The post-speech polls

The first poll conducted after Cameron’s Europe speech, YouGov’s on Friday, didn’t appear to show any impact on voting intention. However, this weekend we have a further four polls conducted after the speech (the Opinium one was mostly done prior to the speech). Here they are:

Angus Reid/Sunday Express have the Conservatives on 30% (up three) and Labour on 39% (down three) – the online version of the article doesn’t mention the UKIP or Lib Dem scores. The poll was conducted on Thursday and Friday.

ComRes/IoS/Sunday Mirror has the Conservatives up 5 on 33%, Labour unchanged on 39%, UKIP down 4 points on 10%. As I wrote yesterday, some of this appears to be due to ComRes treating likelihood to vote differently in their December poll, but even with consistent treatment of likelihood to vote the poll would have shown the Conservatives up 4 or 5 points, though it would probably also have shown Labour down slightly.

Survation/Mail on Sunday has the Conservatives on 31%, up two, Labour unchanged on 38% and UKIP down two on 14%.

YouGov in the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 41%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 7%. Compared to the average of YouGov’s polls last week that equates to the Conservatives being up by about two, Labour down by about two and UKIP down by about one.

In each individual poll the changes are relatively small, but they are consistent across the pollsters, so we can be fairly confident that the Conservatives have enjoyed a small boost from the referendum promise and the positive publicity around it. UKIP appear to have dropped slightly, but not massively (the biggest drop they had, that in the ComRes poll, was mostly due to methodological variation). The shift is hardly a game changing degree though.

Looking at the other questions, there is some stark variation in how people say they’d vote in an EU referendum. YouGov’s figures are very similar to what they were showing early in the week – in a straight referendum question 37% say they would vote to stay, 39% say they would vote to leave. If David Cameron were to renegotiate and recommend a yes vote then 50% of people say they would vote to stay, compared to 25% who would vote to leave – the contrast is almost entirely down to Conservative voters, who would currently vote to leave, but would vote to stay on renegotiated terms.

Angus Reid asked how people would vote if Cameron did manage to repatriate some powers, 34% said they would vote to stay in, 34% said they would vote to leave.

Survation found 50% saying Britain should leave the EU, 36% that they should stay. If Cameron wins back some powers, 43% of those saying Britain should leave say they would consider voting to stay.

408 Responses to “The post-speech polls”

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  1. Oops, excuse the typos. Overuse of my ipad! :P


    The pattern of people supporting SNP at Holyrood, but switching to Labour at Westminster is long established.

    I doubt that the EU has much to do with it.

  3. TOH et al. A thought on our psychological approach relative to Europe and the colonies. Nothing revolutionary – it’s well known, just often forgotten in the froth of debate.

    The psychologies of America, Australia and New Zealand are heavily influenced by the Frontier spirit, the relatively sparse population and the consequent need to be dependent on yourself to survive. In Europe, where we ( and I mean “WE”) live cheek by jowl, a more pressing requirement has been to compromise and learn to rub along together.

    That goes a fair way to explaining the difference in political philosophy between Europe and the New World. They emphasise the individual. We emphasise the community. (Simplistic of course but we’re talking big handfuls here, not writing a PhD thesis on some infinitesimal point).

    TOH. You may well feel a sense of brotherhood with the individualistic spirit of the Anglo-Saxon colonies. But our practical and philosophical roots are far more closely influenced by what we share in outlook with Europe.

  4. @LeftyLampton

    Not at all I was referring to the YouGov figures on the referendum.

    Do you support or oppose this policy;
    support 54%
    oppose 27%
    Dont know 19%
    A clear win for Tory policy.

    On Labour strategy of opposing referendum
    Right to oppse 25%
    Wrong to oppose 53%
    Dont know 22%
    A clear lose for Labour policy.

  5. @ Lefty

    Thanks for the clarification- I stand corrected! So actually we are talking about 6-7% change in the post veto lead and around 4-5% this time which is indeed a difference!

    It would be interesting to know whether some voters have changed because they get a referendum vote or just because they think the PM approach to a renegotiation is the right one. The former might help Tories reclaim UKIP voters (‘at least we get a referendum if they get in’) the latter is in the boiling pot as it is only work in progress for Cameron and he will have to have something concrete in 2015 to prove his stance has worked plus people may see what he has won back and decide they didn’t really want those things won back anyway.

