A year since the election, we have two new GB voting intention polls (from YouGov and Survation) and a new Scottish poll (also from YouGov) today.

Looking at the YouGov/Times GB poll first, voting intentions are CON 44%(+2), LAB 37%(-2), LDEM 8%(-1). The seven point Conservative lead is the largest since the election but normal caveats apply – it is only one poll. Over the last two months YouGov have been showing a steady Conservative lead of around 4 or 5 points, so normal sample variation alone is enough to explain the occassional 7 point lead. Watch the trend, rather than getting excited over individual polls. Full tabs are here.

Survation‘s topline figures are CON 41%(nc), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 9%(+1). Changes are since mid May. Like YouGov, Survation have shown a steady position for the last couple of months, but there’s an obvious contrast in terms of what that position is – YouGov have a steady small Tory lead, Survation are showing the parties steadily neck-and-neck. As I’ve said before, there’s not an obvious methodological reason for this (while Survation have a very distinct sampling approach to their phone polls, this is an online poll and their online polls use broadly similar methods to YouGov, ICM and other companies, so there’s no obvious reason for differing results). Full tabs for the Survation poll are here.

Meanwhile YouGov’s Scottish voting intentions are

Westminster: CON 27%(+4), LAB 23%(-5), LDEM 7%(+1), SNP 40%(+4)
Holyrood constituency: CON 27%(+1), LAB 22%(-1), LDEM 6%(-1), SNP 41%(+3)
Holyrood regional: CON 26%(+1), LAB 21%(-1), LDEM 7%(nc), SNP 32%(nc).

Changes here are since the previous Scottish YouGov poll, way back in January. There is very little movement in Holyrood support, but in Scotland the Conservatives have moved back into second place. Full tabs for the Scottish poll are here.


759 Responses to “Latest YouGov and Survation voting intentions”

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  1. Corbyn a brilliant campaigner, but not a good day to day leader of a political party ? Could Corbyn motivate his shadow ministers/MP’s and party activists to attact support outside of an election campaign ?

    Labour were neck and neck with the Tories for quite a while after the 2017 election, but given that Labour are sitting back watching the Government struggle with Brexit, it is not surprising that Labour have dipped. Labour are not really putting any Brexit alternative forward that is gaining any media attention. If Keir Starmer is talking to media about Brexit, it is not being reported enough to grab peoples attention.

    I am not sure that if Labour had a brilliant new centre left/right leader that they would be doing any better polling wise. The problem is that the Government are in the driving seat with Brexit and it is such a dominating issue, that it is very difficult for other parties to gain any attention, unless they do something more exciting than the Tories. Perhaps Boris and the other Brexiteers are causing the problems deliberately, because the focus is still on the Tories and not other parties.

  2. @R Huckle

    I think that neither May or Corbyn are any more than mediocre Parliamentarians. Like you said Corbyn’s strength is out on the campaign trail.

    Brexit is a tough demand and I don’t think Labour have a decent or ready response that the public would like better than May’s offering.

  3. I don’t often agree with David Herdson who writes occasionally on PB but I can certainly agree with all of this quote.

    “Boris may, in his own way, have been right that it’s the Trump playbook that’s needed now. Given the positions adopted by the Commission and by Ireland, the options are close to being No Deal or No Brexit, which are equally unacceptable. Given the positions of the DUP and Tory Brexiteers in the Commons and the cabinet, that means No Deal.
    So if the course of No Deal is set then far better to bring it on now, declare the unacceptability of the EU’s current negotiating positions, terminate the talks and walk out, than wait to be ambushed by the steamroller of events in December or next year. That at least gives time to pick up the pieces. And having shaken things up and proven that red lines really do mean red lines (as well as potentially a hard border in Ireland and no £39bn), perhaps new options might open up that wouldn’t do otherwise.
    Which is why Mrs May needs to discover the Prime Ministerial Handbag.”

  4. I don’t often agree with David Herdson who writes occasionally on PB but I can certainly agree with all of this quote.
    “Boris may, in his own way, have been right that it’s the Trump playbook that’s needed now. Given the positions adopted by the Commission and by Ireland, the options are close to being No Deal or No Brexit, which are equally unacceptable. Given the positions of the DUP and Tory Brexiteers in the Commons and the cabinet, that means No Deal.
    So if the course of No Deal is set then far better to bring it on now, declare the unacceptability of the EU’s current negotiating positions, terminate the talks and walk out, than wait to be ambushed by the steamroller of events in December or next year. That at least gives time to pick up the pieces. And having shaken things up and proven that red lines really do mean red lines (as well as potentially a hard border in Ireland and no £39bn), perhaps new options might open up that wouldn’t do otherwise.
    Which is why Mrs May needs to discover the Prime Ministerial Handbag.”

  5. R HUCKLE

    Yes agreed. Labour Brexit policy is the have cake and eat it model. It’s unrealistic. Unless they move to a pro Remain position they can expect their poll ratings to drop as Remainers switch from voting Labour to Don’t Know.

