YouGov’s regular voting intention poll this week has topline figures of CON 40%(-3), LAB 41%(+2), LDEM 8%(nc). Fieldwork was on Monday and Tuesday and changes are since last week. Full tabs are here. The movement towards Labour here is likely to be just a reversion to the mean after an unusual outlier last week. As ever, one shouldn’t put too much weight on unusual movement in voting intention polls when there is no obvious reason to expect a change, more often than not they’ll turn out to just to random sample variation.

And, for the benefit of the weird 500 post mumsnet thread about why Labour are losing women, based on a crossbreak in last week’s poll than showed Labour dropping six points among women, Labour are back up by five points among women this week. Demographic crossbreaks in polls have smaller samples, hence are more volatile and can bounce about a lot from poll to poll, often producing strange things. In something as subtle as voting intention where a difference of a few points can change the picture completely the crossbreaks in individual polls are best just ignored. If you really want to look at the demographic breakdown of voting intention, look for trends across a large number of polls over a period of time and look for consistent change – don’t jump on a figure in a single poll that fits a convenient narrative.


1,008 Responses to “Latest YouGov poll is back to normality – CON 40%, LAB 41%, LDEM 8%”

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  1. While the uber Brexit block on the right (mainly) of the Tory party is bigger than the strongly Europhile wing on the (mainly) left, the size of the second group and their willingness or otherwise to vote down too hard a deal is the crucial number.

    Assume 10 Labour hard leavers and there would need to be 15/6 Tories willing to side with the rest of the combined opposition.

    Being able to do trade deals or not, hence being in a customs union or not, seems too be the only substantial issue, the rest is noise which people will compromise on imo.

    I thought this CU v external trade deal could be ‘decision’ could be dealt with as late as late autumn 2019, even 2020, during the transition but it seems the hard brexit faction are pushing now.

    Maybe they feel their position will be weaker next year or just this is the best time to press a weak PM, I don’t know but I hope that HMG is not bounced in to an early decision before more factors are known.

  2. JIM JAM

    @”I thought this CU v external trade deal could be ‘decision’ could be dealt with as late as late autumn 2019, ”

    According to Steve Baker on DP today the Trade Agreement** will be ready by Oct. 2018 to meet EU internal timetables.

    Meaningful Vote to HoC before EP vote-autum THIS year or Jan next year.

    ** Whether this is a Heads of Agreement -or Dotted is & ts isn’t clear.

    Seems to me to be the former in that timescale- detail to be completed during “transition”.

    Baker on DP said he would be “amazed” if Lab voted for the Deal.

  3. Colin,

    Steve Baker makes my point, I think, that he and his chums are pushing for this and suggesting this is to meet internal EU timetables is an opinion no more.

    I think he is right in essence that a deal he cold support would not be supported by Labour (less their rebels) and that how many Tories join Soubry and Clarke (Ken) would be the vital factor in the vote.

    Frankly, I don’t know which way HMG will go, I think the PM wants a softer Brexit and agree with Crofty, Sue Alec and others that disarming the hard Brexiteers was the ain in the GE.

    I don’t say tis with any conviction but do think Robyn Walker (DDs Number 2) is in the soft Brexit camp and he may have more clout than Davis whose status appears to have diminished.

  4. Much to amuse, this afternoon.

    Scanning the DT website, I see Janet Daley has a column entitled “The rabid, vindictive rage of Remainers now borders on the pathological”.

    It sits beneath the headline ““This is Brexit betrayal at its contemptible worst” – a line taken from a UKIP statement on Theresa May and her ‘open ended transition’ demands.

  5. I am incandescent and foaming at the mouth reading that Alec.

  6. JIM JAM

    I wasn’t really speculating about Hard/Soft-I was talking about timetables after your comment about late 2019

  7. I get that Colin and you quoted Steve Baker, not that you said he was right – I don’t think he is and moreover believe that the EU and HMG will find a away to operate to a timetable that they can both live with whatever requirements are in place.

