There was a YouGov poll yesterday with some post-Florence EU questions, suggesting a pretty poor reception for Theresa May’s speech. The proportion thinking that the government are doing well at negotiating Brexit has fallen from 24% to 21% since last month, its lowest since January. 61% now think they are doing badly, including three-quarters of Remain voters and almost half of Leave voters.

The principle of a transition period is broadly accepted – 46% think it is a good idea, 26% a bad idea. The majority of the public also say it would be acceptable for such a deal to include remaining in the single market and/or freedom of movement for a transitional period. The tricker elements to sell to the public appear to be the juristiction of the European Court (by 43% to 35% people say this would be unacceptable for a transition period) and continuing to pay the EU during the transition period (38% acceptable, 42% unacceptable.) 62% of leave voters see paying a fee during a transition fee as unacceptable.

Whether they agree with it or not, 33% of people say that the Conservative party’s policy on Brexit is clear – 45% say it is unclear or confusing.

While people are not impressed by the government’s handling of Brexit, the public remain pretty evenly divided on whether or not to go. 44% still think Britain is right to leave, 45% that it’s wrong (typical of past months). Asked what they’d like the government to do on Brexit 40% think they should proceed with their current negotiating aims, 12% would prefer a softer Brexit, 18% would like another referendum to see if people still want to leave, 14% would like the government to halt Brexit.

Voting intention is CON 39%(-2), LAB 43%(+1), LDEM 7%(nc). Full tabs are here

102 Responses to “YouGov post-Florence polling on Brexit”

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  1. @COLIN

    In simple terms the only thing I believe the Brexiteers will get is ECJ on Citizens rights. I felt that in order to move on they would have to agree to what they agreed in the budget or else I do not think the EU would have wanted to deal with them.

    It was basically what they believed the UK had signed up to and all the bluff and bluster was to my mind stupid if he is now agreeing to this.

    I think that Boris would lose to Corbyn because they crucify him and his past poor decisions as London Mayor as an example which is something that may net a marginal seat here or there in London

    May could be described as a poor leader but she is not as divisive as Boris.

  2. Something else Cons have to sort out-along with young voters -and Brexit. No pressure !

  3. Good article on precedent for ‘special status’, flexible approach to NI borders showing current example in Balkans here:

    Since island of Ireland is approaching the issue from the opposite direction (ie 100% equality on standards, etc) and has the CTA, etc already then, in theory, NI invisble borders should be easier than Balkans. The volumes might be bigger in NI but the principle is the same.

  4. PTRP

    Yes, people often do take contradictory positions. Logically, if 33% think that the policy on Brexit is clear no more than 33% should be favouring that the government go ahead as before.

    There have been links to posts here from the occasional academic pointing out the advisory nature of the referendum. One study pointed to correlations between levels of education, manufacturing work and unemployment for the intention to vote Leave. The appropriate response to that might have been to address those concerns which demand a different response than Brexit.

    An unfavourable result to Brexit could mean increasing xenophobia.

  5. Sea Change,
    “At the end of the day, if the EU won’t budge… ”

    Its the UK leaving. Why would anyone expect them to change to accommodate us? What you said is simply an example of the government strategy to blame everyone else, already in action.

    S Thomas,
    ” based on past form, TM would take the UK out of the EU and the customs Union and then sign up the UK to almost the exact same by treaties.”

    The Norway option. A compromise due to the impossibility of getting acceptance to join, coupled with the unthinkable consequences of not joining. I agree with you, the problem is that the tories believe leaving would be disastrous, first economically and then as a consequence politically.

    It doesnt really matter for purposes of political planning whether the tories are right or wrong to believe Brexit=economic disaster, they will plan as best they can taking this to be the case.

    “I think of brexit as a test by spouse, she buys a kitten and you hate kittens,”
    More like, she tells you she has a gambling addiction and we are going to have to sell the house. And maybe sell a kidney. And put the kids up for adoption. And no, she isnt going to join gamblers anonymous.

    “Brexit is important but it will be a done deal ”
    No. It will not. The only way it can be a done deal is if it is a great success. No one seems to think this likely, or they would all be falling over each other to get it done. They believe it will fail, and therefore the question will become how best to rejoin. Brexit has the potential to destroy the conservative party and supplant it with the libs. Tory light, pro EU. Their liability from the coalition turned to advantage. thats how high the stakes are for them worst case.

  6. @DANNY

    My view of a done deal is that it will happen. I like you believe that it has many difficulties in play and I believe that the Tories will take a path of least resistance which is to leave the EU.

    AS I pointed out think of a policy which had strong political opposition, the CBI, DoI BCC all opposed it vociferously but no one now is talking about it indeed everyone just accepted it and moved on to the next battle.

    I suspect we will slowly rejoin the EU via the EFTA and EEA route at some point in the future because we will find it is in our interest after the deals we strike with other countries do not do what we really want which is open trade in financial (engineering) services.

