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.

Full tabs are here.


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

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  1. ToH

    For someone who is “not interested in joining the debate” – you just have!

    That you don’t want to engage with anyone who disagrees with you isn’t of much surprise.

    Ex-cathedra statements, like yours, are only believed by the believers.

    Now, your ex-allotment statements are interesting to a much wider range of readers, and well worth perusal.

  2. TOH: I have no wish to get into what is really a rather pointless argument about the future of the economy based on probably spurious forecasts.

    So why did you?

    please don’t waste your time going into detailed calculations as to why my comments are wrong

    OK, your error is obvious so I’m happy to save myself the explanation.

  3. @ Danny

    Relationships built on such ambiguous promises do not end happily, As witness the other poems in that set.

    Difficile est longum subito deponere amorem

  4. Danny

    ” its us who have a forever changing position, not them”

    I wouldn’t disagree with that at all (though have you heard the old Tonto/Lone Ranger joke – “What do you mean ‘us’, paleface?”

    My point is simply that if the Ultra Brexiteers in the Tory Party win the argument within that extremely narrow section of the UK, then they will argue that only a British meaning is of any value – and will use that to justify the cliff edge to those of us falling off the damn thing!

  5. Oldnat,
    “Probably just to highlight what an untrustworthy partner the UK would be to anyone that it tried to get an agreement with if they renege on this.”

    No, I think the EU is not interested in being bu££ered about by people who arent serious about wanting a deal. The Uk has stated what it wants and must honour it.

  6. alea iacta est

  7. ToH`s comments are very interesting to me because I never encounter anyone like him.

    But I realise that he has must have numerous parallel incarnations in Southern England from the support given to the harder factions of the Tory party from affluent constituencies there.

    What is so striking is his lack of concern for other people`s problems especially if they are folk who stay outwith his region.

    It explains today`s headlines “Worst snowstorms in four years sweep Britain”. What an exaggeration when less than a quarter of lowland Britain has had more than a sprinkling.

  8. @trevorwarne

    As I understand it @Alec is making a very simple point. You have mistakenly taken the £70bn loss of GDP in 2030 as a cumulative figure to that date rather than the loss in that year alone ( although the figure is of secondary importance as it is the methodology which is of primary importance).

    You can either explain that you haven’t or explain that you are right to have done so or agree that you have made a mistake.

    If you simply avoid the point with abuse that suggests a conclusion in its own way.

  9. DANNY

    @”alea iacta est”

    Carpe diem

    Ad meliora.

    :-)

  10. Imperium Europa

    Non nobis

  11. Bleedin’ Latin immigrants – taking our jobs and posting stuff.

  12. Meanwhile -in Germany…

    Merkel faces the prospect of minority government.

    This interesting analysis of the current state of the parties features a revealing quote from on of Merkel’s closest allies :-

    https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/12/germany-merkel-schulz-afd-spd-populism/547817/

    “Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, a close ally of Merkel’s within the CDU, said a minority government, while not their first choice, would “significantly elevate the importance of our parliament—it would mean putting forth proposals every time and then ask who is on board,” she told me. “It is indeed uncommon for Germany, but it would truly put our sincerity and duty to voters to the test.”

    Welcome to our world Angela :-) :-) :-)

  13. SONERJOHN
    It was easy-ish to outperform the EU until quite recently because unlike the U.K. , the EU was running a tight monetary policy which was a drag on growth but on 9 March 2015 Draghi instructed the ECB to start its quantitative easing Programme. At this point EU growth gathered pace. This program is now being scaled back by 50% in Europe but extended well into the future.

    Economic forecasts are like those charts produced by the hurricane center, the cone of uncertainty gets larger and larger the further away you are.

  14. A Brexit Poll.

    Somerjohn might be interested in the trend in Q1

    https://www.orb-international.com/2017/12/04/decemberbrexittracker/

  15. Green on his way ??

    …………followed by DD ??

    It never rain but it pours Theresa !!

  16. The Other Howard: For hard line Remainers please don’t waste your time going into detailed calculations as to why my comments are wrong as I say I am not interested in joining the debate, just trying to help anybody confused by some of the guff written today.

