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. Interesting looking at the Survation poll, on November 18th 2019 39% who voted remain in the 2016 referendum said they would vote Labour. That figure is now 49%

    I do wonder if all the movement we have seen. on both the Conservative and Labour side is not to any great extent what people think of the policies and manifesto commitments that have come out, but much more to do with remain and leave voters going to parties they think have the best chances of getting what they want done in relation to Brexit

  2. @ Danny

    Your point about off peak fares is well made notably the need for a specific train to get the bargains. I’ve more or less given up on advance tickets now because there is always a chance that plans change.

    The problem with off peak is as it stands is that Train companies manipulate it to make maximum profit. On West Coast for example the earliest you can arrive in London Euston is more or less midday and the earliest train back is 7.30 (for my Wigan train at least). The evening peak time out of Euston runs for about 4 hours. It’s simply not fit for purpose to have such long peak periods. More interestingly because of overcrowding on first off peak trains on Friday evenings, Virgin have now ended peak times on Fridays. Trains are busy but I have always still found a seat on the former “peak” trains.

    It’s one the key things that a nationalised railway (aimed at carbon reduction) can look at because they are not obsessed by maxing out their profits and can adjust prices for customer convenience and comfort- work out exactly what busy trains need to be restricted by price to fit everyone on and which don’t need those restrictions. If there is no need for Peak on a Friday it is unlikely there is a need for peak on any other day, although there may be specific trains (London by 9am) where there is this need.

    Short commutes are more problematic as most trains are full during a traditional rush hour.

  3. @John33

    :-)}

    The show indeed goes on!!

  4. Frosty,

    I understand your point but obviously did not draft ny reply succinctly enough.

    I agree proponents of a more proportionate system (I am one and have a preference for STV) could be using this issue to highlight but I think voting system reform is not a big enough issue at this time.

    My point that the Tories with 40% ish, or Labour with 36% ish in 2005, can introduce other measures but they are reversible so a different test for legitimacy can apply.

  5. @ Redrich

    “I think they have gained approx 2% from conservative remainders”

    Actually that is only slightly true. The last yougov showed LD taking 5% off Tory 2017 vote but there was a corresponding 15% of 2017 LD voters now voting Tory. I suppose you could equate that to 2% net given respective votes in 2017 but it has been falling rapidly and accounts for why LD are not expected to gain more than a handful of Tory seats if that.

    It’s difficult to give specific analysis of the 2017 LD vote given those numbers fall below a reasonable sample size (106 people in the last yougov) but the trends are there like when Oldnat does his Scottish crossbreaks over time,

    The LD 2017 retention rate was the lowest of any of the parties in the last yougov- their gains have come from 10% of Lab 2017 vote and if that breaks then LD could be under 10%- probably unlikely as any shift now will only be in the highly marginal seats and may already have happened.

  6. @ JiB

    “Since Beeching the country has been designed around cars. 60 years of planning and infrastructure construction has been to enhance the car experience.”

    I totally agree with your post. There are permanent multi-billion pound upgrades to motorways, major road junctions and bypasses. I suspect, because each individual one is relatively small, the cost never gets questioned in the same way as a major rail upgrade, where all the cost is bundled into one astounding figure. A more long-term view might suggest that it’s the road investment which is less justified and ultimately more costly.

    Just to add some hard figures to this, a road improvement scheme I know all too well is the A14 bypass around Huntingdon to Cambridge. The original estimate was 1.5 billion, I have no idea if that has gone up, but costs rarely go down.

  7. Socalliberal,
    “The Lib Dems need to squeeze the Tory vote. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they’re doing that.
    I don’t know why they’re out of the question for voters.”

    Libs have done best to my memory when the two big parties dont differ very much and are both being objectionable.

    Right now the big issue is brexit, and the two big parties are more or less on opposite sides, though it has been a painfull process getting there. Since there is a clear division on the most important issue of the day, there is no room to waste your vote by supporting a small party.

    jim Jam,
    ” i wasnt really saying that a vote of less than 50% should be able to revoke the referendum,”

    Under the british constitution any group which gets a majority of 1 by any means in the commons and lords can enact anything. It is really only a quarter of the population which voted to leave the EU. The system really has no guarantees anywhere that majority voter support is required for anything.

