireton

    “I have yet to see a Brexit supporter on here demonstrate any great depth of knowledge or willingness to inform themselves. Instead, we repeatedly see the arrogance of ignorance on display.”

    By that I can only assume you want Leavers to see the EU through the rose tinted glasses that you obviously wear. The ultimate panacea? I think not.

  43. bantams

    A strange conclusion to reach.

  44. @HIRETON

    “By “our” you presumably mean England’s common law system. As a fully informed Brexiter, you will know that Scotland has a mixed civil and common law system and that the UK has not been in existence for a thousand years.”

    Yes, but if we’re going to get that pedantic, it’s actually England & Wales, which is counted as a single entity for legal purposes.

    The Scottish system is something of a hybrid of the two types of legal systems, but given that decisions of English courts can create precedents for Scottish Sheriffs or Judges, and vice versa, I would argue that it is closer to the England & Wales model than to the continental Europe version.

  45. @ DAVWEL – “I agree that Aberdeenshire & Moray had CON/BRX bigger than SNP. But Aberdeen City had SNP in front of CON/BRX by 3200 votes”

    Breaking the EP results down to Westminster constituencies is a bit fiddly. Please correct me if I’m wrong but I think the split in your neck of the woods is:

    1/ Aberdeen City covers two Westminster seats: Aberdeen North (SNP) and Aberdeen South (SCON). I don’t think we’ll get a split of the data to see if that helps explain the aggregate number but there does seem to be a bit of LoC/RoC difference and age difference between the two (North having younger more LoC demographic)[1]

    2/ Aberdeenshire covers 3 seats: Banff and Buchan (SCON); Gordon (SCON); West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine (SCON)

    3/ Moray (SCON) is the same for both EP and Westminster

    So 4, possibly 5, of the 6 Westminster seats MIGHT be contestable if BXP and CON work together to win the seat on an AB-SNP and Leave basis.

    Add in 3, possibly 4, on the border with England plus Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock.

    However, that is being optimistic and still only adds up to 9 MAX out of 59 seats. IMHO there is a strong case for DevoMax/Indy+Leave but overall EP results show it’s probably not worth the effort to keep Scotland in the prec(ar)ious Union. Sadly I doubt new CON leader or Farage see it that way though.

    [1] You see this is many English areas (eg Bath and NE Somerset LA is two Westminster seats: LDEM and Remainy Bath and CON and Leavey NE Somerset (Smoggster’s seat))

  46. @Hugo

    “An excellent in the Guardian newspaper today by the Labour Party Chairman,”

    Just read it and I can’t agree with you. I thought it was cliche-ridden and sloganistic piffle. Part Dave Spart, part Len McCluskey. It didn’t hang together intellectually and was incoherent in terms of what he was proposing. Knitting together cliches, labels, smears and slogans as a substitute for any sort of comprehensible argument doesn’t reflect well on him.

    If I understood anything from the piece it was a plea to trust Jeremy and get behind him, you “nasty, intellectually sneering middle class snobs”.

    As it always seems to be from the true disciples. Hopeless stuff from the Labour Party Chairman, I think.

    Crikey, I can’t believe that last sentence I’ve typed. “Lavery – Labour Party-Chairman.”

    Ye Gods.

  47. CB11

    My guess is that they will be happy, sneering at [ex] Labour Party voters all the way to eventual defeat.

    It really is Pythonesque in its absurdity.

  48. Interesting last few posts showing the same juvenile tendency.

    Firstly the Ian Lavery article where he basically, all be it with a left wing bent, takes out the Farage Playbook and labels any challenge in derogatory terms!

    Thus;
    Questioning = Sneering!
    Challenging = Dismissing!
    Educated = Elite!
    Thoughtful = Intellectual!

    It sums up the level of debate we have reached when things that we used to aspire to for our children; that they be challenging, thoughtful and thought provoking, be educated, knowledgeable and do well become traits to be disparaged for!

    Then we have the Bantam Tantrum where rather than refute the claim by displaying deeper knowledge we have the assumption that anyone who supports the EU must think it is flawless, an assertion that rather supports the contention that they have no;

    “willingness to inform themselves”

    Given that as regular poster he surely must have seem the repeated occasions where most Remain supporters here have outlined, often more articulately that Leave Supporters, the problems the EU has and the struggle to legislate and Govern across a continent.

    Thankfully we haven’t yet reached the Pol Pot stage of hunting down people wearing Glasses as they are a clear sign the wearer is an “Intellectual” and therefore an “Enemy of the People!” But hey…give us time!

    Peter.

  49. @ JOHN SMITH – “Finally, on the subject of the Lib Dems, what chance of Swinson losing her seat in any GE?”

    Be wary of folks blindly using Electoral Calculus (EC). It is a useful model but it does some weird stuff with SLIB. My hunch is EC’s “error” is due to the very seat specific and refined tactical voting (AB-SNP) especially between SLIB and SCON. Now it is possible “cleaning out” the current tactical voting is the better start point but you then need to reapply it in order to make a prediction (I’d be 80%ish she keep the seat)

    Details:

    Swinson holds the seat with 5,339 (10.3%) majority and overall SLIB are polling quite a bit higher than in GE’17 with SNP just a bit higher.

    I would also expect a fair amount of the SCON and SLAB vote to support her as the clear AB-SNP candidate (Unionist and Remain)

    GE’17 numbers

    SLIB 21,023 (40.6%)
    SNP 15,684 (30.3%)
    SCON 7,563 (14.6%)
    SLAB 7,531 (14.5%)

    So I would expect the AB-SNP (anti-Indy) vote means she keeps the seat. However, the “old” AB-SNP alliances might not apply in next GE and Scottish seats are prone to huge swings so it’s certainly not super safe.

    Perhaps she should move down to Twickenham and take Cable’s seat into next GE? As a “geographic” niche SW.London and bit around the West of M25 constitute part of the UK known as “Rich-Remainia” and will be very safe LDEM territory into next GE (unless they do a pact with Corbyn – in which case all bets are off!) ;)

  50. On the question of descriptions, it’s not unknown for the Greens round here in local elections to use:
    “Stop Fracking Now”.

    This is considerably further removed from “Green Party of England and Wales[1]” than is Brexit Party from Brexit Party Limited.

    This isn’t really an issue frankly.

    There is a political point to be made about BXPs corporate structure. But the structure is legal one for a registered “Political Party”, and the description really is not remotely misleading in the electoral sense.

    [1] – They never use this either. In a reverse of the ploy followed by SLab, Scon and SLD they just use variants on Green Party in my experience.

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