The first opinion polls taken since the publication of Theresa May’s draft Brexit deal have shown that the plans have received a resounding thumbs down from the electorate.
OpiniumResearch registered an eye-watering 5% loss for the Tories:
Westminster voting intentiomn:
LAB: 39% (+2)
CON: 36% (-5)
UKIP: 8% (+2)
LDEM: 7% (-1)
GRN: 3% (-)
via @OpiniumReseach, 14 Nov
Chgs. w/ 11 Oct
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) November 17, 2018
ComRes meanwhile found a 2% increase in support for UKIP to 7% which puts them only 2% behind the Liberal Democrats on 9% and the position of third largest party in the poll.
Saturday, often something of a political Sabbath, has been dominated by speculation on how many MPs have submitted letters of no confidence in Mrs May’s leadership. It appears the Tory establishment is stalling for time. David Campbell Bannerman, a Tory MEP, let it be known that he was told:
Word reaches me that Sir Graham Brady has to call round all 48+ names received in person to check that MPs wish to keep their letters in. Also 2 days notice required to No 10. ERG are honourable people on these claims. This could explain current calm before the storm
— David C Bannerman (@DCBMEP) November 17, 2018
However, this was later clarified by a former Chairman of the 22 who advised that phone calls would only be made if there was a condition attached to them otherwise the verification would be complete though it appears that there is indeed 2 days notice required. It is perhaps possible to speculate that the whips movement yesterday and the fact the Prime Minister is appearing across the prime time political shows means that this notice was received yesterday.