  8. @OldNat – “Pollsters … normally just ignore NI altogether, because it is “too different”.”

    Speaking as a market researcher, it’s more because Northern Ireland is bloody difficult to recruit from. People don’t realise how tiny its population is compared to any other UK government region: only two-thirds the size of the second-smallest (North East), and one-fifth the size of the biggest (South East). In addition it’s a lot poorer and has worse infrastructure, so fewer people are online to join panels. Often when you see a “UK survey” in the news it’s covertly just a GB survey.

  9. @ Shevii

    We’ve just booked advance seats from Cornwall up to Gatwick in February and with having a two together card we reduced the cost from £160-00 off peak to £54-00, both with the discount card.

    We can’t book the return yet as we’re outside of the date for cheaper advance tickets.

  10. @ Shevii

    That was for both of us so £27-00 each.

  11. Shevii,
    ” It’s simply not fit for purpose to have such long peak periods.”

    It may be this is about maximising revenue rather than managing demand. Train operators really arent interested in maximising passenger numbers, why would they be?

    jim Jam,
    ” I think voting system reform is not a big enough issue at this time.”

    If we moved to PR, both lab and con could look forward to never again being a majority government, and see their MPs halved, or worse. Are they supporting PR?

  12. Some interesting subsidiary polling questions in the Survation poll which might surprise some who post here. They suggest that the slight reduction in the Tory lead is due to Remainers moving from LibD to Labour in Remain seats.

    “Out of the following, who do you trust the most to tell the truth?”
    Johnson (Con): 27%
    Corbyn (Lab): 20%
    Sturgeon (SNP): 14%
    Swinson (Ldem): 12%
    Don’t Know: 27%

    “Regardless of your current voting intention, which party do you think has had the best campaign so far?”
    CON: 31%
    LAB: 19%
    LDEM: 6%
    BRX: 2%
    SNP: 2%
    PC: 0%

    “Which of the following party leaders do you think would make the best Prime Minister?”
    Boris Johnson: 43%
    Jeremy Corbyn: 25%
    Jo Swinson: 11%
    Don’t know: 21%

  13. @JimJam

    Re a second prediction, I did say near the close of the first that I wouldn’t be running a second, since – no matter what some may think to the contrary – it would be as much a matter of pure guesswork as the first.

  14. Out of the following, who do you trust the most to tell the truth?”
    Johnson (Con): 27%
    Corbyn (Lab): 20%
    Sturgeon (SNP): 14%
    Swinson (Ldem): 12%
    Don’t Know: 27%

    Staggering!!

  15. @ CROSSBAT11 Reading the perceptive John Harris article I couldn’t help think that, having been brought up and lived most of my life in ‘the North’, that I think journos must have had a somewhat idealised notion of ‘Northern’ voters in times past. Loads of people I’ve worked with have always had conservative values and voted accordingly. Loads of people have always been completely disinterested in politics and unaware of basic concepts. The fact that there are a few more now of each category should not be a revelation.

  16. @Nick P

    “on both nationalising railway and reducing fares – we need to get people out of private cars and frankly these are vital first steps.

    Not so much whether we can afford to, more whether we can afford not to,”

    All a matter of opinion. I think we need to improve both rail and – even more so – road infrastructure. I don’t think we can afford not to.

    It’s not a universal opinion by any means, that the planet is almost beyond saving for ongoing healthy habitation – so best not imply it as established fact, especially when no attempt is made to link to polling / impact on VI.

  17. FWIW, ICM has come out late on both the last two Mondays. Seems to have shown a lower lead for CON than other polls, 7 points last time.

  18. “I can’t recall a worse campaign strategy than that of the LD’s in this election.”

    You obviously have forgotten that of the Tories in 2017 then – although I suppose you could argue that the failure was greater in the execution than the strategy itself.

