The weekly YouGov poll for the Times this morning has topline figures of CON 39%(-2), LAB 39%(-1), LDEM 9%(nc), UKIP 5%(+2). Fieldwork was on Sunday and Monday, mostly on Sunday afternoon and evening. The changes themselves are not signficant, but the disappearing Tory lead echoes the Survation poll at the weekend, and is the first YouGov poll not to show the Tories ahead since back in April. Note also that little uptick in UKIP support. It’s only one poll so may be nothing more than noise, but it’s worth keeping an eye on them.

The answers to questions on the Chequers Brexit deal were mostly negative (33% said the type of Brexit agreed at Chequers would be bad for Britain, just 13% said it would be good; 35% said they would be unhappy if the Chequers deal went ahead, just 19% would be happy.) However, relatively few people had any opinion at all – all the Chequers questions got over 40% don’t knows, only 38% of respondents said they had followed the story very or fairly closely.

However, the vast majority of the fieldwork for the poll took place before Davis and Johnson’s resignations. As well as potentially having an impact on perceptions of the government’s competence and unity, the resignations may well mean that this Brexit development has an impact when others have not. People who may not have noticed a report about yet another tedious internal Tory party row about the intricacies of Brexit may be more likely to notice the story when its Boris Johnson resigning from government because Theresa May has supposedly gone soft on Brexit.

In short, while this and the weekend Survation poll are interesting straws in the wind, the polls to really look at will be the ones conducted after the resignations…

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171 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 39, LAB 39, LDEM 9, UKIP 5”

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  1. Colin,
    ” It IS time for compromise & best outcome for THE COUNTRY.”

    Assuming that a “Compromise” is the best outcome for the Country.

    Surely if you genuinely believe that; No Brexit/Hard Brexit/Soft Brexit…delete where applicable, you should stand up and say so, argue for it and fight for it.

    I do love it when Brexiteers switch blithely from calling for everyone to pull together for there preferred version of Brexit and calling anyone who prefers another version is letting the Country down.

    If, just supposing, cancelling Brexit was the “Best Outcome for the Country!” would you support it and call on all leave voters to do the same, indeed, are you even willing to consider that it might be?


  2. Just checking.

  3. JIM JAM

    @”Cameron was of course accused of opportunism in embracing the idea of a referendum”

    And rightly accused.

  4. Films about Colonial Wars in South Africa

    I havn’t seen Zulu since it came out – I’m that old. I don’t remember the film showing the Brits massacring hundreds of Zulu wounded & prisoners, as they did in real life, nor the Zulus returning the favour.

    Breaker Morant’s a good film: pacy & entertaining & a complex mix of action scenes & good old Courtroom drama. It shows that everyone behave badly in war, as no doubt they do: in this case the Boers, the anti-Boer Carbineers, The Top Brass, the Politicians.

    The horses behave themselves.


    @” Labour is not happy with Mrs May’s approach and is very concerned that it will leave services out of the single market arrangements. ”

    The Labour Party isn’t proposing membership of the SM.

    So that cannot be a concern of the Labour Party.


    @” just supposing, cancelling Brexit was the “Best Outcome for the Country!” would you support it and call on all leave voters to do the same, indeed, are you even willing to consider that it might be?”

    Who is going to decide that Brexit should be “cancelled”?

    On the basis of what data?

    How can the pros & cons be explained to ordinary voters in an objective fashion in a digestible communication?

    Cancelling it on a whim -or a gut feel is as bad as proceeding with it on those bases.

  7. PeopleVote2 update

    HoC had yet another vote on a new ref yesterday.

    Only 13 MPs voted for it

    LDEM 9 (Only 3/4 of their MPs as 3 apparently didn’t back their leader?!?)
    PC 3
    Green 1

    OK, Vince messed it up by adding in the “government of national unity” bit which gave LAB-Remain rebels, Soubs and SNP the chance to abstain.

