The regular Ipsos MORI political monitor came out in today’s Evening Standard. Topline voting intention figures were CON 39%(+1), LAB 37%(-1), LDEM 13%(+3), UKIP 2%(-4). Fieldwork was Friday to Tuesday and changes are from MORI’s last poll in July (they take a month off for August).

As with other recent polls the Conservatives seem to have recovered a tiny lead since falling behind after the Davis & Johnson resignations. Worth noting is that 13% for the Liberal Democrats. This is the highest they have recorded in any poll since the general election. While one shouldn’t read too much into a single poll – especially one whose fieldwork overlapped with the Lib Dem party conference – the wider polling trend does suggest some uplift in Liberal Democrat support: six of the nine polls so far this month have the Liberal Democrats back up in double figures.

The poll also asked about confidence in the Brexit negotiations, finding predictably low figures. 28% of people said they were confident Theresa May would get a good deal for Britain in the Brexit negotiations, 70% were not.

There was, however, not much more confidence that alternative Prime Ministers would do any better. 28% were confident Jeremy Corbyn would get a good deal were he Prime Minister, 67% were not. If Boris Johnson was PM 33% would be confident he’d get a good deal, 64% would not.

Full details are here.

389 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 39, LAB 37, LDEM 13, UKIP 2”

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  1. @ BFR

    Looking logically at the positioning of both sides it is hard to see anything but a “no deal” followed perhaps by a new transition agreement to sort out the aspects of WTO and vital aspects of mini deal to run until the end of 2020. But I guess politics isn’t that straightforward and the calm that seems to be felt by the markets and voters in general suggests people still expect something has to give or are simply sleepwalking into it. May’s speech seems to have ramped up her position on key issues that makes the fudge much harder.

    I don’t necessarily agree that Labour will vote against any fudge deal. I think they will be liable to abstain “for the good of the country” but this would depend on the levels of panic and horror that has built up in the country around the no deal option.

  2. Lots of huffing and puffing, but it appears that may has now accused the EU of trying to bully her and of being disrespectful because she says they are trying to split the UK into two, while claiming hr plan to split the Single Market in two is fine.

    We’re now beginning to understand that they don’t need a deal more than we do, and that the thoroughly united EU front won’t fracture as soon as the UK applies some pressure.

    How the Conservative Party react to these dawning realities is going to be key to what happens next, along with that court case….

  3. Most days, I feel very glad that I took a vow of silence on Brexit. Not today, today I feel ecstatic that I took that vow.

  4. Some excitement today from all those who think this means no deal is more likely now. A word of caution: this is exactly how these things work out.

    All complex international deal – the Good Friday Agreement, the various climate change agreements, pretty much every trade deal, etc etc all have moments of breakdown, walkout, insult etc. We know this, and should get used to it.

    We were told last December that WA deal wasn’t possible, and it was agreed, and so it will be this time. Even arch leaver MPs know that they need a deal – otherwise Brexit is off.

    Yesterday was about May striking the wrong tone and playing tough, the the EU leaders giving her a very public slap down. They know that a no deal is far too painful for the UK to contemplate in what would be a 19 week timetable, and as has been briefed all along, they are simply waiting for the UK to move to a point where a deal can be done.

  5. @ALEC at 3:21pm

    I do hope you are right.

  6. Good afternoon all from a breezy and sunny Central London.

    On my way into work this morning I had a conversation with a re moaner and asked her why she voted to remain in the EU.

    Her answer..
    “I voted Remain, not just for political reasons but because my mum’s moved to Spain and I want her to stay there”

    Ok moving on..

    I watched part of Question Time last night and one of the panel members (the lawyer) said by voting Brexit we have robbed the future of the young.

    During the Scottish independence referendum (which I voted Yes to bolt ) I was 22 and the result of that referendum was down to the older demographic overwhelmingly voting No to independence.

    Now, You don’t hear the younger generation in Scotland and indeed myself wailing and moaning until the coos come home about having our future robbed by the older generation even though in that case I think they got it wrong and were duped by project fear over pensions.

    This crass mantra a lot of re moaners come out with that somehow the older peeps robbed their future by voting for Brexit is probably as low as any argument I’ve heard during the entire Brexit thing and only serves to divide the generations.

