YouGov’s regular voting intention poll for the Times has topline figures of CON 43%, LAB 25%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 10%. The Conservative lead remains strong and third place continues to bounce back and forth between the Lib Dems and UKIP (I expect they are actually about even and we’re just seeing normal random sample variation).

On best Prime Minister May leads Jeremy Corbyn by 53% to 13%. This is May’s highest figure since her honeymoon, Jeremy Corbyn’s lowest ever and the 38 point gap is the biggest we’ve recorded so far. This is the first poll since the attack on Parliament and Prime Ministers sometimes do see a boost to their reputation if they are seen to have handled an emergency with confidence so it could be connected, or the timing could be pure co-incidence.

The reason for the huge gap is Corbyn’s low support among Labour voters. Typically people answer these questions along partisan lines – Tory voters pick the Tory leader, Labour voters pick the Labour leader, the best PM lead ends up being similar to the voting intention lead. At the moment 94% of current Tory voters think that May would make the better Prime Minister, but only 46% of current Labour voters say Corbyn would (15% say May, 39% say “Not sure”). Among people who voted Labour at the last election Corbyn’s position is even worse, only 27% say he would make the better Prime Minister, 29% say Theresa May. Full tabs are here.

Given today is Article 50 day, I’ve also written a much longer piece over on the YouGov website bringing together lots of the recent YouGov research on Brexit – you can find that here.


743 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 43, LAB 25, LD 11, UKIP 10”

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  1. CHRIS RILEY

    You and I clearly have a different understanding of the word democracy.

  2. On that London poll the Lib Dems should win back Twickenham and Kingston pretty easily and come very close in Sutton and Cheam. Add in the Heathrow effect and I think the Orange Riviera will be back…

    6.5% swing Lab to Lib Dem would also see Bermondsey return to the Orange camp..

    Not taking into account any boundary changes……

  3. That YG London poll would lose the following seats (9) to the Conservatives:

    Ealing Central & Acton
    Brentford & Isleworth
    Ilford North
    Hampstead & Kilburn
    Enfield North
    Harrow West
    Westminster North
    Tooting
    Eltham

    …and this to the Lib Dems:

    Bermondsey & Old Southwark

    It also puts Twickenham (now Conservative) 0.14% away from being taken back by the Lib Dems.

  4. Over the weekend, we should send a battalion of soldiers to Gib to shore up the garrison.
    Two can play at this game.

  5. @Andrew111

    Synchronicity…

  6. @Alec

    “We are over something of a barrel over this”.

    ————

    Well, some are more over a barrel than others. Some might find an opportunity in it!! I’m not sure Howard will necessarily suffer unduly. As he’s said before, he’s something of a Darwinian on things and one has to take that view into account. In the Darwinian perspective this change will force adaptations.

    Thus the crux of the argument becomes: to what extent will our adaptations triiumph.

  7. I don’t often post Guardian pieces but this is an interesting read:-

    h ttps://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/uk-must-not-let-brexit-135307129.html

  8. CARFREW

    Very good, got me smiling!

    :-)

    I must say it’s been a really enjoyable week but tomorrow could be tricky for me Quins ar playin Saracens.

  9. @Bantams

    I expect the Spanish will actually be looking for concessions on fishing rights and this is their opening salvo.

    As for the Elgin Marbles – do you honestly think the Greeks *won’t* try that?

    I don’t think many of you understand what has happened here. We have kept Gibraltar at least in part because Spain has not been in a position of relative strength towards us for *300 years*.

    We have the Elgin Marbles because we were stronger than Greece and they had nothing meaningful to negotiate with.

    We have voluntarily given up that strength. All these nations who have never been in the position to make meaningful demands of the UK now have that position, and you expect them *not to use it*.

  10. CATMANJEFF

    Many thanks for the update on that poll. fascinating stuff, those may elections will see me up most of the night by the look of it.

  11. Bantams 2017: “When we joined originally we went into the Common Market not a political union”

    Enoch Powell 1975: “I make no complain of the pro-marketers, particularly people like Edward Heath and Peter Kirk – they have been beyond criticism in that they have made it clear that to remain part of the Common Market is to renounce national status for Britain – they say the nation state is obsolete and we are to recognise it. ”

    Thanks, Sea Change, for demonstrating the falsity of the claim that “When we joined originally we went into the Common Market not a political union”

  12. @ToH

    Glad it got you smiling… I’ve thought a lot about what you said, actually. It gets quite complicated when you dig into it!!

