Brexit.

Kaimi Kyomoon

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It's a plutocracy over here in the States.
 
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Porsupah Ree

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It's merely one person's perceptions, but still, as far as tea leaf reading goes.. it's sort of interesting.

Change UK leader Heidi Allen said David Lidington, the Cabinet Office minister, had “clearly done his research” on the mechanics of a Final Say vote when she attended talks alongside Liberal Democrats Sir Vince Cable and Jo Swinson.

Sir Vince said Mr Lidington had asserted that holding another vote would be “perfectly practical” during the meeting. In the wake of the Tories’ poor local election showing, Ms Allen said she felt there was “more of an open door” among senior Tories towards another referendum.
She said: “He was all over the detail of the legislation and how complex legislation would be, how many days of debate it might need, the timetable might look like, how it would fit around summer recess."
 

Porsupah Ree

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I know it won't happen - May's nothing if not undyingly loyal to her party - but wouldn't it be funny if she said to the 1922 brigade, "You want me gone? Fine. I'll go. Right after we announce a new referendum." =:)
 
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Lianne Marten

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Aha! Finally, I've found some more useful Brexit polling info. ^_^


Data's gathered from a variety of outfits, including ComRes, Survation, YouGov, BMG, TNS, and more.



Latest data point is 54.3% remain, 45.7% leave; however, this is with undecideds removed. The last two polls had, for example, 4% and 10% undecided. Nonetheless, the trend would seem valid.
Shame that this is only going to matter if there is another referendum though. At this point, without that direct message, anyone who votes for Labour will be counted as a vote for Leave because that's what Labour has decided it wants. Same with Tories and of course same with The Brexit Party. Those parties have already made their decision and will do it regardless of what anyone else says.
 
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Porsupah Ree

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Shame that this is only going to matter if there is another referendum though. At this point, without that direct message, anyone who votes for Labour will be counted as a vote for Leave because that's what Labour has decided it wants. Same with Tories and of course same with The Brexit Party. Those parties have already made their decision and will do it regardless of what anyone else says.
True enough. At least, as far as official Labour policy goes, and its current interpretation by the leadership - that said, I remain inclined to feel that the dynamics haven't shifted much from the last rounds of voting, so getting a deal passed, even if blessed by both May and Corbyn, remains a high bar to pass, thankfully. But why Corbyn insists on trying to straddle the two sides at this stage, when everyone else has perfectly clear positions.. still, that's how it is, and I'd be very surprised if it works in Labour's favor on the 23rd.

Certainly, a PV would be an excellent way to break the stalemate, especially if the margin were convincing - and we'd finally have an end to these baseless assertions that leaving is The Will of the People™. (Funny how those crowing loudest about such are the most vociferous to deny a PV)
 

Innula Zenovka

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But why Corbyn insists on trying to straddle the two sides at this stage, when everyone else has perfectly clear positions.. still, that's how it is, and I'd be very surprised if it works in Labour's favor on the 23rd.
Corbyn's problem is that he is leader of a party of whose MPs some 60% represent constituencies that voted "Leave" in the referendum. A substantial minority of his MPs, furthermore, support some form of Brexit, and so too does Len McCluskey, who leads the largest (I think) trades union affiliated to the Labour Party. Furthermore, a considerable number of Labour's target seats, which it must win in order to stand any chance of forming the next government -- whether on its own or in coalition with the SNP and other smaller parties -- also voted Leave.

That would be a problem for any leader, not just Corbyn.

Labour's current policy is the result of a composite motion at the special party conference last year, which was the result of hours of argument and negotiation behind the scenes. The thinking behind it, as I understand it, is -- or was at the time, anyway -- that Labour would stand a better chance in a pre-Brexit general election if candidates can reassure Leave-supporting voters who are thinking of voting Labour that, if Labour win, it will attempt to negotiate something far better than TM's deal, which just about everyone agrees is a dreadful one.

