This morning there was a substantial YouGov poll on EU renegotiation in the Sun – the full tabs are here. YouGov have done regular tracker polls in the past on how people would vote in a referendum on the EU, which tend to show a slight majority for leaving as things are, but a hefty majority for staying in if David Cameron manages a renegotiation of some sort and recommends a yes vote. It raises the question though of what exactly would past muster as a renegotiation.

On the principle of renegotiation most people think it is desirable – three-quarters of people want to see some renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the EU, but are split over how extensive it needs to be. 24% think our current relationship is broadly okay as it is, and just needs some reassurances and rule changes. 27% want to see more substantial renegotiation with opt outs or changes to EU powers. 25% think there needs to be massive and fundamental changes for EU membership to be in British interests. Asked what things they’d like to see as part of renegotiation, what powers they’d like to see returned, immigration unsurprisingly came out top (and the related issue of benefit rights for EU migrants came third).

However, whatever they might like to see, in practical terms only 15% think that other EU countries would agree to significant changes. 43% think only minor changes and clarifications are achievable, 24% think other EU countries wouldn’t agree to any changes at all.

So, how would people vote if there was only a modest renegotiation?

  • If David Cameron secures a major renegotiation of Britain’s relationship with the European Union, with substantial changes and opt outs then 52% of people say they would vote to stay in, 23% would still vote to leave.
  • Realistically however, the chances of David Cameron getting massive British opt outs are probably quite remote – more likely if it happens he’ll get some more modest rule changes and guarantees, but no major changes in which areas the EU has powers. In that scenario then the vote would be much closer – 39% say they would vote to stay, 38% would vote to leave.
  • Finally, if David Cameron secured no renegotiation at all and had to come back and hold a referendum on the relationship with the EU as it is now 32% say would vote to stay, 45% would vote to leave.

Of course, these are just snapshots of the present situation, not predictions of what would happen after a referendum campaign… a lot could change in an actual EU membership referendum campaign (remember early AV referendum polls!), but it underlines the importance of the renegotiation and how it ends up being framed in the public debate – a referendum in the wake of what is portrayed as a win that protects British interests would be very different from a referendum in the wake of a perceived failure to get a good deal for Britain.

Meanwhile, tonight’s regular daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 38%, LD 10%, UKIP 11%


174 Responses to “EU renegotiations and referendums”

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  1. COLIN

    But what does the data for the last 3 months show?

  2. Mr N

    I’ve posted this link before but it’s worth looking at.

    http://brendano7.com/2010/06/07/england’s-dreaming-again/

    “England’s true destiny is not to be merely a normal, unique, beloved country among other normal, unique, beloved countries. England’s destiny is to be triumphant, victorious, pre-eminent.”

    It’s on the theme of football, but I do think it makes a point about us more generally.

  3. AW

    I have no intention of rising to the bait again today, I have had my say on the subject and as I said earlier I am quite happy to leave it there.

  4. If we can’t have colours then there should at least be a letter code [ “L” for Lady, so’s we never fall out with the fairer sex and get accuses of sexism; “TT” for Total Tosser” so we skip those posts, and so on.]

    Its dull as it is.

    And that’s BEFORE you’ve read other people’s posts about politics and suchlike.

  5. GRAHAM

    Dunno-you can check yourself on the ONS website.

    I’m satisfied with the numbers I quoted-but of course one can take any particular set of numbers to demonstrate a point.

  6. @ Pups,

    Since you ask I’m actually an “L”, although you’ve been addressing me as “Mister” for a while.

    (Whether or not I merit the “TT” tag is an question I will leave to the reader…)

    I too miss the old UKPR rainbow. Maybe you could assign every post a colour at random, Anthony? That would be amusingly disorienting.

  7. Colin
    When the numbers are positive – the response is, ‘The government is encouraging everyone to spend & increase debt’. It should change it’s policies.

    When the numbers are negative -the response is, ‘the government has killed off growth through austerity’. It should change it’s policies.