    I hadn’t been following the rugby that much but recently have been getting back into it, partly as a result of your reports on the matter. I shall keep an eye on the match…

  13. “On that London poll the Lib Dems should win back Twickenham and Kingston pretty easily and come very close in Sutton and Cheam. Add in the Heathrow effect and I think the Orange Riviera will be back…
    6.5% swing Lab to Lib Dem would also see Bermondsey return to the Orange camp..
    Not taking into account any boundary changes……”

    My feeling is that if the Conservatives fail to get a majority at the next elections, it will be because of the LibDems. Correct me if I am wrong, but Cons won only a handful of seats from Labour, they won most from LibDems. As bad as Labour is doing under Corbyn, I don’t see them losing more seats to Conservatives then Conservatives losing to LibDems (if LibDems perform well that is). That being said a LibDem-Lab coalition or LibDem-SNP-Lab coalition would be a disaster.

  14. CARFREW

    Thanks, have you got a team you support? I assumed you played when you were a kid, that’s where the enthusiasm usually starts.

  15. TOH
    I believe that in London Labour led by 9% in May 2015 so a 3% lead today represents a 3% swing from Lab to Con in the intervening period. That is the equivalent of a national Tory lead of circa 12.5%.

  16. SOMERJOHN

    “Thanks, Sea Change, for demonstrating the falsity of the claim that “When we joined originally we went into the Common Market not a political union”

    Clearly both you and Sea Change are correct but many of us at the time voted for free trade, without understanding that there were other implications. With much regret I realised how wrong I had been within a year. Just shows many people vote without thinking things through when they are relatively young and with other priorities such as dealing with a young family. When you are older and retired you have time to research and think things through thoroughly. (Not making a point the conclsions one reaches when one is older can differ as ours do and only time will tell who is right).

  17. @Catmanjeff/Tancred

    You are both as entitled to your opinions as I am to mine.
    Despite being left of centre on most issues I have never been a fan of the permissive society – particularly with regard to adultery and fornication.

  18. Graham

    I hear what you say but since London has usually been more Labour orientated I think the 12.5% actually represents a 15% lead in the rest of the UK.

  19. GRAHAM

    ” I have never been a fan of the permissive society – particularly with regard to adultery and fornication.”

    That’s something we can totally agree on.

  20. @Catmanjeff
    Most of the Labour MPs in your list of seats would enjoy the benefit of first time incumbency, so losses are likely to be more limited than you imply. Moreover, last June Labour did manage to hold on to Tooting with a significantly increased majority.

  21. GRAHAM, was there any need to use the term ‘bastard’ though?

  22. Somerjohn 12.31

    Amen, amen!

    (‘Amen’ comes from the Hebrew noun for truth)

    Jasper22

    Two thoughts in response:
    1. How many people who buy expensive foreign (in your contribution ‘German’ was assumed) will still be around to buy them when their companies up sticks and go abroad? Not that they all will, of course, but with the inevitable belt tightening some will find that the additional 10-20% cost of buying such cars may be too much of a burden;

    2. The additional proposed/expected drop in sterling which you posit will at least lead to many more Europeans coming here on holiday, flashing their rather more valuable euros in our faces……!

    :-)

  23. TOH
    No – I am talking about ‘swing’ not ‘lead’. Now it may be the case that the swing in London against Labour is less than in GB as a whole – in which case it is shifting further in Labour’s direction in an underlying sense. I don’t think we can assume that, however, on the basis of a single poll.

  24. Pete
    In context the word is not an expletive.

  25. @Somerjohn “Thanks, Sea Change, for demonstrating the falsity of the claim that “When we joined originally we went into the Common Market not a political union”

    That’s not entirely true. We were taken in, in 1972 and there was not a huge debate in the country as it was decided in Parliament without reference to the people for a fundamental change to the powers exercised by Parliament.

    Heath and Kirk were explicit in the 1975 Referendum. The main Labour Government push and pamphlet was not however.

  26. TOH: “many of us at the time voted for free trade, without understanding that there were other implications. With much regret I realised how wrong I had been within a year. ”

    I think many people are going to go through a similar process of voter regret in the next couple of years.

    However, I’m surprised you were unaware of the supranational ambitions of the EEC in 1975. There was plenty of debate about it – as the Day/Powell interview shows – and those of us who became enthusiasts for the EEC did so not because of free trade, but because it offered the prospect of replacing conflict with co-operation. Many of the most pro-EEC politicians of the day – like Heath and Healey – had had distinguished war careers and seen the effect of the playing out of European nationalisms at first hand.

