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. Roger

    I should know better than to post the data as provided by the editor of the Record! :-)

    However, given the unexplained disparity between phone and online polls, we might get some suggestion of which is more accurate on Friday, with the Scots and Welsh GEs.

  2. Apparently the SUN is reporting that Margaret Hodge has agreed to challenge Corbyn as a stalking horse. Whilst that would be interesting , I don’t see the mechanism whereby she could stand down were she to succeed! Surely if she wins she becomes the new Leader?

  3. Graham

    Seems odd. But could it be that they simply want to destabilise the Labour Party, in order to create a different version more acceptable to them?

    Mounting a public civil war can be “useful” in that process, for folk who think that the party is unelectable in its current format – the more unelectable it is, the more your point is demonstrated!

    Such a strategy wouldn’t be unique to Labour, nor to the “right” or “left” wings of a party.

  4. ALUN009
    So first you take the piss:
    ‘Can people stop using alcohol as a weapon?’
    May 2nd, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Then, an hour and a half later…

    ‘Sorry to be a killjoy, but I do feel quite strongly about this and I had to comment.’
    May 2nd, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    perhaps he thought he’d just let the town planners do it for him after the war.:)

  6. @ Graham

    Perhaps they intend that Margaret Hodge would step down after she’s won the 2020 GE for them……..

  7. Looking at the Opinium poll if that is any reflection on what’s going to happen in the local elections in England on Thursday then the Lib Dems are going to be in deep trouble.

    I will be looking at results from Bristol where all council seats are up for re-election, Solihul, Norwich, Liverpool, Kirklees, Reading, Oxford, Reigate and Banstead, Rochford, Stroud, Worcester, as well as the London Assembly.

    According to the BBC Labour gained 534 seats in 2012, the Tories lost 328 and the Lib Dems 190. Greens made an equal number of gains to the Residents Association, 5, and UKIP made no gains at all.

    The question for me is will UKIP simply overtake the Tories or will they be the spoiler that allows other parties to win formerly safe Tory seats.

    Watching local government by-elections this spring, apart from a few Lib Dem gains, the two largest parties appeared to be keeping the status quo, with UKIP’s and the Green vote dropping.

  8. @Andy Shaddrack

    I write as someone closely involved with the local elections in Kirklees.

    The Lib Dems hold a few seats, but these are insurmountable strongholds. One is held by a Lib Dem Baroness, Kath Pinnock. Despite the Lib Dem collapse post 2010, they have held on with big majorities. These wards are known as the sort of places where if the rest of the world says black,they say white. They are long time Councillors, who seem to work hard and get the result they deserve. However, wards where Lib Dems stood new candidates, they were buried. In these such wards in 2014, the Greens polled better is almost every case.

    UKIP could only get candidates on seven out of the ten wards that I am involved with, and most seem to be non-local paper candidates. They don’t appear to making too much of an effort. I think they may poll around 15%-20%, but I can’t see them winning any wards. They may come second or third, and reduce some majorites.

    I don’t any scope for any Green advance either. Kirklees has formed into a series of islands of very safe seats. Two seats looked tight, but deals have been done to give the incumbent more room for maneuver, by some parties not standing. This will benefit one Labour seat and one Green seat.

    Overall I expect all the seats to remain as they were pretty much.

  9. @Neila

    I don;t need a second invitation, flatly.

    I just wonder, nationalism aside, really how much it will be worth outside of the EU to anyone.

  10. Margaret Hodge wouldn’t come close to defeating Corbyn currently. It would be an entirely futile gesture.

  11. @ Rory Hughes

    FWIW, I thought the exchange over free movement was game, set and match to you. In summary:

    RH: As someone living in NZ, not sure my UK passport will be worth keeping if it doesn’t guarantee my right to work in the EU.

    Brexiters: Of course you’ll still be able to live and work in the EU, as pre-’73, just with a bit more bureaucracy.

    RH: Ah, so same for EU workers wanting to emigrate to UK. So what price immigration control?

    Brexiters: OH no, we’ll only let in people with skills who are needed, and the same for them.

    RH: Ah, a bit more than just extra bureaucracy, then.


  12. Agree with RORY HUGHES, it’s likely HODGE would be defeated easily.
    More likely that a very serious challenge will happen 2018 and then only if LABOUR does poorly in elections in May2018 and polling in v low 30s or less.


    In the Colne Valley (ex West) ward, the electorate continue to vote for the Lib Dem David Ridgway which is final proof of their cussed stubbornness!

    Yes. The sexuality-weapon comment was completely ridiculous but someone else already took that up. No need for me to weigh in on that.
    The alcohol-weapon comment was an illustration of the absurdity of the sexuality-weapon form of arguing. It was a playful underlining of what was already said.

