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Eurotracker
21 May, 2019

Opinion polls up to 17 May 2019

London4Europe Committee member Michael Romberg looks at the opinion polls for London.

 

Caveats

Remember: they are just polls – snapshots that come with a significant margin of error particularly so when you are looking at a small or very small subset of a poll, as almost all of these London figures are. Trends are a bit more reliable, but bring the problem that different companies have different methodologies. One should never read too much into small differences or unusual results. There is a fuller list of caveats after Table 1, as well as notes and general points on interpretation.

 

UK/ GB trackers

You can look at a UK/ GB level tracker graph on the National Centre for Social Research's WhatUKthinks website here. NatCen allows you to group parties, for example into Brexit and Remain. Wikipedia also has a table of results for UK/GB opinion polls and a tracker graph with a slightly different selection of polls. 

 

Contents of this blog

This article looks at the London regional section of national opinion polls and one London opinion poll.  As far as I know we have recorded all published opinion polls about the European Parliament elections voting intentions that have regional tables.

  • Chart 1: vote tracker - all parties
  • Chart 2: vote tracker only for Remain parties 
  • Chart 2A: vote tracker only for Remain parties but excluding polls that did not ask about all three parties; with trendlines.
  • Chart 2B; vote tracker only for Remain parties: only polls with fieldwork in May; with trendlines.
  • Chart 3: vote tracker showing total pro-Brexit parties vote and total pro-Remain parties vote, with trendlines.
  • Chart 3A: vote tracker showing total pro-Brexit parties vote and total pro-Remain parties vote: only polls with fieldwork in May; with trendlines.
  • Chart 4: vote tracker showing total pro-Brexit parties vote and total pro-Remain parties vote: national figures.
  • Table 1: vote share tracker
  • Table 2: seat share tracker. Seats implied by the opinion polls using the D'Hondt method of seat allocation

 

Some initial indicative conclusions based on the London polls so far:

  • A look at the trendlines since the start of polling in January (Chart 3) shows that the pro-Remain parties have displayed real growth and the pro-Brexit parties a fall. However, a look at Chart 3A tells us that all that change took place in the period to end April. During May there has been no trend change in the relative size of the pro-Remain and pro-Brexit votes. While most individual polls come with a large margin error I would hope that the trendline averaging would be reasonably accurate.
  • Chart 4 looks at national polling using data at the National Centre for Social Research. It presents a similar picture of changes in relative vote shares to about the beginning of April and then a relatively stable position, though with variations around an average.
  • In London, Brexit-backing parties are likely to win both on vote share and on on seats. This result is due primarily to the loyalty of Remain voters to the Labour party in spite of its pro-Brexit stance. It is not clear why that should be. Possibly the decision of the People's Vote campaign to endorse Labour as a (lukewarm) PV party made it easier for Labour Remainers to stick with their party. Also Labour is the party where those expressing a view are least likely to get right where it stands.
  • The vote share of the Brexit party seems to have stabilised at around or a bit over 20% (Chart 1, Table 1)
  • In the period to end April there was no clear lead amongst the three Remain parties (chart 2A). Since the beginning of May the Liberal Democrats have become the leading party in London; Change UK and the Greens have results that are similar to each other (chart 2B). 
  • Thinking of tactical voting? It is difficult to work out what the best tactical vote would be under D'Hondt; data quality is generally poor at the regional level given the small sample sizes in the London sub-sets of polls; and you have to take a view on what other people will do. My advice is don't try to vote tactically. Instead vote strategically for the one of the three Remain parties that best aligns with your vision of Europe; however, this blog also links to sites offering concrete tactical voting advice.

 

 

CHART 1: Vote Tracker - all parties

 

 

CHART 2: Vote Tracker for Remain parties (same information as in Chart 1 - just focused on these three parties and larger scale, for the benefit of those who wish to vote tactically)

 

 

CHART 2A: Vote Tracker for Remain parties (same information as in Chart 2 except that it only includes polls that asked about all three parties). Note that some of those polls were taken before the 23 April launch of Change UK's European elections campaign  (29 March - applied to be registered as a party; 16 April: approved as a party). Trendlines calculated by Excel. The calculation ignores that the time interval between polls is not constant. 

