A quick update on two new voting intention polls yesterday.

Opinium in the Observer has topline figures of CON 39%(-5), LAB 45%(+4), LDEM 5%(-3), UKIP 5%(+3). Changes are since the general election. Jeremy Corbyn’s net approval ratings are now substantially better than Theresa May’s – 31% approve of how May is doing her job, 51% disapprove; 42% approve of how Corbyn is doing his job, 38% disapprove. Full tabs are here.

Survation meanwhile has topline figures of CON 41%(nc), LAB 40%(-4), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 2%(nc), the first poll since the general election to show the Conservatives ahead (if the changes since the last poll look odd, it’s because the Tory share is actually up by almost a point, but it’s lost in the rounding, and the share for “other” parties is up three points). Full tabs for that are here.

252 Responses to “Latest Opinium and Survation polls”

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  1. …………..

  2. Comment by the News Letter on the approach by SF to negotiations with the DUP and the possible consequences of that.

    “The danger, for both the DUP and Sinn Fein, is that with a weak minority government in Westminster the passage of a Stormont budget through the chamber may no longer be a formality.

    MPs could seek to recoup some of the £1 billion secured by the DUP or seek to change Stormont policy by inserting lines into the budget.

    A fortnight ago Gerry Adams said that he wants Stormont back because “strategically that is the way to a united Ireland”.

    If that is genuinely his thinking, for all Sinn Fein’s tough talk the party’s choice would appear to be either going back to Stormont without getting all of their demands or sacrificing the strategic route to a united Ireland.”


    belfast News letter founded in 1737 by Francis Joy antecedent of Henry Joy McCracken, United Irishman

  3. @ Paul

    ‘I am worried that this might not catch on at rallies and demonstrations.
    Which is a shame…… .. .’

    I have reason to think that if one waits long enough, the truth will out. Shame that it takes so long for the world to catch up (and some compromise is likely) but eventually the contradictions will become patent….. fingers crossed.

  4. “Waiting for the German verb is surely the ultimate thrill.”

  5. Sam 3.28 p.m.

    Many thanks for that link, as well as for your thoughts. I agree that one of the very interesting factors in present politics north and south of the Border is that the Scottish Conservatives have the potential to bring a a very different perspective into ‘1922 Committee’ thinking. It is to be hoped (by me, at least) that the Scots C&Us make their voices heard over the next couple of years and stand up against the more damaging voices calling for the Lemming approach to Brexit.

    We shall see.

  6. Sam

    Anent “Waiting for the German verb is surely the ultimate thrill.” (4.27 p.m.)

    Ich stimme nicht zu!

    The really ultimate thrill is surely awaiting three or even four verbs at the end of a subclause in the past conditional.

    Mindestens, würde ich so gedacht haben wolten.

  7. Or ought that to have been gedacht wolten haben?

  8. @RC
    ‘While labour and the SNP are clutching at straws the Tories are powering through the middle’

    I suspect that in Scotland we have seen ‘peak Tory’ as well as ‘peak SNP’ , and that several of their 2017 gains will be vulnerable to Labour winning from third place next time.

  9. Vorsicht! Wir wollen nicht dass diesen Blog Deutsch werden…

    (sorry if my German is awful… I haven’t practiced in years)

    (also, an ellipsis!!!)

  10. Graham 6.39

    Anent ‘peak Tory’ as well as ‘peak SNP’

    I would be interested to know what timescale your are thinking about.

    ‘Peak Tory’ level having now been reached in Scotland is not impossible, but by no means certain; on the other hand I very much doubt we have seen ‘peak SNP’ levels yet – as I believe (though have no incontrovertible polling evidence to back up the statement) that peak SNP levels are still in the future, though we may well be talking about 10 to 15 years hence.
    Labour may well take a few more seats at the next GE, but that will depend on factors outwith SLAB’s control (for example, who is their GB leader, and whether the SNP will crumble as a governing force – not impossible, I grant, but certainly not inevitable!)

    Anent ‘anent’: aye it’s grand to be speiring Scots aince mair. (apologies to Old Nat)

  11. Can you have partial eclipses of ellipises?

    If so, how d’you tell ’em from a full stop?

    Can you emphasise a ellipsis by using a row of colons?

    There are so many questions but so few answers… . …… ..

  12. Sam S – 7.06

    surely there ought to have been a comma after ‘nicht’. And are you sure that ‘blog’ is a masculine noun? IN any case, it ought to have been ‘dieser’ – mindestens so glaube ich!