  19. @Jim Jam – not sure what to say really, i am aware of what you say, just surprised that we (or at least i!) haven’t heard anyone try to use this to advance the case for PR. I think some elected governments have done things which people would consider irreversible, some people think that the effect of a Corbyn government would do long-term harm.

  20. My 11.03 was @John33 btw

  21. Frosty

    ICM’s fieldwork finishes each week on a Monday, so I think it comes out late evening – possibly about the time newspapers are putting the next day’s main stories up on their websites?

  22. BT says,
    “It’s not a universal opinion by any means, that the planet is almost beyond saving for ongoing healthy habitation – so best not imply it as established fact, especially ”

    1) What matters is what voters think and will it affect how they vote now.

    2) Obviously the planet will continue to provide healthy habitation. Its the numbers of people and the locations which will cease to be or maybe even become more suitable for habitaion. Massive dislocation and cost.

    3) There is clear evidence of climate change. Climate change historically is absolutely the norm for this planet. Everything suggests we are nudging it along, and since we now live just about everywhere we could live, it is guaranteed change will cause problems for some. Maybe for many or even most.

    4) Might we all be dead before it gets that serious? Yes.

    5) Is 4 in fact irrelevant? Maybe yes too.

    6) is there going to be a growing green movement? Yes. Might be getting the odd extra seat right now were it not for brexit distracting attention.

  23. @Shevii

    I would agree that given the relatively low sample size for the LDs it’s harder to get a clearer view on what’s happening with them. In the last GE polls tended to overestimate the share of the vote of smaller parties. Also in terms of national vote share the impact of tactical voting will probably mean more LDs vote Lab than vice versa.

    Nonetheless, I don’t think Lab will gain much more at the expense of the LDs – Labour seems to have won the battle for the rump of the remainer vote now and is now shifting focus.

  24. @BT

    Fair point. With regard to ICM, I am expecting to see the gap narrowed to 5 points this evening – if it static, or has drifted back, I will be very worried. As I am Labour, I have decided that ICM are the most accurate this election and the rest are simply to be ignored!

  25. The apparent resilience of the Tory vote is surprising, given a decidedly lacklustre campaign.

    I suspect that there is a strong reluctance amongst Remainer Tories to switch to a LD alternative: I doubt that any typical Tory will support a Remain alternative if they think it will herald a Corbyn government. The Lab manifesto may well have secured their core vote, but it has no appeal whatsoever to anyone who is Tory-inclined.

    The LDs will probably make some gains, but they are more likely to be formerly Labour seats, or where they are classic tactical voting situations. I do not expect any ‘proper’ SW seats to go LD.

    The most likely Tory loss in proper SW may well be East Devon to Independent Claire Wright.

    Resilient Tory vote = simply nowhere else to go. TBP – pointless, LD – too remainy, and a vote for Corbyn, Lab – unthinkable economic policy.

    But will they vote at all?

  26. @ Redrich

    One of their top Tory targets is St Ives, I worked for them up to and including 2017 from 2007 but not this time. My feedback is there is little or no chance of a comeback this time. They’ve c*cked up big time with the revoke policy, I told them it was a big mistake as did many others!

  27. ” But will they vote at all?”

    This was my thinking. I suspect that there will be quite a number who will swerve this elections due the choice in front of them.

  28. @TOH – yes indeed. Interesting poll numbers for those of us who inhabit places like UKPR.

    What I would like to see is a weighted analysis of the issue of trust. Given than Johnson is more popular than Corbyn, does that 27/20 split in favour of the PM merely indicate his greater popularity, with more of his supporters thinking he doesn’t tell the truth? It’s possible, I guess, but whatever, the overall result is very depressing.

    Arguing about which is worst when the two leading candidates to be PM on December 13th listed as dishonest by 73% or 80% is the archetypal two bald men fighting over a comb.

  29. @ Alec

    You’re ignoring the question as to why 4 people in 5 don’t think Corbyn is truthful? Mind you Burgon didn’t help your cause last night.

    Both he and Boris should be looking at the underlying reasons why they are so distrusted.

  30. @Millie – “The apparent resilience of the Tory vote is surprising, given a decidedly lacklustre campaign.”