    Whilst you can’t please all the people all the time, on UKPR it seems that there are some who can’t be pleased any of the time.

    In my view, the good news is starting to be evident at an early enough stage for it to feed into people’s pockets by the GE and so think that TOH’s theory that it might not be disaster for the blues, is entirely possible. It happened in 1992 – the electorate thought twice before putting their cross in the box and they may well do so again in 2015. You don’t need many votes to swing an election, they just need to be in the key areas.

  8. @mrnameless

    It was just an early morning thought, but I was musing more along the lines of Caroline Lucas defecting to Labour. I know it’s hardly likely, but then if Lucas were to lose her Pavilion seat where would she go? Back to Bruxelles in 2018? She’s already relinquished the Green Party leadership, and frankly she wouldn’t look out of place in the company of Joan Ruddock, Glenda Jackson… even Harriet Harman on some issues.

    Greens did make significant gains in the relevant wards in 2011, but since then they’ve expelled one Hollingdean and Stanmer councillor (for opposing gay marriage), and lost another to
    Labour in a Hanover and Elm Grove byelection this July… it was a very narrow win but represented an 11.7% swing to Labour since 2011. Brighton Pavilion is 19th on Labour’s list of marginal targets.

  9. I liked the idea of having to defend the party colour given for any given period.

    How about a different colour for those users who are politicians, (active) activists, and campaigners, so us plebs can work out who’s got added motives.

    Brown perhaps? :))

  10. Robert N
    You’re right about how close 92 was , there was a thriller called ‘Game 10’ based on the stats for the Tory /Lab marginals that decided it.

    92 was also the only election l ever won serious money on , l was Lab agent in a seat out in the sticks, my heart was for a Lab victory , but my head said otherwise, as far as the spread of LD seats was concerned, happy days eh ?
    I fully expect them to be in the twenties again in 2015 , but this time guaranteeing a healthy Lab majority.

  11. GB

    Missis Minty [L]

    I thought you were [your insults were not male-type] so thought I would call you mr anyway.

    I have adopted my own capitals moniker.

    ………………………………………………………………………………

    I am quite happy to defend any given position by the way.

    Can I be be fat ole Kim Rong-Un? There’s a misunderstood bloke if there ever was one. You can’t even have yer uncle machine gunned these days without people making a fuss.

  12. @ Robert Newark

    Pink as I am I agree with your analysis, except that my critique of the economic situation is a tad more subtle than your caricature.
    I will not expand as I may get into trouble with teacher.

  13. @ RosieandDaisie

    You are surely not subjected to the Gentle Leader (Kim Jung-il) – no self respecting dog (that is anyone bar G retrievers) would allow that.

  14. Fwiw Paul Goodman has an article today over at Conservative Home: “What’s Cameron’s renegotiation plan?”

    By way of an answer he quotes from Mats Persson’s article in The Times: “Cameron has no plan for EU reform”.

  15. Paul Croft

    Ah, but you probably don’t remember Eoin Clarke who was very proud of his feminine side. I miss Eoin here. He was great on the stats of it all.

    I initially had a suspicion about Syzygy – she came out eventually. I think it’s great that we have more women on here nowadays, although I miss Pam who held the same views as LizH. I wonder why there are no rightish ladies though?

    Vive la difference and all that.

  16. @Robert Newark

    When the numbers are positive – the response is, ‘The government is encouraging everyone to spend & increase debt’. It should change it’s policies.
    When the numbers are negative -the response is, ‘the government has killed off growth through austerity’. It should change it’s policies.

    The problem for me is that the government is doing some positive things that I do not like (driving up the value of housing for example) and some austere things that I also do not like (cutting services that I regard as good and useful).

    Personally I believe that the macro-economic effect of these policies is bad (but then I would wouldn’t I) and others believe it to be good (and they too have probably made up their mind in advance).

    These macroeconomic issues are always going to be clouded in what ifs. The question is whether Labour can a ) make its argument stick that only the yachts are rising with the tide and b) persuade people that it has a viable alternative,

    And in this context I agree with you that the next election is not a done deal,.

