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. @peterw

    “No Deal is hence the least disliked option”

    Well no – because the vote in parliament was not against or in favour of ‘No Deal’ as a preferred outcome, but against or in favour of retaining ‘No Deal’ even as a negotiating option.

    These are fundamentally different things…

  2. Norbold
    As far as I can see, you understand that contradiction, but our PM chooses to ignore it.

    Right we can now agree. May has been a great disappointment to me. She laid down clearly what leaving the EU meant with her red lines which I agreed with. She said “Brexit meant Brexit” repeatedly which means leaving the EU in accordance with her red lines and she also said repeatedly that “No Deal is better than a bad deal” which I also totally agreed with. Now she votes against leaving without a deal which at the very least is the height of hypocrisy!
    I will still vote Tory at the next GE though, but if she resigns, as a Tory member, I will be voting for a hard Brexit candidate if there is one.

    Trigguy and James E,
    I could have posted the whole of the poll I suppose that would satisfy you both. Anyway, the point I made was clear, you don’t like it but I suggest what I posted was a perfectly reasonable summary off the points I picked out. I repeat it so if you think I am misinterpreting the poll you can say so.

    I posted:
    “So, voters seem clear that another referendum is not wanted, they think project fear is overstated, and the only result amongst those suggested that clearly respects the referendum result is leaving without a deal.”

    “Either way, it’s time to realise it ain’t going your way and whether we ‘leave properly’ or not you are unlikely ever to be happy or satisfied.”

    Personally, I am happy to wait and see who is going to get their way. If we don’t leave the EU as I want, I will repeat for you something I posted the other day to Charles so that you can be assured it will not dent my personal happiness:

    “However, you are correct that I would indeed console myself with my family, sport, wildlife and allotments and my many other interests. Individually we have little say in how our country is run other than when we vote, and I will certainly continue to do that to help prevent a Corbyn government. No doubt the millions who also support “no deal” will do the same.

    Life is too short to get too upset by matters you cannot control. No doubt you will feel the same if things work out my way. It is perfectly possible to be passionate about one’s beliefs without letting it dominate your enjoyment of life.”

    So please don’t worry on my behalf I live a very happy and full life.

    “@ TOH / CHARLES – You might be interested in J.Curtice write-up.”
    Thanks for that, I knew there was evidence that voters supported our view but I seem to remember at least one contra poll.

    “I’m looking forward to seeing more LAB join TIG, maybe not today but soon. If they want to take Grieve and Rudd with them then fine by me.”
    Me to!

    Allan Christie
    “Prominent remainers and the Liberal establishment only care about democracy when results go their way. “
    Indeed Allan, more or less defines them IMO.

    Have a good evening all, I have reached my boredom threshold for the day.

  3. “but imo if Cox changes his advice a tad then MV3 would be different from MV2 anyhow and I cant see even Bercow’s ego being big enough to rule out.”

    Though it would rather raise the question as to why Cox has suddenly changed his advice without any change to what he’s advising on. Would it be egotistical to rule it out in such a case?

  4. @DAVWEL

    re lack of Remain voices

    The thing that has struck me recently is that the LibDems seem to have lost their voice totally. Are they being cut out of the debate, or have they given up?

  5. @ Lewblew

    And they’d make us eat biscuits & gravy, jerky (ugh), Twinkies, key lime pie and grits.

    We could sneak a few back though, tripe, jellied eels, sidewall haggis and pork faggots.

  6. @Allan Christie


    This sounds like a less than subtle attempt to influence the vote, but I bet he’s licking his lips at the thought of opening up our market for US imports – maybe not quite so much at the thought of buying lots of UK goods.

  7. JamesB,

    Just a colourful way of saying that Mr Speaker won’t stop MV3 and that Cox only needs to adjust slightly, more likely augment, to make MV3 different from MV2.

    Even if Bryan passes (which I doubt as ministers come back in to line) the Government will find a way

  8. @ PETERW – ?!? Cooper isn’t in TIG, not y’day anyway.

    As for today then more folks are starting to think LAB are never going to get around to a new ref in time.

