So far two polls from the Sunday papers have appeared. First there is an Opinium poll in the Observer. In this case it was conducted from Wednesday to Friday, so was started before the government lost the Syria vote and obviously doesn’t have any questions related to the defeat. They found 24% supported British military intervention in Syria, 60% were opposed. The Observer article doesn’t mention any voting intention figures (though it does quote some crossbreaks by party support).

Secondly there is a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday, which was conducted wholly on Friday, so after the defeat in the Commons. Voting intention there stands at CON 29%(+1), LAB 37%(+1), LDEM 11%(nc), UKIP 17%(-1) so no obvious impact on VI (changes are since the beginning of August).

Survation found 19% supported British military action against Syria, 65% were opposed. Asked how well or badly Cameron and Miliband had handled the crisis 29% thought Cameron had handled it well, 36% badly. For Miliband the figures were 27% well to 27% badly. Ed Miliband was seen as more in touch with public opinion on Syria (37% thought Miliband had been in touch compared to only 22% who thought the same about David Cameron), but asked more generally who’d they would trust to handle international crises, 40% said Cameron, 23% Miliband (37% said don’t know, presumably including people who wouldn’t trust either of them!)

Also in tomorrow’s papers will be the YouGov poll for the Sunday Times, which was also conducted after the defeat – I’ll update on that tomorrow.

97 Responses to “New Opinium and Survation polls”

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  1. Fascinating news

  2. Nothing on the You Gov poll on the referendum?

    No 59% Yes 29%

  3. Interesting. Need some YGs really to get a sense. Survation’s could be showing some Tory gain over the past four weeks, balanced with some losses due to the Syria vote.

    But on the slim evidence so far, looks like we were right that Labour probably won’t benefit much and Miliband will get a small personal advantage but not huge.

  4. @ John Ruddy

    Nothing on the You Gov poll on the referendum?

    No 59% Yes 29%
    Be careful – you might kick off another Macbeth thread. :-)

  5. @Amber


    (and tomorrow… and tomorrow…)

  6. I predict a boring YG poll showing the same as other recent polls.


    Labour 38%
    Tory 33%
    UKIP 12%
    LD 11%

    gov app -29%
    No significant changes to any of the leadership ratings.

  7. “But the prime minister left the meeting confident that he would win the vote, prompting his officials to claim that he had won his party. Then, between 5pm and 6pm, the whips reported to No 10 that the vote was lost.”


    So apparently DC did have time to consider his closing remarks (was it Spearmint who said that he seemed to be reading from prepared remarks? If so, she was almost certainly correct).

  8. Amber

    Post to you on last thread

  9. @ Miserable Old Git

    I thought that was Hamlet! Crikey, I’d better check & do some swotting if I’m wrong.

  10. And I am. Too much politics & not enough literature in my life now!

  11. Amber
    You got the right quote but you did not spot that clearly the paper got the LD figures reversed, otherwise their comment does not make sense. In other words it must be 50 against and 36 for. But that is indeed more ‘in favour’ than Lab or Con.

  12. Amber,unfortunately the source is Nicholas Watt,about as reliable as Hodges.

  13. Amber Star,

    Voici la nouvelle sondage du Parisien.

    It is indeed a different poll.

  14. I think it’s almost inevitable that tomorrow’s Yougov will be a better poll for Labour. From an average of 5% or 6%, I think we may see Yougov Labour leads of 7% or 8% cropping up for a while.

    Lab 39 Cons 31 Lib 10 tomorrow (my prediction).

  15. @ RiN

    Yes, that’s why the US might be quite happy to make the G20 about Syria but really it will make no difference.

    As Laszlo pointed out (in his unique way & with a helpful addition from Old Nat) the pieces are already cut. i.e. The USD will remain the reserve currency & the US will have the exchange rate which suits itself; & no nation – not even the BRIC coalition – has the economic strength to break cover yet.

  16. @ M Nameless

    Merci :-)

  17. @Ambi

    I’ll go for within MoE, with Ed’s ratings up slightly for Friday. Polldrums on Monday.

  18. Looks like those who predicted no change were right.

  19. John Ruddy,

    I didn’t know that the folks at Yougov had heard that we were having a referendum.

  20. I translated a bit of that article regarding people’s reservations because I found it interesting:

    “In detail, they fear that this intervention would change Syria to an Islamist regime (37?%), that it would destabilise (the term is roughly ‘inflame’) the region (35?%) and that finally it would change nothing of the day-to-day situation of the Syrian people (22?%).

    Other reservations: The lack of clear proof of responsibility of the government (that sentence is a bit idiomatic but I think that’s what it means) in the use of chemical weapons (17?%) and the risk of attacks or reprisals from the regime and its allies against French interests (18?%).”

    It seems people in France are most broadly concerned that the attacks would do more harm than good, but not necessarily for the same reasons as the British. This is probably the Iraq effect not showing, because I think the risk of counterattack would feature much higher in a British poll and mission creep appears nowhere in the French poll.

  21. There’s nearly 40 non-VI questions in Survation and half of them mention Miliband or Cameron, so Anthony’s desire to stop the discussion of personalities appears to be doomed. He’s obviously fighting against the rest of the industry.

