The mid-week polls so far are below:

SavantaComRes (25th-26th) – CON 41%(-1), LAB 34%(+2), LDEM 13%(-2), BREX 5%(nc)
YouGov/Sky/Times (25th-26th) – CON 43%(-1), LAB 32%(+2), LDEM 13%(-3), BREX 4%(+1)
ICM/Reuters (22th-25th) – CON 41%(-1), LAB 34%(+2), LDEM 13%(nc), BREX 4%(-1)
Kantar (21st-25th) – CON 43%(-2), LAB 32%(+5), LDEM 14%(-2), BREX 3%(+1)
Survation/GMB (20th-23rd) – CON 41%(-1), LAB 30%(+2), LDEM 15%(+2), BREX 5%(nc)

Taken individually, almost all the changes in these polls are within the margin of error (Kantar is the only exception). However, looking at them as a group there is a clear trend, with every poll showing a slight drop in Tory support and a slight increase for Labour. Taken together it’s clear there’s been a slight narrowing of the race though, of course, that still leaves a Conservative lead between 7 and 11 points. As usual, it is almost impossible to ascribe specific causes to this.

As well as the standard polls this week, YouGov published their MRP model. MRP is a method of using a large national sample to project shares at smaller geographical areas – in this case Parliamentary constituencies. By modelling how different demographics vote in seats with different characteristics, and then applying that model to each constituency, the MRP model produces vote shares for each individual constituency and, via that, projects seat totals for each party. Famously the YouGov MRP model projected a hung Parliament in 2017 when most people expected a Conservative majority.

The model this time is less surprising – it projected national vote shares of CON 43%, LAB 32%, LDEM 14%, BREX 3% (so very much in line with YouGov’s traditional polling), and seat numbers of Conservative 359, Labour 211, SNP 43, Liberal Democrat 13. This represents a Conservative majority of 68, much what we would expect to find on those shares of the vote (though the detailed projection is interesting, with the Conservative gains coming largely in the North and the urban West Midlands, with notable gains in West Bromwich, Wolverhampton and Stoke). Full details of the MRP model are here.

Finally this week, we’ve seen what is only the second Scottish poll of the campaign, this time from Ipsos MORI. Topline figures with changes from the 2017 election are CON 26%(-3), LAB 16%(-11), LDEM 11%(+4), SNP 44%(+7). Tabs for that are here.


724 Responses to “Midweek polling update”

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  1. There’s a new article on the electoral calculus front page talking about their model and comparing it with YG MRP.

  2. *oldnat not profhoward.

    Bedtime…….

  3. B18

    In the YG tables, only 289 respondents said they were voting for tactical reasons, so any crossbreak %s of that must be pretty small.

    However the reasons they give for so doing may be indicative –

    to stop the Conservatives – GB 33% : Sco 24%
    to stop Labour – GB 16% : Sco 9%
    to stop Brexit – GB 19% : Sco 8%
    to deliver Brexit – GB 19% : Sco 20%
    another reason – GB 9% : Sco 31% (possibly anti-indy in Scotland?)

  4. @MOG
    I guess you can make even more progress this time with Herbert’s incumbency gone
    Hinds here was/is a remainer but has “taken the pledge”

  5. @HoodedMan

    Herbert’s incumbency would be a negative factor here. I’ve never known such a pathetic constituency MP. Before retiring I was a parish clerk, and he never bothered answering letters/emails from either myself or my chairman. His sole appearances were for photo-ops in the local rags.

  6. @OLDNAT

    That would make it 52 % of tactical votes as anti Tory/Brexit. With further tightening those could prove decisive. Would be interested to see if the amount of tactical voters rises/falls in the closing stretch of this campaign.

  7. MOG

    Is there any utility in giving your opinion on a particular MP on here?

    Your assessment may be correct – I duuno – but does your comment relate more to the cesspit or useful night soil end of the spectrum?

  8. Apparently it is often the case in polling that women are less likely to express a view than men (as OldNat said).

    However, in the actual election, women tend to turn out to vote in the same proportion that men do.

    But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you can say that, based on there being more female don’t-knows, more of the don’t-knows will go Lab. Don’t some pollsters already reallocate don’t-knows based on either their previous allegiance or other factors?

