Like the Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday, YouGov in the Sunday Times show Remain ahead again following the pro-Leave polls a week ago. Topline figures are REMAIN 44%, LEAVE 43%, with fieldwork conducted on Thursday and Friday (full tabs are here). Almost inevitably people are going to look at these polls and assume that the murder of Jo Cox on Thursday has caused the move back towards remain.

My own view is that Jo Cox’s death probably isn’t the cause of the reverse. YouGov also conducted a poll on Wednesday-Thursday for ITV, and that already showed Leave’s lead falling (and indeed, a third of the fieldwork for this poll was conducted before Jo Cox’s death was announced). Looking at the rest of the questions, there is also a marked shift in people’s views on how they think leaving the EU would impact their finances – 33% of people now think that they would be worse off outside the EU, compared to 23% a fortnight ago.

The historic trend in referendums is for people to move towards the status quo. In Scotland a couple of years ago a couple of polls a fortnight out were neck-and-neck, but moved back to a clear NO lead by the final polls (and there was a further swing on the day itself). In the EU referendum polls have consistently shown that people think leave is the riskier choice and that people think it will damage the economy. While it was never inevitable, this has always suggested that late movement towards Remain was quite likely. If people are increasingly worried about Brexit’s impact on their own personal finances, then even more so.

Of course, we will never know for sure. The reality is that we can see changes in headline voting intention in polls, but we can never be certain what causes them: all we can do is look at what events happened at the same time and at what changes there have been in other questions in the poll that might have driven a shift. What we do know is that, whatever the reason, we’ve got four new polls tonight – some before Jo Cox’s death, some after – with three of them showing a shift back towards Remain.

541 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – REMAIN 44%, LEAVE 43%”

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  1. @Hawthorn

    You could argue that overcrowding was the impetus for Empire.

    If you look at the people of British descent in the rest of the world, they easily number 300 million – they couldn’t possibly have fitted in this island. Their ancestors left to claim chunks of the USA, Canada, South Africa etc because that was the only way to start a family and support them. They were obeying a biological imperative.

    Overpopulation in Europe as a whole was a big reason for going and pinching other people’s land.

    The other response to overcrowding is genocide – the UN report into Rwanda attributed their genocide to them being the most densely populated country in Africa – 2100 people per square km. It halved after the genocide but is still high, and is still putting strains on them (and some of their people are responding by leaving and trying to get to Europe!).

    If we stay in the EU, and the migration into the UK continues, then the rational thing to do is to claim some more land and plonk people onto it – only this time we’ll just buy chunks of places like Lithuania, citing our right under the Treaties to do so, and move people there. Our new transportation policy, copyright Australia.

  2. @Candy

    “That’s the reason why Japan doesn’t accept immigration. They took in a grand total of 13 refugees last year.”

    I’m aware, but that’s incidental to the point I was making.


    “Have you been to Japan? So crowded they even have staff in white gloves to push you onto the trains.”

    I have been to Japan – Tokyo is very crowded, but the rural areas (and to a lesser extent other cities) are not so crowded.

  3. @AU

    I think Scotland may have been suggested similarly as a solution in the past, whereupon I complained that currently my storage unit is just a few minutes away, whereas Scotland, lovely as it is, might not be quite as convenient.

    (I think at that point Colin may have intervened to suggest I get rid of my stuff, including the Gibson, which obviously lacked summat as a solution…)

  4. The top 10 most Eurosceptic boroughs:

    1. Havering
    2. Peterborough
    3. Bracknell Forest
    4. Blackpool
    5. Blackburn with Darwin
    6. Southend on Sea
    7. Warrington
    8. South Tyneside
    9. Sandwell
    10. Cumbria

    Some of these are understandable others much less so. None of them are contiguous, and appear more od a scattergun arrangement.
    Why on earth a town like Warrington which is reasonably affluent with low unemployment is difficult to understand, and why are the people of Having so hostile to the EU when nearly every other borough is pro remain ?

