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. Paul Croft: My guess is that a 60/40 split would be the tipping point.

    I think you’re right that if public opinion reaches that point, then Brexit revisionism will be legitimised and a great number of politicians will rediscover their remainer mojo.

    However, the issue then becomes: we may decide to change our minds, but will the EU27 let us?

    My own view is that we have so mightily p*ssed them off that they will let us stew in our own Brexit juice.

  2. Polls, shmolls – Bangledesh have just beaten Australia
    In a Test match!!

  3. Paul Croft

    Paul – mebbe aye, mebbe naw. There are obstacles to change. Now, the Cons are in paralysis. I suspect nothing is likely to happen to resolve the negotiating position on Brexit in the Cons party until the fight within the party is resolved. Hammond and Fox are not on the same side.

    Lab has done little to resolve its position. It cannot bring itself to decide if the EEA is a final destination. The EEA is the only possible transitional route. The majority of the Lab MPs are in the “remain” camp. But EEA membership will mean free movement of people and those MPs in constituencies where that is a concern to the electorate may not wish to go down the road to EEA membership.

    Legally, there may be no way back from Brexit. Politically, there might be – I doubt it. There are no good choices available, perhaps

    In short, both main parties are divided over Europe to greater or lesser degree. We may sleepwalk out of the EU.


    You will possibly be pleased to hear that I agree with your reply to me.

    In your third paragraph you actually made points I have also made in the past. There will be some liabilities and we will be happy to pay those as long as we get a good deal and yes I suspect the UK does not care about the princilple.

    However as I say, no deal, no payment IMO.


    Yes, I noticed that as well. Shakib really is a World Class all rounder, In my view the best at the moment.

    Well done Bangladesh! :-)

  6. Sam

    Oersonally my wife and i will be wide awake and celebrating with a nice fillet and a bottle of something nice


    Yes I came to the conclusion during the lancaster speech and reading the EU position papers.

    My problem is than not they need not be inconsistent with each other but the real problem is that this is a multidimensional problem where UK is not talking to bilaterally but multilaterally.

    it therefore is negotiating in public something that UK politicians are not used to. negotiating in good faith again something that the UK politicians are not used to and to my mind if the EU asked the UK how much would they pay for how much access I think DD does not have an answer

  8. I posted the penultimate paragraph of this blog post on the previous thread. I think it has relevance to Paul Croft’s earlier speculation. For those interested here is the final paragraph from the same article with the link to it.

    “The former Governor of the Bank of England, Lord Leigh-Pemberton, was fond of saying that anyone could predict the future, but it was much more difficult to know when and how it would happen. His dictum is particularly applicable to the Brexit debate. Many analysts expected the internal contradictions and incoherence of the case for Brexit to have manifested themselves more quickly than has turned out to be the case. Few commentators could have predicted that Mrs. May’s lost Parliamentary majority would have ushered in such a now daily growing assault from business, academia and civil society on the rationality and even achievability of British withdrawal from the European Union. This assault is likely to persist and even grow in ferocity. It may well be that in six months time the trickle of voters changing their mind about Brexit identified by the opinion polls will have become a torrent. If that is so, the natural expectation must be that this recasting of public opinion will have measurable political consequences in each of the main parties. When it seems prudent to do so, the great majority of the Labour Parliamentary Party and a small minority of the Conservative Parliamentary Party may well be willing to give public expression to their rejection of Brexit and the irrationality that sustains it. The past year has been rich in sensational political developments. A united front of Parliamentarians finally willing to fulfil their traditional role as guardians of the national interest by declaring that “enough is enough” on Brexit is an entirely conceivable next twist of the kaleidoscope.”

  9. TOH

    Good for you and your wife

  10. S Thomas: greetings from frankfurt

    still looking for a euro hub for a legal consultancy. Gerry rafferty sang about this town.Dreary.

    On to budapesht! and then to Barcelona and brussels where i might meet the former mayor of a small town although i dont favour early morning drinking.