    F fs. Pitch in both feet or stay right out, but spare us the sanctimonious humbug that you are only trying to help and you are not actually involved.

    You are no worse than anyone else [and no better, which is the point I really want to make], so you just don’t have the standing to interject without being subject to challenge. You really don’t have the standing, so don’t put yourself above a debate you choose to involve yourself in.

  17. paul croft: Bleedin’ Latin immigrants – taking our jobs and posting stuff.
    It’ll be our women next ….

  18. Danny

    In terms of international relations, it wasn’t the EU states that I was thinking of – but the rest of the world that the UK fondly imagines is desperate to have relations with.

  19. TO

    I’ve read some of that Latin stuff in the past. I don’t think they were that fussed about the gender of those they were after.

    Or, as David Cameron demonstrated, “a poke in a pig is better than a bird in a bush – especially if the bush is a pyracantha”.

  20. TCO

    It’s the little dogs that I’m concerned about. Latins don’t treat ’em proper.

  21. Oldnat

    Yeah, we done Latin at grammer skool, and I got the bit about gender. But none of it prepared me for the imagery of Cameron, which is nothing if not a metafor for brexit.

  22. Paul Croft

    I am happy as a grammer skool boy and i don’t want no more public skool imagery!

  23. @Trevor Warne – Your 6.38pm post is disappointing.

    You say – “@ ALEC / SJ – i dont have time or interest to read all the posts on this site but if you guys are knocking around a 324billion number then clearly you have absolutely no idea what your talking about.”

    Well it’s clear you really don’t read all the posts. If you are going to respond to posts, it’s really worth while reading them carefully and double checking you actually understand what people are saying.

    You also say – “I’m happy to share the way I model GDP, election outcomes, etc. but it is only worth entering intelligent debate with people who actually understand the assumptions and have credible scenarios.”

    Indeed. My sole intention, since the beginning of the month, has been to try to understand the assumptions you were using. I have those now, and it’s clear that in one vitally important respect, you were completely misrepresenting the models outputs. You have not denied this, nor offered any evidence to the contrary, so we’d best just leave it there.

    You finish with this – “……. ALEC you just spew negativity day after day, hoping to turn back the clock and reverse what can not be reversed. That is obviously your prerogative but I’ll limit my future replies to those that want to discuss intelligent debate about the future not cry over the past.”

    Well that’s a bit odd. All I wanted was an intelligent discussion about the model assumptions and whether the scenarios were credible.

    I really don’t think this episode has shown you at your finest. You are better than this.

  24. @TOH says – “However I would like to point out that the decline in GDP we have seen in the last year and which Alec and i forecast is probably much more to do with UK consumer debt levels, and the UK’s comparative position in the economic cycle being different to that of the EU.”

    For the avoidance of doubt, while @TOH and I did agree that there was likely to be an impact from Brexit in the short term, we don’t both subscribe to the cause he outlines. It is noteworthy that while @TOH accepted an impact from Brexit was likely, when the economy started to dip, he then ascribed that to other causes.

    I believe that Brexit has had already a significant economic impact, mainly via inflation and a sharp fall in key investment. Excess consumer debt hasn’t helped this, but this was falling prior to Brexit, and the Brexit related effects have reversed this.

  25. Colin

    Do you know something we don’t regarding Damian Green

  26. Princess Rachel

    Nick Robinson says the “very widespread expectation in Westminster is that Damian Green will resign in the next few days”
    December 10th, 2017

    No idea if he is right.

  27. Charles

    When and where did Nick say that

  28. @Davywel
    “ToH`s comments are very interesting to me because I never encounter anyone like him.
    But I realise that he has must have numerous parallel incarnations in Southern England from the support given to the harder factions of the Tory party from affluent constituencies there.
    What is so striking is his lack of concern for other people`s problems especially if they are folk who stay outwith his region.
    It explains today`s headlines “Worst snowstorms in four years sweep Britain”. What an exaggeration when less than a quarter of lowland Britain has had more than a sprinkling.”