  5. @oldnat

    So basically, the plan is to turn the South East into a nature reserve. Well, it’s a start. Hours of twitching for the twitchies!! Any other ideas?…

  6. @Couper2802

    “Just back from Spain – met an English girl in her twenties who worked at the Ferry Terminal very basic job. She says she can rent a nice flat, go out and enjoy herself and save, she would never return to the UK as she couldn’t afford to have that lifestyle here. Immigration works both ways.”

    Careful with stories like that. They tend to run contrary to people’s comfortable, and quite often self-serving, delusions. Not in the narrative plot at all.

  7. @Carfew

    “I think Scotland may have been suggested similarly as a solution in the past”

    Well the highlands were once cleared out to make way for sheep, so it’d be just like old times ;)

    “whereas Scotland, lovely as it is, might not be quite as convenient.”

    Don’t worry, the Home Office will take care of that.

  8. Carfrew

    Oh, the Sitka forest is just a medium term solution (it doesn’t encourage bio-diversity).

    The real gain comes when it sinks below the waves. The bio-diversity in Doggerland is amazing!

  9. COUPER2802

    @” She says she can rent a nice flat, go out and enjoy herself and save, she would never return to the UK as she couldn’t afford to have that lifestyle here. Immigration works both ways.”

    It does-but she appears to be one of the lucky ones there:-

    Youth unemployment in Spain :- 45%
    Youth unemployment in UK :- 13%

  10. Colin: “Re Bees-suggest you do a little more reading on the disaster which is befalling them.”

    The disaster seems to be happening to them on large farms. Fortunately, they have the EU on their side, banning neonicotinoid pesticides which appear to be doing vast damage to their nervous systems. However, the UK government opposed this, so Brexit will allow the ban to be lifted here and the slaughter to resume.

  11. CARFREW…….Your storage travails are echoed in the EU admin dept., they’ve got so much stuff, they need to ship it from Brussels to Strasbourg, and back, every month…….
    An image of top hatted Pied Pipers, Cameron and Osborne, leading the converted to their EU Utopia, springs to mind, a delighted crowd of bankers, fat cat PLC directors and Union bosses, all joined together by the common bond of self interest, followed by their confused, but loyal, acolytes, bleating about low wages and job insecurity, but voting for remain and another 4 years of austerity anyway.
    I’m alright, but I’m not sure Jack is. ;-)

  12. “You could argue that overcrowding was the impetus for Empire.”

    You could do. If you wanted to be utterly wrong.

  13. Colin

    It might well be that the criteria for being registered as “unemployed” are precisely the same in Spain and the UK – I haven’t the faintest idea!

    However, if they are different, then the comparison between identical categories might be better or worse for Spain, but figures won’t be available.

    In other words, your comparison of the statistics might be perfectly valid, or totally meaningless!

  14. Japan does have a housing problem.

    A vacant housing problem. There are at least around eight million unoccupied homes in populated areas across Japan. This is in huge part because Japan’s population is in a stark *decline*. This has knock on effects for the economy.

    Yes, Tokyo is crowded. Because everyone wants to live in Tokyo. The rest of Japan? They have problems selling houses, with many properties just sitting and turning into modern ruins.

    Japan has serious unaddressed national racism, insularity and xenophobia issues that mean the easiest solution for their problems, immigration increases, is off the table.

    Anyone suggesting that Japan should be a model for the UK, is suffering from severe fact deficit.

  15. @Hireton

    I expect you subscribe to the lefty brand of history that ascribes Empire to evil aristocrats.

    But overcrowding had a big part to play. For example Londonderry as it was then called was created by the Corporation of the City of London to move people out of London due to overcrowding. Of course the natives didn’t care for the plantation of incomers, but nobody considered that.

    Australia was used as a dumping ground for convicts. Canada and the USA was populated by people wanting handouts of land from the crown, which were used to incentivize them to move out of England and into the new world.

    I personally think that given Scotland has so much space, people who need housing benefit in London should be moved up there – a new plantation if you like, Ms Nicola is always saying Scotland needs new people. And if things get too much, we can purchase tracts in Lithuania to dump people and send in our army to enforce our rights under the treaties if the locals cut up rough. It’ll be just like the old days!

