The Guardian has some ICM figures on Europe out, very much in line with what we’ve already seen elsewhere. 70% of people would like a referendum on EU membership, asked how they would vote, 49% say they would vote to leave, 40% would stay in. The poll appears to have had voting intention as well, but so far the Guardian hasn’t published the voting intention figures. There is also a ComRes poll for ITV, which also finds 68% in support of a referendum on EU membership.

Meanwhile the daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 36%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, so right back to the typical Labour leads of four points or so.


110 Responses to “ICM Europe poll and YouGov/Sun – 36/40/9”

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  1. I’m a bit disappointed that there were no libdems revolters.

  2. A few interesting points in tonight’s YouGov, confirming existing trends. The tables are here:

    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/yg-archives-pol-sun-results-241011.pdf

    The ST polls looks like an outrider and we’re back with 4% leads (6% old money). Non-voters continue that bit higher(23%) as do Others – UKIP’s 6% now seems fairly solid. It will be interesting to see if there is a reaction tomorrow – I suspect not while some people feel very strongly about the EU, most people don’t.

    The hints of increasing dissatisfaction also show up in tonight’s Issue trackers. The only Parties with consistent gains are ‘Others’ and ‘None of the Above’

    There’s also extra questions on the Libya trackers. As you’d expect the ‘action going well’ question continues to improve for the coalition, though support for the ‘Right or Wrong’ question is still not overwhelming – 48% v 32%.

    Other reactions are more surprising. The British public may be bloodthirsty when it comes to rioters stealing a bottle of water, but the attitude to foreign tyrants is more ambiguous. When asked:

    Whether or not you approve of the way that Colonel Gaddafi was killed, do you think it is better for the future of Libya that he was killed or would it have been better if he had been kept alive and made to stand trial?

    46% said “It is better that he was killed” and 44% “It would have been better if he had been kept alive”

    Also when asked Looking forward, how likely do you think it is that Libya will become a stable democracy in the next few years? 49% felt it not likely and 39% likely. The big difference here is between supporters of the main Parties, each group of which is evenly split roughly 45%-45% and non-voters and others. Again an indication of a growing cynical group of disillusioned voters.

  3. RiN

    Apparently an LD called Sanders was revolting.

    Also, it’s being reported that two MPs (Iain Stewart and Mike Weatherley) wandered into both lobbies and voted both ways.

    Westminster really does have spectacularly foolish systems.

  4. Some confusion over the size of the rebellion… around 80 some are saying.

    Others seem sure 82 +15 abstainers = 97 Tory rebels.

    18 Lab + DUP + 1 LD + Green (Lucas wants a referendum to affirm membership, and press for reforms).

  5. Billy Bob

    Why should anyone be confused by the fact that Westminster’s voting system produce confusion?

    It has to be one of the most archaic and inefficient establishments around.

    “Not fit for purpose” seems the best description.

  6. @OldNat

    “Also, it’s being reported that two MPs (Iain Stewart and Mike Weatherley) wandered into both lobbies and voted both ways.”

    Really? My understanding of the way HoC voting works is that this should be impossible. The entrance doors to the voting lobbies are supposed to be locked before MPs start to file out past the tellers to register their vote. So they wouldn’t be able to get into the other lobby after voting.

  7. Oldnat

    The electronic voting was the one thing that Donald Dewar didn’t tell me about c 1954-

    When did RoI get it?

  8. Robin – no, you can vote in both lobbies, it’s occassionally done to effectively register an abstention.

    In practical terms the MPs can go through and vote immediately, come back out again and do whatever. At the end of 20 minutes the speaker calls for the doors to be locked, after which only MPs already in the lobbies can pass through and vote, but they don’t have to wait for the doors to be locked to pass through.

  9. @Old Nat

    Archaic and anarchic, one correspondent said he saw MPs being “dragged” into the lobby.

    Capitol/UN/EU/Hollyrood layouts lack the drama, everyone at their own little desk, it looks so… Star Trek.

