Centrist argument collapses – new Survation poll shows Lab LOSES vote share if supports new ref

An explosive new poll by Survation – the most accurate of the polling companies by far during the 2017 general election – has blown apart the claims by advocates of a so-called “people’s vote” that supporting a new referendum would see Labour rocket into power.

The poll gives Labour a 3-point lead in Westminster voting intention – but also shows that if anyone other than the Tories called for a new referendum and Labour supported it, Corbyn’s party would lose vote share, with a four-net loss to the Tories:

The only scenario in which Labour would be wise to support a new referendum is shown in the fourth section. If the Tories called for a referendum – and it can only be the Tories, since the LibDems and other small parties are already calling for a referendum and Labour is leading in voting intention – then Labour would have no sensible option but to support it.

But in that unlikely event, Brexit supporters would desert the Tories in droves anyway.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

The centrists have seen their fantasy exposed. Watch out for an escalation of anti-Labour smears over the weekend.

By contrast, the poll shows that Labour’s leadership – and a large part of the left media – have yet again called it right.

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  1. Not long returned from my branch labour meeting which was much better attended than normal. One of the motions debated was whether or not the Labour Party should support another Brexit referendum.The support in favour of another referendum was 75%.

    1. I would have thought that if Labour opposes a second referendum (I refuse to call it a ‘people’s vote’) then it would more likely lose votes to the Liberal Democrats, SNP and Greens.

      However, if it supports such a referendum then I would have thought it would more likely to lose support to the Conservatives.

      Losing a vote to the Conservatives would be more damaging, I would think, because most seats have either Labour or Conservative in first or second place. Thus there is a ‘doubling up’ effect as Labour loses one vote and the Conservatives again one.

      By contrast, Labour could lose more votes to the Greens and Liberal Democrats without putting seats at risk.

      I voted remain but think we need to respect the result of the referendum. It may well have made sense to have a referendum on the negotiated terms but that idea was not put forward before the process started. I think that it is wrong, therefore, to float the idea now.

      Let us be clear about why the referendum was lost: Immigration came to be seen as an explanation for people’s problems. What if the Labour government had spoken in defence of immigrants instead of pandering to prejudices and hysteria whipped up over many years by the media?

      What if Labour had spent the money wasted on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and spent it on building council houses?

      That is something to consider.

      1. In the event of Labour either not insisting upon a second referendum or proposing some form of Brexit if in government, I could see hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of young people being so disappointed at us leaving the EU that they would not vote for Labour. Their reason being – ‘you are all the same’.

      1. … but even in “comfortable, middle class Formby” they still need a foodbank.

    2. Jack: I assume that most – if not ALL – of the 75% who were in favour of another referendum voted Remain in 2016. The reality is that it’s highly unlikely that Theresa May and Co are going to initiate a second referendum, but it would be interesting to ascertain if party members in general – and especially those who support a second referendum, would be in favour – were Jeremy and his team to announce such, and make it party policy – that were they to be elected – that if Brexit WAS having negative or disasterous consequences – they would then hold a second referendum. Any thoughts on it?

      1. Allan Howard. Thanks for your question. I think you are probably correct about the previous voting choice of our members.

        I can only speak for myself regarding the scenario you describe.

        I imagine it would be inevitable another referendum would be called if Labour hadn’t already decided to reapply for membership of the EU. However I don’t believe Labour would get into Government in the first place if we entered the race offering ANY version of Brexit. Too many people, especially the young are against it.

      2. Absolutely not, otherwise Jeremy would not have campaigned to remain.

    3. Thanks for your response Jack. I suppose the best way forward would be to to conduct a survey of members putting THAT question to them – ie for the LP to adopt as party policy, that should they be elected, that in the event that Brexit was proving to be disasterous, the LP would hold a second referendum. And also a separate survey of Labour supporters in general. And obviously ascertain the ages of those surveyed, and then divide the result into categories regarding age groups. And then – depending on the results – take it from there. I don’t see – can’t see – any realistic alternative to get us – and JC and his team – out of this impasse. What do you think?

      1. Afterthought. You said:

        ‘However I don’t believe Labour would get into Government in the first place if we entered the race offering ANY version of Brexit. Too many people, especially the young are against it.’

        But a second referendum in such circumstances ISN’T, as such, offering Brexit (OR Remain), it’s offering a referendum, full stop. And only in the event that Brexit was having an increasingly negative impact on the economy and all that THAT would entail.

        And in the unlikely event that a second referendum was called in the near future – and the Remain vote won and we ended up STAYING in the EU – would that not put paid to Jeremy’s renationalisation program/policy?

      2. Allan Howard 13/01/2019 at 8:46 pm

        “I suppose the best way forward would be to conduct a survey of members putting THAT question to them – ie for the LP to adopt as party policy, that should they be elected, that in the event that Brexit was proving to be disastrous,”

        The only problem with the scenario you describe is it would all be a little bit too late because the UK would not be able rejoin on the same advantageous deal that we left on. If there is a GE before we leave the EU then Labour should make a cast-iron manifesto commitment to hold a referendum on the deal that they negotiate with the EU

      3. Steve, thanks for your response. Anyway you said:

        “The only problem with the scenario you describe is it would all be a little bit too late because the UK would not be able rejoin on the same advantageous deal that we left on.”

