ComRes had a new EU telephone poll in this morning’s Daily Mail. Topline figures are REMAIN 52%(-1), LEAVE 41%(+3), Don’t know 7%(-2). Tabs are here.

Note that this poll is now adjusted for likelihood to vote, using ComRes’s turnout model based on socio-economic factors, like age and class (the changes are adjusted to reflect this). Note that adjusting turnout based on ComRes’s model has marginally increased support for Remain (before the adjustment the figures would have been 51 and 41).

There’s a broad assumption that differental turnout is more likely to favour Leave in the EU referendum campaign, largely based on the fact that polls normally show Leave voters claiming they are more likely to be 10/10 certain to vote, and that Leave voters are older. I’m not so sure. Self-reported likelihood is a blunt tool (people who say they are 10/10 certain to vote are not really much more likely than 8/10 or 9/10 people), and the age skew that should favour Leave in terms of turnout (older people are more likely to vote, and more Leave) will to some degree be cancelled out by the social class and educational skews that favour Remain (middle class people and graduates are more likely to vote, and more Remain).

On the subject of education, YouGov also had an interesting article up today. Like Populus and ICM they have carried out parallel telephone and online surveys, but unlike other such tests which have found a big gulf between phone and online results YouGov found results that were very similar to each other: both phone and online polls found a small lead for Leave.

This result wasn’t just the weighting (even before weighting the raw sample was a lot more “leave” than the raw samples from other phone polls) suggesting it is something to do with the sampling. Obviously we can’t tell for certain what the reason is – the most obvious difference is that the YouGov poll was conducted over the period of a fortnight, so was slower than most telephone polls and there was more opportunity to ring back people who were unavailable on the first call – but there could be other differences to do with quotas or the proportion of mobile calls (the YouGov poll was about a third mobile, two-thirds landline. My understanding is most phone polls are about 50/50 now, though MORI is about 20/80).

Looking at the actual demographics of the sample YouGov highlight the difference between their landline sample and the samples for the Populus paper looking at phone/online differences – specifically on education. In the Populus telephone samples between 44-46% of people had degrees, whereas the actual figure in the Census and Annual Population Survey is around 30%. The YouGov phone sample had a lower proportion of people with degrees to begin with, and weighted it to the national figure.

There is a clear correlation between education and attitudes to the EU referendum (in the YouGov polls there was a Leave lead of about 30 points among people who left school at 16 and a Remain lead of 33 points among those who were in educated beyond the age of twenty. This is partially to do with age, but it remains true even within people of the same age) so samples are too educated or not educated enough it could easily make a difference. As it is we’ve only got education data for the Populus polling – we don’t know if there’s the same skew in other phone polls, or how much of a difference it would make if corrected, but different levels of education within achieved samples is a further hypothesis that could explain that ongoing difference between phone and telephone samples for the EU referendum.

291 Responses to “EU Polling Update – ComRes and turnout, YouGov and education”

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  1. @Pete B: “no-one can pretend that hundreds of thousands of immigrants every year has no effect on the pressures on infrastructure.”

    Yes, but this is only a problem in a world where the supply of infrastructure is fixed. In ours it isn’t. The scale of our infrastructure is a political choice.

    If the preponderance of economic analyses is correct then the economic activity and tax receipts generated by EU migrants in the UK is more than cost of the public services they use. In which case the pressures are manageable by investing a larger part of the dividend of inward migration in the services which immigrants use. It’s just that we choose to divert these resources somewhere else instead.

  2. “On an unrelated point, I’m currently in New York and astonished by how much higher food prices are here.”
    @Somerjohn May 21st, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Which reminds me to counter the argument I have heard from Leave. All these Romanaians and Bulgarians coming over here, taking our jobs because our minimum wage is 10x theirs! Bloody cheek.

    But wait.

    Isn’t their cost of living 10x more as well? They may get paid 5p an hour in Bulgaria, but it may only cost them 3p to feed themselves.

    They have to spend at least some of their wages here just to live. How much is their rent? I’m sure we Brits will be screwing them for their rent; they may earn more but we’ll get it back off them before they can send it home.


    While I am instinctively a remainer, I do see where you are coming from and I respect your points of view. The road ahead, either in or out, is not at all clear and neither campaign is willing or able to shed any light.

