There have been three polls over the last week – in the Sunday papers there were polls from ComRes and Opinium, the regular YouGov poll for the Times last week. Voting intention figures were:

Opinium – CON 37%, LAB 25%, LDEM 16%, BREX 13%, GRN 2% (tabs)
ComRes – CON 28%, LAB 27%, LDEM 20%, BREX 13%, GRN 5% (tabs)
YouGov – CON 32%, LAB 23%, LDEM 19%, BREX 14%, GRN 7% (tabs)

There isn’t really a consistent trend to report here – YouGov and ComRes have the Conservatives declining a little from the peak of the Johnson honeymoon, but Opinium show them continuing to increase in support. My view remains that voting intention probably isn’t a particularly useful measure to look at when we know political events are looming that are likely to have a huge impact. Whatever the position is now, it is likely to be transformed by whether or not we end up leaving the European Union next month, on what terms and under what circumstances.

What did receive some comment was the sheer contrast between the reported leads, particularly because the ComRes (1 point Tory lead) and Opinium (12 point Tory lead) were published on the same day.

Mark Pickup, Will Jennings and Rob Ford wrote a good article earlier this month looking at the house effects of different pollsters. As you may expect if you’ve been watching recent polls, ComRes tend to show some of the largest Labour leads, YouGov some of the biggest Tory leads. Compared to the industry average Opinium actually tend to be slightly better for Labour and slightly worse for the Tories, though I suspect that may be changing: “House effects” for pollsters are not set in stone and can change over time, partly because pollsters change methods, partly because the impact of methodological differences change over time.

What that doesn’t tell us why there is a difference. I saw various people pointing at the issue of turnout, and how pollsters model likelihood to vote. I would urge some caution there – in the 2017 election, most of the difference between polls was indeed down to how polling companies predicted likelihood to vote, and this was the biggest cause of polling error. However when those new turnout models backfired and went wrong, polling companies dropped them. There are no longer any companies using demographic based turnout models that have a huge impact on voting intention figures and weight down young people. These days almost everyone has gone back to basing their turnout models primarily on how likely respondents themselves say they are to vote, a filter that typically only has a modest impact. It may be one factor, but it certainly wasn’t the cause of the difference between ComRes and Opinium.

While polling companies don’t have radically different turnout models, it is true to say (as Harry does here) that ComRes tends to imply a higher level of turnout among young people that Opinium. One thing that is contributing to that in the latest poll is that Opinium ask respondents if they are registered to vote, and only include those people who are, reducing the proportion of young people in their final figures. I expect, however, that some of it is also down to the respondents themselves, and how representative they are – in other words, because of the sample and weights ComRes may simply have young people who say they are more likely to vote than the young people Opinium have.

As regular readers will know, one important difference between polling companies at the moment appears to be the treatment of past vote weighting, and how polling companies account for false recall. Every polling company except for Ipsos MORI and NCPolitics use past vote in their weighting scheme. We know how Britain actually voted at the last election (CON 43%, LAB 41%, LDEM 8%), so a properly representative sample should have, among those people who voted, 43% people who voted Tory, 41% people who voted Labour, 8% who voted Lib Dem. If a polling company finds their sample has, for example, too many people who voted Tory at the previous election, they can weight those people down to make it representative. This is simple enough, apart from the fact that people are not necessarily very good at accurately reporting how they voted. Over time their answers diverge from reality – people who didn’t vote claim they did, people forget, people say they voted for the party they wish they’d voted for, and so on. We know this for certain because of panel studies – experiments where pollsters ask people how they voted after an election, record it, then go back and ask the same people a few years later and see if their answers have changed.

Currently it appears that people are becoming less likely to remember (or report) having voted Labour in 2017. There’s an example that YouGov ran recently here. YouGov took a sample of people whose votes they had recorded in 2017 and asked them again how they had voted. In 2017 41% of those people told YouGov’s they’d voted Labour, when re-asked in 2019 only 33% of them said they had voted Labour. This causes a big problem for past vote weighting, how can you weight by it, if people don’t report it accurately? If a fifth of your Labour voters do not accurately report that they voted Labour and the pollster weights the remaining Labour voters up to the “correct” level they would end up with too many past Labour voters, as they’d have 41% past Labour voters who admitted it, plus an unknown amount of past Labour voters who did not.

There are several ways of addressing this issue. One is for polling companies to collect the data on how their panellists voted as soon as possible after the election, while it is fresh in their minds, and then use that contemporaneous data to weight future polls by. This is the approach YouGov and Opinium use. The other approach is to try and estimate the level of false recall and adjust for it – this is what Kantar have done, instead of weighting to the actual vote shares in 2017, they assume a level of false recall and weight to a larger Conservative lead than actually happened. A third approach is to assume there is no false recall and weight to the actual figures – one that I think currently risks overstating Labour support. Finally, there is the approach that Ipsos MORI have always taken – assuming that false recall is such an intractable problem that it cannot be solved, and not weighting by past vote at all.

Dealing with false recall is probably one reason for the present difference between pollsters. Polling companies who are accounting for false recall or using methods that get round the problem are showing bigger Tory leads than those who do not. It is, however, probably not enough to explain all the difference. Neither, should we assume that the variation between pollsters is all down to those differences that are easy to see and compare in the published tables. Much of it is probably also down to the interaction of different weighting variables, or to the very samples themselves. As Pat Sturgis, the chair of the 2015 enquiry into polling error, observed at the weekend there’s also the issue of the quality of the online panels the pollsters use – something that is almost impossible to objectively measure. While we are wondering about the impact of weights and turnout filters, the difference may just be down to some pollsters having better quality, more representative panels than others.


