Voting intention polls over the last fortnight have been showing the same pattern that we’ve become used to over the last four month: Conservative and Labour very close to each other in support, with the Tories averaging a very small lead.

Survation/GMB (20th June) – CON 41, LAB 38, LDEM 7
ICM/Guardian (24th June) – CON 41, LAB 40, LDEM 9
YouGov/Times (26th June) – CON 42, LAB 37, LDEM 9
Ipsos MORI (27th June) – CON 41, LAB 38, LDEM 9
YouGov/Times (4th July) – CON 41, LAB 40, LDEM 9

There’s a fresh Survation poll in today’s Mail on Sunday, with fieldwork conducted wholly on Saturday, after the Chequers summit. Topline figures there are CON 38%(-3), LAB 40%(+2), LDEM 10%(+3). While Survation typically show Labour in a better polling position than other companies do, this is still the first Survation poll to show Labour ahead since March. On the other hand, it is well within the normal margin of error (Survation’s polls over the last four months have averaged at CON 41, LAB 40). I will leave it with my normal caveats about reading too much into polls after events – they have the same sample variation as any other poll, so don’t assume that any change is a result of the event, rather than just noise. Wait and see if other polls show a similar pattern of change.

In the meantime, is there anything polling can tell us about how the Brexit deal will impact public attitudes? Our starting point, as is so often the case, should be to recall how little attention most people pay towards the intricacies of the Brexit negoatiations. Most people are not glued to the ins- and outs- of it, don’t know or care about the specifics of court juristrictions and trade regulations. The Brexit deal will, in all likelihood, be judged upon broad brush preceptions. Do people think it is a good deal for Britain? Do people think it is a genuine Brexit?

On those two measures, the Survation poll gave people a brief summary of the deal and asked people if they approved – 33% did, 22% did not, 35% neither approved nor disapproved and 10% did not know. Balance of opinion amongst remainers and leavers was positive, though it went down better among Remainers (for Leave the break was 30% approve, 25% disapprove; for Remain the break was 39% approve, 25% disapprove). The response was less positive when they asked if it was faithful to the referendum result – 29% thought it was, 38% thought it was not, 34% said don’t know. Overall, 26% said it was the right deal, 42% that it was the wrong deal, 32% didn’t know.

That’s clearly a mixed response – the balance of public opinion approves of it, but doesn’t think it respects the result and doesn’t think it’s the right deal. And on all those measures an awful lot of people said don’t know. I expect that’s largely because people have been asked about something they weren’t paying much attention to and didn’t have much of an opinion on it yet (it cannot be easy to get a sample within a space of a few hours at the best of times. When England are playing a World Cup Quarter final at the same point…).

The question is how they will make that decision. For obvious reasons most people will not have spent their Saturday poring over the government press release from the Chequers summit, nor will they read the White Paper this week! It will depend how the papers react to it, how the broadcast media report it, how politicians people recognise like the party leaders, Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and so on react to it.

The wise thing to do now is to wait and see if there is any lasting movement in the polls, or whether (in public opinion terms) this is just another one of those arguments about the fine details of Brexit that the public seem to be largely tuning out of.

(Note that – despite what it appears to show on my sidebar to the right – UKIP were NOT on zero percent in the latest Survation poll. The poll didn’t ask people who said they’ve vote “other” which other party they would vote for, so it’s impossible to tell UKIP support from the poll.)

396 Responses to “Latest Voting Intention and the Chequers Summit”

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  1. ALEC

    @”I suspect we might agree that the central problem facing the EU is precisely that of deciding which areas require which approach.”

    I remember those heady days when we were as one in our criticisms of the EU :-)

  2. ALEC

    @” the Euro isn’t the same as the EU.”

    Not yet-but I cannot see how the EZ ( the domain of the Euro) can , for very much longer be shackled to bits of something called the EU, which don’t obey most of the key rules.

    The EU will become the EZ don’t you think ?

  3. Kantar has published their first poll since the general election showing
    Conservatives 40%
    Labour 38%
    Lib Dem’s 9%
    This was taken before all the events of Sunday and yesterday

  4. Kantar has published their first poll since the general election showing
    Conservatives 40%
    Labour 38%
    Lib Dem’s 9%
    This was taken before all the events of Sunday and yesterday.