    And as for a second EU referendum!! Wouldn’t it be funny if we had one and we still voted to leave….The polls got it wrong when they showed remain in the lead and I’m sure the same will happen if we have another EU vote..

    Be careful for what you wish for.

  7. My brother used to tell an extraordinarily long joke about a bloke who popped into a cafe for a cup of tea and a bun:

    “Sorry, but we haven’t any buns today” said the owner.

    “Have you got coffee?” asked customer.

    When told yes he asked for coffee and a bun and was once again told there were no buns.

    The joke can go on for as many drinks as you can think of, with the owner getting increasingly fed up and angry and eventually throwing the customer out.

    Two minutes later he crawls back back in and says:

    “Fair enough – I’ll just have a bun thanks.”

    I am reminded of that by Mrs May’s negotiating strategy.

  8. Oh dear, bunker mentality in No 10.

  9. ALEC
    “Lots of huffing and puffing, but it appears that may has now accused the EU of trying to bully her and of being disrespectful because she says they are trying to split the UK into two, while claiming hr plan to split the Single Market in two is fine”

    I’m no fan of Theresa May and much of the current shenanigans over the negotiations is her own doing because by calling an early GE and losing her majority she not only weakened her party but weakened the UK’s negotiation hand.

    The EU know she is being propped up by a band of tambourine flute playing headbangers that is the DUP and the EU is deliberately trying to drive a wedge in between the tambourine banging rabble and the Tory government.

    The EU are trying to bully the majority of British electorate who voted to leave into reversing Brexit. They have form on bulling…Greece, Italy Scotland during the indy ref and of course they bullied the Republic of Ireland into having a second vote on the Treaty of Nice.

    They can bully Theresa May all they want but ultimately they will have a much tougher time trying to bully the British public who voted to leave.

  10. Alec, I think you’re right that the Court of Session referral is today’s big story.

    Of course, the government position is we can’t and we won’t. Taking out the former would leave the latter. But legal certainty on the former has the potential to be a game changer nonetheless.

    It’s also worth noting in the interests of balance that the CJEU is being asked to rule on whether the U.K. can do something that neither the U.K. government nor the EU in its public statements thinks it can do and neither side actually wants it to be able to do. So the CJEU could upset the apple cart big time.

  11. May still wanting to have her cake and eat it, now she’s crying because she’s been laughed out of the room. Somebody in con party must realise you don’t get to pick the best bits and keep them when you leave the EU?

  12. “May still wanting to have her cake and eat it”

    Would that be a cherry cake by any chance? Ha!

  13. ALEC

    @”while claiming hr plan to split the Single Market in two is fine.”

    This EU line was put to Raab this morning. His response was -we modelled our proposal on the Ukraine/EU DCFTA-why is it OK for UKraine but not for UK ?

    Do you have an answer to that question ?

  14. C****y?

    John Paul Satre asked for coffee without cream at Café and was told there was no cream but there was milk.

    So he asked for a coffee without milk and all was good.


    @”The EU are trying to bully the majority of British electorate who voted to leave into reversing Brexit. ”

    I agree. It hasn’t always been a successful ploy against the UK.

    @”They can bully Theresa May all they want”

    Not sure about that actually. I think the Ken Clark dictum carries some credibility.

  16. @jim jam

    “(Now James E responding )”What is a GC if not…”

    ? No that was also me (the B variant). Regarding polls, I don’t have any to hand, I was under the impression that there had been a few that the PV campaign had commissioned and that was what you had been deeming as self selecting. If I’m honest I’m not sure that public opinion on another ref is even that relevant. It’s very hard to measure due to reasons AW and other full time pollsters have discussed and I think if there is one it’ll be driven by political necessity.

  17. That draft question from the Inner House:

    “Where, in accordance with Article 50 of the TEU, a Member State has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, does EU law permit that notice to be revoked unilaterally by the notifying Member State; and, if so, subject to what conditions and with what effect relative to the Member State remaining within the EU”.

    In a rare display of unanimity, HMG, the Commision and the Council would all answer “no” to the first part of the question, so it will indeed be a game changer all round if the CJEU answers “yes”.

