A quick update on three new voting intention polls in the last day:

Survation for the Daily Mail have topline figures of CON 38%(+1), LAB 37%(-4), LDEM 10%(+4), UKIP 4%(+3). Fieldwork was done wholly on Friday, after the news of Boris Johnson’s seperation from his wife had broken and changes are from their poll earlier this week which had shown a four point Labour lead. The changes are from their poll at the start of the week that showed a four point Labour lead – obviously given the closeness of fieldwork those changes are more likely to be noise than a sudden surge in Lib Dem support within a matter of days! Full details are here.

BMG for the Independent have topline figures of CON 37%(nc), LAB 38%(-1), LDEM 11%(+1), UKIP 7%(+2). Fieldwork was Tuesday to Friday and the (insignificant) changes are from last month. Full tabs are here.

Finally YouGov‘s weekly poll for the Times had headline figures of CON 39%(nc), LAB 35%(-2), LDDEM 11%(+1), UKIP 5%(nc). Fieldwork was on Monday and Tuesday, and changes are from last week. Full tables are here.

All three polls obviously show Labour and Conservative relatively close. Worth noting is that all three have the Liberal Democrats sneaking up into double figures, something that does seem to be part of a wider trend of the Liberal Democrats very gradually starting to recover support.

327 Responses to “Latest YouGov, BMG and Survation voting intention”

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  1. @Turk

    I think it is a measure both of where we are now and where we ought to be that I agree with every single word you wrote there.

  2. @ LASZLO – the 500bn hit to EU and 650bn boost to UK stuff is bonkers but so is the ridiculously high value HMT and groupthink tank models put on NTBs. Sadly as we saw in EURef both sides are still talking nonsense (“Land of Milk and Honey” v “End of the World”) and if one side says 80bn hit the other side comes out with 600bn gain (in PV terms)

    It is a shame as EFT do make some good points about WTO etc. in their Q&A piece today (obviously with a bit of bias, ignoring most of the short-term issues and the risk of a potentially self fulfilling Project Fear prophecy hit on debt junky consumer confidence – we could potentially “strongly mitigate” against some of that but not with Osborne2.0 in #11)

    Speaking of Osborne and undergrad Economics courses did you see Osborne try to rubbish the Laffer Curve y’day?

    Say W-H-A-T? Errr flat rate corp tax cuts while he was in #11 is year1 undergrad stuff (which in money terms did actually work in pure Laffer Curve terms, ignoring all other factors).

    UK current flat rate corp tax is probably below the “optimum” point as an industry average but it is such a blunt tool. The Irish have PhD level knowledge of Laffer Curve and how to play it as a small economy in a large and protected single market.

    I don’t think McDonnell or TUC understand the implications of the Laffer Curve in an open economy though (Bsc and Msc courses in Politics don’t cover it).

    I do get upset that folks try to weaponise Economics for forecasting purposes as that means some of the simple concepts get perverted or forgotten depending on what “number” your trying to “prove”

  3. Laszlo

    Thanks. Keep us in touch if anything happens, please.

  4. @ ALEC – oh dear!

    You add value in a supply chain and you also have costs (GDP components) associated with stockpiling.

    If your on A level economics and looking at net exports then the initial hit to UK would be -ve (not the +0.5% boost for 3 quarters that CEBR suggested).

  5. Trevor

    “Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures the total market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in one year”

    No it isn’t. It measures value added (including depreciation). It is an input-output model. It is also subject to institutional inferences.

  6. Colin,
    “In Sweden unemployment among Swedish-born residents stands at 3.7%, whereas 20.5% of those born abroad remain without work. ”

    I could be wrong, but are we talking about non EU migrants to Sweden, because it has had fairly relaxed immigration policies?

    The UK has had few unemployed EU migrants, last time I saw any figures. It was pretty much a non issue, except whipped up.

    Accepting refugees is a commitment made by membership of the UN, not of the EU, and this point seems to have missed a number of brexiteers.

    Trevor Warne,
    “… via mutual recognition”

    Thats the thing. Mutual recognition implies equality of the partners. The EU isnt a mutual recognition club except between its members. It would be a fundamental and very difficult change for it to become so.

  7. @Trevor Warne – had my tea, so one final post on the stockpile and GDP issue.

    As I see it, there are two scenarios. In the first, we stockpile, get a deal, then destock after Brexit. In this scenario, there is a bump in GDP now, (although whether the CEBR have counted the consequent bump in exports here also I don’t know), but whatever happens, this then evaporates as stocks are run down. No GDP impact overall.

