On the final Saturday night of the campaign I expect we’ll see plenty of polls. We already have figures from Opinium and ComRes. I know were are definitely due a new YouGov poll for the Sunday Times, ICM for the Sun on Sunday and Survation (presumably for the Mail on Sunday), and I’d expect a new ORB poll for the Sunday Telegraph too.

So far Opinium for the Observer shows topline figures of CON 43%(-2), LAB 37%(+2), LDEM 6%(-1), UKIP 5%(nc). Fieldwork was on Tuesday and Wednesday and changes are from a week ago. Again, we see the Tory lead continuing to drop down into single figures. Full tabs are here.

ComRes for the Sunday Mirror and Independent has topline figures of CON 47%(+1), LAB 35(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 4%(nc). Fieldwork was Wednesday to Friday and changes are from a week ago. The Conservative lead is static at twelve points (currently the equal largest any company is showing). Some of the other questions in the poll are less positive for the Conservatives – asked if they have a favourable or unfavourable opinion of politicians and parties Theresa May now has a negative score. 39% have a favourable view, 42% unfavourable, giving her a net score of minus 2 compared to plus 9 in February. Jeremy Corbyn’s net score is now minus 15 – worse, but significantly up from minus 33 in February. Full tabs are here.

I’m out tonight, so will update on the other four polls tomorrow morning – though feel free to discuss them here as they come in.

UPDATE: A brief update on the other polls, not going to post anything else tonight:

  • ICM‘s poll for the Sun on Sunday has topline figures of CON 45%(nc), LAB 34%(+1), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 5%(nc). Changes are from the ICM poll for the Guardian at the start of the week.
  • YouGov in the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 42%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 4%. Fieldwork was Thursday to Friday
  • ORB for the Sunday Telegraph have figures of CON 45%(+1), LAB 36%(-2), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 4%(-1). Fieldwork was Wed-Thurs with changes from a week ago.
  • Survation for the Mail on Sunday has topline figures of CON 40%(-6), LAB 39%(+5), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 5%(+2). Fieldwork was conducted wholly this morning, and changes are from Survations previous online poll in the Mail on Sunday. Tabs are here.

2,192 Responses to “Saturday night polls”

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  1. @MarkW

    Of course, and I agree that reductions in police numbers are valid issue to campaign on. Labour was already doing this.

    I’d even go as far as to say that in other areas of serious crime (for example drug gang violence) the reductions genuinely have reduced the ability of the police to protect the public.

    But this fight has been picked over counter-terrorism. That’s the one area where the evidence really isn’t there to attack the government. It’s also an area where the Labour front bench aren’t exactly paragons.

    The glove has been dropped. It certainly has the potential to go either way in the media and with the public. If I were the Tories I’d be worried that they have a top team that doesn’t appear to be able to craft a campaigning approach that takes advantage of the political agenda. What they probably need is for one of the slumbering beasts of the Tory party to weigh in (or if they can find one who will play ball, a former commissioner or other senior officer with Tory sympathies).

  2. @Pete B

    “He would have been talking about the whole country, and she presumably about London, as she’s in the Metropolitan Police.”

    That’s not how it sounded. And as well as been lead of the Met she’s also UK antri-terrorism chief.

    The first part of the quote was that while people were worried that there had been 3 attacks, 18 had been foiled since 2013. She also started to say something about 5 attacks (a figure also mentioned by the Tory spokesperson), but didn’t complete the sentence.

  3. @SAM S

    I found that interesting about shy Tories too. If there is still such a phenomenon, it may exist in Scotland where the Tories have been toxic for 20+ years. When that changes, I would imagine there may be an under estimate of the Tory vote. If this were to be the election where it happened, the results from Scotland this week could be very interesting indeed.

  4. Surely postal votes are not opened until polling has finished?

  5. So what goes on with postal votes then?

    I kind of assumed this wouldn’t be done until the day and maybe a stage in between where they just verify the outer envelope for authenticity (signature and number) and leave the inner envelope to be.

    Why would they do this in more than one session and in advance of the final postal votes arriving?

