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. Oldnat,
    “When the backstop idea was created, that had sufficient elements that could have been enlarged to come close to the SG notion, that at least the Remain voting polities could effectively remain in a customs union and single market, but such was never pursued.”

    Ok, the Danny scenario. Government expects brexit pain. Scotland and ireland are exempted from the pain. Industry starts packing and moving to Scotland. How is that politically viable for the government? It would highlight in big red letters the effects of Brexit by direct comparison of the two economies.

    Pete B,
    ” If they manage to get us out on sensible terms (which might be WTO terms – the so-called No Deal), they will mop up most Brexit Party votes ”

    Under the Danny scenario, they won’t mop up anything, because everyone will attack them for a failed brexit, leavers included. But even under the optimistic scenarios, the purist leave motivated voters, will just go back to not voting. Which means they will no longer vote con.

    Con’s plan was to be the party of leave but never deliver. That is the only way it works to secure long term support from leavers.

    Cim, @Brxt,
    “A Conservative government will never voluntarily revoke, agreed.”

    I think they will, and I think they had nearly set up the situation where they could. Revoke does not mean give up on brexit, it just means ran out of negotiating time.

    “I think even May’s deal would be electorally fine for the Conservatives, based on the polls. ”

    It would be fine for six months. Then real negotiations on the details would be under way, and we would be back to tory and parliament split again. This would continue until we ran out of time again. And then into the extension and a new parliament. The latest date for elections now being within the transition extension period.

    And then it would be BxP arguing the tories hadnt achieved anything, just as now.

  2. hugo: Something I have always said – if another vote, it’s no deal or “the “deal – remain has been already defeated.

    The legitimacy of the outcome of that could easily be scuppered by spoiled papers topping the poll. Or even by the sum of votes for either option failing to top the remain vote in 2016.

    Not sure what the Electoral Commission rules would be for funding etc of a spoil the ballot or stay at home campaign.

  3. “THat could be a winning position for Labour – it seperates the anti democrats from the party position.”

    All recent elections and polls would rather demonstrate that position would be suicide for labour, not winning.

  4. If any GEEKS are using Chris Hanretty’s STATS (see 8:07am) then you’ll spot some “issues”

    Obvious one in his analysis is SCON as winning Edinburgh East (the one and only seat CON/SCON “won” so you’ll spot it very quickly)

    Edinburgh LA covers all or part of 5 Westminster seats so splitting it out is tricky.

    In his analysis (not mine, his), then he seems to lump almost of all SCON Edinburgh votes into Edinburgh East.

    Given that is a safe SNP seat that seems wrong to me. Some other less obvious places where the split looks a bit wrong IMHO but overall then its still useful to copy out and the data and play around with it.

    Examples of “playing around with it”

    1/ Adjust for low turnout for main two parties by 2x their actual numbers
    2/ Apply “tactical voting” add-on (eg add ChUK and 50% of Green to LDEM numbers as a “Remain Alliance” vote)
    3/ Remove “protest vote” (lent votes) by reversing out the Ashcroft findings on “lent” votes (risky to do this at a seat level IMHO, prefer a heavier dose of #1 such as 3x)

    If anyone actually wants to discuss the EP data we have or wants help accessing it, sorting it in excel, etc, then let me know. Keen to discuss with those genuinely interested in looking at EP results to see where parties have risks/opportunities into the next GE

    (huge caveats on why we have that GE but my base case assumption is we will have one before Brexit is “settled” and hence Brexit stance will be the dominant issue in that GE)

  5. @Imperium3

    I think you’re right that the polarisation is to an extent exaggerated because the moderates are just going for the option if asked which seems to have the most support on their side in the hope it gets things sorted out quicker.

    Things like GE vs EU voting intention or EU vs Ref vs GE turnout are probably some evidence of this as well.

    I’m not sure I’d describe either side as radicalised, though – at the moment, I think, they’re just angry. Remain especially – their main proposal isn’t even to remain, but to hold a referendum which might result in that – and their main method for achieving this is to sign petitions. Not very radical, overall.

  6. @PETE B

    “If they manage to get us out on sensible terms (which might be WTO terms – the so-called No Deal), they will mop up most Brexit Party votes while the Remain faction will still be split. result – Tory win.”

    Have you been tuned in to the last 3 years? This magical ‘sensible’ deal doesn’t exist. They’ve tried and failed to get anything ‘better’ and the EU have shut negotiations, quite rightly.

    @HUGO

    “THat could be a winning position for Labour – it seperates the anti democrats from the party position.” [sic]

    Taking away the option 48% of the country want (and possibly more now) is anti-democratic. It’s like saying nobody can vote Labour at the next election because they didn’t win last time. There’d be riots on the streets.

