Voting intention polls over the last fortnight have been showing the same pattern that we’ve become used to over the last four month: Conservative and Labour very close to each other in support, with the Tories averaging a very small lead.

Survation/GMB (20th June) – CON 41, LAB 38, LDEM 7
ICM/Guardian (24th June) – CON 41, LAB 40, LDEM 9
YouGov/Times (26th June) – CON 42, LAB 37, LDEM 9
Ipsos MORI (27th June) – CON 41, LAB 38, LDEM 9
YouGov/Times (4th July) – CON 41, LAB 40, LDEM 9
AVERAGE – CON 41, LAB 39, LDEM 9

There’s a fresh Survation poll in today’s Mail on Sunday, with fieldwork conducted wholly on Saturday, after the Chequers summit. Topline figures there are CON 38%(-3), LAB 40%(+2), LDEM 10%(+3). While Survation typically show Labour in a better polling position than other companies do, this is still the first Survation poll to show Labour ahead since March. On the other hand, it is well within the normal margin of error (Survation’s polls over the last four months have averaged at CON 41, LAB 40). I will leave it with my normal caveats about reading too much into polls after events – they have the same sample variation as any other poll, so don’t assume that any change is a result of the event, rather than just noise. Wait and see if other polls show a similar pattern of change.

In the meantime, is there anything polling can tell us about how the Brexit deal will impact public attitudes? Our starting point, as is so often the case, should be to recall how little attention most people pay towards the intricacies of the Brexit negoatiations. Most people are not glued to the ins- and outs- of it, don’t know or care about the specifics of court juristrictions and trade regulations. The Brexit deal will, in all likelihood, be judged upon broad brush preceptions. Do people think it is a good deal for Britain? Do people think it is a genuine Brexit?

On those two measures, the Survation poll gave people a brief summary of the deal and asked people if they approved – 33% did, 22% did not, 35% neither approved nor disapproved and 10% did not know. Balance of opinion amongst remainers and leavers was positive, though it went down better among Remainers (for Leave the break was 30% approve, 25% disapprove; for Remain the break was 39% approve, 25% disapprove). The response was less positive when they asked if it was faithful to the referendum result – 29% thought it was, 38% thought it was not, 34% said don’t know. Overall, 26% said it was the right deal, 42% that it was the wrong deal, 32% didn’t know.

That’s clearly a mixed response – the balance of public opinion approves of it, but doesn’t think it respects the result and doesn’t think it’s the right deal. And on all those measures an awful lot of people said don’t know. I expect that’s largely because people have been asked about something they weren’t paying much attention to and didn’t have much of an opinion on it yet (it cannot be easy to get a sample within a space of a few hours at the best of times. When England are playing a World Cup Quarter final at the same point…).

The question is how they will make that decision. For obvious reasons most people will not have spent their Saturday poring over the government press release from the Chequers summit, nor will they read the White Paper this week! It will depend how the papers react to it, how the broadcast media report it, how politicians people recognise like the party leaders, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and so on react to it.

The wise thing to do now is to wait and see if there is any lasting movement in the polls, or whether (in public opinion terms) this is just another one of those arguments about the fine details of Brexit that the public seem to be largely tuning out of.

(Note that – despite what it appears to show on my sidebar to the right – UKIP were NOT on zero percent in the latest Survation poll. The poll didn’t ask people who said they’ve vote “other” which other party they would vote for, so it’s impossible to tell UKIP support from the poll.)


396 Responses to “Latest Voting Intention and the Chequers Summit”

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  1. Point taken re all the recent polls being within MoE. Point also taken that it’s much too early to get considered opinion of the latest HMG ponderings, especially because it’s most unlikely to be agreed by the EU27.

  2. Not sure if it is a bug or a feature but the previous thread no longer allows new posts.

  3. The Independent article on a BMG poll on the deal seems to show

    Con 39,
    Lab 37,
    LD 10

    if you scroll down the article but it is not clear.

  4. How can you approve of it but not think it’s the right deal????

    Aside from the time limitations, the other issue highlighted here is how much difference wording can make!

    For the sidebar, perhaps a ‘?’ instead of a zero?

  5. jamesB,
    “How can you approve of it but not think it’s the right deal”

    people can only answer the question asked, and choose a best-fit answer.

    Someone could approve a plan which keeps the UK in parts of the EU, but think the right deal is to remain. Or the exact opposite conclusion.

    I rather think the devil is in the dont knows.

  6. Indeed, it was somewhat of a rhetorical question. I was mostly highlighting the wording issue.

    ‘Right’ lacks context for instance, right for me? Right for the country? Right for the Tory party?

  7. JamesB,

    I am with Danny, it might not be ideal but it’s the best you can get.

    This is probably a poor analogy but here goes;

    The Grey Fence!

    There is a tight bend at the corner of your garden and a night people miss time it and hit your fence.

    You decide to paint it to make it easier to see and go into the shed for paint.

    You have two tins of paint, one black, one white, so you choose white.

