Tomorrow’s Times has a YouGov poll on the EU, conducted after the announcement of the draft renegotiation proposals. Topline referendum voting intentions are REMAIN 36%(-2), LEAVE 45%(+3), DK/WNV 19%. While the changes since YouGov’s last poll a week ago aren’t huge, since summer YouGov’s referendum polls have tended to show the race neck-and-neck, so today’s nine point lead for leave is a significant departure, and the largest YouGov have shown since 2014. The Times’s story is here and the YouGov tabs are here.

Asked about the details of the draft renegotiation (the emergency brake, child benefit changes, the “red card” and so on) most people were broadly supportive. However, these things are more than just the sum of their parts, and overall the draft agreement is seen as a bad deal for Britain by 46%, with 22% saying it’s a good deal. A majority of respondents said they thought the deal did not go far enough (17% thought it was about right, 4% too far) and 50% thought the deal represented little or no real change. In short, the public’s reaction seems to be “nice as far as it goes…but not nearly enough”.

The poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday so in the context of some very negative press coverage. To some degree this may be a short term reaction based upon that, and we may see things revert back to the neck-and-neck position as the impact fades. Indeed, when people were asked in the poll how they would vote if Cameron managed to secure the draft deal at the EU meeting in February the LEAVE lead dropped back to three points, far more typical for YouGov’s polling. We shall see.

(On other matters, the Daily Express have tragically got their front page headline as the latest results from an open-access voodoo-poll on their own website. I really can’t be bothered to rehearse my usual rant, so here’s one I prepared earlier)

68 Responses to “YouGov poll on the draft EU renegotiations”

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  1. Apparently there are voting intention figures as well:

    CON 39 (-))
    LAB 29 (-1)
    LIB 6 (-)
    UKIP 18 (+1)
    GRN 3 (-)
    SNP 4 (-)

  2. Tweet from Ruth Davidson suggests a YG Full Scottish as well.

    “And that’s a fourth pollster recording a record high for @ScotTories – tomorrow’s Times poll from YouGov has Con 20/20 Lab 19/20”

  3. Good late evening all from a mild damp Itchen Abbas.

    Looks like Cameron has put an emergency break on the stay campaign.

    I think the polls are reflecting the whole hash around the negotiations and DC has still to get the go ahead from all the other leaders. It’s turning into a dogs breakfast and the cracks and mumbling’s are beginning to surface within the Tories.

    More bad news for DC…

    Britain Elects [email protected] 15m15 minutes ago
    Independent GAIN Hexham West (Northumberland) from Conservative.

    Britain Elects [email protected] 16m16 minutes ago
    Green GAIN Oswestry South (Shropshire) from Conservative.

    It’s not good.

  4. YouGov/Times (Holyrood FPTP):

    SNP 50 (-1)
    CON 20 (+1)
    LAB 19 (-2)

    (Holyrood list):

    SNP 42 (-3)
    CON 20 (+1)
    LAB 20 (=)

    (via NC)

  5. Times/YouGov Scotland poll, leader net approval ratings.

    Sturgeon plus 30

    Davidson plus 4

    Dugdale minus 18

    (via TSE)


    May need to see a couple of more polls from other pollsters but it looks like Tory/Labour crossover in Scotland.

    Poor Kez will only have two questions after May if this keeps up.

  7. Kezia Dugdale seems very young to be a party leader, (although she’s actually a few years older than she looks).


    YG tables (post LiS Tax policy) will be interesting, but NS tables for January

    show SNP/Con/Lab %s by SEG for all committed voters (CTV in brackets) as

    AB – SNP 52% (56%) : Con 23% (22%) : Lab 14% (13%)
    C1 – SNP 57% (56%) : Con 18% (23%) : Lab 20% (16%)
    C2- SNP 61% (61%) : Con 10% (10%) : Lab 25% (24%)
    DE – SNP 60% (57%) : Con 8% (10%) : Lab 28% (30%)

  9. ANDY JS
    Kezia Dugdale seems very young to be a party leader, (although she’s actually a few years older than she looks)

    Kez is only 3 years younger than the Scottish Tory leader but they are polls apart…………quite literally!!

