YouGov’s regular voting intention figures this week are CON 40%(+1), LAB 41%(nc), LDEM 7%(nc). Changes are from late November.

The poll was conducted on Monday and Tuesday, so at a point when the Brexit negotiations looked to be in extreme difficulty and before today’s progress. They do, however, give us a point of comparison. At the start of the week just 21% of people thought the government were doing well at negotiating Brexit, 64% of people thought they were doing badly (including a majority of both Remain and Leave voters).

We shall see in the next poll if this week’s later events have done anything to change that.

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439 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 40, LAB 41, LDEM 7”

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  1. @Colin – “How can you currently forecast the different economic effects in those two modes at present?”

    I don’t know. Do you?

    The point I have been making, with variations on a theme, is that if we experience relatively very small negative impacts from leaving the EU, then, over time, these could compound into huge detrimental impacts on UK GDP and consequently on public sector spending. This was in response to other posters who insisted that such very small annual deviations only led to ‘tiny’ differences.

    At no point have I said that these differences will or will not occur, other than to make my view clear that we have already seen some negative impacts on GDP that will need to be eliminated by higher than expected growth after Brexit if we are to recover the lost ground.

    I would heartily agree that modelling these things is fiendishly difficult, which is why they are projections and not predictions I suppose.

    I guess my own ill defined view is that most sensible people would agree that leaving the world’s largest trade block is likely to have some negatives. I think that politically it’s also sensible to assume that whatever deal is eventually agreed with the EU, it won’t be as good as the terms on which we trade now. Overall, that suggests to me that there is a tick of undetermined size in the negative column.

    Against that, we should be able to sign new trade deals with other countries. That’s a tick in the positive column, but it’s also true that the EU is well down the route of trade negotiations already with many of the countries we want deals with, and given our more reduced negotiating power, there remains in my mind a major question mark over how good these positives will actually end up being for UK outside the EU as opposed to staying in. We might get some deals before the EU, but ultimately I suspect that the main issue with EU trade deals is that they are a little slow, not that they never happen. The benefit leaving actually brings may therefore be quite small.

    My working assumption is therefore that some hindrance to the UK economy is probably the most likely result from Brexit overall, but I wouldn’t want to quantify this. Instead, my analysis has been focused on what impact small moves in GDP growth would bring, and the answers I found are deeply worrying, even though they give us no new answers to the likelihood of any specific scenario occurring.

  2. Colin,

    Perhaps Dawn Butler could bat for England in the Ashes as we need someone who can play a straight bat!!

  3. @TOH – “So David Davis is wrong to have slapped himself down on LBC today. ”

    So what you’re saying is that he retracted a retraction that he didn’t have to retract?

    He sounds like a complete [email protected]! :)

    Seriously, it wasn’t whether or not he was correct about the legal aspects of this that made him look awful. The point was we’ve just spent months trying to negotiate a phase 1 agreement, only for the chief negotiator 24hrs later to go on TV not to defend the agreement, but to suggest we could ignore it if we wanted to.

    How does that realy look, both to the EU side for the next phase of these talks, and also to any other country we are trying to secure agreements with on anything else. like freeing UK citizens from Iranian jails, for example.

    It really wasn’t a smart move.

  4. @ Norbold

    Excellent! There must be a book in it, or at least an article, surely?

    From pie’n’mash to paella, perhaps?

  5. SOMERJOHN
    Perhaps I’m not as passionate about it all as you are.
    For what it’s worth though, I was for remain (just) but I think that if the various parties can pull it off, a deal that offers a close association with the EU, whilst sitting outside it would suit the U.K. better in the long run and be better for the EU too. As someone born and educated in the U.K., who grew up in the Commonwealth and who now lives in 50:50 between Germany and France, i think i see some things a bit differently. I watched the sugar industry crumble to dust in Barbados as a child when Britain joined the EU for example, and I’ve sat through more than my fair share of ‘son er lumier’ ‘spectacles’ in France to know that despite our best intentions, spiritually, we are the least European of all Europeans.

  6. @David Colby

    Fair enough.

    Actually, I agree that the UK would be best off as an associate rather than a full member. I think that’s the way the EU is already heading, with the eurozone core inching slowly towards a federal solution, and the rest tagging along at their own pace and with their disparate attitudes to, eg, democracy and the rule of law relatively unchallenged.

    My sadness is that instead of promoting that, we’re flouncing off. Ultimately we’ll have to return, chastened, or else sign up to US hegemony, because life as a small, independent country will become increasingly difficult to sustain .

