A wrote a few weeks ago that in the past the boost enjoyed by a Prime Minister taking over mid-term has often only lasted a month or so. The latest YouGov poll suggests that Theresa May’s honeymoon is following the same pattern and has now started to fade. Topline figures are CON 38%, LAB 31%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%. It’s still showing a healthy Tory lead, but not the towering double-digit leads we’ve seen in the last few polls. This is, of course, just a single poll and we should wait to see if other polls shown the same trend, but it’s the first sign of the May honeymoon beginning to wane (tabs here)

UPDATE: TNS also have new voting intention figures out and they have the Tories still enjoying a double-digit lead. Topline figures are CON 39%, LAB 26%, LD 10%, UKIP 11%, GRN 7% (tabs are here). Fieldwork was over the weekend, so a little older than the Mon-Tues YouGov data, but not by much. A couple of interesting methodological notes here – looking at TNS’s tables, it looks like they are including the names of the party leaders in their voting intention question (just the GB leaders in the English question, but also the Scottish and Welsh leaders in their respective areas). Based on the tables, they are also asking preferred party on the economy and preferred leader before asking voting intention.


664 Responses to “Latest YouGov and TNS voting intentions”

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  1. TOH
    @
    OLDNAT
    “I do know my English history thank you. However seeing your rather purile comment to Dave I still think your joking about what to those who wish Brexit believe, and I really don’t think you understand how we feel about the EU and how strong our desire is to leave. By the way, I wasn’t suggesting a return to the past and as far as i can remember never have done.

    I’m afraid I cannot take you seriously when your in this mood.”

    No, ON is getting at me I suspect for saying that we can trade post eu as we did perfectly well for hundreds of years before the eu arrived. (Or something like that.)

    Clearly only someone as pedantic as ON could possible think that I meant we will start building a navy of “men o war” ships with which to sink a few Spanish Galleons and pinch their gold.

    A normal person would understand my comment to mean, that we are generally speaking, a “can do” people and have always been a nation of traders, consistently punching well above our weight in the world. We don’t need the EU Tufty Club to show us how to cross the road.

    Your final sentence, hits the nail on the head.

  2. BBZ
    Interesting post at 5.15 but are you therefore suggesting that all those issues should have been ironed out before the referendum could be called, or maybe you are suggesting that we can never consider leaving the Eu because the problems with this agreement are just so insurmountable as to make it possible?

    All these issues are for negotiation and I’m not suggesting it is going to be simple but a solution will be found if all concerned have good faith.

    It’s just not good enough to simply throw your hands up in the air, in despair and say, ‘too difficult’.

  3. Possible should be impossible.

  4. Robert Newark

    Surely a “normal person” might have said “we are generally speaking, a “can do” people and have always been a nation of traders, consistently punching well above our weight in the world.”

    It would still have sounded very much like a belief in “British exceptionalism”, unless you accept that most countries “can do” pretty well and are “nations of traders”.

    That the UK “consistently punching well above our weight in the world” is based on the imperial past would seem incontrovertible.

    I’m happy to see you resile from your previous stance that Britain could just do what “it has done for hundreds of years”.

    “Can do” peoples are flexible, responding to new challenges in imaginative ways. Lots of small countries have done precisely that, and very successfully.

    If rUK/E&W/England/Scotland/NI/GB/UK respond to new circumstances in new ways, I’m sure that any of those units could be successful.

    Assuming that something that worked in the past would necessarily work now would be foolish – but it seems that you now agree with me on that.

  5. ROBERT NEWARK
    It’s just not good enough to simply throw your hands up in the air, in despair and say, ‘too difficult’.

    It’s not me who wants to trash the EU, it’s you – and it’s for outers to make it happen in a way that inners can accept.

    The point I made re NI is that the referendum itself was made and executed without even understanding what the status quo was and still is until May can fix what the previous PM found outwith his competence. That’s just one particular can of worms but she’s probably been briefed by now on many others.

    Perhaps she and the Chevening three will come up with precisely the solution you want but she will need more time than you and others seem to want to allow her.

