Today we’ve had the first two polls asking people about whether they’d support The Independent Group were they to stand candidates.

Survation in the Daily Mail asked how people would vote if there was “a new centrist party opposed to Brexit”, producing voting intention figures of CON 39%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, “New centrist party” 8%, UKIP 5%. In comparison, the normal voting intention figures in the poll were CON 40%, LAB 36%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 5%, suggesting the new party could take support from both Labour and Conservative, though it would largely take votes from the Liberal Democrats. Tables are here.

SkyData, who do not typically publish voting intention figures, asked how people would vote if the “new Independent Group of former Labour MPs” were standing, and found voting intention figures of CON 32%, LAB 26%, TIG 10%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 6%. We don’t have standard voting intention figures to compare here, but on the face of it, it also looks as if support is coming from both Labour and Conservative, though the level of Lib Dem support appears to be holding up better than in the Survation poll. Note that the lower figures overall appear to be because of an unusually high figure for “others” (possibly because SkyData do not offer respondents the ability to answer don’t know). Tables are here.

These polls are, of course, still rather hypothetical. “The Independent Group” is not a political party yet (assuming, that it ever becomes one). It doesn’t formally have a leader yet, or any policies. We don’t yet know how it will co-exist with the Liberal Democrats. As of Tuesday night it only has former Labour MPs, though the rumourmill expects some Conservative MPs to join sooner rather than later.

Nevertheless, it is more “real” than the typical hypothetical polls asking about imaginary centrist parties. Respondents do at least have some names, faces and context to base it upon, and it gives us a baseline of support. We won’t really know for sure until (and unless) the Independent Group transform into a proper party and is just another option in standard voting intention polls.

511 Responses to “Survation and SkyData polls on the Independent Group”

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  1. @Trevors – “@ ALEC – Thank you for supplying the source although it fails to supports your claim. As usual you fail instantly by misunderstanding the difference between COULD and WILL!”

    You’ve slipped up here. I claimed;

    “Remember that based on what they have been advised by HMG, the food industry believes 10% of the entire industry and 25% of food exporters will go bankrupt within six weeks of no deal”.

    This is entirely supported by the interview. Frankly, if you’ve retreated to having to launch a false argument about the contextual difference between ‘could’ and ‘will’, then you’ve already lost.

    “Anyway, you clearly do not understand the milk/dairy numbers:”

    Actually, Trevs, I do. From the link you originally supplied (

    – “In volume terms, liquid milk and cream are the most significant export products for the UK dairy sector (Figure 4). Between 2013 and 2017, the UK exported on average 680,000 tonnes per year…”

    Total milk production is round 14Mt pa, of which 0.68Mt pa are exported, which is – around 5%. So you came out with the same figure that I came out with, yet you accuse me of not understanding the numbers?

    In your world, losing 5% of you market is minor. You still maintain that we can convert this stuff to butter or dried milk or whatever. You fail to appreciate – again – that we lack the capacity to do this, because we have integrated supply chains within the EU, and so don’t have capacity at home to process more milk anyway.

    You will I’m sure be aware (from the same ADHB link) that “Total production costs on UK dairy farms are higher than the gross revenue, indicating there is still some reliance on subsidies.”

    Against such a background, losing 5% of sales is a big deal, and if you want to talk about the new export markets like China, then we need to accept we are years away from being price competitive with the likes of New Zealand.

    “@ R&D – You missed out that I was mocking ALEC.”

    This is a shame, as for a brief period you joined the ranks of interesting and engaged posters. You’ve now reverted to the rather unpleasant manners from before, once again not understanding the points being made, not double checking your numbers while attacking other people’s perfectly correct data, and failing to understand the industries you are discussing, while all the time telling everyone else they don’t understand.

    We’ll just reiterate the point here: a no deal Brexit on March 29th is going to be very painful for the UK food and farming sector. To survive unscathed, they will need substantial taxpayer support.

    At no point have you managed to counter this argument.

  2. @Trevors – I forgot to add – where you say –

    “(ie if the domestic market can’t absorb the small increase then instead of sending raw milk on lorries to Netherlands some farmers could be paid to pour it down the drain). It won’t come to that – which is why I said it was an absurd example.”

    It’s clear that you don’t understand the milk business, nor the BOD of raw milk. Losing one sale in twenty really isn’t a small deal in a business already running at a loss.

  3. @Trevors – “Plenty of CON Brexiteer MPs very happy to replace any-all of those three!”