  6. @ Mike N


  7. As interesting as Nate Silver’s examination of the polling situation is, Ian Warren’s criticism of his analysis carries some merit;- ie that Silver is failing to weight the polling companies as his does in the US.


  8. SAMS

    The MOE for a LEAD (of a poll of size 1-2,000) is about 5% (due to the negative correlation between the parties ensuring the votes tally to 100%)

    There is clearly an additional effect when additional uncertainty between pollsters is introduced (this is more complex to calculate, I may do it when all of the pollsters put their final figures in). I suspect the net effect will be to increase rather that reduce the overall uncertainty.

  9. Postal votes are just removed from the first envelope and the signatures checked with software vs the one on the system.

    The second inner envelope should not be opened at this stage.

  10. On the shoot to kill issue, the BBC misleadingly portrayed Corbyns comments.

    He was asked about whether he would be happy to order Britain’s police to shoot to kill on our streets.

    To which he replied “I am not happy with a shoot-to-kill policy in general” meaning that he was unhappy with shoot to kill being a general policy for them to use.

    He was also asked in that same interview if he would order the security services onto the streets in the case of a terrorist attack.

    To which he replied “Of course you’d bring people on to the streets to prevent and ensure there is safety within our society, , much better that’s done by the police than security services”

    The idea that he would not order the police to intervene or not to take out terrorists in the middle of carrying out atrocities is bunkum.

  11. @MikeN
    “I mean it’s not like death is a deterrent to these terrorists is it?”

    Have you any ”re-offender” statistics to back up your claim that death is not a deterrent?

  12. Neil A, yes, I am not the sort to focus on the front and centre and yes I can see the stakes are high and the question at the front is security.

    I think both parties are taking risks on a dodgy hand.

    I cant say more without setting off a partiszsanship alarm I have had installed.

  13. FrankG

    If they’re willing to undertake suicide attacks, I think it’s safe to say death is not a deterrent.

    But maybe you were being playful?

  14. @Edge

    “For a little light relief on a grim day, I reran the numbers from 2015, based on the suggestion in the previous thread that all non-voters should automatically be deemed as voting for the Apathy Party.
    The result is an Apathy Party majority of 30…”


    While obviously one appreciates your analytic endeavours, I have to point out that for some of us non-voters, it’s not apathy, but a very strongly motivated desire to resist the voting thing, and a more appropriate party might be the “Bollox to all this!!” party. (Obviously this party ought to exist already but maybe peeps couldn’t be @rsed….)

  15. Maybe the unite guy was saying there’s lots of postal votes and assumes they will be anti labour

  16. To clarify – when the polls suggest Lab are leading, the result seems to be a better Con performance than expected (+4.32% in terms of Con/Lab gap), but when the polls suggest Cons are ahead, the results tend to be better for Lab (+.24% Lab/Con gap).

    It could also be argued that 2015 distorts the Lab advantage in the ‘Cons leading polls’ scenario, as here, while Cons were technically ahead in the final polls by a slender 0.6% (the smallest pre election average lead of the entire 19 election series), the expectation was certainly a hung parliament, and possibly a Lab coalition PM, so you could argue that 2015 should be views as a ‘Lab leading polls’ scenario.

    If 2015 was removed from the ‘Cons leading polls’ series, the error in Labs favour between the final poll average and actual result stands at just over 1%.

  17. @MarkW

    Maybe the word rowdy wasn’t fair as I certainly didn’t mean it as in “causing trouble”

    But what i meant was that Momentum and labour activists are very good at galvanising support to attend these rallies , it isn’t necessarily typical of the average supporter turning out to support him

  18. CMJ

    I suppose looking at the numbers relative to expectations might be cause for a “not looking good”

    Either way shouldn’t be commented upon.

  19. Alex, thanks.

  20. @Neil A

    Thank you for a measured and informed response to our friend from The South. I suspect I disagree with you politically, but your posts are always welcome and informative.


    There are very good reasons why Nate hasn’t weighted polling companies in the UK. Firstly, there simply aren’t enough polls and elections (this affects the first part of Nate’s methodology, where he calculates how good the companies are at actually predicting races). In the US there are many, many more, and this gives a good dataset for evaluating pollsters. Secondly, all the UK pollsters are busy adjusting their methodologies – shifting sands!

