Just to catch up, YouGov put out new voting intention figures yesterday (though the fieldwork was from last week). topline figures were CON 39%(nc), LAB 28%(+2), LDEM 11%(+1), UKIP 13%(-1). While the changes since the week before are not significant in themselves, eleven points is actually the lowest Conservative lead YouGov have shown for several months. It’s also worth a glance at the “most important issues” question in the tables: the NHS has risen ten points since YouGov last asked the question back in November, making it the second most important concern after Brexit. It’s possible to interpret that as health rising up the agenda and helping Labour’s support… but it’s equally possible that the changes in voting intention are just normal, random sample variation. Still, worth keeping an eye on it. Full tabs here.

There was also a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday at the weekend. Their topline figures were CON 38%, LAB 29%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%, GRN 2%. Tabs are here


315 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 39, LAB 28, LDEM 11, UKIP 13”

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  1. Not sure if this has been picked up previously, but inflation jumped to 1.6% last month.

    That’s higher than anticipated, and since then further falls i sterling suggest there really is quite a long way to go on this.

    I’ve felt for some time that the inflation forecasts were optimistic, and this may well be a sign that it’s going o be a lot worse then many expected.

  2. Anthony,
    There was also an Opinium poll in the Observer _
    Con 38 Lab 30 UKIP 14 LD 7.

  3. So May has finally spoken, pretty much in line with what has been extensively trailed:
    – no membership of Single Market or EEA
    – no membership of Customs Union
    – aim to secure an open border with RoI
    – aim to secure tariff free access to EU markets through bespoke negotiation
    – aim to secure reciprocal clearance for EU citizens to remain in UK and UK citizens to remain in EU
    – no longer under jurisdiction of ECJ
    – aim to secure transitional arrangements with EU on a sector specific basis

    I’m not sure exactly what her 12 points and over-arching principals are, but I think this was the gist….

  4. Thing that inflation figures don’t tend to highlight is…

    You could have prices go up twenty percent one year, but next year, it’s only three percent.

    And peeps may go, well three percent is much better!! But if your wages haven’t gone up much, you are still paying much of the twenty percent more from a year ago. Unless there’s a big uptick in wages, you continue to be worse off from what happened previously.

    Unless you have assets that went up too etc.

  5. BFR
    @”I’m not sure exactly what her 12 points and over-arching principals are, ”

    courtesy DT :-

    At a glance | Theresa May’s 12-point Brexit plan

    Provide certainty about the process of leaving the EU

    Control of our own laws

    Strengthen the Union between the four nations of the United Kingdom

    Maintain the Common Travel Area with Ireland

    Brexit must mean control of the number of people who come to Britain from Europe

    Rights for EU nationals in Britain and British nationals in the EU

    Protect workers’ rights

    Free trade with European markets through a free trade agreement

    New trade agreements with other countries

    The best place for science and innovation

    Co-operation in the fight against crime and terrorism

    A smooth, orderly Brexit

  6. Point 1-“Certainty” includes a vote in both Houses on the Final Deal.

  7. The FTA with EU & continued access to joint projects ,include the possibility of a “payment” by UK.

  8. Right at the end she repeated, the Hammond threat :-

    “Yet I know there are some voices calling for a punitive deal that punishes Britain and discourages other countries from taking the same path.
    That would be an act of calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe. And it would not be the act of a friend.
    Britain would not – indeed we could not – accept such an approach. And while I am confident that this scenario need never arise – while I am sure a positive agreement can be reached – I am equally clear that no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain.
    Because we would still be able to trade with Europe. We would be free to strike trade deals across the world. And we would have the freedom to set the competitive tax rates and embrace the policies that would attract the world’s best companies and biggest investors to Britain. And – if we were excluded from accessing the Single Market – we would be free to change the basis of Britain’s economic model.”

  9. Well no surprises then. Mrs May has been quite clear and consistent ever since her conference speech that we are leaving the EU in the fullest sense. Thanks Colin for summerising the points. I have never understood all this talk from Remainers of muddle and lack of clarity. The PM is totally clear in which direction she want’s the UK to go and has been from the beginning

    Interesting currency market reaction. The £ is up 2.5% against the $ and 1.65% against the Euro. Not what was predicted.

  10. Should be interesting to watch Scottish Indy polling over the next few months.

  11. Having heard an extended news item over May’s speech, I think we can now see exactly what she is thinking. I think she has been somewhat unfairly portrayed recently over the Brexit strategy, as providing a running commentary on negotiating position misses the point of how negotiations work, but that’s politics.

