We’ve had three voting intention polls in the last couple of days:

  • Ipsos MORI‘s monthly political monitor had topline figures of CON 43%(+4), LAB 42%(nc), LDEM 6%(-3). Fieldwork was over last weekend (Fri-Wed), and changes are from January. Tabs are here.
  • YouGov/Times on Friday has toplines of CON 41%(nc), LAB 43%(+1), LDEM 7%(nc). Fieldwork was Mon-Tues and changes are from last week. Tabs are here.
  • Survation/GMB, reported in the Sunday Mirror, has CON 37%(-3), LAB 44%(+1), LDEM 9%(+1). Fieldwork was Wednesday and Thursday, and changes are from the tail end of January. No tabs yet.

There is no clear trend – Labour is steady across the board, Survation have the Tories falling, MORI have them rising. MORI and YouGov show the two main parties neck-and-neck, Survation have a clear Labour lead.

The better Labour position in Survation is typical, but it’s not really clear why. As regular readers will know, Survation do both online and telephone voting intention polls. Their phone polls really do have a significantly different methodology – rather than random digit dialling, they randomly select phone numbers from consumer databases and ring those specific people. That would be an obvious possible explanation for a difference between Survation phone polls and polls from other companies. However, this poll wasn’t conducted by telephone, it was conducted online, and Survation’s online method is pretty similar to everyone else’s.

Survation’s online samples at the general election were much the same as everyone elses. The differences were down to other companies experimenting with things like demographic turnout modelling in order to solve the problems of 2015, approaches that ultimately ended up backfiring. However, polling companies that got it wrong have now dropped the innovations that didn’t work and largely gone back to simpler methods on turnout, meaning there is now no obvious reason for the difference.

Meanwhile, looking at the other questions in the surveys the YouGov poll also included their all their regular EU trackers, following Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn’s speeches. Neither, unsusprisingly, seem to have made much difference. 29% of people think that the Conservative party’s policy on Brexit is clear, up on a week ago (25%) but still significantly down from January (37%). 36% of people say they support May’s approach to Brexit, barely changed from a week ago (35%). For Labour, just 18% of people now think their Brexit policy is clear (down from 22% straight after Corbyn’s speech), 21% of people say they support the approach that Jeremy Corbyn is taking towards Brexit.


640 Responses to “Latest voting intention polls”

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  1. Must say, it was interesting, the chat about contrasting fascism and authoritarian communism etc., Howard posed a useful question.

  2. “The truth takes six times longer than fake news to be seen by 1,500 people on Twitter, according to the largest study of its kind.

    The investigation, published in the journal Science and conducted by Sinan Aral of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, looked at 126,000 posts that spread rumours on Twitter since the site began operating. Their truth was then verified through fact-checking websites, which have debunked fake news stories such as the Pope endorsing Donald Trump’s presidential bid.

    The study found that fake stories on social media “diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth”. It was rare for true stories to be seen by more than 1,000 people while the 1 per cent most popular false news stories “routinely” reached between 1,000 and 100,000 views. False political news was the most popular, reaching 20,000 people three times faster than non-political false news reached 10,000 people.”

  3. “Using linguistic analysis software, the study found that the reason fake news was so popular might be because it also tended to be more “novel”. Looking at the responses of those receiving the news, the scientists noted that the sentiments expressed were more likely to include surprise and disgust. Real news, conversely, was characterised by sadness and anticipation.

    The study said automated accounts were not to blame. Using software that identifies bots, researchers were able to remove them from the analysis and model the resulting effect on stories. The spread of fake news did diminish, but so did the spread of real news and by the same amount. The study also seemed to find that the volume of fake news was increasing.”

  4. Note the link between fake news and disgust, above.

  5. Squirrel pointing day indeed, last week parts of the media were getting excited about Labour wishing to shame Tory mps by making them vote for the removal of free school meals and childcare for some of the poorest families, which yesterday (according to my Facebook friends, since I haven’t seen it reported elsewhere) they duly did.

    It comes as no surprise to me that Umunna and his right wing mates prefer to launch another attack on their leader rather than take a kick at their friends in the Tory party.