    SNP, LDEM, TIG, PC and Green are doing CON’s work for them. LAB will look like “handmaiden’s” and that suits the narrow interests of those groups getting more MPs in next GE (OK not Greens). TIG have an existential threat if LAB adopt their “Remain” ideology. LDEM, SNP and PC have geographic niches (or whatever the correct term is for that).

    Alastair Campbell might also be keen to break-up LAB or at least ensure Corbyn is never PM although McDonnell is a very shrewd politician and his match IMHO.

    Anyway, PV are putting huge faith in a whole bunch of stacked contingent events all going their way with very little time and hoping they can get May to play along – seemingly oblivious to Brexiteers having known their play book since before PV had a play book!

    ERG (and maybe DUP) can just pretend to be stup1d and let it play out. Most folks think Leave are th!ck and that suits the strategy.

    @ JJ – ERG and DUP know what Robbins (deliberately?) let slip over a month ago, although that possibly existed long before that.

    They are happy to play the charade of can kicking with Cox to put the “disloyal” spotlight on the CON Remain faction.

    I can’t speak for DUP who might be “bungable” given their current bung expires soon but the “nutters” are not afraid of a delay until Dec’20 – May should be though, as should the Arch-Remain MP faction in CON. I’m sure they’ll all pick up good jobs in the private sector and I wish them luck.


    The potential to lower our food standards is unlimited.

    USA would eat us for breakfast (which they’d supply, and it would be chlorinated).

    All of a sudden the USA has become the UK’s trading boogie man. Never mind, at least under EU a no deal we can still import tariff free French onions.

  10. @ TOH

    “Anyway, the point I made was clear, you don’t like it…”

    At what point did I say I didn’t like it? In fact I gave you “full marks”. It was an well written and well reasoned post. I was just pointing out that it was also a classic example of the selective use of data to prove a point. Fortunately people here are well versed in spotting such techniques. Unfortunately, they’re also well versed in using them too, as indeed, you have proved.

    As you say, a referendum is far from popular – and that includes with me. I really don’t fancy another referendum at all*. But the same data shows that no deal is even less popular, and also May’s deal is, debatably, less popular too. Perhaps the HoC is being quite representative in rejecting every option.

    Moving on, there were four options in the poll: No Deal, May’s Deal, “Softer Brexit”, ref+remain. I wonder what the answers would be for ref+leave? This type poll does seem to assume a referendum would lead to remain, which I think is far from cut and dried. So would a putative ref+leave outcome be more acceptable to more people? On both sides that is. Maybe not, but would be good for YouGov to ask I think.

    * apart from the polling data and results night, which is always fun

  11. @bigfatron

    The bit in quotes was the Trevors’ spin on it.

    I agree with your post entirely. This spin is over simplistic. But that it is possible at all is because the majority against the motion on no deal was as a matter of numbers lower than the majority against the last motion on TMs deal and lower than the majority against the last motion on a Labour Brexit and will probably be lower than the majority against today’s people’s vote amendment.

    It is lower because the motion was amended. Pointlessly so in many ways.

    The original sponsors of the amendment would have preferred a bigger majority. One that would have made the Trevors’ spin not merely simplistic but wrong numerically. I think that preference was the product of more astute political judgment than that shown by those TIG purists who pressed the amendment and pushed the eventual majority on the substantive motion down.

  12. I’d like to know what the point of this debate in the HoC is when most MPs can’t even be bothered to turn up for it. Those that are there are chatting to neighbour’s, messing about with their phones and generally taking no interest in what is going on at all.

  13. “USA would eat us for breakfast (which they’d supply, and it would be chlorinated).”

    Who on earth eats chicken for breakfast in the uk?


    Hang on big yin, The liberal elite and establishment infests most UK political parties and indeed the MSM. From highbrow Tories to metropolitan Labour MP’s and from wishy washy tambourine banging art students driving VW camper vans and Liberal voting suburban Tupperware party hosts, they can all be found under the one banner…

    Re moaners.

    Have a nice evening..

