The Times have released a new YouGov poll of party members – the report is here and the tables here.

Theresa May’s time is essentially up. Party members are normally the loyalist of the loyal, but even here there are few good words to be said. Only 20% of her own members think she is doing well and 79% think she should resign. Asked about her record, 25% of Tory party members think she has been a poor Prime Minister, 38% a terrible Prime Minister.

Let us therefore move swiftly onto her replacement. The obvious frontrunner with party members remains Boris Johnson. He is seen as a good leader by 64% to 31%, and is the first choice of 39% of party members, easily ahead of his rivals. He has the highest positive ratings on every measure YouGov asked about – 77% of party members think he has a likeable personality, 70% that he would be able to win a general election, 69% that he shares their outlook, 67% that he is up to the job, 69% that he would be a strong leader, 61% that he would be competent.

Johnson is very clearly in pole position – yet in past Conservative leadership elections the clear early frontrunner has not necessarily gone on to win (and indeed, there is no guarantee that Johnson will even reach the final round or get to be voted on by party members). One can recall the time when Michael Portillo was the obvious frontrunner to succeed William Hague, or David Davis the obvious frontrunner to succeed Michael Howard.

Looking at the rest of the field, Dominic Raab is in second place in first preferences on 13%. As the other candidate to have resigned from the cabinet – and likely to be see as a “true Brexiteer” by members – he comes closest to Johnson in the head-to-head match ups and beats ever other candidate in head-to-head figures. Considering he has a substantially lower profile than Johnson, it is a positive finding.

Of the Brexiteers in the cabinet, Michael Gove is the second best known candidate after Johnson, but polls badly on many counts. While most see him as competent and up to the job, he is not seen as capable of winning an election or having a likeable personality. Andrea Leadsom is seen as likeable, but not as an election winner. Penny Mordaunt receives high don’t know figures on most scores.

Looking at the candidates who backed Remain in the referendum, Sajid Javid seems best placed candidate from that wing of the party. In first preferences he is in joint third with Michael Gove, and in the head to head scores he would beat Hunt, Hancock, Mordaunt or Stewart (and tie with Leadsom). He scores well on being likeable, competent and up to the job, but his figures are more mixed on being seen as an election winner.

These are, of course, only the opinions of party members. While they will have the final say, they do not get a say on who makes the shortlist. That is down to MPs, and as things stand there is very scant information on who is doing well or badly among that electorate.

955 Responses to “YouGov polling of Tory party members”

1 2 3 4 5 20
  1. On the Austrian affair.

    One of the things that the British Press doesn’t mention, but it is in the video that Strache suggested the same business person (Heinrich P) who bought the largest Hungarian daily newspaper (social-liberal) to close it down and bought the county newspapers to pass it into Orbán’s straw man. So, clearly it was a Geichschaltung attempt, and hence the Volks Partei better keep its mind and break the coalition. There are demonstrations in Vienna (but the political landscape in Austria is very varied).

    I think there is coming out about Salvini tomorrow or Monday judging from some hints.

    Alec is right about the financial background of these organisations, and Farage will better keep quiet about his funding sources until after the elections (as he said), as perhaps a pro-life extreme organisation among them may put voters off.

  2. I updated the autocorrect as it said that it had a better predictive algorithm, and now it cuts out words, or just makes up its mind what I wanted to write – it is almost always wrong… (In this short sentence it corrected it to I, in to I’m and also to into (for the second attempt).

  3. @ Andrew

    It is just a gut feeling although I suspect there would be a list of examples (and I’m going to give you an overview anyway) that could be countered by you with other examples.

    The overriding reason which may pr may not register with the voters is that austerity cuts in the North West (perhaps more in towns) under the coalition were much higher than most other places in the country- I can’t easily find the stats anymore on a Google search but I remember seeing them at the time and we were talking about a ratio of 2-1 or more in many cases. Wigan absolutely got shafted.

    But I do think that we’ve not seen the revival that Lib Dems have seen in other areas- for example Rochdale being a Lib Dem/Lab marginal for many years now sees LD getting token votes there, so compare that to South West London and other regions where they have held on and either got seats back or challenging to get seats back and often as was noted even in leave areas. So it seems the LD patchy recovery is more to do with demographics of an area.

    Looking at council election results they have barely had a nibble in the North West Towns, Blackburn, Wigan, Bolton, Burnley (another area they used to do well). You are right about Stockport but can’t see gains in Southport (or at least Sefton council) and that was another area they went from 1st to 3rd in the last General election.

    Lib Dems did have a set of seats in Wigan and were often showing a presence (ie not coming last of 6) but in line with many North West towns the rise in 3rd party vote is coming from independents rather than Lib Dems and this has to signal a change it attitude I would have thought.

