There are two EU referendum polls in the Sunday papers – YouGov in the Sunday Times and Opinium in the Observer. Both of them have the race neck-and-neck: YouGov have REMAIN 49%, LEAVE 51%, Opinium have REMAIN 51%, LEAVE 49%. Tables for YouGov are here, for Opinium are here.

In both cases the topline figures are pretty much unchanged from figures a week ago, remaining roughly neck-and-neck. There is certainly no echo of that ten point Leave lead ORB produced on Friday. My guess is that there has been a little movement towards Leave, but perhaps not of the scale suggested by some of the more startling figures, and not necessarily a lasting one. Opinium’s poll a week ago had a significant underlying shift towards Leave, today’s unchanged figures suggest a consolidation of that movement. YouGov on the other hand showed what appeared to be a similar movement towards Leave two weeks ago, but have since moved back towards neck-and-neck.

The bigger picture from the online polls is still that the race is neck-and-neck. Next week we have a new Ipsos MORI telephone poll due – it will be interesting to see what that shows in the light of the movement towards Leave in ICM’s last phone and the methodology changes that MORI announced on Friday.

Meanwhile, the rest of the YouGov poll had some interesting questions on the campaign. Asked which campaign is more honest, makes more negative attacks, is more realistic or which lies the most there is very little difference – Leave’s ratings are marginally better, but by a tiny amount. The big divide is “scaremongering” – 41% think Remain have done more scaremongering, 28% think Leave have done more. Crucially, this comes through in the immigration and economy questions too: 55% think LEAVE have exaggerated in their claims about immigration, but 49% think the underlying claims are basically true. 63% think REMAIN have exaggerated in their claims about the economy and only 40% think the underlying claims are basically true. Perhaps this is a suggestion that Remain are overplaying their hand a little on the economy – or perhaps, a sign that Leave’s accusations of scaremongering are managing to neuter the economic argument somewhat.


228 Responses to “YouGov and Opinium both show EU race neck-and-neck”

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  1. Guymonde

    I think you’re right. I thought about adding a ‘for how much longer?’ line to the Airbus wings bit of my comment, but decided the bright folk at UKPR would make the connection for themselves!

    Of course, you and I are guilty of “talking Britain down” and having no faith in our country. Maybe a Brexiter here would like to make the case for a resurgent independent British aircraft industry taking on Boeing and Airbus and emerging triumphant?

  2. QUOTE “Leavers had the ‘cheek’ to complain because it was obvious that feckless people had left it so late to register they failed to do so. There was only a one hour window in which this happened, and the complain was that the government increased the window from 1 hour to 48 hours because they believed it would benefit their cause.”

    ————————————————————————

    Surely in a *democracy* it is a good thing that a many people as possible get to vote?

    Feckless? Please. These are people who tried to register to vote within the allotted time to do so but were unable to through no fault of their own.

  3. Building a new aircraft factory the side of BAe Chester and getting it certified would be impossible.

    EU rules will not allow the French government to finance this, so it would be left to the Airbus consortium to fund it themselves.

    To make matters worse the Americans are already crying foul over government funding for Airbus project, so that would probably give them all the excuse they needed to impose tariffs on any airline purchasing, or maybe even flying them.

    Don’t forget the engines as well though, the Roll Royce aero engines for the A380 are the only ones which can produce sufficient power (or were at the time), and on smaller aircraft it’s the decision of the airlines which engines are fitted, not the manufacturer.

  4. @thoughtful
    I agree with some (but not all) of what you say, especially about spotting vested interests and special pleading.

    What I find difficult to understand is how at least a reasonable proportion of my own generation appear to totally miss the vested interests on the Brexit side – the neo-liberal, foreign billionaires running the Express, Sun,etc who have even less interest in the well-being of the average British citizen than the most ivory-towered cabinet minster, or the multi-millionaire cheerleaders of Vote Leave and UKIP.

    They, for sure, are not urging ‘Out’ because it is right for ordinary British people…

  5. Mark if you think the UK is a democracy, then you are living under a delusion!

    Government of the people by the people for the people? Really ?

