August is normally a quiet time for polling – partly because the political agenda is often quite bare, partly because both pollsters themselves and the journalists who normally commission public polls will likely be taking their holidays (There’s also a question to be asked about sampling when a fair chunk of the country will be on its holidays, though personally I suspect that doesn’t actually make a difference once it’s spread over a month). It means polling in late August was very light, with only the regular YouGov/Times poll, which was published on Friday and had topline figures of CON 39%(-1), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 10%(+1), UKIP 5%(-1).

Parliament returns next week, and hopefully a busier political agenda will be equally reflected in some more interesting polling.

359 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 39, LAB 37, LDEM 10, UKIP 5”

1 5 6 7 8
  1. Electoral Calculus has published “The Brexit Spectrum”

    You can all have some fun ordering the Brexit options accoring to your own preferences.

    As for the Survation polling, @Andrew!!! identifies some pretty heavy up- and down-weighting which makes me suspect that the real errors are much larger than the formal statistical errors. Party Conferences are coming up and we will soon have more polling (even if only to assess the effects of party leaders’ speeches).

  2. @Trevor Warne – as an addendum, I really can’t follow what you were trying to say in your lengthy (yet somehow edited down???) post of 11.51am.

    You seem to be musing about the possibility of as frictionless trade as possible, while accepting that identical levels of EU/UK trade barriers as now would not be possible unless under CU+SM. Your point 2b/ confirms this – Every other scenario will add some “friction” but the amount will depend on the Brexit outcome.”

    So it seems we are in agreement that the idea of no additional border checks after a no deal exit is not credible.

    Or are we? I can never tell.

  3. “The HoC cannot conclude an agreement with the EU. Only the UK government can do that

    No, but a majority in the HoC can in theory change the government pretty much at will.”

    That’s kind of been my point whenever I bang on about this.

    We have a dualist constitution in which the legislature and the executive have defined roles. Miller didn’t undermine that, it endorsed it.

    Making the Article 50 Agreement is an Act of the executive using the Royal prerogative. The HoC can change the executive. It can’t be the executive.

    So yes, the HoC can get an agreement that is not what the government wants “at will” by removing it and replacing it, But ONLY by removing it and replacing it,

  4. PeterW,

    Not entirely. The Commons can express its opinion and the government may feel obliged (or even relieved) to follow it.

  5. Good afternoon all from a warm and slightly cloudy Central London.

    Some of the posts are getting quite enormous and the replies are reaching enormity on a scale of epic and biblical proportions.

    The posts are getting so large I’m thinking maybe they should be broken down into volumes 1-47.

    Madeleine de Scudéry’s novel Artamène, ou le Grand Cyrus is quick reading in comparison to some of the posts on UKPR.

    It’s not funny………………………….No sir! )-:

  6. @HAL

    Granted. Indeed the former is in my view far the more likely get out in practice, even if you don’t believe, as some do, that it’s been the plan all along.

    But a change requires a change of the government’s mind, or a change of government.

  7. @ ALEC – Anything other than CU+SM will add friction – yes.

    How much “friction” and what we do to “strongly mitigate” that is hence the political-economic discussion relating to deal/no deal and why I reposted the Jan’17 report.

    Chequers (ie Florence evolved) is dead. It will be “Strongly Mitigated” (or not) No Deal (60%) or something else (40%).

    In “something else” if you want any hope of CU+SM or Remain then speak to JC or tell me when you finish building your time machine (sorry, cheap gag)

    Anyway, back to who/where/when/how of VAT, duties, tariffs relating to foreign trade in goods between business in different nations that are not in CU[2]:

    1/ The importer, residing as a tax entity in the nation of import, is the one who pays the relevant VAT and tariff (if applicable), to the tax collector in his/her country. What happens regarding taxes, etc in the export country is of no relevance to HMRC. We do care about the “regulations” under which the imported good was produced hence why we should unilaterally continue to recognise EU regs for EU exports into UK (IMHO)

