Following on from the ORB and ICM polls at the start of the week, there are two more EU polls today that both have small movements towards Leave. YouGov in the Times have topline figures of REMAIN 41%(+1), LEAVE 42%(+3), DK/WNV 17%(-4), while Survation for IG have topline figures of REMAIN 45%(-1), LEAVE 38%(+3), DK 17%(-2). I’m dubious about whether this is an Obama effect, but it does put to bed the idea that the series of polls last week showing a movement towards Remain was the start of some sort of breakthrough.

An interesting thing about the YouGov poll – while their headline EU voting intention figures have changed very little over the last few months, there has been movement in Remain’s favour on the economic argument. Back in February people thought Britain would be worse off outside the EU by only a two point margin, it’s now thirteen points (35% worse off, 22% better off). YouGov’s regular EU questions have also shown increasing belief that leaving the EU would be bad for jobs, and bad for people’s personal finances. Yet this hasn’t translated into any movement in the headline figures.

This may be because it’s being balanced out by factors favouring Leave, like immigration or the NHS, or it may be that the economic argument hasn’t started to bite yet. I’m reminded of the experience of Scotland, where people swung towards YES during the campaign despite telling pollsters they thought that an independent Scotland would be worse off economically… but ended up swinging in favour of risk aversion and what they thought was their best economic interest in the final fortnight. Anyway, time will tell.

Finally YouGov have voting intention figures of CON 30%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 20%. That twenty percent for UKIP is a record high from YouGov, though I am a little dubious about it. While it seems perfectly feasible that during a referendum campaign the only significant political party backing one side of the argument may get a boost in support, we haven’t seen such a big boost in support echoed in any other polling. Wait to see if that’s reflected in any other polling before getting too excited.


361 Responses to “YouGov/Times – Remain 41%, Leave 42%”

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  1. Channel 4 report on the Electoral Commission and Tory expenses.

    http://www.channel4.com/news/election-expenses-regulator-asks-for-investigation-extensio

  2. @Oldnat – it would be quite funny if we had to re run a couple of dozen Tory held seats, mid term, with a government holding a tiny majority………

  3. @Bert
    My comment was aimed at the broader electorate and the impression of Labour being at odds with each other and a bit of a shower (which I think is already baked in) rather than the issue of perceived/real anti-Semitism on the left. The later has been an issue for some time which naturally I would expect to influence Jewish voters. Personally the only left-wing Jewish people I know are Israelis, whilst all the British Jewish friends I have are Tories.

    BTW I obviously disagree with you concerning Khan’s eligibility to be major, but like Israel we are a democracy after all.

  4. Alec.

    Totally agreed with your 1.12 pm post. It’s perfectly possible to be voting to leave the EU for the sort of reasons you give plus the economic ones presented today.

  5. Much as it is difficult not to see disarray within Labour as anything other than good for the he SNP I have to say I take no satisfaction from watching the Labour Party tear itself apart.

    The initial tweet about moving Israel to the US was just nonsense, daft but not necessarily Antisemetic.

    Livingstone trying ineptly to defend a friend was a stupid thing to do, particular his nonsense about “Hitler the Zionist” but that’s what happens when a party is divided and you knee jerk defend your faction even when they are muppets.

    Equally the chuck them out brigade are as much if no more concerned about defeating the other side in Labour’s Civil War that rooting out Antisemitism, and I suspect quite a few are just using it as a handy club to beat opponents.

    Apart from what has been said personally I have long felt that whether it be the Chinese State and the Communist Party, Islam and Iran, or Judaism and Israel, the closer the formal links between the two are the more likely it is a legitimate criticism of the actions of the first will be interpreted (sometimes will fully) as an attack on the Latter.

    When it is an a charged or emotive issue and there are few things as charged as the Palistinian issue and Antisemitism, the two issues becoming mixed is all but inevitable.

    Add that inevitable mixing of the political criticism of the Israeli state and religion to the toxic atmosphere in the Labour Party and you could kind of predicted days like today.

    Just for the record I don’t think Labour is in an way Antisemetic although like other parties it will have a handful of nasty minded members, but I do think it focuses more on the Palistinian issue that other Parties and as it large sympathised with the Palistinians will be drawn into these arguments far more.

    My late father who was life long Labour would be close to tears about what is going on!

    Peter.

  6. Alec

    My thought exactly!