    Personally I think Corbyn needs to accept Labour need to be much braver and make clear that after we have left the EU Labour will include in their manifesto another in out Referendum on the basis the argument will be more knowledge based next time around. However we do need to actually leave the EU before that further Referendum in my view.

  6. TOH

    Just read Herdson’s piece . I think he is correct about the mutual ” incomprehension”.

    The whole thing is an exercise in non-communication.

  7. @Joseph1832 – “I think the UK thought the agreement included no hard border within the UK…….

    ….You get someone to agree something that is extraordinary, something that no state can ever agree to except after badly losing a war, and let them believe they haven’t agreed to that.”

    I think there has been some confusion here. Your view seems to be that HMG are so utterly stupid that they don’t understand what they are signing up to, and yet from this you proceed to blame the EU for the fact that the UK government is stupid? I’m not really sure this is how international negotiations work, and if the UK is stupid enough to not understand what they are agreeing to, then let’s not blame that on the EU.

    For what it’s worth, I think Barnier confused things yesterday in his press conference and gave a false impression that the UK’s offer was dead in the water, which he subsequently corrected – I think we should see this as a mistake on his part.

    The issues don’t seem so much to be about the whole UK element of May’s backstop, although there is an issue here, but instead the concerns relate to the fact that you can’t have a time limited backstop and that May’s proposal fails to address full regulatory alignment.

    If you remember, the wording of the alignment clause was very hotly contested in December, with Brexiters claiming a victory when May insisted on the use of the word ‘alignment’. This was extremely important back then, but now May has dropped entirely any mention of this in relation to the all UK backstop. As Barnier said back then –

    “The UK wants to take back control, it wants to adopt its own standards and regulations.”But it also wants to have these standards recognised automatically in the EU… This is simply impossible.”

    Returning to the full UK issue, there is an issue here, in that the backstop proposal from May now requires an agreement on a potentially permanent arrangement covering the entire UK, which therefore pre-judges the future trading arrangements, which both sides have agreed cannot be discussed until after the WA is agreed and the transition period starts.

    There is, however, potential confusion here, in that the Joint Report clause 50 does promise no new regulatory barriers between NI and rUK, making it clear that it is the responsibility of HMG to deliver this, not the EU.

    This does raise a logical question of how a backstop arrangement can work for NI without breaching clause 50, with one logical outcome being a backstop to include permanent regulatory alignment across the entire UK, but then this potentially pre-judges the future trading arrangements.

    Frankly, it’s a mess, but it is primarily a mess of UK’s making, and one that we seem singularly incapable of sorting out.

    I’m guessing that @Danny would say that this is all contrived to engineer a remain outcome, but I never ascribe to governments being that clever – they are that stupid, but nor are they that capable. It’s just a mess, with each day bringing a new tactical twist which ends up further knotting up the longer term strategic issues. That’s how most of politics works.

  8. Mike Pearce,
    ” I think Corbyn needs to accept Labour need to be much braver and make clear that after we have left the EU Labour will include in their manifesto another in out Referendum ”

    No. they need to oppose leaving. Pointless asking for another referendum if we have already left, until the situation becomes clear. Once its done, then the situation is changed and much more difficult. They need to ensure it doesnt happen.

    TOH,
    It is certainly true that it would be better for Uk government to actually state its policy. They did this in 2017 but the country rejected it. They should have immediately stated their new policy, which is either soft brexit or remain. Hard to say which, they arent letting on. What they are actually doing is trrying to be all things to all voters at once, and this is building up a head of resentment against them. But clearly they think this better than stating their actual policy.

    I assume that if they did state one clear policy about one kind of brexit, they anticipate 2/3 of the nation would be opposed, which is about what polls have said. If they state they will remain, just over half the nation would support them, but 2/3 of con voters would be opposed. Tricky for them.

  9. I haven’t seen much discussion about the Lewisham by-election recently and had assumed it would be a safe Labour hold with the Lib Dems increasing a bit and moving into second place. During my daily trawl through Con Home, Labour List and Lib Dem news I noticed that David Lammy is summoning the Labour troops to come and help out. Has anyone any news about what is happening there?

  10. @TOH – that’s a particularly dull post, if I may say so.

    Nothing new there at all , very boring in fact. Same old nonsense from leavers just endlessly going on an on about the same things.

  11. @Hireton
    Thanks for yr comment. I prefaced mine with the adjective “inexpert”.
    However, at the SNP conference shortly before the election — not knowing it was coming! — Sturgeon declared that it was the SNP’s policy to hold a second ref in winter on 2018/19, because of Brexit. This suggests that she thought — wrongly — that Brexit had converted voters to Indy2. Her back-pedalling on this so soon in the GE campaign must have created uncertainty about SNP’s real intentions: after the election she stated that Indy2 had been an important factor in the campaign? The Tories must have been v proficient in mobilising a tactical pro-Unionist vote.

