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Will Johnson get a Brexit deal done after all?

Iain Dale presents the evening show on LBC Radio and is a commentator for CNN.

It is still impossible to predict what will happen next week, but whatever it is will be pretty momentous.

It still seems unlikely that a deal will be done before the deadline day of October 31st but, given yesterday’s events on Merseyside, it doesn’t seem as unlikely as it did just hours before. At the time of writing, we don’t know who has conceded what – so it’s impossible to say what the Northern Ireland parties will make of it all, and whether any concessions on the UK side would affect the likelihood of any deal getting through the Commons.

So let’s park that one and look at a somewhat negative scenario.

So Boris Johnson goes to the EU council next Thursday; it ends in chaos; he comes back, addresses the Commons on Saturday week, sends the EU a letter requesting an extension to Article 50 – but also makes clear he doesn’t believe a word of it.

The EU then grants a year-long extension, thus enabling a second referendum to happen and at that point Johnson challenges the opposition parties to agree to an election.

And that is where the fun starts. Labour decides that it will only agree to an election after a second referendum is held, and it says that the options put to voters would be Theresa May’s deal v Remain. It is assailed by the SNP for effectively inflicting another nine months of a Conservative government on the country.

At that point, Johnson resigns as Prime Minister, and attempts are made to form an alternative government – all of which fail. He fights the election on a ‘leave the EU with no deal’ manifesto, which results in dozens of Tory MPs quitting, but the Brexit Party stand down all of their candidates.

Would Johnson win a majority in those circumstances? As the polls stand at the moment, yes, but we all know what can happen in election campaigns. And if you don’t know, just ask May.

– – – – – – – – – –

The scenario I paint above shows just how much influence Nigel Farage will have over events. And the core thing to remember is that he doesn’t trust Johnson one iota. I cannot see how the latter could ever agree to a formal electoral pact with the forner and if, he did, it would have to be written in stone.

There’s some talk of the Prime Minister offering the Brexit Party a free run in 50 selected seats, presumably in the north of England, I return for a free run everywhere else. I think it’s completely fanciful. But in this political environment, I suppose stranger things have happened.

– – – – – – – – – –

The best news of the week is that Chris Mason is taking over the reins as the new host of Any Questions. Chris is one of the few journalists that is liked by everybody (by which I mean everybody in the political firmament).

This is not because he’s pliant, or soft; it’s because he’s a transparently nice bloke who knows his stuff. I haven’t got a clue what his politics are anymore than anyone else has. It’s a cracking appointment, and even though he has huge shoes to step into, I have absolutely no doubt he’ll do well and bring a freshness and vitality to the show.

I did ponder applying for it myself, but I figured there was little point given I’ve been on the show as an opinionated panellist a dozen times, and the BBC would never appoint someone to a show like that with a previous political background.

The fact that I present a similar show and have proved my hosting abilities would be by the by. Sometimes you have to just accept the reality of a situation. Newsnight quite happily employed James O’Brien as a host, but then of course he is a man of the centre left. Someone on the centre-right would never get a look-in. And if you think that’s me being paranoid, John Humphrys says the exact same thing in his excellent new book.

– – – – – – – –  – –

For almost this entire year, most of my weekends have involved work of some description or other. Not this one. At least, that’s the intention.

After doing my regular slot on Good Morning Britain, I’ll be driving west to spend three days in North Devon with my Aunt and cousins, who live in Braunton.

No Andrew Marr, no newspaper columns, no Twitter (that one is a lie) – just catching up with family gossip and reminiscing about times gone by. And a walk across Saunton Sands. I have honestly never looked forward to a weekend more. The calm before the storm…

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In defence of the Prime Minister

There is nothing new about Conservative exasperation with the BBC. Some of us remember Nigel Lawson’s impatience with Brian Redhead over 30 years ago on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, setting a pattern we have become familiar with. I suppose the difference is the collapse of professionalism. There has long been a general understanding that the BBC consensus was on the Left, but also that they took pride in seeking to tell the truth. They would at least seek to champion free speech, open debate, impartiality – to present the arguments both sides of any argument. This was known as “public service broadcasting”. Officially, this is still in place. However, the memoirs of John Humphrys have brought home to us how there is no longer any pretence to uphold them in practice. Often the BBC is used as a generic term for the broadcast media – Channel 4 News, Sky News and Robert Peston on ITV feel under even less constraint to give Conservatives a fair hearing.

