YouGov’s regular voting intention figures this week are CON 42%(+1), LAB 42%(nc), LDEM 6%(-1). Fieldwork was Sunday to Monday and changes are from mid-January, showing the stable levels of support that have become the norm in recent months.

One thing that is notable in the tracker questions is the question on whether Brexit was the right or wrong decision: 40% said right, 46% said wrong. Six points is the largest lead for “wrong” that YouGov have shown in this tracker, which has provoked some comment. In YouGov’s last poll there was a blip in the opposite direction and the results put “right” ahead for the first time in months. That didn’t mean anything in hindsight, so I’d urge caution on this one too. All polls have a margin of error, so you get extremes one way or the other – the thing to pay attention to the trend (which does now tend to show slightly more people think it’s the wrong decision than the right one) rather than get wrongly excited about the outliers.

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444 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 42%, LAB 42%, LD 6%”

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  1. @Alec

    Well there is some variation on the length of posts or indeed exchanges some folk can stomach, but I enjoy your exchanges, and even the ones that wind up inconclusive throw up useful adjuncts, stuff to check out, e.g. I hadn’t been aware of Stiglitz’s view that QE might crowd out the private sector till Trev mentioned it.

    (Obviously one has to keep a sense of proportion and this all pales next to the launch of Falcon Heavy tomorrow…)

  2. “You feel TM is getting a good Press ?”

    Well it’s always worth imagining how the press would be behaving were TM a Labour PM. Don’t you think?

  3. ALEC

    Ah-imagined Press.

    I use the real Press.

  4. @Carfrew – yes, Stiglitz has been pretty critical of much of the response to the crisis and is very interesting to read.

  5. @ Carfew

    ‘* One might reasonably argue that it was more the Nulabbers who were doing things to undermine the party rather than the left.’

    Good stuff plus liked your gallop through post war history … very succinct and on target.

  6. @colin

    Re rules of origin. I’m not sure what “pb” is and whose post you are citing in your earlier post.

    However, as quoted the post doesn’t seem to deal with possibly the most difficult aspect of rules of origin for trade and exports which is the normal requirement in FTA’s between country A and country B for exporters from A to B ( and vice versa) to be able to demonstrate that a specified amount (e.g.55%) of a product is made from items originating in country A and not imported from outside. The cost of monitoring, documenting and complying with this aspects of “rules of origin” is apparently sufficient according to studies of official trade statistics to deter especially small and medium sized firms from making use of the free trade aspects of trade agreements and opting instead to simply pay MFN tariff instead.

  7. @ alec

    No need to apologise as it has been quite amusing to see your interlocutor completely unable to see the illogicality of his posts and his inability to even understand let alone deal with points being made to him.

    On another matter, you responded to a comment of mine on trade negotiations, the ‘South Korea’ factor re the transition arrangement and how the UK may only have marginal time advantage so far as negotiating its own trade deals.The other constraining aspects in the UK getting quicker and better trade deals are priority ( best to negotiate with the biggest market first) and MFN clauses which makes it difficult to get much better deals than those already negotiated by countries with other trading partners.

  8. Brexiters seem to believe that we can make trade deals with the rapidly growing parts of the world that will far off-set any loss of exports to Europe. This seems to me a fantasy. Brexiters themselves don’t believe in the efficacy of trade deals, if they are made as Hireton points out the EU will be first in the queue, numerous other nations are already filling these markets (Is Welsh lamb going to compete with Australian and New Zealand in Asia) and there is actually nothing stopping us exporting to these countries at the moment – we just don’t. And Brexit is a silly way of making us,

    I would have thought a far more promising line for the Brexiters would be that we will allow other countries to compete with the EU in selling to us. Food will come down, Peugeots and Mercedes will lose out to Nissan’s and KIA’s etc,

    And this being so is it not the case that zero tariffs between us and the EU is necessary if we are not to have mutually assured destruction with us, admittedly the ones most thoroughly destroyed.?

    So what would we have to agree to in order to achieve this happy mutual state, while avoiding, as I think we should try to avoid, a race to the bottom in order to compete?

    And if were to agree such a deal what would we be able to call it so that no one will lose face?

  9. Hireton,

    Political Betting a pale inferior version of this site.

