Archive for the 'BREXIT' Category


UKIP has suffered most in real elections in LEAVE areas since BREXIT – the pro-EU LDs the best

Friday, January 6th, 2017


A few months ago Harry Hayfield, PB’s local election specialist, introduced a new element in his regular monitoring of local by-election: dividing them up into whether the local authority areas voted REMAIN or LEAVE on June 23rd. This enables us to compare the two areas.

A lot of focus has been put on seat changes but the above data looks at how the vote shares have changed in the two types of seat. The vote change relates to what happened in the wards in comparison to when when they were last fought.

We all know that the LDs have been having a particularly good time in local by-election of late but I was quite surprised by the vote share changes that have the most pro-EU party doing far better in places that voted for BREXIT than those that didn’t.

Turnout, of course, is a key factor. The referendum saw it top 70% in most parts of England while in local by-elections he number of voters participating is a lot fewer so you cannot assume that the make-up of by-election voters will reflect the referendum pattern.

Mike Smithson


The LEAVE campaign’s message on the NHS is still resonating strongly with those who voted for BREXIT

Friday, January 6th, 2017



The majority of leavers think BREXIT will be good for the NHS

The latest YouGov out today, asks a question that has nor been put for some time – whether people think that leaving the EU will be good for the NHS.

This was, of course, the biggest message from the officially designated LEAVE campaign and was the main theme of its referendum broadcasts. There was dispute over the £350m figure but the campaign held firm and continued using it right to election day.

What’s interesting about the latest poll is how many LEAVE voters still believe that BREXIT is going to achieve what was promised – maybe setting up a level of expectation that it might be difficult to fulfil.

REMAIN voters, as can be seen, responded to the question in a totally different way.

For the moment, of course, nobody knows whether this promise can be achieved but, no doubt, it will figure heavily in the political debate once extraction has been achieved.

Mike Smithson


Theoretically at least TMay is the leader with biggest challenge keeping support together over BREXIT

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017


Anti-BREXIT yellows can siphon away blue votes as well as red ones.

While most pundits appear to have focused on Labour’s problems over BREXIT let’s not forgot that the Tory support base is even more divided. YouGov’s latest BREXIT tracker published yesterday had the above splits in party supporters view of the issue that’s set to define British politics.

As can be seen the Tory voter base goes 63% right to 33% wrong on current views of the BREXIT vote. Labour, by comparison has 25% saying decision was right with 69% saying wrong.

While people are talking about the pincers LD-UKIP pincer movement on Labour voters there same exists but more so for the Tory leadership.

    With the LDs kicking on the heels of the Tories in many of the seats Cameron’s party gained in 2015 Mrs. May has to tread very carefully.

With Farron’s party fighting hard in Copeland with an unequivocal anti-BREXIT message the by-election will be a test for both main parties.

Mike Smithson


The big BREXIT news – the resignation of Britain’s Ambassador to the EU only weeks before Article 50 due to be invoked

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017



Britain remains totally split on BREXIT: 44% think it was right and 44% think it was wrong

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017


More wretched leader ratings for Corbyn. LAB voters now rate TMay over him


I’m off to London this evening to take part in a live discussion on BBC2’s Newsnight. We’ll be looking forward to what’s going to happen in 2017.

Mike Smithson


Labour: The party that’s too weak to win but too strong to die

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

More good news for Theresa in Fabian society report

The first working day of 2017 opens with a gloomy report on Labour’s prospects from the Fabian Society covered in the Guardian.

The overall conclusion is that the party could drop to fewer than 150 MPs, driven by difficulties articulating a BREXIT policy, the ongoing Scottish disaster and Jeremy Corbyn’s unpopularity. Labour, it declares, has virtually no chance of an outright majority. Based on current polling and performance in by-elections that must be right. The Guardian goes on:

“.The Fabians’ report identifies a coherent response to Brexit as one of the main obstacles facing Labour. Using YouGov data, it calculates that the party has lost a net 400,000 votes since the last election among pro-leave electors, and 100,000 among those who backed remain, making its backing more strongly pro-remain than before.

This poses a “Brexit dilemma”, the study says, pointing out that Labour needs to somehow appeal more to leave voters without alienating existing supporters who opposed Brexit.

In such a landscape, the report stresses the need for Labour to accept the impossibility of outright victory in the next election and prepare instead for an era of “quasi-federal, multi-party politics”, where it relies on the assistance of other parties…”

My main caveat is that we are in such a period of uncertainty that we really have no idea what the world is be like. How is BREXIT going to be viewed once the extraction process begins and we get a clearer idea what is involved. How will global politics evolve in the Trump era? How is Europe going to look after this year’s big elections in several major countries?

Mike Smithson


Punters make it a 31% chance that the next general election will be in 2017

Thursday, December 29th, 2016


I might be wrong but am yet to be convinced

On the UK front next year looks set to be dominated by BREXIT – the process of extracting the UK from the EU. Doing this successfully is set to be the defining act of Theresa May’s premiership and even though the referendum decision was more than six months ago we still have little idea what this is going to mean.

The PM has managed to keep up her strategy of refusing to get into a discussion on the detail declining, we are told, even requests for enlightenment from the Queen.

The challenge she’s got is that whatever she does it is not going to satisfy all her party’s MPs never mind the country as a whole. She’s also got the ongoing problem of not having a personal mandate. The Tories have a majority because of David Cameron successful GE2015 campaign, not her, and even her CON leadership contest was won without this going to a party members’ ballot.

So the argument goes that there’ll come a time, possibly next year, when she needs to get the public’s backing for the approach to the EU extraction. With Labour looking s weak a general election would seem the logical move.

TM’s position on the Fixed Term Parliament Act has been made easier by the statement by Corbyn before Christmas that Labour would back an early election – something that would almost certainly be required to get round the constraints imposed.

I have three big reservations. On becoming PM she made it clear that she would not seek an election before 2020; a 2017 general election would be fought on the old boundaries, and she appears to be a ditherer on massive decisions which this would be.

So I’m not rushing out to bet.

Mike Smithson


Pre-Christmas voodoo surveys might have had a big move against BREXIT but that’s not been picked in proper polls

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Express & Star Dec 24 2016

The YouGov view of BREXIT tracker


There was a flurry of activity just before Christmas prompted by the publication in the Wolverhampton & Shropshire Express and Star of the “poll” at the top contrasting views on BREXIT now with a similar “poll” carried out in the same manner in March last year. As can be seen it shows a dramatic change in opinion. There are said to have been three other local newspaper polls which have had the same pattern.

    But the problem with these surveys is that they are not and do not seek to be representative of opinion. Anybody can participate online and it does not take a computer genius to find ways of multi-voting.

Thus what we could be seeing is that those feeling most strongly about an issue tend to predominate. So maybe the anti-EU Express and Start readers were most motivated last March – now it is those that don’t want BREXIT.

The most regular proper polling tracker of BREXIT opinion is that from YouGov which features above. As can be seen the numbers haven’t changed very much since the polling started on August 1st. The public is very split and there has been little movement.

The last YouGov polling on this to be published had a fieldwork date of December 4th – so is three weeks old. If there has been any change since then we’ll see in the next YouGov poll most probably in the New Year.

Mike Smithson