So far we’ve had three polls conducted since the end of conference speech – YouGov in Friday’s Times, Opinium in today’s Observer and ICM in the Sun on Sunday. The first two included voting intention figures.

The YouGov/Times poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday after Theresa May’s conference speech. Topline figures there were CON 40%(+1), LAB 42%(-1), LDEM 7%(nc) and changes are from immediately before the Labour conference. Tabs are here.

The Opinium poll for the Observer was conducted between Wednesday and Friday (so once again, after Theresa May’s speech) and had topline figures of CON 40%(-2), LAB 42%(+2), LDEM 5%(-1). Changes are from just before the Labour party conference began. Tabs are here.

The two polls show identical two point leads for the Labour party, suggesting that Theresa May’s disastrous leader’s speech hasn’t radically changed levels of party support (the changes since the previous polls are in opposite directions, but neither are statistically significant, so I expect we’re just seeing noise there). Perceptions of the Prime Minister herself may be a different matter, though the public do still seem to be divided on her future.

Opinium did pick up a fall in Theresa May’s own ratings, with her net approval down to minus 16 compared to minus 11 before the conference season. Jeremy Corbyn’s figures were up, from minus 10 before conference to minus 5 now. Theresa May had a three point lead over Jeremy Corbyn on preferred Prime Minister.

YouGov asked about the future of Theresa May as Tory leader and found the public split down the middle – 39% think she should stay, 38% think she should go. As ever, answers like this fall out along very partisan lines – 68% of Tory voters think she should stay, 55% of Labour voters think she should go. Her ratings are mediocre across the board though, her lead over Jeremy Corbyn as best PM has shrunk to only three poonts (36% to 33% – 32% of people said don’t know, suggesting a fairly large chunk of people aren’t enthused by either of them.) 59% of people now think she is doing badly as PM, 31% still think she is doing well.

A third poll by ICM for the Sun on Sunday doesn’t appear to have voting intention figures (or at least, I haven’t seen them yet), but did ask what people thought Theresa May should do now. 29% wanted her to just continue as she is, 32% wanted her to confront her party opponents (18% by having a big reshuffle, 14% by making a “back me or sack me” demand), 13% want her to go immediately, 13% want her to name a future date when she will go.

There was also a BMG poll in the Independent today, but the fieldwork was conducted prior to the Conservative conference. Figures in the newspaper were CON 37%(-2), LAB 42%(+4).

256 Responses to “Post conference polling”

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  1. S Thomas

    “They are neck and neck. One startling analysis of this could be that far from collapsing the Tories are holding up very well indeed and that in fact it might be that Jezza and labour are at their high water mark. All to play for.”


    Another startling analysis could be that it’s margin of error stuff and actually it’s really 44 plays 38…

  2. @COLIN

    I understand what you are saying. I hope you read the FT article I sent. I suppose that is why I left it there because in the strictest sense you are correct. but part of the problem was that no one believe the assets that the banks had in their vaults had value and hence the conundrum of insolvency caused by illiquidity and the need for a lender of last resort to guard against shocks to the system.

  3. Rachel

    As a Labour voter I have to say that 41 all, at the height of Maygate or whatever title people give it all, does not bode well for the future.

    It’s probably possible to imagine things getting even better for Labour but it’s DEFINITELY possible to imagine them getting better for the government.

    If 41% would vote for them at this moment then we are – as they used to say on the young ones – in deep trub.

    “I understand what you are saying”

    Blimey !!!!!!! And well done.

    I got lost after the “Q” in Quantitative.

    However, as Brucie would have said: “Good game; good game.”

    Colin to serve I believe……

  5. carfrew

    or 44 /38 to the tories as well ?

    you can only play with what you are given but is there not a post conference trend in the polls?

  6. Trevor Warne,
    ” Do you have such little faith in the UK workforce to explain why we can’t make more of our own cars, car parts and other manufactured goods.”

