Opinium’s fortnightly poll in the Observer today has topline voting intention figures of CON 41%(+4), LAB 34%(-6), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 7%(nc). Fieldwork was between Wednesday and Friday, and changes are from Opinium’s previous poll in mid-January, conducted straight after May lost her vote on the deal, but won her no confidence vote.

A seven point Conservative lead is the largest since the election. While it is not significantly larger than the 5 or 6 point leads YouGov have been showing this month, it’s a noticable change to Opinium’s previous recent polls, which have tended to show Labour and Conservative roughly neck-and-neck.

As ever, one should be a little cautious about reading too much into a single poll. Survation’s poll for Thursday’s Daily Mail had fieldwork conducted on Wednesday, so actually overlaps the fieldwork period for this poll and showed a one point Labour lead with no meaningful swing from Labour to Conservative. It would be wise to wait and see if subsequent polls confirm whether public opinion has shifted against Labour, or whether this is just an outlier.

Also, be cautious about reading too much into what has caused the change. We really don’t know if there has been a change yet, let alone exactly where it has come from and why (not that it will stop people assuming things). It has been two weeks since Opinium’s last poll, and an awful lot has happened – so one cannot pin the change on any one specific event. Neither can cross-breaks really give much guidance (as Michael Savage notes in the Observer, Labour are down among both remainers and leavers… though discerning any signal from the noise of crossbreaks would be difficult even if the change was all on one side).

The full tables from Opinium are here.

589 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 41, LAB 34, LDEM 8”

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  1. @Danny – “I always know i am on the winning side of the argument when opponents resort to personal attacks instead of addressing the argument! So thank you for that confirmation.”

    I was rather pondering that too. They do seem rather fond of invoking my name at every opportunity, even while gliding past the points of substance.

    On the matter in hand, it is worth noting that the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 is very short, and says nothing about the PMs power to revoke notification.

    It says –

    “1 Power to notify withdrawal from the EU

    (1)The Prime Minister may notify, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on EuropeanUnion, the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the EU.

    (2)This section has effect despite any provision made by or under the EuropeanCommunities Act 1972 or any other enactment.

    2 Short title

    This Act may be cited as the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act2017.”

    In the court case, the key phrase in the judgement seems to be – “The change in the law required to implement the referendum’s outcome must be made in the only way permitted by the UK constitution, namely by legislation,”

    I really don’t know if there is any clarity in the case regarding what would be needed to revoke, but as there hasn’t been a referendum to revoke, perhaps there is no need to change laws to implement this?

    My guess would be (only a guess, mind) that given there is no constitutional significance of the referendum itself, (which presumably is why the parliamentary act was required) there would be no block to the executive reversing it’s decision without an act of parliament.

    I’m personally not so sure that this is a completely moot point, as while I suspect we are inching towards a deal of the kind backed by Labour, were there no majority for any deal, then I suspect May would be looking to terminate the leaving process.

    Indeed, she has said as much repeatedly to the ERG, when she started talking about the possibility of no Brexit.

  2. @bazinwales

    So polldrums unless Ipsos Mori is the outlier and Opinium is the new norm!

  3. Greetings from Punta Arenas, Chile, from where the hot air emanating from a small island off the European mainland is wonderful to behold.

    What I haven’t seen yet amongst all the indignant froth is any refutation of Tusk’s point that brexit promoters didn’t have any coherent plans for brexit, and that if no deal results in disaster for the UK, they will never be forgiven by those who suffer the most. Or, from this distance, am I misunderstanding what it’s all about?

  4. Shocker. Just found out that Andy Nisbet was one of the pair of climbers who died on Ben Hope.

    Huge loss.

  5. Ipsos-Mori link:

    Note methodology issues that give different VI for “all” v “headline”.

    BAZINWALES has given the headline but “all” is:
    CON 39
    LAB 35
    LD 12
    UKIP 5
    Green 3

    To get that kind of change between headline and “all” then my 2sec guess is a lot of DK and low LTV in LAB (relative to other parties) that they “add back in” for headline.

    Ipsos-Mori are big on graphics, low on hard numbers so possibly someone can confirm/correct that view.


  6. @ ALEC / DANNY – Yep, you guys are winning. Nothing to worry about. May will revoke any day now ;)

    It’s pretty boring to drag you both through the treacle of why that is nonsense (again and again and again) but believe what you want – they do say ignorance is bliss ;)


    Trying not to be facetious but If we all said the sky was green with purple spots it does not make it green with purple spots.