  6. FPT

    Al Urqa

    “How does a much lower standard of living IN THEIR OWN COUNTRIES make an immigrant think”

    They send money home – obviously.

    “Why, when we have a minimum wage, does this help attract immigrants?”

    As a result of the above we only have a partial minimum wage. We have immigrants who will work illegally for less and live 12 to a room because the money they can send home is still more than they could earn at home.

    #

    Kentdalian

    “our results reveal the biggest impact of immigration on wages is within the semi/unskilled occupational group”

    Yes.

  7. ANDREW111:
    “linguaphobic British people”

    I’m British and I quite like pasta. Better than most other types of foreign muck.

  8. “not ‘Xenophobic’ in the true sense and definition of the word”

    Curious habit of the far-right, to fall back on arguments from authority, such as dictionaries.

    But taking your argument seriously, if someone goes around saying they hate all foreigners to the point of wanting them all dead, but isn’t afraid, by your argument, they aren’t xenophobic.

    There comes a point when people like stretch a little too far, and end up flat your face. This is one of those times.

  9. FPT

    OldNat

    “There is no reason why a UK Government (wearing its English Government hat) couldn’t introduce laws requiring that the “greedy people” bringing in “cheap labour” provide them with housing to a specified level at their own expense.”

    Fine by me – the whole process is a variation on privatize the profits, socialize the costs and if the employers had to pay all the costs then it would be more cost-effective to employ natives.

  10. “The whole point is that we cannot fulfil our clients needs with purely British staff”

    This is a distortion though. Even the more unhinged elements of the Leave camp support skills-based migration, with most mainstream Leavers on the right and left clear about the positive benefits of managed migration.

    The two things which depress me the most about the campaign so far are the way people use the term Europe and EU interchangeably, as if they are the same thing, and the notion perpetuated that leaving the EU means the end of skilled migration. That simply is not true.

    We’ve seen the polls indicate consistently that immigration is the number one factor driving VI in this referendum. That isn’t xenophobia, it’s a rational and considered response to unmanaged migration V’s the benefits of managed migration.

  11. Bigfatron: it is quite possible that those people realise that just because unpleasant characters advocate an idea does not make that idea itself bad. It’s the “you should eat meat because Hitler was a vegetarian” argument.

  12. THOUGHTLESS:
    “Mark if you think the UK is a democracy, then you are living under a delusion!”

    Thank goodness we have the democratic EU to counterweight the undemocratic Westminster.

    And thank you for weighing in on exactly the point I’ve been making for years. You and I don’t usually see eye to eye (mostly because you are relentlessly wrong about everything), but you deserve hearty congratulations for seeing the light this time.

  13. Al Urqa

    “we are left with the obvious answer that our indigenous population is second rate”

    We are left with the answer that particularly greedy people are using free movement to arbitrage the difference in living standards between different EU countries.

    People from poorer countries can work for less and still send more money home than they could earn at home.

    Not complicated.

    One of the side effects of this is the people doing it justify their greed by constantly attacking the indigenous population.

  14. But those same people decry the arguments from the other side because they are put forward by people who have a vested interest – you can’t have it both ways!

    There are cheerleaders from both sides who have massive personal investments in the outcome and no interest in what is right for the UK – why is only one side apparently identifiable to older people?

  15. “There comes a point when people like stretch a little too far, and end up flat your face. ”

    HUH??

    I am unaware of anyone who actually would say that (other than ISIS Boko Haram, and other assorted nutters).

    It’s the reason why they want them all dead which is important, and I’m afraid that ‘hate’ usually has a different root cause.

    There was some short time ago a British man killed in Germany by a real Xenophobe. He ended up in a secure hospital, because the real meaning of the word is a mental illness.

  16. @MrJones

    I’m not saying UK people are stupid or under-qualified; but clearly it is harder for someone from Huddersfield to be fluent in business Spanish than someone from Barcelona…

    Offering jobs to people with these specific skills that we need to grow our business for the benefit of ALL our employees (three quarters of whom are British), yes?