  6. Princess Rachel,
    ” It got bigged up far too much, now she looks incredibly weak.”

    The obvious people to have bumped off some soviet defectors are the Russians. Either officially, or as part of a personal grudge (perhaps by ex colleagues) in a state which at least looks somewhat splintered.

    The method is obviously intended to make clear who is responsible. It follows a trail of people being killed in very newsworthy ways, which sounds like a policy. Yet while the method implies who is responsible, presumably the actual people who carried it out will have tried to avoid personal detection, and thus ultimate responsibiity is formally deniable. The whole thing looks calculated to boast who is responsible, without absolute proof.

    Since this is all about spies, it should never be discounted that the US might have done this to try to stir up international feeling against Russia, or the UK itself similarly or indeed to distract from Brexit, just as the house of lords seems to be busy revising government legislation. Or many other states you might name.

    If we are relying on reports about official UK intelligence findings, unfortunately precedent suggests little faith can be placed in at least the published reports of what they are claimed to have found. I live in hope their unpublished reports, before political censorship, are to a better standard.

    The most likely situation is an intervention in UK territory by a foreign power. This is hardly unprecedented, the US formally reserves the right to do this anywhere it fancies and kill foreign citizens when it considers this to be in its interests. Do we object to their doing so, or do we join in ourselves? Outrage over this is rather hollow, when we also support the execution of perceived enemies of the state on foreign territory.

    Seems highly unlikely there are any practical measures the UK could impose or get international support for which would harm Putin. Rather more likely, any such right now will boost his electoral chances at home, boost his control over any potential defectors, boost the standing of Russia as a nation to be feared around the world. If there is any nationalist backlash which gives support to the Uk government and therefore helps it push through Brexit, which is another win for Russia.

    If events are carried out by people who might benefit from them, is anyone going to benefit except Russia? May might, but the price of being found out would be so high as to almost certainly be prohibitive. (almost!). Does anyone have suggestions how other states (or private individuals) might benefit from framing Russia for this?

    The effect on the Uk will probably be to stir up support for the government in the short term, and then make the UK look weak when there is no effective action against Russia. It is more an attack on the Uk than the government, but May is indeed very likely to overplay her response and therefore highlight national weakness.

  7. I wouldnt like to say how this will come out, but been watching the house of lords debating the withdrawal bill.

    Lots of intelligent people absolutely trashing the bill as it stands. Government minister squirming about why the house should respect supremacy of a referendum over the right of parliament never to be bound by its predecessors or the executive. Pretty clear the bill as it stands suspends parliamentary democracy for a potentially indefinite period and puts us back in the position of an absolute monarchy. Except without the safeguard of an actual active monarch directing affairs with a vested interest in preserving that inheritance for their family in the future.

  8. What’s it all got to do with the price of fish?

    An interesting report this morning from the Marine Conservation Society which once again sheds light on why Brexit isn’t going to be this great bonanza for the UK fishing industry that those Brexiters who don’t pay attention to detail seem to think it will be.

    Firstly, to restate the obvious, the UK has 13% of EU territorial waters but is allocated 30% of the total EU quota.

    The MCS point out the simple and inconvenient fact that because of market preferences, the UK is the world’s 9th largest importer of fish, importing 70% of the fish we eat. In short, the fish species that UK consumers want are found mainly in waters outside what the UK would control after Brexit.

    75% of the catch caught in UK waters is exported, so it’s imperitive that the UK secures a deal that allows this to continue unaltered, otherwise the UK fishing industry effectively evaporates.

    There was some comment by those that don’t understand these things that the EU trade talk guidelines represented some kind of cherry picking, due to their desire to reach an agreement on access to fisheries. In fact, a sensible reading of this is quite the reverse. They’ve probably reasoned that a) a comprehensive deal on fishing is just a sensible and friendly thing to do, and b) including fisheries gives the EU additional leverage in the talks.

    If the UK doesn’t strike a deal on fisheries, the simple fact of the matter is that it would be curtains for much of the UK fishing industry, unless UK consumers switched overnight in vast numbers from cod and haddock to dab and megrim.

    No? Thought not.

  9. Some interesting debate on here about the nerve agent attack as people gently feel around thw shape of events to try and form an opinion. As others have said, it certainly seems most likely to be Russia, bit something smells a little off in the way that everyone is rushing headlong forward. Just reading about the UN debate now for instance. Russia is being criticised for having the secret Novicok agent without revealing its existance. So how we know what it is and that it was used if its secret……?