    I find that my views are very similar to TOH’s, though we have different backgrounds and careers. I am from the Midlands, and many people I encounter, but obviously not all, have similar views as well. There is a strong strand of opinion in all areas of England (I have little knowledge of the dependent ‘nations’) which encompasses all classes which is the old-fashioned stoical “let’s just get on with it” approach.

    As to the snow, we’ve had about a foot so far (approx 30 cms for Europhiles), and it’s still going.
    —————————————————————–
    @Colin
    Very interesting link. I’m even more keen to see a new VI poll now.
    ========================================================================================

    As for the Damian Green story, I should imagine that only a tiny percentage of the electorate have even heard of him and the effect on VI if he goes will be invisible. Let’s try to rememebr that this site is about polling and not Westminster tittle-tattle or a Brexit essay-writing contest.

    G’night all.

  29. DANNY
    Oh the good old days of the grammar school. Whatever happened to them?
    Or to your ardent lovers of the Lower Sixth. According to Catullus they were subject to the disapproval attitudes of old men, which had to be igrnored. I hope yo did.

  30. COLIN
    “But with the caveat that I have no experience in Bilateral Trade Agreements , it seems logical to me that if the parties decide to facilitate mutual trade in …..say .cars, cheese, fridges & insurance services, then the mutual recognition of standards & related regs for those sectors which must the starting point of that trade, will have to continue-to avoid one party moving from the level playing field to unfair advantage. And so a monitoring mechanism for testing the changes..”

    I think it’s called customs regulation. As for your caveat, I know its bad form on here to admit to experience, still less expertise other than than you can demonstrate on the page, but in the reality of how changed trade relations happen you would not need that experience. If I may cite that which took place in the accession of the G8, terms of reference of which you would have been capable provided the basis of expert TA which then took place over a period of years, specifically in customs regulations and procedures, product and packaging standards, patents and intellectual property etc, with much in the area of workers rights etc subject to international conventions and treaty, Little of the detail has to be worked out in any expertise required during negotiation.
    For our economists: Hammond and Starmer being broadly in agreement and their views largely now agreed in the conclusion reached on and purposes of the transition, is it not clear that a common view of ‘the economy’ is of integration in a European labour market which will continue to fuel growth and productivity through access to the skills and educational structures and industrial training of the 27 member states, most with less labour market flexibility, and with less developed social and physical infrastructure as a basis of growth than the UK?
    Is it not becoming apparent that the consequent net migration, primarily of EU derived economic migrants, will continue – as provided to the EC’s statistical forecasts of the ONS and the Treasury – to be the 180,000 to 220,000 predicted in the EC 2015 Ageing Report – and that the consequent beneficiary strengthening of GDP and pension age to worker balance, will see an advantageous trading and cultural relationship with the EU (among which the UK’S attaining a population of 80m by 2060? (And that the quality of life which we derive from this prosperity, including that of engagement with Europe, will depend strongly on what kind of government we have?)

  31. Sorry – expert TA = expert technical assistance, i.e. consultancy and research support.

  32. Colin,
    “Somerjohn might be interested in the trend in Q1”

    The poll suggests more optimism than pessimism about the outcome of Brexit. Which is all very well if you have a policy of leaving the EU, but it demonstrates expectations from voters. In the slightly longer term, if those expectations are not met you end up in electoral trouble, and that is precisely the danger a number of pundits have identified for the government.

    The numbers also suggest this optimism exists despite the failings of the government during the process. ie positive for better off, and reduced immigration, but simultaneously disapprove of the way negotiations have been handled and don’t expect the pm to get the right deal.

    I’m not sure what that means: How do people square a belief that it will be all right in the end, with a simultaneous belief we will have the wrong deal at the end of the process? Or are voters brexit positions more complex than the questions allow them to express?

    Paul Croft,
    “Bleedin’ Latin immigrants – taking our jobs and posting stuff.”

    listen mate- we latins been here lot longer than you vikings.

    Oldnat,
    “In terms of international relations, it wasn’t the EU states that I was thinking of – but the rest of the world that the UK fondly imagines is desperate to have relations with.”

    see…. Technicolouroctober,
    “It’ll be our women next ….”