    And I don’t think I have ever ‘attacked the indigenous population’, or even come across anyone that has for that matter!

  17. @Bigfatron
    I’m a bit late to this exchange.
    Your 50 graduate staff speaking foreign languages etc (not all EU?) “generate £20k each of VAT paid to the treasury by your customers. That is £1m, a not inconsiderable sum, but not a large one to set against the extra infrastructure costs of education, medical care, transport, housing of a net 300,000 immigrants.
    What makes you think that if total net immigration was reduced to the post-war norm or a little more – say 50,000 – that your 1 in 1000 would not be eligible in a points system designed specifically to identify the immigrants we need?
    There is no doubt that some individual immigrants make an individually significant contribution, others a smaller one, but all contribute to the net demand for resources.
    Actually it’s not 50 in 50,000. It’s 50 in whatever the total immigration would be.
    Assuming as many leave as now (mostly UK citizens going to work in USA or antipodes) we should still be looking at emigration of 300,000, controlled immigration 350,000 so you would need to get your staff through as 1 in 7000.
    As you are a consultancy, I’m sure your persuasive powers would be sufficient to achieve that.

    Immigrants can benefit the country, just as aspirins can benefit health.
    One or two tablets take away the pain of headaches or injuries.
    Taking one or two regularly helps with chronic conditions like rheumatism, and some claim it can also forestall heart attacks.
    Taking too many for too long will give you stomach ulcers, and a whole bottle full at once will probably be the end of you.

  18. @bigfatron
    Reading my post through, it occurs to me that with 50 staff in place, you are hardly likely to need another 50 every year – unless you can’t keep your staff. I suspect that if a well-constructed points system was introduced next year you would need to get perhaps 5 or 10 among the 350,000 allowed in?

  19. As people have started making predictions about the referendum, here’s my contribution:

    There will be massive queues at polling stations just before they close. Polling stations will stay open later than they should do, to accommodate the rush, thus distorting the result of the referendum.

  20. Well, as I understand a points system we would need to demonstrate a need for a specific skill before we can hire it; the problem with that is the skills needed crop up at short notice, if we had to wait to hire the person with the skills until the role was there, the client wouldn’t wait for the process to be completed as they need someone in days, not months.
    Alternatively we could try to get someone in under the points system in advance without having a specific role that needed those skills, but my understanding of the points process in, say, Australia is that this is not allowed.

    I’m also puzzled by why my little group of graduate immigrants have to pay for all 300,000 immigrants, especially the ones that aren’t even from the EU!
    I mean, almost all of the other 180,000 EU immigrants are either in a job and also paying taxes or studying at Uni and paying for the privilege…

  21. “It’s the reason why they want them all dead which is important, and I’m afraid that ‘hate’ usually has a different root cause.”

    Nope. Sorry. Back to impenetrable drivel I’m afraid. I’m sure you’re trying to say something interesting, though.

  22. BigFatRon

    The comment about attacking the native population was directed at Alurqa

    “firstly, while there is pretty wide disagreement about the level of net contribution across all immigrants, all the studies studies agree that EU migrants deliver a far larger net financial contribution to the UK than non-EU migrants;”

    No, the big study on this showed that different immigrant groups had different impacts vis a vis revenue
    – some blocs were hugely positive (more tax than cost)
    – some mildly positive
    – some mildly negative
    – some hugely negative

    IIRC professionals from the EU (especially those working in finance) made a large enough positive contribution to tax to outweigh negative contributions elsewhere so the net impact was positive.

    The media forgot to mention that bit.

  23. TOH

    “This just does not fit with your comment about neo-liberal elite.”

    The globalist elite adopted PC because it is useful to them vis a vis open borders. They and the PC Left are half-allied, half not.

    The US election is pretty much all about this re-alignment.

