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”

1 3 4 5 6 7 18
  1. Jim Jam
    Leadson was ultra clear in her answers even the Speaker seemed to be perplexed at the repetition.

  2. @ON

    You’re waxing lyrical again…

  3. It’s quite bizarre that the Prime Minister has to spell out to parliament, what their vote means. It should be obvious to parliamentarians that they can vote against no deal but they can’t prevent it. They have to vote for something if they want to avoid no deal but they can’t get that concept through their thick heads.

    Now what? I think I’ll take to my bed for the next fortnight.

  4. Sounds like EU angling for long extension. ‘Reasoned and credible justification’ seems code for ‘going back to the drawing board.

  5. NF,

    Do you really think MPs don’t realise that, of course they do?

    They do expect, though, that the executive implement something they will have voted in twice after tomorrow.

    Perhaps the question should be how will the Government execute the most recent expression of the HOC wishes? Short of fresh primary legislation rushed through this this has to be extension or revocation as they can’t get a deal through.

    Simples and imo goes back to David Davies hissy fit insisting on March 29th. Remember, at the time Tory rebels were bought off with assurances that the date could be flexible in reality. I specifically recall Oliver Letwin explaining that he would not vote against the insertion as he had been given assurances.

  6. Vote on revoking A50 – will be passed. Sovereign parliament = Brexiteers happy. End.

  7. HAL
    If your interpretation of the Withdrawal Act is correct and it’s not the default unlesss a minister acts first then the government motion on tomorrow’s order paper is wrong in law. Such is the shambles that I wouldn’t put that past Leadsom but I suspect some of her more learned colleagues might have put her right by now.

  8. LewBlew – no majority in HOC for revocation.

  9. @ PTRP – A few comments on your 7:36pm, Corbyn and May both have options – not necessarily “good” options but “less bad” than being “handmaidens” or “sleepwalkers”.

    1/ Corbyn can table a VoNC
    2/ He can also table amendments (on Thurs makes more sense) that cover revoke A50 or demand a new referendum as terms of May’s “mandate”. If he actually wants to those amendments to pass he’d better of if Cooper made them and LAB backed them.

    May also has options

    1/ May-roguing (call a VoNC on herself)
    2/ Table Thurs motion (or accept amendments) that define her “extension” mandate (eg to ensure we don’t hold EP elections). Again May would have more success if a “respected” MP proposed the amendment (or x-party and get likes of Snell and Flint involved).

    In both cases they might be wise to pursue #2 first and then hope the other one goes for #1 before they have to.

    Also due to the timetable it’s going to be #2 first but they wouldn’t be legally binding straight away so tick tock as they say – we’re getting close to being within 14days of 29Mar’19 (FTPA issues!)

    At 149 I can’t see how she can possibly go for MV3 now, resignation rumours will abound but those are slightly premature at this stage.

    IMHO Hammond will be more interesting tomorrow. If he tries some “bribe” and “blackmail” stunts that will go down like a bucket of sick – however, I fully expect that is what he will do!

  10. Millie

    Waxing lyrical?

    You should have heard me when Aberdeen put a 2nd goal past “The Queen’s 11” (Tory Murdo Fraser’s description of Rangers). :-)

  11. @ ROBERTNEWARK – ““Are Labour MPs really as thick as mince?”

    Not all of them but the “many and not the few” for sure ;)

    Snell knows whats going on and made it clear he is dead against EP elections. Cooper also wise not to trust a word May or Leadsom say.

    I’d add some SNP and LDEM to the “..as mince” list. Some of them also seem to think you can take “No Deal” off the table just by voting against it tomorrow?!?!?

    Then we have CON Remain MPs that will get away with voting against May but yet to work out the process and legal aspects of making their wish come true (Grieve used to be the AG but does a stand-up job of blissful ignorance)

  12. @ JJ – 2years is stated in Lisbon Treaty, EU aren’t going to change that.

