We have the usual glut of polls in the Sunday papers, with new figures from YouGov, ComRes, Opinium, BMG and Deltapoll. Topline figures are below:

Deltapoll/Mail on Sunday – CON 45%(+2), LAB 32%(+2), LDEM 15%(-2), BREX 3%(nc). Fieldwork was Thursday to Saturday, and changes are from last week. (tabs)
YouGov/Sunday Times – CON 43%(nc), LAB 34%(+2), LDEM 13%(nc), BREX 2%(-2). Fieldwork was Thursday and Friday, and changes are from the start of the week (tabs)
Opinium/Observer – CON 46%(-1), LAB 31%(+3), LDEM 13%(+1), BREX 2%(-1). Fieldwork was Wednesday to Friday, changes are from last week (tabs)
SavantaComRes/Sunday Telegraph – CON 43%(+2), LAB 33%(-1), LDEM 13%(nc), BREX 4%(-1). Fieldwork was Wednesday and Thursday, changes are from their mid-week poll (tabs)
BMG/Independent – CON 39%(-2), LAB 33%(+5), LDEM 13%(-5), BREX 4%(-1). FIeldwork was Tuesday to Wednesday, changes are from last week.

Polls in the last week had been consistent in showing a small decrease in Conservative support and a small increase in Labour support, marginally reducing the Tory lead. While these polls aren’t quite so uniform (Deltapoll show the lead steady, ComRes shows movement in the other direction… though if you consider ComRes carry out two polls a week, their lead compared to a week ago is actually unchanged), most still show movement in Labour’s favour.

There remains a significant difference in the overall size of the lead, varying from just six points in the BMG poll to fifteen from Opinium. It is hard to put a specific figure on what sort of lead the Conservatives need to secure an overall majority – it obviously depends on exactly where they gain or lose votes – but as a rough rule of thumb it is probably somewhere around six or seven points. That means at the moment the vast majority of polls are still indicating a Tory majority, but there is no longer that much room for further tightening.


537 Responses to “Sunday polling round up”

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  1. Reminder, Starmer is no centrist and even within the 2017-19 PLP he would be left of centre.

  2. NICK P.
    Hello to you. I think you were more optimistic in 2015 about Labour’s chances.

    1964, 1974 and 1997 are the three GE’s where Labour was able to take power from the Tories.
    2019 does not feel like that to me, at the moment.

    GRAHAM of Norwich North, which I remember well. You will know that Laval made his pact with the National Socialists of Germany. Are you saying that Ian Austin is like that man?

  3. @Colin and @Millie – regarding the ‘crying out for a centrist leader’, I think we need to be a little careful.

    It’s a pretty standard trope to claim that only centrists can win elections, but that simply isn’t true – or at least, it isn’t always true.

    What strikes me is that modern British politics, like economics, tends to follow a broadly consensual path, most of the time. There is an established orthodoxy, which performs reasonable well, and parties that cleave to the middle of this orthodoxy tend to benefit.

    But then the orthodoxy changes. The Conservatives biggest majorities were under Thatcher. Was she a ‘statesmanlike centrist’ or a radical reformer? While Atlee was a steady, boring individual, Labour’s great post war administration wasn’t built on a moderate, middle of the road platform, but on a truly radical change agenda.

    The period from 1997 to 2010 tends to confirm our view of moderates doing best, but what if the orthodoxy has now changed? If, as a politician, you come into a change election as the moderate, steady candidate, it’s more likely that you are going to lose.

    I think Corbyn has many personal failings, in terms of his ability to lead, enthuse and reach across the divide, and of course, as @redrich says, you need to factor in the inevitable monstering of whoever is the Labour leader by the paid for press, so while I think Labour might have done better (even better? – lets just wait and see) with a different leader, I don’t think a wholesale switch to a timid, centrist policy platform would have necessarily been the right approach.

    2008 changed everything, but we are only just beginning to understand this.

  4. @Princess Rachel

    What if there is no sweet spot? Basically we have to be led by a coalition (in reality if not formally). And what that means is that people have to be clear about their priorities and accept they can’t have everything. The problem for me with the Labour manifesto is not that it is too radical – radical is good, if as you correctly say, Corbyn is to reach the people who really need him. The problem is that it is too all encompassing and too soft on all concerned and that somehow makes it lose focus and become hard to believe. Personally I think that if Corbyn gets in and delivers some of what he has promised that will be great. I don’t think most people think like that,

  5. Chrislane1945,

    I am saying that Pierre Laval was a politician who started out on the left and subsequently swung sharply to the right. Ian Austin – and John Woodcock – appear to have done likewise.