All this culminates in a tone of perpetual crisis on the airwaves facing the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. In some ways, the media should be friendly towards him. Professionally, he comes from the same tribe. Temperamentally, he is easy going and tolerant. Politically, he favours a free and independent media. Yet he encounters a wall of hostility. “Donnez moi un break,” he mutters occasionally. His sense of humour must help him retain a sense of perspective. It must also be heartening that it is by no means clear that the public thinks what the broadcasters tell them to think. Opinion polling is an erratic guide. But, to put it cautiously, the pundits have yet to convince the electorate that Johnson is unfit for office.

This week, we have seen the most absurd double standards regarding the complaint about the Prime Minister’s dubbing Hilary Benn’s European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act, the Surrender Act. My understanding of this legislation is that it requires the UK agreeing to an extension of EU membership on any terms the EU dictates. Surrender sounds about right in terms of the substance – I suppose we could say “Capitulation Act” or “Enslavement Act”. Paul said yesterday that we seek to avoid such synonyms as “simply a matter of taste” and instead choose the real title.

Others might have the confidence to challenge the essential point of whether “surrender” was an accurate description of the law our MPs have agreed to. But generally, they have found it easier to contend that anyone making the argument is using “inflammotory” language. The hypocrisy of such sanctimonious complaints is staggering to behold. Henry provided some examples yesterday of hateful comments made by Labour MPs including Shadow Cabinet members – we have had John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, calling for the lynching of Esther McVey, the Labour MP David Lammy describing Conservative MPs as Nazis; the list is very long and grows by the day.

In any case, most Conservatives will have seen the faces of the Left contorted with hate at some stage or another. It might be in Parliament, in a town hall, at a student union meeting, or at a protest outside a Conservative Party Conference. For them, hatred is a fuel, just as petrol is for a car. Conservatives are simply wired differently. We tend to do some gardening, or watch the cricket, or read a PG Wodehouse novel, or go to church. Perhaps even try to earn a living.

Naturally, we can find examples of Conservatives getting angry and swearing, or of socialists playing tennis or sipping sherry. But the suggestion that inflammatory language is happening equally on both sides is just not true. It is as bogus as the “theory of moral equivalence” during the Cold War which suggests that the United States was just as bad as the Soviet Union. Of course, the hate is overwhelmingly coming from the Left. The charges of Conservatives – such as this week against Johnson and Geoffrey Cox – using “inappropriate” language are synthetic, opportunistic and self-serving.

As Douglas Murray says:

“It is true that political language can be febrile and that it certainly can deteriorate. But just as there is such a thing as honest offence taking, so there is also dishonest offence taking. And if there is a political advantage to gained by behaving dishonestly then is it possible that some people might seize that opportunity?”

Even before the disgraceful intervention by Paula Sherriff, the Labour MP for Dewsbury, seeking to exploit the death of Jo Cox to restrict criticism of delaying Brexit, we had Emma Hardy, the Labour MP for Hull West and Hessle contriving to take offence at a reference by Geoffrey Cox to a “when did you stop beating your wife question.”

What is so irresponsible about spraying around false claims about language inciting violence is that it undermines attention for genuine instances. That is similar how casual accusations of someone being a Nazi, fascist, or racist devalue such labels and leave them worthless even when they valid.

When it comes to delivering a fair-minded verdict on Johnson, a lot of the complaints against him come across as displacement activity. His record was a success as Mayor of London, notching up tangible achievements. As Foreign Secretary, his accomplishments were left impressive but then he was constrained. When seeking to be Conservative leader, he put forward a clear plan for Brexit – that it must happen, deal or no deal, by October 31st. A majority of MPs are determined to thwart that and thus prevent the Government from functioning. Yet they are also afraid of the logical alternative of facing a General Election to resolve matters. Most assume that despite this we will have an election, although some suggest the “dead Parliament” could continue, in Zombie form, into 2020.

Either way, time is on Johnson’s side. “Put up or shut up,” is the message to MPs. Let the Government proceed, or else bring down the Government. But spare us this cowardly dithering. The electorate’s impatience at delay is scarcely likely to be solved by further delay. Obfuscation and fake indignation from broadcasters and Labour MPs may cause the Prime Minister some discomfort. Yet tactical successes by the Opposition may magnify their strategic failings. If Johnson keeps strong, he will eventually be rewarded at the polls.