  15. @ RobertNewark

    “what the point of this debate in the HoC is when most MPs can’t even be bothered to turn up for it”

    I has always been thus. Apart from the phones that is. I went to the visitors gallery a couple of times when I was young, and was amazed at how few people there usually are in the chamber. In fact I’m often surprised they decided to allow the cameras in and let the general public actually see what they got up to. It’s not a pretty sight really.

  16. AC

    “wishy washy tambourine banging art students driving VW camper vans and Liberal voting suburban Tupperware party hosts, they can all be found under the one banner…”

    Bloody hell, which century are you from?

  17. @ BFR / PETERW – Please read the full post on “No Deal is hence the least disliked option”

    This is not my opinion, it is an “inspired” view of how 20+ CON MPs will be happy to “spin it” and proceed and they continue to have CON VI x-break support to do so (I seem to be the only one who ever looks at the x-breaks?)

    @ JJ – May’s deal is still the only deal on the table so it can’t come off the table unless it is replaced. May can always play the “nuclear option” after 16Mar to bring it back and this is why some naughty Brexiteers might forget to vote against Bryant (needed to go toilet or something perhaps?)

    FWIW I’m getting better than evens betting Bryant amendment will lose, which suggests someone thinks it will win.

    If that amendment did pass then we might well see a repeat of last nights choas and I got my chips down early for that!

    I also have my popcorn ready of course ;)

  18. I watched some of the HoC debate yesterday and thought it showed MPs as an intelligent bunch.

    My main thought was, why couldn’t we have had this debate about two years ago?

    I have my own views like everyone else, and applaud the creativity, but to my own regret I’m struggling to think how the ideas would feed into the final outcome now, given that the EU has closed discussions. Isn’t it simply no deal, May, or remain – take your pick?.

  19. AC
    Very amusing but you missed out the pot smoking hippies who are now in the top echelons of society.

  20. So 85 MPs back a 2nd ref, that’s up from 23 last time so going well :-) :-)

    and at least May’s deal is no longer the worst option I guess, she only lost by 149 where as new ref lost by 249 (even more than MV1)

    Still plenty of time left I guess, all to play for (if you’re play is to take seats from LAB at next GE that is) :-) :-)

  21. @ TW

    334 against a second referendum is a key indicator and TM can safely say the numbers are there in the HoC to stop it happening.

  22. @Allan Christie
    So everyone you don’t like is a Liberal., and everyone who is a Liberal you don’t like…

    I guess that has a certain internal consistency at least.

    I suspect that you wouldn’t like me much then… :-)

  23. Latest text. Expect sackings/resignations and defections by Monday.

  24. @ JJ – Six names I didn’t expect to see breaking whip to vote AGAINST a 2nd ref.

    Two were from the EEA vote but have been loyal since:
    Kevan Jones
    John Spellar

    Four are new names to me:
    Helen Jones
    Justin Madders
    Stephanie Peacock
    Lloyd Russell-Moyle

    The vote was never going to pass so that’s a lot of folks wanting their constituents to know how they feel.

    Also, worth noting how many of the “usual suspects” were happy to sit this one out.

    Other than that not a single CON MP backed a 2nd ref, not even Grieve, Bebb, P.Lee, etc. (but then I guess they hadn’t been given permission by Alistair Campbell)

  25. @ BANTAMS – and Benn amendment just lost by 2 (with the Powell amendment to that losing by 3). Close but no cigar as they say!

    It looks like CON party discipline is back – for now!

    of course Lidington did make some vague promises but will Leadsom forget to put those in next week’s diary or misinterpret what was kinda maybeish promised

    A good night for the Leavers and CON.

    PV showing what a chaotic mess LAB working with TIG, LDEM and SNP would be ;)

  26. OLDNAT

    The Vienna Convention applies ONLY to treaties concluded between states.It does NOT cover agreements between states and international organizations.

    Agreements between states and international organizations, would be governed by the “1986 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations” BUT that convention has NOT yet been enforced.

    The withdrawal agreement is not a treaty.

  27. OLDNAT

    The Vienna Convention applies ONLY to treaties concluded between states.It does NOT cover agreements between states and international organizations.

