Moon Rugby Union – Six Nations Round 2



Six Nations Round 2

Ireland kicked off the second round of the Six Nations with a big win over Italy. in Dublin Ireland had the bonus point for the four tries wrapped up before half time. Jacob Stockdale and Robbie Henshaw went over twice each in an eight try deomoliton running out 56-19 winners in the end.

It was a closer affair at Twickenham. England got off to a blistering start against Wales with two tries for Johnny May giving England an early 12-0 lead. The big talking point was Gareth Ainscombe’s disallowed try. He looked to have scored but the video referee determined the Welshman had not got downward pressure. As a result Wales were chasing the game in the second half and met some superb England defence. Ainscombe struck a second half penalty to reduce the deficit to 12-6 but they could not find the winning score as England held on for victory.

On Sunday the final game at Murrayfield was end to end in the first half as Scotland and France shared four tries. Sean Maitland and Huw Jones went over for the Scots while in form Teddy Thomas scored both the first half tries for the French. The second half became more attritional as the kicking game became more important and the Scots fitness and forward control came into play. The penalties racked up against France and Greg Laidlaw kicked Scotland into the lead eventually ending up with 22 points as France ran out of steam and Scotland bounced back from defeat in Wales to win 32-26 and keep their impressive form at home going.


Moon OF Liberty Rugby Union Results


Six Nations

Ireland 56

Italy 19


Full Report (BBC Sport)


Six Nations

England 12

Wales 6


Full Report (BBC Sport)


Six Nations

Scotland 32

France 26


Full Report (BBC Sport)


Moon Of Liberty Star Man

Johnny May (England)



Moon Snooker – UK Masters

Moon Snooker




UK Masters Final

Mark Allen (Northern Ireland) 10

Kyren Wilson (England) 7


Northern Ireland has a new sporting star as Mark Allen won his first ever major Snooker title at the Alexandra Palace. It was Allen’s second attempt at a major after losing to Judd Trump at the UK Championship in 2014, his opponent Kyren Wilson was appearing in his first major final. A nervy opening session left the contest in the balance. Wilson took a 4-3 lead and should have taken the last of the afternoon session but missed a key brown allowing Allen in the level at 4-4

The two men shared the first two frames of the evening session but at that point Allen opened up the gap. with breaks of 73 and 119 putting him 7-5 ahead. Wilson had a chance in the next but could not take advantage and let Allen in for a 50 break to move three frames up. Wilson showed some character and proved why he was in the final though to win a tight 13th frame and then took another to pull it back to 8-7.

That though would be as close as Wilson would get. A break of 69 meant Allen went one frame away and when he got his chance in frame 17 he made no mistake delivering a break of 71 to get over the finish line at the first attempt and take the title 10-7. The small nation that has given us Dennis Taylor, Carl Frampton & Rory McIlroy has now produced another potential sporting star. Allen has won 3 ranking tournaments in the past but this is by far the biggest victory of his career that could really kickstart his move into the big time going forward.

Full Report (


Moon of Liberty Newsround 04/01/2018


Moon Of Liberty Newsround Digest 04/01/2018

Political Betting – Keiran Pedley looks ahead to the US mid term elections in November & the current US political scene

The Moon Of Liberty – Editorial on the politics looking ahead to 2018 – Kevin Alcock

Arbuthnot Latham – Ruth Lea predicts cautious optimism for the UK economy in 2018

Daily Mail – Students could be cut from the UK immigration figures in proposed changes

The Sun – The RMT Union reportedly paid zero tax on a £5.1m profit

London Evening Standard – Leading pollster Lord Hayward predicts a difficult night for the Conservatives in May in the local elections across London

CNN – a clear Supermoon closed out the first day of 2018

BBC News – Boris Johnson says Foreign aid decisions will take British interests more into account in future.

Daily Telegraph – Rumours around the likely upcoming cabinet re-shuffle could see Theresa May promote a number of women into more high profile roles.