  6. @Amber
    Yes, Labour’s “core” 2010 vote is holding up better in this YouGov poll.

    Looking further into the detail, the response that worries me is to this question:
    “The Labour party have said they currently
    oppose holding a referendum on Britain’s
    membership of the European Union. Do you
    think they are right or wrong to oppose a
    25% right, 53% wrong, 22% DK.

    And within this, 2010 LD voters respond:
    30% right, 46% wrong, 24% DK.
    It doesn’t suggest that Miliband’s stance will appeal the key target of disaffected LDs.

  7. Interesting to hear Clegg strongly supporting the Governments strategy this morning. N srprise to me but perhaps to some on here who read too much into what they read in the Guardian.

  8. En el otro mano I expect t’other Howard feels more in common with the right wing US philosophy than the predominantly liberal, state interference ethos of most of Europe – which largely includes the UK but with some notable exceptions. And that seems fair enough to me.

    Moi, I prefer the European model – especially when it comes to my lovely English language and wonderful music – not that there’s anything wrong with c/w music, as long as you don’t have to listen.

  9. @chrislane1945 – “He was trapped over the veto question in the House of Commons on Wednesday.”

    That is how it has been reported, so it is a negative for Labour, but in the longer term there is a virtue in being consistent about the conditions for a referendum, especially if and when there is debate about which specific parts of EU legislation the Tories are committed to overturning (and to be fair they have also been consistent, see Cameron’s 2007 speech):


    Specifically PMQs has taken on a personal quality which is by definition unique to Cameron and Miliband, and to some extent is a world in itself – it is important to have a degree of integrity within in the HoC theatre. Miliband was pressing home the precarious position Cameron enjoys within his party… as one Tory trimphantly tweeted ” Cameron has become the 82nd rebel!”

  10. Just to put some perspective into those who feel the tectonic political plates shifting beneath their very feet this morning, I was just dwelling on the latest Survation poll in today’s the Mail on Sunday. It gives the party ratings as follows: –

    Cons 31 Lab 38 LD 10 UKIP 14

    Their December 2012 poll, taken before the EU Referendum pledge was even in a glint in Cameron’s eye, was as follows: –

    Con 30 Labour 38 LD 9 UKIP 14

    Am I missing something here? lol

  11. I would agree that Ed appeared to be wrongfooted on Wednesday, but so apparently he has been many times in the past, but on each occasion his strategic choices seem to have born fruit down the line. ‘Too far and too fast’ springs to mind, as we enter our third recession.

    The other consideration we should also bear in mind is that it really is much easier for an opposition to change position on big issues. They need to be careful as it is possible to lose credibility (ref Cameron pre 2010) but the simple get out for Labour is to retreat to what I have understood their existing position to be; to have a referendum on any future treaty change.

    If they also throw into that the fact that they seek reform of the EU (who doesn’t) effectively they have an identical position to Cameron.

    This is all very easily done pre 2015, but can be done by Ed in a much less Euro sceptical manner and from a position of strength, rather than in an attempt to hold his party together and under pressure from his right flank.

    I really don’t foresee any prospect that Labour will enter 2015 without some kind of guarantee on a referendum, but I expect it will be done in a way that prevents Ed from being constantly challenged on how he would vote and what his red lines are. This is why I believe this move makes it more likely that we will see Labour unity and Tory disunity, and therefore why it makes a Labour victory more likely.

    But then, what do I know – I vote Green?

  12. @ Ambivalent

    Very few now think the boundary changes will happen anyway…even Cameron is probably dragging the vote through for strategic(and other) reasons.
    I respectfully disagree. Cameron is having the vote because he believes this is the best time to have a chance (albeit slim) of winning it.

    There is nothing ‘strategic’ about this vote. And there are no ‘other’ reasons. It’s a tactical do or die trying issue. If he loses on Tuesday it’ll be impossible to get the changes for 2015.

  13. BILLY BOB.
    Hello, and thanks for your response. I agree also that Ed Miliband could make a strong and consistent case for keeping the UK with the EU.

