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. I think we should all be able to agree on awarding Jeremy Cobyn the ‘Carp Use of Polling Data’ award for his repeated claim that Labour were leading in the polls until the plotters decided to try and get rid of him.

    This is completely untrue, with no serious argument about from anyone with knowledge of polling.

    Interested to see Darlington CLP vote strongly for Smith. I know the area well, and it doesn’t surprise me. Corbyn is not the kind of leader that could win back the seat for Labour.

  2. @Alec

    I can think of many, many politicians who could share that award.

    In addition, the award for ‘Good Use of Polling Data by a Politician’ would have gone unclaimed for years…

    ;-)

  3. @Syzygy @Jim Jam

    I share you view that DM won’t stand too.

    The timing just don’t work. If the by-election took place before the removal/attempted removal of JC, it would make more sense. Now either JC or OS will be Leader before the by-election. If JC beats OS, I’m sure JS would beat DM under the current rules.

    IF OS wins, I’m sure he would not be for standing down quickly for a coronation of DM.

    So DM coming to Labour’s aid on a white charger is just too fanciful for me.

  4. @CMJ
    Apart from anything else, the notion floated widely, including on here, that those who are against Corbyn are Blairites/right wingers is utter nonsense.
    I actually rejoined the Labour party to help put an end to all that and ensure DM did not become leader. I could never vote for him, and the JC interregnum – however long it lasts – has shifted the goalposts decisively, and hoorah to that. And even before the JC interlude Liz K was a very poor fourth.

  5. SORBUS @ OldNat
    They have, however, quoted the figures for the English subsample, which suggests they recognise that the question was not relevant to Scottish and Welsh respondents.

    Wales had Grammar schools until about 1970 following the 1968 act, so the opinion of the Welsh sub-sample would be relevant, if large enough to be statistically valid.

    It would only be interesting separately, of course, since Education is now a responsibility of the Welsh Government, who seem likely to be less keen on Grammar schools than Westminster.

    See here for a list of Grammar schools that formerly existed within Wales.

  6. If Owen Smith does win the leadership contest, unless he tacks very quickly to the right, the ‘moderates’ will quickly begin plotting against him.

    That’s what they do and will continue to do until they secure one of their own as leader.

  7. CARFREW
    Should be a cracker…

    Agreed. All 3 tennis finals today should be interesting. Provisional start times in UTC:
    15:00 WD Makarova/Vesnina v Bacsinszky/Hingis
    17:00 MD Sock/Mattek-Sands v Williams V/Ram
    19:00 MS Murray v del Potro

    All three could go either way, although USA are guaranteed both Gold & Silver in the mixed doubles.

    Didn’t manage to catch the Puig v Kerber match yesterday, but congrats to Puerto Rico on winning their first Olympic gold medal.

  8. @ BARBAZENZERO
    “It would only be interesting separately, of course, since Education is now a responsibility of the Welsh Government, who seem likely to be less keen on Grammar schools than Westminster”

    Absolutely, any thoughts of selective education in Wales is firmly stamped out by the First Minister!

    That list of the Welsh ex-Grammar schools doesn’t look right. A lot of the rural schools were combined Grammar / Sec Modern through the 60s.

  9. JONESINBANGOR
    Absolutely, any thoughts of selective education in Wales is firmly stamped out by the First Minister!

    Quite so. I did include It would only be interesting separately, but a future Welsh government might change that policy, in which case the views of the Welsh sub-sample would become relevant.

    I only posted this to clarify that Welsh Grammar schools were part of the same system as English Grammar schools. Grammar schools also exist in Scotland, but only as an alternative terminology for High schools, I believe.

  10. BZ

    I meant ‘not relevant’ in the sense that I wasn’t aware of any proposals to reintroduce grammars in Wales.

  11. SORBUS
    I wasn’t aware of any proposals to reintroduce grammars in Wales.

    Fair enough – neither am I. My point wasn’t to suggest that they’ll be brought back but merely to point out that polling on that issue just might become relevant at some future date whilst asking it of Scottish respondants is patently absurd.

    Perhaps the pollsters are as confused as some of the population by the way the BBC in particular tends to report areas of governance controlled by Westminster but devolved outwith England as “national” news. Personally I blame Reith [and the BBC motto], who never seemed to be able to distinguish between LoN/UN nation states and nations.

  12. Sven,

    Do you think that they might go for the “revolving door of leaders” approach that has worked so well for Labour in Scotland?

  13. Alec
    ‘Interested to see Darlington CLP vote strongly for Smith. I know the area well, and it doesn’t surprise me. Corbyn is not the kind of leader that could win back the seat for Labour.’

