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. @James E

    “It is possible that the polls are again understating leave, and equally possible that they now understate Remain.”

    I wonder if the latter is the case actually. Polls are still typically weighting to (or weighting to get) the past 52-48 vote. While the change at the young end of the demographic is picked in the form of previously being ‘did not vote’, the change at the old end is not. We know the voting was heavily skewed on age. Seems likely that a representative sample of 2016 voters queried now should return the same 52-48 split.

  2. Westminster VI from the Survation poll for the Scottish Daily Mail now being tweeted:

    Scottish Westminster Voting Intention:

    SNP: 40% (+4)
    CON: 24% (-3)
    LAB: 23% (-3)
    LDM: 8% (+1)

    Via @Survation, 1-4 Mar.
    Changes w/ 21 Oct.

    Chnages from UK GE of 2017. This could translate into 49 seats for the SNP, cons 5, 4 LDs, 1 Lab.

  3. via Election Maps UK

    Scottish Westminster Voting Intention:

    SNP: 40% (+4)
    CON: 24% (-3)
    LAB: 23% (-3)
    LDM: 8% (+1)

    Via @Survation, 1-4 Mar.
    Changes w/ 21 Oct.

  4. oops:

    Seems likely that a representative sample of 2016 voters queried now should not* return the same 52-48 split.

  5. Electoral Calculus Westminster seat prediction from that Survation poll

    SNP 46 (+11) : SCon 8 (-5) : SLD 4 (nc) : SLab 1 (-7)

  6. More detail on Survation’s poll for Holyrood VI and consequences for seats:

    https://twitter.com/BallotBoxScot/status/1105418656475959296?s=19

  7. I’ve looked into the legislation for European Parliamentary elections. It appears that the relevant legislation (European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002) is still in force. However, actually having an election depends on a government minister ordering it. The legislation says (section 4):

    “The poll at each general election of MEPs is to be held on a day appointed by order of the Secretary of State. ”

    Note, the EPA 2002 will be repealed by European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 when it comes into force on brexit day. This is not automatic but depends on a government minister bringing the EUWA2018 into force by regulation. Clearly this won’t happen if A50 is extended.

    Just in case anyone is confused, one small part of the EPA 2002 is already repealed but this is only the part about periodic review of seats, which is unimportant here.

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2002/24/contents

  8. Reports from BbC and Sky that ERG has decided to vote against hhe deal.

  9. Reports from BbC and Sky that ERG has decided to vote against hhe deal.

  10. Hireton

    DUP as well.

  11. I’m going to guess 140 as the margin of defeat this time. There seems no prospect of it passing, which means little downside to anyone joining those voting against it.

    On MV3, it’s not completely impossible on the numbers that May could unite her party around “it’s this, or I flip a coin between unprepared no deal exit and unilateral revoke, and I don’t tell you which I picked until it’s too late” … and then a few Labour rebels and Leave-inclined independents just push it across the line. But then what happens? The deal is accepted in principle, but:
    – the DUP presumably still won’t be backing, and need to drop C&S once it passes to avoid being seen as toothless
    – TIG have declared that they’ll cover C&S, but presumably won’t vote for any specific legislation, and it’d be trivial to spin this as “TIG back Brexit” to kill off the remains of their careers.
    …so how does any of the actual legislation needed to implement the deal get through. Sure, there’ll need to be a short extension to get the Commons time at all – but that doesn’t mean any of it passes a vote.

  12. I’ve gone viral – nose and throat.

    It is really an arcane voting system full of facial contortions and a Speaker who draws attention to those breaking wind by shouting “Odour, odour.”

    I reckon the eyes to the right will again defeat the nose to the left. By 42, of course.

  13. @HAL

    I had occason to correct myself on this a while back, and I think your conclusion is right but your reasoning not quite.

    The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 doesn’t come into force on brexit day. It is already in force.

    A number of its provisions came into effect the day it was enacted (listed in Section 25(1)).

    A number of its provisions, including its key provision (Section 1 repeal of the ECA) come into effect automatically on brexit day.

    And a number of its provisions come into effect when a government minister brings the provision into force by regulation (Section 25(4)).