    Am I right in thinking that “the former mayor of a small town” is a slighting reference to J-C Juncker (President of Luxembourg 1995 to 2013)?

    I suppose belittling a country is what passes for humour in Brexit circles. Personally, I’m not splitting my sides, but then I’m sure you wouldn’t expect me to.

    Actually, I rather like Luxembourg city. It’s small enough to be easy to cover on foot, has a rather fine situation straddling a deep valley with a viaduct over, and has a population free from delusions of national grandeur. The food and drink are good, and it’s very much at the crossroads of (western) Europe. And, of course, it’s home to your favourite court. What’s not to like?

  11. I am absolutely not a typical voter, and I read websites like this which are very informative about recent developments. But the longer the brexit debate has gone on, the more convinced I have become it will be a total disaster, and whatever happens now will impact the Uk negatively for decades. There are better or worse scenarios going forward from where we are now, but some of the damage already done is clearly irreversible, even if every MP came out tomorrow and unanimously called a halt to Brexit. Which is not to say things cannot get far worse.

    Britain took a fundamental change of direction in the 1960’s when it decided to join the EU. This succeeded. Leaving the EU means going back to the position the Uk was in at that time, with no plan for the future security of the country.

  12. sam

    Very interesting article.

    At 47/45 against leaving we are pretty much mirroring the 52/48 leave vote.

    That means that not a huge further swing is required to get to 60/40.

    I like the “deluge” metaphor because, if it happens, it will be like a dam unblocking and various actions and reactions will feed upon each other.

    Of curse, it might not – but the important thing in my view is that it could do.

  13. Oops. That would be Prime Minister of Luxembourg, not President. Luxembourg’s head of state is, I believe, the pleasingly-named Grand Duke (pleasing because of the Gilbert & Sullivan echoes).

  14. @Paul Croft – While I never subscribe to saying never about anything, I have been pretty certain throughout that we will have to have a second vote before we leave the EU, and once the shape of the final deal is clear. With slightly less certainty, I have always felt that this would be a second referendum, rather than a GE.

    I have been constantly bemused by those, here and elsewhere, who insist that Brexit is a done deal, when it’s is abundantly clear, in both practical and logical terms, that in a democracy, temporal shifts dictate where we go next, so done deals are only ever done until the next done deal. That’s how democracy works.

    It is a frankly idiotic notion that some entertain that asking the electorate what they think in a democratic election is somehow subverting the will of the electorate. The fact that some like Farage, and on occasion our own @TOH, decry the obvious and claim that Brexit is a done deal seems to me to speak more of their fear that the golden future they claim is ours is likely to be somewhat tarnished once the great day dawns. Leaver or remainer, what’s not to like about asking the populace to confirm their view if Brexit looks that good?

    The only mental caveat I had with this was whether there was going to be a convergence of Lab and Con policy on withdrawal, which would make the parliamentary process of seeking a final mandate much more difficult. As it stands, convergence now seems less likely, so I remain leaning firmly towards a second vote as an inevitability.

    Equally, I have never seen Brexit as a certainty. There are real complications and difficulties with it, and then you can factor in the overlay of ‘normal’ party politics, with all of this making predictions of the future a mugs game. A second vote may well confirm the deal on offer, or, possibly now a bit more likely, reject it, and leave us within the EU.

    I rather suspect that we won’t need a 60/40 split to get to this point though, although clear support to proceed with Brexit would probably prevent a second vote. The key issue for me is whether either of the big two parties falls into line with a policy of EU ref2. Either of them could, so that is going to be the one to watch, in my view.

  15. DANNY

    @”Britain took a fundamental change of direction in the 1960’s when it decided to join the EU. ”

    No it didn’t.

    Britain joined the EEC on 1 Jan 1973.

    The European Union was formally established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force on 1 November the name European Community to the EEC.

