YouGov’s first voting intention poll of the year looks very much like the polls at the end of last year. Topline figures are CON 40% (nc), LAB 41%(-1), LDEM 9%(+2). Fieldwork was on Sunday and Monday and changes are from mid-December. For the record, the nine point share for the Lib Dems is the highest that YouGov have shown since the election, though I would urge my usual caution about reading too much into that unless it is echoed by other polls. Full tables are here.

Most of YouGov’s regular trackers in the poll show a similar lack of movement: Theresa May continues to have a modest point lead over Jeremy Corbyn on who would make the better Prime Minister (37% to 31%), a majority (59%) of people think that the government are handling Brexit negotiations badly, and slightly more people think that Brexit was the wrong decision (46%) than the right decision (42%).

The one striking change since the last poll is how health has risen up the political agenda. 53% of respondents picked health as one of the most important issues facing the country, up fourteen points since the last YouGov poll (though still behind Brexit on 60%). It is by no means unusual for health to rise up the agenda at this time of year on the back of media coverage of the NHS struggling to cope in the winter months, but this is an unusually large rise and the 53% figure is the highest YouGov have recorded since they started asking this question in 2010.


99 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 40%, LAB 41%, LDEM 9%”

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  1. Alec

    “This makes the assertions from many leavers on here that a second vote would be undemocratic as the decision has already been made rather difficult to maintain.”

    Not at all, it makes no difference to my view that it would be undemocratic. In this instance I think Farage has got it wrong. I can understand his frustration at the Remainers attitudes but Brexit is happening and we are well into the process.

  2. Farage said exactly the same thing 20 months ago:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36306681

    The question of a second referendum was raised by Mr Farage in an interview with the Mirror in which he said: “In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way. If the Remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third that ends it.”

  3. It is by no means unusual for health to rise up the agenda at this time of year on the back of media coverage of the NHS struggling to cope in the winter months, but this is an unusually large rise and the 53% figure is the highest YouGov have recorded since they started asking this question in 2010.

    Is the difficulty that each of the four UK NHS systems has in coping with the strains of winter also in proportion to the rise in respondents identifying health as a concern?

    Is the level of media headlines on the difficulty that each of the four UK NHS systems has in coping with the strains of winter also in proportion to the rise in the scale of the problems in each system?

    There seems likely to be some level of correlation between media headlines and public concerns – but which is the dominant factor?

    Is it a feedback loop, or can political motivations within media decision makers be used to manipulate public thinking?

  4. @TREVOR WARNE

    Your comment about the poll being disappointing from a labour perspective is interesting since in my view we seem t have reached a stalemate in terms of those that have made their minds up.

    I have always believed that for those that have commited to Labour or have commited to the Tories there will be no changing their view. AS I pointed out from the youtube video. it is not about policies per se it is now about tribe. The referendum has made people think about tribal loyalties and what they believe they can effect.

    it means that for example you willl have no hesitation for voting Tory as you believe that Corbyn is the destroyer of worlds even if you like most of hos policies the fact that it is Corbyn is a big barrier than say Starmer. it is part of why I find your posts interesting. it is also why I find the fact that Ed Miliband was thoroughly rejected and seen as Red Incompetent Ed fascinating it is as if the messenger is so much more important than the message that people twist themselve into funky pretzel shape to make their tribal loyalties fit how they are going to vote.

    I believe if the tories adopted the policies of Labour as indeed May is slowly going to Tory voters will comfortably adopt them because of this and indeed if we got a Minifords style economic philosophy out of the the Tories, I’d suggest you would be loathed to support anyone else but Tories for fear of Labour getting in.

    I think what I would be more comfortable with is that people just said I am a tory/labour supporter it is my tribe and that is more important than anything else.

    So my expectation is that if you think the Tories are doing a bad job of the NHS, you will state it as the obvious but that will not correlate to supporting Labour. In the same way if you think labour are doing a bad job of brexit and your are labour you would be loathed to support LD because that may mean Tories because the chances are you are left leaning metropolitan elite type any way

    ;-)

    In all seriousness there have been numerous studies about voter perception and allegiance and this is pretty normal after a polarising debate. You can see it in the US where GOP supporters would vote for the GOP candidate even if he was a suspected pedophile. yet would not vote Democrat if Jesus came down from heaven as it were. They have identified the opposition and that has determined their tribe irrespective of policy.

    The interesting part now is twofold. How do you persuade the don’t knows to vote your way and as important how do you get your tribe out, in the rain, to vote rather than stay in doors.

