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. CANDY

    Gadaffi admitted to Lockerbie to get sanctions lifted. He was a crazy dictator who loved being the centre of attention, but he was never an international terrorist.

    I recommend HyperNormalisation, which you can watch on iplayer. Lays out all of the evidence very clearly.

  2. DANNY

    @” If we intervene, they will react.”

    Of course.

    But they will attack us even if we don’t.

    I refer you to ISIS’ own statement on the matter. You will find it quoted in the AN interview this evening.

  3. Marco I well recall an Ashcroft poll just before election day giving the Tories a significant lead. It seemed to be an outlier but was on the money. YouGov overegged Labour’s true polling. History repeating itself

  4. Good job JC isn’t running for office in Egypt :-)

  5. Mike, you’re comparing apples and oranges.

    YouGov = voting intention. Ashcroft = seat prediction. Very different things indeed.

  6. @Mike – don’t recall that all – Ashcroft in his constituency polls turned out to be way out

  7. @Smithy

    Yes he did. His constituency polls suggested Lab would no much better than they did.

    The guy who was spot on was Matt Singh. He also currently believes the Tory position at constituency level is much better than it appears in polls.

    I also remember a bookie from Ladbrokes saying a week before the election that people should put their money on a Tory overall majority. Not many did.

  8. Dr M/Smithy. OK I stand corrected.

  9. Does anyone know where I can find Lord Ashcroft poll projections for 2015? I’ve tried looking on his website but couldn’t see them?

    I wanted to know if/how far out he was last time.

  10. when do we get more polls?

  11. Do you think that TM has something up her sleeve that she will pull out after the weekend / into poll week? It’s almost like they’ve “let” the polls slip to activate the Tory vote and panic them into action, before dealing a fatal blow to Corbyn’s campaign at the 11th hour?

  12. @ RAF

    Re: Matt Singh – where can I follow his investigations and findings upon which he makes his seemingly accurate predictions?

  13. Matt Singh presumably is basing his predictions on polls that are now quite out of date. We shall see.

  14. What chance a second election in September because no clear result ? Corbyn in shaky five way coalition (LibDem, Green, SNP, Welsh Nats, Labour) or minority Tory Administration ?

  15. @PeteB

    The right strategy might be to go for splendid isolation.

    Pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist and pull up the drawbridges.

    Refuse to intervene in other people’s conflicts, but also refuse to take in their disturbed radicalised asylum seekers, Just wash our hands off them all. If they want to kill each other let them, it’s their choice, they’re adults, just don’t drag us into it.

    We need a strict travel ban so that no-one travels to and from any warzone for any reason (and the public won’t object because why on earth would any normal person want to go to a warzone anyway?) We don’t need to build a wall, as we’ve got a moat thank goodness.

  16. Any polls tonight or is it Saturday?

  17. I don’t think May has a sneaky plan, she seems to be all twitches and nervous tics. Not too bad today but she was looking very swivel eyed at the G7 yesterday. I’m really not sure it’s the election that’s the problem, my mind goes back to Andrew Neil asking her how long she would stay on as leader, does he know something we don’t? Those rumours about her health, I wonder if there is something in them cos she doesn’t look well at all.

  18. Neither May nor Corbyn look like they could do 5 years…

  19. CR – “Those rumours about her health, I wonder if there is something in them cos she doesn’t look well at all.”

    She’s 61, she suffers from Type 1 diabetes (requiring four injections a day), and she probably hasn’t had much sleep since they woke her up on Monday to tell her there was a terrorist attack in Manchester.

    I expect she’ll come back from the G7 meeting and crash and hope there are no more incidents so she can get back to campaigning on Tuesday.

    I think she triggered the general election because she wants to win an election in her own right and didn’t want to wait till 2020. She wants to win it now, do Brexit and retire at the next election.

  20. Candy
    “Pretend the rest of the world doesn’t exist and pull up the drawbridges.”

    I think that’s going a bit far, but we definitely need to have stricter border controls (both in and out). We need to trade with the world as well. We can’t feed ourselves, even if we get our fish back.

    But back to polling, I think that though Corbyn comes across as sincere his equivocal stance on the IRA and other terrorists, Trident and immigration will in the end decide the election. He is doing far better than I and many others expected though. If Labour end up getting in the mid-30s that will be considerably better than Brown or Miliband did. Perhaps the Tories need to ambush him with a jam butty or something.

