Today’s Sunday papers have the first polls conducted since the local elections, from Opinium and ComRes.

Opinium for the Observer have Westminster voting intentions of CON 22%(-4), LAB 28%(-5), LDEM 11%(+5), BREX 21%(+4), GRN 6%(+2), ChUK 4%(nc), UKIP 4%(nc). Fieldwork was between Wednesday and Friday, and changes are from late April. Full tables are here.

ComRes for BrexitExpress have voting intentions of CON 19%(-4), LAB 27%(-6), LDEM 14%(+7), BREX 20%(+6), GRN 5%(+2), ChUK 7%(-2), UKIP 3%(-2). Fieldwork appears to be all on Thursday, and changes are since mid-April.

Both polls have Labour and the Conservatives rapidly shedding support, with support growing for the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit party. I suspect we are seeing a combination of factors at work here, most obviously there is the continuing collapse in Conservative support over Brexit, a trend we’ve been seeing since the end of March, with support moving to parties with a clearer pro-Brexit policy. Originally that favoured UKIP too, now it is almost wholly going to the Brexit party.

Secondly there is the impact of the local elections and the Liberal Democrat successes there. For several years the Lib Dems seemed moribund and struggled to be noticed. The coverage of their gains at the local elections seems to have given them a solid boost in support, more so than the other anti-Brexit parties – for now at least, they seem to be very much alive & well again.

Third is the impact of the European elections. People are obviously more likely to vote for smaller parties in the European elections and in current circumstances obviously appear more willing to lend their vote to a different party in protest over Brexit. To some degree this will be influencing other voting intention figures as well, so I would treat Westminster voting intention figures with some scepticism in the run up to the European elections (and probably in the immediate aftermath as well, when those parties who do well will likely recieve a further boost in support).

In short, these are startling results – but we have seen startling results before (look at the polls at the height of SDP support, or just after the expenses scandal broke, or during Cleggmania). These are indeed very unusual results – the combined level of Con-Lab support in these polls are some of the very lowest we’ve seen, the Conservative share in the ComRes poll almost their lowest ever (I can find only a single Gallup poll with a lower figure, from back in 1995). What we cannot tell at the moment is whether this portends a serious readjustment of the parties, or whether things will return to more familar patterns once the European elections have passed, the Conservatives have a new leader and (assuming it ever happens) Brexit is in some way settled.

Both polls also had voting intention figures for the European Parliament elections

Opinium Euro VI – CON 11%, LAB 21%, LDEM 12%, BREX 34%, GRN 8%, ChUK 3%, UKIP 4%
ComRes Euro VI – CON 13%, LAB 25%, LDEM 14%, BREX 27%, GRN 8%, ChUK 6%, UKIP 3%

Both have the Brexit party ahead, though they are doing considerably better with Opinium than with ComRes. In both cases the Liberal Democrats have recieved a post-local election boost, putting them above the Conservatives in European voting intentions.

760 Responses to “New Opinium and ComRes polls”

1 13 14 15 16

    I look to your wisdom, local knowledge, polling, polling analysis, and if clearly stated anecdotal knowledge, instinct, intuition.”

    Sh1t, you’re not asking much are you? I only wanted good politicians. :D

    Personal guesswork:

    1. Higher than locals. Lower than referendum, and probably lower than GE. Probably higher than EU 2014.

    2. I have done no research, other than read knowledgeable posters here, and avoid reading less knowledgeable posters here. ;)

    3/4/5/6. I would suggest that you don’t tie any one election to another as like for like comparisons. For a start they serve different purposes in practice, and they are used in different ways by the electorate (e.g. protest votes in locals). Many parties stand in elections where they can get elected, but not in others, so VI comparisons are quite pointless.

    An obvious example is the Scottish Green Party. They stood in 2017 with three candidates, none of which were elected, and secured a little under 6K votes (0.2%).

    However, in the Scottish Parliament they fielded 32 candidates. None were elected in constituency seats (0.6% of votes), but six were elected via the list seats (6.6% of votes).

    I fully expect Con and Lab voters to get far more twitchy at a general election and fear splitting their ‘own side’ by moving away. It will depends on media and polling coverage of the other parties, and in that sense, elections have nothing to do with policies (did they ever?).

  2. @Jonathan Stuart-Brown

    I would guess from the “certain to vote” numbers in the polls a turnout similar to EU2014. Maybe a little higher, but not much.

    A lot can happen in three years, certainly. Which parties benefit from that depend on whether our state in three years is “have revoked”, “have left successfully”, “have left and it’s a terrible mess” or “still unresolved, on extension 8 from the EU”

    There’s enough difference between EU and GE VIs in current polling to suggest that it’s not so much “stick with” as people voting the appropriate party for the context, though. GE polling at the moment is implicitly assuming the election occurs before Brexit is resolved, of course.

    Based on current polling I think Labour would probably benefit from a snap GE, while Conservatives would suffer greatly. The Conservative vote is considerably more split, and the competitors to Labour don’t yet have the prerequisites to do much at GE level (outside Scotland, of course)

    The problem with *not* having a GE for the Conservatives is much the same as the last years of Major or Brown – hanging on for several years with an unpopular government and political position hoping for a miracle just makes the inevitable GE even tougher. The Conservatives also won’t be able to get any Brexit through this Parliament with the current voting numbers, and the rise of BREX in the polls suggests that they aren’t being given any credit for repeatedly trying and failing either, so I think the longer they hang on the worse it gets.

    If we get to 30 October with Brexit unresolved, the current makeup of Parliament probably goes for revoke rather than no deal – possibly telling themselves it’s just temporary – which means BREX can take votes off Con for years to come. So I think – though it’s highly risky – the Conservatives may need to go for a snap leadership election as soon as May’s deal falls, then the winner calls a snap GE to try to take back the initiative and narrative, and get a new Parliament in time to do something before 30 October.

