A very quick update on voting intention polls over the last few weeks. As usual August is a relatively quiet period – opinion pollsters have holidays too. The fact that we have a new Prime Minister hasn’t made much change to that. In August so far we’ve had five voting intention polls:

BMG/Independent (Dates TBC) – CON 31%, LAB 25%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN ?
ComRes/Telegraph (11th Aug) – CON 31%, LAB 27%, LDEM 16%, BREX 16%, GRN 4% (tabs)
Survation (11th Aug) – CON 28%, LAB 24%, LDEM 21%, BREX 15%, GRN 3% (tabs)
Opinium/Observer (9th Aug) – CON 31%, LAB 28%, LDEM 13%, BREX 16%, GRN 5% (tabs)
YouGov/Times (6th Aug) – CON 31%, LAB 22%, LDEM 21%, BREX 14%, GRN 7% (tabs)

Note that the BMG tables aren’t up yet, hence I don’t know the level of support for the Greens or their fieldwork dates. These polls continue to show the boost in Conservative party support following Boris Johnson’s accession filtering though. It is the first “Post-Johnson” poll for BMG and Survation, and they show the Conservatives up by 3 and 5 points respectively. We’re now at a point where the most recent polls from all the regular polling companies show the Conservatives back ahead, though the size of their lead differs given the variation in figures between pollsters.

Normally I would be speculating about how long the government’s honeymoon boost would last. It’s not really the case here given how many political events are going to be crammed into the next few months. Events will likely preempt its natural unwinding: whatever diplomatic negotiations or stand offs occur between the government and the EU (starting with the G7 meeting this week), whatever Parliamentary moves there may be against the government or against No Deal, the party conferences, whatever preparations or announcements there may be on No Deal and, of course, the actual outcome at the end of October. The current levels of party support seem rather irrelevant in the face of that – the Conservatives are probably happy to have a lead at the moment, but there are ten weeks ahead of us that are packed with events that can throw everything up in the air.

1,511 Responses to “Voting Intention Update”

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  1. Excellent post.

  2. Will they be happy? They’ve pretty much been at maximum brexit rhetoric and BXP are still in the mid teens…

  3. Greens polling about 3 or 4%. What on earth can your justification be for not including the SNP voting intentions which I assume are similar levels to the Greens.

  4. I predicted that the Tories are likely to achieve c. 35% based on a policy of delivering Brexit.

    There are moves afoot to try and depose the current Government in order to deliver a “softer” Brexit, or for most of the conspirators, a second referendum rigged to facilitate no Brexit at all

    Interesting times indeed.

  5. Aldo_macb

    A better question is “Why bother including Scotland in their (predominantly) English polls?”

    It makes as much sense as including NI (which some pollsters do) – ie none.

    With very different voting patterns from E&W, including Scots as if there was still a “GB” polity is archaic, silly, lazy, and/or politically motivated ( I doubt the last, but given the attitudes of the commissioning media ……..)

  6. I suppose the number of polls will pick up next week.

  7. The UK Government’s indication that they intended to renege on commitments given to EU citizens about their status in the UK in the event of a no deal has raised many serious issues for them as indicated in this thread:


  8. Jonesy

    How do you rig a referendum?

    Is it by – for example – checking with people if they would prefer to leave or stay in the EU, once we have eventual, leaving deals to offer them?

    That doesn’t seem quite the same as – for example – asking people if they would like Putin as President for another few years or would rather spend a long time in a dangerous Russian prison instead.

  9. @R&D

    I wrote earlier today about this.

    Present the deal only.

    No default option.

    What else can we do do?

    Deal vs Remain

    Deal vs No deal

    Both equally rigged in favour of a particular outcome.

  10. @Hireton

    “The UK Government’s indication that they intended to renege on commitments given to EU citizens about their status in the UK in the event of a no deal has raised many serious issues for them as indicated in this thread:


    Yes, as someone with one EU national parent and EU national in-laws (all with Permanent Residency and who have been in the UK for at least 50 years) I can vouch for the fact that this week their nation’s embassy (the Spanish embassy) in London started imploring their nationals to apply for Settled Status as soon as possible.

  11. Election Maps UK

    1 hour ago

    Westminster Voting Intention:

    CON: 30% (-1)
    LAB: 21% (-1)
    LDM: 20% (-1)
    BXP: 14% (=)
    GRN: 8% (+1)

    Via @YouGov, 13-14 Aug.
    Changes w/ 5-6 Aug.


    Thanks. YG tables will be published tomorrow,

  13. I note that the Faroes have been upgraded by Moody’s to Aa2 status – same as UK and France.

    But how long can the UK keep up with the Faroes?