  12. TOH: I can certainly agree with all of this quote.
    “… the options are close to being No Deal or No Brexit, which are equally unacceptable.”

    Well, there’s a surprise. TOH agreeing that No Deal is unacceptable.

    Actually, for this remainer, both options are acceptable. Either we stay in, or the UK receives the cataclysmic shock that is the only thing that will get some brexiteers to wake up and smell the coffee.

  13. DANNY

    It’s not pointless at all. I believe we have to actually leave the EU before entertaining another Referendum.

  14. Again, with appropriate italicisation:

    TOH: I can certainly agree with all of this quote.
    “… the options are close to being No Deal or No Brexit, which are equally unacceptable.”

    Well, there’s a surprise. TOH agreeing that No Deal is unacceptable.

    Actually, for this remainer, both options are acceptable. Either we stay in, or the UK receives the cataclysmic shock that is the only thing that will get some brexiteers to wake up and smell the coffee.

  15. @Alec: “For what it’s worth, I think Barnier confused things yesterday in his press conference and gave a false impression that the UK’s offer was dead in the water, which he subsequently corrected – I think we should see this as a mistake on his part.”

    Yes, because Barnier is always decent, and the EU is always reasonable… I get it, I get it.

    Basically the EU’s interpretation of what people took to be a fudge in December is that the UK agreed to all its demands unconditionally. At the very least I took the agreement to mean that the EU would have to consider alternatives in good faith before fleshing out the backstop. Also, the part where the UK undertook that there should be no hard-border in the Irish Sea meant that we’d accept doing what was necessary for N. Ireland to be extended to the whole of the UK. I must have missed the point where the EU made it clear that this could not be done. Somehow “no cherrypicking” is of greater importance than a country’s constitutional integrity…

    Do you know that there is a principle in interpretation that the more extreme the results, the clear the words?

    The EU also extorted agreement in December under the promise it would then start negotiations. You remember all the talk of how we only had to give the EU what it wanted, and the mood would change

    The EU has no intention of negotiating a “deep and profound partnership” or even something remotely friendly. It does not think that the UK has anything that it wants or needs, or anything that is not the EU’s by right.

    That, to you, is all fine. Because “it is a mess of the UK’s making”, meaning that we exercised out EU law right to leave the EU, so must unconditionally sort out all problems the EU has with that before it even negotiates anything. But we cannot sort out those problems in a way that prejudges those negotiations – unless it is maintain the EU’s full authority in matters of customs and the single market.

    So, although you accept entirely an EU objection to a backstop leading to partial Single Market membership, you would have no objection to one of total membership.

    I frankly object to the backstop. But if it is unsatisfactory to the EU, then at least it will prompt them to consider alternatives.

    What you desire is that the UK gives the EU a deal that removes every incentive for the EU to ever consider any alternative.

    But, hey, we have rebelled, so serves us right?

  16. @Somerjohn – indeed, I wasn’t going to say it, but @TOH seemed to have missed the bit in that quotation that runs counter to everything he’s been telling us he believed in these last couple of years.

    On the substance of the article, I don’t agree that this is a dialogue of the deaf at all. This is a characterization by a few people only on this side of the channel, and many of us have understood entirely what the EU has been saying all along. It’s only really those in charge of and supporting Brexit who have been deaf to the obvious, which is what has led them to take dishonest positions.

    Again, UK government officials know full well what the EU is asking for, and the main point of these negotiations isn’t to sort out what the UK and EU can agree to, but to conduct a negotiation between the factions of the Conservative Party in the hope they can come up with a compromise that satisfies sufficient of them to then go and strike a deal with the EU. This is what Herdson fails to understand, framing everything only in terms of the UK vs the EU.

  17. @Alec

    Yes. Barnier’s ‘staircase’ graphic said it all. We (or, rather, the Tory party) just have to choose which option we want. It’s as simple as that.

    (But, of course, the process of making that choice isn’t simple at all. That’s what all the thrashing around and procrastination on this side of the Channel is about.)

  18. @ Alec

    Couldn’t have put your 10.37 any better.

    I’m someone who is critical of the EU on many issues but on the core negotiating position it ought to be blindingly obvious that no-one is going to easily rubber stamp a free trade deal with a country that will a) do it’s own trade deals with rest of the world and b) not appear to want to any sort of regulatory alignment or checks and balances.

    I think all the debate up to this point is simply Tories trying to resolve their internal differences. If we were going to fully leave we should have prepared for it two years ago. If we were going to try and negotiate the best deal we could we should have by now been moving much further forward than we have done. By and large we knew what the EU would accept on a free trade deal (to me the flavour of their red lines don’t seem unreasonable) and should by now have been negotiating the finer points of a deal.

  19. @Joseph1832 – I think you are a little confused here? Barnier got it wrong yesterday. He was too bullish and aggressive. I didn’t say he/the EU are always reasonable.