  8. JIM JAM

    Being a minister directly involved, I make the assumption he didn’t come on TV & say things which are likely to be completely wrong.

    He didn’t say that the exact nature of the document timetabled for October would be-merely that it would the one on which Parliament votes.

    It is my own opinion that it will be Heads of Agreement. at that stage.

  9. Westminster voting intention:

    LAB: 43% (+3)
    CON: 42% (+1)
    LDEM: 7% (-1)
    UKIP: 3% (-1)
    GRN: 2% (-1)

    via @ICMResearch

    Another poll showing instant snap back

  10. Westminster voting intention:

    LAB: 43% (+3)
    CON: 42% (+1)
    LDEM: 7% (-1)
    UKIP: 3% (-1)
    GRN: 2% (-1)

    via @ICMResearch

    Another poll showing instant snap back

  11. @ PR

    Definitely worth repeating.

  12. @Alec

    “Scanning the DT website, I see Janet Daley has a column entitled “The rabid, vindictive rage of Remainers now borders on the pathological”.

    It sits beneath the headline ““This is Brexit betrayal at its contemptible worst” – a line taken from a UKIP statement on Theresa May and her ‘open ended transition’ demands.”

    ————

    Were these “Premium” articles? For “Premium” people? From the “Premium” selection?

  13. @ Carfrew

    “Were these “Premium” articles? For “Premium” people? From the “Premium” selection?”

    Surely more likely to be local news for local people (who buy papers in a local shop of course).

  14. @ ALEC – ?? Anyway, if you dig into the WA (clauses 57-86) you’ll see it is designed to pay money against signing off codified binding commitments along the timeline of exit (UK legal team are not fools). Relevant clause numbers to be codified and signed off in brackets.

    Mar’18 (quite possibly delayed 1mth due to some final brinkmanship): agree transition period payments in return for transition (c59-60 taking note of c70)
    Autumn’18: ‘framework of future arrangements’ in place, possibly commit to a little more (part of c61)
    Meaningful vote in HoC
    Up until Mar’19: pay as per budget, etc, full EU, etc.
    Sometime soon after Mar’19: start filling in the fine detail on the framework for future arrangements (final c61)
    Mar’19-Dec’20: pay as if still full member as per 2014-20 MFF, BINO, etc (c59-60)
    Dec’20: assuming both sides still on friendly terms then a final ‘bullet’ payment (rough calculations suggest this would be 10-15bn), (c61-66)
    Dec’20-soon after: some possible minor and specific extensions with ‘pay to play’ (Steve Baker commented on this but back in the original discussions the phased implementation was supposed to be split by sector, etc on a “when ready basis”, dare I mention NI could take longer!?!) touched on in several clauses but ‘fudgey’ for sure!
    Dec’20 onwards: small payments for specific ‘bits’ possibly fudged in foreign aid budget or similar (c73)

    Since the WA came out, phase two has been split into phase 2a and 2b or 2 and 3 so some of the references to second phase in the WA are open to some interpretation.

    In the timeline you’ll note Mar’19-Dec’20 is worth roughly 18bn and Dec’20 bullet payment is worth 10-15bn. This gives EC strong incentive to play fair. I’ll fully accept we are in a position of mutual trust after Mar’19 with little more than a ‘framework’ in place – keeping the money on a ‘pay as you go’ basis protects UK interests. EC will want us to commit sooner (ie sign off codified legally binding commitment) but we have no reason to and it gives away our principle leverage. They will ask, we will resist.

    That is of course Plan A! If it is Plan B then they can explain to EU27 electorate and May can explain that to UK electorate.

    [NB legal input from a friend who has his finger ready on the court case issue if May over reaches her powers and commits parliament to something she has no right to – he seems very happy with c61!]

    If you want to try to upset Leavers then the clause you want is c49! Default to the ‘impossible’ NI situation that requires either BINO or Remain.

