ComRes had a new EU telephone poll in this morning’s Daily Mail. Topline figures are REMAIN 52%(-1), LEAVE 41%(+3), Don’t know 7%(-2). Tabs are here.

Note that this poll is now adjusted for likelihood to vote, using ComRes’s turnout model based on socio-economic factors, like age and class (the changes are adjusted to reflect this). Note that adjusting turnout based on ComRes’s model has marginally increased support for Remain (before the adjustment the figures would have been 51 and 41).

There’s a broad assumption that differental turnout is more likely to favour Leave in the EU referendum campaign, largely based on the fact that polls normally show Leave voters claiming they are more likely to be 10/10 certain to vote, and that Leave voters are older. I’m not so sure. Self-reported likelihood is a blunt tool (people who say they are 10/10 certain to vote are not really much more likely than 8/10 or 9/10 people), and the age skew that should favour Leave in terms of turnout (older people are more likely to vote, and more Leave) will to some degree be cancelled out by the social class and educational skews that favour Remain (middle class people and graduates are more likely to vote, and more Remain).

On the subject of education, YouGov also had an interesting article up today. Like Populus and ICM they have carried out parallel telephone and online surveys, but unlike other such tests which have found a big gulf between phone and online results YouGov found results that were very similar to each other: both phone and online polls found a small lead for Leave.

This result wasn’t just the weighting (even before weighting the raw sample was a lot more “leave” than the raw samples from other phone polls) suggesting it is something to do with the sampling. Obviously we can’t tell for certain what the reason is – the most obvious difference is that the YouGov poll was conducted over the period of a fortnight, so was slower than most telephone polls and there was more opportunity to ring back people who were unavailable on the first call – but there could be other differences to do with quotas or the proportion of mobile calls (the YouGov poll was about a third mobile, two-thirds landline. My understanding is most phone polls are about 50/50 now, though MORI is about 20/80).

Looking at the actual demographics of the sample YouGov highlight the difference between their landline sample and the samples for the Populus paper looking at phone/online differences – specifically on education. In the Populus telephone samples between 44-46% of people had degrees, whereas the actual figure in the Census and Annual Population Survey is around 30%. The YouGov phone sample had a lower proportion of people with degrees to begin with, and weighted it to the national figure.

There is a clear correlation between education and attitudes to the EU referendum (in the YouGov polls there was a Leave lead of about 30 points among people who left school at 16 and a Remain lead of 33 points among those who were in educated beyond the age of twenty. This is partially to do with age, but it remains true even within people of the same age) so samples are too educated or not educated enough it could easily make a difference. As it is we’ve only got education data for the Populus polling – we don’t know if there’s the same skew in other phone polls, or how much of a difference it would make if corrected, but different levels of education within achieved samples is a further hypothesis that could explain that ongoing difference between phone and telephone samples for the EU referendum.


Final polls…

TNS and ComRes have released final London polls yesterday, YouGov have released final Scottish and Welsh polls. Here’s a quick run down…

  • TNS in London have Sadiq Khan ahead of Zac Goldsmith in the first round by 45% to 33% (Caroline Pidgeon is third on 7%, followed by Peter Whittle on 5%). Once second preferences are reallocated Khan would win by 57% to 43%. (tabs)
  • ComRes in London have Khan ahead by a similar margin – he leads by 45% to 36% in the first round, with Caroline Pidgeon and Sian Berry both on 6%. Once second preferences are included Khan wins by 56% to 44%. (tabs)
  • YouGov in Wales have final figures of constituency: CON 21%, LAB 33%, LD 8%, Plaid 19%, UKIP 16%; regional CON 20%, LAB 31%, LD 6%, Plaid 20%, UKIP 16%. (tabs).
  • YouGov in Scotland have final figures of constituency CON 19%, LAB 22%, LDEM 7%, SNP 48%; regional CON 20%, LAB 19%, LD 6%, SNP 41%, GRN 9% (tabs).

UPDATE: And finally, YouGov’s final call London poll for the standard:

  • First round: KHAN 43%, GOLDSMITH 32%, WHITTLE 7%, BERRY 7%, PIDGEON 6%; Second round: KHAN 57%, GOLDSMITH 43% (tabs)

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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.


With a week to go until the Scottish Parliament elections Ipsos MORI have published their latest Scottish voting intention figures. Topline figures are

Holyrood constituency vote: SNP 51%, LAB 19%, CON 18%, LDEM 6%
Holyrood regional vote: SNP 45%, CON 19%, LAB 17%, GRN 10%, LDEM 7%

The SNP are, obviously, set for another landslide win. The more surprising finding is that the Conservatives are in second place in the regional vote, which would likely leave them with the second largest number of MSPs. YouGov’s online polling has been showing a tight race between Conservative and Labour for second place for a while, but this is the first time MORI’s Scottish phone polling has shown the Scottish Tories catching Labour. Full details are here.

On the second day of the junior doctors strike, I should also update on public support for their action. MORI and YouGov have both released new data over the last two days, and both of them showed a majority of people continued to support the strike action. The MORI poll for the BBC found 57% of people supported the strike, 26% opposed (details here), YouGov for the Times found 53% thought strike action was right, 29% wrong (full details here).


The Evening Standard had a new YouGov London poll today, showing a commanding lead for Sadiq Khan in the mayoral race. First round voting intentions are KHAN 48%, GOLDSMITH 32%, WHITTLE 7%, BERRY 6%, PIDGEON 5%. After reallocating the second preferences of eliminated candidates Sadiq Khan wins by twenty points on the second round. Full tabs are here

The huge Labour lead looks startling, but it is actually broadly in line with YouGov’s national polling. Their last couple of GB polls had Labour and the Conservatives very close in their levels of support, which is the equivalent of a CON=>LAB swing of 3.5% since the general election. Last year Labour outpolled the Conservatives by nine percent in the capital, doing much better there than in the rest of Britain. Add on a national swing of 3.5% to Labour’s 2015 lead in London and you’d expect to find them about 16 points ahead, which is exactly where they are.

The 2016 London mayoral election looks like one of voting along ordinary party lines. The first two directly elected mayors of London were very unusual “showbiz” politicians, widely known by just their first names. Ken Livingstone initially ran an an independent and even after rejoining was clearly always semi-detached from and not reliant upon London Labour. Boris was Boris – the paltry link between his electoral success and that of his nominal party underlined by the voting figures at the last mayoral election. Boris was four points ahead of Ken in the first round of the mayoral vote, but Labour were nine points ahead of the Conservatives in the simultaeneous vote for the London Assembly – a gap of 13 points between their performance in the mayoral vote and the assembly vote.

There is no such gap in this mayoral election. If you compare mayoral voting intentions and London assembly voting intentions this time round there is no significant contrast – Sadiq Khan is 16 points head in the mayoral vote, Labour are 16 points ahead in the London Assembly vote.

If we put aside the personality driven politics of the mayoral election, London is an increasingly Labour city. Labour won hefty victories in every other electoral contest in London in the last Parliament – they won the European election by 14 points, the local elections by 13 points, the London assembly by 9 points, the general election by 9 points. If Zac Goldsmith was to be competitive he needed to appeal to non-Conservative voters, and while he is getting some support from Liberal Democrat and UKIP supporters it really isn’t enough. With only a fortnight to go. Sadiq Khan’s position is looking very comfortable.