There are two new bits of YouGov polling today. First up is the regular Welsh political barometer. The usual caveats apply about it being just one poll, but it shows Labour support perking up in Wales since Jeremy Corbyn’s election – Westminster voting intentions with changes from last month are CON 26%(-2), LAB 42%(+5), LDEM 5%(+1), Plaid 10%(-2), UKIP 16%(+1).

Assembly voting intentions are CON 23%, LAB 39%, LDEM 6%, Plaid 18%, UKIP 13% for the constituencies, CON 24%, LAB 34%, LDEM 5%, Plaid 18%, UKIP 14% for the regional vote. Roger Scully’s commentary is over on the Elections in Wales blog here and has an Assembly seat projection of 29 seats for Labour, 12 for the Tories, 10 Plaid, 8 UKIP and one for the Lib Dems.

The Times also has some YouGov national polling, showing the Leave campaign narrowly ahead in their EU referendum polling – REMAIN 38%, LEAVE 40%. This is the first time YouGov have asked the question using the new referendum question, so some of the shift might be due to that (I discussed here how asking the question as Remain vs Leave seems to produce figures that are better for those who wish to leave than asking it as Yes vs No), but nevertheless it’s the first time since November that YouGov have shown LEAVE ahead. Tables are here.

Over on the YouGov website I’ve written a long piece looking at how the ground lies ahead of the European referendum campaign – what the breakdown of support and opposition currently is, how people perceive those who support and oppose Europe, how effective the arguments might be and how risky each option is currently seen. Read it here.

Meanwhile ICM put out their weekly tracking data on EU referendum voting intention today, their latest figures are REMAIN 44%, LEAVE 37%.


I’ve been on holiday for the last week, but hopefully haven’t missed too much polling in the August after a general election! One thing that did happen was the Electoral Commission recommending (and the government accepting) a change in the wording of the EU referendum, from a YES/NO question to a REMAIN/LEAVE question. This raises the question of whether or not the wording makes a difference.

At the end of May ICM ran a split sample experiment, asking the then Yes/No version of the question and the remain/leave question that the Electoral Commission ended up recommending. On the Yes/No wording the result was YES 47%, NO 33%, DK 20%; on the Remain/Leave wording the result was YES 43%, NO 35%, DK 22%. Results are here.

ComRes ran a similar experiment at the same time, they asked the then Yes/No version of the question, and a more general question on whether people would vote to stay or leave in a referendum (it didn’t use the exact wording the Electoral Commission have now recommended). On the Yes/No wording the result was YES 58%, NO 31%, DK 11%. On the Stay/Leave question the result was STAY 51%, LEAVE 33%, DK 16%. Results are here.

YouGov haven’t done a split sample, but since the general election they have asked the question in two different ways – one asking the old Yes/No referendum question, and one asking if people would like Britain to remain or leave the European Union. Using the Yes/No referendum question they have found an average YES lead of 8 points. Using a question asking if people would vote for Britain to remain or stay, they have found an average REMAIN lead of 6 points (figures are here, here and here)

The scale of the difference varies between 2 and 9 points and only the ICM poll used the actual question wording. However, the general trend is clear, a remain/leave question seems to produce a smaller pro-EU lead than a yes/no question.

However, what difference the wording makes in an opinion poll is not necessarily the same question as what difference the wording makes in a referendum. An opinion poll is getting someone’s instant reaction having bombarded them with a question they may not have had a firm opinion upon until you asked. A referendum takes place after several weeks campaigning on the pros and cons on each side of the argument and what the implications and consequences of voting Yes or No (or Stay or Leave) might be. I suspect in a referendum, as opposed to an opinion poll, there is very little real difference between Yes/No and Remain/Leave.

Straight after the Greek referendum was announced actual polling evidence seemed quite light, but there has now been the expected rush in polling. Polls from a handful of different companies are all painting a consistent picture of YES and NO being neck and neck. In fieldwork conducted on Monday and Tuesday there was still a small lead for NO, but across all the polls conducted in the last couple of days the position has been almost a dead heat.