        Maybe yes, maybe no. The truth of the matter is that we can only speculate about what sort of deal we might get. I dare say someone else might argue the point that the EU would be more than happy to welcome us back in to the fold and, as such, are not going to put obstacles in the way of that happening.

        I would imagine that were we reaching a stage – post Brexit – where the impact of Brexit was having all sorts of negative repercussions – and THIS is of course in the event of a JC Labour government having been elected with the manifesto commitment we’re discussing – then I don’t see any reason why behind-the-scenes talks couldn’t establish if – in the case of holding a referendum and the result a majority for rejoining – the EU is agreeable to us rejoining with the same deal we had before.

        Why is it that you believe the EU would negotiate a worse deal than we have at present in such a scenario?

      4. Allan Howard 14/01/2019 at 1:42 am

        Perhaps a much more pertinent question would be why would they? We would be the one’s knocking at the door begging to be allowed back in.

        Just for starters – To the best of my knowledge the current rules for joining the EU dictate that new members must adopt the Euro and that would mean that unlike now our economy would be subject to the dictates of Brussels.

        You only have to look at the way the so called ‘negotiations’ have gone to date. I can’t think of any major concessions that the UK has managed to secure from the EU to date, can you? It is somewhat ironic that when one examines the current state of play it looks like David Cameron was more successful at getting concessions from the EU than Theresa May.

        I suppose on the ‘plus’ side if it gets to the stage were we are begging to be allowed to join the EU our economy might be that fucked that we would be nett recipients rather than nett contributors.

    4. I have no idea where this is going to end up, but it’s in response to Steve’s post at 3.46am.

      Steve: Now if what you say is actually the case – ie that we would have to adopt the euro in the event of rejoining the EU – then I would imagine that THAT would be unacceptable to the vast majority of people, including Remainers and, as such, puts paid to the scenario I suggested. But you’re not 100% certain about it, so until it’s shown conclusively to be the case, such a scenario is still a possibility.

      On the other hand, first leaving, and then later rejoining (assuming a second referendum resulted in such), would create a lot of chaos for many businesses that trade with EU countries, and of course it’s quite likely that those they sell to may look elsewhere (within the EU) to purchase their goods or whatever once we leave. The point being that the business will be lost to them when we rejoined.

      Anyway, I came across the following in an article in the Sun an hour or two ago:

      ‘A former diplomat who drafted Article 50, Lord Kerr, said on January 9 that the EU will only agree to delay Brexit for a second referendum.’

      And according to the article – which comes across as balanced reporting and an honest appraisal of where we stand (quite possibly a first for the Sun!) – the momentum for a second referendum is growing and could quite possibly happen. Imagine if THAT transpires, and this time there was a majority to stay in! ALL that time and energy and uncertainty etc, etc, of the past 30 months or so would have been for nothing!

      But where would it leave the Labour Party manifesto commitment to renationalise the railways and utilities etc (were they to win a GE and form a government)?

      Anyway, here’s the Sun article I referred to:


      1. Allan Howard 14/01/2019 at 7:08 am

        I just did a quick Google and this appears to remove any doubt about the Euro

        The enlargement of the eurozone is an ongoing process within the European Union (EU). All member states of the European Union, except Denmark and the United Kingdom which negotiated opt-outs from the provisions, are obliged to adopt the euro as their sole currency once they meet the criteria, which include: complying with the debt and deficit criteria outlined by the Stability and Growth Pact, keeping inflation and long-term governmental interest rates below certain reference values, stabilising their currency’s exchange rate versus the euro by participating in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II), and ensuring that their national laws comply with the ECB statute, ESCB statute and articles 130+131 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The obligation for EU member states to adopt the euro was first outlined by article 109.1j of the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, which became binding on all new member states by the terms of their treaties of accession.

      2. ps Allan
        If you want to make sure that comment is displayed in the correct place then use the reply button at the bottom left of the email informing you of a new comment. On a long or complex thread you may find that you are entering your reply right at the end of the comments section, which is counterintuitive, but it does work. Confirmation that you are replying to a comment is clearly displayed in the reply box. For addition clarity you could also copy and paste the header of the comment you are replying to. I trust this will help.

  2. You can watch a Youtube vid of the results here:


    The conclusions being drawn above are not very sound. The purported Labour lead is 41% to 38% so that is still within the confidence interval / margin of error. Which means that the number could be 41% or 38% Lab and 38% or 41% Tory. So as the split is within the margin of error you cannot really safely conclude Lab is in front. It might be but it might not. All we can really know is that the two Party’s are basically neck and neck.

    As far as the issue of Labour supporting a 2nd Ref. The assertion is that supporting it is worse than not supporting because of potential impact on the Labour vote. The table though shows that if Lab call for a 2nd Ref support drops to 39% so (set aside margin of error for now) that is a 2% drop. However if Labour does not support a 2nd Ref that another Party calls for support drops to 33% a fall of 8%.