    “Basically the EU’s interpretation of what people took to be a fudge in December is that the UK agreed to all its demands unconditionally. At the very least I took the agreement to mean that the EU would have to consider alternatives in good faith before fleshing out the backstop.”

    Herein l!es the rub. Firstly, the EU has considered the alternatives presented by the UK in good faith and has rejected these as unworkable, along with every other commentator who understands border issues, and so now we are focusing on the backstop.

    You and others might have taken the Joint Report to be a fudge, but more fool you. The Joint Report is quite clear, and May has repeatedly stated her commitment to putting it into legal force. We had long arguments on UKPR about what the JR meant, with many leavers giving us erroneous assertions about payment obligations, border obligations, the fact that it would lead to trade talks before signing etc – all false, and all completely contrary to the written words in the JR. The rest of us didn’t have any problems understanding the JR, and nor I believe did May.

    “Also, the part where the UK undertook that there should be no hard-border in the Irish Sea meant that we’d accept doing what was necessary for N. Ireland to be extended to the whole of the UK.”

    No it didn’t. Brexiters were telling everyone in December that we could have an invisible border between NI and RoI, despite not being able to say how they could do this. All the EU was thinking was if we can’t agree the NI/RoI border, then Brexiters would be able to apply their magical thinking to the internal UK borders to fix that problem. Again, you’re blaming the EU for something that Brexiters said was easy to deliver.

    “The EU also extorted agreement in December under the promise it would then start negotiations.”

    No they didn’t. They agreed to move on to the second stage of the withdrawal talks, subject to May agreeing the legal text of the JR that she signed. She hasn’t, so there’s a problem. In fact, HMG were so incompetent on this that they didn’t even offer their own draft text – an error anyone involved in negotiations will tell you is pretty catastrophic – you always get the negotiations based on your draft.

    “But we cannot sort out those problems in a way that prejudges those negotiations – unless it is maintain the EU’s full authority in matters of customs and the single market.

    So, although you accept entirely an EU objection to a backstop leading to partial Single Market membership, you would have no objection to one of total membership.”

    I think there is a valid point here. Sorting out Ireland before the future trading arrangement is settled is a contradiction. We can agree on this. The EU are using this to maximise their negotiating advantage and I think this element of criticism is valid. The two are intertwined, and untangling them is deeply problematic.

  20. One thing I’ve not seen discussed: if negotiating our way out is this bad, imagine what it would be like trying to negotiate our way back in.

    The EU has successfully discouraged other nations from leaving, but I think they’ve also made the Returner position very weak. Apart from Margaret Thatcher and John Major, no politician has seriously been able to say that they’ve got a good deal out of the EEC/EU, precisely because the EU is a much bigger and more powerful entity.

  21. I have long believed that most commentators are wide of the mark in assuming that Brexit is a major salient election issue. Whilst it is undoubtedly highly important, it is not a subject that most people readily feel connected to – simply because it is so technical.For the same reason I have never been convinced that the big variations in Labour’s performanced across the UK was greatly influenced by whether seats were located in Remain or Leave areas.Many lifelong Labour voters supported the Tories in 2017 – but they did so not because of Brexit but because of Corbyn, undoubtedly a very marmite figure who alienated many traditional white working class voters.
    The polls are very difficult to read at the moment – though I do wonder whether we might be experiencing something akin to ‘the party conference effect’ whereby parties tend to receive a polling boost during their conference weeks on account of opponents being effectively denied meaningful coverage.

  22. More Buckets of Brexit.

    The only laugh is the Leavers on site complaining that the EU isn’t being “nice” to us. Tories should have thought about while spending decades abusing at the EU & then appointing a confederacy of Europhobic dunces to the key negotiating positions.

  23. Graham
    “most commentators are wide of the mark in assuming that Brexit is a major salient election issue”

    Well, I have no idea, but I’m puzzled. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a government so shambolic, divided and weakly led (that includes John Major’s). Usually voters hate that, the opposition thrives and the polls show it. But this time… shambles after shambles, day after day, – and not just on Brexit (cf Northern Rail) – but the polls show the Tory vote slowly increasing, and Labour slowly declining. A number of possibilities present themselves. Maybe,as you say, Brexit doesn’t matter and Tory voters love the grammar school stuff and Boris’s jokes. Maybe it’s Jeremy. Maybe the vast majority of voters have their fingers in their ears and are going “la la la”. Maybe the polls are wrong. Causality is always difficult to ascertain and people tend to certainty around the cause they prefer.

    It feels to me like the calm before a storm, and that a lot of stuff is going to happen, much of it unpleasant, soon. But what do I know?

  24. @Graham

    I think you are correct. The key concerns of people I suspect are very rarely Brexit, and probably health, schools, jobs etc…

    However, Brexit has crowded out most other issues in terms of Parliamentary time and effort. It like it is at work sometimes – you have important other things to do, but spend most time tackling the same old pain in the a**e issue that just blocks the constructive other work you need to do.

