The Times have released a new YouGov poll of party members – the report is here and the tables here.

Theresa May’s time is essentially up. Party members are normally the loyalist of the loyal, but even here there are few good words to be said. Only 20% of her own members think she is doing well and 79% think she should resign. Asked about her record, 25% of Tory party members think she has been a poor Prime Minister, 38% a terrible Prime Minister.

Let us therefore move swiftly onto her replacement. The obvious frontrunner with party members remains Boris Johnson. He is seen as a good leader by 64% to 31%, and is the first choice of 39% of party members, easily ahead of his rivals. He has the highest positive ratings on every measure YouGov asked about – 77% of party members think he has a likeable personality, 70% that he would be able to win a general election, 69% that he shares their outlook, 67% that he is up to the job, 69% that he would be a strong leader, 61% that he would be competent.

Johnson is very clearly in pole position – yet in past Conservative leadership elections the clear early frontrunner has not necessarily gone on to win (and indeed, there is no guarantee that Johnson will even reach the final round or get to be voted on by party members). One can recall the time when Michael Portillo was the obvious frontrunner to succeed William Hague, or David Davis the obvious frontrunner to succeed Michael Howard.

Looking at the rest of the field, Dominic Raab is in second place in first preferences on 13%. As the other candidate to have resigned from the cabinet – and likely to be see as a “true Brexiteer” by members – he comes closest to Johnson in the head-to-head match ups and beats ever other candidate in head-to-head figures. Considering he has a substantially lower profile than Johnson, it is a positive finding.

Of the Brexiteers in the cabinet, Michael Gove is the second best known candidate after Johnson, but polls badly on many counts. While most see him as competent and up to the job, he is not seen as capable of winning an election or having a likeable personality. Andrea Leadsom is seen as likeable, but not as an election winner. Penny Mordaunt receives high don’t know figures on most scores.

Looking at the candidates who backed Remain in the referendum, Sajid Javid seems best placed candidate from that wing of the party. In first preferences he is in joint third with Michael Gove, and in the head to head scores he would beat Hunt, Hancock, Mordaunt or Stewart (and tie with Leadsom). He scores well on being likeable, competent and up to the job, but his figures are more mixed on being seen as an election winner.

These are, of course, only the opinions of party members. While they will have the final say, they do not get a say on who makes the shortlist. That is down to MPs, and as things stand there is very scant information on who is doing well or badly among that electorate.


955 Responses to “YouGov polling of Tory party members”

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  1. Poll alert – they’re coming thick and fast now. It’s one of those new fangled ones.

    Westminster voting intention:

    LAB: 30% (-10)
    CON: 21% (-10)
    BREX: 19% (+19)
    LDEM: 13% (+5)
    CHUK: 6% (+6)
    GRN 5% (-)
    UKIP: 2% (-6)

    via @HanburyStrategy, 9 – 13 May Chgs. w/ 8 Apr

    European Parliament voting intention:

    BREX: 30% (+20)
    LAB: 25% (-13)
    LDEM: 14% (+6)
    CON: 13% (-10)
    CHUK: 6% (+2)
    GRN: 6% (+2)
    UKIP: 3% (-5)

    via @HanburyStrategy, 10 – 13 May Chgs. w/ 8 Apr

    This falls very much in line with ComRes, very far away from YouGov.

  2. These are interesting figures indeed.

    It will be interesting to watch the Stop Johnson campaigns unfold, whether it will prevent him being on the final two I’m not sure. I understand he isn’t popular with Parliamentary colleagues?

  3. @ JiB

    “whether it will prevent him being on the final two”

    If the Tory membership are angry now (and I suspect they are), just imagine how they’ll react if they’re presented with a choice of two non-Boris candidates.

  4. The Hanbury poll is interesting comparing the Euro and westminster. Lib Dem figure is not much different in the two yet Labour is 5 less. I thought Lab voters were switching to the LibDems for a one off in the Euro poll yet this poll does not support this. Unless in this poll some Labour and LD for Westminster are switching to the Brexit party.

  5. @Trigguy

    I do suspect he will struggle to make the final two cut.

    I think the membership would expect a true Brexiteer to make it through. I’m sure both candidates will be very heavily scrutinised on their Brexit credentials to avoid another Technocratic Bot.

  6. I’m intrigued that YG have Scots Tory members as 7% of the GB membership.

    Given that the Tories are very secretive about their membership numbers, how on earth can they make such a calculation?

