YouGov’s weekly poll for the Times is out tonight (Times report here). Topline voting intention figures are CON 42%(-2), LAB 39%(+2), LDEM 8%(nc), returning to more run-of-the-mill figures after the unusual seven point outlier last week. Fieldwork was Monday and Tuesday.

Just 21% of people now think the government are handling Brexit negotiations well, 66% badly – the lowest net figure that YouGov have recorded so far on the question. The other regular Brexit tracker on whether it was the right or wrong decisions continues showed the now typical picture of slightly more people thinking it wrong (46%) than right (43%).

Despite disapproving of Brexit, people still don’t think it would be legitimate for Parliament to block it. While, by 40% to 37%, people think it would be acceptable for Parliament to reject the Brexit deal, by 49% to 39% they think it would be illegitimate for Parliament to block Brexit entirely.


730 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 42, LAB 39, LDEM 8”

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  1. @Colin – I thought Fleming’s speech on security cooperation yesterday was interesting, as much for how it was reported as for what he actually said.

    While it wasn’t commented on here, the reporting suggested that his intervention was in direct response to Barnier’s earlier speech on post Brexit justice cooperation, with the downbeat assessment that the UK would be outside things like the European Arrest Warrant. Effectively the press reported this as the boss of GCHQ in a rare public statement firing a shot across the EU’s bow.

    My take was slightly different. Firstly, Fleming didn’t have time to make his speech a response to Barnier’s. Secondly, Fleming didn’t to me seem to firing any warning shots. Instead, he was making plain that security cooperation works, that the UK is a key player in this, and – crucially – the statement you posted, that effectively promised that this cooperation would continue post Brexit.

    Nothing Fleming said was inconsistent with what Barnier said, in terms of information sharing, but it’s clear that different mechanisms will be required because we have placed ourselves outside the regulatory and legal frameworks that govern EU data handling.

  2. Colin,
    “Javid is beginning to look like a Government Minister who makes decisions.”

    Come off it, contrary to expert advice they maintained the classification of cannabis as B rather than C. And now he is asking for more expert advice whether it should be available for medicinal use? We know the advice. It should be available, full stop. He has been forced to allow one boy to get cannabis to stop him dying, but he is resisting tooth and nail anyone else getting it medically, never mind in any other situation.

    I see wikipedia says there is a ten minute rule bill coming up in July to legalise it for medical use. How will the government jump? Perhaps, they will argue that since they have asked for a report, they cannot support this bill now? Its a fillibuster to refuse reform.

  3. Colin,
    ” this book is fascinating reading, full of insight into the history of the euro and its ultimate failure. ”

    But it hasnt failed…. It isnt obvious to me that euroscepticism does not have more to do with russian propaganda than the euro.

  4. Has there been a shift in opinion on the subject of Irish re-unification?

    https://sluggerotoole.com/2018/06/20/the-union-in-revolutionary-times/

  5. ALEC

    @”My take was slightly different.”

    Yes-of course-I would expect so.

  6. ALEC

    …………and the INDY:-

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/gchq-foiled-terror-attacks-europe-brexit-eu-jeremy-fleming-a8407196.html

    -that is if you accept that UK has urged the continuity of the “co-operation” which UK Security chiefs keep referring to-whilst Barnier wishes to limit and/or circumscribe it.

    But you probably don’t :-)

  7. Must say, that BMG poll looks like a bit of an outlier. It’s the first Labour lead in a while, and there hasn’t been a Windrush-type event recently that could move the needle (though depressingly enough Windrush didn’t move the needle either).

  8. @ Sam

    Many thanks for the Slugger O’Toole link. One phrase particularly brought a smile to my face:
    “the UK feels more like the late Habsburg Empire with every passing week,”…..

    I wonder whether ‘every passing day’ would not have been more appropriate?