  5. @CROSSBAT11

    Couldn’t agree more with much of what you say on the power of cognitive dissonance, reflected on all sides (on here too if we’re prepared to be self aware).

    It also manifests in the ability to blame “the other lot” for all the problems.

    All the same, party before country may be harsh. Because for most of the politically committed this will always be a false dichotomy. If you are a life-devoted blue-teamer or red-teamer it’s kind of a given they’re the same thing. That the country is best served by your mob.

    It doesn’t really take cognitive dissonance for a Conservative Remainer to believe that the U.K. is better under the Brexit of Chequers and a Conservative Government than under a Labour Brexit and a Labour Government. And vice versa.

    Given the closeness of the two Brexit positions, and the increasingly apparent narrow range of practical options, it’s hardly worth throwing your party under the bus on either side.


    Is it? I’d say it’s one of it’s biggest negatives.

    Fair comment. I wasn’t being serious but simply looking for any silver lining.

    I agree that it was a huge pity that Blair backtracked over the Jenkins proposals, although with HMG having imposed STV on the island of Ireland, it’s a pity that they didn’t impose it on themselves.

    If the Cons end up splitting over the EU then if they have any sense then they’ll introduce PR of some kind or say hello to the electoral problem UKIP faced. To be fair, UKIP always did campaign for some kind of PR.

  7. wb61: These really are unprecedented political circumstances and I wonder if our democracy can survive them without significant constitutional reform.

    Part of the problem is, I think, that we already have a substantially non performing democracy. Nowadays, desperately needed reforms are likely to be rejected out of hand by those who will most benefit from them.

    Instances I bring to mind are 1] Lab97’s program of rolling devolution which stopped with Scotland and Wales after NE and NW England rejected devo and 2] the timid referendum on AV rather than FPTP voting for Westminster.

    danny: What happens when the EU does as predicted and rejects the plan? Boris says ‘the Brexit dream is dying’. Well yes. The groundwork has been laid to argue that hard Brexit is not viable. The government has declined to make any of the necessary infrastructure or staffing changes. The party has moved to a position where it can cover a split in how it votes in parliament. The Norway option, the only compromise really on the table, has been sidelined as unacceptable. So having eliminated Norway, eliminated hard Brexit, eliminated a new middle way because it is expected to be rejected by the EU, what is left?

    Why, Remain.

    Remain has equally been eliminated by the referendum itself. As there is no option left for the UK, perhaps what is left is for the UK itself to cease.

  8. I think Kantar and TNS are the same and polled in Feb

    Con 39, Lab 39 LD 8. so not much change.

  9. Kantar polling was 5-9 July so straddled the weekend news.


    “There is a clear association between so-called austerity measures,
    implemented in Britain from 2011, and food poverty, something
    the UK government has repeatedly denied.20 Evidence shows a clear
    correlation between increasing conditionality, benefits sanctions and the
    distribution of food parcels. Rachel Loopstra and colleagues21 found that
    Trussell Trust food banks were more likely to open in areas with greater
    unemployment and welfare sanctions and reductions in local and central
    government spending (e.g. austerity measures). Although food bank
    parcel distribution was greater in areas with more and better established
    food banks, higher distribution was still significantly associated with
    government cuts, welfare sanctions and unemployment rates, contradicting
    the government’s claims that supply is fuelling demand and
    signifying the consequences of austerity measures on those already
    living in precarious economic circumstances. Qualitative research
    supports the finding that benefits sanctions and delays are a main reason
    that people turn to food banks, and crucially considers the implications
    for individuals’ and households’ lived experiences22 which are unlikely to
    improve in the near future due to further austerity and planned cuts to
    government spending and benefits.”

  11. This week has actually seen a slight uptick in the average conservative lead which now sits at 1.6% according to Britain elects conpared to 1.1% last week. Overall though the polls have been narrowing again. I have felt for most of the last year though that generally polling has been very sparse, is there any reason for this?