  4. Some people on this site are asking whether YouGov are an outlier in the EU election polling or more accurate.

    YouGov, with a company named Gallaxy, were in the field for the Australian election May13-15, with the election date being May 18th. Below please find YoyGov/Gallaxy figures as compared to actual count numbers – which are still ongoing:

    YouGov/Gallaxy, with 72.07% of all first preferences counted

    Liberal/National 39%/41.3%/-2.3%
    Labour 37%/34%/+3%.
    Green 9%/10.1%/-1.1%
    United Australia 3%/3.4%/-.4%
    One Nation 3%/3%/accurate
    Independent/Other 10%/10.6%/-.6%

    Two Party Preferred, with 59.7% of all preferences counted

    LiberalNational 49%/50.8%/-1.8%
    Labour 51%/49.2%/+1.8%

    The actual percentage of votes cast for each party could change by the time all preferences are counted, but once again it looks like we have the classic problem of overestimating the social democrat/centre left vote and underestimating the centre right vote in which turnout is not a factor as 95% of registered voters turned out in 2016 as a result of compulsory voting.

    The added factor here is that the Green vote is also underestimated as well.

    As a proportion of overall vote strength the:

    centre-right vote is underestimated by 5.6%

    social democrat/centre-left is overestimated by 8.8%

    Green vote is underestimated by 10.9%

    Only one pollster, Ipsos, correctly pegged Labour at 33%, off by 1% a 97% accuracy – thus likely within the margin of error.

    They, however, overestimated the Greens by 2.9% – overestimating by 28.7%

    Gave the extreme-right, One Nation, 1% more votes than anyone else – which turns out to be a 25% overestimation

    As things stand the underestimation by every single pollster of the centre-right vote ranged from 5.6% to 7% and therefore is outside the margin of error.

    What factors can we consider than might impact polling accuracy in the UK EU election.

    It is likely that the enthusiasm of the strong Leave and Remain voters could drive up support for the Brexit Party, SNP and Plaid Cymru and for the Lib Dems and Greens- the latter two because they are coming off a high from the local government election results.

    Labour on the other hand may see their vote slump, due to lack of enthusiasm to vote, because not only did they have a partially rough time in some regions in the local government elections, but Labour supporters have visibly seen their support shrink since the local government elections.

    As for the Conservatives they have received a double whammy. First in the 2015/2019 local government election cycle the number of seats they retained plummeted from 61.1% to 42.3% and they lost overall control of 44 councils, and now they are seeing their party’s support in single digits – according to one pollster.

    One also has to wonder in terms of ground strength whether the Conservatives have very many campaign workers in the field and for Labour campaign workers this could be a second round of campaign woes in the field.

    The Brexit Party’s problem may be that they have no ground strength, whereas Lib Dem, Green, SNP and Plaid Cymru ground strength could actually be building as the election progresses.

    “Have you seen Labour’s polling? They are losing huge numbers of Remain voters like me to the Lib Dem’s or Greens. If they come out fully for Remain their polling will significantly improve.”

    To be fair, both of our viewpoints are based on conjecture.

    I’m hopeful the imminent arrival of a new PM will move things away from the sheer ineptitude that means we haven’t even left yet.

    IF the withdrawal agreement passes, then the debate moves on to the future relationship with the EU, degree of equivalence etc, which I expect to be much more comfortable territory for Labour than the Tories.

  6. @ LL – Thank you for posting the Electoral Calculus write-up on Tactical Voting for EPs

    Clearly they received a bit of “stick” about being so overtly pro-LDEM. The write-up is pretty detailed but it is based on simulations around the one ComRes poll and polls have moved a bit since.

    On recent polling then they should add SW.Eng to the list of “equal split” (or what I would term “vote with your heart”).

    They didn’t mention the following issues:
    1/ Scotland where their advice is simply wrong – “vote stacking” SNP would more likely than not give BXP a 2nd seat (and deny a seat to Green and/or LDEM)
    2/ The NATS and Green having something over than Arch-Remain policies (which is why the 40% tactical vote is probably the limit of what we might actually see)
    3/ The AB-BXP issue (ie is having a LAB MEP “less bad” than enabling an extra BXP MEP by splitting the vote, NE.Eng being the best example)

    It would be quite simple to offer “advice” at a constituency level. Which, on current polling would be (in decreasing order of certainty):

    1/ In all cases DO NOT vote ChUK – that will be a wasted vote.
    2/ W.Mid, E.Mid, E.Eng, Y&H – vote LDEM
    3/ London, SE.Eng, SW.Eng, NW.Eng – vote with your “heart” and pick either LDEM or Green as you see fit.
    4/ NE.Eng – vote LAB as “less bad” than enabling a 2nd BXP MEP
    5/ Wales — a bit tricky. PC look like getting a seat so don’t vote stack them. Perhaps LDEM?
    6/ Scotland – trickiest of all. TBA but probably try to ensure LDEM or Green get the 6th seat, possible they get 5th and 6th in which case vote with your heart again.