    It’s that inspirational, idealistic element of support for the EU that remains a potetent force elsewhere in Europe, but has withered in the UK, so that here it has indeed become a debate dominated by free trade.

    Notwithstanding all that idealism, and the continued cohesion of the 27, progress towards a federal Europe will surely remain painfully slow. I don’t expect anyone posting here will see a fully federal Europe in their lifetimes. And I know some posters are only in their 20s.

  27. As I understand it, every single country in the EU has a veto over the deal anyway, so Spain is just one of many.

    It is an odd debate really. Gibraltar is not exactly huge. The UK, should it wish to make a point, could pretty much subsidise Gibraltar so completely that they could live comfortably despite any action the Spanish might take short of war.

    Bilateral agreement between the UK and Morocco for a road bridge across the Strait, anyone?

  28. If the EU is going to help Spain attack British territorial integrity in respect of Gibraltar, I do not understand why we should have a single soldier helping the Baltics with their worries with Putin.

    We should demand clarification. If it is not given, we should pull our soldiers out of any manoeuvres in Eastern Europe.

    Shouldn’t effect negotiations. Apparently security is irrelevant to agreeing the difficult areas.

  29. Jaspper 1.25 p.m.

    ‘This veto for the Spaniards over Gib is completely unacceptable.
    These talks will be over before they start.
    What kind of people do they think we are?’

    This really takes the biscuit! Gibraltar voted 96% to stay in the EU. It is sheer hypocrisy for Brexit fans to shed crocodile tears having completely railroaded the people of Gibraltar into something they were overwhelmingly against!

    And, as mentioned earlier, now that the UK has decided to leave the EU it is obvious that the only EU voice on matters concerning Gibraltar is Spanish. So here, too, the UK seems to have been determined to shoot itself in the foot and then blame Johnny Foreigner for not putting his head between the gun and the foot. Extraordinary!

  30. @Joseph1832

    Quite! Another threat that is for the birds.

  31. @TOH

    “[Spain] should give up their claim to Gibraltar because the people of Gibraltar overwelmingly want to remain British.”

    One might equally say that the UK should give up its claim to Gibraltar because the people of Gibraltar overwelmingly want to remain in the EU.

    And I am sure what they do not want is a hard border with Spain.

  32. JOHN B

    “This really takes the biscuit! Gibraltar voted 96% to stay in the EU.”

    Yes, but the point is they accept the right of the UK to leave the EU since it was a UK wide vote, and still overwelmingly wish to stay in the UK. You clearly have not read my posts above.

  33. Robin

    See my comment to John B

  34. Chris Riley: “Spain cares about Gibraltar. I have no doubt if the UK had a Spanish colony on the south coat of England, we would care a lot about that – indeed, I have absolutely no doubt that we’d be using Brexit to demand it be returned.”

    Suppose Norway held the Isle of Man, or Lindisfarne, or the Orkneys due to their historic incursions. I like to think that, if the locals were waving Norwegian flags, we’d be like the Canadians respecting St Pierre and Miquelon.

    Besides, I am sure that those in the UK who champion Spain’s position in Gibraltar would be the first to express their disgust is British nationalism tried to deny the right of self determination in the scenario you suggest.

    They are also utterly hypocritical, see Ceuta and Melilla – and, yes, I know their historically preposterous explanation for why that is totally different.

    —-

    I think the EU will overplay its hand in the court of public opinion in the UK. Remainers want to say: “We told you so, the negotiation will go badly.” But if the EU is just abusive, it will not be an argument for loving the EU.

  35. Gibraltar’s Constitution says the following:

    http://www.convent.gi/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Gibraltar-Constitution-Order-2006.pdf

    quote

    Whereas Gibraltar is part of Her Majesty’s dominions and Her Majesty’s Government have given assurances to the people of Gibraltar that Gibraltar will remain part of Her Majesty’s dominions unless and until an Act of Parliament otherwise provides, and furthermore that Her Majesty’s Government will never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their freely and democratically expressed wishes

    end quote

    They are also recognised by the UN.

    They have had two referendums already on whether they should join Spain (in 1967 and in 2001) and on both occassions there was a resounding No.

    Basically if Spain (and the EU) demands we ignore the Gib constitution and the right to self-determination of the Gibraltans and hand it over anyway, they’d be doing something illegal under international law.

