There were two polls in the Sunday papers. ComRes had a poll conducted for BrexitExpress (a pro-Brexit pressure group) prominently but poorly reported in the Sunday Telegraph. The voting intention question included The Independent Group as an option, producing topline figures of CON 36%(-2), LAB 34%(-3), LDEM 8%(-2), TIG 8%(+8), UKIP 6%(nc). Most polling companies are not, at present, including the Independent Group in polls – something that will presumably change as they take steps towards actually forming a party and clarifying their future intentions. The tables for the poll are here.

The Sunday Telegraph headlined on a finding that 44% of people agreed with a statement that “If the EU refuses to make any more concessions, the UK should leave without a deal”, suggesting rather more support for no deal than almost all other polls. I would advise a lot of scepticism here – agree/disagree statements are a rather suboptimal approach towards asking polling questions (I’ve written about them before here) that tend to produce a bias in the direction of the statement. The problem is they give only a single side of the argument – the question only asked people if they agreed with a statement supporting leaving with no deal in those circumstances. It did not offer people alternative options like a delay, or accepting the deal, or having a referendum. One can imagine that a poll asking “In the event that the EU does not agree to further changes to the deal, what do you think should happen?” would have produced rather different answers. Indeed, later on the survey asked which outcomes people thought would be best for the UK economy and best for UK democracy, which produced rather more typical results.

Note also that the Sunday Telegraph’s claim that the poll showed an increase in support for No Deal is not accurate – the poll back in January asked a differently worded question (it was structured as support/oppose, rather than an agree/disagree statement, and was in a grid along with other options) so they are not directly comparable.

As well as the ComRes poll there was a BMG poll hidden away in the Independent. The figures were unusually reported without excluding don’t knows or won’t votes, with the Conservatives on 31%, Labour on 27% and 8% for the Liberal Democrats. According to the Independent the Conservative lead is five points once don’t knows are excluded – that implies something along the lines of Con 40%, Lab 35% and Lib Dem 10% – though the full figures are yet to appear on the BMG website.

870 Responses to “Catching up on the weekend polls”

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  1. MATT126

    It may be a rogue poll but given Survation nailed the 2017 GE it may have some credence. Besides I just do not believe Con really are 10 points ahead. I suspect the parties are still pretty much neck and neck.

  2. Matthew Parris The Times March 16.

    Addressed to remainer Conservative MPs “Could he (sic) but step back and judge with the perspective history will afford, he would see the months ahead in all their simplicity. We haven’t left the European Union. We needn’t. It’s entirely up to us. He can turn away from a path that in his heart we should never have taken.

    But he hasn’t long…”

  3. @ MIKE PEARCE – thank you for your reply and analysis. Hopefully JJ will also comment, specifically on LAB side of things.

    FWIW Betfair currently has it’s chances at about 28%

    Beyond the outcome the political optics of May pushing her deal though after it lost by 230 then 149 seem horrific to me – May (and hence CON) are adopting the EU approach of keep asking until you get the “right” answer.

    DISCLAIMER: I now have a significant “bet” on MV3 outcome as I occasionally underwrite a “bookie” and someone wanted to place a large bet on MV3 passing.

    I never encourage anyone to bet and folks should never bet what they can not afford to lose.

    The outcome of that vote, assuming it is held, should however be interesting to most folks interested in UK Politics and hence of interest to the comments section of UKPR but folks can always use the scroll button.

  4. Much consideration going on by Tory MPs this weekend (along with the hierarchy of Labour I assume). The ERG will support May’s deal – so long as she stands down by a set date in literally a few weeks time. If she won’t, they will vote down her deal and have ‘indicated’ to the Opposition (and to Brady, head of the 1922) that should a Vote of No Confidence be tabled, they will abstain meaning it will win and May ends up resigning in disgrace.

    As one I know described it,.she is stood on a gallows holding a pistol to her own head. If she doesn’t pull the trigger, we will pull the lever.

  5. I think the ERG really do need ask themselves the wuestions;

    “‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well do ya, punk?”

    Political ideology is one thing, but the political reality is that support for a no deal Brexit isn’t really isn’t there, and that pragmatic leavers with mortgages and bills to worry about will melt away very, very quickly.

    Revoke will mean remain.

  6. “While all/many sites have GDPR options to say no, many make it a lot harder than a simple click, but it’s a simple click to accept.”
    @statgeek March 16th, 2019 at 6:39 am

    Find the browser setting that says ‘save cookies until you close your browser’ and set that. Then as long as you close it and reopen it now and again, their hoops they try to make you jump through are meaningless. I notice Chrome is making it harder than ever to do that, so I refuse to use it.

    GDPR gives more power to the user. Bloody EU.

