Archive for the 'Pollsters/polling' Category


For the 3rd successive month YouGov Brexit tracker has “wrong to leave” in lead

Friday, November 10th, 2017

The chart shows the latest YouGov Brexit tracker in which the question is whether those polled think that in insight it was wrong or right for Britain to have voted to leave EU.

This is not asking how people would vote in a new referendum or whether the Brexit process should be stopped. Keiran Pedley has suggested that the use of the word “wrong” might be influencing the response which is why this result can be different from other polls that ask about Brexit.

No doubt many remainers take the view that the vote to Leave was wrong but believe that the decision has been taken and that we should proceed.

Like in all polls the phrasing of the question can have a big impact.

With a tracker the same question is asked in the same manner every time so we can make valid comparisons.

Because the movement with each new poll is relatively small and within the margin of error it is important to look at the overall trend which is why I produce the chart.

Right to Leave last had a lead in August while TMay was still on vacation.

Mike Smithson


The first poll of November finds a tad of comfort for Mrs. May and raises questions of LAB

Friday, November 10th, 2017

YouGov/Times carried out Tues/Wed
CON 40%=
LAB 43%+1
LD 6%-2

YouGov Times poll “best PM” ratings
TMay 34%+1
Corbyn 31%-2
DK 35%

YouGov Times poll – should TMay stand down?
Should 32% -6
Should not 42%+3
Changes on month ago

44% tell YouGov Times poll that TMay should sack Boris against 26% saying she should keep him. Rest of sample don’t know

With Mrs. May having to say goodbye to two of her 22 cabinet ministers in less than a week you’d have thought that Labour and Corbyn would have seen an increase in their position in the polls.

Well this morning sees the first published poll of the month with fieldwork carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday and the numbers are nothing like as bad as the Tories must have feared and nothing like as good as LAB must have hoped.

Sure on voting intention LAB sees a minuscule within margin of error one point uplift but on “best PM” TMay extends her lead.

Labour’s failure to capitalise on the Tory turmoil should be a cause for concern and certainly raises question about the red team’s leadership.

    We are a long way from Corbyn’s Glastonbury hubris in late June when he was telling people he’d be PM by Christmas.

Mike Smithson


The big question is how much Corbyn’s LAB can capitalise on the Tory turmoil

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Will the red team start to replicate its 2012 polling performance

With the Tory difficulties that appear to mount by the day the time has come surely for Corbyn’s LAB to make significant advances in the polls.

What’s been quite striking since June when LAB exceeded expectations is how the gap between the two main parties has remained relatively constant and on the low side. There’s been the odd poll showing a 6 point gap but mostly it has been down at 1 or 2 points.

    Compare this with the first half of 2012, the year that saw the “Omnishambles” budget with the granny and pasty taxes, when for a time most polls had LAB with double digit leads some as high as 15 points.

Remember those 2012 polls mattered for nothing three years later when Cameron won his surprise majority.

I’d argue that in terms of perceptions of government competence what has been happening at the moment is far worse than what happened five years ago.

Will the upcoming November polls reflect this? We shall see.

Mike Smithson


Month by month during 2017 how the “Leaving EU right” lead has moved in YouGov’s Brexit tracker

Friday, October 27th, 2017

There’s a new YouGov poll out which has LAB retaining its 2 points lead over CON. The survey also included the firm’s regular trackers on opinion in relation to Brexit.

In broad terms this has Brexit right at 43% (up 1) with Brexit wrong at 45% (same) so really not much change. The big picture is seen in the chart above – the nation remains broadly divided with the monthly average “right to leave” lead for only the second month moving into negative territory.

This polling, because it has been asked in the same form so often, is establishing itself as the leading polling indicator. There are simply many more data points.

The monthly changes are not huge but taking a month of polls rather than single ones gives us a better sense of the trend.

Mike Smithson


“TEN COMMANDMENTS” poll finds LD voters most relaxed about murder with Leavers least concerned about lying

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

It’s YouGov’s cross-breaks which caught my attention

That’s all fine but dataset from YouGov, helpfully, includes party and Brexit cross-breaks so we can see if there are any particular distinctions for different parts of the electorate.