  10. Andy JS

    “Kezia Dugdale seems very young to be a party leader”

    But then she isn’t a party leader. Like Davidson, she simply leads a branch of a UK party in Scotland.

  11. I did predict back in early summer that Tories would be second in May, looks like I could be right.

    The problem for Labour is their eye is on the wrong opponent, while they are offering tax rises, Ruthie is hovering up their ‘Morningside’ core voters. It looks very like Scotland is moving towards an end-game, Tories v SNP, Unionism v Independence

    If the SNP refuse to implement the ScotBill because the fiscal framework deal can’t be achieved then that is the end of the ‘more powers’ ‘near federalism’ arguments and the end of the road constitutionally. I imagine in these circumstances SNP might go for another independence referendum sooner rather than later.

  12. OLDNAT

    Thanks for stats.

    It will be interesting to see in the coming months if Labour’s penny on income tax will have an impact on VI but I very much doubt it. Remember Salmond’s “penny for Scotland?” Hmmm.

  13. SNP can say what it likes but Cameron has already said that there will not be another Referendum in this Parliament. I would like to see it ruled out until the mid 2030s by the main party leaders .

  14. Just a general feeling with no real evidence at all but the leave and remain numbers seem the wrong way round. Also the UKIP numbers look very high. I suppose this could be explained by Labour outers going to UKIP but it still feels wrong.

  15. @allanchristie

    The SNP policy in 1999 was a bit different: it was not to implement in Scotland a 1p cut in the basic rate being introduced by Gordon Brown. Of course whether voters perceive any difference and vote differently is an entirely different matter!

  16. @Graham

    I doubt whether the leader of the third largest party in the UK Parliament will rule it out! :)

  17. The leaked Labour Party focus group report was very interesting. The Glasgow C2 voters claimed immigration was their number one concern (very anti) but none of them knew the SNP position on immigration despite voting for them. Also I noticed some SNP supporters reaction to the 1p rise in income tax on Neil Findlay’s fb page. They could have been written by Tories. They all focused on arguments that the public sector is bloated, you can save the money from cutting council chief executive pay. It seems to me that a lot of former Scottish Labour voters complain the party moved too far to the right “Red Tories” but actually support rightwing policies and are voting for a party to the right of Labour. Bizarre times!

  18. @Big D
    Bizarre indeed, and reminds me of the voter I meton the doorstep who said he had always voted Tory but will vote Labour now the party have a proper socialist leader in Jezza

  19. Looks like St. Andrew’s Crossover is coming much sooner than I expected!

    It is worth noting that the Tories in Scotland have been less popular than their leader for a while. I mentioned on the other thread that Labour faces some risky choices; one advantage that the Scottish Tories is that their opposition to the SNP is straigthtforward, constitutionally and economically.

    (Yes, the Tories and SNP voted together against the Labour/Lib Dem income tax hike proposal, but I’m thinking about principles.)

    One could add that out of all the major parties in Scotland, the Tories, along with the Greens, have the most obvious reason to go on existing as a unified party (or at all!) after independence.

  20. BigD

    What you describe is only “bizarre” if you think politics is uni-dimensional – and on your dimension of choice as well.

  21. Not at all surprised. If my own wavering is a bellweather Cameron could lose this vote.

    This dog’s breakfast of inoperable bureaucratic procedure , which MEP’s can scupper simply demonstrates what a cumbersome & sclerotic organisation the EU is.

    In the same week that DC pledges more UK tax revenues for refugees from Putin’s bombs , whilst IDS removes Motability funding from 14,000 citizens , this “deal” of his has made me think about priorities a lot, and I’m no longer sure that EU membership is one.

  22. @CMJ

    In reply to your earlier post, again I take your point.

    Interest rates are an indiscriminate tool, not designed to deal with a housing boom, when the rest of the economy is stable/struggling.

    Your suggested alternative is equally valid: I like stamp duty changes, because they can be made overnight, and have a ‘headline’ impact. In other words, they are perhaps more likely to quickly change behaviour.

    As for restricting mortgage lending criteria, I well remember Northern Rock grabbing 20% of the mortgage market by offering 125% mortgages. And the powers that be in London claim that no-one saw the crash coming…

  23. Shouldn’t the express headline read
    Brexit support drops by 7%, mood turning towards staying in. :p

  24. @CMJ

    Forgot to say of course that the reverse is true. House transfers would be stimulated by a big drop in stamp duty, as and when government deemed it desirable.

