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.

1,079 Responses to “Survation/Mail on Sunday – CON 37, LAB 45, LDEM 6”

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  1. LAB: 41% (-)
    CON: 40% (+1)
    LDEM: 7% (-)
    UKIP: 3% (-1)
    GRN: 2% (-1)
    via @YouGov, 04 – 05 Dec

    Tabs on their website. Bunch of tracker questions with very little change.

    Obviously prior to the new Brexit info. Who knows the reaction to that!??!? UKIP resurgence perhaps??

    @ WB – The £ was up 0.5%ish, it is now down 0.5%ish, or 1% off the highs from the immediate reaction, possibly a reflection of ‘colony status’?. Banks shares etc are still up but FTSE has a heavy inverse £ relationship. UK has precious little left to sell off to settle this bill and staying in EU in all but name gives us precious little hope of rebalancing our economy.

    @ SJ / ALEC / PTRP – I do usually try to be optimistic but today is a challenge. A friend tried to cheer me up with an old saying:
    ” Work in a capitalist economy, retire in a socialist economy”
    Dark humour along the lines of a Greek tragedy. Colony, vassal state, etc. The only +ve I can see is I’m probably not going to have to pay to put my kids thru Uni as Corbyn and the future generation are going to pay their fees from 2022 (or 2020 to really max out my selfish benefit).

    When we needed Churchill we got Chamberlain and in a few years instead of Thatcher we’re going to get Foot. Brexit was always going to be a risk but we didn’t even bother trying – pathetic.

  2. @Hireton

    Yes, if trade talks start in February and need to conclude in November (to allow time for ratification), they need to be wrapped up in 9 months.

    I liked this alleged quote (in the uardian):

    One senior official said: “Now you have got 15 pages [in the agreement between the UK and the EU]. That took nine months. The [Canada free trade deal] is 1,598 pages. You can draw your own conclusions.”

  3. @ HIRETON – we know the outcome of phase2 already. EEA+CU. Sure they won’t tell us that yet, drag a bit more money out of us first, but the final destination now seems fairly obvious no?

  4. millie

    ” it is particularly interesting now to see noises emerging from France and Germany regarding a ‘United States of Europe’. Now that really does stick in the throat of your average UK citizen, and is probably one of the big core visceral reasons for voting Leave.”

    And is the usual red herring.

    It is just one party leader in Germany suggesting it – and even then would still leave open the natural options of a fully integrated, “inner-core” of countries, probably few in number, and a larger, outer core of semi-attached countries with some sort of rights and obligations.

    Nothing to fear at all – and probably what we are heading for anyway. One side will say we’re still semi-attached, the other will cheer because we’re semi-DEtached.

    I must say the “no deal” mantra looks less likely by the hour at the moment.

    [As does Jeremy being PM by xmas – or probably ever…..]

  5. TOH

    @”Are you surprised at that? ”

    Not at all.

    Of course it isn’t a source of new revenue, being repayment of an ivestment.

    But the numbers do indicate Brexit Financial Settlement is Net Cash Neutral.

  6. BFR

    @”Matching the two off”

    I wasn’t.

    I was merely reporting the terms of repatriation of that investment.

  7. Well done Mrs May nice bit of negotiation skills in the last few days this leaves her in a much stronger position within her own party and Labour further away from office.
    Let’s hope people will get behind May in her attempts to negotiate these deals instead of the unremitting negativity that some sections of the professional hand wringing brigade seem to enjoy so much.
    Interesting times ahead for the U.K. once it gets down to actually negotiating a trade deal I personally believe the U.K. will be in a stronger position than many people think. I base this on the trade deals will have to involve the EU business interests which moves the negotiations away from the political arena and into the more pragmatic world of money-making.

  8. JOHN B @ 2.21 pm

    To be honest I’m not all sure that I understand the interaction between para 49 & 50.