  13. @ John B

    Perhaps we’ve reached “peak everything“, ie stalemate! (It’s an interesting concept, though I doubt it’s true . There will always be external factors liable to break any deadlock.)

    I agree that events outwith SLab’s control will affect them, but so will their response to independence supporters among their membership. If they treat them better than they did last time, they’ll keep them as voters. If they repeat the performance and attitudes of 2014, they may not. That could be critical to their performance at the next election, whenever that comes.

  14. JOHN B

    Right on both counts! Seems so obvious now you point it out… I was never any good at conjugation to begin with, never mind adding in the five years since I last spoke it. Apparently, Blog can be either neutral or male.


    I suppose the answers depend on which style guide you prefer.


    On the polling note – so far we have had Survation and Opinium. Survation does theirs for MoS and GMB, so they’ll publish weekly on Sat/Sun. Opinium is for the Observer, so we should expect the same. What about the other pollsters?

  15. John B
    ‘I would be interested to know what timescale your are thinking about. ‘

    I am referring to the next election whether that be 2018, 2019 or later. In my view the SNP will struggle to win 15 seats – and single figures is very possible.

  16. There is comment in the Belfast telegraph on the proposed Irish Language Act

    “The first Irish Language Act was in the reign of James I of England and VI of Scotland. It was known as the Statutes of Iona and required Highland gentlemen to send their sons to the Lowlands to be educated through “Inglis”, as the Scots English tongue was then known. The Gaelic language in Scotland was then known as “Irish”.

    Symmetrically, our proposed Irish Language Act may be in the reign of Elizabeth II of England and I of Scotland, and is also likely to do major damage to the Irish language.

    The trouble with an Irish Language Act is that we do not know what it will specify.

    The greatest danger is that it will lead to more fake Irish in the public domain on the model of the fake Ulster Scots, which was generated to pretend that Ulster Scots is a separate language from English.

    The fake Ulster Scots eventually swamped the authentic dialect in the public mind and a valuable linguistic and cultural asset was brought into disrepute.

  17. Here is a bit of an earlier comment on the Irish language from the Irish Times. Is it recognisable?

    There is probably no basis at all for the theory that a people cannot preserve a separate national entity without a distinct language but it is beyond dispute that Irish enshrines the national ethos, and in a subtle way Irish persists very vigorously in English. In advocating the preservation of Irishculture it is not to be inferred that this culture is superior to the English or any other but simply that certain Irish modes are more comfortable and suitable for Irish people; otherwise these modes would simply not exist. It is therefore dangerous to discourage the use of Irish because the revival
    movement, even if completely ineffective, is a valuable preservative of certain native virtues and it is worth remembering that if Irish were to die completely, the standard of English here, both in the
    spoken and written word, would sink to a level probably as low as that obtaining in England, and it would stop there only because it could go no lower.”

  18. Good Evening All from sunny Bournemouth, formerly of Hants, now in Dorset geographically, but not politically as it is a Unitary authority.

    I think PM May will find that ‘Ulster’ Politics will be very wearing.

  19. @ Sam

    I know you were quoting someone else, but (Ulster) Scots is a separate language from English, and not just a dialect. Scots evolved from Anglian forms of early West Germanic; English evolved from Saxon.

    This article explains, from paragraph 4 onwards, the criteria used by linguists to decide what is a language, and why Scots meets them:

    Whether Ulster Scots is merely a dialect of (Scottish) Scots is another matter.

  20. Kitsune

    “writes Brian MacLochlainn” -author of Belfast Telegraph piece

    Thanks for the link

    It is interesting to see that the GFA reflects the importance of the cultures of NI by stating the name of the agreement in both languages.

    The Good Friday Agreement (GFA) or Belfast Agreement (Irish: Comhaontú Aoine an Chéasta or Comhaontú Bhéal Feirste; Ulster-Scots: Guid Friday Greeance or Bilfawst Greeance)

    There is a post at Slugger’s that sets out what the issue is about.


