Following the midweek YouGov poll, there are two more polls in today’s papers showing the Conservatives falling back behind Labour in the wake of the cabinet Brexit “deal” and the Davis/Johnson resignations.

Opinum in the Observer, conducted between Tuesday and Friday, has topline figures of CON 36%(-6), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 8%(+5). Changes are from June. There is also new Deltapoll figures in the Sun on Sunday, which have the Conservatives on 37%(-4) and Labour on 42%(+1) – changes are again on June.

This means we now have three polls conducted since the Davis/Johnson resignations, all of which have shown Conservative support dropping down behind Labour (and for Opinium and YouGov at least, showing UKIP up… I don’t have the Deltapoll figure for UKIP yet, but I expect we’ll see the same there).

Full details of the Opinium poll are up on their website here, and other questions paint a generally negative picture for the government. Just 25% of people now approve of May’s handling of Brexit (down 5 since last month), 56% disapprove (up 11). Her general approval figures have fallen to much the same extent, down to minus 24 from minus 8 last month.

Asked specifically about the Chequers deal, however, the public are evenly split. 32% of people approve of the Chequers plan, 32% do not, 35% are either neutral or don’t know. Support is higher among remain voters, opposition higher among leavers. For those intrigued by the difference between be neutral rating here and the negative rating in the YouGov question mid week, one obvious difference in the question is that YouGov asked people if they supported or opposed the deal based on whatever they had seen or heard about it, Opinium gave a short description of the deal in the question, focusing on Britain following EU rules on goods, avoiding a hard border, collecting EU tariffs and being about to set its own tariffs for non-EU countries. As with any policy, I expect many people’s reactions to the deal are based not upon looking at the details, but taking their cues from political and media reaction to it.


480 Responses to “Two more polls show the Conservatives dropping behind Labour”

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  1. RO
    So nothing about him insisting it was built to small to stop MPs sitting then. Just as I thought in fact all he did was insisted it was rebuilt as it was before the Germans bombed it and since it’s some 70yrs since that rebuild and no government has changed the build design one can only assume he made the right decision.

  2. Fit ever next!

    A feel gype thinks there`s tundra in Scotland.

    But I sympathise with Pete B (2.55 pm) in acknowledging that UK media give him only a poor understanding of what conditions are really like across much of the land surface here. I try to fill some of the gaps, today with some Scots wording.

    As for tundra being turned into productive land as the climate warms, yes this will happen. But not sufficiently to compensate for desertification and population growth. Slowing the latter should be our top priority.

    I add, from having lived for a period in the highest house in the UK at that time, that life is hard in winter if you are at over 600 m altitude, and really needs safe power supplies and modern equipment.

  3. Most environmental stories are pretty gloomy these days, but I’ve been quite inspired by Isabella Tree’s account of the wilding experiment at the 3500-acre Knepp estate in Sussex.

    The basic story is that modern agro-farming proved non-viable on the poorly drained clay of Knepp, despite throwing everything (machinery, chemicals, money) at it. With the change to area-based CAP subsidies, there was the opportunity to stop loss-making farming and let the land do its own thing.

    The theory behind this was that Britain’s pre-human landscape was shaped by its mega-fauna and their diverse grazing habits, which would have kept forest at bay and led to a mixed landscape of grass, scrub, forest and wetland (as opposed to the canopy tree cover that had been widely accepted as the end-state).

    So they introduced Tamworth pigs (in lieu of wild boar), fallow and red deer, Exmoor ponies and long-horn cattle. The results in terms of exploding wildlife (notably nightingales, turtle doves and purple emperor butterflies, but pretty well everything else as well) exceeded all expectations.

    That such a result can be achieved in less than two decades, in the most crowded corner of England, with minimal human intervention, is hope-inducing. No doubt the conservation establishment will have its carpers, and I’d be interested to hear the views of some of our eco-experts here, but I’d urge everyone interested to read Tree’s book ‘Wilding’.

  4. @Shevii

    Well, my preferred solution is rotating habitats that are resource efficient. Planets, being spheres, are very resource inefficient, with most of the resources buried beneath our feet. Cylinders are much more efficient.

    Without that, sure, there may be downsides to more population, less green belt etc., but green peeps tend not to consider the advantages, which include the potential for much more invention, including more cures for disease, living longer and more fruitfully, outwitting the neutron stars etc., and we may indeed invent methods of living with higher density that are preferable. (Hyperloops to make it easier for people to get some awe and wonder outside the city and distress etc.)

    Would you sacrifice the green field next door if the extra population provided a cure for a family member’s illness? But anyway, my idea is to create MORE green space via rotating habitats.

  5. ALEC

    No good asking Laszlo to check out Anthropocene Extinction.

    I have tried before-he said extinctions have always happened.

