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. Canvassing and “meeting the public” sessions in the hitherto UKIP stronghold of Clacton back up Liz H’s anecdotal evidence. We have been genuinely surprised by the number of people who have told us that they have voted Conservative all their life but not this time. The age profile of the constituency is one of the oldest in the country and there is a real feeling that for the first time they have been abandoned by the Tories.

    Definitely interesting times in this part of the world.

  2. Old Nat

    Now I get it. Apologies to anyone who saw the use of the wasp nest analogy as an indication I view some people as insects.

  3. woody

    ” Apologies to anyone who saw the use of the wasp nest analogy as an indication I view some people as insects.”

    I didn’t. Seems a bit daft to take everything literally.

    I did feel that you missed the point but that’s a different matter altogether.

  4. Rich,
    “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.”

    Ah, that interview everyone remembers about increasing police numbers? Who can do mathematics, anyway?

    If labour had not been 19 points behind, we would not even be having an election, never mind labour winning it.

  5. Woody
    No-one who is not incredibly picky or over-sensitive saw your analogy as anything other than what it was – a good analogy.

  6. I have never read such a load of guff in all my life.Get a grip!Running around like a load of fish persons.

    1.The Tory campaign. It has not been inspiring but the level of support is at 44 % . That is 6 points higher than Cameron achieved.
    2. The average labour polling is 34 .
    3.With less than 10 days to go there is a 10% lead for the Tories.

    i can only think that a warm bank holiday friday has addled a few brains. This ought to be a forum for rational debate not emoting

    and what happens if the next poll shows labour stagnating and the tories up. ?

  7. @S.Thomas This election is very different to any other and I don’t think anyone has a clue what the final result will be including the pollsters.

  8. S thomas,
    The conservative level of support is 32%, and labour 30%. Those are the raw support numbers from the latest yougov. Sure they translate them into 40 something by eliminating the non voters, but the actual genuine support is less than 1/3 con and 1/3 lab. Its the missing 1/3 with the power to upset all this. Its so close that things like relative turnout of different groups are critical.

    The referendum stirred up a lot of normally non voters, Corbyn has stirred up a lot of normally non voters. Even the bomb has probably stirred up a lot of normally non voters.

  9. I am suddenly concerned by all this anecdotal stuff we are all picking up. Is it that we are witnessing a swing from Right to Left or a weird type of hyper-churn as voters are disorientated by the images not fitting the perceived prior profiling of the two leaders. May is looking brittle and tired and a bit vascilating on her own policies, rather than strong and stable, whilst Corbyn is zen-like and unflappable, rather than a swivel-eyed left-wing activist. So, voters are a bit confused perhaps, in so far as they’ve thought about it yet?

  10. LizH

    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.

    Interesting point considering she went through the second world war…

  11. @ LIZH

    Prescott just tweeted “Heard from a Tory grandee today. They said their campaign is viewed by senior Tories as a disaster.”
    ————————————————————————–
    Very much the view of the overwhelming majority of Conservative Home activists.

    Re: “In Labour areas where Ukip have no candidates, they have asked their supporters to vote Labour.”

    It seems that there is a view amongst many in Ukip leadership that Mrs May wants a landslide so that she can pull back from Brexit. They say that she cannot be trusted. A similar suspicion comes from the ultra left:

    ?‘. . . big business remains of the view it had overwhelmingly this time last year when it campaigned hard for Remain.?It would much prefer Brexit to mean not Brexit. That has been politically impossible in the wake of the referendum.?With a majority of just 13 MPs in the Commons, the May government has been susceptible to the threat of revolt from two minority wings…?May…. is now hoping for a big majority through which to assert some control, not to pursue some hard Brexit, but to bury the referendum and return the Tory Party in government to close alignment with the City of London and big business. That centres upon something she has been trailing for some weeks, to the alarm of the Tory Brexiteers.?It is to seek a long transitional arrangement with the EU in which all the strictures of the single market — which is not a trading relationship, but a legal enforcement of big business’s rights — are maintained, possibly renewed every year by vote of Parliament.

    http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/free/lobster73/lob73-view-from-the-bridge.pdf

    So it may be that a Corbyn brexit is seen as preferable.

  12. Ian
    “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.”

    She might well be right, but haven’t governments of both stripes interfered in the ME? In fact the second Iraq War, which was arguably the interference that ended up worst, was undertaken under Labour. So why would her statement affect her vote?

  13. PS no idea where all the ? come from.

  14. Pete B:

    Because she’s voting based on what the current leaders are saying, not what past leaders did?

  15. Pete B

    You addressed the question to the wrong person.