    I am tempted to suggest that since in the Uk there is virtualy no involvement of workers in management in the Uk, it isnt up to the workers. But then, there arent exactly many car companies owned by UK management who have an interest in operating their company to benefit the Uk rather than shareholders. Whether or not Uk workers could create a world beating car industry is not the question. The question is whether the multinational management of a globally dispersed car industry will feel there is a particular advantage for them in basing operations in the UK.

    What you seem to be calling for is a centralised command economy, where the Uk government or some such, organises a car company with the aim to benefit UK balance of payments and employment prospects. I fancy the current government opposes any such moves, and attacks its opponent if they so much as hint at interfering in markets.

    As we have seen just recently with Bombardier, the US also seems to take a dim view of UK governments assisting industry here. And we plan to strike new deals to their liking?

  7. @S Thomas

    Indeed, it could work both ways that’s why I left it open.

    Well there might be, but equally, the trend might be shifting again as we speak and MoE might be disguising it. Thus it’s easier to ascertain the trends in hindsight. But it’s useful to test your model by making predictions in the present to see how well your model works, or doesn’t, so I wasn’t being critical of it…

  8. Well there might be a TREND, I meant to say…


    I think both Labour and tory have a problem and I think the problem is actually something that is now pervasive in terms of many developed countries with mature democracies.

    1. Tribalism

    I have said this before but essentially tribalism now seems to trump policy. I remember speaking to Norman tebbit once and he said people do not do detail and are not interesting in detail what you want is a theme that maps to voters view. So being a Tory means owning your own house as an example and that trumps being a public sector worker on a 1% pay rise.

    Ask tories what policies they like and they have more in common with Corbyn than May but tell them they are Corbyns policies they say they caannot vote for them because they are Tory

    2. Echo Chamber

    In many cases you now have partisanship to such an extent that as an example. people could call a policy marxist one day and say they extolling the market then next and say the policy is not marxist.

    The GOP are an excellent example of partisanship in the extreme but I believe we have it here

    3. Lack of agreement of the facts

    I believe the biggest problem is a lack of agreement of the facts. This is not an issue of perspective but actually the alternative facts argument. You can here it in terms of people sayign one is talking the country down, fact are not as important as winning amore importantly the propaganda of winning.

    What all three thing point to is a situation whereby if you ask leaver whom voted for May they would say she is doing an awful job but they are not going to change their vote. The fact she is awful is not an impediment to vote for her. The bad news is that if ytou had someone else I doubt that people would change their mind and that person would get any more votes. basically people are voting for a particular party as much in spite of policy rather than because of policy. So actually I feel that the battle lines have been drawn and are pretty much fixed. I do not see Labour getting below 40% of the vote if you look at the trajectory of their figures and I could easily see the Tories get 40% of the vote. it is the getting the vote out will be the real difference.

    Which leads to EU referendum: In my remainers were not as passionate about the EU as the leavers were anti EU. it is some that just worked for remainers it was not seen as a huge issue that effected their lives. hence the idea of voting for it was not seen as a big issue. Now that it was lost you see that more polls are showing either remain being ahead of the polls being neck and neck.

    Maygate will have little difference on the Tory vote and if Labour falter I suspect it would have little effect on Labour’s. WE are at peak conflict at the moment and I think people views will harden.

    Post brexit is going to be interesting. because I feel that Labour supporters appear from the polls to put things like education, housing and NHS above immigration and brexit. Whereas Tory’s put brexit and immigration very high up the list.

    Brexit is a Tory problem in the fact that it is why at the margins that people have voted for them once it is delivered then I think Toris may have a problem because then the issue becomes education, housing and the NHS. This is the battle that Corbyn wants to fight and the Tories don’t at the moment


    @” You’re just imagining negatives”

    Well since neither you nor I can claim to voice the considered opinion of the Gilt Market we will have to leave the matter there.

    …….though I would have to concede that just now there is a chance that we might actually find out what would in fact happen………..when CoE McDonnell changes BoE’s mandate to include any aspect of Government Fiscal policy he decides-and instructs it to buy all the UK Gilts in issue ( why stop at £400bn ?) , and default on them ( by “arrangement” of course ).