    2/ The importer, being part of the supply chain, completes VAT returns at the end of the year (confirmed by no deal plans that EU27 will be same internal UK and current arrangement for rWorld, eg NZ)

    3/ At POS additional taxes can be charged (e.g. £2 on a bottle of wine)

    Anywhere in the UK supply chain if the UK business doesn’t pay the appropriate UK tax they are breaking UK law under the jurisdiction of UK courts and will be subject to interest and fines. That is taking back control!
    (for OLDNAT then in some cases maybe it is a Scottish law, court, etc)

    HMRC can go back between 4,6,20yrs depending on whether they think you have made innocent errors, been careless or have deliberately made false returns. SME lobbying is asking for HMRC to cut them some slack on the “innocent errors” timing for fines and interest, they are not trying to “smuggle” (ie they are not trying to avoid paying tax).

    [1] These are Liam Fox guesses, some polling support but still lots of confusion about exactly what No Deal means. WTO with a slimmed down WA is a deal. Some even regard moving to WTO with just some very mini fixes on flights, etc as a deal.
    [2] This covers the vast amount of foreign trade. Some tiny niche scenarios such as “bonded warehouses for wine” are going to have to make some changes to adapt.
    [3] This covers the vast majority of traders. I’m wary of guessing %s given your attention to tiny details and ignoring the big picture. For individuals or v.small traders then there will be new/updated allowances (VAT, duty, etc) – hence why some Leave (not me) are excited about the return of “duty-free”

  8. The Belfast Newsletter – the oldest English language daily newspaper anywhere in the world – today has this discussion of the Deltapoll:

    It also has a very interesting article by Daniel Keohane, an academic at the Centre for Security Studies at ETH Zurich, one of Switzerland’s most highly-regarded universities:

  9. ALLAN

    Posts shorter than at least one full page are generally beneath my dignity to read.

    [Obviously I made an exception for your littlun.]

  10. Colin

    Sadly with the demise in trust in Politians and the institutions of state mainly it has to said by there own ineptitude and dishonesty from the expenses scandal to criminal incompetence in the NHS and certain Social services over the past few years it’s no wonder faith in all political parties is on the wain.
    The problem is as those institutions lose credibility what replaces it is a equally uninformed and untruthful sound bites on social media ,where any armchair general can put forward a particular version of what passes for the truth ,usually with the words disastrous ,shambles ,to little to late attach to there pro’s,
    It seems to me at least on social media that with the lose of faith in traditional politics comes an irrational belief in anything that comes from the extreme of political or personal views.
    The revelations today of the conclusive proof of Russian state involvement in the Salisbury poisoning is a case in point social media was awash with conspiracy theories as were these pages ,even the media gave credence to “anybody but the Russians” and yet the western governments had no doubt about Russian state involvement.
    How we recover trust in Politians and Institutions is beyond me it must be hurtful for those elected MP’s most of them who want to change things for the better having to put up with almost daily abuse from those “experts” that inhabit social media.


    “Posts shorter than at least one full page are generally beneath my dignity to read”

    “[Obviously I made an exception for your littlun.”

    I am humbled and grateful…

  12. @COLIN

    36% of Labour voters , 26% of LD voters & 70% on non-aligned voters ,voted Leave.

    39% of “Younger Working Class voters (25% of population)” voted Leave.
    73% of “Older Working Class voters ( 16% of population) voted Leave.

    In what way does that negate what I wrote? It was a blue on blue affair nothing regarding what you wrote changes that. In the same way that many people believed that the GE2017 was all about Brexit when it was much more about austeritythan people first thought. Indeed your point about the Twitter link pointed tto the fact that interests of Tory supporters (more inclined to state Brexit as the most important issue and Labour supporters more inclined to think other matter are more important say much about the issue

    Your politics is tribal my view is that the truth of our politics is in the messenger. I would believe if the Tories adopted half of the Labour manifesto tomorrow you would still be a Tory. So in my view it is not about policy it is about identity and belief in the religious sense (the use of faith rather than proof)

    My point is policy is used as proxy for tribalism. I even gave you the example of Javid whom correctly analysed that we need around £50B of investment in social housing and that because we are creating an asset we can borrow on that asset and it be neutral on the budget over the medium term (something that is close to Labour’s policy on regeneration as an example . Now my point is that tribalism gets in the way of good ideas and policy becomes mired in tribes vying for control of the party.

