Tonight we’ve something we something unusual: a voting intention poll from Gfk. Topline figures are CON 41%, LAB 28%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 12%, GRN 6%. Fieldwork was between the 1st March and 15th March, so this is would have been partially before the budget, but it’s nice to have some figures from a different source.

Gfk are the successor company to NOP, who they bought out way back in 2005 (also, as far as I can see, the last time we had a NOP voting intention poll – before 2005 they polled for the Independent, called the general election spot on and then got their contract cancelled). Today’s poll has very little in common methodologically with 2005 of course, that was still the era of telephone polling, today’s poll was conducted online and is weighted by stand demogs, past vote, Brexit vote and political engagement.

186 Responses to “Gfk – CON 41%, LAB 28%, LD 7%, UKIP 12%, GRN 6%”

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  1. TOH

    Indeed. The original suggestion from the EU seemed to suggest that there would be no response till Friday.

    Looks like they have (sensibly) revised that plan!

  2. Carfrew

    Anthony made his position absolutely clear.

    It’s his site. I’ll follow his rules – no matter what some others choose to do.

  3. Do we not have claim to any assets in the EU following ur £500bn contribution over the years??,,,

  4. Rich

    I’m sure that the UK does have a claim to a proportion of the EU assets.

    However, unlike a centralised state like the UK, the EU conducts its business mainly through its member states, so holds a comparatively small amount of assets.

    Obviously, somewhere like the UK would face significant claims on its assets, were one of its parts (eg NI) decide to leave the Union.

    However, that would not be a huge factor for the EU to put into the negotiations.

  5. S Thomas

    My previous comment referred to point 2 – not point 1.

  6. graham

    yes sorry about that. I cant count.

  7. @oldnat:

    The Yougov poll doesn’t pose the question of referenda in respect of major constitutional changes.

    Does anyone suggest that Scotland should not have a referendum on independence and go direct to it? Or that Parliament would have been right to commit to Brexit without a referendum?

    An interesting question, but not relevant to Brexit.

  8. @rich:

    Apparently the rule is the more you pay in, the more you owe at the end.

    And they regard it is an act of aggression to even suggest otherwise.

  9. Joseph 1832

    It is theoretically possible that the YG respondents were thinking of local referendums on issues such as alcohol licensing when they answered the question.

    However, since few have any experience of such, but have experienced referendums on AV and leaving the EU, it would seem more likely that they were considering those referendums.

    The poll wasn’t about your views or mine – but those of the sample polled – but since this is a polling site, you knew that? Right?

  10. @Joseph1832 –

    “Apparently the rule is the more you pay in, the more you owe at the end.”

    Yes, that pretty much sums it up, and it is perfectly logical. The various agreements we signed up to was that nations would fund the rather limited costs of membership based on size of economies, and various other complex calculations. As one of the biggest, we paid one of the biggest amounts.

    Now we are leaving, we have to pay a commensurate proportion of the liabilities we have agreed to, which is therefore quite a large payment.

    What is the problem with that? Paying what we owe used to be seen as the British way of doing things, but is the Brexit way to renege on our word and backslide on our dues?

  11. Surprised myself there, doing the sums.

    The annual cost of being in the EU equates to around £130 per person, so around the price of a Costa coffee once a week. Collectively, the fee represents a whopping 0.37% of UK GDP – a scarily large number!


  12. @Alec

    Really rather small compared to the 4% that is the estimated impact of losing single market access.

    Talking of which, there seems to have been remarkably little comment on the impact of the proposed (by some) tearing up of mountains of EU-derived regulations as part of the Great Repeal Act. The large majority of these regulations are the mechanism by which the UK is compliant with the single market. If a regulation is removed (so that there is no UK enforcement of it), then I would expect the EU to deem all goods affected to be non-compliant with the requirements of the single market. The paperwork required of companies to certify that they are compliant, in order to retain access to their markets, will dwarf the “red tape”.

    Which causes me to wonder – will companies that do not have to comply with “onerous” environmental or employment regulations be regarded as being non-compliant? I would expect this to feature rather prominently in the minds of EU negotiators – they will want to ensure that UK do not get a competitive advantage by e.g. being allowed to exploit their workforce in ways that are not possible within the EU.

    Whether UK law is compliant with EU requirements will presumably be a matter for the European Court. Not that the court will force the UK to change its laws – we’ve taken back control.

