A wrote a few weeks ago that in the past the boost enjoyed by a Prime Minister taking over mid-term has often only lasted a month or so. The latest YouGov poll suggests that Theresa May’s honeymoon is following the same pattern and has now started to fade. Topline figures are CON 38%, LAB 31%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%. It’s still showing a healthy Tory lead, but not the towering double-digit leads we’ve seen in the last few polls. This is, of course, just a single poll and we should wait to see if other polls shown the same trend, but it’s the first sign of the May honeymoon beginning to wane (tabs here)

UPDATE: TNS also have new voting intention figures out and they have the Tories still enjoying a double-digit lead. Topline figures are CON 39%, LAB 26%, LD 10%, UKIP 11%, GRN 7% (tabs are here). Fieldwork was over the weekend, so a little older than the Mon-Tues YouGov data, but not by much. A couple of interesting methodological notes here – looking at TNS’s tables, it looks like they are including the names of the party leaders in their voting intention question (just the GB leaders in the English question, but also the Scottish and Welsh leaders in their respective areas). Based on the tables, they are also asking preferred party on the economy and preferred leader before asking voting intention.


664 Responses to “Latest YouGov and TNS voting intentions”

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  1. PROFHOWARD

    “Interesting to see so many wide, important, expert, and diverse groups – from the IFS to Scotland – all lining up in support of a soft Brexit.”

    So what, they are most of the “experts” who forecast that the UK was heading for another million unemployed in 2010. They got it wrong then, they have got it wrong now. Unless the EU changes it’s mind on border controls we are heading for “Hard Brexit”. The referendum was won on the issue of controlling immigration which May has promised to do.

  2. I agree with The Other Howard – it will have to be no Single Market, unless the Europeans allow us to stop mass immigration from the Continent.
    The British People will accept nothing less.

  3. Labour on a Roll.

  4. “The British People will accept nothing less.”

    A rather strident assertion for a polling website? And 2 of the 4 British constituent nations voted Remain suggesting heterogeneity of what Brits will or will not stand for.

    Until people are facing the actual economic consequences of their preferences it is very hard to know what they will or will not accept. For example, what odds a Yes vote in indyref2 if the cost were clearly understood to be a privatised NHS, 3p on income tax & loss of the pound? So while controlled immigration sounds sensible on first hearing the devil is in the detail. If that means seriously damaging industry, the Universities, the City, the NHS and so on then people’s tolerance levels might moderate. Having to pay more tax for poorer services is usually enough to swing a GE, so why wouldn’t it also affect one’s view of Brexit?

  5. Thanks for the heads-up, AW.

    I see that your colleague Matthew Smith agrees with you on YouGov’s new Voting Intention: Is the Conservative bounce over?, which also has a link to the tables at:
    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/5yng128b6c/TimesResults_160809_VI_Trackers_Website.pdf

    As well as being perhaps “the first sign of the May honeymoon beginning to wane” the 3% increase in Lab [admittedly within MoE] may indicate some belief that the Leader vs PLP spat will be resolved.

  6. TOH
    ‘The referendum was won on the issue of controlling immigration which May has promised to do.’

    As I’m sure you know, that wasn’t the question that was asked. If a referendum had been held on Hard Brexit, are you sure Leave would still have won?
    It would only take a swing of 2% for the result to change.

  7. @ THE OTHER HOWARD

    “Unless the EU changes it’s mind on border controls we are heading for “Hard Brexit”.”

    Being able to reduce in-work state subsidies to non-UK nationals, perhaps a premium National Insurance rate for 3 years, that would surely have the same effect?

    I think we need also to accept that a UK National Identity card, and more frequent compliance checking, would outweigh the negatives.

    Talk of Hard Brexit vs Soft Brexit: it will be a compromise!

  8. Mildly odd that the totals in the tables add up to 101%:

    CON 38, LAB 31, LD 8, UKIP 13, SNP/PC 7, GRN 4

    So changes from last week’s poll are:

    CON -4, LAB +3, LD nc, UKIP +1, SNP/PC +1, GRN +1

    All changes pretty much within MOE, with some comfort for all except CON.

  9. @Colin – “Labour on a Roll.”

