The Times have a new YouGov poll this morning, carried out after Theresa May’s Brexit speech. Overall, it looks as if the PM has passed her first Brexit test – a majority of the public support the sort of Brexit she is seeking to achieve. Whether they support the sort of Brexit she actually manages to get other EU countries to agree to once negotiations are complete is, of course, a different matter.

YouGov asked respondents if they agreed with some of the key negotiation points May set out: many of these were uncontroversial (an overwhelming majority of people wanted UK control of immigration, an open border with Ireland, the rights of existing immigrations to be protected and continued co-operation on security). Most of these are obvious though – the two more controversial points were the confirmation that Britain would leave the single market and the customs union. A majority of people supported both, but it was split very much among pro-EU and anti-EU lines: a huge majority of Leave voters thought it was the right thing to do, but Remain voters tended to think it was wrong to leave the single market and were split over the customs union.

Looking at a list of specific measures is not necessarily a good way of measuring support for May’s stance anyway. Most of us won’t tot up the individual details, people tend to judge the overall package. Asked about May’s Brexit plan as a whole, there was a clear thumbs up. 55% think it would be good for Britain; only 19% think it would be bad. 62% think it would respect the referendum result and by 53% to 26% people say that they would be happy with the outcome.

While people like what May is seeking, that doesn’t mean they think it is actually achievable. While the public do express confidence in May’s negotiating ability (by 47% to 38%), only 20% of people think that other EU countries will agree to what she wants. Only time will tell how the public react to whatever EU deal May actually manages to get.

The poll also asked voting intention. Topline figures were CON 42%, LAB 25%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 12%, putting the Tories back up to a seventeen point lead. As ever it is only one poll, so don’t read too much into that huge lead: it may be that May setting out a clearer route forward for Brexit (and the good press she got yesterday) has given the Tories a boost… or it may just be normal random variation. Full tabs are here


584 Responses to “YouGov polling on Theresa May’s Brexit speech”

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  1. Very fair summary. May has the political advantage, with the Conservatives (not for the first time) sounding like they know what they are talking about. This plays well, but, as ever, events may or may not introduce more painful realities into the picture.

  2. So Labour down 3, UKIP down 1, Tories up

    Makes some sense I guess, if voters are happy that some kind of a plan is being outlined, and some UKIP supporters are reassured that the direction is out of the Single Market and Customs Union. Equally it could, as AW says, be random variation.

    LibDems stay on 11, which gives a bit more support to the thesis that they have made a genuine recovery over recent weeks. Indeed, at this rate we might see cross-over with UKIP.

    It will be fascinating to see what happens in Stoke if UKIP throw the sink at the by-election, as seems to be likely….

  3. Somerjohn

    In reply you guessed correctly, I don’t agree with you and as I posted to Alec on the last thread I think the public are ready to accept short term pain for the longer term benefits as per May’s plan.

  4. Cons lead Lab in every Region, Both Social Grade Groups, Both Gender Groups, and every age demographic over age 24.

  5. Yet another poll showing the appalling ignorance and stupidity of the British people. When oh when will they see the bright shining light of socialism?

  6. @Pete B
    Well, not for a while it seems…..

    The Labour party has a generally hostile media to contend with, and weakening demographics as manual/unionised labour reduces as a proportion of the workforce.

    So a labour win needs:
    – a clear, structured and coherent political message
    – an group of excellent communicators to present this message consistently, frequently and clearly
    – a set of simply expressed policies that deliver on that political theme
    – a party (leaders, MPs and members) all united behind the message and policies
    – to establish a strong reputation for competence
    – to take every opportunity offered to demolish the Tory’s reputation for competence

    Sadly for any socialists reading, I genuinely can’t see that a single one of the requirements above is being achieved, so I think it will be along wait!

  7. Oh, and calling the electorate ‘ignorant and stupid’ ain’t going to help… if Labour think that the electorate are taking voting decisions on the wrong premise, it is Labour’s job to inform and persuade.

  8. If I were a labour strategist, I’d be more worried about the 25 than the 41. If 24/25 gets breached there could be a further downward correction.

  9. Good afternoon all from a sunny central London.

    Positive poll for May on the back of her Brexit 12 point plan. The majority of the public will back her and the more hardball the EU play then the more support May will probably receive back in the UK.

    Although Boris and his waffling doesn’t exactly set the heather on fire with our EU counterparts…mind you they have Donald Tusk so that about evens thing up on the waffling front.

