An awful day

Following yesterday’s appalling terrorist attack in Westminster, my thoughts are of course with the victims and their families.

Earlier in the day, we got a poll from YouGov for the Times, showing some odd swings – both the two main parties dropped by a similar amount, while UKIP and the Lib Dems gained, meaning that the Conservative lead in this series was little changed at 16 points. There’s no obvious reason for the moves, but some of the weighting looks unusually heavy (especially among 25-49 year old men). That doesn’tnecessarily mean it’s a rogue sample, but it’s a clue that it could be.

Ahead of what will now be today’s Holyrood vote on Section 30, YouGov also published some research asking Scots what they thought motivated people of the opposing viewpoint on independence. It’s fair to say there’s mutual mistrust…

The as yet undated Manchester Gorton by-election now has four candidates, after Labour selected Northwest MEP Afzal Khan. He joins George Galloway, Jess Mayo (Green) and Jackie Pearcey (Lib Dem) on the ballot so far.

There are three local by-elections today (one Tory defence, one Labour and one independent). See Andrew Teale’s previews.

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