    Always a good read, Slugger….. and he has a much better understanding of these islands’ real relationship(s) with the rest of Europe than is to be found amongst many……

  9. DANNY

    @” he is resisting tooth and nail anyone else getting it medically,”

    Nope-he is fulfilling May’s promises for her-someone had to :-

    “The home secretary also announced he had authorised a licence to be issued on Tuesday for six-year-old Alfie Dingley, after his mother said she had been waiting three months for Theresa May to fulfil a personal assurance he would be allowed to receive cannabis oil.”

    Indy.

    “Yesterday (18 June) the Policing Minister Nick Hurd told Parliament that the government will establish an expert panel of clinicians to advise ministers on any applications from senior clinicians to prescribe cannabis-based medicines. Today the Home Secretary confirmed the panel will be in a position to start considering applications within a week.”

    Gov.UK

    The Dame Sally Davis review of medical use will report to him within a week

    Sajid Javid
    HoC

  10. Polltroll – 11.08

    There doesn’t have to be a specific event. Sometimes it is just the drip, drip, drip of small amounts which cause the shift of opinion.

    Is the BMG poll indicating a big rise in Labour support or a drop in Tory support? Or a little bit of both?

  11. Good morning all from a rather warm Central London.

    Excellent poll for Labour but it does seem a bit old according to the tween

    Britain Elects
    [email protected]
    4h4 hours ago
    More
    Westminster voting intention:

    LAB: 41% (+2)
    CON: 38% (-1)
    LDEM: 11% (+1)
    UKIP: 4% (-)
    GRN: 2% (-1)

    via @BMGResearch, 05 – 08 Jun
    Chgs. w/ 04 May

  12. https://action.electoral-reform.org.uk/page/19800/action/2

    The days of the House of Lords as we know it are surely numbered.

    London and the South East account for 26% of the UK’s population.

    Yet 44% of the HoL live there.

    Is anyone surprised?

  13. DANNY

    @”russian propaganda”

    Yes-could be.

    I did note the distinct possibility of some of those Amazon Book reviewers being Putin stooges :-

    George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001 ( spouse of Janet Yellen)

    Liaquat Ahamed, Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Formerly of World Bank.

    Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard University.

    Paul De Grauwe, John Paulson Chair in European Political Economy, London School of Economics. Former member of the Belgian Government.

    not forgetting the author , Ashoka Mody.

    You never know do you ? :-)

  14. MILLIE

    Yep-outdated like Monty Python.

    Its all about diversi’y now-innit?

    https://inews.co.uk/news/monty-python-bbc-comedy-diversity-this-country-famalam/

  15. @Sam, John B

    It’s always good to see a fresh perspective on tired old themes, and Gerry Lynch provides that in the article on Irish reunification you link to. As his examination of German reunification illustrates, change can come a lot faster than people expect when major external events create a paradigm shift.

    Pete B cites Ashcroft’s finding that ““If it were not possible both to leave the EU and to keep England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales together in the UK, 63% of Leave voters in Great Britain (including 73% of Conservatives) said they would choose to leave the EU.” I’ve long felt that the majority reaction in E&W to the departure of NI and/or Scotland would be a shrug of indifference. So the future lies in the hands of the would-be departees.

    As Lynch points out, Sinn Fein and the DUP are the worst possible advertisements for their desired political outcomes. Will brexit be the unexpected meteorite that sweeps these dinosaurs into extinction? Certainly, the DUP looks unable to adapt to changing times, but if Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill are able to give SF a fraction of the wide electoral acceptability of the SNP, then the unthinkable might very rapidly become the thinkable.

    I had a quick look for betting odds on the UK breaking up (ie losing NI or Sc) within the next 5 or 10 years but was unable to find any. It’s a decade or two since I bet on anything, but I’d be tempted if the odds were 5/1 against or better (if I’ve got the terminology right there – I’m assuming 5/1 or better means a winning £100 bet would return £500 or more).

    Usual caveats apply: I live in England and any opinions on other UK polities are advanced tentatively.

  16. “DANNY

    @”russian propaganda”
    Yes-could be.

    Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard University.

