In terms of support for Brexit we end the year in pretty much the same place as we were on June 23rd. Among some there is a desire to jump on the slightest bit of evidence to suggest that people have changed their mind one way or the other. Overall however, the polling suggests that public opinion remains largely unchanged.

There have been numerous polls since the referendum that have asked how people would vote in another referendum tomorrow (below are all the polls I can find in the last three months):

ComRes/CNN (18th Dec) – Remain 45, Leave 47 (Remain 49, Leave 51)
Gallup International (7th Dec) – Remain 54, Leave 46 (Remain 54, Leave 46)
ComRes/Mirror (27th Nov) – Remain 46, Leave 47 (Remain 49, Leave 51)
YouGov (25th Oct) – Remain 44, Leave 43 (Remain 51, Leave 49)
BMG (24th Oct) – Remain 45, Leave 43 (Remain 51, Leave 49)
Survation/ITN (12th Oct) – Remain 44, Leave 44 (Remain 50, Leave 50)

All except the Gallup International poll are within the margin of error of the referendum result (I think the contrast is because the Gallup poll has a very large proportion of university educated respondents, which correlates with support for EU membership). On average they show only a small movement towards Remain and – looking closer – even that may be illusionary. Looking at the actual tables for the polls none of them show any real net movement between Remain and Leave voters, the small move to Remain is only because people who didn’t vote last time claim they are more likely to vote Remain this time. I would treat that with some degree of scepticism – of course, it could be those people took the result for granted and would be spurred into action in a second referendum… or it could be those who couldn’t be bothered last time probably wouldn’t be bothered in a second referendum either.

In addition, YouGov have asked a regular question for the Times on whether people think leaving was the right or wrong way for Britain to vote. That too shows no obvious evidence of Bregret:

YouGov (5th Dec) – Right 44%, Wrong 42%
YouGov (29th Nov) – Right 44%, Wrong 45%
YouGov (15th Nov) – Right 46%, Wrong 43%
YouGov (12th Oct) – Right 45%, Wrong 43%

Both sides of the debate have taken other figures to try and claim that the balance of opinion has shifted in their direction. In recent days I’ve seen several people who really should know better getting excited over voodoo polls in local newspapers that claim to show a big shift towards Remain – rather than let this post get overtaken by a rant, I’ve addressed that elsewhere. On the other side of the divide, some Brexit supporters have a tendency to misinterpret this YouGov poll to claim shows 68% now support leaving the EU. This is a little disingenuous – the poll doesn’t show that support for leaving has grown from 52% to 68%, it’s a different question asking about what the government should do. The 68% includes 23% of people who say they do NOT personally support Brexit, but that the government has a duty to do it.

Neither does there appear to be much current appetite for a second referendum. ComRes for CNN found 35% thought there should a referendum on the terms of exit, but 53% thought there should not. A similar recent question by Opinium for Keiran Pedley found very similar results – people opposed a second referendum on the terms of Brexit by 52% to 33% and also opposed one if the economy worsened, again by 52% to 33%. A poll by YouGov found that only 26% of people thought it was legitimate for those opposed to Brexit to campaign for a second referendum, 59% thought it was not.

As things stand public opinion does not appear to have moved since the referendum and people do not want a referendum, but as ever they are only a snapshot, not a prediction of how attitudes to Brexit may change in the future. Is there anything we can tell from current polls about how public attitudes towards Brexit might develop? There are two obvious “known knowns” ahead that could potentially change attitudes to Brexit: the negotiations and the economic impact.

The financial angle depends on what the economic impacts are and how long they take to show themselves. I am not an economist so won’t seek to speculate. I will urge caution though about polls showing that people would turn against Brexit if it cost them x amount of money, caused a recession, unemployment or so on. Should the economy collapse, I have no doubt that it would have a major impact on attitudes to both the government and to Brexit. I am less confident about what impact more modest economic bad news will have. Polls attempting to measure this assume that people will blame any economic ups and down on Brexit, and I don’t think they will – or at least, they will interpret it through the prism of their existing support or opposition. People who opposed Brexit will blame economic bad news on it, but people who supported it will blame it on other factors, or on obstructive Europeans, or Remoaners talking Britain down or whatnot. It is the nature of human beings that we are very good at defending our beliefs against data that might challenge them.

