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

    Taking back control.

  2. Pete B

    As a reconvened Parliament, Scotland had the opportunity to install e voting from the start, but you don’t need to be so parochial as just to look at the UK’s Parliaments.

    Australia (which is introducing it) found that Internationally, electronic voting is widespread in parliamentary chambers. A 2012 World e-Parliament report found that 57 per cent of parliaments have some form of electronic voting. ……. Some of these systems have been in place for many decades – the United States of America House of Representatives has used an electronic voting system since 1973.

  3. Ah, Theresa May adopts the Charles 1st tactic, if you do not like what the MPs are doing then dissolve the Parliament.

    Might I just point out that didn’t quite work out to well for Charles 1st, in fact a Civil War followed and he lost his head.

    It seems the vote will be tomorrow with both Leave and Remain Conservative MPs saying they will vote against it.

    Theresa May has by the looks of it just gone and lost even more support in a confidence motion from the Conservative MPs.

  4. prof Howard,
    “Perhaps he – and George Osborne – could have contributed something useful to the House at times like this.”

    He would have had a choice either to follow the party line of saying leaving is wonderful, or opposing it openly. He was probably one of the better tories, and that is why they chose him as front man. That would probably ill equip him to claim brexit is wonderful, and indeed he would not have liked openly standing against the party. Ken Clarke could get away with it because he is now much lower profile.

    I noticed the news commented that the government was opposed by both conservative leavers and remainers voting against its legislation today. For the conspiracists, I note therefore that tory party discipline is being dismantled so that the government will no longer have the ability to push through Brexit.

  5. Bill,
    “Theresa May adopts the Charles 1st tactic, if you do not like what the MPs are doing then dissolve the Parliament.”

    Oh thats funny!

  6. Remember the point pf ‘taking back control’ was to make sure these people were in charge… that”s going well then.
    And to make sure that no-one tells us how to trade – apart from Donald ‘open up the NHS and eat chlorinated chicken’ Trump of course…

  7. “From high above the country is there, and not just a map,
    If you believe in the efficiency of leprechauns’ stitching hands.”

  8. If I have understood things correctly (which may not be the case!) then the UK Government has just torpedoed the Draft Withdrawal Agreement.

    Presumably, that also means no transition period, UK participation in Euratom, Aviation Agreement, or any other common agency?

  9. I try to avoid being astonished by developments in Trump’s administration, but after today’s awful performance I do wonder whether he has finally gone too far even for his own supporters. The alarmed reaction to his complete subjugation to Putin has even spilled over onto Fox News, and normally loyal friends who brushed off his previous mistakes are speaking out strongly this time.

    America is in a very strange place at present, with Trump support levels seemingly immune to anything he does, but the initial reaction suggests that this time might be different. The development of the FBI investigations is also throwing up some potential threats, with news of the arrest of an alledged Russian agent with close links to the NRA.

    It would be nice to think that the entire Trump/Kremlin/NRA/American far right nexus is starting to unravel, but I won’t jump the gun (ha!) just yet. If Trump is anything he is slippery, although the swirl of accusations around his presidency is now beginning to morph into defined legal proceedings, with all the risks that entails.

    One further astonishing outcome of his diplomacy: the German Foreign Ministry has tonight said that is can no longer depend on the White House. Catastrophic, but true. The UK right also needs to smell the coffee and wake up to what Trump really is.

  10. Alec

    “The UK right also needs to smell the coffee and wake up to what Trump really is.”

    Alternatively, they woke up to it some time ago, and really liked what they saw.

  11. ON
    This is one area where I am pleased to agree that the Scottish way is better. I’m all for tradition – State Opening of Parliament, Black Rod, etc – but day-to-day business should be as modern and efficient as possible.

    The waste of time is making my blood boil.

  12. Does anyone think that May was hoping to lose the vote on reciprocal tariff collecting tonight.

    By winning, by 3 votes, the govt has effectively killed any chance of the EU accepting their FCA proposal.

    By winning, she was actually forced to live with an amendment she only agreed to under duress.

    To quote Monty Python, “stop it, this is all getting a bit silly now”

  13. passtherockplease,
    ” Indeed had Gove been a true believer he would have resigned you would have thought”

    What he did do was contemplate running for leader. Because he thought someone who actually believed in brexit ought to be running the show? As a true believer he wanted to stay in the fight. Bit of a terrier.

