Two new voting intention polls this week showing very similar figures. YouGov‘s latest poll was actually conducted last week, but was only released today and has topline figures of CON 41%, LAB 42%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 4% (full tabs are here.

The regular ICM poll for the Guardian, conducted over the weekend, has extremely similar topline figures – CON 42%, LAB 42%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 3% (full tabs are here).

ICM also asked about people’s attitudes towards Britain paying a financial settlement as part of our Brexit negotiations (a so-called “exit fee”). ICM asked similar questions back in April and found very little support – only 10% thought paying a £20bn settlement would be acceptable, 15% a £10bn fee and 33% a £3bn exit fee. This time the figures suggested in the question were changed to what are probably more realistic figures and with interesting results – now 9% think a settlement of £40bn would be acceptable, 11% a £30bn settlement, 18% a £20bn settlement, 41% a £10bn settlement.

On the face of it this one might think this is a startling change, a few months ago only 15% thought it would be acceptable to pay a £10bn settlement as part of Brexit, now 41% think it’s acceptable. I think it’s probably actually a good example of the importance of context in a question. Most people are really not that good at putting figures of billions of pounds in context – any sum that involves the words billion is a huge amount of money to begin with, so what would be a relatively small settlement? A moderate settlement? A huge settlement? The only thing respondents have to scale it by is the question itself. In April £3bn was implicitly presented as the small option and £10bn was presented as the medium option. In this poll £10bn is implicitly presented as the small option and £20bn or £30bn are presented as the medium options – hence why a £10bn settlement suddenly seems to be so much more paletable.

That’s not to say the question doesn’t tell us anything at all – there’s still an interesting increase. In April only 33% thought a “small” financial settlement would be acceptable as part of the Brexit deal; now that figure has risen to 41% (despite the actual figure quoted tripling!). It looks as if the public may be moving towards accepting that a financial settlement may be an inevitable part of Brexit.

798 Responses to “Latest YouGov and ICM voting intentions”

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  1. RJW

    i am grateful for your concern about my meanderings.Am keen now to continue the theme and go to brussels and bruges and then back to … blighty.

    The more i travel here the more i am convinced that they have not grasped the perils they will face when they are cut off from the UK in 2019. Perhaps we ought to be educating them ?


    Have fun in Barça and don’t forget to visit Plaça George Orwell.

  3. james e

    neither i am hitch hiking :-)


    Cons need to get the next Leadership right.

    Perhaps re:smog would appeal to the youth vote.

  5. Colin
    Altogether now: “He’s not the Messiah, he’s just a very naughty (absolute) boy!”

  6. @ S Thomas
    I trust you weren’t planning to visit any of these museums tomorrow?

  7. @TOH – “Actually I would suggest that I am one of the best mannered postsers here.”


    Actually, in polite circles it’s considered poor manners to claim to have the best manners.

  8. S Thomas
    If all the museums are shut try Casa Armattler, a non-Gaudi grand maison that is worth a look, and it was owned by chocolate manufacturers. There is also a Gaudi house close by.


    SLab leadership election
    Much speculation in the media, but too early for any clarity.
    It seems likely that it will be a choice between ex MP and current health spokesman Sarwar and new MSP Richard Leonard – from a TU background and is a CfS member.

    […] The number of actual SLab members is never clear, but the Electoral Commission membership funding has provoked the annual discussion over just how many (or few) of the species exist.

    As you may have noticed I spent some times in the Wings comments pointing out what the actual situation is. SLab isn’t quite the two man and a dog operation that Stu thinks it is but it has always had too few members for what it is (how better to keep the jobs for the boys?) and has not benefited from the post-2015 and Corbyn surges as much as elsewhere. The accounts show such small amounts for fee income because it is all taken by London and only small sums given back.

    But the membership has still probably doubled since 2010-2015 (as opposed to tripled elsewhere) and that means it is maybe now half new members, mostly Corbynish if not Corbynite. As Syzygy pointed out “the same selectorate put a majority of Campaign for Socialism delegates on the Scottish LP executive”, back in February but 5 out of 8 suggests it was close and turnout may have been lower than in a leadership race. Smith just beat Corbyn in Scotland, but that was with joiners since January 2016 excluded.

