There have been three GB opinion polls published over the last few days –

YouGov/Times (4th/5th Nov) – CON 35%(-3), LAB 40%(+2), LDEM 7%(+1) (tabs)
Opinium/Observer (5th/6th Nov) – CON 38%(nc), LAB 42%(+2), LDEM 7%(+1) (tabs)
Survation (5th/6th Nov) – CON 39%(-2), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 9%(+2) (tabs)

YouGov and Opinium both have Labour clearly ahead (in Opinium’s case that’s confirming the lead in their previous poll; for YouGov it’s the first Labour lead since the election. They come after a ComRes poll last week showing the parties equal and an Ipsos MORI poll that also had a five point lead. While there will always be some volatility in individual polls, looking at the average across all of the polling companies it now looks as if Labour have moved into a small lead.

Back in the summer the Conservatives had a consistent lead averaging around five or six points – since then Labour have been chipping away at it. The most obvious explanation is the generally negative perception of the government’s handling of Corona and Boris Johnson’s leadership, married to the generally positive public attitude towards Keir Starmer.

Despite the timing I would be cautious about reading too much into the impact of Labour’s internal battle and the expulsion of Jeremy Corbyn – while the polling certainly suggested that it had boosted perceptions of Keir Starmer, that increase was largely among Tory voters. In reality, most of the daily soap opera of politics doesn’t have a noticeable impact on voting intentions (especially if it is so rapidly pushed off the front pages by events across the Atlantic) – my guess is that this is more just the continuation of a trend that has been apparent for months, which happened to reach the crossover point in this past fortnight.

Does it matter? In a predictive sense of course not – there are years until MPs have to face the electorate. In terms of it’s impact on politics? Of course – it strengthens Keir Starmer’s hand in internal party fights if he is the man who put Labour back ahead. Equally, it weakens Boris Johnson if he is no longer seen as a popular election winner, something that was once his main selling point to the Tory party.

4,183 Responses to “Labour moves ahead in the opinion polls”

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  1. @Charles – the position outlined by the FT has been the case since July, when the EU dropped dynamic alignment and ECJ oversight.

    Basically what the UK is demanding is that they are allowed to constrain the sovereign right of the EU to retaliate in any area they choose, should the UK exert their sovereign right to diverge from agreed standards to such a degree that the EU considers free market access is being distorted.

    I suspect that the UK bleating that the EU has introduced tough new demands at the 11th hour is merely the next stage of the misunderstanding of the EU requirements. The UK thought that offering a concession on LPF would unlock everything, but it’s actually the level of enforcement that is key here, once you move off dynamic alignment.

  2. @Trevs – OK, I’ll accept you never mentioned the Ukraine deal.

    Basically, perhaps we could agree that any of the continuity deals below an agreed threshold of total trade value are basically worthless. The North Macedonia deal at £1.8bn is clearly the starting point here, but maybe we need to go higher than this? I don’t know – this is your call really.

    Would that be OK?

  3. Remainers to blame for Brexit not happening the way Leavers thought it should? The EU blamed for Brexit not happening the way Leavers thought it should. Allies blamed for ww2 not happening the way Hitler thought it should.

    You can’t assign blame on people, and expect them to be nice if your first and subsequent acts is declaring war on them (it’s an analogy, not a direct comparison).


    “Had there been an 80 seat majority for the government in 2016, I suspect it would have been much more clear cut.”

    And if the ball had gone in the net, it would have been a goal.

  4. Robert:

    You fail to understand, or choose to forget, that the referendum result in Scotland was 62 to 38% for remain. And David Cameron`s Tories said pre-vote that they would respect the RESULTS across the UK.

    Those facts are set in stone.

    You cannot change them, nor can Johnson.

    But as an indication of what not offering or attempting a compromise has done, the Tory vote in Scotland has gone down, and the party is struggling.

    Yesterday in the i newspaper, the former head of media for SCON, Adam Morris, wrote:

    Regrettably Johnson cannot be banned from coming to Scotland. .. But at most I would say 1 or 2 visits, “probably to a secretive factory”… If Johnson wants to undermine or jeopardise an election campaign, there are plenty of local and mayoral elections to visit at the same time in England.

