There are three EU polls in the Sunday papers.

  • An online Opinium poll for the Observer had topline figures of REMAIN 42%, LEAVE 41%, DON’T KNOW 14%. The one point lead for remain compares to a four point leave lead a month ago (tabs).
  • An online ORB poll for the Independent had topline figures of 50% REMAIN, 50% LEAVE without turnout, REMAIN 49%, LEAVE 51% once weighted for turnout (the previous ORB online poll a month ago had a break of Remain 51%, Leave 49%, but didn’t account for turnout) (tabs)
  • An online ICM poll in the Sun on Sunday had toplines of 43% REMAIN, 46% LEAVE, DON’T KNOW 11%. These are almost unchanged from the ICM poll in the week, which had figures of 44% remain and 46% leave.

Three online polls, all showing the extremely close referendum race that online polling has been consistently showing. The Opinium poll also had some intriguing Westminster voting intention figures: CON 38%, LAB 30%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 15%, GRN 5%. An eight point lead for the Conservatives is the largest any poll has shown since before the budget, and is an increase of seven points since Opinium’s last poll. The Tues-Fri fieldwork period overlapped with Labour’s anti-Semitism row, so it could be that it has dented Labour’s support… but it is only one poll, so wait to see if other polling echoes it. (Interestingly the tables for the Opinium poll have the voting intention question at the end, after a question about who people would trust on the economy. If that actually is the order the questions were asked it that could have potentially affected responses as well.)

UPDATE: Ignore the strange question ordering in the Opinium tables – the questions were actually asked in the normal order, with voting intention at the start


159 Responses to “Sunday polls on the EU referendum”

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  1. Also Panelbase/S Times Holyrood poll – EU question

    Remain 57% : Leave 33% : DK 11%

    Opinium (who show twice as many Scots with a Tory as opposed to a Labour VI) probably misrepresenting Scots EUref VI too.

  2. Looks like it could be tipping point in favour of Brexit. As for the Tory lead in the polls, I just wonder if the Tory lead in the national polls can be translated into something tangible for the local elections?

    I still think UKIP (in England) will be the ones rejoicing though.

  3. I doubt that Britain will leave the European Union for two reasons. Firstly UKIP remains the only political party entirely supprting the Brexit, Conservatives are neutral all other parties support staying in the EU.
    And second even if Leaving seems to gain in the most recent past its still neck and neck with undecideds remaining in double-digit territory and they are likely to break heavily in favor of staying because if you are not already convinced you wont take the risk. Just look at the surprisingly clear outcome of the Scottish Independence Referendum.

  4. The disparity between online polling and telephone polling in a two horse race is surely surprising? i assume methadology of both have been adjusted post the general election? i think there was also some suggestion that herding may have been occuring in the run up to the GE. Given all the polls were out last year can we assume that there is a very high propensity amongst the various polling companies to publish exatly what they find at present? Are the polling comanies calling mobile phones in the EU referendum polls?

  5. MCCLANE

    You make a good point with reference to the surprising Scottish indy vote and in the end people did vote No because it was deemed to be less risky, however…The vote in the end was won by the overwhelming old yins voting for No but (I might be wrong) EU polls show the older demographic being more in favour of Brexit and older yins are more likely to go out and vote than their younger peers.

    In all honestly it’s too close to call but one thing is for certain, it ain’t the walk over Cameron thought it would be

    In layman’s terms…Brexit needs to get the grey vote oot.

  6. @Allan Christie

    “I still think UKIP (in England) will be the ones rejoicing though.”

    I suspect you’re right and the real “winners”, certainly in terms of making advances, will be the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Greens and UKIP. The Big 3, as we used to call them, the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems, will do abysmally and they will left spinning away their various disasters in the post mortem. Of course, none of this should come as a surprise because the flight from the old established mainstream parties started long ago and their combined vote share at the May 2015 general election was an historic low; a nadir in a 30 year decline. Our archaic electoral system is the their life support system, certainly for the Tories and Labour, if not the Lib Dems and we’re now seeing majority governments being formed on derisory percentage vote shares, made even more unrepresentativef when the low turnout and non-registered millions are factored in to the equation. The game is almost up and I don’t think any of the Old Big 3 are attracting new support in any meaningful sense now. They’re just hunkering down in a desperate race to lose voters at a slightly lower rate than their rivals. Hang on to what we’ve got, as the old song says.