    Honestly…

  7. Using Hanretty’s data with minor tweaks for the obvious errors and just looking at BXP and LDEM (with GE’17 start point)

    BXP: 410 Seats

    Gains from:
    CON 266 (65%)
    LAB 141 (34%)
    LDEM 3

    LDEM: 76 Seats

    Holds: 6
    Lose 3 to BXP and 3 to SNP

    Gains from:
    CON: 36
    LAB 34

    See previous post about how you can play around with the data.

    IMHO the above is wildly exaggerating BXP of course and hence why it is IMHO worth playing around with the data to compensate for the low EP turnout, etc.

    Folks should find they need to make some pretty large “tweaks” to get BXP number down to a level where they become an irrelevance (ie less than 50 or so)

    However, what I hope folks might see for themselves is that LAB trying to hold onto seats they might lose to LDEM will more likely mean they net lose more to BXP (ie it would be a “tactical” mistake and Nandy, Lavery, etc are hence “correct”)

    I am aware that analysis comes across as suiting my “bias” so keen for someone without my bias to show some analysis where it makes electoral sense for LAB to fully back a 2nd ref and the Remain option in that hypothetical 2nd ref.

    Now I hope LAB do adopt that policy and fight those seats with LDEM so if my only desire is to see a Brexiteer in #10 then I wouldn’t be wanting to discuss the STATS would I – I should just happily let Planet Remain do the job for me ;)

    Also the above should highlight how totally scr3wed CON are. They have to knock out BXP and the only way to do that is to “Go WTO” but HoC will not let that happen.

    Star Trek fans should see next CON leader’s mission as:

    The Kobayashi Maru

    and I only see one way where they can do a Captain Kirk and save their ship and most of the crew.

  8. @ Danny

    “Maybe the clue is in the name? ‘former’. Former labour areas, no longer theirs to claim – like scotland. Nothing to do with brexit.”

    yes, go full Remain and ignore the areas where they already have seats. That’s a really good idea,but I guess the London elite will be pleased.

  9. @ CIM / RICHARD – ChUK MPs didn’t want a GE whilst May was PM but fast forward to Sep and consider what they might think then?

    Likely situation:

    1/ CON new leader is a Brexiteer (and if it isn’t then CON split is on the Leave side which has the much larger numbers and would mean a zombie govt at the mercy of Corbyn to take down as soon as he can)

    2/ EC-EU27 laugh off any attempt to reopen the WA

    3/ We then approach Halloween deadline and face No Deal, Revoke or another extension (which requires all EU28 to agree on and our PM to request it in the first place as only he/she currently has the authority to write to Tusk)

    4/ Current PM prefers “No Deal” rather than asking for another extension or Revoke.

    5/ HoC have to remove the current PM’s authority

    6/ Will ChuUK vote to keep PM in place it they try to push through “No Deal”?

    I think not and don’t think Grieve, Dr.P.Lee, Bebb, etc would keep PM in place under that scenario either (let alone before you get into likes of Greening, Letwin, etc)

    Also, surely ChUK (or at least any of their MPs who have any sense) will see they need to beg to be allowed into LDEM and stand under LDEM colours (or at a minimum they do a SDP-Liberals alliance style pact). LDEMs offering this under a new leader by the cover they need?

    You both (along with JJ) to seem to understand the HoC maths and process aspects so appreciate the discussion.

  10. NeilJ “Possibly one [by-election] in Brecon and Radnorshire if the recall petition is successful.

    It would be an interesting election as it should be a safe Conservative seat with the sitting MP getting an 8,000 majority last time with the lib dems in second
    I would not be surprised though if there was an upset”

    Agree. Anything can happen now.

    Even one seat could make a difference. TM might be kicking herself for not ‘banking’ the likely modest Conservative seatt gain from boundary review and instead calling an election – but then hindsight is a wonderful thing.

  11. seat not seatt

  12. DAVWEL

    I can try to tease out some of the factors affecting social care costs.

    Welfare and local government spending has been hit hardest by austerity cuts while central government and government services have not. The services most needed by the most vulnerable have gone and those most affected are those where need is greatest. So, in Liverpool, the cuts have reduced Council spending by £390 per person and in Wokingham in South East England by £2.29 per person.

    The article at the link you provided suggests that gaps in social care funding in England are a lot smaller for the better off than the most vulnerable.

    Health inequalities vary considerably across the UK. On average, the poor die 7 years sooner than the rich and can expect to become disabled 17 years earlier.

    Long run statistics show a rise in the numbers of households in the UK in poverty. In 1961 the % of households in poverty was 13. This rose under Thatcher to 25% and subsided gently under Blair to 22% where it remains. Life expectancy continued to rise until very recently. People in the UK have been living longer lives though their lives are often disfigured by disability.

    Adverse childhood experiences can affect the health of children who suffer four or more adverse experiences in childhood e.g a dysfunctional family or one where there is alcohol /drug abuse. Such children may have permanently elevated levels of cortisol which will predispose them to early heart attacks or strokes.

