Just to catch up on the post-budget YouGov polling from yesterday’s Times, carried out on Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

At the simplest level, the budget appears to have polled well. All the measures within met with approval and overall people thought it was a fair budget (44% fair, 14% unfair). Compared to other recent budgets, that’s a very positive score. However, in all fairness that’s what one should expect – it was very much a giveaway budget, with the Chancellor making several large spending announcements and very little in the way of tax increases. Even those tax increases that were announced – mostly notably the plastics tax and tax on internet companies – were ones that were largely popular. It’s hardly surprising that sort of budget gets net positive ratings – increases to NHS funding, the personal allowance and the National Living Wage are always likely to go down well.

A positively received budget does not, however, necessarily translate into a boost in the polls. The voting intention figures in the poll are CON 41%(nc), LAB 39%(+3), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 5%(+1). The three point increase in Labour support doesn’t necessarily mean anything – it’s within the normal margin of error – but it certainly doesn’t point towards a budget boost for the Tories.

The poll also asked about the wider perceptions around the “end of austerity”, and here the figures are far less rosy for the Conservatives. Looking back, by 36% to 29% people think that the austerity polices followed after the 2010 election were necessary, though by 36% to 30% they now think they didn’t help the economy and by 43% to 20% they think they were unfair.

58% of people now think it is right to end austerity (27% who think it was wrong to begin with, 31% who thought it was right at the time, but it is now time to end it). Unfortunately for the government, while people may be in agreement with their stated policy, they don’t actually believe they are doing it – only 10% think the government have ended austerity policies, 50% think they have not.

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2,159 Responses to “YouGov post-budget poll”

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  1. JIMJAM

    For trade without friction not only full membership of a customs union is needed but also the elements of the Single Market relating to goods. Jeremy Corbyn seems reluctant to be part of the SM. Without membership of the SM the Labour party policy will not meet the tests it has set for the government’s Brexit strategy.

    It seems to me that we have a government incapable of reaching a Brexit outcome and an opposition that has an indecipherable Brexit strategy.

  2. “In the imperial imagination, there are only two states: dominant and submissive, coloniser and colonised. This dualism lingers. If England is not an imperial power, it must be the only other thing it can be: a colony.”

  3. colin,
    “Polling on the WA is as useless as Referendums on Brexit.”

    Hmm. I havnt read the deal either, but those who have, have highlighted the controversial bits. As have politicians from different sides. It is difficult to miss these highlights if you look at any news media at all.

    The yougov poll asks a lot of questions which are not precisely the same for the different options, but I would judge the support for the three options to be:

    Remain 47% (the number saying wrong to leave)

    no deal 25% (the number who said if ‘deal’ had been eliminated, this would be good for britain)

    deal 19% (the number who said the deal would be good for britain)

    It doesnt really look as though either leave option has much support.

  4. Slec

    Thanks for the link to Fintan O’Toole’s article.

    If it is possible to suggest a dominant concept in a polity, perhaps for England it is that it has never abandoned mercantilism.

    Not only is trade a zero-sum game, but so are power and influence

  5. Alec

    Sorry. Your name isn’t Slec.

  6. Sam – Sectoral access or participation in the single market has been mentioned by Jon McDonnell but as I have said precisely how close to the SM and in what form would be subject to negotiation.

    Labour are genuinely committed to no change from current border arrangements on the island of Ireland and to meet that commitment would have to go pretty close to access to the Single market as now.
    How close? Frankly I don’t know.

    BTW, not indecipherable to me. I may not like it wholeheartedly but I have never had any problem knowing what the main features are.

  7. Interesting interview with a spokesman for the Ulster Farmers’ Union on Newsdrive tonight.

    In so far as a farmer can ever be said to be enthusiastic about anything, he was very positive about the deal (as he damn well should be!).

    The DUP may well have to look at whether their stance might affect their vote. The UUP haven’t gone away, and if the Unionist part of the agricultural interest moves back to UUP, then DUP dominance may wane.

