ComRes have a poll in Sunday’s Independent and the Sunday Mirror. Most interestingly, it found that people agreed by 45% to 39% that John Bercow was right to refuse to invite Donald Trump to address the Commons, but also that people thought by 47% to 37% that the Queen should meet Donald Trump if he visits the country. As we’ve already seen elsewhere, the British public have little sympathy for Donald Trump’s immigration policy (33% think he was right, 52% think he was wrong) though it’s worth noting that the question wording went considerably wider than Trump’s actual policy (ComRes asked about halting immigration from “Muslim-majority” countries in general, whereas Donald Trump’s policy deals with seven specific countries they claim have an issue with terrorism or vetting).

The poll also had voting intention figures of CON 41%, LAB 26%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 11%, GRN 4%. This is the first ComRes voting intenton poll since way back in June 2016 – after one of the poorer performing polls in the EU referendum (the final ComRes poll had Remain eight points ahead), they paused their voting intention polls while they conducted a review into their methods. They have now recommenced voting intention polls with – as far as I can tell – no changes to their pre-referendum methods. ComRes’s view appears to be that the referendum was an exceptional event, and while the turnout model they adopted after the polling errors of 2015 worked badly there, it worked well at the London mayoral election, so is being retained for Westminster polls. For better or for worse, the ComRes results seem to be very much in line with those from other companies, with a Conservative lead in the mid-teens.

Full tabs for the ComRes poll are here.

While I’m here, I should also mention a BMG Scottish poll that came out at the start of the week (I’ve been laid low with a heavy cold). Voting intention in a second independence referendum stood at YES 49%(+3.5%), NO 49%(-3.5%). This is the lowest lead for NO that any Scottish Indy poll has recorded since the EU referendum. This was interpreted by the Herald as a response to Theresa May’s announcement of her negotiating stance on Brexit. I think that is somewhat premature – so far we’ve had two Scottish polls conducted since May’s speech, a Panelbase poll showing a very small (and not statistically significant) movement towards NO and a BMG poll showing a somewhat larger (but still barely significant) movement towards YES. In short, there is nothing yet that couldn’t be normal sample variation – wait for the next few polls on attitudes towards Scottish independence before concluding whether there is or is not any movement. Full tabs are here

325 Responses to “ComRes/Indy/Sunday Mirror – CON 41, LAB 26, LD 11, UKIP 11”

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    Once A50 is triggered next month it is a legal one-way street. But it was a one-way street once the Referendum result came in anyway!

    The HoL will probably approve the triggering, but it is not yet a given. It has only been a one-way street because HMG ignored it’s advisory nature and they have not chosen to explore whether it is legally reversible.

    I’m not suggesting that it won’t happen, but you’re being somewhat premature.

  2. Here are the charts including YG’s latest:

    In the short term I’d say all parties are treading water, with nothing more than MOE going on. I’d put the VI for the main parties at about:

    Con 40%
    Lab 25-26%
    LD 11%
    UKIP 12%

    ….plus or minus poll to poll MOE.

    On longer trends, Labour getting these 24s is dragging their EWMA trend down, Lib Dems are improving and UKIP and the Conservatives are plodding along.

    ****** NB All based on YG data only @Graham ;-)

  3. @Sea Change

    If you think that public opinion on Brexit is now set in stone *regardless of what happens in the next 2 years*, then I think someone in this conversation is ‘borderline delusional’, but that I wouldn’t be so certain that it is me.

  4. @Saffer

    “Looking at a trend line rather than just the short-term movement, we’ve entered a period of relative stability, with all major parties staying within a fairly narrow range.”

    It only looks like that if you look at a narrow time window. A different way of looking at this is that it is the continuation of a slow inexorable slide that has been ongoing since the middle of last year. There’s no sign yet that Labour has reached its nadir.

  5. “Once A50 is triggered next month it is a legal one-way street.”

    No, not really, with the key decision makers being the EU27.

    If, as proposed, support for Brexit is falling (and I’m not yet sure this is actually the case) then a UK PM could readily decide to ask to withdraw the A50 notification.

