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. “With the clout that the jocks have in the kingdom, why on earth would they want to be “independent in the EU”?”

    1. Scotland would be independent.

    2. The EU is an organisation of sovereign states which pool sovereignty. On some issues each member state has a veto and on others QMV rules operate.

    3. In the UK, no such system applies and generally speaking g the UK gets what England wants.

    As a result Malta will.have a indecisive role in Brexit than Scotland.

  2. @AL URQA

    The ‘New European’ is an excellent newspaper with clear analysis of the Brexit lunacy and its causes.

    Brexit was essentially a revolt of the English (with Welsh backing) against the EU and anything ‘foreign’. A revolt not shared by the Scottish and Irish people. There is a peculiar and weird xenophobia about the working classd English and Welsh which is unique to this nation, but is not there in other parts of the UK. It’s hard to fathom why it’s there, but it is certainly there. The Brexit referendum gave voice to this xenophobia.
    I agree with the New European in that this vote was not simply a protest against the establishment or globalism. It was a vote of hatred against foreigners, especially those who do noty have English as their mother tongue. And the hatred was fostered, as I mentioned earlier, by sections of the national press.

  3. That should be Malta will have a more decisive role in Brexit than Scotland!

  4. @neila

    I am not disputing that Clinton behaved badly in office. I am disputing that allegation of sexual assault are more.serious than being a serial philanderer. But I am not going ucomment further on the subject!

  5. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    “AL URQA
    I have long expected the EU to fail and i certainly expect it to do so in the next 30-40 years. I don’t take pleasure in it, and i wish Europeans well provided they allow us to go our own way, and wish us well in return.”

    Your expectation will not prove correct. People like you misunderstand public feeling in Europe and wrongly make comparisons with the UK. There is little anti-EU feeling in Europe (other than the UK) and very few (if any) newspapers waging vociferous campaigns against the EU like the Daily Express here. Of course that doesn’t mean that there are other issues, such as increasing unease about non-EU immigration, especially from Islamic countries.
    There is a huge difference of mentality between the English & Welsh working classes and those of continental European countries.

  6. hireton

    The majority of the scottish people want to remain in the Union and the union has voted for Brexit.

    also how many SNP members will be voting to trigger A50 in order to properly represent that % of scots who voted in their constituencies for Brexit.Or is it all or nothing which is what you complain of as regards the rest of the uk and scotland.

  7. NEIL A
    “The opinion has been expressed that between the “message” that this sends (you’re not welcome etc) and the admin involved in getting work visas, such a policy would cause massive labour shortages. I am not completely convinced that this would be the case, or that any labour shortages created would necessarily cripple the country.”

    The argument behind the free movcement of labour as one of the pillars of the Single Market is the more constructive one of its contribution to a planned economic growth, operating as a true market in which skills and labour move to create interdependent growth between the EU member states – so that,, in the EC Ageing Report http://europa.eu/epc/pdf/ageing_report_2015_en.pdf based in respect of its forecast development UK growth on the advice of a Treasury advisor, the UK economy – and population – would exceed Germany’s as the EU leader by 2060.

    CARFREW
    “when the dust settles” – but what if it doesn’t settle? What if Trump has a Krakatoa effect, or that of the dust cloud which may have killed off the dinosaurs, smothering UK and western economies, defence and aid with a custard yellow lurgie of institution and treaty busting anti-migration and trade repressant isolationism – in which May and he wallow in common self-congratulation, while waving and shouting incomprehensively across a sea of wrecked institutions to the looming shapes an ever more militant and expansive Russia and economically dominant China?

  8. @NeilA
    I worked for Renault in the 1970s when it was state controlled and as much a lame duck as British Leyland, though no doubt with a somewhat different set of problems.
    The French administration’s view was that Renault was too important to let die: they gave it a load of money and told it to sort itself out, which it did. It does now effectively control Nissan (43% voting stake – Nissan’s stake in Renault is 15% non-voting)
    cf successive governments (mainly Thatcher) and BL

  9. @ANDY JS – Thanks for the poll.

    Atrocious for Labour. They are back to where they were on the 9th October. Zero recovery and going the wrong way.

    16 points behind. Which moron decided it would be a good idea to have Abbott on the airwaves leading up to two by-elections in solid Brexit territories?

  10. Labour in an extraordinary place leading up to the two by elections.

  11. The problem with Labour has been caused by Ed Miliband. When he changed the leadership electoral rules he gave too much power to the activists and therefore the more radical left of the party. He was such a fool not to see this would happen.