If Labour wins and the EU is prepared to agree to a deal that matches the requirements of the policy as passed at the party conference, then we can celebrate with a fly-past of red unicorns. Back in the real world, the EU will, of course, politely refuse to agree to anything that gives the UK all the benefits of being a member (including a say in EU trade deals) but none of the disadvantages, so Labour will then be able to say, "Well, at least we tried, but looks like we'd best stick with what we've got and rescind the Article 50 notification, so we can once again concentrate on stuff like the NHS, the police and the environment," and let the Conservatives (or the Brexit Party) see how well campaigning for a new referendum does with the electorate.

More likely, Labour won't be the largest party and will, instead, have to depend on the support of the SNP, Plaid Cymru, Lib Dems and so on. The price of that support will doubtless be to rescind the A50 notification, and that will be that.

Until the next election, though, there's no clear parliamentary majority for a second referendum even if Labour whips for one. The only way we're going to get a second referendum is either if the Government and Labour come to an agreement over TM's deal or if something extraordinary happens -- and I don't by any means intend to rule that out, and use the term "extraordinary" only because it covers so many possible circumstances.

I'm not at all sure what benefit it would be to anyone for Labour at this point to commit to promising a second referendum in its next general election manifesto, unless it's feared there's a genuine likelihood that the EU will agree to Corbyn's wishlist. It's far more likely, to my mind, that Labour won't have enough seats to form a government and will have rescind the A50 notification as the price of support from other minority parties, and if Labour do gain an absolute majority of seats, then the EU will refuse to re-negotiate, and Labour will have to rescind the A50 notification anyway.

That's the rationale, anyway, from the pro-Remain side of the Party.

ETA Or my understanding of the argument, anyway.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Comres just published a survey being done for the Express; the question were the voting intentions for the House of Commons directed to UK adults.

Westminster Voting Intention
Labour27%-7
Brexit Party20%+6
Conservative19%-4
Liberal Democrat14%+7
Change UK7%-2
Green Party5%+2
UKIP3%-2
SNP3%-
Plaid Cymru1%-
Other1%-
(chg from ComRes/Brexit Express poll, 16th April)


Times are getting tougher for May... and Corbyn.
 

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More polling!


They offer up results from a variety of polling outfits. The tables and graphs appear stuck at the end of March, unfortunately, but the polls remain current. There's some useful analysis, too.

Opinium for the Observer have Westminster voting intentions of CON 22%(-4), LAB 28%(-5), LDEM 11%(+5), BREX 21%(+4), GRN 6%(+2), ChUK 4%(nc), UKIP 4%(nc). Fieldwork was between Wednesday and Friday, and changes are from late April. Full tables are here.

ComRes for BrexitExpress have voting intentions of CON 19%(-4), LAB 27%(-6), LDEM 14%(+7), BREX 20%(+6), GRN 5%(+2), ChUK 7%(-2), UKIP 3%(-2). Fieldwork appears to be all on Thursday, and changes are since mid-April.

Both polls have Labour and the Conservatives rapidly shedding support, with support growing for the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit party. I suspect we are seeing a combination of factors at work here, most obviously there is the continuing collapse in Conservative support over Brexit, a trend we’ve been seeing since the end of March, with support moving to parties with a clearer pro-Brexit policy. Originally that favoured UKIP too, now it is almost wholly going to the Brexit party.
Both polls also had voting intention figures for the European Parliament elections
Opinium Euro VI – CON 11%, LAB 21%, LDEM 12%, BREX 34%, GRN 8%, ChUK 3%, UKIP 4%
ComRes Euro VI – CON 13%, LAB 25%, LDEM 14%, BREX 27%, GRN 8%, ChUK 6%, UKIP 3%
 
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Innula Zenovka

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I can't provide a link, since it comes from the newsletter the New Statesman sends to subscribers, but here's what that magazine's political editor, Stephen Bush, had to say about the EU election predictions in yesterday's post. Essentially, he warns us against making predictions about subsequent general elections based on the outcome of this forthcoming European one
Good morning. The pollster changes but the song remains the same: the Brexit party on course to win the European parliamentary elections, Labour still just about in second place, the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in a battle for third, the Greens in a strong fourth place, the Scottish and Welsh nationalists doing well in their own theatres, and Change UK and Ukip bobbing along the bottom.

