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. March looking like it’s the month of cross over for the LibDems regaining a traditional 3rd place (in vote-share), though still with a very low %.

    More bad news for UKIP.

  2. Opinium GB poll in the Observer still has UKIP in third place ahead of the LDs.

    VI figures are 41% Cons, 28%, UKIP 13%, LDs 8%.

    53% of those polled also thought Brexit will lead to the break up of the UK

  3. On English & welsh attitudes to Brexit and its possible consequences, the ORB poll

    https://www.orb-international.com/perch/resources/marchdatatables4.pdf

    is also relevant.

    Given its headline issue, obviously it can’t be discussed on this thread, but should happen elsewhere.

  4. Thanks AW-a Brexit attitudes Poll-thank God!

    We seem to be resolutely determined to leave ,even if the economics look a little difficult .

    May will be encouraged presumably.

  5. Colin

    Any views on the ORB Brexit poll? You’ll need to respond on the North British thread, I’m afraid – but we don’t bite (much).

  6. OLDNAT

    Not really-will have a think.

  7. It seems extraordinary that Cons are hanging on to 40% +

    May has been very very lucky with her main opponent.

  8. ………….emphasised by this , from the ComRes Poll ( courtesy pb):-

    “A worrying feature for the blue team is that a greater proportion of the sample agreed that Theresa May’s Government does not have the best interests at heart of ‘people like me’ (44% compared to 33%).”

    That should worry TM-it says her Downing Street declaration has not been carried out.

  9. Colin

    Fair enough. Thinking about things (and discussing them) is usually a good process in my view – though I understand that some people wish to artificially compartmentalise related issues.

  10. OLDNAT

    I suspect that the “some people” in question thinks that his threads do tend to default to a particular topic if a group with famously narrow focus have their way.

    So “artificial compartmentalisation” might be his answer to “artificial conflation”.

    …………but its just a guess……….and its his site, so we try to observe the rules don’t we?

  11. @ Hireton

    “Opinium GB poll in the Observer still has UKIP in third place ahead of the LDs.
    VI figures are 41% Cons, 28%, UKIP 13%, LDs 8%.”

    Survey dates?

    Just wondering if they’re not picking up a trend or others could be MOE, etc

  12. 43% of people said it was essential or very important for Britain not to have to make any final contributions to the EU after we’ve left

    So 43% have no idea how the banking and credit systems work then.

    If the UK doesn’t pay what it is (legally) bound to pay, it won’t get any credit, anywhere, ever again.

    There just won’t be a low enough credit rating for the UK to have!

    [Whoops – my mistake. I don’t how the word final crept in there, it wasn’t supposed to be – AW]

  13. @advisablyanon

    14 to 17 March.

  14. Colin

    I have made the same points.

    However, the policy tends to become somewhat unmanageable when a poll like ORB appears, and Anthony is placed in a position of completely ignoring it, or deciding whether to place it on a Saltire or GB thread.

    A poll asking (mainly) E&W folk about the prospects of those further north is hardly “artificial conflation”!

    It’s a poll – and in the UK!

    Must give him a real problem – though ignoring it is probably the safest option. Pretending uncomfortable conflicts don’t occur is quite common.

  15. It might be interesting if some party were to endorse a policy of taxing land (and not just income).

    But since no party in E&W is proposing such a policy, it couldn’t be discussed on here, even if a party elsewhere did endorse such a policy.

  16. Thanks Anthony!

    Very interesting and thought provoking piece with some new insights I had not read elsewhere.

  17. I’d like to praise Anthony. He has created a great site and I like overall the rules and set up, as well as the general tone of discussion, that one gets here.

    Can lead to quite a well-informed discussion of polling.

    I think his rules are deserving of being respected faithfully, on the whole.

  18. I thought the Greens (in England, or E&W) were in favour of Land Value Tax.
    I conclude from the poll that the Great British Public expect not only to have their cake and eat it, but to wash it down with a nice claret as well.

  19. OldNat, you seem to be trying to bait Anthony, maybe best to let it go?

    Creating your own website is also always an option.

