There are two EU referendum polls in the Sunday papers – YouGov in the Sunday Times and Opinium in the Observer. Both of them have the race neck-and-neck: YouGov have REMAIN 49%, LEAVE 51%, Opinium have REMAIN 51%, LEAVE 49%. Tables for YouGov are here, for Opinium are here.

In both cases the topline figures are pretty much unchanged from figures a week ago, remaining roughly neck-and-neck. There is certainly no echo of that ten point Leave lead ORB produced on Friday. My guess is that there has been a little movement towards Leave, but perhaps not of the scale suggested by some of the more startling figures, and not necessarily a lasting one. Opinium’s poll a week ago had a significant underlying shift towards Leave, today’s unchanged figures suggest a consolidation of that movement. YouGov on the other hand showed what appeared to be a similar movement towards Leave two weeks ago, but have since moved back towards neck-and-neck.

The bigger picture from the online polls is still that the race is neck-and-neck. Next week we have a new Ipsos MORI telephone poll due – it will be interesting to see what that shows in the light of the movement towards Leave in ICM’s last phone and the methodology changes that MORI announced on Friday.

Meanwhile, the rest of the YouGov poll had some interesting questions on the campaign. Asked which campaign is more honest, makes more negative attacks, is more realistic or which lies the most there is very little difference – Leave’s ratings are marginally better, but by a tiny amount. The big divide is “scaremongering” – 41% think Remain have done more scaremongering, 28% think Leave have done more. Crucially, this comes through in the immigration and economy questions too: 55% think LEAVE have exaggerated in their claims about immigration, but 49% think the underlying claims are basically true. 63% think REMAIN have exaggerated in their claims about the economy and only 40% think the underlying claims are basically true. Perhaps this is a suggestion that Remain are overplaying their hand a little on the economy – or perhaps, a sign that Leave’s accusations of scaremongering are managing to neuter the economic argument somewhat.

228 Responses to “YouGov and Opinium both show EU race neck-and-neck”

1 2 3 4 5
  1. Colin

    Nice to see the source of your comment.

    However, ” are obliged to send a proportion of all VAT receipts collected straight to the EU to finance its budget. ” isn’t exactly accurate is it?

    One can understand an organisation that “exists to give a voice to … [those] .. who want to see fundamental changes to the terms of our EU membership” using language in that way – after all your source is biased in that way.

    As I understand it, the situation is as I outlined above – that VAT revenues are one of the mechanisms used to calculate the contribution to the EU Budget.

    However, saying (wrongly) that a portion of VAT revenues go “straight” to the EU sounds much more scary!.

    Since the periodic payments to the EU aren’t made in that way, the Business for Britain version simply can’t be correct.

  2. Generally speaking I’ve been far too busy to even try and moderate the comments here of late, but crikey they’ve descended into a cess pit of utter crap.

    As ever, they are NOT intended to be a general debating forum. They are supposed to be for discussing what the polls are showing, how the polling works, how accurate it may or may not be, what it tells us about public opinion and so on.

    It’s not a forum for political debate or argument, so enough of all the back and forth on immigration, VAT (I mean), whether politicians are lying or not and so on.

    Can people try to stick to those rules themselves, or I’ll just have to put those who repeatedly start/continue those sort of arguments on pre-moderation.

  3. DAVE

    @”. You can hardly claim that all of the VAT per head generated by your immigrant graduates is due solely to them.”

    Or indeed at all. I think it at least a moot point as to who “generates” VAT-the supplier , or the purchaser.

    VAT a “consumption” tax , collected by the Treasury ,at various points down the supply chain, but not “borne” until a non VAT registered entity makes a purchase.

    It is the decision to purchase which “generates” the tax. The process of “selling” involves mere collection of the tax.

    In the same way A company doesn’t “generate” Income Tax Revenue from its employees wages-it merely collects Income Tax from them. They “generate” the tax and bear it.