    For me that is why I think labour has a chance. they need the Tories to lose 30 seats and win labour have largest share of the vote to make the situation interesting.

    Simply put for most people policy does not ‘matter’ both side have kind of staked their ground. The most interesting part is that there will be wobbles but I suspect nothing will change.

  5. Polldrums.

    Extraordinary given NHS salience & Labs lead on it.

    The Chris Williamson sacking is a bit odd. What’s that all about? JC worrying about rich Londoners ?…………or worrying about spooking them ?

  6. 6 months into a new Government and Labour are leading the Conservatives, yes a disaster for Labour. Any more disasters like this and they will be in power

  7. Not a great poll for Labour. I would have hoped for a 5% lead
    However a warning for the Tories. Any upturn for the Lib Dem’s will be more damaging for Con than Lab.

    Strange interjection by Farage. Agree with CMJ that he is being over confident

  8. @OLDNAT

    You raise a set of important points:

    1. How does the media categorise an issue
    2. The volume of that issue

    What was rather interesting was during the Scottish referendum, those requesting the status quo were asking the exact question that those requesting the status quo in the EU referendum were asking: namely how are you going to do it. it was that which came under scrutiny in the scottish referendum with lots of details about how would the scots run their own currency as an example how much of the debt would they take. The SNP response was closely monitored an appraised by the media to excruitating level of detail.

    in the run up to the EU referendum what was interesting was firstly the lack of detail that leave produced. it was essentially a slogan ‘Take back control’ beyond that every detail every negative could be answered with take back control, we could do that if the electorate wanted. it meant that the detail was unimportant and the indeed it came down to personalities which meant it looked like a blue on blue affair which for the politicos was fascinating it also meant that if you watched the news you would not know where labour stood because in truth for the media Labour were not the story.

    I feel that in the general Election the SNP ran a weak campaign. They ran it as if they were the incumbents rather than the downtrodden. they completely missed the issue of austerity which was to my mind weird and more over they allowed the tories to paint themselves as the fighter for the underdog, the radicals without actually offering anything radical. I think that it cost them seats

  9. @MIKE PEARCE

    Can I ask why would you expect Labour to be 5% up? it appears to me we are at a closed stage where changes will be withing the margin as I said in reply to TREVOR WARNE above.

    I actually think Farage is being smart. If he believe his version of brexit is failing to happen. having another referendum gives him a platform and an opportunity. I find it interesting that he has said this after his meeting with Barnier. That feels as if he has learnt something that would make him want to pursue that course of action. maybe he has found out what sort of brexit we are going to have? or may be has found out what sort of brexit we are not going to have?

  10. PTRP

    Lab have not moved forward in polling for a number of months despite the shambles this Govt has been in regarding various cabinet ministers resigning. Brexit negotiations have also gone painfully slowly and the NHS is once again leading the news for all the wrong reasons.

    So a 2% swing to Lab from their previous tiny leads would in my mind be expected but has not materialised.

  11. Colin

    “Extraordinary given NHS salience & Labs lead on it.”

    Anthony regularly reminds us that salience is most critical in which issues determine VI.

    That the media have hyped the NHS problems and raised the profile of that issue doesn’t mean that it is a “determining” issue in VI terms.

    Even in the most crisis hit areas, the number of voters actually affected by long A&E waits must be pretty small.

    Voters can shake their heads as they see the news, that has been selected for them, and say, “How awful” but if they are unaffected ………..

  12. Good evening all from a mild Winchester.

    “For the record, the nine point share for the Lib Dems is the highest that YouGov have shown since the election, though I would urge my usual caution about reading too much into that unless it is echoed by other polls”
    ———-

    Sound advice sound advice AW.

    I really can’t think of any political triggers that would had helped boost the Lib/Dems into the dizzy hights of 9%!!

    That said….We might yet see a Vince bounce and this poll might just be the first indicator of that bounce.

  13. @MIKE PEARCE

    I have to disagree with that premise on the ground that i would not expect labour to lose votes despite the merkyness of their brexit position or the inconsistency of their tax position or indeed the fact their welfare position is to the right of the liberal democrats. the point is they have stated a theme which paints them opposite to the Tories so the choice is do I support the Tories (am I a Tory) or am I a Labourite. I think it is a definition of tribalism. My view is that basically labour could have as many faux pas as the Tories and it would make little difference. The point is imy view is that if you support Labour in the main the Tories are toxic and if you support the Tories Labour are toxic. I have even used TREVOR WARNEs approach to brexit to justify why I believe it is so.