    That seems to indicate that the suggestion that Labour would be more damaged in a GE by a policy of opposing a 2nd Ref than it would by supporting a 2nd Ref is false. In fact it seems to indicate that the potential loss of votes on the Labour remain side is 4x as big as the potential loss on the leave side.

    The commentary really just sets up a logical fallacy straw man argument by setting up the “Centrist” assertion that backing a 2nd Ref would see Labour rocket into power then knocking that straw man over. Any of us who do back a 2nd Ref have always stated we understand that whichever way it goes it means a loss of votes but the potential loss on the remain side far outweighs the loss on the leave side. It seems to me that is exactly what this poll demonstrates quite effectively. It also fits with the polling analysis done by Paula Surridge of Bristol Uni who is a psephologist for the Party.

    Finally I take strong objection to the characterisation of everyone who opposes Brexit as a “Centrist”.

    I oppose Brexit because I have thought about it a great deal and spent around a year researching the legal, economic and political issues. This factual consideration has strongly convinced me that Brexit will damage, or breakup the UK, cause massive economic damage, job losses, and a financial crisis that will cause extreme hardship to the most vulnerable people in our society. Even with the unicorn tilting fig leaf of Lexit it is also an extreme right wing project that is designed to create a right wing hegemony in England and an ultra capitalist neo-liberal state more akin to the worst of the USA/Singapore than any EU nation.

    I also believe Brexit will if it goes ahead in due course do severe electoral damage to Labour and wipe out any chance of a Labour Govt or Corbyn ever becoming PM. It will in my view destroy the Corbyn project and probably lead to a shift back to the Centrist positions of New Labour. It could literally destroy the best opportunity the left have had in Labour for decades.

    Holding those views and concerns does not make me a Centrist. I am still on the left and I still strongly support JC but I happen to have a strong disagreement with him over this policy. It is in my view perfectly possible in a democratic Party to have a different view to the leader and express it without it meaning you don’t support that leader.

    Is it really being suggested that unless you agree with every utterance or policy preference of Jeremy then you are not a real supporter but an evil “Centrist”? Is the suggestion that the governing concept in the Labour Party should be:

    “that the strength of a political party lies by no means in the greatest possible independent intellect of the individual members, but rather in the disciplined obedience with which its members follow the intellectual leadership. The decisive factor is the leadership itself”?

    1. The term blairite, centrist is used because certain people are advocating more of the same, to be the winning ticket. Which is a fallacy.
      Most arguments are from extreme remain or leave, and nothing in the middle.
      I agree Tory brexit loses over the remain argument, but there is another argument now for alignment from Labour.
      It’s time to move on from the we must remain, or no deal argument, because neither will happen.

      1. Indeed. We have in one corner bunch of extreme Leavers who think everyone who voted Remain is an effette liberal traitor and that repatriation and the noose for them is the way forward. Despite generally being right wing, suddenly they want to hand more money over to the NHS and praise left wingers such as Bob Crow, Kate Hoey and Tony Benn.

        In the other corner a bunch of extreme Remainers who think everyone who voted Leave is a neo nazi meathead, opposition to the Euro is racist and Leave areas should be razed to the ground. Despite in many cases claiming to be “left” wing, suddenly TTIP is now a great idea, Gideon Osborne is a “centrist” and Ryanair and Goldman Sachs are heroes.

        Simply read through both the Guardian and Daily Mail comments and there is pages and pages of the above dirge.

        Anyone proposing something in the middle like joining EFTA faces these stupid attacks on both sides.

    2. Duncan, you are a very intelligent person but your desperation to remain in the EU is causing you to think irrationally.

      In 2016 17.4 million people voted leave. 65% of constituencies voted leave.
      In the 2017 GE over 80% of voters voted for pro-Brexit parties. The only party standing on the platform you advocate, the Liberal Democrats, lost more than 300 deposits. The LDs have seem no vote share increase in the polls. Your evidence is one line of one poll.

      You are trying to force the facts to fit your argument. Your argument is both academically and politically unsound. Not only are only damaging the Labour vote by refusing to accept the referendum results but you are holding an anti-democratic position. Labour is a democratic socialist party.

      1. Internal Affairs Now that the prospects of leaving the EU are somewhat clearer, i.e. we will as a country be poorer, the DEMOCRATIC option, as when buying goods via distant selling regulations, is to ask the customer again if they like the goods which they received or do they wish to return them?

        Those who want to deny the customer the right to return an item are often those supplying shoddy goods.

    3. Duncan Shipley Dalton 12/01/2019 at 2:55 am

      Duncan – I wholeheartedly agree with your comment!

    4. The figures you’re comparing are for openly advocating for vs. openly refusing a second referendum, but neither of these is Labour’s actual position.

      Labour is not eliminating a second referendum as a possibility, so that potential drop isn’t relevant; Labour wants a general election, and an attempt to negotiate a different deal, but if either fails it will pursue all other options.

    5. Duncan – Thanks for that sane analysis and statement of the left case for Remain.The over-interpretation of results within the error margins to fit a pre-determined case isn’t wise or helpful.

      All that can be reasonably said is that the country is incredibly divided and confused.

      As for the second referendum idea – I don’t think many of us who support the Party policy of keeping it as an option have any illusions that it would be a walk in the park without problems.

