Sunday Polls

There are several polls in today’s papers. ComRes in the Indy and Sunday Mirror have topline figures of CON 46%(+4), LAB 25%(nc), LDEM 11%(-1), UKIP 9%(-1), GRN 4%(nc). The twenty-one point Conservative lead is the largest anyone has shown for them so far this Parliament (and, hence, the largest since when they were in opposition).

ComRes also did a split sample experiment, asking about some Labour policies. Half the respondents had the policies described as “Jeremy Corbyn policies”, half had them described as “Labour Party policies”. This turned out to make no difference whatsoever, suggesting that association with Jeremy Corbyn is no worse than association with the Labour party… though that could easily be just because the two are now so closely linked. On a broader point, the policies that ComRes asked about all remain popular – 71% support increasing the minimum wage, 62% support increasing the top rate of income tax, 53% support free school meals paid for through VAT on private schools. The importance of shallow approve/disapprove ratings of individual policies on party support are often grossly overstated… but it is worth noting that Labour’s evident problems do not appear to be caused by proposing unpopular policies. Full tabs are here

There was also a voting intention poll from Opinium in the Observer. Topline figures there are CON 38%(-3), LAB 29%(+1), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 14%(+1). Tabs for that are here.

The big gap here between ComRes and Opinium will be largely down to methodology. Following the 2015 polling error ComRes switched to a turnout model based upon demographics rather than how likely people say they are to vote. Essentially this downweights younger and poorer respondents on the basis they have historically been less likely to vote. Typically this has produced larger Conservative leads compared to other companies.

In contrast Opinium produce topline figures that consistently show some of the smallest Conservative leads. Crucially they are one of the only companies that don’t weight by past vote (instead weighting by a version of party ID). Looking at the recalled vote in today’s poll as many people claim to have voted Labour in the 2015 election as claim to have voted Conservative, suggesting the poll may well have a sample that’s a bit too Labour.

As ever, if you are trying to work out what the actual state of party support is you should avoid cherry picking the polls you’d like to be true. It’s all too easy to find reasons to convince yourself that the poll showing the results you’d like is the poll that must be the most accurate one. A sensible rule of thumb – especially at this stage of the Parliament – is probably just to follow the broad average of the polls, which suggest a Conservative lead somewhere in the mid-teens.

There were two other polls in the Sunday papers. An ORB poll in the Sunday Telegraph asked about Brexit – 55% thought Brexit should go ahead, 45% did not. 55% also approved of the way Brexit negotiations were going head, 45% disapproved. UPDATE: The reason the two figures were the same is that there was only one question – the Sunday Telegraph just reported it incredibly badly. 55% approve of the way the government are handling negotiations, ORB didn’t ask if people supported Brexit.

Finally the Western Mail had a Welsh poll by Beaufort. From their report there only appears to have been one question: 39% thought the Jerfemy Corbyn should resign, 32% think he should stay.

135 Responses to “Sunday Polls”

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    Allan Christie

    I detect cynicism in your remarks.

    Take care, it can eat away at you.

    I know this from personal experience.

    Hope is the way. In politics as in life

    I certainly wasn’t trying to be cynical but just pointing out that homeless people should be in our thoughts every day of the year and not just on certain days of the year.

    Despite my mum’s side of the family being quite religious, religion doesn’t have any significance in my own life.

    I find religion in this country too conservative and extremely high brow with quite a large emphasis on who has the biggest hat and best suit.

  2. Another 21% Tory lead from Yougov!
    Con 44% Lab 23% LD 12% UKIP 10%

  3. YouGov:

    Con 44% (+2)
    Lab 23% (-2)
    LD 12% (+1)
    UKIP 10% (-1)

  4. I am hoping that Labour loses all the Mayoral elections on May 4th.

  5. Always interesting to look back at the election results of the 20s & 30s.

    1993 Canadian Federal also

  6. Always interesting to look back at the election results of the 20s & 30s.

    1993 Canadian Federal also

  7. @Graham

    It is silly, of course, to over-react to one poll, but that is a seriously bad number for Labour, and the party is now surely in the realms of existential crisis and irrelevance. My prediction of up to 300 losses on May 4 is looking modest.