    The logical way to please all 4 nations + Gibraltar is an HK [1 country 2 systems] approach to minimise the disruption in the nations which voted to remain and leave E & W to decide their out strategy. That could all be done inside the A50 window.

    The problem is then to consider whether the deals to re-enter the WTO and conclude all the trade agreements the leavers promised quickly enough to prevent E&W collapsing economically in the meantime.

    In short, I’m just suggesting that you and other leavers will need rather more patience than most seem to be showing just now.

  6. BZ

    ” I’m just suggesting that you and other leavers will need rather more patience than most seem to be showing just now.”

    Perhaps “some other leavers” would be more accurate?

    There is an element within both Brexiteers and Scottish Indy supporters who want “action now” – regardless of how damaging such precipitate action might be to their country and the status they support for it.

    Governmental arrangements are complex things. Changes can have upsides, but also downsides – so can keeping the status quo!

    While a decision, in principle, to establish new relationships with partner states, and broad agreement reached on outline structures relatively quickly, transitional arrangements (including agreements to consider some detailed arrangements over a much longer time period) also need to be agreed.

    The Velvet Divorce of the former Czechoslovakia is a reasonably good model for the dissolution of a union – though the constituent parts there had the advantage of both wanting to be part of a wider union.

    While there will always be posturing in political negotiation, the reality is that usually the officials will stop the politicians from screwing things up, as their supporters often urge them to do. :-)

  7. OLDNAT

    Yes, I’ll go along with all of that post, except perhaps the last sentence.

    Either the previous PM was a particularly bad listener or the civil servant who advised him on “things to be done before the referendum” was a serious underachiever.

  8. BZ

    I did say “usually”! :-)

  9. OLDNAT

    I did say “perhaps”!;<)}

  10. BZ

    :-)

  11. Labour GAIN: a seat from the SNP in the Irvine West Council Election tonight. Encouraging for Labour supporters.

    SNP GAIN: a seat from Labour in Renfrew South & Gallowhill which will steady the SNP ships.

    Conservatives seem pleased with a marked uptick in their support in both areas: to the tune of 8.5% in Irvine and 9.1% Renfrew South.

    Something for everyone, but taken together perhaps gives most sustenance to those souls arguing that there is a revival in Conservative fortunes in Scotland?

  12. Prof Howard

    Spinning of council by-elections is always interesting.

    In Scottish councils, it’s always the effect of the STV system that is most interesting.

    I haven’t seen the transfer data yet, but the SNP seem to have won both on 1st preferences, but Nicola’s Dad seems to have lost out to Labour on transfers from Tory voters in Irvine.

    “perhaps gives most sustenance to those souls arguing that there is a revival in Conservative fortunes in Scotland?”

    The battle in Scotland between Tory & Lab for the Unionist vote (Dugdale & Davidson have been tweeting in conflict as to which is more anti-SNP tonight) is always of interest.

    Simultaneously, we have SLab fighting their civil war here along Scottish fault lines – with Ian Murray MP and Kez Dugdale supporting Owen Smith as a staunch defender of the UK Union, while Deputy leader Rowley is supporting Corbyn and a pro-Scottish autonomy stance.

    With tactical voting at FPTP and List elections, and preferential voting in STV ones, it’s a bit more complex to see who is up and down within the Unionist camp.

    However, Davidson appears to be winning that battle – which is actually rather disastrous for SLab.

  13. Prof Howard

    Irvine West – 1st preferences(Lab pulled ahead of SNP at Stage 6 of vote transfers)

    Irvine West:
    SNP: 37.5% (+0.7)
    LAB: 33.1% (-7.1)
    CON: 20.6% (+8.6)
    SLP: 4.2% (+2.6)
    GRN: 3.0% (+3.0)
    LD: 1.5% (-3.2)

    (SLP is Socialist Labour Party”)

  14. Roger Mexico

    Im not as good at analyzing polls as you, but I did notice that the discrepancy between the unweighted numbers and the weighted numbers appeared to be less drastic than last time. Am I right in thinking that Labour has benefited from an increase in likelihood to vote? Or is it the tories which have suffered a drop?

