Kantar have published a new voting intention poll ahead of the budget, the first I’ve seen from them since the general election. Topline figures are CON 42%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 5%. Fieldwork was between last Tuesday and this Monday.

This is the first poll to show a Conservative lead since September and the largest Tory lead in any poll since the election. As ever, it’s best to look carefully at any poll that shows an unusual result before getting too excited/dismayed. The reason for the unusual result appears to be methodological, rather than from some sudden Tory recovery, and down to the way Kantar treat turnout. As regular readers will know, many polls came horribly unstuck at the 2017 election because instead of basing turnout on how likely respondents said they were to vote, they predicted respondents likelihood to vote based on factors like their age and class. These methods assumed young people would be much less likely to vote, and produced large Conservative leads that ended up being wrong. Generally speaking, these socio-economic models have been dropped.

At the election Kantar took a sort of halfway position – they based their turnout model on both respondents’ self-assessed likelihood to vote, whether they voted last time and their age, assuming that older people were more likely to vote than younger people. This actually performed far better than most other companies did; Kantar’s final poll showed a five point Conservative lead, compared to the 2.5 they actually got. As such, Kantar appear to have kept using their old turnout model that partly predicts likelihood to vote based on age. The impact of this is clear – before turnout weighting Labour would have had a one point lead, very similar to other companies’ polls. After turnout weighting the Conservatives are four points ahead (the full tabs and methodology details are here).

(Another noticable difference between Kantar’s method and other companies is that they use the leaders’ names in their voting intention question, though given there is not nearly as much of a gap between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings as there used to be I’m not sure that would still have an impact.)


633 Responses to “Kantar- CON 42, LAB 38, LDEM 9, UKIP 5”

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  1. With regard to the divorce bill, I would not be surprised to see the Government reduce overseas aid. Britain has a good recent record, and it is interesting to note that while we contribute 0.7% of GDP, the United States gives only 0.17%.

    The average for the EU is 0.47%. In the circumstances, it will be politically tempting to reduce overseas aid to the EU level. This will save the UK roughly £5 billion per annum.

    As it happens, those who want overseas aid reduced are probably those who least want to pay the divorce bill.

    It will be quite easy to argue for the money going to Cyprus and Greece rather than India and Pakistan.

  2. I think in this tiring Brexit discussions, it’s important to remember this important political polling by YouGov from last November, and account for the revealed factors in the narrative.

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/n8g0ptj6mc/InternalResults_161116_WashingR_W.pdf

  3. Morning all, great walking weather, had a great walk with my wife and one of my daughters and her dogs.

    PETE
    To answer your questions I am retired, I do have cancer (had it for nearly 15 years so far) and I will be 90 in 2030.
    Brexit will probably not affect me in the short term to any great extent but so what. If it affected me significantly in the short term I would still vote for it. I think it is essential for the UK’s medium and long term future.

    Charles
    I think leaving the EU will enhance our World prestige not diminish it. There is no way we will revoke Article 50, we are leaving IMO, on what terms we will have to wait and see. Eire has never been a real friend of the UK since it became a separate Nation, I think they should be ignored. If that means no trade deal, so be it, that’s what I expect anyway.

    TECHNICOLOUR OCTOBER
    “It upsets him to be reminded.”

    I am very happy to be 77 as I have made plain so I don’t mind being reminded I am old. I have had a great life and I am doing everything I can to prolong it into the future. I would not want to be young again as that would mean real hard work creating a successful career. Did that, have moved on and I work at my own pace these days.

    You feeble joke is very old hat now and just boring.

  4. More on SW seats and LDEM LAB tactical vote.

    Taking the 2017 results with two very simple changes:
    – 50% of LDEM tactically vote LAB (or vice versa)
    – LAB (or LDEM) generate 1,000 “new” voters per seat

    LAB would win the following SW seats from CON. (2017 GE LDEM % in brackets)

    Camborne & Redruth (6%)
    Truro & Falmouth (15%)

    with a further 1,000 new voters the following would also flip

    South Swindon (5%)

    If LAB VI were polite enough to oblige in reverse then LDEM could take following from CON. (2017 GE LAB % in brackets)

    Cheltenham (9%)
    St.Ives (14%)

    in the next tier, you could add:

    North Devon (13%)

    In summary, tactical voting with a ABC boost on turnout could give both LAB and LDEM 2-3 seats each all at the expense of CON (ie 4-6 less CON seats).

