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. From Roger Mexico`s useful post @ 12.46 am linking to Bendor Grosvenor`s experiences on procedures for archiving or disposing paper records.

    “”PS – one day I’ll tell you about the time the Cabinet Office told porkies in order to keep the Profumo Enquiry papers secret.. I fought for months to make the papers open, but sadly lost – they’re closed till 2048.””

    From watching Bendor`s TV programmes on sleuthing the identities of old paintings, he is astute, balanced and careful. So if he makes public claims about the UK government telling deliberate lies, I believe him.

    It fits with my own experience of Margaret Thatcher warning staff with the Official Secrets Act procedures if they gave out information that undermined her government story on Chernobyl. That this explosion was the cause of radioactivity in Cumbrian pastures, hence sheep not allowed to be marketed, and many farmers suffering. MT`s motivation was to hide our own problems at Windscale, and boost right-wing antagonism to communism.

    Now with our second hard-Right PM in action and so similar to Margaret Thatcher, I have no certainty about the stories on Salisbury that Theresa May has been foisting on UK media and many foreign governments.

  2. I feel sorry for Amber Rudd – she doesn’t look like she is enjoying being Home Secretary .She must feel she has been handed a pretty large poisoned chalice by the PM.

    Although that is par for the course, as far as Mrs May is concerned.


    I actually quite like Amber Rudd and think she is a leadership contender.

    However, those that decide such things certainly won’t agree.

  4. “I feel sorry for Amber Rudd – she doesn’t look like she is enjoying being Home Secretary”


    Didn’t she realise they seem to see it as the “Go Home” Secretary lately?

  5. Didn’t anyone at the HO say;

    ” Hey, before we get rid of these cards shouldn’t we scan them into the system like we’re supposed to do with all our paper documents these days!”

    I am beginning to think all this is part of the UK’s sophisticated Cyber Defence System…Every time the Russians break in they find they can’t make it any worse!


  6. @Neil A

    “As to the “by design” thing. Do I think it was anyone’s intention to deliberately harass people they believed to be lawful UK residents? No, not really.”


    This is carefully worded innit! Because it’s not just about people who are already legally resident, but as others point out, about making it difficult for those who might have a good claim.

    I’m rather surprised that you don’t seem to see how much things change when you put so much burden of proof on the immigrant, and also rope others into it, so that even landlords have to check, but of course they don’t really have the resources to check.

    Are you really confident this new approach won’t lead inevitably lead to further problems?

    Couldn’t help noticing that when I asked you if you thought there’d be any more if these immigration “accidents”, that you answered a different question, about what remedies you’d like to see!

  7. The arguments concerning this new approach to immigration mirror those for changing voter registration.

    Hype the problem of illegal immigrants, or electoral fraud, when actually evidence for any big problem is scant, and then use that as an excuse to do something else.

    In reality, the normal thing to do is consider the trade off. If the problem is minor, you don’t usually do something draconian. We don’t ban people from driving just because there are some casualties.

  8. To be clear, I mean banning people in general from driving, because of the possibility of error.

  9. WB

    @”Is this genuine fear or expectations management?”

    I think its just a Dog Whistle isn’t it ?

  10. I was just watching today’s Daily Politics. The Irish border. And then I saw it, instantly. It was standing in the middle of the road ahead. It was still awhile away, but it was getter closer, and it was moving fast.

    Not another one, I thought. But yes, yes, I can see it clearly now. Small but getting bigger, what was emerging was becoming more and more clear. Out in the far distance I could see another capitulation. Yes, it’s now clear as day we are going to capitulate over the Irish border, The EU have junked two of our proposals, and so we will capitulate and stay in the customs union. And as this was a main part of the Rome Treaty, which also had the four freedoms, it looks like the Single Market capitulation will follow. Alas I can’t see behind this capitulation to see the Single Market one, but I’m expecting it to be there.

    Anyway, must go. I don’t want to get hit by a capitulation.