  14. Jonesinbanor,
    “I predicted that the Tories are likely to achieve c. 35% based on a policy of delivering Brexit.”

    Considering they got 42% in 2017, that drop would be about consistent with the swing to remain.

  15. While Anthony’s view that events are likely to rapidly make current polls redundant is undoubtedly correct, having some perspective on these polls since Johnson’s elevation does convey the sense that he has not achieved poll results in line with the amount of noise created. As @Jamesb muses, with such a determined grab for the Brexit vote, the results are pretty weak so far.

  16. @OLDNAT

    Good point, but which election do you think was the last GB-wide?

    2010 was a huge win for Labour and the Lib Dems in Scotland. That’s only 9 years ago. Are we to toss and turn our constitution, our country, every 5 minues for a minor change in opinion of one small part?

    2015 of course SNP won 50% of the vote (and 95% of the seats) and in 2017 37% of votes and 59% of seats… Lovely but 37% doth not a change make.

    It’s like the Labour domination of London in 2017. Should they separate? Or the Liberal domination of Cornwall in 1997, or the Labour domination of North West/East in 1997… Ugh… pointless.

    A moment in time, as Whitney said (Houston, not Oxfordshire).

  17. @Baz

    Thanks for the poll.

    I wonder how much more of the BXP vote tre Tories can still squeeze? Maybe the answer is close to zero.

  18. @Danny

    “Considering they got 42% in 2017, that drop would be about consistent with the swing to remain.”

    The 42% has dispersed, just as much of Labour’s 40% has ebbed away to the Lib Dems and Greens.

    2017 was a high water mark for two party politics which I do not think we will be seeing again anytime soon.


    I wrote earlier today about this.

    Present the deal only.

    No default option.”

    Err… I think you’ll find that actually IS rigged.


    “What else can we do do?

    Deal vs Remain

    Deal vs No deal

    Both equally rigged in favour of a particular outcome.”

    Whereas those are what we like to call binary choices, which leave the electorate entirely free, in both cases, to choose a leave option.

    [What is it about this that you are having probs with????}

  20. Lewblew

    “which election do you think was the last GB-wide?”

    Assuming that you mean exclusively GB, I don’t need to “think” which it was – it was the general election of 1796. If you mean any GE that was GB wide, then 2017. Seems a daft question for you to ask, but maybe you didn’t know?

    “Are we to toss and turn our constitution, our country …..”

    We’re talking opinion polls here – not seats won, which under FPTP can be won by a small percentage of the vote.

    Your “country” (a term with multiple meanings) might either be the UK – in which case polls seldom measure UK VI – or England, in which case my suggestion would allow a better prediction of public opinion in your polity.

    Talking of the “constitution” seems absurd hyperbole, given that it says sod all about opinion polling (or much else in a sensible, codified manner).

  21. You really can see the conundrum for the government in this story – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49405270

    Clearly they have no desire to do anything to increase fuel prices, especially when prices are likely to be rising following a further devaluation, but as with other sectors, the need to avoid sharp price rises for consumers comes with the potential to wipe out profitability in sections of domestic industry.

    Bunging an extra few million at sheep farmers is one thing, but providing long term funding for the refinery and oil sectors potentially takes post Brexit government industry support onto a whole new level.

    There’s less and less left of that Brexit bonus as each day passes.

    @Hireton – this really does seem like a huge error. Overturning guarantees given repeatedly overnight and without any formal announcement of a change of policy is a pretty catastrophic way to govern. It’s also going to mean a complete lack of trust in the UK’s word, and not just in the EU.

    I can’t decide if this is just so much macho posturing, or a genuine example of a government that really hasn’t got a grip on the basics of how things work.

  22. @RAF

    I wonder how much more of the BXP vote tre Tories can still squeeze? Maybe the answer is close to zero.

    Depends a lot whether they deliver what the current BXP voters consider to be Brexit. I’d agree the current polling probably reflects the limit of BXP support that CON are likely to recover with talk alone.

  23. @R&D

    Cleay you see no issue with Deal VS Remain.

    I understand your viewpoint. I think you understand mine.

    We won’t be agreeing.

  24. @ALEC
    I can’t decide if this is just so much macho posturing, or a genuine example of a government that really hasn’t got a grip on the basics of how things work.

    I know I sound boring but do you remember Iraq. Everyone second guessed whether we had intelligence about Iraq WMD and it turned out we did not I remember people saying either they are not telling us the whole story or they really are mad and do believe the crap they are selling

    Look if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck I think we can at least entertain that it is a duck. We believe these people are super smart when in the main you’d not want to put them in charge of a school tuck shop. Sometimes you have to accept they truly believe they are smart and that what we think is crazy is strategic. In the end Brexit is an ideological wet dream that has come to fruition no one really knows what it means and in many ways to get to this point it had to be as nebulous as it is. The point has always been for me was that it was for many a way to power unencumbered by telling people what they are going to do with it.

