Opinium have a new poll in today’s Observer – topline figures are CON 38%, LAB 30%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 16%, GRN 5%. Tabs are here. The rest of the poll largely concentrated on leadership questions. Cameron’s approval rating stands at minus 6, Corbyn at minus 25, Farage minus 18, Farron minus 22 (though over half of respondents said don’t know on Farron). Net favourable vs unfavourable ratings were similar to job approval – Cameron -5, Corbyn -28, Farage -21, Farron -19.

Asked about the specific qualities of the leaders David Cameron’s strongest ratings were on being decisive (+5), having the nation’s interests at heart (+3), being a strong leader (+8), getting things done (+11) and standing up for Britain abroad (+4). His biggest weakness, as you will almost certainly have guessed, was being in touch with ordinary people (-34). After five years as Prime Minister, a decade as Tory leader, we know how Cameron is perceived by the public: an effective national leader, but posh and out of touch.

Asked to rate Jeremy Corbyn on the same measures his top ratings come on sticking to his principles (+32) and being in touch with ordinary people (-2). His ratings elsewhere are negative, particularly on being a strong leader, getting things done and standing up for Britain abroad (though the last two are a little unfortunately worded – one could have answered them in the context of Corbyn not being able to get things done because he’s not in government).

Best Prime Minister David Cameron leads by 41% to Corbyn’s 20%. With Cameron stepping down before the general election this match up is never going to happen though – when Opinium asked the same question with David Cameron’s potential successors the figures were far closer: 27% Osborne, 24% Corbyn; May 29%, Corbyn 23%; Boris 34%, Corbyn 23%. The Tory party don’t love David Cameron, but electorally they may miss him when he’s gone.

Earlier in the week there was also the monthly ComRes telephone poll for the Daily Mail. Topline figures there were CON 37%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 11%, GRN 5%. These are good figures for Labour by the standards of ComRes, who since introducing their new socio-economic turnout model have shown the largest Conservative leads, typically around eleven points. Of course, it is just one poll, so all the usual caveats apply… it may herald a narrowing of the polls, or may just be random sample variation and go back to more typical figures next month. Full tabs are here.

78 Responses to “Opinium/Observer – CON 38, LAB 30, LDEM 5, UKIP 16, GRN 5”

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  1. NEIL

    The “radical Islamist ” groups aren’t involved in the Vienna process. Saudi was tasked with producing a list of the “bad guys” in addition to IS.

    Russia has said that some of the “good guys” on the list are really “bad guys”-ie opponents of Assad.

    It is fiendishly difficult to pull off-the whole thing. Presumably a collapse of the process will result in a more blood soaked conflict than we have now.

    I really believe that Islam in its heartland of tribes & clans is completely incompatible with pluralist representative democracy.

  2. TNS December Holyrood Poll has SNP set for 79 of 129 seats – http://www.statgeek.co.uk/2015/12/tns-holyrood-poll-december-2015/

    TNS link within article.

  3. Statgeek

    Thanks for you list analysis. Tentative, but still very useful.

    I had a look at the parties’ vote retention since May. Naturally strongest among those committed voters who are certain to vote.

    CTV committed voters : constituency : List

    Con : 80% : 71%
    Lab : 82% : 73%
    L_D : 34% : 80%
    SNP : 97% : 85%

    While among all those aged 16+, the figures were –

    Con : 58% : 52%
    Lab : 53% : 48%
    L_D : 26% : 33%
    SNP : 82% : 72%

    The undecideds by May vote as a % of All 16+ were: – constituency : List

    Con : 31% : 31%
    Lab : 33% : 29%
    L_D : 31% : 49%
    SNP : 13% : 16%
    For the Greens, their List VI comes from similar %s of 3 of the other 4 parties (though, in numerical terms, that means a few LDs and a lot of SNP) as well as their own folk.

    Green VI by May vote : All 16+ : CTV committed

    Con :
    Lab : 7% : 9%
    L_D : 8% : 7%
    SNP : 6% : 9%

    Barring unexpected developments, the governing party in Scotland next May seems clear, but some constituencies (particularly ones with a high Con vote) may well be decided by tactical voting from the “Yoons” (as I understand Unionists are now being frequently described as).

  4. Good evening all from Westminster North.


    That’s a whopper of a poll for the SNP. I wouldn’t worry about any tactical voting on the constituency vote against the SNP because they (on this poll) are up by 13% on their 2011 vote and it would take tactical voting on a wholesale scale to have any impact.

    Labour only hold 15 constituency out of 79 and most are in areas where there is no significant Tory or Lib/Dem vote to tactically shift to Labour in hope to keep the super-duper fandabbydosey Nats out.

    The only question I have with regards to next years Scottish election is…who will be the last Unionist standing?


