The first voting intention polls published since the election was called were in this morning’s papers: Survation for the Mail, Ipsos MORI for the Standard and YouGov for the Times. Topline figures were

Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% (tabs)
Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% (tabs)
YouGov – CON 36%, LAB 21%, LDEM 18%, BREX 13%, GRN 6% (tabs).

There’s quite a spread between the results – Ipsos MORI have the Conservatives up above 40, their highest in any poll since August. YouGov and Survation have them in the mid-thirties. Labour’s support varies between 26% in Survation down to 21% in YouGov. All three have the Lib Dems between 18%-20%. This means while the Conservative lead varies, there is a consistent Conservative lead across the board as we start the campaign.

It’s worth noting that that Tory lead is largely down to a split opposition. Even in the MORI poll the Conservatives have lost support since the election (in the YouGov and Survation polls they’ve lost a lot of support). This is not a popular government – in the MORI poll, their satisfaction rating is minus 55 – it’s just that the main opposition have lost even more support. The healthy Conservative lead is down to the fact that the Conservatives are retaining the bulk of the Leave vote, while the remain vote is split between Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, the SNP, Plaid and so on.

For as long as this is the case, the Conservatives should do well. If it should change they’ll struggle. If the Brexit party manage to get back into the race and take support from the Tories it would eat into their lead. The other risk for the Tories is if the Remain vote swings more decisively behind either Labour or the Liberal Democrats (or that there are signs of more effective tactical voting, winning seats off the Conservatives despite a split vote). Essentially Boris Johnson needs to keep the Leave vote united and the Remain vote divided.

It is also worth considering how the Conservative lead might translate into seats. In 2017 the Conservative lead over Labour was only two and a half percentage points. You would therefore expect an eight point Conservative lead to translate into a majority, and a fifteen or seventeen point lead to be a landslide. In reality that Survation poll could easily be touch-and-go for a Tory majority and, while the bigger leads would likely get a Tory majority, it may not be landslide territory.

The reason that the Conservatives translated votes more effectively into seats in 2015 and 2017 was to do with the distribution of the vote. The Conservative re-emergence in Scotland meant that Tory votes up there were no longer wasted (but Labour votes increasingly were), the collapse of the Liberal Democrats in the South-West meant that the Tories vote there returned more MPs. If at the coming election we see those trends reverse, and the Conservatives lose seats to the SNP in Scotland and the Lib Dems in the South, then suddenly their votes won’t be translated so effectively into seats, and they’ll need to win more seats off Labour to make up for it.

Right now we have little evidence of how uniform or not the changes in support are, of whether there is evidence of tactical voting (Survation have released a couple of constituency polls they have conducted for the Liberal Democrats showing them doing very well in individual seats, but I don’t think it’s too cynical to imagine that the Lib Dems may have selectively published seats they are doing particularly well in). In the fulness of time I expect we will see the publication of MRP models along the lines of those YouGov conducted in 2017 that may give us a better steer, but I’ll come to that another day.

In the meantime, as we cross the starting line the Conservatives have a clear lead in the polls, but how it translates into seats is unclear. In the polls with the smaller Tory leads, it may not produce a majority at all. Equally, their lead is dependent upon the Leave vote remaining relatively united, and the Remain vote remaining divided, if that changes, the race could end up being far closer.

515 Responses to “The first polls of the campaign”

1 8 9 10 11
  1. CB – Dorrell as well now a Lib Dem.

    Under my hypothesis (as you kindly call it) Labour would move a bit towards the centre so the space for the LDs would be slightly to the right of centre picking up voters who in the past would have voted for the party of Clarke, Gyimah and the rest.

    Easy to see why no more Labour MPs, other than 3 of the ex Change UK ones, have joined the LDs. Chukka is probably in the right home now and Angela Smith is irrelevant as she will not be an MP much longer but Berger should not be in the LDs imo. That the Labour Party became unwelcoming to her is a shocking but I think she may feel out of place surrounded by lots of Austerity backers.


    “Didn’t it get partisan in here, all of a sudden. Downright insulting too.”

    ‘Twas ever thus. It’s just coming to a head at the moment because, unlike at this point in 2017, no-one’s really sure what’s going to happen in this election, or with Brexit, or anything really.

