ICM’s regular poll for the Guardian today has topline figures of CON 44%(+1), LAB 41%(-1), LDEM 8%(+1). Fieldwork was between Friday and Monday, and changes are from a fortnight ago. Tabs are here.

There was also an Opinium poll for the Observer at the weekend, which had toplines of CON 42%(nc), LAB 40%(+1), LDEM 6%(-1). Fieldwork for that was Tuesday to Thursday, and changes are from February. Tabs are here.

Both polls also asked questions about how political leaders had responded to the poisoning in Salisbury, finding a similar pattern to YouGov last week. ICM found people thought Theresa May had responded well to the Salisbury poisoning by 51% to 22%, and thought Jeremy Corbyn had responded badly by 42% to 23%. Opinium only asked about approval of May’s response, but 41% said they approved, 20% disapproved.

Neither the ICM nor Opinium poll has significant changes, so I’d be cautious about concluding that the poisoning has had any impact on political support. Nevertheless, if we look at the longer trend in public support it does look as though there has been a slight improvement in the Conservative position – late last year the polls were typically showing a small Labour lead, in the last couple of months they’ve averaged out with Labour and Conservative neck-and-neck. Whether that small change really matters is a different matter, we’re a long way from a scheduled general election and there are some very big “known unknowns”, like Brexit, before we get to one. A couple of points either way at this stage of the Parliament is neither here nor there.

Tonight’s Times has a YouGov poll conducted on Wednesday night and Thursday daytime, giving us our first steer on the public reaction to the poisoning in Salisbury.

73% of people in the poll think that Russia is responsible for the poisoning, 21% are unsure, 5% don’t think it was Russia. There is also broad public support for the government’s reaction – 60% support the measures they’ve announced so far and 14% are opposed. Asking more specifically about the response of the party leaders, 53% think Theresa May has responded well to the incident, 23% badly; 18% think Jeremy Corbyn has responded well, 39% badly (and 43% don’t know).

SkyData had a poll earlier on today which asked similar questions about how well respondents thought May and Corbyn were dealing with Russia, with very similar results. They found 61% thought May had done a good job, 29% a bad job; 18% thought Corbyn had done a good job, 57% a bad job.

Returning to the YouGov/Times poll, the voting intention figures are CON 42%(+1), LAB 39%(-4), LDEM 7%(nc). I’m sure people will be tempted to interpret that as Labour’s support taking a hit from their reaction to the poisoning… I’d be very cautious before concluding that. The changes are within the margin of error, and nothing we haven’t seen before (for example, while YouGov’s last few polls have shown Labour just ahead, they had another poll in early February showing a small Tory lead that turned out to be just a blip). If we see other polls showing a drop in Labour support then it will be a fair conclusion, but a relatively small change in a single poll could easily be co-incidence.


We’ve had three voting intention polls in the last couple of days:

  • Ipsos MORI‘s monthly political monitor had topline figures of CON 43%(+4), LAB 42%(nc), LDEM 6%(-3). Fieldwork was over last weekend (Fri-Wed), and changes are from January. Tabs are here.
  • YouGov/Times on Friday has toplines of CON 41%(nc), LAB 43%(+1), LDEM 7%(nc). Fieldwork was Mon-Tues and changes are from last week. Tabs are here.
  • Survation/GMB, reported in the Sunday Mirror, has CON 37%(-3), LAB 44%(+1), LDEM 9%(+1). Fieldwork was Wednesday and Thursday, and changes are from the tail end of January. No tabs yet.

There is no clear trend – Labour is steady across the board, Survation have the Tories falling, MORI have them rising. MORI and YouGov show the two main parties neck-and-neck, Survation have a clear Labour lead.

The better Labour position in Survation is typical, but it’s not really clear why. As regular readers will know, Survation do both online and telephone voting intention polls. Their phone polls really do have a significantly different methodology – rather than random digit dialling, they randomly select phone numbers from consumer databases and ring those specific people. That would be an obvious possible explanation for a difference between Survation phone polls and polls from other companies. However, this poll wasn’t conducted by telephone, it was conducted online, and Survation’s online method is pretty similar to everyone else’s.

Survation’s online samples at the general election were much the same as everyone elses. The differences were down to other companies experimenting with things like demographic turnout modelling in order to solve the problems of 2015, approaches that ultimately ended up backfiring. However, polling companies that got it wrong have now dropped the innovations that didn’t work and largely gone back to simpler methods on turnout, meaning there is now no obvious reason for the difference.

Meanwhile, looking at the other questions in the surveys the YouGov poll also included their all their regular EU trackers, following Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn’s speeches. Neither, unsusprisingly, seem to have made much difference. 29% of people think that the Conservative party’s policy on Brexit is clear, up on a week ago (25%) but still significantly down from January (37%). 36% of people say they support May’s approach to Brexit, barely changed from a week ago (35%). For Labour, just 18% of people now think their Brexit policy is clear (down from 22% straight after Corbyn’s speech), 21% of people say they support the approach that Jeremy Corbyn is taking towards Brexit.

Quick update on recent polls – ICM in the Guardian have topline voting intention figures of CON 43%(+1), LAB 42%(-1), LDEM 7%(nc) (tabs are here). Voting intention remains as static as it has been for the last eight months or so.

The rest of the poll was sadly agree/disagree statements, but for what it’s worth they don’t suggest any particular impact from Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn’s speeches on Brexit last week. For Theresa May 30% agreed her speech made her position clearer, 35% disagree; for Jeremy Corbyn 32% agreed his speech made his position clearer, 31% disagree. I suspect in both cases this is actually a third of people who had an idea of the party position (or are giving a partisan pro-party answer) rather than a third of the country who have actually become more enlightened.