    Brexit is a policy that ticks all of these boxes. but it was not even in many peoples top 5 issues and with respect to immigration we have been in control of oover half of our immigration since freedom of movement the argument about getting it down to under 100K does not happen because of the economics of doing so. it is ot just big business that needs labour it is all sorts of small business Tory voters I might add. So whilst EU migration has gone down it has been replaced by no EU migration in equal measure.

    I will remind you, that when I pointed out immigration was a key point of Brexit you said that it was not.. So which is it?


    Reading through your plethora of data you haven’t told us how much Hampshire ( Itchen Abbas sourced ) raspberries will cost per poon??

    I’ve not gone metric yet and can only work in poons.

  14. TURK

    It is a very interesting question, how trust can be regained.

    Across Europe & in USA we are seeing this disenchantment with the usual political choices.

    “Mainstream” Parties , imo, have only themselves to blame for taking their electorates for granted.

  15. @Trevor Warne – “@ ALEC – Anything other than CU+SM will add friction – yes.”

    Excellent – I’m happy that we agree. Your admission makes the raising of open borders under a no deal scenario something of a pointless exercise then?

    Regarding your points on excise duties and VAT, yes, these are all true, but the system employed now for intra EU trade is different. VAT and duty notifications, and sometimes the charging and collecting of them, in many cases is done by European companies. This is what enables us to have open borders. This entire system needs to change if we leave the EU without a deal.

    While it seems your last post is largely technically correct, you need to remember that this discussion was about your insistence that we wouldn’t need any _additional_ border checks for EU imports after a no deal Brexit. If you didn’t, then the existing mechanism for collecting VAT on these imports breaks down, as does most of our excise duty collection.

    Certainly, the legal responsibility for these payments would then fall onto the UK importers, or possibly the shippers – it gets a little complicated – but you were arguing that we wouldn’t need to have any checks at UK borders whatsoever. If so, then there are no checks and no data for HMRC to cross reference whether UK suppliers are declaring their transactions honestly, along with some glaring loopholes with regards ‘personal use’ items. A smugglers charter, and a huge loss of HMG revenue.

    I’m satisfied that when you first started posting about not having any additional post Brexit border checks that you genuinely didn’t understand the implications of what you were describing, which is understandable as it is all very complicated. I’m also very happy that we agree that leaving with a no deal will add friction to UK/EU border trade.

    It was your implicit denial of this that sparked this whole discussion, but thankfully we’ve reached a point of agreement and to the relief of everyone else on UKPR we can now close off this conversation.

  16. TURK

    Interesting that you’re anti-Russian when they worked with the leave campaigns which broke electoral law. Also interesting that HMG don’t see that as a problem.

  17. PTRP

    @”In what way does that negate what I wrote?”

    Well what you wrote ( and what I was responding to ) was this :-

    @”I have always said that Brexit is the Tories fighting over power by proxy.

    So I have reminded you that the Referendum Leave Vote was not just Tory voters.

    Of course your shorthand word “Brexit” in that statement may not have meant ” The Brexit Referendum Vote”.-I made the assumption that it did.

    It may have been shorthand for “Calling the Referendum”-if so I can accept that this resulted from a Tory Pm’s desire to sideline UKIP ( if that is what you meant by ” Tories fighting over power”.)

    It may have been shorthand for ” The conduct of Brexit through Parliament”. -if so I can accept that the Tory Party schism on the desired Brexit outcome is at play -disastrously so imo. But then the other Parties are no less riven with their own Brexit Outcome factions & splits too.