    In other regions where LD still have a pulse, 50% tactical voting and a turnout boost could pick up: London (+4 LAB, +1 LD); East of England (+3 LAB, +1 LD) but if you look at the changes from 2015 to 2017 you’d see tactical voting already drained the LD pot (e.g. both Milton Keynes seats, Pendle) or boosted LD at expense of LAB (e.g. Lewes, St.Albans). Tactical voting did occur, how much more is difficult to guess and assuming it is only a LD-LAB tactical vote is dangerous. In some seats LD could easily make the C in ABC Anyone But Corbyn!

  5. @ LASZLO – Remain do seem to wash their knickers more often is this due to them soiling themselves every time they read a story in the Independent? :-) :-)

  6. Laszlo: I think in this tiring Brexit discussions, it’s important to remember this important political polling by YouGov from last November, and account for the revealed factors in the narrative.

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/n8g0ptj6mc/InternalResults_161116_WashingR_W.pdf

    Thanks Laszlo. From this I draw the tentative conclusion that Leave voters are twice as likely not to wear pants/knickers as Remain voters. Any theories as to why?

  7. Shin Fein doing well in polling ahead of a possible Irish GE, and polling on their likely new leader suggests a lot of upside. SF in RoI govt would likely complicate things a little bit

  8. Its an existential issue for the Irish not just an economic one.

  9. I don’t know enough about Irish politics to know how SF in government might affect internal matters, but I doubt that any party coalition would change the Irish position on the UK leaving the EU.

  10. @profhoward

    “Its an existential issue for the Irish not just an economic one.”

    It is interesting that many Brexiters who say that their decision to leave the EU rested on more than economic issues expect the other EU countries to Act as though economic issues are paramount.

  11. @ SAM – Every single N-S Irish border seat is currently a SF seat, DUP are all further North and/or East with no border touching RoI. A Hard border would be between SF seats and RoI. If the info on 80% of N-S trade being SME and hence likely v.close to the border then this barely effects DUP seats and hence their voters. We already know that NI-GB trade is far greater than NI-RoI trade so DUP-GB v RoI trade would be even more heavily skewed to GB. The people most likely to ‘suffer’ from a hard border are the Republicans on both sides of the border!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2017/results/northern_ireland

    also although NI as a whole voted for UK to Remain if you break it down by religion or seats then ‘DUP voters’ were 60%+ Leave on average with the notable exception of the Belfast South and Fermanagh & S.Tyrone (both of which have been swing seats in recent past)

    I’m quite disturbed by the situation but DUP’s desire to avoid a border in the Irish Sea respect both the economic and political wishes of their voters. If Varadkar pushes this issue it isn’t difficult to see the outcome and if May is looking for an excuse to break-up talks Varadkar looks like an excellent fall guy to pick – although I expect for the GB audience DD will ensure Barnier shares in the blame.

  12. Interestingly, while Liam Fox argued in an interview for the Irish border question to be dealt with alongside the trade deal, he also said this –

    “We have always had exceptions for Ireland, whether it’s in our voting rights, our rights of residence in the UK, we have always accepted a certain asymmetry and that will have to be part of whatever agreement we come to with the European Union.”

    Fox is stating the obvious, that for reasons of geography, history and irish political sensibilities, there have been many differences agreed between NI and mainland UK, but it is an interestig observation in the context of Brexit.

    It’s the DUP and hard line Brexiters that seem to be saying that whatever applies to NI post Brexit must be the same as applies to the rest of the UK, but Fox’s quote could easily be imagined coming from a remainer arguing for an internal UK border that keeps RoI in the CU.

  13. TW
    Speaking personally, I’ve voted in the past for lab, lib, sdp, libdem, and probably the odd independent. They all have two things in common, the first that none of them were Tories, the other that not one succeeded in getting elected, since I have never voted for the successful candidate in any election, nor the winning side of any referendum.

    I don’t even identify as a supporter of Labour, but since 2010 have I been able to look at libdems as anything other than Tory enablers, and it will be a long time before I will be prepared to reconsider this view. That they are led by one of the chief architects off the coalition, who shortsightedly delivered us to where we’ve ended up today wouldn’t persuade me to lend them my vote, even if they were the only alternative to the Tories on the ballot paper.

    Until 2010 I was unable to understand the existential loathing traditional Labour has for the liberals, but doubt whether I am the only one who gets it now.

    So personally I can’t see the scenario you describe working.

    Charles, the solution you describe seems eminently workable and sensible, but as long as the ball remains in the court of a few dozen fundamentalists it’s not likely to happen imo, unfortunately.

  14. @ToH – In the short=term I would foresee a loss of national prestige. We may make this up longer-term but it will not depend on Brexit.

