There are three EU polls in the Sunday papers.

  • An online Opinium poll for the Observer had topline figures of REMAIN 42%, LEAVE 41%, DON’T KNOW 14%. The one point lead for remain compares to a four point leave lead a month ago (tabs).
  • An online ORB poll for the Independent had topline figures of 50% REMAIN, 50% LEAVE without turnout, REMAIN 49%, LEAVE 51% once weighted for turnout (the previous ORB online poll a month ago had a break of Remain 51%, Leave 49%, but didn’t account for turnout) (tabs)
  • An online ICM poll in the Sun on Sunday had toplines of 43% REMAIN, 46% LEAVE, DON’T KNOW 11%. These are almost unchanged from the ICM poll in the week, which had figures of 44% remain and 46% leave.

Three online polls, all showing the extremely close referendum race that online polling has been consistently showing. The Opinium poll also had some intriguing Westminster voting intention figures: CON 38%, LAB 30%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 15%, GRN 5%. An eight point lead for the Conservatives is the largest any poll has shown since before the budget, and is an increase of seven points since Opinium’s last poll. The Tues-Fri fieldwork period overlapped with Labour’s anti-Semitism row, so it could be that it has dented Labour’s support… but it is only one poll, so wait to see if other polling echoes it. (Interestingly the tables for the Opinium poll have the voting intention question at the end, after a question about who people would trust on the economy. If that actually is the order the questions were asked it that could have potentially affected responses as well.)

UPDATE: Ignore the strange question ordering in the Opinium tables – the questions were actually asked in the normal order, with voting intention at the start

Last week there were several EU referendum polls showing movement towards Remain. Individually the changes were not significant, but collectively it was starting to look as though something may be afoot. Today we’ve had two referendum polls from ORB and ICM with movement in the other direction, suggesting there is no such breakthrough after all. The telephone poll from ORB has topline figures of REMAIN 51%(-1), LEAVE 46%(+3), DK 3%(-2), the weekly online poll from ICM has topline figures of REMAIN 44%(+1), LEAVE 46%(+2), DK 10%(-3).

Fieldwork for ICM was Friday to Sunday, ORB was Wednesday to Sunday, so both were conducted in the context of President Obama’s visit to the UK and call for Britain to remain a member of the EU. Neither of the changes though are necessarily anything more than normal sample variation, so I’d advise caution before jumping to conclusions about the impact of Obama’s visit.


ComRes published a new London poll yesterday. As with all the other recent London polling we’ve seen it puts Sadiq Khan in a relatively comfortable first place. First preference votes are KHAN 44%(+2), GOLDSMITH 37%(-2), PIDGEON 7%(+1), WHITTLE 5%(nc), BERRY 4%(-2), GALLOWAY 2%(+1). With second preferences reallocated it works out at KHAN 55%, GOLDSMITH 45%. Full tabs are here.

Looking at the detailed tabs three-quarters of people who voted Tory in 2015 say they’ll vote for Goldsmith, four-fifths of Labour’s 2015 vote say they’ll back Khan. At the general election London voted Labour by a substantial margin and they got a substantial swing in their favour, at the 2010 election Labour also outperfomed in London. It is becoming an increasingly Labour city. Boris managed to break that link and win despite being a Conservative, clearly winning votes from people who did not support the Conservative party (on the same day that Boris won re-election as mayor the Labour party easily won the election for the London Assembly). Thus far Goldsmith and Khan don’t really appear to be doing that, the vote is splitting largely along normal party lines and that should result in a win for Sadiq Khan.

Meanwhile we’ve had three new EU referendum polls since my last update. ICM and YouGov have both published polls conducted online and showing one point leads for REMAIN. ICM’s figures are REMAIN 44%, LEAVE 43%, DK 13% (full details here), YouGov’s are REMAIN 39%, LEAVE 38%, DK/WNV 23% (full details here).

There was also new ORB telephone poll for the Telegraph. This is a little more interesting – regular readers will remember the last ORB phone poll was the one showing a Leave lead, extremely unusual for a poll conducted by telephone. This poll shows a seven point lead for REMAIN (REMAIN 51%, LEAVE 44%, DK 5%) far more typical of other polls conducted by phone. Full tabs are here.

Time for a quick update of other polls over the last few days. Firstly, YouGov put out new Scottish voting intentions at the weekend and London voting intentions yesterday.