  14. Interesting to hear Clegg strongly supporting the Government’s strategy this morning.
    On the EU or on the economy?

  15. @ Phil Haines

    Do you think they are right or wrong to oppose a referendum?”
    25% right, 53% wrong, 22% DK.

    And within this, 2010 LD voters respond:
    30% right, 46% wrong, 24% DK.
    It doesn’t suggest that Miliband’s stance will appeal the key target of disaffected LDs.
    In Labour’s defence, Anthony always makes the point that people are usually in favour of a referendum on almost anything but whether it will affect their VI after the initial excitement is not yet clear.

    However, LD supporters are generally believed to be disproportionately in favour of direct democracy & referenda, & it could be a deal breaker for some who are wavering so your point is well made!

  16. I totally agree with those who question the “wrong-footed” reading of Miliband’s position.

    Since he was criticising the PM for announcing a so-caled conditional “in/out” referendum five years in advance how he could he possibly then say “Me too guv” ????

    A brief “no” as part of a heated commons exchange, compared to a speech that was planned for about a year hardly represents sensible poicy comparison. Too many people seem unaware that TIME has a bearing on shaping policy, convincing an electorate and building support: DC has given EM two years to do just that.

    Its also much easier to do if your position is intellectualyl and philosophically coherent.

    To my mind the biggest problem Labour have is a rather weak front bench but, again, there are nearly two years for newcomers to come through and make their mark.

  17. @Leftylampton

    I am sure there is a lot in what you say. I appreciate my view is probably a minority view but I know a lot of people who share it. Your comments about “the frontier spirit” and “ they emphasise the individual” really resonate with strongly with me, as does “dependant upon yourself to survive”. I never felt the world owed me a living and my career was probably best described as go-getting.
    It also probably explains why I felt necessary to spend the first 15 years of my retirement visiting every part of the globe to see the peoples and wildlife. My love of history and especially military history is also a factor, when young, my historical heroes were all good at beating the French. That’s not to say I don’t have friends in Germany, Holland, Sweden and Denmark, and my son is married to a Dane.

  18. I totally agree…………………..

    [on’y joking]

  19. @AmberStar

    On the economy as you well know.

  20. @PaulCroft

    I love both the English language and English and European classical music so i sure you are delighted to know we have something in common.


  21. Amber – alas (for those of us who would like some certainly so they can write election guides), the vote on Tuesday does not necessarily bring closure. If the government wins it, it obviously doesn’t bring closure because they still need to win the vote on introducing the actual boundaries.

    If they lose it, it still doesn’t necessarily bring closure as there is nothing stopping them from withdrawing the Bill. Of course, it may well be that if the government lose the vote they announce that they accept the change and the boundary review is dead… but it is not a forgone conclusion. There was a newspaper article written a few weeks back saying that Cameron was prepared to use the Parliament Act for the boundaries. It wasn’t a very well written article, so it wasn’t entirely clear exactly what he was supposed to be using the Parliament Act *for*, but given you can’t use the PA for secondary legislation, my assumption was it meant he was prepared to withdraw this bill and use the PA to get it through next year once the Boundary Commissions have reported.

    It may, of course, have been an idle threat – after all, if they can’t win this vote they are extremely unlikely to be able to win the boundary vote either, so one might well see it as a huge waste of effort. Then again, perhaps their view is that they want the BCs to report even if they can’t implement it yet, just so it is there ready if, for example, they got in with a majority of one next time and wanted to rapidly implement them before going for a second election.

  22. @Paul Croft

    …… and i agree aboutc/w music!

  23. TOH

    I was reprising my own, repeated post beginning with “I totally agree….” but correct sequence is everything – otherwise its ike saying “I got the ball back over the net” in tennis and being told “Yes; but not just after my shot as per the roooools”

    Anyway I am quite sure we have a lot in common – we share a common heritage and I certainly admire your travels around the world.

    Am reading the four Molesworth books again, by Geoffrey Willans/Ronald Searle [didn’t realise GW died so young] They are an absolute delight. Although I was grammar rather than boarding school I think we all felt we HAD been boarders on reading those books so long ago.