    The decision then rests with the EU27 – they could just ignore this and throw the UK out, ignore the A50 notification and carry on before, or agree to keep UK in but under different terms. There isn’t anything legally one way about this, although admittedly the politics and practicalities are potentially problematic.

    However, there are equally deeply problematic potential political issues on the other side. Many of the active Brexiteers (including most on UKPR) have convinced themselves that they know what everyone who voted for Brexit wants. They can’t, and don’t, and there is a variety of polling evidence stacking up against what is commonly termed ‘hard brexit’.

    I have no idea what will happen, or which way public opinion moves, but if over the next two years we see economic impacts, companies switching production out of he UK, and the realisation that the trade benefits of leaving will take a long time to materialise, it’s quite feasible that by the time it comes to actually leave, support for Brexit might actually have fallen quite a bit.

    Even more basic, with schools in Tory controlled boroughs suggesting they might have to move to a 4 day week because of budget cuts, the NHS falling apart, social care in crisis, mental health services collapsing and prisons effectively now run by prisoners, there is a fair chance that the government could be beset by domestic crises. Perhaps the public will just turn away from May for reasons that are nothing to do with Brexit. After all – that’s the real reason why a fair few people voted to leave, just to give Cameron a kicking.

    Would anyone like to be a PM signing the leaving papers if polls show opposition to the deal running at 70%, let’s say?

    Pretty much anything could happen in the next two years, and there is nothing one way about any of this.

  6. Thankyou @Sea Change and @Saffer. Thought there had been some 24’s, but wasn’t sure if these were YG.

  7. As Dave has introduced the YouGov/Times poll results, I have a question for AW on the YouGov weighting data that is listed at the end of that poll. I noted that both men and women over 65 are treated as single blocs with no consideration of their level of education and this gives numbers larger than any other group. Falling into this category as a baby-boomer who graduated in 1969, when the expansion of higher education was already under way, it had occurred to me that this could cause a sampling error if people in this age group with a low education level responded differently from those with a high level. As the over-65s are known to have a high propensity to vote, is there a case for subdividing these two groups.

  8. CMJ
    Thanks for the charts. Very interesting.

  9. @Chris Riley

    I think the idea that Brexit is somehow going to be halted because of some opinion polls is borderline delusional.

    The idea we’re suddenly going to turn round and say hang on let’s stop rebuilding Whitehall’s departments, let’s beg the EU to rejoin, let’s continue with freedom of movement, let’s ignore the referendum etc etc is frankly for the birds. It would be mayhem. The Government would also fall as the Tory Party would split asunder.

    And that’s all going to happen because of some future possible negative opinion polls is it? Come on.

    Labour are on 24% and Corbyn is still there…

    @BZ You’re right it’s not a done deal, yet. But the PM has the nuclear option of ramming this through the other chamber by appointing Brexit Lords if she really wants to, so she holds all the cards now.

  10. @ Barbazenzero
    @ Alec
    Re: Legal one way street:

    Actually the question of whether the Triggering of Article 50 is irreversible is one that could only be answered by the European Court of Justice (before we leave the EU). That is because it is an aspect of European Law and not UK law.
    The acceptance by both parties in the Gina Miller case that the triggering of Art. 50 was irreversible was because it suited the interests of both parties. Therefore it was not in issue in that case: had it been in issue the matter would have to be referred to the ECJ for resolution. The Government did not want referral (for obvious political reasons) and the claimants did not want referral because the whole of their argument was based on the premise that the triggering of Art. 50 was irreversible.
    Even beside the legal question I accept Alec’s view re: the Realpolitik that might become prevalent if the timetable proves tight.

  11. @Sea Change

    Please don’t build ludicrous straw man arguments.

    Doing that says more about you and your critical thinking skills than it does about anything else.

  12. Alec “The decision then rests with the EU27”
    How does this differ in practice from what is not disputed?
    Article 50, Clause 5:
    5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.
    Timing alone, I suggest, in that notification under Article 50 might be withdrawn before UK has actually left. But then wouldn’t EU want to negotiate re-entry down the well-tried entry routes.

