Here are the mid-week polls so far:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


1,091 Responses to “Latest voting intention and the impact of turnout”

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  1. If the YouGov is the latest poll, we might see some closing beginning

  2. Well last yougov was up 3 points on the Tories wasn’t it? Both polls could easily just be random variation.

  3. It’s always good to see Anthony’s professional opinion on criticisms of polling methodology.

    “The details of this criticism are wrong on almost every single measure.”

  4. I hope nobody realises that my name is an anagram of Great Slimed Boil.

  5. Fact Check:

    Wales 2 Hungary 0
    Scotland 3 Kazakhstan 1
    Germany 6 Northern Ireland 1
    Spurs have sacked their manager and all his backroom team.
    Speculation it is Jose but unless there is a huge purse to spend on players in the transfer window, then for 6 months expect Big Sam.
    Awaiting live viewing figures for ‘I’m a Celebrity’ and other BBC and ITV drama tonight.

    Not fact checked but my hunch. The view of the Westminster bubble is that the nation ought to be highly interested. I suspect that they are not. Just not in the mood.

    BTW I suspect Julie Etch and the audience found a role where there is none for them thus ruining debate.
    The French head to head across a table is the only way to get a debate. Moderator almost never interrupts.

    The only ITV format ever got right was ‘teams’. Leave versus Remain. Boris and two colleagues against Corbyn and two colleagues would have been much more interesting.

    Other than that, it is the seven hander format.

    Andrew Neil interviews would work but they need to be with the manifestoes in place.

  6. Although the Yougov snap poll gave Johnson the win by a very narrow margin of 51:49, more people thought that Corbyn did well than Johnson did

    Boris Johnson:
    Well: 59%
    Badly: 41%

    Jeremy Corbyn:
    Well: 67%
    Badly 32%

  7. James B,
    from what is written above, yougov allowed for BxP standing down in the previous poll, which would have boosted con. So this would be measuiring further effects since that. AW says Kantar and ICM are only adding this in now.

  8. MOG

    Few would deny your status of Greatness.

  9. MOG

    No I’m sure they didn’t.

    OLDNAT doesn’t worry about being AN DOLT -so I wouldn’t worry about it.

  10. Thought I’d pop in to see what the verdict was on the “debate”. Nice to see familiar “faces” still here after so many years
    Hello OldNat and Colin – hope you are both faring well!

    Pretty unedifying spectacle tonight, for the electorate it must feel like Scylla and Charybdis

  11. Colin

    Of course I don’t worry about an anagram that is grammatically wrong.

    I may be dyslexic, but even I know that you don’t use “an” instead of “a” in front of a noun beginning with a consonant.

    Of course, it may be the case that in your dialect, the “d” is not pronounced, thus “AN ‘OLT” would be grammatically correct, and from your nationalist stance, logically correct too.

  12. yougov can be a bit up and down from poll to poll, but be interesting to see the underlying figures. If that became a trend…..

  13. My view on tonight’s TV debate is a little similar to JimJam’s (previous thread). If the YouGov snap poll after the debate is accurate, then a score draw is probably a better result for Corbyn than Johnson, albeit Corbyn was probably the one who needed a clear win. Assuming again that the current polls are accurate in terms of the leaders respective personal approval ratings, then for Corbyn to more or less be regarded on the same level as Johnson after a one hour debate, in front of a sizeable TV audience, then that suggests that he has gained more from tonight’s exercise than Johnson.

    That said, I’m not sure it was a great performance from Corbyn. I think he overplayed the nice guy and missed some open goals through fear of being seen to be making personal attacks on Johnson. Johnson has no such fears and maybe scored some low blows that may have resonated whilst Corbyn refrained. The problem with that approach, though admirable in many ways, is that if the question of Johnson’s integrity and honesty is the elephant in the room then you look a bit weak to the point of being politically inept if you don’t address it. Johnson punched Corbyn’s bruises and Corbyn desisted. That might play better with the non-aligned members of the public than many of us think, but I’m not sure.

    Time will tell.

  14. Didn’t see the debate, and would caution on the snap poll result. Might be worth seeing how it’s reported tomorrow, but it does sound like pretty standard fair.

    On that twitter thing: meningless, in vote terms, but aren’t these guys just so totally slimey? Do we really enjoy having people like this running the country?

