Just to catch up, YouGov put out new voting intention figures yesterday (though the fieldwork was from last week). topline figures were CON 39%(nc), LAB 28%(+2), LDEM 11%(+1), UKIP 13%(-1). While the changes since the week before are not significant in themselves, eleven points is actually the lowest Conservative lead YouGov have shown for several months. It’s also worth a glance at the “most important issues” question in the tables: the NHS has risen ten points since YouGov last asked the question back in November, making it the second most important concern after Brexit. It’s possible to interpret that as health rising up the agenda and helping Labour’s support… but it’s equally possible that the changes in voting intention are just normal, random sample variation. Still, worth keeping an eye on it. Full tabs here.

There was also a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday at the weekend. Their topline figures were CON 38%, LAB 29%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%, GRN 2%. Tabs are here

315 Responses to “YouGov/Times – CON 39, LAB 28, LDEM 11, UKIP 13”

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  1. Sea Change,

    “Which means there are approx 32% hard core remainers.”

    Which is more than enough to win seats, where Labour and the Tories have under 30% and minor parties 10%, or where Tory or Labour voters tactically vote LD to defeat the other.

    Never win the election but could get them 20-40 seats, which is the underlying objective.


  2. @ Alan Christie:

    “The majority of the public would be glad to see the back of the spivs and speculators who trashed the economy.”

    Whilst no doubt true, given the amount of impact that would occur if the majority of banks left the UK (on the balance of trade, governmental tax take, consequential significant reduction in business property values and in reduction of GDP) one could think it might be wise to pause for thought a little before chasing them off with pitchforks and burning torches.

  3. @Carfrew
    ” it’s the bundling in of other stuff in trade deals that is worrisome, from free movement to dropping food/environmental standards etc.,”
    At it again, reminding us that it’s a complicated and often devious world.
    Keep up the good work.

  4. “Bankers also make rotten commuters taking up 2 seats so they can read their broadsheets. You should see them on the Winchester to Waterloo service in the morning… ”


    Is that like Clarkson parking, but for train seats?…

  5. @Dave

    “At it again, reminding us that it’s a complicated and often devious world.
    Keep up the good work.”


    Eh? I wasn’t doing that, I was just wondering why some peeps had suddenly stopped worrying about it…

  6. peter cairns:

    ” the Great Recapture”

  7. WB

    I should had explained my comment better. I’m not wanting to see bank HQ’s leave the UK because they do generate tax revenue. However some banks are threatening to move posts over to the EU so they can still serve their EU customers.

    I know I’m using layman’s terms here but in today’s World you can practically set up a clients business meeting in Auckland NZ with a click of a mouse from an office in London…The banks are scaremongering and can easily adapt to post Brexit UK.

    Seeing the backs of a few thousand money grabbing bankers and partners in KPMG would be a blessing.

  8. I don’t necessarily believe that the UK will be forced to accept increased immigration from other countries in exchange for free trade deals. CETA does not permit EU nationals and Canadian nationals free movement between the economies of the two sides. The Indians have indicated they would like to see some relaxation of visa rules for particular sectors, but we’re talking about high-value skilled individuals, not mass migration, and as I understand it it’s the arduousness of the current process that is the key issue, rather than the numbers per se.

    There are moral conflicts involved in agreeing to foreign animal welfare standards, but honestly I don’t find the practices in some EU states all that pleasant in any event. There will be more of a blockage on some health standards (such as the use of antiobiotics in US meat) but I doubt they are insurmountable. I expect we’ll see a situation where such products are allowed in the UK, but with clear labeling to allow consumers to choose between cheaper, doctored produce from the US and more expensive, “cleaner” produce from the UK. That’s sort of what I was getting at.