  10. Haven’t seen the latest Barnier/Davis press conference, but the initial headlines seem to suggest no great progress. Davis said the UK has make it perfectly clear what we want, Barnier says the UK must make up it’s mind what it wants.

    Two stand outs from barnier are that everyone must play by the same rules during the transition, which looks like a clear rebuff to TM on rights of migramts, and also that there will be inevitable and unavoidable barriers to trade if the UK wants to leave the SM and CM.

    Once again, this looks like a complete stonewall from the EU side. We’re right back to the point made at the start of this process by the EU side. The UK government thinks they are in a negotiation – they’re not. This is just about agreeing separation terms. Once you leave the club, you can’t ask to renegotiate the club’s rules, which is what the UK is still trying to do.

  11. Alec
    You’re not the first and doubtless won’t be the last to tussle with UKPR’s very own ‘pig’s bladder on a stick’.

  12. JIM JAM

    Colourful-not pale.

    And far from inferior.

    ………quite different of course , in any event.

  13. Alec

    The golf club analogy can sometimes be helpful. It’s as though we have cancelled our membership but would still like to pop in for a round on mid-week afternoons.

    Colin

    No, May is not getting a good press. But that’s because they are simply reporting the news – rather than making stuff up as they did, for example, with Ed Miliband.

    I genuinely don’t know what she is in power for; she seems to have so few aims – apart from clinging on and hoping for the best.

  14. @Syzygy

    “Good stuff plus liked your gallop through post war history … very succinct and on target.”

    ————

    Why thank you. I thought it might have been too short, because I left out the bit about how Nulab had pioneered a fair bit of what’s holding Labour back now, inflating house prices, QE, and not investing to offset the demands of immigration etc.

  15. @ALEC

    “@Carfrew – yes, Stiglitz has been pretty critical of much of the response to the crisis and is very interesting to read.”

    ——-

    I shall give it a go. I think he might be less solid on the Falcon Heavy thing though.

  16. Alec,
    Just that I agree thus isn’t a negotiation. The uk has limited choices and has to pick one. That has always been clear to anyone willing to admit it.

  17. If we are outside of the Customs Union then the Good Friday Agreement will have been breached. You cannot have Ireland within the Customs Union adhering to all the regulations applicable to members but within Northern Ireland outside of it. The Government would be breaking the law in doing so.

    I doubt this will worry the likes of Rees Mogg as he doubtless feels he is above the law.

  18. Alec: The UK government thinks they are in a negotiation – they’re not.

    I think the Versailles ‘negotiations’ are an interesting parallel. The Germans could demand whatever they wanted, and declare enough red lines for a DIY Jackson Pollock, but it was just face-saving posturing. They had to accept what they were offered, and could only hope for concessions by asking nicely.

    Of course, that analogy can be extended further, into the consequences. The stab-in-the-back myth is already being dusted off and prepared for action by brexiters who will need to find an excuse for the failure of brexit.

  19. @MIKE PEARCE
    I don’t think there is any doubt that anything that produces a customs border on the island of Ireland will be massively politically damaging.

    Nor does it seem consistent with what has already been agreed in these negotiations.

    But which text in the Agreement (and since you argue there would be an illegal act, which text of the Northern Ireland Act) do you think prescribes CU membership? The North-South co-operation bit is vague in the extreme. I’d be hard pushed to see it as prescribing anything.

  20. PETER

    The Good Friday Agreement is enshrined in law and ensures that both Ireland and Northern Ireland have matching trade agreements and adherence to exactly the same regulations. I cannot see how that can continue if Northern Ireland are no longer part of the Cudtoms Union.

  21. @ Mike Pearce @Peter W

    Sorry Mike I have just read through the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement and I cannot find any such reference. I agree that there will be substantial political difficulties and some open legal questions (particularly with the effect and meaning of the right of all the people of the Ireland of Island to consider themselves Irish, British or both in the context of border issues surrounding the transport of goods) but there is nothing as specific as you seem to believe.

