A quick update on some polling figures from the last few days.

ComRes released a new telephone poll for the Daily Mail on Friday. Topline voting intention figures were CON 37%, LAB 32%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 12%, GRN 4% (tabs are here.) On the EU referendum ComRes had voting intentions of REMAIN 54%, LEAVE 36%, DK 10%.

YouGov also released new figures on voting intention and the EU referendum on their website. Their lastest topline VI figures are CON 39%, LAB 30%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 17%, GRN 3% (tabs are here). On the EU referendum they have Leave slightly ahead – REMAIN 38%, LEAVE 42%, DK/WNV 20%.

Finally Ipsos MORI also released EU referendum figures (part of the monthly Political Monitor survey I wrote about earlier in the week). Their latest figures are REMAIN 50%, LEAVE 38%, DK 12%.

There continues to be a big contrast between EU referendum figures in polls conducted by telephone, and conducted online. The telephone polls from ComRes and Ipsos MORI both have very solid leads for remain, the online polls from ICM, YouGov, Survation and others all tend to have the race very close. In one sense the contrast seems to be in line with the contrast we saw in pre-election polls – while there was little consistent difference between online and telephone polls in terms of the position of Labour and the Conservatives (particularly in the final polls), there was a great big gulf in terms of the levels of UKIP support they recorded – in the early part of 2015 there was a spread of about ten points between those (telephone) pollsters showing the lowest levels of UKIP support and those (online) pollsters showing the highest levels of UKIP support. It doesn’t seem particularly surprising that this online/telephone gap in terms of UKIP support also translates into an online/telephone gap in terms of support for leaving the EU. In terms of which is the better predictor it doesn’t give us much in the way of clues though – the 13% UKIP ended up getting was bang in the middle of that range.

The other interesting thing about the telephone/online contrast in EU referendum polling is the don’t knows. Telephone polls are producing polls that have far fewer people saying they don’t know how they’ll vote (you can see it clearly in the polls in this post – the two telephone polls have don’t knows of 10% and 12%, the online poll has 20% don’t knows, the last couple of weekly ICM online polls have had don’t knows of 17-18%). This could have something to do with the respective levels of people who are interested in politics and the EU that the different sampling approaches are picking up, or perhaps something to do with people’s willingness to give their EU voting intention to a human interviewer. The surprising thing is that this is not a typical difference – in polls on how people would vote in a general election the difference is, if anything, in the other direction – telephone polls find more don’t knows and refusals than online polls do. Why it’s the other way round on the EU referendum is an (intriguing) mystery.


Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor is out today, with topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 31%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 11%, GRN 4%. Full details and tables are here.

MORI also asked respondents to choose between the parties on various more specific measures – a bank of questions with back data going back to 1989:

  • On having the “best policies for the country as a whole” the Conservatives now lead by ten points (compared to a two point Tory lead in 2010 and 2014, and a Labour lead from 1992 to 2005).
  • On being the most clear and united about its policies the Conservatives lead by twenty points (compared to ten points in 2014, five points in 2010. The last time there was a lead this big was a 31 point lead for Labour in 2001.)
  • On having the best “team of leaders” the Conservatives lead by twenty-seven points (compared to eleven points in 2014 and five points in 2010 – again you need to go back to Labour in 2001 to find a larger lead)
  • The only measure where Labour haven’t collapsed is “looking after the interests of people like yourself” – here the Conservatives have a narrow lead of four points, compared to a two point Labour lead in 2014 and a four point Tory lead in 2010.

The poll also had questions about two policy issues facing Labour. One was Jeremy Corbyn’s suggestion that companies should be barred from paying dividends if they don’t pay the living wage. In principle this idea seems popular – 66% of people say they would support it, 17% of people would be opposed. In the survey MORI did a split sample experiment and asked the other half of the sample about the policy without any attribution, and half about it having explained it was Jeremy Corbyn’s suggestion. When the policy was identified as coming from Corbyn support was lower – 60% support, 24% opposed.

