Briefing: Corbyn’s balancing act, more on Wales and mental health

As of bedtime, the lead on the BBC News homepage is “Immigration is not too high – Corbyn”, which is probably not what anyone went to bed expecting last night.

What’s going on? Stephen Bush’s account of yesterday’s events is interesting, but not as interesting as his analysis of the politics behind it. Oppose free movement and the Lib Dems and Greens are a threat to Labour, support it and UKIP and the Conservatives are a threat, sit on the fence and they all are.

On the face of it, Labour’s vote looks heavily Remain, and even more so now than in 2015. But considering the types of people that voted Labour in the past and have since gone elsewhere, or simply stayed home (remember that as recently as 1992, turnout was 78 per cent), current Labour voters plus the ones it needs to win back aren’t quite so Remain. So there are no simple answers.

The bogeyman here is the implosion of Scottish Labour who were caught in a similar situation after the Independence referendum, being carved up first by the SNP on the Yes side and then by the Tories on the No side. That scenario may not be imminent in England and Wales, and there are important differences with the Scottish situation, but the probability of it isn’t going down…

In Wales, we got a bit more information from Roger Scully’s poll, including the leader ratings. All politicians polled (except Neil Hamilton, who was by far the lowest-rated to begin with, saw their numbers fall). Carwyn Jones, Theresa May and Leanne Wood lead the way.

Mental health has been in the news, particularly since Monday, and Matt Smith has done some polling on it. Encouragingly, 84 per cent view mental health problems to be as serious as physical health problems, and the average estimate of the number of people with mental health problems was very much in line with MIND’s estimate of the true number. Of course it’s far harder to measure the stigma around mental health, as Matt makes clear.

And as Copeland approaches, LabourList has confirmed the Labour candidates and Conservative Home has been to the pub

Enjoy PMQs!

Don’t wait for it to appear on the website – sign up for this briefing:


Please send me (select as required):

Email Format





About The Author

Related Posts