Survation have a poll in today’s Mail on Sunday. Topline figures are CON 37%(-1), LAB 45%(+1), LDEM 6%(-1). Fieldwork was Thursday and Friday and changes are since early October.

The eight point Labour lead is the largest any poll has shown since the election, so has obviously attracted some attention. As regular readers will know, Survation carry out both telephone and online polls. Their telephone method is unique to them, so could easily explain getting different results (Ipsos MORI still use phone polling, but they phone randomly generated numbers (random digit dialling), as opposed to Survation who phone actual numbers randomly selected from telephone databases). However, this was an online poll, and online there is nothing particularly unusual about Survation’s online method that might explain the difference. Survation use an online panel like all the other online polls, weight by very similar factors like age, gender, past vote, referendum vote and education, use self-reported likelihood to vote and exclude don’t knows. There are good reasons why their results are better for Labour than those from pollsters showing the most Tory results like Kantar and ICM (Kantar still use demographics in their turnout model, ICM reallocate don’t knows) but the gap compared to results from MORI and YouGov don’t have such an easy explanation.

Looking at the nuts and bolts of the survey, there’s nothing unusual about the turnout or age distribution. The most striking thing that explains the strong Labour position of the poll is that Survation found very few people who voted Labour in 2017 saying they don’t know how they would vote now. Normally even parties who are doing well see a chunk of their vote from the last election now saying they aren’t sure what they would do, but only 3% of Labour’s 2017 vote told Survation they weren’t sure how they would vote in an election, compared to about 10% in other polls. Essentially, Survation are finding a more robust Labour vote.

Two other interesting findings worth highlighting. One is a question on a second referendum – 50% said they would support holding a referendum asking if people supported the terms of a Brexit deal, 34% said they would be opposed. This is one of those questions that get very different answers depending on how you ask it – there are plenty of other questions that find opposition, and I’m conscious this question does not make it clear whether it would be a referendum on “accept deal or stay in EU”, “accept deal or continue negotiations” or “accept deal or no deal Brexit”. Some of these would be less popular than others. Nevertheless, the direction of travel is clear – Survation asked the same question back in April when there was only a five point lead for supporting a referendum on the deal, now that has grown to sixteen points (50% support, 34% opposed).

Finally there was a question on whether Donald Trump’s visit to the UK should go ahead. 37% think it should, 50% think it should not. This echoes a YouGov poll yesterday which found 31% think it should go ahead, 55% think it should not. I mention this largely as an antidote to people being mislead by twitter polls suggesting people want the visit to go ahead – all recent polls with representative samples suggest the public are opposed to a visit.

Tabs for the Survation poll are here.

1,082 Responses to “Survation/Mail on Sunday – CON 37, LAB 45, LDEM 6”

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  1. Mike Pearce

    @” Rees Mogg to become next Tofy leader ”

    I think that has two “f” s.

  2. COLIN

    I guess that’s f off to you then!

  3. Colin

    Thanks for the link. Although I’m not on twitter (or facebook for that matter) I could read the gist of what is being said. Presumably this is what Donald Tusk will announce tomorrow at 7 a.m. (BBC report).

    So, the Phase 2 negotiations will get under way next year as originally hoped for by HMG.

    However, we have to wonder whether Theresa May’s hold on power has been damaged by the past week’s events. Is she in a stronger or weaker position as Phase 2 opens than she was six months ago?

    And what impression (reality may be a different matter, of course) has all this sound and fury had on the EU partners with whom HMG wishes to negotiate, and, equally important, how does all this look from the perspective of ‘third party’ countries with whom the UK will be seeking to enter into trade deals?

    Could this not have been handled in a much better way by seeking from the outset to get Phase 1 agreed very quickly – offering a very good deal to resident EU citizens present and future, offering £50bn straight off as a signal of good will (who knows, perhaps the EU would have been embarrassed by our generosity and reduced the figure as being ‘excessive’!), concentrating on the Irish question from the start instead of waiting till the last minute and handing power to the DUP?

    Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing. But over a year ago, some of us suggested a different approach was needed.

  4. Apologies: impressions are ‘made’.

  5. Assuming that all the key phase 1 issues have made sufficient progress, negotiations can include preliminary and preparatory discussions about the future relationship that the UK wants with the EU.

