Archive for the 'Pollsters/polling' Category


Analysing Labour’s rise in the polls

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Popular policies might be the explanation for Labour’s increase in the polls since the start of the campaign

At the start of this general election campaign, I thought there was a chance that my 10/1 bets on Labour polling sub 20% might be in play but during this general election campaign if the polls are accurate, Labour’s share of the vote has risen, and Labour might end up polling close to 40%.

Now there’s much discussion about what is driving up Labour’s share of the vote, what it isn’t is the Tories collapsing, the Tory share of the vote has been strong and stable and relentlessly polling in the 40s.

If we look at the chart above from YouGov, we can see Labour’s manifesto seems to have improved the perceptions around Labour, whilst the chart below shows the Tory manifesto hasn’t been that much of a hit, with the main Tory policy people seem to recall was the Dementia Tax

YouGov observe

For both parties around 60% of people could remember at least something connected to a manifesto promise (though in many cases that was barely more than “tax the rich” or “Brexit”). And in this sense, the two parties’ proposals gained a similar resonance. However, there was a big contrast in the types of policy that people took away from the two manifestos.

For Labour the more “positive” policies received clear cut-through: 32% of people recalled the pledges to axe tuition fees, 21% remembered promises to increase NHS funding, 20% recalled commitments to nationalise the railways, Royal Mail and the National Grid. All of these are also policies which our polling has found the public support, and which are relatively clear and easy to understand.

For the Conservatives, though, only one policy was recalled by more than a fifth of voters: the changes to care funding (or, to use the more negative term used by many respondents, the “dementia tax”). The one cut-through promise from the Tory manifesto was both unpopular and complicated, a stark comparison to the more straight-forward and popular pledges made by Labour.

The other Tory proposals that were noted by the public did not achieve a great amount of recall. Policies around going ahead with Brexit was remembered by 12%, while means-testing the Winter Fuel Allowance was acknowledged by one in ten (10%).

It is worth noting that even when people do recall policies, they are not necessarily what they base their vote on. Ballot box behaviour is much more about the broader perceptions of the parties, such as what it stands for, its leaders and their perceived competence. Here too, however, there seems to be clear evidence of damage that the Conservative manifesto caused the party.

Before the manifesto were published, 45% of people thought the Conservatives had plenty of policies, with 35% thinking they were well thought-through, while 38% believed they weren’t. But following the manifesto launch, only 19% thought the party’s policies were well thought-through, while over half (54%) did not.

For Labour, the traffic went the other way. Before its manifesto launch only 25% of people thought the party had well-thought through policies, but following publication, this figure rose to 31%.

Given a key plank of the Conservative party’s offering to the country is the claim that it is the strong and steady party of competence, the notable drop in the proportion of people thinking they have well thought-through policies for the country should be worrying. But there are still two weeks until poling day so there is time enough for this to change.

My advice to Labour is that Labour should try and ensure that the rest of the campaign is fought on policy and not personality nor the back stories of Labour’s front bench.



Tonight’s YouGov and ORB polls have the Tory lead in the single digits – update ICM has the Tory lead at

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Well if these polls turn out be accurate then Mrs May’s gamble to hold an early election will turn out be a mistake.

What will keep Mrs May and CCHQ happy is the Tories consistently polling in the 40s, they last polled sub 40% in early April, and that was the only time since the 1st of February, though she might be worried that the Tory lead with these polls is less/fractionally above the lead David Cameron achieved in 2015.

If these polls are accurate then I’ll owe Jeremy Corbyn an apology, he’s not the voter repellent I thought he was and he polling above or near what Tony Blair achieved in 2005 when Labour last won a majority, indeed Corbyn might well poll higher than what Cameron received in 2015 to win a majority.

I’m hoping we might see a couple more polls tonight




Marf on GE2017 looking a bit more competitive and TMay’s “social care” turnaround

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

As well as what’s being described as a U-turn over her manifesto pledge on social care there’ve been two new polls during the day all showing LAB making progress.

The one that has shown the biggest move is the YouGov Wales poll for ITV. The figures, if repeated, suggest that LAB’s lead over CON is now greater than it was at GE2015 in the Principality.