    Yes – the excitement is palpable!

    However, it is worth reflecting on the fact that 31% is still slightly below Labour’s average since Corbyn took over the leadership, which was standing at 31.4%.

    I suspect this is little more than a reversion to the pre May polling, with Labour continuing to bump along the bottom.

  10. Good morning all from lovely Reigate.

    Has austerity hit UKPR?…..No link to tables? )-:

    I don’t think we can read too much into this poll. T May hasn’t been seen in weeks so how can peeps properly judge her so soon after the last poll?

  11. @BARBAZENZERO
    Mildly odd that the totals in the tables add up to 101%:

    Not really, that often happens when numbers are rounded to the nearest whole integer.

    Given that this is now the ‘silly season’ with little political activity happening (at least in public) and only the LP leadership campaigns in the news, the figures aren’t really surprising.

    With Team GB now up to 9th in the Olympic medals table, and our best events still to come, TM may gain an extra point or two over the next couple of weeks.

  12. BARBAZENZERO
    “Mildly odd that the totals in the tables add up to 101%”
    _________

    Is that not down to just simple rounding off the VI?

    SNP/PC 7……The SNP must be still hitting above the 50% mark in Scotland.

  13. Interesting question on p6 of the tables:
    In hindsight, do you think Britain was right or wrong to vote to leave the European Union?

    Right to leave: 45% down 1% on last week [Scotland 35% up 2%]
    Wrong to leave: 44% up 2% on last week [Scotland 59% up 2%]
    Don’t know: 12% no change since last week [Scotland 6% down 4%]

  14. @TOH – “The referendum was won on the issue of controlling immigration which May has promised to do.”

    The polling evidence for this is unclear. According to the 12,000 sample Ashcroft poll, only 33% of leave voters put controlling immigration down as their main reasons for voting, well behind the 49% who said it was about taking back control over our decisions.

    6% of leavers said that we would be ale to trade better outside than inside the EU. We can therefore see that very few leave voters were motivated primarily by the prospect of improving trade. However, small majorities of voters thought EU membership would be better for the economy, international investment, and the UK’s influence in the world.

    It seems pretty clear that the collection of issues which motivated people to vote leave was complex, and not centred exclusively around migration, not even having this as the primary motivator.

    The other significant point is the fact that 6% of leavers (equivalent to ~3% of all voters, so well in excess of the 1.9% that would need to switch sides to reverse the result) cited improved trade as their primary motivation. If these voters discover that this isn’t the case, which may well be the impression that arises if the somewhat disastrous early economic indicators harden into a confirmed recession, then who is to say how their voting intentions may change.

    While I would agree with you that controlling immigration was an important factor in the leave victory, where I think you miss the point is that polling tells us it wasn’t the main reason, but more importantly, the messages from the leave campaign were essentially that we could control immigration, take back regulatory control, and improve our economy if we left the EU.

    If any of these second two motivating factors turns out to be untrue, then the leave voters judgement on the balance of benefit in leaving to control migration cannot be taken for granted.

  15. There look! A post entirely on polling and I never mention Corbyn once!

  16. What will happen to UKIP votes at the next general election ?

    Of course it depends on where we are with Brexit. If there is not enough progress with Brexit, then i suspect we will see more Labour and Tory voters supporting UKIP, to keep pressure on a Tory government. If Labour loses leave voters to UKIP around the country, the Tories may see an increased majority and it would then be interesting whether there are more Tory Eurosceptic MP’s than they have currently.

    If the Brexit process is progressing well after article 50 is triggered in 2017, then i think UKIP support will depend much on how the media report any Brexit negotiations. There could be agreements made for the UK to remain in the EU market place, with some restrictions on rights of free movement. Part of this deal might be to pay a reduced contribution to the EU. The EU would still leave the EU at some point, but keep it as close as possible. UKIP, many Tory Eurosceptics and leave supporters would not be happy with such a compromised deal. Therefore i would expect UKIP to increase its vote.