    I would prefer to remain, not simply for our own national interest, but because in the countries I know best, France and Spain, the influence of Britain has been a force for good. (This is despite the politicians of both countries who liked their sometimes corrupt, sometimes discriminatory regimes.) I also see freedom of movement as a two way street with the present imbalances being temporary.
    We just need to take better advantage of this freedom and in time I think we will.

    The issue of trade and in particular trade imbalances, is a difficult one. For a long time now, the UK has had a deficit in physical goods offset by a surplus in invisible. This is becoming less sustainable as investment overseas has become more difficult and the returns less certain, coupled with restrictions being placed on our service industries post crash. I would see it to be in our long term interest, to be part of a large trading block where we have some opportunity to help set the rules, especially if the USA heads down a protectionist route.

    All in all quite complicated. Makes my head hurt!

  4. “For a start, there’s the decrease in average household size, meaning more houses are needed for the same population. Then there’s internal migration, both from areas of low to high employment, and for retirement (which is where a lot of the pressure on Devon towns comes from). And, of course, the increase in second homes.

    “Neil A will correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t he himself an example of internal migration into Plymouth?”
    @somerjohn May 22nd, 2016 at 2:55 am

    And don’t forget we are all living longer. It used to be the buggers would die off in time for the next generation to occupy their homes. They just refuse to die! How inconsiderate is that?

  5. Crossbat totally agree re Johnson
    By the way there is also a video of Cameron extolling Turkeys membership-something he now says he will veto
    They are both hypocrites and working in their own interests
    On another topic
    The media have spun Khan’s London win as his as opposed to Corbyns or the lab party but this is interesting

    Also apparently the swing vote share etc for london assembly was closely in line with the mayoral contest
    Seems to suggest it was a labour party win rather than a personality one

  6. MICHAEL SIVA (fpt -quoting the Indy)

    ‘Peter Kellner, former president of YouGov until this year, said his old firm was currently getting the race wrong because it only conducted online polls. […] But told of the comments, Stephan Shakespeare[1], the CEO and founder of YouGov, replied: “Is this the same Peter Kellner who got [the 2015 general election] wrong? Which we’ve fixed…”’

    Well it’s a bit much for Shakespeare to say that Kellner got it wrong when his wrongness was based on YouGov getting it wrong and Shakespeare has been with the company since the start (indeed was a co-founder). “How dare you do what we told you to!” does seem a common cry from the elite nowadays.

    But obviously Kellner was wrong in claiming that YouGov only conduct online polls because they have now produced a phone poll of considerable transparency:

    though the experiment is rather limited by the way in which it therefore unlike other phone polls, particularly in the method of repeatedly trying the same number and using a long fieldwork period. The parallel online poll was done over the same extended period to aid comparison and anyone who cares can delve into the raw date with the help of the associated codebooks – all available on the YouGov Archive.

    What it doesn’t answer is how accurate either poll would be in predicting the result of the referendum or anything else. The BES study confirmed many or our suspicions that the real problem with polling and its failure last May was the omission of certain classes of voters from both types of poll. It may well be that such people are particularly prone to support Leave or it could be that they are mostly low-information swing voters who will only decide at the last minute.

    It could be that the repeated call strategy in the phone poll has picked up some of such voters (though they only rang 3 times rather than calling 19 as BES did[2]) and that may explain why the phone and online figures are closer than usual. But depending on who took part, that doesn’t mean that the figure they are converging on is accurate.

    [1] Ne Kukowski and a man with a fascinating career according to Wiki (some of us remember him as Jeffrey Archer’s bag-carrier).

    [2] Even BES had a 50% refusal rate – though it may be as high as 95% for phone polls. They also failed to pick up as many UKIP voters as they ought to have – either through a ‘shy UKIP’ factor or through UKIP voters being less cooperative. There is polling evidence for both.

  7. “Taking the south of England as a unit in its own right, from say Birmingham southwards, you are talking about extremely dense population spreads across a significant area, in global terms.”
    @Alec May 22nd, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Well it looks VERY green to me whenever I fly over it. There seems to be quite a lot of free space that can be built on. If only they would spend more on the ROADS! :-)

  8. @ TOH

    “I am going to vote “out”, I don’t repeat it day after day as you posted…”

    You’ve actually repeated it here today, yesterday, and the day before (as well as numerous previous occasions)!

