YouGov and the Times have some fresh Syria polling tonight, conducted on Monday evening and during the day on Tuesday. It shows a sharp drop in support for airstrikes since YouGov’s polling a week ago, but the overall balance of opinion is still in favour: 48% now support RAF airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, 31% are opposed. A week ago the figures were 59% to 20%.

Some of this may be the fading impact of the Paris attacks, some people recoiling from the reality of intervention. I suspect a lot is also partisan polarisation: there is little movement amongst Conservative voters, but there is a huge turnaround amongst Labour voters. Whereas a week ago 2015 Labour voters broke in favour of airstrikes by 52% to 26%, they have now turned against. Among 2015 Labour voters 42% are now opposed (up 16 points), only 35% now support (down 17). While Jeremy Corbyn’s stance is still at odds with wider public opinion, now both Labour voters and Labour members agree with him: it is his opponents within the PLP who are at odds with the rest of the Labour family.

But if public opinion is moving against intervention, there’s not a sign of it helping Jeremy Corbyn with the wider public, or hurting Conservative support. Corbyn’s own ratings are down – 24% of people now think he is doing well as leader, down from 30% last week; 65% think he is doing badly. Voting intention figures are CON 41%, LAB 30%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 16%.

Peter Kellner’s commentary for the Times is up here.


328 Responses to “Syria polling update”

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  1. @Hawthorn

    NumberCrunchr has the latest as always. In this case it’s fascinating as news keeps coming in clarifying earlier news!

  2. OldNat,

    Don’t be absurd.

    All,

    Just got back from the SLS Christmas Quiz. As Quizmaster, my favourite round was “Corbyn or Kendall” with leadership election quotes complete with puns in each round*.

    Come back home now and hearing relatively positive things for Labour in the by-election. Thing is that having ramped up expectations, UKIP have managed to make a probably severely reduced majority seem like actually quite a good result. Where this leaves Corbyn I’m not sure.

    *I think my best was “The Sinn Fein Fan or the New Labour Taliban?”

  3. Oldham/Royston – Turnout is 40.26%, it has just been announced.

    Higher than expected.

  4. Does that include postal votes? Presumably yes. It will be interesting to see the breakdown between postal votes and polling booth votes, if we ever know.

  5. @Amber

    That is high for a December by-election. Maybe Ukip talking up their chances got the Labour vote out.

    I suspect Labour will hold the seat with smallish majority – say 3,500.

  6. Mr N

    Yep. Absurd
    “Lib Dem source at Oldham count predicts Labour just over 60%.” :-)

  7. PETE B
    Orwell as long ago as 1946 saying that ‘The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies “something not desirable.”

    Probably because the term had been in common use for nearly a quarter of a century by then. The admiration I mentioned was in the MSM of the 1920s and can only have helped popularise the term whether used in praise or opposition.

    OLDNAT
    In the UK at least, the preference for the term “Fascist” probably relates to the strength of Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, founded in 1932.

    Fair point, and perhaps worth noting that both Mosley’s blackshirts and Wodehouse’s blackshorts were plagiarising the 1922 March on Rome of Mussolini and his blackshirts, at a time when the blackshirts of the SS were barely known.

  8. The last available price for Labour at Oldham was 16/1 on, so I think we can expect them to have won

  9. @BZ

    It’s a little known fact that the Italian World Cup winning teams in both 1934 and 1938 both wore all black. Literally “black-shirted”.

  10. @Millie

    You would have to be a Millie-onaire to make any money from those odds!

  11. possible egg on face but

    higher than average combined turnout with already expected high PV turnout would be good for Ukip

    or i’m totally wrong

  12. @Mr Jones

    The truth is no-one knows. It all seems to be speculation.

  13. RAF

    You’re right – all the sensible people are ignoring twitter rumours.

  14. So my prediction on Oldham was correct higher turnout than I guessed but comfortable Labour win.

    It will rather derail the regime change plan of the Blairites. The rumour I heard was to use some rules to expel Corbyn as the only way to legally get rid. Mad I know, using the social media threats & Momentum. Does anyone with more knowledge of the rules know if that is possible? It is certainly creative.

  15. @ RAF

    All sorts of rumours flying around about Oldham/Royston. I’d like to believe them because they are saying Labour ~60% of the vote (higher % than the 2015 GE).

  16. RAF
    It’s a little known fact that the Italian World Cup winning teams in both 1934 and 1938 both wore all black.

    Thanks for that. Certainly not something I’d heard of.

  17. @Amber

    Yes, it’s Andrew Sparrow who said that. Let’s wait for the final result. It should be in soon.

  18. Britain Elects [email protected] 9 mins9 minutes ago
    Boleyn (Newham) result:
    LAB: 72.1% (+7.9)
    LDEM: 9.1% (+9.1)
    CON: 8.6% (-12.4)
    GRN: 5.9% (+5.9)
    UKIP: 3.9% (+3.9)
    IND: 0.5% (+0.5)

  19. Calm down folks its not the big yin.

  20. @AC

    Probably the last by-election in Boleyn ward before West Ham United move to Stratford next season. Not much else to say really.

  21. Britain Elects [email protected] 15 mins15 minutes ago
    Meole (Shropshire) result:
    CON: 43.1% (-11.8)
    LAB: 26.7% (-11.0)
    LDEM: 19.6% (+12.3)
    UKIP: 5.6% (+5.6)
    GRN: 4.9% (+4.9)

    Two local by-elections and the Tory vote in both has crumpled. Could the national polls show a Tory crumple? I doubt it but if they did!!

  22. @ Couper 2802

    Does anyone with more knowledge of the rules know if that is possible?