  11. Guardian has just put its ICM exit poll inot its politics live section:

    To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: I think the public should have the chance to take a final decision on whether or not to leave the EU in another referendum when the outcome of the negotiation is known?
    Strongly agree (Jan: 28%; Apr: 30%)
    Tend to agree (Jan: 19%; Apr: 17%)
    Neither agree nor disagree (Jan: 14%; Apr: 17%)
    Tend to disagree (Jan: 11%; Apr: 12%)
    Strongly disagree (Jan: 23%; Apr: 25%)
    Don’t know (Jan: 6%; Apr: 6%)

    If there was another EU referendum tomorrow, how would you vote?
    For the UK to Remain in the EU (Jan: 45%; Apr: 45%)
    For the UK to Leave the EU (Jan: 43%; Apr: 44%)
    I wouldn’t vote (Jan: 6%; Apr: 5%)
    Prefer not to say (Jan: 1%; Apr: 1%)
    Don’t know (Jan: 5%; Apr: 5%)

    and on VI
    Conservative: 42% (-2)

    Labour: 41% (nc)

    Lib Dems: 7% (-1)

    Greens: 3% (+1)

    Ukip: 4% (+3)

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,012 adults aged 18+, between 6 and 8 April 2018. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM

  12. WB

    “It may be that those who are talented from your perspective, as someone who leans in a conservative direction, would not appear so to someone who views it from the other end of the telescope.”

    The MPs I mentioned are Labour MPs.

  13. @ Colin

    “The MPs I mentioned are Labour MPs.”

    I know you are not being deliberately obtuse so I must have explained myself poorly.
    It must be clear that a Conservative voter might be attracted to a right leaning Labour MP in comparison to a left leaning MP and judge their talents on that basis rather than on e.g. their ability to master a brief, their ability to forensically examine government policy. If such objective tests were put in place, I might agree with you that JC has significant difficulties in comparison to Yvette Cooper by those measures. However, I was making the point, from a polling point of view, that it is the political perspective of the voter that will generally lead to a view of competence and not any objective measures of performance.

  14. @Colin

    “The MPs I mentioned are Labour MPs”


    Seemed like that’s what he meant, that you might favour those Labour MPs a bit closer to the Tory party than Corbyn.

    The question of their talent is… questionable. They did ok when the Tories were on the floor and Labour were pursuing an agenda the press liked.

    Once free movement got going though, some of the press inevitably fell away, as happened to Major when too favourable to the EU.

    Under Miliband, the likes of Cooper et al didn’t exactly shine electorally. Corbyn did better, despite a press less disposed to his kind of politics. Polled 40% despite the loss of Scotland owing to Miliband et al.

  15. We’ve been waiting for an ICM poll for a while. They’ve normally been two a month – usually polling Fri to Sun over the first and third full weekends in the month and I wondered if they were reverting to one a month. But this is actually from 6-8 April and the Guardian seem to have been sitting on it for nearly two weeks for some reason.

    It’s not very exciting – but then most polls aren’t (and those that are, are usually wrong) but it’s hard to see why it wouldn’t have been published at all. I can only assume that the paper was hoping to see some effect from its endless attacks on Corbyn for his imaginary antisemitism and instead there’s only a small drop in Conservative VI (probably MoE)

    Altenatively it could be that they were hoping for a pro-EU swing and the questions on that are little moved from January (and in line with other pollsters). The public generally (and those likely to change their opinions in particular) are clearly waiting to see what is on offer on leaving before altering their views. They’ve probably decided to ignore the repetitive and contradictory buzz of speculation until something definitive appears.

    Tables for ICM are here:

  16. WB

    Do you think those MPs are “right leaning” ?

    I doubt if they would agree with you. Left of Centre from my perspective. Not as far Left as the Opposition Front Bench obviously.

    As for the criterion for my opinion-it does rest on my appreciation of ” their ability to master a brief, their ability to forensically examine government policy.” by comparison with a good many of Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet colleagues.

    I don’t quite know why you would suggest otherwise.

  17. @ Valerie

    ” I feel sorry for Amber Rudd – she doesn’t look like she is enjoying being Home Secretary .She must feel she has been handed a pretty large poisoned chalice by the PM. ”

    I fear your sympathy might be a little misplaced :

  18. On Amber Rudd: I’m torn. I have a grudging respect for her professionalism, for her eagerness to “take one for the team”, as it were. (Not least when standing in for Theresa May in a crucial election debate, just days after the death of her father.) But that’s all she ever seems to do – and as a supposedly liberal Tory she has done the square root of sod all to stick up for her own beliefs since becoming Home Secretary.