  9. James E

    Your factually incorrect again, I have checked my posts today (Sunday 22nd May) and I did not say I am going to vote out.

    I am strongly reminded of small children who cannot get there way. As I recommended, don’t read my posts, they clearly irritate you and it’s probably not good for you.

  10. Alec

    I totally agree with your our 10.15 post, uncontrolled immigration really is an issue that needs discussing sensibly as you have done.


    I think you answer your own question in your previous paragraph.

  11. Party standing in the latest poll (Opinium – Observer).

    Cons 35%
    Lab 30%
    LibD 5%
    UKIP 18%
    SNP 6%
    Grn 5%

    A sample of 2008 taken on 17th-19th May. As reported earlier more Tories now planning to vote” in” than “out”..

  12. @RMJ1 – “I would see it to be in our long term interest, to be part of a large trading block where we have some opportunity to help set the rules…….”

    Like you, my instincts are to remain, but such are the structural problems within the EU that I am tending towards leave.

    One of them is precisely the point you raise about setting the rules. While the UK can help set the rules of the EU, there is a real question over whether this is worth anything, given the Commission’s role in actually enforcing them.

    One particularly good example is the German current account surplus, which has been consistently high since 2007 and at times has been the largest in the world in terms of % GDP. It is also clearly against the EU and EZ rules. Technically, the EC should have been fining Germany 0.1% of GDP each year for the last 6 years or so, but it has consistently refused to even mount a detailed investigation, let alone take enforcement action. Those investigations were instead reserved for nations with high spending or big deficits.

    The construction of EU fiscal policy in general, and the EZ in particular, writes in deflationary policies into the structure of the EU, with consequent high levels of unemployment the result. The main driver for these rules was the German fear of hyperinflation, with the 21st century EU economic management system build on principles established to meet a crisis from seventy years previously.

    If anything, looking back on the decade leading up to and the years after the financial crash, it seems clear that the need to protect against inflationary pressures was already being met through globalization and new technologies. This enabled large surpluses to be built up in places like Germany, without the ensuing inflation that would have triggered a correction, and then when the crash hit, the deflationary response led to the most dreadful levels of austerity and unemployment seen in Europe since the 1930’s.

    In such a set up, the religious application of the Macroecomic Imbalance Procedure to target surplus countries was left as the only route to secure some kind of balance, but the asymmetric application of the rules by the commission has compounded the issues.

    Having a hand in setting the rules is fine, if the commission then applies them correctly. This is then the point at which the democratic deficit of the EU comes into play, in that the executive has vast powers and no effective checks, so rules go unused and the negative aspects of the system are magnified.

    I would very much doubt a single remain supporter would vote in favour of the EU as currently constituted if 28 nations had come together to start the EU today. It’s clear there are huge problems with the principles, structure and management of the EU, and the only argument in support of this defecrtive organisation therefore becomes the risk of leaving.

    A positive arguement this is not, and I am really struggling to overcome my inherent despair at how poorly constructed the EU at present is.

  13. @ Roger Mexico

    “They also failed to pick up as many UKIP voters as they ought to have – either through a ‘shy UKIP’ factor or through UKIP voters being less cooperative. There is polling evidence for both.”

    Might this be explained by the phenonenom described by Matt Singh regarding UKIP vote recollection?




    – 0

  14. Apologies for the copy & paste error…

    The figures regarding the fall off in recalled UKIP vote are on page 10 of the attached.

    I’m sure that the same applied – but to an even greater extent for those who had voted BNP in 2010: it was almost impossible for pollsters to find any in later months.

  15. Alec: “If you exclude just one part of sparsely populated northern England, such as Northumberland or the North Pennines, what’s left competes to be the most densely populated country in the world.”

    Hmmm. 2015 population density Singapore 8,227 per km2; UK 263. And I’ve seen Brexiters laud Singapore as a model for the UK to follow, in trading terms.

    If you want to exclude Northumberland from desity calculations, then I’d like to exclude London, on the basis that it’s a world city whose prosperity and growth is very much based on being open to the world, not just the rest of the UK. England shorn of London has a very reasonable population density.

