Today’s Sunday papers have the first polls conducted since the local elections, from Opinium and ComRes.

Opinium for the Observer have Westminster voting intentions of CON 22%(-4), LAB 28%(-5), LDEM 11%(+5), BREX 21%(+4), GRN 6%(+2), ChUK 4%(nc), UKIP 4%(nc). Fieldwork was between Wednesday and Friday, and changes are from late April. Full tables are here.

ComRes for BrexitExpress have voting intentions of CON 19%(-4), LAB 27%(-6), LDEM 14%(+7), BREX 20%(+6), GRN 5%(+2), ChUK 7%(-2), UKIP 3%(-2). Fieldwork appears to be all on Thursday, and changes are since mid-April.

Both polls have Labour and the Conservatives rapidly shedding support, with support growing for the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit party. I suspect we are seeing a combination of factors at work here, most obviously there is the continuing collapse in Conservative support over Brexit, a trend we’ve been seeing since the end of March, with support moving to parties with a clearer pro-Brexit policy. Originally that favoured UKIP too, now it is almost wholly going to the Brexit party.

Secondly there is the impact of the local elections and the Liberal Democrat successes there. For several years the Lib Dems seemed moribund and struggled to be noticed. The coverage of their gains at the local elections seems to have given them a solid boost in support, more so than the other anti-Brexit parties – for now at least, they seem to be very much alive & well again.

Third is the impact of the European elections. People are obviously more likely to vote for smaller parties in the European elections and in current circumstances obviously appear more willing to lend their vote to a different party in protest over Brexit. To some degree this will be influencing other voting intention figures as well, so I would treat Westminster voting intention figures with some scepticism in the run up to the European elections (and probably in the immediate aftermath as well, when those parties who do well will likely recieve a further boost in support).

In short, these are startling results – but we have seen startling results before (look at the polls at the height of SDP support, or just after the expenses scandal broke, or during Cleggmania). These are indeed very unusual results – the combined level of Con-Lab support in these polls are some of the very lowest we’ve seen, the Conservative share in the ComRes poll almost their lowest ever (I can find only a single Gallup poll with a lower figure, from back in 1995). What we cannot tell at the moment is whether this portends a serious readjustment of the parties, or whether things will return to more familar patterns once the European elections have passed, the Conservatives have a new leader and (assuming it ever happens) Brexit is in some way settled.

Both polls also had voting intention figures for the European Parliament elections

Opinium Euro VI – CON 11%, LAB 21%, LDEM 12%, BREX 34%, GRN 8%, ChUK 3%, UKIP 4%
ComRes Euro VI – CON 13%, LAB 25%, LDEM 14%, BREX 27%, GRN 8%, ChUK 6%, UKIP 3%

Both have the Brexit party ahead, though they are doing considerably better with Opinium than with ComRes. In both cases the Liberal Democrats have recieved a post-local election boost, putting them above the Conservatives in European voting intentions.

760 Responses to “New Opinium and ComRes polls”

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  1. @ALEC

    UKIP/BXP at standstill, Lab down but within MoE, Con likewise, and LD/GReen/Chuk up a combined 7%. Strikingly,. it’s the Lib Dems making the huge leaps, and this should be doubly worrying for Con.

    Or, continuing the tomayto-tomahto theme, UKIP/BXP back to their 2014 strength, Labour slipping slightly backwards from an already losing position nationally, Con almost holding steady despite years of shambolic “government”… not my interpretations you understand, just demonstrating the fitness of current data for earnest and honest interpretation in opposite directions!

    Also, on the LibDems… this being Wales it’s a pretty messy question. Recent history suggests a LibDem resurgence could be more of a threat to Labour in the medium-term – whilst the only Westminster seats they have any remote chance of threatening currently are two Tory ones, when Labour were last losing control of their major councils it was the LibDems doing the damage.

    Voting for “change” or “against the system” or however dissatisfaction is crudely summarised, is a trickier business when there’s a usually Tory government in Westminster, a perpetually Labour one in Cardiff and (so far) Independence has never been a serious proposition politically. A UK Labour party whose most senior and visible figures are currently almost all London MPs probably doesn’t help either. Nor I suspect would the advent of say Boris as Tory leader. Maybe in a few years we’ll be talking of WLab and WCon with a real sense of distinction?

  2. I have been giving some thought to the likely near future. Assume that the EP vote goes much as predicted (i.e. bad for both Labour and Tories).

    May brings her MV4 to the Commons in the first week of June and is defeated heavily. Any indicative votes remain inconclusive.

    May announces her resignation as Tory party leader immediately and that she will stay on as PM until the new leader is elected (she could hand over to her deputy, but it seems pointless).

    The Tories elect a hard Brexiteer as leader dring the summer.

    I think that we would all agree that this is highly likely.

    The new Brexiteer PM faces the same problem as May, no majority in the Commons for either No deal Brexit or May’s Brexit. The obvious way out is a GE with an explicit Brexit manifesto, which avoids the need for a second referendum..

    Now the problem turns to Labour. What does their manifesto say? Do they stick with Corbyn’s soft Brexit or do they demand a second referendum (the choice of most of their MPs).

    If, as seems likely from Electoral Calculus, no party will have a majority in the Commons, but Labour will be the largest party, will the Government (whoever it is) be bound by their manifesto. There is certainly time for all this to play out before October 31st.

  3. Stephen Crabb, former Welsh Secretary, offers his view of what is happening in HoC.

    “He said: “We instead [of bringing the “A game”] served up Brexit the soap opera, a gripping and riotous comedy…and a seemingly never-ending stream of Second World War metaphors…..