  12. @Neil A Thanks for thoughts. Am just off to Pakistan and will mull over while there. Don’t hold your breath for a reply! (Not that I expect you to do so)

  13. Guymonde: “I worked for Renault in the 1970s when it was state controlled and as much a lame duck as British Leyland”

    Well, sort-of snap, because I worked for BL in the 1970s. I have no doubt that, if it had received the support that Renault got from the French government, or Fiat from the Italian, it would be in the same strong position today that those two companies are, with Renault controlling Nissan and Fiat controlling Chrysler.

    Of course, BL had significant short-term challenges in making sense of its jigsaw of constituent companies, overlapping product lines and haphazard inherited production facilities, but the depth of engineering talent that had created the Mini, the Rover 2000, the E-type, was still there. If anyone doubts that, look at the 1976 launch of the Rover SD1, which won the World Car of the Year, and saw huge demand leading to long waiting lists in its first year.

    BL failed because of misguided, half-hearted, short term government policy (to call it ‘support’ would be a travesty).

  14. Hireton

    The UK doesn’t get what England wants, it gets what the UK wants.

    Scotland has 5 more MPs than Yorkshire – seems that the UK gets what Scotland wants – with an incessant moaning to go with it.

  15. Last night I was looking at the regional VI data, and I estimate since the 2015 GE, there has been a swing of about 6.5% from Labour to Conservative in the North (this being North East and North West).

    I know no constituency is truly average and subject to local conditions, but the question remains what are the circumstances on the ground in Copeland that might indicate it’s better than average for the Conservatives or Labour?

    The Conservatives need a 3.3% swing to take the seat.

    Can Labour keep the campaign firmly on the NHS?

    Can the Conseravtives emphasise Jeremy Corbyn and hios anti-nuclear positioning?

    Can Labour get out it’s vote out when turnout will be key?

    Can the Conservatives grab some of the UKIP vote, given the ‘hard Brexit’ outlined by the Prime Minister?

    Can the Lib Dems peel away some of the Labour vote?

    It really does look fascinating and on a knife edge.

  16. Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift.

    Where would the empire have been without us Taffs, eh?

    Men of Harlech, stand ye steady……!

  17. I have just read through the weekends posts: I have to say the standard of debate has been worse than some of the BTL,s on Huff Post (which is saying something). I think AW should ban any discussion on Brexit and Trump for a year to allow people top calm down.

    ICM poll appalling long term problems for Labour. However the change in the North as per CMJ: what level of swing does their need to be to put safe seats in the firing line?

  18. Jasper 22

    “Where would the empire have been without us Taffs, eh?”

    Brings back memories of that marvellous film Zula, certainly in my list of top ten films.

    Well done the Taffs indeed although to be fair they were 19 out of a total of 145 defenders and the main regiment involved B Coy 2nd Bn 24th Foot (2nd Warwickshires) didn’t become the South Wales Borderers until 1881. A total of 11 VC’s, the highest number for any action of the British Army.

  19. Jasper 22

    Depends on the historical source. Another I found put the number of Welshmen at 32 with 4 of the VC.s won.

    I’m 25% Welsh myself so join you in celebrating the feat of arms and of course the film was Zulu not Zula.

  20. WB: “ICM poll appalling long term problems for Labour. However the change in the North as per CMJ: what level of swing does their need to be to put safe seats in the firing line?”

    Well I think the starting question is how many seats both marginal and semi-safe does that already put in the firing line?

    It’s not just there though, Labour has problems in the West and East Midlands where the Brexit vote was even higher than the N.E.

    The current policy of being pro Freedom of Movement with Abbott leading that charge has to be doing serious damage. Add to that the reports of dozens of London MPs who say they are going to vote against Article 50 out of principle and you have the makings of an historic electoral defeat.

  21. As a proud Welshman (looking forward to the six nations) I nevertheless have to point out that as I understand it, only two of the VC’s awarded at Rourke’s Drift were awarded to men born in Wales.

  22. @ Sea Change

    The problem for Labour is that in order to appeal to its metropolitan voters it must follow a course which is almost certain to alienate its traditional vote. Whilst Brexit and by proxy immigration remains a hot topic it is difficult to see how tis policy circle can be squared whoever the leader happens to be: Triangulation can only work if there is a centre ground which appeals to a broad group there appears to be no Venn diagram which helps labour at this point: I also consider that this will become a problem for the Tories.

    It is well to remember, for those who believe parties are everlasting, that in 1910 the Liberals were the largest party at 272 seats by 1924 that was reduced to 40 seats (Coincidently having entered a coalition: albeit with Labour). Labour having won in 2005 will be 15 years (not 14) after its last victory, in circumstances where politics is in turmoil, its demise is not impossible. However, for those who think of the Tories as eternal, it should be clear that there are specific difficulties between the outer wings of that party and events could prove disastrous for it.
    TOH says interesting: as someone who craves stability I say terrifying!!

