Yesterday there were two EU referendum polls showing the race essentially neck-and-neck. Today there are two more EU referendum polls, but both of these have REMAIN with a solid looking twenty-plus point lead. ComRes for OpenEurope have topline EU voting intention figures of REMAIN 56%, LEAVE 35% (tabs are here). Ipsos MORI for the Standard have topline figures of REMAIN 58%, LEAVE 32% (full tabs are here)

Note that MORI asked the referendum question as a split-sample. Half the sample were asked how they would vote in a referendum, stay in or get out (MORI’s long term tracker question), the other half were asked the actual referendum question. The stay in or get out question had a split of 53%-36%, the actual referendum question question produced a bigger lead for staying in 58%-32%. Wherever possible, I am using questions that use the actual referendum wording, so those are the figures that have gone in my EU referendum tracking data here.

The difference between EU referendum voting intentions appears to be a gap between online polling and telephone polling. It’s always difficult to be certain of course – there are many differences between different companies’ approaches and there haven’t been that many telephone polls – but the phone polls from ComRes and MORI are averaging around REMAIN 55%, LEAVE 35%, DON’T KNOW 10%, the online polls from ICM, YouGov, ComRes and Survation are averaging around REMAIN 43%, LEAVE 40%, DON’T KNOW 18%. The telephone polls have “remain” substantially higher and, intriguingly, “don’t know” substantially lower. As ever, it’s difficult to be confident what the reasons are – it could be a difference in sampling (if for some reason online or telephone samples reach respondents who are substantially more or less pro-European) or it could be an interviewer effect (if people are less willing to tell a human interviewer they would vote to leave or they haven’t yet decided).

Meanwhile the monthly MORI voting intention figures were CON 38%, LAB 31%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 9%.


89 Responses to “And some more EU referendum polling…”

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  1. Anthony

    “it could be an interviewer effect”

    That suggestion for differences between phone/face-to-face and online polling seems to have been around ever since online polling started.

    Isn’t it possible to construct a robust study to measure any effect?

    I do recognise that the commercial interests of polling companies might mean they are unwilling to support such a project – unless they are sure the outcome will favour them! :-)

  2. Good Evening All, from a dry Bournemouth East.

    The Remain figures look high, imo

    The Lib Dem figures look high also.

  3. Good evening all from Westminster North.

    “The difference between EU referendum voting intentions appears to be a gap between online polling and telephone polling. It’s always difficult to be certain of course – there are many differences between different companies’ approaches and there haven’t been that many telephone polls – but the phone polls from ComRes and MORI are averaging around REMAIN 55%, LEAVE 35%, DON’T KNOW 10%, the online polls from ICM, YouGov, ComRes and Survation are averaging around REMAIN 43%, LEAVE 40%, DON’T KNOW 18%”
    ________

    With online polling people have more time to answer the questions in front of them where with phone polls people may just rush their answers to get the bugger off the phone. i hear polling companies tend to phone in the middle of such national treasures like Coronation street.

    But overall the polls are just showing how volatile they are and can we really trust them? and what ones are to trust?

    Anyway…
    “Meanwhile the monthly MORI voting intention figures were CON 38%, LAB 31%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 9%”
    ______

    Tories below 40% and Labour above 30%!! Ole Corby closing in?

  4. Meanwhile 4 days from the Spanish General Election, the PM gets punched in his home state:

    Watch “Agresio?n a Mariano Rajoy en Pontevedra (I de II) 16/12/2015” on YouTube – https://youtu.be/3VwLjHG2LM8

  5. According to Twitter a new Ashcroft poll on the EU referendum with pretty shocking results!

    Remain 38%
    Leave 47%

    This is by far the biggest lead for leave in 2015. It also begs the question how is it the polls are giving such wildly different results and given how carp Ashcroft’s polls where for the GE can we trust this?

  6. Rivers10

    But as Ashcroft responded on Twitter –

    Not as simple as that. Read the full research at

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/

    Rather than replicate the referendum question itself we asked people to place themselves on a scale between zero, meaning they would definitely vote for the UK to remain in the EU, to 100, meaning they would definitely vote to leave. Just under four in ten (38 per cent) put themselves between zero and 49, showing they were inclined to remain, and nearly half (47 per cent) gave themselves a score between 51 and 100; 14 per cent placed themselves at 50, meaning they were completely undecided.