  15. Fifth day in a row that politicians fail to get the front page with two giant newspapers.
    The political and media class and enthusiasts have noticed a GE is on. Have the wider public in the key marginals?

  16. For those concerned with BBC news favouritism, I noted that on the R4 10 o’clock news, in the sport section, the Spurs manager news was given first billing before the Wales qualification. Even I found that a bit offensive, and I have nothing to do with Wales, apart from living (very) vaguely near it.

  17. Who do you think came across as more trustworthy?40% Boris Johnson, 45% Jeremy Corbyn, 15% Don’t know

    Who do you think came across as more likeable?54% Boris Johnson, 37% Jeremy Corbyn, 10% Don’t know

    Who do you think came across as more in touch with ordinary people?25% Boris Johnson, 59% Jeremy Corbyn, 16% Don’t know

    Who do you think came across as more Prime Ministerial?54% Boris Johnson, 29% Jeremy Corbyn, 17% Don’t know

    Who do you think performed best during the section of the debate on Brexit?63% Boris Johnson, 27% Jeremy Corbyn, 10% Don’t know

    Who do you think performed best during the section of the debate on NHS?38% Boris Johnson, 54% Jeremy Corbyn, 8% Don’t know

    Who do you think performed best during the section of the debate on Government spending?50% Boris Johnson, 35% Jeremy Corbyn, 15% Don’t know

    Who do you think performed best during the section of the debate on other issues?39% Boris Johnson, 46% Jeremy Corbyn, 15% Don’t know

    Thinking now about the debate, do you think it was right to have two leaders taking part or would it have been better with more leaders?60% Right to have two leaders taking part, 30%Would have been better with more leaders 9% Don’t mind either way, 1% Don’t know

  18. Stephen Bush of New Statesman and Tv pundit may have called it so far viz VI.
    Leavers have prioritised Leaving the EU.
    Remain have not prioritised remaining in the EU but prioritised other things.
    Bush is an Arsenal fan and perplexed Spurs have axed their manager but arsenal have not.
    Of course if Corbyn resigned or could be axed, that news event could transform VI.
    It may be the same with Lib Dem leader for Chukka.
    As it is, we trundle on but by end of next week postal votes will be being returned.

  19. @Alec

    “Do we really enjoy having people like this running the country?”

    I guess we will know the answer to that question in the early hours of December 13th.

    I rather fear that the answer will be that we probably do.

    Alas.

  20. Well done the Welsh boys on a well deserved and emphatic 2-0 win.

    I didn’t watch the debate, a bit mediocre on both sides by most accounts. I think the subsequent ones could be more interesting. The manifestos will be out so more meat to chew on or more grass to ruminate on if you’re a vegetarian :|]

    I thought Sturgeon was a wee bit childish in her answer about who she would take into the jungle. It sounded like something a 6 year old would come out with, saying “do I have to spend time with them? Can I not take them to the jungle and subject them to all the really [nasty] things?

    “If I could do that, probably Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson, but I wouldn’t want the condition to be that I had to spend any time with them.”

  21. Well done the Welsh boys on a well deserved and emphatic 2-0 win.

    I didn’t watch the debate, a bit mediocre on both sides by most accounts. I think the subsequent ones could be more interesting. The manifestos will be out so more meat to chew on or more grass to ruminate on if you’re a vegetarian :|]

    I thought Sturgeon was a wee bit childish in her answer about who she would take into the jungle. It sounded like something a 6 year old would come out with, saying “do I have to spend time with them? Can I not take them to the jungle and subject them to all the really [nasty] things?

    “If I could do that, probably Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson, but I wouldn’t want the condition to be that I had to spend any time with them.”

  22. MOG
    “I hope nobody realises that my name is an anagram of Great Slimed Boil.”

    We all realised immediately, but were too polite to say anything. :)

  23. I was frustrated by JC answers over BREXIT but even more annoyed by BJ answering every question even if it wasnt his with get brexit done

  24. Bantams

    Who, in their right mind, and unwilling to screw a millionaire, would want to spend time with Farage or Johnson?

  25. On polls about debates, do people who respond tend to mark for artistic impression, technical merit or whether they actually found the person convincing? Surely what you want is not people’s opinions on a performance, but on whether the performance shifted opinion of the person.

