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. As i posted earlier this has been a good week for TM. Hidden in the EU hardline is the major concession of trade talks before we have left. The EU has hidden this concession behind phase 1 which ,i note does not have to be agreed in toto before trade talks start. I would see this as a UK victory.
    However, this is a big battlefield and a very big game. Some victories have to be portrayed as defeats and visa-versa and this is on both sides.
    Posters need to listen to what is said not what they want to hear said. Tusk said Brexit itself was the loss that the UK would suffer.The eU may therefore not be looking for specific punishments and echoing the President of malta who said that the very loss of being in the single market was punishment enough.If that is the limit of their vengeance then w e can live with that.
    On the other hand we will have to pay something for our liabilities but it is all win win on where we were pre-referendum.My personal Brexit objectives will be achieved with the repatriation of the supremacy of our law.There is work on the Arrest warrant and on the Ecj but that is for the future but we have already achieved more than Cameron ever dreamt of.
    That is why, despite the rubbish on both sides, i remain confident that a deal the UK and Europe can live with can be done.

  2. Tancred

    For many of us active in politics in the 1960s, the Smethwick lection in 1964 is strong in our memories.

    Racism was controversial in the 1960s. 50 years later it still is.

  3. S Thomas,
    “The eU may therefore not be looking for specific punishments”

    What do you imagine might constitute a punishment? The Uk has said it wishes to stop being a member of the EU and therefore be treated as a non-member. How the EU treats members and non-members is pretty clear and always has been. What do you think they might do as punishment which is not simply the choice of the UK because it has asked to be a non-member?

  4. UK calls in Dutch engineers to flood the Gibraltar isthmus and destroy Spanish “territorial integrity” claim.

  5. @Tancred: “I believe that the position of the EU is that we are liable for what we have already committed to. In the same way that, if you sign a contract to contribute towards the construction of a clubhouse for a golf club, and then you leave the club, you still have to pay towards it.
    It’s pretty simple really.”

    It is more a case of you being part of a committee that agrees plans for the future, but you leave before any contract is signed. Without your subscriptions the club would have to rein back its spending plans, so the rest of the club would dearly love it if you can be strong armed into paying your future subscriptions.

    The pensions are different – as that is a future liability accrued during our membership. I can entirely see that. Similarly, if we signed loan guarantees, that is like your example.

    But a lot of what they say is really just what they expected to be able to spend from our net budget contributions. It’s like the bit in Article 50 where it says that European Law ceases to apply after withdrawal – the EU have written in “apart from future budget contributions for as long as we say so.”

    The bill is really a matter of saying, “As you’ve been paying in lots, you have to pay us lots if you go.”

  6. Joseph @ Tancred

    I’d suggest that anyone (on either side of this endlessly repeated silly argument) who thinks that international negotiations are remotely like an individual resigning from a golf club, is probably as foolish as those who think national finances are run the same way as a household budget.

  7. On that London poll….

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/5vzlbpfrb4/QueenMaryResults_London_March2017_2W.pdf

    Do you think that Boris Johnson is doing well or badly as Foreign Secretary?
    27% well, 41% badly

    Do you think that Sadiq Khan is doing well or badly as Mayor of Londo
    58% well, 23% badly

    London has really fallen out of love with its past mayor…

  8. Also interesting in that London poll is the churn

    Only 66% of 2015 Tories will still vote Tory
    Only 57% of 2015 Labour will still vote Labour
    Only 51% of 2015 Lib Dems will still vote Lib Dem
    Only 56% of UKIP will still vote UKIP

    The Tories have clearly picked up a large chunk of UKIP support

    The rest is all in the ‘unknown’

    Remain voters are 19% unknown, vs 15% leave unknown…

    Not sure how Yougov reallocates unknowns anymore, but I think Brexit will have broken a lot of traditional voting alliances. I mean who would have thought Labour would vote in parliament to support Brexit when so many of their voters voted remain? And have the Lib Dems lost lots of voters by throwing their lot with the remainers?

    Would be good to track historical unknowns to see how that could be skewing current polling, and how the demographics of those unknown voters have changed from past elections.

  9. “I’d suggest that anyone (on either side of this endlessly repeated silly argument) who thinks that international negotiations are remotely like an individual resigning from a golf club, is probably as foolish”

    things like this aren’t as simple as they look and might be a part of the EU “Bill” that we actually want to pay as we still want to participate.

    https://phys.org/news/2016-09-brexit-uk-role-europe-space.html

    Peter.