  16. Relick
    I doubt that, in a 93-year-old. I’m 30 years younger, but my voting intentions are coloured by my own previous experiences. Aren’t yours?

  17. Meanwhile in Scotland ……

    Tomorrow’s headline in the Herald – “Labour in crisis as fresh deal struck with the Tories”.

    The STV local elections meant that no party had a majority in any council, so deals had to be struck to allow coalitions or minority administrations.

    For local government, I rather like that. The elected councillors need to judge who they can work with, and look at commonality of programmes – and how such deals will go down with their supporters [1].

    However, in the atmosphere of an imminent UK GE, these deals may influence perceptions of each party, and influence how voters might respond.

    In practice, I think that only affects SLab voters. SNP and SCon voters are unlikely to be much influenced. As the two main parties in Scotland, there are no deals between them.

    For SLab, however, they now face the usual 3rd party dilemma – which of their enemies do they side with : or do they go into splendid isolation, and lose all influence?

    As usual, most folk will have little idea of what has happened in their own council area, but will be strongly influenced by the media narrative.

    SLab hoped that suspending the Aberdeen councillors who entered a formal coalition with SCon would solve the issue, but in other councils (notably West Lothian) an “informal” coalition between SLab and SCon, edges round SLab party rules.

    Despite the narrative of the rise of SCon, they remain the “most disliked” party in Scotland by 51% of voters, so SLab coalitions with them are likely to be a live issue.

    http://whatscotlandthinks.org/questions/which-political-party-do-you-dislike-the-most

    [1] Naturally, partisans of SNP, SLab and SCon are delighted when their party makes a deal that puts their lot in power at the expense of the largest party, and howls in rage when (as the largest party) they are out-manoeuvred!

  18. Folks.We need some perspective.Corbyn has run a very good canpaign.May a very poor one.Yet the nearest Lab have come to Con is a 5 point margin.That is not even hung Parliament territory.
    This remains the Tories election to lose

  19. Pete B

    Relick, answered your question for me, thanks

  20. There was poll put out by the Sun earlier by ‘Survey Monkey’ – does this one not count or considered invalid? It had 8 point lead for Con.
    Con – 44
    Lab – 36
    LD – 6
    UKIP – 5

  21. Pete B:

    To some extent, yes, but I think it definitely depends on the person. It would not surprise me if someone with over 90 years under their belt would in fact be more inclined to separate leaderships from each other, having experienced vastly different attitudes from the leaders across the decades. Even as she voted Tory every election until now she must have noticed the huge differences between Churchill, Heath, Thatcher and Cameron’s governments. Similar deal with Labour.

  22. @AW

    Delete my post in auto-mod. Nothing particularly wrong with it, just off topic.

  23. @Tony Dean: “I am suddenly concerned by all this anecdotal stuff we are all picking up. Is it that we are witnessing a swing from Right to Left or a weird type of hyper-churn as voters are disorientated by the images not fitting the perceived prior profiling of the two leaders. May is looking brittle and tired and a bit vascilating on her own policies, rather than strong and stable, whilst Corbyn is zen-like and unflappable, rather than a swivel-eyed left-wing activist. So, voters are a bit confused perhaps, in so far as they’ve thought about it yet?”

    I share your sentiments.

    Until about 10 days ago, I was fairly clear in the one thing this site had taught me: voting intention is not that volatile. It is remarkable stable. If Bigotgate couldn’t even lose Rochdale for Labour, what could really dent the Tory lead?

    But there seems to be a weird mood.

    Corbyn couldn’t even get 32 Labour MPs to renominate him as leader in a head to head clash with a practical unknown, yet now perfectly sensible people seem to think he is basically mainstream. And Diane Abbott is tough on law and order. And Emily Thornberry will fly the flag for the country.

    But, if another message from this site is that most people aren’t paying attention, why should not lead to the occasional wild swing even if it normally leads to stability?

    PS: I don’t deny that TM was relying on superficial impressions carrying her to victory.

  24. @PeteB she never raised the issue of interfering in the ME before when other terrorist atrocities happened.

  25. Pete B

    “She might well be right, but haven’t governments of both stripes interfered in the ME? In fact the second Iraq War, which was arguably the interference that ended up worst, was undertaken under Labour. So why would her statement affect her vote?”

    Maybe she’s noticed that Jeremy Corbyn is not Tony Blair.

