Archive for the 'Pollsters/polling' Category


When Corbyn first became leader he said winning back Scotland would be a priority, SLAB are now in third place, 12% behind the Tories

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

From the graphic above, you can see how Scottish Labour have been eclipsed, a little over three years ago, Labour were polling 45%, now they have a third of that support, most of the collapse happened long before Corbyn became leader. I wonder if the Scottish precedent is playing on the minds of Labour MPs in England and Wales who find themselves on the wrong side of events after another referendum.

Ruth Davidson must be chuffed to see her party now essentially have swapped places with Labour after the 2015 general election. It is astonishing to think when David Cameron became Tory leader, the Tories had forty fewer Scottish MPs than Labour, now it appears very likely that at the next general election the Tories will have more Scottish MPs than Labour.

The SNP will also be quite delighted with this polling, we are now nearly a decade into the SNP being in power in Holyrood, and they are only 3% down on their 2015 general election score, this is usually the time when parties in government become unpopular, so to be only 3% down is impressive.

Hat-tip to Alastair Meeks for alerting me to this polling





Theresa May is still the only politician with a net favourable rating with the voters YouGov finds

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

YouGov’s latest favourable ratings follows the pattern from the end of November where Mrs May is the only politician with a net positive rating, her lead over Mr Corbyn has widened from 40% at the end of November to 46% now, mostly because Mr Corbyn’s ratings have moved from minus 35% to minus 40%, for this Labour leader it appears things can’t get only better for him and his party. The only positive Labour and Team Corbyn can glean is that Mrs May is down from her honeymoon high of 12% net favourability rating last Autumn.

The fieldwork for this poll was Thursday and Friday of this week, given all the publicity Trump’s had this week, his ratings have improved by 11% since the end of November, which might be explained by the positive pro Brexit comments/post Brexit deal comments President Trump has made.

Though Trumpers shouldn’t get too excited, his net rating of minus 51% is still pretty dire and only Vladimir Putin has worse ratings than Trump does, only Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer could put a positive spin on these figures for Trump.

If you want to sum up the difference in world views of Remain and Leavers, those that vote Remain, they have a net favourable rating of minus 84% of Trump, whereas with Leavers, Trump’s net rating is ‘only’ minus 22%.

For those betting on Sir Keir Starmer as next Labour leader (and those hoping inside Labour that he’s the man to replace Corbyn), Starmer’s rating don’t look that impressive, but he has the highest don’t know figure on this list, with 75% of voters having no opinion on him, the more higher profile he becomes, I suspect his ratings will improve.



Lucian Fletcher on the latest Northern Ireland assembly poll

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

Arlene Foster’s personal ratings fall through the floor, but the DUP will bank on fear of a Sinn Fein First Minister to keep their position as lead party in Northern Ireland Assembly

The first LucidTalk opinion poll ahead of the 2017 Northern Ireland Assembly election has been published and one of the most obvious headlines is just how few people are planning on switching their first preference votes, despite the calamitous collapse of the Stormont Executive.

The DUP is down to 26%, just three points lower than they received in 2016. Sinn Fein is at 25%, up one.

This poll will be immediately pounced upon by the DUP and will adorn leaflets all over Northern Ireland as they seek to hammer home their message: “Vote DUP or the Shinners get First Minister”.

In fact, leaving aside the joint nature of the OFMDFM, the current boundaries make it highly unlikely that Sinn Fein will get more seats than the DUP unless they are well ahead in vote share.

The main Opposition parties UUP, SDLP and Alliance are all seeing a small uptick in their poll positions but not to anything like the extent that they would have hoped for, given the reasons for this election.

The leadership approval ratings are interesting. Arlene Foster, former First Minister, is at 22%. The most popular leader is Alliance chief Naomi Long, at 52%. All other party leaders enjoy ratings in the 40s. That the DUP remain as the lead party suggests that the St Andrews amendment over the nomination of First Minister is acting as a firewall for DUP support.

Respected unionist political commentator Alex Kane has also suggested that this race for the First Minister being so ‘close’ on this poll could shift some voters to both the DUP and Sinn Fein. There are more polls to come before the election, which could give some indication as to how far this descends to the usual orange/green headcount.

There is more analysis to be done in terms of transfers. Indications are being hinted at by LucidTalk that there is evidence that some people are more willing to vote tactically against the Executive, rather than along community lines. If the Greens and Alliance rack up decent totals in their weaker areas, so all their transfers are at full value, this could help UUP and SDLP. That final seat in most constituencies might end up being swung for one of the smaller parties. But without a move away from the DUP to UUP to a much greater extent than this poll suggests, the damage done to the DUP will be little more than a flesh wound.