    The later comment was an earnest and polite reminder that we don’t live in a post-discrimination world. It was addressing a completely different thing. The joke I was responding to wasn’t ill-meant, I believe, but potentially damaging. My joke wasn’t about any group, it was about a debating style. I hope you can see the difference.

  15. @Somerjohn,

    I suspect if Rory managed to get a work visa for NZ, he’d probably be able to get one for Denmark.

    The problem with EU migration is that it isn’t remotely symmetrical. The interests of the small number of Britons who would like to get jobs in the EU must be balanced against the interest of the large numbers of Britons competing in the UK for jobs against unskilled and semi-skilled migrants from the EU.

  16. Neil, I’ve got a work visa for NZ. Why on earth do you think I live here!

    But it’s just as easy for me to get a NZ passport and citizenship, as it is to renew my British passport. The only real motivation for doing the latter is that enables me to work across the whole of the EU without any issue.

    I could probably get an Irish passport too, due to family connections. If the UK pulled out of the EU, and Ireland stayed in, then an Irish passport is simply worth more to me than a UK one.

  17. Oh, and as for the time before ’73 and all that, I’d be happy to opt for a British passport if it included an operational time machine.

  18. NEIL A

    “The problem with EU migration is that it isn’t remotely symmetrical. The interests of the small number of Britons who would like to get jobs in the EU must be balanced against the interest of the large numbers of Britons competing in the UK for jobs against unskilled and semi-skilled migrants from the EU”

    That’s one fact I wish the Brexiters would use during the EU referendum campaign.

  19. @ Neil A

    “… large numbers of Britons competing in the UK for jobs against unskilled and semi-skilled migrants from the EU.”

    A lot of skilled EÜ immigrants doing unskilled or semi-skilled jobs in the UK would probably be more precise.

    Vocational training is far better in most East European countries (although declining with the exception of Czechia (I have to get used to their new name) and Slovakia) than in the UK.

  20. Neil A: “the large numbers of Britons competing in the UK for jobs against unskilled and semi-skilled migrants from the EU”

    The problem, it seems to me, is that all too many Brits aren’t competing for those jobs. Will unemployed Welsh steel workers be moving to East Anglia to pick cabbages?
    Or kids who’ve left school with few skills suddenly become employable as hotel receptionists?

    In general, I think anyone in the UK who wants a job, is employable and willing, if necessary, to be mobile, can get one.

    That’s because, at the moment, we have a strong jobs market here. If today’s manufacturing figures are anything to go by, we should not assume that will always be the case. Opportunities to work elsewhere in the EU might well become more valuable.

    Those workers who are motivated enough to emigrate, with all the challenges that entails, are generally quite dynamic. As you can see in plenty of UK service industries staffed by keen, energetic young Poles. It isn’t clear to me that Britain would work better if deprived of these dynamic individuals.

    Amongst the more dynamic members of the UK workforce, there is a much higher propensity to work abroad, not least because in many large companies, the fastest career progression tends to go to those happy to put in a stint overseas.

    Rory Hughes sounds like a good example of the dynamic, footloose Brit who wants to be free to go where the best, most interesting work is. Do we want to lose people like that?

  21. @ Andy Shadrack
    ‘I will be looking at results from Bristol where all council seats are up for re-election, Solihul, Norwich, Liverpool, Kirklees, Reading, Oxford, Reigate and Banstead, Rochford, Stroud, Worcester, as well as the London Assembly.’
    I live in Norwich and can inform you that only one third of the council is facing re-election – albeit involving an election in every ward!

  22. @Graham @Andy Shadrack

    As is Kirklees (one councillor from each three councillor ward).

  23. @Mark W

    You have shown great dignity.

    It is a credit to you.


  24. MARK W
    “Tut, I meant, find you, Allan, offensive and pompous”

    Lets not pretend, it’s a two way thing and I also find you offensive and very pompous.

    Ok moving on lets part company to agree to disagree with each other and from now own we shall just ignore each other and not turn UKPR into some sissy cat hissing slagging match.

    I shall also ignore the resident parrots.

  25. The point of a stalking horse candidate isn’t to win but to destabilise the incumbent in the hope and expectation of precipitating a serious challenge further down the line from a candidate who could possibly win.

    In that sense Margaret Hodge would be acting on behalf of a faction within Labour who have serious designs on unseating Corbyn. I don’t suppose Hodge even wants to be leader but her stalking horse candidature would, she and her allies hope, be the beginning of a process that eventually does for Corbyn’s leadership. Corbyn, forced to run again, would be a diminished and wounded figure even if he was re-elected comfortably. His best strategy would be to head this off by getting a grip of the party he leads and reaching out skilfully to all its many strands. Whether it’s too late to do this successfully, I don’t know, but he should have started to lead in this way as soon as he became leader in my view. The fact that he hasn’t has led him into his current difficulties.