    Many, including myself, had once n4ively hoped for some kind of “govt of national unity” based on both main parties accepting the referendum result but absolutely no chance of that ever happening with the chasm between LAB and CON on non-Brexit issues.

    LAB-Leave that have offset CON-Remain up to now will play along with Clean Brexit votes but I’d very, very much doubt they would break whip or even abstain on a confidence vote.

    So the maths is LAB+others+7 ERG to take May down in the “deal v no deal” vote in Oct/Nov. Less if DUP have reason to abstain (IMHO they would never vote with Corbyn, but abstain is possible)

    IMHO Oct/Nov will be so near the end that Corbyn will be OK with taking the poisoned chalice at that point – no way can any LAB MP not vote against CON in a confidence vote and way more than 7 ERG believe they are putting country before party by refusing a “bad deal”.

  8. Colin the Labour party seek a type of Brexit that is SM-like. They have complained that Chequers does not include services.

  9. @ Peter Cairns.

    Signs the Brexiteers are getting pretty desperate in expecting sympathy/help in their plight.

    As my mother, who lived thru the various German air attacks 1940-33, used to reply (ruthlessly) when anyone suggested sympathy for the German cities’ plight at the end of WW2. “Well they shouldn’t have started it should they?”

  10. I sincerely hope that Labour MPs (with the exception of the RWMs who would do so either out of spite or idiocy) would politely remind Mrs May and the two remaining Brexiteers that they have got themselves into this mess and it is their job to get themselves out of it.

    It was pretty obvious after Indyref and the 2015 election that when a Tory hands you a shovel and offers you a bag of magic beans in return for helping them dig a great big smelly hole that their intention is to not only renege on the offer but to push you in and leave you to clean up afterwards.

    I’m glad to see that Corbyn and Starmer are refusing to let themselves be pushed into this, the deepest and smelliest of holes yet, even if the RWMs don’t seem to have the mental capacity to learn this most basic of lessons on dealing with Tories in the 21st century.

    As long as the Tories demand membership of the single market without freedom of movement they are not going to get what they want, so the best thing is for Labour to just go away and have a nice summer holiday leaving the Tories to continue to demonstrate their complete lack of fitness to govern.

  11. Trevor: if there is a vote on the deal in the Commons, and it is not successful, then the alternative will not be “no deal” as there is no majority for that in the House and Mrs May does not want it.

  12. @ COLIN – No Etonians, but policy is now being set by CEOs of international companies like Airbus, BMW and Siemens.

    I’ve read your posts on LAB “helping out” but see my previous post. Polls show LAB’s policy is “confusing”, they say it is “evolving”, Gardiner says their 6 tests are “b*llocks”. However, you consider it LAB are not coming to May’s rescue, they want to hide in ambiguity and leave May to clean up what they rightly see as CON’s mess. May would have better luck talking to Sturgeon.

    Semi-serious on that! Offer Sturgeon everything she’s asked for in devolved powers coming back and/or IndyRef2 in 2020 in return for SNP backing her deal (or at least abstaining)

    OK, SNP “helping” is extremely low probability but still more likely than LAB helping. IMHO the timing is the only issue for Corbyn – ideally he’d want to strike after 29Mar’19 to avoid any chance of being dragged into a new ref, but I can’t see May getting past the “deal v no deal” vote – assuming she even lasts that long! Also after 29Mar’19 then his chance to get ERG to vote against May would probably have gone.
    (caveat being the scenario TURK suggested – I’m so anti-May at this point it does cloud my judgement. I don’t want UKIP back but I can see the temptation – especially for many voters in all the marginals CON needs in the next GE. If the next GE splits the Remain vote CON could win a majority. If UKIP return and the Leave vote is split – CON are toast, Corbyn might even win an outright majority)

  13. Marvellous to see how some of you read so much into my liking of action adventure films . I also like Science fiction films and comedies and the occasional documentary .
    Incidentally none of the above apart from documentaries are ment to be true accounts even if they profess to claim they are.
    Lighten up chaps not everything should be seen in terms of nationalism or brexit. It’s okay to watch films for enjoyment.

