More Brexit polling

A year on from the EU referendum there was some new YouGov polling for the Times this morning. The country remain quite evenly split over whether Brexit is right or wrong, 44% think leaving was the right decision, 45% the wrong decision. There is not much optimism about negotiations – only 26% expect the government to achieve a deal that is good for Britain, 31% expect a poor deal, 15% expect no deal at all (that said, most don’t think Labour would be doing any better – 24% think they’d get a better deal, 34% a worse deal, 20% that it would end up much the same).

Asked to choose between Britain having full control over immigration from Europe or British businesses having free access to trade with the EU people preferred trade by 58% to 42%. As I wrote in my last post, there’s a lot of variation in questions like this depending on the specific wording, but the overall picture suggests that when people are pushed to choose they do think trade is more important than control of immigration (though among Conservative voters the balance is the other way round).

On other matters, on the question of who would make the best Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn now leads Theresa May by a single point – 35% to 34%. This is the first time that Corbyn has led in the question – this is partially because of a sharp drop in Theresa May’s ratings (before the snap election she was consistently in the high 40s), but is also due to a significant increase in Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings. Again, if you look at the longer term ratings he used to be consistenty down in the teens.

Full tabs are here

I should also add an update on polling about the second referendum. In my last post I mentioned the Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday which found that the balance of opinion was in favour of having a second referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal. This was the first time any poll had shown this, and I said it was worth looking to see if other polls found the same. Well, so far they haven’t – Survation also had a poll for Good Morning Britain on Monday, that also had a question on a second referendum, and it found 38% of people supported it and 57% were opposed. Tabs for that are here.


451 Responses to “More Brexit polling”

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  1. Trevor Warne

    “At that point CON (assuming they have survived that far) might start to recover as voters see the impossible demands of EU.”

    Glad you see that i made that point yesterday i think.

  2. Voice of Reason

    @”Personally I’d love to see some in depth research as to why more educated people across various generations are tending towards Labour than the Conservatives.”

    I think we must be a litlle wary of characterising this trend in terms of more or less “Educated”

    YouGov’s How Britain voted at the 2017 general election showed that Cons had a net majority in the “GCSE & Below” category as well as the ” Medium Education ” Level.

    Labour’s majority in this demographic was specifically in ” Degree or above”.

    So University attendance seems to be a key factor.

    I wonder if this might be a clue as to why ?

    https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56eddde762cd9413e151ac92/t/58b5a7cd03596ec6631d8b8a/1488299985267/Left+Wing+Bias+Paper.pdf

  3. DANNY @ BZ
    I fancy his reservations over the nascent EU were that he saw the UK and its empire continuing, not that he advocated withdrawal from world politics. There is no more empire, so the UK has to fight for european dominance just like everyone else.

    I fully agree with that.

    I was only 8 at the time so the politics passed me by, but I suspect that the problem for SuperMac was that he took over from the pretty disastrous Eden in January 1957. Although he was a one nation tory PM, he would have had too much of Eden’s mess left to sort out before March, when the Treaty of Rome was signed on the 25th.

    As is often said of comedy, it’s all about timing.

  4. @TURK

    “That’s a rather tired old point of view mainly put about by the left that they are somehow more intelligent than those on the right it just feeds into that sense of superiority some on the left feel towards those who disagree with them.”

    You misunderstand my point and also confuse the issue. Polling shows us that people with higher educational attainment tend to be more inclined towards remain / Labour. That’s a fact.

    Just because people have higher level of educational attainment does not necessarily correlate to higher intelligence and I wasn’t trying to suggest that more academically educated people are ‘superior’.

    I was simply pointing out that there are more people that are coming through that are academically educated and they are predominantly not voting Conservative.

    Also there is a gender gap between men and women for Cons / Lab voting, but it would be interesting to know whether that mirrored the educational attainment as we know that women generally have been achieving higher levels of educational attainment than men over the past 20 years.

  5. @tonybtg June 24th, 2017 at 8:40 am

    I found your post very funny — but the problem is this is from the ruling party. And that’s not so funny.

