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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Last week there were several EU referendum polls showing movement towards Remain. Individually the changes were not significant, but collectively it was starting to look as though something may be afoot. Today we’ve had two referendum polls from ORB and ICM with movement in the other direction, suggesting there is no such breakthrough after all. The telephone poll from ORB has topline figures of REMAIN 51%(-1), LEAVE 46%(+3), DK 3%(-2), the weekly online poll from ICM has topline figures of REMAIN 44%(+1), LEAVE 46%(+2), DK 10%(-3).

Fieldwork for ICM was Friday to Sunday, ORB was Wednesday to Sunday, so both were conducted in the context of President Obama’s visit to the UK and call for Britain to remain a member of the EU. Neither of the changes though are necessarily anything more than normal sample variation, so I’d advise caution before jumping to conclusions about the impact of Obama’s visit.


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.


MORI have published their monthly political monitor – full details are here. The topline voting intention figures are CON 38%(+2), LAB 35%(+1), LDEM 6%(-4), UKIP 11%(nc), GRN 3%(nc). The Conservatives retain a narrow lead, but not significantly different from last month.

Referendum voting intention stands at REMAIN 49%(nc), LEAVE 39%(-2), DK 12%(+2). MORI also asked an unprompted question on what the most important issues were in deciding how people would vote in the EU referendum. Overall the impact on the economy (32%) and immigration (27%) came top, but there was a sharp contrast between remain and leave voters. Among those who want to remain 40% named the economy, followed by jobs (15%), trade (14%) and immigration (14%). Among those who want to leave 47% named immigration, followed by making our own laws (25%), the economy (21%) and the impact of immigration on the welfare state (20%).