    There seem to be a number of posters here who have an apocalyptic vision of the effect of immigration, just as some high profile politicians did back in the ’60s.

    I don’t think we should engage in a slanging match and I’m not saying, ‘relax, unlimited immigration’s fine.” But I do believe that to the extent that there are cultural challenges arising from immigration, they come more from legacy Empire immigration than from current EU immigration. And it’s worth remembering that more than 50% of long term immigration still comes from non-EU sources; presumably to be a much higher proportion if Brexit cuts EU immigration dramatically.

  16. @David in France

    “There is indeed. The more educated a person is, the more inclined they are to vote Remain.

    “Yet, in these strange times, it is somehow considered wrong to listen to educated people. They are “elite” and so, somehow, wrong.

    “Instead we are to listen – at least to give equal weight to – populist and reactionary viewpoints from rather more ill-informed people.

    “I cant follow that logic myself.

    “Yes. These are strange times.”

    This would seem to be a general argument against democracy. IDK if people rejecting arguments against democracy is historically unusual in this country. In the 18th century and before, certainly.

  17. @MDC

    I don’t think DiF’s point that “Instead we are to listen – at least to give equal weight to – populist and reactionary viewpoints from rather more ill-informed people.” is a general argument against democracy.

    He isn’t suggesting the votes of ill-informed people should be down-weighted. Rather that we shouldn’t, in this national debate, abandon evidence- and reason-based assessment in favour of populist assertion.

    It’s rather like the climate change debate. The overwhelming weight of rational, expert, evidence-based assessment indicates that global warming is real and caused by human activity. And yet almost equal weight is given in the media to the unscientific, illogical, frankly fruitcake assertions of people like Lord Lawson. Is saying that that’s weird, an attack on democracy?

  18. Good Afternoon All.

    The Cruddas Review into the 2015 GE is worth reading. I think, anyway.

  19. @somerjohn – “2015 population density Singapore 8,227 per km2; UK 263. And I’ve seen Brexiters laud Singapore as a model for the UK to follow, in trading terms.”

    I’m afraid that’s a completely spurious comparison. Singapore is in effect a city state, much as Hong Kong is, or the Vatican, both of which are also in the top ten. And whether or not Singapore is held up as an example of a trading economy by some people is not relevant here. I didn’t do that, so why bother bringing it up?

    I’m trying to get across a pretty simple message here – namely, that in relative terms, the UK is densely populated (51st out of 244 territories in the world) and even higher in the rankings if you take England only (up to something like 27th equivalent).

    If you wanted to exclude any small territory below 1,000 square miles, England alone is the 6th most densely populated country in the world, with only Bangladesh being larger than England and above them on the density list.

    If, as I said, you calculated the population densities for those parts of southern England south of Birmingham, my guess is that you would be getting very close, if not exceed, the Bangladesh density, which is the densest >1,000 sq mile country.

    I’m also trying to point out that the UK population is growing rapidly in total, by around 0.75% annually, most of which is concentrated in those parts already highly populated.

    Trying to post spurious comparisons with tiny city states is pointless. Why is it not possible for so many people to simply accept the fact that the UK, and specifically southern England, is densely populated, and then go from there to discuss the issues this raises?

    Either people on here don’t actually understand their own country, or are simply unaware of the facts regarding population and land area. I find it strange.

  20. The SNP are going through an interesting phase .

  21. @Somerjohn

    Alec made a point about Southern England from Birmingham south, and you are responding with UK population density figures which include the vast uninhabited tracts of Scotland to make your figures look good?

    In any case, Singapore is a rich city-state which looks like Park Lane. High population density in less salubrious conditions results in stress. The UN believes that the Rwandan crisis of the 1990’s was caused by them having one of the highest population densities in the world. It hit 2040 per square mile in 1993. It is now 898 per square mile. So they “resolved” their problem.

    The population density in London is 11,760 per square mile (4,542 per square km) – and they are feeling the stress. As you say the UK figures, which include the uninhabited regions of the north are 650 per square mile (260 per square km). But England’s is 413 per square km, Wales is 149 per square km, NI is 135 per square km and Scotland is just 68 per square km.