If the polls are to be believed, the Brexit party and the Liberal Democrats are successfully making themselves the vehicles of choice for both poles of the referendum debate, with dire consequences for Labour and apocalyptic ones for the Conservatives. According to polls of Westminster voting intention, the defection of Leave and Remain voters isn't just a European affair but a national one, too. If repeated at a general election, Labour would win 316 seats, short of a majority but more than capable of taking office, with the Conservatives well back on 179 seats, the SNP on 55 seats, the Brexit party on 49 seats, the Liberal Democrats on 28 seats, Plaid Cymru on four seats and the Greens on on one.

All very exciting, but worth taking with at least a moderately-sized pinch of salt. It's helpful to remember that since the switch to the proportional D'Hondt system, these elections have been won by William Hague, Michael Howard, David Cameron, and Nigel Farage: that is to say, converting European election triumph into general election success is the exception, rather than the rule.

We shouldn't forget either that in the 2010-5 parliament, Ukip won the European elections and two by-elections. At the general election it won just one: Clacton, where it had the benefits of the most pro-Ukip demographics of the whole country.

It's also worth remembering that consistently in the run-up to the 2014 European elections, enthusiasm for Ukip bled over into what people told pollsters about the Westminster elections, with that party consistently polling at the 18 to 20 per cent mark. They got 13 per cent in the 2015 general election.

One reason why these elections are tricky for both the Conservatives and Labour is their most powerful card - that thanks to our appalling electoral system, only a vote for one can be certain of removing the other from office - is not in play.

It is certainly possible that supporters of the Brexit party will decide that 49 seats for Nigel Farage and friends and a Labour minority government backed up by one or more of the second referendum parties is a price they are willing to pay to punish the Conservatives but given the unpopularity of the Labour party in general and its leader in particular with Leave-voting 2017 Conservatives I wouldn't bet heavily on it.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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I can't provide a link, since it comes from the newsletter the New Statesman sends to subscribers, but here's what that magazine's political editor, Stephen Bush, had to say about the EU election predictions in yesterday's post. Essentially, he warns us against making predictions about subsequent general elections based on the outcome of this forthcoming European one
The whole message of this newsletter is just utter garbage - because Comres specifically asked for the voting intentions regarding the HoC as well. Which means that we don't have to play guessing games, but that we got a clear view on the public opinion right now. And the view is consistent with the EP polls: Brexit party instant winner, Tories&Labour loosing quite much, Libdems and Greens winning some.

Or in other word: the parties which do have a clear stance on the Brexit topic are winners; the rest are losers. Which is kind of Captain Obvious to me that the voters are fed up with both of the big parties due to their garbage performance on that topic so far.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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The whole message of this newsletter is just utter garbage - because Comres specifically asked for the voting intentions regarding the HoC as well. Which means that we don't have to play guessing games, but that we got a clear view on the public opinion right now. And the view is consistent with the EP polls: Brexit party instant winner, Tories&Labour loosing quite much, Libdems and Greens winning some.

Or in other word: the parties which do have a clear stance on the Brexit topic are winners; the rest are losers. Which is kind of Captain Obvious to me that the voters are fed up with both of the big parties due to their garbage performance on that topic so far.
Yes, but asking people now about their voting intentions in a general election to be held at some unspecified point during the next three years doesn't really tell us a great deal about what people are actually likely to do when the election actually happen.

Doubtless had you asked Brits about their voting intentions "if there were a general election tomorrow" (which is the usual question here) a couple of weeks before the previous four EU elections they'd have told you that they were pretty similar to their intentions in the EU elections but, as Stephen Bush, the author of the newsletter, points out, that would have provided a very unreliable indicator to how they actually did behave when it was time actually vote in a general election, to the extent that only once did the party that polled best in the EU election go on to win the next general election but, on one occasion, the party that did best (UKIP) failed to win a single seat in the general.

