YouGov’s latest poll for the Times has topline figures of CON 42%(+2), LAB 41%(nc), LDEM 7%(nc). Fieldwork was Sunday to Monday, and changes are from last week. While the movement from the last poll is well within the normal margin of error, it’s worth noting that this is the first YouGov poll since the election to show a Conservative lead.

Looking at some of the other results it does suggest a small boost for Theresa May from the progress on Brexit last week, but one that still shows the public judging the government’s negotiating efforts very negatively. 26% of respondents now think the government are doing well at negotiating Brexit (up five points), but 57% still think they are doing badly (down seven points). Asked who has the upper hand in the negotiations so far 50% think the EU are doing better and Britain are accepting their demands, 26% think there has been give and take on both sides and just 4% think Britain has the upper hand.

Of course, this is just one poll done just after some good news for the government. It remains to be seen whether it is replicated in other polls and, if so, whether it lasts or rapidly fades away.

The Times story is here, tabs should be up on the YouGov site tomorrow.

560 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 42, LAB 41, LDEM 7”

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    The next few months, and precisely how things play out in the two main parties, together with surveys of public opinion on brexit look like being crucial.

    The Tory faultline looks unbridgeable to me. Dunno about Labour as they are trying their best to ignore it at the moment.

  2. @Oldnat

    Fit like the day mannie.

    [i]”Big safties in Aiberdeen noo!”[/i]

    Michty aye, thir affa saft. The big chiels hiv a’ moved oot.

    Ah didna ken aire wis a brig bider hereaboots. Thocht i’ folk hereaboots wis a’ poshified.

    I ken mind fan the banter wis a richt rammy aboot indy, but noo it’s a’ aboot thon wifie (nivver a quine) that’s aye sittin ona muckle great coo.

    Fit een hid the sairest dowp that day? ;)

  3. Appreciate the discussion on UKPR today. Ploughing through pages full of economic discussions earlier this week (mostly before TW went on holiday) I was wondering why I still bother. Then it struck me that I have no interest in economics (of Brexit or otherwise). Yes, I realise it affects me and everyone else, but I just don’t understand it and never will. My interest in UKPR is about polling and understanding (albeit poorly) other people’s opinions and attitudes, and why they feel that way. That’s the part of UKPR that really interests me, and there’s been lots of ideas today, so thanks.

    FWIW, as it’s only a poll one one person, my dad is well over 65 now, a child during the war. Though only conscripted after the war was over, he lost friends and relations during the war. When I talked to him about the referendum, he knew he would vote remain for one reason, and one reason alone. He felt that the EU (and its predecessors) had helped to keep the peace in Europe. I have no idea whether that attitude was common, but would be interesting to ask the 85+ generation.

  4. TURK

    Thanks :-)


    @”You do realise that Merkel has never had a majority?”

    I do-she never needed one-till now.

  6. Party VI’s seem pretty static, but that poll showing leave down on 41% is getting interesting.

    On a simple level of morals and ethics, have remain at 51% is significant. If this is a true reflection of public opinion, then where we don’t have a regular time frame agreed for the next vote, as there is for GE’s, then we have an issue here.

    In normal elections, voters know in advance that they are electing someone for a fixed time period, so whatever happens to the polls afterwards doesn’t carry any real weight – we know in advance that the rules are we have to wait until the next election to vote again. There is no such element for a referendum. Leavers will say that we’ve already voted, so just get over it, but if it is really true that over half the country don’t want to leave the EU, then we shouldn’t be leaving.

    Of course, it may not be true, but why not have another vote to check? I think we need more evidence over a longer time period before we can safely conclude that there has been a significant shift, but if more polls come through with a majority to remain, the arguments for just getting on with it without a second vote will get progressively weaker, and remainers will become more and more emboldened in trying to stop it.

    “England has been pretty enduring since being stitched together from disparate bits a millennium or so ago.”

    England hasn’t been enduring at all! It disappeared as a legal entity and became part of a larger country in 1706/1707, which added territory in 1800 and then lost some in 1922.

  8. Worth noting that the BMG poll’s fieldwork was 5-8 December, so largely before the deal last Friday.

  9. ICM poll has Labour back in the lead (fieldwork Tuesday-Thursday). All margin of error stuff

    LAB 42% (+2)
    CON 41% (-1)
    LDEM 7% (-1)
    UKIP 4% (-1)
    GRN 3% (-1)

  10. @COLIN

    Huh? Merkel never needed a majority?

