We’re heading into Summer and the silly season now, so don’t necessarily expect much polling (August tends to be quite anyway…the month after a general election even more so). This is just a quick update on the latest YouGov voting intention figures, which are CON 41%(nc), LAB 44%(+1), LDEM 7%(+1). Fieldwork was Monday to Tuesday and changes are from a fortnight ago. Full tabs are here.


891 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 41%, LAB 44%, LDEM 7%”

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  1. @ trigguy

    Or maybe the DUP would back the medium risk gamble of a border poll now, when they’d probably win, compared to a poll in 10 or 20 years, which demographics suggests they’ll lose?

    Nah, probably not.

  2. Alec

    LOL!

  3. Once a border poll in called, that triggers a new one every ten years. The worst thing for DUP is to have a border poll in the first place.

  4. Once a border poll in called, that triggers a new one every ten years. The worst thing for DUP is to have a border poll in the first place.

  5. Somerjohn

    I agree pretty much with what you say, particularly with regard to preparation and willingness to wok hard. Here is a link to how both sides should be conducting the negotiations. I see little sign of such preparedness in either camp at the moment. That said, I think the EU better prepared and better resourced in terms of people and knowledge.

    http://www.ox.ac.uk/news-and-events/oxford-and-brexit/brexit-analysis/complex-negotiations

  6. The poll that appeared to show that 29% of people preferring to remain in the EC wanted people expelled is a misinterpretation of the research.

    It wasn’t a poll but a series of forced choice questions. Using that format 50% would represent a neutral position.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/infact/brexit-report-latest-remainers-deport-eu-citizens-uk-back-hard-european-union-study-explained-a7892216.html

  7. TRIGGUY @ BARNY

    DUP would absolutely never agree.

    Agreed. It’s not even certain that NI wouldn’t vote for re-union. The real issue could be that the RoI would not, just yet at least.

    In the March 2017 Stormont election, 1st preferences for the parties were:
    DUP 28.1%, SF 27.9%, UUP 12.9%, SDLP 11.9%, APNI 9.1%, Other 10.2%

    The 2 larger parties on each side add up to around 40% of the electorate, so the result might turn on how the Alliance and the Greens vote.

    I agree that the DUP would have no choice but to bring the Cons down.

  8. BZ

    Irish issue

    Barnier is not going to let the Irish issue stop trade talks.Firstly, because the EU knows less and cares even less than the UK does about Ireland; secondly the absurdity of the eU position would be highlighted.After all how can you settle the customs and trade details between the ROI and the UK without settling the same between the EU and the uK? The whole problem may not exist in the first place.
    all the EU can sensibly require at this stage is something about common movement and vague but insubstantial technical proposal about a potential hard border which may not happen any way. Thirdly, to not proceed to trade would be considered as a Barnier failure.He is too vain to let that happen

  9. @Sam

    Again, an interesting link, especially as the piece was written in July 2016. The assumption then was that both sides would immediately knuckle down to the hard work of preparation for negotiations. From that early perspective, the conclusion was that “with immense hard work, analysis, understanding of all sides’ interests, and patience, an eventual agreement may be much more positive than the shrill current debate suggests.”

    Well, as you and I agree, none of those conditions seem to have been fulfilled, on the UK side, at least.

    It would be interesting to see an update, a year later, from Tim Cullen, Associate Fellow, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford Programme Director, Oxford Programme on Negotiation (to cut and paste his description from the piece).

  10. Re the LSE/Oxford study, full report is here:

    https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tjl-sharing/assets/Brexit_Means_Brexit_Technical_Report.pdf

    Certainly shows nothing like the dramatic shift in opinion that was (predictably) dramatised in the media.

    Also I’m not sure if this is a typo in the report or was actually in the survey but, of the three fixed scenarios presented, ‘no deal’ somehow comes out with better trade terms than ‘hard’ brexit. Specifically, they consider both to result in ‘some administrative trade barriers’ but ‘no deal’ has 2.5% tariffs and ‘hard’ results in 5% tariffs. That doesn’t make a great deal of sense to me.