    Extension beyond a certain date (mid Apr or mid May) causes EP election issues so to ask for an extension beyond that means we’d have to run them.

    Snell made an excellent point on his desire for that!

    So on Thurs MPs start to realise they can’t agree on the mandate for an extension and either send Mayb0t off with a “vague” request or possibly event vote against it.

    MPs are failing to think more than 1 vote a time.

    Of course May could revoke but she has “less bad” options before splitting her party and alienating 3/4ish of her VI!

  13. @Alec

    “Sounds like EU angling for long extension. ‘Reasoned and credible justification’ seems code for ‘going back to the drawing board.”

    I may be wrong but that sounds like the language of the A50 (A50 unilateral revocation) case, which also clarified the context in which extensions may be granted.

  14. @Robert Newark

    “We would have a site better Parliament if all votes were free votes and MPs voted for what they actually believe in. Get rid of the whips, all MPs independent all the political shenanigans that Corbyn is so keen on would disappear.”

    Actually, we wouldn’t as party groupings would quickly emerge as they always have done.

  15. Trevor, Lisbon places 2 years and hence March 29th as the date but with the option of extension as per A50. What DD did was, imo unnecessarily, insist on it being in UK law to make any extension more difficult.

  16. @robert newark

    “Leadson was ultra clear in her answers even the Speaker seemed to be perplexed at the repetition.”

    Clear but contemptuously unhelpful as she sees her Brexit illusions blown away by reality.

  17. @ ALEC – No idea where your getting that from. Tusk’s spokesman:

    “The EU, for its part, continues to stand by the withdrawal agreement, including the backstop, ..today’s vote has significantly increased the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit. We will continue our no-deal preparations and ensure that we will be ready if such a scenario arises.”

    No mention of drawing boards at all.

    IMHO it sounds like more mini/side deals, most of which will have time limits and also possibly a mini fudge for mini transtion (to mid-May perhaps?). I very much doubt they’ll go for Malthouse Compromise B (MCB) but we can kill a bit more time asking (and ERG need to look like they want to ask) ;)

    As EC-EU27 realise they were too arrogant, UK is not Greece, and they look at the choas in HoC they’re going to need to do some more mitigation which leans towards a

    “Managed No Deal” and a “Clean Brexit”

    However, I hope majority of MPs see it as you do – I think “bamboozled” is the term ;)

  18. The new Dromey / Spelman amendment says: “This house rejects the UK leaving the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship.”

    Seems likely to succeed over whatever motion HMG puts down tomorrow.

    Those who describe those supporting such a stance as thick as mince, simply demonstrate their own ignorance of how to cook mince.

    Prior to adding other ingredients to create a palatable dish, the mince needs to be browned. Opposing no deal simply “browns the mince”. Having taken steak tartare wholly off the options in the kitchen, it only remains to delete it from the menu in the dining room.

  19. Perhaps the way out is is if enough CON vote for the Labour customs union amendment. Ken Clarke voted for it last time. Maybe Enough now so annoyed with the ERG that they might support this now. This would be able to command majority. Might require A50 extention to negotiate but would not need 2 year transition.

  20. @JIMJAM

    No majority against revocation. HoC is majority remain, surely.

  21. ERG have screwed it.

    If the HoC votes for an extension & EU say-yes but the condition is that UK makes a decision & stops kicking the can . Parliament has repeatedly done this & we won’t do any more talking. It never results in a decision.

    So-you must put May’s Deal to the people in a binding Referendum. The only other option available to UK is Revoke & Remain.

    Then Parliament enacts the Referendum Result. How long do you need to set up that Referendum?

  22. @Colin

    That is not tenable.

    Hard Leavers will not vote for May’s deal.

    Any referendum on the deal must be Accept or Reject.

    Reject does not mean Hard Leave or Remain.

    Another option is new political leadership, I honestly feel May should now resign and allow someone else to take up the baton.

