Moon Elections & Polling Round-Up

Moon Polling & Elections



There were four by elections this week in different parts of the country but both created by the deaths of councillors who served at district and county level. All were Conservative defences and they held all four seats, however the result pattern were very different. Two of the by elections were in the Wyre area of Lancashire in the constituency of Cat Smith who is MP for Lancaster & Fleetwood. Although the Tories held both seats there were heavy swings towards the Labour Party who will be much the happier with both results

In stark contrast were the by elections in the Thanet area of Kent. Not only did the Tories hold both but saw their vote go up, in one case by over 23%. Some of this will be due to UKIP not standing in the district seat however the Tories had a swing in their favour against Labour in the county seat where UKIP did stand. The Kent results were much more impressive for the Conservatives.

There is little change on the projected share this week, the Tories lead over Labour nudges up slightly to 3.4% from 3.3% last week as the good result for both sides even themselves out. All the current polling and election projected share numbers can be found here


YouGov released the first Westminster voting intention poll this week. It recorded a 1% lead for Labour, slightly down from 2% in their last one before Christmas. Labour’s average poll lead is currently 1.7% and this one does not change the narrative of the two sides in general stalemate. The breakdown suggests Labour improvement in Scotland and better performance in the North of England is the reasons they are currently ahead. The Lib Dems edged up to 9% in this poll, something they will hope becomes a trend rather than a one off. The poll also gave Theresa May a 6% lead over Jeremy Corbyn as best PM, the same as their last poll.

All the current polling numbers can be found here


Communicate Research released polling on support for a 2nd EU Referendum in the light of Nigel Farage’s suggestion that it may happen after all. The poll showed an 8% lead against having a 2nd Referendum 43% for and 51% against. YouGov found a similar result when it asked a similar question in November. The poll also asked the remain-leave question which came out 52% to 48% in favor of remain. The relevance of this while there is a majority against holding one anyway is dubious. Also remember many polls had a similar remain lead right up until the day itself and is within margin of error of the actual referendum result.



Wyre Rural (Lancashire)Con 1745 Lab 925 Green 237Con Hold – Swing (May 2017) Con-Lab 12%

Preesall (Wyre)Con 930 Lab 753Con Hold – Swing (May 2015) Con-Lab 9.7%

Birchington & Thanet Rural (Kent) – Con 2534 Lab 865 LD 561 UKIP 357 Green 169Con Hold – Swing (May 2017) Lab-Con 1.5%

Thanet Villages (Thanet)Con 620 LD 313 Lab 206 Green 66 Ind 52Con Hold – Swing n/a as no LD last time – Con vote up 23.6% on May 2017


YouGovLab 41% Con 40% LD 9% UKIP 3% Green 2%Lab Lead 1%



Moon Polling – Ipsos-Mori



Ipsos-Mori poll – 17th Feb 2016

Labour close the gap to 6% but projected Tory majority unchanged at 64


Ipsos-Mori have released their February poll showing a different trendline to ICM and Com Res that were out over the last few days. The headline voting intention figure sees the Tory lead over Labour down from 9% in January to 6% this month. The poll detail shows the old South of England problem returning giving Labour a big swing in the south, as against modest to medium swing to the Tories everywhere else against the May 2015 result. This along with the sample in the raw data being heavily skewed towards public sector workers is why Labour’s position holds up better than in other polls.

The 7% swing in the south (excluding London) would only have Labour picking up 13 seats in the south against the Tories which is easily wiped out by Tory gains in other regions. This shows the problem Labour will have even if they did very well in the south but not elsewhere as this poll suggests, as in the main they need huge swings to gain a serious number of seats there. The seat projection actually sees the Tories get exactly the same number of seats as in the January poll with a net increase of 26 seats on 357, meaning an overall majority of 64. In Scotland the SNP are recorded at 55%, and would take all 59 seats Scottish seats as a result. The poll is another showing no breakthrough for the Lib Dems.


The poll also asked the EU Referendum question and that too sees no change from January with Remain maintaining it’s 19% lead. The dynamics described above may suggest why this poll shows no change while the other poll that is done by phone, Com Res, saw a substantial swing to the leave campaign. The skew in this poll towards public sector workers and the high SNP figure mean an increase within groups known to be more likely to vote for remain. The likely exaggeration of Labour position in the south also may help the remain figure where a bigger Tory lead would have closed the gap.


While there is evidence to suggest this poll probably exaggerates Labour (In terms of headline voting percentage at least, though not so much in terms of seat projection) and the Remain in the EU positions, this is a poll for both to hold onto. Labour can use it to challenge the assumption that the Tories have increased their lead, and remain supporters can point to this poll to claim the rot of support moving to the leave campaign has stopped. A poll to challenge perceptions, that are sometimes more important in what happens next than the reality. Also of course while this poll of the last few is the outlier, the lesson of May 2015 is that we should not assume the outlier is always wrong.Whatever the details, this poll is good news for Remain, and some relief for Labour and Jeremy Corbyn.

