Kantar have published a new voting intention poll ahead of the budget, the first I’ve seen from them since the general election. Topline figures are CON 42%, LAB 38%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 5%. Fieldwork was between last Tuesday and this Monday.

This is the first poll to show a Conservative lead since September and the largest Tory lead in any poll since the election. As ever, it’s best to look carefully at any poll that shows an unusual result before getting too excited/dismayed. The reason for the unusual result appears to be methodological, rather than from some sudden Tory recovery, and down to the way Kantar treat turnout. As regular readers will know, many polls came horribly unstuck at the 2017 election because instead of basing turnout on how likely respondents said they were to vote, they predicted respondents likelihood to vote based on factors like their age and class. These methods assumed young people would be much less likely to vote, and produced large Conservative leads that ended up being wrong. Generally speaking, these socio-economic models have been dropped.

At the election Kantar took a sort of halfway position – they based their turnout model on both respondents’ self-assessed likelihood to vote, whether they voted last time and their age, assuming that older people were more likely to vote than younger people. This actually performed far better than most other companies did; Kantar’s final poll showed a five point Conservative lead, compared to the 2.5 they actually got. As such, Kantar appear to have kept using their old turnout model that partly predicts likelihood to vote based on age. The impact of this is clear – before turnout weighting Labour would have had a one point lead, very similar to other companies’ polls. After turnout weighting the Conservatives are four points ahead (the full tabs and methodology details are here).

(Another noticable difference between Kantar’s method and other companies is that they use the leaders’ names in their voting intention question, though given there is not nearly as much of a gap between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings as there used to be I’m not sure that would still have an impact.)


A variety of new and newish polls today.

Starting with the newest of the regular polls, Kantar‘s latest topline figures are CON 43%(+1), LAB 33%(-1), LDEM 11%(+2), UKIP 4%(nc). Fieldwork was between Thursday and Tuesday. The changes are not significant in themselves, but unlike most recent polls don’t show continuing movement towards Labour. Note also that there is a methodological change – Kantar now estimate how people who say don’t know will vote based on upon their demographics and whether they find May or Corbyn more trustworthy. The impact of this chance is to decrease the Labour vote by a point (so without it, the Conservative lead would barely have changed at all). Tables are here.

We also saw a Panelbase poll today. This is not actually new – it is the poll that was in the field during the Manchester bombing last week, which Panelbase made the decision to withhold in the light of the tragedy. Topline figures are CON 48%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 4%. Fieldwork was back between the 19th and 23rd of May. I’ve not included changes as there are significant methodological changes here – Panelbase have tightened their turnout filter to only include people who say 10/10, and they reweight their voting intention question so the age matches the age profile of people who voted in 2015. As with other companies whose turnout model is based upon replicating the age profile of 2015 voters this has a substantial effect. Panelbase say without it their poll would have shown the lead narrowing by 6 points from their previous poll (implying they would otherwise be showing an eight point Tory lead on their old method!). Panelbase tabs are here. In their comments Panelbase also say they will be releasing a new poll in the next day or two which again has the Tory lead falling.

Thirdly there was a new Ipsos MORI Scottish poll. Topline voting intention there is SNP 43%, CON 25%, LAB 25%, LDEM 5%. As ever, the SNP are in a clear first place, but down from the last election. Where it had appeared that the Scottish Conservatives were now the clear second placed party, this suggests that Labour may have recovered into joint-second place (that would also be very good news for the SNP – under FPTP the SNP benefit from being the dominant pro-independence party when the unionist parties are split three ways). Full details are here.

There was also a new SurveyMonkey poll for the Sun. This has topline figures of CON 44%(nc), LAB 38%(+2), LDEM 6%(nc), UKIP 4%(-1). Now, SurveyMonkey are not members of the British Polling Council and we don’t have any tables or further methodological detail to examine. However, they did poll at the 2015 election so have a record to judge. Their method is unusual – sample is gathered by randomly selecting people at the end of other surveys hosted on the surveymonkey platform. Back in 2015 they were the only company whose pre-election poll got the Conservative lead about right…but because they got both Labour and the Conservatives too low their average error across all parties was the highest (and the BPC inquiry found that their sample was still heavily skewed towards the politically interested… though they may have corrected that since then). In short, make of that what you will – it may be that their approach does do something that traditional polling does not… or it may be they just got lucky in 2015.