  13. @robin

    Good example of what lies ahead, and why I regard the two year (now apparently down to 18 months) negotiation timescale as complete pie in the sky.

    TM is playing a dangerous game if these talks get bogged down through the sheer amount of stuff to be got through and her only gambit is to blame the shifty foreigners.

  14. For those of you into road-numbering conventions, the task might be about to get a little easier…

    From the Times…

    “One in six local roads faces closure amid pothole plague
    Graeme Paton, Transport Correspondent
    March 28 2017, 12:01am,
    The Times

    Up to a sixth of local roads could be closed to cars within a few years unless their potholes are filled in, a report has warned.

    Researchers said that 17 per cent of roads were now classed as poor, the worst category, because of decades of underfunding, increased traffic and wet winters.

    Their report, billed as the biggest of its kind, warned that such roads had less than five years of working life left, requiring them to be completely resurfaced or closed to traffic by 2021-22.

    According to the study, the number of potholes filled by councils in England dropped by almost a fifth over the past year, while in London alone the repair rate fell by almost half.

    Councils warned that they now had a collective repair bill totalling more than £12 billion.”

  15. Robin
    My understanding of the Great Repeal Act is that will effectively incorporate all EU laws into UK laws, so that we will remain compliant with their requirements for the time being. In the future these laws can be modified or repealed as we deem necessary.

    G’night all

  16. It’s the 29th of March,

    Happy Article 50 Day, people. Our thrilling adventure starts today! :-)

  17. @Pete B

    But at the same time there is talk of the Acts(s – it is suggested there will be 3 of them) introducing “Henry VIII” laws which allow removal of regulations by ministers at the stroke of a pen, without parliamentary oversight. That’s going to be just too tempting for ministers of a particular mindset or of limited competence.

  18. @Candy

    Or, to put it another way, 730 days to Armageddon.

  19. also from the Times, another step towards the Libertarian…

    “Teenagers struggling to understand Donald Trump’s world view need struggle no longer. The new politics A level, to be introduced this autumn, will include the works of Ayn Rand, the US philosopher and novelist cited by the president as a key influence.

    Rand, known for her novels Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, has been called an inspiration by Mr Trump. He credited her with helping him to navigate the world of business and politics.”

  20. @Robin

    The last one got automoderated, so I’ll try again.

    I doubt armageddon as such, but certainly we’ll need a good solid liferaft and I don’t see one on our leaky ferry at the moment.

    More generally, a p*x on all referenda. The joy of a parliamentary system is that if you work out that you b*ugger*d it up, ypu can change your vote in 5 years time. Referenda are binary choices offered for complex mulitfaceted issues, and (as the leavers never cease to insist) binding under all circumstances and for all times.

    At risk of invoking screams of “godwin’s law”, it’s no wonder they were so favoured my mid-century middle-Europe dictatorships.

  21. Gfk?

    Glaxo Fmif Kline?

  22. Why do many believe that once Article 50 is triggered, that Brexit is guaranteed to happen ? This is not the case and this was explained in the recent House of Lords debate by the person who wrote Article 50.

    The negotiations with the EU are going to be very complex and no satisfactory deal may be negotiated by November 2018. At that point, i would expect an agreement to extend the Article 50 process to be agreed, probably adding another year. This means that the UK will hold MEP elections in 2019 and they remain in office until the UK leaves the EU.

    It is quite possible that at the next general election in May 2020 that the UK is still a member of the EU. Most Tories are not going to be willing to rush Brexit, making it very difficult for businesses and the economy in general. There is no chance of the UK crashing out of the EU and being subject to WTO terms.

    Once the reality becomes clearer to people, as Tony Blair and others have said, it is not impossible that there will be overwhelming demand for a second referendum. Theresa May would then find it very difficult to deny this.

  23. Sea Change,
    “I see the Libs are marching forward gamely in the polls, ready to put a stop to Brexit!”

    You are right. It was the conservatives who have so far managed to delay giving notice by 9 months. We will see how long they can defer the rest of the process.

  24. R Huckle

    “Once the reality becomes clearer to people, as Tony Blair and others have said, it is not impossible that there will be overwhelming demand for a second referendum. Theresa May would then find it very difficult to deny this.”

    That looks like wishful thinking, but even if that scenario came to fruition then having triggered Art 50 we would have to have the unanimous support of th other 27 to return using Art 49.

  25. Looking forward to taking my wife out to dinner once Art 50 is triggered. Whether or not we will be celebrating again at the end of the process depends on us leaving properly.