    Darlington is still a Labour-held seat – having been regained back in 1992!

  14. Alec.
    It has been pointed out many times that voters hate divided parties.
    Your zealousness to criticise jc is shading your usually clear thinking.

    It is clear the plps constant undermining and subsequent dodgy challenge, has reduced labs vi.

    It seems reasonable to point out polls were very close pre coup and to blame the coup for vi damage.

  15. Bill Patrick

    Do you think that they might go for the “revolving door of leaders” approach that has worked so well for Labour in Scotland?

    Seeing they appear to have learnt absolutely nothing from their self-inflicted Scottish disaster, it would not surprise me. The same establishment figures who wrecked things north of the border remain in situ. Putting a moderate, Blairite leaning leader in place in Scotland, ranks in my opinion as one of the stupider decisions Labour has made since 2010…and there are a lot of them!

  16. Interesting that the membership size was important for New Labour too.

    While it followed a different model, one may want to reflect on the out of hand dismissal of the current argument of mass membership in the LP.

    http://worldofstuart.excellentcontent.com/repository/Labour_s_Lost_Grassroots_BP_FINAL.pdf

    [unfortunately, it seems that the data on the two surveys are not available publicly]

  17. There are some very interesting snippets in the above linked article.

    1) the size of the CLP is strongly correlated with election success in the particular constituency
    2) a lot of people join the LP for purely election reasons, and they leave when it is fulfilled
    3) people who join on a concession rate (1 quid back then) went into lapse when they had to pay the full sum.

    In the current situation, it seems that 2 and 3 are not valid (although the NEC decision may make it valid again), and we don’t have yet evidence for 1 – apart from by elections (we don’t have polling at constituency level).

  18. Labour has always been a coalition of different forces but has had an ongoing myth, accepted by a lot of the centre left as well as the centrists, that 99% of members agree on 99% of issues but disagree on pace of change, practicality and the need for compromise. That has largely fallen apart and the collapse has been accelerated by the venomous reaction to Corbyn. It has been interesting to see a lot of younger, Corbyn-ambivalent centre-leftists wake up to the realisation that a lot of the party genuinely, passionately hates the idea of left-wing politics.

  19. MARKW

    @”It is clear the plps constant undermining and subsequent dodgy challenge, has reduced labs vi.”

    “Clear” in what way? Have we Polls to demonstrate this?

    It is certainly conventional wisdom that voters don’t like divided parties.

    But how would you explain Corbyn’s ratings being less than those of The Labour Party in the recent ComRes Poll ?

    And wouldn’t you expect the source of the “dodgy challenge” to have much poorer ratings than the incumbent if what you claim is true. In the ComRes Poll Smith’s ratings are exactly half as bad as Corbyn’s. How do you explain that if it is so “clear” that it is the challenger who voters have reacted badly to?

  20. SVEN HASSEL SCHMUCK

    “that 99% of members agree on 99% of issues but disagree on pace of change, practicality and the need for compromise”

    This is a very interesting observation as it was exactly the argument in the first two decades of the 20th century (well, from 1891 really) in the social democratic parties in Europe. The flawed assumption probably would have been exposed without the Great War (but it did the job on the continent by 1916).

  21. Blimey, that Michael Foster article doesn’t pull any punches.

  22. A treasure of qualitative data if somebody is interested (the post July 2008 link doesn’t work).

    http://www.annblack.com/nec_directory.htm

  23. Wonder who will be next -Tom Watson , or Iain McNicol .?

  24. LASZLO

    The Labour’s lost grassroots paper that you link to is certainly interesting, but it must be worth noting that it was created on 2013-01-09, when Miliband minor still seemed to have a chance of being in government in 2015.

    I particularly liked:
    Blair told the BBC’s On the Record in January 1993, ‘What I want to see is the Labour party pushing itself outwards, getting back in its local community, being the party that represents people within that community’ [p6 of the PDF]

    And also:
    Across the country as a whole, by the time of the 2010 general election the party appeared in many of its CLPs to have been reduced to a rump of committed activists and inert members. With memberships of under 200 in some Labour held seats and low turnouts, the number of activists choosing the party’s parliamentary candidates may be very low; raising the possibility either of systematic entryism or irregular contests involving paper memberships. Quite what this state of affairs means for the future organisation and indeed for the ownership of Labour is unclear. Parties are resilient. They can develop and they can adapt. But a sustained revival of grassroots membership levels does not appear likely to occur. [from p34]

    Surprisingly, the message seems to be that membership-wise, Miliband minor wasn’t Blairite enough and neither were the PLP rebels. Perhaps their resentment at Corbyn’s success at reversing the downward membership trend is the main irritation from their point of view.

