I REMEMBER the days when the only editorial policy of the Times was common sense. Not any more.
Yesterday’s front page proclaimed that YouGov’s poll about the next general election shows the LibDems on 24 per cent due to a surge of unhappy Labour voters (only a guess, no evidence) and the Brexit Party on 22 per cent ahead of the former big two on 19 per cent each. Health warning: these figures are ‘weighted’ by don’t knows, which in my vocabulary means ‘don’t trust’ until you’ve seen the actual figure.
YouGov’s prediction for the Brexit Party was 5 per cent higher for the 23 May EU elections. The Times presents this as a falling back of the Brexit Party vote.
It is comparing apples with pears. The Brexit Party won 32 per cent of the vote for the European Parliament when most polls revealed that 21 per cent of voters would also back them for Westminster. To me this looks as though the Brexit Party have kept their support – don’t forget they won 32 per cent in what we’re now told was a 37 per cent turnout. All this without any candidates and any programme other than Brexit asap.
For the Tories the implications are even more serious than for Labour. Nigel Farage is still only nibbling at the Tory vote – wait until he starts biting.
What do we see as a Tory response to this? Hammond sounding more like Smarmer Starmer than Vince Cable. A football team of candidates, all with blemishes, most having voted for Merkel’s unconditional surrender demand, most pretty useless. The ERG members should jump overboard. Why drown with people who refuse to learn how to swim when you can already do the butterfly?
Leave jumping until after the leadership contest if you want, although that may cost your seats in Parliament. There is a catch. If I were in Nigel Farage’s shoes I would form an alliance only with ERG members who never wavered and voted against Merkel’s surrender terms every time.