      Outside the ‘error’ area, the Party does have a problem in reconciling the fact that both its membership and its wider support lean significantly towards Remain. This is a bullet that has to be bitten in real time (as opposed to being asked in terms of hypothetical questions). The minority of the Leave vote in the Labour support can hope for a drift to ‘Leave’ under the Tories – but that is certainly not going to benefit Labour in continuing to be ambiguous about desired outcomes.

      AS to the ‘Centrist’ and ‘Blairite’ terminology – it’s just playground shouting without substance. Not a good or convincing look when the Party needs support from the majority left and the *real* right is actually there and has shown its ability to damage Labour.

    6. You present an argument designed to negate the slur(?) of being called a “centrist” and then post this!
      “Even with the unicorn tilting fig leaf of Lexit it is also an extreme right wing project that is designed to create a right wing hegemony in England and an ultra capitalist neo-liberal state more akin to the worst of the USA/Singapore than any EU nation.”….straight out of the Guardian’s sneering middle-class book of centrist waffle.

      1. I think you’ve just proved Duncan’s point.

        “straight out of the Guardian’s sneering middle-class book of centrist waffle.”

        Empty rhetoric lacking argument and using two terms as a dog whistle rather than a useful description : ‘Centrist’ and ‘middle class’.

        The definition of Brexit as an extreme right-wing project is simply historical fact. I suggest that if you don’t like the fact, you distance yourself from the right.

      2. Don’t talk rubbish. I never made an argument, I made an observation about the post above.
        I am against membership of the EU on political/economic grounds. No one “owns” Brexit, that’s why the country is so split. Trying to make it a right/left, Tory/Labour decision is massively damaging and wholly wrong. It’s so off kilter that I can only believe it’s being done with the objective of causing as much damage as possible.

      3. “I never made an argument”

        That’s the point of my post – no, course you didn’t. You just chanted playground stuff.

        I really can’t unravel what you’re saying. The origins of the Brexit project in the extreme right is indisputable (it is a creature of the Tories’ civil war) even though some claiming a ‘left’ position have adopted it.

        It’s not a simple left/right dichotomy, I agree. But most of us on the left are pro-Remain – thus the resulting analysis of Party membership and support.

        … unless you start defining political position in terms of your own predilections aka ‘disappearing up one’s fundamental orifice’.

    7. If Labour honours a second EU Referendum and we rejoin the neoliberal monster Tony Benn warned us about, then I will never forgive the Labour Party. I will never vote for Labour again.

      It would amount to the biggest betrayal of the working class in British history.

      1. “It would amount to the biggest betrayal of the working class in British history.”

        I keep on seeing the term ‘working class’ being used as a dog whistle, without any definition of the term. Perhaps you would care to enlighten us about what your definition is – what part of the population you’re referring to …? What framework you are using …??

        As to “the biggest betrayal of … ” that’s quite a claim against a democratic event!

      2. Well, you certainly wouldn’t call the 750,000 demonstrators on the “people’s vote” march working class, but you might well call them largely middle-class. And their vocal fears were about things like house price inflation, something, only the middle class would be against sorting out. Working class home owners want lower house prices and a lower exchange rate for that matter, while the middle class worry about the villa in Spain and how far their pensions will go. In this case there’s a clear division of class.

      3. lundiel 12/01/2019 at 3:07 pm · ·

        Well, you certainly wouldn’t call the 750,000 demonstrators on the “people’s vote” march working class, but you might well call them largely middle-class.

        Or in other words you think you might know what it isn’t but you can’t actually articulate what it is.

      4. No. In other words I’m not engaging in a silly nitpicking straw man argument with you about what determines “working class”.

      5. “I’m not engaging in a silly nitpicking straw man argument with you about what determines “working class”.”

        .. which translates as ‘contemplating my own navel and repeating the noise emanating from my arse’ in terms of responding to a request for a definition that corresponds to some reality.

        Sorry to be blunt (no – wrong – I’m not sorry) – but if you constantly duck pertinent questions, and respond to argument with mumbling, you can’t expect to be taken seriously. I constantly see the use of the term ‘working class’ as a dog whistle, as if it denoted something other than a social description, however defined.

        But that’s what it is – description. If it’s not defined, it isn’t even that – let alone a label implying inherent virtue. Similarly the dog-whistle term ‘middle class’ as a mark of disapprobation for the majority of the population who don’t agree with you. Sheer ritual chanting.

        Do you really think that this sort of meaningless blather is a mark of political progressiveness and virtue?

      6. “Majority of the population” now, is it? You really are a despicable troll. You’ve never asked me a political or economic question, nor have you ever posed an argument other than pointing to push poll results and claiming that they mean Labour should amend its policy to that of the LibDems.

      7. In answer to your implied question (aka ‘rant’) – the terms by which *you* define ‘middle class'(i.e. everyone who disagrees with you) is actually the majority of the population. By all means answer my prior question, and define the class descriptions that you are using. But please spare us simplistic fantasies about class definitions as virtue or vice, detemined by predeliction.

        As to ‘trolling’ – if I was a Tory ‘troll’, I guess I would be contriving posts very like yours in order to take the piss out of the left whilst promoting a Tory policy.

