Prorogation polling

Three polling companies – YouGov, Ipsos MORI and Survation – have so far released polling on the government’s decision to prorogue Parliament in mid-September.

YouGov polled on the issue twice – a snap poll on the day of the announcement itself, with the same question repeated overnight. The on-the-day figures were 27% acceptable, 47% unacceptable, 26% don’t know. The follow-up poll had a similar split, but with the number of don’t knows dropping off as people became aware of the story – 31% said it was acceptable, 53% unacceptable, 16% don’t know. Tabs are here)

Ipsos MORI did an unusual online poll (almost alone among pollsters these days, most of their polling is done by phone). They found 30% thought the decision to prorogue Parliament was right, 46% thought it was wrong. Tables are here.

Finally there was a Survation poll for today’s Daily Mail. This found a closer result, with the public fairly evenly split – 39% were supportive, 40% opposed (note this is rounding the totals for support/oppose after they’ve been summed, hence the apparent discrepancy with the tables). Tables are here.

Overall it looks as if the public are opposed to the prorogation decision – though it is unclear to what degree. Whether that really matters or will make any dent in the government’s support is a different matter. Opposition to prorogation is concentrated among Remainers (in YouGov 82% of Remainers think the move is unacceptable, but only 24% of Leavers, in MORI’s poll 74% of Remainers think it was wrong, only 20% of Leavers, in Survation 74% Remainers, 14% leavers). If most of the opposition to the move comes from people who are opposed to the government’s policy anyway (and I expect the more fervent opposition comes from those who were most fervently opposed already) the government are hardly likely to worry too much over losing the crucial “people who hated us anyway” vote.

Both YouGov and Survation included voting intention in their surveys:

YouGov’s topline figures were CON 33%(-1), LAB 22%(nc), LDEM 21%(+4), BREX 12%(-1), GRN 7%(-1)
Survation’s topline figures were CON 31%(+3), LAB 24%(nc), LD 21%(nc), BREX 14%(-2), GRN 3%(nc)

Changes in the YouGov poll are from a poll earlier this week, before the announcement. In Survation changes are from a poll three weeks ago. There is a little movement up and down, but certainly nothing that suggests the announcement has done immediate damage to Conservative support.


3,389 Responses to “Prorogation polling”

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  1. @artemis

    “surely Yellowhammer documentation should run to more than 6 pages”

    Of course it does. Even within the cabinet office it will be many times this length. Then there will be several times that in the other national gov departments. Some of this has been leaked previously.

    Cummings is simply trying to dead cat everyone with the rebrand and the redaction.

  2. Re: Supreme Court

    I suspect all the SC justices will want to sit on this one as it is of major constitutional significance and English and Scottish Law may give different outcomes.

    A little humour:

    For Gilbert and Sullivan fans. (Author, as yet, unknown)

    To the tune of “A Modern Major General”

    I am the very model of a prejudiced Etonian
    My diction is impeccable, my politics draconian,
    I’m quite the polar opposite of what you’d call revisionist
    And though I went to public school, at least I’m not a Wykehamist
    I’m keeping the tradition of the gentry ent’ring politics
    How else are we to keep away the Corbynista Bolsheviks
    So through my vivid promises of dividends most decorous
    I’ve mobilised the Brexiteers to levels quite obstreperous
    I whip them up to frenzy in a manner so Pavlovian
    They do not seem to see that it’s increasingly dystopian
    So here I stand before you like a skeletal Napoleon
    I am the very model of a prejudiced Etonian.

    I’ve studied all the Classics from Herodotus to Sophocles
    How else am I to criticise my colleagues’ etymologies?
    Perhaps that’s why I vote against most freedoms and equalities
    These authors are about as old as most of my philosophies!
    I know of all the backwards Parliament’ry curiosities
    Like letting Commons’ priv’lege keep me safe to spout atrocities
    I know the terminologies, chronologies and glossaries
    And yet I still behave as if we never lost the colonies.
    I often drain the public funds to renovate my properties
    Although I have more money than some smaller world economies
    I never make apologies for lack of reciprocities
    Despite the fact that swathes of Britons lack basic commodities!