    But it would need a new leader with a lot of confidence and a plan to go with that – the temptation to “play it safe” and go for three years of continued Conservative government (though no legislative authority) would be very high.

    (Of course, if the government lost the support of the DUP, things could change very rapidly … I think there are certain circumstances where TIG’s support might not apply)

  3. Good afternoon all from a warm and grey central London

    @allan christie
    “The yougov numbers quoted above said most working class people who voted leave were already con voters, and the second largest group seemed to be normally non voters. labour only came third. The implication must be that athough you are calling these labour constituencies, actually it was the people in them who do not support labour who voted leave. In particular it was the people who do not normally vote who flipped the result”

    Sorry but this is tosh beyond comprehension. There is no way there is data for every person who voted leave in every Labour leave held constituency telling us what party they normally vote for.

    I accept that not every leave voter in a Labour leave held seat is indeed a Labour voter and the same is true in that not every remain voter in a remain held Labour seat is a labour voter.

    Regardless of whatever party affiliation people are from in Labour held leave seats, if the sitting MP is worth their poon of salt then he/she should do the right thing and deliver what their constituents voted for.

    Even if we say that only around 40% of Labour voters in Labour leave seats voted to leave then that’s still a huge chunk of the Labour vote up for potential grabs.

    I really do think some of you remain voters post stuff on this site straight from a cows manky backside.

  4. @Allan Christie

    You get that @Danny is only quoting YouGov’s analysis of their panel data, so you are basically saying that Yougov don’t know what they are talking about in respect of statistical analysis ()which is bold!) and that their representative panel (7,000 IIRC) is not actually representative.

    Which is an interesting theory, but if you don’t have any faith in statistically representative samples you are probably wasting your time on a polling site, yes?

  5. Not sure if I’ve said or not but I’m really looking forward to they European elections. The wailing brigade (re moaners) told us the euro elections were going to be rammed down our cake holes as some sort of second EU referendum.

    Now, excuse me…Cough cough..As we know their are only three parties in England (UKIP are defunct) who really know what they are standing for during the EU elections, Brexit party, Greens and the Lib/Dems. Labour and the Tories are all over the shop and are clueless over Brexit.

    So where does this lead us to? Simple…We add up all the seats the two remain parties win, that’s them the Lib/Dems and Greens and add up the Brexit party seats and by doing so this should give a clear indication on how the UK stands over leaving the EU.

    I’m sure we will be in for a treat…

    Now please…pass me the popcorn.

  6. @AC
    Haha! Nice try trolling…
    Add up the votes if you want to know how people feel. Seats just measure how well you play the system…


    Yes I know they are Yougov figures and despite the sample size I don’t give the figures much credibility, however as I said the other night and again today, I do accept that not every Labour voter in a Labour leave seat voted to leave. I’ve never disputed this.

    Haha! Nice try trolling…
    Add up the votes if you want to know how people feel. Seats just measure how well you play the system…

    Oh dear me…Are you conceding defeat already? ;-)

  9. I’ve just done a quick d’Hondt calculation on the latest YouGov and am slightly cheered to note that if their figures are accurate, then here in the East Midlands the five MEPs would be Brexit 2, Libdems, Labour and Greens – who in a world without FPTP I’d probably vote for every time – with 1 each.

    It’s a pretty big if, as I haven’t trusted Yougov’s figures for quite a while (or indeed had much confidence in anyone else’s polling figures either – I’m not claiming to know better), but it will be a long time before I’m prepared to lend my vote to the LibDems, so it looks like Green at the moment.

    I have absolutely no idea, nor can even guess, what on earth is going to happen next Thursday, whether leavers or remainers are more, less or equally motivated, my hunch is that Farage’s limited company will end up with a lower percentage of the share than is being predicted, Labour second, Libdems third. Leavers will declare victory if FLtdCo gets the most seats, remain won’t be able to agree whether Labour are for leave or remain and will squirm a bit on the radio the Monday morning after, and Vince will attempt to claim that it shows something or other while the 90% of the electorate who didn’t vote for him will take no notice. The news will be about FltdCo and the Tories, aided by their mates across the pond the LibDems who will not be able to resist pointing at Corbyn and trying to blame him for everything.

    Not once have I seen it mentioned that the votes don’t get counted until the weekend, so I’m looking forward to Farage’s lot taking to social media claiming that there’s a conspiracy not to count the votes in order to deny them victory, or something.

    FWIW, my money if I were a gambl1ng person is still on it ending with a referendum, which would have to be announced before the October extension runs out, even more so since the Tories are even less likely to agree to a general election now that they’ve collapsed in every poll, even YouGov ones, and the only other alternative will be to revoke, (which would break them completely).

  10. @ BFR and AC

    I don’t really understand your objection BFR, what AC says is, I’m sure, exactly what many people and pundits will do. The only problem with ACs analysis, as far as I can see, is that he seems to have forgotten CHUK, SNP, PC, SF, SDLP, Alliance.


    Actually I did forget about CHUK, my bad but other than I was on about the outcome in England only. I think with the sheer scale of the Brexit party wins in England it will outperform whatever happens in Scotland, Wales and NI.

  12. @ EXD

    How are you extrapolating results for East Midlands? I’ve been looking for anything that might come close to defining North West polling and can’t find anything.

    It’s critical because the national polling is showing large differences for when Yougov did publish one poll via voting regions but we have no way of knowing if regions are working the same as the national picture. There’s been quite a bit of past evidence that they haven’t worked according to UNS- unless you have a subsample of close to 1,000 for a region is would be garbage in garbage out.