  18. @jim jam

    many thanks for answering my question. I should be equally courteous and give you rhe evidence for my assertions which /I have seen (really!) but cannot specify. As far as I can see a majority (about 72 %) of labour voters are now remainers (that’s what they’d vote in a second ref), About 41 percent of the country think there should be 2nd ref as against 42 percent who don’t (YouGov tracker). If labour was to campaign for such a vote it would lose a tiny number of voters and gain a similar tiny number from the conservatives but it could look to a sizeable number of tactical votes from the libdems.(YouGov poll for peoples vote) So I guess that the articles I have seen saying that most trade unionists and most labour voters support a second ref are probably a genuine memory and right.

  19. “His response was -we modelled our proposal on the Ukraine/EU DCFTA-why is it OK for UKraine but not for UK ?

    Do you have an answer to that question ?”

    One would suspect it’s because when they did the ‘modelling’ they removed all the stuff about ecj oversight, having to implement most EU law and anything else that crossed May’s red lines so the end product really wasn’t much like Ukraine’s association agreement after all.

  20. Charles,

    I agree re Labour Voters, I recall calculations from polls which suggest that most do indeed support a second ref. I think it was the LP members that I was doubting had a majority (yet) for a second ref.

    Conference Fringe will be interesting, it would be good if we had a poster there?

  21. Raab comes across to me as a non-Brexit LP member way better than Davis; and, reports suggest Brussles are impressed with him.

  22. PETERW

    From the Sky News reports on the evening May spent at Salzburg, two EU states “reminded” May that A50 could be revoked. I can no longer find their report on their website.

    If the ECJ confirms that HMG can do it unilaterally, that would at least avoid a few blushes.

  23. Unlike Alec and PeterW, the BBC do not consider the Court of Session referral worth mentioning in their Radio 4 news headlines.

    Just another piece of evidence on BBC bias meantime.

    In line with Laura Kuenssburg talking of TM`s Chequers plan as a compromise. That`s only if the Tory party is your sole standpoint and the views of other UK parties are unimportant.

  24. Member: I have decided I want to cancel my gym membership. The £20.00 per month is too much money and my mate Boris said you would let me in for free.
    Gym: Ok, were sorry your going, but if you leave you cant come in anymore, its members only
    Member: That’s very unfair, I want unrestricted access to your fitness equipment and showers after I leave.
    Gym: Err, to do that you would need to remain a member.
    Member: That’s not very fair, lets discuss which items I will be able to use.
    Gym: you cant use any.
    Member: That’s the wrong attitude, I think your just being spiteful!
    Gym: Your welcome to stay, then you can use anything you want.
    Member: I don’t want to stay.
    Gym: Bye.
    Member: Look here, if your going to be rude these negotiations are not going to end well and I wont be able to use any equipment.
    Gym: We aren’t negotiating, you wanted to leave.
    Member: Are you saying Boris is wrong and I cant just come in without paying like everyone else?
    Gym: that’s the general Idea when your the member of a gym.
    Member: That’s outrageous, this kind of attitude will hurt you more than me
    Gym: It wont, we have lots of other members.
    Member: well, if your going to be like that I will just leave!
    Gym: Bye….
    Member: I don’t really want to leave
    Gym: you could always stay and have unrestricted access to all our facilities
    Member: Without paying?
    Gym: F##K OFF!

  25. And now on 5 PM Jonathan Dimbleby pronounces the Manchester hall for tonight`s Any Questions as Chetham`s with a short “e”.

    We need a wholesale change in our broadcasting personnel and sites, with a proper spread across the whole UK.

  26. A few other polls out on ICM. Commissioned by Remain groups leaning on LAB conf with results supporting their intentions as you’d expect:

    P.S. I didn’t think May had it in her but very glad she did!

    No deal is STILL better than a bad deal

    EC will throw the ball straight back but the ball is actually in Corbyn’s court IMHO – absolutely no way he can duck picking a side on Brexit at LAB conf after Mayb0t’s version of Hugh Grant’s Love Actually speech (not as good but the best we can expect of her). Scots court ruling adds to the pressure on him.