    Agreements between states and international organizations, would be governed by the “1986 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations” BUT that convention has NOT yet been enforced.

    The withdrawal agreement is not a treaty.

  28. @TREVOR

    Lloyd Russell-Moyle is my current neighbouring MP (Brighton Kemptown) and very much in support of a people’ vote, but favours Peter Kyle’s amendment, the status of which I have no idea.

  29. OLDNAT
    I do agree that the agreement is legally watertight of course.

  30. The BBC are saying that parliament ruled out a second referendum, which of course, they didn’t.

  31. @lewblew

    Apparently he actively voted for both which apparently is a way of more deliberately indicating an abstain.

  32. So it looks like nearly 180 of the 201 MPs who voted against the Government’s a50 extension motion were Conservatives and 10 were the DUP.

  33. @Hireton

    Time for the hardcore of the 180 to decide if they want the TM Brexit or the Parliamentary Brexit.

    They sure as h**l aren’t getting THEIR Brexit!

  34. Not sure why Labour leadership getting criticised for not supporting Wollaston referendum motion. It does not have the numbers at the moment and by supporting it would have lead to resignations from shadow cabinet who could then be more likely to support MV3 next week.

  35. Now here’s a thing. If the EU refuse an extension and May’s deal does not pass, is she obliged (or duty bound) to withdraw art 50 notice to leave to avoid a no deal brexit in accordance with the parliamentary vote?

  36. In those 177 Tory MPs who voted against the Government were 8 Cabinet Ministers including Barclay who wound up the debate for the Government. Others include Fox, Leadsom and Williamson. Half the Whips office voted against as well. A complete breakdown in Government.

  37. So they talked all week and agreed to do nothing. Now is not the time. Strong and stable.

    See you in June…

  38. Although it was a free vote the numbers suggest that mv3 is a long way from being won.

  39. @ LEWBLEW – Thanks. Russel-Moyle did seem the odd one out coming from a seat that was only 43% Leave where as the other 5 on my “unexpected” list are all from “heartlands” seats (58%-71% Leave)

    It seems Russel-Moyle voted both For and Against so a visible “abstain”

    In theory “Kyle” amendment can come back and be attached to MV3, if/when that happens? Also chance we get a 3-way or a “Remain v No Deal” amendment but each one will be viewed as unacceptable by different LAB MPs.

    No idea about LAB strategy but given the numbers and highly divisive nature of a new ref then “avoidance” seems to be the approach – something SNP, TIG, LDEM, PC and Lucas are very keen to point out.

    By my tally 30 LAB (or xLAB) are against a PV and that’s before likes of Nandy who could hide in abstain today. I can’t see anywhere near enough CON making up for them, not with a GE as a “less bad” PeoplesVote and ERG able to go on “strike” from next week (less than 14days to 11pm 29Mar)

  40. @ NEARLYFRENCH – “The BBC are saying that parliament ruled out a second referendum, which of course, they didn’t.”

    Plenty of folks seem to think “No Deal” was ruled out, which of course it isn’t – it’s still there in black and white in UK and EU law, 11pm 29Mar’19 pending UK legislation and unanimous approval of EU28 to change that (important to highlight that is EU27 + UK which thanks to s13 of EU Withdrawal Act implies HoC)

    May’s deal still exists, in theory at least – as the only deal EC-EU27 have signed off on.

    Against May’s deal and “No Deal” I can’t see anything else winning an “enabling” majority but we’ll wait and see.

    @ HIRETON – Yes it was a free vote, unlike yesterday’s fiasco. The maths is nowhere near for MV3 to pass with/without Kyle but the can has finally been kicked to within 14days of the current legally binding date of Brexit.

    @ JIB – or the default of course which was very clearly stated in A50 from the beginning. Look at the CON Remainer MPs as much as ERG – they voted against May in MV1 and MV2 (a few less 2nd time but still enough to ensure May’s deal failed).

  41. May’s only realistic chance of winning MV3 is to get either “No Deal” or “Remain” knocked off the table. With 3+ options her deal is not going to win.