  11. @Somerjohn “So, I really do think that inertia and indolence mean that hard brexit and WTO is where we’re heading.”

    I certainly think we should be expanding the ports and customs areas as a matter of urgency to show that we really do mean what we say. If the EU sees we are preparing for WTO as a full back that *might* make them have second thoughts of driving too hard of a bargain and if not at least we have made some key preparations if negotiations totally break down.

    The Dutch and Irish will almost certainly have to do the same.

  12. Sam

    1.If the people of Northern Ireland wish to become independent then following the Scottish example they should be allowed to do so. Of course faced with the loss of the nHS and subsidies they might choose not to do so;
    2. a separate all Ireland poll would be necessary to establish whether the ROI want NI to join them with its high degree of subsidy and potential security and political issues ;
    3. does the ROI political class want an influx of SF voters?I assume that NI does not think it can exist outside the UK and the ROI

  13. An interesting take on NI unionism in the Belfast Telegraph from last week, with So, who will speak up for the union? by John Wilson Foster – a writer and critic in his 70s.

    When a widely travelled unionist academic in his 70s writes And with all due respect, EU membership is not the answer to our Irish dilemma. (Though we must not have a hard border again.) he’s pretty much in line with DUP policy.

    Equally interesting is Brian Walker’s response on Slugger, with More than a wider vision of unionism is needed to take us through Brexit.

  14. Sea Change: “I certainly think we should be expanding the ports and customs areas as a matter of urgency to show that we really do mean what we say.”

    That – and a legion of other measures, administrative agencies, investment, expenditure and headcount – will be needed to ensure the country doesn’t grind to a halt on B+1. You’re right that we should be getting on with all this stuff now, but surely not just as some sort of negotiating ploy. It’s a lot more vital than that.

    I hope I’m wrong about the seeming paralysis of inactivity into which we seem to have fallen. Rabbits and headlights come to mind.

  15. S Thomas

    I’m not sure why you have addressed your post to me. i can’t answer these questions but i can point you towards some relevant information. It suggests that the unification of Ireland has costs and is unlikely in the short term, but Brexit will increase a desire for a border poll.

    https://sluggerotoole.com/2017/06/16/northern-ireland-life-and-times-survey-suggests-slight-increase-in-support-for-irish-unity-and-cross-community-support-for-abortion-reform/

    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/a-united-ireland-would-be-worse-off-than-the-republic-1.3010177

  16. S THOMAS

    We disagree. The Irish border is one of the issues on which Barnier has been instructed to make progress before discussing trade deals.

    Why do you think that the needs of an ongoing member of the EU will be disregarded in favour of a departing member of their awkward squad?

  17. I think the Tories have a dilemma when it comes to when to have the next general election.

    They could try to hold one sooner rather than later, May 2018 for example, just simply due to the fact that they are a lame duck government unable to push legislation through and a need to break the deadlock. It might be better to have one sooner than later because as time goes on not only will the Tory infighting get more brutal, but the economy is looking weaker as each day passes. Also the demographic situation for the Tories is very bad – their vote is heavily concentrated in the 65+ age group. It is ghoulish but the truth is with each passing day Tory voters are dying and Labour voters are reaching voting age. The argument against is the lack of leadership in the Tory party, Labour being ahead in the polls (bar one) and the public resenting the fact they are being made to endure another election as a result of Tory game-playing. Could backfire massively.

    The argument for waiting until 2022 for an election is that by then Labour may be beset by infighting of its own and the Tories may have new leadership and new ideas. Corbyn is unlikely to be leader at this point, and a left-wing successor who shares broadly the same politics but who has less baggage than Corbyn is the likely outcome after he goes, but at the same time the process of getting a new leader not to mention the desire on the behalf of Labour’s members to carry out mass deselections of right-wing MP’s could lead to serious internal fighting and splits in the Labour party.