    But there isn’t enough white paint so you top it up with some of the black and go for light grey!

    Is it as good as White; No
    Is it better than Black; Yes
    Is it the best you can do in the circumstances; Probably!

    The same analogy can sort of be used for the Governments “Compromise” on Brexit and devolution.

    In this case there is enough of both colours Black and White.
    We think Black is daft and say it’s obvious it should be White.

    The compromised offered is Grey which we reject.

    Why won’t we compromise, because or original proposal of White is still better than the compromise of Grey and both as as easily applied.

    I suppose you could paraphrase May and say;

    “No Compromise is better than a Bad Compromise!”

    Peter.

  8. If it hasn’t been said already, the full Survation tables are here:

    http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/MoS-final-tables.pdf

    The headline VI is probably one of the least remarkable results, since it’s most likely to be just a statistical fluctuation, unless backed up by further polls. It also has a referendum re-run question (rather less to the point than a wrong/right question, but never mind) which rather neatly comes out as 48/52 after removing DKs etc. That’s 52 to stay by the way (page 19).

    But rather more explosive, potentially, are the questions on whether the Chequers agreement honours the result of the referendum (starting page 24). AW quotes the overall result – 29/38 – but what’s really interesting is the Leave/Remain cross-break. For remainers, more think the referendum keeps faith with the referendum result, but almost half the leavers disagree, with only 20% agreeing. Not surprisingly the age cross-breaks refect this too, with that key 65+ group also around 50% feeling let down by the Chequers agreement.
    The fact that Remainers are relatively reconciled to the agreement may just enflame the dissatisfaction further. That and Nigel Farage opening his mouth.

    It’s just one very quick poll, but this question of Leavers attitude to the deal will be one to watch for a while. The Tories are going to have to sell this one very hard if they want to maintain their hold on the Leaver demographic. Though it’s not clear where else they’d go right now, given the non-viable state of UKIP.

  9. Research shows that high-IQ people are more fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

    https://twitter.com/KirkegaardEmil/status/1015782038392246273

  10. Without wanting to come over all Jordan Peterson, I’m not particularly surprised, since on the the left/right and authoritarian/libertarian axes, it is the left and authoritarian ends that appeal most strongly to emotion. (Which is not to say there aren’t sound rational arguments for Keynesian economics, it’s just that most left-wing voters don’t think in those terms, they think about platitudes like “fairness” and their own self-interest.)

  11. Was unable to comment last night as there was an issue with UKPR it seems, but no great change in polling terms, it seems. Voters minds are probably elsewhere.

    The cabinet ‘deal’ on Friday has not resonated that much it seems, largely, I’m guessing, due to the weak and feeble nature of the hard Brexiters capitulation. May had then completely outfoxed and outmaneuvered on the day, boxing them in, and they lacked the wit to construct anything like a viable alternative proposal to launch against her.

    The political nous of confiscating ‘phones and hemming them all in at Chequers was excellent tactically, leading to a total news blackout and meek departure late in the day with barely a whimper said anywhere against the plan.

    This was a triumph for May, in terms of internal party politicking, although it remains to be seen what this means nationally. It has been obvious to many remainers for a long, long time, that May is seeking as soft a Brexit as she can get, even while the blowhards insisted that a no deal exit was likely, or even possible.

    If it suited the EU to have a hard Brexit, then we might have walked into one, but it doesn’t, and it was never going to happen. Transitions, extensions, delays and compromises – whatever it takes to secure some kind of deal, with the entire point of fudging the real leaving date never being anything more than allowing more time for the hard Brexiters to shed their illusory magical thinking.

    Three important points remain for me. Firstly, what is actually contained in the HMG negotiating position. The BBC reporting of this seems severely deficient, while Robert Peston over at ITN seems to have a much better grasp of what happened. ITV have been reporting that the May plan accepts ECJ jurisdiction in key areas of standards interpretation – if true, a major red line crossed, but denied by others. Peston also reports that Javid thinks he secured an assurance that EU citizens won’t get special treatment post Brexit – but May refused repeatedly to confirm this when interviewed by Kuenssberg, so major uncertainties remain.

    It does seem quite bizarre for the UK to seek alignment in goods but not services, but this is the logic of the various red lines May drew up.

    The second point is whether the EU will accept this. Perhaps this is why the hard Brexiters are so silent – they know they’ve been stuffed, but they think that the EU will decline this and make the issue moot.

    The omens don’t suggest that Brussels will accept this, as the proposal is a direct attack on the Single Market. It is still, in the words of EU officials yesterday, ‘magical thinking’.

    I think we can be confident that it won’t stand, but the issue is whether it is rejected, or taken as the start point for more serious negotiations. Which brings me to the final point as I see it – the fact that, as per the military idiom, no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.

    The May plan has been presented in the UK press as a triumphant ‘deal’, whereas in reality it is nothing more than an agreed shopping list for one side to negotiate on. Again, I think it’s safe to assume that the UK white paper will be as good as it gets for the UK side, and upon first contact we will make concessions, probably very big ones.