  21. Ok, going dark now.

  22. Formister76, I don’t know anyone in momentum, my boyfriend and I went when we saw it in the local paper.

    He is a member of labour now and I am not.


    I can’t reach that site for some reason. Nate’s analysis would obviously be better if he were to go through and model everything as thoroughly as he did in the US, but unfortunately 538 seems to have deemed it to not be worth the time and/or effort. His analysis should be taken as what it is – an expert on American polling trying to make sense of the British polls for a largely American audience.

    On their decision not to model the UK election this time, I think it comes down to two things. 1.) Their 2015 model did not turn out well. 2) Because it was a snap election, they did not have enough time to get a model that met their standards by June 8th.


    Makes sense – but I still struggle to come to terms with +/-10%.

  24. Armed officers don’t normally shoot to kill, they shoot to stop. That means making sure they hit. That means hitting the biggest target – the chest.

    It goes without saying that being shot with a powerful firearm in the chest is most likely fatal. But that isn’t the idea, the idea is to incapacitate the person.

  25. @Alec

    Could it be that surges of enthusiasm for Labour are what causes polls to overstate them? Such surges will usually result in a Labour victory, but the current surge may not.

    I have a hunch that there is a bit of a “flavour of the month” feel to it, which people get caught up in and then a proportion of them resile from once the pencil is in their hand.

  26. Catmanjeff

    Thanks and you make a good point but evidently the observers from Unite who you would have thought would be experienced in understanding such nuances were sufficiently concerned. The thought Labour wouldn’t retain Ealing certainly runs contrary to London polling as Rich says, but also the theory Labour will pile votes up in London but struggle elsewhere

  27. Both Comres and the latest ICM poll have the Conservatives leading in England with an 11% to 12% lead, while Survation has no difference between the two Parties. Who’s right and why?

    At the end of the 2015 campaign, which had been quite well executed by David Cameron and his team, with growth in support for both camps Labour still ended up with a 1.1% swing to it.

    The biggest loss for Labour came in Scotland at the hands of the SNP and in England the biggest loss was by LD to the Conservatives, such that David Cameron’s majority came not from besting Labour but from exclusively capturing 21 seats from the Liberal Democrats.

    So why in a campaign in which many Conservative posters on this site admit Corbyn and Labour have run a far better campaign than Miliband or Brown before him would May and Conservatives be poised to take more seats off Labour than David Cameron did in 2015?

    Am I missing something here? Survation and YouGov may end up calling it wrong, but equally you have to ask why are Comres and ICM right?

    Where’s the bounce or swingback going to come from on E-Day to cause swing voters and the doubtful to say I have to vote for Ms May.

    In contrast Mr Corbyn, whether you agree with him or not (and I do not) has outperformed every benchmark thrown down to him in this campaign.

    The next question you have to ask is, has he motivated his base, and equally important has Ms May motivated her base and calmed the fears of those, particularly “Remainers”, who doubted her at the start of the campaign.

    Clearly the pro-Remain camp of LD, Green, SNP and PC has not done well, but again equally important is to ask how well has hard-BREXIT Conservative/UKIP style done?

    Mr Corbyn may not win the election, probably will not, but it seems to me that Ms May and the Conservatives with their policy stance and approach have managed to soften Mr Corbyn’s image and that of the Labour Party as the soft alternative to “Remain” and “hard-Brexit”.

    That is a remarkable feat for a Party that a month and half ago was poised to rip the heart out of the Labour heartlands in the North and Midlands.

    At the end of the US Presidential campaign I could see how Trump had won over the blue collar workers in the former US industrial heartland, but can someone on this site please explain to me what in Ms May’s and the Conservative Party’s campaign would win over blue collar workers in the same way Maggie Thatcher won over voters?

    If this is too partisan, my apologies, but at the end of every campaign I usually get why the Party that is about to win is going to. I simply do not get why May should win this one.

