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. Howard – or there is an extension?

  2. Jim Jam,
    “Danny – that would be Labour’s policy pretty much with the SM access stuff being ‘closer than outlined in the back-stop’”

    Ah..the agrement opens the way for the sort of deal labour has said it would consider, but it doesnt guarantee it. All this agreement does is leave pretty much everything open to be argued about in round two. Leavers would argue it equally opens the way for a very hard brexit, and without the option any longer of remaining. Arguably everyone hates it because it settles nothing at all.

    Whatever they might have said, labour cannot support any form of Brexit. if they do, they will lose a post agreement snap election.

    Did you see my comments on the comres poll, where I argued the sample is deliberately skewed to minimise the number of labour remainers? Its they that matter to labour.

    The Other Howard,
    “I will be very surprised if the DUP accept the changes as adequate so it looks as though we leave without a deal unless the PM reneges on her commitment to the Referendum result.”

    What with the EU being so intransigent as to refuse an extnsion, the PM will have no choice but to withdraw article 50 notice to give the Uk tim for reconsideration. I keep arguing every step leaves the way to remain, or remain more, a bit easier.

  3. Danny,

    Agree re Labour not willing to support this but the Government will hope to capture a few more back-benchers which I doubt for MV2 today as not enough time imo.

    Re Coms Res, I had dismissed the poll prior to your comments due to push polling questions and Anthony, you and others have debunked it, and Telegraph reporting of it, really well.

  4. Danny

    “What with the EU being so intransigent as to refuse an extnsion, the PM will have no choice but to withdraw article 50 notice to give the Uk tim for reconsideration. I keep arguing every step leaves the way to remain, or remain more, a bit easier.”

    Not at all the honourable and democratic thing will be to leave on 29th Deal or No deal. It’s what i expect if the vote goes against her.

  5. @ JJ – I’m going to stick to my view from a few days back that May will get a min of 242.

    The +40 is mostly from CON “Soft” Leave who will climb down the tiny ladder they have been given plus few LAB

    I’d currently put a max of 262 in place.

    For a fun “tail on the donkey” then 248
    (and May loses by just over 100)

    IMHO likes of IDS and SMogg are “playing games”. They might abstain but even in the most optimistic scenario for May I would get:

    Aye: 262
    Abstain: 64
    Noe: 312

    May loses by 50 – and that is being very optimistic!!

    However, 50-80 range gives he the ability to kick the can until MV3. 100+ will make life tricker for her (but she’s a stubborn one!)

    I agree with Starmer, Grieve, etc’s analysis of the changes and hence that gives the “Noes” the reason to actively vote against rather than abstain.

    May has failed to remove the “other options”. You still have “No Deal” (which is really “Mini-est of Min Deals”), “Softer Deal” and “Remain” (via new ref) as plausible – at least in the minds of the MPs who back those other options.

  6. @PETE

    Not so much project fear as project-what’s-actually-happened-in-the-real-actual-world-already.

  7. Perhaps the shenanigans of the unilateral statement are also about having an internationally acknowledged means of tearing up the WA and exiting onto WTO terms if the negotiations on the future relationship don’t work out. Doing so would be just as catastrophic as no deal, but perhaps it would be enough to convince the headbangers that the option is still on the table.


    Although most of the focus is on Tory rebels and the DUP, there are other sources of potential support, or at least non-opposition. I noticed how rapidly Labour’s leadership were on the airwaves insisting that they would still whip against the deal because they’d get a different one (how and what, nobody knows), but there has always been a sizable chunk of Labour MPs who believe that Brexit should go ahead. I would reckon that Juncker’s comments about no further negotiation being possible are directed at them as much as the ERG. There’s a hardcore of fanatics who would vote against regardless, but if May manages to get the bulk of her rebels to vote with her (say 90 out of the 118 plus the 10 DUP) then she’d ‘only’ need 30 abstentions to get it over the line. Perhaps those major banks’ sources think that some of the members on the opposition benches are going to develop mysterious ailments which unfortunately prevent them from attending…

  8. The People’s Vote campaign have released an 11 page legal opinion from three experts in EU and international law that basically agree with my last post.

    Feeling slightly smug as a result, but I was wondering what the going rate for international lawyers might be….

  9. Caveat to my 248 guess which IMHO will be more applicable for MV3.

    ERG don’t trust EC and they don’t trust May (+Robbins).