    House sales are an important driver of economic activity, but are also crucial for social mobility, and for moving the population into more suitable accommodation.

    A big problem is people staying in houses that are too large, because the financial penalty for moving to a smaller flat, for example, is so great.

  25. A problem with interest rate solutions to housing boom and busts is that in places such as where I live, dominated by the retired, the majority of house purchases are cash transactions, where interest rates are irrelevant. In fact, it could be argued that higher interest rates stimulate the market, because the incomes of the retired are increased.

  26. Interesting. My intake of news has been more or less limited to passive absorption of headlines and I was under the impression that Remain was looking a lot safer for Cameron on the grounds that
    (a) It seems the EU leaders might agree something, even it is is a ‘dog’s breakfast’
    (b) The Cabinet beasts are rowing in behind him, even Boris.
    If the campaign is the Establishment against Farage and co. then it becomes a lot harder for Leave to win.

  27. @Millie
    There’s another tax element to this, which certainly was a factor for me (no longer)
    A 4 br house in my bit of London cost around £200K at the end of the 90s. Over 15/20 years it grew in value by about £1M, tax free for an owner occupier. Over the last 2 years it’s gone up probably about another £200K.
    It makes sense to hang on to your ‘safe as houses’, very high growth, tax free investment for as long as you can. When you finally downsize you put your money in the bank (miserable return, taxed) or equities (high risk, probably lesser return, taxed) or some other taxed investment.
    A case for limiting the tax-free capital gain from primary residence, to stimulate the market? You could call it a bedroom tax for the wealthy. The Daily Mail would just love it.

  28. Cameron might have been better of not grovelling to the Czechs, a small nation never known for their charity.

  29. @Millie
    You need to think about the details.
    If most house purchases are cash transactions then the retired are not needing mortgages, and are not buying houses out of income. A (say) 1% rise in interest rate on income generated by (say) savings of £100,000 yields £800 pa after tax.
    If that £100,000 is added to present house sale price to buy a new property to live in, income goes down. Only if the new property is cheaper (smaller) does the transaction yield more income which will be higher if interest rates go up. The problem there is shortage of attractive smaller properties, Where we have lived, the general trend is for attractive small properties to have been bought and extended (on the estate agents mantra that attraction and price are mostly determined by position.) A higher income may simply mean the retired person can afford a gardener and/or a cleaner and stay put among friends and neighbours.

  30. Colin

    Nice post, your getting there Colin! ;-)

  31. Couper2802

    “I imagine in these circumstances SNP might go for another independence referendum sooner rather than later.”

    Do you really think the SNP would go for another referendum with the oil price at 34 dollars a barrel?

  32. ToH

    I also wonder about the received wisdom that Brexit will automatically lead to indyref2 and a Yes vote. Clearly that might well happen but what if the result of Brexit is a resurgent UK and a fractured, uncertain EU? And as well as the oil price impacting Scotland financially it also punctures the Project Fear line that was pretty effective last time.

    In terms of polling more generally, are we now certain that there is a correct proportion of likely-to-vote blue voters in these polls or are we simply thinking 10% Tory lead sounds about right so the problem must have been fixed? That is, could the Leave vote be even higher or can we now trust these polls (allowing for usual stats error)?

  33. Happy Friday, folks. I thought I’d selfishly continue my one-handed attempt to get people interested in the Irish general election (even if you all ignore it, it’s good therapy for me).

    The election campaign is up and running, and the election will take place in exactly three weeks time (a very short campaign, eat your heart out, America!). There’s only been the one opinion poll (Ipsos, remember them?) since the election was called, with the changes well within the margin of error. As I indicated last week, it seems like the governing Fine Gael/Labour coalition will be short of an overall majority*. Housing policy is emerging as a critical issue in the campaign – after the crash, the number of new builds decreased hugely, and there is a critical shortage of smallish (<3 bedroom) houses/apartments around Dublin (sound familiar anyone?).