  20. Bue Bob – For 19 comments, an awful lot of them seem to be referring to comments policy about Scotland. My patience is not endless…

  21. Guymonde

    I’m pleased to hear that the Greens in E&W are supportive of a Land Value Tax – as were one party, and now another in a different part of the UK.

    Does the E&W Green support make it an acceptable topic for discussion here?

  22. Anthony

    I’m not trying to “bait you”.

    All I asked for was clarity as to whether “Scottish politics” and “Scottish independence” were the same thing in your view, and whether both need to be dealt with on a Saltire thread, or if non-indy matters affecting Scotland can be discussed as part of general UK politics.

    Can you please give definitive advice on how you wish these different issues to be handled. I’m happy to comply with whatever clear requirements you have.

    [I answered it originally. I’m not going to try and demarcate the line between Scottish independence and Scottish politics in general – life is too short – so can people please keep all Scottish politics to Scottish threads. I am going to try and make sure there’s always a relativity recent Scottish thread so there is always a place for it. But like all the comments policies here, it’s tempered by common sense – the important thing is the *spirit* of the policy. Not mentioning the word Scotland is not required (and silly), if Scotland is relevant to part of the wider discussion people shouldn’t avoid mentioning it – I’m not going to be daft about it.

    But if conversation has steered off into something that is wholly about Scotland then can people take it to the Scottish thread. And obviously don’t *start* discussions about Scottish politics in a GB thread – if there’s a new development or a new poll, put a comment in the most recent Scottish thread, otherwise it tends to take over other threads. And if, on a particular thread, I ask people to take a particular conversation over to the last Scottish thread, do it. And don’t make endless bloody comments about whether things are Scottish or not, just use some common sense. Because I don’t have the time or inclination to moderate every comment the comments policy here relies upon people making an effort and moderating their own behaviour… and the fact that the sort of comments here are more civilised than in most online forums are a tribute to people managing to do that, so please can people just make an effort.

    I don’t mind if people want to talk about Scottish independence & politics all the time if it interests them – but I’d rather have a part of the site that always has an ongoing Scottish politics conversation than people steering every conversations onto Scottish politics. All the more so because I find it a lot harder to maintain the general comments policy when it comes to Scottish independence (there are a lot of people who really don’t do a good job at leaving their politics at the door), and if there is a second indyref that is likely to become ever harder. On that, can we end the naval gazing over the comments policy for tonight please – AW]

  23. So the combination of the UKIP fox getting shot and Labour struggling for any sort of broad credible appeal continues to put The Tories in a commanding position.

    I know some on here disagree, but I honestly think the only option for Lab is David Miliband. Amazing CV now too given the world refugee crisis. Could it happen?

  24. Anthony

    Thanks for the clarity. I’m OK with that. Scotland is “different” and not to be included unless part of a UK wide discussion.

    Mind you, I’m still surprised that you chose to remove a technical polling comment about differences between how YG asks about views on issues in your Scottish & GB polls.

    Still, if that’s how you want it, and are happy for Brexit to dominate every damn thread, then that’s your decision, and I will comply with it – as I hope will everyone else!

  25. I realise I was guilty of starting a discussion about Scottish politics the other day when I asked about the performance of the SNP government towards domestic issues such as education , the economy and health care.

    I had not been aware of this rule. Sorry about that.

  26. @DAVID IN FRANCE

    “So 43% have no idea how the banking and credit systems work then.
    If the UK doesn’t pay what it is (legally) bound to pay, it won’t get any credit, anywhere, ever again.”

    I would say that 43% of Britain’s population are clueless about the implications of Brexit – but I would have thought that was obvious.

  27. Prof Howard

    However, you are always welcome to ask such questions, or discuss Scottish issues on a designated thread.

    We welcome diversity and discussion!

  28. Thank you Oldnat. As I said yesterday, I found you replies, and those of the other person (whose name I have forgotten) interesting.

  29. There is a lot of debate about what the UK does or doesn’t have to pay in terms of Brexit liabilities. It’s not set in stone by any means.

  30. Prof Howard

    The other respondent was Alec – and while I don’t always agree with him. he is interesting, and I too like reading his comments.

  31. “The other respondent was Alec – and while I don’t always agree with him. he is interesting”

    I can’t let that go unchallenged.