    To address health inequalities the fundamental causes must be tackled. Scottish research says the fundamental causes are the unequal distributions in society of wealth, power and income. To address that effectively a Scottish government needs to have control of welfare and economic policies. I have never met a Scottish unionist who placed the needs of the poor in Scotland above the union.

  13. @ Alister

    “TM might be kicking herself for not ‘banking’ the likely modest Conservative seatt gain from boundary review and instead calling an election – but then hindsight is a wonderful thing.”

    I’m sure Theresa May is kicking herseld many times over for calling that election.

    The only “silver” lining is that the Tories can literally cling to power to 2022, otherwise they’d be facing an election in 11 months, and I’m dubious the previous balance of Parliament would have been much kinder to the TM?

  14. hugo

    “HUGO
    ….and would hopefully convince Starmer, Thornberry, Watson, Adonis et al that the Liberals is their party.”

    Brilliant.

    How small a party are you hoping for?

    As for your daft idea of a single question referendum, what happens when it fails to gain a majority? WTF do we do then?

  15. Danny
    “But even under the optimistic scenarios, the purist leave motivated voters, will just go back to not voting. Which means they will no longer vote con.”

    I’m sorry but that’s nonsense. Analysis shows that loads of Tory voters went to TBP at the Euros. It was not usual non-voters because turnout was a lot lower than a GE, unless you are saying that all usual non-voters came out and the politically-engaged stayed at home??.

    “Con’s plan was to be the party of leave but never deliver. That is the only way it works to secure long term support from leavers.”

    That’s working well. LOL
    ————————————–
    Lewblew
    “Have you been tuned in to the last 3 years? This magical ‘sensible’ deal doesn’t exist. They’ve tried and failed to get anything ‘better’ and the EU have shut negotiations, quite rightly.”

    I specifically said that it might be the so-called No Deal. This to me, but presumably not you, is a sensible option.

  16. @ TW

    The only thing Chuk bring to the table is their MPs.

    Lib Dems have already seen them off and unlike the SDP-Liberal alliance there is no dividing line in the nature of their vote where SDP could reach Labour areas that Liberals couldn’t and vice versa. Therefore their only use to the Lib Dems is as sitting MPs representing the Lib Dems but even there the returns may not be that great for the Lib Dems to want to do a deal.

    I’d love to know if Chuk had a plan. I assume the only reason they didn’t defect straight to Lib Dems was that they felt the Lib Dems were toxic and the centre needed to be something new without the coalition baggage, or that they expected more MPs to join their group over time. But they made the mistake of believing their own propaganda and of underestimating the strength of the Lib Dems who already had their base and campaign teams.

    Even if the Euro elections hadn’t come at the right time for Lib Dems I am pretty sure they would have seen Chuk off over time.

  17. Paul,

    Football phone in shows often get calls from Man U fans pretending to be City or Villa ones pretending to follow West Brom. Maybe even Arsenal ones pretending to be Spurs!

    I think we get some of this on occasions.

    As you say how small a party would it be if Thornberry is to right wing? Backed Corbyn on the second leadership election and is a committed unilateral disarmer.

  18. Just for a bit of cheering up for the middle of the day.

    This CP is not the same as the CP of the Russian Federation.

    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/05/29/disappointed-russian-communists-demand-apology-reshoot-game-of-thrones-finale-a65794

  19. JJ

    Yes – I see where you’re coming from!

    I do think that some people are zealots though and the Life Of Brian, Python sketch is becoming more and more apposite I think.

  20. JJ

    ps: One can almost imagine calls for Corbyn to be kicked out – for saying something slightly off-script – in the not too distant future.

    As Python used to say: “It’s getting silly….”

  21. Danny

    “Ok, the Danny scenario. Government expects brexit pain. Scotland and ireland are exempted from the pain. Industry starts packing and moving to Scotland. How is that politically viable for the government?”

    That depends on how folk think that the UK Government sees itself –

    1. As genuine believers in a UK Union. In which case the location of industry is a matter of supreme indifference – as long as it is within, and not outwith the UK.

    2. As English Nationalists, responsible primarily for the welfare of England and its inhabitants. In which case, you have a point.

    “It would highlight in big red letters the effects of Brexit by direct comparison of the two economies.”

    Surely, on the Danny scenario, that would be a good thing? If they do believe that Brexit would be a disaster, then that highlighting would demonstrate the wisdom of their conclusion to the electorate of E&W, and electoral pressure would rapidly bring E&W into line with the sensible parts of the UK.

  22. JJ and Paul

    Can you post here under another name?

    I was thinking of changing my name to Valeriata and championing rees-smug for our next PM.

  23. Not enough syllables.

  24. I think both Imperium and Alec are right here…

    As soon as the Referendum was done there was a vocal minority of Remainers shouting that all Leavers were thick rac1sts. As a Remainer myself I understood that this was pretty unhelpful, but I guess in my head I ignored it as it wasn’t directed at me.

