Prorogation polling

Three polling companies – YouGov, Ipsos MORI and Survation – have so far released polling on the government’s decision to prorogue Parliament in mid-September.

YouGov polled on the issue twice – a snap poll on the day of the announcement itself, with the same question repeated overnight. The on-the-day figures were 27% acceptable, 47% unacceptable, 26% don’t know. The follow-up poll had a similar split, but with the number of don’t knows dropping off as people became aware of the story – 31% said it was acceptable, 53% unacceptable, 16% don’t know. Tabs are here)

Ipsos MORI did an unusual online poll (almost alone among pollsters these days, most of their polling is done by phone). They found 30% thought the decision to prorogue Parliament was right, 46% thought it was wrong. Tables are here.

Finally there was a Survation poll for today’s Daily Mail. This found a closer result, with the public fairly evenly split – 39% were supportive, 40% opposed (note this is rounding the totals for support/oppose after they’ve been summed, hence the apparent discrepancy with the tables). Tables are here.

Overall it looks as if the public are opposed to the prorogation decision – though it is unclear to what degree. Whether that really matters or will make any dent in the government’s support is a different matter. Opposition to prorogation is concentrated among Remainers (in YouGov 82% of Remainers think the move is unacceptable, but only 24% of Leavers, in MORI’s poll 74% of Remainers think it was wrong, only 20% of Leavers, in Survation 74% Remainers, 14% leavers). If most of the opposition to the move comes from people who are opposed to the government’s policy anyway (and I expect the more fervent opposition comes from those who were most fervently opposed already) the government are hardly likely to worry too much over losing the crucial “people who hated us anyway” vote.

Both YouGov and Survation included voting intention in their surveys:

YouGov’s topline figures were CON 33%(-1), LAB 22%(nc), LDEM 21%(+4), BREX 12%(-1), GRN 7%(-1)
Survation’s topline figures were CON 31%(+3), LAB 24%(nc), LD 21%(nc), BREX 14%(-2), GRN 3%(nc)

Changes in the YouGov poll are from a poll earlier this week, before the announcement. In Survation changes are from a poll three weeks ago. There is a little movement up and down, but certainly nothing that suggests the announcement has done immediate damage to Conservative support.

3,389 Responses to “Prorogation polling”

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  1. CMJ

    This seems important. If we say that greens, purple and black come to say 6%, that is 15% of people in the sample who will not vote. But I thought that the polls filtered out people who were unlikely to vote.

    Is it 15% of those who voted last time? But then how are new voters picked up?

    In any event, comres clearly aren’t picking this up so where is the difference in the methodologies?

    I am very sure that the UK and EU simply will not allow no deal to happen.

    If the prospect of a

    deal dies, then we will end up Remaining.

    Assertions without any for of evidence to back it up is not really going to cut it though is it…..

    If I said I believe the earth is flat does not prove or disprove the earth is flat it is just an assertion without a point of reference to I believe that assertion.

    So how do we end up remaining without a referendum which you will not agree to or without a revocation of A50 which is political suicide when pressed against a referendum.

    Either you are now ascribing to the theory of DANNY in that the Tory hierarchy are all remainers or you can say how we end up with remain as the deal.

    I can accept you hope there is a deal, but as I have said all along someone has to drop a red line somewhere along the way to get to a WA signed so we can begin to talk about a deal and as I have said the UK government has not put itself in a position to create a situation whereby they can get a deal through by their own admission they have argued that the backstop be removed yet the EU has pointed out that the coverage of agricultural products cover just 30% of the trade and thus what about the other 70%…..

    I have said if I were a leaver I would have seen the writing on the wall and accepted the deal since that it allow everywhere but the NI to move to a low regulatory regime and we would have a minimal FTA. But I can see this not being anything like what you want. In the end the EU wants clarity on protecting it members interests the backstop creates regulatory alignment which is the easiest way of a frictionless border since both side originally said thatthey wanted to keep the regimes the same.

    Sorry to harp on about this but as with COLIN I will not disagree with you hoping for something I just need some evidence of it probity. Currently as I see it there
    a. little evidence that the UK government has a plan that they can bring back to the parliament before the 31st (I believe they will prorogue parliament again and Borsi will be campaigning as he has done for the 50 days he has been PM.) Which will mean that we will leave with no deal since he cannot get a deal through parliament with the numbers he has since May could not.