THE NUMBERS (Poll of Poll averages)

Voting Intention – The Tory lead over Labour falls from 9% to 8.5%

Seat Projection – The Tory projected Overall Majority remains unchanged at 78

EU Referendum – The Remain lead in the EU Referendum phone poll average is unchanged at 13.5%

All the updated numbers can be found here. A breakdown of the Ipsos-Mori poll is below.




Ipsos-Mori Poll (17/02/2016)


Con 39% Lab 33% LD 6% UKIP 12% Green 3% – Con lead 6%


Con 357 Lab 204 LD 7 SNP 59 UKIP 1 Plaid Cymru 3 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18

Con Overall Majority of 64


Remain 55% Leave 36%Remain lead 19%



Moon Polling – Com Res EU Referendum Poll



EU Referendum Poll

Remain lead cut by more than half to 8% in Com Res Referendum poll

Along with the full Com Res Westminster poll they also asked the EU question. This is a phone poll which has been seeing considerably better figures for those who want to say in the EU. This poll confirms the trend is with those who want to leave with the 18% Remain lead in the last Com Res poll being cut to 8%. It also sees remain drop below 50% for the first time in a phone poll. It means the average phone poll lead for Remain is cut from 18.5% to 13.5%. .All the updated figures can be found here




Com Res EU Referendum Poll (13/02/2016)

Remain 49% Leave 41%Remain lead 8%


Moon Polling – Com Res and ICM



Com Res and ICM February Polls

National Westminster polls move further to the Tories

There have been two national polls released in the last few days. While we saw signs of hope for Labour in recent local by-elections, the national picture continues to look very bleak for the red team. The Communicate Research poll gave the Conservatives a 14% headline lead, the breakdown suggests this is exaggerated due to a very strong performance in the poll in Scotland on voting intention against Labour (Although this makes virtually no difference on seats as the SNP remained strong in this poll), on more normal Scottish figures the lead would have been around 11%. Across England the Com Res poll gave a fairly consistent picture of a swing between 2-4% from Labour to Conservative against last May across most regions, with a greater swing seen in Wales. The regional patterns would give the Tories an overall majority of 94.

The ICM has reported lower headline leads than most, their new poll has the Tories headline lead at 7%, up from 5% in January. Despite the discrepancy the trend is going the same way with the Tories increasing their lead. The regional patterns with ICM were a bit all over the place, with a huge swing to the Tories in Wales, Labour doing far better in the North than we have seen in other polls and the SNP down to 38% in Scotland. Com Res had the SNP on 51% retaining all it’s 56 seats, ICM would have the SNP down to 44 seats. It’s pretty clear the former is more credible on current trends. There is little to report regarding UKIP and the Lib Dems. UKIP continue to hold up OK and the Lib Dems continue to make no breakthrough in either poll.

Due to the more wild anomalies on one hand the ICM seat projection should be treated with a touch of caution as it sees both sides gain seats that are highly unlikely in reality, on the other hand it gives the Tories an overall majority of 80, which is almost in line with the average, so perhaps the wild moves even themselves out into something reasonably credible afterall, with the exception of the SNP figure of course.




Com Res (13/02/2016) 

Voting Intention – Con 41% Lab 27% UKIP 15% LD 9% Green 3% – Con lead 14%

Regional Seat Projection

Con 372 Lab 198 LD 8 SNP 56 Plaid Cymru 5 UKIP 1 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18

Con Overall Majority 94

ICM (15/02/2016)

Voting Intention – Con 39% Lab 32% UKIP 11% LD 7% Green 4% – Con Lead 7%

Regional Seat Projection

Con 365 Lab 209 LD 8 SNP 44 Plaid Cymru 5 UKIP 1 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18

Con Overall Majority 80



These two polls continue to suggest if there is no change of Labour leader, there is only one winner in 2020. After issues with tax credits, Tory splits emerging over the EU Referendum and the dispute around Junior Doctors, it still appears Labour have made no inroads at all, indeed if anything are further away from power than they were at the start of 2016. As for the Tories, they appear to have free reign to split for the EU Referendum without any great consequence due to the weakness of the opposition, a luxury few could have predicted.


The Tories average poll of polls lead increases from 8.4% to 9% over Labour. The poll of poll seat projection nudges up from 74 to 78. All the latest numbers can be found here.


