Earlier on today Ipsos MORI published their monthly poll for the Standard. Topline referendum figures were REMAIN 55%, LEAVE 37%, Don’t know or won’t vote 8%. This is the largest lead we’ve seen for Remain yet, but normal caveats apply – never get too excited about a single poll showing an unusual result. The ORB poll in the week also showed movement towards Remain, as did YouGov this morning… but the last TNS and ICM polls showed movement in the opposite direction, so there is no consistent trend.

Two interesting things about the MORI data. One is that the sheer size of the lead is down to the “squeeze question”, the question asked to those people who initially said don’t know asking which way they are most inclined to vote. Those people split 50%-14% in favour of remain, turning a 13 point lead for Remain into an 18 point lead.

The other thing is the Tories. Conservative voters in the sample split almost 2-to-1 in favour of Remain. Conservatives splitting in favour of remaining is not necessarily remarkable (the ORB and ICM telephone polls this week had the same), but the size of the Tory lead among Tory voters seems remarkable.

Meanwhile general election voting intention stands at CON 36%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 10%. Full details are here.

134 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – REMAIN 55%, LEAVE 37%”

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  1. Of course this is just mere speculation, but would it be possible that the “classic” Tories get put off “Leave” by the… unorthodox… antics of some of its leading proponents, like, say, Boris Johnson?

  2. This Ipsos Mori Poll caused a surge for the Pound against the dollar when it was released at lunchtime today.


  3. The polls and the bookmakers are moving in the same direction. I wonder if the Leave campaign is regretting having Boris Johnson as its apparent leader. His unpredictablility seems to be turn-off for some voters. Although they don’t get the same amount of airtime as Boris Johnson, more measured voices like Hillary Benn & Alan Johnson can appear more genuine and reliable to undecided voters. Even David Cameron’s ability to seem relaxed and laugh at himself (for example, his ‘plagues of locusts’ comment today) probably helps the Remain side.

  4. If Remain win well it may well end Johnson’ s prospects of becoming the next Tory leader.
    A win win situation as it were.

  5. I think there is some element of wishful thinking amongst the remain camp they may be on course for a win but no way will it be as big as MORI suggest..

    I think the remain margin of victory will be kept down by the fact that younger voters are not going to turn out in the numbers suggested by the polls where as older voters will. I can also envisage a situation where there is a “shy leave” element not picked up by the polls which could manifest itself in the results. Finally there is no way Tory voters will split as solidly for remain as MORI polling suggests- I the best majority of conservatives I know will be voting for leave (now I do live in a disproportionately rural and wealthy area so not yhat representative but still)..

    For what it’s worth I will be voting to leave just because I am fed up of the remain camp doing Britain down but I can’t say either camp have particularly inspired me

  6. The VI poll is interesting in its own way – it looks as if a 2% Tory lead is the new normal, replacing the 10% we got used to in Corbyn’s first six months. Being as non-partisan as I can manage, it looks as if a couple of % of disaffected protest voters has drifted from UKIP to Labour, and another couple of % of Tory right-wingers has drifted from the Tories to UKIP. Result: Labour up, Tories down, UKIP solid – but all three of them representing slightly different constituencies, and only Labour building the kind of vote they want to build.

    “majority of conservatives I know will be voting for leave”

    Yes, and the majority of Conservatives I know will vote Remain. None of us can expect to poll our friends and do better than the opinion polls. As flawed as they are, they are way more representative than any one of us.

    I know I’ve also posted anecdotal evidence in the past, so no charges of hypocrisy please. I’m usually careful to caveat it too.

    FWIW I don’t think this poll will prove to be anything other than an outlier, but I do get a sense of the tide turning toward Remain, and mostly because of what I perceive to be shrill and desperate tactics from Leave rather than attractive messages from Remain. Remain do seem to have the tempo now, though, which is a surprise. I thought at the turn of the year Leave were driving the debate a lot better. If this is now both campaigns at full pelt, I think a solid Remain win is a strong possibility.

  8. Phil. Labour have a mountain to climb. Their best bet of winning the next GE is if the Tories tear themselves apart over the EU. Even then there is no guarantee of a Labour victory.

