The Times tomorrow has fresh YouGov polling of Labour members suggesting Jeremy Corbyn is comfortably ahead of both challengers. Asked their first preference Jeremy Corbyn leads with 54% to Angela Eagle’s 21% and Own Smith’s 15%. Corbyn easily wins in a head-to-head run off against either – he beats Eagle by 58% to 34% and Smith by 56% to 34%.

The poll is of Labour members who joined before January 2016, so will be eligible to vote in the contest, but obviously doesn’t yet include people who sign up to be registered supporters in the short window this week. Sam Coates is tweeting more results.

232 Responses to “YouGov members poll shows Corbyn beating Eagle or Smith by 20+ points”

1 2 3 4 5
  1. Good morning all from an extremely warm central London.

    Looks like ol Corby is going nowhere.

    Managed to catch part of his speech to local party members.

    “To those waiting with bated breath for that favourite media catchphrase, the ‘U-turn’, I have only one thing to say: ‘You turn” if you want to. The Corby’s not for turning.’

    England is a lot more than London.

    I am fully aware of that and am not and never have been a supporter of the current polity of the UK. A federal system with an English Parliament might help, but it’s a bit late now – Brexit may turn Westminster into just that.

    I lived near Market Drayton for a while in the 70s and am well aware that HS2 won’t do much to help Shropshire.

  3. @Strabilla – “Mpst of you on here are victims of the corporate media. Studie show that he is not reported fairly, and any old story is altered to show him in a bad light.”

    Yes, thank you for pointing that out. Somewhat condescending, but generally most of the posters on here are well aware of media bias. We note our sources, mentally critique them, and accept that all may not be as it seems, depending on the specific media outlet. We then make judgements.

    For the non corporate media, the bias is also astonishing, and is possibly more so in the online community where facts cannot easily be challenged and legal action against falsehoods is difficult.

    Many of those of us corrupted by the corporate media would agree with your assessment that any left wing leader will face strident attacks. The issue we have with Corbyn is that he continually walks into doors without opening them first, has all the organisational skills of a random number generator, and has singularly failed to give confidence to those who are meant to be working with him.

    It’s notable that the most damaging attacks on Corbyn aren’t coming from inflated corporate media inventions, but actually from colleagues who used to support him.

  4. Barbie
    But in point 2. of your 10.21 am post, it’s very clear you were equating London with England.

  5. “I lived near Market Drayton for a while in the 70s and am well aware that HS2 won’t do much to help Shropshire.”

    HS2 is a big white elephant which isn’t going to help anyone. It will get passengers from London to an inconvenient suburb of Birmingham about 20 minutes quicker than the current network. And all at a cost of several squillion which we can’t afford, and massive disruption to residential properties and the environment.

    I would have thought the Brexit vote and change of PM would be an excuse to say, enough of the madness, we don’t need this.

  6. @BT might like consider whether the plank might not be in his own eye. i am not an uncritical supporter of Corbyn, but he faces the same ploblem that any left leaning politician does in the UK. he proposes pplicies similar to those of the SNP, but they don’t receive the same criticism because they are not a threat in England.

  7. @Cambridge Rachel

    I was unaware that Democracy only works when the person you prefer wins.

    We’ve been over this before. A Democracy is a Nationally Franchised Election, not a members club taking an internal vote on their leader.

    *If* Labour were to go down the route of an open-primary, then we can talk about Democracy. But then, I suspect there’d only be calls for that if Corbyn could win a primary.

  8. if Scotland joins the EU, there is a hard Brexit and consequently a hard border between Scotland and England who gets the import taxes on the goods we sell each other, the EU or the Scottish and English Governments?

    But in point 2. of your 10.21 am post, it’s very clear you were equating London with England.

    Not guilty, Ma’am.

    It’s the Westminster government which determined to make those projects supranational rather than London or English, and hence outwith Barnett consequentials.

    I suppose that 14 of the 18 NI MPs get some benefit out of Crossrail, but it’s a little odd that the whole province has to help bear the cost.