    Now please point out any flaw in my argument since I am more than ready to accept it. I think leaving with no deal is going to be bad but I don’t think remainers can stop it and I don’t think that leavers can stop it unless they are prepared to compromise. Simply put leavers are on their own since remainers do want a deal that make no logical sense(we give up political power at the very minimum) or a no deal (we give up economic power and then ggo an give up political power too obviously both in my view)

  3. @PTRP

    “Assertions without any for of evidence to back it up is not really going to cut it though is it…..”

    Before the referendum I wrote that the EU would, in the case of a leave vote, would offer us an “Association Agreement”.

    The basic fundamental of such a deal is access to each others markets and an understanding that we would not undercut each other.

    Freedom of Movement ending is a huge concession from the EU, although the practical reality may make the whole thing a damp squib.

    I reiterate we leave with a deal or not at all.

  4. Great to watch that European victory in the Solheim Cup – though I suspect some on the Brexit side [1] have become so bitter that they would have preferred the Americans to win.

    [1] Excluding those on here.

  5. PTRP
    Labour MPs will accept all sorts of policies if they are told to

    Most of them abstained on the Tory benefit cuts in 2015, for example.

    Most political outrage is manufactured.

  6. Jonesinbangor,
    “The May deal was a sensible deal on which to leave, and is purely a stepping stone to a future relationship.”

    Erm, the EU doesnt really see it that way. Or it does, but it sees the backstop as irrelevant beause the final outcome will be a close relationship UK-EU than merely the backstop. We will stay in a lot more, and indeed the PD says as much.

    The backstop becomes relevant if the Uk chooses to have a more distant relationship, and then the EU insists it cannot be looser than defined by the backstop.

    I’d agree, you could call the deal sensible as a first step to a looser relationship (generally the leave view)… if the plan is to simply ditch everything after leaving formally. But that is only possible with no backstop.

    Leaving without deciding whether we aim to be the same, or closer, or looser in relations to the EU is barking and will merely leave the Uk in limbo with trade relations bleeding away until the matter is settled. Which could take a very long time

  7. andrea

    “Most political outrage is manufactured.”

    Rosie is outraged by your suggestion.

  8. Andrew111

    “Labour MPs will accept all sorts of policies if they are told to”

    That’s also true of LD MPs and MPs (and MSPs, AMs and councillors) from every other party.

    Your comment isn’t an “outrage” – just silly partisan nonsense which you have manufactured.

  9. Observation from Prof James Mitchell

    Swinson position appears more about effort to position her party as most Remain party rather than actually achieving Remain. Approach is similar to Ruth Davidson’s leadership of Scottish Tories – positioning without policy.

  10. @Oldnat

    Similar tactic. Similar party (UK Lib Dems and Scottish Tories). Arguably unlikely to be elected to govern, so policy less important than getting as much opposition as possible.

  11. @Danny

    “I’d agree, you could call the deal sensible as a first step to a looser relationship (generally the leave view)… if the plan is to simply ditch everything after leaving formally. But that is only possible with no backstop.”

    Of course, but the trick is to make sure the backstop is mutually advantageous e.g. protect the” autonomy” of the funny money market in London (and similar arrangements in Dublin).

  12. I imagine that the LibDems are hoping for a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Their recent MP acquisitions are from both Lab and Con. They are beginning to form their own ‘broad church’. If the Tories box themselves into a hard Brexit position, and Labour under Corbyn is seen as wishy-washy over Brexit and hard left on everything else, the LIbDems might think that they stand a chance of being a big centre party with rump Tories and Labour on either side.

    Unlikely perhaps, but ‘anything can happen in the next half hour’.

  13. Pete B

    “the LIbDems might think that they stand a chance of being a big centre party with rump Tories and Labour on either side. ”

    That was their plan when I joined the old Scottish Liberal Party in 1960!

  14. @Oldnat / Pete B

    Who next for the Lib Dems… Soubry?

  15. @ANDREW11

    Labour MPs will accept all sorts of policies if they are told to

    Most of them abstained on the Tory benefit cuts in 2015, for example.

    Indeed they did plenty of them also argued against the abstaintion saying that it was stupid to abstain since they got some 30%+ of the vote agreeing with their stance. The reason why Corbyn got in was because of the triangulation of policy Harman said they had to abstain to show they were the party of benefit scroungers.

    Did you not think that those MP that abstained pretty much got slammed during the leadership race?