  9. B18

    Agreed. Under FPTP, supporters of parties unlikely to win always have the choice of “voting on principle” hopefully to increase the likelihood of more following them in future, or to tactically vote to stop an undesirable candidate getting elected.

    I’ve done both in my time, and its been a luxury not to have had to do either since 2015! :-)

  10. @ProfHoward

    “Interesting. Is that based on what people are saying when you’re out and about?”

    You’ve got to go back to 1987 for the last Tory landslide in this country, but I’m old enough to remember it and to have campaigned for Labour in it too. Compared to 1983, Labour staged a mini-recovery in that election but wherever you went, certainly in my neck of the woods, you could feel the enthusiasm for Thatcher and the general contentment with the Tory Government. Living standards for the many were on the rise and there was no appetite for either change or Labour. The Tories were defending a colossal majority and you could feel that they would steamroller the election again. That’s my clear memory of 1987 and the result reflected my prediction. It was a bit like Blair in 2001.

    Now, I fully accept that the economic and political circumstances that apply to this election are completely different to 1987, but I think the instincts of experienced campaigners are probably the same and the oblique signs from voters too. However, enthusiasm for politics has declined, and the obligation to vote too, and that has to be factored into the equation when making historical comparisons. The 1987 election took place in the halcyon days of 75%+ turnouts. I’d be surprised if this one gets much above 65%. The other difference of course is the Brexit proxy culture wars that are realigning British politics.

    All that said, what makes me think this isn’t a Tory landslide election is the obvious and tangible general discontent with way the country has been governed and the parlous state of both the body politic and public realm. It would be utterly extraordinary if the governing party for the last 10 years, who have presided over all this, wouldn’t in some way pay a price for that malaise and discontent. Brexit is blunting some of that anger and preventing it translating into Labour support, but it’s there, as is distaste for Johnson.

    That’s why I am in a funny place on all this. No sense of a Labour win, nor any feeling that the Tories are on their way to an extraordinary win either.

    And also a slight feeling that there may just be a late move to Labour on the way again. Not a 2017 surge but natural Labour voters slowly coming home.

  11. @OldNat

    Probably cesspit, but at least there was some shared experience with Hooded Man regarding our near-neighbouring constituencies.

    Generally in here I feel I’m talking in a padded cell.

    Perhaps you’d like to speak on my behalf henceforth.

  12. John33
    “A deeply polarising figure in a divided country could never be enjoying a lead of 15% in real terms.”

    In normal times, I’d agree, but aren’t we in a situation where Brexit is the overriding consideration for many people? Therefore Tories will get nearly all the Leave vote (still well above 40%) and the Remain side is split.
    ————————
    Princess Rachel
    “Hopefully labour will embrace PR after this election because i believe that this country really needs it.”

    I agree, but I doubt it will ever happen because as soon as any party gets an overall majority they seem to lose enthusiasm for PR for some reason!
    ———————
    Matt126
    Interesting comparison with 2017. It looks as though LibDems are still taking a chunk of the Remain (or anti-Corbyn) vote. Also of course there was the very late surge for Labour last time which may or may not happen this time.
    ———————-
    B18
    “Lastly a question. Labour seems to consistently poll worse amongst men than women. Anyone have any theories as to why ?”

    Possibly because despite women’s lib etc, in many households the man is still responsible for paying the bills, and is the main breadwinner and is therefore more concerned about major upheavals to the economy?

    NB to all, please read that last comment carefully before making ad hominem attacks. I agree with ON that we should refrain from comments that might upset AW.

  13. What is sometimes interesting in manifestos are the bits that don’t have the immediacy that voters might be directed to look at, but the bits that are potentially more important.

    I came across this in the Tory manifesto –

    After Brexit we also need to look at the broader aspects of our constitution: the relationship between the Government, Parliament and the courts; the functioning of the Royal Prerogative; the role of the House of Lords; and access to justice for ordinary people. The ability of our security services to defend us against terrorism and organised crime is critical. We will update the Human Rights Act and administrative law to ensure that there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government. We will ensure that judicial review is available to protect the rights of the individuals against an overbearing state, while ensuring that it is not abused to conduct politics by another means or to create needless delays. In our first year we will set up a Constitution, Democracy & Rights Commission that will examine these issues in depth, and come up with proposals to restore trust in our institutions and in how our democracy operates.