  16. somerjohn

    Oh the smell of cordite. i can smell it from here:-)

    Still you are right to link luxembourg and a former mayor with a comedy operetta

  17. “Of curse, it might not”

    Oops…. my freudian slip je pense.

  18. @DANNY

    Firstly I am a remainer,. but I fear that the problem of each of the parties mirrors the problem of country. We are divided.

    This division is on multiple fronts and indeed has meant some unusual alliances.

    Take Norther Labour voters, The support Leave and yet are anti globalists/free traders and are socially conservative, much of their concerns is the inability to compete in a global world but also against their fellow brits else where. However they mare matched up with euroscpetic leavers that do believe in globalisation and free trade (these people voting tory).

    The Tories have similar problems with social conservatives versus social liberals. These divides are now being triggered by brexit and because no one has the voting mass to change how we view the EU referendum and there is not a clear view by the electorate of how to change this. our politician have taken the hospital pass and basically are doing the best that they can.

    We want a deal but we don’t want to pay for it. so whilst I believe the government feels it could get a good FTA for £40B we as the electorate are not prepared to pay £10B.

    May attempt during the GE basically is trying to square the circle there is no political gain in going against what tory voters wants and tactically she has won back the BLUKIP vote and she will be loathed for them not to vote for her since it is her path to a win.

    labour has a more confused path in the main. I think the REDKIP vote actually want more money spend on them and to be cherished. The problem is that they are social conservatives and the labour metro voters are social liberals this is a big discord. Economically they are similar. but the outcomes of success are vastly different.

    Uk problem is essentially that of many developed countries in that the successful are doing well enough since they are skilled mobile and well networked. The unskilled and the semi skilled are getting squeezed because there are just not that many semi skilled jobs and less training on the job now. brexit will make the uncertainty worse. it make make the UK position worse but in truth whether we are in the EU or out there is a lot of changes that our government would need to make.

  19. Colin Britain applied to join the EC in the 1960s.

  20. S Thomas

    Seriously, if you’re “still looking for a euro hub for a legal consultancy” you could do a lot worse than Luxembourg (depending of course on your client base, type of work etc).

    I haven’t been for a coupe of decades, so it may well have changed for the worse, but I remember a pleasant town a bit like Exeter or Winchester, but with better weather and cheaper wine (and spectacularly cheap petrol/diesel). There are loads of politico-legal-business types around to have stimulating discussions with…

  21. S Thomas

    And what’s with the “former mayor”? Saying it once as a joke is one thing; repeating it is a bit …odd.

    Unless of course he really was. But I can’t find any reference to Juncker ever being a mayor of anywhere.

  22. DEZ

    You miss my point.

    The entity UK joined in 1973 ( and attempted to join in the 60s) was not The European Union.

    In particular it pre-dated the Treaties of Maastricht & Lisbon.

  23. William Hague says that the election result was ‘a mistake, collectively, by the people of this country’.

    That’s as arrogant as any Remainer comment about the Brexit vote… at least that was on the basis that Pro-Brexit voters were misled rather than failing in their patriotic duty to vote Tory.

    Electors don’t generally like being told that they voted wrong… I suspect that this is a bad move.

  24. BFR
    @”Electors don’t generally like being told that they voted wrong”

    Which is probably why Hague said :-

    “And of course we can’t blame the voters for how they vote.”

  25. @somerjohn

    Best not to feed @toh as he will not discuss any substantive issues if challenged for evidence ( apparently his views just descend on him without the need for facts to form them) an he soon descends to ad hominem comments.

  26. PTRP

    I don’t agree with all of your analysis/ conclusions (am going out -so cant enlarge on that)
    but I certainly do agree with your final sentence

  27. Colin my apologies.I agree that the EEC is a different entity to the EU now.However in retrospect John Major got a very deal at Maastricht from the view of an EU sceptic.

  28. somerjohn

    He has altered his history on wikipedia. it used to say that he was mayor of Trumpton.


    are you a zookeeper?You keep on telling other people not to feed other posters Do old habits die hard?