    I believe that Labour were going to abstain in against a policy and it was pointed out that it sent a poor message again. They decided against doing it. The view was if they abstained or not it made no difference and they were hoping to get an amendment through but I suspect the reality is that whilst abstaining or voting against means little in terms of the numbers (they would loose anyway) the point is to abstaining with respect to something you oppose makes no sense when speaking to ordinary people

    it is why the idea of voting against your own pledge is so damaging as an example or supporting a set of policies way to the right of your own manifesto as I said.

    I would even point to iraq war votes where the Liberal Democrats SNP and some 80 labour MP voted against the war. One could argue that Labour were badly split on this but no one seemed to suggest that the Tories were wrong however all but 1 MP voted in favour of the war and of interest ore than half the tories voted against gay marriage and if you look at the cabinet I believe that more than half of them voted against a policy that cameron says he most proud of and it is not really a Tory policy if you go by the vote.

    I am not saying that Liberal democrats are the only ones who are disingenuous or tactically inept (or at time these decisions are both) and my point was more that. The LD are the party looking for advantage I suspect they are looking at the prospects of a leaving with no deal a perceive it to be high hence their positioning is rather strong and differentiated from that of Labour who are looking to present a deal versus remain to the electorate in the form of a referendum of remain versus the deal that they believe they can get.

    I personally believe Swinson gamble is correct and no one would get the opportunity to put a deal to the public and I suspect she believe that parliament would be prorogued again thus leaving no time for anything. I would not want to have won an election promising to ignore a vote and not reverse it with another opportunity to vote especially when the options now are very clear
    and I say that as an ardent remainer

    <i.Most political outrage is manufactured.

    I suspect that the LD would like to have a number of decisions back form reading the NHS Social care bill, the bedroom tax, disabled benefits cuts, VAT rise all of which they specifically opposed in their manifesto and more over NHS bill was not even in the Tory party’s manifesto and Cameron had said no top down reorganisation of the health service and then did precisely that. If the lib Dems could not manufacture any outrage over that then I am not sure what one could say.

    Again you misconstrued my point but I suspect the above paragraph makes up for it


    Again the UK government does not want a level playing field they wish to diverge on environmental and labour regulation and that is coming from our new chief negotiator Frost. So I keep reiterating how do we get an associate deal when our current government does not want it?

    As I said I can say the Earth is flat but without ANY evidence it is just a belief or a hope. I have accepted it is a hope that you believe we would leave with a deal or remain Now show me how we arrive at that point since I have shown you that we do not arrive at the point from the discussion that are currently going on and the position that the UK is in. Johnson need to get the bulk of the ERG, with the DUP or Labour leavers to agree to WA and he wants to loosen the PD and the labour leavers wanted to strengthen the PD so I am not sure that they will vote to have less labour rights and less environmental rights. Do you think we will have stronger environmental and labour regulations going through this current cabinet, do you?

    Sorry for labouring the point COLIN said there would be a deal and then said because there has to be one. I don’t believe there does there has to be an advantage to both side to make it work and if people want different things then I don’t see how they can arrive at a deal that is the problem.

    @PETE B

    I think it you are both correct. My view is that she believes tha we are going to leave without a deal so she needs to place herself in a position where she can argue once the sh1t has hit the fan that she would not have allowed the sh1t to hit the fan

    it is a bit like the argument against the Iraq war. You could not stop it but you could turn around and say I told you it was a duffer of an idea and everyone else was in favour of it.

    Think Obama versus Clinton: You could not get the one decision that affects us all right?
    And if she is wrong she has not lost anything anyway………….

    it is why she is constantly label Corbyn as a brexiteer (the anti semite part is added for seasoning)

    I believe it is a smart strategy. it is also interetsing that whilst they have been denying they have been talking to the Tories in scotland the Tories did not get the message that it was supposed to be secret.


    And again I think that is smart tactics from them it may not be great but if I was them itis the only way I can see them not being squeezed when it comes to an election

  16. @DANNY

    this is worth a read

    but I particularly like this line If the Brexit debacle can teach us anything, it is that we need to start questioning the assumption that our political elite knows what it is doing.

    I think that really sums up my view on why Brexit is going to be at best a damp squib and most probably because of leaving with no deal a bit of a disaster


    Thanks for the replies on the Welsh poll – sorry for the long delay but I’ve been off the grid over the weekend.

    One point I would pick up on tho is about the apparent shift; @CHRIS said

    @EoR the headline 41% is based on hypotheticals but it’s 24% (31% ignoring DKs) anyway; the average for the period between 2010 and 2016 was about 6-7%.

    I’m not sure how accurate this is – are numbers perhaps being aggregated between polls asking a straight Y/N on Independence and those also offering other options such as greater Assembly powers?