  9. Alun. I hope for a solid remain win but I expect it to be very close. The Outers are not helping their cause though. Gove saying he wants out of the single market,Farage’s outburst last night and Johnson’s Hitler reference do not help their cause.

    Perhaps Gisella Stuart should be more used as she comes across as down to earth and the Brexiters need more of that right now.

  10. This poll backs up what I and I think TOH fully expect to be the result, although we would both prefer to be out.

  11. James, I used to be a regular on here but lost my mojo last autumn (not the GE result or polling but….).
    I came on tonight as I check the Euro/£ rate several times a day for my job and I wondered if this was poll related mini-surge
    Although the £ has improved from it’s low point by 3% or so in the last few weeks, initially starting around the time of Obamas intervention which may have been coincidence it has recovered a further 2-3% today.
    I will be suggesting that we buy Euros quickly before polls showing lower leads come out as inevitably they will and basing my deals on a lower safer rate.

    FWIW – I think that like the GE differential turnout is the key with the crinkly vote, breaking to leave by a smaller margin than the under 40s vote breaks to remain but perhaps outnumbering in aggregate due to higher turnout.

    I am sure it has been postulated before that it would be ironic if the Scottish Yes break changed what would have been an RUK leave to a full UK remain.

  12. MIKEY:
    “Labour have a mountain to climb.”

    They do, but they have a long time to climb it (barring snap elections after EURef vote), and they look like they’ve made progress (pun intended) already.

    I think a lot will hang on what happens with boundary changes. This would seem to be the biggest unknown unrelated to the EURef. But if the EURef fails to explode the Tories and the boundary changes don’t happen, I still wouldn’t bet against Labour.

  13. There’s a lot of chat about old voters coming out to vote more (which is true) and old voters being more anti-EU (true).

    But I’m not so sure it follows that anti-EU voters are more likely to turn out. I have an unscientific sense that the same people who are anti-EU are also the ones who tend not to vote, whether old or young. Is my feeling in any way justified by any figures?

    I guess what I’m saying is that I think the pro-/anti-EU divide is a bigger marker of likely turnout than age is.

  14. The differences in the cross breaks among those who identify as Conservative is extraordinary.

    Earlier in the week, the online YouGov and ICM polls showed 33:53 and 37:51 cross-breaks for Leave. But now we have had three recent phone polls showing Remain ahead among Tories, and in Ipsos Mori’s case by a large margin. This looks to me as if it might be enough to cause the Online/phone divergence on its own.

  15. Anecdotal nonsense I know, but in my canvassing tonight I was quite surprised at a) the apparent almost total absence of Brexiters and b) the settled and determined mien of Remainers.
    To be fair, a metropolitan, reasonably prosperous middle class area (though mostly older people) but I expected much more diversity of view, so very heartening for remainers like me.

  16. Jim Jam

    Nice to see you back. As I need to send some cash to family in the USA, I’m keen to see the £ rise to stratospheric levels against the dollar on 24 June!

    ” it would be ironic if the Scottish Yes break changed what would have been an RUK leave to a full UK remain.”

    But isn’t that the Unionist’s wet dream? We were told in 2014 that Scotland should lead the UK! :-)

  17. “in my canvassing tonight”
    Are you canvassing for Remain, or for a party? I’m intrigued because there’s no canvassing going on here (as far as I’m aware, and I think I would be aware).

    Do you mind me asking where you are (feel free to prefix the weather conditions)?

  18. The standard of debate has been very poor. I think Leave are suffering because of the… a’hem… kind of figures leading the campaign. That’s made it very easy for Remain to deploy some subtle and not-so-subtle ad hominem. I was a bit taken aback when I listened to one debate and noticed that Remainers were clearly confident and comfortable portraying Leavers as simply stupid for not being able to see the ‘right’ answer. It’s also inevitably damaging to Leave that there are so few prominent left-leaning politicians campaigning for Leave. I suspect a lot of Labour voters just ignore all the Tories on both sides.

    Remain seem to have almost completely abandoned the principled case. The Labour argument for Remain seems particularly pessimistic. They seem to be saying that we should vote to stay in the EU because they don’t believe the UK electorate will ever elect a government that can provide the same level of social protection as the EU currently offers!