YouGov’s Scottish voting intentions were SNP 49%, LAB 19%, CON 19%, LDEM 6% for the constituency vote; SNP 43%, LAB 17%, CON 19%, GRN 8%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 4% for the regional vote. The SNP obviously retain their overwhelming lead. Note how the Conservatives and Labour are essentially neck-and-neck for second place, this is consistent with YouGov’s last Scottish poll, but no other company has the Tories so close to Labour. Full tabs are here.

YouGov’s London poll shows Sadiq Khan still ahead, his nine point lead over Zac Goldsmith almost unchanged from January. Topline figures are KHAN 45%(nc), GOLDSMITH 36%(+1), WHITTLE 7%(+1), PIDGEON 5%(+1), BERRY 4%(-1), GALLOWAY 2%(nc). While Khan wouldn’t win on the first round, asked how they’d vote if the final two candidates were Khan and Goldsmith supporters of other candidates split 43%-30% in Khan’s favour, so he would come out as the comfortable winner. Full tabs are here.

Finally, and perhaps most intriguingly, there was a new ORB poll of EU referendum voting intentions in the Telegraph this morning. Topline figures were REMAIN 47%, LEAVE 49%, DK 4% (don’t know is so low because ORB have a squeeze question, asking how people who say don’t know are leaning). What’s interesting is that the poll was conducted by telephone – up until now we’ve seen a straightforward divide between phone polls showing a solid REMAIN lead and online polls showing a race that is neck-and-neck. Suddenly that online/phone divide doesn’t look so black and white. Full tabs are here.

There is a headline in Scotland on Sunday of “Scots Tories set to gain new seats”. The story underneath is based on polling conducted by ORB for the Conservative party in the party’s 11 target seats (their one current seat, and ten they hope to gain). I always urge caution with polls commissioned by political parties – while the polling companies are all reputable outfits who are not going to produce dodgy figures, the interpretation of those figures by the political parties is a different matter.

We haven’t seen the full tables from ORB yet, so we can’t see whether there was anything strange about the questions, but at first glance the results seem plausible. The poll found just under 60% of people expected Cameron to become Prime Minister after the election, which seems perfectly reasonable given the ORB poll for the whole of Scotland found 67% expected the Conservatives to win the election.

The poll also found 54% of respondents thought that David Cameron was a better leader than Gordon Brown on 46%. While that appears good for the Conservatives, I’d add some caveats. Firstly, while we haven’t seen the tables yet 54+46=100 – so it was either a forced choice question, and doesn’t necessarily reflect any great enthusiasm for David Cameron, or the figures are excluding an unknown quantity of don’t knows and fewer than 54% of respondents actually gave a positive response about David Cameron. Neither would a straight choice between the Conservative leader and Labour leader necessarily reflect voting intention – I’m sure many SNP and Liberal Democrat supporters will have an opinion on whether Cameron or Brown are more capable leaders, but it won’t stop them voting SNP or Liberal Democrat – and half of the 10 Scottish seats the Conservatives hope to gain are currently held by the Lib Dems or SNP.

With that in mind, the finding that 73% of respondents thought that Labour looked “tired and failing” shouldn’t be a great surprise – Labour only got 29% of the vote in these seats in 2005 anyway. The most interesting statement is that 53% of respondents agreed that “it would be good for Scotland if there were more Conservative MPs from Scotland elected at the next general election” – it’ll be interesting to see what question was actually asked.

The Scotland on Sunday article said that the Conservatives claimed the poll showed they had a real chance of winning. Apart from that interesting last question that would appear to show some latent Conservative support, it really doesn’t. However much people think that more Conservative MPs would be good, or that David Cameron would be better than Gordon Brown, the Conservatives won’t get any more MPs in Scotland without more votes (and to be fair to the Conservatives, that seems to be largely the message that Peter Duncan is putting across in his comments in the piece).

Labour’s response to the poll was that the Conservatives had failed to publish details on how people would actually vote, and they’ve got something of a point. It may well be that the poll didn’t include a voting intention question, so the call to publish them may well be just empty posturing – but at the end of the day, the one question that would actually have shown whether or not the Conservatives were on the way to winning new seats in Scotland would have been a voting intention question, and it’s conspicious by its absence.

UPDATE: The tables are now up on ORB’s website.