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. LOCKE

    I agree that an all out assault on Corbyn would look a bit obvious and back-fire. I think it might be better to ignore him and simply focus on their own policies, accepting they mean difficult choices, that they are the only party that has the guts to make those difficult choices, rather than offer a rat-bag of goodies. I felt they looked stronger on the odd occasion May and others spoke this way, but they need to repeat this mantra more often and really look as if they mean it.

  2. Paul Croft

    I’m horrified that I might only inherit 100k from my bless them ‘rents, but not as horrified by the fact that my house has just earned less than I have for two years running. The lazy article!

    The doorstep is really intriguing me. From the previous thread, I reckon the voters don’t really remember the manifestos at all. They go on something else, and possibly respond differently to pollsters from how they respond to the ballot paper in the booth, in recent elections.

  3. Can’t wait for oddschecker to get back online.

  4. It`s very useful to have yougov`s supplementary questioning to explain the narrowing of the Tory v Labour lead. And thank you AW for writing this up concisely.

    So my hunch (posted on the previous thread) that the Tory police cut-backs and low tax policy could be the cause, seems wrong.

    However I do notice that the polling ended on Thursday afternoon, before police comments about the impossibility of fully checking on many suspects surfaced, together with others reporting the drop in police numbers.

    So maybe the lead will narrow still further in the next polls, and the pragmatic Tory leaders will out-trump Labour with a U-turn on recruiting even more police than Labour propose.

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

    Blimey ! That sounds like a coalition of chaos to me.

  6. Tories meed to announce 20,000 extra specialist anti-terror police if they have any sense. Not a u-turn as it is a response to Monday.

  7. I predict a focus on brexit from the Tories and won’t be surprised if they provoke conflict with Junker and EU – had a boom which they took into the locals earlier in the camping using this tactic

  8. @ Candy

    The cross breaks show Labour picking up 35% of 2015 LibDems, which surprises me.

    There are a few other interesting details:

    Labour leading again in the North.

    Greens down to just 2%.

    Big gender gap, with Tories leading by over 10 points with men, but Labour 3 points ahead with women.

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

    Could be rounding to take into account. UK polls always round to the nearest whole number. I’ve noticed that in other EU countries the polls sometimes round to the nearest half percentage point or even less. I think that’s avoided here because it would give the impression of spurious accuracy (is that right? I’m sure it’s been discussed somewhere) but it also means that the jumps could appear bigger than they really are.

  10. @Candy

    The way the headline VI is worked out, it could be previous DK and WNV turning to Labour.

    Recent YG polls have the Greens at 2%, which I suspect is a floor, given some Greens are hard set against voting Labour.

  11. John TT

    “The doorstep is really intriguing me.”

    You need to get out more John. Well, a bit further anyway.

  12. In the Yougov poll, Labour have a lead of 3% amongst Women polled.

    It might be the case that Women feel much more aggrieved by the changes in the Tory manifesto e.g care, school lunches.

    Still think a Tory majority of between 50-70 seats is most likely election outcome, unless Labour manage to get those who did not vote in 2015 to support them. If that happens, we might see the Tories gain fewer seats and still face a Parliament with no clear majority in favour of any Brexit the Government negotiates.

  13. Anybody know what is happening to Mrs May’s personal ratings? People have said that JC’s are still very bad but creeping up. What’s happening to hers?

  14. Ssssimon
    Well of course everyone liked Corbyns manifesto. It’s promises free sweets for all. Problem is the young are naive enough to believe it. Well just watch the flight of capital, wealth and business from the country, just as happened in France a few years ago when Hollande was planning to increase tax rates to 75%.

    Allan Christie

    I said when this election was called that it would be a high turnout. I think north of 70% is very likely.

    May really has to go for Corbyn big time and get Brexit back on the agenda or it simply won’t happen.

  15. Certainty to vote is unusual as well:

    Con 76%
    Lab 73%
    LibDem 80%

    For reference in 2015, turnout was 66% and in the EU ref it was 72%

    The polls are showing the opposite of what happened in France (where polls showed a low certainty to vote, which increased as polling day got close, and in the actual ballot turnout was high as people couldn’t bring themselves not to do the traditional thing which was to vote).

  16. The supplementary questions are interesting

    In summary, May’s leadership ratings are holding up, to my surprise after Monday night.

    Brexit and the NHS are the defining issues, not security, again to my surprise.

    The Tories have a clear lead on Brexit, even most remain voters think they will handle it better than Labour

    But on the NHS, the Tories trail badly.

    Oh, and as a nation we want to bring back the death penalty (56%), and lock up extremists even it they have committed no crime(41%) – or in more polite terms, we want to criminalise extremism

    And ban anyone that goes to Syria without permission (66%)

  17. Quite sceptical of the YouGov poll but just ran it through Electoral? Calculus and on a uniform swing it would mean Plaid Cymru losing all their seats. Would be the first time no nationalists were elected in Wales since 1970.

  18. “Tories meed to announce 20,000 extra specialist anti-terror police if they have any sense. ”

    Are they allowed to do that? What’s the name of that rule that prevents the government from announcing decisions during election campaigns?

