A third new poll

After new YouGov and Ipsos-MORI polls, we have the third new poll in 24 hours. The latest ComRes poll for the Independent has topline voting intentions of CON 46%(+2), LAB 25%(-1), LDEM 18%(+1). It as conducted between the 25th and 26th of June, and there is clearly no sign of that strange YouGov slump in Lib Dem support here.

MORI’s June political monitor has been published and is online here. The topline voting intention figures are CON 45%, LAB 28%, LDEM 16%. It was carried out between the 13th and 15th June.

I haven’t put a change since the last MORI poll for two reasons – firstly MORI have released some hitherto unpublished data from during that gap, secondly there are two major changes in their methods since the last poll. It is, however, the largest Conservative lead MORI have reported for many years, even taking into account methodological changes which this month have increased the Tory lead by 2 points.

The main changes in methodology are, firstly, a switch from face-to-face polling to phone polling, and secondly, the introduction of weighting by whether people work in the public or private sector. The full details of the review of methodology since the London elections is summarised here. It looked at four areas – sample representativeness, predicting turnout, differences between face-to-face and phone polling and how the polls are presented.

1) Ipsos-MORI’s face-to-face and phone samples contain a higher proportion of public sector workers than in the population as a whole. In the future they are going to begin weighting by public or private sector employment, using figures drawn from the Economic & Labour Market Review. Since they haven’t always asked this in the past it’s impossible to say for sure what the party partisan effect will be, but it is likely to decrease the Labour share of the vote and, in this latest poll, its effect was to increase the Conservative share by 1 point, and decrease Labour by 1 point.

MORI rejected weighting by past vote for the same reasons as they have in the past – that in their opinion the level of false recall of voting intention is liable to change in line with their political opinions, and that target weights for past vote must be based to some degree on subjective judgement, not hard fact.

2) Turnout. Ipsos-MORI are going to continue with their present method of filtering by turnout, taking only those 10/10 certain to vote for their topline figures. They are going to be experimenting in the future though with the sort of attitundinal questions ICM have starting factoring in, and might add trends based on other filters in the future.

3) Telephone. Previously Ipsos-MORI got much the same figures from phone polling as face-to-face polling. However, more recently they have found their telephone data to be closely inline with other phone pollsters (as one would expect, they are collected in much the same way) but their face-to-face data has shown a higher Labour share and a lower share for the Lib Dems and “others”. In their analysis Ipsos-MORI say that when they look at the data and include all the previously unpublished voting intention data from their phone polls (which is now on their website here – I will update my tables over the weekend) this had become a small, but consistent difference. Because of this they have decided to switch all the voting intention polls over to telephone sampling. The reason for the difference is, incidentally, a mystery – MORI have checked it isn’t to do with homes without a landline, eliminated the chance of it being the showcard used in homes as compared to vocally prompted questions, or question order.

One regular question that will still be asked face-to-face is, thankfully (since regular readers will know I am a huge fan of it), their “most important issues facing the country” question, which unlike other questions of this time is entirely unprompted.

4) Presentation – Ipsos-MORI are releasing their data in a way that makes clear how figures should be interpreted. This month’s figures are in a comprehensive pdf, which includes things like warning people that the unfiltered voting intention tends to overestimate Labour support compared to election results in these days of lower turnouts.


How it went wrong

I have a long post up on PoliticsHome looking at how Labour got into the position of being 20 points behind, based on the daily data produced by their Phi5000 panel.

It’s very clear that the point when their reputation really crumbled was during the 10p tax row, when approval of the government collapsed, they were seen as increasingly divided and the last few shreds of Gordon Brown’s reputation for competence fell away. In contrast, the Conservative increase then is still mostly just a result of them looking good when compared to Labour – their negatives have reduced, but there is no obvious positive boost for them. The exception is Cameron himself, whose reputation has improved significantly since the local elections and mayoral elections, particularly in terms of competence and effeciency.

Still, that is how we got here. If you look at the graphs over on the post you can also see a couple of wobbles in the Conservative ratings over the last week or so, look particularly at the way the percentage of panellists who think the Conservatives are united has dropped, and those who aren’t clear what they stand for has increased since David Davis’s resignation.

YouGov’s monthly poll for the Telegraph has topline voting intention figures of CON 46%(-1), LAB 28%(+3), LDEM 15%(-3).

The 18 point Tory lead is the smallest YouGov have shown for a couple of months – since the local elections they have been consistently showing a lead of twenty points or more. Now Labour suddenly seem to be recovering… but at the expense of the Liberal Democrats. Up until now the Lib Dems have been quietly gathering support and have seen their share sneak up month on month, this seems like a rather sudden reverse; let’s wait and see if it is reflected in other companies polls.

ICM’s monthly poll for the Guardian has topline voting intention figures, with changes from their previous poll, of CON 45%(+3), LAB 25%(-1), LDEM 20%(-1).

The poll was conducted between the 20th and 22nd June. The timing means that the public would have had time to thoroughly digest both David Davis’s resignation and the recent outbreak of sleaze allegations in the Tory party (Caroline Spelman and various MEPs). It does not suggest any have had any effect.

Labour’s level of support is the lowest ICM have recorded, the Tory lead the largest, the gap between Labour and the Lib Dems remains at 5 points. With YouGov, Populus, ICM and BPIX all showing Tory leads of 20+ points and Ipsos-MORI in abeyance while they review their methods, now ComRes are the only pollster showing a Conservative lead below 20 points.