  23. JIB

    I am postulating that the EU will tell Parliament to get out of the way & let THe People make a decision -as a condition for granting a short extension.

  24. @Peterw and @Hal – not been able to go right back through this topic, but I think @Peterw is correct in that much of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 does indeed happen automatically on ‘exit day’.

    However, Brexit is never that simple. ‘Exit day’ is defined in Section 20(1) –

    ““exit day” means 29 March 2019 at 11.00 p.m. (and see subsections (2) to (5))”

    where subsection (3) says –

    “Subsection (4) applies if the day or time on or at which the Treaties are to cease to apply to the United Kingdom in accordance with Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union is different from that specified in the definition of “exit day” in subsection (1).”

    and subsection (4)a) says –

    “A Minister of the Crown may by regulations—

    (a)amend the definition of “exit day” in subsection (1) to ensure that the day and time specified in the definition are the day and time that the Treaties are to cease to apply to the United Kingdom, …”

    So, whatever Brexiters say, the position in UK law is that the suspension of EU laws and their replacement by UK laws _does not_ happen automatically on March 29th. It happens automatically on ‘exit day’, but defines exit day as the day that the leaving process is concluded under A50.

    In the event of an extension, 20(3) provides the legal basis for ministers to enact their power to change exit day under 20(4)a) and alter the date of exit day. There is no requirement for parliamentary vote, and this will be automatic.

    Many Brexiters have never realised this, but I don’t know if this answers all the points you were discussing.

  25. @ Colin

    ERG have screwed it, they’ll that find out tomorrow when they finally bring an amendment forward. When it gets trounced maybe they will start acquiesing but I somehow doubt it.

  26. @Trevors – “@ ALEC – No idea where your getting that from.”

    Look at Rutte’s comment. Also, just forget anything to do with Malthouse. Barnier shot that down yet again today. The problem with this is that Malthouse is contingent on a transition. The transition goes with the WA. No WA, no transition.

    All that we are seeing tonight is the EU playing their game and keeping the screws on. They know the UK won’t go for a no deal. All the talk of preparations is just part of the play. The UK will reject no deal tomorrow and then move towards an extension, and the EU’s objective is to make this long.

    @Colin – I think some public vote has to be the way out of this. It sounds like May will vote against no deal, which raises an interesting theoretical point if we can’t agree an extension – would she revoke? That’s one for the theorists though.

    As I see it, the options are now either for May to finally stop being so anally retentive about this and open up to a genuine parliamentary compromise with Lab, SNP and others, with Norway/CU etc in the mix, or place her deal in front of the voters in a second referendum. Or resign, perhaps.

    This has been the worst extended period of governance of this country probably since the loss of the American colonies. Dreadful, dreadful stuff – not just from May’s government either.

  27. Lew – no HOC WAS remain.

    As I posted earlier today (or yesterday) over half Labour MPs are for leaving now and most of the rest will join in backing soft Brexit as best way forward.

    A second pure in/out ref or a ref short of Lab deal v remain would have most backing remain but that is different from saying they back revocation as a means of achieving anything. Indeed even those strongly for remain want through ref 2 not revocation.

  28. @ JIB

    I was just googling what happens if May resigns because perhaps there is not time for a leadership election before 29th March and there doesn’t seem to be much precedent for her resigning and not staying on in the meantime (the general precedent is that the current leader carries on until a replacement is agreed).

    The favourite approach seems to be that the cabinet appoint an interim leader to go to the Queen, which makes things interesting because virtually the whole cabinet is now inevitably leaning to May’s deal- ie no change.

    Recipe for more chaos I reckon.

  29. I note that Mundell (and presumably lots of other Government supporters – even May?) will vote against “No Deal” tomorrow.

    Since the deal has been decisively voted down : no deal almost certainly likely to be rejected as an option : the clock having been run down so far such that no further negotiations are possible – what is the realistic alternative to revoking A50?

