Like the Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday, YouGov in the Sunday Times show Remain ahead again following the pro-Leave polls a week ago. Topline figures are REMAIN 44%, LEAVE 43%, with fieldwork conducted on Thursday and Friday (full tabs are here). Almost inevitably people are going to look at these polls and assume that the murder of Jo Cox on Thursday has caused the move back towards remain.

My own view is that Jo Cox’s death probably isn’t the cause of the reverse. YouGov also conducted a poll on Wednesday-Thursday for ITV, and that already showed Leave’s lead falling (and indeed, a third of the fieldwork for this poll was conducted before Jo Cox’s death was announced). Looking at the rest of the questions, there is also a marked shift in people’s views on how they think leaving the EU would impact their finances – 33% of people now think that they would be worse off outside the EU, compared to 23% a fortnight ago.

The historic trend in referendums is for people to move towards the status quo. In Scotland a couple of years ago a couple of polls a fortnight out were neck-and-neck, but moved back to a clear NO lead by the final polls (and there was a further swing on the day itself). In the EU referendum polls have consistently shown that people think leave is the riskier choice and that people think it will damage the economy. While it was never inevitable, this has always suggested that late movement towards Remain was quite likely. If people are increasingly worried about Brexit’s impact on their own personal finances, then even more so.

Of course, we will never know for sure. The reality is that we can see changes in headline voting intention in polls, but we can never be certain what causes them: all we can do is look at what events happened at the same time and at what changes there have been in other questions in the poll that might have driven a shift. What we do know is that, whatever the reason, we’ve got four new polls tonight – some before Jo Cox’s death, some after – with three of them showing a shift back towards Remain.

541 Responses to “YouGov/Sunday Times – REMAIN 44%, LEAVE 43%”

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  1. ChrisLane

    We are just back to where we were before the football started – Remain lead in phone polls, neck and neck in Online polls, with no-one knowing which is correct…

  2. ORB All adults:

    REMAIN 49 (=)
    LEAVE 47 (+3)


    Scotland is undefeated at the Euro Finals! :-)

  3. @oldnat

    EU referendum poll:
    Remain: 53% (+5)
    Leave: 46% (-3)
    (via ORB, phone / )
    Certain to vote.

    They are the headline figures no? It boils down to Remain on 49% compared to Leave’s 47%

  4. and just to confirm that, 2 point lead for leave in latest YouGov poll..

  5. A poll today in Northern Ireland:

    Ipsos Mori: 59% REMAIN 41% LEAVE.

    This is a drop in support for REMAIN

    (Published in Belfast Telegraph).

  6. @ Thoughtful

    I can’t agree with you more. Apparently, the EÜ slave Cameron government promotes burqua to everyone.

    The government’s chief (medical) officer advises, that if you are in an area where mosquitos are know to infect people (among them with Zika), you should cover all of your body (legs, arms and chest) and as much of your face as it is possible.

    So indeed, fears are all justified.


    again slight difference between headline definite to vote and all voters, this time favouring Remain for definite. Did the Murder add steel to Remainer’s determination to vote?

  8. 68% in NI say they intend to vote. (Ipsos Mori)

  9. It feels like a wasted day for Vote Leave at best. They have had to spend time distancing themselves from Farage and possibly weakening their support in doing so. The Warsi “defection” was another unwelcome distraction. Nissan have started legal action against them for improper use of its logo and misrepresenting their views in campaign literature. And a VL board member has had to resign over anti-Muslim tweets on her timeline.

  10. AdWilliams134

    The reason that I included “certain to vote” in the quote was to indicate that the figure was of “those certain to vote”.

    When the “all adults” figure became available, I quoted that too.

    I’m sorry if you were confused by postings which gave the two sets of figures.

    (If you think one set “boils down” to the other, then you are really confused!)

  11. Shame polls will not now redeem themselves. Failed to detect big Leave lead. People need to polish scripts for explanations of how they missed it after they were starting to get warm last week with double digit lead. 70:30 Leave.

  12. It’s all over for leave isn’t it. It’s wall to wall coverage for a more tolerant and inclusive politics, which seems to be subtly translating to a mass media message we don’t leave our friends in europe. Lol.

    It sort of feels like there is quite a bit of leading the witness going on now!.

  13. Oldnat, but are they not now starting to slice and dice the don’t knows, weighting them towards the status quo.

  14. Did some Vote Leave campaigning in my home city of Winchester and must say this was the toughest ground yet. 80% IN.That’s a worse Leave response than I got in the Communist Republic of North London! Many AB voters I guess

  15. Dunno what the political landscape in England will look like (whatever the result) but Scots Tories seem to be testing the water about a break away from a Johnson led tory Party.

  16. Remain: 42% (-2) Leave: 44% (+1) (via YouGov, online / 17 – 19 Jun)

    From Britain Elects twitter feed

  17. AdWilliams134

    I do love conspiracy theories!

    They’re rubbish – but fun. :-)

  18. Just want to day how proud I was of my boys tonight. To top the group having destroyed Russia was just wonderful. I went to a lot of the qualifiers and at the age of 52 I can finally enjoy seeing my team in a Finals.

  19. Mikey – it was wonderful for all of us to see Wales destroy Russia!

    A great night.

  20. “It’s all over for leave isn’t it.”

    apparently not….

