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Remember: the average Labour member isn’t as political as you think

Remember: the average Labour member isn’t as political as you think | Press coverage | Scoop.it
Just after New Years, we – the ESRC-funded Party Members Project run out of Queen Mary University of London and Sussex University – released the results of a survey of Labour Party members that we’d commissioned YouGov to run for us over Christmas. We knew these results might cause a stir, showing as they did that – at least when our questionnaire was in the field – that Keir Starmer appeared to be a fairly long way ahead of Rebecca Long-Bailey, seen by many as the continuity Corbyn candidate. Cue predictable accusations that a thousand or so people couldn’t possibly give anyone an idea of how the membership as a whole is thinking, that no one should trust any survey conducted by an organisation “owned by Tories”, and that we’d set a bandwagon rolling that would skew the result against the left. The purpose of this piece is not to answer those accusations – we’ve already attempted to do so elsewhere – but to provide another perspective on members’ views on the leadership We can do that not by reheating their responses to our questions, which asked them to rank a number of potential runners and riders from a pre-prepared list by focusing on an open-ended question that, earlier on in the questionnaire, simply asked them who they thought should replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Not altogether unpredictably, these also suggest Starmer is the single most popular choice, named (unprompted remember) by 21 per cent of members – twice as many as those (10 per cent) who named Rebecca Long-Bailey. (Note to journalists and political insiders, by the way: just one solitary respondent referred to her by her initials, so maybe stop trying to make “RLB” happen.) In third place, Jess Philips – named unprompted by 7 per cent of members – wasn’t in fact that far off Long-Bailey. But on these early figures, you can see why Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry (both on 3 per cent) and Clive Lewis (on 2 per cent), for all their strengths, may struggle to obtain sufficient CLP nominations. And you can see why, in the end, discretion proved (by far) the better part of valour for Corbyn loyalists like Ian Lavery (1.5 per cent) and Barry Gardiner (0.5 per cent). Members’ unprompted responses also give a very strong clue (but don’t of course constitute a sure-fire prediction) as to the likely outcome of the contest for deputy leader, even though we didn’t ask about that particular battle. That’s because 6 per cent of members made Angela Rayner their pick for the leadership, compared to the handful who named Dawn Butler (0.4 per cent) and Richard Burgon (0.2 per cent). Of course, it’s always possible that Labour members value a different set of qualities in a deputy – after all, they picked Tom Watson as Corbyn’s number two back in 2015. But Rayner is, on these numbers, going to be hard to beat. Talking of Corbyn, by the way, leads us to two final points – one trivial (if, perhaps, revealing) and one potentially very important. On the first point, connoisseurs of all things Labour might enjoy the fact that some three per cent of members expressed the view that Jeremy Corbyn should stay on as leader. Clearly, it’s not just Jane Austen’s heroines who ‘love longest, when all hope is gone.’ On the second point, it is always (always, always) worth recalling that when we conducted the same exercise just after the 2015 election – at a point when we really had no idea who would stand to replace Ed Miliband and so only asked members to write in suggestions rather than pick from a list – just two or three out of around eleven hundred who responded put down Jeremy Corbyn. That a man whom I doubt even many Labour members had heard of (or at least knew much about) then went on to win the leadership surely goes to show that the coming campaign can make a difference – not least because, for all that the contest can currently be presented as being Keir Starmer’s to lose, by far the most popular choice when we asked members for their unprompted suggestions was a Mr or Ms Don’t Know/Can’t Say, on a stand-out 32 per cent. In short – and no doubt Starmer’s team knows this as well as anyone – in this Labour Leadership contest, it ain’t over until it’s over.
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Fears grow for Vauxhall's UK car plant with work being shifted to Germany

Fears grow for Vauxhall's UK car plant with work being shifted to Germany | Press coverage | Scoop.it
Production of a key Vauxhall Astra variant is being shifted to Germany from the UK, raising fresh fears for the firm's Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire.
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Remember: the average Labour member isn’t as political as you think

