POLL: Tories will struggle in an election if Brexit delayed

POLL: Tories will struggle in an election if Brexit delayed

Trouble ahead for Boris?


Ben Walker / 07 September 2019

Recriminations may be on their way for Boris Johnson and the Conservatives if the UK’s departure from the EU is delayed, new polling suggests.

A ComRes poll commissioned by Britain Elects asked voters how they’d cast their ballots in the event of a general election being held before the UK’s departure from the EU. The results put the Conservatives ahead of Labour by 3pts.

These figures are not too dissimilar to what other pollsters are finding when posing the standard voting intention question. It should be noted ComRes tends to record higher shares for Labour than others, and it does appear here that there is an uptick in support for the Liberal Democrats.

This 3pt lead for the Conservatives doesn’t last long, however, when voters are asked how they’d vote if the UK’s departure was delayed beyond the 31st October deadline.

Labour would take 28%, ahead of the Tories who are on 26% – a 2pt gap between the top two. The Brexit Party would see a 3pt increase from the previous question to take 17%, and the Liberal Democrats would stand at 20%.

These figures suggest an electoral backlash may be in store for Boris Johnson, in what seemingly is becoming the likely scenario of Britain’s exit from the EU being delayed beyond the 31st of October and an election to be held shortly after. Voters would drift from the Tories to the Brexit Party, gifting Labour a chance at becoming the largest party with support from the Liberal Democrats.

It should be said projecting what these figures might mean in seat compositions, however, through national swing calculators, would be a fool’s errand.

Previous polling commissioned by Britain Elects and others have yielded similar findings, all of which suggest the success or failure of Boris Johnson’s career as Prime Minister will come down to his ability to deliver Brexit to a deadline repeatedly affirmed by him since his ascendancy to Downing Street.

Unless the Prime Minister is willing to overrule what Parliament has obligated him to do, we should expect the present Conservative lead in the polls to shrink.

Our ComRes survey also asked voters how they’d feel about having a general election if Parliament failed to reach a conclusion on Brexit. 50 per cent were found to be in support.

Methodology Note: ComRes surveyed 2,009 British adults on 4th – 6th September 2019. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults. All questions were also weighted by 2017 past vote recall and EU Referendum past vote. Voting Intention is also weighted by likelihood to vote. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at www.comresglobal.com


Boris Johnson could cost the Tories victory in a general election if held before the UK has left the EU

REUTERS - Rebecca Naden

New research by ComRes commissioned by Britain Elects has revealed Boris Johnson, if elected Conservative Party leader next week, could cost the Tories a general election victory if held before the UK has left the EU.

The research, posed to a representative sample of the voting public, asked respondents how they'd vote in a general election on a number of conditions. The results vary:

"Boris Johnson is Prime Minister, a General Election is held before the 31st of October, and Brexit has not been delivered"
Figures exclude undecideds and non-voters
Labour: 28%
Brexit Party: 22%
Conservative: 18%
Liberal Democrat: 18%

"Boris Johnson is Prime Minister and a General Election is held after delivering Brexit on the 31st October"
Figures exclude undecideds and non-voters
Conservative: 32%
Labour: 29%
Liberal Democrat: 18%
Brexit Party: 10%

The 14pt difference in support for the Conservative Party (and the 12pt difference for the Brexit Party) demonstrates how significant the subject of Brexit will be to the future of Boris Johnson's political career. If it is perceived by a large enough share of the public that Brexit is being delivered (such a perception of delivery likely to mean a number of different things to different people), then, as the above research suggests, the next leader of the Conservative Party will reap the rewards of defecting Brexit Party voters. If not, then that person, and the Conservative Party, can expect electoral punishment.

The figure of 32% for the Conservatives on the condition 'a general election is held after delivering Brexit on the 31st October' would represent the largest share a political party has obtained in an opinion poll for the past two months.

Other questions included in the research revealed continuing public antipathy towards Theresa May's Brexit deal, a mixed response to the prospect of a no-deal exit, but a plurality of agreement with Boris Johnson's statement that Britain should leave the European Union 'do or die' by the 31st of October.

The research found 42% of voters agree "the Conservative Party must take the UK out of the EU 'do or die' by the 31st of October. Two thirds of 2017 Conservative voters also agree, as well 94% of Brexit Party voters. 32% of voters disagree.