    The real battle though is not Brexit. it will be austerity

  7. I think the results on the ECJ may be misleading. It is only anecdotal but for many years lots of the people I deal with, including some very experienced lawyers confuse the ECJ and the ECtHR and consider them to be one and the same thing; they are not.

    The Citizens rights protected by the ECJ are those rights derived from the EU treaties not their rights under the convention (although the ECJ measures those rights by use of the convention). To be clear the ECJ has nothing to do with e.g. prisoners voting rights because the EU treaties do not cover such matters, those decisions were taken by the ECtHR which is a separate organisation to the EU.

    see the list of signatories here

    The Russian Federation’s membership surprises many.

    I wonder if a question could be devised which demonstrated that difference and what the result would be?

  8. Passtherockplease,
    “everyone just accepted it and moved on to the next battle. ”

    Cant say. Personally my view hasnt changed, but that means nothing and many here will say the same. The recent poll is encouraging for what you say, but I still point out the 20% polling lead which the tories had at the last election. I could see another test of this in a years time giving labour/remain a further 20% boost.

    Its not that I think poll respondents are lying, but they are not responding in the situation which will exist. That was the problem just recently. The spin at the moment is pushing the meme that Brexit is a done deal, but it is not. I see this as a hysteresis situation. The voters could flip dramatically from one stance to another, but only after sufficient pressure builds up. Or they could stick as they are because the critical threshold is never reached.

  9. I love revisionist thinking regarding the election

    May is claiming that the Tories were not prepared for the election she called……..

    I think that she is going for the austerity light, globalisation is good strategy which is exactly what will gain Corbyn votes. it is unskilled and semi skilled workers that have felt the brunt of the fact that they can be replaced by automation and more importantly unskilled an d semi skilled via global trade. Unless she addresses their issues then thing are going to be tough for her.

    The problem is much more nuanced than free markets versus nationalisation

    Lastly I thought the central aim of the Tories was very clear it was a Corbyn versus May election from the Tories perspective and by inference marxist versus a normal politician

  10. TW 8.26

    You may not have noticed this sentence in the article to which you referred:
    “The hotels in the vast tourist town of Dubrovnik are mostly supplied by trucks taking the 20-minute drive on the one major road through the corridor”.

    ‘One major road’ and an area of 100 sq. km is rather different from the complex network of roads criss-crossing the border between the RoI and NI – often two or three crossings on the same road in a matter of a few miles – with the population entitled to cross with special passes spread over an area of 5000 sq. km (500 km border x 5 km on either side as per the article). And unlike the border between Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is fairly simple to follow on any map – even some parts approximating to straight lines! – the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland is of a complexity typical of normal counties on both sides of the Irish Sea.

    And given the complexity of the border, how would the authorities define the distance someone lives from the border with any degree of acceptability on the part of those live there? A nightmare!

    So although the idea is a good one, in practice I don’t see it working in any way which could possibly equate to the system cited in the article.

    I am reminded of something which William Gladstone is supposed to have said: “Every time we find the answer to the ‘Irish Question’ the Irish change the question.” It’s all a bit ‘dejà-vu’, don’t you think?

  11. @COLIN
    “It looks as though DD has conceded UK will contribute to RAL-to be quantified after the Tory Conference. Added to the continuing Budget contribution already conceded points to £40 bn to £50bn.
    If DD concedes ground on legal underpinning of EU citizens’ rights which looks like superior rights to those of the rest of us-there could be trouble at t’mill. :-)
    That “message” from Damien Green was a bit odd-is it a communication that TM intends to fight the next GE.? If that poll of Con Members putting Boris as best replacement is right then it is best she does carry on if she can. Corbyn would destroy Boris-correction Boris would destroy himself-the Ben Stokes of Team Tory.
    September 29th, 2017 at 8:14 am”

    Let us look at the logic of leaving the EU. Transition period of at least 2 years, costing £10 billion a year payment to the EU. On top of that the UK is required to pay a sum related to liabilities, say another £20 billion paid over 2 years. And in addition the UK may well still be liable for longer term liabilities e.g EU pensions, after asset values taken into account. In the meantime, the UK has no seat at the EU ministerial table and no senior EU positions or MEP’s after 29th May 2019. Therefore little influence on our big neighbouring trade partner, but probably still having to comply with most EU derived policies.

    If in addition the UK is required to pay for EU tariff free single market access with no additional non tariff restrictions, then the UK will have left in the EU, but still have to comply with EU/ECJ derived decisions, as part of any trade deal. On top of this, the EU might well require the UK to tighten customs administration, as the UK will be outside the customs area. This will add costs to UK Government and business.

    You can understand why Boris and hardline Brexiteers are thinking that Brexit is not really meaning Brexit. However, there is no majority for leaving the EU without a deal and just trading on WTO terms. The majority appear to want a very close relationship with the EU and if necessary pay the EU whatever is required to have full access to the EU club.

