The Times this morning has the latest YouGov voting intention figures – CON 42%(+3), LAB 28%(-2), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 11%(-2). While the size of the lead isn’t quite as large as the seventeen points ICM showed earlier in the week, it’s a another very solid lead for the Conservatives following their party conference, matching the lead May had at the height of her honeymoon. Full tabs are here.

While I’m here I’ll add a quick update on two other recent YouGov polls. First some new London polling, which shows extremely positive ratings for Sadiq Khan. 58% of people think he is doing well as London mayor, only 14% think he is doing badly. Mayors of London seem to get pretty good approval ratings most of the time (both Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson normally enjoyed positive ratings), I don’t know if that’s down to the skills of the individual politicians who have held the job so far or whether the public judge them by different standards to Westminster politicians. Never the less, it’s a very positive start for Khan, with net positive approval ratings among supporters of all parties except UKIP. Full tabs are here.

Finally, since the subject keeps popping up, some polling on the Royal Yacht. The public oppose replacing the Royal Yacht with a newly commissioned vessel by 51% to 25%. They would also oppose recommissioning the old Royal Yacht Brittania, but by a smaller margin (42% opposed, 31% support). The argument that the cost of the Yacht would be justified by the its role in promoting British trade and interests oversees does not find favour with the general public – 26% think the cost can be justified, 57% think it cannot. Full results are here.


607 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 42, LAB 28, LDEM 9, UKIP 11”

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  1. I thought Clegg was fairly clear – he stated outright and up front that the vote was ‘out’ and must be honoured.

    He made the fairly logical point that exercising Article 50 in March would be pretty damn stupid, as there will be no meaningful negotiations from the EU side until Germany’s elections are over in the November – meaning we will waste 8 months of the 2 year time frame made available under Article 50.

    he also made the point that every previous government has been able to provide an outline of its negotiating strategy before discussions started, so while it may not be convenient to the Govt it is not the massive impediment to good negotiating that some are making it out to be.

    I can imagine common sense won’t go down well with the Daily Mail but, frankly, Clegg could proclaim his approval of motherhood and being kind to puppies and the Daily Mail would find a way to criticise him!

  2. TOH

    Your view is rather like that of the judge who agrees to hear an appeal against a death sentence – but only once the sentence has been carried out.

    Once we leave, the terms for re-entry are unlikely to be as favourable as we currently enjoy. And are the other 27 really going to be in any hurry to readmit us?

    As Jayblanc has nicely put it: ““The People have Spoken, and must not be allowed to change their minds.”

  3. Somerjohn

    False comparison, when your dead your dead.

    The facts are simple, there ways a referendum, the people voted to leave EU, the Government has accepted the will of the people and will take us out of the EU, perfectly democratic response.

    Once we have left, there could then be a movement to rejoin, and a request for a new referendum could be made if their is enough support for it, also a perfectly democratic response. In this way the people have their opportunity to change their minds.

    What you and Jayblanc are suggesting is profoundly undemocratic IMO.

  4. Hireton

    “No 10 spokesperson says the PM has “full confidence” in the Chancellor”

    New chancellor by the weekend?

  5. @Pete B

    “Perhaps they’re willing to take a chance on that. The British used to be an adventurous people but recent generations seem to be very timid and risk-averse.

    Did Francis Drake think “Oh, I’d better not sail round the world in case I don’t make it. After all, it’s only ever been done once”?”

    —————

    Yes, issues with this include…

    – when we say they may be taking a short term hit for possible advantage later, it might be rather more to their advantage than other voters. I gave an example of this, eg ways leaving EU might benefit retirees at expense of others

    – as I said before, they might be mistaken in terms of long term benefits. Whereas Drake knew it was possible to sail around the world because someone had already done it and as a privateer he knew there were riches to be had.

    – I know this may come as a shock to boomers who might be quite positive about themselves, but voting to leave the EU isn’t quite the brave adventure that sailing around the world was. Voting tends to be a bit easier than circumnavigation by sail. Even ceasing to be in the EU is not that exceptional. Many countries are not in the EU. We used not to be in it. It’s simply a question of whether it’s a good idea or not, plus hassle of disentangling , working out who gets the CDs etc.