 

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WATCH: Would you prorogue again? “Let’s wait and see…the lie of the land”, Raab tells Marr

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WATCH: “I didn’t know” – Corbyn tries to distance himself from failed attempt to oust Watson

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The BBC Releases a Lesson Plan for 9-Year-Olds: There Are More Than 100 Genders. Disagree and Go to Jail

Westlake Legal Group sisters-931151_1280-620x413 The BBC Releases a Lesson Plan for 9-Year-Olds: There Are More Than 100 Genders. Disagree and Go to Jail Uncategorized transgender The Sexes Sexuality sexual identity Public Education LGBT innocence Government Gender Issues gender identity Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture children BBC Allow Media Exception

 

 

Okay, boys and girls. And goys. and birls. And…a whole buncha stuff.

Here’s some news.

The BBC has released a collection of educational videos for tykes between 9 and 12 years old. As per the instructionals, there are not 2, not 3 not 10, but more than 100 “gender identities.”

Holy Toledo.

That’s a whole lot of variations on the penis and vagina; how could anyone keep up? I can’t even remember the Waffle House’s options for hash browns.

If you’re asking similar questions, you’re just slow: According to the videos, folks who aren’t adjusted to the 100+ options “just don’t know any better yet.”

Furthermore, those dinosaurs — you dinosaurs — could go to jail.

In one installment titled “Understanding Sexual and Gender Identities,” kids are informed that gender is whatever “you are inside.”

And off we go:

“There are so many gender identities. So we know we’ve got male and female, but there are over 100 — if not more — gender identities now.

“You’ve got some people who might call themselves gender queer,” the series pointes out, “who are just like, ‘I don’t really want to be anything in particular; I’m just going to be me.’”

The Daily Wire describes other content:

The video includes Leo Lardie, a transgender activist born female but who now identifies as male, who tells the children about her transition — including some talk about her own genitalia. She also tells the children that the only way to happiness for her was to be “true about who I was, and let other people in on this.”

Elsewhere in the series, called “The Big Talk,” a teacher tells children that they can be jailed if they are found to be “disrespecting or being hateful to people because of a difference that person perceives.”

One thing that’s cool about gender is that you don’t even have to be one of the 100+ choices. As the program explains, if you prefer — just like at Burger King — you can get the combo deal:

“So we know that some people might feel like they are two different genders, so people might think they’re bi-gender.”

Bi-gender.

Bye, gender.

With so many options, it seems that, ultimately, “gender” means nothing at all.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

AOC Fights The Racism Of Heterosexuality, Bails Out Antifa, And Buries Her Virtue So Deep Jacques Cousteau Couldn’t Find It

On The First Day Of School, 7th Grade Calif. Teacher Hands Out Gender Unicorn Flyers, Tells Kids He’s ‘Mx’ Not ‘Mr’

Stop What You’re Doing, Put Your Worries Aside, & Let This Child Sing – She Has A Message We Need To Hear

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

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The post The BBC Releases a Lesson Plan for 9-Year-Olds: There Are More Than 100 Genders. Disagree and Go to Jail appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group sisters-931151_1280-300x200 The BBC Releases a Lesson Plan for 9-Year-Olds: There Are More Than 100 Genders. Disagree and Go to Jail Uncategorized transgender The Sexes Sexuality sexual identity Public Education LGBT innocence Government Gender Issues gender identity Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture children BBC Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Iain Dale: I hope this isn’t the last we see of Ruth Davidson

Iain Dale presents the evening show on LBC Radio, and is the author of the forthcoming book ‘Why can’t we all just get along’.

I can’t imagine there is a Conservative in the country who doesn’t regret the resignation of Ruth Davidson as leader of the Scottish Conservatives. Any political observer with half a brain can see that she has transformed the fortunes of the party north of the border. OK, no leader achieves the kind of success she has singlehandedly, but she has set the tone and led from the front. I doubt any of us ever really believed she would help deliver 13 Tory MPs and overtake Labour to become the main opposition to the SNP in the Scottish Parliament. But she defied all expectations. I’ve never had children but I imagine if I had, it would have been a life-changing experience. Clearly that has been the case for Ruth and her partner Jen, and I hope she gets huge satisfaction from bringing up their young son Finn – the kind of satisfaction politics can never deliver. I very much hope this isn’t the last we will see of Ruth Davidson. She must know that if she wants a career in Westminster, it’s hers for the asking. Clearly that’s not going to happen for a few years, but there will no doubt be a stream of constant speculation on the issue for some time to come, unless she categorically rules it out.