  10. Danny

    i think that the EU thought that the UK believed that it could remain a member of the single market whilst contributing nothing and restricting movement.That changed when TM said that we were not striving for that.Once that was acknowleged the UK had been punished ,in EU terms, and sensible non tariff trading /customs arrangements may still be possible.

  11. Richard
    If you look at the recent YouGov polls in detail it is clear the Lib Dems have traded voters more or less equally with the Tories (in numbers, not %) since 2015, and gained a lot from Labour. There are also a large %(small number) of lib Dem voters from 2015 who are undecided and a large % (large number) of Labour voters who are undecided. Lib Dems obviously hope these people will move their way when they get a chance to vote on May 4th.
    Certainly though the Lib Dems have lost long-term voters over Brexit, but are probably regaining people who were loyal voters up to 2010

  12. Danny

    ” The subtext is that Leave are losing ground in their popular support. Not much, but perceptibly.”

    I see no sign of that, what I do see is a general acceptance by many who voted Remain that we are leaving the EU.

  13. Tancred

    “Huge storm in a teacup. Gibraltar is ‘small potatoes’ in the grand scheme of things, and the mention of it was only at the insistence of the Spanish. It’s not meant to be taken very seriously and should not be taken very seriously. My take on it is just needling or pinpricking, all for show and nothing else.”

    I agree, as I posted earlier it’s just a lot of hot air. Trouble is it’s given the Leavers a huge boost to take a hard line. Talk about “shoot yourself in the foot”. Somebody in the EU is plain stupid agreeing to that inclusion in their document.

  14. Peter Cairns SNP

    Your 10.47.

    I pointed out as much to Alec earlier in the week when I forecast that as the most likely outcome. There are enough idiots in the EU, and some in the UK to stuff it up.

  15. BARDIN1

    Re Previn’s 5th, agreed. I posted earlier i was lucky enough to see him conduct the 10th at the Festival Hall. At the end the whole audience rose as one and gave him and the Orchestra five curtain calls.

  16. Danny

    “So exactly who got us into this mess?”

    That’s very easy, Ted Heath.

  17. Looking into yesterdays ONS figures on GDP the 0.7% figure for the last quarter was confirmed and is the highest for two years. Growth was stronger than all other G7 leading industrial nations including the USA and Germany.
    Exports jumped 7.6 % to a record £146.9 billion in the last three months a reflection of the positive side of the lower £ as it boosted exports. Analysts are predicting a bumper year for exporters.
    Imports were subdued, with only a 0.3% rise improving our current account deficit significantly. It fell from £25.7 billion in the third quarter to £12.1 billion in the fourth. Indeed as those who follow these things know we have a trade surplus with the rest of the World it’s only with the EU that we have a deficit. IMO, yet another reason for rebalancing our trade away from Europe, as we leave the EU.
    All in all looking back on the week it seems to be good news all the way.
    Sun shining here, so much agricultural and horticultural work to do. Enjoy your day all.
    On a final music note (no pun intended) for those depressed I really recommend the Gorecki Symphony No3, a totally uplifting work which should raise the spirits. Have a good day all.

  18. Danny, TOH

    Ted Heath only finished off what Harold MacMillan and Harold Wilson had been trying before him. But that’s not the mess. The mess is what is being made of the process of leaving.

  19. @ Old Nat

    “Indeed. The biggest fear is that the Republicans find a way to dump Trump in a year or so, and install Pence as President.”

    Pence isn’t that competent and I have a feeling he’s caught up in the criminality as well.

    “I read recently that Farage had been brought in by some Republicans to support a campaign to divide California into two states – Republican counties in the east, seceding to get away from those nasty liberals on the coast.
    The story was, however, in one of our trashier right wing tabloids – so it might well be just something they have made up.”

    I don’t think it’s made up but it might as well be because it’s stupid and it demonstrates a mixture of the GOP ignorance and denial. It was Ronald Reagan who once referred to his cheering crowds in Lido Isle (Newport Beach) as his true homeland/base. There are three flaws with this “coast versus inland” analysis.

    1. There is no “Eastern California” in common parlance. Even the people who live in what you would call “Eastern California” do not refer to it that way.

    2. A lot of California’s coastal areas are (or were) strong Republican bastions. Not just Orange County, but the entire southern California coastline really. Northern San Diego County, Ventura County, and even parts of LA County (Palos Verdes Peninsula, Antelope Valley, San Gabriel Valley).