    To add to the anecdotes: this evening I saw my first window posters of the campaign: two A4 Remain posters in one window. Based on demographics my local area (currently damp, tulips in front gardens are past their best) will vote overwhelmingly for Remain.

  19. Anecdotally, I have only seen leave posters so far, both in houses and at roadsides. But I live in Kent, which is pretty leave-leaning. One house bearing leave posters fulfilled all the stereotypes by being draped in England flags. What might Emily Thornberry think?

    I agree that the left is collectively plumping for “remain, with reservations”. Paul Mason crystallises the argument in his guardian column, where he goes through all the Tony Benn arguments but then says, “but of course if we leave Boris Johnson will bend us over a table and have his way” (I’m paraphrasing of course).

  20. Robert Newark

    Correct on both counts Robert. I don’t often wish to be proved wrong but I certainly do in this case.

  21. With 35 days left until polling day I expect the 18% lead to be about right as we British do not like change

  22. @Alun
    Labour In for Britain, in the outer fringes of West London. Rain miraculously cleared up as we started to door-knock :-)

    This was the first canvass I’d been on since the mayoral election and activity is gradually ramping up. The cross party In campaign has been a bit more active to date because not distracted by local etc elections.

  23. @Sorbus
    I’m afraid I don’t agree with that at all. I just read through the leaflet we’re using at present for Labour In: It starts with Alan Johnson talking to a WW2 veteran and runs through a string of EU benefits – economic, employment, global influence, social benefits/rights.
    All in all, it sets a very positive tone- no Project Fear here at all – though I confess privately I personally am very fearful of what the government would do without any moderating influence from the EU and with the Brexit chancers likely to be in the ascendant

  24. My theory is that Tory supporters are much less Brexit minded than Tory politicians, many of whom should have gone to UKIP but liked the idea of being in a ruling government party too much. A lot of old Tory supporters with strong Brexit leanings left and joined UKIP years ago. So in a sense the size of the split at the top of the Tory party probably doesn’t reflect the split within the modern party’s wider support.

  25. I feel like a good deal of trouble for remain stems from:

    a) The fact that Leave has been fighting this campaign since practically before I was born. A lot of people I know grew up to a steady drip-feed of the idea that the EU is distant, unreformable, and corrupt, and overturning that during the Referendum is an uphill struggle.

    b) It’s bloody hard to run a positive remain campaign, as inevitably a lot of it comes down to “The EU gives us this nice thing, we’d rather not lose it” which Leave have been pretty good at turning around to say “yes of course we’d still have the thing it would be ridiculous for us to be denied the thing this is Project Fear(tm)”.

    These polls are heartening, but I’m definitely not going to be sleeping easy yet (admittedly I’m a stress prone insomniac with a major exam and a conference talk coming up so this may be a high bar, but worry over Brexit isn’t helping).

    I think there are huge long term questions for the Remain camp to get to grips with even if we do manage to win, particularly regarding how on earth we managed to get here in the first place and how we make people feel more involved and empowered regarding the EU in future.

  26. Guymonde
    I haven’t had any campaign material from either side. My comment was partly prompted by my first encounter with the broadcast media’s attempts to cover the referendum. I’ve been relying on largely on the Internet for information so far. I was interested to note your mention of A Johnson – one of the things that has most surprised me is how invisible he’s been so far – to someone who listens to news on the radio, checks a couple of internet news sites on a daily basis and actually buys a print newspaper most weekends.

    My point about the employment and social rights Remain argument is that in a sense it’s based on pessimism and fear, because it’s saying to left-leaning voters that – even in the long term (we are, after all, supposed to be deciding for the long term) – only the EU stands between us and a Tory ‘bonfire of workers’ rights’. I’m not even sure it will continue to be the case that the EU offers better social and employment protection given the rise of the far right in many EU member states.

  27. Having read through all the comments above it seems that we all love throwing in anecdotal evidence (myself included) and all of it really adds up to nothing..