  13. @Chris Riley

    I’m sorry if I have pointed out the consequences of what would likely happen if there was a reversal of the Government’s Brexit policy in the short to medium term. You did post an unscientific poll of Mirror group readers and said people have a chance to “change their minds”.

    I don’t think people have truly considered the vast undertaking that has already been set in motion. We would need to see truly momentous change in circumstances for the Tory Party to do an about face and be able to stay in one piece.

  14. In terms of delusion, the idea that the EU27 will somehow block Brexit is on the list.

    I have no doubt they had all hoped we’ed remain and think we a daft to leave, but they will have seen more than enough from watching the political fall out in the UK to realise that keeping us in would be counter productive.

    I suspect, if it’s not too brutal an analogy and I don’t mean it in a derogatory way to the UK, the see it a bit like a gangrenous foot.

    Not what you want to find or half to deal with, but in the end it’s best to cut it off at the ankle than try to save it!


  15. @WB

    Six Nations: probably best left as it is, unless Italy get a lot worse. Or someone like Georgia gets a lot better.

    Its a bigger problem with European football where the top teams are forever playing Andorra, San Marino, Gib and the Faroes. Complete waste of time. These minor nations should play-off amongst themselves, so that only one team makes the competition proper.

    As for feeding the scrum, I just despair…

  16. @seachange

    It wouldn’t be the Tory party doing the about face, as you say that wouldn’t happen. But there is an (unlikely) scenario involving post A50 multiple massive crisis’s triggering byelections enough for the Tory’s to lose their majority and in turn a no confidence vote triggering a GE in 2018, with a “remain” coalition of LibDems and a new breakaway Labour party under Chcka coming to power.

    I did say unlikely !

  17. @Peter Cairns

    Well yes there is that too. The French, rightly, never wanted us in because they knew we’d never be fully committed to their vision. Plus we’d knocked them back on the idea of political and economic union between the UK and France in1956.

  18. Just to be clear how easy what I suggested would be for the 27, it goes:
    27: You wish to withdraw notice in the middle of complex negotiations, having advanced many reasons for not being in accord with EU views.
    We suggest you remain members on present terms, paying all dues, until 2 years from your Article 50 notification. Then there is no leaving agreement, so the terms of the Lisbon Treaty no longer apply, but you are then free to apply at once to join under Article 49.

  19. @WB – “Actually the question of whether the Triggering of Article 50 is irreversible is one that could only be answered by the European Court of Justice (before we leave the EU). That is because it is an aspect of European Law and not UK law.”

    No – there is no question to answer. Unless something is expressly forbidden under EU treaty law, then it is legal. So long as the UK has not finalised a deal to leave, then the EU27 can agree to simply dump the A50 activation if the UK asks for this. Any other interpretation simply doesn’t understand how EU law works.

    The reason why it was considered irreversible under UK law is that is is irreversible – the UK could not reverse it itself, but could only ask for the EU27 to reverse it, and that, only before the negotiations are complete.

    Whether this would be a sensible step all round – well that is a completely different matter.

    @Sea Change – such a scenario may well be for the birds, but what if the Tory party is already split asunder? What if polls turn sharply and May fails to persuade her MPs to go against the polls and for a hard Brexit? What happens is election results punish Tories. What happens if May decides that what she believed before June 23rd was actually true and resigns, saying she can’t deliver a good deal?

    Equally, Greece could exit the Euro, Le Pen win in France and the EU implode.

    Neither you, nor I can know any of this, but please don’t thing for a single second that your particular version of Brexit is a done deal.

  20. @Alec “Neither you, nor I can know any of this, but please don’t thing for a single second that your particular version of Brexit is a done deal.”

    I’ve no idea how the negotiations will pan out, and have never suggested otherwise. What I am sure about is A50 will be triggered and we will leave the EU. That won’t be stopped by some negative opinion polls, which was my original point.

    What happens after that, who knows.

  21. @Sea Change

    You appear to have mistaken this for yet another blog about party politics.

    This is a site about polling. Making the fairly routine observation that people might change their mind about Brexit as the process continues and that this might affect polling does not warrant being called ‘delusional’.

