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
AVERAGE – CON 41, LAB 39, 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. TOH,

    ““Meanwhile knife crime in London on Khan’s watch rises to an all-time high.”

    We’ve had the best summer in forty years and England are in the World Cup semi Final…Khan’s the man!

    Peter.

  2. Trigguy (et al,),
    “The fact that Remainers are relatively reconciled to the agreement may just enflame the dissatisfaction further.”

    Hmm. Not sure you can conclude that remainers are reconciled to a soft Brexit. It is rather critically dependent on the questions and how the respondent interprets the available answers. What you outlined might be interpreted as remainers think that a very soft Brexit does satisfy the referendum and should satisfy leavers. Whereas leavers think it does not at all satisfy the referendum.

    But that still doesn’t necessarily mean remainers are happy with the compromise either, only that they think the other side ought to be happy with it. Which they arent.

    Alec,
    I view this deal as simply ‘banking’ some concessions by leavers. The formal government position on Brexit has taken another official step towards remain.

    Jonesinbangor,
    “The ball is on the EU Commission court now. Their choice:Dogma or realistic compromise.”

    It really isnt. I keep posting that the EU has nothing to fear from Brexit. If there is no deal, the Uk has a choice either to cease following EU rules, impose tariffs….or not. The truth is that continuing to align perfectly with the EU would be the sensible thing for the UK to do. So no deal means…we just follow the EU anyway.

    It has always been just a question of how much we formally stay inside the organisation and therefore retain some influence in what rules it makes. All we are really arguing about is how much sovereignty the UK wants to give away by indulging in Brexit.

  3. MBRUNO

    :-) :-) :-)

    I like it .

  4. Any Survation Poll conducted on a day when England are playing in a World Cup Quarter final is bound to be defective.

    Any normal person will be watching it, preparing to watch it, or celebrating the result, rather than answering pointless questions like this, about a ‘deal’ which hasn’t yet even been put to the EU.

    In fact the people who actually take time out to co-operate with this poll should be viewed as unrepresentative.

    According to this report of the Survation Poll 25% of Remainers are against the proposed deal and 25% of Leavers are also against it.

    Yet only 22% of the electorate as a whole are against it. So there must be huge support for it, or massive apathy, amongst the small minority of people who are neither Remain nor Leave.

    A large majority think it’s the ‘wrong deal’ the but more still approve of it, than are against it.

    It’s actually quite nice to see so many people saying ‘don’t know’. Usually people express a view one way or the other on things they’ve never given any thought to, and then one side or other claims their whims as having the status of Commandments delivered by Moses.

    It might be a good idea to stop wasting people’s time asking them these questions about things which they quite plainly expect the politicians to do what they paid for and sort out themselves.

    These sorts of questions only have relevance when they show large settled leads for, or against.

  5. Heatwave seems to have unleashed some pleasing wit (e.g. TCO’s planned exit from his working men’s club and Roger Mexico’s ‘full English Brexit). Definitely LOL as far as I was concerned. Where are the pups when one needs them? They are usually good for a joke or two.

  6. Roger Mexico
    I’m basing my expectation of a boost to the government in the polls because of football success on past experience. It only needs a few percent DKs to feel a bit more benign than usual, and voila! a swing to the government.

    It will only be short term of course and I do realise that not everyone is interested, but I reckon far more are following the football than the tedious details of Brexit.

  7. “Any normal person will be watching it, preparing to watch it, or celebrating the result, rather than answering pointless questions like this”

    I agree that it’s hardly normal to want to fill in a huge questionnaire like this – I can’t believe how many questions these have sometimes. I wouldn’t take the answers to any beyond the first five question too seriously, especially on a subject that was only a few hours old and had certainly not been fully digested by any but the most dedicated political nerd.

    However, is it ‘normal’ to like football. You’re on very dodgy ground there, I feel, but let’s not get into that*. The point for polling would be whether selecting people who don’t like football is going to bias your results on political polling. That is not clear to me – there might be some geographical differences (ie Scottish, Welsh and English subsamples might be affected differently on a day England is playing), but in other respects, I see no particularly obvious reason for bias, as football is followed probably to similar extent across all ages and political leanings.

    * Personally I can happily watch hours of cricket, but get bored stiff by 90 minutes of football. Perhaps I AM abnormal, and this is due to psychological damage from being forced to watch dreadful fourth division football as a child.