  22. Alec: “spurious comparisons with tiny city states is pointless.”

    I agree. But your figures for England include include London, which, like Singapore, is a world city. You haven’t addressed my point that if you exclude London, England isn’t particularly crowded.

    There are lots of issues around overcrowding in the south east, only one of which is immigration.

    As you have pointed out, many areas of England are sparsely populated. Some areas are heavily populated. But largely that is a matter of internal migration. To focus almost exclusively on external immigration is to fail to see the igger picture.

  23. The main reason that ‘educated’ people support the EU is probably may be because they really believe in ‘aristocracy’ – rule by betters.

    They simply believe that the world would be a better place if it was ruled by experts without reference to the hoi-polloi.

    The choice of PR as a voting system puts the choice of what gets done and what doesn’t in the hands of politicians, not voters. It has a massive dilution effect – as we can see in Spain and Ireland with their political deadlocks

    And that is of course what the EU is actually about – removing national governments power to defend the common people and championing the interests of businesses and the ruling elite. Neutralising democracies ability to change direction and entrenching the will of the EU aristocracy.

  24. Somerjohn

    “And yet almost equal weight is given in the media to the unscientific, illogical, frankly fruitcake assertions of people like Lord Lawson. Is saying that that’s weird, an attack on democracy?”

    Yes it is, Lord Lawson’s views represent those of a perfectly rational minority IMO. Although a much smaller number, there are significant numbers of Scientists who consider global warming to be a natural phenomenon with man having little effect on it. The BBC currently do not permit discussion of these scientists views which really is an attack on democracy.

  25. P.S. If you want to see population density by town in the UK, look at the following map and hover your mouse on the area to get the figures:

    The highest population density outside London is Portsmouth.

  26. “You haven’t addressed my point that if you exclude London, England isn’t particularly crowded.”

    I have. I gave you details of larger (>1,000 sq mile countries) where England is the 6th most densely populated country in the world. All these countries have cities, some of them very large, so excluding London would give a false comparison.

    “There are lots of issues around overcrowding in the south east, only one of which is immigration.”

    Indeed, although immigration is the single biggest growth factor, and I specifically talked about population density.

  27. @Somerjohn – by the way – there’s no need to worry about turning into a fascist if you admit England is quite crowded.

    I’ve been there.

    It didn’t happen.

  28. @Somerjohn

    Is your argument that there should not be internal migration in order to allow external migration? Seriously?

    It should be the other way round – if there is a density problem, citizens should get first dibs. People from places like Lithuania should really stay in their nice vast uninhabited country – yet half their population has left and is trying to squash into the UK. It’s nuts.

  29. ALEC

    Both your 09:15 & 14:29 UTC posts are well put but do concentrate on England. gives the 2013 stats in people/km² as: England 413, Wales 149, Northern Ireland 135, Scotland 68

    Perhaps that not only explains why the Barnett formula is necessary in a unitary state but also why the popularity of the EU seems to be roughly in descending order of population density.

    In the 19th century, the USA solved its immigrant crisis by populating the Wild West. Blighty could do worse than to emulate that outwith England.

  30. There is a second point to be made about places like Lithuania emptying out. They want NATO to go to the great expense of defending them from Russia – in practice this means the UK, France and the USA bearing the expense.

    But defend what? If it is emptying out and Lithuanians no longer wish to live there, what is the point of going to the expense of defending a tract of empty useless space?

    Lithuania’s population is 2.8 million, down from nearly 4 million in 1990. In a huge space.

  31. @Barbazenzero

    The concentration of population in the south-east in last 40 is a consequence of a shift from trading with the Empire to trading with the EU.

    When Empire was at it’s zenith, the western side of Britain had the advantage – ports like Bristol are great for sending goods either to the Med and through the Suez canal or to and from the sugar plantations in the Caribbean.

    Glasgow’s great advantage was a clear easy sea passage to North America.

    Once all that trade died and it shifted to Europe, the south-east of England takes centre stage. Rotterdam is the gateway to Europe – so the docks in London, Felixstowe, Harwich become really important, and services that support all that trade (the accountants, lawyers, administrators etc) are located there. It is not an accident that Nissan situated their plant on the east coast in Sunderland.