  28. @MARKW

    Yes campaigning on security issues is risky ground for both parties, but in this campaign one party has worked the issues to maximum advantage every single time, and the other has made a total balls up of them almost every single time.

    So the question to put to the boards conservative posters in a Clint Eastwood voice is

    “Do you feel lucky, punk?”.


    (I have not been on this site since the debacle of 2015 when I decided it was a waste of time.)

    I have averaged, from Britain Elects, the average vote for the 5 leading English parties from 4 sets of 10 polls for:
    (A) January (B) The 10 immediately prior to May’s GE declaration. (C) The early campaign before the Social Care U turn. (D) The last ten including today’s ICM.

    Con Lab Lib UK Grn
    (A) 40.3 27.8 10.3 12.3 3.6

    (B) 42.8 25.4 10.5 10.8 3.8

    (C) 47.5 30.5 8.8 5.0 2.5

    (D) 43.8 35.8 7.7 4.3 2.2

    From (B) to (D), Con has gained 1%, Lab 10%, while the 3 other parties have lost 11%. The Lib Dem vote has eroded slowly, the UKip vote immediately collapsed as did the Green vote.

    TheTories now have a higher % than in January (A), & 1% more than just before the GE was declared (B). However, the UKip vote has declined by 6.5% since (B).
    Either since (B) UKip vote has not gone to Con in the dimensions expected (i.e., 2/3rds of more) or there must have been a drain of votes from Con to Lab?
    Possible, as discussed, that UKip vote went straight to Tories from (B) to (C) but that now by (D) Lab has picked up a large share of it?

  30. @SSSIMON

    I agree with @THE SHEEP just now but would also add it’s challenging to weight based on past performance when at the most regent ejection everyone was close to equally wrong on the winning margin.

  31. No-one has seen any postal votes, least of all a representative sample! They will be sitting in sealed envelopes ready for polling day.

    Such talk is really very silly.

  32. @Neil A

    Cannot heing noticing summat about your argument. You suggest boots on the ground wouldn’t help, but you couched this in terms of those Community officers, as opposed to funding more proper bobbies!! Peeps on here have suggested more proper bobbies might help with having an ear to the ground, gathering evidence and so on. Do the community peeps not gather useful info., and/or are proper bobbies no better at this?

    Secondly, if having more boots on the ground has a disproportionate effect on reducing general crime, I.e. is quite efficient, it can free up more resources elsewhere for dealing with the threat.

    Thirdly, there is the issue of having more police and other emergency peeps at the scene to assist with dealing with the aftermath promptly.

  33. @Alan

    I was always told that the Conservatives were good at getting their postal vote out, but I never saw evidence to validate that.

    In recent time, it quite clear that Labour are much better at voter ID, as the Tory election machine has got old, and partially died off. Without a good canvass, a party can’t work postal votes well.

    Therefore, I imagine now that it’s Labour who work the postal vote the best.

  34. I would support regent ejection ;-)

  35. SAM S

    I recently did a bit on analysis comparing 10 different models and the “average model” had a 95% confidence interval which was about 10x the error on any one model.

    You have to take into account that the lead of +12% includes a reasonable chance (within 95%) that the lead will be as much as +17%.

    I don’t think this will be as extreme as my results but as a bit of fun I’ll see if I can run a “average pollster” model once they commit to a final number.

    I suspect there will be a bit of herding between now and then.

  36. @Alan Given your particular expertise can you think of a way of testing these models before one gets the criterion they are supposed to predict but using current as opposed to past data?

  37. This story about the postal votes would fit with something I noticed about Corbyn at his rally earlier – I could hear a slightly shaky quality to his voice – I noticed this before hearing the story btw. Of course, this is all highly speculative….

  38. Mike 88 – or bollix? What are you implying cos I don’t understand, sorry.

  39. @Neil A

    That would be very similar to what happened with LD in 2010. They were very much flavour of the month.

  40. @AlexW,

    I agree that Corbyn’s remarks were taken out of context, but I still think they’re significant. After all, many, many members of his own party were incensed about them (see above article from the time).