Remember: the average Labour member isn’t as political as you think | Press coverage | Scoop.it
Just after New Years, we – the ESRC-funded Party Members Project run out of Queen Mary University of London and Sussex University – released the results of a survey of Labour Party members that we’d commissioned YouGov to run for us over Christmas. We knew these results might cause a stir, showing as they did that – at least when our questionnaire was in the field – that Keir Starmer appeared to be a fairly long way ahead of Rebecca Long-Bailey, seen by many as the continuity Corbyn candidate. Cue predictable accusations that a thousand or so people couldn’t possibly give anyone an idea of how the membership as a whole is thinking, that no one should trust any survey conducted by an organisation “owned by Tories”, and that we’d set a bandwagon rolling that would skew the result against the left. The purpose of this piece is not to answer those accusations – we’ve already attempted to do so elsewhere – but to provide another perspective on members’ views on the leadership We can do that not by reheating their responses to our questions, which asked them to rank a number of potential runners and riders from a pre-prepared list by focusing on an open-ended question that, earlier on in the questionnaire, simply asked them who they thought should replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Not altogether unpredictably, these also suggest Starmer is the single most popular choice, named (unprompted remember) by 21 per cent of members – twice as many as those (10 per cent) who named Rebecca Long-Bailey. (Note to journalists and political insiders, by the way: just one solitary respondent referred to her by her initials, so maybe stop trying to make “RLB” happen.) In third place, Jess Philips – named unprompted by 7 per cent of members – wasn’t in fact that far off Long-Bailey. But on these early figures, you can see why Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry (both on 3 per cent) and Clive Lewis (on 2 per cent), for all their strengths, may struggle to obtain sufficient CLP nominations. And you can see why, in the end, discretion proved (by far) the better part of valour for Corbyn loyalists like Ian Lavery (1.5 per cent) and Barry Gardiner (0.5 per cent). Members’ unprompted responses also give a very strong clue (but don’t of course constitute a sure-fire prediction) as to the likely outcome of the contest for deputy leader, even though we didn’t ask about that particular battle. That’s because 6 per cent of members made Angela Rayner their pick for the leadership, compared to the handful who named Dawn Butler (0.4 per cent) and Richard Burgon (0.2 per cent). Of course, it’s always possible that Labour members value a different set of qualities in a deputy – after all, they picked Tom Watson as Corbyn’s number two back in 2015. But Rayner is, on these numbers, going to be hard to beat. Talking of Corbyn, by the way, leads us to two final points – one trivial (if, perhaps, revealing) and one potentially very important. On the first point, connoisseurs of all things Labour might enjoy the fact that some three per cent of members expressed the view that Jeremy Corbyn should stay on as leader. Clearly, it’s not just Jane Austen’s heroines who ‘love longest, when all hope is gone.’ On the second point, it is always (always, always) worth recalling that when we conducted the same exercise just after the 2015 election – at a point when we really had no idea who would stand to replace Ed Miliband and so only asked members to write in suggestions rather than pick from a list – just two or three out of around eleven hundred who responded put down Jeremy Corbyn. That a man whom I doubt even many Labour members had heard of (or at least knew much about) then went on to win the leadership surely goes to show that the coming campaign can make a difference – not least because, for all that the contest can currently be presented as being Keir Starmer’s to lose, by far the most popular choice when we asked members for their unprompted suggestions was a Mr or Ms Don’t Know/Can’t Say, on a stand-out 32 per cent. In short – and no doubt Starmer’s team knows this as well as anyone – in this Labour Leadership contest, it ain’t over until it’s over.
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Boris Johnson will be PM for next ‘8 to 10 years’ as Labour scramble to find challenger | UK | News

Boris Johnson will be PM for next ‘8 to 10 years’ as Labour scramble to find challenger | UK | News | Press coverage | Scoop.it
BORIS JOHNSON will be Prime Minister for the next eight to 10 years according to political expert Tim Bale, who said he found it difficult to imagine the Labour Party breaking the Conservative’s huge majority.
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It’s 2020 – so where’s the paradise politicians promised us? | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian

It’s 2020 – so where’s the paradise politicians promised us? | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian | Press coverage | Scoop.it
Wild pledges by both parties have gone unfulfilled, leaving in their wake nihilism and distrust of politics, says Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty
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UK Parliament approves Boris Johnson's Brexit deal | UK News | Al Jazeera

UK Parliament approves Boris Johnson's Brexit deal | UK News | Al Jazeera | Press coverage | Scoop.it
UK prime minister succeeded where his predecessor repeatedly failed; getting Brexit legislation through Commons.
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George Osborne exposes plan to avoid no deal Brexit without need for new extension | UK | News

George Osborne exposes plan to avoid no deal Brexit without need for new extension | UK | News | Press coverage | Scoop.it
GEORGE OSBORNE suggested Boris Johnson may be able to deliver on his pledge to see Brexit trade talks end by December 2020 if he accepts some British sectors maintain a close relationship with the EU.
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The Brexit bill has returned to the House of Commons. What happens once MPs vote it through?, Business Insider

The Brexit bill has returned to the House of Commons. What happens once MPs vote it through?, Business Insider | Press coverage | Scoop.it
Business Insider - The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill returns to the House of Commons on Tuesday where MPs plan to rush it through before the end of January.. Read more at businessinsider.my
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Government stands down no-deal Brexit planning despite PM election pledge

Government stands down no-deal Brexit planning despite PM election pledge | Press coverage | Scoop.it
Emergency preparations for a no-deal Brexit have been stood down "with immediate effect" as Boris Johnson's deal is expected to be approved by MPs.
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Labour leadership: Tories fear one candidate as expert makes stunning prediction | UK | News

Labour leadership: Tories fear one candidate as expert makes stunning prediction | UK | News | Press coverage | Scoop.it
LABOUR leadership hopefuls are set to battle it out for the top job after Jeremy Corbyn announced he will step down following his humiliating defeat in the 2019 general election but political expert Tim Bale named which candidate would be a battle for Boris Johnson.
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Good grief: how to get over the post-election dashing of hope

Good grief: how to get over the post-election dashing of hope | Press coverage | Scoop.it
ALLOW me to present a guide through the stages of grief for those suffering post-election stress and Brexit disorder. Common symptoms and…
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Brexit's advance opens a new trade era

