This week Phil Cowley at Queen Mary University of London released some new YouGov polling of London. Topline voting intention figures for London are CON 34%(-1), LAB 37%(-7), LDEM 14%(+6), UKIP 9%(+1) – changes are since the general election in 2015.

The most useful way to interpret regional voting intention polls is to see whether it is behaving similarly or differently to the country as whole. Does it suggest that any change in support is the much the same as everywhere else, or does it show a party is doing better or worse than in other parts of the country? There is often an assumption that London is the core of Jeremy Corbyn’s support and that’s where Labour will being doing best. In fact the polling suggests Labour are doing about as well in London as elsewhere. YouGov’s GB polls tend to show Labour at around 25%, down six points since the general election. This poll suggests a very similar seven point drop for Labour in London.

The more interesting figures are the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Across the country as a whole the Conservatives have gained support since the general election, but this poll suggests that’s not reflected in London. Equally, while many national polls suggest an improvement for the Lib Dems since 2015, it’s not as much as the six point increase this poll suggests has taken place in London. It’s not particularly surprising to find the Conservatives doing worse and the Lib Dems doing better in the one region of England that voted to remain in the European Union, but it’s nice to have evidence to actually back it up.

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294 Responses to “YouGov/QMUL poll of London”

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  1. I suppose London is a “region”. But many large cities voted to Remain too, didn’t they?

    Bristol, Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester.. and some smaller places like Exeter, and Oxford and Cambridge.

    I wonder how the LibDems are doing in those places?

  2. Is there anywhere that Corbyn is actually popular?

  3. @DAVID IN FRANCE

    There were 12 regions. 9 voted Leave and 3 voted Remain
    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-36616028

  4. David in France

    I’m quite sure that the LibDems will take some council seats in Liverpool in May. On the other hand we qill have the Metro mayoral elections, so it may mitigate.

    Labour is quite desperate to mobilise their members, but instead they are busy to fight each other (without a solid basis to secure victory for either wing, but there are some decent centrists).

  5. Approval ratings for Sadiq Khan by party affiliation are:

    LD +83 (Well 89, Badly 6)
    Lab +64 (Well 77, Badly 13)
    Con + 9 (Well 47, Badly 38)
    UKIP -68 (Well 10, Badly 78)

    More popular with the LDs than his own party – make of that what you will.

  6. Khan will crash and burn.

    He’s all mouth and trousers.

  7. Well based on that Sadiq knows what he has to do – defect to the LDs.

    All joking aside that result seems resonable, that people who are clearly very pro remain will back a pro remain mayor. Especially when there is never much chance of a LD alternative in the council house, just a Tory (aka Brexit in LD eyes atm)

  8. @David in France

    The West of England Metro mayor election may give some insight into Bristol shortly.

    I would suspect LDs should be licking their lips at Cambridge. Especially as Huppert has not ruled out standing again (iirc)

  9. Since EU citizens are (or can be) on the Local Government Electoral Roll, have the LDs in England de any concerted effort to get them on the roll and canvass their votes?

  10. Khan strikes me as rather similar to Johnson. Wanted the Mayor roll as a stepping stone to Lab leader and PM. I think he is a little vacuous.

  11. “Is there anywhere that Corbyn is actually popular?”

    Downing Street?

  12. IIRC Corbyn only narrowly won the leadership contest in London… and Sadiq Khan came out in favour of Owen Smith. London is also out of step with many other areas in its strong vote for Brexit.

  13. Robin
    Nice one!

  14. The Conservatives are down 1%, which is hardly significant.

    Labour to LibDem is more significant, but will it favour the LibDems or the Tories in terms of seats? And will there be anti-Tory tactical voting?

  15. There is a massive red flag in this poll for Labour. Cons will be solid for the next few years, any fall out with the EU will probably bolster their support with their core vote and the heavy overlap with leavers, Gibraltar is a case in point. That leaves the Lib Dems as more obvious opposition on a pro EU platform and demographically taking the younger vote. How do Labour get out of this mess!!

  16. @Sea Change

    9 regions, 3 countries, and Gibraltar.

    1 region, 2 countries and Gib voted Remain.