    From the people I meet, the virtues or otherwise of the Custom Union or the Single Market aren’t discussed. They are mainly fed up all things Brexit and want it to done and dusted. I suspect they don’t care too much about the outcome, they just want it finished with.

  25. My impression is:
    – there is a significant bloc of voters who see Brexit as key, are staunchly Leave, and for whom the EU is the enemy; that group varies between seeing government incompetence as a result of EU bullying, or just doesn’t see it at all. These voters remain solid Blue…
    – there is a significant bloc of voters that are moderate Tory voters, often more Remain than Leave, for whom Brexit is not key and who genuinely fear that Corbyn/McDonnell will permanently impoverish them. In normal circumstances these voters would swing from Tory to LDem or D/K, but LDems now lack credibility in many areas of the country, and they are absolutely terrified of Corbyn. I work with many with these views, and they are reluctantly sticking with May as the least bad of an appalling set of choices. They are also staying pretty solid Blue.

    I think any neutral observer would characterise this government as desperately lacklustre at best, yet they have a lead in the polls – there has to be a reason, and I believe it is JC/JMcD and the fear that they create in the large mass of soft right voters.

    It is an irony that the Tories should be romping away facing Corbyn, Labour should be romping away given the Tories incompetence, and the LDems should be breaking 20% given the pair of them, and yet only the Tories can be happy with where we are…

  26. @Bigfatron

    Are you suggesting both main parties would be a lot better with a new Leader?

    Just a personal view, but I think neither May nor Corbyn can break the deadlock. The key will be when TM goes (surely she can’t face another GE) what will Labour do? I think both parties need a clean break from this post Brexit group of Leaders.

  27. You’ve got to hand it to the Guardian – https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/jun/09/au-pair-shortage-prompts-crisis-for-families

    In their attempts to ramp up any negatives associated with Brexit, we now apparently have a ‘childcare crisis for families’ because there is a shortage of au pairs.

    Not being able to recruit an au pair is one of those London media type crises on the same level as struggling to source Belgian white beers or not being able to order a soya latte served in half an avocado.

    It’s another world down there.

  28. My guess is that there are five parties involved in the UK’s inability to achieve an agreed position on Brexit

    1) May – she was a remainer, wants to keep the Tories together and successful, does not want an economic meltdown, and is convinced that we need to control our own borders. Her strategy is to appear tough, have a real red line on borders, but be willing to accept ‘defeats’ on issues which would be economically disastrous.

    2) Conservative Brexiters – they think they have won but are deeply suspicious that defeat will be snatched from the jaws of victory. Although in their hearts they know there will have to be compromises, their overt strategy is to accept no compromises at all and call any attempt at one an undemocratic attempt to subvert the will of the people. They are bolstered in this belief by the conviction that the EU needs us more than we need them and that we will be able to make all sorts of deals with unlikely parts of the world.

    3 Conservative Remainers – a valiant but endangered species who foresee lasting economic damage from leaving the CU and probably CM. They are prepared to risk their political lives in order to prevent this.

    4) The Civil Service – lacking a clear political steer this group have, I guess, reverted to their natural Remain stance (after all they have the characteristics associated with voting Remain – education, living in or near London etc). So they have not done the detailed planning necessary to make Brexit viable, but draw up drafts that paper over the cracks and which when the Fudge no longer works allow further capitulation (e.g. the word ‘expects’). It is even possible that some civil servants are playing the Machiavellian game suggested by Danny and putting forward papers that they know will be rejected by Parliament or the EU.

    5) The British public – they are divided as ever, did not consider the details of the situation when voting (e.g. the differences between CU, CM, EU etc), have not followed the detail of what is going one. and see no reason to change their minds. The one thing that probably unites them is a sense that all this is going on far too long, and they do not want the uncertainties of a further referendum. My guess is that they will accept whatever result the politicians are able to agree on.

    Who’s going to win? My guess is that May will win provided she and her civil servants can cobble a deal that the EU can accept. It’s for her to propose, a lot of her MPs are behind her, and her position is not too different from that of Labour. If not everyone loses, except the Brexiters whose victory will be Pyrrhic indeed.

  29. Following on from AW’s thread it should be relatively easy for folks to do post-GE multiple regression analysis on the seat level data. I’ll avoid the stats jargon and simplify but for each seat you can create a formula for the votes each party should have got in each seat and then run the numbers to solve for least error.

    eg

    Party17 = aParty15 + bBrexit + cAge +dHouse prices +…

    You can run lots of different variables (commons library has a database where you can get the info).

    B4B have done this analysis just using Party15 and Brexit (they split Brexit out to Remain and Leave)

    There results gave the following ‘best fit’:

    CON_17 = 0.97*CON_15 + 0.23 * Leave – 0.1 * Remain

    (ie high loyalty with a small loss from GOTV, a boost from Leave and a hit from Remain)

    LAB_17 = 1.04*LAB_15 + 0.26 Remain – 0.01 * Leave

    (ie high loyalty with a small gain from GOTV, a boost from Remain and minimal lose due to Leave).