    Chelski fight back to draw at mighty Brentford

  24. Glad to read this morning that Mary Beard has had her comeuppance for her comments on Question Time last week.

    When you demean the public so, and dismiss their problems as myths don’t act all surprised and shocked when you feel the public wrath.

  25. Nick Clegg has today reiterated his opposition – the referendum is “not in the national interest.”

    The coalition has already legislated for a referendum if there is any *further transfer of powers* (which if I’m not mistaken is also Labour policy).

    “It is the Conservatives who have decided to completely reinvent the wheel and tie the country up in knots by redesigning and fiddling around with the terms… “

  26. @Paul Croft

    Loved the Molesworth books and the Searle drawings. Amazing the sense of humour that Searle had considering his awful time in a Japanese POW camp.

    Enjoy your football, watching the Ruby very soon.

    I also went to Grammer School.

  27. TOH

    What is Ruby? Is it a sister channel to Uk Gold?

  28. ;)

  29. @Maninthemiddle

    It’s like Rugby but played with a hexagonal ball.

  30. I liked the story I mentioned before about crocodiles on the ruby field of a school in Botswana.

    Pictured a Ronald Searle picture of Crocodiles vs Schoolboys and an embarrassed croc. in rugby shirt being sent off by ref for eating opponent – with little boy dangling from his jaws.

    “Glad to read this morning that Mary Beard has had her comeuppance for her comments on Question Time last week.”

    What did you read and where can I find it ?

  32. I wish EM had repied to DC that he was already signed up to a referendum if MORE powers were mooted to go to Europe but had missed the bit that said there should also be a referendum if LESS powers went. It is a bit weird really.

    Still, its what the BRITISH PUBLIC demand !!!

    SQ [smirk quietly]

  33. MinM

    Oo-er Missis.

  34. Have we got to the bottom of the ComRes’s numbers yet?

    Anthony’s read of the tables is that they changed method this week – while Andrew Hawkins has tweeted that there was no change.

    Has there been a change or not?

  35. It won’t let me post the link but if you type Mary beard into google news theres 2 guardian articiles about it.

    A little more digging and you will find what some of the abuse was.

    I’m usually against bullying or abuse but in the case of this woman she needs something to knock her off her ivory tower.

    She might think twice before dismissing the public so readily next time she appears.

  36. Can someone with a little more knowledge on parliamentary matters explain something to me

    Why can’t Cameron legislate for the referendum now and leave it as a ticking time bomb for Labour to deal with when they likely win in 2015.

    Obviously we don’t know what the exact referendum will be on, what all the terms of the deal will be etc, but the same situation applies in Scotland.

    Couldnt he just legislate that there will be an in out referendum in 2017 and watch as Labour try to explain why they are going to repeal such a popular measure? (the idea of a referendum in general being popular) it’s one thing to oppose a referendum, but it looks even worse to actually repeal one and take it away.

  37. @ Anthony,

    Please remove the comments about Mary Beard. And this comment as well. The woman was subjected to horrendous cyber-bullying. I do not believe you’d want this site used as a forum for approval of it &/or to spread it more widely.

  38. Anna Soubry (Conservative MP and some Junior health minister of something) is another who could use a dose of reality after she so readily dismissed the economic plight people are going through saying she didn’t think it was that bad etc, and that public services were hardly being cut etc.

    Our ruling classes really are so out of touch. Both Lib Lab Con, and Cambridge acaedmics.

  39. @Man In The Middle.

    Because they don’t have a majority in the house of commons to pass such legislation. even if they could get full party support for it.

  40. Just watched that vaguely ludicrous triumvirate who make up the end of programme discussion on Neil’s Sunday Politics Show and for once, Isabel Oakeshott, the political editor of the Sunday Times, said something that I broadly agreed with. She was asked whether she thought that the recent narrowing of the gap in the polls between Labour and the Tories would continue after Cameron’s Referendum pledge. She replied that she’d been surprised that the Tories hadn’t enjoyed a much bigger surge and, for that reason, felt that the tepid mini-bounce they’d received would quickly dissipate and that the polls would quickly revert to the consistent pattern that had become established over the last 10 months or so.