  30. So what is the betting for tomorrow’s votes?

  31. Alec

    “This has been the worst extended period of governance of this country probably since the loss of the American colonies.”

    Are you arguing that UK losing the American colonies was a bad thing, and that gaining lots of colonies on other continents subsequently was a good thing?

    I wouldn’t have seen you as a fan of imperialism, but who knows nowadays?

  32. One thing that was rather telling tonight was the deathly silence in the HoC as MPs listened to May speaking immediately after the defeat.

    It was like a funeral.

  33. @jimjam
    “As I posted earlier today (or yesterday) over half Labour MPs are for leaving now”

    So Labour MPs moving in the opposite direction to both the country and, particularly, their current supporters…

  34. @JamesB

    “So Labour MPs moving in the opposite direction to both the country and, particularly, their current supporters”

    Really. I don’t think there is any shift.

    The only way Remainers can get things to shift their way is a rigged Referendum between a deal apparently no one wants and Remain…..

  35. JamesB,

    That is one way of looking at it they other is that they respect the referendum result, although hard Brexiteers think Labour’s proposals are BINO.

    NB) I think it obvious by saying leavers now it does not mean they have changed their mind and wish they voted out in the ref.

    With a 52/48 result out but very close would seem to make sense to me but then my opinion matters little

  36. @Alec

    “This has been the worst extended period of governance of this country probably since the loss of the American colonies. Dreadful, dreadful stuff – not just from May’s government either.”

    I agree, both main parties are utterly hopeless at the moment, both utterly divided.

    The 2016 referendum really has burnt down everyone’s political house.

  37. I don’t know if it’s the ERG making a botch of things. There aren’t that many of them, and although they seem to have persuaded 50-60 MPs to agree with them at times, it’s nowhere near enough to make that much difference to Parliament if Labour and SNP aren’t on board. There’s only so many Tory MPs that they can persuade; probably not many more than they have already.

    On the subject of second referendums and the questions thereon, everyone in Parliament will have an opinion as to what questions there are. Putting “No deal” with “May’s deal” and “stay” would divide the out vote, assuming that it is worth putting “May’s deal” as an option. Pitting “no deal” against “stay” I would bet on “stay” winning. I can’t see “stay” not being on the ballot because we would have only “no deal” as a choice… which is not really a referendum.

    So, the no-deal vote tomorrow – Labour, LD, SNP against it. ERG in favour. Rest of the Tory party ??? but I don’t think many will vote for no deal. What next? Reach out to Labour or ask EU for an extension on the basis of another referendum.

    As I say to my wife a little while ago, I am so glad I am not Mrs May. Whatever happens, there will be some fracturing in the Tory party. We’re used to Labour doing that; for her party it will be a novelty.

  38. @Oldnat

    I cannot see revoking as a realistic option. That would really add petrol to the fire and would be seen as a terrible betrayal.

    A second referendum is more preferable, but I cannot see how that can be conducted without being over two stages.

    What’s the point of extending? The EU won’t remove the backstop.

    A new PM and a time limited extension might work, but the Tories are likely to elect a hard Brexiteer as Leader!

    Stuck. No deal by accident looks very likely to me now.

  39. @Jonesinbangor, @alec

    Yes, both main parties are in rag order at the moment.

    There needs to be a period of calm after all this and probably a reconfiguring of both parties. Don’t know if we’ll get either.

  40. JiB

    “I cannot see revoking as a realistic option. That would really add petrol to the fire and would be seen as a terrible betrayal. ”

    I can see that the English polity (and their allies elsewhere in UK) has got itself into a terrible mess, due to the utter incompetence of its politicians.

    However, having got yourselves into the sh!t, finding a way of climbing out would seem to a sensible idea, rather than sinking further into it.

  41. “Really. I don’t think there is any shift”

    Well this is a polling site and the polls say otherwise.

    “That is one way of looking at it they other is that they respect the referendum result”

    Weirdly though this respecting the results thing doesn’t seem to apply to general elections, else they’d just be waving through more austerity etc.

