Following the midweek YouGov poll, there are two more polls in today’s papers showing the Conservatives falling back behind Labour in the wake of the cabinet Brexit “deal” and the Davis/Johnson resignations.

Opinum in the Observer, conducted between Tuesday and Friday, has topline figures of CON 36%(-6), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 8%(+5). Changes are from June. There is also new Deltapoll figures in the Sun on Sunday, which have the Conservatives on 37%(-4) and Labour on 42%(+1) – changes are again on June.

This means we now have three polls conducted since the Davis/Johnson resignations, all of which have shown Conservative support dropping down behind Labour (and for Opinium and YouGov at least, showing UKIP up… I don’t have the Deltapoll figure for UKIP yet, but I expect we’ll see the same there).

Full details of the Opinium poll are up on their website here, and other questions paint a generally negative picture for the government. Just 25% of people now approve of May’s handling of Brexit (down 5 since last month), 56% disapprove (up 11). Her general approval figures have fallen to much the same extent, down to minus 24 from minus 8 last month.

Asked specifically about the Chequers deal, however, the public are evenly split. 32% of people approve of the Chequers plan, 32% do not, 35% are either neutral or don’t know. Support is higher among remain voters, opposition higher among leavers. For those intrigued by the difference between be neutral rating here and the negative rating in the YouGov question mid week, one obvious difference in the question is that YouGov asked people if they supported or opposed the deal based on whatever they had seen or heard about it, Opinium gave a short description of the deal in the question, focusing on Britain following EU rules on goods, avoiding a hard border, collecting EU tariffs and being about to set its own tariffs for non-EU countries. As with any policy, I expect many people’s reactions to the deal are based not upon looking at the details, but taking their cues from political and media reaction to it.


480 Responses to “Two more polls show the Conservatives dropping behind Labour”

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  1. OLDNAT

    Frankly I don’t care if it’s a Brexiteer or a Remainers but her cowardly leadership is a recipe for a disastrous outcome.

  2. @ JAMESB – Can you give some examples of UK “getting what it wanted” from EU?

    I can think of many areas where we “dodged the bullet” and used our veto to keep ourselves out of the folly that others signed up to (Euro, Schengen, etc) and a few cases where we “stood alone” (or almost alone) and slammed or tried to slam on the brakes (e.g. the whole 2010-12 issue, trying to stop arch-federalist Juncker). Thatcher getting the rebate was partially correcting a huge injustice and a long time ago.

    Now how about liberalisation of services? 45years of S-L-O-W…
    How about services being prominent in new trade deals?
    How about new trade deals with economies that want what we sell and sell what we need?
    Etc, etc…

    The comical thing with likes of Clegg, Soros, even Heseltine is they think if UK stays we’ll be leading the reform (everyone seems to agree the EU urgently needs reform – they just can’t agree on the reform it needs)!!

    Yeah, right – the EC/French-German axis/EP are counting the days until we are gone and they have one less set of feet slamming of the “project” brake pedal (especially with Italy taking over #1 party-pooper spot!).

  3. Dominic Grieve: “The ongoing Brexit process has been an exercise in both deception, and self-deception.”

  4. One problem with suggesting that we will benefit if we leave the EU because distant non EU countries are growing faster then the EU, is that the extra growth may have nothing to do with them not being an EU member. It may have everything to do with catching up to current western standards. As such, therefore it’s relatively unlikely that we will grow at a faster rate just because we’re no longer in the EU.

    We may, or may not be able to provide the faster growing economies with product and services that their growth requires but I suspect that closer, larger neighbours will mop that up.

  5. I must say, it is strange (but by no means a bad thing) to see so many Labour MPs sticking up for the interests of business this evening. It’s like the good old days under Tony Blair.

  6. @ PETERW – Well Hoey was born there. She is pretty much DUP in the way she votes.

    There will never be a “national govt” of course but until 29Mar’19 LAB-Leave look v.likely to fully offset any CON-Remain that are feeling brave.

    Grieve had his bluff called and bottled the one chance CON-Remain had to wreck Brexit. I know the Remain press constantly say HoC does not have a majority for a Clean Brexit but I’d like to see an Arch-Remain poster go through the maths in HoC.