  24. @PETE B

    “There will be massive queues at polling stations just before they close. Polling stations will stay open later than they should do, to accommodate the rush, thus distorting the result of the referendum”

    ———

    Exactly. What they should be doing is the opposite, making it harder and harder for peeps to vote, thus avoiding all distortion…

  25. Polling Stations are open from 7am till 10pm. What’s so hard about that?

  26. @Pete B

    We’ve been through it all before, the big list of ways people can struggle to vote, especially the vulnerable, I’ll, over-burdened, mobile etc.

    But it is completely missing the point. Voting is not a test for how much free time boomers for eggers have compared to single mothers holding down three part time jobs.

    The fact it it easier for you to vote after all the benefits boomers got is completely immaterial. What is required is as many voting as poss. to make it properly representative.

  27. THOUGHTFUL
    Saying earlier that we don’t live in a democracy here’s some of the proof:

    I would agree that the UK is not a democracy in any very meaningful sense, but that’s because of its ludicrous use of plurality voting and an unelected second chamber in an assembly which provides both UK and English governance whilst the other UK nations have no control over most of their own assets.

    The visa-free travel arrangement with Turkey has nothing to do with democracy, unless you voted for an MP who gave you a written pledge that s/he would oppose the suggested EU arrangement but has made no complaint to the government regarding it.

    First, it will give no right for Turks to seek employment in the EU, but will simply allow probably exclusively middle class Turks to visit the EU for leisure or business in the same way that EU citizens can visit Turkey for leisure or business.

    Do you work for the Daily Express?

  28. CARFREW
    Voting is not a test for how much free time boomers for eggers have compared to single mothers holding down three part time jobs.

    Not sure who eggers are but otherwise a good, clear and articulate post.

  29. As a child I lived in a small town.

    Growing up as a teenager was odd, as shops had half day closing (why??) and banks closed at 3.30 pm. To actually do any bank business, you had to take time off work etc.

    It was bananas. Thankfully, modern ways of thinking have stopped this crazy nonsense.

    The way we vote sadly hasn’t improved.

    Why can’t we vote on a weekend, or in a supermarket, by mobile or another channel that fits modern life?

  30. re Turks..

    You know 200.4 million Brazilians already have visa-free travel to Britain?.. Not to mention 315 million Americans and 122 million Mexicans.. I could go on, it is a long, long list of non-EU countries..

    Visa-free travel is a Vote-Leave red herring promulgated by papers like the Times as if it means something about immigration

  31. Thoughtful

    “Yet again I find example takes over the point ! Why is it on this site posters are incapable of seeing the bigger issue?”

    If your examples are inaccurate, then expect them to be commented on for that.

    Why not just post on your “bigger picture”? Anything related to the EU is A BAD THING : anything which is against the EU is A GOOD THING : any leader supporting the EU is A BAD KING : any leader opposing it is A GOOD KING.

    In times of stress, the simplicity of “1066, and all that” is your friend. :-)

  32. BFR

    @” almost all of the other 180,000 EU immigrants are either in a job and also paying taxes ”

    Do you have the data on this? It will depend on how many are earning above the Tax thresholds

  33. Colin

    ” It will depend on how many are earning above the Tax thresholds”

    The threshold for paying VAT is buying something that is VAT-rated.

  34. THOUGHTFUL
    It doesn’t matter what the issue he is doing it over, it’s the fact that he is prepared to engage in duplicitous behaviour which is the important thing!

    I doubt many here hold a worse opinion of Cameron than I do but as PM of a quasi-democratic UK, are you suggesting that each decision he makes should require approval by the HoC or perhaps a referendum?

    Having worked there for more than two decades, I’m very used to the Swiss system, where pretty much any citizen can force a referendum on pretty much anything but even the Swiss give their federal government some ability to make day to day decisions.

  35. 77,000 EU migrants came to the UK without employment. last year.

  36. OLDNAT

    @”The threshold for paying VAT is buying something that is VAT-rated.”

    Indeed so which in turn is reflective of whether the individual’s after tax income is spent on “staple” purchases which are zero/low rated for VAT, or on “big ticket” discretionary items which are Standard Rated.