    The PLP has been remarkably quiet/disciplined/resigned to its fate ( take your pick ) but there could be quite dramatic developments in the aftermath of the local elections.

  8. @ Graham

    Didn’t mean you were being silly!

  9. 23%!

    He’s got there already, in double-quick time. The Master of Disaster! Good old Corby, I knew he could do it.

    I predicted Labour would drop to 23% or below before the next general election after Corbyn’s last leadership victory and his inept front bench appointments.

    Some laughed at my prediction at the time saying how unlikely it was, well the joke is squarely on Labour now.

  10. I am slightly concerned that my confident prediction that JC will remain leader into the inevitable 2020 defeat is slightly shaken by the latest polls but i am heartened by the following:

    a.There is no alternative. Good candidates have headed to the hills and are living in caves. Those that remain are a pretty poor bunch some of whom have already been rejected.Even if JC were to surrender voluntarily it would be bad enough but if he does not then who would want to face the ire of the Corbinista membership. If there is one thing worse for labour than jC it is another civil war.

    b.I have no polling evidence for this save in the last elections last year there were predictions of labour disaster which were completely wrong but it may be that the large committed membership will deliver better than expected results

    c.JC will probably win at least 4 of 5? mayoral elections and possibly all 5. this will be used as self justification by JC and should IMHO be enough for him to continue.By 2018 the closeness of the GE will be used as a reason to maintain the status quo.

    I have now reassured myself that my prediction is a good one !

  11. Good morning all from rural Hampshire.

    How the heck did I miss that poll last night?

    For Labour it’s a shocker,….. it’s a shocker. On twitter, it’s been tweeted to be the lowest level of support for Labour since 1939.

    The issues facing Labour are far too broad and I don’t think there is an easy way forward for the party and simply dumping the current leader will just add to the current circus comradery.

  12. @ALLAN C

    The last time Labour reached this nadir, while in Opposition, was in June 1983. That was during the ’83 GE and Labour’s “Longest Suicide Note In History” Manifesto.

    I’m quietly confident that the Corbyn Catastrophe can reach depths that even the Foot Disaster was unable to plumb.

    That takes real skill and tenacious dedication!

  13. Labour Future

    if one really wanted to become depressed this Easter one could if one were a labour supporter think beyond the 2020 election defeat. It really goes to the future of Labour if it has a future:

    a .Corbyn refuses to go and Labour wait for the tide to turn;

    b. Corbyn goes but is replaced by someone of like views but without the personality and temprament of jC!

    c.Former reject becomes leader without “real” support of membership;

    d. Good Leader takes over. This would reveal the policy paucity of Labour. Many of their objectives have been achieved.What are labour left with? Re -nationalisation of the Railways and pegging electricity prices is small beer but what else is there? Calls for equality and justice for all are easy to say in a campaign but can be empty without substance.Once again the can sit tight, not upset the electorate and wait for the tide to turn.

    e. Are the above all so grim that the only sensible answer is a new party of the left to challenge the emerging Tory Hegemony?

  14. It is reported that JC has twice said he wants to go, but was persuaded to continue by Milne and McDonnell.

  15. Here are my latest Yougov charts.

    Sane trends eally, but know the Lib Dems are only 0.16% behind UKIP.

  16. Correction:

    Here are my latest Yougov charts.

    Same trends really as previously stated, but now the Lib Dems are only 0.16% behind UKIP.

    (Note do not post on a smart-phone …..)

  17. Thanks @Catmanjeff

    The electoral calculator on this poll would give the Tories a 148 seat majority on the 2015 boundaries. Marginally better than the 1983 landslide result. The new boundaries would increase that majority further still.

  18. @ S Thomas
    Really not worth engaging with you, but I’d point out that most Labour policies are popular with most people, and Labour policies since time immemorial right up to the present are regularly adopted by the Conservative party after their passionate opposition to them has failed to sway the voters.
    Labour will be back, sooner than you think.

  19. Would the New Boundaries increase that much at all? I’ve seen it stated that on ‘current polling’ levels the Conservative advantage on the currently-proposed boundaries vs. the 2010 boundaries is now a mere 0.4% more Con seats.

    I don’t have source for that claim, wondering if anyone else does (or source for a correction/alternative)

  20. It really is a desperate situation when a political party’s policies are popular , but its VI is at a decade long low because of the unpopularity of its leader.

