Archive for the 'Pollsters/polling' Category


LEAVE back in the lead with YouGov while ORB phone sees gap get narrower

Monday, June 20th, 2016

EU Ref polling   Google Sheets

Still to come the big National Centre survey – an academic project led by Professor John Curtice. This is embargoed until midnight although it has been widely reported showing a 6% REMAIN lead.


The referendum: The affluent versus the non-affluent summed up in two Populus polling charts

Monday, June 20th, 2016


ComRes poll finds voters feel more positive about leaving the EU than they do about staying

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

44% would be “delighted” by a Leave vote; only 28% by a Remain vote

ComRes have conducted an online poll for the Independent on Sunday/People, whilst the poll doesn’t ask a EU referendum voting intention question, because ComRes prefer their phone polls for the EURef, the supplementaries are fascinating.

Labour voters are more than twice as likely as Conservative voters to say they would feel terrified if Britain votes to leave the EU next week (39% leave v 17% remain). Conservative voters are divided on this (26% leave v 25% remain).Conversely, Conservative voters are more likely than Labour voters to say they will feel delighted in the result of Britain voting to leave the EU (43% v 31%).

But was there an impact from the murder of Jo Cox?

Andrew Hawkins, Chairman of ComRes, says

We have provided an additional crossbreak to split out respondents interviewed before 2pm on Thursday and those interviewed afterwards.  Of course, not all respondents will have learned of the attack immediately, so it is reasonable to assume that the cut-off may under-measure reaction to the news. 

The comparisons are slightly contradictory across all of the questions, and the results should be taken with a degree of caution, since the pre-2pm sample comprised 1854 respondents and the post-2pm sample only 192.

Nevertheless…across ALL factors reaction to a Leave vote is more negative post-2pm.

It is just possible that the post-2pm sample varies from the pre-2pm one enough to create this more negative impact for Leave.  But it is also intuitive to assume that there will have been some impact, even if only marginal, of Thursday’s events.  And not all of those post-2pm respondents will have heard the news by the time they participated in the survey.

But due to the size of the sample, we should wait until the first poll conducted entirely after her murder before drawing any conclusions,  but many people wont be surprised if these ComRes findings are replicated in a full poll.

ComRes also asked a Westminster VI question, the results are Con 34% (-2) Lab 29% (-1) LD 8% (NC) UKIP 19% (+2) Green 4% (NC) SNP 5% (NC) Other 1% (NC)

Opinium also conducted an EURef poll, which was Remain 44 (nc) Leave 44 (+2) but the majority of the fieldwork was before 2pm on Thursday.



BMG polls brings good news for both sides

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

The modal differences strikes backs

BMG have conducted simultaneous online and phone polls. The online poll sees what we’ve seen in other recent polls, with a significant swing to Leave, giving Leave a 10% lead. BMG’s debut EURef poll does give Remain a 7% lead,BMG themselves say they prefer their phone poll over the online poll because of understanding which way undecideds will go and that Remainers are harder to contact. BMG say

Why impute voting intention for Undecideds and Refusals?

It is our view that using predicted voting intentions to impute voting intentions for undecideds and refusals is preferable and more accurate than existing methods of excluding undecideds and refusals.

One of the key lessons taken from the polling industry’s failure to call the 2015 General Election was that key indicators (i.e. leadership and economic approval), were consistently pointing towards a different, and what turned out to be, a more accurate reflection of the state of the parties. In the case of the EU referendum it is our view that simply excluding the undecideds and/or refusers is in itself a judgement about how they will vote (i.e. that they will do so in the same proportion to those who have already responded). Consequently we feel that it is more objective to allocate missing information based on prior estimates derived from their views, in this case their sentiment towards the EU.

To this end, BMG has created an EU sentiment index based on respondents’ views to a series of statements about Britain’s relationship with the EU. The sentiment index is designed to build an understanding of the relationship between key statements and voting intention and thereafter infer the likely voting intentions of undecideds and refusals.

The statements are asked before all voting intention questions. This has the added benefit of asking respondents to think about the major arguments in the campaign prior to asking the voting intention question. We believe it also sparks respondents to consider the arguments as they would on polling day, with the intention of getting them closer to what could be termed ‘the ballot box mindset’.

From this series of questions each respondent is assigned a score based on their response. The higher the score, the more positive the sentiment towards the EU, and vice versa. In order to use the score to impute values for undecideds, the predictive power of the index was modelled in a multivariate regression along with other key variables such as age and social grade (both of which appear to be important determinants of voting intention.)

