A very quick post on two new voting intention polls this week. There was a new ComRes poll reported in the Daily Mail this morning that included voting intention figures of CON 41%(+1), LAB 41%(+1), LDEM 7%(-2). Fieldwork was Wed-Thurs last week and changes are from the last ComRes poll at the end of April, which was also neck and neck. Tabs for the poll here.

Yesterday we got the weekly YouGov poll for the Times, which has topline figures of CON 42%(-1), LAB 38%(nc), LDEM 9%(nc). Fieldwork was Sunday to Monday, and changes are from last week. They don’t show any meaningful change and are in line with the four to five point Tory lead that YouGov have been showing in recent weeks. As well as YouGov’s other regular trackers, the poll also included a repeat questions last asked in March about how clear the public are about what the Conservative and Labour positions are on Brexit: 28% thought the Tory policy on Brexit was clear (down 2), 55% unclear (up 5); 15% thought Labour’s position on Brexit was clear (down 1), 61% unclear (up 1). Full tables for the YouGov poll are here.


1,629 Responses to “Latest ComRes and YouGov voting intention figures”

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  1. @Croft

    One has to point out too, another unhelpful oversimplification of yours, which is that if some ARE at times critical of Liberalism, it isn’t that they don’t like Liberalism at all, most folk like it. It is EXTREMES of it they don’t like, and this is true of most ideologies. People like a fair amount of Socialism and Capitalism too, they just don’t like the extremes of them.

  2. @ ALEC – To see the issue from a ‘sensible’ German perspective

    https://www.theglobalist.com/germany-stubbornness-economy-trade-surplus-eurozone/

    NB I didn’t mention that many of the EU27 exploit NATO. One I’ve mentioned before but feel free to check who does and who doesn’t pay their dues for that club and who has borders with potentially “unfriendly” folk!

  3. TW,

    “Firstly the trade facts:
    UK-EU trade
    Goods. UK deficit of £96bn
    Services. UK surplus of £14bn

    Net deficit of £72bn
    UK-rWorld trade
    Goods. UK deficit of £41bn
    Services. UK surplus of £84bn
    Net surplus of £43bn

    (HoC Library, Briefing Paper 7851, 1May18)”

    First these are the trade facts without your bias additions. Don’t mix the two.

    Secondly a fact on it’s own is a lonely thing so give us the proportions not just the cash figure so we can determine the scale of the true problem.

    Lastly given the level of development in the EU particularly the North both in Industrial terms and in there consumer purchasing power it would be surprising if the types of goods and services they trade with us would be the same as the rest of the world.

    Your far more likely to pay more per ton for BMW’s than Indian T shirts, or for an Airbus A320 than columbian coal.

    If we import more high tech high value from the EU and import more low value raw materials from the RoW EU imports will be higher.

    Likewise if we are more likely to export goods to the RoW that are of higher value than those we import.. ton for ton Jaguars cost more than banana, we will probably have a better trade position with a less developed partner.

    In the same way when it comes to banking or insurance and investments we are more likely to do well in a trade relationship with countries where these services are less well developed (even without tax havens and a lax attitude to dodgy foreign money) than with neighbours where these sectors are as developed as ours.

    There are mature players in the RoW; US, Canada, Japan etc. but overall much of it is less well developed than the EU so a different pattern of trade is to be expected.

    Your very like Trump on Trade & Tariffs, you can’t see the wood from the trees. You post these long diatribes about the trade deficit blaming the EU while mostly missing the bigger picture.

    Peter.

  4. @TREVOR WARNE

    Do the Maths
    No matter how we cut it we a net deficit. It is not because of the EU we are net deficit it is because we don’t make stuff that people want to buy and we buy stuff that we don’t want to make. The EU does not want our financial services in the same way Argentina does not want US Financial services exports because the cannot default on their debts.

    Doing the maths Netherlands surplus in looks pretty large to me

    http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Intra-EU_trade_in_goods_-_recent_trends

    we want free trade but we keep saying other people are cheating and if only they play fair by being as bad as we are or as indebted as we are then everything will be fine. We can keep repeating the bull all we like but reality takes care of itself as always.

  5. @ CARFREW – the confusion over “liberal” seems to be:

    Liberalism: human “freedoms” regarding the rights of individuals
    Liberalisation: trade “freedoms” regarding the ability of companies to trade across borders (and deregulation of markets)

    Ne0-liberalism pushed both and my guess would be a lot of folks combine the two.

    The “populist” push back against ne0-liberalism attacks both aspects and a flexible economic model can adjust with “tweaks”. A more rigid structure with large power-distance anomalies (democratic deficits) will more likely break than tweak.

