Sunday polls

Opinium’s latest voting intention figures are CON 41%(+2), LAB 43%(-2), LDEM 5%(nc), UKIP 5%(nc). Theresa May’s net job approval stands at minus 21, Jeremy Corbyn’s at plus 4 (though May has regained a small lead on who people think would make the better Prime Minister, 36% to Corbyn’s 33%).

Asked about Theresa May’s future, a third of people think she should resign straight away, 16% think she should go after Brexit negotiations are complete, 8% just before the next general election and 22% that she should remain and fight the next general election. Answers to this are heavily partisan, as you might expect: a hefty majority of Labour voters would like May to go now, only 9% of Tory voters. 62% of Tory voters would like her to remain PM until either shortly before the election (14%) or to fight the election (48%). Tabs for the Opinium poll are here.

There was also a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday with topline figures of CON 39%(nc), LAB 41%(-4), LD 8%(+1), UKIP 6%(+2). Changes are since Survation’s last online poll in mid-June, rather than their last telephone poll which showed a small Tory lead. Theresa May also still leads as best PM here, 43% to Corbyn’s 35%.

Survation also asked questions about Theresa May’s future, though their’s was a simpler should she stay or go question.45% would like her to resign, 40% would like her to stay. Again, responses are overwhelmingly split down partisan lines: 77% of Lab voters would like her to go, 78% of Tory voters would like her to stay). Asked about who should succeed her if she did go, Boris Johnson leads on 22% ahead of David Davis on 15%. 46% of people say don’t know. Questions like this don’t give us that much insight because of low public awareness of the options. The most interesting ones there asked who people would prefer in run offs between two potential leaders – between Davis and Johnson Davis wins by 36% to Johnson’s 30%. Paired against Philip Hammond Johnson only just wins, 34% to 33%, though he beats Amber Rudd by 38% to 27%. There are still lots of don’t knows, but I’m conscious that a few years ago Johnson’s popularity and celebrity would probably have seen him easily winning all three questions at a trot. The shine looks as if it may have come off Boris Johnson. Tabs for the Survation poll are here.

Finally there was a BMG poll in the Independent asking about the public sector pay cap. Questions like this are tricky – most people have huge sympathy for “frontline” public sector workers like nurses and firefighters, so the social desirability bias towards saying you’d pay a little more to give them a rise is huge (it’s what we tend to call a “drowning puppy” question in the office, as in “would you pay more tax to save this drowning puppy?”). If anything, I’m surprised only 56% said they’d be willing to pay more in tax to fund a pay rise above 1% for only occupations like firefighters, police officers, paramedics and nurses. More generally, 69% of people said the public sector pay cap should end, but asked if they’d be willing to pay more tax to give a rise to “non-emergency” occupations the split was pretty even, 42% said they would, 41% would not..

Opinium also asked about the public sector pay cap in their poll. 53% of people support ending it, 21% of people would be opposed. They also asked about it on specific jobs. Questions like this are, to some degree, just reflections of how popular or valued a role is (as well as how well paid people think it currently is). Almost 70% of people wanted the pay cap ended for nurses, 60% or more for the armed forces, police and fire service. Teachers was 56%, followed by doctors on 53%. For dentists it was only 38%. I’m intrigued about what Opinium would have found if they’d asked about less obviously sympathetic public sector jobs: local government planning officers perhaps, benefit assessors, immigration officers, refuse collectors, traffic engineers, taxmen…

480 Responses to “Sunday polls”

1 8 9 10
  1. @paul croft

    Bring on Jerusalem as an English national anthem – that’ll get the crowd singing.

  2. Sthomas
    “… a self validation site for a group of bitter remainers. ”

    Like who? I’m a Remainer , but I’m not bitter. Remember, we are the insurgents now, the losing side, – just like your lot used to be.