  4. Anthony

    Isn’t part of the problem that both campaigns have produced this “cess pit of utter crap”? – and that this is reported in the media, and that is the main source of “information” for voters – which thus influences the polls.

    That between 61% and 75% of people have no trust in any senior campaign leader and 41% think neither campaign has been honest (YG’s most recent poll) doesn’t stop people from being influenced by the ludicrous claims and misinformation being disseminated, since there is little else to go on.

    [Absolutely, but let’s keep the comments here for a neutral and non-judgemental observation of the crap, rather than flinging it at one another – AW]


    Best be brief in light of AW’s annoyance .

    This from a BBC article on the topic

    “Each country’s payment is divided into three parts: a fixed percentage of gross national income (GNI), customs duties collected on behalf of the EU (known as “traditional own resources”) and a percentage of VAT income.”

  6. Colin

    We can agree on that.

  7. @ Colin

    Thanks for acknowledging it.

  8. Anthony
    Sincere apologies if I have over-stepped the mark (which I probably have).
    You shouldn’t have to moderate this forum, we should (well I should) be grown up enough to moderate myself…. sorry!

  9. @Colin

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply to my comment. I appreciate it for its relevance to the real world but will try to reply with relevance to the polls.

    Clearly you are right in saying that many people believe that immigration ‘does’ bring these problems. However, not everyone believes this and the beliefs of those that do not always reflect direct experience e.g. London which has a lot of ‘foreigners’ seems noticeably more positive towards immigration than other areas of the country that experience little of it.
    Similarly Leave’s emphasis on the NHS rather than education seems to me odd. Immigrants tend to be young and make comparatively little use of the NHS while they play an important role in its staffing.


    So again how does all this affect votes? Possibly quite logically. The better off seem on the whole to favour the EU. Working people seem to favour out with the obvious exception that the unions want in. Again it is easy to see that Car Workers might think it in their interests to vote in while ASLEF whose drivers are not so directly involved in export is not.
    (What is perhaps odd is that those who are most opposed to red tape are also often the keenest to impose the bureaucratic controls which would be needed to pick and choose our immigrants. What would happen if were to have these within the UK?)

    But my own feeling is that most people are not voting logically in terms of their own interests. The fear of immigrants is a gut feeling as the desire to ‘stand on one’s own feet as a country’ is a gut feeling and on the other side fear of the unknown is a gut feeling. Logical arguments on one side or the other may not cut much ice.

  10. Interestingly, people in England are more committed to their preferred referendum result than their football team doing well:

    Is this a function of lowered expectation in the football, or a sign that Welsh opinions on the referendum are less polorised and set in stone?

  11. Not sure if this has been noted already but interesting YouGov poll in Telegraph showing 2:1 support for EEA membership as the post Brexit option. Which of course comes with free movement.


    It’ll be close!!

    Prediction, balanced on electorate and higher turnout in England, London and Scotland:

    England 53.5% out
    Wales 51.0% out
    London 54.5%in
    Scotland 57.0% in
    NI 64.0% in

    Overall 50.7% OUT 49.3% IN

  13. @Alun009; I think probably many Welsh voters are slightly less fixed in their views on the referendum than English ones (we are after all the only area of GB which clearly benefits financially from the EU due to a wonderful piece of gerrymandering about 20 yrs ago by Welsh civil servants aided by well placed politicians) and of course for us Euro 2016 is a wonderful novelty in the way it isn’t for England who almost always qualify.

    I predict a narrow Remain vote here, with some of the counties apparently defined as heavily leave (such as Carmarthenshire) being much more evenly split; now the Assembly elections are over the “ground game” is dominated by Remain; Labour are pretty united here and Plaid can then reach additional voters that Labour can’t

  14. @ Alun009

    That poll is really remarkable.

    It certainly suggests a high turnout is likely.

  15. London looks far too low for remain

  16. @MRJONES 5.31pm

    I think the point you make is important. Statistics should be broken down as far as is possible whilst retaining a statistically useful sample. To lump all migrants together in one big overarching economic statistic is, ironically, to treat migrants like they are all the same. All you have is a crude stereotyping.