    Yes, pre-Jun’16 a majority supported Remain (in part as both parties’ leaders did (near silently with JC of course) and Remain expected to win) but Lancaster House and White Paper relating to it came before the A50 vote.

    A large majority of MPs, having heard Lancaster House and read the White Paper that came with it then voted to trigger A50.

    There a lot of “switch” MPs who might switch back of course (e.g. Soubs voted to trigger A50) so we have to use more recent votes as a guide – tonight’s one being important. My guess is CON-Remain will bottle it, CON-Leave haven’t lost any vote they really need yet and LAB-Leave available to make up the numbers when required.

    If anyone sees the HoC maths different then please post the breakdown.

    P.S. Whilst I think May could revert to Clean Brexit once Barnier rejects her White Flag, I want her gone and think we need a new GE. A Clean Brexit will be a challenge and needs a much better leader than May – one who actually sees the opportunities as well as the risks.

  7. Chris Riley: The Tory Brexiteers do not now and have never had the slightest intention of giving the left-behind working class what they want (besides anything else, ‘what they want’ includes ‘Tories to go away’), and they are very keen to ensure this group do not find their voice. They seem to be under the impression that once they’ve completed their heist and it’s irreversible, everyone will just sit down and put up with it.

    They are scoundrels, but most of all, they are fools.

    We’re on the verge of something very bad indeed in this country.

    I have to agree. It is why, as a Remainer, I am less interested in the outcome of brexit than in what follows. The institutions are abused, degraded and discredited. None of the possible outcomes from brexit can disguise this

  8. “We’re on the verge of something very bad indeed in this country.”

    I agree with this also.

  9. So the anti-Trump demonstrations that needed 100+ extra police to be brought up to Aberdeen from England for 3 days, costing the UK probably approaching £100 k in total, went off peacefully.

    The police reported no bad behaviour and no damage, as I predicted would happen.

    https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp/news/local/more-than-100-protesters-turn-up-at-donald-trumps-north-east-golf-course1/

    So the Home office and Liam Fox “the demonstrators are an embarrassment to themselves” badly misjudged the situation.

    My only favourable take is that the Aberdeen papers are again functioning as normal news outlets – when they were under contract to Trump New York they could never have reported demonstrations, let alone show pictures.

    But that`s what Hard Leavers want – foreign tycoons to control the UK.

  10. @TW
    If you want to know what influence the UK wielded in the EU, perhaps you should read the study? I’m sure you’ll be able to point out where the authors got it wrong… you appear to be an expert on almost everything!

    Your attempt to turn this week’s utter debacle into a good news story for the Tories is both ludicrous and slightly disturbing – I genuinely can’t figure out if you are serious or not.

    We have the weakest PM in living memory negotiating the most important change in our country’s status for at least fifty years, who can’t command the confidence or support of her party, let alone the House, and certainly not the country at large which is hopelessly and passionately divided – this is a simply appalling situation for the country to be put in.

    Our engagement with the EU dropped off a cliff in 2010; typical was the complaint from Brexiteers that the EU had included no UK products into the most recent ‘protected’ list when it turned out we hadn’t bothered to submit any for consideration despite numerous reminders.

    It’s this kind of ‘fake news’ which distorts a reasoned discussion; up until 2010 we were – according to the study cited earlier – the second most successful EU country in getting our way (either the Netherlands or Germany was first, I can’t remember which). After 2010 this fell, but because we chose not to participate, not because some beastly rotters ganged up against us.

    I accept that this scenario doesn’t accord with your view of the world and therefore makes you uncomfortable, but it doesn’t make it less accurate.

  11. Kirsty Blackman: “There is a majority in this house for the Customs Union, and yet the only faction that the government is accepting amendments from is the ERG.”

  12. From Grieve:

    “It is not my job as a member of parliament to put on the statute book clauses in bills which are inadequate, incomprehensible and on top of that seek to undermine the government and that’s why I describe them as entirely malevolent and for that reason I shall be voting against both of them this evening.”