    I ask because from the wiki page (which admittedly only covers the last five years or so) then mid-high teens seems to be fairly consistent on the “straight” question, with the single-digit levels being confined to the multiple choice question where most voters opt for either more Assembly powers or the status quo.

  18. @PTRP

    You are focusing too much on a hard right fantasies that social and environmental regulations oy apply because of the EU. They don’t.

    A lot of the environmental standards are international in nature (UN derived or International treaties), We cannot and will not walk away from those.

    I reiterate again, we will not leave without a deal. Johnson’s pantomime performance was aimed at extracting maximum leverage, as a certain Somerset MP would say.

  19. JiB

    “Johnson’s pantomime performance”

    Which half of the horse was he?

  20. @Oldnat

    Interesting question.

    Is Dominic Cummings at the other end?

  21. Test

  22. Match

  23. Special

  24. Andrew 111
    I don’t know much about Hanretty.
    Anecdotal,I know, I, and many people I know, lent our votes to the greens in the euro elections. We will vote labour come the GE.


    A lot of the environmental standards are international in nature (UN derived or International treaties), We cannot and will not walk away from those

    Come on…. tell me which environmentals and labour laws are international?

    We had a major dispute recently over pesticides that harm bees. Where by the UK government was opposing the rest of the EU who wanted to ban them. These pesticides are used happily outside the EU (now that Gove has become green and decided to change the UK position)

    As I said the WA is the only legal document there the PD is just a wish list do you believe that our labour and environmental legislation will be protected? Indeed does the EU care as long as it’s market is protected?

    So if you were a labour leave MP who had been in the same room negotiating with May about these very things that Frost has said he does not want in the agreement is just bluffing and everyone is going to just agree a deal with no changes and it will go through ERG and DUP or Labour leave

    Again you are now wishful thinking as I said it is ok to hope but again saying the our Labour and Environmental legislation is international pretty much says how much you are hoping and how much is real evidence

    think slowly before you reply since I believe your simple I believe was the best and most accurate response thus far

  26. “think slowly before you reply since I believe your simple”

    Bit rude…..

  27. … and ungrammatical

  28. The BBC News website headline ‘The UK is not prepared to postpone Brexit beyond the current 31 October deadline, Boris Johnson is to tell European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at talks on Monday.’ epitomises Boris Johnson”s misue of language and its repetition in the media. It would be surprising if Jean-Claude Juncker were unaware of the will of Parliament and its expression in a law which instructs Mr Johnson to take a trequest for an extension to provide suffiecientt time for parliamentary and public debate of the options for a deal or for remain.

  29. The BBC News website headline ‘The UK is not prepared to postpone Brexit beyond the current 31 October deadline, Boris Johnson is to tell European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at talks on Monday.’ epitomises Boris Johnson”s misue of language and its repetition in the media. It would be surprising if Jean-Claude Juncker were unaware of the will of Parliament and its expression in a law which instructs Mr Johnson to take a trequest for an extension to provide suffiecientt time for parliamentary and public debate of the options for a deal or for remain.

  30. @JiB – “You are focusing too much on a hard right fantasies that social and environmental regulations oy apply because of the EU. They don’t.

    A lot of the environmental standards are international in nature (UN derived or International treaties), We cannot and will not walk away from those.”

    A bit of myth making there I think Jonesey.

    have you ever been to see the Canadian tar sands destruction, or worked in a Philipines sweatshop making trainers?

    How about living with polluted water in the US, where fracking companies are allowed to pump toxic chemicals into aquifers without any legal obligation to tell regulators what chemicals they are using, because of commercial confidentiality rules?

    The idea that somehow EU standards are pretty standard around the world because of other international agreements is for the birds. Indeed, the central case offered by Brexiters is that leaving the EU frees up our economy so it isn’t so hide bound by regulations. Now they say we’ll be safe because those dastardly regulations are nothing to do with the EU?

    Total, total myth.

  31. Passtherockplease,
    “we need to start questioning the assumption that our political elite knows what it is doing.”

    I dont really argue that MPs are brilliant strategists, simply that their goal is to stop Brexit. My reasoning being 1) they always did want to remain and nothing has happend to change their belief the Uk is better in. 2) a bad brexit would destroy whichever party carries it out (and from 1 they obviously believe this is likely).

    They may not be sufficiently competent to stop brexit, but in fact that has been the direction of travel ever since the referendum. We have moved from something happening the very next day to something which hasnt happened 3 years later, with no end in sight.

