As well as voting intention YouGov also had a poll this morning on attitudes to Europe, asked on the back of Nigel Lawson coming out in favour of withdrawal from the EU. The poll had 46% saying they would vote to leave the EU, 35% that they would vote to stay. This is pretty typical of recent YouGov polling on a EU referendum which for the last couple of months has tended to show an “OUT” lead of between 7 and 11 points. Last year polls were showing much bigger leads for “OUT”, but they narrowed dramatically in January when Cameron made his referendum pledge before settling down at around their current levels. Tabulated tracking data is online here.

This morning’s YouGov poll also asked about some of the arguments that Nigel Lawson had put in the piece supporting Britain leaving Europe, put against opposing arguments. There was majority agreement with the arguments that David Cameron would probably be unable to secure a major renegoiation with the rest of the EU (53%) and that it was possible for Britain to continue to be a good neighbour to other European countries from outside the EU (55%). Other arguments were far more finely balanced. 31% of people thought the EU was deliberately trying to cut back the power of the City of London, but 26% thought they were right to want tighter banking regulations and it was not a deliberate attack. 38% thought Britain would save billions and be better off outside the EU, 34% that Britain would suffer economically outside the EU. 45% thought the EU had become bureaucratic and undemocratic and beyond reform, 36% think it can be made to work more effectively. 32% think Britain will inevitably be marginalised within the EU as Eurozone countries make decisions without us, 40% think Britain can still play a constructive role inside the EU but outside the Eurozone. 34% think Britain should focus its attention on the emerging economies and Commonwealth rather than Europe, 41% think Europe will always be an important trading partner who we should work closely with.


107 Responses to “YouGov/Times poll on Europe”

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  1. Hello again JP…

  2. Ipsos Mori report

    “Nicola Sturgeon has overtaken Alex Salmond as the most popular political leader in Scotland (49% of Scots are satisfied with her performance compared with 47% who are satisfied with Alex Salmond’s). The Deputy First Minister also has a net satisfaction rating (the proportion who are satisfied minus the proportion who are dissatisfied) of +14, although this is down three points since February.

    She is followed by Scottish Green Party leader Patrick Harvie, who has a net satisfaction rating of +11, and Scottish Labour Party leader Johann Lamont, who has a net satisfaction rating of +5.

    The long-term decline in the First Minister’s approval rating continues and is now +2, down five points since February, and down from a high of +35 in December 2011.”

    There is no obvious reason for AS’s decline in popularity. Unlike the cyberunionists who see him as the fat controller, I see no evidence that either sleight is justified.

    My former MSP refused to get me the actual data, but his BMI is less than it was and far from the highest in the cabinet. It looks to me that he has lost weight since he became FM.

    At that time a journalist noted that he had decided to get fitter for his new role; Gordon Brown was in the same circumstances, as was DC, newly leader of the opposition who had seen a photograph of himself without his shirt and resolved that it was time to get on his bike.

    AS was quoted saying that he had given up “late night curries and the much loved Lucozade”

    IrnBru is also an unhealthy sugary drink, of local provenance, and advertised as Scotland’s other national drink.” In the highlands, the name is used as a euphemism, as in “Uncle Murdo had been drinking too much IrnBru again”

    Now I do not believe either sugary drink was “much loved” and I can see that the FM would not like to publicise an aversion to either national drink.

    The minister with the most weight gain since becoming a minister is Fiona Hyslop. The labour leader is not undernourished, but the heavyweight amongst leading MSPs is the former Conservative leader. She sat down on the train next my wife who was terrified that our granddaughter’s birthday cake in a box on the seat between them would get crushed.

  3. Nor is AS the controller that NewLabour authoritarian followers imagine he necessarily is because they see Blairite sofa government as the norm.

    As far as I can see, like the best top managers, AS picks a few good people to do the real work, lets them get on with it, and supports them where he can. Whether this is because he is a good manager, or just lazy, I do not know.

    SLAB in some places sees the list placing as a reward for service and MSPs as the ‘B’ team, whereas SNP MSPs take the opposite view. Their overriding ambition is to be able to tell their grandchildren that their part in bringing about independence.

    For that reason, there will be no party splits “for the duration”, though there were two defections on a matter of conscience.

  4. Patrick Harvie’s positive net approval is well deserved and a recognition of exceptional personal effort.

    The fifth party in the SP with 2 list MSPs and even fewer than the conservatives (ie none) in either FPTP election creates the impression that they are, or might be next time, a viable junior coalition partner.

    Considering that there are only two of them, they must be working as hard as any minister, though neither has a constituency MSPs workload, constituents can choose to take up an issue with a List MSP.

  5. Interesting to note that the gap between those wanting to leave the EU and those wanting to stay has actually narrowed to single figures in the 2013 poling data to date.

    In the 2012 polling data, the gap was largely in the high teens or even low twenties.

    This appears to contradict the success of UKIP.

    There remain a large number of ‘Not sures’ (a little less than a fifth). I wonder how they’d vote given a referendum where all the pros and cons would be fully debated?

    Anthony, do you have any thoughts on how uncertain people vote on these types of issue? When push comes to shove, do voters tend to stick with the status quo (e.g. stay in the EU) rather than go into the unknown?

  6. I find it remarkable that opposition to the EU is so frequently equated to ‘anti-Europeanism’.

    Given the damage that the EU is doing to the economies and societies of Southern Europe, I’d have thought that wanting to get out of it was probably an indication of solidarity with our neighbours…

  7. Inside Europe Germany exports are 6 times bigger than Britain. So Britain still have field enough to work better inside Europe and there s no reason to think that an exit would mean success for UK.

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