  13. J S-B
    1. My guess is that the turnout won’t be as high as is being suggested, somewhere between locals and general.
    2. I have no research, but if YouGov is still over-representing the Tories they should be really, really worried. My guess is that they’re over-representing Farage’s Ltd Company, and probably the LibDems, although they seem to be getting a lot of coverage so will probably catch up by Thursday.
    3. If Farage’s Ltd Co. can maintain its share of Tory votes this question is probably academic. If Boris is Tory leader by then I’d expect most of Farage’s lot to go back to Tory, but equally a lot of natural Tory voters would run away, I’d expect big movements, lots of escapees to the LibDems, collapse of stout Farage. If it’s any of the others anything could happen. Lab would probably be the biggest party as long as they’ve decided whether they are leave or remain, since that will be the only question the Beeb will allow to be asked during any campaign until they’ve resolved it.
    4. See 3
    5. Too many uncertainties and too many variables, they will be doing well to just keep the lid on until October
    6. Who knows? Wasn’t the bacon sandwich incident the media trying to both stir up anti-semitism and pin it on Red Ed by proxy?

  14. Jonathan Stuart-Brown,

    I claim no specific polling expertise, only a lot of reading and a bit of horse sense.

    1. I think turnout for these European elections will be very high by past standards, given how big the issue of Europe has become since 2014, when the EP elections were essentially scraping by on the “bedrock” of people who make a point of turning out for every single vote. That said, they will probably still be low compared to a general election – my guess would be around 45-50%. The interesting thing will be if the changes in turnout affects different groups differently, as that might throw out the polls a bit.

    2. Can’t really comment. I would say though that I’d expect quite a wide margin of error in current polls, simply because the large swings in voting intention, creation of new parties etc. is highly unusual and very difficult for normal poll weighting methods (usually benchmarked against the previous election) to accommodate effectively.

    3. “Yes but.” The more time passes, the more events that could change people’s voting intention, and in general you find that elections held close together tend to produce pretty much the same result no matter how hard the politicians campaign (This is essentially what Theresa May ran afoul of with the 2017 election – the two 1974 elections are the best example). However, I do not think EP voting patterns are likely to much resemble Westminster voting patterns at all regardless of when a general election is held, as indeed the polls are showing. A lot of people are using the EP election to voice a protest vote on Brexit (e.g. Cons voting for the Brexit Party or Labour voting for LD/Green) that they wouldn’t follow up in a general election for fear of splitting the vote.

    4. So basically, no. If you’re interested in outcomes of a Westminster election then stick to the Westminster polling, as the results are wildly different to EP-specific polling. There is still a surge in BXP/LD/Green, but it’s far smaller due to above vote-splitting issues. The interesting thing that’s worth remembering, however, is that a large reason UKIP failed to carry their 2014 performance forwards is David Cameron’s subsequent pledge to hold an in/out referendum, which reassured many Tory Leavers who may otherwise have jumped ship. The same effect is still at play, in that a major factor that will govern Brexit-related surges is satisfaction of Tory/Labour voters with their party’s policies. If the Tories appoint a hardline Leave leader then that would probably kill BXP overnight (but have other ramifications). Similarly, if/when the Labour party’s position crystallises in favour of Remain, they are likely to win back many of the voters currently thinking about switching away on Brexit grounds.

    5. I’m sure they are. Consensus on the discussion threads has been that there is no chance of the Tories willingly holding an election any time soon, because it would be disastrous for them and lock in gains for parties like BXP and LD that (possibly) will fade away again in a few years. However, due to the shaky Parliamentary arithmetic I personally think it’s highly probable that an election may happen anyway, since all it takes is one small group to lose their temper and rebel (even if, as in the case of the SNP forcing the election of 1979, the election turns out highly damaging to that group’s interests).

    6. Not sure I agree there. The Lib Dems were essentially wiped out in 2015 anyway, and there is not much difference in polling for them between 2014 and 2015 (1). The greatest advantage of their time in government is the large number of Lib Dems now in the House of Lords, ensuring a platform for the party even if they had lost every single MP. Most importantly, the anti-coalition backlash damaged but did not destroy the Lib Dems’ very formidable network of activists and expertise in local campaigning, leaving them ideally positioned to bounce back once the time came. Conversely, even if UKIP had scored many more votes than it did then they would struggle to become a major third party due to FPTP – their vote was not sufficiently concentrated to produce many MPs without a lot of Tory MPs defecting.

    (1) –

  15. Shevii

    That’s the problem, I’ve just dropped the overall figures in, fully aware that this isn’t going to be accurate across the board and isn’t likely to work, hence the caveats. East Midlands has quite a lot of east coast which is probably prime Farage territory which is likely to skew the results if he can actually translate stroppy blokes into real votes.

  16. JSB

    1 – I reckon we’ll get a pretty high turnout for Euro elections, and beat 2014 reasonably comfortably. Not going to get towards GE sort of figures though.

    2 – I’ll trust the pollsters over anecdotes. There’s a lot of variation there all the same though, so the big question is which one of them will have called it right.

    3-6 – A few months is a very long time in politics, let alone three years. Everything is going to depend heavily on what happens once the WA is defeated and May is shifted. A snap election with her in post would be cataclysmic for the Tories, and conversely might let the Lib Dems in particular build on their recent gains. Given more time Labour are going to lean further towards a remain position, in the hope that their voters will come back to the fold. I don’t know that a lot of the younger ones will though, Corbyn is persona non grata among them now. A new Tory leader, likely to be of the Brexiteer persuasion, could declare themselves for no deal and call a quick election in the hope of hoovering the BXP vote back up while leaving remainers split by Labour’s prevarication.

    That may not be a necessary move though – according to Boles and Powell the commons has no means of forcing revoke or a second referendum unless the government brings back amendable Brexit legislation before October, and the WAB can only be amended if it passes 2nd reading (which nobody expects to happen). The Cooper takeover of business only won by one vote with the support of a since-recalled criminal MP. Boris, or whoever else replaces May, may well be able to sit on their hands for a couple of months and secure a no-deal exit. The election that might follow on from that would be an immensely different picture from the one that would happen if Brexit were to be cancelled by some means.

  17. @Pete B

    “Is that treason?”


    Eh? Why do you ask?