  12. Raab C Nesbitt the new Brexit Secretary reportedly said people who use food banks typically do so not because of poverty but because of “cash flow” problems. I wonder what Mary Doll thinks of that.

  13. CON-Leave MPs 48 v 159, next week in HoC

    IMHO CON-Leave are holding fire for two reasons

    1/ They easily have 48 but nowhere near 159. Why give a letter to the ’22 if your going to lose (LAB learnt this one after trying to get Corbyn out)
    2/ The Taxation (Cross Border Trade) Bill is not absolutely vital, procedural stuff, but it is absolutely vital that it passes roughly as it is (in theory this bill could be seriously amended or delayed to fit with BINO). As it stands it keeps all options (including “no deal” open).

    IMHO, and I’d appreciate input, the only thing CON-Leave want to achieve in the short-term is the implementation of “no deal” plans (the 3bn Hammond allocated has barely been touched). HMRC continue to say they are ready but lots of other issues and very little time – it can be seen as simply mirroring EU side, the Dutch are way ahead of us! Obviously the likes of SMogg and even Farage need to keep the pressure on May and ensure she is seen, by all, to be on a “yellow” card for backsliding towards BINO, one more foul and 159+ show her the “red” (or given her stubbornness she can buy herself some more time and shift the “red” card to Olly Robbins, Hammond, etc). The point is it would be foolish to try (and fail) to take her out now – hence keep the “letters” on draft but do not accidentally go over 48, not yet anyway.

    P.S. The new AG (Cox) is a True Br-Leaver. The previous AG (Wright) was a Remainer. IMHO (and that of Leave lawyers) that is important – we need a good goalie (or VAR official if you prefer) with his eye on the ball right now ;)

  14. It looks like Theresa May has survived ( at least for now). Frankly, I don’t see a viable alternative for the Brexiteers except rallying behind the Chequers’ agreement. If they challenge the PM, the end result will be a general election and probably a Labour government that will keep the UK in the EEA and the customs union indefinitely. On the EU response to Chequers, it remains to be seen, but the indications so far have been that business and some national governments are beginning to put pressure on the EU to take it.

  15. Two more Tories quit… this is getting like Noah’s Arc, they are going in pairs!

    Maria Caulfield and Ben Bradley whoever they are???


  16. Oh and all the boys are safe in Thailand, so all you indignant Tories can go back to saying we should cut foreign Aid to Countries like……Thailand!



    What a complete arse*ole you can be.

    These are the people who masterminded this incredible rescue:-

    I take great pride in them being British.THE experts at this because its their sport & they use their skills all over the world to save people. Not because some government provided them as “aid”-but because they are superb human beings who responded to the Thai Government’s plea for their help.

  18. Unimaginable courage & superb planning & organisation.

  19. MBruno

    There is no reason why a GE should follow any challenge to May’s leadership.
    Her team have already said she would contest a leadership contest which she would win comfortably and under Tory party rules she can not be challenged again for a whole year.
    As far as I can judge there is no appetite for a leadership change outside the core centre of brexiteers.
    I’ve often said imo the brexiteers appear much stronger than they are because the media in the main concentrates on division rather than those that agree.
    May again imo has managed to split the brexiteers within her own party and dispite what Sky news would have you believe may well have strengthened her position as PM.
    Much is going to depend on what the EU now thinks it can agree to in May’s white paper but I would agree the most optimistic amongst us Tories that want a soft exit realise without the support of at least some of the opposition then a hard brexit will follow by default.

  20. “There’s a fresh Survation poll in today’s Mail on Sunday, with fieldwork conducted wholly on Saturday, after the Chequers summit. Topline figures there are CON 38%(-3), LAB 40%(+2), LDEM 10%(+3).”

    Survation was the only polling company to get last year’s GE right, so I take this poll very seriously….

    TM probably waved this poll at the 1922 committee to get them to tow the line!

    The Tories are running scared at the prospect of another GE, because they know Labour will win more seats….

  21. Colin,

    “I take great pride in them being British.”


    I think greats in anything from any country can inspire people, like Scotland’s list of inventors, but pride.

    Why should you be proud of someone you have never mets achievements just because he’s from the same Country as you.

