Tuesday, June 14, 2016

ComRes catastrophe for Cameron as Remain's lead is almost wiped out in another telephone poll

About two minutes after ICM had suggested the online/telephone divide was a thing of the past, it seems to be opening up again - online polls from other firms now seem to be mostly pointing to a reasonably decent Leave lead, while phone polls from other firms are showing a dramatic swing to Leave, but one that leaves the two sides more or less level-pegging.  That's very much the story of tonight's new phone poll from ComRes.

Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?  (ComRes, telephone) 

Remain 46% (-6)
Leave 45% (+4)

It has to be said that at a moment when polls from credible firms are showing a spread that runs from a 7-point Leave lead to a 2-point Remain lead (arguably it runs all the way to a 5-point Remain lead, depending on which version of the ORB phone numbers you prefer), it really is incredibly silly for otherwise intelligent people like George Eaton and Dan "Hokey Cokey" Hodges to look at the ComRes poll and say "Leave needed to be 4 points ahead at this stage if they were to withstand the late swing towards the status quo, they're actually 1 point behind, therefore they've lost".  Somebody should update the list of classic logical fallacies to include "only the last poll I looked at matters, and it negates all of the others".

These commentators obviously don't like having to cope with uncertainty, but I'm afraid to say we've got it by the barrel-load at the moment.  For example...

* Nobody knows whether online polling or telephone polling is more accurate.  If online polling is pretty close to the mark, it seems more likely than not that Leave are currently ahead by four or more points.  If phone polling is on the money, it's not even clear which side is in the lead.

* Leaving aside the specific effect of data collection method, nobody knows which pollster has the best-founded methodology more generally.  The ComRes datasets don't seem to be out yet, but in past months their turnout model seems to have been particularly favourable to Remain, which may explain much of the difference from the ICM phone poll.

* Even if a pollster's methodology is bang-on accurate, there is a standard margin of error for each individual poll in any case.  The ComRes numbers are - just about - consistent with a Leave lead of 4 points (or indeed with a much bigger Remain lead).

* The 4-point lead that Leave supposedly need at this stage is a number plucked out of thin air.  Yes, there is a tendency for there to be a late swing towards the status quo, but there's no "iron law" - nobody can be sure it will actually happen, and if it does, nobody can be sure what the scale of it will be.  Much will depend on the turnout - if it's very low, I wouldn't be totally shocked if Leave actually do slightly better than the late polls suggest.

*  *  *

SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS

A couple of weeks ago, I switched to using ORB's turnout-filtered numbers in the Poll of Polls sample, because the firm finally seemed to have come into line with their client (the Telegraph) by presenting those as the headline results.  Now they appear to have changed their minds again, and have reverted to headlining the unfiltered numbers while the Telegraph carry on using the filtered ones.  I can't keep going back and forth like a yo-yo, so I've made an executive decision that the Poll of Polls will continue to assume that the filtered numbers are definitive.  That helps Leave, but only slightly.  Just over 60% of ORB's phone sample say they will definitely vote, so the filtered numbers would probably be most accurate if the turnout is in the low 60s or thereabouts - although it must be remembered that one of the problems at the general election was that certain types of people (who were disproportionately likely to vote in a particular way) overestimated their own chances of getting to the polling station.

50/50 ONLINE/TELEPHONE AVERAGE :

Remain 44.6% (-0.2)
Leave 46.6% (-0.3)

ONLINE AVERAGE :

Remain 42.3% (-0.7)
Leave 45.4% (+0.1)

TELEPHONE AVERAGE :

Remain 46.8% (+0.3)
Leave 47.8% (-0.7)

(The Poll of Polls takes account of all polls that were conducted at least partly within the last two weeks. The online average is based on eleven polls - five from YouGov, two from ICM, two from Opinium, one from ORB and one from TNS.  The telephone average is based on four polls - two from ORB, one from ICM and one from ComRes.)

28 comments:

  1. It's extremely frustrating there's so few full scale Scottish polls. ICM and TNS last month had Remain at 63% or 69%, I'd be curious to know if there has been a swing to leave up here as well as in GB. Scottish sub samples tend to show around 60:40 for remain but who knows if that's accurate.