    Followed rapidly by monetisation by the former UK CEntral Bank of his funding requirement for Nationalisation, & Public Sector Payroll ( the latter to be reclassified from Current Expenditure to Investment )

    And as he has told us that he will have war gamed the anticipated currency crisis -he will know in advance what is going to transpire.


  11. S Thomas,
    “In a “shock” iCM poll labour have failed to gain any advantage from the worst tory conference in living memory which follows the worst tory campaign in living memory.”

    The tories ‘worst campaign in living memory’ nonetheless achieved a boost in the numbers voting for them. Neither the campaign nor conference success were determined by the performance of the PM, who simply presented a policy selection which was wholy constrained by the circumstances. While this policy failed to inspire majority support, it did appeal to the voting groups it was expected to appeal to.

    The political calculation is that this group is bigger than any potential alternative groups which might respond to a change of policy.


    “I understand what you are saying”


    In all seriousness, understanding where someone comes from when you do not agree with them is an important thing. I would suspect that You and I would agree on most things and in that respect understanding why you think that way would be easier and more straight forward. I campaigned for remain in North Somerset (yes the odious Dr Liam Fox is my MP ) it means I meet a lot of Tories and a reasonable amount of leavers, I am also rooted in the fact I am a Londoner which means in some ways I approach thing completely differently to my neighbours. I think our lack of consensus at this time is a product of not trying to understand each other and indeed forcing ourselves apart when there is no difference. As a child of west africans, seeing this level of tribalism is rather alarming, as a parent of mixed race children one would want to try and leave them a in aplace where at least common understanding (not agreement I may add ) is something we can all aspire to.

  13. “COLIN
    @” You’re just imagining negatives”

    “Well since neither you nor I can claim to voice the considered opinion of the Gilt Market we will have to leave the matter there.”

    Match abandoned shock !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Crowd demands their money back…


    Yes, as you say, we do agree on that.

    I may be flippant [though I genuinely do understand very little of QE and have even less interest] but it is on a “If you didn’t laugh you’d cry” basis.

    I am genuinely enormously sad at the decisions my country has taken, and only the fact that, as I am in my early seventies I’m probably nearly half way through my life already, means I can sort of shrug about it.

    But not for my younger friends or family who are heading into a strange new world, rather than a brave one, I feel.


    Ok I should bow to you experience as a person of 51 years of age


    I am not saying you should not be angry or upset or even flippant at times indeed I think often we are not angry enough or upset enough. I fear the lack of both meant that Leave won in my view and it has opened a pandora’s box of issues that as you would leave some of us confused since we are often fighting for the people that are going to be screwed by this.

    As I have two girls of 10 and 11 years I feel I have no choice but to understand the why in order to better persuade.

    Thoughts on the trade policy anyone?

  15. Passthethirdrockfromthesun
    Dr Liam Fox is my MP also!

  16. @Colin

    At last you have migrated to reasonable concerns! It’s a fact we can roll debt over, and it’s also a fact debt can be written off, and without crashing the markets… a lot of write offs happen after a recession after all, and like I said, the BoE would be in a position to offer extra incentives.

    But as with QE, with something new, there may be the unforeseen. We’ve seen that with QE. Did it result in loads of inflation? Overall, no, because as predicted if there’s plenty unemployment supply can increase to match demand. But there was the additional issue with property prices etc…

    Thus, McDonnell et al’s plan may have currency effects, but if these are anticipated they might be catered for. One therefore tends to worry about the unforeseen, which one might assume likely to happen with something complex. The question then becomes: is it a deal breaker, or something that has solutions once aware of the problem?

    Full-blown state action is still relatively young, compared to business investment say, so there’s much to refine. Council housing had its merits but we wouldn’t do it in the same way now. Some investments like Concorde were more risky than others like the Internet. It’s not necessarily enough to just prop up a strategic industry in a downturn, you might need to invest for the longer term like the French did with their cars.

