Why Vince highlighted the Labour/Tory Brexit love-in

Vince had a question to the Prime Minister today. He was jeered at almost as soon as he stood up – a good sign that he is so relevant that people think they have to do that.

What did he choose to ask her on this set piece occasion?

The Prime Minister and the Labour Leader of the Opposition both agree that we should leave the single market and leave the European Union customs union, and that the public should not have a final say on the Brexit deal, so will the Prime Minister dispense with our tradition of party political point scoring and, in the spirit that I am setting, publicly thank the leadership of the Labour party for its help and support in making Brexit happen?

So why was he stirring that particular pot?

Well, it’s kind of obvious if you are fighting a parliamentary by-election a few miles down the road where Labour in theory has a large majority that you showcase their massive weakness in this pro-Remain seat as often as possible. At every possible moment, you highlight how Jeremy Corbyn is giving the Tories a free ride.

And Layla had another go later on the BBC:

If you want to help the brilliant Lucy Salek in her campaign, you can find out what’s going on here.

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21 Comments

  • John Marriott 24th May '18 - 6:47am

    I agree with David. In fact I wasn’t really quite sure what he was trying to infer. Was it an example of irony or sarcasm?

  • ………………………………..He was jeered at almost as soon as he stood up – a good sign that he is so relevant that people think they have to do that………………..

    Using that as a ‘yardstick’ Corbyn must be the most ‘relevant’ politician in the country.

  • Steve Trevethan 24th May '18 - 9:30am

    Might a short, direct question on the practicalities of the form of the Irish border be more effective?

  • John Marriott 24th May '18 - 9:48am

    Mind you, it was nice to see a few Lib Dem MPs sitting next to him. As far as the jeering was concerned, I’ve always found that, when your opponents really have no cogent response to what you have proposed, they invariably resort to mockery. Considering his skills on the dance floor, perhaps Sir Vince should try the quickstep rather than the waltz!

  • David Becket 24th May '18 - 10:11am

    @David Raw
    Totally agree, missed opportunity.
    The man on the Lewisham omnibus is unlikely to take much interest in PMQ.
    Compared with his famous Mr Bean quote he looked tired.
    Who is advising him??????

  • Could be a good day for us in by elections. 3 chances of gains plus attempting to hold a difficult seat in Bristol where we took the third seat in the ward in 2016. On the other hand………. Fingers crossed.
    However the results whatever they are will have no real relevance to Lewisham East.

  • Peter Watson 24th May '18 - 2:43pm

    @John Littler “Opinium”
    That poll also showed Lib Dem voting intention at 6% (down 1% since Opinium’s last poll in April before the local elections).
    Perhaps more worryingly, given that Lib Dems have made so much of the single issue of Brexit, the same poll shows that “a large proportion of the public don’t know what the parties stand for – 38% don’t know if the Conservatives prefer the single market or ending freedom of movement, 44% don’t know what Labour think, 48% don’t know what the Lib Dems think”. (http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/10000)

  • Peter Watson 24th May '18 - 5:07pm

    On the topic of polling, Britain Elects (https://twitter.com/britainelects) gives the following recent results for Westminster voting intention:

    IpsosMORI, 18 – 22 May
    CON: 40% (-1)
    LAB: 40% (-)
    LDEM: 7% (-3)
    GRN: 5% (+3)
    UKIP: 2% (-)

    ComRes, 16 – 17 May (Chgs. w/ 29 Apr)
    CON: 41% (+1)
    LAB: 41% (+1)
    LDEM: 7% (-2)
    UKIP: 3% (-2)
    GRN: 3% (-)

    YouGov, 20 – 21 May
    CON: 42% (-1)
    LAB: 38% (-)
    LDEM: 9% (-)
    GRN: 3% (-)
    UKIP: 2% (-1)

    OpiniumResearch (Chgs. w/ 10 – 12 Apr)
    CON: 43 (+3)
    LAB: 39 (-1)
    LDEM: 6 (-1)
    UKIP: 4 (-1)

    In light of continued poor polling for the party, I’m not sure that Vince Cable used his opportunity wisely at PMQs. If the aim is to get a point across to the public, then surely a less “clever” but more direct, blunt, quotable question would have been far more effective.

  • paul barker 24th May '18 - 5:33pm

    I thought Vinces question was brill but my comment is yet again on Polls. Quoting a single Poll is plain stupid, 4 Polls are a little better but for a crude unweighted average you need a lot more. An average of the last 10 Polls gives us 8 %.
    We seem to have drifted down from a Month ago but I would like to see a few more Polls before I feel sure.

  • Peter Watson 24th May '18 - 5:51pm

    @paul barker “plain stupid”
    Perhaps, but is there any evidence – no matter how many polls you look back over (e.g. http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/voting-intention-2 or http://britainelects.com/polling/trackers/) – to contradict the notion of “continued poor polling for the party”.

  • The polls have been very static since the General Election – with just may be a slight reduction in the UKIP vote and may be the Tories picking up that vote.

