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. Chris Riley: “european-wide institutions (not just the EU, but it’s one of them) have helped to lower the threat of war in Europe since WW2 by encouraging integration of people who, fundamentally, share an awful lot more in common history and culture …. Every Remainer I know voted primarily because of issues like this, and because of the feeling of common good and fellowship, not the economy.”

    Absolutely. It’s the tragedy of the referendum that the remain case was presented mainly by people who were either afraid to make the moral, idealistic case for European unity because they thought it would be derided by the DM tendency, or were unable to because they didn’t actually share that idealism. Thus Cameron, Osborne etc pitched the case in terms of abstruse economics, which couldn’t compete with “we’ll get £350m a week back for the NHS.”

    To me it’s absolutely obvious from the history of our continent that it’s a quarrelsome place given to war as a way of settling disputes. To prefer an institutional framework that replaces conflict with cooperation seems to me the only rational approach. Does anyone seriously believe that Europe would be a safer, happier, more prosperous place if the 28 EU countries all went their own ways?

  2. ALEC

    @”Germany gets lax treatment because it is big, powerful and successful. If it wasn’t so successful, it wouldn’t be quite so able to bend the rules – but it made itself highly successful through dint of hard work and always having an eye to the future.”

    Well well!-a sudden convert to the doctrine of Supremacy of the Rich & Powerful.

    They will make a Neo-Lib. out of you yet Alec :-)

  3. Re Belgian chips
    Our preference has always been to complain about Brussels stopping us doing stuff, rather than doing stuff.
    I posted a while ago that in Austria and Hungary (at least) they levy a ‘vignette’ charge for vehicles including private cars using their motorway systems – and it’s a fairly sizeable fee.
    We prefer to moan ‘they come over here, steal our jobs, use our motorways…..’ (apologies to @PAUL CROFT)

  4. @Carfrew
    Re psychographics, Newsnight last night showed that mini-doc, very odd in my view. The CEO of Cambridge Analytica(how up themselves are they, judged on their name alone?) denied they had been involved at all in any use of pg during the referendum campaign. The only use they would fess up to was during Sen Ted Cruz’ unsuccessful campaign to be the Republican candidate for POTUS. One guy when asked how pg worked said ‘no proof it does, it’s just Bullsh!t’.
    And yet Ms Cadwalldr had come up with bushels of convincing circumstantials of C A and their associates busily up to something.

  5. @ EUphiliacs – Not paying NATO dues is no excuse for ignorance of its existence and role in keeping peace in W.Europe since 1949. Did the EU (or EEC as it was at the time) win the Cold War? Remainers who have flocked to Corbyn might want to review Corbyn’s views on NATO and a credible nuclear deterrent and consider what that might mean for peace!?

    Anyway, great to see the opposition doing it’s important role in steering a more compromise line on fiscal policy. We’ll have to wait until the budget but it finally appears CON have got the message on austerity – a few months too late but better late than never!!

  6. An interesting “Reflection” on the realities of post Brexit Eu Budget funding.

    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/reflection-paper-eu-finances_en.pdf

    I wonder how the businesses & taxpayers of Germany will feel about the “range of options” for more money in Box 5-Page 29?

  7. @Trevor Warne – “Did the EU (or EEC as it was at the time) win the Cold War?”

    Well yes, in fact – at least in part.

    History makes many myths, one of which is that NATO and the US/UK nuclear deterrent – and by extension Thatcher and Reagan – ‘won’ the cold war.

    The cold war was actually won through multiple causes, with the main one being the economic disparity between east and west. Arnaments did feed into this, as the economic stress on the Soviet block attempting to keep up with western military spending played a part, but more because they were hopeless at running their economy.

    The real killer blow came from eastern bloc citizens gazing westwards to a harmonious, peaceful and economically developing Europe and wishing they could be part of that. There is, I feel, a very strong argument to be made that the developing unity within the EEC and the impact this had on economic development was instrumental in encouraging eastern European citizens to want to ally more with Brussels than Moscow. The fact that the EEC was also not a military alliance probably made this seem less threatening as well.

