Sunday polls

Opinium’s latest voting intention figures are CON 41%(+2), LAB 43%(-2), LDEM 5%(nc), UKIP 5%(nc). Theresa May’s net job approval stands at minus 21, Jeremy Corbyn’s at plus 4 (though May has regained a small lead on who people think would make the better Prime Minister, 36% to Corbyn’s 33%).

Asked about Theresa May’s future, a third of people think she should resign straight away, 16% think she should go after Brexit negotiations are complete, 8% just before the next general election and 22% that she should remain and fight the next general election. Answers to this are heavily partisan, as you might expect: a hefty majority of Labour voters would like May to go now, only 9% of Tory voters. 62% of Tory voters would like her to remain PM until either shortly before the election (14%) or to fight the election (48%). Tabs for the Opinium poll are here.

There was also a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday with topline figures of CON 39%(nc), LAB 41%(-4), LD 8%(+1), UKIP 6%(+2). Changes are since Survation’s last online poll in mid-June, rather than their last telephone poll which showed a small Tory lead. Theresa May also still leads as best PM here, 43% to Corbyn’s 35%.

Survation also asked questions about Theresa May’s future, though their’s was a simpler should she stay or go question.45% would like her to resign, 40% would like her to stay. Again, responses are overwhelmingly split down partisan lines: 77% of Lab voters would like her to go, 78% of Tory voters would like her to stay). Asked about who should succeed her if she did go, Boris Johnson leads on 22% ahead of David Davis on 15%. 46% of people say don’t know. Questions like this don’t give us that much insight because of low public awareness of the options. The most interesting ones there asked who people would prefer in run offs between two potential leaders – between Davis and Johnson Davis wins by 36% to Johnson’s 30%. Paired against Philip Hammond Johnson only just wins, 34% to 33%, though he beats Amber Rudd by 38% to 27%. There are still lots of don’t knows, but I’m conscious that a few years ago Johnson’s popularity and celebrity would probably have seen him easily winning all three questions at a trot. The shine looks as if it may have come off Boris Johnson. Tabs for the Survation poll are here.

Finally there was a BMG poll in the Independent asking about the public sector pay cap. Questions like this are tricky – most people have huge sympathy for “frontline” public sector workers like nurses and firefighters, so the social desirability bias towards saying you’d pay a little more to give them a rise is huge (it’s what we tend to call a “drowning puppy” question in the office, as in “would you pay more tax to save this drowning puppy?”). If anything, I’m surprised only 56% said they’d be willing to pay more in tax to fund a pay rise above 1% for only occupations like firefighters, police officers, paramedics and nurses. More generally, 69% of people said the public sector pay cap should end, but asked if they’d be willing to pay more tax to give a rise to “non-emergency” occupations the split was pretty even, 42% said they would, 41% would not..

Opinium also asked about the public sector pay cap in their poll. 53% of people support ending it, 21% of people would be opposed. They also asked about it on specific jobs. Questions like this are, to some degree, just reflections of how popular or valued a role is (as well as how well paid people think it currently is). Almost 70% of people wanted the pay cap ended for nurses, 60% or more for the armed forces, police and fire service. Teachers was 56%, followed by doctors on 53%. For dentists it was only 38%. I’m intrigued about what Opinium would have found if they’d asked about less obviously sympathetic public sector jobs: local government planning officers perhaps, benefit assessors, immigration officers, refuse collectors, traffic engineers, taxmen…

480 Responses to “Sunday polls”

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  1. Today’s Polls are no indicator of what is to come. There is so much water to go under the bridge .So many uncertainties.

    The Brexit talks outcome.
    Brexit Parliamentary tactics by Labour.
    A Trades Union Strike plan.
    The Autumn Statement.
    The Economy.
    The Tory Party leadership.



    @”Yes, that’s still missing the point. ”

    No its not .

    Paul Croft means that-in his opinion-there are so many variables in prospect just now that whilst “analysing, possibilities ” may be interesting , predicting the outcome of every one of them & predicting their political effect is probably not an informative excercise.

    Paul Croft thus concludes that he ” wouldn’t put any of my own money on any possible scenario over the next four years or so.”

    I think that a very sensible conclusion at this point in time.

    “sorry didnt mean to post my last post”
    Come on – it wasn’t that bad.
    But I think Labour have a real difficulty, not in their internal decisions about a position on Brexit, byut in explaining it to the public with any degree of pizazz. McDonnell stated it quite well this morning, but it won’t come across as crystal clear without some thought, and is not the stuff of pamfleteering.
    They are going for access to the Single Market by any negotiable means which safeguard and are good for British jobs and the economy, not for a particular structure. A clarion call it isn’t, but it leaves them to see what’s on offer as the reports on the outcome of the current negotiations comes out, and to oppose in the HOC any Brexit deal which does not offer that access.


