There are two polls on holding a second referendum in today’s papers.

YouGov in the Times found 36% of people in favour of a second referendum once Brexit negotiations are complete, 43% of people were opposed, 21% said don’t know. This is slightly up on last year – YouGov found 33% support in December and 32% in October. Full tabs are here.

The other poll was by ComRes in the Mirror. 43% of people said they would like a second referendum, 51% would not, 6% said don’t know. The don’t knows are lower, but the proportions of support and opposition to a second referendum are similar.

ComRes also asked how people would vote in a second referendum – excluding don’t knows, 55% of people said REMAIN, 45% LEAVE. The Mirror made a big fuss about this, but it requires some caution. The ComRes tables are here and suggest the data was only weighted by age, gender and region – as opposed to most polls, which are also weighted to ensure they are representative by things like past vote, 2016 referendum vote, education, class and so on. Now, there is a place for flash polls like this in getting a quick gauge of the public’s opinion on a breaking news story, but whether they are suitable for something as delicate as voting intention is a different question.

When it comes to voting intention – whether it be for an election or a referendum – the last few elections have taught us that getting the sample right and getting turnout right are crucial. For Brexit, that means ensuring the sample is right on things that like education, social class (where the ComRes poll appears to be 70% ABC1!) – and ensuring the sample has the right sort of balance of people who voted Remain and Leave last time. I would apply some caution towards any poll that did not.

I did a longer piece looking at polling on support for Brexit last month, here. Typically polls asking about how people would vote in a second referendum (which BMG and Survation ask regularly, Opinium and YouGov on occassion) have shown smaller Remain leads of between 1 and 4 points.


125 Responses to “Polling on a second referendum”

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  1. @Trevor Warne – “However, if you assume the govt does nothing (as these models do assume) then the regional differences caused by WTO outcome are miniscule (less than 0.5% over 12years I think,…”

    I really don’t want to back there again, but this sounds like loose language again. I’m not exactly sure where your figures originate from, but the last time you said things like this, you were talking of a small loss of GDP of 0.2% a year, which you called tiny, whereas as what was actually being shown by the models was a loss of 0.2% every year, which over 12 years compounds to a very substantial loss. It’snot possible to ascertain from your post what you actgually mean.

    I accept your point about government policy being available to alter this trajectory, but would again make my point that every other government will also be making changes in their policies to attempt to gain as much advantage themselves from Brexit, but could I politely ask that if you reference any GDP projections, could you please be precise in your statistical description of what you mean. That helps understand your points and avoids any misunderstandings such as we had last time.

  2. …………Trite List of Dubious Rectitude ?

    Terrific Lot of Discerning Revelations?

  3. Too Long Don’t (or didn’t) Read.

  4. Thanks Jim Jam

    Overcomplicated it-as usual. :-)

  5. Tory L**rs done (w) rong.

    Troskeyite Labour’s democratic reduction

    Tim’s Lib Dems Rubbish (out of date I know!)

    Tarton Legislators dreadful rule.

  6. @ ALEC

    I believe that TW is referring to the difference in growth between different regions in the different scenarios presented in Sadiq Khan’s brexit analysis.

    Even so, the impact of varying forms of Brexit on GDP is all too often being bandied about as a political tool. The Khan studies show something like a 2% cumulative loss of GDP due to a hard Brexit, but they also show 2% lower population as a result of hard Brexit. Unless any calims about GDP are immediately followed by the words ‘per capita’ they aren’t worth listening to.

  7. JIM

    I love that.

    First because of the inventiveness & that I didn’t think of them.

    Second because it is so you-even handed…………with four hands :-)

  8. Unless something’s gone wrong at this end there hasn’t been a post for over four hours.

    Bearing in mind that this is a polling website, will GARJ’s statement about a reported “2% cumulative loss of GDP due to a hard Brexit” mean anything to most voters? There may be certain jobs in certain industries that will be more vulnerable than they were, but the advance of technology is likely to be much more significant in that regard (IMHO).

    I agree with the point about GDP per capita being the more significant figure anyway.

  9. From Britain Elects:

    Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 40% (+1)
    LAB: 40% (-1)
    LDEM: 6% (-1)

    via @OpiniumResearch, fieldwork this week

  10. I wonder if the revelations about the UKIP leader partner’s very offensive racist comments about Meghan Markle will be the final nail in the coffin for UKIP.
    At the very least I suspect it will trigger a leadership challenge

  11. ANDREW MYERS

    Thanks for infoon latest poll. The details can be found on the Opinium web site. The voters opinion of both May and Corbyn have fallen fom last time. Otherwise the details are about trump with mostly predictable responses.

    Polldrums.

  12. I guess the LDs back down to 6% may suggest the 9% was just random variation.

    Or perhaps part of the difference is methodology from similar raw date with higher DK for Lab and Cons effectively increasing the LD VI share but then lowered by any DK re-allocation back to the respondents 2017 vote.

    Typically WV/DK for the Governing Party grows mid-term and we are getting close to 3 years of Cons rule, albeit with a GE in between which distorts patterns somewhat.

  13. The distinction between GDP and GDP per capita is significant in the context of Brexit, where it seems we are set for lower population numbers going forward.

