Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cacophonic ComRes contribution conceivably confirms that the EU referendum gap has contracted

The first referendum poll to be conducted after the Brussels agreement on Friday night wasn't terribly helpful, because it was the first in a new series of telephone polls from Survation, meaning there were no baseline figures to work from.  The second and third post-deal polls out tonight are more useful, although they actually point towards slightly contradictory conclusions on the trend.  And, as you might well expect in the Alice in Wonderland world of EU referendum polling, the ComRes poll showing Remain in a 12-point lead is actually more encouraging for the Leave side than the YouGov poll showing a single-point Leave lead.

The reason?  ComRes conducted their poll by telephone, and it's extremely unusual for a telephone poll to produce a Remain lead as low as 12 points.  In fact, over the last few months there has only been one other phone poll that showed a Remain lead of lower than 15 points, and that was the most recent ComRes poll from earlier this month.  So we do now have one phone pollster that is pointing in successive polls to at least a moderate narrowing of the gap since the shape of the deal began to become known.  Ipsos-Mori have so far failed to corroborate that trend, but there has only been one recent Ipsos-Mori poll, so it's possible it will still happen.

The online YouGov poll is less encouraging for Leave because it shows the state of play firmly back into the 'normal range' for online pollsters, after a brief period when it looked like Leave had achieved a telling swing on the back of the reaction against the emerging deal.  The last two online ICM polls have also shown a return to business as usual, and that's probably not a coincidence.  So we could - and it's still only a possibility - be starting to see an indyref-style convergence between telephone and online polls, with the Remain lead drifting downwards in the telephone polls, while the online polls show a broadly static position.

There's a new article on the YouGov website suggesting that the massive divergence between telephone and online polls can be mostly explained by the reluctance of some people to admit to a telephone interviewer that they are undecided, and their inclination to instead opt for the easy answer of saying they support the status quo.  That's just speculation, but it is consistent with the fact that there are significantly fewer Don't Knows in telephone polls (which is the complete opposite of what you'd normally expect).  If there's any truth in that theory, it means the sizeable Remain lead in phone polls could be quite soft, and it also means there's no reason to suppose that online and phone polls will show the same trend over the remainder of the campaign - a dramatic convergence could be on the cards as the 'knee-jerk Remains' among telephone respondents start to give more considered answers.  We may be starting to see the very early signs of that.

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SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

50/50 ONLINE/TELEPHONE AVERAGE :

Remain 45.9% (-0.8)
Leave 38.8% (-0.4)

ONLINE AVERAGE :

Remain 40.0% (-1.4)
Leave 40.7% (-1.2)

TELEPHONE AVERAGE :

Remain 51.8% (-0.2)
Leave 36.8% (+0.4)


(The Poll of Polls takes account of all polls that were conducted at least partly within the last month. The online average is based on ten polls - five from ICM, three from YouGov, one from BMG and one from TNS. The telephone average is based on six polls - three from ComRes, two from Ipsos-Mori and one from Survation.)

23 comments:

  1. Little or no 'Boris bounce'???

    Fancy that.

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    1. Too early to say that. The fieldwork for both polls covered pre-Boris and post-Boris periods.

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  2. Is it possible that the online polls were very biased, because they are filled with people who are very supportive of leaving. While those who don't care about staying in the EU, or don't care about political matters in general, don't take online polls.

    In 2011 UGOV online poll had Brexit at >50% support and staying at 30%. Which seems ridiculous.
    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/01/28/4-point-lead-leave-eu-referendum-and-support-danis/

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  3. I have been in London for the past few weeks and from personal experience I can say that the “shy Leave” phenomenon is really out there among Conservative members/voters.

    I was talking to a retired senior analyst from the Conservative Party only yesterday and she sees this referendum as a potentially catastrophic event for her party, possibly on the scale of the last Labour leadership battle. I was inclined to think that she might have been over-egging the pudding but I have also learned to trust her instincts in the past so she may well be right some extent.

    Having said the above, this may well be more of a London effect as we must not underplay the particular influence of BoJo in these parts.

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  4. Glasgow Working Class 2February 24, 2016 at 2:33 PM

    One bold step by the British people and the whole EU could collapse. The gravy train MEPS made redundant and billions saved to be put into public services. Lets get OOT.

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    1. But yer new pals Coburn n Nigel love the gravy train. This is whit ye've signed up wi, Yoon.

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    2. One bold step by the Scottish people and the whole UK could collapse. The gravy train MPS made redundant and billions saved to be put into public services. Lets get OOT.

