The Times have a snap online Populus poll on the European veto, showing support for David Cameron’s decision. 57% of people thought that David Cameron was right to use the veto, with 14% disagreeing and 29% don’t know. 53% also agreed that the use of the veto showed that Cameron is willing to stand up for Britain.

On the impact of the veto, 56% of people thought that the use of the veto would reduce British influence in Europe (9% disagreed), 44% thought it would protect the City of London as a financial centre (12% disagreed). 24% thought the veto would weaken the prospect of economic recovery, 27% disagreed.

Finally, on the domestic political angle, 35% of people agreed that Cameron used the veto only because of pressure from his backbenchs, 22% disagreed. 35% of people agreed with the statement that the veto makes it less likely that the coalition will last, 16% disagree.

Fieldwork was conducted between Friday and Sunday, so would mostly have been before Nick Clegg cricitised the veto. The poll did not ask voting intention (the political crossbreaks in the Times’ write up are based on 2010 vote), so we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see if it has any impact there.


252 Responses to “Snap Populus poll on the veto”

1 2 3 4 5 6
  1. @Tinged “Any predictions over polling?….Of course, all of this will be a temporary blip. ”

    I think it’ll be a bit longer lasting – for many months at least, with the Cons having gone some way to permanently repair the threat of a fractured right wing vote.

    The Eurosceptic majority in this country ought also give Labour pause for thought. Tactically I think Miliband got it wrong, from the comments of his I saw over the weekend. The Labour response ought to have been something along the lines of “Are you saying that if I had played my hand so ineptly as you and boxed myself into a corner having alienated all my potential allies, would I have exercised the veto as a last resort? Well, quite possibly yes. But unlike you I wouldn’t return back here claiming that to be anything by a failure.” That said, I’ve yet to catch up with this afternoon’s debate, so I may yet retract this point.

  2. PS. but not by

  3. Lots of interesting comments on the “veto” and what it means. There isn’t sufficient clarity for me to take a view yet.

    One aspect that hasn’t been mentioned yet, is the effect that his decision may/may not have on matters which are the responsibility of the devolved administrations.

    The Joint Ministerial Committee Memorandum of Understanding, covering co-ordination of EU policy, (page 28, para B4.3) states:
    “It is the Government’s intention that Ministers and officials of the devolved administrations should be fully involved in discussions within the UK Government about the formulation of the UK’s policy position on all issues which touch on matters which fall within the responsibility of the devolved administrations.”

    Whether there were any discussions “within the UK Government” or not, I don’t really know – though there certainly don’t seem to have been any with the other Governments within the UK.

  4. Phil
    ‘Well, quite possibly yes. But unlike you I wouldn’t return back here claiming that to be anything by a failure.’

    You rascal; that really is rather good. I like to try to guess contributors’ occupation or expertise and I guess you are involved in negotiation or report writing, or speech writing itself. If not you should be.

  5. Interesting Commons debate with strong performances from both leaders and, on occasions, some very good questions from MPs.

    I’m going to stick my neck out and make a prediction for tonight’s YouGov poll: –

    Conservatives 40
    Labour 38
    Lib Dems 9
    Others 13.

  6. RiN

    @”I’m just a bit narked that I didn’t short on Friday!!”

    I thought you abhored the Financial Markets & all their works?

    Is that only when you’re not playing them?

  7. @MIKE HARTLEY
    I disagree. I am the first to mock those who love a bit of “Cameron trod in dog poo, that’l set him back in the polls”. Believe me, this board has seen plenty of that nonsense.

    However, I think this will have an impact that helps the Tories for more than a day or two. Its quite a long time since a British PM refused to take it like a man from Europe and voters( including Labour voters) will like it .
    The Guardian naturally thinks Miliband won the intellectual argument, but owns that it will not do him any good, because the great mass of people think he would walk about dressed as a pantomime dame, if Europe wished it.
    I do believe the LD’s have back peddled today, Vince, the ridiculous “party President” have softened. Were it leaves Clegg, God only knows.

  8. Crossbat

    Level pegging

    Con 38
    Lab 38
    Lib 9
    Ukip 7

  9. @Oldnat

    “Whether there were any discussions “within the UK Government” or not, I don’t really know – though there certainly don’t seem to have been any with the other Governments within the UK.”

    Yes: as well as not properly involving Nick Clegg on Thursday night/ Friday morning Cameron seems to have missed this devolved administrations protocol- and not involved them as well!

    Not a man troubled by a mastery of the detail (allegedly).

    @Tinged

    “Any predictions over polling?….Of course, all of this will be a temporary blip.”

