There are two new bits of YouGov polling today. First up is the regular Welsh political barometer. The usual caveats apply about it being just one poll, but it shows Labour support perking up in Wales since Jeremy Corbyn’s election – Westminster voting intentions with changes from last month are CON 26%(-2), LAB 42%(+5), LDEM 5%(+1), Plaid 10%(-2), UKIP 16%(+1).

Assembly voting intentions are CON 23%, LAB 39%, LDEM 6%, Plaid 18%, UKIP 13% for the constituencies, CON 24%, LAB 34%, LDEM 5%, Plaid 18%, UKIP 14% for the regional vote. Roger Scully’s commentary is over on the Elections in Wales blog here and has an Assembly seat projection of 29 seats for Labour, 12 for the Tories, 10 Plaid, 8 UKIP and one for the Lib Dems.

The Times also has some YouGov national polling, showing the Leave campaign narrowly ahead in their EU referendum polling – REMAIN 38%, LEAVE 40%. This is the first time YouGov have asked the question using the new referendum question, so some of the shift might be due to that (I discussed here how asking the question as Remain vs Leave seems to produce figures that are better for those who wish to leave than asking it as Yes vs No), but nevertheless it’s the first time since November that YouGov have shown LEAVE ahead. Tables are here.

142 Responses to “Latest YouGov Welsh and EU figures”

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  1. So two Scottish by-elections in the offing both of which are SNP-LD battles?

    I looked up Michelle Thompson’s majority and it was only 3210.

    Her problem appears to be much more serious than Carmichael’s.

    I understand that the scheme went like this: You have some desperate seller who wants to sell for a knock down price – say £100k. Ms Thompson wants to buy the property but the mortgage lender insists on a 20% deposit. But she wants a 100% mortgage.

    So she arranges for a third party to buy the property for £100k. They then sell it to Ms Thompson the same day for £125k, but then return the £25k to her immediately. To the mortgage lender it looks like Ms Thompson is buying for £125k with a £25k deposit but it’s really a 100% mortgage for £100k with the scheme facilitated by a dodgy solicitor handling the chain.

    The lender thinks they are complying with the new mortgage rules, but that’s not the case.

    I understand she did this 13 times using the same solicitor. The solicitor is being investigated because he’s breached his duties under law,

    Don’t know if she’s broken the law – unless the mortgage company decides to sue for a misleading them about much they were lending. It’s definitely not in the spirit of the law though. The new mortgage rules were brought in to prevent future crashes due to over lending…

  2. @Candy

    “The new mortgage rules were brought in to prevent future crashes due to over lending…”

    That makes it rather worrying that they can be cheated so easily…

  3. @Candy

    “Her problem appears to be much more serious than Carmichael’s. ”

    I dunno about that. Carmichael’s, I think, appears less serious because we’re used to politicians fibbing their a*ses off, but it is a very serious case.

  4. @Anarchists Unite

    The rules all depend on the solicitors being honest. And most are. It’s just in this case a Member of Parliament managed to find herself one who is dodgy.

    As to whether this is more serious than the Carmichael case – Problems with money always trump problems with fibs or problems with sex.

  5. @peteb

    I agree with your first superficial reading about Greens -> Labour. It would fit with the polls we’ve seen and what we’d expect.

    I think the UKIP bounce is more about the refugee crisis i.e. immigration concerns. I know the Tories didn’t cause it but usually government gets the blame when Britain is affected. The EU also gets blame which gives UKIP a boost. It’s hard to imagine the nuclear power station thing as a reason to switch from Conservatives to UKIP.. but, perhaps.

    More generally. As I understand it, government wants to get the most unpopular stuff out of the way first. Like cuts to tax credits and so on. So we’re due for a Conservative dip in the polls at any rate.

  6. Omni
    Thanks for that. Your theory sounds more plausible than mine. Let’s hope the government is saving up some goodies for just before the next election (assumimg I’m still alive).

  7. @Candy

    “The rules all depend on the solicitors being honest. And most are. It’s just in this case a Member of Parliament managed to find herself one who is dodgy. As to whether this is more serious than the Carmichael case – Problems with money always trump problems with fibs or problems with sex.”