    EU referendum poll:
    Remain: 42% (-2)
    Leave: 44% (+1)
    (via YouGov, online / 17 – 19 Jun)

    now, let’s see if there is such as thing as a Shy Brexit phenomenon or indeed a swing to status quo

  21. YouGov at least gets the winner right.

    Remain: 42% (-2)
    Leave: 44% (+1)
    Don’t Know: 9% (uc)
    Would Not Vote: 4% (uc)
    Leave will vote as if turnout is 86%
    Remain as if 50% turnout tops.

  22. Well done Wales-a stylish win.

    By the end I wanted Slovakia to score-usual rubbish from England.

    If the story about exploitation by Will Self is true & the Wednesday Trafalgar Square event is overtly political/politicised I will consider voting Leave in protest.

  23. Clarification
    My research not YouGuv
    Leave will vote as if turnout is 86%
    Remain as if 50% turnout tops.

  24. Contradictory polls. Still all to play for. It is going to rain on Thursday. Will turnout be affected?

    Do the pollsters ask if people have already voted by post? Apparently this could be as many as 30% of the electorate, so without that question, the polls could be misleading. For instance, if the forecast vote was 50-50, but 10% had already voted Remain, and 20% Leave, they are really saying that of the remaining 70% they are expecting the split to be 40-30, or about 57-43 of those still to vote. Or am I misunderstanding something?

  25. Signs of post referendum turbulence beginning to appear. The Courier is reporting “sources close” to Ruth Davidson , the Scottish Tory leader, that the Scottish Conservative Party will have to split from the UK party if Boris Johnson becomes leader after a win for Leave.

  26. I’m happy for Remain to sit back and think they’ve won it. The debate tomorrow takes on huge significance, pity I won’t see it. Just looking out over the harbour on the beautiful island of Capri, I might need my tin hat on Friday though if Leave pull it off.

  27. Only thing that could make the markets buoyant in favour of Remain is surely advanced leaked info on the postal ballots – a lamentable continuation of recent GE failings?


  28. Pete B

    “It is going to rain on Thursday.”

    I’m sure it will – but not everywhere, and I’ve never seen any convincing evidence that rain affects turnout anyway.

  29. The ORB poll has 49 remain vs 47 leave then 53 vs 46 when filtered on certain to vote. Doesnt the move under the certain to vote filter counter to what is usually seen / expected?

  30. Davidson really hates Johnson lol. She hasn’t made any secret of it either for quite some time. To be honest, I’m not sure Boris is particularly popular amongst the current Cabinet either.

  31. Hireton

    Might add a little spice to Ruth Davidson v Boris Johnson in tomorrow’s debate. :-)

  32. whats the standard error on 800 (ORB) vs 1652 (YouGov) ?

  33. @Pete B

    Do the pollsters ask if people have already voted by post?

    Yes. Postal voters are polled and included in the results. Presumably they report the vote they have given and there most certain likelihood to vote. Which means that any swing in opinion now is damped because it can’t affect votes already cast, but – assuming a representative sample – the polls will reporting the damped figures.

    YouGov’s likelihood-to-vote options include “certain to vote/have already voted” as one of the responses.

  34. Guy Le Mot: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Brexiters. Successive Tory leaders must now learn to control their party.”

    This rather depends on whether there is a sea change in public opinion or not. That depends on whether immigration grows or diminishes as an issue.

    It depends on what happens in Europe. I hear they are giving up federalism again and going to listen to popular disquiet. This happens regularly. The result may be different this time, of course.

    It depends on what happens when our economy crashes. That could cause us to hold closer to Europe. Or wonder what happened to Osborne’s forecasts of prosperity through staying in.

    It is possible that Europe may reform, forget all this 2mobil citizens” stuff and concentrate on trade and act more like an old fashioned alliance. Personally, I’d sooner bet on England to win the Euros.

    The thing to remember about democracy: nothing is fixed except the fact of democracy.

  35. Another motivation of Davidson is shes clearly fed up giving the SNP ground. Brexiters are going o spend the next decade upping their rhetoric – so seems right she’d seek to dissuade the idea of a Brexiters leader.

  36. Re Boris taking over. Hasn’t Cameron said he’ll stay on whatever the result? A bit pointless I’d have thought, as he’s already announced that he’ll stand down before the next GE anyway. And he always keeps his word. Oh, hang on a minute…..

  37. MOE for 800 samples +/- 3.46%
    1652 +/- 2.41%

  38. Bantams “The debate tomorrow takes on huge significance”

    Seems somewhat unlikely don’t you think. The debates so far have got between 2 and 4 million viewers (the latter achieved just once) and the vast majority of those viewers had already decided their vote, indeed many may have actually already voted by post. I suppose it could perhaps be different this time, with a quadrupling and more of viewers but I see no evidence at all why it should be. I take note that programmes like DIY SOS slaughtered the EU debates in the viewing figures.

  39. New thread Jonathan

  40. @ Jonathan Stuart-Brown

    Will you be publishing your “research”?

  41. It turned out to be just 3.9 million viewers for the “huge” great EU debate.

    Vast majority of whom have either already voted by post or have already decided how they will vote no matter what.

    So much for that proving decisive.

    I can’t say I blame the UK public, 2 hours of exaggerated hot air bull from politicians of all shades can hardly have been a mouth watering prospect.

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