  10. John B Dick

    I wonder what the word “electronic” meant in 1954 – if it had even been coined then.

  11. Billy Bob

    ” it looks so… Star Trek.”

    I might suggest suggest that the Unionists look as if they are in the holodeck re-creating 1856. but since it would be partisan, I won’t. :-)

  12. @ Anthony Wells

    “Robin – no, you can vote in both lobbies, it’s occassionally done to effectively register an abstention.

    In practical terms the MPs can go through and vote immediately, come back out again and do whatever. At the end of 20 minutes the speaker calls for the doors to be locked, after which only MPs already in the lobbies can pass through and vote, but they don’t have to wait for the doors to be locked to pass through.”

    Can you change your vote after you’ve voted? If an MP votes one way and a party whip then starts lobbying them, can they switch their vote or is one vote all that’s recorded and permanent? I didn’t realize that MPs voted by walking into various lobbies, kinda cool. By walking into both lobbies, is that kinda like voting present on a bill? I would think that the best way to abstain would be to simply not vote. But walking into two different places is pretty dramatic.

  13. OldNat

    Voting in both lobbies is both possible and in some cases deliberate. Occasionally it is done to nullify a mistaken vote (you can’t un-vote) but more recently some members have been doing it to show a deliberate abstention. After all if normally if your name doesn’t appear on the voting rosters you could have been abstaining in principle, but you might also be absent with permission, bunked off, laid out drunk, discussing Uganda with a Russian spy – the possibilities are endless.

    However if your name is on both vote list it is clear that you have, as one Northern Irish MP put it, having come all the way over from Mid-Ulster to do so “Abstained in person”.

  14. Sigh. Must. Refresh. More. Often.

  15. @ Old Nat

    “Westminster really does have spectacularly foolish systems.”

    I don’t mean to be burst your bubble here or be like that Canadian guy Michael Ignatieff who was condescending but I think that’s just about the weakest argument you could come up with for supporting Scottish independence. I mean, if Westminster is inefficient, the solution is to find ways to make it more efficient…removing Scotish MPs won’t really have that effect. I’m sure Westminster could always figure out electronic voting. It’s not that hard. :)

  16. Roger Mexico

    I understand the purpose of the bizarre mechanism of voting in both lobbies.

    That it is bizarre, inefficient, and stupid does make the system appropriate for a Parliament well beyond its sell by date.

    Since the Convention on Successor States with regard to property hasn’t been ratified, we’ll claim 10% of the Parliament Buildings as our share of it on independence.

    It hasn’t been decided how it should be used. Renting it out to a massage parlour has been proposed as an appropriate function. :-)

  17. SoCalliberal

    You must have misunderstood my comments. That MPs can’t work out how to press a button isn’t a reason for Scottish Independence.

    That they are content to be incompetent isn’t even a reason.

    That Scotland has an efficient Parliament and a competent Government does, however, provide a better model for running a country – if that’s what the Scots want to happen.

    We’re going to be discussing exactly that over the next wee while.

  18. @ Roger Mexico

    “Voting in both lobbies is both possible and in some cases deliberate. Occasionally it is done to nullify a mistaken vote (you can’t un-vote) but more recently some members have been doing it to show a deliberate abstention”

    That must make it incredibly hard to be a party whip. Because once a vote has been cast, it can’t be changed. You have to grab people well ahead of time and lock up their votes.

  19. @ Old Nat

    “You must have misunderstood my comments. That MPs can’t work out how to press a button isn’t a reason for Scottish Independence.

    That they are content to be incompetent isn’t even a reason.

    That Scotland has an efficient Parliament and a competent Government does, however, provide a better model for running a country – if that’s what the Scots want to happen.

    We’re going to be discussing exactly that over the next wee while.”

    I see what you’re saying. This line makes sense especially when those who oppose seccession argue that Scotland couldn’t be independent on its own and Westminster governance is required. I get it.