4,413 Responses to “Latest voting intention and the difference between the polls”

1 86 87 88 89
  1. The Trevors,
    “UK and US are much lower than Germany and Japan due largely to chronic trade deficit versus deliberate trade surplus.”

    Surely, Germany doesnt have a policy of deliberate trade surplus but rather a policy of deliberate nurturing of industry. By becoming highy competitive, a trade surplus has automatically followed.

    The UK did not set out to have a trade deficit, but has acquired one through becoming uncompetitive. Again I ask how that mght be changed given UK political resistance to market intervention.

    James B,
    “Yes, passing with less than 1.5m at any substantial speed differential is considered careless or a similar offence. I’d suggest you try being on bike and having someone do this to you if you think it’s unreasonable.”

    I understand why a cyclist might consider it unreasonable, I mostly observe it is impractical to allow such a spacing on roads used by 4 wheeled vehicles.

    I’d also observe that if the government really consider it should be an offence to pass within 1.5m of a cycle, than all cycle lanes should be 2m wide, to allow for the bike and the necessary gap. They arent.

    I asume that if the typical cycle lane is 2-3 feet wide, that is the officially sanctioned width required for cyclists.

  2. @JJ

    Thanks. I remembered someone doing the calculations, but not who it was.

    So amongst the currently-alive electorate, remain should have a majority, even without any shift in sentiment amongst 2016 voters.

    Perhaps we should talk more about how much longer we’re expected to bow to ‘the will of the dead’.

  3. @JimJam

    “What about Thorium?”

    ——-

    Given the complexity, I figured maybe I should err on the side of caution, as
    with Brexit, which is even harder (obvs.)

  4. SJ – ”So amongst the currently-alive electorate, remain should have a majority, even without any shift in sentiment amongst 2016 voters”

    That’s was Kellners’ Contention but it was challenged and I did not take a view tbh.

    Intuitively new 18-21 years old are more likely to break remain than older voters no longer with us. Just closing the whole 3.8% is less clear.

  5. @TREVOR WARNE
    @DANNY

    The UK did not set out to have a trade deficit, but has acquired one through becoming uncompetitive. Again I ask how that mght be changed given UK political resistance to market intervention.

    I have had this argument with both TREVOR WARNE and CARFREW,
    TREVOR WARNEs answer is that they cheat……, CARFREWs answer is that services are more important than goods

    I view the cheating argument as akin to saying that Usain Bolt cheats because he is faster than me in 100m and that he trains to becomes good at it whereas I spend my training down the pub lifting pints of Guinness and going for a good kebab after 8 pints. I should lament that everyone should follow my regime because after all I am good at it and it would provide a level playing field

    ;-)

    CARFREW problem sis that majority of international trade is in goods and not in services it is why for example UK does quite poorly with third world countries compared to others because it does not have deep pocket to buy up stuff and provision infrastructure, like China or provision the sort of good/services that these people want,like germany and France for some reason (Although France does a bit more of what China does )

    Lastly most services originate rather close to the where they are used. Even in the UK 70-80% of GDP and 9% is in manufacturing but yet 50% of our exports is goods which shows both the leverage of services and the issue with it.

    We are good at something that we have a huge advantage in terms of finance and in many ways the arts but our leverage is such that we cannot sort out our BoP.

    The only way I see us reducing our BoP is a recession and a curtailment of consumer demand.

  6. @Trevs – your post of the EU GDP numbers was interesting – thanks.

    Just for clarity though, relating back to the £60bn loss claim from the IFS, they didn’t compare to the EU average, a bundle of EU countries, or the G7 countries.

    They selected a group of economies that had mirrored UK performance in the period immediately before the referendum and then measured them in the period afterwards, correcting for any significant policy changes in the meantime and weighting to get a more accurate average.

    They then cross referenced the result with other data to sense check their findings, so the fact that the UK slipped from first to last in the G7 growth rates, competitiveness fell and industrial investment went negative and was well below the post 2012 average, all added to the evidence from the comparitor economies that the UK had lost performance.

    The IFS analysis seems to be pretty robust.

  7. @Alec

    I but I could live with 2 (1.5?).

  8. SomerJohn, JimJam,

    Kellner’s article is here:
    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/final-say-remain-leave-second-referendum-brexit-no-deal-crossover-day-a8541576.html

    He says crossover day was 19th January 2019, when Remain voters first outnumbered Leave voters.

    His calculation of new and expired voters’ political views was based on YouGov polling, of course.

  9. @ CARFREW – “if an economy is close to full capacity it may well be harder to grow”

    Spain (and Portugal) would be good examples of two developed EU economies that had a LOT of spare capacity, notably of the “human” variety

    https://tradingeconomics.com/spain/unemployment-rate

    BoE moved the goal posts on NAIRU but UK has very little, if any, spare capacity of the “human” variety.

    We do however have a POTENTIALLY huge investment opportunity which also solves the chronic under performance on productivity. Lots of projects on machinery, plant, system upgrades are “pending” due to the uncertainty over Brexit – in many cases they don’t necessarily add many jobs but they would boost productivity (and hence wages, taxes, etc)

    The term “developed” economy certainly does not mean you stop “developing”. I’m happy to accept we will lose some jobs in some industries as part of that development – we just need to create new, higher paid jobs to replace the ones we lose.

    Regarding US then fully agree they have a v.large “internal” market. They have also become less dependant on oil imports (close to net neutral on “energy” although they have a large oil v gas imbalance).

    Disturbingly for rWorld an increasingly self-dependent US means they will have less interest in M.East, etc. Given most European countries continue to fail to honour their pledge to increase defence spending then Russia and Iran will step in when US pull out.

    PS I hope the earlier 11:28am and 11:33am showed the absurdity of trying to make GDP “comparisons” and I haven’t even mentioned time machines!