    If the Labour leadership is between Richard Leonard and Anas Sarwar, it will not only be odd because both have only been at Holyrood since 2016, but because they will be seen as exemplifying the extremes of the Party. In Scotland the Left is much more Old Left than in England, and Leonard with his TU background exemplies this. But CfS have allied with Momentum and there will be anger about how vicious the attacks on Corbyn from SLab were.

    While the SLab Establishment is more Old Labour right-wing than in England and they are only too willing to do deals with the Tories, based on a mutual hatred of the SNP. Sarwar is a rather New Lab spin on this but inheriting your Westminster seat from your father, losing it and then getting to the top of the SP regional list as a reward is very much in the old tradition. Though it may show a skill in internal elections that will make him favourite, though those new members may be less predictable.

    On both sides rhetoric is confrontational by habit and turned on each may not make for a happy Party. There are already racist slurs being spread (Leonard has a Yorkshire accent apparently) and both sides are denouncing the other for being privately educated.

    Both candidates would probably be dreadful for SLab as Leader. Whether there is a central, less partisan, group of ordinary members to support a compromise candidate is another matter – as is whether such a candidate exists. The fact that the departure of Dugdale, who never looked comfortable in the role, is being deplored shows the problems.

  10. I see that the survey I took about a week ago seems to have been scraped up by the guardian, conducted by something called British future. I’m genuinely surprised by the reported enthusiasm for visiting workers since many if not most of the questions were along the lines of ‘would you oppose overseas workers being allowed to come here strongly, more strongly still, or entirely to the point of apoplectic rage?’.

    It makes me wonder what a well written survey would have found, or at least one where it had been possible to answer the questions honestly from a lower case liberal viewpoint.

  11. @COLIN

    What was the bailout of Greece if not a fiscal transfer. The bond holder took a haircut they are nto going to get any money back the EU have given stability loans and Greece is not going to pay the money back even Schäuble admitted that.

    The problem they have is that if the just did fiscal transfers without any control of where the money went it would not change the greek economy. As I said it is not Merkel you have to persuade. It is the East European countries that are up and coming and that would be transferring money to the likes of Greece. You are concentrating on the wrong country and the wrong leader.

    It is the usual British disease to fight the last war they ‘won’ over and over again. germany will not decide whether there will be Fiscal transfers because the countries that need to be persuaded are Finland and the eastern European suppliers of the German industrial complex

  12. @COLIN

    What was the bailout of Greece if not a fiscal transfer. The bond holder took a haircut they are nto going to get any money back the EU have given stability loans and Greece is not going to pay the money back even Schäuble admitted that.

    The problem they have is that if the just did fiscal transfers without any control of where the money went it would not change the greek economy. As I said it is not Merkel you have to persuade. It is the East European countries that are up and coming and that would be transferring money to the likes of Greece. You are concentrating on the wrong country and the wrong leader.

    It is the usual British disease to fight the last war they ‘won’ over and over again. germany will not decide whether there will be Fiscal transfers because the countries that need to be persuaded are Finland and the eastern European suppliers of the German industrial complex

  13. @S THOMAS

    Labours policy is a mess because they do not need to make any compromises as of yet they are not in power.

    it mirrored the leave campaign where they were able to argue two opposition positions because they were seen as not in power themselves.

    As with all sides when you are in the hot seat they will have to make tough decisions. In many ways they are mirroring the Tories here. We have liabilities but we will not say what they are. We have moral liabilities but again we will not say what they are. it is all a dance the Tories need to keep this dance going for as long as possible.


    I think it was rather interesting, that nothing from brexit came up. They are already looking at their Eastern European nations. Poland and Czech Rep are more important to the germans than UK in that without them they do not export across the world

    A large of the Eastern European exports go to germany and a large portion of these go in products for export outside the EU The UK is not as important to the Germans as we think we are a customer but one of many important customers but without our suppliers it matter not how many customers you have.

    Will merkel rescue the UK, I don’t think she has the power to even if she wants to.

    The issue of Brexit is not a problem for german mainstream politicians they have a position and it is rock solid.whereas politically the UK holds in it own Government several positions at once. Even public opinion in the EU is against giving the UK any concessions. There is no push for an agreement from the EU side either industrial, electoral or from the political sphere. What is scary is that we still are fighting the old war and haven’t recognised the new war.