  29. Good deal.

  30. @COLIN

    Are that old chestnut you can’t be blamed for your own mistakes………
    D you think they are going to use that as part of tory party policy?


    In fairness he believes that it made the UK negotiating position weaker and I personally don’t buy that. The greek government won a massive 80% vote on their stance against the EU. hey also used phrases as the will of the people and the EU destroying democracy.
    It did not change anything.
    The Swiss had a referendum again the will of the people and again it changed nothing. I fear that we are hoping against hope about thing that we cannot control. I believe the EU position will remain the same and either we will move our position or we will be out. it would not have mattered if May had a majority of 1 or 100 it does not make the EU position any different and in fairness it does not make the UK position any different.

  31. @SAM

    I take you read this one too

    I am now of the view that transitioning to the EEA does not make sense you still need to negotiate a customs agreement. I reckon we will be staying in the EU for the in a sort of limbo while we work out what the transition is to.

  32. S Thomas

    I suspect he doesn’ like me.

  33. This is an interesting report-from Japan.

    And this a particularly interesting paragraph:-

    “Nissan also intends to raise the share of parts for the plant sourced in the U.K. to around 80% from the current 40%. It will encourage components manufacturers to take up residence in nearby industrial parks whose development is supported by the central and local governments. This will help offset the risk of higher import and export duties once the U.K. loses access to the single European market, in part by cutting distribution costs. Some 80% of autos assembled at the Sunderland plant are exported to Europe and elsewhere.”

    ! :-)


    “to my mind if the EU asked the UK how much would they pay for how much access I think DD does not have an answer”

    Since the EU wants money, they should say what for, and how much as I posted earlier. They don’t want to do that because they have a large sum in mind which I suspect they cannot justify. So impasse at the moment. We should not commit to any sum until we have concluded a Trade deal IMO.

  35. COLIN

    Yes, I noted that piece, good news for the UK. Doesn’t give an impression they are too worried about Brexit, but thats IMO of course.

  36. TOH

    Good news if its true-and a very interesting attitude to Brexit.

    It has been widely reported & Nikkei Asian Review is described as “respected”.

    But we need to caveat this with a lack of acknowledgement from Nissan thus far.

  37. COLIN @ TOH

    There’s another announcement in the Indy of an Aston Martin deal.

    Presumably May wouldn’t have gone to Japan without some kind of good news being on the cards.

  38. BZ

    Thanks, I’ll have a look, and I agree with your comment. It’s the sort of thing politicians in government do

  39. I’d agree with Alec and others that it’s absurd after what the democratic process has thrown up over the last couple of years to see anything as a done deal until the deal is done.

    What I think might be underestimated is how difficult this one might be to undo though.

    There’s the thorny questions of what legal mechanisms exist to stop the process and under what political conditions. Until and unless the CJEU rules on the former and the necessary agreements at EU level for the latter happen, none of the remain scenarios work.

    If parliament or a second referendum votes down the deal, then without those further legal and political steps at an EU level, and further negotiation, we leave without a deal when the two years expire.

    If the government falls, then without those further legal and political steps at an EU level, we leave without a deal and a government.

    If a second referendum expresses a contrary view to the first on membership, even then without those further legal and political steps at an EU level, it’s by no means clear that we still just don’t leave without a deal.

    It might not be just the change of heart in the UK electorate that’s enough to cover the change of mind in the UK government that has to happen in the next eighteen months.

  40. PeterW

    “It might not be just the change of heart in the UK electorate that’s enough to cover the change of mind in the UK government that has to happen in the next eighteen months.

    Nothing has to happen in the next 18 months other than we proceed to leave the EU. That is the course we are on, having as voters made that decision and the Government having accepted our decision.

    I suspect your just wishful thinking on your part. I am assuming you are a Remainer. If I’m wrong about that let me know.