    No, it’s not possible.

  23. RAF
    @AC
    Probably the last by-election in Boleyn ward before West Ham United move to Stratford next season. Not much else to say really
    ___________

    Cheer up, I went to great lengths to find that result. ;-)

  24. Postal vote total just over 7,000 (approx 25% of total votes cast). That’s high. Whether or not it’s decisive we don’t yet know.

  25. Guardian suggesting that a ~10,000 majority is likely.

  26. @AC
    “Cheer up, I went to great lengths to find that result. ;-)”

    Very commendable.

  27. (if that’s true Corbyn might not be the party leader in jeopardy tonight).

  28. @Neil A

    The interesting bit from those odds on the Prime Minister after the next election is that the bookies think that there is a very decent chance that Cameron will seek a third term.

  29. @AC

    That Meole result is pretty poor for the Tories, considering the swing is from the 2013 locals which were not good for them. LD increase is perhaps to be expected, recovering from their worst local elections in history (to that point – 2014 was a shocker too). Not quite a “crumple” though, with UKIP standing for the first time.

  30. Sounding good for Labour. The centre and right of the party need to be careful I feel; all very well complaining about the talk of reselection but unless the MP has a close connection to their local area (and would be unlikely to be deselected anyway) then I doubt the locals will care greatly. The question of election victory is who they put forward in non Labour seats.

    I think the problem UKIP are going to have is that the post election nonsense probably upset some supporters and bit momentum. A Tory MP probably doesn’t do them wonders against Labour in the long term.

    With the whopping defeat in the election there is little chance of by election upsets against their favour.

  31. @Milie

    He doesn’t strike me as someone tiring or winding down. His issue now is someone might push if he tried but his comments were politically planned rather than real planning.

    This was a man expecting to see himself potentially out of Office or in a minority.

  32. NEIL A

    If the Tories lose their deposit tonight in Oldham coupled with a large drop in vote share in two by-elections then it will be a crumpelstiltskin for Cameron. :-)

  33. There is s really nasty piece in the telegraph quoting a ‘Labour MP’ saying that Corbyn had put Labour MPs that voted No in danger of reprisals. I had the feeling that the Blairites were ready to pounce if this by-election was lost.

    This should give Corbyn extra authority and does make me wonder how well Corbyn would be doing if he had the PLP behind him.

  34. Britain Elects [email protected] 1 hr1 hour ago
    Oldham West & Royton turnout:
    27,795 (40.3%)
    Much higher than expected.

    Britain Elects [email protected] 24 mins24 minutes ago
    Of the 27,795 votes cast, 7,115 are postal ballots.
    ………..
    UKIP are moaning about postal votes on Andrew Neil’s tonight special

  35. @AC

    I don’t think Cameron will be losing any sleep, I’m afraid.

    Mind you neither will Corbyn. Setting aside the expectation management, this is still a decent evening for him.

    Of course that may not be in the long term electoral interests of the Labour party, but that remains to be seen.

  36. Just being said: the registration (due to the change in the law?)’for the by election is 3,000 is fewer than at the general election.

    Sorry, I can’t remember who put this as a major point, but it sounds important.

  37. @AC

    I think there will be some legitimate concerns about postal votes. Oldham West was one of the areas where possible fraud was flagged up, and the juxtaposition of the demographics of the population and the debate about airstrikes might raise some eyebrows.

    The Labour majority should be big enough that’s a moot point though.

  38. @Couper
    “There is s really nasty piece in the telegraph quoting a ‘Labour MP’ saying that Corbyn had put Labour MPs that voted No in danger of reprisals. I had the feeling that the Blairites were ready to pounce if this by-election was lost.
    This should give Corbyn extra authority and does make me wonder how well Corbyn would be doing if he had the PLP behind him.”

    All he can do is try his best and see where it gets him. His popularity amongst Labour supporters has certainly been underestimated. However, in this by-election Labour also had a very well known local candidate.

  39. OLDNAT

    The Blairites are going to be really, really pissed off if Lab has won. :-)

    Don’t be ridiculous. They are already claiming it to be a disaster for Corbyn. Stephen Bush is tweeting:

    Getting a 2015GE-equivalent result 3 months probably augurs a worse result overall in 2020.

    and you can bet that even a result of North Korean proportions would be denounced as simply not good enough and that Corbyn must go!

  40. NEIL A

    I’m not a fan of the ole postal votes myself.

  41. Massive victory for lab

  42. Huge win for Labour.

    UKIP a busted flush.

    Oh dear.

  43. A very comfortable win for Labour.

  44. Lots of disappointed broadsheet journalists tonight.

  45. Lib Dems stood totally still.

  46. It has to be said that 26% postal votes isn’t unusual for a by-election. It was 24% in Heywood and Middleton for example (which had a turnout of 36%). Even in normal elections a percentage in the lower 20s is pretty standard.

  47. Britain Elects [email protected] 5 mins5 minutes ago
    Oldham West & Royton result:
    LAB: 62.2% (+7.5)
    UKIP: 23.3% (+2.7)
    CON: 9.3% (-9.6)
    LDEM: 3.7% (+0.0)
    GRN: 0.9% (-1.0)
    MRLP: 0.5% (+0.5

  48. Roger Mexico

    :-)

  49. Well, it’s difficult to “win” in a very safe seat, but this is undoubtedly a win for Labour.

  50. Well I’m off to my bed and tonight was the first time I’ve ever cheered a Labour win.

    I’m not a Corby fan but I’m also not a fan of bullies be it in the papers or people sitting in the commons.

    Night all…

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