    Indeed, you can tell that the country is going down the toilet when you seen the Union Jack (or Flag if you are fussy) and the EU flag as a background caption, and the Union Jack was upside down!

    I also so recently the image of the Union Jack projected on the Brandenburg Gate — and that was upside down too! I think someone is trying to tell us something.

  6. @ToH

    “It would be nice if they did though.”

    ——–

    Yes that made me giggle, gf just asked what I was laughing at…

  7. @Colin

    I agree. By educational attainment I’m referring to what has been borne out in previous polling, that the more qualifications a person has achieved, the more likely they seem to be to vote Labour.

    And I agree that university education seems to be a key determiner.

  8. @ COLIN – you can be in the CU and negotiate your own FTAs (as Switzerland does). Being in the CU restricts the scope of those FTAs (mainly on the goods side) but at the margin would still give us some scope to improve on service sector exports (as Switzerland is finding with their China deal)

    The issue is getting to that point. We have to complete the sufficient progress tasks first – something most people seem to brush completely over. We can cave in on all three points (NI will be difficult) to get to the new relationship quicker or we can attempt to negotiate a lower divorce bill and genuinely reciprocal expat deal (EU’s terms on expats are nowhere near reciprocal). If KS could spell out the details of exactly what he means by unilateral EU rights then we’d have something to compare his approach to CON approach – the devil is in the detail and opposition parties do not have to give any detail. Maybe Corbyn/KS could also indicate how much they feel would be a fair divorce bill? IMHO saving 60bn+ by taking “no deal” and paying the minimum of our obligations (est 40bn) rather than paying 100bn would be enough cushion to cover the short-term economic hit of “no deal”. Paying 100bn to move to Norway status would be worse (IMHO). Obviously a range of possibilities in between and that is picking just one of the items. A transition status with a formula for exit payments would be a sensible compromise. Being a Libertarian (balance budget) soft-CON voter I expect I’m more focussed on the financial aspects than the average Joe so I appreciate others might be happy with a max payment.

    Who knows we might soon get to find out exactly what LAB plans are and how they would handle Brexit. As I’ve said in previous posts, if they want to take over Brexit then I’d much rather that happens sooner rather than later.

    P.S. Does anyone have the poll that asked people how much they would be prepared to pay to leave EU? Probably could do with a new one – once we get to the Brexit nitty gritty it will be interesting to see the cross breaks – are LAB voters happy to pay 100bn? I’m pretty sure the old poll showed little difference on the cross breaks but I can’t find it and didn’t book mark – if anyone has it please could they post it. Thanks.

  9. TURK

    @”At that point CON (assuming they have survived that far) might start to recover as voters see the impossible demands of EU.”

    I think this will be fascinating of Pollsters track it.

    Barnier said he intends total transparency around the negotiations. As I understand it every time he & DD meet ( ? monthly) there will be a Press Conference.

    In any event Juncker , despite telling TM that The Commission isn’t negotiating, can’t stop himself voicing his latest bit of anti-UK sentiment.
    The headlines will be interesting too-can’t think offhand of an equivalent to “Up Yours Delors” for Herr Juncker.

  10. ToH and Trevor Warne.

    It’s unwise to assume that the CONs will start to recover “as voters start to see the impossible demands of EU”.

    It might in fact benefit LAB, who voters may see as more able to compromise to get a good deal.

  11. @ToH
    Perhaps I am wrong to do so, but I take the text of the Labour manifesto as my starting point for understanding Labour policy; it says nothing about whether Labour is for or against remaining in the Single Market.

    McDonnell appears to be leaning toward the UK being ‘out’ of the SM I grant, but the fundamental commitment, reiterated within the manifesto, was to a Brexit that best serves the economy and jobs.

    It’s a very different take from the Tories where the rhetoric (until Hammond came along recently) was all about the most important issues being exiting ECJ jurisdiction and ending any and all free movement of EU citizens, with economic considerations a bad third….

    On your second point, IMHO it is the act of leaving the EU at all that threatens our country and its inhabitants with reduced opportunities and a weakened nation, but I would never want to curtail the role of the media in challenging our politicians even then.