  26. I presume we will not see the effect of today’s JC speech and the Conservative (party and press) response until next week in opinion polling. I, quite frankly, have no idea how it will go. I wonder whether Corbyn’s performance on Andrew Neil (seemingly no worse than than neutral with flecks of positive from the commentators I have seen) might mitigate against any initial negativity. I also felt the Conservative response was predictable and bordered on doing very much what they were saying Labour were doing (seeking political capital from tragedy). I was very surprised that there seemed to be no ill effect from the push on Corbyn and the IRA last weekend (before the MEN attack) indicating maybe those that say they are supporting Labour have already taken into account his well know views in the matter. On nothing more than ‘inkling’ I still cannot believe the polls are currently accurate and that the methodologies used must be incapable of reflecting accurately whatever real changes are happening

  27. Lewis Thompson – UKIP’s candidate in the neighbouring Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford constituency – has given his support to Creagh, and “urged” people to vote for her. He told The Wakefield Express:

    I’m urging the people of Wakefield to vote Labour. We can’t let the Tories get a huge majority.

  28. Fair bit of hysteria on here. Whilst I agree that TM needs to show some fresh fire in her belly to stir up the troops, it’s not the disaster some seem to believe – though it shows how we tend to be led by media narrative into believing something.

    Whereas the YouGov tables clearly show us that TM still IS regarded as strong and stable by historic measures of our leaders and vs JC. Just look at the data giving the % on different questions, esp re national security stuff.

  29. The 5% Tory lead comes from a Kantar poll. This is an overseas based polling agency with no experience in UK elections before this year.

    [The 5% lead is from the YouGov poll, not the Kantar one. Kantar are based in London. Kantar are a just a rebranding of TNS who are are long standing pollsters. So well done, every single part of that sentence was wrong, have a biscuit or something – AW]

  30. None of the Tory voters I know are now committed to voting Tory. They are saying they are “unsure” etc. One man said to me “They (Tories) are not even going to give us a 1p off a pint of beer”. I think that’s what the change in the polls comes down to; there’s no treat in the Tory manifesto.

  31. Found a Poll !!!!!

    SurveyMonkey for The Sun, carried out Weds & Thur (so after the attack), 6000. Respondents.

    Con 44%
    Lab 36%
    LD. 6%’
    UKIP 5%
    Oth. 9%’

  32. Re. terror speech: is this Corbyn’s trump moment? The establishment has shown itself at its worst: not just disagreeing with Corbyn, but shouting him down, demanding that he not challenged the proscribed establishment orthodoxy. Meanwhile I think Corbyn has said what many people are quietly thinking. On issues like this jingoism and bravado will always be expressed loudly and publicly; the more cowardly view of “I’m scared of ISIS and just want out” is not something people are proud of, but I suspect in private many people feel exactly that way – today’s yougov survey found only 24% disagreeing with Corbyn.

    The next 2-3 days is crucial. If Corbyn pulls into a statistical tie things could really start to crumble for the Conservatives: their credibility was partly based on their untouchable lead in the polls. The more that evaporates, the less convincing they look to their remaining supporters. Almost unbelievably, might we now see Corbyn storm the election from behind a la Trudeau?

    There’s still a chance the Tories can reverse everything, but they are going to need something to stick that hasn’t so far. I presume they are reluctant to return to the “propped up by SNP” card because it would shatter the narrative of a strong Tory majority. But if the lead keeps shrinking surely it will come out again. Corbyn has been proactive recently: does he dare preempt the SNP attack and ask the public to give *him* a majority so he needn’t rely on SNP?

  33. @ WELLYTAB I presume they are reluctant to return to the “propped up by SNP” card

    It arrived in the post yesterday round here. Nice glossy leaflet with an appeal off TM to vote for her to give her a strong majority and photos of Sturgeon and Corbyn along with Coalition of Chaos.

  34. @ WELLYTAB I presume they are reluctant to return to the “propped up by SNP” card

    It arrived in the post yesterday round here. Nice glossy leaflet with an appeal off TM to vote for her to give her a strong majority and photos of Sturgeon and Corbyn along with Coalition of Chaos.

  35. In 2016 there were an estimated 150 beheadings in Saudi Arabia. Alleged offences included terrorism, atheism, and homosexuality. Meanwhile the UK licenced billions in arms exports. Business trumps human rights every time.

    Contrast this with the media’s take of Corbyn’s dialogue with terrorists. Indeed, contrast their coverage with Margaret Thatcher kissing General Pinochet on the cheek while he was under house arrest. There is nothing consistent or balanced in this, or any, general election. The narrative is pre-ordained and tunnel-visioned.

    Just sayin’, is all.

  36. In the unlikely event Corbyn does win, imagine the chaos when he tries to put through ang of his policies. The PLP would still never support him and he would be 30 lefty mps (max!) agaisnt 200+ normal ones. Then what?