    Time to get the site modded or get used to it.

  3. Another poll – Delta Poll

    Deltapoll/Mail on Sunday (31st-2nd):

    CON 40 (+3)
    LAB 28 (+4)
    LD 14 (-5)
    BXP 11 (=)

    No other figures tweeted.

    Trend appears clear across all recent polls. Tories up, Lab up, LD down, BXP flat or down.

  4. Tactical Voting websites can help guide voters where parties are stronger and this might be a guide to the public. However the past results do not always reflect the state of the parties now. Some examples of 3 way marginals are Watford/ Southport where Labour came 2nd in 2016 but Lib Dems stronger now. Other examples are the Finchley (Berger) Cities of Westminster (Umunna). However bookmaker sites for each seat odds could be more useful guide at the end of the campaign for tactical votes.

  5. Westminster voting intention:

    CON: 40% (+3)
    LAB: 28% (+4)
    LDEM: 14% (-5)
    BREX: 11% (-)

    , 31 Oct – 02 Nov

  6. @JimJam

    Thanks, and I see what you’re suggesting might happen in that sort of political realignment, although I wonder what sort of party may need to be created to cater for the genuinely left wing part of the electorate who may feel abandoned by Labour’s drift to the centre. Of course, and this is an old hobby horse of mine, a truly representative electoral system would sort all this nonsense out and these preposterous monolithic broad churches would splinter into more credible little chapels, much more representative of the people who actually vote for them.

    Dorrell’s defection is another weather vane that says more about the party he left rather than the one he’s joined. If the modern Tory Party is no longer a place for decent centre right politicians like Dorrell, Woolason, Allen, Gyimah, Parris, Stewart, Rudd etc, then while that might not immediately harm them in this forthcoming election, it has real mid to long term implications for them as a political party. With an avowedly right wing membership and ever more right leaning leadership and parliamentary party, they will have abandoned the centre ground. Brexit is creating an electoral base for them for now, maybe even an election winning one, but then I think they will be horribly exposed in time. Essentially, they’ll have become too narrow.

    As for the polls, they still look dismal for Labour but we are in a phoney war for now with real campaigning yet to start. There are all sorts of imponderables; head to head Corbyn v Johnson TV debates, Farage’s final electoral strategy, manifesto publications and launches, even handed TV and Radio media treatment, gaffes aplenty to come and God knows what else. The runaway train hasn’t left the station yet! :-})

    Accordingly, the polls are merely noise at present. Worrying noise for Labour, I agree, but a din that might well sound distinctly different in four week’s time.

  7. @RJW
    So we have a range of pills… and the Orb one shows only a 8 point difference con/lab. In what way does this indicate they are narrowing when also tonight we have Opinium showing a 16 point difference??

  8. @Pikey

    6 weeks of this and we’ll need a whole range of pills !

  9. Quick question about the forum. Does DrMibbles still post on here?

  10. Went to the indy rally in Glasgow this afternoon [1]

    Leaders of largest pro-indy parties – SNP and SGP – spoke along with other speakers from those parties and the wider Yes movement.

    As expected, the main themes were of Scotland as a diverse, inclusive country looking outwards, not inwards, and contrasting that with Brexiting rUK. Nothing new there, and appealing to younger, more educated, socially liberal folk.

    In terms of the forthcoming election, however, it was noteworthy that Labour got only a passing mention, LDs and BxP none at all, and the attacks were concentrated on a Tory dominated Westminster.

    While, this election in E&W looks like being dominated by Brexit, the rally confirmed my impression that, in Scotland, the SNP are going to push indy in a way that they failed to do in 2017, while SCon are going to talk of little else than keeping the UK Union intact.

    Whether there is any space left for SLab in Scottish politics is unclear.

    [1] With the whole of the Aberdeen game being shown on BBC Alba at 6pm, it was a good way to avoid seeing the score earlier.

  11. Polls pretty useless at moment.

    Only things they seem to to confirm:

    – as usual, a GE election focuses peoples minds and they always seem to drift back to the two main parties.

    – Tories start the campaign with a double figures lead.

