Archive for the 'Leader approval ratings' Category


LAB voters have become much less enamoured with their leader since GE2017

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

The stance on antisemitism, Brexit or are other factors at play?

The chart above shows the net satisfaction ratings for Jeremy Corbyn from Ipsos MORI in every published poll since the last general election. Note how this was remaining relatively solid until April this year when there was a dramatic drop which has remained.

The trend refelects as well with Labours position in the national voting polls. From the general election until mid March Corbyn’s team were doing pretty well with leads over the Tories in most of the public surveys. Then it shifted down in late March where it has stayed

One of the dangers in polling analysis is to equate correlation with causation but two main political developments have had happened in the period: the increased clamour within the LAB movement over the party’s Brexit position and and, of course, antisemitism.

The latter became headline news towards the end of March when Corbyn’s approving comments on what was clearly an antisemitic mural was highlighted and sparked off demonstrations against the party and him. Since then we have had the efforts by LAB to narrow the definition of antisemitism which has produced a huge negative response from the Jewish Communities and others concerned with the issue.

We saw in the May local elections in London that the party did very badly in areas with largest Jewish communities and, in spite of a strong polling position in the capital failed to take a single Council.

I’m far from convinced that LAB would win a general election if it were to be called in the coming months.

Mike Smithson


Polling boost for TMay as she takes a “best PM” lead amongst young voters for first time since GE2017

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Corbyn could be losing his advantages with the youth vote

The narrative that started following the shock general election result last June was that Corbyn and his party had managed tap into the youth vote who were turning out in greater numbers than at recent elections.

Much of this can be seen in looking at the age splits to leadership ratings and who would make the best prime minister findings from different pollsters since the election. Certainly up to now Labour and Corbyn have continued to attract the support of the young in greater numbers than the Conservatives.

But the detailed data from the Observer Opinium poll paints a very different picture. In every published survey since the election Opinium had found that the Labour leader had clear leads amongst the young segment to the “best PM” question when the options are TMay or Corbyn.

This had been narrowing, as can be seen in the chart, but Corbyn had retained a constant lead amongst the young until this latest one.

Now Theresa May is the top choice for the 18-34 year old segment with a lead of 4%. Quite why this should be is hard to say given that young voters are much more likely to be pro the EU and hostile to the referendum outcome.

It could be that Corbyn and his party are continuing to be damaged by the equivocation over Brexit and the ongoing difficulties in relation to antisemitism.

As we say with all polling analysis we need to look at further surveys before coming to firm conclusions but this is one to watch.

Mike Smithson


Corbyn’s Opinium net approval ratings trail both Cable and May by 10 points

Saturday, May 19th, 2018

The May Opinium poll for the Observer is just out including what is the only leader approval ratings series from any UK pollster.

The latest numbers are in the chart and TMay’s -8% is exactly the same as last month. Corbyn has improved a point to -18% whiule Cable sees his number move from -18% to -8%.

Opinium’s best PM ratings follow the trend of other pollsters with 36% saying they would prefer TMay as PM, against 23% for Corbyn. Mrs. May’s lead is up 1.

The voting numbers are CON 43 (+3) LAB 39 (-1) LD 6 (-1) UKIP 4 (-1)

Mike Smithson


LAB supporters are deluding themselves if they think an anti-CON rainbow coalition would automatically back Corbyn for PM

Monday, May 7th, 2018

Corbyn’s poor leader ratings highlight the weakness

Ever since general election seat projections like the one from Sky above have appeared LAB supporters and Corbyn enthusiasts have been saying that last Thursday the party won LE2018 and if it had been had a general election then Corbyn would be the one being called to the Palace.

This is based on the unfounded and somewhat arrogant assumption by LAB that all the SNP, LD, PC and GRN MPs would simply line up behind Corbyn to form a workable government to stop the Tories.

There are two things wrong with this: there’s a lack of understanding of what drives other parties and LAB’s current leader has little appeal outside.

The LDs have had their own bitter experience of coalition and it is hard to see them backing LAB while Corbyn is equivocal on Brexit and there’s still the stench of antisemitism hanging over his party. How Labour responds to some upcoming Brexit votes in the commons could muddy the waters for years to come.

    Also leadership polling has consistently shows that LD voters are more hostile to Corbyn than to TMay. Thus the latest Opinium finds 18% of current LD voters saying they approve of Mrs May but only 9% say the same of Corbyn. Even at peak Corbynania last August LD voters were two to one against JC

There’s little love lost between the SNP and LAB and Nicola Sturgeon would surely want a huge concession from Corbyn on constitutional matters in exchange for its backing.

We’ve also got to ask whether Corbyn, given the difficulties he has demonstrated managing the coalition of interests that is the Labour party, has the skills to build and manage a group of other parties. I’d suggest he hasn’t and would find it difficult making the compromises to get and retain support from other parties.