    From HM Treasury’s point of view there is another relevant threshold-the one below which all UK VAT receipts have to be remitted to the EU .

  37. “Well, as I understand a points system we would need to demonstrate a need for a specific skill before we can hire it; the problem with that is the skills needed crop up at short notice”

    Can I suggest better workforce planning? Perhaps that’s a better solution than uncontrolled mass immigration to make your hiring slightly more convenient.

  38. @Colin

    Yes, and many of those came to study, as I said. The number that came to do neither is relatively small.

    If we are concerned about the relative level of contribution from migrants, we should logically start with non-EU migrants, which – bizarrely – the Leave campaign seem to have no problem with,,,

    There is some logic to the view that there is too much net immigration; assuming you agree that it IS a problem (which many don’t) there is minimal logic to the view that the EU migrants are the major part of the problem.

  39. A simplistic way to make up for the contribution shortfall from new arrivals would perhaps have a premium NI contribution rate for the first 3 years – for both employer and employee contributions?

    Obviously could only apply after Brexit though!

  40. @ Colin

    “From HM Treasury’s point of view there is another relevant threshold-the one below which all UK VAT receipts have to be remitted to the EU .”

    I’d understood that the UK pays about 0.3% of our VAT receipts to the EU, but wasn’t aware of any ‘threshold’ below which this applies to ‘all VAT receipts’. Can you provide details?

  41. Colin

    “From HM Treasury’s point of view there is another relevant threshold-the one below which all UK VAT receipts have to be remitted to the EU .”

    While irrelevant to my point (which was simply that people pay taxes other than Income Tax), I found that comment interesting.

    Do you mean something different from each country’s VAT generated revenue being part of the calculation of its contribution to the EU Budget?

  42. @colin

    “77,000 EU migrants came to the UK without employment. last year.”

    Is this necessarily a bad thing? I have just had a friend staying who emigrated to Australia in the 60s. He went without a job and with very modest academic qualifications and began by stacking furniture in a Sidney store basement. He then managed to qualify as physiotherapist and then as a doctor taking advantage of a scheme whereby those willing to work in the outback had their training subsidised. And from there he made good and is now as far as I can make out a distinguished and respected medical consultant. I asked him how he had managed to succeed in this way and he said ‘I had the fear that all immigrants have of returning home a failure’. It seems to me that all successful economies pull in migrants either from within their own country or from elsewhere and that the energy and determination of these people helps drive success. Clearly this migratio can bring problems of overcrowding, poor services etc. This certainly seems to be true of 19th century England. But for me the solution is to face the accompanying problems rather than turn one’s back on the prosperity that attracts them.

  43. Opinium on that ‘19% Leave lead’ poll

    “The Bruges poll, while fieldwork conducted by us, it’s not our official #EUref poll (has no political/social attitude weights) Not endorsed.”

  44. “It’s interesting to see the scaremongering from the Leave campaign and how its supporters lap it up unquestioningly.”

    Some smiles at that.

  45. BFR

    @”There is some logic to the view that there is too much net immigration”

    We can agree on that then-and probably on the proposition that those who think there isn’t usually have a vested interest in unrestricted immigration and/or live in areas/conditions which are unaffected by it.