The future is, to my mind, even less clear this time round since we know that, whoever leads the Conservatives into the next general election it almost certainly won't be Theresa May, and "the Brexit topic" will very likely have changed dramatically by that point -- the UK may no longer be a member of the EU come the next general election, or it may have withdrawn the Article 50 notification and we're back as full and permanent members again.

If we are, heaven help us, still arguing about the Withdrawal Agreement come the next general election, whenever it is, then I can pretty much promise you that, whatever is Labour's policy when the manifesto for that election comes to be written, it won't be the same as what it is now.

Furthermore, I think you have to keep in mind the considerations weighing on voters' minds in the EU elections are very different from those in the general election. As Bush points out, it's a pretty big assumption that sufficient Conservative voters who defect to the Brexit Party will maintain that stance when, at best, they'll likely see some 50-odd Brexit Party MPs, with Labour, led by Jeremy Corbyn, as the largest single party, forming a minority government with the support of one or more of the Remain parties.

Similarly, in England at least (it's different in Wales and Scotland, of course) it's a lot safer f Labour voters who support Remain (or remain supporters generally) to vote for a smaller Remain supporting party in the European elections than it is in a general election when the most likely outcome of such a vote is a leave-supporting Conservative government.

In the same way, in very many English constituencies, people are going to have to ask themselves how confident they are in voting Lib-Dem or Green when the likely result of that is going to be that for the next five years they'll be represented by a Tory who is part of a minority Conservative government, relying on the DUP and the Brexit Party/UKIP (if any of them get elected) or by a Labour MP who is part of a minority government that relies on Remain parties to govern.

Furthermore, the problem for the two main parties is that Brexit cuts right across traditional party loyalties and that neither of the main parties can hope to win a general election as a purely Leave party or a purely Remain party.

Personally, I wish it were otherwise, but I have to accept-- because I can count and because I know I have to deal with the world as it is rather than as I would like it to be -- that Labour cannot under present circumstances hope to emerge from the next general election as the largest single party if it runs as purely a Remain party.

That may very well change before the next election but it's certainly the case right now, and now isn't the time to have a big fight about Labour's Brexit Policy. It may very well be that the outcome of the EU elections will make it the time for that fight, but let's see how those go before making any firm plans.
 

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A judge will next week decide whether to summon Boris Johnson to court after the first hearing of a crowd-funded private prosecution over claims made by the MP during the 2016 EU referendum.

Marcus Ball, who has accused Johnson of misconduct in public office, was applauded outside Westminster magistrates court on Tuesday by supporters who have helped him to raise more than £200,000 to finance the case. It relates to claims, emblazoned on the side of a bus used by the Vote Leave campaign during the referendum, that the UK sends £350m each week to the European Union.
Ball, who has has spent nearly three years preparing the case and raising funds, has instructed solicitors at Bankside Commercial. They have retained Lewis Power QC and a number of other barristers.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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Theresa May wants to held a fourth vote on her WA in the week of the 3rd of June. Exact the same week, when Donald Trump is going to visit the UK as well.

 
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Porsupah Ree

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Exact the same week, when Donald Trump is going to visit the UK as well.
The timing could be merely coincidental, but part of me wonders if she isn't deliberately trying to scupper the vote - if Cheetolini doesn't galvanise opposition to the idea of being rendered a tribute state to the US, with him at the helm, nothing will.

Perhaps this could finally be the time for Kyle-Wilson to shine?
 
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What as early as the beginning of June? I had expected somewhere around half Octobe
 
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Looks like MV4 will unite the Commons. =:D


I'm feeling it's not the WA vote that'll be interesting, so much as what amendments find favor. Kyle-Wilson's been steadily gaining ground, but I'm concerned that Clarke's Common Market 2.0 was also not far off a majority - and previously, IIRC, the way in which the amendments were voted on was that if any received a majority, the voting would stop there and the others would not receive a vote; and previously, Clarke came first in voting order, K-W around third.