Mike Smithson


Corbyn’s Ipsos MORI satisfaction ratings drop to lowest point since GE2017

Monday, April 30th, 2018

Just three out of five LAB voters give him positive rating

Meanwhile there’s some voting intention cheer for the LDs

The big story from the April Ipsos MORI poll in the Standard is a further deterioration in Mr corbyn’s satisfaction ratings. These, from the pollster, have been asking the same format for well over 40 years and is the longest UK leader rating series in the UK.

The numbers are the first to come from the pollster since emergence of the mural that sparked off Labour’s latest antantisemitism row and moved it into new territory.

The voting figures, seen above, see little change except for the Lib Dems who jumped a whopping 4 points 10% which is the highest figure recorded in any poll since the last general election.

This is probably the last national public poll that will see before Thursdays local elections and it will be interesting to see if the trends here are seen in the results as they come in on Thursday evening and Friday.

Mike Smithson


LAB might now be back level pegging in voting polls but Corbyn’s leader ratings should be a cause for concern

Friday, April 20th, 2018

His handling of the antisemitism issue might be driving this

The above the data comes from Opinium the only pollster which does at least a monthly survey of leader approval ratings which means that we have sufficient data points to identify trend. The last numbers were from fieldwork last week before Tuesdays antisemitism debate in the Commons which got a lot of very negative coverage ad helped to deflect a little from Mrs. May’s Windrush problem.

What is striking is the very big difference we have with the leader numbers and the trend in voting polls which have very much been stable over the last few months.

The chart of surveys since the election last June shows an initial boost for Mr Corbyn who went into positive territory. Then there was something of a decline followed by these latest numbers which might be down to the ongoing row within the Labour Party on its treatment of antisemitism.

What we do know is that if we’d been following the leader ratings rather than the voter poll movements before the last election the result would have been less of a shock. Corbyn’s were improving and May’s declining in the run up to polling day. It was the same at the 2015 election when although the voting polls were relatively level Ed Miliband trailed badly on the leader ratings.

In fact in all recent elections when the voting polls got it wrong the leader ratings were better pointers.

Mike Smithson


If the Windrush affair has an impact in the polls expect it to be seen most in the leader ratings not voting intention

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Could it reverse TMay’s steady recovery since GE2017?

Above is a chart based on Opinium’s net approval ratings for the PM since GE2017. I choose this pollster because it is one of just two that just about always every month publish the latest leader ratings which gives us enough data points for analysis. I wish other firms would follow this lead.

As can be seen TMay made something of a recovery in the immediate post-election period until October when the Opinium fieldwork took place shortly after her disastrous and highly publicised conference speech.

During 2018 there has been a recovery and in the past two months she has had better net ratings than Corbyn.

This week’s news has been very much about TMay because it was on her watch as Home Secretary between 2010 and 2016 that the changes took place which are now causing so much concern.

Mike Smithson


Why we should focus much more on leader ratings and less on voting intention

Monday, April 9th, 2018

If we’d done that last June the outcome would have been much less of a shock

The publication of two sets of leader ratings by Deltapoll and YouGov over the weekend has put a lot of attention on these regular trackers which the records suggest are a better guide to what will happen in elections than voting intention polls.

    We know that the voting numbers with one exception in GE2017 joined GE2015 and GE1992 in being some way out and gave a wrong view of what would happen. However if we had relied solely in each election on the leader numbers we probably would have predicted it better.

Two tables from YouGov showing the trend in it well/badly ratings for Political leaders in the months ahead of GE2017. As can be seen Mrs May was in a totally dominant position and maintained that lead right through until the final poll when she was showing a 5% negative. This compared with huge leads earlier in the year.

Yesterday the new polling company established by Joe Twyman, formerly of YouGov, and Martin Boon, ex-ICM, produced the first poll for the Observer. Its findings on LAB’s anti-semitism have made the most headlines but I was pleased to see that is highlighting leader ratings and is not focusing everything on voting intention. In fact there are no voting numbers in the poll although the sample was asked what they did at the last general election. That’s good thinking because it will increase the attention that’s given to these findings.

At GE2015 the final polls had it tight but all the different leader ratings had EdM trailing behind Cameron. It was the same at GE1992 when the polls had it neck and next but Major had very clear leads over Kinnock in the ratings.

A big problem with voting intention polling is that unlike almost all other political polling you are not asking respondents for their view on a subject. Rather you are trying to establish whether at a future date they will act in a particular way if at all. So we have to add on all sorts of complicated calculations in relation to whether they will actually do as they say and turn out on the day and vote. Then we can get into more complex analysis of whether particular groups are responding in a different way to the turn out question so their views can be discounted.

Leader ratings ares simpler and I’d argue the record shoes gives you a higher quality of response.

Mike Smithson