We have the usual glut of polls in the Sunday papers, with new figures from YouGov, ComRes, Opinium, BMG and Deltapoll. Topline figures are below:

Deltapoll/Mail on Sunday – CON 45%(+2), LAB 32%(+2), LDEM 15%(-2), BREX 3%(nc). Fieldwork was Thursday to Saturday, and changes are from last week. (tabs)
YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 43%(nc), LAB 34%(+2), LDEM 13%(nc), BREX 2%(-2). Fieldwork was Thursday and Friday, and changes are from the start of the week (tabs)
Opinium/Observer – CON 46%(-1), LAB 31%(+3), LDEM 13%(+1), BREX 2%(-1). Fieldwork was Wednesday to Friday, changes are from last week (tabs)
SavantaComRes/Sunday Telegraph – CON 43%(+2), LAB 33%(-1), LDEM 13%(nc), BREX 4%(-1). Fieldwork was Wednesday and Thursday, changes are from their mid-week poll (tabs)
BMG/Independent – CON 39%(-2), LAB 33%(+5), LDEM 13%(-5), BREX 4%(-1). FIeldwork was Tuesday to Wednesday, changes are from last week.

Polls in the last week had been consistent in showing a small decrease in Conservative support and a small increase in Labour support, marginally reducing the Tory lead. While these polls aren’t quite so uniform (Deltapoll show the lead steady, ComRes shows movement in the other direction… though if you consider ComRes carry out two polls a week, their lead compared to a week ago is actually unchanged), most still show movement in Labour’s favour.

There remains a significant difference in the overall size of the lead, varying from just six points in the BMG poll to fifteen from Opinium. It is hard to put a specific figure on what sort of lead the Conservatives need to secure an overall majority – it obviously depends on exactly where they gain or lose votes – but as a rough rule of thumb it is probably somewhere around six or seven points. That means at the moment the vast majority of polls are still indicating a Tory majority, but there is no longer that much room for further tightening.


The mid-week polls so far are below:

SavantaComRes (25th-26th) – CON 41%(-1), LAB 34%(+2), LDEM 13%(-2), BREX 5%(nc)
YouGov/Sky/Times (25th-26th) – CON 43%(-1), LAB 32%(+2), LDEM 13%(-3), BREX 4%(+1)
ICM/Reuters (22th-25th) – CON 41%(-1), LAB 34%(+2), LDEM 13%(nc), BREX 4%(-1)
Kantar (21st-25th) – CON 43%(-2), LAB 32%(+5), LDEM 14%(-2), BREX 3%(+1)
Survation/GMB (20th-23rd) – CON 41%(-1), LAB 30%(+2), LDEM 15%(+2), BREX 5%(nc)

Taken individually, almost all the changes in these polls are within the margin of error (Kantar is the only exception). However, looking at them as a group there is a clear trend, with every poll showing a slight drop in Tory support and a slight increase for Labour. Taken together it’s clear there’s been a slight narrowing of the race though, of course, that still leaves a Conservative lead between 7 and 11 points. As usual, it is almost impossible to ascribe specific causes to this.

As well as the standard polls this week, YouGov published their MRP model. MRP is a method of using a large national sample to project shares at smaller geographical areas – in this case Parliamentary constituencies. By modelling how different demographics vote in seats with different characteristics, and then applying that model to each constituency, the MRP model produces vote shares for each individual constituency and, via that, projects seat totals for each party. Famously the YouGov MRP model projected a hung Parliament in 2017 when most people expected a Conservative majority.

The model this time is less surprising – it projected national vote shares of CON 43%, LAB 32%, LDEM 14%, BREX 3% (so very much in line with YouGov’s traditional polling), and seat numbers of Conservative 359, Labour 211, SNP 43, Liberal Democrat 13. This represents a Conservative majority of 68, much what we would expect to find on those shares of the vote (though the detailed projection is interesting, with the Conservative gains coming largely in the North and the urban West Midlands, with notable gains in West Bromwich, Wolverhampton and Stoke). Full details of the MRP model are here.

Finally this week, we’ve seen what is only the second Scottish poll of the campaign, this time from Ipsos MORI. Topline figures with changes from the 2017 election are CON 26%(-3), LAB 16%(-11), LDEM 11%(+4), SNP 44%(+7). Tabs for that are here.


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There were five GB voting intention polls in the Sunday papers (and the latest Panelbase poll appeared on Friday).

