The latest YouGov poll for the Times has topline figures of CON 43%(+3), LAB 38%(-2), LDEM 8%(-1). The five point Conservative lead is the largest YouGov have shown since the general election.

The fieldwork was at the start of the week, so it is possible that this reflects a bump in government support from the Syria bombing – certainly “security and defence” has risen significantly on the question of what the most important issues facing the country are, up 5 points to 27%, the highest since July last year. While the bombing itself was not popular, polls did still find that people trusted Theresa May more to handle it than they did Jeremy Corbyn, so it’s plausible that an increase in the salience of security could boost the Tories. On the other hand, the changes are within the margin of error, so the increased lead may very well represent no more than normal random variation. Even if it is the impact of Syria and the lead is down to security increasing in salience, it will probably fade away once the political agenda moves onto something else.

It’s also worth noting that the fieldwork was before the row over the government’s handling of the immigration status of the Windrush generation so won’t take into account any impact from that (personally I suspect neither Syria nor the Windrush row will make any long term difference – voting intention seems to be very steady around neck-and-neck).

Full tabs for the poll are here.


There were four voting intention polls yesterday – an unusual flurry, largely it appears because of the military action in Syria. YouGov and Opinium were their regular polls, but ComRes seems to be asked on Wed & Thurs in order to measure support for an attack beforehand, Survation was conducted on Saturday to measure support afterwards.

YouGov‘s voting intention figures for the Times yesterday were CON 40%(-2), LAB 40%(-1), LDEM 9%(+2). Fieldwork was Monday and Tuesday and changes are from the previous week. We’ve already seen YouGov polling on Syria earlier in the week, which asked specifically about missile attacks and found 22% support, 43% opposed. Tabs for the voting intention poll are here.

Opinium for the Observer had topline figures of CON 40%(-2), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 7%(+1). Fieldwork was Tuesday to Thursday. It included only the briefest of questions on Syria; asked which leader people would trust the most to respond to the situation 35% said Theresa May, 20% said Jeremy Corbyn. The full details of the poll are here.

ComRes for the Sunday Express is the first voting intention poll the company have produced since the general election (I was beginning to ponder whether they’d given it up!). Looking at methodology changes, ComRes appear to have dropped the socio-economic turnout model that resulted in such problems at the last election and returned to essentially the methodology they used at the 2015 election, weighting by just standard demogs and past vote, and weighting by self-assessed likelihood to vote. This produced topline figures very much in line with everyone else – CON 40%, LAB 41%, LDEM 7%.

On Syria, ComRes asked about whether people agreed Britain should join the US and France in taking “military action against President Assad in Syria”. 29% of people agreed, 36% disagreed, and 35% didn’t know… another poll showing the balance of opinion opposed to strikes. Full tabs are here.

Survation for the Mail on Sunday is the only poll conducted after the missile attacks, with fieldwork wholly conducted during the day on Saturday. As regular readers will know, Survation typically show the largest Labour leads in their polling, but today’s figures are very much in line with everyone else – CON 40%(+2), LAB 40%(-5), LDEM 9%(nc).

Survation asked about whether people supported the “missile strikes on Syrian government facilities overnight in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack”. 36% of people said they supported it, 40% said they were opposed – a closer division than in some of the pre-strike polling, which may be because the question specifically linked it to the chemical attack, or may be because people just become more supportive once it has actually happened.

Survation also found 54% of people thought May should have sought Parliamentary support beforehand (30% did not), but on balance tend to approve of how she has handled the situation. 37% think she has dealt with it well, 29% badly. In contrast 19% think that Jeremy Corbyn has handled it well, 36% badly. Full tables are here.

Looking at the situation overall, headline voting intention polls continue to show Labour and Conservative neck-and-neck on average. On Syria, differently worded questions produced results that vary from clear opposition to just slightly more opposition than support, but it’s clear the public did not whole-heartedly support military action in Syria.


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This morning there was a new YouGov/Times poll asking about whether Britain should take part in military intervention in Syria.

A solid majority of the public believe that there probably was a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government or their allies – 61% agree, compared to 5% who believe that the attack was a fabrication, and 5% who believe neither claim. 29% do not know.