    Will the Tories unite on Brexit and keep DUP onboard ?

    Or will Boris, Liam Fox and others decide they cannot accept the Brexit deal being negotiated, because it is not proper Brexit, so makes it a pointless exercise.

    This is why i suggest a second referendum might actually help the Tories. If they are still split, Labour is still split, the country is still split and it cannot really be settled in Parliament, then you have no option but to ask the people again in a referendum. The businessman on Question Time last night who supported Brexit, said he thought a referendum is likely.


    The bloomberg article is my let just forget the border issue thing. Essentially if the UK were Bosnia I think it makes little difference but the UK is the 5th largest trading nation in the world as leavers like to say it is the volume that is the issue.

    It reminds me of the exception that Lichtenstein has on limits on immigration saying that the same rule can be applied to the UK when clearly it cannot Immigrants in the country is at 37% three times that of the UK (which includes people from outside the EU)

    We are not a backwater small country so I see lots of issues because of this. The Bosnian Croatian border solution works because it is small and insignificant in the scheme of things and more importantly Bosnia wants to join Their application was accepted in 2016. We are leaving so I am not sure how we truely resolve things as I said the problems are three fold

    1. Volume of Trade
    2. Third party tradeable goods (separate trade deals with other and contamination
    3. UK is leaving the EU and thus this is going to be permanent

    We could ignore all these issues but at some level I think it becomes a real problem

  13. ALEC
    “I think this illustrates the problem of perception. Technically the EU hasn’t named a figure, and therefore they don’t have a position to budge from. The situation is very clear – the UK has said it will honour it’s obligations, which they have accepted extend further than the 2020 budget period, but have refused to say what they think these obligations are”

    That’s fair enough and it’s the EU’s tactic, buy it doesn’ follow that they’re in the right and the U.K. are being intransigent. Actually, in everyday life it would probably be the other way round. For example:

    My plumber (The EU) might say to me “you owe me money,will you honor your debt?”
    And i (the U.K.) might answer “I promise I’ll pay in full, how much do I owe you?”
    At this point the plumber would probably hand me his invoice and not say, “ohhh no, you tell me what you owe me, but make it good and whatevet it is, you better pay up!”

    It is far more usual for the creditor to come up with the figure.

    I think it would be fair and reasonable for the U.K. to calculate the (smaller) figure owed for future commitments of the EU to the U.K. and the EU should do the same for the (much larger) future U.K. commitments to the EU. and the two figures should be set one against the other.

  14. PeterW

    Your 11.11

    I think AW has said in the past how difficult it is to frame questions. The current crop don’t allow for those who would want a harder Brexit as you rightly say.

    “At the end of the day, if the EU won’t budge from their 60-100+ Billion and ECJ control over rights the chances for a no-deal are high indeed.”

    I agree and I would go further. I think it is clear that the EU will not budge and therefore I think we should put all our energies into preparing for no deal, employing more border staff, setting up parks in Kent as holding zones etc, etc. Personally having read the reports of the negotiations so far I have now joined those who consider leaving without a deal as the best option for the future of the UK.

    Regaining sovereignty has always been my main reason for voting to leave. The economic pain will be worth it IMO, and it will cause economic damage to the EU, and possibly bring forward somewhat the collapse of the EU which I predict will happen within the next 50, possibly 20 years. I noted with some interest the University of Leuven Report which indicated that reverting to WTO tariffs would cost the UK 500,000 jobs and the EU 1.2 million. Obviously I will be sorry for those who lose their jobs but IMO the blame will lie fairly and squarely on the EU.

  15. My point was the at the EU have shown flexibility in the past, not that Balkans was a perfect model to copy.

    Since the nit pickers are out in force again today I’ll change:

    “The volumes might be bigger in NI”


    The scale of the issues are bigger in NI”

    The point is that with a little bit of flexibility a solution is possible.

    Always, worth reminding what the default situation of no deal would mean if this issue can not be resovled

  16. David Colby @: 9.26

    Exactly so.

  17. @ WB – thank you again for a detailed legal input. Clearly with a civil law approach the methodology issue is vastly more important to EU than to case law UK. A rule based system demands higher clarity than a precedent based system.

    For me the issue over criminality and the other red boxes in the EU/UK citizens rights issue show again the need to accept sufficient progress and move on – until we know the future arrangements we’re wasting a lot of time and energy over details.

  18. Pass the rock please,
    “Lastly I thought the central aim of the Tories was very clear it was a Corbyn versus May election from the Tories perspective and by inference marxist versus a normal politician”

    More revisionist thinking about the election? The tories campaigned about Brexit. labour campaigned about Brexit by discussing the economy and their vision for it every time the conservatives mentioned Brexit. This meant 1) labour did not have to be explicit about their vision for brexit, 2) voters got the meassage you could have either conservative brexit or labour economic sunny uplands.