    Many of those opinions were held only lightly. Around two fifths of the population put themselves firmly at one end of the spectrum or another, between zero and nine or between 91 and 100. On both halves of the scale, a quarter of voters said they did not have a strong view and could easily be persuaded to change their minds.

  7. RAF

    That was quite a punch……..ouch!!

  8. Re Ashcroft – (via Number Cruncher)

    “N~20,000 (meaning that this was almost certainly done online)”

    Important in the context of Anthony’s comments

  9. @AC

    The PM took it well and just carried on as if nothing had happened.

    The attacker is a privately educated 17 year old from a weathly family. It seems as if he was seeking attention but we’ll learn more in the coming days.

    It’s a shame really. Politicians should be able to go walkabout without being subjected to violence.

  10. RAF

    “Politicians should be able to go walkabout without being subjected to violence.”

    So should everybody else!

  11. And the ComRes poll reported in the Mail, giving the Conservatives and Labour 37 and 34 respectively?

  12. @Oldnat

    Lol!

  13. This GEVE looks better (less bad) for Lab, until you check for pollster differences. MORI con-lab thus far this parliament:
    9,6,5,4,7 and now 7.

  14. Oldnat
    Well that certainly goes a way to explaining the result but I have to add that’s an awfully odd methodology. Frankly on a scale from 1-100 I’d easily be able to pick to the nearest ten but frankly what’s the distinction between 64,65,66 or 67? (Not the actual score I’d give mind you) 1-10 sure that’s easy but 1-100? Weird…

  15. The Ashcroft research is much more subtle than the bog-standard polling question, and more helpful to those of us who employ haruspicy to examine the entrails of the pollsters to try to see dimly into the future.

    Useful observations from Ashcroft are –

    “What people want, they quickly realise, is not facts so much as answers to questions which will always be disputed because they are not only unknown but unknowable. Undecided voters want to know what the future holds if we stay and if we leave, but nobody is going to be able to tell them.

    For many people, then, the question will come down to the balance of risk.”

    (This comes as no surprise to anyone who has campaigned in Scotland!)

    While the poll showed that Leaving was considered a greater risk than Remaining, that was only by 53% to 47%.

    The measurement of risk, by previous party vote, however, does not immediately look as if economic interests are necessarily dominant (there may be further data in the tables).

    Biggest risk

    UKIP : Remain 86% Leave 14%
    Con : Remain 55% Leave 45%
    SNP : Remain 37% Leave 63%
    Lab : Remain 36% Leave 64%
    LD : Remain 29% Leave 71%

  16. PHIL

    And the ComRes poll reported in the Mail, giving the Conservatives and Labour 37 and 34 respectively?

    All we have so far is what was said in the Mail (last updated Wed 09:58):

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3361668/HERE-S-cut-migration-Mr-Cameron-Voters-demand-welfare-curbs-end-free-movement-PM-faces-pressure-make-negotiations-ambitious.html

    Over the past month, the Tories’ lead over Labour has been cut to only four points – down from 11 in November. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party is up by four points, to 33 per cent, despite major internal rows over the decision to go to war in Syria.

    The Tories, who have come under attack as ‘gutless’ for delaying a decision on a third runway at Heathrow, are down three points on 37 per cent. Ukip are unchanged on 11 per cent.

    The same survey was obviously done by ComRes to carry out the Mail’s monthly telephone poll as the Open Europe that Anthony discusses. Normally ComRes are pretty good to put up the tables quickly and the EU part of the survey has been up for a while, but the VI tables are still missing. They probably expected the Mail to use them in a separate article (as usual) and missed the way they hid them in this rather confused piece.

    Presumably the idea was to ‘bury bad news’, which in this case was the Tory lead narrowing. This also accounts for their frankly bizarre tactic of blaming the drop on the public demanding a third runway at Heathrow now!.

  17. Just what Dave probably didn’t want to see today… I imagine he would have preferred it looking a much tighter race going into today’s meetings to try and get a deal he can sell!

  18. tee hee

    Polling working well still, then. Neck & neck and a 20 point lead.

    Depends who you ask, who you forget to ask (or can’t work out how to ask) and then of course you’ll change (“weight”) the published result to match what your mates say in the House of Commons bar.

  19. Oldnat,

    I know that there’s been a reaction against expenses culture, but surely politicians are allowed some perks?