  6. In Watford in 2017 I sensed that Labour were getting close but short. This is what happened. Doing some politics discussions in the pubs on Friday and Saturday a substantial number of Lib Dem voters are going to vote Labour. This did not happen last election.

    What if the Brexit Part splits the Conservative Vote in the North and Labour sneak through the middle ie Peterborough.

    What if the Labour voters go on mass behind the Liberal Democrats in the seats they are challenging the Conservatives for. Tactical Voting is not reflected in the Polls.

    If Labour are actually 5% away without votes in Scotland counting much is that accounted for.

    Are we heading into a perfect storm where an unpopular opposition leader sneaks through the middle.

    I would say buckle your seat belts because I do not think this election is callable on the existing polling methods.

  7. In Watford in 2017 I sensed that Labour were getting close but short. This is what happened. Doing some politics discussions in the pubs on Friday and Saturday a substantial number of Lib Dem voters are going to vote Labour. This did not happen last election.

    What if the Brexit Part splits the Conservative Vote in the North and Labour sneak through the middle ie Peterborough.

    What if the Labour voters go on mass behind the Liberal Democrats in the seats they are challenging the Conservatives for. Tactical Voting is not reflected in the Polls.

    If Labour are actually 5% away without votes in Scotland counting much is that accounted for.

    Are we heading into a perfect storm where an unpopular opposition leader sneaks through the middle.

    I would say buckle your seat belts because I do not think this election is callable on the existing polling methods.

  8. I am sorry posted twice in error.

  9. On the question of modelling tactical voting it’s quite useful to look at a constituency such as Cars&Wall. Both EC and you give MRP have then as close races between Con and Lib but very different levels for third place Labour. EC has Labour in twice as higher a % share as YG, retaining its ‘17 share.

    You would assume that this site is a prime one to see ABT vote to coalesce around the LD. But YG show it as an even closer race with Labour in half it’s 17 vote. I am assuming that the YG model is factoring a significant Lab-Con churn of ‘17 Labour Leave.

    Be interesting to see what YG predict for the seat if Labour gain a couple of more % points from the LDs. I very much anticipate that Tom Brake will keep his seat.

  10. @Shevii
    @Princess Rachel

    I accept your points about the Labour Leavers. That is partly why I suggested a second referendum with BJ’s deal as the Leave option. I think some Leavers would find that quite a lot more attractive than the thought of another potentially protracted , possibly ‘sham’, negotiation conducted by Remain-leaners.

    It also occurs to me that my suggestion might have been a better approach for the LDs than ‘all out’ Remain.

  11. Norbold

    “I received my first election leaflets of the campaign today…”

    Count yourself lucky.

    My household has received 15 separate leaflets and letters from one party (the Lib Dems) in the past month. Also one each from Tories and Labour.

  12. RR, OLD JOKE Time with a new Twist.

    I wonder if the LDs will continue to be able to put A Brake on Brexit even if the Tories get an OM.

  13. This site is getting very partisan again. Will folks please try to concentrate on the polling please. I enjoy this site and do not want to find the comments are removed because some cannot see other points of view.

  14. Colin

    How strange, I had to do it twice on my phone before it worked but everything seems ok now.

  15. Graham

    Agreed. The Tories won just 2.4% more of the National vote in 2017 than Labour and were only just shy of an overall majority. I think Labour need to be within 4% of the Tories to force a similar result and time is running out.

    I’m hoping against hope some polls will show the Con lead falling to 5% or 6% this week but it doesn’t seem likely. There is no surge back to Labour. It’s more of a drift back.

  16. On the subject of betting I got 16/1 on Trump being elected the week before he became President, 12/1 on Brexit during the vote count when it was obvious from the numbers in the North East that remain was in trouble. I also got 20/1 on Corbyn being next PM the day before the vote in 2017. I cashed out at about 1:30 am during the count when he was even money.

    But my best ever political bet was thanks to this site. I had the Canterbury, and Kensington Labour double.

  17. Curse auto correct – you give is you gov. Site is seat.

  18. JJ – rofl ;-).

    I actually know Tom – he’s a good guy.

  19. @ TOH (@ JJ ) – The “Singh Curve” is part of Matt’s “Shy Tory” article from GE’15.

    You have to read the whole piece as the “correlation” between approval ratings and poll lead is over shadowed by the Shy Tory thing until about p7 [1]

    It was discredited by GE’17 result (although if you adjust for the polling error issues from the demographic turnout “errors” and the late “surge” in Corbyn (v May) approval then it was within “MoE”)

    Another write-up on similar issue:

    https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/party-leader-approval-ratings-and-election-outcomes/

    [1] Loads of huge caveats, the biggest of which is seats doesn’t map to %s in the same way as they used to (eg SNP dominance in Scotland, BXP issue, LDEM “lumpy vote” (tactical Remain vote) etc).