    “The DUP at no point has ever agreed to establish an Irish Language Act with the UK government, with the Irish government, with Sinn Féin or anybody else.”
    Verdict: TRUE….I support dual language signage and the option of Irish in rites of passage documents .But as for Irish in courts or the public sphere generally, I have severe doubts. People have enough difficulty with the small print in English, never mind Irish.. . The limitations of the Victorian idea of a using an indigenous language for nation-building have been shown in the Republic and more recently in Wales. Yet there is a great civilising idea in there somewhere which requires fresh and open debate leading to wider Irish cultural provision including the language. We should build on the rudiments of what we have already. I’m strongly in favour of learning, beginning with far more about Irish music, stories ancient and modern, the meaning of names for people and places and not least, the spelling ( though could that be simplified?). The Protestant tradition in the language movement began to atrophy as it became more politicised ( and dear old Douglas Hyde and Ernest Blythe whom I once interviewed at length elsewhere didn’t help). It’s not quite dead and shows new signs of life. But it’s an uphill struggle against politicisation.

    Arguing for the existing statist model rigidly on the basis of European minority language rights will get us precisely nowhere except staying in deadlock.

    An honest analysis of experience in the Republic and Wales would greatly assist objective debate.”

  21. Theresa May spokesman has apparently told Daily Telegraph that she will stay Tory leader until 2022. Think she is basically saying that she will not throw in the towell and if others want to lead the party, they will have to launch a challenge in accordance with party rules.

    I can’t see Boris Johnson, Michael Gove etc waiting around for too long before they trigger a leaders contest.

  22. @ Sam

    Thanks. I’m very interested in minority languages (and in languages in general). I think they do matter, and no harm is done by promoting them (short of compulsion to learn them, accompanied by poor quality teaching).

  23. R Huckle

    So she is resigning tomorrow then!

  24. “Theresa May spokesman has apparently told Daily Telegraph that she will stay Tory leader until 2022.”

    Seems very precise; 20.22 on which day?

  25. SAM S

    On the polling note – so far we have had Survation and Opinium. Survation does theirs for MoS and GMB, so they’ll publish weekly on Sat/Sun. Opinium is for the Observer, so we should expect the same. What about the other pollsters?

    Survation’s last poll wasn’t for either of those. I suspect the GMB contract finished with the election and for some reason the MoS didn’t want to take the latest one (they don’t seem to have a regular contract with Survation) perhaps for some internal political reason.

    Opinium polls for the Observer are long-standing, but there’s normally only one or two a month (they were only weekly for the election). In any case the Blairite establishment at the Observer are so infuriated by Corbyn’s success that they simply don’t want to publish anything that shows Labour doing well. After the latest Opinium came out early Saturday evening they completely ignored their own polling till the next morning and even then led on May’s poor ratings rather than the six point Labour lead.

    Similar feelings may inhibit other papers of course. If the polls aren’t accurate, at least they should say what you want them to say. But I would expect an ICM for the Guardian sometime soon, MORI for the Standard mid-July, ComRes for the Sunday Mirror and/or IoS sometime. Kantar (TNS) are probably polling, but don’t work for anyone so they publish when they feel like it. Panelbase and ORB only really polled for the election. Though there might be some Scottish stuff from PB and their large post-election polls suggests they are touting for business.

    YouGov was doing practically weekly polling for the Times before the election was called, so it would be a surprise not to see something soon (with lots of added Brexit).

  26. The use of the Irish language has long been much discussed. For example: ” a lady lecturing on the Irish language drew attention to the fact (I mentioned it myself as long ago as 1925) that while the average English speaker gets along with a mere 400 words, the Irish-speaking peasant uses 4,000. Considering what most English speakers can achieve with their tiny fund of noises, it is a nice speculation to what extremity one would be reduced if one were locked up for a day with an Irish-speaking bore and bereft of all means of committing murder or suicide. My point, however, is this. The 400/4,000 ratio is fallacious; 400/400,000 would be more like it.”

  27. One would dearly like to know what Myles would have made of ‘Ulster Scots’.

  28. Roger

    This, perhaps. “Your talk…is surely the handiwork of wisdom because not one word of it do I understand.”

  29. “I am [X] that the UK government will secure a good Brexit deal for the UK”:

    Confident: 38%
    Not confident: 49%

    (via Survation)

  30. @Cambridgerachel – you posted something earlier about the Lib Dems, tuition fees and the coalition agreement.

