This morning’s Times has their regular YouGov polling figures, a chance to see if the ongoing row over anti-Semitism in the Labour party has had any actual impact outside the Westminster bubble. Asked if Jeremy Corbyn is doing a good or bad job as Labour leader, 56% now think he is doing badly (up from 37% back in December), 31% think he is doing well (down from 45% in December). It’s a big drop, but since the question was last asked at the tail end of last year one cannot necessarily assume it is due to the anti-Semitism row, many other things have happened in the last three months.

More importantly, it doesn’t seem to have had any real effect on voting intention. Topline vi figures remain neck-and-neck, with Labour actually a couple of points up on last week’s poll (though the change is well within the normal margin of error) – CON 42%(-1), LAB 41%(+2), LDEM 7%(-1).


183 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 42%(-1), LAB 41%(+2), LDEM 7%(-1)”

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  1. RONALD OLDEN

    Thanks for two interesting posts. :-)

  2. Neil A

    Are you sure it would not peel votes from the Conservatives? As I recall (please correct me if I am mistaken) you are a Conservative voter and you state that you would be tempted by such a party?

    Macron peeled votes from the Gaullists in France and it is quite possible that some SDP voters would have otherwise voted for the Conservatives in 1983.

    It is also worth noting that a high Lib Dem vote in the 1995-2010 period helped Labour.

    An SDP (indeed the successor to the actual SDP itself) option existed in the 2017 election and it was crushed. This decade is not following the 1980s script.

  3. @Hawthorn,

    It would certainly peel some, like me. I am (generally) a Conservative voter but through any great love of the party. There’s a whole range of things I have issues with, from student finance, to PFI, to the way some of the welfare reforms have been implemented that could push me out of the Conservative votership if there was a suitable alternative.

    I think the likely impact might be greater on the Labour party though. A party able to play the right mood-music on things like welfare reform, but also free from the “loony left” connotations of the Labour party (and I don’t mean that I think there’s anything lunatic about the left, just that this is a major niggle for a large chunk of electors), could garner a great slap of votes in the middle.

    Of course the elephant in the room is Brexit. Europe, more than anything, is what divides the Tories. It’s often seen as a straight right-left fight in the Tories, with Remainers like Soubry seen as synonymous with “wet” Tories, but I don’t think it’s as simple as that. I think Soubs views the Labour party with as much concern as any other Tory MP.

    Any new party could try and sell itself as “not obsessed” with Brexit, but they’d still have to have a policy on it. Whatever this policy was, it would be the source of division and hostility. Such is the toxicity of the issue. I don’t think anyone even agrees what a “moderate” position on Brexit looks like. There seems to be a majority in the country for the “Just Get On With It” party but “just getting on with it” isn’t a negotiating position. The new party would still be divided over the Single Market, immigration etc just like all the other parties.

    So the future is probably a post-Brexit one. Set up the party once the Brexit deal has been negotiated and signed, then fight 2022 on a united “we don’t like the deal, but it’s what we’ve got, let’s move on and make the best of it” platform. Then in the inevitable future wars over “rejoining”, the party could take a “soft status quo” position – essentially saying that whilst Brexit brings many negatives, it was the will of the people, and no further change should be considered unless there was a clear and major shift in public opinion.

  4. *but not through any great love

  5. ROLAND, you obviously missed the poll on food standards in the report, care to say anything about it? I personally don’t remember the subject coming up, so my guess is nor do many others. Not sure people will be happy to be told that ‘your poor eat what sh!t your given’. Looking at the poll, I could be right.
    As for trading with anyone after we leave the EU etc. I do remember we we’re told it was going to be easy and everything would be better after not worse?

    One moment there poor and then there not refusing to go on posh foreign holidays, what are you dribbling on about?

    https://www.ecowatch.com/13-ways-the-eu-beats-the-u-s-on-food-safety-1881850175.html

  6. *slab of votes not slap of votes (I really should start proof reading before I press “submit”….)

  7. As I understand it the EU ban on chlorinated chicken meat is nothing to do with the safety of the meat itself.

    Given that literally billions of chickens are eaten every year in the United States, I’m pretty sure someone should be able to point out some actual evidence of the harm done by chlorinated meat?