  20. @MOG
    “@PeteB

    Possibly you are; the clue is in the poster’s name.”

    Sorry mate, you’ve baffled me (not too difficult a feat). Possibly I am what? Are you talking about your name and saying that I too am one? NP if you are. If you’re referring back to one of my posts I don’t know which one.

  21. Link for the “Shy Tory” piece. I’m not endorsing it, just follow up on a question TOH raised.

    https://www.ncpolitics.uk/2015/05/shy-tory-factor-2015/

  22. I dont think it’s possible for labour to win an OM in this election regardless of who the leader is, the two parts of its coalition are too far apart, the centrists wont vote for the radicals and the radicals have given up on the centrists. With PR we wouldnt have this problem, all interest groups would have representation in parliament and would be able to negotiate and compromise. I would point out that the tories have a similar problem which is going to get more serious as time goes on.

  23. Does anyone know when YG will doing an update from their MRP?

  24. 10th or 11th Trevor

  25. Moosepoll
    “Tactical Voting is not reflected in the Polls.”

    Don’t some polls now ask ‘How would you vote in your constituency?’?
    ————————-
    NickP
    Thanks for explaining DaWN

  26. Steve Hawkes on twitter retweeted by James O’Brien

    “Polls narrowing. YouGov’s MRP survey appears to have turned into a massive voting guide for the Remain lobby”

  27. There will be a number of people who would normally vote in elections, but don’t feel they can vote in this one. There is the normally Labour, but vehemently anti Corbin group, the pro Labour but pro Brexit group and the normally Conservative but anti Brexit group.

    All of these groups will have a number of people who just feel that they cannot vote. It makes any polling system that re-allocates don’t knows, more prone to inaccuracy than would usually be the case.

  28. nickp
    DaWN=Dulwich & West Norwood
    …………..………………………………..

    In the 1980s I went to a lot of great theatre in South Norwood (96 seater). Is that in DaWN?
    However, there was one truly awful dull boring aimless play which reminds me of this GE campaign.
    However, the new play was rescued by the brilliant improvised final line at the end of the dreadful turgid imagination free play (I think called ‘The Transit of Venus’.
    The lead actor sensing the audience boredom, weariness and deep dissatisfaction, he said ‘Maybe next time we’ll get a better play. Maybe.’
    After such a dull two hours, the line brought the house down. We went to the bar on a real high.
    Maybe next time we’ll get a better GE campaign. Maybe.

  29. Moosepoll,
    “I would say buckle your seat belts because I do not think this election is callable on the existing polling methods.”

    That I agree with.

    I’d say though, that one of the principles behind taking a national average vote share and trying to predict from it, is that the process averages out various upsets and exceptions which always occur. So its not quite so bad as it might at first seem. But you are right, this one is unusually complex.

    One the other hand again though, the best previous comparison of such complex voting is probably 2017, which should also be factored in somewhat by national average models because it happens to be the most recent election. So there is a historic comparison which we did not have in 2017.

    Yougov and others with their new large polling models, trying to get down to calling each seat, have quite a task, first giving up this advantage of averaging across the whole country, and then trying to get sufficient accuracy for each seat.

    But whichever of these models you look at, the real problem is voters are conflicted by two different prime drivers of their vote. Tribal loyalty to (or hatred of) a party, and their side in the big issue of the day, brexit. In particular, while leave have mostly moved behind con, remain is still significantly split mostly with labour but a lot with libs and some with minor parties.

    Will they unite, or will they stay split? That will decide the election.

  30. @Danny – Will they unite, or will they stay split? That will decide the election.

    If they unite they should, in theory, win. They have, however, the problem that while rational leavers should always vote conservative, there is no such clear rule for rational remainers.

  31. @RobbieAlive

    “What for: to read the jubilation of the Tories & the SNP, the unholy alliance that forced the election.”

    Don’t look now, but I smell a 1979-esc ‘blame the SNP for the Tories’ coming.

    Just as some blamed the SNP for Cameron’s win in 2015, despite the win seats being in the SW of England, and all the SNP seats turning red changing the GE result by zero.

    Labour can blame Labour for once.

  32. Interesting article tonight from the peerless ( in my opinion) Stephen Bush in the New Statesman. Very much sensing that the squeeze is on from LD for Labour, and sensing the more sticky Labour defectors are now returning back to Labour. We will see by Saturday how true is when that batch of polls comes out.