    What would surprise me is a 5% lead because either that suggest a detoxification of one or other party or a movement in the don’t knows.

  14. I actually think Farage is being smart. If he believe his version of brexit is failing to happen. having another referendum gives him a platform and an opportunity. I find it interesting that he has said this after his meeting with Barnier. That feels as if he has learnt something that would make him want to pursue that course of action. maybe he has found out what sort of brexit we are going to have? or may be has found out what sort of brexit we are not going to have?

    If I were a committed Leaver, I would be very aware the further Brexit goes on, the harder it will be to win public support again.

    Perhaps Mr Farage, with leaving the EU being his political life’s mission, thimks this, so the sooner a new referendum occurs, the more chance of leave winning again. I suspect if we have another vote, and leave wins again, that’s game shot and match for a very long time.

  15. passtherockplease: I actually think Farage is being smart. If he believe his version of brexit is failing to happen. having another referendum gives him a platform and an opportunity. I find it interesting that he has said this after his meeting with Barnier. That feels as if he has learnt something that would make him want to pursue that course of action. maybe he has found out what sort of brexit we are going to have? or may be has found out what sort of brexit we are not going to have?

    I am wondering about his motivations. What is in it for him? It seems to me that the big risk [which the tory hard right seem to be concerned about] is that another referendum will be narrowly in favour of reversal of brexit. This is more likely becausethe referendum was won on the basis that brexit is what you were thinking it should be and would have been lost if there were a unified view of what brexit actually would be, because people who did vote leave might have preferred to remain rather than have a certain form of brexit.

    So perhaps this is a case of be careful what you wish for. Who is Farage now? He is a nobody who has passed his sell by date and who has no role left in the UK. Glad handed by Trump but then ignored, he has no role in the US. He is a shock-jock here, but the UK is not greatly into that. He is losing his seat in the European Parliament and if he has a remote chance of becoming a Westminster MP, I doubt any party will have him let alone allow him any further forward than the rearmost of the back benches.

    My own thought is that he got a referendum result that he now does not want and would fight a good fight for brexit in the hope of losing. This would allow him to keep his European Parliament seat and become a trans European figure associated with Le Pen, the AfD and various East European thorns in the flesh of the EU. Otherwise, he risks perhaps being declared Persona Non Grata in parts of the EU.

    Perhaps on Monday, Barnier said something to him which gave him casue to think.

  16. Here is an update of the You Gov ‘Right/wrong to leave EU’ data with toady’s data:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=1WEogzxaatzLvcSmsqQbTLaPzgMV8THxQ

    The trends present previously continue.

  17. I have no idea who toady is.

  18. @TECHNICOLOUROCTOBER
    @CATMANJEFF

    Firstly as other have said he has said that 52:48 would be unfinished business and I think there is a level of legitimacy that is lost on a narrow vote for such a binary outcome. I agree with CATMANJEFF in that he is a risk taker, but I also sense if you read his blurb that the leave he want is not what is going to happen. it is not a Farage brexit, I also get the impression that JRM a the like have been rather quiet as if there is a view that again the view of brexit comes the end will be underwhelming for them and more importantly I think that considering how difficult the first stage was the fact that the second stage is going to be harder would indicate fudge all round personally I believe that no one will be happy and we will wonder why.

    In terms of the ordinary voter I think leave and Remain defines a tribe now rather than policy. For those commentariat (Us) I think there is still policy issue but most people just want it over with and I reckon they’ll accept fudge.

  19. catmanjeff: I have no idea who toady is.
    Tomorrow, you will find he is yesterday’s man.

  20. @TOH – I appreciate your personal opinion, but the point behind these statements from Farage and Leave.EU is that they see the Brexit being offered as not being the one that was voted for.

    This, for them, is reason enough to call for a second vote. Those of a remain persuasion also raise questions regarding what the leave vote meant and whether that is what we are getting.

    It’s the interpretation of the vote and whether the actual deal matches this that is the point here – not whatever it is that you feel and believe. The interesting point is that both leavers and remainers are now raising the same point (from different ends, obviously).