    If you try to be a little more precise in your postings , I will not have to resort to guessing what you mean.

  18. There is a lot of talk that Survation is an outlier. Yet as far as Con and Lab are concerned it’s pretty much in line with the recent BMG and Number Crunch polls.

  19. @ ALEC – additional border checks originating from EU27 will not be required

    (see my 11:51, 6ii)

  20. @ PETERW – as you quite rightly say HMG are the “executive” so HoC will need to change that. IMHO we are reaching the “crunch” that was probable after the Mayb0tch GE and has become near certain now. Another GE!

    Whilst Corbyn has been busy on anti-semite issues It does look like the “Primrose Path” that Starmer has led him down is nearing the destination I think a lot of us expected: CU+SM (BrINO)

    Chequers is dead. Canada+ (A) with “strongly mitigated” No Deal (B) is almost fully stress tested and ready to roll, just needs Soubs+co to side with Corbyn when trade bill is pinged back to HoC then May is taken out by Remain faction and HoC confidence vote (ie not by ERG!!). Caretaker PM is appointed as DD, pending proper leadership election postponed to Jun’19?

    Destroying the 2nd ref issue will be very easy but it will be nice if they can steal some LAB-R but fear of Corbyn PM keep CON-R with CON

    IndyRef2 (one trick pony)

    Once May has been taken out by Soubs+co and the “Evolved” CON take over, UKIP will post zero candidates.

    Nov’18 GE seat predictions:

    CON 336 (+18) take net 20 from LAB, lose net 2 to LDEM
    LAB 235 (-28) lose net 20 to CON, 5 to SNP, 3 to LDEM
    SNP 40 (+5) take 5 from SLAB
    LDEM 17 (+5) take 3 from LAB, net +2 from CON
    DUP 9 (-1) to SF
    Others 5 (uc)
    [SF 8 (+1) from DUP]

    CON majority a bit above 2015 with a few CON-R deselected (ie a more united party)

    IMHO of course ;)

  21. @ ALEC – physical customs checks are very different to highly streamlined customs declarations but yes, my work on this topic is now also done.

    I do appreciate your input (along with HAL and others) on stress testing.

    I’m ready for the GE, getting quite excited! My worst case is a LAB coalition relying on SNP and/or LDEM and I can live with that – CON might need a little while in the wilderness to “evolve” ;)

    Have a great evening!

  22. An interesting report, which has relevance to the over lengthy discussions on UKPR regarding the withdrawal agreement and the real meaning of the ‘future framework’ –

    Bloombergs are saying that both Germany and the UK are now happy to accept a vague ‘statement of intent’ with regards the future trade arrangements in order to get a withdrawal agreement signed.

    This is very much in line with what many of us have been anticipating for some time, in that the A50 process really doesn’t require a detailed trade agreement to be in place upon withdrawal, while signing the WA would still commit the UK to all that is contained within the WA, but without the legal certainty of any specific trade agreement.

    It certainly sounds like this view is being confirmed by events.

  23. Trevor Warne

    Alec frequently points out your misunderstanding of EU matters. Sadly, your understanding of UK matters also appears to be deficient (or you just like being snide – and in so doing, reveal your lack of understanding).

    “if the UK business doesn’t pay the appropriate UK tax they are breaking UK law under the jurisdiction of UK courts” required no qualification. Since your point was a general one concerning criminal behaviour in any legal jurisdiction in the UK, the crime would be prosecuted in the courts of the relevant legal jurisdiction. All of the 3 jurisdictions are in the UK so, in that context “UK courts” is a perfectly acceptable term since it simply uses “UK” as a geographical description, rather than implying a single legal system.

    Jeez! If you can’t even get something as simple as that, right ………

  24. Interesting new perspective on Labour’s position from Starmer:

    “Whatever the agreement – if there is one – it has to keep to the solemn commitment of no hard border with Northern Ireland. The only combination that will meet that commitment is a customs union with the EU and a single market deal with high alignment.”