    This last catgory includes the schedule 9 repeals, one of which is the repeal of the EPA 2002.

    That order has not yet been made so the EPA 2002 is still in force.

    However the power to make these orders exists now. The orders can be made before brexit day (the order repealing the European Union (Approval of Treaty Amendment Decision) Act 2012 (amongst other provisions) has already been made for instance). They don’t need to happen on or after brexit day.They can therefore be made even if Article 50 is extended, though whether that is sensible or desirable is another matter.

  14. A few new polls around about how MPs should vote tonight:

    YG live have on the deal, still “live” but so far

    Accept the deal: 35
    Reject the deal: 45
    DK 20

    on their website

    Sky are closer at 41 v 43 but still net reject
    https://news.sky.com/story/brexit-breakthrough-most-britons-see-no-improvement-in-mays-latest-plan-poll-finds-11663073

    Sky also ask if May’s deal had changed

    Lot worse 5
    Little worse 6
    No real difference 42
    Improved a little 23
    Improved a lot 10

    They show the infographic as 53% v 33% “improved”

    no x-break info on any of the above yet.

    YG also has a “Leave means Leave” poll which has few similar question to previous polls but I’m sure most folks will just view it as worthless and untruthful. For those that can adjust for a bit of campaign backed bias the results are “interesting” (eg the reasons for delay (large partisan split) and the final question (fairly consistent across the x-breaks))

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/17xb5ows90/LeaveMeansLeave_190311_Brexit.pdf

  15. @Statgeek

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

    It will be far less than that. The ERG Star Chamber’s recommendation simply advises its members not to support the motion. I suspect most ERG members will abstain with a few (IDS seems keen) supporting the Government.

    Equally, it’s far more likely that the DUP will also abstain.

    Then there are the 30-40+ Labour Leavers. They will probably follow the DUP.

    In summary, we could be looking at the lower to mid 200s on both sides. If I had to give a prediction, I would go for a Government win or defeat by 10-15 votes.

  16. CIM
    “On MV3, it’s not completely impossible on the numbers that May could unite her party around “it’s this, or I flip a coin between unprepared no deal exit and unilateral revoke, and I don’t tell you which I picked until it’s too late” … and then a few Labour rebels and Leave-inclined independents just push it across the line. But then what happens?”

    Can’t see that getting through without being amended, and even though my predictions of her imminent demise have all proved unfounded so far I don’t imagine that it would take very much now for the men in suits to be sent round.

    I wouldn’t want to even guess at the scale of the defeat tonight, I’d expect the rejection of a no deal Brexit to pass tomorrow, and probably the request for extension of A50 to pass as well, although at this juncture I can hardly bear to watch and shouldn’t be surprised if votes were pulled, May was to fall, we all find ourselves heading for the polls for a Euro election, or a referendum, or a general election, or not at all. This truly does now look like the car crash remainers have been anticipating since 2016 happening in front of our eyes, and we haven’t even left yet. And may not, or might, or something else.

  17. “Once out, then the remainers can start a 40 year fight for us to rejoin in 2060.”
    @RobertNewark March 12th, 2019 at 10:20 am

    ooo, I think if we do leave, we’ll be chomping at the bit to get back in much sooner than that:

    https://www.businessinsider.com/vehicle-repair-companies-could-collapse-after-a-no-deal-brexit-2019-3

    LONDON — Up to 1,000 companies in the UK vehicle repair industry could collapse within two weeks of a no-deal Brexit, with many more forced to close within a month, according to leaked minutes from a meeting of leading industry figures seen by Business Insider.

    The UK vehicle crash repair industry — which is comprised of around 3,000 companies and employs an estimated 35,000 people nationwide — relies heavily on car parts imported through “just in time” supply chains.

  18. PeterW,

    Thanks for your reply! I would like to correct some of your points, however.

    You are right that some minor parts of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 are already in force, but all the other provisions of the act require a government minister to bring them into force by regulation. This includes the repeal of the ECA 1972. Nothing automatically comes into force on “brexit day” unless ordered by a minister (see section 25(4) of the Act).

    You are right that a government minister could abolish the legislation requiring a European Parliamentary election at any time if they see fit, by bringing this part of the EUWA into force.