  10. B&B,
    “something smells a little off in the way that everyone is rushing headlong forward.”

    As I mentioned, currently watching the house of lords on Brexit. Anything the government could find to distract from this would be welcome for them. As to the US, I’d imagine trump is loving it. The criticism already directed at him because of Russian intervention in his election means he needs an opportunity to be tough against Russia. (even if, in the end, nothing whatever results)

    Alec,
    What indeed. But every time I have seen analysis of aspects of Brexit they turn out to be other than first portrayed.

  11. It says in the Times that Brussels has ruled the UK can pursue other trade deals while still in the Single Market.

    I’m not sure if this has been noted already, hard to keep one’s bearings with the Brexit thing if not involved in the chat.

    Does this mean we can now start negotiating a trade deal with the EU for when we leave the EU?

  12. @Danny Exactly. Smoke and mirrors. The British government is using the Novichok incident to bury the continuing avalanche of bad news about and criticism of Brexit.

    And frankly, considering what HMG has subjected the citizens of this country to since 2010, their sudden concern about British lives rings hollow. Especially as their stated Brexit policy is going to result in a hard border in Ireland and threaten the fragile peace there – British (and Irish) lives are in Tory eyes a price worth paying in the name of Brexit!

  13. Seamus Milne been in ?

    :-) :-) :-)

  14. The Times report good progress in Brexit Transition negotiation:-

    * UK able to both negotiate & sign TAs .
    *UK not need to defer to Brussels at WTO & will participate “in its own right”-subject to no clash on policy.

    On Latest draft of EU/UK TA :-
    * will be £ balanced , ambitious & wide ranging “-ie TM’s words.
    * “ambitious provisions on movement based on reciprosity & non-discrimination , co-ordination of social policy & recognition of professional qualifications”.

  15. BZ

    “Time will tell who is correct, but you don’t seem to have thought through the possibilities should a WTO exit not bring the benefits you are hoping for PDQ.”

    You have no idea about that. In fact I have given very careful thought to all the Brexit scenarios and i stick by my statement that for me and people like me leaving the EU is the top priority. There is absolutely no meeting of minds on this issue.

  16. Colin,
    “ambitious provisions on movement based on reciprosity & non-discrimination… ”

    I’m surprised you like that, surely it leaves the way open for an agreement for free movement of citizens to live and work in either the EU or UK? I’m more than happy for the current arrangements to continue, but hasnt it been claimed the whole point is that they do not?

  17. Carfrew

    Thanks, the question has always interested me.

  18. I think it’s right to retain a healthy scepticism about what we’re told of the Skripal case. But the same scepticism should be applied to any alternative suggestions as to who did it and why.

    Personally, I find it entirely believable that the Russian state is behind this. It’s also possible, though much less likely if the poison used was indeed a military agent, that shady Russian business or criminal operators were responsible – but how would they get hold of the agent, why would they use it when much simpler methods are available, and what would be their motive?

    Putin, on the other hand, has every reason to demonstrate to Russian exiles that they can run but they cannot hide. He has shown that the UK is not the safe, cosy bolthole it seemed, where they could stash the cash ripped off from who knows whom? This is surely Putin tugging the leash. Novichok is a 21st-century ice-pick.

    One further thought: could Putin’s motive be to humiliate a once-mighty, still self-important, but now freshly vulnerable opponent? What would be the effect if all Russians and Russian companies holding money in UK banks and investments were required to repatriate all their assets? This golden future of ours, acting as bankers and service providers to the world: won’t that give the world in general, and some of its dodgier countries in particular, a pretty big hold over us?

    After all, service-providers are servants by another name, and servants have to do as they’re told.

  19. I would heartily recommend reading Seamus Milne’s account of the miners strike The Enemy Within, a fantastic book that goes into more detail than practically anywhere available at the role Mi5 played in breaking the miners union and supporting the Thatcher regime.