    By then of course Brexit will have been carried out and the negative effects will be owned totally and completely by the Tories. Corbyn’s position on this might be a wedge issue now that could possibly damage his standing amongst young people, but in 2022 it will be an obscure historical footnote. The Tory vote has, for all that has been said, held up quite well – but mixed with demographic decline, Brexit being a disaster and a slowing economy I would expect the Tories to bit by bit start to flounder in the polls.

  18. @JAMESB
    “Re the LSE/Oxford study, full report is here:

    https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/tjl-sharing/assets/Brexit_Means_Brexit_Technical_Report.pdf

    Certainly shows nothing like the dramatic shift in opinion that was (predictably) dramatised in the media.

    Also I’m not sure if this is a typo in the report or was actually in the survey but, of the three fixed scenarios presented, ‘no deal’ somehow comes out with better trade terms than ‘hard’ brexit. Specifically, they consider both to result in ‘some administrative trade barriers’ but ‘no deal’ has 2.5% tariffs and ‘hard’ results in 5% tariffs. That doesn’t make a great deal of sense to me.
    August 14th, 2017 at 2:31 pm”

    Thanks. Lost the will to live. It is an academic 79 page report and trying to take any part of it to support an argument, it is a bit daft. Think Buzzfeed or whoever reported it first were grasping at straws. Yougov took the sample back in April and it was not typical polling on a political subject.

  19. AlienatedLabour
    “It is ghoulish but the truth is with each passing day Tory voters are dying and Labour voters are reaching voting age. ”

    I know that this is a common belief and there is probably some truth to it, but if it was the only factor at work why would the Tory popular vote have increased for four elections in a row for the first time since universal suffrage came in? I think that voters are not as tribal as they once were, and more are prepared to vary their vote according to prevailing circumstances, leadership, policies and so on.

  20. Pete B: “if it was the only factor at work why would the Tory popular vote have increased for four elections in a row”

    1. I don’t know of anyone who’s suggesting it’s the only factor at work.

    2. Life expectancy has until recently been steadily increasing. In the last four elections, there have been successive increases in the 65+ electorate. And I recall evidence that it is the wealthier old folk who have been disproportionately benefiting from longer life. But that increase has suddenly stopped. If that proves to be a permanent plateau, rather than a blip, the psephological implications are interesting.

  21. MARKW

    Agreed on your conclusions, but many thanks for the link. Also worth noting that the YouGov data was from 26-27 April and that the political weightings were based on the 2015 UK GE.

    I do hope AW considers doing a thread on the topic, if only to hear his views on the forced choices, with emphasis on the screenshot on p4 of the PDF.

    I’d be particularly worried that the forced choices could drive responses in an irrational manner. Given that only GB responses were collected, the Irish question asked re passports and customs may have confused many, for example.

  22. Oooooooooooops!

    MARKW

    Sorry I responded to you on the L/OX study. But many thanks for the link to the revised Indy report on it.

    JAMESB

    Sorry for confusing you with MARKW and many thanks for the link to the L/OX study [79pp PDF].

  23. @ somerjohn

    “And I recall evidence that it is the wealthier old folk who have been disproportionately benefiting from longer life. But that increase has suddenly stopped.”

    I’m not sure it’s stopped. I think I heard a report recently (may have been BH on Sunday) which said that though life expectancy seems to be flattening, it’s still increasing for wealthier people, while stalled for the less wealthy. Perhaps not surprising, but again that might be another reason for swinging the 65+ vote further Conwards.

  24. gordon dudgeon @Cambridgerachel

    “Northern Provinces’ I think you are referring to Northern Counties,
    While I accept that you have your opinion and are entitled to it, to refer to other people of the UK as ‘them ‘, I find rather offensive.”

    Leaving aside the fact that “them” is a rather neutral word to describe a group [eg “I can’t see Rosie or Daisie: have you seen them?”] Rachel was, in any case, referring to the NI counties.

    So, not very “offensive” on both counts.