  46. JAMES E

    I didn’t know about it till I came across this :-

    http://forbritain.org/euvat.pdf

  47. @Bigfatron
    I’ve done some sums and made comments. I intended to post a summary, but as the discussion goes on, although its long I’ll save myself the trouble and post as far as I got.
    “I’m also puzzled by why my little group of graduate immigrants have to pay for all 300,000 immigrants, especially the ones that aren’t even from the EU!”
    Don’t be silly. If you ever use that approach in reports to your clients, they won’t come back. I was merely putting your specific case (which I suggest is well above average in terms of its contribution to the exchequer) in the context of the overall problem. The scale of net immigration over the last 10 years or so is unprecedented, and in my view not sustainable even if the average tax take from immigrants is somewhat above that from the population as a whole. I’ve done some sums on your data which support my view, but they produce a rather long post. I don’t think some of your other arguments stand up. Qualms about a points system not yet existing are a bit premature. “if we had to wait to hire the person with the skills until the role was there, the client wouldn’t wait” “We have over 150 British graduates in our firm, plus about 50 non-British; every single one of them gets extensive training. certain skills, mostly language based, just aren’t available. …. Last year we went through more than ten thousand CVs, interviewed more than a thousand candidates to hire just over a hundred graduates who are right for the job.” Did your clients wait?
    While I can well understand that you might be concerned that immigration control might be a tad inefficient and slow, that sadly is a problem with most government departments, and one needing to be addressed with urgency. It doesn’t have to be so. Specialized needs such as yours – graduate skills with language abilities (native speaker) could surely be given a high points rating and priority treatment.
    The proportion of immigrants from the EU and elsewhere under a points scheme based chiefly on required skills and not on country of origin is unknown and so remarks about it are irrelevant. If all EU immigrants are as badly needed as yours, there would be no reason to expect their numbers to fall dramatically, even if the total did.
    “as I understand a points system …” It’s not A points system you would need to understand. It’s THE UK points system which currently does not exist. Your problem does not seem to me to be unique, but is a niche problem, so the system could and ought to be designed to cope with it. “We would need to demonstrate a need for a specific skill before we can hire it. We could try to get someone in under the points system in advance without having a specific role that needed those skills, but my understanding of the points process in, say, Australia is that this is not allowed.” No reason I can see why it shouldn’t be allowed here. You must in any case have among your 200 staff an existing range of capabilites which allows you to take on a wide range of work, even if in some (few?) cases you now need to hire a new staff member. I see that you hired half your staff last year. Do you expect to be able to continue expanding at that rate, given the difficulty of finding appropriate people?
    “£18,000 a year of VAT contributed/invoiced per head.” So, business per head worth £100,000 +VAT, or a total of £20 million. Graduates paying £6000 tax and NI, so paid c.30k? £70k on justifiable overheads, but this money is charged to your clients to make your business profitable. You can hardly claim that all of the VAT per head generated by your immigrant graduates is due solely to them. though obviously you couldn’t do it without them. Raising your overhead rate if your clients would stand it, or lowering it if they won’t pay your charges, could make a considerable difference to the total bill and its VAT.
    “almost all of the other 180,000 EU immigrants are either in a job and also paying taxes or studying at Uni and paying for the privilege…” You employ 50. I doubt whether more than a small fraction of the 180,000 generate as much tax revenue as yours. Let’s be generous and say average salary and all tax £5.000 per head or £1billion. Set this against HMRC tax take of some £500billion; 0.2% of it. Population increase 0.3million pa on about 65million or about 0.5% I suppose your staff fit in quite well, but in many areas there are social difficulties to be addressed. Housing 300,000 extra people (most of them single?) needs say 200,000 extra homes per year, and these will not be spread evenly across the country. Capital cost £20billion pa? Are they to be sold, or rented? Have we the resources to build them?

    @oldnat : the relevant tax for most immigrants is income tax and national insurance. I doubt that their employment generates amounts of VAT per head at all comparable to Bigfatron’s 50

  48. @ Colin

    Where does that report mention a threshold “below which all UK VAT receipts have to be remitted to the EU .”?

  49. CHARLES

    @”Clearly this migratio can bring problems of overcrowding, poor services etc.”

    Some would say-where those problems are experienced-“does” rather than “can” would be the appropriate word.

    @” the solution is to face the accompanying problems rather than turn one’s back on the prosperity that attracts them.”

    You imply that the economic growth which generates the “prosperity” you refer to is not possible if further restrictions are placed in immigration. Some would question this.

    And your use of “prosperity” as the attractant is interesting -and clearly correct. You omitted to say that this is a comparative entity. If the incomers are used to levels of “prosperity” considerably below those in this country, then it is possible that those who argue for a dilution of percapita “prosperity” here following continued large scale economic migration from low gdp areas may have a point.

  50. JAMES E

    It doesn’t -a poor choice of phraseology on my part it seems.

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