  8. Sorry, last comment was in reply to Ronald Olden.

  9. Good Evening all from a very hot (28 degrees) Bournemouth East.

    I think T.May is safe as the Tory backbenchers will not bring her down; there is not a Parliamentary majority for ‘Hard’ Brexit or for the overturning of the Referendum result.

  10. Mbruno: May’s proposal is strategically brillliant. The UK keeps the regulatory alignment with the EU, but reserves the right to pull out of it unilaterally whenever it wishes. It buys time until the UK can rebalance its trade profile towards the anglosphere (the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand) and the emerging economies (India, China), and away from the EU, which will be probably imploding by then anyway as the populist parties in the continent will continue to gain ground in an obvious reaction to unrealistic euro-federalism.
    Yeah, it’s so brilliant we should just do it and not tarnish the brilliance with negotiations.

  11. Blogs have begun to make their comments on the outcomes of the Chequers meeting. This is from Kirsty Hughes who, I think, wishes to stay in the EU (and wants the SNP to campaign for that.)

    https://www.scer.scot/database/ident-7630

    I don’t think it possible for the Conservative party to resolve its differences sufficiently well to allow negotiations. i may be right orra meringue.

    Good crack, Peter W – the switch in use is within my lifetime.

  12. “It might be a good idea to stop wasting people’s time asking them these questions about things which they quite plainly expect the politicians to do what they paid for and sort out themselves.”

    Good to see @Ronaldolden agreeing the referendum result can be ignored.

  13. Re: Smogg

    I am sure the Labour Party will be quaking in their boots at a Leader who will make 17% of Tory voters less likely to vote Tory! And a bunch of people who will always vote Tory more likely to vote for them!

  14. If the EU are worried about giving the UK a deal so good that other Member States would say, “Wow, I’d like that instead of being a member!” then they really have nothing to fear from May’s proposals.

    The polling suggests that the instinctive reaction is that it is the wrong deal (26:42), even if framed in terms of approve/disapprove it does better (33:22). This is when it is put in an ongoing negotiation where the question is implicitly “If we are going to leave, how does this seem?”

    But what if the question was: “Do you want to leave if these are the terms?” To which very few ardent Leavers would say, “Yes.”

  15. @Danny

    “All we are really arguing about is how much sovereignty the UK wants to give away by indulging in Brexit.”

    Well I suppose cake is quite an indulgence.

  16. Tony C of RTE always good on brexit:

    https://www.rte.ie/news/analysis-and-comment/2018/0707/976998-tony-connelly-brexit-chequers/

    Well worth reading right through.

  17. I have a question hopefully someone can help with, more of a reading of the document that I hope others can comment on as I may be mistaken.

    The common rule book and Facilitated Customs Arrangement in essence means the UK will set and levy the same Tariffs as the EU.

    The fact we are choosing to set those Tariffs means that the independent trade deal ‘sophistry’ holds whilst in effect we will accept what the E27 decides, hence imo effectively in A CU at least as far as tariffs are concerned.

    I think that ‘tariff AND trade policy (4d)’ means that quotas would also operate as now with exporters to the EU being able to include the UK in their quota and have the ability to switch markets within the EU27 + UK as now. This being important to for example Australia and New Zealand who were adamant that post Brexit the UK element of any import quotas could not just be transferred to a post Brexit UK trade deal with the remainder staying with the EU.

    I how the White Paper makes this clear as without quotas covering EU27+UK the FCA would be unacceptable to other countries.

  18. Barrage of Brexit Blimps Blast Baby Blimp

    The Trump groupies on here, & generally, get very exercised by the Baby Trump blimp. I’m rather impressed by a group who raise 20 grand by crowd funding, & get it designed, built & presumably launched. It may go on a world tour. Pity they can’t sort out the mess in the DWP.I’m really looking forward to it.

    The funniest criticism comes form an object called, Andrew Rosindell, a Tory MP, a man who has devoted his weird career to being a parody of a parody of a reactionary, flag-waving Brexiteer.
    he proposes to challnege Khan as Mayor (sic).

    Apparently the Pro-Trump Blimps are going to launch their own Baby Khan Blimp, tho I’ll believe that when I see it.

  19. JimJam
    “I have a question . . .”

    I dutifully read yr post twice. I was even more baffled the second time. My question is: what exactly is your question?

  20. Will see how the next 2 weeks plays out however I’m not sure that I agree with the people on the previous page who say that the EU will reject this out of hand.