    Call me cynical, but I suspect that once a loophole is known people will make use of it. Particularly if there’s an opportunity to make money. ‘Solicitors’ and ‘honest’ are not two words I’d normally run together ;)

    As to the seriousness – that might be how its seen, but It don’t think it should be. I suspect that the relative aspect of it probably has more to do with one case being recent and then other has been going on for a while.

  8. @peteb

    If they manage to follow the deficit reduction plan over this parliament, we’ll be in surplus by 2020 and Osborne (or whoever) will be able to do some serious shopping without breaking the bank.

  9. @Candy

    The solicitor was struck off because he didn’t inform the mortgage company that the seller had owned the property for less than six months.

    The trick only works if the property is over valued, in your example a property valued at £125k would have to have been sold for 100k. So the mortgage is an 80% LTV mortgage. Of course there’s a question; Is that the property’s true value given that the buyer got it for 100k?

    The trick does seem to be a bit dodgy whether it’s criminal and whether Thomson did anything wrong will come out in the investigation.

  10. @Couper2802.

    The true value of the property in the example is £100k. The third party would buy the property for £100k and sell it immediately for £125k returning the £25k.

    It’s the returning the £25k bit that indicates intention to deceive the lender to get what is effectively a 100% mortgage.

    In a normal case of property prices going up, the person who bought for £100k and sold for £125k would keep the profit, they wouldn’t refund it.

    Also disingenuous to blame the solicitor alone given that Ms Thompson was the prime beneficiary of the scheme not him. Unless of course she paid him a kick-back – that would constitute bribing someone to break the law…

  11. The decision on the Carmichael case is slightly surprising, the judiciary normally try to avoid this sort of involvement as much as possible. But equally the argument that statements made by a candidate about themself are automatically exempt was also very weak. You can imagine someone misrepresenting their relevant experience or qualifications for example – and that would certainly not be in the spirit of the law. The fault may have been in trying to get too wide an opt-out.

    That said, I still think it will be very difficult to get the election nullified. The offence has to be bad enough that it can be shown to have affected the result of the election. From memory in the Woolas case it was made clear that the size of the majority was important. In other words enough voters had to be swayed by the lies for the result to be altered.

    Now in Oldham East Woolas’s majority was only 103 – 0.2% of those voting. In Orkney and Shetland however the majority was 817, 3.6% of the vote. In some way the percentages are the more important statistic – if say 1% of the voters were affected by the incorrect personal information, then that would have produced a different MP in Oldham but not in O&S.

  12. Roger Mexico

    “The offence has to be bad enough that it can be shown to have affected the result of the election.”

    You’ll have to remind me. What section of RPA 1983 specifies that?

  13. @Candy

    But that is impossible because mortgage companies do not lend without a valuation so unless the surveyor was also in on the scheme then the property must have been valued at 125k.

    The solicitor is the one who has been struck off, so he is being blamed. Ms Thomson, is not even under investigation at the moment.

  14. Roger Mexico

    You may care to note Peat Worrier’s tweet (from 12 minutes ago)

    “Nor did the judges have to consider whether his fibs had a material effect on the outcome of the Orkney and Shetland vote. Complete guff.”

  15. Roger Mexico

    It seems that Peat Worrier wasn’t referring to you as peddling “complete guff” (or at least, not just you :-) )

    The tweet I quoted followed this one –

    “Inexplicably, Reevel Alderson’s summary of the Carmichael legal arguments & opinion on BBC #Scotland2015 tonight was almost entirely wrong.”

  16. @Candy

    “Problems with money always trump problems with fibs or problems with sex.”

    Rifkind wouldn’t agree.

  17. What an odd organisation the Labour Party seems to be!

    Few voted for a debate on Trident – so no such debate happened. Fair enough. That was the democratic decision.

    Then they voted to endorse a policy which committed them to full replacement of Trident, without any debate at all – probably because no delegates could be bothered to read what they were endorsing.

  18. OLDNAT

    What section of RPA 1983 specifies that?