  14. Pete B

    Actually we both agree that the systems used in more than half of the world’s Parliaments are better than the archaic nonsense that continues at Westminster.

  15. TonyBTG

    Or to quote Monty Python and the Holy Grail – “Run away! Run away”.

  16. Danny

    Jerome K Jerome’s Montmorency was a terrier.

    “Montmorency’s ambition in life is to get in the way and be sworn at. If he can squirm in anywhere where he particularly is not wanted, and be a perfect nuisance, and make people mad, and have things thrown at his head, then he feels his day hasn’t been wasted.”

  17. tonybtg: Does anyone think that May was hoping to lose the vote on reciprocal tariff collecting tonight.

    By winning, by 3 votes, the govt has effectively killed any chance of the EU accepting their FCA proposal.

    I am a bit perplexed, but I am thinking that the vote was a waste of time in terms of EU negotiations, because I think that the EU would reject anyway,

    Perhaps the point is not the EU but to lock enough redlines into the legislation to thwart soft brexit as an option for the gov’t to even present to the EU. Now, that looks to be up the ERG’s street, but I think it could be used as a trojan, with May resigning or going somehow, at which point the hard brexiteers take over, but unable to get a hard brexit through Parliament, at which point they may find themselves forced to go for another referendum, which can only be 2 options with soft brexit off the table.

    I really don’t know. If they know what they are doing, they are geniuses and if they don’t, they are incompetents.

  18. I’ve come reluctantly to the conclusion that Mrs May really does want to deliver Brexit, but the only way she can do that is with no deal (which she now claims to be working hard to be ready for.) She can hardly advocate that, but can easily engineer it, by her usual tactics of doing nothing decisive. Her Chequers ‘deal’ (amended or not) had no chance of acceptance by the EU.

  19. “To quote Monty Python, “stop it, this is all getting a bit silly now”“

    ———

    This is still early days…

  20. Dave

    But “no deal” (no Withdrawal Agreement and no plan for future relationship with the EU) IS Brexit – and the most severe and disruptive form of it.

  21. Dave

    Sorry. Misread your comment.

  22. “CARFREW

    “To quote Monty Python, “stop it, this is all getting a bit silly now”“

    ———

    This is still early days…”

    Indeed: there’s much sillier to come.

  23. @PETE B

    “This is one area where I am pleased to agree that the Scottish way is better. I’m all for tradition – State Opening of Parliament, Black Rod, etc – but day-to-day business should be as modern and efficient as possible.

    The waste of time is making my blood boil.”

    ——

    Well it’s just possible that they are trying to stall, in which case they are wasting time most efficiently indeed.

    I’m sure they could get even more efficient at it though…

  24. Is it just me or could these amendments and votes be just a little bit irrelevant? I mean if, after deciding what we want to ask for, the EU tells us to get lost – what happens then? More resignations, votes, amendments and arguments? Or perhaps the EU has quietly agreed to do most of it.

    Are we going to be in a customs union that isn’t a customs union (depending on who you ask)? This whole murky business reminds me of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement of 1559.

  25. This was entirely predictable.

    May has lost a chunk of previously rock solid Leave supporters to UKIP whilst gaining no benefit of any Remainers converting to her.

    What did she expect?

    This always happens when Tory Governments suck up to their opponents and let their own side down.

    It’s impossible for May to recover from this. She’ll have to go.

  26. From the Times…

    “Net migration to the UK rose to almost 300,000 in the first full calendar year after the Brexit referendum.

    The rise was driven partially by an increase in the number coming from outside the EU, which is at its highest level for 13 years, according to official figures published yesterday.

    Net migration from the EU fell to just over 100,000 in the year to December 2017, the lowest level in five years.

    Overall net migration, the difference between those arriving and those leaving the UK for a year or longer, was 282,000, up 33,000 in a year and almost three times the government’s target of reducing the number to under 100,000.

    Nicola White of the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said: “With around 280,000 more people coming to the UK than leaving in 2017, these latest figures show that migration has continued to add to the UK population.””

  27. “Work is the most common reason migrants come to the UK, with the majority of people having a definite job. The number of those arriving looking for jobs has fallen since the Brexit vote in June 2016. An estimated 269,000 people came for work, of whom 193,000 had a job, the ONS said. There was a rise in non-EU citizens arriving for work, mainly from Asia.