    I can’t see a Corbyn led Labour party having a pro EU position, promising to hold another referendum to give the country another chance to vote on EU membership based on Brexit negotiations. Personally i think if Corbyn stays leader we will see a Labour split, with half of the current Labour MP’s setting up another party forming an alliance with Lib Dems. A new SDP party offering sensible centre left policies and pro EU might be very attractive to some voters in parts of the country. But a Labour party split might be used by UKIP to gain votes, as they see previously loyal Labour voters feeling let down by the party. They might not like either Corbyns party or the SDP.

    If Theresa May leaves it to May 2020 and the UK is still part of the EU which i think is probable, then i can see UKIP gaining votes. Whether UKIP gains enough to win say dozens of seats under new boundaries is unlikely ? I think they would be relying on enough Tories unhappy with Brexit progress to jump ship.

  17. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/aug/11/nuclear-espionage-charge-for-china-firm-with-one-third-stake-in-hinkley-point

    Cracker. The patriotism of George O (and indeed, Peter M and Lord Hutton) in wanting to flog our nuclear industry to the Chinese!

  18. DAVID CARROD & ALLAN CHRISTIE

    Yes, of course it’s due to rounding, but given the MOE involved it would be easy enough to round up or down as needed or to quote details with however many decimal places are needed to add up to 100%.

    In an ideal world, all the pollsters would provide the tables in spreadsheet form to enable easy access to all the data.

  19. ALEC

    “It seems pretty clear that the collection of issues which motivated people to vote leave was complex, and not centred exclusively around migration, not even having this as the primary motivator”
    ______

    I’m sure if polling was conducted for the reasons those who voted Remain then the results would also show a complex pattern of what motivated people to vote Remain and that being pro immigration wouldn’t be the main issue for most.

    I’m still at odds as to why there are so many who want to continue to dissect the leave vote! Had the result been a narrow win for Remain do you think we would still be judging the British public whether they made the correct choice or not?
    ……….
    ALEC
    “There look! A post entirely on polling and I never mention Corbyn once”
    ____

    Yeah but all that good work has been undone in your latest post. ;-)

  20. ALEC
    If any of these second two motivating factors turns out to be untrue, then the leave voters judgement on the balance of benefit in leaving to control migration cannot be taken for granted.

    Good post and particularly that last paragraph.

    Having moaned about rounding, the new tables do now have an excellent feature in that all the “issue” questions now have the previous week’s results as well as the current ones.

    This will be useful in enabling us all to track changes in the very issues you just raised with TOH.

  21. @Barbazenzero – “….the 3% increase in Lab [admittedly within MoE] may indicate some belief that the Leader vs PLP spat will be resolved.”

    I very much doubt that. If you look at my earlier post, this score is still just below their really dire long term average, so I really don’t see any signs yet of anything other than a very bad showing for Labour.

    What is actually quite surprising is that the coup and leadership campaign has actually had no real effect on Labour’s VI. I think it’s fairly clear, as anything in polling can be, that the recent widening of the Con lead was down to a positive bounce for May, with no real input one way or the other from Labour inspired events.

    @R Huckle – interesting to see if there is a Lab split on Europe if Corbyn wins.

    I suspect we will be in tough economic times, with increasing public support for a second vote and reversal of Brexit. This would be particularly strong in pro EU Labour areas.

    If I am right, then Corbyn will be swimming against the tide of his own voters, and in such circumstances, another plot or coup may not be sen quite as negatively. The key question, and one that I don’t know the answer to, is what the bulk of the £3 Momentum members think of the EU.

    Someone mentioned on the last thread that Labour party members were 90% pro EU but I don’t know the reference for that, or if that includes all the affiliates, friends etc.

    If we end up in a severe recession in the next twelve months (currently perfectly possible) and Corbyn stands against a second vote, then it may well be that he finds himself out of step with his members on an issue of the gravest national importance.

  22. ALEC
    I think it’s fairly clear, as anything in polling can be, that the recent widening of the Con lead was down to a positive bounce for May, with no real input one way or the other from Labour inspired events.

    Fair comment.

  23. ALLAN CHRISTIE
    No link to tables? )-:

    For link, see my first post on this thread. I expect AW will update the header text later.

  24. @Jasper22

    “I agree with The Other Howard – it will have to be no Single Market, unless the Europeans allow us to stop mass immigration from the Continent.
    The British People will accept nothing less.”

