We’ve had three voting intention polls in the last couple of days:

  • Ipsos MORI‘s monthly political monitor had topline figures of CON 43%(+4), LAB 42%(nc), LDEM 6%(-3). Fieldwork was over last weekend (Fri-Wed), and changes are from January. Tabs are here.
  • YouGov/Times on Friday has toplines of CON 41%(nc), LAB 43%(+1), LDEM 7%(nc). Fieldwork was Mon-Tues and changes are from last week. Tabs are here.
  • Survation/GMB, reported in the Sunday Mirror, has CON 37%(-3), LAB 44%(+1), LDEM 9%(+1). Fieldwork was Wednesday and Thursday, and changes are from the tail end of January. No tabs yet.

There is no clear trend – Labour is steady across the board, Survation have the Tories falling, MORI have them rising. MORI and YouGov show the two main parties neck-and-neck, Survation have a clear Labour lead.

The better Labour position in Survation is typical, but it’s not really clear why. As regular readers will know, Survation do both online and telephone voting intention polls. Their phone polls really do have a significantly different methodology – rather than random digit dialling, they randomly select phone numbers from consumer databases and ring those specific people. That would be an obvious possible explanation for a difference between Survation phone polls and polls from other companies. However, this poll wasn’t conducted by telephone, it was conducted online, and Survation’s online method is pretty similar to everyone else’s.

Survation’s online samples at the general election were much the same as everyone elses. The differences were down to other companies experimenting with things like demographic turnout modelling in order to solve the problems of 2015, approaches that ultimately ended up backfiring. However, polling companies that got it wrong have now dropped the innovations that didn’t work and largely gone back to simpler methods on turnout, meaning there is now no obvious reason for the difference.

Meanwhile, looking at the other questions in the surveys the YouGov poll also included their all their regular EU trackers, following Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn’s speeches. Neither, unsusprisingly, seem to have made much difference. 29% of people think that the Conservative party’s policy on Brexit is clear, up on a week ago (25%) but still significantly down from January (37%). 36% of people say they support May’s approach to Brexit, barely changed from a week ago (35%). For Labour, just 18% of people now think their Brexit policy is clear (down from 22% straight after Corbyn’s speech), 21% of people say they support the approach that Jeremy Corbyn is taking towards Brexit.

640 Responses to “Latest voting intention polls”

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  1. Good to see there is a poll for every viewpoint!

    It does suggest the polling industry is as much in the woods as ever when it comes to finding a methodology that provides some consistency.

    They can’t be all correct.

  2. JOHNH

    Perhaps they’re all correct but the MoE is widening. If views are hardening, then getting an accurate mix of leavers and remainers for any given party is becoming a bit of a lottery.

  3. BZ

    The MoE is a property of the statistical distribution of a binomial distribution. It only varies by sample size (and a bit depending on the proportions, although that is relatively static around the 30-40% mark allowing the “rule of thumb” to be used)

    There might be a wider range of house effects. These aren’t the MoE due to sampling but individual biases specific to each pollster.

  4. ALAN

    Yes. Perhaps I expressed myself badly.

    Each pollster has a pool to choose from, and presumably know how each voted in 2016 and 2017. If the sample selected corresponds to both votes then fine, but if the quota expected isn’t met then we would need more information about the algorithms employed before we could set the confidence limits.

  5. BZ

    I agree working out the expected differences in the biases (noone knows the absolute bias in a given poll until an actual election takes place) from first principles would be difficult.

    Working it out empirically would lead to rather large errors due to the relatively few polls we have these days.

  6. @ COLIN (last thread) – The elected heads of states do seem to be more aware of the issues than the unelected folks. Maybe the tide of ever closer union (aka more autocratic power) is about to turn?
    It does look that even a weakened Merkel has put the kibosh on Juncker’s State of the Union plans and got backing from everyone else. Of course 27 pairs of hands on the ship’s wheel is hardly something to celebrate – even if anyone actually believes those 27 sets of hands have equal voice (or even QMV weighted voice)

    My guess is Macron didn’t want to be 1/27 or maybe that although he agrees with most of Juncker’s plans he wants more of the power to reside with France (biggest pair of hands) than with Brussels?

