There’s normally a somewhat quite period in terms of voting intention after an election. There’s just been an actual vote, newspapers have blown all their polling budget during the campaign and even pollsters have to have a holiday. Sample quotas and weights all have to be rejigged as well (that applies even when polls have got an election correct – most polls’ quotas or weights include voting at the previous election, so 2015 targets all need replacing with 2017 targets).

We’ve had two Survation polls earlier this month, both showing Labour leads. Yesterday’s Sunday Times also had a new Panelbase poll, their first since the general election, and also showed Labour ahead. Topline figures there are CON 41%(-3), LAB 46%(+5), LDEM 6%(-2), changes are from the actual election result (or at least, the Great British vote share at the general election – the vast majority of opinion polls cover Great Britain only, not Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

It’s an interesting rhetorical question to ponder how much of the shift in public opinion since the election is because of the general election result (Theresa May’s figures have dropped now she is the PM who called a snap election and lost her majority, Jeremy Corbyn’s have shot up now he is a leader who deprived the Tories of a majority when he’d been so widely written off), and how much is the continuation of trends that were already there in the general election campaign? In other words, if the election had been a week later, would the trend towards Labour have continued and would they have been the largest party (or the Tories less able to form a viable government?). We’ll never know for sure.

605 Responses to “Panelbase/Sunday Times – CON 41%, LAB 46%, LDEM 6%”

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  1. @Colin

    Yes neither of those articles prove that Benn was or would have been damaging economically. The first is problematic anyway since form the off it suggests the seventies showed Keynesiamism impotent, which it wasn’t, it was in fact ditched before the oil crisis hit which is why the oil crisis was worse than it needed to be, and it doesn’t even mention the oil crisis. A liberal apologia basically.

    It does however talk about Benn’s hopes to inject more industrial democracy, particularly more input from workers, which is the salient issue here. We don’t know how disastrous this would have been, but more worker involvement doesn’t seem to do Germany any harm, albeit it takes place in more informal, ad hoc fashion.

    Even if Benn’s approach turned out to have some flaws, it doesn’t mean they couldn’t have been refined later. Bit like Theresa is doing now! Or Osborne after Omnishambles.

    The second article is more concerned with Benn’s electability, tbh.

  2. I have to say, this may cool the Brexit enthusiasm. Of course, it’s just one survey.

  3. No Tory Rebellions tonight. Too early in the parliament. Guess waiting for later in the parliament and some brexit votes.

  4. Anyone know who didn’t vote?

  5. CambridgeRachel

    The DUP abstained.

  6. DUP voted with Government

  7. Some on both sides didn’t vote but it’s too difficult to work out who

  8. Laszlo:

    Thanks for that FT link. Sobering indeed. But I think your expectation that evidence like this will give Brexiters pause for thought is over-optimistic. I can’t see this denting TOH’s sublime confidence in the magic of brexit.

    For those without FT access, here’s an extract from the CIPS press release on which the article is based:

    “In the long-term, European supply chain managers appear more confident about their ability to respond to any tariffs that result from the final negotiated settlement by re-shoring their supply chains within the Single Market. Almost half (46%) of European supply chain managers expect a greater proportion of their supply chain to be removed from the UK, with just over a quarter (28%) intending to re-shore all or part of their supply chains to Europe.

    While European and British supply chain managers agree that the number one priority for negotiations should be keeping tariffs and quotas to a minimum, the UK supply chain managers responsible for brokering international deals for their organisations believe negotiators face serious hurdles. When asked about the major challenges facing UK negotiators in the trade talks, 39% said the UK has a weak negotiating position and 36% believe there is a lack of time, but 33% believe there is a dearth of supply chain expertise and knowledge in the UK to draw upon.

    This pessimism is also apparent when it comes to managing the financial costs of Brexit. More than a third (36%) of UK supply chain managers plan to respond by pushing supplier costs lower, while 11% admit that part of their operations may no longer be viable. Worldwide 67% of respondents felt that the uncertainty surrounding international trade agreements were making long-term plans difficult to confirm.”

  9. RJW
    Hello again; back to my political obsession following training for my new one- Marathon runs-
    Joe Biden in the same Democratic Race quoted Kinnock’s ‘Why am I the first Biden in a thousand generations….

    He had to resign from the race.