    A very interesting trend that I've noticed over the last few days is that Fine Gael seem to be using the Conservative 2015 playbook when it comes to campaigning. A big feature of the campaign thus far has been an emphasis on "long-term economic stability" and "keeping the recovery going". Another less lovely trend has been a new b*llsh*t term in the political lexicon, namely, "fiscal space". This is the money that should be available to a government to spend on sweeties for the electorate, under the proviso that the "economy keeps growing"….. Already, the precise amount of this fiscal space is under debate (somewhere between 8 and 12 bn Euro, probably closer to 8), and with this money the various parties appear to be promising instantaneous universal healthcare, one-to-one tuition for all children, zero tax for everyone, and the reincarnation of David Bowie and Elvis together….. or something like that.

    There should be a new set of opinion polls in the Sunday newspapers, and I'll keep you posted!

    * I'm not really a prediction person (after my wildly inaccurate calling of GE2015, that's probably a good thing), but my hunch is that if Fine Gael and Labour make it to 40% (on first preferences under STV), with Labour at or around 10%, they'd be able to govern and be very close to a majority. Otherwise, a Fine Gael/Fianna Fail (these days, not unlike the Conservative/Lib Dem) coalition/agreement/confidence and supply/backroom deal is the only realistic government. Because of the very wide range of views of the minor parties and independents, it would be difficult to get them to agree to bring down a government, so with even a lightly-hung parliament, Fine Gael would still be in a strong position to be in charge.

  34. THOMAS

    It always seemed to me that a “Leave” vote scuppers independence, since Scotland would leave the EU anyway following a “Yes” vote, only now re-entry doesn’t restore their relationship with the rUK. The “Yes” campaign last time around was heavily dependent on arguments that most beneficial arrangements with rUK would continue uninterrupted because of EU membership; this was questionable at that time but following a Brexit becomes impossible. Scotland re-joining the EU while rUK remains outside would not only permit but oblige major barriers between Scotland and rUK. Probably including border controls.

  35. TOH


    Well its certainly possible-we will see.

  36. @GuyMonde

    Agreed – a big factor in people ‘hanging on’.

    I think we are all probably agreed that housing booms and busts are undesirable, and that general interest rates are a very blunt instrument for controlling them. Quite simply it needs a more sophisticated approach.

    Housing policy generally is pretty much in tatters – the government seems to deal only in soundbites, and there is a palpable lack of understanding of how the market operates. There is widespread disgruntlement in the shires and commentators are mistaken in dismissing this as ‘nimbyism’. I remember thinking that UKIP were missing a trick in not highlighting these concerns in the run-up to the GE.

  37. I think it is not surprising at all that the Leave figures jumped that high and I am more and more tempted by the 7/4 payout of some bookies in case of a Leave vote.
    The problem is that as long as the Remain campaign fails to put the emotional argument forward for staying in the EU (there are some, but they are not easy sells), the Leave campaign just push its “protect our borders” agenda further and further.

  38. THOMAS

    On another referendum in Scotland if the UK chooses to leave the EU, I don’t think it’s likely for the reasons you and I have given.

    As to the numbers whether or not the polls are now correct it’s impossible to say until we get a proper test in an election in May. My own feeling is that they are 10-11 points ahead of Labour which is roughly what YouGov is showing.

  39. The fact that this poll has been conducted just after some extremely negative press coverage should probably also lead to a great(er) share for the ‘leave’ vote — something British tabloids and Daily Telegraph (etc.) seem to excel at — I wonder whether these polls include the whole of the UK including Northern Ireland and British people from the rest of the EU who are much more likely to vote ‘yes’? There are 3.5 million of those or so, which may make a big difference in the end…

  40. @Candy

    “It’s not the disposable income of the rich that’s the driver but the disposable income of the ordinary man. As the basic rate of tax started to drop in the 80’s people were able to save a deposit and home ownership surged.

    The “utopia”era of the 1960’s were great for the middle classes but only because the working classes were locked out of the housing market…”


    The assumption that the increase in home ownership was driven by disposable income in the eighties completely ignores other, sizeable factors:

    – that house prices were cheap in the mid eighties

    – Thatcher had not one but two Housing Acts in the eighties, designed to facilitate home ownership and incorporating significant subsidies to this end, both in terms of subsidies via sell-off of council housing, and also mortgage interest tax relief

    – plus restraints on mortgages were removed

    On top of all this your argument is a red herring because many boomers were well placed to take advantage of Eighties benefits anyway, whereas it was the generation before them held back from home ownership in the Sixties.