    They are both long stops of course-I hope they will never be referred to in practice !! :-)

  9. ALEC

    @”The EU aren’t completely stupid, I suspect.”

    I think-having read your Brexit posts religiously , that I fully understood you held that view

    :-) :-) :-)


    @”It all goes to illustrate my long-held contention that Brexit was all about rhetoric.”

    The debate on either side has certainly been a lot about rhetoric.

    It has here-on both sides !!

  11. MILLIE

    @”Which leads me to say; we might be better off out of it when the internal arguments within the EU really develop.”

    Me too.

    Of course if Schulz’s plan ever sees the light of day-we would be asked to leave-along with EZ “outs” if they failed to join the single currency.

    Can’t wait to see if Angela forms a coalition with Schulz in this mood.


    @”It is just one party leader in Germany suggesting it – and even then would still leave open the natural options of a fully integrated, “inner-core” of countries, probably few in number, and a larger, outer core of semi-attached countries with some sort of rights and obligations.”

    It was certainly a bit off the wall from Schulz.

    But-as I tried to indicate upthread, not too far removed , in principle from Macron.

    My perception is that the “two speed” EU is old hat .Its dead. They do not want countries like UK, Poland & Hungary hanging around making trouble in the room next door.

    No-Macron is talking about Fiscal UNion to go with Monetary Union ( absolutely correct imo) . And with that comes the prospect of EU treasury & Finance Ministry.
    Which moves you down the road both Macron & Juncker have suggested in their different ways-less power for Member States, more power for a Commission which begins to overlap with THe Council-and pan european political parties & elections to an EU assembly where All the law making happens.

    Merkel in her pomp resisted all this stuff-because German taxpayers will fund the Debt Union.

    But she has suffered the fate of May & has no authority now. We will see if her fate is better or worse than that of our PM. :-)

  13. Colin,
    If an even more 2 speed did happen Sweden and Denmark would be the most interesting countries to watch imo.

    Who know maybe a couple of EZ countries would think again? Finland, Spain Portugal?

    I’m not sure that the push for further European integration is coming from ‘just one party leader in Germany’ – Schulz was president of the EU parliament, the party he leads is IN the current German caretaker government and his position on the future of the EU is part of his negotiating stance with Merkel about the policies any new grand coalition would pursue. Far more importantly though, he’s taking his lead from Macron.

    I believe it was Macron who re-floated the idea of a two speed Europe a while back but Schulz didn’t, in his speach his proposition was ‘you sign up or you exit the EU’. I know he’s left of center etc. but unfortunately he tends to turn into a bit of an angry Teutonic bully when riled.

    Having said all that, I agree with you that it might all just be a red herring, but if it is, it is likely designed to scupper a grand coalition with Merkel…. It’s not inconceivable that Merkel goes before May (that’s May the politician, not the month)

  15. I would certainly agree that Little Nell is likely to get a poll boost from this, and prolong her long anticipated moment of departure from the stage a while longer, since most voters don’t follow the minutiae of Brexit negotiations and will only see the headlines that we are taking back control.

    I wonder how long this glorious moment when she may bask in the public perception of competence will last for her. I would certainly expect Mogg, Paterson, IDS or one of the other headbangers to stick the boot in again at some inopportune moment, and for things to continue to fall apart as the wheels of government clatter noisily and untidily down the road.

  16. ” I would certainly expect Mogg, Paterson, IDS or one of the other headbangers…. ”

    That’s a bit rude to headbangers in general.

  17. Alec
    “ It’s a wipe out for May and her red lines, and everyone and their dog knows this.”

    Well this old chap doesn’t to use Somerjohn’s friendly description. Having read the document quickly and I must admit without looking up EU documents referred to, that is a very gross exaggeration. I think the paper basically represents huge fudge by both parties to move to part 2..

    To provide a short summary of what I particularly dislike.

    1. I would prefer not having a transition period. I want to leave in 2019 in the fullest sense. So I am unhappy about a transition period.