    Interesting to note that Johnson starts the campaign with a smaller VI than May did in 2017 and on the whole a smaller lead over Labour.

    All to play for.

    No one is expecting a Tory landslide.

    No one is expecting a Labour govt on Dec 13th.

  12. @CROSSBAT11

    hose were the bad old days when the class warrior members of the Welsh national Rugby side used to call the England team “The Jonathans.” God knows where they got that idea from, but that’s what they thought about the England team back then.

    That’s pretty surreal, not least considering how many of our best players have been called John or Jonathan!

    Of course, my favourite is the real life firm of estate agents in Kidderminster – “Doolittle and Dalley.”

    It’s true, folks. Honest.

    Likewise here, the local solicitors’ firm “Wright Hassall” are going from strength to strength.

  13. @Statgeek

    “Didn’t it get partisan in here, all of a sudden. Downright insulting too.”

    The usual rule of thumb applies: don’t feed the troll. In the unlikely event that the troll happens to be me; don’t feed me as such but feel free to provide constructive feedback. I never intentionally troll.

  14. “Quick question about the forum. Does DrMibbles still post on here?”

    I think I am being automodded for some reason…

  15. ComRes (@ComRes) Tweeted:
    Our first #GE2019 Westminster voting intention of the campaign on behalf of the Sunday Express

    CON 36% (+3)
    LAB 28% (-1)
    LD 17% (-1)
    BRX 10% (-2)
    Other 9% (-)

    30th – 31st Oct

    (changes from ComRes/
    poll, 19th Oct 2019)

    Similar trend, save in this case Lab/LD flat, Tories up BXP down.

  16. @MOG

    For all the various and assorted certainties expressed on here, the betting public are currently wholly confused.

    Bill Hill’s current odds are No Overall control – even money; Conservative majority – even money; Labour majority – 12/1.

    Not sure that’s a confused market – when you allow for the margin they need to make their money, that’s saying they think you could pretty much toss a coin whether the Tories get a majority or whether no-one does, with ok still a pretty small chance of Labour getting one.

    On the latter bit, I think it was @TREVOR WARNE who drew attention to how much that price was reducing – possibly as a result of believers or chancers seeing odds of 25/1, 33/1 and putting down a few quid “just in case”. That would be enough to reduce the price quite a bit in the early stages as politics betting markets tend to be quite slow to get going.

  17. RAF

    You never unintentionally troll either. A troll ” is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages”.

    Being partisan may be discouraged on this site, but isn’t trolling.

  18. In the latest polls, there’s the slight hint that votes are starting to go back to the two big parties in England. Well, it’s very early days, but if things do start to play out like 2017, then maybe it’s worth comparing the figures now with a similar time out from the 2017 GE. Right now, we’re about equivalent to 29th April 2017 in terms of time before the vote. Wiki suggests the average polling at that point was about:

    CON: 46
    LAB: 29
    LIBD: 10
    UKIP: 7
    SNP: 4
    GRN: 3

    The current Britain Elects averages, with comparisons to 2017, are about:

    CON: 36 (-10)
    LAB: 25 (-4)
    LIBD: 17 (+7)
    UKIP: 11 (+4)
    SNP: (4)* (-)
    GRN: 4 (+1)

    * Britain elects doesn’t average SNP, but it’s usually 3 or 4, more often than not 4 nowadays.

    So quite different at the moment, let’s see if they converge or diverge over the next weeks.


    “That’s pretty surreal, not least considering how many of our best players have been called John or Jonathan!”

    On the rugby forum I use the Welsh posters refer to the English players as “Nigels”.

  20. @MOG

    Sorry, hit Submit too soon – meant to add that those odds are what you’d get if “the betting public” confidently expected CON seats as specific as say 320-330, so I think we’d need to see more contradictory prices before agreeing things are confused.

  21. Yougov (compared to 29/30 Oct)

    CON 39 (+3)
    LAB 27 (+6)
    LIB 16 (-2)
    BXP 7 (-6)

  22. Trig Guy

    “Britain elects doesn’t average SNP, but it’s usually 3 or 4, more often than not 4 nowadays”

    A rounded 3% or 4% for SNP in a GB poll is completely meaningless.