Brexit's advance opens a new trade era | Press coverage | Scoop.it
A new era is underway in which national interests take primacy over collective concerns, with trading arrangements negotiated among individual countries.
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Polling guru John Curtice exposes 'toxic combination' that led to 'inevitable' Labour loss | UK | News

Polling guru John Curtice exposes 'toxic combination' that led to 'inevitable' Labour loss | UK | News | Press coverage | Scoop.it
SIR JOHN CURTICE has revealed the “toxic combination” that led to the “inevitable” downfall of the Labour Party in the December 2019 election.
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Need To Know: Northern to be stripped of train franchise, says transport secretary

Need To Know: Northern to be stripped of train franchise, says transport secretary | Press coverage | Scoop.it
■ Northern to be stripped of train franchise, says transport secretary TRAIN operator Northern is to have its contract ripped up, transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced. Passengers will ‘not have to wait long’ before action is taken due to services being ‘really bad’, he said. The chaotic introduction of timetables in May 2018 saw... View Article
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Regional approach is best for post-Brexit business, Kent Summit hears

Regional approach is best for post-Brexit business, Kent Summit hears | Press coverage | Scoop.it
Brexit was high on the agenda at Kent Business Summit 2020 as economists highlighted the need for a regional approach from policymakers
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Brexit Propels Deal to Revive Northern Ireland’s Assembly

Brexit Propels Deal to Revive Northern Ireland’s Assembly | Press coverage | Scoop.it
Northern Ireland’s political parties agreed to reconvene Northern Ireland’s dormant legislative assembly after months of talks brokered by the British and Irish governments.
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Kent Business Summit focuses on sustainable economic growth

Kent Business Summit focuses on sustainable economic growth | Press coverage | Scoop.it
The Kent Business Summit returned for a third time today (Friday) focusing on sustainable economic growth in the county and beyond. The event was opened by Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development Mike Whiting who highlighted the work he is spearheading with the county’s European neighbours. Mr Whiting said: “We are committed to…
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Labour leadership: Which contender is the most working-class?

Labour leadership: Which contender is the most working-class? | Press coverage | Scoop.it
They are all talking up their humble origins - but how genuine are their claims and does anyone care?
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Brexit Bulletin: Barnier’s Back, Alright

Brexit Bulletin: Barnier’s Back, Alright | Press coverage | Scoop.it
Days to Brexit: 22
(Bloomberg) --

What’s Happening? After his new boss made her Brexit debut, a veteran of battles past sets out his stall for the year ahead.

Michel Barnier never really went away.
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Jess Phillips moves into second place in nomination race to become next Labour leader | Latest Brexit news and top stories

Jess Phillips moves into second place in nomination race to become next Labour leader | Latest Brexit news and top stories | Press coverage | Scoop.it
Jess Phillips has moved in second place in the race to become the next Labour leader based on the number of nominations from the parliamentary party.
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Aston Martin pins hopes on DBX SUV after 2019 profit warning | Manufacturer

Aston Martin pins hopes on DBX SUV after 2019 profit warning | Manufacturer | Press coverage | Scoop.it
Aston Martin is pinning its hopes of a profitability turnaround on the success of its new DBX SUV after starting 2020 with another profit warning.
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Analysis: Why the UK needs a battery gigafactory - and fast | Autocar

Analysis: Why the UK needs a battery gigafactory - and fast | Autocar | Press coverage | Scoop.it
Without it, car manufacturing currently carried out in the UK will move overseas, observers warn
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Economists warn of 2020 reality check after Conservative election victory | Business | The Times

Economists warn of 2020 reality check after Conservative election victory | Business | The Times | Press coverage | Scoop.it
For three years, The Times’ annual economics survey has been shaped by the twists and turns of the Brexit saga. Economists have been compulsive viewers of the drama at Westminster, with each plot development affecting their forecasts for growth, inflation, house prices and interest rates. This year
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In 2020, the fate of the Assembly will be one of the simpler issues –

In 2020, the fate of the Assembly will be one of the simpler issues – | Press coverage | Scoop.it
In agonising over terms for  recreating a functioning Stormont, the old chestnuts of an Irish Language Act and the petition of concern could be the easy bits – which is one reason why the DUP and Sinn Fein if they have any sense  at all, should grab at a deal. Truth to tell they are still in their comfort zone. Far more difficult issues are looming just a little way down the track. And it’s doubtful if the Assembly parties …
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Here's an in-depth look into Keir Starmer and his record on LGBT rights

Here's an in-depth look into Keir Starmer and his record on LGBT rights | Press coverage | Scoop.it
With Keir Starmer emerging as the frontrunner in the race to become the new Labour leader, here's where the MP stands on LGBT+ rights.
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First Labour leadership poll sees Keir Starmer emerge as frontrunner - Liverpool Echo

First Labour leadership poll sees Keir Starmer emerge as frontrunner - Liverpool Echo | Press coverage | Scoop.it

Shadow Brexit Secretary given early boost in bid to lead party after election defeat
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