  19. I increasingly suspect she’s one of those non-factional Tories who just suck up to whoever the leader is – and the only reason she came to be seen as liberal because she came of age as Environment Secretary, where she did a lot of legwork to get the Paris Climate Change Agreement signed by some of the more reluctant countries. (And, let’s be clear, signing the PCCA is not that liberal anyway, only relative to the likes of Nigel Lawson.)

  20. @ Colin

    Either you are deliberately missing the point or I am in some way incapable of clarity of expression:
    It is not your opinion which counts when considering the impact on polling but the generality of opinion and how it is formed.

  21. If I were PM, I’d love lots of Amber Rudds in my cabinet.

    She seems to get on with job, fronts up to the media quite well, even under pressure and takes a bullet when required.

  22. WB

    But I wasn’t claiming that my opinions impacted polling !!

    At 8.56am I addressed a post to Turk -we were discussing our views of the relative danger to the Conservative Party of Corbyn’s front bench as opposed to some Labour MPS no longer in positions of seniority in that party.

    at 10.54 am you intervened in a post to me suggesting that my high opinion of those backbench Labour MPs was based on my being “someone who leans in a conservative direction,”, and later told me that it was because those MPs are “right leaning”.

    I have explained why I disagree with you .

    I am perfectly aware that my personal political opinions have no impact on opinion polls. That goes for us all here. Those of us who have followed AW’s threads for some years understand that very well.

    But it doesn’t stop us expressing those opinions………….unless AW moderates them that is !

  23. CMJ

    “If I were PM, I’d love lots of Amber Rudds in my cabinet.

    She seems to get on with job, fronts up to the media quite well, even under pressure and takes a bullet when required.”

    if the letter leaked to the Guardian can be believed, she wants to be particularly effective on people whose skin colour is deviant from white.

    Both she and May are willing to serve any God that rewards them. More of civil servants than politicians (except that they have the moral of a politician).

  24. From the Guardian

    In a robust private memo to Theresa May just months before long-settled Windrush migrants were threatened with deportation, Rudd set out her “ambitious” plan to increase removals and focus officials on “arresting, detaining and forcibly removing illegal migrants” while “ruthlessly” prioritising Home Office resources to that programme .

    Oh dear Amber

  25. Is this a reversion to type for the nasty party?

    Now there’s a bit of historical neatness!

  26. Valerie

    Stepping back for a minute from Windrush isn’t the job of any Home Secretary to remove illegal immigrants.

  27. Worth filing this quote away for future reference from Boris – “Without your ability to do things in a different way if you want, and your ability to do free trade deals, there is very little point in Brexit. I think Theresa totally gets that.”

  28. TURK

    Its clearly considered Racist by some-particularly if the illegal resident doesn’t have white skin.

    I wish these people would just say-Look I don’t agree with any border controls for people at all. I want to see unfettered immigration.

  29. I thought there would have been comments here on the mess the government is making in Salisbury, trying to push simultaneously that it has been an outrage that the Russians risked UK citizens` lives here, with reassurances there is no danger to the public moving around the city.

    On the World at One today I instantly recognised a Scottish voice (Ian Boyd speaking as Chief Scientific Adviser to Defra), a graduate from Aberdeen in Zoology and a researcher on sea mammals, and wondered how he had been landed with explaining to Salisbury people that dangerous hot-spots could still be around.

    But also on [email protected] (? accidentally) was a former chief scientific advisor, who told about government attempts to control any interviews he gave and the problems of balancing scientific integrity with governments` political needs.

    I also wondered how UK scientists had been able to study the Novichok in outdoor situations, and find that it was very slow to loose its toxicity. Where have we obtained the Novichok from?, where has it been tested? – maybe that`s how Defra got involved if it was on grassland, lawns, paths.

    I have pasted from the Sky News report:

    “”When asked whether the chemical remains at the same “lethal” level as the day it was put on Mr Skripal’s door, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) chief scientific adviser said there could be levels in very specific locations which could still be toxic.

    Ian Boyd said: “We have to make an assumption that in certain circumstances there will be relatively high concentrations, probably in very, very specific locations, which could be at levels that could be toxic to individuals.

    “That’s an assumption, it’s also one we’ve tested in some circumstances and we do know that there are hot spots like that around, so we have to make those assumptions that some of the hot spots we’ve still got to find.””

    The last paragraph of the link is the interesting one, but why is a mammologist heading this, not a toxicologist?