    In the second scenario where there is no deal, the increased stock levels are more or less permanent. There is a GDP bump upfront (less increased export component etc). After Brexit, the stock level remains. Finished goods or components for export will be stockpiled in the EU, as the point of the stockpiling is to bypass border delays.

    Output is only counted once for GDP, so the stock gets counted as GDP now, but never again – so when it’s actually sold on doesn’t matter, it doesn’t get counted. As these stocks are held outside the EU, there are business costs (warehousing, security, heating etc). These costs are exports from the UK, so becomes a negative on GDP. Over time, if the permanent stockpile of product is worth Y, the UK will lose [Y x unit cost of stockpiling].

    Clearly, with a stable level of stock, over time the total [Y x unit cost of stockpiling] will always exceed Y, leading to lost GDP. The only question here is how long it would take to reach this point.

    Under the permanent stock level scenario, the UK would also be holding extra stocks of imported raw materials and components. These will be netted off GDP up front, so again won’t be counted again against UK GDP, but again, as with the UK exported stocks, they will be costly to maintain and service.

    There are risks of losses (eg foodstuff wastage) which becomes a direct loss to GDP, and also the same warehousing costs as above. These are being paid to UK firms, so the value added would then be a plus to UK GDP, but making some classical economic assumptions these costs would increase the sale price of the final goods without adding to the added value, so the cost to consumers will increase with no consequent addition to gross GDP.

    So far, this would look like added GDP because of the money earned by the warehousers etc, but this comes at the expense of increased sale price, which means less is being spent by consumers elsewhere in the economy, ergo reduced GDP.

    So whichever scenario you want to believe in, there is no boost to GDP from increased stockpiling – it’s just a question of the timescale over which the initial apparent boost unwinds. A return to post Brexit free trade means effectively little or no effective change to GDP over time, while a permanent stockpile situation leads to a loss of GDP in the long run.

    There is no benefit to UK industry or the UK economy in having to increase stocks, which is precisely why nobody does it now. If it were of any benefit, that would be how companies run their business all the time.

  8. Davwel

    Well, thank you but the compliment you paid me is unearned. I know very little about Scotland’s maternity services. You prompted me to do a little digging.

    From what I read I can suggest a couple of factors in the staffing problems that exist in both Scotland and England maternity services. More women are having babies later in their lives which means an increase in complications at birth.

    The great proportion (I think it was over 80%) of staff in obstetrics are women who are likely at times to take maternity leave.

    Those two factors might certainly explain the ward closures in England. The Elgin problem seems to me to be one of finding a consultant to work in the hospital.

    The link I gave was to the UK wide audit in 2017 of maternity services. Here are some headline extracts.

    “Maternity and neonatal services are organised in many different ways and ‘typical’ maternity units do not appear to exist. This may reflect services responding to local needs.

    Maternity and neonatal service configuration is subject to constant change. More than a third of NHS trusts and boards report configuration changes in the past 3 years and half report planned or anticipated changes in the next 3 years. These proportions are similar across England, Scotland and Wales.

    There is variation in staffing provision, reflecting differences in staffing models and the absence of clear national standards for midwifery and obstetric staffing across the antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care periods. To inform the development of such standards, associations between staffing and outcomes should be explored.”

  9. If bleedin’ ole brexit goes on much longer, the Alec/Trevor exchanges have the makings of a substantial series of books.

    [Not sure how the sales will go…]

  10. Some posters on here feel a No-Deal Brexit will be mitigated by mini deals and side deals.

    I wouldn’t rule it out but they are definitely not on the table right now


    And the concern must be by the time everyone realises No-Deal is inevitable, it will be too late for mini deals.

    Remember for these negotiations the UK is a third country dealing with the commission. A last minute fudge in the Council of Ministers may not happen, in fact the UK won’t even be invited.

  11. @ LASZLO – totally happy to admit my quick quote grab for GDP is far from ideal but folks hate long posts and I wanted to emphasis the “production” bit as it was used by CEBR! A few mins spare so:

    The article in question is:

    It is a very simplistic (and kinda wrong in places) analysis. My original issue was with the “winding down” of inventories (ie “the inevitable post-Brexit mini recession”). In the article they say:

    “companies will accumulate inventories pre Brexit and will gradually run them down afterwards”

    My point being they would not run down all of the inventory afterwards under “no deal” as they would need to keep a permanently higher level of inventory. It would hence be a one-off boost in most cases (exception being situations where say Audi were storing a bunch of finished cars in UK fields to beat tariffs – those kind of inventories would be run down afterwards)

    It seems the challenge is instead about the impact due to the “build up” of inventories.