    For Laszlo there is only one species which matters-Homo Sapiens. And his consumption desires are paramount.

    For people like Laszlo Earth as Biosphere is a meaningless concept. Earth is a resource for human consumption.

    There is a great story in the news today about the earliest record for bread making. 14,000 years old. Found in Jordan at a Natufian Culture site. These mesolithic people bridged the transition between hunter gatherer nomads & farmers /cities. They had become semi-sedentary , and 5000 years before cultivated crops & agricutlure , they made bread from wild cereals.

    So we need to turn history on its head-bread wasn’t invented because of farming ; farming was invented because of bread.
    The time consuming collection & processing of wild grains to make bread was just too much like hard work.-Why don’t we just plant the stuff near our our settlement & keep it clear of weeds?

    Agricultural land now constitutes 40% of Global Land Area

    H Sapiens drove to extinction about 50% of all the large terrestrial mammals of the planet before they planted the first wheat field &
    & the world now contains about a billion sheep, a billion pigs, more than a billion cattle, and more than 25 billion chickens.More than 90% of all large animals (weighing at least a few kgs) are domesticated .

  6. If the EU make a deal with the EU before the UK then the US will get supplies of HP Sauce as I notice our bottle says it’s made in The Netherlands.

  7. Sorry please sub the US for either one of the EU’s above.

  8. SOMERJOHN

    The Knepp Estate approach is very interesting & has indisputibly increased bio-diversity.

    It is , of course, financed by the commercial activities on the Estate.-Camping , “Eco” Tourism. & Wildlife “Safaris”.

  9. @TonyBTG

    “Rather than ‘worked up’ let’s just say there are some frank exchanges of views.”

    ———

    I thought it was rather restrained given the subject matter. It’s not like the time we discussed the difficulty or otherwise of learning to cook.

  10. @carfrew – “…we cannot bank on remaining on this earth, even if we don’t trash the environment, so we need the capability to live on other worlds.”

    Do we?

    Can’t we just accept our time is up and go gracefully into the dark/light and leave the universe to itself?

    There is no fundamental law of the universe that says humans must survive.

  11. distress = de-stress

  12. @Alec

    “Do we? Can’t we just accept our time is up and go gracefully into the dark/light and leave the universe to itself?“

    ———

    Well I already said you can stay if you want, but others might wish to rage against the dying of the light. I don’t see why others have to stay with you just because you say so.

    .

  13. @Alec

    “There is no fundamental law of the universe that says humans must survive“

    ——-

    Well there’s no fundamental law that says other species must survive either but you seem quite keen that they do. If the earth gets taken out by a neutron star we may need to save the animals by shifting them onto another world or habitat anyway.

  14. @Somerjohn

    “That such a result can be achieved in less than two decades, in the most crowded corner of England, with minimal human intervention, is hope-inducing. No doubt the conservation establishment will have its carpers, and I’d be interested to hear the views of some of our eco-experts here, but I’d urge everyone interested to read Tree’s book ‘Wilding’.“

    ———

    Interesting post. Dunno if you saw my post a little while back about reclaiming deserts by attending to how cattle etc. roam, but the effects can be quite striking…

    https://youtu.be/vpTHi7O66pI

  15. JIM [email protected]
    “Hoey, Field and Stringer plus the suspended Hopkins for the majority of 3 vote. Not sure if any abstentions.”

    Surprised Mann and Skinner weren’t joining in the fun. If I thought Lab were much more capable than the Tories of organising the proverbial I wouldn’t be surprised if their whips hadn’t engineered it to be that tight.

  16. I meant to say thanks, also.

  17. Nicholas Soames and John Bercow are not very happy with May’s decision to call an early halt to Parliamentary proceedings then.

  18. John Curtice summarising Chequers in the subsequent polling.

    https://whatukthinks.org/eu/why-chequers-has-gone-wrong-for-theresa-may/

  19. The vote looks like it will be very close, so far Conservative remainers look to be holding firm and will not be bought off with pie tomorrow

  20. End of line for May perhaps coming up.

    I do not understand how law can require someone to negotiate something. Lawyers will tell you that an agreement to agree is meaningless as neither person can control what the other one will agree to.

    But the point is still clear, Parliament will have told the government not to come back without an agreement. And the EU will know they can impose any term.

    The “the Customs Union” and “a Customs Union” bit is pure sophistry. If you are in the Customs Union all rules and all benefits apply to you – in a Customs Union, all rules apply to you, what is negotiable is how much you get the benefits and how big a say you have.

    If she has to agree a Customs Union, she might as well hand over to someone who the EU may be kind to, i.e. someone who will negotiate a re-entry into the EU.

  21. Government defeated by four votes:

    But won the one that they really cared about.

  22. “But the point is still clear, Parliament will have told the government not to come back without an agreement. ”

    Let’s be clear, this is on the EMA.