    As with every manifesto, such vague aspirations will be interpreted according to perceptions of the values of the party concerned, and the level of trust that people have in that party,

  14. So the largest Con lead is now 15% and the lowest being 6%. Most polls now showing a single digit lead for Con. So the YouGov poll showing a 9% Con lead seems about right. The picture is improving for Labour but only slowly so with a lot of work needed to reduce the lead by another four points to prevent a Tory majority.

    Still all to play for but the clock is ticking down.

  15. MOG

    I would never want to speak for you.

    I simply want to ensure that this site continues as a place where we can all speak.

  16. I think women might be voting more inclined to labour than before for two reasons, one there are more of them in the workforce and often in disagreeable jobs with bosses that are not of the finest quality. Secondly although women have a greater role in the workforce they are still the most likely primary care givers for children and sick relatives, it might be that being both tax payers and care givers leads women to expect more from public services.

  17. @MOG, OldNat

    MOG’s comments on his local MP were very tame, particularly when compared to some of the other viewpoints expressed

    OldNat – your point is correct that it is AW’s site, but I’m not sure a comment like that from MOG is what he deems “cesspit”

  18. The Observer poll brings sobriety to the wishful thinking of many on here.

    76% of the Leave vote coalescing to the Tories.

  19. I should have said more polls are now showing single digit Con leads rather than most polls.
    Gut feeling is that Labour will close the gap further but not by enough to prevent a Con majority, The Labour Leave heartlands will do for Labour sadly.

  20. Princess

    While men will also have to work under crap bosses, I think you are correct that women tend to have greater interaction with services that the state provides than men do.

    That would inevitably mean that more women concentrate on the services provided by governments.

    Outwith England, two governments provide these services (though even campaigning politicians are often confused as to who does what!)

    The VI division by sex in the latest Ipsos-MORI Scots poll suggests that such may be significant among those that use these services most.

    Party : Feale : Male
    SNP : 45% : 41%
    SLab : 20% : 15%
    SCon : 21% : 29%
    SLD : 10% : 10%
    SGP : 2% : 2%
    BxP : 1% : 1%

    ??? : 12% : 9%

  21. @Andrew Myers
    ‘This is now diverging with the 2017 campaign in that by the 11/12 day out point there were a number of polls around the 5/6 point lead mark, the drop from the previous week was more profound and Labour’s vote share was around 38% in several polls. Moreover the MRP was showing 302 seats.’

    In 2017 no MRP data was forthcoming until a week before Polling Day.

  22. On the question of the ‘cesspit’, and the continued existence of the ability to post comments on this site, I think one of the difficulties is the unusual structure of this place.

    AW posts an article, and then there are hundreds, or thousands, of linear comments beneath it, until a new thread appears, and all attention switches to the new one.

    This is a very different setup to most popular forums, such as Digital Spy, Money Saving Expert, or any sports team supporters’ forum, all of which have multiple active threads on various topics.

    Perhaps it’s time for AW to rethink the site design, and utilise one of the better php forum software offerings out there. An increase in server capacity, to eliminate the many Error 522 messages, would be a good move as well.

  23. Re: Raab’s woes, Lewis Goodall of Sky says the Lib dems think they have a chance at unseating Michael Gove in Surrey Heath. Bit of a stretch that one i think, Gove got 64% of the vote last time – they can probably make some hefty inroads but looks like it is too far to me. We’ll see.

  24. Looking at the polls from the equivalent weekend before the last General Election – 27th May 2017

    Opinium CON 45%(-1), LAB 35%(+2), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 5%(nc).

    ComRes CON 46%(-2), LAB 34%(+4), LDEM 8%(-2), UKIP 5%(nc)

    ORB CON 44%(-2), LAB 38%(+4), LDEM 7%(nc), UKIP 5%(-2).

    YouGov CON 43%(nc), LAB 36%(-2), LDEM 9%(-1), UKIP 4%

    ICM CON 46%(-1), LAB 32%(-1), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 5%(+1)

    Conservative leads 2017 of of 10%, 12%, 6%, 7% and 14%
    Compared to Conservative leads now of 9%, 13%, 15%, 10% and 6%

    2017 average Conservative lead is 9.8%
    2019 average Conservative lead is 10.9%

    Not sure the differences are that great

  25. Looking at the polls from the equivalent weekend before the last General Election – 27th May 2017

    Opinium CON 45%(-1), LAB 35%(+2), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 5%(nc).