  8. “Andrea Leadsom is convening a working group of five Cabinet Brexiteers to re-write the Brexit deal, sources say. Gove, Fox, Mordaunt, Grayling, and Leadsom… They’re meeting through next week” (Bloomberg’s Tim Ross)

    Since even they must know that a bunch of malcontents on one side of negotiations can’t prescribe the “agreement” (at least since Britain did that to its colonies and other inferiors), then one can only presume that they are trying to write a manifesto to go to the English electorate with.

  9. “I know the concept of respecting the democratic outcome is strange for some condescending Remainers!”
    @jonesinbangor November 16th, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    But what does leave mean? We know that many people voted to leave because they don’t like the large number of foreigners who are here. They want us to control our borders. They don’t care that the definition of a legal immigrant can be changed to illegal by adding an unachievable requirement. Now they are ‘illegals’ we don’t want them. That’s easy.

    But they refuse to listen when you explain that controlling our borders means one of two things — either a land border on the island of Ireland, or a sea border, and NI being handed over to the EU. We know they don’t care about that.

    When you further explain that so much of our economy is tied into Europe, and in probably every sphere of economic activity there will be some repercussions, with more cost coming into the system and prices going up, they don’t really care about that. In any case, if costs go up so does inflation and so do their pensions. No problem.

    I am betting many of the leavers know precious little about the EU, and don’t even know the difference between the EU and the EEC. But they still deemed fit to express their opinion and say LEAVE without any thought to the consequences. It is rights without any responsibility.

    So you may choose to call me a condescending Remainer, I do not care. I simply laugh at the stupidity of the leave voters who thought it would be so simple, when there are so ignorant of what they voted for. Yes, the campaigns were poor. But there is the Internet. There are libraries. They could have read up on this.

    I sometimes quote my father on here, who voted leave: why did you vote leave? ‘Well, we won the war.’ What more can I say?

  10. JiB

    Apologies – perhaps there was a bit too much sarcasm in my comment. It was just that Manchester had 60% remain and Liverpool 57% (neither are in Scotland or London – mind, after the vote there was a petition in Liverpool for joining Scotland).

    The point is that Remain areas had lower turnout than leave ones, but there were many of the former.

    I quite like the article that I linked (one has to be careful with that website though), because it shows the variety of narratives that could be developed in the basis of the same data.

  11. Sorry to interupt this with some polling, but I don’t remember anyone posting the latest Kantar results:

    https://uk.kantar.com/public-opinion/politics/2018/brexit-barometer-november-more-than-half-of-british-public-want-a-customs-union-to-be-part-of-the-brexit-agreement/

    There’s some Br***t stuff in there, but who cares about that. There’s also this:

    Conservatives 40% (-1)
    Labour 39% (+3)
    Lib Dems 8% (-2)
    SNP 4 % (nc)
    Green 3% (-1)
    UKIP 3% (nc%)
    PC 1% (nc)
    Other 2% (nc)

    Movements all within MoE of course, but an interesting baseline from just before this week’s events. The survey period was 8th to 12th. Ahhh, the 8-12th November, I remember those days. We still had some Brexiteers in the cabinet back then. It all seems so long ago now.

  12. Listening to,and reading the endless debate about Brexit (and having read 220 pages of the WT), I think Goldratt’s (of the game of the management novel “The Goal”) differentiation is quite useful: data is a strong of codes that describes one or some parts of the reality. Information is an answer to a question.

    So without a question posited clearly (and without blame attributed) listing various, arbitrarily listed strong of codes (data) is completely meaningless.

    If one posits questions about Brexit, one will have the criteria (which one may not like). But there will also be clarity and transparency.

  13. I doubt if Mrs May and, perhaps, the EU want very much clarity on the Framework declaration. The more clarity there is the less palatable a deal will appear.

  14. Let’s try again with autocorrect switched off.

    Lstening to,and reading the endless debate about Brexit (and having read 220 pages of the WT), I think Goldratt’s (of the fame of the management novel “The Goal”) differentiation is quite useful: data is a string of codes that describe one or some parts of the reality. Information is an answer to a question.