    Now I think we can see what is a set of proposals which is internally logical, at least. It should also be viewed as an opening shot in the negotiations, carefully choreographed with Hammond’s ‘threats’ over the weekend, which were clearly designed to try to head off attempts to impose a punitive deal.

    The May proposals still look optimistic – in essence, while saying she wants to leave the EU and not leave some bits but keep other parts, it’s clear that that is actually what she is asking for. She wants to leave all the EU structures behind, but keep free trade, and she is also prepared to pay to stay in some of the good things.

    Again, I don’t see a problem with that as a negotiating position. I don’t really see any way the UK could have signaled it’s intention to stay in the single market, without handing over a large degree of leverage to the EU. In effect, May has told Brussels that we are of, and is daring them to walk away from existing free trade. Logically, unless we accept free movement and the ECJ, this is the only stance we could have come forward with.

    The response of Brussels will now be the key, but it’s safe to say that maintaining completely free trade without other agreements in place won’t be on offer. We’re into the push and pull stuff now.

    I suspect that the level of disruption caused to trade will now be the critical area for each side, and in some ways the response of businesses is going to help define which side blinks first.

  12. @Alec

    Despite Brexit, our inflation came in at lower than Germany’s, which hit 1.7% for the year to December 2016. See

    https://theotrade.com/inflation-rises-1-7-germany/

    Theirs cannot be down to either the pound or Brexit…

    Maybe the ECB’s QE is the source of inflation and we’re importing it from Europe, in which case broadening our trade and importing from cheaper countries will do the trick post Brexit :-)

  13. Interesting to note how this is phrased as Europe walking away from a free trade agreement, rather than the UK doing so.

  14. Downing Street has clarified to reporters that there is not going to be a white paper published on the negotiations, May’s speech is the only information to be released.

  15. I’ll believe in EU trade deals when a Google search
    https://www.google.co.uk/#q=eu+tariffs+africa
    doesn’t produce results like those listed.

  16. @Candy

    As the article notes, the Eurozone inflation is substantially below the UK’s, at 1.1%. Germany is the outlier.

  17. @JAYBLANC

    Well the UK can argue that we wish to continue Tariff free trade it would then be the EU that put up barriers against the UK.

    I think most people who voted Leave will be happy with this speech, it goes further than I anticipated.

    There is some pretty obvious stick and carrot for the Irish. “Fight for the common travel area and Free Trade from within or watch that corporate tax advantage go poof.”

    Be interesting to see Corbyn and Abbott’s response.

  18. I do think that the “We’ll become a tax haven if you don’t give us trade access” is an interesting strategy, mainly because I hadn’t heard it discussed until recently.

    For all I know, it might be a very stupid policy, but it’s not an option I’ve heard discussed by anyone until the Hammond interview.

  19. It doesn’t seem that Corbyn watched or read May’s speech.

  20. “Interesting currency market reaction. The £ is up 2.5% against the $ and 1.65% against the Euro. Not what was predicted.”

    ———-

    Clearly more speeches by Theresa are required…

  21. But that is not what our Balance of Payments needs!

  22. @Bill Patrick

    ‘Tax Havens’ tend to be very small countries or protectorates, that are able to cover their internal social costs on the back of low taxation of foreign currency flowing in and out. They don’t have high military expenditures, or ability to project force beyond their own borders. Usually their citizens are easily able to use infrastructure and services of another country.

    I do not understand how the UK would intend to turn into a successful ‘Tax Haven’.

  23. Jayblanc
    “I do not understand how the UK would intend to turn into a successful ‘Tax Haven’.”

    I think it’s only the press who’ve used that phrase. In reality, we’d just need to have corporation tax a bit lower than those in the EU, and have less bureaucracy and regulation.

  24. If the pound is being reported as having crashed or rocketed, depends on if the reporter considers from the speech, or from when the speech was trailed over the weekend.

  25. @Jayblanc

    The eurozone figure is depressed by deflation in Greece and Italy.

    Germany is a good comparison to our economy because their unemployment levels are similar, and they have about 15 million more people than us. If inflation is a British Brexit phenomenon alone, as the Remainers are claiming, then it shouldn’t be possible for Belgium to have inflation of 2.03% and Germany to have inflation of 1.7% etc etc. But they do.