  25. These two people aren’t on the same planet-let alone the same political party:-

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/13/labour-leadership-jeremy-corbyn-owen-smith

    Fascinating & revealing.

  26. BZ

    Someone sent an electronic copy of Seyd and Whiteley’s two books to me last night, so I tried to search for the primary data (I can’t remember when ESRC made the repository of these data compulsory). In the search I found this article (I find it awful that all the key political studies journals are still not open access – there are many good pieces in them), and when reading it, it resonated with today.

    I really try to understand the PLP – it seems to be a coalition (the 170), but it doesn’t make sense (while Groupthink does exist, as an analytical framework it is pretty useless) to me (and with Smith’s candidacy even less so). It will really be a huge job after the leadership election to bring some sense into the operation of the PLP (whoever, most likely Corbyn, wins). This is why I wrote yesterday that Labour would lose the next two elections – people need to forget this absurd summer (unless Corbyn wins with a higher mandate and find an effective manager, because then the narrative could be built against the “wreckers”, even if it is incorrect).

  27. Colin

    As the same article appears in the MoS and the S*n … (Michael Foster)

  28. GUYMONDE

    Thanks for those ESRC figures, interesting. I wouldn’t be surprised if the age analysis is about right. There are quite a lot of oldsters (I mean 50 to 70+) amongst our new members here as well as a sprinkling of the very young. Many of the oldsters are returning members (like me, though I was an Ed Miliband joiner) and many of the youngsters are their kids.

    I’m sure that is true and you only have to look at Corbyn events to see a good mix of ages (Smith events aren’t populous enough to provide reliable insight). As we’ve often discussed on here the ‘Children’s Crusade’ narrative of Corbyn’s success was always a convenient narrative based on media ignorance. The delusions of the PLP about the naive young having their arms twisted by these hundred of thousands of Trots that have magically appeared from under the beds where they’ve been hiding for 30 years were equally ridiculous.

    However to get to an average of about 50, that means every 20 year old has to be ‘balanced’ by someone who is 80. I don’t see it unless hardly anyone between 20 and 40 is a member – which doesn’t seem right either. The fact that around 50 is the YouGov average for older and newer members suggests this is more a structural problem with the YouGov panel – something they can compensate for in other surveys when they know the appropriate age profile, but not here. An average in the low-mid 40s would seem more plausible for Labour members. There may also be a YouGov problem that they are not flagging the membership credentials of new panellists or existing one who have recently joined. And who should they be including when the eligibility criteria have varied so much must be another problem.

  29. LASZLO

    I agree entirely re lack of open access and your closing people need to forget this absurd summer (unless Corbyn wins with a higher mandate and find an effective manager…).

  30. Roger Mexico

    While I agree with you on the bias in the YouGov panel, there is something. I have no idea how many of the Corbyn rally participants are members of the LP, but the largest group (absolutely not scientific, moreover, I’m notoriously bad in estimating age) in the last two demonstrations was between 28-48 years. The lower age group with children (that helps the estimation), the higher with colleagues by the look of it.

    As these were held in Liverpool, I could recognise some of the suspended councillors of 1987, and hence their age, and as many recognised them they would be roughly in a similar age group).

    So, probably a bit lower average age [but it seems that the research team has some access to the membership demographic – independently from YouGov], but not muc lower. My main problem with the YouGov panel sample is the adjustments in the regional distribution, rather than age (and that there is nothing about those proxy measures used during the 2015 election campaign at constituency level).

  31. So, the five potential appellants abandoned the case.

  32. Colin

    “Wonder who will be next -Tom Watson , or Iain McNicol .?”

    I think now that the court case is really finished, McNicol’s position (whoever wins the leadership) is untenable. Watson is more complicated – it depends on the report that the NEC will have to make.

    The scale of injustice (in political and not in legal sense) that the NEC committee may warrant a massive purge of the NEC – but it is none of my business, it is simply an expression of being offended by such a rule in a he 21st century.

  33. Maria Eagle’s constuency LP voted 92:26 for Crobyn last night.

    Maria Eagle was present. It is an interesting seat (safe Labour, but with a significant Liberal (not only LibDem) vote).

    The disenfranchised members had to wait in a separate room to hear the outcome of the vote (quite accommodating really).