    It would be interesting to know how sensitive attitudes (pro and con) against migration would be sensitive to changes (in either direction) of the economics underlying the economic argument for immigration. For example, what percentage who identify themselves as strongly pro-migration would change opinion if it were shown that the average migrant was a net “taker” overture purse of their life? I suspect that to many liberals it would make no difference – just as showing a positive impact will change few minds on the right.

    If we could get to real motivations, my guess is that such an analysis would show that most of those most passionate in the debate did not care about the economics much.

  17. Hireton

    I posted a summary of the YG questions/responses on the EEA/Norway options yesterday evening, but there was little discussion on them.

    Priority should be –
    Free Trade : Remain 73% : Leave 18%
    Immigration : Remain 12% : Leave 73%

    If Brexit, then UK consider Norway model?
    Yes : Remain 42% : Leave 35%
    No: Remain 45% : Leave 14%

    If Brexit, then UK consider Norway model for next 5-10 years?
    Yes : Remain 37% : Leave 35%
    No: Remain 45% : Leave 19%

    Much confused thinking on both sides?

    When the “Bruges poll” surfaced earlier tonight, Mike Smithson suggested that including the EEA option was similar to including Devomax in the context of indyref polling. However, I don’t think that is correct.

    The Devomax option has been discussed in mainstream politics for at least 15 years, and opinion has been pretty consistent that it is the option that most Scots would be willing to coalesce around.

    The EEA option for the UK (in the context of EUref) has been little discussed, and people haven’t had the time or space to consider the implications of it.

  18. Good evening all from an extremely warm muggy night here in my hame toon of Wokingham.

    Polls neck and neck…The final week and a half left of the campaign will heavily focus on the economy from Remain and immigration from leave. The endless Armageddon scenarios over the economy post Brexit hasn’t really resonated that well with voters but discussing immigration tends to have some traction which leads one to wonder if the latest Daily Express headline out tomorrow (today) will eventually catapult Brexit onto the podium?

  19. ANDREW111
    At least 60 Leave At most Remain 40 I have no wriggle room.
    May God bless all people doing polls this weekand may they get it very accurate this time and respect/trust for pollsters be fully restored.

  20. For those who would like to see a rather well-balanced programme on the EUref dialogue in Scotland, I’d recommend this from BBC Scotland –

    Don’t all rush at once! :-)

  21. Crikey I see AW has been out snipping cropping and stropping. ;-)

    It’ll be close!!
    Prediction, balanced on electorate and higher turnout in England, London and Scotland:
    England 53.5% out
    Wales 51.0% out
    London 54.5%in
    Scotland 57.0% in
    NI 64.0% in
    Overall 50.7% OUT 49.3% IN

    I don’t see the final result being that close although the polls are showing the result heading that way which means we could be looking at yet another big polling inquiry after the dust has settled.

    I’m expecting at least a 10% winning gap for leave. I just think they have so much more resonating amo left in them salvos which ordinary voters will pick up on.

  22. OLDNAT

    Thanks for the link. Will watch the program sometime in the morning.Should be quite interesting.

    Way way off topic…Manchester United are ready to make a £79m bid for Paris St-Germain’s 23-year-old midfielder Marco Verratti

    That’s obscene!!

    Night peeps

  23. Charles
    “e.g. London which has a lot of ‘foreigners’ seems noticeably more positive towards immigration than other areas of the country that experience little of it.”

    Could that be because it’s the ‘foreigners’ who are positive to immigration by any chance?

    This referendum will be an interesting test for the pollsters. Several of them have changed their methodology since the GE, and even during this campaign. In addition, there is much less to go on in terms of past vote. They still seem to be taking past GE party vote into consideration, whereas party means nothing in this referendum. The Tories are split, and Labour are so lukewarm in favour of Remain (with several prominent MPs going for Leave) that many of their voters will go for Leave despite the party policy.