    At the same time some more vocal Leavers told us Remainers that ‘you lost, get over it’, that we were morally obliged to now support and promote Brexit and if we didn’t we were tra1tors and qu1slings. Any principled objection to Brexit was shouted down and the objector vilified (‘enemies of the people’, etc.
    Now this really hit home for me, because it felt directed at me personally. And it really p1ssed me off…

    That feeling of being insulted and attacked has been heightened by the politicians – it’s really noticeable that every time there is (generally justified) criticism of a Leave leader, it is morphed by the Leave leaders into a criticism of all Leave voters (e.g. ‘special place in hell…’). The same may well happen on the Remain side, although I confess that I haven’t noticed if it has. Cognitive dissonance probably…

    Politicians have for sure been using the – valid – criticisms of their failure to deliver as a tool to gin up the base; a dangerous but effective technique that goes back a long way.

    So IMHO the situation itself has been naturally polarising, the most passionate supporters on both sides have contributed, but those most at fault are the politicians who have deliberately sought polarisation to improve their political position (May, Johnson, Farage, Francois immediately spring to mind, but I am sure there are some on the Remain side too…)

  25. @ROSIEANDDAISIE

    I could honestly see @HUGO’s theory playing out. An approach by which Lab can campaign to avoid leaving whilst still swearing blind to their leave voters that they’re not trying to overturn the 2016 vote (we respect the result but we need a better deal than this awful Tory one etc), and keeping the Tory govt trapped in this endless mess. Sounds exactly like the kind of clever thing they’d try.

  26. [email protected] Hugo,
    “The vote was to leave – not to leave with a deal. ”
    “i might as well assert, “the vote was to leave with a deal, not to leave without one”, with as much justification.”

    No that doesn’t hold.

    Legally and logically “No Deal” and “Deal” are subsets of “Leave”. Indeed given the structure of Artice 50 they are complementary and complete subsets of “Leave”.

    The vote was for “Leave”.

    It is therefore the truth but not the whole truth to say:
    “The vote was to leave – not to leave with a deal. ”

    Just as it is true to say:
    “The vote was to leave – not to leave with no deal.”
    or for that matter
    “The vote was to leave – not to have kippers for tea. ”

    All true.

    But your proposition “the vote was to leave with a deal, not to leave without one” is plain and simple a false syllogism.

  27. Where Hugo’s logic breaks of course is a step later in that he would take the true statement “The vote was to leave – not to have kippers for tea. ” as a clear electoral mandate not have kippers for tea.

  28. Peter W

    Having worked in kippering yards, I would fully endorse any decision not to have kippers for tea – or any other meal.

    Though, similar stances are likely to be taken by folk who have worked in other branches of food processing, as to their product.

  29. TW

    It’s important to keep in mind both the HoC maths and the process issues.

    But one thing those who point out that there is no process at present available equivalent to the one which allowed Parliament to take control of the time necessary to pass the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 forget is that there wasn’t that process either – until there was.

    The process appeared as a possibility because of a ruling by Speaker Bercow that even he accepted was unprecedented. Until then, the position of those learned in the arcana of Parliamentary procedure was that it couldn’t be done.

    He’s sticking around. It would be dangerous to assume definitively that there will not be a mechanism found to debate the European Union (Revocation of Notice of Withdrawal) Bill 2019 at some point over the next five months.

  30. @Imperium3 and @Oldnat (and also @Danny)

    Thanks for your comments. Good to be able to discuss Brexit without the yah boo stuff.

    Long post alert.
    View this as either thoughtful analysis, or self opinionated guff.

    Personally, rather than ‘blame’ one side or the other (or more as agreed, one faction or another) I think I tend towards putting the decision making framework into the dock. For this, I’m afraid that May has to shoulder much of the blame, for, as @Oldnat says, limiting the bulk of the consultations to an internal Tory party exercise.

    I remain of the view that the referendum vote should not have been seen as the end of the process, but merely the start. A command had been given by the public to leave the EU, and the next job was to decide what leaving should mean and then how it was done. The referendum statement gave no guidance to anyone about these issues.

    May decided early on that she would define these herself, without even consulting her cabinet, and hence the red lines. These framed the debate from then on, and indeed poisoned the debate, on both sides. She simultaneously managed to insult hard remainers (citizens of nowhere), alienate soft leavers or persuadable remainers, while setting up more ardent leavers with false hopes of what could be achieved.

    Everything flowed from this point, with remain factions increasingly dismayed and alarmed at her rhetoric and moving to a harder remain position, with leavers crying foul at every compromise made. Indeed, had May set out to clear the centre ground, it’s difficult to construct a more effective approach. So both leavers and remainers were prisoners of the decision making process adopted by the government.