    You mean the Daily Express/Mail/Sun readers will accept nothing less.

  25. @AC – “I’m still at odds as to why there are so many who want to continue to dissect the leave vote! Had the result been a narrow win for Remain do you think we would still be judging the British public whether they made the correct choice or not?”

    I think it’s absolutely beyond question that we would be doing just that. Farage told us they they wouldn’t accept a 52/48 result as the final word days before the vote, when he thought there would be a remain win.

    If you imagine that the leavers would walk away and accept such a result as final if they had lost then you are sadly mistaken. Even in Scotland with a 55/45 result, there was no sense that the SNP were going to pack up and forget about independence.

    That’s just not how these things work, so I really don’t see why the remainers should just give up.

  26. @ALLAN CHRISTIE

    “I’m sure if polling was conducted for the reasons those who voted Remain then the results would also show a complex pattern of what motivated people to vote Remain and that being pro immigration wouldn’t be the main issue for most.”

    Not really. Remain had one objective and rationale: to remain in the EU because it was better for our economy. That’s it.

    “I’m still at odds as to why there are so many who want to continue to dissect the leave vote! Had the result been a narrow win for Remain do you think we would still be judging the British public whether they made the correct choice or not?”

    Why? Because of all the claims from leave side that ‘the British people’ want this and that etc. Most of these claims are rubbish and the referendum vote does not indicate any single overriding issue that caused people to vote leave. Actually, sovereignty appears to have been a marginally higher issue than immigration, and those who are solidly opposed to immigration are generally opposed to ALL immigration, not just EU. The leave camp is a coalition of various protest groups under one umbrella, hence the appearance of people like George Galloway next to Nigel Farage.

  27. BARBAZENZERO

    Thanks….I’ve just had a look at the tables via your link and as suspected the SNP are still polling over 50% and the Tories still ahead of Labour. I know cross breaks are extremely volatile but if they are consistent with the same pattern over a period of time then clearly they are hinting at something.

    The SNP VI is very interesting because there are local elections in Scotland next year and this is the only area in Scotland where Labour are almost neck and neck with the SNP in terms of power and representation. In fact in terms of power I would say Labour are in front. If Labour do badly in next years locals then that surely will be the end of the party’s power base in Scotland.

  28. @BZ
    “Yes, of course it’s due to rounding, but given the MOE involved … ” the decimal places are irrelevant.
    The results should be quoted
    CON 38+/-3%, LAB 31+/-3%, LDEM 8+/-1%, UKIP 13+/-1% “… ish”

    and as they add up to 100 (ish) you need to know the ‘don’t knows’ and the ‘won’t votes’ and see if they indicate the likely turnout, and if not, worry about whether the extra ‘don’t in fact vote after alls’ come evenly from the parties or affect some more than others.
    I’ve noticed that commentators seem to assume that reductions in the votes for X go to Y or Z, but not often to ‘don’t bother’ despite generally lower turnouts since last century.
    “easy access to all the data” would be useful, including how the sample was selected in the first place.

  29. @ALEC

    “That’s just not how these things work, so I really don’t see why the remainers should just give up.”

    Precisely. And I’m not giving up. The issue of EU membership is far too important to be put on a market stall as an object of haggle. The referendum was a catastrophic mistake by a cocky but weak Prime Minister and the country is faced with having to pay the bill for this disaster, unlike Cameron and his rich friends of the Bullingdon Club who had to pay the bill for their antics in Oxford.

    I still think that Brexit can be filibustered by parliament and the Lords, if the political courage can be summoned. Once defeated in parliament the whole issue would go away like a bad smell, despite the hysteria of the press. The EU is not a top priority for most people, contrary to what UKIP would like to think.

  30. Also a new TNS Westminster VI poll

    http://www.tns-bmrb.co.uk/press-release/may-better-britain-corbyn-tories-have-13pt-lead-over-labour

    (changes since June poll in brackets)

    CON 39% (+2),
    LAB 26% (-4),
    UKIP 11% (-4),
    LIB DEM 10% (+5),
    Green 7% (+3),
    Other 7%

    Odd tables, though

    http://www2.tnsglobal.com/l/36112/2016-08-10/mm4gx1/36112/203218/POM_Tables___Topical_release___11_August.pdf

    Questions about managing economy & Corbyn v May come before VI question, and separate tables for Eng, Sco, Wal – although the numbers polled in Sco & Wal are wee and presumably not internally weighted.