    No doubt at least one of the pollsters will claim victory after the result is known, but I suspect that whoever gets closest will be as much luck as judgement.

  24. I don’t understand the posters who predict a win, yet alone a substantial one, for Leave. The betting markets are heavily for Remain, as are the phone polls. Provincial England may be fairly evenly split overall, with large cities like Manchester pro-Remain and rural areas/smaller towns pro-Leave. However, the substantial support for Remain in London, the Celtic fringes (who benefit particularly from EU largesse and can play off Brussels against Westminster) and voters based overseas are likely to push Remain well over the finishing line.

    I still expect a substantial majority for Remain of over 10%. Some voters will think twice in the polling booth about voting Leave because of the economic risks of doing so, and hang on to nurse for fear of something worse. Leave are only likely to win if they have at least a 10% lead in the last GB polls (which don’t sample NI or overseas voters) before the vote.


    Nice to see you back posting.


  26. Give or take, Remain / Leave are both coalescing around the 41%-44% mark. These figures are probably now quite well set in and unlikely to move. The real campaign now is for the 11%-13% currently “Don’t know”. These, as yet, undecided voters – along with those who will not vote – will decide the referendum on the 23rd.

  27. @AW – apologies in general – I’ve been as guilty as anyone of drifting away into discussions that are not directly related to polling. It’s that kind of vote, but we must try harder.

    Very interesting to see the YG polling on how people perceive scaremongering between the two campaigns. I’ve always said that apparently ridiculous claims can have deep political impact, but only so long as those behind them have credibility. If that credibility declines, then the making of outlandish claims seems to actively harm the claimer.

    It does look like this is what has happened to remain to an extent. Early on, under the barrage of economic heavtweights, there seemed to be some traction for remain, but more recently it is starting to look like they have simply overplayed this, as AW suggests.

    Many of us were waiting for remain to start pointing out the positives of the EU, but the relentlessly negative and ever more doom laden stuff has kept coming. I’m not surprised that their credibility is declining, and I think in the last week or two they have got the tome wrong.

  28. @DUNHAM111

    Either the polls are completely skewed, or the anecdotal evidence is misleading. Go to any forum (except this one) where large numbers of posters are discussing their VIs, and the overwhelming support is for Leave, 60-70% in most cases.

    Remain remains the favourite with the bookies, but the odds are lengthening, from 1/6 to 2/5 in the last couple of weeks, while Leave’s odds have shortened from 7/1 to 2/1 in the same period.

    On Betfair, the betting exchange where odds are determined purely by the bets placed by punters, they have a discussion forum, and almost everyone on there is querying why Leave isn’t now the favourite, and the general consensus is that some big hitters are still placing large bets on Remain, hoping for a late swing.

    I’ve managed to successfully arbitrage the fluctuations in the odds, so I’m guaranteed a nice profit whatever the result.

    /smug mode off.

  29. @ David Carrod

    Leave supporters are more vocal, but as with the Scottish Indyref, the quiet supporters of the status quo will ensure that Remain wins – the potential adverse economic impact will sway undecided voters. The polls don’t survey NI or overseas voters.


    @”The fear of immigrants”

    I think it is a huge mistake being made by some on the Remain side to characterise concerns about large scale Immigration in this way.

    Those figures in the Campaign who continue to do so will merely increase the drift away of “traditional ” Labour voters which is increasingly being commented on, and help Leave to win.

    Concern about the social & economic effects , & cultural imbalancing in ones own locality of large scale immigration is not Racism , or Fear of Immigrants.

    If it is ever possible to analyse the traditional Labour Vote outside London , after this Referendum is over it might be very interesting.

    Good Morning to you.
    I think that ‘shy’ voters are more likely to be REMAIN people; which is the ‘respectable’ not-anti-immigration option.

    I think that Labour Voters outside ‘liberal’ London and its three offshoots in Norwich, Exeter and Oxford and Hove are going to LEAVE in huge numbers; a bit like the ‘sea change’ about which Jim Callaghan spoke in April 1979.