  21. @ COLIN – my apologies for defensive response on last post. I’ve looked at your link in more detail and extracted the data files. The NUTS2 level data isn’t there but at the national level the tale of EU austerity is clear. Since 2007 (ie just before the Great Recession), the GDP change have been:

    EEA/EFTA nations: +9.7% to +13.2%
    UK: +9.6%
    EU: +5.8%
    EA: +3.5%

    Within EU the spread is huge. At the top we have countries in two groups:
    Tax havens: RoI +39.6%, Luxembourg +17.6%
    E.Europe (low wages and EU payment recipients): e.g. Poland +32.7%, Romania +18.9%, Bulgaria +16.1%

    At the bottom we have Club Med (nicer name!) all still at levels of GDP below where they were 10years ago!
    Portugal -3.7%, Italy -6.8%, Greece -26.3%, Spain -0.2%

    A few weird ones like Finland -3.3%, Latvia -3.6% don’t fit the North/South/East divide but in general it is a simple story of:
    Winners: tax havens and those with lowest wages and receiving EU money
    Comfortably above average: Europe but not in EU
    Above average; In EU but not in Euro
    Below average: In EU and in Euro
    Far below average; Club Med

    The high-low is (RoI – Greece) is 66%! For the UK regions the high-low spread is 18% (London – NI)

    Changes in unemployment rates broadly follow the GDP performance – giving a double blow to Club Med.

    @ PTRP – above should cover some of a reply I owe you. I empathise with your personal circumstances – I graduated in the recession of 1992. We both got unlucky with time and place of birth but I would suggest there were much worse times and much worse places to be born. Ne0liberalism is hopefully over. Like full Keynsian, Monetarism, hard inflation targets, etc. economic academics jump on fashionable trends believing their science is a natural science not a social science. Economists like Stiglitz from the left and even the IMF have come to understand the flaws of ne0liberalism although sadly EU, in particular Germany and the ECB are still firm adherents to inflation targetting and ne0liberalism.

  22. “CATMANJEFF
    I have no idea who toady is.”

    Yes you do.

    Talking if which my guess is that Niglet thinks there is no prospect of a second referendum – so calling for one which won’t happen makes him sound brave and confident.

    Once more into my breeches, once more etc etc……..

  23. I find the Labour lead of just 1% depressingly small, and cannot understand why 40% of the UK population are still supporting the Tories.

    We have a had a very one-sided Budget with cuts in taxation for the better-off, and only a meagre increase in funding for the NHS. We have had shambolic EU negotiations, and government ministers having to resign due to bad behaviour.

    I fear this level-pegging is in part a judgement on Jeremy Corbyn, and how when he isn`t getting good exposure (compared to the GE election campaign) some voters revert to the idea that he is felt an extreme leftwinger not capable of running the country.

    I believe he ought now to join with the SNP and LibDems and make clear statements that Labour will block any attempt by the Tories to take us out of the CU and SM.

    The NHS crisis is not going to subside soon, but it looks like TM is going to tough it out, with statements like we have planned to cancel operations to ease short-term peaks in demand.

    It ought to be a major chance for Labour to push down the Tory VI to 30-35%, and break the tribal loyalty.

  24. Spot on Davwell in every aspect of your post

  25. I find the idea of a second EU referendum interesting, if only for the issue of “what would the question be”?

    Referendums can be useful as endorsements or rejections of a specified government policy, but (as the original EU referendum question showed) bloody useless when the consequences of a particular decision are not specified.

    A Useful question might be whether or not to endorse whatever deal with the EU the UK Government eventually secure (or not).

    However, rejection of that position has to mean a practical consequence.

    “Go back and renegotiate something better” would be ludicrous as would “Ask the other 27 states if we can withdraw Article 50”.

    Unilaterally revoking Article 50 would be a practical response, but only if the UK can do so unilaterally – and that depends on the ECJ’s ruling to the Court of Session on what the Treaty means.

    Rejecting the deal, and sailing off into unknown waters would also be an allowable response.

    So at best, any referendum would have to allow preferences between three reasonable responses – and a mechanism would have to be created to cover those.

    Preferential voting would be a possibility, but a binary choice between an arbitrarily selected two possibilities would be very undemocratic – so probably what the UK Parliament would vote for!

  26. Quick 2c on new ref.
    – We don’t have the time for one
    – Announced before we know the terms it would be a sh1t show (Some Remain still refuse to accept the last one!)
    – The whole issue of Revoke is unknown. Would Remain be honest about what Return looks like?
    – Anything near 50/50 would be so inconclusive we’d need a 3rd one
    – If EU then reneged on the Return terms we’d need a 3rd one (assuming Return won)

    However…
    – Once we know the terms (“min.dea”l versus EU proposed “Norway-” colony) then I’d be confident min.deal would win.
    – The maths in HoC and desire for CON to stay in power might present a scenario where CON see a ref on the terms as least bad option (they should prefer to use a ref over a GE if HoC is deadlocked)
    – To get to a new ref Corbyn would have to side with EU (this should IMHO out him as a Leaver and prevent the need for a new ref)
    – The new ref would be a de facto confidence vote and pressure CON to deliver domestic policies before the vote (ie deliver on some of the old Leave campaign promises, even though they weren’t really promises but details, details)

    With the foolish DUP pact, Corbyn is able to hide behind the veil of ambiguity and LAB-Leave VI only represents about 13% of population. As a nation CON-Leave and LAB-Remain are the two highest VI groupings (both at 29%) and a new ref based on the terms (CON supporting min.deal v LAB supporting Norway-) would seem the most democratic way to resolve the issue if/when HoC becomes deadlocked.