    My guess is ALEC is taking the ‘A’ Level formula:

    GDP (AD) = C + G + I + NX

    and since we have a trade deficit, NX will mean a drop in GDP. That ignores some of the factors the article very crudely guesstimates (the value add bits).

    I was always curious if at some point someone would try to put a number on the “stockpiling” impact. Every sector will be different and it would require a huge analysis with a lot of assumptions but I’m totally standing by it being a “one-off boost to GDP”

    Very simplistically if you use the above formula then the “C” component will go up (split with “I” depending on if you assume a business to be a middle man consumer or not). I’d always guessed that would be by more than the “NX” bit. It will be a boost to both EU and UK but by how much will be very complex to estimate.
    With Hammond in #11 I’m not expecting much if any boost from “G”!!!
    (not keen on using that formula, but if we must)

    Estimating the services impacts of “No Deal” to GDP is also tricky but in addition to goods I’m going to guess a bunch of “services” trade gets signed off before “No deal” kicks in, prebooked travel to EU27 will drop (we have a trade deficit in travel), etc and that will add to UK GDP as well – how much? No idea, GDP is a terrible way to view an economy.

    We’ll also have things like overtime, etc but if I ramble on I’ll be accused of “chaff” ;)

    Pre advance acceptance of any wording type errors in above comments and respect to the time delay on replies.

    We’ve discussed GDP being a terrible measure of an economy on UKPR before. Leprechaun Economics being possibly the best (worst) example of how bad a measure it is. Sadly a bit like a bad tracker question in a poll it will take a long time before people stop using GDP as the “yardstick” of economic success.

  12. lnteresting commentary on EFT’s Brexit presentation by a trade deal negotiator and policy expert:


  13. OldNat

    The EPP will give a free vote to its members on Article 7 against Hungary tomorrow. Weber, the head of the faction said that he would vote with yes to the report.

    However, judging from Orbán’s one sentence reply to a question after the faction meeting, he is quite confident that the notion will not get the 2/3.

  14. @ ALEC – baffling!

    “There are risks of losses (eg foodstuff wastage) which becomes a direct loss to GDP”

    If you buy extra food, you’ve bought extra food. If you eat it or it rots in your fridge your still considered to have “consumed” it.

    The issue about less to spend elsewhere is again a “cost” type issue. It is separate. Yes, consumers might spend less in restaurants etc as they stock up their freezers but that has nothing to do with stockpiling. Knowing the debt junky UK consumer I’d guess they just buy extra stuff on credit – either for their own stockpiling or to beat tariffs (as I’ve suggested before if S.W.London’s LDEM are gonna buy a new Audi, buy one soon – just in case they do actually try to pass the whole hit of the tariff on to you as assumed by groupthink folks!)

    I’m very happy to let this discussion die but will give you the last word.

    Have a good evening.

  15. @ DALEK – thank you. I’m not sure about the ERG using pitchforks unless as an emoji perhaps but it does indicate the timing risks of when Baker releases the floodgates on the letters into the 1922. Too early is risky (159 is a lot more than 48!) but too late might be worse!

    Corbyn is in an excellent position. The unions and momentum aren’t pressing him and the PeoplesVote lot have given him time as well (a new ref can be held in a matter of weeks according to them, but 6mths+ according to those not on Planet Remain). At LAB conf a super fudge is coming:
    “yeah a ref possibly at some point maybe but we’d prefer a GE”

    If May leans on LAB for votes to offset CON-Leave then Corbyn might well be another one playing the “Save Theresa” game knowing it will rip CON apart and hand them a win at a GE at a time of their choosing – either so close to 29Mar19 as to lay the whole blame for the mess on CON or soon after.

    For most CON-Leave our worst nightmare is May being the handmaiden for a Corbyn Brexit!!

  16. Danny and Colin

    On Sweden.

    Yes, they used to have a pretty liberal immigration policy, but they didn’t spend any money on integration. This changed after the 2013 riots (so before Merkel’s setting the hurdle track for the migrants), and they spent money on it. The trouble was that the settlement of migrants was highly concentrated – so they started to move them about as a first step (not very successfully, but it helped).

    In 2015 they took a lot of migrants, and the social democrats significantly tightened up the migration rules (well, the UK ones is quite liberal relative to these).

    A lot of the unemployed migrants in Sweden are actually not employed – quite a nuance, but the statistical approach cannot really pick it up. There are some decent academic studies on the migrants in Sweden.