    For good measure, AM approved the resignation of MSP Ms Ballantyne from the Tories, “the most right-wing of the 31 Tory MSPs”, hoping that the Scottish party will now embrace “”more moderate voices”

    And he didn`t want “much involvement from Ruth Davidson” in election May 2!

  5. Simples recap of my views:

    1/ Brexit gives us to chance to Build/grow more in Britain with British jobs for British workers (ie end our ‘woeful and widening trade deficit’)

    2/ Future trade deals with anyone should be based on ‘fair trade’ and ensuring UK’s priorities (not EU’s). If the trade is not ‘fair’ then ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’. This is far less important than #1 (and note Biden has same very similar things about US’s priorities)

    3/ CPTPP is not just about CPTPP and the current 11 or the current deals. We should also obvs stay in NATO, etc. and work with Biden and others on shared issues such as Climate Change, Russia, China, etc.

    4/ If we get a very thin (‘no’) deal I will be THANKING Remainers (eg Gina Miller, Olly Robbins and all those MPs who kept walking through the same ‘noe’ door as ERG) – we couldn’t have done it without you ;)

    5/ Brexit is then the ‘catalyst’, ‘excuse’ to end the 40yr+ EU-Centric, London-Centric, Ne0liberal model of the ‘Old Model Tories’ (which includes the period with the i’M Tory Plan B chap)

    6/ To get re-elected in GE’24 then Boris and CON HMG will have to make a success of Brexit. Quite the incentive but I don’t have a time machine to go to future to see if he/they did. TBC as they say..

    Just in case anyone else wants to make stuff up and project some fabricated nonsense about what my views are – or has simply ‘forgot’ (again)

  6. Some talk today about a sticking point on the states aid issue, over whether the UK has an ex post or ex ante approval system.

    Ex ante is how the EU operates, and wants the UK to operate, which is where aid is approved in advance, and if not acceptable, it can’t be granted. Ex post is where challenges are made to the legality after the award, which would supposedly give the UK some advantages, as enforcement could be long winded and tricky to enforce.

    I posted about the short sightedness of the approach earlier in the year. If you are granting aid to companies which could then be ruled illegal or challenged, perhaps by specific discriminatory measures against your products by the EU, that doesn’t offer company owners great levels of certainty, and if business wants anything, it’s certainty.

    An ex post states aid enforcement mechanism will make it far harder for companies to accept states aid, and really doesn’t add anything much at all to the practical management of the economy.

  7. @Davwel

    It sounds to me that the Scottish Tories electoral approach is to not be Tory.

    Perhaps the moderates should shift to a more reasonable party?



    It’s a bit rich to complain about the Ro Ireland tax haven shenanighans when the UK is the world’s worst offender; namely all those corrupt UK micro-colonies which live on little else.

  9. Statgeek
    “ And if the ball had gone in the net, it would have been a goal.”

    You are David Coleman and I claim my £5.

    Although it’s possible you’re John Motson.


    And the point that you forget is that the vote was a nationwide one. That you choose to centre in on a geographical part of that nation because it accords with your personal view is neither here nor there. We could all do that. If the nationwide vote had gone the other way then I would have accepted that.

  10. The trevs,
    “Brexit gives us to chance to Build/grow more in Britain with British jobs for British workers (ie end our ‘woeful and widening trade deficit’)”

    This has been long debated here – nothing is changed by brexit which creates new opoertunites, only new problems.

    “Future trade deals with anyone should be based on ‘fair trade’ and ensuring UK’s priorities (not EU’s).”

    We always had a veto on trade deals by the EU, and ensured they met UK priorities. now we have to accept what they do.

    “CPTPP is not just about CPTPP and the current 11 or the current deals.”

    Surely joinign any trade block is impossible given the Uk priorotoes stated in its current negotiations with a possible trade partner?

    “If we get a very thin (‘no’) deal I will be THANKING Remainers”

    Its a leave deal being made now. Big parliamentary majority to do anything con want. or ar you arguing con are not leavers?

    “To get re-elected in GE’24 then Boris and CON HMG will have to make a success of Brexit. ”

    thats why they put it off 2 elections and 5 years.