  15. WB
    “The point about this is that there is no and can be no meeting of minds amongst the politically active until this whole Brexit thing is played out. ”
    There might in the interim be some meeting of minds. or some welcome clarity of thought and intention, if, as Jeremy Corbyn asked in PMQs, the Government would state what is meant by ‘as tariff free access to the EU as possible”, changing its stance from that of her Lancaster House speech, which promised tariff free access to European trade.
    Does the present statement mean as free as the EU allows, and does that not mean that it will impose such tariffs on UK goods and services as it wishes?

  16. JIMJAM

    Incandescent and foaming at the mouth? Do you take bookings? Sell tickets?

  17. TRIGGUY

    “PR definitely worth repeating.” I seconds that.

  18. @ COLIN – I expanded out on your 1:44pm. It’s from a legal friend and I wasn’t keeping up with all of the details but think it broadly makes sense.

    LAB are opposition and my guess is that is all Steve Baker meant when he said Labour wouldn’t vote for it. LAB-Leave have 2-7 rebels that have, and probably would, break whip so the maths is tight if DUP abstain and Soubs+a few CON also vote the deal down. I don’t think DUP necessarily abstain but just looking at worst case. Even then, if it is turned into a confidence vote then CON rebels would probably back down.

    More interesting is the view that Corbyn has properly come off the fence and committing LAB to BINO. General public do not fully understand the very important differences between Customs Arrangements and staying in THE Customs Union. ‘Unfortunate’ timing for him I think given talks seem to have taken a turn for the better. May and press need to ensure he is fully committing LAB to BINO before they point out the key differences between CON and LAB Brexit policy. After the Czech debacle, Corbyn is very exposed to not acting in UK national interest and is teeing himself up nicely!

  19. Sam – through Ticket Shafter

  20. @Trigguy

    “We’ll have no trouble here!”

  21. @Trevor Warne – “@ ALEC – ?? Anyway, if you dig into the WA (clauses 57-86) you’ll see it is designed to pay money against signing off codified binding commitments along the timeline of exit (UK legal team are not fools). Relevant clause numbers to be codified and signed off in brackets.”

    Yes, that’s right – I think you’re there. The payments have all been clearly defined with most of the triggers and timings defined, within the context of the WA. If you look at these, none of them remotely relate to a future trade agreement. Once the WA is signed, which it has to be before trade talks commence, then the mechanisms for payment are underway and the legally binding commitment is confirmed.

    The rest of what you’ve written is just fanciful – legal nonsense, if you will.

    This, for example, is tripe – “Autumn’18: ‘framework of future arrangements’ in place, possibly commit to a little more (part of c61)”.

    Where is clause 61 does it state that the agreed payment is subject to any future framework being in place? That’s covered in 96, and as I’ve explained, the WA only has to take account of whatever future arrangement the leaving state asks to have – it is not contingent. There is nothing within the WA that confers to right on the UK to withhold payments with respect to any aspects of negotiations on the future relationship.

    Once May signs the WA, clause 61 becomes legally binding, along with everything else.

    The clauses you point to merely serve to illustrate my point that the WA is a comprehensive withdrawal agreement that is entirely self contained within it’s own terms not contingent on any future agreements, as is required under A50.

  22. TREVOR WARNE

    Thanks.

    To be honest things like the cash flow timetable of Exit Payments are off no interest to me at all.

    Whilst I have a general interest in the perceived ongoing direction of Brexit, my interest in the detailed factional preferences & machination in both parties is waning fast.

    There is so much hype & instant speculation & far too many options & permutations.

    I rest in the hope that HMG’s team is grinding through the whole thing in a way which will produce a reasonably sensible outcome for both parties. What the folks on the Green Benches will make of it & how they vote -I just wait & see.

    I am more concerned about the thing I have always been concerned about-a Transition Period which is long enough & effective enough for UKplc & Whitehall to prepare properly for Transition Day.

