There have been a flurry of polls following the announcement of the draft Brexit deal – all have tended to show a negative reaction. The most thorough were full length polls from YouGov for the Times and Survation for the Mail.

YouGov’s full length poll found that, based on what they had seen or heard about the deal, 15% of people supported it, 51% were opposed, 33% said don’t know (their snap poll earlier in the day had figures of 19% support, 42% opposed). Presenting people with a brief summary of what the deal actually entails makes little difference – by 50% to 19% people think it is a bad deal for Britain, by 45% to 28% people think it does not respect the result of the referendum. In Survation’s poll 61% said they had heard some details of the deal, and of those people who had heard at least something about the deal, 27% said they supported it, 49% were opposed.

YouGov asked people what should happen next – only 16% of people thought Britain should accept the deal as it is, 11% would prefer to reopen negotiations and seek a better deal, 19% to leave without a deal, 8% to have a referendum on the deal and 28% to just remain in the EU after all. In practice, of course, some of these options may not realistically be on the table. If people were forced to choose between the deal or leaving without one, 60% would choose the deal, 40% no deal. On the other hand, if the choice was between the deal and having a fresh referendum, people would prefer a new referendum by 56% to 44%.

Survation’s poll included some similar choices (though unlike the YouGov ones, they didn’t force a choice, people were able to say don’t know). If there was as referendum between the deal or remaining, people said they would prefer remain by 43% to 34%. If there was a referendum between the deal or no deal, people would prefer no deal by 34% to 32%… but with 34% don’t knows, who were largely remainers (and, if push comes to shove, I suspect may prefer a deal over no deal).

Turning to May’s own future, YouGov found that 33% of people think she should stay, 47% think she should resign. The figures in the Survation poll were very similar – 33% thought she should stay, 50% that she should go. Naturally there was more support among Tory voters, but even many Tory supporters think May should go (43% in the YouGov poll, 30% in the Survation poll).

There is, however, little optimism that a change of leader would produce a better outcome. In YouGov’s poll only 27% of people thought that a different Tory Prime Minister would be able to get a better deal (and only 19% thought that a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn would get a better deal). They were a little more optimistic in the Survation poll, where 38% thought getting rid of May would increase the chances of a good deal.

In short, people don’t like the deal, but there is relatively optimism about the opportunities for anything better. If forced to choose, people would accept the deal rather than leave with no deal, but they’d also rather have a fresh referendum than accept this one. Whether public opinion really matters at this point is a different matter – this is one of those issues where Parliamentary arithmetic (and the internal politics of the Tory party) will be the actual deciding factors… they may be influenced by public opinion but, outside there being another referendum, public opinion is not going to be decisive.

199 Responses to “Polling on the draft Brexit deal”

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  1. TCO – sorry I can’t find stuff on EC not allowing a 3 -way ref but it is the view of both ref and non ref supporting LP advocates alike.

  2. I cannot start to predict what will happen. Almost anything is possible.

    But i think that if the deal and no-deal are both rejected by parliament, then the decision should be to do what most organisations do when all proposed changes are rejected – nothing.

    They would have to stop the ticking clock of default brexit. This might be difficult, but not impossible. There has already been some expert comment on here.

    No more referendums on this subject. [Obviously there could be referendums, if agreed by the government, on subjects like Scottish independence, to avoid the ‘tyranny of the majority’). We have a parliamentary democracy.

  3. Trigguy,
    Its hard to say meaningfull things.We need longer term data to see if there is a long term trend.

    There is a suggestion that recent events have not been well received by voters and therefore tory support is falling. In recent months labour have not been keeping remainers happy, so their support had tailed off. But now Conservatives will have upset leavers.

    The point of choosing just one brexit to put forward was always going to be a critical moment for the government. It is to be expected they would lose support at this time. Leave supporters do not uncritically want just any sort of leave.

    The yougov poll doesnt include voting intention. But it must have asked those questions so as to normalise the data. The result has been witheld for some reason. If the normal trend applies, then as remain percentage has gone up, tory percentage will have fallen.

    The recent yougov had 46% remain, 40% leave. Presumably in a three way race all remainers would vote remain but the leave vote would be split between the two options. According to yougov, Leavers split about 2:1 in favour of ‘no deal’, so I would asume something like 13% May deal, 26% no deal.

    A three way referendum is very likely to see leave trounced, and any politician proposing one would know this before it began. It must already be very clear to tories that they are looking at 2:1 or better opposition to their deal. If they proceed by refusing a referendum and the result goes badly, they will have massively alienated the majority of the electorate, and the results will just keep being reinforced for as long as there is bad brexit news.