  11. In who to believe news:

    Should we accept the word of a regime led by a proven compulsive l!arwho has spent the last thirty years !ying about the European union. Or the EU’s highly professional negotiation team.

    The choice is yours!

  12. Robertinnewark,
    “And the point that you forget is that the vote was a nationwide one. ”

    indeed. it was a bad mistake not to make the result conditional on all polities agreement. The outcome is likely to be the end of the UK.


    “We could all do that. If the nationwide vote had gone the other way then I would have accepted that.”

    Exactly Robert, so would I, that seems to be the difference between Leavers like us, and some REMAINERS, we are both democrats.

  14. @ LASZLO – Your concern about tomatoes will likely be mainly ‘panic buying’ related (from soonish perhaps). Tins not as good as fresh but I’d stock up on a few tins next time you go shopping as tins will be suffer from ‘panic buying’ as well. ‘Free advice’ to UKPR is to get a modest stash put by soon – just in case. Don’t go OTT tho please, stockpile responsibly!

    NTBs are still TBC but I’d expect there will be a ‘shortage’ of fresh tomatoes come Jan with prices up a bit but more on profiteering and scarcity (poss a ‘Rotten-dam’ issue) than tariffs, as…

    UKGE info

    and also note, in event of a WTO deal then Spain might want to ‘break the rules’ concerning export[1] subsidies as..

    “Subsidies that are found by the WTO dispute settlement mechanism to be in breach of WTO rules only need to be discontinued or the adverse effects caused by them removed. There is no repayment requirement for subsidies already paid (unlike for illegal state aid in the EU)”

    That realistically gives then 4.5mths-ish [2] to ‘break’ the rules with no direct consequences or need for ‘permission’. Obviously I’m not predicting the outcome or what Spain/others will do but I have a ‘hunch’ what UK might do and how EC-EU would ‘retaliate’ when we do but that is TBC and depends on ‘events’

    Europa source given in case folks use sources that might be ‘biased’. Above is a genuine reason why many of EU27 might consider ‘no deal = no problem’ (especially if they think we’ll crawl back and beg for a deal after 1Jan’21).

    [1] You might hear/read a load of twaddle about State Aid but for domestic-domestic then WTO don’t have a ‘commission’ that dictates what a nation does internally (unlike EU of course who do). I certainly won’t be shy about accepting a bit of HMG State Aid – if/when it’s offered ;)
    We can’t go OTT of course but we can certainly protect our domestic market and/or seek to trade with those interested in ‘fair trade’ and not colonialism. It is the 21st Century and Empires are ssssoooo last millenia ;)

    [2] Probably a lot longer but after 4mths or so then UK has time to see if anyone else who exports tomatoes (or wants to grow in UK) thinks we should do something about Spain/others breaking WTO rules (see ‘hunch’ mentioned earlier).


    “If we’re undone by last minute stiffening of resolve, it will be the product of old-fashioned sovereign pursuit of national interest, not corporate duplicity from the EU. The words hoist and petard come to mind.”

    They might come to mind if I cared whether or not a deal emerges. From what i know of the negotiations so far, we have probably conceded too much already in which case i much prefer “No Deal” despite also agreeing with Colin’s ““ Any failure to agree now at this eleventh hour will be followed by deep acrimony & a collapse of any civilised relationship.”

  16. @Robert Newark

    So I hope he’s right that both sides will come to a compromise but if EU still expects all the compromise to be by the Brits, that won’t happen.

    Alec said that the EU shifted its position in July. If so the ‘still’ above seems unfair. Otherwise, I am completely with you. From our point of view a deal is a lot better than no deal. I hope we get one and I think on balance we will. Unfortunately, the French may calculate that the pain of no deal is so much worse for us than for them that it is worth giving us some experience of it, so that we will be more accommodating in the future. That’s the trouble with taking back control.

  17. PS Netherlands actually export slightly more tomatoes to UK than Spain but that is partly the Rotten-dam effect which is tricky to reverse out.

    However, a lot of greenhouses, etc in Netherlands… similar climate to SE-E.England so clearly we can and SHOULD be growing more in UK.