    John Pilgrim,
    “The UK is not prepared to postpone Brexit beyond the current 31 October deadline, Boris Johnson is to tell European Commission President”

    I dont know if he means it, or is just talking tough for his supporters. However, if he does do this, then presumably the aim is to force the EU and opposition to hold direct talks, theerby taking the matter further out of BJs hands. His aim is to make absolutley clear he tried but failed.

    Consistent with a policy of stopping brexit but appearing to have tried to make it happen.

  32. @Shevii/L*ftieliberal

    I saw that Helen P*dd article about Sedgefield in the Guardian and I tend towards the view (like Shevii) that the salience of limited and selective v*x pops/anecdotes can be overstated and while I’m not familiar with P*dds writing, they can also be shoe-horned into an article to suit a pre-ordained narrative. Of course, that’s not to say that Labour haven’t got real challenges in some of these north England leave voting constituencies, but I thought P*dd sk*ted all too briefly over the research from the University of Bristol this week, which concluded that there are “very high levels of antip*thy” towards the Conservatives among voters who backed Labour in 2017, no matter how they feel about Brexit.

    Labour’s gamble is that they can mine this latent antip*thy during a general election and enthuse these voters with policy offers that go to the heart of their day to day concerns. Concerns which may well transcend the brouhaha hype generated by the question of our membership of the EU.

  33. We’re at an interesting point with Brexit now. Aided and abetted by a media with the attention span of a goldfish, Johnson has very successfully moved things on.

    We know he isn’t negotiating, because he pledged he wouldn’t until the backstop was scrapped, but weirdly, journalists never ask him why he l!ed when they are told repeatedly that negotiations are very advanced.

    That aside, the government has been very good at creating the impression of an impending deal, and laying the ground for blaming the EU if it doesn’t succeed.

    The problem comes for the government comes when they have to break away from the myths and confront the reality of what a deal involves. Yesterday Barclay talked of an extended transition out to 2022, whereas today Raab categorically denied this, saying no later than the end of 2020, as per may’s deal.

    this wasn’t constructive ambiguity, but two government ministers with two varying views of what would be acceptable in any deal. The DUP has accepted SPS checks in the Irish Sea, but still insist on no distinction between NI and rUK. Johnson wants a best in class FTA but freedom to diverge on standards.

    Every promise sounds great, until you get to signing the paper and the compromises become apparent. To date, Johnson has dispensed with many of the anti no dealers in his party (although there are many more still there, waiting to see that he does get a deal) but he has still to face the split from the Brexit ultras when the compromises are made.

    On the potential for a Brexit delay – I wouldn’t be surprised to see court actions commence very quickly on this. Johnson is actively trying to scupper any chance for an extension, which is currently illegal. He needs to be careful.

  34. @PRTP – regarding ‘evil genius’ Cummings: many people forget he was Ian Duncan Smith’s political adviser, way back when.

    That might earn him the evil tag, but it certainly doesn’t allow him to bag genius in his title.

  35. JiB: “Environmental standards are international”.

    I am on your side on this, and despite your critics here today bringing up examples of the international standards being ignored, or in Trump`s doings, being deliberately ignored. Obviously many governments are in breach.

    The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) has 213 states as members.

    Sadly many of these states blatantly ignore the standards for their own short-term advantages. But almost always there will be some conservation-minded people in those countries trying to make their governments stick to the standards.

    And most of us recognise that even in the UK a right-wing government spins that it recognises the standards, but by severe cutbacks in staffing it ensures that the standards are not enforced. This allows rogue companies and big landowners to cause much damage, and gets little reported in the right-wing press. For example, the persecution of raptor birds on many grouse estates.

  36. @Alec

    “Every promise sounds great, until you get to signing the paper and the compromises become apparent. To date, Johnson has dispensed with many of the anti no dealers in his party (although there are many more still there, waiting to see that he does get a deal) but he has still to face the split from the Brexit ultras when the compromises are made. ”

    Yes, I suppose it’s a bit like a trade union negotiation, where at any deal there are always those who say that the union should have held out for X percent.

    I think if I were Johnson (which to the great relief of my family I am not) I would go for a soft deal. He would avoid having to ask for an extension to Brexit, and he might just get it through parliament, where the Brexit Party has no MPs. He only has to keep parliament talking for three weeks or so and default no-deal is his anyway.

