Earlier this week NatCen released new polling on what people want from Brexit. The vast majority (90%) of people would like to keep free trade with the European Union. By 70% to 22% people would also like to limit the amount of EU immigration into Britain. Getting these two things together does not, of course, seem particularly likely. Asked if Britain should agree to keep free movement in exchange for keeping free trade, people are much more evenly split – 49% think we should, 51% think we should not (the full report is here).

Personally, I still think the best way of judging public opinion on Brexit is probably not to ask about individual policies, but to test some plausible scenarios – when it comes to it, people will judge the deal as a whole, not as the sum of its parts. YouGov released some updated polling on Brexit today that repeated that experiment, and again found that a Canadian type deal is likely to get the widest support from the public (that is, no freedom of movement and a more limited trade deal). The problem with a Norway type deal – retaining full free-trade with the EU in exchange for keeping freedom of movement and a financial contribution is that most of the public would see it as not respecting the result of the referendum.

I’ve written a much longer piece about the YouGov polling over on the YouGov site here, so I won’t repeat it all. One interesting bit though is looking at the possible outcomes of an early election, fought on the issue of Brexit. Now, I should start with some important caveats – hypothetical election questions are very crude tools. While I’m sure an early election would be dominated by the issue of Brexit, there would be other issues at play too, so a question like this will over emphasise the impact of Brexit policy. Nevertheless, it suggests some interesting patterns. YouGov asked how people would vote if Brexit could not pass a Parliamentary vote and instead an early election happened. In the scenarios the Conservatives and UKIP back Brexit (as they undoubtedly would) and the Lib Dems back a second referendum (as they’ve said they would). YouGov offered three different scenarios for Labour – one, where Labour back Brexit, two where Labour back only a “soft Brexit”, three where Labour also offer a second referendum. In all three cases the Conservatives would win easily – even the closest scenario gives them a twelve point lead. The interesting finding is the Lib Dems – in the two scenarios where they are the only party offering a second referendum their support goes up to 19% or 22% (if Labour also offer a referendum the Lib Dems don’t gain nearly so much). So, while these are hypothetical questions that need to be taken with a pinch of salt, it does suggest that appealing to those voters who really are set against Brexit could be a route back for the Lib Dems, especially if they are the lone “anti-Brexit” party. The full results for the YouGov polling are here.

Meanwhile Ipsos MORI released their monthly political monitor. In terms of voting intention the Conservative lead is halved from last month, but that is likely something of a reversion to the mean after a towering eighteen point lead last month. Topline figures are CON 42%, LAB 33%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 7%, GRN 3%. As ever, wait until you see the change echoed in other polls before concluding that the Conservative lead is waning.

Theresa May still enjoys a positive approval rating – 54% are satisfied with the job she is doing, 30% disatisfied. The new government also have a net positive rating at their handling of the economy so far – 51% think they’ve done a good job, 30% a bad job. Where the public are not convinced is on how the government are handling the biggest issue – only 37% think the government are doing a good job at handling Brexit, 48% think they are doing a bad job. Full details of the MORI poll are here.


Ipsos MORI have published their monthly political monitor and it shows another towering lead for the Conservatives. Topline voting intentions are CON 47%(+7), LAB 29%(-5), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 6%(-3). The eighteen point Conservative lead is the highest they’ve managed in any poll since 2009, and the highest lead for a party in government since 2002. Usual caveats apply about any poll showing such a large shift in support over a month, but in terms of direction this does echo the ICM and YouGov polls earlier this month that also showed shifts towards the Conservatives. Full details are here.

A quick word about that UKIP score of just 6%. While it is obviously very bad, it’s not the sudden collapse one might assume. For whatever methodological reason, MORI do tend to show significantly worse scores for UKIP than polls from other companies. It is NOT a case of UKIP support being at 11% with ICM and YouGov last week, their MEPs getting into a fist fight and their support collapsing (however tempting such a narrative is!). MORI has been showing them at significantly lower levels of support for several months anyway – 9% last month, 6% in August, 8% in July. Nevertheless, it does appear as if the Tories are beginning to claw back support they’d previously lost to UKIP.


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Ipsos MORI have released their monthly political monitor. It’s their first poll since Theresa May became Prime Minister, so the changes since last month show the same honeymoon boost we’ve seen in other companies’ figures. Topline figures are CON 45%(+9), LAB 34%(-1), LDEM 7%(-4), UKIP 6%(-2), GRN 4%(nc). The Conservative figure of 45% is the highest MORI have shown since back in 2009 (and note how low UKIP is – MORI tend to show some of the lower figures for UKIP and other recent polls haven’t shown them nearly as low, but it’s hardly positive). Full tabs are here.

Yesterday ICM also put out their latest voting intention polling. Topline figures were CON 40%(-3), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 14%(+1), GRN 4%(nc). Still a very robust twelve point Conservative lead, but down from the sixteen point peak in ICM’s last poll. Tabs are here.


Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor has a much closer race than ICM’s last poll. Topline figures are CON 36%, LAB 35%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 8%, GRN 4% (full tabs are here.)

The poll was conducted over the weekend before Theresa May became Prime Minister, though did include a question on whether people thought she had what it took to be a good Prime Minister (55% of people though she did, 27% did not).

Given it is being rampantly misrepresented on social media, I should also explain about MORI’s turnout filter and how they present their figures (and why, therefore, some people are tweeting entirely different MORI figures!). These days the overwhelming majority of opinion polls contain some sort of adjustment for how likely people are to vote. The general pattern is that older people and middle class people are more likely to vote than younger people and working class people; older people and middle class people are also more likely to vote Conservative, younger people and working class people more likely to vote Labour. This means if a poll just included everyone, with no reference to how likely or unlikely they actually are to vote, then it would overstate Labour when compared to actual election results.

Polling companies account for this by weighting by likelihood to vote (the more likely you are to vote, the more your answer is counted) or filtering by likelihood to vote (only taking people who say they are likely to vote), based either on how likely people say they are to vote, or on demographic modelling. In the case of MORI, their topline figures are based only on people who say they are at least 9/10 likely to vote AND that they always, usually or have sometimes voted in the past. This makes a substantial difference to their topline figures – without this adjustment they would have been showing a five point Labour lead.

MORI’s headline figure is the one that is adjusted for turnout – the one point Conservative lead – which they regard as a better indicator of actual voting intention. However, because MORI’s political monitor has been going since the 1970s they still publish the figures without the turnout adjustment to preserve the data trend, even if they don’t feel it paints an accurate picture in an era of lower turnouts.

In short, if you are looking at Ipsos MORI figures with a view to seeing how well the parties might do in a general election tomorrow, you need to look at the figures that account for how likely people actually are to vote, not take false solace from figures that don’t take turnout into account.


Ipsos MORI’s telephone poll for the Standard is out and now also shows Leave ahead. Topline figures are LEAVE 53%, REMAIN 47% among likely voters. On paper this is a huge shift – MORI’s previous poll had an eighteen point lead for Remain among all voters (which was the headline figure reported), and would have had a fourteen point Remain lead among likely voters. Part of the difference is methodology change, MORI are now accounting for turnout and have started weighting by education (Ben Page suggests this boosted Leave by three points) but even accounting for that it is still another poll showing a hefty movement towards Leave.

Since the beginning of June all of the polls released have shown the horserace somewhere between a tight race and a clear Leave lead. The last polls to show clear Remain leads were ORB and Survation back at the end of May – ORB now have the race neck-and-neck, Survation have a poll out later today which I’d expect to echo other companies in showing a shift towards Leave.