    There seems a definate lack of interest in the referendum in Scotland, and I worry about low turnout.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is just another example that WESTMINSTER for lack of another word will have going forward, how do you run a government when a huge geographic section is just politically without relation to the center. This is actually WHY you have countries.

      Delete
    2. The most recent YouGov poll gives a higher turnout in the Scottish sub-sample (78) than GB (71).

      https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/0q7lmn19of/TimesResults_160613_EUReferendum_W_Headline.pdf

      ICM online poll was similar (Scotland 77, GB 73). Their phone poll was the other way round (Scotland 71, GB 75).

      https://www.icmunlimited.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/13-Jun.pdf

      I don't think there's any evidence for saying that Scottish turnout will be especially low. Maybe won't be higher than the rest of GB, as was the case in 2015, but that is perhaps due to English turnout being a bit higher due to it being close and important.

      Delete
    3. ComRes (pretty small sub-sample as total for GB is only 1000), Scotland certain to vote is 85% and GB is 75%. Overall result is 46R - 45L - 9DK, Scotland cross-break is 59R - 27L - 14DK.

      Delete
  2. Glasgow Working Class 2June 14, 2016 at 10:52 PM

    People in Scotland live and have such good prosperous lives now thanks to being in the UK that they are totally complacent about anything around them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We need every Remain vote in Scotland we can get. Forget a Leave vote if intended tactically.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I take a slightly different view, as you know. I may vote Remain, but I think the strategic arguments in either direction are fairly evenly-balanced.

      Delete
    2. Glasgow Working Class 2June 14, 2016 at 11:01 PM

      You know Scotland cannot be Independent in the EU and that is the problem most Nat sis have. I suspect real Scots Nat sis will vote oot.

      Delete
    3. SNP Remain canvassers in Galashiels are pretty rattled. And Galashiels was a Yes town on the ballot box sampling in 2014.

      Delete
    4. That is concerning, although I wonder if the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway will have higher support for leave as they are rather different politically than the rest of Scotland. If I was to make a guess, Dumfries and Galloway, Borders, Moray and Western Isles and Northern Isles are likely have significantly higher support for leave than the rest of Scotland.

      Delete
    5. They're not different by accident. Why would part of Scotland be unable to watch Scottish TV and only enjoy English broadcasts? 300 years of occupation can't happen without being adaptable.

      Delete
    6. In the TNS poll of Scotland for May, the "South" region was the best (or least bad) for Leave, at 38R - 26L - 36DK. Every other region was at least 47R. Given the fieldwork for that poll was from 4-22 May, you would expect a swing to Leave since then (mainly from the DK).

      Delete
    7. The white settlers - retired - are concentrated in the borders. The white settlers - employed - are concentrated in the financial and oil industries. It doesn't surprise me what way places vote. Except Orkney.

      Delete
    8. James, The danger with a leave is that have the torys continuing their year zero roll back of welfare state, workers rights, disabled rights and privitisation of public services.

      Look at what they have done already, brexit would be an excuse to further.

      As you say Scotland may get more powers, but what good are they without full control over all of above.

      The only way to achieve that is by independence and until we are independent, we are far safer being in the EU, where are rights are protected.

      Delete
  4. In other news is it any wonder that C Kennedy drank himself to death. Are there any libdems who were/are not perverts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glasgow Working Class 2June 15, 2016 at 1:57 AM

      I am sure a few Nat sis drunk themselves tae death after the defeat on 19 September 2014. Most unreported as well as a few wrists slashed tae boot.

      Delete
  5. For what it's worth I read that Brexit is not ahead in Scotland: the small Scottish subsample shows 43% Remain, 36% Leave. When adjusted for Likelihood to Vote: 43% Remain, 40% Leave.
    Pages 59 and 63 in the full survey data: Link from here: http://www.tns-bmrb.co.uk/pres...

    But it looks close. If that's "pro EU" Scotland then what is going on across the UK?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're looking at the wrong pages, Joe - as I noted in the previous post, the TNS poll is a very rare example of Leave actually being ahead in the Scottish subsample (by 44% to 43%). Absolutely nothing should be read into that - individual Scottish subsamples are small, not correctly weighted, and have every chance of being wildly unreliable. (If there were several subsamples in a row showing the same thing, it might be different.)