    PS Tomatoes not within my specific ‘field’ of interest but I have plenty of data at my fingertips (and there is a lot published data as well).

  18. @ Robert and ToH.

    If only one UK total mattered, we would not have had declarations planned and then posted in each country.

    If you choose to ignore democracy and all the votes in each nation, that is your right.

    But you cannot call yourself democratic, and not realise the perils of sharing company with Trump.

    The SG made a reasonable offer to discuss a compromise, and was treated like a piece of rubbish.

    So it is perfectly justifiable to wreck any deal that is made in the next few days.

  19. Rolling over these kinds of trade deals was certainly ‘worthwhile’ for both countries.

    They certainly have a ‘comparative advantage’ in growing (and exporting) tomatoes, especially during Winter.

  20. TOH
    One person one vote one time only =democracy.

    Mussolini would definitely have agreed with you.

  21. @Colin – “Any failure to agree now at this eleventh hour will be followed by deep acrimony & a collapse of any civilised relationship”

    TBH, I think most civilised folks would think that deliberately reneging on what you have previously agreed, signed, campaigned and won an election on and promoted as a great deal for the UK probably suggests that civility has already left the building.

    In their rush for world beating status, many Brexiters (not targeting anyone specifically on UKPR, so everyone just relax) have completely failed to appreciate just how low the UK’s global reputation has sunk with these ploys.

  22. Ooh – new thread!

  23. Danny
    “ indeed. it was a bad mistake not to make the result conditional on all polities agreement. The outcome is likely to be the end of the UK.”

    I don’t disagree with you on that but unfortunately you can’t change the rules after the event.

    As for the end of the U.K., well it will still be a United Kingdom, just not including Scotland.

  24. @RobertNewark

    And the fact that Naw campaigners used staying in the EU to secure said Naw vote, and then choose to claim the ‘nationwide’ vote as an end to everything is neither here nor there.

    People change their minds. Populations change. Nations change. Can’t pause the world in your perceived happy place. Won’t happen.

  25. @HIRETON
    Buried in the UK Government’s public expenditure review was a 10% cut in capital for rail improvement expenditure other than HS2:

    Interesting, especially in the context of this thread about the red wall seats. The promise of ‘levelling up’ is crucial if the Tories hope to retain the red wall seats. Indeed the polling these seats already finds that people are already disillusioned with the phrase ‘same old tories’ being used.
    HS2 will have little or no effect for a number of years, what people want is to see improvements in the next 3-5 years. I suspect they will be disappointed and take out their frustration on the Conservatives who promised so much at the last election.

  26. Just a game for Johnson and Macron. My sympathy is for Mali.

  27. TW
    Hate to let you in on a secret but the Spartans were defeated by a union of states.

  28. No 10 source says deal is not done. What a shower this administration is.

  29. Yesterday, I said that the scenario where England votes to dissolve the Union (UK, not EU!) might be back in play.

    Now the National has an article suggesting the same:

  30. Steve.

    Good news. Pleased for you all.

  31. Public resolve and support. began to FADE duh.


    Here, in a nutshell, this Government’s refusal to admit they’re wrong or could have done things better.

    A sign of weakness, not strength.

  33. I give below a summary by a medical journalist of a preprint comparing thrombotic events following different vaccinations and after Covid. The authors actually caution against drawing any conclusions about the relative effects of Astra Zeneca and the other vaccines, on the grounds that the sample sizes were too small and the populations studied too different. It is, however, interesting what a lot of stick Astra Zeneca has had compared with the other vaccines which appear on this evidence not to be free of side effects either.

    “A preprint ( by the University of Oxford found that from a dataset of over 500,000 COVID patients, CVT would have occurred in 39 per million people.

    CVT has been reported to occur in about 5 per million people after a first dose of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine. In over 480,000 people receiving either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines, CVT occurred in 4 per million.
    A similar pattern was seen in portal vein thrombosis (PVT) which occurred in 436.4 per million people who had COVID. That compared to 44.9 per million for the mRNA vaccine group, and 1.6 per million for those receiving the Oxford vaccine.”

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