  10. @Chrislane

    I should add, that it is a travesty to equate Clause Four with nationalisation the way you did*, when you carefully constructed the following:

    “Old Labour wanted to nationalise the ‘means of production, distribution and exchange’. so that ‘workers by hand or by brain have the full fruits of their labour and the equitable distribution thereof’ (part of Clause 4, part iv)”

    In contrast Chris, this is Clause Four in its entirety, (as opposed to the bits you selected, adding your own bits in between)…

    “To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.[3]”

    Here it talks of typical socialist concerns of ownership** of the means of production. Typically, this does not have to mean nationalisation but can mean workers co-ops etc., or consumer co-ops, or maybe a firm managed along typical business lines but with the government taking a significant stake.

    * it’s a classic, and typically liberal, misreading of the basics of socialism, to assume it’s all about nationalisation and stuff. (And people say that education is all about left wing indoctrination these days!)

    * Laszlo would remind us that it doesn’t have to be ownership, but instead can be control, but anyways…

  11. Labour’s amendment to Queen’s speech was good bit of political strategy – of course the Tories and DUP were going to vote against it, but many people would have agreed with it and it adds further to the narrative that the government are out of touch and uncaring.

  12. Labour must now be regretting having timed the Copeland by-election for late February . Had it been scheduled for the same day as the local elections – as was Manchester Gorton – the by election would have been cancelled and there would have been no Tory gain to celebrate there.Whilst the Tories did retain the seat on June 8th by a smaller margin than at the by election, had the by election never taken place I strongly suspect that Labour would have held the seat. When a seat changes hands at a by election the party that makes the gain usually outperforms at the subsequent General Election. The results from Barrow and Workington do suggest that in the absence of a by election this would have been a Labour hold.

  13. Laszlo

    Are you trying to tempt is into subscribing to the FT?

    I am already fully extended financially with the Beano [though I’m not sure what it’s views on brexit are.]

  14. @Graham, fair point, but I also think that the by-election result in Copeland was one of the main catalysts for Theresa May deciding to call a general election. If Labour had held on in Copeland I personally don’t feel we would have had a general election, though I’m sure others may differ.

  15. SomerJohn

    For a component manufacturer like the UK industry it is a huge, huge scare. In addition, the devaluation of the pound hit the manufacturers for the home market.

    I actually think more bad pieces of news are coming. Bloomberg’s report on repatriation of high skilled workers (both EU and non-EU) fits nicely.

    But these are surveys, and we expect only short term problem :-).

    My great granfather, whomfought in WW1, participated in the politics of the 1919 Council Republic, then lived through the protofascist Horthy regime, the German and the Soviet occupation, was fired as he refused to join the Communist Party in 1948 (when his SocialDemocratic marty joined), yet was highly decorated for his services to socialism told my mother when she was pregnant with me during the Cuban missile crisis “it’s not serious, and if it, well, we have lived long enough, anyway”.

  16. @Bill

    There may be something in that but I suspect that the huge Tory poll lead of circa 20% was the decisive factor. Perhaps the Tory poll lead was boosted by their by – election win – though I would have expected that to have pretty well worn off by Easter.

  17. Paul Croft

    I’m really sorry. I would like to copy over the key bits, but if you do a straight copy and paste, it puts all kinds of warnings once you press control-v in the pasted text.

    I should have summarised it. But fortunately @SumerJohn did it.

  18. Graham

    The decision to expel the labour members in jeremy hunt’s constituency because they decided to stand down in favour of an NHS candidate was bad tactics. It would have provided a good narrative and shifted a few votes nationally, possibly enough to win half a dozen seats.

  19. It should have been Somerjohn. Apologies.

  20. Carfrew

    “Laszlo would remind us that it doesn’t have to be ownership, but instead can be control, but anyways…”

    Indeed :-)

    It’s a technical problem. You can have nationalised companies that behave like a classic listed company. And you can have entities like Volvo’s Kalmar factory some time ago where control was effectively taken over by the employees and hence the experiment was stopped.

    In the nationalised Soviet industry management (probably all party members) absolutely resisted workers’ initiatives (quite successfully), and also the differentiation of wages by output. On the other hand in the Yugoslavian self-management system management could run the factories as if these were theirs providing that they bribed the workers’ councils.