    My views on social issues haven’t changed much since the Tudor times
    I rage against the slightest change to long-outdated paradigms
    I lack the base ability to sympathise or empathise
    My Commons’ sprawl exemplifies the privilege I symbolise
    When criticised on Women’s Rights I hide behind Catholicism
    Bending it to justify my heart-of-stone Conservatism,
    Yet I sound the clarion of fear of fundamentalism
    Without seeming to acknowledge this inherent dualism,
    I try to paint a picture of a Brexit most utopian
    And when they all explain to me the likely pandemonium
    I patronise my critics with my methods Ciceronian
    I am the very model of a prejudiced Etonian.

  3. This govt response to ole Farridge:

    “…. a senior Conservative source said Mr Farage was “not a fit and proper person” and “should never be allowed anywhere near government”.

    will hopefully ensure that he puts up a whole load of Brexit candidates against the Tories in as many seats as poss.

    It certainly doesn’t read like something they can backtrack on.

    Although, actually…….

  4. So the Tory government wanted to hide the possibilities of strikes at refineries and fuel shortages.

    Is it known which refineries are uncompetitive and likely to close?

  5. @RosieandDaisie

    Brexit party, although a useful protest vote like UKIP, will serve no function beyond wasting one’s vote in a General Election.

    Olive branch to the expelled Tories being offered.

    Boris has realised NI needs a separate arrangement if he wants the backstop gone.

    Chances of an imminent General Election receding quickly.

  6. leftieliberal

    The names of the 9 justices selected for the hearing on 17th September were contained in a response I gave to Davwel this afternoon.

  7. technicolouroctober,
    “The crucial part which you not picking up on [even in your full post] is what they would have to do to get a single ruling.”

    I’m afraid I dont see thay have to do anything to reconcile the outcomes. The action is seeking to cause something to happen. So the english case fails and nothing happens. That doesnt invalidate a different process causing something to happen, it just means the English law doesnt provide that option.

    The failure of the English case would not make any comment on the success or failure of the Scottish case.

    In the above, no prejudice intended to the merits of either case, just the obvious example. Also, one of the issues it seems will be whether there is or is not a real difference betweent scots and English law.

  8. JONESINBANGOR

    What’s just been released by the Con HMG is just a quick summary of some of the issues which the gullible weren’t informed of in the fraudulent referendum. I know that this is not what you wanted, but sadly you were tricked by the current squatters in #10.

    The only good thing about it is that the Cons will be finished soon after it happens.

  9. @davwel

    No, they’re just (successfully it appears) trying to distract from the fact that they haven’t even released a small fraction of what they should be. They know full well that the times already had the unredacted version.

  10. leftieliberal,

    Ah the words are probably what they got spending the second billion.

    Davwell,
    “Is it known which refineries are uncompetitive and likely to close?”

    If they are assuming a couple will close immediately the day after brexit, the answer to you question longer term is probably, ‘all of them’.

    Jonesinbangor,
    “Olive branch to the expelled Tories being offered. ”

    I am right then, that the plan to simply lose an election has totally unravelled because if delayed it will simply become an absurd farce not fooling any leavers that con are even trying?

  11. [email protected]: “The crucial part which you not picking up on [even in your full post] is what they would have to do to get a single ruling.”

    I’m afraid I dont see thay have to do anything to reconcile the outcomes. The action is seeking to cause something to happen. So the english case fails and nothing happens. That doesnt invalidate a different process causing something to happen, it just means the English law doesnt provide that option.

    So effectively, this ends up with 2 rulings. I am not saying they have to reconcile the outcomes. I am only saying what they would have to do to reconcile.

  12. technicolouroctober,
    “I am only saying what they would have to do to reconcile.”

    No, still dont understand. Maybe I sue my neighbour because his dog barks all night, and the court says thats too bad but its allowed to.

    Then I say it has dug up the plants in my garden, and this time the court orders the neighbours to restrain their dog and pay me damages.

    They dont have to change the law because my first case failed, and the fact it failed made no difference to the chances of the second case.

  13. Fantastic work leftieliberal!

  14. @Barbazenzero

    Fraudulent referendum is a bit rich!

