Monday, May 30, 2016

Illusion of commanding Remain lead shattered by latest ORB telephone poll

As I've been pointing out over the last week or so, the media narrative insisting that Remain have made significant progress in the latest opinion polls is based on very shaky ground.  The majority of recent polls have in fact shown either a relatively static picture or an improvement for Leave, so to buy into the 'Remain surge' theory you would have to accord special significance to three polls in particular - the ORB and Ipsos-Mori telephone polls showing a big swing to Remain, and the Opinium online poll showing a more modest pro-Remain swing.  Well, one-third of that body of evidence has effectively just been scrubbed out, because the new ORB phone poll shows the Remain gains from the previous poll being reversed.

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?  (Definite voters only)

Remain 51% (-4)
Leave 46% (+4)

The Telegraph - who commissioned the poll - are of course spinning a yarn about how this apparently dramatic change in opinion came about (they're attributing it to new concerns over immigration).  But given that the last ORB poll was totally out of kilter with most other polling evidence, I think it's more likely that we're just seeing a particularly extreme example of sampling variation, after a skew towards Remain in last week's sample led everyone astray.  That would mean either that nothing much has changed, or that the swing to Leave is being greatly exaggerated by the direct comparison between the two polls.

Annoyingly, there still doesn't seem to be any definitive answer as to what constitutes the 'headline numbers' in an ORB phone poll.  The Telegraph favour the turnout-filtered figures given above, but ORB themselves and the John Curtice site give the nod to the unfiltered numbers.  For the first time, the Telegraph haven't even bothered to tell us what the unfiltered numbers are, so we'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out how much better they are for Remain (and on past form they probably will be at least somewhat better).  I'll also wait until then to update this blog's Poll of Polls.

UPDATE : The answer to my question is that Remain lead by 9 points among the unfiltered sample (down from 20 last week).  But ORB seem to have finally decided that their headline results will be turnout-filtered from now on, so the 5-point lead can be regarded as definitive.

46 comments:

  1. Poor wee David Cameron

    George
    Stewart

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    1. Which of the two Tory parties is he leader of again?

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2May 31, 2016 at 12:01 AM

      Sturgeon leads the main Tory party in Scotland followed by babe Ruth. What will they do if we vote to rid ourselves of the corrupt EU. Vote leave and wait and see what happens next. It will be fun.

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    3. Still on the Tartan Tory routine, 23? That one's as old as the prelude to the 1979 election, and about as convincing.

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    4. It's all he has left, just like George Foulkes. It's all they have to cling to (apart from the bottle).

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    5. Yep. That and their sense of thwarted entitlement. They miss the days when a debate could be closed off with a shout of "SHURRUP N VOTE FOR THE LAYBUR MAN!".

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  2. It was a rubbish poll but Davey and Georgey put credence into it.

    James look at the indyref polling from youguv and compare to ukref polling.

    In indyref at the end the undecideds broke to leave but the problem was the core base was at35%

    In ukref the core base according to yougov for both sides is low 40

    So if undecideds break to leave like indyref we get rid of wee Davey and get indyref2

    George
    Stewart

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    1. The majority of undecided voters tend to stick with the status quo in the end, anon. That's what happened in the independence referendum also - a lead of 50-45 for no in the closing polls became a final result of 55-45 to No.

      It's interesting to see nats hoping and praying for something that they are actually against in principle so that they might have a go at overturning democracy, LOL. Twisted much?

      Aldo

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  3. I get the sinking feeling that Scotland is in the relegation zone and that we are relying on results elsewhere to keep us up and our fate is not in our own hands.

    Nor am I happy that if we avoid the drop, our voice will not be heard within the association when rule changes are discussed.

    Rock and hard place.

    We need to get our own voice. We ought to be in control of our own destiny. Our lively hood does not need transfer windows constantly closing against us.

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    1. When we had Blair / Brown as PM and Brown / Darling as Chancellor, Scotland most certainly had a voice. But the vast bulk of our MPs now cannot participate in a British government. The Scottish people did that to themselves. Well, just under half of them, actually. The rest of us continue to look on in amazement and dismay.

      Aldo

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    2. I love that. Democracy = agreeing with the person who gets to actually make the decisions, so you get to be in the room with him.

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    3. That would be the Londoner Darling, North British and never Scottish Brown and Blair who has never in his life claimed to be in any way Scottish?
      Try harder troll vermin.