  7. So the Tories want May to signal her departure to pass deal.

    By doing this this could deter Labour switchers and also make some more EU inclined Tories switch the other way with this making it more likely a more hard line leader could take over

  8. New thread

  9. @ MIKE PEARCE – PS I am reminded of Nadine Dorries’s comment from 22Feb’19

    “only one member of the European Research Group (ERG) of Brexiteers wants the UK to leave the EU without A deal”

    Emphasis added.

    She folded in MV2.

    COLIN posted it at the time and my reply was along lines of “very few want to be blamed for No Deal”

    Also worth repeating not all the “nutters” are paid up members of ERG (CON-Leave are “layers” not a full “party within a party” although they obviously do have a soft-whip agreement and work as a “block” on many votes)

    I think its fair to assume with 99.9% certainty that the current deal isn’t going to change before MV3 and although DUP and ERG are looking for a ladder to climb down you can’t reinterpret the legal info. They either have to “lose face” or “dig their heels in”, not a pleasant choice!

    I also think it is fair to say if DUP fold then the “fig leaf” that is keeping many CON Leave MPs voting against disappears. JJ and I would agree on that.

    I had factored DUP and a lot of CON Leave into my maths but for sure I might be over estimating now many “to the death” CON MPs will keep voting against and I might also be under estimating how willing they might be to lose this battle and “fall back” to use of “naughty” tactics.

    ERG’s “best” outcome is that the vote fails due to CON Remain and other parties votes, not CON Leave votes. However, they have other options if they get the maths wrong and the deal scraps through with a lot of LAB “help”.

    It’s all down to “blame vectors” at this point. You don’t want the blame for “No Deal” but you don’t want May’s deal either – these folks are politicians after all!

  10. @Trevors – this is getting very pointless, but I really don’t think you understand what you post at times.

    After a lengthy ramble, which I declined to read in detail, to be honest, you end with this:

    “The one part I clipped was:
    “We aren’t ‘legally leaving’ without a WA,”

    IMHO that shows you either

    a/ don’t understand this part of A50(3) that covers the NO WA

    “failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2”

    b/ you seem to think if we don’t have a WA then we don’t Leave (ie we would Remain by default)

    So perhaps you could clarify, is it a/ or b/?”

    This neatly summarizes precisely the mistake you made.

    The part you clipped – “We aren’t ‘legally leaving’ without a WA,”

    is meaningless, without the part you removed – “…and then getting a WA. ”

    Can you not understand this? The a/ and b/ questions that flow from your erroneous editing are consequently nonsensical, because you have completely butchered my meaning by the clipping of the sentence.

    If you edit someone’s post in such a way that it bears absolutely no relationship to the meaning that they made, why bother then analysing your meaningless interpretation of something no one actually said, and then pose questions back to the poster whose post you have completely butchered and distorted? What on earth s the point of that?

    Your behaviour in this is even more bizarre, in that you’ve actually pasted the full quote in the same post, yet you still insist on asking completely false and illogical questions based on your misquoting of the same quote.

    I mean, did you not read the second sentence of my post – that you actually quote at the start? The one where I say –

    “We either leave with a WA or without one.”????

    It’s actually quite extraordinary to witness.

  11. @ DANNY – thank you for your 10:27am. We agree on the legal aspects but not the “motives”

    @ DUNHAM111 (@ DANNY) – one, of many, possible scenarios is HoC having stripped authority from May getting someone to write a letter to Tusk (although that involves some major constitutional issues last week’s Benn amendment was very close, lost by 2!)

    Theoretically the “letter writer” could be May but the “grey suits” would probably have intervened before that IMHO

    FWIW folks are starting to realise “no A50 extension” is different to “Brexit date” and “Leave by 29/03/2019”. Let’s just say the Trevors will do well if A50 is revoked ;)


    I think she meant her red lines to be real red lines. She must have known that the many real Leavers in her party would accept nothing less as has proved to be the case. She made a number of big mistakes after triggering Art. 50.

    I would not accept they were mistakes. As I said listen to the podcast in the guardian. I recommend it because in truth they actually allow the person to speak and they ask questions in a non threatening manner which reveals motivation to a much better degree than say the chopper broadcast which I suspect has to be shown as brexit supporting.

    Indeed chopper podcast is only interesting when they review the situation which produces a very different tone to when they are interviewing essentially lots of brexiteers but that is an aside

    One could argue that the three point youmade were mistakes but I would disagree. If the eU red the redlines as No Deal so quickly, Yourself and myself reading the red line meaning no deal so quickly what was her alternative. If her aim was to get a deal then either she pretends she did not make the Lancaster House speech or she makes another speech redefining Brexit. She chose the former and so our only definition form the executive of the UK was that speech but as you said she has not followed it and saying that this was a mistake to my mind misses the point I am making.

    It was not a mistake it was a bait and switch. The mistake that was made was that people believed that she would deliver a No deal by design. If she was going to deliver a no deal by design we would not have got past the first phase. We would have had clarity that we were heading for no deal there would have been none of this. and it would have been all over in january 2018

    Once May’s deal is defeated next week (or even on a MV4 the following week),

    I expect MV3 and MV4 to happen
    I expect the last one to lose by some 10 votes I don’t see 25 Labour MPs swing to the tories for a deal.