"If Boris Johnson is the next Prime Minister and is unable to get a better deal from the European Union by the 31st of October, the UK should just leave without a deal"
Agree: 37%
Disagree: 37%

"If Boris Johnson is the next Prime Minister and is unable to get a better deal from the European Union by the 31st of October, he should resign and hold an immediate General Election"
Agree: 47%
Disagree: 36%

"If Boris Johnson is the next Prime Minister and is unable to get a better deal from the European Union by the 31st of October, he should leave with Theresa May's deal"
Agree: 26%
Disagree: 38%

"If Boris Johnson is the next Prime Minister and is unable to get a better deal from the European Union by the 31st of October, he should ask the EU for an extension to the UK's leaving date"
Agree: 33%
Disagree: 36%


Notes:
ComRes poll commissioned by Britain Elects
Sample Size: 2,038 GB Adults
Fieldwork: 15 - 16 July, 2019
Tables

 


53% believe Boris will not deliver Brexit by the 31st October deadline

Image: Independent

A new poll conducted by ComRes on behalf of Britain Elects has shed some light on how the public expect Boris Johnson's premiership would pan out, if elected next week.

53% of voters told ComRes they do not believe he will be able to deliver the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union by the 31st October deadline.

They agreed with the statement: "I do not believe Boris Johnson will be able to deliver Brexit by the 31st of October", whereas 17% disagreed.

The number who do not believe in Boris Johnson's ability to deliver Brexit to the Halloween deadline include 47% of current Conservative voters and 42% of Leave voters. Three in ten (31%) of those who intend to vote for the Brexit Party, however, disagree, and do hold faith in him to deliver by October.

Britain Elects also commissioned a voting intention with ComRes, which has found the Labour Party ahead, in line with the Britain Elects poll tracker, but ahead of the governing Conservative Party by only 3pts - down from 4pts last week.

Westminster voting intention:
Labour: 28% (-)
Conservative: 25% (+1)
Brexit Party: 19% (-1)
Liberal Democrat: 17% (+2)
Green: 5% (-)
Scottish National: 4% (+1)
Changes against ComRes survey for the Sunday Express (10 - 11 Jul).

These figures see both Labour and the Tories cement their position in the polls as the top two parties, with the Brexit Party behind the second placed Tories by a margin of 6pts. The ComRes voting intention in the early days of June had this gap at 1pt.

Amongst Leave voters, the Brexit Party leads the voting intention with 38% of the vote. Conversely, among Remain voters, Labour takes the lead with 39% of the vote.

Though some are looking at the recent return of red and blue to the top two as a return to normality, it should be noted no party in the past two months has scored 30% or more in a voting intention; and that this supposed return to normality would still represent a significant loss of support for both Labour and the Conservatives.


Notes:
ComRes poll commissioned by Britain Elects
Sample Size: 2,038 GB Adults
Fieldwork: 15 - 16 July, 2019


Leave voters say Tories and Brexit Party should work together to secure Brexit


Image: EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

According to a new poll conducted by YouGov on behalf of Britain Elects, 69% of Leave voters say the Conservatives and the Brexit Party should work together to secure Brexit.

This includes 82% of Conservative Leave voters who believe it is a price worth paying in order to ensure the UK's departure from the European Union goes ahead.

More interestingly, 56% of Leave voters (and 65% of Conservative voters) believe Conservative MPs defecting to the Brexit Party would be a price worth paying to guarantee Brexit.

These findings are replicated among Remain voters, with 66% of those who backed Remain in 2016 wanting Remain parties to work together so as to put a halt to Britain's departure.

57% of Remain voters would also be willing to see MPs from Labour defect to the Liberal Democrats in order to stop Brexit.

Both findings of Remain and Leave voters suggest a continuation in the breakdown of party loyalty, and a greater adherence to the Remain/Leave brand.

Other findings include:

49% of Leave voters told YouGov that the breakup of the United Kingdom is a price worth paying to secure Britain's departure from the EU.

18% of Leave voters want Parliament to get prorogued (temporarily closed down) so as to secure Brexit. 57% in total believe it is a price worth paying.

54% of Leave voters believe the UK becoming economically poorer would be a price worth paying to ensure Brexit goes ahead.


Notes:
YouGov poll commissioned by Britain Elects
Sample Size: 1,680 GB Adults
Fieldwork: 07 - 08 July, 2019

About Britain Elects:
Britain Elects was founded in 2013 and is Europe’s leading polling aggregator. Our poll trackers are updated as data is released and cover voting intentions for the main political parties, leaders and policies at local and national level, as well as Brexit. We also publish polls in other subject areas that are not included in our trackers. We are a non-partisan organisation and, purely for purposes of transparency and guaranteed access to data tables, only British Polling Council pollsters feature in our trackers.