    Where I disagree with you is that we seem to attach the idea that the amount is the be all and end all to the EU. I believe it is the principle The UK is treating this as a bilateral deal. It is not a bilateral deal it is a multilateral deal it is just we are facing one person representing the rest on the other side.

    If we were in a multilateral deal we would be setting up rules. I believe we are defining the EU as a single entity but it is not either physically or legally. it is a collective. So the issue for them is as much the rules as the deal. the UK does not care about the rules they only care about the deal.

    It is this confusion where I believe that the negotiations will fail hence my point about the UK’s position if the EU states the methodology and the UK challenges it the arbiter is the ECJ, the Uk does not want that to happen, because if you run out of time then there is no deal what they want the EU to ask for is a sum and for the UK to say that is worth this in terms of a free trade agreement.

    I just don’t think that is going to happen. EU will most probably walk way or still pursue the matter via the ECJ on the methodology. For them the clarity is more important. if you read the position paper the financial settlement covers liabilities and assets.

    I fear that the DD is not treating this as a zero sum game. His problem is that he has to be seen as ‘winning’ as I pointed out previously rather like the Iraq war we will have milestones and successes and failures ( I note COLIN sharing the Nissan info about increased production and local content) Each side needs these milestones to back their claim that they are right: And so DD with this it is a massive sticking point for the country DD would like to use the fact that implementation phase will cover the cost of the deal so 3 years at £10-15B may work for him However when someone else exits (and they might either because they are forced out or decide to leave there has to be some rules and precedence)

    as it is nothing is agreed until everything is agreed and I do not see a trade deal agreed by 2019. The methodology is a gate keeper. We can walk away at any time. I see it as a sign of weakness that we cannot agree a methodology because of the approach we have taken.

    If I understand your view is that even if it is proved that the UK owes a set of liabilities that unless there is a deal those liabilities will not be paid. That is what DD is trying to avoid he does not want anything to do with liabilities because then legally and morally he is scuppered. it becomes a simple point of UK does not pay it’s debts

    I fear you are missing the nuance of what is going on. it is why I find the issue fascinating

    Indeed I fear that DD has his eyes on ICM poll in which £10B seems like the limit 41% to 40% (acceptable to unacceptable) that the Uk will go to and £40B is just not in sight at 9% to 75%.

    So here is the problem I don’t see the DD selling anything that the EU and the UK electorate can buy.

    That is the reason for the stalling. If it was a £2B liability do you think that DD would not be jump all over this?

    As I said he is not negotiating with the EU and the multilateral nature of the organisation alone. He has to negotiate with the electorate too it is far more complex.


    Thanks for your latest interesting post.

    We are not seriously disagreeing. I too think we are probably heading for no deal. I have thought that for a long time now, as those who read my post know. The fact has not changed my views on Brexit, i think we will be better off in the long run, but of course that’s just IMO.

    I don’t think Davis is influenced by the polls. I am sure his brief is not to conceed any sum until a trade deal is agreed or at least in detailed discussion. It would be madness to do otherwise. If the EU insist on their process, to use your term then the talks will fail.

    Anyway it has been pleasant having a discussion with you, even though we are different sides of the Brexit debate. I have to go out now and am unlikely to post again until tomorrow.

  43. Congrats to Sam on reaching the final sentence, I never manage that sadly?

  44. @PTRP

    Yes, I agree TOH is missing the point with his “where’s the legal basis?” angle.

    Because that’s precisely what the EU is trying to establish and the UK is trying to avoid.

    As I understand it, the EU wants to agree a methodology for calculating what’s owed, and then agree a figure based on that, whereas the UK just wants to haggle over an acceptable fee for continued tariff-free SM access.

    I fear that the only ‘easy’ solution for UK politicians is to fiddle around until cliff-edge Brexit overtakes the country. Emperor May fiddling while the boats burn!

  45. There is a calculation that, at the end of 2018 the liability and commitments of the EU is £724 billion. What could/should be the contribution of the UK to this sum?