    There may actually be a case for it, even, with poorer households able to prioritize price over all else (like the Americans do) and the those with higher disposable incomes able to factor in other issues, such as GM, pesticides and animal welfare standards. It may lead to the end of some low-margin agriculture in the UK, but it would be up to the government and the farming industry to put that land and resources to better use. After all, we can’t get anyone to work on our farms, and everyone seems to want to build 2m new homes on them anyway.


    “Is that like Clarkson parking, but for train seats?”

    Absolutely…selfish and rotten to the core. :-)

  10. @AC

    I’ve read the reports and I think what the banks are essentially saying is that they will set up subsidiaries in EU countries to enable them to offer certain financial services within the single market. A proportion (a small minority) of their staff would then be redeployed to those subsidiaries. HSBC has been fairly explicit, mentioning that it already owns a French bank and is therefore ahead of the game.

    So, a net loss of jobs and income to London and the UK? Yes. A reduction in the pre-eminence of London as a financial centre? A little bit. The end of London’s financial industry? Nope.

  11. Carfrew,

    There’s no consensus on who bears the incidence of corporation taxes, although the recent empirical literature agrees that at least a significant chunk of it falls on workers rather than consumers or shareholders.

    For all their controversy, both corporation tax and capital gains tax don’t bring in a lot of revenue. VAT, National Insurance, and income tax account for over 60% of total revenues.

    A corporate sales tax and a more progressive National Insurance system would be better replacements, if you wanted to boost growth without affecting progressivity much one way or the other, and reduce tax bureaucracy at the same time…

  12. But people e.g. tend to assume that consumers pay VAT, whereas corporations pay corporation tax! The magic of words…

  13. @Allan Christie

    You can’t however, offer banking services to an Australian client without a legal and physical presence in Australia.

    I do suggest you look at the issue of EU Bank Passporting. Which has been discussed here in the past. Loss of Bank Passporting is going to be a massive loss to the UK’s services sector.

  14. @ Bill Patrick

    I agree NI is anomalous. Initially, as I understand NI was meant to be hypothecated, as a government insurance scheme into which people paid their premiums and obtained their benefits, this was how Lloyd George sold it to the public. However very quickly, if not from the start it became part of general taxation, as such it has significant regressive elements and has impacts on the ability of employers to take on workers, without the benefits that hypothecation would bring in terms of certainty. For instance, with hypothecation, in times of plenty we would be fattening the seven cows as income would exceed payouts, and the money could be invested.
    However I say good luck to anyone who could convince the treasury and hence a chancellor not to dip their hands into that purse.

  15. NEIL A

    “So, a net loss of jobs and income to London and the UK? Yes. A reduction in the pre-eminence of London as a financial centre? A little bit. The end of London’s financial industry? Nope”

    I can live with that…However when certain financial institutions come out and paint a doom & gloom post Brexit UK all it does is create more uncertainty and helps bang the tambourines of the remainers and moaners and anything else that can get its hands on a musical instrument.

  16. “Remainers” ok “moaners” not ok

    People have genuine views and in a democracy are entitled to articulate them, I have been constantly surprised by the vitriole of some of those that won towards those that lost the referendum argument. There appears to be an anger that it has not been possible to change the Remainers views! Surely a recognition that deeply held views will take time and experience to overturn should be understood by leavers, after all they persisted in their arguments for 43 years!


    I am aware of EU bank passporting but it will only be a loss to the UK if the EU don’t give in on the free moment of people and other stuff post Brexit, then the UK will probably change our own business model..No deal is better than a bad deal I believe!! Of course banks can adapt to changes and as suggested set up other areas of their operations inside the EU with minimum loss to UKPLC.

  18. WB
    Vitriol has gone both ways. What was Cameron’s phrase about UKIP? Something like ‘closet racists, fruitcakes and loonies’. I wonder how much effect that had on the referendum? I know he said it a few years ago, but it helped cement his image as an out-of-touch toff.

  19. WB

    Point taken over “moaners” but I don’t think any side can come up smelling like roses….Probably the main reason the polls failed to pick up the public support for leave was the continued assertion that all leavers were racists and inward looking by the liberal media and obscure personalities on twitter.

