There were four voting intention polls yesterday – an unusual flurry, largely it appears because of the military action in Syria. YouGov and Opinium were their regular polls, but ComRes seems to be asked on Wed & Thurs in order to measure support for an attack beforehand, Survation was conducted on Saturday to measure support afterwards.

YouGov‘s voting intention figures for the Times yesterday were CON 40%(-2), LAB 40%(-1), LDEM 9%(+2). Fieldwork was Monday and Tuesday and changes are from the previous week. We’ve already seen YouGov polling on Syria earlier in the week, which asked specifically about missile attacks and found 22% support, 43% opposed. Tabs for the voting intention poll are here.

Opinium for the Observer had topline figures of CON 40%(-2), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 7%(+1). Fieldwork was Tuesday to Thursday. It included only the briefest of questions on Syria; asked which leader people would trust the most to respond to the situation 35% said Theresa May, 20% said Jeremy Corbyn. The full details of the poll are here.

ComRes for the Sunday Express is the first voting intention poll the company have produced since the general election (I was beginning to ponder whether they’d given it up!). Looking at methodology changes, ComRes appear to have dropped the socio-economic turnout model that resulted in such problems at the last election and returned to essentially the methodology they used at the 2015 election, weighting by just standard demogs and past vote, and weighting by self-assessed likelihood to vote. This produced topline figures very much in line with everyone else – CON 40%, LAB 41%, LDEM 7%.

On Syria, ComRes asked about whether people agreed Britain should join the US and France in taking “military action against President Assad in Syria”. 29% of people agreed, 36% disagreed, and 35% didn’t know… another poll showing the balance of opinion opposed to strikes. Full tabs are here.

Survation for the Mail on Sunday is the only poll conducted after the missile attacks, with fieldwork wholly conducted during the day on Saturday. As regular readers will know, Survation typically show the largest Labour leads in their polling, but today’s figures are very much in line with everyone else – CON 40%(+2), LAB 40%(-5), LDEM 9%(nc).

Survation asked about whether people supported the “missile strikes on Syrian government facilities overnight in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack”. 36% of people said they supported it, 40% said they were opposed – a closer division than in some of the pre-strike polling, which may be because the question specifically linked it to the chemical attack, or may be because people just become more supportive once it has actually happened.

Survation also found 54% of people thought May should have sought Parliamentary support beforehand (30% did not), but on balance tend to approve of how she has handled the situation. 37% think she has dealt with it well, 29% badly. In contrast 19% think that Jeremy Corbyn has handled it well, 36% badly. Full tables are here.

Looking at the situation overall, headline voting intention polls continue to show Labour and Conservative neck-and-neck on average. On Syria, differently worded questions produced results that vary from clear opposition to just slightly more opposition than support, but it’s clear the public did not whole-heartedly support military action in Syria.


732 Responses to “Survation, ComRes, Survation and YouGov polls on voting intention and Syria”

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  1. Pete,
    “Daily Mail is saying thousands of windrush arrival records have been found, good news all round.”

    MI5 been looking after them?

  2. COLIN, you of course could be right about May. I just don’t see an answer to the Irish border and May caving in to the EU is what I expect, and I’d argue the right thing to do in this case. People voted for Brexit, not to be poorer and to eat any old crap foisted upon them. TBH, it wouldn’t shock me if she did a Cameron and ran away,

  3. Following the Windrush omnishambles the EU is, IMO, certain to insist on the ECJ remaining the arbiter of the rights of EU citizens in the UK. As they wished anyhow but this is another huge own goal by the British government which will influence the Brexit negotiations. Would you trust the UK to safeguard your citizens’ rights?

  4. Even if that poll – showing the Tories with a 5-point lead – was carried out before the Windrush story had developed, and so is putatively a reflection of the public mood on national security – doesn’t Jeremy Corbyn’s pacifist (or at least, very dovish) stance command quite a lot of public support?