    Historical facts tell us that former Soviet bloc countries have been very keen to join the EU, and also NATO. I think it would be sensible to take this as a measure that both the military and economic aspects were important in bringing down the Soviet era, and that dismissing the EU as part of this is wrong.

    In terms of peace and strategic development across Europe, I would argue that the EU has done far more than many people realise.

  8. @ Alec

    Yes, I think the attractive alternative model presented by the EU was a key influence on dissatisfaction in Warsaw Pact countries. The comparative uselessness of Comecon was telling. While NATO deterred any Soviet resort to aggression, it was the ‘shining beacon’ effect of a prosperous, peaceful EU that provided the positive incentive to end the Cold War.

    Eurosceptics are often keen to emphasise the role of NATO in maintaining peace in Europe, and I agree it had a key role to play, not least in fostering familiarity between different nations’ armed forces, and the habit of co-operation. But here’s an interesting thought: if Trump were to withdraw the USA from NATO, and Canada follow suit, leaving it as a purely European organisation, would Leavers still support it quite so enthusiastically?

  9. Yes, I think the attractive alternative model presented by the EU was a key influence on dissatisfaction in Warsaw Pact countries. The comparative ineffectiveness of Comecon was telling. While NATO deterred any Soviet resort to force, it was the ‘shining beacon’ effect of a prosperous, peaceful EU that provided the positive incentive to end the Cold War.

    Leavers are often keen to emphasise the role of NATO in maintaining peace in Europe, and I agree it had a key role to play, not least in fostering familiarity between different nations’ armed forces, and the habit of co-operation. But here’s an interesting thought: if Trump were to withdraw the USA from NATO, and Canada follow suit, leaving it as a purely European organisation, would Leavers still support it quite so enthusiastically?

  10. Wow, so much support for the end of austerity among the conservative ranks, well a least an easing up. I’m not sure how that’s going to affect the polls, on the one hand it looks like the govt is listening but on the other hand it looks like Corbyn is winning

  11. @Somerjohn

    Remain would have won had it not been led by Cameron and Osborne.

  12. Good Afternoon all from a wet Bournemouth East which would become Labour seat if there is a swing of 8% from Tory to Lab at the next GE (2022?)

    COLIN; hello to you. You probably know that from Bismarck to Merkel Germany has never been liberal in terms of economics.

    In terms of the UK Political situation: Maybe May will do ‘an Attlee’ and let ministers get on with governing, with quiet light touch rule from Downing Street.

  13. CR

    I doubt it will affect polls much.

    Austerity has served its purpose. As a country we were overspending.

    I thought initially that TM understood that whilst necessary, Austerity had hit hardest those who could least afford it. Sadly so far TM has not acted to help the just managing( and that includes many in the public sector like nurses).

    A caring government is needed, which need not be overly right wing or left.

    I still think that Brexit will provide the opportunity to have a caring Tory government. Heaven knows in the short term Brexit will probably hit the just managing hard.

  14. JOHN B

    Well as you can see from the definition of racism I posted nothing which could be remotely considered racist. I saddened that you do not acknowledge that, it’s not like you.

  15. Chrislane1945
    May wouldn’t get away with a light touch in the modern age. It would look like she was hiding. And to paraphrase Joe Biden “She’s no Clement Attlee”.

  16. So, the Chancellor apparently said no to the no to pay cap in public sector … It won’t be very jolly if not only the two cats try to dominate the other.