    I wonder what that will turn out to be?

  6. Colin
    I admire your optimism.

  7. JOHNB

    @”Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing.”

    It is.

    Who knows the answers to your questions?

    What is important now is next week & next year.

  8. PETEB

    I didn’t mean to imply optimism !!

  9. Francis Irving

    I got the post from here:-
    http s://

    Several paragraphs down the page. He clearly lost his rag a stupid thing to do in a forum like that. Perhaps you can understand why I prefer the previous holder of his post.

  10. And before Ireland disappears from the media focus and the public mind, this essay on Slugger is worth a read.

    As a commentary on British/English attitudes to those outwith Britain/England, it says nothing new about them. The points have been made by many from furth of Britain/England – and by intelligent commentators within.

    The British/English aren’t unique in believing in a set of myths that they call their “history” – that’s fairly universal – but their regular reinforcement through recycling them via otherwise educated people in the MSM and TV, is something that is very counter-productive in the post-modern world.

  11. John B

    As you might expect with your view. I think May should have made it clear that she would not budge one inch from her red lines and called the bluff of the EU. That way we could have moved forward relatively quickly either because the EU blinked and moved, or more likely so that we could negotiate a minimum deal and exit the EU in the fullest sense which is what I and many others voted for.

    I am not optimistic at all and am even more convinced that we will leave without a trade deal. We should be spending that £3b now in anticipation of that.

  12. John B

    Sorry, in a hurry it should read ” As you might expect i do not agree with your view………………….

  13. @OLDNAT

    I’d take issue with one thing, not in Slugger’s but in yours.

    The suggestion that the blame for ignorant British attitudes should be elided into a blame for ignorant English attitudes sits in notable juxtaposition with a link to an article where the primary source of that British ignorance is a Scot.

  14. Looking at the suggestion a deal is close, it look like the DUP are being heavily leaned upon to agree.

    Given they are experts at playing hard-to-get and intransigence is their middle name, I wouldn’t count on them agreeing.

    The brinkmanship that is characteristic of NI politics can be taken too far, however. They may try and push TM into a position they like, but that in itself threatens more closely a Labour Government if they take it too far.

  15. CMJ

    Therein lies the rub. The last thing the DUP want is a Corbyn Govt. It does weaken their hand. So their usual intransigence will only take them so far this time around. Tomorrow will be interesting.

  16. Peter W

    I don’t think you could have looked at the article very closely!

    IDS is used as an example of British ignorance – not its “primary source”.

    I’m sure that he would take great exception to your not considering him British – but the thrust of the article, and my comments, concerned the peddling of myths to the population (initially through schooling). That IDS was educated in England, though born in Scotland, demonstrates my point, rather than yours.

    However, I am glad that you agree with the thrust of the argument, that those ill-educated about history are subject to the most egregious errors in understanding their own country, much less others.

    Both English and British history (considered virtually identical in many textbooks) peddled the same set of myths about English/British/Imperial history.

    Scotland had a different (though related) set of myths, but I exposed to these.

  17. Correction

    ” but I exposed to these” -> “but IDS wouldn’t have been exposed to these”

  18. The DUP being totally opposed to a Corbyn govt if true would be classic ‘cutting off your nose…’ . Labour has a policy of soft Brexit, it has very few extreme brexiters that would be willing to sacrifice NI for a complete Brexit. With labour running the Brexit show the border problems are much easier to solve. Labour also has a policy of spending more money, through the Barnet formula NI would surely get as substantial increase in spending. It’s pretty obvious that a labour govt is a better option for the people of NI regardless of which community they hail from.

  19. Princess

    That may be a rational view, but NI is one of the best examples of community attitudes being largely determined by myths about the past which prevent thinking about the future.

  20. PR

    I would think that far from being a better option for NI Labour would be far more problematic given Corbyns perceived links to Sinn Fein,and being on record calling for a referendum on the reunification of Ireland.
    Although of course this may appeal to some sections of NI the Unionists section would most definitely not be impressed.
    I personally have no thoughts one way or the other concerning NI but unlike say the Scottish referendum if the NI Unionist were to lose such a vote it would certainly lead to conflict that would not confine itself to NI but much like the IRA campaign spread to the U.K. mainland.