  34. Correction: Smith is 24 not 26.

  35. @Laszlo

    “McNicol’s position… is untenable”

    In what way? There were two court cases against NEC decisions, both of which which McNicol, in his capacity as legal representative of the party, defended successfully. He was not a party to those decisions – General Secretary does not vote. Seems to me he has done no more and no less than should absolutely have been required of him.

  36. @ Laszlo

    Tom Watson has apparently said that there are not enough Corbyn supporting MPs to raise the 51 nominations needed to challenge his position… so he is staying! However, I imagine that it would be possible to marginalise him. It’s not as if TW has done a great job in increasing the LP’s digital presence which is apparently his role.

    Iain McNicol is employed by the NEC and it will be up to them to consider whether Iain McNicol’s position is untenable.

  37. “Apart from anything else, the notion floated widely, including on here, that those who are against Corbyn are Blairites/right wingers is utter nonsense.”

    ———–

    It’s not Blairite, it’s quasi-Blairite!!

  38. Syzgy

    “However, I doubt that I’m alone in wondering why David Miliband would want to leave an interesting international job in New York to return to Westminister, where his chances of being elected leader by the current membership are by no means certain.”

    I agree. However, consider if following plan is what the plotters’ leaders have in mind (in which case my fanciful portrayal of David as the King Over The Water may not be so fanciful after all!) –

    1. Corbyn sure to win the leadership, and the plotters influence in the NEC goes.
    2. A split is inevitable, so the “King” needs to be brought back while they still control the process of moving the writ and ensuring King David is selected (c/f CMJ’s comments).
    3. The writ is moved on 5 September for the by election to take place on Thurs 6 October (as soon as possible after the Lab Conference)
    4. The plotters use the conference to destabilise Lab even further, while urging the creation of “Continuity Labour” under King David’s leadership
    5. (Lawyers rub their hands in glee as to the long court cases to follow as to who controls the assets)

  39. @Syzygy

    “It’s not as if TW has done a great job in increasing the LP’s digital presence which is apparently his role.”

    ———

    (Well there was that pic of him at Glastonbury, with associated comment. Dunno how helpful that was, either. Quasis prolly loved it though…)

  40. I am interested in how Owen Smith supporters envisage his winning unifying, and making the LP ‘more electable’. Is it as simple as polling indicating that the electorate find OS more acceptable than Jeremy Corbyn and/or that the PLP being united constitutes uniting the LP?

  41. @BBZ

    Thanks for the Tennis times, shall be out and about, following on my tablet.

    Just got this from the Beeb…

    “17:05: Men’s sailing with Britain’s Nick Dempsey guaranteed to win a silver

    18:05: Women’s sailing featuring Bryony Shaw.

    19:00: Tennis – Andy Murray seeks to retain his London 2012 title in the gold-medal match against Argentine Juan Martin del Potro.

    19:34: Gymnastics – Max Whitlock favourite in the pommel horse as Britain seek to claim a first-ever gymnastics Olympic gold medal, but faces competition from team-mate Louis Smith, a silver medallist at London 2012.

    21:04: Cycling – Britain guaranteed a gold as defending champion Jason Kenny faces team-mate Callum Skinner for the men’s sprint title.”

  42. @ Oldnat

    That’s an idea that could have legs .. thanks. The only thing is that it is a big risk for the splitters for all the SDP reasons that we’ve rehearsed and DM didn’t take the risk to remove Brown when James Purnell set the scene for him. Doubtless, time will tell. Unfortunately, in many circles, the newspaper headlines, reporting senior Labour figures calling for his return, caused amusement rather than concern.

  43. ComRes have again refused to publish a set of VIs in their latest poll. Poll suppression is a real problem at the moment. Some of it may be due to media commissioners being unwilling to report things that don’t ‘fit’ with current media perceptions[1]; some of it due to pollsters lack of confidence in their methods after the GE and the EU Referendum. And it’s also Summer when polls (especially phone ones) tend to take the month off anyway.

    But we can look at ComRes’s cross-heads:

    http://www.comres.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Independent-Sunday-Mirror_Political-Poll_August-2016-3215.pdf

    to get some figures for the VI figures they have have asked but not published and use those to calculate[2] what the ‘basic’ VI is – that is after weighting but before likelihood to vote and any other adjustment that ComRes normally do are used.

    Party: Aug / Jul / Jun [Jun pub]

    Con: 38% / 37% / 31% [34%]

    Lab: 32% / 32% / 33% [29%]

    Lib Dem: 7% / 7% / 7% [8%]

    UKIP 12% / 13% / 19% [19%]

    Green: 5% / 4% / 5% [5%]

    SNP: 4% / 5% / 5% [5%]

    [Jun pub] is the headline VI figure for June which was the last ComRes actually published:

    http://www.comres.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Sunday-People-Independent_Political-Poll_June-2016-33014.pdf

    The big change from the ‘basic’ figures is typical of ComRes which (rightly or wrongly) has been the ‘worst’ pollster for Labour for some time – a 2 point Lab lead turned to a 5 point Con one would be typical for them if not others.