    Just about sums up my position too. As for the rest of Neil’s “expert” panel, I think the arrival of the Guardian’s excellent Nicholas Watt will help to give it some credibility, but can someone help me here and enlighten me as to who the third member of the panel is apart from Oakeshott and Watt. I’ll be as kind as I can, but he’s not very good, is he?

  41. @MiTM

    I have to disagree. She was subjected to the most vile abuse and I, for one, am glad that website was shut down.

    She was invited onto QT to give her opinion. The fact that someone complaining about immigration (laughably the daughter of an immigrant) did not mean Beard was wrong – just that their opinions differed. My opinion differs hugely from many of the guests on there but I don’t go round abusing them by posting disgusting images on websites that all and sundry can access.

  42. Amber

    If you don’t think she deserved it, state your reason why, don’t try to censor conversation entirely.

    No one has repeated the comments, I think we’re all grown up enough to be able to discuss an issue here without it needing to be censored. Especially when its about 3 topical issues in one, Europe, immigration, and the impacts of social networking, it’d be strange not to be able to discuss it.

  43. Chordata

    It says it all if a daughter of an immigrant is saying actually there’s too many now. The problem the ruling class has with this is they can’t label the lady a racist and are left completely baffled.

    The ruling elite are so dismissve of the public they need to be dragged from their ivory towers. I’d rather people expressed their anger through twitter rather than turn to violence as can often happen when people feel oppressed over the immigration issue, see Greece.

  44. @Crossbat11

    That is Janan Ganesh – political columnist for the FT. He was previously political correspondent for The Economist for five years, and a researcher at the Policy Exchange think tank for two.
    He has recently written a book about George Osborne.

  45. “He has recenty written a book about GO”

    Some people have all the fun

  46. @Maninthemiddle – “I’m usually against bullying or abuse but in the case of this woman she needs something to knock her off her ivory tower.”

    I’m really sorry, but if you think what this women was subjected to was acceptable behaviour then I think you are personally behaving disgracefully. Shame on you.

    My basic rule of thumb is to ask whether I would be prepared to state to someone’s face my online, verbal or written comments – I run to this rule in all my dealings, and if the answer is no, then I won’t say it.

    If you feel comfortable repeating some of the comments made online to Mary Beard’s face, then good for you, but you’re not the kind of person I would want to meet or engage with.

    You should also do a bit of research into internet trolling and the sexual angle. There is an increasingly dangerous thread of abuse being heaped onto women. This isn’t to do with politics – my least favourite ex MP Louise Mensch was subject to similar appalling abuse at various time – but it seems there is a group of men out there who think it’s acceptable to print the most vile, violent and sexualised abuse of women online, in a way that men never seem to be treated.

    Perhaps you’re one of them?

  47. @ MitM

    I have no interest in discussing your approval of the vile & misogynistic bullying of a woman who dares to have an opinion which doesn’t chime with yours.

    It’s nothing to do with polling & nothing to do with politics unless you are stretching ‘politics’ well beyond its normal remit.

    I’m hoping that for those reasons alone, Anthony will remove the comments.

  48. Alec

    You just quoted me, in context which is rare for you, then just completely disregarded what I said.

    My statement answers your question.

    I’m usually against bullying or abuse but in the case of this woman she needs something to knock her off her ivory tower.” Similar to if people started writing similar comments about Anna Soubry, when the ruling elite has such disregard for the public, you can’t really blame the public for what they right, it serves as an eye opener to the smug elite.

    And as I said, thank heavens we are a country that just writes the stuff online rather than actually acting on it and turning violent as many other countries do.

    You can’t treat people so badly and expect no repercussions whatsoever.

  49. Surprised no one has made comment today of the various stories of Tory MPs preparing to stand against Cameron.

    I think there is a link to the referendum speech, in that the Tory party now knows that Cameron is telling them he doesn’t like the EU but is telling the country he likes it. There is great mistrust in some parts of his party, and on this, like so many issues, they don’t understand where his beliefs lie.

    As has been pointed out by some online, having to see backbenchers pledge allegiance to their leader after one of his better weeks is bizarre, but these are the kinds of doubts that Cameron has ignited after setting up a vote without telling his party what his red lines are. This will run all the way to 2015, and Ed will love it.

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