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. Speaking of campaigning memes, in a new twist they’ve flipped that NHS thing they slapped on the side of a bus…

    “There’s a new slogan for Brexit”

  2. “Will her poll support hold as firm once leavers realise that she knew all along that many compromises were needed?”


    How many will realise though. There are plenty peeps with little idea how much debt rose under the coalition for instance, because it hasn’t really been splashed across the front pages on a regular basis. A lot depends on what aspects of Brexit might matter to the media…

  3. Looking at the YG tables, I was wondering about the 9% who “definitely wouldn’t vote”.

    There are many reasons why folk might not vote – ranging from “scunnered with the lot of them” to not being eligible to be on the electoral roll.

    Has there been any analysis of this cohort? Disengaged or disfranchised?

  4. Seems unlikely but has there been any published polling for the Unite GS election?

  5. “Angela Merkel derails Theresa May’s Brexit plan by rejecting parallel trade talks
    Britain is to be put into the slow lane”

    So does this mean we’ll be wondering for a couple extra years what is actually going to happen to trade?

    And does this mean not even a temporary deal is in place when we actually leave or what?

  6. via Number Cruncher

    GfK (VI by social media usage)

    Twitter users:

    CON 30
    LAB 39
    LD 7
    UKIP 10
    GRN 8

    All likely voters:

    CON 41
    LAB 28
    LD 7
    UKIP 12
    GRN 6

    Which isn’t particularly surprising. If you separated out those who get their news from Murdoch, via Sky News or his papers, from the population as a whole, you would get different numbers again.

  7. Carfrew
    I thought we were negotiating with the EU, not Germany.

  8. carfrew.

    well at least we know who we are really negotiating with. Quite revealing that the head of one country is speaking for the 27 other states without their approval? Or is it like the Godfather Part 11?. Does Germany speak for the EU?Does it Germany even consult other countries any more or has brexit shown us the reality that the EU has become,as Trump believes, simply Greater Germania

  9. Carfrew,

    Not Project Fear, more a reminder of the obvious, a moats great against an assault but it can’t prevent a siege, and this isn’t going to be a quick strike because Europe is camped their for good and they have all the time in the world.

    Oh and I see that the US/Japanese side of the UK’s nuclear future is in trouble…. So that just leaves the Chinese and French to keep the lights on!


  10. S Thomas

    The mask has slipped.

  11. @Pete B

    “Not Project Fear, more a reminder of the obvious”


    Well, pointing out issues with oil prices and currency was just stating the obvious back when, but was dismissed as scaremongering. But anyways, a seige only works if you don’t have allies, and don’t have a powerful Navy, or sufficient control of the air for air drops, or if you don’t invent sub-centimetric radar to spot the U-boat periscopes, or don’t have a nuclear deterrent, or can’t substitute the food etc. etc.

  12. @Peter C

    Regarding nuclear, yes, it’s crazy we ditched our home-grown nuclear power capability. Still, there’s always Thorium…

  13. @pete B
    @S thomas

    ” thought we were negotiating with the EU, not Germany.”


    Yes it is a little strange. Perhaps soon we’ll learn a little more to shed some light as to what’s going on. Or to make things murkier…

  14. Maybe Merkel was emboldened by her success in Saarland at the weekend.
    Perhaps she also feels that France is too occupied with investigations into its presidential candidates to worry about the Brexit negotiations.

    But, she still needs to win a (tough) domestic election in September. May has until after the process is complete in 2019 before she has that problem.

    These things matter.

  15. @Pete B
    @Peter C

    Oops, one of the comments above should have been addressed to Pete C, not Pete B. The one about Project Fear.

    (Obviously, there is a surplus of Petes. Expect Brexit will sort this out…)

  16. Carfrew,

    Actually, the UK has not lost all its capabilities in nuclear power. We still have at least one British company perfectly capable of building nuclear reactors and all the controls that go with this. It is just they harness these to drive things rather than produce commercial quantities of electric power.

    The nuclear control capability is actually more important here than large steam turbines.

  17. @Paul HJ

    It is heartening to know we still retain some facility. We’re pretty good at fusion too, because we habe the JET lab. But we really need an energy capability.

    We also need to do something about the Pete mountain. Too many subsidies for Petes or summat…

  18. @S Thomas

    Politico has a very good article giving a country by country breakdown of what they want from the negotiations:

    Most are pretty medium/neutral, apart from the Germans who are taking a harder line than the French.

    They had the following quote from the Germans: “The EU-27, with Germany, France and Italy, is a trade giant like the U.S. or China,” an advisor said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Britain by itself will play one league below that, with countries like Canada. When was the last time you saw someone being intimidated by Canada’s trade strength?”