  7. Hanbury is a day older than Ipsos Mori and YouGov and things are changing quite quickly..

  8. “That is down to MPs, and as things stand there is very scant information on who is doing well or badly among that electorate.” (AW)

    If other Tory MPs have the consistency of D Mundell, then their choice of which candidates to present to the Tory faithful may be determined by a degree of self-interest.

    https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-vicar-of-braying/

  9. @trigguy

    Hanbury’s EU polling is pretty close to the average on most parties – though the most favourable to Labour. (As a polling company with Conservative founders, probably honestly so)

    Hanbury tables: https://hanburystrategycloud.filecloudonline.com/ui/core/index.html?mode=single&path=/SHARED/data/xicUHcc7jpv9OXje

    One obvious issue with their poll: they don’t have a column for Plaid, and also have 0% other in their Welsh subsample. So they’re predicting no EU votes at all for Plaid in Wales, which suggests they’ve messed up something somewhere… (they have 7% missing from the Welsh totals in the GE poll, but that still seems very low for PC) – I might leave this one out of my polling model, especially since it doesn’t make much difference to the averages to include it.

    It’s got a nice illustration of Anthony’s comments on “would you be more likely to X if Y” questions on page 29, because it breaks out responses by current GE and EU VI. 65% of people who are already intending to vote for Labour in a GE, and 69% of those intending to vote for Labour in the EU, say that they would be “more likely” to vote Labour if it committed to a second referendum. More likely that “already going to” – most of them “much more likely” – right.

    And on page 30, 8% of Brexit GE voters and 11% of Brexit EU voters claim they would be more likely to vote for a “Remain Alliance” EU slate if it existed, which it doesn’t. I don’t know if they’re being very strange “well, we would vote Remain if they were more organised”, or just interpreting the question literally and pointing out that of course they’d be more likely to vote for an alliance which existed than one which didn’t, though they still wouldn’t actually do so.

  10. What is so surprising about this poll of Tory party members is how out-of-touch they are with the average UK voter.

    70% of them consider that Boris Johnson would be able to win a GE, 69% that he shares their outlook, and 61% think he is competent. Do they not know or remember that he condemned a kind young mother to long-term imprisonment in Iran because of his foolish remarks and sheer ignorance?

    Do they not see a warning sign in Boris having to be persuaded to stay away from the SCON annual conference a fortnight ago, because he would be such a vote loser? And what about the attitudes and positions held by his close family members, surely signs of his bad trays in cooperative endeavours and over-the-top ambition.

    As for thinking Andrea Leadson is likeable but Michael Gove not, it will be interesting to have polling on this from all the UK public.

  11. trays = traits. My forgetting to watch the auto-correct.

  12. I just put some small change down on Raab and Gove (winning either way as they were good odds) on the basis I can’t help feeling that Johnson won’t get enough support among MPs to make the last two unless under pressure from their associations. I also think there will be one brexiter and one soft brexit/remainish/sensible candidate among the final two but who gets eliminated at what stage means it is unpredictable which strong leaver it will be.

    Tory party has a habit of being pragmatic but I don’t think the members will be this time even if the MPs are.

    Could do with a Trevor Warne detailed analysis though :-)

  13. @Statgeek , @cim, @theexterminatingdalek, @Imperium3, @GARJ, @Trevorwarne, thank you and bless you for taking the time to reply in detail to my questions in the last thread. I hope I missed no one. If I did, please forgive me.

    For the curious, I was asking inter alia about any polling or extra polling insight into likely turnout for these European Elections.

    I also mooted the Conservative Party and Labour may wish to commission serious polling on whether ‘If there is a Westminster election no later than September 2019, that people are more likely to stick with VI at May European vote than if we get past 2020 local elections before any General Election’.
    If the people polled suggest that they will for the next few months stick with their VI for European and roll into Westminster and if Brexit Party and Lib Dems take over 50% of vote on reasonable turnout at this European election, then it may be really unwise for the market leader two parties to go for a General Election this year.
    Polling may serve them well on this. It would fascinate me.

  14. I think that the Farage and Trump factor may impact the Tory party leadership and VI of members and perchance MPs.

    The Brexit Party may over time implode like UKIP who never managed to keep the elected MEPs or AMs from defecting. But in the very short term, they may hold their polling VI over the summer and up to even October 31st.
    They may need a Winter to implode or next year locals. Then again based on Willenhall and other recent rallies, Farage’s team are getting organised and much higher calibre.