    So, the question is really not ownership, although legalities may play a role, but the concrete organisatIonal forms in which the employees can control the production process, relationship with suppliers and customers, and investment. It also needs an organisational form in which cross-industry relationships can be managed.

    For the time being business history suggests that if you leave these to management and ministerial bureaucracies in nationalised industries, they will likely underperform.

  21. Laszlo:

    Yes, those FT warnings are a bit scary which is why I tracked down the CIPS press release.

    Re 1960s fears of nuclear armageddon: a year or so before the Cuba crisis, when I was about 12 years old, I made a 5 shilling bet with my best friend that we would both be incinerated before our 21st birthdays. My reasoning was that as I saw the flash and the mushroom cloud, and awaited the blast, I would at least have the consolation of having won my bet. And if I lost the bet, 5/= was a small price to pay for survival. And I did indeed happily pay up…

    Looking back, what I think that illustrates is that children growing up in the 1950s (or at least, the ones precocious enough to be aware of world affairs) were acutely aware that their lives could be snuffed out at any moment. I think that does colour your subsequent political development.

  22. Somerjohn
    Indeed. Though different people might be affected in different ways according to their own temperament and their influences. Some might join CND, while others might join the armed forces for instance.

  23. The government seems in something of a mess tonight, with multiple different noises about the public sector pay cap and former ministers going on TV discussing how long May will be PM.

    This looks like a theme that’s going to run and run, with a weak PM subject to all sides of the party jostling and briefing. While they technically have their majority now that the DUP are on board, it’s the slimy undertow of internal party politics that tends to eat away at governments. For this one, it’s only taken a couple of weeks for this to kick in.


  24. @Alec

    As previously discussed, May was only ever safe up until the point the Queens Speech was passed. Before then, ditching May meant losing power, but now the QS is secured, it’s time for the vultures to start circling.

  25. @Somerjohn
    At the time of the Cuban missile crisis I was an 8 year old at boarding school (it was actually literally next door to my family home, but such were middle-class mores at the time).
    My only preserved political thought from the time was my weekly letter home, where I posed the rhetorical question “What do you think of this Cuba business?” and answered it with “I think it will blow over”.
    This letter was preserved in the family archive to provide embarrassment at later dates and is proof that I had already developed my geo-political analytical functions, at the age of 8, to such a level that I would never surpass it.

  26. @ Carfew

    It was Blair and New Labour who made the commitment to the EU a core tenet… another dividing line between New and old Labour but I believe it was Churchill who originally made a pitch for a United States of Europe in the dying days of WW2. It was certainly very much opposed by Attlee, Nye Bevan, Gaitskill, Barbara Castle… and Mary Wilson always said that Harold secretly voted against in the first referendum.

    Things changed in the 80s when, in particular, the trade unions, despairing at the never-ending years of Thatcherism, thought that the protection of EU employment legislation which couldn’t be undone by the UK government outweighed the disadvantages of membership. However, there has always been a solid core of left wing opposition to membership of the EU … Tony Benn, Bob Crow and Dennis Skinner being amongst the prominent modern names.

    It is all very topsy turvy… all Tory prime ministers since the war have been solidly behind EU membership whilst now 60-70% of their grassroots oppose… and amongst the LP grassroots, 60-70% are strongly remain in spite of their rejection of Blair/New Labour and national treasure type admiration for Leavers like Tony Benn and Denis.

    The other thing that amuses me is that Trotsky agreed with Churchill, Blair and Mandelson that there should be a United States of Europe… but then of course there was the US involvement with CIA funding……

  27. Interesting whether polls would ever include question about how long people expected a current PM to remain in office.

    At the moment, if this question was asked, i should imagine most would indicate that Theresa May only had a few months left as PM. This might be on the basis that May is damaged by the election result and might not have enough support within the Tory party.

    What are the chances of a new Tory PM holding an election in Autumn 2017 or Spring 2018 ? I think an election in Spring 2018 is quite likely, as i can’t see a minority government with DUP support lasting until after the Brexit 2 year period is up, passing all relevant legislation. A new Tory PM might well try to obtain the majority needed to see Brexit through to successful conclusion. At the moment, there is potential for Parliament to undermine any Brexit deal David Davis is negotiating.

  28. More “Reflections” on matters financial in EU-after the Budget paper I linked to earlier.

  29. @Colin

    I think the EU will have to change anyway, whether UK remains or actually leaves.