  21. Danny

    If the wasps are stinging your children what would you do? Move house, negotiate with them or call an exterminator?

  22. Marco Flynn

    Ashcroft is clearly wrong, it will be much bigger

  23. colin,
    “@” If we intervene, they will react.”

    Of course.

    But they will attack us even if we don’t.”

    No, we disagree. Some conservative spokesperson on the news this morning suggested causes went back to the 1950’s, I think trying to ridicule Corbyn for arguing that our foreign policy had caused this mess. I would say they go back very much further than that. It is a systematic thing where UK rulers of both parties have engaged in exactly the same foreign adventurism going back centuries. Corbyn is indeed the one out of step because he is disagreeing with the entire establishment.

    We will not break this cycle by another round of intervention to stop the consequences of the last round of intervention.

    Of course they will attack us so long as we keep interfering. We would do exactly the same if the situation was reversed. Recall that Churchill speech, ‘we will fight them on the beaches, we will fight them…we will never surrender’. Its all the same sentiment.

    I can see this will run and run, and the comments on here have been rather disappointing in elucidating how this will play out regading the election. What we have is a singular lack of polling evidence following the events. I imagine these polls were conducted, but it isnt in someone’s interest (or anyone’s interest) to release them.

    Lots of people posting here, apparently more interested in manipulating sentiment than in tracking it.

  24. @Woody

    Don’t poke the nest if your kids are with you.


    Totally agree with you as to how May looks – as you say she looked more with it today. I think it is probably a case of barely having a moment’s rest, jetting around, Brexit, opposition coming at her from all sides including from within her own party. And when you have a condition, it does catch up with you, whatever your levels of will power. I’m sure this has had some effect on the Tories’ lower poll ratings. Corbyn simply looks more relaxed. (though he was twitchy at times with Andrew Neil). If she can get Brexit done within the timeframe of the next Parliament then I think she’ll be done too.

  26. Jonathan Stuart-Brown

    “Corbyn in shaky five way coalition (LibDem, Green, SNP, Welsh Nats, Labour)”

    Six. You forgot the SDLP.

    (Not entirely seriously!) the solution for such a coalition might be –

    Secretary of State for Scotland – SNP
    Secretary of State for Wales – Plaid (that or PC are better shorthand than *Welsh Nats”)
    Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – SDLP
    Secretary of State for London – Lib Dems
    Secretary of State for Rest of England – Greens

    Other Cabinet positions to E&WLab.

  27. According to The Guardian May has just attacked Corbyn on his ability to do Security as well as her.

    What is going on? This Conservative campaign is really ill-judged. It seems to be based on Conservative prejudices about Corbyn the man. They haven’t twigged yet that floating voters have actually warmed to his unflappable manner compared to her rather brittle and shaky performance after the manifesto debacle. By playing the man, rather than the ball, they are indulging their instincts rather than boxing clever by targeting Labour’s vulnerability on fiscal trustworthiness. Although Tories loathe Corbyn’s 1970s style Leftism, it isn’t that that would enable them to demolish the Labour message. By targeting him, they would seem to be fanning the sheepish martyrdom he exudes when he revels in the “look I’m a nice guy who the Tories and their Newspaper friends are foul about – what do you think?”
    Although I have my own wishes for the outcome, I nevertheless like to see the campaign machines of all parties fight cleverly – this Conservative campaign is just one car crash after another – why? Are they getting bad advice from someone?

  28. Stuart-Browne,
    “What chance a second election in September because no clear result”

    Brexit farce. Crossed my mind too. Clock expired before we even have a government to do any negotiating.

    “If the wasps are stinging your children what would you do? Move house, negotiate with them or call an exterminator?”

    Funnily enough I was in this situation with someone else’s teenager, who felt it would be great fun to do the stick thing. What i would do is make sure all children understand that putting sticks in wasps nests is very very stupid. In the real situation I thought the child concerned might now learn not to do it again.

  29. I think people have a tendency to completely misread the effect of a tragic event such as the one in Manchester on the political situation.

    The only circumstances in which they have a direct political effect are if one political group or another seek to make it have one – this can (and usually does) backfire. Otherwise, the indirect political effect is usually a magnification of whatever was on the agenda at the time of the incident. Thus, an incident which would normally have gotten Labour two or three days’ real momentum has in practise gotten them six or seven.

  30. This is going to be a very difficult election for pollsters to get right.

    Anecdotal but I am sure similar occurrences going on throughout UK.