    Though I’m not sure that Westminster is that broken of a system or that incompetent. They seem pretty effective and pretty good at what they do. The chamber does seem kinda small though (where does anyone get to sit and watch them in action?)

    I like my Congressional system believe it or not.

  20. @ Richard in Norway

    “According to revolts this is the most rebellious parliament ever. But the public don’t seem to have noticed, but 80 in one go might make an impact”

    I would think that the public generally doesn’t care about the ins and outs of what goes on at Westminster and that would include rebellions.

  21. SoCalLiberal

    Actually, I don’t think that Westminster is ” pretty effective and pretty good at what they do.”

    The Scotland Office (that’s the UK Department that doesn’t actually have much that it actually runs in Scotland, and is just a propaganda department for the UK state) has just published the results of an analysis (not the analysis itself) that shows that Scotland accumulated a net fiscal deficit of £41billion between 1980 and 2010. Shock! Horror!

    Unfortunately, they omitted to mention that over the same period, the UK had incurred a much greater per capita deficit, and that Scots have incurred an additional £19billion of debt through membership of the UK than we would have done if we had been independent since 1980.

    Even Unionist media are carrying the story of that contrast, so any suggestion that the UK is either fiscally or politically competent seems rather wide of the mark.

  22. @ Old Nat

    “The Scotland Office (that’s the UK Department that doesn’t actually have much that it actually runs in Scotland, and is just a propaganda department for the UK state) has just published the results of an analysis (not the analysis itself) that shows that Scotland accumulated a net fiscal deficit of £41billion between 1980 and 2010. Shock! Horror!

    Unfortunately, they omitted to mention that over the same period, the UK had incurred a much greater per capita deficit, and that Scots have incurred an additional £19billion of debt through membership of the UK than we would have done if we had been independent since 1980.

    Even Unionist media are carrying the story of that contrast, so any suggestion that the UK is either fiscally or politically competent seems rather wide of the mark.”

    Well I think there’s a significant difference between incompetent government and high deficits and debt. Incompetent government would be a government that cannot deliver an on time budget due to procedural quirks.

    As for the numbers on actual debt, it seems like there are a lot of conflicting numbers out there. I am reminded of what Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said….you’re entitled to your opinions, you’re not entitled to your own facts.

  23. SoCalLiberal

    You have missed the point. All the numbers are those produced by the UK Government. I am quoting their “facts”, not mine. Their own analyses demonstrates that the UK has increased Scottish debt by 46%.

    Politically, they are incompetent for confirming the data we were already clear on.

    Economically, they are incompetent for running up our indebtedness to that extent.

  24. @ Old Nat

    “You have missed the point. All the numbers are those produced by the UK Government. I am quoting their “facts”, not mine. Their own analyses demonstrates that the UK has increased Scottish debt by 46%.

    Politically, they are incompetent for confirming the data we were already clear on.

    Economically, they are incompetent for running up our indebtedness to that extent.”

    Well your data would seemingly conflict with theirs. Or perhaps you would have been 22 billion in debt if on your own if you combine and reconcile the two figures. For their political incompetence, I don’t think it’s politically incompetent to manipulate a set of figures to your own advantage. Economically (well I’m a bit confused), they might be incompetent to have run up your debt like that since in theory they control your overall budget.

  25. SoCalLiberal

    Sorry, but you aren’t reading what I’m writing!

    Both sets of numbers have been produced by the UK Government. As one of your Presidents said “Read my lips”!

    The UK debt figures are produced by the UK Government. They say that the UK debt over that 30 year period is £715.5bn. Our per capita share of that is £60bn.

    They have separately calculated the Scottish deficit between revenue and spend as £41bn.

    Yes, you are a bit confused!

  26. @ Old Nat

    “Sorry, but you aren’t reading what I’m writing!

    Both sets of numbers have been produced by the UK Government. As one of your Presidents said “Read my lips”!

    The UK debt figures are produced by the UK Government. They say that the UK debt over that 30 year period is £715.5bn. Our per capita share of that is £60bn.