  5. It strikes me that my posting above seems rather callous – the Windrush situation is much more than a political mistake. I’ve cried when I’ve read the many stories of the horrific treatment meted out to these people. Theresa May should be hounded out of office for intentionally creating her hostile environment – “We can deport first, and hear the appeals later” – and I hope she will be.

  6. Artemis: Sadly, she won’t be. Theresa May is as secure in her job as she has been since the election – and the more of a clusterf*ck this government becomes, the less attractive a challenge will be for any other leadership contender.

  7. Actually, think back to the last time a PM was hounded out of office by public pressure – Margaret Thatcher in 1990. Then there were hundreds of thousands of people on the streets, marching against the poll tax – that was what really rendered public opinion irresistible. Taking to the streets is now back in vogue – so why is there nobody outside parliament shouting “Justice for Windrush”? (Or indeed, have there been demos that the MSM has ignored?)

  8. FROSTY

    That poll is probably more a product of the Syrian action, but it does make me wonder whether the Windrush issue might not actually as harmful to the Tory VI as people are assuming. While most would agree that the Home Office has overstepped the mark, the great majority of people in the UK think that immigration is too high, and many will agree with the sentiment behind the measures. Those that don’t are almost certainly Labour supporters already, and in their loud outrage they might run the risk of painting themselves as the party in favour of mass migration, which remains a pretty toxic position. I guess we’ll see as the next few polls come out.

  9. @PETE
    “as May is useless and he’s actually losing votes to possibly the worst PM we’ve ever had in my voting life time.”

    I think this common meme is quite hard to substantiate objectively, at least since the election.

    You could, I guess, argue that the decision to call that alone justifies the title, as no one else in living memory has thrown a working majority down the toilet like that, but since then?

    I can remember only one other minority government sustained by C&S arrangements, that of Callaghan’s during the LibLab pact. It was far more shambolic. Even the Major premiership, and he had a majority until his last few months, makes this one look a model of stability of competence.

    Contrasted with those two, the government is more or less united, more or less where it wishes to be, remarkably stable, and (probably because it is ..) facing an opposition far more divided both between and within the parties than it is.

    This modern tendency that everything has to be the best/ worst/ biggest ever is rather tedious and singularly hard to sustain in this case. In context the PM is doing a remarkable job. She is in my opinion doing almost entirely the wrong thing. But she is in objective reality doing almost entirely the wrong thing far more comfortably politically than anyone was predicting, either on here or in the msm, ten months ago.

    Where is this imminent collapse everyone was predicting? At present it looks further away than ever.

  10. @Polltroll

    There was a demonstration in Brixton yesterday afternoon, attended by hundreds rather than thousands, which has been largely ignored by the MSM,

  11. Ironically, I think the Windrush scandal makes Theresa May more likely to stay as PM.

    Reading the runes, it looks as though Amber Rudd would have been her preferred successor. Now Rudd is weakened, a leadership contest runoff or Rudd versus JRM/B Johnson/Leadsom becomes less likely. Therefore an attempt to have a managed transition becomes more difficult. This is another reason for the Conservative MPs to avoid the risk of a leadership contest before the next election.

    John Major stayed as PM as a result of faut de mieux and the same could happen to May. It remains to be seen whether this will be good or bad for them at the next election. There are lots of potential problems ahead (such as Universal Credit hammering the self-employed) and it strikes me as unlikely that May will try to be flexible in trying to avoid these political landmines. But who would be better and acceptable to the Conservative membership? How could a leadership election avoid rancour given the (currently mostly papered over) splits in the party?

  12. The YouGov poll could just be a statistical outlier. We should soon find out.

  13. @ OLDNAT
    Your references to Roger Scully and – “The End of British Party Politics?”

    I agree that the current status quo cannot remain, but we have a very unbalanced democratic set up in the UK, and whilst support for English Regional Assemblies remain low, we move to an English dominated Parliament where Celtic MPs are excluded from some decisions that affect “England only”.

    My preference is to get rid of the patronage infested HoL and have an elected Upper House which determines UK matters wide matters including overall taxation, regional budgets, defence, national infrastructure.

