ComRes published a new London poll yesterday. As with all the other recent London polling we’ve seen it puts Sadiq Khan in a relatively comfortable first place. First preference votes are KHAN 44%(+2), GOLDSMITH 37%(-2), PIDGEON 7%(+1), WHITTLE 5%(nc), BERRY 4%(-2), GALLOWAY 2%(+1). With second preferences reallocated it works out at KHAN 55%, GOLDSMITH 45%. Full tabs are here.

Looking at the detailed tabs three-quarters of people who voted Tory in 2015 say they’ll vote for Goldsmith, four-fifths of Labour’s 2015 vote say they’ll back Khan. At the general election London voted Labour by a substantial margin and they got a substantial swing in their favour, at the 2010 election Labour also outperfomed in London. It is becoming an increasingly Labour city. Boris managed to break that link and win despite being a Conservative, clearly winning votes from people who did not support the Conservative party (on the same day that Boris won re-election as mayor the Labour party easily won the election for the London Assembly). Thus far Goldsmith and Khan don’t really appear to be doing that, the vote is splitting largely along normal party lines and that should result in a win for Sadiq Khan.

Meanwhile we’ve had three new EU referendum polls since my last update. ICM and YouGov have both published polls conducted online and showing one point leads for REMAIN. ICM’s figures are REMAIN 44%, LEAVE 43%, DK 13% (full details here), YouGov’s are REMAIN 39%, LEAVE 38%, DK/WNV 23% (full details here).

There was also new ORB telephone poll for the Telegraph. This is a little more interesting – regular readers will remember the last ORB phone poll was the one showing a Leave lead, extremely unusual for a poll conducted by telephone. This poll shows a seven point lead for REMAIN (REMAIN 51%, LEAVE 44%, DK 5%) far more typical of other polls conducted by phone. Full tabs are here.


The Times have a new YouGov poll in tomorrow’s paper, conducted after Wednesday’s budget. It’s not good news for George Osborne.

Every budget has positive and negative parts, and it’s the same here: some parts of Osborne’s budget are popular, some aren’t. Increasing the personal allowance is popular (83% say its a good idea), as is cracking down on international tax avoidance (81%), freezing fuel duty (74%) and the sugar tax (62%). People are more divided over the increase to the higher rate threshold (46% say it’s good, but 37% the wrong priority), and are negative about the cut in corporation tax (32% good idea, 43% wrong priority). The worst ratings are for the cuts to disability benefits for people reliant on aids or appliances. Only 13% of people support the disability cuts, 70% think they are the wrong priority at the present time, including 59% of Tory voters.

Budgets are more than just the sum of their parts of course. After each budget YouGov ask the same question about whether people think the budget was fair or unfair, this year 28% thought the budget was fair, 38% unfair. Both of last year’s budgets were seen as more fair than unfair, so were the budgets of 2014 and 2013 (past figures are all here). You have to go all the way back to 2012 to find the last time an Osborne budget was seen as unfair… the omnishambles budget. That is not a good precedent.

Meanwhile voting intention stands at CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 16%. This is very much in line with the ICM poll earlier in the week that had Labour and Conservatives equal. People were understandably wary of reading too much into one poll, but we now have two polls both showing Labour and the Conservatives neck-and-neck, suggesting something is genuinely afoot.


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Time for a quick update of other polls over the last few days. Firstly, YouGov put out new Scottish voting intentions at the weekend and London voting intentions yesterday.

YouGov’s Scottish voting intentions were SNP 49%, LAB 19%, CON 19%, LDEM 6% for the constituency vote; SNP 43%, LAB 17%, CON 19%, GRN 8%, LDEM 5%, UKIP 4% for the regional vote. The SNP obviously retain their overwhelming lead. Note how the Conservatives and Labour are essentially neck-and-neck for second place, this is consistent with YouGov’s last Scottish poll, but no other company has the Tories so close to Labour. Full tabs are here.

YouGov’s London poll shows Sadiq Khan still ahead, his nine point lead over Zac Goldsmith almost unchanged from January. Topline figures are KHAN 45%(nc), GOLDSMITH 36%(+1), WHITTLE 7%(+1), PIDGEON 5%(+1), BERRY 4%(-1), GALLOWAY 2%(nc). While Khan wouldn’t win on the first round, asked how they’d vote if the final two candidates were Khan and Goldsmith supporters of other candidates split 43%-30% in Khan’s favour, so he would come out as the comfortable winner. Full tabs are here.