  10. ALEC

    If Corbyn doesn’t win, it will be because of a democratic vote of the membership.

    But which membership. The Labour Party’s NEC and administration[1] have been doing their best to “dissolve the people / And elect another”. Even if Corbyn loses the election – which seems increasingly unlikely – his side will be able to claim there was a fiddle.

    [1] It’s worth pointing out that how they did this was another splendid example of the sheer incompetence of those claiming to the geniuses that will ‘save’ Labour. If they had put a one or even three month requirement on membership it would actually have prevented nearly all those, who joined recently to ‘protect’ Corbyn, from voting and would be in line with what other Parties do. But extending it to six months meant that it was obvious that they were trying to fix the result.
    I must say if I was a member who had joined in February and work hard during the local elections and Referendum, I’d be furious that I was excluded but someone with a spare £25 could vote.

  11. @David Carrod

    It’s not about Speed, It’s about Capacity. The midlands mainlines are at capacity, and reaching the limits of how it can be expanded without building a new express line. I’ve watched the continuing efforts to upgrade the line, and they’re running out of things they can do to keep expanding it’s capacity.

    We need a new midlands mainline, it’s really that simple. And the cost to build a brand new mainline is the same. Running express trains even at “standard” speeds means you need nice long runs and banked tracks, and it would require grade separation to avoid creating any new level crossings anyway.

    And this has *always* been the rational for building it. The time savings are a secondary benefit.

  12. @Jayblanc
    Dictionary definition, see bit between my **

    noun: democracy

    a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.
    “a system of parliamentary democracy”
    synonyms: representative government, elective government, constitutional government, popular government; More
    self-government, government by the people, autonomy;
    republic, commonwealth
    antonyms: tyranny, dictatorship
    a state governed under a system of democracy.
    plural noun: democracies
    “a multiparty democracy”
    ** control of an organization or group by the majority of its members. **
    “the intended extension of industrial democracy”
    the practice or principles of social equality.
    “demands for greater democracy”

    late 16th century: from French démocratie, via late Latin from Greek d?mokratia, from d?mos ‘the people’ + -kratia ‘power, rule’.
    Translate democracy to
    Use over time for: democracy

  13. Roger Mexico,

    You have to wait six months to be able to take part in a council selection. Why should it be any quicker to vote for the leader?

  14. @ LIZH
    ‘I am surprised none of you mentioned the Peter Mandelson lecture at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy on 14th July 2016 where he blamed New Labour for Brexit. Sound quality not excellent but here is a audio recording of it:

    I have… but no-one seemed to hear. Hope you have better luck with communicating what seems to me to be a highly significant volte face. The IMF, Mandelson’s speech, Theresa May’s speech, and now the establishment getting behind Owen Smith suggests to me that the powers that be judge that ‘austerity’ has gone its length, and now they need to row back a little.

    For Mandelson to disavow New Labour’s two terms, is staggering but from his speech, it seems that his real concern is to shore up globalisation, and the scrabble of the US to set up a UK-US FTA seems like Plan B.

  15. HST..2
    I would like to see more branch lines re opened. The Watercress line or Mid-Hants Railway which used to run from New Alresford through the village I live in and onto Winchester is now a cycle/walkway and lovely that it is,I would rather see trains passing this way.

    Hundreds of people each morning from Itchen Abbas and Ropley have to drive or bus it into Winchester to catch the train. I don’t know why they shut this line down but there is clear demand for it to re-open but as per usual it’s all talk and nothing ever happens.

  16. Afternoon folks, I haven’t commented too much recently, mainly because I thought I might get drawn in to some of the crazier debates, particularly whether Corbyn is actually the Messiah or just a naughty boy ;)

    I do have a couple of points, so I hope it’s not too long. On Corbyn and the leadership battle, it looks likely, but not certain, that Corbyn will be reelected. What the MPs who are rebelling against the previously rebellious One will do is very unclear. If, as has been suggested, there are significant attempts at deselection, then Labour is royally screwed. There may well be Labour members in Wallasey who don’t like Angela Eagle – however, she’s been an MP there for over 20 years, and got over 60% of the vote in 2015. If you start to split the vote, or select some wet-behind-the-ears purity candidate, then you look like idiots. To me, the issue is not so much Corbyn’s political platform (I’ll get to Trident in a minute), but his seeming inability to get people to work together. I’m pretty sure that a lot of Labour MPs in the 1990s thought that Tony Blair was a plank, but he was at least able to make use of the talented MPs that was available to him. Look at the Shadow Cabinet, even before Benn’s sacking – Burnham and maybe McDonnell aside, it was a fairly pitiful selection.

