We used to get a flurry of opinion polling around a budget, but this year there has been very little. Part of that will be polling’s recent troubles (many companies are doing much less polling than before the election), perhaps it is just because it wasn’t a very interesting budget. If Hammond had done something that was spectacularly unpopular I expect many newspapers would have been scampering to commission a poll, as it was however, it was rather a dull affair and few seem to have bothered. I think the only post-budget poll we’ve seen is YouGov for the Times.

Topline figures there were CON 39%(-1), LAB 41%(-2), LDEM 7%(nc). Fieldwork was Wednesday afternoon/evening and Thursday and changes are from the Sun-Monday before the budget.

Even after a year and a bit in the job a large chunk of the public have no real opinion of Philip Hammond – 48% say they don’t know if he’s doing a good or bad job (20% say good, up five points from before the budget, 32% say bad, down three points from before the budget). Asked whether he or John McDonnell would do a better job as Chancellor 23% pick Hammond, 13% McDonnell and a hefty 64% say don’t know. Put simply, this is a comparison between two people who the general public either don’t know or don’t care about.

Moving to the question of wider economic expectations, people expect the state of the economy to get worse over the next twelve months by 51% to 11%, and expect their own personal finances to get worse by 40% to 12%.

The budget itself seems to have gone down adequately. All the budget measures YouGov asked about recieved more support than opposition, with the most popular being giving extra money to the NHS (87% thought it was a good idea) and increasing the National Living Wage (82% a good idea). The least were extending the young persons railcard up to the age of 30 (45% a good idea) and setting aside money for Brexit plannong (48% good idea). Most of the changes were giveaways of some sort of course, without anything likely to cause a big political row – the most contentious issue after the budget seemed not to be the unpleasant things Hammond had done, but whether his Stamp Duty cut would actually have a negative impact and whether the changes to Univeral Credit were enough.

On those two issues, only 9% of respondents thought that the Universal Credit changes went far enough and addressed all the problems, 45% think there are still problems with the policy (7% thought no changes should have been made and 39% said don’t know). On Stamp Duty for first time buyers, only 30% thought this would help make housing more affordable, 45% thought it would make no real difference (and 10% thought it would make housing even less affordable).

Overall, 34% of people thought Hammond’s budget was fair, 23% unfair. YouGov ask that same question after every budget, and that answer is pretty so-so. Nothing to shout about, but not the sort of negative reaction that Osborne got in 2016 or 2012. Full tabs are here.

808 Responses to “YouGov post-budget polling”

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  1. No material changes to the polls in months.

  2. Polldrums aren’t that uncommon, but I suspect that these ones may have different causation from previously.

    There was no great political crisis during the last time – just the usual snarling and back-biting between and within parties (which few people pay attention to).

    This time, I get the impression that there is a bemused population, unsure of what it has done, and what the consequences will turn out to be – as well as the usual snarling and back-biting between and within parties (which few people pay attention to).

  3. The trouble with Budgets is that it always takes a while for people’s opinion of them to settle. Initial reactions are overly-influenced by the headlines (often biased and under-researched themselves), so how the Chancellor sells his package will tend to set the tone at first. However one the analysis starts and people start to absorb that and how the actual changes will affect them, opinions may alter.

    So YouGov rushing into the field as soon as Hammond sat down will perhaps produce a more favourable result than a poll starting a day later would. It may also mean that more people respond partisanly as they may not have much of an idea of what the Budget actually contained. And measures that end up looking less effective or generous after consideration, may be marked too highly – for example the Stamp Duty changes were received less enthusiastically once they got examined properly.

    That said this particular Budget was greeted with such general indifference that the final analysis would probably have only produced a slightly darker shade of ‘meh’. I suspect the main effect will be to make Hammond less sackable and we will see fewer articles in the Press saying “Hammond must go and be replaced by my mate from Oxford”. But his polling (in so far as he registers at all) had been going up anyway – presumably because appearing even remotely adult in the current Cabinet lends an air of great wisdom.

  4. CROSSBAT11 (fpt but related to polldrums)

    Interesting recent observation by Andrew Cooper, a Tory peer and co-founder of the Populus polling agency. He describes voting intention numbers as “a meaningless answer to a stupid question”. Cooper’s research finds voters thoroughly disengaged, “even more so than usual”. They see few attractive options and don’t want to be made to choose. Fatigued by a surfeit of argument, the audience has tuned out. Asked what they’d do in an election, most people default to whatever they did last time.