    Back to my view that June 23rd should have been the start of the process, and I think @Oldnat’s point about Scotland is extremely valid. We have four polities, two voted leave, two voted remain, and one of those has deep historic issues with their land neighbour that adds huge sensitivities in all kinds of ways. The SNP proposals really did have merit, not just for Scotland, but also for NI. The EU has a legendary reputation for accepting weird and flexible solutions if a strong case can be made, and there were options available for the UK to raise.

    Had we gone down the route of adopting a more federal based approach to the solution, with different polities treated differently according to their own democratic decisions, then it would have been possible to negate unionist fears of being outside the mainstream UK frameworks, because there would no longer be a mainstream UK framework. NI and Scotland would be doing it differently to England and Wales. The options were limitless. For example, there is absolutely no reason why Scotland cannot have free movement within the EU system, while England does not.

    We needed that deep, introspective national conversation about how we could meet the referendum terms way before any red lines were put down, and at a time when many remainers were prepared to accept a well crafted and respectful form of Brexit.

    I do carry a heavy bias I know, but I can’t escape the belief that the Conservatives, and May in particular, were the least suited outfit to deliver on the Brexit result, and it is therefore they who deserve most of the blame for establishing a decision making framework that enforced division and worked against sensible compromise.

    Labour also are culpable, as they failed to engage in the type of federalist approach that could have provided an alternative narrative. We saw that again last week, as they decided to campaign in Scotland and E&W with the same message, instead of allowing SLAB to offer what Scotland needs and wants. Corbyn has been unimaginative and near silent on the real answers to this, instead sticking with the Westminster consensus that London will arrange a solution for the UK.

    This, I believe, is why Brexit is an existential threat to the UK. It’s not actually about what Brexit we deliver, but instead about how Brexit has exposed the terrible flaws in our constitution.

    The various strains on the union – between London and the regions, between Westminster and Scotland, with Northern Ireland and across the Irish Sea, and, as ever, regarding our relationship to Europe and world beyond – remain unresolved. Brexit bent the hotchpotch UK constitution towards its limit, and the actions of the UK government took it beyond the point of rupture.

    We may get Brexit, or we may not, but I suspect that whatever happens, the Conservative and Unionist Party will ultimately be the unwitting midwife for the birth of a brand new constitutional settlement across the British Isles which will be a far cry from the UK that they claim to support so passionately.

  31. @ SHEVII – ChUK

    Do you not think the xLAB MPs bring anything extra (eg would likes of Umunna help in poorer/BAME[1] seats that would be tough for LDEM?)

    Fully agree on xCON side. I’ll add some details:

    1/ No apparent ChUK “boost” in EPs for their specific seats
    (Soubs = Broxtowe, Wollaston = Totnes, Allen = S.Cambridgeshire). This suggests they have little/no “local” seat specific benefit.

    2/ Of the 3 xCON then in decreasing order of likelihood to hold their seat in a GE (and the extent of “Remain Alliance” help they would need)

    a/ Allen would probably win her seat as an Ind (provided LDEM only stood a “paper candidate”). S.Cam is super Remainy

    b/ Wollaston would have a challenge as sole “Remain Alliance” candidate but be in with a good chance, especially if CON and BXP split the Leave vote.

    c/ Soubs would struggle even as sole “Remain Alliance” candidate. She might just squeak a win if Leave vote is split.

    3/ So would LDEM even want them? For 1-3 MPs are the xCONs bringing more baggage than benefit? However, if you LDEM fight against them in a GE then they risk giving those seats to a Leave party.

    Adding to the “Remain Alliance” issue is the shambles of the current PV efforts at coordination.

    So the bigger tactical issue is do LDEM want to be the “umbrella” under which all Remain MPs gather and would other MPs and voters be happy about that?

    Clearly they’d have an issue with PC and SNP but Greens are not overly keen to fold into LDEM according to this poll:

    “While 85% of Green voters would back the pact if their party was standing the candidates, this figure falls to 56% when it is led by the Lib Dems.. by contrast, 76% of Lib Dems are happy to vote for a Green-led pact”

    (this is why I only assume a 50% Tactical Vote shift from Green VI)

    https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/05/10/how-might-green-lib-dem-change-uk-pact-have-done-e

    Historically LDEM have had weak leadership and whipping operation (by design) as they allow their individual MPs more independence (the votes in IVs being a clear indication of the lack of “whip”).

    Noble as that might be I don’t see that being very useful in “leading” a Remain Alliance. The most capable politician in leading a Remain Alliance would IMHO be Sturgeon but clearly she has a higher purpose and SLIB will want to fight in Scotland – difficult to see them agreeing on everything if/when Sturgeon adds in Indy2 issue.

    It’s not my side of the divide but we can all see the historic lack of coordination issues from the PV camp and we all have access to the same polling info.

    [1] No intention to offend but you look at where LDEM have most support and its the “rich” seats and the Westminster Glee Club is as white as snow.

  32. ALEC

    Well argued post.