    No one cares really about the brexit bonus because we survived the blitz. No one care about industry because it won’t be as bad as a black plague.


    In my first start up, we decided to have a quote board where every completely mad, youtubeale thing that was said went on it just to show how idiotic it was. When it became the spec of the chip I was working on we decided that we could not have a quote board. So we went with dilbert and when that became to real we just stopped trying to find stuff that was funny because before we knew it. it was the new reality

    I fear we are in that space now
    We keep saying these people must have a clue and even when they screw up beyond all doubt we look at them and say well may be……..

    We are the fools if we keep think they should have the benefit of doubt. In all fairness that have had so many benefits the could be known as scroungers


  25. All this discussion of the terms of an imminent referendum seems to exclude the views of the Electoral Commission.

    On the question of indyref2, their view [1] in 2016 was that (despite having approved the terms of the question 2 years earlier) no referendum should take place until they had tested the question again for 12 weeks, and that there should then be 6 months delay while voters considered the issues.

    Of course, cynics might say that such a strategy was wholly unnecessary, and simply designed to maintain the status quo.

    However, such cynicism would only be relevant if the Commission had demonstrated a remarkable degree of incompetence in overseeing the Euroref. Oh! …..

    [1] For some “inexplicable” reason, the BBC has chosen to give that Commission view prominence in its current “news” reports, without reference to the date of its publication.

  26. Alec
    “I can’t decide if this is just so much macho posturing, or a genuine example of a government that really hasn’t got a grip on the basics of how things work.”

    I know what you mean! When I want to remind myself of the surreal nature of the present government I think of Pritti Patel as Home Secretary.

  27. @Patrickbrian

    Priti Patel bad?

    Imagine Diane Abbot in charge.

  28. Perhaps we not have had Windrush Jones as she warned but was ignored?

  29. @Jim Jam

    I prefer my Socialists to live up to their ideals, not send their children to private school.

  30. @JonesinBangor


    Priti Patel bad?

    Imagine Diane Abbot in charge.”

    What Priti Patel did to get sacked from her previous cabinet position should have been the end of her entire ministerial career. It was that bad. I’m struggling to think of anyone else recently who has been sacked or resigned for government for anything remotely as bad.

    Dianne Abbott messed up some figures in an interview, as hundreds of other politicians have done in the past.

  31. [email protected]: Priti Patel bad?

    Imagine Diane Abbot in charge.

    For a lot of people, that thought amy redeem Diana Abbot .

    As for Patel, you’ve suggested something of a metaphor. As in

    “How bad was it?”

    “It was worse than bad, it was Priti Patel bad!”

  32. I’m not saying I support one over the other.

    It’s a sad indictment of UK politics when the fare offered up by the main parties is those two.

  33. @JIB

    JIB I prefer my Socialists to live up to their ideals, not send their children to private school

    It’s easy to say this if you haven’t been in a situation where you are faced with a choice between ruining your child’s education or using your money to get them a better one. When my eldest reached 11 we were living in London and were not sufficiently close to any secondary school to be sure of getting into it. As a result he did not get into any of the three schools we gave as our choices. The school he was allocated was one of only 6 English schools in which when the league tables came out no child got 5 GCSEs A to C. This was not surprising, it was extremely violent, hardly any parents came to parents’ evenings, bullying and gangs were endemic and a larger boy who somewhat protected him was later sent to prison for taking a teacher’s eye out with a brick. My son was a bright child but the school was damaging his mental health and teaching him virtually nothing. We moved out of London and went to Essex where he got into one of the highly selective grammar schools they have there from which he went to Oxford. The school happened to be state but I don’t see any moral difference between the choice we took and sending a child to a private school. Personally I think the private school system is harmful but until we get first class schools for all children I can’t condemn people who use private ones.


    Priti Patel bad?

    Imagine Diane Abbot in charge.” [August 20th, 2019 at 11:12 pm]


    “I’m not saying I support one over the other.” [11:51 pm]




    Are you sure you don’t fancy a stab at being PM?

    I think you would be great.

  36. @Aldo

    Pollsters, commentators and the like only report the English results, cos…

    …I’ll let them answer for themselves. I’m sure their answer is reasonable, and in no way sidelines the rest of the UK.

  37. @Lewblew

    2011 – 45.5%
    2015 – 50.0%
    2016 – 46.5%
    2017 – 36.9%

    Currently sitting at 40% or more in most polls after 12 years in Government, and 5 years as the largest party in Scotland.