  18. I think that this comment found in the Sunderland Chronicle, after news the Green Party had elected it’s first councillor in the North East EU region on Thursday May 2nd is indicative of what is happening to Labour:

    “We all voted green and will in the euro elections. Remain and keep out the fascists!”

    There has been a long fight by traditional Labour supporters against the National Front and BNP in the north, and if Farage’s BNP credentials have become obvious to those, likely Remain Labour voters, they are not going to take kindly to Corbyn’s Euro-sceptic left position that aligns him with May’s rump Conservatives and ultimately the ultra-nationalist Farage.

    Nor are these same Labour Remain voters likely to line up with the Liberal-Democrats, who in the not to distant past were themselves in coalition with the Cameron Conservative government that brought on Brexit in the first place.

    So while I am not surprised to see the Lib Dems overtake Labour to be running second, I still think that the Green vote in Labour heartlands is not being captured by the pollsters.

    In that context it needs to be remembered that their are still large areas of England where the Lib Dems were wiped out and have not recovered, hence the fact they only ran 50% of the candidates in the English local government elections.

    In those areas the Greens have taken over the role of third party hence the rise in Green councillors from 71 to 265 seats in the 2019 English local government elections.

    Further the current YouGov poll gives Farage 35%, UKIP 3% and the combined Labour/Conservative position 24%. Add it up and it comes to 62%. But for and against staying in the EU, apparently, is currently split 52% for not leaving and 48% for leaving. So that tells me a further 14% of Labour/Conservative voters could opt to support a Remain Party.

    In Scotland, as an example, the combined Labour/Conservative support level is now 13% according to YouGov’s latest poll, on a par with the Lib Dems, so with another week of campaigning left we will see if the Conservative and Labour support can still go lower.

    If you were a Remain voter, why would you consider voting for either Labour or Conservative, as they are still trying to engineer an exit deal and are not committed to a second referendum either.

    That said I cannot get to 8 Green seats, but can reach 6:

    London and South East hold

    West Midlands, North West and Eastern gain

    Scotland or Yorkshire-Humber may now be in play, but South West is going to depend on both how low the Conservative vote drops and whether Labour voters shift to Green in communities like Bristol.

    In 2015 there was talk of the shy Tories, and in this election I think the same could exist for the Greens, people who never in their wildest dreams believed they would ever conceive of voting Green, but are privately planning to do it this time.

    The problem for some voters once they get to the voting booth will be why should I send someone to the European Parliament who does not want to be there, and the clear choice if you believe, as I do that electing someone is a matter of trust, is either the Lib Dems or Green, as with possible exceptions no one knows who UK Change is.

  19. @Trigguy
    I agree many people will think along @AC’s lines, and Farage will sin it like no tomorrow.

    However it remains true that if you genuinely want to find out what PEOPLE think in the aggregate then you need to count the PEOPLE, not some indirect proxy like seats…

  20. ….’Farage will spin it’…

    Freudian sip…

  21. @ TED

    (with apologies for the TXD before- BXP is playing havoc with my initials at the moment wanting to put an x in everything!).

    Thanks- I did wonder whether you had found some back way in.

    It’s all guesswork, but I did wonder with that Yougov poll whether they had detected some indication in the postal votes already cast (which they aren’t allowed to report or explain in any way) that those angry old men are actually turning out. Of course that doesn’t mean that a similar demographic on the remain side aren’t also going to turn out in big numbers as well but that won’t be detected until they have actually voted on the day.

    Like you I don’t have a lot of faith in polling at the moment through no fault of the polling companies. There are just too many variables in a split country to get an accurate sample among 1,000 voters when everyone has a different opinion on everything. This isn’t helped with the massive and very significant difference between yougov and the rest .

  22. Do we have a theory about why YG have diverged from other pollsters? As I remember, it is since 2017?

    It could be that the long-life YG panel provides them with more accurate samples because in a fast-changing polling environment, false recall is a problem for other companies.

    Or maybe the whole panel approach is biased towards survey enthusiasts.

    Or is it something else?

  23. SHEVII

    Yes, the list is very long. I wasn’t careful with the phrasing – “the expected leaflets” should have been written.

    Oddly, neither the Green not the Robinson leaflet was addressed to a particular household member, but was delivered by the postman (well the horror of the latter wrapped in the former…).

    It is really strange here in Liverpool (Remain vote on lowish turnout in 2016).

    I talked to one of the Green members who assured me that they do everything (well, they don’t, although @Andrew111 could have a point about budget).

    I talked to a West Midlands support staff member (Labour) whom I helped in 2017. “Oh, this election is not important” – could be correct, but still a missed opportunity). I contacted him because I wanted to further test the action-model I used in 2017 (it worked, but I don’t attribute the success n the constituency to it).

    Talking to dog walking fellows, the final day of Premiership opens communication channels – very diverse socio-economic group – those who voted in 2017 voted for Labour. None now. Those who think they can’t vote for another party will not vote. The rest – all but one – will vote for the Greens (the conversation had taken place before the leaflets arrived) – I don’t claim statistical significance, and the area is heavily old pro-Labour and transient socially liberal young people.

    The narrative is just not there by the main parties (LibDem included). The Green have a very strong one, and quite clearly, it is a product of market research (each sentence includes the EU, and each sentence could stand without that word).


    YG write-up has some info for your #3

    The poll is at the extreme end of “protest vote” loaning of votes in magnitude terms but it is still a very worthwhile read and although the magnitude might be overstated (might not) the rough split and direction of travel certainly seems reasonable. Leave side is more dramatic than Remain side but my hunch has always been that LAB VI are less bothered about Brexit anyway (not their mess, and “Most Important Issues” show they are not obsessed by Brexit unlike CON and LDEM VI)

    If we have a GE “soon” then it is almost certainly going to be due to HoC deadlock on Brexit and the need for a Peoples Vote to resolve it (GE being quicker and easier than a new ref so IMHO we’d probably have a GE first then maybe new ref after if the new HoC maths makes that easier to agree on and EC-EU27’s patience for a 3rd extension prevails)

    If it is a GE caused by Brexit deadlock then much will depend on what CON and LAB do to ensure their “lent” votes come home – or not, as the case might be! To have any hope of winning a majority then CON will need a lot more than just return of the “loan” but to put BXP out of the game entirely AND see the Remain side very split.