    Excuse me for putting it like this, but that is just crazy talk.

  11. Maraan

    Well technically she didn’t because she had willing partners in the Free Democrats or the SPD. Now those are either too weak (FDP) or too unwilling (SDP) to help. Leaving alternatives that are more unpalatable than TM’s alliance with the DUP (and that is saying something).

  12. MARAAN

    You don’t seem to have understood. Have you read the Spiegel article ?

    Let me direct you to a quote from it :-

    ” This form of governance has been dominant in Germany for the past 12 years. It places consensus, quiet and stability above all else. That’s why the leaders of Merkelism do all they can to avoid disputes and appease the voter. Merkelism’s natural habitat is the political center, where the desire for societal consensus is greatest precisely because the center believes it is the embodiment of consensus. No attention is paid to the political periphery. Backbone is optional and political policies are fluid — and can even be borrowed from political opponents.”

  13. We need to see other polls regarding Remain/Leave before we can be certain there has been a significant shift but it is possible significant numbers of Leavers have moved into the don’t know category.
    What happens if this is the start of a marked trend towards Remain? If by the time of any deal the clear majority want to remain within the EU then the “will of the people” will have changed.

    Time for Corbyn to be bold and for Labour to adopt a pro EU stance.

  14. Colin,
    “We just have to get it done as well as possible, and try to engender a sense of what is the best Brexit outcome for the UK-all of the UK.”

    No. thats the point. Polling says most people now prefer remain. Obviously leavers want the result from a year ago to continue in force, but it will not. Obviously it will not, its a fundamental denial of the principles supposedly behind Uk government. Opinion changes, policy changes, and it will. The leave goal at the moment is to cement in remain before that change can happen (though in fact it seems likely opinion already has changed, and the country is currently as determinedly remain as it was determinedly leave at the time of the referendum)

    In a sense we dont disagree, because we both state we want the best brexit outcome, but if you say that to me, then I must assume you mean we should remain. The situation is a binary choice of incompatible and uncompromisable positions of remain or hard brexit. Plus a compromise proposal of soft brexit which both sides dislike. Thus it is no win for whatever party carries it out.

  15. oldnat,
    “Was this because there was a shared understanding of the common purpose against the Axis – or just that a cinema opened in the local village, and we got to see films for the first time?”

    Surely both feed the same argument. The film was anti german propaganda, the arrival of the cinema was a physical example of victor’s bounty. Because you beat the nasty germans, you now were rich enough to watch films about it.

    Paula thomas,
    “Basil D’Olivera scored 158 and set in motion events…”

    But how did he ever get into a position where he was playing?

    ” I look back at that period with a fondness we never had much in terms of money or material things but we were all in the same boat so it didn’t matter much”

    So you would be in the camp arguing that this attitude from youth has carried forward to the 65+ group now?

    Peter cairns,
    “You can probably break it down into a series of groups”
    You could, but in some ways this doesnt help, because I agree there are influences which may coincide or oppose, and all we can do is look for drivers which existed at that time and may still apply. Someone else above talked about leave/remaim areas in opposition, whereas there might have been only a narrow majority. Its a simplification which can lead to error, because real people are complex and can even hold contradictory positions.

    “Not so much nostalgia for a world they had lost as a feeling that society was going in the wrong direction. ”

    Ideed, but again this surely reflects their expectations when young. Their view now is conditioned by their view then, and the grouping by common experience when young still applies. I dont agree with some changes in the modern world either, but I would rather this one now than the one when I was born. So presumably the young see this difference and draw the same conclusion as myself, but whereas I am arguably resisting the youth bias of my age group ( I always did), they are being driven by it.

  16. DANNY

    Presumably you would need Labour to support Ref.2?

    I cannot see JC doing a u-turn on Brexit.

    He needs UK to be Out to carry out his Fortress Britain Bennite policies.

    I am coming to the view that the process of leaving the EU will be more difficult & painful than the effect of leaving the EU :-)

  17. @colin

    I thought for a moment your link to the Irish Times was to the article about Ireland’s continuing strong economic growth. Having read the article I can’t see it has anything to do with Brexit.

