50 per cent think “Bigotgate” was a “storm in a teacup”

Another poll finding conspicuously ignored by the Sun.

A significant number of commentators claimed yesterday that Gordon Brown's "bigot" gaffe spelled certain political death for the Prime Minister. The Telegraph's Benedict Brogan claimed, for instance, that the gaffe "might finish off Mr Brown altogether".

But an instant Sun/YouGov poll on the affair suggests that this may not be the case. The tabloid, again using censorship by omission, has chosen not to publish the result, but as Liberal Democrat Voice's Mark Pack helpfully points out, it can be found on the polling group's website.

The survey found that 50 per cent of voters agree with the statement that:

It's a storm in a teacup. Mr Brown was simply trying to let off steam in private. We should not think the worse of him.

While 46 per cent believe that:

Mr Brown is a hypocrite -- saying one thing in public and the opposite in private. Now we know just how much he despise [question truncated on results sheet . . . ]

That half the country believes the affair was a "storm in a teacup" may convince Labour strategists that Brown can safely afford to ignore the issue in tonight's debate (although, if he is tempted to lance the boil this evening, he could worse than lift the text suggested by my colleague James Macintyre).

We'll get a better idea of what this means for voting intentions when the latest daily YouGov survey, the first poll to be carried out in full after the affairs, is published this evening.

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George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Our new relationship with the EU may be a lot like the old one

For all the tough mood music, Theresa May has left room for concessions.

I'm sad and dismayed, but that's democracy for you.

The Mail is in a cheerier mood. "Freedom!" is their splash. "Dear EU, We're Leaving You" cheers the Express' while "Dear EU, it's time to go" is the Mirror's splash. "Dover & Out!" roars the Sun, who have projected those same words on the white cliffs of, you guessed it, Dover. "May Signs Us Out!" is the Metro's take.

"Brexit begins" is the i's more equivocal splash, "The eyes of history are watching" is the Times' take, while the Guardian opts for "Today Britain steps into the unknown".

The bigger story isn't the letter but its content, which leads the FT: "May signs historic Brexit letter and opens way for compromise". The government is finessing its red line on the competence of the European Court of Justice. (The word in Whitehall is that Theresa May hadn't grasped the importance of the ECJ as an arbitration mechanism after Brexit and for cross-border matters such as flights when she made her conference speech.)  And the PM has done a good job of not ruling out continuing payments to the European Union, her best path to the deal Britain needs.

A lot depends on what happens to the British economy between now and March 2019. The pound is down still further today but whether that's a minor eruption or the start of sustained losses will have significant consequences on how painful Britain's best path to the access we need to the single market - paying over the odds for the parts of membership that the British government wants to keep and swallowing that £50bn divorce bill - is doable or not.

For all the mood music emanating from May, she's quietly done a good job of clearing the obstacles to a deal where Britain controls its own immigration policy, continues to staff Europol and to participate in European-wide research, the bulk of our regulation is set by Brussels de facto if not de jure and we pay, say £250m a week into Brussels.

Our new relationship with the EU may be rather closer to our old one than we currently expect.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.