  14. @ PROFHOWARD – “Trevor: if there is a vote on the deal in the Commons, and it is not successful, then the alternative will not be “no deal” as there is no majority for that in the House and Mrs May does not want it.”

    Please explain what will happen if “deal” is rejected.

    IMHO the “default’ kicks in, which is “No deal”. This was why Grieve backing down on a “truly meaningful vote” ended it for Remain. The WB is now law. We are leaving on 29Mar’19 – deal or no deal.

    There is no majority in HoC for either BINO or No Deal, the Opinium poll a while back put both as equally “bad”, but one of them is the default and one isn’t!

    Of course if a new ref was to occur then maybe BINO – step1 is getting Corbyn onside. If a new ref occurs, and Revoke+Remain win, and you believe EC/EP/EU27 want us back – on the same terms – then, well, good luck with that. IMHO the EC will just drag us past the 29Mar’19 date and we’ll have to beg to rejoin via A49. I respect that Leavers are less trusting in the EC than Remainers but do you honestly think they would let us back on the same terms – Farage+co back in EP, Macron less able to nick some London business, all our vetoes and rebate still valid?

  15. @Turky,

    You haven’t got a carrot or two you could spare me, have you?

  16. @TED

    Sorry to show my ignorance but what are RWMs?


  17. In 1938 the US Congress Passed a Law Making it Illegal for the USA to Enter World War 1 in 1917 [’30s US Joke]

    @ Alec. Interesting post on long-term USA policy.
    But there is an implied Eurocentric view that US must be engaged rather than disengaged in world affairs to Europe’s benefit. Ditto: yr view that having financed WW2 [50 billion] they only helped rebuild Europe afterwards to ward off communism: hegemonic powers usually act in their self-interest, as do other powers? UK equally anti-communist post-45.

    “US declined to enter both world wars until absolutely necessary,”
    Well they were European Wars about European issues until US entered in 1917 & Japan in 1941, when they became World ones. So, not sure what point you are making.

    You also ignore tensions between US domestic & foreign policies. Wilson would have lost Pres election? in 1916 unless he promsed not to intervene. he did so when public opinion had been mobilized. Roosevelt had lost control of vehemently “neutral” Congress in 1938 & had to win 1940 election against isolationist vote. The view seems to ve that he & later Truman steered US domestic opinion to “engagement” in a skilfull fashion. & let’s not forget UK has long-term isolationist policy.

    Finally, if anyone is “disengaging” from Europe it seems to be Brexiteers, who fight “German takeover” by running away from it & as you say are crazily “seeking an enhance Atlantic Alliance just at the point when the US is seeking to return to a state of withdrawal.”!!

  18. TW “Please explain what will happen if “deal” is rejected.”

    Neither Mrs May, the EU, nor Parliament, want “no deal” so I would expect it would’t happen.

  19. I see Guido is reporting that the letters editor of The Telegraph has never received so many angry letters from Leaver Tories as in the last few days. Since I, who have always voted conservative would be most reluctant to vote for a party that included BJ or Smogg, I conclude that Corbyn is very likely to be the next PM.

  20. @Colin to Jim Jam

    Fwiw I agree with much of what Colin has been saying.

    Ms Thornberry asserted that Norway was in the EU customs union.

    The EU will, I think, try not to be too dismissive of the Chequers package. Trying to avoid a chaotic exit is important as is getting over the exit line in an orderly fashion. The Irish border question should not be fudged.

    The possible solutions to a border that is as without friction as possible involves;

    special status for NI as proposed by the EU and rejected by May and the DUP

    extending the special status to all of the UK, which is likely to be unacceptable to the EU as well as some in the UK government

    or the UK could accept being in the Customs Union and Single Market arrangements though this seems unlikely

    or the UK could try to revoke withdrawal and this also seems unlikely.

    At the moment I can’t see a deal to be done.

  21. @ PROFHOWARD – no one wanted WW1 either.