  42. A rational government and a rational parliament, acting in the public interest, would now revoke Article 50 and tell the Brexiteers that they had their chance, they botched it, and they should perhaps try again one day with a fresh mandate and with a proper plan. (David Allan Green)

    Sadly, English politics abandoned rationality some time back.

    Still, it allowed things like NHS England abandoning the A&E 4 hour target, with very little attention.

  43. What a load of tosh. We can debate on here all day but it doesn’t alter the fact that most MPs are completely out of touch with the people they represent.

    Even if we agree that Leave support has dropped to perhaps 45% or thereabouts, there only seem to be at most about 100 MPs who want to Leave the EU come what may. If they represented the people properly there should be at least 300 in this camp. Yes I’m sure someone will quibble with the precise figures, but the principle is true.

    When a parliament is that far away from truly representing the people then decisive action on the ground becomes a possibility. Just saying.

  44. Pete B

    “When a parliament is that far away from truly representing the people then decisive action on the ground becomes a possibility. Just saying.”

    Those who don’t comprehend that you are a non-violent, democratic soul, might misinterpret your comment as suggesting that a violent insurrection by extreme Eng/Brit Nationalists would not be opposed by your good self. Just saying.

  45. Nissan to stop manufacturing premium Infiniti models in Sunderland (Daily Mirror)

    Fortunately, folk in Sunderland (who have investments in hedge funds held outwith the UK) will be unaffected.

  46. Pete B

    You seem to have an ally in Pete North of the Leave Alliance – If a parliament will not do as instructed do we not have an obligation to remove it by force?

  47. ON They are like very silly children.

    The idea that people like that could actually “remove the government by force” is just fantasy.

    Having said that, I’d like to see them charged for such comments.

  48. ON They are like very silly children.

    The idea that people like that could actually “remove the government by force” is just fantasy.

    Having said that, I’d like to see them charged for such comments.

  49. With regards Nissan, the Infiniti said it will discontinue the entire european production of the Infinit Q30 sedan and the Infiniti QX30 SUV to very poor and falling pan-european sales and it will be withdrawn from sale across europe. Even though the european model is assembled in UK, the spares chain across europe will also be stripped out. Production will be moved to China and sales concentrated on China and the USA. To attempt to blame Brexit is laughable – unless you expect UK workers to work for Chinese wages and Nissan to build cars in the UK/EU for export to the USA that will incur penalties.

    “The commercial reality for Infiniti in western Europe is that there is simply no visibility of a viable and sustainable business, especially given the regulatory challenges,” Infiniti’s chief spokesman, Trevor Hale.

    Nissan also intends to discontinue ALL diesel production within the EU because of no visibility of a viable and sustainable business, especially given the regulatory challenges and it has no intention of building within the EU with compliance to stringent Euro 6 emissions requirements and other regulatory challenges.as it is simply not cost-effective.

  50. Of the three MPs I know I have now succesfully swapped texts with one and spoken with the other two (one at some length)

    I regret to inform the site that our MPs for the most part have absolutely no idea what they are doing, what they want, how to achieve it – or even why. Quite literally as late as late on this evening some of them were having to have explained what people on this forum fully understand in fairly simple routine matters of procedures and legalities. Some – despite us being 900 days into this, still didn’t fully understand/grasp that just because they vote to take No Deal off the table does not mean that it can’t happen, nor that just because Parliament votes for an extension, how long is offered, what for and even whether it is offered at all is entirely up to the EU and is non-negotiable – take it or leave it.

    I will expand further tomorrow after some kip. They really really haven’t done themselves any favours in the eyes of the EU and late on this evening as things were explained, they were starting to realise the EU is correct – no deal is now more likely.

    Mind you, it could always be a bluff conspired by May and Barnier in order to scare the MPs to hold and pass MV3 on her WA.

1 3 4 5 6 7 18