    May’s ‘crushing of the Brexiters’, as Peston describes it, is in all likelihood the precursor for more compromises to secure a much softer exit, and such has been their capitulation that May will probably be emboldened to be more conciliatory with Brussels.

    Perhaps the biggest point of this sorry Friday saga at Chequers is that Brussels now knows that Boris and co. are a busted flush. He hasn’t even got the balls to resign, such is his weakness. There is no serious pressure for a no deal exit, and it is abundantly clear that May seeks a deal with the minimal holding of some pretty thin red lines. After further grandstanding, delay, and extension, the EU will see their way to throwing a few bones to the UK and a deal will be struck, and the hard Brexiters will be so shellshocked and marginalised that they’ll still be cheering. That’s the overriding idiocy of the process that we are engaged in.

  12. @Polltroll

    I would have imagined that “voting in one’s own self-interest” might be the motivation that one might expect to be consistent across all different stripes of voter or social groupings! Isn’t it just that what is in their self-interest tends to be different?

  13. The problem is that a) the plan is not business friendly and will impose great administrative costs b) it is not soft enough for the EU c) May may well feel that she cannot reach a point the EU would accept.

    In this situation we may as Danny and Alec suggest, make compromise after compromise until we reach a point that business and the EU can accept after a few last minute fudges of its own. We may desperately keep putting off the evil hour, living under some kind of planning blight, until perhaps a new referendum rescues us from ourselves. We may accept that the choice is between No deal (which very few people want) or trying to remain (which only 48 per cent of people want). Sorting that out, is a matter of making the issue clear and then having a parliamentary vote or a referendum.

    Alternatively we may come t

  14. The ball is on the EU Commission court now.

    Their choice:Dogma or realistic compromise.

    For if they stick with the former, then a no deal Brexit, as opposed to the Brefta compromise, looms.

  15. On the position that Theresa May moved to during the all-day Chequhers debate, it seems the majority of posters here called it correctly – a modest softening that could well divide the hard Brexiteers in their response.

    But I have some other news that hasn`t yet been widely broadcast across the UK:- there is a serious forest fire up in east Sutherland.

    https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/2898887/locals-windows-doors-closed-firefighters-blaze-ben-bhraggie-smoke-highlands/

    When the moorland fire above Saddleworth began there were comments on UKPR that helicopters with scoop buckets, to pour on water from reservoirs, should have been used sooner. And again with this fire, it seems the first day`s approach was also lacking.

    We ate our breakfast yesterday in our holiday cottage viewing flames rearing tree height (maybe 30-35 foot) on the far side of the sea loch, and wondered what resources were tackling it. There are few fire engines and crews in Sutherland and Easter Ross.

    Fortunately, it was an east wind. So the flames were going away from Golspie, and were likely to reach heather moorland lacking trees. But with tinder dryness, any shifts in wind could threaten properties and people.

    BBC Scotland was no help – Saturday isn`t a day for news on the hour.

    Again I am thinking the UK will regret so much austerity, that has included cutbacks to the fire service both planned and unplanned – the latter resulting from a lack of personpower and engines out-of-service unrepaired. And do even the military in Northern Scotland have helicopters to scoop the lochs and sea?

  16. JONESINBANGOR

    For if they stick with the former, then a no deal Brexit, as opposed to the Brefta compromise, looms.

    I wouldn’t hold your breath on that. It would have been different had HMG put in all the people and equipment to be ready for a WTO exit, although even had it all been in place then it wouldn’t have solved the Airbus problem. The only realistic options remain EEA+CU or remain.

  17. @Jonesinbangor – “The ball is on the EU Commission court now.

    Their choice:Dogma or realistic compromise.”

    As ever, this appears to be based on a misconception.

    The Single Market is a treaty based agreement made by 28 sovereign nations, with key principles that cannot be compromised – otherwise the Single Market isn’t the Single Market, but something else. The 27 other nations don’t want somthing else – they want the Single Market. To depict this as dogma is a little harsh – that’s you trying to subvert the democratic choices of 27 sovereign states.

    If the UK wishes to participate in the Single Market that’s fine, but we’ve said we don’t, so we can’t.

    I rather think that the ball is in the UK’s court, in the sense that further compromises will be needed on our side. There is a choice to be made between ‘dogma or realistic compromise’, but that choice is as much on our part as theirs.

  18. TRIGGUY

    Busy with the real world for most of this week, so apologies for not responding to you sooner. Glad you enjoyed the Self talks re CERN. For me, they bring back memories of teaching my sons to ride a Swiss moped in the lanes on the French side.