    It always amuses me that people will let their children swim in (and therefore ingest) chlorinated water at swimming pools, but the idea of their child eating a chicken that has enjoyed a similar dip turns their stomachs!!

  8. The Tories have to watch out for financial scandals involving their donors.That could be the finish for them.m

  9. @Wolf

    Why? There have been financial scandals involving donors to all the major parties, and they haven’t really made any impact on VI in the end.

    The one Achilles heel at the moment would probably be anything linked to Putin/Russia stolen wealth, but even that probably wouldn’t be fatal if the party reacted appropriately once the evidence came to light.

  10. Latest Scottish polling (from Panelbase):

    Westminster VI:

    SNP: 36 (-5)
    Con: 28 (+1)
    Lab: 27 (+3)
    LD: 6 (NC)

    Independence VI:

    Yes: 43%
    No: 57%

    I think the most significant trend is this: that Labour is mopping up a small but significant group of yes voters, of the variety who are finding the Holyrood administration a bit stale. Perhaps it can also convert some of these people away from the independence cause altogether, by offering nationalists the left-wing settlement most of them want without the constitutional downsides of separation. I certainly hope so.

  11. NEIL A, why is the chicken being dipped? What’s the chlorinated chicken hiding that it needs to be dipped. I

    Anyway your point is moot as its about food standards and safety in general.

  12. Concerning the stasis in the polls, and Corbyn’s continuing poor personal showing, i would like to see a question asking whether voters would be more inclined to vote for a Labour party that clearly favoured the remain position. It seems to me that Corbyn is frustrating the membership’s wishes by continuing with his personal view on the EU. My opinion is that the rise of a centrist party would prevent Labour getting a majority, and that Corbyn would be blamed by members.

  13. Coming this way to a super market near you.

    https://scholars.org/brief/why-americas-food-still-not-safe

  14. Wolf
    Gnomic as ever Mr Wolf, have you got any special inside knowledge? Or is this an item from 0ld Wolf’s Almanac?

  15. PETE

    @”One moment there poor and then there not refusing to go on posh foreign holidays, what are you dribbling on about?”

    Try reading more slowly without your tongue sticking out-it might help.

    My reading of what RO said leads me to conclude that he thinks the well off middle class liberal left who can afford to buy expensive “organic ” chicken & who preach about the evils of factory farmed chicken don’t really understand the budget constraints of poorer people who buy the latter.

    He also has the feeling that said well off middle class liberal left may not be a preachy when they go on expensive foreign holidays & eat local animals which have been killed inhumanely.

  16. I see the US have also attacked the regulations of the E.U. regarding food labelling, taken together with chlorine washed chicken I do wonder if they would object to any labelling pointing this out. Also not sure Liam Fox would push too hard against it anyway as he seems very keen on a deal. Or at least not heard him, or May say in relation to any US trade deal no deal is better than a bad deal

    Personally I have no problem with food labelling in the UK, it is much better than it used to be and now you can clearly tell calories, fat content etc

  17. COLIN, no, what you are both saying ‘is poor people, stuff them, let them eat crap’. Remember, I am one of those poor people who struggles to pay his bills. I’m certainly not going to be eating food that has a potential to make me ill, thank you very much.
    As for your little attack on me, I doubt he needs you to hold his hand sunshine.

    I’ll apologise to ROLAND FOR what I said, i was out of order.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/is-chlorinated-chicken-bad-for-our-health-and-the-environment-a7860866.html

  18. New Kid on the block.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/08/labour-antisemitism-opinion-poll

    Can’t find the tables yet. Mike Smithson reports from this poll:-

    https://twitter.com/MSmithsonPB/status/982906675404460032

  19. By the way, in spite of being a remainer who is becoming ever more certain that I voted the right way, I do agree with Neil A about the chlorinated chicken scare. It’s straight up protectionism, disguised as a health scare. If it’s safe enough for millions of Americans I don’t why it’s not good enough for us. And the kicker – if you don’t want to buy the stuff, nobody is going to force you.

