Archive for the 'Pollsters/polling' Category


Whilst the Tories plough on totally divided over Brexit LAB has its worst polling month since GE2017

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

If ever there was a period when LAB should be making headways in the polls then surely it has to be at the moment well that always continue to be divided on brexit.

The latest David Cowling table above showing the monthly polling averages for each party has LAB at 35%, the worst since the general election. February was also only the second time since then that Corbyn’s party has failed to have at least one polling lead. Generally all published them have been poor for the party.

Of course much attention has been focused on the splits within LAB with the launch of The Independent group and the ongoing divisions over antisemitism that just don’t seem to go away. Quite jow Umunna’s spin off will progress is hard to say but it does need more recruits or something to keep the media momentum going.

As a general rule I pay much more attention to leader ratings than voting intention polls because the former historically have given a better guide to where things stand and electoral outcomes. Hear the same picture as in the polling table is reflected with Corbyn’s numbers, at a low point in the few polls that do asked some form of leader question.

Yet on the betting markets Mr Corbyn is assessed by punters as the main party leader who looks most secure in his job. Theresa May is odds on favourite to go first with Vince Cable not far behind. Both of those, of course, have indicated that they won’t be leading their parties at the next general election.

Meanwhile LAB’s divide has got worse with the new role that the deputy, Tom Watson, appears to have established. A big question is whether the informal grouping of MPs that he is trying to establish will actually lead to something more is hard to say. But there’s little doubt that Corbyn continues not to have the level of backing from his MPs as you’d expect an opposition leader to enjoy.

Mike Smithson


At GE2017 CON voters were SIX TIMES more likely to say Brexit was the key factor in deciding votes than LAB ones

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

Lord Ashcroft polls

Why Brexit is much less of an issue for the red team

On General Election day in June 2017 the Conservative peer, Lord Ashcroft, carried out a large sample poll to try to find out why voters had decided in the way they had.

A key question was asking what was the main factor in determining the votes and the outcomes for each main group of parties are featured in the chart above.

As can be seen 48% of Conservative voters named Brexit as the prime influencer whereas just 8% of Labour once said the same. That is a huge difference.

From this, I’d suggest, it is possible to deduce that Brexit is much less an issue amongst those who voted for Corbyn’s party than those who backed Theresa May’s. We don’t know whether we would get the same gap 20 months on but my guess is that this continues to be an issue that concerns the blue team much more than voters of the red one.

On top of that of the 8% LAB voters saying Brexit was the key factor then quite a lot were like me, tactical voters.

One thing that we have heard repeatedly since that election is that about two-thirds of Labour MPs represent constituencies that voted Leave in the referendum a year before. The significance of this is put into context by this polling.

If LAB voters, as it appears, are much less inclined to say that this is the issue that affected their vote then the challenges facing remain LAB MPs in seats which voted Leave are that much less.

Mike Smithson


Those claiming that the “will of the people” equates to no deal should be treated like snake oil salesmen

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

July 2016 ComRes polling that had 42% of Leave voters prioritising staying in the single market.

Any politician trying to assert that what they propose, as we enter the final month of Article 50 process, is the “will of the people” should be treated like a snake oil salesman.

It is now nearly three years since the referendum and things have moved on in all sorts of ways particularly in understanding what a possible deal would look like. So I’d suggest that we look back at the immediate post referendum polling to get a sense of people’s perception of what the June 23rd 2016 vote meant.

One useful poll was carried out by ComRes just over week later and one of the key findings is feature above. Then the sample was asked about the key priority and 42% of Leave voters responded by saying staying in the single market should be paramount.

I cannot find a similar poll from the immediate post-referendum period that looks as the expectations of voters at the time. One thing is clear – the idea of a no deal was not contemplated.

Mike Smithson


If it’s any consolation to LAB – the last CON 10%+ leads were in the days before GE2017 – and we know what happened then

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

The overnight YouGov poll giving the Conservatives an 11% lead was the worst for LAB since the 2017 general election. I like to look at polls in context which is why above there there is the full Wikipedia list of all GB voting intention polls this year.

The big picture is that LAB is on the decline and the Tories are moving up a bit. Although you’ve got a range of Conservative leads between 4% and 11% surveys it’s the trend that matters and there can be little doubt that this has been going against the red team in the past few weeks.