    As some of you know, I take a personal interest in large infrastructure projects – it’s part of my job anyway, and I’m extremely sceptical about the viability of super-projects like Trident and HS2. I’m not in favour of Trident for two reasons – cost and the Cold War strategy that it entails. However, I can’t agree with either the SNP or Corbyn on unilateral nuclear disarmament – if we really want a nuclear-free world, then the UK should use its clout to persuade others to reduce their own nuclear arsenals. On Trident itself, I’d rather a “lighter” and more flexible solution, which is a bit more appropriate for the technological warfare of the 21st century (and as it probably wouldn’t have to be in Faslane, the SNP would love it ;) ).

    @JayBlanc – I can’t agree with you on HS2 – rail capacity is definitely needed, but the route doesn’t alleviate where the logjams are – the numbers of people who are bypassed by HS2 is much larger than the numbers of people who will reasonably access it. The capacity issues with rail in the UK are not the intercity express type routes – rather the commuter routes – and HS2 does not serve sufficient number of intermediate stations in order to assist the commuter network to any significant degree.

  17. Re: HS2

    There are a variety of other (and cheaper) options for increasing capacity. For example, the central railway being reinstated and dedicated to moving freight plus upgrading existing lines. However, they are rarely discussed.

    The situation with Southern rail is now beyond description and I think Lilian Greenwood’s resignation at such a time takes on an altogether new perspective in the light of the transport crisis in the south east.


    Considering I regularly use chiltern line services, I can tell you that moving the Birmingham to London traffic to it’s own express route, would release a huge amount of capacity for the rest of the commuter towns on it.

    Please also consider that this route would also massively increase freight capacity, and reduce it’s interference with passenger rail.

  19. Having watched a great chunk of the Trident debate, I wonder how Labour supporters ever thought the matter would pan out when Corbyn became leader. Labour members jeering and interrupting their own leader whilst the Tories sit and mock the lot of them.
    The above poll tells us that Forest Gump is safe home against all comers. I would be very interested to know, how Corbyn supporters ever visualise another Non-Tory government.


    You have to wait six months to be able to take part in a council selection. Why should it be any quicker to vote for the leader?

    You’re missing my point, this is about perception. The NEC have managed to look like they’re trying to fix the result to the outside world. People will ask, if the six-month rule is so important why wasn’t it used last time? The NEC set the rules then and seemed happy with them.

    As you know, the six-month rule on council selections is to prevent local interest groups from infiltrating and imposing their favoured candidate. Obviously at ward level this doesn’t take that many people and is easily done. At UK level the numbers make this impossible. No one is claiming that John McDonnell turned up at Labour HQ clutching 100,000 application forms all paid for by a single cheque.

    As to JayBlanc’s point about the Labour election process not being a Primary, of course the whole point of the £3 supporters was to turn it into exactly that.


    “Having watched a great chunk of the Trident debate”


    Lol Roland, you rubbernecking! Like watching car crashes!!!!

    Well cricket finished early so what the hell…

  22. Roger Mexico

    Im wondering if an American style primary is possible in the UK, even if the vote was free. Im really not sure that the culture exists here yet. Notice I say yet, because the wholesale adoption of american culture seems to be unstoppable.


    “……… the wholesale adoption of american culture seems to be unstoppable.”

    God help us. Chav Britain taking over.