    Meanwhile I become more & more convinced that UK’s membership of the EU that will begin to emerge from Macron’s rising influence & Merkel’s falling influence , would not have been susatainable or meaningfull outside the EZ.

    Indeed I think that membership of EU but not EZ will very soon become a meaningless status of no value.

  23. @TW
    “Even then, if it is turned into a confidence vote then CON rebels would probably back down.”

    That trick is no longer legally possible.

  24. TREVOR WARNE

    Default to the ‘impossible’ NI situation that requires either BINO or Remain.

    In what sense is a solution which has kept the peace on the island of Ireland for two decades impossible?

  25. @BZ – welcome back. It’s been the usual weirdness on here today.

  26. Carfrew
    “We didn’t cut their faces off! “
    Oh Tubbsy …

  27. ALEC

    Thanks, and you’re right.

    Weirdest I’ve noticed so far is TREVOR WARNE’s:
    After the Czech debacle, Corbyn is very exposed to not acting in UK national interest and is teeing himself up nicely!

    The Indy has two good articles on the topic……

    Newest: Jeremy Corbyn was in Derbyshire when ex-Czech spy claims they met in London, leader’s records show includes:

    Jeremy Corbyn has revealed he was at meeting in Derbyshire at the exact time that a former Communist spy claims to have been with him in London.

    The Labour leader said his records prove he attended a gathering of socialists in Chesterfield in October 1987, when the Czech agent claims to have been talking with him in the House of Commons.

    It also happened to be the day after Mr Corbyn’s mother died and a Saturday – when the Commons does not sit – making the alleged meeting in Westminster more unlikely.

    Also: Jeremy Corbyn demands apology and donation to charity from Tory MP who said he ‘sold British secrets to spies’ includes:

    Ben Bradley, a Tory party vice-chairman, tweeted the accusation, later deleting it after the Labour leader threatened him with legal action.

    Now Mr Corbyn has gone further, telling Mr Bradley that “serious harm has been caused by your libellous statement” and demanding the apology, on Twitter, “in terms to be agreed with us”.

    Now Mr Corbyn has gone further, telling Mr Bradley that “serious harm has been caused by your libellous statement” and demanding the apology, on Twitter, “in terms to be agreed with us”.

    A letter sent to the Mansfield MP also says he must “agree to pay a sum of money direct to a charity of our client’s choice, in lieu of damages payable to our client for the injury you have caused to his reputation”.

    It adds: “We invite your proposals by return with regard to the amount that you will pay which we would expect to be substantial, as our client’s attitude towards the level of payment will take into account the speed with which you make sensible proposals or not.”

    I don’t see that it is Corbyn with the problem. More likely to trash Bradley’s reputation, I suspect.

  28. Even Andrew O’Neill has slapped down the Tories for this ridiculous smear. That’s truly shocking, even O’Neill is disgusted by these antics

  29. @BZ – indeed. I smiled at that definitive assertion from @Trevor Warne, making a note to myself of Labour’s apparent 3% rebound in the polls following the rather ridiculous attempt to smear Corbyn.

    Also rather tickled to hear Norman Smith on R4 tonight discuss Tory Brexiters concerns about May’s ‘backsliding’ on Brexit. He pointed out how HMG folded last summer on the UK stipulation that trade and withdrawal talks would be concurrent, then in December folding again on the issue of no payment talks without trade talks, and now this leaked UK position paper shows we’ve folded on EU migrant rights during the transition period, as well as revealing that May would be happy for the transition to be ‘as long as it takes’.

    Smith clearly understands the realities of what has happened so far, even if some on UKPR and elsewhere seem sublimely oblivious to this reality.

    My guess is that the ERG know that they are being steamrollered and are trying to kick back, but my concern is that a large chunk of Brexit voters simply don’t understand what is happening, and I worry about how they will react when the final deal is announced. Whether they care enough to be bothered is one possibility, while another being that they find sufficient ways to maintain the fiction that matches their notion that their Brexit beliefs have been met.