    Fine if your a parent but by accident of birth from the same Country of 60m people.

    Never understood that from any country.


  22. colin:@PETER CAIRNS: What a complete arse*ole you can be.

    These are the people who masterminded this incredible rescue:-

    I take great pride in them being British.THE experts at this because its their sport & they use their skills all over the world to save people. Not because some government provided them as “aid”-but because they are superb human beings who responded to the Thai Government’s plea for their help.
    You sound quite indignant.

  23. Colin

    It’s remarkable that a single event of hope and success has captured the attention of the world. Here in my part of Texas people have been truly touched by the effort skill and courage that has gone into that rescue.

  24. @ SAM – your a day (months) late on Raab.

    Norbold tried to make issue with it y’day (and the press many months ago).

    This whole “cash flow” (money to tide them over due to delays to benefits) issue was the reason changes to UC payment system were made (in Feb, the mandatory 7days was scrapped and improvements made to access for emergency funds). If you/others want a refresher:

    “New universal credit claimants wait a minimum of 42 days for a first payment…many claimants wait even longer for a first payment. People on low incomes often have few or no savings to tide them over during the waiting period, forcing them to turn to debt and food banks.”

    The Raab quote can be heard in this Guardian piece. You’ll note the article (and this is the Guardian!) says:
    “The latest such quarterly data from the trust (that Raab based his comment on), covering April to September last year, showed that the most common reason people were referred to a food bank was delays to benefits, a factor in just over 27% of cases.”
    (emphasis and comments in brackets added)

    The implementation of the policy had major issues that caused cash-flow problems (to tide them over due to delays to benefits).

    NB I’ve used Guardian sources, no friends of Arch-Leavers like Raab! I’ll hit the 3 link auto-mod if I provide info on the Feb changes – try google if you want to check.
    Is it now perfect, probably not, but it is “better” according to Citizien’s Advice, etc (again check via google)

  25. @Turk

    “I’ve often said imo the brexiteers appear much stronger than they are because the media in the main concentrates on division rather than those that agree.”

    I think you’re part right. The main reason is that the key players in the Tory Press; Dacre, the Barclays, Murdoch and Desmond, are all hard Brexiteers and they are very, very keen to see it happen.

    Your party has been led by the nose by these men for years and it will be very healthy for democracy in the UK in general and the Conservative Party in particular to remind them it is the Prime Minister who makes this kind of decision, not rich tax exiles who happen to own newspapers instead of going to the trouble of getting elected.

    When the former Foreign Secretary made his foolish remark about business, he emphatically did not mean the newspaper business, which made his career and which he and many like him feel are entirely allowed, in a way no other business in the UK is, to dictate politics.

  26. @ TURK (@ MBRUNO) – The odds for a 2018 GE have dropped significantly since the DD resignation and keep falling with each new resignation.

    I’m quite concerned with the ongoing resignations and really hope they do not try and move on May now. As you point out, any attempt now would fail (see my above), cause longer term damage to CON and give EC an excuse to not reply to the White Paper.

    However, if/when EC rubbish the White Paper then her position would be untenable. Whilst I’m happy for the “govt in waiting” to be ready, they need to keep it a bit more low key for just another week or so.

    I respect and admire your loyalty but the tipping point at which she is doing more harm than good is very close. IMHO Barnier will probably tip the scales over but it is vital he is the one to do so. Quite a few CON-Leave get that (e.g Gove, Cleverly and “born again” folks like Javid and Hunt). Stay loyal for now but ensure May is tied to EC accepting her deal – if/when EC rubbish it, then move on her (or ideally convince her to go on a permanent walking holiday!)

    A GE is then probable but by no means certain. The likes of Grieve have caved in before and it is possible a new leader wins a confidence vote with an energetic “no deal” platform – very risky for sure but we have been deep in “least bad” territory since the Mayb0tch GE!



    Never understood that from any country.”

    I know Peter.

    Which is why you and I are so very different.

  28. TURK

    @”a single event of hope and success has captured the attention of the world.”

    Yes-nicely put.

    The skill & courage & determination is truly incredible .