    My point about the Border was salient in that they could ignore it which is legally dubious at best, we have a hard border at the border or we have one at Irish sea.

    The ignore I think last about 6 months tops because of the legal ramifications. Indeed a trade deal will define it be regulatory differences alone. Again we are pushing politics against logic


    Anyway glad the penny has finally dropped for you ;)

    I stated that the red lines means no deal since Lancaster Gate. I have constantly said in order to get a deal someones red lines will have to give, indeed I have constantly asked COLIN as to what red line should each side drop to make a deal happen. He has said he does not know but between the EU and the UK government they would be able to arrive at a solution. We have had nearly 3 years of can kicking because someone at some point will have to either say we can’t have a deal because of our intractable red lines or say this red line is not important or the Irish border is not not important or NI regulatory situation has to be different from the rest of the UK.

    The choices are pretty simple I pointed them out early and often. As you may be aware I worked in belfast for 2 years and have met both Dodd and McGuiness Both expressed a need for closer economic ties with RoI. Dodds expressly wanted corporation tax to be lowered to the same level as RoI as an example. However these guys also play the political game

    I pointed out the THE OTHER HOWARD when we discussed this I suspected after Lancaster House that either she will have to walk back the red lines or be resigned to no deal.

    So it would be good to tell me where I have been going wrong all this time


    @JIM JAM

    The problem for the DUP is anything that shows that NI is separate from the UK without their explicit control is a no no ……..So they are happy with regulatory misalignment when it suits them (think abortions for example) but will not take kindly to anything seen as being forced on them hence the view of the GFA.

    When you look at stuff through that lens, the arguments make sense (just!!!) I suspect the CU would be a stumbling block because it will be imposed on them and would be something the republicans would want and by definition anything the other side wants has to be bad.

  8. @Danny

    “Parliament has now given a similar authorisation to withdraw notice. An informal one was all that was needed to give notice, so it is all that is needed to revoke.”

    What? If that were true, at least we’d get to see Gina Miller’s Brexit polar opposite….

  9. A “tense” meeting between HMG and the “devolved administrations” according to the Beeb.

    It’s time these “devolved administrations” got behind HMG and stopped behaving like the annoying little nephew.

    Don’t they realise which side their bread is buttered?

  10. @ PTRP – I don’t use the Central line but I do know a lot of EU luvvies live near Notting Hill Gate so I’m sure they found your views stimulating.

    Dodds has asked for loads of stuff to try to compete with the tax haven to the South – it is his job to look out for his voters!

    Being in C+S gives him and DUP huge extra power, hence the 1bn bung. See previous page for Unionist VI Brexit views though – they seem pretty keen on “No Deal”!

    I can’t speak for COLIN but UK has no need to do any “hardening” on our side of NI border in any outcome, even Jon Thompson of 20bn hit “fame” has confirmed that. Eventually we’d have some issues with other countries if we “tolerate” peace over a bit of extra smuggling but we’d buy some time – time to see what RoI and EC-EU26 do.

    I can’t speak for what RoI and EC-EU26 will decide they have to do on their side but given the faux paranoia over chlorinated chicken they can decide to place customs checks either their side of NI border or on their line in the Irish Sea – up to them!

    As for “So it would be good to tell me where I have been going wrong all this time”

    Well, I haven’t got all day but let’s start with voting LAB ;)

  11. Looks like Lucid Talks (NI) poll from Jan post didn’t make it. Anyway look at the Unionist column in the x-breaks.


  12. “It’s pretty boring to drag you both through the treacle of why that is nonsense (again and again and again) but believe what you want – they do say ignorance is bliss ;)”

    Weird. It’s not so much ‘never apologise, never explain’, as ‘never apologise, never read’.

    They just don’t even know what view they are insulting, even when it’s written down for them.

  13. hugo: A “tense” meeting between HMG and the “devolved administrations” according to the Beeb.

    It’s time these “devolved administrations” got behind HMG and stopped behaving like the annoying little nephew.

    Hmm, don’t you think you should be setting an example to Tusk?

    Don’t they realise which side their bread is buttered?
    I think your problem is that they do realise on which side their bread is buttered. And it isn’t the side with a union jack.

  14. LewBlew et al

    On students from England and Wales having to pay for tuition at universities in Scotalnd when local student and those from rEU go free, it does look bad at first glance.

    But on deeper consideration it is justified by 1) decisions of the respective UK parliaments, who rightly don`t wish to be forced into a common position but respect democracy. And by 2) logic and the avoidance of chaos.