  19. Seems to me that May has managed to achieve what many would have said was impossible.
    She has managed to regain control of her cabinet she has also managed to put forward her own version of a softer type of brexit.
    More importantly she has shifted the onus to come to some sort of compromise from the U.K. government to the EU .
    She has also created a situation should the EU be there normal intractable self over the major issues, for the U.K. government to say well we tried ,hard brexit here we come.
    All in all an impressive show from the “weak” PM

  20. As I have thought for a while now, polls narrowing and both parties within touching distance off each other

  21. jonesinbangor: The ball is on the EU Commission court now.

    Their choice:Dogma or realistic compromise.

    For if they stick with the former, then a no deal Brexit, as opposed to the Brefta compromise, looms.

    Yeah, yeah. They need us more than we need them. I see where you are going.

    I went down the Working Men’s Club today. A veritable pit of brexiters. I told them I was leaving the club at the end of March next year because there were too many silly rules and the annual sub, at £5, was too much.

    There is no hard feeling on my part, indeed, I want a deep and special relationship with the club. And of course, they need me more than I need them. So after March, the Steward will have to serve me my beer through the window, although I could negotiate for the Steward to leave my beer on the windowsill, and I would drink it through a straw, which would allow them to comply with their silly rule that drinks must not be taken out of the club.

    Someone mentioned that from outside the club, I would not be able to participate in the crack. But of course there are a few non members who pass by on the street and I shall be able to have the crack with them. After all, if they are not going to the club, they cannot have anything better to do than stop by for 10 minutes and enjoy my crack.

    Brexit is truly inspiring.

  22. TURK

    I think thats a fair comment on May’s tactical victory in the Cabinet. Well done to her.

    She still has to sell it to Barnier-though her recent meetings with Merkel & Rutte-both apparently friendly-are intriguing. Has she got some tacit agreement at European Leaders level?

    I’m afraid I still think she can’t front a GE Campaign though.

  23. Turk: [May] … has also created a situation should the EU be there normal intractable self over the major issues, for the U.K. government to say well we tried, hard brexit here we come.

    You should get your Uncle Arthur to tell them that they need us more than we need them

  24. It has to be pointed out that before March Survation had been producing the best Labour figures, so that’s another reason not to greet this poll as a sign of some great change. A more important reason (in addition to Anthony’s caveats) is that these speedy polls can often produce odd results.

    The sample will only be people who were able to spend time answering 35 questions, mostly on something that happened the day before which they know little about, between say 8am and 6pm[1] on a Saturday. It means whole groups of people are unlikely to take part and short sampling periods have been identified by some pollsters as a reason for their failure in 2017. Of course Survation had no alternative in this case, but it does mean that there’s another query over the poll.

    And it’s a very odd poll indeed. One of the certainties over the last two years is that 2016 Remain and Leave voters are very different – in age, education, social attitudes and a whole range of other ways, not just regarding the EU. And yet in this long list of questions about Brexit, the combined profiles of both end up looking more similar than you might expect. For example 43% of both Leavers and Remainers think this is the “wrong deal for Britain”[2]:

    http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/MoS-final-tables.pdf#page=26

    The reason is presumably that both sides are split. Soft Brexit supporters and Remainers wanting to minimise it are tending to support May. Hard Brexiteers, Maximal Cakeists and Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off Remainers will oppose. Rather than the country being split in half, it’s being split in half in different ways. Perhaps this is May’s best hope – to keep on mixing things up until there is enough confusion to let her compromise with the EU. But it’s not quite working yet.

    [1] Survation’s tables only say 7 July for the fieldwork. Presumably they had to spend Friday evening putting it together after the Chequers meeting and it needed to be ready to go in the Mail on Sunday by mid Saturday evening (Survation were tweeting results about 10.30pm).

    [2] Poor old NI (and indeed Gib) being ignored as usual. The very high DKs in all these questions (and Neither/nor when that is an option) presumably indicate lack of information and time for consideration and show how careful we have to be in assessing these polls as giving any sort of final response.

  25. ADAMB (from prev thread)

    […] the freedom of movement issue is obviously key, and wording which is included in the statement at least provides a proposal: “…a mobility framework so that UK and EU citizens can continue to travel to each other’s territories, and apply for study and work – similar to what the UK may offer other close trading partners in the future”. Feels like the common sense middle ground which could potentially be sold to some/most brexiteers (“people cant just come here if they dont have a job offer”) but also not do too much damage to business if people really can easily apply to work here and get approval relatively easily.

    But I can’t see how that differs from the current situation. Technically they can already impose some such restrictions, I think, but anyway, presuming there will freedom of movement for tourism purposes, there’s nothing to stop someone coming to the UK from the EU and looking for a job when they are here.

    There are ways round this with some sort of work permit legislation, but it’s a lot of bureaucracy and it might not even solve the problem politically, either with the EU or in the perception of those who think there is a ‘coming over here taking our jobs’ situation.

    The whole document from the Government:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/723460/CHEQUERS_STATEMENT_-_FINAL.PDF

    is nearly all fudgecake, though we will have to wait for the White Paper for the details. But from what little we have seen, as Shevii and others have already pointed out, there will need to be a substantial extra burden on what a lot of ordinary businesses have to do – exactly the opposite of the bonfire of red tape that was promised. Only large accounting firms and international fraudsters (assuming these are separate categories) will benefit.