    My mum in law (93) has always voted Tory & said she has already voted.She said today if we didn’t interfere in the ME we wouldn’t have these terrorists here. Don’t know how she voted because she would think it shameful if she admitted she didn’t vote Tory.

    My brother who was against Corbyn at the start has now persuaded his entire family to vote for him.

    My niece, a med student has decided to vote in her home town because it will mean an extra vote for Labour, as her Uni town will be held by Labour anyway.

    In Labour areas where UkiP have no candidates, they have asked their supporters to vote Labour.

    I don’t think there have been so many variables to consider for pollsters before.

  31. Hi Danny

    I am not trying to have a go at you.

    You have avoided the point, as has Corbyn. I accept that poking a wasp nest is foolish per se and also unfair on the wasps. If however the wasps become aggressive and sting your children you have to make a choice, simply saying don’t poke them no longer works.

  32. Missed the AN/JC interview, but it sounds like it just reinforced everyone’s preconceptions (and I doubt I would have been any different); instead I was driving through the beautiful Northumbrian and Scottish Border countryside on the way to a weekend in Edinburgh.

    For what it’s worth, there were slightly more LibDem signs by the road than Tory south of the Border (Berwick-upon-Tweed was a CON gain from LD last time). North of the Border (Coldstream and beyond) SNP outnumbered the Conservative and Unionist Party (as it said on the signs) by about 3:1. Entering Edinburgh, I didn’t see a single sign for anyone.

  33. Danny @Woody

    Some years ago, one of our janitors thought it would be a good idea to set a small fire in a hollow tree in the playground to smoke out a wasps nest.

    It set the tree on fire, and angry wasps stung a number of kids. Fire Brigade had to be called to put out the fire, and many firemen were stung in the process.

    Of course, these wasp anecdotes have nothing to do with polling, politics or human beings.

    Quite why Woody felt that this was an appropriate forum to ask for advice on wasp control isn’t clear. The danger is that some people might have thought that he was referring to some humans as insects, and that kind of thinking is very much like your stick poling story.

  34. Tony Dean,

    I suggest that the problem with UKIP was Farage. An outsider who upset the system. The problem with Labour is Corbyn, an outsider who upset the system. Labour and tory mainstream were quite happy nodding along revelling in the camaraderie of being rivals but not opponents.

    As to the economy and how to fund the manifesto’s, that was also in the news and apparently both are on shakey ground. So maybe the Tories do not fancy batting on that one. Bottom line, Brexit= massively expensive, and neither side wants to admit their accounts are fantasy.

    Corbyn’s attraction is that he is ‘none of the above’. More of a disadvantage in a parliamentary election than a presidential one, but May has tried to go along with making this presidential. There is a risk that the more he is attacked as an individual, the more the public is liking him. I seem to recall much the same approach was used on Farage when he first appeared, didnt work. We shall see.

    I wonder how many people would choose a hung parliament.

  35. @Lizh: “In Labour areas where UkiP have no candidates, they have asked their supporters to vote Labour.”

    If correct, this is bizarre viewed from politics. Corbyn is everything a UKIP supporter should oppose.

    But then there is something a friend who used to be Tory Councillor told me. A lot of activists stop being in it for conviction. It is their hobby. Their social life. Their bit of importance. A Tory victory delivers Brexit, and what becomes of their UKIP hobby.

    Labour get in and its a question of Hard-Remain or Soft-Remain – the latter being where we are not officially part of the EU, but other than not voting, we won’t notice too many differences.

    UKIP get to fly again, and probably higher.

  36. @ LizH

    Yes, I’m getting all sorts of weird anecdotal feedback too.

    My daughter, who doesn’t have a political bone in her body has been swept up with JC enthusiasm. Her boyfriend, a Thatcherite through and through in his avowed views is voting Green, eh?

    My local builder, who was Brexit through and through, and prior to that UKIP and a fortnight ago dead set on voting for TM piped up today in the corner shop by announcing that he was going to vote for Corbyn because he will get a much better Brexit deal cos May has upset them all too much already! I kept schtum as I couldn’t believe my ears!

    And many many more…..

  37. woody,
    “I am not trying to have a go at you.”

    Thats quite all right, I am not offended. Someone willing to engage in argument, rather then pure polemic.

    I find it wize to stop wasp nests getting started. But once they are, leave well alone or approach with overwhelming fire power. The stick approach is always bad.