    Well it would be nice to see the research, but there is a little truth in the disengagement theory. The latest YouGov shows Don’t Know (DK) figures of 17% and Would not vote (WNV) of 11%. This compares with DK of 14% and WNV of 6% in November 2015[1]:


    In particular, the increase in WNV is indicative of some sort of turn off. Though it’s worth saying that a year later (Nov 16) DK was 19% and WNV 12% so either more abstainers had been recruited or alienation sets in the further from a GE one gets:


    Of course by then the Brexit vote had happened, but the ‘surfeit of argument’ certainly hadn’t reduced. But one difference is that while the 2016 and especially 2015 figures then were much higher for those who voted Lab and Lib Dem in 2015, now the apathy is spread more evenly across voters.

    The danger for the Conservatives in all this is that in concentrating on Brexit (as they have to) they are alienating voters, but come an election, if Labour starts talking about other things, then such voters will pick them because they are talking about what matters to them. This is to some extent what happened this Spring. While the gains are unlikely to be as dramatic, they could still be fairly substantial.

    [1] YouGov made an effort after May 2015 to recruit more people to their panel with a low level of interest in politics, which you would obviously expect to increase WNVs. I presume this recruitment had happened by November.

  5. TOH
    Nice to see some adult comments about the Test result from the two skippers, by contrast to some of the usual meaningless commentary: “England will have to regroup [for the Adelaide test.]. What the h…. does that mean? They should bat in reverse order?

    “people expect the state of the economy to get worse over the next twelve months by 51% to 11%, and expect their own personal finances to get worse by 40% to 12%.” has to be salient to VI, and would be more so if we know how many of the 51% were young adults unable to get and move into their own homes, and therefore marry, and how many were young mums unable to meet food and child care costs and the rent in a context of low wages and inequitable management of benefits.

  6. Roger mexico,
    “… but there is a little truth in the disengagement theory.”
    I dont think you can conclude that from the data quoted. First, there is the big problem that pollsters do not properly represent politically detached people in their polls. If they did they should have loads more people expressing will not vote, because we know 1/3 of those registered will not turn out, and 1/4 (?) of the eligbles arent registered at all. But this pool could turn out if motivated.

    Then there is the question of how motivated the people actually polled are. Presuming they fall in this group of the politically interested (these are essentially self selecting samples, by agreeing to be surveyed), so likely to say they intend to vote, because they will. But the piece quoted argued they are only answering about party on autopilot based on last time around, not really expressing any considered view of what they might really do if forced to decide. How much do pollsters ask how certain respondents are about their decisions?

    Also, I am bothered by this use of the word ‘disengaged’. Turnout rose at the last elections and concentrated in two camps, suggesting on the whole people are not disengaged but highly motivated. But the quoted piece also says, “They see few attractive options and don’t want to be made to choose.” That doesnt necessarily mean they are disengaged with the events, they could be highly engaged but as stated see no good choice and have no wish to accept a bad one.

    There is no wholehearted remain party for anyone to vote for currently. Nor indeed anyone offering a credible Brexit. As a remainer, who would I support, as a leaver, which of this bunch of idiots knows how to make it work?

    I dont think Brexit is going away any time soon, but there is a deliberate lack of leadership by any party. They are trying to avoid taking positions on the most important issue of our time. No wonder the voters arent impressed.

    “The danger for the Conservatives in all this is that in concentrating on Brexit (as they have to) they are alienating voters, but come an election, if Labour starts talking about other things, then such voters will pick them because they are talking about what matters to them.”

    I dont agree. Yes, they have to concentrate on Brexit, but even in doing so they are failing to take a clear position and therefore alienating leavers. By supporting brexit, naturally they are alienating remainers. So to that exent I agree, they are alienating both leave and remainers. But it isnt because Brexit does not matter to voters, but because it matters very much.

    labour’s strategy at the last election was to avoid Brexit and talk about other things, as you suggest for the future. But this wasnt a winner because they talked about those other things, but because they did not create any conflict in voters mind with their (beautifully vague) Brexit policy.

  7. If Brexit tips the UK into recession or causes very low growth, while inflation is near 3%, people will be looking at those who voted leave. There will be a period of blaming 52% of the country for making a rash decision that could set the country back for over a decade.

    The UK imports more than it exports and is arguably more vulnerable than some other countries. Fluctuations in Pounds Sterling are not very helpful, as many companies simply cannot operate in a unstable economic environment. UK companies that export a lot to EU countries might well look to move out of the UK.

  8. @ R Huckle

    Weak sterling tends to help exporters, but then causes imported inflation.

    My money is on continued normalisation of interest rates as we’re now effectively following the Trumpist policies across the water. This is likely to cause sterling to rise somewhat, but is obviously not good if you have large debts.

  9. @ HIRETON / OLDNAT – thanks for the Slugger O’Toole link. Whatever we might wish for the political reality is May being in bed with the DUP and we would need a net of 7+ CON-Remain Rebels to bring the current HMG down (net is important as LAB-Leavers like Kate Hoey would offset some). I don’t see any chance of DUP working with Corbyn so bringing down the govt would require a new GE and then your back to considering if you think a net of 7+ CON-Remain rebels would follow that path.

