Political

Latest general election voting intention opinion polls

Hello! I’m Mark Pack, author of both 101 Ways To Win An Election and Bad News: what the headlines don’t tell us, along with maintaining the largest database of national voting intention polls in the UK, stretching back to 1943.

The next general election is most likely several years away, but political polling of voting intentions for a general election is in full swing. Half-a-dozen firms are polling regularly, with a handful of occasional surveys from others too.

Below the table, you’ll find the option to sign up to email updates about new polls and also a set of answers to frequently asked questions about political polling. You might also find my podcast interview with one of the UK’s leading pollsters of interest.

General election voting intention polls

PollsterConLabLDGrnRUKCon leadFieldwork
YouGov37%
(-4)
33%
(+2)
9%
(nc)
10%
(+2)
4%
(nc)
4%20-21/10
Redfield &
Wilton
40%
(nc)
37%
(+1)
9%
(nc)
5%
(-1)
3%
(-1)
3%18/10
Savanta ComRes40%
(nc)
35%
(nc)
8%
(nc)
5%
(nc)
3%
(+1)
5%15-17/10
Kantar39%
(-4)
34%
(+4)
8%
(-3)
8%
(+2)
2%
(+1)
5%14-18/10
Opinium41%
(+2)
37%
(+2)
7%
(-1)
5%
(-1)
4%13-15/10
Deltapoll38%
(-3 from Sep)
37%
(+4)
9%
(nc)
6%
(-1)
2%
(-1)
1% 13-15/10
Number Cruncher40%32%6%9%3%8%11-18/10
Survation39%
(-2)
35%
(-1)
9%
(+1)
5%
(nc)
4%6-7/10
Ipsos MORI39%
(-2)
36%
(+6)
9%
(-4)
6%
(-2)
3%17-23/9

– indicates that party didn’t feature in the polling questions separate from ‘Others’ or that the data is not yet available.
RUK = Brexit Party or Reform Party.
nc = no change from previous comparable poll. na = not applicable, i.e. there isn’t a previous comparable poll.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why isn’t polling company X in the table?

The table above includes the latest UK or British voting intention poll from each of the currently active reputable pollsters.

If a company isn’t listed this is because it has not carried out a recent poll, it isn’t reputable or I’ve made an error. Please get in touch if you suspect it’s the latter. ‘Reputable’ usually means being a member of the polling industry regulatory body, the British Polling Council (BPC). I occasionally make exceptions, such as for a new polling firm with a good pedigree which hasn’t yet had its BPC membership approved.

Margins of error

A rough idea of the likely margin of error in any one opinion poll is to think that it’s pretty likely to be within 3 percentage points of the correct result. Anthony Wells explains here in more detail what this margin of error calculation means, and why it does not strictly apply to modern polls. Based on the historic record of polls, the British Polling Council requires its members to use this explanation of the margin of error:

All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error. On the basis of the historical record of the polls at recent general elections, there is a 9 in 10 chance that the true value of a party’s support lies within 4 points of the estimates provided by this poll, and a 2 in 3 chance that they lie within 2 points.

When looking through the polling figures, remember the much ignored but still very relevant warning about individual polls.

To put the voting intention numbers above into longer context, take a look at PollBase, my database of general election voting intention figures from opinion polls going back to 1945. It is updated quarterly.

What about the SNP and Plaid?

Separate figures are not given for the SNP and Plaid because the relative size of Scotland and Wales means that the percentage vote share for each of the across Great Britain is too low for variations to mean much. (For example, at the 2017 general election, the SNP scored 3% of the total vote across Great Britain. A fall to 2% would be a move that is well within the margin of errors on polls yet also, if accurate, would be a massive hammering in the constituencies it contests.)

What about Northern Ireland?

These polls are for Great Britain, i.e. excluding Northern Ireland but including both Scotland and Wales, except for Survation, who include Northern Ireland. General election voting intention polls conducted over a smaller area, such as London only, are excluded.

Has the choice of parties biased the poll?

A plausible-sounding critique of voting intention opinion polls is over the choice of parties to ask about. These polls list some parties up front and then give an ‘other’ option, behind which sits other, much smaller parties. Labour, for example, will be in the first category but the Women’s Equality Party in the second. Which often leads people to complain that a poll is biased against party X because it is listed in the other section rather than in the main party listing. That sounds plausible, but the evidence is that this doesn’t unfairly depress the support for other parties.

Aren’t polls just wildly inaccurate these days?

Not so: the evidence is that they are still pretty good – and haven’t got worse. Here’s the data that does that myth-busting.

Are the opinion pollsters regulated?