Contact Britain Elects
E: walker@britainelects.com
M: 07904 438 915


Boris won't improve Tory electoral fortunes, poll suggests

REUTERS - Rebecca Naden

According to a new poll conducted by YouGov on behalf of Britain Elects, Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservatives would struggle to improve the Conservative Party's electoral fortunes in a general election. The poll results indicate that any poll bounce for the Conservative Party from electing Johnson as its leader will not materialise in the short term and may only come after Brexit has been delivered. Voters were asked how they would vote in two scenarios.

Scenario 1: If a general election were held with Boris Johnson as Conservative leader before Brexit had been delivered.

The results indicate that a Johnson win is now already priced into current polling with party voting numbers sitting virtually unchanged from current national polls.
(Figures with undecideds and refused excluded: Con 23%, LDem 23%, Brexit 21%, Lab 17%, Grn 8%)

Scenario 2: If a general election were held with Boris Johnson as Conservative leader after Brexit had been delivered.

Under this scenario the Conservative party would build up an 8pt lead over the Lib Dems and a 11pt lead over Labour. The Brexit Party would fall 7pts to 14%.
(Figures with undecideds and refused excluded: Con 28%, LDem 20%, Brexit 14%, Lab 17%, Grn 9%)

Boris Johnson is also seen by voters to be more likely than Jeremy Hunt to deliver Brexit by October 31st and most likely to promise anything to be Prime Minister.


Full Results:

Voting intention with Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party before Brexit is delivered

Scenario 1: Imagine that a General Election is held later this year before Brexit has been delivered. Boris Johnson is the leader of the Conservatives, Jeremy Corbyn remains leader of the Labour Party, Jo Swinson is leader of the Liberal Democrats and Nigel Farage is leader of the Brexit Party. How do you think you would then vote?

Con: 17%
LDem: 17%
Brex: 16%
Lab: 13%
SNP: 3%
Green: 6%
Plaid: 1%
Oth: 2%
Don’t know: 14%
Would not vote: 9%
Refused: 2%

Figures with undecideds and refused excluded:
Con: 23%
LDem: 23%
Brex: 21%
Lab: 17%
Grn: 8%


Voting intention with Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative Party after Brexit had been delivered

Scenario 2: Imagine that a General Election is held later this year after Brexit has been delivered. Boris Johnson is the leader of the Conservatives, Jeremy Corbyn remains leader of the Labour Party, Jo Swinson is leader of the Liberal Democrats and Nigel Farage is leader of the Brexit Party. How do you think you would then vote?

Con: 20%
Lib: 15%
Brex: 10%
Lab: 13%
SNP: 3%
Grn: 7%
Plaid: 1%
Oth: 1%
Don’t know: 16%
Would not vote: 9%
Refused: 4%

Figures with undecideds and refused excluded:
Con: 28%
LDem: 20%
Brex: 14%
Lab: 17%
Grn: 9%


Notes:
YouGov poll commissioned by Britain Elects
Sample Size: 1,680 GB Adults
Fieldwork: 07 - 08 July, 2019

About Britain Elects:
Britain Elects was founded in 2013 and is Europe’s leading polling aggregator. Our poll trackers are updated as data is released and cover voting intentions for the main political parties, leaders and policies at local and national level, as well as Brexit. We also publish polls in other subject areas that are not included in our trackers. We are a non-partisan organisation and, purely for purposes of transparency and guaranteed access to data tables, only British Polling Council pollsters feature in our trackers.

Contact Britain Elects
E: walker@britainelects.com
M: 07904 438 915


Are voters willing to compromise on Brexit?

Are the public willing to compromise on Brexit?

by Ben Walker, 16 Jul 2018


A new Deltapoll survey has shed some light on, what with the news about the Chequers deal now settled in the minds of the British public, what they think the government should be willing to compromise on in the Brexit negotiations.

Some of the responses were expected. 52% of voters think “the ability to decide our own laws” should not be up for negotiation, but 55% now think money payed to the EU each year should be struck me, perhaps, as something new. An ICM survey in April found two thirds opposed to paying an exit bill of £10bn or more,  but I wonder if prompting figures is the best way to gauging public support. Most voters in the US, and I suspect the UK, are clueless when it comes to the size of the foreign aid budget, but the sentiment of the public thinking it too large exists nonetheless, and so that is why I think the 55% figure is an interesting one, and perhaps indicative of a shift in opinion.