    “No Deal” IS the table so she needs to look at knocking “Remain” out (although even as “Rejoin” that isn’t going to zero MPs)

    How do you remove Remain as an option – you ask EU27 for a T.R.A.P. (or appear to be forced to accept that as the only offer they are prepared to make)

    Partnership (or Protocol)

    We “legally” leave at 11pm on 29Mar’19, agree not to hold EP elections, remove the option to revoke but give HoC 2-3mths to implement legislation for her deal or “No Deal”

    That will cause outrage, probably see her ousted and probably result in a GE but other than that she, or Corbyn, have the VoNC option which will probably see her ousted and probably result in a GE.

    Either way she can’t get her deal and stay PM for long, she still has a choice but the “grey suits” are on standby and will be ‘aving a word soon perhaps.

  42. It has been mentioned that if May”signals her departure” that some ERG might back MV3. Does this not also deter potential Labour support and also make some Soft brexit Tories back away from the deal knowing that if she departed more likely to be an hard brexit supporter in charge given the Tory mathematics as shown by today’s A50 vote.

  43. The Trevors,
    “No Deal is hence the least disliked option”
    You seem to be forgetting remain, to which all eyes seem to be moving.

    “How do you remove Remain as an option – you ask EU27 for a T.R.A.P.”
    Why would anyone in their right mind want to reduce the leverage available to the UK?

    allan Christie,
    “now all those who have anything to do with Brexit are being branded as idiots, racists, bigots and so on.”

    If they demanded a referendum in the name of democracy and the will of the people, but now refuse to allow that to be tested again…I am not surprised.

    “334 against a second referendum is a key indicator”

    I agree, a second ref could have many embarassments, not least because there woud be no right answer for the conservatives, and labour might get in a mess too.

    Much cleaner is some sort of parliament sponsored delay now. Either a long postponement, or revoke. Without having had a referendum, this can be sold as merely a tactical delay whichever course is followed.

  44. My MP is independent and inactive to the point of inertia, but thus far he’s showed up to all the Brexit votes (I’ve been checking) and voted with Lab. His website says he supports a People’s Vote.

    Tonight he didn’t vote. No explanation on his website or Twitter. Any suggestions as to how the lazy so-and-so can be held to account?

  45. @Pete

    “In other News…”


    Calling Austerity doesn’t seem to do it justice any more. With Austerity, you kind of imagine an end point, rather than this Narnian Winter we’re being subjected to. (Though not core voters, obvs.)

  46. “Who on earth eats chicken for breakfast in the uk?”


    Do eggs count? Chucky eggs?

  47. @MATT126

    If they agree to the WA they are agreeing to BRINO at least for NI and a border in the Irish Sea

    it means a permanent schism with the Unionist because basically it pushes the united Ireland closer but it will slow and full of ramifications. I suspect that the trying to reverse the WA would be a real headache and trade deals are already being seen as a problem. No matter whoever takes over will have to find a way to appease their base and that would basically mean more of the same in terms of economics (As we have seen the reality has been despite idea that brexit is about change we have had precious little of change indeed we have basically had more of the same.

    I think the deal itself is now immaterial we have done so much damage to ourselves that many people who would have wanted to inoculate themselves from the UK have already done som I suspect many people are seeing an opportunity too some people did spectacularly well out of the GFC of 2008

    The problem I see is that I suspect that only the most confident people would want the job but they are often the last ones you would want as PM

  48. “I’d like to know what the point of this debate in the HoC is when most MPs can’t even be bothered to turn up for it. Those that are there are chatting to neighbour’s, messing about with their phones and generally taking no interest in what is going on at all.”


    There’s a saying that goes something along the lines of “Hard times lead to strong leaders. Strong leaders lead to good times. Good times lead to weak leaders, and weak leaders lead to hard times.”

    Rinse, lather, repeat. I leave it to you to discern where we are in the cycle.

  49. Re Lib Dems lost voice. Vince Cable will stand down in May

  50. Meanwhile, one Tory MP shows signs of defecting to the MRL….

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