    So without a question posited clearly (and without blame attributed) listing various, arbitrarily listed string of codes (data) is completely meaningless.

    If one posits questions about Brexit, one will have the criteria (which one may not like). But there will also be clarity and transparency.

  15. It is going to be extremely hard to avoid a no deal brexit. If all other solutions are ruled out either by parliament or the EU, then all that is left is no deal. There is nothing good about no deal.

    I can see that within ten years we could have a very different Britain – and it won’t be very nice.

  16. For those still interested in the UK Government’s continued determination to spend loads of our dosh on preventing MPs and others having access to relevant information ……

    The UK Supreme Court has granted the UK Government leave to appeal against the decision of the Scottish Supreme Court not to allow an appeal against the Court of Session decision to the UK Supreme Court. (I hope that’s clear).

    My understanding is that the UK Government case is based on a (somewhat imaginative) interpretation of para 10 of s40 in the Court of Session Act 1998.

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/36/section/40

    “Imaginative”, because the petitioners case has not reached final decision, since that will depend on the answer to the interlocutory referral to the ECJ.

  17. Jim Jam

    @”Labour want a permanent Customs Partnership Colin”

    Then they will vote for the one proposed by the Government in its White Paper & the EU in the POlitical Framework.

    Perhaps Labour hasn’t read the latter document.

    The relevant bit is as follows :-

    “Zero tariffs, no fees, charges or quantitative restrictions across all goods sectors, with ambitious
    customs arrangements that build on the single customs territory provided for in the Withdrawal
    Agreement, respecting the Parties’ legal orders.”

    OUTLINE OF THE POLITICAL DECLARATION SETTING OUT THE FRAMEWORK FOR THE
    FUTURE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE UNITED KINGDOM.

    PART II: ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP.

    Second Bullet Point.

    Perhaps you should alert them Jim Jam?

  18. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/nov/16/key-points-un-envoy-philip-alston-report-poverty-britain-uk

    ““British compassion for those who are suffering has been replaced by a punitive, mean-spirited and callous approach …” …

    …Universal Credit was “fast falling into universal discredit” and should be overhauled. It was gratuitously punitive in its effects. Draconian sanctions and long payment delays drove claimants into hardship, depression and despair.

    The most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society will take the biggest hit from Brexit, Alston said. People felt their homes, jobs and communities were at risk.

    “Changes to taxes and benefits have taken the highest toll on those least able to bear it,” said Alston, with the costs of austerity falling disproportionately on the poor, women, ethnic minorities, children, single parents, asylum seekers and people with disabilities.

    “There is a striking and almost complete disconnect between what I heard from the government and what I consistently heard from many people directly, across the country.””

  19. DANNY

    @” I havnt read the deal either, but those who have, have highlighted the controversial bits. As have politicians from different sides. It is difficult to miss these highlights if you look at any news media at all.”

    So you think the average voter can come to an understanding of the proposed Irish Backstop ( which is THE controversial bit it would seem) by listening to ERG Group spokespersons ?

  20. Really pleased to see Amber Rudd back.

  21. @NEARLYFRENCH
    “It is going to be extremely hard to avoid a no deal brexit. If all other solutions are ruled out either by parliament or the EU, then all that is left is no deal. There is nothing good about no deal.

    I can see that within ten years we could have a very different Britain – and it won’t be very nice.”

    I am confident of one thing, and that is that if there is a no deal Brexit, the UK will crawl to Brussels for a deal within 6-12 months.

    That’s the sort of humiliation we’ll face if those Eton and Public School misfits in the ERG get their way.

  22. Laszlo

    I suddenly got paywalled by Der Spiegel.