  27. “Lab have not moved forward in polling for a number of months despite the shambles this Govt has been in regarding various cabinet ministers resigning. Brexit negotiations have also gone painfully slowly and the NHS is once again leading the news for all the wrong reasons.”

    I’m no fan of the Government, but I think there’s two reasons why the “Government in disarray” message has little traction.

    First, away from the Westminster bubble, the politically committed, and poll geeks like us, no one really cares. Especially not over Christmas.

    Second, it isn’t really even true.

    As regards front bench attrition, Labour is not much better placed even since June, and the baggage it carried before then means that it hardly has an edge.

    As regards parliamentary discipline on Brexit, for the small number who even notice such things Labour is far more visibly split with dozens of rebels on some key votes.

    As regards Brexit negotiations, that a deal was done broadly in line with the initial timetable is all most will have taken away, if they have even taken away that. In fact, I’m a bit surprised there hasn’t been a small government bounce. Perhaps the NHS crisis is enough to damp this.

    I think the lack of movement is attributable to Brexit. Brexit is dominating the news, and dominating this board, but nothing of any substance is really happening that the non-obsessed might feel intruding into their lives. Precisely because it is going “painfully slowly”.

    To the non-obsessed, nothing dramatic has really happened and nor is likely to happen on Brexit for months, but nothing else is allowed to get a word in edgeways. So nothing to gain traction to move VI, so polldrums.

  28. P.S. If it came to it, Leave on min.deal could use the Brexit study that Sadiq Khan kindly provided – focusing on “per capita” numbers, “jobs first” (as % of population) and the lower strain on societal goods provided by the forecast lower increase in population!
    (see previous thread and possibly tomorrow’s press)

  29. Trevor Warne

    But it all depends on what the question would be in a 2nd EUref – and what the consequences would be of rejecting the deal (mini, midi, or ankle length) that the UK Governments negotiates.

    Without knowing that, speculation about which arguments might triumph seem a bit premature.

  30. @TW “The maths in HoC and desire for CON to stay in power might present a scenario where CON see a ref on the terms as least bad option”

    This is surely the single biggest reason why it will never happen.

    If the only reason CON might wish it is as the alternative to the Government falling, and that’s probably fair comment, then the Government will fall.

    To prevent that Corbyn would not need to “side with the EU” whatever you mean by that, he would need to side with the Government. Which is not credible.

  31. As most people have twigged, Farage, given the choice between having Brexit and being irrelevant and not having Brexit and being important again will choose the latter every single time.

    However, he might also have realised that a second referendum might actually split both main parties. What on earth would Corbyn do if we had a second referendum? And the Tories are in enough ferment as it is. Remainers would be driven from the party even if they wanted to stay.

  32. Of course there are other parties with the numbers to prop up the Government instead of Labour, but again, could they?

    It would destroy the LibDems for sure to side with them again, and it’s difficult to see propping up a Tory Government as bringing anything other than electoral carnage for the SNP too. And PC, who aren’t numerous enough anyway on their own.

    So if a referendum is the last resort confidence issue, the referendum isn’t happening.

  33. Mirror reporting that a ComRes poll puts Remain on 55% and Leave on 45% if there were to be a rerun of ref1 – but how likely is it that the wording of such a referendum would be as crassly incompetent as the first one?

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/second-eu-referendum-would-reverse-11837325#ICID=sharebar_twitter

  34. @ Crofty

    ‘ my guess is that Niglet thinks there is no prospect of a second referendum – so calling for one which won’t happen makes him sound brave and confident.’

    My guess too….. also differentiates Farage’s position away from Mrs May’s, leaving the Tories responsible for any fallout.

  35. Good Evening all from a dark and windy Bournemouth by the sea.

    My memory may be faulty, but I think Blair was about 30% ahead of John Major in 1995 so JC may be disappointed not to be further in the lead.

    I think Tories are probably really ahead, since LD numbers seem a little high IMO.