    I agree it is unlikely that we will revoke article 50. I think this is unfortunate from any point of view. It is now clear to me that we are not going to get a good deal, We may get a bad deal for which we pay through the nose or no deal at all.

    Revoking article 50 but re-running the referendum when we have got certain things clear (that we can rejoin and we can deport EU citizens if they cannot pay their way) would force the EU to abandon the idea that it can have its cake and eat it. It would also provide the British with a clear choice = no deal or current deal perhaps with some safeguards.

    You want no deal, I want status quo. At present both of us are going to have to pay a lot for something neither of us wants.

  15. @ RACHEL – I wonder how many of the EU 26 understand the NI issue and will wonder WTF!?! if talks fail due to the NI issue? I’d never normally link to something like Brexit Central but did you happen to see the Kate Hoey (LAB, Vauxhall) piece?
    http://brexitcentral.com/leo-varadkar-needs-stop-hypocrisy-remember-irelands-true-friends/

    If/when EU have to decide who is making up the UK budget black hole I wonder how kindly they’ll view Varadkar and the Irish economic model of being an off-shore tax haven sat within the EU and the EA!

  16. @ DALEK – the purpose of the number crunch on LD tactical voting was to show how few seats it would gain LAB (or cost CON). I can easily flip the tactical vote in 2017 GE around so thought it interesting to look at the ABC vote the other way with LAB tactically voting for LD.

    I don’t know where you live but for the LAB voters in places like Cheltenham or St.Ives the issue is do you want to stop CON getting the seat or simply register a worthless vote for LAB. Same for somewhere like Richmond Park. In a pre B-day election with the main purpose being to kick CON out would you vote LAB in one of these three example seats or would you pinch your nose really hard and vote LD? (Cheltenham, St.Ives or Richmond Park)

    P.S. LD should have picked Jo Swinson, not Vince Cable. I agree entirely about the baggage he brings with him. With Swinson they could have rebooted the party in the same way Corbyn has shed the Blair years.

  17. @ DALEK – I’ll do the tactical voting opportunity for CON tomorrow. Sorting alphabetically by region (just the way it is easiest for me) first up is Ashfield where not only would a LD tactical vote to CON have given CON the seat but those pesky Kippers took 1,885 votes which gave the seat to LAB with a 441 majority!

    It is easy to forget the Kippers (and I’m glad about that!) but they might yet have a role to play! On previous posts I have pointed out the 2015 high level of Kipper in SW (CON holds) and Midlands-North (seats that CON were supposed to have won) – that is why I always bang on about flushing Corbyn out one way or the other over Brexit and why Starmer might be leading LAB down the primrose path if we have a GE before B-day.

  18. TREVOR WARNE @ SAM

    Every single N-S Irish border seat is currently a SF seat, DUP are all further North and/or East with no border touching RoI.

    That, of course, was in the plurality elections for Westminster.

    Perhaps more relevant were the latest Stormont elections in Spring 2017 [see BBC], where the DUP were reduced to being exactly 1 seat ahead of SF.

    Re border constituncies, DUP got:

    Fermanagh & South Tyrone 2 MLAs – including Arlene Foster!
    Foyle 1 MLA
    Newry & Armagh 1 MLA
    West Tyrone 1 MLA

    If Stormont ever gets going again, losing 2 of those even to the UUP would mean a SF First Minister.

  19. Trevor Warne

    “I wonder how many of the EU 26 understand the NI issue”

    I doubt anyone really does!

    However, it may be unwise to think that they are as unaware of the Irish issue as the UK is.

    Not only do all the other states realise (unlike many in England) that they have land borders and can easily comprehend the difficulties that Brexit causes to Ireland, but they have been extensively briefed by Irish diplomats since the UK referendum result was announced.

    It is inconceivable that the 27 would have elevated the Irish border issue to the first stage of negotiations without considering the implications.

    To do that would demonstrate total incompetence. The EU does have at least one such government – but it’s the one that plans to leave.

  20. Trevor Warne: @ RACHEL – I wonder how many of the EU 26 understand the NI issue and will wonder WTF!?! if talks fail due to the NI issue? I’d never normally link to something like Brexit Central but did you happen to see the Kate Hoey (LAB, Vauxhall) piece?

    An RT connection – and NI. Hmm

  21. CHARLES

    I actually want my red lines, and a reasionable trade deal rather than no trade deal but I think the EU so unreasonable that no trade which respects the UK’s soveignty is likely, hence my view that we leave with no trade deal as the most likely scenario.