    Linked to this, I thought Rawnsley’s article in the Observer today was a particularly good piece. He exposed the notion of the Tory Party lecturing Labour on racism as the risible hypocrisy that it is, but also went to the heart of what’s wrong with both of the old Leviathans of British politics and why they’re now the empty shells of what they once were. The gist of his point was this. Just look at the Shah and Livingstone idiocy and the way that it’s being handled within Labour and then cast your eye over to Goldsmith’s London mayoral campaign. You’re then left with the question; why on earth would anyone in their right mind choose to vote for either of these two parties.

    Meanwhile Sturgeon, Lucas, Farage and Wood smile and just say to the voters (the 30-35% who’ll bother to turn out on Thursday, that is) ), “welcome aboard folks”. Farron, meanwhile, has to content himself with throwing darts at that gnarled old photograph of Nick Clegg! Nobody coming aboard Tim, I’m afraid. Old Cleggy took you over the cliff and there’s absolutely no way back. He crashed the car, leaving neither driver nor keys!

  7. CB11

    “the flight from the old established mainstream parties started long ago”

    True – and that is despite the BBC/Ofcom rules (and other similar ones) having a built-in advantage for the “old established” parties.

    A classic example was tonight’s BBC final Scottish Leaders Debate.

    Once upon a time, the audience selection model – 20% each for Con, Lab, LD, SNP, plus 10% Green and 10% undecideds/others might have been entirely reasonable.

    Indeed, if so much of the discussion hadn’t been on the core fault line in Scottish politics – the constitutional issue – it might still have been. As it was, the audience had a 60% Unionist / 30% Indy supporting split, with audience members from the two sides clearly applauding the other leaders on “their side” as well as their own.

    Had the concentration been on the EU referendum, the bias of the audience (as selected by the parties) would have been even more bizarrely different from the “actual public”.

    Almost everyone gets their political information from “the media”. When the rules governing that data flow are so circumscribed by the interests of the established parties, then there is a problem.

    Not to have any guidance on balance might be even more destructive of democracy!

    We once had tidy rules for a tidy politics. What rules should we have for an increasingly chaotic political environment?

  8. @Crossbat,

    Perhaps, although it’s worth pointing out that the Tory/Labour score in the Opinium poll above is actually higher than their score in the 2005 general election, so I’m not sure two party politics is necessarily dead yet.

    Neither party is exactly political gold at the moment, it’s true.

    The big question is what happens to UKIP after a Remain vote (or indeed after a Leave vote).

    If they subside and the LDs remain becalmed then we could even see the Big Two back to the heady heights of the 1990s.

  9. @Hireton

    Nah, you’re being needlessly pedantic. Massively so…

    Firstly, you’re acting like my argument was all about boomers as a means to try and find fault. It wasn’t. It was about how the more economically advantaged of any demographic might be more liable to vote.

    And to this end I also included examples from the recent past, peeps who’d benefitted from QE etc., so it should have been clear to you what I was getting at. It was to others.

    I didn’t mention that not all boomers would have benefitted from policy at the time because it’s effing obvious. I shouldn’t have to point out some wouldn’t benefit because may have fallen ill, died, screwed up or whatever. Hence no one else needed this pointing out.

    Also, far from being unaware, I’ve made the point in the past about boomers who suffered in the eighties. Thus no need to labour this point, especially as it wasn’t germane to my argument.

    To focus on how late-period boomers will have missed out on full employment is also unhelpfully pedantic. Partly because it took time for the terms and conditions to erode, hence still got a residual benefit, not much zero hours back then etc., but also because many still nonetheless benefitted from cheap housing, housing subsidies, privatisation shares, free tuition etc. etc.

    As for this bit….

    “To maintain and continue a sterile debate of this sort might be thought to be indicative of being some form of self indulgence posturing.. Or summat.”

    No, that’s just you projecting, having quibbled to little good effect. (And talk like that might alarm oldnat!!)

    Are you actually disputing that various people enjoyed full employment, housing subsidies, cheap housing in the mid-eighties, free tuition etc.? Are you saying that being economically disadvantaged would definitely not affect polling?

    Finally: which issues are you saying I didn’t respond to? And sure, I didn’t consider the entire plight of the young because that would have been onerous in this context when it was not the primary point at issue. There are many other things I didn’t consider that weren’t actually relevant.

    You’re finding needless fault again, because the issue was the impact of advantage or disadvantage on registration and consequently on voting, and I don’t have to list every possible disadvantage to make that point. Furthermore this issue not confined to the young anyway.