    I personally have a lot of questions for those who want to leave and are therefore driving this process, about a/. what exactly they are hoping for, and b/. How exactly they expect the separation to be effected, and the Glorious New Brittannia to be created.

    I’m not getting a lot of answers, especially to b/.

    I don’t notice other Remainers being a lot different to me – though some are a bit tetchier, as are some Leavers!

    Accusing people who press you for answers of being bitter doesn’t improve the debate.

  3. The Other Howard,
    “of course it can be done if the EU is prepared to be reasonable”

    You remind me of my recent comment on a poll reporting many people currently favour a national coalition of some sort in the interest of the country.

    The problem is that while everyone might agree we should get together in the national interest, we all have our own idea of what that is, and since obviously ‘we’ are right, ‘we’ could never agree to any scheme which furthered what the opposition believe is right and ‘we’ believe to be against that national interest. Sure, it is possible to make a deal if the EU is reasonable, but many would say ‘reasonable’ means offering the Uk the same terms it offers all other countries. This is not what May et al. have said they will deliver, and I fancy not what you consider reasonable.

  4. Just one comment from me. If I were a Tory, I’d be very wary of taking much encouragement from polls which say that, at the onset of the summer recess, the opposition are only slightly ahead, not much more than a month after a general election. The situation is, surely, deeply worrying for the Tories, or at least it ought to be.


    Just so your clear I think of you as I do Charles.

    Barnaby Marder

    Clearly the situation is not good for the Tories but I would suggest not all that good for Labour either. None of the parties can go away for the summer recess feeling chipper IMO.

  6. Barnaby, being back in to 2 party politics in E&W imo makes rules of thumb for the last 25 years or so potentially less valid.

    Swingback, therefore lead needed…

    (… as I cant think of any more but they imply I can think of many but don’t want to list them all)

  7. Norbold

    Will do.

  8. Somerjohn

    In reality of course they all are except Germany, they just haven’t seen the light yet. They will eventually.

    If you are so keen on us being joined to other states rather than going it alone how do you respond to my 9.11 post to TonyBTG?

    I quite liked your 9.55 def of sovereignty, if you polled that I would get overwhelming support from the UK voters.

  9. Some author a hundred years ago raised one of the central disagreements that seem to be discussed here through a hypothetical scenario:

    “The Transcaucasian Tatars as a nation may assemble, let us say, in their Diet and, succumbing to the influence of their beys and mullahs, decide to restore the old order of things and to secede from the [Russian] state. According to the meaning of the clause on self-determination they are fully entitled to do so. But will this be in the interest of the working people of the Tatar nation?”

  10. @Barnaby,

    This is an interesting point. The only time when the first few months of polling after an election had a lead for the opposition was right after the 1979 election, and we all know how the next election went.

    That said, 1983 was another world. At that point in history there was a sense of exhaustion from the 1970s of more left-inclined economics. Now politics is increasingly turning in the other direction – exhaustion from the kind of economics that the Tories espouse. A few more years of declining living standards, which are practically guaranteed at this point, a probable recession (we’re due one soon even without Brexit etc), and the declining public services that go alongside all this, and you might find that a Labour party offering an entirely different economic ideology is just the antidote people are looking for. Of course none of this is inevitable, but such are the challenges ahead.

    Note from YouGov a couple weeks ago that few voted for the Tories due to their policy platform (main 3 reasons were Brexit, anti-Corbyn, and anti-Labour, not being particularly ‘pro’ very many things) whereas policy was the biggest reason for people voting Labour.

    In short, I wouldn’t draw too many conclusions from polling right now in terms of what the next election will look like. However, it could have an indirect impact insofar that it will potentially stabilise Labour’s internal squabbling if they remain ahead, while further destabilising the Conservatives.

