ComRes have a poll in the Independent & Sunday Mirror. Topline figures with changes from last month are CON 42%(+1), LAB 25%(-1), LDEM 12%(+1), UKIP 10%(-1), GRN 4%(nc).

Earlier in the week the monthly Ipsos MORI political monitor was also published in the Evening Standard. Topline figures there were CON 43%(+3), LAB 30%(+1), LDEM 13%(nc), UKIP 6%(-3) (full details are here.

Three polls released since the budget all suggest the government emerged unscathed in terms of voting intention. UKIP’s figures are also interesting – while it’s normal for MORI to have the Lib Dems comfortably ahead of UKIP, we’re now in the unusual situation where all of the last three polls have the Lib Dems in third place and UKIP back in forth (that’s ComRes, MORI and the YouGov/Times poll in the week)

As well as the usual trackers, MORI also had some questions on EU negatotiations. Asked if the government were doing well or badly at handling Britain’s exit from the European Union 36% said a good job, 52% a bad job. Asked the same question about Theresa May 49% said a good job, 40% said a bad job. That alone is an interesting difference – I’d be fascinated to see how people who answered the two questions differently explained their answers (by guess is people would say something about May coming across as more competent than some of her ministers).

Asked how important various considerations were in Brexit negotiations 43% of people said it was essential or very important for Britain not to have to make any contributions to the EU after we’ve left, 43% also said it was essential or important to remain in the single market. 61% said it was essential or important that Britain has full control over immigration.

On the subject of Brexit negotiations, there was also some new YouGov polling in the week – I’ve written a longer article over on the YouGov website. This was a follow up to the YouGov poll after Theresa May’s January speech setting out her Brexit negotiating targets. Those were well received by most of the public, are still are – by 52% to 22% people think the sort of Brexit that May says she is aiming for would be good for Britain.

However, this leaves open the question of how people will react if the government don’t manage to get everything they want. Certainly some of the things that the government are aiming for are ambitious. In this week’s poll YouGov also asked how people would react if May failed to get some of things she wants, asking about a hypothetical deal where Britain ends up with tariff barriers and customs checks on many imports and exports with the EU. In that case only 30% say it would be good for Britain, 40% bad for Britain.

Asked what should happen next the most popular option would be for the government to go back and try to renegotiate. That’s pretty much a given though, the more interesting question is what people think should happen once all further opportunity for negotiation is exhausted. 41% said Britain should still leave on those terms; 32% that there should be a second referendum on whether to stay after all. 27% say not sure.

I think there’s some cause for optimism for both sides there. For those who want to leave, it suggests the balance of opinion would still be in favour of leaving even if Brexit negotiations are seen to have failed. For those who want to stay, the 27% of people who would be unsure suggests that plenty of people are open to persuasion.

This is, of course, very much a hypothetical question, a straw in the wind of how the public might react if the negotiations go badly. Time will tell what actually happens if things don’t go to plan.

UPDATE: There’s also a Opinium poll in the Observer. Topline figures there are CON 41%, LAB 28%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, so there is still one poll with UKIP holding on to their third place. Full tabs are here.


89 Responses to “Latest voting intentions and Brexit polling”

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  1. @Alec

    I don’t know enough about Labour to know who are the realistic alternative to Corbyn in the party. If there aren’t any, that just shows how effective Blairism was at replacing with quasi-liberals.

    But you can see why the Momentum peeps are fighting a rearguard action against Blairipeeps, because their policies oversaw a progressive reduction in standards of living for many and their reaction thus far, while possibly relenting a bit, doesn’t inspire confidence of sufficient change to rectify this.

    You can take pops at Corbyn all the livelong day, but it’s of little use while the alternative offers little. There’s a need to take a critical look at whether the Blairites alternative is really gonna seriously reverse the inexorable slide towards further erosions in pay, bills, property prices, rents etc. etc. that Blair presided over.

  2. @Carfrew
    As you say, you know little about Labour. This is proven again and again by your crass assertion that the party is made up of Corbyn supporters and Blairites/quasi Blairites/crypto Blairites.
    This has nothing to do with the party of which I am a member.

  3. @Carfrew – I think you are guilty of two errors in your last two posts.

    Firstly, we’re back to BSE. The reporting of Corbyn’s response to the NIC’s shambles is accurate. He was useless. Why bother trying to defend this?