  26. The other Howard,
    “Well after tomorrow it won’t matter if that’s correct or not.”

    That isnt true. All article 50 says is that negotiations may be terminated by the EU after 2 years. There is no set deadline. Barnier just said he thinks the best outcome for the Uk is to remain a member, and this is remains one possible result.

    “TM is playing a dangerous game if these talks get bogged down through the sheer amount of stuff to be got through and her only gambit is to blame the shifty foreigners.”

    TM and the conservatives have always had the reserve gambit of discovering belatedly that Brexit cannot work and doing a hand brake turn on Brexit, just before the ‘cliff edge’. The difficulty has always been that in order to get this agreed by voters, it has to be absolutley clear that there is no alternative before the handbrake is applied.

    Whether the conservatives are capable of finessing this remains to be seen, but they had little political alternative. The calculation was that UKIP were eating their voters and had to be eliminted, and giving them what they wanted was the only way to do it. Then it is just a question of damage limitation and trying to survive the resulting crash.

    Allan Christie,
    ” You keep protesting you’re not a committed Labour supporter but just about all of your comments are committed to Labour”

    Perhaps you are confusing personal view with the conseqeunces of the Uk electoral system, which forces voters to either not bother or support the least worse party?

    Neil Wilson,
    “Can the land not grow a different crop?”

    One might assume that farmers currently grow whatever is most profitable, and therefore that any alternative will be less so?

  27. @Candy – “Happy Article 50 Day, people. Our thrilling adventure starts today! :-)”

    Many Happy Returns to you too. I was wondering how it would be before you popped back.

    @Robert Newark – yes indeed, I can agree there are some absurdities within the EU that are wasteful and would ideally be stopped, but this doesn’t make it a bad deal – just a little more expensive than it should be, for all the rather large benefits we get back.

    Indeed, as I said yesterday, it tends to be forgotten but the free trade world full of opportunities to agree trade terms with any country we liked, as we strode the world atop the Commonwealth, was so great we begged to join the EEC.

    @R Huckle – I have said consistently that the pressure to do what David Davis believes (or at least, he believes if he is being honest) and have a second confirming referendum once the terms are negotiated will be pretty strong.

    In this, I think there are two braod ways in which it can go. Either the myopic headbangers win out, and we get no deal or such a poor deal that the country revolts and votes to remain, or (as I suspect will be the case) we get a reasonable deal, which means being subject to EU regulations, either the ECJ or another similar extra national judicial body, we possibly make a small continued payment for administration and maintain effectively single market access, in which case the headbangers will be in revolt.

    They will then have the chance to vote down the deal, but my guess is this would go through, either without a referendum, as it would more widely accepted, or through a confirming vote.


  28. Happy Article 50 Day everyone!

  29. Here’s something I’m having difficulty with conceptually. The Tories are the party of business. At least I tend to think of them that way. Leaving the EU will spell massive economic doom. Completely self-inflicted and completely unnecessary. And it will inflict the most harm on a lot of Tory strongholds. I would imagine a lot of Tories being angry and wanting to leave their party. Yet, there hasn’t been any swing to Labour or the Lib Dems.

  30. Alec

    “Judging by @TOH’s last post, he seems to be getting a little nervous that his idea of ‘Brexit means Brexit’ might not survive contact with reality?”

    I have no fears about May, IMO she has played it beautifully so far and if she achieves a deal based on the 12 points in her conference speech I will be happy. I also have no fears that once triggered we will leave the EU as I made clear above, and I do not believe there is any chance of another referendum.

    However I am sensible and do not celebrate until things that i want have actually happened, hence I will not be celebrating today until I am sure that Art 50 has been triggered.

  31. It is interesting that the insults we get on this site are only directed at Leavers, hence it would appear they are “headbangers” now. I would suggest not headbangers but well mannered and polite. They don’t need to hurl insults, they just calmly watch as what they want unfolds.

    [TOH – this is because Leavers generally restrict themselves to the standard “Remoaner” which can be easily moderated, while Remainers have a more varied repertoire… none of which are remotely welcome here, but they are harder to moderated in advance. Can I remind people NOT to insult or disparage other people’s views and leave their political views at the door – AW]

  32. Robert Newark

    “Maybe March 29th will eventually be termed, ‘Independence day’ and be made a bank holiday?”

    Nice idea.