    Chris in Cardiff made a sensible point upthread about how to view elections in Wales.

    There are election campaigns going on in the 4 polities of the UK. Each of these is different, and there are regional variations within each of them. The eventual outcome of all of these contests will determine the composition of the HoC.

    Quite reasonably, most of the comments here concentrate on the election in England – most on here live in that polity, and it is by far the largest – but most reflect only one polity.

  23. @MARTINW

    :-) Even more surreal, given the most famous referee in the game!

    Though it does remind me of a game in the old Five Nations where the Welsh scrum-half was called Rupert and the English scrum-half was called Dewi.

  24. Ooops, UKIP should have been BXP in the second set, but I think it’s reasonable to compare BXP this time to UKIP last time.

  25. That’s an interesting comparison Trigguy. From memory, Labour started making significant ground in the final 3weeks?
    One thing I would question though is the UKIP figure? As high as 11?

  26. @ ON

    “A rounded 3% or 4% for SNP in a GB poll is completely meaningless.”

    Point taken. But if I didn’t include SNP in the list, you or someone else would probably complain. I’d include PC at 1% if any Welsh started complaining – I aim to please.

  27. Seems like a bit of silliness on here about the England rugby team’s pedigree. Do we really care?

    There are times when everyone should be allowed to enjoy a sporting spectacle without the perennial questioning of background, motive, and categorization.

    As a Scotsman, I certainly enjoyed the spectacle. :)

    [Actually, I was backing England, but happy enough for SA to be crowned champions. For the English politicians and media, perhaps the rugby is a lesson to not get too carried away in thinking your favourite will easily triumph?]

  28. ComRes starting to come into line a bit more with the rest of the pack with that 8% lead, they were the outlier a few weeks ago. Still, the Libs seem to be feeling the squeeze a bit, they’re going to need to get themselves back in the game.


    I still can’t see how a LibDem surge is likely to benefit CON rather than LAB….however much you might want it to!

    What it comes down to is that there isn’t going to be much, if any, Con-Lib switching over the course of the campaign, the current Tory VI just doesn’t contain those sort of remainers. As such, every voter that moves over to LD will probably have come from Labour. While this might be enough to lose the Tories some seats to the Liberals, those are relatively few in number and the swings for those will need to be quite large, frequently double-digit. Meanwhile, there are far, far more seats where Labour losing just a few percent of the vote to the Lib Dems would be enough to turn the seat blue.

  29. @ Pike

    “From memory, Labour started making significant ground in the final 3weeks?”

    I was using the wiki here:

    By eye, I’d say more like the last four weeks.


    I thought it a bit odd that Johnson called such a long campaign, given his apparent poll lead. In general, if the government is ahead in the polls, they go for a short campaign, to minimise risk. In 1997, Major called an unusually long six week campaign, as he was trailing badly and hoped that something might turn up.

    The six week campaign we have now is as we head into winter, and as NHS issues always become worse. There is currently very low ‘flu incidence, yet the NHS is creaking badly. No 10 is clearly concerned about the risk, as the link shows, but if the media start to pick up and elevate the no normal seasonal crises in NHS trusts and turn this into an election issue, it can only help Labour.


    I liked your analysis earlier – one thing I was curious about was that you made no mention of the Brexit Party. If Labour’s support is starting from as poor a position as the most recent Welsh polls suggest, are you confident that there are no seats where a poor Labour showing and a strong Brexit vote could effect enough of a split that Plaid end up coming through the middle?

    Thinking places where they don’t normally feature in a Westminster election but have done well in local or Senedd polls, Rhondda and Blaenau Gwent perhaps?

  32. D-T-‘E-P

    The Sunday Telegraph, for whom the ORB Poll was done, are reporting it as a tightening.
    Not that anyone can be certain of such things, as yet.
    The thing is that as I said earlier, we’ll soon know which way the wind is blowing

  33. OK my research showing Brexit Party VI holding strong if they put up candidates against Conservative (even Brexit Conservatives) in West Midlands.
    Of course things may change.
    Nigel Farage being on TV and newspapers (in a sober suit speaking calmly, not cheese smile) and Trump juxtaposition is shoring him up. If GE this week, I would expect better than 2015 Farage vote.
    Feel bad around as campaign starts. Rain and losing rugby. A bitter cold spell, ice, big company going bust, could smash inch thick Tory support.
    Of course, some feelgood could do the opposite.