I would suggest that the UUP and SDLP will be quietly devastated by this poll. The mud is being flung at the Executive, the DUP in particular, and is sticking, but most voters are so tribal that they just don’t care. The over-riding feeling is to beat the other side. Corruption is not seen as being quite so bad, as long it’s on ‘our side’.

One staunch unionist told me last week that the money thrown at ‘community halls’ by the DUP’s Paul Givan was well-deserved because ‘the Shinners gave loads to the GAA before’. This mindset is really difficult to grasp from Great Britain. We find it shocking. But this cynical self-interest or ‘cute hoorism’ is something that people in Ireland (both in NI and the Republic) really understand.

So what are my thoughts on the politics from this poll?

I think the DUP would end up somewhere around the 30 (key Petition of Concern number) mark, SF a few back, UUP and SDLP both losing seats with the SDLP worst off. Alliance will probably hold on to their 8 and others will lap up a few.

As I say, it might all look a little better for the SDLP and UUP once transfers are taken into account, but I wouldn’t be holding my breath.Both the UUP and SDLP have internal discontent issues. An election in these circumstances which produces nothing tangible for them could be disastrous.

Lucian Fletcher

Lucian Fletcher is a long standing contributor to PB who lives in Northern Ireland.


Latest French presidential polling has one-time odds-favourite Francois Fillon failing to make the final two

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

As a Macron Backer I’d like to see other surveys showing same picture

There’s no doubt what’s what’s become known as Penelopegate is having a big impact on assessments about who is going to win. The right-wing French Republican candidate has been dominating there polls and betting ever since he won the nomination in November but over the past few days there’s been a huge turnaround.

It’s now being suggested that Fillon is damaged goods and might have to be replaced.

What I find amazing is that French political scandals are generally about money – not sex.

This is how the BBC’s Hugh Schofield is reporting it:

“”There is a growing feeling that the party needs to cut off the gangrene before it spreads,” the political columnist at Les Echos newspaper, Cecile Cornudet, told me.

Because the damage is already visible. Today Les Echos has an opinion poll which for the first time shows Francois Fillon failing to make it to round two of the presidential election in April-May.

The political advantage falls to two people: Marine Le Pen for the Front National, of course, for whom the scandal is more grist to the populist mill.
But more importantly perhaps, the main beneficiary is the modernising former minister Emmanuel Macron.

In two different scenarios posited by Les Echos (the presence or absence of another centrist candidate Francois Bayrou) Emmanuel Macron knocks Mr Fillon into third place..”.

This is only one poll. The big question is whether others will follow.


Mike Smithson


Trump’s net Gallup approval ratings drops 8 points in first week.

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

See full report on the latest ratings here.

The Gallup picture is in broad alignment with a Quinnipiac survey which found 44% disapproving to 36% approving.

These are quite remarkable figures. New Presidents usually enjoy a polling honeymoon.

Mike Smithson


GE 2015 single constituency polling: Remember when 5 consecutive surveys had Clegg being unseated

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

The numbers caused LAB to focus on the DPM when they could have been saving Balls

There’s been a fair bit of discussion about how difficult single seat polling is and I was reminded on Twitter this morning of the polling at GE2015 of Sheffield Hallam. The numbers are above. Five consecutive polls had LAB ahead.

As can be seen there was a pretty consistent picture that the then DPM,, who still arouses excitement amongst red tribalists, was in trouble and no end of activists poured into the seat when they could have served their party far better elsewhere.

I often wonder if other marginals in Yorkshire might have had different outcomes if EdM’s party hadn’t been distracted appeared to be a compulsive need “punish Clegg.” More fool them.

The reason single seat polling is so challenging is that it an be hard finding a sample that is large enough. This can’t really be done online and almost all such polls are by phone.

I don’t expect to see many single seat polls in this parliament.

Mike Smithson


Polling background to the PM’s big BREXIT speech

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017


Corbyn and his party’s biggest challenge is making headway amongst his own age group – the oldies

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

With the youngsters LAB’s just fine: pity they’re less likely to vote

Watching the TV news it’s clear that Corbyn Mark 2 hasn’t quite had the impact that his team would have liked. There’s a terrible lack of consistency and no real clear plan about what the message was going to be.

A problem is that the audience for TV news bulletins tend to be the very people that Corbyn and LAB are most struggling with – the oldies. Today’s less than impactful events are just going to reinforce attitudes rather than change the narrative.

The ICM data above shows the huge age split in views of Labour with very good numbers coming from the young.

I’ve long regarded one quality as being the most important one in resonating with voters and that is the appearance of competence. Corbyn and team have yet to exude that.

Mike Smithson