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yGga_tQ2UlM-suS0XEtVm7NGYhDGEgZC/view

    However, one needs to look at the R2 to see if this is a good ‘model’. They don’t state the R2 (as it doesn’t suit their purposes to do so) but by simple eyeball you can see it fits fairly well for CON but is quite a poor fit fort LAB. Personally I’d also focus heavily on the marginal seats and/or the gains v loses – if you do that you’ll see LAB’s R2 is very low where as complacent CON stays quite high.

    Any model folks can redo the analysis using other variables and should find that Brexit was actually a fairly low predictor, especially in the marginal or won/lost seats (after ‘loyalty’, age was the highest factor)

    B4B do mention the tactical vote success in 2017 and that can partially explain a lower R2 for the LAB formula.

    If you want to go one step further you can model a ‘Party19’ vote by seat and see which variables are most important to ‘prioritise’, especially in marginal seats that you need to defend and marginal seats you hope to gain!
    (LAB folks have done this in the final chapter of ‘Corbyn Effect’ by Mark Perryman)

    P.S. Tip. Remove Scotland and London from the analysis and run those separately. OK, OK, that is not ideal and smacks of torturing the data to confess to what you want but if you keep Scotland and London in then you’ll struggle to get high R2 readings.

  30. Niccolo Machiavelli warns on Post-Brexit Trade Deals

    As a teenager I read eclectically, as was the fashion. The bit of the Prince that stuck in my mind was M’s prescient guide to international relations: if a weak power allies with a strong one, under any sort of duress, then the great power would renege on its promises while the lesser, if lucky, would receive a few crumbs.
    If a post-Brexit trade deal with Trump’s protectionist US proves necessary, it will be conducted under such conditions. Are there grounds for anything other than rank pessimism about the outcome.

  31. Robbiealive: Are there grounds for anything other than rank pessimism about the outcome?

    No. Which is probably why brexiteers are keen to trumpet potential deals with Peru, Botswana or Malaysia, where we could hope to play the dominant role. It’s better to get into bed with a mouse than an elephant (not that a night in bed with a mouse promises much).

  32. @Charles,

    If May negotiates a deal which ends Freedom of Movement, then I will consider it a victory of the non-Pyrrhic victory so far as I’m concerned. I am not especially bothered about the issues around customs unions, regulations and ECJ competency. I don’t pretend to have the expertise to understand them fully and am happy to leave that to others and accept whatever they come up with.

  33. Some seat prediction examples from 2017. Columns are YouGov estimate, Lord Ashcroft estimate and Actual

    Canterbury (one CON should not have lost)

    CON 43, 48, 44.7
    LAB 45, 33, 45 (win from CON)
    LDEM 10, 15, 8
    GREEN 2, 3, 2.3

    YG got that one very close where as Ashcroft and the bookies were way off!

    Dudley North (one CON should have won)

    CON 41, 45, 46.4
    LAB 47, 41, 46.5 (Hold, but with much smaller majority)
    UKIP 8, 10, 5.5
    LDEM 2, 3, 0.9
    GREEN 2, 2, 0.6

    YG and Ashcroft were both quite far out (although YG’s huge margin of error did include the actual result). The bookies either had it marginally as a CON win or pretty close to evens I’m guessing as it didn’t stand out as a good bet from my analysis (I didn’t store all the bookies odds, just the ones that looked ‘wrong’ and hence worth betting on)

    If anyone wants to check specific seats from YG or Ashcroft then the links are:

    https://yougov.co.uk/uk-general-election-2017/
    https://dashboards.lordashcroftpolls.com/Storyboard/RHViewStoryBoard.aspx?

    (Ashcroft does a full seat summary you can download to see just how terrible his seat level predictions were! YG haven’t done that – I’m guessing they either want to sell this info (so aren’t giving it away free) or don’t really want it examined in close detail?)

  34. @CMJ
    I’m not sure – I think Corbyn excites the base but frightens a lot of centre-right into staying with may where they would normally have jumped ship to the LDems by now. His leadership makes protest voting by one nation Tories or marginally-right-of-centrists (which is where a lot of voters sit) feel very high risk.

    He’s sort of an opposite-side-of-the-spectrum Trump, in terms of the effect that he has on voters.

    Similarly May is a real curate’s egg – an inspired leader could lead the Tories through this, but they simply don’t have anyone of that calibre in the current team; instead they have a plodder who has made a career out of talking tough but doing backroom deals and hedging her public commitments behind the scenes. But most of the alternatives appear to be far worse…

    Labour are possible in better shape if they do switch, in that in Keir Starmer they do appear to have a serious potential alternative, whereas the Tories only even half-decent option appears to be Javid.