    They have separately calculated the Scottish deficit between revenue and spend as £41bn.

    Yes, you are a bit confused!”

    Oh, I see. But does that account for defense expenditures?

    The president who said “read my lips” proceeded to make a statement that proved inaccurate.

  27. @SoCalLiberal

    OldNat is deliberately conflating the procedures at the Palace of Westminster with his disagreement about figures produced by different government departments. I’m not at all suprised that different departments come up with different figures: they probably aren’t using the same methodology or starting from the same data. This is suprisingly common in business. Simple questions like “how many customers do we have” or even “how much profit did we make” become tricky…

    As for his successor state argument. If he gets 10% of everything then we get 90%… Which bits of Holyrood does he want to keep? Can I have Sneaky Pete’s?

  28. BILLY BOB.
    Good Morning.
    From a previous comment on this thread, comparing John Major and the rebels with DC and the rebels.

    John Major as you say, depended on the rebels.

    This PM has the Lib Dems, who are very loyal to him and to the Government. They will keep him in power until 2015. The LD’s will support their partners until then in whatever the Cons want to do.

    Then he will be able to cut them adrift after the next election. The same thing happened in 1922 when they broke from the Lloyd George Liberals. They then ruled from 1922-1939, with the exception of a part of 1923 and then part of 1929-1931.

    1886-1905 sees the same pattern (with the 1892-94 parenthesis)

    Maybe some LD’s will join them properly.

    It’s a brilliant strategy.

  29. Two things that have been discussed is the Tory lead amongst 60 plusses and the traditional Tory lead with women.

    Could the things be related?

    After all women live significantly longer than men, so there are likely to be significantly more women slive over 60 than men.

    This will nean that if iver 60s are predominantly Tory then it will make women look more likely to vote Tory overall.

    But it could mean that if women ar more likely to vote Tory, then as there are many more women over 60 then that age group will be more Tory.

    Blimey. The mysteries of polling.

  30. I’m surprised that only one LibDem (Sanders) rebelled.
    Especially when Charles Kennedy was making lots of noise about how we *should* have the referendum.

    I know we shouldn’t ‘From Previous Thread’ but this is still relevant to the topic –
    Robert C said –
    “Very simple. A referendum was only promised if the government was about to make major changes in our relationship with Europe. It isn’t, so there is no need for a referendum.
    Why do people deliberately misconstrue this quite simple point?”

    Talk about pots and kettles.
    I said the LibDem Manifesto, not David Cameron’s policy.
    The LibDem Manifesto states –
    “Liberal Democrats have argued for a referendum on whether Britain stays in or leaves the EU. We are the only party confident enough to put the pro-European case to the British people on the big issue facing us – and let the people decide. Britain will only win the case for a flexible, democratic Europe in Brussels if we settle our arguments at home on whether we should be part of the EU or not.”
    In-Out Referendum in the manifesto – not a referendum for any changes.

    So either you misread what I said (“LibDem Manifesto”) or you deliberately misconstrued my point?

    So my point still stands – the LibDems promised an In-Out referendum.
    Charles Kennedy recently (on QT) argued for the need for a referendum.

    So what will the narrative be? “We’re in coalition”?
    The vote would have been lost with or without LibDem support, so why didn’t they fulfil their manifesto promise?

  31. Chris Lane

    “The LD’s will support their partners until then in whatever the Cons want to do.”

    I beg to differ. I’ll bet the Lib Dems are waiting to vote against the Cons as soon as they find a politically advantageous opportunity to do so. And the closer it gets to 2015, the more we can expect this.

  32. @ Chris Neville-Smith

    ‘And the closer it gets to 2015, the more we can expect this.’

    So, not for a couple of years at the earliest then…….