    Other websites are due to release info nearer the time and I’ll be curious to see if they come to roughly the same conclusions.

    DK’s for Remain are in general a little higher than Leave which seems reasonable given the tactical voting issue. However, none are anywhere near 40% and although we lack useful constituency level x-breaks it does not seem “decided” voters are optimising their vote (eg ChUK are not yet on 0%)

    @ R&D – “Why do you use “hyphens” unnecessarily for so many “words” in your posts?”

    Old habit. Usually used when a word is having its context stretched. Eg you don’t “vote with your heart” you tick a box. It would get a bit messy if everyone was cut open and given their actual heart to use to mark the ballot paper ;)

    Folks on UKPR seem to be extremely literal and pedantic so use of “hypens” preempt a pendantic response (doesn’t always work of course).

    I also uses “hypens” when a term might be one I made up or used slightly out of its usual context (eg “Tartan Divorce” I made up and “Vote stacking” in EPs is not a term many people seem to use)

    It’s also very quick to add a “Shift-2” here and there – productivity barely compromised ;)

  7. @ CHRIS IN CARDIFF – New CON leader’s[1] decision on Brexit (take over May’s bad deal or start again with a “Clean” Brexit)

    I’ll split it into 2 parts that inter-connect.

    1/ He has to decide to either keep the whole party together or deliberately split it by removing Remain!acs like Grieve and Remain baggage like Hammond. May tried to keep the party together and that failed, could a stronger leader achieve unity?

    2/ He needs to be capable of “seeing of” BXP in a GE or form an alliance with them.

    If you put that into a 2×2 grid then you see how tricky it is (eg try to keep the party together (ie be a Soft Brexiterr) and not do a deal with Farage (a Hard Brexiteer) = split vote = Corbyn as PM)

    Time ordering and a certain amount of “constructive ambiguity” might help (eg if he is “honest” up-front he risks being blocked from final 2 so perhaps better to wait and let “nature take it’s course” on #1 – and have the whip out hard and early once he takes over (eg “back me or sack yourselves”, anyone who voted for a new ref in the IVs has whip removed day1, or just cut the head off the snake (Grieve)).

    CIM and I have discussed this and we slightly differ on opinion. Our difference of opinion is on the tactical aspects and the “route” used in triggering a new GE (route1 requiring 2/3 majority v route2 requiring Remain!acs to speed up “nature’). I think we both agree we will have to have a GE to (what I call) “drain the Remainer swamp” and reset the HoC maths so that HoC might agree something and be “stable” enough to make get back to running the country.

    IMHO he’ll have two choices that flow from above split:

    1/ Try to stay a broad church (3/4 Leave, 1/4 Remain) and then later on do a deal with Farage into the GE, or

    2/ Try to “unite” Leave and slice of a chunk of MPs and face an early GE

    Halloween deadline will be important and IMHO the can will be kicked over Summer recess and conf season but TBA on that.

    NB These are “least bad” options with the premise that HoC is deadlocked and we’ll have to have a GE to resolve that. It’s also an acceptance of the severe damage May has done to voter’s perception of CON as a party that believes in Brexit. Also, also, an acceptance that EC-EU27 are winning and expect us to fold (ie they will not reopen the WA with the current HoC maths, a new leader will not change that by itself). Fully aware we might end up with Corbyn which is why I would like him boxed into Remain (long explanation that can’t be bothered going back into)

    [1] almost certainly a “he” so why I’ve used he.

  8. @Trev

    Sorry, but unlike you, I don’t do fishing. :D

    The post stands. All parties are keen to get all votes all the time. All parties tend to target key demographics that they think will be more inclined to listen to their point of view on a topic. All parties are made up of many different points of view, including floating voters, so churn is a major factor, and especially in Scotland with:

    2014 Indyref
    2015 GE
    2016 EU Ref
    2016 Scottish Election
    2017 GE
    2018 Nothing (a very good year)
    2019 EU Election and calls for EU ref 2, and a new GE

    So making a cast iron ‘this must be true’ statement about VI in Scotland (and indeed anywhere in the UK at present) is rather foolish. The past two UK election results are proof of that. Few predicted May winning, but so badly, and most didn’t predict Cameron winning with an OM.

    So when you say:

    “So, as I said, then in a hung parliament BXP might be “Queen maker” for Holyrood (taking from both SNP and SCON)”

    and then say later:

    “I don’t know (or especially care) who Sturgeon seeks to work with if she needs to go beyond SG next time. We’ll have to wait and see.”

    I find it hard to work out your thought process, and especially when I explain that the SNP (I didn’t say Sturgeon) will not work with Bxt (or Farage, if you prefer). In that sense, Bxp will never be Queen maker, short of Ruth getting just short of a Scottish majority, and Bxp making up the difference.