    Back to the YG poll VI…The Tories have opened up a 7% gap on Labour in Scotland (cross break) but just a few days ago other polls were showing Labour were ahead. I know subs come with huge pinches of salt and pepper but maybe in Scotland now that the Scottish Tories are falling in line with Brexit unionist and tartan Brexiteers are now coalescing behind the Tories and nationalists and remain voters opting for the SNP.

    Again just subs but the SNP VI has taken a bit of a dip in the last couple of subs when compared to their 2015 GE result.

  10. Polling such as this will almost guarrantee that the government secures parliamentary approval to trigger A50 as it would need a supreme optimist to detect brexit reluctance.
    I genuinely regret that once the negotiations start the mood will become darker. Perhaps it is inevitable but ii do blame both sides of the media for this. The BBC fails, yet again, to understand the national character. We do not respond well to threats. The parading of endless numbers of EU characters predicting our imminent demise hardens resolve not weakens it. it is as if the project fear playbook is still being used oblivious to its failings.The result will be that when after 2 years either no deal or a bad deal from our perspective is considered any return to the pre-referendum status quo will be impossible and i suspect that the response of the electorate will be quite anglo-saxon to europe.

    One of the problems between us and continental europe is we are not divided by a common language but by a more serious division of perception. To our view the euro is a mere monetary unit which has economically failed and is doomed to destruction. To europe it has a massive political and emotional strength which they individually and collectively will not allow to fail. To us Brexit is almost a cold decision which can be resolved by the application of economic logic but we have to understand that from the european perspective it is a massive threat to all that they have built . They are probably more frightened than us and that is why they are aggressively defensive towards us. Unless we understand and take this matter into account the negotiations will be illogical from our point of view but logical from the EU perspective with a real risk that they will not succeed in both our interests.

  11. Being reported this morning that some Labour front benchers are thinking of voting against Article 50 if HMG loses at the Supreme Court…

    Will they never learn?

  12. S Thomas

    Good thoughtful post which I find has little I can disagree with, except despite the EU’s best endeavours IMO I do think the Euro will eventually fail.

  13. BIGFATRON

    “LibDems stay on 11, which gives a bit more support to the thesis that they have made a genuine recovery over recent weeks. Indeed, at this rate we might see cross-over with UKIP.”

    “It will be fascinating to see what happens in Stoke if UKIP throw the sink at the by-election, as seems to be likely”
    ____________

    Any cross over between the Lib/Dems and UKIP will probably be down to random sampling errors. I can’t see it happening anytime soon for real.

    I’m looking forward to the Stoke by-election and my eyes will be on the Lib/Dem vote. They are taking an aggressive anti Brexit stance and have attributed their recent extremely modest recovery and a by-election win to being pro EU.

    Lets see if the mini Lib/Dem revival shuffles into Stoke….or will they end up being a busted flush!!

  14. As set out by others I consider there may be a real difficulty with polling throughout GB and making assumptions about Parliamentary seats from the resulting VI.
    Northern Ireland has been left out of the polling equation because of the unique political situation, it is certainly arguable that this is one that applies to Scotland also in the current climate.
    Whilst the VI figure may be correct its impact in a FPTP system where there are such significant regional differences is uncertain: e.g. is any particular party piling up all its votes in seats it has already won or could not possibly win instead of gaining in marginal seats.
    In some respects this is similar to the polls being correct in America as to the popular vote but failing to pick up on the impact on the electoral college.
    I realise it may not be economically feasible to poll regularly in different regions, but for electoral outcomes it may become necessary or cause more damage to the reputation of pollsters: Dewey wins anybody!

  15. @couper2802

    From previous thread, that’s an interesting Scottish poll by YouGov. It suggests the SG is getting broad support for its approach and that there could be some potential to shift AB opinions on independence as a result.

  16. WB

    I note your comment on the last thread. One assumes Dr Johnson would have surrendered in 1940 rather than what Churchill did.

  17. TOH

    As I understand it Dr Johnson’s comment was not directed to those who are patriots, but rather to those who use a call to patriotism as a support for a collateral purpose.

    This is an interesting discussion

    http://www.samueljohnson.com/qotw02q2.html#0630

  18. TOH

    I am sorry to be pedantic but I was beaten at school for poor grammar; surely its “rather than do as Churchill did”

  19. Allan,
    Tim Farron is probably reasonably happy that 60% more people are supporting his Party than in May 2016..

    And even the larger minority support parties in the UK like the Tories are generally happy with a 4% swing to them ( which is indeed what this poll shows since the General Election)

  20. Btw if the Lib Dems increase their vote at all in Stoke or Copeland it will be a sign of recovery, since they have failed to increase their vote in the other Labour-held seats this Parliament

  21. WB

    I accept I put it badly but could not be bothered to correct what was a throw away remark anyway.