    He would be the PM who took us out of the EU and would probably save the Conservative party as one of the two largest parties. Remainers like me would be unhappy, as would the ‘Spartans’, but the latter could always act tough on the subsequent negotiations (yes they will probably go on for years).

    In any case Johnson does not have to face a scheduled Westminster election until 2022 unless his minority government falls. If it does fall and the electorate moves on to social questions and votes in a progressive government he can console himself with an ex-PM’s pension and leave someone else to do the detailed treaty work remaining, respond to the Scottish Parliament elections of 2021, likely nationalist revival in Wales and the situation in Northern Ireland.

    Also Jones in Bangor would be proved right.

  37. @ JIB / LDEM folks – They would, IMO, be wise to stop taking in every xCON or xLAB MP that begs them to.

    Swinson’s policy is “intended” to be a GE campaign promise IF she wins a majority. Since it’s virtually impossible she will win a majority then it needs to be seen for what it is – a “solo” effort to win more MPs in next GE and if next GE is after we’ve left then the policy “evolves” to a “Rejoin” (via A49)

    LDEM = THE Remain party (no pacts)

    It will help them win more MPs seats (if they can avoid the PM TINA Corbyn issue in late Oct) but by draining Arch-Remain votes from LAB then they indirectly help Boris. This is why they need ‘scapegoats’ like Soubs, (boil head in a bag) Hammond, etc. LDEM might be too n4ive to understand or play the “blame game” tho?

    PS “No WA” is still the default – unless folks think EU will rewrite A50 then you can not Stop No WA, merely delay it. HoC has voted on a deal (3x) and closest was a lose of 58. It is theoretically possible that either EC-EU27 smudge enough of their red lines (ie tweak the backstop) that Boris wins an MV4 but I can’t see the HoC maths being there and ironically Bill#6 (19Oct “rubicon date”) made the near impossible time line, even more impossible.

  38. @Davwell – re environmental standards, I think your 9.08am post is thoroughly confused. Firstly you appear to argue that there are global standards outwith the EU, and then that these are ignored.

    So basically you are already admitting that there are no suitable environmental standards with a legally enforceable architecture once we leave the EU. In other words, you are disagreeing with @JiB, while saying you agree with him.

    I would also suggest that the example of the IUCN is a completely false analogy. It does provide a codified set of legal standards governing habitats and environment. There is absolutely no comparison between EU environmental legislation and the IUCN. That’s even before you start addressing the issues of compliance mechanisms, which the EU has in abundance and the IUCN does not.

  39. Valerie,
    Hanretty has used demographics to convert the 20% vote for the Lib Dems in Manchester (a fact), and the parallel high Green vote and very low Labour vote compared to 2017 into constituency estimates. You can find them all on Wikipedia now. Withington is one of the most Remain voting parts of Manchester (although that is also a demographic based estimate) so it gets more Green and LD votes than other places. The estimates are only a general guide but it is very unlikely that either LD or Green got less than the Manchester-wide vote in Withington.

    In 2017, significant numbers of Green and LD voters lent their votes to Labour. I agree that a lot of Labour voters like you lent their votes to the Greens this May and indeed the polls suggest thst a lot of the Green EU election vote has already returned to other Parties. On the other hand the LD voting intention has held up only a little below the EU election result suggesting a lot of those 2017 Labour votes were given not lent.

    I am not predicting a LD gain in Withington on present polling but it is not out of the question if the election went badly for Labour. Improbable however.

    What i would say is that patterns of voting even in 2017 suggest that the coalition effect on the Lib Dem vote has largely decayed, based on the Labour vote in Lib Dem seats. In 2017 a credibility effect suppressed the Lib Dem (and Green) votes, but that may also have receded now. We shall see.

  40. @Alistair1948 – i think you hit upon one of the problems Johnson has.

    There is a myth out there that a no deal exit would end the internal Conservative Party squabbles and unit them behind Johnson.

    As it happens, a no deal exit would be the worst of all worlds for Conservatives. The economic impact would be one problem, and against this they can’t control the date of the next election.

    Then, they have to deliver a deal. All the same issues will be present, and decisions would have to be made quickly. The money and Irish border would need to be settled before we talk about a close trade deal, and then there would be a huge battle between those arguing for seamless trade and those unwilling to accept the ongoing payments and regulatory alignment that this would entail.

    No deal Brexit would make the current internal party divisions look like a picnic, and would present a continued and savage split within the party, completely reinvigorating Farage and the Brexit Party. It would be a disaster for Conservatives.