  17. @ ALEC – I agree the Cold War had reached stalemate (IMHO due to nuclear deterrents and indecisive proxy wars which, fortunately for Central Europe, were held in other theatres) and hence became an economic war and the “West” won with a superior economic model (Capitalism versus Communist Socialism)
    I don’t think anyone would argue USSR was better than the EEC in the late 1980s but when E.Europe signed up the combination of EU “Free cake”, NATO membership and free movement of people to economies with far higher wages (and businesses moving the other way for far cheaper labour) was very powerful incentive for E.European countries to join the “West” and EU (although Bulgaria already showing some loss of interest and even free cake, free movement and military protection seemed to be a problem for 45% of Scottish voters in IndyRef1 who thought they’d do better on their own!?!?).

    Back to EU – take Poland for example. 12bn/year of cake being paid for by contributors (UK being a major one), under NATO umbrella (quite a few of our forces over there!) and domestically they have 4.8% unemployment (well below EU28 average of 7.8%) – what’s not to like about being in the EU and NATO for E.European countries?
    Lots of people (sometime myself!) always say Germany is the only winner in the EU but that is wrong. Poor countries with cheap workers do very well out of the EU as well. Socialists such as Melenchon highlight how wrong free movement of Labour is. I have no issue with free movement just mention that as so many Remainers seem to have moved to Corbyn and seem to believe he wants to keep UK in Single Market.

    Take a look at the GDP/Capita for the list of who wants to join EU and who has chosen not to.

    Also note IMF bailout of several EU countries after 2008 – what happened there? Surely the amazing EU didn’t need outside help??

    @ CAMBRIDGERACHEL – fantastic to see. I have been chastised by my wife for giving Corbyn the credit when as you correctly point out it was the CON back benches that brought May to her senses. I doubt we’ll see it in the VI for a while (and indeed hope we don’t as CON need to stay united and focussed during Brexit) but by the time of the next GE if CON have grabbed the Centre ground will the 15%ish that have moved to LAB in the VIs over the last two months stick? We’ll have to wait and see – might be 5years before we find out.

  18. guymonde

    “We prefer to moan ‘they come over here, steal our jobs, use our motorways…..’ (apologies to @PAUL CROFT)”

    Blimey Monsieur World, why are you picking on me????

    I had just decided to retire from here for a while and enjoy an eclipse of the ellipsis [or dots, as I prefer to call them [………………………………………………..]
    when I saw my name in BIG letters.

    They can’t steal my job as I am retired anyway………….

    You will be hearing from my slister shortly…………………

  19. It appears the public sector pay cap is to stay according to the latest briefing from the PM’s office.

  20. LAB leadership’s confidence might see them revert to their true beliefs and drop the mask of moderation that has gained them so much VI recently. YouGov live poll today asked about McDonnell use of “murder” to describe the thing we shouldn’t discuss.

    He is right: 22
    He is wrong: 58

    Even amongst LAB it was only just viewed as right (42 v 33 with 25 DK).

    Still no YouGov live poll on DUP deal or EU expat deal. Hopefully on tomorrows 3 questions.

  21. Trevor Warne,

    ” LAB leadership’s confidence might see them revert to their true beliefs and drop the mask of moderation that has gained them so much VI recently.”

    Hope so!

    As for JM’s comments.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_Manslaughter_and_Corporate_Homicide_Act_2007

  22. More reports that EU are playing hardball re the ECJ and citizens rights.

    I think it’s becoming abundantly clear already that we will get the kind of Brexit that Europe wants to give us and will be forced to accept it… which won’t please half of the Tory benches.

  23. Colin

    Thanks for your link to the EU budget options paper:

    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/reflection-paper-eu-finances_en.pdf

    It’s an interesting read, and I would especially commend it to those who wonder exactly what the EU is for, what it gets up to and how the money is spent. It seems to me a good example of transparency in policy making. It’s also notable that the loss of the UK is seen as positive in at least one respect: that the end of rebates will simplify financing and make reform easier. I do get the sense that Brexit will free the logjam holding up EU reform and development.