  22. Fighting the economic argument with long posts full of chaff; new derogatory names; dragging NI back out when all else fails; and accusing Leavers of thinking they are still fighting the n4zis

    Using the Brexit scoring system I make that 4-1 for UKPR’s Leaver today (subject to quibble challenges) :-) :-)

    I’ll finish with:
    Q: What’s the difference between a Leaver and a Remainer?
    A: Leavers see the glass 52% full :-) :-)

    A demain

  23. Leavers.. missed an S. Darn that might count as an own goal. Sorry team!

  24. LONG BORING POSTS REVENGED, BREXIT, NEW LABOUR, BLUE BLAZERS.

    After a lengthy break:

    @ Alec “I appreciate these ding dongs between two posters can get extremely tedious to wade through.” Don’t worry sport. I have never read a post by T Warne or any of yrs touching on his.
    Life is unreal enough as it is.

    Crofty.
    “I genuinely don’t know what [May] is in power for ..”
    May “is in office but not in power.” May’s disastrous election gave the left some success but much greater influence to the far right. Curious how the debate has shifted from migration to mythical trade treaties.

    Usual New Lab bashing: but Blair/Brown in their prime would have fashioned some sort of EU policy which would not have left most Lab voters, including myself, “confused” about Lab’s intentions. It’s not the public who are confused, but the policy.

  25. Momentum and democracy. Not their greatest fan but currently 50-70 Tory backbenchers shape policy, in a Commons with a large majority for a soft Brexit; these fanatics are selected by Tory members who are predominantly white, 65+, male, fanatically pro-Brexit & anti-immigration; in aggregate, 50,000 of these silver-buttoned, blue-blazered, silk-cravatted democrats will choose the next PM.

  26. Colin:

    Back on 15 Jan we had exchanges about what would happen to the Aberdeen by-pass construction following Carillion`s collapse.

    You believed that the other two partners would complete the contract despite big losses, and posted that construction work was continuing, with a link to an old picture in the Aberdeen Evening Express.

    Well you have been correct in that work is continuing (it would have been a great shock and embarrassment, if not). But now we know that only half of Carillion`s 76 AWPR workers have been taken on so far by the two partners. And the Scottish Government minister won`t give a date for the road`s opening, which implies still further delay.

    So Carillion`s mismanagement has had the knock-on effects of dazed staff getting redundancy notices (presumably from the liquidator), and further hold-ups for the long-suffering commuters crossing the construction works.

    And shareholders haven`t been chased to repay last year`s dividend.

  27. ROBBIEALIVE

    “Usual New Lab bashing”

    Please keep up Robbie – it’s nu-lab now.

  28. @DAVWEL

    “And shareholders haven`t been chased to repay last year`s dividend.”

    As the shareholders have probably lost 100% of their investment that sounds a bit harsh.

  29. @DAVWEL

    “And shareholders haven`t been chased to repay last year`s dividend.”

    As the shareholders have probably lost 100% of their investment that sounds a bit harsh.

  30. @ ALEC

    I certainly agree that the EU is stonewalling, and that they’re not really negotiating, but I don’t seem to share your analysis that the government is somehow at fault for this. Complaining that the UK is being cakeist is all fine and well, but if the government’s vision of their ideal post-Brexit relationship is unacceptable then at some point Barnier et al have to respond with some kind of guidance on what would be.

  31. @Garj – “…but if the government’s vision of their ideal post-Brexit relationship is unacceptable then at some point Barnier et al have to respond with some kind of guidance on what would be.”

    Do they? It’s the UK that talks about ‘no deal being better than a bad deal’, ‘Brexit means Brexit’ etc etc. The EU didn’t ask us to leave, so how come there is any responsibility on them to define what we want? They have very consistently said how everything works, and we have very consistently asked for something that doesn’t work.

  32. @Trevor Warne – “Fighting the economic argument with long posts full of chaff….”

    Just to be clear here, are you complaining about other people posting long, rambling posts?

    Really?

  33. @Robbiealive

    “Momentum and democracy. Not their greatest fan but currently 50-70 Tory backbenchers shape policy, in a Commons with a large majority for a soft Brexit; these fanatics are selected by Tory members who are predominantly white, 65+, male, fanatically pro-Brexit & anti-immigration; in aggregate, 50,000 of these silver-buttoned, blue-blazered, silk-cravatted democrats will choose the next PM.”

    Quite.

    Although if 60,000 people joined the Tories and they had views that had a little more in common with the actual electorate, things would get interesting quickly.

  34. @CARFREW
    “Very interesting point. People have been talking a fair but about GDP recently which had me thinking and reading,… There is progress that GDP doesn’t necessarily capture.“

    GDP is a poor measure of an economy as it counts negative things like sickness costs and ignores positives like freebies. It also doesn’t measure increased production quality, distribution or leisure time. If our GDP fell by 10% but our working week was 20% shorter and wealth was distributed more evenly would that be a bad thing?