    As I’ve said before, he’s got to get better at politics. Quickly.

  26. Lols, thanks, I actually filled the room with expletives and scared my dogs when I read the offending line.

  27. Meanwhile up in Scotland….

    “Sweet shop’s anti-Kezia board reported to police”

    “The board accused Ms Dugdale of supporting cuts and added: “Kez backed Creepy Jim Murphy – the right-winger – and was anti-Jeremy Corbyn until recently.”

    “Mark Dempsey from Portobello Alliance said: “The police said someone had complained there was something slightly offensive on the board. But they had a look, shrugged their shoulder and went off”

    And I thought all the political shenanigans was down here!!!

  28. ” “We are not going to lose seats, we are looking to gain seats where we can.”

    Jeremy Corbyn.

  29. @ Crossbat11

    Why do you think that ‘ Corbyn, forced to run again, would be a diminished and wounded figure even if he was re-elected comfortably.’? It’s a serious question. I respect your judgement.

    Btw Wikipedia adds the notion of anonymous third parties to you definition.

    ‘A stalking horse is a figure that tests a concept with someone or mounts a challenge against someone on behalf of an anonymous third party. If the idea proves viable or popular, the anonymous figure can then declare its interest and advance the concept with little risk of failure. If the concept fails, the anonymous party will not be tainted by association with the failed concept and can either drop the idea completely or bide its time and wait until a better moment for launching an attack.’

  30. Margaret Hodge -née Oppenheimer was born to Jewish refugee parents.

    If there is anything in this story one wonders whether her parentage is coincidence-or purposefully symbolic ?

  31. COLIN

    It is tragic..

    Possibly what is happening within Labour is that there are two large forces at odds with each other pulling the party apart, The right of the party being pulled by the Illuminati and the left pulled by Marxism-Corbyism.

    I personally think the plots to undermine ol Corby are extremely damaging and he is being used as a smoke screen for the anticipated shambles that’s about to unfold for the party in Wales and Scotland which had already started before he became leader.

  32. ALUN009
    I’m sorry, but I really can’t see the difference.
    Anyway, Peace and Love.

  33. Some more information on the whole anti-Semitism row, which has only been mentioned by the Guardian blog:

    This includes some pertinent information on the Naz Shah story of which I was previously unaware.

  34. @ Hawthorn

    I was just about to post the same link .. hive brain?

  35. I find it interesting that the Grand Coalition that is the Labour Party, since the eighties (it may be earlier but my knowledge of Labour under Gaitskill/Wilson is limited), appears to be relatively stable when led by the Right of the party (I mean in the sense of the PLP and senior members of the party rather than grass roots membership) but has problems retaining members. In contrast the party is threatened with instability when led by the Left, but has no difficulty in growing membership. It would appear that the Labour party is at its most stable when the middle of that coalition is in charge i.e. Kinnock/Smith (although I realise that each of them moved to the centre from a relative positions on the left and right respectively).

    Similarly the conservative party has either elected leaders of the right IDS, Howard etc. and its Left wing in Cameron and has appeared to have less stability (perhaps ironically) when Cameron has brought them into majority government.

    Given conversations on here about the demise of the Grand Coalition Parties, I ask the question is that a function of the outer wings of each party obtaining power at the expense of their own centres? If so does that mean that if there was a return to the centre position of each party gaining control there would be a prospect of a return to two party politics? In other words has the desiderata of recent political thinking ( appeal to the centre ground of the electorate as a whole) actually led to weakening of the Grand Coalition Parties by alienating their support at the extremes?

    I am not suggesting that this analysis is correct but simply suggest that this may have played a part in the steadily reducing core vote of each.

  36. @ Hawthorn

    There is only a minor problem with Shah’s tweet: what does she want to do with the Arabic Israeli citizens (20% of the population) – would they find themselves in a friendly environment in the US, or did she mean to select only those whose mother was Jewish?

    I really watch this self-crucifixion of the liberal commentators trying to be on both sides without the slightest bit of discerning with bewilderment.

    The lack of ideological reflection and proper debate over many years is really coming back on the radical left with quite a bit of punishment.

  37. Apologies I wrote that last post pretty late last night and only meant to say that the entire Bristol Council was up for election, not the rest.

    In terms of Kirklees I note that Newsome seems pretty safe, but that the Greens lost Kirkbuton to the Conservatives last year, and on it goes in Reigate and Banstead, and Norwich.