    However, the number of EU nationals coming to work in the year to December 2017 fell by 20,000 to 141,000. Of these, 37,000 were looking for a job, a fall of 18,000 on the year to the end of December 2016.“

  28. “This always happens when Tory Governments suck up to their opponents and let their own side down.“

    ——

    Well, Tories did quite well out of moving leftwards and embracing some of Labours policies in the Fifties.

  29. Good Morning All, from sunny Bournemouth East.
    I think T May is a survivor and there are not enough votes in the House of Commons to bring her Govt down.

  30. BBC reporting that some Tories are threatening to rebel over voting themselves an extra five days holiday, it would be rather splendid if further resignations were to ensue as a result.

  31. Oldnat

    I am uncertain whether Mrs May is deluded by cake or wishes to steer Westminster towards an acceptance of EEA membership as a means of resolving Brexit.

    The EU will wish to strip away the fantasy elements of the White Paper. if possible, the EU will want to do this gently in order to avoid stirring the pot.

    below is a paragraph from Sir Ivan Rogers’ speech in Glasgow. It is hard to find this scenario credible, perhaps. I remain doubtful if there is a deal to be had because of one or more parties being split by Brexit.

    “If the option now exists of the UK aligning itself more permanently regulatorily on goods, and staying in both a Customs Union and having quasi Single Market membership, paying something for it, living under ECJ jurisprudence and jurisdiction in goods, but disapplying the fourth fundamental freedom, free movement of people, the EU faces the decision as to whether this is an unacceptable option sundering indivisible freedoms and offering something too close to membership advantages to a non member. Or whether it’s rather a good deal for the EU with a major strategic partner. With the added advantage of providing far more continuity in the sectors in which you have a surplus with the UK than those in which you have a deficit – notably key services sectors.”

  32. May appears to have calculated that the Remain side of her party are just too nice to bring down the government but the Leave side are that mental that they would.

    That doesn’t seem to be a good way to run a country, allowing the bullies to control your actions.

    Surely she has to face them down at some time, or go.

  33. @aALEC

    The whole trump thing has not got as bad as you think yet
    My friend in New York pointed out his history is to double down and then just lie and the real problem is that no one knows how to deal with it it is like someone that does the outrageous in front of you. People just look in shock almost paralysed by the WTFism of it all.

    Basically he understand the art of outrageous. He is also the GOP greatest hope which means that they will be muted they will state that this is bad and then do what they can to keep him in power

  34. @CHRISLANE1945

    That is the correct observation, although I think that the remainers in the Tories are rather soft. So she never needs to appease them.

    I think it is because they are in more vulnerable seats if you think of Justine Greening her majority is less than 400 she isn’t going to last a GE and Soubry is in an equally tough position. it is often the usual thing to make a lot of noise and then vote through the thing you said was bad policy. We had this with the tax credit cuts which got through parliament and then was abandoned as an example.

    If remainers are hoping for these guys to ride to the rescue they won’t. I don’t think it is in Labours interest for them to ride to the rescue whether Corbyn is a leave supporter or not indeed Labour are fixed on anti austerity because that is where the USP is Brexit does not change that and indeed if you listen to TREVOR WARNE the Tories have to outspend Labour to keep the economy afloat

  35. @CARFREW

    Immigration will go down only when the economy tanks. I doubt it will go down before then.

    These jobs either need doing or not, either they are adding to the economy or not the problem has been that debate on immigration has not asked the right questions. Why do we need these people? What happens when they stop coming? Why don’t we want them here?

  36. Keith P

    Not irrelevant really.

    My understanding is (and I am sure people on here will correct me if I am wrong) is that amendment 4 – reciprocity in collecting tariffs – was a so-called wrecking amendment demanded by the ERG headbangers to render the Chequers Plan virtually impossible to get agreed in Brussels.

    By winning the vote on this by just 3 votes, May has effectively killed off the plan.

    Hocus pocus.

  37. @Sam – re that quote from Ivan Roger’s (“If the option now exists of the UK aligning itself more permanently regulatorily on goods, and staying in both a Customs Union and having quasi Single Market membership, paying something for it, living under ECJ jurisprudence and jurisdiction in goods, but disapplying the fourth fundamental freedom, free movement of people, the EU faces the decision as to whether this is an unacceptable option sundering indivisible freedoms and offering something too close to membership advantages to a non member. Or whether it’s rather a good deal for the EU with a major strategic partner.”).