    However, IF we had grown at a “trend” level of 1.9% (instead of 1.4%) then that is roughly 30bn in GDP terms but do you know anyone who has wages index linked to GDP??
    (ie GDP isn’t a very good measure but sadly it has become the easy “goto” number that people use – notably folks that want to avoid looking at UK jobs market for one reason or.. well just the one reason I suspect!)

    TANGENT ALERT: How about tax receipts, millions (annual change in brackets) for a change

    2015/16: 533.37
    2016/17: 569.3 (+6.7%)
    2017/18: 593.96 (+4.3%)
    2018/19: 623.36 (+4.9%)

    Damn, can’t use that as it looks too good. We’ve managed to massively increase tax receipts despite voting to Leave EU – surely fake news :-) :-)

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/284298/total-united-kingdom-hmrc-tax-receipts/

    PPS Having a very enjoyable day as my SIPP and ISAs are very overweight UK banks stocks. Time to put a bit of that back into cash and wait for next dip me thinks ;)

    @ CIC – All valid points. Wales is interesting as those kind of changes might occur in Midlands and North as well (ie the other traditional LAB “heartlands”).

    I showed the subtotal as I did for a reason as much depends on Brexit of course but as well as LDEM tactically voting LAB (or not) then BXP might tactically vote CON.

    BXP aren’t going to win any seats in Wales so it’s a wasted vote at this stage. If Boris totally capitulates that might well change of course.

    I’m sure your smart enough to release I was by no means making a prediction. I simply wanted to use the new Welsh poll as an illustration of how CON MIGHT be able to win a UK wide majority even on lower overall %s (all due to FPTP and LDEM’s “surge” doing a lot more to help CON win seats from LAB than it does to help their own seat gains)

  10. @Hal

    Thanks. It’s good to see that Kellner’s figures and assumptions more or less tally with mine – validation by the maestro! – although he has more on the new voter side of the equation.

    It would be nice to see a (leading) polling question along the lines of, “Do you think we should continue to respect the votes of now-dead voters while not allowing 18-21 year olds to have any say on brexit?”

  11. Joanna Cherry QC – arguably one of the better known of the female SNP MPs in Westminster – today refused to rule out standing in a leadership contest to become SNP leader.

    She argued that she is popular among ordinary SNP party members back in Scotland.

  12. Pastherockplease.

    “The only way I see us reducing our BoP is a recession and a curtailment of consumer demand.”

    Problem with this is the same I have argued re Brexit and balance of trade afterwards.

    Suppose the Uk rich buy german built BMW while the UK poor buy sunderland Nissan.

    Recession/brexit strikes and the hit from this falls on the poor disproptionately (as last time). Then Nissan sales plummet while BMW doesnt notice. Effect is Nissan cease production in the UK, so then even the poor have to buy imported German BMW.

    The effect of a recession/Brexit might be to worsen the balance of payments by driving Uk manufacturers out of business.

    The classical idea is in a recession there is less money, pound sinks, foreign goods become unaffordable. That bedrock reality might arrive eventually, but we live in a world afloat on debt and the provision of finance, and supposedly we are a world leader in doing so. By the time the rich stop buying German cars we might be so broke its revolution time.

  13. Colin @ 11.16 am, Danny @ 2.40 pm

    Thanks to Colin for an interesting link on the origins of farming.

    But it is inconsistent for someone who tells us that he won`t give credibility to Alec`s survey on our Brexit views, being that actual data have to be shown, to come out with a fairly definite conclusion based on this speculative article on pre-Neolithic farming – there is such a dearth of facts.

    I would need much more evidence that “mutually recognised private property was a precondition for farming”. This strikes me as a right-wing view that elides with property rights being more important than community rights.

    And last night`s BBC 4 doc had a Viking “terrorist” timing his raids on Scotland in between seed sowing and harvesting on the big tract of land he possessed. [Yes, I know millennia on}.

  14. @ ALEC – I made the mistake of reading your reply but i’ll waste 2mins replying back:

    “UK slipped from first to last in the G7 growth rates” – WRONG (see my 11:28am and actually check data for yourself for once. Over the 3yr period since EURef we are 4th in G7, ahead of Germany, Japan and Italy)

    “competitiveness fell” – ??? (in FX terms competitiveness rose)

    “and industrial investment went negative” – WRONG (less investment in current period versus previous period is not negative)

    So 0.5 from 3 – a good score for you!

    @ OTHERS that still think I read your posts or might reply. WRONG

    Feel free to make stuff up, misrepresent what you might think I once said, etc. Bovvered ;)

  15. @Alec
    @Trev

    “They selected a group of economies that had mirrored UK performance in the period immediately before the referendum and then measured them in the period afterwards, correcting for any significant policy changes in the meantime and weighting to get a more accurate average.
    They then cross referenced the result with other data to sense check their findings, so the fact that the UK slipped from first to last in the G7 growth rates, competitiveness fell and industrial investment went negative and was well below the post 2012 average, all added to the evidence from the comparitor economies that the UK had lost performance.
    The IFS analysis seems to be pretty robust.”

    ——–

    Oh they do more checks and adjustments than that for doppelgänger models. For example if some of the comparator economies have a lower per capita income, they might adjust for that. And there are numerous tests they can run.

    But in the end, as with polling models, there is always the chance of the unforeseen etc.

  16. @ SJ / JJ – Boris was up for a People’s Vote, maybe you missed that?

    Amongst the currently alive electorate then CON are looking at having a good chance of winning a majority but folks can vote for which ever party they want (or vote tactically if they so wish).

    Also, unless I missed it then Corbyn is still GE first, then ref – LDEM (or NATS) is hence the party of choice for Remainers (assuming they are on UK electoral roll of course, possibly not an option for retirees in Spain?)