  22. “However as an addendum to my recent post
    We haven’t triggered Article 50 yet.
    Plenty of time for people to change their minds.”

    You wrote that. Clearly implying that Brexit might be halted by a change in public opinion as referenced by the mirror reader poll. For the reasons I have stated I believe that is fanciful at best.
    I did call it borderline delusional, and I’ll retract that as it is not in the spirit of this forum.

    But the PM has the nuclear option … so she holds all the cards now.

    Not quite. I agree that your [w]e would need to see truly momentous change in circumstances for the Tory Party to do an about face and be able to stay in one piece @CHRIS RILEY is HMG’s priority and primary concern, but that in turn means that they will consider pretty carefully before negotiating a Moh 10 Brexit for much the same reasons.

    WB @ BZ + ALEC

    Re: Legal one way street: we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the Dublin High Court.

    I agree entirely with your closing: Neither you, nor I can know any of this, but please don’t thin[k] for a single second that your particular version of Brexit is a done deal.

  24. @ Alec

    I agree with you as to the approach of the 27 however I disagree about treaty obligations, the interpretation you place may well be the interpretation that the ECJ would give Art. 50 but as a matter of EU law construction of treaty obligations is a matter for the Court, if it was argued that wording was irreversible then the Court would have to resolve that.
    Of course you are right there is nothing to stop the 27 entering a new treaty agreement which would negate such interpretation.

  25. For those, like me, a little pessimistic about the future because of Brexit I have reminded myself of the following passage from Ariel by Jose Enrique Rodo: I find it some comfort

    “That which humanity needs, to be saved
    from all pessimistic negation, is not so
    much a belief that all is well at present, as
    the faith that it is possible through life’s
    growth to arrive at a better state, hastened
    and discovered by the actions of men.
    Such faith in the future, belief in the efficacy of human energy, are the necessary condition of all strong action and all fecund thought.”

  26. Interesting and good discussion about the future.

    Just a small point: while the ECJ use to be guided by the liberal interpretation of laws, it has moved away from it in the last 15 years or so.

    There is a diverse support for the hard Brexit in the electorate – both according to polls and anecdotal bits (interestingly, it seems though that they don’t like to be blackmailed by the government). I doubt that companies moving out, loss of export markets, increased cost, etc would change this. Blaming is much easier than drawing up causalities, so Brexit won’t be a scapegoat (imo).

  27. @Alec. ” So long as the UK has not finalised a deal to leave, then the EU27 can agree to simply dump the A50 activation if the UK asks for this.”
    So 27 can, if they are agreed. If they are not agreed on ‘renewing’ UK membership on existing terms, they will find some other route. I suggested a simple one.
    What UK would want “Article 50 is reversible” to mean, would presumably be for the present terms of membership to continue undisturbed, without the 27 taking any action which might change them.
    “Good luck with that ” I expect the 27, or at least some of them, would say.
    Would UK need to go to ECJ and argue its case that UK view of ‘reversible’ was the correct one? That could well itself absorb the 2-year time frame, depending on when action was taken to withdraw Article 50 notification, such attempt at ‘withdrawal’ presumably being part of the negotiations to leave the EU if 27 could negate it.

  28. BZ

    Would we be able to withdraw A50? I suspect that if the ECJ have to make a decision they will decide on whatever is in the best interest of the EU ‘ideal’. Whatever they think that is at the time. If pressed now my guess is they will go for withdrawal being allowed by QMV in the EC – which generally means if France and Germany want it.

    With reference to our conversation yesterday, I see that the Labour Leader in the Lords has said that Labour will not ‘wreck’, they will post reasonable ‘have you thought of’ Amendments, but there will be no wrecking, there will be no ping pong. That seems entirely proper to me.

    If that turns out to be correct Farron will be unable to use the Lords to overturn the will of the Electorate and the will of Parliament. Future Liberals will be glad of that.

  29. The latest YouGov details can be found on their website. It really is an appaling poll for Labour yet again.

    Still waiting as patiently as possible for Art. 50 to be triggered.