  20. @Allan Christie

    “Minimum Loss” can mean losing a toe, or losing a leg. And sure, we can adapt to losing a leg…

  21. @Neil A

    You make lowering standards sound ever so appealing. There don’t seem to be any downsides at all!!

  22. @Bill P

    Yes, indeed there are a number of possible outcomes in terms of who is affected by corporation tax. I was just indicating how it needn’t necessarily result in higher prices. (Might even militate against rising prices somewhat as in the example given…)

  23. @AC

    Maybe you need to get with Jeremy Corbyn and sit on the floor and protest. Or start reading broadsheets yourself…

  24. “The European Parliament’s point man for Brexit negotiations has said Theresa May is creating an “illusion” after she outlined Britain’s plan for leaving the European Union.

    Guy Verhofstadt said the United Kingdom would not be allowed to “cherry pick” the benefits of the EU but said it was important that clarity had been given on the country’s position. ”


    You might say-well he would say that wouldn’t he.
    You might say -its the opening gambit-hard talk.

    But I begin to think that TM’s Free Trade vision for UK is completely at odds with the EU’s vision. EU’s internal trade is much more significant than its external exports :-

    “Trade in goods between EU Member States (intra-EU trade) was valued — in terms of dispatches — at EUR 3 070 billion in 2015. This was 71 % higher than the level recorded for exports leaving the EU-28 to non-member countries of EUR 1 791 billion (extra-EU trade).” (1).

    Interestingly UK stands out as an exception in this structure:-

    “The importance of the EU’s internal market is underlined by the fact that intra-EU trade in goods (dispatches and arrivals combined) was higher than extra-EU trade (exports and imports combined) for each EU Member State, with the exception of the United Kingdom (see Figure 9)” (1)

    The EU Customs Union facilitates & protects internal trade with low barriers-and deters unwanted competitive imports with barriers.

    With this at the heart of the EU Customs Union model-and an “associate member ” ( Turkey) already compliant with the external barriers-I cannot see Verhofstadt & the rest of them agreeing to an exception-even for UK.

    I think we will end up outside the Customs Union. May’s team-noteably Fox in this instance -will have to work very hard to start putting the new UK Free Trade Model in place very quickly.

    And it has to be said that she is swimming against the current political tide, which seems to be a resort to protectionism & on-shoring-even in USA.

    Judging by Xi Jinping’s speech at Davos , TM’s best chance of meeting a fellow Free Trader will be in Bejing.

    (1) Eurostat-International Trade in Goods

  25. Macron Polling very strongly & coming through the centre between Thatcher fan Fillon & arch-eurosceptic Le Pen. The Socialist still to choose a post Hollande candidate, look out of it.

    Europhile Macron would not be a help to TM’s negotiation. Le Pen calls him ““candidate of Brussels.”

  26. @Carfrew,

    My point was that noone on the Remain side ever seems to think there could be even the tiniest, weeniest upside to leaving.

    As you know I’m pretty ambivalent. But when people are exaggerating the argument so far to one extreme, sitting in the middle can make you seem like you’re pulling hard in the other direction.

  27. @Colin

    I imagine May would love for Fillon to win, so Macron would be very much a negative (at least relatively speaking).

    If the Socialists had any sense they’d stay out of it and back Macron, but I suspect their long-term perspective of themselves as France’s greatest political force wouldn’t allow that.

  28. TM should be mostly ambivalent over who wins the French election. If she isn’t, then it’ll be down to a complete lack of foresight that something out of her control can have a massive impact on her plans.

    “It’s not my fault it all went wrong, the wrong person won election xyz”.

  29. @NEIL A

    “My point was that noone on the Remain side ever seems to think there could be even the tiniest, weeniest upside to leaving.”


    Yes, this doesn’t really address my point about Leavers suddenly seeing little downside in trade deals. Which to be fair, you demonstrated in passing quite well in your reply so it was useful in the end, thanks!