    So I wouldn’t try and claim alternative approaches to magic money are inevitably going to be a guaranteed success. But my point is that one might argue that, as with QE, criticisms might be overblown and so it might be worth a shot.

  17. @RJW

    Independent of party I cannot believe he is still allowed to be an MP. I would prefer an honest right wing MP to a dishonest corrupt one

  18. rjw

    Used to love that proggy. The best of American TV comedy I thought.


    @”as I am in my early seventies I’m probably nearly half way through my life already”

    Blimey -!!!

    Could you let me know how you have arranged to live to the age of 140 + ?

    Being slightly ahead of you I would be most interested to find out.

  20. @Paul Croft

    “Match abandoned shock !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Crowd demands their money back…”


    Oh, do you do refunds Paul?! Because you banged on many a time about how Labour were a shoe-in for the 2015 election after collapse of LDs.

    Funnily enough you seemed to have forgotten this error of yours more recently, though I wouldn’t claim that was a case of you not wanting to be wrong. Even though you did disappear when Miliband’s polling suffered! Must be that nobility you’re on about!!


    As I say-we may well find out if its a bit problematic-or if Free Money really works.

    They will all be trying it then of course-McDonnell will have to franchise it worldwide.

  22. Here we go again.

    The Manta May; the most repetitive fish in the sea.

    First we had months of “Brexit Means Brexit!” With the occasional “Red, White and Blue Brexit!” thrown in.

    Then we had “No Deal is better than a Bad Deal!” followed by, the “Strong and Stable!” Election.

    We seem to have adopted Government by Cliche.

    Now we have Florence, Conference and today’s return to Parliament all marked by our desire for a “Deep & Special Relationship!”

    It’s like Government policy is determined by opening fortune cookies!

    A what point will Mays cabinet either get through to her the fact that there is more to Government than slogans or bite the bullet and get rid of her.

    Fifteen months on from the referendum and we still can’t articulate the details of what we want and continue to try to negotiate with our partners via sound bites that come across like something from a soup power commercial.

    Brexit…Makes Trade even better than before; Strong, Deeper, Longer Lasting…. It’s Grrrrrreat!


  23. @ DANNY – I am absolutely NOT recommending a command economy. I don’t think even McDonnell has pushed for nationalisation of the the car industry – did I miss that?

  24. @Colin

    Yep, well Brown’s methods for dealing with the banking crisis got franchised a bit, so why not McDonnell’s? We did pioneer a bit after WW2 with state action. We’ve always done loads of state action hence Empire. It’s not like Cadburys planted the flag in India.

    But it’s not a given we’ll get that much of it, a lot depends on employment. The closer we get to full employment, the harder to do magic money because of inflationary effects.

  25. @CARFREW

    Our problem is not monetary policy, after all we had huge debt after the second world war. The real issue is that we need to build an economy with the debt we create to be able to get a good return on investment.

    To me it means turning away from debt fuelled consumer driven economy, to one that exports stuff. Our problem is that we have become an economy which whilst we have a large population we leverage this population with debt and therefore make it difficult to have a balance in terms of ordinary people ability to save and generate assets. essentially we have little isposable income to make a difference to peoples existence other than buying a house which is becoming increasingly difficult.

    our banks do financial engineering, which means we can get the Chinese whom save, to pay the French (whom build things ) to make us a Nuclear power station (obviously we are just the consumers ) that we pay over the odds for the electircity generated

    Everyone down the line other than the consumer benefits. In the end our problem is we do not recognise that this is a problem. In the same way we seem not to think that saddling a graduate on 25k with over 50K of debt is not a problem. In the same way we think that the move over to UC will impoverish people in the 6 weeks between get their new benefits is not a problem.

    We cannot get the simple things right, and we have created such a massive dogma against public entities that building council houses using bonds which would essentially pay for themselves in terms of asset generation is seen as a real problem, that we are only going to build 25K of them a year when we have a council house waiting list of over 1.2M in england alone.