    They might trust a different UK team on the basis that UK could act “in bad faith” and have EC “kick us out of the backstop” (or by using that tactic get them to hurry up)[1]

    It’s no secret that they want May gone and her resignation effective 30Mar’19 might win them over (although you then have a risk on the CON Remain side)

    Hence also sticking to my 309 max “aye” for MV3 which in order to win a majority is going to need a lot more “help” from LAB MPs than I expect.

    Between MV2 and MV3 is May being sent to ask for an extension and plenty of rumours around about that.

    [1] I can’t see the fragile maths in HoC going along with that but with all opposition parties on one side of the debate they shouldn’t be scared of a GE if/when it comes to that (in fact they’d probably want one – although obviously could never say so)

  10. IDS and DUP calling for a short delay to tonight’s vote.

    Interesting why they are doing this. The legal advice seems pretty clear, and as a result they really should be back to shooting down May’s deal. Why the fear of a vote tonight?

  11. @bantams

    That is certainly awkward indeed, it did look weird… As you were :D

  12. FWIW Betfair implied probability is 25% chance that HoC pass Brexit deal today (MV2)

    That is very optimistic IMHO and I’ve put my money where my mouth is (but at slightly better price)

    If you want a cheeky fiver on “tail on the donkey” you can bet on 9seat wide ranges (eg 240-249, 250-259)

    It’s pretty “thin” (ie wide bid-offer, small volume) but you “work the offer” (put your own price up and hope someone matches it)

  13. From Leave Means Leave – “The new documents agreed by the prime minister and Mr Juncker should be ignored. Exit is NOT unilateral nor effective: the UK would have to prove bad faith (which is almost impossible) and convince an arbitration panel of EU folk, still subject to ECJ, in order to leave.

    The prime minister is conning us all.”

    Hits the nail on the head.

  14. The revisions amount to very little, I think most will agree. And yet, they do represent a small but significant political change, which could have legal implications down the line.

    So they will offer a fig leaf for many Tories who voted against the deal last time. And the ground has shifted since then, in that the ERG/DUP position has weakened somewhat.

    The country is anxious to end it all, and move on.

    Much may depend upon the Attorney General.

    And what about Labour? We may be moving towards their preferred outcome. There could be significant abstentions.

    I think May will lose, but not by much – I’ll go early and predict 35. Anyone predicting 34 or 36 will not be appreciated.

  15. @ GARJ – It might be ERG folks who develop migraines ;)

    Regarding the headbangers the “non-ultr4s” are concerned about the lack of “No Deal” planning and to add to my 9:53am they would hope to use their time with a Brexiteer PM[1] to really step that up.

    We shouldn’t jump too far ahead but those that have looked at extension in deep legal detail have “cards to play” (although some of them have political consequences)

    Lastly SMogg, DUP, etc don’t want the “blame” for “No Deal” and can easily hide behind “not enough time to scrutinise, etc” and give May a bit more rope.

    Even amongst the “ultr4s” the likes of Nadine Dorries are “playing nice”

    [1] That might be a very short period of time but it might be “less bad” than other options. Chuck some much larger money around to win over marginals in North, Midlands, etc, sector bungs, etc and they’d see good chance of a workable majority

  16. Danny

    It’s as likely that the PM would withdraw from article 50 for the same reason You give for Corbyn not supporting any form of Brexit (despite his half century view of the EU being the devil incarnate) It would be political death to either party in a forthcoming GE.

    If it is true that the eu won’t countenance any extension other than a ‘complete the deal’ one of a few months, then if the deal is rejected, the clock runs down and we gently leave without a deal. Leaving without a deal is simply the default position which applies if all other options are voted down. It isn’t something to be voted for or against. It’s just set to happen if all else fails.

    Once out, then the remainers can start a 40 year fight for us to rejoin in 2060.

  17. Garj,

    There is a majority of Labour MPs genuinely committed to delivering Brexit, probably over 2/3rds but only 30-50 would be prepared to break the whip (on voting a Tory deal through) with net 25, 30 at a pinch, being the more realistic number.

  18. Millie – I will go 110.

  19. @ ALEC – Good to see Remain and Leave agreeing on something.

    Grieve discussed the legal case earlier on BBC earlier drawing from this report

    I’ll supply the link. Although its a biased source of course, it suits my purpose as I don’t want 50+ LAB MPs developing migraines later!

  20. From Nick Boles, across a number of tweets:

    “As Brexiteers tuck into their porridge this morning, they have a very difficult decision to make. I hope they wont mind some frank advice from one who is a colleague to all and a friend to some. Do yourselves a favour. Take the win. Vote for the deal.