      What a hypocrite you are GWC2. It's fucking hilarious.

      Must say I am enjoying the orgy of hypocrisy from all the unionist now banging on about the 'importance of making our own laws' and how 'being part of a union is bad for the country'. LOL.

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  5. You would expect London to be less pro-Leave than most of the rest of England. It is on average, younger, less white, more people living there will know someone from another EU country, etc. It's pretty much wasteland territory for UKIP.

    It's interesting and a little surprising to see how many fairly middle of the road types are coming out for out: Penny Mordaunt, Zac Goldsmith, and up here Tom Harris.

    The outcome could indeed be disastrous for the Conservative party, whoever wins. The next leader will have to pull the wreckage together somehow. Do Osborne or Johnson have the leadership skills to accomplish that?

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    1. The belief that Europe needs London rather than the other way around is utterly consistent in what I am getting face-to-face but even sensible Tories concede that Goldsmith is a dead duck in the mayoral race.

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2February 24, 2016 at 9:13 PM

      Well Phil you have your agenda but we do not need each other other than to trade. Even then Britain and Europe although preferable do not need to trade as in case you have not noticed there is a big world out there. We do not need unnesesary politicians and an EU Parliament to trade. However maybe you have an interest and a wee earner in keeping this mafia alive!

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    3. Well GWC2 you have your agenda but we do not need each other other than to trade. Even then Scotland and Europe although preferable do not need to trade as in case you have not noticed there is a big world out there. We do not need unnesesary politicians and an UK Parliament to trade. However maybe you have an interest and a wee earner in keeping this mafia alive!

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  6. James,

    Is it possible that Eurovision will have an impact on the Euro referendum? Given that it will take part in the heart of the campaign and the strong likelihood of the British entry being heavily punished in the voting as a consequence of the perceived anti European attitude in Britain. So will a close to nil points outcome for GB provoke a further response and a stronger move to support Boris the British Bulldog? Can European pop really drive us out?

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2February 24, 2016 at 7:44 PM

      The Eurocrap song contest will no doubt bring more crap songs but they may just vote for Britain and just to keep us in the EU. They need our billions. They are not mugs. They are just chuggers they are like the Nat sis, perpetual hand out seekers.

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    2. The Brit awards song contest will no doubt bring more crap songs but they may just vote for Scotland and just to keep us in the UK. They need our billions. They are not mugs. They are just chuggers they are like the Tory sis, perpetual hand out seekers.

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    3. Glasgow Working Class 2February 24, 2016 at 10:05 PM

      Have any Scots won an award at this Brits thing. Have we Scots got billions and where is it in hinding Skier? Why have we got foodbanks Skier is it the English to blame?

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    4. It's the Tory government, I'd have thought.

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    5. Have any Brits won an award at this Eurocrap thing. Have we Brits got billions and where is it in hinding GWC2? Why have we got foodbanks GWC2 is it the 'Frogs' to blame?

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    6. Glasgow Working Class 2February 24, 2016 at 10:45 PM

      James, why the Tories they do not run Holyrood it is their Tartan Tory pals. Just wondering James how the Nat sis will manage to blame the English for the poverty in Scotland but they will have a go at it as usual. The English must be saying get yer haun oot of my pocket Jock. Maybe when you talk to big Tam you can mention the benefit of taxing the Scottish well aff a tad bit more.

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    7. Aye. Have fun makin common cause wi the Tories n Kippers. You're nae Labour man, jist a shady wee glory hunter.

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  7. Except there are relatively few wealthy people in Scotland compared to Engerland. Ever wonder why that is the case? Or why the population of England is 800% of what it was in 1707 yet Scotland's is only 200%. Or why nothing is made in Scotland from cars to Coca Cola. Oh that will be the benefit of a centralised UK.Internatuonal companies all produce their goods in England not Scotland. Yet we have to buy them.

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2February 25, 2016 at 12:10 AM

      The Nat sis seem to have wealthy donators. The busman for instance. Maybe that is why the Nat sis will not nationalise the bus industry without compensation. But why would the Nat sis take back what the old taxpayer paid millions for and was stolen by their Tory pals.

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    2. Tories n Kippers are your pals. Ye made common cause wi them once again. Have fun daein leaflet runs for Boris n Nigel.

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    3. Agree with Nov 13. Problem is, the EU is designed precisely to make this inequality even worse. Instead of propping up London in return for a handout economy, we'll be propping up the centres of power in Europe instead.

      Its not about free trade, its more like a pyramid scheme.

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