    So come on Jezza your VI want to Remain, your members want Remain, polls apparently show you’d win a landslide GE if you back Remain and isn’t LAB supposed to be democratic? Surely you want into #10 before 29Mar’19 so you can stop a Tory “no deal” Brexit?

    Forcing Corbyn off the ambiguity fence is a vital precursor to a GE (assuming CON Remain want one which is by no means certain).

    Anyway off to saddle up my unicorn and join my fellow b4st4rds celebrating and drinking to May finally growing a pair. We’ll raise a glass to Tusk’s instagram account as well – he’s not in Trump’s league of stup1dity but it seems EU has it’s own mini President Donald T.

    Cheers Donald, we’ll gratefully spend the £39billion divorce bill in UK and you can get Juncker to ask Merkel+co to make up that money leading into the EP elections ;)

  27. @Jim Jam

    Yes, Raab is doing okay.

    I note he has shortened from 25/1 to 14/1 for next Con leader.

    I don’t think he is ‘gaming’ the process in the way that Davis probably did.

    I think the British mistake has been to make it more complicated than it actually is.

  28. If you asked the library they’d say it’s up to the person whether they go with short or long e and there isn’t a firm historical basis for either being ‘right’…

  29. @COLIN

    The checquers deal is based on the Ukraine but actually Ukraine involves the ECJ. Indeed we want a closer version than that so I think Raab was being rather disingenuous

    Just google the Ukraine deal. it was considered a positive step by the european parliament but it crosses the UK red lines of no supra national judiciary.

    As I said previously this is like Iraq lots of spin lots of reinterpretation of whats and the whys and reality taking care of itself eventually

  30. PTRP – I may be wrong but the key point about the deal with Ukraine is that it covers manufacturing and not services.

    ECJ red line imo is surmountable as if a deal is done wtih a large trading block a ‘court’ is necessary and ECJ plus fig leaf should be easy to construct acceptable to all ex et perhaps ERG et al.


    @” I didn’t think May had it in her but very glad she did!”

    Me too-long long overdue.

  32. JIM JAM


    Raab was responding to their line about destroying the SM.

  33. Tom Newton Dun being interviewed by Boulton on Sky:-

    No Deal won’t happen-because HoC has a majority against it.

    If the talks fail , someone will table Ref2 in The House.

    Corbyn will allow a free vote on it in LP.

  34. An interesting translation of Tusk’s response:-

  35. What I don’t quite understand about the “principle” of the integrity of the Single Market is this:

    Doesn’t the effective inclusion of Northern Ireland, which will be outside the EU, in a single market and customs area with the Republic, which will be inside the EU, already breach this principle?

    If it is “possible” to make an exception for Northern Ireland, why not for the whole of the UK?

    Is the answer that the EU wants to make an exception for Northern Ireland but doesn’t want to make an exception for Great Britain?

    I say this besides not really having a dog in that fight, really. My support for Leave is based entirely on ending FoM. I don’t mind if there’s a customs border in the Irish Sea, or whether we still come under the jurisdiction of the ECJ, or whether we still pay into the EU budget.

    I consider that in the long term Irish Reunification is nigh-on inevitable, and even if it isn’t, a border in the Irish Sea will presumably belong entirely to the UK and we can decide how we implement it. We can ‘Max-Fac’ the fcuk out of it if we want to, to the point where to all intents in purposes NI is in a single market with both the EU and the UK.

    But it still interests me that the application of this unbreakable principle of being either “in” or “out” of the EU’s structures doesn’t apply to NI and I wonder if it isn’t really a policy position rather than a principle.

  36. Allan Christie

    You don’t think perpetually resorting to tiresome insults for half the population is anything to do with the lack of harmony in the country? Of course, it’s “their” fault for not responding well to the insults!

    The fact that the divide IS largely generational and is highly a case of “Us” and “Them” whichever side of the debate you are on.

    Even your little anecdotes has to be prefaced by prejudicially categorising a person based on their vote.

  37. Thanks JamesB.

    When I was there in Chetham`s on a singing weekend 2/3 years back everyone pronounced the name with a long “e”, and being a Lancastrian it`s a name I have regularly heard since youth.

    So I didn`t realise that this short “e” alternative existed.