  17. ROBERT

    I think growth next year will be over 3%.

    That sort of number has the potential to produce tangible improvement in living standards.

    It will be later in the day than they hoped-probably a year later-but it can have a political effect-I agree.

  18. Laszlo

    Well, its all just pretend really, the idea mooted was that we support whoever we are given. As ole Kim Rong-Un reminds me of Anthony a bit, and Anthony is great, I thought I could point out KRU’s good points.

    Howard

    Couldn’t stand him – he would have been PG in initials for me.

    Re yer ladies, that’s easy.

    Right wingers are ORFUL [apart from TOH]

    Ladies are lovely.

    You – as they so appallingly say in America, which only goes to show – do the math.

    Ladies gravitate leftwards.

  19. YouGov/Sun poll tonight: Last poll of the year sees Labour with a five point lead: CON 34%, LAB 39%, LD 11%, UKIP 12%

  20. I think our opt outs will be

    1/ Buying butter from good ole New Zealand and Oz

    2/ Continuing to emigrate to the sunnier parts of Europe and buggering up their coastlines.

    3/ Stopping anyone with an accent from entering the UK unless it is definitely proved to be NZ or Oz. This is easy to tell as all statements sound like questions.

    viz “Hoi thire? Moi nime’s cobber?”

    To which the best answer is:

    “Oi’ve no bleedin’ oidea?”

    ‘cos that makes them feel at home.

  21. Howard,
    Some of us remember Eoin Clarke .Enough said.

  22. @Ann @Howard : I follow Eoin Clarke on twitter. He posts stats:
    @DrEoinCl

  23. @R Huckle

    Isn’t the last on Sunday then?

  24. Statgeek – they mean the Sun’s last poll of the year

  25. @ Howard,

    I wonder why there are no rightish ladies though?

    We had that Ukip lady for a while, but the Kippers seem to be a bit like mushrooms- they pop up overnight right after Ukip does well in an election and then disappear again. So perhaps we’ll see her again in May?

  26. @Colin – “That seems fairly steady to me , with no signs of tailing off.”

    Well that isn’t what the ONS are saying. The month on month figures are;

    Aug -0.9%
    Sept +0.6%
    Oct -0.7%
    Nov +0.3%

    The ONS describes the Nov figures as ‘subdued’, and in the October release they said “…the underlying pattern in the data as suggested by the three month on three month movement is flat, following a sustained seven month period of growth.” The Nov release also includes a statement about quarterly figures being flat.

    You also say this – “…and no signs of rampant growth in domestic spending, which certain contributors here seem exercised about.”

    I’m not personally aware of anyone who is saying this, and if this is intended to refer to me, I suggest you boost consumer spending and buy a new pair of glasses.

    What some of us have said, which the Bank of England and the ONS have also said, is that most of the growth in spending is based on the domestic consumer spend, with exports and investment of late falling. This is not in any way a statement that could be construed as ‘rampant growth’ in consumer spending.

    You are correct – there are statistics and statistics, and we can pick and choose. The ONS has identified a current stalling of retail growth, which I have been flagging up now for a while [point to ponder – am I denying growth or talking about rampant spending – you seem a touch confused] and while it’s good to offer alternative analyses, you’re normally a little better than parts of your last post.

  27. @Colin – “That seems fairly steady to me , with no signs of tailing off.”

    Well that isn’t what the ONS are saying. The month on month figures are;

    Aug -0.9%
    Sept +0.6%
    Oct -0.7%
    Nov +0.3%

    The ONS describes the Nov figures as ‘subdued’, and in the October release they said “…the underl!ing pattern in the data as suggested by the three month on three month movement is flat, following a sustained seven month period of growth.” The Nov release also includes a statement about quarterly figures being flat.

    You also say this – “…and no signs of rampant growth in domestic spending, which certain contributors here seem exercised about.”