    Many here will know of the famous Punch cartoon “Dropping the pilot” which was about the young Kaiser Wilhelm sacking Bismark. Perhaps we could have another one, this time with the European ship of state loosing its sea anchor! (Incidentally, I was interested to see on Wikipedia that: “The cartoon is well known in Germany and often used in history textbooks, under the title The Pilot Leaves the Ship (German: Der Lotse geht von Bord).”

  24. Trevor Warne
    IMO Labour are using various peeps to ‘triangulate’ and push the old envelope
    of public discourse in their general direction.
    They barely put a foot wrong during the election campaign and seem still to have the public mood with them.
    The next few VI polls will show how the Bad Monday deal has gone down and will I suspect foreshadow a miserable few weeks for Mrs May til the recess.

  25. Trevor Warne

    Wrong question. Right questions would be….

    Has John McDonnell’s recent remarks make you feel more positive towards him or less

    Or

    Do you have sympathy for John McDonnell’s use of the word “murder” …..

  26. @VOICE_OF_REASON

    “I think it’s becoming abundantly clear already that we will get the kind of Brexit that Europe wants to give us and will be forced to accept it”.

    No deal is better than a bad deal. Just because the EU are likely to try playing hardball doesn’t mean that the UK will cave in to plainly unreasonable demands. Plus the EU is renowned for fudge and compromise and the 27 are by no means as united as their unelected elite like to portray.

  27. @ANDY T

    “Austerity has served its purpose. As a country we were overspending”

    ———–

    This will be welcome news. A few weeks go we were all set to have more austerity, with the debt at £1.7 Trillion and rising…

  28. @RJW

    “Re psychographics, Newsnight last night showed that mini-doc, very odd in my view. The CEO of Cambridge Analytica(how up themselves are they, judged on their name alone?) denied they had been involved at all in any use of pg during the referendum campaign. The only use they would fess up to was during Sen Ted Cruz’ unsuccessful campaign to be the Republican candidate for POTUS. One guy when asked how pg worked said ‘no proof it does, it’s just Bullsh!t’.

    And yet Ms Cadwalldr had come up with bushels of convincing circumstantials of C A and their associates busily up to something.”

    ———-

    Yes it’s odd isn’t it. One minute they have people on panels and stuff talking about their role. Then when military methods and funding irregularities are mentioned, suddenly they’re playing down involvement…

  29. @VOR

    “Psychographics reminds me of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series and his idea of ‘Psychohistory’ – predicting and managing future society through marrying complex mathematics and knowledge of human psychological responses.”

    ——–

    Indeed this has been mentioned before. Although I don’t think Asimov predicted the rise in synth prices following Brexit.

  30. “LAB leadership’s confidence might see them revert to their true beliefs and drop the mask of moderation that has gained them so much VI recently.”

    ———–

    Did they ever have extreme views though? At least in economic terms, it’s not like old Labour wanted to nationalise everything. There was a need to try and save some strategic industry during the oil crisis, but beyond that even Benn wasn’t that great a fan of state socialism. He preferred the workers co-ops, and dabbled with supporting a few small-scale things.

  31. I should add that I think Benn was a fan of trying to support steal a march with new tech., e.g. Concorde, another casualty of the oil crisis…

  32. Asimov, ages since I read the foundation series but iirc the great Hari Seldon and psychohistory was a front for those clever Robots, Daneel and Gistang.

  33. Agree with Carfew. The LAB manifesto and the LAB leaders are by no means extremist. What they are proposing: rent controls, more spending on health and education, childcare, nationalised utilities, increased welfare benefits etc paid for by moderate tax increases on the wealthiest.

    These are the default positions in most of northern Europe by conservative as well as social democratic parties. Britain is the one out of step, with our obsession with privatisation.