    The consrvatives chose not to enter a bidding war with Corbyn on the economy, because their USP is austerity, the precise opposite of his direction. May claimed to be against austerity when she became PM. Nothing actually happened.

    R. Huckle,
    “This is why i suggest a second referendum might actually help the Tories”

    This is why I suggest they already called a second referendum in the form of an election, and it went against hard brexit. So really, that would be a third referendum in the recent batch.

  19. As a matter of fact I think the U.K. should immediately come up with a figure for what is owed to the U.K by the EU. and announce it. This would lay down some paramators about how the figures are arrived at which might then be applied to similar assets/liabilities on the continent and more importantly, would be politically helpful.
    If for example the U.K. came up with a figure of say 4billion, then the EU figure came to say 70billion it would make for some uncomfortable headlines.

    Since barnier carelessly said the the numbers are just a settling of account it, it would shine a light — whether we remained or left — on ‘how little we stood to get’ and ‘how much we stood to pay’.
    I’m not arguing that this accurately depicts actual costs or benefits at all, I’m just saying that politically it would be a smart tactic.

  20. David Colby

    Again I agree. It would be a smart tactic.

  21. @DANNY

    In the end only 3 Labour seats flipped Tory due to brexit voting. Just think of it 400 constituencies voted leave

    Labour did not talk brexit they talked austerity, Tories tried to talk brexit but it was a wash. it became Corbyn was not the best leader to negotiate with the EU, Corbyn was a Marxist, and the usual crap. the simple fact was that May was held up as the great leader and she turn out not to be able to be so great. Strong and Stable became a buzzword for the fact she was perceived as anything other than. it became a personalty contest which Corbyn despite his ‘negatives’ did not lose

    The other factor was that most Tories had brexit as their most important item but most about supporters had Brexit down the list.

    You voted Tories for brexit pretty much guaranteed but if you were worried about anything else voting Labour became a real option


    I think the reason that the EU is not stating a figure is that it understands that this is a sensitive issue for the UK. There is a large proportion of UK voters that believe they owe the EU nothing that includes both leave and remain. The simple thing is no one want to give up any money.

    So i believe that the get out clause was essentially saying what the liabilities were.

    The biggest part of which is RAL — which is for projects that were agree to but are done at a pay as you go basis so someof which will not end until the mid 2020s.

    he other point is that the UK is using the payments as leverage for a ‘good’ FTA therefore do not want these payment to be seen as obligations of leaving but they want them to be seen as the only way you get the money we owe you is if we get a good post Brexit deal. Now the EU is resisting which is why we are at an impasse. Somebody has to break the impasse and the EU are confident that they are owed the money and I would have thought that they would pursue this in some from of international court which would mean that a trade deal would off the cards.

    If you believe you are owed the money you would chase it up

  23. @David Coulby – “It is far more usual for the creditor to come up with the figure.”

    Yes, in the case of a plumber, but in a complex case both parties clearly need to agree what elements are chargeable to which party – then you can work out the numbers attached to each element. There is absolutely no point arguing, say, about the value of the EU’s RAL costs unless both parties have decided that these are relevant.

    I think it’s a fair point to argue for the return of any assets owned by the UK, but in reality, these will be very minor indeed. There is a misconception put about by some Brexiters that because the EU funded motorways in Bulgaria, for example, the UK ‘owns’ a proportion of these.

    If a grant funder came to one of the many community groups I have managed to secure funding for and claim back their share of an asset because they helped pay for it years ago I would politely tell them to naff off – these were grants, not investments.

    Besides – the EU has openly acknowledged already that the UK would get any assets returned to them as part of the deal. If you really think naming which assets these are and what value there is attached to them, then you can’t disagree with starting to discuss which liabilities are eligible and what the UK’s share of these is worth. You can’t justify one without the other.


    “Somebody has to break the impasse and the EU are confident that they are owed the money and I would have thought that they would pursue this in some from of international court which would mean that a trade deal would off the cards.”

    Personally I would be happy for the EU to do that. We then leave with no trade deal and will be able to fully regain our sovereignty and the EU will get all the blame. Splendid idea.

  25. @Trevor W – I feel that the principle of an inviible border is fine, but this isn’t the same as frictionless trade. The BBC ran a detailed news item from the Norway/Sweden border, and it was instructive.

    Despite the vastly reduce volumes of trade and years of investment in high tech monitoring and processing systems, they still interviewed Scandinavian truckers (in perfect English) complaining of lengthy delays and feeling like ‘they have forgotton about us’.

    The infrastructure was also huge – great big drive through X-ray scanners, networks of ANPR systems, fully linked computerised logging systems in distribution and production centres, tied into the customs system – stuff that will take years to develop, and even then there are delays.

    It’s all doable, given enough money, time and ongoing staffing, and even then our exporters will face additional paperwork and delays, so all of this needs to be put into perspective.