 

 

CHART 2B: Vote Tracker for Remain parties - only polls with fieldwork undertaken in May.  Trendlines calculated by Excel. The calculation ignores that the time interval between polls is not constant. 

 

 

CHART 3: Vote Tracker showing the total pro-Brexit vote (Brexit Party, Conservative, Labour, UKIP) and the total Remain vote (Change UK, Green, Liberal Democrat). Other is excluded. The trendlines have been calculated by Excel. The calculation ignores that the interval between polls is not constant.

 

 

CHART 3A: Vote Tracker showing the total pro-Brexit vote (Brexit Party, Conservative, Labour, UKIP) and the total Remain vote (Change UK, Green, Liberal Democrat). Other is excluded. Only polls with the fieldwork conducted in May. The trendlines have been calculated by Excel. The calculation ignores that the interval between polls is not constant.

 

CHART 4: National polls - vote tracker - data taken from National Centre for Social Research - mix of UK & GB coverage - showing the total pro-Brexit vote (Brexit Party, Conservative, Labour, UKIP), the total Remain vote (Change UK, Green, Liberal Democrat, SNP & PC), and other.

 

 

TABLE 1: Vote tracker. This table looks at the % share of the vote in successive opinion polls.

 Table 1a

 

Number Cruncher

10-17 January

Opinium

12-15 March

Opinium

28-29 March

Hanbury Strategy

5-8 April 

YouGov

10-11 April

Opinium

9 -12 April 

YouGov

15-16 April

ComRes

16 April 

YouGov

16-17 April

LSS

122 199 263

259 

221 

 126

223 

 115

211 

 

Brexit

- - -

 9

11

 7

 15

 11

 19

UKIP

11 8 14

 10

6

 11

 8

 3

 3

Con

23 29 17

 15

14

 21

 17

 7

 14

Lab

48 39 38

 48

35

 45

 25

 53

 26

Change

- - -

 5

7

 4

 5

 10

 11

Green

6 6 17

 2

12

 3

 16

 4

 11

LD

11 15 9

 11

13

 9

 13

 10

 14

Other

0 3 5

 0

1

 0

 1

 1

 2

 

TOTAL BREXIT

82 76 69

 82

66

 84

 65

 74

62

TOTAL REMAIN

17 21 26

 18

32

 16

34

 24

36

 

TABLE 1 - Vote Tracker - continued

Table 1b

 

Opinium

21-23 April

Survation

17-25 April

YouGov

23-26 April 

YouGov

28-29 April

YouGov

29-30 April

ComRes

1-7 May

Opinium

3-7 May

YouGov

8-9 May

Survation

8-9 May

LSS

120 

 178

 649

213 

196 

364 125 265 110

 

Brexit

23

 20

 19

24

23

18 18 23 22

UKIP

3

 8

 3

1

2

1 2 2 5

Con

15

 18

 11

7

14

15 18 8 4

Lab

35

 27

 28

33

27

32 34 21 34

Change

13

 5

 17

9

14

13 0 12 8

Green

2

 7

 10

14

11

8 7 10 15

LD

9

 11

 10

9

9

12 20 23 12

Other

0

 5

 2

2

1

0 0 1 0

 

TOTAL BREXIT

76

 73

 61

65

66

66 72 54 65

TOTAL REMAIN

24

23

37

32

34

33 27 45 35

 

TABLE 1 - Vote Tracker - continued

Table 1c

 

 

ComRes

9 May

YouGov

7-10 May

BMG

7-10 May

Opinium

8-10 May

ComRes

10-12 May 

Hanbury Strategy

10-13 May

YouGov

12-16 May 

Opinium

14-16 May

ComRes

15-16 May 

LSS

193 1,015 83 139 177 90 863 135 155

 