    I had hoped we could find a ‘special status’ solution to NI and it does appear that is what people want – however until the next GE it is the maths of the HoC that matters. Public opinion might guide CON a little and hence why I think CON might end up being forced to use a new ref as a face-saving way to both stay in power and avoid excessive Brexit back lash.

    FWIW I think CON would win that new ref on a min.deal package versus a 60bn EEA+CU alternative provided they made it clear the 40bn saving would be spent domestically. GE might follow the new ref or be part of it perhaps?

  10. John Pilgrim
    “people expect the state of the economy to get worse over the next twelve months by 51% to 11%, and expect their own personal finances to get worse by 40% to 12%.” has to be salient to VI”

    Yes, comments after the match were better than normal. So far it has gone as I rather expected. Australia have a better bowling attack, and 2-3 really good batsmen. The loss of Ben Stokes is huge and I fear for the series.

    Re your comments on VI, you are probably correct as regards polling when an election is not in the offing as now but, and it’s a big but, the 16% Conservative lead on who has the best team to run the economy will be the salient factor when the election actually takes place, IMO of course.

    As I said some days ago I think the Conservatives will be quite happy with the reaction to the budget.

    Jones in Bangor

    I can go along with your view.

    Have a good day all, very wet here today.

  11. R Huckle: Fluctuations in Pounds Sterling are not very helpful, as many companies simply cannot operate in a unstable economic environment.

    That’s an important and under-recognised point.

    One of the big advantages for companies operating within the eurozone is that selling to other EZ countries is so easy. No currency risk, no transaction costs. Just like a Scottish company selling stuff in England.

    We seem to have fallen into the habit of regarding the euro as a disaster and to say “thank goodness were not in it.” My view is that if we’d joined at a competitive rate (£1=€1) and maintained that competitive edge by keeping UK inflation at or below the EZ rate, we would be hugely better off as a country. But it’s hard to fight the myth machine.

  12. TOH/ etc – Review of where we are at and options from here:

    Current situation, mostly factual, tiny bit of IMO:
    – May reliant on DUP (2+ CON rebels roughly offset with 3+ LAB rebels and a long way from the net 7 required to block May)
    – CON are unlikely to fall before Mar’19
    – DUP want an outcome that is impossible and CON are going along with it (whether it was an opening negotiating tactic or not is now irrelevant)
    -Varadkar wants NI to be in CU and due to DUP that means whole of UK being in CU. He wants to set the final terms of phase2 before moving from phase1
    – 40+ CON back bench are probably near/over their limits on the divorce bill and May’s approach to talks

    When, how and why talks fail
    – the blame game is a sad reality of negotiations
    – timing is important (see below)
    – CON back bench and business want clarity (for different reasons)
    – the NI situation can not be resolved without one side losing a lot of face (sad reality of negotiations)
    – after Oct, talks were supposed to accelerate but it was obvious the staring contest was not going to end until someone blinked, I thought it was the bill but then NI became the dominant issue
    – continuing the staring contest is pointless
    – Varadkar has given May an ‘Out’
    – May can also now offer a chunk more money (my guess is go from 40bn to 50bn in Jan as final offer) knowing some in EU 26 must be salivating to take that offer but Varadkar is stopping them doing so
    – The When, How and Why reach a peak soon IMHO, after which the political opportunity falls away and other issues creep in.

    The risks of playing the EU’s game
    – if we sit there doing nothing until mid 2018 then May looks impotent, her back bench might kick her out, business would start enacting contingency plans etc
    – EU will continue to guide us into their preferred outcome of paying 60bn+ to dump us into EEA+CU purgatory forever (or until a new ref). EU will never walk from talks as they can steer UK into the deal they want.
    – Oct’17 to Oct’18 seems far too long for May to survive and if she goes we’ll probably get a far firmer Brexit PM from the resultant leadership challenge (not necessarily a bad thing at all)
    – any spending on planning will be viewed as either wasted money or pushing for Extreme Brexit, it will be hard to spin that as anything +ve while we just sit in negotiations doing nothing.
    – the cliff-edge exit would mean the Minford plan in full to ensure food imports, etc