  17. The Trevors,
    “We do however have a POTENTIALLY huge investment opportunity which also solves the chronic under performance on productivity.”

    There you go again Trevors: but who is going to make it?

    “Lots of projects on machinery, plant, system upgrades are “pending” due to the uncertainty over Brexit”

    There is a trope being pedalled that companies are failing to invest because although they would be happy with either environment A or environment B, they cannot choose where to invest until they know which it is.

    Nope. The truth is much more that in environmant A an investment is know to be profitable, whereas in environment B it would not be. True, any prudent investor would wait to see whether it is to be A or B before making an investment, but environment B simply means investment on hold gets fully cancelled.

    “Damn, can’t use that as it looks too good. We’ve managed to massively increase tax receipts despite voting to Leave EU”

    Its the benefits of membership. Just imagine how bad those figures would be now had we left 3 years ago.

  18. @ JJ – Re Wales: LAB used to think Scotland was a Heartland but they took the Scottish vote for granted.

    LAB went after the “metro-elite” vote and that was always going to leave the Heartlands ripe for picking. Next up the English North and Midlands (where even more marginals exist)

    If Boris wasn’t a “toff” then I would expect even more of the old Heartlands to move to CON and maybe once BXP are out of the game they will? TBC of course…

  19. @Trevors I read you post of 11.23 enjoyed it and understood more of it and agreed with more of it than is sometimes the case. What I don’t see is why we have to endure the agony and risks of Brexit in order to go for a green economy, focus on the things we re good at and so on. I am not sure if it is TO or PTRP, it’s one or the other, who says that Brexit is a giant distraction. I agree that it is in a sense an irrelevance but it is only irrelevant to good things we could be up to. It is also attached to some very nasty risks.

  20. It is being reported that Johnson has conceded a customs border down the Irish Sea.

  21. What’s this survey that Alec’s supposed to be conducting? I must have missed it even though I trawled back through quite a few pages.

  22. @DANNY

    The classical idea is in a recession there is less money, pound sinks, foreign goods become unaffordable. That bedrock reality might arrive eventually, but we live in a world afloat on debt and the provision of finance, and supposedly we are a world leader in doing so. By the time the rich stop buying German cars we might be so broke its revolution time.

    In a recession what happen is people downgrade on items that they feel is of no//less value but upgrade things they feel are more valuable.
    So as you see with restaurants the more expensive restaurants did well the really cheap takeaways did well the middle of the road restaurants did poorly. Look at everything from airlines to tablets. Apple did well, and the cheap set of tablets did well but the middle dropped out of the market. We had market substitution in spades, from taxi business(Uber), eating out was replaced by deliveroo and eating in.T he level of substitution is unparalleled.
    So yes I suspect there is often a delay in high value goods being bought, there isn’t a substitution but with services there is. Which is why for example when the markets tanked people like Toyota were happy to hang on to staff because they believed if there was a market they would be able to keep their market.

    @CARFREW

    Since the TREVOR WARNE collective do not read post that oppose his views, Just a comment on the fact that the UK would naturally have had better GDP outside the EU: Would that have not had relied hugely on inward investment: For example would the EU have had Nissan outside the EU or inside the EU as an example what about such thing as Airbus and the other main exporters. Would we not have had to be close to EU in terms of regualtions and customs treatments or seen as someone that would have had to have protective tariffs against would EU not have had much tighr monetary alignment with a smaller set of countries after all the main driver for the move east was the UK whom saw he a bigger EU to be a big headwind to greater integration, yet basically then pushed the single market with a unified regulatory regime (which would mean a single view and owner of these regulations, ECJ)

    So just doing a subtraction or addition without context makes no real sense in my view or again am I missing something here

  23. Prof Howard

    Re Joanna Cherry

    If you look at the interview in Holyrood Magazine, you’ll see that “[she] refused to rule out standing in a leadership contest to become SNP leader” (with all the implications that such a description is meant, by journalists, to carry) isn’t really the story.

    https://www.holyrood.com/inside-politics/view,with-a-cherry-on-top-exclusive-interview-with-joanna-cherry_14544.htm

  24. @TW

    1. This must be the 4th or 5th time I’ve told you I don’t live in Spain. I just own a property there and spend a couple of months a year there.

    2. Given that a referendum was what got us in this mess, and that brexiteers argue a referendum trumps parliament, it is perverse to suggest that a GE should be preferred to a referendum as an exercise to check the will of the current people. (Perverse, that is, except for anyone desperate to avoid a direct check on the will of the current people.)

  25. @Pete B

    This is the post from Alec. Page 84 I believe. Posts are coming faster than ever it seems.

    “Oddly enough, following from @carfrew’s observation that certain viewpoints don’t get covered much on here, I’m undertaking a simple bit of analysis of UKPR posters regarding Brexit.

    To do this, I need to categorize individual posters on a 5 point Brexit scale as follows:

    1 – committed remain
    2 – soft remain
    3 – neutral/ambivalent
    4 – soft leave
    5 – committed leave.

    Most posters are easy to categorize, but I’d be interested in how you all view yourselves. If anyone wants to select their own category I can see how that matches my own assessment.

    I’ll chip away at the analysis and post the results in due course.”

    [dated] October 14th, 2019 at 5:18 pm

  26. @ CHARLES – I view Brexit as i/ essential and ii/ a catalyst for change.

    I ignore the folks who deliberately misrepresent my comments (or are too lazy to read them, incapable of understanding etc). You can read the @ TREVORS replies if you want of course but I would suggest, as with everything, you verify the source info for yourself rather than believe what you read!

