Sunday polls

Opinium’s latest voting intention figures are CON 41%(+2), LAB 43%(-2), LDEM 5%(nc), UKIP 5%(nc). Theresa May’s net job approval stands at minus 21, Jeremy Corbyn’s at plus 4 (though May has regained a small lead on who people think would make the better Prime Minister, 36% to Corbyn’s 33%).

Asked about Theresa May’s future, a third of people think she should resign straight away, 16% think she should go after Brexit negotiations are complete, 8% just before the next general election and 22% that she should remain and fight the next general election. Answers to this are heavily partisan, as you might expect: a hefty majority of Labour voters would like May to go now, only 9% of Tory voters. 62% of Tory voters would like her to remain PM until either shortly before the election (14%) or to fight the election (48%). Tabs for the Opinium poll are here.

There was also a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday with topline figures of CON 39%(nc), LAB 41%(-4), LD 8%(+1), UKIP 6%(+2). Changes are since Survation’s last online poll in mid-June, rather than their last telephone poll which showed a small Tory lead. Theresa May also still leads as best PM here, 43% to Corbyn’s 35%.

Survation also asked questions about Theresa May’s future, though their’s was a simpler should she stay or go question.45% would like her to resign, 40% would like her to stay. Again, responses are overwhelmingly split down partisan lines: 77% of Lab voters would like her to go, 78% of Tory voters would like her to stay). Asked about who should succeed her if she did go, Boris Johnson leads on 22% ahead of David Davis on 15%. 46% of people say don’t know. Questions like this don’t give us that much insight because of low public awareness of the options. The most interesting ones there asked who people would prefer in run offs between two potential leaders – between Davis and Johnson Davis wins by 36% to Johnson’s 30%. Paired against Philip Hammond Johnson only just wins, 34% to 33%, though he beats Amber Rudd by 38% to 27%. There are still lots of don’t knows, but I’m conscious that a few years ago Johnson’s popularity and celebrity would probably have seen him easily winning all three questions at a trot. The shine looks as if it may have come off Boris Johnson. Tabs for the Survation poll are here.

Finally there was a BMG poll in the Independent asking about the public sector pay cap. Questions like this are tricky – most people have huge sympathy for “frontline” public sector workers like nurses and firefighters, so the social desirability bias towards saying you’d pay a little more to give them a rise is huge (it’s what we tend to call a “drowning puppy” question in the office, as in “would you pay more tax to save this drowning puppy?”). If anything, I’m surprised only 56% said they’d be willing to pay more in tax to fund a pay rise above 1% for only occupations like firefighters, police officers, paramedics and nurses. More generally, 69% of people said the public sector pay cap should end, but asked if they’d be willing to pay more tax to give a rise to “non-emergency” occupations the split was pretty even, 42% said they would, 41% would not..

Opinium also asked about the public sector pay cap in their poll. 53% of people support ending it, 21% of people would be opposed. They also asked about it on specific jobs. Questions like this are, to some degree, just reflections of how popular or valued a role is (as well as how well paid people think it currently is). Almost 70% of people wanted the pay cap ended for nurses, 60% or more for the armed forces, police and fire service. Teachers was 56%, followed by doctors on 53%. For dentists it was only 38%. I’m intrigued about what Opinium would have found if they’d asked about less obviously sympathetic public sector jobs: local government planning officers perhaps, benefit assessors, immigration officers, refuse collectors, traffic engineers, taxmen…


479 Responses to “Sunday polls”

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  1. @PeteB

    I knew many international students at university. As far as I know, for those outside the EU, they have to pay the fees upfront and they don’t get loans.

    Foreign students are very much a cash cow for unis, and certain money-grabbing unis (LSE for example) are known for taking a lot of them in order to fill the coffers. This would be a rather pointless exercise if it didn’t help them financially.

    Funnily enough in the case of LSE, several anecdotes I’ve heard say that the teaching is actually pretty dreadful. But they’re extremely prestigious so they can get away with it. Hardly anyone there actually cares about their education, anyway, they just want their 2:1 degree so they can make bigbucks as an investment banker or hedge fund manager in the square mile.