    I’ve explained my reason for voting Leave many times on here.

    I wasn’t duped by anyone, although the stealth Federalists have duped the UK electorate for decades.

  15. @JONESINBANGOR

    Brexit party, although a useful protest vote like UKIP, will serve no function beyond wasting one’s vote in a General Election.

    I reckon in an election 12-15% will waste their vote then

    Olive branch to the expelled Tories being offered.

    Indeed he bluffed and he lost I am not sure that he has recovered from that as yet I actually believe he was hoping that Corbyn would go for another election after all he agreed to one when he was 10-15 points down and it appeared a reckless thing to do
    but I think he understands it is a different situation

    Boris has realised NI needs a separate arrangement if he wants the backstop gone.

    here in lies the problem

    Leo has a veto and considering the RoI has the most to lose it seems that the EU is backing him to the hilt

    DUP will not have an all Ireland soltuion since that would mean a level of separation

    ERG want the PD changed and other things modified before agreeing to hand over the money

    Labour Leavers will want protections guaranteed in the PD

    Everyone wants something that is another group will not vote for because they will not agree to trusting Boris

    So unless he gets his election he is trapped with the power not to make a decision (it is made for him)

    I do see this ending well since there are two many versions of brexit floating around

    I still see the problem that we end up leaving with no deal

    Chances of an imminent General Election receding quickly.

  16. Danny

    I think your analogy falls down because this isn’t “a court” ruling on two different cases within the same legal system.

    The UK Supreme Court has been asked to rule on very similar cases coming from different jurisdictions – each of which has to be considered in the context of their own sets of constitutional laws – and not some overarching set of principles external to those legal jurisdictions.

  17. Following the release of the Yellowhammer documents, has anybody realised the irony of naming Operation Yellowhammer after a bird whose song sounds like “A little bit of bread and no cheeeese….”?

  18. R&D
    “Are we *really* supposed to classify Johnson, Rees-Mogg and all the other millionaires as the opposite of “elite”?”

    Surely most MPs will be millionaires. I bet Corbyn’s little house in London is worth nearly that on its own. I expect that as many posters on here are getting on a bit that a good few are millionaires if you take into account things like notional capital value of pensions etc. A millionaire is no longer necessarily a toff with a monocle and Rolls-Royce, but could be someone with a reasonable job who bought a decent house 30 or 40 years ago, has a reasonable work pension and has stuck a bit of money away in ISAs over the years. It’s time it stopped being a term of abuse.

  19. @LeftieLiberal

    Love the pome. :)

  20. Oldnat,
    “I think your analogy falls down because this isn’t “a court” ruling on two different cases within the same legal system.”

    yes, it is. The two separate branches come together in the one supreme court, which will arbitrate each case on the basis of the relevant law. (some of which may be different, some not).

  21. Haulage chap on newsnight just observed that whether transport continues depends as much on foreign firms coming here as on UK ones. At the last deadline these simply refused to deliver to the Uk, and likely would again.

    I get the impression a lot of british companies are anyway simply going to wait and see what happens. Government has cried woolf too often already.

  22. Headline in the Mail (online) – “Operation Yellowhammer No Deal Brexit plan containing dramatic predictions of chaos is RELEASED by No10 – but Boris Johnson refuses to hand over emails and texts about suspending Parliament”

    And the DT leads with the news that the Chief Whip has written to the 21 rebels detailing the appeals procedure for restoring the whip. The article claims that this is a climb down following deep concern over the suspensions, and that it is linked to hopes that Johnson is brokering a deal on NI and will need all available Con MPs to vote for it.

    Interesting pair of headlines. The Mail is particularly revealing, and is pretty harsh. The DT article has a ring of wishful thinking. Johnson must know that a decent deal would get the support of the 21 anyway, so this might well be more linked to not wanting to fight a GE wish some of them fighting as independents.

    Either way, the right wing press do look a bit jumpy tonight.