BMG/Independent – CON 41%(+4), LAB 28%(-1), LDEM 18%(+2), BREX 3%(-6). Fieldwork Tuesday to Thursday, with changes from last week. (tabs)
YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 42%(nc), LAB 30%(nc), LDEM 16%(+1), BREX 3%(-1). Fieldwork Thursday and Friday, with changes from mid-week. (tabs)
Opinium/Observer – CON 47%(+3), LAB 28%(nc), LDEM 12%(-2), BREX 3%(-3). Fieldwork Wednesday to Friday, with changes from last week. (tabs)
Deltapoll/Mail on Sunday – CON 43%(-2), LAB 30%(nc), LDEM 16%(+5), BREX 3%(-3). Fieldwork Thursday and Friday, with changes from last week. (tabs)
SavantaComres/Sunday Express – CON 42%(nc), LAB 32%(+1), LDEM 15%(nc), BREX 5%(nc). Fieldwork Wednesday and Thursday, with changes from midweek. (tabs)
Panelbase – CON 42%(-1), LAB 32%(+2), LDEM 14%(-1), BREX 3%(-2). Fieldwork was Wednesday to Friday, changes from last week.

Five of these were conducted wholly after the first leaders debate and two of them were conducted after the Labour manifesto had been released, so it is the first opportunity to see any impact from these events.

There does not appear to be any consistent trend or impact from the debate. The four point increase for the Conservatives in the BMG poll is likely the pact of starting to prompt by candidate names and, therefore, removing the Brexit party opinion for half of respondents (so far as I can tell, all polling companies apart from ComRes are now doing this). Setting BMG aide, the average change across the polls is no change for the Tories, less than a point change for Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Neither of the two polls that were conducted wholly after the publication of the Labour manifesto (YouGov and Deltapoll) show any sign of a manifesto boost for Labour. Both the debate and the manifesto launch were events that could potentially have had an impact on the race… thus far, neither appears to have done so.

Moving on, there has been an almost complete absence of Scottish polling during the campaign so far. While ITV Wales have commissioned specific Welsh polling and Queen Mary University of London have done a specific London poll, Scottish polls have been completely absent. The Sunday Times today have a Scottish poll from Panelbase, with topline figures (which changes from the general election) of CON 28%(-1), LAB 20%(-7), LDEM 11%(+4), SNP 40%(+3), BREX 1%(-4). On these figures the Conservatives would hold all but one of their current Scottish seats – rather a turnaround from assumptions at the start of the campaign that the Tories were set to lose many of their Scottish seats and would need to make up the deficit elsewhere.


Here are the mid-week polls so far:

Kantar – CON 45%(+8), LAB 27%(nc), LDEM 16%(-1), BREX 2%(-7)
YouGov/Times/Sky – CON 42%(-3), LAB 30%(+2), LDEM 15%(nc), BREX 4%(nc)
ICM/Reuters – CON 42%(+3), LAB 32%(+1), LDEM 13%(-2), BREX 5%(-3)
Survation/GMB – CON 42%, LAB 28%, LDEM 13%, BREX 5%

A few things to note. Kantar and ICM have now removed the Brexit party as an option in the seats where they are not standing, which will have contributed to the increase in Conservative support and decrease in Brexit party support (YouGov had already introduced this change last week).

The Survation poll is the first telephone poll that they’ve conducted in this election campaign (all their other recent polls have been conducted online), hence they’ve recommended against drawing direct comparisons with their previous poll. The fourteen point Tory lead in this poll is substantially larger than in Survation’s previous poll, which had a lead of only six points, but it’s impossible to tell whether that’s down to an increase in Conservative support or the different methodology. At the last election their two approaches produced similar results, with their final poll being conducted by phone.

Finally, Kantar’s polling has received some criticism on social media for their approach to turnout weighting, with “re-weighted” versions of their figures doing the rounds. The details of this criticism are wrong on almost every single measure. It’s very easy for people to retweet figures claiming they show the turnout figures from Kantar, but it takes rather longer to explain why the sums are wrong Matt Singh did a thread on it here, and RSS Statistical Ambassador, Anthony Masters, has done a lengthier post on it here.

In short, the claims confuse normal demographic weights (the ones Kantar use to ensure the proportion of young and old people in the samples matches the figures the ONS publish for the British population as a whole) with their turnout model. Secondly, they compare youth turnout to early estimates straight after the 2017 election, when there have been subsequent measures from the British Election Study that were actually checked against the marked electoral register, so are almost certainly more accurate. Compared to those figures, Kantar’s turnout levels look far more sensible. The figures do imply a small increase in turnout among older voters, a small drop amongst younger votes, but nowhere near the level that has been bandied about on social media.