      Delete
  6. Serious question, : watching the euros my son noticed that tiny Iceland tied Portugal even though they only have 330 k population. He also noticed that they had 30k fans there. So 10% Of pop went to euros! So this led to which countries are how big and he noted how small Scotland and ireland are. But they arent! Turns out the maps shrink scotland. So then I looked at square feet and they had scotland at 30k and England at 60 k. How do they decide what goes where? Does 60 k include half of Wales as England? I always thought scotland was about 65% or more Of England ...what do they dog with the islands. And How many countries are in " Europe" for this. I see Turkey in and in eurovision, so how do I know? How hard is it to get in Euro soccer tournament?


    ReplyDelete
  7. My bet is the big BBC and UK.Gov story next week will be a run on the banks due to Brexit panic. It'll be a self fulfilling prophesy. People will panic and Remain will win on a late swing.

    ReplyDelete
  8. @James, the American pollster Frank Luntz has an article in the Daily Telegraph you should look at along with the polling data he conducted. His firm found Leave at 49% and Remain at 47%.

    His premise is that "Leave is ahead because British voters no longer trust their elites"

    To be honest I am exactly where Frank Luntz is with his comment. When I see Osbourne, Cameron, Blair, Brown all on stage together and supported by the likes of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan and the rest of the banksters I have to say something smells wrong.

    George Stewart

    ReplyDelete
  9. STV / Mori Scottish poll

    Remain 53 (-13), Leave 32 (+3) - changes since late April (poll just before the Holyrood election).

    Bigger lead for Remain though amongst those certain to vote - 58 v 33. 64-36 if DK are removed.

    Narrow plurality (47-45) for having a second indyref if Leave wins.

    https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3744/Scots-look-set-to-back-Remain-but-are-split-on-a-future-independence-referendum-in-the-event-of-Brexit.aspx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remain leads 34-20 amongst the undecided Scottish voters, when they are pressed.

      10/10 certain to vote figure is 75%.

      https://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Scotland/scotland-pom-euref-june-2016-topline.pdf

      Delete
  10. Is there any traction in the idea that there is a higher number of probable leave votes in the don't knows , synonymous with the shy no voter's in the Independence ref .One group not comfortable with being seen as unpatriotic and selfish , the other bigoted and selfish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, if anything it's the other way round. See comment above regarding the Scottish poll; a larger number of the don't knows said they were more likely to vote Remain when asked a second time.

      This is typical of most referendums. The "change" option normally has to have a healthy lead to overcome the tendency for late-deciding "don't knows" to eventually opt for the status quo.

      Delete
    2. The status quo option is what happens under countless US elections with an incumbent and a challenger.

      IF the incumbent (status quo) is over 50% in the polling the undecideds tend to break for the incumbent. If the incumbent is below 50%, the incumbent/status quo is in danger because the further below 50% you get the tendency is for undecideds to break to the challenger.

      Remain (Mr. Inumbent) essentially was below 50% one month out and remains so.

      It is now likely in my opinion and based on US election campaigns that i have been involved in that Leave does have the upper hand as it is more likely that undecideds will break greater than 50% towards Leave.

      The burden was on the incumbent and the incumbent did not prove their case hence being below 50%.

      George Stewart

      PS. This is no ordinary referendum, its an EU referendum and more recent history shows that EU referendums tend to go towards defeat to the establishment. We recently had a Dutch vote and the Greek vote. Before that the treaty votes.

      Delete
    3. Here is a link explaining the dynamics of undecideds breaking.

      What we have is the incumbent (remain) polling below 50% which is problematic AND polling below the challenger (Leave)!!!

      In the UK there is simply not much understanding on this because of FPTP.

      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/10/12/how_to_understand_the_incumbent_rule.html

      George Stewart

      Delete
  11. Glasgow Working Class 2June 15, 2016 at 12:44 PM

    Nnickerless McWhinge accusing the Tories off planning a right wing coo. George Osborne threatening a 2p in the pound tax rise. Threats and more threats with no substance. The remain are a burst flush and scraping the barrel. Strangely enough I agree that there should be a tax rise right now.

    ReplyDelete