  16. Mr Jones

    Really? So, not the poster itself then, as Roy suggested a couple of pages back? Rather the original photograph – a part of a series illustrating current affairs articles about the circumstances of refugee migration.

    This site really isn’t the place to discuss in detail the difference between photojournalism and the same image harnessed for a specific political campaign and with text and presentation intended to create an emotive political impact.

    But it’s neither hypocritical nor surprising that these two very different presentations of the same image should elicit two very different kinds of response.

  17. Candy

    Nope, the Empire started well before 1800. People were moving to the USA well before then as well (those colonies were obviously already independent in 1800).

    The only overcrowding that was mitigated by Empire was that to be found in prisons.

  18. I see bookies odds are moving quite markedly now in favour of remain…..

  19. @OldNat

    Unemployment in the EU is calculated by eurostat using the same criteria across the board, so that meaningful comparisons can be made. According to eurostat, it really is bad in Spain:


    What the Italians think about Brexit.

    An interesting piece very different to the political TV shows we have in the UK with lots of hand waving but very few cat calls from the audience.

    It’s definitely worth a watch.

  21. @AU

    “Don’t worry, the Home Office will take care of that.”


    Lol. There’s always the chance that one day, the dream Statty and I used to talk about, Maglev, might mean one could pop up to Scotland in under an hour. Maybe rather less if we send the trains through evacuated tubes to reduce air resistance.

    And they’d have a space port and everything!! Well, a man can dream…

  22. Talking about videos, that video from the economics professor is apparently up to 3 million views.

    Considering Facebook considers playing three seconds of video a view, which can easily happen as people scroll through their newsfeeds, that’s probably not as much as it sounds.

  23. @Hawthorn

    Food production was very poor in the 17th and 18th centuries – so what to your modern eyes seemed like low population, was overcrowding, because of poor yield meant that the population couldn’t be fed, and new land was sought.

  24. I know the suggestion to buy up land in Lithuania and ship our surplus population off there was tongue in cheek, but I have heard of something along the same lines that sounds quite fun.

    I was told that the OAPs of one enlightened Scandinavian country (not sure which one) are entitled to a place in a state-run old people’s home. But because the costs there are ridiculous, they have set up some homes in Spain. They only cost half as much to run and, unsurprisingly, there’s no shortage of volunteers to go there instead of Helsinki. Tromsø or wherever.

    Now that strikes me as a thoroughly sensible idea. The government saves money, the OAPs get sunshine and cheap vino, the Spanish get employment and the benefits of the pensioners’ spending power.

    The more I think about it, the more sensible it seems. But I suppose there’d be a tabloid backlash against pampered pensioners.

  25. @oldnat

    Now, I was thinking, if anything, peeps might be talking about land reclaimation and stuff. You’re talking about having less land instead due to flooding, which is very out-of-the-box thinking, of which there is not enough on this site…

  26. Colin

    Spain is recovering but it is patchy, with some areas doing well and other parts still in recession. The problem in Spain is not enough people with the right skills. Many of the large companies based there have to fly in engineers from Germany, partly because the equipment they are maintaining or installing comes from Germany.

    To a certain extent Spain suffers from the same issues as other countries, in that Eastern Europeans from Romania and other countries have migrated taking many low paid jobs. The means that many people without high level skills and experience are undercut by migrants willing to accept low pay and poor conditions.

    I am pro EU, but i can see that the expansion to include Eastern Europe into the EU, has had a massive effect on some countries, because of right to free movement. There has also been an increase in crime that has come with it, with Barcelona and other places plagued by migrant street pickpocket gangs.

    It is a combination of the financial crash with high debt and migration that are the main factors. I don’t believe austerity policies across Europe will ever work, because you need to rebuild countries and start providing opportunities for more people. I don’t think Spain can afford to have generations of people who will never see a fulfilling future in Spain. So many bright young educated Spaniards have left the country already. Spain and other countries can’t do this alone and they need EU funds. Many local technical education colleges in Spain are funded by the EU.

  27. Jayblanc

    “Japan has serious unaddressed national racism, insularity and xenophobia issues that mean the easiest solution for their problems, immigration increases, is off the table.”