    You never know do you ? :-)”
    @colin June 20th, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Ah, the economist that couldn’t use a spreadsheet. (Bit unfair, but I’m still going to point it out):

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-04-18/faq-reinhart-rogoff-and-the-excel-error-that-changed-history

  17. John B: looks more like a fall in Tory support, because 11% for the Lib Dems is quite high

  18. @Colin – “-that is if you accept that UK has urged the continuity of the “co-operation” which UK Security chiefs keep referring to-whilst Barnier wishes to limit and/or circumscribe it.”

    That is a very UK centric view of what was said. Barnier, and everyone else in the EU, has repeatedly stated that security cooperation must continue, as has everyone on the UK side.

    Where you, and everyone else it seems, have been mistaken is in making the assumption that open access to databases is the same as security cooperation – it isn’t.

    Like I said yesterday, the UK Brexiters, newspaper editors and most members of the public would be unhappy if HMG handed over open access to UK citizens data to EU authorities with no accessible legal controls under UK law.

    We would be trusting foreign authorities to handle sensitive and private data properly, without the ability to question them in a British court or mount an action against them in a European court. This would be unacceptable, and it is likewise unacceptable for EU citizens to expect their governments to hand over such data to the UK in the circumstances.

    It is the oversight of EU law and the ECJ, via the pooling of sovereignty in such areas, that makes the deep level of security cooperation work within the EU. If the UK decides to break that bond, then certain things inevitably flow from that. We wouldn’t have it any other way, because the UK rather likes it’s civil liberties protections and the rule of law in such areas.

    This certainly doesn’t mean that security cooperation ceases. This is what Jennings was saying yesterday. It certainly wasn’t what Barnier was saying either – only that such cooperation would have to take a different form, as the legalities have been changed by May’s red lines.

    We have deep and close security cooperation with the US, for example – but they aren’t allowed to access the EU security databases. That’s all.

    If you are bothered about this, then don’t leave the EU, or leave the EU but accept ECJ oversight on security laws. This isn’t a single market issue, so the concept of cherry picking is not relevant, and I’m pretty sure the EU would welcome a sensible proposal. But we have consistently raged against allowing ECJ oversight in any areas and under any circumstances, ergo no access to the databases and no European Arrest Warrant. Don’t complain about it – this is what we voted for, apparently.

    So please don’t witter on about what Barnier is threatening to limit, because it’s our PM that is the cause of the problem. The UK has urged to continuation of the current levels of security cooperation, but isn’t prepared to accept the necessary legal framework for that to take place.

  19. MILLIE:

    Yes, and Scotland is (from memory of seeing recent numbers) as badly represented in the HoL as NW England.

    Which maybe explains why they haven`t reversed, as far as I can see, the HoC rejection of Clause 7 of the WB which so exercised the SNP last week.

    I can understand how the regional imbalance of the HoL comes about, but it ought to be addressed. Not much chance of TM sorting it.

  20. A job for one of the experts on here

    Head of Airspace Strategy/Head of Aviation EU Exit Negotiations

    https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/jobs.cgi?jcode=1586968

    Prior knowledge of airspace and the aviation sector is an advantage but not necessary.

    Bit late in the day?

  21. @Cloudspotter

    The BMG poll is interesting in that it doesn’t repeat the YouGov finding of Labour doing badly amongst C2DE

    In fairness, the YG poll that looked bad for Labour among C2DEs at time, looked like an outlier of a sample.

    The fact that the next YG poll went back to normal confirms that this the case.

  22. ALEC

    Hmmm-presumably the UK “data bases” which provided the means by which GCHQ provided ” a critical role in the disruption of terrorist operations in at least four European countries in the past year.” were available to the EU , whose citizens’ lives were saved as a result , according to Fleming.

    I watched DP yesterday when the mother of a boy afflicted by epilepsy asked why May’s personal promise to her in respect of access to medication , three months ago ,had not been actioned. Damian Green waffled on about the “rules” surrounding those matters. The mother’s eyes glazed over. Fortunately Sajid Javid yesterday changed the rules for that child because the child’s life was at risk.