    I can’t access your website. How many of the SNP’s 79 seats are constituency seats in your forecast?

    In 2011 despite the SNP taking every seat north of Dundee (excluding O&S) they still managed to pick up seats on the list. If anything I think 79 seats is underestimating the SNP’s seat total.

    With this poll and just about every other poll since 2011 the SNP have been polling higher than their 2011 vote and it is quite possible the SNP will win all the mainland constituency’s (77 in total)plus around 7 list seats. Labour only hold 15 with a total combined majority of 22,000 (yes I added them up) and on this poll that combined majority will fall quicker than a tampon falling off a manikin.

  6. Try now. Iain MacWhirter tweeted the article, and my site isn’t hosted for that sort of demand…Twitter’s API and a lot of folk at the same time etc.

    Of the 73 constituency seats, 71 are SNP, and eight are list. I use a list seat calculator, as opposed to the Scotland Votes site, and that’s what it came back with. Nothing against the SV site, but it’s sometimes better to throw out pure data and get the specific regions’ data back.

    See chart 3 on the article 71 SNP, 1 Con, 1 Lib.


    I will try it now. thanks.

    Sorry my last post I posted 79 constituency seats and not 73. Getting carried away. ;-) Yes based on 73 constituency seats I would agree the SNP would win around 79 seats in total.

  8. Unsurprisingly, Podemos have said they won’t support a PP Government in Madrid!

    Seems that PSOE won’t either – so no Grand Coalition of Spanish Nationalists.

    A minority government of some flavour or other seems most likely.

  9. @Oldnat

    PSOE has expressly stated it will vote against Rajoy. He’s toast.

    I can’t actually see a viable government being established in 2 months. It looks like fresh elections.

    Interestingly from a Nat perspective, Podemos topped the poll in most of Catalunya and in Pais Vasco. This could be a sign that Catalan voters (and maybe Basque ones too) see a more mainstream solution to the independence issue than civil disobedience. Podemos are the foremost advocates of a constitutional amendment to allow autonomous communities to be able to gain independence through referenda.

    It won’t happen this time around as the proponents of this constitutional change do not have enough seats in the lower or upper house to make it happen. But it may do after fresh elections. Especially if a wounded Rajoy tries to cling to power.

    One other factor to note – the d’hondt formula exaggerated the PPs seat count (and that of PSOE) even though it’s a proportional system. Podemos and their allies only got 69 seats on 21% of the vote, whereas PP got 123 on 29%.

  10. RAF

    “Interestingly from a Nat perspective, Podemos topped the poll in most of Catalunya and in Pais Vasco. This could be a sign that Catalan voters (and maybe Basque ones too) see a more mainstream solution to the independence issue than civil disobedience.”

    The Catalan Independista parties have always sought a democratic constitutional settlement. That has been opposed by the Nationalists.

    In Spain, “Nationalists” are those who support the supremacy of the Spanish State over its component peoples. Hence those who support independence or maximum autonomy for the nations within Spain don’t describe themselves as Nationalists.

    Podemos, of course, are keen on a wholesale revision of the Spanish constitution set up after Franco. A major part of that is the need to do away with the over-representation of the rural communities which give PP their exaggerated number of seats.

  11. @OldNat

    That’s not quite true re:Nationalists. Apart from in Catalunya pretty much all independence parties call themselves nationalists (PNV in the Basque Country, BNG in Galicia, and the various Island nationalist parties). As to the extent to which they accept the supremacy of the Spanish state, it’s only really in Catalunya (of late) that that supremacy has directly been challenged (in a legal sense) by the Catalan parliament making clear they don’t consider some Spanish federal law to be binding on them.

    My point was that people in Catalunya voted for a party that is committed to working within existing federal state structures to change the status of their autonomous community, as opposed to Artur Mas of DiL and ERC who are working outside those structures.

  12. RAF

    Point accepted re PNV etc. That may simply have been the view of my Catalan friends.

    However, I would suggest that Artur Mas took a long time to move to his current stance, and that happened only because of intransigence from Madrid and the Spanish Nationalists.

    If En Comú Podem can secure a change in the constitution to secure the Catalan right to a referendum, then they will be well rewarded politically.

    That seems unlikely, though. I think changes to the Constitution require a two-thirds majority in each house, plus approval in a Spain-wide referendum.

    If nothing happens, than Podemos may depart as swiftly as they arrived.

    I agree with you, that most Catalans (whatever their views on independence/autonomy/federalism) would prefer a referendum and a negotiated settlement with Madrid – but can they get that?

  13. Thanks to Statgeek for the useful Scotland statistics.

    Someone posted on here a while back about (I think) Quebec where voters had deserted more than one governing party and never ever returned them to power subsequently.. Will that be the case in Scotland? (That would rule out the Conservatives as well as Labour).