  24. Anyway we now have the tables for the labour Leadership poll:

    Despite my earlier query, the sample looks very much like earlier ones – indeed only 2% say they didn’t vote in the 2015 Leadership Election[1]. This either implies that YouGov haven’t really updated their records since last year or that most of those who joined in the Autumn were already £3 voters or union affiliates. But if newer voters are mainly pro-Corbyn, then if they are missing from this sample it may be underestimating his support.

    But if it is the same sample then the increase in support for Corbyn since late June suggests he is actually winning some people over. It’s not massive – a 5-7 point swing depending on the question – but it is significant and given that Corbyn was able to gain votes during the campaign last year, it’s possible that might increase even more.

    YouGov asked how much people knew about the various candidates and Owen Smith managed to match the 69% in the Welsh poll here with that number saying they knew “Not very much” or “Nothing at all” about him (Corbyn got 1%, Eagle 26%). Not that such ignorance stopped people supporting him against Corbyn – 63% of those who’d back him were in that general 69%[2].

    And this illustrates Labour’s problem. The alternative being offered is almost entirely negative. Presumably anything more definite might well split the opposition to Corbyn on policy grounds. So there is no other vision being put forward other than a reversion to things as they were – a position that lost two elections. This means for the majority of members, the opportunity to try something new with Corbyn seems sensible.

    But there is still that majority of MPs and substantial minority of members implacably opposed to Corbyn[3] and they seem determined continue on that course[4] irrespective of the results of their behaviour. You get the impression of spoilt children wrecking the joint and then declaring “Look what you made me do!”.

    [1] The tiny DNV sample (only 15 people!) is very pro-Corbyn.

    [2] He’s show behind Eagle in the headline of this poll, but among the 30% of members who knew at least a fair amount about all three candidates the figures were Corbyn 56%, Smith 26%, Eagle 15%. This suggests he might do slightly better than Eagle over time.

    [3] Despite the movement to Corbyn generally n the polls there is actually a drop in rating for some of the positive qualities ascribed to him and a rise in negative ones. Presumably this is due to an increasingly bad view taken of him by long-term opponents.

    [4] As with Brexit, the fact that the stated reasons for holding such views are either contradictory or trivial doesn’t seem to reduce the passion with which they are held. Quite the opposite.

  25. @JayBlanc – ” I can tell you that moving the Birmingham to London traffic to it’s own express route, would release a huge amount of capacity for the rest of the commuter towns on it.”

    Not really – if you look at the proposed schedule as per the delightfully titled (and extraordinarily tedious) Assumptions Report – phase 1 of HS2 will only have 3 trains per hour between the new station at Birmingham Curzon St and Euston. The extra capacity of HS2 will be used for longer Northbound trips too, but there are no stops in Birmingham itself on these routes. The capacity of these trains is not yet known anyhow – there hasn’t yet been a concrete decision on what kinds of rolling stock should be used.

    I’m not really arguing with you to be honest – it’s clear that more capacity is needed, and it would be great to separate the commuter rail from the intercity rail a bit more. It’s just very frustrating to see how stupidly politicised infrastructure projects have become – vested interests and ridiculous cost overruns seem to be the order of the day. See also, Airport Provision, London……

  26. It’s worth pointing out yet again how all these polls undermine the media narrative that Corbyn’s backers are all young, starry-eyed, middle class metropolitans.

    Support for him is pretty even across all demographics, but he’s actually least popular among the under 25s[1] at 46%[2] and most popular (60%) in the most numerous 25-49 group. Even the over-65s split 50-50.

    Similarly it is higher (62%) among the ‘working class’ C2DEs than ABC1s (53%) and lowest in London (50%) and highest in the North (60%). There’s not much difference in gender, with a slight hint he is more popular with women[3], counteracting the implication that he was too Old Labour to bring in the female vote.

    On the other hand the idea that he might somehow attract Leave voters is also untrue. The small minority (10%) of members who voted that way show a very similar pattern of support to those who voted Remain.

    [1] As frequently noted YouGov’s under-25s are an odd and probably untypical lot and there aren’t very many of them (67 up-weighted to 115). Among Party members there are probably many professionally involved in Labour (or hoping to be) which might reflect bias against Corbyn by those in the ‘Bubble’.