    If by any chance you have full access I would love to read this throughout. If so could you post any key/interesting bits -thanks.

    http://www.spiegel.de/plus/brexit-londoner-chaos-um-den-brexit-plan-der-sturm-a-00000000-0002-0001-0000-000160834482

  23. Colin

    “the proposed Irish Backstop ( which is THE controversial bit it would seem)”

    I struggle a bit with why the backstop has become so controversial.

    Some of it is obvious, the unique circumstances of NI made giving them effective SM and CU membership a very sensible proposition. It is greatly advantageous economically to NI. The only stumbling block being the DUP’s stance.

    However, on a Brexit vote, the DUP voting against NI’s economy could have been more than compensated by offering a similar arrangement to Scotland and Wales (if their Parliament/Senedd so chose).

    We know from polling that most Tory voters (and from observation most Tory MPs) have little interest in UK polities other than England, so it’s unclear as to why they should consider that arrangements for the other polities that differ from England’s should threaten “our precious union”.

    A rational view would be that allowing diversity between polities enhances the chances of the UK Union (albeit in a different format from the later 20th century model) surviving. That was, after all, the Unionist argument for devolution in the first place.

    The rather irrational views expressed by the more strident strands of “British nationalism” do give substance to Fintan O’Toole’s argument – that Alec linked to above.

  24. SAM
    “I doubt if Mrs May and, perhaps, the EU want very much clarity on the Framework declaration. The more clarity there is the less palatable a deal will appear.”

    Perhaps they should ask LASZLO to write it for them then.
    :)

  25. The typeset press continues to head for oblivion.

    “Johnston Press, the owner of the i newspaper / Yorkshire Post / Scotsman, has put itself into administration and declared that there is “no longer any value” in its shares as it can’t repay its debts.”

    I’d guess that some people will buy the titles from the administrator, and try to turn them into online news sites.

  26. OLDNAT

    @”I struggle a bit with why the backstop has become so controversial.”

    Me too.

    I may have this wrong, but I believe the backstop is invoked if, at the end of transition , the Free Trade / Customs Area Treaty hasn’t been signed,. In which case the transitional status of UK ( including NI) -ie membership of The CU, without membership of the EU-continues. May argues that there are mechanisms for UK to exit that stus. ERG believe they depend upon the EU .

    Both May AND ( !) Barnier have stated , in terms, that their intention is never to use it-because the “Deep” Customs Arrangement on Goods WILL be ready by end transition-or a short extension thereof.

    But I don’t think ERG believe these statements & one can only conclude that they think May is deluded & that EU have no intention of replacing the backstop with a FTA/Customs arrangement. It seems to me that to believe that the EU has a plan of that sort is pure paranoia .

    There may be additional concerns about the degree of regulatory alignment which the FTA/Customs Area Treaty will require of UK.But this is for Goods & not Services, and any exporter has to observe the regulations of the country it wishes to sell into.

    I may have this wrong -but thats as I perceive it.

    I think they are all raving bonkers & have no idea of the destruction they would wreak with Canada -WTO-or whatever it is they want. Cross Channel Manufacturing trade now involves deeply integrated flows of components & finished products. ANY impediment at the border will be hugely disruptive.

  27. @ JimJam

    I suggested that the Tory whips might use the threat of a peoples vote as a way of bringing the ERC into line.

    You said that this was very unlikely. Why so? It seems to me that Mrs May’s mention of no Brexit as an option was such an implicit threat.

    Why do you think this so unlikely?

  28. @Colin – yes, I’ve been wondering quite how Labour will make an excuse to vote down the deal, as the deal + future framework is pretty much everything they seem to be asking for.

  29. OLDNAT
    Can you help me to understand?
    What exactly is Northern Ireland being offered that could also be offered to Scotland and Wales?
    Doesn’t the whole of the U.K. get “effective SM and CU membership”?
    I haven’t found anything specifically that NI gets other than ‘necessary additional non-customs checks’.

  30. Amber Rudd takes control of a DWP that has quotas for the “sanctions” of numbers of people who receive welfare benefits. Despite this fact being known because of whistles being blown the DWP denies that there are such quotas. Now where have we heard that before?