  22. TREVOR WARNE @ BZ

    for Norway to work in the short-term it would also need to be with THE CU

    Agreed, but that’s what could be sorted out in the transition period, which should be however long it takes.

    It would give your side at least some kind of exit which could be sold to the electorate, and which was praised by your side during the referendum. Like Norway, it might well result in another referendum some time in the future, but perhaps with the same result.

    The alternative is likely to be that as us oldies die off there will be enough under 55s to outweigh the grey vote, along with even more bitterness than there is already until we rejoin.

  23. TO
    What does RT stand for

  24. Oldnat

    “I don’t know enough about Irish politics to know how SF in government might affect internal matters, but I doubt that any party coalition would change the Irish position on the UK leaving the EU.”

    But I suspect that having SF in the Dublin government would harden attitudes in NI amongst the loyalist community

  25. @ BZ – and in the power sharing agreement a DUP deputy.

    @ OLDNAT – I’m glad we’re having to deal with the NI issue now rather than at 10:59PM on 29Mar19. I wasn’t sure which way DUP would go when push came to shove but quite clear from recent Foster and Dodds comments that they seem quite happy to blame a hard border on Varadkar and this give May+DD an exit option as well.

    If I was Varadkar I’d roll my veto over to phase2 when it would be much more powerful. IMHO by over playing his hand now he is giving May+DD a good excuse to walk from the talks – with the blessing of Foster+co! The U-turn from Hammond and the relative silence of Boris+co makes me think May finally has worked out talks are pointless and it is then simply a matter of picking the right time to walk out – 15Dec or early in Jan my guess.

  26. @ BZ – let’s pick it up tomorrow. Enjoy your evening.

  27. Princess Rachel

    “But I suspect that having SF in the Dublin government would harden attitudes in NI amongst the loyalist community”

    Could be – but we would need some evidence one way or another, and those horrible “more/less likely to” poll questions probably wouldn’t tell us much.

  28. PRINCESS RACHEL

    Shin Fein doing well in polling ahead of a possible Irish GE, and polling on their likely new leader suggests a lot of upside. SF in RoI govt would likely complicate things a little bit

    The latest poll by Red-C (for the paywalled Sunday Business Post) is reported by RTE

    https://www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2017/1125/922813-poll-business-post/

    as being:

    Fine Gael 27% (-2) [26]
    Fianna Fail 26% (+1) [24]
    Sinn Fein 16% (+2) [14]
    Independents 10% (-2) [13]
    Labour 6% (-) [7]
    Greens 4% (-) [3]
    Ind Alliance 4% (-) [4]
    Solidarity/PBP 3% (-1) [4]
    Social Democrats 3% (+1) [3]
    Renua 1% (+1) [2]
    [] = % at last election Feb 2016

    they also point out:

    This poll was conducted nationwide between last Monday and Thursday.

    The poll would not have captured the public reaction to the now threatened election which only emerged on Thursday evening.

    However, the fieldwork was undertaken over the days when the Government and opposition parties were engaged in stormy exchanges over the handling of an email related to the controversy of garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe.

    The McCabe case is one of those things no one really understands and everyone gets very indignant about. This latest row seems to be more about chest-thumping from FF rather than anything else and I suspect the row had very little effect on the above polling, which you can see varies little from the last election. As usual the media will make a lot of the

    The calling of an election might have a different effect however and there seems very little appetite for one among ordinary voters, especially as the likely polling date will be in the week before Christmas. If FF get the blame, they might well suffer from abstention and the sort of disaster they saw in 2011.

    That said, it’s possible that there won’t be an election, either because Fitzgerald resigns, or more likely because smaller Parties and Independents abstain in or oppose the no confidence votes on her on Tuesday. FF have 44 and SF 23. FG only have 50 but can rely on some Independents (4 are in Cabinet and I suspect the Rural Group will support them). So how the remaining 30 or so, mainly Left TDs vote will be crucial.

    None of this will make any difference to Brexit. It won’t even figure much in any election and the Parties are all agreed what to do and other issues such as housing are seen as more important. If there is any effect it will probably harden stances a little.

  29. https://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/lack-of-awareness-of-irish-history-in-brexit-talks-means-this-will-not-end-well-1.3305818

    “Ignorance of history and zero appetite for the details of European law have combined to produce the current chaos. “

  30. harryc: What does RT stand for

    Russia Today

  31. TO
    Thanks

  32. Trevor Warne:
    “P.S. LD should have picked Jo Swinson, not Vince Cable. I agree entirely about the baggage he brings with him. With Swinson they could have rebooted the party in the same way Corbyn has shed the Blair years.”