    Has he forgotten his own attempt to install a “wrecking” amendment? Mind you he did then vote against himself on that – maybe realising that he was seeking to undermine the government and the manifesto promises on which he was elected as an MP. As we know short memories with these Arch-Remain folk!

  13. Poll Troll
    There will only be “a majority in this house for the Customs Union” if they actually vote to consign the ERG amendments to the pits of hell that they originated in.

    However, I suppose that in the great tradition of the English constitution that “no Parliament can be bound by its predecessor”, it is also the case that Parliament on Thursday can’t be bound by their own pusillanimous crawling on a Monday.

  14. BFR
    “…the country at large which is hopelessly and passionately divided… ”

    That description may apply to this and similar boards, but from my experience the vast majority of the public are bored to death with Brexit and just want the government to get on with it and can’t understand the interminable delays.

  15. Very impressive stuff from Kirsty Blackman. It’s quite remarkable seeing her talking about Operation Stack, a Scot sticking up for the good people of Kent more than most of Kent’s own representatives would. As someone who had to sit through the 2015 Operation Stack problems, sometimes taking three or four hours to get home on the M20, God bless you, Kirsty :)

  16. Kirsty Blackman is indeed said to be one of the better members of the House. She has impressed many far and wide.

  17. @ BFR – Even that biased study highlighted that things changed in 2010 – that was 8yrs ago!! Where was the detail on all the things that were in UK’s interest that never happened (OK, I’ll fully admit we didn’t push hard enough – Blair and Cameron both too lazy fairre)

    Do you honestly think if we somehow managed to Remain which would probably also mean Corbyn as PM then we’d suddenly be leading the Reform of EU – shaping the 28 in the way the UK electorate want? Maybe Cable thinks her can be the tail wagging Corbyn – or even be PM himself!

    Now that is funny ;)

    P.S. Agree we have the weakest PM in living memory. Is she actually negotiating with EC yet though? As I’ve said as long as we’re finally getting ready for “No Deal” (which would almost certainly be min.deal and possibly working up from there) then May can take the bullets for a while longer (3 more days until her walking holiday if latest rumours about early recess come true)

  18. @Pete B
    I work in a company with 80%+ of the staff under the age of 30 – I can guarantee you that quite a large proportion are passionate about Brexit, just maybe not from the direction you might expect.
    I accept such people will be a minority of even the Remain-minded electorate, but it is a big enough minority to have a significant impact on opinion, especially as it ages and becomes more active in voting.

    Equally, we know that there is a minority of Leave supporters – ToH, TW for example – who feel extremely passionate about Brexit and will not let the subject drop unless they get a hard Brexit with all the trimmings.

    Neither of these groups is likely to change its views, or forgive the other side if they don;t get their way. one has the 2016 result on their side, the other has demographics. This argument will not just fade away if we only get on with it, especially if the economic consequences of a botched exit are in line with expert predictions.

  19. @TW
    Ah, a study that you don’t agree with is ‘biased’… always the expert on every topic… ;-)

    And as always you introduce straw-men; no-one said that a Corbyn government would be leading EU reform – have you missed that he is in favour of leaving?

    The exam question was ‘Did the UK generally get its way?’, the factual answer is, ‘Until 2010 yes, and afterwards less so because we chose to stop engaging’ – pretending otherwise is just more ‘straight banana’.

    If we were able to rescind A50 and continue membership I am sure there would be a decade of diplomacy required to repair the damage, however I suspect that would be far easier for a government not tainted with the idiocy of the botched referendum, botched negotiation and general incompetence of the current government.

    I do very much doubt that Corbyn has any interest in doing so though… IMHO there is a massive failure of political leadership in the UK at this juncture.

  20. @TW
    Ah, a study that you don’t agree with is ‘biased’… always the expert on every topic… ;-)

    And as always you introduce straw-men; no-one said that a Corbyn government would be leading EU reform – have you missed that he is in favour of leaving?

    The exam question was ‘Did the UK generally get its way?’, the factual answer is, ‘Until 2010 yes, and afterwards less so because we chose to stop engaging’ – pretending otherwise is just more ‘straight banana’.