The most recent polls are below:

Metron/Parapolitik (Thurs-Fri) – YES 46%, NO 47% (No ahead by 1%)
GPO/Mega TV (Wed-Fri) – YES 44.1%, NO 43.7% (Yes ahead by 0.4%)
Alco/Proto Thema (Wed-Fri) – YES 41.7%, NO 41.1% (Yes ahead by 0.6%)
Ipsos (Tues-Fri) – YES 44%, NO 43% (Yes ahead by 1%)
Uni of Macedonia/Bloomberg (Thurs) – YES 42.5%, NO 43% (No ahead by 0.5%)

In the week we also had the monthly ComRes/Daily Mail poll. Latest voting intention figures are CON 41%, LAB 29%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 10%, GRN 5%. Tabs are here.

UPDATE: And the actual Greek result (with just over a third of the votes counted) looks like a solid victory for NO, absolutely miles away from what the Greek polls were showing. Ouch! I don’t know enough about Greek politics or Greek polling to hazard any guesses as to what they got wrong, but I imagine a country in economic turmoil is not the easiest to poll correctly in terms of contacting people, or to getting any firm demographic figures to weight or sample by – and that’s before you get to whether people feel able to answer the question honestly. As it happens most of the Greek polls were pretty good at their general election earlier this year, but clearly not this time.

Grexit polls

On Sunday there is a referendum in Greece on whether to accept the deal that was put to the Greek government before negotiations broke down (or at least, there was as I write, who knows what the position will be by the time you read this). What can the polling tell is about the likely result? There have not been any polls since the referendum announcement yet – though I don’t think there is anything preventing any (Greece previously had a ban on polls in the last fortnight of election campaigns, but this was repealed before the election earlier this year. I don’t know about referendums or any subsequent legal changes.)

There were, however, two Greek polls conducted in the three days before the referendum announcement that have been widely reported. A Kapa Research poll conducted between Wednesday and Friday actually asked how people would vote in a then hypothetical referendum, with 47% saying they would vote yes, 33% that they would vote no. Of course the poll was conducted prior to the referendum announcement so may not reflect current Greek opinion at all – people taking it as a sign Greece is about to vote yes should probably hold on a sec. Respondents may have been imagining a referendum on a deal that had the support of the Greek government, rather than a referendum where the government are opposed and backing a No vote.

The rest of the Kapa poll found 72% of Greeks wanted the country to remain within the EU and 68% wanted them to keep the Euro. There was a pretty even split over the government’s strategy – 49% had a positive opinion, 50% a negative opinion.

A second poll by Alco found negative opinions about the proposals on the table, but continuing goodwill towards Syriza. People didn’t think the proposals met their pre-election promises, but by 53% to 34% thought this was because Syriza hadn’t realised how difficult it would be rather than an attempt to mislead the people. By 61% to 33% respondents rejected the idea that the last Greek government would have done any better. Syriza continue to hold a robust lead in voting intention. Again, this is sometimes being reported as showing Greeks will vote Yes, but I’d be wary. It found people would, in principle, prefer a deal to default… but that’s not the same as saying they will vote YES in a referendum on a specific offer that the Greek government doesn’t support.

Turning to the attitude in other countries in Europe, YouGov polled the countries it has panels in a week ago and in most countries the public expected Greece to leave the Euro, and would prefer it if they did. In Britain people would prefer Greece to leave by 35% to 26%, Denmark by 44% to 24%, Sweden 35% to 26%, Finland 47% to 26%. France was the only country polled where people would prefer Greece to stay within the Euro, though only by 36% to 33%. In Germany 53% of the public thought Greece should leave the Eurozone, only 29% would prefer Greece to remain. Note, of course, that the countries YouGov operate in are largely Northern Europe… the public in Southern and Eastern European countries may have different views.

UPDATE: We finally have a poll on the referendum conducted after it was announced. Prorata for Efsyn found 51% of Greeks intending to vote no in the referendum. The fieldwork appears to have straddled the announcement to close the banks – before the announcement NO led by 57% to 30%, after the announcement NO led by only 46% to 37%. On the face of it that looks like No leading, but in a very fluid situation, but I don’t know what the sample size was before and after the bank closure (and indeed, whether the early and late respondents to the poll were comparable) so cannot tell if that apparently shrinking lead is meaningful.