  19. Talk of mass abstentions tonight where MP’s voted massively against TM’s deal first time around. About 50 Tories expected to move to support with the other 68 likely to abstain. This moves support to about 252 and reject down to 314. The DUP are expected to abstain so another 11 (inc Kate Hoey) off down to 303. About 40 Labour MP’s are thought to be considering abstaining which would bring it down to 263, a few more supporting than last time. Basically we could be looking at less than 10 votes either way. The knowledge of this could move other MP’s to change their vote.

  20. Statement from the DUP

    http://www.mydup.com/news/article/statement-from-the-democratic-unionist-party3

    “The Prime Minister set out a clear objective for legally binding change which would command a majority in the House of Commons in line with the Brady amendment. We recognise that the Prime Minister has made limited progress in her discussions with the European Union. However in our view sufficient progress has not been achieved at this time.

    Having carefully considered the published material as well as measuring what has been achieved against our own fundamental tests, namely the impact of the backstop on the constitutional and economic integrity of the Union of the United Kingdom, it is clear that the risks remain that the UK would be unable to lawfully exit the backstop were it to be activated.”

  21. @ ON – If CON want to keep their Scottish seats at next GE they don’t need “pork” they need “surf and turf” ;)

    At the margin the SNP taking seats from LAB helps the “blue” team doon Soof – Corbyn is bad enough but Corbyn relying on SNP?!? That will help CON with the GOTV ;)

  22. I’ll cherry pick from the new YG poll

    “If Brexit deal cannot be agreed, what would be your preferred option”

    Delay so UK can negotiate more: 17
    No delay, leave without a deal: 37
    New ref: 33
    DK 12

    For CON VI that rises to 63% with only 14% wanting more time and 14% wanting a new ref (with 8% DK)

    75% of CON VI think MPs who support a delay want to stop Brexit (with only 15% thinking it to prepare or secure a deal – technically I’d be in the “prepare” here)

    NB This poll was commissioned by Arch-Leave campaign group so “pinch of salt” required!

  23. @Sam

    Thanks for that. Needed a chuckle. :D

  24. according to the Graun the Twittariat, including the Beeb’s NR, are predicting the downfall of our Nell along with her deal tonight. Truly one would have to have a heart of stone not to dissolve into tears of laughter and all that, but I’ll not be holding my breath in the meantime.

  25. “Beeb’s NR”

    Northern Reporter?

  26. @CIM

    I’m going to guess 140 as the margin of defeat this time. There seems no prospect of it passing, which means little downside to anyone joining those voting against it.

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

    @RAF In summary, we could be looking at the lower to mid 200s on both sides. If I had to give a prediction, I would go for a Government win or defeat by 10-15 votes.

    @ BANTAMS

    Basically we could be looking at less than 10 votes either way. The knowledge of this could move other MP’s to change their vote.

    Anyone else like to hazard a guess?

  27. STATGEEK
    Northern Reporter?

    Nick Robinson :-)

  28. @Charles

    Lots of Tories will jump on the ‘support the PM ton prevent Corbyn’ bandwagon, even though nothing has actually changed.

    I’ll go for a loss by 45…

    I think the Trevor Collective were predicting just over 100?

  29. “Anyone else like to hazard a guess?”

    Defeat by 69 votes
    (with a lot of abstentions)

  30. In some ways May’s management of the negotiations reminds me to Trotsky’s tactic in the negotiations with the German Empire at Brest-Litovak.

  31. “”If it doesn’t go through tonight, as sure as night follows day, there will be a general election within a matter of days or weeks.”

    Vice-chairman of the 1922 committee showing about as much intellect as Dimwit Davis did when he tried to whip up a trade deal with the Germans over dinner.

    An election in a matter of days, of course! That’s totally not impossible at all… How about Thursday?

  32. I think it will fail by 100+ votes.

  33. @Lewblew
    Presumably he is using shorthand for ‘an election will be called in a matter of days’.

    Who knew Project Fear 2 would be deploying the spectre of Jezza in No. 10 to scare recalcitrant Tory MPs into line…

  34. @bantams

    BBC reporting that DUP will vote against.