    It would be disastrous for May if she decided to go down that route.

    While all the focus is understandably currently on Labour, the Tory party is descending into a complete mess. It goes way beyond these three, in terms of ministers, and put simply, May doesn’t have the numbers to run a functioning government if she leaves no deal as the only available option.

    A decision needs to be made – whether to delay or proceed without a deal, and I suspect there is going to be a shattering within Conservative ranks, whichever way this tumbles.

  4. OldNat

    What I meant with fragmentation of Slovenia was that the main dividing line of affiliation is localism – village, town (or valley). The dialects can be easily recognised and it influences, for example, preference in employing someone (it has declined a bit as there is not enough labour force).

    Only two ethnic minorities are recognised officially (Italians and Hungarians) and these have representation in Parliament (it is quite common practice in Eastern Europe).

    There has been a significant Kosovar Albanian population since the late 1970s (moved there as guest workers – Yugoslavia …). However, as many of them are now second or third generation – they are Slovenians.

    The influx of Bosnians (and Serbians) has continued (so, not only because of the civil war), they are treated as guest workers. However settlement rules are quite simple (also many use Slovenia as an intermediary step for moving to Germany).

    Although the largest parliamentary party (SDS) is anti-migrant, it doesn’t quite define its nationalism as ethnic (sometimes more so though), but as nation state (and it is not in government) – kind of Putinist definition (and it has a solid, albeit somewhat diminishing base).

    As you wrote, politics is fragmented in Slovenia (there are 9 parties in Parliament), but mainly because of legacies and attitude to economic policies (the current government is essentially a left liberal one). As to legacies, for example, although the four major leftist parties talk to each other (and co-ordinate), they cannot get amalgamated (Stalinists, Titoists, social democrats, new left). The Christians will also keep their independence.

    There are some very strong civil society organisations (they are not the same as in the UK, but a kind of equivalent) in Slovenia. Mainly progressives – which actually “helps” people to turning away from parliamentary politics, and focus on local ones, as well as aspects of cross-Slovenian ones.

    Having said all these, there is still an austerity debate in Slovenia, and the tripartite (employers, unions and government) negotiations on wages are very, very tense.

    Travelling from most East European countries to Slovenia is a very pleasant experience – politically (unless one is very rightwing).

  5. If a new referendum looks like a possibility, will ERG not see BREXIT slipping through their fingers and vote for May’s deal? And would it get it through without the DUP but with Labour rebels?

  6. It’s pretty much impossible to be sure of the TIG effect unless they declare themselves as a party. 11% of the vote is meaningless if they’re only standing candidates in a few constituencies. They might hook up with the LD’s anyway. I’d keep the seat calculators as they are for now.

    Their effect will be much more pronounced in the current parliament. They have no reason to enable a general election now that would replace most of them.


    Another place where we shouldn’t expect a general election soon.

    Fine Gael need 36%+ to have any chance of forming a proper government. They might be the most popular, but they need someone compatible who has enough seats to form a workable coalition. There probably won’t be next time, so there’s more mess coming.

  7. @EOTW

    If a new referendum looks like a possibility, will ERG not see BREXIT slipping through their fingers and vote for May’s deal? And would it get it through without the DUP but with Labour rebels?

    IMHO yes, I believe that has been May’s trump card plus the fact that she would want a referendum like an extra hole in the head.

    if you look at the situation whereas TIG would not want an election since that hardens battle line and policy and I suspect they are actually very diverse in terms of policy (my view of the TIG of the labour variety is that they believe they that Labour is more electable without Corbyn but they have no policies that excite the members hence their problem, the Tory TIG members are particularly anti Leave but despite what they have argued about austerity they have voted for every austerity measure there is)

  8. May has annonced that the meaningful vote will be delayed until 12 March and In an interesting use of language said that leaving the EU on 29 March was “still within our gradp” and still the intention,

    Not sure whether that means she will still make a statement on Tuesday and table an amendable motion.

  9. “Grasp” not “gradp”!

  10. TW

    ““@ R&D – You missed out that I was mocking ALEC.”

    Actually I feel that perhaps you missed out that I was mocking you.

  11. The latest Wales poll does indeed show a significant fall in Labour support; Conservatives holding up and both PC and the Lib Dems gaining ground.

    Though of course this is only one poll, historically You Gov in Wales have been pretty accurate.

    Apologies for the polling interlude…..

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