    – which is getting close to the EEA option I pooh-poohed only a few posts ago. Though he doesn’t mention the EEA, so maybe he is going for some kind of bespoke deal, with a nod and a wink from Barnier? Or is he softening everyone up for EEA after all?

  25. I don’t know if this has been posted but seemed significant.

    UK, NatCen poll:

    European Union Membership Referendum

    Remain: 59% (+8)
    Leave: 41% (-8)

    Sample size: 2,048
    Field work: 07/07/18-08/07/18

    Well out of line from everyone else but still noteworthy.

  26. Hal

    Interesting to see Starmer beginning to come round to what the Scottish Government advocated in Dec 2016 (and have been doing ever since) –

    The Scottish Government believes that, short of full EU membership, the least worst outcome for the UK as a whole would be to retain full membership of the European Single Market through the European Economic Area, and to remain in the Customs Union.

  27. B18

    Anthony describes this poll on Twitter (where he now posts much that he might previously have done on UKPR)

  28. Hal,

    ”Re Interesting new perspective on Labour’s position from Starmer:

    “Whatever the agreement – if there is one – it has to keep to the solemn commitment of no hard border with Northern Ireland. The only combination that will meet that commitment is a customs union with the EU and a single market deal with high alignment.”

    – which is getting close to the EEA option I pooh-poohed only a few posts ago. Though he doesn’t mention the EEA, so maybe he is going for some kind of bespoke deal, with a nod and a wink from Barnier? Or is he softening everyone up for EEA after all?”

    A bespoke deal is what he is after and as Trev implies was his intended destination all along.

    ON – Starmer and the SNP could reach an understanding very easily imo; bringing all of the Labour leadership along is the issue.
    John McDonnell really wants power and is being cooperative these days. Danny disagrees with me but Gardner is the main stumbling block along with Corbyn himself on occasions depending on who he has been with recently.

  29. Jim Jam

    I’ve always thought the EEA deal is pretty good. In fact when the referendum was on I always assumed it would be the sensible sort of t hing we would end up if we were to exit the EU. It has a lot going for it.

  30. Starmer impresses.

  31. If I can add that Labour’s problem is free movement as whatever the PLP think personally too many of their voters supported leave because of it (or at least because of issues arising out of free movement).

    Single market membership as is, therefore, is not possible for Labour unless the EU sufficiently adjusts free movement (hope you like that Colin) which imo cant happen any time soon but could do during a transitional period.

    The other solution therefore is very close regularity alignment so ipso facto SM with the EU’s SM.

    UK would not be able to do independent trade deals in reality which is what Labour would give up in although the theoretical ability may remain (Gardners gripe).


    “I am humbled and grateful”



  33. Jim Jam

    “Starmer and the SNP could reach an understanding very easily”

    Given the chance to vote for continued SM and CU, SNP MPs and the Scottish Government have always been clear on their position. There isn’t any need for the 2 parties to “reach an understanding” – just for Labour to push for that policy!

  34. Well said, Oldnat.

  35. With regards the NatCen poll (which can be seen at this link –

    You need to pay attention to this caveat “The author of the poll urged caution over the finding, however, saying the interview panel was skewed towards remain” and the fact that two other recent polls show the two sides neck and neck or with a Leave lead.

  36. Barbazenzero

    “Interesting your anti Russian when they worked with the leave campaigns which broke electoral law”.

    Of course I’m anti Russian if they did try and influence the outcome of brexit I’m surprised you find that worth a comment unless you agree with Russia .
    And of course I’m anti Russian if they come into the U.K. to poison people ,again I’m surprised you think that remotely interesting unless you have a pro Russian view that thinks it ok.
    As to the governments response I think it’s comdemnation of the Russian Government is well documented unlike Corbyn’s which was ambiguous to say the least at the time.

  37. @ Andy


    Most recent polls have put Remain ahead, albeit more narrowly that this one.

  38. TURK

    Do you not think it odd, then, that HMG don’t care that the referendum was poisoned by a quitter group?