    If there is, indeed, a blip (outside of moe) at all it will be short lived.

    Reality (especially that of the economic variety) has a habit of cleaving its way back to the top of the agenda.

    Just ask two of the last three PMs.

  10. @CROSSBAT11

    I’ll have a pop at:

    Con 39
    Lab 39
    Lib 10
    Others 12

  11. @ Old Nat

    There is an article in the Independent (or IOS), which I’m guessing you’ve read; if not, it will probably interest you. It’s not about the ‘veto’ (you may be relieved to hear). It is mostly about a separate defence strategy for Scotland.
    8-)

  12. Crossbat

    ooohhhh all-right then:

    Con 39
    Lab 40
    Lib 10
    Ukip 5

  13. Oldnat

    I did wonder if Alex would try to make it 17+9+1/2 the half being Scotland. It would be highly amusing if Alex were to go to these meetings but Dave didn’t even get a memo.

  14. My prediction is that tonight’s YouGov poll will be pretty boring. My unscientific observation is that short-term daily blips are pretty random, and events of actual significance, for some reason, take longer to filter through (the only clear exception being the leadership debates).

    Unless any of the party leaders are caught bludgeoning kittens to death before the close of polling, I predict a poll that will prompt all Tories, Labourites and Lib Dems to argue over who it’s good news for.

  15. @rob sheffield & old nat

    The man stood at the dispatch box last Wednesday and stated exactly want he would do……..I heard him. If Clegg who had been involved in cabinet discussions didn’t grasp it, he should of asked for clarification. As for Salmond , go independent and take your 8% with you.

  16. Chris Neville-Smith

    “I predict a poll that will prompt all Tories, Labourites and Lib Dems to argue over who it’s good news for.”

    That’s every YG poll !

  17. Con 41
    Lab 39
    LD 7 (with regret)
    UKIP 4

    I just hope that Phil is right about my predictive capabilities

  18. @Phil – “Labour pause for thought.”

    One Labour speaker today (I’ve forgotten who :( ) mentioned internationalism… I’d have to say I would regret a eurosceptic turn from Labour.

    The EU does many things, some well, some badly, but we don’t see the bouts of extremism from there that intermittently engulf this country when for instance a raving neocon takes the White House … there is no saying where we might be without the EU at this point in time, or the ways in which it might be a positive factor in future gobal developments.

  19. CHOUENLAI

    @”Were it leaves Clegg, God only knows.”

    Absolutely.

    What an extraordinary thing to do today.

    …and then go straight in front of the cameras. He screwed his Sky interview up completely & had to ratake-which Joey Jones had great fun in showing.

    I counted one LD inrevention in HoC which was critical. THe rest were either broadly supportive or anxious to know that DC wasn’t going to join the OUT brigade.

    What on earth does NC think that achieves?

    And what does “I didn’t agree with the outcome” mean?

    THe outcome is the outcome-no one asked him what he would have done to change it.

    Neither NC nor EM have said if they would have acceded to a Treaty / Treaty amendment at 27 without
    the protocol DC asked for.

    It remains to be seen whether the intergovernmental agreement at 17+ which will now appear , cannot invoke the involvement of EU institutions or adversely affect the Single Market. That is DC’s claim & the objective of his veto.

    I haven’t heard NC or EM say that it will not be so.

  20. Billy Bob

    “One Labour speaker today (I’ve forgotten who mentioned internationalism”

    Kate Hoey- London MP but an ‘olsturrr’ girl.

    Along with the great Tony Croslands successor at Grimsby, Austin Mitchell, the two of them represent the tiny Europhobe Labour tendency- even rarer than the Tory Europhile tendency !

  21. Colin

    Tonight Twitter and Blogosphere are awash with Cleggie p*sstakes.

    He should have turned up, sat next to Cameron….and then stood up and asked Dave some very difficult questions when he had finished his statement.

    That would have been both gutsy and principled.

  22. Chouenlai

    @”The man stood at the dispatch box last Wednesday and stated exactly want he would do……..I heard him.”

    HE did-and reminded them all of it time & time again this afternoon.

    Of course what he omitted to tell them was -and if they disagree I will cave in . That would have upset his own side somewhat-but would clearly have brought resounding support from NC & EM.

  23. nah

    Con 36
    Lab 41
    LD 9

  24. CHOUENLAI

    If you wish the protocols for co-ordinating the activities of the different Governments in the UK to go by the board, and Westminster to abdicate its non-English responsibilities, then I’d respectfully suggest that supporting a UK Unionist party isn’t the way to go about it.