    At the weekly event we dare not mention, he was presented with an open goal, and he didn’t even get as far as trying to place the ball, let alone take a shot. This was because he has his prepared scripts and he is incapable of thinking differently or imaginative when the landscape in front of him changes. May must truly believe that God is an English Conservative, given what she had to face that day.

    In your second post you once again retreat to the comfort zone of ‘Blairite’s’. How many votes from MPs did Kendal get in 2015? That’s how few of these there are left.

    It’s like a stuck record, blaming the man who left office over a decade ago for Labour’s ills, and who incidentally engineered the greatest ever transfer of wealth o the poorest 10% in society while in office, as it happens.

  4. AW

    That moderation is inexplicable to me-the post even refers to Opinion Polls!

    Could you explain why please?

  5. @Colin – I’m struggling with that decision also. Seemed fair and reasonable to me.

  6. AW

    Well-I understand your response -thanks.

    But if perceived reasons for Party Leadership Approval Ratings are in breach of Comments Policy , that is pretty restrictive.

    And , of I may say so , a little inconsistent with your own comment in this thread header :-

    ” (by guess is people would say something about May coming across as more competent than some of her ministers).

  7. ALEC

    Thanks !-ah well-back to the garden :-)

  8. @Alec

    “@Carfrew – I think you are guilty of two errors in your last two posts.”

    ———

    Only two? That’s quite good going!!

    As to your points… Firstly, I’m not trying to defend Corbyn. What has he got to say about storage? Or Synths?? Nothing, that’s what.

    It’s about the polling. Undoubtedly, Corbyn is suboptimal. But so are his opponents. The point is, if he makes errors, they are painted into a general narrative about him being useless. And even if his rivals make mistakes, they don’t get that narrative, in fact Corbyn is still attacked as useless.

    Which is liable to make him take a bigger hit for his errors while his rivals take a lesser hit for their errors, and he even takes a hit when they make errors. This stuff has an effect, e.g. When it was the other way around and Labour flew high in polling while Tories plummeted as everything shoehorned into Omnishambles narrative.

    Secondly, you’re seizing on the fact I said ‘Blairite’ and going off on one about that, which serves to dodge the point I was clearly making, about the continuation of those sorts of policies, and how they have progressively created a problem for Labour, which is part of why Brown and Miliband couldn’t prevail.

    Whatever we call it, if the right of the party are still going to be pushing policies that will oversee further erosion of living standards, even if at a bit slower rate, then Labour are still left with a problem.

    Nothing you’ve said alters the three key issues…

    – Labour will likely struggle without policies to clearly reverse the decline under Blair and successors

    – Even if they pick someone more to the left, media are liable to target them, it was bad enough for Ed M.

    – the right of the party are not allowing a suitable replacement for Corbyn who is more to the left. And part of e problem is how they have excluded potential,candidates from even being MPs in the first place

  9. @Guymonde

    “As you say, you know little about Labour. This is proven again and again by your crass assertion that the party is made up of Corbyn supporters and Blairites/quasi Blairites/crypto Blairites.
    This has nothing to do with the party of which I am a member.”

    ————

    Nah, you’re just seizing on it as a straw man. It’s clear from the context what I meant: I.e. people still supporting policies liable to result in further erosion of living standards. Like Blair happened to do, but he’s hardly alone in it…

  10. Looking at the latest polls from the 5 main polling organisations I get the 3rd place fight tied at 10% each for LD and UKIP. With such a range of figures between the individual polls, giving completely different pictures, I don’t think we can say that crossover has happened yet.

  11. @Carfrew – you might want to look at this – https://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn89.pdf

    It actually gives a few facts and figures about Labour’s record on living standards and inequality, with the record actually being quite good, and certainly better than what went before and afterwards.

    Certainly, we can argue about structural matters and New Labour’s failure to address underly!ing issues of the economic system, but the record of the Labour years is pretty good in the UK context.

  12. @Carfrew
    Like I say, you think the Labour party is made up only of Corbyn supporters and the heirs to Blair. Of course, as Alec rightly points out, flawed as they were, the Blair/Brown governments were heaps better for average working and poorer people than what went before and after.
    One of the infuriating things in the LP is the determination of some to trash everything that Blair/Brown did. They even blame the NHS crisis on PFI, and really don’t want to hear that the costs of all the PFI schemes amount to less than 2% of the NHS budget,. This would amount to noise on the line compared with the conservative funding crisis, even if we derived zero value from the many new hospitals etc that PFI delivered (oh, for the avoidance of doubt, I always thought PFI as a funding mechanism was mad!)