    CON new leader going for a “Cleaner” Brexit [1] might well be what causes the GE[2] but would probably return a lot of the “loan” to BXP. However, even a 5-10% BXP+UKIP (split vote) will cost them seats and probably hand #10 to Corbyn.

    There are rumours of a “pact” between BXP and CON-Leave but some very large egos involved so it might be more grass roots than top brass.

    A LAB person might be better to explain their issue but clearly if they try to go into a GE with their current policy then Remainers are less likely to “return”.

    Typically Green VI are smart enough to know that in EPs they have a chance at seats so 8-10% is their “natural” level. In a GE then in nearly all seats a Green vote is a wasted vote. Whether they go back to LAB will depend on LAB’s Brexit manifesto policy.

    Interestingly ChUK and LDEM don’t have significantly different VI between GE and EP. I had expected to see LDEM EP VI being 3-5% above their GE VI given LAB are sticking with what voters see as an “unclear” Brexit policy.

    Whether or not Remain can organise a top brass or grass roots “tactical vote” is also TBA. It was IMHO partially successful in 2017 so could be “worse” or could be “better” – again depends heavily on whether or not LAB have “Evolved” their Brexit policy or not.

    So no answer but more thoughts on the risks and opportunities for the various parties. To a large extent the “protest parties” are dependent on the tactical errors of CON (for BXP) and LAB (for LDEM, Green, ChUK)


    “much will depend on what CON and LAB do to ensure their “lent” votes come home”


    All to play for

    Before the Scots get grumpy then fair to assume SNP will get 50+ seats due to split vote on “Unionist” side. Above is for England and most of Wales.

    PS Very much hope we get some genuine psephologist respond to your/my questions on turnout, specifically in relation to how different polling companies methodology might be skewing the different companies’ polls.

    [1] Brussels unlikely to reopen the WA so that probably means No WA (or at least being very specific that this time No Deal is better than a Bad Deal – making Leavers believe new leader means it will depend on who the new Leader is – Boris/Raab yes, Gove/Hunt/Javid not so much)

    [2] Enough CON MPs that might prefer Revoke to No WA even though they know they’d be deselected if they bring down their own party. A few (Grieve, Boles and soon-to-be Dr.P.Lee) are dead men walking anyway and might as well defect to LDEM or ChUK.

  25. Hal

    YouGov’s divergence from other pollsters is more recent than 2017. It started in Spring of 2018, and has become larger in the past 6 months.

  26. The next GE might be more a case of LOST than WON

    If “Leave” (RoCish) are split they’ll lose

    CON 26
    BXP 18
    UKIP 3

    sub-total 47

    If “Remain” (LoCish) are split (and “Leave” side somehow unite) then “Remain” lose

    LAB 27
    LDEM 17
    Green 5
    ChUK 2

    sub-total 51

    (examples numbers for England only, others =2)

    The sub-totals are important as the Leave/Remain split is fairly stable and both sides have become even more committed.

    If one side can unite their side or get a proper “alliance” sorted and the other side does not then your side wins due mainly to the split in the other side

    (eg run above through Electoral Calculus[1] then rerun the numbers with CON+10 and BXP-10 and then again with LAB+10 and LDEM -6, Green -2, ChUK -2)

    If both sides stay split (as is more likely) then LAB have the edge for sure and their path to being biggest Remain party is well within their grasp – just follow through to the final part of the conference policy and unequivocally back a new ref.

    In a hung parliament then SNP with 50+ and being on the “Remain” side would tip the balance but if Leave stay split then LAB could win a majority without needing SNP.

    [1] Yes, Electoral Calculus might not be “right” but you should see the large changes that occur being both split and one side fairly united with the other side split. Also possible BXP reach “tipping point” and CON collapse into them or LDEM achieve the same “tipping point” on Remain-LoCish side. The point is that it is….

    “All to play for” ;)

  27. Carfrew
    I was asking about treason because you posted that May had offered to abide by EU instructions even after we left the EU. I vaguely remembered that treason was about following instructions from a foreign power (e.g. the papacy in Henry VIII’s day). They’ve probably softened the law since then though. I thought you might know.
    “Like you I don’t have a lot of faith in polling at the moment through no fault of the polling companies. There are just too many variables in a split country to get an accurate sample among 1,000 voters when everyone has a different opinion on everything”

    It makes a nice change from the polldrums we were all moaning about not so long ago, though.

  28. @ CIM – Tiny tactical point in your 2:48pm

    “Conservatives may need to go for a snap leadership election as soon as May’s deal falls, then the winner calls a snap GE to try to take back the initiative and narrative, and get a new Parliament in time to do something before 30 October”

    Instead of Boris (or Raab) calling the GE and presiding over a split party with May-EC deal still on the table then IMHO the “move” to make is to have the likes of Grieve, Bebb, Dr.P.Lee, Boles, Letwin, Rudd, G.Clarke +”enough” Gaukward squad to call it for you via VoNC2 as you state “No WA” and stick two fingers up at Brussels!
    (Scots can add most of SCON in as well if they like – Thompson and Lamont the only two I’d like to keep anyway).