    There are several ways “no deal” might not happen but “I expect” sounds a lot like wishful thinking.

    I should add that it probably won’t actually be “no deal” but a series of mini-deals and carving out some parts of what has been agreed in the WA so far.

    Folks, including myself, use “no deal” a little too flippantly and I expect some Remainers take it literally.

    If both sides go to the default (as per A50) then it would be a MFN WTO trading arrangement with UK probably mirroring CET (to begin with), probably with mini-deal add-ons and quite possibly with a “pay-as-you-go” transition to Dec’20 (hopefully between Mar’19 and Dec’20 some form of FAIR trade deal is arranged but we also have that time to get cracking with rWorld).

  22. TW: the House of Commons, the EU, Mrs May, and public opinion do not want that.

  23. How many resignations tomorrow?

    Script is ready:
    “Now I’ve seen the actual White Paper it is even worse than I’d been led to believe from the Chequers information. I can’t possibly support it. Etc, etc”

    My guess is 3, followed by 1-2 more over the weekend.

  24. Sam: its not necessary to agree arrangements for those matters (CU, Single Market) until we’re into the implementation period. So one strand of opinion says that Mrs May and the EU will be ambiguous on these matters until we are into the implementation period. That is another year or two before it needs to be put to the House.

  25. “How can the pros & cons be explained to ordinary voters in an objective fashion in a digestible communication?

    Cancelling it on a whim -or a gut feel is as bad as proceeding with it on those bases.”

    Brexit is only Brexit because the voters weren’t given enough information, or correct information, about what it entails and how it would work. Of course cancelling it ‘on a whim’ would be better continuing blindly.

  26. Simply put: a “no deal” will not happen if it were to be the aim of an an ERG rebellion against a deal agreed by Mrs May and the EU.

    That would be an unacceptable outcome for the House, the EU, Mrs May, and public opinion. It would be the ERG tail (a small % of opinion in the House) wagging the dog (everyone else).

    (It would be different if Mrs May came back and said she had come to no deal).

  27. If the UKIP vote increaseds by just a bit, I think the Tories will be in big trouble. After all, they’ve not won a convincing majority for over 30 years. The old LibDem vote has probably gone mainly to Labour, as it was always a protest vote and Labour aren’t currently in government. Seats like Mansfield that went Tory for the first time last year won’t do so again – Brexity people will no longer trust them.

    Likelihood of BoJo losing his seat after his behaviour this week anyone…??

  28. Professor Howard

    The transition/implementation period depends on agreement on withdrawal terms and this depends on the “backstop” being put into legal text. It has already been agreed though it was speedily disowned by the UK.


    @”Colin the Labour party seek a type of Brexit that is SM-like”

    No they don’t .

  30. TW

    @” However, you consider it LAB are not coming to May’s rescue,”

    Yes-I know

  31. [email protected]
    “Sorry to show my ignorance but what are RWMs”

    Oh, sorry, it’s Right Wing Moderates.

    I had used it in full in a previous paragraph which I then decided was too ranty and cut out, but forgot to proof read as well.

  32. “Reassuring” to see no deal contingency planning in action:

  33. @ALEC

    To be honest, a conflict that was an absurd anachronism even in the second half of the twentieth century is not one I’d choose to pray in aid regarding UK alliances for the twenty-first.

    But if you must I think it’s agin you. Both diplomatically and militarily, the US support was more solid when conflict came than that of much of Europe.

    At the UN, the US supported Resolution 502, where the only European NATO member* on the security council, Spain, abstained. And when Spain later co-sponsored a mandatory ceasefire resolution that would have left Argentina in possession, the US joined the UK in a second, completely functionally unnecessary veto, at no small cost to its strategic self-interest in the region.

    Militarily, the only significant non-combat support came from the US and Chile. In a conflict as close as it was, either or both could be argued as decisive.