    Firstly, I’d be surprised if May would have tabled something with the cabinet on Friday had her conversations with Merkel and Rutte last week suggested that it would have been thrown back at her.

    Equally, Barnier’s comments last week that the EU are ready to move on their positions, but need something from the UK first – felt like an olive branch and inviting May to table something ‘soft’…coincidence therefore that she did? Would be odd after those comments and May’s actions if this didnt kick start negotiations.

    Now, no-one should expect the EU to say that they love it – they’ll want to negotiate a lot of the White Paper when it comes out, so the tones from them will be balanced…’we welcome the progress…lot of detail missing in places….some elements unworkable or unacceptable…’ etc. But it won’t be, as some here have suggested, an outright rejection. It’ll be something which encourages a dialogue.

    There’s also no huge benefit in rejecting the UK position out of hand. The EU will know that May doesnt have huge scope for further movement, so rejecting it completely will effectively end the process here and we drop out next March baesd on WTO rules. Not really most people’s ideal outcome, but after May has moved in the direction of the EU it would just strengthen anti-EU feeling in the UK or other countries at a time when those sort of views are at an all-time high and/or increasing in Germany, Italy, UK and various other places

  21. Robbie,

    It is will quotas be part of the Facilitated Customs Arrangement as they are not specifically mentioned?

  22. Adam B I think the EU can’t move very far – for obvious reasons – but the Norway solution with a few tweaks would be acceptable to them.

    In terms of changes to the Chequers framework that would require (i) services to be added to goods (which would be good for our economy and (ii) freedom of movement to be made more similar to what Norway has.

    I think if May came back with that sort of agreement the UK parliament would support it on a cross-party basis, because there would be no clear alternative, though of course the Tory Eurosceptics might not support it.

    Frankly however it may make sense to have a referendum on re-joining the EU to check that the UK people are happy with this change.

  23. I think also that the customs arrangements in the Chequers deal are complicated and that it would be simpler for business just to say in the simple Customs Union.

  24. Steamdrivenandy,
    “Why haven’t the government got the guts to explain that and face down those who won’t accept reality?”

    Consider the consequences. The government formally gets behind a statement that the leave case was an unachievable pack of doodoo.So who were those leave campaigners? -why government MPs. And who has spent the last two years continuing to push the idea that leave promises are achievable – why this same government, remainers included.

    So you think any government will voluntarily announce it utterly misled voters and has been pushing them towards an unachievable mess?

  25. Thanks Colin – so current quotas would apply through transition with no apportionment.

    I think, again I may be wrong, that if we were in A CU with the EU we would combine with the EU for a total quota.

    Perhaps this is where the FCA is different in that the UK would reach it own quotas (to apply after transition); although where an existing quota is shared after WTO talks we would of course abide by the deal.

    This would give Labour some softer Brexit space perhaps?

  26. ADAMB
    “I’m not sure that I agree with the people on the previous page who say that the EU will reject this out of hand.”

    Unless the government abandons the red line on freedom of movement they will have to, since their red line has always been that the four freedoms are indivisible, and anything else is cake. Personally I hope they will, since this is my red line, and would wish misfortune on the firstborn of any mp unto the twentieth generation who supported taking it away from my kids and their friends. Like Charlton Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes, I still cannot believe that it has come to this, and I don’t think that their generation will ever forgive them if they gleefully sign it away. I often get sent polls for the teenagers to take, but they never seem to tack on the political questions that others sometimes do. My children feel very strongly about this indeed, particularly the one who would like to go to uni in the EU next year and currently has not the faintest idea if she will be able to.

    On the other hand. I’m very pleased to see commenting reactivated. For a while I thought our esteemed host may have closed us down, and wondered if this was how it was going to end, not with a bang, but with Jones in Bangor.

    It made me wish to thank Anthony once again for letting us be here, I would miss the discussion if it weren’t.

  27. AdamB: Will see how the next 2 weeks plays out however I’m not sure that I agree with the people on the previous page who say that the EU will reject this out of hand.

    Firstly, I’d be surprised if May would have tabled something with the cabinet on Friday had her conversations with Merkel and Rutte last week suggested that it would have been thrown back at her.

    As I see it, she is fairly safe that the document will not be rejected as a whole, if only for the reason that just reaching the point of having one is something of a milestone for this dog ate my homework govt.