    /pedant

  17. It all depends how Brexit goes. No change there.

    If Brexit goes well the conservatives will win the next election, and getting shot of Corbyn would have made no difference. Labour have lost nothing because of their disunity in this possible future.

    If alternatively Brexit goes badly, then voters will look for a party opposing it. Here labour has not done itself much good, but equally if it is hoping to receive disaffected tories, they will naturally be more right in disposition, and historically we saw a number of them move to the lib dems. So they might have done this anyway. It is reasonable to assume that Brexit inclined labour voters who have currently moved to conservatives, would go back to labour.

    I am not convinced blaming all this on the EU would work. Sure, they might get former Ukippers on their side, but pushing a majorly failing policy would be disastrous. At some point they must plan to ditch brexit, and they must have gamed the best way to do so. But you cannot blame the EU if you simultaneously repent of trying to Leave.

    So they would have to say they tried to respect the voters wishes, but it has become plain it was a mistake and voters had changed their minds, and this would be supported by polling evidence to this effect, because they would not be saying it otherwise. Who knows how this would all turn out.

    Or there is a middle way, where Brexit grumbles along, neither succes or failure, and the arguing continues. One thing very unclear from polling is the degree of negative outcome from Brexit which might trigger a change of heart by voters. Conservatives must have a degree of protection if UKIP vote continues to collapse, because presumably firm Leave supporters will lend support to the conservatives for so long as they push Brexit. However, if some conservatives are losing faith in Brexit and the policy switches to soft Brexit, this may encourage UKIPpers to denounce such a change, and conservatives will eventually lose this source of replenishment of their support. A very confused outcome.

  18. @Robin

    :) Nice. Mrs May must surely be considering hanging up a portrait of him by now.

  19. Wasn’t there a pro-Euro/pro-EU wing of the Conservative Party? Where did they go? That’s my curiosity here. Like, do they still exist?

  20. SOCALLIBERAL
    He’s called Ken Clarke.

  21. @Statgeek

    Wasn’t Gibraltar lumped into the South West England region?

    /extrapedant

    ;)

  22. @ SOCALLIBERAL
    Wasn’t there a pro-Euro/pro-EU wing of the Conservative Party? Where did they go? That’s my curiosity here. Like, do they still exist?
    —————————————————————————-

    There are some that comment on Conservative Home, and there is usually one or more who announces their resignation from the Conservative party.

    It also seems that George Osborne has been taking soundings with the LDs and blairite MPs about setting up a new party and Anna Soubry is generally considered as a possible resigner. However, apart from one resignation and Ken Clarke, the Remainer majority of Conservative MPs have toed the line obediently.

    I suspect that the overwhelmingly eurosceptic local associations and constituencies have helped to concentrate their MPs’ minds (particularly with the prospect of a boundary review). In addition, many MPs and activists are well aware of the possibility of a LD revival and the government’s narrow majority.

  23. @ SocalLiberal

    Peter Oborne offers his assessment here… basically that Mrs May’s apocalypse is merely pending.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-4370118/How-Brexit-rip-Tory-party-two.html

  24. @SocalLiberal

    There was an interesting article last week about a new party of those Tory anti brexit mps, Lib Dems and many upset Labour MP’s

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2017/03/jeremy-knows-he-cant-do-job-what-now-labour-and-britains-opposition

    That refers to 15 anti Brexit Tory MPs, but their voting record in opposing Brexit has been simple woeful…

    “In this new era, the greatest influence on the government is being exercised from within the Conservative Party. “Where’s the aggravation? Where’s the heat coming from? Eighty hardline Brexiteers,” Anna Soubry, the pro-European former Conservative minister, told me. “They’re a party within a party and they are calling the shots. So where else is [May’s] heat? Fifteen Conservatives – people like me and the rest of them now. ”

    But who knows, if 15 leave and a large chunk of Labour and Lib Dems all join a new party – unlikely I would have to say, but there are further rumours – it could result in the fall of the government. But replaced with something even more hardline?

    Hard to say, I guess they are waiting for some of the Brexit bad news to start hitting before they strike, doing so now would be a disaster for their cause…Watch those opinion polls, the expectation vs reality is about to hit, and you only have to read some recent Yougov polling on what the pro Brexit voters think they are going to get vs the reality now emerging from the EU to see a train wreck is about to hit..