  35. Possible abstentions make it very difficult to guess. Maybe losing by 50-100?

    Very unlikely that many LAB MPs will vote for TM, even abstentions are not very likely. LAB MPs believe austerity has permanently damaged the country and will not forgive.

  36. @charles

    I’ll go for defeat by 95.

  37. Win by 4 votes.

    (Desperately hope this doesn’t happen, and that she revokes A50 on her way out of Downing St)

  38. Losing by 50.

    I hope that doesn`t encourage TM to try again.

    When she can only put up the intellectual lightweight, Andrea Leadson, to give the cabinet`s argument on WorldatOne, we realise that her brainier colleagues have seen the end. Some of them are doubtless plotting leadership bids.

  39. UK reporting shortages of popcorn, and we’re just into March. There’s going to be riots on the streets if there’s no popcorn available in May.

    :D

  40. HAL

    Section 1 is self-enacting. It doesn’t require secondary legislation. The ECA 1972 is repealed on exit day.

    There are some other repeals that happen automatically on exit day because the secondary legislation is already in place.

    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/808/contents/made

    Therefore, I stand entirely by the statement that “a number” of the provisions of the Act come into force automatically on exit day, as the law stands, without further secondary legislation.

  41. Words I look forward to never hearing again asap:

    cakes, cherries, unicorns, popcorn, project fear – whether 2.0, 3.0 or any other bloody number – negotiations, brexit, ERG.

    And probably a lot more.

    Feel free to add your own.

  42. I think the scale of the loss will be somewhat less but still just under 100. I also think that the ERG have seriously messed this up. We are heading for a long delay – and quite possibly a second vote if things drag on. The stupid wing of the Conservative party strikes again.

  43. Government motion win by 5 ( I second Lewblew’s comment above.

  44. TED

    Stake through the heart needed

  45. @ Lewblew

    “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.”

    Exactly!

    The idea that the prospect of No Deal would scare the EU into major concessions has been shown up as the idle threat it always was. We clearly do not ‘hold all the cards’ (as Gove famously claimed in the referendum campaign) and we never did.

  46. FWIW If anyone thinks May will win the vote they can currently get 30-1 for that (implied probability of 3%).

    https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/politics/market/1.155826562

    They’re also running 9 vote wide “buckets” on how many MPs vote “Aye”. Lowest odds (ie highest probability) is 240-249 which is the “Collectives” call.

    They don’t have a “losing amount” market but looking at previous Brexit votes abstentions have been low but increasing.

    Total MPs who voted:
    15Jan (MV1): 634
    16Jan (VoNC): 631
    29Jan (Cooper1): 619
    (Brady): 618
    27Feb (No Deal): 612
    (Corbyn’s Deal): 563

    The “smart” move for ERG is to have quite a few abstain and shift the focus onto the CON Remain rebels. Tactically they should want May to lose by under 83 but more than say 50ish (Corbyn’s deal lost by 83)

    Having said that I’ll stick with my 102.

  47. My guess it will lose by 83

  48. R&D

    ‘Feel free to add your own.’

    Gammon
    Strong & stable
    Nothing’s changed
    No deal
    Withdrawal Agreement
    PD
    Mees Rogg
    Leadsom
    Winchester
    Carrots

  49. @ R&D – Agree all of yours and can I add “Article50”, “ECA 1972” and “Remain(er)”.

    To get ahead of events, words I hope we do start to hear instead (as it will split the opposition) “Article49” and “Rejoin(er)”

    Only poll on that question that I’m aware of was Matt Singh

    “Imagine it is 2020. Should Britain join the EU or not?”

    No 47
    Yes 31
    DK 22

    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-04-19/brexit-sentiments-remain-stronger-than-ever

    Huge caveats in that poll, but interesting that “CON-Remain are not rejoiners”

    If CON stick with staying out the other parties are all “Rejoiny” then by the system of FPTP that suits me (and whoever comes after May to lead CON and be PM)

    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-04-19/brexit-sentiments-remain-stronger-than-ever

  50. May
    Corbyn
    Brexit
    Farage

    Should pretty much cover it. :)

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