    We need better measures of wealth and wellbeing and to make these the criteria for government. As TW’s new favourite economist, Stiglitz, says “What we measure informs what we do. And if we’re measuring the wrong thing, we’re going to do the wrong thing.”

    https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/why-gdp-fails-as-a-measure-of-well-being/

  35. @Chris Riley
    “Although if 60,000 people joined the Tories and they had views that had a little more in common with the actual electorate, things would get interesting quickly.”

    I said this last week. If the Lib Dem members want to wield power or stop Brexit they’d be better off joining the Conservatives.

  36. new survation polling figures out showing a fair shift to the conservatives.

    Westminster voting intention:

    LAB: 43% (-2)
    CON: 40% (+3)
    LDEM: 8% (+2)
    UKIP: 3% (-1)
    GRN: 1% (-)

    via @Survation, 26 – 29 Jan
    Chgs. w/ 30 Nov – 01 Dec

    may be fairly worrying for labour but I’m sure their focus will be on local campaigning for now. Any idea the state of the parties at a local level ?

  37. @RobbieAlive

    “usual New Lab bashing: but Blair/Brown in their prime would have fashioned some sort of EU policy which would not have left most Lab voters, including myself, “confused” about Lab’s intentions. It’s not the public who are confused, but the policy.”

    ——-

    Well more course you say that, But they fashioned an approach to immigration that had people voting for Brexit!

    And it’s possible quite a few Lab voters were surprised by some of the policies, like NHS privatisation, ATOS etc.

    And quite a few were confused by the arguments on Iraq.

    Meanwhile anything not glowing about your team is labelled “bashing”. Not bothered about Corbyn bashing though it seems!! Corbyn has copped a lot more flak on here!!

  38. @CARFREW
    “Re: Why the Opposition isn’t making further headway against the government.”

    Nice post. Mark Blyth explains post war economics and the Populist rise very well in this lecture. I recommend anyone here give it a watch if you haven’t already.

    Global Trumpism
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Bkm2Vfj42FY

    Or the short version for those with ADD.

    Post WW2 Economics in seven minutes
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8rxrjhWTdv8

  39. @TREVOR WARNE

    “Q: What’s the difference between a Leaver and a Remainer?”

    OK, I’ll bite…

    1. Although I am a UK tax payer, a Leaver will happily deny me a vote because the referendum is only advisory;
    2. A Leaver will happily strip my children of democratic rights;
    3. A Leaver does no international business, and is therefore ignorant that the EU removes red tape rather than creating it;
    4. Leavers don’t like facts;
    5. A Leaver will happily sell their country out to Putin in order to pursue a short term political advantage;
    6. Leavers have no idea about basic economics.

    Now, you might think I’m a remainer. But since I was not allowed to vote in your undemocratic sham, I am neutral. I am allowed no voice. You take my taxes to support a generation that tells me to shut up.

    Kindly bring ONE argument that supports your view that we will all be quids in when you have stripped my children and I of basic rights. One would be good, then I could tell my kids that you, and people like you, are not bad people.

  40. @ ALEC

    Well, Barnier says “outside the single market, barriers to trade and goods and services are unavoidable”, but we know that. The UK would like those barriers to be as minimal as possible, and has made a number of proposals about how that might be achieved going forward. The EU needs to come back at some point with details as to what specific barriers they intend to erect, and then perhaps a conversation can be had about them and whether there’s even any will on the EU’s side to try and surmount them or whether they’d rather they existed. Much as the UK’s position is cakeist, the EU’s preferred end-point is a total mystery. It may be our responsibility to say what we want, but how is there to be any progress if the other side won’t give any indication as to what they would like in return?

  41. @ B18

    “new survation polling figures out showing a fair shift to the conservatives.

    Westminster voting intention:

    LAB: 43% (-2)
    CON: 40% (+3)
    LDEM: 8% (+2)
    UKIP: 3% (-1)
    GRN: 1% (-)”

    Well, sort of yes, but did anyone really believe the poll that this movement comes from? That showed Lab/Con at 45/37. I think it’s more likely that the previous one was a bit of a statistical blip, and this one looks more in line.