    He also appears to be fighting against the PM as according to the Guardian:

    No 10 launches bitter assault on Ed Miliband over Syria vote

    which contains a lot of playground insults even by the standards of the last few days.

  22. Howard

    It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Lib Dems were the most in favour of intervention (though samples are going to be small). We saw the same thing fairly consistently with Libya. It wasn’t a massive difference, but it was there. I think it’s because Lib Dems are more internationalist and so more willing to try to help out in other countries – the legacy of Gladstone if you like.

  23. @ Amber

    Macbeth Act V scene 5. My favourite speech in the entire Shakespeare canon. [1]. It encapsulates in 10 lines the entire ephemeral, transient nature of politics. It were ever thus and will ever be.

    “To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
    To the last syllable of recorded time,
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.”

    [1] Actually, only my second-favourite speech. Number 1 must be:

    “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” (Henry VI part 2, Act IV scene 2).

    I saw all three parts of Henry VI – 7 hours of it – at the Globe last Sunday, and it was magnificent :)

  24. @Miserable,

    We may have become cleverer, richer and more free in the past five centuries, but when you read some of Shakespeare’s better lines you can’t help feeling we are no wiser. Probably less so. I actually never specifically associated that passage with politics, though. He seemed to me to represent every vain, self-regarding, spoiled human being that has ever lived. So absorbed in their petty feuds, circuitous love lives and daily concerns that they never appreciate just how little they matter in the Great Scheme of Things.

  25. From the previous thread:

    Prediction time:-
    Labour 39%
    Conservative 31%
    Ukip 14%
    Lib Dem 11%

    In reality all moe, nothings changed, but depending on whether the right wing press want a run on Cameron or not they may go for more trouble for Cameron after Thursday type articles.

  26. @Red Rag,

    Exactly same prediction as me (except the Lib part). I would be surprised if the Labour lead isn’t 7% or 8% tomorrow, but I guess only time will tell.

  27. @ MOG (is this ok? It’s a bit like something from Star Trek, Martyn will be envious)

    I saw all three parts of Henry VI – 7 hours of it – at the Globe last Sunday, and it was magnificent
    I am envying you! And in awe. I am not sure I would’ve lasted the 7 hours.

    I am a Portia fan so I would not have all lawyers – even fictional ones – killed. Although, IIRC, Portia wasn’t a lawyer, she was disguised as one so perhaps she would have survived any ‘cull’.

  28. Article on the YouGov Scottish referendum poll has just gone up on the Scotman’s site:

    It was for an organisation called Devo Plus (who I suppose are the No But camp) rather than the paper and show the same Yes vote, but a slightly higher No vote since YouGov last asked the question in October (presumably with slightly different wording).

  29. @Phil,

    Please let’s move on from Cameron/Miliband/Syria. It’s so tempting to respond, but we’ll just waste a lot of everyone’s time.

  30. @ Neil

    The great joy of good writing is that you can take out of what you need. The “tomorrow” speech can certainly be read in personal individual terms. It can also be read in political terms. I’ve always regarded Macbeth as political; an extremely ambitious aspiring leader removing the incumbent for his own ends, and the subsequent unravelling. The only difference is that in the UK (though by no means a lot of the world) we no longer stab our leaders in the back literally, just metaphorically.

    @ Amber

    MOG is fine. It’s been my internet name for 16 years now!

    And I’ll let Portia off, she was a good egg. Now, as for a barrister PM of living memory…. hmmmm….

  31. (reposted to avoid moderation because I misspelt my own email address)


    “…It’s a bit like something from Star Trek, Martyn will be envious…”



  32. Amber

    The old “it’s our currency but it’s your problem” attitude, I wonder how long that’s going to wash especially when it starts to look like America and it’s allies don’t have the will to back up its reserve status militarily

  33. @all

    The Spectator is running a “will there be a second UK vote” piece (h ttp:// ). I can see thjs happening if Congress authorise Obama to strike, especially if France joins in as well. What d’you guys think…?


  34. @Amber

    “I am not sure I would’ve lasted the 7 hours.”

    Completely different subject, but I managed a whole sitting of “Shichinin no Samurai” (Seven Samurai) this evening. Three hours well spent! Great if every ten years or so.

    @RM on playground politics

    Please let the polls stay relatively level as we enter 2015…this could be a terrific election (polling and surprise-wise) if that were the case.

  35. Fascinating article. Obama has correctly changed his mind.

    Reading this I expect action to be rejected by congress, and the strikes will be off next week. Or may stay on the cards as an ‘option’ to force concessions from Assad/Russia, once they get those US will stand down.


    That Scotsman article is reasonably written!

    They must have read your previous comment about them. :-)

  37. @ RiN

    I think the proposed solution(s) are possibly worse than the current situation re. reserve currency status. I haven’t put enough intellectual effort into thinking about it because: 1. China is using work-arounds already for things which are a matter of real trade – the desire for further institutional change is probably political, IMO;
    2. The IMF is still too ‘politically complex’ to have the role of global bank, don’t you agree?;
    3. An actual global bank + global currency might be even worse than the IMF but still…

  38. @Richard

    I think the meeting of Congress[1] isn’t due until Sept 9th, and Obama is visiting Putin next week, so (unless something sneaky happens) the war won’t start next week. Week after? Perhaps.