    2017 has Scots & welsh locals. 2019l the EU ones (maybe?) so 2018 could be nicely filled by a Cornish GE. :-)

  7. Steady on @Oldnat! A Cornish GE would be nationalism gone mad, as they say……..

  8. I’m guessing that Livingstone had in mind the Haavara Agreement between the Nazis and some German Zionists to send Jews to Palestine. Apparently quite a few went.

    So it looks as though Ken was telling at least a version of the truth, though it was certainly undiplomatic and irrelevant to the current furore. Was he saying that it’s ok to be anti-semitic because the Nazis had a short-lived agreement for their own purposes with some Zionists 80 years ago?

    Effect on voting (if any) will be interesting. I suspect that it might lead to even lower than usual turnout by Labour voters at the forthcoming English council elections. I don’t know enough about the Scottish and Welsh situation to comment.

  9. @Peter
    “Livingstone trying ineptly to defend a friend was a stupid thing to do, particular his nonsense about “Hitler the Zionist” but that’s what happens when a party is divided and you knee jerk defend your faction even when they are muppets.”

    If you read all of KL’s comments on the issue today in context, you will see that that he merely stated a historical fact when stating that in 1932, Hitler wanted Germany’s Jewish population to be expelled to (then) Palestine. It is also true that at or around that time discussions took place between Nazi officials and prominent Zionists of the time with the common purposes (but completely opposing reasons) of Jews being expelled to Palestine.

    Did he need to say this? No. Was this helpful to Sadiq Khan? Certainly not. But we’re his comments anti-Semitic? No. Unfortunately the media has led with a KL quote that Hitler was a Zionist without explaining the context of that remark.

    His response wasn’t “knee jerk”, unlike John Mann’s which was completely knee jerk and quite ridiculous. He condemned KL without paying attention to the context of the comments.

    If AW allows I will link to the actual comments so that any discussion made is on the basis of the facts:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-anti-semitism-row-full-transcript-of-ken-livingstones-interviews-a7005311.html

    As for the London Mayoral Election, I hope it doesn’t affect Khan. Khan has been critical of previous comments by KL and no doubt will do the same here.

  10. @Pete B
    “So it looks as though Ken was telling at least a version of the truth, though it was certainly undiplomatic and irrelevant to the current furore. Was he saying that it’s ok to be anti-semitic because the Nazis had a short-lived agreement for their own purposes with some Zionists 80 years ago?”

    No. I’ve linked to the full comments above. You know, when KL was Mayor, his duputy was Jewish – Nicky Gavron. She famously said “Ken doesn’t have an anti-Semitic bone in his body.” KL made expressly clear he was and has always been against anti-Semitism. He expressly called for anti-Semites to be expelled from the Party.

    KL’s argument was that he did not think Naz Shah was anti-Semitic – merely stupid and rude. But that if the internal investigation found otherwise she should be expelled.

  11. Lovely comment there Crossbat, some people might have opposite views of which side is ruled by heart and which head, but then, we’re swivel eyed loons, as the supposedly cerebral say.

  12. Oh my giddy googly giggly aunt. I watched the Daily Politics interview with Ken Livingston on my way back this evening and wooooooooffff what a car crash of an interview. Andrew, Nick and grumpy Joe were all tearing strips off him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more cringe worthy interview in my life!!

    Even the wifey sitting next to me on the train could not keep her extremely large bifocals from looking at shenanigans unfolding on my phone.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any time for for the current leadership in Israel and their treatment of the Palestinians but all that Hitler and zionist stuff Ken was coming was way over the top.

    Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel….Ken’s tunnel extends from London to Auckland and he’s still buying more tunnel.

  13. It has always amused me that a group of people who are adamant that Europe should allow unrestricted immigration from the Muslim world in 2016 get very exercised about immigration from Europe to the Muslim world in the century leading up to 1948.

    Islamic State and President Assad both want Syrians to travel to Europe. Does that mean the “problem can be solved” by relocating Syrian-populated areas of Europe to the Middle East?

    Sauce. Goose. Gander.

  14. @PeteB
    “Was [Ken Livingstone] saying that it’s ok to be anti-semitic because the Nazis had a short-lived agreement for their own purposes with some Zionists 80 years ago?”

    As I understood it, he was saying completely the opposite! Certainly from his strong on the Daily Politics his driving point seemed to be that he was pretty exasperated in the continued conflation of anti-Zionism and anti-semitism. If anything he seemed, as I understood it, not to be suggesting that anti-semitism was okay because a supposed Zionist sympathiser (Hitler) was, but rather that it was okay to be anti-Zionist because that supposed pro-Zionist was rather firmly on the record as also being anti-semitic!