    Similarly if Labour fall behind again, there’ll be calls for Corbyn to go since most were never convinced he could win in the first place. Problem is, to most members (and many potentially sympathetic MPs), he’s proved himself to some degree, so steps to remove him even if they were 20 points behind would gain little traction now. They could just argue things will change by the election, which they have a clear historical precedent for, even if it may have been a coincidence of favourable circumstances. This would be disaster territory for Labour. Fortunately for them, although they have their own problems, the grey clouds on the horizon are mostly on the side of the Government, so this situation doesn’t appear too likely.

    It’s all about morale.


    @”Europe is collectively self-sufficient in food, with food production broadly in line with consumption”

    The EU is by far the world’s biggest importer of agricultural goods,

    EU is also the world’s number one exporter of agricultural and food products-. mostly final goods for direct consumption.

    European farmers receive CAP subsidies of around £40 billion each year, and these subsidies account for around 35% of the entire EU spending budget.

    CAP provides considerable support for European sugar producers for example, with subsidies of around £400 per tonne, and with total subsidies of around $1.5b. 5m tonnes of excess EU sugar are dumped on world markets each year. The EU uses quotas and tariffs against non-EU sugar imports, including a 200% tariff on sugar-cane from non-EU countries. The combined effect of sugar subsidies is to make Europe the world’s leading exporter of white sugar diverting trade away from more efficient sugar producers, especially those based a number of African countries.

    In 2014 Africa —the home of coffee— earned nearly $2.4 billion from the crop. Germany, a leading processor, earned about $3.8 billion from coffee re-exports. Africa is punished by EU tariff barriers for doing so. Non-decaffeinated green coffee is exempt from the charges. However, a 7.5 per cent charge is imposed on roasted coffee. As a result, the bulk of Africa’s export to the EU is unroasted green coffee. Value added by processing coffee is kept safely for European companies.

    EU charges a tariff of 30 per cent for processed cocoa products like chocolate bars or cocoa powder, and 60 per cent for some other refined products containing cocoa.The impact of such charges suppresses technological innovation and industrial development among African countries. The practice denies the continent the ability to acquire, adopt and diffuse technologies used in food processing. It explains to some extent the low level of investment in Africa’s food processing enterprises.

    It is estimated that Africa imports nearly 83 per cent of its food.Over the last two decades, Africa’s share of world food exports has dropped from 11 per cent to less than 3 per cent. Thailand exports nearly as much food as all of sub-Saharan Africa.

    But boosting food exports is not going to be satisfied by dependence on niche organic markets provided by the EU. Africa needs robust efforts to upgrade its agriculture through technology adoption and not simply reliance on the exploitation of Africa’s “cheap ecology”.
    To achieve its technological objectives, Africa needs to partner with countries that have historical knowledge of the continent. Collective EU policies make it difficult for Africa to engage productively with countries like the UK in areas such as agricultural biotechnology.

    Africa is nudged by these restrictive policies towards new partnerships with countries such China and Brazil that have pioneered the adoption of new agricultural technologies. This, in turn, has the long-term potential of eroding trade relations between the UK and Africa.

    Taken from :-
    Agricultural trade in 2013:
    EU gains in commodity exports-EU Commission.


    How the EU starves Africa into submission.
    Calestous Juma , professor of the practice of international development at Harvard Kennedy School. Author of The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa.

  12. TOH
    Clearly the situation is not good for the Tories but I would suggest not all that good for Labour either. None of the parties can go away for the summer recess feeling chipper IMO.

    So from Tories having the 50 to 100 seat majority TM dreamed of to a hung parliament, Labour should be very chipper I know I am

  13. @Analyst

    Labour also took a lead by the end of the year in 2010, though we now know that was probably polling error.

  14. Analyst

    An excellent post I agree with you. It’s all to play for at the moment as I think Paul Croft posted the other day. It could go either way although I guess Labour feel they are in a slightly better position at the moment.

    One area that is in part problematic for Labour is the withdrawal of the promise to cancel past student loan debt. Now Corbyn didn’t actually say he would, he just said he would “deal with it” but at the time it was interpreted by the media that he would cancel the debt and Labour did not deny it. I guess there are a lot of younger voters out there who are not too happy about it. The Tory press are ceratinly pushing the story. It will be interesting to see if it affects the next few polls.