    Although overall more people prefer the May deal to no deal, this is a forced choice including remainers, and they arent really going to be voting for either leave option. An alternative form of referendum would be remain against one or other leave option, or a transferrable vote. The latter would probably end up with the more popular of the two leaves getting the larger share (more popular amongst leavers, that is), but it would not get the full 40%. It is clear some leavers prefer remain to the wrong sort of leave.

    From yougov, and assuming people wanting a referendum are a reasonable proxy for wanting remain, about 80% of leavers would support ‘no deal’, whereas about 70% would support May deal.

    So the score would be 47% remain 32% no deal. Grossing up to about 60/40 win for remain.

    If the parliament engineered a choice of remain against May deal, which is less popular, then maybe 47% remain 28% deal. Grossing up to about 63/37 for remain.

    The polling gives an alternate view on this, because it shows only about 50% of leavers considering no deal would be a good outcome, and only 25% considering May deal a good outcome. The remainder being split between dont know and thinking it a bad deal. So although these leavers might vote for whicherver leave deal, they might still not be very happy with that outcome.

    The numbers happy with the result if leave is forced through by parliament would be rather worse than the polling experiment above, and might leave us with 3/4 of voters unhappy at the outcome. Including quite a number who voted tory.

  4. @leftieliberal
    “With only 3 options the Supplementary Vote is sufficient (as used by Londoners to elect the Mayor); you don’t even need to ask people to rank the options numerically.”

    That’s a point, same system is used for the police commissioners and for any elected mayors (local and/or combined (metro) authorities) in the rest of England at least.

    @bill Patrick

    “Anyway, I doubt that the EU leaders are interested in extending time for a new referendum, not least because it could raise the spectre of further negotiations, and they seem to be happy with the Deal as it is.”

    Not so sure on that, there’s been fairly recent talk from them that a new ref or ge are about the only circumstances they would consider for an extension. They’re not all happy with the deal, there’s been some talk of it being too generous from some members. Might just be theater for the benefit of May to try and sell it to a few of the wavering Tories mind.

  5. New Comres poll showing a Tory drop of 3 points and a Labour lead of 4 points:

    Fieldwork 14 – 15 November.

  6. @Planky – tha’s the answer!

    Have two binary choice referenda on the same day.

    Problem solved!

  7. Trigguy, JimJam,

    If the deal goes ahead it is inconceivable that the DUP would allow the government to continue with it. They would have no alternative but to vote against the government in a confidence motion and take the consequences of whatever happens in an election. The alternative of sitting back and allowing it to continue would destroy their credibility with their voters.

  8. At the end of the day there were only two choices on referendum day, leave or remain. Our voters chose leave, not leave subject to x, y, and z or subject to my favourite politician heading up the show.

    Maybe it’s just time the 52% take responsibility for their actions?

  9. Pressure on the DUP mounts –

    Given the risks faced by NI, and the rising threat of a united Ireland, I have thought for some time that after much cosmetic huffing and puffing that the DUP would be happy to find themselves in a second referendum situation, with remain coming out on top.

    It would save them from a lot of embarrassment.

  10. A number of people in the past have speculated how bad the results have to get before the government would call it a day and cancel brexit. My calculations above suggest we are already at 60-65% for remain as against 40-35% leave.

    What numbers will make them just halt it?

  11. @JIM JAM
    “Alec and others – the Electoral Commission can’t or wont approve a 3-way ref with AV.

    Pete W pointed out on the previous thread that the HOC can over-ride that with primary rushed through legislation”

    Not just through that. Even under the existing legislation I think you put the EC too high in the hierarchy here. The EC simply doesn’t have the power to “not allow” a referendum question.

    Under the 2000 Act (see S104) regardless of how the referendum question is going to be set (by primary legislation, affirmative resolution SI, or negative resolution SI) the Commission gets to make a statement of views as to the intelligibility of a proposed question. That’s all.

    They get input in the process. As they did in 2015 during passage of the legislation for 2016. In that case they dispaproved of the original question in the bill as drafted, their proposal was take on board, and the referendum act passed with the revised question.

    But it’s not their decision. It’s for Parliament. If the original question still stays put in the bill or instrument when it passes through the applicable Parliamentary procedure, that’s the end of their at bat.

