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. where is tancred when one needs balance on this site ! I still believe him to be Old Nats butler.

  2. hireton

    .. but still nationalist and still a minority over independence or Scotland would be presently filling out its application form for funding from the IMF. Thank goodness for the unionist majority in scotland.

  3. Good morning all from a frosty Berkshire

    @Allan Christie
    “I think you are guilty of your own spin!”

    “I haven’t seen a single serious suggestion that the LDems can win in either Copeland or Stoke – the general consensus seems to be that more than 10% of the vote in Copeland would be pretty good, and even second place in Stoke would be a major triumph”

    Me guilty of spin!!……never…..

    It seems to me you’re already chucking in the towel for the Lib/Dems. With Labour struggling in the polls and the country according to the Lib/Dems split over Brexit this should be showcase time for the Libs. 10%? you certainly have very low expectations for a the party or is this you getting ready to spin the result should they achieve more than 10% or say it’s was to be expected if they achieve around 10%.

    I’m going for 30%, anything less than that in the current political climate for the Lib’s will be a disaster.

  4. Andrew111

    nations wishing to join the EU

    Can you name any nation which would be a net contributor queuing up to join or would they be nations looking to take out from the EU ?.If the UK received 10bn p.a from the EU i suspect that there would not even have been a referendum.

    excluding Germany the uk contributes more to the EU than ALL other nations combined.

  5. ANDREW111
    “Can I have some of what you are taking please?”

    “Lib Dems coming second in these by-elections! Good joke!
    Any increase on 2015 will show progress compared to all the other Labour held seats this Parliament”

    Well I’m finishing off my wee cousins cocopops if you want any? ;-)

    Any increase on 2015 will show progress? Is that really the expectations for the Lib/Dems in a by-election surrounded by the perfect political storm? I think we are taking spin to new depths here lol

  6. Meanwhile over in the USA…”Madonna Threatens to Bomb the White House – During Women’s March Speech in D.C”

    Imagine for a minute if Clinton won and an ordinary working class Trump supporter with around 30 twitter followers was to tweet that he was going to blow up the White House….the Liberal media would be hounding him and calling for the death penalty…

    People really need to wake up and smell the hypocrisy.

    Thank goodness for people like Mark Dice.

  7. @ S THOMAS
    “excluding Germany the uk contributes more to the EU than ALL other nations combined.”

    Had we voted to remain the net contributions from the UK were only going one way, and any competitive advantage we had from not being part of the Euro would mean even more contributions to prop up the rest of the EU.


    The 1975 Referendum was after the fact of the UK being taken in.
    And that referendum was fought using Project Fear after a “triumphant negotiation”, which really amounted to a hill of beans

    Peter Shore’s excellent speech at the Oxford Union debate summed
    Project Fear up
    It’s worth watching all 23 mins of it but if you skip to 19.00 and watch to the end he exposes that plan.

    The exact same tactics failed for David Cameron.

    Fool us once…

  9. Jonesin bangor.

    Agreed. When the A50 letter is sent the uk ought to notify the EU that the last contribution will paid in march 2019.
    Only when this cold fact is understood will the 27 EC nations be able to calculate their increased liablitiies and that some beneficiaries will become contributors.
    I have yet to see a graph setting this out although i dearly hope Malta becomes a contributor based on the hostile attitude of its prime minister.

  10. Based on my own personal anecdotal evidence I think a Brexit vote tomorrow would see a much clearer margin of victory for Leave. I know quite a few people who voted Remain that have changed their minds including a very senior chartered accountant at one of the big international practices. He was very concerned about passporting and the effect it might have in forcing U.K. based financial companies to setup in the EU. 7 months later he is much more relaxed about this and thinks every job lost will be replaced by new incomers. A big foreign bank has apparently recently agreed a 20 year lease on a London property and will be opening European headquarters here, they will open a small branch in either Ireland or France to get a financial passport. He also thinks the EU in its present form is doomed and one electoral shock this year could spark the beginning of the end.

    Saying all this, my wife voted Remain and hasn’t changed her mind though she was very impressed with Theresa May’s speech and if we are to leave she wants a quick hard Brexit to clear the air and negotiate a new deal from scratch. Interesting times!

  11. S Thomas
    ”excluding Germany the uk contributes more to the EU than ALL other nations combined.”


  12. @ S thomas

    Wikipedia on the EU budget shows the table of gross flows from and to EU member states for 2014, from which net contributions can be calculated.

    This shows the Uk and France both paying about EUR 7bn net.

    Also Netherlands, Italy, Denmark Sweden and other countries making sizeable net contributions, totalling about EUR 16bn

    Is Wikipedia wrong? Can you link to your source?