  41. @Millie

    “Take your point about regional variations. Time was when London prices shifted and we in the sticks followed suit about a year later. It is possible that the regional and London markets have somewhat decoupled, perhaps because London is now much more linked to foreign capital.”


    It’s also due to the not insignificant matter of the hundreds of billions injected into the banking system in the South via QE, a chunk of which leaches out into the wider economy and is used to finance mortgages etc.

  42. Is there any polling on… What the Establishment think of staying in the EU? ‘Cos if they’ve changed their minds, maybe we are leaving…

  43. @mico

    Except most advocates of Brexit argue for some form of continuing free trade with the EU and everything which how with it. In which case if Scotland was an EU member it would continue to have full access to the rUK market. There have already been some sympathetic noises from the EU about Scotland’s position if it votes to remain and is threatened with leaving because of England. And no doubt the Schengen exemption extended to Ireland could be extended to Scotland for the same reasons so with the CTA no need for borders.

  44. I know it’s anecdotal evidence, but LEAVE has gotten one more voter today, after I read a really long (and persuasive) blogpost on the subject when I should have being compiling spreadsheets at work today.

    The odd thing is that the polls appear to be drifting towards LEAVE but the bookies are staying fixed. Based on recent experience, I’d trust the bookies…

  45. Of course I’ll probably change my mid at least three more times before polling day ;)

  46. @ Millie
    Housing market in London is an utter nightmare.
    Consider this: someone who came to MP surgery is a primary school teacher, lives with his parents and wife in a small 2br council flat and wife is pregnant with first child and not working.
    For a boomer that would have been OK – possibly enough to get a mortgage on a small flat, if not, excellent chance of a council flat or a private rental, expensive but affordable.
    For this chap it seems quite impossible. His take-home of £1600 pm would be eaten up almost entirely by rent of a modest 2br flat in a shabby area. Utilities and ctax would take the rest. He has no chance whatsoever of a council or housing association flat and would need to be earning at least 3 times as much to get on the bottom rung of the housing ladder (plus of course the not inconsiderable problem of a deposit)
    For practical purposes he has no option either to leave his job and get something much better paid, leave London, or bring up his child in a cramped 2br flat with his parents, to the detriment of everybody’s mental (and perhaps physical) wellbeing and his child’s development.

    And this is a graduate in a professional job

    Meanwhile the housing bill is designed very clearly to make this situation far worse by stymieing any residual effort of councils to build their way out of the crisis in favour of offering £100K bribes to those lucky enough to be in Housing Association accommodation. If council house sales are any guide, it will be but a few years before those flats are sold to btl investors and let back, very often, to people who will have to be subsidised by housing benefit to pay the now greatly inflated rent. Oh, except it will be Universal Credit, so there will be a much greater incidence of debt and default, and general misery.

    Could you make it up? I couldn’t.

  47. Tables for YG Full Scottish have crossbreaks showing party vote retention since UK GE for Holyrood constituencies.

    SNP 92% : Con 93% : Lab 77% : LD 65%

    As one might expect, little interchange between the 2 camps – biggest is 5% of Lab to SNP, with 3% SNP to Lab.

    The restructuring of the Unionist vote is more interesting –
    Con very stable, but 12% of 2015 Lab votes going Con. The small LD vote decreases further as 19% back the Tories, while 11% prefer Lab.

  48. GuyMonde

    “For practical purposes he has no option either to leave his job and get something much better paid, leave London, or bring up his child in a cramped 2br flat with his parents”

    So why doesn’t he leave London? If enough people did that, wages there would have to rise and/or house prices reduce.

  49. @GuyM

    A compelling example of the London problem. My son has a good job in London but has no prospect of buying for the foreseeable future.

  50. @Polltroll

    You can get 9/4, on Leave, which I agree is quite tempting.

    I’m thinking of voting Leave on the basis that it will strengthen Cameron/Osborne’s hand for what will then be a serious renegotiation.

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