My theory that the apparent big swing to Leave in last night's ORB telephone poll was just a routine reversion to the mean has taken an almighty knock. Today's new phone poll from ICM (the firm regarded by some as the UK's "gold standard") shows an enormous swing that takes Leave into the outright lead - and this time the shift can't be put down to a freakish pro-Remain sample last time around. There was nothing out of the ordinary about the last ICM phone poll, and indeed no previous ICM phone poll has shown Leave even close to being in the lead.
Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union? (ICM, telephone)
Remain 42% (-5)
Leave 45% (+6)
Leave 45% (+6)
Even more incredibly, if this poll is to be believed (and the jury is obviously still out on that, because it's only one poll), the previously huge divergence between phone and online findings has been wiped out - exactly what happened at the close of the indyref campaign. The parallel online poll from ICM shows an almost identical result - although it still picks up a modest swing to Leave.
Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union? (ICM, online)
Remain 44% (-1)
Remain 44% (-1)
Leave 47% (+2)
The big problem for the Leave campaign is that today could be their equivalent of the penultimate Saturday of the indyref campaign (when YouGov famously put Yes ahead). The shock of that day meant that there was no longer any chance of Yes sneaking in under the radar, and for the following week Scotland was blitzed by the London establishment's shameful 'shock and awe' propaganda campaign. The only thing that might insulate Leave from a repeat performance is the fact that there have been any number of previous polls putting Leave ahead, so perhaps there isn't quite the same sense of expectations being turned on their head by a single poll (although there probably should be).
As far as phone polls are concerned, Ipsos-Mori are ICM's nearest competitors on the "gold standard" stakes, so the next poll from Ipsos-Mori could tell us a lot. It's hard to believe they'll go in one jump from an 18-point Remain lead to an outright Leave lead, but if there is a big cut in the Remain advantage, that would corroborate the story ICM are telling us about the trend.
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SCOT GOES POP POLL OF POLLS
50/50 ONLINE/TELEPHONE AVERAGE :
Remain 45.6% (-0.3)
Leave 41.6% (+1.0)
ONLINE AVERAGE :
Remain 42.3% (+0.2)
Leave 42.9% (+0.7)
TELEPHONE AVERAGE :
Remain 48.9% (-0.7)
Leave 40.3% (+1.4)
(The Poll of Polls takes account of all polls that were conducted at least partly within the last three weeks. The online average is based on nine polls - three from ICM, three from YouGov, one from TNS, one from Opinium and one from BMG. The telephone average is based on nine polls - three from ORB, two from ICM, one from YouGov, one from Ipsos-Mori, one from ComRes and one from Survation.)