  25. Evening all. Recovering here in Bournemouth East from the Thames Meander Marathon, where we ran through some Remainer areas.

    i. The North of Ireland.
    ii Northern Ireland.
    iii. The Six Counties.
    iv Ulster.

    All have political connotations,

    Meanwhile it looks as though May has ruled in favour of Fox over Hammond.

  26. ALIENATED LABOUR

    It’s also true that every day those middle aged voters become a day nearer switching from Lab to Con. Swings and roundabouts.

  27. Mike Pearce

    This might be true to some extent, there is certainly some evidence that some do get more right wing as they get older, but i don’t think it’s enough to counter the extreme polarisation-by-age we are currently experiencing, which is far more stark than it was in previous generations. Most people tend to stick with the beliefs they develop in the teens and twenties, and the rightward shift that takes place tends to be a response to people earning more and crucially getting on the housing ladder, neither of which are as likely as they once where, so I don’t see it being anywhere near enough to compensate for the demographic decline the Tories are facing

  28. @Mike Pearce

    I think the counter-argument is that there’s a cohort of elderly Con-inclined voters occupying the top decile by age of the electorate. The following cohorts have successivey higher levels of education, as well as exposure to more socially liberal norms in society, more exposure to immigrants, lower dependence on mass media for political information and opinion-forming etc.

    If that’s the case, then the grim reaper is indeed Jezza’s (and remainers’) friend.

  29. ALINATED LABOUR & SOMERJOHN

    As a staunch Labour Remainers I hope you are both proven to be correct

  30. That should read as Alienated

  31. The LSE/Oxford report, p.33,gives the following basis of the results of the “conjoint analysis” which wasderived from a second part of the study (Apologies for any distortions in tryingto get this from the document)

    After the conjoint experiment, we also included one final set of profiles, where the set of features shown to participants were fixed. Each repondent was presented with a pair of scenarios representing “Hard” and “Soft” outcomes, or “Hard”and “No Deal” outcomes, or “Soft” and “No Deal” outcomes. The scenarios were not labelled using these terms; the presentation was the same as in the main conjoint experiment. This additional experiment allows to assess the preferences of Leave and Remain voters for the package of outcomes that is typically understood to be “Soft” brexit (e.g., continued freedom of movement and common market access), “Hard” brexit (e.g., some kind of negotiated deal with limits on both), or “No Deal” (e.g., an immediate exit from the EU).

    For the purposes of this analysis, we defined “Soft”, “Hard”, and “No Deal” scenarios as follows:

    Scenario A (“No deal”)
    Policy on immigration from
    the EU

    Full control over EU immi-
    gration and lower levels of
    EU immigration than now

    Future rights of current EU
    nationals in Britain and
    British nationals in the EU

    Must apply for ‘leave to
    remain’ under the same
    terms as people from non-
    EU countries

    Scenario B (“Hard”Brexit)

    Policy on immigration from
    the EU

    Full control over EU immi-
    gration and similar levels of
    EU immigration to now

    Future rights of current EU
    nationals in Britain and
    British nationals in the EU

    All can stay indefinitely

    Scenario C (“Soft Brexit”)

    Policy on immigration from
    the EU

    No control over EU immi-
    gration and similar levels of
    EU immigration to now

    Future rights of current EU
    nationals in Britain and
    British nationals in the EU

    All can stay indefinitely

    I wonder whether others dan identify whether these results are the basis of thoee reported in the Indy, since the definities of no dea, hard and soft would appear not to be those which are commonly used.

  32. Thanks for all the fascinating, insightful and witty(!) contributions today.

    It was a fascinating read, and thoroughly supports my addiction to UKPR.

    On what other site, could you possibly get such a range of informed opinion?

  33. In the supposed decline in people voting Conservative I would say that during my 68yrs many have foretold the decline of Conservatism only to be confounded by long periods of Tory government.
    The faintly rediculous assumption that once all the old people die we will enter a period of eternal Labour governments ignores the reason why governments finally fail and it has nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with the ever present tensions that arise in all parties and the effect that has on the voting population on that parties credibility and if the governing party begins to run out of steam and appears fragmented and if the opposition is able to put forward a credible leader that makes promises that appeal then Governments change its all about perception rather than ideology.