    By 2001, I would have been more than happy to acknowledge the brilliance of Tony Blair’s performance when giving speeches – but it was firmly combined with an opinion that it probably wouldn’t add up if I sat down and read the actual words.

    If Corbyn once again gains a positive opinion, and he ceases to be a drag on the party, then LibDems may decide it is safe to vote for him.

  26. J S-B
    “Fifth day in a row that politicians fail to get the front page with two giant newspapers.”

    Does anyone read newspapers any more?

  27. Johnson is really giving Corbyn an easy comeback with his constant oven baked deal line.

    Half baked comes to mind along with many other witty comebacks, not sure why they did not have replies like this ready to go.

  28. Is YouGov doing an MRP poll this year?

  29. Pete B

    “Does anyone read newspapers any more?”

    Some do, probably more see their opinions pushed on TV Channels – but only the elderly (well, youngsters of 50+ too) see that.

    Most others (me included) get a sense of what they are saying on social media – and that perspective depends on who people choose to follow and/or be influenced by.

  30. Couldn’t watch it as had another engagement. Doesn’t sound like I missed much.

    I suspect the problem with looking at the overall approval figures from the voters is that the election is essentially two-sided. Johnson and the Tories vs everyone else (now that BXP seem to have busted their flush).

    If 40%+ of the electorate prefer Johnson over Corbyn, we’ll probably have a Tory majority. Such is our clunky electoral system. So you don’t really need to “win” the debate, you just need to keep your large minority on board.

  31. Zach

    “Is YouGov doing an MRP poll this year?”

    Simply based on their giving 125 points to panel members answering questions which only make much sense if they are going to do MRP polls, then Yes.

  32. Did anyone notice the YouGov poll was reported on their website at 6:50pm? That suggests the poll was done before the debate.

  33. Liz H

    It still has that time stamp! Good spot.

    I’m more inclined to think that the article was written then, and the anticipated results added later – but the alternative interpretations would be somewhat embarrassing to Anthony.

  34. JSB ‘Have the wider public in the key marginals?’

    Unlikely. Lots of chatter in the pub tonight about programmes people were recording, or intending to get on catch up, including I’m a Celeb, Gold Digger, and the football.

    Not one person mentioned the leaders’ debate.

  35. @Joseph1982

    “If Corbyn once again gains a positive opinion, and he ceases to be a drag on the party, then LibDems may decide it is safe to vote for him.”

    I suspect that’s the key objective here. If I was sitting in the Labour campaign strategy team, that would be what the next three and a bit weeks are about. As Neil A has said, this election is de facto a Brexit referendum re-run and now that Johnson has cornered the Leave vote, Remain needs to get its skates on very quickly now. The Lib Dem subsidence in the polls is helping and it all needs to get very binary, in electoral terms, from hereon in.

    If you want to stop Brexit, Corbyn is the only, albeit impure, show in town. Whether he’ll campaign for Leave or Remain doesn’t matter for now. He’s offering a referendum with Remain on the ballot paper. Enough said, nudge, nudge. Why aren’t Remainers getting it? Or are they at last?

    Minds focussing, options reducing, binary choices emerging, as they always do in FPTP elections as we get nearer polling day.

    Seems pretty obvious what you’ve got to do now folks if you want to Stop Brexit.

    Stop Johnson any which way you can.

    David Gauke and Michael Heseltine get it. I think many others will too soon and Corbyn has to start herding those pesky cats now.

  36. For those who watched the English leaders chatting on ITV tonight –

    I’ve seen an analysis that says that mentions of Scotland included Nicola Sturgeon – 10 The SNP – 7 #IndyRef – 12 ..

    Not having watched it, I don’t know whether that’s accurate or not.

    Is that analysis correct? and if so, is it appropriate for selected leaders to have a “free hit” at politicians and policies where there is no right of reply?

  37. @Batty

    Corbyn will never be able to pull me, but a couple of weeks ago Swinson and her supporters successfully pushed me into his arms. I cannot vote for pseudo-tory austerityites.

  38. MOG

    Will your VI have any effect in the constituency in which you live, or is it a (perfectly reasonable) vote for principles you believe in, regardless of the FPTP consequence.