  21. Opps

    This is sensational: Northern Irish public opinion favours a united Ireland in EU (47.9%) to remaining in the UK outside EU (45.4%). #DUP dont speak for N Ireland & hard #Brexit unionism is undermining UK. Watch this space with big consequences for Scotland.

  22. OLDNAT

    I have a link to Brexit and the British Empire on p18 . There is also a link on that page to a Lucid Talk poll which shows a much greater desire for Irish unity at the moment. That suggests a willingness to think about the future. @Oldnat and Princess Rachel.

    This, I think, is moving the process along.

    “It’s funny isn’t it Brian. If you look at the past few weeks or even wider “Brexit period” you can’t help but think people in England/UK haven’t the slightest idea about either NI/ROI. From ignoring it pre-Brexit, to being mystified by the border issue only now, to getting the names of Irish premiers wrong, and now trampling on the GFA by doing an abrupt you turn to claim NI is inviolable British territory held by the DUP alone, and that getting them on board will solve it all. Even reading forums on papers on the Guardian etc you see people literally have no idea how fraught all this is, or that NI’s constitutional status isn’t simply set in stone, never to be contested again.

    Meanwhile, polls are showing conditional support for a UI for the first time.”

  23. Latest Lucid Talk poll (no tables yet)

    “In the context of a ‘Hard Brexit’ and NI leaving the EU with no deal on the Border, the GFA or citizen’s rights, which way would you vote?”

    47.9% – Remain in the EU by joining the Irish Republic in the EU
    45.4% – Leave the EU by staying in the UK

    While I think the context is important, LT have pointed out that the results aren’t that surprising given the balance of votes in the last Assembly elections.

    At a guess, there will be significant variations not just between the communities, but between young/old and economically advantaged/disadvantaged.

  24. Brian Walker – blogger at Slugger O’Toole

    “Four things are pretty clear.

    Brexit is moving opinion significantly towards a united Ireland.

    Two, support for Brexit will not save the Union, rather the contrary.

    Three, whether if faced with a decision to hold in a poll this trend will be confirmed remains to be seen. Unionism has big lessons to learn. They show no sign of learning it. If these results establish a trend, they will face the British government with a credible decision on whether to hold a border poll. The politics of reaching this decision haven’t begun to be faced.

    But four, the public have the great good sense not to want a border poll at this time of great uncertainty. So much depends on the Brexit outcome and the future of the Assembly.

    The greater the prospects for a soft Brexit and a restored Assembly, the greater for the status quo.
    So it seems.”

  25. But would the Republic vote to take the north in, it would be a major financial burden for them

  26. Polish Justice & Law Party change their PM.

  27. TURK: I personally have no thoughts one way or the other concerning NI but unlike say the Scottish referendum if the NI Unionist were to lose such a vote it would certainly lead to conflict that would not confine itself to NI but much like the IRA campaign spread to the U.K. mainland.

    That would make everyone sit up and want them back. It would, wouldn’t it?

  28. Princess

    “But would the Republic vote to take the north in, it would be a major financial burden for them”

    What a shame that Germany still remains two states. :-)

    In December 2016 RTE’s Claire Byrne Live/ Amárach Research panel asked ‘Is it time for a united Ireland?’ Forty-six percent of those asked said yes while 32% said no and 22% said that they didn’t know,. Support was highest among those aged 25–34 with 54% saying yes

  29. PRINCESS RACHEL: But would the Republic vote to take the north in, it would be a major financial burden for them

    Article 3.1 of the Irish Constitution [as amended 1999]:

    It is the firm will of the Irish Nation, in harmony and friendship, to unite all the people who share the territory of the island of Ireland, in all the diversity of their identities and traditions, recognising that a united Ireland shall be brought about only by peaceful means with the consent of a majority of the people, democratically expressed, in both jurisdictions in the island. Until then, the laws enacted by the Parliament established by this Constitution shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws enacted by the Parliament that existed immediately before the coming into operation of this Constitution.

    It would be open to the citizens of the Republic to vote it down, but I would think that part of the UK’s divorce settlement might be deployed to ease the financial burden, as part of the Schadenfreude Dividend.