    FWIW, a certain George Soros wrote an excellent book “The Alchemy of Finance” (1998) where he briefly attempted to contribute to economics with his “theory of reflexivity” (basically “markets” are like rubber bands and given the right environment can get very stretched away from “equilibrium” before they eventually snap back). Engineer types that studied Control Theory one step ahead there ;)

  6. @Trevor W

    “@ CARFREW – the confusion over “liberal” seems to be:
    Liberalism: human “freedoms” regarding the rights of individuals
    Liberalisation: trade “freedoms” regarding the ability of companies to trade across borders (and deregulation of markets)”

    ——-

    Well, that’s one confusion over it! There are numerous confusions, as there are over socialism and other ideologies.

    For instance, some people assume Socialism is synonymous with State control, but that’s just one version of Socialism called State Socialism.

    Trying to unpick the confusions is of course something we engage in because useful and challenging, but it may not please anyone who wants to keep things real simple.

    In the case of Liberalism it’s a bit more challenging because the post-war impact of socialism marginalised Liberalism, so Liberals pursued Liberalism within other parties.

    With the consequence that Liberals don’t always get the credit for their policies. A lot of the Social Liberalism is now credited to the left, when really it was Labour adopting Liberal policies in the late Sixties onward.

  7. corphew

    Ta for the lesson. I’ve written it all down this time.

    [Nice to have you back by the way.]

  8. @TW

    “FWIW, a certain George Soros wrote an excellent book “The Alchemy of Finance” (1998) where he briefly attempted to contribute to economics with his “theory of reflexivity” (basically “markets” are like rubber bands and given the right environment can get very stretched away from “equilibrium” before they eventually snap back). Engineer types that studied Control Theory one step ahead there ;)”

    ——–

    That sounds interesting, and as you might expect I like the sound of the systems aspect, thanks for the heads up Trev.

  9. Sound like the theory of elasticity, or maybe that is something else?

  10. @TW

    My worry with your figures comparing UK trade surplus with RoW and deficit with EU is you treat the two figures in isolation.

    What happens to the company who imports from the EU, adds value and exports to Mexico/Korea?

    Or the company who export to the EU and RoW? They may find it simpler just to relocate if the home market isn’t big enough.

    Since the EU won’t roll over the existing trade deals with RoW countries, how much business will we lose while we re-establish these deals.

  11. Alec,
    “Slightly bemused, as I understood the EU had already rejected the idea of the UK staying in the CU as the backstop position, saying that they viewed the backstop as only being relevant to NI.”

    Didnt hear that bit on the news. almost sounds as though the occasion of this amendment has been used to lock the Uk closer to the EU, while distracting attention by talking about time limits.

    The concept of introducing a time limited backstop is to renege on the backstop agreed last year. What is the point of concluding a negotiation last year, and now opening it again? Surely that is just deliberately wasting time?

  12. TW,

    “One I’ve mentioned before but feel free to check who does and who doesn’t pay their dues for that club and who has borders with potentially “unfriendly” folk!”

    Nato works by consensus , everyone has to agree. The US wanted Countries to spend more and they didn’t want too.

    So the compromise was that they committed to moving towards 2% of GDP but there was no time limit and it wasn’t binding.

    So the US got the political commitment it wanted and the europeans got to keep spending no more than they wanted…everyone happy.

    People who talk about “paying fair dues” really don’t understand how the organisation works.

    Nato isn’t a military organisation organised on military lines, it’s a lose political association that tries to organise what desperate member states choose to do into some kind of coherent defence.

    Peter.

  13. @Trevor Warne – “@ ALEC – ”The question raised was whether the EU is protectionist and exploitative”

    OK, I’ll answer just that bit….”

    To be honest Trevor, what followed in your post was bizarre, even by your standards. Nothing you said in the 469 words that followed had the remotest thing to do with whether of not the EU is a protectionist and exploitative body in terms of it’s external trade policy.

    I’ll take it from that rather glaring omission that you agree that you were being unfair in your previous posts, and that you now accept that the EU applies a modestly liberal regime when it comes to international trade arrangements.

    Moving on to the new point you introduced (that of the UK/EU trade benefits) you made some spectacular claims that would need evidence before they could be accepted.

    You said – “We can buy most of what we buy from EU27 either from domestic sources (given the proper incentives to business) or from rWorld. This ability is restricted whilst we are in CU due to CET [Common External Tariffs]. CET creates an advantage for EU27 exporters to UK versus exporters from rWorld and has made UK economy overly reliant on London and services.”