    Spain was interesting too. They want a soft Brexit, and it also said the following: ” Spain wants Gibraltar’s case not to be addressed at all in the Brexit negotiations so that whatever happens with the British overseas territory is negotiated bilaterally between London and Madrid.”

  19. Regarding the French elections, the detail of the latest Ipsos poll is intereting:

    Page 9 deals with the second round. Headline figures are as follows: Macron 62% Le Pen 38%

    But in the breakdown of transfers it was as follows:

    Those who chose Fillon in first round: Macron 38%, Le Pen 26%, Refused to say 36%

    Those who chose Mélenchon in the first round: Macron 54%, Le Pen 12%, Refused to say 34%

    Those who chose Hamon in the first round: Macron 77%, Le pen 6%, Refused to say 17%

    That is a lot of refusers, especially as they were happy to express a first round preference.

    I wonder if shy voters are a phenomenon in France – does anyone know?

  20. @Candy:

    I think Spain would like to be free to harass the people crossing the border. But if they seal the border, 10,000 Spaniards lose their job and the UK is free to stop paying pensions to the remaining workers who lost out the last time Spain shut the border.

    Gibraltar is serious when it says that it will tolerate anything rather have any change on sovereignty. They had 13 years of not being able to walk across the border, and they’d go through all that again.

  21. I don’t understand why the EU thinks it amiss for the UK to remind them of our contributions on defence and security.

    When the European Parliament says, as it has, “No deal if the UK as much as talks trade with the US or Australia”, then they are saying that the UK’s involvement in lots of European police and security bodies disappears.

    If they decide double the exit bill – and who would put it past them? – and said, “Pay £100bn or no deal”, then we fall out of EU police and police and security bills.

    Also, you can hardly set out to make a country poorer – a stated aim of many on the EU side – and then expect it to spend borrowed money on your defence.

    I think the EU is doing a job in making sure that people in the UK would be indifferent if Putin did steamroller Eastern Europe. Which he won’t, of course.

  22. In the light of the merkel comments should we not just negotiate with Germany direct?

  23. Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuhrer

  24. @S Thomas

    Before we do any negotiations, we need to soften them up with plan boycott for a bit. Just to remind them that as a trading partner we’re more important than Canada. :-)

  25. Pete B

    Well they have all had the Deutchmark for a while, they judt don’t realise it yet. Maybe they will now?

  26. When Merkel starts flexing her muscles like this so early it suggests to me that we need to be out sooner rather than later, the Weatherspoon owner on Sky suggested he preferred no deal.

  27. Carfrew

    I understand that JET is being wound down and ITER, its successor, will be based in the South of France.

    Changeover will be around 2019 coincidentally.

  28. Artair

  29. so when Germany says that it wants Europe to speak with one voice whose voice is it Angela?

  30. I don’t really understand how the 1966 win hasn’t come up…

    Are you really not ashamed of yourselves?

  31. Laszlo

    But Jack Brabham was an Aussie!

  32. “Lib Dems and UKIP (I expect they are actually about even and we’re just seeing normal random sample variation).”
    It would be odd if we didn’t, wouldn’t it?
    “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.”
    Or it might be because dies infanda aderat and the letter is at last to be sent.
    Or it might be because folk are pleased with her response to N. Sturgeon,
    Or ….
    The person who handled the emergency with confidence was the policeman who shot the attacker – who attacked a street full of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, and a policemen at the gate. Hardly an attack on Parliament.

  33. Laszlo

    They’re just working back through their historic enemies.

    Soon they’ll be on to France, then the Spanish, then the French again.

    They can keep this up endlessly!

  34. ON
    You forgot an old enemy to the north…

    Re the policemen who shot the terrorist. As he was Fallon’s bodyguard, and Fallon wasn’t in any immediate danger, would the policeman’s job description have entitled him to shoot the man, I wonder? If not, some litigious busybody might try to get him prosecuted. If they can prosecute a soldier for killing someone on a battlefield, who knows?

  35. Re- LibDem support.
    At no post war General Election has support for the LibDems/Liberals peaked at the time of the election itself. Good performances were invariably preceded by surges in midterm which failed to fully materialise at the subsequent General Election. Thus, the polling numbers enjoyed post- Orpington in Spring 1962 were no indication of how the Liberals were to perform at the October 1964 election. A decade later, support for the Liberals was much higher in Spring/Summer 1973 than they managed to achieve in their relatively good result in February 1974.The Alliance fell well short in both the 1983 and 1987 elections of their midterm peaks.