  7. JOHN PILGRIM

    @”I really find it very odd that you are describing the recruitment of labour by industry as “dictatorial” ”

    You know very well the context John-but to remind you :-

    *Recruitment from overseas-thus increasing UK’s population.
    * Recruitment to minimise labour costs.
    * REcruitment involving particular localised effects on society.

    Governments always have to balance competing priorities & needs. Immigration policy is no exception.

    But Governments with legislative levers to pull cannot balance anything.

  8. NORBOLD

    “Sorry, I got side-tracked by that comment from Paul.”

    That’s right – blame me.

    Everybody in real life does.

    Apart from Rosie and Daisie of course, who only see my good points.

    By the way, I once visited a friend of mine who was part of an appalling Chas and Dave tribute act in Benidorm.

    Can I be Spanish?

  9. ……………….without legislative levers………doh !

  10. The appalling is superfluous Paul

  11. So have I got this correct? When we leave the EU we also leave the CU, but to have no border between Eire and N Ire we need to re-aligned both economies, meaning we’ll have CU but just call it by another name?

  12. Also, other countries once we’ve left the EU, won’t want us getting a better deal than they have with the countries and trading blocs there trading with?

  13. @Somerjohn

    “Excellent! There must be a book in it, or at least an article, surely?
    From pie’n’mash to paella, perhaps?”

    Very good. Excellent title. With that talent, I might need to call on your services soon. My next book, which is due to be published next May, is currently going under the title of “Cracked Eggs and Lokshen Soup.” However, although my agent and my editor are quite happy with it, the publisher’s marketing department don’t like it and have asked us to come up with another title! So, as I say, I might need to call on your services!

  14. Norbold

    Stupid question but I’m wondering….if you succeed in becoming an EU citizen will you then be automatically included in the EU immigrants number without actually changing your address?

  15. Having looked into the documentation further, it appears that it is easier to get Portuguese citizenship than Spanish. As far as I can see, Portugal just requires you to show your Sephardi ancestry, whereas Spain requires you to show you have some special link to Spain in addition…..so I might be headed for Portugal instead.

  16. JIM JAM

    “The appalling is superfluous Paul”

    You weren’t there Mr. Jam.

    NORBOLD

    “Spain requires you to show you have some special link to Spain in addition…..”

    Can’t you just say that you sort of know a bloke who once visited a mate who was part of an [appalling] Chas and Dave tribute act in Benidorm?

  17. SOMERJOHN

    @” I think that’s the way the EU is already heading, with the eurozone core inching slowly towards a federal solution, and the rest tagging along at their own pace and with their disparate attitudes”

    I disagree.

    That was the way they were heading-until the Sovereign Debt crisis showed them how costly all those laggards could be.

    My perception is that they now know that all those fine principles about Convergent Economies is eyewash. And they now know the price of trying to accomodate it with a fudged Fiscal Union -all those sticking plaster Convergence & Deficit Pacts-it is endless Bailouts & Crisis Summits & acrimony when problems arise.

    No-I think Macron sees very clearly that you can only accomodate two speeds -which will always exist-by Fiscal Union -One Treasury ; BUdgetary Control, and Debt Sharing to go with the Single Currency & Central Bank.

    Shulz ,as we know , wants to go further-throw the recalcitrants out of the EU , and downgrade the Nation State members to regional bits of his USE.

    Even discounting the wilder dreams of Mr. Shulz, the Macron PLan is the only way to run this organisation-recognise that convergent economies cannot be magic’d up by Brussels’ Structural Spending,that Nation States’ politicians sometimes make a mess of their economies- and run the whole show like One Country.

    Merkel is in no shape at present to resist it. Though her CDU colleagues are asking precisely the right question-“What will our voters think of this ” ?

  18. Norbold: . My next book, which is due to be published next May, is currently going under the title of “Cracked Eggs and Lokshen Soup.”

    If it’s a cookery book, how about Norman’s Kosher Kuisine?

    No? I thought not. And I don’t suppose it’s a cookery book.

    If it’s autobiographical again, how about Bagels & Mash?

    Re Portugal: lovely country. I’d go there like a shot, especially the north, around Porto. But the language… it sounds like drunk Russian to me. And after 50 years of learning Spanish, without total success, I couldn’t face starting again.

  19. Davwel
    “But last night you lapsed into just the same provocation that ToH employs, by talking of the “dependent nations”.”