    This is why i agree with you that Johnson is really trying for a deal, but that in itself opens up all the wounds.

  41. Turning away from brexit for a minute this is a bit of a noobie question but with the US primaries not too far away and Wiki not being my friend on this question I was wondering if someone could tell me how the primaries work in terms of delegates voting when someone drops out.

    I was looking at the opinion polling and Biden (on the right of the party) is out in front but a combined Saunders and Warren polling share (on the left) would comfortably beat him. So if they are both still in the race for the first few primaries and then one decides to drop out are the previous delegates for the one who drops out just lost or do they get passed on elsewhere?

  42. “EU officials have rejected Boris Johnson’s claim that “a huge amount of progress” is being made in Brexit talks, as Jean-Claude Juncker warned that time is running out….

    …But EU officials involved in talks with Johnson’s envoy, David Frost, have dismissed his upbeat account.

    “No, in fact people are a bit dismayed,” said one EU source, describing the mood after the latest talks. “I am not even going to call them negotiations – the last session on Friday did start touching on content – that’s actually quite a step forward … but we still should have been there a long time ago and [an end result] is still quite far away.”

  43. Remain Alliance – Splitting on policies beyond Brexit

    As most folks know then we’ve seen very stable polling for SUM(Leave) in low-mid 40s SUM(Remain+NATS) in low-mid 50s

    LDEM (and SNP) are splitting from LAB on Remain side of Brexit policy but where else might splits develop[1]

    I’m guessing a little on conf season outcomes (ie state of play at 14Oct):

    Climate Change – seems to me LAB are “Greener” than LDEM and hence will benefit directly via pure LAB appeal and indirectly via Green VI tactical votes and grassroots’ agreements (we saw a few of these in GE’17)

    Domestic Policies – TBC but LAB are moving further left than GE’17 and LDEM want to position themselves as THE Centre party (less tax hikes than LAB, less spending then LAB or CON and some fiscal prudence)

    So how will that impact seats.


    Student vote? LAB had a near monopoly[2] on student vote last time but LDEM will think they can win back Clegg’s old seat (Sheffield Hallam) and likes of Leeds North West, maybe even have a crack at Cambridge (a target in GE’17) and Bristol West (LDEM back in 2010). However, look to seats like Canterbury for where a split student vote will help CON.

    “Richer, older folk”? Likes of Eastbourne, N.Norfolk, etc. To keep these the LDEM will probably need to ensure they are more “blue” than “red” that will risk being seen as not “red” enough for the students perhaps?

    IE If you go after one demographic (eg students) then how do you keep the richer, older folks as well?


    IMO It’s going to be difficult to be THE Remain party in the Arch-Remainia regions

    Scotland: LDEM needed (IMO) tactical vote assistance from Unionist parties (notably SCON in GE’17) but can they rely on that? What happens if in order to stop “No WA” on 31Oct they need to do a deal with SNP on IndyRef2?

    London: LDEM will want Bermondsy+ OS (LAB) and a crack at likes of Vauxhall (LAB) as well as Richmond Park (CON) and even a crack at likes of Putney and Wimbledon (wildly optimistic on straight “swing” but arguably the demographics suit LDEM more than LAB). Note CON don’t have that many London seats though and draining Arch-Remain votes in CON-LAB marginals will help CON as much as it helps LDEM (LAB losing out to both).

    S-West and S-East: Any specific policies? Sure LDEM might win a few seats but they’ll be taking the Arch-Remain VI from LAB and hence help CON keep more CON-LAB marginals

    Midlands/North/Wales; This is the key battleground and the split vote will do a lot more to help CON than it will benefit LDEM. If Remain folks see LDEM as “THE” Remain party then by draining mainly LAB VI then CON will have a lower % threshold to turn LAB seats to CON (and a lot of LAB-CON marginals in those regions)

    Total seats – so play around on Electoral Calculus[3] and see why CON-Leave are cheering on Swinson as she puts Remain water between LDEM and LAB and tries to rebuild the “Centre” and try to be the “sensible” party of fiscal prudence.
    (eg start with current polling and then give LDEM a +4 which comes from LAB -3 and CON -1)

    In 2010-2015 Dave had to give LDEM some red briefcases and dibs on the ministerial cars, but Swinson works for free ;)

    [1] Maybe not so much “spilts” as inability to find compromise in a GE campaign that would allow tactical voting to generate higher ABC seat numbers.