    2. On Citizens rights I have never had a big issue with encapsulating EU and UK citizens rights in law, my objection is to the ECJ having any ongoing role in citizens rights in the UK after 2019, and therefore its inclusion in sections 36, 38 and 39. I would not want the bill outlined in 36 to be brought forward before we know the final result of the negotiations.

    3. Following on from my first two points, on Ireland I am totally against section 38 from………….”In the absence of an agreed solution…” Totally unacceptable to me.

    4. As Colin points out the numbers suggested are probably cash neutral but since my preference is for no transition I am irritated by the £20b for that, and I would only pay the minimum legal commitments. Although I am not happy, the EU seem to have backed down quite a bit.

    5. The most important thing in the whole document is section 5 “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”. The saving grace IMO :-).

    There are lots of other points I could make but I am too busy doing more interesting things.

    Going back to your comments above I agree May has moved on the role of the ECJ, but time limited: on payments, but probably cash neutral: and Ireland, although it’s really a fudge to get both parties to part 2 of the negotiation. So not what you claim at all, and I am not surprised Brexit Tories are relatively relaxed at the moment. We will see if they remain relaxed after the discussion in cabinet.

    Now we move to the difficult bit, part 2. I think there is little chance of agreement before we leave. Look how long it has taken to get to this point due to EU posturing. My view of the likelihood of exiting without a deal has been considerably strengthened if that is possible.


    “But the numbers do indicate Brexit Financial Settlement is Net Cash Neutral.”

    That doesn’t surprise me at all. The EU seem to have backed down considerably. Apart from the £20b for transition deal which I wouldn’t pay, we are probably not far away from what our legal commitments are.

  18. COLIN
    @”Which leads me to say; we might be better off out of it when the internal arguments within the EU really develop.”
    Me too.”

    And me, always been my position, one of my fundamental reasons for wanting to leave.

  19. One last point. Whatever you may think about TM I think you have to admit for a lady with type 1 diabetes she has shown remarkable cool and stamina. I hope her health holds up.

  20. TOH

    “Apart from the £20b for transition deal which I wouldn’t pay…”

    I wouldn’t pay the EU £20 billion either. That would go beyond my overdraft limit.

  21. Hello all.

    Been absent for a while. Complicated mix of reasons but primarily health-related.

    Started to lurk again a couple of weeks ago and was a bit disappointed at the repetitive pro vs anti Brexit pantomime that was still going on.

    Hopefully now there’s a bit of progress there will be some more imaginative contributions?

    I have a question. My only real reason for voting to Leave was to get some controls on Free Movement from poorer EU countries. I haven’t been able to find anything in the reporting about the agreement so far that indicates what will be happening on this score? The agreed rules on the rights of citizens seem to suggest that Free Movement will end. If that is the case, and given the EU’s insistence on linking Free Movement to the Single Market, how can this actually be a “Soft Brexit” as some are describing?

    If this really is “being in the EU in all but name” but with an end to free movement, then I will have everything I wanted – given that (like a lot of Leave voters I suspect) I never really gave a stuff about the ECJ, financial contributions and all the rest of it.

    Alloyed with the massive fall in EU migration caused by the fall in the pound and probably (sadly) a feeling of unease amongst prospective EU migrants, and the reported fall in the UK birthrate to 1.9, I am very tempted to feel optimistic on population control, but I am certain someone somewhere will have spotted something to rain on my parade.

  22. Also, AW, I submitted a previous version of this message with my full name at the top, which has of course gone into moderation as a new poster. Could you delete that (and this) message for me please?!

  23. JIM JAM


    I sometimes wonder about a UK + Sweden + Denmark at some point in the future.

    I can’t see any of Club Med “thinking again”.

    With the current set up they plug into a EZ Bailout if in trouble. In Macron Land they plug into the German Taxpayers .

  24. ToH,

    A fair summary I think of where we are, although we will disagree on the opinion parts of your post as you would expect.