    LDems (IMHO) need to ditch Cable asap and bring in Swinson – at least she has some freshness and might come across as relevant to people under forty…

  35. @Neil. A My guess is that in these respects you are like the majority of leave voters but rather unlike those leading the Brexit camp who want something more extreme (i.e. something which would in effect require no deal). I think their victory would be Pyrrhic, not in the sense that it would not be a victory for them, but in the sense that we would pay a very heavy economic price, would lose international influence, and would not find it at all easy to claw our way back. (As I understand it, Pyrrhus was in the habit of winning battles but losing thousands of soldiers while doing so).

  36. If May negotiates a deal which ends Freedom of Movement, then I will consider it a victory

    Yes, I fully agree. I ‘m quite annoyed by the number of Britons in Amsterdam when I visited the city last time (including a British waiter who didn’t speak Dutch, so my Dutch host had to switch to English to discuss the beef). Not to mention the German policeman in Frankfurt who was a Briton, and although his German was relatively good, I had to switch to English to discuss with him the faulty traffic light at a crossing.

  37. BFR,

    I agree with you that the centre leaning Tories have nowhere to go so are reluctantly staying in the Cons column; indeed this happened between 2015 and 2017.

    Up until 2010 in opinion polls, Euro Elections and maybe a By-Election or 2 the LDs gave an option for ‘disappointed’ Governing party supporters but many (maybe most) swung home in the end which is why the late swing to the Governing party from returning malcontents (In VI terms in surveys) did not occur in 2017.
    There will be drift to DK which lowers the %age support and for 6 months or so after the GE we had more Tory than Lab move that way but now it is the opposite.

    I got the Lab score wrong at the last GE but the Tory one correct as even Thatcher and Blair at their heights could not get 45% and in an effective 2 party system (most of E&W) the combines Lab/Con vote share of over 80% means who can get most over 40% wins the next GE.

    The possible small Lab-Con direct move is the most significant element of recent polls as even 1-2% in marginals will determine who has most seats after the next GE.

  38. It would be great to see more analysis on the historic ‘tactical vote’ (TV) at a seat level and methodology on how to ‘predict’ future tactical voting.

    A list of 2017 ABC tactical voting targets:

    https://www.tactical2017.com/key-seats/

    Successes
    – Every ‘student’ target seat except Southampton Itchen (which was close!) moved to LAB (even some LDEM ones!).
    – London seats (Hendon being the LAB key failing on my model, LDEM not doing as well as they wanted but better than they’d have done with no TV).
    – Defence seats (for the most part a drop in LDEM/Green that helped LAB keep a seat, little evidence the other way)

    Some success
    – Some LDEM (Oxford W. & Abingdon, Eastbourne and others where the tactical vote probably helped them hold seats)

    Failures
    – Scotland (where it was being hugely ambitious and the tactical unionist vote was a stronger force)
    – non-student S.West of England (LDEM seemingly worse at persuading LAB to tactically vote than vice versa)
    – Other LDEM (again LAB voters seemingly less keen to tactically vote for LDEM)

    Overall it probably was the deciding factor in making May lose her majority (especially as neither ABL or Leave TVs occurred)

    NB Scotland has been displaying tactical voting for longer and there you can see many seats where SLIB have moved to SCON to ensure best chances of a ‘right-union’ seat but SCON less willing to move to SLIB. IMHO you could even see some SLAB moving to SCON in some seats (but little ‘help’ the other way).

    NB2 Tactical voting is tricky to isolate. Many factors are at play. IMHO it is both interesting and important. I don’t have much clue how to predict it but you can see where it makes a difference (historically and for future GEs)

  39. Re the award of a CBE to Mark Carne (not that one – this one is the boss of Network Rail).

    The award was announced this morning, but apparently has now been delayed until some time next year. The ceremony was due to be at Buckingham Palace but this has also now been relocated to Pontefract, and a special coach service has been laid on for Mark to get there. There are no working toilets on the coach, apparently.

  40. @Charles @Neil

    Ironically, Pyrrhus was a Greek fighting the Romans. His famous quote was “If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined”

    I think history may produce some interesting parallels. Although Pyrrhus was a great General – May is no Pyrrhus.

  41. Alec – I actually did Lol.

  42. @ tw – To improve the prediction of the labour vote in marginals you might try putting in the proportion voting UKIP in 2015. (I suspect that they split to the Tories)

  43. Charles and of course they did not stand in all seats which makes that calculation even more difficult.

  44. somerjohn

    “(not that a night in bed with a mouse promises much).”

    Excited squeaking?

  45. @ CHARLES – 2017 was unique with the UKIP situation:
    a/ it was kind of “mission accomplished”, yet
    b/ they still stood in 377 seats, combined with
    c/ LAB and CON both (at the time) accepting the ref result and considering Brexit to be settled.