    [2] These are the figure for ‘doing a good job’ but responses to other questions have a similar pattern.

    [3] As in previous polls, Eagle seem to do worse among women than men. All those pink jackets for nothing.

  27. “Notice I say yet, because the wholesale adoption of american culture seems to be unstoppable.”


    But we got Beatles, Stones, Floyd, Zep, The Who, Bowie etc. etc. etc.

  28. Roger

    Yes it does seem angela’s appeal to women voters has fallen flat on its face. Vote for me im a woman worked for Hillary but then they have never had a female president. So many echos of Hillary in eagles campaign, its almost cut and paste

  29. I find it odd that it is only Eagle and Smith who are challenging, rather than Yvette Cooper or Andy Burnham. Surely people like Cooper and Burnham must realise that Labour are heading for disaster under Corbyn.

    At some point Corbyn will end up being unable to fulfill parliamentary requirements for the main opposition party i.e to have a full set of shadow ministers. I guess at that point the Speaker will be in contact with the leader of the SNP in the HoC to see if they will step up.

    Labour can’t continue being in this position for too long, as it takes years to gain any respect from an electorate. If this drags on into next year with Corbyn as leader the Labour party will split with many MP’s starting another party, perhaps with Lib Dems.

  30. “I guess at that point the Speaker will be in contact with the leader of the SNP in the HoC to see if they will step up.”


    SNP are more likely to expect such a role after achieving independence…


    Alternatively, if 113 or so join the LDs, then the LDs will become the new opposition. Given that the rebel MPs’ reelection chances will depend on appealing to electors of a centrist persuasion, that might be the better bet.

    It seems unlikely though. There are all sort of cultural differences if nothing else. The Lib Dems are very battered at the moment, having been led to disaster by the very sort of Westminster insider who are now trying to destroy the Labour Party if they don’t get their way. A bunch of entitled Clegg-clones is unlikely to be welcomed with open arms.

    The least worst sort of strategy is that adopted with the formation of the SDP and a formal agreement. But that played out badly for the deserting MPs, nearly all of whom lost their seats, despite no Liberal opposition. It’s difficult to know how many members would move, but unlike the SDP they would be unlikely to attract the members new to politics, who provided the bulk of those who joined that Party.

  32. R Huckle
    ‘At some point Corbyn will end up being unable to fulfill parliamentary requirements for the main opposition party i.e to have a full set of shadow ministers. I guess at that point the Speaker will be in contact with the leader of the SNP in the HoC to see if they will step up.’

    It wouldn’t be a matter for the Speaker at all. He is only concerned with who leads the largest Opposition Parliamentary party. The Shadow Cabinet has no real constitutional standing and it is a matter for the Opposition how it organizes its opposition to the Government. Post-1945 election the Tory front bench operated pretty informally with Churchill often not even attending Shadow Cabinet meetings.

  33. The Lib-Dems might be battered now but Labour is on a suicide mission. I don’t believe the Lib-Dems are dying; they seemed to be dying in the 50s and 60s but then came back strongly from the mid 70s onwards. A Corbynite Labour Party is a return to the old and discredited socialist policies that lost Labour elections from 1979 until 1992. The only way that the Tories can be challenged is by coming up with a modern centre-left coalition that will appeal to the ‘sensible’ middle of the roaders who feel alienated by the petty nationalism of the Tory right and UKIP.

  34. @SYZYGY
    Mandelson gave that speech abroad but he should have done it here.That would have stopped all the nonsense going on in the LP with the PLP blaming Corbyn for Brexit. He didn’t I suppose because he knows that would have hastened the demise of New Labour.

    As someone said on twitter “Blairism on it’s last legs hence ugliness as it’s sinking” .

  35. @R HUCKLE

    “I find it odd that it is only Eagle and Smith who are challenging, rather than Yvette Cooper or Andy Burnham. Surely people like Cooper and Burnham must realise that Labour are heading for disaster under Corbyn.”

    Cooper and Burnham value their careers – that’s why they are not challenging. The 2020 election is a lost cause now – any current Labour leader would be holding a poisoned chalice. People like Cooper, Burnham, Hunt and others are biding their time until after the 2020 GE.