    Turn the green place into the English Parliament with an English First Minister.

  14. Alec @ 11.12 pm and Colin @ 6.57 am

    You are making 2 and 2 equal 5. I do not have conspiracy theories, and dislike their invention.

    I also do not agree with Alec that “the last thing Theresa May wanted just now was a scrap with Russia”. My view is that Theresa May saw an opportunity in the Salisbury poisoning to act tough against Russia, and turn attention away from her failings to proceed far and fast enough with Brexit. And this would secure her some more votes, because it would expose JC`s pacifist inclination.

    So the latest opinion poll perhaps shows that she has had some temporary success.

    As for Alec telling me that Ian Boyd deals with poisonings because he works for DEFRA, I am startled that Alec should think that is a normal remit for that department.

    But sometimes it seems regulars here dredge up arguments just to get a mental kick of posting.

  15. Hawthorn: some months ago there were reports from Tim Shipman (whose access to the corridors of power is unparalleled among journalists) that May’s preferred successor was Gavin Williamson.

    Of course Gavin Williamson has turned out to be a complete prat of a Defence Secretary, so maybe her view has changed. I’m not sure Theresa May has a preferred successor – she has very few political friends. And I don’t think having the incumbent’s blessing is necessarily an advantage in any case.

  16. PeterW: “No-one else [apart from Theresa May] has thrown away a working majority like that.”

    Ted Heath, anyone?

  17. @Davwel .. you should know by now that that the EU really did ban bendy bananas, …Saddam Hussein really did have a secret hoard of WMDs, … Jeremy Corbin really was a Czech spy .. Novichok was inserted into Yulia Scripals luggage in Moscow airport .

    you can’t argue with facts so stop being difficult !

    :-)

  18. Whilst I agree that Tim Shipman has excellent connections, it is difficult to judge the truth of those stories without knowing who briefed them. I would not expect number 10 to be the source.

    I also have some doubts about his (mostly interesting) Fall Out book which I don’t think made one major mention of Rupert Murdoch. This does raise some doubts about the reliability of narrative of the Sunday Times political editor.

    I would guess that Amber Rudd would have wanted to be the continuity candidate. This is evidenced by her extreme loyalism in standing in for May in the leadership debate in exceptionally difficult personal circumstances and her Sergeant Major routine during the disastrous PM conference speech. It also makes sense to give your old department to a protege.

    The Guardian exclusive on Friday afternoon would suggest that someone sees her as a leadership threat and is out to get her. It is also interesting that JRM has criticised the Windrush scandal. I am sure that his (ahem) interest in the British Caribbean community has nothing to do with damaging his leadership rivals. (cough cough).

  19. Lets hope this helps:-

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/windrush-generation-migrants-landing-cards-hostile-home-office-records-archives-a8315516.html

    Did all those bright people at the Home Office remember this-if not why not?

  20. Hawthorn: I’m not so sure about JRM, actually. The Tory right tend to be Commonwealth fetishists – in many ways the Commonwealth is their version of the EU. I think some of them would get genuinely cross about this in a way they wouldn’t about EU migrants being treated similarly (well, EU migrants enjoy free movement and so can’t be deported anyway, but you get my point).

    There was an interesting piece in the Spectator a few days ago that put out the quite convincing theory that the leavers in the Cabinet are now more liberal on immigration to the remainers, because the remainers have bought into the narrative that leave voters are irredeemably bigoted. They have then adopted the “will of the people” rhetoric to try to emulate public opinion, which isn’t nearly as hostile as they think it is. (And for Theresa May, she of the Go Home vans, this was a much smaller jump than it would have been for many other Tories.) Meanwhile the leavers have stuck with their convictions throughout, convictions which turn out to be closer to the views of the average voter.

  21. Big news story breaking:

    BBC is saying that after choosing HRH prince Charles as the next head of the commonwealth, the Commonwealth Heads of State have now demanded that he show them documentary proof confirming his identity and that he is entitled to be a commonwealth citizen.