    Briefly – consensus should have been the aim from the start. May let the entire nation [that she loves “so much”…] down very badly and, as you suggest, that will possibly lead to a permanent fracture.

  33. @Trevor

    Most of CHUK’s MPs are from safe Labour or Conservative seats [1], so are very unlikely to keep them even with the Lib Dems not standing / as a Lib Dem candidate. So all the Lib Dems gain is 11 more mostly reliable votes in this Parliament, from people who were mostly voting the same way anyway. CHUK, meanwhile, will be expected to follow the Lib Dems on VoNC, so the odds of an early GE go up. Neither side really benefits. The Lib Dems wouldn’t turn down individual defections, but probably don’t need to specifically encourage them.

    (With CHUK’s organisation e.g. Peterborough, do the Lib Dems actually need to agree a pact, or can they just rely on CHUK not being able to organise a candidate anyway?)

    [1] I doubt I’ll have time to look at the Hanretty data properly for a while, so yes, they might not be as safe as they look now. But they’re still mostly not obvious pickups for the Lib Dems even if they have a really good GE.

    Agreed that CHUK might not see much choice but to support VoNC if we get to October with a new Con PM set on a no deal exit. Of course, having supported a unity government to get the revocation, it’s not completely implausible they’d then support a Conservative attempt to retake government to avoid a GE (it would be a really bad time for the Conservatives to have a GE too), in the knowledge that it probably wouldn’t have the votes to reinvoke A50. That would make for a pretty messy 2.5 years until 2022…

    @shevii

    Agreed with your assessment of their prospects and offers. Whatever CHUK’s original plan was, it certainly hasn’t worked out. I think they looked at the “new centrist party” polls and editorials and thought that they’d automatically get that by being a new centrist party.

    If only they’d read Anthony’s 23 September 2018 post and applied the “now be realistic about your prospects” scaling factor the case studies in that implied, they might have been more cautious.

    There’s an interesting hypothetical party poll in that article about a single issue Brexit party and its performance in Conservative seats, which seems to have been a pretty decent predictor for the EU elections, on the other hand … just not about the specific single issue Brexit party which commissioned the poll.

  34. @TW
    LDems have local government strength and recently held Westminster seats in Southwark & Bermondsey, Hornsey and Wood Green, Portsmouth South and Manchester Withington (just to name four off the top of my head) none of which are ‘rich seats’.

    Sure, the LDems do better in middle class seats, but they CAN win almost anywhere – it’s mostly about where are there activists willing to do the hard yards.

  35. “Agreed that CHUK might not see much choice but to support VoNC if we get to October with a new Con PM set on a no deal exit. Of course, having supported a unity government to get the revocation, it’s not completely implausible they’d then support a Conservative attempt to retake government to avoid a GE (it would be a really bad time for the Conservatives to have a GE too), in the knowledge that it probably wouldn’t have the votes to reinvoke A50. That would make for a pretty messy 2.5 years until 2022…”

    When you see a VoNC emergency revoke strategy written down like that, I become even more convinced not to rule out another Bercow outrageous fiddle/ reasonable response to unprecedented situation# allowing direct legislation in such a scenario instead. It’s so much quicker, cleaner and more certain.

    There need to be the votes for it either way of course.

    # – delete according to taste

  36. @ PETERW – ?!?!

    The reason I used the no-win “Kobayashi Maru” analogy was for the specific reason that HoC will find a way to block “No Deal”.

    New CON leader will have to try to rescue Brexit but the Klingon Warbird (Remain MPs under captaincy of Bercow) will destroy the Enterprise.

    Why do you think I’m so focussed on looking at how the next GE might play out and keeping my fingers and toes crossed that LAB back a new ref and then one faction of CON shoot the death blow (I’m still assuming it will be the Remain!ac faction as base case).

    @ CIM – A few months back then within the 11 ChUK then I’d have agreed 9 were safe CON or LAB seats with the other two likely to swap (ie Soubs (Broxtowe) would go LAB on a split CON/Soubs vote and A.Smith (Penistone and Stocksbridge) opposite direction). Now though??

    Anyway, to your good point on Route2 of VoNC2.

    A while back I’d mused that DUP might have voted against May in VoNC2 and then backed a Brexiteer in VoNC3 (strictly VoC1 but easier to use sequential numbers).

    Same could apply the other way round for ChUK (ie vote against say Boris in VoNC2 but then for say Morgan[1] in VoNC3)

    [1] Picking Morgan’s name out of the air. It could be any MP in theory but it would need to be a “Remainer” for this scenario to play out. That would then split CON as a party and the Spartans+ would go on strike causing a VoNC4 to kick the Remainers out (assuming Corbyn would still prefer a GE to a new ref).