  15. Catalonia Forward!

    Thank you posters for your top tips as i continue my Cobbets Rural ride on the continent in a combination of business and pleasure.

    A pleasure to be in barcelona. We wont be setting up here but it will take me at least 7 days to make that final decision. I agree about the chocolate but the pleasure of a first well made cortado is hard to beat.

    Interesting here because i can ask mini brexit type questions to peeps advocating catalonian independence which is big here. I think terror attack has moved support to National government rather than pro independence.

    i tend not to visit museums as i carry enough antiquated views around with me without going in search of any:-)

  16. “The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, held telephone talks with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe after agreed greater pressure is needed on North Korea, including stronger United Nations resolutions.”

    Blimey !!! That’s bringing out the big guns. If that doesn’t show ’em nothing will.

  17. PTRP

    @”What was the bailout of Greece if not a fiscal transfer.”

    It was a loan-by three parties-IMF/EU/ECB & overseen by The Troika.

    So it was dealt with at Leader level-via endless Crisis Summits. AM had direct influence over it. Many now say that it should have been a fiscal transfer because it has resulted in loans with ever extended repayment schedules & the cynical description of ” Extend & Pretend”. But EU & IMF cannot agree on Debt relief ( ie Fiscal Transfer)

    The Single Currency, plus Monetary UNion & a Central Bank are all constructed in advance of the political will to add the final piece which makes the rest effective-Fiscal UNion.

    Then , poor regions will receive fiscal transfers from rich regions as a systemic function of the Fiscal Management of the EU.

    Germany is resistant -just as they constantly complain about the ECB’s QE programme being too much like financiing sovereign debt.

    Post War Fiscal caution is deeply embedded in the German psyche-the older ones know only too well where Loose Money policies can take you.

  18. BBZ

    Yeah-yeah-you made a joke about Mr. Rees Mogg.

    I think we all know that :-)

  19. PTRP

    ………and in this intriguing take on the topic-an indication that the Great EU Convergence Plan, where everyone gets to be equal won’t happen-even with Fiscal Transfers.-because some inequalities will persist when you are dealing with human beings.

  20. @ ROGER MEXICO – thank you for confirming LAB (or at least a large chunk of their grass roots) will push for an even weaker Brexit potentially (attempting) to Remain (which would of course actually means negotiating a (likely very costly) Return). Like you I expect that faction within LAB will push their Brexit stance as far as can.

    @ BBZ – yes, TUC official position is ACCESS to the (benefits of) the Single Market (that is same as old LAB policy and has always been CON policy). I’m merely highlighting the chasm of Brexit opinion in LAB party from folks like ROGER MEXICO (Lewis, Watson, Umunna, etc) and the LAB far left (where Cobyn has his power base). As I explained staying in the Customs Union (for 4yrs/perpetuity) would be a disaster for jobs and the economy – ask Barry Gardiner or the folks from Trade Unionists against EU.
    Since the only major legislation that Parliament will debate for the next 18mths is related to Brexit, Corbyn will not be able to avoid the issue as he has before.
    Do you think Brexit will not be discussed at LAB conference?