    I’ve always been completely baffled by Clegg’s line on this, as opting out was written into the coalition agreement. Under Higher Education, it said:

    ” We await Lord Browne’s final report into higher education funding, and will judge its proposals against the need to:

    increase social mobility;

    take into account the impact on student debt;

    ensure a properly funded university sector;

    improve the quality of teaching;

    advance scholarship; and,

    attract a higher proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    If the response of the Government to Lord Browne’s report is one that Liberal Democrats cannot accept, then arrangements will be made to enable Liberal Democrat MPs to abstain in any vote. ”

    So all the Lib Dems had to do was say they didn’t like it and they would never have been demolished, Cameron probably wouldn’t have got his majority, no referendum, no Brexit, Clegg still an MP etc etc.

  31. @Laszlo

    Over the years your comments on Bayesian Statistics have intrigued.me.

    I’m looking to buy a decent introductory text on Bayesian Statistics.

    Is there one that you know is good? Looking at the choice I have no which are good.

  32. @ Roger Mexico at 10.28

    ” ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann”

  33. CMJ

    There is a very good, long review article. I will put the link in a comment tomorrow morning. In the references there are some pointers to more more detailed books – you can chose depending on your interest (social science, medicine, economics, theoretical statistics).

    Sorry, it’s just too late to get the link.

  34. CMJ

    One of the fascinating things (in terms of methodology) with YouGov model is that it starts with a traditional Neyman model, then introduces a kind of homogeneity analysis (post-data structuring), then a Bayesian method for improving the confidence in distribution.

    My focus on the potential of the Bayesian approach (apart from teaching that you can’t eliminate both types of statistical inference, hence improving the confidence and improving the prediction at the same time) came from two comments. One was Hawthorn’s observation about doing polling on the cheap, the other was ToH’s observation about the subsidiary questions.

    You can use the subsidiary question to adjust the priory probability, and hence the headline figures should be quite something and/or enduring to move the prior probability (because of the Bayesian factor), and hence your can safely discard movements even ouTside the MoE. And you can do it with small samples, so can be cost effective. So, it would kind of imitate a nested decision making process with the conditions of the decision making carefully set.

    While trends have their value, and graphically they are attractive, there is an underlying problem that individual polls have not a grain of trend.

    In preclinical research in medicine I have seen now using both confidence intervals and Bayesian method combined, but it’s far from being popular.

  35. @sam

    “The use of the Irish language has long been much discussed. For example: ” a lady lecturing on the Irish language drew attention to the fact (I mentioned it myself as long ago as 1925) that while the average English speaker gets along with a mere 400 words, the Irish-speaking peasant uses 4,000”

    i think you need to check your facts. The average 8 year old will know about 8000 words and english has one the biggest vocabularies of any language – partly because there are some many different forms of it spread all over the globe.

  36. CMJ

    I will put out the link, but this is the basis of the method that YouGov used:


  37. CMJ

    I went upstairs to my computer. It is an interesting review article, but unusually it’s done through problems. There are many good references in the bibliography (if I now spend time on revising some of my slides after re-reading the article, I will blame you :-))


  38. CMJ

    There is an app on the US Apple Store (but not the UK) for calculating the Bayesian factor, which makes life much, much easier.


    i think you need to check your facts. The average 8 year old will know about 8000 words and english has one the biggest vocabularies of any language – partly because there are some many different forms of it spread all over the globe.

    Ah, but Myles was writing during the War:


    and the English had rationing.

  40. Don’t know if people here are watching what’s happening in Haringey. It’s not just the Tories that the Corbynistas are protesting against. Labour councils that want to privatise and socially cleanse their areas are also going to have a rough time of it.

  41. @ CR

    ‘Labour councils that want to privatise and socially cleanse their areas are also going to have a rough time of it.’

    The question of right wing Labour councils is finally coming to a head. Although, it has been a longtime problem for the Corbyn supporting membership that has been observable in the choice of anti-Corbyn PPCs in by-elections such as Stoke Central, Copeland and before that Oldham.

    In fact, arguably, the rise of Ukip, the decline of support for the LP in northern Constituencies and the vote for Brexit, owed much to their entrenched New Labour Councils, who have behaved much like the Haringey councillors in ignoring the interests of their ‘natural’ constituents.

    There are also many instances of the selection meetings which suggest that they are being rigged in favour of so-called moderate candidates. For example, twenty pro-Corbyn supporters were rejected as unsuitable in Ealing immediately prior to the GE and they were crowd sourcing funds to take legal action. In the spirit of Boss Tweed, the strategy of the Labour Right, has appeared to be that ‘‘I don’t care who does the electing as long as I get to do the nominating’.