    I don’t think the circumstances remotely warrant a national government, but I would like to sees a cross-party attempt to forge a consensus on Brexit,

    However I suspect the outcome of any such attempt, taking into account the views of both the 52% and the 48%, would deliver the softest of Brexits that would be unlikely to satisfy the hard right.

    And there is no chance May would countenance it, even if it would be in the national interest…

  12. TREVOR WARNE

    Thanks

    KS certainly hasn’t indicated what his CU “membership” terms would ideally look like. As you say-the Opposition’s Privilege.!

    ON the Divorce Bill what I would be looking for DD to do is to really establish what our Legally enforceable Liability is ( I suspect not much at all) , plus “Reasonable” requests for contributions to extra budgetary items from which we will benefit-like membership of co-operative Research bodies etc-then have a mandated sum with which to oil the wheels of negotiation .

    I feel sure that given the huge black hole our exit leaves in their Budget, money will talk.

  13. @COLIN

    The academics / lecturer influence is interesting but we’ve known for some time that public school teachers are generally left leaning too, probably since at least the 1960’s, but it doesn’t seem like they have had the effect of creating a predominantly left-wing electorate.

  14. @Turk

    In your haste to dismiss the idea that more educated voters are not necessarily more intelligent that those who are less qualified, you fall back on the canard that older voters are wiser.

    Good luck evidencing that.

  15. Voice of Reason

    “Personally I’d love to see some in depth research as to why more educated people across various generations are tending towards Labour than the Conservatives.”

    We have been round that old chestnut so many times so I’ll just make a small number of points for you to think about:-

    1. When people like me went to University in the late 50’s only 5% of the population did so.
    2. .Having a University degree does not necessarily mean somebody is better educated than somebody who hasn’t got one. Being educated is not just about paper qualifications. For example I don’t have a degree in music but people who know me well would probably consider I have more knowledge of serious music than many who do have a such a degree.
    3. Having a University degree does not measure intelligence. Many of the most intelligent people I know do not have degrees.
    4. People often change the way they vote as they get older and more established in life. Thus those who are voting enthusiastically for Corbyn now in their twenties may vote differently in their 40s and are very likely to vote differently in their 60s. Historically people tend to move to the right as they age. I think there are many papers discussing this point. The last election was about Brexit so was somewhat atypical.

    Since you don’t know me I am 77 have never voted Labour and have a Science Hons degree.

  16. @ TOBY – you’ll note I said maybe. I would not assume to assume :)

    Enough comments from me today I think. Off for some exercise and offline in case someone slips the rugby results before I can sit down to watch it with some great English ale tonight! Can’t watch rugby without beer and didn’t fancy beer for breakfast!

  17. @ AlUrqa

    “I also so recently the image of the Union Jack projected on the Brandenburg Gate — and that was upside down too! I think someone is trying to tell us something.”

    The Union Jack looks pretty much the same whichever way you hang it.

    http://www.wikihow.com/Know-if-a-Union-Jack-Has-Been-Hung-Upside-Down

  18. @Turk

    .
    “Before we get to carried away by students falling at the feet of Corbyn style politics of the old left perhaps a better question would be how well would have Labour faired if they hadn’t offered the student vote a huge bribe in the form of scrapping tuition fees.”

    ————

    Well it wasn’t just the student vote by any means. Many Students were into Corbyn before the “bribe”, and it was Brexit that made many realise they needed to turn out. But sure, be interesting to know how many were swayed just by the student fees as opposed to other reasons, policies on employment, economy, housing, nationalisation etc.

    (And of course you’d want to compare it with largesse to boomers, triple locks, house prices, winter fuel etc., and all the money pumped into SE economy via QE etc…)

  19. VOICE Of Reason

    Indeed -but I was trying to offer a reason to the finding you identify-that Graduates tend to vote Labour.

    The link I gave you was me suggesting that the Left biase in the people who will have influenced the thinking of those graduates for three or four years might be part of the reason you seek.

  20. Bigfatron

    “softest of Brexits”

    This is where you all go wrong at the moment., There is no such thing as “Hard or Soft Brexit” IMO, To leave the EU properly we have to be able to contol our own borders, no jurisdiction of the ECJ etc, anything less is not leaving the EU is just changing our state from a voting member vassal state, to a non voting member vassal state of the EU.