  2. @Turk

    “Whether it was in the manifesto or not students believe Corbyn was going to clear student debt …..”

    Do you have any polling evidence to support that assertion?

  3. Pete B

    “including for foreign students”

    Does your informant suggest what happens with foreigners from Wales, NI, Scotland, IoM, CI or Eire (who often have dual citizenship)?

    Your question suggests that even you think that your informant isn’t “knowledgeable”, so quite why you raise the point at all seems odd – unless you work for the Daily Mail or Express?

  4. Pete B

    Foreign students have to pay upfront, or in instalments by semesters (if they leave the course, they are charged for any semester started) in some cases.

    Universities right now are cutting jobs at a relatively large scale (they are also great adopters of zero hour contracts) and some have adopted the NHS method of making staff reapply for their jobs or take redundancy.

  5. On the subject of existing student loan debt.

    Surely the only solution is to keep raising the salary threshold at periodic intervals at which you have to start paying back the student loan.

    This will slowly take the less well off students out of the burden.

    It’s the same strategy as continually raising the lower rate tax threshold.

    Totally doable, and fits in with the offiicially stated “ambition” of doing something about the existing debt as and when it becomes possible.

  6. Analyst & Laszlo
    Thanks for clearing that up.

    ON
    Thanks for your usual input.

  7. @ OldNat

    While you may or may not be correct that on the tuition fee proposals specifically, attitudes won’t be swayed by it in parts of the UK that are outside its remit, isn’t it a bit parochial to suggest that policies will *never* interest voters simply on the basis that they won’t affect those in their area?

    I seem to remember in 2015 a distinct line of campaigning designed to influence voters outside of Scotland on the basis of what their votes might mean for things inside it!

  8. tony btg

    In fact the opposite is happening and the £21,000 threshold is frozen despite the promise to link to earnings average.

    A perfect example (along with upping the interest rate) why the whole thing was crooked from day 1.

  9. I love the different ways that partisans use the term “middle class”.

    In the USA, politicians use it to describe those with a regular job.

    In Scotland (and probably elsewhere in the UK), it is used to describe those with a non-menial white collar job.

    The [London] Sunday Times expresses concern that “Middle-class/b> families fear Brexit could cost them their au pairs”.

    Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn about that loss of privilege.

  10. 2 polls are not necessarily conclusive that the lead has narrowed for Labour although that it might over the summer is not a total surprise.

    Winning parties normally get a short term boost in the polls as we know Labour despite erm well actually losing sort of won and received the victors meetooismm boost.

    A tad of unravelling maybe but still ahead I would say and will increase the lead baring serious mishaps in the next 12 months to possibly as much as 10% over the Tories which would give them a chance after swingback which I expect to be more conventional at the next GE.

  11. ON
    Very good! I always remember Orwell described himself as lower-upper-middle-class, which had a very precise meaning in his day – something like he went to public school but had to earn money his living.

    The finer distinctions are no longer there I think.

  12. Sorry, ‘money’ superfluous in above post.

  13. @ PeteB and Analyst

    “Foreign students are very much a cash cow for unis”

    This is certainly true, and always has been, as they always charged huge fees for international students so they always used to get more per head compared to local students.

    But all students are cash cows now with the current fee level.

    On the specific question of EU students, I’m fairly sure it’s true that they can currently use the standard loans:

    https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/eu-students

    And will be true for a little while yet, but this is likely to change after Brexit I think, so may be addressed soon anyway. I have read articles that say it’s more difficult to trace these people afterwards. The numbers are relatively small however (there are far more local students) – maybe 1 billion total loan to EU citizens, and many of these do pay back correctly. After all, it’s also true that the SLC won’t get back anything like the amount they’re owed from English students either. The write-off on 1 bn of EU loans is probably small fry compared to the write-off on the 99bn of English loans.

    Ahh, just found a useful (if rather old) article on this here:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/10920523/EU-students-fail-to-repay-record-40m-in-university-loans.html

  14. NickP

    Which is why the Labour Party know very well that there is plenty of scope to move on existing debt without having to write it all off.