    I have been watching Japanese tv news coverage of local reaction in Thailand. So very heart warming & inspiring.

    Man. U have invited the boys to a game-they are fans apparently.

  29. TURK

    @”Much is going to depend on what the EU now thinks it can agree to in May’s white paper”

    I suggest that is an understatement.

    imo Everything depends on it-including her political future.

    I can only assume all those chats with Merkel were not about the World Cup.

    But we will see soon enough !

  30. TW

    I accept May is not a charismatic figure but at the moment she is the only grown up in room full of squabbling children.
    I don’t know her nor have I ever spoken to her but I know people who have within the Tory party when she was HS ,she is a very determined Lady by all accounts.
    My view is when/if the EU turns down her third way policy, she will herself turn down the road of a hard brexit, not because that’s what she wants, but because there is no other choice on how to deliver brexit without being in the customs union .
    The only other senario which may play out if faced with no other alternative but a hard brexit and she considers that to be of such financial risk to the U.K. she puts country first and does a U-turn on a second referendum not on a in out vote but on a soft/hard brexit .
    Make no mistake the Cabinet are in the remain camp as are the majority of back bench Tory MP’s they realise that a brexit will happen but will try to limit what they see as the financial damage to U.K. plc so I don’t think they see May as the problem more the answer to what the majority of them want.
    Just my view of course but it’s worth remembering the Tory party is not built on ideology but on pragmatism .

  31. @TW

    The theory that someone might challenge May is on paper sound but the problem is finding a challenger.

    Johnson is now out.
    Gove is also out.
    Anyone suggesting Rees-Mogg needs merely to remind themselves that he is conspicuously and enthusiastically Catholic and would need to try to lead a coalition with the DUP. I am…..not sure…..that would work – and he knows it, which is why he keeps ruling himself out.
    Leadso- no, there isn’t anyone else.

    With that in mind, she’s safe.

  32. CR

    We don’t often agree but on the point of Boris I agree personally I find him to be a person who lacks political courage who seeks greatness but has none in him.

  33. Of course us Brits are ‘special’ according to us, which is why the whole Brexit debacle came about…

    Nothing wrong with being proud of the cave divers. But demographically speaking, the one being from Bristol will possibly be a remainer. The other is from Coventry so likely to be a leaver.

    Demographically-speaking they are both under 65 so that weakens their Brexityness somewhat. They are also both intelligent and have exhibited huge, wonderful amounts of empathy, teamwork, working for the greater good etc and are prepared to give up some of what they have for others rather than try and claw it back because they ‘deserve it’, so definitely remain.

  34. “Man. U have invited the boys to a game-they are fans apparently.”

    Lovely gesture. Of course, most Man U fans come from places other than Manchester these days. This is apparently completely acceptable to some Brexiteers.. not sure why?

    Do Brexiteers enjoy all the foreign ownership in football, the adverts in Chinese characters across football shirts and the stadiums….?

    Quite different from the halcyon 1950s innit?

  35. Trevor W

    Had you bothered to use the link I gave, you might have learned that “cash flow” and Universal Credit are far from being the only causes of food poverty. You might also have learned something about the adverse effects of food poverty on health inequalities.

    My reference to Raab C Nesbitt is a reminder ( or an introduction) to the wonderful satire of this misnaming. In the comedy, Rab chooses unemployment as a way of life.

  36. @Turk:

    There is considerable logic in what you say. If the EU do not accept this offer, then May ought to fight. (The EU will be secure in knowing that no one is actually go say, “Lets leave the EU, look at the deal the UK got!!”)

    But she does not appear to have got the agreement of Tory Remainer rebels for that strategy. Grieve has been on the EU’s side in every dispute, and from what I read he’ll not be changing. Nicky Morgan said she “hoped” the EU would agree, but did nothing to suggest that she’d oppose the EU if it didn’t.

    The EU is probably just taking time to work out whether they still have a Commons majority in the negotiations, and whether there’s an election and a Tory win if they push things to the final crisis.