    – Dunno Drake’s record on ladder-pulling. He relieved Spaniards of quite a bit of gold though…

  6. @ToH
    Actually I agree with you – the vote is done and needs to be executed. That’s democracy…

    I suspect if polls showed truly massive opposition (by which I mean at least 70/30) to Brexit a year down the line once its real implications become clear then there may be a case to reconsider the decision; however I think that is unlikely to happen.

    None of that means that we should not be pragmatic in HOW and WHEN we execute on Brexit – the Govt should be acting in the best interests of the country and in accordance with our democratic principles (otherwise what was the point of Brexit at all?), and if that means delaying execution until the time best chosen to deliver the outcome the UK wants, then so be it.

    I can see no reason to be bound to an artificial timetable set by the Daily Mail…

  7. TOH

    Hard to see why you would regard a vote before the fateful event as ‘profoundly undemocratic’ and one afterwards as “a perfectly democratic response” unless you want to make sure the people aren’t allowed to change their minds until it’s too late.

    Not that it matters too much. It will be practical politics that comes in to play if it becomes clear public opinion has swung massively against Brexit as actually configured. That is why the DM, Telegraph etc are trying so hard to shore up public opinion.

  8. @ToH

    “The facts are simple, there ways a referendum, the people voted to leave EU, the Government has accepted the will of the people and will take us out of the EU, perfectly democratic response.”

    ——–

    People had already spoken, voting previously to be in the EU. This did not forbid others from campaigning to leave…

    It is normal to oppose the will of whoever, on whatever,* that’s why we have opposition’s and elections etc.

    Except regarding storage where no b*gger seems to give a stuff…

  9. Pre the Brexit referendum the DM & the DT were wholly behind the Tory policy of David Cameron that we would & should vote remain.

    The only change is that the vote made Cameron resign, and now both papers are still behind the Tory leadership which has more or less been forced into a position of Brexit.

    I guess for the Tory party it kills off a lot of the split over Europe within the party which its supporters presumably welcome.

  10. “but, frankly, Clegg could proclaim his approval of motherhood and being kind to puppies and the Daily Mail would find a way to criticise him!”

    ——————

    Well yes because after tuition fee debacle and further u-turns on austerity and miserable compromise of AV etc, they might rightly fear that he might turn his back on motherhood and puppies at any moment
    And then mebbe blame Greece forrit…

  11. “but, frankly, Clegg could proclaim his approval of motherhood and being kind to puppies and the Daily Mail would find a way to criticise him!”

    ——–

    Well yes because after tuition fee debacle and further u-turns on austerity and miserable compromise of AV etc, they might rightly fear that he might turn his back on motherhood and puppies at any moment
    And then mebbe blame Greece forrit…

  12. “but, frankly, Clegg could proclaim his approval of motherhood and being kind to puppies and the Daily Mail would find a way to criticise him!”

    ——-

    Well yes because after tuition fee debacle and further u-turns on austerity and miserable compromise of AV etc, they might rightly fear that he might turn his back on motherhood and puppies at any moment
    And then mebbe blame Greece forrit…

  13. Soz about duplicate comments, browser was playing up…

  14. @Jayblanc – “I do fear that the Brexit position is pivoting from “The People have Spoken” to “The People have Spoken, and must not be allowed to change their minds.” ”

    Yes, this is in line with my views, with the slight caveat that it isn’t clear precisely what the people actually said.

    I have maintained a consitent line on this, and the Scottish referendum, pre dating the Scottish poll, in that I have always maintained a slight bewilderment about people trying to interpret what either of these votes would mean in the event of a yes/leave vote.

    Both campaigns were typified by grossly misleading claims and counter claims, and while the simplistic analysis is that they would mean leaving a union, the terms of the dissolution were completely unclear in both cases.

    Given that, and the constitutional significance of each vote, I have always said that for the health of our democracy, all sides should willingly accept a second, confirming vote, once the departure terms have been decided.