  12. @alec

    yep. the DUP like nothing better than to loudly demand stuff they cant have in order to make themselves look committed to their ideals.
    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they chose not to block a 2nd ref.
    and – tbh – remain is better for them than Mays deal in that the latter represents a greater threat to the union.

  13. Alec,
    so what do we reckon are the chances that the DUP will have benefitted from supporting the conservatives government, or will suffer from it.

    Will their experience be a repeat of the libs?

    And what might that tell us about the chances of labour if it sides with the conservatives over Brexit?

  14. WRT the brexiteer in cabinet trying to force may to go back and renegotiate.

    What do they think is going to happen?

    May cant and wont.

    The EU wont entertain the idea (especially if its as a result of May being forced to do it a gunpoint)

    Is it just to provide them selves with more political cover for when they resign en-masse next week (taking may down with them)?

  15. It’s the undecided who hold the key. It’s a huge group as it was before the Referendum.

    If they go for a second refendum and push it over 60% on a consistent basis, then Westminster can’t ignore the call.

  16. My personal fear is a no deal exit with a Corbin government to follow. I wonder how many pounds you would get to the dollar?

  17. I think @HAL raises something that should get more attention. It might not be probable, but it should be more on the radar than it is.

    This is still a minority government. It could simply fall.

    I’m not sure that helps anyone much, but given the parliamentary arithmetic it must be out there.

    The stability of the DUP C&S arrangement has made us forget that. It’s not looking very stable this weekend.

  18. Interesting but not surprising that we are at last seeing some shift in polling. The question is whether this is just a knee jerk reaction which will rapidly reverse, or the start of something more significant.

  19. Isn’t it interesting that the chat is now all about a second referendum and what needs to happen for brexit to fall.

  20. Following on from Hireton`s reminder that the Queen might just possibly have a part to play if the TM government collapses, I suggest that Charles`s view could well be decisive.

    And there is no way he would push any Tory forward like Fox, Johnson or Leadson, who is keen on the UK having co-operation or trade deals with Donald Trump. Charles and Trump are poles apart.

    I believe that the far-right ideologs such as John Redwood and Boris have reached a tipping point in public perception, with one straw in the wind the hostility to JR in last night`s Any Questions from Masham.

    Trump`s provocative comments like on the Californian fires “caused by poor forest management” rather than drought and warming, and his push to spend US money promoting coal at a climate-change conference in a polluted part of Poland, will draw the blinkers from some right-wing eyes.

  21. Given the utter collapse of Tory discipline, and the total disintegration of TM’s authority, the Tories ought to fall in the polls.

    If they are anything like neck and neck under these circumstances, they must ne delighted.

  22. I think we are going to end up with a second referendum and what’s more I think this has been the plan all along. I predicted it the day after the original vote on the basis that the political establishment does not want to leave.

    By this time the population will be so (rightly) terrified of no deal we will end up remaining.

  23. Thanks for all the poll comments. Of course far too early to tell anything. There was a sharp drop in Con VI after Chequers, but they recovered it over time. It might take longer for any drop to recover this time as the chaos seems to run far more deeply, and the bad news might keep coming for a while.

    It’s difficult to remember the time-line of this week, but as far as I can tell, the only VI poll that had any fieldwork after Raab’s resignation is the Comres one, and even that one had some fieldwork before. In principle, before the morning of the 15th, the news should have been that of a triumphant achievement, having finally succeeded in agreeing a deal with the EU and the cabinet. OK, maybe it didn’t quite come across that way, but this was, after all, what TMs government had been striving to do for so long. The real impact wasn’t seen until the 15th, so the full weight of the latest events is yet to be seen in the polls. Next one with fieldwork entirely after the 15th will be interesting.

  24. ComRes and Opinium both showing Con down UKIP up. Only 2 polls but a change could be in the wind.

  25. Rumour has it that UK food importers have had increased demand for insects such as locusts, as back up protein source in the event of a no deal Brexit.

    You can just image a Brexit family sat around their table on a Sunday lunchtime tucking into a range of tasty treats.

  26. Opinium poll out tonight has Labour on 39% and Tories on 35%

  27. R HUCKLE,

    Haven’t you been listening to Politicians…..

    Both sides have been warning of Plagues of Locust if they don’t get their way!


  28. Don’t suppose anyone can map the No Confidence letter writers Constituencies with a Brexit results map?


  29. @ R Huckle

    “Opinium poll out tonight has Labour on 39% and Tories on 35%”

    Indeed, it’s already been mentioned, and it’s a good illustration of my point above. The fieldwork was apparently before Raab’s resignation, May’s mauling in HoC and JRM’s amateur dramatics. What would it look like in a poll taken after that.