    He’s a boring [email protected]@rd, I can tell you.

  32. This looks interesting, on many levels – https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/18/secret-tape-reveals-momentum-plot-to-link-with-unite-seize-control-of-labour

    Traditional Labour in fighting, with all the energies of the left taken up with the pursuit of ideological purity and committee based power structures, with the state of the country and it’s populace seemingly an afterthought, for sure, but the really interesting stuff is about Corbyn.

    Lansman appears to be accepting that Corbyn has to go, with the energies now focused on securing the succession. It’s almost as if he has realised Corbyn is a disaster.

  33. Alec

    Surely it isn’t surprising that one faction within Labour is organising to take control of the party, in order to beat the other faction which successfully organised to take control of the party previously?

    As long as England chooses (or doesn’t bother choosing, and sticks with) FPTP, then both its major parties will be unstable coalitions, that can only be united by getting their preferred faction into power(the Tories seem better at uniting around any successful faction – as long as their personal financial interests are protected).

    PR systems aren’t “messier” than FPTP. They just allow for honest disagreements, and searching for sufficient commonality to achieve a workable coalition.

  34. Alec

    All factions are doing this (due to the power structure in LP). I get the same call from at least two factions, and I’m not even an LP member.

  35. Alec – you are not boring. I apologize for forgetting your name, but your analysis is very much remembered.

  36. Prof howard

    Dunno about May’s handle on economics, but I suspect she has a poor instinct about politics – outside the restricted sphere in which she operates.

    Regardless of whether one agreed with them or not, some previous Tory leaders (like some Lab ones) seemed much more sure-footed in understanding the electorate – Major, Thatcher and McMillan come to mind.

  37. ProfHoward

    I don’t think any kind of economics has any priority on the agenda of the government, so don’t think it is very relevant.

    There is groupthink (not really a theory, but very useful), as information or opinions are clearly carefully filtered, and dissident opinions are kind of suppressed (kind of – as these are early days).

    Nobody really has a solid view of the future in economics, as the models are not auited for abrupt changes (essentially, they are geared foe error reduction, which assumes that past data are valid for the future, which can be the case). Almost all economic data are currently interpreted as “expectations”, so double reductionism: disaggregating the data to behaviour, and interpreting behaviour as a kind of rational expectation (not as the framework in the 1980s).

    I also don’t think that the government’s economic policies matter much because of the extreme level of uncertainty (partly as the government cannot give a commitment), thus everybody is “buying time” which is a reasonable behaviour. It also means that the decisions of the government and the companies (and individuals) will be staged, so we might see an incremental adjustment.

  38. According to that Yougov poll.

    If we have our cake and eat it too, 53% would be happy and 26% unhappy.

    If we merely eat our cake, and then its all gone, so we lose the single market access for the most part but get some crumbs thrown our way 41% will be unhappy, and 29% happy.

    And 44% think we are going to get to have our cake and eat it too…33% think they are dreaming…

    I’m with John Major on this one, what has been promised and what is expected is not going to be delivered. So the party that wants to win the next election needs to prepare to hoover up those voters who are expecting miracles are about to be faced with the harsh reality.

    As a project manager by trade, we are taught to under promise and over deliver. There have been reams written about failed projects that come down to unrealistic expectation setting.

    So when the project fails, as any project with unrealistic expectations must, who will be the winners, and who will be the losers?

    My predictions
    SNP – winners
    Irish union – winners
    And for the English and Welsh – hard to say, depends who gets the blame for failure – those who set the expectations and failed to deliver, or can they deflect the blame to the dysfunctional EU? I guess everyone ends up in covered with mud so the Tories should be damaged, but not sure yet who would reap the benefit.

  39. Richard
    I’m not sure what your definitions of ‘have our cake and it eat too’ or ‘If we merely eat our cake, and then its all gone’ mean, but merely from personal experience, those I speak to generally want the government to get on with the Brexit process (indeed a number wonder why we haven’t already left), and get whatever trade deal they can. If no deal with the EU is possible, so what? We’ll just trade with them with a few extra tariffs and start decent deals with the rest of the world or not. Who cares, we’ll have our sovereignty back. if our GDP grows slightly slower than some other countries, so what? We’re still many times better off than most nations in the world.