  13. @ Alec

    ‘This is the reason why I despise so much of what claims to be the left in the UK, despite being by far to the left of most of them in my own personal politics. Formulaic, pious moralizing and child-like sloganising, with no real attempt made to engage with and understand the real issues, resulting in a pastiche of what ‘left wing’ looks like and lacking the wit to understand what they are doing to their party.’

    It has always been my experience that those, who have political beliefs to the left of (what they perceive to be) those in the LP, expend a lot of energy in attacking the LP… and ultimately backing the right. I suppose it makes sense. If the left of the LP does not sufficient reflect your own leftwing policies, then it is a small jump to feeling that it doesn’t matter who runs the LP. We saw it in the 90’s, when ‘Marxism Today’ magazine wholeheartedly went over to supporting Blair and New Labour.

  14. @Alec

    I’m not sure the IFS report takes everything into account, e.g. the massive rise in house prices.

    Secondly, Nulab compensated with benefits, tax credits etc., which might look ok in the calculations, isn’t a very good long term solution and is easily reversed.

    Thirdly, sure, if you take an average, some may do ok, especially in the South East with all the London benefits, infrastructure spend and QE etc, but many of these may still not vote Labour.

    The impact among people in Labour’s target group is summat else however. Nulab lost loads of support including Scotland before Corbyn even had a sniff of power.

    This is before people consider ‘enabling policies, where Labour introduced privatisations, tuition fees etc., that other parties could seize upon later. Labour may well still take some of the blame if things get ramped up by other parties.

  15. @Guymonde

    Obviously the Labour Party doesn’t consist of just two groups. In terms of the battle over the leadership, it does tend to be a battle between people for Corbyn or against, being as voting kinda forces that situation, and there are many among the party hierarchy still invested in the policies occurring under the New Labour years.

    And they don’t seem keen to change that, or else they’d reduce the bar for nominations.

  16. @Guymonde

    In terms of Nulab doing some good stuff, sure, but that’s not the point. Sure, there were winners under Labour. But in terms of the polling, what will ail them is those who perceived they didn’t win. Some of this perception may be unfair, like immigrants get blamed for stuff not their fault, but have to factor it all in if we want to understand it all.

  17. Alec

    Thanks for your post, reconstructing a 50 year old rockery at the moment. It appears i am not as strong as i was 50 years ago when i made, but getting there slowly.

    I broadly agree that England did not play well during the six nations although watching all the games the only one I thought they would lose was yesterdays match. I know I am an optimist but i never doubted they would beat France and Wales. Yesterday was very different, they were never in the match, even when they got the lead down to 4 points with 16 minutes to go. They were seen at their collective best in Australia. Still the coach say’s its a four year programme and hopefully they will learn from this defeat.

  18. Cardrew

    I agree the Tory press were kind but i thought the TV news channels uniformly panned the government but it seems to have had no effect.

  19. @TOH

    No need to be too despondent about the England defeat.

    I gather George Osborne has offered to play stand-off and help with the forwards coaching.

  20. @ToH

    That’s the thing. Governments, opposition parties make errors, but many are soon forgotten about.

    What gives a more lasting effect is either if it’s a big deal, like the ERM crisis, or Winter of Discontent. Because these have very visceral impacts, like your mortgage payments shooting up, refuse not collected etc.

    For other things, what matters is if it becomes part of a narrative pushed by the media. Like, in the scheme of things, pasty tax isn’t that big a deal. But when sold as part of a narrative of Omnishambles – I.e, general incompetence – that’s different. Watch the polling gap widen and widen.

    Similarly, immigration became a general narrative, to be blamed for many things, and polling followed suit, and now that’s the kinda line taken on Corbyn. Even when the government mess up, media line is still Corbyn is useless.

  21. Re – election speculation. It is already too late to call an election for May 4th without Corbyn’s agreement.

  22. There has been some speculation in the Sunday papers relating to May calling an election for May 4th. That would now require Corbyn’s acquiescence.

  23. Anthony,
    No. Have not changed anything. Just done a’Test’ and that also has gone into moderation!

    [Hm. Not sure. Can assure you it’s not deliberate! AW]

  24. Oldnat ,
    You don’t need the Greens to discuss Land Value Tax on this thread! It has been Lib Dem policy since time immemorial and was in the 2015 manifesto.