  33. Ah, perhaps I am wrong.
    I apologise to Robert C.

    “The European Union has evolved significantly since the last public vote on membership over thirty years ago. Liberal Democrats therefore remain committed to an in/out referendum the next time a British government signs up for fundamental change in the relationship between the UK and the EU.”
    I guess they are now only for a referendum when there’s a change – when in 2008/2009, they were for a referendum at any time.

    Doesn’t really explain Charles Kennedy’s ‘We need the referendum to lance the boil’ comments and then voting against a referendum though.

    It’s just a good thing that there aren’t any possible fundamental changes on the horizon soon.
    Crisis averted.

  34. Chris Neville-Smith.

    Good Morning to you.

    Yes, as FrankG has said here: The Lib Dems will therefore be loyal to Mr Cameron and the Conservatives for a few years ahead then, in whatever they want to do.
    The rest of 2011
    2012
    2013
    2014.

    The Conservatives have solid, loyal Liberal Democrat support for their policies.

  35. Interesting headline on the BBC website:

    “Cameron Defeats Rebels on EU Vote”

    Looks like Craig Oliver is earning his corn this morning…

  36. Old Nat.

    “Unfortunately, they omitted to mention that over the same period, the UK had incurred a much greater per capita deficit, and that Scots have incurred an additional £19billion of debt through membership of the UK than we would have done if we had been independent since 1980.”

    Come, come. Are you REALLY suggesting that the calculation is quite as simple as that? Are you really saying that, had it been outside the UK, the Scottish economy would have run precisely as it did inside the UK, but just with £19billion less debt accumulated to pay for by-passes in South Yorkshire?

    Surely an independent Scotland would have run its economy differently and avoided the problems that the UK as a whole faced. In fact, didn’t Salmond himself back in 06 or 07 say that if Scotland were independent, it could use the likes of Ireland or Iceland as its economic model…

  37. If a theoretically independent Scotland (and RBS) had used Ireland as its economic model, would they not now be under an EU-imposed yoke of austerity (instead of the Osborne version)?

  38. @ TingedFringe

    Thanks for your frank confession, which I appreciate.

    However, in general I think any supporter of the Labour party getting uppity about manifesto commitments (“no student fees”, “renationalise railways” etc. etc.) might be on shaky ground.

  39. @ChrisLane

    Nah, expect it to be much sooner than that. The Lib Dems have already made a lot of noise about making changes to the NHS reforms, which the Conservatives may or may not have been planning anyway, but it caused screams of outrage from the Daily Mail et al and that seems to be working (or at least, the Lib Dems seem to think so if the last conference is anything to go by, and that’s what matters).

    The thing is, the Lib Dems have already tried the loyal-coaition-partner-in-the-interests-of-national-unity strategy and got shat on big time in return. They have nothing to lose and something to gain by annoying the Tories (especially the Tory right), and it’ll take more than “pretty please” to change that.

  40. Ah, here we go:

    Oldnat: “The UK Parliament is one of the most inefficient establishments around”

    Come the Division Bell, MPs stand up, walk to an adjacent lobby, register their vote and then return to their seats.

    No expensive electronic voting system, no eye-sore buttons, cabling and screens in this World Heritage Site and the vote result is still announced within minutes.

    So, actually quite efficient and also in-keeping with tradition and the listed status of the building.

  41. @OLDNAT

    “That it is bizarre, inefficient, and stupid does make the system appropriate for a Parliament well beyond its sell by date.”

    Personally, I like it. If it works (and it does) then leave it. As others mention the HoC has a touch of suspense and drama about it that other parliaments lack.

  42. You have to laugh…

    In Michael Gove’s interview on the Today programme he said the Conservative party was “united as never before” on Europe.

  43. Re the SNP’s economic ‘stats’, I have just found another one elsewhere:

    According to the SNP, the recently completed motorway extension in Glasgow was delivered “under budget”.

    What anyone with the capacity to comprehend sees is that this small section of road is the most expensive tunnel-free road project (cost-per-mile) in UK history and the “budget” figure was a greatly-inflated figure produced by the SNP a short period before completion….just so they can try to claim it came in “under budget”.