    Also, the only way to have deflation of the type you see in Italy and Greece is to have double digit unemployment to suppress wages, and even the most ardent remainers don’t want that, do they?

  26. @Pete B

    There is no harmonisation on corporation tax within the EU. We would be hard pressed to offer a better corporation tax deal than Estonia’s. Estonia only taxes corporations when they divest money, which results in a very low real rate for privately held subsidiaries with Estonian residency.

  27. Good afternoon all from a cold but sunny central London.

    ” It’s possible to interpret that as health rising up the agenda and helping Labour’s support… but it’s equally possible that the changes in voting intention are just normal, random sample variation”
    ______

    I think most of us would go for the latter. ;-)

  28. BIGFATRON

    See COLIN’S post for clarity on May’s 12 point plan.

    Thanks for the summery Colin. Now that remainers know what Brexit means perhaps they will now get behind it and embrace it rather than remain moaning about remaining in something that we voted to leave.

  29. ALLAN CHRISTIE
    “I think most of us would go for the latter. ;-)”

    Agreed, so long as the MOEs overlap.

  30. SAM S

    Actually something that hasn’t been mentioned is the Scottish cross breaks, both of which show Labour ahead of the Tories but being subs the MOE will probably be between 3% & 10%.

  31. Depends on the sample size and whether or not the poll builds the UK sample from smaller representative regional samples or not. If it is, then like you say the Scottish MOEs will still be higher, but if it is not then the crossbreak is essentially useless.

    Though I’m far more interested in Indyref2 than Scottish VI, given May’s confirmation of hard Brexit.

  32. THE OTHER HOWARD
    “Well no surprises then. Mrs May has been quite clear and consistent ever since her conference speech that we are leaving the EU in the fullest sense. Thanks Colin for summerising the points. I have never understood all this talk from Remainers of muddle and lack of clarity. The PM is totally clear in which direction she want’s the UK to go and has been from the beginning”
    __________

    Agreed on all points Howard but I’m sensing a little important caveat in all of this. MP’s are to have the final say (vote) on any deal. I know Parliament isn’t a single issue institution but on Brexit Parliament is no where near reflective on how the UK voted in the EU referendum.

    The government whips are going to be very very busy!!

  33. @BillPatrick

    A tax haven is usually a place that is free or nearly free of taxes on the individual. A classic one being Monaco that has a 0% personal tax rate

    Monaco has quite steep Corporate Tax rates. Not that many people would dream of setting up a company there unless it was for real estate, restaurants, yacht services or casinos!

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting the UK become a tax haven.

    But if we dropped our Corporation Tax to say 5% and had a bonfire of regulations that would definitely upset the applecart over the channel.

  34. SAM S

    A lot of eyes will be on Indy polls (if we get any) on the back of May’s hard Brexit speech but I don’t think Scotland remaining in the EU is as big a deal as some are making it out to be.

    Every party (except UKIP) in Scotland were campaigning for a remain vote, the leave side hardly had a campaign in Scotland yet they still managed to poll over a 3rd of the vote. Unless Scotland’s economy nose dives as a result of Brexit then I think we wont see much movement in the indy polls.

    However….. even excluding Brexit Scotland and England are clearly moving in opposite directions politically and I think voting to leave the UK to get away from the Tories would be a bigger sell than simply voting to leave the UK to remain part of the EU.

    Scot’s don’t like the Tories and the English don’t like tartan tantrums. A divorce looks inevitable but not on the back of Brexit.

  35. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    ” I know Parliament isn’t a single issue institution but on Brexit Parliament is no where near reflective on how the UK voted in the EU referendum.”

    As I understand things they will only get the vote once the deal is struck, to vote down the deal would mean the UK leaving the EU without a deal at all. I find it hard to see Parliament doing that. I forecast this would be the position just after the referendum result. A very sensible approach by the government IMO.

  36. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    I suspect one high level speech will not reconcile the country on this issue no matter how much TM would like it to.

    I’ve pushed a few more options up my list which involve leaving rather than remaining to see the effects of this experiment. In that respect TM has brought a bit of clarity to my plans.

    Nothing I have heard has made me embrace it, it’s made me more focused on avoiding the personal risk Brexit brings. My plan is to get out and then judge from the outside if any options back in the UK are better than the
    alternatives.

    I see the risks now increasing an we hurtle towards a complete experiment with changing the structure of the UK’s economy. If it works out great for my sector and enables me to earn megabucks while paying very little tax then the UK is always an option. If it fails and leads to a drop in real wages, better to be out ASAP.