    That’s versus the Tories in the low 20s, Lab and Lib in the teens, and Brexit just hitting double figures. Short of all those parties ignoring their party principles, they can’t even form a coalition to beat the SNP on VI.

    People keep saying the SNP don’t have a mandate, while they have the arguably the largest one in their polity in the UK. The Tories sure as hell don’t have a mandate in Scotland, and yet they govern it from 500 miles away, while when the SNP got 95% of the Scottish seats, they were in opposition.

    Ahh, those heady days when Con, Lab and Lib each had a seat:

    Con – Scottish Secretary
    Lab – Shadow Scottish Secretary
    Lib – Former Scottish Secretary

    SNP – 56/59 – Opposition

    And people then declared that Scotland was divided AND was a one party state (party of opposition).

    Perfidious doesn’t quite cover it, does it?

  38. @”Imagine Diane Abbot in charge.”

    I try very hard not to-but the nightmare won’t go away.


    Do you know what the policy of a Labour Government ( including Dianne Abbott) would be on Private Schools ?

  40. https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/4410-britain-s-troubles-ireland-s-pain

    “If we’re going to judge the likelihood of another war, we need to understand how the last one started…..

    …..The core leadership of the Provisional IRA didn’t turn to armed struggle as a last resort: from the very start, they wanted to revive the tactics used by the old IRA in the War of Independence from 1919 to 1921. But it was British government policy that made it possible for them to do so….

    ….It required a very particular set of circumstances, both long term and short term, to produce the conflict that erupted in the early 1970s — and then to keep it on the boil for the next quarter-century. The same conditions don’t exist today…”

  41. Colin – from memory without checking it would be to take away Charitable status or at least make the ‘community’ activities they have to undertake to gain that status more rigorous. In other words go beyond a few token scholarships which benefit a small number of children from less privileged backgrounds.
    Things like genuinely opening up facilities.
    For example, unless it has changed Barnard Caste School did not offer to allow it pitches and sports hall to be used by local sports teams when I lived there but charged a full commercial rate.

    The impact would be that fees would be subject to VAT.

  42. “So nothing has changed at the top of banking globally: big salaries, bonuses, pensions for the top executives, in return for overseeing tax scams, fraud and corruption. And then there is the real and rising risk of instability and collapse as banks continue to speculate in the ‘fictitious capital’ of ‘exotic’ financial instruments. More proof that ‘regulation’ will not work and only public ownership of the finance sector under democratic control will deliver a banking service for investment and people’s needs.”


  43. @R & D

    No! For once, your good judgement has deserted you. It wouldn’t be great for anyone, including me. Up for running a p!ss-up in a brewery, though, but don’t count on that being a success for anyone but me!

    @Colin – No. Jim Jam or Norbold would probably know.

    Personally I would advise them (Labour) to concentrate on a few key left-wing things and leave distractions like the House of Lords, the public schools, and the monarchy (particularly the latter) for later attention.

    If I was going to spend time on public schools, I would remove their tax advantages unless they became truly effective partners with local schools and use any money this raised to pay teachers in schools like the one my son first went to.

    The problem with my son’s school was that it had a terrible reputation and anyone who could afford it sent their children to local private schools of which some were famous. The teachers in my son’s school divided into three ‘never there’, ‘there but presiding over chaos’ (my son was beaten up in front of the French teacher.) and excellent (about 2).

    The school changed its name three times and was finally pulled down. i believe that London schools are now some of the best in the country and that there is a dispute about whether this reflects a) a wise labour initiative b) a rise in the number of immigrant children o c) an increase in the number of well-qualified female teachers married to city professionals or perhaps all three Whatever … I don’t think Brexit under Boris is going to be good for London in this respect.

    The policy I am suggesting would hopefully discourage most English people from sending their children to public schools and this would raise the quality of ordinary ones (a service for the poor is a poor service). My understanding of the evidence is that raising teachers pay doesn’t do much for schools in easy areas but does do so in challenging ones, so paying teachers more in such areas should help. Schools like Eton would survive but they would educate the Chinese and a few of the very well heeled. In a post-brexit world we will need them for our balance of payments. The likes of Boris, Rees-Mogg, Cummings, and Milne would be less likely to go such schools, find it harder to rise to the top and might, perhaps, be less stubborn and arrogant if they did

    Apologies for a long answer to an admirably brief question!

  44. I do wish we could have a government seized with a sense of urgency about something important – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-49412835

    I heard a BBC R4 skip through the papers this morning outline in one of them (I can’t recall which) Johnson has apparently outlined a plan. This may therefore be speculation, but it sounds about right – and it sounds like he is negotiating, away from the cameras, at least.