    I can’t for the life of me understand why Leavers aren’t completely gung ho for this confirming vote, as they would have us believe that we are heading for a golden future where everything the UK wants, the UK will get. What’s not to like?

    The only possible reason they have to refuse to trust the electorate a second time, is that for the confirming vote, there would be no room for l!es – the deal is done and dusted, only awaiting the ink on the dotted line.

    Are they afraid that we can’t have everything they have promised?

  15. “Hard to see why you would regard a vote before the fateful event as ‘profoundly undemocratic’ and one afterwards as “a perfectly democratic response” unless you want to make sure the people aren’t allowed to change their minds until it’s too late.”

    ———

    Yes, WHEN the people get to speak is v. Important. For the good functioning of democracy it is better if they get to speak when it won’t have much effect.

  16. “Are they afraid that we can’t have everything they have promised?”

    —–

    Some might be afraid they might change their minds themselves when they see the deal. Cammo’s deal wasn’t very good…

  17. “It’s really quite simple. We have voted to spite our face, so we must cut off our nose. Those opposed to cut off our nose, may hold another referendum to re-attach the nose after we have cut it off.”

  18. @CAMBRIDGERACHEL

    “No 10 spokesperson says the PM has “full confidence” in the Chancellor”
    New chancellor by the weekend?”

    ———-

    What if it’s Gove! Now that he and Boris seem to have conveniently made up?…

  19. Somerjohn

    “Hard to see why you would regard a vote before the fateful event as ‘profoundly undemocratic”

    I don’t,.that’s my point. We have had it already. It was a Referendum on our membership of the EU. We voted to leave, the Government rightly IMO, is taking us out.

    We just don’t agree and perhaps more importantly the PM agrees with my view.

  20. JAYBLANC

    That’s just your opinion and not one I share at all.

  21. @Somerjohn

    I think the issue is that if you have another “let’s just check” vote before actually doing anything, then the first vote never gets acted upon.

    There’s nothing particularly wrong with the principle of having re-runs of votes, maybe if there is shown to be a change of mood through some process or another, so long as it doesn’t lead to in practice to a situation where the executive pick and choose which democratic outcomes to implement and which to “implement, but only after we’ve had a vote to reverse the mandate…”

    If there were a new referendum which returned a majority for remain, for example, that still wouldn’t solve anything. Unless we wanted to go down the “arbitrary implementation” route, we’d have already set the precedent that one referendum doesn’t provide a mandate for action, and thus there would be no mandate to either leave *or* remain in the EU. We would be in limbo while we decided how to proceed to a result that provided whatever we thought a mandate for one or other option would entail. What do you suggest we would do in the meantime? I think countries are too large to practically obey the rules of quantum physics, or else we could happily be in and out at the same time, having a mandate for neither.

    What we have is two options, and however unsatisfactory the mandate for not being in the EU is, the mandate for being in the EU is even less satisfactory. We can only do (and must do) one of those two things, that’s why we have 50% + 1 vote election thresholds: even if the mandate is a slender as the fabled 50% + 1 vote, it’s the best mandate there is for any of the options. I think the argument against that process, when you boil it down, can really only be one against change of any description. Do we want a system that values above all else democratic will, or conservation of the status quo?

  22. @Popeye
    The problems with that argument are:
    – that we can actually try to do more than two things – you can characterise three even at a crude level: stay, ‘Hard’ Brexit and ‘Soft’ Brexit.
    – that we don’t actually know which, if any of these options can actually be executed.

    I still think we have to execute on Brexit, but it wouldn’t seem to be unreasonable to negotiate the best possible deal on trade with the EU, and then offer the electorate a binary choice of that (with any implications arising for immigration, etc.) or a full exit with no compromises.

  23. “I think the argument against that process, when you boil it down, can really only be one against change of any description. Do we want a system that values above all else democratic will, or conservation of the status quo?”

    ———-

    No, that doesn’t follow. It doesn’t follow that having reruns favours the statue quo. If the referendum had voted narrowly to remain, and brexiteers had pressed for another ref, that wouldn’t be pressing for status quo.

    If being out of EU then becomes status quo, pressing to re-enter also wouldn’t be status quo.