  13. I reckon S Thomas misunderstood something along the lines of “The UK is the biggest contributor other than Germany (even taking into account the rebate)”.

  14. @Robert Newark – ” Insulting the voters who have a different opinion to you is not very constructive.”

    That isn’t what I did, although I can perhaps see how that conclusion might be drawn from my post if people only had a cursory thought about what I posted.

    The two offending comments were –

    “I’m not saying that Trump is a buffoon – he isn’t – but the people who believe him really are.”


    “We’re in for four years of complete denial, which will only have any point or value if very stupid people continue to believe what Trump says.”

    On the first point, I never specified who I think believes Trump – you joined dots yourself and drew a false picture.
    As it happens, I’m with a US TV commentator on this who said (paraphrased) that Democratic voters didn’t take Trump seriously while taking what he said literally, while Republicans took him seriously but didn’t take literally what he said.

    Many voters backed Trump without actually believing him, for a whole bunch of reasons, which is what you get in a binary democratic decision. You are wrong to assume that I assume these people belived him or that I think they are stupid. It would take a pretty stupid person to believe some of the things he says, and there are some of those out there, but there are some pretty stupid people believing pretty much every politician, although most voters have sufficient sense to accept a more complex set of feelings about backing one candidate or another.

    On the second point, yes, the next four years really will hinge on how many very stupid people actually believe some of this stuff. I think that is a perfectly logical and sensible point.

    Today, for example, you can choose to believe the Trump team’s claim that his inaguration was the most watched ever. This is a l!e, easily identifed by photographic and public transport evidence. If people choose to believe this, then yes, they are placing themselves in the stupid box. By not accepting or understanding evidence they will have classified themselves.

    How many such people there are out there is what is going to make the next four years count, and that is a perfectly sensible point to make, in my view.

  15. @Socal Liberal

    President ‘Dump’ – Love it :-)

  16. @seachange

    Essentially votes you agree with are significant and legitimate and those you don’t, aren’t. Fair enough.

  17. Valerie

    *Between elections and referendums, any demonstration of opposing views, however peaceful, are unwelcome; and should not be allowed??

    They should certainly be allowed but personally i find all suchdemonstrations a bit of a bore be they from right, left or center of politics.

  18. Colin

    “Yes-but that would be unforgivable because they would be ignorant trailer trash-not members of the enlightened intelligentsia .”



    Yes I know many Remainers who now support Leave but only one who voted Leave is now a don’t know.

  20. @Robert Newark

    “I won’t be going on protest marches because I can accept whatever result is thrown up, even when it is not what I want to see.”


    Well exactly. Why go marching when you can protest on the net?? You can even protest about protest marches!!

  21. Valerie – “There seems to be an emerging view amongst the ROC that, in a democracy, ‘the people’ should only participate at the ballot box. Between elections and referendums, any demonstration of opposing views, however peaceful, are unwelcome; and should not be allowed??”

    Depends entirely on what you are demonstrating about.

    I think the Iraq war demonstrations were completely valid and important because no-one had voted for war in the 2001 election, it came completely out of the blue, and there was no way to register disagreement other than protest because there was no election in the offing,

    But demonstrating against a democratic election itself is a bit daft, what are the demonstrators saying they want to replace it with? Dictatorship? Rule by mob?

    Ditto not bothering to vote and then being upset at the result and demonstrating about it. It’s quite daft to say, “I didn’t vote because no-one told me it was important, see what you’ve done by not telling me, I’m very angry with you and I’m demonstrating to show it!”

    Why on earth didn’t they demonstrate and campaign before the election when it would have made a difference? And why didn’t they bother to vote? Turnout in the Presidential elections was a pathetic 55.3% of the vote.

  22. @oldnat

    “Surely, you can’t mean that a country that has the sovereignty to withdraw from a union that it voluntarily entered into, is somehow not independent?”


    Well Scotland has the ability to leave the UK union, they get referenda on it even without sovereignty so by your argument they are already independent!!

    Such are the linguistic snafus visited upon us by matters forced into such things by inconsistencies in their position!!

    Of course, there is the problem that the ability to sever ties doesn’t necessarily remove dependence. You might have the ability to cut off your leg but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any dependence on it at all.

  23. Matters = natters

  24. @Colin – “But demonstrating against a democratic election itself is a bit daft, what are the demonstrators saying they want to replace it with? Dictatorship? Rule by mob?”

    I think you are making something of a mistake here. The protestors aren’t so much demonstrating against the election, but against specific sentiments aired by Trump – such as his treatment of women, disparaging the disabled, racism etc. This is perfectly valid, without being undemocratic.