    The benefit of ‘spitting the dummy’ in Jan
    – some blow back for sure, but
    – business wants clarity, they’d prefer close links but confusion for another year will see almost the same reaction from business as min.deal would with bonus of new investment in UK from companies needing a new/expanded UK presence.
    – GDP gain from min.deal planning (stocks (inventories) increase, construction spending, job creation, etc)
    – Consumer reaction? Biggest risk IMHO but we saw after the Ref that the debt junkies are hooked – weaker pound would probably increase spending and see a second J-Curve impact
    – spending on min.deal makes sense now and after the initial freaking out by Remain we can get on with it
    – as well as Hammond’s 3bn May can give more to NHS, etc with the 40bn+ savings from paying legal minimum only (SMogg, Minford, etc put this windfall up at over 100bn but 40bn is the immediate an easy number for public to believe)
    – having walked out with 15mths or so to go we can get some customs checks etc in place to impose tariffs on EU goods (ie Minford-lite plan from Mar’19)
    – EU might back off and we actually get a fair deal (unlikely but leaving it until late 2018 is going to only strengthen the EU’s hand further)

    Bit of a brain dump, but I’m curious why you think it is better to wait for EU to walk out and how/why you think EU would walk out given it all seems to be working out perfectly for them at the moment.

  13. Like most of its predecessors in living memory, Hammond’s exercise is a spending plan, not a budget. Any shortfall will be met by higher taxes or more borrowing. ‘Austerity’ has meant steadily increased spending by central government (whose expenditure is the concern of the budget) while forcing other bodies to make cuts. A salutary budget exercise would be to plan next year’s government spending strictly limited to the money raised last year.
    A real budget, such as most people have to run their affairs, knows or calculates its income first, then apportions it to buy essentials first, desirables next, luxuries last if there is anything left, avoidables not at all.
    Sensible people avoid paying interest on debt unless a loan is the only way they can buy something essential, like a house. Even a car can be bought second hand for less than the depreciation on a new one in the first year.
    I shall be told that running the country is not like running a household budget. That is true, but it should be approached with the same attitude of mind – avoid waste (and fripperies if money is tight.) It’s a bit like Chesterton’s comment on Christianity – “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”
    For example, what are the essentials for a health service free at the point of need? I suggest emergency care for accidents and sudden life-threatening illnesses, accurate early diagnosis of other ailments, and determined education about how to deal with minor injuries and illnesses, publicity about avoiding conditions due to poor lifestyles such as poor diet (which includes over-eating) and drug use (including alcohol). Expensive cures for avoidable diseases come after all those. Ask people in poor countries. At least we now already have clean water, sewage disposed of, and (unless you choose to live in a large city) clean air. Even our housing shortage doesn’t mean that millions of people live in tents or shanty towns.

  14. @ SOMERJOHN – tell the benefits of the Euro to the masses of youth unemployed in many EU countries locked into a far from optimal currency zone. Also what about the rise of the far-right in Germany (who are ultimately on the hook for the ‘project’)? The Euro limps on and it is great that they are currently doing well but unless they move to a full fiscal transfer system the imbalances created by locking in exchange rates between mismatched economies will come back to bite again, and every time they kick the can down the road the can gets bigger and bigger (EFSF is approaching 1trn!!!)

    Also note UK’s massive trade deficit in goods. Gravity is strongest at home. If you want to avoid exchange rate risk (and like Monarch airlines don’t understand hedging) then move to or expand operations in UK!

    I respect the economies of scale for current car production are different to most goods but we have a whopping deficit in cars so the taxes raised from a tariff regime can be put to use to target industries like car production to not only deal with the tariff regime but to leap frog to next generation of cars and reset UK manufacturing on a path that enables UK to end the trade deficit and unsustainable current account deficit.

    Hammond has had an epiphany so my concerns about him just using the money to balance the budget quicker now seem to be false.

  15. Youth unemployment in EU

    Worst (major economies), commonly referred to as the PIGS:
    Greece 43.3% (down from 50%)
    Spain 38.7%
    Italy 35.1%
    Portugal 24.6%
    France 23%

    Ireland 12.7% (in Euro but basically an off shore tax haven)
    UK 11.8% (not in the Euro)

    Germany 6.4% (Euro is amazing for a country with a massive trade surplus)
    Czech 8% (not in Euro)
    Netherlands 8.9% (see Germany)
    Austria 10.4%
    Most E.Europe countries are around UK level (Euro is amazing if you have a cheap labour pool, low taxes, etc and are funded by contribution nations like UK)


  16. @TW

    Productivity is the latest economic buzzword amongst politicians. It is much higher, and growing faster, in the EZ than the UK. That’s the flipside of higher unemployment: we have lots of young people on zero-hours delivering pizzas, they have them in the black economy delivering pizzas.

    As so often, you are tangled up in a thicket of detail and can’t see the wood for the trees:

    * The euro is popular amongst its users: in every one of the 19 EZ countries polling shows a majority against returning to individual currencies.

    * Irresponsible borrowing by a few governments got them into trouble. Getting out of that has been painful, but as you acknowledge, ‘they are currently doing well.” And how: just compare Spain’s economic stats for the last 3 years with the UK’s.