Brexit

15 20 17 34 17 19 25 22 21

UKIP

4 1 3 0 1 0 3 1 2

Con

9 10 9 4 19 15 9 12 7

Lab

29 24 26 31 24 40 20 31 28

Change

6 7 10 4 9 8 6 3 3

Green

9 14 12 7 8 4 11 7 7

LD

27 17 23 19 17 14 21 24 32

Other

1 5 0 1 3 0 5 0 1

 

TOTAL BREXIT

57 55 55 69 61 74 57 66 58

TOTAL REMAIN

42 38 45 30 34 26 38 34 42

 

Table 1d

 

 

YouGov

8-17 May

ComRes

13-17 May

Survation

17 May

         

 

LSS

1,111 368 89            

 

Brexit

21 17 16            

UKIP

2 4 7            

Con

10 13 22            

Lab

19 31 27            

Change

6 3 9            

Green

14 5 4            

LD

24 26 16            

Other

5 0 0            

 

TOTAL BREXIT

52 65 71            

TOTAL REMAIN

44 34 29            

 

 

Notes

  • LSS = London Sample Size - the size of the sub-set of the poll that relates to London (occasionally the whole poll, when the whole poll is in London)
  • Brexit = Farage’s Brexit Party
  • Change UK, formerly The Independent Group of MPs
  • LD = Liberal Democrats
  • TOTAL BREXIT = sum of Brexit Party, Conservatives, Labour and UKIP
  • TOTAL REMAIN = sum of Change UK, Green and Liberal Democrats
  • "Other" is excluded from these two totals.
  • Totals do not always sum to 100 due to rounding.
  • The allocation of parties to Brexit/ Remain will be reviewed if the parties' positions change. Summary of the parties' European Parliament elections manifestos here
  • Basis of allocation of Labour to Brexit: for example: 2017 general election manifesto; Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to 2018 party conference. The famous 2018 conference resolution only rejects a Conservative deal that fails to meet Labour’s six tests and no-deal; it does not reject Brexit absolutely. 2019 European Parliament elections manifesto.
  • Note that individual MEP candidates for the Conservative and Labour parties do not necessarily subscribe to their party’s stance on Brexit. We have published information on the Brexit stance of individual candidates here. Allocation of votes to Total Brexit/ Remain is based on parties not individuals. The closed list system means that voters cannot choose individual candidates on a party's list.
  • Party MPs, members, supporters and voters do not necessarily share their party's position on Brexit. Moreover, in elections people vote on many issues, not just Brexit. So, especially with Conservative and Labour votes, the extent to which the elections should be taken to be a proxy referendum is limited. 
  • For both of the main parties there are organisations campaigning to change their party's policy on Brexit. You can read up about them here in our blog and find their addresses so that you can join them. 
  • You can find the individual data for each previous poll with calculations and a link to the source on the latest blogs page.
  • Where individual tables included don't know/ won't say/ won't vote as a separate category, they have been taken out in the tracker table.

Some general points

  • In the early polls, respondents may not have given much thought to these being European Parliament (as opposed to Westminster) elections.
  • At the time of the first polls the Brexit Party and Change UK had not been founded. Then they were rumoured, then announced, then launched.
  • Polls before Labour's 30 April National Executive Committee meeting are before the confirmation of Labour's policy for the European Parliament elections.
  • Polls before the 2 May local elections do not take into account the results of the elections or the reactions to those results.

 

CAVEATS

  • It’s a poll. A snapshot in time. People’s views change. If “don’t know/ won’t say” is large, then their views could swamp small differences between parties once they decide. Similarly, if many people say they will not vote their votes could affect the result if they change their mind.
  • European elections normally have low turnout. Differential turnout amongst supporters of different parties could affect the result compared with a poll. Different polling companies have different methodologies for adjusting for turnout.
  • The definition of “London” in the poll may not match the London constituency for the election.
  • Polls come with a margin of error. On the highest level figures asking a question of the whole sample a rule of thumb is that polls come with a margin of +/- 3 percentage points (so a finding that 45% think this might be anything in the range 42%-48%). London figures are almost always a subset of the poll so the margin of error is larger. A good sample size for a whole poll would be 2,000 or so; think how much smaller the London number is than that - we now include the London sample size in Table 1 - see row LSS. Only the YouGov 7-10 May poll was just a London poll with 1,000 respondents all in London.
  • My calculations are on rounded numbers and that might introduce an error when results are close.
  • Different companies use different methodologies. So polls asked by different companies are not wholly comparable.
  • Small differences between polls do not tell you anything because of methodological differences and the margin of error which is quite large because the London sample is a small subset of the total sample.
  • Unusual results in a single poll do not tell you anything because the poll might be an outlier. Wait to see whether the effect is sustained.