  30. @Neil A and Carfrew

    I for one have not changed my mind one bit regarding my wish to remain in the EU. I do not for one moment assume that there can be no ‘up side’ to leaving, but I would like Brexiteers to try and see the larger picture. The attitude of many Brexiteers seems merely to confirm Napoleon Bonaparte’s disparaging comment about shop keepers.

    For me the biggest problem lies with the unwillingness of so many people to even consider the idea that the UK might be part of Europe, historically and culturally. Yes, we are on the edge. But we have never been divorced from whatever has been going on in Europe – from the Roman Empire onwards (and probably before that as well) – even at the height of empire we were involved in European affairs, especially culturally and politically.

    As part of the EU we have a strong voice in deciding how Europe will develop. And I am amazed at those who say we never had a voice because (they claim) we were always outvoted. It simply is not the case. The British input was always highly regarded. What was not highly regarded was the attitude that anything other than full acceptance of whatever the UK government said was to be treated as a slap on the face. I never hear the Italians or French or Germans complaining when they fail to win 100% of what they set out to achieve. They accept that being part of a union of independent states means that there must be give and take on all sides.
    And then there’s the fact that the UK since Thatcher has consistently refused to pay its fair share. The so-called ‘rebate’ is an insult both to the poorer countries in the EU, and to the hard working but patient and generous Germans who have paid for so much of the EU. down the years. And no, the Germans were not responsible for the problems in Greece or Italy or anywhere else. If the Greeks don’t want to live within their means, that is hardly the fault of the Germans, is it?

    When Brexiteers are willing to look at this reality instead of living in a world in which ‘they’ (the Johnny Foreigners) are always out to get ‘us’ (plucky Brits) (which says much more about the mindset of Brexiteers than it does about reality) then perhaps there will be a way of entering into some sort of sensible dialogue. But at present I see no personal common ground with those who wish us to leave the EU.

    Sorry to be frothing at the mouth a bit, but some of the stuff further up this thread has been astonishingly ‘divergent from the truth’.

  31. @seachange

    Sturgeon is not a party to the SC case. Presumably, you mean the Scottish Government.

    The SG’s case has two parts. Firstly that the Royal Prerogative cannot under Scots law be used to trigger A50 and secondly that the Sewell Convention will come into play if Parliament has to trigger A50.

    You are not clear which aspect of the SG’s case will be “dismissed” and why it will be dismissed “summarily”. Perhaps you think the UK Government’s appeal will succeed with overwhelming support from the SC?

  32. NEILA

    I agree-looks like the young centreist may spoil things for May.

    The Socialists see him as a traitor I think-they might move far left according to reports.

  33. @NEIL A

    “Had Cameron come back from his renegotiation with an exemption for the UK from the universal free movement of people within the EU, I think Remain would have scored a handsome victory in June.”
    I would like to be exempt from income tax but that’s not likely to happen. Maybe I should ‘Brexit’ myself and get a job in Dubai.
    Why would the EU want to create a set of rules, to which the UK happily signed up to, and then create special cases for individual members? Do you honestly think that this was ever on the cards? Britain didn’t even take advantage of the initial break period on EU immigration.

  34. John B
    ” What was not highly regarded was the attitude that anything other than full acceptance of whatever the UK government said was to be treated as a slap on the face. I never hear the Italians or French or Germans complaining when they fail to win 100% of what they set out to achieve. ”

    The UK got more like 0%.

    “And then there’s the fact that the UK since Thatcher has consistently refused to pay its fair share.”

    Depends on your notion of ‘fair’.

    “The so-called ‘rebate’ is an insult both to the poorer countries in the EU, and to the hard working but patient and generous Germans who have paid for so much of the EU. down the years.”

    And perhaps the Germans are not being entirely altruistic?