    Perhaps they can announce it as something they’re adding to their manifesto, to implement if they win the election?

  19. Polling error

    here we go again. another disaster for polling looms. I am now putting my money on a 100 majority. The analysis of what is happening is flawed. Just taking the you gov poll

    1.-The great manifesto disaster as portrayed has resulted in the dramatic collapse of the Tory vote by …er… 1%. The Group who have the most to lose and who have turned against the Tories ie those over 65 have not.If they have not turned then who has?Are the 18-24 group up in arms about the winter heating allowance?

    2.On the polling it is labour who have apparently narrowed the gap.But has it:

    a. the poll shows a massive difference in 18-24 from other polls in voting likleyhood. This is the group most likely to support Labour but least likely,in reality , to vote despite what they say; all the main categories of qualities the voters prefer the Tories and TM. This was the giveaway as to polling errors in the 2015 GE;
    c.The poll has labour 4% above the tMS poll with the tories at roughly the same level. Whatever else has happened it is unlikely that corbyn has prospered over the last week.

    IMHO the closer it looks the greater the Tory majority will be. I am there fore upping my prediction from 75 to 100 majority.

  20. Paul – the tiles are cracked but come up lovely with a bit of polish
    Politicos and guitarists should take note

  21. David West: “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.”

    I think the protesting about it “hasn’t changed” in a way where she seemed a little bewildered creates an image that is fairly hard to put right.

    Had she not scuppered the debates, there would be a platform. Without that, nothing can really rival the image created by the debacle.

    Particularly as Labour will now start to attack the “cap” on social care as leading to other arbitrary results, i.e. for all the reasons why the Tories left it out in the first place. A stupid avoidable mess. But one caused by what the Guardian early identified as one of TM’s weaknesses – not involving colleagues.

    The only thing that can save the Tories is if this surge is as false as Cleggmania.

  22. Well I may have been the first to say hung parliament I was told ‘don’t be daft’ but here we are. It is incredible to think May called the election 20+% ahead and it’s now narrowed to 5%

    The SNP will give Labour C&S, for the SNP they need a sweet spot where Labour are strong enough to retain their own voters from going Con but not so strong they start to gain from the SNP and Conservatives are sufficiently weakened by the national party & lack of Labour tactical voters.

    The SNP advantage here is that Scottish Labour is very anti-Corbyn and everyone knows it, so they can’t capitalise on his success.

    The crossbreaks are TNS SNP49% YouGov SNP 41% The YouGov over the years in U.K. polls tend to underestimate SNP and over estimate Cons in the subsamples.

  23. Sometimes in life one is delighted to be wrong and this may be one of them.
    This 5% may well be toward one end of MOE but even so the average must be pushing well below 10% now.

    The Tories wanted to fight this election on Brexit and Leadership and it seems are unprepared for anything else as they believed that would dominate and be enough.

    They may well be right when June 08th comes but at present they are struggling to get the agenda back there and even when they do the manifesto U-Turn reduces (whilst clearly al long way from negating) the impact of the strong and stable message.

  24. The most poetically perfect result would be bugger-all change from 2015.

    Shakespeare wrote a play with an appropriate title.

  25. A Comedy of Errors

  26. @Charles

    On “Best Prime Minister, Mrs May scores 45%, Corbyn scores 28%,

    On “keepig safe from terrorism”, Mrs May scores total trust 55%, Corbyn total trust 33%

  27. Taming of the Shrew ?

    Much Ado About Nothing ?

    All’s Well That Ends Well ?

    The Tempest?

    The last one seems about right .

  28. Sorrell is right, you can why Brown didn’t fancy a snap election.

  29. @MrNameless back too…now we just need Amber and it will be 2015 all over again…welcome back.

    Are you back campaigning to remove Mr Clegg again? Do you think the Tories or Labour have a better chance of beating him this time round?

  30. john tt

    “Paul – the tiles are cracked but come up lovely with a bit of polish”

    It sounds like you have achieved the perfect balance between an exciting life and a fulfilling one John. I wish mine was as good.

  31. The Tories needed DUP support given the NI Brexit situation would be very difficult

  32. One more poll showing this scale of shift away from the Tories and I think something (even more) dramatic could happen. There’s a strong herd instinct when it comes to voting, people like to back a winner (it’s the theory behind putting up as many posters as possible). Even though the Tories are still in the lead, they are looking more and more like losers, and the narrative of a Tory catastrophe could be self-fulfilling.

    The other thing is May’s profound unlikeability. I never saw it myself, but people seem to have found Cameron charming and likeable, which meant he was able to get away with a few omnishambles budgets and breaking of promises. May doesn’t have that, so when the impression of competence take a hit, there’s nothing left to shore up her support.

    With 2 weeks to go, Labour probably have enough ammunition now to last until polling day. They really don’t need to do anything more than just keep repeating “Dementia Tax”, “Police Cuts”, “Manifesto Shambles” and “Weak and Wobbly”.

  33. Much Ado Aboot Nothing

    [Geordie version – nah worrah mean layke?]

  34. Well just a short message from the Tory bastion of Bromley and Chislehurst.

    We received our first GE leaflets today from Tory, Lab and LD.