    The two parts of this sentence don’t make any logical sense. The CET does create an advantage for EU27 exporters to the UK compared to rWorld exporters, as indeed it does to UK exporters to the EU27 compared to rWorld exporters.

    However, the CET has not made us overly reliant on London and services. How on earth do you draw this conclusion from the earlier fact?

    Indeed, you earlier suggest that given the right incentives, we could just make the stuff here – but we don’t! That’s where the problem is – not the CET!

    It’s far more logical to say that without the CET, we would just import more stuff from rWorld and less from the EU27.

    Again, you’re just throwing out chaff because someone pulled you up on something for which you have no answer for, but even the chaff is just wrong.

  14. trevor warne,
    “Still at least we tried”

    Who tried? To accomplish what?

    Todays insertion of a time limit in a backstop defies comprehension. Its clearly daft. The whole point of the backstop is that it will always apply unless an alternative is agreed. No such thing could have a time limit, because then it isnt a backstop.

    Obviously MPs are clever chaps and know this. So why do it? They must expect that it will be rejected. We have actually already agreed not to have a time limit. Obviously then, the reason for including it is so it can be seen to be rejected.

    What does this accomplish? It shows the government is trying to negotiate a hard brexit, even though it fails? Its all about PR. Those backwardings and forwardings, all this government ministers negotiating in public, is about projecting an image for the tory party. Nothing to do with actual real negotiations with the EU.

    Its about establishing a position that the government tried to get this concession, but failed.

  15. Reading the detail, I suspect that Davis (and Kuensberg!) have indeed been bamboozled by No 10, as the No 10 breifers are claiming. Any logical reading of the text would have to conclude that even if the wording was included in a legal text, it would have no practical meaning. The UK ‘expects’ the backstop wouldn’t last beyond a certain date, but that’s just a statement of fact, not a legally binding requirement.

    Indeed, one of the previous big fusses was Davis and Johnson arguing for a transition of not a day more than two years, while May wanted three, and now Davis has claimed victory after securing what amounts to a transition lasting for three years, but without a legally defining end point.

    It’s another day of bluster for the Brexiters, with a ‘victory’, that will unravel within days.

  16. Danny, headline on the DT website:

    “Boris Johnson’s deputy says there could be a second Brexit referendum, throwing Theresa May’s grip over EU into chaos”

    It looks like your theory’s up. Not sure about the reference to Theresa May’s grip though.

  17. @JimJam

    “Sound like the theory of elasticity, or maybe that is something else?”

    ———

    Well, that might be involved a bit. Control Theory that Trev’s on about, is returning a system to a target value. A pre-defined, more ideal value.

    The way this is done is to compare the result, the output of the system, with the target, working out the difference, and using that to adjust the system to give an output closer to the target.

    It’s using feedback, basically, to perform continuous self-correction. In the case of Soros, the rubber bands possibly perform a self-correction role.

    It’s possible Catman uses something like it in his quality control role. But you can use it in economics. The BoE might have an inflation target of 2% say, then they measure what inflation actually is, and apply measures to return to the target.

    If you have multiple inputs and outputs though, the maths gets harder. And even worse if the system changes over time.

  18. Alec,

    “Indeed, you earlier suggest that given the right incentives, we could just make the stuff here – but we don’t! That’s where the problem is – not the CET!”

    But why would we, To quote Adam Smith in the Wealth of Nations;

    “It is the maxim of every prudent master of a family, never to attempt to make at home what it will cost him more to make than to buy…What is prudence in the conduct of every private family, can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.”

    From a free trade point of view as an EU member there ideally should no difference in the single market between a difference in trade between the UK and Germany than between Manchester and Dorset.

    Peter.

  19. @CROFTY

    “corphew
    Ta for the lesson. I’ve written it all down this time.
    [Nice to have you back by the way.]”

    _______

    If I’d known you were going to write it down I’d have used more ellipsises. And hello again Paul!

    New Thread everyone!

  20. I used to say my intention is to …. in commercial offers.

    I did usually try to but if the market moved too much I did wriggle out a couple of few times by saying I did intend to but couldn’t.

    Isn’t ‘expect to’ the same?

  21. @CROFTY

    “Ta for the lesson. I’ve written it all down this time”

    ——–

    If I’d known you were going to write it down, I’d have used more ellipsises. And hello again Paul!

    New Thread Everyone!

  22. My other favourite by politicians is ‘we have no plans to….’

    In other words we have nothing in writing but probably will do so if elected or when the fuss dies down.