    There is another scenario though and that is that unlike any mainstream UK party leader before in history, that Farage can be alongside President Trump actively campaigning in his re-election campaign getting wall to wall TV and online media throughout 2020.
    If Trump wins and Farage is there on Tuesday 3rd November 2020 at the Whitehouse then it could outflank normal UK Westminster and Whitehall and media bubble control.
    It could trump the well financed well staffed two party machinery supported by BBC TV and newspaper titles has ensured two party stability (or if you prefer closed shop monopoly).
    That is if Farage can build and keep a well financed local constituency level activist base. Further if Farage can keep his MEPs on board as well as any MP by elections wins such as Peterborough.
    If there is no General Election before the 2020 local elections, then I think the Brexit Party have to perform big there to avoid becoming the UKIP reborn in Westminster elections failure to win seats. But the Trump factor in November 2020 could defy even this need.
    The Trump factor could magnetise finance, credibility (meeting other international government leaders as a conduit to Trump), and may tip hardened Tory and Leave Labour activists to come in and organise Farage’s air war power with a real ground war game he has never really had in the past.
    In any event whether the potential Tory leader candidates pitch they can work with Trump and Farage, or go to war with one or both, may be the decisive factor.
    If Trump or Farage tweet support for a candidate, it could be a gamechanger. Interesting times.

  15. J S-B

    Revolutions in voting habits are unusual, but they do happen (as anyone in Scotland knows!)

    I think you are probably correct with ” it may be really unwise for the market leader two parties to go for a General Election this year”, but (if the behaviour of their equivalents here is anything to go by, they’ll just consider it a temporary aberration, and be convinced that “voters will come back to their senses and return to voting for us”).

    They could be right or deluded, but only actual elections will confirm which (hint – the Scots leaders of the old established parties got that terribly wrong).

  16. Probably the final two in a Tory party leadership contest will be a rather slippery soft leaver/”compromise candidate” vs a hard brexiteer.

    Probably not Boris – he’s just too divisive.

  17. Boris, Raab, Gove, Javid, Leadsom, Priti Patel and Liam Fox may need to seek the endorsement of President Trump and Farage to win the Conservative leadership also known as Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
    Usually American Presidents would be on the fence, but this time different story.
    One Trump tweet could swing undecided MPs and party members.
    No matter who The Lib Dem leader, they will not be on stage with President Trump and world leaders. They will not have newspaper support. They will have to use leader TV debates well in the General Election. Other than that at Westminster they may be somewhere between 2015 and 2010 General Elections no matter present momentum.

    I assume that Change UK likely vote next week will finish them because even with stardust TV MPs and big finance, they will not get the votes at the European elections to meet Ofcom rules on TV and radio media coverage during General election campaign.

    The biggest wins for Brexit Party, Lib Dems and maybe the Greens is that the European election results, if in line with VI in recent polls, will guarantee them a place in prime time leadership debates. UKIP will on present polls lose this even if they still exist.

    Once Change UK get this fatal failure for General Election coverage, their MPs may have to join Lib Dems on individual basis and not as a group deal. None of them will be leader voted for by Lib Dem members, even if they are allowed to run. If they upstage the Lib Dem leader and go against Lib Dem conference policy, then Lib Dems may have splits. Fairly unusual in public.

  18. Britain Elects
    ?

    @britainelects
    4m
    4 minutes ago

    More
    European Parliament voting intention:

    BREX: 30% (-)
    LAB: 24% (-)
    CON: 14% (+2)
    LDEM: 12% (+1)
    GRN: 4% (-2)
    UKIP: 3% (-1)
    CHUK: 3% (-1)

    via @Survation, 17 May
    Chgs. w/ 9 May

    Some very different Lib Dem/ Labour figures between different polling companies…

  19. CONSERVATIVE MEMBERS POLL ALERT:

    “The Times this morning has updated YouGov polling of Conservative party members, now that the final list of candidates is known and ahead of the first MP’s vote today….

    Asked their first preference Theresa May has the support of the majority of members, with 54% support compared to 20% for Leadsom, 9% for Gove, 5% for Crabb and 5% for Fox. ……..In head-to-head contests May beats all comers with ease, but it is again Leadsom who comes closest. In a May-v-Leadsom final round May would win by 32 points,….”

    That was from AW on UKPR on 5th July 2016, and just goes to show how completely, utterly barking mad Tory members are. Yes indeed they might today think Boris has the skills for the job of PM, and in three years time we’ll again be going through this farce.