More interesting are the negotiations. We don’t yet know what sort of Brexit the government will be aiming for (well, not in any useful terms. We know what colour Brexit they want, but this is of limited use in judging potential public reactions) but given there are different possibilities and people have different preferences, once firm targets are announced some people will likely be disappointed.

Lots of polling evidence shows that the public would like to maintain free trade with the EU, but would also like to limit EU immigration – in Boris Johnson’s words, the public’s preference is clearly to have their cake and eat it. This is unlikely to be available.

If they have to choose, the polling evidence suggests the public are very evenly divided. There have been various polls using various different wordings that amount to a forced choice between EU market access or cutting EU immigration – all show a tight divide. An ORB poll this month found people agreeing by 44% to 40% that more control over immigration was more important than keeping EU free trade; a YouGov poll in November asking a forced choice between market access for British exporters and reducing immigration broke down as 49% for market access, 51% for immigration; ComRes in November found 42% would prioritise the single market over immigration, 43% would prioritise cutting EU immigration; NatCen found 49% of people said we should accept freedom of movement as the price of staying in the single market, 51% that we should not.

Looking only at immigration vs market access is probably taking to tight a focus anyway. I suspect the public will judge it as a overall package – as a whole, does it seem like a good deal for Britain? Even there is evidence is contradictory though: Opinium asked people to pick between a “soft Brexit” scenario and a “hard Brexit” scenario and people preferred the former by 41% to 35% (though the question also made clear that soft Brexit was economically better, which the public won’t necessarily think). YouGov have asked people to rate a number of scenarios – a hard Brexit on WTO terms, a limited trade deal along the Canadian model and a Norway type deal remaining in the EEA. On those a Canadian type deal polls significantly better than a Norway type relationship – 50% think it would be good for Britain, 65% think it would respect the referendum and 51% would be happy. In comparison the figures for a Norway type outcome would be 34% good for Britain, 33% respect the referendum, 37% happy (WTO terms would also be bad – 34% good for Britain, 66% respect result, 37% happy).

That is the narrow path which Theresa May must navigate – a Brexit that doesn’t mess up Britain’s trading relationship with Europe so much it sinks the economy, yet is not perceived by Leave voters as a betrayal. If we end up with a Brexit that has tougher consequences that some Leave voters expected then there is potential for public opinion to move against it. On the other hand, if we end up with a Brexit that retains more links with the European Union than some Leave voters hoped for there is the potential for a betrayal narrative to take hold, presumably to the benefit of UKIP. Either situation may bring division within the Conservative party, which has only a wafer thin majority to begin with.

Ultimately, I suppose those are two questions that matter about public opinion on Brexit. One, will public opinion move sufficiently against Brexit to make it avoidable? Two, how will it impact on the popularity of the Conservative government and opposition parties?

To answer the first one, as yet there has been little or no net movement in opinion since the referendum, the majority of people think the government have a duty to implement the results of the referendum and and the majority of people are opposed to revisiting the question. However, given the vote was only 52-48 it wouldn’t take much to tip opinion in favour of staying once the consequences become a bit more visible. It remains to be seen if the negotiations or economic developments do change things. Getting majority support for a second referendum is a much bigger ask and would be a necessity if there is any chance of a second referendum (well, counting 1975 a third referendum) has any chance of delivering a different result to 2016. Anti-elitism was an important factor in the vote, and the perception that an uncaring and distant political elite didn’t like what the public said so wants them to vote again differently would be a very powerful narrative.

As for the political parties, Brexit is the mission that has been forced upon Theresa May’s government and the yardstick they will inevitably be judged by. Thus far the public think they have been carrying it out badly, yet this has not damaged their position in the polls (presumably because it is still early days). If Brexit doesn’t work out well for them, they will suffer – especially given the high expectations of some Brexit supporters. The government’s great challenge will be to sell the compromises that will be necessary, the difficulty will be persuading the public that such compromises are either unavoidable or in Britain’s interests… as opposed to being the result of government ineptitude, backsliding or lack of ambition. If people believe the latter – that a government led by someone who never really wanted Brexit anyway is failing to be ambitious enough in our Brexit negotiations, I imagine it will be UKIP who benefit. If they deliver Brexit that’s hardness is beyond doubt, but the economy collapses, who knows who will benefit…


475 Responses to “Where public opinion on Brexit stands”

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  1. @Danny

    “In other word, whether or how much an apparent improvement in exports has overcome the drop in payment for those exports because of devaluation of the pound?”