    Brexit doesn’t appear to be much of an “agony” if you look at jobs data, tax receipts, etc. but I fully accept it is a “risk” (the flip side of which is opportunity of course). I feel much happier that Boris+Saj understand the “risks” and opportunites than I did with Mayb0t+Hammond (and worry less about Corbyn+McDonnell seeing the “wrong” type of opportunities of being outside of EU’s CU+SM rules)

    IMO our previous economic model (EU-Centric, London-Centric ne0liberalism) needed to change and Brexit is just one part of that – the vital 1st step.

    If/when the EU ever changes to a system that works for UK then sign me back up. I won’t hold my breathe, but I will repost (again) some Larry Elliot info as I agree with much of it (not all of it). I’d thoroughly recommend LoC folks buy his book:

    “Europe Didn’t Work: Why We Left and How to Get the Best from Brexit”

    Short-read Guardian article:

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/08/why-the-uk-trade-deficit-with-the-eu-is-woeful-and-widening

    PS Also fully agree Brexit has become a distraction and the uncertainty needs to end asap. Once we leave the “distraction” element goes and we can get on with all the other important issues we face. I don’t want to drag out the uncertainty or distraction any longer than necessary, I was ready to Leave with “No WA” (if necessary) in March. I’d prefer a “Good Deal” but “No Deal is better than a Bad Deal” (and Remaining in EU is a “bad deal” for UK)

  27. Just very briefly on the agriculture and oxen and land ownership.

    It was pretty widely researched in the Anneles School (although mainly the outcomes of it), and also in the “End of the Middle Ages” and subsequent discussions.

    A lot depends on the geographic area.

    The Roman plough couldn’t be used efficiently in most Northern European territoties, so they needed a different design, also iron (effectively taking it off the knights – so social change).

    The productivity rate for grains varied between 3-8 seeds for every seed planted.

    Oxen really pulled out Europe of the misery – but it is quite late – around the 8-9th century, and indeed it was related to land ownership.

    Because of the new plough and the oxen the land had to be divided differently – longish, larger plots (so that the ploughing could happen without much turning, and also the private (rather than village) ownership of the oxen emerged (it was never a problem in societies based on animal husbandry – it is the first society where private property as dominant form appears), which then raised the opportunity of lease (which is again an issue of recognising property).

    With the new agricultural method the revolving sowing also appears (first alternative and then the tripple, the Quadra comes much later), as well as the GMOs (sorry, selective horticulture – first resistance to Claviceps purpurea, a major issue then in North-Western Europe, then replacing spelt with higher yielding wheat, etc.).

    So technology and societal changes were in co-evolution, rather than attributable causal relationships in concrete cases. Just as the bearded man from Trier said: the productive forces are the primary, define the social relationships (the scope of the freedom of these) while the latter has a major effect on the productive forces – encourages, discourages, accelerate, constrains the evolutionary nature of the productive forces.

  28. @Trevor – sorry, but you don’t get to select the most convenient dates for your analysis.

    See here – https://fullfact.org/economy/uk-economic-growth-within-g7/

    We went from fastest G7 growth rate pre referendum to slowest post referendum. There is no analysis that can obscure this simple fact.

    And according to the IFS, since the referendum, real business investment has declined and is now negative (eg declining, year on year).

    “Feel free to make stuff up, ..”

    No thanks. I’ll leave that to you.

    I struggle to understand why you can’t just sometimes agree with certain posters rather than flail about and attack. If you say something illuminating and interesting, I’ll say so and agree with you, as I have done on several occasions.

    I think you’ve set up some kind of mental barrier in your mind that means you can’t ever just accept something, based on the identity of the poster rather than the facts of what has actually been said.

    It’s a shame. Most other posters do manage to exchange views in a complementary and civil manner, but you seem to struggle. It’s a bit weird, to be honest.

  29. Can anyone help me get my head around what on earth is going on with the supposed Brexit deal at the moment please? I’ve frankly lost the will to live but fear I might be missing out on something big happening.

    As far as I can see Johnson and Mogg have concocted some scheme whereby N Ireland is effectively given back to the rest of Ireland which until earlier today the DUP hadn’t noticed was at its heart. The ERG are wetting themselves at the prospect of Irish reunification simply because this has been proposed by Boris the Great rather than a woman who happened to have his job previously.

    Meanwhile a few Labour MPs have said they will consider voting for it just to prevent no deal, even though a means of doing so has passed Parliament, and nobody seems to have asked the Tiggers or the 21 Musketeers plus Amber Rudd how they feel about it.

    Barnier and Varadkar are making noises about it possibly being acceptable but they are going to have to look at it in detail, while the former has pointed out that the only way we’re going to get a FTA on a similar level to Japan is if we all sacrifice our firstborn since we’re going to be such a piddly little nonentity of a country after a no deal Brexit we will have nothing of value to offer, which is what some of us have been trying to convey all along.

    Does the Parliamentary maths really stack up to get this through? I remain unconvinced, although surely the EU27 aren’t going to waste more time discussing deals which we are unable to get through the Commons?

    Am I missing something?

  30. @PTRP

    Indeed, we’ve discussed the goods vs. services thing before, and to recap:

    – yes, there’s a lot of international trade in goods, however a good deal of that is commodities, raw materials, and as a small Island we aren’t very able to compete with continents stuffed with lithium, massive prairies filled with grain etc.

    – We’ve had moments when we’ve had some commodities of note, most recently oil, but for us goods are more about manufacturing.

    – But manufacturing is declining. and where not it’s being increasingly supplemented by services.

    – Longer term, things like 3D printing may reduce manufacturing further.

    It’s not that I prefer services, per se, just that if you look at the way thecwind’s blowing….

  31. Couple of developments today.

    Nicola Sturgeon raising the unfairness that If Ireland gets a special deal with the EU post Brexit, Scotland should get one too.

