Saturday, May 27, 2017

Tyrannical Theresa finds it too close for comfort as average of tonight's five polls gives the Tories a lead of less than 10%

You're way ahead of me here, guys.

*puts on Canadian accent*

It's another terrrrr-ible night for the Conservative party.

So far there have been five new GB-wide polls published this evening - three of them show a drop in the Tory lead, one shows no change in a lead that dropped sharply last time, and the fifth shows only a statistically insignificant recovery in the Tory lead from the lowest point in the campaign to date.

GB-wide voting intentions (YouGov) :

Conservatives 43% (n/c)
Labour 36% (-2)
Liberal Democrats 9% (-1)
UKIP 4 (n/c)

(SNP vote share not released yet.)

*  *  *

GB-wide voting intentions (Opinium) :

Conservatives 45% (-1)
Labour 35% (+2)
Liberal Democrats 7% (-1)
SNP 5% (n/c)
UKIP 5% (n/c)
Greens 2% (n/c)
Plaid Cymru 1% (+1)

*  *  *

GB-wide voting intentions (ComRes) :

Conservatives 46% (-2)
Labour 34% (+4)
Liberal Democrats 8% (-2)
UKIP 5% (n/c)
SNP 4% (n/c)
Greens 2% (-1)
Plaid Cymru 1% (n/c)

*  *  *

GB-wide voting intentions (ORB) :

Conservatives 44% (-2)
Labour 38% (+4)
Liberal Democrats 7% (n/c)
UKIP 5% (-2)

(SNP vote share not released yet.)

*  *  *

GB-wide voting intentions (ICM) : 

Conervatives 46% (-1)
Labour 32% (-1)
Liberal Democrats 8% (-1)
UKIP 5% (+1)
SNP 4% (n/c)
Greens 2% (n/c)

In a strange way I think Labour will be most disappointed with the Opinium findings.  Given that the previous YouGov poll was almost too good to be true, they would have been fully expecting some kind of reversion to the mean in the next poll from the same firm, and will take heart from the fact that their apparent gains have only been partly reversed.  As far as the larger Tory leads with ComRes  and ICM are concerned, that's not unexpected due to those firms' Tory-friendly methodology, which automatically gives greater weight to certain demographic groups due to the tendency to vote they've demonstrated in previous elections.  Bearing in mind that Corbyn's whole electoral strategy depends upon mobilising people who haven't bothered to vote in the past, you'd think that a polling company's brief would be to test whether he's succeeding in that endeavour, rather than starting from the assumption that he's bound to fail and working backwards.  In a sense all that the young and dispossessed have to do to prove ComRes and ICM wrong is to turn out to vote in sufficient numbers.  The two firms would point out that the pattern of differential turnout has tended to be very stable from one election to the next, which is true - but then again, it's been several decades since one of the two largest parties has put forward such a radical left-of-centre manifesto, so there's an obvious reason for at least wondering if the pattern might be broken.

It's a testament to how far and how quickly expectations have been adjusted that Tory supporters are able to squint at five polls giving their party an average lead of less than 10%, and conclude that it's not so bad really.  It's only been a matter of days since they went into blind panic because a single poll put their lead as low as 9%.

I'm not able to update the Scottish subsample average any further, because as far as I can see ICM, YouGov and ORB haven't published their datasets yet.  We'll hopefully know more by the morning, but there's certainly no obvious sign of any slippage for the SNP in the headline results.

UPDATE : Just out of curiosity, I had a look at the raw numbers in the Opinium datasets, and it turns out that the Tories have been flattered by the effect of rounding - their true lead is closer to 9% than to 10%, meaning that Opinium's findings aren't so radically different from ORB's or YouGov's.


  1. There is also an ICM poll. Others at 8%.

  2. Scotand Poll

    Survey Monkey, for Sun. (Change since 2015 GE)sample 2000
    SNP 39 (-11)
    Conservatives 29 (+15)
    Labour 25 (+1)
    Lib Dems 4 (-4)

    How sound is this poll?

    1. Not one of those numbers appears remotely accurate. If the SNP don't poll 45% I'll be amazed. The Glib Dems will be 2 or 3% higher and Tories will be nowhere near 30% regardless of differential voting. I suspect one of things we are witnessing is a proactive attempt by hardcore Unionists to skew pollster samples...

    2. What basis do you have for any of these assertions?

  3. adam Smith has yugov as 43- 38...??

    1. Thanks. Odd he would cite two polls and one of them not fresh.

  4. Any idea of the motivation for running so may opinion polls? Trying to shape opinion? Affect voting intentions? Editors who have no idea what to do and it's an easy way of filling column inches?

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Polling companies are businesses, and there is an appetite to see where we stand this close to the election after the Tory manifesto disaster, plus the suspension of campaigning.

      So I expect plenty news orgs want the latest polls.

      I doubt it's to try and shape opinion, unless someone is rich enough to simultaneously buy and also manipulate about 6 pollsters.

      A reputation for credibility and accuracy (tin foil hat brigade aside) is what pollsters build their business on. Can't see them all simultaneously taking a hit to their rep for the sake of what to them is just another day in the office.

      Pollsters are like bookies. They don't care who wins, they just want you to buy more polls or make more bets.

    3. "Any idea of the motivation for running so many opinion polls?"

      That's an odd question given that there have been significantly fewer polls in this general election than the last one. We were completely in the dark for several days last week.

  5. James' calculator will be on fire this morning with so many polls and subsets (if released yet).

    It will be interesting to see if the additional ones make much difference to the poll of polls which hasn't moved a whole lot over the last week or two.

  6. Is there any chance at all that there is a 'shy Corbyn' factor at play? By which I mean some still thinking 'the telly and his own party have been saying this man is a bumbling fool for two years, so I can't admit I am going to vote for his party'?

    I think, without this, the Tories will be winning the election even though we can hope their majority will be smaller with this narrowing of the polls. It seems too late for much more movement towards Labour otherwise, and a Tory win is a Tory win and then we are stuck with their crap till 2022.

  7. YouGov polling again today incidentally.

    Who will you vote for (party and constituency candidate), how likely are you to vote, will you definitely vote for that party, how you voted in 2015 and how you voted in EU Ref being the things I remember from it.

  8. It looks like the Tories are going to win, barring a huge upset in the last week and a half. I think we have seen the extent of Labour's comeback in England. If May does not get a landslide victory, she is going to be a lame duck PM. If the Tories sneak back in then they are going to be faced with major problems over the EU, Scotland, the returning Jihadis from Libya, Iraq, Syria, to name just a few of the serious problems they face.

    Watching the interviews of Kezia Dugdale, Ruth Davidson today, and the alliances between Tories and Labour in councils in Scotland, it is clear that the unionist pact is back in force, if it ever really went away. Ruth Davidson is refusing to recognise the SNP's mandate for a second independence referendum won last year. We are getting into increasingly dangerous territory here, and if the Tories win in England next week, I fear for the devolved Scottish Parliament. It is clear that neither the Tories in Scotland, or the UK, have ever reconciled themselves to devolution; and I think they are going to seriously think about dissolving Holyrood, or at the very least severely neutering it. The UK is moving towards the US and Turkey at an alarming rate, and it will intensify massively if the authoritarian and dangerous May and her far right Tories get elected.