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    4. Aldo, not read anything about the recent 'Glasgow/Scotland effect' reports? Seems the 'regional' accent of our British 'leaders' plays no part in the magnitude of disinterest and contempt that they all show the social and health issues uppermost in the Scots electorates priorities.

      Why would that attitude be any different when it comes to our priorities of a national or international nature such as Europe, WMD and TTIP?

      Having a governmental 'voice' that screams for the exact opposite of what is wanted by the majority of Scotland is worse than no voice at all! You have already put it so well. Scotland's electorate want the SNP to represent them and therefore are no longer able to 'participate' in their own governance. Very democratic Aldo. Nice.

      End London Rule. Build a modern democracy.

      braco

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    5. The SNP is considered beyond the pale by other British political parties for a variety of reasons, braco. It is up to those parties whether or not they want to engage with the SNP. Freedom of association is an important aspect of democracy. Now we could stamp our feet over this and say it's unfair - but the fact we voted 55-45 to stay in the UK denies legitimacy to such a course of action.

      If we are to remain in the UK and get the best out of it, we need to reintegrate with it. That means electing UK parties - not regional separatists.

      Aldo

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    6. Anon, Blair was born and educated in Edinburgh.

      Too bad you didn't get an education yourself.

      Aldo

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    7. Anon, Blair was born and educated in Edinburgh.

      Surely you're not saying that this fact bestowed power on Scottish voters during his premiership? Although I'm not sure what else you can be saying.

      When we had Blair / Brown as PM and Brown / Darling as Chancellor, Scotland most certainly had a voice. But the vast bulk of our MPs now cannot participate in a British government. The Scottish people did that to themselves. Well, just under half of them, actually. The rest of us continue to look on in amazement and dismay.

      For voters to exercise any power over their MP, they have to show that they're willing to kick them out. If an MP knows their constituents will blindly vote for them because they have an outside chance of being appointed Culture Secretary, those constituents actually have no voice at all.

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  4. Can the figures be shown without the Scottish polling results? I don't mean without the Scottish subsample.

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  5. The Telegraph.
    A rag which has been consistently anti Euro,anti EU now appears to have developed bi-polar disorder in it's attitude to England's independence referendum.
    I wonder why?

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  6. 51 - 46 would be considered a healthy lead in other two horse races - like a US Presidential Election, for example.

    Aldo

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    1. The problem is that this poll because of the wide swings is highly questionable. It does not pass the smell test which is supported by the small sample size.

      I do believe that the state of this race is best reflected in the yougov polling which can be compared to the indyref polling.

      You bring up the comparison to the US races, in my other life I worked on US election races..

      Remain is effectively the incumbent and in polling that has been performed which appears to be diligent, the incumbent has not gone above 50%. If the incumbent can not cross 50% four weeks out they are likely toast.

      I find it amazing that this race based on project fear is really a dead heat. They should have a consistent lead in all polling modes.

      Further as someone rightly wrote on these very boards there is no single party really in love in a tribal manner to the EU. Do you see any EU flags out?

      What we do know is that UKIP voters are what is termed broken glass voters meaning they will crawl over broken glass to cast their vote.

      Further in indyref, what we find is that remain had consistent polling above 50% and leave was at 35%. Yougov....

      In the end, almost all the undecideds went to leaveuk but that was only enough to get leave to 45%.

      My own conclusion based on US politics is as follows;

      1. The race is around 45/45 right now.
      2. Project Fear has expended most of its ammunition.
      3. In the last four weeks, it is now up to remain to make its case to the undecideds because project fear failed to grab that remaining 10%.
      4. I suspect turnout will be no higher than an ordinary general election unlike indyref.
      5. Leave will get 100% UKIP, 60% Torry and 40% Labour and then a smattering of in between. I suspect there will be a fair share of SNP members who will vote leave based on Alex Salmond.

      Indyref was 55/45 and I suspect UKref will also be the same division but it will be a close race.

      My bias is to see Cameron resigning, the groundwork lay for indyref2, south of the border SNP member and I am a LabourLeave supporter.

      George Stewart

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  7. If the result is that close, two thins come to mind.

    Firstly, England may be kept in the EU against its will.

    Secondly, even if the English were to vote narrowly for REMAIN, would IDS, Boris, Grayling, Patel, et al accept the result? Would reconciliation, or the pretence of it, be possible in the Tory Party?