    Personally i am not convinced Brexit will ever happen. It was a heart decision by many who wanted independence, but when the reality kicks in, peoples heads will decide that on balance it is likely to be better for UK to remain in the EU.

    You might say i am one of the 25% polled indicating as a staunch remainer and that would be true. But from what i have heard, there is a large percentage of people who are looking for Government to prove that Brexit can work before March 2019 and if they fail to do that, then they expect Parliament to intervene to stop or delay Government proceeding with Brexit. I think this is likely to happen, if the negotiations don’t go well between UK and EU.

  30. R Huckle: “What are the chances of a new Tory PM holding an election in Autumn 2017 or Spring 2018 ? I think an election in Spring 2018 is quite likely, as i can’t see a minority government with DUP support lasting until after the Brexit 2 year period is up, passing all relevant legislation. A new Tory PM might well try to obtain the majority needed to see Brexit through to successful conclusion.”

    This requires a new Tory PM. If a crisis arises with May as PM, then a GE will probably go very strongly with current polling.

    But imagine a new Tory PM, starting by tearing up the Bad Monday Agreement and allowing a well engineered crisis to arise. In such a scenario, I would not be surprised to see people viewing this as a clean slate and allowing the Tories to continue. I don;t think current polling trends would be a reliable indicator.

  31. Paul
    Brexiteers,I’m afraid. It was the Desperate Dan’s finding a horse-shoe in the cow pie what done it.

  32. SYZYSY
    Plus ca change, plus ce n’est pas la meme chose,
    Entrenchment of working rights in the EU, a planned basis of migration based on the free movement of labour, and the emergence of a laissez fire neo-liberal Conservative party dominated by a faction determined to base their future interests on leaving, have radically changed the general view in the Labour Party and in the unions. .

  33. Not looking hopeful for Notherm Ireland government ? I wonder whether DUP want a deal ?

  34. Somerjohm

    ” I can’t see this denting TOH’s sublime confidence in the magic of brexit.”

    We continue to get the concerted campaign from Remainers but I ignore all the rubbish spouted.

    Your quite correct in saying ” I can’t see this denting TOH’s sublime confidence in the magic of brexit.”

    Waiting as patiently as I can only 638 days now and still counting.


    I agree with you, since some of the stuff in the financial times resembles Beano content I wouldn’t subscribe.

  36. Laszlo

    “”But these are surveys, and we expect only short term problem :-).

    Glad to see you understand at last :-)

  37. @R Huckle

    Am certain that if the Government falls and Corbyn becomes PM that there will be a second referendum.

    Increasingly sure there will be one anyway. If the Tories drive Brexit through when public opinion is no longer in favour, it will end the party as a national political force. Their only chance would be to have a referendum, campaign for Brexit themselves, and then *immediately* enact the result as the settled will of the people.

    If it came up Remain, they’d lose that group of Kipper voters who want to leave, democracy be damned, but they’d recover. They wouldn’t lose any MPs – nobody has left up until now and not even the hardest Brexiteer would actually be willing to give up their career over it.

    If it came up Leave, then they’d have been vindicated. They might lose some hardcore Remainers, but they’re almost certainly going to lose them anyway

    This option will become increasingly attractive as public opinion turns. I think with the power of the Tory press very much on the wane – Dacre’s very public ongoing breakdown really drives home how powerless he suddenly feels – they’ll be ok with winding them up and it might even be a vote winner.

  38. @ToH

    Been to see the bee-eaters yet? Would love to go and have a look, but will wait for the crowds to die down first! If they’re breeding they’ll be there all summer.


    Another piece of speculation. You Remainers have every right to post but it really is rather boring amd as i posted above, meanwhile the clock is ticking.”only 638 days now and still counting.”

    Have a good day all, better things to do with my day.

  40. Chris Riley

    Just caught you post to me before I signed off.

    I wasn’t aware of the Bee-eaters this year. I have seen them in Britain and I know they have bred in britain, 2015 was i think the last time. From memory i have seen all the World’s bee-eater species, except for a couple in West Africa, I will have a look at my records when i get time.

    Thanks for letting me know anyway.

  41. R HUCKLE

    I wouldn’t discount it personally.

    UK politics is balanced on a knife edge at present.