    If we canot get the simple thign correct how the hell can we get dealing with automation and the changing workplace correct, control of taxation across borders correct, Brexit correct.

    if you read the governments paper on future trade you’ll see we are in a real malaise of not having a clue

  26. cf

    Gosh you do say weird things – it’s actually embarrassing to read.

    But of course it would be REALLY weird for anyone who said Mili would win the 2015 GE not to be clearly seen as having being wrong, given that he either did didn’t but it’s hardly anything to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

    I mentioned to someone just yesterday that my predictions were not very good, so that’s certainly not something that bothers me in the slightest; certainly not as much as the fact that we therefore had a referendum, which was lost, still does upset me greatly.

    However, if you really want an official, public mea culpa then, yes, I was wrong about “banging on” about Mili winning.

    Need to follow Wales v Republic of Ireland now: Wales a shoo-in to win.


    She’s basically asking for what what works economically and politically for the UK. Which is essentially no real change in the business relationship but no immigration.

    The problem is she knows the EU will not give it to her and she is not sure how much asking for less will hurt the economy and lastly people whom are voting for her believe they can get what they want and so she is going to have to spend money she was going to spend on making her government electable on brexit

    The point is there is a lot of people whom the EU referendum vote was a cry for help and at the moment that help looks further way than it did on the when they cast their votes in my view for some people they will be happy Brexit at any cost. We are going to see at what cost.

    The really sad thing is that those that want brexit will blame the EU but most of us saw this as inevitable

  28. @Paul Croft

    Oh you keep trying to say something or other is weird, usually by misrepresenting. Thus I didn’t suggest you should be embarrassed about being wrong. Obviously you’ll think it’s weird if you miss the point, the point being you didn’t rush to admit you were wrong, you only did it recently after it’s been pointed out.

    Consequently it’s a bit weird to have a go at someone else about being wrong esp. when they openly admit it. Also it’s kinda funny you judging skneone:’s “mobility”.

  29. Or nobility even…

  30. @PTRP

    I can agree with a lot of what you say, though I think there is more to it. For example, once we’ve created all these wealthy property holders, they might not be so keen to vote for more housing, despite the need, because it might reduce property values.

    And we have a situation where governments have reluctant to invest in state assets in case their rivals well it off and gain a short term electoral boost from the proceeds. Interested to see how Corbyn etc. square that. I’ve been wondering about maybe if they could invest at arm’s length, setting up independent trusts.

  31. cf

    “you didn’t rush to admit you were wrong,”

    Apologies again.

    I hadn’t realised that one was supposed to do that. However, assuming that is accepted procedure, I will definitely remember in future.


  32. yes, our problems are monetary. From 1945 to the mid 70s debt to GDP consistently fell but since then debt to GDP has been consistently rising. That is a function of the change in the monetary structure that began in the 70s.

  33. @Paul Croft

    See now, you’re misrepresenting again, no one said you had to admit it. It’s just that to have a go at someone else about it is a big double standard. You might even say weird!!

    Enjoy the match.

  34. passtherockplease: our banks do financial engineering, which means we can get the Chinese whom save, to pay the French

    I got lost trying to guess who it is who saves the Chinese, whom you say are saved.

    Never mind guessing what they are saved from, since it is hard to imagine a fate worse than having to pay the French.

  35. Blimey this is what I imagine infants’s school was like!

  36. You seem to prefer it to watching the match. Weird.

  37. Remarkable that Iceland are topping their WC qualifying group when their population is roughly the same as Barnard Castle’s.

    Maybe we should enter next time?

  38. It’s halftime** by the way so I am freed from the 0-0 boredom.

    ** That’s the bit in the middle where they all stop for a rest.


    I agree the 70s produced a step change in our problems. it started with the oil shock and then the Arab oil nations having huge amounts of money doing nothing so our financial engineers decided to put that money to use lending it for their commissions. it meant we had several debt crisis that rotated around the world remember we had one in asia, the UK, the US decided it would go fiat monetary system and Oil money bought the bonds. Then you had nations with relatively closed economies thus labour had power and Uk management was poor you saw for the only time inflation pushed by wages in a big way.