 

TABLE 2: Seat tracker. This table looks at the seat allocation implied by successive opinion polls. Seats have been allocated using the D'Hondt formula. You can read up how that works here. You can look at the individual calculations with links to sources in a series of individual blogs with the title "Polls into seats" in the latest blogs section of the website.

 Table 2a

 

Number Cruncher

10-17 January

Opinium

12-15 March

Opinium

28-29 March

Hanbury Strategy

5-8 April

YouGov

10-11 April

Opinium

9 -12 April

YouGov

15-16 April

ComRes

16 April 

YouGov

16-17 April 

Brexit

- - -

 0

1

 0

 1

 1

 2

UKIP

1 0 1

 1

0

 1

 0

 0

 0

Con

2 3 2

 1

1

 2

 2

 0

 1

Lab

4 4 4

 5

4

 5

 3

 5

 2

Change

- - -

 0

0

 0

 0

 1

 1

Green

0 0 1

 0

1

 0

 1

 0

 1

LD

1 1 0

 1

1

 1

 1

 1

Other

0 0 0

 0

0

 0

 0

 0

 0

 

TOTAL BREXIT

7 7 7

 7

6

 8

 6

 6

 5

TOTAL REMAIN

1 1 1

 1

2

 0

 2

 3

 

TABLE 2 - seat tracker - continued

Table 2b

 

Opinium

21-23 April

Survation

17-25 April

YouGov  

23-26 April

YouGov

28-29 April

YouGov

29-30 April

ComRes

1-7 May

Opinium

3-7 May

YouGov

8-9 May

Survation

8-9 May

Brexit

2

 2

 2

2

2

2 1 2 2

UKIP

0

 0

 0

0

0

0 0 0 0

Con

1

 2

 1

0

1

1 2 0 0

Lab

3

 3

 2

3

2

3 3 2 4

Change

1

 0

 1

1

1

1 0 1 0

Green

0

 0

 1

1

1

0 0 1 1

LD

1

 1

 1

1

1

1 2 2 1

Other

0

 0

 0

0

0

0 0 0 0

 

TOTAL BREXIT

6 7

 5

5

5

6 6 4 6

TOTAL REMAIN

2 1

 3

3

3

2 2 4 2

 

TABLE 2 - seat tracker - continued

Table 2c

 

ComRes

9 May

YouGov

7-10 May

BMG

7-10 May

Opinium

8-10 May

ComRes

10-12 May 

 

Hanbury Strategy

10-13 May

YouGov

12-16 May

 

Opinium

14-16 May

 ComRes

15-16 May

Brexit

1 2 1 3 2 2 2 2 2

UKIP

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Con

1 1 1 0 2 1 1 1 0

Lab

3 2 2 3 2 4 2 3 3

Change

0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0

Green

1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0

LD

2 2 2 2 1 1 2 2 3

Other

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

 

TOTAL BREXIT

5 5 4 6 6 7 5 6 5

TOTAL REMAIN

3 3 4 2 2 1 3 2 3

 

Table 2d

 

YouGov

8-17 May

ComRes

13-17 May

Survation

17 May

         

 

Brexit

2 1 1            

UKIP

0 0 0            

Con

1 1 2            

Lab

2 3 3            

Change

0 0 1            

Green

1 0 0            

LD

2 3 1            

Other

0 0 0            

 

TOTAL BREXIT

5 5 6            

TOTAL REMAIN

3 3 2            

 

 

 

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