    If you go back to check how the VI moved then you’ll see:
    1/ Upon calling the election (and making a very bold speech concerning Brexit on the steps of #10) UKIP VI instantly dropped half of their support which went almost entirely to CON VI (UKIP -6%, CON +6%)
    2/ Over the following weeks with Brexit ‘settled’, May’s “no show” and Corbyn turning the debate onto austerity that changed. CON VI peaked in mid-high 40%s and UKIP ‘loyalty’ (as tracked in the x-breaks) started breaking slightly less towards CON with some going to LAB
    (LDEM VI also started to drop with LAB VI being the main recipient)
    3/ By the time of the GE the UKIP vote was splitting 7:2 CON:LAB down from 10+:1 when the election was called.
    4/ In the 377 seats they still stood in they kept roughly 1/3 of their votes and the rest split 7:2 as in the uncontested seats.

    In summary May went all out to win the UKIP vote but then failed to keep it and Corbyn played the ambiguity card very well (and May allowed him to!)

    If you rework the seats with UKIP not standing in any seats and using a 7:2 CON:LAB split on the seats they did stand in then May would just have avoided needing the DUP (best example is Dudley North). If you rework the seats with UKIP breaking 10:1 then May would have won a majority slightly above her starting position. At the extreme if May had swallowed UKIP whole and achieved a split in the Remain vote (LAB = BINO, LDEM = Revoke+Remain) then she’d have won a much larger majority than she had going into the GE.

    Nostalgic hindsight over! For the next GE then we’ll have to wait and see – I’m pretty sure both main parties are aware (at a seat by seat level) of the pros and cons of either going after or ignoring the Kippers and I doubt they trust B4B’s analysis of the situation!!

    NB. Splits shown are regression back tested results. Obviously some variance at a seat by seat level.

  46. Neil A

    Earlier I made a light-hearted comment on your point:

    “If May negotiates a deal which ends Freedom of Movement, then I will consider it a victory”

    But then I had a second thought that I can’t leave your point just like that.

    Right. So, there are about one billion people in the road world wide – a couple of hundred thousands in the UK – or do you have any reasonable argument why the Lancaster person should be allowed to move to Liverpool,or a Scouser to London without permission on your criterion?

    Yes with borders and more effective surveillance of the Mediterranean the current migration can be managed (and should be managed, by the way, in terms of screening), but what can anyone do when 10 million turn up? Not even Merkel’s hurdle path would work. Unless your proposition is mass extermination, you cannot hold them up.

    It is also strange to hear from a Briton about restricting migration, when historically it’s the country of the largest outward migration (if we haven’t yet forgotten the 19th century).

    I mention the 19th century, because it is relevant. Most of Central Africa, for example, is at the level of around 1820 Britain (60% of the population working in agriculture to feed themselves and the rest. Only about an 80th of the population are in jobs that we perceive as employment. – partly because of demography: half of the population is under 18). They are quite far away, so they won’t have the means to move to Britain. But eventually, at around 2070, they will.

    The scale of the population movement is huge, and we know it, but we don’t know enough. 7 million people are working in the UAE -many of them are actually refugees.

    Yet, you don’t want the few hundred thousand Romanians of whom 70% are in employment. Well, you will have to order volley-fire I’m afraid, and move to some cave for your old age as nobody will look after you if you don’t let them in.

    The only thing that can be done about migration is something like a Marshall Plan at the power of two. Yet, “the people” complain about spending money on foreign aid – it is really a drop in the ocean (and then we can listen to the moral high ground of corruption in the recipient countries). So, it won’t happen. As a result the dehumanization of migration will continue the dehumanization of the people – this is what living in a fort does to you.

  47. Alec

    “Nothing new there at all , very boring in fact. Same old nonsense from leavers just endlessly going on an on about the same things.”

    That’s just your opinion of Herdson, and i have no idea if he is a leaver or not. Your own posts are boring in the extreme, Remainer rubbish and undemocratic and unpatriotic as well.

  48. Laszlo

    What a great post!

    Where i grew up in mid-Wales, everyone from England or even other parts of Wales was considered an immigrant – There are a lot more English people there now, and they make it a more interesting place, but as yet few immigrants from over the seas. The area voted Leave in the referendum. Nuff said.

  49. Laszlo

    What a great post!

    Where i grew up in mid-Wales, everyone from England or even other parts of Wales was considered an immigrant – There are a lot more English people there now, and they make it a more interesting place, but as yet few immigrants from over the seas. The area voted Leave in the referendum. Nuff said.

  50. TOH: That’s just your opinion of Herdson, and i have no idea if he is a leaver or not. Your own posts are boring in the extreme, Remainer rubbish and undemocratic and unpatriotic as well.

    Have we finally had a glimpse of the oft-proclaimed, never formerly seen TOH sense of humour? For this must surely be a wry attempt at self-parody, and a send-up of the stereotype of the brexiteer as angry, humourless and slow on the uptake.

    Not everyone has the self-confidence for self-deprecating humour, aka poking fun at yourself, but it reflects well on the joker. Well done, TOH, I didn’t think you had it in you!

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