    IMHO the Spartans+ would outnumber the ChUK and CON-Remain!acs anyway so the 14day window to form a new govt would expire with none formed – hence route2 to a GE with good chance the final act of this parliament is to Revoke A50 (which “simply” needs MPs to grant authority to someone to write to Tusk – something they might very well do given the only other choice was “No Deal”)

    All much easier to follow on a workflow diagram and although the “journey” aspects of the process issues are important on who might win the GE then, further extensions aside, I think we’re going to end up with another People’s Vote but the constitutionally “easier” version of another GE (which could very well bring back a hung parliament that still can’t agree or does then push for a 2nd ref PV… then we’re 1-1… etc, etc…)

  37. The Trevors,
    “I only see one way where they can do a Captain Kirk and save their ship and most of the crew.”

    Cheat?

    Alec,
    ” I think I tend towards putting the decision making framework into the dock. For this, I’m afraid that May has to shoulder much of the blame, for, as @Oldnat says, limiting the bulk of the consultations to an internal Tory party exercise. ”

    We have discussed this before. i have argued that if your aim as to stop brexit, then the more likely the method chosen is to fail or itself create obstacles, the better.

  38. Rosieanddasie

    The sight of Thornberry on national television ust after 10 pm on Sundaynight saying party policy was wrong and the results showed the need to back a second referendum was sickening to see.
    She has no clue about the working people, is married to a judge, and is totally at home in the salons of London pontificating about the price of avocados and wine.

    Good to see Jeremy confirming in the Guardian that we will not re-run the 2016 vote. Remain was defeated and the peoples will must be enacted.

  39. Indeed, I believe that she is a titled woman by marriage – Lady Nugee I think.

  40. @Hugo
    Only because by archaic convention her husband’s job makes him a Lord.

    She’s made something of herself from a tough beginning – her only real advantage was having a teacher for a mother, who probably pushed her to take her education seriously.

    Why do you feel a need to trot out so many Sun-style ‘London elite’ stereotypes? I mean, I have heard that Jezza lives in Islington and likes his sun-dried tomatoes you know…

  41. Danny

    There has long been a conspiracy theory that English Tories would like (for partisan reasons) to get rid of Scotland & NI.

    The kind of evidence oft cited is their behaviour and attitudes to these distant lands. I think your scenario has similar qualities to that theory.

    Simpler theories which are based on the ignorance, arrogance and downright stupidity of the decision makers have more to recommend themselves, I feel.

  42. @peterw

    Agreed, an agenda takeover and legislative approach (as prototyped with the “require the PM to ask for an extension she’s already asked for” Act) could work a lot better – and avoids putting CHUK in a potential lose-lose position when their votes are required.

    The catch is it would probably take at least three days rather than one to do it, so there might not always be time depending on exactly what happens.

    @Trevor

    While the Lib Dems certainly don’t do well with BAME voters, I can’t see an alliance with CHUK helping there. Think about the vetting mess around their EU candidates, for example, or their accusations that Muslim anti-racism orgs were part of a far-left conspiracy, or Angela Smith’s “funny tinge” interview. That’s a lot of avoidable problems for a party that has hardly any members and has only been going a few months.

    Similarly – while it’s a crossbreak of a really small number, so not very reliable – CHUK’s ABC1:C2DE support ratio looks to be about 2:1, so similar to the Lib Dem’s existing ratio.

    So far as I can tell from going through the demographic crossbreaks they basically appeal to about the same voters as the Lib Dems, just nowhere near as effectively.

  43. @PeterW

    ‘But your proposition “the vote was to leave with a deal, not to leave without one” is plain and simple a false syllogism.’

    This depends on what Danny was asserting. As I see it. leavers were told that a trade deal with the EU would be easy and was definitely what was expected. It was therefore possible to ‘get our country (sovereignty) back’ at a minimum economic cost. Leavers still apparently believe this in great part.

    your point is that this is irrelevant. Leave means leave and to vote for it implies that you vote for it irrespective of conditions. This seems a bit legalistic to me. A vote is always undertaken in the context of certain assumptions (In this case we are told that one of these was that the vote would be binding). Its a bit like a marriage which I believe turns out to be invalid if one partner is already married or a contract which I believe can be void if it is impossible to carry out.

    Danny is, to my eyes, asserting one of the assumptions of the vote. He may be wrong because people did not assume this or wrong because if they did it is still irrelevant to the validity of their vote. He is not making an elementary logical error.

  44. Getting away from our own local difficulty, here is a Der Spiegel article on Angela Merkel:

    https://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/dim-view-of-the-world-will-merkel-be-followed-by-darkness-a-1268003.html

    having studied the Reformation period in both Europe and England as part of my TRS studies, her analogy with the lead-up to the Thirty Years War resonated with me.

  45. @ALEC

    May decided early on that she would define these herself, without even consulting her cabinet, and hence the red lines. These framed the debate from then on, and indeed poisoned the debate, on both sides. She simultaneously managed to insult hard remainers (citizens of nowhere), alienate soft leavers or persuadable remainers, while setting up more ardent leavers with false hopes of what could be achieved.