    Or perhaps they’ll wake up and get angry?

  30. Sea Change,
    “No formal talks on the transition can take place until both sides set out what they believe they are transitioning to.”

    Not really the case. The so-called transition is simply an extension of Uk membership of the EU trading arrangements for 2 years. Anything could happen afterwards. 2 years would probably be enough to conclude negotiatons to rejoin, for example. (at least, if the Uk side was actually trying)

    Alec,
    ” “The rabid, vindictive rage of Remainers now borders on the pathological”.”
    Plan to unite the nation coming on nicely, then.

    “Once May signs the WA,”
    Though of course, she has no power to do this. It would presumably require an act of parliament, or does she have powers under the withdrawal act?

  31. PRINCESS RACHEL

    Agreed. The right wing press are the dregs. Their constant attempts to smear Corbyn are vile. What they don’t understand is that it will cut no ice with the electorate and will just reinforce the views of their elderly readership who will never vote Labour anyway.

  32. Just seen the Andrew Neill interview. Those Tory ministers and Tory mps need to be held to account for their comments as should the press. We are supposed to be living in a democracy. If they have lied then they should be sacked.

  33. Barbazenzero,
    “Weirdest I’ve noticed so far is TREVOR WARNE’s:
    After the Czech debacle, Corbyn is very exposed to not acting in UK national interest and is teeing himself up nicely!”

    Oh wow, I was just looking at a different website where a different poster had expressed exactly the same opinion. I love the way completely independent posters come to the same thought at the same moment on the internet.

    Alec,
    ” …making a note to myself of Labour’s apparent 3% rebound in the polls following the rather ridiculous attempt to smear Corbyn. ”

    One might wonder whether some who voted for Brexit for anti-establishment reasons might switch to Corbyn if they believed he was really a foreign spy. Hard to smear the anti establishment candidate with allegations of being anti establishment.

  34. Trevor Warne ” After the Czech debacle, Corbyn is very exposed to not acting in UK national interest”

    You mean the utterly discredited pack of desperate lies that the press have created, which Tory MPs have been rightly criticised for publicising without the slightest evidence and been threatened with legal action for repeating? That Czech debacle?

  35. Danny
    ‘‘Hard to smear the anti establishment candidate with allegations of being anti establishment”
    Corbyn is hardly anti establishment just your normal hard core socialist much beloved of yesteryear.
    To be fair for someone who has sucked up to the UKs enemies over the years from the IRA to verious middle eastern groups ,the fact he spoke to our Cold War enemies years ago comes as no surprise but it hardly makes him a spy just somebody that shouldn’t be trusted in a moment of national crises should such a incident occur.

  36. Jeremys motorbike ride through Communist Czechoslovakia is strange though. In my experience if you were a diplomat or on business you could go solo on a visa to Soviet block countries, but if you were ‘on holiday‘ you had to go in a group and were met at a (Intourist) hotel by a ‘guide’, who stayed close by throughout your trip.
    How would you get around on a motorbike on your own without being invited by someone with clout? Where would you stay each night? At a Days Inn?
    :)

  37. UKIP on 3% eh? Despite all the publicity over the last few weeks they look well on course to under-take the Greens, whose public profile has recently been nonexistent.

    With only just over a year to go before it slowly dawns on the UKIP MEP contingent that they don’t have jobs any more and will need to rely on their Austrian wives to support them (assuming they haven’t all left them for a “model” thirty years their junior) it hardly seems worth the effort or expense of electing a new leader.

    Might as well just stick with the new one whose name appears to have escaped me, presuming he’s capable of switching off the light on the way out.