  26. passtherockplease,
    “In the end only 3 Labour seats flipped Tory due to brexit voting. Just think of it 400 constituencies voted leave ”
    So what about how they voted on leave last time. Its the changes from this which count. As to why seats flipped, where is the evidence examining this?


    I understand the point that we can point to Lichtenstein and Croatian Bosnian Borders for both Immigration control and Border controls for flexibility but I fear the point of the flexibility afforded to these are:

    1. These countries are either EEA member or are joining the EU
    2. The issue are unique in terms of their small size and therefore the view of the downsides are different
    3. In the case of the border issue this is going to be a limited time issue since Bosnia is joining the EU

    None of this is in play for UK Ireland border issue, As I have pointed out previously unlike Croatian Bosnian border there is not even a crossing post even on main roads there is nothing to stop goods passing from one side of the border to the other unchecked, You never stop at the border. it is like going from greater London into Essex there is a sign that says your in Essex that is all

    To replicate that we would need to basically ignore customs in the Island of Ireland. I am not sure that is going to happen. I full agree that we need to find a solution but I believe because of the volume and the circumstances it will not be anything that we currently have in the EU

    I am still going with the Custom checks and border control in the Irish sea

  28. @Colin – re Davis and the RAL, yes, I have been saying for some time now that the government’s position is shifting as they move towards the necessity of a deal. @TOH doesn’t think so, but he is wrong. As you say, how the ECJ is handled will be critical now, but the money side has largely been settled – a hefty bill will be paid, and the internal Tory debate will rage over the odd £5bn or so. The principle is now widely accepted that we will pay to retain temporary membership, and we will pay for commitments and obligations made while we were members.

    On the ECJ, again, here things have moved. Davis and May have accepted that we will still be bound by ECJ judgements in certain key areas. All that remains to negotiation is the precise mechanism for how these are translated into UK law.

    This is exactly what I said since before the referendum, as it the broad picture of the end point on both the money and the ECJ has been obvious to anyone with open eyes for a long, long time now. The only question is how much political damage the solutions offered will do to May, and whether voters are prepared to cut off both their legs to reject the deal.

  29. In fact, the EU has been very helpful to the UK in the way they are approaching the money issue. After all, they are seasoned negotiators, having done similar things many, many times, and they know they have to try and help the rather amateurish UK government to secure a deal.

    They know that hard numbers scare voters, and don’t want to give Boris the chance to rattle on about £XXX million a week when a sum is announced, so they talk about agreeing the principle of what should and shouldn’t be included.

    It’s easier for voters to accept the UK paying for what it promised, but an abstract figure of £40bn, £50bn or £60bn just looks horrible. My suspicion is that we won’t really know how much the bill will actually be when we leave. The EU will have secured agreement as to what areas need to be covered, and they will leave room for a debate on what this represents in cash terms to enable the government to confuse UK voters. The DT and Mail will scream ‘£70bn’ and May will say ‘no it’s going to be much less than this’ and voters will choose on that basis.

  30. TOH – 10.12

    except that the EU is not to blame, is is? It is the UK that has decided to throw its toys out of the pram – yet again! If the EU says “Enough is enough” and decides that this is now the point when the toys will not be put back in the pram, what then?

    As for ‘sovereignty’, I would guess that this is always a relative term. As a Scot who would like to see Scotland independent from England but within the EU I see sovereignty as something which can be pooled for a purpose – the Union of 1707 being a prime example, of course, when the Scots (albeit reluctantly in many cases) decided that being part of the British Empire would be better for them than remaining on their own. I, and, I think, the majority of Scots, see the EU in exactly the same way. The British Empire no longer exists. The EU has in many ways, replaces it as far as trading opportunities and political stability –
    and therefore ‘purpose’ – are concerned.

    So for me ‘sovereignty’ as an abstract idea has little to commend it. No man, and no nation for that matter, is an island, if by that we mean having nothing to do with anyone else. As for opportunities for international trade having left the EU, I wonder if the Bombardier case is not a clear warning of what will happen in the future.

    On another note, (or is it?), people often write about the UK being the 5th largest economy in the world – and so it is (for now) if we only look at ‘nation states’. But the EU as a whole has a far, far bigger economy than has the UK. It can do things which the UK will never be able to do on its own. Why are we leaving the 3rd (2nd?) biggest economy in the world in order to become the 5th (6th?) biggest? It makes no sense to me.

    Have a good day……. (while you can!)

  31. @ oldnat
    @ NickP

    My model averages the crossbreaks of polls for each region of England, Scotland and Wales, but weights much higher actual regional polls. These are then adjusted to match to the current GB polling average.

    The hard part is, as NickP says, companies like YouGov who merge regions together. For these I have to use a little guesswork; I calculate what the result is for that combined area in my current polling average, then adjust each region proportionately to match the poll.