    Basically, you’re not thinking clearly. In losing sight of the main point at issue – stuff affecting registration – you’ve tried to make it about boomers or the plight of the young which therefore has led you to confuse yourself and take needless issue. Also you’re unreasonably expecting someone to state the obvious to an onerous degree and if they don’t you assume error, when in fact they simply don’t want to patronise or waste peeps time needlessly. Something that doesn’t seem to bother you, admittedly…

    The kicker in the end is that you are just quibbling needlessly since you are not actually challenging my essential points on registration.

  10. Carfrew
    For God’s sake, get over yourself. The Electoral Commission says individual registration is a good idea, it’s very easy to do. If some groups are too lazy/incompetent to do it that really is their problem.

    All the c–p about boomers does get very tedious after a while, even if there is a germ of truth in some of it.

  11. Anthony

    You used to have a useful rule that debates from an earlier thread shouldn’t be continued to a new thread (unless they were relevant to the new topic).

    Can you reinstate that?

  12. @Crossbat

    “You’re then left with the question; why on earth would anyone in their right mind choose to vote for either of these two parties.”

    ————–

    Some of us have felt that way for ages!! Andrew’s just catching up.

    (Also, I know it isn’t very relevant but you didn’t mention everything that might ail the young which might therefore confuse Hireton…)

  13. @Oldnat

    “You used to have a useful rule that debates from an earlier thread shouldn’t be continued to a new thread (unless they were relevant to the new topic).
    Can you reinstate that?”

    ———

    Still trying to advantage Indy peeps?

    He has currently has a rule involving Saltires which you guys ignore…

  14. I thought the UKIP poll showing a three point lead was rogue I think this poll is rogue to the truth is I think it is a lead tor the conservatives of around 2-3%

    UKIP I think maybe finished in fairness

  15. @Pete B

    Yes you may want to censor me but I am not going to ignore Hireton’s post just to suit you.

  16. Panther
    Can you explain a bit more? I don’t recall a poll with a UKIP 3 point lead.

  17. Panther,

    What (polling) evidence do you have to say that UKIP may be finished?

    There is polling evidence which suggests that UKIP will make gains in the elections taking place this week.

    If instead they suffer losses against the low base in 2012, then indeed your statement could be justified.

    The party with most to lose on Thursday is in fact Labour. If Kan wins the mayoralty, expect that to be used as a screen to hide the less good news elsewhere across Great Britain.

  18. Khan, not Kan.

  19. Paul H-J

    “expect that to be used as a screen to hide the less good news”

    Isn’t that the normal strategy of every party in every country?

  20. Despite what Sadiq Khan said about this row damaging his prospects, might it not actually help him by attracting even more Muslim voters?

  21. Pete B

    I would expect the Tory campaign to boost Muslim turnout.

    The talk from Labour about being worried out turnout due to a large poll lead reminds me of the spin from Blair in his foregone conclusion election period.

  22. out = about

  23. Anthony has not included the voting intention figures given in the Online ICM poll referred to – Con 34 Lab 32 LD 7 UKIP 18 Grn 3.

  24. CROSSBAT

    Your post resonates with me although I think the turn out in Scotland will be well over the 35% mark.

    I’m not too sure Plaid Cymru will have a great night but possibly a small advance on what they currently hold. UKIP in Wales look to be the only party who will have big smiles come the results.

    I agree the main UK parties have been losing support and I think the current voting system has contributed to this and regardless of who forms the government I think it’s quite problematic that a party can win a majority on a percentage of just 35% but both Labour and the Tories don’t seem to mind this at all.

    Maybe the EU referendum might boost turn out for the next GE if like the Scottish indy ref people feel more engaged after such a vote.
    ………..
    “Linked to this, I thought Rawnsley’s article in the Observer today was a particularly good piece. He exposed the notion of the Tory Party lecturing Labour on racism as the risible hypocrisy that it is, but also went to the heart of what’s wrong with both of the old Leviathans of British politics and why they’re now the empty shells of what they once were. The gist of his point was this. Just look at the Shah and Livingstone idiocy and the way that it’s being handled within Labour and then cast your eye over to Goldsmith’s London mayoral campaign. You’re then left with the question; why on earth would anyone in their right mind choose to vote for either of these two parties”
    _______

    It is quite a conundrum and both parties don’t exactly cover themselves with glory when squawking over who said what where when and why. It is a real voter turn off and it all feeds into the hands of UKIP. In all honestly though I see UKIP as a safety net for voters who might otherwise have fallen into the BNP and EDF traps.