    Sorry if I upset you, it was a late-night post when I’m not always as circumspect as perhaps I should be. I meant dependent in the sense that England makes up a much greater proportion of the population (c 85%?) of the population and has over 80% of the UK parliament seats.

  20. Trade deal with USA?

    ” Firstly, in the USA chlorinated water is only one of six types of chemical disinfectant that can lawfully be applied not just to chickens, but also to turkeys, as well as other meats and fish, fruits and vegetables. While the US authorities have deemed those ‘pathogen reduction treatments’ to be acceptably safe, they have done so only by reference to very modest amounts of data, and have ignored both evidence of risks and large gaps in the available data.

  21. Explanation accepted, Pete B.

    Maybe we English folk living in Scotland are over-sensitive.

  22. COLIN
    “You know very well the context John-but to remind you :-

    *Recruitment from overseas-thus increasing UK’s population.
    * Recruitment to minimise labour costs.
    * REcruitment involving particular localised effects on society.

    Governments always have to balance competing priorities & needs. Immigration policy is no exception….”

    That goes to the heart of diferent narratives teeon migration. Mine, based on the statistics and some experience in practice – not, of course,to be right, but evidence based, is that the idea that an increase in population is harmful, has no baiis in facts, and that is on the contrary to balance the demography over a long period and in doing so to increase the poplulation at the present raite and with the present composition of migrants to achieve a rebalancing of dependents on active workforce
    Secondly that the vast majority of migrant recruitment is to fill an otherwise unfilled skiils need and with no purposeful intent to restrict or reduce wages.
    As you know, I believe that Labour proposals for a Migrant Fund would be intended to match inflows of migrants to specific areas and to bring about parity with the rest of the country in jobs, infrastrructure and services.

    “migration is no exception” – well, policy for positive discrimination in investment funding and action in areas of high migration suggest that it may be treated as an exception.

  23. SAM

    “Firstly, in the USA chlorinated water….. is not the most poisonous aspect of a trade pact with the US.
    The greatest danger is that of an opening up of access to the health market and of potential legal challenges to the National Health Services in favour of powerful US and other private wealthy and unscrupulous, often pharmaceutical linked, health companies.

  24. JOHN PILGRIM

    THanks.

    I can put my view in no simpler a way than I have already-ie that voters in any democracy are entitled to decide , through the governments they elect, who is allowed to come to their country & why.

    It seems to me that in arguing the case for immigration on economic grounds you imply that is in some way incompatible with political control over it.

    I am arguing about means-and you seem to be arguing about ends.

    From my point of view it is vital FIRST to say that Immigration should be in the control of the elected government -and THEN to discuss what parameters should be set from time to time by that government in the interests of its economy & society.

  25. Strong indications tonight that Damien Green will be cleared later this week!

  26. @colin
    “I think this is to give too much weight to the demands of particular industry sectors. Demands which perhaps have let UKplc -and yes UK Governments-off the hook of training & developing domestic workforces.whilst leaving the social consequences of their cheap labour sourcing to UK communities to cope with”

    Spot on. There is too much tosh spoken on the need to import skills to support industry. As a retired computer programmer I was made redundant on several occasions while being effectively replaced by cheaper Indian programmers. Convenient for employers as they were cheaper than me and just as qualified and of course no need to train anyone. But there is no reason why British citizens could not have been trained to the same standard it really was not rocket science,

  27. Colin,
    “whilst leaving the social consequences of their cheap labour sourcing to UK communities to cope with.”

    Yet the communities where there are most immigrants are the most content having them, and the communities where there are fewesr or even none, are the most upset by their presence in the UK.

    Its just racism.

  28. COLIN
    You put the argument succinctly, but not necessarily completely
    “I am arguing about means-and you seem to be arguing about ends.” ignores the substantial economic theory which says that a free and true market is a means to economic development.
    It is argued (and practiced in Government policies) both as the basis of success of firms and as the basis of an economic policy aiming for fair trade both of buyers and sellers,and thus of growth and national wealth, for centuries.
    In what areas Governments can or should assert or legislate for control is what your argument is about, clearly on one side of the ideloogical divide on the ownership of services and primary industry, but not by any means so in the case of migration, in which control is seen as on the right in Conserative and Brexiteer policy but its lack – including Juncke’s vision of a borderless Europe and proposals of at least the more clear thinking leadership of the Labour party not to control migration are seen as on the left.

  29. Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 42% (+2)
    LAB: 41% (-)
    LDEM: 7% (-)

    via @YouGov, 10 – 11 Dec

  30. Somerjohn

    “If it’s autobiographical again, how about Bagels & Mash?”

