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

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

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

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

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


1,690 Responses to “Sunday polls (and the first Scottish poll of the campaign)”

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  1. Very valuable update from AW.

    Those who said the loss of Ruth Davidson would dent Tory hopes in Scotland have been proven wrong so far.

  2. Polls slightly flattered the SNP last time. Could be pretty much a standstill election in Scotland

  3. What did people think of the Tory Manifesto.

    I thought all those bullet points this morning about really minor things like potholes (and continuing with policies we already have like the triple lock) were there to downplay expectations, followed by a rabbit from the hat moment.

    But there was no rabbit or hat. Very little in it.

  4. Not so sure, Prof Howard. Panelbase seems to underestimate support for SNP.

    http://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/

  5. CON manifesto safe but dull.

    Only new thing I spotted was the 50k nurses and retuning nurses bursaries (both welcome policies). Everything else was leaked or goes way back to announcements from Sep.

    It’s credible and avoided “own goals” (thankfully the hike in upper rate tax bands stayed in the “not now” folder) but by tying the hands on tax increases (triple lock on those) then I can see who we’ll keep debt falling (but then fiscal prudence is sssoooo last govt!)

  6. can’t see how we’ll keep debt falling as % of GDP

  7. Now both manifestos are in, it is possible to make a comparison. Actually Simon Wren-Lewis already did this before the manifestos, but his remarks are remarkably accurate:

    “In Labour’s case the extra spending is sustainable, whereas for the Tories it will not be. There are two reasons for this.

    The first is that the Tories are not proposing large tax increases, while Labour almost certainly will… ”

    “The second reason is Brexit. The Tories have negotiated a very hard Brexit, leaving the Customs Union and Single Market. I have argued that Brexit will not happen under Labour, but even if it did a much softer Brexit means less economic damage. Soft or no Brexit means higher incomes under Labour which in turn means higher taxes, and so higher spending.

    What the Tories are counting on is that analysis by the IFS and others of the two party’s programmes will ignore the second difference, and use a common baseline (as the Resolution Foundation does here).

    Once you factor in Brexit, the Tories extra spending is unlikely to be sustainable. They willl be forced to raise taxes or cut spending to keep to their current balance target. It will be even worse if Johnson throws in some last minute tax cuts in a desparate attempt to ensure he gets a majority.”

    More detail:

    https://mainlymacro.blogspot.com/2019/11/the-differences-between-labour-and.html

  8. Hal

    Good point by Prof Simon WL. Where it comes to brexit – the most important economic policy facing the country – there is near consensus among reputable economists that the Tory plan which will erect trade barriers with the EU is much more economically damaging than what Lib Dem or Labour party propose.

  9. There are no long-term plans by Tories for social care.

    “Local governments are now in a position, as a result of austerity and an increase in demand, where they are simply unable to manage their budgets. According to the LGA, almost 60p out of every £1 provided from central to local government will have been cut between 2010 and 2020. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) recently admitted that by 2020 only 5% of local authorities are “fully confident” they can meet their legal duties to provide care.

    This means that local authorities are forming strategies to reduce the amount they are spending on support services. The result is a range of unlawful practices that place a barrier between people and the services upon which they rely. As Svetlana Kotova, Director of Campaigns at Inclusion London told openJustice, “over the last 10 years there has been a dramatic change in how local authorities work. Now budgetary considerations are a primary concern and so they trump consideration of people’s needs. This has manifested partly in an increase in decisions where local authorities are withholding support from people entitled to it or knowingly implementing policies that harm disabled people.””

  10. Thanks Sam – good spot – though for those wishing to avoid the economic damage of a hard brexit it is still worryingly good for the Conservatives.

    It’s interesting to see that the Conservatives have promised there will be no extension at the end of 2020. Realistically that means either they’re not telling the truth or there will be a very hard Brexit then; I guess they’ve not decided between these two alternatives yet. Uncertainly certainly looms large with this part of the manifesto.

  11. Good point Sam – absolutely no vision put forward for such a major issue as social care. Those who are worried about this issue will be disappointed with the lack of any proposal at all.

  12. @Hal

    The impact of Brexit is uncertain. To base assumptions of sustainability on that is flawed.