    At present I don’t know who I would vote for,… on policies I’m probably closer to the Tories than with Labour but I’m with Labour on opposing large parts of Tory austerity. I do like ol Corby and Dennis Skinner and even though they are to the left of my comfort zone they are two decent people sticking up for ordinary peeps.

  25. If anyone is watching the snooker, this last frame is a good analogy for the Labour vs Tory battle.

  26. Hawthorn

    Not watching it – do neither of them have any balls?

  27. PETE B
    “Despite what Sadiq Khan said about this row damaging his prospects, might it not actually help him by attracting even more Muslim voters?”
    __________

    Ironically you might have a point.

  28. Oldnat

    Two exhausted players grinding each other down and making loads of mistakes.

  29. GRAHAM
    “Anthony has not included the voting intention figures given in the Online ICM poll referred to – Con 34 Lab 32 LD 7 UKIP 18 Grn 3”
    _______

    You remind me of the wee specky guy who used to sit next me in maths. Hector spector 4 eyed projector, he never missed a trick.

  30. Hawthorn

    :-)

  31. Allan Christie

    Are you saying that you would prefer to remain in ignorance of the ICM figures?

  32. GRAHAM

    Not at all…I was giving you a bifocal compliment.

    Anyway good night.

  33. It isn’t necessary to think that the 24 Tory MPs or their election agents who accepted central Tory HQ support via battle buses are actually “corrupt”.

    I doubt that they are, but would have accepted HQ assurances that the battle bus costs wouldn’t count as their election expenses.

    Indeed, it may well be decided that such central HQ expenditure is entirely legal, and that the authorities may so rule.

    However, the judgments of the Election Court in the Carmichael case may indicate that former assumptions by parties, about what they can get away with, may no longer be accurate.

    The Mirror has an obvious political agenda in its reporting –

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/busted-24-tories-how-broke-7467603

    – though that isn’t a charge made so easily against Channel 4 News who originally exposed the potential difficulty.

    I don’t suggest for a moment that such potential abuse of defining central/local funding is unique to the English Tories. All parties need to look much more carefully at how they campaign. Bending the rules may turn out to be a severe electoral disadvantage.

  34. It’s hard to know whether the online polls are right or wrong on Brexit. There is an obvious element of self selection by the more politically engaged. The others are probably more inclined to want to answer the questions, but who knows? There is also the difficulty with having a balanced sample – balanced with regard to what? The general political balance may not work with this. Real turnout will be very hard to gauge from these samples and this is of course crucial to the final result.

    It is of course, still possible that they will have the result right, possibly because the errors cancel each other out.

  35. Others =outers

  36. Rmj1
    I agree with you there. They also can’t weight by, ‘how did you vote last time round’ because most were not around 40 odd years ago. For that reason and all yours, therefore, the real picture is well hidden and I still maintain that remain will win fairly comfortably, unfortunately.

  37. @Neil A

    “The big question is what happens to UKIP after a Remain vote (or indeed after a Leave vote).”

    An interesting question indeed but I rather suspect that they’re going to stick around for some time after the Referendum, whatever the result. The superficial raison d’etre of UKIP is to campaign as a single issue party dedicated to getting the UK out of the EU but, rather like the SNP, they’ve mutated into something rather more than the single issue that originally defined them. The SNP is now a legitimate centre-left, multi-faceted political party, far bigger in scale and purpose than one merely campaigning for Scottish independence and though UKIP haven’t quite taken on the SNP’s stature and credibility yet, or electoral success,, they are starting to look a little like a UK version of the Front National, breathing political oxygen much more rarefied than mere EU exit.

    I can see UKIP camping fairly permanently on the right of British politics, maybe even emboldened by a Remain vote in June, particularly if it’s a narrow one. There are rich pickings to be had on an anti-immigration, socially conservative and nationalist ticket and it should also be remembered that UKIP have put down real organisational and campaigning roots all over the UK. In most constituencies around where I live they now have more boots on the ground than the Tories come election time.

    By the way, I’d be careful about drawing too many conclusions from one opinion poll and, with the publication of that recent ICM poll, which chimes with a few others, the Opinium poll looks more than a bit odd. Most polls have the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems on an aggregate VI even lower than in May 2015. The flight continues.

  38. Crossbat11
    I think that the old definitions of left and right are becoming blurred. It used to be Labour were left and Tories right.

    The Tories have enhanced gay rights, once a very left wing policy. Front nationale you maybe see as a right wing party but it is very socialist in many of its policies. Whilst the socialists in France, fully support the ban on wearing the burka in public, what some might see as a right wing thing to do.

    That the SNP is now seen as the major left of centre party in Scotland is beyond doubt. Labour are irrelevant there. There is and will continue to be a revival in the Tories fortunes there, over time because there is a need for a centre right party. Probably never to govern but as a credible opposition.

    In E and W ukip needs to bridge the old left right division if it ever wants to progress. There is no reason why it can’t be ‘right wing’ on social issues/ immigration etc and ‘left wing’ on financial issues. (Eg creating a link between the top and the bottom paid in a company, share options available to every employee or to no one and proportionate to salary etc etc). That will attract many labour voters and quite a few Tories.

    But UKIP needs to become much more professional in the way it runs itself.

    It all depends on what Farrige does next, post referendum.

  39. Not flaunting religious signifiers is a French thing not a lefty thing.

  40. Crossbat11

    “The SNP is now a legitimate centre-left, multi-faceted political party, far bigger in scale and purpose than one merely campaigning for Scottish independence”

    I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking this is dubious!

  41. Yes, as hinted at above, the outllook of political parties is sometimes on more than one dimension, e.g. socially liberal/libertarian vs socially conservative/authoritarian, as well as left-wing vs right-wing on economics. I think one of our posters compiled a chart a year or two ago, with various parties and also with UKPR posters’ political stance based on a questionnaire.

    The situation is complicated by the fact that parties are quite often coalitions, and also change outlook over time.

  42. The SNP did not disappear on account of failing to achieve its raison d’etre in the September 2014 Referendum – on the contrary it has gone from strength to strength and clearly hopes for a rematch at some point even if that turns out to be much further into the future than many might care to imagine. A Remain vote in June would still leave UKIP with its main policy objective intact – even if it does mean waiting 15 to 20 years for another Referendum.

  43. Robert Newark: I rather think that the country has merely moved a long way to the left on social issues in the last generation (while staying more-or-less the same on the economy, at least since the time of Thatcher), so that while gay rights, for example, were once the preserve of the left, they are now seen as a good thing by pretty much everybody. This is very different from a blurring of left and right, and merely movement of the Overton window.

    On the contrary, I would argue that political debate has rarely been more polarised around the left-right divide. And until perceptions of greedy banksters and benefit scroungers are overturned, hopes of a more consensual, less partisan politics in this country are remote at best.

  44. The use of the word, ‘ banksters’ is so passé, don’t you think?

    Tribal politics will never disappear, all I am alluding to is the notion that UKIP could carve out its own niche if it is clever, which could be pupular with both some labour and some Tory voters and as a result might give them a few seats.

  45. Nigel Farage has made his admiration for Beppe Grillo and the Italian Five-Star movement increasingly clear. I see no sign that Ukip intend to retire regardless of the EUref outcome.

  46. Syzygy

    I think you will find it was more admiration for the way he has used social media to build his support, than admiration for his policies.

  47. “There’s a chance that there are people who are almost subconsciously put off (voting for Khan) by the dog-whistle racism … people who wouldn’t like to say ‘I’m not going to vote for Sadiq Khan’, but will have a wobble at the ballot box,” said Anthony Wells, director of political and social opinion polling at YouGov .

    But he added the impact was unlikely to be enough to allow Goldsmith to pull off a surprise victory.

    “The only effect of the Zac Goldsmith campaigning is probably just to entrench all those long-standing issues the Conservative Party have got with appealing to ethnic minority voters,” he said.

    Interesting.

  48. With the Brexit still on the cards, according to these polls, I wonder whether anybody has asked how many people will choose to leave the UK if it does indeed leave the EU?

    We all know that Scotland have made noises of another Independence referendum, but what about people in England or Wales that believe in the EU?

    From a personal point of view, I now live and work in New Zealand – but retain my British passport. I’m not sure if I’d really be keen on renewing a UK passport without EU freedom of movement.

  49. I came out as a gay man as the equal marriage debate started, it was awful.

    DC dragged the party and the party and the members hated it.

  50. @Rory,

    If that’s all your UK passport means to you, relinquish it.

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