    I can imagine the reaction in the UK to that – boycotts of Spanish tourism, Spanish tomatoes and so on. Not sure their economy could take it.

  36. Tancred 2.01

    Many thanks for the link. Good article, taking a balanced view of British history, I feel.

  37. @Joseph

    I see. You suggest we should abandon our NATO allies and the alliance of which we are a founding member, as a bargaining strategy.

    That is an unusual approach to take.

  38. SOMERJOHN

    In the early 70’s I was dealing withT&GWU and a series of strikes. I was also deeply involved in bringing up a young family. I did not have a great deal of time for politics.

    “I think many people are going to go through a similar process of voter regret in the next couple of years.”

    No sign of that from the polls which to me show that the voters are generally realistic. They know there will be a short term hit but hope for a better long term future in a country they can call their own again.

  39. @Joseph1832

    Perhaps because we are members of NATO, which has little or nothing to do with the EU?

    @Neil A

    Agreed, the clause on Gibraltar seems to be nothing more than a statement of self-evident fact.

    The road bridge might be tricky, if Spain builds one to Ceuta first :)

  40. Carfrew 2.33

    I am not inventing reasons. I am speaking the truth as I find it to be. That you do not see that same truth, or interpret the facts differently, is not ‘inventing’. It is putting forward a genuinely held opinion.

  41. Neil A – “It is an odd debate really. Gibraltar is not exactly huge. The UK, should it wish to make a point, could pretty much subsidise Gibraltar so completely that they could live comfortably despite any action the Spanish might take short of war.”

    We’ve done it before.

    Under the Fascist dictator Franco, Spain tried to force the UK to hand over Gib. The response of the Gibraltans was to hold that first referendum, and then amend their constitution to say that they can never be handed over without their consent.

    Franco’s response was to close the border for 13 years. We supplied Gib by sea.

    One of teh results of that era is that 90% of Gib’s trade is with the UK (all those betting sites etc). The only thing they need Spain for is cheap staff, but even those could be got from the UK, in the same way the Falklands hires people from here on two year contracts.

  42. @Robin

    A road bridge to Ceuta would be the icing on the cake!

    Gibraltarians could drive to Morocco and then back to Spain…

  43. @Chris Riley

    Joseph simply pointed out that if the EU tried to back a Spanish move to attack British territorial integrity that would be viewed as a serious hostile act and in such circumstances, there might be far-reaching consequences.

    And Nato membership does not mean we have to patrol Eastern Europe only that we come to the aid of any member who is attacked. There would be a quid pro quo if such shenanigans were attempted and withdrawal of troops might be one such measure.

  44. Neil A

    “Bilateral agreement between the UK and Morocco for a road bridge across the Strait, anyone?”

    The Spanish are well ahead of you with the idea of a Straits crossing.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strait_of_Gibraltar_crossing

  45. Bantams 2.34

    Was not the agreement to accept the DDR into the EU as part of the BRD a sovereignty issue?

  46. Carfrew 2.35

    Yes, I had assumed that a word or two had gone missing!

  47. Graham

    ” I don’t think we can assume that, however, on the basis of a single poll.”

    There have been lots of national polls. Looking at the last 10 national polls, 7 have leads of more than 15% and 3 have leads of 13% hence my conservative view that the lead is about 15%.

  48. Having said that, Carfrew, from this side of the Border it still seems far too often like sneering!

  49. Carfew 2.43

    ‘Yes, you will find many things English peeps don’t know about Scots, if they don’t live in Scotland. Similarly even Oldnat has erred before now over things like the English system. You can say we should all strain every Sunday to try and learn all the differences but there are other systems to learn too. Why should it just be Scottish. So you have to learn about Welsh and Irish and then what about our friends on the continent etc.’

    But we (and I include the English in this) are not constantly subject to the assumption by so-called UK media that the Welsh or Irish way of doing things is the de facto ‘norm’ and all others are to be avoided if at all possible.

    Might I suggest that for a week you listen to what is said and read what is written in the media as though you were not in England and ask yourself ‘What are the assumptions here?’

  50. @Sea Change

    NATO and the EU are different.

    You do not strengthen your negotiating hand by angering your other allies and demonstrating that your word is not good.

    The Baltic states are likely to be important to us in negotiations as being more friendly than some other countries. You are suggesting that as the first order of business we ensure they are less likely to support our interests because of something you think the Spanish might do.

    These are not wise suggestions.

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