    This also fits with the call from Labour First to reduce the number of delegates to the NEC elected by the membership. The proposal for a conference vote is that the members’ delegation be reduced from 6 to 4 and that the two be replaced by delegates elected by councillors. I.e. delegates who can be relied upon to vote against Jeremy Corbyn.

  42. The Survation UK poll also had questions commissioned by the Daily Record.


    “The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments shouldshould not be offered formal roles alongside the UK government in Brexit negotiations” – Should 61% : Should not 32%.

    “I am/am not confident that the UK government will secure a good Brexit deal for the UK, once negotiations are complete” – Am 38% : Am not 49%

    “Do you agree or disagree with the Conservative Party entering into a confidence and supply arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party, whereby the DUP’s MPs will support the Conservative government on key votes in the House of Commons?” – Agree 32% : Disagree 57%

  43. Sue – I think many Labour councils would be more accurately described as old patrician Labour right rather than new Labour.

    They may be anti-Corbyn and the leftward shift but many only embraced Blair in that he won GEs which meant more resources. In fact many disliked the atomisation of services, esp Education, that the Blair years brought.

    NB) Genuine he lack of local decision making powers has rendered many councils as managerial with the opportunity to do anything political limited.

  44. The Survation poll asks about how people would vote in a new brexit referendum and gets 51% remain, 44% leave. Thats the biggest remain lead I have seen post the actual referendum.

    30% of conservatives think there should be a national coalition to decide how Brexit goes (54% of all respondents think there should) Theresa May still has a lead (51-35%) in who is best to lead negotiations, although people also disapprove of how she handled things so far. Corbyn preferred for PM.

    On multiple choice how to negotiate Brexit, they get 36% to stop brexit. 32% to pay to access the customs union. 24% leave the customs union

    Opinium does not ask the leave/remain question. It gets similar preference for May to lead negotiations. May 1% lead over Corbyn for PM, but this survey generally has higher conservative ratings.

    On outcomes for Brexit, they ask the questions differently and invite people to pick negotiating aims from a list. Top aim was limit immigration at 29%. 28% leave customs area. 26% remain in customs area. 21% retain freedom of movement between N and S Ireland. 21% end all freedom of movement. The question asks what should be aims during brexit talks and has no specific option for Remain. There is a ‘none of the above’, but the framing of the question would seem to preclude the option of simply staying a member.

    The two surveys would seem to be potentially consistent. The difference in headline voting intention is about 6%, so 2x 3% error margin. Probably means at least one of them has got this wrong.

    On the EU, they ask different questions so no direct comparison, but the Opinium question on aims from negotiations could fit with the survation majority to remain. The list of negotiating aims all get low levels of support.

    Survation gets 4:1 labour voters are remain, 2:1 conservative voters are leave.

    Its just one poll, but if I was a politician, I might now be thinking that brexit mania has gone the aame way as clegg mania.

  45. reggieside

    I recommend more bicycle riding – but not on a lady’s bike.

  46. Alec,
    The Lib Dem candidates did not pledge to abstain on any vote on tuition fees. They pledged to vote against any increase. Abstaining was breaking the pledge just as much as voting for..

    I resigned from the Lib Dems in 2010 over the clause you quote. I rejoined in 2015 to vote for Farron as leader, since he kept that pledge.

    However I am not planning to resign again when Vince Cable is crowned as Lib Dem leader some time this summer. His re-election with a huge swing shows the electorate have other priorities than broken pledges from 7 years ago. I just hope he realises that he contributed in a big way to the stupid and entirely avoidable decisions at that time led to terrible damage to the Lib Dems that is still being felt today. He needs to exhibit sounder political judgement to keep the Party in business, with in my view no major improvement in view until Labour have had the chance to be in power and the electorate become disillusioned with them in the way that just happened to the French Socialists…

  47. Also of course in 2010 if the Lib Dems abstained the Tories won any vote easily..

  48. Andrew – whoever leader the LDs need another 5 probably 10 years at least in the relative Wilderness, leader after Swinson may do OK but she will be reminded of what she voted for and facilitated as part of the Coalition. Tuition fees was but a symptom of the arguably cynical damascene turnaround after the 2010 GE result.

    I suspect you are right about labour having to be in power before a meaningful revival but doubt Labour will go the way of PS France, as roots too deep. Remember PS was small before Mitterand.

  49. Considering everything, and the ludicrous amount of stuff in May’s in tray, i don’t think these two polls are that bad for the Conservatives.

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