  38. Very strong words from Andrew Neil, (and what ever you say about Neil he is not a natural Corbyn supporter) absolutely scathing in his condemnation of the Conservative lies in trying to smear Corbyn
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5keoT4PvPs

  39. ….AND, how did he get a motorbike into Czechoslovakia? Did he ride it from London? Or rent one from Hertz?
    :)

  40. NEIL J

    Indeed. Baker really had no answers and came across as feeble. I hope this badly rebounds on the Tories and their friends in the press.

  41. ALEC @ BZ

    My guess is that the ERG know that they are being steamrollered and are trying to kick back, but my concern is that a large chunk of Brexit voters simply don’t understand what is happening, and I worry about how they will react when the final deal is announced. Whether they care enough to be bothered is one possibility, while another being that they find sufficient ways to maintain the fiction that matches their notion that their Brexit beliefs have been met.

    My guess re the ERG Cons is that they know full well that anything worse [from their POV] than a BINO fudge isn’t going to happen and are building up a “legend” of duplicity to moan about ad infinitum, as they did after the 1975 referendum.

    How people who were daft enough to vote leave react is another matter altogether. My guess would be that the Lab leavers won’t be too worried if they manage to elect a Lab HMG whilst the elderly Con leavers don’t seem to have anywhere to move to, although the likes of the Torygraph, Mail & Sun will probably attempt to keep them onside in case re:smog [©RJW] and other extremists can stage an internal coup sometime in the future.

  42. @ ALEC – ?? Your going round in circles so please make your mind up. Which is it to be:
    1/ The WA needs to be codified or
    2/ May signs WA as it is since it is a(“comprehensive withdrawal agreement that is entirely self contained”)

    Is it 1/ or 2/

    (clue: there was no signature page and even if there was May alone would not be able to sign it – Parliament is sovereign as Gina Miller pointed out!)

    As for quoting from the Indy :-) :-) It’s the marginal voter in the marginal seat that matters!
    FWIW With no GE in sight I’d be very happy to see LAB with a 2-5pt lead up to April Fool’s day 2019.

    @ PETERW – are you referring to the FTPA?

    @ COLIN – Indeed. Juncker’s State of Union address backed up by Macron as Primus inter pares certainly has put the foot down on the accelerator of “ever closer union”. They are failing to see the warning signs bubbling up in the electorate and trying to close the lid whilst turning the heat up!

    P.S. Anyone fancying a little flutter might like to know the Implied probability of a 2018 GE is down to 15% (6-1 ish in bookie odds). It’s been a pretty much one-way trip from 30% to 15% on the way to 0% but seems like a few people see the odds more like 50% so great opportunity for those folks!
    https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/politics/market/1.132099836

  43. DAVID COLBY

    @”Jeremys motorbike ride through Communist Czechoslovakia is strange though. ”

    Its not too strange when you have the whole context.

    Finklelstein in today’s Times sets it out-together with Corbyn’s on-the record statements & contacts at the time.

    As he says-we don’t need conspiracy theories about JC-we just need to read his public utterances.

  44. I wonder how many more votes are moving to Corbyn as this transparent smear progresses?

    They really are committing hari-kari.

  45. COLIN
    Precisely.
    You shouldn’t put too much store in what you read in the times though. Apparently the entire OXFAM scandal was made up by Rupert Murdoch. I know that’s true because I read it on UKPR
    :)

  46. god if you’re fooled by Finkelstein’s attempt to add up two and two to make five, there no hope for ya.

  47. there’s

  48. @Trevor Warne – what I said was – “Yes, that’s right – I think you’re there. The payments have all been clearly defined with most of the triggers and timings defined, within the context of the WA. If you look at these, none of them remotely relate to a future trade agreement.”

    What is it about this that you don’t understand?

  49. @NICKP

    “I wonder how many more votes are moving to Corbyn as this transparent smear progresses?”

    ——–

    Yeah but this is before we found out he rode a motorbike. On holiday! It’s all very irregular. And how do you find a motorbike in a communist country? Hard to believe they might sell them or anything. Very strange!

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