    G’night all.

  40. @ Alec

    I thought that Toby Helm was really scraping the barrel with that one .. and the headline was absurd. However, I thought you might appreciate this one from an unexpected quarter (and certainly not a pro-Corbyn supporter).

    https://mainlymacro.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/labour-mps-are-keeping-corbyn-in-power.html?spref=fb

    It is very patronising towards the membership but nevertheless reflects much of what I have said here in the past. If the PLP right really want Corbyn to resign, they need to make it possible for another candidate of the left to be nominated by reducing the bar to candidacy.

    That in turn, relates back to what Jon Lansman is saying when he urges LP members (who are also part of Momentum) to put themselves forward for election to be their constituency delegates to conference. Shall I re-emphasise the word ‘election’. The reason that Jon Lansman considers it so important is that the right of the LP are determined to stop the rule change, which reduces the number of nominations required, from being passed at conference. (And there are many examples of the Labour Right similarly urging their supporters to stand as delegates to conference in order to block the rule change).

    As Simon Wren-Lewis correctly indicates, Jeremy Corbyn will stay on until there is a possibility of a candidate who espouses left wing policies like his own because if he resigned now, the PLP right would ensure that there would not be another. Hence, there is an impasse. Corbyn, honourably believes that he owes loyalty to the 350+k members who have joined the LP simply because of his moving the LP to the left… and personally, I have great respect the extraordinary way that he has dealt with the stomach churning levels of misrepresentation, lies, smears and abuse that he has received over the last 21m.

  41. ProfHoward

    Please stop being nice to people on this site. it only encourages them especially ON who will reach a new levell of patronising comment if egged on by you.

    If you persist i will ask AW to open a third thread and in his present mood anything is possible. It should be the room 101. In it should go all posts with reference/a link to the guardian etc and “bambi” posts ie those that fawn about other posters. Rude and offensive posts must remain in the main body for the general amusement of posters. Also. long standing grudges between posters must be cherished and allowed to flourish in the main thread
    I await my moderation

  42. ProfHoward

    re your comments to AW about this site. I totally agree,

  43. @S Thomas

    The trouble is the internet is awash with places full of peeps dying to be rude because the sophistication of collaboration seems beyond them and they’re under the cosh in their real life. It’s kinda nice to escape the Jeremy Kyleness-of-it-all for a bit, before doing battle elsewhere…

  44. I understand there are rumours circulating about a snap GE on 4th May. Anyone know anything about that? I can see the obvious attraction but given the success of the A50 legislation I struggle to see the pretext. However I suspect the opposition parties might find themselves voting for a dissolution motion if pressed.

  45. Interesting that as far as I can see there has been no negative impact on government support from the U turn on NI and May’s honeymoon period continues.

    Support for brexit seems as strong as ever despite possible negative effects on the econom, although Leavers are still waiting patientlyfor Art 50 to be triggered.

    Well done to Ireland, they outplayed England throughout the match in Dublin yesterday and were deserved winners. Interesting that they stopped both N Z and England when on long winning runs. They certainly play with real passion in Dublin, as we do at Twickers.

    Have a good day all, the great outdoors is calling me.

  46. @Syzygy
    Yes, I think that’s probably about right.
    There’s another strand to it, which is about the nature and persistence of members. We are beginning to see substantial declines in membership in my PLP which I think reflects that many recent joiners are actually not interested in being in a political party and merely joined to vote in a leadership election. Which begs the question of whether they would rejoin if there was another leadership election. Others are resigning in disgust about the Brexit policy: those will mainly not be Corbynistas.
    I’m sure there’s a strand of thought which is along the lines of ‘just sit it out, these people are not serious, give it a year or two and we’ll get our party back’
    I do not pick up the slightest interest in a return to New Labour and whilst there are a few D Miliband fans this is far from mainstream. Whoever wins this power struggle, the leader who succeeds Corbyn will not do so on a right wing ticket.
    I actually think the issue is not so much about 15% and all that as it is about the lack of an obvious candidate to succeed