        And, yes, I have frequently made arguments against the notion of a ‘left’ Brexit as enabling a progressive agenda as opposed to the intention of the originators : an Ayn Rand extreme market economy.

    8. Hi Duncan I respect your views which are very clearly based on factual and accurate evidence but can I ask you to consider how Brazil can make anything worse for the general public in the Uk. We already have record levels of poverty : 1/5. Of the population/ the worst wage stagnation in living memory/ economic decline in all areas/ homelessness at epidemic levels/ child poverty and malnutrition etc etc… Perhaps the greatest con that is perpetuated by the media is that we are the 5th richest nation in the world. If that is the case the world has failed and there needs to be more moral qualifier of success.

    9. Duncan: I take on board all you say – and people on both sides of the debate make many valid points – but realistically speaking, it seems highly unlikely that a second referendum is gonna happen anyway. And if under EU regulations it’s illegal to renationalise the utilities and railways etc, then that would put a massive hole in JC’s program (in the event that we ended up somehow remaining in the EU AND Jeremy and his Labour Party won a GE).

      But my main point is this: If Brexit turns out to be the disaster many say it will be, then do you think it would be politically advantageous for JC and his team to adopt the position that should Brexit indeed prove to be disasterous he would – if in Government – negotiate with the EU to rejoin? Or promise to hold another referendum if Brexit is having a negative impact on the economy etc?

      1. And just a few more thoughts: I have no doubt that a significant amount of people – AND with a lot of ‘persuasion’ from the right-wing press over the years – who voted for Brexit, did so because they have seen their communities ‘transformed’ due to the freedom of movement in the EU, NOT because they are racist (although I dare say a small minority ARE), but because of the negative impact it has had on them in a number of ways. IF their concerns could be addressed to some degree, then I’m sure THAT would bring many of them round.

        I believe I’m right in saying that when we joined the EU (or the Common Market as it was known then) there were just five or six member countries/states, ALL in the more wealthy North, and had people known THEN that in the following twenty, thirty years, or whatever, that a number of poorer Eastern European countries would eventually be joining and millions of people migrating to the UK (and Germany etc, etc), I have little doubt that many people who voted to join – or didn’t vote at all – would have voted NOT to join.

        THAT said, I think I’m right in saying that more than 50% of migrants over the decades come from countries outside of the EU, so the ‘problem’ isn’t going to end anyway just because we leave. And needless to say, it’s not their fault that they would seek to make a better life for themselves in a richer country, as I’m sure many of US would if it were the other way round. But it is of course the FEW that mainly benefit from mass immigration – ie the privatised utilities, private renting etc, etc. I could expand more – eg how if the wealth was more evenly distributed between nations, then there wouldn’t be the need for people to migrate en masse from the poorer countries to the richer countries – but I’m sure you get the general picture.

        Anyway, what I would really like to know, is WHEN did the EU make the decision that member states can’t renationalise the utilities etc if the respective populations vote for a political party that promises to do that if elected, and WHO made the decision and what was their justification for doing so? I think the EU really needs to start doing some back-pedalling if it really wants to survive for much longer (and of course what they did to Greece was just plain criminal, but then so is what the Tories have done during the course of the past eight or nine years).

  3. I remain concerned about advocates of both sides of the argument using the word facts in relation to Brexit when what they are saying is “in my opinion “. It’s fine to have an opinion,to quote projections and research but the only unarguable fact we have is that a majority of people in a one off referendum voted leave. I didn’t I think it will turn out to be a big mistake but that is my opinion not fact and overturning a democratic decision because we think our opinions are more valid than the other sides is dangerous. As a separate issue does anyone know if there is any reason the UK cannot reapply for membership should Brexit prove to be a disaster (guess if we still have a Tory government our human rights record might count against us.)

    1. “does anyone know if there is any reason the UK cannot reapply for membership should Brexit prove to be a disaster”

      Absolutely none as far as I know BUT we are unlikely to be able to rejoin on our current terms. I doubt we would get the rebate back and would also lose the various opt outs we currently enjoy and then there is the real elephant in the room – the Euro. Currently we really do have the best deal we are ever likely to get.

  4. This is my own experience from people I know – admittedly a small sample and largely confined to a “traditional Labour heartland”.

    Most of my family, friends and their partners voted Labour in 2017. Some have previously dabbled with UKIP and the Greens or been Lib Dems pre Clegg.

    What I have noticed amongst them is that the vote to Leave or Remain was based very much on class lines. Fortunately amongst all of them, there has been no real fall outs over it. If we simply take what work they do as “class”, we get this.

    Leave: car factory worker, train guard, postie, courier, checkout operator, telephone engineer, retired, unemployed
    Remain: civil servant, scientist, insurance investigator, social worker.

    From conversations with them, the Leavers would be incredibly annoyed if there was a second referendum, but would still likely vote Labour as long as it kept the policies in the 2017 manifesto. Some love Corbyn others are not that keen on Corbyn at all, but vote Labour for the policies. I could see a few easily ditching Labour if it put a “centrist” in charge like Yvette Cooper – (although Burnham remains very popular), especially if Mr Farage returned to UKIP. They would not touch Green due to the Europhile nature of Lucas – plus her “meat tax” and other ideas.