    If Anglo-Welsh students didn`t have to pay in Scotland, they would flock here, overwhelming local admissions and pushing some weaker Anglo-Welsh unis towards bankruptcy or extinction.

    The UK (London) education department wanted the present arrangement of charging, and having a son working in a Scotland university I know that is what its staff want also.

    I agree the situation looks unfair, but it is a consequence of having a limited amount of devolution in the UK.

  15. Tec………………

    The biggest market for Scottish goods is the rest of the UK…they’ve done pretty well out of the Union, methinks.

  16. Hugo

    The biggest market for Canadian goods is the USA (76%)…they’ve done pretty well out of not being in the Union, methinks.

    If you insist on trolling, then try doing it intelligently.

  17. PETERW

    @”I’m not sure it would. ”

    I said -if she gets the WA through.

    It is the WA which contains the backstop. Nothing in Corbyn’s letter would cause its removal.

  18. You Gov have finally published a poll on their website. The link to the article appears to be down but headline VI is the same as Opinium, namely

    Con 41%
    Lab 34%

    Fieldwork 3-4 Feb

  19. @ ALEC – OK 2mins for some treacle dragging (again). Scroll option for those that understand the process and “gammonland” realities.

    PETERW pointed out some of the issues and challenged DANNY to show the legal “means”. I was hoping he’d reply to my Revoke/Extend post (please do PETERW), please refer to that as can’t be bothered cut+pasting it.

    Anyway, let’s consider the non-legal issue.

    Can you think of a party that put “country” before “party” (even if you think Remain is putting “country” first)?

    LDEM 2015 GE result

    seats: 8 (-49)
    %: 7.9 (-15.1)

    Now consider SAM’s “spin” on polls being CON VI are “certifiable” about Brexit how do you think they’ll respond if May takes it upon herself to revoke A50 (again for simplicity let’s make the false assumption that she could).

    Student Loans crushed LDEM, doing a U-Turn on Brexit will crush CON (assuming they even survive in one piece!)

    Now May might be a deep cover LAB operative? Maybe. I doubt it but if she isn’t then… well… LDEM have you and DANNY fooled so the campaign to rejoin via A49 has 2 votes at least!

  20. May still demanding “legally binding” changes to the WA.

  21. @ Andrew Myers

    Worth remembering that YouGov’s average over the past two months has been better for the Tories by about 5 points compared to the average of all other pollsters. And it only represents a 2% swing since their last poll, as opposed to zero swing per Ipsos, and 7 points per the much publicised Opinium.

  22. YouGov
    Verified account

    11 minutes ago

    Latest Westminster voting intention (3-4 Feb)
    Con 41%
    Lab 34%
    Lib Dem 10%
    Other parties 16%

  23. I see all those best buddies in the EU are still getting along so well with each other dispite brexit.
    Maybe France and Italy never got that Memo .

  24. @ HUGO – in fairness to the Scots, we did take a load of North Sea oil revenue in the 1980-90s and waste it.

    I “empathise” with the OLD NATs who bear a grudge.

    Today, however? Scotland are just economic and political baggage for rUK and the two main parties. UK needs to “rightsize” IMHO!

    That SLAB chap, always forget his name, clearly there to ensure SLAB go back to 1 seat in next GE so Corbyn can “get rid”. SCON??Still putting up a fight and sadly 2nd part of CON name is Unionist so they fail to see the benefit of getting rid of Scotland.

    IMHO (and some polling to support that) if they want to leave then we should say good luck and good riddance – bon voyage!

    Let Brussels deal with their fiscal indiscipline – ciao, adios we’re done! If they vote to stay, we rip up the Barnett formula and start treating them as equals. Since they’re mostly EU luvvies up there, let’s have some kind of SGP and stop paying for their failing attempt at Socialism on the back of English taxpayers!

    We’ll want to talk about a deal on Faslane, Losiemouth, etc (but no “free” protection from Russia like we provide RoI!)

    PS I am actually half Scottish but I do tend to keep that quiet.
    PPS I was a bit of a Bennite back in the day – almost as bad! What can i say? I was young, foolish and gullible! I grew out of that!

  25. YouGov still giving big Con lead but now not alone. Opinium giving the same so is Ipsos MORI the odd one out.

    More polls needed!