When news of the latest YouGov came out I did a quick check back through the polling to find the last time that the Conservatives were in this territory. This of course this led me to the week before the June 8th general election in 2017. That was such a disaster for some pollsters and obviously will give some consolation to Corbyn and his team.

We also now have a new polling series and that is those where the TIGers are listed. The Wikipedia list of those is reproduced below.

I should be noted that different question are asked by each firm and we are getting very different outcomes for the new group.

Mike Smithson


New Opinium poll has LAB moving from level-pegging to 8% behind in just a week

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

LAB 32-5
CON 40+3
LD 5-3

The first of what could number of polls tonight is from Opinium for the Observer and sees the Tories take an 8% lead up from level-pegging a week ago. That’s quite a movement.

Clearly the week has seen another political story dominate the headlines that is not Brexit and much of the focus of the new Independent Group has been critical of LAB and particularly its leader. Corbyn looks less like a prospective PM than just about anytime since GE2017 when his party still lost but not by as much as many predictions.

The polling might reinforce the chatter about Mrs May taking advantage of LAB’s apparent problems and calling a new general election. Bjut that couldn’t not take place before the March 29th Article 50 deadline and if there was a move it would come later.

Even if a whole range of pollsters report 7%+ CON leads I’m far from convinced that she’ll be tempted to go to the country. The memory of what happened two years ago will surely cause the greatest caution.

This post will be updated if there are other polls.

Mike Smithson


TMay’s problem with the Tory polling resurgence is that it takes the edge off threats of PM Corbyn

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

The backdrop to the current super-charged UK political environment as we get close to the March 29th deadline is that in terms of its position in relation to LAB the Tories are doing better than at any time since the 2017 General Election.

The big polling story overnight was the huge YouGov 48k sample survey which allows detailed analysis of every seat and the ability to project gains and losses. It was this model, of course, at the last election that did so well in forecasting that the Conservatives would lose their majority and naming the seats which would switch.

On top of that in recent days we’ve had the Ipsos MORI poll with its terrible leader ratings for Jeremy Corbyn, as well as 7% CON leads reported from Opinium and a standard YouGov poll.

This might not be as good as it sounds for the Prime Minister as she seeks to get a bit of party discipline ahead of the final phase of the commons voting on the EU exit deal.

The repeated message to dissident MPs is “if you’re not careful you will be letting Corbyn become Prime Minister” has less potency. Clearly it is much harder to argue given the latest surveys particularly this YouGov mega poll and a detailed analysis which proved to be so successful 2 years ago.

Of course at a general election things are very different and people are thinking about how their vote in the final days before ballots are cast. At the moment, with no election in prospect, this is much more of a theoretical exercise. That doesn’t take away the way polling impact on perceptions within the Westminster village.

Mike Smithson


Bad news for Theresa May as ORB brings horrible polling for her

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

This is going to give succour to the opponents of Mrs May’s deal.

This latest poll from ORB is quite awful for Mrs May as she pretty much unites the country against her over her handling of Brexit, it seems only Piers Morgan is more unpopular than her handling of Brexit. I think the 5% swing in the last month is down to the history making defeat in Parliament her deal suffered.

My expectation is that both sides of the Brexit debate will be further entrenched in their positions and will not be prepared compromise, although I expect the ERG/DUP will not compromise even if the EU removes the backdrop and cedes Calais & the Republic of Ireland back to the United Kingdom.

The law means we exit the European Union next month, my estimation for quite some time is that we’d exit with no deal next month has been around the 75%-80% probability figure, I think I might have lowballed it.



TMay’s problem is that the vast majority of voters, including leavers, are not happy bunnies about Brexit

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

Are tonight’s votes going to improve or worsen this?

Looking at this latest YouGov polling it really is quite remarkable how people feel about brexit. I suppose a lot of it is just simply exhaustion with each days news being totally dominated by the issue, something that has been going on for years it seems.

The breakdown above is not surprising for remainers though I’d have expected a more positive view from leavers.

This has become so complex that a big problem with tonight’s series of votes is that it is hard for the public understand what it going on and what it means.

Mike Smithson