    ComRes CON 46%(-2), LAB 34%(+4), LDEM 8%(-2), UKIP 5%(nc)

    ORB CON 44%(-2), LAB 38%(+4), LDEM 7%(nc), UKIP 5%(-2).

    YouGov CON 43%(nc), LAB 36%(-2), LDEM 9%(-1), UKIP 4%

    ICM CON 46%(-1), LAB 32%(-1), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 5%(+1)

    Conservative leads 2017 of of 10%, 12%, 6%, 7% and 14%
    Compared to Conservative leads now of 9%, 13%, 15%, 10% and 6%

    2017 average Conservative lead is 9.8%
    2019 average Conservative lead is 10.9%

    Not sure the differences are that great, what differences there are seem to be down to the Brexit Party polling a percent or two lower than UKIP were and the Conservatives look to have taken most of the Brexit vote.

    With the Brexit Party standing in most of the seats that the Conservatives need to win from Labour I think the election will be closer than some think. Still would expect a small Conservative overall majority, but it could be very close and would not be surprised if it was a hung Parliament

  26. My first post above got submitted before I had finished, stubby fingers:-)

  27. Davwel/cmj

    I was getting the same message, clearing the browser didn’t work for me, and still doesn’t, I eventually got in through a link on AWs Twitter feed. I have been thinking about signing up for ages, mainly because most of my friends seem to use it as their default means of messaging reach other, and finally did it today in the hope of getting back on here. Regarding the missing day of posts, I did post something earlier which was there when I l sent it but has now disappeared.

    I’m disappointed AW considers it a cesspit, I’ve been first lurking and later posting since around 2006 and it’s the only place I know where people of different political views can rub along generally nicely and talk to one another, get to know each other while broadly being within the spirit of the comments policy.

    When AW decides to switch us off I know I will miss this place hugely. I’m not a great fan of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, it’s too knowing for my tastes, but I like the idea behind it, I sometimes think of us as the courtiers chattering behind AW in a similar manner and from his comment it would appear to be so. I can understand why he sees us as an annoyance, eating up his bandwidth, though it saddens me to hear it

    It would seem that someday, and probably before very long, this place will change and it will be like the loss of our local. It occurs to me that if we wish to continue when Anthony is done with our chatter an alternative venue should be arranged for those who might wish to continue, an otherwise dormant blog for which those who enjoy the banter here can register to comment in case of emergency?

  28. What happened with UKPR?

    Had to go looking afresh for it by Google search.

  29. I deleted a dodgy cookie yesterday – otherwise I could only get in by private browsing.

    Reseve that for other activities…

  30. Hi All

    Been trying to post on here for ages but stuck in moderation. A long-time visitor but not frequent contributor.

    We used to hear lots about “Shy Tories” – people not willing to admit they would vote for them. I wondered if the same was true of Labour at the beginning of this campaign (and before) because, primarily, of their leader. Could it be true that as the campaign has moved on and it has become more “acceptable” to support him, those “shy” voters are now admitting where their vote will go. Could there be more people like this? I have not met one person from different walks of life who is voting Labour – is that realistic?

    Further with the campaign:

    1. I cannot understand how the Tories allowed themselves to be blindsided by Labour on the WASPI issue. It seems unlikely that they will be able to follow through on this pledge but in terms of winning votes, they played a good hand. If you were in line for a LUMP SUM of £15-£30k, would that not sway your vote – regardless of where the money was coming from? It’s a bribe but I think it worked and the Tories should have done more than just say we cannot afford it!

    2. Labour seem to have had a good campaign by constantly drip-feeding policies into the news. The Tories seem to have been a bit complacent – unless this “steady as she goes” approach is deliberate.

    3. Boris needs to make himself more visible! The odd sound-bite in the evening news whilst visiting a factory is surely not enough during an election campaign!

    4. I am not a fan of either Starmer or Thornberry but the fact they have clearly been sidelined in this election makes me even more concerned about the way the country would head under a Corbyn / McDonnell Government.

    Any thoughts on this?