    Removing the freeze on the threshold, raising it and linking it to average earnings will probably be looked at if the fees are abolished for new students.

  15. Trigguy
    Thanks. That’s probably what my informant was thinking of.

  16. JIM JAM

    Now that’s what I think we can call a pretty detailed projection !

  17. @Trigguy

    I dont think the 3K was generally seen as unreasonable by most hence why I dont see the need to totally abolish tuition fees. Obviously the graduates with debt dating back from the 3K and 1K tuition fees periods would still jump at the chance of getting their outstanding loans completely written off but thats not looking likely.

    Another thing on the 9K, it applied to courses starting from 2012, hence undergrads who started a course of up to 5 yrs in 2011 would have paid the 3K for the full duration of the course as I understand.

    I cant see that its fair to abolish future fees but then not to then rebate those who paid fees over the last decade and I cant see that the exchequer can afford to both abolish fees and write off all outstanding fees. The reality is the UK cant afford either but Torys also cant afford to surrender to young voters.

    If say Labour pledged to abolish future tuition fees but the Torys pledged a “fair” system to cap future fees and rebate past fees down to the same level then I suspect the student/graduate vote would be split rather than all breaking for Labour as they did in June.

  18. Liam Fox or Lord Melbourne, 2017 or circa 1837?
    ‘Only those in Paris and Berlin will be pleased by these developments ‘

  19. Martin L

    “If say Labour pledged to abolish future tuition fees but the Torys pledged a “fair” system to cap future fees and rebate past fees down to the same level then I suspect the student/graduate vote would be split rather than all breaking for Labour as they did in June”

    So, how do you imagine that such a proposal would affect voting in Wales, NI or Scotland?

    Presumably, you anticipate that their would be Barnett consequentials (which don’t have to be spent in the same way as England chooses) and have factored that into your suggestion?

  20. Possibly as much is meant to be vague enough to allow me to claim is it is 6% I am still right and if over 10% – well as much as not exclude exceeding in dissemble speak.

  21. Paul – what I think I am saying is that semi-normal service has resumed and ordinarily in the 3rd year of a Government which is kind of where we are in reality (give or take a billion or so from the magic money tree for NI) opposition support tend to grow and/or Governments decline.

  22. Popeye

    “isn’t it a bit parochial to suggest that policies will *never* interest voters simply on the basis that they won’t affect those in their area?”

    That would be – but since it wasn’t a point I was making, it is irrelevant.

    Being “parochial” implies only a concern for local circumstances, as opposed to wider matters.

    That seems an appropriate description for those who are, apparently, discussing UK politics, but only discuss matters in their own polity.

    I prefer discussions that concern Scottish, EU (sad if E&W still to decide to be separatist) and world common interests.

    I do understand that English schools have created a rather unrealistic version of their history that encourages isolationism in its population.

    Sad, but pre-revolution Albania was just as bad,

  23. @ Martin L

    Yes, agree with everything in your last. I feel in the short term that’s the best, and fairest, that can be done. Maybe, in the longer term, if affordable, then the fee could be phased out gradually, but a promise to cut them to zero in one go is definitely problematical. It’ll be interesting to see if it makes it to the next Labour manifesto, or if they have to have a re-think. Will be unpopular certainly if they change it, but may be necessary.

  24. @OldNat

    My proposal is aimed at helping hard pressed young people who have recently been or will be university students. I have no proposal to retrospectively reimburse Scotland/Wales/NI devolved governments for any grants they have already paid out. Scotland/Wales/NI would benefit as smaller grants would be needed in future with my future UK nationwide capped fees suggestion.