    Increasing commentary that a possible deal could not have its fine print completed in time for the official deadline. While the coarse print remains shrouded in secrecy. I can see a possible route here for BJ to concede an extension as the commons has mandated, on the grounds that promising negotiations are underway and just need a little more time.

  32. DANNY

    I refer you to the Full Text of the Academic paper:-

    https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/701789

    It will cost you $20 if you don’t accept the Abstract

  33. Danny

    “I can see a possible route here for BJ to concede an extension as the commons has mandated, on the grounds that promising negotiations are underway and just need a little more time.”

    Wasn’t this one of the main differences between Johnson and Jeremy Hunt in their leadership election, i.e. that Hunt said if a deal was close it would be silly not to extend the deadline for 2 or 3 weeks, but Johnson wouldn’t hear of it and got elected?

  34. DAVWEL

    I refer you to the Full Text of the Academic paper:-

    https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/701789

    It will cost you $20 if you don’t accept the Abstract

  35. @TED- the reports (only reports mind) are that Johnson has conceded a customs border down the Irish Sea, so apparently caving in on May’s big red line.

    However, the Westminster briefing revolves around the idea that legally NI stays in the UK customs union, while de facto being in the EU’s customs union. Detail will matter, and there is also the risk that the UK tam is saying something to the EU that is different to what Johnson is saying to the DUP/ERG, in the hope that just getting any deal will be enough to ram through the HoC despite the Brexiter worries.

    It’s also worth mentioning that Barnier today said that the UK will need to accept more level playing field provisions than Japan did to get a equivalent FTA deal, so the problems won’t necessarily end at the customs border.

    The last minute panic was always going to happen, and a no deal was never an option, so we really are at the business end now.

  36. @PTRP

    yes indeed, being outside the EU might have cost us some things like Nissan or Airbus, and maybe we might have had to have some alignment to benefit from some things etc.

    These are the sort of things that make it a hard call for me.

  37. The Trevors,
    “IMO our previous economic model (EU-Centric, London-Centric ne0liberalism) needed to change and Brexit is just one part of that – the vital 1st step.”

    So what model do you suggest we adopt? The Russian model? The Chinese model? The subset Hong Kong model? The Argentinian model? The religious fundamentalist model?

    When it comes down to it, just which national model would brits prefer to have?

    In what way do you imagine we would be willing to depart from a european style democratic model?

    “If/when the EU ever changes to a system that works for UK”

    The Uk constructed the EU model. I remain utterly unable to understand how leave plan to leave the EU model and replace it with a model more to our liking, when it was us principally responsible for creating the EU as we wished it to be for our best benefit.

    Theexterminaingdalek,
    “Am I missing something?”

    Only that if you simply asume the conservative government is aiming to stop brexit while claiming to be pushing it ahead, it all makes perfect sense.

    Colin,
    “It will cost you $20 if you don’t accept the Abstract”

    I dont think its worth that. But the abstract suggests to me they are attacking a straw man argument. -‘Familiar explanations of why hunter-gatherers first took up farming—superior labor productivity, population pressure, or adverse climate—receive little support from recent evidence. ‘

    The longer excerpt earlier already highlighted superior labour productivity of hunting over agriculture as inhibiting a switch to farming. Wheras I immediately argued this was nonsense…because by their own argument if hunting is so much easier it will allow time for farming as well, and a reliance on hunting alone will inevitably risk a food shortfall when quarry is limited… which farming could fill. Growing crops would be an obvious and natural gradual extension to saving wild nuts or grains, whch could be fitted in alongside hunter gathering.

    They also suggest, ‘Farming would be an unlikely choice without possession-based private property, ‘ Whereas I would have thought that where no private ownership of land exists, nothing would be simpler than to start using some for farming. If no one else had yet wanted to claim it, who is going to object? Furthermore, if the land is regarded as a tribal/clan asset rather than privately owned, then defending it from raiding is solved because the entire clan would be involved.

  38. Alec

    Yes, that’s the way I’ve read it, but I don’t see how the two versions can possibly be compatible, nor how racing to get a deal at the last possible minute is going to benefit the UK as opposed to the EU27 who have far more accomplished negotiators as well as all the power.

  39. @PTRP

    …But ideally one might set the loss of things like Airbus or Nissan etc. against potential gains. (Which can be a bit speculative…)

  40. @ SJ – 1/ I didn’t say YOU lived full time in Spain, do try to read the posts before replying.

    2/ ?!? This parliament had the chance to agree a deal[1] (3x), maybe they get a 4th? If not then LAB and CON both want a new GE[2] and which point perhaps a new set of MPs can “fix” the mess that the current lot seem unable to.

    Why do YOU have a problem with democracy?

    We had a “once in a generation” ref that MPs overwhelmingly voted to hold (2015), accept (2016) and implement (2017).

    If Remain parties win a majority in a GE before we leave then fine, we then either have a 2nd ref before implementing the 1st one or simply Revoke A50.

    I have no problem with democracy in my country and I’d even go as far as saying that if this bunch of MPs want to Revoke before a GE then fine – we’ll have a “betrayal” GE and if CON(+BXP?) win that then we’ll simply retrigger A50.

    [1] A bad deal given that the closest was a lose of 58 votes.

    [2] Well, that’s what they say. TBC if that is what they mean. I certainly wouldn’t expect Boris to want a GE unless he’s confident he can win it. I don’t trust him or any politician to do anything beyond look out for their own interests. Just so happens that Boris has to Deliver Brexit and Defeat Corbyn to stay PM so for now his interests are the same as mine.

    @ ALEC – “I struggle to understand why you can’t just sometimes agree with certain posters”

    Indeed!!

    It appears that yet again you didn’t actually read or understand the original post to which you replied and haven’t even bothered to read the article you post at 5:28pm (check the dates – over a year old!!! – dare I mention you often struggle with the concept of time?)