    I’m not personally aware of anyone who is saying this, and if this is intended to refer to me, I suggest you boost consumer spending and buy a new pair of glasses.

    What some of us have said, which the Bank of England and the ONS have also said, is that most of the growth in spending is based on the domestic consumer spend, with exports and investment of late falling. This is not in any way a statement that could be construed as ‘rampant growth’ in consumer spending.

    You are correct – there are statistics and statistics, and we can pick and choose. The ONS has identified a current stalling of retail growth, which I have been flagging up now for a while [point to ponder – am I denying growth or talking about rampant spending – you seem a touch confused] and while it’s good to offer alternative analyses, you’re normally a little better than parts of your last post.

  28. “YouGov/Sun poll tonight: Last poll of the year sees Labour with a five point lead: CON 34%, LAB 39%, LD 11%, UKIP 12%”

    So everyone’s content then:
    Lab 39% (above that floor of 38% and still better than for much of the Summer)
    Con keeping lead down to 5% (a tad below that of earlier in Dec).
    LDs a meteoric rise to 11% (best since mid Nov – the only way is up)
    UKIP 12% (still keeping the LDs firmly in 4th place)

    A similar poll on Sunday, and we can all have a Happy Christmas.

  29. @HOWARD

    “…Ah, but you probably don’t remember Eoin Clarke who was very proud of his feminine side. I miss Eoin here. He was great on the stats of it all…”

    The good Dr. Clarke can still be found via his blog

  30. Good to see Eoin’s factchecking hasn’t improved. He’s listed a Sure Start centre in Plymouth as having been closed by the current government, when in fact it only opened in 2011 and is still going strong…

    Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

  31. @LeftyLampton

    “…Seems to me there is no good post-15 outcome for the Tories. Lose the GE and they will be into a leadership fight with Europe central to their introspection. Win in 15 and face the Right being split apart in the arguments after the negotiations…”

    The Right will not split on this: when Cameron is opposed by his right wing, he surrenders. I assume if his party beats him enough (and on this subject, they will), Cameron will go into the referendum recommending a “No” vote and pretending that was his intent all along.

  32. Of course, the whole point of a referendum is to settle the issue. That may not happen but if the UK public votes to stay in then it makes the demands of the UKIPper tendency a little less meaningful, if not less ardent.

  33. No serious politician (and, yes, I include Cameron in that) will campaign for a ‘no’ vote. Once we’ve voted ‘no’ the issue will be settled – for about six months, I reckon.

  34. Neil A

    Good to see Eoin’s factchecking hasn’t improved. He’s listed a Sure Start centre in Plymouth as having been closed by the current government, when in fact it only opened in 2011 and is still going strong…

    Never let the facts get in the way of a good story

    So he got one wrong out of all the ones the govt has shut.
    There are hundreds if not thousands of closed Sure Start centres out there. More to the point you know it.

    So who exactly is wantonly confusing fact with fiction?

  35. @Howard

    My ‘coming out’ as a [L] was not as traumatic as ‘coming out’ usually implies… but gratifying to be remembered nonetheless.

    I seem to recall giving advice about the removal of bacterial films from cucumbers .. but perhaps it was actually a dream….

  36. @Lefty
    Re:Mr N’s assertion about Britain and the EU:
    I don’t think your link offers any enlightenment. Lazy racial stereotypes aren’t the sort of discourse I’d expect you to approve of – or is this OK as long as it’s the English who are the butt of the joke?

    The question “Why is the UK half-hearted about the EU?” can’t be answered so easily. For a start, the early opposition to entry came largely from the left, and the leader of that tendency, the other TB, is hardly noted for his gung-ho imperialist nostalgia. Later Thatcherite Europhobia was a response to Europe moving away from the “Rich Man’s Club” that Benn rejected. In many ways our domestic political cycle has been out of synch with Europe, and so been a driver of anti-European sentiment.