    If we were able to rescind A50 and continue membership I am sure there would be a decade of diplomacy required to repair the damage, however I suspect that would be far easier for a government not tainted with the idiocy of the botched referendum, botched negotiation and general incompetence of the current government.

    I do very much doubt that Corbyn has any interest in doing so though… IMHO there is a massive failure of political leadership in the UK at this juncture.

  21. It is intresting that our resident expert on everything does not understand the precise meaning in Parliamentary terms of “wrecking amendment ” . Interesting but not surprising.

  22. So UK Gov tables a motion to bring Parliament to an end on Thursday, and BBC cancels politics programmes.

    After all, there’s nothing important to decide on – at least nothing that need involve the population.

  23. So our strong and stable Government is proposing to send the House of Commons on its summer hols from Thursday, 5 days earlier than agreed.

  24. BFR
    I’m glad someone’s still interested. I suppose youth gives them stamina!

    Regarding expert predictions, the ones prior to the referendum about instantaneous Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse didn’t come true did they?

  25. No, and Osbourn did everyone a massive disservice by his inanities about emergency budgets; however as @Alec has demonstrated, the estimate of medium term GDP shortfalls has been about right – how useful would the tax on 2-3% of GDP be right now for the NHS?

    And, of course, we haven’t actually left yet…

  26. @ BFR – So answer my question from earlier then.

    FWIW, pretty much everything will have a bias. Raw facts usually need “interpreting” for the masses.

    An example of a raw fact might be something like NC11 vote we just had in HoC. 316 v 289, majority 27.

    The layers of bias are then:
    Why so many abstentions and a fairly safe majority on what some thought might be a close vote?

    a/ LAB-Leave want a Clean Brexit (they can count and know abstentions will do the trick)
    b/ CON-Remain are cowards
    c/ CON-Remain don’t want to do anything to risk May as PM

    You see, as soon as you put comments on a raw fact it is bias. FWIW my guess is all of the above (and ERG happy with c/ if they can drive from the back seat) ;)

    We’ll see how the other votes go. TBH it doesn’t really matter – Soubs had already pulled her amendment, the rest was going to be obvious. NC36 and Am73 aren’t that important anyway, the message has been made (oh, that last bit is bias of course, or IMHO if you like)

  27. prof howard,
    ““We’re on the verge of something very bad indeed in this country.”

    I agree with this also.”

    Funny thing is, I think the tory MPs agree also.

    Cameron came in for a bashing today, but I think he resigned because he refused to have anything to do with the shenanigans which he knew would follow.

  28. Trevor Grieve et al not rebelling on the trade bill was predictable as I forecast earlier today as it is not the most appropriate time.

  29. Pete B: … but from my experience the vast majority of the public are bored to death with Brexit and just want the government to get on with it and can’t understand the interminable delays.

    When I dig a little deeper on that with people expressing the view, they just want it brought to a conclusion, leave or remain, they don’t care, they have had enough.

  30. oldnat: So UK Gov tables a motion to bring Parliament to an end on Thursday, and BBC cancels politics programmes.

    Will Parliament ever come back?

  31. @ HIRETON – I’ll give you the Wiki version:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrecking_amendment

    Obviously we’re into bias about exactly what constitutes:
    “Some opponents of particular amendments will describe them as wrecking amendments because they regard the amendments as undermining the unity of the original proposal.

    So was Grieve’s failed attempt more “wrecking” than ERG today?

    IMHO, if Grieve’s attempt had gone we’d have got BINO or begging to rejoin via A49. If ERG’s vote goes through (voting now) then IMHO it will certainly rule out BINO as no way EC will accept reciprocity, but we’ll wait and see.

  32. @TW
    I’m not hunting through the report for examples that you wouldn’t agree with anyway. Feel free to knock yourself out…

    If your argument is that Tory Remain are more afraid to vote against party than Lab Leave, I’d agree – centrists seem to be much more reluctant to rock the boat than those on the political wings; it’s a major failing.