    *- strictly, its formal accession happened between the Argentinian and the British landings, but had been agreed the previous year

  34. St. Gareth should do the EU negotiations after we’ve won the World Cup.

  35. Crossbath

    “You haven’t got a carrot or two you could spare me have you”.
    Certainly let me have your address and I’ll get my daughter who runs our farm now to send you a grate you seem needy enough.

  36. No-deal planning (story from Financial Times):

    “Thousands of electricity generators would have to be requisitioned at short notice and put on barges in the Irish Sea to help keep the lights on in Northern Ireland in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to one paper drawn up by Whitehall officials. That could involve bringing back equipment from far-flung countries such as Afghanistan – where the UK is still part of Nato-led operations – said people familiar with the paper’s contents.”

  37. Apart from the Falklands where were Britain’s European Allies in Nato when the Commonwealth country of Grenada was invaded!!!


  38. @Pete B shocking timing; from the living room I can hear it’s 1-1

  39. I am in agreement with anyone who says Labour brexit policy is a cakist as the Tories. As many have pointed out the teo main parties have sizeable no votes which they need to keep. The aim was for May to have a decisive victory and then I believe we would have had a harder brexit. Corbyn’s and Starmer’s evolving Brexit is essentially just to the remain side of whatever May produces.

    It is a sh1tshow but in truth the Labour leadership is not interested in Europe per se. If we are in then they would not really care. They have often concentrated rightly in my view of actual policy issue affecting the country in terms of people’s well being

    Interestingly this in the guardian basically say all

    We are complaining about Brussels when in truth we should be complaining about Westminster and our government. The sad fact is that the electorate is pretty stupid. Ask them where the problem lies it is not how they vote… someone else. We elected people to do this and that is the pity of it all.

    I maintain e will walk off the cliff before electors thing of changing. They are often 12 months to a year behind the curveand have memories of a goldfish sometimes. It is why I think there will be no second vote on anything. I don’t even think the MP get a say. I believe that ALEC’s appraisal of May compromise and never ending battle to to leave after we have ‘left’ will happen but I think the battle is between the like of JRMs and those that could be thought of by the JRMs as wets. It is a classic battle of control of the party, ideological purity and sometimes policies. I also believe in a big part for the Tories it seems to have a massive dollop of ego. Although I thing the way the leadership is run seems to produce that.

    The reality is that I fear that world has changed while we have been navel gazing and that when we put our heads up we would have been left behind politically.

  40. However the game ends. I thought the Yorkshire team played well – though the guys from rEng helped.

  41. I would like to extend my commiserations to England and to the England fans.

    It is always heart-breaking and painful to go out of the World Cup. No less when ones team has done so well and made such a positive impression.

    You played well and with honour. You can hold your head up high.

  42. Unlucky guys, you came so close.

    Over the 120+ I think Croatia edged it, but nothing but praise for your team who gave every ounce.

    Hope France win as so far they’ve been one of the few to show any real flare.


  43. Prof Howard

    Agreed, It was a really good game between 2 excellent sides.

    Wasn’t fussed about which one won, though politically I was a little concerned that England winning the World Cup would feed into an emotional attitude of “England can take on the world at anything – and win”. Such might have reinforced the emotions that lay behind a Leave vote for some.

  44. I think Nicola has missed a great opportunity.

    If she had declared UDI at 7.30 we’d be Independent before anyone noticed.


  45. Rosie thought our game management was shocking [coincidentally, so did I]. Daisie just slept through it.

    Anyway, at least there is no euphoric Footy dividend for Mrs May.

  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.

  47. Anyway, anything happening about brexit while I’ve been on footy duties?

  48. Here’s a snippet of silliness:

    “Mark Francois said Davis had been working for months on “a detailed white paper” which was “not presented to the cabinet at Chequers”. Francois called on the prime minister to publish it so the country has “a chance to see the alternative options that DExEU had proposed”. ”

    I find the idea that “the public” – or even one member of that body – would be keen to laboriously go through both a white paper AND an alternative to be – how to put this? – bleedin’ unlikely.


    Davis had been working for months on…

    Seems a bit far fetched to me

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