  34. Turk: “The faintly rediculous assumption that once all the old people die we will enter a period of eternal Labour governments…”

    So who’s making this assumption, Turk?

    I can’t see anyone here doing that. Instead, they are simply pointing out a demographic trend that appears adverse to Con, but of course ‘events, dear boy’ can upset any trend.

  35. MARKW

    The poll that appeared to show that 29% of people preferring to remain in the EC wanted people expelled is a misinterpretation of the research.
    It wasn’t a poll but a series of forced choice questions. Using that format 50% would represent a neutral position.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/infact/brexit-report-latest-remainers-deport-eu-citizens-uk-back-hard-european-union-study-explained-a7892216.html

    Thanks for that. It’s a very good piece by Ben Chu and links to the piece that the academics publish themselves on the LSE website (though not till Sunday afternoon):

    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2017/08/13/the-british-are-indifferent-about-many-aspects-of-brexit-but-leave-and-remain-voters-are-divided-on-several-key-issues/

    which as you can see has a much more neutral headline and itself links to the technical report that JamesB referred to. Until we saw those it was clear that the whole thing was a bit of a mess (Or as Buzzfeed would no doubt say a Hot Mess) but not clear how, though even the Buzzfeed article had some hints[1].

    There are all sorts of problems with the approach taken with this study. The data comes from April[2] and it’s not clear what the 10% who didn’t vote in the Referendum thought. The main faults though appear to be conceptual.

    [part 2 follows]

  36. Presenting respondents with two alternative packages of choice implies that participants will evaluate each element consistently and that all those items are independent and of equal value to the participants. But, unlike with commercial products (the model for this) clearly that is not true with a complicated situation such as EU withdrawal. What is more, within the options for each element, not all choices are seen as equally likely.

    And using forced choice questions has dangers, even in normal polls. Participants may simply give up, unhappy with their views not being an option. So you may end up with hardliners and those answering randomly being over-represented. That’s even more likely to happen when people are presented with a package of options they almost certainly won’t like all of.

    There seems an idea that you can get more ‘datapoints’ out of this method, but actually the opposite is true because no one respondent is actually given the full range of options and so can’t give their true feelings about what they want. Aggregating up all the least worst options is unlikely to produce a true picture of what the public want and is likely to be very ‘noisy’ due to the process.

    [1] I would put the blame for most of this on the academics, who clearly co-operated with Buzzfeed and could have provided more context. James Ball who wrote the BF piece was always one of the more numerate journalists at the Guardian and would normally be keen to get things right – the fact that even the sample size was originally wrong suggests that the academics at the very least didn’t make themselves clear.

    [2] It was “fielded 26-27 April via YouGov’s online Omnibus panel”, an awkward time as it happened after the Election had been called on 18 April, but before the campaign had much effect. And widescale discussion about how EU withdrawal should work has only really started since the election. There may also have been technical problems with the representativeness of the sample which seems not to have been weighted. For example they say it was “nearly evenly split between men (44.0%) and women (56.0%)”, which doesn’t seem even to me and there were more participants from East of England than London.

  37. General Haigh

    The remainer final strategy is one that General Haigh would have recognised.
    In a conflict of attrition the leavers will die in greater numbers earlier than remainers thus leaving at some point a nation of remainers who by that time will be in fact joiners who then might themselves be older than the new remainers who are content with the status quo.

    Oh death where is thy sting?

  38. S THOMAS

    You’re confusing Earl Haig with the acid bath murderer John George Haigh.

  39. Bz

    I didnt realise that he was a field Marshall as well. Live the and Learn. By the way you are wrong about ireland . Barnier will never say that we cant progress to trade talks because insufficient progress has been made on ireland

  40. new thread

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