    These plaintive words complete a post by a Labour supporter on pb this morning :-

    “And so we continue to wither and die. McClusky will win. Corbyn will see this leadership battle in an affiliated organisation as proof the entire Labour movement is behind him, then the McDonnell amendment will be defeated leaving Corbyn as the One True Messiah, only He can defend the party against those evil Tory scumbags known as Labour MPs Councillors Activists Officers and Employees. He has to stay on. Winning the election doesn’t matter when the blame for loss is already assigned – the Labour Party.”

  21. Those interested in low wages and poverty in the UK might want to use this link

    “In past decades, old age was virtually synonymous with poverty. This is no longer true; income poverty among pensioners plummeted from around 40% to 13% in 25 years. But over the same period, child poverty rates rose and fell twice and remain high at 29%. Poverty among working-age adults without dependent children has slowly but steadily risen from around
    14% to around 20%”

    (from 1991 to 2015)

    “The picture for poverty in the rest of the population in future is bleak if there is no change. In the short term, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS),22 child poverty on relative and absolute measures is projected to rise sharply to the year 2020. The increase is driven by planned benefit reforms affecting families with three or more children.
    Relative poverty for pensioners and working-age non-parents looks set tostay broadly unchanged over the next five years. In contrast, absolute poverty levels for pensioners should decline, while remaining static for working-age non-parents and rising for children. (The decline among pensioners is due to
    older people working more and private and State Pension income growing.)”

  22. @ SAM

    I agree with your sentiments there – it really does feel as though the young are being pushed into a pretty depressing “gig economy” existence. The debt figures for young graduates now are truly appalling.

    @ALLAN C
    The last time Labour reached this nadir, while in Opposition, was in June 1983. That was during the ’83 GE and Labour’s “Longest Suicide Note In History” Manifesto.

    I’m quietly confident that the Corbyn Catastrophe can reach depths that even the Foot Disaster was unable to plumb.

    That takes real skill and tenacious dedication!

    I actually think you’re right and Labour might well plummet below the Foot nadir. A lot might depend on the results of the local elections and the Manchester by-election. If both are a complete disaster for Labour then we might see another leadership challenge to ol Corby and voters don’t like instability.

    Personally, I think Labour has two main problems.

    1..It’s confusing position over the EU and 2, too much focus on lumbering itself with its core vote and ignoring the rest of the electorate.

  24. Havnt looked at these polls, but the yougov poll from the last thread showed that amongst those intending to vote labour now compared to 2015, support for Corbyn is up. It may be that labour support is coalescing around Corbyn and Corbyn policies.

  25. There must be the possibility that if labour reject Corbyn now, the result would not be voters flooding back to a new more right wing leader, but the more left who rather liked Corbyn departing labour as well. Labour has nothing to attract voters. No stand out social policies, no firm remain stance as opposedto con. No impressive leader. No indication of a party ready for government rather than civil war. Losing Corbyn could just be the straw which sends English labour after Scottish.

  26. S Thomas
    ‘JC will probably win at least 4 of 5? mayoral elections and possibly all 5. ‘

    Very unlikely on these figures. Labour will at most win two of the Mayoral elections – Liverpool and Manchester – and may end up with just one. Personally , I am hoping they lose the lot.

  27. My partner has said he would leave the Labour party if JC is forced out.
    Given the unprecedented rise in membership post JC it may be that others would feel the same.

    I will vote Labour but will feel dirty in any vote for our current Labour MP . She was disruptive during the attempted coup and quite unpleasant.

    I have voted in every election since the early 80’s, lab every time, and I am saddened that I feel this way.

  28. 44-23-12-10 gives Tories a majority of around 160.

    Labour would suffer their worst defeat since the war. It would be a re run of 1997.

  29. It is terrible when I agree with some of S Thomas’s points :-)

    I think there are two important things about Corbyn. One is that he either talk in terribly abstract terms – which is not only a switch off, but also suffers of logical problems (but certainly appeals to many at the level of the expression of the generic ideological platform), or in terribly concrete (free school meal without a connecting story line). The other one is that he is not doing his job (imo) – he simply doesn’t keep up.