    As one wag on “the twitter” put it, Labour seems to have a problem more anti-semantic than anti-semitic in nature.

  15. Allan Christie

    Snowing here today, so I was watching Daily Politics, instead of the much more rewarding pastime of working in the garden.

    I’m unsurprised that so few seem to realise the actual history of 1930s Germany – nor that a retired politician, who was off-message as a practising one, continued to be so.

    Of more interest was John Mann’s behaviour. Did you spot that he checked over his shoulder that the cameras were still following him?

    Livingstone has been suspended for “bringing the party into disrepute” – yet Mann is just going to get a “talking to”. That seems bizarre.

    For this site, however, the interest must be whether today’s shenanigans affect the polling. I saw a comment from one commentator that some pollsters were planning to rerun their polls, to test if there had been an effect.

    Conventional wisdom is that divided parties lose support. Parties that conduct their civil war on live TV seem doomed.

    Dugdale, Jones and Khan must be in despair at the behaviour of their supposed “colleagues” a week before the elections.

  16. *strong = stint (predictive text!)

  17. @Redrich

    ‘BTW I obviously disagree with you concerning Khan’s eligibility to be major’

    I don’t recall ever mentioning his eligibility. Nice try, Redrich. Regarding the point about democracy, I would largely agree with you, however, there are problems with postal vote fraud, multiple voting, and household block voting. I’m not for one second suggesting that any single community is more guilty of that than any other, or it’s more or less likely to happen in Tower Hamlets or Taunton. :)

  18. “Effect on voting (if any) will be interesting. I suspect that it might lead to even lower than usual turnout by Labour voters at the forthcoming English council elections.”

    In some areas would Lab get a boost – if ppl see this argument occurring at all as the tide turning in their direction – or a reduction cos of the fast suspension?

    My guess is a boost but if the boost is from a very high base then it won’t notice much.

  19. @Oldnat

    I think you have the nub of it. The “anti-Semitism” thing is probably vote-neutral at worst. There are a lot more votes to be had amongst conservative Muslim voters and amongst radical left-wingers than there are amongst the Jewish community and people who support Israel.

    It’s the spat that might cause damage to VI, rather than the issue the spat is over.

  20. The Labour right have messed up yet again. They have gone for Corbyn before the local elections so allowing them to be blamed if they go badly. They also aid the smear campaign against Khan.

    To talk about polling for a change:

    http://www.jpr.org.uk/documents/JPR.2015.Policy_Debate_-_Contemporary_Antisemitism.pdf

    Page 15 suggests that over 60% of UK polled have a negative view of Israel. A very similar proportion have a negative view of Palestinians. However, fewer than 10% stated a negative view of Jews (p3-4).

    It would seem that the public have little difficulty in distinguishing between a nation state and a religious/racial group. It is a shame that a lot of political people on both sides of the Israel debate are unable to do so.

  21. That is without going to distinctions between different strands of Zionist thought. How many people think of Zionism being the revisionist Zionism as carried out by Likud?

  22. Maybe not even this spat itself is the main issue, but whether it amounts to the first manoeuvrings of a protracted civil war? The most interesting part of the Daily Politics interview in a way was the bit where Andrew Neill read out the list of those party colleagues who had called on him to be reprimanded.

  23. @Bert
    Given that the last London mayoral election was won on the day by KenL but lost overall because of mass postal voting for BorisJ, do you think the problems with postal vote fraud, multiple voting, and household block voting are exclusively a Conservative issue, or do you think other parties’ voters engage in the same abuses?

  24. OLDNAT

    Good evening from a sunny but previously rainy Hampshire. Snow? Nae luck son.. ;-)

    I caught most of the shenanigans between John Mann and Livingston on the channel 4 news and yes I did see Mann at the top of the steps looking behind him to see if the cameras were still there. It was quite a stunt but one that might have ramifications for Labour’s election prospects in Scotland, Wales and of course the locals where Labour on current polling look to be taking a pasting.

    I still think Labour will win the London Mayor election but still it may dent Labour’s vote.

    On the actual substance of the infamous tweet by Naz Shah and Livingston’s comments today, I don’t think they were anti semitic but again it boils down to how it was handled and and Ken just doesn’t know when to shut up.

    I’ve said it before….We shouldn’t mistaken criticism of the state of Israel’s barbaric and illegal actions towards the Palestinians with Anti–Semitism and IMO Israel is far too well protected when it comes to criticism in our media and across the pond.

  25. There have been reports of electoral fraud in favour of all three big (well, two big plus the LDs) parties. Most of them involve one ethnic or religious minority or another, but I don’t think it’s really a partisan issue.