  23. @Neil A

    Don’t worry, I don’t think someone is getting at me just because disagree. I take a bit of an exception to stuff like ad homs, misrepresentation, FUD, quibbles, straw men etc. because wastes all our time, whereas well-intentioned disagreement is a means to progress.

    I would agree with many of your points regarding anti-trust, dumping, some sectors tending to frustrate competition (e.g. network effects with operating systems etc.), and pin factories different to dockyards, hence one needs a flexible approach.

    Hence it is more concerning if it is summat more strategic, on which much depends, which is why we saved banking for eggers, and why Americans saved their car industry. I just wanted to make clear that there can be more gains than just saving the jobs, you can save the grow see jobs in the supply chain, save yourself from being price-gauged, save what’s happening with nuclear after we let some of our home-grown nuclear talent go.

    At the same time wanted to indicate that firms may need help even if not inefficient, or indeed may benefit if they are. A firm we successfully saved during the oil crisis was Rolls, in difficulties at the mo but many years of more positive trading and employing peeps following the rescue.

    Sometimes, there might be other ways to skin things. Concorde threatened to capture the business market, before oil crisis and competitor nations banning it hampered it rather. But if they had adapted, to make smaller business jets, with a correspondingly smaller sonic boom and lower engine noise, as other firms are now considering…?

    We gave in on APT after a PR disaster, just as we were getting the hang of it. There’s indirect support too of course: Americans used the space programme to support private sector development of the microprocessor and provide a market.

    I think you might be downplaying the Renault success just a tad, but others on the board have more info. on the matter, eg Something and Guymonde, and other nations have successfully assisted their car industry anyway…

    P.s. yes, I did recall the Orange Book thing and was careful to say Liberal, not neolib!!

  24. @WB –

    I agree with everything you say, though I think you underestimate the Tory Party. They’ve been around for well over 350 years and there’s a reason for that because they have that chameleon sense of changing with the times and are the arch pragmatists, intent on power.

    Just look at how they have all fallen in line under Theresa May and apart from Soubry and 1 or 2 others been very supportive. Indeed the Party has already stated they will all vote for A50 bar Ken Clarke.

    They are already preparing the ground to accuse Labour of being anti-democratic and “being against the people” if there is a significant Labour rebellion.

    Butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths!

    You have to hand it to them.

  25. @Neil A

    Yep, agree that higher pay can have its virtues as an economic stimulant as the money circulates. Not as much if much of the pay leaves our shores, of course. As with some of the higher paid and sometimes perhaps immigration. My point was really that some governments might not want to put the extra money in to the NHS etc. pay for higher wages.

    Regarding lower pay, obviously there are again multiple factors… Globalisation, also the impact over the years of a reserve pool of labour (the unemployed) keeping wages lower, and of course productivity, where we lag significantly beyond some competitors. Read an article recently to suggest it seems as though the government have twigged this and looking at the data have seen poorer management is a realistic culprit and hence in the Autumn Statement quietly set aside money for retraining them etc.

  26. @S Thomas

    I’m sure you’ll believe what you want to believe, irrespective of the facts.

    If you want people to believe in your “facts”, you need to link to them. What is this Treasury doc you refer to? The Bllomberg page you linked to doesn’t show what you claim it shows.

    I was using the net figures derived from the wiki page linked to up-thread (other sources show a very similar picture). But I expect you regard wiki as being a purveyor of fake news.

  27. Oops, met Somerjohn, not “something”. Someone musta swapped my iPad for Laszlo’s…

  28. @JP

    ““when the dust settles” – but what if it doesn’t settle? What if Trump has a Krakatoa effect, or that of the dust cloud which may have killed off the dinosaurs, smothering UK and western economies, defence and aid with a custard yellow lurgie of institution and treaty busting anti-migration and trade repressant isolationism – in which May and he wallow in common self-congratulation, while waving and shouting incomprehensively across a sea of wrecked institutions to the looming shapes an ever more militant and expansive Russia and economically dominant China?”

    ————

    Yes, you paint a grimly compelling picture John, though I think it might be orange, rather than custard yellow…

  29. @WB

    “I have just read through the weekends posts: I have to say the standard of debate has been worse than some of the BTL,s on Huff Post (which is saying something). I think AW should ban any discussion on Brexit and Trump for a year to allow people top calm down.”

    ————–

    They would just find summat else to get het up over. Hardy perennials like crossbreaks, regression, road numbering schemes, neodymium etc…

  30. @sthomas

    “Or is it all or nothing which is what you complain of as regards the rest of the uk and scotland.”

    You seem to be commenting at randomn and irrespective of what other commenters say.

  31. new thread

  32. CHARLES @Danny
    This avoids a clifff edge, asserts our ‘sovereignty’, makes the minimal changes that might be seen as required by the referendum, and leaves it to the European Union to say how much pain they wish to extract in return.