    But the sequence of the ‘basic’ figures raises some interesting points. It suggests that Labour might indeed have been at roughly level pegging before July – the real problem is the paucity of VI polls in the preceding months as pollsters concentrated on the Referendum. So you could award that one to Corbyn, in so far as there is much evidence.

    But the narrative that any recent fall in the polls has been caused by the disloyalty of the PLP plotters doesn’t really work – in part because there hasn’t been much of a fall. It certainly hasn’t helped, but the main reason for the increased Tory lead is the drop in UKIP VI shown, which has nearly all (back?) gone to them. Mostly I suspect from those who voted Con in 2015, moved to UKIP for the Referendum and them returned – either feeling ‘Mission Accomplished’ or as part of the May ‘honeymoon'[3].

    This actually makes sense, because if voters tend to shy away from disunited Parties then the latest PLP shenanigans were hardly unexpected and much earlier polling was already showing perception of Labour as fractured. Anyone insisting on unity would have long ago stopped choosing them in polls.

    [1] I don’t think a single national paper is backing Corbyn and even outlets such as BBV TV News which are supposed to be neutral have been shown to be biased against him. In that situation everyone in the Westminster-media Bubble ‘knows’ what the figures should be and actually finding them out is superfluous at best.

    [2] I’ve assumed a constant 2% for Plaid and ‘Other’ which there are no figures.

    [3] The July ComRes was taken (13-15 Jul) immediately after May’s appointment (13 Jul after Leadsom’s withdrawal on 11 Jul), which may have been too soon for a honeymoon effect to develop. The lack of change to Aug though suggests there might not have ever been much of one though.

  44. Dunno if Colin has had a chance to read yesterday’s Times yet, but I should draw his attention to the article by David Aaronovitch. Aaronovitch draws numerous parallels between Corbynism and the French Revolution…

    “Those looking for modern parallels in the events of 1789 to 1794* will find them aplenty, according to their biases. In this week that the far left won effective control of the Labour Party National Executive committee, I Found it instructive to be told that at Robespierre’s icy zenith, his Jacobin club had about 500,000 adherents thought out France.”

    See? It all fits!! My favourite but is where he makes the obvious connection between deselection and the guillotine.

    * Cos of course, that’s what you do when things swing leftwards. Oddly, these peeps didn’t see anything sinister when the Neolibs took over the Labour Party. No one knows why…

  45. @ Syzygy

    “It’s not as if TW has done a great job in increasing the LP’s digital presence which is apparently his role.”

    Well, the latest donation request from the Corbyn camp specified digital presence as the purpose, so they couldn’t utilise the accumulated knowledge of the last 10 months …

  46. Robin

    My point was McNicol was not partisan.

    Disenfranchising 130,000 members on the basis that if the NEC wishes it can define the first letter of the first name of the selectorate and exclude everyone else without the slightest protestation – it is a sackable offence.

  47. Syszgy

    Has Clinton outbid the Labour plotters? :-)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/29/david-miliband-to-be-given-top-us-government-job-if-hillary-clin/

    “David Miliband ‘to be given top US government job if Hillary Clinton becomes president'”

  48. OldNat

    “Has Clinton outbid the Labour plotters? :-)”

    No, not at all. In order to attract the Trotskyist masses of the Sander’s camp she made a secret deal with McDonnell, Corbyn’s handler. In exchange for offering DM a job, the leader of the LP promised that if he becomes PM, he will plough Trump’s golf course(s) in Aberdeen, and sprinkle it with an enormous amount of salt, in the last minute of the validity of the common agricultural policy.

  49. Laszlo

    Damn! I should have remembered the diktats of Dialectical Materialism.

    However, the North Sea winds already spread huge quantities of salt across the “Trump International Golf Links” on the Menie Estate.

    What may be more significant is Sturgeon giving clearance for wind turbines off the Aberdeenshire coast.

    These aren’t primarily energy producers, but wind directing machines, designed to focus fearsome energy bursts against the centres of capitalist power!

  50. After last night being a trifle deflating, we just won an unexpected Gymnastics Gold, and Rose is fighting for gold in the Golf. Not as many twists and turns as the fight over the soul of the Labour Party, but still…

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