Daily Telegraph – Michael Gove to look at food labeling rules for Kosher and Halal meat

CNN – California to legislate on guns, tampons and diapers in 2018

CNN – Michelle Bachman to consider running as GOP candidate for Seanate seat in Minnesota

Digital Telegraph – Labour must stop trying to sabotage Brexit – Kate Hoey

Order Order – Corbyn supporting social media platform Navaro News is struck off Companies House

Reuters – Labour’s Shadow Education secretary Angela Rayner says Labour’s economic policy is a high risk gamble

Political Betting – PB editor Mike Smithson predicts the Tory v Labour polling deadlock will continue throughout 2018


Moon Editorial – The politics of 2018


Reflections of the Moon

2017 was a crazy year in politics. It began with Theresa May in total control, calling an election that looked like a landslide and ended in failure as she lost her majority and ended up relying on the DUP to stay in Number 10. She regained some control at the end of the year with a successful end to the first phase Brexit deal and the polls showing the Conservatives statistically tied with Labour, when given the upheaval, you would expect Labour to be marching miles ahead. Much of the reason they are not has to do with their leader, who despite doing better than expected in the election, is a long way still from proving he is actually electable.

So what of 2018. The pattern could follow the same as the last six months. It will be dominated by Brexit yet again. There will be gamesmanship on both sides with at times May looking very weak. Then as time moves on and the March 2019 deadline looms, we will probably end up with a deal late in the day yet again. Whatever red lines are being thrown around now, it is likely to be a Norway style transition until December 2020, followed by a permanent Canada style deal, with some details tweaked. And yes, free movement may well stay until 2020, those with a problem with that will of course squeal if it happens. The base will be that little will change in relation to the Single Market aspects of the EU, but we will leave the rest of the EU’s activities (Which don’t forget accounts for roughly 80% of EU law)

This year will also see the completion of the withdrawal bill. The likely pattern is the Lords will pass a small number of amendments, will be rejected or a compromise found to allow the Lords to back down on the rest in the end. The bill should be passed and ready to be enacted into law by March 2019. 

In May the local elections will likely give Labour something of a boost. This year’s local elections are heavily biased towards urban cities and London, where if General Election patterns are sustained, scope for some major gains for Labour are possible.At local level signs the Lib Dems are recovering are also showing in local by election results, There is scope in London for them to recover ground lost during the tuition fee row years. t could be a tough night for the Conservatives, given the terrain which the elections will be fought, coming close to holding what they have would be a success.

Elsewhere housing will likely be the biggest focus but it is an area with no easy answers. Will action match the talk? Time will tell. Michael Gove will also continue his campaign to make the Tories take more notice of animal welfare issues. This is a good thing from a Conservative point of view, the specter of a Fox Hunting vote and the suggestion of backtracking on the Ivory pledge definitely lost the Tories key votes in June. 

Overall barring some big totally unexpected event it will likely be a fairly quiet year and I expect the polling to look much the same at the end of it as it does now, with no General Election and no change of leadership. What is more exciting is to watch the development of the influx of young Tories who are leading a social media fight back. Where will they take this in 2018, hopefully even further getting more people involved still to fight the barrage of hatred and abuse and Fake News that is the hallmark of Labour’s social media machine that needs desperately to be taken on and defeated.

2018 is in some ways the start of a five year cycle that will determine a lot about the future of Britain for a long time to come. While the window for those who want to stop Brexit looks small, it being done or not will have much longer effects. Then comes the next General Election, assuming it is in 2022, who will take control of post Brexit Britain, the Conservatives or the Hard left of Corbyn’s Labour, in a world where many more powers will be available to the winner, will also have long term consequences for the country. I have little doubt Britain outside the EU with a Conservative majority Government come 1st January 2023 is the best outcome. 