    I wonder if the influx of posher folk studying music etc, and the shortening to Chets has influenced the pronunciation. But I don`t think Cats in Cambridge hasn`t affected St Catherine`s.

    Chetham`s should have national acclaim – first public library in the English-speaking world, and the desk and alcove of Marx and Engels, besides fine new buildings..

  38. @Colin,

    I am not really an expert on parliamentary procedures, but as I understand it getting a bill through parliament before the A50 deadline would be very difficult without government support?

    This is why the decision to send the revocability of A50 for a judgement is truly central to the politics of the next few months. If the answer is “No”, then we probably are looking at a No Deal scenario as the referendum is unlikely to arrive in time to stop us leaving.

    If the answer is “Yes”, the government will be under a lot more pressure, because they will have to actively frustrate parliamentary attempts to revoke or postpone A50 in order that we leave before any possible referendum. That would look much more headbangerish and would probably disintegrate any remaining cohesion on the government benches.

    The best chance for a deal, in my view, is probably a ruling of “No” to revocability, followed by a 2 minutes to midnight compromise, perhaps accompanied by an agreement on a short stopgap transition arrangement whilst the new arrangements are ratified by both sides (with the UK outside the EU in name only). A transition to the transition, in a sense.

    My gut feeling is about 40% chance of a “Yes”, with a follow on 70/20/10 chance of Exit from Brexit/No Deal/Last Minute Deal.

    60% chance of a “No”, with a follow on 80/20 chance of a No Deal/Last Minute Deal.

    At this point I barely care how much damage a crash out would do. I wouldn’t be too upset if May walked out of the talks altogether in October.

  39. @Colin and Allan Christie

    It may feel as if the EU is bullying us. And if the perception is widely shared that will probably have some effect on how people think, It’s a line that would suit Boris in his Churchillian moments (some chicken some neck. kind of thing)

    That said I don’t think that is how the EU would see it, In one scenario the EU is the scene of late night deals and fudges between politicians, in another it is a place where complicated and technical trade deals are made. The scenario in which it is likely to be seen as ‘bullying’ is one where the EU as a whole is negotiating with someone who as they see it is trying to change their rules – Greece, Switzerland, and ourselves come to mind. In this situation the negotiation is done by civil servants who have a brief from which they appear not to be able to deviate by more than a tiny iota. I can remember listening to a former foreign minister of Poland saying that this was their experience when trying to join and that it was humiliating. Varoufakis’s book made the same point about the negotiations in which he was involved. politically it may be helpful to see this as bullying. Practically it is better to see that it was always going to be this way and work out what to do about it

  40. My inclination at present is to batten down the hatches and stock up with wine. Mind you, this has been my default position for some time.

    Incidentally, some friends in the good old US of A said more or less the same thing. They were expecting a hurricane of course.

    Min deal and WTO looks likely. Of course that doesn’t do anything for the Irish. Meanwhile I have to decide whether to formalize my French residency now or wait until there is more clarity. In either case, the bureaucracy is rather formidable and a bit arbitrary.

  41. @ALEC

    I am not sure you can fudge this. Basically May reneged on the backstop agreement the Eu thought they had agreed in December which is why I think it went horribly wrong. The second problem was she believed because the EU was being polite about Chequers she thought she could make a little hay before the conference. I think it all back fired like the infamous dinner. Personally if I was May I would not have gone to Saltzburg since she was not going to anything new and neither were they. Both sides have redlines that they cannot get past

    @JIM JAM

    the keey part of the deal is that involves the ECJ and border control. read the agreement. It was ruled out early on because it is firstly in a completely different direction covers less materially and does not cover the problems of NI (it has border controls) So it does not give he ambiguity that the UK needs.

    The ECJ issue I thought was close to the heart of the matter and again why I think this is a red herring ECJ owns the deal with the UK. That is much more nebulous under chequers

    Sorry COLIN but it he is pick one aspect of the whole and say that they are he same in aspect, but that is not what the EU believe no matter how you dress it up. In fairness they have been very clear.

  42. NEILA


    Rees Mogg was on tv the other day agreeing with your ist para.