The obvious conclusion is that identifying a policy as coming from Jeremy Corbyn makes it less popular. This is probably true… but I wouldn’t get too excited about it. Conservative party modernisers used to make their case using similar data showing policies were less popular when associated with the Conservative party. I think the reality is that strong partisan supporters of other political parties will almost always be turned off a policy when it is associated with an opponent, so yes, putting Jeremy Corbyn’s name to a policy would make it less popular, but so would putting the Labour party’s name to the policy, or the Conservative party’s name, or Osborne or Cameron’s name.

The other policy MORI asked about was Trident. 58% of people opposed Britain getting rid of nuclear weapons, rising to 70% when it was asked specifically about unilateral disarmament… a similar figure to when MORI asked the same question in the 1980s.


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The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian is out today and has topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 35%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 10%, GRN 3%. The full details are on ICM’s website here and again come with some pretty candid and downbeat commentary from Martin Boon, who writes that the raw data is still heavily skewed towards Labour and that – to his mind – the existing data correction at the analysis stage isn’t succeeding in correcting it (Martin was also interviewed in Radio 4’s interesting programme this week on why the polls went wrong, as was Joe Tywman of YouGov, Damian Lyons Lowe of Survation, James Morris of GQRR and Pat Sturgis – the Chair of tomorrow’s inquiry into the polling failure).

There were three other GB voting intention polls in the weekend papers. ComRes for the Indy on Sunday had figures of CON 40%, LAB 29%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 3%, Panelbase in the Sunday Times had toplines of CON 39%, LAB 31%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 14% and Survation in the Mail on Sunday had CON 37%, LAB 30%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 3%.


ICM released their final monthly voting intention poll of 2015 yesterday, with topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 10%, GRN 3%. I assume it’s the last voting intention poll we will see before Christmas. The full tables are here, where ICM also make an intriguing comment on methodology. They write,

For our part, it is clear that phone polls steadfastly continue to collect too many Labour voters in the raw sample, and the challenge for phone polling is to find a way to overcome the systematic reasons for doing so. The methodological tweaks that we have introduced since the election in part help mitigate this phenomenon by proxy, but have not overcome the core challenge. In our view, attempting to fully solve sampling bias via post-survey adjustment methods is a step too far and lures the unsuspecting pollster into (further) blase confidence. We will have more to say on our methods in the coming months.


Opinium have a new poll in today’s Observer – topline figures are CON 38%, LAB 30%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 16%, GRN 5%. Tabs are here. The rest of the poll largely concentrated on leadership questions. Cameron’s approval rating stands at minus 6, Corbyn at minus 25, Farage minus 18, Farron minus 22 (though over half of respondents said don’t know on Farron). Net favourable vs unfavourable ratings were similar to job approval – Cameron -5, Corbyn -28, Farage -21, Farron -19.

Asked about the specific qualities of the leaders David Cameron’s strongest ratings were on being decisive (+5), having the nation’s interests at heart (+3), being a strong leader (+8), getting things done (+11) and standing up for Britain abroad (+4). His biggest weakness, as you will almost certainly have guessed, was being in touch with ordinary people (-34). After five years as Prime Minister, a decade as Tory leader, we know how Cameron is perceived by the public: an effective national leader, but posh and out of touch.

Asked to rate Jeremy Corbyn on the same measures his top ratings come on sticking to his principles (+32) and being in touch with ordinary people (-2). His ratings elsewhere are negative, particularly on being a strong leader, getting things done and standing up for Britain abroad (though the last two are a little unfortunately worded – one could have answered them in the context of Corbyn not being able to get things done because he’s not in government).

Best Prime Minister David Cameron leads by 41% to Corbyn’s 20%. With Cameron stepping down before the general election this match up is never going to happen though – when Opinium asked the same question with David Cameron’s potential successors the figures were far closer: 27% Osborne, 24% Corbyn; May 29%, Corbyn 23%; Boris 34%, Corbyn 23%. The Tory party don’t love David Cameron, but electorally they may miss him when he’s gone.

Earlier in the week there was also the monthly ComRes telephone poll for the Daily Mail. Topline figures there were CON 37%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 11%, GRN 5%. These are good figures for Labour by the standards of ComRes, who since introducing their new socio-economic turnout model have shown the largest Conservative leads, typically around eleven points. Of course, it is just one poll, so all the usual caveats apply… it may herald a narrowing of the polls, or may just be random sample variation and go back to more typical figures next month. Full tabs are here.