    All our export customers have always paid us in GBP, we have never allowed any other policy. They don’t have to buy from us, but our business deals in GBP when it comes to incoming payments. (Of course we pay for a good deal of our imports in USD, but we use forward contracts so no need for a dollar account and associated complications with cash in different places. We pay for the dollars as they’re drawn down.)

    So anyway, in conclusion, if other companies had any sense I assume they also were billing in GBP – which of course is what has made them so much more competitive as our currency has weakened, drastically reducing the buyer’s costs – hence the boost in the published numbers for export.

    I assume those who may, for some reason, have been billing in USD or EUR etc for their exports won’t be the ones who have got the boost, they will be battling instead.

    Hope this helps your ponderings.

  2. AW:

    Apologies, I was not attempting to say that the strike was justified in a political sense but, instead that it was legal (and hence legally justified). This was intended as a reprimand to those who were discussing the strike as being justified or not (in the sense of the reasons for the strike: I now realise the way I worded matters did not convey this and it appeared I was taking sides. I do try my best to avoid partisan comments, but to err is human.

  3. Danny

    Sorry not going to reply. I got drawn into discussing Brexit again yesterday and got moderated. Obviously it’s a waste if my time to write things that get moderated (and AW’s to moderate them) so i will go back to what I have been trying to do for some time, which is comment on opinion polls and occasionally posting economic updates.

  4. BT

    @”I assume those who may, for some reason, have been billing in USD or EUR etc for their exports won’t be the ones who have got the boost, they will be battling instead.”

    Why? Their customers will pay the same price as they did before the £ fell. They will have the same number of dollars from their exports-but more £ when they are exchanged.

    Exporters who bill in Dollars also have the possibility to increase competitiveness by reducing their unit dollar price, whilst leaving their unit £ income unchanged.

    Large corporations with significant currency exposure use hedging anyway to smooth ER fluctuation effects.

  5. The biggest economic question this year is what will happen to inflation given the state of the £. Inflation can bring with it a number of problems e.g. impact on wage demands and industrial relations and impact on interest rates. Stagflation is a real possibility given our poor productivity.

  6. Colin

    No, you’ve got it the wrong way round. Such exporters will be getting LESS pounds for their dollars with a weaker pound / stronger dollar.

    NB Re your other point, there’s only so much you can hedge with such a huge correction having taken place and such uncertainty remaining even now.

  7. BT

    $ 1500 billed-exchanged at £1=$1.5 gets you £1000

    $1500 billed-exchanged at £1=$1.25 gets you £1200

    But if you are an importer being billed in dollars-it costs you £200 in the above example .

    I agree that Hedging isn’t a solution to fundamental revaluation.

  8. @Peter Cairns re state run railways in Europe. To be fair, they are being subsidised by the UK taxpayer and rail/bus passenger via their contracts with the D(a)fT

  9. @WB

    “The biggest economic question this year is what will happen to inflation given the state of the £. Inflation can bring with it a number of problems e.g. impact on wage demands and industrial relations and impact on interest rates. Stagflation is a real possibility given our poor productivity.”

    Inflation will go up, and up sharply. It will definitely reach 3% even if you use the voodoo government measure, CPI, and probably 4% if you stick to tried and tested RPI. No matter what tricks the government uses, you can’t hide inflation.

  10. @JAMES KAY

    “Tancred
    ” … but rationalism never stirs the blood does it? I’ll always choose romanticism over rationalism, and I think most people will too.”
    So indyref was won by romantic Yes voters? Which would have included yourself, should you have been franchised?”

    No, because many (not all) remainers are romantic and idealistic about European unity. The leavers were mainly nationalist romantics. Overall, more rationalists backed remain, but each view is a mix.

  11. BT says,
    “All our export customers have always paid us in GBP”
    Maybe so, but they do still have to convert their own currency into pounds to give to you. The cost to them is measured in their own currency. So the question is, does the UK as a whole end up with more worth in foreign currency, or less. It simply occurred to me that rising pound value of exports (good news) could still be falling value measured in foreign currency (bad news).

  12. An early name in the frame to replace Sir Ivan in Europe is Lord Digby Jones.

    He’d bat for Britain.

  13. Absolutely dreadful poll for Labour – 24%.

    Just 1% to go now and my prediction after Corby’s re-election will come in. I see The Fabian Society are proposing Labour’s nadir could be 18%-20%.