    The plan was for the EU to give Ireland a dispensation to diverge where necessary from SM rules, for a temporary period, during which time the alternative arrangements would be sorted out and then Ireland would return to normal and the UK would be free to diverge without a hard border.

    Essentially, this is a request for an Irish backstop, as opposed to a Northern Irish/UK backstop. A backstop is clearly not democratic for us, but completely democratic for them. We wish to leave the EU, but we are so special that they need to accommodate our wishes.

    Whether there is any mileage in this will depend on how much Ireland fears a no deal I suspect, but it still doesn’t remove two central stumbling blocks. Firstly, the backstop arrangement needs to either be permanent, or we need to identify viable solutions now to be sure that it can be temporary. Second, it breaks a key principle of the single market, which is very difficult for the EU to accept.

    Indeed, my assumption is that such a plan would require a treaty change anyway, as it would not be legal, and the chance of getting that done by October 31st, even if all EU27 agree? At the very least, Ireland would need to hold a referendum…..

  45. Charles – I heard ‘b’ and it is reflected in other areas with higher levels of recent immigration. The indigenous population, which is often 4th or 5th generation settlers, has benefited also.

    See my answer which accords with you thoughts.

    NB) I would go if organised by you as long it wasn’t a cider Brewery.

  46. JIM JAM



    Thanks-We disagree on Private Schools. I think you are wrong to assume that abolishing Private Schools would “would raise the quality of ordinary ones”

    I think that the effect of Private School involvement & partnership raises the quality of their State partners. I am in favour of replicating this sort of outcome :-


    …though the same outcomes can be achieved without help from the Independent Sector:-


    It is all about the Teaching & the Ethos.

  47. Jonesinbangor,
    “2017 was a high water mark for two party politics which I do not think we will be seeing again anytime soon.”

    I’d suggest that all the conditions are currently in place for a repeat of 2017, but with labour doing better. Lots of caveats in that, but the fundamental change since then is only that remain are doing a bit better. What we saw in 2017 was voters reluctantly, but massively, moving behind the party with the best electoral chance and their Brexit view. What is really different now?

    “I can’t decide if this is just so much macho posturing, or a genuine example of a government that really hasn’t got a grip on the basics of how things work.”

    What BJ has done is say just about anything he can think of likely to appeal to leavers. So, stabilise the leave vote for conservatives. Leavers believe in the benefits of brexit, so it makes sense to them there will be benefits and new money to spend on all sorts.

    But at the same time, for those who dont believe in Brexit, he is painting himself as a wilder and wilder extremist. He is goading others, particularly in parliament, to speak out against him, and providing a rationale for remain conservative MPs to openly oppose him. He is proving that taking a hard line with the EU will achieve nothing. As news stories crop up, he can promise to subsidise cars, refineris, aircraft, everything post brexit to keep it operating…but more and more people will think this insane. Not least those other traditional tories who always like small government and low taxes.

    May became spokesman for deal. She proved to the nation by taking the negotiating process to completion that no one wants a compromise deal.

    Johnson’s task is to do the same for no deal. Be its spokeman, make clear exactly the implications, so that everyone accepts it is far worse than membership.

    The strategy is to discredit brexit by explaining the details and implications. It hasnt changed. It is important he be seen as a radical brexiteer so that when his outline of brexit is shown to be non functional, he cannot be seen to have deliberately sabotaged it. Which to be fair, he hasnt. It simply is unworkable, but the problem is to convince true believers that this is the case.

  48. I think Johnson with all his announcements made no impact on the polls.

  49. From the Berlin SWP thinktank –

    “I don’t see any sign of Germany having changed its position on the backstop since Johnson has come to power,” said Nicolai von Ondarza. “The official line remains the unofficial line.

    “What has changed is the credibility of a no-deal Brexit. But there is no room for Germany to change its position. If the EU gave in to Johnson’s hardline course now, it would send a signal not just to London but the rest of the world. This is not just a negotiation between Britain and the EU, but one watched by the whole world, including the US.

    “If Germany and France gave in now, it would send the fatal signal that the two biggest members states are willing to sell out smaller states for short-term economic interest.”

    Still – following Denmark’s rebuff to trump over the purchase of Greenland, maybe that’s the solution? Johnson could sell us to trump and everyone will be happy.

    [Sadly, we’re probably worth less than Greenland, given what’s below the surface in Greenland].

  50. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49395658

    As the data comes in, we can see very little energy security coming from shale gas in the UK. Time to put this one to bed and start addressing the serious solutions.

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