    Power struggles within the political elite while Rome burns!

  7. @Colin @Trevor

    The problem with can-kicking by the EU27 is the situation remains untenable in the medium to long term for the likes of Italy and Greece.

    January 2018: https://www.statista.com/statistics/266228/youth-unemployment-rate-in-eu-countries/ The youth unemployment remains horrendous.

    Without a fiscal transfer union, the South cannot survive in the euro. I find it amazing that people laud the euro which is only 18 years old. Yet for 10 of those years, some EZ countries have been in crisis because of it.

    Italy has not expanded since it joined the Euro!!

  8. Here’s a problem – the shapes of the Conservative and Labour tribes are changing. Generally, the average Tory voter has become older and more working-class, and the average Labour voter has become younger and more middle-class.

    No polling methodology is free of biases, but it can happen that a methodology contains left- and right-leaning biases which, by chance, cancel out, which gives it a strong-looking track record. However, as voting coalitions change shape, this fortuitous balance breaks down, which is why even when the polling methodologies are retrofitted to accurately predict (post-dict?) the most recent election, they can still be unreliable. For example, consider a pollster that oversampled over-50 C2DEs. In 2015, these people were not too different in their voting habits from the population at large (at least in terms of Con/Lab lead, though they would have had an unusually high UKIP score). So the pollsters might have done okay in 2015, giving them false confidence in their own model, but by 2017 they would have been overweighting a staunch Tory-voting demographic. It’s possible that this is actually what happened for many pollsters (though the narrative that no pollsters saw the 2017 result is somewhat manufactured to suit the Corbynistas’ narrative, because by polling day most pollsters were showing Tory leads of around 5%, consistent with a hung parliament).

  9. “A sensible trade deal would include financial services and would not require us signing up to a leaving agreement which hamstrings the UK government.”


    This seems to be a sticking point. So I was just wondering if people can help answer that question: what trade deals of any substance don’t also introduce constraints of some kind?



    The whole structure is misconceived imo. Macron knows this-at least he was up front about it-Transnational MEPS ( ie European Parliament primary seat of EU Democracy) , EZ Finance Minister, etc.

    But he has not received any support really-I don;t know who calls the shots now in Germany because SPD would be supportive of Macron.

    Its just the same old stuff -forever trying to decide what the EU is-and how it should be governed.


    Those are shocking stats. No wonder so many of them fled to UK.

    Await resolution of the Italian GE result with interest.

  11. @Alan

    “You seem to be arguing the the best way to deal with an aggressor is to keep taking the “small losses” as the risk of provoking them into mutual “big losses” isn’t worth it.

    On that basis, perhaps this is how the EU should treat a future smaller opponent, by forcing it to take “Small Losses” or would you advocate that the UK fights back?”


    Somerjohn recently pointed out the rather salient irony, that the recent US moved on steel etc. rather highlight that it might not be as easy as claimed to get alternative trade deals outside the EU.

    So Trev seems to be feverishly engaged in trying to make this all the EU’s fault. If we can’t get a good trade deal with US, it’s because the EU didn’t just roll over.

    Which doesn’t really work, so its going to be quite a challenge for Trev, involving many lengthy attempts…

  12. CARFREW re TW

    Sisyphus springs to mind.

  13. @Trevor Warne – “NB EU did nothing for UK in the Bombadier debacle. US ITC ruled in favour of Bombadier thankfully so the issue has mostly gone away (still risk of an appeal or future action).”

    You do seem to struggle sometimes with the factual side of life. Try this –


    “Brussels has given the warning it will fight the case to US authorities, …..
    An EU official said Brussels had intervened in the case to defend both the Belfast plant and aerospace suppliers across Europe that stood to be affected by the US crackdown.”

    Or this – h ttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/brexit-us-bombardier-trade-dispute-tarrif-eu-uk-leave-northern-ireland-c-series-jet-wings-wilbur-a8058386.html

    Or this – h ttp://business.financialpost.com/transportation/european-union-backs-bombardier-in-trade-spat-with-boeing

    I often ponder where you get your information from, because whenever I bother to fact check your assertions they turn out to be garbage.