    3. There are inland areas that have significant populations: the Inland Empire, the Central Valley (which feeds the rest of the country), and the I-80 corridor (between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe). All three of these areas have been trending strongly Democratic in recent years and there was tremendous rejection of fascism. So, what they seem to be doing is talking about doing something unconstitutional to peel off a small handful of counties where almost no one lives.

    And btw, as for the counties where no one lives (there are 35 of them who formed an association), which you can see here:

    http://www.rcrcnet.org/counties

    12 voted for Hillary Clinton. And in the other 23, if you’d like to know where Donald Trump outperformed Mitt Romney among the voters, there are exactly 2.

  20. S Thomas: “Posters need to listen to what is said not what they want to hear said. Tusk said Brexit itself was the loss that the UK would suffer.The eU may therefore not be looking for specific punishments and echoing the President of malta who said that the very loss of being in the single market was punishment enough.If that is the limit of their vengeance then w e can live with that.”

    Marvellous!

    For one our most vocal pro-Brexit posters, the penny has finally dropped.

    This is exactly the point many of us have been trying to get across for months. What Brexiters characterise as ‘punishment’ is no more than the loss of membership privileges, and never has been. The EU has been consistent on that all along.

    Things like loss of passporting rights, being outside the common external tariff and Open Sky area are all natural consequences of being a ‘third country’. But in some minds, unless we are immediately offered a continuing deal on the same terms, we are being ‘punished.’

    Anyway, S Thomas, I’m glad you’ve seen the light. There is more rejoicing in heaven…

  21. @Oldnat:

    The EU is asking for money going beyond legal liabilities. It is also going beyond putting a capital value to forward liabilities accrued up to Brexit (e.g. the value of pensions by reference to service between 1 Jan 1973 and 28 March 2019 – although this should be treat salary as at 28 March 2019 as the final salary, but there are arguments the other way, as per UK public service pension reform.) So, yes, it is better to be more sophisticated than pub or club analogies.

    When it refers to “commitments”, it includes money that the EU is not legally committed to spending.

    Analogies help to frame the morality of the EU’s case.

    Or we could just say it is a powerplay. Once you go beyond a legal case and an obvious moral argument for liabilities accrued since 1 January 1973, the EU is struggling to show why it is not a more sophisticated version of Gripper Stebson’s argument for why Grange Hill pupils should give him 50p – although to be fair to Gripper he promised not to beat them up in return for the money, as opposed to entering into negotiations for a transitional “non-beating” period.

    So, whilst we should discuss the finer points of what it means for liability to be accrued, if it is just about power, then sophisticated analysis is inappropriate.

  22. Why is it that all our lovely liberals on social media heavily criticised May for the bargaining point of security, but don’t criticise the EU for the same tactic with Gibraltar and it’s citizizens. I sometimes wonder if Liberals actually hate the UK.

  23. Good morning all from a sunny’ish Stevenage.

    Poll Alert!!

    Britain Elects? @britainelects April 1
    More
    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 46% (+3)
    LAB: 22% (-3)
    LDEM: 18% (+7)
    UKIP: 6% (-4)

    (via YouGov / 30 – 31 Mar)

    I take back all that I’ve said about the Lib/Dems.

  24. Good grief, that poll is terrible for Labour – only 4% ahead of the Lib Dems.

    An outlier?

    Tories 24% ahead ??!!

  25. Crossover possibilities suddenly look large!

  26. Blinking autocorrection, doing it again.

    Crossover possibilities suddenly loom large!

  27. @AC

    April 1st……

  28. Nice one Allan, except that unlike spaghetti growing on trees, it really is possible that Labour remain voters might go LD and their Leave voters go UKIP and Tory.

  29. If that’s not an April fool joke then that would be very good news for the LDs and an indication that their steadfastness on Remain may be paying dividends , with the drift in coming from Labour remainers who see no signs of any real chance of success/ purchase with the current Labour stance – is there a lik to the poll as it would be fascinating to view the detail and crosstables

  30. RICH

    Indeed !

  31. @ SThomas

    “My personal Brexit objectives will be achieved with the repatriation of the supremacy of our law.”

    Yes, the Great Repeal means that EU law is incorporated into UK legislation including devolved parliaments and will continue to be as it develops within the EU. That will give the UK the necessary convergence with the EU. If UK law and EU law diverges it may well mean that exporters will run into trouble. Post Brexit either the UK government will have to monitor EU law changes and amend UK law to ensure convergence or firms will have to do it themselves.