  37. * Yes, I see the paradox. Pre-ordained inconsistency.

  38. Thinking about the TM and JC interviews I would see it this way. TM was handed the rope and proceeded to hang herself with a bit of help from an expert executioner. Corbyn was handed the rope but refused to do the expected thing. The result was a ferocious assualt from the executioner who pulled the lever a number of times to announce that the job was done. Opinions differ on whethe or not this was the case.

  39. Labour

    As some posters may be aware i have always thought that JC was underated because he is what passes for a conviction politician. He is Marmite.Frank sinatra could have sung a song about him.
    Because of that he, quite rightly in my view, decided that if Labour produced a responsible,boring ,tory lite manifesto and campaign they would suffer a huge defeat.To his credit he produced a leftish manifesto full of undeliverable policies that many voters had despaired of ever seeing again. Those voters may have given up voting or voted in the Euroref for the first time in ages. They have been joined by those who want an end to the public sector pay freeze or those whose children will be going to university. Corbyn has cynically abandoned the left policy of accumulating power through groupings and coalitions and gone for the jugular of accumulating power through playing on the desire of people to have something for free or at least paid for by anybody else but themselves. A classic example is labour now defending the right of the children in parents in care to have their inheritance untouched whilst working taxpayers stump up.
    He has galvanized a group of potential voters which IMHO is reflected in the polls and they and the media and the anoraks are shouting big. But they are about to come up against the great Tory shield wall which remains rock steady at about 44% The tories will win but the size of the majority will be decided by how solid the shield wall remains and how flaky the new found labour voters are when push comes to shove.

    3 further comments :

    1. To the tory campaign team. You cant run a presidential type campaign when you dont have the charismatic material to work with. Someone ought to have noticed this.
    2.I do not believe that the general public believe that a corbyn win is possible. If they do then all things are possible but i think the Tory shield wall will be reinforced.
    3.Look out for the views of Labour uncut and the first sightings of the postal vote ( it will be denied that this is possible but it is true)Prediction 45/34.

  40. @ WELLYTAB

    “today’s yougov survey found only 24% disagreeing with Corbyn”

    Which survey is that? I can’t find it!

  41. I will put this out there as a suggestion as to why the Tory campaign has not gone down well with many.

    “Strong and stable “. Repeat ” Strong and stable etc.

    I don’t think people like the use of simple message politics, where the same thing is repeated over and over again like a robot stuck in one mode.

    What ever question was asked, the same answer was given. Theresa Mays interview with Andrew Neil was terrible for viewers wanting straightforward answers. All Theresa May was programmed to say was that everything related to something strong e.g economy, leadership.

    Whoever is responsible for the Tory campaign has got it seriously wrong up to this point. Labour really should not be closing the polling gap, but they appear to be doing so and Jeremy Corbyn is being listened to. Yes some don’t like Corbyn saying foreign intervention policies fuel terrorism, but the evidence suggests it is probably true. The polling suggests that a majority of the public agree with this. The timing of the speech is not best, but we are in a short election campaign period. Those criticising should think why democratically elected politicians should be silenced by those with closed minds. Politics should always be about discussing subjects that are at times very uncomfortable.

  42. Andy Williams,
    “photos of Sturgeon and Corbyn along with Coalition of Chaos.”

    I thought it was a mistake for labour to go along with this conservative argument at the time of the last election, and still do so. Indeed, I find it pretty ridiculous the way governments just give up without the support of the commons.

    The concept of separation of powers means a government should be able to continue existing even lacking a majority in the commons. We then get the sort of tussel seen in the US, where a PM cannot get through their budget and the factions ransom the nation, but so be it. In the end politicians are forced to negotiate by public pressure.

    Labour and SNP have one obvious point of disagreement, but this is not so obvious all the time the majority in Scotland does not want independence. And if Scotland ever does achieve majority for independence, then it will go anyway. Putting this aside, why would two socialist parties not cooperate?

    UKIP is probably far more diverse a party than the established ones because it has had to attract people from scratch over one cause. So while one individual might ask its voters to vote labour, another might say vote conservative. But aside from this, there is no telling what May or her replacement might do with a 150 majority, and general policy might mean it is less to the liking of UKIP than would be Corbyn’s labour.

    His policy of international detachment might end with fewer international refugees ending up here, with all the implications they bring from a far right perspective. Much of our long term immigration has been a legacy of empire and it continues.

  43. On the Brexit issue, I see it this way. Irrespective of who is in power there are only two possible outcomes: a very ‘soft’ interim deal after two years or a cliff edge exit after two years. This is simply reality. We have no power to force anything else.