    I don’t see it happening though.

    As to your assumption that Bxp are taking SNP votes, it might easily be possible, but it’s not provable, short of folk being asked if they were SNP for more than say 2 elections in a row and moved to Bxp. Otherwise, they’re floating voters, which suggests they’ll easily move away from Bxp at a glance.

    Bear in mind that you’re suggesting that SNP aligned voters are suddenly liking Nigel Farage. It’s not really plausible to anyone outside of those of a team-Farage inclination.

  9. @ STATGEEK – Your new reply is so full of errors (eg “Few predicted May winning”) and attempts to revise your previous reply I don’t know where to begin with another reply so instead let’s wait for a new Scotland only poll and revisit then.

    We need the detailed x-breaks to be able to see the “flow” of these “floating voters” that might/might not have moved VI since 2017 and the WoS April poll.

  10. In 5:14pm

    “IMHO the can will be kicked over Summer recess and conf season but TBA on that.”

    that is the Brexit decision “can” not the leadership contest

    As per YG poll and post from a day or two ago then CON will be obsessed by leadership contest into Summer recess and the final 2 likely held over the Summer.

    While that is going on nothing will progress in HoC and MV4 will, IMHO, lose by more than MV3 (back to MV2 or possibly even MV1 numbers).

    CON MPs will want to distance themselves from May (and her deal) and few LAB MPs will back a deal that the new CON leader would take over.

    (I can’t see LAB MPs abstaining en masse but even if that happened then I seriously doubt WAB ever becomes WAA and/or is put to a new ref before a GE)

  11. “Your new reply is so full of errors…”

    Or in other words, “I can’t actually argue with anything you said….”

  12. @ statgeek

    You omitted the Scottish council elections in 2017!

  13. @ HIRETON – I expected you might chip in.

    So perhaps you can understand what STATGEEK means when he/she says:

    “Otherwise, they’re floating voters, which suggests they’ll easily move away from Bxp at a glance.

    Bear in mind that you’re suggesting that SNP aligned voters are suddenly liking Nigel Farage. It’s not really plausible to anyone outside of those of a team-Farage inclination.”

    So no SNP will move to BXP (ie no floating voters exist) but if they did move to BXP then they’d be back “at a glance”

    If a post so is internally self contradictory (and SNP is totally different to Sturgeon but BXP is apparently pure Farage) then I assume the person who wrote is not worth replying to at length (a lesson I learnt the hard way with DANNY) but if you can decipher STATGEEK then perhaps it is simply Leavers not understanding Remainish.

    Anyway, happy to wait and see a new Scotland only poll and examine the x-breaks.

  14. Another blow to the credibility of political opinion polling. The Australian election, where Labor have been in the lead in all the opinion polls since 2016, and were 4% ahead in the voting according to the exit polls today, have failed to oust Morrison’s Liberal coalition. They’ve chipped away a bit, and Morrison may end up needing the support of independents to keep his show on the road, but the polls have proved poor guides prior to the election, and inaccurate in terms of the exit poll that allegedly “called” the outcome.

    It doesn’t appear to be an Australian only issue either when you look at some of the polling done prior to the 2015 election, the 2016 Referendum and the 2017 election in this country. Is it flawed methodology or is it that such is the volatility of politics all over the globe, that it really is virtually impossible now to accurately gauge the state of public opinion at any given time?

    Can we really trust these EU election polls, for example, and the Westminster VI ones too? I’m becoming more and more sceptical about the science I have to say, election by election and year by year. It really is difficult not to lose faith in them a little when so much of the data is so woefully inaccurate..

  15. @ HIRETON / STATGEEK – Let’s take another section:

    “So making a cast iron ‘this must be true’ statement about VI in Scotland (and indeed anywhere in the UK at present) is rather foolish”

    I’d fully agree that would foolish – which is why I didn’t make any “cast iron ‘this must be true’ statement”. We could look to the WoS poll that STATGEEK provided and see that Yes-Leave was 9% in April (down from 17% in GE’17). I explained, at length, why that MIGHT be the case (quick version being Yes-Leave feel “betrayed”)

    However, even at 9% it is clearly not 0%. To make such a “cast iron ‘this must be true’ statement” would indeed be foolish (and ignorant to BXP % in Scottish x-breaks – although TBA exactly where that is coming from – as I’ve now said multiple times)

  16. The Trevors,
    ” Also, also, an acceptance that EC-EU27 are winning and expect us to fold (ie they will not reopen the WA with the current HoC maths, a new leader will not change that by itself)”

    You seem once again to be pushing the trope that there could have been a better outcome to negotiations. I’d remind you that strong leavers were placed in charge of the negotiations. A certain outcome has always been both in the EUs interest and inevitable because of the other constraints on the EU. There is no better deal available, and the current one has been spun to appear to give the UK more independence than it inevitably will end with. The backstop is guaranteed to be activated.