  31. @Trigguy Many thanks for your web reference to the guidance on tactical voting. It seems to me an excellent site and should be more widely known. (Or maybe it is, just not by me). The good news is that in most places it is quite clear how one should vote. There are, however, a minority of constituencies in England and Wales where this is not the case and I give below the site’s summary of what to do in these constituencies.

    @ON – I agree that guidance for Scotland has to be different. I will give the sites summary for Scotland in a separate post.

    @ MOG – We agree that the conservative candidate in Kensington is credible. We disagree I think on whether he is out to win and thus on whether the conservatives may come through the middle. For what it is worth the guidance on this new site to which I have been pointed, the guidance for Kensington is ‘vote Lib Dem’. This seems to me to increase or at least underline the danger of a split vote.

    If you live in one of the 46 of the 573 seats that are complex cases and where the voting tools differ or new data indicates errors, read the advice above.

    In 4 (Bermondsey and Old Southwark, Cambridge, Ceredigion, Sheffield Hallam) it’s a free choice between Labour and the Liberal Democrats (or Plaid Cymru in Ceredigion), without any real danger.
    I view 1 as a special case (Chorley).
    In 3 (Beaconsfield, East Devon, South West Hertfordshire) vote Independent.
    In a further 30 (Chelmsford, Chelsea and Fulham, Cities of London and Westminster, Colchester, Eddisbury, Epsom and Ewell, Esher and Walton, Finchley and Golders Green, Harborough, Henley, Hitchin and Harpenden, Horsham, Kensington, Maidstone and The Weald, Mid Sussex, Newton Abbot, North East Somerset, North Somerset, South East Cambridgeshire, South East Cornwall, Solihull, Southport, St Austell and Newquay, Tewkesbury, Torridge and West Devon, Wantage, Watford, Wimbledon, Woking, York Outer) vote Lib Dem.
    In 6 (Ashfield, Brackley and Broughton, Broxtowe, Bury St Edmunds, Don Valley, Luton South) vote Labour.
    In 1 (Isle of Wight) vote Green.
    In 1 (Ynys Môn) vote Plaid Cymru.

  32. Does anyone know the difference in weighting for the “shy Tory vote” from 2017 and 2019 ?

  33. Charles

    Why vote LibDem in Colchester?

    2017 result:

    Conservative 24,565
    Labour 18,888
    LibDem 9087
    Green 828

    What’s the sense in voting LibDem?

  34. @Neilj

    Yes, the Brexit Party effect will be interesting as it makes the headline VI even less predictive than normal.

    As a very rough approximation (as they stood down in about half the E+W seats and are basically irrelevant in Scotland anyway) I’ve been adding Brex onto Con for seats Con defend, and taking Brex off Con for seats Con attack.

    So the latest YouGov I would e.g. read as Con+7 (attack), Con+11 (defence) – while the BMG would be Con+2/+10 and the Opinium Con+13/+17. It feels like there’s a region of polling, which the BMG poll is marginally inside and further reduction in the Lab/Con margin would move some others in there too, where the most likely result in all Lab-Con contests is “both hold everywhere”.

  35. @Goaroundnow

    “We used to hear lots about “Shy Tories” – people not willing to admit they would vote for them. I wondered if the same was true of Labour at the beginning of this campaign (and before) because, primarily, of their leader. Could it be true that as the campaign has moved on and it has become more “acceptable” to support him, those “shy” voters are now admitting where their vote will go. Could there be more people like this? I have not met one person from different walks of life who is voting Labour – is that realistic?”

    Interesting points and difficult to know for sure. You’re right that in the past opinion polls tended to underestimate Tory support due to some of the party’s supporters being reticent to declare their voting intention. However, I think most pollsters have tweaked their methodology to account for this factor although, certainly in 2017, the issue may have become one of underestimating Labour’s support. Whether that was due to the emergence of shy Labour voters, I’m less sure, and it may have been more down to methodology and the tendency to weight the Labour vote down on differential turnout grounds.

    There could be some truth in what you say, though. I’d be careful of the “I haven’t met a single person who says they’re going to vote Labour” because we can all sometimes mix in self-selecting circles, but I wonder

  36. @ON

    The link to which Trigguy pointed is worth repeating.

    https://jonworth.eu/2019-uk-general-election-tactical-voting-guide/

    Its summary for scotland is:

    The SNP holds 35 of the 59 Scottish seats (full list here) – if you back Remain, vote for the SNP in any of those 35 seats.