  15. From the Guardian “Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the Commons, has just announced that MPs will vote on the repeal bill on Monday 11 September after a two-day second reading debate.”

    So, the Great Repeal Bill can be referred to as the 9-11 Bill


    @”So, the Great Repeal Bill can be referred to as the 9-11 Bill”

    In the catalogue of your fatuous comments here-that takes pride of place.

  17. TOH

    ” It’s all to play for at the moment as I think Paul Croft posted the other day It could go either way.”

    I think I’m going to go for that as a definite prediction now Howard.

    …………………. < [that's me off to the bookies to check the odds.]


    Unlike the Europa site SOMMERJOHN was very clear, he said that ‘if no work has been found after 3 months, the host government can eject the job seekers’. They can’t.

    They can. See Workers – residence rights, where there are 3 drop downs: Staying abroad for up to 3 months, Staying abroad for more than 3 months & Permanent residence.

    The first is simply the right of EU citizens to travel anywhere in the EU subject to carrying a valid national identity card or passport and registering with the local authorities if required.

    The last is the simple statement that: If you have lived legally as a worker in another EU country for a continuous period of 5 years, you automatically acquire the right of permanent residence there plus the caveats under which that right can be lost.

    The relevant one is Staying abroad for more than 3 months. It starts with
    Register your residence
    During the first 3 months of your stay, your host country cannot require you to register your residence. You can do so if you wish.

    After 3 months, your host country may require you to register your residence with local authorities, to show that you’re working there and obtain a document confirming your right to stay.

    Those are the “the conditions of residence” you seem unable to spot.

    It goes on to say:

    If you lose your job

    If you lose your job while living in another country, you can still stay there if you are:

    * unable to work temporarily because of illness or accident
    * registered with the relevant authority as being involuntarily unemployed. If you have been employed for less than a year before that, you retain the right to equal treatment with nationals for a limited period of at least 6 months.
    * following vocational training. If you are not involuntarily unemployed, the training must be related to your previous job.

    Request to leave and deportation

    You may live in the other EU country as long as you continue to meet the conditions for residence. If you no longer meet these requirements, the national authorities may require you to leave.

    It goes on to repeat the same ability to deport on policy or security grounds which apply to family members that I included in my previous post on the topic.

    Like I said, you see what you want to see…
    From your own post….

    “If you lose your job while living in another country, you can still stay there if you are:
    * …..
    * registered with the relevant authority as being involuntarily unemployed.

    The ONLY requirement is that you register. (If you’ve been at work for less than a year you might lose your benefits after six months but you will NOT be deported.)

  20. @Colin

    Re the CAP.

    My post about the CAP was in response to Turk’s complaint that we in the west don’t take food security seriously enough. So I outlined the ways in which the CAP has delivered not only food security but high nutritional and ethical standards too. Whether that achievement is worth what it costs is another question.

    Your post focuses on a different question, which is the effect of the CAP on Africa and other 3rd world countries. It’s a big subject, but I’d make two points:

    If, as you say, Africa only produces 17% of the food it consumes, then the apparent priority would be to increase production for local consumption, rather than exporting it.

    Secondly, the EU has done a lot to help 3rd world producers, but is hamstrung by WTO rules prohibiting favourable treatment. Thus, the protected market afforded to Caribbean banana producers had to be dropped after WTO judgements in favour of the US corporations with vast plantations in Honduras etc (the original ‘banana republics’).

    Nevertheless, I was delighted to see recently that that old 1950s favourite Milo (like Ovaltine) is now produced in, and imported into the EU from, Kenya.

  21. TOH: “If you are so keen on us being joined to other states rather than going it alone how do you respond to my 9.11 post to TonyBTG?”