    If we ended the ban, who would be the winners and losers of this policy? The losers would be a relatively small number of relatively rich farmers who are being undercut by foreign imports. The winners would be a much larger number of poor people who struggle to feed their families and can perhaps now afford meat for the first time. And the champagne socialists who are most worried about this can go on buying their organic poussin as before. This would be a move with many more winners than losers, and the move overall would redistribute from rich to poor. I can therefore think of only three reasons why you could possibly oppose this:

    a) You’re a British farmer concerned about the competition. Fair enough – you’ve got a tough dilemma, either you keep your chicken chlorine-free and get outcompeted by America, or you adopt the practice and then can’t sell to the EU. You have a legitimate grievance.

    b) You reflexively hate free markets. Okay, while there are many areas where I would agree with you that more regulation is required, more so than cases where regulation should be removed, often regulation is lobbied for by the very people whom it suits, at the expense of the common good. This is one of those examples – and if you refuse to see that, then you’re not an egalitarian so much as a statist. (I have seen people opine that progressive redistribution is only good when the state does it, and when the market does it, it is somehow bad. I honestly don’t know how you can argue with a person for whom state control is the end goal, rather than merely a lever to pull towards social justice.)

    c) You’re reflexively anti-American. I don’t like Donald Trump either, in fact very few Brits do, and with good reason. But it misses the whole point in trade – you don’t have to like someone to be able to trade with them. If a trade is mutually beneficial then you’ll do it anyway. And again – if you don’t want to support America in any way – you don’t have too! You can buy British chicken, or even continental chicken, if you want, because how you spend your money is nobody else’s concern. But why take that opportunity away from people who might want to buy cheaper American chicken?

  20. @Pete,

    To kill bacteria. Bacteria.

    My point being that it would appear that dipping chickens in chlorinated water is very effective at killing bacteria, as I am not aware of the US having especially high rates of food poisoning despite eating hundreds of millions of the things every week.

    And yes, the poll was about food standards generally, but I very much doubt the public knows all that much about food standards, and even less about the differences between EU and US food standards. I think it’s one of those “do you think things should be better or worse?” polls. People will always say better even if they really have no idea what they’re voting on. Chlorinated chickens is sort of the “poster girl” for the issue.

    I have issues with a number of US policies, including the use of antibiotics and hormones in meat production, and the use of “feed lots” to keep animals in very depressing living conditions. But would refusal to accept any of that meat be a red line for me? Probably not. I accept I may not be typical.

    However, when a typical UK family takes their family to Disney World, do they check with the staff in the food outlets whether their beefburgers contain growth hormones, or whether their chicken nuggets were washed in chlorinated water? I very much doubt it. They look around at all of the other wealthy westerners tucking into their food without a care in the world and stuff their faces.

  21. Stabiilla,

    Any evidence for the below?

    ”It seems to me that Corbyn is frustrating the membership’s wishes by continuing with his personal view on the EU”

    I think you maybe taking the majority of LP members (and voters for that matter) being remain as impying a majority also wanting to ignore the result of the referendum.

    IIRC polls have shown the majority of members being happy with the parties Brexit position. Indeed on the last thread by 50% to 33 % members supported Owen Smiths sacking.
    Some could have agreed with the sacking while agreeing with Smith’s views of course on discipline grounds and 33% is still a significant block signalling agreement with Smith’s line but a majority seem to be OK with the parties EU position.

    FWIW, I am a remainer LP member who broadly supports the Starmer/Corbyn line and certainly don’t support calls at this stage for a second ref on terms or to reaffirm the leave vote. Possibly in the future which the policy allows for but why box yourself in before the terms and the HOC response is known?

  22. I’ll also apologise to COLIN for using the term ‘sunshine’ in a derogatory way.

    So Apologises ROLAND and COLIN.

    Food safety is very important to me. If your government isn’t willing to protect you, then who is?

  23. PETE

    No worries-cheered me up as its raining here :-)

  24. NEIL A, you must’ve missed my posts with the urls?

    Not sure using a week in Disney land as an example is the same as years of abusing your body eating poor food tbh.