    HoC would then “Cooper-Letwin” a Revoke (probably) but with HoC so spit we’d have a GE soon after (very important WHO revokes A50 and WHOSE signature is on the letter to Tusk. Boris/Raab will need to be “hands off” if they want to retrigger A50. If Cooper-Letwin pretend they can revoke to hold a new ref with BrINO as an option then that would break the ECJ ruling but that would be their mess – not Boris (or Raab). Very important detail. If Boris/Raab write the letter to Tusk then that is a suicide note for CON and it’s then fully onboard the Farage bus – I’ve taken my seat already but I could get off at the next stop if CON can get behind a “Clean Brexit”)

    If the CON-Remain!acs chuck CON out of power then at that point CON can “drain the Remain!ac swamp” and Unite the Leave-RoC. Possibly try to agree to a “pact” with Farage for the seats CON will never reach (chunks of North England, Wales, etc). Fighting over seats they could both win (coastal seats currently in CON hands) would be tricky though.

    Above is very much wishful thinking but does show 2 ways Leave could steal victory from the jaws of BrINO-Remian defeat.

    If we revoke and lose the GE then the youth get to see unilateral socialism doesn’t work, the anger against Brussels rebuilds and Leave win the GE after next, sadly with another LAB mess to clean up in the public finances though.

    27yrs for me (ie Maastricht), 45yrs for some. I’d rather we Leave properly and would prefer to wait than follow through on the Mayb0tch with current HoC set-up.

  29. Richard

    You make a good point about the higher proportion of women among “Undecideds” perhaps distorting headline figures.

  30. Allan Christie,
    “Regardless of whatever party affiliation people are from in Labour held leave seats, if the sitting MP is worth their poon of salt then he/she should do the right thing and deliver what their constituents voted for.”

    This is a really strange argument being applied by leave at the moment. MPs are not elected to carry out the will of the majority in their constituency. Usually they are elected by a minority, and if the election had been confirmatory only, ie one candidate- accept or reject, then reject would have won. As well to say most MPs in the country should resign immediately because the will of their constituents is that they not be the MP.

    MPs represent one party, and generally carry out the will of the people who voted for them – and ignore the wishes of those who did not. Thats means all labour MPs ought to vote straight remain.

  31. Shevii/Laszlo;

    On the NW England 8-seat distribution, I am reasonably hopeful of the Greens winning 1 seat, from the UK national polling, plus comments on here, and knowing some Lancastrians.

    Strangely, what I suggested two days ago for a Remain couple in NW England to you Shevii – 1 vote LDem and 1 vote Green -, was echoed in a letter in our next morning paper floating that couple`s strategy, but they were deterred by lack of a constituency poll.

    The chances of 2 LDem seats there have probably risen, but the safer way to get 2 definite Remain seats is a vote each for Green and LDem. And if you are single, find a partner just for the EU election.

  32. Well, less than a week to go, so time to start some predictions of the result. It looks like there’ll be another Comres big poll/MRP out before the election, so I’ll revise before then and with any other polls that come out in the meantime, but currently I’m going for:

    BREX: 26 on 30% (range 25-29)
    LAB: 20 on 21% (range 17-21)
    CON: 11 on 12% (range 10-11)
    LD: 9 on 14% (range 8-13)
    GRN: 1 on 8% (range 1-2)
    SNP: 3 on 37% (in Scotland) (range 2-3)
    PC: 0 on 12% (in Wales) (range 0-1)
    Northern Ireland: Sinn Fein, DUP … and in the absence of more extensive polling I’ll guess Alliance for the third place

    Regional breakdown in England:
    East Midlands: 2 Brex, 1 Lab, 1 Con, 1 LD. (LD might go Brex/3 or Lab/2 instead)
    East: 3 Brex, 2 Lab, 1 Con, 1 LD (Lab/2 might go LD/2 or Brex/4 instead)
    London: 2 Brex, 3 Lab, 1 Con, 1 LD, 1 Green (not particularly close on the last place)
    North East: 1 Brex, 2 Lab (could easily go the other way, very slim chance of 3rd seat going LD)
    North West: 3 Brex, 3 Lab, 1 Con, 1 LD (not particularly close on the last place)
    South East: 4 Brex, 2 Lab, 2 Con, 2 LD (possible Green or CHUK could take last Lab or Con place)
    South West: 3 Brex, 1 Lab, 1 Con, 1 LD (Brex/3 might be LD/2 instead)
    West: 3 Brex, 2 Lab, 1 Con, 1 LD (not at all close on the last place)
    Yorkshire: 2 Brex, 2 Lab, 1 Con, 1 LD (not at all close on the last place)

    Then in Scotland: 3 SNP, 1 Brex, 1 Lab, 1 Con (LD might take a seat off anyone instead)
    And in Wales: 2 Brex, 1 Lab, 1 Con (PC very close to taking Con’s place, and I really don’t have much good Welsh polling data here to work with)

    It looks at the moment like Lib Dems and Brexit have the biggest potential upsides from further tactical voting/consolidation around them, so my final prediction could easily be much more optimistic for them if current trends continue.

  33. Theexterminatingdalek,
    “the only other alternative will be to revoke, (which would break them completely).”

    Now that is interesting, because I think it a better option for them than a referendum.

    Granted, my thinking reflects my view that a leave result would in the end see them destroyed, but I also see revoke as spinable as only a postponement, and better for leave voters than a referendum vote to remain.

  34. @Pete B

    It wasn’t treason that you were thinking of but praemunire. To quote from Wikipedia

    “In English history, praemunire or praemunire facias refers to a 14th-century law that prohibited the assertion or maintenance of papal jurisdiction, or any other foreign jurisdiction or claim of supremacy in England, against the supremacy of the monarch. This law was enforced by the writ of praemunire facias, a writ of summons from which the law takes its name.”

    Note that this was brought in during the reign of Richard II, long before Henry VIII.

    “As of the Criminal Law Act 1967 coming into effect, praemunire facias is no longer an offence in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.”

  35. Scotland: No one spotted that YG have BXP as possibly getting 2 MEPs? Yes, not 1 but 2 :-) :-)

    I hope we get a Scotland only poll soon to see where that is coming from. My guess is we’re seeing quite a few SNP’17 moving over to BXP – especially in NE.Scot

    EP will have a bunch of SCON as well but the GE poll from YG suggests it can’t just be SCON moving to BXP.