    Well, I completely accept the logic of your position. Increasingly, the UK will be too small to hold its own in a world dominated by the EU, USA and China. So if you don’t like your neighbours, who by and large speak different languages, then there is probably no long term alternative but to align with the USA in a process which points surely to eventually becoming the 51st state (or 52nd if Puerto Rico gets there first).

    Where you and I differ is that I feel at home here in Europe, I generally get on well with other Europeans, and I hugely appreciate our shared history, culture and values. The USA, on the other hand, I find distinctly scary. The poor Australian woman shot dead for tapping on a police car window when fleeing a burglar is an example of why. And if you think that EU governance is deficient, it’s hard to believe you can think the US system works better. As someone else has pointed out, the USA has no Article 50 for states wanting to leave, but an altogether more robust method of enforcing cohesion.


    “I generally get on well with other Europeans, and I hugely appreciate our shared history, culture and values. The USA, on the other hand, I find distinctly scary.”

    My view precisely. This might explain some of the mutual incomprehension between Leave and Remain.


    Odd that you don’t quote the very next sentence, but you have a point in that I should have quoted the permanent residency rules as well.

    They begin with: If you have lived legally as a worker in another EU country for a continuous period of 5 years

    I’d agree that there is a little ambiguity over the rights of workers employed for more than 6 months but less than 5 years.

  24. FAO Anthony re Housekeeping

    The site is currently running a banner ad alternating with a video ad. All OK so far, except that the 2 ads have different heights and are causing the page below to scroll up and down as they alternate, even though they are off screen at the top. Most annoying.

    Do you have any influence with your advertisers to have a stop put to this antisocial behaviour?

  25. somerjohn/patrickbrian

    I’d like to join the club, though I must say that every American I have ever met has been really terrific.

    [Mind you they are, by definition, the sort of people attracted to Europe, as I have never been to the States and would never want to.]

  26. New thread


    I’ts the not the Americans I meet individually I find scary ( though some seem , er, poorly informed on world affairs!) , it’s the USA. Last year I had to go through an American airport and was threatened with shooting for running to catch our flight . The whole place felt mad and scary. I’m comfortable in France or Germany – though wouldn’t say they’re perfect (but nor are we). TOH and other Brexiters on the other hand probably feel the reverse. As do many others, who maybe don’t travel much anyway.

    As TOH says , we’re not going to agree about it, and it seems a bit impracticable to partition the country with Leavers joining the US and Remainers the EU…..

  28. Paul Croft: ” I must say that every American I have ever met has been really terrific.”

    Yes, on a personal level I’ve found the same thing. There are loads of really interesting, stimulating, amusing and wonderfully friendly Americans.

    And I enjoy visiting the USA – I’ll be there again in September. But there is so much that feels alien, from little things like the virtually compulsory 25% tipping and huge portions of tasteless food, to the limited interaction of different ethnic groups (as if the Bradford experience was typical of the UK). And there’s always that background awareness of how differently things are done – overtly flag-waving patriotism, seemingy uncritical religiosity, what seem to me like barbaric attitudes to capital punishment, abortion etc

    It’s like having a charming but dysfunctional family across the street. Great as friends (and best not to cross them), but you wouldn’t want to be a family member.

  29. Interesting to see the ripples today around food standards and an US/UK trade deal.

    The EU politicians are once again scratching their heads at the baffling lack of knowledge being displayed by some UK ministers, with Fox’s assertion that chlorinated chicken is a minor matter, while also apparently being insistent that we can maintain frictionless trade with the EU after Brexit.

    As some of us have been saying on here for a very long time, tariffs really aren’t the issue – it’s the customs checks and border controls that really matter.

    The entire point of the single market is to have a single set of standards, but if the UK wishes to make our own laws, and sign trade deals with other nations that have lower standards in key areas, then we are, de facto, introducing the need for border checks and controls between us and our largest trade partner.

1 8 9 10