    Purdah starts after Midnight on November 6th.
    Civil Servants must be neutral. No big policy announcements from government. No government financed press releases pro-government. Reduces scope to manufacture feelgood.

    Candidates set in stone. Must have registered papers (and deposit). Candidates cannot now withdraw.
    If no deal between Farage and Boris, then it is too late to do it afterwards. Will Farage list all his candidates? What will be Remain Alliance deals of free passage ? Green, Plaid, Change, etc ?
    How many Independents will enter the race? In Walsall North this could be around 1000 votes if one regular candidate gives it a go. The really minor parties can eat up over 500 votes combined in many constituencies.





    Also PROXY VOTER deadline.

    By now I hope I have voted by hand (not risking the post). So election over for me and many like me.

    Trump, Macron and Merkel may say something affecting the mood.
    Trump may be shoulder to shoulder with Farage, or NOT. It could matter.
    This could be a disruption point.


    I have not done Strictly or The Apprentice which are approaching the business end of the series.
    A Conservative-Brexit Coupon election will have no problem. Without a 20 point lead, Boris will be foolish to risk turning it down. If the Opinion polls tighten, then the narrative looks dreadful. MPs will panic.
    Oh yes, at least one national newspaper may close during the GE campaign! A few expected to go in the next 6 months. More staff cutbacks at local and regional newspapers imminent.
    Riding a unicycle through a minefield to expect guaranteed feelgood between now and December 12th.

  34. @Carfrew – re fracking and seats, that sounds about right.

    I can’t now find the link, but the BBC reported a few weeks back 26 Tory MPs met with Johnson to impress upon him how unpopular fracking was and that they felt it was an electoral risk.

    I’m afraid I am completely cynical about this announcement. It is no ban, and Corbyn is cmletely correct, in my view. Come Dec 13th, they will find a reason to continue.

    The arguement that they are listening to science doesn’t wash with me, Science has been telling them for years that killing badgers is expensive and a useless way to get rid of bTB, but that doesn’t stop them, because they think they will get more agricultural votes from slaughtering wildlife.

  35. @ Crossbat11

    “Ford & Farrel . . .”

    Oh Rugby players, with northern accents. Fascinating (not). Having lived in Manchester for decades I much prefer the Manc accent to the cockney. You hardly move yr lips & speak from the far back of yr throat. It’s cool, like ventriloquism. Try it.

    They tried to make me play rugby at school. But after I punched some thug who assaulted me (only punch I have ever thrown) I was sent off for life. It’s a filthy, disgusting, despicable sport.
    At least we won’t be reading “Nation euphoric at blah blah”.

    As for poor old @ Colin. he’s a class warrior, just for a different class. The one which is using Brexit to gain even more money & power for itself.
    As E. P. Thompson said (echoing Marx), everyone is aware of other people’s ideologies & blissfully unconscious of their own.

  36. Trig Guy

    “you or someone else would probably complain.”

    It wouldn’t have been me.

    I’ve been pointing out for years on here, that it’s bloody stupid to aggregate polling from different polities, as if there is a unitary GB or UK political context.

  37. Just a thought – We don’t get many ICM polls these days (I guess because of their poor performance at the last GE). After 2017 the Guardian newspaper announced they would continue to commission ICM polls, but it looks like it’s more than 12 months since the last Guardian-commissioned ICM poll (and more than 3 weeks since the last ICM VI poll for anyone).

    On the polls – Deltapoll obviously slows a narrowing (by 1 point) of the Tory lead, but this is well within MoE. Plus rounding. The overall picture is still that there’s been no narrowing.

    Of course, the fact that Lab and Con have both advanced while LD look like they’re standing still means that the Con lead over LD has increased, but whether this means anything for Con v LD battlegrounds is unclear, due to regional variation, tactical voting, etc.

  38. @MOG
    Sorry- I’m a nurse by trade, it’s an occupational hazard!