    Well I said I was working from memory, though I haven’t found the details in the O&S judgment yet. But I have take the chance to look at Section 106 of the Act under which the case is being brought:

    106.-(1) A person who, or any director of any body or
    association corporate which-
    (a) before or during an election,
    (b) for the purpose of affecting the return of any candidate
    at the election,
    makes or publishes any false statement of fact in relation to the
    candidate’s personal character or conduct shall be guilty of an
    illegal practice, unless he can show that he had reasonable
    grounds for believing, and did believe, the statement to, be true.
    (2) A candidate shall not be liable nor shall his election be
    avoided for any illegal practice under subsection (1) above
    committed by his agent other than his election agent unless-
    (a) it can be shown that the candidate or his election agent
    has authorised or consented to the committing of the
    illegal practice by the other agent or has paid for the
    circulation of the false statement constituting the illegal
    practice ; or
    (b) an election court find and report that the election of the
    candidate was procured or materially assisted in consequence
    of the making or publishing of such false

    It looks to me that this means that the majority can be important, but only in a case where the false statement is made without the proven consent of the candidate or agent. So either deliberate misrepresentation of a candidate by another (or their agent) or something that made a difference to who got elected, means that the contest is rerun.

    This is a bit odd if you think about it, because it seems to imply if, say, a Labour MP in an ultra-safe seat says that their BNP opponent is a racist, then they could lose their seat and a fresh election be called, even though the BNP guy was always only going to get 1%. Equally a third party slandering someone could result in the winner having to go through it all again, no matter how innocent of the crime they were.

    I do however wonder if the wording “for the purpose of affecting the return of any candidate at the election” might be interpreted as implying that the ‘affecting’ has to be plausible. In other words the illegal action has to have an effect.

  19. On other Scottish matters, what’s slightly odd about the Michelle Thompson story is that solicitor was struck off in May 2014, but they only seem to be looking to see if any crime was committed now. Which seems a bit tardy on the part of the lawyer’s disciplinary body if nothing else.

    Ms Thompson has already been involved in one ‘scandal’ of course, when her name was alleged to appear on the membership list of Ashley Madison, the adultery website. She denied it; the records seemed sketchy enough (eg no credit card details) to suggest she might have been ‘signed up’ by someone else; and it has since emerged that the website had stuffed their database full of fake female entries, possibly using information trawled off the net. So it may be she is unlucky, has enemies or that any SNP MP is likely to be subject to innuendo.

  20. @Candy

    An issue with the Thompson case is the possible attempt to evade capital gains tax, by overstating the purchase price.

    Another feature is that the properties purchased appear to have been secured from responses to a newspaper advertisement. It is likely that at least some of the properties had not been advertised on the open market, normally via an estate agent.

    Solicitors acting for the vendor have a duty to advise their clients about the implications of selling privately, as there is clearly a risk of under-selling if the market is not aware of the availability of the property.

    Increasingly, in response to concerns over gazumping, it has become the norm in the property market for properties to be withdrawn from the market as and when an offer is accepted. This encourages unscrupulous purchasing at below true market values.

    If an agent offers a property at £100,000, when it is worth £120,000, accepts an offer for £95,000 from a friend, and then withdraws the property from the market, preventing others from viewing, what protection is there for the vendor? This practice is particularly common in the case of deceased estates.

  21. A few thoughts on Corbyn’s peroration yesterday and what impact it may have on public opinion. Like most politicians these days, he’s no orator and the speech contained few rhetorical flourishes that will have resonated very far beyond the Brighton Conference hall. The faithful and recently converted loved it and despite the introversion implied by that, that’s no bad thing for a new leader. Something tells me that it’s quite a good idea to please your supporters and the old cliche about Labour leaders becoming more popular with the public the more they upset the party membership has, like most cliches, become worn and trite. Corbyn’s main objective yesterday was probably twofold; to reassure and sedate his sceptics inside the party and to please his new army of acolytes with a medley of some of his greatest hits. I actually don’t think this was realistically ever going to be one of those leader speeches that was an audition for the Prime Minister’s job and it’s faintly ludicrous to think that he should be expected to lay out a personal and political manifesto so soon in his still embryonic leadership. There’s plenty of time for that later in the day.