    Like the underlings who were operating those rules, Barnier seems blinkered by them.

    It will need an act of political leadership to start concentrating on lives rather than rules.

  23. @MILLIE

    What proportion of tax does London and the SE contribute?

    Also, what proportion of MPs come from London?

    What proportion of MPs went to a fee-paying school?

    What proportion of MPs have had what you and I would call a ‘real job’?

    Our democracy is unrepresentative from top to bottom. Just because the HoL is making some decisions at the moment which are unpopular with a certain section of society isn’t a reason to think abolishing it will make everything hunky-dory.

  24. Interesting listening to the lunchtime news, Canadians have legalised cannabis and expect in future to capture a good chunk of the 7bn currently spent on it in taxation. Presumably that would be more in the Uk, and could be a handy hypothecated tax for the NHS. Job done, two policy problems solved at once.

  25. COLIN @ ALEC

    May doesn’t have enough support from her leavers to show any political leadership. Barnier has none because he is following the sensible instructions of the EU27.

  26. Doesn’t sound like No 10 is confident about tonights vote. There are rumours of a compromise being offered, and Labour have confirmed that unlike last week, Tory whips are refusing to honour the convention of ‘nodding through’ sick MPs who are in the Palace of W but too ill to walk through the lobbies.

    Smacks of desperation and an expectation of defeat.

  27. Colin,
    “Like the underlings who were operating those rules, Barnier seems blinkered by them.

    It will need an act of political leadership to start concentrating on lives rather than rules.”

    You make a poor analogy. Javid has made an exception for one child, because of large amounts of publicity and also apparently a promise made by the PM. The news yesterday seemed to suggest there might be thousands of others who would benefit from cannabis medically. There has been no change of policy.

    In the case of the EU, where is the benefit to be had from changing rules? You might disagree that the EU rules set are benefitcial, but clearly they think so. By what standard could they then think changing those rules would be justified? The huge problem leave supporters are facing right now is a failure to produce a credible alternative to EU membership, so that instead the Uk is trying to hang on to aspects of EU membership and the perceived benefits of same.

  28. Alec
    Nodding-Through-Gate sounds like exactly the sort of thing that Tory whips might consider a good idea until they have it pointed out to them that this presumably works both ways.

    If Labour whips were to reciprocate, and do so on a permanent basis for the remainder of the Parliament then presumably the idea might start to look not quite so clever on some future occasion when a few Tories end up in a position to need it.

    A bit like the UK blaming the EU for refusing to cave in to cake-ism, actually

  29. @Danny

    I recommend that you watch today’s Victoria Derbyshire programme on iPlayer, which devoted a long segment to a discussion on cannabis.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/schedules/bbctwo

    There are more important issues than the Government getting more in taxation. In particular, how do you educate people that legal is not the same as safe and how do you stop the sale of cannabis with high THC levels. Both alcohol and tobacco have historically been subject to smuggling to evade taxation and it is likely to happen with cannabis too.

  30. “Tory whips are refusing to honour the convention of ‘nodding through’ sick MPs who are in the Palace of W but too ill to walk through the lobbies.”

    Out of curiosity who does that apply to just now?

    It occurs also that there are two more Opposition votes than last Wednesday evening given that we’ve had the Lewisham by-election and the SNP leader hasn’t been suspended. Maybe she’d have been better making her stand on last week’ ground

  31. @Colin – not sure the two issues are remotely comparable.

    The cannabis oil thing is actually two things. One was about a general change to UK rules, which hasn’t yet happened. The other was about a specific case, and all Javid did was issue an emergency certificate to another family – which is allowable under the existing rules (he couldn’t have done it if it wasn’t).

    The EU security database access sharing issue is bound by laws, and so can’t be altered until the laws are changed, but with the UK refusing to accept those laws, changed or not, we’ve decided to walk away.