  34. @ CAMBRIDGERACHEL – I agree the question was “primed” (a common problem with polling). I don’t make the questions :)

    @ CARFREW – I agree Old Labour was not Marxist, neither was the watered down LAB manifesto that gave a mask of moderation over McDonnell’s well known prior beliefs. Hopefully we’ll never have to find out if he has changed his spots or not :)

    @ RJW – I hope CON stay low in VIs until after Brexit. Holding near 40% but below LAB will keep them focussed on the job of delivering Brexit, which Corbyn has again swerved by asking a budgetary amendment to the QS rather than any Brexit related amendment. I’m guessing LDEM will table their 2nd ref question tomorrow (an embarrassing waste of the limited amendments on offer). It seems to me CON getting away with any easy passage on the QS and in hindsight might have been better to have risked it without DUP help?

    Anyone know where the full wording of the amendments is published? Usually find them on parliament.uk but they don’t seem to be putting up the QS ones.

  35. @MarkW

    Shhh….. spoilers. The first of those books is only about 70 or so years old.

    @Carfrew

    Yes I almost mentioned that I was very dubious about the efficacy of any psychohistory / psychographics. If the secret service have been using these tactics for a while to win hearts and minds and influence other countries then they seem to be pretty ineffective. Unless the intention is to cause chaos and drive wedges between different countries in which case it’s going swimmingly.

  36. Voice of reason

    “Yes I almost mentioned that I was very dubious about the efficacy of any psychohistory / psychographics. If the secret service have been using these tactics for a while to win hearts and minds and influence other countries then they seem to be pretty ineffective. Unless the intention is to cause chaos and drive wedges between different countries in which case it’s going swimmingly.”

    Sometimes the “cock-up theory of history” just isn’t plausible

  37. @Trevor Warne

    “@ CARFREW – I agree Old Labour was not Marxist, neither was the watered down LAB manifesto that gave a mask of moderation over McDonnell’s well known prior beliefs.”

    ——–

    Yes, this is to cast doubt without being specific. What are these prior beliefs peeps keep alluding to… Some have said Bennite, but Benn in practice was pretty anodyne economically, was the point. And given the way Old Labour was prepared to give Blairism a go, a pretty radical shift, should McDonnell be held to views he may have held thirty years ago anyway, especially when current policies are moderate. And esp. when Theresa is being allowed to ditch stuff from only a few weeks ago…

  38. CARFREW;
    Hello to you.
    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)

    The 1983 manifesto said Labour was going to nationalise the top 250 Private Companies.

  39. Corbyn’s Pay Cap amendment is to tempt Con backbenchers who have been queuing up to say it should be scrapped.

    From the noises off from No 10 , I’m guessing:-

    * They don’t want the QS amended.
    * Con backbenchers won’t be tempted because :-
    * The plan is-Review Bodies say enough is enough in a few weeks time & Hammond scraps the Pay Cap in the Autumn Statement.

  40. @VOR

    “Yes I almost mentioned that I was very dubious about the efficacy of any psychohistory / psychographics. If the secret service have been using these tactics for a while to win hearts and minds and influence other countries then they seem to be pretty ineffective. Unless the intention is to cause chaos and drive wedges between different countries in which case it’s going swimmingly.”

    ———–

    What if they hid the successful stuff and only advertised the failures to throw us off the scent!!

  41. RJW: 1988 VP debate;
    Quayle complained to Senator Bentson. Quayle fell into the trap.

    http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC

  42. RJW: 1988 VP debate;
    Quayle complained to Senator Bentson. Quayle fell into the trap.

    http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC

  43. @Chrislane

    “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)
    The 1983 manifesto said Labour was going to nationalise the top 250 Private Companies.”

    ———–

    Yes, we know about Clause 4 but Labour didn’t pursue it did they. It’s not summat all Socialists would agree with by any means, having State socialism as a proxy for “real” socialism, workers’ co-operatives etc.

    And then you have the question of whether McDonnell subscribed to that view. And then even if he did, is there reason to believe he still cleaves to it, given various indicators to the contrary.

  44. CARFREW

    ………..or seen from a slightly different angle :-

    http://labourlist.org/2014/03/praise-benn-but-never-forget-the-damage-he-did-to-labour/

  45. @Chrislane

    Just had a quick gander at the 1983 manifesto, and couldn’t find the bit about nationalising the top 250 companies.