    It’s a good example of how you can spin a poll many ways. Good news for Con, large swing towards them*. Good news for Labour, three points better than the YouGov poll at the top of this thread. The reality is, it’s probably just statistics playing tricks on all of us.

    * But note, those spinning for Con would probably have said the previous poll was a rogue at the time.

  42. @ GARJ

    “the EU’s preferred end-point is a total mystery”

    You have a good point, so I’m playing my Brexit post of the month on this.

    I think the EU’s preferred end-point is that the UK gives up on Brexit and remains. Hence they’re making it as difficult as possible for UK to get anything out of leaving. What happens if/when we persist is not so clear, but I don’t think they’re going to suddenly turn nice. It’s definitely not cricket, it’s politics. I don’t really know who will blink first in this dangerous game, but I have a feeling we’ll have to wait a long time for the EU to blink.

    Just my opinion, probably completely wrong.

  43. @Maraan

    I am sorry that you feel disenfranchised. I assume you are not a UK national?

    I don’t think the UK is unusual in restricting the vote in national elections to her own citizens, though. And paying tax isn’t necessarily the qualification for voting. Some voters don’t pay very much tax. And some foreigners who don’t spend very much time in the UK at all still pay quite a lot of tax here.

    I am also not sure what rights have been stripped from your children. Are they not eligible to become UK citizens?

  44. @TRIGGUY

    “I think the EU’s preferred end-point is that the UK gives up on Brexit and remains. Hence they’re making it as difficult as possible for UK to get anything out of leaving.”

    The EU’s preferred endpoint is that Thatcher’s Single Market remains intact, because it has been a fab earner for everyone involved. Is that so difficult to understand?

  45. @Alberto

    Thanks for the links. You may be aware I probably wouldn’t agree with Blyth when he blames inflation in the Seventies in full employment. While, as I have argued myself before now, full employment does create an inflationary pressure, we coped with it ok for a quarter century. It was the oil crisis that caused the big inflation ruses in the Seventies, and wage demands came as a result. It’s not like trade unions around the world all suddenly decided to strike for more pay at the exact same time. And then to do it all again just coincidentally when the second oil price hike hit.

    But overall yep, it captures what happened.

  46. @Trigguy

    I think that’s basically right. My gut feeling is that being consensual and willing to compromise may actually be counter productive in the negotiations.

    Until the EU is disabused of the notion that the UK can be steered to a second referendum (as per the EU norm), I don’t think we’ll find out what they really want from Brexit.

    May’s appalling general election performance of course doesn’t help. There was an opportunity to present the EU with a UK administration that they could be sure would say what it meant and stick to it. The Tories blew it.

    I’ve said it before I know, but for me the choice essentially comes down to Freedom of Movement. Assuming that the government, and the Labour Party, are truly committed to ending Freedom of Movement, then the question for the EU is “how close a trading relationship are you prepared to have with a UK that does not permit Freedom of Movement”. The other “red lines” are, to me, pretty irrelevant.

  47. @Maraan

    Which end-points would result in the end of the Single Market, apart from (arguably – based on the assumption that the four freedoms truly are inseperable) the UK being able to end Freedom of Movement and otherwise remain a full member?

  48. @NEIL A

    “I am sorry that you feel disenfranchised. I assume you are not a UK national?”

    I AM A UK CITIZEN.

    OK?

    (I was born abroad, but only because my father was serving in our armed forces. Does that make me second class in your view? My father would turn in his grave! I pay UK tax, but I have no permanent UK address, that is the reason the far right can block my constitutional right. You find that OK? Yeah? If the referendum had been binding I would have had the right to vote.)

  49. @ Maraan

    Don’t get me wrong, I voted Remain and am disappointed that this is happening. But given that we are where we are, I’m just musing on what the EU negotiating tactics are. I don’t blame them for thinking like that, all sides are bound to try to get whatever they think is the best they can get out of this situation. If UK wants to do well out of this, they’ll need some very tough negotiators. Are TM and DD up to it? Well I think I’d better not comment further.

  50. @Maraan

    Of course it doesn’t make you second class.

    It seems you’re a victim of an administrative rule? Normally you can vote at your last UK address, but perhaps your circumstances mean you don’t have one, or it was too long ago? I would have expected you to be able to register as a Special Category Elector?

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