  14. @Alec

    Well following Alan pointing out to TW the problem with just rolling over, the next gambit is to try and say, well ok, but staying in the EU wouldn’t have helped anyway, so either way we take a hit…

  15. @ SEA CHANGE – some of the inter-country unemployment levels are quite disturbing as well (see overall map and fig1)

    The PIGS maybe hoped Brussels could run their country better than their own govts but they’ve made an even worse job of it!
    As well as looking at unemployment levels we could look at debt levels.The Euro has created divergence there as well. Maastricht criteria was 60% or heading in that direction but from 2007 to 2017 we’ve seen the following moves:

    Portugal 68% to 130%
    Italy 100% to 132%
    Ireland 24% to 73% (and peaked at 120%, we know we it’s dropped!)
    Greece 103% to 181%
    Spain 36% to 99%

    For reference Germany 64% to 68% (peaked at 81% and doing a fine job in leading by example and exporting austerity!)

    The Troika’s show of EU solidarity was to make sure the weakest nations paid the most for joining the Euro – in jobs and debt!

    “Generally, the average Tory voter has become older and more working-class, and the average Labour voter has become younger and more middle-class.”

    I’d reword that……

    The average Labour voter aspires to be middle-class, but are stuck in rented accommodation and can’t afford a deposit as their real terms wage is lower than 10 years ago.

    Meanwhile their buy to let landlord is a Tory from working-class background.

  17. Re: the club analogy

    Wherein we leave the EU but still want to play matches against them.

    Well ok, but if the EU in the course of competing with us, compete over the financial sector and acquire some of it by declining passporting rights, apparently that is “punishing” us?

    We can compete with them, but if they compete with us it’s a punishment, unfair in some way.

    Messing with the rules etc. is how countries compete. Remember, when we joined the EU, the Japanese had restrictions on selling into the EU, but then we allowed the Japanese car firms into the EU market by basing production in the UK, to the surprise of other EU members. Similarly we went against the conventions in banking established after the Great Depression and snaffled banking.

  18. TW

    I agree Germany is doing a fine job, I expect Germany to continue to do a fine job and that to lead to rising living standards for its citizens.

    I look forward to exchanging my share in the UK national debt for a share in the German national debt.


    Interesting regional unemployment stats.

    You can see why 5Star got all their support in the South. I think they promised a Universal Income.

    The colours for Spain are dramatic.

  20. JB

    Glad to see you think that Tory working class voters are more aspirational.
    Although I doubt if all Landlords at least the ones without top hats and cigars are Tory.

  21. @ ALEC – ??

    The US International Trade Commission ruled on the case (voting 4-0 to throw out Boeing’s claim), it was not the WTO.


  22. JIB: why let facts get in the way when there is cheap point-scoring to be done? “Middle-class” and “working-class”, at least on this site, are shorthand for the more wonkish ABC1 and C2DE demographics, and have nothing to do with how voters self-identify. I don’t care how working-class Mark Steel thinks he is, he’s just wrong.

    Labour’s voting coalition in 2017 was empirically less working-class than its 2015 equivalent. If you look at every study of the data, the class gap in voting intention fell to record lows on both sides. There are simultaneously more relatively rich Labour voters and more
    relatively poor Conservative voters than there have ever previously been in this country.

    Let me be clear – that is not a bad thing for the Labour Party, (or at least, the bit about middle-class voters moving towards them isn’t). Everybody’s vote counts equally, as it indeed it should. The only people who care about this are the curious left-wing sorts for whom being working-class (or, to put it more bluntly, being poor) is a glamorous identity in itself. Strangely, most of these people have never actually experienced poverty themselves.

  23. Meanwhile I see EU’s ‘Darth Vadar’ is doing well for himself!

    “Selmayr had served Juncker well — or was it the other way around?”

  24. BBZ From last thread.
    “A sensible member would have at least have tried to negotiate the treaty changes it wants at the next opportunity before storming off in a huff”.

    Well if we knew when the next treaty might be, maybe but given that all the eu member governments will avoid another treaty if they can because some will struggle to get it past their electorate, we might have to wait 10 years. And in any case, Cameron tried to get some face saving changes through and was sent away with a flea in his ear.