  26. YG Live Poll on Tusk comment – scores on the doors!

    Approve: 33
    Disapprove: 50
    DK: 17

    net -17 Approve

    X-break nets:

    CON -66
    LAB +18
    LDEM +26

    Leave -71
    Remain +34

    Whilst it’s tempting to call Remain and LDEM trait0rs and hardly surprising LAB, like Corbyn, h8te their own country I’m going to call Leave “th!ck” for not realising Tusk is helping!

  27. Trevors

    Are you all half Scots, or just some of you?

    Anyway, here’s a petition for all of the Trevors to sign – that should boost the number of signatories significantly.


    Currently, the strongest support for it is in Scotland, Wales and NI.

  28. ALEC
    “They do seem rather fond of invoking my name at every opportunity, even while gliding past the points of substance.”

    I was wondering why Tldr;W said I should say hello to you the other day. (I’m happy to do so since I can at least understand your posts).

    There seems to be a (misplaced in my opinion, but what on earth do I know, since Tldr;W was quick to confirm that I do indeed inhabit a different reality) rather braying and off-putting attitude from some in favour of Brexit on here at the moment, which reminds me of parents insulting the ref at junior school football matches. I’m sure it makes some feel better but I’m thinking the story of the March Hare and the Tortoise here.

    I’ve enjoyed watching the right-wing moderates kicking off today about Corbyn’s overtures to Little Nell, to me it looks as if he has merely restated the Labour Party policy (customs union, single market equivalence, BINO), cunningly disguising it as five impossible things before breakfast rather than pointing out that to all intents and purposes it’s the same as the six tests.

    The big red lines for May have always been no customs union (see last paragraph) and an end to freedom of movement (see reference to single market in last paragraph) so she is no more likely to agree to it than take off all her clothes and dance in the fountain at Trafalgar Square. In the unlikely event that she were to (the former, obviously), the reaction of the ERG and DUP would be a wonder to behold.

    Strikes me that all Corbyn’s actually done is to occupy the only conceivable position from which Brexit can be got through the Commons and will now sit back and watch the fun.

    Party VI polling seems barely relevant at the moment, either Labour are seen to save and deliver Brexit despite the best efforts of the Brexiteers themselves, are seen to have offered what is being reported as a fig leaf despite its not being anything of the sort, or can shuffle off pointing out that at least they tried. In any case I see no scenario whereby it will be possible to argue that the Government are capable of organising the proverbial, since anything they offer will be unhelpful to May.

  29. New thread

  30. [email protected] The biggest market for Scottish goods is the rest of the UK…they’ve done pretty well out of the Union, methinks.

    There is much more to which side you bread is buttered on than a single metric such as trade flows. UK governance of Scotland is appalling. Take brexit as an example.

  31. trevor Warne,
    ” doing a U-Turn on Brexit will crush CON”
    makes you wonder why they havnt got on with carrying out brexit, then doesn’t it?

    Given the logic of what you say, which I agree with, why would they put off brexit and put as many difficulties in its path as they can? It iknda looks like they fear going through with bexit just as much as not going through with it.

    And why would that be? presumably because they think it isnt going to work well!

    What you also need to consider is that conservatives did not used to be a leave party. They did not used to have so leavey voters. There are right wing remainers out there to be captured too. A really clever trick would be to go remain and get all those people back on board. So then you can keep up your voter numbers, replacing the defectors to UKIP with remainers you steal from labour. Without remainers meanwhile, labour is bleeding to death.

  32. “Scotland are just economic and political baggage for rUK and ….”

    Meanwhile in the real world Scotland has the third highest GVA per head of the UK regions after London and SE England even excluding oil and gas:


  33. @DANNY
    I asked for legal basis as against wishful thinking. Not meaning to be rude but what you “suspect” is manifestly an example of the latter not the former.

    So I’d ask again, any legal argument, citing precedents or failing that learned sources? Because as Alec has pointed out you are the one inventing words in a statute whose plain English meaning is absolutely clear and absolute does not say what you wish it to mean.

  34. Just browsed the Britain Elects council by election results and some encouraging results for LIBDEMS
    – Wokingham (Evedens) Lib Dems +16% Con -8.80% Lab -7.5% perhaps John Redwood should watch out!
    Bolton & Underhill (bradford) LIB Dem gain. Lib Dem +9 Lab -10
    Thornton Lambeth Lab Hold. Lab -18 Lib Dem +23

  35. So Farage is setting up a party. This could hit some of the Tory VI
    Perhaps we end up with some sort of fudge between CU/ May Deal we will end up with more parties both Pro Remain and for Hard Brexit so at moment impossible to predict how the polls will pan out

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