    I’ve felt that this is the way things have been moving. On Chequers Friday, in a concerted series of interventions EU officials starting saying that their red lines could blur if the UK moves on theirs.

    They already break the indivisible four freedoms with some of their other agreements with third countries, and could do so for the UK if they got sufficient in return. Roger’s scenario looks credible, from an EU perspective. It’s the ECJ thing that is the killer though. If the UK could accept this for matters related to trade in goods, I think we would get a decent deal very quickly.

  38. @PTRP – I understand exactly what Trump does, but what I’m saying is that this begins to look like he has stretched the limits of his own style beyond breaking point.

    The overnight reaction amongst normally loyal extremist republicans has not been positive, with open criticism from close confidantes like Newt Ginggrich an example of high level concern.

    The critical issues people are picking up are Trump’s dismissal of his own security service and his apparent willingness to suggest a moral equivalence between the US and Russia. These are deeply disturbing aspects for right wing American conservatives.

    My question really was whether this concern would be reflected amongst Trump voters. If Fox News is playing the story, this suggests that it may well be. They hate to see supine President grovelling in front of the Russians.

  39. @ALEC

    I think that May won’t get it through parliament she does not really have a deal indeed she is still negotiating with her party as to what the deal is. She has not enough votes to force a deal and there is not enough votes to kill the government it is a state of limbo that has gone on for two years it will go on until well beyond the March next year because no one can put their foot on the ball. All they can do is punt and chase.

    it is why just when you think there is at east a proposal on the table it gets snatched away. May is not in control, the ERG are not in control the Remainers in her party are not in control. If you believe DANNY this lack of control is by design. because in the end everyone want to remain………

    I originally believed we go crashing out because the UK could not agree with itself what Brexit really means. At the moment the Tories cannot agree what brexit really means this is the party of leave and red lines and the like so simply put we are back to square one: The default position is to leave without a deal, and the backstop deal is essentially UK in the customs union for NI (although people seem to forget.)

    in the end the reality is that this is a stupid, a waste of time, we have more important things to solve as a nation indeed these thing have been getting worse since we embarked on this circle jerk and I cannot see a way out of it since it will take up even more time.

    It would have been easier to leave with no deal and then deal with the negative consequences because in the round we be dealing with things like social care, NHS, hell even Corbyn’s point about the busses is more relevant. Our points based system allows 220K people into the country someone tell me how you bring the number down without harming the economy?

    There are so many issues that are not brexit it is difficult to know where to start. My frustration is that in the end we will find out this was another Iraq with all the signs there of this is just being stupid a complete cockup and something we as a nation will decide to not look back on for fear of embarrasment

  40. A thought about May’s approach and how the Tories have got here…

    Back in the sixties CalTech did a study of what happens when companies face a crisis or major decision (it used to get quoted a lot in management training courses in the 80’s and 90’s, I don’t know if it still does).

    What they found was that the agreed strategy initially was almost always the same:
    – to consider all the options,
    – evaluate and
    – pick the most rewarding;

    What ACTUALLY happened was that most organisations argued internally, failed to meet deadlines, obfuscated and played internal politics until only one option remained; this was then adopted.

    Their conclusion was that most people do not want to be responsible for leading an organisation through a difficult decision in case it turns out to be wrong, and psychologically would rather wait until their hand is forced so that they can feel that they had no choice, [I]even if it is a worse outcome.[/I]

    To my mind this explains the behaviour of the government pretty well…

  41. You could say it’s been a national embarrassment since we were first rebuffed by DeGaulle in the ’50’s. It’s just different bits of embarrassment.

    Thing is even if we eventually Brexit, in whatever form, the EU will still be there and you can bet there’ll be continuing embarrassment as our politicians argue about re-entry, obstruction of our aspirations, lack of influence with our neighbours etc, etc.

  42. Passthethirdrockplease
    Our MP Liam Fox shameless on R4 this morning, Parliamentary sovereignty, is simply to be ignored apparently.
    Maybe, this time out the sometime Remainers will actually defeat HMG.
    What will the consequence be, no consequence, as Fox seems to think, or will it bring the house of cards tumbling down?
    On a different topic, Trump looked very shifty next to Vlad, as though Vlad has ‘something on him’.

  43. Ronald Olden,
    “May has lost a chunk of previously rock solid Leave supporters to UKIP whilst gaining no benefit of any Remainers converting to her.”