  32. @AC/Thomas

    Yup, if the figures had been just slightly less dramatic, I might have fallen for it. 46/24/16 maybe..

  33. @Sam

    You are right that there may not be any real practical effect to regaining sovereignty (it’s not really something that bothered me anyway) but the situation you describe still is the regaining of sovereignty. Being strongly incentivised to choose something is subtly different to being legally required to do it.

  34. Richard,
    “Also interesting in that London poll is the churn”

    Indeed. The temptation is to ascribe it to Brexit since it is the biggest issue of the day and the one whcih is unique to our situation now.

  35. S Thomas,
    “i think that the EU thought that the UK believed that it could remain a member of the single market whilst contributing nothing and restricting movement.That changed when TM said that we were not striving for that.Once that was acknowleged the UK had been punished ,in EU terms, and sensible non tariff trading /customs arrangements may still be possible.”

    Gosh, read that three times. I am still not clear what form you think a punishment might take?

    Are you saying that what you meant by the EU punishing the Uk, was that the Uk would have to accept standard EU terms for non-members? If so, then how can this really amount to ‘punishment’? Surely, it what the Uk has asked for?

  36. @Rich, Colin,

    What is it the EU have done with Gibraltar precisely? Surely what they have done is said:

    “To prevent Spain being motivated to veto a deal because of arguments about Gibraltar, we are taking Gibraltar completely out of the equation. You and Spain can sort it out between yourselves.”

  37. @ Robin

    Apparently because Spain lobbied the EU to get the veto included so not as simple as your quote.

  38. @Neil A

    Yes, Neil, I understand your point of view.

    I am also thinking of the practical difficulties. It is perfectly possible that the UK will not be able to sort out all the necessary legislative changes by the time Brexit occurs. That would cause difficulty.

  39. Andrew111,
    “Certainly though the Lib Dems have lost long-term voters over Brexit, but are probably regaining people who were loyal voters up to 2010”

    Speaking as a long term tactical voter who has therefore voted liberal quite a lot, it isnt clear to me that libs have lost voters over Brexit. Many others who are recorded as having voted lib must also be heavy tactical voters, so it would not surpise if they respond ‘don’t know’ in what is currently a very fluid situation. That doesnt mean they have been lost, but are simply in their default mid election condition.

    The breakdowns I have seen all suggest that existing libs were heavily remain. So while the minority Leave suporters might have jumped ship, it seems unlikely the majority remainers would have done so ‘because of Brexit’. If you are a lib remainer, where would you go?

    The other Howard,
    “” The subtext is that Leave are losing ground in their popular support. Not much, but perceptibly.”

    I see no sign of that,”

    Look at the questions about expected outcomes from Brexit and compare with the answers from last survey. In all categories optimism in a good outcome has ticked down slightly. The headline 44/43 is also a lower lead for leave. Of course this all pretty much in the error margin, but it is not the first time I have noted this between polls.

    “Somebody in the EU is plain stupid agreeing to that inclusion in their document.”
    I dont agree. The EU negotiating document looks to be a list of demands from the varius members, which is what it has to be. Obviously Spain would insist, but the terms have been misquoted: I presume deliberately, to make it sound as if Gibraltar is being ransomed, whereas the EU has simply said neither side, spain or UK, will use it as a bargaining issue. Ireland is far more difficult.

    “That’s very easy, Ted Heath.”

    I was going to let that go by, but in fact this historic question is one no one raised in the referendum. Heath is on record as stating we need to join the UK in order to boost UK sovereignty. And at that time, it allowed Uk workers to live and work inside the EU, which was the then direction of migration. So all in all, leave now are making similar arguments to him, and we saw his arguments proven by events. Few if any remainers even tried to put the case that membership inbcreases UK sovereignty, which it does. Spain demanding Gibraltar is an example of the power membership gives them.

  40. The other Howard,
    hello again.
    I read you post on economic statistics. What I noted from news reports was concern that savings levels have plumetted and the nation is engaged on an unsustainable borrowing spree. Which no doubt accounts for demand picking up . However, long term private borrowing is not sutainable. What is needed is income increases and this isnt happening. Simultaneosuly the news reported investment falling.

    Quite a different spin on the same figures to yours.

  41. You can see why Spain is eyeing Gibraltar:

    https://www.gibraltar.gov.gi/new/sites/default/files/HMGoG_Documents/National%20Income.pdf

    GDP per capita was £53,361 in 2015, up from £29,357 in 2008.