    There is little point for negotiations to resume, unless the Uk wants a starting point of much closer integration, and I think you have the opposite in mind.

    Oh, a whole flock of unicorns just jumped off my screen! They were running round your post.

  17. Just to finish the Austrian bit (one comment disappeared, in which some Russian money was mentioned :-) ).

    Anyway, there will be early elections in Austria.

  18. Trevors

    “I’m sure OLDNAT can remind folks that Stedman-Bryce (#1 on BXP list for Scotland EPs) has plenty of Soc-Med pictures of himself mixing with SNP folks. Seems he has some contacts.”

    I could, but I wouldn’t, because Scotland is a middling sized polity by European standards, it’s political “class” is smaller than that in England. Consequently, having social or even family contacts isn’t that unusual.

    Even in England, it is hardly unusual. There are lots of photos of Denis Healey with other members of our extended family.

  19. @ HIRETON / STATGEEK – This bit was funny though (in a laugh at, not with sense)

    “Sorry, but unlike you, I don’t do fishing. :D”

    Yep and neither do a lot of a Scots in NE.Scotland. Of course a lot more used to do fishing and probably have a nostalgic view for sure.

    The days of small harbours and small trawlers are long gone – we’re not French farmers ;)

    However, a politician can spin a yarn or two and appeal to “emotions”. There are probably some differences between NE Scotland and NE England, Suffolk, West Country (England) for sure but “left behind” towns and “fishing” are emotive issues in all places – it just needs a local/national politician to make those issues salient in the minds of voters in those areas.

    Salience is important – a good politician turns the debate onto their strengths and ensures their weaknesses are forgotten (Corbyn in GE’17 a great example, Sturgeon now is IMHO another good example).

    A bad politician allows a good politician to do the above. May is a terrible politicians and sadly Ruth and Mundell tied their colours to her mast.

    I certainly hope SNP are ignorant to their exposed flank (Yes-Leave). It’s a small group but if SNP don’t want those votes than I know a man who does and he can certainly spin a yarn or two – did he tell you about the one that got away?

    (apologies for humour, I’m away many Scots don’t have a sense for that)

  20. FG-EPP: 28% (-5)
    FF-ALDE: 24% (+1)
    SF-LEFT: 13% (-1)
    GREEN-G/EFA: 7% (+4)
    LAB-S&D: 5%
    SD-*: 2%
    S-PBP-LEFT 2% (+1)
    Aontú-*: 2% (+1)
    RENUA-*: 1% (+1)

    +/- 11-17 April 2019

    Field work: 6-16 May 2019
    Sample size: 2,000

    Sunday Times Behaviour & Attitudes poll


    FG 28% 0
    FF 28% -1
    SF 19%.-2
    Lab 4% 0
    Green 5% +4.

    2-14 May
    954 eligible Irish voters.

    Comment: rise of Greens, slight decline of SF.

  21. @ CHRIS IN CARDIFF – I should add that the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 is roughly the current situation from 2/85/13 ish back in GE’17.

    As we’ve seen the “middle” 1/3 is under attack from both sides.

    I wrote about this on last thread with a “fun 2D exercise” and stretching the Y-axis (Brexit) as the new dominant axis (where as at GE’17 the X-axis LoC/RoC was dominant)

    If Brexit stays as most salient topic then the middle 1/3 is likely drop further IMHO

    We could end up 38/20/42 (Leave/BrINO/Remain) if the middle is further squeezed.

    Also see last thread where I suggest folks throw some numbers through Electoral Calculus to see how important it is that one party achieves dominance on its side (or goes for “pacts” instead) – if a “Leave” party is dominant for 80%+ of its side (80% x 40% = 36%) then they will win a GE against a split on the other side.

    “All to play for”

    Anyway, beer o’clock. Happy to continue the discussion another day but busy in the trenches tomorrow (just the AM shift today as reinforcements took after after lunch).

  22. Statgeek

    The elaborate theories that some expound about politics in their own (but more usually other) polities always need to pass the test that you correctly set – plausibility.

    That doesn’t make them impossible – just very highly unlikely.

    It’s the same view that I take of the crossbreaks for the Scottish polity. Despite the inherent caveats of size and lack of internal weighting, as Anthony has pointed out, if they vary consistently from other crossbreaks, they tell you something!

    Party loyalties are more fluid than core convictions, so I’m never surprised by switches between particular pairs of parties. But the constitutional divides are much more solid, so that any VI allocation in Scotland which (like Survation) suggests that all 6 Scots MEPs will be Remainers is inherently implausible.

  23. In Ireland the European and local elections are being held on the same day. Will be interesting to see how party strengths change.