  33. @Redrich
    @Charles
    @Millie

    “You do need to factor in the impact of 2-3 years of character assassination in right wing media aimed at Cooper. Her husband was continually attacked in the press – leaves politics and fairly soon afterwards free of the negative press the public get a more balanced view of him and he becomes a virtual national treasure.”

    ———-

    Absolutely. We have seen the power of the press in this regard numerous times. 2010-2015 is a good example because it showed the power of the press to both hammer or elevate, and substantially too, in short order.

    When Tories annoyed the press over Levenson, the press hammered away and got Tory Vi down into the twenties while Miliband’s Labour polled in the forties.

    When Cameron relented on Leveson the press switched and targeted Miliband, turning Tory fortunes around.

    If Starmer or whoever continue with Corbynite policies, they are liable to continue to take the flak Corbyn gets. If instead they give the press what they want, then it may be different.

    But what the press want isn’t necessarily “centrism”. Polling shows people can be quite keen on nationalisations etc. for instance.

    It’s because people aren’t actually that keen on the press agenda that the press has to mercilessly do its character assassinations and so on to try and force its agenda.

    (How many people were bothered about immigration till the press started pushing the issue post-omnishambles?)

  34. Posted in the older thread, in the hope that the other universe spots it. Doubtful, but you never know.

  35. JamesE
    My household has received 15 separate leaflets and letters from one party (the Lib Dems) in the past month. Also one each from Tories and Labour.

    That’s going some – I thought we’d accumulated an impressive collection with 10 LD items, 1 Lab, 1 Con and 1 Grn (I’m scanning them all for the benefit of a voter overseas). Somewhat surprisingly, given the enthusiastic leafletting we’ve had no LD canvassers, although Lab have been round.

    The seat is a Lab-LD marginal, with YG estimating 87% chance of a LD win (local factors mean that’s probably an underestimate). Usually my street sprouts healthy numbers of both Lab and LD posters, but to my surprise although Lab posters are now appearing much as normal in windows and gardens, I’ve yet to see a single LD one. I’ve come up with a number of hypotheses to account for this, but frustratingly I have no way of testing them!

  36. There has to be serious questions about where the libdems are getting their cash from, they seem to be swimming in money. Or is it that the other parties are spending their money online and libdems are concentrating on more traditional methods

  37. My comment at lunchtime went into moderation, so here is a very short version.

    CB11 referred to an article earlier. It spoke of leavers in the northern half of England and their wish for their view to be acknowledged.

    My question was, for those who wanted tangible benefits as well as a symbolic Brexit, is it actually still possible to create better jobs and restore manufacturing for example?

    Haven’t various changes in society made this impossible?

  38. @ALEC

    “The period from 1997 to 2010 tends to confirm our view of moderates doing best, but what if the orthodoxy has now changed? If, as a politician, you come into a change election as the moderate, steady candidate, it’s more likely that you are going to lose.”

    Indeed if you look at Labour’s sister parties on the continent, the ones which are still dominated by the centrist third way tendency are being crushed in the polls.

    Take the German SDP for example, which is still very much a Blairite outfit. It won just over 20% of the vote in the last German general election two years ago, its lowest ever share.

    Also the Dutch Labour Party’s vote share collapsed to just 6% two years ago.

    Probably the only left of centre political parties in Europe to have gained support in the last few years have been the ones which have moved left, like Labour here or the Portuguese Socialist Party which is in government.

    Which rather suggests that the kind of Blairite third way centrism some people seem to think is the magical answer, is something of a busted flush politically.

  39. Sorbus,

    It means that Labour are canvassing and LD are not. The LD share of the vote will be wilting rapidly in that case.

  40. GRICHAL

    @”Take the German SDP for example, which is still very much a Blairite outfit.”

    No longer-it has moved Left.

    https://www.newstatesman.com/world/europe/2019/12/spd-s-new-left-wing-leadership-could-prove-just-jolt-germany-needs

  41. @Princess Rachel

    Pretty sure the analysis was showing that the Lib Dems were spending as much, or more, online (certainly FB) as the other parties

  42. Grichal

    Indeed, also HC got trounced by trump in the rust belt. Democratic party is picking up seats where it moves to the left and the primary system is producing more and more left wing voices. Its difficult to find countries where the status quo isnt being challenged from both sides of the left/right divide, it’s very 1930s.

  43. @ Hal
    “I’m quite looking forward to getting back to brexit minutae. This general election thing is a big distraction.”

    Either you’re an great ironist or you need therapy.