    Indeed, as with my post on the last thread about Nick Timothy, Con MPs were in the end unanimous that May was the perfect candidate. None of the party factions backing her as ‘their man’ ever stopped to ponder how come the other factions were also backing her and saying that she was their man. And now they’re surprised at the result?

  20. Oldnat,

    It may be they didn’t weight loss t and it just turned out to be 7% as they don’t tend to weight cross breaks.

    The Tory vote in Scotland was about 6% of the total vote!

    Peter.

  21. Hey Trigguy. SNP must be ahead of UKIP in GB polling. Not sure why you didn’t include SNP in your figures. Do you have any more info?

  22. I think rosettes should be handed out to Prime Minister May and Opposition Leader Corbyn for taking their respective parties into uncharted territories.

    Ms May for taking the oldest political party in the UK from majority status in 2017 to minor, even fringe, Party status in some UK regions in 2019. That must be some kind of record.

    Based on YouGov’s latest polling Corbyn should receive runner up status for finishing off Labour’s stature in Scotland to that of a fringe Party there also.

    They will join the French Socialists who in the EU elections are now set to obtain 5 seats, one less than the French Greens and the German Social Democrats who are set to obtain 15 seats in the European Parliament compared to the German Greens 19.

    Very similar things are happening to the New Democrat Party (Labour) and Prime Minister Trudeau’s Liberals in Canada, where in a recent federal by-election it was the Greens who obtained 37.3%, the Conservatives 24.5%, the NDP 23% ( they had held the seat for as long as memory can remember), and the Liberals obtained 11%.

    So I am not trying to take the mickey out of your European elections, just observing that the potential for a seismic shift is starting to happen in western democracies in 2019.

    On Prince Edward Island, our smallest province, the Greens went from 1 seat in 2015 to 8 in 2019, 10.8% to 30.6% of the vote, where Parties other than Liberal and Conservative had only elected one MLA to the 27 seat Legislature once since 1875, in 1996 and then a Green in 2015.

  23. Same question about mysterious omission of SNP to Richard

  24. @Aldo

    They’re just regurgitating Twitter postings, and the Britain elects et al, don’t tend to include the SNP. They think that’s a far away place where there be dragons.

    @AW / All

    Boris for PM? Indyref 2 might not be too far away, one way or the other.

  25. Peter Cairns

    The Scots crossbreak was just an example. I find YG’s weighting of these Tory members “unusual” in many respects,

    They down-weighted the Scots respondents from 67 to 63 while upweighting those in the North of England from 153 to 167. The over 65s were down weighted from 407 to 333, while the 18-49s (that’s an illuminating age range in itself!) from 254 to 364, The other age group was 50-64 – down weighted from 197 to 161.

    I just don’t believe that YG actually has the data to be able to weight any of these categories with any degree of accuracy.

  26. My new phones predictive text is just weird!

    Peter.

  27. Peter Cairns

    I guessed that the odd phrasing was a result of the failure of modern technology.

    Mind you the old technology of the BBC employing Mentorn to produce a random set of Tory councillors, officials and ex-MSPs as “representative” of Moray to appear on QT, leads to an even more meaningless result.

  28. An interesting example today of the authorities being aware of the possibility of copycat behaviour, and taking steps to minimise the risk.

    When Farage came to Edinburgh, to charge £2.50 to anyone fool enough to give him even more cash, Police Scotland asked the neighbouring McDonalds not to sell milkshakes until the bampot had left town.

  29. So on most recent polls of the likely result of the giant opinion poll that is the EP elections we have a 3 way split:

    third for hard Brexit BXP+UKIP
    just under a third for unequivocal remain/ref 2 (although some Green, PC and SNP may be for Brexit but put their main cause first)
    Finally just over a third for Lab+Con which can’t be assigned clearly to either camp, either because such voters put other issues ahead of Brexit or because they view one of these parties as really being on their side of the divide.

    so a 1/3. 1/3, 1/3 outcome within a few % either way gives no signal to Westminster, although seat count will be used to try to suggest it does.

  30. @Aldo

    SNP is TBA

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_European_Parliament_election_in_the_United_Kingdom

    Looking at that table we huge divergence in the Labour/Lib Dem/ Green vote between pollsters.

    It will be interesting to see if we see herding as the day approaches, or if we are finally going to see which polling company produces accurate results.