By and large though, the British people are monumentally split. Helpful.

As expected. Remain voters split 47% in favour of it being up for discussion, 45% against.

Leave voters are split down the middle on this, with 45% believing the money we pay should be up for negotiation, 46% against.

Tables for the Deltapoll survey available here.


Theresa May has lost the first week of her Chequers war

Theresa May has lost the first week of her Chequers war

by Ben Walker, 13 Jul 2018


“When I asked Theresa May on Saturday if she would do a broadcast to the nation to sell the deal, she looked at me like I was an idiot”.

These are the words of Tim Shipman, Political Editor of the Sunday Times. To me they helpfully epitomise why the Brexit deal agreed last Friday at Chequers has gone down badly with the public.

Most voters offer as little as a few minutes a week, if that, to political news, and so first impressions and bite-sized stories that can be easily understood matter hugely. The main stories that have so far featured in the aftermath of Chequers have been Donald Trump’s put-down of a US-UK trade deal and the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson. It’s easier for the public to become aware of and understand the resignation of Boris, a figure who 51% of Leave voters have a favourable view of (notably up from 45% in Nov 2017) in protest of the deal, than the detail of the deal itself. It doesn’t help the cause of the government, either, that Theresa May is yet to make any serious attempt to engage with the media, and by extension, the electorate.

So in the space of this week, what do the public think?

Belief in the Chequers deal being ‘bad for Britain’ is the view of 42% of the nation, but not as split by voting intention as some might expect. Though there have been demonstrations of support from predominantly Remain voting Conservative MPs, just 15% of Remain voters and 14% of Leave voters think the deal good for Britain. In contrast, 51% of Leave voters and 42% of Remain voters see the deal as bad for the nation.

Much of the public (40%) view the deal as ‘too soft’. 66% of Leave voters are in agreement with this, whereas Remain voters are this time quite split between thinking it too hard (23%), too soft (18%) or just about right (18%).

It also needs noting over one in three Brits (35%) don’t have a clue.

[YouGov]: "Thinking about the approach that Theresa May is taking towards Brexit, do you think she is aiming for a Brexit that is..."

Theresa May’s favourability with the nation has crashed to a record low. Just one in five Brits view her favourably (down 9pts on May), as opposed to 62% who view her unfavourably (up 7pts). YouGov’s Matthew Smith points out that those turning against her seem to be predominantly Brexit voters.

This newfound alienation with the swathe of voters that gave the Tories an extended honeymoon in 2016-17 appears to be already doing the blues damage in the polls, though as to whether it’s terminal and whether these votes do drift in large enough numbers to other parties rather than stay loyal but dissatisfied is yet to be seen. One factor which may influence as to whether this shift will be terminal might be who leads the Conservative party after Mrs May’s departure, something perhaps entirely dependent on how they responded to the Chequers deal.

The latest YouGov voting intention puts the Conservatives on 37%, the lowest share with the pollster since April 2016; and UKIP on 6%, its highest share with the pollster since May 2017. This is also reflected in the latest Survation (though surveyed before the resignations), where they are down 3pts and behind Labour; but not in the latest ICM, which has the Tories 2pts ahead and unchanged on two weeks previous.

It would be wrong to draw from these findings that it is Leave voters alone who are leading the dissatisfied charge against the government’s plan. The fact there was little disparity in the YouGov survey between Leave and Remain voters on the view that the deal is bad for Britain is particularly interesting. If Mrs May’s intentions were to make both sides of a divided electorate unhappy over Brexit, then it appears she’s passed with flying colours. Early indications point to a fall in support for the Tories, the potential return of UKIP, and an increase in support for a referendum on the final deal. Survation, albeit from June, had 48% supporting a second vote; and YouGov’s more recent tracker (posing a different but similar question) has opposition to a vote ahead, though down 4pts on when it was last asked.

Though the deal has so far failed to please the nation, let alone May’s own voters, perhaps it really isn’t relevant what the public think, for the votes that matter the most at this moment in time are those sitting in the Commons.


Public opposed to military action in Syria

Surveys from pollsters YouGov and Sky Data paint a grim picture for those advocating military action in Syria.

Though both polls show a significant number of Britons are at present undecided, suggesting there’s ground to be gained by either side in the weeks and months ahead, much of those with an opinion are opposed to military action in response to the alleged chemical attack by the Syrian regime.