    So I will be looking to see if long time Green council seats are swinging back to the parties that held them before they elected Greens.

    Fact check: @ Neil A

    Have found two articles on EU versus UK immigration: one from the EU Observer, 2014, that says 2.2 million Brits have immigrated to the EU and 2.3 million have come to the UK:

    Another from 2010 from 4 News:

    The latter suggested a maximum of 1.6 million Brits in the EU versus 1.8 million EU residents in the UK, including citizens from Ireland – who were originally part of the “Commonwealth”.

    So a “few” Brits would appear to be a bit off.

    As a dual citizen I kept my UK Passport so I could visit my aging Father periodically, until he died in 2007, and since then I have come over twice, and am not sure if I would keep my UK passport if Brexit occurs.

  38. Laszlo

    The point is that the tweet she linked to was a JOKE put forward by a Jewish academic.

    Which bits of Airplane! can’t I laugh at as a gentile?

  39. I see Hamas have endorsed Corbyn. I wonder whether it will affect VI, and if so will it be positive or negative for Labour?

    I suspect it might help them in inner-city areas, but not anywhere else.

  40. @ Hawthorn

    She meant it. Look up the contexts of her postings …

  41. Laszlo

    The Israeli-Palestine situation is moving in a direction that will result in one side committing genocide on the other (I don’t know which one) unless things change direction. That is the only way that the territory can be held purely by force by one side.

    Compared to that, I don’t give a flying you-know-what about whether someone says something off-colour, politically incorrect, whether someone has their feelings hurt or whether some political hack gets his/her career boosted or wrecked.

  42. @Rory,

    I realised you have a NZ visa, I think my sentence was lost in translation. What I meant was that the sort of UK citizen that would be granted a visa by NZ is the sort of UK citizen that would probably be granted a visa by an EU-state post-Brexit.

    @Andy S,

    I think you’ll find the majority of UK emigrants to other EU countries are retirees going to relax in the sun beside a pool/beach/golf course. Because of this, they are more likely to improve the employment prospects of local unskilled workers than harm them. I’m not sure I’ve ever met a citizen of another EU country who “retired to the UK” (in fact I’ve never met anyone from any country in the world who “retired to the UK”..). Climate is obviously more important than (allegedly) the best health care in the world.

    Of course, those EU countries would be perfectly entitled to hoof them out post-Brexit (assuming they didn’t qualify for permanent residency by dint of the time they’d lived there). Given the economics I doubt they would, but I wouldn’t consider it unjust in any way if they chose to.

    I think many Brits are just a tad sheepish about, if not actually ashamed of, the mono-cultural blob of ex-pats we’ve inflicted on a number of (ex) beauty spots around Europe.

  43. ‘anyone from any country in the world who “retired to the UK”’

    Would Ronnie Biggs qualify?

  44. @Hawthorn,

    “Moving towards”?

    Unlike 1948, 1967 and 1973 then?

    We can’t know exactly what the outcome of an Israeli defeat in any of those conflicts would have been, but I suspect we would be talking in terms of “how many Jews survived” rather than “how many Jews died”.

    No doubt Ms Shah would have had her wish fulfilled though, with however many hundreds/tens/ones of thousands who made it out alive moving en masse to the USA.

    There will be millions of people around the world wishing fervently for “fourth time lucky”. Whatever ones’ views of the creation of Israel or of Zionism, it’s important to have nothing to do with those people.

  45. @Sorbus,

    Aha, yes! I’d forgotten about dear old Ronnie.

    The problem with the proceeds of crime as a retirement income rather than a monthly pension….

  46. Neil A

    You need to re-read my post. I said I did not know which side would end up doing it.

    I think that neither Likud nor Hamas would be beyond doing it, although only one side currently has the capability. Just look at Bosnia, the Likud propaganda is very similar.

    America will not be a Superpower forever, nor will they necessarily always support Likud. Unless you really want to go into Alice in Wonderland and start believing the conspiracy theories.

  47. LASZLO.
    Good Evening.
    You are right of course about Naz Shah.
    Anti Semitism is part of Ultra Left politics.
    Andrew Marr, not a member of the Daily M anti Labour group was incredulous when interviewing Ms Abbott when she denied this fact.

  48. I think that the collapse of the Labour Party, which seems to be happening will not help Cameron to win the EU Referendum.

  49. Meanwhile…in the US…Donald Trump has accused Ted Cruz’s dad of potentially being involved in the assassination of JFK!

  50. CL45

    That some on the far left are anti-semitic is obvious.

    Perhaps you would like to explain why Blair was prepared to go into coalition with the Lib Dems, one of those MPs shared a platform with David Irving?

    See how silly this debate is?

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