    The point for me is that this is not a theoretical argument about whether, once you’ve established that a suspect is definitely an armed terrorist, and you have conclusive evidence that would satisfy Michael Mansfield that shooting them is the only way to stop bystanders from being killed, that it is OK to open fire.

    This is about trusting the police and giving them the benefit of the doubt when they have to make difficult decisions in the heat of the moment. This is about de Menezes, and Duggan. This is about Labour frontbenchers attacking the police with the benefit of hindsight after they have travelled towards the scene of the incident when everyone else is travelling away. This is about whether you support campaign groups that attack the police for using their powers, or support the police when they do so.

    One of the people shot in Borough was an innocent bystander. In normal circumstances, Corbyn, Abbott, Osamor et al would be at a campaign group meeting in a local community centre making inflammatory remarks to a gathering of angry people demanding that the officers involved go to prison. Now we are supposed to believe that they actually want to flood our streets with hundreds of gunships?

  41. ALAN

    Look forward to seeing your analysis.

  42. @ Canada

    There are very few blue collar workers left – the Thatcher changes switched the economy away from manufacturing. While we still manufacture it is not the force or proportion of employment it once was, and the unions are less powerful too.

    Many of the manufacturing workers will be property owning mid-range earners too, so May just needed a ‘strong but steady’ appeal to their economic interests. The manifesto and subsequent campaign have hardly toughed on these aspects.

  43. @Candy

    Also, better off peeps can afford to hire peeps to assist with finding legal loopholes to feather nests, e.g. Tax Avoidance…

  44. Oh my god, my boyfriend is going nuts about labour attacking the Tories on police numbers. He’s in a rage, I better step carefully

  45. MarkW

    Im not suggesting that everyone is a member of Momentum or an activist.

    But it is not a secret that they stage and manage support for these rallies with there hard core activists.

    It is no secret that the Unite and Momentum galvanised their support to become labour members to elect Corbyn, in fact they went legal to extend the joining period eligible to vote for him and they then tried their hardest during his re-election to stop people joining and be eligible to vote against him.

    And my voting intention had nothing to do with my comment.

  46. @MikeN

    Yes it was said with a slight tongue in cheek.

    However your idea that police officers should try to take “suicide minded” terrorist alive is surely going to place those police officers at an even greater risk both to the officers themselves and to the public they are there trying to protect. Is the slight possibility of getting useful information from individuals worth putting police and public lives at risk. IMO it is not.

    Since most of these suicide minded terrorist are usually well down the ”command” chain, information from them could also be of little relevance compared to the risk to police officers and members of the public.

    As to the ‘martyr’ publicity of shooting them verses the trial publicity and opportunity to radicalise others whilst in prison, IMO a short quick exit for them would be preferable.

  47. Alec – very interesting post.

    Could this in part be due differential “shy tory” effects depending on their popularity at the time?

    When the CONs are riding high in the polls people may be more willing to admit to voting for them and indeed, when labour are less popular, there may even be shy labour voters not willing to declare their allegiance. Hence CON lead is overstated.

    When LAB are ahead and the tories are less popular so there is a higher Shy Tory effect. Also, differential turnout will be amplified here as LAB voters are in general less likely to vote especially if they think the result is a foregone conclusion.

    It will be interesting to see how things pan out in this election. Although the conservatives are ahead, their popularity is significantly lower as many believe that their national campaign has been lacklustre at best.

    I wouldn’t be surprized if we do see more shy tories this time and indeed a late swing in their favour. The problem is that the variations in the polls is so huge that this might be difficult to assess – it would have to be done on a pollster by pollster basis

  48. MarkW – That maybe he’s heard about this and other results and is worried? I’m sure that if people do find out these things that the leaders would hear about it.

  49. Can we cut out the posts on the merits or otherwise of killing people please, in whatever context. I find it distasteful and it’s not what this website is for.

  50. Interesting story today of the middle aged conservative business man who applied several times to go on BBC Question time and never received a reply.

    He then applied again and put himself down as a left wing train driver who was anti-fracking .

    He then got a reply straight away, was invited on and then received calls from BBC radio to be interviewed on them.

    Fuel to the fire of BBC Bias?

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