    Cool – that provides an opportunity for an interesting experiment.

    I wonder which will be more liveable in 50 years?

  28. @NORBOLD

    Remember the odds for a Conservative majority 13 months ago?

  29. Candy

    The argument that anti-immigration types make is about physical space, not farming yields.

  30. McClane: or Jeremy Corbyn being Leader of the Opposition, Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination, or Leicester City winning the Premier League?

  31. @Ken

    Yes, it seems like either one has free movement and lots of investment to offset, or else one does not have fre movement. Unfortunately, free movement without compensatory investment is quite handy for some business interests…

    Incidentally, since you spoke of your investment in Hydrogen tech., I find myself taking more of an interest. I didn’t know about how quietly they’re building hydrogen filling stations, on track for 40 by 2020. And especially, that it seems you only need 65, properly sited, to persuade the early adopters to make the leap, whereupon it ought to gather steam.

    Aberdeen are investing in a fleet of hydrogen-powered buses…

  32. @Hawthorn

    17th century Britain was probably like 20th century rwanda – poor crop yields leading to problems. You either have a genocide, or you pinch someone else’s land, genocide them and plonk your own bunch of people there.

    As for modern Britain – people don’t want the place turned into Kowloon, with lots of people in small cubicles squashed on top of each other. Not when there is so much land to spare in Europe.

    So we either exit the EU and stop people coming in, or we buy land elsewhere and move them onto it. Real estate in London is so expensive it makes no sense to house unemployed there. We’ve moved people out of London before – see Derry. Arn’t people being little Englanders for wanting to stay in the land of their birth if they can’t feed themselves and need to rely on the state? I expect we’ll hire Corbyn to give them a bracing talk about the evils of little Englandism before shipping them out.

  33. Candy

    I don’t have time to explain the political, economic and social differences between 17th Century England and current day Rwanda. I should hope they would be obvious.

  34. OLDNAT

    I had always assumed that Eurostat published tables of comparable statistics. But I suppose you could be right & they publish stuff which is meaningless for comparative purposes.

    But in the hope that all those Civil Servants are gainfully & meaningfully crunching all our numbers, and that you do not discover a footnote which indicates that they aren’t , I refer you to Table 1:-


    I agree that environmental protections should , in theory, be a very good area for cross border co-operation.

    Whether the EU is demonstrating this is, I think, arguable.

    On Bumble Bees & NeoNics -this from a Guardian piece last Jan.

    “In a letter to the European commission last month, which the Guardian has seen, the EU scientists said that they would finish their risk evaluation by the end of January 2017.

    A formal announcement that the review is underway is due imminently but a commission spokesman told the Guardian that it would not necessarily lead to any changes to the law.

    “The restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids remain in place while this review is carried out,” he said. “Depending on the outcome of this evaluation, the commission will propose, only if justified, to further modify the conditions of approval of the three neonicotinoids.”

  36. R HUCKLE


    It seems patently clear that Freedom of Movement plus large differences in Standards of Living between member States is flawed-and having predictable consequences.

    It seems to call into question the whole ( central ) idea of the economic convergence of disparate sovereign states which Monetary Union requires.

  37. @Carfrew – “So where do green peeps stand on the impact of immigration on the hedgerows and woodlands etc. of these isles?”

    Every year, when the weather and sea conditions allow, millions of immigrants – and I mean millions, flocks of them, literally – come to the UK and swamp our hedgerows and woodlands to such an extent that the resident Brits struggle to find a decent home. These immigrants make a lot of noise, eat all the food, have babies – loads and loads of babies – and then bugger off in the autumn.

    It’s completely uncontrolled and the EU has done nothing to stop this, although it is fair to say that British farmers have had some success in terminating large numbers of them.

  38. @Hawthorn

    Read up on how the little ice age from 1560 to 1850 affected food production in Europe:

  39. @Hawthorn – “Does it not strike you that the projection might be a little implausible? (A hundred year projection in social science is crystal balls anyway).”

