One more poll came in Tuesday afternoon (Evening in London). It was a telephone poll that shows Remain in the lead by one percentage point.
That poll breaks the string of six straight polls for Leave, but it also shows a huge swing towards Brexit from the last poll.
It’s do or die for Remain.
Polling Movement Since September 2015
Matt Singh Still Doesn’t Get It
We haven’t heard recently from the other two experienced phone pollsters, Ipsos MORI (expected in the Evening Standard on Tuesday or Wednesday) and ComRes, who will have at least one more poll before next the 23rd of June. ORB’s phone poll still showed a 5 point Remain lead, compared to a 10 point Leave lead in its phone poll, but I would put more weight on ICM.
So it looks as though the phone-online gap has been substantially reduced at the same time as both methods showing a swing towards Leave.
In other words, the facts have changed, so I’ve changed my mind. Some will say that the facts had already changed and this move is the model playing catch-up. The problem with that view is that simply taking the last n polls (as many polls-of-polls do) and ignoring the persistent modal difference is that you tend to get an awful lot of artificial volatility.
If ComRes and Ipsos MORI suggest that a significant phone-online gap remains, the outcome will be very different than if they too suggest it has disappeared.
The hardest time to measure public opinion is when it’s moving, and it has clearly moved. So it may take a couple of days to unpick the latest poll movements, but the pattern is clear, even if uncertainty remains around the level.
Singh Playing Catch-Up
Singh is forever playing catch-up just as Nate Silver did in the US with Donald Trump. Regardless of the outcome, Singh depends too much on history vs. recent swings in attitudes.
“ORB’s phone poll still showed a 5 point Remain lead, compared to a 10 point Leave lead in its phone poll,” stated Singh.
I believe the second “phone” in the above sentence is supposed to say “online”. But I see three ORB polls, none with a 5 point lead for Remain. Regardless, it appears as if Singh is going all the way back to June 5, now horribly out of date, and using a poll with a sample size of a mere 800.
Singh says too much emphasis on recent polls introduces volatility.
I suggest one has to look at trends. If it was just one random pollster jumping all over the place, his argument would make more sense. In the context of a clear trend shift, going back too far is a huge mistake in the name of volatility suppression.
- On June 13, The Sun, UK’s largest newspaper, says We urge our readers to beLEAVE in Britain and vote to quit the EU on June 23. “If we stay, Britain will be engulfed in a few short years by this relentlessly expanding German dominated federal state. For all David Cameron’s witless assurances, our powers and values WILL be further eroded.“
- On June 12, 50 Killed in Worst Mass Shooting in US History; Another Attack on LGBT Community Planned. This can easily play into the hands of Leave.
- On June 13, Isis Claims Responsibility for Murder of Paris Policeman. This can also heighten fear of terrorist immigration.
- Soccer Ongoing: “France, which has extended the state of emergency until the end of July, has deployed more than 100,000 police officers, soldiers and private guards to ensure the security of fans who have travelled to watch Euro 2016.”
- On June 14, Cameron Caves In Again (This Time on Turkey): Another Cameron Lie
It’s pretty clear that UK voters have seen through the ridiculous fear-mongering of the remain crowd. The debates seem to have helped Leave.
None of the above news items have been fully integrated into polls. Point number five is not reflected in any poll.
Recent news heavily plays into Leave’s hands. This is at worst a toss-up for Leave.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock