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. staggering for the tories!!

  2. I did love the fact that TM not only cleaned and polished the red brexit bus but took it out of the garage and drove it around brussels when she said that money saved from paying the EU would be used to fund the NHS. she must have enjoyed that.

  3. Will the polls now move back in Tories favour and improve TM ratings. We will see, but a surprising poll given recent events.

  4. Good Evening from a cold Bournemouth where sun has shined all day.
    I think Labour people might be worried, if they actually see themselves as a party of government in waiting.

  5. 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.

  6. NEILA

    We leave the EU & its CU & SM in March 2019. At which point Freedom of Movement imposed by EU ceases.

    How FOM will feature during a transitional period which is itself subject to pre-Brexit relationship terms with EU-is , I suppose, for discussion as yet.

  7. @Neil A – I was a bit worried there. Hope things are OK.

    You’ve missed loads, but all of the same stuff. :)

    @TOH – “Well this old chap doesn’t to use Somerjohn’s friendly description.”

    Given that you have been completely wrong on everything about Brexit so far, I’m not going to bother responding any further to your points.

    On this poll: It isn’t great for Labour. I thing it is very hard to discern how far Brexit is distorting polling, mainly by pushing other things off the agenda, but you would have thought Labour should be putting more pressure on May,

    Having said that, we’ve just had one poll with Labour up by 7%, so we need to be careful not to pick and choose our favoured poll.

  8. Homelessness up, food banks up, poverty up, and then this

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/dec/08/rich-londoners-christmas-decorators-winter-wonderland-live-reindeer

    Has something gone wrong with society?

  9. Neil A

    This deal is mainly about the rights of citizens of the other EU countries who are already here but in summary:

    (a) Citizens of other EU countries who are already here – or who move here before 29 March 2019 can stay;
    (b) They can bring their families to join them;
    (c) Every citizen of Ireland can move to Britain;
    (d) Every citizen of the EU can move to Ireland; and
    (e) There will be no border controls between the UK and Ireland or for that matter between Northern Ireland and Britain.

    Details about the ability (or otherwise) of non-Irish EU citizens to move to the United Kingdom after 30 March 2019 to be sorted out in the next stage of negotiations.

  10. @Neil A

    Welcome back. You have missed little.

    The essence of today’s development is that we and the EU have agreed that nothing is agreed. Cue celebrations, and lots of hugging.

    As you may recall, I share your concerns regarding population growth, so the latest numbers are encouraging. But as John Pilgrim will, very correctly, point out, there are implications for age distribution.

    The new net immigration numbers could mean that, if we can build a few more houses, we might be able to seriously improve the prospects for the next generation. The fall in net immigration is roughly equivalent to building 40,000 more houses ( without a single controversial planning application ).

  11. We have a better idea of “What” with the Irish border but “How” is not clear to me.

    A quick look at Con Home seems to indicate Leavers split between “we have stuffed the Remainers” and “this is a sell-out”. The Sunday papers, with a day to think about it, should be interesting.

  12. fpt
    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.

    Also
    Neil – glad to 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% Survation 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.

  13. Kamal Ahmed’s article on the BBC website sums it up.

  14. JIMJAM
    Thanks for your kind words about the points I posted to Alec on the last thread. Obviously he will also disagree with my views but I’m glad you agree it was a fair summary, I suspect a lot of people will, whether they admit it or not.

    Paul Croft.
    Mine as well Paul, you had me chuckling.

    Alec
    “Given that you have been completely wrong on everything about Brexit so far, I’m not going to bother responding any further to your points.”

    Not more wrong than you I would suggest. That answer has put a really broad smile on my face. Loved it.

    Neil A
    Welcome back you have been missed. I think you will get what you want, one way or another. Sorry to hear you have health issues, hope things improve soon.

  15. In mypost to Alec on the last thread, in relation to Ireland I said i was agaist section 38 from a certain point. I meant section 49 of course from …..”In the absense of agreed solutions…..”

    Sorry if i confused anybody.

  16. NEIL A

    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?

    Because this is only part one and will apply whatever happens in the negotiation about what happens in the trade talks. But the agreement so far implies that some sort of Customs Union or Single Market will be the associated post-Brexit situation and that could well include free movement as well.

    I suspect that is why that is the only area where the UK seems to have some ‘progress’:

    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/staggers/2017/12/key-points-brexit-deal-and-what-it-means-theresa-may

    though that has disconcerted both EU citizens in the UK and vice versa:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2017/dec/08/brexit-border-eu-theresa-may-juncker-tusk-markets-live?page=with:block-5a2acec7eca6e706a551a294#block-5a2acec7eca6e706a551a294

    There are rumblings from the European Parliament about this as well (they get the casework). But those fears will only be valid if there is no freedom of movement linked to any subsequent deal – which seems unlikely. It may well be that the lack of concessions to UK citizens in the EU may be part of holding something back to sweeten the eventual climbdown.

