Archive for the 'Pollsters/polling' Category


The latest Ipsos MORI government satisfaction ratings are worse for the incumbent than Major faced just before Blair’s GE1997 landslide

Saturday, November 16th, 2019

I was so taken by David Herdson’s observation in the previous thread header about how poor the current Ipsos MORI government satisfaction ratings that I thought I would dig into the pollster’s huge archive to see if there were historical precdents.

What’s great about the firm which has been polling UK politics since the 1970s is that it has been asking the same questions in the same format over the decades. You can therefore make comparisons.

Going through the the archive poor negative numbers were indicative of a government that was about to lose power.

The big difference between now and 1997, of course, is that the government ratings then were showing a broad picture that was similar to the voting intention ones. That is not happening now.

What it says about what will happen on December 12th I don’t know but it certainly adds to the overall uncertainty.

  • Just in case you think that the current ratings are an outlier they are the best ratings for the Government since Johnson became PM.

    Mike Smithson

  • h1

    The voting polling’s bad for LAB but Corbyn’s ratings are even worse

    Friday, November 15th, 2019

    Above is the Wikipedia list of all the published polls since the general election campaign began. The overall picture is of not that much variation with the Tories in a range of 37-42%,  LAB 27-31% and the LDs 15-17%.

    The one party where there’s a lot of variance is Brexit which has a polling range of 4-10%. That’s largely explained by YouGov’s methodology change that factors in the fact that Farage’s party will be only be contesting non-CON seats.

    Generally I’m not a great fan of voting intention polling as a means of getting a feel for how things are going – leader ratings have historically been a better guide.

    What’s  pleasing about the current election is that we are getting a wider range of regular leader ratings than we’ve seen before.

    The weekly Deltapoll have joined Ipsos-MORI and Opinium in always including a ratings element. Ipsos MORI has also added a favourability question.

    Swinson has the the largest number, 33%, saying don’t know and that should get smaller during the campaign. Johnson tops on favourability while Corbyn has the most saying they have an unfavourable view. This is in line with other pollsters and other question formats.

    Mike Smithson


    First post-Supreme Court polling finds the LDs main beneficiary

    Thursday, September 26th, 2019


    The stark reality of the challenge facing Boris Johnson if he wants to win Labour held seats that backed Leave

    Thursday, September 12th, 2019

    Looking through the information released so far it shows that for Boris Johnson to win over Labour voting Leavers will rival the twelve labours of Hercules.

    Whilst they may voted Leave that’s all they may have in common. Will the Old Etonian Prime Minister and say fellow Old Etonian Jacob Rees-Mogg, the millionaire Investment Management firm owner, to be the right type of people to win over Labour’s Leave voters that they are on their side?

    In the early part of 2017 in the opinion polls Theresa May was winning over Labour supporters in much larger number Boris Johnson is today so when the reality of voting for the Tories presents itself those Labour voters didn’t.

    Paula Surridge writes

    Given the concentration of the 2017 vote among strong leave identifiers a more potent threat to the Conservative vote is likely to come in the shape of the Brexit Party. In total over half of the ‘very strong leave’ group give their likelihood of voting for the Brexit Party as 6/10 or higher. Given this also represents almost half of the total 2017 Conservative vote it leaves open the possibility of up to a quarter of 2017 Conservative voters moving to the Brexit Party (polling immediately after the EU Parliament election detected this). Initial polling suggested the change of leadership in the Conservative party could be enough to stem this flow but the danger remains present should the government (be seen as) failing to deliver on its Brexit commitment.

    If Boris Johnson’s strategy does work he will deserve his victory but many of us have huge doubts about it.




    If Boris Johnson hopes to win Labour seats at the general election then he needs to improve his approval ratings with GE2017 Labour voters

    Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

    The Cummings and Johnson strategy has been clear for a while, sacrifice Tory seats in Scotland and Remain leaning seats elsewhere whilst winning a lot of Labour held seats that vote Leave.

    It is an interesting strategy that may work but looking at those numbers from the latest Opinium poll will make for sober reading for Cummings and Johnson. My own belief is that Labour voters are tribal and loyal and the jump to the Tories will not happen in volume that Cummings and Johnson need.