    * Your argument about locked exchange rates could apply equally to England and Scotland; or London and Lancashire. In a single currency area, imbalances are resolved differently – by internal migration (Lancashire to London), differential asset prices (flat £500k in London; £100k in Lanarkshire), different wage levels etc.

    * Your choice of Monarch as an example is bizarre; are you advocating that Easyjet reinvents itself as an internal UK airline?

    * The UK’s deficit in cars will be a lot bigger after the UK car industry shrinks to a few high-end manufacturers designing in the UK and manufacturing overseas (the Dyson model – literally!)

    I could go on. But the original point is this: in EZ countries, having a single currency is a boon to ordinary people and companies alike. We can tell ourselves it “limps along” and we’re better off out of it if we like, as a comfort blanket for our failure.


    @”That’s the flipside of higher unemployment: we have lots of young people on zero-hours delivering pizzas, they have them in the black economy delivering pizzas.”

    I think that for a young unemployed Greek or Spaniard that would have a very hollow ring-particularly for the thousands of them that came to UK to “deliver pizzas”

    And I would like to see your reaction to UK unemployment had our employers opted for the Greek or Spanish route to “higher productivity”.

    Anyway-here’s a different view to yours of the Euro.


    I draw your attention to comments in it on the political dynamic attached to the key thing they need but do not have -Fiscal Union.:-

    “It is a common-sense wish list, but it has one grievous flaw, which is that it is almost certain not to happen. Germany is just too set against these ideas. It is a matter of deep conviction there that the euro must never be a “transfer union.” The eurozone must never be about the rich paying for the poor, the North for the South. There are good historical reasons for this passionate adherence to fiscal rectitude, rooted in the causal link between deficits, runaway inflation, and the rise of the Nazis. As “The Euro and the Battle of Ideas” makes clear, this theme in German thought runs very deep. A German government can’t follow the necessary policies without facing electoral disaster.”

    This opinion-written in 2016 is so apposite right now. The new German Bundestag will be even less tolerant of the prospect of any kind of European fiscal “transfer union” than the one it replaced.

    As a result-to quote FP.com :-
    “Europe will be only marginally better able to withstand the next crisis than it was able to handle the last one. It will have some resources to bail out countries and banks under close supervision, but not enough to handle all those that are likely to get into trouble or even to manage the potential crisis in Italy. In the end, a reformed European macroeconomic governance framework and a completed banking union are necessary to tackle such oversized problems. But Europe is unlikely to build out those institutions given the results of the German elections.”


    A few years of mildly better performance doesn’t take away the history since the Euro started. OECD have a great web tool so you can compare longer term rather than cherry pick a few years for a few countries:

    COLIN has dealt with the pizza delivery issue.

    * The euro is popular amongst its users
    So what? Any poll evidence to suggest UK people want to join it? Frankly I don’t care what voters in other democracies want to do – that is for them to decide
    * Your argument about locked exchange rates could apply equally to England and Scotland.
    Firstly I’d like to see an Independent Scotland (and NI) but the scale of fiscal transfers in UK is 10x-ish the scale of Eurozone. Macron and Juncker have a plan to fix that and that is the destination point for the project- not popular in Germany
    * Monarch
    Easyjet hedge their currency risk, fools like Monarch did not, that was my point. Anyone who runs a business with obvious forward risks that does not hedge them is basically gambling.
    * The UK’s deficit in cars will be a lot bigger after the UK car industry shrinks
    That is your view. Even if you are correct and our trade deficit in cars gets even worse my point was that the revenue from tariffs would allow new industries (or next gen cars) to replace the tax revenue and jobs. Managed well I think UK car industry could reduce the trade deficit. IMHO the deciding factor is the govt response to create the correct economic climate and tax incentives to capture the opportunities of Brexit.
    * I could go on
    with some polling evidence perhaps

    I don’t know if polling companies have asked the question recently but back in 2010 over 80% did not want to join the Euro

    If Starmer wants to add joining the Euro to LAB’s Brexit policy then I’m sure CON-Leave will be very happy to take the VI gain.

  19. @Colin

    This is a polling site. So let’s focus on the fact that in every EZ country, a majority of the population wants to stick with the euro.

    Arguments about fiscal transfers are irrelevant. They already exist, of course, in the form of regional development funds. Plenty of brexiters are happy to moan about British EU contributions paying towards Greek admin improvements, Polish motorways, Portuguese railways or – as seen here recently – Spanish bull farms.

    But the point is, would these transfers increase if any of these countries left the EZ? The answer, of course, is no. Would the need for them disappear if they had their own currencies? Only if you assume that imbalances would be addressed through currency depreciation leading to lower living standards, higher unemployment etc.