    NB PETER (SNP) eluded to this. Seems he’s found a new toy and with 4 non-SNP parties then even on lower overall VI then SNP will indeed still likely win 50+ seats in next GE. Obviously don’t ever compare that to how BXP could win most seats in E+W!!!! Sensitive folks up there!!

    Perhaps given SNP want to sell out the “fishing seats”, as Unionist parties did before them, then BXP have looked back to the roots of SNP’s move from “fringe” to “player”in GEs

    The seat of Banff and Buchan being a good one to look into! My small n=20 ish sample in that region who were split SNP and SCON in 2017 (but mostly Leave in Ref’16 and net Yes (very divisive split) in Indy’14) all seem to be moving to BXP and even better they are actually talking to each and the English side of the family again!!

    Might have to restart sending Xmas cards although no need to actually visit (Peebles is as far “North” as I get these days)

  36. @trevor

    Yougov are giving higher BREX scores than most other companies, though. If they’re right, it’ll be a very good night for BREX – but they’re an outlier at the moment.

    On the GE mechanism, I disagree – seeing the Conservatives defeated at a (presumably Labour-proposed) VoNC because of their own defectors, and therefore forced into a GE, would I think look a lot weaker than taking control (taking back control?) and calling it themselves. That’s risking the “old tired split party, only BREX can deliver Brexit” narrative – which they’re going to have to fight anyway – being the only one out there. Even more so if Parliament has stuck an actual Revoke in there too via Cooper-Letwin – then BREX can say “Conservatives lost control of Brexit and now look where we are: vote for us instead to get it back on track”

  37. @ Davwell

    I still remain nervous about Tommy Robinson, despite @Rogermexico’s assurances that he has a line of zeros (2 people appearing in the latest yougov national poll). It’s probably irrational but this is the stuff of nightmares and he has been the only active candidate doing a different council estate in a different town every day. He got around 500 people on a council estate in Wigan to watch him the other night- all appeared local to the immediate neighbourhood. This is part of the reason why I am concerned about pure remain because what comes afterwards? London goes back to normal and the towns have a racist pandemic on their hands.

    If Labour has dropped in the North West as elsewhere (but no proof as yet that they have to the same degree) then losing one big hitter helps the smaller parties, but neither Lib Dem nor Green has performed well in the North West (6% and 7% last time). The only poll to have a North West crossbreak was yougov with Lib Dem on 5% and Green on 10% but this poll is ancient history now and still only 600 people. At the time Lab was 36% and BXP 27% which takes care of a lot of the seats and puts the bar above 10% for the other ones. It seems quite possible that BXP now “wins” in the North West.

    I could be proved wrong but I don’t think the Lib Dems are an acceptable party or active enough in the North West, although I guess there should be a strong enough vote to get them a seat now. The Greens seem to always struggle to get close to 10% but maybe they will get lucky this time. But nothing is guaranteed and no-one can predict 8th and 9th places whatever you say!

    In 2014 we had Lab 34% UKIP 28% and Tory 20% which meant no-one else got a sniff. In 2009 it was Tories 26%, Lab 20% and resulted in BNP getting the final seat on 8%.

    Dunno why you are suggesting to me that our household should do a Lib Dem and Green vote split vote- someone must have marked up your canvass cards wrong despite me having a fondness for the Greens.

    Anyway you didn’t mention my challenge to you to pick the last candidate to get a seat and the party to miss out in each region, as your proof that D’Hondt was like shooting fish in a barrel :-)

  38. Trevors

    A 619 sample for Scotland isn’t too bad, and it may be that YG are still weighting their Scottish crossbreaks by Scottish demographics (Anthony has never confirmed whether they continued with that practice or not).

    So if one takes that crossbreak as accurate, then the seats in Scotland would be allocated as

    Seat 1 : SNP
    Seat 2 : BxP
    Seats 3 & 4 : 1 SNP and 1 LD
    Seat 5 : SNP
    Seat 6 :SGP or BxP

    Vote share would be Remain 63% : Leave 22% : ??? (Lab + Con) 13%

    Pro-indy parties 49% : Anti-indy parties 49%.

    What would be surprising about that?

  39. @ CIM – I see your point, perhaps better Boris (or Raab) call it although they might have to be open about that in their leadership challenge?

    They could perhaps blame Grieve and the Gaukward squad on day1 of the job? The Remain!acs refused to bend the knee so to the polls we go? Not sure you’d get 2/3rds of MPs go to route1 of FTPA though?

    Either way we’ll probably end up with a GE and the CON Remain!ac swamp gets drained. ChUK MPs all out looking for new jobs as well (maybe a few hold on if they beg LDEM to let them join them).

    Timing wise I reckon they’ll run the final 2 leadership election over the Summer recess, then new leader for conf season. CON MPs will try to block Boris but that will mean they need to “enable” Raab (or similar). No way they can block at least one Brexiteer making it to the final 2 (that would 2/3rds of votes in the final 3)

    Once at the final 2 then the “Arch-ist” Brexiteer will win but to be the “Arch-ist” too early might mean you don’t get to the final 2. It’s looking like it will be a large field although many of those will fold into a “bigger beast”‘s camp for promise of a decent cabinet post.

    CON will likely be so totally self absorbed in the leadership contest that May will get to kick the Brexit can – the only thing she can do anyway (and the Queen’s Speech, fresh bung for DUP can gets kicked with it).

    No way will LAB MPs back anything that Boris or Raab will take over and likes of Grieve won’t back it either. As we know the HoC maths is simply not there to “enable” anything – my guess is MV4 loses by more than MV3 as CON Leavers reposition “loyalty” to the Brexiteer heir apparent (if you want to be leader or be in next cabinet then it is time to distance yourself from May and her deal – politicians are rats and they’ll be leaving the sinking ship of HMS May’s deal – few/no resignations as they like the “car” and airmiles but just make sure to clearly distance themselves from her and her deal as Hunt is doing).