  25. whilst i agree with posts about the funding of tertiary education it carries with it certain iimplications:

    a.The taxpayer will continue to have to pay the educational institutions and if the return from the students is reduced then the government is unlikely to leave supply uncontrolled. It will therefore be the end of expansion and may well pressage contraction or stagnation.
    b.The taxpayer is entitled to have a say as to which courses it will fund.It should fund all further education and socially useful degrees which are unlikely to lead to high earning jobs ie production engineers rather than accountants
    c.As the taxpayer is paying more the institutions must be made to reform. why not have more intensive 2 year courses?or online open university style courses. The “dreaming spires” vision of university died when 5000 student institutions with personal tutor/student contact gave way to 35000 degree factories.

    I do not think it is as simple as to say free for all because it is not free. What is being suggested is that the taxpayer rather than the individual beneficiary wholly funds the means for that individual to better themselves.Surely what labour proposes is not fair and that a balance is the proper way forward and this involves some contribution from the student.

  26. I like this.
    ”5000 student institutions with personal tutor/student contact gave way to 35000 degree factories.’

    My son hardly attends a lecture and yet is on course for a first at a top red bring uni as he does his work on line and through web-sites. WhenI I ask him about Tutorials and the like that I got with my Polytechnic degree, he tells me it is not like that anymore. Degree Factory captures it well and I intend to plagiarise you mercilessly.

    And agree re some contribution as incidentally do my student kids and they tell me most of their friends.

    £9k though is both unfair and uneconomic as they are paying towards university research and things not their teaching. £4-5K about right £6 at a pinch and fair interest rates 6% is taking the p***

  27. @ S Thomas and JimJam

    “Degree Factory captures it well and I intend to plagiarise you mercilessly.”

    As a Uni employee, I wish I could defend them, but I suspect you’re exactly right for many courses and many Universities. When I look at the Undergrad teaching in my department, it’s difficult to escape the feeling that the course is exactly the same as 20 years ago (using the same lecture theatres and same old equipment in the cramped teaching labs), and in some ways it is worse – mostly the fact that the larger number of undergrads means less small group teaching or one to one opportunities. For that, the students are paying far more.

    To be fair, up to 2012, the fees only really covered what the government used to pay, so Universities were still providing the same service for the same money, approximately, just different people paying. But since the introduction of 9K fees, it would be interesting to know what percentage of the extra money goes back into teaching. Not large would be my guess.

    @ OldNat

    Sorry to keep on talking about this, we must stop now. And it’s not the weekend any more, so I should do some work! But if we wanted to get into all the combinations of English/Welsh/Scottish/NI/EU students taking degrees in England/Wales/Scotland/NI/EU Universities, we really would be here for a long time. Nevertheless, this ‘cross nation’ fee situation is a complicated area that would have to addressed by any UK government that wants to reform the current English fee system. It’s not going to be an easy task untangling old debt of various origins legislated by the various assemblies and parliaments.

  28. @RJW

    Fox is the kind of politician who starts wars. He will also be at the front of the queue to hand over the sovereignity he purports to care for to the US once Brexit completes in order to line his pockets.

    It’s a measure of the moral disintegration of the Right that he was not chased from politics years ago and certainly a properly-functioning polity ought never to have allowed him to return to the front line after the Werrity affair.

  29. Another symptom of Tory issues is the hugely inadvised intervention of the Chancellor on public pay and the Tory reaction.

    The electorate is very unhappy about wages being depressed so what does the Chancellor do? Not only does he openly invoke the politics of envy, he also looks the wrong way, as do his acolytes. If the issue is that public sector pay is higher than private sector pay (setting aside whether or not it’s true), then the politician in tune with the concerns of the electorate concludes that the response is to try to raise private sector pay.

    Instead, (in a metaphor that will have Liam Fox slavering), the Chancellor fixes bayonets and charges his own troops by suggesting that public pay is too high rather than private being too low. They really have learned nothing from the last few weeks, have they?

  30. Highly amusing to see Blair batting for the remainers. I guess he must be the most highly discredited politician around at the moment. Even funnier is that the survey his oganisation produced showed that the majority accept Brexit means Brexit and there was even a small majority for the so called “hard brexit”.

    Chris Riley

    I love it when posters start talking about “moral disintegration”. Very funny! ;-)

    Sun shining, amusement level high, all seems right with the World. have a good day all.

