ORB’s weekly poll in the Sunday Telegraph has topline figures of CON 46%(nc), LAB 32%(+1), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 7%(-1). The changes since last week are by themselves insignificant, though it’s worth noting that the Labour share of 32% is the highest they’ve managed in any poll so far in the campaign. Precise fieldwork dates are not available yet, but the Telegraph’s write up says it was at least partially before the Labour manifesto leak.

Opinium in the Observer have topline figures of CON 47%(+1), LAB 32%(+2), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 5%(-2), GRN 2%(nc). Again, the changes are small, but reflect a narrowing of the lead and the highest Labour score of the campaign so far. The Tory lead is still extremely large, but it appears to be getting a little smaller. Once again, fieldwork for this poll started on Tuesday, so would have been mostly before the Labour manifesto leak. Tabs for that are here.

A third poll from ComRes for the Sunday Mirror and Independent has topline figures of CON 48%(-2), LAB 30%(+5), LDEM 10%(-2), UKIP 5%(-2). The narrowing is much sharper here, but that’s because it’s a different time scale: ComRes’s previous poll was conducted straight after the election was called when most polls were giving the Tories a twenty-plus point lead, so the changes here are echoing the decline from twenty-point leads to leads in the mid-to-high teens that we’ve already seen from other companies. Fieldwork here was Wednesday to Friday.

Overall the pattern seems to be a slight narrowing of the Tory lead, but it’s a case of a truly humongous lead becoming merely a towering one: a lead of fourteen to eighteen points will still deliver a very hefty majority. The election also seems to be becoming more and more of a two horse race. UKIP’s support fell sharply at the start of the campaign and only seems to have gotten worse since then and while many (including me!) expected the Liberal Democrats to increase their support during the campaign, it has yet to happen. If anything, Lib Dem support seems to be being further squeezed.

Still to come tonight we have the YouGov/Sunday Times poll. We’ve also had an ICM poll every weekend of the campaign so far (either for Robert Peston’s show or the Sun on Sunday), but I’ve no idea whether we will have one this week or not. I’m not around tonight, so will update on any other polls that emerge tomorrow morning.

176 Responses to “Saturday night polls from ORB, Opinium and ComRes”

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  1. To be fair to the First Minister of Scotland, the educational underachievement of children living up there in Scotland is to use a metaphor like a heavy tanker ship, it is hard to turn it around in a short time. There are wider and deeply ingrained sociological reasons in Scotland why Scottish children do poorly on numeracy and literacy that are hard for any government to change.

  2. @S Thomas,

    It makes no sense to claim that those wanting renationalisation are “Those who are too young to remember how bad it was when BR ruled the roost”.

    After all, when rail was privatised, the move faced a good deal of public opposition including Conservative scepticism. It wasn’t exactly one of the early privatisations. In 1993 Conservative MP Peter Bottomley told the Independent that “BR was now running its network with greater competence than any in Europe”.

  3. “Some people think CON want Corbyn to do well enough to stay”


    I dunno if Cons actually think that way, it’s just one of a number of possibilities.

    They’ve made noises about ditching some of the Liberal approach, but as Tony Dean says, financial backers may not be so keen.

    Some peeps seem to think that Liberalism is somehow the centre ground, that Labour or Tories have to adopt Liberal policies to move to the centre. Another liberal press meme: More liberalism actually takes parties away from the centre and from what peeps want in polling. As LDs have recently found out when they ditched the left wing clothes.

    Peeps want LESS liberalism on the whole, less free movement, bit more state intervention and national ownership.

  4. ProfHoward – “To be fair to the First Minister of Scotland, the educational underachievement of children living up there in Scotland is to use a metaphor like a heavy tanker ship, it is hard to turn it around in a short time”

    You make it sound like they inherited a mess and are having to turn it round. But they inherited an OK situation in 2007 – nothing special, but not lagging the rest of the UK.

    In 10 years they’ve worsened things. see the following:



    The Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy found that less than half of Scotland’s 13 and 14-year-olds are now performing well in writing.

    P4 and P7 pupils also saw a drop in writing performance.

    The reading ability of P4, P7 and S2 pupils remains broadly similar to 2014 – but lower than 2012.

    end quote

    I think it’s because they have diverted money from the schools budget into free university tuition (which europeans are taking advantage of). While in England the opposite happened, tuition fees were raised so tax money could be diverted from the university budget into the schools system.

  5. Old news I know, but I was just reading about the Ashcroft Model, he released on Friday and it seems to me there is a major flaw.
    I can’t see how he can has adjusted for tactical voting.
    He states that these types of model are commonplace in the US, but there will be much less tactical voting there.

  6. As ever, this is not a forum for debating whether policies are wise or not – that includes economics.

  7. @AW

    What about Ressex’s initial comment?