  24. POPEYE @Somerjohn
    I think the issue is that if you have another “let’s just check” vote before actually doing anything, then the first vote never gets acted upon

    But because the referendum act spelt out no consequences there is nothing to act upon.

    There is certainly a reasonable case for EU membership being annulled but no case at all for what to do next. Taking EEA membership would be a valid response, as would not converting WTO membership into full membership and truly “going it alone”, with an almost infinite set of intermediate positions equally valid.

    As the electorate were not asked to rank any of those options in any particular order, only Parliament can decide what the leastworst option is. Having evinced no consequences of the referendum, the current executive executive have no authority to choose. Only Parliament has.

    That’s what the London High Court is being asked to confirm right now. Should they get quick confirmation from the ECJ that A50 is reversible then the executive will almost certainly be allowed to file it provided a parliamentary vote is tabled within the two year window.

    If anyone here supported the “take back control” argument peddled endlessly by the leave campaign then they should surely support parliament having just that control.

  25. “Nice one, but I for one am happy to be called a “scoundrel” if it get us completely out of the EU”

    ———–

    Can they call you a scoundrel even if it doesn’t?…

  26. “I still think we have to execute on Brexit, but it wouldn’t seem to be unreasonable to negotiate the best possible deal on trade with the EU, and then offer the electorate a binary choice of that (with any implications arising for immigration, etc.) or a full exit with no compromises.”

    ———————-

    This is the thing. Peeps usually in favour of more choice suddenly against it when it comes to a vote on the Brexit deal?

    “The peeps have spoken”, sure, but does that mean they henceforth have to shut up?? Why can’t they speak some more?

    Unless, of course, they don’t wanna, e.g. polling shows some Scotties not keen on another referendum. This Is a bit different. It’s not just a rerun but voting on the subsequent Brexit deal. Even rejecting the deal doesn’t automatically mean rejecting Brexit, but can mean go back and negotiate some more.

    But anyways, what we need is polling to show whether peeps wanna continue to speak on the matter or not…

  27. Transcript of this morning’s High Court session is now available in PDF here.

    No sign of the afternoon session’s transcript yet but interesting to note the closing:
    Lord Chief Justice asks government lawyer, what if we say the Crown cannot trigger Article 50? Where does that leave us?

  28. @Carfrew

    Apologies, I obviously wasn’t clear. I wasn’t saying that re-runs of anything favoured the status quo; I was saying that any requirement for a mandate for implementation more onerous than a 50% + 1 vote favours the status quo over the democratic will.

  29. @thoughtful

    “Remember that the BBC receives a lot of money from the EU to promote it.”

    It doesn’t. It has mainly received EU funds to develop and deliver programmes and services for the World Service. Best not rely on the Daily Mail a nd Express for facts.

  30. @POPEYE

    Apologies, I obviously wasn’t clear. I wasn’t saying that re-runs of anything favoured the status quo; I was saying that any requirement for a mandate for implementation more onerous than a 50% + 1 vote favours the status quo over the democratic will.

    ———

    Well that helps, but still not out of the woods. One can argue a bigger mandate makes it more democratic. But anyway, a smaller mandate can act to preserve the status quo, if used to stop Something that would have otherwise changed, or been open to change sooner. An example is how just a slim majority may be required to change to five year terms.

  31. Speaking of reruns…

    …in the Times today…

    “A second independence referendum will be taken off the table if the UK government secures a soft Brexit, Angus Robertson said yesterday.

    The new deputy leader of the SNP made clear that the party would be satisfied if Theresa May secured a close, renewed relationship with Europe for either the UK or Scotland. The confirmation will be likely to infuriate some within the party who are adamant that the 2014 referendum be rerun.”

  32. of course it might allow for quibbling as to how soft is soft, with Nicola going “Soft means Soft” etc…

  33. @Carfrew

    “I think the argument, when you boil it down, can really only be against change.”

    Absolutely. I think we may be slightly talking at cross-purposes as I don’t think there is disagreement on that at least.