  31. @ToH

    Give it 2 years and Blair will have been comfortably overtaken by your team.

    Whenever I worry about the state of the country after Brexit – and today the Lords have reminded everyone again about food security – it does comfort me that after 2019 it will be electorally impossible for anyone who supported Leave to ever again hold a major job in politics.

    Watching IDS, David Davies, Leadsom et al being driven from politics will be hugely enjoyable.

  32. @ Analyst

    I can confirm teaching at the LSE was pretty dreadful. All the money went on celebrity lecturers like David Starkey :-)

  33. chris riley

    Who are you talking to?

    You dont seem to have a very good weekend! . Still the sun is shining,Brexit is being negotiated and the fruit is almost ripe in the jezza allotment. I am glad to say that he will have plenty of time to pick it this year

  34. @Chris Riley

    Don’t forget Fox (who is definitely a front runner in the ‘most discredited’ stakes already) and Boris (who ought to be!)

  35. @Guymonde

    I fully expect Johnson to turn coat in the next 18 months and end up opposing Brexit when it’s clear public opinion has turned.

    That will be interesting.

  36. Chris riley

    You pick on poor dr Fox and accuse him of being a warmonger for personal profit where as to the best of my knowledge he has not in fact started any international wars and not profited from them.

    On the other hand there is Tony Blair……..(one extra for Crofty)…

    perhaps your missile guidance systems are malfunctioning?

  37. @S Thomas

    Is that the war that Liam Fox enthusiastically supported? I think it is. Any objections Fox had to that war were very much along the lines of Not Invented Here.

    In any event, I don’t recall Tony Blair inventing a non-existent job for his mate, getting business cards printed for it, and then allowing him to attend meetings he wasn’t security cleared for to make a few quid as Fox did.

    I have a lot of Tory mates and I think they deserve better than that from a representative. You and Howard clearly feel that you do not, and you may well be right.

  38. Looking at the BBC’s inaccurate Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU, I was surprised to find that the link in the following paragraph was to the Sun:

    The DUP, which has long been a Eurosceptic party, broadly shares Mrs May’s Brexit strategy and has committed to back her in any votes on Brexit policy. But they are reported to be less keen on Mrs May’s mantra that “no deal is better than a bad deal” than some Conservatives, as that could close Northern Ireland’s land border with the Republic of Ireland.

    The link was to Tom Newton Dunn’s 2017-06-27 article: BORDERS BLOW Theresa May’s DUP deal could cause Britain’s post-Brexit immigration policies to be watered down, Conservative MPs fear and includes:

    The unionist party are also cool on Mrs May’s threat to walk away from the EU without any deal, as that would close the Irish border which is all important for its trade.

    Downing Street last night confirmed the DUP would be able to influence the government’s new policies on Brexit under the deal.

    Its MPs will get a say on the legislation through the coordination committee that will be set up to police the confidence and supply agreement.

    To the best of my recollection, it’s the first time I have ever linked to that rag but it is encouraging that the article also includes: But senior Conservatives fear DUP will water down Britain’s post-Brexit immigration policies. Perhaps I should read some of it more often, on the know thine enemy principle.

  39. Looking at the BBC’s inaccurate Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU, I was surprised to find that the link in the following paragraph was to the Sun:

    The DUP, which has long been a Eurosceptic party, broadly shares Mrs May’s Brexit strategy and has committed to back her in any votes on Brexit policy. But they are reported to be less keen on Mrs May’s mantra that “no deal is better than a bad deal” than some Conservatives, as that could close Northern Ireland’s land border with the Republic of Ireland.

    The link was to Tom Newton Dunn’s 2017-06-27 article: BORDERS BLOW Theresa May’s DUP deal could cause Britain’s post-Brexit immigration policies to be watered down, Conservative MPs fear and includes:

    The unionist party are also cool on Mrs May’s threat to walk away from the EU without any deal, as that would close the Irish border which is all important for its trade.

    Downing Street last night confirmed the DUP would be able to influence the government’s new policies on Brexit under the deal.

