Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Leave campaign draws level in startling new YouGov EU poll

There's been conflicting evidence over the last week on whether telephone polling is picking up a significant swing towards Remain, but we can now say with a fair bit of confidence that online polling is failing to do so.  Of the last six online polls, only Opinium at the weekend showed any sort of meaningful gains for Remain, and that now looks firmly like an aberration.  Here is YouGov's latest bang-up-to-date estimate, based on interviews conducted yesterday and the day before -

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

Remain 41% (-3)
Leave 41% (+1)

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UPDATE : A new Survation telephone poll is also out today, showing an unusually small lead for Remain.  More details can be found HERE.


  1. I am totally ambivalent as to this particular Referendum.
    One the one hand if I vote for Remain i am on same side as Cameron,Osborne ,Brown ,Darling et al.
    I vote to Leave I am on same side as Boris ,Farage and IDS.
    Not exactly motivational for me
    Also like most I view this is a Tory dispute more than a Referendum.
    Little Englander against Extreme Little Englander.
    What does appeal to me is with the closeness of the polls it is possible that the Scottish votes could determine the outcome and keep RUK in EU.
    In that there is a joyous irony ,and the outpourings in the event of this would border on hysterical.
    I think like many Scots I would be pishing myself for about a fortnight.
    This could even go as far as the mental right wingers demanding a Referendum for England to secede from British Union ,now who wouldn't pay money to see that ???
    In the event of a small Remain majority the Tories and other right wing nutters will rip into each other.
    It is a win win for Scotland irrespective of the outcome.
    So from that point of view I am looking forward to the result irrespective of outcome.

    1. I must say I've always thought the potential impact of Scotland tipping the balance in favour of Remain is being wildly exaggerated. It would give the Brexiters an obvious debating point as they try to keep their dream alive in the coming years, but it doesn't go much further than that. For there to be any meaningful impact on the future of the union, there would have to be an overall Leave victory with Scotland voting Remain.

  2. There is such a strong belief - I think shared by both sides - that Remain will inevitably win the EU vote.

    I don't see where that belief is coming from. In reality, Remain is running in a handicap, where Leave starts with a 20% lead and Remain has to outvote Leave by 62:38 with non-UKIP inclined voters. That is one hell of a starting position for Leave.

    There is no core base for Remain, sure they might have a bit more support amongst Liberals and Greens. But that's tiny marginal parties with no relevance and scant few voters. And even they are unlikely to offer more than 80% support.

    Meanwhile Labour and Tory Voters (as opposed to the party hierarchy) have absolutely no inherent bias towards the EU. The only coherent argument Remain has is the economic one and its being expressed so badly and with so much exageration that I can easily see voters ignoring it.

    All the cards are in Leaves hands. You wrap that up in the Butcher's Apron and it's easy to see the Tory Shires and Labour WWC flocking to Leaves cause. And that's before you even think about Differential Turnout.

    That 20% head start UKIP have is very much in the Certain To Vote category. The other chunk of the electorate, with less invested and less interest could easily end up staying at home. 62% assumes UKIP and non-UKIP voters turnout in the same numnbers. It could easily be the case that Remain needs 70% or more of non-UKIP voters if their turnout is particularly weak.

    The polling looks like mince. In those circumstances, its the underlying factors which will matter. And they almost entirely point to Leave.

    1. I don't see where you're getting the 20% "head start" for leave. The trend appears to be the opposite: remain started out well in the lead, and that's being (very slowly) eroded.

      Ultimately, the most powerful people want to remain, and they don't usually lose referendums.

    2. Actually, the establishment have got a long history of losing EU referendums in various countries - all the way up to the Dutch referendum a few weeks ago. Admittedly, none of them were quite as important as this one.

    3. keaton, the handicap head start is the UKIP vote who are very nearly guaranteed to vote and vote No. There is no equivalent to UKIP on the Remain side, there is no pro-European party whose voter base share a pro-European stance in any sort of substantial number.

  3. Just think if it's a remain vote, we can say the UK is too wee, too poor, too stupid to go it alone.

    Oh the joys.

  4. I'll be voting Remain because England will vote Leave.

  5. & purely in the interests of balance, an even more up to date Survation poll gives Remain a steady 8 point lead. Odds on Brexit (& thus potential for a second indyref) still lengthening - Remain now up to 1/8 with several bookies

    Sorry lads - have to keep the champagne on ice for a while yet !!

    1. Hmmm. Judging by your comments both today and yesterday, this really doesn't appear to be your area of expertise, Davy. First of all, Survation is a phone poll, which means that an 8% lead for Remain is surprisingly low - and tends to add weight to the suspicions that the Ipsos-Mori and ORB findings may have been misleading. Secondly, could you possibly try to justify your claim that the Survation poll is "more up to date" than YouGov? As far as I can see, the fieldwork for both polls concluded yesterday.

      If you want to get into a tedious discussion about bookies' odds, feel free - but the short version is that they are not predictive of anything.

    2. Actually, I stupidly assumed that you were giving me correct information - the Remain lead is actually SIX points, which is extremely low for a phone poll.