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    1. With the prospect of a tory split and a Corbyn victory (an absolute disaster from the point of view of anyone with a conservative outlook regardless of views on the EU), then reconciliation becomes compulsory.

      Aldo

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  8. England will vote Leave; Scotland will vote Remain. Scottish independence referendum No.2 to quickly follow.

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    1. Careful what you wish for! Remember that bit at the end of Terminator 2 when the liquid metal guy falls into the pool of molten steel? That's what will happen to the independence movement if they lose a second time.

      Aldo

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    2. Mystic McTernan called. Stop nicking his prophecies.

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  9. Aldo supports indyref2!

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    1. Wherever did you get that idea?

      Aldo

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    2. Aldo doesn't deny supporting indyref2!

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    3. I don't support it. I don't think there should ever be another. But if there is to be one, you are not guaranteed victory.

      Aldo

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    4. Astonishing u-turn from Aldo! The Ruthfuhrer says, "just as well" or it could have been a knock on the door at three in the morning from the britnat brigade for Aldo. You heard it here first! Meanwhile, back to Frank Bough in the Granstand studio.

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    5. How can Ruth be a fuhrer? Surely that honour goes to Strugglin'?

      Aldo

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  10. If the UK vote to Remain by a narrow margin, will Boris and pals demand a re-run? Or will Cameron come away with some "Once in a generation" bullshit?

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    1. These polls have to be once in a generation. You can't have Brexiteers ignoring the result of the EU vote and Nats ignoring the result of the independence vote. The country needs stability - not being continually rocked back and forth by little Englanders and little Scotlanders. They need to be told to shut up, basically. And that is what will happen.

      By the end of next month we'll have had 3 constitutional battles in the last 5 years - the voting system, status of Scotland, and EU membership. If current polling and betting odds are to be believed, the public will have rejected change in every single one. Anyone advocating further constitutional battles or reruns of polls we've already held should be actively sidelined and excluded from the political process. The country - wisely - doesn't want sudden and dramatic change. Now, belt up!

      Aldo

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    2. Whatever happens, Lawrence, the so-called united kingdom self-destructs. Hilarious!

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    3. What's the matter Aldo,did I rattle your cage?

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    4. I thought they would have lead with the headline Bloody Jocks to keep UKOK in EU by now!

      For me this is context less and by that I mean who does the Torygraph support as the next Toryfuhrer. Something tells me that it isn't Cameron.

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    5. It would take more than the followers of Strugglin and her minority government to rattle my cage. Not that I have a 'cage' as such - naughty!

      Aldo

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    6. I thought such accessories were mandatory for blue Tories...

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    7. So what you're basically saying Aldo is the electorate need to be told to shut up and get back in their box? Any political grouping or party who advocates change should be disenfranchised from the political process and denied a voice? You're in the wrong party Aldo, the Tories are far too left-wing for you.

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  11. James, more polling data confirms your thesis.

    http://order-order.com/2016/05/31/icm-shows-leave-ahead-phone-online/

    We are still awaiting Youguv today, I think....

    As I wrote earler, LeaveUK is in a stronger position today polling wise than IndyRef.

    Remember the US analogy that remain is the "incumbent" and the incumbent has not stably broken 50%.

    Regardless, I have great delight that right now Cameron and crew with Project Fear 2.0 are likely starting to panic.

    In regards to IndyRef2, I would think that there would be far more compassion in regards to an attempt of the political class re-running project fear again.

    IF next month it is Leave, I think south of the border there will be enough of a nucleus saying go as friends and go as peace.

    George Stewart



    Please prove you're not a robot



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  12. Sunshine on CrieffMay 31, 2016 at 5:55 PM

    Possible bank holiday effect?

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    1. Yes, thats possible.

      George Stewart

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  13. How is it possible for several different people to post under the same moniker (Anonymous)? It is rather confusing, to put it politely.

    Ahaa, that's how it's done. 😆

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    1. Glasgow Working Class 2June 1, 2016 at 10:49 PM

      Indeed but you can be traced.

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    2. Glasgow Working Class 2June 1, 2016 at 11:04 PM

      Your heid does not fit yer hat. You should be upfront Nat si bhoy and declare yer name. Coward and shitbag.

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    3. ...as stated by the user of a pseudonym. Eat your cereal, 23.

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