  30. The Yougov poll yet again shows Labour lower than any other pollster. The poll is a week old and was carried out at the same time as the ICM poll published last week giving Labour 27%. Comres is more recent and has Labour on 26%.

  31. I strongly suspect that something has gone amiss with the Yougov methodology over the last few months. No other pollster is really showing Labour any lower than last August – indeed some have them higher.

  32. @Robin

    “Looking at a trend line rather than just the short-term movement, we’ve entered a period of relative stability, with all major parties staying within a fairly narrow range.”

    It only looks like that if you look at a narrow time window

    You’re right, of course. I was looking at a slightly “longer” term than just the last two – but still a moderately short time span. For a proper longer term look, CEJ’s EWMA* chart’s are revealing, for showing starkly how dire is the Labour decline.

    (* For anyone confused by “EWMA”, as I was originally, it’s Exponential Weighted Moving Average – useful, compared with a standard MA, for treating recent readings as more useful than older ones. With Labour’s recent VI share estimates lower than the older ones, that brings the decline into sharp relief).

  33. Over the last five months Yougov has pretty consistently been giving the lowest Labour voting share – a bit like Angus Reid before the 2010 election. What I find puzzling is that since mid-September Yougov shows Labour dropping 6 points from 30% to 24%. No other pollster is showing any meanigful change in the Labour share over that period – indeed some have them now a bit higher. ICM had Labour on 26% in mid September – Mori had them on 29% compared with their most recent finding of 31% – in late July Opinium had Labour on 31% little changed from its last finding of 30%. I have no explanation to offer but something about Yougov’s surveys in recent months just does not smell right. It sticks out like a sore thumb when compared with the other pollsters. Moreover, as recently as last March/April it was producing the most favourable Labour ratings – including three consecutive Labour leads! Very strange.

  34. RODGER @ BZ
    I suspect that if the ECJ have to make a decision they will decide on whatever is in the best interest of the EU ‘ideal’.

    That’s precisely what the Dublin challenge is designed to test. Whether the ECJ justices seek the opinions of their “home” governments or not, we’ll probably never know.

  35. Good evening all from a bright and breezy central London.

    “The latest YouGov details can be found on their website. It really is an appalling poll for Labour yet again”

    “Still waiting as patiently as possible for Art. 50 to be triggered”

    It really is an appalling poll for Labour. I had a look at the YouGov website and found this comment on their comment section quite interesting…..
    “Shock, horror UKIP are into second place among the “working class” C2DE voters 3% ahead of Labour. Where is Labour’s “core vote”: ” lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die.”

    “Is it even possible for Labour to recover? Unless it can, there is little hope for a coherent opposition coming from anywhere else and that is hardly good for a democratic country”

    Sums it up really….Anyway like you I’m patiently waiting for A50 to be triggered.. As it so happens I have a quote above my desk and it reads…

    “When we get out of the glass bottle of our ego and when we escape like the squirrels in the cage of our personality and get into the forest again, we shall shiver with cold and fright. But things will happen to us so that we don’t know ourselves. Cool, unlying life will rush in”

    Indeed. :-)

  36. BZ

    Yes, and that is why the action is surprising. I can see why the UK govt. would want to know, but I would have thought it in the interest of the EU to wait until they have a definite situation where there is a will for withdrawal. That then leaves everybody (inc. the ECJ) free to adapt to that situation, whatever it might be.

    Unless of course they decided that they want a QMV decision so that the Remainers can keep the pressure up all the way through the 2 year process. That would make sense. The trouble is, that could mis-fire badly if the ECJ decides (as it should) that there is no withdrawal mechanism in the Treaty, so there is no withdrawal. That is what a German court would say.

  37. GRAHAM

    You seem to hyperventilate quite a lot over YouGov’s VI figures for Labour. Why don’t you contact Mathew Smith, YouGovs Data journalist and see if he can do an article on your waffle? Who knows you might even get paid and invited to take a wee YouGov survey!!

  38. article 50 negotiations can be extended by unanimity – that would not include adjourning them until the leaving state pipes up.