    Another point to focus on: the generally higher growth rates amongst the less developed EU countries. In other words, they are catching up. There is a following wind – unlike the headwind and stormy seas into which the SS Great Britain is turning.

  20. Tactical voting – the irony of UKIP costing CON a majority

    Although UKIP pulled a lot of candidates, in the following 8 seats LAB’s majority in 2017 GE is less than the number of UKIP votes. (% Leave vote in brackets)

    Stroud (46%)
    Keighley (53%)
    Ipswich (57%)
    Barrow & Furness (57%)
    Stockton South (58%)
    Crewe and Nantwich (59%)
    Penistone and Stocksbridge (61%)
    Dudley North (69%)

    Applying a 80/20 CON/LAB split drops the number to 6.
    If UKIP had pulled the above 8 candidates then May would not be relying on DUP.
    Of course if she’d actually shown up and campaigned and put Corbyn on the spot over Brexit being “settled” then she might have won the 50-100 Midlands/North seats that were strongly Leave.

    AB-Corbyn from LD.
    There are 13 seats (+ some of the 8 above that I’m not going to double count) where a 50% AB-Corbyn vote from LD would flip a red seat blue (e.g. Canterbury and Portsmouth South).

    Just saying – tactical voting could work the other way next time.

    Locals v students is the battle in several of the CON potential gains (e.g the two above) where residual LD voters will have to pinch their noses and decide on LAB or CON to represent them.

    Greens? Take a look at Portsmouth South and you’ll see they were already very heavy on tactical voting in 2017 GE. Using my old full GB model I can’t see exactly how many seats they helped flip red and it’s complicated by other factors but even in its own regard Green tactical voters switching to LAB probably made the difference between May needing DUP or having a CON only majority.

  21. LD from a LD perspective.

    Look at Oxford & Arbington for another example of tactical voting that cost CON a seat. This time to LD.
    CON will be looking to the AB-Corbyn vote to win every LD seat in England in next GE. Only 8 seats but every little helps!

    Scottish LD is completely different kettle of fish – SNP might get 3 of them back. NE Fife the only “right” seat where CON and LD haven’t yet got tactical voting sorted out as both were/are in with a shot at the seat.

    Predicting LD seats and influence is difficult. I can see them down to 1 in next GE or if they do something to pull Remain from LAB maybe 20+

  22. As this is a polling site it is interesting to look at the analysis of what happened to the UKIP vote in 2017. A useful report here
    ‘This of course was linked to the collapse in the vote for UKIP, a party that had polled almost 13 per cent of the vote in 2015. If we estimate the relationship between changes in the vote shares between 2015 and 2017 for the four main parties, then a fall in the UKIP vote of 10 per cent increased the Conservative vote by 9 per cent and the Labour vote by just over 5 per cent. Put simply, the Conservatives gained about twice as much as Labour did from the collapse of public support for UKIP. At one stage it seemed likely that almost all former UKIP voters would go to the Conservatives, but this did not happen. Quite a few traditional Labour voters who had supported UKIP in the past and voted Brexit returned to the fold.’

    Works out at about a 65-35 split in favour of the Conservatives.
    The question is whether this will stay the same or change by the time of the next election

  23. TW (in response to my: “The euro is popular amongst its users”:

    So what? Any poll evidence to suggest UK people want to join it? Frankly I don’t care what voters in other democracies want to do – that is for them to decide

    That is a rather dispiriting comment. You’re saying, “so what?” to polling evidence that people who use the euro like it and want to keep it, while the citizens of a country whose opinions are conditioned by media coverage rather than everyday experience, say they don’t like it..

    It reminds me of the only advert I can remember directly inducing me to try something. It was Guinness ad back in the ’70s, with the simple but arresting line: “I’ve never tried it because I don’t like it.” It made my think about my prejudice and try Guinness for the first time. And guess what? I liked it. And still drink it occasionally.

  24. You’re assuming that ukip voters would all vote Tory had they not stood.

    The evidence from the last election where ukip didn’t put up candidates was that this was very much not the case.

  25. Of course the other issue is that the UKIP vote was at it’s lowest for years at the last election gaining just 1.8% of the UK vote, they have not got very much further to fall.
    I think there were a lot of UKIP voters who were unhappy with what they saw as a cozy status quo and wanted to lash out. I suspect many will now find that release in Corbyn’s Labour Party


    @”Arguments about fiscal transfers are irrelevant. ”

    I disagree-and so does Mr Macron :-)

    @”This is a polling site.”

    It is-but that doesn’t stop people like you engaging in general political debate, and making statements like:-
    ” But the original point is this: in EZ countries, having a single currency is a boon to ordinary people and companies alike”-or people like me responding to them.