    The only one worth raising as the others are principles is the notion that a final deal becomes less likely. My view is that the compromises made by parties (wriggle room allowed as well esp by the EU) demonstrates how important a deal is to both sides and, therefore, suggesting to me one will be reached, after a transition period.

  25. Nail – glad top see you back and I trust your (or someone close to you) health issues improve (not asking for details Neil that is private).

    NB) 8% Survtation always looked too high and at the very least at the edge of the moe of a 2-4% lead and possibly an outlier; this YG supports that notion.

  26. new thread

  27. Colin,
    The Schulz plan is more of a discussion opener than a real plan. But I think the UK no longer having a veto on EU development (which is about the only thing everyone is currently agreed on), will make future changes to the EU much easier.

    But it is possible the end result will be much the same, with a twin track europe of a revised EEA with the Uk being a leading member, perhaps with Norway et al. joining the group. Maybe even denmark. And a centre group pushing forward with integration.

    The one achievement of Brexit will be to have removed the UK veto and thereby lessened the ability of the Uk to control its most important trading market.

    I’m sure the EU understands f’ull alignment’ to mean achieving exactly the same outcome but through different means. Quite likely it will end up with us copying their laws word for word, as the only way to guarantee it.

    S Thomas,
    “Desperate stuff from remainers claiming that we are in fact remaining so victory to them.
    We are not remaining. we are leaving the EU and CU on brexit day. ”

    In other words, you are an example that the government strategy of leaving but taking up a new relationship which amounts to membership (but without any actual control of the EU any more), does amount to leaving as you want it and they have saisfied your demands.

  28. neilA,
    “I have a question. My only real reason for voting to Leave was to get some controls on Free Movement from poorer EU countries. I haven’t been able to find anything in the reporting about the agreement so far that indicates what will be happening on this score? ”

    Thats a good question. The right of the N. Irish and S. irish to intermix freely is probably guaranteed by the terms of the agreement, as is the requirement to have the same rule as ireland. So I suspect this agreement amounts to continuing free rights of movement, but with a different name.

    The thing is, while the agreement might have different paragraphs on different points, they are additive not subtractive. So one says the ECJ will have a role for 5 years or something. But another says the Uk will continue to operate an equivalent CU/SM in perpetuity, and that means respecting all rulings of the ECJ which affect its operation, forever. And so on.


    being in or out of the EU will not change the problems of this country it never will. I actually love your analogy of an overweight person needing to exercise. You miss the fact that in order to exercise and diet needs not a gym club membership just the willingness to do the right thing.

    Your view that leaving the EU means that the country does any exercise is really where our problems lie and the point of us not getting anywhere. We have expended lots of energy telling anyone who would listen that it is the EUs fault that we are fat and lazy we are so used to it that it will be our excuse when we have our first heart attack. The EU is not the cause of greece’s debt problem greece is, germany export capability is not due to the EU it has always been mercantile. EU is no more to blame for our reliance on financial services, than Sweden’s welfare system. All of these are choices. we need to be to use one of the Leavers comments buccaneering and more importantly honest we need to learn to blame ourselves for our faults and stop looking at excuses. We have used the EU as an excuse for far too long. and the fact we are leaving I would hope will mean that we stop using them as an excuse since I feel that deep down we know they are not the cause of the use of food bank use the 1% public sector pay, the lack of house building infrastructure building the reliance on consumer debt and foreign investment.

    We have wealth management based in the UK managing Trillions of dollars of assets. but no one ready to invest in ourselves. That is the tragedy of our situation we are in

    Staying or leaving will make not difference to the trajectory since the EU is immaterial to that as far as I can see. The reality is that we will continue to vote for tribal politics and not good policy and the EUreferendum basically was depressing for the fact that we are only here because of tribal politicis of one party and we have left because of the effects of the policies of that party and we will lost probably vote them back into power and nothing will have changed

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