    All this was fairly predictable of course. One of the main points of the EU is to cut down on obstacles to ease of trade, so moving away from the EU was always going to mean more obstacles. And bespoke deals (assuming they can be agreed, which they probably won’t) will produce even more complications because they’re not standard. You can’t demand to be treated as rugged individualists and then complain because everything isn’t done for you. But they will.

  26. Business and the EU need a lot more compromises. Brexiters who would accept May’s compromise don’t want any further substantial shifts. As far as I can see the only realistic alternatives are a) WTO only (which I don’t think many want) or b) Remain which may not be possible, loses face, and at least 52% of people don’t want. What’s the way ahead?

  27. “Technically they can already impose some such restrictions, I think, but anyway, presuming there will freedom of movement for tourism purposes”

    Yes, member states can require notification on arrival, registration after 3 months and effective self sufficiency from that period. People not meeting that can be deported and barred for 6 months. It’s a bit more complex than that but I think that’s a reasonable enough summary.

    Problem is the UK didn’t and doesn’t have any kind of system set up to track anything like that. I do wonder if this is partly the reason Cameron was given some fairly short shrift in Brussels on the matter as they weren’t having much truck with his two faced attitude to immigration.

  28. Technivlouroctober
    It’s ‘craic’ not crack, although non-members “enjoying your crack” sounds interesting, but verging on the obscene!

  29. @ALEC “The cabinet ‘deal’ on Friday has not resonated that much it seems, largely, I’m guessing, due to the weak and feeble nature of the hard Brexiters capitulation.”

    Ahem, really?

    On the hottest Saturday of the year so far, with the Scottish school holidays underway and England in a World Cup quarter final, the best guess you can make for why yet another bit of Brexit navel gazing amongst out politicians has not resonated is that one?

    Not, perhaps, that outside this and other echo chambers no one cares?

  30. @[email protected]
    “It’s ‘craic’ not crack, although non-members “enjoying your crack” sounds interesting, but verging on the obscene!”

    Actually, the word is generally thought to be an Scots loan into Irish, so there’s an argument the first spelling is the more historical.

  31. charles: As far as I can see the only realistic alternatives are a) WTO only (which I don’t think many want) or b) Remain which may not be possible, loses face, and at least 52% of people don’t want. What’s the way ahead?

    There is that maxim that a bad decision is better than no decision.

    The May compromise is however not a decision but a bad compromise in that it takes from remainers what they want and does not give leavers what they want. A good compromise leaves everyone feeling that they have got something. As a remainer, this does not give me freedom of movement which is probably the one thing of EU membership I value most – nor does it give leavers a bonfire of red tape or the freedom to do trade deals with countries outside the EU.

    In short it is a sour spot rather than a sweet spot compromise. As such, it is inherently unstable – the healthiest thing which can happen is that there is a shift towards ‘no deal’ leave or full remain [ie rejoin], although I fear that the outcome will be decades of unproductive bitching reducing external confidence in the UK.

    So I think that the way ahead is to make a bad decision and go for full blooded leave. Put Boris in charge as PM and let it happen. Then pick up the pieces and rejoin. To my mind this is the quickest route to sanity, short of a People’s Referendum with remain [rejoin] as an option

  32. That should be the second spelling (crack) as the more historical.

  33. @Turk – as with @JiB, I think you are missing the point here.

    Go into a restaurant and ask for something that isn’t on the menu – say, a stake in a Sri Lankan vegetarian eatery.

    The chef might try to accommodate your wishes if it’s close to what she offers and she can shift things around a little bit, but if what you are asking for is simply too far away from her menu you won’t get what you are asking for.

    Is this the chef being dogmatic or intractable, of have you just asked for something that it is unreasonable to expect?

    May has asked to cherry pick the Single Market – nothing more, nothing less. The one thing that the EU has said repeatedly that isn’t possible is to cherry pick the Single Market.

    I suspect that all that happened on Friday was that May closed down the no deal option. All that remains now is how far the UK side moves to mitigate the worst impacts of leaving, which is the course May has been set on from the start.

  34. Staggering that it’s taken so long to get to this position, which will still get rejected by the EU.

    As a Remainer, I agree with the hardline Brexiteers, we are better off staying in the EU than trying to work with the shambles May has produced. What annoys me is that this could all be foreseen before the referendum, but 52% of voters couldn’t or wouldn’t see it.

    We knew that we wouldn’t be able to cherry pick. We knew the EU principles are indivisible. We knew the EU would close ranks and refuse to budge as any movements threatens it’s existence.

    Why haven’t the government got the guts to explain that and face down those who won’t accept reality?

  35. Alec: I suspect that all that happened on Friday was that May closed down the no deal option. All that remains now is how far the UK side moves to mitigate the worst impacts of leaving, which is the course May has been set on from the start.