    [1] Isn’t this the Senate *and* the House of Representatives? If so, won’t there have to be *two* votes: one in the Senate, another in the HoR?

  39. @Richard,

    Not sure why you have the idea that Congress will vote against. I suppose it is possible that an alliance of Repbublican “get Obama”s and dove-ish Democrats could achieve that, but I didn’t see anything in the article to suggest it was likely.


    I don’t think Cameron would really want to arrange a second vote. Short of Miliband ringing him up and asking him for one, I don’t see it happening. Action would be even more unpopular now than it would have been prior to Thursday’s vote. Cameron would need cast-iron domestic cover to even consider it.

  40. If the bombing doesn’t happen soon and the investigators cannot point at the government (whatever covertly – satin seems to be a problem), then for the first time since the collapse of the SU, Russia (with Chinese help, but not yet in a United Front) would have stopped the Western Alliance in its course (that UNSC meeting must have been interesting).

  41. @ Amber

    Thanks. Not quite due, but I like how people continue the allegory I used (not to mention Brett on WOODS). Simply for the first time in this beautiful August I spotted the approaching autumn. From that came Shakespeare’s LL’sL and from that the need for chopped wood for the fire place and then the way in which the wood piled up and the interdependences in the pile and from that Syria. But it was very late. And indeed OldNat’s point on the water and its effects on the cut wood was sharp and precise.

  42. Satin = sarin…

  43. @Neil A

    “…I don’t think Cameron would really want to arrange a second vote. Short of Miliband ringing him up and asking him for one, I don’t see it happening. Action would be even more unpopular now than it would have been prior to Thursday’s vote. Cameron would need cast-iron domestic cover to even consider it…”

    Wanna bet?

    Sorry, I’m being a bit glib. But I’ve got a horrible thought that that is actually the (rapidly revised) game plan…:-(


  44. (sorry: please mentally insert a smiley after the “Wanna bet?” line, otherwise it come across a bit Paisley)

  45. @ Laszlo

    Regarding the UNSC meeting – I am wondering all the time what happened.

    I have been considering the implications – in international law – of the US/Fr launching an unauthorised missile strike from international waters. No other nation seems prepared to provide a base from which the US/Fr attack can be launched.

    I think that Syria’s allies may be able to lawfully create an ‘exclusion zone’ within international waters, if the ‘exclusion zone’ is intended to prevent a premeditated ‘act of war’ against Syria.

    I will never know whether this was amongst the points raised at the UNSC meeting or whether I am bonkers to even think of it being a legal possibility.

  46. @ Amber and RiN

    The USD is more dominant as a reserve currency today than 6 years ago (euro). And as the new M&A cycle will pick up in half a year’s time there, it will be further reinforced. And the US economy remains unparalleled. It can only really suffer (recession is not such a suffering) if the world refuses to finance US PRIVATE borrowing.

    Nobody (if I remember correctly) picked up by the way that UK retail spending increase is perfectly matched by the unsecured borrowing increase.

  47. I was suprised that Tonight’s Survation Poll did not lead to a larger Party percentage movement. IMO I think the main polling change from the Syrian situation may be a change of personal polling perception of Ed. However may be not in the way that some people expect but rather from being seen as weak to possibly a ‘shifty’.

  48. @ Amber

    I don’t think Russia would venture that far – and it doesn’t have the navy to enforce it). But they could have raised the possibility of sending a full, up to date air defence system with crew… (The crux of an air defence system is the crew (and the testing of signals). Modern Russian air defence can shoot down cruise missiles especially as they would come from the sea. So aircrafts would have to be deployed to break through and destroy these batteries. The loss would probably be 25%). They evacuated a lot of people though, so it is perhaps just as unlikely.

    So I haven’t got the clue either.

  49. Why congress will not vote for Syria action/ why US will not strike Syria

    1. They voted against Libya
    2. It is unpopular – opinion polls match ours
    3. If they were going to go to war, they would have returned early. The fact that they are not means that Obama is going to attempt to do a deal with Russia during the G20.
    4. The main newspapers – Washington Post and Wall Street Journal have editorials up saying congressional approval is going to be an uphill battle. Would like to link, but more than one link means I go into moderation…

    Its a fine negotiating strategy to have – we are going to declare war, but never actually do it, keep delaying the moment of decision with endless votes, and in the meantime Assad is forced to hide his weapons and key military assets, and will be forced to make concessions.

  50. @ Laszlo

    Agree re. strength of USD as a reserve currency; also your forecast for future M&A activity.

    Corporations hope/fear for the M&A to revive. Corps with cash reserves have been buying their own shares to reduce cash reserves for fear that they will be targeted & ‘bought with their own money’!

    But buying their own shares cannot go on too long, their balance sheets will be ‘down-sized’ so they themselves will soon begin to seek merged strength opportunities or strengthening acquisitions.

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