China is an existential threat to freedom

A Guardian article accurately points out that we are at the beginning of a new cold war pitting the West against China:

This perception is what makes tech companies apparently unable to see China as what its behaviour reveals it to be: a growing and existential threat to freedom. That’s why the developments of the last few weeks have been so revealing. They show how perceptions of commercial power and fear of losing out can intimidate people and corporations.

What’s happened is that the old world of the cold war has morphed into a new bipolar world in which the alternative to liberal democracy is not the Russian federation but China. Russia is annoying and dangerous (and it has nukes), but it’s not an alternative system. China is – and one that may prove increasingly attractive to many non-aligned countries because of its amazing accomplishment of lifting so many people out of poverty so quickly.

During the cold war against the USSR, that adversary hobbled itself by having an inefficient economic system. China does not have this disadvantage. It also has the advantage that its population is considerably greater than the USA and EU combined. Winning this cold war will thus be harder for the West than winning the previous cold war was.

 

 

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Graph of European election opinion polls

Here’s a graph of opinion polls for the European election. (It uses the list of polls on Wikipedia).

poll_graph

There’s a a lot of variance in these polls, but some trends are clear:

  • The Brexit party is doing will and barring accidents will come in 1st.
  • Labour’s support has fallen over the campaigning period and the may come 3rd after the Lib Dems. The Tories have also fallen and may come 5th after the Greens.
  • The Lib Dems have had a good election. They will probably get around 16% of the vote.
  • Both UKIP and Change UK have done poorly, with their vote squeezed by (respectively) the Brexit Party and the Lib Dems.
  • The Greens are polling around 9% and will probably do better than the 7% they got in 2014.

Of the remain parties, the order is: Lib Dems (16%), Greens (9%), Change UK (4%), so if you’re a remain vote and have on strong preference over who to vote for, choose the Lib Dems.

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Three new opinion polls

I. Results

We have 3 new opinion polls, with data collection ending on the 9th or 10th of May:

Date  Org     UKIP  Lab  Con   LD  Grn Brex ChUK
====  ======  ==== ==== ==== ==== ==== ==== ====
  10  Opin       4   21   11   12    8   34    3           
   9  ComRes     3   25   13   14    8   27    6          
   9  YouGov     3   16   10   15   11   34    5 

      AVERAGE  3.3 20.7 11.3 13.7    9 31.7  4.7

Comparing these results to the last 2, we have:

Party    Old    New  Change
=====  =====  =====  ======
Brex    28.5   31.7   +3.2
Lab     26     20.7   -5.3
LD      11.5   13.7   +2.2
Con     14     11.3   -2.7
Grn      6      9     +3.0
ChUK     5      4.7   -0.3
UKIP     3      3.3   +0.3

II. Conclusions

So the Brexit Party, Lib Dems and Greens are all up, while Labour and the Conservatives are both down. This is a continuance of the trend where parties with a firm position on Brexit (either for or against) are doing well, while the two big Westminster parties are doing badly: they aren’t leave enough for the leavers and they aren’t remain enough for the remainers.

The Lib Dems have pushed the Tories into 4th place. In one poll they’re in 5th place, behind even the Greens! If these declines continue, we could end up with the Tories below 10% and Labour below 15%, meaning that the 2 main parties who have nearly all MPs between them are supported by less than 1 in 4 of the voters. This would catastrophically bad for them,.

Finally, both UKIP and Change UK have failed to excite: leavers prefer the Brexit Party and remainers prefer the Lib Dems and Greens.

Many remainers wanted all the remain parties to fight the election under one united banner. That didn’t happen, but it looks like remain voters have collectively decided to use the Liberal Democrats as their vehicle for registering an anti-Brexit vote.

III. Recommendations

If you’re a remain voter in England, want to cast a vote against Brexit, and don’t feel strong allegiance to any particular party, the Vote Remain recommendation is that you vote for the Liberal Democrats as the best way to stop Brexit.

This is a provisional recommendation, subject to change in the light of further information.

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New opinion polls put Lib Dems ahead

We have 2 new opinion polls, the first since the local elections.

           ComRes  Opinium  Average
           ======  =======  =======
Brex         28       29      28.5
Lab          26       26      26
Con          14       14      14
Lib Dem      11       12      11.5
Green         6        6       6
ChUK          8        2       5
UKIP          2        4       3

The Lib Dems seem to be moving ahead of the other remain parties, the Greens and Change UK. If this trend continues, the recommendation for remain voters who want to maximise the number of seats remain parties get will have to be to vote Lib Dem.

There’s 13 days to go to the election, so it’s a bit to early to give that verdict yet. But that’s how it will probably go.

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Burial Chamber

burial_chamber

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If Remainers win a majority of the vote in the European election, cancel Brexit

There’s a petition:

eu_petition

If this petition becomes popular in the run up to the European election, like the Revoke Article 50 one did with 6 million signatures, many remain supporters will think “I’d better vote in the election, and vote for a remain party”.

This will boost remain support and will put pressure on politicians to cancel Brexit, because the one thing politicians care about is votes.

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Manifesto: Scottish Green Party

We have a manifesto for the Scottish Green Party.

The remain parties standing in Scotland are:

  • Change UK
  • Liberal Democrats
  • Scottish Green Party
  • Scottish National Party

If you want to remain in the EU, you should vote for one of these.

If you like the SGP manifesto, you might want to consider voting for them; if not, vote for another of the remain parties.

If you don’t have any strong preference for which remain party to vote for, the SNP is the one likely to win the most seats, so you should consider voting for them.

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