    ………….provided AW allows it !

  27. An extraordinary episode on DP just now.

    Asked what he meant by “no hard border” , a representative of Varadkar’s party said-“No Border at all”.

    Asked why he thought electronic surveillance of cross border trade & not a return to police checkpoints, was a threat to peace, he said that dissidents on both sides would react to it & exploit it.

  28. Prince Harry to marry an American…..

    Coming over here stealing our jobs….Brexit was supposed to stop this kind of thing!!!!!!


  29. COLIN

    I saw the DP too. Isn’t that what the Belfast Agreement means regarding the requirement for any change in their status would be wrong absent the people’s consent?

  30. @Colin

    I think it’s legitimate for me to suggest that it makes sense while on UKPR to pay particular attention to polling evidence, while debating more generally. That’s why I found @TW’s “so what?” about polling evidence a bit dispiriting.

    As for your, “I disagree – and so does M. Macron”, it’s good to see you calling in support a leading euro enthusiast. But I was saying that fiscal transfers are irrelevant to the question of whether the euro is on balance of benefit to its users, both personal and commercial. And that’s where the polling evidence comes in.

    We can have endless discussions on here about esoteric concepts like fiscal transfers, but in democracies, what ultimately matters is people’s personal experience and perceptions. Most people whose everyday currency is the euro, like it and wouldn’t go back to the precursor currency. It’s been up and running as a physical currency for almost 16 years now, and while there’s scope for improvement and evolution, its real-world benefits are manifold and clear (to users, if not to non-users without the benefit of that experience).

  31. Quite interesting polling on the budget. It confirms that Hammond is seen as being so grey and dull by the majority that they don’t notice him. Te other interesting point is that while there is a gap between him and McDonnell, both are so poorly known it does raise a question about whether the Tories are being very sensible in trying to paint McDonnell as some epic threat. ‘Mc Who?’ seems to be te overwhelming response of the electorate.

  32. NeilJ

    I don’t think UKIP supporters are anymore likely to jump aboard the Corbyn bandwagon than any other party, less likely if Labour are seen to be the anti brexit party.

  33. @ SOMERJOHN – I think you live in Spain so I’m sure Spanish politics and opinion polling is important to you as French politics is probably important to BZ.

    @ NEILJ – “then a fall in the UKIP vote of 10 per cent increased the Conservative vote by 9 per cent and the Labour vote by just over 5 per cent.”
    9+5 = 10 ??

    No one is doubting that CON received the majority of UKIP votes I was merely highlighting 8 seats where they stood and by standing they made a difference. 80/20 or 63/35 knocks one more out so down to 5 if you want.

    Part of the reason UKIP ended up with such a low vote share was because they pulled so many candidates (only standing in around 250 seats). The basic maths therefore means that where they did stand they got above the 1.8% UK average (lots of zeros and a few 2-20%s averages to 1.8%). If they had stood in every seat they would probably have received about 4% of the vote – about where their VI is now.

    The two largest UKIP votes went to:
    Hartlepool (safe LAB), with 11% UKIP
    Thurrock (CON marginal) with 20% UKIP

    “I suspect many will now find that (protest vote) release in Corbyn’s Labour Party”
    The only realistic chance of a pre B-day GE is net 7+ CON-Remain want CON out of power. The important word is NET . LAB-Leave MPs can offset a higher gross CON-Remain vote.

    I’d like the GE we never had but we’re now slipping into very partisan views. I showed the tactical voting opportunities for LAB on previous thread and was simply showing the CON opportunities to balance out. The discussion started by seeing what might flip a hung parliament into a full majority and with numbers so tight tactical voting plays a role.

    @ JAMESB – please reread my post.

  34. @Somerjohn

    Your recollection of Guinness ads in the 1970s reminds me of Greene King’s slogan at around that time:

    ‘Abbot Ale: Everything they say about it is true’

    There were hundreds of the ads all over Cambridge.

    Until one student added the following to every single one:

    ‘Abbot is yak’s p!ss’


    @”But I was saying that fiscal transfers are irrelevant to the question of whether the euro is on balance of benefit to its users, both personal and commercial”

    I’m not surprised at all that relief from transaction costs & currency exchange is popular with EU citizens.

    But what you are missing is the economic effects which go with a single currency. So for the thousands of young Spaniards, Portuguese, Greeks etc who found that their domestic economy had suffered because its government was no longer able to influence its interest rates or currency value , whilst not receiving fiscal transfers to iron out regional imbalances with this monetary union, the minor inconvenience of leaving the Eurozone to get a job in a different Currency Union was not a major factor apparently.

  36. @ NEILJ – OK I get how LSE do 9% + 5%. I’d like to see the R2 on the two scatter plots!! Correlation v causation aside the LSE link totally supports my point so thank you for posting it!

