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.


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

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

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


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