  15. Prof Howard

    Renfrew South & Gallowhill first preferences:
    SNP: 47.8% (+6.9)
    LAB: 36.9% (-8.5)
    CON: 13.4% (+9.1)
    LDEM: 1.9% (+0.1)

    (according to Britain Elects – but there may have been Independents last time round, since the pluses and minuses don’t match, and BE doesn’t really know how to handle them in an STV election).

  16. Oldnat

    Really does look like the Tories are on a roll in Scotland, but that’s the Scottish tories as distinct from the UK tories, I presume

  17. Cambridge Rachel

    I’d prefer to see the actual results and transfers, and then compare them with this (effectively AV election) with the 2012 STV result, before coming to a definitive conclusion (how much of the increased SCon vote was fro Independents not standing, for example?)

    However, all the evidence suggests that SLab lost most of its pro-Scottish autonomy supporters a couple of years back, and were left with a mixture of “tribal” SLab supporters and more middle class Unionists.

    “but that’s the Scottish tories as distinct from the UK tories, I presume”

    Oh, it’s far more complex than that!

    Remember that the largest immigrant community in Scotland is those born in England. While they aren’t a single coherent group, of course, more of them think in, and vote on, “British” than “Scottish” issues than those born here.

    So there isn’t an absolute distinction between “Scottish” and “GB (none of them are UK!) parties.

    That often seems to cause disquiet amongst folk in the south, so it’s probably best explained by an “English Scot”.

    https://jamesloxley.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/english-scots/

  18. Oldnat

    Thanks for that

  19. @ Laszlo

    ‘Corbyn was very relaxed throughout (actually I don’t remember him being so relaxed in such or similar situations), but seemed of becoming tired in the last quarter or fifth and made some fairly big errors. One can attribute it to many things, but they were there.’

    I thought Jeremy Corbyn was very disconcerted by getting no applause about cutting defence spending. .. and he seemed less certain from that point. However, it may also have been the increased highly personal attacks from Owen Smith.

    I was disappointed that no-one picked Owen Smith up over misreporting the local election results. OS said that the Conservatives had gained 300 seats whereas they actually lost 48. However, it seems that many people have a more relaxed attitude to politicians misspeaking than I do.

  20. The SLab civil war

    Ian Murray MP (ex SS forS) posted this on his Facebook page

    So, the new Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, the new Shadow Defence Secretary, the Shadow Chancellor (who voted for Full Fiscal Autonomy and told me to “F*** Off” when I tried to discuss it with him), and Jeremy Corbyn believe that we should do a deal with the SNP.

    This couldn’t be more wrong.

    The choice is now clear for Scottish Labour members and supporters. If you believe in the UK and think this is wrong then you must vote for Owen Smith.

    Remember the Tories spending millions on billboard posters across marginal seats in England and Wales at the General Election in 2015 with the picture of Ed Miliband in Salmond’s pocket with “vote Conservative”? It cost labour dozens of seats in England and Wales.

    With Owen Smith: No deal with a party that wants to break up the UK.

    With Jeremy Corbyn: Alliance with the SNP.
    Clear choice for members in Scotland.

    It will be interesting to see how SLab members respond – and how remaining SLab voters view the best way to cast their Unionist votes, if Smith wins.

    Since that scenario seems unlikely, and ELab will need to make a decision under Corbyn(?) whether it is more important to raise a coalition against the ECons or support (perhaps vain) attempts by SLab to keep their existing seat, much less make advances, there may be interesting times ahead.

    A further factor is that SLab doesn’t have the finances to run any reasonable form of organisation, and is totally dependent on ELab funding.

  21. @Bill P

    “I thought I felt something, but it turned out I was on the Highland Line and it was a mini-earthquake.”

    ———

    Well if Ed’s causing earthquakes now, maybe he is having an impact after all…

  22. @BBZ

    “Either the previous PM was a particularly bad listener or the civil servant who advised him on “things to be done before the referendum” was a serious underachiever.”