  18. PAUL
    Your 11.10 post and link to the Wheatcroft and Altmann article.
    Concern at the conduct of the debate and the behaviour of Tory party managers,, and of the media, highlighted by these peers should also be with the use of argument and of language which, as deployed by the Government’s leaders in the Brexit debate, makes the subject of debate not sovereignty, or the reality of migration, for example, in the economic and social wellbeing the country (now of grave concern in analysis of the effects of the threat of Brexit on labour and skills availability in the Scottish economy) but the securing of “a deal”.
    It attaches loyalty of party members to their support of the deal secured or sought by those leaders.
    Scottish MPs and peers and the Holyrood Government will increasingly back defeat of the Government’s proposals, on grounds of their damage to regional interests but also as on needing to remove deceit and manipulation from the management of parliamentary process and of public debate.

  19. COLIN
    Your quote from Der Spiegel: “No attention is paid to the political periphery. Backbone is optional and political policies are fluid — and can even be borrowed from political opponents.”
    Are you sure that that is written about Merkel’s government?

  20. Colin,

    Not sure Corbyn is now as anti-EU as you suggest and he knows the overwhelmingly majority of his supporter base in the party was remain and are certainly opposed to a hard Brexit.

    There are those in Labour who would like to see a possible second ref on the terms which if rejected could lead to a second in/out but the sensible ones tactic is to stretch out as long as possible They think the Murray (and Umunna earlier) amendments are unhelpful as they potentially force a firmer position before the ground has moved.

    The hope (strategy is too generous perhaps) is that we have a transition of 2 years fully in the CU/SM whilst final terms are agreed and in that time Corbyn calls it a day. A new younger leader whether momentum or from the centre-left of the party will be less in thrall to the old style anti-EU left (McDonnell etc) and be able to be bolder in calling for a final vote on leaving once terms are known.

    Whether the EU would or even can allow or not, I have no idea and legal bods seem to disagree.

  21. Peter Cairns,
    “Brexit represent not so much a rejection of the EU as a stand against unwanted change. In the end by 2020 0r so although we will be a little worse off in real terms not that much will have changed.

    Our influence will be diminished and the direction of travel for the UK will still be inexorably tied to that of the EU.

    Despite the believe of Brexiteers that we are taking a new road we will be heading to the same place as before.”

    I agree, Brexit cannot change the fundamentals of the Uk and world economy and the state of the great game. Some from the camp dedicated to the growth of the EU see it as a step in their direction, because ir will free the EU from UK influence, which has held back integration and forced compromises against it.

    But from the british nationalist perspective, I see nothing but harm for their cause coming from the brexit process. Wheels within wheels, a battle lost by remain in order to win a war.

    jim jam,
    “FWIW – I am with Colin in thinking that no final deal is possible by October 2018 so the deal will end up being an interim arrangement while negotiations are concluded”

    I dont think we are really in a position to know yet, only try to assign probabilities to the alternatives with big error margins. Hasnt Norway been in an essentially permanent interim arrangement for..quite some time?

    ” I think the sense of all being right with the world and how lucky I was to be born British, persisted until the advent of the Thatcher Government and the harsh rhetoric”

    I’m a bit younger than some, but the attitude to unemployment changed radically through this time. The deserving poor became the undeserving poor. Whereas it had been the states role to ensure employment, it became the fault of the unemployed that they were so. Government gave up attempting to foster industry.

    It is arguable, that far from curing the problems at that time, Thatcherism simply crystalised them into permanent existence.

  22. @Jim Jam – now that there are some signs of a majority against Brexit, the issue of how remaining in the EU culd be managed are pertinent.

    On this, there really isn’t any legal guidance. The EU treaties define what happens under A50, but under EU law, if something isn’t llowed, this must be stated in the treaties. If it isn’t allowed, then (legally) it can happen – only the politics needs to be sorted out.

    As far as I can make out, the EU can either proceed with A50 after two years even if the UK government wants to remain. The EU could agree to let the UK stay, but dictate different terms (eg join the Euro and lose the rebate, for example). Or the EU could agree to suspend the process and wait for a second vote, or just cancel the entire things.