    Anyways, again, apologises to anyone (including Anthony our esteemed host) who I may have offended. Wasn’t my intention, but the gobby working class part of me leaked out a bit. I’ll leave you all to it for a few weeks, me thinks I need to calm down.

  25. Another disgraceful & unfounded allegation by UK & its western stooges.

    Where is the proof?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43686157

  26. PETE

    “Gobby working class” is fine by me.

    Don’t give it up :-)

  27. Corbyn/Starmer had the best line to take for Labour on Europe at the last election.

    Much as I would like the referendum to be overturned, in my view an attempt for Labour to push that line would have played right into the hands of the hard Brexiteers by splitting the Labour vote and allowing a large Conservative majority. The result cannot be hand-waved away.

    Such an observation strikes me as a statement of the obvious and the fact this is not readily apparent to some centrist remainers does not reflect well on their supposed political acumen.

  28. Pete: “If your government isn’t willing to protect you, then who is?”

    I’m willing to protect myself. I need the government to protect me from criminals by having strong, properly funded police and prisons. I need them to protect me from foreign aggressors by maintaining capable armed forces. I need them to protect me from the risk I might lose my job by running a generous welfare state.

    I do not need them to protect my from my own decisions on what food I eat.

  29. FYI, American food processors chlorinate their chicken because US abattoir cleanliness standards are notoriously lax, and chicken supplied by US abattoirs caries a much higher rate of infection than in, for example, the EU where food hygiene standards are much higher.

    The EU (and up to now UK) view has been that the best way to maintain food hygiene is to keep the food clean throughout, rather than let it get infected and then wash it in chlorine afterwards to clean all the bugs off…

  30. I need the Government to protect me by ensuring we have robust food regulations and labelling so I can make informed decisions.
    It seems to me the more important issue of the US attack on food labelling has been lost in the issue of chlorine washed chicken

  31. Hawthorne,

    I suspect some of these centrist remainers are still not reconciled to Corbyn as leader and calling for a ‘purer’ remain stance is related.

  32. Leave aside GKN this is the story of Conviviality where a company allegedly worth over 500 million pounds in January has gone bankrupt.The majority of said company – Bargain Booze – has been bought for 7 million by a company owned by a Conservative party donor . – Bestway- which also owns a chain of pharmacies.it bought at less than full value from the Co-op when that was in trouble.

  33. I was amused to discover the entity behind the new party to be, “Project One Movement for the UK”, is registered at “Orwell House”.

    Funny, that.

  34. Tables for the Delta Poll here.

    http://www.deltapoll.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Observer-poll-Apr18.pdf

    Leadership ratings-winners of demographic groups/ % +difference:-
    18-24 JC 40
    25-34 JC 29
    35-54 JC 16 ( both negative!)
    55-64 TM 54
    65- TM 100
    Leave TM 73
    Remain JC 9 ( both negative)
    GE 2017 DNV JC 1 ( both negative)
    London JC 9 ( both negative)
    ROS TM 48
    Mids. TM 26
    North TM 7 ( both negative)
    Wales TM 20 ( both negative)
    Scotland TM 8 ( both negative)
    ABC1 TM 30
    C2DE TM 11 ( both negative)

  35. FRom the Delta Poll

    ” Putting aside any support for a political party
    you may have, which of the following do you think
    would be best for the British economy?”
    18-24 JC/JMcD 32
    25-34 JC/JmCD 15
    35-54 TM/PH 9
    55-64 TM/PH 44
    65- TM/PH 48
    Leave TM/PH 41
    Remain JC/JMcD 6
    GE 2017 DNV TM/PH 2
    London TM/PH 13
    ROS TM/PH 27
    Mids. TM/PH 5
    North TM/PH 1
    Wales TM/PH 6
    Scotland TM/PH 12
    ABC1 TM/PH 18
    C2DE TM/PH 6

  36. That Scottish Panelbase survey looks very much in line with You Gov. (Just for fun I’ve added the recent survey from NCP)

    Party – Panelbase – Yougov (based on regional breakdown) – NCP

    SNP – 36 – 37 – 46
    Con – 28 – 26 – 22
    Lab – 27 – 27 – 16
    LD – 6 – 6 – 13

    @Syzygy

    Number cruncher was correct in 2015 … but was he in 2017? I seem to remember that he was not. He also called the EU Referendum for Remain. I’m not knocking him. His assessment in 2015 was impressive.