    For the YouGov Midlands/Wales I get:

    East Midlands – Con 47 Lab 41 LD 5 UKIP 6 Green 1
    West Midlands – Con 44 Lab 44 LD 5 UKIP 5 Green 1
    Wales – Con 32 Lab 50 LD 4 UKIP 3 Green 1 PC 13

    Obviously there’s guesswork here, and it’s technically using information from other polls to get there. Also, the crossbreaks from any one poll are pretty meaningless too, but hopefully averaging them out and adjusting for the overall GB polling average should give some indication of which areas of the country are moving which way.

    FYI Here are my current weighted averages from this method based on all polls since the election rounded to the nearest whole point. Changes since the election in brackets:

    GB – Con 40(-3) Lab 42(+1) LD 7(-) UKIP 4(+2) Green 2(-)

    East Midlands – Con 47(-4) Lab 40(-) LD 6(+1) UKIP 5(+3) Green 2(-)
    East of England – Con 50(-5) Lab 37(+4) LD 7(-1) UKIP 5(+3) Green 2(-)
    London – Con 32(-1) Lab 52(-2) LD 10(+1) UKIP 3(+2) Green 2(-)
    North East – Con 31(-3) Lab 56(-) LD 4(-) UKIP 6(+2) Green 2(-)
    North West – Con 34(-2) Lab 54(-1) LD 5(-) UKIP 3(+2) Green 2(+1)
    South East – Con 50(-4) Lab 32(+3) LD 9(-1) UKIP 4(+2) Green 3(-)
    South West – Con 48(-3) Lab 33(+3) LD 12(-3) UKIP 2(+1) Green 2(-)
    West Midlands – Con 44(-5) Lab 43(1) LD 5(1) UKIP 5(+3) Green 2(-)
    Yorkshire & Humber – Con 37(-3) Lab 49(-) LD 5(-) UKIP 4(+2) Green 2(+1)

    Scotland – Con 26(-3) Lab 26(-1) LD 6(-1) UKIP 1(+1) Green 2(+2) SNP 38(+1)
    Wales – Con 32(-2) Lab 49(-) LD 5(-) UKIP 3(+1) Green 1(+1) PC 9(-1)

    If my model is accurate (big IF, I know…), it looks like Labour might not be in as strong a position as the GB polls suggest – most of their increase seems to be in the strongly Tory areas of the South West, South East and East of England, which would likely translate to few new seats. In other areas where the Tories have dropped back (e.g. the Midlands), that support seems to have mostly swung to UKIP, and would likely swing back to the conservatives in the event of a snap election.

    Using those figures for a uniform regional swing gives a seat distribution of:

    Con 290
    Lab 283
    LD 15
    UKIP 0
    Green 1
    SNP 40
    PC 2
    + Speaker and NI


    I understand that you would be happy. I think that the EU would also be happy they would pursue money via the international courts and will most probably get a sum with no real cost in terms of a deal. In the long term we end up with no deal and paying money as I see it.

    Not a great set of circumstances as I see it. No deal, loss of money bad blood on both sides loss of jobs, lower growth. That will be a successful outcome


    I am not sure she can sell the concessions as the reason the the Brexit came about was that Cameron could not sell a set of concessions to his part, the party is split, I would think that Labour would either abstain with with a hardcore of 40 voting against and a hardcore leave set of 10 voting in favour. The wildcard here is if UKIP or Nigels new party as it appears UKIP may morph into the BNP depending on the new leader may start up again and then it becomes an issue of whether ending austerity is more important than brexit.

    At this juncture people are projecting what May is saying as it gets down to what she does I fear that things would be rather wobbly for her and full of fudge for everyone

  33. “see the list of signatories here

    The Russian Federation’s membership surprises many.”
    @WB September 29th, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Yes, the CoE is an amazing organisation. Formed before ECSC or the EEC and in many ways a precursor to them, fostering communication. Long may it continue, quietly, in the background.

  34. @BARNY

    ‘it looks like Labour might not be in as strong a position as the GB polls suggest’

    I am not sure what people were expecting here but I believe that Labour have been hovering at the +2% over the Tories which is enough for them to have a confidence and supply with the other parties which is what they want. will they get all their policies in play I doubt it but I think they get the Tories out and that would be their big win.

    If the govern well then they get another bite at the cherry if they end up +5% over the Tories then we are talking about something else and they may not need a confidence and supply deal

    I am not sure what the expectation was but 2% lead is not enough because of the concentration the Labour vote

  35. @ PTRP / ALEC – this all points to the need to move to final arrangements. If we end up in a mostly SM arrangement then most of these issues disappear. We’re trying to solve problems that might not even need solving.

    We’re seeing this in EU-UK citizen rights issue as well (the only one of the three issues were we have transparency!)

    Probably same in the divorce bill. If we stay in some trading arrangement we might not need to pay all the RAL items up front although I’m very nervous about unfunded liabilities and the way they have spiralled in recent years.