    There are signs that Greens and Labour – both of which have been damaged by coalition with FF – may recover, somewhat similar to Lib Dems rising again in England.

  24. Re the Southern US pro-life nutty politicians : they were just described on US TV as “Y’all-Queda”.

    Very appropriate.

  25. Speculative comment:

    Imminent arrival of a new PM may prove that the hole that the Conservatives are in is not May’s fault, its deeper than that. If new PM has same problems as May, with no Brexit, where does that leave the Conservatives? Surely a possible scenario.

  26. Shevii,
    The problem for the lib dems is that in the coaltion years they lost many activists. We are seeing a revival now, with net gains from Labour in virtually all the NW towns, but the numbers are small because the effort is highly targeted and basically zero in most sests. There is no issue like the Iraq war that delivered many seats in Muslim areas to the Lib Dems, but i note the %vote in (for example) Bolton is well up compared to 2014 (Bolton has a wiki page with aggregate %)

    I dont know the NW well but Kirklees must be pretty similar. Tgere the Lib Dem vote ticked up 2-3% where there were paperless candidates but the Green vote tickec up more. But the Lib Dems made the gains, got the headlines, and will probably best the Greens in the euro elections unlike 2014. We will know in 8 days anyway

  27. @DANNY

    “You seem once again to be pushing the trope that there could have been a better outcome to negotiations. I’d remind you that strong leavers were placed in charge of the negotiations.”

    Ollie Robbins has been in charge of negotiations. Is Ollie Robbins a Leaver?

  28. @Imperium3

    Thank you for taking time to answer. Your analysis of UKIP implosion is excellent.

  29. @Crossbat

    The view seems to be forming that the Australian polls are guilty of herding. Certainly seems to fit the data, reminds me of the 2015 election in the UK when the polls just stopped moving. And were completely wrong.

    Fortunately we can’t accuse some of doing that in these EU polls, they are all over the place…so far…

    “Another issue I and others have been pondering is the low level of variation between polls. Of the last 16 published national polls, 7 have placed the ALP two-party-preferred vote at 51%, 7 at 52%, and one each at 52.5% and 53%. As Mark the Ballot points out, that’s less variation than you’d expect if they really were based on random samples. The most likely explanation for this underdispersion is that polling firms are introducing errors in their processing that push their polls towards a consensus view. This is a known phenomenon around the world, as this 2014 article by Nate Silver on FiveThirtyEight demonstrates. The net effect is to reduce the usefulness of polls, by bringing them towards a pundit-based folly of the crowds consensus.”

  30. @Richard

    I remember a previous discussion on the concept of pollsters “herding” in order to be part of a consensus and it’s worrying on two counts, if true. Firstly, it suggests that pollsters are rigging their methodology, or “introducing errors”, rather than presenting the data as found. I understand weighting, and this is a legitimate way to allow for things like differential turnout, demographics and known past voting behaviour patterns (although this proved to be a problem in the 2017 election where Labour’s voted was weighted down inaccurately), but herding implies that results are actually being falsified by the pollsters in order to arrive at a preferred outcome. Rigged in other words. Secondly, it suggests, as some have always both suspected and claimed, that pollsters can be influenced by factors other than a zeal for accuracy. If they’re susceptible to herding, it isn’t then a great leap to also suspect that they might be prone to influence from the newspapers, think tanks, political parties, pressure groups and owners who commission their work.

    Lord Ashcroft never escaped these sorts of suspicions. As I say, worrying.

  31. New EU poll on Britain Elects:

    Britain Elects
    European Parliament voting intention:

    BREX: 34% (-)
    LAB: 20% (-1)
    LDEM: 15% (+3)
    CON: 12% (+1)
    CHUK: 3% (-)
    GRN: 6% (-2)
    UKIP: 2% (-2)

    , 14 – 16 May
    Chgs. w/ 8 May

  32. The Trevor Collective,
    “that is the Brexit decision “can” not the leadership contest”

    I wonder what the europeans think of Britain.Government gives notice to leave, then holds a general election. Struggling back into power it negotiates a deal, which its own MPs reject. Faced with having to make a decision on the fate of the nation…it sends parliament on holiday for a bit, then has a leadership election instead.

    “If Labour want to “come out” and declare for full Remain (even if that’s hiding behind a rigged referendum), then their polling performance will be damaged”

    i think the consensus is they would in fact get rather more votes by becoming officially remain. Some have argued these might unfortunately be concentrated in the wrong places.

    Personally I think there has been good evidence that lab will get more votes everywhere if it takes a firmly remain stance.

    However…FPP is won by getting just one more than your oponent, and it matters how much their strongest opponent gets, which is conservatives. I think their aim throughout has been to force con to alienate its own leavers by moving to remain. labour has declined to lead the shift to remain so as to force con to do it themselves, and therefore lose lots of leave voters.