    FWIW I think this will play out with all the ERG votes being passed, May presenting a dog’s dinner to the EU that it cannot possibly accept, throwing up her hands and blaming Brussels.

    At that stage the question is whether the rump of the Tory party will accept crashing out in March 19 under ‘no deal’ (with all the electoral risks that entails), unite around a compromise candidate who can try to kick the can down the road with the EU yet again by applying for an extension to the March 19 deadline, or descend into total anarchy and precipitate a GE.

    I genuinely have no idea which way they might jump…the problem is that they will take the rest of us with them, mostly very reluctantly.

  33. TO

    Since the rabid Brexiteers want to ensure that it can’t stand in the way of the Executive – probably (but only as a social club).

  34. Our resident expert thus confirms he does indeed not understand a wrecking amendment. Excellent.

  35. Kirsty Blackman: “There is a majority in this house for the Customs Union, and yet the only faction that the government is accepting amendments from is the ERG.”

    Saying it don’t make it so. By the only measure that has any meaning, there never has been yet and there wasn’t again tonight.

  36. Well close but majority of 3. That is the end of May’s deal (it was gonna die anyway but Remainers will want to blame someone and something so pick that vote). I’ll leave UKPR to revert back to group therapy for “expert” Remainers to fail to support anything they say with polling evidence, links or real World facts (like the failure of pretty much everything from Project Fear 1.0, except the currency – which was a good thing!)

    Night all ;)

  37. So Government wins vote on first ERG amendment by just 3 votes. Government minister votes against government and resigns. Government supports amendments destroying its own Chequers plan and potentially wrecking vital parts of the Withdrawal Agreement. Strong and stable.

  38. “Cameron came in for a bashing today, but I think he resigned because he refused to have anything to do with the shenanigans which he knew would follow.”

    Perhaps he – and George Osborne – could have contributed something useful to the House at times like this.

  39. which minister has resigned?

  40. Is Guto Bebb the first Minister to resign for supporting the Prime Minister’s policy?

  41. @Hireton
    Ha ha! Yes….

  42. Hireton

    I’m not sure that I’ve ever before seen a government support an amendment that destroys its own policy that it had constructed with such enormous difficulty.

  43. I’ve just started watching the Parliament channel. I remember why I don’t bother very often. What a ridiculous farrago. Why don’t the MP’s just have buttons to vote? I’m sure ON or one of his mates will tell us that the Scottish Parliament already does this.

    And now they’re knocking off a week early? It’s a good job nothing important affecting the future of the country is happening.

    Does anyone happen to know whether they knocked off early during WWI or II, or the Suez crisis, or any other major situation?

  44. “@ BFR – Even that biased study highlighted that things changed in 2010 – that was 8yrs ago!! Where was the detail on all the things that were in UK’s interest that never happened (OK, I’ll fully admit we didn’t push hard enough – Blair and Cameron both too lazy fairre)”

    Things like…? And be careful here that what is in the UK’s interests isn’t necessarily what’s in your interest. And the UK doesn’t even agree with itself, as that (apparently biased though you present no evidence based analysis to back up that assertion) series of studies points out, sometimes the UK representative on the council would vote against but a majority of UK MEPs would vote in favour. And vice versa. The recent copyright fuss for instance had both support (music industry) and opposition (tech industry) in the uk.

    And as I pointed out, for a good number of the more recent ‘losses’ the conservatives have now had a remarkable change of heart and want to go above and beyond. It’s almost as if PR man Cameron was playing to the gallery rather than engaging properly.

  45. Why did the PM agree to Rees-Moggs amendment? Was it to avoid a leadership contest?

  46. @Pete B

    They don’t really have anything useful to contribute.

    Sometimes a break is good for clarity, especially when stuck in a vicious circle…

  47. @oldnat

    Come, come: “Nothing has changed, nothing has changed” :)

  48. Anna Soubry’s speech this evening – good to hear someone taking on the likes of Rees Mogg head on.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-44853389/tory-mp-anna-soubry-attacks-wealthy-brexiteers

  49. JIB
    “They don’t really have anything useful to contribute.”

    Do they ever?

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