    If people genuinely want a shift north and west, we need to reduce trade with the EU and increase trade with the rest of the world.

  32. I see Anthony has now managed to correct the various errors in his piece, which I suppose is what happens if you blog when you are too tired and/or drunk on Friday night.

    As well as the Referendum figures, the two parallel YouGov polls – the online excel tables are here:

    contained VI figures (f/w 29 Apr – 12 May):

    Con online 31% [phone 34%]

    Lab 32% [38%]

    Lib Dem 8% [6%]

    UKIP 17% [14%]

    SNP/PC 6% [6%]

    Other[1] 6% [3%]

    ‘Would not vote’ figures were similar (10%/9%) and “Don’t knows” a bit higher on the phone poll (14%/17%) as you would expect given the additional option of Refuse.

    Some of the difference may be technical – phone polls may direct people more to the big two Parties or online panels be more likely to attract the supporters of smaller ones. But the difference on Labour and UKIP are striking. I’ve mentioned before YouGov’s apparent UKIP problem where they overestimated their vote in this May’s polls[2]. The 17% may hint this is still happening, though further methodological changes such as reverting to using political identity as well as past vote (these polls were done using the latter but they seem to have changed since) could correct this.

    [1] For some bizarre reason they don’t seem to have asked about the Greens separately which may have reduced their ratings particularly on the phone poll.

    [2] Ironically YouGov were probably most accurate of the pollsters in estimating UKIP in the run up to May 2015, but overestimated them this month in Scottish, Welsh and (particularly) London polls. Otherwise they were fairly accurate (as were other polls for those areas) but these were also the places where pollsters did best in 2015 as well – it was the overall GB figures that were disastrous. So we still don’t really know if the changes made since are effective.

  33. The movement in the polls in the last couple of weeks is reflected in my general conversations with people (I’m not campaigning either way). I have spoken to three wavering Leavers in the last week who are now moving towards Remain. Three different reasons. One believes that, in view of the terrorist attacks in Europe, this is not the time to leave ‘friends’. Another has English relatives living on the continent and believes that things would be more difficult for them if the UK leaves. A third has been swayed by a combination of Remain’s economic arguments and the Leave campaign’s headline £350 million a week figure being shown to be somewhat misleading.

  34. @somerjohn

    I don’t think equal weight is given in the media either to AGW skeptics or to people who think that leaving the EU would not reduce the GDP per capita of the UK. The “Leave” campaign clearly doesn’t have the backing of academic economists, but many still support it for other reasons. In that context DiF’s comments sound more like a call to disregard the votes of people without certificates. In particular, without a referendum we’d have four pro-EU parties occupying 96% of seats in parliament but representing the preferences of only (by best show in a recent poll) 55% of the public,

  35. CANDY

    People from places like Lithuania should really stay in their nice vast uninhabited country – yet half their population has left and is trying to squash into the UK. It’s nuts.

    Well the current population of Lithuania is 2.85m:

    This down from its 1991 peak of 3.7m, but it’s not half and it’s only back to what it was in the 60s.

    That peak date gives you a clue as to part of what has happened which was the gradual return to Russia (and other parts of the ex-Soviet empire) of those originally from there. This levelled off in the late 90s but emigration did start on EU accession in 2004, by which time the population was already about 3.4m suggesting that maybe 0.5 million have left since. But these ex-Soviet states also have a very low birth rate (and low m/f ratios) so some of that decline may be natural rather than emigration.

    However the latest figures (2014) estimate 137k (=/- 16k) Lithuanian-born in the UK, so even all those haven’t been coming here.


    I thought I was a 100% Brexiter but I am now thinking of spoiling my ballot paper.

  37. JAMES E

    Might this be explained by the phenonenom described by Matt Singh regarding UKIP vote recollection? The figures regarding the fall off in recalled UKIP vote are on page 10 of the attached:

    I’m not really sure it does (and the report doesn’t suggest that). People ‘forgetting’ they voted UKIP in great numbers would only be plausible if the same thing applied to polling (as with the BNP who always under-polled and who few ever admitted to voting for). But in polling those who say they did (and more important will) vote UKIP are not difficult to find – indeed there are far too many of them in online polls.

