Archive for the 'Pollsters/polling' Category


Why the Corbynite candidate might not win the Scottish Labour Leadership

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Following Kezia Dugdale’s resignation as Scottish Labour Party Leader the race to succeed her has been an interesting one, with much attention focused on the Yorkshire accented former public schoolboy Richard Leonard, who is now second favourite behind Anas Sarwar.

The findings from YouGov show that Scottish Labour members are more centrists than those in the rest of Britain, and Jeremy Corbyn’s views and charms haven’t had the same effect in Scotland than in the rest of Britain, so on this basis I think the odds are right in back Mr Sarwar.

But given the unexpected six gains Corbyn oversaw in Scotland on June 8th might make Richard Leonard’s brand of Corbynism might make him attractive to Labour members in Scotland, especially as of Corbyn’s former top aides is now working on his campaign. 

The Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, ex officio, has a seat on [Labour’s] ruling national executive council. The key decision-making body is currently finely-balanced between moderates and the party’s left-wing, but a victory for Mr Leonard will tip it in Mr Corbyn’s favour. So the result in Scotland will have an impact south of the border too.

Personal experience tells me you should never underestimate a former public schoolboy with a Yorkshire accent.

You can access the next Labour leadership market by clicking here and you can read about the runners and riders in this race by clicking here.



Understanding the minds of punters

Monday, September 11th, 2017

YouGov have published some fascinating insights into punters, YouGov say

YouGov Profiles data allows us to explore the mindset of those who gamble at least once a week with a bookmaker – either online or in shop. The data shows that while there are some clear distinctions between more traditional in-store bettors and those who gamble digitally, there are also a number of shared characteristics. 

As one would imagine those that use a traditional instore bookmaker are likely to be older (55+), while those that use apps or websites to bet are most likely to fall into the 25-39 age bracket. In both instances men are the primary audience.

While they are notably more likely than the population at large to think of themselves as “mathematical” (29% vs 19%), they are less likely than the average to cite “emotional intelligence” as a strength (23% vs 32%). Furthermore, they can be more closed with their emotions, with almost six in ten (58%) saying they like to keep their feelings to themselves compared to just over half (51%) of the population at large.

YouGov Profiles data confirms their love of sport. Over half (54%) of regular gamblers label themselves as being ‘sports mad’, compared to just one in six (17%) of the general public. A further 30% of those who bet at least once a week follow sports closely (as against 19% of the population as a whole). 

In odds we trust

YouGov’s data suggests that regular gamblers are a trusting group. Not only are they more likely than the public at large to trust newspapers to print the truth (36% vs 26%), but they are also far more likely than the population as a whole to trust the advertising they see on posters or billboards (46% vs 32%).

Many regular gamblers take a different view to work than the general public. They are more likely to say that money is their main motivation for working in their particular career (27% vs 18%) and they are also more likely to wish they didn’t have to go to work each day (65% vs 54%). When it comes to money, they don’t mind taking risks (38% vs 20%) and are also more inclined to look for profitable ways to invest their cash (53% vs 45%).

The entertainment habits of those who bet at least once a week betray their love of sports and hint to bookmakers that they are the ripest audience for in-play gambling. Compared to people in general, they prefer to watch television programmes live (55% vs 42%) and they are also more likely to enjoy going to the pub (78% vs 61%).

Appealing to regular bettors in such a competitive field is tough and there is pressure for bookmakers to differentiate themselves from their rivals. The data shows that television is a good place to advertise to frequent gamblers, with over a quarter (26%) of this group say they often enjoy watching the adverts on TV (compared to 18% of the public). Naturally in this area, respective age and online usage plays a huge part in how ads are targeted.

Some of this seems very true from my own vantage point as someone who gambles a lot, I like the mathematics of it all, and I’m sports mad, although if Liverpool performance against Manchester City last weekend is a harbinger, then I  might be going off football, and focusing on cricket, rugby union, and motorsports, though I’m not much of a pubgoer.



Only 11% of the country are prepared for the Zombie apocalypse

Friday, September 8th, 2017

The UK is going to be woefully unprepared when the Zombies do rise up




YouGov finds 7 out 10 voters, and 4 out 10 Tories don’t want Mrs May to fight the next general election

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017



Aside from the EU how REMAIN and LEAVE voters differ on other issues

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Some newly released YouGov polling

Was Russia involved in last years US election?

Was Princess Diana ‘s death murder?

The child vaccine debate on whether it causes autism

The full list from YouGov Joe Twyman can be found here.

Mike Smithson


It is a mistake to assume that LAB leave voters feel as strongly about Brexit as CON ones

Monday, August 28th, 2017

If it comes to the crunch LAB leavers see jobs as more important

With Labour apparently shifting its position on Brexit a notch or two there’s been a lot of interest about what Labour voters think particularly those who supported Leave at the referendum.

There is not that much polling about where we can see specifically how LAB Leavers view an issue compared with CON ones and those of other parties. One of surveys that had this split and is publicly available is from YouGov last month and is featured in the chart. Those who had voted for Leave were asked if they or one of their family losing their was a price worth paying for leaving the EU.

As can be seen by 47% to 31% CON leave voters told the pollster that this was a price worth paying. LAB voters, meanwhile, split 52% to 23% that it was not a price worth paying. This was the precise question wording:-

“Regardless of whether you think such an occurrence is likely, would you consider Brexit causing you or members of your family to lose their job to be a price worth paying for bringing Britain out of the European Union?”

The CON voter figure is quite striking. That getting on for half feel so strongly about leaving the EU that they are prepared to countenance they or members of their family losing their jobs says a lot about their strength of feeling.

All this is important because in the weeks ahead TMay’s government is going to face the huge challenge of getting the “Great” Repeal Act through the Commons and the Lords and will require very skilled party management. Labour appears to be preparing the ground for a tough parliamentary battle.

Mike Smithson


Concern about immigration drops sharply although nearly 3 times as many CON voters raised it than LAB ones

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

In a month which has seen almost no polls it is great that we have the regular Ipsos-MORI Issues Index which has been asked in the same format for four decades.

What makes it special is that those sampled are asked to name what they see as the main issues of the day without any prompting. There is no other poll like it and it has come to be regarded as one the best tests of salience – how important these are regarded.

The NHS remains top with Brexit second but notice the immigration trend and also the party split on the issue. Tory voters are much more likely to names it than LAB ones.

The continuing concern about the NHS, particularly during the summer when there is less pressure on the system, is a warning to ministers.

Mike Smithson


A week goes by and the main polling news is that Remain voters are much more relaxed about gay sex than Brexiters

Sunday, July 30th, 2017


Am I the only person who yearns for the YouGov daily poll?

Given the precariousness of the government’s parliamentary situation and the massive challenge of Brexit we’ve just gone through a whole week without a single published voting poll.

    Just about the only survey that’s been published was the YouGov poll for Pink News on attitudes to gay sex with the cross tabs broken down by voting intention. Not surprisingly Remain voters (64%) were much more likely to agree that “gay sex is natural” compared with 21% of Leave voters sharing that view.

That’s as maybe but we are in an incredibly important political period and regular voting intention and leader rating numbers enable us to to monitor better the political weather. I’d love to know, for instance, if TMay gets a polling boost when she’s on holiday and the main news about her is how much her dress cost.

Also we haven’t got any new information attitudes to Brexit and the associated issues. Is that changing or remaining static?

Part of this on course is the surprise general election which took its toll on the media budgets.

Compare this dearth of polling with what we saw in the 2010-2015 period. Just about every weekday and Sunday we got a new YouGov poll as well as a host of other regular surveys.

Mike Smithson