  31. ALEC

    “If you imagine that the leavers would walk away and accept such a result as final if they had lost then you are sadly mistaken. Even in Scotland with a 55/45 result, there was no sense that the SNP were going to pack up and forget about independence”

    “That’s just not how these things work, so I really don’t see why the remainers should just give up”
    ______

    Well that’s a fair point but voting for the status quo in any constitutional referendum ain’t an open and shut vote and always leaves the potential for a future vote however if you vote against the status quo (as we did in the EU referendum) then surely there is no going back and the vote is final?

    Were we not told by project fear during both referendums that a vote leave would mean “no going back?” or was that just another scaremongering lie?

  32. Allan Christie,

    One worry for SLAB is that presumably some of their membership became involved in SLAB because that was the way to “get on” in politics in Scotland. If they start losing their basis in local government, then joining SLAB becomes an even less promising career route in politics.

  33. OLDNAT
    Also a new TNS Westminster VI poll

    The tables are now linked to by AW above, but you need to read the article you link to [and I was about to!] in order to understand the strange question for pp29-31: Topical2.How confident are you in the ability of the government to negotiate these deals?.

    The article confirms it was about expected success or otherwise of Brexit negotiations with:
    The survey of 1,199 adults also asked about Brexit negotiations and reveals a nation polarised on whether the government’s negotiations will be a success. Almost half (47%) are confident in the ability of the government to negotiate these deals, while 40% are not. Confidence is twice as high amongst those that voted ‘Leave’ compared to those that voted to ‘Remain’ (72% versus 35%).

    A pity that a “standard” question cannot be agreed between the BPC pollsters. Without wishing to be considered the teacher’s pet, the YouGov question [In hindsight, do you think Britain was right or wrong to vote to leave the European Union?] seems more relevant.

  34. Barbazenzero

    Seems that those questions are asking different things.

    There will be leavers who think we won’t get a successful negotiation but even so it was right to leave.

    The will be leavers who think we can get a negotiation and still think it was wrong to leave.

    It gives an indication of how much things might change it we get/don’t get a successful negotiation. If reality turns out differently to how people thought it would go, will they change their position?

  35. DAVE
    The results should be quoted
    CON 38+/-3%, LAB 31+/-3%, LDEM 8+/-1%, UKIP 13+/-1% “… ish”

    Yes, I’d accept that approach.

  36. Using confidence limits when publishing polling data would be a very good idea.

  37. ALAN
    Seems that those questions are asking different things.

    Exactly, which makes them pretty meaningless. YouGov’s “In hindsight, do you think Britain was right or wrong to vote to leave the European Union?” is clear, concise and can be tracked over time.

    In fact the whole TNS poll seems to go into a level of detail which is meaningless given the small samples and overall political weighting. 3 full A4 pages of tables analysing 100 Scottish responses and another 3 full pages of 70 Welsh responses strikes me as a never mind the quality, feel the width approach.

  38. TOH
    “So what, they are most of the “experts” who forecast that the UK was heading for another million unemployed in 2010. They got it wrong then, they have got it wrong now. Unless the EU changes it’s mind on border controls we are heading for “Hard Brexit”. The referendum was won on the issue of controlling immigration which May has promised to do.”

    I agree with you entirely. Border control must be an absolute red line. If the eu will not understand the problems of the U.K. and overcrowding, then we leave and trade in the way we did for hundreds of years pre Common Market.

    What worries me though are the spurious legal challenges that are building in an effort to force the issue into the Commons and the Lords, so it can be filibustered or voted down as @ Tancred refers to in his post.

    The Referendum was in the Conservative manifesto. Tory candidates fought the GE on that manifesto. Convention has it that the Lords do not vote down legislation contained in a Manifesto. There should not be an issue getting the section 50 legislation through but why risk it when the Royal Prerogative can be used? Unless the unelected judiciary start interfering of course.