    Nice to hear from you again and hope everything is OK.

  17. “Not more wrong than you I would suggest.”

    You’re wrong on that too.

  18. Alec

    You really are very funny when your cross. Calm down, you can’t win them all you know. :-)

  19. ‘Ridiculously Resilient Ridge’ I thought it wasn’t real so I looked it up, and yep a weather phenomenon actually has that name

  20. ‘Ridiculously Resilient Ridge’ I thought it wasn’t real so I looked it up, and yep a weather phenomenon actually has that name

  21. Sorry about the persistent double postings

  22. To me, Labour currently look like an Opposition-in-waiting.

  23. HRH PR: Sorry about the persistent double postings

    You really should have posted that twice.

  24. Bazinwales: A quick look at Con Home seems to indicate Leavers split between “we have stuffed the Remainers” and “this is a sell-out”.

    Yup, it could go either way. I suspect, given the psychodynamics involved, that betrayal will win.

  25. I’m beginning to get a bit suspicious of all these absolutely static polls, especially as nothing has changed for a month. You’d think that even random variation would produce more movement that this[1]. Surely Anthony should artificially tweak a few numbers to make it more exciting for us.

    The only change I can see is that there is a 5 point jump (to 42) in Health as ‘one of the most important issues facing the country’ since the question was last asked in October. With Brexit dominating the news, this may well be something that people are picking up from personal experience[2].

    I suspect there may be some hurridly arranged polling on the deal this weekend – though it’s possible most papers may be more concerned with getting their spin in first, untainted by what the public actually thinks. But it could also be that by removing the topic (temporarily) from political discourse, other topics such as Health may come to the fore. So even a ‘good’ response to the deal for the Conservatives may not help them in the medium term.

    [1] Actually it doesn’t because most random movement will be well within MoE rather than at the extremes of it.

    [2] It’s a pity we no longer have the parallel ‘important to you and your family’ questions that YouGov stopped a few years back. The differences were often illuminating and might have helped explain the June election result.

  26. These static polls remind me of the run-up to the 2015, when we were wondering why the polls were not shifting towards the Conservatives, despite various Labour gaffes.

    Except for Survation of course now.

  27. I must say that that watching the reaction today to the UK climbdown has been the funniest thing since the exit poll after the last election. Like then everyone is busy trying to explain that what has happened hasn’t really happened.

    Particularly amusing is the way in which the DUP’s resistance has ended up with Ireland effectively having a veto over much of trading policy, not just in the North but in the UK as well. And ‘alignment’ has moved from a vague all-Ireland item into the whole of the UK being fully in step with the South. It may well be what works best in terms of the NI economy, but it’s hardly the best way for the DUP to convince their core vote that they are fighting the good fight against Old Red Socks and his minions. It looks more like the hated ‘control from Dublin’.

    That said I reckon that the shouts of betrayal will generally be muted. The way in which hardline Brexit supporters on here such as S Thomas and TOH, have accepted the deal – with some reservations but not opposition – suggests there will general muttering rather than defiance. There doesn’t seem active opposition in the papers, except perhaps from the Express.

    In part this is because Brexit was always more about gesture politics than substance and in part because of fear of Corbyn. But it’s also because there was never any clear mechanism by which the ideal Brexit could be delivered. Whether the hard Brexit fans will be happy is another issue. Having marched them up to the edge of the cliff, marching them back down may result in them breaking step or going elsewhere.

  28. ROGER

    Agreed. To suggest this is a success for May is amusing. This position could have been reached months ago. It looks like to me we are heading for the softest of Brexits. I suspect the likes of JRM and IDS are holding their fire….for now.

  29. All that has to happen to kibosh the Conservative is for their Hard Brexit supporters to stay at home next time (forget UKIP). Why worry about Corbyn if the EU is running the show anyway?

  30. 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 for England as ireland 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.

  31. Roger Mexico

    “and TOH, have accepted the deal – with some reservations but not opposition”
    That’s totally wrong, as is clear from my brief analysis of the report on the last page of the last thread which I posted to Alec.

    I don’t agree with your comments at all.

    Naughty, naughty trying to twist what others say Roger.

  32. The likes of Jacob Rees Mogg have been conspicuous by their absence today. Guess they are deciding next course of action.

  33. TOH

    @”trying to twist what others say Roger.”

    Its what he calls “rhetoric”………..in others.

    When he indulges in it himself , he fills the post with numbered footnotes to make it all look intellectual.

    Its like those Master Chef contestants who produce a pretty plate of food & stand there looking pleased with themselves-until Marcus Wareing says “its a pile of bad tasting rubbish.”