    Point is, lots of chicken+egg conundrums that kind be fully resolved until we know the key elements to the final future arrangement.

  36. @ BARNY – I have a slightly different approach and have used the Scottish specific polls for Scottish seats but see the same broad issue as you – where are the LAB seats going to come from?

    Anyone strongly opposed to austerity has already moved to LAB. Remain are very high in LAB. There is room in new or non-previous voters (I allow for this and see it could make enough difference), or more tactical voting (some evident in 2017).

    LAB will almost certainly need SNP C+S in order to form a govt and although they have similar ideology SNP are not stooges like LDEM – they will demand a price for any arrangement be it hard cash, devolved powers or IndyRef2 – possibly all 3!

  37. “Asked what they’d like the government to do on Brexit 40% think they should proceed with their current negotiating aims, 12% would prefer a softer Brexit, 18% would like another referendum to see if people still want to leave, 14% would like the government to halt Brexit”.

    This is a pretty interesting breakdown, in fact a devastating one fir hard Brexiters. . It implies 44% of people would like to see either a softer Brexit, another Referendum or an end to Brexit altogether. Then 40% agree ‘with current negotiating aims’, note even these aims are hated by hard Brexiters.

    So the polling suggests there is almost zero appetite for the hard Tory right position of Jacob Rees-Mogg, John redwood and Boris (when he’s honest).I agree with the site’s analysis there has been some small movement to Remain but these figures and the others suggest to me there has been either a major movement to a soft Brexit or the public never wanted any hard Brexit in the first place.
    Either way Labour looks on the right track.and it seems has little to fear in pursuing the softest of Brexits.

  38. @TW – “Probably same in the divorce bill. If we stay in some trading arrangement we might not need to pay all the RAL items up front although I’m very nervous about unfunded liabilities and the way they have spiralled in recent years.”

    I think this hits the nail on the head, in part at least. It’s the UK that has said it wants a clean break, so we are the ones who have defined the need for a final accounting now.

    The trade deal is not relevant to this, as that is a trade deal, not the leaving deal, but you have opened up the big question – is the UK going to remain in some form of financial deal with the EU?

    I have always expected that we will, and indeed, so do May and Davis now, with their acceptance that there will be ongoing payments to the EU in respect of certain defined projects. My guess is that the trade deal will become part of this, so we will continue to make a contribution to cover the costs associated with the management of trade within the EU (the legal enforcement, development of standards, etc).

    Once we get to that point, then yes, RAL and other stuff can be absorbed (aka ‘hidden’) in the long term annual contributions. We’ll pay liabilities as and when they arise, and this will muddy the waters now by kicking that particular can down the road. A very EU solution.

    In many ways, that is a sensible option anyway. Some of the RAL stuff is things like underwriting of loans. If the loans are repaid, then there is no liability, whereas a default would mean we would pay. For the UK to pay now the full value of such undertakings would be unfair, as they may not arise, so leaving this until the future makes sense – but only to the EU if we are locked into to a binding commitment to pay should the need arise.


    It appears that racism is still a significant problem in the UK, I find this very sad, particularly when you realise that genetically all human being share 99.5% of their DNA and that scientifically there is no support for contentions that appear to be supported by a significant minority that some races are more or less, intelligent, strong, warlike, honest (include any characteristic you wish).
    The connection to Brexit is not surprising, however it should still be remembered that 66% of leavers are not admitting prejudice. My concern is that these attitudes remain so endemic.

  40. Guess on Brexit timing next 3mths

    – Now until Oct EU Council – backchannel talks above EC’s heads (e.g. May and Merkel today)
    – Oct EU Council – not sufficient progress but a mandate tweak for Barnier to allow transition discussions to be opened and maybe some clarity on exactly what sufficient progress is supposed to mean.
    – Nov talks – small progress on the 3items, transition arrangements given some clarity
    – also in Nov Repeal Bill passes, UK budget, etc.
    – Dec EU Council meeting – sufficient progress?? We’ll have to wait and see but if EU still won’t allow talks to move on to future arrangement then IMHO that is a very clear message from them that they have no intention to come up with a responsible deal that the UK could accept.
    IMHO we might want to play for time a little but the no-deal outcome would by then be by far the most likely – not my preferred option but better than a bad deal or being lost in transition.

  41. Off topic, but Saddiq Khan is taking aim at the middle classes –

    “It is estimated that between a quarter and a third of all of London’s fine-particle pollution comes from domestic wood burning. In January, during a period of very high air pollution, it contributed half the toxic emissions in some areas of the capital, according to King’s College London research.”

    I’m not surprised by the pollution from wood burning stoves, but I am surprised just how many there are in London and what appears to be the collective impact. We use them a good deal out here in the off gas rural areas from necessity, but the combustion isn’t particularly clean for the vast majority of domestic burners, especially the way most people use them.