    @ SOMEJOHN – I’m not in favour of Minford’s unilateral approach. That is as stupid as unilaterally conceding citizen’s rights and we’ve seen how that would have gone with EU’s view of a fair deal on that! Same with tariffs, you drop all of them straight away and no one will match you leaving you open to be totally exploited. However, taking a comparison of tariffs to nuclear weapons you have to start somewhere with an agreement to reduce them and commitment to see that through. Keeping the comparison, you then always would retain some. The goal should be near to zero with just a few for critical protection but even then it’s a journey to get there. Sadly, you can’t uninvent tariffs.
    Where goods are made then comes down to relative competitive advantage. I see no reason why we should not be as competitive as Germany or Japan on manufactured goods. If we end up reunionising the nation then obviously we’re back to the 1960-70s and screwed but with a flexible exchange rate and labour market we should be able to compete in industries with low barriers to entry and Nissan, JLR, BMW (mini), etc all agree. Naturally occurring competitive advantages (eg oil, metals) are different but working to build an even higher % of renewable energy via technological innovation is the way forward for a Greener future as well as a lower trade deficit.
    Services are different and we have a relative competitive advantage in services where we really need to open up trade. Frankfurt could bleed out the City and in time gain the critical mass to remove our advantage in services (mostly a critical mass argument in regards to the City). This could easily happen in LAB’s scenario of keeping us in Customs Union and cost a lot of paid jobs (money trees in LAB parlance). In a clean exit scenario (as per CON and old LAB plan) then a few city jobs get spread out amongst several EU cities in the next year or so but the critical mass stays in UK and with new opportunities opening for services in new markets the City will remain an attractive base and inertia to move should protect the vast majority of jobs. (I used the City as example as most familiar with that).
    We import massive amount of food from the proctionist EU – personally I’d rather switch some of that food imports to poverty nations in Africa but if your happy with the likes of SMogg and James Dyson getting paid huge sums from the EU for being rich enough to own vast amounts of farmland then let’s just agree to disagree on the rationale behind CAP.

  21. @ PASSTHEROCKPLEASE – The analogy is not Old War / New War more that we no longer want to be locked in to the Old World. EU is shrinking as a market in % terms as other nations are growing much faster, our trade with them as a % has dropped and would continue to drop even if we never voted to Leave.

    I agree completely Germany is really not that bothered by UK anymore – they have accepted our democratic vote.

    Macron and Merkel are working on a new future for EU that insulates (isolates) them further. Their own army (NATO concerns), European Monetary Fund (IMF approach to bail outs are too light on austerity in EU’s view), etc. The Macron-Merkel debate is interesting as it highlights Merkel is clearly the power broker in the EU (news to some people perhaps?). First (by a long way) amongst equals!!
    So although we are a low priority for Germany, I’m sure she’ll find a little space in her diary in 2018 to thrash out Brexit separation and future terms then hand the fait accompli back to the pencil pushers.

  22. PTRP

    And I offer one final thought on this topic.

    If the Brexit negotiations fail ( and the author of pb’s current thread is correct-a Labour Government takes over in UK ) -there is one item which will have caused it all.:

    reste à liquider or RAL – the committments to EU Regional Spending programmes , not yet funded by EU Budget appropriations.

    DD’s lawyers have rejected this as a Legal liability after Brexit.

    European Court of Auditors warned in 2014 that this “gap” stood at
    €222.4 billion at the end of 2013,& was rising rapidly. God knows what it is now.

    These Committments are to to pay out funds to specific initiatives under programmes like these :-

    Cohesion for growth and employment.
    Competitiveness for growth and employment
    Citizenship, freedom, security and justice
    EU as global player

    and Preservation and Management of Natural Resources which
    includes the c. a. p., common fisheries policy, rural development and environmental measures. ( including the Brown Bear breeding program complained about in today’s DM :-) )

    The Payments Budget-which DD is happy to fund until we leave is mostly made up of payments into those programs . THe admin costs of the Parliament & Commission are a relatively minor part.

    So these huge programs of funds redistribution to achieve economic & social equality via member states’ budget contributions are in fact compensating for the inability to simply transfer funds from a Central EU Treasury with “own resources” to the regions in need.

    And because Member States try to control the Payments Budget, the unfunded forward committments just go on growing-Jam Tomorrow-they hope.

    It is a very costly way of trying to achieve their dream-economic convergence across the Union. And it is blatently ignoring the gap between the willingness of Net Contributor Member States to put Cash into the Budget, and The Commission’s insatiable appetite for top down planning of “Cohesion” & “Convergence” policies .

    With Fiscal Union, one Budget , one Parliament, one Electorate , all this fudging rigmarole becomes unnecessary and the Federal/Regional administrations which were formerly Sovereign Nations just get the fiscal transfers which the majority political party deems appropriate. No wonder the calls for more “Own Resources” ( aka centrally levied taxes) for Brussels post Brexit are growing.

    The irony to all this is that despite being a recipient of considerable sums of Regional EU funded spending -Greece’s own government still ran an economy which needed Loan Bailouts -which it now wants to be relieved of ( ie convert into Fiscal Transfers .)

