Jubilee polling

Over the last a week or so there has been huge amounts of polling on the Jubilee and the royal family. We have polls from Ipsos MORI, from ICM in the Guardian, three lots from YouGov (summarised here), Populus for the Times here and ComRes in the Indy.

All the polls show much the same thing. The monarchy is overwhelmingly popular – with between 73-82% supporting keeping the monarchy and only 13-18% supporting replacing it with an elected president.

The Queen herself is extremely well respected. 76-86% think she has done a good job, only 5-10% think she has done badly. Even amongst people who support an elected head of state, 61% think the Queen personally has done a good job.

People are less positive about Charles. Many of the polls have asked questions along the lines of whether Charles should become King when the Queen dies, or should step aside in favour of Prince William (whose own ratings are extremely high). Between 40% (MORI) and 48% (ICM) think the throne should skip a generation and pass directly to William.

For the Jubilee itself, a third of people say they will personally be celebrating the Jubilee, with 50% saying they will not. 20% of people think they will be attending a party to celebrate the Jubilee, with 52% thinking they will watch television coverage of the Jubilee celebrations in London.

A lot of newspaper coverage of the polls has reported them in the light of support for the monarchy being highest ever – certainly I’ve been asked a lot whether the jubilee has made the monarchy more popular. Exactly how true this is is a difficult question to answer. Certainly the recent polls suggest the monarchy has got more popular in the last couple of years – MORI had found opposition to the monarchy pretty steady for 20 years at around 18%, and it fell to 13% in their last poll; YouGov found support for the monarchy up 4 points to 73% since last year; ICM’s poll showing 67% think the country would be worse off without a monarch is its highest since they started asking the question in 1997.

However, the Queen has been on the throne for 60 years (and the monarchy, obviously, has been around a lot longer than her), so being more popular than it has been in the last couple of decades isn’t saying that much. There are precious few trackers that go back before the difficult times that the monarchy experienced in the late 1980s and early 1990s – one that does is a MORI question on whether the country would be better off or worse off without a monarchy, which MORI have asked since 1984. Back in the 1980s only around 5-7% of people thought the country would be better off without a monarchy, but this seems to have jumped to around 14% after 1991 and has remained in double figures since then. Looking back further than that, there were a couple of Gallup polls on attitudes to the monarchy, but generally speaking it wasn’t the sort of thing that was asked about much.

From what scant evidence we have, it looks as though the approaching jubilee has boosted support for the monarchy to the highest levels in recent years, but it does appear to have been more popular if you go back to before the break-up of Charles and Diana’s marriage and the problems the royal family suffered in the 1990s.

Tonight we have the usual YouGov/Sunday Times poll, I think there may be a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday and, most intriguingly, there is an ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph that Martin Boon is suggesting has some sort of exciting methodological innovation attached to it…

25 Responses to “Jubilee polling”

  1. Am I first? I really need to get a life, don’t I? :-)

  2. And I’m second. Boy do I need a life.

  3. Looking at some of the posts on the last thread our friends on the left seem deeply miserable. So sad!

    Down in leafy Surrey, there is bunting everywhere, street parties planned all over the place and people i have met recently seem to be very proud of the Queen and the Duke. Long may she reign!

  4. More good news for the Jubilee!

    British and American special forces release four hostages in Afghanistan after a route marcjh into insurgent territory, killing or wounding several of the captors. The operation was personally sanctioned by the Prime Minister.

  5. Boon/Curtice graph shows by how much final campaign polls were out.

    1992: Con -5%, Lab +4%, LD +1%
    1997: Con -1%, Lab +3%, LD -1%
    2001: Con -3%, Lab +4%, LD -1%
    2005: Con -1%, Lab +1%, LD =0%
    2010: Con -1%, Lab -2%, LD +3%

    My guess is that there was a stuctural defect which historically overestimated Labour support (possibly we should be a little wary of saying “Labour should be xx% ahead” when making a comparison with exagerated polling leads of the past), however, the “shy Labour” effect of 2010 might be a one off.

    ICM may be signaling that they will up the allocation of don’t know/won’t say for Con and Lab by a fraction, but reduce it for LD – to fit the 2010 outcome.

    Depending on how unpopular the coalition is perceived to be by the time of the next election, these type of allocations may need to be recalibrated again. Is it the case that polling companies will always be fighting the last election?

  6. Seems it was a helicopter raid not a route march in from latest reports. Great news anyway!

  7. @the Other Howard – “Looking at some of the posts on the last thread our friends on the left seem deeply miserable. So sad!”

    I haven’t seen a single left leaning post indicating sadness? We seem perfectly happy doing what we want to do, and I’m personally perfectly happy to hear that you are happy doing what you are doing.

    This is a great example of what I was getting at in my last post on the last thread – that somehow we can’t be happy because we’re not doing what you are doing.