  30. ALEC

    You don’t need to file it away.

    It is a statement of the obvious -and will be just as obvious if Parliament forces TM into the CU.

    At that point, my guess is either :-

    * The public will say -well lets not bother then. Which is exactly what the Second Referendum squad are working for


    *The public will express profound displeasure-not sure who with though :-)

  31. Turk: that’s like saying there’s no problem with Britain’s overcrowded prisons because “Isn’t the Justice Department meant to imprison people?”

  32. @ Colin

    Tend to agree with you on the “obviously we didn’t vote Brexit to maintain the status quo” line of argument. However Boris does seem to have sneaked in “free trade deals” as part of the motivation for Brexit when I am not sure there is any evidence in polling that this is the case whatsoever. “Taking back control” may actually mean more protectionism rather than less and in my humble opinion the more free trade the more our trade deficit suffers.

    It would be simplistic to say free trade with EU= trade deficit, tariff trade with rest of the world = trade surplus. Europe are our neighbours and imports from other EU countries may end up going elsewhere but not back to the UK in the event of tariffs or they may even still come from the EU but with a tariff premium. However for Boris to say the country voted Brexit for free trade agreements- well I think they may well have voted for the opposite.

    Interestingly I can’t recall ever clocking a polling question that has asked this.

  33. “Altenatively it could be that they were hoping for a pro-EU swing and the questions on that are little moved from January (and in line with other pollsters). The public generally (and those likely to change their opinions in particular) are clearly waiting to see what is on offer on leaving before altering their views. They’ve probably decided to ignore the repetitive and contradictory buzz of speculation until something definitive appears.”

    I doubt if anyone (even Theresa May) believe that the EU is going offer a deep and profound partnership.

    The EU would have handled the negotiations totally differently if they saw the UK in that way. They have been anxious to sugar coat the transition for example – they would not have insisted on an all acquis transition. It would not have been such a pageant of scorn and contempt.

    So I really don’t think anyone is expecting to see anything in the Autumn but the EU unconditionally pocketing a lot of gains, and vaguely suggesting there will be tariff-free tad if we agree to a lot more demands in future negotiations.

    There is more chance that the EU will offer terms for going back into the EU than anything that vaguely amounted to a good deal for leaving.

    The unknown is how it will affect public opinion. To a lot of Remainers, the EU has been the model of reason – what has happened was inevitable and shows that the public is duped. To a lot of Leavers (myself included) the EU has been trying to teach us a lesson, and has never negotiated on the basis of establishing a lasting international relationship with the EU.

    So the question is whether there is a lot of Leavers who think, “lesson learnt – resistance is futile” – or will there be a sense of defiance – or will there be a sense that Leavers misled people and it was all inevitable?

    I have thought for some time that this all comes down to whether the EU is seen to overplay its hand. And there is no predicting how things will appear.

  34. The number of “Windrush” cases now being dealt with by the Home Office task force has now risen to over 200.

    Another example of the hostile environment in action:

  35. SHEVII

    Well if it does come to that, I look forward to hearing from the poor sod who has to explain that we are still inside the EU tariff wall who will decide our future terms of trade with third countries, just as before………..but we have “left” the EU.


    Truly shocking treatment. Blind unthinking bureaucracy .
    It makes you wonder if an actual human being drafted those letters-or just the HO computer.

  37. Colin

    The van was sent to particular parts of London, highly inhabited by people of colour.

    I have never been stopped by officers of immigration , but I have seen plenty of coloured people being stopped – and I don’t mean at the borders but in the streets.

    You can call it not racist, but it’s highly irrelevant.


    It seems that people missed a particular point in Rudd’s little letter – that she would redirect resources from crime prevention and crime investigation to deport a couple of thousand coloured people who are (could be) illegal immigrants.

    That is “for party political interest, I solemnly declare that I will abandon my duty to the nation, and I’m willingly serve you as you are no different from me.”

  38. @ Turk
    “Stepping back for a minute from Windrush isn’t the job of any Home Secretary to remove illegal immigrants.”

    Indeed the job of the Home Secretary has many responsibilities.

    At a time of austerity when funds are supposedly scarce it’s a question of priorities .