    Perhaps the lesson is that The Greeks & The Germans have different cultural attitudes to all things economic-working hours/paying taxes/the role of Government itself.

    I suspect that-whichever way the EU tries in future to square these circles, they will find that the differences between the peoples of the Continent keep getting in the way of their Grand Convergence Plan.

  23. Colin

    Sorry to hear you both have problems. As a great Englishman said all we can do is “keep b*ggering on”. Anyway, best wishes, I hope things improve for you both.

    Paul Croft

    Thanks, and your correct of course. It’s perfectly possible to have quite a wide taste in music without liking pop genres.

  24. @S Thomas

    While you’re in Barcelona, you might like to pick up a copy of El Pais and read (or get someone to translate for you) this article:

    It’s headed “The Brexit shipwreck” and casts an illuminating light on how our national adventure is perceived in Spain.

    I’ve translated a few interesting bits:

    British leaders have struggled to grasp that from the day they decided to leave the club, they lost the powerful leverage of a member. They still find it hard to get used to negotiating as a third country, because they’re used to shaping the rules and influencing behaviour from within, as one of the three most powerful and influential members.

    That’s a perspective we don’t see here, I think because we have never seen ourselves in our actual role as one of the movers and shakers in the EU, but rather as a passive recipient of commands from above.

    The model envisaged in the current phase of negotiations seems to be Norway…. for the UK, a country of such weight in European history, it has the disadvantage of conferring small country status on those who have always seen themselves as important. It’s worse than the deal Cameron submitted to the referendum and the UK’s current situation.

    One can detect a certain glee here at the prospect of Gran Bretaña cut down to size, which will no doubt provoke indignation here, but it should nevertheless give pause for thought: “O wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as ithers see us!”

    There’s lots more, but I’ll leave you with a bit of Spanish to decipher and hopefully enjoy…and enjoy…and enjoy:

    comerse el pastel y seguir teniendo el pastel

  25. Sorry, this paragraph is mine and shouldn’t be in italics:

    That’s a perspective we don’t see here, I think because we have never seen ourselves in our actual role as one of the movers and shakers in the EU, but rather as a passive recipient of commands from above.

  26. Alec

    Your 11.11 post,

    So it is unreasonable of me to defend myself when being attacked is it.?

    How curious, we obviously move in different circles, and have different views on manners, as well as most other things. It’s an interesting World and I’m very glad i live in my version of it.

    Have a good day as they say.

  27. TOH

    Thanks-and you too.

  28. COLIN @ BZ

    I think we all know that :-)

    But do you remember who posted it here first? It’s a very apposite moniker for the Somerset NE MP and I wish I could remember who should be credited with it.

  29. BZ
    Er,( coughs modestly)
    It was I, Paul Croft complimented me on it at the time. Re:smog, that is.

  30. @trevorwarne

    “..that we no longer want to be locked in to the Old World.”

    How exactly is being a member of the EU preventing us from trading with the rest of the world?

  31. RJW @ BZ

    Many thanks and sorry about my failing memory.

  32. BBZ

    Why is it “apposite” for him ?

  33. Colin

    Do you envisage the UK failing to pay any money to the EU as a result of Brexit? If there is such a failure, which Court might be asked to decide liabilities? Do you think a “hostile” Brexit would be more advantageous to the UK than a “hard” Brexit?

  34. Good morning all from a warm but grey Central London.

    Hope you all had a good weekend! I actually worked my first weekend ever…I cut the grass..

    Now, that big made in UK bomb found in Frankfurt has probably put another spanner in the works over a favourable Brexit deal with the EU.
    Merkel has also smashed any Turkish hopes of joining the EU in an address to her party over the weekend.

    As far as I’m concerned there is only one top dog in Europe and her initials ain’t TM.

  35. @ HIRETON – come on, you know the answer to that one so I’m sure your jesting. In case you’re serious the EU Custom’s Union (CU) enforce a common external tariff for goods (protectionism giving EU27 goods exports an unfair advantage over 3rd nations – link to trade deficit on goods by nation stuck in moderation but easy to find via google). Full membership of Single Market also prevents us pushing bilateral/global equivalence standards on services (restrictive on our ability to increase our exports in an area that we have a competitive advantage). The difference between SM and CU is important here, as is EU v EEA.