  38. Prescott just tweeted “Heard from a Tory grandee today. They said their campaign is viewed by senior Tories as a disaster.”

  39. Previous version in moderation. I’ll try a technique used by someone upthread by putting asterisks in potentially contentious words.

    Tony Dean
    “….this Conservative campaign is just one car crash after another – why? Are they getting bad advice from someone?”
    I’ve almost started to wonder if there is a Labour m*le in CCHQ.
    e.g. “Prime Minister, let’s just slip in this d*mentia tax without consulting the rest of the party”, and a few days later “It’s ok, just row back on it, no-one will notice”. Then an email to ol’ Corby “Everything’s going to plan. She fell for it”

  40. joseph1832,
    “Corbyn is everything a UKIP supporter should oppose.”
    Actually, why? Somewhat luke warm on EU membership. His stated policy is quite a sensible approach to leaving, if you don’t like the cliff jumping and confrontational tory approach. What finally happens will depend on public sentiment at the time.

    May is very luke warm indeed on halting immigration, whereas Corbyn might invest a bit in schools and training to skill up some Uk workers to replace immigrants.

  41. Hi Old Nat

    Someone once told me that analogy is not the science of the backside, I agreed with her. (Add smile/chuckle thing)

  42. @ LizH

    As I posted a couple of days ago, if I were TM heads would roll. I have never witnessed such an ill judged campaign since Labour’s in 1983. They might pull it back from the brink, but so far it appears their tactical thinking is non-existent. It’s all self-indulgent stuff giving vent to their own perceptions of things rather than targeting key voters with a tailor made message. Madness…

  43. @Tony Dean.

    Sadly I agree. They better turn this around or it could be historical.

  44. Lizh,
    “Prescott just tweeted “Heard from a Tory grandee today. They said their campaign is viewed by senior Tories as a disaster.”

    This is the May party election. She was chosen to keep the cats in the tory sack from killing each other. She might have decided to do so by putting them in the back room for 5 years to cool off. Expect its getting tricky holding on to that sack.

  45. Tony Dean: “My local builder, who was Brexit through and through, and prior to that UKIP and a fortnight ago dead set on voting for TM piped up today in the corner shop by announcing that he was going to vote for Corbyn because he will get a much better Brexit deal cos May has upset them all too much already! I kept schtum as I couldn’t believe my ears!”

    I doubt that will work out well for the builder. But it does underline the superficial impressionistic way that many votes turn.

    TM thought that would carry her to a great victory.

    Instead she will spend the rest of her life thinking of the moment she approved the social care policy for the manifesto… A sliding doors moment of monumental proportions.

  46. Woody

    Sensible people are, however, conscious that in sensitive areas of life, some analogies can be offensive to some and reinforce the prejudices of others.

    That’s why they avoid inappropriate analogies.

  47. IMO the Tories problem is Crosby. He is over rated. His ideas are too dated for the modern world.

  48. @lizh,

    But flashback 2.5 weeks and lab were 19 points behind and getting ridiculed over Abbot doing possibly the worst ever radio interview I have ever heard.

    The manifesto crashed it for May as it gave nothing to core supporters, looked arrogant and then impacted strong and stable with semi u turn.

    For the record I still think she will win as the UK doesn’t do socialism, but it’s all got very interesting.

  49. Ariana Grande has just announced a benefit concert in Manchester to raise money for the victims of the attacks and their families. I have nothing but immense respect for that and couldn’t think of a better way to stick it to the terrorists.

  50. @Danny:

    Corbyn is a committed multiculturalist. He sees no limits on migration. He doesn’t like the EU – good – but very much from a socialist perspective, not even a Tony Benn democratic perspective. Schools – I think most Ukip supporters would like to see grammar schools and a emphasis on academic rigour, just throwing money at comprehensives not exactly impressive from this perspective.

    Of course, there were Saunders supporters who flipped to Trump. There are those who don’t pay too much attention who might see Corbyn as another anti-establishment force, and flip from Ukip. But if you are an intelligent person who voted Ukip to create pressure on mainstream parties in areas such as the EU, migration, too much lazy political correctness, then it just does not make sense.

    Insofar as voting Ukip might have been about wanting to throw the cards in the air and see how they fall, because nothing else is working, I see the logic in voting Corbyn. But you are throwing a very different pack into the air.

    But if people are entertaining such ideas, then May will lose.

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