    It talks of retaining the right to nationalise, if needing rescuing etc.

    “In our joint statement with the TUC, Economic Planning and Industrial Democracy, and in Labour’s Programme 1982, we show how it can be done. We will:

    Develop a new five-year national plan to coordinate expansion and public spending with plans for individual industries and regions. We will create a powerful new Department of Economic and Industrial Planning.
    Involve the trade unions and management in planning at every level with a new, tripartite National Planning Council.

    Link planning at all levels firmly to a radical extension of industrial democracy. New statutory rights will enable workers to draw up plans for their own enterprises and sectors of industry, which we will seek to incorporate into our strategy.

    Make our planning flexible, so that it is able to respond quickly to changing circumstances and take full account of changing needs and preferences. We are opposed to any kind of rigid planning from the centre. But we will seek to develop a firm sense of strategic direction.

    Negotiate agreed development plans with all leading companies – national and multinational, public and private – so that such companies play a constructive role in supporting the national plan and our plans for individual regions and sectors.

    Support these agreed development plans with new industrial powers, including discretionary price controls, financial support and access to credit; and take powers to invest in individual companies, to purchase them outright or to assume temporary control.

    Monitor closely the activities of multinational companies, through a Foreign Investment Unit. All UK-based multinationals will have to operate within clearly laid-down guidelines.

    Develop regional development plans, with plans also being drawn up at local level by local authorities. Regional development agencies will be established, extending our present commitment to a Northern Development Agency to other English regions in need of them. These agencies will have similar powers and resources to those in Scotland and Wales. We will also consider using new regional job subsidies.

    Strengthen the NEB, the Scottish and Welsh Development Agencies, and the Industrial Development Board in Northern Ireland. We will give them, and the new development agencies, adequate resources for investment and acquisition.”

  46. Also, for those who think a fondness of being in the European project is of the left, as opposed to liberal, here’s another excerpt from Labour’s 1983 manifesto…

    “Britain and the Common Market

    Geography and history determine that Britain is part of Europe, and Labour wants to see Europe safe and prosperous. But the European Economic Community, which does not even include the whole of Western Europe, was never devised to suit us, and our experience as a member of it has made it more difficult for us to deal with our economic and industrial problems. It has sometimes weakened our ability to achieve the objectives of Labour’s international policy.

    The next Labour government, committed to radical, socialist policies for reviving the British economy, is bound to find continued membership a most serious obstacle to the fulfilment of those policies. In particular the rules of the Treaty of Rome are bound to conflict with our strategy for economic growth and full employment, our proposals on industrial policy and for increasing trade, and our need to restore exchange controls and to regulate direct overseas investment. Moreover, by preventing us from buying food from the best sources of world supply, they would run counter to our plans to control prices and inflation.

    For all these reasons, British withdrawal from the Community is the right policy for Britain – to be completed well within the lifetime of the parliament. That is our commitment. But we are also committed to bring about withdrawal in an amicable and orderly way, so that we do not prejudice employment or the prospect of increased political and economic co-operation with the whole of Europe.

    We emphasise that our decision to bring about withdrawal in no sense represents any weakening of our commitment to internationalism and international co operation. We are not ‘withdrawing from Europe’. We are seeking to extricate ourselves from the Treaty of Rome and other Community treaties which place political burdens on Britain. Indeed, we believe our withdrawal will allow us to pursue a more dynamic and positive international policy – one which recognises the true political and geographical spread of international problems and interests. We will also seek agreement with other European governments – both in the EEC and outside – on a common strategy for economic expansion.”

  47. Almost makes you wonder why all these peeps who say being out of the EU is so central, didn’t vote for old Labour back in the day…

  48. Chrislane1945
    Thanks for the clips.
    I got the Biden quip re Jack Kennedy quite close!
    Oh what fun to be a political obsessive.

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