    If you don’t, people like me will conclude that you will never be satisfied, that you aren’t open to compromise, that you are hellbent on forcing the UK to crash out of the EU without a deal.

    We will then do whatever it takes to frustrate you. We will vote to stop no-deal Brexit on 29th March. We will vote to extend Article 50 for a few months. And we will then work with opposition parties to build a majority for a softer Brexit deal.

    We are just as committed to our cause as you are to yours. We have learned to ignore the whips and shrug off deselection threats. And one last thing: with our friends on the opposition benches there are many more of us than you.

    I really hope that we can come together this evening and walk through the Aye lobby side by side. Let’s put this nightmare behind us. But if you won’t, please don’t say I didn’t warn you about what comes next.”

    This is the dynamic now shaping the thinking of the hard Brexiters. As far as they are concerned, it’s a bad deal or no Brexit.

  21. So to summarise for my own benefit…

    We appear likely to accept a deal that:
    – A significant minority of Leavers think is worse for the country than Remaining
    – A majority of Leavers think is worse for the country than ‘No Deal’
    – Pretty much all Remainers think is worse for the country than Remaining
    – Is supported by Remainers only because (at least some of them) believe the result has to be respected politically, even if the effect is harmful for the country and this is the second least good outcome but better than ‘No Deal’; they intend to continue the argument at the next stage
    – is supported by hard Leavers only because they believe the alternative might be no Brexit; they intend to continue the argument at the next stage
    – Is the only deal that can just about keep the Tory party together and in power…

    What a massive triumph for fudge and expediency over statesmanship and leadership that would be!

    What is so depressing is that, given where May has led us, a really [email protected] deal followed by two or three more years of uncertainty is actually the best we can hope for…

  22. Technicolour october,
    i dont know if this second crash has been attributed to stall detectors? If it has, then I would have thought the planes would have been declared immediately unsafe until modified.

    But if it is stall detectors….how do two critical sensors fail in almost new aircraft? Were Boeing assuming that the initial fault was a one off, so urgent action was not needed?

    If it is something else, then thats two fatal bugs in the aircraft.

  23. SNP tweeting a new Survation poll of Holyrood VI which contrary to the recent Panelbase poll would result in a continuing pro-independence majority at Holyrood:

    Also saying that 7 out of 10 respondents want there to be a second independence referendum but as there is as yet no links to the full results and the questions asked that should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

  24. @ MILLIE / JJ – I’ll tighten up my “just over a 100” from 9:43am and make that 102

    Betfair only has market for “ayes” not the scale of loss but happy to pick a different “donkey” for a bit of UKPR fun.

    (100+ has triple digit, etc “psychological” factors although some (eg May herself) might say its less than 230 so getting closer!)

  25. @Danny

    “Just how do you fix that?”

    Simple solution is to program the computer to always defer to a human if the human demands it, but do NOT disable until instructed. The auto-pilot should follow all the commands from the human, regardless of the sense of said commands.

    Human error should be removed by training, checklists and two humans being present, with a system where they have to listen to one another. It’s not infallible, but handing over flying to computers to the point that humans become unskilled at flying is counter-productive. Auto-pilots can fail too, and need skilled humans to fill the gap.


    Some systems use the 2 out of 3 method (pitots in some planes) to establish some redundancy in the event of a failure. The problem is that whatever can block one can block many (usually ice), so we’re back to square one.

  26. Not sure what all these predictions are for, but I’ll go for 111 (as usual) so I can remember it easily.

  27. ALEC
    “Hits the nail on the head.”

    We can agree on something related to Brexit, not quite a first but nearly. Incidentally, I thought your analysis earlier was excellent.

    Where we disagree of course is what should happen next. For me it’s very simple, we leave on the 29th March without a deal. Will be economically painful for both the UK and the EU, but of course I have always accepted that. As I said above the only honourable and democratic thing to do assuming May’s “WA deal” is voted down again.


    “Once out, then the remainers can start a 40 year fight for us to rejoin in 2060.”


  29. Re May going.

    Surely this has to be after council Elections on May 02nd to have a Tory leadership election during the short campaign would be impracticable.

  30. Rather arrogant to think that the generation that’ll get the least from Brexit believe that it will take 40 years for it to reverse. Most of the them will never see it’s (supposed) benefits anyway.

    I’m more inclined to believe that the reversal will happen during the transitional period. It’s been 3 years to work to an exit (still not agreed), and it’ll be that again and then some for it to happen in a meaningful way.

