Two polls are out tonight. A Kantar poll conducted between last Thursday and Sunday (so before the bombing) has topline figures of CON 42%(-5), LAB 34%(+5), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 4%(-2). TNS has a turnout model based partially on age, so has tended to show larger Tory leads… but this poll has it dropping ten points and falling into single figures. Tabs are here.

YouGov’s weekly poll for the Times meanwhile has topline figures of CON 43%(-1), LAB 38%(+3), LDEM 10%(+1), UKIP 4%(+1) – a Tory lead of just five points. Fieldwork for this poll was conducted on Wednesday night and Thursday daytime, so is the first conducted entirely after the Manchester bombing. Tabs are here.

The Tory lead is clearly continuing to fall away at a rapid rate. On the face of it one might be tempted to conclude that the actual impact of the bombing was to help the Labour party, but I think it more likely that it’s to do with the disastrous Tory manifesto launch. I posted earlier about the negative impact of the Tory manifesto. In contrast the Tories still seem to have a good lead on security and terrorism – in today’s YouGov survey people say they trust Theresa May far more than Jeremy Corbyn to make the right decisions on terrorism (55% trust May, only 33% trust Corbyn) and the Tories have a strong lead on the issue of Defence and Security. That suggests to me the cause of the narrowing is far more likely to be the manifesto, row and u-turn.

As ever, all the usual caveats about one poll apply. Before one gets too excited wait and see if other polls show such a tight race, and whether or not other polls show any more impact from the bombing. As things stand though the election suddenly seems a little less of a foregone conclusion than it appeared at the beginning of the race.

915 Responses to “Kantar and YouGov show the race narrowing…”

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  1. I keep telling people it will be a hung parliment with prime minster Corbyn, The tory manifesto ruined them, They lost it there, They will be hit with more social care and blame for the drop in policing numbers, the polls will understate Labour for the first time with nvoters, new voters and youth turn out up

  2. I really didn’t think the manifesto hiccup was going to do much damage, but clearly it’s been a catastrophe!

  3. Labour have to find some way of getting the debate, when it resumes, back onto social care (or health more generally).

    For all the relative strength of Tory ratings on leadership and economy, it is worth noting that the appetite for greater tax and spend to support public services (as measured each year by NatCen) has been growing over the last few years.

  4. Blimey. Astonishing.

  5. @LMZDEE,

    Get a bet on then. You’ll still get great odds.

  6. The momentum is with Corbyn. The Conservatives took for granted those who supported them in 2015 and then hit them with a policy that appeared to target their homes. Those voters have now moved away from the Conservatives and they probably won’y be back.

    I think there is a mood for change; coincidentally, that mood – while being similar to the one that caused the Brexit vote – will actually make Brexit fairly close to the Norway model now.

    Can the Conservatives turn it around? They’ve only got fear left really – having ruined the the manifesto promises. I don’t think it will be enough and would expect the see the Conservatives lose seats compared to the last election.

    At this rate we may even see a Labour lead by this time next week – though I would expect it to slip back somewhat on polling day.

  7. @LMZDEE

    Since Monday night only a tiny number of people cares about manifestos.

    Yougov poll suggest that 63 percent of people age 18 to 24 will turn out and vote. Seems too high in relation to the 44 percent number two years ago.

    And Labour is still losing vote the elderly vote, 19 to 67 percent.

  8. @LMZDEE,

    and just to keep your feet on the ground. Going in to the Last Election, some polls showed Miliband ahead with a working majority, am pretty certain you said Miliband was definitely going to be PM, so don’t be so certain yet.

  9. Labour Minority government would not be too hard to imagine.

    LAB hammer on ‘who cut police numbers?’ and ‘what will the social care cap be?’ for two weeks while their popular manifesto policies continue to propagate.

    It would only take a tiny swing on current polling for this to happen. This election is wide open.

  10. Never such a sharp reversal of popularity since the original Palm Sunday.

    I guess the EU are currently asking themselves how they provide a Labour led government the excuse to call a new referendum. A bit of a poser, as they would have to give something slightly better by way of smoke and mirrors than Cameron’s “best offer”.

    That Tory + UKIP has now dipped by 5 points. Brexit will be old news by the end of the year. (Well we shall probably see UKIP at 25%, but the actual exercise will be dead and buried.)

  11. RICH

    Miliband never polled higher than 36% and they were outliers and on the 2015 polling methodology, which over-stated LAB support.

    If you ran these numbers through the 2015 polling model, you’d end up with 40% I believe. Far higher than Miliband ever attained in ANY opinion poll during the 2015 election campaign.

  12. Despite these polls, I still expect the Tories to win a majority. If it is tiny, then get out the popcorn.

  13. Rudyard

    Congratulations! You must be very elated by the change.