    Of course, you may have simply decided to be boorish – but I can’t believe that of you! :-)

  25. @Rob Sheffield – Yes, ironical that.

    After Ed, Labour contributions faded a bit, except the more technical questions (such as from Jack Straw) which pedictably Cameron deemed did not merit an answer.

  26. Chouenlai/ Colin

    @”The man stood at the dispatch box last Wednesday and stated exactly want he would do……..I heard him.”/ “HE did-and reminded them all of it time & time again this afternoon.”

    NC and DC had agreed a broad approach: that- boiled down- amounted to DC holding firm in the negotiations to the basic position that NC had agreed with various EU partners in the weeks beforehand.

    Not that DC would walk away and collapse the summit (as opposed to ‘vetoing’ which it is becoming more and more clearer he did not actually do).

    Collapsing the summit though is then precisely what DC did when he found himself ambushed (an unprepared for it- detail again perhaps…?) by the Gallic shrug.

    Collapsing the summit was the subject of the 4:00am phone call to a notoriously late-to-bed Clegg who clearly did not have his bleary eyed wits about him either during that phone call nor into late on Friday (which was actually when the first ‘friends-of-Clegg’ briefings started to appear not Saturday BTW).

  27. @ Martyn

    “Joint European oversight already exists (the “European Semester”) and it’s been going for (very approximately) a year now, but it’s voluntary. I don’t know if they were proposing to make it compulsory, but I’ll be very surprised if they wanted to make it compulsory outside the EZ17 (correct me if I’m wrong). They were proposing increased integration, but of the EZ17, not the EU27. They *are* proposing regulating the financial markets but they were *not* proposing treaty changes to regulate the financial markets – that’s a separate issue. Cameron wanted variations in the *existing* regs as a quid pro quo, and (frankly) I thought he had a good case.”

    Thank you for that explanation. This is really a a very complicated area where I unfortunately know very little. Is unanimity required for decisions affecting the EU27 or just the EZ17? And if there are 26 nations supporting the changes, does that mean that the changes can take place within the EZ17 but not the EU 27? Or can changes be enforced on Britain anyway without Britain’s support?

    I’ll just say that whatever I think of certain U.S. banks and their activities, I wouldn’t want regulatory oversight of the U.S. financial markets given to a foreign regulatory body.

  28. ROB

    I can only agree.

    I thought he looked very shaken & abstracted on Sky.

    I get the impression that it is less to do with the detail of this Treaty / Protocol whatever ( which I find difficult to bottom) ………..than a sort of horror that UK has said No……..rather than going with the consensus & hoping that interminable persuasion/contact/networking etc will somehow get us what he says he agreed with DC to aim for.

    It’s as though the europhile mindest is -never say NO-just keep on trying to get the others to say YES.

    NC’s background is steeped in EU procedure & modus operandi.

    I think it has come as a huge shock to him that DC operated in a somewhat more direct fashion.

    But as Chouenlai points out -he was told by DC what DC intended to do.

  29. I watched what I though was EM’s best performance in the house…coherent and combative…

    Though I wish he’d stop saying ‘frankly’….almost as much as I wish Mr Clegg would stop saying ‘clearly’ ….

    And Mr Cameron…ah well fluent as ever…but either more flushed than usual…. or he needs to ease up on the TV tan…shades of Dale Winton on my TV….

    And could Banquo’s ghost have been more eloquent than Mr Clegg?

    Galling to be upstaged by a silent part….

    As for the polls…

    I’m sure this might lower UKIP and that must benefit the Conservatives….but for everyone else is Europe really a vote changer….and will this last beyond Christmas….I doubt it…

    At the end of the day it’s what the other 26 will do about the Euro that will effect the politics here because until the Euro crisis subsides… solved one way or another…growth and trade will continue to falter and that in the great scheme of things may matter more than Mr Cameron’s faux theatrics and all this hyped talk about a watershed moment….

    It’s not what we’ve walked away from that will matter in the end its what those left behind choose to do that will count….and if the 26 get out this crisis without losing their shirts…they’ll have precious little reason to pull Mr Cameron’s fish from the fat when the time comes.

    As ever, in politics, revenge is a dish best served cold….

  30. I find it hilarious all the people who are saying how awful it was that Nick Clegg was not in the Commons, how it makes him a laughing stock, and “how ridiculous not to even turn up in the chamber”.

    This is exactly what is going to happen at every European meeting that matters – the UK is not going to be in the room and will be an irrelevance.

    NC was just enacting this as a parable, being irrelevant and out of the room.

  31. I’m just going to repeat what I said over the weekend.

    That, like Maastricht, DC will get positive headlines, lauding backbenchers, and a boost in the polls, but in the end it will be his undoing.