  22. Couper2802 FPT
    Surely when it comes to whether No-Remain voters will shift to Yes on the basis of economic prospects we have to consider their relative opinion of Scotland’s economic prospects as part of a non-EU UK and as an independent member of the EU or fast-track applicant to the EU? Polling on that would be interesting.

    Plus there’s the issue of whether that group of voters thinks Spain might throw up a roadblock to Scottish membership of the EU. I’m inclined to think not, under the circumstances we’re considering, but I don’t know what the general opinion is, never mind whether it’s correct or not.

    My guess would be that potential Indy vote switchers would prefer a second referendum to be delayed until the likely impact of Brexit becomes clearer. People who voted No last time because they were worried about the economic consequences will still want to avoid jumping from frying pan into fire.

    The problems for the SNP is that there will always be room for quibbling about what’s due to Brexit and what’s not and that once exit is underway there will be scope to argue that having taken some of the pain Scotland should just hang on and hope to realise the gains. There might not be appetite for yet another dose of political change and disruption.

    I don’t envy Sturgeon trying to judge the timing and I can quite see why she’s tried to find a compromise and I think her efforts to do so – regardless of the element of self-interest – will have done her no harm with voters.

  23. WB

    I wasn’t beaten but i got lots of criticism but of course my condition was not understood then. It made no difference of course.

  24. TOH

    I am sorry if my post was not clear. I too do not believe that the euro will fail ,at least in the medium term, because it is supported by a massive emotional /political goodwill and the fear of a return to less reliable individual currencies. We in the Anglosphere do not have that perspective and apply the accountants test to it.I have european family and they envy my anglo-centric view of the world.

  25. S THOMAS

    No problem, we agree. Thanks.

  26. TOH

    Apologies: I should leave it alone especially given that I have such poor typing skills, but its like having a stone in your shoe, no matter how much you try to ignore it the sense of its presence just grows. My wife tends to shut me up with withering scorn about my abilities at DIY.

  27. WB

    Thanks for the reference and i take your point about Dr J but i have say if i had been alive at the time I would have thought him an old bore. Heresy i know but there you have it.

  28. WB

    No problem, incidently your wife and mine would agree about DIY, I’m not allowed anywhere near anything that needs repairing or building.
    :-)

  29. TOH
    The difficulty with Johnson, as with all historical figures, is that our knowledge of them comes through their perception of themselves (in their writing) rarely reliable and the perception of those who knew them and either loathed or in Boswell’s case sycophantically adored them.
    For me I just like some of Johnson’s quotes: although given that the population of London was about three quarters of a million at the time when he said it I do wonder whether given a population of 9 million or thereabouts he would still say:
    “Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”

  30. BFT

    “Sadly for any socialists reading, I genuinely can’t see that a single one of the requirements above is being achieved, so I think it will be along wait!”

    I’m personally holding out hope for Clive Lewis.

    DAVID COLBY

    “If I were a labour strategist, I’d be more worried about the 25 than the 41. If 24/25 gets breached there could be a further downward correction.”

    Quick run on the advanced swing-o-meter makes it look every point Labour drop below 25 the Tories gain something like 15-20 seats on current boundaries. What’s really amazing is that it actually shows the cons gaining a two seats in the south of Scotland on current numbers.

  31. Sorry for the double post, but Corbyn has decided to impose a three-line whip to vote in favor of Article 50. Honestly no idea if that’ll help or hurt Labour’s VI.

  32. S. Thomas 12.18

    ‘We do not respond well to threats.’

    The only ones issuing threats so far have been the UK side, saying that unless we get everything we want straight away we’ll ‘scream and scream and scream’, as Violet Elizabeth would say.

    It is the UK side which keeps on wanting to rewrite all the rules. It is the UK side which has failed to put forward any sensible negotiating points. It is the UK side which seems always to want its cake and eat it. The other members of the EU have so far limited themselves to responding to what they are hearing from London, nothing more.

    In other words, the Brexiteers so far seem to be living in an Alice through the looking glass world.

    I’ll shut up now.

  33. JASPER22 “Being reported this morning that some Labour front benchers are thinking of voting against Article 50 if HMG loses at the Supreme Court…”

    That’s bonkers. Will be used against Labour at every available opportunity including the next general election.

    What an unholy mess Labour find themselves in.

  34. Ipsos MORI poll

    Conservatives – 43%
    Labour at 31%
    Liberal Democrats at 11%
    UKIP at 6%.