  33. @carfrew

    re: potholes

    Interesting that they are thinking of closing a lot of roads – often a good idea of course. But it won’t be easy: just one formal objection to a closure triggers quite a legal process, I understand. So its quite expensive to close roads.

    Far better to stop putting up pointless and/or duplicating signage.

    1993: 2 million UK road signs
    2015: 4.6 million UK road signs

    Cost of those extra signs? About £2.4 billion, and rising, as they have to be periodically replaced.

    There is very little evidence that ‘slippery road’ and ‘deer crossing’ signs, for example, have any impact upon driver behaviour. In fact, they contribute to ‘signage fatigue’.

    So there is plenty of money in the kitty for potholes.

  34. @ Old Nat

    It’s very true. It’s very powerful coming from her too.

    What’s frightening is the number of children who go off to school each day and do not know if their parents will still be home. The amount of fear in these communities is palpable. What’s pathetic too is these Immigration agents putting on fake police uniforms. They’re not cops. They’re weasels who make our streets less safe and hurt families. What they’re doing technically constitutes a felony under state law. I know I shouldn’t hate but I can’t help it sometimes.

  35. Socal
    “Here’s something I’m having difficulty with conceptually. The Tories are the party of business. At least I tend to think of them that way. Leaving the EU will spell massive economic doom. Completely self-inflicted and completely unnecessary. And it will inflict the most harm on a lot of Tory strongholds. I would imagine a lot of Tories being angry and wanting to leave their party. Yet, there hasn’t been any swing to Labour or the Lib Dems.”

    That just demonstrates how little you know of British politics!
    The choice is:
    A 1960’s beatnik geography teacher peddling 1930’s Marxism.
    A scout leader happy chappy from la la land, with a constant grin, peddling motherhood and apple pie.
    A bloody difficult woman (Ken Clarke words) who acts like and speaks like a statesman and who so far, has delivered what she promised, very cleverly negotiating all obstacles in her path, despite a very small majority.

    Come on, it’s a no brainier.

    And given you think that the EU closed shop is so wonderful I presume you will be petitioning Hilary to put it in her manifesto.


    As I have said before I have been a headbanger since I went to see The Quo in the early 70’s. If it makes people feel better and more superior to use such language why should we care. Sticks and stones and all that. You should see how remainers refer to us on their Facebook groups.

    Off to fix my swimming pool pump now

  36. I have not participated in the Brexit discussions on this site, as I don’t possess a strong view. I’m with that quite large group of people who accept that Article 50 is to be triggered, we’re coming out, and the government should negotiate the best deal possible.

    I recognise that the LibDems unequivocal pro-Europe stance is probably a vote winner, and tactically astute.

    But I really wouldn’t wheel out Nick Clegg this morning to once again wail about what was or was not said pre-referendum. The British public are agreed that both sides behaved appallingly and the campaign was a disgrace. We don’t wish to be reminded. Move on.

    I have always quite liked Clegg but he is becoming an embarrassment for the LDs. He is appearing on the verge of being unpatriotic, and that is a certain vote-loser.

  37. Socalliberal,
    ” I would imagine a lot of Tories being angry and wanting to leave their party. Yet, there hasn’t been any swing to Labour or the Lib Dems”

    Gosh, where to start? The conservatives will be relying on the fact that the right has nowhere to go when all the alternatives are pretty left. Thus all the attacks on Corbyn emphasising his leftness. This is all about limiting choice in voter’s minds.

    Further, the conservatives will be expecting a collapse in UKIP replenishing any of their voters who might be moving to the left. This really is all about the conservatives being well content to sit as the party of the right, but needing to see off their rival UKIP. The simple solution with a one issue challenger is to agree the issue. Conservatives only need 1/4 to 1/3 support amongst voters to stay in office.

    As to why there has been no mass exodus of remainists to leftmost parties: the majority of them are already there, labour is not exactly anti Brexit anyway, and the libs would generally be considered to be wholly powerless. The SNP has been leading the fight to remain, but they only stand in Scotland.

  38. Robert Newark

    Indeed Robert! Liked you reply to Social, put into context admirably.

  39. Millie,
    “I have always quite liked Clegg but he is becoming an embarrassment for the LDs. He is appearing on the verge of being unpatriotic, and that is a certain vote-loser.”

    The opposite danger is the one labour has suffered, which is failing to wholeheartedly support anything. This is also a vote loser.