  36. @ R Huckle

    Burnham seems to have made his decision on the Manchester job, and probably doesn’t particularly like the plotters.

    Cooper (just as Burnham) were beaten by Corbyn last year, which not a good omen. But she also refused to collaborate with Corbyn from minute one, which is a kind of contempt of the membership.

  37. CANDY (fpt)

    And in France Marine Le Pen leads in the polls. Do you really want us to be attached to an EU where she has a major voice in the Council of Ministers?

    It’s not very likely though. While technically le Pen currently ‘leads’ on polling for the first round of the presidential election, that is exactly the same situation as it has been for the last three years – though dependent on exactly which candidates are on the initial list (Juppe normally comes ahead of her for instance):,_2017

    But once you get into the second round she gets soundly beaten by every possible candidate, except the widely despised Hollande. And he is unlikely to make it to the second round, or on current polling, even be the PS candidate in the first.

    What is more, even le Pen’s first round rating hasn’t altered much in that period being just under 30% on average. Far from the various terrorist attacks making the FN a more acceptable Party, they seem to have had little effect. This suggests that either FN are at their maximum possible vote or that people are supporting them for different reasons.

  38. A bit of distraction but some things about HS2.
    The standard train sets used on the WCML at present are 9-coach, as from introduction in, I think. 1998. Prior to that, trains were locomotive hauled, steam, then diesel then electric and there were regular loads of 11, 12 or 13-coach trains. Occasionally even longer. The reason they prefer reversible multiple units is because Euston is a terminus and once a locomotive arrives, it is trapped at the buffers until the coaches behind it return north.
    To ease capacity, it would be cheaper to build 11 or 13 coach multiple units. I imagine train handling facilities at Stonebridge Park and other depots would need enlargement but I do not believe there has been a programme of platform shortening since 1998. I think some 11-coach trains are on the horizon, so it would be a lot cheaper than HS2.
    If I have any of the above wrong, please correct me.

    I wonder if the reason that HS2, which seems like nonsense, is being pushed through is to help solve London’s third airport problem. If extra runways were built at Birmingham with super-fast connections to Euston, then perhaps the government could argue you can get to central London just as fast from Birmingham as from Heathrow, simultaneously appeasing all the objectors in the capital.
    Most people who would be affected by such a runway expansion in Birmingham would already have had their lives blighted by HS2 so perhaps the government thinks we’ve lost them already and there are fewer of them than London voters.

    That’s just a suggestion, I have no evidence.

  39. @ @SYZYGY
    Mandelson gave that speech abroad but he should have done it here.That would have stopped all the nonsense going on in the LP with the PLP blaming Corbyn for Brexit. He didn’t I suppose because he knows that would have hastened the demise of New Labour.
    As someone said on twitter “Blairism on it’s last legs hence ugliness as it’s sinking” .

    Good points .. and last made me laugh.


    Most of the Pendolino trains have already been extended to 11 coaches; the coaches are also longer than most older coaches. It is also likely that the tracks will be worn out again by the mid-2020s due to the volume of trains using them, which will cause reliability problems and disruption due to renewals.

    If the trains run faster, you also need fewer of them to maintain a particular service frequency, so improving train productivity.

  41. SYZYGY
    Do I understand you to mean, that the present buffoonery from Labour is merely the death knell of Blairism, prior to the true socialist bones of the party shining through to the sunlit uplands of peace, prosperity and a council house for all?

  42. “Why doesn’t Bercow stand as Labour leader himself. He could appoint his lovely wife C of the E. Altogether more healthy.”


    Or if going down that road, why not Cameron? He’s not busy at the moment, and if Tories are now being led by Miliband, there’d be a certain symmetry.

    In the end, as big an issue, is not who leads, but what ideas are becoming the norm, whoever is leading. It’s too early to say for sure, but the noises suggest a move left not just for Labour but Tories. And the IMF. Even Mandy is smelling some coffee.

