ICM have again conducted two parallel polls for the Guardian, one online, one by telephone (tabs). The pattern is the same as last month, on Westminster voting intention the two ICM polls show the same two point lead, although the ICM online poll has a higher level of UKIP support:

ICM Online – CON 34%, LAB 32%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 17%, GRN 4%
ICM Phone – CON 36%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%, GRN 4%

For the EU referendum ICM have the typical phone vs online contrast. They have a eight point lead for Remain by phone, a four point lead for leave online… a twelve point gap (the average gap between online and telephone polls since the start of April is about 10 points, so ICM is a little larger, but nothing to write home about).

ICM Online – Remain 43%, Leave 47%, Don’t know 10%
ICM Phone – Remain 47%, Leave 39%, Don’t know 14%

Martin Boon’s own take over on the ICM website is, as usual, both honest and somewhat bemused: “The narrative that phone polls are more likely to be right ignores some fundamental flaws in phone methods. Labour supporters are continually oversampled by phone, and that may matter more than those same phone polls missing out on supposedly pro-Remain types, who are disproportionately less likely to turn out to vote. Similarly, what’s lurking under online covers could be equally nasty, and we should not ignore that the fact the UKIP voters are again, as they have long since been, higher in online polls than phone (or indeed at recent elections).”

Incidentally, it’s probably worth flagging up that there are house effects beyond just the phone/online difference. There are differences between different online pollsters too. This is ICM’s sixth online poll in a row to show Leave ahead, and they are clearly showing a small Leave lead. In contrast the majority of online polls conducted by YouGov and TNS over the last six weeks have had Remain very narrowly ahead, it’s not a big gap, but it’s starting to look consistent. When it actually comes to learning lessons from the EU referendum, these smaller differences may end up being the more valuable: without much fuss, pollsters are taking quite different approaches to correcting their methods after last year and the referendum may teach us something useful about what corrections are (or are not) working for online; what corrections are (or are not) working for telephone.

Methodological concerns aside, what does ICM tell us about the state of public opinion? Well both their phone and online polls have the gap between Tory and Labour narrowing, down from five point leads a month ago. In the referendum race the four point leave lead in the online poll is ICM’s largest this year… but that trend isn’t echoed in the phone poll. We shall see if other EU polling this week shows any coherent trend.

There was also a new ComRes online poll at the weekend for the Indy and Sunday Mirror. This had topline figures of CON 36%(+1), LAB 30%(nc), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 17%(+1), GRN 4%(nc). On the face of it this is a stronger poll for the Tories, but this is largely methodological – ComRes’s online polls tend to produce the most positive results for the Tories of any company because of their demographic based turnout model. Full tabs are here.


Today there was a new London poll from Opinium and a new Scottish poll from Survation. However with only two days to go before Thursday’s elections I thought I would take a broader look at all the polling so far for this week’s contests.

London

Four companies have produced polls for the London election this year: ComRes, YouGov, Opinium and Survation – their latest figures are below (Opinium publish their first round data without removing don’t knows, so I’ve repercentaged it to make it comparable to other polling). Note that while Opinium described their poll as their final poll for the election, the polls from the other companies are not necessarily the final ones: I’m expecting to see some eve-of-election polls tomorrow.

First round . Second Round
Pollster Goldsmith Khan Pidgeon Whittle Berry Others Goldsmith Khan
Opinium (26th Apr-1st May) 35 48 4 5 5 3 43 57
Survation (21st-25th Apr) 34 49 3 5 3 6 40 60
YouGov (15th-19th Apr) 32 48 5 7 6 2 40 60
ComRes (30th Mar-3rd Apr) 37 44 7 5 4 3 45 55

The recent polls have Sadiq Khan convincingly ahead – the three most recent polls have him just short of winning on the first round, and on the second round he wins comfortably with a lead of 14 to 20 points. The ComRes poll is a little closer, but is a month old now and still had Khan winning by ten points on the second round. Note that only one poll, Opinium’s final call, has been conducted since Labour’s anti-Semitism row. Khan himself has thoroughly distanced himself from Ken Livingstone, but there is always a risk of guilt by association. Opinium’s poll doesn’t suggest it has damaged him (in fact it had Khan extending his lead) and Khan’s lead looks unsurmountable anyway, but we’ll see what the final polls tomorrow show.

Scotland

A broader range of companies have produced polls in Scotland, with figures from six different companies so far. Once again, these are by no means the final polls from each company and I am expecting final eve-of-election polls from some companies tomorrow.