    ” The four-page document, obtained exclusively by the Guardian, reveals Rudd promised the prime minister she would oversee the forced or voluntary departure of 10% more people than May managed when she was home secretary, partly by switching money for crime-fighting to her immigration enforcement programme. “

  39. Thank you Hireton and Kentdalian for bringing these shocking Guardian reports of the Home Office behaviour to our attention.

    Those responsible should be dismissed, or resign.

  40. Polltrol

    Not sure your prison analogy is comparable your not increasing an area of confinement and the necessary cost that will involve, your deporting people who enter the country illegally back to there countries of origin.
    Which is the job of the home office it’s a pity that past Home Secretary’s didn’t give it the same priority it may well have gone a long way in preventing the rise of anti immigrant feeling in the U.K today.

  41. In the meantime Nissan is firing a large number of people in the UK. Of course, it has nothing to do with Brexit or anything else.

  42. Kentdalian

    I thought entering the U.K. illegally was a crime.

  43. Turk

    “deporting people who enter the country illegally”.

    I wonder just how many of that particular category there are?

    Obviously, they are just a subset of those who can’t prove that they are legally, just like those whose entry to the UK was perfectly legal at the time of their entry, but subsequent changes to the law rendered them unable to get a continuing right to remain.

    A further subset of those who did enter the UK illegally, would be those who were trafficked in by criminal gangs. Suggesting that all of them should necessarily be deported would, I suggest, only be supported by those who demand exclusive rights to stay here to what they (mistakenly) refer to as the indigenous population.

  44. @ Turk

    Yes it is but in the last few weeks we have seen much discussion in the news of the rise in knife crime and burglars breaking into pensioners homes … clearly using scarce resources to kick out a few foreigners who most likely want to live quietly, keeping well below the official radar, but have no right to be here is much more important .

    Its this government that keeps telling us that money is tight and difficult choices have to be made as to what we can afford.

  45. Colin

    “Blind unthinking bureaucracy .”

    No. It’s the planned and intended policy of Theresa May and Amber Rudd. The same policy that led to my wife being told to leave the country to “regularise her status”, designed specifically to make life as uncomfortable and frightening as possible for as many immigrants, legal or otherwise, as possible. Except the very rich of course, who can do what they like.

    The bureaucrats are just doing their job.

  46. @ Colin

    the problem is that the “blind and unthinking bureaucracy ” was & still is official policy :

    What’s this got to do with the Windrush fiasco? Well, Moreton told the Today programme that, before Clark was sacked, border staff were able to exercise discretion, and decide for themselves if someone was telling the truth about having lived in the UK for decades even if they lacked the appropriate paperwork. After the Clark affair, that discretion was removed, she said.

    The discretion that these staff used to have in order to deal with individuals justly and fairly was removed in the wake of the scandal that saw Brodie Clark lose leadership of what was then an agency …

    We were able in immigration control and in immigration enforcement to take an educated, reasonable, experienced view. If someone told you that they had come to the UK on Windrush, or a similar vessel, that they had been here since the late 60s, or even just that they had been here pre the 1971 Act, you can talk to them a bit, you can understand if they’ve genuinely been here. There will be things that they know in the same way those of us who have lived here all our lives know, the drought of 1976 for example. You can tell with experience. And we were at one point on the border able to endorse their passports accordingly.

    But then that discretion was removed, Moreton said.

    It was a knee-jerk, a backlash reaction to what was perceived as an unfair exercise of discretion on the border control by Brodie Clark. And from there the series of steps, the reduction in the number of officers, the outsourcing of immigration law to what is in effect private service providers, each small step led to this inevitable consequences.

    Moreton also said the Home Office was warned at the time that this decision would cause problems.

    At the point at which that discretion was lost, the limitation of the warning was that people wouldn’t go to Croydon [the immigration centre], they wouldn’t pay the amount of money that was being charged to get their documents updated, and that that simply would be unjust.

    But then, as the hostile environment started to emerge and this became more and more rigorous, then there are increasing warnings – not just from our members, but for outside agencies as well – that this was going to be a problem.

  47. sorry should have pointed out that was quoting from the graun

  48. Kentdalian

    The problem is it’s not a few illegal foreigners is it the ONS puts the number at a conservative 650,000 and of course there’s no way of knowing if somebody entering a country illegally has a serious criminal record from there country of origin.

  49. @ Turk

    Ok, so how many people with serious criminal records have entered the country illegally and been subsequently deported since 2012 ?

    Priorities !

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