    I cannot escape the feeling that JC/JM will get their chance to try what Benn failed to put in place. Coming as it probably will straight after Brexit-or right in the transition period , will produce an ironic echo of the words of Corbyn’s mentor.

    Wiki reports it thus :-

    ” He claimed the two courses open to the government were the monetarist, deflationary course recommended by the Treasury and “the protectionist course which is the one I have consistently recommended for two and a half years…protectionism is a perfectly respectable course of action. It is compatible with our strategy. You withdraw behind walls and reconstruct and re-emerge”.[3] Benn further said that both courses were a “siege economy” but the difference is that in the monetarist course “you will have the bankers with you and the British people, the trade unions, outside the citadel storming you; with mine it will be the other way round”.[3] ”

    Alternative Economic Strategy

  42. TOH

    Can I strike a deal with you for 10 years from now:

    If this site is still around:

    If everything goes fantastically well, our economy is booming with all those great global trade deals, our nation is healed, and all the brexiteers were proven right – I will come on here and hold my hand up and say you were right well done god job.

    However, if it all goes wrong, our economy is trashed, the poorer are poorer than they are now and our financial services industry is destroyed. Will you come on here and hold your hand up and say you were wrong, we ruined the country with our reckless gamble and apologise?

    It honestly could go either way…… I’m not asking for opinions here stating that you don’t think it will go wrong because let’s face it no one really knows for sure.

    Are you up for that?

  43. The Other Howard: … only 638 days now and still counting. Have a good day all ….

    Only 638 good days left. I think for both of us the journey will be better than the destination.

  44. TOH: “Your quite correct in saying ” I can’t see this denting TOH’s sublime confidence in the magic of brexit.”

    Yup. I remember asking you if there were any brexit consequences so adverse that you would change your mind (I suggested as hypothetical extreme examples something like 20% unemployment, 20% inflation and £1 = $0.50) and, iirc, you answered that these things could never happen and so there was no need to answer the question.

    Sublime confidence indeed!

  45. @TOH

    Lol – 638 days to go to what though? That’s the question.

    If we end up with long transitional arrangement which basically perpetuates the status quo for 3/4 years followed by a Norway style Brexit – will you still be celebrating?

  46. Some hilarious comments :)

    For those absolutely convinced we’ll have another GE soon then you can get better than 5-1 for another GE in 2017:

    Theresa May exit date is a more interesting one. As some have mentioned she was never going to be booted out before QS was past and govt formed. Personally I’d like her to go this Summer (along with Hammond) but with a lack of alternatives and the importance of Brexit I expect she’ll stay until after Brexit. If you think different then the odds for early departure have widened out.

    There are a few Brexit related bets available for those still in denial.

    Should be some HoC comedy in today’s amendments discussion. LDEM’s still flogging their personal dead horse and LAB asking for cake and eat it. Both political stunts rather than sensible amendments that might have gained some support but at least this time actually relevant to the QS!

    FX markets already going back to more conventional movements as UK politics finally looks like quietening down for a while. I expect the Brexit issue will get interesting again in the early Autumn if EU push for unrealistic terms but that’s a few months away. CON hovering around 40% in VI but below LAB should instil enough internal discipline in CON party to push through Brexit negotiations as they will not want to risk an early GE but punishment demands from EU might cause a problem – we’ll have to wait and see!

  47. @alec

    I agree with you regarding the Government’s confusion during the day over the public sector wage cap. That looks to me like the Treasury intervened to harden the line which had been softening during the day. Not surprising as it has the DUP sweetener to pay for as well as the cost of not ending the pension triple lock and universal winter fuel payments.

    I also thought it was revealing that Hammond had felt able to air Cabinet divisions over Brexit in his speech the other day. You will recall that when May took over as PM there was a period when she found it difficult to maintain Cabinet discipline and there was a lot of anonymous briefing from Cabinet sources principally through the Telegraph papers against Hammond. Now that May is weakened I expect we will see more of that as the internal Cabinet fight intensifies.

  48. I really really hope that Jenni Russell’s article in today’s Times is misinformed !!

  49. @ Somerjohn

    ‘ I remember asking you if there were any brexit consequences so adverse that you would change your mind (I suggested as hypothetical extreme examples something like 20% unemployment….’

    Unemployment for Greece = 23%; Spain = 18.9% … but good news is that Youth unemployment in Greece has fallen from 60% to 47% … just saying.

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