    For the benefit of JimJam I have read only the final sentence.

    I am not quite innumerate.However, my school geography report said, “Does well to find his way home.”

  46. @TOH – “Nothing has to happen in the next 18 months other than we proceed to leave the EU. That is the course we are on, having as voters made that decision and the Government having accepted our decision.”

    There are times when you seem to miss the point entirely.


    As you will appreciate I am a harden remainer, My concern is not that we will leave the EU, that is already going to happen, but the fact that we still are stalling because we are negotiating with ourselves.

    If you look at every poll, we as an electorate believe that the negotiations are going badly we also as an electorate believe we can have a free trader agreement and pay no money. . Essentially we believe in the whole cake and eat it theory.

    I think DD is stuck in a position of trying to square the circle. WE agree it is much better for all sides to have a settlement of liabilities and a agreement on future trading arrangement but our electorate believe that the EU should just give it to us and more importantly will and DD know they will not. The question is who to move the electorate. personally I think if I was a leave negotiator I would do the following

    1. Offer reciprocal rights of EU citizenship in UK and UK citizenship in EU on current EU terms excepting the each Citizens rights will be under their own jurisdiction.

    This would work in that EU citizen will keep their rights it is numers limited on both sides. and yes it does disadvantage UK citizens but that is what we voted for and this will be an exception

    2. I would present a methodology which has the minimum of what I thought was the liability. and present it to the EU I would rpesume that the absolute minimum I could get away with would be around £10B if we are leaving 2019 then as per the EU position paper our liabilities end in 2020

    3. I would offer Border check at the Irish sea with NI seen as a special FTA with the EU

    At once this would give the EU clarity and a set of rules. Th concession are mainly on their side since they have to give up ECJ over their citizens. They now have to go and justify any other liabilities which I could now stall all the way to the ECJ and I have started trade talks which is where I want to be.

    The problem is that DD does not know what the UK electorate will stand or what his backbenchers will stand or what will a successful brexit really look like and hence he cannot be bold.

    For example Car manufacture is moving eastwards so whilst I can see Nissan staying beyond this model set I cannot see BMW doing much more than final assembly of minis since all the detailed work is being done in the EU. I could see EU FTA with Japan choking off Honda and Toyota in the long term. and a scaling back of investment unless the government steps in,

    I could see that with Airbus wings, where the factory in the UK has a mirrored factory in China.

    The devil will be in the detail at the moment we have llimits between ourselves and the EU but the EU can create all manner of restrictions which will work in their favour and indeed they are the bigger market. Somethings will be intrusive so for example EU inspector permanently at our slaughter houses (as is done in Argentina for example )

    So interesting times ahead even if everything goes well there is so much to sort out the UK could be paying Billions into the EU for all manner of items of regulations that we share I reckon we’ll be paying £2-5B a year for ever minimum (Open Skies, common mobile tariffs, common beach regulations and inspections.)

  48. This link is to the UK’s contribution to the EU financial commitments

    Using different assumptions the amounts the UK might be asked to pay range from £25 to £65 billions.

    How much will the UK pay?

  49. @Colin
    Ah yes, Hague does in deed first say that the electorate got it wrong, then that all sorts of bad things will flow from that (weaker negotiating hand, worse Brexit deal) and then that ‘we can’t blame the electorate’.

    Well, the only person suggesting that the electorate are at fault in some way is Hague himself, so that’s a bit of sophistry really.

    And the electorate voted the way tat they did because both the Tories and Labour failed to convince enough voters that they know what they are doing and should be trusted to form a government – that hardly means the voters made a mistake, more that the all the political parties failed to offer a convincing proposal to the voters…

    He’s softening up voters for a poor outcome where the government can say ‘well, it’s a shame this is rubbish, but you have a rubbish outcome because too few of you voted for us’

    It’s another in-advance blame avoidance ploy, alongside the ‘nasty EU’ card ploy…

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