  20. Good morning all from a tropical central London.

    “It’s a shame really. Politicians should be able to go walkabout without being subjected to violence”
    _______

    I know what you mean. :-)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zgTl6-KWqg

  21. NICKP

    Not to worry I’ll give you a firm forecast nearer the next election, assuming I’m still here of course :-)

  22. ANTHONY WELLS & CANDY

    I have responded to each of you on the previous thread re last evening’s problems and the EU ref respectively.

  23. Bill Patrick

    :-)

  24. The tables for the ComRes/Mail poll are now available (says he killing a comment moaning that they aren’t):

    http://www.comres.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Daily-Mail_-Political-Poll_December-2015.pdf

    Headline VI with uncorrected figures in brackets are:

    Con 37% (34)

    Lab 33% (35)

    Lib Dem 7% (6)

    UKIP 11% (12)

    Green 5% (5)

    SNP 4% (4)

    PC * (*)

    Other 3% (3)

    The uncorrected figures are after weighting (including for 2015 vote) but before likelihood to vote and other adjustments are applied. As I’ve said before, I’m slightly uneasy about the effect this is having as there may be an element of double-adjusting going on. Some things do need to be done, especially on LTV, but converting a 1 point Labour lead to 4 point Conservative is quite dramatic.

  25. Good Afternoon All, from a wet Bournemouth East as we start the school recess for Christmas.

    NICK P> Good to see that you are on here; maybe the landslide forecast applies to 2020.

    For what it is worth: I think JC (Corbyn) will be leader in that GE

  26. Personally, I will be relying on The Other Howard for my forecasts in future.

    TOH…how is the referendum going to go? I suspect we are in for a bit of a shock exit.

  27. Nick P

    So many imponderables that it’s too early to call but at the moment I feel it would be 10 points lead to stay in. Not my choice, but that’s life.

  28. Ashcroft tables now available – 285 pages to pore over!

  29. Test.

  30. Is everyone out watching Star Wars?!

  31. Good evening all from an extraordinary mild Westminster North.

    THE OTHER HOWARD

    “So many imponderables that it’s too early to call but at the moment I feel it would be 10 points lead to stay in. Not my choice, but that’s life”
    ________

    Not my choice either but I don’t hear the fat lady singing just yet. Cameron appears to be getting bitch slapped from every EU leader over his reform proposals and any backtracking from him will have many more Tories bolting over to the No side.

    Once the campaign salvos are opened I expect the No side to lead consistently in the polls. Cameron has made a hash of his whole grand EU tantrum tour and voters are going to be very disappointed when he returns with diddly reform proposals.

    So far all he has managed to win is the right to keep Scottish square sausages square after the EU backed down from their ridiculous proposals to have them shaped into triangles.

  32. Allan Christie

    Wasn’t the ridiculous EU proposal that all Lorne sausage had to be in the shape of Germany (peninsular states like Denmark or Italy being rejected as too phallic)?

    In such an emotive debate, we should ensure that the details are accurate.

  33. OLDNAT

    I think you’re correct and the Lorne sausage was to be re-branded as ” The frankfurter Lorne” to make it more palatable to Schuhplattler Bavarian dancing man.

    Surely now you must be in the No camp OleNat ;-)

  34. In fairness to Cameron, and to the “Leave” supporters, the EU are simply making the argument that UKIP has been making for years. There is no way for the UK to control inward migration whilst remaining a member of the EU.

    It’s not a trick. Those who support remaining in the EU do so because they either think a large net migration figure is a good thing, or because they think it’s a price worth paying.

  35. Neil A

    “Those who support remaining in the EU do so because they either think a large net migration figure is a good thing, or because they think it’s a price worth paying.”

    Not necessarily just those positions. Ashcroft asked about views on immigration in his poll of UK (It does include NI).

    Since immigration seems to cause particular concern in England, I’ve added the English figures after the UK ones.

    % in agreement with statement –

    We’ll never be able to bring immigration under control unless we leave the European Union – 39% (40%)

    We won’t be able to bring immigration under control even if we leave the European Union – 40% (36%)

    Immigration is already under control – 9% (9%)

  36. @Neil A
    “In fairness to Cameron, and to the “Leave” supporters, the EU are simply making the argument that UKIP has been making for years. There is no way for the UK to control inward migration whilst remaining a member of the EU.”