Moon Polling – Survation, Com Res & Panelbase


Three new opinion polls were out at the weekend suggesting as we head into the new year not a lot has changed. Survation gave the Tories a headline lead of 8.4%, Panelbase’s first UK poll since May put the Tories 8% ahead and Com Res gave them an 11% lead. Panelbase do not provide a regional breakdown so while their figures will count towards the vote share average they will not count towards the regional seat projection, purely because they don’t provide the figures, not because I have anything against the company.

Of the other polls providing the breakdown similar patterns emerged. The broad swing was around 3.5% to the Tories against what happened in May. The south of England (Not Including London) gave a swing to Labour of around 1.5%, this anomaly I have written about before, has to be treated with caution when an area goes the other way to the rest of the country due to issues around sampling such a big Tory lead across the south.

There is good news for UKIP as these polls see their poll of poll average increase by 1.5% and they are doing better than they were at the end on 2015 in with both Com Res and Survation. Clearly the starting gun of the EU Referendum as well as the immigration issues across the EU has helped them somewhat. The Lib Dems on the other hand see no breakthrough, their improvement in local by elections continues to fail to show in the national polling.

In Scotland the SNP are back to their highs averaging over 50% in these polls after a slight decrease in the later part of 2015. The Scottish samples again have the Tories ahead of Labour in a distant second place. This has not materialised in polls for the Holyrood elections where Labour are still in second place. It could be different people voting different ways in different elections, or the Scottish sub samples at Westminster level may for the moment be incorrect due to being much smaller. Both possibilities are valid and there is no clear cut answer as to which is correct. All we know for sure is Westminster polls currently have the Tories second, the Holyrood polls have Labour second, and the SNP are slaughtering both of them.

There is a small bit of comfort for Jeremy Corbyn and Labour, the swing to the Tories in the Midlands was an average of 2.5% to the Conservatives against May in these polls. This is a good deal lower than what we have seen in previous polls and if it becomes a trend may protect Labour against a Tory majority heading north of three figures as this is where Labour still have more seats to lose than elsewhere. The seat projections below are based on current boundaries which are of course, subject to change before 2020, and the figures are in line with most previous polls at the back end of 2015, pointing to a Tory majority between 60 & 80.



Communicate Research (17/01/2016)

UK Vote Share – Con 40% Lab 29% UKIP 16% LD 7% Green 3% – Con lead 11%

Regional Seat Projection

Com Res (17/01/2016) – Con 364 Lab 198 LD 10 SNP 54 Plaid Cymru 4 UKIP 1 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18

Con Majority 78

Survation (17/01/2016)

UK Vote Share – Con 37.7% Lab 29.3% UKIP 16.6% LD 6.3% Green 2.5% – Con lead 8.4%

Regional Seat Projection

Con 360 Lab 203 LD 7 SNP 57 Plaid Cymru 3 UKIP 1 Green 1 Northern Ireland 18

Con Majority 70

Panelbase (17/01/2016)

UK Vote Share – Con 39% Lab 31% UKIP 174 LD 6% Green 3% – Con lead 8%



The Numbers

The Tory lead on the poll of poll average is up 0.5% from 7.8% to 8.3% and the average majority on the seat projection nudges up from 68 to 70 as a result of these polls. all the current numbers can be found here.



Com Res poll – small respite for Corbyn, but not much

WAPCommunicate Research who seem to have contracts that will have them produce most of the polls have released their latest. The fieldwork was before Jeremy Corbyn’s keynote speech to the Labour conference so any impact from that does not affect this poll. On the face of it this is a bit better for Corbyn than previous Com Res polls, the Tory lead is 9%, in single figures for the first time wuth this pollster. It also does not produce a three figure Tory majoirty on the seat projection.

The reason for the improvement however needs to be treated with caution. Up until now the deifference in the south of England which I have written about before, has not been an issue in Com Res polls, it is here, The South and London sees a pro Labour swing in the poll, with every other region going the other way (Against the May result). This brings it into line with other polls, but also moves it into territory that made the polls inaccurate in May. If the south had a similar change to the rest of the country, the Tory lead would be around 13%

It is this that reduces the Tory majority on the seat projection as well from the three figures we have seen in other Com Res polls. Although it is still a comfortable lead for the Tories. The good news for Corbyn is in the wider poll, where a majority said he was not a threat to security. That has been the Tory line and so far it is not working. Corbyn is however still well behind David Cameron on best PM (61%-30%) and dealing with the economy (48%-29%).