    However since we do need to talk about polling I will point out that the Lib Dems are the largest UK Party on current polls to be advocating it…As a supporter of PR I am sure you will recognise their pre-eminent position on that particular issue!

  25. @Graham

    I suspect the “plan” if there is one is to hold a vote on dissolving parliament under the the FTPA, rather than holding a no confidence vote, or repealing the FTPA.

    A lot of people here have expressed confidence that the opposition parties would vote against dissolving parliament. I find that hard to believe, and suspect that politically Labour would have no choice but to support the motion.

    The LDs and the SNP, for their own reasons, might welcome a GE (to increase their seats for the LD, and to emphasise their still huge support for the SNP).

    But it is hard to see how Corbyn could turn down a chance to topple the government, even if it is in circumstances where toppling the government is almost certainly impossible. That’s just not how the narrative of election fighting goes.

  26. Tom Watson is making a big stand on this :-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39325559

  27. @Colin

    ” Unite spokeswoman said: “As Unite has stated, repeatedly, it is for the Unite Executive Council, not the general secretary, to agree to which bodies our union aligns. There are no plans whatsoever for Unite to affiliate to Momentum, as has, again, been made repeatedly clear.

    “It is extraordinary that the deputy leader of the Labour Party continues to interfere in Unite’s democracy in this way.”

    ———-

    So is this a real issue or is Watson mischief-making? I guess we’ll find out…

  28. CARFREW

    We will-meanwhile I presume Labour’s VI will languish as does that of all parties involved in public internal strife.

    As I say-May is very very lucky with her opponent.

  29. Yes, depressing for us Labourites.
    I was canvassing yesterday with on Momentum member and one who voted Corbyn first time round and Smith last year. We happened to be on a Laboury/greeny street. I got 4 expressions of despair at Corbyn (though all 4 averred they will vote Labour anyway) and we got one party resigner (over Corbyn) – but who will still vote Lab.
    Another lady came out in the street almost in tears – she was a friend of one of the canvassers – and expressed dismay that the party doesn’t get behind Corbyn.
    Insiders are split between those like me who think we are doomed to decline until he goes and those like Mr Momentum who think we are doomed until we all (especially that den of wickedness, our elected MPs aka the PLP) stop moaning and give Corbyn unstinting support.
    Joe Labour supporter is not split in the same proportions, judging by yesterday’s (and many other days’) straw poll. They just want a chnage of leader.

  30. Watson on BBC tv news-about to go and “ask Jeremy if he knew about this”.

  31. Welcome back everyone. It was getting lonely in here! It’s natural for folks to post in the most recent thread. If Anthony’s going to persist with the policy of keeping Scottish-specific discussions in a separate thread, I wonder if a slight page redesign would help. Perhaps two buttons at the top for the two current threads?
    —————————————–
    I did wonder whether the latest spat between Watson and Unite would affect VI, but probably not in any measurable way, taking Guymonde’s anecdotal evidence as a guide.

  32. @Neil A
    I rather disagree with your assumption that Labour would be obliged to vote for a Dissolution should May seek one. At the end of the day the FTPA was passed by the Coalition parties for their electoral convenience, and I see nothing wrong with Labour seeking to rely on its terms for its own advantage. Of course, Labour need not vote against any such motion brought before the Commons , sitting on their hands would be sufficient to defeat it. Labour would also potentially gain by forcing May to go through the more humiliating route of a Vote of No Confidence in her own Government and the constitutional uncertainties which might then arise.I would also argue that Corbyn would have a duty to his own party not to facilitate an election whilst 15% plus adrift in the polls.
    As I write this, I hear that Article 50 is to be activated on March 29th followed by a statement in Parliament the same day. That tells us there will be no election on May 4th – the last day for Dissolution being March 27th!

  33. @Colin

    “We will-meanwhile I presume Labour’s VI will languish as does that of all parties involved in public internal strife.
    As I say-May is very very lucky with her opponent.”

    ————

    She is, but also with the media. This may well be a non-issue, but is already the top headline with the Independent. Whereas it seems May and Hammond had genuine differences/issues regarding the budget, and sure, this gets mentioned, but the Labour story gets more attention? And as part of a persistent narrative of infighting.

    Meanwhile Osborne is reputedly building a powerbase from which to oppose. But will this be shoehorned into a narrative about persistent splits?