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/30/cruel-benefits-sanctions-dwp-job-advisers-evidence-work

    The DWP is at the centre of the findings of the UN rapporteur

    “The government’s ambitious programme to simplify the benefits system was a good idea in principle but was “fast falling into universal discredit” and should be overhauled. It was gratuitously punitive in its effects. Draconian sanctions and long payment delays drove claimants into hardship, depression and despair. ”

    I wonder if Ms Rudd knows what she is doing and whether she will make things worse for the disadvantaged in society. I do not think she will make things better.

  31. @Oldnat

    The typeset press continues to head for oblivion.

    “Johnston Press, the owner of the i newspaper / Yorkshire Post / Scotsman, has put itself into administration and declared that there is “no longer any value” in its shares as it can’t repay its debts.”

    I’d guess that some people will buy the titles from the administrator, and try to turn them into online news sites.

    Locally we have two papers. One is a Johnston Press paper (Batley and Birstall News), and it’s as dull as ditch water. The Journalists are based in Leeds, and they really don’t have much ‘on the ground’ content.

    We have a another paper ‘The Press’. It’s independent, and the publisher is a rather forthright person, a poor man’s Richard Littlejohn. To it’s credit, it is more interesting and publishes stories and views from across the political spectrum.

    The latter is actually doing well as a paper.

    I think there is a market for local papers, but they need to more interesting and genuinely local.

  32. Colin

    Here is the English veraion (it is the same as the one you linked):

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/political-chaos-erupts-in-london-over-brexit-deal-a-1238924.html

    With the German version one has to wait about 24 hours after the time it is supposed to hit the streeta.

  33. Charles,

    Mrs May has repeatedly said she will not support a second referendum.

    Now I know she U turned on the GE and has breached many of her own Red Lines but working with Labour for a peoples vote is a U turn too far even for the Lady that is for Turning.

    Alec/Colin,

    Labour will contend (you may think flimsily but Stamer is the master of legal esotericism where Brexit is concerned) that the arrangements in the framework document are not as secure or have the permanence of being in a formal Customs Union.

  34. David Colby

    “Doesn’t the whole of the U.K. get “effective SM and CU membership”?”

    Beyond the transition period – No.

    If the “future relationship” turns out to mean effective SM & CU membership (which is what the Scottish Government has argued for since the EU referendum), then we’ll all have it – and the whole Brexit process will have largely been a waste of time.

    However, the critical point about NI is that, if the future relationship is less than that, then NI will continue to be able to operate as if it were in the EEA[1].

    For example, catches landed by fishing boats registered in NI would not be subject to the rUK limitations on quantities and limitations on stage of processing that will apply to the landings by fleets in Scotland or Cornwall (or other bits of rUK).

    [1] Without representation, of course, but it doesn’t have that in the EU either.

  35. Colin

    It is interesting that the Spiegel’s international edition calls it “brewing” while the German “perfekte” storm.

    Otherwise the article is word for word.

  36. @Oldnat – don’t mind anyone experimenting with my name. ‘Slec’ has a certain appeal to it.

    Agree entirely regarding the treatment of NI and Scotland. I doubt any of the English pro Brexit MPs actually have the remotest idea of how this deal disadvantages Scotland, nor I suspect do they care, despite claiming attachment to ‘the Union’.

    Rather like O’Toole’s article as well. I have always viewed Brexit as a belief largely fueled by fear and fantasy. For all the accusations of traitorous intentions and a lack of patriotism levelled by some Brexiters against remainers, it’s the remainers who have the belief and confidence in their country, while the leavers are the ones so lacking in confidence that they can’t look Europe in the eye as an equal and have to go and hide away across the Channel.

  37. @Jim Jam – that’s a fair point. The future relationship is only a political declaration, and I guess from Labour’s perspective, seeing the turmoil in Con ranks does not inspire confidence that the same approach to negotiating the future details will hold if one of the nutters takes over.