  13. @ HAL – I’m not getting into the Brexit stuff and how that will impact the public purse as no one bothered to answer that before (FWIW the answer from Swinson’s numbers (not my view) was 3.5bn/yr) but I will agree that Javid will likely end up breaking #2

    “The Tories have a weak and conventional ‘falling debt/GDP’ target”

    Not by a lot but Boris has left Javid no major way to either raise taxes or cut spending so it will be the 3rd way – increase debt (a little bit)

    I’ve written about that before “90% is the new 60%” ;)

  14. The 19% lead for the Tories is “balls”.

    “So how many ways to skin this very thin cat?

    The raw data adjusted for the 7.6% starting variance would give the Tories a current lead (to the 3 day period ending 22/11) of between 4.4% and 5.4%.

    With undecideds of some 16%.”

    https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2019/11/24/why-the-observers-opinion-polling-is-wrong/

  15. Westminster Voting Intention:

    CON: 41% (-1)
    LAB: 30% (+2)
    LDM: 15% (+1)
    BXP: 5% (=)
    GRN: 3% (=)

    Via
    @Survation
    , 20-23 Nov.
    Changes w/ 13-16 Nov.

  16. Profhoward

    There is a near consensus among reputable economists that the Tory plan for brexit is more is much more economically damaging than what Labour proposes.

    I take it you mean that the deal on brexit as apposed to Labours GE manifesto.

    I don’t know how you arrived at that conclusion but I suspect there are many “reputable” economists who think Labours mostly un costed manifesto would be a economic disaster for the U.K.
    Especially as we seem to have almost every day another few un costed billions tagged on to what they wish to achieve.
    Labour are in danger of beginning to look a bit desperate as there campaign flounders ,the danger being their promising so much spending which increases on a daily basis, people stop paying attention because they simply believe it unachievable without huge tax rises for everyone .

  17. PROFHOWARD

    @”What did people think of the Tory Manifesto.”

    No Funding statement.

    Have to await IFS

  18. Comment: Survation poll shows gap narrowing by 3 percentage points since 16 Nov. Taken before today’s Tory manifesto which *commits to a hard Brexit by end of 2020* – something the economics profession has near consensus will be much more damaging than the Lib Dem or Labour plans for brexit.

  19. Note, no horses have been frightened in the production of this manifesto.
    If TM has gone with a manifesto like this, she would have won a decent majority and we would have ended up with a very soft brexit. The idea that she would have gone for a hard Brexit is risible.

    Bringing the benefit/dis-benefit of Brexit into the affordability equation, just cuts no ice with most of the public. While we might think it will have a certain effect and we can all find economists to back us up, almost nobody believes those forecasts because of past exaggerations. We will probably know for certain in five years time, but it will be too late.

  20. Turk – I am very precise in my words. Yes – I mean that the economics profession is very united in the view that the Conservative plan for Brexit is significantly more damaging than that of the Labour or the Lib Dem parties. Both in the long run and the short run.

    As for whether one has a larger or smaller role for the state in the economy – the choice in terms of non-brexit policy thee is no similar consensus among economists as to what is better.

  21. TURK

    @”Especially as we seem to have almost every day another few un costed billions tagged on to what they wish to achieve.”

    McDonnell’s £58bn pledge on the WASPI women is certainly additional to the Lab Manifesto.

    Its pure political reaction.

    In the QT debates BJ was asked to commit by a WASPI representative. He said he couldn’t guarantee it.

    McDonnell leapt on to it in no time. 3.7 million voters is not be sneezed at !

  22. Profhoward

    It’s a bold assumption to except almost the entire batch of U.K. economists hold your point of view even if you are very precise in your words.
    As so much of Labours plans have not been costed and because of that the full implications to trade, business and tax hikes for everyone have not yet been factored in I was just wondering what these reputable economists your quoting base there decisions on.
    ,

  23. @profhoward

    “Those who said the loss of Ruth Davidson would dent Tory hopes in Scotland have been proven wrong so far.”

    Or perhaps Ruth Davidson was not critical to the increase in Tory support while she was leader?

  24. @PROFHOWARD
    Westminster Voting Intention:

    CON: 41% (-1)
    LAB: 30% (+2)
    LDM: 15% (+1)
    BXP: 5% (=)
    GRN: 3% (=)

    Via
    @Survation
    , 20-23 Nov.