    And Brendan’s ludicrous statement that “the English prefer William Blake to religion” just shows that the only Blake he’s ever read is “Jerusalem” and he doesn’t even understand that. I’m tempted to say in response that the Irish prefer religion to child-protection, but that would be lowering myself to his pathetic level, wouldn’t it.

  37. The labour VI seems to be about 38 to 39, according to running means the UKPR summary etc. It may be closer to 39 using only Yougov data. The MOE is said to be about 3, but looking back at Yougov it is a very long time since there was a 37. That seems rather odd, although may be just a quirk of the data. In any case a few 37s are to be expected and would have no significance unless they become frequent and 36s start to appear with some regularity.

  38. ALEC

    You stick with month on month-I’ll stick with year on year.

    OK?

  39. CHATTERCLASS

    @”He posts stats:”

    He posts numbers-as opposed to stats & facts.

    Always did-and if you want to point this out to him, he will censor you.

    He did to me.

    ’nuff said about “Dr” Clark.

  40. Rob Sheffield was the authority on Mr Clark.

    Oh happy memories-I suppose marital bliss has trumped the battlefield that was UKPR for Mr. Sheffield ?

    I wish him well.

  41. ALEC

    @”The ONS has identified a current stalling of retail growth”

    In FOOD & AUTO FUEL Alec.

    Why not just refer to what they actually say ?:-

    “Year-on-year estimates of the quantity bought in the retail industry continue to show growth. In November 2013, the quantity bought increased by 2.0% compared with November 2012.

    The underlying pattern in the data as suggested by the three month on three month movement remains flat due to a contraction in the quantity bought in food stores and petrol stations offsetting growth in non-food stores and non-store retailing. “

  42. @Colin – “You stick with month on month-I’ll stick with year on year.”

    Why don’t we compromise and go with the three month on three month figures?

    As you acknowledge, these are flat. [Point to ponder – the good non food sales last month, after poor sales the previous month, seem to be weather related. Taken together, they too indicate a flat picture in this sector, which is why the three monthly figures are generally a better guide].

  43. Howard

    In answer to your question about the lack of ” rightish” ladies, if my wife is typical they see spending time on the computer discussing politics and opinion polls as a waste of time. There out there doing things.

  44. @TOH

    We ‘leftish’ ladies do outdoorsy things as well as spend time on the computer.

  45. “@ The Other Howard

    Howard

    In answer to your question about the lack of ” rightish” ladies, There out there doing things.”

    Shopping in Iceland for prawn rings ! I blame that Kerry Katona.

    Or out attending to their horses.

  46. LIZH

    I’m sure you do, no hurt intending , just reflecting on my wifes personal view of political geeks.

    R Huckle

    My wife seldom shops for groceries as she accepts I am a better organised supermarket shopper and we don’t use Iceland. No horses either, sorry to disappoint you. When she’s not doing voluntary work she is a busy artist (oils).

  47. My rightish lady cannot understand why anyone would have any interest in politics more than casting a vote for the right party. She tolerates me watching the DP & This Week but usually goes off to bake a cake or read a book after about 10 minutes. She likes that nice Mr Cameron though (& Mr Blair when he was PM). and she thinks that Mr Clegg was very noble putting saving the country before his party interest. I’m afraid that she has never forgiven Gordon for selling the gold reserves though.

  48. To be fair to Mrs. Newark, it is very difficult to understand why anyone would watch This Week.

    Sometimes I watch it myself and I still can’t explain it. Stockholm syndrome from Andrew Neil’s wig?

  49. “Stockholm syndrome from Andrew Neil’s wig?”

    Andrew wears a wig?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!

    Its a jolly good one then – assuming you’re right.

    Actually I really like him. He certainly knows his stuff and ridicules the nice Grant Shapps lack of basic knowledge very well.

  50. @Spearmint
    “Sometimes I watch it myself and I still can’t explain it. Stockholm syndrome from Andrew Neil’s wig?”

    I thought it was real now (transplants). When he had the wig it was very obvious. I must admit, a bit like Top Gear it does get a bit silly sometimes but overall it’s a light hearted look at politics.

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