    Tomorrow’s Corbyn/Neill interview will be important and my guess is that JC will be well prepared and do well.

    Of course very few people will actually watch and my guess is that close to 100% of those will be committed voters. Even I, although I am politically aware, never watch any of the political stuff as I simply can’t bear listening to the arguments, talking across each other and so on.

    But, even so, the stuff somehow filters down and, even allowing for bias [the Mail is unlikely to have a “Corbyn triumphs” headline] somehow it permeates to the rather less interested general public.

  14. @Rich

    I all ready have done and at much better odds then you can get now

  15. yeah, what Sorrel said.

    The only thing the Tories have got left is Brexit, in my opinion. The Norway model won’t be enough for hard core Leavers, but are there enough of those people to swing it back anyway?

    We live in interesting times.

  16. I suspect those of us with a little money on a dead certain hefty Tory lead are a little crestfallen at the moment. Still, as Rudyard says, all left to play for!

  17. I’ve had a sinking feeling about the polls for a week or so, the manifesto was an omnishambles and the U turn just compounded the error. The big “Mo” is with labour and I won’t be surprised to see polls showing them in the lead prior to the election

  18. In a paradoxical way, I think this is bad news for Labour.

    Up until now, the “coalition of chaos” line has had no traction; nobody thought it was a risk, given the polls.

    However, I now expect the Tories to major on this and I wonder how many who were intending to vote Labour as a protest vote, or just to keep the majority down, will now think again.

    That said, with postal voting now underway, I also wonder if such a message will be too late.

  19. Just the kick up the pants the blues need to ensure they get out and vote. Someone is going to have egg on their face when the blue majority turns out to be between 90 & 100.

  20. Well, since TM called this snap election her party has gone from winning a landslide to a large majority and now a small majority.

    It would be really tragic for Labour if the Tories won a small majority and it came from Scotland with Labour voters switching to the Scottish Tories.

    Still, two weeks to go but my prediction is already looking extremely……eek’ish

  21. BBC reporting that Corbyn will go hard in his speech tomorrow on terrorism and security.

    Linking wars abroad with terrorism at home, and cuts in police funding. No punches being pulled at all.

  22. I mentioned in a previous thread the possibility that a large number of people have given up caring about financial warnings that they don’t understand and are prepared to take a risk with something more positive.

    What I forgot to link to that was the converse: the reaction to the Tory manifesto in comparison was largely one of horror.

    If ever an open goal was missed politically then surely this was the occasion. It may even go down in political history.

  23. The Labour manifesto and programme is the one they should have had to balls to go for in 2015. It is not exact extreme compared to the European norm.

  24. I have a feeling the polls will turn out to be way out, too many variables. Which way I really don’t know. It’s all quite interesting isn’t it.

  25. Very close to hung parliament territory with the majority voting for parties wanting continued single market access or no brexit at all.
    As Mrs May called the election at least in theory to give het a mandate for negotiations over our leaving arrangements surely such a result indicates the preferred outcome is something far closer to a Norway type arrangement than greater Cayman islands.

    Would let us off the hook on leaving payments as well as we wouldn’t have left most of the European union structures

  26. The explanation of the need for the emergency U-turn on social care is in the tables.

    On TNS Lab is ahead on the cumulative under 65 year old vote. It is only the massive Cons lead in the over 65s that turns the overall result to a Cons lead.

    The social case proposal going down like a lead balloon in the demographic that delivers the lead = catastrophe.

    The other notable feature of the VI age profile is the very big leads for Lab in the under 25s (57% to Cons 15%) and 25 to 34 cohort (59% to 26%). These are the smallest age groups, and normally the least likely to vote, but if Corbyn / Lab policies actually get the vote out in these age groups, a close result is on the cards.

  27. Robert Newark

    “Just the kick up the pants the blues need to ensure they get out and vote. Someone is going to have egg on their face when the blue majority turns out to be between 90 & 100”

    Over 1.2 million under 25’s have registered to vote since the election was called. The “Yooth” is rising. At 26 I feel old but hopefully, turnout across all the demographics will be up. There is a lot at stake in this election besides Brexit.

  28. According to Guido, Corbyn is going to blame western policy in the middle east for the Manchester attack tomorrow. Or, to translate from Guido-speak, he will suggest foreign policy may be a cause of terrorism, without absolving the terrorists of any blame of course.

    It could get nasty very quickly. High risk from Labour if this is true, but might just catch the mood of a fed-up nation if they want to believe that everything would go back to normal if we just stopped annoying those pesky Islamists.

    Might even neutralise any attack on Corbyn re IRA links, because he’s take a proactive stance – presenting his approach as a positive rather than going on the defensive.

  29. do we have regional figures of the Yougov poll?