  21. @Colin

    The output of the Adam Smith Institute has no value other than to keep a handful of dreary ideologues off the streets. Boring drivel about how the dreadful people who don’t agree with us only do that because they are awful and weak minded wastes everyone’s time.

  22. COLIN

    Good point, I forgot about the years of left wing indoctrination by left leaning teachers and academucs when i produced my short list.

  23. @ Carfrew

    Thanks for posting the Times article, I must have missed it. It’s really fascinating to see how Labour worked the campaign. I hope to read more POVs in future about how they did it. It’s looks like the PLP’s internal divisions and Labour’s weaknesses were understood with great insight by some in Corbyn’s team and played to optimal effect.

    I’d never been impressed by Corbyn or his team at all up until May. They had seemed utterly clueless and out-of-touch. But I think like most right-leaning folk, I began to grudgingly accept that both he and his team were playing a blinder and sure-footing pretty much everyone.

    I still can’t believe they turned a 20-25% Tory lead into almost nothing in just a few weeks. It’s certainly one of the most unexpected electoral campaigns in modern British history. The suspicion among quite a few Tory party strategists/spads that I know was that had the campaign gone on just another week, Labour would have won an outright majority.

    The hope from my POV is that we learn from Labour’s campaign, but it’s going to take time. Our attempts at social media targeting were probably a bit blunt and crude. Labour’s team (apparently not just HQ but also Momentum and random party enthusiasts) seem to have tapped into something that – at least at the moment – we just can’t match.

  24. Colin

    Thanks. Yes it could be part of the reason.

    I wonder if anyone has ever done a study of peoples political opinions before and after attending university?

    Specifically, I think you would need a large sample and would need to ask them a range of questions before they went to university to determine where they sit on the left/right spectrum and then repeat those questions after completing their degrees and see to what extent their views / political leanings had changed over the course of those years as to the extent to which university influences people towards the left and away from the right.

  25. @Colin
    We contributed around £9bn in 2016,according to the House of Commons library paper.

    You can then deduct from that figure anything we will naturally decide to carry on paying for; Euratom is probably the most obvious example, followed by other research programs.

    The effective shortfall for the EU from the UK leaving, assuming no ongoing UK membership fee for EEA or SM, is probably around £7.5bn or so, about €9bn.

    It’s a tidy sum for sure, but is hardly going to cause the EU to implode, given a current EU27 GDP of more than €10 trillion – I mean, it’s less than 0.1% of GDP.

  26. MARK W

    Just watched Corbyn speak at Glastonbury. I thought it uplifting and inspirational. He really is connecting with a lot of people

  27. You Gov’s election analysis concluded:

    Alongside age, education has become one of the key electoral demographic dividing lines. We saw it was a huge factor in the EU referendum campaign and, after the last general election, we made sure we accounted for educational qualifications in our methodology. In last week’s vote, while the Conservatives’ support decreases the more educated a voter is, the opposite was true for Labour and the Lib Dems.
    Amongst those with low educational qualifications (defined as GCSE or equivalent or below) the Conservatives beat Labour by 22%. However amongst those with high level educational qualifications (defined as degree-level or above) Labour led by 17 percentage points. Part of this relationship is down to age – the expansion of education means that, on average, the young have more qualifications than the old, although the Conservatives still have a “graduate problem” even after accounting for this.

  28. CHRIS RILEY

    The Survey AS quoted from was done by AS Halsey who was Emeritus Professor of Social and Administrative Studies at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford, and a Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford.

  29. ToH – I bet my knowledge of non-serious music is better than yours so there!!

  30. Does anyone have any polling evidence that teachers etc are significantly more left wing than the general population, I’m sure if 90% of teachers were left wing we would know about it

  31. VOR

    That would be an interesting survey .

  32. @Colin

    The far simpler reason why the more educated might prefer Labour is that for decades the Tories have been the party of a certain section of the demographic that have not been to university and have pitched their message accordingly.