    I do not expect May to revoke A50 I believe she will hold the party together that is the most important thing for her and Tories. Brexit is secondary to that. Remainer Tories have no balls it is why they backed away form having any flexibility and followed the ERG lead. Grieve voting against his own amendment was the essentially the final straw of having influence. You need to change the law and there is no consensus as to what to replace leaving on 29th March

  13. @TOH

    “If that was directed at me..”

    It was not directed at you. It is not language I would use. It is a quotation from a post made by Neil A to another poster. I am telling Neil A that I do not like his language.

    I am not involved in your discussions with Alec and have no intention of joining in.

  14. Trevor and others the number of potential Labour rebels willing to vote through May’s deal at this point is imo as many as 25 but when push comes to shove will be 15-20 net max.

    For this vote as not supporting May does not mean thwarting Brexit but slowing it (aiming for a better deal) the max number imo is 15 net.

    15 net might, though, be just enough to see the PM home.

    It is counter intuitive but there will be fewer (or it is less I never know?) Labour rebels if MV3 has no chance of passing as why risk the wrath of your CLP needlessly. There will be those that feel strongly and will do so but that might only be 3-5 more than the 7 (3 now indy/suspended) so perhaps a dozen non Tory/DUP MPs including Lloys for MV3 rising to 18-20 if the deal can pass.

    FWIW, I think enough Ultras wont support this time and the Grieve/Lee group will be more steadfast that others have suggested meaning MV3 will fail.

    Then it depends if an amendment for HOC taking control (only lost by 4 passes) whether we ever get to MV4.

    Hitheto, If I may self-congratulate I have call every major vote right, even tight ones but that taking control vote after MV3 failure is tough as 4 votes may not be many but without ministerial resignations to support I can’t see many votes changing sides, but only 2 needed.

    Summary MV3 fail, MV4 pass but we might not get to it.

  15. @Jim Jam

    I think you are fully entitled to pat yourself on the back re-your prediction of the votes cast in the HOC. If May’s deal does squeak through then I expect, all right hope, that this will lead to a public outcry for reform of our electoral system, away from FPTP to PR.

    The sight of the British government pandering to the DU P for the sake of their votes is unedifying bordering on offensive . How this bunch of dinosaurs has been allowed to dictate the future prosperity of the UK really is beyond me.

    On a lighter note, well done for the correct use of fewer :-)

    My mother always moaned about supermarket checkout signs which say ‘nine items or less’. Except of course for M&S who put ‘nine items or fewer’. And when she saw how grocers etc misused apostrophes….

  16. And of course when I say “our voting system” I mean for the UK general election not the Scottish general election which, we all know, is superior in every way :-)

  17. @Valerie
    The sight of the British government pandering to the DUP

    May will win MV3 because of Labour support, not because of the DUP.

  18. ADW,
    “The ERG will support May’s deal – so long as she stands down by a set date in literally a few weeks time. If she won’t, they will vote down her deal ”

    Hardly a decision based on whether the deal is good or bad for the country then…

    Although my reading of the deal is that it settles virtually nothing excpt the UK stays in a CU. Very much still to play for.

    ” the political reality is that support for a no deal Brexit isn’t really isn’t there, and that pragmatic leavers with mortgages and bills to worry about will melt away very, very quickly.”

    The problem for the tories is that this applies with either no deal or government deal.

  19. My popcorn is being supplied much more frequently.

    For 25 years Mr F A Rage has been shouting in the wilderness, with a few of his mates (Cash, Bone, et alios). Then they got lucky; they got a Tory government that has been able to both annoy the populous and follow their ideology of reducing public spending. After five years of having some power they again got even more lucky and unexpectedly gained total power. Woo hoo!

    The referendum, while annoying for Cameron, gave the zealots an unbelievable opportunity. Further, the Remain side really didn’t think Brexit would happen. In Tim Shipman’s ‘All Out War’ Stuart Rose (from M&S) wasn’t really keen on fronting the Remain side, and their business sponsors didn’t want to get involved in the political side.

    Amazingly, on all sides, Leave won.

    Now they refuse to let go of that chink of light the Referendum gave them. If we really are to leave they should be able, without any worry, to have another referendum expecting to win by an even greater majority, as they case is so strong. No Remainer could argue with that.

    Are they frightened that if we ask the electorate again they may change their mind? That’s what I think? But if you are saying we must respect democracy then for something so important you have to ask again; if Leavers’ views are correct they will win again. It’s now or never!

    Meanwhile I think my popcorn is now coming from Amsterdam. I’m sure someone said May and Corby are meeting. God, it’s strong stuff.

    Munch. Munch. Munch. Oooooooo!

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