    Who could have predicted this when Ed Miliband stepped down in June 2015?

    It’s interesting to note that Labour voters are -19 on May but -22 on Corbyn! I can’t remember ever seeing that in the past.

    On another one of my previous musings on the logic of Ireland leaving the EU because of Brexit and doing a trade deal with the UK and USA, it seems the scales are beginning to drop from some eyes as reality starts to dawn:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/03/ireland-should-not-rule-out-leaving-eu-says-ex-diplomat-ray-bassett

  14. @Colin
    You are right – to the extent that exporters have any inputs denominated in £ they will have an increased £ profit margin due to devaluation of the £.

    The currency of billing is irrelevant….

  15. Back on the trains…
    It seems our passengers pay a lot more than continental European passengers, but that the taxpayer subsidy is much higher elsewhere.
    We also have the oddity of the ROSCOs which seem to have been a licence to print money.
    Does anybody know of any studies that compare the full cost of railways in different countries i.e. Subsidy and fares combined? This is surely the start of a measure of whether our system delivers vfm.

  16. Sea Change

    I concur with regards the Republic. It would seem to make much sense for them to cut the EU adrift and restore the Irish Punt.

    They could then join us as we forge a new path; in time, I could see them in the Commonwealth.

    With the Americans loving all things Irish, with us sharing a border and language, the future could be very bright.

  17. @jasper
    Perhaps the USA will apply to rejoin the British Empire too. A young Polish chap I canvassed last year said he thought the Brits should re-establish the empire, for everyone’s benefit. Perhaps we can make Boris Viceroy of Ascension Island or something

  18. Jasper22/Seachange,

    You could add Cyprus and Malta to your list of nations who might dump the Euro for Sterling…as your already in fantasy land.

    Still it would be interesting to see some polling on it.

    What percentage of the population of Ireland, Malta or Cyprus want to leave the Euro?

    What percentage of the population of Ireland, Malta or Cyprus want to Join a Sterling Zone?

    What percentage of the Britains want Ireland, Malta or Cyprus want to leave the Euro.

    What percentage of the Britains want Ireland, Malta or Cyprus want to Join a Sterling Zone?

    What Percentage of Australians, New Zealanders or Canadians want to join a Sterling Zone?

    What percentage of Britains want Australians, New Zealanders or Canadians want to join a Sterling Zone?

    What Percentage of Indians, Pakistanis or Nigerians want to join a Sterling Zone?

    What Percentage of Britains want Indians, Pakistanis or Nigerians want to join a Sterling Zone?

    Unlike poll to be held but I wouldn’t be surprised if other countries attitudes differed markedly from ours!

    Peter.

  19. WB – “The biggest economic question this year is what will happen to inflation given the state of the £”

    UK inflation for the year to November was just 1.2%

    Figures are just out for eurozone inflation for the year to December – it’s 1.1%, jumping from 0.6% in the year to November.

    This is the effect of all that QE all the central banks have been pumping into the system around the world.

    What will happen is that base rates rise. Carney’s ego probably won’t allow him to admit he made a mistake in August, but the other members of the BoE committee will over-rule him.

    Fed interest rates will likely rise three times this year, and our rates will go back to what they were before the referendum, and perhaps a bit above.

    The ECB has a tricky job, they have to keep rates low to help the southern europeans, but in places like Belgium, inflation is already much higher than it is in the UK, and these places might start overheating. A reverse problem of what happened in the early 2000’s.

  20. Colin

    Apologies, it was me getting my wires crossed.

    The real point here is, that the £ devaluation isn’t going to help increase exports for those selling in other currencies than GBP, unless the British companies take the proactive step of actually reducing their prices. Maybe some companies do sell in other currencies and perhaps that is what they have done since Brexit (reduce prices I mean, as they still get just as much £ from it as they did before).

  21. Jasper 22

    Currently 80% of voters in the Irish Republic are in favour of remaining in the EU, which has helped them develop economically enromously over the last forty years. And then there’s a small matter of fighting for independence from England. I wouldn’t get too excited by a single diplomat

  22. P.S. To illustrate what I meant about inflation rates being different in each eurozone country, here is the breakdown for the year to November 2016 (when the average eurozone inflation in at 0.6% for the year to Nov):

    http://www.inflation.eu/inflation-rates/cpi-inflation.aspx

    Austria’s CPI was 1.35% in the year to November 2016

    Belgium’s CPI was 2.03% in the year to Nov 2016

    But Italy’s CPI came in at only 0.09% in the year to Nov 2016 – they are very close to deflation.