    Do not want to clutch at straws but n interesting poll

  25. Colin

    I caught McDonnell today saying they had been discussing Waspi for 18 months strange it didn’t appear in Labours manifesto or his famous grey book if that was the case.
    I get the faint whiff of panic in Labours campaign at the moment but it’s still a couple of weeks to go and things can change

  26. Hireton – that too. Harder to prove that one, while my one is certain.

    Turk – there’s a very high level of consensus among reputable economists that the trade barriers implied by the Tory plans for relations with EU countries after brexit are more damaging than those of Labour or Lib Dems. Such a level of consensus is very rare in the profession.

  27. @ COLIN – I had thought that Javid had promised a detailed funding statement??

    Maybe he’s quickly adding in the 50k nurses and return of bursaries? ;)

    Given most of the info was already known then my quick maths puts it a bit above 2.1% budget deficit which on current growth forecasts means debt/GDP will stop coming down (pretty much staying static but with very little wiggle room then obviously chance it goes up a tiny bit)

    IFS quick interview response was that taxes would need to rise elsewhere (ie “stealth” and fiscal drag) but IMO it will be more likely that Javid will allow a bit of “over the cycle” to creep into the “debt/GDP % coming down”

  28. Neil J: if you only clutch at one straw in 20 then you should not relax :)

  29. TURK

    @”I get the faint whiff of panic in Labours campaign at the moment”

    Yep……maybe……..

    https://twitter.com/SundayTimesSco/status/1198514454411071489

    But I also have a worrying impression of overconfidence in some Cons.

  30. Economist profession generally thought that if we didn’t the Euro we’d be screwed.

    How did joining the Euro work out for Greece?

    How has “unilateral socialism” worked out for Venezuela?

    Nuff said ;)

  31. TW

    @” I had thought that Javid had promised a detailed funding statement??”

    Me too.

    Await the other Mr Johnson’s analysis

  32. “Economist profession generally thought that if we didn’t join the Euro we’d be screwed.”

    This statement is incorrect. There was certainly not a consensus on this question at all, and probably the majority of UK economists were against membership, citing the advantages of having an extra lever of policy and the argument that the proposed Eurozone was not a natural currency area. There were arguments on both sides on the Eurozone membership.

  33. TURK
    “It’s a bold assumption to except almost the entire batch of U.K. economists hold your point of view even if you are very precise in your words.”

    He repeats several times a day like a mantra. Economists are not agreed on the long term effects of Brexit.

    What he doesn’t accept is that Corbyn’s manifesto commitments would crash the UK economy very quickly and are actually not achievable in the timescale planned.

    I’ve given up trying to get him to accept the blindingly obvious.

  34. ” Economists are not agreed on the long term effects of Brexit.”

    This is certainly not true assuming you mean the version of Brexit proposed by the Conservatives. There is a very high level of consensus that the trade relations proposed with the EU in the Conservative party manifesto would be damaging both in the short term and in the long term. Without sounding pompous, I have a responsibility to point this out because it is very important.

  35. PROFHOWARD

    @” the trade barriers implied by the Tory plans”

    Which are they please ?

  36. Colin: @” the trade barriers implied by the Tory plans”

    Which are they please ?

    You mean you genuinely don’t know? I’m astonished. I thought you were relatively well informed on economic matters.

    Or was this a disingenuous, smart-alecky sort of question?

  37. The Tory manifesto section on “trade deal” (with EU and beyond) is on p57

    Pretty vague on details of course but some red lines:

    “The NHS is not on the table. The price the NHS pays for drugs is not on the table. The services the NHS provides are not on the table”

    With very little to “attack” Boris on then I note Corbyn has gone back to trying to turn the GE into a class war?!?

    Sorry Jezza, keep your islington Revolution for N1 London – this is the Brexit Election and we just want it DONE!

  38. @ PROFHOWARD

    You always try to give the impression you were fairly neutral politically but your last few posts suggest that’s far from the truth?

  39. “TREVOR WARNE

    Nuff said ;)”

    If only…

  40. SOMERJOHN

    Well I have read the Political Declaration , and would like to know which trade barriers PROFHOWARD think that “implies”.