    Number cruncher’s final EU Referendum prediction was Remain 52 Leave 48.

    Regarding 2017 GE, from the FT (7th June 2017)

    But the outperformance of the Conservatives in areas with large numbers of Labour’s Leave voters — which includes many marginal seats — puts the likeliest single outcome with the Conservatives on 374 seats (a majority of 98) with an 80 per cent probability of a seat total between 329 and 412 and a more than a 90 per cent probability of an overall majority.

    Labour can expect to be between 168 and 246 seats, and the odds are finely balanced as to whether the party can stay above the psychologically important 200-seat mark.

    from https://www.ft.com/content/cd94a7c2-4ac8-11e7-919a-1e14ce4af89b

    The actual seat tally was Con 317 and Lab 262, so some way off.

  37. As someone who went vegetarian long enough ago to remember it being tricky to buy a can of baked beans which didn’t contain beef fat, and who enjoyed about half a decade of veganism when whey powder was practically the superfluous ingredient of choice in every foodstuff, I know enough about factory meat products to have no trust in British and EU chicken, let alone those raised in boxes in the US.

    I soon learned to worked on the principle that I have no interest in dictating to others what they put into their mouths as long as they don’t tell me what to put into mine, having grown very weary about 35 years ago of being told at every opportunity that cabbages scream when you pull them out of the ground. I consider the argument that washing salad in tap water is chlorinating lettuce as equivalent to the first example in terms of admitting losing the debate.

    Unlike the disgraced former defence secretary I imagine chlorinated dead bird to be the thin end of what’s going to be on offer rather than the worst of what will be on the table, and remain completely baffled as to why we anyone wants to give up very good trade deals for ones which will range from not nearly as beneficial to unspeakably bad.

    Or why anyone who feels inclined to vote Labour would be attracted by a new offer for racist, pro Brexit libdems.

    But since I’m very often demonstrably out of step with public opinion I probably am again.

  38. @Polltroll

    “I do not need them to protect my from my own decisions on what food I eat.”

    ——-

    Redwood??!!

  39. @Colin

    Interesting data. Historically Leadership rating and best for economy rating have been a strong indicator of the winner of the next GE.

    Of course, if TM isn’t the Tory Leader at the next GE current polling on this may be irrelevant.

    If I were a Labour strategist, this would be foremost in my mind currently.

  40. @ Tom Pride – unless I am missing something your post makes no sense. If a party 15-20 points ahead then goes onto lose a GE (as indeed happened in 2015) how can one that is behind expect to win one?

  41. “As someone who went vegetarian long enough ago to remember it being tricky to buy a can of baked beans which didn’t contain beef fat, and who enjoyed about half a decade of veganism when whey powder was practically the superfluous ingredient of choice in every foodstuff…”

    ———

    See, there’s enough to check as it is, without abandoning the checks governments sort out for us. I suppose there are people out there who want to check on their chicken every time, and I’m sure it can be arranged so they can do that, but I don’t see why the rest of us who have better things to do have to bother with that. Equally, one can think of better things to do then figure out which refuse collecting company to use etc.

  42. @TED

    Myself, my wife and two children are all vegans.

    I do find the arguments about how animal products and dairy are produced and what is better as something entirely riddled with a massive amount of cognitive dissonance about the reality.

    (Yes, I’ve had seemingly intelligent folk ask me why I know a plant doesn’t feel pain when pulled from the ground. When pointed out there is no sentience, brain, pain receptors or central nervous system they still bang on about it.)

  43. Stabiilla,

    “My opinion is that the rise of a centrist party would prevent Labour getting a majority, and that Corbyn would be blamed by members.”

    Oh no. The members will blame those who split away to form the new party. Corbyn will come out of a split even stronger.

  44. Andrew Myers

    “If a party 15-20 points ahead then goes onto lose a GE (as indeed happened in 2015) how can one that is behind expect to win one?”