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Two polls are out tonight. A Kantar poll conducted between last Thursday and Sunday (so before the bombing) has topline figures of CON 42%(-5), LAB 34%(+5), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 4%(-2). TNS has a turnout model based partially on age, so has tended to show larger Tory leads… but this poll has it dropping ten points and falling into single figures. Tabs are here.

YouGov’s weekly poll for the Times meanwhile has topline figures of CON 43%(-1), LAB 38%(+3), LDEM 10%(+1), UKIP 4%(+1) – a Tory lead of just five points. Fieldwork for this poll was conducted on Wednesday night and Thursday daytime, so is the first conducted entirely after the Manchester bombing. Tabs are here.

The Tory lead is clearly continuing to fall away at a rapid rate. On the face of it one might be tempted to conclude that the actual impact of the bombing was to help the Labour party, but I think it more likely that it’s to do with the disastrous Tory manifesto launch. I posted earlier about the negative impact of the Tory manifesto. In contrast the Tories still seem to have a good lead on security and terrorism – in today’s YouGov survey people say they trust Theresa May far more than Jeremy Corbyn to make the right decisions on terrorism (55% trust May, only 33% trust Corbyn) and the Tories have a strong lead on the issue of Defence and Security. That suggests to me the cause of the narrowing is far more likely to be the manifesto, row and u-turn.

As ever, all the usual caveats about one poll apply. Before one gets too excited wait and see if other polls show such a tight race, and whether or not other polls show any more impact from the bombing. As things stand though the election suddenly seems a little less of a foregone conclusion than it appeared at the beginning of the race.


There have been two new voting intention polls today from Panelbase and Kantar.

Kantar has topline figures of CON 47%(+3),LAB 29%(+1), LDEM 8%(-3), UKIP 6%(-2). (tabs)
Panelbase have topline figures of CON 47%(-1), LAB 33%(+2), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 5%(nc) (tabs)

Once again, the broad picture appears to be a hefty Tory lead, Labour creeping upwards (Kantar still have Labour in the twenties – like ICM and ComRes they have a turnout model that is based partially on demographics, in the case of Kantar they base part of their turnout model on respondent’s ages and the historical pattern of turnout by age), UKIP and the Liberal Democrats being squeezed.

The 33% that Labour have in the Panelbase poll is the highest the party have scored in the campaign so far. Along with yesterday’s polls this has provoked some comment – how can Labour be polling at about the same as 2015 given their division, Corbyn’s poor ratings and so on? Part of this seems to be that substantial numbers of voters who don’t like Jeremy Corbyn do seem to be holding their noses and voting for Labour anyway. For example, 17% of current Labour voters would like the Conservative party to win the election. Presumably they are Labour supporters who don’t want a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn, but are voting for the party – perhaps through party loyalty, support for their local candidate, to ensure an viable opposition, or to give Labour a bigger base to recover from. That combination of holding onto some unhappy Labour voters who don’t like Corbyn and gaining some new voters from the Greens and non-voters mean the Labour vote may not be collapsing in the way some expected.

Of course, it may also be that the publicity of the manifesto leak and launch is giving Labour a temporary boost, that the Conservatives and the hostile media have not yet turned their full cannons upon Jeremy Corbyn, or that the polls haven’t done enough to address over-estimates of Labour support. We shall see.


There have been two new voting intention polls today. A new Kantar poll has topline figures of CON 44%(-4), LAB 28%(+4), LDEM 11%(nc), UKIP 8%(+1). The Tory lead has narrowed significantly since their previous poll a week ago, but this is likely to something of a reversion to the mean after very large 24 point lead in their previous poll. Full tabs are here.

There was also a Survation poll for Good Morning Britain. This had topline voting intentions of CON 47%, LAB 30%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 4%, GRN 3%. The Tory lead is in line with other companies, but the Lib Dems on just seven is lower than we’ve seen in other recent polls. Note that the poll was conducted by telephone, meaning there are now phone polls from Survation and Ipsos MORI, with all the other companies polling this election using online methodologies. That said there don’t seem to be any obvious difference between the Tory leads in telephone and online polls (though the two phone companies are showing the lowest UKIP figures). Tabs for Survation are here.