    Here’s ONS link for business investment. I’ll agree the “change” (% growth) has declined very modestly (see section 9). That is very different to saying “industrial investment went negative”

    Fig 4 and 7 probably the “quick look” for lazy folks but if you read the detail then ICT investment is a key component and I can certainly give a n=1 verification that a lot of that is on “hold”.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/bulletins/businessinvestment/apriltojune2019revisedresults

    PS and a BINGO for the “standard” default:

    “It’s a shame. Most other posters do manage to exchange views in a complementary and civil manner, but you seem to struggle”

    I couldn’t care less about your opinion or exchanging views with you or a few others on here as its just the same rubbish over and over again. IMO you’ve never added anything I’ve found useful. PRTP made a few useful comments on the “3 borders” issue way back but zzz ZZZ since.

    Plenty of other folks who post info I find interesting and/or informative so I’ll stick to exchanging views with them.

    So dare I suggest (again) that you learn how to use the scroll bar? I’ve gone a bit “goldfish” and forgotten today but I’ll remember how to use it tomorrow ;)

  41. Colin,
    re agricultural devlopment, there is a Bowles and Choi article for free here:
    http://aslea.org/program2016/4A_Choi.pdf

    Which is however 40 pages with some funny mathmatics

  42. Alec,
    ” the reports (only reports mind) are that Johnson has conceded a customs border down the Irish Sea, so apparently caving in on May’s big red line.”

    Wasnt that the May deal #1, before the DUP stuck their oar in?

    The Trevs,
    “Why do YOU have a problem with democracy?”

    I dont. But if you choose to go the route of referendum and letting the people decide, you cannot just pick one moment in time and then refuse to ask them again. That would be no different to holding one general election and never holding another.

    I wouldnt disagree that in the Uk referenda are not used to assess the will of the people but to reinforce a policy decision made by government. Thus all the argument between the SNP and wesminster over the right moment to hold one, with both sides trying to pick a time beneficial to them for a one off vote.

  43. @ CARFREW – Final one for today and a bit of fun mixed with a repost for the usual suspects who don’t understand that “services” catches so many different industries.

    There is no gravity[1] in cyber space but I’m not going to China to get my hair cut or for a night out with the missus/family

    [1] The “dubious” 1950s gravity model that still seems to form the basis for most folks views on trade (especially if those folks have an interest is expanding/protecting their Empire via/with near neighbours!)

  44. Alister1948
    Thanks for the repeat of the survey. I’m a 5 but I suspect that’s pretty obvious.
    ———————–
    TED
    Like you I’ve almost lost the will to live, but that was a pretty good summary except Johnson has to ask for an extension if parliament doesn’t agree with whatever he comes back with. He’s said he won’t, so there’s that. Does prison beckon? Also the EU keep saying they won’t grant an extension unless something concrete is going to happen, so what happens then? Will we end up in limbo for years because the opposition don’t want an election? Parliament should stop playing silly b_ggers and JUST GET ON WITH IT! (Sorry for shouting).

  45. @CARFREW

    however a good deal of that is commodities, raw materials, and as a small Island we aren’t very able to compete with continents stuffed with lithium, massive prairies filled with grain etc.

    Agreed, but in truth the value add in manufacturing pretty much out weighs the cost in raw materials across the board. You don’t make the bulk of the profit in the raw materials and so again it matter not.

    – But manufacturing is declining. and where not it’s being increasingly supplemented by services.

    Agreed but it is still massive compared to services.

    Longer term, things like 3D printing may reduce manufacturing further.

    Actually I doubt that unless the cost in not important or the parts are so complex (i.e cost is not important )

    Most manufacturing is a mass products 3D printing is far from mass products I believe despite the technology that it will still be niche.

    I’ll reiterate my argument about services:

    1. Most services are local (so within 40km)
    2. UK big gain is in services due to a natural economies of scale (finance, media ) our geographic position (finance) language media/law/business consultancy)
    3. Where we fail is that lots of services are outside that again look at our own economy or even the economies that you tout as growing services wise they are doing so because locals are servicing locals.

    The big enablers of services are infrastructure development (that horrible manufacturing) take communications as an example services are based on 5G start with Hauwei hardware and the services are massive multinational companies such as google, microsoft everyone else bottom feeds off this and get gobbled up.

    The argument is that UK will win because it is a serviced based economy but all western economies are serviced based it is just exporting services is just not as easy you need to be full spectrum and that is something that the UK is less able to do.

    In the end every economy need infrastructure to create their services on and you would agree no one buys just services alone the buy a mix. So where I believe the UK has and is failing is that what is selling has limited appeal and their competitors are not selling services only but the whole package

    it is why I point to Africa, India and other nations where the UK does not have a real foothold. it is not because of FTA it is because they don’t have the things to sell and moreover I have not seen a FTA which makes things to sell.

    Lastly at the moment UK has a level playing field there is very few service based FTA, this is where the country has a supposed advantage but the figures show that is not the case.

    So my point about the UK and services is that a) it is mostly local look at the UK economy which is 70-80% and I believe germany which is in the high 60s) b) is still at best a fifth to a quarter of all international trade. c) UK has already maxed it’s advantages and much of the growth in services will be local not in global trade for the UK because they do not have the big software cos for leverage.

    As ever I often think we talk at cross purposes although I suspect there is a contrarian viewpoint in much of your analysis

  46. Danny
    “But if you choose to go the route of referendum and letting the people decide, you cannot just pick one moment in time and then refuse to ask them again. That would be no different to holding one general election and never holding another.”

    What you’re suggesting would be like holding a GE, deciding you didn’t like the result, so not implementing it and then having another one (and another and another until you get the ‘right’ answer?).