  30. I wonder how many Tory MPs are thinking of the cautionary tales they learned in childhood. In particular they will all have learned always to hold onto nurse for fear of finding something worse.

    The Brexiteers may well have overstretched themselves.

    There also seems to be a slight change in the narrative over the last few days.Mrs May has done herself a lot of favours with her determination and resilience. The polls may well shift back again.

  31. Pete W,

    Thanks for those facts re the role of the Electoral Commission in referenda.
    You leave hanging, though, in this contribution if a second ref operating in a way that does not have EC approval would get through the HOC and/or have any legitimacy.

    Hal – logic would suggest the DUP no longer supporting the Government would lead to backing a no-confidence motion. However, they may wish to see who the Tories elect as a new leader as May will almost certainly go if a deal fails to pass the HOC.
    Also, I am still not convinced they would want to force a GE that could produce a Corbyn Led Labour Led Government.

  32. @peter Cairns

    My understanding is that Rees Mogg is actually in a Remain area?

    Talk of another Leave /Remain referendum is nonsense, we have already left.

    Deal / No Deal is ab option if Parliament can’t decide.

  33. Rees-Mogg represents an area that was strongly leave. North Somerset.

  34. JiB

    “Talk of another Leave /Remain referendum is nonsense, we have already left.”

    When did that happen then? Why has no-one told us we are no longer in the EU? The things you learn on UKPR.

  35. “The fieldwork was apparently before Raab’s resignation, May’s mauling in HoC and JRM’s amateur dramatics. What would it look like in a poll taken after that”

    Possibly, though as someone who’s not actually been paying all that much attention this week I’ve not had the impression it’s been much other than business as usual. It may be that my expectations are already so low that little is surprising. Particularly that the deal has been poorly received, we knew it wasn’t going to be all that much different from chequers and no one liked that either.

    This goes back to the point about not overestimating how much of the Westminster bubble actually makes it to widespread public opinion.

    “if a second ref operating in a way that does not have EC approval would get through the HOC and/or have any legitimacy.”

    Well the last one somehow still has legitimacy despite the EC finding a number of problems!

  36. @ JamesB

    Fair point, though I thought this week’s Westminster action was more noticeable than most, even to the casual viewer.

  37. jib

    “Talk of another Leave /Remain referendum is nonsense, we have already left.”

    As accurate as ever.

  38. @ R Huckle

    Rees Mogg’s North Somerset constituency was only narrowly leave (47:53 ?). Given the 5% swing which polls are now showing for Remain, it is likely that it now has a Remain majority.


    Not so much “inbangor” as “headbanger”!


  40. @ Jonesinbangor

    Here’s a useful site which explains where we are now


  41. Scottish Tories must be very short of facts and policy issues with which to attack the SNP when they resort to this story that they evidently passed on for today`s DTel.

    To me, the dereliction of common sense and duty was in sending an invitation to the First Minister only at 6 pm in the evening for a possible meeting next morning.

  42. If being realistic about what is best for the UK makes be a headbanger in your world, then you are living in a bubble.

    How can anybody seriously propose Remaining in the UK now.

    We have seriously pissed on the chops.


    re:smog’s seat voted heavily to quit, but now, like other commuter seats around Bristol, are heavily remain.

  44. JIB

    “How can anybody seriously propose Remaining in the UK now”

    We can’t all leave,

    Anyway, I’ve got me girls to look after.

  45. @ Jonesinbangor

    That also confirms the fact that we haven’t left the EU.

    As opposed to “we have already left.”


    The EU do seem to want us back, which would be for a number of reasons from still wanting Airbus and other industries to thrive to being able to laugh at MEP Farage in the European parliament.

  47. @James E

    YES, but when you’re working out your notice, is it ever a good move to change your mind and beg for your job back.

    Especially when you were a malcontent malingerer who always hindered the company moving forward?

  48. JiB

    Funnily enough JiB, old chap, many years ago, back in the 1960s, I handed in my notice at work, then something happened that meant that I couldn’t go to the job I was intending to go to. So I withdrew my notice and was kept on.

    So if that’s what your argument rests on I have first hand knowledge that you are wrong.

    Looking forward to the referendum and the resulting remain vote.

  49. Good Evening all. Ireland did well today’ all 32 counties and the 4 provinces together. Just Saying.

    DANNY; hello to you. I think within Northern Ireland the DUP will have solidified their base.

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