Although the sub-sample size for the LDs is small the fact that they are strikingly out of line on murder and and stealing to be worth highlighting.

The same goes for Leave voters who seemed more relaxed about adultery and telling lies.

Have fun examining the cross-breaks for yourselves.

Mike Smithson


Corbyn was far less a driver of the GE2017 LAB vote than many of his supporters maintain

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

Just 13% named him as their main reason for voting LAB

In the aftermath of the June 8th general election so much was happening politically that not much attention was paid to the above YouGov polling carried out shortly afterwards.

For me the interesting thing was how, in relative terms. Corbyn does not appear to be key factor which has been very much the narrative since. Just 13% named him as their main reason. As can be seen from the chart this compares with a total of 19% who were either anti-Tory or anti-TMay.

Amongst the 18-24 age group the Corbyn factor seemed more significant with 24% saying he was the main reason.

His position remains rock solid within the movement because he is given the credit of producing what was a far better result than many imagined.

Other data from YouGov shows that more CON voters, 14%, named Corbyn as the main driver of their vote for the blue team. So he was a bigger negative with Tory voters than a positive with his own side.

Mike Smithson


Newly published Survation poll sees LAB up 2 to a 6 point lead

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

And Remain 3 points ahead to hypothetical 2nd EuRef question

Survation, the pollsters that was widely, and as it turned out unfairly, criticised in the run-up to GE2017 because it had the smallest CON leads has a new voting poll it. Its relatively old with its fieldwork being carried out in the week of the Tory conference when the blue team were making the headlines for all sorts of reason. The splits are CON 38%, LAB 44%, and LD 7%.

This is a somewhat better position for Corbyn’s party than the tie in the most recent ICM and 3 point lead from YouGov.

There’s a hypothetical 2nd EuRef question voting question which has Remain 3 points ahead – 52 to 49.

Whatever the sizeable Labour lead from the pollster that got it most right on June 8th won’t make comfortable reading for Mrs. May who remains in post for the time being.

I’ve no idea why we are getting this poll late but it is interesting that the pollsters producing regular surveys are in just about the same order as they were at the general election – ICM with the Tories in the best position Survation the worst.

Mike Smithson


What I’m hoping to tell the House of Lords next week about the polling fail at the general election

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Some thoughts on what I might say

A week today I’ll be travelling to Westminster where I have been invited to give evidence before the House of Lords Committee that’s carrying out a review of what went wrong with GE2017 polls.

Depending on the questioning by their Lordships I expect to make the point that the campaign had been dominated by the CON landslide narrative that had been reinforced by the May 4th local and mayoral elections where the Tories enjoyed their best night for ten years. That very much supported the general election polling at the time with CON leads of upto 20%

UKIP’s virtual wipe-out in the May 4th elections had created the widespread assumption, wrongly as it turned out, that the Tories would pick up the lion’s share of UKIP’s GE2015 votes and, accordingly, we could assume blue gains in some very unlikely constituencies.

A second theme that ran very strongly was, based on GE2015, that the polls always understated the Tories. So if there was a range of GE2017 polls with similar fieldwork dates then the ones with the best CON position should be given the most credence. The polls that had it much closer like Survation and the YouGov model were dismissed as outliers.

It was in this context that many of the pollsters felt confident that their post GE2015 changes, particularly on turnout modelling, had been correct.

The mood just before the election was very much reflected in the Andrew Neil’s interview with Survation’s Damian Lyon Lowe about his polling that pointed to a hung parliament.

    I am hoping to make the point about my long-standing view that leader ratings (not the best PM numbers) should be given much more emphasis and have in the past proved more reliable.

Thus in June the leader ratings had moved sharply away from Mrs. May to Mr. Corbyn in the final few days. This made GE2017 like the GE1992 and GE2015 polling fails when this data had given much better pointers to the final outcomes than the pollsters’ voting intention numbers. Thus at the start of the campaign Mrs. May had a net +17 well/badly score with YouGov. By polling day that was down to a net minus 5. Clearly something was happening.

Mike Smithson