    There is a more generic problem though – how did the universal rights of the Enlightenment got to a rather medieval definition of rights? How did we get to the point when the freedoms of the horrible late 19th century (freedom of movement of capital and people – there was no visa back then) to the limited freedoms of the 21st century (freedom of capital movement (and weapons) remained). How did it happen that the social democrats subscribed to the notion of pace of birth differentiates among working classes (which is then plainly translated to racist policies) rather than the opposition of the inherent inequality of the economic system. How did the liberals got from the equal chances to “we have enough competitors now”. How did the Conservatives, a party of the order and stability got to the support of militias (well, Brexiters for the time being). How did the new left for the point where universal rights deemed to be superior to the causes of the inequality (hence extremely rarely mention such issues as exploitation (unless it is exploitation of non-white people).

    Really a bleak time for the Enlightenment and its heirs (and by the way, Blair, Clinton and so on have their fair share in this outlook, just it doesn’t excuse the current lot).

  17. OldNat

    Oops. New interview with the beloved PM of Hungary. He now thinks that the EP will vote for starting Article 7 against Hungary (however, although knowing him for 37 years, I cannot say that he is saying what he knows).

  18. One of the strange things of our time is that the three major allied powers of WW2 jointly and in division of labour attack the European Union.

    Just found it interesting, nothing more to it.

  19. Laszlo

    “I cannot say that he is saying what he knows”

    It is also frequently true of politicians that they don’t know what they are saying!

  20. If you really want to know what is a biased system of media (the UK one is not).

    In one of the Hungarian TV channels an “intelligence expert” – I checked his webpage, it is a translation of some English stuff using Google Translate (it translated intelligence as the original meaning of the word and not “collection of information” which would be the appropriate Hungarian word), said that he tried to warn the Americans about 9/11, but a left-liberal professor of the Central European University obstructed it. And so Hungary should apologise to the American people.

    And as Kurz (Chancellor of Austria) said that his party would vote against Fidesz, a newspaper, that previously praised Kurz published a rather short article, with the question: Is Kurz Soros’s last trumph?

    Both media are owned by F. Meszaros, who used to be the mayor of Orbán’s birthplace, and since 2010 the growth of his personal fortune has been unparalleled in the history of capitalism.

  21. Laszlo

    “Media bias” isn’t an absolute. It’s a spectrum. Some of it is blatantly obvious – some of it rather more subtle.

  22. trevor Warne,
    ” I’m totally standing by it being a “one-off boost to GDP””

    Surely, if the nation creates a stockpile of things which are never sold or used, then for GDP purposes they have never been created, because they never leave the factory? Its a black hole resources disappear into never to resurface?

  23. New thread on the Boundary Commissions’ recommendations.

  24. OldNat

    “It’s a spectrum.”

    you just have me an opportunity :-)

    Right – so phenomena have three attributes – quality,, quantity, and measure (matrices) at the most basic level.

    There is a 5-litre bucket of paint (quantity). There is a certain amount of surface that I can paint with (quality) If it is light colour, I actually can paint a larger surface with it than with dark colour (measure).

    If I pick one hair from my head (to use Hegel’s example), the quantity changes, but nothing else. Then there is a certain point (if I continue the exercise, when I’m balding), but then the quality is lost only when everyone can see that I’m bald even if I have a few hairs.

    The spectrum (just as most ho!istic arguments) washes away the distinct characteristics of the phenomena (just let ourselves remember that one cannot be a little bit pregnant (so there is no spectrum here). Then if I want to define a free market economy, there is none as the attributes don’t allow it, so, for a different reason, there is no spectrum. But then from the perspective of the autoflash in a camera there are various levels of darkness, those that trigger the flash and those that don’t (spectrum), but the trigger point is either/or, and not spectrum. Moreover, in terms of qualitative attributes, complete lightness and complete darkness are translated in the same way by the camera, just its action for the former is inadequate – the flash doesn’t help).

  25. TED/Trev.

    ”Question for LAB folks. How many LAB MPs might rebel under following scenarios (split as Remain, Leave and possibly also add in abstain). Keep Hopkins and Field in as LAB (ie using 2017GE result)

    Assume Nov “meaningful vote” in HoC. WIth Deal as:

    1/ Canada+(++)
    2/ Chequers(ish)
    3/ Full BrINO (CU+SM)

    1 and 2 will not be supported by Labour and few rebels who would support.

    3) Ted is right just 4 or 5 if it is inly CU but for SM with no adjustment to free movement expect another group – up to 15 or so in total, although some would be abstaining.

    Those who voted against EEA (the party line was abstain) add to the main 5 rebels.

  26. “… folks hate long posts and I wanted to emphasis the “production” bit as it was used by CEBR! A few mins spare so:”
    @trevor warne September 11th, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    Ah, you noticed yet you still keep writing them. There must be a word to describe this.

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