    I thought he probably achieved his primary objective for the speech quite successfully, and that was to come over as someone who is a bit different. If this differentiation is to succeed politically and electorally, then it’s likely to be a slow burner. I rather agreed with Gary Younge’s comment in today’s Guardian when he said that those committed to deride him will of course find fault but maybe, just maybe, there are votes for old-fashioned decency and un-spun politics out there.

    Corbyn will have to hope there are because he and his supporters are staking an awful lot on it, I think. His gamble hangs on whose reading of the electorate is right; those who say that they’d never elect a politician like Corbyn or those that say, like Corbyn, that there is a yearning for something other than the managerialist cynicism that has stalked the modern political age. In other words, and to misquote Paul Weller, the public doesn’t want what the public gets.

    It’s a very, very big gamble and I have no idea what the answer may be.

  22. @Millie

    The investigation is into possible mortgage fraud, not capital gains fraud. And is being carried out because Thomson’s solicitor was struck off, it is not established that any fraud occurred nor is Thomson under investigation.

    I think you’ll find the Scottish property selling system is different than England. Once an offer is made houses are ALWAYS withdrawn from the market & Solicitors MUST do the conveyancing, so both the vendor and the buyer have solicitors advising them.

    Coming on the back of Ashley Madison it does look as if ‘someone is out to get’ Thomson,

  23. Good morning all from Westminster North.

    Looks like a game changer in the Syrian conflict. Russia has approved use of force to help Syria fight IS by means of air strikes and have requested that the Americans get out of the area. The Syrian government have requested military assistance from Moscow.

    Meanwhile its reported China has sent its aircraft carrier accompanied by a missile cruiser to the Syrian coast.

    It’s about time Russia and hopefully China get involved in the fight against IS because having a strong IS in my view only firms up some other countries expansionists aspirations.. I mean over a thousand air strikes by the West and others and little or no progress has been made. ..Its almost as if some in the West want IS to succeed!!

  24. @Millie

    You may like to know ‘re the Thomson case that in Scotland a lawyer is the estate agent ( we generally don’t have a group of separate estate agents).

    I agree with comments above that I don’t see how this alleged scam could possibly have operated without chartered surveyor involvement as well as independent surveys including market valuation are mandatory for all house sales unless they are by private treaty.

  25. @Allan Christie

    Israel has been hitting Syrian Army positions this week . The chances of a serious war increase by the minute. Israel Turkey and Saudi Arabia and their many friends are seriously worried by Communist aggression.

  26. WOLF

    I see the whole context in Syria different from you. Assad staying in power backed up by Russia and others is the best solution to combat the spread of IS. Israel and America in my view see IS as a convenient partner for their warped geopolitical mindsets.

  27. @ Wolf

    “Communist aggression”

    You lost me there.

  28. .. I mean over a thousand air strikes by the West and others and little or no progress has been made. ..Its almost as if some in the West want IS to succeed!!

    It makes life easy for Western Governments in some regards to have a rather unspecified, but ‘imminent’ threat always hung in front of their populations.

    The chance of being killed in the UK by a terrorist is virtually nil, and the risk many times smaller than so many things people dub ‘nanny state’ when Governments try to intervene.

    A population who really understood the tiny risk of terrorism to UK citizens, would be far less likely to accept ever encroaching surveillance and reduced civil liberrties.

  29. Ipsos MORI September “issues facing Britain” index is out

    Backs up what me and @peteb were saying last night, no big surprises there tbh. Although maybe you’d expect foreign affairs/terrorism to be a little higher.

  30. The headline on the Remain/Leave breakdown is misleading. The poll shows that, if Davod Cameron renegotiated Beritain’s relationship with the EU and, following that renegotiation, recommended that Britain stay in the union, then the Remain/Leave figures would be something like 47/29. Since that latter scenario is probably what is going to happen, it is highly unlikely that the Leave camapign will win the referendum.

