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. 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.

    Nigel Farage did just that IIRC.

  2. Jonesinbangor,

    “If being realistic about what is best for the UK makes me a headbanger”

    No making clearly ridiculous statements at odds with the facts and then babbling when it’s pointed out is tell tail sign!

    They idea that when someone points out where you are factually wrong means they don’t want what’s best for their Country is both childish and bizarre.

    Headbangers are people who when shown to be wrong dig in and make fools of themselves rather than put their hands up.

    Peter.

    Peter.

  3. @Norbold

    Good luck to you with the referendum dream too, old chap xxx

  4. @ Chris Lane

    “I think within Northern Ireland the DUP will have solidified their base.”

    no, they appear to be losing support, according to the only polling there has been specific to N Ireland Westminster voting intention, by Survation, a few days ago.

    Westminster Voting Intention (Northern Ireland):

    DUP: 31% (-5)
    SF: 27% (-2)
    UUP: 15% (+5)
    SDLP: 11% (-1)
    ALL: 12% (+4)

    Via
    @Survation
    , 20th Oct – 2nd Nov.
    Changes w/ GE2017

    This is the first Northern Irish poll since the General Election…
    5:22 pm · 14 Nov 2018 · Twitter Web Client

  5. @Peter Cairns

    Where I am being factually wrong. I do try and define my opinions from fact, and at least highlight what I suspect to be fact.

  6. R Huckle
    re:smog is the member for North East Somerset.
    The Disgraced former Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, is the member for North Somerset, where the referendum vote was 52%leave 48 % remain.

  7. Why do people write “just saying.” ? Seems on odd little habit that’s caught on.

    [I think one is supposed to replace the “g” with one of these boys [‘] to be properly trendy though.]

  8. @hal
    If your right about February GE, that would be exactly 45 years since Ted Heath’s Conservative s blew it in February 1974.
    45 years before that (January 1924 to be precise), the first Labour government was elected…

  9. Jonesinbangor,

    “at least highlight what I suspect to be fact.”

    The Spirit of Trump at work!

    Peter.

  10. So if the ERG split from the Tory party this could reset all the voting intentions across the board with original party loyalties disbanded so some Labour votes might then switch Lib Dem . Could then even see split in Labour with pro Euro Tories and Lib Dems trying so form Macron style party

  11. RJW @ R HUCKLE

    It was my post on the previous page which accidentally omitted the EAST.

    Doesn’t make a huge difference, though. Both N & NE seats are now remain.

  12. @Peter cairns

    How, dare you complare me to that fool.

    As I said, I’m asking you to highlight where I’ve made up facts.

    Please.

  13. As I see it this deal may well get through. This is because the only realistic alternative is a people’s Vote. Somehow, I just don’t see Parliament on its own saying to people: ‘you voted to leave and we have just voted to stay. Tough, this is a parliamentary democracy, get on with it or go elsewhere.’

    So to reverse it Parliament needs a second referendum but they probably won’t vote for that either. As Jim Jam points out Mrs May is in power and doesn’t want it. The Brexiters don’t want it either, not as they fondly pretend because it would be undemocratic, but rather because it would be democratic and as Danny points out they would almost certainly lose. So given the manifest reluctance of Corbyn and McDonald to support such a People’s vote , I think the Deal is likely to get through, probably after some tinkering with the political declaration and a second vote.

    There are two other reasons the deal may get through,
    First it is infinitely better than no deal and the great majority of people, including MPs. see that. In addition it allows (I hope) a sensible, non-cliff edge, negotiation which can hopefully arrive at something that would be good for both sides. Second, nobody likes it and thus nobody can be said to have won. This hopefully puts an end to the triumphalism of both sides and allows us to get on with each other in the shared recognition that we have a useless government, (I actually think that is very unfair. I have a respect for how Mrs May has sought to end this affair, unlike my feelings about how she began it)

    It remains true of course that this deal is in absolutely no sense democratic. People voted for sovereignty and for future prosperity. This deal reduces sovereignty and makes future prosperity uncertain, Currently most people don’t like it and would much prefer a people’s vote.

    So a People’s Vote would probably be better for the country in the long run. That said, It’s unlikely, could exacerbate division, and there is a horrible, if slim, chance it could go the wrong way. So sShould I continue to help crowd fund it as I have in the past, or content myself with retiring to a non-existent allotment, c hatting over the fence to an equally miserable TOH and reading about it all on UKPR?

  14. Trigguy,
    “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.”

    I wonder if it is a coincidence that the last time the conservatives declared for a particular form of Brexit (at the election) they lost 20 points.