    More soon.

  22. @Davywell

    But sometimes it seems regulars here dredge up arguments just to get a mental kick of posting.

    I regard you and Alec as regular posters and have no idea of what your motivations are for so doing. Whatever .. I always find these contributions interesting and valuable and certainly hope they don’t stop.

  23. Who’s to blame for Windrush.

    Failer in 1971 to give any documentation to those given right to stay.
    Failer of any successive government to give citizenship documentation.
    Labour Government in allowing unfettered immigration during the Blair years.
    The rise of UKIP mainly on a anti immigration ticket because of the sudden huge influx of immigrants with no thought of how those immigrants would effect services.
    The Tory government under Cameron who were alarmed by the rise of UKIP and introduced stricter rules on immigration to placate the rise of UKIP and to attract Labour voters in those areas most hit by the effects of immigration.
    Brexit in order to allay fears of immigration one of the main drivers of the leave vote increased pressure put on HO to increase numbers of illegal immigrants deported.
    May’s government who had I believe not taken into account how the stricter rules on removing illegal immigrants would effect the older Caribbean immigrants who everybody had forgotten about.
    Personally I think the idea of blaming one person or even one government is a huge over simplification of a long sorry saga leading to Windrush.

  24. For all the talk of Momentum “entryism” into Labour – what about the right-wing anti-EU takeover of the Conservative Party?

    Splits on all sides!

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/20/conservative-former-councillor-urges-people-to-vote-labour

  25. ALEC
    I believe Prince Charles might be able to circumvent the issue you’ve raised: As a (German), EU citizen who has been residing in the U.K. for six years he can apply for U.K. citizenship, and U.K. citizens – technically they’re actually ‘subjects’ – are automatically commonwealth citizens.
    :)

  26. “May’s government who had I believe not taken into account how the stricter rules on removing illegal immigrants would effect the older Caribbean immigrants who everybody had forgotten about.”

    Home office impact assessments produced for May’s policies during her tenure highlighted that older, legal, immigrants may have issues providing paperwork.

    The idea that the home office simply forgot about them is rather unconvincing.

  27. @ Turk

    “Personally I think the idea of blaming one person or even one government is a huge over simplification of a long sorry saga leading to Windrush.”

    Personally I do blame the current government- happened on their watch, happened because of a change of government policy and I am not yet in any way persuaded that the Home office mishandled or misinterpreted that policy.

    It also became apparent (with warnings from a liberal newspaper that clearly the government generally ignore) that something wrong was going on quite some time ago and certainly apparent one month ago when a question was raised by the leader of the opposition about a specific case that again the government chose to ignore or certainly not give it the priority they should have done.

    What did or did not happen 40 years ago and what did or did not happen in 2009-2010 is pretty much irrelevant.

  28. I have to say I am getting a bit worried as I have looked everywhere for evidence that my Jewish ancestors who came to this country back in the 1650s were legal immigrants, but I can find no landing cards or anything similar.

    It’s a real worry.

  29. Thank you, Charles, @ 1.15 pm

    My aims are:

    1. To speak up for minorities such as farmers or people living in the far North, Cumbria, etc, who are too often forgotten.

    2. To preach conservation and population control

    3. To steer a middle course politically between the hard Left and the hard Right, and between Independence hardliners and Home Counties supremicists.

  30. Shev11

    You seem to think these things happen in isolation they don’t.
    They are a series of events stretching over many years the fact that the end result “happens on somebody’s watch” is self evident.
    Much like the Second World War happened on Chamberlains watch but it’s cause stems from the Paris peace conference in 1919 . To say things are irrelevant because they happened a number of years ago is a failer to understand why mistakes occur.

  31. New thread :-)

  32. Turk

    “no thought of how those immigrants would effect services.”

    Well, if I compare the services in the first half of the 1990s to the first decade of this century up to 2009, the public services were far superior during the latter, that is, during the era of mass migration.

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