    (but I agree)

  33. Alec to Howard’s,
    ” I would like to point out that the decline in GDP we have seen in the last year and which Alec and i forecast is probably much more to do with UK consumer debt levels, and the UK’s comparative position in the economic cycle being different to that of the EU”

    I recall reading an economics paper someone posted once, which basically concluded the UK economy tracks the world economy, and UK government policy had relatively little effect. (not no effect, or insignificant, but not the main driver).

    So how is the world economy doing? I got the impression its doing quite well, and finally recovering from 2008. The Uk too was showing signs of this recovery….and then along came Brexit. Which as a government policy has finally managed to have a serious effect.

    John Pilgrim,
    I think the likely outcome is immigration continuing unless the economy really stalls such that labour is no longer required. And then I refer back to the survey above, where the voter expectation seems to be that immigration will fall.

  34. @DANNY

    I think Danny you misunderstand the mentality. As I have said previously UK politics is exceptionally tribal. So immagine a simple thing railway nationalisation if you ask people if railways should be nationalised most people both Labour and conservative voters would say yes. If you tell them it is a corbyn policy they then becomes conflicted. The argument is the same for immigration for some Labour voters.

    I often show this youtube video of people assessment of Corbyns policies in Guilford in the middle of Toryshire.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7lsRbDKOXg&t=32s

    Now consider the view of people whom voted leave:
    They have to think of the future because the present has not turn out as they expected or hoped. So you have the reality of the fact that the deal is not going to be as good as they first thought but the hope that they can recover. That hope will not fade because otherwise there is no rationality to their coming to conclusion they have

    As I have said it is worth comparing this to those that supported and opposed the war in Iraq. Each side pointied to facts that showed their view was correct until such point that it became obvious and more importantly it became meaningless. We do not argue the Iraq war now indeed as the yougov poll showed the narrative is such that it feels as if that only a minority ever supported it. However go back in history and it will be a different matter

    I fear the tribalism part is rather inate it is something that hides policy debate. So for example the idea of predatory capitalism s a bad idea if the party you do not support does it but when your side does it then it is great idea.

    Now thin if May hd said she was going to borrow 250B over 5 year to kick start the economy then you will see a different answer to that we are going to have a marxist in number 10 because clearly you are not. When Javid suggest spending £50B on housing and I described how it would pay for itself TREVOR WARNE criticised my maths now it all makes sense as it was Javid that put the idea forward.

    We are not arguing policy we are arguing what tribe we are. The EU referendum it the epitome of that tribal argument.

  35. @DANNY

    I believe our recession was deeper than nearly every other Northern EU country and so our recovery was correspondingly looked better. it is relative scores and we tend never to look at the losses and only the gains. It also points to the fact that a currency swing means that all those gains appear to be lost on us and inflation from this make life worse

    Oh and I forgot to send you this link:

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/06/03/remembering-iraq/

  36. Regarding the various discussions re economic performance and Brexit, there are a couple of noteworthy points to highlight:

    @Trevor Warne claims (often in somewhat disparaging terms) that ‘we haven’t left yet’, and so therefore we haven’t had a chance to see any of the positive impacts from Brexit. There is some merit in this view, but it is a bit lopsided.

    ‘We also haven’t seen many of the downsides either’, is the obvious retort, as any impediments to smooth trading with the EU or relocation of jobs is clearly going to happen if the terms of any deal are not as good as at current. However, that is speculative. One major area where we have already seen the benefi of Brexit is in the exchange rate. Our exporters have benefited from the devaluation, which was touted originally as a good thing arising from the vote. Yet our economy has slowed, even if exporters are enjoying something of a boost.

    @TOH also apparently claims that this slow down is nothing to do with Brexit, despite agreeing that Brexit will have a short term negative impact. Presumably he believes we haven’t yet seen this, which is somewhat worrying.

    As I said upthread, I think he is wrong, and the main driver for our recent slowing, despite Europe and the world economy doing quite well, is the Brexit vote. High and increasing consumer debt is more of a symptom than a cause at this point. The point made by @Danny (I think?) that this exacerbated the crash is valid, I feel, at least in part. Debt levels are going to have an impact in the future also, probably again when we next have a recession, but I think @TOH has got this wrong due to his innate Brexit bias.