    [2] Bath, Oxford W+A and S.Cam are CON-LDEM marginals and not “pure” student seats

    [3] IMO that model understates LDEM seat gains but you should see that if SUM(Remain+NATS) = say 55% then

    CON want LDEM to be THE Remain party

    and want LDEM’s other policies to be very different to LAB.

    eg NATS = 5%, leaves 50% split say 25% LDEM and 22% LAB and 3% Greens.

    Oops as they say ;)

  44. SHEVII

    As I understand it, the answer is ‘it depends’. It seems to be about the rules within whichever state they come from. Some are obliged to vote for their candidate no matter what, some may shift over to whoever their candidate endorses, others will be free to make their own choice when it comes to convention. If nobody wins a majority in the first round of voting then all hell breaks loose and it becomes a brokered convention where the delegates can vote for whoever they like, even people who weren’t on the ballot in the primaries.


    Raab was coming out with an explanation for this, which is essentially that the EU’s response to anything they don’t like the sound of is ‘we need more detail/clarity’ or ‘we don’t know what the British want’. Instead of agreeing a principle and then working up a solution together, they make their negotiating opponents put a huge amount of time and effort into drafting very detailed proposals, which they then reject. The UK government’s strategy would appear to be to get a political agreement (by talking to people other than Barnier) based around a looser suggestion of something which might be mutually acceptable, and then to build on that commitment by fleshing it out in detailed negotiations.

  45. Here is one possible get out clause for Johnson –

    It highlights a potential flaw within the various withdrawal bills, that, if left unamended, would allow MPs to vote for a new WA but Johnson to then proceed with a no deal exit.

    Very hard to see the political wisdom in such an approach by HMG, as they would then be on the hook for the entirety of everything that follows, unable to blame the EU for scuppering a deal, because they agreed a deal with them but use outright trickery to fool parliament and the British public. Personally, I think it would be devastating for the Conservative Party to agree to try such a move, but there are some very stupid people currently inside No 10, so you never know.

    The way out of this would be pretty simple I would have thought, in that in passing a WA, MPs could simply pass an amendment overturning the relevant clauses in the 2018 bill. If Johnson was indeed planning to appear to pass a WA but not then bring it into effect, this would force HMG to drop the entire WA and make their intentions to go for no deal clear.

  46. @ ANDREW111 – “In 2017, significant numbers of Green and LD voters lent their votes to Labour”

    Excellent point. The whole seat level tactical voting (TV) issue is very tricky. Using GE’17 results for seat level data as the start point for GE’19/20 seat level “predictions”[1] is IMO flawed (as you point out).

    My model can use either GE’15 data or GE’17 data (or a mix of both, notably using higher % of young voters in demographic filters).

    So next GE might have more ABC type TV than GE’17 but it could also have less TV (maybe also look at GE’10 for how that worked out, LDEM 23% but only 57 seats)

    [1] Probabilities giving a range of “predictions” at seat level that aggregate up to total seats. Huge MoE of course.

  47. For some reason that totally escapes me, I couldn’t get a post through Auto-Moderation in about eight attempts, despite inserting asterisks in what might have been the offending words. Those included Sedgefield and antipathy! Maybe I should have resorted to f*cks and c**ts because they seem to escape automated censure!

    What I was trying to attract UKPR readers to, heaven forbid, was something on polling. The University of Bristol, my old alma mater, have done some polling research that reveals that residual antipathy to the Tories is outweighing Brexit as an issue amongst quite a proportion of 2017 Leave voters in northern seats like Sedgefield. I thought it was interesting in the light of the article both Leftieliberal and Shevii referred to in their earlier posts.

    An analysis by Paula Surridge, of the University of Bristol, showed that even among those who strongly identified as Leavers only 12 per cent rated their likelihood of ever voting Tory as 6/10 or higher. In contrast, 40 per cent of that group said there was more than a 6/10 chance that they would vote for Mr Farage’s Brexit Party.

    In my view, this is the meat and drink of what we should be discussing on UKPR rather than, how shall we say, some of the topics that seem to dominate ever more interminable threads.

  48. @Shevii – i think primary delegates can be transferred to another candidate when one drops out, but how that happens varies from state to state – but like you, I am uncertain on this.

    There have been cases of candidates dropping out, and then re-entering the race, which suggests that the decisions on allocation of primary votes waits until the conventions.

  49. Oooh! Just completed a YouGov survey on attitudes towards Brexit.

    Expect a big swing in their next report towards the best outcome being Remain! :)

  50. Dominic Raab ‘EU must show flexibility’, why? We’re leaving them not them leaving us.

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