The one national poll so far has been ICM which is showing a similar picture of LAB progress but still a long way behind.

The betting markets have been relatively stable.

Mike Smithson


Survation phone poll has CON lead down 10 points in a week to 9% now

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Tory “squeaky bum time”? Maybe not yet

Since TMay launched her CON manifesto last Thursday we have had just three published polls where all or part of the fieldwork took place afterwards – the Sunday Times YouGov, the Mail on Sunday Survation online poll and now, this morning, a Survation phone poll for Good Morning Britain.

We’ve seen the same direction in all of them – a narrowing of the Conservative lead. This latest Survation has with changes on last week CON 43% (-5); LAB 34% (+5); LD 8% (NC); UKIP 4% (NC).

The Good Morning Britain polling series itself is highly unusual in that it covers all of the UK and not just England, Scotland and Wales. All the Northern Ireland responses were for “other” parties.

What might concern the TMay team is that that the margin over LAB that Survation is showing is getting closer to the 6.5% that David Cameron’s party achieved two years ago. If this snapshot is what happens on June 8th then there will be a CON victory with a comfortable margin but not a landslide.

This comes just as millions of electors receive their postal voting packs.

On Saturday night I “sold” the Tories on spread-betting markets at 393 seats which I’m feeling comfortable with at the moment.

There are just two and a half weeks to go which includes the bank holiday weekend and school holidays when many people will be away.

Mike Smithson


Looking at how undecided voters might vote in this general election, if they do vote.

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

YouGov have look into how undecided voters might vote in this general election. It might help answer that question that has vexed many, will Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party poll more than Ed Miliband did in 2015?



New YouGov Scottish poll suggests the Tories could make 7 gains in Scotland

Friday, April 28th, 2017

Graphic – The times

And the LD could triple their Scottish seats

The main General Election polling news overnight has been a YouGov/Times survey of Scotland which suggests that the Conservatives could start to win back some of the seats in Scotland that they held more than a quarter of a century ago.

The Lib Dems could also stage a small recovery tripling the Scottish total to three seats.

Labour, which at GE2010, won 41 of Scotland’s 59 seats, is still projected to be down at just one. It was that Scottish wipeout that was the dominant feature of the 2015 election and enabled the Tories to portray Ed Miliband as being in the pockets of the SNP.

We will get a better idea of opinion in Scotland next Friday when we have the results of the Scottish local elections which were last held in 2012.

Mike Smithson


We’ve moved sharply on from when class was the best pointer to voting intention

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Now age, education and gender give a better guide

This afternoon YouGov has published a series of charts to give us an idea about the electorate who will vote on June 8th.

This will be the first election since analysis became possible when class was far less important. Age education and to an extent gender now the key measures as the charts demonstrate.

Labour’s problem is that under Mr. Corbyn the working classes have ceased to support the party that was set up to represent the interests of the workers.

Mrs May might be considering ending the triple lock that underpins the level of state pensions which you would think would be a negative amongst the old.

Mike Smithson


Less than a week after Mrs. May’s GE2017 announcement YouGov’s Brexit “right/wrong” tracker moves to level-pegging

Monday, April 24th, 2017

It did have Brexit “right” 4% ahead

Given the overwhelming importance of the Brexit negotiations in Mrs May’s stated reason for the early General Election then it is important to continue to follow how voters now view that decision last June.

The one regular tracking poll on this is the YouGov question featured above and as can be seen the split has been fairly stable since the first poll to take place shortly after Theresa May entered number 10 Downing Street.

Now this might all be down to margin of error come up and we need to see other surveys, but less than a week after the prime minister’s big announcement we find a move to remain so that the tracker is totally split 44% thinking Brexit was wrong 44% thinking Brexit was right.

Some of the cross tabs are interesting. Just on a third, 32%, of Conservative voters at the last general election are in the Brexit was wrong camp. That seems a very high proportion given the huge emphasis being put on this by Mrs May and other polling that has the voting intention figures moving sharply to the Tories.

Mike Smithson