  23. “Seriously? They spent billions of pounds and got six pages for it?”
    @danny September 11th, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    Well it’s better than the work done for a deal. Amber Rudd said that ran to one page.

    https://www.independent.ie/business/brexit/i-was-shown-a-onepage-summary-amber-rudd-sensationally-quit-uk-cabinet-due-to-lack-of-planning-for-brexit-deal-38477992.html

  24. Danny

    This isn’t a simple case of statute law varying between jurisdictions, as would be the case if you drove across the border with 30 mcgs of alcohol per 100 ml of breath, which would be legal in England, but illegal in Scotland.

    The UK Supreme Court will require to rule on cases where the “facts” are identical, but the legal principles which brought the courts to different conclusions may be different. That will (hopefully) become clearer when the Inner House publishes its detailed judgment on Friday.

    We probably agree that there is no need for the SC to apply the same set of legal principles to each case, but acting as the ultimate appeal court in the UK on civil cases, it needs to be simultaneously that for two different systems of law.

    That need not be a problem for experienced justices, but however they respond, there are likely to be political consequences which affect polling and VI.

    Such would not be the case with your neighbour’s barking dogs or your having had a pint in an English pub before driving north.

  25. [email protected]: “I think your analogy falls down because this isn’t “a court” ruling on two different cases within the same legal system.”

    yes, it is. The two separate branches come together in the one supreme court, which will arbitrate each case on the basis of the relevant law. (some of which may be different, some not).

    Oldnat gets it exactly. It is exactly one case in 2 different legal systems.

    Scottish and English Law are entirely separate. They come together in most Statute law if it is enacted for the UK post 1707. But in this instance, English Law goes back to pre 1707 England and Scottish Law goes back to pre 1707 Scotland. For the Supreme Court to attempt to construct UK Law on this matter from separate Scottish and English Law would be effectively unprecedented for a Court because it would require creation of new law or revocation of old. Although Judges have been creative with law at various times, it has to come within the scope of interpretation

  26. @Danny, 10.55

    Was that Virginia or Lord Justice? ;)

  27. Alec,
    “this might well be more linked to not wanting to fight a GE with some of them fighting as independents. ”

    No, I’d say it is because he thinks there will not be an election, and then he has to put up with them as independents within parliament. This has given them a lot more freedom to vote against the government even where they might not have done so if still inside the party.

    Throwing them out was helpfull if the aim was to lose the election. But if instead he has transformed them into an opposition majority, he has trashed his own credibility as leave leader.

    Oldnat,
    “however they respond, there are likely to be political consequences which affect polling and VI.”

    Oh yes. There already are. Another unlooked for bad day for BJ today. And he cant really win reputationally whatever the result.

  28. Interesting bit of realignment at Holyrood today in the vote on the Citizens’ Assembly Bill.

    Voting for – SNP, SGP, SLab
    Abstaining – SCon
    Vote against – SLD (all 5 of them).

    SLD perhaps moving to supplant SCon as the Ultra-Unionist party.

    If so, they might well take any current SCon/SLab Westminster seats that the SNP don’t take.

  29. @ALEC

    Jumpy cos they know they’re losing. Losey leavers. They never had a plan. Why come up with a deal with the EU now while we’re still a member and have some power when we could do it after a hard Brexit and have nothing except a deal with Namibia or whoever hahahahahahahahahahaha.

    Losey forever-miserable leavers supping John Smith’s watching Coronation Street painting Airfix models of Spitfires hahahahahahaha.

    And polling um… Labour behind because we’re between elections and Tories having all the publicity (no such thing as bad publicity).

  30. Lewblew,
    “And polling um… Labour behind because we’re between elections and Tories having all the publicity ”

    No. I expect it is because voters dont like them either. Yougov did a poll on whether people agreed with the policies of the party they voted for, and I think most said no. Both sides.

    However what I would expect to happen is voters coalescing behind the party likely to produce the outcome most like what they want. So the polling is probably exactly right if it maybe gives a party 20% support generally but it ends up with 40% at a poll.

  31. I think it was Checkov who said abuse is the sister of advertisement.

  32. OLDNAT
    “Murmuring Judges”
    My, given half a chance this Proroguing thing gets all 17th Century on one’s ass, with a little help from that ever obliging minister of the crown, Kwasi Kwarteng, who has heard ( down the pub?) that folk were saying the Scottish Judges were biased.
    Must be right then, and a big boy did Brexit and ran away!