– – – – – – – – – – –

The decision to prorogue Parliament has launched a cascade of bluster and outrage among opposition parties and Remainers. I wrote a long blogpost on the issue on my website on Wednesday and won’t repeat all my arguments here, except to say this: isn’t it great to see a Prime Minister who knows what he wants, has a sense of direction and will get down and dirty in order to achieve his aim? It is of course fatuous to claim that this isn’t a tactical move. Of course it is. But then again, the reaction to it has been so OTT as to be risible. Those who have a full case of Brexit Derangement Syndrome have gone full tonto and likened it to a Latin American coup, or compared Boris Johnson to Hitler. Normal voters on both sides of the debate look on in bemusement and wonder if these politicians think we are stupid. We keep being told by people in the media who ought to know better that it’s the longest prorogation since the 1940s, conveniently omitting to point out that Parliament wouldn’t have been sitting for three weeks anyway due to the party conferences. Ah yes, says Lewis Goodall of Sky News, but you’re being disingenuous because MPs might have voted to sit during the party conferences. Might. That’s the key word. I doubt it very much. So now we are faced with the ludicrous spectacle of some MPs going to sit in Church House in a makeshift parliament. Who are they going to debate with? People they agree with? It’ll be the ultimate ‘massdebate’. If you get my drift…

– – – – – – – – – – –

There was a right kerfuffle in France at the weekend when Downing Street cancelled a planned interview by Boris Johnson with Channel 4 News. It’s clear that the reason for cancellation was what Dorothy Byrne, the Head of Channel 4 News & Politics, said about the Prime Minister in her Mactaggart lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival. She called him a liar – an extraordinary thing for someone in her position to say. It rather detracted from what was actually a rather interesting lecture. She questioned why leading politicians won’t do interviews without realising that comments like hers were one of the reasons. Her wider point is valid, though. For instance, it was ridiculous that on the day of the prorogation announcement that no government minister was put up to defend the decision on the radio or TV. All we had to go on was Boris Johnson’s pooled clip, given to Sky. I couldn’t get a government minister on my show, nor could Newsnight, or anyone else. So what did most programmes do? Line up a constant stream of guests who criticised the move. The next morning Jacob Rees-Mogg did a full media round, but by then it was a bit late. I had hoped that Downing Street would cut the apron strings a bit under the new regime, but it appears not. What political communications people need to realise is that if they don’t let politicians on the media to explain government policies, no one else is going to do it for them. If ministers can’t be trusted to explain government strategy or policy, then perhaps they shouldn’t be ministers at all. All that is needed is for there to be a cadre of 5-10 Cabinet and junior ministers who are known to be good communicators, to be placed around the media on days of big announcements. They can be properly briefed and sent out to bat. Sounds a perfectly sensible way of organising things to me…

– – – – – – – – – – –

It’s great news that Andrew Neil is back on our screens with his own show on a Wednesday evening. My only regret is that it clashes with my radio show! It looks from the press release that it’s possibly only going to run until 31 October, but most people will hope that it becomes a permanent fixture. It’s not clear what kind of show it will be, but I assume it will be primarily interview-based. Exactly as it should be. Andrew is a pre-eminent political interviewer and his Straight Talk show is still sorely missed.

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WATCH: PMQs – “You have failed the test of leadership…apologise, now”

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BBC Caves To Iran, Won’t Report On Iran On BBC Persian

Westlake Legal Group iran-nuke2-620x412 BBC Caves To Iran, Won’t Report On Iran On BBC Persian Media journalism Iran Front Page Stories Featured Story Censorship bbc persian BBC Allow Media Exception

In pushing a media blackout of coverage within its borders, the Republic of Iran set conditions on BBC, essentially telling them they can’t report on anything happening Iran’s borders on BBC Persian.

The BBC agreed to the terms, angering workers at the station.

Yashar Ali of Huffington Post reported on the agreement, noting that it is a “capitulation to a government that has been hostile to press freedom.

The email, sent Saturday to all BBC Persian staff by a BBC Persian digital editor, said that BBC foreign correspondent Martin Patience and his team were in Iran “and due to leave on Sunday.”

The email goes on to say, “It is absolutely imperative that none of their material is run on BBC Persian TV, Radio or Online now or in the future. That includes any official BBC Persian social feed retweeting or forwarding the coverage. Please do not use the material and stories produced in Iran on any platform or in any format.”