    Yes, that’s what I was thinking. In the next century, with global warming causing all manner of disruptions, I suspect that the movement of people to places like the UK is going to become far greater.

    Around 2 billion people globally rely on groundwater aquifers for fresh water that are likely to become salinated with even a very modest rise in sea levels. Trouble ahead.

  40. @carfrew – I know nothing of bees.

    I will ask the badgers what they know.

  41. From the Grauniad:

    “Bookies odds are usually an alternative gauge of the public mood, and Ladbrokes have one interesting little snippet today – 95% of all referendum wagers in the last 24 hours have been for remain.

    One punter in Newport has bet £25,000 on a remain win, with chances of Brexit now cut to 26% by the bookmaker.”

  42. @ Candy

    “we’ll just buy chunks of places like Lithuania, citing our right under the Treaties to do so”

    Well, the U.K. governemment bought a lot of land in Sudan – just in case of climate change making certain horticultural products necessary to be grown there. It is not used for anything right now (of course, the U.K. Is not the only one).

    And, of course, British private investors have bought up quite a bit of East European property.

  43. @ MITZ

    I believe that their has been been private polls, conducted by big financial institutions, indicating a serious lead in the remain campaign, the markets do not make such radical movements unless they have harder facts than one or two public polls.

  44. The problem with looking at demographics in purely numerical terms is that there is a fundamental interplay between demographics and geography.

    The new population since 1900 may represent a smaller percentage increase than in previous centuries, but that’s really not the right comparator.

    With every massive increase in population, the amount of land left for housing, farming and wildlife habitat reduces. And the next massive increase in population needs to be compared with that reduced availability of land.

    If you get rid of 100 square miles of farmland each century, that might not seem like a lot compared to what was lost in previous centuries. But when you’re down to 200 square miles total (I exaggerate for effect, and arithmetic neatness) that next 100 square miles is a much more significant loss than the first 1000 square miles was.

  45. People may have missed my post this morning about the Commission being told by it’s own scientists that car companies were faking the emissions tests as far back as 2010 but did nothing about it. It’s a very serious issue which can be linked to many tens of thousands of deaths, more or less directly. It probably represents the EU’s greatest individual failure in many ways.

    Dutch campaigners have unearthed documents which show the EC in a very poor light, and it raises questions about the efficacy, probity and oversight of key decision making structures in Brussels.

    It’s not clear whether this is a case of regulatory capture or undue commercial influence, but it may link with the bees issue. As @Charles says, cross border regulation is essential in many areas, but cross border oversight remains very difficult.

    The EU structure is so complex that only large commercial operations can afford the time and money to engage in lobbying at a serious level, and this is beginning to show in the resulting outcomes. With 28 separate democratic systems, democratic oversight is extremely difficult, and these are the kinds of areas that will eventually bring down the EU if not resolved. The problems are greatly enhanced by the opacity of internal deliberations.

    One solution is to limit the areas of action undertaken by the EU to a core of essential areas, and then focus on getting more open and widespread engagement in the process, but at this scale it is very hard.

  46. @Laszlo

    Yes. Only a matter of time before the state buys property in Eastern Europe to create a new Derry style plantation.

    And of course councils in England are already renting homes in other towns to house the unemployed.

    In fact the real reason why people say things like “immigrants have got a house before me” is because a council in London has placed some people in a housing association complex in some seaside town (and paid for it), and the local people on local waiting lists are puzzled.

    Instead of thinking in terms of a London council vs their council, they just think, “it’s all one country how come they’re getting housed before me”.

    But it is really down to their own council not having much money, but the London council having spare cash due to housing people cheaply in a seaside town, allowing them to place twice the number they would have if they’d have kept them in London. So the London waiting lists come down quickly, but the places with the plantations can’t do the same thing.

  47. @Alec

    In the case of VW, the state of Lower Saxony owns 20% of the shares, and of course the politicians there are well placed to lobby…

  48. Colin

    Thanks for the info. As always this is an informative site.

  49. Well it looks as if the British people no longer have the balls to climb out of the slime pit known as the EU. I suppose the Rome of 200BC was very different to the Rome of 200AD.

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