    Not sure it’s of any use to you, but I have Bream’s recording of the BWV 1004 Chaconne, as does YouTube here.

  5. OTOH, I would be happy to Paul’s money on any number of outcomes?

  6. @JIM JAM

    your ”4. I still think that Corbyn is toxic in some places in the North and Midlands but I think as we go through a tough period that might change”

    I believe the tories gained walsall north from labour in was in John harris guardian series anywhere but westminster. In one sense I believe every seat will be different. You cannot tell me that anyone predicted Canterbury going Labour and yet we have Walsall North and some areas like this that are holding on to brexit and see May as the person to deliver it.

    So I think there is hope for Corbyn. It is clear that the Manifesto made him less of a factor. Although I don’t see him as a polished politician so he may slip up but I aslo believe he is on home ground now this is a swing to empathy rather than a hard nosed fiscal issue

    you will have a number of things that will play into his hands schools will end up with less money per pupil next year, the health service will have it usual winter crisis again the economy will slow and the negotiation will be tight, I foresee that we will be giving up around £40B to the EU for a trade deal which basically cover goods. and not services. I see us have ECJ over many of the bodies that we are now part of being the resultant post transition phase. I believe we will look rather weak and have a hard time getting trade deals where we have an advantage. In many ways it is the longer term damage. Since many companies are waiting for the transition phase and the move to a deal. if there is an issue with frictionless trade then I see the slow move of the car industry going to eastern europe (it is going there anyway but I think brexit will accelerate it.). I will see all the electric cars being made in the EU. france has been bold and said no new petrol or diesel only cars from 2040 I could see this happening in the rest of the EU for 2060 We need to match that sort of thing if we are to keep things in the UK.

  7. PTRP

    “You cannot tell me that anyone predicted Canterbury going Labour.”

    Did you never meet our DrMibbles?

  8. @Colin

    Actually it is, it’s missing loads of points. You might not be able to derive the whole thing but you can still sort out various elements.

    But it you are also interested in how others think, you can learn from that too, how they approach things.

    You can also learn alternative ways of expressing things.

    Not everyone is interested in finding flaws in their reasoning or in what others think, and I’m not saying you have to do it.

    I’m just saying it is possible to get quite a lot of benefits from the prediction thing. Including having people combining ideas etc.

    I could point out even more, but it’s a lovely day, sat outside a fave coffee shop, watching Wimbledon with an Aperol Spritz celebrating buying my girlfriend’s new car, so be nice if not subjected to quibbling etc.!


    Paul was merely suggesting that too many variables & uncertainties persuades him that making Polling forecasts just now is pointless.

    You are, of course, entitled to disagree.

    I posted 6 major uncertainties up thread. Feel free to predict the general outcome/direction of each & which parties VI will benefit. For overall effect you will need to provide weightings for each of the 6 according to your prediction of their salience.

    I make that 3 predictions per factor ( outcome/VI effect/ salience %)
    making 18 predictions-plus the final overall effect-19 if my maths is correct.

    There may of course be additional major uncertainties which I have not listed.

  10. @TrigGuy

    “Just a quirky small detail. 6 out of 29 UKIP voters in 2017 said they’d now vote to stay in the EU. Do they know what UKIP’s (essentially) single real policy is?”

    I’m not sure what UKIP’s one real policy would be in 2017. Banning the hijab? A general “plague on all your houses” feeling towards the other parties?

    Pre-referendum, absolutely leaving the EU was their one traditional policy of any note (with immigration maybe creeping in latterly). But in 2017 was “We will hold the government’s feet to the fire on implementing Brexit” an idea that gained much traction or informed many votes?

  11. @TrigGuy

    “Just a quirky small detail. 6 out of 29 UKIP voters in 2017 said they’d now vote to stay in the EU. Do they know what UKIP’s (essentially) single real policy is?”

    I’m not sure what UKIP’s one real policy would be in 2017. Banning the hijab? A general “plague on all your houses” feeling towards the other parties?

    Pre-referendum, absolutely leaving the EU was their one traditional policy of any note (with immigration maybe creeping in latterly). But in 2017 was “We will hold the government’s feet to the fire on implementing Brexit” an idea that gained much traction or informed many votes?

  12. @Colin

    Wow, I tell you I’m kinda busy and you think this is a great opportunity to set me some homework. Unbelievable.

    If you can’t see the hopelessness of complaining about people making predictions on a polling site, when polling is in no small measure about making predictions, then one can’t help you.