    We really wont have a clue about the result until its in, as whatever the polls or the commentators say it will all come down to turnout. I hear a lot in the press about the scots pushing remain over, ethnic minorities pushing remain or the Northern Irish being the deciding factor but its all going to come down to the following:

    1) What proportion of young people vote (under 30s). Polls show them voting in the 60-75% range which is just not going to happen, if they didnt vote in this volume in the GE there is no way they will in a referendum. I think politically engaged people over estimate how excited and engaged people are with the referendum especially in this group and the comparisons with the scot ref are not reasonable as there was so much more enthusiasm for that vote.
    2) What proportion of older voters turn out (65+). Polls show a very high turnout in this group which seems reasonable given the very high turnout in the GE and the general propensity of this group to vote. However they are going to have to turn out in massive proportions if Leave have any chance of winning.
    3)Working class turnout (lower socio- economic grades). This is vital to the Leave camp being victorious. Polls are showing the same thing as with the young voters that this group is likely to turn out in greater numbers than at the election which I just can see happening. If this group turnout in GE volumes plus a little more then Leave will be in a good place but I just cant see this happening for the above reasons.

    It will be fascinating to see who does actually turnout and I think the turnout will be about 55% with any higher being great for Remain and any lower better for Leave.

    Finally as for canvassing and leaflets we have only had things from leave round by me and we did have a leave canvasser about 2 weeks ago but nothing yet from remain other than the leaflet from the government

  28. Re Guymonde’s post, I was also out on doorsteps Wednesday evening (industrial Yorkshire, middle-class homeowner area, mostly 30~50 age range). We got a substantial Remain answer, plus a lot of “undecideds” – and an amazing number saying “I haven’t heard much about it all”. Very few definite Leave responses, and most folk interested to be asked – no hostility to being canvassed.

    FWIW we were a Labour/Stronger In team, but not pushing the party issue. I have been knocking doors for decades now (!) and in these streets anyway I’d be amazed to see it go other than Remain.

    My own assessment is that the Leave campaign are too shrill, too hostile, with unbelievable suggestions of “what we could do with the cash” (I think they’ve spent it all 3 times already) and “we can have all the cake and none of the bill”.

    And as for Boris . . ;-)

    “The cross party In campaign has been a bit more active to date because not distracted by local etc elections.”

    Same here in Scotland, but Scotland Stronger In Europe don’t seem inclined to do any canvassing. I’ve been leafletting (door to door and on Princes Street), but when I asked about canvassing I was told flatly that it isn’t going to happen.

    I sort of see why. Diminishing returns and all that. It’s not like the voterID will help in future referenda. Despite what Farage wants, I don’t see there being a sore-loser-rematch if & when Remain wins. I sincerely hope not in any case.

  30. “unbelievable suggestions of “what we could do with the cash” (I think they’ve spent it all 3 times already)”

    It’s really important for Remain that this narrative comes over. Leave are certainly overpromising (they seem to think all the current subsidies & regional development funds will be kept, along with extra money for NHS, border control).

    I sense Leave have a useful argument, because it’s a nice simple packaged message to say “we pay in net, so leaving would give us more money to spend”. The nuance behind why it really isn’t that simple is a harder message to sell.

    If you can get your argument across in 140 characters and your opponents cannot counter it with similar brevity, you will win votes. The strongest arguments for Leave are “spend our money as we choose”, and “cut immigration”.
    For Remain, it’s “we’ll lose influence”, “our jobs depend on trade”. Nice sharp messages that win votes. The reality is much more complex that any of these soundbites imply, but there’s enough truth in them that they will survive right to the end of the campaign as central pillars of the debate.

    PS I wish it weren’t so. I’d love to think that most people engaged much more deeply in the arguments, but experience tells me that it won’t be so.

  31. Many French workers were on strike on Tuesday, blocking motorways etc, all with the connivance of the Gendarmes of course. Held me up for an hour. They got a few V signs and some choice Anglo Saxon expletives when I eventually was allowed to pass.

    Apparently the government (extreme left wing) has passed a law making it easier for employers to get rid of employees. Hitherto it was virtually impossible and is the main reason for an unemployment rate over twice that in the UK. They passed the law by by passing the two houses. Presidential decree? Common sense prevailing at last?

  32. For what it is worth, I think both campaigns have been rubbish.

    I still suspect a narrow win for “remain”, but I would not put money on it if I were a betting man.

  33. Morning all,

    The bookies’ odds are drifting on “Leave” most had that outcome at 3/1 yesterday and are 16/5 against now. Best odds for “Remain” are 2/9 and shortening.