  15. Bill Patrick
    “It’s as though David Cameron and George Osborne, with their very expensive educations, never heard the story about the boy who cried wolf…”

    “Even at the cost of thousands and thousands of jobs as a result of your preferred referendum option?”

    Can you see the irony of these two adjacent statements by you?
    ————————
    Alec
    “… it seems pretty certain we’ll either stay of have a second vote.”

    If that happens, UKIP will have a resurgence and the Tories will be out of power for a generation. You may think that’s a good thing, but May probably doesn’t (pun intended).
    ———————————————-
    Trigguy
    Early signs of UKIP voters returning from the Tories?
    —————————
    Alister1948
    “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.”

    The EU Withdrawal Bill is already law.

  16. @hal
    If your right about the possibility of a February GE, it would be exactly 45 years since Ted Heath’s Conservatives blew it.
    45 years before that, the first Labour government was elected….

  17. Charles I think your analysis is very good and rational; my only caveat is that I think the DUP have to come on board.

    Without the DUP other Conservative and Unionist Party MPs will imo be likely to vote against the deal also, especially SCon MPs perhaps.

    The DUP being assuaged between votes will also give some intellectual cover for other Tory MPs who might vote against in the first vote but not the second.

    Other, half joking, caveat that being rational at a time of much irrationality makes your analysis less likely!!

  18. So May loses Tory confidence vote for Tory Leader, but before she resigns as PM Jeremy Corbyn calls to say Labour will back the deal.

  19. BZ
    “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.”

    And our money.

  20. “PETE B
    BZ
    “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.”

    And our money.”

    How dare they laugh at our money.

  21. Charles,
    “Mrs May is in power and doesn’t want it”

    How do you know she doesnt want a second referendum? Because she said so?

    She said she didnt want an election, or a customs union.

  22. @Bill Patrick

    You didn’t read what I wrote; if the UK Parliament accepts the deal then there is no referendum. It is Parliament that is sovereign, not the Government; it is only because Governments usually have a majority over all the opposition Parties combined that there is any confusion.

    I also believe that if the public still want a no deal Brexit, they should be allowed to vote for it (although I would still vote for Remain). Tamper with that and you strike at the very basis of democracy.

  23. @Danny

    “She said she didnt want an election, or a customs union”

    My reading is that this is a customs union, surely?

  24. Pete B,
    “If that happens, UKIP will have a resurgence and the Tories will be out of power for a generation. You may think that’s a good thing, but May probably doesn’t ”

    No. If you are in a hole, stop digging. If any party realises that a flagship policy is heading for a dead end disaster, then what it has to do is ditch that policy as fast as it can. There may be short term pain, but it is better to take that and start on recovery.

    Only 50% of leavers think a no deal outcome would be a good things. 25% of leavers think the May deal is a good thing. Those are awful numbers. There is simply no good brexit deal which can even command the support of leavers as a whole.

    What tories have to do is get back remain tories who have deserted it. They need to ditch the leave image, before leavers themselves start turning into remainers and running for the libs (if they are right wingers). Libs are positioned to catch them.

    “The EU Withdrawal Bill is already law.”

    A day’s work to repeal it.

  25. Charles
    “This deal reduces sovereignty and makes future prosperity uncertain, Currently most people don’t like it and would much prefer a people’s vote.”

    There’s a poll dated yesterday on Yougov’s site that says 8% of people want a referendum on the deal.

  26. Hello again, my friends (assuming I’ve still got any, that is!). I’ve been doing some UKPR de-toxing of late, as I’ve been known to do on occasions, so have neither posted nor lurked for a week or so. To be honest, I’ve been more absorbed by political events as they’ve unfolded and I’d become so disillusioned with both the content and tone of some of the posting on here recently that the last thing I wanted to read were dreary and predictable monologues from our local Brexiteer obsessed brethren, burnishing their half-baked smart-arsery ad nauseam. It’s been a blessed belief, although I’ve no doubt missed some good stuff from those like Alec, Carfrew, Hireton, R&D, Neil A, R Huckle etc who, and I’m lost in admiration for their stamina and fortitude, continue to fight the good fight, both good-naturedly and in a cerebral fashion.

    What’s brought me briefly back is a quick visit to see if there had been some weekend post-May meltdown opinion polls. Thankfully, there have been; Com Res and Opinium and they both make for interesting reading. A drop in Tory support, and a corresponding rise in Labour’s in both polls that, while not dramatic does appear to be outside MOE parameters and suggesting that opinion might be on the move.

    Early days, but my hunch that the largely static polling that we’ve seen since June 2017 has been down to the Brexit phoney war and that once the fantasies gave way to the realities, the iced opinion may start to melt, looks as if it could be true. It will be interesting to see where that meltwater flows.