    Who knows? Perhaps this is one to cut-out-and-keep for the 2024 review (or sooner, pending December 12th…..)

    Again, compare and contrast with 2017. Talk of lacklustre campaigns needs to be tempered with those numbers from Survation via @TOH, with voters believing Cons campaign has been better than labs by a substantial 31/19, but in 2017 pretty universally recognised dire Con campaign still saw on a few points drift in Con support.

    The big impact was in the Labour surge, which is reasonably similar to what we are seeing this time around. Labour are perhaps a couple of points down on this time in 2017, but then, so are Cons.

  31. @ Bantams

    Completely agree that revoke stance was a mistake – for all its faults Labour’s position is more viable and offers remainers their best chance to reverse Brexit. I also think their focus on Swinson was a mistake, and approach early in the campaign of attacking Labour hard. All three have now been reversed – may help them in some seats in persuading Labour voters to vote tactically. But BXP standing down in most of their targets has made the hills very steep.

  32. That truth question allows one vote for the leader the responder thinks is most truthful it does not mean that 80% think Corbyn untruthful or 73% Johnson is.

    Sturgeon must be getting by pure arithmetic votes on this question from RUK responders. Chances re more Lab than Tory voters – chances are deny Sturgeon as an option for voters in English seats and the Corbyn v Johnson numbers would be close.

  33. @John 33
    “As I am Labour, I have decided that ICM are the most accurate this election and the rest are simply to be ignored!”

    :) (one needs to carry a little optimism round in life)

  34. The IFS have released some analysis of the parties local government plans. No suprises that they find council funding per head since 2010 has fallen by 24%, with much greater falls in the most deprived areas and much lower falls in the most affluent authorities.

    What is more surprising is that they say council taxes will have to go up more under Conservative plans than under Labour.

    Also of note is their simple deduction that the Conservative plan that no one would have to sell their home to fund care costs would benefit the wealthy far more. People in rented accommodation or those who have sold up and moved into a smaller home would lose out.

    Indeed, while I don’t know if the IFS have addressed this in the detail of the report, the Conservative proposal seems designed to enhance the blocking of the housing market by creating a massive incentive for older people to stay put in big houses. With the house value not included in the means test for care costs, who in their right minds would sell up for a small, flat, only to risk losing all that cash on care fees?

    Having said that, if my memory serves me well, this will be the fifth consecutive general election where Conservatives have promised that no one would have to sell their house to fund care costs, and after nine years in government, people are still selling their homes to cover fees……

  35. @Redrich

    “or all its faults Labour’s position is more viable and offers remainers their best chance to reverse Brexit.”

    But that’s easier said in hindsight now – the truth of it is, if the party that already had about 250 seats had had the revoke policy it would have probably worked better – Lab’s fudge which promises a BRINO vs Remain referendum in due course would have cost them much more if LD had been starting from a 2005 or 2010 base, IMO.

  36. Danny 11.07

    Thanks. I agree with your summary

  37. @BT Says

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I think if Labour had adopted revoke as their policy it really would be a Tory landslide. The problem for remain leaning parties in England and Wales is that roc remainers are more willing to stay with the Tories than Labour leavers are to stay with the party. Logically Labour had little choice but to adopt its current stance – IMO it’s error was being to slow to adopt the 2nd ref position.

  38. Methodology question – is there any indication that the polling companies are accounting for the increase in the number of under 35’s registering to vote?

    Or is the size of the increase not actually that special? (Presumably there’s a new cohort of young voters every GE).

    Or perhaps there’s thinking it won’t make a difference?

  39. Re: the lib dems, their revoke policy might have worked better if it hadn’t been for Johnson being able to say he had secured a new deal. Some are very critical of the extent to which it is different from May’s deal but there seems to be at least some recognition of there being movement from May’s deal from a large part of the population. If we had gone into this election with nothing having moved on since May’s deal then the desire to revoke article 50 may well have been higher. Then again, the lib dems did seem keen for this election even with that in mind.