    When you quibbled with PC you didn’t explain that you were “busy”.

    Now then Carfers old chap-as winner of the All England Quibbling Championship more times than I care to remember , you must recall it’s cardinal rule of Quibbling Etiquette. -I paraphrase from the Ancient Greek- He who Quibbles first shall be Quibbled against & shall Suck it Up.

    I await your predictions with interest.

  14. carfrew

    Would it work if I sent my posts direct to you for pre-approval?

    Your carping about them is becoming both boring yet disturbingly weird at the same time.


    Thank you – a voice of reason!

    “JIM JAM

    OTOH, I would be happy to [bet?lose?] Paul’s money on any number of outcomes?”

    And I yours JJ.

    I’m advised that it’s a good idea to bet against your own footy team [eg Chelsea to beat the Arse in the FA cup – which they didn’t] so that it’s then win/win.

    Joy if your team DOES win and a bit of a profit if they don’t.

    It makes sense but I’ve never been comfortable with the idea.

  15. @Colin

    I didn’t quibble, I pointed out decent reasons for making predictions, even if they go wrong. You quibbled by making it about what Paul wanted to do, but I didn’t say what he should or shouldn’t do.

    When I posted before I hadn’t found out about the Wimbledon Aperol thing. Now it’s a pizza and wine thing…

    As for the prediction thing you are still missing the point but it’s tricky to explain so it will have to wait…

  16. @Paul

    Yes, nice try playing the victim. If you post, people may comment. You comment on others posts, though don’t always have the nerve to address them directly. As for carpingcomplain if they use punctuation, if they don’t, if they use words, make predictions… I just listed some benefits to making predictions, that’s all

  17. (You complain if they use punctuation etc…)

  18. Given that there is (apparently) a positive correlation between being an LD member and watching Dr Who, will Jo Swinson (most like the 13th Doctor) regenerate as the next leader, consigning Vince Cable (most like the 1st Doctor) to oblivion?


    @”I didn’t quibble,”

    Ohhhh yeees you did :-)

  20. Re the Chaconne which people commented on – the problem is not so much “playing it” – which is not to say I can or, perhaps, ever will – but the decision making surrounding it.

    Bach wrote it for solo violin not guitar, which didn’t exist in it’s present form at that time. Should one play just the notes he wrote for a 4 string violin or second-guess what Bach might have written for, say, the lute?

    I tend towards the former decision, since it seems the only way you can be sure that you are at least right about one thing.

    Anyway, what came into my mind earlier when pondering choices/decisions was my idea to lower the guitar’s second string to a, thus enabling a similar “pedal” effect t that the violinist can achieve with Bach’s use of a repeated a over a lower melody. It works but makes other things quite tricky.

    Either was it is both a wonderful piece and incredibly difficult. I have loads of CD versions for violin, lute and guitar so plenty to listen to – but I don’t think anything could beat being able to play it, so long as it was in a way I felt happy with.

    Might never happen though.

  21. Evening All.
    Bournemouth East and Bournemouth West CLP combined meetings with Jeremy Corbyn were very crowded.
    COLIN: Hello to you, I agree that the future is uncertain. Events…

    I think the PM will use her authority to clamp down on briefing and counter briefing by her cabinet colleagues.

  22. @ OldNat

    “Given that there is (apparently) a positive correlation between being an LD member and watching Dr Who”

    Do we have some polling on that? We also need a poll on whether a female Doctor will be popular. Could do with some tracking too when the series starts. I’m fine with it so far, but it’s very early days.

  23. chrislane1945

    did jezza pick up any retirement home particulars whilst he was down there?

  24. Trigguy

    I liked this Twitter comment – “One downside is that Jodie Whittaker will have to put up with middle aged men assuming she’s a nurse”

  25. CHRISLANE 1945

    The question is though-how much “authority” does she have.

    I think Graham Brady needs to bring a few choice words from the Backbenches to the whole Cabinet.

  26. Re the Survation poll: I’ve had time to flick through a few of the tables. There’s one or two interesting (to me) points.

    Asked about likelihood to vote if there were a GE tomorrow, 18-34 certain to vote was 59.7, while 55+ was 82.9. In a referendum it was similar, 59.3 to 85.2.

    Leave voters were 79.9 and 83.7 while Remain voters were 73.9 and 78.6.

    So despite a surge at the GE, it seems that young people are still far less likely to vote than older folks. Is there still scope for Labour (or anyone else of course) to enthuse more youngsters? Will they become more likely to vote as they get older, or is democracy dying?