    I don’t know though if there is someone, a potential candidate, who would do the job, or would assemble a team willing to do the job.

  30. As to the mayoral elections, Labour thinks (probably rightly so) that they would sweep Liverpool. Yet, there is no campaigning at all, and the various party units are busy with having meaningless debates in the same manner as at the national level with all kinds of conspiracy theories (but these debates are also vehicles for controlling offices, delegates, etc.)

  31. Labour need to dissolve – they are now in a worse position than in the 1980s when the ‘gang of four’ left to form the SDP. There is no SDP now but there are the LibDems who are ready and waiting to accept defectors. Labour should rename as the Communist Party and those who don’t accept this go over to the LibDems. Simple as that.

  32. Tancred

    There is absolutely nothing in Corbyn that is communist.

    I also don’t think that any kind of traditional CP has any ground to stand on with the disappearance of organised labour, and the emergence of the multiple-networked society.

  33. Looking at this poll:

    I think the surprise is that there is still 45% of the population opposed to Brexit, given that nothing untoward has yet happened. Quite why the Telegraph is trumpeting this as a victory baffles me.

    There is also that really stupid comment by Michael Caine – since when is he going to be a ‘poor servant’? He is worth tens of millions when many of the kids he was at school with are now scraping life on minimum pensions and live in crummy council houses or flats. What an idiot.

  34. The news for Labour just gets worse.

    According to the wee guy with the specs, Mike Smithson …

    “The canvas data that proved to be spot on in Richmond suggests Labour could be in trouble in Manchester Gorton”

    At Richmond Park the LD numbers understated their position

    For all the speculation on Labour’s polling collapse there’s only one thing that really matters – how the party performs in actual elections and the first real test of that is May 4th which includes, of course, the Manchester Gorton by-election where they are defending a majority of 24k.

    On the face of it Gorton looks impregnable but is it? The Lib Dems have published their latest canvas data for the seat which had them on 31% to LAB’s 51%.

    Before you dismiss party canvas data remember what happened when the LDs published similar data ahead of last December’s Richmond Park by-election. This was treated with a high degree of scepticism at the time yet as the chart shows it was extraordinarily predictive of what was going to happen. Those who backed Zac at very tight odds lost.

    It’s going to be close peeps.

  35. @LASZLO

    Corbyn is probably more like an Italian communist than a Soviet one, but he still a Marxist though and though. I believe he is committed to democratic principles, but in all other aspects he is a Marxist.
    And you are correct in saying that communism is outdated in a technophile society where there is no longer any mass organised and unionised labour. This is why we need to look at liberal social democracy for the answer to the right, not old fashioned socialism. Tony Blair knew it and he made it work, but everyone else seems to have forgotten.

  36. Laszlo

    Hey dont feel bad about agreeing with me. It just shows that there is hope for you after all :-)

  37. LASZLO
    “It is terrible when I agree with some of S Thomas’s points :-)”

    I wouldn’t worry about it. I’ve agreed with some of Tancred’s points before and especially his point about there being no gravity on button moon.

  38. Not sure labour have reached the bottom yet? With the local elections 3 weeks away that may mark the nadir: labour loose up to 100 seats…all is well (in Milnespeak of course). Up to 200…”well, thats what we were expecting, don’t panic. Up tp 300…man overboard I think?

  39. @TANCRED
    ‘Tony Blair knew it and he made it work, but everyone else seems to have forgotten.’

    But Blair was a centre-right christian democrat and close to being a neoThatcherite. He was well to the right of all Thatcher’s Tory predecessors since World War 2.

  40. From the table now up for the poll, some pointers:

    – The Conservatives lead Labour in every geographical area
    – 2015 Labour’s ‘Don’t Knows’ at 24%
    – Labour only leading among 18-24 yr olds (38% vs 32% excluding WNV and DK)), the age band least likely to vote
    – The Conservatives have a lead among 50-64 yr olds of +21%, and among 65 and older +49%
    – One in four 2015 UKIP voters now supporting the Conservatives

    ***noting that this is one poll and one set of data subsets***

    The local elections are strongly in Conservative territory, and given Labour did relatively well in these seats last time when they were comfortably ahead in polls, my own estimation of Labour losses is similar to @Millie’s (100 +).