  34. MATT126

    The Tory hardline Brexiteers have been very quiet today. We will hear from them though. That’s for sure.

  35. @Danny

    That’s really what I’ve been wondering.

    But I’ve seen noone, on either side or in any media commentary, address their mind to the point which is surprising I think.

    The lobby group representing UK citizens living in the EU has picked up on the perceived (by them) unfairness of their continuing rights in the EU being pinned to only their country of residence, but of course if FoM is maintained that’s a moot point as they’d be covered by it anyway. Nowhere in the debate on their situation has anyone even suggested that.

    Of course, if the new relationship keeps FoM intact then it really is pointless. We may as well be in EFTA and in the EEA, on the same basis as Norway, as we won’t have anything they don’t already have.

    Perhaps the government are planning to surrender that Red Line too, but I suspect that really would be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and reverses the decline of UKIP at a stroke.

    Brexit, for me, boils down to Mrs Duffy and her “Where are they all flocking from?” sentiments.

  36. Mike

    Guess there will be an article appearing in the Sunday Press appearing very soon

  37. Mike Pearce,
    “This position could have been reached months ago. It looks like to me we are heading for the softest of Brexits”

    But no, it could not. The theatre is aimed at convincing hard brexit supporters that the government really tried to deliver what they want, but failed.

  38. DANNY

    Yep. Agreed.

  39. NEILA

    I don’t know if you have read the document but this is it :-

    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/joint_report.pdf

    You will be interested perhaps in these paras in particular :-

    6.8.10.12.14. 16.38.

  40. I like this from Laura Kuenssberg:

    “The document contains more ambiguities than pages.”

  41. As Remainers claim some sort of victory, having lost again, I can’t help thinking of Labour supporters claiming victory for Corbyn, having lost again. Is losing the new winning ? A whole new world of winning opens up, England won the 1st 2 Test matches, down under, Spurs won the Prem. last season….we can all be champions…a wonderful new example of liberal creative thinking..
    I had a clue about this brand new world when I read posts on here claiming that success is guaranteed if you simply have a plan….just a plan, that’s all it takes, “ ‘ave you got a plan ?” “ yep “ “ you win then, congratulations “. ;-)

  42. MIKE PEARCE

    Well I have certainly posted on the report as has S Thomas so i am not sure what your implying.

  43. Good one Ken :-)

    Goodnight all.

  44. I think someone mentioned in the last thread the whole thing has little to do with the Brexit negotiations as more about the composition of the HoC than about the negotiations. I th I k it’s a good observation.

    ——-
    Neil A

    Nice to see you commenting and I hope you are well.

    You may want to know that the government, which didn’t order impact reports onBrexit, ordered a report of a substantial cut in public sector occupational pension schemes partly due to the changes in demography. It’s really minor but they are looking for only 17% reduction (it is before inflation, so not as harsh as it looks like) Fortunately there will be a compensation as there will be fewer people as life expectancy is expected to fall at the age of 65 for 13 years, but it is predicted to affect only the lower classes statistically, so it’s OK as they also multiply faster than they should, really,. The only trouble is that they push up the daisies only after this large biological reproduction and enjoying pension for less than 10 years.

    You see, it’s all numbers, there are no human lives behind keeping and kicking out those lowly paid East Europeans (how many helped you in your health problem, if in nothing else, in wiping the floor, sterilizing the equipment). Why don’t you just propose the abolishing of vaccination of children – it would sort your overpopulation problem out much quicker, and more humanely

  45. THE OTHER HOWARD

    Roger Mexico
    “and TOH, have accepted the deal – with some reservations but not opposition”
    That’s totally wrong, as is clear from my brief analysis of the report on the last page of the last thread which I posted to Alec.
    I don’t agree with your comments at all.

    Many apologies. I read your comment:

    I think the paper basically represents huge fudge by both parties to move to part 2..

    as implying that you weren’t happy with the outcome (and you gave some of your reasons why) but you were OK with progressing to Phase 2 (actually Phase 1.5 for the transition you said you were against) on the grounds you expected that to fail or produce the minimum outcome in any case.

    But previously you had been hoping for a collapse at this stage, leading to the Hard Brexit you (and many others) had been advocating. Presumably you would prefer that to happen quickly and decisively to give the UK more time to prepare for its new role. So you can see why I took your less velhement than expected reaction as very reluctant acceptance (of Phase 1) rather than furious opposition.

    It’s the lack of fury and indignation in the general response from Brexit-backers that has surprised me. Because all those red lines became white flags and the Part 1 deal (which can only be undone by reneging) sets the remainder of the process up to be a very soft Brexit indeed – all responsibilities and no rights. Apologies for including you in the general one, but it has been much more muted than I thought.