    It does make prediction time harder, as you need to decide which pollster is getting it right.

    In the last week or so we have had 7 polls

    Brexit – 27-35
    Lab – 15 to 25
    Cons – 9 to 15
    LD – 12 to 19
    Green – 4 to 10
    CHUK – 3-6
    SNP – 3 to 4

    And for anyone trying to figure out how to tactically vote for that last seat…may as well toss a coin.

  31. @ALDO

    I suspect the answer for the SNP’s regular omission in polling breakdowns is rather duller than some others would like to make out.

    In terms of a GB poll it’s almost misleading to quote an exact figure for the SNP because pretty much whatever happens it will be either 3% or 4%. To quote it and ascribe variance to any change when most polls don’t even have a properly weighted Scottish sample would be absurd. Random variation would show SNP support rising and falling (within a tiny overall UK margin) with no relation to the reality of changing opinion in Scotland. Only a genuine Scottish poll can give useful insight to that.

  32. avwel
    “Do they not know or remember that he [Boris] condemned a kind young mother to long-term imprisonment in Iran because of his foolish remarks and sheer ignorance?”

    I don’t suppose many voters do, which is more important than Tory members’ memories when it comes to who should win an election. Though I do share some of your reservations.
    —————————————-
    Shevii
    “I can’t help feeling that Johnson won’t get enough support among MPs to make the last two unless under pressure from their associations.”

    I should imagine that they will be.
    ——————————-
    Jonathan Stuart Brown
    “That is if Farage can build and keep a well financed local constituency level activist base. ”

    I am fairly well in touch with this, and AFAIK there is no real ground operation yet in the sense of branches etc. Not too surprising in view of the fact that they only started about a month ago (this must be the most meteoric rise of any new party ever). UKIP did/do have a network of branches and I expect TBP to take some of these over, or at least the key personnel, quite soon.
    —————————-
    ON
    “They could be right or deluded, but only actual elections will confirm which (hint – the Scots leaders of the old established parties got that terribly wrong).”

    Nice to be able to agree with you again. This could be a real sea-change in UK politics, particularly in E&W.
    —————————–
    JSB
    “One Trump tweet could swing undecided MPs and party members.”

    But which way?

  33. @EoR

    That’s the official, sensible reason. Not likely, if you consider this:

    GRN: 4% (-2)
    UKIP: 3% (-1)
    CHUK: 3% (-1)

    In addition it is lazy reporting. Can’t people handle a decimal point? The SNP on 3% would be around 26% (not likely). 4% would be 35% ish, and more in line with what we see. The only thing more lazy is to take the SNP and lump it with PC, especially when the PC VI comes from a region called “Midlands (both of them) and Wales”.

    The more likely reason is because England doesn’t vote for the SNP (no PC either). It’s called Othering. See the tabs on any GB poll. Fine if it’s an England poll, but GB polls should mention all the major parties.

    UKIP on 3% and no seats getting a mention, but the SNP on similar % and 40-55 seats if polls are accurate are othered.

    Now people can get shirty about Scots being chippy, or they can drop into logical polling mode and treat all parties with equal value. This is far more important with no party likely to be above 30% at current polling. I’ve always been a proponent of inclusive polling, unless there are really good reasons to exclude. Can’t remember my old rule of thumb for my charts, but I think it was:

    – Has a seat in the HoC
    – Has polled at 5% or greater for the past 5 polls or more.

    This would put Green and SNP in, and UKIP and ChUK would have to poll at 5% or more consistently. Strangely, they get more media attention than the 35-55 seat SNP. The only reason can be because England’s electorate gets a vote with UKIP/ChUK.

    The Brexit Party has been getting more General Election poll attention, and they haven’t seen an election yet! Fair enough regarding the EU polls, but GE polls? By its definition it will be a pointless party if Brexit happens or gets cancelled, so shouldn’t be getting included in GE polling.

    #SighsAtLondonMedia
    #SighsAtLazyPolling

    P.S. – Just discovered that some links in the Wiki list of polls for the next GE just go to Tweets, with no tabs in Tweet available. Egads!

  34. @eor and @statgeek

    It is also surely misleading to include a GB figure for “Greens” as there is no GB Green party.

  35. @Oldnat

    “When Farage came to Edinburgh, to charge £2.50 to anyone fool enough to give him even more cash, Police Scotland asked the neighbouring McDonalds not to sell milkshakes until the bampot had left town.”