    As a bona fide Northerner I still see and hear references from Labour voters to what they see as the evil perpetrated by Lady Thatcher. The miners’ strike is still mentioned more than 35 years after the event, usually as a reason not to vote Tory. This might explain despite all the criticisms Corbyn receives he still ‘leads’ Johnson by 40 points and we’re all aware that leader ratings are usually a better predictor of election outcomes than standard voting intention polls.

    The Northern strategy might just work for all the wrong reasons, just look at how positively Jo Swinson is rated! Perhaps she can take enough votes from Labour to hand sufficient seats to the Tories by default.

    I do hope some pollsters start polling these types of seats like regional polls we see, it might help give us a better indication of the situation. Labour voters in Islington and Labour voters in Barnsley might not be homogenous.



    Fewer than half of Leave voters would consider a No Deal Brexit a success

    Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

    Leavers have played the expectations game over a deal very badly

    One of my assumptions has been that after a period of sustained No Deal support for No Deal and Brexit would crater like a failed NASA mission to Mars and this poll seems show happiness for a No Deal Brexit starts from a lowish base.

    Professionally speaking one of the earliest mantras I was always taught was ‘under promise and over deliver because success equals performance minus anticipation’ which is something Leavers have failed to do.

    Vote Leave and the politicians that were a part of Vote Leave said during the referendum campaign, inter alia, after we vote to Leave the following would happen ‘We [would] have a new UK-EU Treaty based on free trade and friendly cooperation. There is a European free trade zone from Iceland to the Russian border and we will be part of it’.  

    Bullet point four on this leaflet from Vote Leave is pretty clear as well that voters should expect a deal.

    Then there’s the Leavers that that said Brexit deal  “should be one of the easiest in human history” or the one that said ‘The day after we vote to leave, we hold all the cards and we can choose the path we want’ or the time our current Prime Minister said ‘There is no plan for no deal, because we’re going to get a great deal.’ but there really isn’t the bandwidth to list all the times Leavers said we’d get a deal and it would be easy because the EU needed us more than we needed them, that anyone who said otherwise was engaging in Project Fear.

    All this expectation and promises made a deal seem inevitable no wonder voters see No Deal as a failure.


    PS – This video is how I imagine Brexiteers, played by Tom Hiddleston meeting the reality of No Deal, played by The Incredible Hulk




    Your regular reminder that the wording and format of polling questions can influence the outcome

    Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

    Perhaps this explains why Yes did so well in the 2014 Scottish Independence referendum. In any future Independence referendum the Unionists should ensure the question on the ballot paper is ‘Should Scotland remain a member of the United Kingdom?’ Yes or No.



    What will next set of polls show? I have no idea

    Friday, September 6th, 2019

    This afternoon a friend asked me what I thought the next set polls, which I’m expecting this weekend, would show. My honest answer is I don’t have a clue. As Ed Miliband’s pollster points out above calling David Cameron a chicken in 2014 and 2015 didn’t have any negative impact for David Cameron.

    As we can see the Tories are going for the Corbyn is a coward meme, which they think could work I suspect it could given Corbyn’s many requests for a general election but at the back of my mind the fact Boris Johnson has flopped at getting an election it might make him look impotent.

    Coupled with the other sub optimal stories that have happened to Boris Johnson this week where he’s looked like Gordon Brown without the people skills, the resignation of his brother is one of those things that do seep into the mind of the voters because it’s a bit of drama that they can enjoy.

    But I can see some switchers from the Brexit Party moving to the Tories because the expulsion of pro EU MPs like Ken Clarke will show to them that Boris Johnson really will deliver Brexit on Halloween.

    I can also see the Brexit Party surging if they think the Benn bill is going to see the referendum overturned.

    Finally I can also see Labour gaining from pro EU voters who have liked Corbyn effectively halting a No Deal Brexit.

    These competing forces makes calling the next set of polls difficult, so my official prediction is that I do not know what the next polls will show, all I can say is people will spin them and over interpret them.

    So I’ve made my prediction for the next set of polls, time for PBers to make their predictions in the comments below.


    Update – We have the first poll of the weekend