Moon Of Liberty Elections – Local by Elections 9th March 2017


Local by Elections

9th March Local by Election round-up

This weeks seven by Elections continued the general trends we have seen. The Tories had a very good night on the whole, their gain from Labour in Waltham Cross, Broxbourne was the third week in a row they had made a gain from Labour. Victory in Derwent in Derby shows continued strength in a marginal area of North Derby and although the gain was technically from UKIP due to this being a rolling ward that elects 3 members over 3 years, Labour won the ward in 2015 & 2016 so was as god as another victory against Labour as well.

The Lib Dems got one excellent gain from the Tories in West Oxfordshire but there was not huge progress anywhere else, once again showing the limitations to their improvement. They are still polling well enough for a 20% plus projected share though on what was a decent night for them.The story is less rosy for UKIP and Labour for whom this weeks results will heap more misery continuing the string of poor results. UKIP’s share was down everywhere, Labour’s was down everywhere except Harrow, which shows again London is performing in a more positive way for Labour than everywhere else in the country.

This week sees the Tories UK projected share lead over Labour increase to 6%. UKIP are now below 7% and the Lib Dems are down a bit but still above 20% on 20.4%. All the most recent numbers can be found here.




Local by Election Results – 9th March 2017

Hailey, Minster Lovell & Leafield (W Oxfordshire) LD 567 Con 504 Lab 71 UKIP 38 Green 35LD GAIN FROM CONSwing (May 2016) Con-LD 15.1%

Roxbourne (Harrow)Lab 1554 Con 533 LD 240 UKIP 148Lab HoldSwing (May 2014) Con-Lab 7.1%

Hertford Castle (East Hertfordshire) Con 593 Lab 207 LD 188 Green 154 UKIP 65Con HoldSwing (May 2015) Lab-Con 5.5%

Exton (Rutland) Con 238 LD 123 UKIP 39Con HoldSwing (May 2015) Con-LD 2.5%

Red Horse (Straford Upon Avon)Con 476 LD 266 UKIP 92 Green 58Con HoldSwing (May 2015) Con-LD 14.6%

Derwent (Derby)Con 789 Lab 611 UKIP 537 LD 192CON GAIN FROM UKIP Swing (May 2016) UKIP-Con 2.7%

Waltham Cross (Broxbourne) Con 650 Lab 646 UKIP 200 LD 89CON GAIN FROM LABSwing (May 2016) Lab-Con 5.6%




Moon Of Liberty Polling – February Polling Update


February Polling round up – Conservatives continue to dominate

Only Survation of the regularly reporting pollsters did not report in February and we had our first poll from Communicate Research this year. On Voting Intention every poll saw the Conservatives in a double digit lead ranging from 11% with Ipsos-Mori to 18% with YouGov and ICM. All pollsters have the Conservatives on 40% or more and Labour in the twenties, showing a stronger position for Theresa May and a weaker position for Jeremy Corbyn.

The lower lead from Ipsos-Mro fed into the seat projection, only they saw the projected Tory majority just short of three figures, all the others suggest the Conservative are on course for 350 seats or more on the new boundaries, thus ensuring a majority of 100 plus. ICM’s projected majority of 176 is a new record high projection, their projection of Labour on 141 seats is also a record low since I have been doing calculations on the new boundaries.

Labour’s position is particularly bad in the North West where swings to the Tories were consistently at 10% plus.The polling provides little solace anywhere except in London where they continue to be less hit than elsewhere. The SNP remain dominant in Scotland although on average they are now below 50% and the scope for the Tories to gain some seats in Scotland is certainly there. Labour are now consistently in third place behind the Tories on the Scottish breakdowns.

For the Lib Dems there continues to be little sign of their local election improvement showing up in national polls, although they have edged up into double figures in most cases. Ipsos-Mori offers them some hope giving them 14 seats on the new boundaries. The new boundaries will make their position more difficult, with strong targeting a result of around 20 seats, while by recent standards where pre-2015 they could get 50 plus, would actually be a very good result given the nature of the new boundaries. UKIP remain ahead of the Lib Dems on vote share, but there is little sign of them making any seat breakthroughs, which was backed up by the Stoke result last week.