    I sort of thought that, but I have changed my mind.

    I have little doubt that May thinks she has shut it down, but the brexiters seem to have gone along with May on the expectation that the EU won’t buy it. So I think that the net effect is that she has just set limits on the expectation of a negotiated deal.

    Once brexiters start calculating how far a negotiation might take them in the direction of remain and the work they would have to do to subsequently take things towards leave, they may decide to do their coup, get rid of May and do a full leave.

  36. TURK

    Seems to me that May has managed to achieve what many would have said was impossible.
    She has managed to regain control of her cabinet she has also managed to put forward her own version of a softer type of brexit.

    I don’t think she’s gained control of them (she never really could herd that bunch of self-entitled moggies – who could?) but she managed to get them to sign to something, which is an achievement. That they will now go behind her back to denounce her to the adulation of their various fanboys in the media doesn’t really matter – they are continuing to discredit themselves without any help from her[1]. As some of us pointed out when she appointed them, they were being given enough rope to hang themselves – and they have obliged.

    The Survation poll shows just how solid her position is. Asked (p 68ff) Imagine there were a General Election tomorrow. Would you be more or less likely to vote Conservative if each of the following replaced Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party? none of the candidates show up well:

    Boris Johnson 19 – 30 = -11 [23 – 25 = -2]

    Michael Gove 12 – 37 = -25 [14 – 35 = -22]

    Jeremy Hunt 11 – 30 = -19 [11 – 27 = -16]

    Sajid Javid 16 – 27 = -11 [14 – 35 = -21]

    Penny Mordaunt 10 – 21 = -11 [10 – 16 = -6]

    Jacob Rees-Mogg 20 – 27 = -7 [32 – 17 = +15]

    Gavin Williamson 9 – 26 = -17 [8 – 22 = -14]

    [] = Con voters in 2017.

    Rees-Mogg seems to play best with the core vote, but may alienate others – and I suspect is mainly gaining approval on being a ‘character’, as Boris[2] used to. Even an election for Party leader might undermine him, never mind a GE. And of course lack of front bench experience may help his figures now but harm him in action.

    Asked If Theresa May were to resign as prime minister, which of the following Conservative politicians should replace her? Rees-Mogg beats Boris 27 to 22 [35 to 21], but DKs of 52% and 45% among Tories suggests no great enthusiasm for either.

    The others do even worse – including (I was surprised to see) the current media golden boy Javid. The way that, unlike the others, he does worse among Tory voters than generally, suggests he would struggle to overcome the anti-Muslim lines that the press is so eager to put forward. And I know I keep saying this, but the disconnect between Gove’s figures and the optimism of his media mates never fails to astound.

    So May is yet again proving herself to be TINA. Of course the Conservative Party may still decide to try to get rid of her in a fit of hubris, but it will end badly whether they succeed or fail.

    [1] Well apart from some delightfully malicious leaking. Though that may come from lower down the food chain than the PM, due to the general contempt the Bold Brexiteers are held in. As Thatcher knew (and Boris and co don’t) always be nice to the underlings.

    [2] I’m saying Boris because I wonder if Jo Johnson might be a dark horse in this.

  37. Anyway, perhaps a little late in the day (but late delivery seems to be a feature of the process) here is your:

    Full English Brexit

    2016: cake

    2017: fudge

    2018: gammon

    2019: toast

  38. Interesting questions from Survation, once White Paper is out and EC have responded I hope we’ll get more useful questions.

    My 2c on Chequers – exactly what I’d hoped for (with caveat that we are in ‘least bad’ scenarios):

    1/ No Deal implementation will finally get started (and new trade deals with rWorld are clearly ongoing – I’m keen for CPTPP, get a whole bunch in one go!)
    2/ The room for Corbyn on ‘just Remain-side of May’ has pretty much disappeared
    3/ As Boris said the deal is a “polished turd”, although noting AW’s wise caveats the Survation poll suggests people agree with Boris.
    4/ No cabinet Brexiteers resigned or were sacked – they need to stay in cabinet to ensure no deal implementation does actually happen (ie put pressure on Hammond to release the 3bn he set aside for this)
    5/ Virtually no chance EC accept the fudge cake with cherry on top that May is asking for (they should but I bet they won’t). Integrity of SM, dogma and they’ll be fairly sure they can force further concessions.
    6/ May has united cabinet and whoever is new CON leader (and hence PM) will require the same going forward
    7/ Cable nailed it with his comments – this sets up no deal
    8/ CON backbench getting very tetchy. Hold your nerve folks – not yet!

    The only tricky bit is who is actually going to finish May off.
    As a few journos have mentioned Barnier is likely to say “non, mais”, not “non” (ie he doesn’t want the kill shot – he would prefer to keep May and slowly eek out more concessions).

    That might leave it to ERG+Corbyn to finish her off when HoC get to vote. It looks like the only contentious bill before HoC before Summer Recess will be 3rd Reading of “Taxation (Cross Border Trade) BIll” on 16July.