    The question is not what size mandate is best. If everyone wants the same thing, great! We don’t unfortunately get to choose that bit. The question is what ought to prevail where you have a slim mandate (say 50% + 1) and a slimmer one (50% – 1)? Do you enact the course of action with the best possible mandate there is, or do you arbitrarily pick through inaction whichever option is currently in force (through the method of setting some more onerous requirement for action, up to and including treating small margins differently to big ones)? That’s the democracy versus status quo argument.

    For the avoidance of doubt, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t acknowledge large victory margins as having a greater mandate than smaller margins. But rather that in treating them differently in how you enact them you begin to toy with what you mean by democracy. If an electorate is split, it’s going to have to be a least worst option I’m afraid: there’s not really an escape from that.

  34. Oops, looks like something in that copy-pasting went wrong! I intended to reference your point:

    “One can argue a bigger mandate makes it more democratic.”

    If it works this time…

  35. POPEYE @Carfrew
    I’m not saying that you shouldn’t acknowledge large victory margins as having a greater mandate than smaller margins. But rather that in treating them differently in how you enact them you begin to toy with what you mean by democracy. If an electorate is split, it’s going to have to be a least worst option I’m afraid: there’s not really an escape from that.

    Someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but the 1979 Scottish devolution referendum is the only one authorised by Westminster where a quota was required – in that case in addition to a majority it was required that 40% of the entire electorate vote for the assembly. That was put in by Lab’s awkward squad [including Skinner] and supported by the Cons, leading in turn to the slightly early demise of Callaghan’s government. I suspect that won’t be repeated.

    The Swiss system seems more logical, with 50%+ of the popular vote plus 50%+ of the cantons being necessary to pass any federal referendum so that the change is accepted pretty much everywhere. Unlike the UK, however, the consequences of the action voted upon do have to be defined and approved by parliament as feasible in advance.

  36. There’s also the fundamental issue that this nation has never before had such a fundamental and far-reaching national policy dictated by direct democracy. We have been, until now, a Liberally Representative Democracy.

    We were protected from 51% of the nation deciding to punch the noses of 49%, by a representatively elected parliament who could take the view that doing so would be a bad idea in the long run, even if it might be “democratic”.

    That’s even before you get into the issue that the referendum was not a clear decision on what *kind* of Brexit was to be undertaken.

    Or the way that the referendum was undertaken with clear misleading statements being made to ensure that the population couldn’t make an informed choice. I clearly remember being told that we absolutely were not voting to leave the Common Marketplace by the leaders of the Leave campaign, and that most of the benefits of being part of Europe would still be available to us if we voted Leave.

    And now that these things are coming into clearer focus, the cry comes out that we have to respect the democratic decision, and that the Referendum was a binding one, not an advisory one. Something that goes against the entire history of this nation’s constitutional law.

    This whole thing is a mess, and yet there are calls for the process to happen as quickly as possible, and that there can’t possibly be any review or chance to re-access before article 50 is triggered.

    No one can look at this with all honesty and say this is competent democratic government working correctly.

  37. I also have to ask this question of those who have been loud about “respecting democracy”…

    What is the origin of the mandate that allows May and Davies to be the final decision makers of when to trigger article 50, and the demands to be made in any negotiation?

    There was no mention of these issues in the referendum, so the mandate can not come from there.
    There was no mention of these issues in the Conservative party referendum, and Davies was not even a member of government at the time of or immediately following the last election.
    There has been no democratic mandate to appoint May as executive, not even from a limited franchise of the Conservative party.
    Parliament it’s self seems to contest the idea that the Government has sole mandate to proceed as it wishes.

    Where does this so called “democratic mandate” for a hard brexit come from?

    And if you can not answer that question, why do you keep berating people for “ignoring democracy”, when there isn’t really a democratic mandate for what’s happening?

  38. “A UKIP MEP who spent three nights in hospital after a row with a party colleague is quitting the party, saying it is in a “death spiral”.
    Steven Woolfe, who had been running to be the next leader, told the BBC there was “something rotten” in the party.”

    BBC

  39. “teven Woolfe is quitting Ukip because the party is “ungovernable” and beset by “infighting and toxicity”.”