  36. Lazlo

    it wasn’t us who started it…….hang on i have heard that somewhere before:-)

  37. Pete B,
    “I thought we were negotiating with the EU, not Germany.”

    Severel people have posted arguing the EU is disunited and that this favours the UK. Absolutely not! if we are to get a deal all the other members have to agree to it. We just had the example of the transatlantic deal vetoed by a small part of Belgium! The fact that EU members have vetoes works against us. This ability for even a small nation to control the EU is what we are giving up, and indeed we may end up with it being about the only thing we change in our relationship to the EU.

    “Some of the comments on here border on the unpatriotic. It is apparent that some are hoping for the worst presumably to say I Told You So”
    This is a polling website. We are here to discuss polls. Facts about what people believe. We also discuss how well these beliefs reflect what we here – who are generally more clued up than most – see as reality.

    The traditional role of the fool in the royal court is to speak truth to power. The patriotic thing is to tell the truth, not mouth comforting propaganda.

  38. To bring it back to polling, I believe that there have been several polls which asked Leavers for their reasons for the way they voted. I’ve never seen one which gave the option ‘To avoid being dominated by Germany’. I wonder what percentage would choose that?

  39. @PETE B

    Ever the idiot, I see.

  40. @Alan

    “I understand that JET is being wound down and ITER, its successor, will be based in the South of France”


    Knew about ITER, I may have posted about it before I think but didn’t know JET was being wound down. Typical if they do it without replacing it with summat to keep the expertise and profess things. My recommendation is that when it comes to fusion should get into Polywells, which I have definitely posted about before.

    Polywells are to fusion what the molten salt thorium reactor is to,Fission, in my view…

  41. Tancred
    Coming from you, I’ll take that as a compliment as I presume it means you don’t agree with me.

  42. I would like to give credit to Mrs May and Mr Neil for a very good interview today on BBC1. I would prefer if interviewers and interviewees acted like this more often.

  43. Carfrew

    “They” are replacing it with summat, ITER, which should have about 10x the capability of Culham.

    “They” being the international research project led by the various incarnations of the EU. At some point new facilities were always going to be needed to move to the next stage and ITER is an intermediate stage before the development of a commercial demonstration reactor.

    It’ll be up to us if we choose to contribute post-Brexit rather than as part of the EU,

  44. Seems to be another outbreak of dimness tonight.

    Absolutely baffled why some seem surprised at Merkel’s statement on the parallel talks. You know something – on the continent, they have these things called ‘telephones’ – they enable people in different countries to talk to each other. They even sometimes have meetings where they plan things together.

    The EU, all 27 of them, plus the parliament, plus the commission, have continuously and relentlessly stated that they will arrange the leaving deal first, and then start taking about trade.

    This is simply Merkel restating (again) something that the entire continent of Europe has been telling you for 9 months.

  45. Alec
    The point is that Merkel, Germany’s leader, is laying down red lines about the negotiations without apparently consulting other members of the EU, or indeed the EU itself which is the organisation we are supposed to be dealing with. Even if she did consult them, is it not a bit of a giveaway that Germany is the spokesman for the EU?

  46. Alec

    then why not through the EU spokesman now A50 triggered?.Surely they have agreed channels unless each state will be saying things everyday.

    Unless of course mrs Merkel can do and say what she wants?
    Can you imagine Mrs May saying things to the Greeks in such a way speaking for the EU?

    it is almost as if Mrs Merkel would invite i million refugees into the schengen area without consulting anybody else. As if !!

  47. Alec

    If they are going to do this planning this what chance have we got?

    I expect the Chevening Three can’t even sort out their laundry rota.

  48. @PETE B

    Germany is the biggest economy in the EU and yes, it can speak for the EU. What consultation is needed? Does May consult with the Scottish, Welsh and NI governments all the time?

  49. “The point is that Merkel, Germany’s leader, is laying down red lines about the negotiations without apparently consulting other members of the EU, or indeed the EU itself which is the organisation we are supposed to be dealing with. Even if she did consult them, is it not a bit of a giveaway that Germany is the spokesman for the EU?”

    Oh God, my head hurts!!!

    Sorry, but this is so brainless.

    The EU spokespeople, from Barnier, to Verhofstat to Tusk and all the EU27 leaders, have told you this for 9 months. It has been communicated to HMG on multiple occasions, and has even been printed in the Daily Mail. It has been discussed, consulted on, and agreed, andis the EU’s common position.

    I can’t believe we have people trying to turn this into another ‘Germany Invades Europe’ story.

  50. @PETE B

    “Even if she did consult them, is it not a bit of a giveaway that Germany is the spokesman for the EU?”

    Your Germanophobia is as tiresome as it is pathetic. Grow up!

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