  27. @Danny

    ““The EU Withdrawal Bill is already law.”

    A day’s work to repeal it.”

    Indeed, and your contempt for those who do not share your views is bared for all to see.

    Not a pleasant sight.

  28. @ Alec
    “Nonetheless, a new vote would still depend on politicians behaving themselves. Some would, others wouldn’t.”

    I havn’t read all the site stuff on the 2nd EU ref , who has?, but your post & certain others seem a bit naive.
    Your ideal 2nd ref makes it a board game in which everyone has read the rules & abides by them. Remainers might welcome a 2nd ref but the Brexiteers would go loopy: their vituperation, vilification & viciousness would not constitute “good behaviour”. They have everything to lose: the board would be tossed in the air in minutes. The leavers would be too chastened to repeat their lies. Um?

    The notion that May/government would act as a neutral referee? T May thinks she was created to “see it through”. What — the gang of five would agree to be non-partisan?

    Chatting on here about how the ballot paper would look is indeed a palour game: I doubt it will happen & if it did it would, as @ R&D said, be very very nasty. I would want a 2nd ref, but would shiver at the prospect.

  29. Jim Jam,
    “May will almost certainly go if a deal fails to pass the HOC.”
    Why? She started by offering hard brexit. She ditched it. She is now offering soft brexit. So she ditches this too. Where is the evidence she is not doing what her MPs want as she rows back on Brexit? Someone has to stand up and look an idiot, does anyone else want to do it?

    JonesinBangor,
    “@Danny
    “She said she didnt want an election, or a customs union”
    My reading is that this is a customs union, surely?”

    That was rather my point. She said she didnt want a CU. Then she signed off on one. She says she doesnt want another referendum….

  30. “There’s a poll dated yesterday on Yougov’s site that says 8% of people want a referendum on the deal.”

    This poll is discussed by AW above. I suspect you probably know this but you cannot extrapolate a pick 1 of 7 options into a total desire for a referendum.

    The same poll later demonstrates that a second ref is the pairwise winner against both ‘no deal’ and ‘May’s Deal’

  31. @Danny

    The shrill voices (I thank Oldnat for that one) are now all on the Remain side.

    The deal is – and yes I voted Leave – good. There is cake, there is compromise. But the deal looks fair to both sides and avoids Mutually Assured Damage.

  32. Quite bizarre tonight to be seeing one half f the government say they can negotiate a better deal, and the other say not they can’t.

    This really does seem to be tearing Conservatives apart, and although the reports as to whether the ERG has got it’s numbers for a confidence challenge, the sharp loss on Con VI will probably embolden them.

  33. Danny,

    I think if a PM loses their flag ship bill (and this clearly is for this PM) they resign.

    I might be wrong and as above the deal may well pass anyhow (at the second) attempt so it maybe after Christmas before we find out if at all.

  34. Danny
    “Only 50% of leavers think a no deal outcome would be a good things. 25% of leavers think the May deal is a good thing. Those are awful numbers. ”

    That’s 75% of 52%=39%. Add in a few Remain voters, and there are bound to be some, and they’ll beat their 42% at the last GE. That’s not exactly awful. So sticking to her guns is not disastrous for the Tories.

  35. Alec,
    “This really does seem to be tearing Conservatives apart, ”

    Look at it objectively from a distance. Will leavers blame the tories if brexit does not now happen? Or will they blame some rebel faction. Will they blame May (who will retire once its all over)? Will they think better of the tory party than if it had simply calmly said it had decided to cancel Brexit?

    I think the conservative party will come out of this better because it fractured temporarily than if it stood calmly together and changed its mind on Brexit. The apparent disunity protects the party.

  36. ‘So if the ERG split from the Tory party this could reset all the voting intentions across the board with original party loyalties disbanded so some Labour votes might then switch Lib Dem . Could then even see split in Labour with pro Euro Tories and Lib Dems trying so form Macron style party‘

    As interesting as this would be, the ERG can’t currently unite to send their letters of no confidence in May. Being reluctant to try to oust a leader of their party who they dislike, it seems impossible that they would dare to split from the party completely. If may came out backing a people’s vote when her deal falls in the commons then it could be in the realms of possibility but for now the ERG will just proceed to scream outrage at each and every development in brexit that doesn’t live up to the dream they sold in 2016. Again though, it would be interesting.

  37. The idea that Corbyn would lead Labour through the lobbies to prop up May seems fanciful in the extreme.

    And if he did, in direct conflict with party policy, and against the wishes of a large majority of members, he’d likely face a leadership challenge of his own. And I don’t think the result would be so obvious this time.

