Archive for the 'Podcasts' Category


NEW PB/Polling Matters podcast: Firing the starting gun, Brexit rows & where is the LD surge?

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

On this week’s podcast, Keiran is joined by Adam Drummond of Opinium and Adam Payne of Business Insider UK to discuss the political state of play as the General Election campaign proper kicks off.

The panel mull over the latest developments in the campaign, including Theresa May’s comments about EU interference in British democracy and Tim Farron’s recent run-in with a Leave voter on the stump. Topics discussed also include the lack of a Lib Dem surge in the opinion polls and whether the polls might be wrong again (and how). The podcast also unveils the latest Polling Matters / Opinium survey looking at the appetite (or lack thereof) for a second referendum on EU membership. Could this be why the Lib Dems struggle or is Adam Payne’s alternative suggestion the real reason?

Finally, the panel also look ahead to the local elections on Thursday and discuss the potential impact of turnout on the General Election result in June.

Listen to the podcast here:

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This week’s PB/Polling Matters podcast on Theresa May’s snap election

Friday, April 21st, 2017

With a snap general election announced, Leo Barasi is joined by Progress deputy editor Conor Pope, and political consultant Laurence Janta-Lipinski, to talk about the state of the parties and the race ahead. The Tories seem to be on course for a guaranteed landslide but does that mean they won’t be able to scare potential voters about a Corbyn government? What policies and arguments can Labour offer to fight back? How far can the Lib Dems go? And is it all gloom for Ukip?

Keiran is on holiday.

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This week’s PB/Polling Matters Podcast: The LD fight back and where they go next + the latest Ashcroft poll

Thursday, April 13th, 2017


On this week’s PB/Polling Matters podcast, Leo is joined by Lib Dem writer and campaign strategist Mark Pack to discuss the Lib Dem fightback and the new Polling Matters / Opinium survey on the party’s prospects. The Lib Dems seem to be recovering in the polls, but how high can they go, where should they look for new voters, should they change leader and can they win the Gorton by-election?  Later in the show, Leo and Mark discuss the new poll from Lord Ashcroft and what it says about the challenges the government will face in negotiating a popular Brexit deal. Keiran is on holiday.

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Latest PB/Polling Matters podcast with Colin Rallings on the forthcoming local elections

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Looking forward to May 4th

On this week’s PB/Polling Matters podcast, Keiran is joined by Colin Rallings from the University of Plymouth to discuss the latest Rallings and Thrasher projections for the coming local elections in May and what they might mean for the wider political environment. Later in the show, Keiran is joined by Leo Barasi to discuss the latest Polling Matters / Opinium survey which looks at what voters would be prepared to compromise in the coming Brexit deal.

Keiran is off to South Africa for the Easter break but Polling Matters should still continue with Leo Barasi when he is away.


Who will speak for Millennials?

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Young voters lack political representation says Keiran Pedley. So who is going to step up?

One of the topics discussed on the latest PB/Polling Matters podcast was the striking difference in views on Brexit by age.

This week saw the first political poll by my company (GfK) for 12 years. One of the questions we asked was whether Brits thought Brexit was the “right decision” or the “wrong decision”. The results can be found in the chart below.

Table 1: Brexit: Right decision / wrong decision (by age)

Our poll this week got most attention for the finding that showed Jeremy Corbyn’s approval rating as low as Donald Trump’s but in my opinion this chart is more important. What it shows is a huge difference in opinion on the future of the country by age. For example, 55% of those aged 18-24 think Brexit was the “wrong decision” whereas 59% of those aged 65 and above think it was the “right decision”.

Brexit is not the only issue that divides Brits by age. Younger Brits also seem to be much more negative about the economic prospects of the country too. Here are some numbers from the same poll looking at economic optimism overall and by age. Once again, the differences are striking.


Based on these numbers, it seems that if you are aged 55 and over you are reasonably confident about the economic future of the country and the country’s future more generally. For younger voters the story is very different. It isn’t hard to see why. With wage growth frustratingly weak, tuition fees and rents rising and the property ladder a distant dream for many in their 20s, there is little to be particular optimistic about for millennials post Brexit. Or at least, for many it will feel that way. That’s before we even touch what the retirement age for the average 25 year old is likely to be.

The question is will this frustration manifest itself politically or will it just breed more apathy?

It seems to me that there is an opportunity for a politician or political party to develop a platform for government based on the idea that younger voters have it tough and that needs to change. Many will dismiss this idea for the obvious reason that younger people are much less likely to vote than older people. This is true. But those younger people have parents and grandparents. Perhaps one way the centre-left can reinvigorate itself in Britain is to make inter-generational inequality the centrepiece of its revival, appealing to older voters that their children’s and grandchildren’s futures are at stake if action isn’t taken. It’ll take guts but it is worth a try. Plus, it is also the right thing to do.

So over to you Jeremy Corbyn and Labour. If the British left is going to go down in flames, it might as well do so fighting on behalf of a cause worth fighting for. Or if you won’t, maybe the Lib Dems will. Let’s wait and see.

Keiran Pedley

Keiran Pedley tweets about public opinion and politics at @keiranpedley and is the presenter of the ‘Polling Matters’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode on Brexit and Scotland below.