    The Irish probably have special licence to criticise – https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2018/0708/977196-gove-comments-brexit/ from Coveney is probably as strong as it gets. Otherwise, I expect other governments to maintain public silence and let Barnier deal with it for a while.

  28. Ronald Olden,
    “These sorts of questions only have relevance when they show large settled leads for, or against.”

    Do you mean in the manner that the result of the actual referendum did not?

    Sam,
    “Mr Coveney begins to dampen expectations”

    I saw Gove this morning and he seemed to be saying about all we will leave is the agricultural policy and fisheries. Now Coveney is suggesting we might have to stay in agriculture?

    Adamb,
    ” I’d be surprised if May would have tabled something with the cabinet on Friday had her conversations with Merkel and Rutte last week suggested that it would have been thrown back at her. ”

    Why would you be surprised? has this government at any time behaved like it wanted a speedy and straightforward end to negotiations?

    “There’s also no huge benefit in rejecting the UK position out of hand. The EU will know that May doesnt have huge scope for further movement, so rejecting it completely will effectively end the process here ”

    Of the two sides, the UK is the one with the fluid negotiating position, so I dont see any grounds to argue it will not move again. But the stated goal of the EU is to conclude negotiations in a set timeframe, and ending the process would achieve that. I dont understand why anyone expects the EU to move its position. its problem has been that the UK does not have a fixed position either to accept or reject.

    Prof Howard,
    “I think also that the customs arrangements in the Chequers deal are complicated and that it would be simpler for business just to say in the simple Customs Union.”

    They might be so complicated as to negate any conceivable gains from the UK having notional alternative arrangements with anyone. If we had a special deal with country X whereas with country Y we followed EU terms, than a company might choose to buy from Y and not at all from X, because it would just be simpler.

  29. @Jim Jam – I think your question on quotas is interesting, and I don’t think @Colin has understood it fully – although I could be wrong!

    I’m not sure how relevant it is though. Quotas will, I assume, still be measured by the goods that enter each trading area (UK or EU) and so if we are agreeing to take each other’s tariffs at our own borders, presumably it wouldn’t be too much extra effort to log goods liable to quotas, such that NZ lamb landing at Dover and being shipped to France is counted at Dover towards EU quotas etc.

    However, I think you are asking the wrong question. You say – “The common rule book and Facilitated Customs Arrangement in essence means the UK will set and levy the same Tariffs as the EU…” but I don’t think this is the case. If it was, the red line on securing our own trade deals would be irrelevant.

    My understanding is that we will collect tariffs for the EU for goods coming into the UK but being shipped on to the EU – that isn’t the same as agreeing identical tariffs. We become their tariff collector, and seen in this light, the issue of managing quotas becomes much easier.

    I suspect that the bigger question is that, given the EU/UK will potentially have different tariffs (and quotas), and given that we want frictionless borders between the two, it might be fine for the UK to offer to collect EU tariffs for goods imported here and re-exported to the EU, but presumably this means they would have to do the same for us.

    The proposal appears to be asking for every other EU country to potentially pay for a border system that differentiates EU and UK end destinations for every import, and manage the tarrifs/quotas accordingly.

    Are we agreeing to pay the full costs for such a system across the entire EU in perpetuity? Or will we do it for them, and still have import controls on our side of the border for inbound goods so we can manage our own tariffs and quotas? The proposals as it stands seems incoherent, for precisely the same reasons as I often pick up problems with @Trevor Warnes theoretically based economics posts – namely, that it explores only a partial element of the issue. The white papers seems to deal with trade going through the UK to the EU only, and forgets the other half of the equation.

    The EU previoulsy rejected the Max Fac proposal for precisely this reason, and I don’t think anything different was offered on Friday. We are still trying to export unicorns to the continent, but they are heavily quota controlled.

  30. TECHNICOLOUROCTOBER,

    “Firstly, I’d be surprised if May would have tabled something with the cabinet on Friday had her conversations with Merkel and Rutte last week suggested that it would have been thrown back at her.”

    Then you don’t understand the EU in particular or indeed Diplomacy in general. Merkel will have given away nothing.

    She will have echoed the EU line and urged concrete proposals that meet the EU’s concerns, but nothing more!

    Peter.

  31. Theexterminatingdalek,
    “I … would wish misfortune on the firstborn of any mp unto the twentieth generation who supported taking it away from my kids and their friends.”

