Our panel of Party members is more loyalist than the comments below the line – which isn’t difficult – and inclined to give Theresa May and senior Ministers the benefit of the doubt.
Both factors were evident before Christmas when a decisive seven in ten backed the Government’s provisional EU deal, with a fifth of respondents not doing so.
But the transition agreement agreed last month stretched their patience. This is not surprising, since it essentially preserves EU membership de facto until the end of 2020, and marked a retreat by Downing Street from positions Ministers had taken on fisheries and, perhaps especially, immigration. (The biggest win for the Government was an agreement that Britain will be able to strike and sign trade deals during the transition.)
At any rate, 55 per cent are satisfied with the deal, and 38 per cent dissatisfied. On the less sunny side of the street for the Government, almost two in five members are unhappy, according to our finding. On the sunnier side, this negotiation still has plenty of legs in it.
Furthermore, for over half of Party members to be satisfied with the EU status quo, at any point in time whatsoever, shows in this instance their instinctive willingness to give May the benefit of the doubt – which bodes well for her in the talks going forward.