    Consumer debt levels largely flatlined from 2007 to 2014, as incomes caught up, closing the debt gap. There was a slight increase in debt in 2015, which accelerated in 2016 and again in 2017. The main driver has been the stagnation in living standards due to inflation eroding buying power, which is almost all due directly to Brexit widening the income/debt gap again.

    This does matter to the Brexit debate, as any divergence from ‘normal’ GDP growth now makes a significant difference to the medium term outcome of Brexit.

    If it really is true that the slowdown now equates to 0.8% of GDP and that much of this is directly due to Brexit, then we need to see growth rapidly return to normal + around 0.25% to recover our no Brexit expected position by 2030.

    The longer this goes on in negative territory, the harder it is going to be to recover he position and be able to claim Brexit has been a success.

    It’s notable that we aren’t here now talking about projections – we are only here looking at what has already happened. My concern is what @TOH says. He repeatedly tells us there will be a short term negative impact from Brexit, but then says that this hasn’t happened yet.

    That’s a real worry – any more negative impacts and it will be decades until there is a net Brexit benefit.

  37. As I’ve been banging on about for weeks, my main surprise has been that Dr Octopus has managed to hang on for so long, and the narrative that it would have been acceptable for politicians to keep their hands warm by any means necessary while working so hard for their constituents even twenty years ago ought to have been pounced upon and torn apart, and probably would have been had he not been continually rescued by the incompetence of the Brexit bunch.

    I doubt that Ddavis will go, he’ll be saved by coming out with some rubbish about being disappointed by the uncharacteristic one off moment of his dear friend being unable to wrestle control of his naughty hands back from the influence of his fine and noble brain in the presence of an attractive lady, and who would not do the same in similar circumstances. To which I would reply “well, everyone I know, actually”, although whether Laurak would have the gumption to I have no idea.

    Last week my question about how long Little Nell’s moment of bliss will last went unanswered, if this is about to go off again then probably not long.

    what with the NHS boss resigning, and hundreds of photogenic UC claimants being unable to buy their children Christmas presents and about to be evicted I’d anticipate the slow news period ahead to bring many additional moments of seasonal joy for the government among the”what I’ll be eating for my lunch today” articles.

  38. OLDNAT

    My comments were not intended for dedicated Remainers who are as biased one way as i am the other as you can see from Somerjohns comments. He is wrong but would never adnit it.

    They were intended for those who still have open minds. Admittedly probably very few here.

  39. Colin

    Thanks for the Orb reference. Interesting set of figures which help to explain why the nubers supporting Brxit haven’t changed much if at all.

    Very wet here but going out to get leeks and carrots for a nice soup.

    Technicolour October

    “You really don’t have the standing, so don’t put yourself above a debate you choose to involve yourself in.”

    I am just doing so, say what you like i can do what i want. I find that post particularly amusing.

    Have a good day all.

  40. Alec,
    ” One major area where we have already seen the benefi of Brexit is in the exchange rate”

    Which I gather is being blamed for huge increases in the price of foreign built cars and big increases in the cost of Uk built cars. Whether or not there is a shift to relatively cheaper Uk built cars, all are suffering falling sales. No short term benefitfor voters there.

    The Other Howard,
    “My comments were not intended for dedicated Remainers”

    Thats unfortunate really, because the country split 46/42 remain when I last saw figures. How many are ‘dedicated’, I dont know. But unless leave can make a rapprochement with them, there is trouble ahead.

  41. TOH

    “I find that post particularly amusing.”

    You’ll make Paul very jealous again.

  42. JOHN PILGRIM

    @”Is it not becoming apparent ……………”

    @”………. that the consequent net migration, primarily of EU derived economic migrants, will continue ”

    I should think net inward migration might well continue. After Brexit UK Governments will be able to control it, and therefore match it to economic requirements. The change from uncontrolled economic immigration from the less well off of the hugely divergent economies of the EU ,to controlled immigration supported by the electoral mandate of the government of the day is the plan I think.
    As Frau Merkel discovered , voters prefer to have a say in who comes to their country & why , and to think about the consequences before they come-not afterwards.