  40. “”Some interesting subsidiary polling questions in the Survation poll which might surprise some who post here. They suggest that the slight reduction in the Tory lead is due to Remainers moving from LibD to Labour in Remain seats.
    “Out of the following, who do you trust the most to tell the truth?”
    Johnson (Con): 27%
    Corbyn (Lab): 20%
    Sturgeon (SNP): 14%
    Swinson (Ldem): 12%
    Don’t Know: 27%””

    That poll result is only interesting to those wanting apparent support for their polarised views. It tells us nothing useful about actual opinion of groups of people in the UK because it is decided by the majority of people polled.

    JimJam @ 11.33 am shows the limitations, due to poor and not-understood questioning.

    So Scottish opinion never emerges in such UK polling. This poll is as useless as ones on attitudes to dialects such as RP, Scouse, Black Country, etc.

  41. A polling methodology question:

    Faisal Islam is tweeting about voter registration and how polls address this. he has pointed to the BMG poll, which says this on it’s website –

    “Electoral Registration Adjustment: Factors have been applied to the Westminster Vote figures using to account rates of electoral registration among key groups. Factors were derived from a survey question that asked respondents whether or not they are registered to vote. The results were then segmented by age and tenure (two variables that were identified by the Electoral Commission report “Accuracy & Completeness of Electoral Registers 2016” as key discriminators of registration completeness).”

    This accounting for new electoral registrations might account for the dramatic movements in the latest BMG poll, but does anyone have any thoughts as to whether this enhances accuracy?

  42. @Alec

    Well you would assume that those who have recently registered would be highly likely to vote – so if adjustments were made to take account that a certain demographic were now registered in larger number, as long as any sample for that group was representative, it would lead to greater accuracy.

  43. Davwel.

    The best PM question does inform imo as it tells us that whilst Corbyn has narrowed the gap, as many expected, it is still too large and indicates that a modest Tory OM us still the most likely GE result.

    Which of the following party leaders do you think would make the best Prime Minister?”
    Boris Johnson: 43%
    Jeremy Corbyn: 25%
    Jo Swinson: 11%
    Don’t know: 21%

  44. Millie

    “The apparent resilience of the Tory vote is surprising, given a decidedly lacklustre campaign.”

    See my post above. The voters polled see it as much better than Labour or LibDems cam;paigns.

  45. Ok, so I replied to Neil A in previous thread, and am not re-posting it.

    Strange cookie thing.

    Anyway folks, it occurred to me to repeat the chat room thing for election night. Partly to save the server the load, and partly to save the forum readers from multiple copies of the same snippet of election news.

    It can get setup in a minute. Short of there being a better time, I’ll most likely do it around 10pm on election night. We can thrash out the details nearer the time.

  46. I am assuming the Yougov decision re daily publishing of MRP is likely to be on commercial grounds. I also guess if their model starts to show a significant shift they will publish an update sooner rather than later.

    Its a shame we wont be getting regular updates – I am sure I’m not the only one who has been spending lots of time comparing their model to Electoral Calculus.

  47. ALEC

    Yes, it is interesting, I think Boris is as trustworthy as most politicians (not that much IMO).

    You may be correct. I thought the campaign numbers very interesting. I think it supports my view that the Labour giveaways only sway Labour voters anyway, and the rest of the voters think them all totally undeliverable, a view confirmed by questions on other polls.

    Yet more cash being borrowed to reduce rail fares today! Strikes me as signs of possible desperation. But who knows I think this election terribly difficult to forecast with 10 days to go, despite having done so.

  48. Bantams

    “Both he and Boris should be looking at the underlying reasons why they are so distrusted.”

    Absolutely.

  49. @TOH

    that the Labour giveaways only sway Labour voters anyway,

    Well as the election will depend heavily on Labour’s ability to hold on to its traditional base in the North and Midlands doesn’t it make sense for Labour to do this? It gives Labour the opportunity to say to these voters, we know why you voted Brexit as you felt left behind with no investment in your communities etc – our plans will give you what you always wanted.

  50. ToH,

    ”The voters polled see it as much better than Labour or LibDems campaigns”

    Not really; actually more voters see it as the best campaign (31%) the %ages are not a rating.

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