  39. ON – my point is that were Starmer leading negotiations without internal LP incumbrances but requiring SNP support to get through the HOC a deal could be struck as his position and the SNPs is not dissimilar.

    The only real difference imo being Starmer genuinely believing that staying in the EU’s SM is against the referendum result. I don’t think the SNP would object to a the UK being in a SM with the EU’s SM though which is technically and legally different I believe. They might though, I suppose, and I would not really know.

    Prof – as mentioned previously EEA does not cover agriculture so on its’ own does not address the ROI/NI border issue.

  40. The recent Survation poll has the conservatives actually ahead of Labour amongst men by a point, but Labour ELEVEN points ahead amongst women!

  41. @James E.

    Ones in the recent few days – such as Survation, Delta etc (NatCen excluded) show neck-and neck to a slight Leave lead.

  42. @ Andy

    The Survation poll shows Remain and Leave level, while the Delta poll does not appear to have included the question.

  43. Jim Jam

    “my point is that were Starmer leading negotiations without internal LP incumbrances”

    But he isn’t leading negotiations. He isn’t even involved in creating a coalition of MPs to create an effective opposition to the UK Government.

    One might equally well point out that, IF SLab’s first objective hadn’t been to reduce the number of SNP MPs, then there would have been fewer Tory MPs, and more whose primary objective on the EU was (recognising that E&W had voted Leave) to at least have the UK continue in the SM and CU.

    That the parliamentary arithmetic is as it is, is partly due to deliberate decisions made by Labour.

    If “ifs” and “buts” were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas.

  44. It all comes down to equivalence, and not undercutting and undermining the rules and regulations of the single market.

    I think EEA Norway is Labour’s trump card, but I suspect Chequers will end up effectively the same as Norway in any case…..

  45. Good evening all from a very muggy Winchester.




  46. In the ongoing proxy Middle East war in the Labour Party, the Jewish Chronicle has commissioned a poll.

    Interestingly, although the JC has published the responses to one question – the last – (suggesting that up to 40% of Jews would leave the UK if the other JC became PM), the responses to the other questions asked in the poll (p2 of the tables) are unpublished.

    These asked about other (English) parties “Please consider the following political parties in regards to anti-Semitism, and place them on a scale from 1 to 5. 1 meaning there are low levels of anti-Semitism among the political party’s members and elected representatives and 5 meaning there are high levels of anti-Semitism with the party’s members and elected representatives”

    I don’t remember (though that could be my bad memory) a pollster publishing the list of non-reported questions in a poll.

    Are Survation putting out a message about selective reporting of their poll?

  47. Who’s anti Russian?

    I admit it was a terrible tragedy innocent people got caught up in the novichok poisoning but as for the intended target…Well if you give state secrets away then you deserve to get snuffed out and I would expect and hope our own security forces would assassinate any runt giving away our secrets to the Russia and anyone else.

    On the wider issue of a more assertive Russia…I’ts the best thing since sliced bread because under the unipolar World of US dominance the World has lurched from one crises to another so a little re-calibrating on the ol World order is much needed…just to keep the peace.

    American hegemony is about as appealing as watching Erick Pickles skinny dipping.

  48. It looks like the Russian poisoning news was put out today as a spoiler to spare Theresa May from more lambasting on her Brexit plans.

    A pity our politicians are not as capable as our detectives.

  49. Allan Christie

    “Who’s anti Russian? ”

    My US daughter in law has a Russian Auntie – does that count?

    Incidentally, has anyone else seen those remarkable photos released by the Met Police which appear to show both the Russian agents at exactly the same place in Gatwick at exactly the same second, but each is all alone?

  50. ON – I normally can’t be bothered to respond, for reasons many posters will understand, but will this time by acknowledging that whilst the former Slab leaders equivocation over Unionist v Non-Conservatives could well have affected votes in Scotland at the GE the, arguably, premature suggestions of an early indy ref 2 from the SNP might have had an influence as well.

1 5 6 7 8