  30. Turk

    ” it would certainly lead to conflict that would not confine itself to NI but much like the IRA campaign spread to the U.K. mainland.”

    I don’t understand your logic here.

    The Provos in the 1950s and 1970s/80s mounted attacks in England against what they saw as the people of a state that illegally occupied their land.

    Why would the Protestant paramilitaries do that to the people that they claim to be inseparably joined to? Their mounting terrorist attacks in the rest of Ireland would be comprehensible, since the UVF did that in the 70s.

  31. OIdnat

    You must understand the lack of logic in paramilitary thinking regarding what groups like the old UVF would be capable of. The one thing you can be sure of is sectarian hatred in NI hasn’t gone away only kept in check by the Good Friday agreement.
    Once that was removed by reunification then for the paramilitary groups on the Unionists side the enemy becomes Dublin and those who aided reunification.
    And the aim would to restore the Union.

  32. Turk

    The vast majority of atrocities were sectarian attacks against civilians, or those they thought were on “the other side”.

    That kind of violence doesn’t tend to spread far, because its unfocussed, mindless hatred.

    The focussed mindless hatred is organised on specific targets. It may be utterly misguided but it actually requires resourcing, to mount operations further afield.

    The Americans funded much of the Provos actions. Who do you suggest are going to fund the Protestant bigots?

    British Tories did so in the early years of last century, but i can’t see them doing it again.

  33. OLDNAT

    Here’s the gubbins in Lucid Talk survey

  34. It would be somewhat ironic if it turned out that Brexit, led by the Conservtaive and Unionist Party, did indeed cause the breakup of the UK, not by Scottish independance, but by Irish unity.

    “And the aim would to restore the Union.”

    And there’s the rub. I can say with total confidence that if the Great British public is faced with a unionist paramilitary campaign blowing up Irish people in order to affect a reunion with the UK, they would rather impolitely tell them to [email protected] off. Unionists only hope would be an independent Ulster, because we sure as hell won’t want them back if that’s how they behave.

  35. Sam

    Thanks – but that was their October poll. The tables for the most recent one won’t be released until authorised by the commissioning group.

  36. Brexit means Brexit.

    Or Brexit means leaving, yet not leaving.

    What’s going to change at the end of all this? Very little I suspect.

  37. Oldnat

    Don’t daft as recent terroist attacks in London and Manchester have shown you don’t need funds just intent.

  38. One DUP source has said tonight about reports that May will travel to Brussels to sign a deal with the EU with revised wording on Ireland that if she does so she will be doing it without them.

  39. @Charles – “Thanks for post on upsides and downsides – a lot of work obviously went into it and no one seems able to build on it at all.”


    To be honest, it wasn’t that difficult, but it is somewhat telling. You do hear people saying that Brexit will only have a marginal impact on GDP, but the impacts over time mount up.

    I went through the numbers really to try and understand @Trevor Warne’s logic, but I’m still not sure that I can make his numbers match mine. He seemed to be suggesting that the loss of 0.2% of GDP growth in the LSE model equated to around £4bn a year, so that would be replaced by the loss of the EU budget contributions, so the overall impacts would be very minor.

    I must have misunderstood his point, as to my mind it’s clear – under the projection he chose, we lose 0.2% of GDP every year, which means as each year passes we lose an additional c. £4bn on top of the previous years loss, as the succeeding years GDP is calculated from a 0.2% lower starting point. After a few years, this accumulates and very quickly dwarfs any savings we might make from our EU contributions, even before we consider covering the leaving bill and additional Whitehall spending. After just 13 years, on my understanding a 0.2% annual loss of GDP ends up with a staggering loss of annual revenue – and that was one of the better forecasts.

    Of course, other positives could accrue, as they could accrue if we stayed, but to me, the numbers @Trevor provided looked genuinely frightening, hence my inability to appreciate his overall point.

  40. Turk

    Ah, well. You may be right.

    If so I anticipate some UVF Rangers fans heading for Pittodrie to knock it down, because the Aberdeen manager turned them down.

    As long as they give sufficient notice, Aberdeen FC would probably be quite happy to clear the ground for them, so they can accelerate approval for the new stadium.