Finally, and perhaps most intriguingly, there was a new ORB poll of EU referendum voting intentions in the Telegraph this morning. Topline figures were REMAIN 47%, LEAVE 49%, DK 4% (don’t know is so low because ORB have a squeeze question, asking how people who say don’t know are leaning). What’s interesting is that the poll was conducted by telephone – up until now we’ve seen a straightforward divide between phone polls showing a solid REMAIN lead and online polls showing a race that is neck-and-neck. Suddenly that online/phone divide doesn’t look so black and white. Full tabs are here.


YouGov have released some fresh EU polling, a batch of five new polls conducted in the last two weeks. The most recent poll, conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, has topline figures of Remain 40%, Leave 37% and the three polls before that also showed Remain with a small lead. While YouGov have been typically showing a very tight race, their 2016 polls up to now have shown small leads for LEAVE, so four YouGov polls in a row showing REMAIN ahead suggests some movement. It will be interesting to see if that is reflected in other polling, and whether movement continues in that direction.

Note that this isn’t the start of daily EU referendum polling. We put the EU question on lots of polls in a row because it was the control question for an academic experiment. There will NOT be YouGov daily referendum polls for the next four months!

Tabs should be up in the YouGov archive later on today.


Earlier this week there was a new YouGov poll of Conservative party members in the Times or, more specifically, two new polls of Conservative party members: YouGov polled the same party members before and after Boris Johnson came out in favour of leaving the EU to see what impact it had on the leadership race. Results are here.

At the simplest level Boris was ahead before, and was ahead afterwards, but there were some interesting shifts. Boris’s approval rating among Conservative party members dropped significantly after he came out (from 83% approval to 76% approval), but his position in the leadership race improved. Presumably he annoyed some members who saw his actions as disloyal or disagreed with his stance, but he consolidated the support from those who did not.

Almost unavoidably Boris coming out was going to upset some members – he has carefully avoided having many fixed political opinions over the years, so I expect many pro-European members would have assumed Boris agreed with them, many anti-EU members would have assumed Boris agreed with them. For once, he is forced off the fence and forced to upset some people – so his overall approval rating among Tory party members fell. However, in the race to be the next Tory leader his position has improved. 43% now say they’d back Boris, up from 38%, with support falling for Theresa May and Sajid Javid, both of whom were seen as potential “outers” and both of whom ended up supporting Remain. Asked how they’d vote in a match up between Osborne & Boris the figures don’t change as much (Boris 55%, George 36% before, Boris 56%, George 38% after) – the broader balance between those party members who want Osborne as the next leader and those who don’t hasn’t changed much, it’s just Boris is now more clearly the “not-George” candidate.

Only a quarter of Tory party members said that the leadership candidates’s stances on the EU were an important factor in picking the next leader – 4% said they wanted the next leader to be someone who had campaigned for the UK to stay, 20% wanted the next leader to be someone who campaigned to leave, three-quarters picked other criteria as their main considerations. Far and away the most widely picked criteria was someone who will make a competent PM, picked by 67%, followed by someone who has a good chance of winning the next election on 52%.

At the moment, Boris is very clearly the front runner if he reaches the stage of the membership vote. At the moment that looks relatively likely – there will be a fair chunk of Conservative MPs who will want to vote for a leadership candidate who supported leaving the EU, and Boris is now obviously the biggest “pro-Leave” beast in the Tory party (though it will be interesting to see how the Parliamentary party divides – Boris maybe anti-EU, but he is not otherwise associated with the Tory right. Will the right of the parliamentary party fall in behind him, or will they want their own “proper” standard bearer?).

That said, it is very early days. If the referendum is lost it’s possible Cameron could go soon, but if not he may be here for a few years yet. Among Conservative party members there is very little call for Cameron to make an early departure – only 20% think he should step down in 2016 or 2017 (roughly the same proportion as think he should change his mind and teste the next election – the majority think he should stay till at least 2019). In reality though, any pressure for Cameron to go early will come from the Parliamentary party, not from the rank-and-file membership, and I expect that will depend upon the extent to which the Tory party rips itself apart over the next three months and the final result of the referendum.