  8. “Say what you like about Tory policy, but give the Tories some credit –
    they are not stupid.”
    @Sea Change May 14th, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Indeed not! They wouldn’t be where they are now if they were stupid. But I have always seen the Tories as pragmatic, which is why I think Brexit will be ‘fiddled.’ And the EU are the masters of getting a fiddled outcome. So, because of all the points I’ve made, I am hopeful that we will ultimately never really leave the EU (but that there will be some superficial agreement that helps all sides to save face).

    “I think many of us can agree with that but at least the UK starts from a point of low unemployment, 4.7% Europe currently has double the UK rate at 9.5% so the issue is even greater for them.”
    @The Other Howard May 14th, 2017 at 8:49 am

    This is true. But I wouldn’t be so cheerie that it means we are somehow better. I don’t really have that much confidence in the 4.7% figure. We spent the whole of the 80s arguing over unemployment and how it should be defined, and I think now it is worse than then in some areas. If you are not claming unemployment benefit (or whatever the test is now) you are not included in the figures. I can only say what I see, and here in the North West I see what my wife calls scum, but I describe as people let down by the state.

    But yes, your point is correct. The EU is not a bed of roses. If it ever explodes again the 20 miles of water between is will not protect us next time.

    Anyway I have made my points with the intention of trying to add to the discussion. I know that when the Tories win my personal situation will be fine; but that is not to say that it is the best thing for the country. Housing, for example, … (and then I’ll duck!)



    @”Yes, we could borrow low cost and long term back then, as we can now and as you well know!!”

    I don’t-and nor do you.

    There is a stark difference:

    Then-A 50 year Loan with fixed interest rate-ie zero risk to the borrower.

    Now- Gilt Market which has been supported by years & years of loose Monetary Policy exposed to the questionable sustainability & effectiveness of that policy, and facing the vagaries of global economic conditions-ie unquantifyable risk to the borrower

  10. “As ever, this is not a forum for debating whether policies are wise or not – that includes economics.”
    @Anthony Wells May 14th, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Fair point. But it is too tempting!

    I for one will go back into the background and just be al urqa.

    I do learn a lot of good stuff from this site though.

  11. @Alec
    ‘Corbyn is a net vote loser, even if some of his policies might not be. This is not to say Labour won’t improve their vote share on 2015, but the question is how much better they would have done without Corbyn ‘

    Absolutely correct.I would add that he is to be condemned for the timidity with which he bowed to May’s wish to hold the election at all. By so doing he has betrayed the members of the party he pretends to lead. It was effectively an act of malevolence.

  12. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/14/robert-mercer-cambridge-analytica-leave-eu-referendum-brexit-campaigns

    This all adds to my sense that leave voters were fooled by foreign interests who dislike, for entirely selfish reasons, the power and influence of the EU.

    In years to come I suspect we will understand the full story and the motivations and reasons behind it, but only once sufficient leave voters start to appreciate the reasons why extremely rich American businessmen would prefer the UK to be isolated and outside the EU.

  13. Hint: they didn’t do it because they thought it would be good for UK voters……

  14. Anthony Wells

    Fair enough – on what is right or wrong policies.

    Just it was unusual for me to agree with Colin.

    I will try to keep to polling and effects on polling.

  15. @colin

    As you know, we also have advantages now we didn’t have back then, like we control our currency with all that implies. But given Anthony’s de-happinated, let’s move on!!

    Do you think Theresa is really moving away from Cameronism? Or mostly just in terms of Brexit?


    Peeps should really read Alec’s link above. Meant to post it myself but forgot in all the excitement.

    It’s fascinating, and very sobering. The use of data and microtargeting in elections is becoming more apparent. use of military techniques in elections etc…

  17. E.g. Are you neurotic? They can profile it from your Facebook posts and you’re likely to get sent pics of immigrants to sway you!!

  18. Also, it’s some impressive investigative journalism…

  19. Dangerous to read too much into the cross breaks but YouGov poll suggest what most of us probably expected the see:

    UKIP continue to drift to CON in roughly 10x CON for 1LAB. NB The pulled candidates are a further 1/3 of the UKIP support, make your inspired guess what that will mean on the day…

    LAB receiving some “return” from LDEM (LAB loyalty improving)

    The DKs are also highest in LDEM and UKIP so if you assume they either follow the trend moves or simply abstain then their polling/actual vote will go lower. The sample size becomes tiny but Scottish LDEM support looks like their chances in Edinburgh West and Dunbartonshire East might be challenging.

  20. @Carfrew, Alec

    It has made some Tory policy folk I know exceedingly uncomfortable. There is increasing evidence that these so-called ‘populist’ movements are actually the exact thing they’re supposed to be against – a global collusion between huge financial interests to manipulate ordinary people against their own interests and to reduce the effect and reach of genuine democracy.

    The fact that everyone involved on the UK side is undeniably and unambiguously awful is another alarm bell.

    Serious people are very concerned.