  41. Alec

    “an independent Ulster”

    Unlikely, since Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan will stay where they are.

    Indeed, not even likely to be 6 Counties but, at best 2 counties and bits of 2 others.

    The UK could always exercise its colonial powers, however. Clear the entire population out of the Channel Islands (c/f Chagos) and offer the space to the belligerent people from elsewhere.

    Fittingly, it would be a reprise of the Settlement of Ulster, when the English and Scottish governments jointly removed the outlaw families from the Marches and dumped them in Ulster.

  42. In other news President Trump’s ‘Cov fefe’ tweet turns out to be an incredible piece of prediction as Coventry triumphs for U.K. city of culture!

    (Maybe the Russians had something to do with it? )

  43. The details of the LucidTalk poll[1] (best seen at the moment in this Slugger post):

    show that for all these years the Protestant side in NI have had the wrong worry about the eventual fate of the country. They were always terrified of being ‘out-bred’ by the Catholics[2]. While in fact it should have been more worried about secularisation.

    This was seen in the Assembly elections where the reduction in STV-allocated seats per constituency from six to five, was hoped to boost the big Parties by eliminating smaller ones who often had sneaked in on seat number six. Instead Alliance and the Greens held their numbers while the DUP and SF lost some and the Unionist side lost their overall majority in the Assembly with the non-sectarian Parties now holding the balance. Which may explain why the Assembly hasn’t met since.

    Brexit, and perhaps the Tories relying on DUP support, seems to have done two things. Firstly it has re-consolidated the two tribes. Usually on these border questions you wouild see a minority of Nationalists (maybe around 15%) happy enough to see NI remained linked to GB. That is only 2% in this latest poll.

    More important the Other voters aren’t liking what they see in an NI leaving the EU. 57% of them would choose the EU over the UK, while only 15% would make the opposite choice. 25% are uncertain compared to very few in the traditional camps.

    It’s enough to tip the balance even now – and much more in future when you consider that the Other and the secular are the fastest growing grouips in NI. It’s not just that they mostly see the EU as economically better, they look to it as a guarantor of the sort of country they want to live in. A rapidly-secularising Ireland looks like a nicer place than a DUP-dominated NI.

    Now you do need to be careful about hypothetical questions and it may be that some of the respondants are using polls like these to send signals. In an actual border poll after discussion of all the options, they might not decide the same way. But it is in line with the movement in other LucidTalk polls – May’s poll showed majority support for a border poll for instance:

    a big increase on previous polls.

    [1] One point to be made as a caution. The poll was done for the GUE-NGL Group in the European Parliament. Sinn Fein are a member of this Group and may have had some inflience on the wording. But the polling itself would have been fair.

    [2] No really true anyway – differential emigration probably paid a greater part with unionists more willing (and, as more middle-class, more capable) of moving to GB.

  44. RJW

    Now we can look forward to the contest between the candidate cities for the European City of Culture for the utterly new concept of UK City of Culture (that some on here, as well as elsewhere, proposed).

    After all, the very first UK City of Culture was jointly awarded to the two cities of Derry and Londonderry, so Coventry and Dundee (or Paisley) would seem eminently reasonable.

  45. ROGER MEXICO: It’s enough to tip the balance even now – and much more in future when you consider that the Other and the secular are the fastest growing grouips in NI. It’s not just that they mostly see the EU as economically better, they look to it as a guarantor of the sort of country they want to live in. A rapidly-secularising Ireland looks like a nicer place than a DUP-dominated NI.

    And nicer than a DUP dominated self-insularising UK.

    I am wondering, supposing the brexit genie were put back in its bottle, whether these changes in NI opinion are now actually set in.

  46. hireton,
    “One DUP source has said tonight about reports that May will travel to Brussels to sign a deal with the EU with revised wording on Ireland that if she does so she will be doing it without them.”

    It might be the government has decided its time to fall.

  47. It’s a shame that the government weren’t made aware months ago that there could be a problem with the Irish border…..

  48. Cuiously the discussion on ‘this week’, seemed in agreement that David Davis isnt keen to be PM, even isnt too bothered to try hard at running Brexit. Just another little brick in the argument that the government has no interest in Brexit happening, they are just playing parts.

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