    I’ll have to revisit that one and see what the issues are (there is also a Trade Bill but I don’t see that on the calendar). The 39bn for a “polished turd” that will probably be an even bigger turd by October is a hurdle I can’t see ERG accepting – that then tees up Corbyn to make a move (or maybe not?)

    My guess is we go into Summer Recess with May’s offer out there and no one having n0bbled her yet. Works for me! Get cracking on no deal implementation, turn the heat up on Corbyn to go for new ref or even further into BINO territory than May, see if Barnier+co finally lose their patience.

    In the meantime any businesses that are sick of fudge please go round the back of Mrs.May’s fudge shop where the ‘Govt in waiting’ are talking pork (ie if it comes to no deal what do you need from new CON govt: trade finance; investment finance; complex changes to tax code that help you and no one else understands; priorities for trade deals with rWorld; etc; etc)

    P.S. Obviously within May’s “turd” it takes just a tiny step to move to Unilateral adoption of EC rules on goods (a lot of which are global anyway). The only tricky one is agri-food and I’m very happy with temporary unilateral adoption of EC rules there – until Trump is gone!
    I’ll skip the long info on WTO rules. Unlike some Leave, I expect EC will try it on and we will end up in WTO court – we’ll win the case but they will do us+themselves a lot of damage while we wait for a ruling. Our side of Dover will be fine (we’re not going to suddenly start checking every RoRo lorry) but they will snarl their side up (illegally) and if one side stops the whole thing stops.

    That was more than 2c!

  39. “Peston also reports that Javid thinks he secured an assurance that EU citizens won’t get special treatment post Brexit”

    Ah this is Sajid Javid, son of a Pakistani immigrant who came to Britain looking for work. Having fallen for Thatcher’s undisputed charm in the 80s, a career in banking and making money beckoned, followed by an inevitable descent into politics, where he can work hard precluding others from benefiting as he and his father have done.

    One wonders what he actually believes – having been a Eurosceptic most of his career, he reluctantly campaigned for Remain as he saw it to be ‘in the national interest’ and then he changed his mind again. It’s as if power is his only motive…! Luckily for him, this thing called democracy seems to allow the losing side to enact the winners’ policies, so he has a mandate no matter what.

    The Tory party has problems. Two main camps of voters seem to be keeping the ship afloat – the first is the elderly and the second is the less-educated, ‘working class’. The silver spoons (JRM et al) will always lead the party by default, but in terms of votes they are few in number and so must pander to these two camps and their wildly different priorities. Not easy. Plus both groups are liable to jump ship if public spending and anti-austerity measures dominate the first post-Brexit election.

    The Tories need to start propagating a new type of Tory voter. With the growing centre-left, educated, younger demographic almost certainly voting Labour (plus many Green and Lib Dem loaned votes in a general election) the Tories will have to get their thinking caps on. If the economy is trashed by Brexit, they can forget it!

  40. @ ROGER MEXICO – Indeed, SMogg is back in play! Gove is viewed as a snively sell-out, Boris “damaged goods”, I was surprised by Javid’s low score (maybe too opportunistic and lacking in charisma – good CoE but not PM IMHO).

    SMogg (or a long shot outsider like Cleverly) have the huge advantage of being largely unknown but “principled” (a bit like a certain Jeremy Corbyn was once!). A huge amount of DKs up for grabs!

    Another silly season of SMoggmentum ahead I think. The only important issue is he can not be the one to finally kill off May. Whoever does that will not be thanked. I hope it is Barnier over the Summer and this year when May returns from her walking holiday she “surprises us” by resigning – “she tried, she failed, next”

    SMogg is doing great job saying he doesn’t want to be PM but “The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks”?

  41. The EU won’t accept the UK white paper position.

    If the UK wants such access to EU market for goods, then they will have to pay an annual fee and comply with new EU law/EU court rulings.

    And in terms of service sector, I think the EU will want the UK to comply with EU standards.

    I don’t think the UK is in a great negotiating position, as I think many EU countries see Brexit as a chance to take advantage of business opportunities that will produce new jobs for their own citizens. Brexit has so far seen thousands of Banking jobs relocate to EU countries and this will continue.

    Would the EU/EU countries be bothered about the UK leaving and WTO trade rules applying ? I am not sure they will be bothered by implementing a hard border between Ireland/N.Ireland. The EU could if they wanted to provide some assistance to Ireland to make up for any financial hit, caused by cross border trade issues.

    I think people have to remember that the EU needs to send out a signal to other countries that might think of leaving the EU, that they would not be in for an easy ride. Also they can’t afford for a country leaving to end up being in a position, that causes the EU/EU countries problems in the future. For example, if the US looked to obtain a trade deal with the UK, that was against the interest of EU countries.

  42. May to face a leadership contest ?

    Are there 48 Tory MP’s that would put in letters to trigger such a contest ?

    I think they will be short of the numbers required. I don’t think many Tories are willing to risk another general election before March 2019.