    The average eurozone inflation for the year to December 2016 is 1.1%, we don’t have the breakdown by country yet, but it’s likely that it surged in the northern countries while Greece and Italy remained mired in near deflation conditions.

  23. Peter Cairns [SNP]

    I don’t know why you mention those other countries – I’m talking about the Republic of Ireland.

    50% of Irish Beef exports come here

    200,000 Irish people are employed as a result of their exports to Britain – the
    value of Irish exports to Britain has never been higher.

    Rather like Scotland’s most important market being England – the British single market is much more important than the EU to the north British.

  24. @Danny 3.22 am

    ‘“Mrs May is queen of all she surveys”
    She became PM in a vote agreed upon by conservative MPs, who then declined to field any candidates against her as leader, so there could not be any mistakes in who got the job. She is massively the result of tactical voting, and it must be questioned how much of that is real support from MPs.’

    Completely wrong. Once the Tory MPs had chosen the two candidates to go on the ballot paper, they lost all control of the leadership contest.

    The Tory party works very, very differently from the Labour party. It is easy for an MP to get nominated in a leadership election, and after each round of balloting of MPs the bottom placed candidate drops out. There is also a convention that any other candidates who clearly have no chance of making the final top two (who go on the member’s ballot) also drop out to avoid wasting everybody’s time. After the first ballot Crabb and Fox were both miles short and so dropped out immediately. Third placed Gove canvassed MPs and discovered that he had no chance of overtaking Leadsom and so dropped out, leaving a ballot of Leadsom v. May to go to the members.

    YouGov produced a poll of Tory party members on the Friday night show May in the lead with members 80% – 20%. Leadsom’s campaign team spent the weekend talking to local area party Chairmen, only to be told that May’s lead was solid and there would be very little movement. Losing 55% – 45% is honourable, losing 80% – 20% is just embarrassing. Leadsom did the right thing and didn’t waste everybody’s time; she dropped out and May won. Had Leadsom thought she had any chance to win the ballot she would have carried on. She was very shocked to discover how little support she enjoyed with party members.

    It showed the Tory leadership system as a remarkably efficient and effective way of choosing a leader. Almost any MP can stand, the final two candidates are the two most acceptable to the Parliamentary party with whom they will have to work, nobody grandstands and wastes everyone else’s time; nor do they waste the country’s time. It was very democratic.

    In case you are unaware, Boris didn’t stand because he appointed a campaign manager, who after an evening’s canvassing told him he had no chance of getting onto the ballot to members. So he did the Tory thing; he didn’t waste everybody’s time, he said he wouldn’t stand. Had he thought he could win, he would have sunk his teeth in and fought hard.

    Compare and contrast with Labour.

  25. “An early name in the frame to replace Sir Ivan in Europe is Lord Digby Jones.
    He’d bat for Britain.”

    Why would a partner in a regional law firm who then climbed his way through the CBI bureaucracy to become the “voice of industry” but without any significant commercial, European or negotiating experience or success be a suitable replacement?

  26. Some more,generally good economic news:-

    Markit/CIPS UK Construction PMI®

    New order growth hits 11-month high in December

    Key findings:

    Robust and accelerated upturn in new work

    Construction output increases at fastest pace since March

    Input cost inflation at highest level since April 2011

    Summary:

    UK construction companies signalled a positive end to the year, led by the fastest rise in new order volumes since January 2016. Stronger demand patterns resulted in sustained job creation and a broad-based upturn in business activity during December. However, the construction sector continued to experience intense cost pressures as suppliers passed on higher imported raw material prices. The latest rise in overall input costs was the steepest for just over five-and-a-half years. At 54.2 in December, up from 52.8 in November, the seasonally adjusted Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI® ) signalled a robust and accelerated expansion of overall construction output. The headline index has now posted above the 50.0 no-change mark for four months running, and the latest reading signalled the fastest pace of expansion since March 2016. Anecdotal evidence suggested that improving order books and a general rebound in business conditions had helped to lift construction output in December.

  27. Hireton

    There would be no chance of Digby going native. He’s Red White and Blue, through and through.

    The days of the chumocracy are over.