    No wonder the British establishment despise and dear Seamus so much – not only has he proved to be an outstanding political strategist (read Tim Shipman’s account of Milne’s election strategy in Fall Out for a good insight into this) but he’s one of the people who has dared to hold the security services to account for their decades of party political interference on behalf of the Tory party. These organisations undermine our democracy and use authoritarian measures to prevent Labour (or any vaguely progressive organisation for that matter) from winning.

    I hope as a result of all this the next Labour government conducts a root and branch reform of the security services.

  20. “Seamus Milne been in?”

    ——–

    Shhhh!! Don’t blow Turk’s cover!

  21. @ToH

    “Thanks, the question has always interested me.”

    ——-

    And it engendered some interesting answers Howard. It seems the different ideologies seem to have rather more in common than things in which they differ. I liked the idea that the motives might differ rather, even if the means were similar.

  22. Re: Fascism v Stalinism
    I imagine to the downtrodden worker it matters little whether those doing the treading are authoritarian believers in private ownership and racial purity or authoritarian believers in centralised state ownership and ideological purity: the result is the same poor working conditions for the run of the mill worker and imprisonment and death for those who do not meet the definition of purity. In the end all forms of authoritarianism demonstrate the same failing that of stopping thinking about people as people and treating them as things.
    Judges in this country invented the writ of Habeas Corpus to prevent people being treated as things. In general all authoritarianism stems from the wish of one individual or small group to be in charge and developing the notion that not to be in agreement with that individual or group is is not to be a citizen of that nation.

  23. Danny

    I don’t think anyone in the pub was questioning that the Russians did It, more an attitude of ‘So what’ and taking the Mick out of May for promising to be tough and doing very little

  24. Seems like there’s s been some fake news being spread on UKPR. Skrypal is/was not a Russian defector or exile.

    He was a double agent for the British who was tried and jailed in Russia. He was eventually ‘swopped’ 8 years ago….. so he was living in the Uk with Russian blessing. Given the advantages to all spies to have such a programme, it would be unlikely to bump him off for that. It seems more likely to stem from more recent activity.

  25. I think there’s an interesting contrast between the reluctance to point the finger at Russia for Salisbury until the investigation is complete and we have hard evidence of who was responsible, with the rampaging rush to judgement over incidents like the Grenfell fire, which apparently should have caused the prosecution of the Tory party, the council, all of the companies involved and anyone else the protesters don’t like within 48 hrs of being put out.

    To some extent I am in both camps. I absolutely believe that there shouldn’t be a rush to judgement, and I think the government have acted a bit too hastily over Salisbury (and I don’t deny the possibility that they may have seen it as a convenient squirrel – although I think that’s pretty mean-spirited). On the other hand, I don’t think a reluctance to rush to judgement should preclude a sensible assessment of where the blame is likely to lie – and the early application of policy changes and preparation on that basis. That’s true whether it’s the removal of cladding from buildings, or plans by the military and security services to counteract Russian state terrorism.

    I don’t see any particular advantage to playing this out on mainstream and social media within minutes of the event – although I accept that this may be partly my age and personality as I don’t really see the point of playing anything out on mainstream and social media. Information should be spread by professional journalists, working with the facts, not pre-existing opinions, and although they can report on rumours, preliminary theories and the opinions of others, they shouldn’t build hypotheses. However, that is a pipe dream. I don’t think any media organisation has ever been as squeaky-clean as that due to the need to source funds to run their operations, and the consequent need to please the people who stump those up (whether that’s an entertainment-hungry public, an opinionated billionaire, or a government)

    The BBC probably comes closest, but of course isn’t perfect either.

  26. Hey Hey NRA How Many Kids Did you Kill Today?

    Shouted by the mass school/college walkouts in the USA yesterday protesting about slack gun laws: attracted little publicity here but was successfully co-ordinated. A weird culture where 10-year-old kids talk far more sense on the subject than millions of “adults”.

    Moore’s film Bowling for Columbine was muddled in its arguments but brought out the insane love of guns in the US.There is of course no direct correlation between gun ownership & killings, tho the fact the US has so many must be part of the problem.

    Also interesting that a Democrat — albeit a conservative one – took a Congressional seat in Pennsylvania where Trump was miles ahead & where the party did not even field a candidate in the last two elections?

  27. Now this is what I can’t get to grips with. We are expelling 23 Russian diplomats on the grounds they are “undeclared intelligence officers”, i.e. spies.