    The Remainers are split over a second referendum, with some who just want us to get on with Brexit, and the others who want to stop it. Some think it would open up old wounds even further. Of the Remainers I know, I can’t imagine any would stop voting Labour – the Lib Dems are damaged goods – and the new anti-Brexit parties such as Renew are simply seen as “corporate conservatives” (as opposed to nationalist ones). I suspect they would grudgingly still vote Labour if Yvette Cooper or someone like that was leader – they are much more of the “stop Trump even if it means voting Hillary” mindset than either “vote Trump to piss off the establishment” or “Vote Stein even if it lets Trump in”. Interestingly Andy Burnham remains popular amongst them too.

    From what I can see up my way is that there is much more to lose for Labour by having a second referendum – particularly if it is captured by the . Things may be very different in the South East of course – although I really can’t see loads of students all piling in with Postman Vince and his yellow bellies. I suspect any increase in their votes will be with professional types who actively like Blair or Osborne and feel the Tories are too nationalist, and think that policies like rail renationalisation are evil communism.

    One thing is for sure, (with the exception of Andy Burnham), both groups have very negative views of “centrist” Labour seeing it too close to corporations, Saudis and the establishment – and in the case of the Leavers, a bunch of rich Londoners who want to cancel Brexit.

    1. Dogpole: I think what would be even more telling is which daily and/or Sunday newspapers they read – and HAVE been reading over the years. Your friends and realtives etc, that is.

      And although I’ve never actually researched the matter, I have little doubt that the right-wing press were paramount in the rise of UKIP, and then – since the referendum – their demise and return to relative obscurity, probably made up of negative coverage and no coverage at all. The following is quite interesting (I just came across it yesterday), but it covers just the first week of the 2017 GE campaign:


  5. First off, all of the results portrayed in the above table are within a margin for error of +/- 3% so are anything but definitive.

    If one looks at other results from the same poll then I would suggest that the results don’t really support the conclusions in the article above.

    Do you support a second referendum (People’s Vote)?
    Yes 46%
    No 34%
    Don’t Know 20%

    Which do you prefer?
    Remain in the EU 46%
    No Deal Brexit 41%
    Don’t Know 13%

    Do you support Mrs May’s deal?
    Yes 34%
    No 41%
    Don’t Know 25%

    If Mrs May’s deal is rejected should she resign?
    Yes 45%
    No 39%
    Don’t know 16%

    Were MP’s right to try and block a no deal?
    Yes 42%
    No 35%
    Don’t know 23%

    1. Both you Steve, and Dogpole in the previous post, have put forward interesting information from two perspectives.

      Together, they actually provide a fairly consistent picture – of ambiguity and uncertainty. This is hardly surprising, given that the original question asked was a pretty stupid one, and the ambiguous result based on a cloud of misinformation and mixed motives.

      In terms of Dogpole’s personal observations – mine would not be entirely different, but would tilt more towards a majority of consistent Labour voters who will be extremely pissed off if ‘Leave’ goes ahead. I can see some being sufficiently pissed off to give their vote to the Greens.

      Few things are clear, except a lack of clarity. One thing that is – is the overall preference of Labour voters for ‘Remain’; the other is a perceptible drift towards ‘Remain’ as the dominant general option within a picture that stays remarkably split.

      The other thing that is clear, as a corollary, is that to take the last referendum as decisive is delusory – and desperate. As well as being a betrayal of the changing electorate.

      The one thing that cannot be factored in is whether a clearer position on the part of Labour would have affected opinion – obviously, whatever the tactical advantages, the current position has benefited the Tories as being seen as *the* party of government. Continuing (relative) support for May is partly because of this, I think

      1. RH: I’m obviously aware of how strongly you feel about the situation, but given that Theresa May is very unlikely to initiate a second referendum, how do you feel – and what do you think – about the following: That JC and his team adopt the position AND make it party policy, that were they to be elected – and in the event of Brexit having a negative or disasterous effect on the economy etc – that the LP would hold a second referendum?

  6. I wish you’d include a link to the polls themselves in articles that reference them; I can’t find it, and I regularly criticise major newspapers for doing the same thing.

    While I trust your conclusions over theirs, I think it’s not ideal if all people see and share are headline conclusions without the full data that backs them up.

    This is the reason the People’s Vote polls are criticised as they are sharing conclusions, but when you (finally) find the actual data you will discover intentionally misleading questions and results that don’t quite say what they claim they say.

      1. Ultraviolet 12/01/2019 at 10:44 am ·

        Thanks – I searched high and low for this last night, without success.

      2. I think the following BPC statistical caution is worth reading when interpreting any poll :

        “BPC Statement: All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error. On the basis of the historical record of the polls at recent general elections, there is a 9 in 10 chance that the true value of a party’s support lies within 4 points of the estimates provided by this poll, and a 2 in 3 chance that they lie within 2 points.”

      3. BPC Statement: All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.
        Pity you never took your own advice but presented all the remain financed push polls as factual data.

      4. lundiel 12/01/2019 at 4:11 pm

        … and your evidence for this is?