    In the 24 seats not held by the SNP, the split is as follows:

    13 seats – all of these are currently Tory held, with the SNP in 2nd place. Recommendation: SNP.
    Aberdeen South, Angus, Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, Banff and Buchan, Berwickshire, Roxborough and Selkirk, Dumfries and Galloway, Dunfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, East Renfrewshire, Gordon, Moray, Ochil and South Perthshire, Stirling, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

    5 seats – currently held by Labour in each case, with SNP second, where the Conservatives cannot win. Vote with your ideology here.
    Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, Glasgow North East, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, Midlothian, Rutherglen and Hamilton West

    4 seats – held by the Liberal Democrats, with Labour or the SNP placed second, no chance for Conservatives. Likewise vote as you see fit here.
    Orkney & Shetland, East Dunbartonshire, Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Edinburgh West

    Only two seats need more care:
    Edinburgh South (clear Labour recommendation, because Tories are in third only just behind SNP – recent results here). East Lothian (recent results here) is a tricky Scottish three way marginal. It was a Labour gain from the SNP in 2017, but the Tory vote also went up in 2017, placing the Tories in third just behind the SNP. The 2015 SNP result here looks like the outlier, not least because at the 2014 independence referendum East Lothian voted more than 60% against independence (results here). Recommendation: vote Labour.

    Conclusions – Scotland
    Vote SNP in 48 seats. In 5 seats it’s a free choice between Labour and SNP. In 4 seats free choice between Lib Dems, Labour and SNP. In only two seats is it more complicated – vote Labour in Edinburgh South and East Lothian.

  37. @Norbold

    LD held Colchester from 1997 – 2015. I suspect it’s a constituency which may be more likely to return to previous voting habits.

  38. @Goaroundnow

    “We used to hear lots about “Shy Tories” – people not willing to admit they would vote for them. I wondered if the same was true of Labour at the beginning of this campaign (and before) because, primarily, of their leader. Could it be true that as the campaign has moved on and it has become more “acceptable” to support him, those “shy” voters are now admitting where their vote will go. Could there be more people like this? I have not met one person from different walks of life who is voting Labour – is that realistic?”

    Interesting points and difficult to know for sure. You’re right that in the past opinion polls tended to underestimate Tory support due to some of the party’s supporters being reticent to declare their voting intention. However, I think most pollsters have tweaked their methodology to account for this factor although, certainly in 2017, the issue may have become one of underestimating Labour’s support. Whether that was due to the emergence of shy Labour voters, I’m less sure, and it may have been more down to methodology and the tendency to weight the Labour vote down on differential turnout grounds.

    There could be some truth in what you say, though. I’d be careful of the “I haven’t met a single person who says they’re going to vote Labour” because we can all sometimes mix in self-selecting circles, but I wonder if the demonisation of Corbyn has reached such levels now, and the hostility he attracts so intense, that some voters may be loathe to publicly admit supporting him, both to friends and pollsters.

    Only December 12th ballot boxes will know the answer.

  39. @goaroundnow

    I don’t think it’s “shy Labour” exactly. If you look at the detailed table rather than the headline figures, two months ago 25-30% of those polled were saying “Don’t know” or “Wouldn’t vote”. That’s now down closer to 20%, and most of them have moved (overall) to Labour.

    Reluctant Labour, perhaps – they don’t particularly want Corbyn, but they want the Conservatives even less and now there’s an actual GE on it’s clear that no alternative is going to miraculously arise, so like last time they’re voting for their local “not the Conservative” candidate.

    @Formister76

    I don’t think there is one. At the 2017 GE almost all companies overestimated the Conservative vote share (without, so far as I know, making any “shy Tory” correction as such), so they probably won’t be making any corrections that assume they’re undercounting Conservatives this time round either.

  40. @Trigguy

    Thanks again for the link to an excellent site. That said, I don’t agree that Labour necessarily needs to bring the LibDems below their 2017 percentage. What it needs to do is to ensure that the LibDem vote is ‘lumpy’, with very high proportions voting for them in seats they can win from the conservatives and very low proportions voting for them in seats which they cannot win and where their only likely effect is to split the remain vote and allow the Conservatives in. This strategy requires both parties to accept the blindingly obvious which is that neither of them can win outright and their best chance is to have a tacit alliance. Like Princess Rachel I think that the hostility between their party machines makes this unlikely at an official level. At the ground level, however, I think that the truth of this may sink in and that given fair guidance the remain vote (which is now a majority of the country) could just win.