    By the way, is it my computer or is it over twelve hours since anyone posted on here. Is that a record? Oh no, a close relation has just asked me to put on the sprouts ready for Friday. That must be happening everywhere.

    Happy Christmas everyone!

  14. ICM – Con 39 Lab 34 Ukip 10 LD 7 Grn 3

  15. @Alister1948

    It was Alberta. They started the 20th century electing the Canadian Liberals. Then got tired of them and elected teh United Farmers of Alberta in 1921 (they were a farmers co-op – sort of govt by the farmers for the farmers).

    Then they got tired of them and went a bit commie – the elected the Social Credit party in 1935 – they promised to give everyone $25, and started printing their own money. That party lasted till the early 70’s before it died and had morphed into a fundamentalist Christian communist party by then (and people did get their $25 in 1957, a few decades after the promise was made).

    People got tired of the Social Credit people and elected the Progressive Conservatives in 1971 (cause more moderate than the commie-christians in Social Credit).

    In 2015 the Progressive Conservatives were turfed out and the NDP elected. And the opposition are the Wildrose party (rural conservatives). I guess when the baton changes, they’ll get their turn – in about 40 years because that’s how long it takes for Albertans to change their minds.

    The Scots arn’t as wild as the Albertans, though they do seem to go for the decades long govt thing.

    I think they will swing back to Conservative in the next decade, not least because memories of the “evil Thatcher” are fading – helped by the fact that Scots have an early mortality rate which means people who remember her are popping their clogs in western scotland. When the majority of those who remember her are gone, and Conservatism is defined by the Cuddly Cameron, the pendulum will swing.

  16. @Candy
    Thank you. I cannot respond to the length your post deserves as my son has just arrived on a visit, but yes I have wondered if this might be the case one day.

    @Candy and Graham
    With your posts and the arrival of my son I suspect the human race has not died out as I had begun to suspect.

  17. Never forget the old Christmas saying, ‘Charity begins with the Labour Party’.

    Some Christmas cheer for Labour then, but probably more an absence of politics rather than a definitive surge.

    November borrowing figures look interesting, decidedly mixed PMI data and downbeat household finance expectations for the year ahead.

  18. The ICM figures since the summer have actually been pretty stable. In the last Parliament the pollster tended to be the least favourable for Labour – whilst flattering the LibDems.

  19. ICM and the online/phone polling controversy –


    For our part, it is clear that phone polls steadfastly continue to collect too many Labour voters in the raw sample, and the challenge for phone polling is to find a way to overcome the systematic reasons for doing so. The methodological tweaks that we have introduced since the election in part help mitigate this phenomenon by proxy, but have not overcome the core challenge. In our view, attempting to fully solve sampling bias via post-survey adjustment methods is a step too far and lures the unsuspecting pollster into (further) blase confidence.

  20. I agree with ICM’s own comments. The Labour numbers look to gigh.

  21. TOH

    “To gigh”. I agree. At this season of the year, we should all be aiming to gigh as much as possible. Slainte!

  22. Historically ICM have tended to understate Labour – eg the only pollster to predict a smaller Labour lead in 1997 than reflected in the actual outcome

  23. gigh there Oldnat :-p

    @alister1948 – December 22nd, 2015 at 11:57 am

    “voters had deserted more than one governing party and never ever returned them to power subsequently.. Will that be the case in Scotland?”

    No idea, but I came across a comment yesterday and it chimes along similar lines – https://twitter.com/StatgeekUK/status/679281367826460673

  24. Statgeek

    I think your correspondent is being a wee bit simplistic!

    An alternative explanation might be that these different parties were seen as the best vehicles to protect/advance the interests of their (various) electorates through the Westminster Parliament.

    Within a Scotland with its own Parliament, however, those dynamics change.

    While the SNP currently benefit from the support of the Yes movement, the internal tensions that exist within any party are probably greater within a party that also doubles as a “national movement”.

    Whatever the result of indyref2, I’d guess at a realignment of parties here, at that point.

  25. OLDNAT

    Cheers! :-)

  26. Yes,” prediction is difficult, especially about the future” (Nils Bohr.

    Look forward to more in 2016. Good New Year to all.

  27. I have a theory that Labour do better in the national polls when Corbyn is out of the news. He is clearly a drag on their fortunes, as Cameron is a boost to the Tories. Everything comes down to the leader, always.

  28. It’s nice to know we have a contributor on here who has his finger firmly on the pulse of the Corbynistas.

    Straight from the horse’s mouth, without fear of misinterpretation and unsullied by party political partisanship!

    Now, where’s that 25 year old nephew of mine who said he gave Cameron a go at the last election? He should take me to the very heart of what won it for Dave in May.


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