    Heavens above, I would not like to reignite Alec’s tiff with TW over compounded growth rates, but would it not be the case that 0.2% less growth would be compensated at least in part by a lower population?

  14. @millie – “Heavens above, I would not like to reignite Alec’s tiff with TW over compounded growth rates, but would it not be the case that 0.2% less growth would be compensated at least in part by a lower population?”

    Yes, possibly, but remember that the population loss will be mainly from GDP adding younger migrant workers, whereas older, non working and GDP consuming people will generally be staying.

    We could therefore expect the position to perhaps be one where GDP per head doesn’t move in tandem with population numbers, or at least, if it does, it will still strain the public purse as we need a higher GDP per head for the population demographic remaining.

  15. @NeilJ

    “The opinions I expressed were deliberately exaggerated in order to make a point and have, to an extent, been taken out of context. Yet I fully recognise the offence they have caused.”

    Is this the worst excuse in living memory?

    Real car-crash stuff.

  16. Trying a shorter version of a comment on the Sweeting link that is in automod.

    The thing about the Labour Remainer position is that it seems to ignore practicalities.

    The Government is committed to leaving the SM and CU. There at only two ways this can ultimately change:
    if the Government changes its position;
    or if the Government falls.

    A Labour commitment to “remaining” in the SM and CU at this stage seems to me merely to make either of those events less likely not more, and at the same time is likely at this stage only to do it electoral harm by damaging its current coalition without obviously getting other VI onside.

    My observation was that we are thus in the odd position where the Labour right is the side advocating the position that takes no account of electability and the leadership that are the triangulating pragmatists.

  17. ALEC

    @”remember that the population loss will be mainly from GDP adding younger migrant workers, whereas older, non working and GDP consuming people will generally be staying.
    We could therefore expect the position to perhaps be one where GDP per head doesn’t move in tandem with population numbers,”

    Indeed so-because components of GDP growth unrelated to workforce headcount-like Net Trade , or Technology led Productivity Growth could help increase GDP per head , whilst “younger migrant workers” decline in our Labour Force.

    There’s an economic forecast out there for everyone.

    See “Economic Impact of Brexit” on p 24

    https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/fileadmin/user_upload/centre-for-business-research/downloads/other-publications/170330-slides-gudgin.pdf

  18. For the record, I am for argument’s sake going along with the inaccurate definitions that treat negotiating an economic arrangement that parallels or is EEA membership as “remaining in the SM” and negotiating a customs agreement that aligns the UK with the EU common customs tariff and common commercial policy as “remaining in the CU”.

    I am still persuaded that they are not however, and that the narrow legal definitions preferred by the Labour front bench are strictly the correct ones, and that what Sweeting advocates is not as such possible.

    This goes beyond mere pedantry when such sloppy language is used in amendments to the withdrawal bill of course, as it was it the Leslie amendment championed by Sweeting, which required “membership of the common commercial policy” without spelling out how on earth in plain English, never mind in law, you applied to join a policy.

  19. And in the interests of yet stricter accuracy I should correct myself so that “parallels or is EEA membership” reads either “parallels or is EFTA membership” or “parallels or is participation in the EEA”.

  20. Peter,

    You are right on the money re Sweeting (and Umunna and Murray) previously.

    By pushing for a commitment earlier than is possible they force a statement by Corbyn and/or Starmer of the hard facts which gives the impression (especially with JCs past position) that Labour want a harder Brexit than they do.

    Of course Streeting’s contention that during 2018 Labour’s internal compromise may not hold could be true as Oct/Nov this year could require a clearer position depending on the nature of the transition/interim deal.

    Possibly one of the reasons why Starmer wants the 2 years or so to allow negotiations to continue rather than it being merely a transition period.

  21. @neilj

    And her remarks weren’t just about Meghan Markle. The underlying question is whether her comments represent a strong current of UKIP membership and voter views.

  22. UKIP’s true colours as an utterly racist party.

  23. CATMANJEFF
    NICKP
    HIRETON

    Agree, I wonder for UKIP supporters it will not be her racism that causes them the most anguish but her put down that Meghan Markle was ‘common’ .
    Seems quite a metropolitan elite thing to say

  24. @NeilJ “I wonder if the revelations about the UKIP leader partner’s very offensive racist comments about Meghan Markle will be the final nail in the coffin for UKIP.
    At the very least I suspect it will trigger a leadership challenge”

    I agree. This is utter poison for Bolton. Even if he was to disown her completely, his judgment would be seriously called into question anyway.

    I can’t think of another party that has been through so many leaders in such a small space of time as UKIP since June 2016.

    Farage -> James -> Farage -> Nutall -> Crowther -> Bolton -> ?

    I wonder if Farage will take the reins yet again, especially after his latest outbursts.

  25. Pete B,
    “I agree with the point about GDP per capita being the more significant figure anyway.”

    Depends. There is the question of how equally that GDP is distributed, are you losing people at the low end, or the high end of income distribution. Does that make the remaining people more or less content? How does that affect government finances, are those still here contributing more or receiving more?

    National debt and ability to service same is generally measured against the size of the economy, the bill per person is less the more there are. So Imagine half as many people on the same income from a halved GDP, but having to pay twice as much each out of that income towards national debt?

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