  41. @Goaroundnow – hello.

    The Conservative plan all along was to do as little as possible. Well in advance of the election they sought to establish a point of difference between Johnson and the last nine years by the announcements on school, NHS and police numbers. This sounded like a splurge, but in fact still leaves us below 2010 levels. It worked very well, but as the election campaign rolled on, the claims have become less attractive as the message that it is merely repairing some of the damage and not evidence of some great change in Conservative thinking has taken the shine of the announcements.

    Their manifesto was therefore a do nothing document, quite deliberately. Beyond Brexit, they are offering nothing. This copies the Vote Leave tactic of targeting something that sounds good but you don’t define, in order to maximise your support and avoid putting off any potential voters. As with Cons 2019 offer.

    Equally deliberately, Labour have targeted the change message. They talk of a transformational period of very big, very bold plans.

    Both approaches carry risks. To be non partisan, I think it’;s fair to say that both are working, for the target audiences they were designed to work for. Both have attracted support during the campaign.

    Perhaps I would be slightly more worried if I were a Conservative right now though. They are clearly well ahead, so should win a comfortable majority, but seeing a poll yesterday that placed the NHS nearly 20% ahead of Brexit as the main issue of concern tells me that the electorate is already looking beyond Brexit, and this is fertile ground for Labour.

    That 9% lead for Cons in the latest YG is not close, but getting closer. If Labour can close another 2% in the next week, things start to get genuinely tight, and perhaps Johnson might have wished that he had offered the public more hope on non Brexit issues.

  42. John33

    I live in the neighbouring constituency to Colchester and my son lives there so I know it quite well. Bob Russell, the former LibDem MP was very popular locally. He was their candidate in 2017 and look how well he did!

    In fact, Bob Russell was a former Labour Party member and took a lot of support with him who must have reverted home in 2017.

    As things currently stand, the LibDems have far more “tactical voters” to win over than Labour.

  43. Thanks all for your replies. I really love this site. I think I might be becoming a bit OCD about polls!

    @crossbath – you are probably right about “self selecting circles” or, more accurately, the demographics we mix with are generally pretty set by career etc.

  44. turncoat,
    “In 2017, couldn’t it be said that virtually all the polls were outliers?”

    No. because we dont know what the real result would have been on the day of the poll. Had people been marched to the polling station after answering the survey, they might have voted for real a lot more like the survey result than the final vote.

    I expect the polls did track a real change in sentiment as time went by.

    David Colby,
    “You have to think that it gets harder to change the numbers from here on in though”

    I dont know if it does. The evidence seems to be a lot of people have made up their minds and wont change. Consider them fixed. But the changes in result will come from those still uncertain who make a decision. Depends how many there are, and which way they are leaning.

    Andrew Myers,
    “Today is the equivalent of the 27th May, 2017.
    By this point in 2017 there had been at least six polls showing Labour at 35% or more and two at 38%.”

    By what metric? The problem is that the length of campaign isnt the same. Last time it was a surprise election, agreed quickly. This time con started early with their leadership campaign and a lot of TV publicity for that, then tried to go immediately into an election. This was delayed by parliament.

    Anyway, 2 weeks to go is not necessarily the same stage in the campaign as it was last time round.

    I suggested before, voters will recognise there is a deadline and according to their nature make a firm decision sooner or later. Con started with a respectable lead, but it is possible to imagine a 1 month campaign during which that lead dwindled steadily, or a 1 day’s notice snap election, where the day before they had a poll lead of 15%, but after just one day’s thought, maybe got a real 5% lead.

  45. David Colby

    13,14,17, 14, 13,14,12,11,9
    That Yougov lead is the first single digit one in ages and I think that’s easily the worst poll for the tories tonight.

    Agreed.

    In some ways i think ComRes the best for the Tories:

    Since 18th October

    Con 33,36,36,37,40,41,42,42,41,43 increase of 10%since 18th Oct.
    Lab 29,28,29,29,30,33,31,32,34,33 increase of 4% since 18th Oct
    LD 18,17,17,17,16,14,15,15,13,13 decrease 5% since 18th Oct

    Looking at all last nights polls I think it is clear that there has been some further tightening of the race. Looking at individual polls anything between hung parliament and Cons landslide is still possible.