    Jo Swinson did not stand.

  33. Trevor Warne

    “………..makes me think May finally has worked out talks are pointless and it is then simply a matter of picking the right time to walk out – 15Dec or early in Jan my guess.”

    Why would May withdraw from talks, surely we want the EU to withdraw because that then heaps the blame on them. We should keep talking up until 29th March 2019 whilst of course preparing for an exit without a trade deal.

  34. Trevor Warne: If I was Varadkar I’d roll my veto over to phase2 when it would be much more powerful. IMHO by over playing his hand now he is giving May+DD a good excuse to walk from the talks – with the blessing of Foster+co! The U-turn from Hammond and the relative silence of Boris+co makes me think May finally has worked out talks are pointless and it is then simply a matter of picking the right time to walk out – 15Dec or early in Jan my guess.

    The veto is essentially over the British intent to leave SM and CU without addressing the consequences for the Irish border. Just for the sake of playing it straight, it is now time to exercise the veto, because the idea is to keep NI at least in the SM and CU.

    To leave it into the trade would IMO be bad faith, because the issue is totally apparent now. And I can see no Irish advantage in avoiding TM and DD walking out of talks. That’s just the difference between Canada or nothing, which makes little difference to Ireland compared to NI in SM and CU.

  35. ROI

    why mince words . the remainers on this site have no real interest in the ROI or its best interests. They use the ROI/NI dispute as just another weapon in the war against `brexit.

    Prediction: trade talks will start and the ROI which Germany regards as a tax haven will not veto it.

  36. SAM

    That link is worthless as the author is a rabid pro European anti brexit Conservative. There are fewer of those these days.

  37. @BZ
    “If Stormont ever gets going again, losing 2 of those even to the UUP would mean a SF First Minister.”

    That’s not how it works. The FM is nominated by the largest party of the largest designation, not by the largest party per se.

    DUP losses to the UUP or others of the same designation are thus neutral in that regard.

  38. The Other Howard: SAM – That link is worthless as the author is a rabid pro European anti brexit Conservative. There are fewer of those these days.

    I’ve not read it, but it is more normal to damn or praise articles based on content rather than authorship.

  39. st homas: ROI – why mince words . the remainers on this site have no real interest in the ROI or its best interests. They use the ROI/NI dispute as just another weapon in the war against `brexit.

    With friends like you, the RoI will find itself out of the EU and back in the Commonwealth in no time.

  40. Tweet from Britain Elects:

    Public perception on the state of the British economy at present:

    Good: 16%
    Bad: 44%

    via @YouGov, 22 – 23 Nov

  41. DANNY @ BZ

    While it might gain national consensus, it would alienate hard leavers, who would resonably desert the tory party, cause a split and destroy its already flakey core vote. While remainers might accept it as a compromise but would still resent the tories for making it necessary. Its not the future of the nation which matters, but the future of the tories. Most routes do not give them one.

    Fair comment. I’m no fan of the Cons, so personally it wouldn’t bother me. OTOH, most polities have a right wing party and there’ll be another, perhaps chastened, version of them which rise from the ashes.

  42. The only poll for three months that gives a Tory lead has headline status?
    Have Survation stopped polling?

  43. Wes

    If you go to the YouGov website and look through the poll you will see the Conservatives have a 16% lead over Labour on who is best to run the economy despite the figures you presented.

  44. TECHNICOLOUROCTOBER

    “I’ve not read it, but it is more normal to damn or praise articles based on content rather than authorship.”

    That’s not a practice followed by most Remainers who post here.

  45. ToH

    “That’s not a practice followed by most Remainers who post here.”

    You are getting very grumpy these days!

    You can’t possibly have done an analysis of all Remain supporters who post here, as to whether they have read articles or not.

    More importantly, I lifted the first of my leeks the other day, and the dry weather allowed me to clear most of the fronds from the fernery.

  46. @TOH

    “surely we want the EU to withdraw because that then heaps the blame on them.”

    Who the **** cares about blame (or credit)? Surely the only thing that matters is outcome?

    In any case, I’m quite sure the Mail and its ilk will blame the EU no matter what. It is the UK government looking over its shoulder at the malign foreign- and offshore-owned press that is a major part of the problem.

  47. PETERW @ BZ

    The FM is nominated by the largest party of the largest designation, not by the largest party per se.

    Quite so. Unionists were clearly ahead in the 2016 election. In the 2017 election the situation was neck and neck. I don’t claim any expert knowledge of the NI polity, but perhaps that’s one of the key reasons why the DUP are reluctant to make any concessions on Stormont.

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