    I don’t personally see the forst two options as being politically credible. While this government has seriously irrutated the EU by it’s mishandling of the negotiations, the EU are far wiser than to define a friendly country just by it’s poor quality current government. I also think that, even though there will be some who will be glad to see the back of the UK, we do still have a lot of EU alleis who want to have a big presence inside the EU, pushing against the idea of integration. Everyone also wants our budget contributions too.

    My personal view is that if polls continue to show a majority for remain, the EU would be willing to allow us to stay. The real question is how the UK arrives at that point.

  23. @alec

    yep. agree with pretty much all of that.

    As ever – its not the process, the legal technicalities and the laws that dictate events – its the political forces and balance of power.

    I have never believed there was enough political power to make brexit happen given the forces opposed to it.

    The longer the process goes on the more the brexit forces run out of momentum and the greater risk of public opinion shifting – which explains the tactics of the leave and remain camps. The political force of a 52% popular vote can only diminish over time.

    If and when popular opinion shifts decisively then ways will be found to reverse the referendum decision.

  24. Good morning all from a cold and crisp Winchester.

    5 more years of freedom of movement post Brexit…. TM has botched up big time. A large proportion of the British public voted to leave the EU because they were promised there would be more controls over migration into the UK.

    Well, now that the EU have been given a guarantee that all current EU nationals can stay in the UK and 5 more years of freedom of movement, I anticipate a mass tide of EU nationals scuttling across the channel before our Brexit deadline.

    TM and her Tory regime have no idea the mess they have made of Brexit. Total waste of time.

  25. Somerjohn

    “But then, who cares about issues of war and peace, justice, or the future of their children and grandchildren, when there’s rugby to watch on TV?”

    Typical of your more irrational posts drawing totally false conclusions. Of course I care about the issues you mention, and as for the future of my children and grandchildren I feel that will be much more secure when we leave the EU.

    The difference between us it seems to me is that I am wiser and enjoy life, you seem to want to spend endless time being miserable. The rugby was really enjoyable by the way. :-)

    I suggest you sit back and think about which one of us is more balanced and rational.

  26. I watched Crystal Palace FC win well at Leicester City’s ground, and I can tell you that was pretty enjoyable.


  27. Still a remote chance of saving ashes too, assuming it rains all day tomorrow in Oz and England import half a dozen better cricketers to bowl and bat in last 2 tests.

  28. Allan Christie

    “I anticipate a mass tide of EU nationals scuttling across the channel before our Brexit deadline.”

    Going which way? At the moment they’re leaving in droves. What with the fall in the pound and the ‘hostile environment’, Britain doesn’t look such an attractive place to make a life, whatever the Brexit deal. Perhaps the ‘tide’ will turn, but it doesn’t seem likely.

  29. PatrickBrian

    As a soon to be “scuttler”, anecdotally I agree with you. Although I doubt I will actually scuttle having never scuttled in my life. Perhaps it’s a foreigner thing and I’ll need to take remedial lessons in scuttling once I move to the continent. I’m sure there will be a pamphlet or something on these cultural issues to help me integrate.

    Why is it noone ever seems to perambulate normally these days? They all seem to be charging, rushing or scuttling or moving in some other emotionally charged manner?

  30. I’m not sure if this quote has been shared on UKPR before, from 26th November 2002:

    “There is a proper role for referendums in constitutional change, but only if done properly. If it is not done properly, it can be a dangerous tool……….

    Referendums should be held when the electorate are in the best possible position to make a judgment. They should be held when people can view all the arguments for and against and when those arguments have been rigorously tested. In short, referendums should be held when people know exactly what they are getting…….

    We should not ask people to vote on a blank sheet of paper and tell them to trust us to fill in the details afterwards. For referendums to be fair and compatible with our parliamentary process, we need the electors to be as well informed as possible and to know exactly what they are voting for. Referendums need to be treated as an addition to the parliamentary process, not as a substitute for it.”

    It was said in the HoC by one D. Davis MP, when opposing a referendum proposal.

    Ho hum.

  31. Alec

    Ho Hum to you as well Alec. I considered all the evidence gathered over many years and had no problem in voting leave as did my wife.


    Even with the falling poon, the UK is still an attractive place to come and find work in for many Eastern European EU nationals.

    Granted, some Eastern EU nationals are leaving the UK but now that TM has caved in over this transitional period thing, I will not be at all surprised if we see increased immigration into the UK over the next 5 years.