Com Res 29/09/2015

Voting Intention UK – Con 39% Lab 30% UKIP 13% LD 9% Green 3%

Voting Intention Scotland – SNP 45% Con 20% Lab 19% Others 16%

Region seat Projection (Current Boundaries) – Con 357 Lab 207 SNP 55 LD 8 UKIP 1 Green 1 NI 18Con Majority of 64


Corbyn and Labour will take comfort from the slight improvement, but have little grounds for doing so as it is purely due to ongoing sample issues in the south of England which given they contridict the rest of England, cannot be assumed correct. In the Midlands where most key seats are the Labour position continues to be dire, and it is not much better in the rest of England either. This poll did not back up Corbyn’s improvement in Wales seen in other polls, and it is another sub sample with the Tories ahead of Labour in Scotland. David Cameron and the Conservatives can go into their first conference since winning a majoirty full of confidence knowing they are well ahead with no real cause for concern regarding the main opposition right now.

Political number round up – by elections and polls


Over the weekend we saw the first three voting intention polls. Please note with Opinium they do not provide the regional breakdowns I use to produce the regional seat projection so that is not included in the figures below.The polls show no bounce for Jeremy Corbyn and continue the trend of post election polls showing the Conservatives likely to increase their majority as things currently stand. In this weeks by-elections, the first set since Corbyn was elected leader, Labour had some decent results in already safe Haringey, Labour’s results were very poor elsewhere.


Headline UK voting intention figures for polls 19/09/2015

Opinium – Con 37% Lab 32% UKIP 14% LD 6% Green 3%

YouGov – Con 39% Lab 31% UKIP 16% LD 6% Green 3%

Com Res – Con 42% Lab 30% UKIP 13% LD 7% Green 3%

Region seat projection (Current boundaries)

YouGov – Con 350 Lab 214 LD 9 SNP 54 PC 3 UKIP 1 Green 1 NI 18Con majority 50

Com Res – Con 378 Lab 188 LD 6 SNP 55 PC 3 UKIP 1 Green 1 NI 18Con majority 106



Local Council By Elections 17/09

Noel Park (Haringey) Lab 1005 LD 247 Con 178 Green 124 UKIP 48 TUSC 38Lab Hold – swing from May 2014 LD-Lab 2.1%

Woodside (Haringey) Lab 1279 LD 435 Con 141 Green 122 UKIP 95 Lab Hold – Swing form May 2014 Lab-LD 3%

Richmond East (Richmondshire) Con 307 Rich Ind 289 LD 136 Lab 41Con Hold – Swing from May 2015 Ind-Con 0.1% Both Con & Ind up 7%

Bourn (S Cambs) Con 579 LD 247 Lab 235 UKIP 121 Green 64Con Hold – Swing from May 2014 LD-Con 3.4%

East Ayr (South Ayrshire) (AV system used) 1st Pref Con 1527 SNP 1507 Lab 642 Ind 218 Green 76 – 1st pref swing from May 2012 Con-SNP 0.2% – SNP Hold the seat after 4th round by 35 votes 50.2% to 49.8%

National projected share based on last 20 by election fought – Con 34.8% Lab 31.1% LD 16.9% UKIP 8.3% Green 3.3%


Conservatives – Still the dominant force in England. The Tories will be pleased to hold off a strong Independent challenge in Richmond, The Bourn result was excellent with a big increase in share in a seat that Labour needed a 5% swing to gain, the sort of seat a Government should be vulnerable they but won easily. The Ayr result will also be heartening going into the Hollyrood elections as they would have won on the First Past The Post system used for Hollyrood on the constituency section and Ayr is one of those seats the Tories will be fighting hard. As for the polls, they continue to dominate and all the evidence remains right now that if Corbyn stays, the Tories will win a big victory come May 2020, although there is some variation as to how much. It is the second Com Res poll since May that has a 100 plus majoirty projection. All other pollster so far have it considerably lower, but all show the Tories making at least some additional gains.

Labour – The Haringey results are something to hold onto but otherwise there is not much here for Corbyn’s Labour. The Bourn result is the sort of seat Labour should be competing in, they failed miserably and fell to third. Their failure to compete in Ayr will also be a big disappointment, although the polls do have them improving a bit in Scotland, only 16% behind with YouGov with a 28% share. In England the Labour poll results are even worse with no sign at all of recovery, if anything, they are losing more than back in May. Jeremy Corbyn is also the first leader in a long time to being with a negative favourability rating.

Lib Dem – They continue to re-build locally. No spectacular result this week but finishing second in Bourn beating Labour is a seat they did not look in any contention in is a good result. The frustration will be what they are building locally, is not translating into nation poll numbers, where they remain well behind UKIP. Tim Farron still has a big job, but with Labour in a mess right now, a big opportunity too.

SNP – The SNP continue to dominate Scotland although Ayr was mighty close, it continues their run of winning every local by election since May. The polls still have them polling around the 50% mark. Nicola Sturgeon remains dominant in Scotland, albeit maybe a percentage or two off the recent highs. There is no sign the SNP will be in any trouble at all come May’s Hollyrood elections.