    The Leave/Remain split shows that Leavers are more committed to their cause than Remainers. I suspect that the difference might be because some people will have just voted for the status quo, which has now changed.
    There seems to have been a bit of a kerfuffle last night inadvertently sparked by an off-hand remark by me (which was meant as a joke). Sorry about that, and apology accepted of course Somerjohn. Thank goodness we’ve got new polls to comment on instead of getting bogged down in political discussion.

  27. Colin
    It seems to me that ChrisLane specialises in gnomic irony, so Tizzas
    “authority ” ain’t what is normally meant by that word.

  28. I see student debt clearance has been moved from a promise to a aspiration by McDonnell today I wonder if that youth vote will hold up over the next year or so .

  29. @Turk: Correct me if I’m wrong but my understanding was that the Labour manifesto in June’s election was for abolishing tuition fees not for clearing the debt of past students who paid fees. The latter was subsequently suggested in several interviews with McDonnell and Corbyn but I don’t seem to recall it becoming official policy (again, happy to be corrected).

  30. @ Turk

    Thanks for pointing out the McDonnell stuff, I’d missed that.

    In terms of the 100bn write off, I would still dispute that neither Corbyn or Angela Rayner actually ‘promised’ anything of that size – their language was vague, Rayner’s deliberately so*, Corbyn’s slightly less so, but still open to many interpretations.

    Nevertheless it was clear that the press had interpreted it this way, and so the public had probably understood the ‘promise’ that way. It needed some clarification. Not sure this clarifies things much yet, and it will almost certainly be seen as backing down, but I’d be glad if they could just come up with a reasonable plan. Writing off the whole lot never sounded like a good idea to me, but a limited reduction for some students might be feasible. And the manifesto promise to get rid of future fees is already a big spending commitment, even before you address past fees. That clearly was a promise, no debate about that one.

    * One might almost say confusingly so, possibly even to herself.

  31. Bill

    Whether it was in the manifesto or not students believe Corbyn was going to clear student debt now McDonnell has done a U turn on that if Corbyn had ment aspiration perhaps instead of posturing in front of his adoring fans of late he should have mentioned that it was highly unlikely to happen.

  32. Re: my last post, on Angela Rayner

    Just in case anyone feels I was being a bit nasty to Angela Rayner, please check the interview. I genuinely don’t feel she handled the questions around the 100bn student debt very well, though most of the rest of the interview was OK. It may be partly because of this that McDonnell felt he needed to be a bit more robust on the subject this week.

  33. I see not much has changed on UKPR while the world has moved on.

  34. @ Turk

    “students believe Corbyn was going to clear student debt”

    Actually current students (if they are being purely selfish) don’t care so much about the existing student debt, since that is owned mostly by people who are already working (or unemployed and not paying it back). Current students (again of the selfish type) only care about removing the current fees, which was in the manifesto and McDonnell made clear was a still a promise.

    So what matters more on the debt is not what the students think, but what the people of age (say) 22-35 think of their loans, particularly those that have just left University, who tend to have the highest debts.

    On the other hand, parents of children who haven’t been yet, but are likely to go to University in the next few years might still be keen on no fees, without caring too much about what happens to the old debt. So my conclusion would be, yes, this might disappoint a few, but there are still many people out there looking at the fees promise with high hopes.

    And all this pre-supposes that Corbyn was just buying people’s vote with money. Maybe true for some people, but I have to say, having now had some contact with Corbyn fever, it’s by no means all of the story.

  35. “TURK

    Whether it was in the manifesto or not students believe Corbyn was going to clear student debt now McDonnell has done a U turn on that.”

    So you concede that it wasn’t in the manifesto and yet somehow a U-turn [on something not in the manifesto] has still been made, based on what you think some students may have believed could have been the aim?

    If the latter bit is partially true then I think I’d be inclined to blame these nameless students for not listening better.

  36. To be fair, I never listened all that carefully when I was a student (except of course to L Cohen, B Dylan, P Floyd, VDG Generator etc) which probably explains why my degree was carp despite my obvious genius

  37. Trigguy et al

    Of course, Corbyn & ELab were only talking about students from England, so conflating (or just ignoring) that with the rise in the Lab vote in other parts of GB rather misses the point.

    Not that I have any objection to folk concentrating on matters that only affect their polity, but it’s a bit arrogant to post as if only issues that affect one polity, determine voting patterns elsewhere.

    On “UKPR”, it would be helpful if that simple point was understood, but I fear that the comment will be met with incomprehension. :-(

  38. Turk

    I believed Theresa May was going to give all public sector workers a 10% rise. Now she’s done a u-turn and is only offering 1%.