Constituency . Regional
Pollster CON LAB LD SNP CON LAB LD SNP GRN
Survation (1st-2nd May) 19 21 7 49 20 19 6 44 7
Panelbase (23rd-28th Apr) 17 23 6 49 19 22 4 44 6
Ipsos MORI (18th-25th Apr) 18 19 6 51 19 17 7 45 10
TNS (1st-24th Apr) 17 22 7 52 18 22 5 45 8
BMG (11th-15th Apr) 16 21 6 53 16 20 6 46 7
YouGov (7th-11th Apr) 19 21 6 50 18 19 5 45 8

The SNP’s victory in Scotland is a foregone conclusion (hell, if they don’t win this would be the king of all polling errors). The more interesting question is who will come in second place – Scottish Labour’s stock has fallen so low they risk dropping behind the Scottish Conservatives. All recent polls now have Labour ahead of the Tories on the constituency vote, but several have the Conservatives ahead on the regional vote (and given that Labour will struggle to win constituency seats, the regional tally will likely have a greater impact on how many MSPs each party gets). Also keep an eye on the gap between the SNP’s constituency vote and regional vote – in 2007 and 2011 they were within a percentage point or two of each other, but the polls are suggesting the SNP will do between five and seven points worse on the regional vote, largely to the benefit of the Scottish Greens. This seems feasible enough (the Scottish Parliament’s electoral system means that if the SNP clean up on constituency seats they will struggle to win many list seats) but it will be interesting to see to what extent it is reflected in the actual results.

Wales

There is comparatively little polling in Wales and the only regular and recent figures are the YouGov polls for ITV Wales and Cardiff University (ably reported on by Roger Scully at his Elections in Wales blog). The most recent figures there are CON 19%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, Plaid 21%, UKIP 15% for the constituency and CON 19%, LAB 29%, LDEM 8%, Plaid 22%, UKIP 15% in the regional vote. There will be a final YouGov Wales poll on ITV news tomorrow night.

Northern Ireland

Despite the name of this blog, it actually tends to be GB Polling Report most of the time – Northern Irish polls are even rarer than Welsh ones. We do have one though! Lucidtalk had a poll of Assembly voting intention figures in the Northern Irish edition of today’s Sun – topline figures are DUP 27%, SF 26%, UUP 16%, SDLP 12%, Alliance 8%, TUV 4%, GRN 3%.

Police and local elections

The other two elections on Thursday are local authority elections – mainly in those districts councils that elect by thirds, including metropolitan councils outside London (just over a third of the country will have local elections) – and Police and Crime Commissioner elections, which take place throughout England and Wales with the exceptions of London and Greater Manchester. Neither contest has any published polling.


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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


Following on from the ORB and ICM polls at the start of the week, there are two more EU polls today that both have small movements towards Leave. YouGov in the Times have topline figures of REMAIN 41%(+1), LEAVE 42%(+3), DK/WNV 17%(-4), while Survation for IG have topline figures of REMAIN 45%(-1), LEAVE 38%(+3), DK 17%(-2). I’m dubious about whether this is an Obama effect, but it does put to bed the idea that the series of polls last week showing a movement towards Remain was the start of some sort of breakthrough.

An interesting thing about the YouGov poll – while their headline EU voting intention figures have changed very little over the last few months, there has been movement in Remain’s favour on the economic argument. Back in February people thought Britain would be worse off outside the EU by only a two point margin, it’s now thirteen points (35% worse off, 22% better off). YouGov’s regular EU questions have also shown increasing belief that leaving the EU would be bad for jobs, and bad for people’s personal finances. Yet this hasn’t translated into any movement in the headline figures.

This may be because it’s being balanced out by factors favouring Leave, like immigration or the NHS, or it may be that the economic argument hasn’t started to bite yet. I’m reminded of the experience of Scotland, where people swung towards YES during the campaign despite telling pollsters they thought that an independent Scotland would be worse off economically… but ended up swinging in favour of risk aversion and what they thought was their best economic interest in the final fortnight. Anyway, time will tell.

Finally YouGov have voting intention figures of CON 30%, LAB 33%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 20%. That twenty percent for UKIP is a record high from YouGov, though I am a little dubious about it. While it seems perfectly feasible that during a referendum campaign the only significant political party backing one side of the argument may get a boost in support, we haven’t seen such a big boost in support echoed in any other polling. Wait to see if that’s reflected in any other polling before getting too excited.


MORI have published their monthly political monitor – full details are here. The topline voting intention figures are CON 38%(+2), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 6%(-4), UKIP 11%(nc), GRN 3%(nc). The Conservatives retain a narrow lead, but not significantly different from last month.

Referendum voting intention stands at REMAIN 49%(nc), LEAVE 39%(-2), DK 12%(+2). MORI also asked an unprompted question on what the most important issues were in deciding how people would vote in the EU referendum. Overall the impact on the economy (32%) and immigration (27%) came top, but there was a sharp contrast between remain and leave voters. Among those who want to remain 40% named the economy, followed by jobs (15%), trade (14%) and immigration (14%). Among those who want to leave 47% named immigration, followed by making our own laws (25%), the economy (21%) and the impact of immigration on the welfare state (20%).