    @ Statgeek
    “Don’t look now, but I smell a 1979-esc ‘blame the SNP for the Tories’ coming. Just as some blamed the SNP for Cameron’s win in 2015, despite the win seats being in the SW of England, and all the SNP seats turning red changing the GE result by zero. Labour can blame Labour for once.”

    1979: I blame Callaghan for stupidly not calling the election the previous October, when Lab had a much better chance. As Denis Healey, the then Chancellor explained at length in his autrobiography, he & the PM asked far too much sacrifice from the Unions in the winter of ’78/79, with disastrous results.

    Yes the SNP votes made sure that Labour lost the confidence vote in 1979, as Lab backbenchers had sabotaged devolution; but what ensued seemed to me to have done as much damage to the SNP as Labour. They did not exceed trheir ’74 vote until 2015 & I think would have achieved devolution faster under a Lab government. You may differ.

    In 2015 there was an orchestrated right-wing media campaign to suggest that a Miliband minoirty government would be dictated to by the SNP. It is said this persuaded Lib-Dem voters in SW seats & eslewhere to switch to the Tories to prevent a hung Parliament. The claim was nonsense but it may have had an effect, as nonsense often does. But Miliband admitted he fought a far too timid Tory-light campaign & allowed the Tories to shape the “narrative”. .

    In 2017 it is generally agreed that the SNP did not fight a v good campaign with the result that enough Tory MPs were elected to bolster a Tory minority government. But Labour fell short in England, despite years of Tory austerity & a terrible Tory campaign. In fact in 2017 every mainland party “lost”. Tories, Lib-Dems, SNP, Labour. The only gainers were DUP & SF.

    2019. I think Labour have made a hash of things since 2017, esp. with ref to their Brexit policy & only have themselves to blame.

    I was merely pointing out that the SNP votes were necessary to overcome the FTPA.

  44. @ JJ – I was hoping YG would do have done an update of MRP for last weekend, but disappointing they are not even doing one for next week. 11-12th bit late!

    Gina Miller has updated her MRP and tactical voting but I haven’t seen any post a link with the excel data (so you’ll need to “scrape” it if you want it).

    However you can see from the “marginal seats” page and comparing that to her last MRP that LAB have narrowed the gap in many London seats (and no clear pattern elsewhere)

    https://www.remainunited.org/marginal-seats/

    B4B have updated their MRP at least once as well

    People’s Vote are being somewhat “subjective” in their picks (see their “about” page) but they have put up their “100 target seats” map up (some are pretty “hopeful” and others fairly unnecessary but more or less as per Gina Miller and/or YG MRP)
    https://tactical-vote.uk/map

  45. National Oyster Card for all public transport. This Labour policy makes a lot of sense.

  46. Prof Howard

    What is the geographical extent of that policy?

    Would it apply in NI?

  47. Over 60s already have free bus and train travel in NI.

  48. There was a fascinating focus group on C4 News. If you missed it then you can get the rerun now on C4+1. The focus group should start at about 8.25 on the rerun. It’s a group of Leave voters from the West Midlands who usually vote Labour. They all end up saying that they are going to vote Tory this time. And that Boris Johnson is a lovable buffoon who will always give an honest answer. The whole thing was fascinating – especially the views on Brexit and seeing how people like Johnson and Trump appeal to many voters.

  49. I put Britain Elect’s latest poll tracker into Electoral Calculus and it kicked this out:

    CON 349
    LAB 227
    LIB 19
    Brexit 0
    Green 1
    SNP 32
    PlaidC 4
    UKIP 0
    Other 0
    N.Ire 18

  50. Grichal,
    “Which rather suggests that the kind of Blairite third way centrism some people seem to think is the magical answer, is something of a busted flush politically.”

    Interesting post.

    I’m not sure I completely agree, because the lib dems have shown some signs of life in recent years, and seem to have placed themselves centre right.

    The libs before coalition were attracting voters because they were different, and this was drastically spoiled by aligning with conservatives. But I have wondered whether their rise also had to do with the right, as in conservative supporters, having moved somewhat to the left. So they have become more open to the lib offer.

    Which isnt to say some of con wouldnt prefer an even more right party.

    Maybe the answer is just that it is no longer possible to maintain big coalitions by papering over the difficultiy of one extreme all but opposing the other. Maybe it is just indicative we need narrower, more clearly defined parties if they are to get committed support. So there is a space for a centrist party. It just isnt a big enough space to command a majority.

    If voters have splintered and will refuse to support wide parties, that implies FPP instead of stabilising outcomes, builds in anarchy.

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