    In terms of public opinion – there will be a short-lived boost, and then things will return to a 5 point Lab lead. Always does …

    … unless … I’ve just got a weird feeling NC may be considering his options …

  32. @amber @old nat
    Interested in your mention of a separate Scottish defence policy. I argued with my son that this would come into the picture at some point and it looks as if I am right. I could not see Salmon keeping his nose out of this islands defence’s. Scotland will want 2 fishery patrol boats, a Norman- Brittain Islander, 14 1918 .303’s and 9 sets of bagpipes. The English will want to continue squandering money on defence. Not that we are warlike you understand.

  33. Amber

    Why would you make the assumption that I have read a particular article?

    I was far too busy, today, dismantling my old greenhouse, in preparation for it being replaced by my new one! (there is life outwith politics!)

    I’d be happy to look at it, if you provide a link.

  34. ROB SHEFFIELD

    “Collapsing the summit though is then precisely what DC did ”

    I don’t agree.

    It didn’t “collapse”

    Sarkozy said-in terms- that the things they wished to enact would be prefered in a treaty at EU27-but would, if that were not available-be put into an intergovernmental EZ treaty if neccessary.

    So it was clear they were going to press ahead one way or the other-whether DC vetoed the EU27 route or not.

  35. @adrian b

    In terms of public opinion – there will be a short-lived boost, and then things will return to a 5 point Lab lead. Always does …

    It didn’t in May 2010.

  36. @Henry
    Thanks but you’re way out. I’m a part time ChrisLane1945 whose “negotiations” today were with Year 10 over the reasonableness of setting homework in the last week prior to Christmas. They lost.

    @Billy Bob
    It wouldn’t have been that Eurosceptic a turn IMO. And ironically – in a fully international context – I’d support the UK backing the EU to secure a global agreement on a financial transactions tax. As I would moves to stop one EU country undermining another on corporate taxation. Those are areas where the EU should be leading, as opposed to many where it treads unnecessarily on national governments’ toes.

    @Rob S
    Not such a “tiny Europhobe” Labour rebellion over the referendum on EU membership, though, despite the efforts of the whips. And after last week’s moves by the other 26 towards enforcing sychronised financial austerity, I suspect it might be growing a bit.

  37. JOHN MURPHY

    @”until the Euro crisis subsides… solved one way or another…growth and trade will continue to falter and that in the great scheme of things may matter more than Mr Cameron’s faux theatrics and all this hyped talk about a watershed moment….”

    I agree.

    Today’s reaction in the markets , and all the interviews I have seen on Sky & Bloomberg indicate disenchantment setting in .

    The reasons quoted were blindingly obvious:-

    Yet another wait until March-and then only to address the next sovereign debt crisis-not this one.

    Who is going to pay Greece’s debts if Germany isn’t?

    How will Italy reduce it’s debt mountain.

    How will EZ reduce competitive & trade imbalances which will keep produce debtor/creditor imbalances?

    Why is the son of EFSF so small & inadequate?

    What -if anything-is ECB’s role in the crisis.

    ie the bond markets still do not know whether a Greek Government Bond in Euros , or a Spanish , or an Italian one-is as safe an investment as a German or a French one denominated in the same currency.

  38. Colin

    OK- being more precise: DC collapsed the UK role in the summit- rather than “staying in the room” and toughing it out.

    There was never going to be a treaty that night- it was always going to be a scenario where- if agreement could not be reached by all *participants* then matters would be left to a later meeting(s). Of which there will be many in the 12 or so weeks till the Treaty is *planned* to be signed.

    There was no veto because DC walking out (and removing the UK from the negotiating room) simply means we are isolated and the other 26 will find it a lot easier to agree: as had been said a veto means something is stopped not that it goes ahead without us.

    So the 17 keeners will find it massively easier to persuade the 9 potential allies that the UK could have had to sign up to all manner of things that might be unpalatable to the UK and over which we now have no influence.

    Until Nick patches things up and ever so gently Cameron rows the UK back into a more central role- which is (after all) where DC stated time and time again today in his statement he wanted the UK to be!

  39. @JOHN MURPHY

    The Tory party and very nearly 6 out of 10 voters don’t agree.

    BTW. The fields of Northern Europe are soaked in British blood. We are still waiting for any thanks. Therefore, this PM made a judgement based on OUR best interests. Your self same arguments about staying out of the Euro were wrong and you are wrong again.

  40. ROB

    THanks

    BUt at the end of the day DC’s line is that he either had to agree to implement the changes is an all embracing EU27 Treaty , without any concessions from NS on level playing fields ( including incidentally our ability to implement Vickers !)-or he had to say no-you must do this amongst yourselves-outwith the European Union structure.