    ….Nothing of any real consequence is happening there [HoC] day to day….

    ….No other issue has left our party and parliamentary system so exposed and appearing so helpless and bereft of leadership and purpose as Brexit…..

    ……Next Thursday we are going to learn in a very painful way that there is not a bottomless pit of public goodwill and sympathy…..

    ….This government has reached the end of the road and I am very sad to say also for this prime minister who I have backed fully.”

  4. @Pete B

    “They’ve probably softened the law since then though. I thought you might know.”


    Ah, well LeftieLib seems to have the scoop on that. I suppose one might expect Liberals might be up to speed on the centralising of Powers in the EU. Interesting that the law got softened. Glad you drew attention to it.

  5. QUOTE (Laszlo) “Essentially, parties are partially stuck in the 1960s marketing – it was flawed, but worked because there was a mass market…”

    I won’t quote your whole post as, while very interesting, is lengthy.

    I may have mis-understood you, so, feel free to correct me if so, but, this sounds to me like the sort of social-media marketing that Aaron Banks used for the Brexit referendum.

    Personally, I think that these sot of techniques could undermine democracy. Here’s why.

    As a leftwing remainer, I would be the sort of person that would get served ads from the leave campaign with photos of, and quotes from Tony Benn or Dennis Skinner.

    Someone who, to take an extreme example is in ‘Briain First’ type groups, would likely have got served ads talking about immigration.

    Someone who is centrist would have got something else again.

    When a party, any party, delivers leaflets or puts out an election broadcast, you can eithor agree or disagree with them. People would talk about it in the pubs or supermarkets, newspaper columnists would react poositively or negatively. It’s pretty much transparent.

    With something like micro-targeted ads, they will be designed to appeal to something you already believe in. Because they are micro-targeted, there is no transparancy, no scrutiny – and your friends and relatives will be getting different ads to you.

    Such things could also be used negatively. For example, the LibDems are campaigning with the slogan “[email-protected] to Brexit”. Pretty stark and clear for all to see. What’s to stop someone who is anti-LibDem to put out a targetted ad, in yellow, implying that tthe LibDems would let in millions of migrants, and serve it to someone with concerns about immigration.

    Would the person recieving it realise that it WASN’T from the LibDems?

    Add to this that these ads can be put out by anyone with enough money. Whether state actors of private individuals or groups – and from any country in the world.

    For the record, I don’t think any of the main, established parties would play dirty like this, simply because the political risks at getting caught out would be too great, but, there are certainly others that would, which I think is bad for democracy.

  6. LeftieLiberal : The new Brexiteer PM faces the same problem as May, no majority in the Commons for either No deal Brexit or May’s Brexit. The obvious way out is a GE with an explicit Brexit manifesto, which avoids the need for a second referendum..

    Not merely with an explicit Brexit manifesto, but with an explicit deal with the Brexit Party. The Tories agree to stand down in say 150 non Tory-held seats where the Brexit Party has at least as good a chance as the Tories or better; plus the thirty or forty Tory seats currently held by the most ardent Tory Remainers. The Brexit Party, and maybe the Tories too, unilaterally agree to stand down in the (rather few) seats held by Labour Brexiteers.

    And the deal includes acceptance that The Brexit Party can be as rude as it likes about the Tories on the campaign trail.

    If the Tories are at say 23% in the polls now, and Brexit are on say 18%, then such a pact might lose a few Tory Remain voters, but the combined outfit might easily get 36%. That could be enough to win a very comfortable ajority if Remain forces were divided. (Putting 36% Tory (as a proxy for Tory-Brexit), 26 Lab, 20 LD into EC generates 362 Tories.)

    So if Tory + Brexit finished up on say 360 seats, you might expect Brexit to have maybe 60 of those. So a short route to a no deal Brexit. and enough for the Brexit Party (plus Spartans) to have the Tory PM by the goolies. Which would be fine for the Tory PM.

    And fine for Nigel too. He only has to find 150 candidates, and he finishes up with a lock on a no deal Brexit. Much better than no seats, a Labour government and no Brexit.

    Even if it failed, the Brexiteer Tory Leader would have shed the Grieves and the Letwins (even if they had stood as Independents or ChUks.)

    As for the argument that the Tories would never stand down anywhere cos they’re a national party – remember why they’re called the Conservative and Unionist Party. They did a deal with the Liberal Unionists and finished up swallowing them.

  7. Lightening the loaf of polling, I’d just like to say that the day after Mrs SDA and I have voted in this most north westerly outpost of the West Midlands, we shall be heading through the North West Badlands and entering Mr Nat’s polity on Saturday.

    We’ll hang a left somewhere around Gretna and head west spending a night in Garlieston (not Galveston) and head on down to the wide spaces of the Mull of Galloway (nothing to do with Mr George of that ilk, I hope) where we will spend a few days mulling (sorry) over the EP results.

    Having celebrated with a cold cup of tea and a damp rich tea biscuit we’ll retrace our route back to the demi paradise that is North Staffs.

  8. may was offering parliament the chance to vote on weather they wanted a 2nd ref if they passed her deal.
    So no sort of offer at all really. If she’d attached a 2nd ref to the deal she might have got it through.

  9. Brexiteer populace now turning their hate on Brexiteer MPs. Is no-one safe?

    This government (and Cameron’s of course) really have ruined this country for decades to come – it’ll be solid arguing and distrust of politicians no matter what the outcome of the next few months.

    I look back to the triumph of the 2012 Olympics, and my pride, and now just feel sad and ashamed!

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