    We’re no further forward now than we were in December when folk were laying odds of more can-kicking. Leave hasn’t had a lead on Remain for a year, going by this data:

    And it’ll get wider and wider as demographics shift while Brexit hasn’t actually happened.

  31. TW

    Yes, the exact permutations of nose-holding, migraines and the like is what will determine the eventual outcome. The ERG might be holding out for that final concession not from the EU, but from May naming an imminent leaving date. Perhaps that’s what’ll come out of the 11.30 meeting.


    If there are as many as 30-50 Labour MPs who might go as far as voting for the deal that’s a pretty huge number. If only 20 of them do that’s still a big deal, what about abstentions, is one the same as the other as far as the party is concerned? What’s the leadership’s plan at the vote anyway, put forward an amendment for a Labour Brexit? When that inevitably fails, are they going to be whipping hard for their MPs to march through the nay lobby, and are there enough who might sit on their hands instead to make a difference?

  32. Cox’s legal advice, #19 the focus

    You have to wonder about the calibre of FX traders these days. Too much trust in computer algorithms[1] and not enough focus on the “humans” me thinks ;)

    [1] possible the upmove y’day was more “stops” than new trades and if it was new trades then they are now stopping out.

  33. Hireton

    Thanks for the link to the Survation poll Holyrood VI.

    A single poll etc etc, but interesting to note (cf 2016)

    Small shift from SNP to Con in constituency VI but, according to “Scotland Votes” prediction, very little effect on seat distribution.

    On List VI (and consequent seats) significant shift from SNP to SGP, and SCon/SLab to SLD.

  34. @ALEC

    It was always bad deal or no Brexit. Since even before the referendum. Anybody with half a brain knew the EU would play it just like it is, that there would be no cake, then our red lines would be crossed, etc.

  35. Garj – my 25-30 is net with a deliberate abstention counting as half.

    Labour will whip against the deal, for a A50 extension (which I think would pass this time) and for ruling out no deal which may or may not be enforceable.

    Moving to support a specific ref 2 proposition would not be necessary if extension passes.

    Labour may push an amendment around their own deal but it would fall and the better approach, which they prefer, is a genuine cross party (Con, Lab + SNP) engagement post extension being passed and no deal rules out.

    Hence how much MV2 fails by is significant and below a certain number (not fixed as DUP plus 20 or so Tories can swing behind later) will get to an MV3 proposition perhaps next week or even early week after. (1)

    A big defeat with few Labour rebels and a decent number of Tory softer leave rebels would mean the PM would have no choice than to reach out across the HOC. Although her stubbornness would have her huffing and puffing for a week or so longer.

    (1) A defeat of 80 with DUP and 20 or so ERG supporting is worse for her than an 110 defeat without as then switching later take 110 down to 50 ish which she may think is bridgeable, while 80 isn’t.

  36. @Lewblew

    Agreed, what is baffling is how many people have been in total denial of this obvious truth.

    Admittedly I think few of us (me included) expected May to turn out to be quite as inept as she has as managing the negotiation.

    What I am still fascinated to see (in a slightly horrified way) is how us voters will react when we realise that almost all of us have got something that we view as significantly worse than our desired outcome.

    Will VI move? If so, how? Or will it stay as ossified as it has?

  37. Statgeek

    Remain had a lead on Referendum day and we all know how that turned out.


    Unfortunately this is what Cameron set us up for. With the people so polarised over the issue – almost 50/50 – democracy fails.

    A 2-option referendum was never going to settle the issue. Our only choice was to use the representative democracy we actually have (not a referendum) or somehow change the design of the question to give one side a solid win. But it’s too late for that now.

    No matter what the outcome of Brexit, 50-75% of people are going to be unhappy about the result. That’s not a victory for anybody. Add in a trashed economy and, well, there we go.

  39. @ JJ – May’s departure

    “Caretaker” perhaps?

    However, a few things I should clarify.

    I should probably say “Brexit day” rather than 11pm 29Mar’19.

    I’m in the camp of a our need (not want!) for a “mini technical delay” (as I’ve mentioned a few times). That is a legal and political can of worms for sure but even if it’s just to ram some legislation through then HoC, EU27 govts and EP will need a few extra weeks. IMHO we could “fudge” the issue by legally leaving at 11pm on 29Mar’19 but technically still be a member for a brief period (mid Apr or even to 1July if we signed away the EP elections in the T.R.A.P.)