    Indeed, by citing these two issues together you just back up the case that the UK government and the UK abide by rules, so if we decide we don’t want to be bound by the EU’s rules, that’s that.

  32. Compromise offered by Govt.

    It seems that they are falling back on letting the Speaker decide if the motion to be tabled by HMG detailing the leaving deal is ‘in neutral terms’ and therefore cannot be amended or not.

    It’s a bit of an non compromise compromise, so the reaction will be noteworthy.

  33. COLIN
    Like the underlings who were operating those rules, Barnier seems blinkered by them.

    Security services operating outside or above judicial control is a recipe for disaster and essentially that is what you are suggesting.

    One of the advantages of the EU and it’s structures like the ECJ is it allows unprecedented cooperation at an international level.

    This is another example of what was dismissed as Project Fear becoming Project Reality.

  34. Alec

    I wonder if the lack of nodding through might persuade Labour MPs inclined to vote with the government to vote against or abstain. I’m not sure many Labour MPs (I suspect some Conservatives might also be uneasy with the breaking of this convention) would like the idea of forcing members of their own party to be wheeled through the lobby from an ambulance. I’m not sure of the numbers involved but an offer to pair might be the humane way to deal with this.

    It does seem designed to engender ill will in parliament, so much for “bringing the country together”.

    If the conventions of nodding through are up for grabs, one presumes the convention of pairing is free to be ignored as well, which would usually affect the government more often that the opposition.

  35. and that compromise agreement looks more like a recipe for the Speaker to be removed by angry MPs on one or other side of the debate than a means to avoiding a meaningful debate…

  36. [email protected] John B

    It is not just constitutional arrangements that would change with reunification of Ireland (and Scottish independence). We might be healthier, too.

    https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/impact-of-political-systems-on-european-population-health-2332-0761.1000123.php?aid=32188

  37. There is presumably a clear belief on both sides, given that both are going to the barricades on the issue, that the Government would find it harder to ignore a motion on specific terms than a motion on general terms come next February.

    I am not convinced this would be that significant. I think both sides are living a bit in the procedures of the past.

    Isn’t the politics the same? In each case the Government’s Brexit strategy has clearly not got the confidence of the House. But in each case under FTPA nothing happens until/ unless a FTPA terms confidence motion is passed.

    Moreover, no Government has demonstrated the point as completely as this one, by its contempt for such motions throughout this parliament.

  38. Catmanjeff
    ‘In fairness, the YG poll that looked bad for Labour among C2DEs at time, looked like an outlier of a sample.’

    That didn’t stop numerous headlines about it!

    The following You Gov also showing the Tories ahead in C2DEs BTW.

  39. MILLIE

    https://action.electoral-reform.org.uk/page/19800/action/2

    The days of the House of Lords as we know it are surely numbered.

    London and the South East account for 26% of the UK’s population.

    Yet 44% of the HoL live there.

    Is anyone surprised?

    I was to be honest. I thought the percentage who live in London would be much higher than stated (25%). I suspect the reason for this is connected to the way that Lords expenses are claimed. Nominally they get £300 per day attended (plus relevant genuine travel) but there was a sort of ‘gentleman’s agreement’ that those who did not need to claim for an overnight stay would only claim £150 per day.

    Some do actually do this, but most claim the £300 whether they live in or near London or not. But it may be that this encourages those who have London residences as well as one beyond commuting distance to claim the latter as where they live, so it looks better. Certainly you would expect many of the names you see giving an address outside London[1] to have property in the capital and spend most of their time there. Certainly the amount of travel expenses claimed tends not to match in some cases.

    In addition there is no location given for 236 of the 800[2] peers and again looking at the blank locations in the expenses, many claim no travel expenses, which would suggest that they are disproportionately London residents[3]. So the truth is probably that the ERS severely underestimates the percentage of Lords who live wholly or mainly in London.