    Aaaaaaanyway, in the New Scientist, an interesting piece on the rise of Donald Trump in the States, and you can see similar factors at work here.

    Basically such is the pace of change, plus a heaping up of anxieties, that people are overwhelmed and turn to someone offering the illusion of certainties and control.

    “Many people feel beleagured, notes psychologist Bryant Welch. trying to keep pace with change places ever greater demands on the brain, and this combines with worries about immigration policy, the economy, unemployment, climate change and security. Anxiety makes the crowd turn to a powerful commander.”

    “The danger is that the more this happens, the weaker and less capable people become. Welch compares it to a hero addict craving larger and larger doses to get the same high. People are mainlining the Trump drug, a cocktail of absolute certainty, strong opinion and talk of control.”

    “Trump says his opponents are not just wrong, but idiots. When he demonises others, it can trigger a primal response, both calming fears and awakening tribal instincts.”

    It goes on to explain how false certainties are communicated… Trade deals can just be ripped up, can build a wall to stop immigration etc. etc…. and one can see parallels with how simple, false certainties as supposed solutions are peddled over here.

  43. @Roland

    Lol Roly, peeps on here were saying it was like Miliband, and I was quizzical… Then read the Times editorial and they said the same thing!!

    Obviously might be better at the bacon sarnie thing…

  44. Four LSE academics wrote an article on the open democracy website on the 13th of July on the media treatment of Corbyn. They simply sampled the newspaper articles from last November. It is an interesting read.

    I can’t put the link in as it triggers automod.

  45. According to Michael Crick, it is looking possible that the legal challenge to allowing Corbyn on to the ballot without nominations may end up succeeding.

    I would laugh, but it is way beyond amusement now.

  46. In other news, Erdogan is now purging Turkish teachers.

    I do not know whether Erdogan referred to them as the “blob” or not, but at least Michael Gove is not in a position to copy his ideas any more.

  47. @ Hawthorn

    “I would laugh, but it is way beyond amusement now.”

    Well, the guy invested almost half a million into this enterprise. Past performance and alike small letter.

  48. “Corbyn is an incompetent leader”

    Source: 80% of the Parliamentary Labour Party

    Welcome to the first Tory poster in the next GE campaign. The next one will be on national security and how thePLP doesn’t trust him with it.

    Whoever is to blame, the polititical narrative has been written if Corbyn remains leader and he has already lost the next GE. The Labour Party really has to decide what its purpose is.


    Thanks for the Pendolino update. It’s some time since I was on the WCML and I’m glad 11-coach trains are now the norm. I remain unconvinced though that increasing capacity has been thoroughly examined. Do you know where the bottle-necks are. I assume south of Rugby, but then what use is made of the Northampton loop? And how is capacity on the Chiltern line?
    When I looked a few years ago, the WCML was not at the top of the congestion table. That accolade belonged to Reading-Paddington and I think all of the routes into London from south of the Thames were busier than the WCML. Are new links to the Midland Main line any use?

    Meanwhile of course, many good-sized towns such as Dudley, Fleetwood and Leigh have no railway at all.


    In the last 18 months or so, I have used the WCML route from London to Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Manchester, Northampton, Penrith and Warrington, on all days of the week for business and pleasure (all standard class) so I am quite familiar with it.

    There are various works to relieve current bottlenecks.
    The WCML south of Rugby is at the point where only adding extra tracks would help, which would be as destructive to property as HS2 and cause massive disruption to passengers. I bet it would also cost a fortune.

    Whenever I use the WCML, the trains seem busy. It often has hold-ups between Coventry and Birmingham. They have also converted first class coaches to standard to eke out more capacity.

    In fact to the West Midlands, I tend to prefer Chiltern despite being slower, as their trains tend to be less cramped and don’t smell. I can also use my Gold Card on them.

    If you are going to build new tracks, you might as well do it as a new route and future-proof it at the same time.

    I am reminded of the criticism of the Jubilee Line extension when it opened that it had too large stations. I don’t think anyone makes that criticism any more as it is cheaper to build big than to rebuild later.

1 2 3 4 5