    We need migration into the country but the sheer volume of numbers coming over in such a short period of time was quite worrying for large numbers of voters in the UK.

    I feel they have been short changed.

  33. ALEC

    I knew what I was voting for when I voted Brexit, however when TM decided to put her career and party before the national interests of the country by calling for an opportunistic early election and in doing so wrecked any chances of a good Brexit…I now regret the whole thing.

  34. More quotes, but this time from Boris, and from today;

    ““What we need to do is something new and ambitious, which allows zero tariffs and frictionless trade but still gives us that important freedom to decide our own regulatory framework, our own laws and do things in a distinctive way in the future,”

    “……….we have a very original economy, very different from other European countries: tech sectors, bioscience, bulk data, this is a very innovative place to be. We may in future wish to regulate it in a different way from the way that Brussels does,”

    Up to now, it’s all been skirmishing, but it really does sound like we have now reached the start of the battle for the heart of Brexit within the Tory party. We’re right back to cake and eat it territory here.

    Boris correctly identifies some major areas where the UK has an advanced position within the wider European context. He also correctly suggests (by implication) that this is in part at least due to frictionless trade. He then demands the right to decide our own regulatory framework in the future.

    Once again, a leading Brexiter fails completely to understand that the central reason that we have built these advantages within the EU in key sectors is precisely because of frictionless trade with the largest trading block in the world, and that the reason we have have this frictionless trade is precisely because we have a common regulatory regime. This is the economic equivalent of howling at the moon. It’s time to grow up.

    The bulk data sector is a really good example of this. For EU companies and institutions of any description to share bulk data on EU citizens with UK companies, the UK regulatory regime needs to remain as equivalent at worst to EU regulations. This has legal meaning within EU law, and any divergence from EU regulations would leave those EU operators who do share data with UK entities at risk of rulings by the EC or ECJ court judgements brought by EU citizens or representative groups.

    Our choice is to mirror EU regulations, now and forever, and maintain a large and expanding bulk data industry, or diverge and lose access to the world’s most lucrative market for bulk personal data.

    None of this has been thought through by most Brexiteers, and even now, when the realities of a transition and then life after transition is finally being seriously addressed, leading Brexiters are still demonstrating that they don’t actually understand what they are talking about.

    They still expect HMG to tell the EU what we want, and expect the EU to simply accept this, even after the last year of negotiated climbdowns by May.

  35. @TOH – “Ho Hum to you as well Alec. I considered all the evidence gathered over many years and had no problem in voting leave as did my wife.”

    Except that you didn’t know what you were voting for.

  36. @ Alan Christie

    TM and her Tory regime have no idea the mess they have made of Brexit. Total waste of time.

    I agree they have not done well. That said, no one could have succeeded. The British People voted to leave the EU, and many (most) of those who did so believed you could do this easily while maintaining or increasing prosperity and reducing immigration. No one was going to be able to negotiate a deal of this sort.

  37. Alec

    We were both very clear what we were voting for.

  38. TOH: The difference between us it seems to me is that I am wiser and enjoy life, you seem to want to spend endless time being miserable.

    You know nothing about the sources of deep joy in my life, because I don’t choose to publicise many of them here (though I have alluded to the pleasures of independent travel in Europe and beyond.) And in my experience, those who brag loudest about their wisdom are most in need of a top-up in that department.

    But I look forward to hearing about your cartwheels of joy when this ridiculous brexit misadventure is finally put out of its misery by the revised will of the people.


    Had a note the other day from the bloke who supplies our fruit and veg. The pound has lost 20% of its value since summer 2016, so all the imported fruit and veg is going to be that much more expensive.

    Unfortunately the stuff that is grown here is also going to be more expensive because nearly all it is picked by EU nationals (Polish, Bulgarian, Romanian mainly), and they can get better money by working in other parts of the EU.

    So the currency devaluation is causing a bit of a double whammy.

  40. @TOH

    Excellent – you knew exactly what you were voting for! That means you will be perfectly happy regardless of whatever deal is done so long as technically we have left the EU, even if it’s the softest of Brexits that we seem to be heading for.