  36. TREVOR WARNE

    Thanks.

    Yes indeed-the point I was trying to make.

    All that Convergence & Equality simply cannot be magiced up by & bunch of bureaucrats in Brussels & The Commission’s Structural Funds.

    And in the end our disparities are far less than theirs.

  37. @TREVOR WARNE

    I’d start with ne0liberalism since that one is easier. the real problem with a rules based system is that everyone has to keep to the rules. So the idea of using debt to generate assets wose only way of generating wealth is simple restriction and debt tends to be a problem. The second issue was not so much the euro but the banks whom did government lend and the view of risk. The banks did the equivalent of pricing a house 2 bed terraced house in stoke at the same value as Buckingham palace. firstly it points to a lack of control of the authorities and secondly complete recklessness of the banks. I would not have bailed them out I would have stripped them of their licenses and allowed everyone to default and basically done debt forgiveness for the masses. I would not have been popular amongst the rich but I think that would have been better.

    The UK version of ne0liberalism was essentially to go low wage low skill and drive the economy that way. Thanks to our flexible labour market wages were low, pay rises were low and because of productivity pay rise will stay low. What it has done is we have substituted low unemployment with low wages and that has been a choice we would have ahd t make. it has also hit the country in other ways with regards skills and hollowing out of semi skilled jobs at a fast rate.

    I think simply put there is too much debt in too many places and as DANNY has said we have substituted real wage growth with accessible debt. Where I disagree with you is that firstly inflation reduces that debt. because simply put we do not have inflation because labour power is weak and the there are still a many options for capital to seek greater gains. Which means there is a big cycle of increased flexibility of the labour market to keep the capital form moving.( A slow and sometimes fast race to the bottom)

    As to the metric on the EU. it would be interesting to compare US states. I only have data on salries at the moment but the variation not including PR Mississippi stands at 21K and connecticut stands as 45K so in a country of 300M you can get big disparities geographically . i would not like to do china. however if you consider west coast states you get AZ at 25K and WA at 31 still a difference but not as big. Indeed you will find the gradations however you slice up the states and moreover tiny states.

    However I would look at say UK Germany France Netherlands and Denmark and Sweden as a close in terms in the same manner that you class the club med as similar. where I suspect we will find that the UK is in the pack.

    My point has always been that it is not the fact that any country is using the Euro or not or is in the EU or not most of the issue that surround each country has often nothing to do with the currency but to do with the shape of the economy and the what investment it can attract. MS is at the core of the US but it is clear that the coastal states have seemingly done better due to them being coastal climate and the level of investment attained.

    You make the same case for Greece but I would contend that their government and institutions pretty much made the country a basketcase.
    I am getting on bike now and cycling home

    It would be interesting to compare the likes of Holand Germany and Northern Block of countries.

    It is clear that Easttern european countries will be doing well. They have both investment from and access to germany. They often start from a low base so a little goes a long way.

    Finland is an interesting case. it pretty much points to my view of investment and continous investment to be at the top of the game. if you look at the history of Nokia you will find the allegory of Finland. A country that had a major market and was a major driving force and completely missed the next wave even though they were technically wildly superior to both Apple and Google. The VC call it the strategy of going all in. Nokia surprisingly in terms of software was seen as very good symbian was rock solid. but they believe in the hardware when everyone turned soft by the time they realised the market passed them by and then they had no money to really pivot.

    if you compare EU to the US I think you will find a similar divergence of GDP to the EU and no doubt if you look at many countries with a large population you will see real extremes.

    So again I think that you are not really comparing apples with apples for example I would have compared the UK with the other Northern Countries (I would not include Norway for example since it particular gains are very different but germany france Sweden and the netherland pretty much our peers.

    AS to Ne0liberalism ( i think my post may be in moderation because of that swear word ;-) ) It is like the paradox of thrift, unless you are prepared to pay people to buy your product you have to pray that they have product you want to buy. The idea that free trade is free and fair again to me is laughable as we are seeing across multiple forums such as WTO where our erstwhile friends are trying to shaft us ( I noriced the UK government has surprisingly kept its own council on this)

    The greece case is indeed rather interesting. I would go for debt forgiveness since it is the only way I could see greece moving forward. However the problem is not German reluctance but actually Eastern Europeans and the Finns,

  38. DAVWEL

    @” cannot understand why 40% of the UK population are still supporting the Tories.”

    Forgive the smile which crosses my face whenever I read this sort of thing.

    Dick Tuck always comes to mind & no one has ever put your sentiment more pithily than he -52 years ago now.