    It’s about growing up in poverty (cracked eggs) in an EasEnd Jewish community (lokshen soup). I thought it was quite descriptive, but the publicity bods begged to differ!

  31. JOHN PILGRIM

    I have nothing to add really.

    As I say we seem to be talking about different things.

    You are arguing a case for a particular migration policy .

    I am arguing the case for voters, through their chosen government, to decide migration policy as appropriate for the circumstances of the time in question.

    IF ( & I must say I’m not clear about this from you) you are arguing for no control by elected governments of their borders, then
    at least that is something we can disagree on. Which I most profoundly do.

  32. CBX1985

    Thanks-well well -what about that?

  33. Somerjohn,
    “Actually, I agree that the UK would be best off as an associate rather than a full member. I think that’s the way the EU is already heading, with the eurozone core inching slowly towards a federal solution, and the rest tagging along at their own pace and with their disparate attitudes to, eg, democracy and the rule of law relatively unchallenged.”

    I think you might well be right about the future of the EU. But I think the Uk would end up with a far happier solution if it worked for this aim from inside the EU, where it has power to affect the outcome, rather from outside, where it will end up with what it is given. We see that right now, the EU has dictated the terms it wants, and Mrs ‘have cake and eat it’ May has accepted. If Brexit proceeds, we will end up in a worse situation than otherwise, and quite honestly I dont see why they would let us rejoin. Its a permanent future at the beggar’s entrance.

    If this process now ends up with no deal, we will eventually rejoin as an associate, but never be trusted to have power over the EU again.

  34. wonder if those 2017 Tory DKs have come back?

  35. Pete,
    ” meaning we’ll have CU but just call it by another name?”
    yes, thats the plan in a nutshell. Though we will have all the rest too, most likely, also rebranded. Except the parliament, council of ministers and commission, who will make the decisions about our future. Brexit is the exact opposite of what it claims to be.

    Colin,
    “From my point of view it is vital FIRST to say that Immigration should be in the control of the elected government -and THEN to discuss what parameters should be set ”

    In the current example of the UK, immigration has been under the control of the government. First, it had options to exclude unwanted people which it chose not to use (probably because it perceived there werent any unwanted people, so there was no point putting measures in place).

    Second, if the matters became really unacceptable it could have sought to change EU law, or of that failed ultimately to leave. We have put cart before horse, opting for the most extreme measure after concluding even the less extreme were not necessary.

    Even during the referendum, the mantra was to limit immigration to the level demanded by industry, never promising to reduce it from current levels. The government has always accepted that immigration has not exceeded demand, and in fact has always been self limiting when jobs run out. Its pretty obvious why that should be, people do not migrate unless they have a prospect of employment, and indeed UK companies advertised widely abroad.

    Its staggering we are debating what has always been a non issue re the EU, but is a matter of UK government policy to encourage immigration.

  36. Graham,
    “Strong indications tonight that Damien Green will be cleared later this week!”

    Cleaner admitted to using his computer?

    John Pilgrim,
    “” ignores the substantial economic theory which says that a free and true market is a means to economic development.”

    However in practice a free and true market seldom if ever exists, and if it does the major players do everything they can to subvert it. Thus this week we hear of the failure of the market in university degrees. The Uk got rich engaging in free trade carefully slanted to our advantage, but the boot is on the other foot nowadays.

    So who thinks May and Barnier had a chat and settled everything last week? He told her how it will be. She agreed it was for the best.

  37. COLIN
    “IF ( & I must say I’m not clear about this from you) you are arguing for no control by elected governments of their borders, then
    at least that is something we can disagree on. Which I most profoundly do”

    Of course, and no, I am not arguing for no control of borders. It is interesting that Juncke has in some of his statements, perhaps to set the scene for dialogue rather than as policy, done so as the basis of an EU migration strategy which would recognise the force of movement in the interntional labour market and encourage the EU to adapt to and benefit from it rather than try to legislate against or “control” it.

  38. DANNY
    Graham,
    “Strong indications tonight that Damien Green will be cleared later this week!”
    “Cleaner admitted to using his computer?”

    Isn’t the investigation about a journalist’s knee and the text about corsets rather than solitary hand warming?

    Unless the cleaner also has a life mask of the dpm allowing them to go round touching knees under the cloak of darkness.

    Spoiler alert! Or possibly it could have been like that bit in the Beast with Five Fingers where the heroine descends the stairs to find the disembodied hand playing the piano? Perhaps he was keeping the disembodied hand warm as well as his own?

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