  21. http://hopenothate.org.uk/campaigns/general-election-2017/2017-general-election-far-right-candidates/

    Link to list of UKIP candidates, and other smaller far right groups putting up candidates.

  22. Best for Britain (Gina Miller) tactical voting list:

    Cardiff West
    Leeds North East
    Ealing Central and Acton
    Norwich South
    Bristol East
    Hampstead and Kilburn
    Cardiff Central
    Harrow West

    Carshalton and Wallington
    Richmond Park
    Hazel Grove
    Sheffield Hallam

    Brighton Pavilion

    Looks like the rumours of them backing SNP marginals seats might have been false. The listed London ones make tactical sense but I’m surprised Twickenham and Kingston&Surbiton are not on the LDEM list.


    I don’t know how successful it will be. With no backing from party leadership and a large ideological gap between LAB and LDEM I think it won’t gain much interest outside of hard core Remain voters. Longer term it creates disloyalty issues (which is probably why the party leaderships are keeping very much out of it).

    I’ve put a 20% tactical switch in to my model and it does make a little difference, need to dial it up to 50% for it to really help and that seems excessive. Some of the W/SW London seats are going to very difficult to predict.

  23. @Pete B

    Actually, it is more subtle than that. and you really need to read the article on Nate Silver’s web site to understand it fully.

    Let’s take Trevor Warne’s figures as an example:

    CON 50%
    LAB 30%
    LDEM 8%
    UKIP 3%
    others 9%

    Any individual responder is equally likely to make a mistake, but there are just over 6 times as many apparent Conservative voters as apparent LibDem voters, so the Conservative vote is depressed by that factor more than the LibDem vote from this cause. Similarly, all parties gain by supporters of other parties choosing them in the questionnaire by mistake, but since this is random, we would expect the other parties to benefit equally from it.

    So, assume that the error rate is 2% as in Kletz’ example and that there are just four parties (CONS, LAB, LIBDEM and UKIP). If necessary we can say this applies to England only as most of the Others are in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

    The Conservatives are on 50%, so they lose 1% (50% of 2%) and gain 0.3% (1/3 of 50% of 2%). = Net loss 0.7%

    The LibDems are on 8% so they lose 0.2% (8% of 2%) and gain 0.6% (1/3 of 92% of 2%) = Net gain 0.4%

    In the limit where support for a Party is very low, this effect could produce some apparent support for them purely through human error, which is why I asked AW if he knew what the rate of human error in his surveys is.

  24. Regarding microtargeting, IPSOS did a survey looking at tech usage and social media usage:


    Facebook usage is on page 15

    The highest usage is among ythe 15-44 year olds.

    In the 65+ group, amongst males C2 and DE, it’s below 15%, and among women aged 65+ in those categories, it is below 20%. Even amoung 65+ in the AB group, it never gets over 30%.

    There is a lot of microtargetting going on, but the groups that swung Brexit arn’t big consumers of Facebook.

    Instead their antipathy towards the EU built up over several decades starting with Britain’s ejection from the ERM (which the 65+ group would have remembered as they would have been anxious mortgagees at the time).

    What is also interesting is whether Remain targetted the large numbers of under 44’s on Facebook – perhaps this explains their inability to accept the ref result?

  25. @Andy T

    The PLP didn’t believe that Corbyn had performed badly during Brexit – by every objective standard he did more to push the Remain campaign than any other Labour MP, including the nominal head of the Labour remain campaign Alan Johnson, in the process delivering his supporters to vote for Remain by a ratio of 2:1 and seeing to it that Labour voters made up the bulk of the Remain’s support.

    They simply used Brexit as a pretext to justify a leadership challenge, which they had been planning on doing anyway, and had to construct a narrative of Corbyn doing badly at campaigning to make that work. It clearly didn’t have any effect, since most Labour members could see that it was insincere, but I am continually surprised by otherwise intelligent people who seem to be willing to swallow this nonsense even though the people who came out with it in the PLP really don’t believe it themselves.

    What had been worrying the PLP and the anti-Corbyn minority in the Labour party was that following Osborne’s last budget the polls had narrowed to within the MOE, with the Tories on about 33/34 and Labour about 30/31 iirc. With Brexit throwing the Tory party into crisis there was a chance that a concerted Labour attack could’ve seem them take a lead in the polls, which should it happen would have meant the project of deposing Corbyn, marginalising/excluding the membership and restoring power to the right-wing faction within the PLP would have been over.

    Hence why the Owen Smith challenge was so poor – he wasn’t even expected to win, simply to divert attention away from the Tories and sabotage Corbyn’s leadership, giving the Tories a chance to escape the horrendous mess they found themselves post-Brexit.

    Admittedly I’m a pro-Corbyn Labour organiser who has some insight into the internal machinations of what’s taking place within the Party but I’m surprised that people here are seemingly so oblivious when they’re otherwise quite well informed?

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