    1. If we know they are here, why haven’t we expelled them before? Why do we need an excuse to do it now?

    2. If we know all about them, what use have they been to Russia anyway?

  28. @Syzygy,

    I think “exile”, “defector” and “double agent” are all half-truths. From what I’ve read, Skripal was a “walk in” – in other words he approached the British and offered to work for them. Choosing such a career carries with it a strong likelihood that at some point you’re going to want to be “extracted” and live out your retirement in the West (more so if your motivation was political rather than financial, but I haven’t seen any reporting on which Skripal’s was). So in that sense, he was a defector (in that he switched sides) and had accepted the likelihood of exile (in that he probably expected to end up in the West eventually – but his exile was delayed by the usefulness of him remaining in situ). ‘Double agent’ is also part-true. A true double agent would be someone who is sent to spy on the UK but offers their services to the target of their spying. My understanding is that Skripal was Russia-based. If he was specifically working on anti-UK activities there he would be a definite double agent (I have no idea). I think the most correct term based on what we have been told would be “informant” – i.e. someone already in an organisation who is recruited by an intelligence officer to provide information on that organisation.

    So, confused reporting, inaccurate use of language and general ignorance, rather than “Fake News” (I wish that term wasn’t so widely used by the way – it very accurately portrays a very specific kind of deception operation that has existed for centuries, but until the advent of social media was beyond the means of ordinary people to orchestrate).

  29. @Norbold,

    Several answers to that really.

    1 – All embassies have numerous intelligence officers attached to them. It’s probably not too difficult to work out who is superfluous to the actual diplomatic work of the embassy. There’s just a limit to how useful it is to get rid of them. To expose them will simply endanger the intelligence techniques used to identify them, and they will be immediately replaced with more. I think governments just tolerate it as “normal practice”. Only when they actually catch someone red-handed do they normally expel them (or in general spats, like the current one).

    2 – That’s probably a misunderstanding of the word “intelligence officer” – partly born of the the media and movie portrayal of spies. I am an intelligence officer (for the police). I don’t do surveillance, I don’t break into buildings and steal documents, I don’t go undercover. What I do is process the information, make proposals and plans for the people who do. An intelligence officer is there to conduct research, analysis, identify and recruit informants, arrange to receive their information securely and most importantly to have the security clearance to look at secret information so that they can weave it into a (hopefully) accurate picture of what’s really going on.

    Actually knowing the identity of an intelligence officer does reduce their effectiveness a bit, but not much. Identifying informants, moles, double agents etc is much more important. But those people are not “intelligence officers” in the true sense of the word – unless they occupy that position for some other organisation (like Skripal did).

  30. @Robbiealive

    Yup, I almost don’t dare to hope, but for the first time it does feel like there is a concerted push-back against the power of the gun lobby.

    Perhaps in three years’ time, we will have a Democrat Congress, and a White House occupied by a Democrat who feels the wind has changed sufficiently to actually dare to act.

    However I’ve felt that optimism before and been dashed.

  31. UK devolved nations Brexit deal also looking likely.

    “The issues that remain between us are not insignificant but not insurmountable,” Sturgeon said. “With understanding a deal can be reached.”

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-devolution/uks-devolved-nations-see-potential-deal-over-post-brexit-power-sharing-idUKKCN1GQ2UQ

    As for transition then immediate trade deal freedom is a win for UK and relaxing FoM is a win for EC (especially GV). win-win!
    As Sturgeon would say “With understanding a deal can be reached.” :)

    For the hat trick of Brexit good news various mumbles around about and Enhanced Equivalence deal (used to be called Equivalence+) for services. ECB extending out the bad loan reforms highlights many EU countries (notably Italy) are still in very poor shape to risk any trauma in the banking sector or access to the global financial capital.

  32. Good morning all from Central London.

    May is loving all this anti Russian stuff. She has warned Brits about travelling to Russia as anti British feelings grow which is not surprising. Her government are stirring up all the emotions but to be honest, I don’t think the average Russian gives a monkeys about Britain.

    Lets face it..we do think we are more important than everyone else.
    Ol Corby has it right on Russia.