    But this would be a necessary first step in ditching leave supporters and rebuilding remain ones. It May be the time has come to bite the bullet and switch sides. The result on polling is likely to be an increasing percentage of remainers amongst tory declared voters, which will in itself become ammunition for tacking further remain.

    Alec,
    “if… I think we would get a decent deal very quickly.”

    Except it woud not be a decent deal. We would retain trading under EU rules, but no longer make those rules. That is not a decent deal, even if it is better than no deal.

    Bigfatron,

    re management theory,
    The government has stated it wants to leave the EU, but plainly it can not bring itself to do so or it would have done it by now. In part the theory you suggest breaks down, because i think there is agreement between the EU and parliament on what is the best course, which is to remain. How does a company react when its management mostly believe a certain course is the best, but outside forces are seeking to impose a different one?

  44. I thought last night was much the same as all the votes we have been subjected to recently- ie probably meaningless.

    One thing I was struggling to get to grips with was the first ERG amendment- as I read it they were not excluding collecting tariffs on behalf of the EU but insisting on reciprocal arrangements- ie if we decide we want to tariff Chinese steel at higher rates (to take a Welsh leave argument) the EU would be expected to collect those additional tariffs for us if Chinese steel came to us via the EU in the same way that we would be expected to collect EU tariffs if we try and undercut the EU. I was a bit surprised that this provoked the closest parliamentary vote over the EU when there have been far more contentious votes for Tory remainers than this.

  45. @Shevii
    Presumably because it requires all EU countries to amend their tariff collection processes/systems to accommodate the UK, which (also presumably) most of them will not be willing to do.

  46. @Danny – that’s ‘decent’ in a relative sense.

    To be honest, I suspect that if the UK public was offered a deal that allowed free movement of goods, acceptance of EU laws on goods and the inclusion of ECJ oversight, in exchange for freedoms in other areas, an annual payment and an end to free movement, my guess is that they would back the deal by a modest majority.

    @Bigfatron – yes, I think that is an apt view of what is going on. Parliament is going through a charade where it is pretending to examine the options. In reality, we’ll take the last option standing. This is likely to be a deal on EU terms, although the presence of various blocking minorities in the HoC still means that crashing out remains a possibility – although both HMG and the EU will work to avoid this.

  47. Alec

    Yes, the positive indications are there. But not from a fair number of the parliamentary party, the party or the Tory press. Negotiations with the EU never really end and that may also be true of negotiations within the Tory party. I agree the Rogers’ scenario might well be agreeable to the EU. I doubt May’s ability to deliver. It will be interesting to hear the EU’s response.

  48. @ Bigfatron

    Thanks- yes that makes sense, so I guess the ERG is attempting to kill off the idea of collecting EU tariffs because their add on amendment becomes unacceptable to the EU. Given they want more free trade deals and less protectionism it’s clearly playing politics.

    It does expose the flaws in the original proposal though. We can set lower tariffs if we are willing to undertake all the extra very significant bureaucracy but can’t do anything in the opposite direction effectively. So the exact opposite of what working class leave might have been hoping for plus devastating for the SME who can’t easily accommodate the extra audit trail.

  49. “the problem has been that debate on immigration has not asked the right questions. Why do we need these people? What happens when they stop coming? Why don’t we want them here?“

    ———-

    Indeed, however I do think that on this board, we had a pretty decent stab at it.

    We went through the usual memes about the “burden” of these extra people on services etc., and it was pointed out, that immigrants tend to bring growth etc. to pay for that.

    So the debate then shifts onto things like the “dilution” of a culture, or the environmental impact of more population, regardless of whether immigrants or not.

    These things seemed to be harder to rule out. One did note however, that while some might be very concerned about environmental impact of more population, they did not necessarily seem as concerned about other environmental impacts. No one knows why.

  50. “I’ve come reluctantly to the conclusion that Mrs May really does want to deliver Brexit“

    ——

    Part of her might, given her interesting approach to immigration, and the forces lined up in the party, and of course the Referendum vote to Leave.

    On the other hand, the risk of offending the party’s business backers, the changing demographic, the possibility of a significant economic impact, might all strong pressures against.

    So if we look,at the bigger picture, one might understand if really she just wants to drag it out, set up some transitional arrangement or summat, and pass the baton onto someone else to carry the can.

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