There have been two new polls out today – both show a sharp reduction in the Tory lead.

The weekly ICM poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 47%(-1), LAB 33%(+5), LDEM 9%(-1), UKIP 4%(-2), GRN 2%(-1). The Conservative party’s support drops only a little, but Labour jump up five to 33% (their highest since June 2016 according to Martin Boon). The fourteen point lead is larger than most other polls – this is for methodological reasons (ICM’s demographic based turnout model gives a large boost to the Conservative party, otherwise it too would likely have been producing a single-digit lead). Note that ICM have also tweaked their method slightly to hide the option of UKIP for respondents in seats where UKIP aren’t standing, though this will likely have only a small effect. Full tabs are here.

Meanwhile a Survation poll for Good Morning Britain has topline figures of CON 43%(-5), LAB 34%(+5), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 4%(nc). Changes are from the previous Survation telephone poll a week ago, rather than their online poll at the weekend. Full tabs are here.

Fieldwork for both polls was over the weekend, after the Conservative manifesto launch. While there was already a general movement towards Labour before the manifestos, the post-manifesto polls suggest a further and sharper movement since then. I wrote a while back about how manifestos rarely have much impact in general elections – while it’s impossible to prove a causal link, the timing certainly suggests this is an exception! Perhaps it’s because when elections are five years in the making most policies have already been announced and focus-grouped into things that won’t scare the horses. Or perhaps just because manifesto launches rarely go as wrong as the Conservative party’s appears to have.

Whatever the reason, the question now is whether this is a temporary narrowing that will reverse when (or if) the focus of attention moves onto other subjects, or whether we are heading for a somewhat tighter race than many people expected.


Two new voting intention polls today. The first by Survation for Good Morning Britain had topline figures of CON 48%(+1), LAB 30%(nc), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 4%(nc). Clearly there is no substantial change since their poll a week ago. Fieldwork was conducted on Friday and Saturday, after the leak of the Labour manifesto, and doesn’t show any sign of any impact.

The second was the weekly ICM poll for the Guardian. Topline figures there are CON 48%(-1), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 10%(+1), UKIP 6%(nc). As many have noted, ICM are now are, along with TNS, one of only two pollsters still showing Labour support below thirty points (MORI last poll did the same, but that was several weeks ago when everyone showed Labour that low). It’s not that ICM haven’t shown Labour support rising a little. ICM have been showing Labour recovering slightly, it’s just they’ve been doing so at a slightly lower figures: at the start of the campaign ICM had Labour at 25-26% and they now have them at 27%-28%.

This seems to be a consistent methodological difference. The methodological differences between pollsters are complicated and various, and some of them work in opposite directions (ICM, for example, also reallocate don’t knows in a way that helps Labour) but the most obvious one at the moment is probably the approach to turnout. Traditionally British pollsters have accounted for people’s likelihood to vote by getting respondents to estimate their own likelihood to vote – put crudely, they ask people to say how likely they are to vote on a scale of 0 to 10, and then either weight them accordingly (someone who says they are 8/10 likely to vote is only counted as 8/10ths of someone who says 10/10), or apply a cut off, ignoring people who rate their chances below 5/10 or 9/10 or 10/10. Since 2015 several companies, including YouGov and Ipsos MORI, have also factored in whether people say they have voted in the past, weighting down past non-voters.

ICM and ComRes have adopted new approaches. Rather than basing their turnout model on people’s self-reported likelihood to vote, they base it on their demographics – estimating respondent’s likelihood to vote based on their age and social grade – the assumption being that younger people and working class people will remain less likely than older, more middle class people to vote. This tends to have the effect of making the results substantially more Conservative, less Labour, meaning that ICM and ComRes tend to produce some of the biggest Tory leads.

Full tabs for the ICM poll are here and the Survation poll here.


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ICM’s weekly poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 49%, LAB 27%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 6%, GRN 3%. This is the first poll we’ve seen since the local government elections, and has the Tories back up to a lead of 22 points (indeed, according to Martin Boon it’s the Conservatives’ highest share from ICM since 1983). It wouldn’t surprise me if the Tories did get a boost from their local government success, but we shall see if it is echoed in other polls. Full tables are here.

Also out today was a new YouGov poll of Welsh voting intentions, conducted for ITV Wales and Cardiff University. Topline figures there are CON 41%(+1), LAB 35%(+5), LDEM 7%(-1), Plaid 11%(-2), UKIP 4%(-2). The previous YouGov Welsh poll was the one with that startling ten point Tory lead, conducted when the general election had only just been called and GB polls were showing twenty-plus point leads. In that context, the narrowing of the Tory lead may be partly a reversion to the mean after the unusual result in the last poll, may be partially a reflection of the slight narrowing we’ve seen in GB polls.

Roger Scully’s write up of the poll is here.


ICM’s weekly poll for the Guardian today has topline figures of CON 47%(nc), LAB 28%(nc), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 8%(nc). Changes are from the ICM poll for the Sun on Sunday, and clearly don’t show any meaningful change at all. The sharp narrowing in the Tory lead that YouGov was showing last week is clearly not echoed in ICM’s polling, which shows only a tiny drop from 21-22 points in their two polls last week to 19 points in their two polls this week. The full tabs are here.

ICM also had some questions on the campaign so far. Asked about whether the leaders were running a good or bad campaign Theresa May was the only one to get a positive rating (41% good, 22% bad). Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings were almost a mirror image (21% a good campaign, 40% a bad campaign); Tim Farron was 17% good, 28% bad; Paul Nuttall was 8% good, 31% bad. Most of these answers were, of course, rather partisan – Conservative voters think May is doing well, Labour voters think Corbyn is doing well, but it’s a useful reminder of how people interpret campaigns through their existing partisan filters. People are very forgiving of the failings of their “own side”, all to ready to see the missteps of the “other side” as disasterous.


There is also a new ICM poll for the Sun on Sunday. Topline figures there are CON 47%(-1), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 9%(-1), UKIP 8%(+1), GRN 4%(+1), conducted “at the end of the week”. Changes are from the ICM poll at the start of the week. While the Tories are down one and Labour up one (and the Conservative lead therefore dips below the twenty point mark), it’s a far smaller drop than we’ve seen in the YouGov polling this week.