    That’s astonishing growth.

    It is surounded by a poorish area in Spain, and the Spanish must be thinking that if they can seize this rich city state, they can milk it dry.

    Similar to how China eyed Hong Kong in the 1990’s.

  42. Well, it’s past midday now. At least I got some of you :-)
    Just massaged the figures a bit from the previous YG poll.

    The last time I posted a fake poll was in the run up to 2015
    election when we would wait in anticipation for the 10pm YG poll to come out. It certainly got half the forum buzzing and the other half heading for A&E.

    Think it’s safe to say that I wasn’t the flavour of the month when the real poll came out… Och aye them were the days…Enjoy your weekend peeps…

  43. It isnt clear to me that at this point a complete closure of the border between spain and Gibraltar would be in Spain’s interest. Perversely it is just possible that Gib could end up with some sort of better agreement out of this.

  44. SOMERJOHN

    “Anyway, S Thomas, I’m glad you’ve seen the light. There is more rejoicing in heaven…”

    You are funny, I’ll let him comment himself but I suspect that S Thomas continues to want exactly the same from Brexit as I do and so far all the signs are good for that, it’s been a marvellous week as i posted earlier.

  45. Danny

    If I was spinning its only to give balance to the comments on the economy made by others. I am well aware that the current private borrowing levels are unsustainable and that there has been a short term reduction in investment which will have a negative effect on growth this year which is why Alec and I agree the OBR estimate for GDP growth this year looks on the high side.

    You clearly don’t read all my posts on the economy in which I try to be balanced, hence I have been posting good news about some EU economies

    The good news is the export growth and that our trade with the EU continues to fall as a percentage of our overall trade. I want us trading more with the rest of the World and less with the EU which I see as a shrinking part of the total World economy.

  46. Danny

    I won’t reply to your 11.30 post in detail other than to say I disagree with the your comments on the three points I made. I am very busy at the moment and am just catching up while I have some lunch and then i will back to the garden.

    Since Art. 50 was triggered I have returned to posting on the subject. Now that the White paper has been discussed and the EU negotiating document, it is likely that there will be very little new news for a while so I will probably stop again and restrict myself to opinion polls and the economy. I would suggest that there is little point in going over the same old ground again and again. There is no sign of any conversion of Remainers or Leavers on this site despite all the pageg and pages of argument..

  47. Somerjohn

    I fear you will be sadly disappointed in me. To me the EU is the titanic. It might seem safer to remain on board whilst it sinks but the clever guys are getting in the boats and departing and moving away.

    We are as an island nation unsuited to a political allliance with continental powers dominated by Germany. if we had not made the break now we would have needed to make it later when it would have been more difficult.
    I believe that there is virtually no price not worth paying to achieve this.
    I also wish that those posters who trawl european publications or the speeches of unimportant euro politicians to support their antiquated and sociopathic need for self vindication would now cease and support their nation which even now i believe they have a vestige of loyalty.

    Hope that makes my position clear:-)

  48. @Danny
    “savings levels have plumetted and the nation is engaged on an unsustainable borrowing spree. Which no doubt accounts for demand picking up “.
    What do you expect with interest rates at zero? there is no incentive to save unless you have fairly substantial reserves and can invest longer term.

    “However, long term private borrowing is not sustainable. What is needed is income increases” which are the main driver of inflation, and would make the borrowing less hurtful, but also to demands for further increases ‘in line with inflation’. I remember being there before.

  49. “…those posters who trawl european publications or the speeches of unimportant euro politicians to support their antiquated and sociopathic need for self vindication would now cease and support their nation which even now i believe they have a vestige of loyalty.”

    Can you not understand that those who do not support your views do so with the UK’s best interests at heart?

    And if you don’t want to read views that don’t match yours, I’m sure that there are plenty other sites where you could read only pre-Brexit views.

  50. S Thomas

    Rest assured, I didn’t really believe you had given up your faith in splendid isolation.

    What I was celebrating was your acceptance that what some Brexiters call punishment, is merely the effect of voluntarily relinquishing membership privileges. You could find yourself on the receiving end of some vitriol for that, unless you take care to leave no doubt where your loyalties lie.

    However, those – like TOH – who insist that all the unpleasantness comes from remainers might like to reflect on your gratuitous use of ” their antiquated and sociopathic need for self-vindication.”

    Personally, I don’t seek vindication, sociopathically or otherwise. I’m content to let events do the talking.

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