    As I remember there were lots of people that were rather happy about the red lines indeed there was very little desent regarding the red lines at the time. it was the reason why I said we would leave without a deal because of those very red lines.

    May did not set up those red lines alone indeed her Lancaster House speech and her Florence speech was debated in cabinet. I believe that you are pretty much doing a revisionist history.

    May, I believe, was motivated by three key things, the fact that her party and membership had voted to leave the EU that the definition for leaving was wide and full scope and moreover that many people agreed with the red lines

    The problem was that Barnier pointed out what that literally meant in the famous staircase slide set
    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/slide_presented_by_barnier_at_euco_15-12-2017.pdf

    I would agree that not many people wanted WTO but the reality of what we wanted meant that we would either have to breach one of our many red lines or EU would have to breach one of theirs

    As I have said before it is worth listening to the guardian podcasts there is one with the speech writer of the lancaster house and Citizens of Nowhere speeches. What was interesting was that in his view with hindsight the citizen of nowhere speech gave the wrong message!!! The Lancaster House red line were in his view point of negotiation. I came away with the idea that either the person was totally deluded or was taking the audience for mugs.

    What was even more interesting is the duplicity and pure positioning of the players on the UK side. It felt like everyone was trying to find a way to shaft each other in the UK government side it was clear for example that Raab wanted to change the narrative on the backstop his chief of staff (again interviewed on guardian podcast) seemed to intimate that the Irish were happy to have a time limit on the backstop something that even a telegraph writer said was absolute crap.

    the problem was that may started with the red lines because she had no other choice as she was riding the tiger that was propel jockeying for her job and more importantly she did not have the skills to find a alliances outside the party

    The simple problem we had was that we were always going to end up here because of the presumptions we made back then and those presumptions were supported by more than a small cabal in May’s clique.

    @OLDNAT

    I think that you underestimate the anti Scottish nature at least in the South West. The liberals were decimated basically by the argument that the Scots were coming to pickpocket them, Indeed there was a poster with Salmon pick-pocketing a voter

    https://twitter.com/montie/status/591905055151915009

    So yes I would put some of this down to ignorance and incompetence but there I would suspect that it is less than of that than you would imagine

  46. Hugo – Emily Thornberry’s back-ground was free school meals and a council estate after her father left her mother.

  47. @BFR
    ‘She’s made something of herself from a tough beginning – her only real advantage was having a teacher for a mother, who probably pushed her to take her education seriously.
    Why do you feel a need to trot out so many Sun-style ‘London elite’ stereotypes? I mean, I have heard that Jezza lives in Islington and likes his sun-dried tomatoes you know’

    I don’t normally go with I’ve got more of a hair shirt than you debate but you are right, also let’s not forget that Corbyn went to a public school

  48. PTRP

    I was making no comment on the degree of xenophobia currently held by folk in different places, just on the degree to which UK Governments (or politicians aspiring to holding that position) see their role as primarily responsible for the welfare of England and its inhabitants, or for all those in the UK.

    I have often said that “othering” is a very basic primitive factor in human behaviour, and is easily encouraged.

    A very basic marker for the decency of any political party is their willingness to make strenuous efforts to discourage such views, and to make the expression of them unacceptable.

    Naturally, I’m aware of the Salmond pickpocket poster (and comment from Cameron which precipitated it). That does suggest that the Tories in your polity are more than willing to whip up xenophobia for their own electoral gain.

    How much further down that road are they willing to travel, in order to gain/retain power?

  49. It seems rather appropriate that Mogg’s book has sold only 734 copies (one wonders who bought the one that he didn’t).

    Hence, it will almost certainly be Remaindered (though some on here would say it will be Remoandered).

  50. OLDNAT:

    “There has long been a conspiracy theory that English Tories would like (for partisan reasons) to get rid of Scotland & NI.”

    I can’t see that theory holding any water. There’s a clue in the full name of the party – the Conservative & Unionist Party.

    But, let’s suppose wee Nicola got her wish, and a second Indyref resulted in a Yes majority for independence.

    Would the Scots not then be in a similar position with rUK, that the UK is currently in with the EU?

    There would have to be a transition period for Scotland to become a fully independent country, and presumably some kind of Withdrawal Agreement, and an agreement on trading relations.

    Then what would happen to all the bits of infrastructure that are currently centrally managed by the UK? Just to take one example, would the Scots set up their own version of the DVLA, or would they pay a levy to Swansea to continue to process driving licences and vehicle registrations on their behalf?

    And how would the Scots cope with the inevitably long period between applying to become an EU member state in their own right, and being accepted by the EU?

    It seems to me that all the doom and gloom predictions that Remainers are saying will result from Brexit, will apply equally if Scotland is ever foolish enough to believe they can survive outside the Union.

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