    ————

    Alternatively, maybe the civil servant made strenuous efforts, (whereupon you can imagine how bad it might have been without those efforts….)

  23. “A normal person would understand my comment to mean, that we are generally speaking, a “can do” people and have always been a nation of traders, consistently punching well above our weight in the world.”

    ————–

    That’s all so very “blah” tho’, innit. The stuff about pinching gold from galleons was a bit more gripping as an idea…

  24. OLDNAT

    Fair enough, thanks for explaining.

    PROFHOWARD

    I have no problem with the IFS although they are not always correct. I even agree that soft Brexit will do the least harm economically, at least in the short term. However soft Brexit does not produce a Brexit that May thinks the people voted for unless the EU backs down on borders and is therefore not a real option IMO. In the longer term being part of the EU will IMO be very damaging economically as it falls apart as I think it inevitably will.

  25. @OLDNAT
    That the UK “consistently punching well above our weight in the world” is based on the imperial past would seem incontrovertible.

    ______

    But that’s not just based on the imperial past. Today, by population, the UK ranks 22nd in the list of sovereign states in the world.

    In terms of GDP, we are currently 6th. So still punching well above our weight.

  26. @ Harry

    With respect, I don’ t think it’s accurate to describe 15 months into a 60 month fixed term parliament as “pretty much mid term”

  27. The disagreement between TOH/RN and ON/BZ over the UK’s post-Brexit trading prospects is based on an issue that seems to me absolutely fundamental to, and underlying, the whole Brexit debate – though I can’t remember seeing it specifically articulated at all during that debate.

    Britain’s rise to a world power in the 18th and 19th centuries was based on two things: turning our face away from Europe towards the world; and the first-mover advantage conferred by the industrial revolution.

    It was sea prowess and power – and comparative weakness on land – that drove us to distant corners of the world. And it was the resulting acquisition of empire that both provided the massive resources needed to feed the industrial revolution and the captive market that allowed it to flourish.

    By the end of C19th, those advantages were eroding fast. The USA, with its own internal material resources, and a far bigger domestic market, fed by immigration, nation-building and western and southern expansion, was outgrowing us and flexing its own imperial muscles. Likewise Germany, boosted by an education system focused on science and technology rather than the classics and history, and then by a customs union followed by unification, outgrew, out-competed and out-innovated the by then somewhat complacent UK.

    So the question is this: does our former success as a world power and outward-facing trading nation, show that if only we return to that winning formula, our native talents and entrepreneurial flair will restore our fortunes.

    Or does our steady decline as a dominant trading nation from the late C19th onwards show that the old formula stopped working when effective competitors came along?

    That was the question that fuelled the original debate as to whether we should join the EEC. And it still seems to be at the heart of Brexit.

    Ironically, we seem lately to have recovered some of our previous self-confidence. I say ironically because it is within the context of EU membership that our industrial base seems to have stabilised a bit, with some areas of strength like IT, car assembly and aerospace componentry, and our services (especially financial) have flourished. Again, the explanations for that are polarised: either we’ve done well in some areas because of EU membership, or despite it.

    So these two strands of thought and analysis are at the heart of the issue. I suspect the issue won’t be resolved unless either a hard-Brexit is seen after a decade or so to have sent the UK into a tailspin of decline, as the prospect of the UK as a gallant world trader proves a mirage, or alternatively we carve out a future for ourselves while the EU flounders and founders.

    So as someone firmly on one side of this debate, I actually feel quite relaxed about a hard Brexit because it should ultimately resolve the debate one way or the other. Or as someone recently remarked to me, the Brexiters will never shut up, so let’s see them put up.

  28. OldNat,

    In what sense are the Tories and UKIP “not UK” parties?

  29. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2016-37055398

    A parties senior organization desperate to avoid electoral armageddon under a misperforming candidate foisted on them by a detatched membership, examining ways to topple him before it’s too late, but finding the only really viable path is for their leader to voluntarily fall on his sword, which he plainly won’t do,

    Ah yes, the Republicans are in all manner of trouble.