    It is not surprising – people only change in response to events or relatively long term trends in how they perceive the economy or other things – immigration, health, the state of their children’s schools etc. People don’t tend to wake up and think how they are going to reply to an pollster should they be asked that day!

    It is very difficult to pick up any trends over a period of months anyway – given a margin of error of +/- 3% – it means only if there is a 6% change in a rating can you be sure that there is an actual change and even then not in 1 in 20 polls. Although this is a bit less for parties on lower percentages.

    I think for anyone to say that we have improved you would need to see us polling above 12% – and this does mean a near doubling of our vote!

    There are some good underlying pointers as has been noted the improvement in Vince’s approval rating and most of the polling on Brexit.

    BTW – it does seem for whatever reason Opimium consistently gives us a lower rating than other companies.

  • John Roffey 25th May '18 - 6:52am

    I must say – after watching the Question Time’s audience’s reaction to the proposal last night – that there is no appetite for a second referendum on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations.

    The one increasingly popular view of the voters seems to be that the politicians get on and finalise the matter – whatever that outcome may be.

    Personally, I cannot see a satisfactory solution and the once confident voices on both sides of the debate seem to be sounding increasingly hollow. The only certainty seems to be that the nation will be significantly poorer and less influencial when the issue is resolved and rather than being able to reduce the impact of the austerity measures – they are likely to be increased.

    If this is the case there is almost bound to be considerable hostility towards politicians and parties that are seen to be most central in confounding a speedy resolution.

  • John Roffey 25th May ’18 – 6:52am…………….I must say – after watching the Question Time’s audience’s reaction to the proposal last night – that there is no appetite for a second referendum on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations…………..If this is the case there is almost bound to be considerable hostility towards politicians and parties that are seen to be most central in confounding a speedy resolution…………..

    I find the Question Time audiences are slanted towards the right and, thus, don’t take them as typical..
    However, regarding your final sentence, I’ve noticed that the ‘blame’ for Brexit problems, among my ‘Brexiteer’ friends, is becoming more and more directed at “Leavers undermining May’s position” rather than at the antics of Johnson, Davis and Gove…

  • Peter Martin 25th May '18 - 9:16am

    @ expats

    I think you might mean “Remainers undermining May’s position” !

    The call for another referendum, in itself, is doing just that. If the EU negotiators know that a bad deal will lead to another vote and a different result, why should they offer anything else?

  • John Roffey 25th May '18 - 9:41am

    @expats “I find the Question Time audiences are slanted towards the right and, thus, don’t take them as typical”

    This does not seem to be a realistic assessment. Both Leavers and Remainers are interested in politics – so are equally likely to wish to attend QT. If just less than half of the audience voted to remain – you would not have heard the audible groan when a second referendum was suggested by an audience member – if this was a popular remedy amongst leavers.

    Generally speaking – the Party does seem to live in a fantasy world – unable to confront the very real problems it faces – which are clearly demonstrated by its poll ratings.

    @Peter Martin – yes – succinctly explained.

  • @Peter Martin @John Roffey
    Vote on the Deal or not. It wont make any difference to the EUs negotiating position. The lines of the box are fixed, and we are inside it. We’ve pushed against them and we have just bounced off them.
    The NI border question is impossible to resolve without staying in the single market . If we stay in the single market we may as well stay in the EU. The fact that that the government is wriggling on the hook so much is testament to the realization that Brexit is going to be highly damaging to the economy. When are the Brexiteers going to come to terms with the fact that we can’t have our cake and eat it. It is IN or OUT. I prefer in and fight a gorilla war to change some aspects of the EU as the Italians are planning to do. If we are out then I see the break up of the UK starting with N.I. and then possibly Scotland. The Gibraltar card issue is still nicely tucked up the sleeve of the EU. The sooner Brexiteers realize that they won the vote but have lost the battle the better. It is time for a tactical withdrawal.

  • @P.J. “Vote on the Deal or not. It wont make any difference to the EUs negotiating position. The lines of the box are fixed, and we are inside it.”

    I do seriously doubt that the Party’s attempt to gain support for a ‘vote on the deal’ does not encourage the EU negotiators to push for more than they otherwise might on the grounds that their opponents are so divided – that’s how things work in the real world.

    I agree that the nation is going to be significantly poorer and less influential as a result of leaving the EU – it was the central point of my original post. However, my concern is for the Party which is simply not going to gain popularity by continuing to push for a second referendum – if the voters want the politicians to get on and complete the best deal they can – but quite the reverse. [This seems to be confirmed by a variety of recent surveys – not just the QT audience]

    It is generally acknowledged that there cannot now be a Hard Brexit – the final outcome will be resolved primarily by the two main parties. The Lib/Dems are not going to gain any credit for their attempt at reversing the result of the referendum – but would almost certainly benefit if they withdraw from the debate [as a second referendum is not on the cards] to concentrate on becoming the much needed centre-left party.

    The fact that a hard Brexit will not be achieved will almost certainly cause a rise in popularity for UKIP – now they have a new, more acceptable, leader and there are signs that the Green Party are growing in popularity because the Lib/Dems are not filling this political gap.

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