    The most amusing thing was on the back of Bob Neill’s leaflet (Tory), where it says:
    “Vote Bob Neil – Conservative”.
    Then at the top in small type it says:
    “Please place this in your window to avoid being disturbed by other Parties!”

  35. Stayed away from the news for a while as I can’t stand the endless overemotional gurning from the journos after big tragedies. We’re into day 4 of endless platitudes, just doing the terrorists job for them.

    The polls – fascinating. A genuinely interesting election campaign for once, with apparently real poll movements readily explained by political actions – what’s not to like for the non partisan poll watcher?

    Three thoughts on the impact of the attack on the campaign;

    Firstly, it hasn’t broken Labour’s momentum, as might have been expected. I had assumed that Labour’s charge would be halted as the breathe was completely pulled out of the news coverage by the attack. However, it appears that the negative reaction to the Con manifesto was too deep to disrupt.

    Second, what of UKIP? Their launch today was (in my view) effective in a typically clumsy UKIP style, at least as far as their own base might view such things. Landing some direct blows on May over matters of police numbers and immigration and linking these directly to an emotionally red raw terror atrocity will enrage decency in some, but may have others nodding in agreement. If the skids really are under May, will UKIPpers drift back?

    Third, Corbyn has a really big challenge tomorrow. He needs his message to be oh so tightly crafted, and if he gets it wrong he is probably toast. One slip, and May will be all over him like a rash, with leadership back at the top of the agenda. If he gets it right, he crafts himself as something new and lands more blows on a PM uniquely responsible for much of the security set up over the last seven years.

    In general – attacks on your opponents work when you are seen as credible and they are not. There is still a good chance that voters will stare into the eyes of Corbyn and turn away, but May’s credibility has taken a real pasting during this campaign. Her ability to deliver the assault on Corbyn may already have been debased, and the question will be whether people are still listening.

  36. Love’s Labour’s Lost?

  37. Looking at some of the supplementary questions, Corbyn could probably pick up a couple of points by pushing Abbott under the proverbial bus. Ideally the same bus that Labour use to transport the entire population between the ages of 18 and 49 to the polling station on June 8th.

  38. test

  39. @S Thomas

    Seriously? If Labour take the lead in the polls are you going to shift your prediction to a 200 Conservative Majority?

  40. @Paul Croft

    Measure For Measure?

  41. I did say when she called the election that I thought it was strange that she should choose such a long campaign.

    On Corbyn criticising foreign policy. I think many people, not just those on the left will agree but it is of course controversial. However, with only two weeks to go before polling day, it has to be appropriate to debate this issue. It is brave of him, whether in the normal or Sir Humphrey sense we will soon see.

  42. One more poll showing this scale of shift away from the Tories and I think something (even more) dramatic could happen. There’s a strong herd instinct when it comes to voting, people like to back a winner (it’s the theory behind putting up as many posters as possible). Even though the Tories are still in the lead, they are looking more and more like losers, and the narrative of a Tory catastrophe could be self-fulfilling.

  43. Does anybody know what the 18-24 voting figures were for what % voted in GE and Refo.?

  44. This is turning into the perfect storm for CON.

    – Well received, popular LAB manifesto
    – Disastrous CON manifesto launch with awful policies
    – Screeching u-turn of a manifesto pledge ruining TM’s strong and stable image
    – Manchester bombing leading to focus on police cuts while TM was Home Secretary, from tomorrow now UKIP and LAB are both campaigning on it

    The social care issue hasn’t gone away – questions will be asked about the level of the cap which will persist to polling day. The youth vote is enthused by Corbyn and more likely to vote than 2015 GE.

    And that torture chamber of a CON manifesto ain’t going anywhere. What an incredible turnaround from a few weeks ago.

  45. Colin and Paul
    This site needs artistic input like yours!
    “O,Hello!” adds the accidental artistry of fat thumbs too!

  46. Joseph1832

    “The only thing that can save the Tories is if this surge is as false as Cleggmania”

    Yes – that is one possibility. I think also one or two on this site have referred to the 1987 election when, late in the day, there were polls showing Thatcher with 3% and 5% leads and eventually she got a landslide. The problem here is that without exception, every poll has narrowed, even the ones showing the bigger Tory leads, and at the moment they are all going in only one direction. As I said earlier, their only consolation is that they are still just approaching the mid-forties with the VI (and have touched around 47% recently)

  47. I think there tends to be a lag with the polls. We’re still seeing the fallout of the Tory Social Care issue. We need a few more days to see whether recent events have caused people to think more about security.

  48. To quote I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again’s production of the Scottish Play.

    Scene 1: The blasted Heath

    Bill Oddie: Better than the infernal Wilson!


    “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”.

    Or maybe they have seen him for the first time in an election situation where they are given equal publicity and realised maybe he’s not the monster the media have portrayed him as?

  50. Another thing is that May has the reputation for not being likeable. I never saw it myself, but people seem to have found Cameron charming, which meant he was able to get away with a few iffy budgets and top down reorganisations. May doesn’t have that, so when the impression of competence takes a hit, there’s nothing left to shore up her support.

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