      5. Is RH your brother or are you the same person? If not, why are you answering for someone else?

      6. lundiel 12/01/2019 at 5:18 pm

        The mistake appears to be yours, not mine. I have cut and pasted this from my email account. Please note the 3rd line which I have highlighted

        lundiel commented on Centrist argument collapses – new Survation poll shows Lab LOSES vote share if supports new ref.
        in response to SteveH:
        My apologies, I usually try to provide a link. Like you I get pissed off with journalists selectively quoting from polls. I haven’t got a link to the ‘actual’ Survation poll’ but this links to an article in the Daily Mail (who commissioned this poll) which gives much more detail. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6583053/May-thrown-lifeline-poll-shows-public-support-Brexit-deal-GROWN.html#comments I hope this helps.
        BPC Statement: All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.
        Pity you never took your own advice but presented all the remain financed push polls as factual data.

  7. Labour now thankfully is led by left wing democratic socialists who really want to transform the UK as an example to the World.
    Centrists/The Right stand for crumbs and such middle of the road approaches have pratically destroyed every social democrat party in Europe (apart from radical too Portugal).
    Funny some talk of Burnham who voted to bomb other countries and Cooper who did too – as a brilliant piece by Arruzza et al in the latest New Left Review re the feminist anti-capitalist strike movement argues where is the progress for women when such women bomb their brown and black sisters in less developed countries?
    Just 4 months ago at Labour Conference a room full of CLP, union, affiliate reps and Shadow ministers for what 9 hours hammered out Labour’s all options on the table policy and 4 months later some want to change this policy!
    I wouldn’t always go too much on what some individual CLPs say, the one in my area (dominated by academics & middle class liberals) passed a resolution in favour of the free movement of people in Europe but note not the World which some could argue is racist?
    Whilst if we can get back to Pre-Neo Liberal days when countries democratically controlled labour and capital supply you could take skilled and less skilled workers from any country in the World.
    I would argue May’s Deal is supported by the CBI and TNCs because whilst we formally leave the Neo-Liberal EC we continue to abide by the straight jacket of EC Neo-Liberal rules – May’s Brexit Neo-Liberal+.
    If I am honest I wasn’t that bothered by Remain or Leave, my question was always how can we build a left wing democratic socialist society in the UK (as an example to the World)?
    It was in my view either via EC partners or via independent nation states cooperating; I reluctantly voted Remain but accept the result and it now has to be option 2.
    Jeremy is looking at the full picture over the whole UK and is trying to unite working people who are divided over the EC and in the end we have socialist analysis to guide us, and left wing democratic socialists shouldn’t say what people want to hear but what they need to hear.

    1. “left wing democratic socialists who really want to transform the UK as an example to the World.”

      Problem : The World sees us largely as an unserious and irrelevant joke since the Brexit debacle.

  8. If only things were reversed…

    Imagine 51.89% had voted to remain in the EU instead but a very vocal minority supported by a mainstream media and big business was calling for a second referendum – a ‘people’s vote’ – with the intent to leave the EU.

    How would remain voters feel?

    1. Much the same. The whole set-up is a dog’s dinner of Party playtime in the guise of pretend democracy.

  9. The “People’s vote” was never going to be a realistic option for anything other than the destruction of Labour. As for remaining in the EU, too much water has flowed under the bridge for that. People above are still arguing about staying which defies logic. What kind of Britain would rejoin its partners around the EU table? This would be a Britain that had voted to leave. It’s hard to see how a British government could ever again approve an EU budget that was acceptable to other member states. Whatever the British people do or don’t know about the budget, they all are aware now that the UK pays a significant amount of money into it. Since we decided to leave the EU has moved significantly on defence cooperation, in the absence of the British veto. I don’t think they’d want our veto back, or that we would like to integrate more.

    It appears to me that the question of Europe will rattle on for years and there will be a significant realignment of political affiliations if we chose to remain. The Tories would become the party of Brexit, taking up UKIPs mantle and Labour would lose many voters, becoming yet another centrist party in a managed democracy.

    1. Completely and depressingly true. I can’t help feel that many of the comments on these threads originate from the publicly funded Integrity Initiative propaganda factory. They are borne of a complete ignorance to the working class and poor experience.

      The People’s Vote is a middle class folly. They (Soubry, Cable, Umunna, Cable et al) are so insulated against British poverty they might as well wear blindfolds.

      1. Being ‘left’ really doesn’t mean you have to adopt wild conspiracy imaginings, adopt a right wing swivel-eye policy, conjure up a mythical idea of class structures – and also be antagonistic to the varied majority of the Labour Party and its vote.


      2. If you are so concerned about the poverty of the working class, of which you you appear to know so much, you would reject Brexit which if it happens, is going to make the country as a whole poorer.

        As to the comments to which you object emanating from some propaganda factory. Judging by the language used, it is far more likely that the fanatical comments supporting Leave are being posted by far right members of Britain First

      3. loftkarisson,

        That is complete bollocks. How dare you assume anyone arguing for stopping Brexit/ a 2nd Ref is promoting a middle class folly and is ignorant to the working class and poor experience.