    Topically, one fraud case in London involved Jewish officials with their thumbs on the scales against Labour.

    http://www.jta.org/2001/03/13/life-religion/features/jewish-officials-in-london-convicted-in-vote-fraud

  26. Neil A
    That link helps to make the case for individual voter registration. If turnout is down drastically in some areas in the forthcoming elections might it suggest that there had been fraud in the past I wonder.

  27. @PeteB
    We’ll see. The most likely effect seems to be to disenfranchise young, mobile and particularly student voters who (you guessed it) are less likely to support the Conservative party

  28. I hope Livingstone’s statements today don’t tarnish Khan too much. I’ll be absolutely livid if Ken manages to nuke yet another Labour mayoral campaign (and without even being the candidate this time).

  29. Guymonde
    “The most likely effect seems to be to disenfranchise young, mobile and particularly student voters who (you guessed it) are less likely to support the Conservative party”

    Are young mobile students particularly lazy or stupid then, so that they can’t be a***d or are unable to register? Why would it be any harder for them than say elderly folks whose eyesight and/or memory isn’t what it was?

  30. @Neil A
    “It has always amused me that a group of people who are adamant that Europe should allow unrestricted immigration from the Muslim world in 2016 get very exercised about immigration from Europe to the Muslim world in the century leading up to 1948.”

    Relative to the Arab population of Palestine from 1900 to 1948, how many Jewish immigrants did Britain allow into Palestine? Clue: it was exponentially higher than any recent immigration into the UK.

    If more European countries in the 1930s had had a more humane approach to the horrendous suffering of Jews in Germany/Switzerland/Austria/Czechoslovakia and elsewhere, and granted Jews refuge, we may not even be talking about this issue now.

  31. Pete B

    Us geriatrics mostly live in the same house we’ve lived in for ages, and were automatically transferred to the new register.

    Young folk frequently move from one short-term let to another short-term let.

    As Guymonde pointed out, those who are mobile are the most likely to be disenfranchised. That correlates highly with being young.

  32. @Pete B

    In addition to being more mobile, in this era of zero hour bollox, far fewer decent career paths etc., many of them are also preoccupied working 60-plus hour weeks, worrying about those fabulously low energy bills resulting from private sector oligopolies hoovering up the market etc.

  33. Mann and Livingstone are a couple of gnarled old political exhibitionists, yesterday’s men both and well past by their sell by dates. Livingstone is no anti-semite, self evidently, he’s a professional contrarian who loves to champion unpopular causes and individuals. Probably just for the hell of it too.

    Mann is a ridiculous figure, never happier than when self-righteously and pompously adopting the soul of the nation mantle. He usually kicks someone when they’re down, more often than not when there’s a microphone and TV camera crew about. Was I the only person, by the way, who noticed during that ludicrous harangue he had with Livingstone that he was looking not at Livingstone but at whatever camera loomed into view.

    A braver and more intelligent politician would have confronted Livingstone in private, man to man. Mann didn’t. He wanted an audience to hawk his conscience in front of.

    The man’s an idiot.

  34. @Pete B

    But of course some people are also vulnerable, have difficulties to deal with, and in those circumstances any ramping up of difficulty in voting will also make it less likely those peeps will vote.

    In contrast oldies get various assistance – energy subsidies etc. – making it more likely they’ll get it together to vote.

  35. Why is this so difficult? We’re always being told how internet-savvy the young are.

    https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

  36. @Pete B

    The South East of course has had lots of assistance, all those hundreds of billions leaching into the economy via the banks…

  37. Carfrew
    “The South East of course has had lots of assistance, all those hundreds of billions leaching into the economy via the banks…”

    What’s this all about? I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. or why it’s relevant to voter registration. If it helps, I don’t live in the South-East of anywhere (even Scotland).

  38. @Pete B

    It isn’t difficult if you have a nice pension and lots of time, mortage paid off, help, with heating etc,

    But if you have loads of student debt, rubbish paid I nsecure employment, high rent and bills, have to move around, voting falls down your list of priorities because it’s Not a survival issue and you’re more in survival mode.

  39. @Pete B

    From gov.uk:
    “Under the new system, around 80% of those already on the electoral register will be automatically added after their name and address is matched against existing government records.”
    That should account for the vast majority of your elderly folk

    From The Electoral reform Society:
    “What’s the problem?
    Amongst the myriad other worries around moving house, registering to vote can often take a low priority. Whereas under household registration, one resident could sign everyone up to vote, under the new system everyone will have to register individually. Many people may only realise they didn’t get around to registering at election time, when it is already too late.
    The Electoral Commission’s latest analysis shows that “areas with a high concentration of certain demographics – students, private renters and especially young adults” where people move on a regular basis, are particularly in danger of having low registration numbers.”