  25. This here is the Brexit poll I am referring to

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/glo3xaqerh/InternalResults_170327_AnthonyBrexitQs_W.pdf

    The telling question

    Which of the following best reflects your view

    It is more important for Britain to have control over EU immigration into Britain than to keep free trade 16%

    It is more important to ensure Britain can trade freely with the EU without tariff barriers than it is to control EU immigration 24%

    It is a false choice – it is possible to BOTH control EU immigration into Britain AND to keep British free trade with the EU -40%

    Those 40% are about to hit reality…

    And on the squeeze question they split 50/50 on what is more important – immigration or trade.

    Grab the popcorn! Its going to be fun to watch…

  26. @Richard @SYZYGY

    That’s an interesting New Statesman article, thanks for the post.

    I agree with Syzygy that the mere threat of the boundary review and the stridently Eurosceptic Tory constituency associations, along with the stratospheric Tory VI are doing the Whip’s Office job for them.

    There was hardly a peep with the passing of A50 and the blocking of amendments that many Remaining Tory MPs would have agreed with.

    The future is clearly unknowable and that is why I have stated on numerous occasions that the Tory Party are plain foolish if they don’t start the process of attempting to repeal the FTPA so they can go to the country at a time of their choosing before the possibility of the brown stuff getting splattered around the room.

    I note the other day that Hague ran that idea up the flagpole and not before time.

  27. Labour

    Colin

    They can huff and they can Puff….but show me the vehicle that can depose JC?
    1. He has been humiliated by a vast majority of his own parliamentary party. he cares not;
    2. He has won 2 elections under a system devised by Milliband the second one with an increased majority;
    3. he has presided over the largest party membership growth in memory;
    4. he will win the majority of mayoral elections;
    5.The list of alternative candidates willing to stand against him is dire;
    6.The threat of an alternative party is hot air. Everybody is aware of the fate of such entities.Look at the characters who would be involved-Osborne, Blair,Soubry,Heseltine allied with Sturgeon.Please.

  28. Colin

    I know you likr to study all the reports on Brexit. You might find this work from Cambridge of interest:-

    h ttps://www.cbr.cam.ac.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/centre-for-business-research/downloads/working-papers/wp483revised.pdf

  29. Socalliberal,
    “Wasn’t there a pro-Euro/pro-EU wing of the Conservative Party? Where did they go”

    They are still there. They are why the cabinet had to spend a month even writing its article 50 letter. Not really a good sign for government.

    Remain MPs at the moment have a slightly illogical position, which leave is trying to call out. The remainers say that the country has voted to leave, so they will do so, but they will ensure that we have a continuing trade relation with the EU so that this does not become a disaster. The problem, is that the only credible relationship fitting this bill is membership. Which leave naturally point out they just said they are going to not have.

    Remain are currently sitting on the fence expressing good will and awaiting a disastrous outcome of talks. Leave, meanwhile also recognise the likelihood of a disastrous outcome and so are pressing to simply abandon negotiations right now and leave at once. Thereby making it impossible for the nation to change its mind.

    Most likely this is a long held strategy by remainers, to allow the thing to play out until it becomes obviously untenable. Leave want it to play out, but with the opposite result.

    Sea Change,
    “the Tory Party are plain foolish if they don’t start the process of attempting to repeal the FTPA so they can go to the country at a time of their choosing”

    Except that doing so would signal an intention to use their new power to call an early election, and they have said they will not.

    More seriously, the conservative party does not want an election now which would most likely confirm a big majority of MPs to leave the EU. Because they don’t want to leave the EU. Although they officially stand for this, they need the freedom to reverse this policy when public sentiment changes, and having an election now would take this flexibility away.

  30. Danny
    i am becoming increasingly worried that whatever ward you are on has still not shut down its internet access.:-)

  31. @Danny,

    ‘More seriously, the conservative party does not want an election now which would most likely confirm a big majority of MPs to leave the EU. Because they don’t want to leave the EU. Although they officially stand for this, they need the freedom to reverse this policy when public sentiment changes, and having an election now would take this flexibility away.’

    I think that is arguably the most dillusional post I have ever read on this site. Gold star awarded for effort!

