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Grim polling results in the UK and other news… October 14, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

From UK Polling Report earlier in the week, a sobering poll from ICM.

ICM’s latest poll from the Guardian is out, with topline figures of CON 43%(+2), LAB 26%(nc), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 11%(-3), GRN 6%(+2) – changes are from ICM’s last poll, conducted for the Sun on Sunday in mid-September.
The seventeen point Conservative lead is the largest that ICM have shown in any poll since October 2009 (the Guardian cites it as the largest since 2008, but I think that’s because they are looking at the ICM/Guardian series of polls – the 2009 poll was one for the News of the World).

Said it before here, at this point, and most likely, the next election is going to be won by the Tories. UKPollingReport is cautious that there may be an overstatement of Tory support, but only mildly so – ‘even before the turnout weighting ICM would have been showing a very robust 14 point Conservative lead’. Note that UKIP support is softening and presumably switching back to the Tories.

This, of course, accounts for much of May’s rhetoric on Brexit. If she can present the actions of her government as the hardest (for which one could near enough insert the term ‘right-wing English nationalist’ approach one can see how that would further undercut UKIP. And, after all, what does she have to lose? The Tories are polling extremely strongly in any event. If they can further chip into the UKIP vote that’s gravy. But it’s not absolutely necessary.

It also presents the LP with a quandary. One has to admire Corbyn for sticking to a broadly internationalist line in all this – notable by contrast is how the so-called ‘moderates’ or rather some of them, spooked by UKIP and the referendum result have beefed up their language on immigration. Not much moderacy in there unfortunately.

But what way for the LP to go in all this.

If its role is (largely and) simply to critique the process of Brexit and perhaps to try to soften it how does that work? I’ve mentioned before the large pro-EU sentiment amongst both LP members (of all flavours including Momentum) and voters. Turning its back on them isn’t viable. Any more than hoping that by embracing the minority of former LP voters who voted for Brexit is going to work. It’s a classic case of alienating one or other group – and the Remain group is by far the larger.

Does it speak for the 48% who vote Remain? Can it? Can any party? And if it doesn’t, does it – as seems to be the current case, attempt to park the issue entirely and move on. But the problem is that that issue is the defining, indeed arguably existential, one in British politics for the foreseeable future. And the weather is being made by the Tories. How could it be otherwise? They have state power. No one else – whatever their pretensions, does.

Frankly a Remain result at the referendum would by far have been best for the Corbyn project. The issue would largely be taken off the immediate political table, he would still be facing a Cameron damaged by one too many deals, the vacuous excuses of the anti-Corbyn factions would haven’t made it to the runway (they might well have triggered a coup but with even less reason and – as we know, he would have easily bested them) and there’d be no means for the Tories to own a Remain in the way that they do an Exit. Indeed they’d have been genuinely split over it in a way that they simply aren’t over an Exit – read the Observer and other papers at the weekend and it is clear that the Remainers in the Tories have either been struck down by Stockholm Syndrome or have gone rather quiet, attempting to soften the exit but not a lot more. May is without question facing no internal party challenge for quite some time to come.

But we are where we are. Labour this Summer just had another massive issue to contend with added to the pile of those already existing, problematic polling, a divided parliamentary party, a lack of ‘bounce’ from the conference and so on. As always I’m impressed by the equanimity with which Corbyn takes this, but it’s going to be a struggle.

Meanwhile what of the continuing mess of Brexit?

Had to laugh at this, in the Guardian a report from the interview given by the Bank of England’s Deputy Governor, a day after Sterling hit its lowest level ever against other currencies – hey, that’s no glitch according to Brexiters, it’s a feature. Well, dream on. Anyhow I loved the assumptions implicit in the following:

Q: What are the prospects of the UK continuing to have influence over the regulation of financial services in the EU, and globally, after Brexit?
Sir Jon Cunliffe says the UK won’t have influence from inside on the making of EU regulation, once it has left.
We will necessarily lose influence, if you’re not an EU member you can’t be inside the machinery making EU law.
But he expects the EU to maintain its commitment to international standards.
I hope, presume, and will devote considerable effort to ensure Britain still influence those global standards, Cunliffe adds.

Well I never, a UK outside the EU might not have influence on regulation of financial services inside the EU? How could they proceed ahead as if… as if…. as if the UK wasn’t a member….

Really, the solipsism of so much of British (or should that be English) thinking on the way the world works is astounding.

And glum words from the Deputy Governor on how the future may pan out for London’s financial ecosphere. He doesn’t think it will go to the EU. But…

Cunliffe then cites research showing that a quarter of the value of a ‘transaction chain’ comes from other financial firms who take part in the transaction, and another quarter comes from non-financial companies such as lawyer.
You need those things to be able to work together seamlessly.
And in New York, that already happens. So some services could shift over the Atlantic, Cunliffe suggests.

There’s this from the conference with – Jesus, just writing it is to feel oddly tainted, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Andrew Rosindell, a Conservative, goes next.
Q: You have not mentioned the Commonwealth. William Hague promised to put the C back in FCO, but nothing happened. What are you going to do to improve relations with Commonwealth countries.
Johnson says the Commonwealth is very important. Many Commonwealth countries are high growth countries. They are bounding ahead. But, because the UK has been in the EU, it has not been able to sign trade deals with these countries.
Q: So should the Commonwealth flag fly from British embassies as the EU flag comes down?
Johnson says Rosindell is testing his vexillology (study of flags). He admits he is not familiar with the Commonwealth flag, and will not make commitments now.

Of course he isn’t familiar with it.

And finally, the British Home Office has confirmed that:

…hate crimes leaped by 41% in the month after the vote to leave the European Union, new Home Office statistics confirm.
A daily breakdown of the hate crime offences reported to the police showed the number of incidents doubled in the days after the referendum. The level peaked at 207 incidents on 1 July, twice as many as before the vote, when the level was already unusually high.

Add to this an 147% increase in crimes against LGBT people and this too:

A survey by the Guardian found that European embassies in Britain had logged dozens of incidents of suspected hate crime and abuse against their citizens since the referendum.


1. Roger Cole - October 14, 2016

The Tories have clear majority and there is no evidence of an immediate general election, so polls this far out from one have no meaning.


WorldbyStorm - October 14, 2016

I’d be interested in examples from say the the last thirty or forty years where a party made up that sort of deficit to win in the UK? How do you believe that it can deal with the issue of losing Scotland to the SNP? And at what point in the electoral cycle do you believe that polls become credible?

But even if one believes that the poll means nothing, clearly the overall sentiment means something.


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