    UKIP don’t consider a soft interim deal Brexit at all. They therefore do not want May to have a big enough majority to enable one. In addition they want influence and a big majority for anyone will not enable that. Finally their strategy of wooing Labour voters is better served by supporting Labour where they are not actually fighting them. Otherwise they may be seen as Tory Trojan Horse (is that the right metaphor).

    So imperium and others for whom Brexit is the key issue have to make up their minds what kind of Brexit they want and then vote tactically in a way that maximises or minimises UkIP’s influence and factors in their understanding of May’s ‘genuine position’. (Is she actually trying to get a big majority to cover a soft deal or is she wanting it in order to be able to talk tough and walk away?)

    And in making a rational decision on this we really do need an unbiassed look at what a cliff edge would mean. As far as I know the debates over Brexit never really looked at what kind of Brexit was likely to happen. One side said it would all be fine because the Germans wanted to sell us cars and the other side said that it would all be gloom and doom without actually spelling out what kind of deal that assumed. So we are playing politics with our futures with no proper basis on which to proceed at all.

  44. Word of warning: beware Bank Holiday polls – they can be misleading.

    (mind you going by last time out, ALL polls can be misleading)

  45. Looking at the polls the conservative VI has been remarkably stable, hovering around 45%. So it’s hard to call their campaign a disaster! What has changed is the labour vote has increased, mainly I imagine because traditional labour supporters have decided to back JC.

    Ignoring the polls I still get an inkling for a tory majority of 100+. Labour’s campaign offers transparent hand outs and targets the young, where no matter what they tell us turn out is always low. JC is seen as weak on defence and security and we’ve just had a terror attack.

    I would be amazed if labour got more votes than under Ed, whereas the tory % looks set to be between 44-47%.

  46. S thomas,
    “Corbyn has cynically abandoned the left policy of accumulating power through groupings and coalitions and gone for the jugular of accumulating power through playing on the desire of people to have something for free or at least paid for by anybody else but themselves”

    While you get to the centre of the traditional difference between labour and conservative, I fear your description of it lacks a little in impartiality.

    Economic modelling says that the economy works best – for everyone- when wealth is distributed fairly evenly. This has been born out over time, where rising national success has followed policies aimed at more equal wealth distribution. Labour traditionally believes in wealth redistribution, and so has the conservative party. For the greater good of everyone in the long term.

    But we know wealth redistribution has gone into reverse in recent times in both parties. Corbyn is a reaction against that. There is no reason why his policies cannot work, they always have.

    Rather, what we see is something of a propaganda victory for the idea that every person can get rich themselves and this would be threatened by a redistributive party. One person might, but its like winning the national lottery where most people lose. The division between traditional labour and tory is not about economic reality but about propaganda.

    Corbyn threatens the entrenched positions of both new labour and conservative because he is championing a wholly different approach to government. Voters do not follow unless someone leads.

  47. Surprisingly, the newspaper front pages this morning don’t really feature Corbyns interview. The Guardian and the Telegraph has May criticising Corbyn.
    I expected the press to go on full attack mode. There’s not that much time left.

  48. There could be two unexpected outcomes from the Manchester horror:

    UKIP switch fro Con

    The all pull together feel of Manchester aftermath is rough “mood fit” to socialism.

  49. Charles,
    “we are playing politics with our futures with no proper basis on which to proceed at all”

    So a year on, and still no closer to resolving the Brexit problem.

    If the conservatives believed that hard Brexit will be OK economically, they did not need an election. Just get on with it.

    The need for an election only arises if hard decisions must be made. Going for soft Brexit is clearly a hard decision because many see it as no Brexit, as you say. But this only becomes a problem if there is no alternate good solution.

    The only possible conclusion is that conservatives believe hard Brexit is also a bad solution, and this must be an economic conclusion not a political one.

    Therefore there are two good outcomes for the government from this election. One would be a sufficiently big majority to overcome internal conservative opposition. The second is to lose completely and no longer have the problem.

    Hence the manifesto. Not designed to be popular, but to allow the government room for emergency economic measures, which they are certain will be necessary. As per Osborne, but also Hammond’s recent failure to pass even modest tax rises.

  50. Well this is all getting very interesting.

    Only things known for certain is that the tories are current favourites for a majority of between 0 – say 100.

    I think this comes down to the turnout from the youth vote.

    Anecdote , if you are at collage don’t criticise Jezza, if you do that the end of your friendship circle. I speak from my doughter asking her class mates what the big deal was. It appears to be some form of thing not a labour thing.

    Strange

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