It’s unclear who at the BBC agreed to the exclusivity terms.

The BBC responded to the Post:

All international media are subject to reporting restrictions in Iran. We accepted some limitations on this occasion in order to provide our audiences with rare insights from inside the country and this is signposted in our coverage. As ever, the BBC maintains full editorial control over what we broadcast. These reports – our first from inside Iran in 5 years – do not change our unwavering commitment to our BBC Persian staff and their families, who have suffered completely unacceptable harassment from the Iranian authorities since 2009.

According to Ali’s reporting, the revelation of the agreement with Iran has angered BBC Persian staff, who have been targeted by Iran in the past. The capitulation comes two years after Iran targeted current (at the time) and former BBC Persia staff by freezing their assets.

In 2017, the Iranian government froze the assets of 152 current and former BBC Persian staff.  Iran also opened up a criminal investigation into the 152 individuals and accused them of a “conspiracy against national security.” BBC Persian staffers have been subjected to death threats by the Iranian government, haven’t been able to return to Iran for fear that they will be arrested, and their family members living within Iran have been subjected to harassment and threats from the Iranian government.

In 2017, the BBC filed a complaint with the United Nations, stating, “This is not just a campaign against BBC Persian staff but against fundamental human rights, and the BBC calls on the government of Iran to end this legal action immediately,” Tony Hall, the director-general of the BBC said, at the time.

The BBC appears to have changed its tune and is now being fully compliant with the Iranian government’s efforts to censor coverage within its borders. Staffers at BBC Persian feel the agreement is just further persecution of them and their jobs.

Journalism, when done right, is supposed to shine a light on the good and the bad of the world. It isn’t meant to hide what’s going on. The BBC is allowing Iran to hide what’s going on with this decision, and it’s making a mistake in doing so. It’s a shame that they have decided to capitulate here.

The post BBC Caves To Iran, Won’t Report On Iran On BBC Persian appeared first on RedState.

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33 per cent? 45 per cent? 71 per cent? What’s the true leadership election turnout?

The results of our latest survey of Party members, published yesterday, appear to have produced an interesting reaction.

This week’s survey asked for the first time how many members have already voted. Seventy-one per cent of those on our panel say they have cast their vote, which if the voting intentions are accurate would make it mathematically impossible for Jeremy Hunt to win via a late surge.

Shortly after that finding was published a range of leaked official turnout figures started to crop up. Beth Rigby of Sky News was told the figure was ‘less than half’ by three sources, including one who claimed the figure was lower than 33 per cent. The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg had been tipped off sufficiently firmly to assert that ‘Fewer than half of Tory members have so far voted in the leadership contest and sent back their ballot to party HQ – the assumption that they would all make up their mind in a flash has turned out to be wrong’. Francis Elliott of The Times has also been told ‘fewer than half’.

In short, there is quite some discrepancy. At one end is our survey figure of 71 per cent. At the other end is that Rigby source claiming somewhere below 33 per cent. And the other Rigby sources, Kuenssberg’s source and Elliott’s source, who say ‘fewer than half’ are in the middle somewhere – let’s assume around 40-49 per cent.

The reasons such a discrepancy might arise are interesting in their own right, but the truth is also politically important. It alters the tone and nature of the rest of the contest, if you believe either that most selectors have voted or most are still up for grabs.

The source of the numbers is key. It seemed likely from Rigby and Kuenssberg’s reports that their figures had come from inside the Conservative Party’s structure. Electoral Reform Services are the outside company contracted to run the leadership ballot, and while the election is formally overseen by the 1922 Committee, ERS’ contract is with – and bills paid by – the Conservative Party itself. So it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that ERS would provide regular progress reports on the running of the ballot to its client – not, of course, on how people are voting (the votes for each candidate are yet to be counted), but on whether people are doing so, whether ballot papers are being successfully received by post, and so on. On initially hearing the BBC and Sky numbers yesterday, I assumed that the figures were from just such a progress report, and were therefore most likely to be leaking from somewhere inside CCHQ or somebody in turn briefed by them.

Elliott’s report in The Times today confirms this assumption to be correct, specifying the source as ‘the internal turnout assessment passed to CCHQ from the Electoral Reform Society’.

By contrast, the ConservativeHome survey is a survey of Party members on our panel – 1,319 of whom answered the turnout question.