    Isn’t that self contradictory. If one party is in front by 15-20 points and loses, doesn’t it follow that the party 15-20 points behind must have won?

  45. CMJ

    @” Historically Leadership rating and best for economy rating have been a strong indicator of the winner of the next GE.”

    Indeed .

    @”If I were a Labour strategist, this would be foremost in my mind currently.”

    What?-that her replacement might be better than her?

  46. yes Colin,

    NC statistically , like our own ToH intuitively, used under!ing polling data (leadership and best for the economy) to adjust the 2015 GGE polls by a few %. either way to get the lab/con result more or less correct.

    Labours and JC/Corbyn ratings concern me as well, although, I do think that less adjustment might be appropriate at the next GE due to the clear choice than in 2015 when arguably faced with Austerity-Lite v the real thing the dynamic was different.

  47. JIM JAM

    Who is NC ?

  48. Ronad Olden: <iSome people might actually welcome chlorinination when they understand what it actually means.

    ……. We’re not all rich liberals who can afford tp pay top wack for chicken products.

    ……. Many people already chlorinate their own chicken by washing it in tap water, and nearly all of us chlorinate our salads by the same method.

    …… Furthermore I don’t see them refusing to go on posh foreign holdays all over the globe and coming back boasting that they’ve been eating the local meats reared and killed in terrible conditons, including dogs, horses and and monkeys heads.

    As Colin says, very interesting. In my case, the interest comes from the insight into the brexiter mindset.

    If someone can believe that “rich liberals” come back from holiday boasting that “they’ve been eating the local meats reared and killed in terrible conditons, including dogs, horses and and monkeys heads” then they can believe anything, including the wilder EU myths.

    Anyone who believes that chicken produced to EU welfare and hygiene standards (ie standard supermarket chicken sold in the UK, not organic or free range) is expensive, hasn’t done much shopping recently.

    And someone thinking there is any equivalence between washing raw chicken in tap water (which is specifically not recommended, as it increases the likelihood of food poisoning) and the strong bleach solution used to clean the sh*t off US-produced chicken meat really is in a world of their own.

  49. Double value! Here it is again with italics as intended:

    Ronad Olden: Some people might actually welcome chlorinination when they understand what it actually means.

    ……. We’re not all rich liberals who can afford tp pay top wack for chicken products.

    ……. Many people already chlorinate their own chicken by washing it in tap water, and nearly all of us chlorinate our salads by the same method.

    …… Furthermore I don’t see them refusing to go on posh foreign holdays all over the globe and coming back boasting that they’ve been eating the local meats reared and killed in terrible conditons, including dogs, horses and and monkeys heads.

    As Colin says, very interesting. In my case, the interest comes from the insight into the brexiter mindset.

    If someone can believe that “rich liberals” come back from holiday boasting that “they’ve been eating the local meats reared and killed in terrible conditons, including dogs, horses and and monkeys heads” then they can believe anything, including the wilder EU myths.

    Anyone who believes that chicken produced to EU welfare and hygiene standards (ie standard supermarket chicken sold in the UK, not organic or free range) is expensive, hasn’t done much shopping recently.

    And someone thinking there is any equivalence between washing raw chicken in tap water (which is specifically not recommended, as it increases the likelihood of food poisoning) and the strong bleach solution used to clean the sh*t off US-produced chicken meat really is in a world of their own.

  50. @JimJam

    Weren’t Corbyn and McDonnell way behind May and Osborne on who was likely to be best on the economy throughout the 2017 election campaign, probably by bigger margins than in this recent Delta Poll if I remember rightly? That translated into a 2% winning margin for the Tories then, suggesting that all sorts of other voting determinants were at play. My scepticism about polling sub-questions fired at fairly pressed respondents remains and was rather borne out by the 2017 result where, rather reassuringly to my mind, the campaign itself appeared to really matter as opposed to what voters told polling companies down a phone line or via a keyboard.

    Sure, I expect Corbyn and McDonnell would like to fare better, but I’m not sure these figures are quite as significant as some would probably like them to be, certainly not extracted from a snapshot poll after the sort of month Corbyn has had and considering when real votes are actually cast, their influence on voting behaviour is, at best, ambivalent.

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