    The truth is that if we want to get down our on knees and beg forgiveness, the only question is how big a price the EU will exact. Schengen membership
    ? End of rebate? Euro membership? Gibraltar to Spain? The assumption that the EU be kind in reversing Article 50 is every bit as dicey as supposing they will be generous in exit negotiations, perhaps more so. If we are desperate to get back in, they have every interest in imposing a payment – and no risk of the down side that comes from a disorderly exit.

  39. In the meantime UKIP in Stoke openly stitched to Smethwick campaign – either because of desperation or because of instincts.

  40. @J1832

    You missed out the possibility of a simple “No”. I suspect there are plenty of European leaders who are glad to see the back of us, acting as a drag anchor on development of the EU project. Why would they want us back in, and once again able to block progress?


    I know its not a poll and the source has a clear agenda, but it is interesting to read what activists are saying about the election in Stoke Central. Often it is snap shots like this one which can help read the data in polls. If correct it would appear that on the ground it feels like Labour is holding its vote.

    If anybody has access to similar blogs from the other parties it would be very interesting to see them.

  42. GRAHAM

    your post @ 4.22pm.

    For whatever reason YouGov do appear to be showing a lower VI for Labour but if you take all of the recent VI figures for Labour from all pollsters since December last year up to now, what is their mean V1?

    I’m not doing your homework for you but a little recherche might be in order.

  43. Joseph1832

    The EU would not remove the Rebate as a price of withdrawal. It is calculated under a formula and both the Netherlands and Sweden benefit from Rebates.

    Schengen would be my guess, and possibly the Euro unless they thought we might further destabilize it, or they judged it a price we would simply baulk at.

  44. @DaveM

    Even if an honest account, anecdotal evidence like this is horribly subject to confirmation bias. And whether Labour supporters in a non-Labour areas are staying Labour is far less important, quantitatively, than what is happening with Labour voters in Labour areas.

  45. RODGER @ BZ

    Yes, and that is why the action is surprising.

    Hardly. Any group who think that leaving the EU is unwise is perfectly entitled to test it in the courts. As the UK leaving the EU may well create serious problems throughout the island of Ireland it’s a very logical place to seek the ECJ’s opinion.

    The trouble is, that could mis-fire badly if the ECJ decides (as it should) that there is no withdrawal mechanism in the Treaty, so there is no withdrawal.

    I’m not sure how the UK’s situation could be worse than it already is, but the words you put in brackets are very much your own opinion. If the case does get to the ECJ it will be decided by the justices on the basis of current European law.

  46. @Robin

    That is why I was asking if there were any other blogs from others, it would be interesting to see what the confirmation bias is in each of the different blogs.

  47. BZ

    Fair comment.

  48. Rodger

    This is political unreality gone mad. Who is going to lead the country back into the EU?Tony Blair? No tory could do it and no labour politician either. perhaps McCanute will march south?That guy who leads the liberal party perhaps?
    People who profess to wanting the UK not to leave the EU for economic reasons (rather than their own bruised egos) might do well to consider what being a member of the euro would have had economically on the UK in 2008

  49. @DaveM

    If the local talk was of Labour holding their vote well, I would expect it to be reflected in the betting. In fact, the odds for Stoke have been very stable in recent days, with UKIP and Lab neck and neck.

    Copeland is a bit different – the Tories are now quite strong favourites.

    Another dire poll for Labour – it does make you wonder how long it can go on, without something happening leadership-wise.

  50. S Thomas,

    It’s funny you should mention the name of Saint Blair w.r.t. Brexit. Had Blair, or any other competent politician, been President of the Commission Brexit would never actually happen. It is easy to see how he would have done it, and by now everyone outside the core of Brexit activists (and especially the markets) would have concluded it could safely be forgotten as a maybe sometime never. He would also have used to to increase the stability by telling countries thinking of leaving to wait and see what happens with the UK.

    Sadly for the EU, it has Juncker. Very, very good at Committees, but not a very good electoral politician. It changed my view of Merckel that she didn’t see it and went along with his strategy. But then he has blind sided her a few times lately.

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