  39. @OLDNAT

    “As expected, the main themes were of Scotland as a diverse, inclusive country looking outwards, not inwards, and contrasting that with Brexiting rUK. Nothing new there, and appealing to younger, more educated, socially liberal folk.”

    You know around 50% of the rUK was/is against Brexit and is as outward-looking, diverse and inclusive as Scotland, arguably even more so, despite our pathetic government?

    You also know over 1m people in Scotland voted for Brexit? I assume they’ve all changed their mind now?

  40. @crossbat11
    If Farage guarantees no relegation for Villa, could he put you down as a maybe?
    Probably dress it up as only two to go down from Premier League until Brexit has been fully completed and trade deal with Australia and USA signed and sealed.
    Great performances with no points, or one point when it should have been three, has been known to relegate teams. They need to start beating the two teams above them and four below them.

  41. Lewblew

    You obviously didn’t notice the bit when I said it was an indy rally.

    What I was reporting on was the tenor of the argument being made, and the demographics it was being addressed to.

    Since you can read and comprehend, I can only assume you are being silly.

    Perhaps not fully trolling according to the definition, but certainly indicative that you might lurk under bridges.

  42. Batty

    When I was playing the North East clubs i particularly liked the comics name for Geordie solicitors: “Gannaway and Shite.”

  43. Batty

    When I was playing the North East clubs I particularly liked the Geordie comics name for a fictitious local firm of solicitors: “Gannaway and Sh*te.”

  44. “Talking of company names, I was a great fan of Private Eye’s firm of solicitors called “Sue, Grabbet and Runn.”
    @crossbat11 November 2nd, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Re Private Eye, you may enjoy this:

    I can’t post the contents for obvious reasons. :-)

  45. Yougov’s collapse of the brexit party vote from 13% to 7% is interesting – looks like an outlier at this stage but i guess we will see. Judging by the plusses and minusses for the different parties it looks like labour benefit as much from this as the conservatives (i know its not necessarily that simple though)

  46. Boris poll has been going up since he got the job, but way below May VI lead at outset of 2017 GE.
    If he wants to be PM on December 13th, then a deal with Farage secures that. If not, I would say it is 50:50 and depends on events, weather, local campaigning.
    If he gets a report that Uxbridge looks touch and go, will he want to be seen to be campaigning hundreds of miles from there?
    Can not fathom why he did not get a safe seat (plenty available) so it is not an issue.
    The campaign will require all his energy leading from the very front. The miles, the TV debates and oh yes he is also PM running the government. A very tired Boris might be in danger of doing a Gordon Brown meets Gillian Duffy in Oldham in 2010.

  47. @RJW
    That’s interesting? The polls (pills!!) this evening are showing a fairly consistent average of 12 points for Cons. I wonder if the Tory media are pushing the ‘narrowing’ narrative to mobilise the Tory vote?

  48. @Robbiealive – “As for poor old @ Colin. he’s a class warrior, just for a different class.”

    I’m not going to join in relating this to @Colin, but you make a good general point here. The ‘class warrior’ tag is (il)liberally dished out to some on the left, while others on the right feel free to claim Corbyn as a Venezualan loving Marxist or somesuch, while presumably denying they are engaging in anything so degrading as a class war.

  49. That’s an interesting YouGov, especially in terms of YG coming into line with the other polls in terms of the Lab lead over LD. The previous YG polls had shown Lab only barely ahead of LD. In the latest one, Lab have an 11-point advantage over LD, comparable to other pollsters.

    Of course, this could be a fluke/one-off/rogue poll – but it’s also possible that YG are reflecting a certain focusing of minds and increasing tactical thinking among some voters at this early stage of the campaign.

    In terms of the increase YG shows in the Lab share it’s fairly dramatic, even if it brings them into line with other pollsters… but again, more polls are needed to know whether this pattern continues.

  50. I live in Battersea and think i have already had as much from the parties as i did during the entire 2017 campaign. Not surprising given that projections have this as a probable three way marginal at the moment. I imagine the lib dems and labour especially are keen to set themselves out early as the leading anti-conservative/pro-remain vote candidate so that that vote then coalesces around them.

1 8 9 10 11