    Marr was very kind to Starmer. The obvious question that Starmer (Corbyn) will have to answer at some point (hopefully only in theory as the opposition party) is WHOSE jobs/economy are being protected if we leave the EU simply to be stuck in the CU. The CU means we’d still be locked into EU’s protectionist goods markets but might would lose automatic passporting rights for services (we’d be relying on equivalence rules).

    I have a post stuck in moderation with a longer answer but as I’ve pointed out in previous posts the CU (as a final resting point) would be a disaster for UK. Starmer’s “solution” is not a compromise on leaving, it’s remaining but under far worse terms than we had before. Hence why Remainers see Starmer’s new approach as simply a step towards staying in the EU (they simply brush over the fact that this would actually mean negotiating a Return and the likely terms of that deal).

    Starmer is clever so I’m sure he knows he’s using the position as opposition simply to make life difficult for CON but in doing so he’s really got the Remain camp excited about trying to reverse Brexit again (see comments from many LAB MPs, supporters and the liberal press)

  36. COLIN

    From your link…

    “Two U.K. newspapers on Sunday reported that May is prepared to pay up to £50 billion over three years after Brexit, although Davis flatly denied the claim on the BBC”

    I personally think someone from the Tories leaked this info to the papers to try and gauge the response from Brussels and at the same time flatly deny the claim in case Brussels puts the boot into the proposal.

  37. On Lab voting teachers.

    In this self selecting survey taken just before the last election 51% of teachers reported they voted Lab in 2015 with 68% saying they intended to in 2017.


  38. This poll from seven years ago puts lab and tory neck and neck with teachers.

  39. Trevor Warne: Macron and Merkel are working on a new future for EU that insulates (isolates) them further.

    Continent cut off by fog again.

  40. COLIN & BZ

    Why is it “apposite” for him ?

    Mainly because his use of English in interviews is deliberately obfuscational.


    Hence why Remainers see Starmer’s new approach as simply a step towards staying in the EU (they simply brush over the fact that this would actually mean negotiating a Return and the likely terms of that deal).

    My own guess would be that Starmer will recommend an EEA-type arrangement, plus full customs union membership until the a solution to the NI border is found and implemented. As I’ve said before, I think that’s the leastworst option if only to avoid giving Farage and his ilk having the opportunity to spew their venom in the European Parliament.

    It is likely, however, that the UK will rejoin the EU sometime, perhaps even in my lifetime, when the likely terms of that deal are indeed worse than the ones which HMG have rejected following the advisory referendum.

    The golden lining then will be the naming and shaming of any surviving leave campaigners by the rejoin campaign for having been untruthful, to put it mildly.

    Many thanks, I had not seen this poll.

    I note that May remains ahead of Corbyn as best Prime Minister, 37% to 32%.
    The Conservatives remain ahead on the economy in general, 36% to 23%.
    And on leaving the EU, right 44% wrong 44% so slight improvement for right to leave.


    Thanks for the YouGov link, and let’s hope AW gives us a new post on it.

    Interesting that the Scottish sub-sample is more or less back to what was previously normal, with:

    SNP 40%
    SLab 26%
    SCon 23%
    SLD 5%
    Other 6%

    We still need a proper Scottish poll, of course, and perhaps we’ll get one once the SLab leadership contest has taken place.

  44. @Trevor Warne

    So why is Germany so much better at exporting than the UK if the EU is so restrictive?

    The CET – which according to the Economists for Free Trade group – is of negligible importance for goods doesn’t seem to have prevented Japanese, Chinese, and -prior to the FTA – South Korean trade as well as companies sourcing goods from Malaysia, Indonesia and elsewhere in south Asia. And the UK has a large trade surplus with the USA trading on WTO terms not least as I understand it because of services.

    I have yet to see any Brexiter trade strategy other than the Mintford/EFFT unilateral zero tariff approach. So which services do you think the UK will be able to sell to which countries post Brexit that we cannot sell now?

  45. Trevor,

    Something odd in the tables!

    Page 3; The Health as an issue scores are never below 50% in any subsample and often over 60% but the overall rating is under 40%…

    Can’t see how that can be right?


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