  28. “There would be no chance of Digby going native. He’s Red White and Blue, through and through.
    The days of the chumocracy are over.”

    So no qualifications at all to do the job. Thanks for confirming that so quickly.

  29. @PETER CAIRNS (SNP)

    “Your actual figure was “More than 230,000 commuters claim”. That is an assertion not a fact!

    As Anthony continually points out lots of poll questions ask what people would do if such and such happens, like moving abroad if X win the Election, but it rarely turns out like that.

    I have no doubt that rail fares play a part, but so will wages, house prices and a host of other factors,that doesn’t make it the main cause or the 230k figure accurate.
    Peter

    January 3rd, 2017 at 5:10 pm”

    —————–

    Aw come on Pete, it said “230,000 commuters CLAIM” which, in using the word “CLAIM”, pretty obviously acknowledges it’s an assertion. You are in danger of resorting to levels of quibbling normally reserved for Indy stuff!! Moreover I think we are most of us aware that whatever is being polled, peeps don’t necessarily do what they say etc. (hence the shy phenomenon).

    More generally, given the concerns AW frequently points out about reading too much into things, given flaws in polling and responses, our challenge is to look for additional methods/indicators to overcome this.

    With this in mind, the critical point to note here, is that while it’s true peeps may not do what they say, (and as AW notes, even if they have ALREADY stopped using the train, there might be other reasons for this decision besides fares), once rail fares reach 14% of income, that’s liable to have quite a significant impact on a good number of people’s choices.

    Especially given how other essentials have gone up in price over the years compared to wages. If peeps don’t have that much disposable income in the first place, then they are liable to be more price sensitive over rail fares etc.

  30. It’s often been suggested that votes in the indyref were part of the same pattern as Brexit, electing Trump etc, and that the same drivers were at work in the same direction.

    Graham Stark has done some interesting analysis of the data, along similar lines to the Rowntree and LSE analyses, but using the Scottish data for indyref and Brexit votes, which shows “that the model explains both votes well, but the factors (age, sex, etc.) often work very differently in the two cases – sometimes working in the opposite way, sometimes working strongly in one case but not the other.”

    https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/10077/graham-stark-were-indyref-and-brexit-driven-same-factors

    For those in the rest of GB he suggests that there “is no real evidence of a distinct ‘London effect’ for Remain, or a north-east of England effect for Leave. But there are pro-Remain Scottish and Welsh effects – although Wales voted for Brexit, in this model the Leave vote was lower than you’d expect given incomes, education and age.”

  31. “50% of Irish Beef exports come here
    200,000 Irish people are employed as a result of their exports to Britain – the
    value of Irish exports to Britain has never been higher.”

    2014 figures for Irish exports by value :

    Bovine meat exports account for 1.4% by value of Irish exports.

    By value Irish exports are 45% to rEU (exc UK), 20% to USA, 14% to the UK. (Belgium/Luxembourg at 13% is nearly as significant as the UK).

  32. @Jasper22

    I suspect I’m not alone in not giving a flying wxyz what colour the Brexit deal is. I’m interested in the negotiators having at least a semblence of understanding what it is they are doing.

    When we go to the EU27 saying “we want X” (always assuming we have the feintest idea what we want), it is essential to be able to give reasoned relevant arguments when they say “No, because Y”.

  33. The German inflation figure has come in: 1.7% in the year to December 2016, up from 0.7% in the year to November. See

    http://www.euronews.com/2017/01/03/german-inflation-rises-sharply-unemployment-falls

    They’re already agitating for interest rate rises, which of course would kill Southern Europe.

  34. GUYMONDE
    Perhaps we can make Boris Viceroy of Ascension Island or something

    Given his transatlantic roots, Viceroy of the Chagos Archipelago would be more appropriate.

  35. toh

    you have been warned. Can anyone guess who will be the first one to revise 2017 growth projections upwards?

    german inflation

    Candy
    I agree. the germans will be getting jittery.The old bundesbank warhorses will be trotted out. The perfect storm for Merkel of rising immigation and rising inflation.Job prospects for 3.7million spaniards just got worse

  36. Peter cairns

    actually there was a poll about Eire exit ( hereinafter “exit”) over the new year. 60/40 stay.About the same as scotland.

    That seems a pretty good foundation for a leave campaign if county Kerry grass begins to look greener outside the EU

  37. S Thomas

    Got a link to that Irish poll, or even which company did it?