    Turnout is critical, and I think Labour might have a hard time in this respect, as will UKIP. My own area has no elections, so I have no idea about ground activity.

    In my political life I’ve been there when winning is easy, and opposition gets steamrollered. I’ve also been there when the tables have turned.

    My heart goes out to those who believe in something and give up their free time to campaign, despite getting kicked at every turn. Things do turn around at some point. Campaigning for Labour must be so hard at the moment.

  41. Opinium are far more reliable than Comres – and came up with good forecasts of both Brexit and the London Mayoral election.. Whilst Yougov is a very sound pollster , there is a clear ‘house’ effect apparent in its findings since last September in that it has consistently produced the lowest Labour vote share of all pollsters. Previously that was true of ICM. 23% is a new low from Yougov , but Labour has been in the 24% – 26% range since late November

  42. @Graham – You can’t help yourself!

    Firstly the London Mayoral and Referendums are different elections and are not comparable to GE VI.

    You have to go back to the 2015 GE where Opinium predicted 35% Con and 34% Lab! As there has not been a GE since then, your statement that Opinium is far more reliable than ComRes and that something is fishy at YouGov is just a wild guess.

  43. The overseas results for the Turkish referendum are in:,_2017#Overseas_results

    Turks in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK and the USA voted heavily No. (79.97% No in the UK)

    But Turks in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France and Germany voted Yes. In Germany it was 63.07% Yes (412,149 votes) to 36.93% No (241,353 votes).

  44. So sad to see Labour at 23%.

    Not good for our country.

    Mrs May seems to appeal strongly to provicial and working class Britain.

    Labour needs to reconnect with the quiet patriotism of the British people.

  45. CMJ
    Thanks as always for the excellent charts! You are an exemplary of good scientific method!

    There is a big range in the polls at the moment and we don’t know which are nearest the truth, but the trend in a single frequent poster now shows Tories and Lib Dems on their highest reading since the referendum, and UKIP and Labour on the lowest. The rate of Labour decline may be slowing slightly, and that is the most you can say in comfort for Labour supporters…

  46. Ah, autocorrect strikes!
    Exemplar not exemplary!

  47. @Rudyard “Labour needs to reconnect with the quiet patriotism of the British people.”

    Which is flat-out impossible with Corbyn who is the antithesis of patriotism be it quiet or brash.

  48. @Sea Change
    ‘You have to go back to the 2015 GE where Opinium predicted 35% Con and 34% Lab! As there has not been a GE since then, your statement that Opinium is far more reliable than ComRes and that something is fishy at YouGov is just a wild guess.’

    I suggest you look at the tables since late July 2016 and compare Yougov’s Labour ratings with other pollsters – particularly the sudden drop picked up by Yougov in late September but not mirrored elsewhere.
    As for Comres, they admit to not using the same methodology as pre-2015 election. Their Brexit performance was sufficiently poor for them to abandon voting intention polls for 8 months. I assure you that I am far from being alone in being dismissive of Comres – referred to as ‘Comedy’ polls by some.There are various psephologically aware people who have taken little notice of them for several years. None of this is to deny that sometimes they may be in the correct ballpark.

  49. @Graham

    I have looked back at it. And ICM were the first to start recording lows of 26% back in September/October and not YouGov who were showing slightly higher.

    These recent ones look remarkably similar:

    ICM 2017-04-02 43 25
    YoG 2017-03-27 43 25
    YoG 2017-03-21 41 25
    ICM 2017-03-19 45 26
    Com 2017-03-17 42 25

    I put it to you that it is far more likely that Opinium is the rogue.

  50. @Sea Change

    Compared with early August 2016 Labour has dropped 8 points with Yougovv. ICM has Labour down 2 points – Mori down 4 points and Ashcroft down 3. Since September Yougov has consistently come up with the lowest Labour scores. It really is pretty obvious from perusing the tables, and one has to be blind not to notice that! I find it odd because a year ago Yougov was the only pollster putting Labour ahead – and did so in three consecutive polls! I make these points out of intellectual curiosity – rather than being a commited Labour voter which I am certainly not. I have voted Labour at precisely one of the last six parliamentary elections in my constituency. – indeed I have voted LibDem more often than that. On May 4th I shall vote Green in a Labour v Green contest.

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