  34. “So is this a real issue or is Watson mischief-making? I guess we’ll find out…”

    I thought it was just Watson responding to the recording of Lansman saying precisely that Unite would likely affiliate to Momentum if McCluskey wins. (Also that, although Momentum’s rules have been changed to require Labour Parfty membership, the rule is deliberately not being enforced.)

    Can’t see it having a positive effect on Labour VI. But probably not a negative one either, it’s far too tedious (to voters) to have any lasting effect. What Momentum types don’t seem capable of realising is that negative voter opinion of Corbyn is nothing to do with the press or the PLP. It’s the day in day out evidence of their own ears and eyes, that Corbyn is simply useless as a leader.

  35. ROBIN

    @” Momentum types ”

    There was one on DP this morning-in a “discussion” with Caroline Flint.

    They might as well have been talking in different languages.

  36. @Robin

    “What Momentum types don’t seem capable of realising is that negative voter opinion of Corbyn is nothing to do with the press or the PLP. It’s the day in day out evidence of their own ears and eyes, that Corbyn is simply useless as a leader.”

    ——–

    Love the casual way there are these attempts to brand. Now it’s “momentum types”. You don’t have to be a “Momentum Type” to see that while those with a keen interest in politics might be swayed by the detail of machinations within parties, many others won’t have time or interest in following all that and may be swayed by simple headlines, especially those pushing a narrative. As we saw with Omnishambles and Immigration etc…

    And if you think the PLP aren’t stoking some of this that just seems beyond the pale. Most notably when the ambushed Corbyn right when Tories were suffering the aftermath of the referendum…

  37. “They might as well have been talking in different languages”

    ———

    Well yes, the cuckoos who co-opt parties might well have a different language. I think you yourself have noted the difference between Theresa et al and Cameron et al before now, how Theresa must have been grinding her teeth all these years etc…

  38. Alec,
    you posted a report from 2010 on income growth under labour. I couldn’t find a definition of ‘disposable income’, which the report compares. However there were plenty of graphs showing comparative changes in income which all said they had not taken account of cost of housing or its relative changes. My recollection is that this was zooming ahead of incomes, implying the people concerned would in fact be worse off if this had been taken into account.

    Carfrew noted the same point, and also that the steady decline in labour began well before Corbyn.

  39. Robin,
    “It’s the day in day out evidence of their own ears and eyes, that Corbyn is simply useless as a leader.”

    Blair would have been unpopular and never been elected PM if he had had the concerted opposition of MPs and the press which Corbyn is receiving. This is an ideological dispute over the direction of the labour movement, and in effect the membership is in revolt against the wishes of the MPs. Labour will fail to make gains untill this separation is resolved, in whichever direction.

    Blair was a pragmatic response to failure to be elected. My own recollection was that he did not succeed because of his policies, but because he was charismatic, had a pretty united party, in general kept knocking holes in conservative government policy and offered a new way forward. But the new way ended up pretty much like the old way.

    The fact that Blair did manage to achieve a consensus, but that a multiple term government failed to achieve noteable benefits for its supporters must have made it harder to achieve a similar right wing consensus in the future. The more left members will have concluded as would I, that there is little point creating a right inclined electable party with a ten year term which still fails to achieve the goals you want.

    A far better plan would be to allow the conservatives enough rope to hang themselves soundly, and then walk into power with your chosen platform.

    Brexit will be a failure or a success. If its a succees the ‘Falklands factor’ will sweep conservatives back into power regardless. If a failure it will do the reverse. The economy is biting at their tail more and more, and the ‘blame labour, we inherited their mistakes’ mantra grows less plausible every year. Labour does need to unite so it looks as if it could even agree on who would form the cabinet, but the actual policy matters much less than unity.

    I just posted that there seemed to be a big hole in the IFS report on labour’s term in office regarding housing. This is not a trivial issue with housing costs soaring, and still no one is addressing it. The conservatives essentially have a moratorium on development in their shire heartlands, and labour have gone along with this policy destroying the living standards of its base. Wealth redistribution is just as much about access to good housing, good schools and healthcare as about the cash in your paypacket. The conservatives just had two policy reversals, one on equalising national insurance which would have benefitted tradtional employees, and the other on education budget, which would have transferred money away from the less needy leafy shires. May’s recent speech about national unity is already dust.

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