    Of course the Masters course is to then set the constituency boundaries on the basis of this new flawed electoral register where estimates were that the registered electorate would decline by between 3% in the richest areas and 6% in the poorest areas (and 22% in Hackney!)

    See this report:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/the-tories-are-removing-twice-as-many-people-from-the-electoral-register-in-britains-poorest-areas-a6701446.html

  40. Re Ken livingstone whatever he meant by the comment when has quoting hitter ever resulted in a sympathetic hearing

  41. @Pete B

    Also, if you’re not going with filling forms in and stuff, it might be easier under the old system if the householder registers you, etc.

    If you up the Amount of bureaucracy, you will disenfranchise some.

    Interesting that those so against red tape suddenly wanna up it…

  42. Despite their protestations to the contrary Lab have become very – possibly totally – dependent on the postal vote.

  43. “if you’re not going with filling forms in” = if you’re not good with filling forms in…

  44. @Pete B

    “What’s this all about? I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. or why it’s relevant to voter registration. If it helps, I don’t live in the South-East of anywhere (even Scotland).”

    ———-

    It’s very straightforward. The South East had a big economic boost. This will help people economically making it easier to accommodate stuff like voting in their lives. As opposed to regions that experienced cuts etc.

  45. @Mr Jones

    “Despite their protestations to the contrary Lab have become very – possibly totally – dependent on the postal vote.”

    Evidence? Given most older people vote by post and are assumed to be more Ukip/Tory facing, your statement is questionable.

  46. Guymonde
    ““Under the new system, around 80% of those already on the electoral register will be automatically added after their name and address is matched against existing government records.””

    So under the new system we don’t have to re-register every year? If not, how do they account for those who’ve died, emigrated etc? If we do, then this anomaly will only last for one year.

    I don’t suspect a government plot, as some of you seem to, because if it is true that young people are less likely to register, this will be to the government’s disadvantage in the referendum.

    Also, there is this on the Electoral Reform site
    “The old system was household registration. This is a Victorian-era system from a time when being able to vote was based on property rights. It has been described as an ‘open door’ to fraud as you could easily register non-existent people at your address.

    We were the only Western democracy that still used household registration.

    The introduction of Individual Electoral Registration (IER) will improve the accuracy of the register and help to counter fraud. It’s the right move, it just needs to be done in the right way.”

    You can argue that it could have been done in some other way, but it is right that it should have been done.

  47. Mr Jones’s statement is verifiably nonsense.

    Given that in 2015 only around 17% of voters took up the option of the postal vote, and these were spread fairly evenly throughout GB (excepting the high take up in the North East) it could not possibly be true.

    Moreover, the majority of those constituencies with the lowest take up (under 10% of electorate) of postal voting were Labour seats. See table 9 of the Rallings and Thrasher report

    http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/191861/Plymouth-UKPGE-electoral-data-report-final-WEB.pdf

  48. @RAF

    concentration

    +2% in 100 seats != +20% in 10 seats

  49. @RAF,

    The British didn’t let anyone into Palestine until 1917 as they didn’t control it until then.

    And they did try to prevent Jewish settlement there (or at least restrict the numbers) leading to violent conflict with hard-core Zionist groups.

    During the period of the Mandate there was indeed massive settlement. It was higher (in proportional terms) even than the influx of immigrants into London over the past 30 years, although not by all that much.

    I’m not suggesting that Palestinian Arabs have no right to be angry about their disenfranchisement, or that the deliberate takeover of what is now Israel was a reasonable thing to do, only that what happened was, essentially, mass immigration – something that it’s not fashionable to oppose on the left in other circumstances.

  50. @Pete B

    “I don’t suspect a government plot, as some of you seem to, because if it is true that young people are less likely to register, this will be to the government’s disadvantage in the referendum.”

    ———

    Lol Pete, trust you to try and project ulterior motives.

    As it happens, I’ve been scrupulous in not attributing any motives at all, just looking into outcomes.

    Also as it happens though, a little while back, I listed about half-a-dozen things the govt were doing to do with voting and funding etc. that all pointed one way. But it got modded, and you could sense Anthony’s alarm, so didn’t pursue the matter further. But you might like to consider the matter for yourself…

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