    For the LEs though would May be “baggage”? Back in 2017 LEs she made some very “Brexiteer” comments and CON were rewarded at the polling stations. She is not viewed as a “Brexiteer” so IMHO she is baggage – although lack of a popular alternative is an issue!

    We’re jumping ahead to MV3 issues and beyond but happy to change my previous statement to

    “May would have to offer to resign soon after Brexit Day in order to win over ERG”

    Given the total lack of trust amongst CON MPs she’d probably have to make that public though.

    If likes of Nick Boles don’t like a change of leader then let them vote with Corbyn to hold a GE. I wish him well in the private sector along with most of the TIGgers and any other CON Arch-Remainer MPs who falsely stood in the 2017 GE under a manifesto they did not support.

  40. @ Mrqueue

    Not all pollsters had Remain ahead on referendum day. Opinium and TNS’s final polls showed Leave narrowly ahead, and the average was 51:49 to Remain.

    Contrast that with the current polling, in which not a single poll conducted in the last 12 months has shown a Leave lead, and the average is around 53:47 or 54:46. And you should not assume that polling post June 2016 has been conducted on the same basis as that before the referendum – it isn’t. It is possible that the polls are again understating leave, and equally possible that they now understate Remain. Think of the polling errors in the 2015 and 2017 General Elections.

  41. What time is the vote?? Must get some popcorn before the shops run out.

  42. @ GARJ – One thing to consider, notably for LAB MPs, is that if the vote is going to fail then why waste your political capital backing a dead duck.

    LAB MPs (and Corbyn) have plenty of “fall back” options and hence why they want it a “clean” (amendment free) vote today.

    1/ Delay and table a new ref amendment later.
    2/ Still push for their CU idea (decaked EC would love BrINO and it puts a wedge in CON MPs)
    3/ Another VoNC and a GE (maybe what Nick Boles wants? not sure he understands how “bluffing” works though)

    Against that consider a LAB MP who backs a “dead duck” and has to face their CLP and local Momentum types saying they’d prefer to give May four more years than back their own party and their own leader – if you want to be deselected then that is one way to go about it!

    The partisan issue is HUGE. If the vote looked like it might be close then its a slightly different matter but for a LAB MP (outside of the 6 and possibly a few like Flint and Snell) you have more to lose backing a “dead duck” than towing the party line – certainly today at least!

    CON Remain MPs have the “delay” option on 14th
    ERG+DUP etc have Cox’s legal opinion and the “clock” (they are not bothered about 13th or 14th votes)

  43. @ JJ – Agree with 11:40am with one little exception near the end.

    “the PM would have no choice than to reach out across the HOC”

    I disagree, she has other choices up to and including “May-roguing”! All her choices are bad but some are “less bad” than others.

    Tomorrow might be interesting. How does CON whip? Who does/doesn’t spit the dummy? (I hope Rudd does but G.Clarke is the one I really want replaced – Priti Patel if possible)

    I think we agree the scale of today’s defeat is important. If she loses by 100+ then that might have ramifications for tomorrow (not that it really matters as it has no legal standing)

    Corbyn must be smiling today – “not my problem guv!”

    Also worth noting his “deal” only lost by 83. So if May’s deal loses by more than that he can bring his one back (see previous reply to GARJ). He has 3 lines of cover and hence absolutely no intention of “helping” out.

    CON’s mess = CON’s problem

  44. FT reporting that DUP will vote against the deal.

  45. Ken Reid of UTV reporting that DUP set to vote against but will listen to what Cox has to say in his statement.

  46. @valerie

    It was scheduled for 7pm. I don’t think the insertion of the AG’s statement into business today will change that.

  47. Alec,
    “As far as they are concerned, it’s a bad deal or no Brexit.”

    You are mising that many regard the deal as WORSE than remaining. (well, practically everyone does, but in particular amongst leavers)

    “The country is anxious to end it all, and move on.”

    That is not going to happen. The closest option is probably to cancel article 50. It is the only choice giving economic certainty. But the politics will run and run.

    ” And what about Labour? We may be moving towards their preferred outcome.”

    Their preferred option must be for May to withdraw article 50.

  48. @ JJ – Corbyn’s only minor issue today would be if Bercow picks an amendment with “new ref” in it (d, g or i)

    I hope he does, but I’m guessing even then Corbyn could say “not yet” and simply single whip for abstain? New ref has nowhere near the numbers but it would cause a bit of “ruffling of the feathers” within LAB factions who would like him to whip for a new ref amendment sooner rather than later/never (IMHO)

    Amendments start from p7 in link:

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