    Fieldwork – 13th to 16th January

  35. @WB: ” its like having a stone in your shoe, no matter how much you try to ignore it the sense of its presence just grows.”

    I know exactly how you feel. The incorrect use of its when it should be it’s has the same effect on me (ahem). As does the use of lead instead of led; and mitigate when people mean militate. All of which means I get plenty of foot ache on this site…

  36. SOMERJOHN

    I think that is probably because you are not sympathetic to people who suffer from dyslexia. I don’t mind and don’t take offence at comments like that, but I won’t apologise if it upsets people.

  37. John B

    “In other words, the Brexiteers so far seem to be living in an Alice through the looking glass world.”

    That’s just your opinion and not shared by a majority of biters at the moment it would appear.

  38. John B
    One of my better miss-typings. Should have read ……..majority of voters of course.

  39. Interesting article on NATO from an American perspective:

    https://geopoliticalfutures.com/nato-and-the-united-states-3/

    The long and short of it is that they felt that when they got attacked on 9/11, despite fine words only Britain came to their defence. And they now feel that if alliances are going to be ad-hoc, they might as well dissolve the expensive structures of NATO and then make ad-hoc alliances as and when.

    The moral of the story is that even superpowers feel vulnerable and need friends, and when help is not forthcoming, they reassess. The Europeans have a long habit of taking but not giving (they have the same attitude to us), and it is coming home to roost. Trump has merely been saying out loud what Americans have been saying in private for over a decade.

  40. The key passage in the above article is this:

    “Europeans must face two facts. First, this is 2017, and the wars that matter to the U.S. are being fought in the Islamic world. Second, this is not 1955, and Europe is not struggling to recover from World War II. It is a wealthy region, and its military capabilities should be equal to those of the U.S.”

    If this view is widespread in the United States, then NATO is toast.

  41. Candy

    Whilst i am a firm supporter of NATO I think there is a lot of truth in what you say. If i was an American i would be wanting much more military imput from the Europeans to NATO.

  42. TOH: “I think that is probably because you are not sympathetic to people who suffer from dyslexia.”

    Actually, I’m very sympathetic to dyslexia sufferers, and especially admire those like Michael Heseltine and Richard Branson who have super-achieved in spite of dyslexia.

    I was aiming more at those who don’t suffer from dyslexia, but still persist in making the same simple mistakes over and over again.

    To be even clearer, the ‘ahem’ in my comment was intended to signal that while apologising for pedantry in correcting your grammar, and later likening seeing other people’s errors to a stone in the shoe, WB was himself guilty of a solecism in writing “its like having a stone in your shoe” instead of it’s (which is a shortened version of ‘it is’, as opposed to its, which is a possessive pronoun like his or hers).

    It’s the old mote and beam thing:

    Judge not, that ye be not judged.
    For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
    And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
    Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
    Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

    —?Matthew 7:1-5

  43. Ipsos Mori Poll with changes to previous poll.

    CON: 43% (+3)
    LAB: 31% (+2)
    LDEM: 11% (-3)
    UKIP: 6% (-3)
    (via Ipsos Mori / this week)

    The poll was taken before May’s speech so no reflection on it.

  44. Interesting Scotland crossbreak on this poll – Con 26 Lab 19 SNP 41.

  45. Interesting that Moris shows both major parties gaining at the expense of LibDems and UKIP.

  46. @TOH

    Obama has been trying to tell them nicely (and in private) to up their contributions and they’ve ignored him. Similar to how they ignored Cameron when he warned that people were getting restive about free movement. Now they are going to deal with the fall-out from ignoring reasonable requests.

  47. Somerjohn

    “Actually, I’m very sympathetic to dyslexia sufferers, and especially admire those like Michael Heseltine and Richard Branson who have super-achieved in spite of dyslexia.”

    I’m pleased to hear it as a sufferer myself, but it does not show in your posts and comments. People like me do not see the errors and even when told will repeat them minutes later totally inconciously. We also have other difficulties like have trouble with differentiating right from left.

    Whilst not claiming to be a Heseltine or Branson I had a successful business life myself and apart from irritating people who do not understand found it did not hamper me eiither in Business or during my time at University.

  48. Graham

    I think what the two polls show is that the lower tory leads recently were probably a blip although i accept the latest YouGov probably overstates the gap somewhatbecause the voters obviously responded well to May’s speech.

  49. CANDY

    “Now they are going to deal with the fall-out from ignoring reasonable requests.”

    I agree and i think they will get much more in the way of fallout from the USA in the next four years. I have some genuine fears for the future of much of Europe.

  50. TOH
    Time will tell – but interesting that Mori have Labour back above 30%.

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