    I’m not going to moan about it, just move on and not contribute to this particular mess, as far as I’m concerned it’s somebody else’s problem now.

  37. David Davis is now saying that MPs won’t have a say on the final outcome, as they can’t stop the government.

  38. LASZLO

    Not so, what he is saying reflects what I just posted to Allan Christie.,

  39. THE OTHER HOWARD

    “As I understand things they will only get the vote once the deal is struck, to vote down the deal would mean the UK leaving the EU without a deal at all. I find it hard to see Parliament doing that. I forecast this would be the position just after the referendum result. A very sensible approach by the government IMO”
    __________

    That seems a bit more plausible. In this case I can see Labour abstaining because politically they might get chewed by UKIP if they were to vote against any deal.

  40. The £ is now up 3% against the dollar and 2% against the Euro thus recovering much of the recent further decline which in my view was just market over reaction.

  41. TOH

    Yes, indeed, you are right.

    It will be an interesting period.

  42. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    I forsee Labour actually mainly supporting the government.in the vote. Remember this vote is likely to take place in 2019. I suspect the LibDems would likely abstain.

  43. ToH

    “2% against the Euro ”

    Indeed, I waited for this before ordering some Rosette, and other French salamis.

    Mind, it made me sink from the bottom 20% of the world population to the bottom 10% according to Oxfam’s methodology.

  44. ALAN

    We all know there will be winners and losers over Brexit just as there are winners and losers on reaming/being part of the EU. Overall regardless on how people voted we are leaving the EU and it should be seen as an opportunity.

    Of course it’s going to be bumpy at the start but I get the impression the remain moan hawks are just looking for the slightest downtown in the economy so they can bash Brexit.

    We live in a global economic World and if businesses can’t adapt to leaving the EU then quite frankly they should boot out the nae saying deadwood. The company I work for deal with clients from all around the UK, Europe and Australia…whatever challenges Brexit brings I’m sure our future planning will see us through.

    …….
    ” I’m not going to moan about it”
    _______

    I like that.. :-)

  45. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    It’s exactly that bumpy start which I’m looking to avoid. My life is too short to have half of it taken up by this experiment. Once the bumpy start is over, I might well look to take advantage of Britain’s tax haven status if it successfully makes the transition.

    If businesses can’t adapt and lots of people end up out of work or have their jobs moved overseas, I want it to be someone else’s problem.

  46. TOH – “The £ is now up 3% against the dollar and 2% against the Euro”

    I’m convinced that the forex markets move based on keyword bingo triggering the algos. So any article that has “Theresa May” and “Hard Brexit” in the same line triggers a sell. And any article that has “Parliament will vote” triggers a buy. Regardless of the fact Parliament won’t stop the deal once it has been negotiated! At some point someone will exploit the silliness of the algos and we’ll get back to normal.

  47. Just back to the YouGov Scottish cross-breaks for Westminster VIs for a moment:
    the Tories are down; agreed, not by much, but nonetheless below the relatively high figures they were enjoying a month ago;
    Labour shows no sign of any real rebound at all;
    the Lib Dems are slightly up;
    Scots remain noticeably above all the others in the likelihood to vote category.

    But a question needs to be addressed to YouGov. In the section entitled ‘What are the most important issues facing the country?’, the majority of the issues offered (7 out of 13) do not apply to the UK as a whole but are devolved issues e.g. health, transport, education. Does it make any sense at all to ask these questions, given the fact that people in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are answering in very different situations from that of England? How is it possible to decipher whether or not an English person is responding, whilst bearing in mind the educational situation in Scotland (for the question applies to the UK as a whole), or a Welsh person is responding to the NHS question whilst considering the situation in Northern Ireland?

    Either YouGov needs to drop all the devolved issues from its questions or it needs to have completely separate sections for the differing polities. The present YouGov set up is surely unjustifiable.

    And even if NI is not included in YouGov polls, the principle of my complaint remains, I think.

  48. And does anyone else have the very strange, even insulting, advert at the top of the page for ‘I love England.org’ (or something like that) which had the Union flag in the background. Do they never learn?

  49. CANDY

    It’s an interesting theory, certainly the currency markets dont like uncertainty so May’s clear statement (clear to both of us for months now) may have calmed them down a bit.

    Anyway i liked your idea :-)

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