This does not, however, translate into support for military action. By 51% to 17% people oppose sending Britain and allied troops into Syria to remove Assad. The more likely option of a cruise missile attack on Syrian military targets also faces fairly solid opposition – just 22% would support it, 43% are opposed.

60% of people say they would support enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria, though given the opposition to other military options one suspects this could be because a “no fly zone” is a rather peaceful sounding euphemism for something that would in practice also involve attacking anti-air defences or the Syrian air force. The full tabs for the polling are here.

While the YouGov figures suggest that there is little public support for Britain getting involved in military action against Syria, there was also some Sky Data polling yesterday which was less clear. Asked if people would support or oppose “UK military action in response to the alleged chemical attack in Syria” 36% said support, 37% said oppose. However, asked about UK military action that might result in conflict with Russia, only 28% said they would support, 48% said they were opposed. Tabs are here.

The reason for that higher level support in that first Sky Data poll is unclear. It could be because the chemical attack was mentioned in the question, or perhaps because it asked about a vague “miliary action” rather than the more specific actions in the YouGov questions. Either way, it is clear that the public are, at best, ambivalent towards military action in Syria, with opposition to most specific proposals and to intervention that risks conflict with Russia.


This morning’s Times has their regular YouGov polling figures, a chance to see if the ongoing row over anti-Semitism in the Labour party has had any actual impact outside the Westminster bubble. Asked if Jeremy Corbyn is doing a good or bad job as Labour leader, 56% now think he is doing badly (up from 37% back in December), 31% think he is doing well (down from 45% in December). It’s a big drop, but since the question was last asked at the tail end of last year one cannot necessarily assume it is due to the anti-Semitism row, many other things have happened in the last three months.

More importantly, it doesn’t seem to have had any real effect on voting intention. Topline vi figures remain neck-and-neck, with Labour actually a couple of points up on last week’s poll (though the change is well within the normal margin of error) – CON 42%(-1), LAB 41%(+2), LDEM 7%(-1).


Today’s Times has some fresh polling of Labour party members. It was conducted between Tuesday and Thursday this week in the wake of the anti-Semitism row, though is also the first opportunity we’ve seen since the general election to take the general political temperature among Labour party members.

On that second point, the first thing to notice is the major shift in the level of support Jeremy Corbyn has among Labour party members. Two years ago this was still a party divided on the leadership and unsure of his future. Now they are solidly behind him. 80% of Labour members think Corbyn is doing well as leader, just 19% badly. 74% of Labour members think that Jeremy Corbyn should lead the party into the next general, and 64% of members think it is likely that Jeremy Corbyn will become Prime Minister in the future.

This is a complete transformation of attitudes since 2016 – back then, Labour members were split on Corbyn’s performance, didn’t think he could ever win, most didn’t want him to fight the next election. Now, following Corbyn’s victory against Owen Smith and the party’s revivial at the election, Corbyn’s support in the party looks absolutely solid.

Looking briefly at two of the other recent decisions Jeremy Corbyn has made, his members also back him over both his handling of the Salisbury poisonings and his sacking of Owen Smith. 69% think that Corbyn has responded well to the poisonings, and by 50% to 37% they think sacking Smith was the right decision.

Now, moving on to the anti-semitism row that Labour have found themselves in.

19% of Labour members think that anti-semitism in the party is a serious and genuine problem that needs addressing. A further 47% of Labour members agree that there is a serious and genuine problem, but think that is has been exaggerated for political reasons. Finally, 30% think that there is not a serious problem of anti-semitism at all. Broadly speaking, two-thirds of members think there is a problem (though many of those think it is being exaggerated for political effect), just under a third think there is not.

In terms of Jeremy Corbyn’s own handling of the row, most of his members think he has dealt with it well. 61% say he has responded very or fairly well, 33% think he has responded fairly or very badly. It’s less good than his approval overall (implying there are some Labour members who approve of Corbyn’s leadership in general, but think he’s dropped the ball here) but there is still clear majority approval.

Finally, the poll asked whether Labour party members wanted to see Ken Livingstone readmitted to the party or not. 33% wanted to see him return, 41% did not.

I’ll put a link up to the full tabs when they are released.