  30. As for the tactical unionist vote, Labour seem to be deriving some sustenance from it- for now. Having their Shadow Scottish Secretary talk up a pact with the SNP probably isn’t the best way to keep it.

  31. Somerjohn

    There were two things Britain’s success was built on, people trafficking and drug pushing. These are considered to be morally dubious in this day and age, so much so that they are illegal under international law.

  32. If you were May you’d be crazy not going for a snap election this year, wouldn’t you? Opposition in total disarray, honeymoon still in early blush and Brexit negotiations far away,

    What on earth is not to like about that little lot? Political circumstances are never likely to be anywhere near as propitious as this ever again and while the main motivation would be electoral opportunism, it could be dressed as a new PM seeking a fresh democratic mandate.

    Maybe October, shortly after the conferences and the re-coronation of Corbyn? WE seem to be obsessed with Spring and Summer elections but Wilson went in October in 1974 and it did him no harm.

    As I say, May would be crazy not to go to the country this year. I think there’s a landslide sitting in the palm of her hands right now. Utter madness for a sensible politician not to clutch it.

  33. @crossbath

    what reason would May give to the already vote weary public for going back to them?

  34. Crossbat11,

    I suspect that she’ll wait until after the Labour leadership election before making any sort of decision. If Corbyn comes out of it looking strong and leader-like, then the Tories might still be the largest party but lose their majority.

    To add to your point, now Farage is gone (for now?) that’s a bonus for the Tories, because UKIP have lost their two biggest assets (our EU membership and Farage).

  35. Bardin1,

    Maybe “We need a strong government to negotiate Brexit”. Similar to the rationale that Wilson and Heath used to give for their timely (or not so timely!) decisions to have elections.

    Note: I don’t personally approve of this, from a democratic standpoint. Thatcher did UK democracy a service by not going to the polls in October 1982.

  36. @CROSSBAT
    As I say, May would be crazy not to go to the country this year. I think there’s a landslide sitting in the palm of her hands right now. Utter madness for a sensible politician not to clutch it.
    ——-
    Completely disagree. However tempting the prospect of an increased majority might seem, there are three very good reasons not to do this:

    1. The FTPA.
    2. Voter fatigue – we had a GE in 2015, and a referendum in 2016. People won’t thank her for making them go through another load of campaigning again so soon.
    3. Economic stability. We’re trying to cope with the aftermath of the Brexit vote, and the last thing the economy needs is more instability caused by the uncertainty of a GE campaign.

    2020 is plenty soon enough.

  37. @David carrodd

    agreed, and well put

    @Bill Patrick

    I suppose, ..but she already has a clear majority and no internal challenge, plus weak opposition – I think we would need more justification to put Britain through and expensive and unsettling election.

    Another reason why I doubt she would risk it is that the SNP could campaign on Indyref2 with reasonable chance of success (strong govt to force Brexit thru – stop it by voting for us, unite the remainers)

  38. @CR
    There were two things Britain’s success was built on, people trafficking and drug pushing.
    —–
    You see, it’s this sort of utterly nonsensical guilt-ridden angst that we get from Champagne Socialists (or Bollinger Bolsheviks, if you prefer) which illustrates exactly why nobody on the left of UK politics should ever be entrusted with running the country.

  39. @Bardin1/David Carrod

    You give some very high principled reasons for May not going to the country but they shouldn’t cut much ice with a politically savvy newly appointed PM wanting her own democratic mandate. FTPA? Just repeal it citing to exceptional circumstances. Voter fatigue? Landslide on 55% turnout – who cares? Economic/political uncertainty? The result of the election would be a foregone conclusion. Uncertainty isn’t a factor. The markets would love a 100+ seat Tory majority government

    As I said, May would be absolutely loopy not to go in October.

  40. Everyone seems to keep forgetting (including the mainstream media) that an election before 2020 can only be organised in 3 ways now:
    1) by repealing the FTPA, which will take at least 6 months and needs cooperation from the Lords
    2) cooperation from the Labour Party (which since they are behaving with terminal stupidity at the moment cannot be entirely ruled out I guess)
    3) TM organising a vote of no confidence in herself, which I find impossible to imagine!

