Hell Week No.49
by Andrew Hawkins, Chairman

Good morning and welcome to another week of turbulence.  Here are ten things to ponder from recent polling:


  1. The second week of October was supposed to be Theresa May’s ‘Hell Week’, but each week now merits that description. Loyal believers should reflect that over the medium term, even Prime Ministers whose luck is better than that of Theresa May become less appealing to voters over time, not more.


  1. Labour has little reason to be more chipper. Although in yesterday’s ComRes poll, shared by the Sunday Mirror and Sunday Express, Labour were four points clear, they would still be 26 seats short of a majority. With smaller parties doing badly, it is hard to see where Labour can steal votes from at election time.


  1. The Tories face the same problem finding more voters – but, if (a big ‘if’) they can get boundary changes through, they would win 40 more seats than Labour on the same vote share.


  1. Support for Leave/Remain has barely moved since 2016. Yesterday’s poll found that a referendum now would see 51/49 in favour of Remain. But that part of our poll did not account for the inevitable differential turnout between older and younger people.  For all the noise, nothing has changed.


  1. Most people favour the implementation of the 2016 referendum over calling for a rematch.  A third (36%) support a referendum irrespective of any deal, 12% support one if no deal, but 53% do not support one at all. A sizeable proportion (12%) have ‘had enough of Brexit and would not vote’ or would spoil their ballot paper in protest at being asked the same question again.


  1. Tory rebels have not yet made the case for Theresa May to go now– 47% think she should stay at least until 29 March 2019, 33% disagree. But only 31% think she should resign ASAP and trigger a succession battle.


  1. There is little appetite for another General Election. While one in four think Theresa May should ‘stay in office and call an election immediately’, three-quarters either do not or do not know.  Having had three UK-wide elections in as many years, the public might judge harshly being marched back to polling stations for political expediency rather than national advantage.


  1. Contrary to popular opinion, Boris is not a busted flush. First or second favourite with most bookies, among voters he and the Mogg are unusual among leadership contenders in that their popularity goes beyond the current Conservative vote base.


  1. For all the talk of having to burn furniture and eat our pets, fears over post-Brexit chaos are evident but confined largely to those who never wanted to leave the EU in the first place.


  1. The fundamentals remain largely unchanged – despite yet another Hell Week, Theresa May appears unpopular but consistently polls at least 50% better than Jeremy Corbyn as best PM.


Brace yourselves…