    So he had to choose the latter.

  41. @Chouenlai

    “BTW. The fields of Northern Europe are soaked in British blood. We are still waiting for any thanks”

    And an awful lot of American, Australian and Canadian blood too, not to mention 20 million dead Russians on the Eastern Front. There were British heroes and sacrifices a plenty, but we couldn’t have liberated Northern Europe without a collective effort from the Allied Forces and all their essential constituent parts. Equally, the Japanese couldn’t have been defeated without the Americans and the Aussies and Kiwis, not to mention many other nationalities.

    We must be proud of our country’s contribution to the defeat of Hitler but not so jingoistic as to presume that Northern Europe’s liberation was entirely our doing. Otherwise we’ll rewrite the history of our continent in the way that a bunch of English football fans did when I had the pleasure of their company in a Rotterdam bar many years ago. They chanted at a group of mystified and mildly amused Dutch people; “You’d be German if it wasn’t for us!”. One of the most cringe-making moments of my life but, by God, I bet the Sun was proud of every one of them.

  42. Cameron’s “veto”. Here’s my take.

    Short term – 4% lift in Con VI, partly from UKIP, partly from Lab. Should see Con breaking 40% this week.

    Long term. Cameron has unleashed the mother of all problems for himself. He genuinely (I think) doesn’t want us to leave the EU. His coalition would collapse tomorrow if he openly stated that he wanted to leave the EU. Yet he has both let his own right wing EU-phobes off the leash to bellow for more. And he will suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous EU policies taking the pound of flesh from this sceptr’d isle.

    How does he respond to this for the next 3.5 years? If he tacks right and throws his lot in with the Euro-phobes, the Lib Dems will rebel and hobble the Govt (short of bringing them down). If Cameron threatens to force a confidence vote to bring an Election about on an anti-EU stance, then the “we’re working with our friends the LDs for 5 years in the National Interest” claim will be shown to be a sham.

    But iIf he DOESN’T placate the Right, he’ll suffer three and a half years of baiting, bullying and manoeuvring to unsettle him and force his hand. He will be hung out to dry as a Major-esque weakling.

    Either way, it’s a recipe for a nightmarish two-thirds of an administration. And that’s before we even factor in the impending recession.

    If he can ride this out and gain electoral advantage from the situation, he will be a statesman par excellence and will fully deserve re-election in 15. But I can think of no post-war PM who has faced such a daunting domestic picture and come through successfully.

  43. By not being there,Clegg has indicated that he is no longer willing to be a whipping boy for Cameron…I would expect a more vociferous Liberal Democrat voice from now on…And no sooner as already there are some senior Liib Dems calling for his head…Should Labour support the Liberal Democrats?If they do not and Liberal Democrats continue in this coalition till 2015,it is possible that Labour could get rid of them forever…By the way,38-Tories,39-Labour I think.

  44. Or…

    The proposed EZ+ treaty could be rejected by one or more countries at a referendum. Or simply come too late to preserve the EZ.

    And Cameron will come out smelling of roses, even as the the country is buried in the manure of recession.

  45. On predicting tonight’s YG, I’m with those who say that the low salience of Euro issues will dampen any benefit to Cameron.

    Plus the news coverage has been pretty negative.

    Any lift will probably be hard to distinguish from MOE. I’d say something like

    C39 L39 LD10.

    I don’t think that the UKIP vote will suffer particularly. Big News Headlines About Europe generally benefit them, as their struggle to maintain momentum is mostly to do with the aforementioned low salience.

  46. Yep-no VI effect outside our bubble

    C38 L41 LD10

  47. @ Chou,

    Yes, you’re right. In 2010 the Cons managed to lose a +20% lead, and it was reduced to +6% on election night.

  48. @CHOU

    “Interested in your mention of a separate Scottish defence policy. I argued with my son that this would come into the picture at some point and it looks as if I am right. I could not see Salmon keeping his nose out of this islands defence’s. Scotland will want 2 fishery patrol boats, a Norman- Brittain Islander, 14 1918 .303?s and 9 sets of bagpipes. The English will want to continue squandering money on defence. Not that we are warlike you understand.”

    No surprise since Leuchars is closing, 45 Commando is moving to England, etc. etc. Scorched earth?

  49. @ Colin

    Yep-no VI effect outside our bubble

    C38 L41 LD10
    —————————–
    Tnight’s YG is out already?
    8-)

  50. Looks like the YG labs server is down.

1 2 3 4 5 6