  37. BZ

    @” Isn’t that what the Belfast Agreement means regarding the requirement for any change in their status would be wrong absent the people’s consent?”

    I don’t know.

    Its a long document & I may well have missed it-but I can find no reference to procedures at the Border. Can you point me to any?


    Bear in mind, the question in hand is how to manage cross border trade in goods between the EU & the UK. ( we can agree to put aside the question of how this is to be resolved in advance of the terms of that trade. -or we will get sidetracked). I haven’t heard any suggestion that people would experience a change in cross border travel.

    It just seems to me that the Irish politician on DP was really saying, if you put ANYTHING at the border-even electronic management of goods-the Terrorists will be back.

    I mean -its not as if these crossing places are free of smuggling now is it ?


  38. Ah, missed the 80/20. Though my impression from the election was that it wasn’t even that imbalanced either. Most of the seats where ukip didn’t stand didn’t show anywhere near the swing to Tory that people were expecting.

  39. @JAMESB
    Ah, missed the 80/20. Though my impression from the election was that it wasn’t even that imbalanced either. Most of the seats where ukip didn’t stand didn’t show anywhere near the swing to Tory that people were expecting.

    Agree, seemed to me it was the dog that didn’t bark in the General election, or at least was downgraded to a low growl:-)

  40. [email protected] Barbazenzero

    This might be of use to you. I have posted it before -you may already have read it.



    @” it’s good to see you calling in support a leading euro enthusiast”

    I do so because I think he is correct.

    If you have a Monetary UNion, with a Central Bank & a Single Currency-if you don’t have Fiscal Union to go with it, you remove from member states, their previously held macro-economic tools of Interest Rate management & Devaluation without putting in place an alternative tool for addressing inter-member imbalances.

    All the debate between France & Germany is & has been about how you recognise the missing bit from the EZ Project. For Macron , Fiscal Transfers & Debt union are the answer-therefore he argues for an EZ Finance Ministry. This is the honest response the the flaw inj this project.

    German leaders know that their voters do not like the idea of paying for the perceived profligacy of Club Med governments & people-and so they aim off-Brussels oversight of Member Budgets, Pacts on Deficit Funding & Debt ( remember how successful that was ?) etc.

    These are not “esoteric concepts”. They would not have engaged the leaders of the EZ for so long in how to deal with them , if they were of no significance.

    They will not go away-and the next economic downturn will bring them to the fore as the Bailout Regime is wheeled out again by the nasty Germans.

  42. Peter cairns SNP

    “Coming over here stealing our jobs….Brexit was supposed to stop this kind of thing!!!!!!”

    Personally i have no problem with our royals having closer ties with Americans.

  43. Sam

    Thanks for that first link.

    He is saying that Brexit forces the requirement to test unification sentiment, and I got the distinct impression from the Irish MP on DP this morning that he saw ANY border process as a denial of a view of the Belfast Agreement as a sort of limbo in which Rebublicans are simply waiting for Unification.

  44. Peter Cairns SNP

    Being that it`s a quiet day for messages on polling, and you have now commented (? sarcastically) about an American coming to the UK, could I ask what are your views on a millionaire American wanting to build a golf course on the Coul dunes.

    How do you think Highland Council planners and councillors will deal with this highly controversial proposal to develop on ground of great conservation value. When I last checked the HC planning site over 700 objections had been lodged.

    Will the councillors be split along political lines? When Trump proposed his golf course in Aberdeenshire, councillors from all 3 parties represented on the planning committee voted against (Con, LibD, SNP). But then because Trump`s Aberdeen newspapers produced a great outcry, the LibDem chair of the planning committee lost his job, and the whole council switched to supporting Trump.

    Americans interfering in UK politics didn`t cause the same outrage.

  45. Sam

    As to the technicalities of electronic management of cross border trade between RoI & NI, I’m not knowlegable enough to comment.

    I note that Bertie Ahern has offered a view :-

    “Bertie Ahern, the former Taoiseach (PM) of Ireland,has told the Today programme he believes technology can be a partial solution to managing movements across the Irish border after Brexit.
    While it would be possible to make it work “in most cases”, he questioned its effectiveness when it comes to checking agriculture and smaller goods and says it might result in a “blind eye being turned” on occasion. ”


  46. Good afternoon all from a sunny Central London.

    “increasing the National Living Wage (82% a good idea)”

    7.50 an hour to 7.83. National disgrace. How are people meant to live on such shocking low wages?

  47. The way the UK is treating the Republic over the border issue is how some Brexiteers see the EU as treating the UK over Brexit.

    The Irish T-Shook has a powerful hand to play and the current Tory régime would do well to ignore their little warts aka the DUP.

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