    Bampot or not, I did predict at the tail end of last year that Farage would appear like a Phoenix.

    The wind is again in the sails of the Brexit campaign, and the dead hand of May and her duplicitous cronies are

  36. …. Being prised from the tiller.

  37. @JiB
    I fear that the ‘Brexit has only failed due to duplicitous Remainers’ meme has a way to run yet, but will crash into the brick wall of reality about six months after BoJo becomes PM… and taking the rest of us with it… :-(

  38. @Bigfatron

    Let’s wait and see. At least the cause of Brexit isn’t fighting with one hand tied behind its back because of Theresa May.

    I still say we will end up signing the withdrawal agreement in a pretty similar form to now.

    However, the Brexiteers have relit the flare light that shines the light on the duplicitous Remainers inching forwards to destroy Brexit with delay, obfuscating tactics and downright duplicitousness.

  39. Canada – I am no Corbyn Acolyte but maybe you are not aware that at the 2015 GE Labour were reduced to 1 MP in Scotland. They actually recovered a little ground in 2017 gaining 6 seats and whilst current OPs and cross breaks suggest a fall back to 1-3 or even zero it would be unfair to ascribe this to Corbyn as Labour; also the result in the GE when it occurs may be different to current support suggests.

  40. I’ve always assumed that Green Party of England and Wales and the Scottish Greens were combined in the polling figures, it’s that wrong?

  41. @Canada

    It would I think be a bit hard to blame Labour’s losses in Scotland on Corbyn, when the breakthrough election for the SNP (in which they won all but one seat) was in May 2015 and Corbyn was only elected Labour leader in September 2015

    The most he can be blamed for – and arguably this also sits more with the local Labour party representatives in Scotland, given the levels of devolution there – is not being able to reverse that.

    May likewise I think you’re being a bit harsh to, though not as much. In the 2014 EU elections, the Conservatives fell from 26 seats and first place to 19 seats and third place, losing their seats in NE England [1] but retaining at least one elsewhere. The last time the Conservatives won a substantial GE majority was 1987 – May might have had the misfortune to be in office for the two years 2017-2019 that their problems were maturing, but 1987-2017 saw all those things growing, and it would have taken someone of implausible stature to turn that around in the last two years.

    In the rest of England and in Wales their current EU polling should see them mostly retain one seat per region, and the current GE polling would generally see them hang on to more seats than the Conservatives had after the 1997 general election. They’re in trouble, but their problems are long-term not short-term.

    [1] And if you want to blame a Conservative PM for their performance in NE England, that really has to be Thatcher.

    @statgeek

    A pretty good argument for including BREX in General Election polling – regardless of what you personally think their long-term chances are – is that those companies that *don’t* prompt for them are still recording >10% GE VI for them. Putting that under an undifferentiated “Other” would be very misleading.

    For the SNP and PC I think the sensible thing to do would be to report
    SNP: 3% (35% in Scotland)
    … the regional crossbreaks aren’t very reliable but it’s a bit more use.

  42. Exit polls suggest Australia moving to the left.

    Spain, Australia – has the global march rightwards since 2007 started to unwind?

  43. @Jim jam – I am sure that the results of the EU elections will be interpreted in the light of people’s pre-existing prejudices. The resulting mix of conflicting interpretations will confuse any message, so in this respect you are right.

    The question is whether there will be a message which the parties ‘ought to draw’. As far as I can see, the conservatives are losing support very heavily to Brexit and the result is that their remaining support is more or less evenly split between remain and leave. The obvious strategy for them is to move right and try and get their old supporters back, even to the extent of striking a deal with Farage.

    By contrast Labour has been losing support to both Brexit and remain parties. As Labour support has always been predominantly remain its losses to lib dems and greens have been numerically much greater. Proportionally, however, this loss has so far been about equal so that those intending to vote labour are still predominantly remainers.

    The danger is that the existing remainer base will continue to defect as the Greens in particular start to look as though they might actually get candidates elected. I know a number of life-long Labour voters who are intending to vote Green in the possibly naïve belief that this will send some kind of message to the leadership which it will hear.

    This being the case I don’t think that for real analysis you should treat Labour and conservative VI for EU elections as split 50/50 for remain and Leave. At present I guess Labour VI is 75 remain 25 leave but the conservative VI (as per BFR) is probably 50/50. In my view Labour has to move to a much clearer remain position but maintain its democratic credential by offering a people’s vote. (Analysis in keeping with my prejudices!)