    The leadership contest and then conf season then gets very close to Halloween and it will be interesting to see what EC-EU27 do as the tick the clock down – again.

    My guess is they love the idea of a Corbyn+Sturgeon UK HMG (the ultimate punishment for the party and nation that dared to leave their “project” and an example to all who might ever consider it). So they’ll sit tight and give us an extension long enough to hold a GE at least.

  40. LeftieLiberal
    Thanks for the info about praemunire. It’s a good job they stopped it being an offence in 67 or else we could probably never have joined the EEC, or certainly not signed some of the later treaties. Presumably that’s why it was revoked. BTW I never thought it came in under Henry, that was just the example that came to mind.


    You appear to have an obsession with bottoms, “they manky coo’s arses” and various other types of posterior.

    I don’t know if it’s a phobia or simply an unhealthy interest but I’m sure that therapy would be available in a metropolitan elite area such as Winchester.

    Maybe even a cure.

  42. R&D

    To be fair, AC may be a dug posting as if he was human, as opposed to yourself – a human posting as if he was twa dugs.

    In which case, his obsession would be genetically driven, while you manifestly fail to mirror true canine behaviour.

  43. @ OLDNAT – Are BXP anti-Indy? Can you point that bit out in their manifesto? ;)

    They might cut+paste the UKIP policy or might realise they’d probably never win a seat in Scotland (unless they do a pact with SCON) so go full “Tartan Divorce”?

    “Constructive Ambiguity” for now of course and until after Peterborough as well I expect.

    Anyway as for not surprising then I’m not surprised, however, a few days back DAVWEL was floating the view that BXP would get 0.

    For sure though I reckon we’ll both be happy to see SLAB and SCON on zero. Ruth seems popular enough but seems to me the “gap” in Scotland is:

    1/ pro-Brexit
    2/ pro-Indy (but not to rejoin the EU, EFTA possibly so can have trade deals with UK and EU but keep out of CFP?)
    3/ mix of other policies (constructive ambiguity)

    That mix would nibble at a slice of SNP but does trample on SCON seats in NE for a GE. With a split vote they probably wouldn’t win any seats in Westminster – but Holyrood?

    It would be ironic if Holyrood’21 has a hung parliament due to BXP winning some seats and SNP are kingmakers for Corbyn in Westminster – due to BXP splitting CON vote in E+W.

    I see a way to resolve both of those problems and one we would both like.

  44. Trevors

    “It would be ironic if Holyrood’21 has a hung parliament due to BXP winning some seats”

    Yet again, you demonstrate your ignorance of Scottish politics, polling and the electoral system for Holyrood.

    If BxP win some seats on the List in 2021 (as they well might) those will be at the expense of other Unionist parties.

    Talking of a “hung Parliament” in the context of a PR elected body is foolish. Single party governments with an overall majority are very much the exception – happened once!

  45. New thread

  46. Poll alert – they’re coming thick and fast now. It’s one of those new fangled ones.

    Westminster voting intention:

    LAB: 30% (-10)
    CON: 21% (-10)
    BREX: 19% (+19)
    LDEM: 13% (+5)
    CHUK: 6% (+6)
    GRN 5% (-)
    UKIP: 2% (-6)

    via @HanburyStrategy, 9 – 13 May Chgs. w/ 8 Apr

    European Parliament voting intention:

    BREX: 30% (+20)
    LAB: 25% (-13)
    LDEM: 14% (+6)
    CON: 13% (-10)
    CHUK: 6% (+2)
    GRN: 6% (+2)
    UKIP: 3% (-5)

    via @HanburyStrategy, 10 – 13 May Chgs. w/ 8 Apr

    This falls very much in line with ComRes, very far away from YouGov.

  47. “OLDNAT

    To be fair, AC may be a dug posting as if he was human, as opposed to yourself – a human posting as if he was twa dugs.”

    Daisie is having a snooze but Rosie is shocked that you could think a wee dug could write such tosh.

  48. @trevor

    I think if a new Conservative leader takes the initiative and calls it – and agreed, they’d probably have to be upfront about that being the plan – it gets 2/3 easily. Lab + Con = 558 (so room for 130 rebels) and Lab can hardly oppose a GE when they’ve been saying they think that’s a better plan than Ref2 for the last year. (SNP should be confident of gaining seats in a GE, and Lib Dems are on course to win some too, so why’d they vote against?). This is why it has the advantage over a 2nd ref to break the deadlock – every side thinks it will win, so votes for it. (Provided the new Conservative leader thinks they can win, of course)

    Timing-wise depends on how long the leadership contest takes: trying to get it all done before conference season might be better for the Conservatives – doesn’t need a further extension (which will hurt their new leader a lot to have to go and “beg” for – again, not looking strong to leavers there – agreed that EU would probably grant another short one for a GE, even if they expected a Leave win, just to get it over with and have it not be “their fault” to UK remainers), and means Labour don’t get a chance to shift their own policy at their conference [1], and the new Lib Dem leader might not be in place yet either.

    I’m pretty sure, however, that any new Con leader will “play it safe” and therefore just have to be May II. And agreed that anyone less ambiguous a Brexiter than May stands no chance of getting anything past Parliament – and would perhaps encourage Parliament into forcing a revoke sooner rather than later, if they tried to run down the clock towards No Deal, because they wouldn’t have May’s “well, I might revoke” option to hand.

    [1] Noting that if Jim Jam is right about timings the Conservatives have missed their window on that one already.

  49. TREVS

    Why do you use “hyphens” unnecessarily for so many “words” in your posts?

    Daisie estimates that you could increase “productivity” by approximately 5% if you ceased doing so.

    Think how you’re “depriving” us…


  50. R & D.

    The Trevor speedy writer uses dashes, not hyphens.

    If you published in printed journals, you would know the difference.

    But it`s a useful observation which might tell us more on the probable multi-identities.

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