PB/Polling Matters podcast on Brexit, Article 50 polling, Scotland and the return of GfK

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

After a momentous day in British politics, Keiran and Rob discuss public opinion on Brexit and  Keiran looks at Scotland’s future with Ipsos Mori Scotland Research Director Mark Diffley. Finally, Keiran talks more about the new GfK political polling that has Corbyn’s approval rating among Brits being as weak as Donald Trump’s. More on that polling (including methodology and data tables here).

The segment on Scotland dominates this week’s episode and is a particularly wide ranging discussion including new information on why the polls are not moving towards Independence at this stage. Keiran and Rob also unveil new Polling Matters / Opinium numbers showing party cross-breaks that might surprise you.

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How you can help the Podcast

Please vote for the show in the British Podcast Awards for ‘Listeners choice’. Just go here  search for ‘Polling Matters’ and click on the avatar with the graph (not the one by Frank Newport). Shortlisted shows get featured on The Guardian so it really helps grow our audience if we make the cut.


New poll finds increasing support for a second referendum with 66% of REMAIN voters now wanting one

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

But overall most of those sampled continue to be against

Keiran Pedley looks at new poll numbers from the Polling Matters / Opinium series ahead of the Prime Minister invoking Article 50 this week.

Listeners to this week’s (revamped) PB/Polling Matters podcast (see below) will know that we have a new survey out this week. Our most recent poll tracks public opinion on last year’s Brexit vote. In December, we asked a nationally representative sample of the British public whether they thought there should be another vote on EU membership once the terms of divorce are known and we asked the same question again last weekend.

In some ways the results offer something for everyone. At a headline level, a majority are opposed to another referendum, with exactly the same number in opposition now as were opposed in December (52%). This is primarily because Leave voters continue to be committed to the decision they made last year. However, there has been a 5 point increase in the overall number in favour of another vote. This appears to be driven by those that said ‘don’t know’ in December now saying that they support another referendum with Remainers particularly consolidating behind such a position.

Q. Once we know what terms the government has negotiated, should there be a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU, where voters can choose between leaving under the terms negotiated or remaining in the EU after all?

Now for a number of reasons we shouldn’t get too exercised by these findings. These results could be a one-off and there is little sign of consistent Brexit regret in opinion polls. Theresa May certainly has no interest in holding another referendum and the Labour Party is not calling for one (despite some 60% of their voters in favour). However, we should still keep an eye on these numbers. If this trend is real and continues then expect someone of signifance in the Labour Party to come out in support in the future. In any case, if the opinion of the Remain vote is hardening on this subject, the potential for that group of people being a significant organised political force in the longer term only grows.

Incidentally, a fascinating subplot in Britain’s political future will be how the opinion of Millennials evolves on this issue. 53% of 18-34s support another vote with just 34% opposing. Now this shouldn’t surprise given what we know about the composition of the Remain vote in 2016. The question is whether such attitudes will change as these voters get older or are they set in stone (as they are on certain cultural issues)? If they are, expect the issue of Britain’s position in Europe be a live one long beyond we have officially left the EU.

Article 50 brings sky-high expectations

Turning our attention to this week, our poll also asked how confident the British public is on the type of Brexit deal May and the government will deliver:

How confident are you that Theresa May and the British government will be able to negotiate a Brexit deal that is good for the UK?

49% Confident

41% Not confident

 10% Don’t know

Expectations here are split in ways you would expect that I won’t therefore dwell on e.g. Remain vs Leave, Labour vs Conservative, young vs old and so on. However, what is striking is the confidence of Leave voters. Some 72% are confident a ‘good deal’ can be delivered. Now what a ‘good deal’ tangibly means to them and whether May can meet those expectations is going to be critical for her political survival. Meanwhile, we should also pay attention to the one area of the UK with the lowest confidence in any Brexit deal. That is Scotland where 62% are pessimistic that a ‘good deal’ can be reached. Ominous signs.

Much is made of the apparent finality of the 2016 vote in terms of the European question. It may very well be so given the state of the Labour Party right now. But I can’t help but feel that things could change and change quickly should Brexit negotiations go badly. You need tunnel vision not to see that there is a path for a ‘second referendum’ becoming a major political issue. In any case, we are now approaching the ‘business end’ of Brexit. The time for words is nearly over. Now Theresa May has to deliver.

Keiran Pedley presents the PB/Polling Matters podcast (latest episode below) and tweets about politics and public opinion at @keiranpedley


Check out the latest podcast below:

Notes on the poll: Opinium surveyed a nationally representative sample of 2,003 GB adults online between 17-21 March, 2017. Tables will be available on their website in due course.


NEW PB/Polling Matters podcast: London, Second Referendum(s), Snap elections & more

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017


On this week’s new (revamped) episode of the PB/Polling Matters podcast Keiran touches briefly on the shocking events of this week before being joined by Leo Barasi and Rob Vance to discuss the latest polling data and elections news. Keiran unveils new Polling Matters / Opinium polling on whether there should be a second EU referendum with changes that might surprise you, Leo explains why he thinks there will not be a snap election (although Keiran argues May is making a mistake in waiting) and Rob touches on events in Northern Ireland following the death of Martin McGuinness.

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Oh and please vote for the podcast in the British podcast awards below.

Vote for the PB/Polling Matters podcast?

Please vote for the show in the British Podcast Awards for ‘Listeners choice’. Just go to search for ‘Polling Matters’ and click on the avatar with the graph (not the one by Frank Newport). Shortlisted shows get featured on The Guardian so it really helps grow our audience if we make the cut.