Sky Data has opposition to intervention with a lead of just 1pt, at 37 per cent and support at 36 per cent, while YouGov (asking with regards to the launching of cruise missiles) has opposition at 43 per cent and support at 22 per cent. The share of those undecided or with no opinion stands at 27 per cent and 34 per cent respectively.

It isn’t particularly notable that there is a 14pt disparity between the pollsters on support for military action, for Sky Data asks regarding generic military action and YouGov asks on the particular action of launching cruise missiles.

What is worth noting, however, is that Sky Data asked a second question. The question starts with a repeat of the first, as mentioned earlier…

https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/984150100896288769

… but also includes a prompt for the potential of conflict with Russia as a consequence of UK military intervention:

https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/984150198023786505

Support ‘falls’, as it were, from 36 per cent to 28 per cent.

Further findings by the pollsters include:

Britons overwhelmingly back a no fly zone over Syria:
Support: 60 per cent; Oppose: 9 per cent (YouGov).

Sending troops “to protect civilians” holds similar support to launching cruise missiles:
Support: 22 per cent; Oppose: 50 per cent (YouGov).

Sending troops to overthrow the Syrian regime has majority opposition:
Support: 17 per cent; Oppose: 51 per cent (YouGov).

Tables:

YouGov
Sky Data

 


The charts that explain 2017

The Charts That Tell 2017

The Charts That Tell 2017

A once apathetic generation mobilised and a government now without a majority: here are the charts that explain Britain’s 2017.

by Ben Walker, 04 January 2017

Labour started the year 12pts behind and ended it 2pts ahead

You’d be forgiven for thinking there was no hope of a turnaround in Labour fortunes at the start of 2017. Up until April there was minor change in the twelve point lead enjoyed by the Tories and only after the u-turn on social care during the general election campaign did the blues start shedding support, losing all that was gained after the snap poll was announced.

Labour experienced a short period of ‘honeymoon’ in the aftermath of the general election, leading the Tories by four points through June and then retreating to an average of two points by the end of the year.

There’s been yet no noticeable change in support for the other parties: UKIP crashed following the election announcement and the Lib Dems and Greens have seen little traction with the public. Talk of a #LibDemFightback are at present reserved for council by-elections and shoots of a #GreenSurge have yet to materialise.

Though Labour has a lead, all parties are within the margin of error of what was attained in June. If an election were held tomorrow it shouldn’t be a surprise if little changed with some Conservative-DUP arrangement continuing. Labour needs to average three or more points to be assured of a lead, and around six to attain an outright majority.

The number of Britons who want Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister has doubled

More Britons still prefer Theresa May as Prime Minister over Jeremy Corbyn, but the numbers today are a far cry from what they were a year ago, when close to half of Britons were of that opinion compared to 37 per cent now.

Jeremy Corbyn has seen the numbers wanting him in Number 10 almost double, from 16 per cent at the end of 2016 to 31 per cent now.

Young people now like voting

Turnout among older voters has always been consistently high, and only since the EU referendum have young people fancied voting in great numbers too. Whether or not 18-24 year olds came out for Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour party, an opposition to Brexit or even simply as a consequence of an engaging campaign during the referendum is yet to be seen, but the 2017 election has, probably, solidified their presence as a newly engaged demographic that parties will have to respond to.

Small shift towards those thinking Brexit to be the wrong decision

Over the course of 2017 YouGov asked the public 37 times whether they thought the vote to leave the EU was the right or wrong decision, and of the 23 asked in the run up to the general election, 16 had a plurality agreeing it was right. Of the 14 taken following the election, just one said it was right.

Though the most recent YouGov has a plurality believing Brexit to be the wrong decision, and though more on average opine such since June, this is mostly margin of error stuff. The latest puts it at 45-42, and 29 of the 37 polls taken this year have given leads for either side of 3pts or less.

It can’t be said that the country is seriously changing its mind on the issue, or whatever sensational headline can be (and has been) thought up. The country by and large still wants Britain’s departure to go ahead, but there has been some recent evidence to suggest that support for a referendum on the Brexit deal is substantial, although the figures given are mixed. Survation have it at 50%, YouGov at 33% (note the similar question wording) and ICM 32%.

Public opinion on the Brexit negotiations have been broadly disapproving with only a breather of approval given to the government in the run-up to the triggering of Article 50 and during the general election campaign. ORB’s series put disapproval at a record high of 66% in November.