    (It was actually my mistake as I misread the manifesto, nevertheless it’s what I thought, so I think it fair to say she’s done a u-turn using your logic.)

  39. The legacy student debts only became an issue because of media questions over the ‘fairness’ of abolishing tuition fees while earlier students were still paying their loans. Corbyn could have said “tough luck” but he didn’t, he said labour
    Would look into it and do whatever they could. Somehow this got spun into a promise to pay off all student debts and now the Tories are campaigning against something that labour still haven’t said they would do. Unbelievable!

  40. Well, wiping off the student debt was kind of said (by Corbyn to be precise), and nobody in the L.P. protested when the newspapers reported it as a promise.

    If anything it may even help Labour if they make it even more blurred. The vaguest promise was a logical conclusion – if the 9,000 year (now more) was unjust, and hence had to be abolished, then the same moral argument was valid for the existing debt.

    By the way, there is no moral argument, as the Scottish evidence shows, but in this election campaign everything was posited as a moral issue as the current Labour leadership is the most sentimentality since Richardson’s novels, and behind the apparently pragmatic slogans of the Conservatives similar “mores” could be detected.

  41. Sentimentality meant to be sentimentalist

  42. Cambridge Rachel


    I find that kind of spin totally believable!

    In many ways, I don’t find the untruths spoken by political parties (nasty organisations – all of them) objectionable as the endless repetition of them by their slavish followers and compliant news outlets.

  43. @ OldNat

    “as if only issues that affect one polity, determine voting patterns elsewhere”

    Fair point – I hope my final comment (essentially that ‘Corbyn fever’ was about more than just student fees and loans) at least partially addresses this.

  44. S Thomas: Hello to you. The town is growing so fast with young families; schools are cutting back on the day so that money is saved; roads are so busy, weather is fine and Lab needs 8% swings to win here in both seats.

    COLIN: Theresa May should rely on loyalty of the Party.

  45. Cambridgerachel


    someone will be labelling a perfectly sensible care policy as a dementia tax next. Can you believe it?

    who would do such a thing?

  46. @Turk @Bill

    I agree with both your assessments.

    McDonnell spelt out that there was no promise to write off existing debt. Labour’s promise was to abolish future tuition fees. McDonnell said he would like to amelioarate (improve) the position of those with existing student debt but it may not be possible not write it off.

    A young graduate I know told me that students/grads with existing student loans were very excited by the prospect of their loans being written off by Labour and she felt that was the largest factor responsible for mobilising the votes of her immediate friends.

    The promises are likely to come under much closer scrutiny next time around. Such a difficult area this but something needs to be done.

    I’d suggest it would be logical that the government doesnt scrap tuition fees but instead caps them at about 4.5K or maybe somewhere between 3K to 6K depending on the deemed usefulness to the nation of the course undertaken to encourage productive studies. I’d also suggest a retrospective rebate of annual tuition fees down to the same level where they are still outstanding on loans maybe over say a 10 year period. This will then be fair to new/current students and graduates.

    9K+ was always ridiculous and not sustainable. The expectation was that lower ranked uni’s would not charge the max but the reality was that they did. 9K+ undermines the credibility of the entire funding system. Pressure needs to be applied on universities who are coining it in to reduce their costs especially on low cost courses. The objective has got to be to bring tuition within more realistic/affordable levels while limiting the cost to the exchequer.

  47. CHRIS

    On view of RJW’s comment-I have to ask if that is “gnomic irony” ?

    They will let her stay for as long as it suits them. My guess till after Brexit .

  48. Not really surprised by these polls showing a drop for lab, since now the election’s over the government are once again getting the media attention and being allowed to represent themselves as the voice of authority.

    If, as I believe to be the case, this is the honeymoon period which any government expects to enjoy then the events which they will have to deal with will need to be very benign Indeed to even be able to consolidate the position in which they currently find themselves.

  49. On tuition fees, I’ve been told by one recent student that the government (in England, ON) pays the university fees up front to the universities, including for foreign students. Many of these then go back to their own countries, making recovery very difficult. If this is true (and I’m sure there are knowledgeable people here who can confirm or deny) then surely that is an obvious loophole that could easily be closed in order to save money.

  50. @ Martin L

    “retrospective rebate of annual tuition fees down to the same level where they are still outstanding on loans maybe over say a 10 year period”

    A very sensible suggestion – the exact level (within your 3-6 K) is certainly debatable, and on the above point, remember that you’d only have to back-date any rebate to 2012, since it was only then that the fees went up to the ridiculous 9K level. Unless you’re is feeling particularly generous, and had a lot of money to give away, I think it’s too late to address any loans from before 2012 (since the fees were at a more reasonable level then).

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