  23. “expects” used in any legal agreement will not necessarily carry its everyday meaning, context will be everything to the interpretation applied.
    A person who expects a Birthday present from their parents on their 21st birthday is in a different position from someone who expects certain conditions to exist which will allow it to carry out an obligation.
    From my reading of the position document the use of the word is clearly conditional as opposed to having any compulsory element. The problem for the negotiators in placing a conditional expectation clause is twofold: firstly the specific detail of the conditions will have to be spelled out for the clause to have any meaning and secondly the means by which the resolution any dispute between the parties as to whether the conditions have been met would have to be clarified.

    I cannot foresee the circumstances where DD (unless he was bamboozled) would accept the type of conditions and arbitration mechanisms that the EU would demand in order to maintain confidence that an open border would remain in place.

    I am afraid that unlike Danny I consider cock up more likely than conspiracy any day of the week. Danny’s confidence that no government could be this incompetent is lost on me much more competent governments have made huge errors: Suez in the 50’s Blue Streak in the 60’s; going to the IMF on false growth figures in the 70’s: the poll tax in the 80’s; back to basics in the 90’s; the Iraq war in the 2000’s.

  24. “much more competent governments have made huge errors: Suez in the 50’s Blue Streak in the 60’s; going to the IMF on false growth figures in the 70’s: the poll tax in the 80’s; back to basics in the 90’s; the Iraq war in the 2000’s.”

    ———

    …Storage tax in the 2010s…

  25. Alec,
    “Indeed, one of the previous big fusses was Davis and Johnson arguing for a transition of not a day more than two years, while May wanted three, and now Davis has claimed victory after securing what amounts to a transition lasting for three years, but without a legally defining end point. ”

    Arent you agreeing with me that what we have seen is a little play which seems to show brexiteers making gains, but actually results in us moving closer to remain?

  26. WB,
    ” Danny’s confidence that no government could be this incompetent is lost on me ”

    Ah, but the beauty of the scheme is that really no skill is required to implement it. Ministers just have to balls up everything, which is rather easier than getting it right.

    I had a look at that draft agreement. There is a bit at the end about the precise mechanism for ending the temporary agreement having to be agreed.

    The proposal says it relates to the customs union only, and states the backstop consists of more than just a CU.

    I still dont understand how any of the government’s alternate schemes work without any form of border checks whatsoever, which this document promises will be the case. The norwegian PM the othe day laughed at the suggestion.

    What elements of new trade agreements with other nations could be implemented which did not conflict with the EU CU, except ones which were identical?

    It would seem they are trying to extend the deal to the Isle of Man and Gibraltar, and any other territory belonging to the united kingdom.

    It says the Uk will take part in making any new EU rules which apply.

    It says the WA will contain full details of the final trade arrangement between the UK and EU. Seems rather unlikely? I’d say there is zero hope of negotiating that in the time available. (especially if it was at the current pace). Is this in effect a proposal to extend the deadline for leaving the EU indefinitely until everything is agreed? (so instead of us being in an indefinite limbo outside the EU, we would be in an indefinite limbo inside the EU)

  27. @Peter Cairns

    “Thought this was interesting;

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-44391539

    Not the article as such but the HYS at the end.

    2200 or so comments and for the first time I can remember in two years on a brexit topic Remain seems to be level or winning. ”

    Comments now at 5000+, with a slight margin in favour of the Brexit comments.

    There is something unusual here, but I’m not sure it reflects a shift in opinion – more an organised response from both sides of the debate.

  28. @PeterCairns

    Whether Israel is more or less ‘European’ is debateable; it seems to me that it has become less European over the decades but I don’t really think that should affect how we (i.e. the Western democracies) relate to it. We should apply the same standards to all nations and after all, you could argue that we in the UK have a greater responsibility towards Burma or India because our involvement stretched back over a much longer period, or towards China because we trade so much with it now.

    You could also argue that if it wasn’t for European anti-semitism and the appalling treatment of the Jewish nation by Europeans (stretching back to the Roman occupation) the problems of Israel/Palestine would not exist. The Jewish immigrants of the Exodus generation were fleeing a Europe that had proved completely unsafe: for Europeans to criticise the actions of their descendants as they seek security therefore seems morally dubious.

  29. @JBoyd

    You could also argue that if it wasn’t for European racism and the appalling treatment of black people by Europeans (stretching back over a hundred years.) the problems of White owned farms in Zimbabwe would not exist. The Zimbabwean people of the independence generation were rebelling against an economic caste system that was completely unfair: for Europeans to criticise the actions of their descendants as they seek equal rights seems morally dubious.

    But then… I suppose you’d never criticize Mugabe or Zuma etc…

    Bad people are bad people and should be called out as such.

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