    I think the UKIP vote is strange in that it includes both ‘loud’ and ‘shy’ components (I’ve said before that this may be gendered to some extent). The ‘loud’ ones are those joining online panels to ‘have their say’ and frequently encountered BTL in newspapers. The ‘shy’ ones aren’t so in the ‘shy Tory’ sense (saying they won’t vote Tory when they will) but in the sense of not engaging with the polling process at all – not joining panels, agreeing to be included in phone polls, or taking part in the BES.

    So the first lot are only too happy to tell the BES interviewers what they feel and how they voted, so the cumulative UKIP percentage jumps up at the start. The age bias in UKIP support also means that such people may be easier to contact in the first tranche. But over time the ‘shy’ ones are refusing to take part and the cumulative UKIP rating eventually falls below what it should be.

  38. The tables for the Opinium poll are here:

    I’m always slightly dubious about the VI figures in Opinium because of the rather opaque way they do their political weighting with something called ‘Party propensity’. This seems to result in up-weighting Conservatives by a lot (by 17%) and dropping everyone else, especially Labour (by 11%) and UKIP (by 30%). This may of course reflect bias in their panel make-up but there is nothing like past vote in the tables to check it against.

    Some of the downgrading of UKIP may be justified as historically they have produced the highest figures for them of any pollster (this one is still 18%). But there is a danger of ‘fighting the last war’ in these sort of adjustments. If there is a shift in the Conservative vote on the referendum it shouldn’t be affected of course, but we need to see the movement more often to be sure.

    Opinium do ask one interesting question that I haven’t seen before. Like many pollsters now do they check if people are registered (or think they are). Around 87% say they are definitely (but 92% of Leave voters). However Opinium then ask In the last 12 months[1]…. Have you, or has anybody you know, been turned away from a polling station after finding out that you were not actually registered to vote when you thought you were?

    As many as 3% say they have (with another 4% saying they know someone). The demographics are you might expect – more male, based in England and young[2], with 6% of under 35s affected. Again Remain are hit harder (5% v 2%), but on VI it is the Conservatives who have most experienced rejection with 6% turned away but only 2% Labour. It’s a small subsample (44) but suggests IVR may be having more complicated effects than expected.

    [1] In theory this should only include the most recent set of elections, but I suspect many will include experiences relating to the General Election.

    [2] For some reason Opinium continues to use just three age bands for analysis though they weight to six.

  39. Roger The degree of weighting in that poll is just ridiculous. I can’t see much point in conducting a poll if you are then going to amend the results by as much as 30%
    The referendum will be a big test for the credibility of the polling firms.

  40. CANDY:
    “Once all that trade died”

    Can you give historical figures for the amount of trade between the UK and the USA? You seem to be saying pretty unambiguously that it once was massive and is now as good as stopped. Can you back that assertion up?

  41. CANDY:
    “If it is emptying out and Lithuanians no longer wish to live there, what is the point of going to the expense of defending a tract of empty useless space?”

    Are you saying that if Russian expansionism is real and the west decides not to defend NATO allies, that the rate of migration from the Baltic states will *decrease*?

    Personally I foresee a risk of exchanging a trickle of economic migrants for a tide of refugees. But perhaps that suits some people.

  42. Some interesting ICM findings for Scotland reported today on Twitter by Britain Elects:

    Independence referendum intention in the event of a vote for Brexit:
    Yes (pro-Indy): 44%
    No (pro-UK): 47%

    On a second #IndyRef in the event of a vote for Brexit:
    Support: 44%
    Oppose: 48%

    On another independence referendum within the next five years:
    Support: 39%
    Oppose: 51%

    On keeping Trident:
    Support: 43%
    Oppose: 42%

    I can’t find any more details on ICM’s site.

  43. @Alun009

    Trade with the USA at the moment is about $4bn in imports and $4bn in exports, but a lot of that is intangibles (we export a lot of media to them).

    For a historic look see the following:

    We were the first industrialised nation and used to suck in raw materials like cotton from the USA and export finished textiles to them and to Canada. Ditto exporting stuff like steel. And the Empire was a captive market – look at the way we stopped India making textiles so we could export stuff from places like Paisley to them (that’s why they have a spinning wheel in their flag, it was a symbol of resistance for them).