  33. @ Oldnat

    “The UK Supreme Court will require to rule on cases where the “facts” are identical, but the legal principles which brought the courts to different conclusions may be different. That will (hopefully) become clearer when the Inner House publishes its detailed judgment on Friday.”

    This is not entirely accurate as the decision the England and Wales High Court refused to examine the facts: it approached the matter on the basis that the first issue to address was whether the claim was justiciable at all and having decided it was not did not go further. This is why I was wondering about the Court of Session decision: I am afraid I have not been able to read the Scottish first instance decision but I had assumed that facts had been found in that case because it is unusual for an appeal court to find facts (they don’t, normally, hear or see evidence but base findings on facts found below). The irony is that, theoretically the Supreme Court could uphold the legal reasoning from Scotland in the England and Wales case but then have to send it back for the High Court to find facts and apply the law and that court could find different facts to the Scottish case.

  34. correction “having decided it wasn’t”

  35. Good morning, WB.

    Is it the case that the Scottish judges in the Court of Session were of the opinion that the case raise by the petitioners was not normally justiciable?

    What made it so was the finding, by reference to the documents produced, that the purpose of the prorogation of parliament was to stymie parliamentary scrutiny of the executive. The advice to the Queen by HMG, not normally open to challenge, is, in this case, justiciable and unlawful.

    Is that it?

  36. From the Irish Times.

    “Wednesday’s ruling by the Scottish appeal court that the government’s advice to Queen Elizabeth on prorogation was unlawful only further embeds Johnson’s narrative that the establishment is trying to frustrate Brexit. Judges will join MPs as enemies of the people – exactly the headline that ran after the Gina Miller court case allowing parliament a vote on article 50 in November 2016.

    There is one more institution that the Johnson must force into the rogues’ gallery ahead of an election: he must return to where it all began – the European Union. This is where the most difficult of circles to be squared can be deployed as ordnance: he will weaponise the backstop….

    …If he has to resign or force a court case to avoid an extension, these extreme measures are the grist to his argument. By boxing him in, opposition forces arm him with what he will describe as their perfidy, bullying and cowardice.”

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/brexit-scottish-court-plays-into-johnson-s-hands-1.4015096

  37. Irish Times again

    “A paper by Prof John Garry of Queen’s University has shown that in June 2016, 40 per cent of Protestants and 30 per cent of self-described unionists voted Remain, thus contributing significantly to the 56 per cent referendum vote in favour of continued membership of the EU.

    Recent surveys, such as that carried out by Cognisence in 2018, have indicated that, in another referendum, the Remain vote in Northern Ireland could rise to almost 70 per cent.”

  38. @Sam

    I am afraid I couldn’t offer an opinion on that until the full judgment is published, the summary is insufficient to get a full understanding of the reasoning of all three judges.

  39. Sam,
    “By boxing him in, opposition forces arm him with what he will describe as their perfidy, bullying and cowardice”

    Which is why labour has sat on its hands for three years and done nothing to oppose Brexit. Its a game of chicken.

    Yellowhammer cat and mouse continuing, the government having merely released the document already in the public’s hands, which I seem to recall it said at the time it was first leaked…was already out of date and no longer the working version.

  40. @ Jim Jam

    “I think it was Checkov who said abuse is the sister of advertisement”

    Which episode was that in? All I remember him ever saying was “it was a Russian invention captain”.

  41. Amber Rudd on R4 just now. Said the May cabinet considered prorogueing parliament, but rejected it as the wrong way to proceed.

    Sounded as though she would stand in her constituency as an independent if there is an election now, which presumably would guarantee a win for labour because of a split tory vote.

    Most electoral predictions do not seem to be allowing for local factors, some dont even seem to be accounting a near clean sweep for the SNP. But with 20 tories thrown out of the party, perhaps we should assume half those seats will go to a remain party?

  42. Some interesting reports in today’s Times:-

    David Frost focussing on an all Ireland backstop for food/agriculture with SM checks on other goods in boats in the Irish Sea. DUP have moved on accepting this provided-no CU / UK-NI tariffs , and “consent” of NI people via the Assembly.