  38. Robin

    Won’t happen. Labour will play their hand out by rejecting May’s deal.

  39. It would be an interesting redistribution of VI if the ERG split and the rest of the Tories joining with the Lib Dems and part of Labour. I would guess the result might go something like

    Tories to ERG > 20%
    UKIP to ERG > 7%
    ERG total > 27%

    Tories to Cent > 16%
    Lab to Cent > 19%
    LD to cent > 9%
    Cent total > 45%

    Lab to Lab > 20% (if Corbyn remains)
    Lab total > 20%

    How that would pan out in seats is anyone’s guess.

  40. Despite the confidence of many on this website, this really feels like the same trick that is being played out on so many levels in politics at the moment – two opposing views being proposed, an attempt to broker a middle ground with the expectation that this will be carried through, and yet this just further polarising opinion. This is obviously not universal, but the unpopularity of the proposed deal, and the generally accepted perspective that it is “the worst of both worlds” will, I think, just make things worse.

    Business is, by it’s very nature, selfish and short-termist and so it is no wonder that the CBI has suggested this is a good option, but I think the vast majority of the public, and probably the MPs, would pick EU or a hard Brexit over this deal.

    The outlook appears very uncertain, with lots of “known unknowns” and possibly some “unknown unknowns” awaiting… That said, I think I support the view that the Conservative party is tearing itself apart, because for many in it this is the most important issue of all, like for Scottish Nationalists. By this, I mean the question of national sovereignty and identity. And unfortunately for the Conservatives, this is an issue where they are very comprehensively divided.

  41. Jim Jam: 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.

    OK, thanks. It really is the EC view I am interested in, the LP don’t have oversight of the process.

  42. According to the Telegraph, the 1922 committee has just 25 letters.

    I can’t see vote of confidence happening.

    My prediction – TM to win the vote on her deal.

  43. Im mystified as to why people think this deal will pass the commons.

    Labour and all the oppostion parites have said they will vote agasint it.

    The DUP have said they will vote against it.

    The Tory brexiteers have said they will vote against it.

    Tory arch remainers have said the will vote against it.

    May needs – what – at least 30 labour mps to rebel.

    But the labour remainers – umuna and co – plus their off stage cheerleaders like blair and adonis – are pushing for a 2nd ref – which menas voting down may’s deal.

    Several of labour leading breixteers (such as they are) like Skinner and Hoey have said they will vote against it.

    Journos who are in direct contact with these people predict a labour rebellion will struggle to get into double figures. And I have only seen one labour MP (caroline flint) make any sort of argument in favour voting for mays deal (and then quite indirectly)

    What it going to change over the next few weeks to make so many people perform such a reverse on their publicly stated positions?

    And i also think that may will resign if her deal fails to pass the commons.

  44. PETERW

    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.

    I’ve been making this point for some time. Even with the DUP the government majority is so small that it’s fairly easy for a vote of No Confidence to pass almost by accident. The only way that May’s government has managed to overcome rebellions has been by giving in to them every time – the FOBT max stake reduction is only the latest of a long line, most much lower profile. Or they don’t let things get to a vote by deferring them (eg the boundary review). It’s not so much strong and stable as weak and immobile.

    And of course it only takes one vote in the Commons to cause a General Election (providing they can’t put things back together in the next 14 days). Calling a referendum requires getting a Bill through various stages in two Houses and much discussion of details. Given that the Government controls the timetable and various Brexiteers tend to be procedural sticklers, I can’t see that being easy without a change of government. Which brings us back to a NC vote and a GE.

    There’s probably more support for a referendum than for a No Confidence motion, but the latter might be, paradoxically, easier to achieve.

  45. Regardless of the practicality or otherwise of referendums, it’s clear that support for them has grown. Another YouGov poll (for People’s Vote) asked among other things:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/wywx6pr4gx/PVResults_181115_Snap_w.pdf#page=5

    Would you support or oppose a public vote on whether to accept the deal?

    Support 48%

    Oppose 34%

    And if MPs do vote against the deal, the UK may have to choose whether to remain in the EU, or leave the EU without a deal.
    In those circumstances, would you then support or oppose a public vote on whether to leave without a deal, or stay in the European Union?

    Support 51%

    Oppose 28%

    Fieldwork was 14-15 Nov – overlapping with the YouGov in the OP.

  46. B18,
    “the ERG can’t currently unite to send their letters of no confidence in May.”

    Now there’s a nice touch. We huff and we puff, but we couldnt quite get the strength to unseat May, who is messing up the true Brexit. We really tried our best and you hard brexiters out there should still support our party, because we really did try.