    This all fits with my argument con MPs are essentially a remain party, pushing that way. But of course they would much much rather that parliament gangs up on them and defeats Brexit, with them protesting to the last they are staunch leavers.

    The aim has always been for brexit not to happen for reasons beyond the control of the conservative government, so that leave voters have to keep voting con to try to make it happen.

    ” “electoral pact between the Tories and Brex”… clearly it would make sense in terms of winning more seats and ensuring Corbyn doesn’t get to #10”

    An electoral pact con and BxP would be the death of the conservative party, and they know it. It would be to admit they are no longer a national party, and BxP is their equal.

    They would rather see a labour government than be in coalition with BxP. Labour are their opponents, BxP are their enemies. Because labour can never take the right wing vote, whereas BxP could.


    “Imminent arrival of a new PM may prove that the hole that the Conservatives are in is not May’s fault, its deeper than that. If new PM has same problems as May, with no Brexit, where does that leave the Conservatives? Surely a possible scenario.”

    It would be hard, even for Tories, to pick another duff Leader with so little people skills, charisma and self awareness.

    Even Johnson would at least bring a little joie de vivre to negotiations and reastblish human relationships.

  34. @Danny

    “Personally I think there has been good evidence that lab will get more votes everywhere if it takes a firmly remain stance”

    They certainly will AFTER Brexit and the inevitable buyers regret sets in.

  35. @Crossbat

    Indeed. I wonder sometimes if polls just get it right because the have decided beforehand how many people should fit assigned quotas based on history, and as most people vote consistently due to party loyalties they get it right.

    Things like seeing no uptick in the Lib Dem numbers prior to the local elections, when the experts were predicting that weeks before adds to that suspicion. Now following some good Lib Dem and Green results in an actual election, we see movement in the polls, is that because the polls have moved, or because the polling firms adjusted their models?

    It is in times of change, like now, that we will be able to see who is doing that, and who is correctly modelling current opinion. As long as they don’t all panic and herd to the mid point this week.

  36. Westminster voting intention:

    LAB: 29% (+1)
    BREX: 24% (+3)
    CON: 22% (-)
    LDEM: 11% (-)
    CHUK: 3% (-1)
    GRN: 3% (-3)
    UKIP: 2% (-2)

    via @OpiniumResearch, 14 – 16 May
    Chgs. w/ 8 May

  37. @Bantams

    BREX: 34% (-)
    LAB: 20% (-1)
    LDEM: 15% (+3)
    CON: 12% (+1)
    CHUK: 3% (-)
    GRN: 6% (-2)
    UKIP: 2% (-2)

    Let’s take a big swallow and assume that this poll is a reasonably accurate reflection of the current state of play as we head into the EU elections. On the basis that the election is really a de facto referendum on our membership of the EU, because there is no other meaningful issue in play beyond should we leave or remain, then I’m wondering whether the Brexit Party shouldn’t be doing a bit better. Surely, all the leavers are gathered under Farage’s flag now, aren’t they? No true believer in the leave cause is going to vote either Labour or Tory in these elections, are they? The pure anger at the 2016 referendum betrayal would have sent them scurrying to Farage, surely? So, on that basis, let’s assume that the 32% saying they will still vote for Labour and the Tories next Thursday are, at best, very very soft Brexiteers or, more likely, outright remainers. Then let’s add up the overtly remain parties (excluding SNP and PC who aren’t included in this poll – 8%??), LD, Green, CHUK come to 24%.

    So, how’s this as a rearrangement of the poll in strictly Leave and Remain terms: –

    Leavers without doubt – Brexit Party and UKIP – 36%
    Remainers without doubt – LD, CHUK and Green – 24%
    Soft Brexiteers and probable remainer party loyalists – Lab and Con – 32%
    Others and probably remainers in Second Ref – PC and SNP – 8%

    In other words, Farage has his day in the sun on Thursday and probably loses a second referendum some time in the autumn by about 10%


  38. Jones

    “It would be hard, even for Tories, to pick another duff Leader with so little people skills, charisma and self awareness.”

    Still a lot of the problems May had were down to parliamentary arithmetic. DUP won’t trust Johnson – his conference speech to them notwithstanding – and nor will other parties.

  39. JiB

    “Even Johnson would at least bring a little joie de vivre to negotiations and reastblish human relationships.”

    I find the idea that Johnson could re-establish relationships with Humans, a little implausible. :-)

  40. …which is why i speculate that a new leader – rather than getting them out of it – could simply confirm that the Tories are in a hole and that wasn’t because of May.

  41. @Crossbat11

    It is embarrassing for the Australian Exit Pollster to be so badly wrong.

    But it reminds us that John Curtice rocks.

  42. jonesinbangor,
    “It would be hard, even for Tories, to pick another duff Leader with so little people skills, charisma and self awareness. ”

    But not at all hard for them to pick the same unwinable cause.