  32. Two very good pieces in today’s Times-Andrew Tyrie -Stay ; and Steve Hilton-Leave.

    Head & Heart respectively. How on earth does one compare them & choose?

  33. DUNHAM111
    However, the substantial support for Remain in London, the Celtic fringes (who benefit particularly from EU largesse and can play off Brussels against Westminster) and voters based overseas are likely to push Remain well over the finishing line.

    If you include Cornwall as a part of the Celtic fringe, it doesn’t seem to be working there, possibly because of older non-locals. Mebyon Kernow’s backing for remain is probably not having much impact.

  34. Alec

    Gordon Brown due to campaign this week on the positives, and Cameron taking a step back. Not sure how cheery and positive Gordon can be, but he is at least a Labour ‘big hitter’

    On another tack has anyone produced cross tables on the ethnic origin of remain/ leave voters. I am interested as anecdotally I ave found a great deal of antipathy on the issue of potential future immigration increasing from sectors of the Asian community which may mean they swing for leave

  35. @ Colin

    I think that if we differ it is probably over words. You are concerned that I am criticising those who ‘fear immigrants’ and wish to describe them as ‘Xenophobic’. which does mean fear of the foreigner and is usually thought to be be a bad thing.

    Actually I did not intend to do this. It is perfectly possible that people are ;fearful’ of the consequences of immigration for the kinds of reasons that you give and this does not mean that they are ‘bad people’. It should mean that one takes their fears seriously, thinks about how realistic they are and what their origins are, and thinks about what the solutions to their problems should be.

    From an economic point of view I tried to make it clear that for some people these fears are realistic (e.g. cleaners in Central London) and that one does need to have policies to address this. I also tried to make it clear that although this would be my way to go, I do not think that a decision by Remain to emphaise its commitment to a Living Wage or the deportation of foreign criminals or any other measure designed to tackle practical issues of concern is going to make the slightest difference to the outcome,

    I also agree with you that whereas Labour’s official commitment to ‘in’ is in my mind correct. It is also quixotic and may well result in the loss of votes from from some of its traditional supporters. As Farage said on TV UKIP probably hurt labour more than the conservatives at the last election. Marginal seats that labour lost to the tories or failed to win were those where UKIP did well and Marginal seats that Labour held or won were those where UKIP did comparatively badly. (I have done the statistics on this).

    And to whoever said that London favouring immigrants might be a matter of immigrants liking immigrants. ‘Yes’ but this is partly a matter of definition. Are those who are entitled to vote ‘immigrants’? If so do ‘immigrants who don’t come from the EU’ count? (We are often told that immigrants are often those who are most worried but which immigrants?) How far does one need to go back in one’s ancestry before one is not an immigrant? Part of the difficulty of this debate is that we lack agreed definitions of these matters and certainly, in a probably vain attempt to avoid a snip, the definitions are unlikely to feature prominently in the polling questions.

  36. What makes you think “older non-locals” are a key factor for Leave in Cornwall-or MK come to that.

    Cornwall is a conflicted as most places outside London-but there is Always the special Cornish factor-they don’t like being told what to do by “outsiders”.

    And when the “outsiders” crow about EU spending on pointless white elephants, whilst compromising traditional industries like Fishing , you can expect them to be told where to go.


    It would better really if the matter were framed in terms of Uncontrolled and unevenly distributed Population Growth -within which Immigration is currently a major factor.

    Anyway the die is probably cast now & we await the outcome.

  38. @oldnat

    Thanks. I saw your earlier post but didn’t link it with the Tweets!

    ‘re devomax and the EEA options I expect most respondents did not fully understand the EEA option although it is precisely defined unlike devo max! The the difficulties which a Government will have in dealing with a Brexit vote.

