A quick update on two new voting intention polls yesterday.

Opinium in the Observer has topline figures of CON 39%(-5), LAB 45%(+4), LDEM 5%(-3), UKIP 5%(+3). Changes are since the general election. Jeremy Corbyn’s net approval ratings are now substantially better than Theresa May’s – 31% approve of how May is doing her job, 51% disapprove; 42% approve of how Corbyn is doing his job, 38% disapprove. Full tabs are here.

Survation meanwhile has topline figures of CON 41%(nc), LAB 40%(-4), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 2%(nc), the first poll since the general election to show the Conservatives ahead (if the changes since the last poll look odd, it’s because the Tory share is actually up by almost a point, but it’s lost in the rounding, and the share for “other” parties is up three points). Full tabs for that are here.


More Brexit polling

A year on from the EU referendum there was some new YouGov polling for the Times this morning. The country remain quite evenly split over whether Brexit is right or wrong, 44% think leaving was the right decision, 45% the wrong decision. There is not much optimism about negotiations – only 26% expect the government to achieve a deal that is good for Britain, 31% expect a poor deal, 15% expect no deal at all (that said, most don’t think Labour would be doing any better – 24% think they’d get a better deal, 34% a worse deal, 20% that it would end up much the same).

Asked to choose between Britain having full control over immigration from Europe or British businesses having free access to trade with the EU people preferred trade by 58% to 42%. As I wrote in my last post, there’s a lot of variation in questions like this depending on the specific wording, but the overall picture suggests that when people are pushed to choose they do think trade is more important than control of immigration (though among Conservative voters the balance is the other way round).

On other matters, on the question of who would make the best Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn now leads Theresa May by a single point – 35% to 34%. This is the first time that Corbyn has led in the question – this is partially because of a sharp drop in Theresa May’s ratings (before the snap election she was consistently in the high 40s), but is also due to a significant increase in Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings. Again, if you look at the longer term ratings he used to be consistenty down in the teens.

Full tabs are here

I should also add an update on polling about the second referendum. In my last post I mentioned the Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday which found that the balance of opinion was in favour of having a second referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal. This was the first time any poll had shown this, and I said it was worth looking to see if other polls found the same. Well, so far they haven’t – Survation also had a poll for Good Morning Britain on Monday, that also had a question on a second referendum, and it found 38% of people supported it and 57% were opposed. Tabs for that are here.


-->

Two new polls today:

Survation for Good Morning Britain this morning had topline figures of CON 43%(nc), LAB 37%(+3), LDEM 9%(nc), UKIP 4%(nc). Fieldwork was on Friday and Saturday and changes are from the previous week. Tabs are here.

ICM for the Guardian had topline figures of CON 45%(-1), LAB 33%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 5%(nc). Fieldwork was from Friday to Monday and changes are from the ICM/Sun on Sunday poll at the weekend. Tabs are here.

Both of today’s polls continue to show movement in Labour’s favour, thought the overall lead is different. A six point Tory lead would represent a small swing towards Labour, a twelve point Tory lead would still give them a stonking great majority.

The key difference between polls showing large and small leads is, as I wrote at the weekend down to how pollsters are treating turnout. There are lots of differences between different polling companies methods: they sample differently, weight by different things, do different things with don’t knows and so on. However, right now the one really huge difference is turnout. Weighted with all its normal demographic and political weights, ICM would have shown a Tory lead of only 3 points – that was transformed into a lead of 11 points by the turnout model, which predicts how likely respondents are to vote based on the estimates of turnout by age and class at the last election (the change from 11 to 12 points was the reallocation of don’t knows). That’s a big change, but given the errors in the polls in 2015 that may be necessary. On the other hand, if Jeremy Corbyn has managed to enthuse young people and there is a higher rate of turnout among younger voters than in 2015 then it risks understating Labour support. We shall find out next week…


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.