    @”……………….. that the consequent beneficiary strengthening of GDP………….., will see an advantageous trading and cultural relationship with the EU And that the quality of life which we derive from this prosperity, including that of engagement with Europe, will depend strongly on what kind of government we have?”

    Most definitely. You omitted the improvement to social cohesion as a result of immigration policies which have been mandated by the electorate. I think that is a prospective gain too.

  43. Alec: If it really is true that the slowdown now equates to 0.8% of GDP and that much of this is directly due to Brexit, then we need to see growth rapidly return to normal + around 0.25% to recover our no Brexit expected position by 2030.

    I originally highlighted the 0.8% figure in the context of TW’s dismissal of the effects of a 0.2% loss of growth p.a. as trivial (and your subsequent forensic pursuit of his mistaken calculations).

    My point was that while arguing over 0.2% future impact, TW was overlooking the already far greater current impact.

    Now, if we accept that the sudden 2016/17 decline in UK growth vs eurozone is most likely an effect of looming brexit, we can look a couple of years forward.

    The OECD forecasts for 2018 are: UK 1.2%, EZ 2.1% (-0.9%); 2019 UK 1.1%, EZ 1.9% (-0.8%).

    That is from a baseline of UK and EZ both growing by 1.8% in 2016.

    So, although brexiteers may try to argue that this sudden turnaround since 2016 is nothing to do with brexit, I think the figures are worth thinking about.

    One interesting aspect is that I don’t recall this situation getting any significant attention from media pundits.

  44. ALEC

    @”If it really is true that the slowdown now equates to 0.8% of GDP and that much of this is directly due to Brexit, then we need to see growth rapidly return to normal + around 0.25% to recover our no Brexit expected position by 2030.”

    …unless the decline in EZ gdp forecast in the paper below transpires-in which case the pre-Brexit EZ/UK difference trend will be interrupted.

    http://www.pantheonmacro.com/cmsfiles/pantheon/docs/Samples/EURO%202017%20H2%20Outlook.pdf

  45. PASSTHEROCKPLEASE PLEASE
    The UK recession was indeed sharper than most and the rebound reflected that, but factually the U.K. economy today is 15% larger than its peak in 2008 just before the recession. This is the Sixth best performance amongst the Twenty countries of what the OECD calls ‘The Developed World’… behind Japan (16%), USA (18%), Sweden (19%), Germany (19%) and Ireland (26%). So the U.K. has done quite well. Of course our population growth might have flattered the numbers very very marginally against say, Japan, but by no more than a decimal point or so.The standout is Ireland. This is not because they are intrinsically more clever than the rest of us, but maybe because 2008 was not their pre-recession peak. Or course, their being a (corporate) ‘Singapore style low-tax haven off the coast of Europe’ has helped too. God forbid that we should ever be so reckless as to go down THAT route, right? :)

  46. Correction:
    2008 was indeed Ireland’s previous GDP peak.

  47. DAVID COLBY

    :-) :-)

    Nice to have facts.

  48. NORBOLD
    TOH
    “I find that post particularly amusing.”

    “You’ll make Paul very jealous again.”

    Well I’m certainly more bemused than amused.

    I’m obviously missing the really funny bits somehow.

  49. @Colin

    The gloomy pantheon economics forecast you link to seems to date from mid summer, and has already been proven wrong in regard to H2,having already had to revise its previous over-gloomy prognostication.

    This is what they said;

    The Eurozone economy is doing better than we expected at the start of the year, forcing us to upgrade our GDP growth forecast to 1.8% in 2017, which is 0.4 percentage point higher than in January. We think Q1 GDP growth will be revised up, and that reported Q2 numbers will be very strong too. But we also think the acceleration is over, and we struggle to follow the emerging view that GDP growth in the euro area is headed for sustained growth of 2%.

    So at that point they forecast 2017 EZ gdp growth at 1.8%. But they were quickly confounded by an acceleration in growth in Q3 to 0.6%. Here we are in December, and the OECD forecast (Nov) stands at 2.4%, and the ECB’s at 2.2%.

    Linking to an outdated forecast, already discredited by events, is possibly not the most effective way of making your point.

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