  42. ‘@Seachange In a conversation on Brexit you once told me that in the wise heads would prevail, Do you still think that?

  43. @ ALEC – have we said we wanted a clean break or did we just accept we couldn’t have our cake and eat it? EU have said consistently we can’t have the freedom of a Canada deal but with the obligations of a Norway deal. May+DD acknowledged this early on.

    I wouldn’t rule anything out. There is a difference between moving something off the table and ruling it out completely. Politically however bringing SM back onto the table is far too risky for CON. If they had a 40+ majority, safe until 2022, perhaps things would be different but as many have pointed out no-deal might be the least worst option for CON given their slim majority and reliance on what Corbyn rightly calls a coalition of chaos.

    I’d like a mostly SM deal, the economics seem to be helping with the immigration issue (that I never saw as an issue anyway) but if EU can make noises about a review on some elements of free movement and we make some show of fully using existing rules then an EFTA+ outcome would be a-OK chez moi!

    From my perspective we acknowledged early on that we could not have our cake and eat it BUT that we were also going to fight hard on many issues and glad to see DD is holding ground on many important areas. We have more to risk by becoming lost in transition so we need to be careful falling into a trap there (IMHO)

    Starmer might have approached it with a different style and quite likely would have conceded more items quicker (at higher price to UK economy) but in essence CON and LAB have always wanted the same thing – best possible outcome for UK. LAB focus on jobs sells well with their voters but CON want a strong competitive economy that creates high-value jobs so that comes down to a socialist-capitalist view on best economic model not a Brexit argument.

    FWIW good article in Guardian today about state aid/intervention while inside SM not being an obstacle to Corbyn’s plans. Interesting perspective that most Leavers (including the JC himself) probably wouldn’t want to risk. The question is how strongly do LAB-Remain MPs feel about this issue?

  44. @ JOHN TORRANCE – see my post on page1. CON are 80% continue as we are. CON = HMG at least for now. BoJo and Hammond were fighting over details not whether we should remain, have 2nd ref, etc.

    Next timetabled GE is 2022. LAB VI is where the Remain issue lies – CON VI fairly OK with things as they are.

    Check the x-breaks for yourself if you like.

    As I’ve asked others, what are LAB-Remain (voters and MPs) going to do about it? Sit and watch while Corbyn allows May to take UK out of the EU?

  45. new thread

  46. I suspect many wood burners in London are used as decorative items and when lit, as Alec implies, may often be used inefficiently increasing particulates particularly.

    My BF and I live on his one NLW income and my teeny pension and use a wood burner for all our heating and hot water (pan boiled).

    It sounds eccentric but when my boiler bust 6 years ago, a regular occurrence with a combi, I was told I needed new rads and piping and as I was/am very poor I put a v cheap stove in.

    I enjoy collecting scrap wood and heat the house nearly for free. If I feel lazy or it is really cold we buy some welsh anthracite.

    It is true that even a well fired stove will produce particulates, a badly fired one will produce visible smoke.

    I suppose the flip side being that a stove burning wood is less carbon intensive.

  47. New Thread

  48. ALEC
    I agree, grants were grants, roads are roads and pensions need to be financed (although who knew the the EU seem to have a gap here a la Philip Green despite having argued for years that the national tax relief that EU employees enjoy were not too bad because the tax they laid direct to the EU would be disproportionately directed towards their future pensions, what happened?)

    Anyway, I think that unlike the U.K. And the EU we broadly agree in the basics. All I was saying (or trying to say) is that it would be tactically clever for the U.K. to calculate the domestic numbers now and in detail because
    1. They could set out principles that determine how you calculate a pension liability (for example). This would throw some onus on the EU to say ‘no, I don’t agree with how you have calculated x’.
    2. They could at least argue that ‘we’ve calculated our side, now you calculate yours.
    3. Rightly or wrongly, the megre UK number would put downward pressure on the exponentially larger figure payable back to Europe.

    I probably will never convince you that anything other than complete capitulation makes sense, but I was just war gaming what I think would be a smart approach. Peace

  49. Trevor Warne,
    “Anyone strongly opposed to austerity has already moved to LAB. Remain are very high in LAB. There is room in new or non-previous voters”

    I had a look at the recent yougov. The raw data has about 30% for each of the two main parties (slight labour lead), but then had 16% dont knows. Also 10% ‘will not vote’. If we take these groups at their word, then there is 16% of the electorate to play for. Since labour has been gaining lately, I am guessing a lot of this group is people from the right, ehich might imply a tendence to return there if a real elections looms, but nonetheless they are the groups which say they need convincing by someone. So all in all, that is scope for ither side to increase their support by 50% of what it is now, if they can find the right motivators.

  50. Did anyone else hear T. May say on her Today interview with Nick Robinson, ” Too many died in the Grenfell fire” – how many was OK?!

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