  31. Interesting revisions to GDP by ONS :-)

    I expect Mr. McDonnell has noted them .

  32. Russian airstrikes reported -on Homs.

    Is this IS territory?

  33. @Laszlo

    peeps might take a gander at Omni’s link. It shows a rather notable trend.

    Obviously immigration now dominates, and by some margin.

    But these days, NHS is now second, ahead of the economy and unemployment, where it used to be fourth, below them.

    Similarly, poverty/inequality, housing and low pay take up the next three positions, where on average they tended in the past to be bouncing around the bottom.

    Low pay in particular has made quite a jump.

    Thus, Labour’s typical string suits keep growing in salience. Unfortunately for Labour, they are trumped by immigration, and one supposes, in Scotland, they might be trumped by the whole Indy/Devo thing.

  34. This morning, Jeremy Corbyn said “187 countries don’t feel the need to have a nuclear weapon to protect their security”, and asked “why should those five need it themselves?”.

    His forgetting (or ignoring) Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea does not fill me with confidence.

  35. Interesting watching Charlie Faulkner trying to rationalise the Labour Party position of “debating” Trident renewal , whilst the Leader says on BBC radio that it wouldn’t be a deterrent if he is PM , because he won’t use it.

    Burnham on immigration this morning sounds like another example of the Leader’s OK for healthy disagreement.

    This Policy Review by Public Disagreement is a novel innovation.

  36. “Since that latter scenario is probably what is going to happen, it is highly unlikely that the Leave camapign will win the referendum.”



    …influenced by any dodgy reporting of the polling on the matter, a lemming effect ensures peeps change their vote to keep in step with what they are led to believe is the majority view…

  37. In my post above, “string suits” should of course be “strong suits”. But it’s possible people thought I meant “string vests” or summat, and to be fair it’s possible my post makes more sense that way, so if you want it to be string vest, obviously I’ll understand…

  38. @Carfew

    .”…….so if you want it to be string vest, obviously I’ll understand…”

    Isn’t a string vest full of holes?

    That said, it’s a garment with impeccable working class credentials.


  39. @colin

    Re: GDP

    Yes I noticed that too. Also the current account deficit narrowed sharply, which is a relief. Peston has a decent article on what the changes mean

  40. @Crossbat

    Well, I suppose it could be one big hole with lots of bits of string across it…

  41. @David Colby

    I heard a slightly longer clip of the interview with Corbyn, in which he specifically referred both to the “official” five nuclear countries and the fact that several other countries are known or believed to have nukes. There isn’t much I agree with him on (including Trident) but he’s certainly not ignorant or ill-informed.


    Similarly the actual clip of Corbyn shows that he was responding to a very forcefully put question, rather than making a statement of his own. I’m not even sure that his answer “well, yes, but” was intending as a “Yes” as opposed to a “Shut up and listen”. I don’t think Corbyn does believe there are any circumstances in which he would order the launching of nukes, but I think he’s been ambushed (and I am a bit surprised at the BBC, frankly). The attack on him amounts to him removing the ambiguity about the willingness to use nukes. Well if that’s so important, why badger him repeatedly for an answer on the question.

  42. It is like a breath of fresh air, a leader of the opposition answering a question, whether you agree with him or not on Trident..
    For my part, I do not agree with him, even if a mainstream party like the SNP do.
    In most honest peoles eyes, the yes minister sketch was correct, regarding trident.

    Having a debate 5 years out from an a GE and some people feel threatned by a politician challenging the so called consencus.
    Even a politican, which they all state has no chance of winning.

    I am a republican because , I do not believe it is correct to be born head of state.
    I know this view is heresy in many quarters, and the polls always suggest this to be the case.
    I imagine that is why the SNP dropped their believes on the monarchy and NATO.
    However it is good that it enters the discourse, as things do change overtime, who would have thought 30 years ago, that a conservative government would introduce gay marriage.

    This country has always needed its keir hardies, to speak out and be lambasted by the right wing media, but over time , even if they do not win elections, attitudes and law is changed, to help the people without power and privilege.

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