  39. CHRIS LANE

    Why do you think Lib Dem figures seem too high?
    Why do you think that if you are right in this respect Con would be ahead in the polls? There may well be voters who switch between Lab and Lib Dem!

  40. OLDNAT

    @”Voters can shake their heads as they see the news, that has been selected for them, and say, “How awful” but if they are unaffected ………..”

    Hmmm.

    Both Nicola & Theresa must be trying to console themselves with that idea just now.

    I agree with AW on salience & VI.

    And I wonder whether it matters whether what you describe as “media hype” is responsible for NHS’ increased salience.

    I rather suspect that it doesn’t ,just as I suspect that the public are quite capable of judging from friends and neighbours how things are in their local hospital .

    Its a bit too easy-for me-to dismiss a polling salience rating as just the result of what people read in the papers.

    That sort of complacency can lead to having to paraphrase Dick Tuck :-)

  41. colin

    “Dick Tuck always comes to mind”

    Is that a move that I’ve not heard about or an actual bloke’s name?

  42. CROFTY

    The 1966 Quote :-)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Tuck

  43. The ComRes poll for the Mirror:

    http://www.comresglobal.com/polls/18394/

    is the first political one we’ve seen from the company for a while. It’s an online ‘flash’ poll “conducted over the past 12 hours” earlier today (11 Jan). Table are here:

    http://www.comresglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Daily-Mirror_January-2018-poll_EURef-1.pdf

    Asked Do you think there should be a second referendum on whether Britain remains a member of the European Union, or not?

    Should 43%

    Should not 51%

    Don’t know 6%

    So a higher figure for a second referendum than some, but not a majority (yet?). However asked If there were a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, how would you vote?

    Remain 51%

    Leave 43%

    Don’t know 6%

    Irritatingly there’s no cross-tabs to indicate 2016 vote, so you can’t see where the movement comes from. Indeed there’s nothing to indicate that the poll was weighted by 2017 Party vote or even EU Ref vote just “Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults by region, gender and age”, though you would hope an experienced pollster like ComRes would do so. There’s also no LTV question or weighting.

    The EU Ref weighting is obviously particularly important in this case, especially as generally a lot of samples have too many 2016 Remain voters.

  44. Incidentally, though the ComRes poll doesn’t show direct VI figures, they obviously asked and you can calculate from the cross tab headings ([] = without DK/WNV):

    Con 31% [38]

    Lab 33% [40]

    Lib Dem 6% [8]

    UKIP 5% [6]

    Green 3% [4]

    SNP/PC 4% [5]

    Don’t know 14%

    Would not vote 4%

    Of course there’s nothing to say that these figures might not be alterered by ComRes adjustment, but they don’t seem out of line with other polling.

  45. colin

    Ta

    I have remembered though that is also an essential preliminary move for competitive high board divers.

  46. @Allan C @Chrislane1945 – LD VI

    I agree, this is nosebleed territory for Vince. Even less cut-through than Farron had, which takes a certain skill.

    @Colin – Dick Tuck.

    Thanks for reminding me.

    One of the most amusing, concise and salient concession speeches ever. “”The people have spoken, the [email protected]

    @passtherockplease – Farage 2nd Ref

    I’m in agreement with you. Farage is no fool and he is playing a longer game. I suspect if Banks is involved as well, they are probably setting their flags ready to start a party/campaign etc against any deal that doesn’t deliver the ending of FoM, ECJ and the CU.

    He’s added to his public position here:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/01/11/do-not-want-second-vote-brexit-fellow-leavers-must-ready-fight/

  47. In fact Labour’s lead in the original weighted data went UP from 2% to 3%. When you take out NV/DK it’s actually over 4%. The slimmer headline lead is purely a confection of this dubious technique of further weighting for likelihood to vote – and we know that led to a major underestimate by most pollsters of Labour’s actual vote in the last GE. I think the same process is still in play, which is why I think we should have the original data weighted for population balance (but not turnout intention) as the headline figure in all polls.

    Anyway if I was a Tory I wouldn’t draw much comfort from this poll, which is let’s remember only 6 months from the last GE so comparisons with previous mid term polls are invalid.

  48. PTRP (6:26pm)
    “…it is not about policies per se it is now about tribe.”
    It is true that the last GE was more tribal than other recent ones. There were 82% Con/Lab votes compared to 67% in 2015. However it was 90% in 1966, and even more sometimes in the fifties. This is interesting. In the post-war period there was little difference between the main parties (hence the term ‘Butskellism’), and yet in the nineties and early 2000s there was again little difference (e.g. Blair being ‘Tory lite’). The combined Tory/Lab vote was only 65% or the total in 2010. I’m not trying to make any particular point, just pointing out some strange patterns.