    The amendment on Customs Union fell.

  23. My suspicion is that the government probably has very little issue with the EMA amendment anyway, but might have judged that by letting its ever-timid remain wing vent what passes for their spleen on that, it might keep them in line on the one they did have an issue with.

    If so, they have succeeded.

    Although from the turnout and scale of whipping operations alone, it is clear that the minutiae of this bill matters far less in any case than the Withdrawal Act did. That was when they really bottled it.

  24. The government wins the Customs Union vote.

    This is no big deal actually, the main thing that makes borders frictionless is membership of the Single Market. That crunch point hasn’t happened yet: it won’t until the EU has rejected TM’s white paper. Then we will have the real debate.

  25. Well, she lives to fight another day.

    But how hard will it be for Remain to find four more Tories, or seven Labour abstainers, to come to its colours when the going gets really tough?

    The Clause was preposterous – a total wrecker. It does not make sense to make giving concessions a strategic aim in a negotiation. Quite possibly more will back it when it is much more a choice of giving the EU what it wants or getting nothing.

    If I were Barnier, I’d be feeling quite confident. In fact, happier than if the Remainers had won this vote and precipitated an all or nothing election. He has 301 reliable votes in the Commons. The Tories have a maximum of 307, but that figure is likely to go down.

  26. That’s quite amazing.

    @Carfrew
    https://youtu.be/vpTHi7O66pI

  27. Carfrew,

    “If the earth gets taken out by a neutron star we may need to save the animals by shifting them onto another world or habitat anyway.”

    for practical purposes if we are to survive elsewhere would probably need to take a slimmed down version of the Earths biosphere with us, everything from bacteria & insects to plants and fungus.

    So in a way it’s no so much mankind as terrestrial life we would need to save, the two are intrinsically linked.

    If we were to try to survive using the “Message in a Bottle” approach, sending radio signals of our DNA out into space in the hope someone heard it and could both read it and assemble us from amino acids, we would probably have to start at the bottom sending the DNA plans for microbes first.

    Peter.

  28. Also, let’s not forget, on the medicines thing, the government voted against the position they held until a week ago, then they made the concession to the ERG to avoid losing a vote, then they lost the vote anyway so their original proposition passed.

    Don’t worry, we’ve only got to cope with this madness for another… oh god, the parliamentary timetable’s going to a knife-edge vote, too!

  29. Joseph182

    No it won’t happen. The remainers are more worried about keeping the govt in power than anything else when it comes to the crunch.

    Lilly livered bottlers.

    Hard Brexit here we go.

  30. Apparently the ERG was going to call a no confidence vote in Theresa May (and hence spark a general election) if Clause 18 had passed.

    This has become a game of high-stakes poker, where the people of Britain are the stake.

  31. TED,

    Labour highly confident Skinner would vote with them on any votes that could defeat the Tories and in fact he has helped bring round Campbell and may one or 2 others.

  32. Government chicken out of moving the motion for an early recess.

  33. @TonyBTG:

    If seven Labour abstainers switch to voting with the party, it would take one of the current Tory rebels to switch back to the party line.

    The ones who rebelled today did so knowing that it might precipitate an election.

    There are 12 Tory MPs who at this stage are willing to take that chance. There are doubtless others who are hoping that something might turn up. If it does not, then only four need defect.

    Problem is Corbyn and how to avoid him.

  34. @Polltroll

    The stakes are very high indeed.

    What’s the odds of this Government still being afloat on Brexit day in March 2019?

  35. TURK

    So nothing about [Churchill] insisting it was built too small to stop MPs sitting then. Just as I thought in fact all he did was insisted it was rebuilt as it was before the Germans bombed it and since it’s some 70yrs since that rebuild and no government has changed the build design one can only assume he made the right decision.

    Well the plumbing and electrics in the Palace of Westminster haven’t changed much over the same period and the place is periodically flooded with sewage leaks and catching fire. So I’m not sure it’s a good argument.

    Even in 1942 there were 615 MPs (up to 650 in 1945) and the number hadn’t dropped below 600 since 1801. So by insisting that the Commons chamber stay the same size and design effectively he was insisting that MPs would have to stand when the House was full for a big debate and that there was no arrangement where each MP had their own place, which is the situation in the vast majority of parliaments – even in Tynwald and the House of Keys which are even older than Westminster.

  36. Polltroll

    ERG are calling the shots now.

    They should have called their bluff – the numbers are not there for May to lose a confidence vote.

    ERG won’t pull down the govt – they know that the best chance they have of getting a hard Brexit is to keep this zombie govt in place.

    May is now a complete hostage to fortune.

    I can’t stand cruelty to animals – please someone put May out of her misery.

  37. @Colin

    Well it certainly caused me some surprise that it could have such dramatic effects. Apparently with good reason.