  44. First exit poll in Australia giving Labor a 4% lead over the governing Liberals (52-48). 52;48 rings a bell, doesn’t it? Isn’t that the biggest mandate in electoral history, especially when everybody is obliged to vote? Talking of compulsory voting, I love the fact that you get a free sausage as a reward for casting your vote. 16 million Aussie sausages being distributed as we speak!

    Talking of Aussie politics, I was sad to hear about the recent death of Bob Hawke. I’m an Aussiephile and have visited the country many times over the last 20 years. I was never there when Hawke was PM, but his legacy and popularity were self-evident and enduring. Cigar smoking, cricket loving social democrat. My kind of politician!

    Bob RIP. A Labor victory today would be a wonderful send off for the old boy too.

    P.S. Spain, probably Australia and Denmark too. Come on Jezza, what are you playing at??

    :-)

  45. @ Alec

    On Australia elections, ABC’s political expert doesn’t agree with your early analysis of the count so far:

    Analysis from Antony Green:

    Looking at overall figures with 10 per cent of the vote counted, what’s interesting is, based on projected figures, at the moment it doesn’t look like the opinion polls — polls were reporting 52 per cent for Labor, 48 per cent for the Coalition. Well, everything we’ve got at the moment is reverse of that.

  46. An electoral pact between the Tories and Brex must surely be odds on for the next GE?

    I would be interested to know the optimal format for such a deal and how many seats it might result in given current average polling.

    Anyone care to speculate?

  47. @ Charles

    “The danger is that the existing remainer base will continue to defect as the Greens in particular start to look as though they might actually get candidates elected. I know a number of life-long Labour voters who are intending to vote Green in the possibly naïve belief that this will send some kind of message to the leadership which it will hear.”

    The more fool them. I did exactly that and naively voted Green at the EU elections in the NW England region in 2009; the consequence of vote-splitting to a minor party was to allow Nick Griffin of the BNP to be elected. Under the d’Hondt system, it is ill-advised to vote for any party that does not have on pre-election polling at least approximately 80/(N+1) % of the vote share, where N is the number of seats allocated to that region. The consequence is a wasted vote, and allowing a candidate from another party one actively dislikes to be elected.

    If one supports Brexit, the obvious party to choose is TBP in all GB regions.

    If opposed to Brexit:
    a) in London and SE England, which have 8 and 10 seats respectively, a vote for the LDs/Greens may result in them being elected.
    b) in the rest of England, it would be advisable to vote Labour, and avoid the Greens/LDs/Chuk.
    c) in Scotland/Wales, a vote for the SNP/PC respectively would be the best option.

  48. DANNY (fpt)
    Theexterminatingdalek,
    “Now that is interesting, because I think it (revoke) a better option for them than a referendum.

    “Granted, my thinking reflects my view that a leave result would in the end see them destroyed, but I also see revoke as spinable as only a postponement, and better for leave voters than a referendum vote to remain.”

    Depends on whether the EU will be prepared to allow it to be spun as temporary, in a battle for competence between the EU and brexit Britain I know who I’d expect to win. Also doubt they could start the process over without another referendum, which would be an extra means of kicking them when they’re down if they’ve admitted defeat already through revoking.

    My hunch is that they will do what it takes to cling to power, and the least dangerous way must surely be another referendum under a hard brexit leader for hard leave or remain, giving them three years to steady the ship before they offer themselves for re-election.

    Like you I think we’ll end up remaining, we just disagree on the level of intrigue, competence, forward planning behind the scenes and the means of getting there.

  49. For a polling site it is interesting just how little comment there has been on the, perhaps unprecedented, discrepancy between yougov and the other polling companies.

    Since the locals we have had two yougov EU polls that have put Labour at 15% and 16% with higher figures fairly evenly spread between all other parties except for the Conservatives who yougov also show considerably lower.

    Taking that 15.5% percent “average” vote for Labour. on yougov, the Labour average of all the other polls since the locals is 24.5%. So Yougov is showing the Labour vote to be 1/3rd lower and I don’t think we have ever before seen such a huge difference between polling companies even in 2017.

    It would be interesting for someone to tell me just why yougov is so different- either because of methodology or their sample.

    Yougov is either going to become the new gold standard or horribly embarrassed like ICM were in 2017. I’m not ruling them out being right but so many other companies are saying a totally different thing.

  50. Tony Abbott looks like he is going to lose his seat to an Independent candidate!

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