    ALEC’s point, which you seem to have missed, is that people voted for a simple Remain or Leave with no detail. But I guess you had your clairvoyance and therefore know how this will all play out, and therefore voted for whatever form of Brexit we will happen to end up with.


    Exactly so, a lot of Remainers are hoping for BINO – Brexit in name only.

  42. @ Statgeek

    “”I ken mind fan the banter wis a richt rammy aboot indy, but noo it’s a’ aboot thon wifie (nivver a quine) that’s aye sittin ona muckle great coo.

    Fit een hid the sairest dowp that day? ;)””

    Well I, for one, need to be enlightened on who the wifie is.

    And I guess there`s others who can`t translate NE Doric.

    No longer does the Radio 4 Today have a regular Scottish interview (well at least in the strand after 7.30 am), so that doesn`t help the English understand Scots.

    But perhaps 20 years back there was a reporter giving R4 Today a daily Scotland interview, and I was involved in a live one coming up immediately after Thought for the Day.

    The interviewer had come to a friend`s house, and rigged up a transmitter on the front lawn using a pole like a maypole with guy ropes and the important cable leading into the house through the front window with the microphone.

    We were all set, the interviewer said we`ll be live in 60 sec, then silence, then suddenly there was a loud cry “Fit`s all this aboot”.

    The postman had arrived, we shushed him up, and 10 secs later the questions started.

    Which tells us 1) to plan carefully for the unexpected, 2) times have changed even in country areas and regulars don`t so often just walk in.

    Oh and the translation is – what`s all this about?. I.e. Whatever is going on?.

  43. I need to correct before you or ON think I`ve done a poor transcription:

    Fit`s a` this aboot.

  44. @TOH – “We were both very clear what we were voting for.”

    Indeed you were, but the problem is that you have no idea whether that is what you’re going to get. You could solve this by telling me exactly what Brexit is going to look like, but you can’t.

    You have already been mightily disappointed, with the news on the transition arrangements only adding to your sense of deflation. It wasn’t going to be like this, if we are to accept your previous proclamations at face value.

    The only way you can skirt around this is to pretend that May is delivering just what you wanted, which is why we had such difficulty getting to admit that you were wrong when you said that May wouldn’t agree the exit bill calculations until a trade deal was agreed.

    You’ve been wrong on every count in terms of how Brexit has unfolded, but you have only rarely been able to be sufficiently honest to admit this.

    That’s not a great sign of wisdom, if we’re being honest.

  45. @ALEC

    You’re being unfair to TOH. He knew what he was voting for. The fact that it was opaque to everyone else is irrelevant. If and when Brexit happens, TOH will be happy, because he voted Leave in full knowledge of everything that would happen next. Anyone who says that they didn’t know exactly what version of Brexit (or, indeed Remain) they’d get has only themselves to blame for not reading up over the decades, and should stop being a sore loser. Or winner, for that matter.


  46. That the tiny proportion of the politically interested had good knowledge of the arguments is as irrelevant as it is unsurprising. The poll before the ref (can’t remember if it was ICM or mori) that quizzed the public on things like proportion of immigrants in the UK, etc showed that a huge majority of the public, leave and remain voting alike, were hopelessly ignorant on even the basics.

  47. Old Nat,

    To back up what you’re saying about the diversity of generational experiences, my Dad’s side of the family never had any anti-German edge, because his uncle married a lovely German woman in the 1930’s. By contrast, my maternal grandparents all served in World War II and saw a lot of their friends die, and e.g. would never buy a German car.

    For my Dad, born at the tail end of WWII, the most momentous early political experiences were (1) the Korean War and the rise of communism in Eastern Europe and (2) the coronation of the Queen as “Elizabeth II” rather than “Elizabeth II”. So he ultimately became an SNP supporter with a disdain for unilateralists and the like (though he favours UK nuclear disarmament now due to the end of the Cold War).


    “Well technically she didn’t because she had willing partners in the Free Democrats or the SPD. Now those are either too weak (FDP) or too unwilling (SDP) to help. ”

    Well, technically she still needed a majority to pass any kind of legislation. I would have thought that was obvious.

    I don’t see how you can say the SPD were willing partners in the grand coalition. They were extremely reluctant and difficult negotiating partners.

    And the reason the FDP pulled out of negotiations for the 3-way coalition was hardly anything to do with their weakness, was it?

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