        I make no bones about my opposition to Brexit and the reasons why which are rooted in my fear that the entire left Corbyn project and the potential of that is going to be smashed on the altar of an absurd fealty to the most corrupt election to take place in modern UK history in 2016.

        I well understand the poor experience. I am working class from a working class family, I grew up in a Council house on a Council estate living on Social Security. I had plenty of days when we went hungry. I well know what it is like to never have a foreign holiday, own a passport, a car, to wear shoes with cardboard in the bottom to try to stop water getting in.

        At this point in my life, due to illness and disability, I survive on ESA and PIP both of which have been cut by this bastard Tory Govt. i live in rented property, don’t own a car, have pension, any savings and I regularly carry debt. So yes I do understand the poor experience (as you call it) and it this understanding that makes me so concerned about what will happens to millions of others if a Tory Brexit goes ahead, trashs the economy, causes heavy job losses and inevitably more austerity. Not to mention the slash and burn of regulations and workers rights that will take place.

      4. “I make no bones about my opposition to Brexit and the reasons why which are rooted in my fear that the entire left Corbyn project and the potential of that is going to be smashed on the altar of an absurd fealty to the most corrupt election to take place in modern UK history in 2016.”

        Well said Duncan and good luck to you and others in similar difficult circumstances.

      5. Duncan’s comments add a welcome contact with reality.

        Unlike him, I am relatively comfortable, living on a slightly below median income. But I fully know the privations that many people suffer, and am personally critically dependent on the proper funding of the NHS. I have direct experience of the depredations of right wing policies in other areas. In this, I am like thousands of others in the Labour Party.

        I am also like them in opposing Brexit – for all the reasons given.

        Having come from a working class family background (RG’s classification) and being middle class (RG again), I get pissed at simplistic assumptions about class and associated attitudes that would have made my father (a one-time communist) laugh his socks off – and also would have made him irritated in their naive assumptions.

  10. “The Tories would become the party of Brexit, taking up UKIPs mantle”

    This is history, not prediction.

    The problem for Labour is the old ‘marketing’ problem – being perceived as different from the dominant brand.

  11. Skawkbox unfortunately don’t even seem to have looked at the numbers in your screenshot. The only scenario in that poll where the Labour vote collapses (to just 33%) is if there was a GE, another party backed another ref and Labour didn’t (tories on 42%). That’s the only difference on any question that exceeds the margin of error of the poll (3%) – and by 3 times

    1. Yes. One of the problems here is the lack of appreciation of the basic statistical issues around polling and its interpretation.

      Thus we have over-interpretation of differences within error margins, and the denial of findings where, allowing for error, the differences are indisputably significant.

      It’s a bit difficult to get into evidence-based debate if those basics aren’t understood.

  12. The reasons why, in the original referendum, each individual person voted either to leave or remain vary greatly. In many cases it cannot be pinpointed to one individual reason. Many of the reasons are as a result of bad domestic policies by the current and former coalition governments. These issues cannot be resolved without significant changes in government policy. This vote showed that the country was divided because of these policies.

    These same divisions are happening across Europe.

    This government and the former coalition government have lost many court battles about individual policies. This is a clear indication that the law is being broken, manipulated or exploited by the government. A government that fails to abide by its own laws creates division. It also sets a poor example and when others see this happening they do the same. Those who wish the law to be upheld and those suffering as a result of the government actions end up on an opposing sides. This creates further divisions.

    The only way to reunite is to change the government and bring a significant change in all policies.

    The Labour party policy of pushing for a general election is the right policy.

    On the individual issue of the future relationship with the EU. After over two years there is currently no future vision put forward by the government which has led to the stop gap agreement while they continue to argue amongst themselves. As there is absolutely nothing on the table there is currently nothing to have a peoples vote on.

    Those pushing for a peoples vote say that they wish to have a final say on the final deal when in reality they would like a say on the way forward and what our future relationship with the EU should be. This is just one issue in a list of many that the country has to resolve.

    We are currently in the EU and there is a shortage of over 100,000 health workers across the services including over 40,000 nurses. There is a current funding gap in the district nursing training places which means that potentially there will be no newly trained district nurses in the Country in 2021. Existing nursing and health services staff who joined the NHS from other countries are returning home due to falling living standards and poor working conditions in this country. Having another referendum on remain or leave in the hope that it may tip the balance slightly will not resolve this and many other issues on other topics. In addition leaving the EU will not be like waving a magic wand which makes everything better. .

    We need to stop letting the press control what is being discussed. We need to stop discussing leave remain and the B word invented by the press and need to be discussing the way forward. We have a government that is disrespectful, selfish, exploits the law, uncompassionate, untrustworthy and lies frequently.

    The original referendum must be respected as a promise was made.

    The Labour party is clear that it wishes to have a close working relationship with the EU and have a customs union. If Labour were to win an election it is more likely than the Conservative party to hold a public consultation which lets all the people express their views on any future relationship deal which the Labour party has negotiated with the EU. This is why all options remain on the table.

  13. There will be a peoples vote and it will be between
    Boris No Deal sell the NHS to American Health Companies and
    New old Labour party Brexit Brino plus plus with ability to implement manifesto commitments and control immigration in a GE

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