    Alan Christie (7:16 pm)
    “I really can’t think of any political triggers that would had helped boost the Lib/Dems into the dizzy hights of 9%!!”

    Apart from a very few dedicated LibDems, their vote is mostly made up of people fed up with both of the two big parties, as was also the case with UKIP.

    PTRP (7:52pm)
    “…but most people just want it over with and I reckon they’ll accept fudge.”

    I agree, but Leavers will want to keep pressurising to gradually reduce ties that are still there even if it takes decades.

    Davwel (8:29pm)
    “It ought to be a major chance for Labour to push down the Tory VI to 30-35%, and break the tribal loyalty.”

    It’s not that long ago (June 2016) that the Tories were consistently polling at that level or even below. I can remember posters on here seriously asking whether the Tories could ever reach 40% again. The reason that they are as high as they are is because of UKIP voters who see them as the party that will deliver some form of Brexit. So it is not tribal loyalty.

    Oldnat (8:47pm)
    “Referendums ”

    As the chief exponent of Quibble shouldn’t you have written @Referenda”?
    ————————————————
    I’ve now got fed up with reading all the essays, so I’ll just say that Farage is now about as relevant as Blair, and the new UKIP leader is occupied with his fancy bit.

  49. COLIN

    Polldrums.

    Extraordinary given NHS salience & Labs lead on it.

    It’s a moot point whether what the “most
    important issues facing the country at this time” question is about salience or merely prominence – about whether it’s what matters to people (and might determine their vote) or what is in the news. Of course the two aren’t independent, but I wonder if, for example, Brexit positions are really determining people’s VI as much as its lead here implies. Though even that has dropped 5 points since before Christmas.

    But it may be that, despite it’s varying prominence, Health still something that influences people. However another tracker question illustrates Labour’s problem. They lead on “which political party you think would handle [the National Health Service] best”, but only by 37% to 19%, not far ahead of None/Don’t know combined (35%). And in the previous poll Labour led 39-22, so they’ve not gained with the much higher prominence of the last few weeks.

    I suspect Labour’s current problem is that it has failed to set out a positive vision for the future of the NHS and allowed a narrative that the the NHS model is somehow ‘broken’ to take hold. Often promoted by those who would do well out of pseudo-privatisation.

    They need to be bolder and more campaigning in their vision – though it will mean admitting to past Labour mistakes such as PFI. Strong promotion like that might shift the polls on this issue – but maybe they feel thay should hold back till people start taking notice of such things in an election campaign. That shifted the polls last time, rather successfully.

    The Chris Williamson sacking is a bit odd. What’s that all about? JC worrying about rich Londoners ?…………or worrying about spooking them ?

    That seems to be fairly straightforward. Williamson seems to have managed to annoy various Labour frontbenchers by suggesting new policies on their turf:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jan/11/chris-williamson-quits-labour-frontbench-after-double-council-tax-call

    and rather than stop, he’s decided that he continue from the backbenchers. Given he had a fairly minor position, he won’t be missing much.

    The only problem for Corbyn, judging from that piece, is that the media will now decide that anything Williamson now comes up with is what Corbyn ‘really’ thinks all evidence to the contrary. But then they tend to make up what they think Corbyn ‘ought’ to believe anyway and present it as news.

  50. JIM JAM

    We know Rudyards view is a minority position amongst Labour Voters but has any polling been done of LP members and the EU.

    Anecdotal I know but all momentum members in my branch that I know 10-15 or so voted remain.

    YouGov have done a fair amount over the last few years, most recently for the Party Members Project based at QMC. This showed Labour members taking very strong pro-EU positions:

    http://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/qmul/media/publications/Grassroots,-Britain's-Party-Members.pdf#page=10

    with 87% believing that Britain should stay in the single market for instance. And polling from around the time of the Referendum suggest 90% of those members polled voted Remain:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/w0mr4c6hq9/TimesResults_160718_LabourMembers_Website.pdf

    As to whether Momentum and Corbyn supporters differ much from the average of members, it’s difficult to tell. The polling above excluded a lot of newer members (as they were excluded from the ballot) and may include some who have now left the Party. But support for a second referendum has increased from 64% to 78% between the two polls, which suggests that the newer, presumably pro-Corbyn, members are even more pro-EU than longer-seeving members.

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