    The more I read about such SNP manipulation of financial and economic data (and it is surprisingly easy to locate many more examples), the more I begin to suspect that there is a sizeable chunk of the Scottish electorate who are astonishingly gullible and ill-informed to accept this without question.

    In the rest of the UK, it is common for voters to challenge government claims and statistics or, at the very least, reject same without corroboration from independent/non-partisan sources. This does not seem to occur so much north of a certain border.

  44. Couple of points worth mentioning. One or two posters have assumed that with a government majority of 75 this rebellion won’t have much practical. I disagree. If the rebellion was 92 (82 voting against and 15 abstentions) and the total government majority is 75, it only takes 37 voting against to lose a vote, just over a third of the number who rebelled last night. On a issue linked to the renegotiation of the Lisbon treaty, something likely to come before parliament after this week’s Euro talks, I don’t think this can be dismissed as irrelevent.

    Secondly, the government has made much of behaviour change theory in government (the nudge theory etc). I do a lot of work with this myself, and one of the most effective ways to alter behaviours is to persuade people that what you want them to do is actually ‘normal’, as people generally don’t like to feel different. If people see others doing the same thing, they feel reassured and are more prepared to do it themselves.

    Having a large proportion of his backbenchers rebelling is very damaging for Cameron in that it normalises this behaviour. It also reminds the Tory party that Cameron isn’t a winner, and I suspect that this fact will come back to haunt him as the ramifications from this vote unfold.

  45. @MIKE N
    Gove’s meaning was quite simply. Gone are the days when the liberal end of the party thought that because Germany was not physically trying to tear Poland’s
    throat out and racing through Belgium, in order to left wheel on Paris, the EU could do no wrong. That kind of “Heathism” no longer exists. All Tories (with the possible exception of Ken Clarke), now agree that the EU in its current form needs change, big change. Cameron’s point, which I fully support, is lets not get into referendums on leaving, in the current climate.

    Of course you lot will try to make the customary 2 plus 2 into 34 once again, but isn’t it interesting that 81 on the right of the Tories and 19 on the far left of Labour agree.

  46. From the BBC:

    ‘Labour leader Ed Miliband described the result as “a humiliation for the prime minister”: “If he can’t win the argument with his own backbenchers, how can the country have confidence that he can win the arguments that matter for Britain?”‘

    One important point to note is the substantial number of Labour MPs who backed the motion, 19 according to the BBC. Now of course 19 is smaller than 81, but everyone knows that the Conservative party is not at its best over Europe. EM seems a little hypocritical to say things like that when just under 1 in 10 Labour MPs rebelled against HIS whip, does he not?

    And Mike N, Gove is not wrong, in my opinion, to say that the Conservatives are united. They are, just being in coalition means that just 81-97 of them voted with their feet/hearts, and the rest with their heads.

    Last but not least, don’t count all the abstentions as actual abstentions i.e. present but did not vote. Hague was on his way to Australia at the time of voting, while at least one (junior) minister was in China.

  47. @STANLEY

    Since the days of the mid nineties, Labour backbenchers rarely rebel to any great extent. I was heartened by the few rebel speeches from both sides though. It gave the parliament a tocuh more respect than it has had in years.

    @ OLDNAT

    Good link for you:

    h ttp://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/79585bf6-fe32-11e0-bac4-00144feabdc0.html

  48. @stanley
    We have not met before but welcome. I agree with you except to say, I would not argue with Mike Jackson,or Dick Dannat about defence. Therefore I would not argue with Edward Miliband about humiliation. All these men are experts in their field.

  49. Chou.

    Frank Field, Rosie Cooper, Austin Mitchell and Kate Hoey on the “far left”?

    Is this using the “Anyone who disagrees with flogging bairns is a raving pinko” calibrated scale?

  50. @lefty
    I stand corrected. It was THE BEAST and Corbyn that caught my eye. Frank Field, and Kate Hoey are very high on my A list of people from any party.

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