    Once Empire went, that market went. And once the Americans industrialised, they no longer needed to import finished goods from us. And since 1990, when the Chinese entered the WTO, the Pacific became important to the Americans, stuff enters their country via their western seaboard. The Atlantic is no longer important for them, which is bad for the western part of the UK which is geared towards exporting westwards. To give you an indication, the population of liverpool was about 800,000 in the 1930’s and is about 450,000 now. That is a direct consequence of Empire ending and trading shifting from the Atlantic and more towards Europe from south eastern England. Stuff enters continental Europe from Rotterdam, and Europe’s exports leave via Rotterdam too. It is a very short distance from London to Rotterdam (which is why London’s working docks are still expanding).

  44. So you first day that we should shift trade away from the EU, then you claim that what went before was the product of empire. Which leads me to wonder where you think we should invade.

    If America less interested in Atlantic trade, why would us reducing EU trade help us?

  45. @Alun009

    The south-western part of Britain is well placed for global trade – easy shipping into the Med and through the Suez Canal. So if we increase our trade with the rest of the world, that part would benefit.

    The North Atlantic trade can’t be recaptured – but if we left the EU, fishing rights would devolve to the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Scottish Parliament. That gives them a strategic advantage in that industry – the east and south coast of Britain arn’t good for fishing because the seas are too polluted, but the north Atlantic is pretty clean and is lucrative fishing territory. Europe catches a third of the world’s fish and most of it comes from Britain’s waters in the north atlantic, but Britain doesn’t benefit from it (Spanish trawlers do). Even if the Norn Irish and Scots don’t want to fish themselves they could make a pretty penny from issuing licences to those who do.

    For those located in the “wrong” geographic areas, intangibles are the way to go. Kudos to Sir Richard Leese of Greater Manchester Council for realising this and luring the Beeb and other media outlets there, to become a media hub.

    The overall point I was making is that people moan and moan and moan about the south-east being where all economic activity is and where all the population is squashed into. But that is a direct consequence of joining the EU and the south-east’s proximity to continental Europe. If you want to stay in the EU you must accept that doing so gives the south-east continued hegemony.

  46. “But that is a direct consequence of joining the EU and the south-east’s proximity to continental Europe.”

    Really? Did you not mean “But that is a direct consequence of the south-east’s proximity to continental Europe”

  47. Alec

    I agree with every word of your 10.15am post on population density in the UK. For this reason, the free movement of people has to be restricted in some way. The U.K. Has to have some kind of option to only allow in people we need for specific jobs and only after it has proved not possible to find a Brit to do the job.

    TOH and Colin

    I found the Paxman BBC programme one of the most objective so far. He actually used the word, ‘lies’ for what Heath and Wilson spun the British people in the 1970’s.

  48. Somerjohn
    ” And yet almost equal weight is given in the media to the unscientific, illogical, frankly fruitcake assertions of people like Lord Lawson. Is saying that that’s weird, an attack on democracy?”

    You omitted the well respected climatologist, Piers Corbyn, brother of Jeremy, from your fruitcake ingredients. Any particular reason? Because Lawson is a Tory and Corbyn isn’t, perhaps?

  49. This is getting worse and worse.So many misrepresentations, deliberate tweaking of data, strawman, begging the question, what have you …

    I would like to thank Roger Mexico for his comments – they are enlightening, precise, and focused. While he has a clear stance, He subjects it to the same scrutiny as others’.

  50. ‘I’m trying to get across a pretty simple message here – namely, that in relative terms, the UK is densely populated (51st out of 244 territories in the world) and even higher in the rankings if you take England only (up to something like 27th equivalent).’

    Sure it is. Bits of it are very crowded. Bits are almost empty. Take Sutherland as an example. It has an average population density less than that of Siberia.

    (Sutherland 5252 km2. Population of 13000. About 2.5 people per km2.
    Siberia 9,653,000km2. Population of 38.7 million. About 4 people per km2.)

    Sutherland is not an insignificant area of land, btw. You could easily fit the whole of Greater London in it with plenty of room to spare. Or Birmingham about nine times over.

    See also Powys, and other parts with lots of space and hardly any people in them.

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