    Its MPs will get a say on the legislation through the coordination committee that will be set up to police the confidence and supply agreement.

    To the best of my recollection, it’s the first time I have ever linked to that rag but it is encouraging that the article also includes: But senior Conservatives fear DUP will water down Britain’s post-Brexit immigration policies. Perhaps I should read some of it more often, on the know thine enemy principle.

  40. My previous post wasn’t intended to be in stereo. Sorry about that!

  41. @Barbazenzero

    I had assumed you were such a big fan of Tom Newton Dunn, perhaps second only to TND himself, that you posted twice.

  42. CHRIS RILEY @ BZ

    Hardly a fan, but I do listen to what he’s saying in his myriad appearances on BBC & Sky political programs.

    I don’t recall him [or anyone else] confirming on air that the DUP C&S deal includes a “soft” opt-out. I certainly haven’t seen any Con MP confirm it, but it is pretty much what I would have expected from the DUP.

    It may not be such good news to the hard leavers, though.

    I agree with you re Fox, BTW.

  43. @ Chris Riley

    The division and indiscipline in the Cabinet is a major concern. May had problems after first becoming PM with briefings against Hammond in the Telegraph titles. She clearly intended to “solve” the problem by sacking Hammond after the election but was too weak to do so. She now has at least four senior members of the Cabinet fighting in public over Government policy. Apparently, Brexiters in Cabinet consider that anybody wanting a reasonable transition period before the UK leaves the Single Market and the CU is a “traitor to Brexit”.

    The headlines and reports in in the Telegraph today are all the more remarkable given that the second round of negotiations began today. Clearly, May has not been able to forge a Cabinet consensus in the past year and it seems unlikely that she will be able to do so now having lost her majority. This is probably why the UK Government has failed to produce so few considered proposals on Brexit.

    The latest IHT Markit report on business confidence ( at a 6 year low and drop in confidence pushed the level of UK optimism below that seen in the eurozone for the first time in seven years, and contrasts with multi-year high levels of optimism in the United States and Japan.

    The concerns raised about agriculture and food will be just one example of the Government’s failure to grapple with consequences of Brexit which will become increasingly apparent as the months tick by to March 2019.

  44. @Barbazenzero

    I suspect that the DUP are a bit cannier about the effect a hard Brexit will have on their significant rural support than the Tories are and will pull back from it. Otherwise Brexit will wreck them as a political force.

  45. chris riley

    you are clearly right to equate the printing of business cards with starting a war on a false premise and destabilizing an area of the world up to the present day.

    Tory mates.. surely not! your political purity would not allow such a thing .

  46. CHRIS RILEY @ BZ

    Agreed. I wondered why the DUP were prepared to agree on “Brexit” votes but am greatly encouraged that they were canny enough to insist on retaining a soft border.

    But I haven’t seen anything purporting to be the agreement[1] giving the border bit any mention.

    I can’t help wondering whether TND’s Sun “scoop” was unauthorised, particularly after watching today’s Daily Politics, where the Con rep was still pushing a typically hard line.

    [1] Such as Wiki’s Conservative–DUP agreement.

  47. A you gov poll which is a bit out of date, don’t know why it wasn’t released last week

    Latest Westminster voting intention (10-11 July)
    Con – 40%
    Lab – 45%
    LD – 7%
    Oth – 8%
    https://t.co/YBSjPdi8hx https://t.co/Y3xcGHFdZ4

  48. you gov poll.

    Pretty consistent :

    tories +2
    labour-1

    all other polls show gap narrowing by 4.This is slightly out of date though and the trend might be continuing a slabour lose steam.

  49. @Chris Riley

    “– it does comfort me that after 2019 it will be electorally impossible for anyone who supported Leave to ever again hold a major job in politics.

    Watching IDS, David Davies, Leadsom et al being driven from politics will be hugely enjoyable.”

    I could do with a Crystal Ball like you have Chris. Where did you procure yours? Any info on what the next set of winning lottery jackpot numbers will be?

  50. @Martin L

    I had a look in it and predicted you’d write something boring and pointle-

    oh, too late.

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