    I think the government has understood you are not alone in this, and that is why we have the current charade seeking to reverse the decision.

    Most peope, seem to think the result of the last election was something of a shock. The tories just couldnt lose from that starting point. But they did. Several people here arguing labour would lose out by going full remain, but I dont agree. I think it would lose out by falling in line with any kind of Brexit the government proposes and must at minimum be more remainish.

  32. Peter Cairns (SNP)@TECHNICOLOUROCTOBER “Firstly, I’d be surprised if May would have tabled something with the cabinet on Friday had her conversations with Merkel and Rutte last week suggested that it would have been thrown back at her.”

    Then you don’t understand the EU in particular or indeed Diplomacy in general. Merkel will have given away nothing.

    She will have echoed the EU line and urged concrete proposals that meet the EU’s concerns, but nothing more!

    Wasn’t me. I was quoting, as you can see from the italics in my post.

    Peter.

  33. Try again.

    Peter Cairns (SNP)@TECHNICOLOUROCTOBER “Firstly, I’d be surprised if May would have tabled something with the cabinet on Friday had her conversations with Merkel and Rutte last week suggested that it would have been thrown back at her.”

    Then you don’t understand the EU in particular or indeed Diplomacy in general. Merkel will have given away nothing.

    She will have echoed the EU line and urged concrete proposals that meet the EU’s concerns, but nothing more!

    Wasn’t me. I was quoting, as you can see from the italics in my post.

  34. Alec,
    “My understanding is that we will collect tariffs for the EU for goods coming into the UK but being shipped on to the EU”

    It cant work like that. No one would know whether a particular consignment will end up going to the EU or not. Every consignment would have to be included in the scheme. The idea seems to be that everything coming in is treated exactly as now. If a company wishes to benefit from a special arrangement, it must track the goods concerned and prove they end up in the UK in order to claim a rebate from the Uk government.

    And the EU will need proof that nothing entering the EU has obtained a rebate. It sounds incredibly complicated, unless the EU is willing to accept that goods will be smuggled through to it. I think they already understand this problem, and this will be why it is rejected.

  35. Hows about machine-gunning the entire Tory cabinet? Would that help?

    I mean, after all, it was they that opened Pandora’s Box.

    Seems only fair.

  36. David Davis has resigned. Wonder how that will affect things, how will we replace David Davis’ incredible in depth knowledge at this late stage? ;)

  37. As a change from the interminable Brexit debate, what about this?

    I understand that there are some moves towards clamping down on perverts by making a specific offence for ‘upskirting’ photos.

    At the same time, there is a movement towards allowing people to self-identify as whatever gender they want. Does no-one realise that any male predator could say that he is a woman and get access to women’s changing rooms etc?

    I am old, but I really don’t understand this contradiction. Is it different groups pursuing these two agendas or what?

  38. Frosty,

    “Wonder how that will affect things, how will we replace David Davis’ incredible in depth knowledge at this late stage? ;)”

    Danny Dyer!

    Peter.

  39. @Danny
    “The tories just couldnt lose from that starting point. But they did.”

    Is that why Labour are now the government?

  40. Was writing his letter of resignation the first bit of work he’s ever done?

  41. David Davis resigns. Leadership challenge expected as early as Monday. I predict Theresa May will prevail.

  42. I really enjoyed the hypothetical discourses above.

    David Davis resigned.

  43. Oh, and Steve Barker resigned too.

    They went to the barge ….

  44. Steve Barker the film director who made the terrible B Movie “Outpost” or the even less well know Junior Minister?

    Peter.

  45. Looks like it could be Night of the Long Knaves!

    Peter.

  46. Seems like another Brexit minister (Suella Braverman) has gone.

    May to junk Brexit Dept. and take over negotiations?

  47. I think Brexit is undeliverable at the moment.

    David Davis is correct that the likely direction of travel is staying in customs union and single market for the forseeable future.

    Even if the UK was not an actual member of the EU, they would be contracting back into EU arrangements.

    Theresa May could face a leadership contest, with the Tories facing a period of the same old EU war between the two sides of the Tory party.

    At the moment, I cannot see that the UK is going to be ready to leave the EU from 29th March 2019. There are just too many aspects that would need to be dealt with and I doubt that Government has done the work to prepare for any of the likely changes.

  48. So the “agreement” she gained at Chequers didn’t exist.

    She has to go.

    What a sodding mess. I fear for the economy now.

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