  38. @OLDNAT

    “If the “future relationship” turns out to mean effective SM & CU membership (which is what the Scottish Government has argued for since the EU referendum), then we’ll all have it – and the whole Brexit process will have largely been a waste of time”

    Sorry, I have to fundamentally disagree with that.

    Brexit is as much about saying enough is enough. The rest of the Euro EU need deep fiscal and political union (full Federalisation), the UK clearly doesn’t want that. Even a potentially independent Alba wants to keep the pound.

  39. Alec,

    I don’t pretend to know all the nuances involved but I guess if these proposals where really sufficiently similar to Labour’s position we would have had several Lab MPs breaking ranks by now.

    Maybe Flint will make a statement next week as she is perhaps the most vocal of the possibles; although John Mann may not be to resist the temptation to trot his man of the people Maverick act.

  40. Colin,

    “Really pleased to see Amber Rudd back.”

    You can get cream for that!

    Peter.

  41. OLDNAT
    “The backstop, consisting of “a single customs territory between the UNION and the UNITED KINGDOM”, will apply from the end of the transition period “unless and until … a subsequent agreement becomes applicable”

  42. JiB

    You guys put everyone through all this just because of a vague feeling of “enough is enough”?

    I have to concur with Colin’s assessment that such an approach is “raving bonkers”.

    As to your “the rest of the Euro EU need deep fiscal and political union (full Federalisation)”, that’s as maybe, but UK Unionists want complete fiscal and political union (full Incorporation and no bloody Federalisation!) for the UK, so your additional comment that “the UK clearly doesn’t want that” suggests that the real centralists and power grabbers lie with your political stance – not mine.

    I understand your British Nationalism (I’ve been exposed to it for long enough) and consequently I understand that you may be blind to your projection of what the UK actually is onto what you fear the EU might become.

  43. @Oldnat

    Would that include Freedom of Movement between Northern Ireland and EU countries?

  44. David Colby

    The Customs Union is one issue, but the Single Market is more critical.

    Under the draft WA, the landings by the NI fishing boats, and their processing in NI (or RoI) would continue to have unrestricted access to EEA markets. That’s a more advantageous position than even Norway has.

    Similar arrangements apply (post transition) to the rest of the NI economy. They currently wouldn’t to rUK.

    If the English polity wants to have such restrictions to access to the SM, that should be a matter for them. To impose such on the other polities in GB would attract a more accurate use of “colony” and “vassalage” than the outraged Brit Nats adopt.

  45. On fishing the withdrawal agreement says only that “the EU would apply tariffs on fish until a separate agreement was struck on access to EU fishing in UK waters”.
    I suspect that fishing might become an issue next Tuesday though, and that if it does that might scupper everything.

  46. @Jim Jam

    Maybe Flint will make a statement next week as she is perhaps the most vocal of the possibles; although John Mann may not be to resist the temptation to trot his man of the people Maverick act.

    You must have a crystal ball, just sooner than you thought.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/16/labour-mp-deal-no-deal-eu-brexit

  47. Neil A

    Article 2 of the NI Protocol in the draft WA “allows for a continuation of the Common Travel Area respecting the rights of natural persons under Union law and the free movement of Union citizens and their families “to, from and within Ireland.”

    So, yes. There is freedom of movement of EU citizens (including folk in NI claiming Irish citizenship) throughout the EU and the entire island of Ireland.

    I haven’t studied the text in much detail, so whether the UK could restrict employment of EU citizens in GB (and whether that would include Irish citizens born in NI) I don’t know.

  48. David Colby

    Have you looked at the Protocol on Northern Ireland – which is where you’ll find the exemptions from the provisions for GB?

  49. @OLDNAT

    The EU has no room for Nationalism beyond the nation state, INdyRef and the Barroso intervention followed by Catalonia police thuggery should be enough to illustrate that!

    The EU treat Federalist Nationalists as useful idiots in the overall integration project – as long as they remain obedient!

  50. @Oldnat

    NB I support UK not EU Federalism by the way.

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