  47. Colin,
    “First, while farming undoubtedly raised the productivity of land, we will see below that it is unlikely that the new technology raised labor productivity, at least not for many centuries following its introduction”

    Bowles and Choi start their agument with this premise. They are basically arguing that it is easier to just hunt something than raise it or farm equivalent crops. Which might well be true, but my riposte was that agriculture as an extension to gathering of natural crops could very well increase the productivity of labour, as they put it,…because hunting being so relatively easy it would leave lots of unproductive leisure time. There is just so much hunted meat you can eat in one day, and limited scope to preserve it for future consumption.

    A net gain could be made by using that spare time for farming, which while the hourly return might be poorer, would provide both some return, a variety of diet (possibly bread was regarded as a luxury good, in fact surely it must have been), and potential complimentary food sources which could be stored and used when hunting was bad (as again it must have been for parts of the year).

    Whatever happened next, I think they are making a mistake in arguing that introducing farming would cause a net decline in productivity. As an innovative use of spare time, it was probably a win win.

  48. Danny

    “Wasnt that the May deal #1, before the DUP stuck their oar in?”

    Correct – though we should probably split talk of “the” deal into two parts.

    1. Withdrawal Agreement, on which there was a deal made fairly early on as regards citizen’s rights : payments to the EU : the UK border with the EU. The arrangements on the latter were altered in response to the DUP (perhaps realising what they had campaigned for was a mistake) and the ERG (largely English Nationalists posturing as defenders of the UK Union). Hence the amended WA put to, and rejected by the UK Parliament.

    2. The Political Declaration, widely seen at the time (and presumably also now) as aspirations on the direction of travel for UK-EU relationships. Since that is by far the most important bit, and one subject to alteration by whichever party is in power in the UK, the choice of the (largely English) electorate as to which coalition of interests forms the next UK Government would seem to be hugely more important than the actual terms of the WA. Arrangements for the UK’s border with the EU could become largely irrelevant if a closer relationship with the EU is agreed.

  49. @Trevors – “It appears that yet again you didn’t actually read or understand the original post to which you replied and haven’t even bothered to read the article you post at 5:28pm (check the dates – over a year old!!!….”

    Aahh! Goldfish indeed.

    Thanks for making my point for me. Yes, you did post some stuff for a different period to the one that I was talking about – it’s not me that needs to check the dates.

    You’ve also forgotten a fundamental point about the GDP figures. You appear to be arguing that the fact that because the UK % rate has recovered (in comparative terms) after the (comparative) dip in the immediate aftermath of the referendum result (first to last in the G7 – I note you’ve given up trying to argue that one) you seem to think that this proves that the vote didn’t cause a problem.

    We’re back to that old compounding issue again. If we lose % output, and then recover % output, we’re still smaller. We might be getting a better % growth, but it’s a better % of a smaller economy, so that slump beforehand means we’re still down, even if the quarterly % rate looks OK by 2019.

  50. @ALEC

    Since I believe every hour we seem to have a pronoucement and then a counter pronoucement.

    I am going to restate my case for no deal even though I am a 1 in your scale but more on that later

    May’s red lines defined brexit (i.e. the move onto the future relationship). I personally felt that per her speech writers confession that they were discussion points rather than red lines but without doubt they were sold to us the electorate and especially the leave electorate as red lines

    So the reality has always been how do you break those red lines and not lose faith or favour from leavers (HoC & electorate)?

    That has always been the problem and as such you have conflicting politics of the problem. Now I would have cut the DUP adrift because in the end they are unrepresentative of NI electorate and would appeal again to the same electorate with a referendum but that opens a can of worms and to be seen as having conceded would essentially show U versus EU dynamic you have the double whammy of looking weak abroad and at home simultaneously

    How do you sell Corbyn as a chicken and yet yourself as the Hulk? So if you are a leaver you believe as TREVOR WARNE has said Brexit is an imperative and clean brexit is even more of an imperative. So being given a broken brexit does not help Johnson and moreover EU as a whole (electorate and political institutions see no deal as their advantage because the UK’s aproach to No deal is essentially to defend imports and not worry about exports. hence the bullishness of Barnier( and by implication the CoM)

    Ireland’s position is actually our only way of softening this which is why again this becomes a double whammy, we get schooled my a former colony that ruthlessly pursues their interest leveraging the a multinational organisation that we have just spurned.

    Johnson gamble was to bluff everyone:
    In the commons
    1. The ERG into accepting a(ny) deal
    2. The 21 into rejoining the fold with any deal
    3. Enough Labour MP’s to accept a deal in lieu of 10 DUP MPs

    In the EU
    That the idea of leaving with no deal was a thing.

    The electorate
    That we would be thankful for a deal

    I think the Tory party are desperate to have a deal
    I believe the EU are not as desperate
    I believe the Electorate are at this moment believing Johnson since the details are somewhat confusing and mixed

    My view is that Johnson cannot bluff the EU since we have been pull cards from the deck all game and folding

    That he cannot sell his cards to the electorate because the immediate impact is pandemonium and an election in that situation may be very bad

    Without a deal, he has no chance of winning the HoC. but he still needs the right deal

    To my mind no deal makes the most sense because he can postpone the day of reckoning it is the big can kicking exercise and in many ways a better can kicking exercise since we will be in pain avoidance and best bluster mode.

    It is a gamble but less of a gamble than any other.

1 86 87 88 89

Leave a Reply

NB: Before commenting please make sure you are familiar with the Comments Policy. UKPollingReport is a site for non-partisan discussion of polls.

You are not currently logged into UKPollingReport. Registration is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged. Either login here, or register here (commenters who have previously registered on the Constituency Guide section of the site *should* be able to use their existing login)