    Excellent post, especially the sentence I quote.

    I should have added to my post of yesterday evening that what I suggested is pretty much what May fears and that her peroration of last week was made with precisely those actions by the SC in mind.

    Of course if her hands are tied by the SC and her tiny majority in the HoC then all bets will be off as she will be able to wash her hands of the problem and blame others.

  33. Charles,
    “On risks of Brexit – could we not try to minimise them?”
    I really, really hope the government is doing exactly this. Unfortunately, I think they are much more concerned about re-election.(But if your career is being an MP, this is hardly surprising)

    You make reasonable points, but many are fraught with political difficulties because the conservatives in particular have boxed themselves into a corner by already accepting the opposite.

    The supreme court is already supreme, in the sense it would look at the EU act, and agree that this transfers final authority for all EU treaty matters to the EU court. To change this parliament would need to alter the act, which it has the power to do. Parliament has come close to relinquishing its supreme authority to the Scottish parliament in some matters, but we shall perhaps see today whether it did. All this is immaterial, if voters have been persuaded to believe otherwise.

    On immigration, the political problem is that all parties have welcomed immigrants because of UK labour shortages, which still exist. The government is well aware that cutting off immigration would have a very bad effect on the UK. For example, if the NHS doctor shortage suddenly became much worse, but other specialist occupations as well as manual labour jobs are also affected.

    Governments have blamed immigration on the right of EU citizens to come here, but in reality they have been encouraged to come, and have never been a problem from claiming benefits or using health resources, etc. So to persuade voters immigrants are necessary, politicians kinda have to admit they lied, have always tried to encourage it and still are trying.

    The Other Howard,
    ” i suggest we leave at that and hope that we get more polling to discuss soon.”

    As a general point, I try to identify what I am replying to by naming the poster and quoting something to explain what I am talking about, but I welcome anyone interested to also respond. I can only say that if I am replying to you on a Brexit related topic, it is because you posted about a Brexit related topic.

    Neil A,
    “Ending the right to move here to look for work, doesn’t necessarily remove the ability of UK firms to recruit for jobs they genuinely cannot fill. The opinion has been expressed that between the “message” that this sends (you’re not welcome etc) and the admin involved in getting work visas, such a policy would cause massive labour shortages.”

    It is far too early to tell, but the effect of the Brexit vote seems to have already been to scare off people who might have come to work in the UK even short term. I don’t see any evidence the so-called open ended immigration policy really was that at all. In practice people have only come because they see that jobs are available here, and they do not face competition from local workers. The system has worked to provide labour needs with minimal burocratic overheads.

    I expect we would be able to implement a complex immigration system where everyone needs to be vetted and granted a visa, but it will be far more expensive and there will be no benefit to the nation.

    The government seems to be anticipating labour shortages and therefore has launched a drive on education and training. It was of course always open to it to do this before the referendum. Had it done so, I would expect that home grown labour would have out competed more of the EU migrants. Unfortunately while long term sensible, it was probably considered a short term vote loser, especially to conservatives. We are right in the middle of a massive squeeze on spending on education and training. Cheaper to import labour than train it.

    “I can’t see a foreign power dominating the UK due to their monopoly in pin production, but losing the ability to build warships would put as at the mercy of countries who can,”

    Yet if the captain of the warship fails to see the order about what to do with it, because there was no pin to hold it on the notice board….What is that poem about wars and horshoe nails?

    ” it doesn’t own Nissan”
    If you investigate further, I think you will find that in practice it does. The French company has more voting rights by various tricks than Nissan, and the French government has effective control of Renault. Apparently France resident stockholders count double?

  34. Jasper22,
    “Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift.Where would the empire have been without us Taffs, eh?”

    The fundamental lesson of Rorke’s drift was the effectiveness of rifles compard to spears. The British empire made use of technology to control the uneducated. There is a fundamental lesson in this for the Uk today, mostly that we no longer have such a technological advantage. Free trade always favours the party with an unfair advantage.

    WB
    “The problem for Labour is that in order to appeal to its metropolitan voters it must follow a course which is almost certain to alienate its traditional vote”

    Indeed. I fear I do not see how this is to be resolved. Labour has allowed these two goups to become antagonistic with the cassus belli of Brexit. Whereas there should have been no conflict. The EU assisted the metropolitan centres to make money. The government should then have ensured this spread out to the rest of the nation. It didnt. Thatcherite Market freedom was allowed to subvert traditional socialist redistribution, or even European style government aid for regions and small businesses.

    Labour is however in danger of losing both groups if it fails to support at least one of them. May is seeking to fill the role of friend to the struggling north, though rather hampered by having neither money not party will to spend it.

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