    In short, there are always at least two ways of looking at things. Just because someone has different views to you doesn’t necessarily mean that they diverge from the truth (to use your own phrase).

  35. @Carfrew

    I sometimes wonder if you have some sort of auto-translate program that converts what ever I’ve written into some sort of “Universal Brexitese” that accords with your personal view of what people who voted Leave must think.

    I am not sure what part of agreeing that a trade deal with the US would probably result in a lowering of health and environmental standards, and the loss of some UK farming activity, agreeing that being outside the Single Market will cause a loss of income to London and the UK from financial services, and stating my view that Brexit will cause net economic damage to the UK, amounts to me “seeing no downsides at all”.

    As for your last trite and condescending attempt at a put down, I will leave that to whistle in the breeze where it belongs.

    I think I can say with complete honesty that I haven’t yet seen a single sentence in any of your posts on Brexit that includes any sort of consideration of an upside, however small.

  36. @John B

    I understand your passion. I just hope you don’t include me in your “many Brexiteers”.

    I have a foreign surname, a foreign-born father, a sister living in an EU country, a love of most things European and don’t in any way consider the UK to be a non-European country.

  37. Perhaps the LDs in Scotland, won’t be the beneficiaries as Remain voters distance themselves from the newly Brexit loving SCons, as I had thought they might.

    Yesterday at Holyrood, the Chamber supported the Scottish Government’s stance to continue trying to keep us in the Single Market by 86 (SNP, SLab, SGP) to 36 (Con, LD).

    The motion was –

    That the Parliament notes the publication on 20 December 2016 by the Scottish Government of Scotland’s Place in Europe, setting out options for the future of the UK and Scotland’s relationship with Europe; understands the detrimental social and economic impact on Scotland and the UK of losing their current place in the European single market; welcomes the options set out in the paper, including on free movement of workers; agrees that the UK as a whole should retain its place in the single market, ensuring rights not just for business but for citizens, and that, in the event that the UK opts to leave the single market, alternative approaches within the UK should be sought that would enable Scotland to retain its place within the single market and the devolution of necessary powers to the Scottish Parliament; agrees that further devolution to the Scottish Parliament is required to mitigate the impact of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, and endorses the Scottish Government discussing these proposals with the UK Government in order to secure the protection of Scotland’s interests as part of the Article 50 process, and calls on the Scottish Government to further engage with the UK Government on arrangements that might apply after the invocation of Article 50, with a view to maintaining as many as possible of the benefits of the UK’s relationship with Europe in any transitional period.

  38. JOHNB

    @”For me the biggest problem lies with the unwillingness of so many people to even consider the idea that the UK might be part of Europe, For me the biggest problem lies with the unwillingness of so many people to even consider the idea that the UK might be part of Europe, historically and culturally.”

    ” historically and culturally.” is fine. Like “geographically” it is manifestly true & recognised by everyone. The PM mentioned it in terms in her speech yesterday.

    What seems increasingly to be not such a good idea is ” fiscally, ” and “monetarily” and “politically”. and “judicially”.

    You didn’t mention those-easier to go for the non- sequitur I suppose ?

  39. @OldNat

    Did the Scottish LDs have any reason for voting against that motion?

  40. @Oldnat

    “Give” not “have”

  41. John B: “As part of the EU we have a strong voice in deciding how Europe will develop.”

    I think the reason that this isn’t widely realised is the almost total lack of publicity in this country for any EU developments, and what view the UK is taking of them. You have to dig quite deeply into non-UK sources to find out what’s going on. I think I read that 97% of EU Council decisions are taken by consensus, and only 3% go to a vote.That means that our government has been willing to accept 97% of measures, and probably voted in favour of most of the rest: the number of occasions on which the UK has been on the losing side of a vote is vanishingly small.