    I have been horrified -and very worried-at the potential damage from crashing out. But the last two days have made me feel as you do in your last para.

    All the same-I still think there will be a WA & a Political Statement of future TRading Framework. I refuse to accept that the cream of political leadership across our continent would be so stupid as to fail .

  43. Jamesb,
    “Except it does at least allow them to pin ownership of it on the electorate, if, that is, a new vote makes it perfectly clear that whatever deal is the deal and that’s what they’re getting.”

    Yes i agree it would help do that, but I still feel a bad outcome would leave the voters feeling betrayed because the politicians did not say how bad it would be.

    Could May rllaistically lead a referendum campaign saying, ‘it will be hell, but we will do it’. If she doesnt, and it turns out to be hell, then they havnt gained much.

  44. Having listen to May’s speech today I would think the likelihood of any successful challenge to her Premiership by those within her party is as remote as it ever was to say the least.
    What we are witnessing is nothing more or less than brinkmanship from both sides, if we put aside the posturing from the political class and there acolytes in the media and elsewhere May’s is still the only plan in town having had no alternative’s from the EU other than do as we say ,or anything from the hard core brexiteers other than some fantasy of a Canadian plus deal that could take years to negotiate.
    As for Labour nothing but a deafening silence from Corbyn on how he would conduct any brexit deal, he’s fall back position is we will sacrifice any deal ,good or bad to force a GE by voting down the Government by siding with Johnson and co.
    Politically if she continues to play hardball with the EU not only will it secure her position in her party but it’s possible that the gap between the parties will widen as I believe the attitude she showed today will find favour amongst the general public.
    As to those clambering for a GE I still don’t see it as likely in the immediate future but even if it was there’s a good chance the Tories would still find themselves in power as I’ve seen nothing in recent polling that would suggest anything other than a minority government even in a no deal senario,unless of course May does strike a deal then the Tories could find themselves with a majority Government ,we will see.


    @” it was humiliating. ”

    Its what they do-as you have exampled in your post.

    I don’t accept your proposed response.

  46. @neila

    The UK Government are not proposing and will not accept that the whole of the UK stays in the Single Market and the Customs Union. Its UK wide backstop is much more limited to customs processes while practically having a much wider potential to give the UK access to the Single Market without being subject to the need to align to it ( the UK signed up to NI remaining aligned).

  47. @neila

    “At this point I barely care how much damage a crash out would do. I wouldn’t be too upset if May walked out of the talks altogether in October.”

    Writes someone in a secure, well paid public sector job. A no deal Brexit is a price well worth someone else paying. Nihilistic selfishness of the highest order.

  48. Chris Deerin, once a trenchant critic of Scottish independence and the SNP, provides an insight into the potential impact of Brexit on British nationalist thinking in Scotland:

  49. The referral to the ECJ will take place in 14 days time – the parties being given 2 weeks to draft amendments to the Court’s draft referral which In light of the urgency of the issue in terms of parliamentary consideration and voting in advance of 29 March 2019, the President is requested to appoint this request to the expedited procedure under Article 105.1 of the Rules of Procedure.

    The ruling from the Inner House doesn’t make good reading for the UK government’s lawyers!

  50. @Colin

    “Tom Newton Dun being interviewed by Boulton on Sky:-”

    Good grief, a Murdoch echo chamber if ever I’ve heard one! Did you feel suitably enlightened and informed? A conversation between Dumb and Dumber spring to mind. :-)

    Meanwhile, in the real world, it would appear that the May death stare is back in use. At her rather petulant and hastily arranged press conference this afternoon, it was applied at carefully stage managed and choreographed moments. This one for the Tory membership (“did you see how my eyes glared when I mentioned the EU there?”) and this one for all Brexit voters (“do you see how angry I am here when I’m talking about being treated with a lack of respect? That’s Jonny Foreigner doing that, remember”) – all done with Miss Jean Brodie inflexions and grimaces.

    This is all getting ghastly beyond words. Can somebody end it all? A General Election perhaps? Surely there comes a time when a nation can no longer bear the abject humiliations now being heaped upon it on an almost daily basis.

    I almost fee belittled by it; certainly embarrassed. A post war nadir in the standing of Britain in the world, perhaps?

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