  47. @Syzygy
    Yes, I think that’s probably about right.
    There’s another strand to it, which is about the nature and persistence of members. We are beginning to see substantial declines in membership in my PLP which I think reflects that many recent joiners are actually not interested in being in a political party and merely joined to vote in a leadership election. Which begs the question of whether they would rejoin if there was another leadership election. Others are resigning in disgust about the Brexit policy: those will mainly not be Corbynistas.
    I’m sure there’s a strand of thought which is along the lines of ‘just sit it out, these people are not serious, give it a year or two and we’ll get our party back’
    I do not pick up the slightest interest in a return to New Labour and whilst there are a few D Miliband fans this is far from mainstream. Whoever wins this power struggle, the leader who succeeds Corbyn will not do so on a right wing ticket.
    I actually think the issue is not so much about 15% and all that as it is about the lack of an obvious candidate to succeed

  48. @Syzygy – that’s an interesting article, but is a bit confused in places. It was Corbyn, for example, that gave his MPs a three line whip on the Brexit bill – whereas the author implies that this mistake was the fault of MP’s.

    The wider issue that the article repeats, and that the left hides behind, is the 15% rule change. It’s a complete red herring, once again the left becoming paralysed by process and forgetting that there is a country out here to fight for. If there was a leftist candidate with anything good to say, then they would stand a good chance of getting on the ballot. What the Corbynistas call ‘left’ are just the dregs of an unimaginative policy agenda that somehow survived from the 1980’s. Nothing to see here, move along please.

    It’s just that the Corbyn/Momentum version of left wing is execrable, and is just a tired rehash of old slogans and grossly unimaginative policies that have very little to say to modern Britain. Corbyn has had 40 years on the backbenches to work out an interesting and imaginative set of policy prescriptions, but his educational abilities are wafer thin and he simply lacks the intellectual capacities to actually think differently about things.

    This link is savage, but timely – https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/19/jeremy-corbyn-labour-threat-party-election-support

    “I don’t think your imaginary victory is worth waiting for. You don’t have a radical programme that a 20th-century Marxist or any other serious thinker would recognise.”

    Of course, Cohen will be dismissed as a Blairite or somesuch, so his opinions are worthless. It’s almost as if there has been a collective brain wipe amongst the 350,000 pro- Corbyn Labour members that means they have forgotten just how many good and great things Blair achieved, amongst the failures and foreign policy catastrophies.

    It’s this very old Left ability to apply the deep and divisive politics of prejudice that I find so disappointing. Blair is placed in the same Hate Box as Thatcher, and the level of thought and debate is so poor that not a good word can be said about him, so all the lessons of history are lost.

    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.

    I’m not suggesting this applies to you, by the way. That isn’t my judgement to make.

    In the words of Cohen – “Next year, as austerity grinds on, as we crash out of the EU to find ourselves with Donald Trump as our last ally, [Labour MPs] will run candidates against Corbyn and ask for your support. That will be the moment when you need to look at your country and ask whether this was what you wanted when you first cheered “Jeremy” on.

    In my respectful opinion, your only honourable response will be to stop being a [email protected] fool by changing your [email protected] mind.”

  49. @TOH – not sure if you have headed out already, but if not, a quick chat about rugby.

    I don’t believe England have played well this 6 Nations, with the unfortunate exception of last week at Twickenham against a Scotland that got the tactics in defence badly wrong, plus suffered disruptive injuries.

    But for another woeful Welsh tactial blunder in the dying moments of their game against England, there would have been a 5 way scramble for the championship, and what I think we saw (yet) again was the English press lauding a ‘truly great’ England team without the hard evidence to back their case.

    I think England have played very well prior to the 6 Nations, but for much of this championship they have been off the boil, and nowhere near the standards they aspire to be.

  50. “Interesting that as far as I can see there has been no negative impact on government support from the U turn on NI and May’s honeymoon period continues”

    ——-

    As we might expect, because press haven’t gone to town on it. In fact there were once again headlines having a go at CORBYN for being useless in not challenging it better. This is the narrative, that no matter what errors other parties make, Corbyn is to be considered ‘useless’. Happens on sites like this too. Constant refrain…

    It’s really quite effective: Tory VI plummeted when media kept repeating the Omnishambles line.

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