    If EU go with this Times has a HoC majority from these groups Lab for a deal ( 10-50) + Ind for a deal ( 24) + Payroll vote ( 117) + Back any deal ( 155-156).

    Even more interesting is their article titled ” EU officials regret getting into bed with remainers”-from which I quote :-

    “One Brussels source said EU had “made mistakes” with Labour and was horrified at the parties convoluted position as the prospect of JC in Downing street rises”
    “They want us to neghotiate a “credible” deal and then they will campaign against it in a referendum ? That is mad. How can we negotiate with people like that” said an EU source.
    The source expressed regret that links with Sir Kier Starmer had helped shape Labour tactics that backfired by contributing to three defeats for Theresa May’s WA.
    There is growing belief among officials that hardline remain supporters have helped create a political crisis that has rebounded on the EU by unravelling the deal.
    Officials regret not cultivating other Labour MPs who support the WA.
    ” It would have been better to talk to sensible MPs like Stephen Kinnock or Lisa Nandy who want an agreement” said the source.
    “Remainers in the EU once saw merit because it kept Britain in the EU. That is changing, and it is changing fast in the capitals” a senior EU diplomat said “

  43. I saw Stephen Kinnock on DP yesterday. Never thought I would say this of a member of that clan-but I agreed with everything he said. A voice of reason.

  44. Colin – I think Starmer had Coveney on side.

    I am sure there are some in the EU who fear a Corbyn led Government and an number of ‘Brussels Sources’ willing to say so.

  45. ” For the past eight years he ( Draghi) has implored EU politicians to play their part in shoring up confidence in the euro and boosting eurozone growth. Rather than unleashing a new bazooka , he should remind politicians once again of their responsibility.
    He did whatever it took. Now it is their turn”
    Simon Noxon
    Times-today

    https://qz.com/1706309/what-the-ecb-rate-decision-means/

  46. JIM JAM

    @” I think Starmer had Coveney on side.”

    Who’se “side” was that ?

  47. Colin,
    “A voice of reason.”

    You mean, he was proposing accepting a deal to leave the EU? Thats all very well, but brexit isnt something amenable to compromise. If labour had the Kinnock policy, it would have flipped with libs and now be firmly in third/fourth place vying with BxP. Labour does have the same problem as con, that a majority of its voters are quite firmly on one side about Brexit, and all the evidence is trending towards voter’s view on brexit being more important to them than traditional party alliegence.

    Traditional alliegence is a complex thing, part habit, part the imposition of FPP, part conviction. It has been trailing off for a long time now.

    Brexit isnt going to be over any time soon. We might have a settlement and events die down, but harm to voter loyalty to one of the big two traditional parties will be ongoing. It is reasonable to think 10% of votes are up for grabs by any party representing the losers now. We could end up, if lab and con agree a deal between them, with BXP inheriting 10% unhappy leavers and lib inheriting 10% unhappy remainers.

  48. @colin

    Yes, this has been the problem with the 2nd ref position all along. Labour’s current position is absolutely logical given what 2nd ref proponents have been asking for:

    – remain needs to be on the ballot paper because if we want to leave we certainly don’t need another referendum

    – a leave option also needs to be on the ballot paper because “remain vs remain” would be too obviously a stitch-up

    – there’s no point in holding the referendum if the leave option is preferred since there’s already a referendum result saying leave, so by definition a majority of the proponents will campaign to remain.

    – but it needs to be a leave option broadly acceptable for government to implement in case it actually wins (i.e it can’t be no deal vs remain, learn from Cameron’s mistakes, etc.) and Labour have been clear that May’s deal is also unacceptable to them

    When you actually set out the policy each individual component is logical and required, but the effect of the whole just doesn’t quite feel right – and certainly won’t encourage the EU to re-open the Withdrawal Agreement, so the people who say they were asking for this are now criticising Labour for doing it.

    All of this was perfectly predictable a year ago when the first meaningful vote failed but no-one with influence ever made groups like Peoples’ Vote spell it out at the time.

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