    Another example is that yesterday the European Parliament elected a new leader to replace Martin Schulz. The rightwing Antonio Tajani was chosen after four rounds and 12 hours of voting, thanks to the votes of Tory MEPs and their Polish nationalist allies. I only discovered that by reading the Spanish newspaper El Pais, where it was front page news. If it was reported anywhere in the UK, I didn’t see it. And it rather puts the lie to the suggestion that the UK doesn’t have any influence: it’s just that we, unlike other Europeans, don’t get to hear about it.

  42. @Neil A

    Your post is unhelpful in almost every particular

    – I don’t have a settled view on what Brexitters think, my post was part of trying to get a handle on that…

    – as for not seeing any upside in Brexit, only the other day I said I Brexit couldn’t come soon enough, to get beyond some of the scapegoating.

    – I know you acknowledged a lowering of standards, my point was you didn’t seem to see this as a much of a downside. you saw some of it as a potential upside…

    – many of your replies to me have some victim/ad hom spiel attached, going back to our first proper exchange in fact. About cooking. I thought cooking would be safe but nooooooooo…

  43. Good evening all from a frosty Itchen Valley Hampshire. Minus 2 was showing on my dashboard when driving in from Winchester.

    NEIL A
    @JOHN B

    “I have a foreign surname”

    Is “A” Spanish in origin or Polish? ;-)

    I’m a mixed bag like yourself. Scottish born father brought up in Liverpool and has a Scouse accent and an Italian born mother both living in Scotland and a Italian granny and grandpa living in Italy and also a Scottish granny and Grandpa living in England..confused?

    Anyway as I was going to say…

    I do think a lot of people stereotype those who voted for Brexit as xenophobic bandits. One sure way of increasing xenophobia is to continue to use megaphone diplomacy towards people who have concerns over immigration and EU control and to simply sweep everything under the carpet.

  44. OLDNAT

    Perhaps wee Willie Rennie still thinks his party are in coalition with the Con’s at Westminster. Quite an obscure stance the Scots Lib/Dems have taken.

  45. RAF

    As far as I can tell from Rennie’s speech, their view seems to be that they are unwilling to consider any alternative to both the UK being in the EU, and Scotland being in the UK.

    Sticking fingers in ears and singing “La, la, la” very loudly comes to mind!

  46. @Candy – re corporation tax and Brexit, as was pointed out, the EU could (possibly) insist on restrictions on this (and many other tax issues) as contingent parts of any trade deal with the UK, while it cannot at present insist on these matters for EU members unless there is a unanimous treaty change.

    I’m not saying this will happen, but as with other factors discussed above, there is a gradual realisation among many that while we may want to keep that part of EU membership that is free trade, the EU will try to insert as many of it’s desired outcomes as it can. These may or may not be more or less equivalent to the treatment we currently get from EU membership.

  47. @Markw – “Sorry Alec and everyone for losing the plot a bit a few days ago.”

    Speaking personally, I didn’t think you had anything to apologise for, but it’s always great to see people mending fences if they feel things went too far. We have all at times been guilty of an excess of passion, but that’s understandable.

  48. Alec

    “These may or may not be more or less equivalent to the treatment we currently get from EU membership.”

    Theoretically, that is the case. But can you envisage any scenario in which the EU would think it a clever idea to give a leaving member all the advantages it sought, but without any of the disadvantages it saw?

  49. Allan Christie,

    “Minus 2 was showing on my dashboard when driving in from Winchester.”

    Has your car got a Brexitometer?


  50. pointless postings

    1. those that voted leave were bigots,thickoes,heroes.patriots.idiots etc.They won.who cares.
    2. we should or should not leave the single market. We are leaving the single market.
    3. A50 should not, will not be triggered. A50 will be triggered.
    4. we will get a good deal,a bad deal,an average deal. No-one knows but all should support the obtaining of the best deal possible
    5.whatever is said we can never return to the pre-referendum position either domestically or in the eyes of europe. Right or wrong our time in the EU is finished.
    6.Scotland can remain in the single market.Aye and Bonny Prince Charlie can reclaim the throne

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