    Merkel & co, like Frank Field and Patricia Hewitt must really rue their stupidity, in doing what they did in their respective areas.


    My comment was at best very anecdotal with a strong dose of sarcasm.

    But I agree the appeal of both main parties is based less and less of traditional stereotypes.

    But if you have accrued little capital wealth yourself, supporting a potential regime that promises the capital wealth of others is very appealing.


    Well if we knew when the next treaty might be, maybe but given that all the eu member governments will avoid another treaty if they can because some will struggle to get it past their electorate, we might have to wait 10 years.

    Conceivably so, but as a member the UK would still have had a veto and the ability to make life difficult for the other 27 members, or possibly have been able to build a coalition which couldn’t be ignored.

    Perhaps it wouldn’t have worked, but the then HMG could have offered a referendum based on facts rather than hopes.

  27. Lansmann drops out of race to be Gen Secretary apparently.

  28. Interesting information in the Sunday Times ‘re Russian oligarch financial support for the Tory party since May became leader:


  29. The current tiny Labour average lead in the polls may be boosted a little after the Chancellor makes his statement on Tuesday.

    The Tory government has been spinning for the last four months that the public-sector wage freeze has ended. But from the leaks coming from unions and government in the last few days, it looks like this has been spin without foundation.

    And any paper offers coming from the Chancellor can`t be delivered.


    RPI is currently 4%, CPI 3%, and the highest leaked offer seems to be 3% for some NHS staff, provided they agree to just 1% rises in the next two years.

    To me, that is a salary cut.

    And when the press and opposition parties expose the sham, some Tory-voting public-sector staff may well desert.

  30. “For Labour, just 18% of people now think their Brexit policy is clear. 21% of people say they support the approach that Jeremy Corbyn is taking towards Brexit.”

    So at least 3% support Labour’s Brexit policy despite not being clear what it is.


    Sisyphus springs to mind.”

    Is he for leave or remain?

  32. Bloody big rock though.

  33. CROFTY

    A reluctant leaver, I’d have thought.

  34. @davwel

    “And when the press and opposition parties expose the sham, some Tory-voting public-sector staff may well desert.”

    I would have thought that Tory voting public sector staff are a vanishingly small segment of the electorate already.

  35. “Brexit: People crossing Irish border would have to register in advance under plan being studied by Theresa May”


    Would folk in those houses straddling the border have to indicate in advance their forward planning to go to the loo, and inform the UK Government that they only intend to sh!t with May’s permission?

  36. Reggieside:

    Without checking on accurate sources, I would put public-sector staff at 20% of the electorate, and more shakily rate the Tory voters in that 20% as 20% also..

    Which gives 4% as the segment that could change.

    Another salary award less than inflation could be the straw that breaks the back of 2% of them.

    So Labour up to 44% and Cons down to 39%.

  37. Davwel

    On equally shaky grounds to yours! The Tory voting public sector may be unconcerned as to pay levels.

    Back in the 1960s, Fife County Council sent a plea to all teaching staff to “please cash your salary cheques before the end of the financial year”.

    Some (including 2 promoted staff in the school I then taught in) hadn’t cashed a single salary cheque all year – they loved teaching, but had huge inherited wealth, and didn’t need (or particularly want) the money.

    Different now, of course, as salaries are paid directly into bank accounts. but not all Tories are evil, money grabbing swine. There are a few exceptions. :-)

  38. @DA WELL 10.43

    Not only could public servants change their voting position, but they may well vote with their feet re their employment. This is obviously happening already but could well accelerate. The resulting drop in performance in education, NHS, police, prisons etc etc will affect all the electorate causing even more voters to withdraw their support for the government.

  39. Davwel – my partner is one of those “20% of the 20%” – she would not vote for Corbyn even if her pay halved.

  40. Geordie

    Which drops “in performance in education, NHS, police, prisons etc etc” are you referring to, and which government will these voters withdraw their support from?

    It’s not entirely clear from your post as to why voters in Scotland would withdraw support from their government on the basis of the NHS, or Welsh voters withdraw support from theirs, on the basis of education.

