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).


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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.


This morning’s Times had a new YouGov poll, full tables are here.

Topline voting intention was CON 31%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 17%, GRN 3%. The poll follows a torrid few weeks for the Conservative party – a badly received budget, IDS’s resignation, the Tata steelworks and the week long fuss over David Cameron’s tax affairs. All of that has occured against the backdrop of the party arguing with itself over Europe and saying very little about any other issue. It’s always difficult to link a drop in support in the polls to specific events, but there are plenty of plausible reasons for a fall.

YouGov’s latest topline figures for the EU referendum are REMAIN 50%, LEAVE 50%. Looking at the underlying questions, there are a couple of significant movements in favour of LEAVE. Firstly on terrorism, 25% of people now think that Britain would be safer from terrorism if we left the EU (up from 16% back in February) – perhaps an impact from the Brussels terrorist attacks. Secondly trust in David Cameron on the issue of Europe has dropped sharply, from 29% to 21%. In fairness, trust in most of the leave figures (including Boris Johnson) has fallen too – the only person whose figures have increased is Jeremy Corbyn, who with 28% trust is now more trusted on Europe than Cameron.

Looking at some more general questions on the Tory leadership David Cameron’s ratings have declined there too. In December his lead over Jeremy Corbyn as best Prime Minister was twenty-six points, now it is only seven points (almost all due to Cameron’s rating falling, rather than Corbyn’s increasing) – 32% Cameron (down 17), 25% Corbyn (up 2). As with the voting intention figures, I would be cautious about jumping to conclusions about the reasons for the drop in Cameron’s ratings – while the questions were asked just after the row over his investments, in the same people people said by 45% to 35% that Cameron hadn’t actually done anything wrong. It is just as likely to be the impact from the budget, from the general running of the government or from Cameron losing the support and loyalty of Conservative voters who are backing leave. It will be interesting to see to what degree the ratings of the Conservative party and David Cameron himself recover once the referendum is finally over and they can get on with something else (assuming, of course, that Cameron’s leadership survives the aftermath)

On the subject of Cameron’s future 31% of people now think he should step down in the next year (up from 18% in December), compared to 36% who think he should stay until 2019 or later (down from 50% in December). If Britain votes to leave the European Union 44% think that Cameron should resign. In terms of a successor, Boris Johnson remains the clear favourite of the public and of Conservative voters. Support for George Osborne is now very low – he is the choice of only 4% of the public, of only 2% of Conservative voters (behind Michael Gove and Sajid Javid). Osborne even lags behind Jeremy Corbyn in a question on who would make the best Prime Minister – he will have some catching up to do to repair his reputation ahead of any leadership election.


YouGov have published new polls in both Scotland and Wales in the last couple of days. Taking Wales first, topline voting intention figures for the Welsh Assembly are CON 19%(-3), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 6%(nc), UKIP 17%(+2), Plaid 21%(nc) for the constituency vote and CON 20%(-2), LAB 31%(nc), LDEM 5%(nc), UKIP 16%(+2), Plaid 20%(-2) for the regional vote. The Conservatives are down a little, reflecting their drop in the national polls. Roger Scully’s detailled write up is here and the tabs are here.

The YouGov Scottish poll for the Times has topline figures of SNP 50%(+1), LAB 21%(+2), CON 18%(-1), LDEM 5%(-1) for the constituency vote, and SNP 45%(+2), LAB 19%(+2), CON 18%(-1), GRN 8%(nc), LDEM 5%(nc) in the regional vote. The last couple of YouGov Scottish polls had the Conservatives ahead of Labour on one vote or the other. Today’s poll had Labour back ahead, though they are still extremely close (closer than in most other Scottish polls). The rest of the poll had various questions on leadership, particularly on whether people think Ruth Davidson or Kezia Dugdale would make a better leader of the opposition – Ruth Davidson polled better, but her comparatively positive personal ratings are clearly not translating into much support for the Scottish Tories. Full tabs are here.

Finally today we got ICM’s weekly EU referendum tracker, with topline figures of REMAIN 42%, LEAVE 45%. Full tabs are here