  8. ICM seem to want to go down further down a road they have already travelled a long way along. I wouldn’t mind provided that they called their published results “election predictions” rather than “opinion polls”. Their headline figures will depend rather more on all the adjustments they deem it necessary to make than on the stated voting intention itself. That way commentators would be alerted to focus on the validity or otherwise of the adjustments they make, rather than treating their results on a par with those of YouGov and others.

    And a truly radical exciting innovation would be for them to disaggregate their published election prediction for “others”. Are they alone in failing to publish headline figures for UKIP and the SNP?

  9. @Alec

    Try reading the last thread again. The left seems miserable to me. As far as I am concerned I am very happy, I am enjoying the Jubilee and the news from Afghanistan is great. Middlesex have just won their County match and Wales beat the Baba’s in a very good Rugby match. England have just gone in the lead against Belgium, not that football is my thing.

  10. @The Other Howard -“Try reading the last thread again. The left seems miserable to me.”

    Have done, still can’t see your point. For example, we had a couple of Scot’s displaying great happiness that their weather today is much better then yours, and I was perfectly happy that I have a great long weekend unencumbered by too much jubilee froth, but where I can see some other happy people who find their pleasures in different ways having a good time.

    I think the relevant words in your sentence were ‘seems’ and ‘to me’. May be your perceptions could be wrong, perhaps?

  11. @Alec

    I am sure I am not wrong in this case!

    However if your happy, good for you, have a nice weekend.

  12. ICM ‘Wisdom Index’ –
    Lab – 39
    Con – 31
    Lib – 16

    “Unlike conventional polls, which ask voters which party they would choose in a general election, the Wisdom Index asks them to predict the result of such a contest.”

  13. ICM… will other pollsters immitate this innovation?


  14. Can’t think of anything to say about the ICM wisdom index, except…

    that 31% again for the Tories.

  15. I must admit I do support the royals, the Queen most of all, but even ma’am disappointed me a while ago regarding Diana…sighs

    But as for celebrating the Jubilee, I am sorry there is something that just does not appeal…it feels to me to be another London/south celebration… I know the lady visited Derby today I believe, but still it feels as though it is not our celebration, just the same as the Olympics to be honest.

    I really don’t know; with all the austerity taking place it just seems wrong somehow…


  16. “Unlike conventional polls, which ask voters which party they would choose in a general election, the Wisdom Index asks them to predict the result of such a contest.”
    Well this takes prediction addiction to a whole new level – Are ICM really crowd sourcing polling instead of doing an actual poll?

    Good Evening, the rain came down just as my beach 10K finished, and their were happy parties on the beach.

    In terms of leftist attitudes, you may be on to something, sadly.

    Lefties tend to have much angst at the sight of food banks being needed for children to eat properly, for example.

    This particular left-inclined man, but alienated by modern Labour, has an angst about royal invites to dictatorial regimes while excluding democratically elected former PM’s.

    However, it is genuinely good that people are ‘happy’. But as Luke warned: Woe to ye who rejoice now, for ye shall have had your fill’

  18. Am I misunderstanding this “Wisdom index” thing?

    Do 16% of the population really believe the LDs will win the next election?

    That seems extraordinary.

  19. @Jim (the other one) “… it feels to me to be another London/south celebration”

    IpsosMORI gives the following regional breakdown for
    Republic vs Monachy support…

    Midlands 9% vs 89%
    Scotland 10% vs 82%
    North 16% vs 75%, South 17% vs 76%
    Greater London 20% vs 73%

  20. Well returning to Anthony’s original point , could this be – so to speak – an outlier? There was that delicious ICM poll a week or so which showed the proportion of the British public believing we’d be worse off without the royals dropping from 63% to 51% http://www.express.co.uk/blogs/post/267/blog. Not that I’m biased or anything!


    @”Looking at some of the posts on the last thread our friends on the left seem deeply miserable. So sad!”

    Utterly depressing I thought.

    What a bunch of down in the mouth sourpuss killjoys.

    Still this thread will cheer them up no doubt :-).

  22. Mike the Rep –

    Looking at it, I strongly suspect that is a mode difference. Here are the last three times ICM asked the question

    Apr 2011 – PHONE. – Better off 26%, Worse off 63%, Don’t know 11%
    Apr 2012 – ONLINE – Better off 21%, Worse off 51%, Don’t know 28%
    May 2012 – PHONE. – Better off 22%, Worse off 69%, Don’t know 9%

    Note the huge difference in the proportion of people saying don’t know in the online poll. I suspect the movement there is because the telephone interviewer did not read out the option of saying don’t know, while in an online poll it is there on the screen.

  23. (More generally speaking, it not normally a good idea to draw trends between polls conducted using different modes, even if done by the same company – there can be substantial differences in responses)

  24. Thanks Anthony – oh I wish it were different! But rather fascinating neverthless.

  25. @ Amber Star

    “Am I first? I really need to get a life, don’t I?”

    Oh Amber, you totally have a life. Unlike me who spends nearly every Saturday night doing some kind of work and almost never goes out. Next weekend though is Pride Weekend (it’s Pride Month) and I am definitely getting out of the house and going to the Parade.