    Before anyone else makes the point I know that bookies merely seek to balance their books and at best their odds are a reflection of a self selecting poll sample weighted according to confidence or disposable income.

    But, taken together with some evidence of complacency from Remain (“We have polls showing a 8-10% lead” – “We are going to ask the exiteers to give up for a generation if we win by such and such a margin”) and Farage hinting that he will only accept a verdict of two to one or demand best of three or whatever his latest position is, plus the currency markets, it all indicates that the “experts” consider a remain vote the likeliest outcome.

    On the subject of young voters; did anyone else see Nick Robinson’s piece on students at the University of East Anglia on the BBC website, some of whom said that they were very busy but perhaps they would vote next time?

    One weeps for our youth.

  34. CotswoldTory

    Not sure that we should assume that there won’t be a 60-75% turnout of young people because turnout was lower than that for the GE. I think younger voters are less interested in party politics and more interested in issue-based politics. The referendum counts as the latter. I’d be looking at what the gap was between the number declaring they’d vote and the number who actually did.

    ‘I think the turnout will be about 55% ‘
    If turnout is not at least as high as for the last GE I will consider the referendum to have been unwarranted.

  35. Sorbus

    I agree with you in relation to the fact the GE and referenda are two different things but I think the issue is the number of young voters who said they would vote in the GE but then failed to do so and I think the same will happen again especially with the individual voter registration (thought this wont effect turnout as they wont be on the roll but will depress the overall number of young voters) and the fact that I dont see any of the big names leading the campaigns appealing to a younger demographic.

    The real issue for remain is getting their vote out which needs targeted voter modelling, canvassing and door knocking/ calling which I am not convinced they are doing in enough volume to really drive their turnout. Leave have less of an issue with this as their voters show a greater propensity to turn out but again have the issue of turning out their working class supporters who again vote in lower numbers.

    With regards to the GE turnout- I take the warrented/ unwarrented argument but I still think that turnout will struggle to get anywhere near the GE turnout and that is going to be a big problem for remain.

  36. In the same poll:

    Job approval

    David Cameron
    31% approve
    61% disapprove

    -30% net

    Jeremy Corbyn
    31% approve
    50% disapprove

    -19% net

  37. @ Alun009

    There’s a lot of chat about old voters coming out to vote more (which is true) and old voters being more anti-EU (true).

    But I’m not so sure it follows that anti-EU voters are more likely to turn out. I have an unscientific sense that the same people who are anti-EU are also the ones who tend not to vote, whether old or young. Is my feeling in any way justified by any figures?

    Labour Leave voters (as opposed to Labour Remain voters) are, indeed, less likely to turn out and vote. These will be less-well educated Labour voters in, typically, strong Labour seats. And, basically, voting is far down on their list of priorities.

    Even those who have moved from Labour to UKIP are less inclined to get out and vote than, say, those who have moved from CON to UKIP.

    To that extent, the Leave vote is indeed exagerated in the polls.

    However… all that (and, I would say more) is offset by the fact that more Remain voters are young and also too busy/disconnected to go out and vote.

  38. @ Robert Newark

    Many French workers were on strike on Tuesday, blocking motorways etc, all with the connivance of the Gendarmes of course. Held me up for an hour. They got a few V signs and some choice Anglo Saxon expletives when I eventually was allowed to pass.

    Apparently the government (extreme left wing) has passed a law making it easier for employers to get rid of employees.


    That says more about you than it does about the French or France.

    After all, you were in their country. And yet you felt it was OK to share a “few anglo saxon expletives” and stick your fingers up at them because they had the temeirty to hold you up for a bit?

    That’s not something to boast about.

    Nor are you accurate – to any extent – in calling the French governmnet “extreme left wing”. They are not. They are democratic socialists – about where the UK Labour party tend to be. You might want to read about, say, a chap called Karl Marx to find out what ‘extreme left wing’ is actually all about.

  39. Re: TTIP and the EU

    This certainly caught one’s eye…

    “TTIP: Jeremy Corbyn and rebel Tory MPs to form alliance to protect NHS from transatlantic trade deal

    Exclusive: The move means the Government could be defeated on a Queen’s Speech vote for the first time in 100 years”


    “It will infuriate Downing Street who attempted to use the unveiling of the Queen’s Speech yesterday to set a fresh agenda for the party after the June 23 poll.