    The conservatives have gone with leave, and therefore secured the support of a good chunk of the population. It isnt quite so simple, but their support plus UKIP’s pretty much mirrors the leave vote. Whereas Remain is split, as I just said, between labour prevarications and liberal powerlessness and has simply moved into ‘will not vote’ for lack of any party to support which might make a difference. If we had an equivalent of the SNP in England, the situation could be very different.

  40. @Danny

    I agree that the Labour message has been a confusing one, despite Starmer performing pretty well.

    The LD stance is a sensible one, given their small VI at the present time. They have almost certainly benefitted. But I feel Clegg is going too far, and alienating people.

    Clegg appears to be hoping that negotiations will go badly and that the UK economy will suffer. Appearing unpatriotic is electoral suicide. Perhaps this goes some way to explain some disappointing LD polling recently.

  41. test

  42. TOH

    @”Indeed Robert! Liked you reply to Social, put into context admirably.”

    I agree-most enjoyable :-)

  43. Good morning everyone from central London…

    Happy A50 day and to celebrate we have a new poll…

    59 minutes ago

    CON 43 (+2)
    LAB 25 (=)
    LD 11 (=)
    UKIP 10 (-2)
    OTH 10 (-1)

    26th-27th Mar

    It does now look like a lot of kippers are swimming back to mother Theresa and yes, it’s them again the Lib/Dems are making little or no impact in the face of A50 being triggered.

  44. @TOH – “It is interesting that the insults we get on this site are only directed at Leavers…”


    You yourself once used the term ‘[email protected]’, but one woman’s charming wit is another woman’s insult, as they say.

    @Millie – fascinating that you should raise road signs today of all days!

    I recently had a conversation in a pub with someone complaining about road signs and the waste of money, who was blaming it on ‘European Directives’.

    It was quite funny seeing his face as we tracked down the lack of EU regulations on member states road signage and then found the UK’s Traffic Signs Manual (8 volumes, 1200 pages).

    It was yet another example of someone (a leaver, as it happens) who read something about the EU in the Daily Mail and actually believed it?

    Sad, but true. These people are out there.

  45. Here goes with the expectation management!

    Boris Johnson, previously – “We can have our cake and eat it”

    Phil Hammond, on A50 Day – “We can’t have our cake and eat it”.

  46. Alec

    I did, a long time ago when frustrated by the nonesense being peddled but show me an insult I Ihave used recently to any Remainer. When I overstep the mark and it’s pointed out that I have done so I always apologise. Can you say the same ?


    Bit grey this morning but due to cheer up weather wise about 12.30.

    Very good poll for the Tories, 18 point lead, no sign of a downturn and as you say LDs not improving nationally. However I think they could do quite well in strong remain areas in May but i agree with Millie that Clegg is bad news for them for the reasons she gives.

  48. @alec

    The expectation management might be reflecting this declining mood of economic optimism re brexit across all income groups shown by Markit’s monthly household survey by Ipsos Mori.

    “The survey found that the proportion of people expecting the economy to fare better over the next ten years as a result of Brexit has fallen to 29% from 39% last July.

    Meanwhile, the proportion who think the UK’s economic prospects have got worse has risen from 42% to 53%, resulting in a net balance of -24% — down sharply from the -3.5% last July.

    The data also shows that the country’s lowest income group has shifted from being the most optimistic about the economic impact of Brexit to the most pessimistic.”

  49. @TOH – of course I can, but I really think you are being a tad oversensitive about the description of Brexit extremists as ‘headbangers’. It’s a rather understated term for those who take an extraordinarily politically extreme position, and one which is readily understood by all concerned.

    Indeed, if I was to adopt your own thin skinned approach to this, I might be tempted to pull you up on your use of the word ‘nonsense’.

    This again is a word you have criticised me for using many times in the past, but your posts often smack of a certain sanctimoniousness.

    You can call your opponents posts nonsense, but you call it an insult if they call yours likewise.

    This is why you struggle to see the many examples of potentially insulting behaviour directed towards remainers, sometimes in your posts as well as others.

    Indeed, I would say it’s part of the armoury of many leavers to hide behind accusations of insult when their world view is challenged, while retaining a freedom to use the same types of terms against remainers.

    Sauce for the goose, and all that – but at least in a couple of years time it won’t have to be compatible with EU/3427/2013 Wildfowl and Game Condiments and Accompanyments Directive.

    Or will it….?

  50. Many will be pleased to see that EU regulators have blocked London Stock Exchange’s £21bn merger with German stock exchange Deutsche Boerse.

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