Anecdotally, we have other sources who echo it. An experienced organiser within the Johnson campaign tells us that in their area the Get Out The Vote operation has so far turned out 75 per cent of Johnson supporters. A Cabinet minister who has been following their local members’ decision-making estimates association turnout to be 80 per cent. A senior member of the voluntary party estimates the national figure to be around 70 per cent.

Unsurprisingly, we believe our figure to be closer to the truth than reports of only a third, or a minority, of votes having been cast, and it seems that various people closely engaged with the process tend to agree.

But the discrepancy still exists, and must be accounted for. How has it arisen, and might it be possible to navigate the various numbers to get at what is really going on?

We can dismiss the baseless allegations of untruth that have become all-too common. We do not know if any of the journalists reporting the contents of an ERS briefing have seen a document, or simply been told of it, but there’s no reason to believe that they are doing anything other than accurately reflecting information from sources they trust. Let’s engage with all the numbers on the basis of good faith.

Looking at our figure first, are there factors which could lead the ConservativeHome survey figure to be too high?

Bluntly, yes: it’s a survey, not a weighted poll, and by definition a Party member reading this site and subscribed to our panel is likely to be somewhat more politically engaged than the average member. Plus, we’re sending them regular surveys about the leadership election, which could spur some to vote by the simple effect of reminding them.

We won’t be catching negative answers from people who are ill, on holiday, et cetera. And anyone getting two ballot papers – as a member of two associations – but obeying the rules and only voting once will appear as a voter in our numbers but would only appear as 50 per cent turnout (one vote cast, the other not) in the ERS/CCHQ figures.

But even after considering those selection effects, the fact remains that our survey’s findings about opinions within the Conservative grassroots tend to map pretty closely to YouGov’s polling of the membership, so the panel doesn’t seem to be so wildly disproportionate as to account for discrepancies as large as those listed above.

So might there be factors which make the reported ERS figures an underestimate of the true turnout? Again, yes there are.

First, the ERS reports to CCHQ are effectively sampling an earlier stage of the election than our survey. It’s a postal ballot, so included in our figures are people who have recently posted their vote who won’t appear on the ERS tally until their ballot papers have been delivered, separated from personal data (eg the donation slips which were sent out at the same time) and tallied up. There could be a lag of two or three days in that process, which is not inconsiderable in the course of a week’s voting time.

Then there’s the question of how often the ERS submit these reports, and what data they are compiled from. If they’re daily, do they use the tally from the previous day’s postal delivery? Or are they less than daily? Again, this is a question of when these snapshots effectively date from.

We also don’t know when the reports being cited were submitted to CCHQ – they might be from yesterday (ie Wednesday’s tally data) or earlier. Indeed, that could even account for the difference between ‘less than a third’ and ‘under half’. If Rigby’s lower end source was citing earlier numbers than those who gave a mid-range number to her, Kuenssberg and Elliott, they could both be accurate but for different points in the last week – just as our survey, conducted on Wednesday, will include voters who won’t make it into the ERS tally until today or tomorrow.

There’s another effect that I suspect is at play. We’ve all put a letter in an envelope, stamped and addressed it, then left it on the side until we next know we’ll be going past a post box. There are likely to be quite a lot of Conservative leadership election votes in exactly that limbo right now. For good reason they won’t appear on the ERS tally of votes received, but I’d guess quite a few of those voters would regard their vote as having been ‘cast’ – on the basis that they’ve put the X in the box and it’ll be sent in very soon. They aren’t in the ballot box, but they’re out of contention for the candidates to win over – take your pick of whether they should be counted as having voted or not.

In short, it seems likely that our figure might be over by a bit, but that the low-ball claims are likely under by a decent bit – or, in the case of the lowest, by a lot. They aren’t necessarily untrue; instead, in effect the point in the race they illustrate is earlier on than the snapshot provided by the survey.

Of course, in the long-run this will prove academic. But for now it matters – and it’s worth noting that currently the interests of both leadership campaigns and CCHQ itself are all aligned in emphasising that turnout is lower than expected. Hunt and Johnson must activate their supporters as much as possible and avoid either depression or complacency setting in, while the Party’s authorities want to deliver a high-turnout leadership election to display their own effectiveness and deliver the new Prime Minister the largest possible grassroots mandate. Those conditions, more than anything else, underlie this debate on where the race currently stands.

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