However, if we leave aside the specific criticisms, it is true to say that turnout has different impacts on different pollsters. In the 2017 election many pollsters adopted elaborate turnout models based on demographic factors. These models largely backfired, so pollsters dropped them. Most polling companies are now using much simpler turnout models, that have much less of an impact, and which are based primarily on how likely respondents to the poll say they will vote.

Kantar is the exception – in 2017 they used a model that predicted people’s likelihood to vote based on both how likely they said they were to vote, but also their past voting and how old they are. Unlike many other companies this worked well for them and they were one of the more accurate polling companies, so they kept it. That does mean that Kantar now have a turnout model that makes more difference than most.

Looking at the polls at the top of this post, factoring in turnout made no difference to the lead in YouGov’s poll (it was a 12 point Tory lead before turnout weighting, a 12 point Tory lead afterwards). The same is true of Survation – their poll would have had a 14 point lead before turnout was factored in, and a 14 point lead afterwards. In ICM’s poll, without turnout the lead would have been 7 points, with turnout it grows to 10 points. With Kantar’s latest poll, the tables suggest that the turnout weighting increased the Tory lead from 10 points to 18 points.

Hence, while the specific claims about Kantar are nonsense, it is true to say their turnout model has more impact than that of some other companies. That does not, of course, mean it is wrong (turnout is obviously a significant factor in elections). However, before going off on one about how important turnout weighting is to the current polls, it’s rather important to note that for many companies it is contributing little or nothing to the size of the Tory lead.


There are (so far at least), five GB voting intention polls in the Sunday papers.

YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 45%(+3), LAB 28%(nc), LDEM 15%(nc), BREX 4%(nc). Fieldwork was Thursday and Friday, and changes are from the YouGov/Times/Sky poll mid-week. (tabs)

SavantaComRes/S Telegraph – CON 41%(+1), LAB 33%(+3), LDEM 14%(-2), BREX 5%(-2). Fieldwork was on Wednesday and Thursday, and changes are from the midweek poll for the Telegraph (tabs)

Opinium/Observer – CON 44%(+3), LAB 28%(-1), LDEM 14% (-1), BREX 6% (nc). Fieldwork was Wednesday and Thursday, and changes are from last week. Tables here.

BMG/Independent – CON 37%(nc), LAB 29%(nc), LDEM 16%(nc), BREX 9%(nc). Fieldwork was Tuesday to Friday. Changes would be from last week, though in this case, the party shares are unchanged.

Deltapoll/Mail on Sunday – CON 45%(+4), LAB 30%(+1), LDEM 11%(-5), BREX 6%(nc). Changes are from last week.

There are differences in how companies have dealt with the Brexit party. As discussed earlier in the week, YouGov are only letting people pick Brexit party if they live in a seat where the Brexit party are standing. ComRes are allowing people to pick the Brexit party everyone, but are not including them in their main prompt. BMG are still including them everywhere, but will be adopting candidate lists from next week. I’m unclear what Deltapoll or Opinium are currently doing. Given Thursday was close of nominations and full candidate lists are now available, I’d expect many companies to switch to showing people the actual parties standing in their seats from next week.

We’ve got a mixture of the pollsters who tend to show bigger Tory leads and the pollsters who tend to show smaller ones here – showing the contrast between different companies. Three of the companies publishing tonight (YouGov, Opinium and Deltapoll) gave the Conservatives leads up in the mid-teens, with Conservatives at 44-45% and Labour at 28-30%. The other two companies (ComRes and BMG) both showed an eight point lead (though there is some contrast between their figures, BMG have both the Conservatives and Labour signficantly lower than ComRes). (For those interested in the potential reasons behind the differences in the polls, I wrote more about it back in September.)

Perhaps more important is the trend – there is little sign of the Conservative lead narrowing here. Three of the polls have it growing (by 3, 3 and 4 points), ComRes have it narrowing by 2 (though their mid-week poll had the Tory lead growing by two, so the two cancel out), BMG have everything static. Next week the Labour manifesto is released, so has the potential to change things around. I would note, however, that the impact the manifestos had in 2017 was very much the exception to the rule. Historically the publication of manifestos has not tended to have any obvious impact upon party support.