The Conservatives average lead over is up from 12.8% in January to 14%. The average seat projection sees the Tory majority projection up to a record high of 136. Labour fall below 160 on 157. All the current numbers can be found here. A round up of this months polls is below.




February Polls


YouGov (28/02/2017) – Con 42% Lab 25% UKIP 12% LD 11% Green 4% – Con lead 17%

ICM (20/02/2017) – Con 44% Lab 26% UKIP 13% LD 8% Green 4% – Con lead 18%

Opinium (13/02/2017) – Con 40% Lab 27% UKIP 14% LD 7% Green 5% – Con lead 13%

Ipsos-Mori (18/02/2017) – Con 40% Lab 29% UKIP 8% LD 13% Green 4% – Con lead 11%

Communciate Research (11/02/2017) – Con 41% Lab 26% UKIP 11% LD 11% Green 4% – Con lead 15%

SEAT PROJECTION (Based on regional patterns)

YouGov (28/02/2017) – Con 381 Lab 143 LD 6 SNP47 Plaid Cymru 3 UKIP 1 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18

Con Majority of 162

ICM (20/02/2017) – Con 389 Lab 141 LD 8 SNP 34 Plaid Cymru 3 UKIP 1 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18

Con Majority of 176

Ipsos-Mori (18/02/2017) – Con 346 Lab 177 LD 14 SNP 40 Plaid Cymru 3 UKIP 1 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18

Con Majority of 92

Communicate Research (11/02/2017) – Con 381 Lab 143 LD 5 SNP 48 Plaid Cymru 3 UKIP 1 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18

Con Majority of 162


Moon Of Liberty Rugby Union – Six Nations Round 3


Rugby Union – Six Nations – Round 3

Scotland v Wales at Murrayfield


Scotland improvement continues with impressive win

Scotland’s improvement in recent times continued with a big win over Wales, their first in a decade. A Liam Williams try helped give Wales a 13-9 lead at half time but Scotland fought back. Tommy Seymour and Tim Visser went over and excellent defense helped them shut out Wales in the second half. The Welsh never recovered from confusion with the game ties 13-13 and they had a kickable penalty but indecision led them going to the corner from which they failed to score. Finn Russell kicked 5 penalties as Scotland went on to win 29-13 and set up the chance to win a triple crown, if they can win at Twickenham.

Report (BBC Sport)

Ireland v France in Dublin


Discipline sees Ireland win in the rain

Despite a good start from France, Ireland played a controlled and disciplined game to claim the win and keep their championship hopes alive. France took a 6-0 lead but Connor Murray’s try, the only one of the game, gave Ireland the lead at half time. Ireland played an excellent territorial game in the second half with 2 penalties and a drop goal from Johnny Sexton helping Ireland complete a 19-9 victory that will not live long in the memory but shows how far Ireland have come as a side from that poor first game in Scotland.

Report (BBC Sport)

England v Italy at Twickenham


England solve the Italy puzzle

Italy came to Twickenham with a new tactic of not competing at the ruck to stop the application of an offside line which caused chaos amongst the England side in the first half. The tactics set up by Italy coach Connor O’Shea saw Italy take a shock 10-5 lead as Giovanbattista Venditti reacted first to a kick that hit the post to score just before half time. England solved the issue in the second half by exploiting the space down the middle. Tries from Danny Care, Ben T’eo, Elliott Daly and two from Jack Nowell saw England run away with the win, their 16th in a row, in the end and keep their attempt at back to back Grand Slams on track.

Report (BBC Sport)




International Rugby Union Results

Six Nations – Round 3

Scotland 29Wales 13At Murrayfield, Edinburgh

Ireland 19France 9At The Aviva Stadium, Dublin

England 36 Italy 15At Twickenham, Richmond Upon Thames, London

Moon Of Liberty Star ManTommy Seymour (Scotland)