With the tweet at the top of this piece, it is clear that it is easier to contact Leavers, BMG themselves say

it is interesting to note that the call data from our latest telephone survey implies that, to some extent, pursuing respondents, whether through re-calling or person-to-person interaction on the phone, may be crucial in encouraging ‘harder-to-reach’ respondents to participate. Our results suggest that after one dial, the raw data gives Remain around a 1 point lead, whereas after the second dial the Remain lead is more than five and a half points, before settling at around four points after three calls or more. This suggests that conducting surveys too quickly or skimming through telephone data may underestimate Remain voters. 

Overall the polling does fit what people were expecting,  don’t knows end up sticking with better the devil EU know, but in the online poll, Leave have the momentum. Both sides would be wise to not ignore the polling that is bad for them, Remain should note that the momentum appears to be with Leave, which reflects poorly on Remain’s campaign and the strategy and tactics therein, whilst Leave should note that there’s a potential for another polling disaster because of the samples not being representative.

The fieldwork for these BMG polls were conducted entirely before the murder of Jo Cox.



As we await tonight’s ComRes phone poll a bad narrative is developing for Leave

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Remember sometimes perceptions matter more than the facts


A reminder from 16 months ago about the danger of reading too much into one day of polling

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Twitter DTPT

The Brexit paradox: The more likely it looks to happen the less likely it is to happen?

After yesterday’s polls it might be easy to say Monday the 13th of June was the day the day polls turned, but as that Guardian front page above shows, it is never wise to assume things like that.

One of the reasons is that earlier on this month I spoke to someone who is working for Vote Leave, and they were worried about consistent Leave leads, as it might lead to Sterling tumbling because of Brexit fears and the FTSE 100 falling for the same reason. If Brexit looks certain, then the past Sterling/FTSE100 slides might be replicated on a larger scale.  That is a horrible narrative for Leave to try and counter this close to voting day.

It reminded me of the Ed Miliband/SNP in power at Westminster paradox, the more likely it looked to happen, the less likely it was to happen, as you felt it wasn’t something England (and Wales to a lesser extent) was going to stomach. Additionally these type of Leave leads should boost the turnout of complacent Remainers, who if it was looking like a comfortable Remain victory might stay at home.

I’m still confident of a Remain victory, however that assessment will change if David Cameron offers the country a vow or a potential game changer as a referendum on Turkey joining the EU, that’s when I think that’s the true tipping point for Leave.

What of David Cameron? With this referendum he must be feeling like the couple who agreed to make home made porn. It sounded like a good idea at the time, he thought it would be fun to do, but now as he sits back and views his production, he must be thinking this hasn’t turned out how he expected it to turn out, whilst regretting his initial descision and feeling a bit nauseous about it all.



ORB poll has Remain’s lead shrinking among all voters but YouGov has Leave 7% ahead

Monday, June 13th, 2016

The headline figures with Remain ahead by 5% is the figure ORB wishes to be judged on, whilst the Telegraph prefers to focus on the certain to vote figures. However what will really concern Remain is that Sir Lynton Crosby says Leave’s tactics ‘maybe paying off’

Whilst YouGov has Leave 7% ahead

And The Sun comes out for Leave



ICM polls bring fresh pain for Remain

Monday, June 13th, 2016

The latest ICM polls for The Guardian are out.

Support for leaving the EU is strengthening, with both phone and online surveys reporting a six-point lead, according to a new pair of Guardian/ICM polls.

Leave now enjoys a 53%-47% advantage once “don’t knows” are excluded, according to the research conducted over the weekend compared with a 52%-48% split reported by ICM a fortnight ago.

The figures will make grim reading for David Cameron, George Osborne and the Labour party. They follow a fortnight in which immigration became the dominant issue in the European campaign with the publication of official figures recording that net migration had risen to a near-record 333,000 in the year’s second quarter.

Prof John Curtice of Strathclyde University, who analyses all the available referendum polling data on his website, noted that, after the new ICM data, the running average “poll of polls” would stand at 52% for leave and 48% for remain, the first time leave has been in such a strong position.

The only crumb of comfort I can find for Remain in this polling is that ‘Voters in professional “AB” grade occupations are, by 57% to 38%, strongly in favour of staying in Europe, whereas skilled manual workers – the so-called C2s – are plumping for leave by an emphatic 67% to 29%.’ Historically the ABs haves tended to turnout more than C2s.

This week should see at least two more phone polls, Ipsos Mori on Wednesday and Survation on Thursday, and probably ORB in The Telegraph tonight, if these polls showing Leave leads, or significantly reduced Remain leads, then Brexit is starting to look inevitable, as I’m not sure what Remain has left in its arsenal to counter the Leave leads and momentum. As the tweet below implies panic and poor canvassing returns for Remain.

In less than eleven days time we might see The UK voting to end her membership of the EU, and the end of David Cameron’s Premiership, interesting times ahead.