  30. Tory HQ must be seriously concerned now with only two weeks left. May’s credibility seems to have taken a dent – and if you assume that the negatives on Corbyn are already baked in then the Tories could struggle to reverse the trend.

    In addition if sentiment on the economy is also against them it will be doubly hard. Many people would have got below inflation pay rises this April, seen their overseas holidays increase in price etc

    With UKIP appearing to go on the attack on the Tories of security that neutralises some of the advantage over Labour in this areas.

    IMO the best play for the Tories is try and get it back onto Brexit.

  31. Right TM, get back from the hob nobbing with Trump and actually start the campaign now, even if 4 weeks too late!

  32. @Mike,

    High risk, high reward from Corbyn. That line could win or lose another 5%. Don’t ask me which, have given up on poll predictions.

  33. @Drmibbles

    This was what the Sun’s Harry Cole cryptic Tweet earlier was about, the usual press will go heavy with it in the light of the polls methinks

  34. @Drmibbles

    This was what the Sun’s Harry Cole cryptic Tweet earlier was about, the usual press will go heavy with it in the light of the polls methinks

  35. I can’t quite see how the Conservatives are going to get back on the front foot. May has looked increasingly tired and worried over the past few days and therefore much less statesmanlike. The only consolation is that they are still towards the mid-forties with their VI. I doubt that becoming more pro-active in the campaign will now work and their main chance is if the Corbyn factor kicks in late in the day rather like the Kinnock factor in 1992. But even that hardly resulted in a crushing victory.

  36. I cannot see how the Tories are going to respond other than by hammering Corbyn which IMO would be a risky strategy

  37. best bet for the Tories is to get back on to coalition of chaos and lack of any government experience in the Lab team

  38. Corbyn must be the most derided, ridiculed politician in Britain (maybe with the exception of Diane Abbot lol). I find it astonishing that, despite his personal unpopularity, Labour’s VI is now just 5% behind.

    Either people have actually paid attention to the manifesto and like it, or the idea that a strong leader is the paramount factor has been overrated.

  39. Maybe the Tories will need the DUP support? Whats that ….6-8 seats?

  40. Glad to see the public rejecting the Tory attempt to grab a blank cheque. We’ve all known May had a lot of weaknesses but most looked at the approvals and decided they must be wrong.

    To think most of this would have been avoidable if she hadnt tried to catch Labour unawares and had engaged her cabinet. Instead the Tories are woefully unprepared and Labour really were expecting her to call one so prep’d for one!

    Not to mention by uncosting their manifesto they removed their key attack – that Labour had holes in their budget plans.

  41. After 2015, I am not going to read too much into this. My brain says the polls ought to be reliable, but…

    I am old enough to remember 1992 as well.

  42. I find it astonishing the hysterical comments on this. The Tories haven’t polled below 40% once in the election yet.

    TM has convincing lead in 3 key areas

    Economy , Best PM, keeping Britain safe.

    Throw in the local election results from last month. Tories will win convincingly.

    The fundamentals of UK politics don’t change. The UK doesn’t elect left wing parties.

  43. Best PM question

    May 45 -1
    Corbyn 28 +5

  44. Sssimon

    I think it’s the wind of change blowing hard again. I can’t believe many grown-ups have actually sat down and said “yup, Diane Abbott as Home Secretary, and that funny old man from the allotments as PM, I like it, especially when you throw in that scary Marxist as Chancellor” but people want to believe there is another way, especially if that way includes free tuition, massive pay rises, and a great big boot up the arse for the rich bastards.

    And to be honest, I think they might be right about stong leadership being over-rated. Or at least the kind of strong leadership we’ve become used to over the last couple of decades.

  45. This is a really interesting poll in that the Conservative VI barely budges, all the movement is in Lab.

    Previous poll in brackets:

    Con 43 (44)
    Lab 38 ( 35)
    LibDem 10 (9)
    UKIP 4 (3)
    Other 6 (8)

    Who are the others the Lab people are pulling votes from? Greens? SNP?

  46. @Locke

    Its not risky but its not informative. Everyone knows these details and has heard these attacks. I can only see it protecting their core vote and making no difference for the remaining electorate.

    They need to lead on the economy but they are nowhere near as strong on it now as at the last election. Yet its still their biggest hand.

  47. @Albert

    do we have regional figures of the Yougov poll?

    The tables are usually available the following day. I want them for my model!

  48. I think Corbyn is making a mistake, I agree with what he’s saying but I don’t think this is the time

  49. what is the gap that would produce a hung parliament?

  50. If you add up the four main parties CON+LAB+LIB+UKIP you end up with 95 percent of the vote with yougov but only at 89 percent according to TNS.

    Isn`t 95 percent a few points too high if you take the likely SNP, Greens, PC share into count?

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