  32. Colin,
    “The NS is piling it on”

    What the conservativs feel they need is an opposition which can articluate remain policies so that they dont have to. In the absence of this they will be forced to do the job themselves and split their own party.

    So the question is, would it really help labour if they get more organised? About the best they could possibly hope for right now is the conservatives going to war with themselves.

  33. Rich you never know the conservative party over the years has changed its mind a few times over our relationship to Europe ,EC ,EU. If public opinion and the influence of big business changes so will it.Always pragmatic the blue team.

  34. Good morning all from a lovely and sunny Stevenage.

    The Lib/Dem VI for London looks not too bad but topline figures can and do cover a multitude of sins.

    The LibDems traditionally do well with younger voters and especially students but in this poll, only 15% of 18-24-year-olds would vote for the party.

    London was a huge remain voting area but the Lib/Dems are only polling 3-4% above their national average VI. It is all rather uninspiring and dull from a Lib/Dem perspective.

    Has there been any polling on cereal eaters and how they would vote in a GE? Maybe the Lib/Dems are polling higher with Muesli eating consumers?

  35. Reports in some sections of the news that Spain asked us to leave mentioning Gibraltar out of our Article 50 letter to Donald Tusk and then went and did the dirty on us by getting a Veto included in the EU reply. If true we may have been very naive but now Spain, because of their alleged betrayal, could find us breathing heavily down their necks.

    In 1974 did we unknowingly book ourselves into Hotel California?

  36. @AC

    I think saw a poll that said cereal eaters like cereals.

    I think the pejorative ‘cereal eaters’ is as useful as the term ‘lard stuffers’

    Have they been polled?

    ????

  37. Spain has said it would not veto an attempt by an independent Scotland to join the EU, in a boost to Nicola Sturgeon’s campaign for a second independence referendum and the clearest sign yet that Brexit has softened Madrid’s longstanding opposition.

    Alfonso Dastis, the Spanish foreign minister, made it clear that the government would not block an independent Scotland’s EU hopes, although he stressed that Madrid would not welcome the disintegration of the UK.

    He also said Edinburgh would have to apply for membership, a process fraught with uncertainty that is likely to take several years. But asked directly whether Spain would veto an independent Scotland joining the EU, Dastis said: “No, we wouldn’t.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/02/spain-drops-plan-to-impose-veto-if-scotland-tries-to-join-eu
    …………….

    Good news for NS but “although he stressed that Madrid would not welcome the disintegration of the UK”… He only want’s to take Gibralter back!!

    If Brexit goes pearshaped then we could see Scotland bolting, NI joining the ROI, London becoming an EU protectorate, Cornwall unifying with Britanny and Berwick-upon-Tweed becoming part of Scotland.

  38. CATMANJEFF

    I’m just trying to drill down to where the Lib/Dem VI is strongest

  39. AC: “If Brexit goes pearshaped then we could see Scotland bolting, NI joining the ROI, London becoming an EU protectorate, Cornwall unifying with Britanny and Berwick-upon-Tweed becoming part of Scotland.”

    Very droll. But rather more worryingly, I wonder how many of the shadowy – and not so shadowy – figures behind the Leave victory see the end-game not just as Brexit, but the UK (or rUK) as the 51st state?

    I hope that’s just me being fanciful, but that famous picture of Trump with Farage, Banks and the rest of their gang in the gilded lift at Trump Towers surely reveals where their true sympathies lie.

  40. Nothing has changed re Spain and Scotland. They just won’t block an independent Scotland applying to join the EU. The jocks would

    G
    Have to go through the normal application process
    Have to have the Euro
    Have free movement i.e. uncontrolled immigration

    What is,and never has been, on the table is Scotland staying in the EU instead of Britain.

    But then the SNP only deals in myths,untruths and the politics of envy and grievance.

  41. @Somerjohn

    Troubling interview with Banks in the Observer today.

  42. Post Brexit we are seeing the Tories dominate in terms of Party politics ironically because of a lack of Party politics.

    We tend to focus on party share a bit too much so sometimes tend to overlook other factors.

    Mike Smithson of PB is keen on the importance of Leader Ratings and who would make best PM. Here May hammers Corbyn, but also Sturgeon is still way ahead of Davidsob in Scotland. Davidson is doing well but wouldn’t come top on a best FM question.