    DT.

    May must think its Christmas already.

  40. THOUGHTFUL @Hireton

    So if the BBC lose all those grants presumably they will need to increase the licence fee.

    Another Brexit bonus?

  41. I think to be fair there is only one type of Brexit. That is we leave the EU (which now seems to be termed a “hard Brexit”). Much of the noise, both within and after the referendum campaign from both sides, the media *and* the electorate has been to do with the separate issue of “What future relationship do we have with the EU after we’ve left?”.

    There is a mandate for Brexit. There is no mandate for whatever future relationship follows, be that from none at all to rejoining!

  42. Hireton
    I don’t think thoughtless is that bothered about ‘facts’. Especially if they don’t support his view of the world.

  43. @thoughtful @bz

    Ho hum. You said in your original post that the BBC has received a “lot” of EU funding to promote the EU. The Telegraph link you have given confirms that is wrong as my reply made clear; in this case a quite modest grant was used for research and development. So your original post was wrong.

  44. @Popeye

    And yet the leading Leave campaigners, one of whom is now our Foreign Secretary, are on record as saying in his own words that a leave vote would not result in us losing access to any of the benefits of being a member of the common market.

    Since retaining access to the common market *was* essentially part of the leave manifesto, doesn’t that suggest there’s more mandate for remaining within the common market, then for hard brexit?

  45. @Valerie

    I know but you have to try.

  46. POPEYE
    There is a mandate for Brexit.

    Yes, but a very marginal one.

    There is no mandate for whatever future relationship follows, be that from none at all to rejoining!

    Agreed, but the Act gives no mandate for anything at all to happen except the referendum itself.

    Was there a mandate from UK subjects to renounce their own human rights accepted as constitutional by the ECJ? No

    Was there a mandate from NI subjects [who voted remain] to renounce the Belfast Agreement accepted as constitutional by the ECJ? No

    Will an A50 by May without parliamentary approval meet the requirement for it to be accepted as constitutional by the ECJ? Nobody knows

    At the very least, the current court challenges will be very helpful to May in determining what she can or cannot do. if she goes ahead anyway, putting the toothpaste back in the tube might be problematic. It will also help the rest of us subjects understand whether the UK is a democracy or not.

  47. @Jayblanc

    Careful, there weren’t any manifestos or winners or any of the normal expectations of party political elections. We had a binary choice and two official sets of advocates. A vote on the choice wasn’t a vote for either campaign in the same way that a vote for a party is a vote for their policies in a general election.

    It’s a bit messy, in terms of voter and media expectation as much as anything else, that such a vote doesn’t follow the form of elections that we’re used to. The solution, I would propose, is not to formally try and treat such referenda as a party political vote, but not to have official, adversarial campaign groups at all! I think we would probably have talked more about the referendum question itself in the recent one if that had been the case.

  48. I wonder if a narrow vote, say 52 – 48, in a subsequent Scottish independence referendum would be considered by the UK government as not a decisive enough vote for a ‘hard’ independent Scotland?

    It would be quite interesting if the UK government announced it was a vote for a type of independence, but there remained plenty of options for negotiation about what type of independence people were going to get – and that the 48% should be considered in the resolution.

    There’s certainly a chance that the SNP could provoke that kind of response if they overplay their hand now.

    (I don’t think they will, though. I thought their leadership has problem chosen the wisest course at the moment.)

  49. “The Danish border controls are set to expire on November 12, but the immigration and integration minister, Inger Støjberg, is already on the offensive for an extension. And she is not alone.

    In the wake of meetings in Luxembourg yesterday with four of her colleagues from Germany, Sweden, Norway and Austria, a letter is being drafted to be sent to Brussels in an effort to convince the EU Commission into permitting an extension of the border control.

    “We are working on sending a joint inquiry,” Støjberg told TV2.
    “We want an extension of the border control based on a lack of control in the outer borers of Europe and the continuing stream of unregistered refugees and migrants in Europe. And very much also because the real terror threat means we must check who comes to Europe.”

    cphPost Online.

    Free Movement ?

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