  43. What a week, it started well with some very good advice from the US Ambassador which unfortunately was ignored by the Government. May then achieved a sort of cabinet consensus for a new UK White paper which certainly does not meet her own red lines or the demands of those of us who want to leave the EU properly and is also likely to be rejected by the EU. What a waste of time and energy! I remains my view that leaving the EU on WTO terms is the most likely outcome, indeed I feel that that likely hood has been increased. Instead of confronting the EU who have moved very little so far it seems the Remainers who wish us to be some sort of vassal state seem to have one the day…………for now. The lesson for the voters is once again don’t trust politicians to deliver what you voted for, something I warned about months ago.

    A challenge to May is quite possible now.

    Sadiq Khan appears to have approved the childish anti-Trump balloon protest which will of course do harm to the UK’s national interest. Peter Oborne summed Khan up beautifully when he described him as a political pygmy & narcissist, obsessed with puerile stunts. Meanwhile knife crime in London on Khan’s watch rises to an all-time high.

    Fortunately, I can afford to ignore idiot politicians as my investments are doing very well again this year. I have kept some cash in hand to take advantage of a downturn. The allotments require watering daily which I do at 05.30, best time of the day in this heat wave. Now picking runner beans and courgettes as well as dwarf French beans and our beetroot are the best ever.
    The sport has been very entertaining, good win for England at Football and England ladies at cricket and the men’s cricket team came back strongly against India after a battering in the opening 20/20 before being beaten in today’s runfest.

    Will post again next week.

  44. PETE B (fpt)

    As this is a polling site, I’d just like to say that England’s performance in the World Cup is much more likely to affect polls in the short term than anything to do with Brexit.

    e.g. Good performance = all’s well with the world, therefore government approval goes up.

    I’m not sure that will be case, though Stephen Bush did a piece a few days back reckoning there could be a short term boost:

    http://go.pardot.com/webmail/509131/146925527/0547fac870e9328edd3846fe768342ca06459d781afaf64cbfdeb335d1fe3f04

    but I’m not really convinced it would apply in current circumstances. Partly because you have to remember that an awful lot of people aren’t interested. YouGov has done some tracking polling:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/eusz08le2h/InternalResults_180706_ItsComingHome.pdf

    and at the start of the tournament, only half of the respondents (England only) said they were following the World Cup. With England’s continued success that has increased to 59% to 39%, but even that means about 4 in 10 are not bothered.

    The demographics are interesting. As you’d expect men are more engaged than women (though 32% of men are still refusniks) but it’s the age thing that surprised me. Younger people are clearly keener with 70% of under-25s following as opposed to 49% of over-65s. Very much the pro-Labour, anti-Brexit pattern and a few goals seem unlikely to make much difference. Given that Corbyn seems genuinely keen on the sport[1], it might even benefit him more.

    [1] Which seems fairly rare among political leaders. Was anything more comic that Cameron or Blair trying to pretend that were enthusiasts, so as to show their understanding of the Common Man?

  45. Won the day not one the day

  46. @Trevor Warne – “I’ll skip the long info on WTO rules. ……. I expect EC will try it on and we will end up in WTO court – we’ll win the case but they will do us+themselves a lot of damage while we wait for a ruling. Our side of Dover will be fine (we’re not going to suddenly start checking every RoRo lorry) but they will snarl their side up (illegally) ……..”

    Well I’m glad you’re skipping the WTO detail as the last time you posted that it was clear that you didn’t understand what you were posting.

    The EU can’t unilaterally waive border checks for some nations and not others – the last WTO link you posted proved that.

    Move on please…

  47. TOH

    “Meanwhile knife crime in London on Khan’s watch rises to an all-time high.”

    Nothing to do with the drastic cuts in Government spending on the police then?

  48. From @The Other Howard –

    “The lesson for the voters is once again don’t trust politicians to deliver what you voted for, something I warned about months ago.”

    A touch of perspective is required here I think, to fully appreciate this.

    Up until very recently. @TOH was so completely trusting that Theresa may was delivering the total Brexit he wanted, he joined the Conservative Party! He consistently and doggedly refused to accept that the Joint Report, the Withdrawal Agreement, and any other statements or articles from May had indicated in any way a softening of her approach, even while those of us here tried to explain to him what was going on.

    Now, he offers sage advice to others not to trust those same politicians that he himself put total faith in – and claims to be have been doing this all along.

    Come now – where is the man’s self awareness?

  49. Alec

    He really should be more positive and patriotic and support Her Majesty’s Government! Very undemocratic! Sad!

  50. May’s proposal is strategically brillliant. The UK keeps the regulatory alignment with the EU, but reserves the right to pull out of it unilaterally whenever it wishes. It buys time until the UK can rebalance its trade profile towards the anglosphere (the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand) and the emerging economies (India, China), and away from the EU, which will be probably imploding by then anyway as the populist parties in the continent will continue to gain ground in an obvious reaction to unrealistic euro-federalism.

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