  37. Michael Deacon (Telegraph but Remainer), reported this:

    “A journalist from a British newspaper asked the Prime Minister about Donald Trump – and then took the opportunity to ask Mrs Merkel a question, too. What, he wondered, did she think of Mrs May’s proposal from Chequers?

    Just for a moment, Mrs May’s veneer of calm vanished. She practically hurled herself in front of Mrs Merkel, like a bodyguard blocking a bullet. “Chancellor Merkel will be taking her own questions from the press!” she snapped.”

    Given that she practically cleared her plan through Merkel, most odd.

    But then it was rumoured that her Florence speech was practically dictated by the EU – not that it stopped them from rejecting it.

  38. @ Turk

    “she is the only grown up in room full of squabbling children”

    I do agree with you that this seems to be the way things are at the moment. It may have taken her too long to get here, but at least she’s finally trying to set out a workable position in an ‘adult’ way. Meanwhile the rumours still abound that the Brexiteers are planning to drip-feed resignations to keep in the headlines. It’s cartoon-style politics played out by attention seekers. If they want to change the Brexit direction, they need to do something decisive and they need to do it soon. A leadership challenge may well fail, but it’s the only legitimate path they’ve got left, otherwise they’ll be forever throwing toys our of their pram to little effect.

    Not that I want any of the above to happen, or indeed any of the past two years of madness.

  39. Err Deacon is a sketch writer and like all sketch writers he exaggerates and embellishes for humourous effect. Sketches are not factually accurate reports.

  40. New thread

  41. LEWBLEW, I’m more interested if Brexiteers agree with Corbyn’s plans to nationalise rail, gas, electric. I mean being as there for sovereignty, our own laws etc, you’d think they’d prefer us owning our industries and utilities instead of the French, Chinese etc. They really should be lauding Corbyn as a Brexiteer hero.

  42. The recovery of the lads in Thailand is a heart warming event. However amongst all the celebrations today it must be a very somber time for the family of the poor diver who lost his life trying to save these boys last week.

    As for the polls. It looks like Con and Lab are neck and neck at around 39% with the Lib Dem’s inching up.

  43. Crossbat11,
    “Secretly fearing where all this is taking us but sticking with it because it’s a Tory Government doing it. I’m getting the sense that this is what’s going on here as we head for the rocks.”

    Except that isnt what has been going on. This is not what happened in the recent election. The whole nation did not realign on the basis of its referendum vote, but a significant proportion of it did.

    Brexit has been going on for so long now that it is probably embedded in pollster’s assumptions. ie the ‘tribal’ supporters are actually leave/remain who have shifted party and are now being counted as diehards of that party because they have been there so long.

  44. We can own our own stuff, without selling it all (energy companies to HP sauce and Tetley tea bags) within the EU.

  45. So absolutely.

    Looking forward to the next election !

  46. heres how I see it.

    Conservatives are a remain party which believes in the benefits of the EU, but their voters are leavers. The party is united in its aim to stay united and stay electable. Therefore it cannot leave the EU, but it cannot defy its voters either.

    So how to do this?

    Devise two plans for Brexit, hard and soft. Both can be said to satisfy voters and not to be defying them. Would keep them on board, second objective satisfied.

    Stage a war led by the hard brexiters demanding the hardest of Brexits. How can diehard leave supporters abandon them for being zealots too?

    But oppose this by soft brexiteers representing soft brexit or even remain constituencies. Still within the referendum decision, but paralysing the party and government. Control passes to the choice of the remaining MPs in parliament, ie not tories.

    The non tories decide the outcome. The tories have achieved no longer making the decision on brexit without appearing to be doing so. As a plan it still works even with a comfortable tory majority, it just has to be on a bigger scale.

    If labour support any kind of Brexit, they get the blame for this from their remain supporters. Death to their chances at the next election. Whatever bad happens because of Brexit, it becomes their fault too and voters cannot turn on the tories for lying to them. More likely to turn on labour because it failed to stop the tories when it could have.

    If labour demand remain, then the tories are off the hook of not delivering leave. Labour probably gets some modest hit from upset leavers, though probably still is much better off than had it supported leave.

    Tories are relying on it being in labour’s interest to demand remain, and therefore get them off the hook of doing so themselves.

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