    I can’t see it coming up when I search for it.

  38. Newsnight

    For once it was quite good last night despite evan Davies looking like he has taken up residence on the embankment in the hope of picking up a cheap house in the post brexit property collapse.

    Matthew Paris articulated what i perceive to be a hope of the remainers that when the people see how bad a brexit deal is on the table they will turn against it. The contrary view was articulated that quite the reverse is likely. when the people see that it is the german sand french etc who are bringing this about they are more likelyl to turn on them rather then embrace them in a great reconciliation.It is therefore conceivable that the brexit vote will harden the more difficult it becomes.

  39. oldnat

    it was the gallop poll that had uk at 54/46 stay and was the subject of discussion.

    BZ brought it to our attention.i think, last week although i lose a sense of time at this point in the year

  40. S Thomas

    You mean this one?

    http://www.redcresearch.ie/brexit-little-impact-positive-support-eu-ireland/

    The one that showed “80% of Irish citizens suggest they would vote to remain in the EU, slightly higher than recorded in 2015.”

    80/20 is not the same as 60/40.

  41. old nat

    mea culpa.60/40 was the italians in the next column.more work to do in Ireland it seems!!!

  42. S Thomas

    However, thanks for raising it!

    When I originally alerted folk to this poll, it was from UK sites which was somewhat limited in theiir scope (Quelle surprise!)

    The RedC site is much more illuminating, as it gives the figures for the same questions for 2014 and 2015 as well.

    For the UK, Anthony suggested that the Gallup figures were skewed because “because the Gallup poll has a very large proportion of university educated respondents, which correlates with support for EU membership”.

    It may be (and Anthony would need to check back on this) that Gallup changed their methodology during these years, but for the UK, the percentages who would vote to leave the EU were –

    2014 51% : 2015 54% : 2016 46%

    Unless there was a methodological change, then that would indicate a drop of 8% in those wanting to leave the EU between 2015 and 2016.

  43. TOH

    More good economic news. Thanks for being a ray of sunshine amidst all these naysayers.

    I don’t know how much longer we can cope with this slump…..

  44. @Mike Pearce
    ‘So true. A richly undeserving poll lead for the present Government. I do wonder if there is a shy Labour vote out there given Corbyn’s apparent unpopularity.’
    —————————————
    Sorry Mike, the truth is that Corbyn is unelectable.

  45. High Street footfall in the run-up to Christmas was very poor, following on from the disappointing figures from Next.

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-4088176/UK-high-street-suffers-quietest-December-TWO-DECADES-shoppers-cut-spending.html

    Shoppers did not go on-line either.

    I really don’t think we need worry excessively about inflation, which I very much doubt will even go to 3%.

  46. Allan Christie,

    If trains are overcrowded, then raising fares makes sense. We don’t say “diamonds are really expensive, despite their scarcity”.

  47. Sir Tim Barrow, experienced Foreign Office diplomat, appointed as UK ambassador to the EU.

  48. I made a similar point here yesterday, but Mike Smithson does it with more detail, with figures from the YouGov poll:

    “Anti-BREXIT yellows can siphon away blue votes as well as red ones.

    While most pundits appear to have focused on Labour’s problems over BREXIT let’s not forgot that the Tory support base is even more divided”.

    http://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2017/01/04/theoretically-at-least-tmay-is-the-leader-with-biggest-challenge-keeping-support-together-over-brexit/

  49. The Lib dems do sound very chipper in the south west, and I do see merit in their view that they can work to capitalise on Tory discomfits over Brexit.

    Lib Dems have a long folk memory of working up from nothing, in a way that Labour doesn’t. The response of Labour in Scotland contrasts significantly with how the Lib Dems are trying to rebuild in England, and I suspect the yellows will have more success in this by 2020.

  50. Looking at the Lib Dems in the South West, based on 2015 boundaries, they came second in 20 seats, each time to the Conservatives.

    A swing from Conservative to Lib Dems would net the following seats:

    5% – Thornbury & Yates, St Ives, Torbay, Bath, Yeovil (5)

    10% – plus Cheltenham, Devon North, Wells, Cornwall North, St Austell & Newquay, Chippenham (11)

    15% – plus Dorset Mid & Polle North, Newton Abbot, Taunton Deane, Truro and Falmouth, Dorset West. (16)

    I need to check the position with the new proposed boundaries.

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