    The chances of an election in the near future are exceedingly small

  41. There was some discussion here a day or two ago about whether there will be EU elections in the UK in 2019. Given the volatility in Italy, uncertainty in Spain, the danger of war in Eastern Europe, Greece’s on going debt crisis that may well result in them needing yet another bail-out, etc, perhaps by 2019 the EU may be considering structural reform.

    Rather than simply holding elections for MEPs, does the EU have a mechanism for asking its electorate to approve a package of reforms that might include such things as a two-speed Euro, limitations on freedom of movement or any other changes that it might consider desirable?

    I ask the question because if such a package was to be approved by a majority across the 27 remaining member states (assuming it is 27 then), it would give the EU far greater authority and perhaps serve to unite its remaining membership.

    Or would it have to ask individual member states to make their own arrangements for approval, some of which would hold referenda, some would just approve it without asking their own electorate, etc., resulting in further divisiveness?

  42. CR: “There were two things Britain’s success was built on, people trafficking and drug pushing.”

    Well, yes. Actually there’s long list of our formerly lucrative but now considered dodgy commercial activities. State-sponsored piracy is one that comes to mind, plus kidnapping of heads-of-state.

    If you go to Buckland Abbey in Devon, you’ll learn that Francis Drake bought it with the fabulous wealth he looted from 40 successful attacks on Spanish merchant ships. (but they in turn had looted it from the Incas etc, so that’s OK).

  43. @crossbath

    I prefer to think of them as practical

    doing the things you suggest would be very unpopular in the country IMO if the only reason for the election is to increase what is already a perfectly good majority

    Not everyone likes politics/ elections

    To give another reason for her not to do it how would the harder line brexiters in her own party feel about her going to the country again before Brexit, given that all the other parties other than UKIP would probably campaign on the basis of reversing Brexit?

  44. Re Irvine West,
    In reality this was a narrow Labour hold, with a big swing from Labour to Tory and SNP increasing their vote.

    In STV elections you have to add up the first preferences for each party to make a sensible comparison.

    Technically of course it is a Labour gain because an SNP councillor was replaced, but Labour can take no comfort from it and the Tories will be the happiest

  45. Crossbat
    ‘If you were May you’d be crazy not going for a snap election this year, wouldn’t you? Opposition in total disarray, honeymoon still in early blush and Brexit negotiations far away,’

    It is not that simple. Parliament can only now be dissolved whilst it is meeting in that to abide by the terms of the FTA there has to be a vote of MPs. Parliament does not reassemble after the party conferences until 10th October and even if Labour then played ball with May’s wish for an early election the earliest date would be 17th or 24th November depending on how long it took to tidy up Parliamentary business.If the polls are close to where they are at present , it is much more likely that Labour would force her to table a No Confidence Vote – which if passed would require a further 14 day delay before dissolution can occur. That would take us to 1st or 2nd December which in my opinion would be viewed as too late in the year.

  46. CARFREW @BBZ
    Alternatively, maybe the civil servant made strenuous efforts, (whereupon you can imagine how bad it might have been without those efforts….)

    Yes. I concur that the EU ref could have been handled even worse.

  47. Sorry – the last sentence in my previous comment should have said ‘That takes us to 1st or 8th December – which in my opinion would be viewed as too late in the year.’

  48. David carrod

    Are you arguing with historical facts by impuning my reputation?! Im not a champagne socialist, I’m a malibu and coke socialist!

  49. TOH

    Are you really hoping for the collapse of the Eurozone and the EU economy????

    That would surely be a disaster for the British economy whether in or out of the EU!

    I expect Thoughtful to be happy about that sort of thing but I had you down as someone with slightly more sense than that!

  50. “You see, it’s this sort of utterly nonsensical guilt-ridden angst that we get from Champagne Socialists (or Bollinger Bolsheviks, if you prefer) which illustrates exactly why nobody on the left of UK politics should ever be entrusted with running the country.”

    ———–

    Wow. Froth much?

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