    Personally still content with my forecast of 350 seats for the Tories, 18 less than YouGov’s MRP. Presumably the later will be updated on Wednesday, that will be very interesting.

  46. @Norbold

    Sorry – didn’t mean to infer that you didn’t. I just looked it up and thought it was worth contributing what I saw.

  47. @CIM thanks for your answer much appreciated.

    And on another note, whereas I don’t usually bother posting (last time 2017 election), I still visit this site weekly and daily during the election period to read all your comments, theories and banter.

    It’s a shame what AW has said about it, from the outside looking in it comes across as a moderate and informative discussion of theories, ideas and conjecture.

    You may one day drive yourselves insane trying to look under every stone and crevice for a clue on how people may vote, but enjoyable to read all the same

  48. @CIM thanks for your answer much appreciated.

    And on another note, whereas I don’t usually bother posting (last time 2017 election), I still visit this site weekly and daily during the election period to read all your comments, theories and banter.

    It’s a shame what AW has said about it, from the outside looking in it comes across as a moderate and informative discussion of theories, ideas and conjecture.

    You may one day drive yourselves insane trying to look under every stone and crevice for a clue on how people may vote, but enjoyable to read all the same

  49. @ GON

    “1. Tories allowed themselves to be blindsided by Labour on the WASPI issue.”

    The WASPI issues is a minor vote winner on one hand for the Labour party, but it just highlight the “eat all you can and no need to pay” attitude of Labour to public finance. Who would pay for these unfortunate women’s pensions? It will be other taxpayers, including the over taxed young. The Tories meanwhile are offering the young a taxcut by cutting NI.

    “2. Labour seem to have had a good campaign by constantly drip-feeding policies into the news. The Tories seem to have been a bit complacent – unless this “steady as she goes” approach is deliberate.”

    I think it’s deliberate. Johnson is a extraordinarily divisive figure, and statuesque appearances where the tries to appear Prime Ministerial are proper better for him. He has built an aura. Deep probing won’t reveal much depth of conviction on any issue.

    “3. Boris needs to make himself more visible! The odd sound-bite in the evening news whilst visiting a factory is surely not enough during an election campaign!”

    See 2 – yes it is for him. He doesn’t really have strong views on anything much in my view. The maverick Johnson would love the challenge of “Andrew Neil”, but I think his advisors know better. The current security tragedy is an opportunity for more statuesque-ism.

    “4. I am not a fan of either Starmer or Thornberry but the fact they have clearly been sidelined in this election makes me even more concerned about the way the country would head under a Corbyn / McDonnell Government.”

    Yes, they’re also terribly divisive individuals. I can’t see them staying out of the headlines much longer. I think Labour are being slow cooked by the evasive Tory strategy, and it will end up in civil war before election day.

  50. I have always found the concept of “Shy Tories” interesting. This was one of the reasons given for the polls being wrong in the 1992 GE. I think there was some evidence of it in elections leading up to 2005, where even though Labour won they did so on lower VI than most polls in the campaigns predicted.

    It’s tempting to rationalise the in 2017 result as being in part due to a “Shy Labour” phenomenon but I‘m not so sure. I think it is more down to pollsters underestimating the impact of the youth turnout in their models and overestimating the solidity of the “Labour Leave” voters switching to the Tories in the Midlands and the North.

    Let’s imagine that two voters of the same age and profession and have always voted are being interviewed by a pollster:
    1. A life long Tory voter aged 50 says they will vote Tory.
    2. A life long labour voter tells them they are going to switch to Conservative.

    How would pollsters weight these responses? Human nature would suggest that the second response is less likely to vote in the way they say any will either not vote at all or switch back in the polling booth.

    This could have significant impact in these Labour Leave seats that the Tories need to win. Whatever your political persuasion, it’s difficult to find people who say that Boris is having a “good” campaign.

    To be honest, I’m not sure if the “Shy Tory” effect ever existed in a significant way and the 1992 GE result was simply down to differential turnout and a possible late swing after Kinnock’s infamous Sheffield Rally moment.

    “WE’RE AWLRIGHT!”

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