  38. Cannot help feeling a lot of the remain rebels will be feeling a little sore and disgruntled with what was reported to be going on today. Also suspect once you’ve rebelled once it is easier to do it again

  39. So if I understand this correctly from what I just read on Auntie Beeb

    4 Labour rebels just lost cost the opposition getting a confidence vote and a possible general election.

    Bad tactics by Corbyn – he should have been wise to that one and put the fear of god into them and explained what was at stake.

    We may have a joke of a govt at the moment, but their incompetence is nothing compared to the hopeless opposition.

    I think I need to go and shout at something.

  40. No, TonyTBG, you misunderstand me.

    The ERG were not threatening to call a no-confidence vote among the Conservative Party. They were threatening to call a no-confidence vote IN PARLIAMENT And, presumably, vote against their own Prime Minister. And, with the votes of the Labour Party, SNP etc, trigger a general election.

    In other words, they went for the nuclear option. Mutually assured destruction. The Tory Party is going through a personal Cold War.

  41. @Colin

    Lol, Colin, you could offer a balanced assessment for once instead of just the usual seeds of doubt!

    I mean, just take this bit for example…

    “As for the claim that Holistic Management can reverse the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, according to RealClimate.org, he’s wrong by orders of magnitude. Just to balance current carbon emissions, the uptake of carbon by all the world’s vegetation (not only grasslands) would have to triple. But Savory says he can go beyond that, and his technique can bring atmospheric carbon “back to pre-industrial levels”. As RealClimate puts it, “science tells us that this claim is simply not reasonable.”

    The problem being, that it’s not just vegetation that matters, but carbon sequestered in the soil. Which is at an early stage but is of some interest, e.g. this Cornell study

    http://www.css.cornell.edu/faculty/lehmann/publ/Nature%20532,%2049-57,%202016%20Paustian.pdf

    Did you read the comments in the Sierra Club article? They provide various studies to look into.

    This stuff might be contentious, but whether it’s so easily dismissed is another matter.

  42. TonyBTG

    Sounds like there were those on the Labour benches who “bottled” the prospect of an early election.

    As you say, Corbyn won’t be too happy about that but he can hardly shout too loudly about loyalty.

    It’s clear that at some point the can will stop rolling, the question is when.

    TM has (almost) earned herself a nice summer holiday. Perhaps a nice walking holiday in Wales will do her good!

  43. @ALBERTO

    “Well it certainly caused me some surprise that it could have such dramatic effects. Apparently with good reason.”

    ———

    When I posted it originally, since it’s outiside my comfort zone I was wondering if the Conservationists had any info., and it seems Colin’s found some. But the articles overreach rather.

  44. Latest OBR forecast

    Tax hikes and spending cuts worth an extra £39 billion every decade for the next 50 years would be needed to prevent ballooning national debt levels, the UK’s fiscal watchdog has warned.
    The Office for Budget Responsibility’s latest Fiscal Sustainability Report makes for grim reading as it warns over the outlook for government borrowing and debt levels following the recent NHS spending pledge.
    Unless the Government takes action, the OBR estimates the main budget deficit would rise from 0.3% in 2022-23 to 8.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2067-68 – a rise equivalent to £176.5 billion a year.

    http://www.itv.com/news/2018-07-17/austerity-measures-must-continue-for-50-years-to-rescue-uk-finances/

  45. POLLTROLL

    The ERG were not threatening to call a no-confidence vote among the Conservative Party. They were threatening to call a no-confidence vote IN PARLIAMENT And, presumably, vote against their own Prime Minister. And, with the votes of the Labour Party, SNP etc, trigger a general election.

    In other words, they went for the nuclear option. Mutually assured destruction. The Tory Party is going through a personal Cold War.

    It’s not quite as destructive as you think though. Because such a vote doesn’t immediately trigger a new GE. There are 14 days for a ‘new’ government to be formed – and that can be exactly the same as the old government if the rebels have changed their minds – or at least their votes.

    That means two weeks for the rebels to broker deals and make demands. It’s a high risk strategy certainly, but if they believe they have the Party in the country behind them (I’m not completely convinced, but they are) that pressure may suppress any counter-rebellion from the other side of the Party.

  46. Oh well.

    Both bills go to the Lords.

    Methinks they will come back with new amendments for Parl. to wage war over.

    Deep joy.

  47. If the ERG think they have the party grass roots behind them – and they probably do – why don’t they just call the no confidence vote anyway and take over the asylum.

  48. Tonybtg

    Even if losing on S18 had happened it’s not a given that Labour would have called for a no confidence vote but even if they had they simply don’t have the numbers to be successful.
    On the other hand for Tories to vote against the government over brexit is one thing, to bring your own government down and risk Corbyn getting into power is a completely different thing.

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