    The solution was globalisation, easy capital movements and then you got a winning formula. Assets gained ascendency and people lost out on productivity gains and the rest is history. The next step was that companies paid less tax and the tax was based on consumption and not less on capital gains so people with assets loved it and people without did badly. it is why there was a rush to assets (people wanting to be on the property ladder because that would be the best asset they could have. they treated privatisation as a tax cut, a windfall rather than an asset, and then used access to borrowing to make up for the rest. the country did not need to move to a exporting giant it could be a debt giant and laissez faire took care of the rest

    The 70sa was an inflection point to move away from this situation would take moving to an economy like many Northern Europeans which I am not sure we are capable of doing. even Merkel (a right winger is to the left of Labour moderates) so how do we do their policies and have their attitudes when we have taken a 4 decades to get to here.

    The country would be able to do it if we were not so terribly split

  40. @ PRINCESS RACHEL – debt to GDP was 25% in 1992 having dropped in both the 1970s and 1980s. It stayed around 30-40% until 2008.

  41. @PTRP

    Definitely the oil crisis had a big impact on future economic policy, but arguably seeds were sown a little earlier, in the late sixties, where the Selsdon set here, and Nixon in the States, started adopting liberalism. Hence Heath did some deregulation of banking on attaining office before the oil crisis, Nixon got rid of the commodity buffers intended to insulated against shocks like oil etc.

  42. @Trevor

    Interestingly, our GDP per capita was above Italy in 1970, and still above them in 1979. Then it sank below them until Major and we didn’t get back above them consistently till Blair.

  43. @Trev

    Interesting link of yours, showing how much the Empire was built on state debt.

    “Chart 4.02 tells, in stark detail, the story of the British Empire. It was built on the National Debt. Throughout the 18th century the National Debt grew and grew, from nothing at the end of the 17th century to about 60 percent of GDP by the end of the War of Spanish Succession in 1715.

    In mid-century the Carnatic Wars in India, the Seven Years War against France and the American War of Independence caused another ratchet in National Debt up to 156 percent of GDP in 1784.

    But that was just the beginning. The Revolution in France and the subsequent Napoleonic Wars led to another explosion in military spending and the National Debt rose to 237 percent of GDP in 1816 after the battle of Waterloo. The rest of the 19th century was spent in drawing the debt down, to a low of 25 percent of GDP in 1914. That was just before the outbreak of the Great War in Europe.”


    @”Gosh you do say weird things – it’s actually embarrassing to read.”

    Yep-and confusing.

    I’m constantly reminded of that Eric Morecombe gag about “using the right words, but not necessarily in the right order”.

  45. Carfrew
    “We’ve always done loads of state action hence Empire. It’s not like Cadburys planted the flag in India.”

    No but the East India Company did up until 1858.

  46. It still strikes me as rather odd that people refer to brexit as having split the country.
    It’s strikes me as odd because the majority voted to leave so there must have been a fairly divided opinion on the EU long before a brexit referendum took place.
    The truth is over the last few years what use to be a minority view that the EU was not what we signed up to became the majority view.
    The brexit referendum gave that view a chance to be heard and the majority who held that view voted accordingly.
    To suggest the country has split after the referendum is an idea mainly put forward by those who voted remain the rest realised a long time ago the country was divided.

  47. @Pete B

    Wondered if someone would say that!! Obviously capital played its part, that was part of the point for some, but they did rather depend on the state, and its eye-watering levels of debt.

  48. @Pete B

    Oh, and we also had the cunning use of flags…

  49. @Colin

    “Yep-and confusing.
    I’m constantly reminded of that Eric Morecombe gag about “using the right words, but not necessarily in the right order”.”


    Well of course it’s confusing if you invent something other than what was written. Like I say debt written off and you insist on treating it as default. I say “crisis” and you say… “puncture”??


    All very weird…

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