  39. Mark W

    The trouble is how wide to make the limits. The assumptions of a pure multinomial distribution don’t hold and some of the poorer (or maybe honest!) pollsters might put +/- 10% on every poll they publish.

    How to estimate the uncertainty when it comes to reweighting a poll would be an interesting topic but one which would come after estimating the bias of a poll.

    Quoting the theoretical multinomial distribution standard errors would give a optimistic estimate of the errors.

  40. Barbazenzero

    Again it depends what you want to measure.

    If you want to understand why people’s opinion might have changed then you ask a different question than if you want to ask “has it changed”

    It’s possible we’ll get to the position that the publics opinion on Brexit changes. Confirming the hypothesis that it was down to the leavers being overly optimistic in the outcome of negotiations, requires knowing that Brexiteers were optimistic about negotiations before negotiations started, after negotiations felt that the negotiations were not successful (Pretty sure a poll of this sort has been penciled in) and those of those Brexiteers who felt negotiations were unsuccessful had a shift in their opinion that it was a bad idea in hindsight.

    If you only want to track public opinion of the “good idea/bad idea” then obviously you ask that.

  41. ROBERT NEWARK, but we could still see court cases regarding the GE and fraud allegations. We don’t know what would’ve happened if (as seems) the GE had been held democratically to the rules, maybe no referendum?

    I’m still looking for people to end up in prison, rightly so.

  42. ALAN CHRISTIE, yes I’m sure if Farage and co had lost they’d have kept quiet and accepted the result.

  43. Pete1

    Is that a general comment re ol’ Corby or has he done something new?

  44. BILL PATRICK @ Allan Christie,
    One worry for SLAB is that presumably some of their membership became involved in SLAB because that was the way to “get on” in politics in Scotland.

    That was certainly the case in the past and on current polling significant SNP gains do look likely.

    However, if A50 has been triggered by then I can imagine whichever parties remain committed to the union campaigning semi-jointly and recommending lower preferences being given to Lab by Con and vice versa. The same may be true of SNP and SGP on the other side of the debate. If they dither between the EU and unionism, it could be the end of the road for the SLDs.

  45. @AC -“…..however if you vote against the status quo (as we did in the EU referendum) then surely there is no going back and the vote is final?”

    It is, until there is another vote.

  46. The Labour score on the TNS poll is their worst since well before Corbyn took over.

    Some caution though, as the mentioning of leaders names could reasonably be expected to depress Labour, given his personal ratings, so this poll might not be directly comparable.

  47. @Alec

    “There look! A post entirely on polling and I never mention Corbyn once!”

    You mentioned ale though. Perhaps you’d been hitting it and forgetting JC in your cups

  48. @ROBERT NEWARK

    “I agree with you entirely. Border control must be an absolute red line. If the eu will not understand the problems of the U.K. and overcrowding, then we leave and trade in the way we did for hundreds of years pre Common Market.”

    And also fight wars with the continentals as in the good old days? Yeah right.

    “What worries me though are the spurious legal challenges that are building in an effort to force the issue into the Commons and the Lords, so it can be filibustered or voted down as @ Tancred refers to in his post.”

    You are right to be worried. It won’t be plain sailing with the Royal Prerogative – there will have to be parliamentary approval.

    “The Referendum was in the Conservative manifesto. Tory candidates fought the GE on that manifesto. Convention has it that the Lords do not vote down legislation contained in a Manifesto. There should not be an issue getting the section 50 legislation through but why risk it when the Royal Prerogative can be used? Unless the unelected judiciary start interfering of course.”

    Traditionally, the Royal Prerogative can only be used in matters of foreign policy and not to repeal statutory legislation, which is what article 50 would lead to (European Communities Act). This is the crux of the legal case – and it’s a strong one. From the PM’s perspective, a vote in parliament would help deflect any problems away from her, so that she could blame others – this is an advantage to her. If she lost the vote because of some Tory rebels and Labour opposition she could blame them. With the Royal P all the weight would fall on her shoulders and if she screwed up she would get all the blame.

  49. @ BARBAZENZERO

    Still very concerning for Labour – the Tories are pretty much at mid term and have been through a bruising pre referendum spat. Under these circumstances, you’d expect the opposition to have a double digit lead.

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