    But it will also anger some moderate pro-European Labour MPs who will see it as further evidence of Mr Corbyn’s ambivalence towards Britain’s membership of the European Union.

    A Labour source said they intended to stick narrowly to the point about TTIP but admitted that a number of Tories backing the amendment had “mixed motives”.

    “Some of them are doing it from an anti-EU perspective but others just want to give Cameron a slap,” they said.”

  40. TTIP terrifies me
    Why any lab mps -moderate or otherwise think this is a good idea is beyond me
    No pro lab members I know think its good or try to defend it
    They just say they don;t think it will happen
    I know about a dozen lab members of mixed ages and locations -not me i’m just not a joiner more an individualist!-and none of them voted for Corbyn but all oppose TTIP
    It really irritates me when newspapers lump together supposed moderate pro eu lab mps like that

  41. sorry meant pro eu lab members!!


    “Anecdotal nonsense I know…”


    Obviously anecdotes can be a bit suspect, (e.g. all the people who were sitting on the fence but who’ve had their mind made up on the EU and are voting leave because Cameron said summat about peace in Europe), but I quite enjoy them much of the time. They can point up things or issues pneeps might have missed, and it’s interesting seeing different people’s influences and perspectives.

    Like activists often mention turnout, understandable given the amount of pounding pavements they must do…

  43. ROBERT NEWARK, you come across as a bit of a t** . well done the French for sticking up for jobs etc.

  44. Westminster Parliament might be interesting now that a Queen’s Speech can be amended without forcing the fall of the government.

    The amendment protecting the NHS from TTIP has a very good chance of succeeding.

  45. Re: Boris as de facto Leave leader.

    That’s not the problem for them as I see it. He probably the best they have.

    It’s more that Boris’ rare appeal as a pragmatic and amusing politician has been quickly tarnished in the mind of voters by association with unpopular and obsessive ones like IDS and Gove. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke….

  46. I’d be a little careful about writing this off as a done and dusted win for Remain on the basis of a couple of rogue-looking telephone polls. The Remain position has improved a little over the last week or so but most polls are still showing the two sides within a few points of each other, with a lot of DKs muddying the waters.

    I think there’s an awful lot of water to flow under the bridge yet and the Brexiteers are still well in this scrap, rest assured

  47. @Tully

    What’s starting to become salient, is the question of how other countries tries manage to protect important things from TTIP, yet we aren’t something one of the Tories in the article, Peter Lilley, highlights…

    “But Mr Lilley said he had long standing concerns about TTIP which he wanted the Government to address.

    ‘I support free trade. But TTIP introduces special courts which are not necessary for free trade, will give American multinationals the right to sue our government (but not vice versa) and could put our NHS at risk,” he said.

    “I cannot understand why the government has not tried to exclude the NHS.

    “I and other Tory MPs successfully lobbied to bring a failing private Surgicenter serving our constituencies back into the NHS. It would have been impossible or hugely costly under TTIP had there had been an American owner who could have sued the NHS in a TTIP Court.’ ”

    Meanwhile this article from a few days ago wonders why if Greeks can protect feta from TTIP, and the French, Champagne, couldn’t we protect the NHS?

    “TTIP’s definition of Feta cheese is getting more attention than saving the NHS

    So strong are views of Europeans when it comes to food that French President François Hollande threatened to veto TTIP if products made in specific regions cannot retain exclusivity over their names”


  48. Central Cambridge might not be the most representative sample, but since we started canvassing for Stronger In, we registered overwhelming level of support (over 80% Remain). And people are really scared of the potential to leave (they often say things like “my wife is Italian, I don’t her to lose some of her rights, etc.”), so it will definitely increase turnout among Remainers. Still, it is going to be a close one…

  49. Wise words Crossbar 11. Those of us remainers have no room for complacency. My elderly father is a remainer but does not intend to vote…his son has other ideas and I will come a knocking at his door on the 23rd ready to take him to him to the polling station.

  50. @ Adams

    “Central Cambridge might not be the most representative sample….”

    Cambridge is a decent bet for the largest Remain percentage in England.

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