    Jim Jam,
    “I think if a PM loses their flag ship bill (and this clearly is for this PM) they resign.”
    Eventually May will go and will have the credit or blame for the Brexit policy under her watch. That was always the intention of choosing an outsider for the job. A leave referendum outcome was never supposed to happen and had to be dealt with.

    But why remove a leader when everything is going as well as might be hoped?

    Andrew Myers,
    I agree this crisis contains scope for massive redistribution of votes, and the parties mut be aware of it. However in your scenario the tory party split over Brexit, but labour split over Corbyn. The issue of the day is Brexit, not Corbyn. Labour voters will hang together or break apart over Brexit.

    To keep the remainers, labour must support remain. If it supports something like the May deal it will lose between some and all of its remainers, depending how badly managed it is. It has to offer something at minimum more remainish than the May deal, which is prety remainish itself.

    Jonesin bangor,
    ” the deal looks fair to both sides and avoids Mutually Assured Damage.”
    The bill lays the groundwork for the Uk to stay inside all the EU market arrangements and any EU bells and whistles we fancy to tack on. It is designed to allow us to stay in all but name at the price of surrendering our political control of the EU. I expect that if it is adopted, this is what will happen. Eventually we rejoin. Quite simply, because there are no changes needed.

    As a leave voter, this is what you wanted?

  47. Roger Mexico

    The YouGov question you quoted gets to the heart of the matter, so is maybe worth repeating:

    And if MPs do vote against the deal, the UK may have to choose whether to remain in the EU, or leave the EU without a deal.
    In those circumstances, would you then support or oppose a public vote on whether to leave without a deal, or stay in the European Union?

    Support 51%

    Oppose 28%

    I think this is very likely to be the situation. Only a referendum gets the government off the hook and staying in power, and absolves it of responsibility for whatever that choice turns out to be.

    As to the referendum format, I think parliament can decide whether, having rejected the May deal, it wants a binary ref on no deal/remain, or a 3-way AV ref to include the May deal.

  48. TCO,

    Maybe my English was bad.

    Let me clearer, Labour Party people have been told the EC wont endorse a 3-way referendum if they are applying their role as currently guided by the legislation.

    Peter W has explained better than I can why and how the EC can be ignored as the HOC has primacy.

    There is not a HOC majority for ref 2 at present, of course, and might still not be should Labours’ position end up there but there will be uncertain MPs and Electoral Commission endorsement might be crucial for waverers.

  49. @Reggieside

    “I’m mystified why people think this deal will pass the Commons”

    It’s partly the Sherlock Holmes principle – once you’ve ruled out the impossible you are left with the unlikely. More seriously the point is that once the deal has been voted down ( which it will be the first time) all hell will break loose, and the pressure will come on the headbangers from all sides. They won’t like it. They will back down – public interest blah blah, the real issue is the trade deal in the future blah blah, at least we have left the EU blah blah. So it will pass second time, and the headbangers will have lost a lot of face and will be chastened.

    They can console themselves with the fact that the deal isn’t actually that bad, and they can always change things in the future if people vote for them. Oh, and they can throw May out, which will make them feel better. A good scapegoat is always needed.

  50. Incidentally, I spent yesterday observing real mass protest in action. I had to drive from the Pyrenees to north-central France, and a journey that should have taken 6.5 hours took 10.5.

    What was interesting, and maybe makes the story relevant, was how good-hearted the protests were. I was frequently at a standstill and surrounded by demonstrators who were keen to engage with drivers, and get petitions signed. In Angoulême, where I was forced off the N10 by a total blockage, I was then held for half an hour at the first roundabout. That gave plenty of time for some merry banter and discussion of the failures of various governments. All that went down well enough (along with my agreement to don the gilet jaune that until then I’d been displaying on the dashboard) that when they finally released me I drove slowly through a massed corridor of enthusiastically applauding demonstrators, with me madly applauding back.

    And at another blockage and discussion, where I signed a petition, a woman shouted “Vive les Anglais” as I left.

    All very fascinating; it’s not often you get inadvertently immersed in another country’s mass protest. It’s just a shame it was marred by injuries and a death elsewhere.

    I also got to see some lovely corners of France on my improvised cross country routes (for instance having to find an ‘undefended’ bridge across the Dordogne, having already decided to avoid Bordeaux and go via Libourne, where the big bridge was blocked. Crossing at the next bridge upstream took me into the heart of ‘vignobles’ country, passing near St Emilion on tiny roads, all bathed in glorious 18-degree sunshine).

    With luck my last leg to the Channel today will be a bit less ‘interesting’.

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