    The Tories have always been fond of attacking the educated and professionals from time to time when it has been politically expedient to do so. And since the 90s a section of the Right has been openly and unsubtly hostile to the whole HE sector. One of that tendency is now PM.

    ‘This country has had enough of experts’ was not a spontaneous criticism; graduates recognised it as a long-held animus from the Right against an uppity section of the population who keep impertinently questioning them, doesn’t read the media sources they use to channel their messages and don’t vote for them. And then come the silly conspiracy theories about why those awful people who don’t vote for us are just awful, that means the Right don’t ever need to ask if it’s anything they have said or done. It is all the fault of other people.

    *That* is why graduates don’t vote Tory. A lot of you don’t like us and you aren’t very subtle about it.

  33. JIMJAM

    Your bound to be correct on that although I still have an interest in swing, some modern jazz (MJQ) and easy listening, Ella, Sinatra etc.

    As to pop music your most welcome to it. A visit to Glastonbury would be like having all my teeth out without anesthesia to me.

    :-)

  34. @TOH

    “1. When people like me went to University in the late 50’s only 5% of the population did so.”

    Yes – this was part of the point I was making. Therefore academic education to degree level wasn’t previously a big determiner of voting behaviour but now we are at 50% and graduates are predominantly voting Lab rather than Conservative.

    “2. .Having a University degree does not necessarily mean somebody is better educated than somebody who hasn’t got one. Being educated is not just about paper qualifications. For example I don’t have a degree in music but people who know me well would probably consider I have more knowledge of serious music than many who do have a such a degree.”

    I agree. Plenty of people with no qualifications are successful in many ways and many fields – educational attainment does not mean that people who choose not to do degrees are any less intelligent BUT they don’t have the same level of academic educational attainment and there DOES seem to be a link between academic education levels and voting intention.

    “3. Having a University degree does not measure intelligence. Many of the most intelligent people I know do not have degrees.”

    I agree – and I never said it did. ‘What is the nature of intelligence and how do you measure it?’ is a whole PHD in itself that I wouldn’t even attempt to discuss on a polling forum.

    “4. People often change the way they vote as they get older and more established in life. Thus those who are voting enthusiastically for Corbyn now in their twenties may vote differently in their 40s and are very likely to vote differently in their 60s. Historically people tend to move to the right as they age. I think there are many papers discussing this point. The last election was about Brexit so was somewhat atypical.”

    Agreed, but what is clear from polling is that people with higher levels of educational attainment (more academic qualifications) in all age groups are more likely to vote Labour than those with lower levels of educational attainment (fewer academic qualifications).

  35. To be honest, I find measuring education simply by degree or not is way too lazy.

    There are going to be outside factors affecting this trend as already noted. Firstly a higher number of younger people obtaining degrees these days. Secondly, the University environment and social culture itself. It’s seen a social suicide to even consider voting conservative in many circles (I find this a lot more stronger at university level than high school / college) and this mentality persists after graduation to varying degrees.

    It would be interesting to see statistics for bachelors vs masters / PhD (does the trend continue?) and also breakdowns per subject and university attended. For example, do we see this labour trend in graduates of science/engineering/maths etc, or is it driven by graduates from arts and humanities only. If we see trends like that, then I’d question whether it’s education that’s the main driver or whether it’s just down to social/cultural factors.

  36. @ Cambridgerachel

    This is from 2014, but I suspect the broad pattern would be much the same now. Labour has a large lead among teachers but it certainly isn’t right to claim that “90% are left-wing” (it’s only about 57% :-) )

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2014/01/02/teachers-vote-labour-lead-41/

  37. BFR

    UK contributes around 12% of the EU BUdget. Currently only 9 of the 27 make Net Contributions-the rest are net recipients.

    a) 12 is significant-try working out the effects of a 12% drop in UK’s Tax Revenues.
    b) The Net Recipients will probably refuse to receive less.
    c) The Net Payers will argue about who compensates-some may suggest that the Budget is reduced.
    d) Brussels will refuse ti reduce the Budget.

    This is leverage.

  38. CHRIS RILEY

    You seem quite angry about something.