    Not necessarily. If Cameron believes most inward EU immigration into the UK is comprised of economic migrants,he could try making UK benefits contribution rather than income based.

    DC’s problem is that his key demand was to request something that was fundamentally against EU law. No change for UK citizens and discrimination to not UK EU citizens.

  37. @Neil A

    Multitasking and posting via phone. I’m sure you understand what I mean to say.

  38. An actual Liberal (not a Lib Dem hybrid) wins an election!

    (via Britain elects)

    Derwent (Ryedale) result:
    LIB: 35.5% (+35.5)
    CON: 34.8% (-11.8)
    IND: 15.5% (-13.0)
    LDEM: 10.2% (-14.7)
    YFIR: 4.0% (+4.0)

  39. @RAF,

    Yup but imagine the implications for the poor in the UK.

    A better approach, I think, would be to offer a quid pro quo by which UK citizens residing in other EU countries had to wait 4 years before being eligible for local benefit payments. In effect an “opt-out” from the UK from the universal access to benefits across the EU.

  40. @Oldnat

    And doing so by taking what appears to be a safe Tory seat. One wonders what sort of platform the Liberals campaign on these days. Are they to the right or the left of the LibDems?

  41. OldNat

    An actual Liberal (not a Lib Dem hybrid) wins an election!

    Presumably assisted by the fact that the Lib Dem candidate forgot to put his Party description on the nomination papers and so the ballot. In a rural ward like this the candidate does matter (and the winner is Chair of the local Civic Society), but given that his majority is only 5, the confusion was probably what helped him beat the Conservative.

    The area has a fairly distinctive political history and Thirsk and Malton had a Liberal as well as a Lib Dem standing in May. North Yorkshire was also the last holdout of the continuing SDP. In some places it’s always 1983.

  42. The SDP’s last redoubt was Bridlington in East Yorkshire. But yes rural Yorkshire can be like that. I’m a bit surprised Yorkshire First haven’t won anything and become ‘a thing’ yet.

  43. One would imagine this is particularly bad time to be a Liberal candidate: the party name sounds so much like “Liberal Democrat” that you’re bound to be at a disadvantage. Although perhaps only with voters who don’t read the polling slip properly.

    @ Neil A

    I doubt everyone is out watching Star Wars. I believe I booked the only 3 remaining seats in the area for Saturday.

  44. I was always against showing UKIP’s voting intention figures.

    I said several times before the last GE that they would be “the dog that didnt bark”.
    And I was right.
    They won one seat – and even that in strange circumstances.

    So why are they still being included?

    This site (and others) glorifies them way beyond their electoral significance.

    Time they were removed.

  45. @David in France,

    So we should just list Tory and Labour figures?

  46. DAVID IN FRANCE

    I agree with Neil A, you seem to be suggesting that polls should only show Conservative and Labour numbers. You seem to forget that UKIP polled 3,881,099 votes (12.60%), far more than the LIbDems, Scots Nats or Greens. The represent a group who have the potential to swing the result of General Elections while not winning many seats themselves under FPTP.

  47. @Neil A

    I suggested a while ago, I think just after the GE, that the Lib Dems should merge with the Liberals and take their name.

    This would have highlighted a fresh start, and also demonstrated a new approach. It was prior to the emergence of Corbynism, so at the time the centre ground was a little more crowded, but it now looks like a pretty sound electoral strategy.

    At the time there was also talk of a merger between the LibDems and the Greens. As the latter have lost some support to Corbyn, then absorbing the rest into a green anti-Trident non-statist Liberal Party makes even more sense.

  48. @Millie,

    I’m not really sure the Greens count as non-statist. On most issues they seem to be pretty straightforwardly socialist. Unless most of the statist ones have now gone to Corbyn?

  49. @ Neil A

    Agreed – under Natalie Bennett, they are really just ‘straightforward socialist’. You can see why many seem to have joined Corbyn.

    But there is still a strong anti-corporatist anti-state element within the Greens, who would sit very comfortably with a traditional liberal party, especially one that was anti-Trident.

  50. It is better to have polls which are all over the place than polls which are consistent with each other but are all wrong (which is what happened at the general election). I personally haven’t a clue who’s going to win, although the last 24 hours have probably been a net gain for IN thanks to Douglas Carswell choosing the worst possible time to pick a fight with his boss, and stopping UKIP concentrating on their real enemy, Brussels.

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