  25. @Oldnat

    Also, let’s suppose the government enshrined the right to an Indy referendum absolutely and made the result binding. Would that suddenly make Scotland independent? Somehow I think there’d be a ‘polity’ still campaigning to leave the Union!!

  26. @Candy

    Well, my post has been moderated but my response to your comments is broadly similar to Alec’s 2:41 PM.

    [email protected] has directed his comments to Colin.

  27. “I think you are making something of a mistake here.”


    Some might also be questioning how democratic, given Feds, ruskies etc.

  28. The protests against trump seem a bit odd but they probably come from the fact that he is a deeply divisive character, a “Marmite Politician” and with opinion divided down the middle those who oppose his vision of America are showing it.

    That’s a perfectly legitimate thing to do even if it won’t be really effective.

    I am not one for rallies or marches mostly because it’s about confrontation rather than engagement and I think engagement is more effective.

    Currently their is a big Scottish campaign by Yes supporters against BBC Bias. Personally I think it will be at best ineffective if not counter productive and talking to the BBC openly about issues would yield better results, but I am very much in the minority.

    I think the fear many have of Trump is based on what Walter Mondale said about opposing Reagan;

    “If he’s for God, America and the Flag, what does that leave the rest of us?”

    Rather than use Patriotism to unify they worry he’ll use it to divide. It is at it’s strongest when it is consensual not partisan, when it is adopted not imposed,

    A Patriotism Day that accepts that others with a different view of the way ahead love their country just as much as you, can unite, a Patriotism Day where those who see a different view ahead are accused of not loving their country will divide.

    What the so called Liberal establishment and MSM fear is a return to McCarthyism, the fear the stars and stripe becoming the stainless Banner.

    Those fears may be overblown but they are none the less real, the fear that Patriotism will, in the name of liberty, trample liberty.

    It’s hard to see how a President who’s attitude to different views is to castigate, insult, lambast and vilify can ever unite a country.

    Were perhaps going to see if, contrary to established wisdom ,you can rule America by decree.

    I have my doubts.


  29. @Alec

    I think you meant to reply to me rather than Colin.

    If people were upset about Trumps comments during the campaign, why didn’t they bother to demonstrate before the election, when it was important? Why wait till after the election?

    After the election, you demonstrate on stuff that has happened after the election – which is nothing so far, so they need to hold their fire and pick their fights.

    Poncing around effectively saying “What do we want? Elections overturned! When do we want it? Now!” is hurting their cause. It is not even as though they were using a new electoral system, they’ve had the same system for decades!

  30. “Best comment of the day comes from a US protester, holding up a banner reading ‘We Shall Overcomb’.”


    Yes that was a goodun. There are upsides to protesting. Who knew?…

  31. Candy,

    I think the majority of the protestors aren’t saying they want the election re run, although most would love a different result.

    Rather that they believe Trump as President should Govern fairly for all Americans not for his own supporters.

    People are perfectly entitled at any time to put down a marker about what they think about where their Government is going, be it the day after a n election or the day before. It’s up to them.

    I wonder if I am the only one here seeing the irony.

    The day after an inauguration where Trump talked about taking the power form Washington Politicians and giving the Country back to the people he’s railing against what some of those-people want the Politicians in Washington to do.


  32. Peter Cairns,

    Some good points. I also worry about making patriotism partisan, regardless of who is doing it. The SNP aren’t perfect on this point, of course, but I think that most people in the SNP manage to resist a lot of temptation.

    Complaining about BBC bias is a less useful investment of time than working out clever ways to deal with some new issues that Brexit has created for the independence movement e.g. whether to have guards at the borders or to stay outwith the EU.

  33. Alec

    My initial response to you ended in auto mod for some reason. Suffice to say it’s probably better to avoid referring to anyone as stupid. Stupid is, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. People make the decisions they do based on their own circumstances. Those who don’t experience those circumstances sometimes have difficulty in understanding why they made a certain decision. It doesn’t make anybody stupid.
    To the working class of the rust belt, he offers hope. Obama did nothing for them & Clinton was just offering more of the same. The hope may prove to be misplaced, only time will tell.


    Your comment @12.16

    Take a bow… :-)

  35. Can Trump enshrine some sort of nation first mentality in some of the larger corporations ahead of the bottom line? It really can’t mean turning back the clock though, and many of his propositions lack detail and reality.

  36. PeteB,

    “I wonder whether they demonstrated about the mass rapes in Rotherham and elsewhere? If not, why not?”