  39. @Colin To make my distinctions more personal my wife who grew up in North Devon and was fervently North Devonian was not in any ordinary sense of the word ‘racist’. Throughout the time we had a largish house she took in anybody who needed accommodation, homeless people, black priests who had lost their vocation, children in conflict with their parents etc etc. She was, however, deeply sad about the loss of the North Devon of her youth which she saw as the result of ‘incomers’. As it happens these were overwhelmingly from within England but the feeling was no doubt the same as that which you describe. I don’t think that in her case this would have translated into a vote and she was realistic enough to accept that this was the way of the world and she certainly had no hostility to individual incomers. She was just sad about it. Her solution was to try and collect and preserve the Devon recipes of her youth and to emphasise her own origins whenever this was relevant.. I doubt this would appeal to the Leave vote but someone needs to get across the message that in this day and age globalisation is inevitable and we need to have ways of preserving the good things which people have created in the different enclaves of the world. In the end putting up the barriers is not an option but I guess that for voting purposes it probably has a strong appeal.

  40. @oldnat

    I also meant to endorse your comment about Alan Liddle’s excellent programme on Scotland an the EU.

  41. Smithson reporting big Remain selloff on Betfair, down to 64%!

  42. This will be an interesting test for pollsters
    It looks as if at the moment they are suggesting a very tight result
    Anecdotally people think otherwise
    But as voting intentions look very geographical anecdotes could be well wrong nationally
    Supposedly the last 2 weeks in a referendum usually produces a significant swing to the status quo-something remainers are relying on
    Iam really fascinated to see how the polls do this time round

  43. On a purely anecdotal note, I had my first doorstep visit on the issue yesterday, from the in campaign. It was surprising to hear a thick irish accent in the middle of West Yorkshire but all the more surprising to hear the note of resignation in his voice when I told him I was voting leave, he didn’t even try to offer an arguement for remain.

  44. I come here to get updates and insights on polling. I look at the comments because sometimes that’s where the latest news is.

    Then I find myself reading nonsense like “One thing is for certain, there’s no such thing as ‘racism’”

    The only thing that prevents me from responding is the pleas of the page owner not to provoke or prolong such discourse by engaging with it.

    But. boy, it’s hard to resist sometimes.

  45. Stay now most popular bet on Oddschecker, bets placed on Stay up from 55.08% early to 55.48% now.

  46. @ Colin Two very good pieces in today’s Times-Andrew Tyrie -Stay ; and Steve Hilton-Leave.
    Head & Heart respectively. How on earth does one compare them & choose?

    In the end it will be heart that chooses either way. To my eyes, this campaign has been about fear on both sides: on the one fear of losing one’s job, pension, or value in one’s house and on the other fear of EU immigrants somehow taking over and thus losing one’s job, identity, cultural heritage or local services. The positive case – Britain will be able to make its own way in the world,, strike deals with whom we like and be stronger – or international co-operation is essential for solving the problems we have from global inequality and loss of jobs to Asia to Acid Rain and Climate Change has had only the occasional airing and I would doubt cuts much ice either way. As Aristotle long ago observed ‘intellect (i.e. head) by itself moves nothing’.

    I’m off on holiday so no need to respond to me personally!

  47. @ Wolf

    That’s interesting. BetFair were @ 81% for Remain only 2 weeks ago and is falling fast!

  48. Good morning all from Wokingham.

    Great Yougov data on Eurosceptic and Europhile Britain with fantastic interactive map.

    Most Eurosceptic areas 1 Havering 2 Peterborough.

    Most Europhile 1 Ceredigion 2 Aberdeen …

    Judging by the map the only region likely to vote leave in Scotland is Moray in the North East.

    “Some northern, traditionally Labour areas fall into the second tier of euroscepticism – Hull, Doncaster, Barnsley – while the larger group of mixed but predominantly leaning eurosceptic regions extends noticeably around the coastal south and east of England”

    You can see where the Labour vote appears to be going for the bolt.

    “Nice to see you back posting”

    Cheers Howard. :-) :-)

1 2 3 4 5