  39. @OldNat

    Principle. The tories could put up a stuffed corn-dolly here and win by a landslide. In fact, they have done for years – Nick Herbert was one such – though mercifully he is now standing down (I presume for a seat on a red bench in the house of Placemen).

    I voted LibDem in 2010, Green in 2015, and Labour in 2017. With the obvious exception of 2015 I at least voted for the distant runner-up.

  40. I remember Swinson from my LSE days – she was in the year above – and she seemed to evoke a similarly Marmite effect on others even back then.

  41. @OLDNAT

    From what I recall (and I may have missed certain moments whilst banging my head against the table and begging the world to make it all stop) the mentions of Sturgeon and the SNP were all in the context of her repeated public statements that she would expect her request for a Section 30 order to be granted. Johnson presented that as meaning in order to become PM Corbyn would have to grant a second Scottish Independence referendum.

    So whilst you may recall from recent discussion that you and I are on a similar page in regard to the constitutional absurdity of these “debates” and the participant selections, I don’t think there was much of an issue of her/their inability to reply, in this particular instance. The point was largely contained to how Corbyn would or would not respond to a very clearly stated SNP position.

  42. Nobody’s talking about the election because most people have already made up their mind. Probably in 2015-17.

    This election will be decided by the Don’t Knows who may or may not vote and wouldn’t talk about the election down the pub because they don’t care, and wouldn’t sign up or answer opinion polls with any definite answer.

  43. @Trigguy

    London first. That’s rule 1.

    If London had voted leave, the past three years would have been rolled into 3 months and we would have been out of the the EU.

  44. Sturgeon would have wiped the floor with the pair of them, and that’s why she was kept out of it.

  45. @TRIGGUY

    For those concerned with BBC news favouritism, I noted that on the R4 10 o’clock news, in the sport section, the Spurs manager news was given first billing before the Wales qualification. Even I found that a bit offensive, and I have nothing to do with Wales, apart from living (very) vaguely near it.

    As a Welsh person, that feels about right to me actually – the tournament has been greatly expanded so that the big names will always qualify, with the effect that teams like Wales will have a regular chance at making it rather than a once-in-a-generation shot. And to confirm it we won at home against a team 26 places lower in the world rankings. So neither the result nor its impact is particularly surprising – whereas Spurs sacking their manager, seemingly to hire Jose Mourinho, is both surprising an a genuine backpage headline contender.

  46. EOR

    Thanks. So the “Scottish question” wasn’t considered on its merits, but purely in how English politicians would respond to it, in the interests of their own polity and party interests.

    That would be a perfectly valid discussion for an England only debate on how they might continue their control over other polities.

    Incidentally, I have now seen Sturgeon’s interview following that English debate, and I have to compliment the 6 year olds that Bantams has knowledge of.

    That they too could take the p1ss out of a foolish question demonstrates their ability to see through the crap. England has a viable future when they come to maturity.

  47. David Carrod
    “Not one person mentioned the leaders’ debate.”

    In my pub a couple of people asked me whether I’d watched it (which I hadn’t). One had seen a few minutes then come to the pub and the other not at all. Both are by most standards reasonably well-informed and politically interested people.

    I think it’s another media/Westminster bubble/newspaper thing. Not many voters are interested and those that are will not have their opinions changed unless there’s some sort of major catastrophe.

  48. Pete B

    Steve is going to even more distressed that actual voters couldn’t be arsed to watch tonight, just as many UKPR veterans didn’t.

  49. I agree with those who have said that post-debate snap polls are basically meaningless anyway, but for those reading something positive for Labour into the result being very close when Labour are significantly behind the Tories in the polls…

    If we assume that everyone with a direct bias saw their man as the winner, that would get Johnson a bit over 40% and Corbyn a bit over 30%.

    Of the other say 25%, they therefore broke about 2:1 for Corbyn, give or take. But when you consider who they are, partywise, that’s quite interesting – it suggests that the expressed hopes on here that the Tories have squeezed the smaller parties to their maximum already may not be accurate.

    If you ascribe any meaning to such polls, anyway. Which I don’t. If there were an overwhelming reaction that one person had smashed it, that perhaps could influence how people who didn’t see it thought about things. But the likelihood of literally anyone who didn’t bother to watch it waking up tomorrow and saying “oh, Johnson won the debate by 2%? Interesting!” is surely nil.

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