    Sometimes, posts are sadly parochial. Is yours one of those?

  41. Regarding being anti-Corbs despite losing out on pay, some might make the calculation that losing out on pay is preferable to losing some of the property windfalls etc.

    Additionally, I recall chatting with someone somewhere about free schools. I was rather agnostic about it, but they seemed very keen without much to explain why. A few days later, on another thread, I happened across them saying that their partner was on the board of one of the companies hoping to hoover up some free schools on the cheap…

  42. Thus, someone working in education might accept a pay cut if a family member stands to make greater gains.

  43. Carfrew

    Your example seems rather restricted. I can see that, as services in England are transferred to the private sector, anyone working in those services (whose partner is likely to make a killing from that process in that sector) is unlikely to give much of a damn about their personal salary level.

    I have no idea how many such individuals there are in England,

    The more general point, however, is probably that (regardless of occupation sector) those partnered by very high earners are unlikely to see their individual salary as important (unless they want the security of being able to ditch him/her.in the foreseeable future).

  44. As a Corbyn supporter, this poll looks very much like an outlier to me. I reckon Labour is 1-2 points ahead right now.

    As things stand, I don’t think there is much if anything on the horizon to change things…maybe Labour move another point or so ahead in the next 4-5 months, but no more than that.

    There are things priced in on both sides.

    The electorate is changing in the way that it approaches support for parties, though…it now seems to be socially liberal left vs traditionalist conservative right at least as much as on class / wealth / economics.

    Of course there have always been working class tories….and Tony Benn came from a well of background, but, it seems to me that class alone is not the driving force determining who you vote for that it once was.

    In terms of the next election, as things rumble forward the sensible money is on Labour as the largest party in a hung parliament or a tiny Labour majority, but, this far out, nobody can predict it – events tend to get in the way of predicting long term…and who knows what major events, good or bad, or if any are set to change the near future.

    I could have a top ten hit before the election….I seriously doubt it, but, you never know what’s to come.

  45. @oldnat

    “Your example seems rather restricted. I can see that, as services in England are transferred to the private sector, anyone working in those services (whose partner is likely to make a killing from that process in that sector) is unlikely to give much of a damn about their personal salary level.”


    Yes that was rather my point. There was no “restriction”, I just didn’t go on about how they might already be very well-off already anyway because you had already made that point.

  46. “As things stand, I don’t think there is much if anything on the horizon to change things…maybe Labour move another point or so ahead in the next 4-5 months, but no more than that.
    There are things priced in on both sides.”


    Labour are only likely to move further ahead in the polls, if Tories screw up. Labour themselves have to hold fire and not leak policies they may use in a GE, thus limiting VI gains.

  47. thus limiting VI gains in the meantime.

  48. From the Times…

    “Files record Stasi scorn for Labour in the 70s

    David Charter, Oliver Moody
    March 12 2018, 12:01am,
    The Times

    Files from the vaults of the Stasi reveal their frustration with the “so-called left” of the Labour Party and the British anti-nuclear movement during the last years of the Cold War.

    More than 300 pages of East German records, obtained by The Times, show that the feared Communist secret police were disappointed with their access and influence in the party.

    Records spanning 20 years until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 were disclosed in the wake of fruitless searches for Stasi files on Jeremy Corbyn after the revelation that he met a Czechoslovak spy in London several times in the 1980s.

    Stasi archivists searched for material on Mr Corbyn’s party among the 69 miles of shelves containing documents, photos, film and audio recordings held primarily in Berlin. They unearthed 400 pages of press cuttings and 300 pages of records from the Wilson era, mainly assessing the situation in the Labour party, the state of East German-UK relations and reporting on visits to East Germany by MPs, anti-nuclear and peace groups.

    A Stasi report on Labour factions from 1974 bemoans that policy is set by a group around Wilson which “serves the interests of monopoly capitalism”.”

  49. “The Stasi files also show a growing wariness of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, on which it kept a close eye. The organisation was distrusted because it spoke out about human rights abuses behind the Iron Curtain. In 1988 this led the Stasi to order the East German postal service not to deliver any of CND’s Christmas cards for peace, calling the campaign “hostile”.”

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