  43. To be fair our own exit polls have been very good – often quite different from what everyone was expecting.

  44. Prof Howard

    Your speculative proposition has a lot of merit.

    Few would doubt May’s obvious deficiencies, but her positioning may have produced a scenario where no subsequent leader can rescue their position.

    In which case, it could be that the inability of such a leader to drag the Tories out of their hole, might be due to the depth of the hole that May dug (and she is continuing to burrow away).

  45. @MARK (from the previous thread)

    For the record, I don’t think any of the main, established parties would play dirty like this, simply because the political risks at getting caught out would be too great, but, there are certainly others that would, which I think is bad for democracy

    I am going to say my first understanding of politics was indeed as a teenager in Newham, In upton park there was a large Asian presence in Plaistow there was not. Tories sent leaflets to the white areas saying this is not our country anymore and to the aisan areas talking about tax cuts and entrepreneurship. I happen to be the one to bein one of two black families on a street the woman was shocked when I having got the leaflet I went down the street to confront them about the messaging

    Indeed the During the last lodon mayoral election part of the tarnishing of the tory candidate was that he played selective dog whislte politics for example there was leaflets to hindu areas which said that Muslims were coming for their jewelry as an example. To say the main parties would ont play dirty is I suspect showing a level of niaevity in my view

  46. @Danny

    “But not at all hard for them to pick the same unwinable cause.”

    It was their decision.

    They effectively won an election by adoption of that cause. I don’t think Cameron ever wanted a majority and have to be accountable to the whims of the Tory B’stards.

  47. @Prof Howard
    re Ireland

    (“There are signs that Greens and Labour – both of which have been damaged by coalition with FF – may recover, somewhat similar to Lib Dems rising again in England.”)

    In fact, Labour were in coalition with FG (2011-6). Only the Greens were in coalition with FF (2007-11). It’s true, though, that both parties were damaged by the experience.

    Labour has served in 7 coalitions with FG, but only one with FF (1992-4) (although it provided confidence-and-supply to FF 1932-8).

  48. @leftieliberal

    It is a bit more complicated than SNC-Lavalin, in that Trudeau was elected on the promise that 2015 would be last election Canada under which FPTP would be used. he then reneged when the all party committee proposed MMP, lkie New Zealand – as he wanted the Australian system personally.

    He also promised a balance between economic and environment, and then turned around and bought an oil pipeline to ship dilbit (diluted tar sands) from Alberta to the BC Coast.

    Vancouver Island currently has 3 Green MLAs who hold the balance of power in the British Columbia Legislature and now two Canadian Green MPs.- noting the Greens have had the largest plurality of votes on Vancouver Island for the last two federal elections.

    Someone posted I was too harsh on Corbyn and a little harsh on May in my comments. I used to be the only member of my family not voting Conservative, now I am in the majority and that is likely permanent.

    It is a generational split, in which I doubt that the three members of the family under 50 will ever forgive the Conservatives for holding the referendum.

    As for Corbyn, I am probably closer to his politics, but his left Euro-sceptic position – he probably voted leave personally – has pretty much destroyed the Labour Party, in the same way Cameron destroyed the Conservatives.

    My position is that you cannot build isolated economies, in an integrated social and environmental world, and while Trump may have tapped into a deep and justified resentment towards the US Political establishment,many of those he hangs out with and has used for advice or is using for advice are going to jail.

    He is destroying the Republican Party and has brought forth in the Mid-Terms a calibre of young and fresh faces, many of them female not seen in US politics for decades.

    Farage, I suspect, is linked in to the same network.

  49. @ Crossbat

    I was going to analyse the Westminster VI from that same poll and say that proves 77% for Brexit but I wasn’t sure people would see the joke :-)

    The basic problem is that what fundamentally comes down to an in/out decision or a miserable compromise that makes us worse off for certain, we have roughly 1/3rd split between pure remain, pure Brexit and 1/3rd who want something inbetween but can’t agree on what they want (“soft Brexit” with everyone defining it in different ways). Even if the people in the middle could agree on this they wouldn’t have the support of the other 2 x 1/3rds.

    I honestly don’t know what the answer to this is and even if we had a PR General election tomorrow parliament would be just as divided unlike a two way split which is easily solved on 50.1% of the vote.

  50. @CrossBat11
    (“herding implies that results are actually being falsified by the pollsters in order to arrive at a preferred outcome. “)

    I don’t think that’s quite true. Might it not mean that, for example, there are two different decisions about a methodological detail that are open to the pollster, and the pollster is honestly undecided (or has an unresolved internal disagreement among its experts) about which of the two methods/calculations/weightings is more likely to give a true and accurate reflection of the facts – and that, faced with this problem, the pollster errs on the side of the method that produces a result more similar to the results being produced by other pollsters?

1 2 3 4 5 20