The Evening Standard have published a new BMG poll of the Richmond Park by-election, suggesting a significantly less exciting race than some people thought (and than the Lib Dems hoped). Topline voting intention figures are:

GOLDSMITH (Ind) 56% (down 2 from the Con share in 2015)
OLNEY (Lib Dem) 29% (up 10 from the LD share in 2015)
LABOUR 10% (-2)
OTHER 5% (-5)

While there is a month to go, this suggests that Goldsmith should hold the seat relatively easily. The idea that, with both main candidates opposing Heathrow expansion, it could become an by-election about Brexit in a pro-EU seat doesn’t really seem to working out at present. 25% of voters say that Brexit will be the most important issue in deciding their vote, but they are mostly voting Lib Dem and Labour already. Goldsmith’s voters say their most important considerations are Goldsmith’s own record and views, followed by Heathrow opposition.

BMG also asked people how they would have voted if the Conservatives had put up an official Conservative candidate against Goldsmith. Topline figures would have been GOLDSMITH 34%, LIB DEM 25%, CONSERVATIVE 20% – so the race would have been far more competitive, but with the Tories trailing in third place. It was an unusual decision not to stand, but the polling suggests it was the right one for the Tories (or at least, neither option would have produced a Tory MP, but the Conservatives presumably prefer Goldsmith winning to a Lib Dem). Full details are here.


BMG were supposed to put out their final EU poll yesterday, but it was put back for a day because of the murder of Jo Cox and eventually emerged this morning. BMG carried out parallel telephone and online polls, and unlike ICM who no longer find any difference at at in their dual-mode experiments, BMG continue to find a big gulf:

  • In their online poll BMG found topline figures of REMAIN 41%, LEAVE 51%, Don’t know 9%. Like other recent polls this reflected a big shift towards leave, with remain down by 2 points, Leave up by 6 points
  • In their telephone poll BMG found a small lead for Remain – REMAIN 46%, LEAVE 43%, Don’t know 11%

BMG also reallocated don’t knows based upon how they answered other EU questions in their phone survey, this produced final topline figures of Remain 53%, Leave 47%. Note that the fieldwork for the poll was conducted between the 10th-15th June, so wholly before the death of Jo Cox. Full details of the polls are here.

Secondly today we have a poll from Surveymonkey. Many readers will recognise Surveymonkey as a software platform for conducting surveys – the poll was conducted by randomly picking some of the people taking other Surveymonkey surveys and then directing them an EU survey – so very different from panel-based online surveys. Surveymonkey did the same at the general election with somewhat mixed results: their poll had the Conservatives six points ahead of Labour, so in that sense was far more accurate than other polls… but the reason was because they significantly underestimated both Conservative and Labour support, so actually had a larger average error than some other polls. Anyway, on the EU referendum they found topline figures of REMAIN 48%, LEAVE 48%, No answer 4%. Make of that what you will – full details are here. Fieldwork was between the 8th and 15th June, so again, before Jo Cox’s murder.

Third is a poll from a company called qriously, whom I have never previously heard of. As far as I can tell the poll was conducted by embedding survey questions in adverts on smartphone apps. The data is weighted by age, gender, region, past vote and education so is making an effort to produce representative results – the question is to what degree, if at all, the sampling method is capable of producing a representative sample, which we cannot really tell. Their poll between the 13th and 16th June found topline figures of REMAIN 40%, LEAVE 52%, Don’t know 9% – so more favourable towards Leave than any other polling. They also released figures for people interviewed on Friday morning after Jo Cox’s murder, which were REMAIN 32%, LEAVE 52%, Don’t know 16% – a significant movement from Remain to don’t know. I would treat these Friday figures with a lot of caution, it’s a method that is unproven in political polling, the shift from remain to don’t know doesn’t make much intuitive sense as a reaction to the murder, and most importantly, the fieldwork was only conducted on a weekday morning, which may itself skew the make up of the sample. I would strongly suggest waiting to see what other polls conducted after the murder show. Details of the polling are here.

Tonight we should get new figures from at least YouGov in the Sunday Times and Opinium in the Observer, possibly others.


-->

Two new GB voting intention polls over the last couple of days. Opinium in the Observer had topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 32%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 17%, GRN 4% (full tabs are here). Meanwhile BMG released some new GB voting intention figures today: their toplines are CON 36%(-2), LAB 31%(+1), LDEM 7%(+2), UKIP 16%(nc), GRN 5%(nc), and full tabs are here.

The last few polls we had (from ICM, YouGov, ComRes and Ipsos MORI) all had Labour and the Conservatives within a few points of each other. Opinium show a very similar picture, but while BMG do show the Conservative lead falling a little, they’ve still got a five point lead. At first glance I considered whether this could be due to fieldwork dates – perhaps as the negative coverage of the budget and IDS’s resignation faded the Conservatives were recovering? It’s not that though, the Opinium fieldwork is actually considerably more recent that the BMG fieldwork, which took place over Easter. Perhaps it’s a methodological difference, or perhaps it’s just normal random sample error – looking at the broad picture across all the pollsters it still looks as if the gap between Conservatives and Labour has closed right up to a few points.

There was also a new Opinium poll on the London mayoral election. First round voting intention figures are KHAN 35%, GOLDSMITH 27%, WHITTLE 3%, PIDGEON 3%, BERRY 2%, GALLOWAY <1%, DON'T KNOW/WNV 30%. Without don't knows that would work out at Khan 49%, Goldsmith 39%, Whittle 4%, Pidgeon 4%, Berry 3%, Galloway 1% - a solid lead for Sadiq Khan. After reallocating second preferences and taking only those 10/10 certain to vote, Opinium's topline figures are KHAN 54%, GOLDSMITH 46%. Full tabs are here.