    Perhaps because no Rotherham rapist got elected to be President of the United States!

    I can understand marching if you think something you believe;

    Should be legal, is legal, but might be made illegal!

    but not to protest against someone being found guilty of something;

    That should be illegal, is illegal and no one thinks shouldn’t be illegal.


  37. Peter Cairns
    The US President is none of our business, whereas the Rotherham and other scandals were known about and went on for years before anything was done. I suppose I was referring to the cover-up and the delay in prosecutions rather than the crimes themselves.

    Anyway, I sense that we won’t agree on this rather unsavoury subject, so I’ll say no more about it.

  38. @Candy – I suspect ( although I don’t know for certain) that the number of protestors was swelled by Trump’s speech and statements since his election.

    People generally expect politicians to be a bit gracious in victory, but not this one.

    @Peter Cairns – “a “Marmite Politician””.

    Presumably that explains his strange orange/brown skin? He must use it as a facial treatment.

    @Robert Newark – yes, I think we agree. Trump has inspired many people left behind, and I suspect many of them didn’t believe as much of the nonsense but took it as broad brush messaging.

    Where I would disagree is that the word stupid can be reasonably applied, in cases where people are believing something that has been proved to be false, and where the evidence if widely available and readily interpreted.

    That becomes wilful ignorance, which is my own definition of stupidity.

  39. The demonstrations in Washington yesterday were tarnished by Madonna effing and blinding and wanting to blow the White House up. Even on social media some peeps were hoping Trump would be assassinated during his inauguration.

    What concerns me is that the MSM seem to be be rather muted on condemning this. We are witnessing the ugly side of so-called pro democracy fighters when democratic results don’t go their way.

    When results don’t follow the establishment agenda then all we hear from them is how divided we all are.

  40. PETEB

    What would be interesting is to ask Sandy Toksvig, who addressed the crowds with : “I am here today because I believe in a woman’s right to choose.” ;if she felt the same way about the young women of Rotherham & Rochdale.& if so whether she came on the streets to say so.

    Yvette Cooper , who said “When the most powerful man in the world says it’s okay to sexually assault women because you are rich and powerful, we have to stand up and say no way.” did speak very strongly in HoC about the sexual grooming in those towns of young white girls.

  41. @AC – “When results don’t follow the establishment agenda then all we hear from them is how divided we all are.”

    I would agree with the criticism of Madonna (well, lets be honest – any criticism of Madonna) but I think you are being a little unfair to ‘the establishment’.

    After Obama’s election there was a lot of discussion about the divides in the US, and it’s been a regular theme as the US divisions become more visible and firm.

  42. Allan Christie,

    “When results don’t follow the establishment agenda then all we hear from them is how divided we all are.”

    Yeah because no one who didn’t like the EU ever complained about it in the last forty years, they all did the decent Patriotic thing and got 100% behind it!

    And lets make a point of some pillocks on Facebook talking nonsense about blowing up the Whitehouse just because the new guy in it spent two years egging on crowds of his supporters to chant “Lock her up lock her Up!!!”

    I mean is the best you people can do, when it’s clear the man you support doesn’t have the kind of support you think he should hav,e to lambast all who oppose him by characterising them all as like those at the lunatic fringe.


  43. “well, lets be honest – any criticism of Madonna”


    Her performance in Desperately Seeking Susan” is quite well regarded…

  44. What is ironic is that the Republicans in Congress have fought tooth and nail for the last six years to institute full free trade, and against the (pretty successful) actions Obama put in place to support US manufacturing after the banking crisis.

    And now they have been re-elected with control of all arms of the executive and legislature, on a presidential programme of tearing up free trade agreements and a congressional programme of putting more in place….

    You couldn’t make it up!

  45. @AC

    Lol, did you miss The Donald’s “second amendment” quip??

  46. Carfrew,

    “Her performance in Desperately Seeking Susan” is quite well regarded…”

    True, but only because it stands on a pile of dross!


  47. I was trying to be positive, Peter.!!

  48. This is interesting and hopefully sobering for some.

    Certainly better than the Telegraph cherry picking only those it wants to hear for the front page.


  49. “It seems to me that the Tory’s ‘nasty party’ and LibDems ‘tuition fee betrayers’ are currently trumped by Labour’s ‘incompetent leader’ in voters’ minds”


    That’s a very flattering portrait of the LDs, to see the betrayal as just being tuition fees!!

  50. neilj

    Apols for inelegant wording.coorect below:

    Reference:Bloomberg/net contributions/revenue for EU budget 2015/Ec

    “Excluding Germany the British Contribution is more than the total net contributions of the other 26 EU countries”

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