Yes, by the Market Research Society and also by the British Polling Council, which all the reputable political polling firms are members of. The BPC’s rules include requiring pollsters to publish in full the exact questions asked for their polls, protecting against leading questions being secretly asked.

How come I don’t know anyone who has been polled?

You do now.

How can I find out more about understanding polls?

There’s a whole chapter on the subject in my book, Bad News.

9 responses to “Latest general election voting intention opinion polls”

  1. Why is Electoral Calculus not on your list? On their online home page, they claim to have been ‘The best predictor of the 2019 UK General Election’. Do you have specific reservations about the quality of their predictions (and claims)?

    In addition, as I am sure you are well aware, we do not have ‘General Elections’ in the UK. With our lousy electoral process, we have 650 autonomous (albeit simultaneous) by-elections, and the data required for all campaigning insight and planning is the vote-share by party within each of the 650 seats which matter (i.e. not the vote-share by party within the the UK, GB or England). Electoral Calculus appears to be the only polling organisation which ‘engages with’ that primary requirement. Again, do you have specific reservations about the quality of their predictions (and claims)?

    • Electoral Calculus is a polling aggregator, i.e. it does its predictions based on voting intention polls that others publish rather than doing any polling of its own. The table above is a list of actual polls, and hence as Electoral Calculus doesn’t do its own polls, that’s why it isn’t in there.

      • Many thanks for the response. I do understand your distinction between prime-pollers and aggregators, and your your reasons for excluding aggregators. However, my main point remains. I was/am not concerned with the source of insights. I was/am concerned with the quality of the insights, and with what one does with those insights. My point was/is that the data required for all campaigning insight and planning is the vote-share by party within each of the 650 autonomous seats (i.e. not the vote-share by party within the the UK, GB or England), and Electoral Calculus appears to be the only polling organisation which ‘engages with’ that primary requirement. As an example, in the 2019 UK General Election, Electoral Calculus data could have been used to identify the 60 or so Con marginals (they were all Con-Lab marginals, but that was irrelevant) which could have been ‘converted’ to Lab wins through an optimum tactical-voting ‘arrangement’ (with or without Lab co-operation). That could/would have reduced the Con ‘seat-haul’ down below 310 without boosting Lab above 300. That could/would have ‘arranged’ a hung Commons, and an opportunity for a C&S ‘arrangement’ for ‘constitutional reform’. Was that sequence of ‘arrangements’ considered as an alternative to the actual UTR tactical-voting ‘arrangement’ (which predictably proved to be a bit of a damp squid)? Could you consider providing an (additional exposition of seat-level insights?

      • Extrapolating seat totals from national votes share opinion polls is, perhaps surprisingly, a pretty decent way of forecasting seat numbers. Far from perfect, but other approaches – such as marginal seat polls, or accumulating individual constituency polls – have a pretty poor record, at least in British general elections. So starting with national vote totals is as good a starting point as any, and better than many, for thinking about how many seats different parties are likely to end up with. The Electoral Calculus approach is one way of doing that, but what it gains from sophistication it loses from the additional assumptions/estimates that have to be made in its calculations. So an interesting but also brittle set of figures. For a basic ‘how are the parties doing?’ yardstick, therefore, the earlier (and so more robust, though of course not perfect) stage of looking at vote shares has a lot to commend it. Otherwise, I think it’s the full on MRP type calculations that are best, as they are based on more detailed evidence about the voters.

  2. The notes include:
    “+ = Ukip rather than Brexit / Reform.”

    Unless I’ve missed something, I don’t think you still need that note, or ever will.

  3. Why do you think the pollsters are ignoring George Galloway’s Party ‘Workers Party of Britain’ which until recently had been mostly unknown and yet is still not included in polls yet we still have ‘Reform UK’ who are not even standing in any local or byelections anymore.

    When Brexit Party, Change UK and the Social Democrats had been formed they all got included but why no WPB?

    Is it safe to say that Labour are being overestimated by at least 4% in every poll from now on?

    • I don’t think there’s any indication, as yet at least, that Galloway’s party will stand in anything more than a very small number of seats at the next general election (and perhaps even less than that)? Hence there’s not much value in putting them in a national voting intention polls, and indeed asking about them nationally when they’re not standing nationally would risk producing a falsely inflated set of figures for them.

  4. Average of these last 9 polls is 10% for the Lib Dems, though 3 of the 4 very latest polls included here each show a 1% reduction in the Lib Dem figure.

  5. The Lib Dem average of these 9 polls is 9.9%. The trend is encouraging, with 6 polls showing an increase in the Lib Dem vote from the previous poll, two showing no change and only one showing a decrease in the Lib Dem vote.

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