    I actually thought the occupational background data was as interesting. Though some peers will have had manual background before becoming an MP or TU official (and May Blood was actually working in the voluntary sector when she became a peer), it’s still an amazingly discrepancy to have so few manual workers. More telling is that no less than 68 were “Political staff and activists” though never elected, even as a councillor, and that their percentage has been increasing most rapidly in recent years[4]. Lords membership now seems to be given out like a premature pension (it can be worth around £45k pa) as a thank you to PM’s staff. Meanwhile the numbers from the traditional learned backgrounds, whose expertise is supposed to inform the Lords, have slowly been dropping.

    [1] The (usually ceremonial) county which people give as their residence can be seen on the monthly expenses, downloadable from here:
    https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/members-allowances/house-of-lords/holallowances/hol-expenses04/
    but it is not obligatory to supply it or keep it up to date.

    [2] ERS’s figures based on December expenses. The total number of peers shown there is less (I make it 788) at the current number is 784 re the HoL website, but they may have made adjustments to cater for later changes.

    [3] To be fair they also tend to be less avid attenders and some don’t even claim when they do appear in the Lords. But an awful lot who do seem to be Londoners.

    [4] As I’ve pointed out before, May has actually been fairly abstemious with such appointments (which might be why she has been personally unpopular in the Westminster Bubble). Most of these came under and from Cameron and Clegg – following on from Blair’s practice.

  40. @Lewblew

    Don’t worry – my post on the make-up of the HoL was not aimed at their anti-Brexit voting.

    I agree with you – so many of our institutions are unrepresentative and out-dated. Their needs to be wholesale reform, if for no reason than that they are demonstrably unfair and plain wrong.

    But I will make a very rare Brexit comment:

    A lot of people have said that the Leave vote was an expression of widespread anti-establishment feeling. I have said so myself

    But I think it is an even deeper anger against classical liberal western democracy itself. It was anti-democratic. as much as anti-establishment. A vote by many against the system itself rather than the establishment cohort that operates it.

    Like most people, I still think capitalism is the best system, if often imperfect. But I must say that when I read that 50% of PFI buildings in this country are owned by offshore trusts paying no tax, I do begin to wonder.

  41. DANNY

    @”In the case of the EU, where is the benefit to be had from changing rules? ”

    re the issue under discussion-The safety & Security of EU Citizens .

    @” There has been no change of policy.”

    I have already explained what has changed & is in process of change.

  42. ALEC

    You sound like Damian Green did :-)

  43. At some point on my tv News , a talking head will say “Never Again”………….again.

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jun/20/gosport-war-memorial-hospital-opioid-drugs-policy-inquiry

  44. Alec – 12.20 p.m.
    As is so often the case with your posts, I could not have expressed the realities better myself. Many thanks for once again having pointed out the obvious results of Brexit to those who steadfastly refuse to see them – or, seeing them, accept them.

    Colin 1.24
    Change the rules? Certainly. But which ones? The obvious ‘rule’ to change is that A50 is irreversible.

    EOTW – 2.12
    Exactly so.

  45. Looks like Theresa dons the Teflon again & survives?

  46. JOHNB

    @”But which ones?”

    The ones which-apparently-say that its OK for GCHQ to help save the lives of EU citizens when we are an EU Member, but its not OK for EU Security forces to help save the lives of UK citizens when we are not an EU member.

  47. @Colin – “The ones which-apparently-say that its OK for GCHQ to help save the lives of EU citizens when we are an EU Member, but its not OK for EU Security forces to help save the lives of UK citizens when we are not an EU member.”

    That’s a complete load of horsesh!t and you know it.

    Nothing will prevent EU governments from passing on information to prevent attacks, just as GCHQ has and will continue to do so.

    Not one of your finest.

  48. @Millie

    “Like most people, I still think capitalism is the best system, if often imperfect. But I must say that when I read that 50% of PFI buildings in this country are owned by offshore trusts paying no tax, I do begin to wonder.”

    Couldn’t agree more. The stealth privatisation and complete lack of value for money delivered by PFI makes my blood boil!

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