  46. ROGER MEXICO….Nice try, but you really must stop your reverse expectation management…….we all know that by losing, you Remainers won, and now are able to second guess the thoughts of the winners, or losers, ie. Brexiteers, perhaps I don’t understand your winning plan ? ;-)

  47. @Colin

    Thanks for the references. Still doesn’t really help me too much. On the face of it, it is as the reportage states. Free Movement to end and be replaced by a reciprocal continuation of rights for those who’ve already moved – supervised by the UK courts but under the ultimate authority of the ECJ. It doesn’t say anything about the status of citizens of the EU, or the UK, who haven’t moved by the exit date.

    That’s what I am struggling with a bit. The entire debate, all the way back to Cameron’s attempt at renegotiation, has always seemed to me to be a question of “If we want to limited Freedom of Movement, how close a relationship to what we have now will you allow us to keep?” If the answer is “a comprehensive free trade agreement, regulatory alignment and no tariffs or other impediments to trade” then that would seem a fair enough answer. It seems apparent that financial passporting will be lost (it is in the national interests of several EU states to draw jobs away from the City) but it appears that institutions will be able to cope with this reasonably well through operating subsidiaries where necessary.

  48. ToH

    Nope. My comment was not aimed at you or any posters on here but Tory politicians. If you read the comments above you will see that.

  49. @Ken: I think you are quite right about the comparison between this deal and the recent general election. On paper both clearly are wins for Theresa May – all but the most politically ignorant appreciate that. What you’re hearing, though, is some caution that something that is on paper as a win might not be so in the long run.

    With the general election it’ll hardly be a win for Theresa May if she can’t get any of her agenda passed, and goes down in ignominy as a failed PM, who led her party to several terms out of government.

    In terms of Brexit, this deal is hardly a long-term win if we still don’t get a trade deal, or the trade deal negotiations results in us having the same costs as being in the EU with none of the upside, for example.

    Besides, it’s clear that more Remainers will cheer this deal than Brexiters, because to a man Remainers believe that if we must leave the EU, we certainly need a deal to minimise the damage of crashing out, where there’s a stubborn portion of the Leavers who just want to leave right now, or even prefer no deal to any deal.

  50. @Laszlo,

    I am sorry that I have irked you. I can understand why, given your national origins, but please accept my assurance that my motive in wanting limits on Freedom of Movement is nothing whatever to do with my opinions of the citizens of Eastern European countries.

    One of the doctors I have seen this year is indeed Romanian and no doubt so are many other staff in the NHS in my area. I am very glad of their presence and contribution.

    I am also glad of the presence of staff from India, Pakistan, the Phillipines and various African nations. That doesn’t mean that I think unrestricted freedom of movement for all workers from those countries to the UK would be a good thing either.

    As I have always said my issue is with population levels, not with migration per se. Ideally I would like to see the UK population very gently decline, but at least I would like to see it stabilise. I have no objection to migrant workers being given permission to move here for work, where their skills are needed and the role cannot be filled by qualified UK residents. If the UK born population was falling by 500,000 a year, I’d be perfectly happy to see 450,000 migrants arrive every year. I have a foreign name myself, and my father was foreign born.

    You raise an interesting point about life expectancy. It has begun to stall in the UK, as I expected it would (obesity epidemic, internet shopping etc), and this has already led to an adjustment of population predictions – although the statisticians still expect rapid growth, just less rapid.

    Increases in life expectancy have historically been a major driver of population growth, so if that flattens out then net growth should fall. But in recent years the contribution to population growth from migration has dwarfed that from increased life expectancy. Besides which, there are limited options available to push life expectancy upwards again, whereas limits on inward migration can be achieved relatively straightforwardly.

    Everyone knows about cuts to public sector pensions. I have escaped the worst of it, due to being close to retirement, but my pension was cut by probably 10% and I have to pay significantly more in to get that. It is still pretty much the best pension scheme anywhere outside of parliament and the EU institutions though. My younger colleagues have suffered far worse cuts (working an extra 5 years for less pension than I will get).

    I don’t disagree (with you, or with Millie) that a declining population will cause changes to the demographic balance, at least temporarily, that will make paying pensions and providing health care more difficult and expensive. For me that is a price worth paying. The idea of continuing to add extra population, year after year, simply to pay for pensions seems like a sort of “plague of locusts” approach to the country’s finances. Every new batch of population will eventually age and will need to be financed by yet another new batch, until we’ve chewed our way through the rest of our greenspace, wildlife habitat and natural resources. Better to accept that we need to find a sustainable level and shoulder the additional financial hardships that we might have to suffer to reach harmony.

    In your last paragraph you seem a bit snarky, to be honest. Not for a second have I proposed kicking anyone out. And the idea that the mass loss of infant life to epidemics is “more humane” than requiring someone from the EU to apply for a work visa before moving to the UK is pretty purple hyperbole, even for this board (and I speak as a hyperbolist of note!).

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