  39. Voice_of_Reason

    Thanks for your detailed comments. I have a question:-

    “Agreed, but what is clear from polling is that people with higher levels of educational attainment (more academic qualifications) in all age groups are more likely to vote Labour than those with lower levels of educational attainment (fewer academic qualifications).”

    How long has that been true or is it just a very recent occurence which tends to be my own view?

  40. @Chris Riley

    An interesting analysis.

    If that’s the case, and its not to do with lefty lecturers etc, then the situation isn’t irredeemable by any means for the Tories, simply a matter of political positioning and policy changes to promote / champion higher education.

    Younger Tory MP’s and future potential leaders might have more success in reaching out to graduates, as presumably more of their younger MP’s will also have been to university too.

  41. ToH – I think it is the idea that self-labelling ones own taste as serious music is amusing too me.

  42. @ToH
    re ‘softest of Brexits’

    But that is just your personal view, it has no intrinsic validity (by which I don’t intend to be rude, but mean it has no more OR less validity than any other view).

    As has been endlessly rehearsed on here, there was no clarity in the Referendum about what ‘leave the EU’ actually meant – you have rightly pointed out that Osborne and Cameron both said it meant being out of everything, but Johnson said we could leave the EU and stay in the single market, and even Farage said we could have a Norway-style EEA deal.

    Basically ‘Remain’ campaign said that Brexit could only mean what people describe now as ‘Hard Brexit’, but ‘Leave’ offered a range of conflicting options, with what people describe as a ‘soft Brexit’ being widely touted by some Leave leaders.

    So there was deliberate confusion, particular on the part of the Leave campaign about what leaving actually meant.

    As a result of which, it seems to me, no particular interpretation of Leave has more of a democratic mandate than any other.

  43. JAMES E

    Thanks for the link

    That’s very worrying, I’m glad my children are long grown up but it makes me worry about my grandchildrens education.

    COLIN

    Your piece to BFR.

    Agreed there is certainly leverage there.

  44. BFR

    Thanks for replying.

    “As a result of which, it seems to me, no particular interpretation of Leave has more of a democratic mandate than any other.”

    That’s where we disagree. To me the mandate could not be clearer.

  45. The Netherlands and Sweden will be the interesting countries to watch throughout negotiations.

    Along with Germany and UK, they are currently the countries with the highest net contributions per capita. Historically they’ve also tended to quietly support the UK when we’ve been creating unpopular noise within the EU ranks.

    For the Netherlands in particular, you just need to look at their main stock index AEX to see that poor trading relations with the U.K. would hit them hard. Shell and Unilever (with joint headquarters in UK) account for over 30% of the market cap alone for example.

    Both the Netherlands and Sweden are standing side by side with the EU at the moment, but can’t see this remaining the case if the reality of a crash exit starts to hit.

  46. @Colin

    It’s definitely leverage, I agree.

    But to look at it like a 12% drop in govt revenue is misleading – this much more is like a 12% drop in one particular form of tax income, say Corporation Tax. After all, most areas of spending in EU countries are not covered out of EU funds but from national funds.

    This is a meaningful hit to other EU countries and therefore a decent bargaining chip, but hardly ruinous.

    Of course, given we were the leading proponent of expansion of the EU to include those countries that now nee subsidy, it may be a little irritating to Germany and France that having got our way (as we quite often did in the EU) we are now walking away and leaving them with the bill…

  47. @TOH

    Well it was certainly a factor in 2015 with around 65% of graduate educated voters choosing to vote for a ‘progressive’ party, despite the Tory victory.

    if you compare the two charts for education level between 2015 and 2017 then you can see that the Tories dropped 3% amongst the Uni educated and Labour hoovered up a lot of the progressive vote that was previously split between Greens / SNP / Plaid / Libe Dem etc.

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/06/08/general-election-2015-how-britain-really-voted/

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2017/06/13/how-britain-voted-2017-general-election/

    Can’t seem to find anything on educational attainment voting patterns for 2010 though.

  48. JIMJAM

    I was using the term “serious music” in it’s common usage form, meaning Western classical music. In saying that I was not trying to imply that my taste was in any way superior to others, just using it as an example of the point I was making at the time.

    I”m amused your amused.

  49. ToH – Just a craic

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