    The other factor that is now far more important than a year ago is “Sticking up for Britain!”

    The Tories have always polled well on this as have the SNP in Scottish terms. Be it the negotiations between London and Brussels or Edinburgh and London both the Tories and SNP seem to have been the ones people have rallied around.

    I think that tends to explain why, despite the poll this week on attitudes to the EU negotiations or indeed the marginal differences shown between Scottish and UK attitudes on most issues in general are little different, politics north and south of the border are currently dominate by two very different parties.

    Politically we are miles apart but both have popular leaders and are seen as sticking up for their Country.

    That’s politics, only it’s not about politics!

    Peter.

  43. @Danny @Dez

    There is Tory pragmatism, and then there is committing political seppuku.

    The idea that Leavers faced with a bad deal from Brussels are going to change their minds in a mass Damascian Remain conversion is stretching credibility beyond the limits of rational discourse.

    But please do lay out how you think the Tory party will stop us leaving the EU and have been secretly planning this all along.

  44. Things are heating up over Gibraltar. Michael Howard saying it needs defending the same as The Falklands. These negotiations are going to be very interesting indeed.

  45. @Rich

    The biggest danger for Spain is anti-Spanish fervour in the tabloid press leading holidaymakers to switch to Portugal this summer.

  46. Sea Change,

    I think most theories about how we may remain are clutching at straws.
    Like it or not and whether it is good for the UK ( which I strongly doubt) this is now all about Us v Them.

    In a way that goes back to Thatcher and the going to Brussels to “Fight our Corner!” Once the relationship with Europe was cast as adversarial rather than cooperative we were never going to be an easy fit.

    Contrast the language of Mays letter, which often read like an essay on why we should stay with things like “Brexit means Brexit!” The Tories and May are riding a Patriotic horse but I am not sure they are fully in control of it!

    There really is no turning back now, regardless of the deal.

    Like every pre devolution Scottish Secretary since the war announcing that they had fought Scotland’s corner and this Budget is a good deal for Scotland, whatever deal we get will be declared a good deal and the Tories will probably sweet to power with a huge majority on the back of it in 2020.

    Even if the Tories make a mess of the negotiations the EU will probably get the blame just because of the public mood.

    What Tusk said about Gibraltar was hardly a surprise and really doesn’t amount to much but the reaction here is everything from consternation to sending a task force!

    Peter.

  47. Chris Riley: “Troubling interview with Banks in the Observer today.”

    Ah, yes indeed. I’ve just read it and so, I think, should anyone who professes to have the interests of Britain at heart. The true enemies of ‘the will of the people’ are those who manipulate it for their own ends.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/02/arron-banks-interview-brexit-ukip-far-right-trump-putin-russia

  48. I see the pesky German attempt to sabotage the Boat Race by planting a bomb 75 years ago has been foiled by our brave boys. :-)

  49. Obviously discussion of a Falklands-style war over Gibraltar is hyperbole/posturing/fantasy. The more plausible and much more interesting scenario is this:

    Imagine it’s 2019 – Brexit negotiations have finished slightly ahead of schedule by mutual agreement. They have gone surprisingly well, with both teams happy to present the deal to their respective governments. The EU is ready to offer the UK an EFTA-style free trade agreement including passporting for services, with special provisions for a UK veto on inward-bound immigration to make the deal politically feasible with Leave voters. Industry is happy, the banks are happy, the EU and UK governments are happy, and the majority of both Remain and Leave voters are satisfied.

    In short, in this scenario, it looks like Boris Johnson’s prediction of having a cake and eating it has, despite all odds, come true.

    Then, as the small print is inspected, the Gibraltan government raises a red flag. They interpret a provision for a cross-border council as bringing in joint sovereignty with Spain by the back door. They say they have been betrayed.

    The UK government quietly attempts to have the provision removed, the Spanish government quietly refuses.

    What happens next? Would Britain really sacrifice such a good deal for the UK just for the sake of maintaining 100% sovereignty over Gibraltar?

    And, to bring up the Falklands analogy, would Thatcher have gone to war over the Falklands if it had meant severe and permanent economic damage to the entire UK mainland? Going by the example of her relatively meek handing over of Hong Kong to China, she would not have.

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