  33. As I see it Corbyn has made a serious political mistake here by not giving the government his party’s wholehearted, unconditional, support on this matter given that it concerns use of a deadly nerve agent on UK soil and considering that all the signs point to Russian involvement. Unlike, for e.g., the SNP who are on most other matters sorely critical of the govt.

    The real damage is that by being seen to give at best selective, conditional, support, it (re)opens the door to the Conservatives criticising Corbyn as being someone who simply cannot be trusted when the security and national interest is at stake – and this time over a CURRENT issue and not just historical matters such as his alleged sympathies for the IRA cause long ago. Voters inevitably swing to support the govt of the day whenever it has to act in anything concerning national security that affects the UK mainland. And for his spokesman to then imply an equivalence between the flawed intelligence over Iraq’s supposed WMDs and the interpretation of the evidence around the Salisbury attack is dubious at best. This is not a question of whether some foreign party has a WMD and whether or not they are capable of using it. Someone clearly does have a deadly chemical nerve agent AND they have just gone and used it on the UK mainland, and put at risk innocent UK citizens.

    May probably couldnt believe her lucky stars yesterday when Corbyn spoke.

  34. More Gun News from USA

    A Minnesota woman has been sentenced to six months in prison for shooting dead her boyfriend in a YouTube stunt that went wrong in June last year.

    Woman was asked by [her boyfriend] Ruiz, 22, to fire a gun from 30cm away, as he held a hardback encyclopaedia to protect himself from the bullet.
    She was pregnant with their second child at the time of the shooting.

  35. Neil A I don’t break into buildings and steal documents,… What I do is process the information, make proposals and plans for the people who do.

    Well, well.

  36. @RobbieAlive

    Shall we ban stupid people?

    https://gunsafetyrules.nra.org

  37. Irrespective of the rights and wrongs, Corbyn’s stance yesterday was sheer incompetence. The story should have been “Is that it? Is that all you are going to do?” with the subtext referring back to Russian donations to the Tories.

    Even if he wanted to follow the “let’s see all the evidence” line, he could have agreed that it seems highly likely to be the Russians, and that their refusal to respond appropriately (or even politely) or to otherwise cooperate with attempts to identify the perpetrator(s) was completely unacceptable.

    He could then have said that irrespective of blame, that refusal alone justified the government’s action – but that if the investigation then uncovers hard evidence then more action will be required.

    Instead he made himself look pathetic.

  38. @baldbloke

    “May probably couldnt believe her lucky stars yesterday when Corbyn spoke.”

    This was a comment from a very centrist colleague at work today.

    “I normally have reservations about Corbyn but in this case it is like he was the only sane person in Parliament.”

  39. THE OTHER HOWARD @ BZ

    In fact I have given very careful thought to all the Brexit scenarios and i stick by my statement that for me and people like me leaving the EU is the top priority.

    I have no problem in accepting that that is your view, but if that is the case then you must be prepared for your family and every other British subject to become poorer if or when your predictions fail.

  40. Much whataboutery over whether the intelligence services can be trusted, or how the government is going about murdering people in their beds by freezing their benefits so the first use of nerve agent in Europe since WW2 is unimportant.

    The issue that ought to concern us is how this will all play with the voting public. Corbyn certainly phrased his responses very poorly, he could have held the government to account without effectively parroting the Kremlin line, and it’s as NEIL A said – he certainly wasted no time in blaming the government for Grenfell before the bodies had even stopped smoking. It strikes me as him falling into his typical ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ attitudes towards people who are opponents of the ‘imperialist’ West, helped along by the advice of Seumas Milne, and an inability to bring himself to agree with the Tories about anything at all.

    Will it make a difference though? We already knew these things about him a long time ago, everyone who might be put off voting Labour by this kind of gaff is likely already leaning conservative. We can see here the lengths that his supporters will go to in order to deny that Corbyn has even made a political error in his choice of words, let alone that he might actually be wrong. The press will make a lot of fuss, but I don’t think it’s the kind of thing that will dent VI.

  41. NEIL A

    I hate the safe news expression so passionately that I can hardly bear to type it.

    As with many words and phrases that become suddenly popular I am permanently amazed at how quick and mindless the spread is.