  41. Also on p57. Freeports … coming to a marginal LAB-CON seat near you!!

    ” we will create up to ten freeports around the UK, benefiting some of our most deprived communities”

    Well the long list was 30+ so “up to ten” leaves a LOT of room for every CON (and SCON) candidate to claim they’ll be getting one (assuming local voters elect them)

  42. Labour have just added another 58 BILLION to their manifesto shopping cart, this is going to be the biggest bill in Britain political history. I hope McDonnell’s credit card has a large enough limit or he’ll be after our plastic next.

  43. TW

    @”Corbyn has gone back to trying to turn the GE into a class war?!?”

    It has ALWAYS been a class war.

    That is the whole point of it for him.

    Those 150 ( or 134 or whichever number it actually is) people who own everything and keep the other 66 million of us in penury & subjugation.

  44. @Trevors – “Economist profession generally thought that if we didn’t the Euro we’d be screwed.”

    On this one, you are completely wrong.

    The Economist ran a poll of academic economists in 1999 which indicated that 65% said we should join and 35% said we shouldn’t. None of them said we’d be ;screwed’ if we didn’t join, and the debate at the time was characterized by an acceptance of positives and negatives on both sides, with a balance of judgement being struck either way. The Economist itself in it’s editorial position was sceptical about joining.

    This article – https://academic.oup.com/oep/article-abstract/51/4/665/2361741 gives a flavour of the economic debate. It found that it might be possible for counter cyclical action to mitigate shocks within the Euro system, but raised concerns about the Stability and Growth Pact.

    The government spent four years studying the decision in some detail, with economists from the Treasury, the BoE and numerous other independent economists, from industry and academia, all contributing. There was no clear bias either way, with these studies pointing out the potentials and the pitfalls.

    Following on from these multiple studies, the decision was taken by the government not to join. Overall, the economists tilted the argument against joining, and it was many of the politicians who were in favour.

  45. Hi Colin

    Thanks for the question! Tory plans are for a Canada-type FTA which is a more distant relationship with the EU than most non-EU countries in Europe have with it. Frictions in such a scenario would include customs tariffs and regulatory non tariff barriers. This includes lack of access to the EU market for financial services so that in practice UK companies need to establish subsidiaries within the EU, which increases their costs and displaces economic activity that might otherwise have occurred in the UK. Generally, to trade with the EU service and goods sellers would still need to meet EU standards, but would now (outside the EU single market) require checks to ensure compliance with these, and may also face more onerous requirements (for example, licensing or establishing a subsidiary) to enable them to trade.

    Tariffs are quite simple to understand and the costs are partly the tariff itself as well as the cost of checking and administering the tariff. Non-tariff barriers are however considered even more important and these are harder to explain as they are quite varied. Here is quite a good explainer on non-tariff barriers:

    https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/non-tariff-barriers

    Economists are agreed on the long term damage of this, not just directly but also indirectly long term in terms of lost FDI — we got a lot of FDI because of our membership of the Single Market — and lost productivity (as there is a lot of evidence that FDI is related to productivity).

  46. @NeilJ

    I wouldn’t bother clutching at straws on Survation. The changes are from what was almost certainly an extreme outlier. Generally this year Survation have been the kindest pollster to the left, so an 11% Tory lead from them 19 days before the GE is probably not a great sign of hope.

  47. Labour has tried to avoid fighting this on Brexit.

    But some here seem to be enthusiastic about fighting the economic argument on the basis that Brexit is bad.

    That seems to be aimed at the votes of those who are already going to have Brexit as the swing issue.

  48. Am I alone in not being sure that the WASPI women’s case is entirely watertight?

    Labour seem to have adopted their position as a bit of “slam dunk” as if it is obvious that it’s unfair to move women onto the same pension regime as men.

    I am not so sure that it is as clear cut as that. Surely spending a very large sum of money on this is only a vote-winner where the voters in question agree with the WASPI campaign?

    It’s subtly different to something like health spending, where we’d all like to see lots more of it but disagree about the extent to which it’s affordable.

  49. Meanwhile, Tories have the manifesto to win the last election…

  50. @Colin and @Somerjohn – the question needs to be turned round.

    It isn’t for @Somerjohn to identify the trade barriers: It’s for @Colin to explain how far we will have to diverge from frictionless trade in order to meet Johnson’s desire to be outwith the CU and SM.

    I would tend to agree with @Somerjohn’s assertion – if you really don’t think leaving the CU and SM will lead to some trade barriers, then I am wondering quite which planet you are residing on. Please explain.

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