    As a small, two-word example, many BBC reporters begin every response to a studio question with:

    “So…”

    To parrot another popular one:

    WTF is that all about?

  42. “Safe” news was clearly a freudian slip – I meant the other word….

  43. @ Crofty

    “many BBC reporters begin every response to a studio question with: “So…” ”

    Sorry John Finnemore got there first again:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09qhf19

    at 16:40

  44. Back to polling (at least the dreaded “internal polling” that Anthony warns us of).

    Some may remember the Red Robin site being mentioned on here, which described internal polling by Moonlight Research showing that SLab were only 4 points behind the SNP.

    Wings has done a little digging.

    https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-greasy-poll/

    The owner of Moonlight has confirmed that he is the Secretary of the BPC, but his company is not a BPC member, as it only has 1 client [1].

    Obviously, some internal polling is conducted by BPC members – often to test out kites which might be flown – but this case highlights a more “American” style of polling, where the pollster appears to be aligned with the client.

    Possibly of more concern for Labour would be reliance on the results from such a pollster, which are clearly widely at variance from every other pollster.

    [1] Presumably the Labour Party or a close associate

  45. International diplomacy seems to be descending into infantilism.

    In the sub-continent, tension has been brewing between the two sides for a couple of months — one of the incidents involved the doorbell of the Indian deputy High Commissioner J P Singh being rung at 3 am. Since the Indian side felt that this was done by Pakistan’s security agencies, the Pakistan deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah’s door bell was also rung at 3 am in next few days.

    http://indianexpress.com/article/india/spat-with-india-forcing-rethink-says-pakistan-envoy-sohail-mahmood-5098274/

    In the USA, there are Trump tweets. In the UK, the Defence Secretary tells Russia to “go away and shut up”.

    Looking forward to the first world leader to respond to the outbreak of war with “Nah, nah not listening. Your mum’s ugly and my brother’s bigger than yours.”

  46. @Garj

    Why does the word “imperialist” appear in quotation marks in your post? Do you dispute that the West (itself just a politically correct euphemism for what more honest right-wingers would have called either Christendom or The White Race a generation ago) has a long and dreadful history of imperialism? Or perhaps that all stopped many years ago and the United Stars has 340 military bases in nearly one hundred countries around the world cos they’re just really nice guys who altruistically protect us from whichever threat is out to get us this week.

    The fact that socialists and Marxists are against imperialism shouldn’t be a shock to anyone.

  47. @Trevor Warne – with regards the apparent ‘win’ on FTA softening during the transition, with the caveat that we only have a media report and don’t know the detail, my strong suspicion is that you are falling for a nice bit of political playacting.

    When the point was raised by some that the terms of EU membership, and therefore the transition, were that member states cannot negotiate their own trade deals, leavers (including yourself, it must be said, as well as luminaries like Liam Fox) explained that the EU can’t stop us talking to third parties about trade deals.

    Now that the EU has apparently agreed to not do something you said they couldn’t do anyway, you are talking this as a victory.

    I suspect that this is much more about the EU agreeing to
    something that is in practical terms quite meaningless, probably as part of their softening in order to get movement on other things they want. A bit like discarding a card you don’t need in a card game.

    I’m pretty sure (not 100% certain, but it seem highly likely) that the new found freedom the UK will have won’t extend to bringing any new trade deals into force while we are in the transition period, so whatever we negotiate and even end up signing, will only take effect after we have left.

    In this, the situation hasn’t changed one jot, and this really isn’t any meaningful softening by the EU.

  48. Craig Murray is still blogging on Novichok

    “1) Porton Down has acknowledged in publications it has never seen any Russian “novichoks”. The UK government has absolutely no “fingerprint” information such as impurities that can safely attribute this substance to Russia.
    2) Until now, neither Porton Down nor the world’s experts at the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were convinced “Novichoks” even exist.
    3) The UK is refusing to provide a sample to the OPCW.
    4) “Novichoks” were specifically designed to be able to be manufactured from common ingredients on any scientific bench. The Americans dismantled and studied the facility that allegedly developed them. It is completely untrue only the Russians could make them, if anybody can.
    5) The “Novichok” programme was in Uzbekistan not in Russia. Its legacy was inherited by the Americans during their alliance with Karimov, not by the Russians.”

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

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