Putting Jeremy Corbyn's surge in the polls in perspective

Louis Dor
Thursday 01 June 2017 11:15
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Picture:(Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The latest YouGov poll raised a few eyebrows after it placed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn within three points of Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, with a week to go of the general election campaign.

Before we hit the numbers, there are a few points to be made.

Turnout:

YouGov, as the Financial Times pointed out, are more likely to show a narrower Conservative lead than other pollsters.

They model based on self-reported likelihood of voting - meaning that they take a person's word on whether they are likely to vote.

Their young vote turnout therefore may be slightly higher than the historical reality.

Wider Conservative leads are seen in polls like ComRes and ICM, which model turnout based on historical figures for demographics.

Needless to say, experts and randomers on Twitter alike have reacted with scepticism to the polling, a real outlier at this time, following their surprise seat prediction:

While pollsters and journalists who weren't criticising YouGov's model a month ago are laying into it, Corbynistas who were spreading memes about the polls being all rubbish are suddenly treating them as gospel.

If ever you needed evidence that inherent bias is a thing.

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Anyway, Jeremy Corbyn definitely has had a good campaign.

He's been in the public eye and not seemed too terrifying or incompetent, while Theresa May has seemingly hidden from anyone who doesn't know the local Conservatives office head personally.

Though some numbers are inflated (and polls narrow during an election) Corbyn has seen a unmistakable rise, while the Tories have dropped off slightly following a botched manifesto launch:

So here's what the latest YouGov shows:

The headline is that Labour are within 3 per cent of the Conservatives.

Which represents a staggering comeback since the election was called (however, we know polls always narrow etc. etc.).

It's the best polling result Labour have had under Corbyn in terms of overall voteshare. It's the best result Labour have had in a YouGov poll since 28 July 2014.

It's also the best result for Labour under Corbyn: among remain voters, among men, 18-24 year olds, people living in the south and people living in Scotland.

On the other side of the bench; it's the worst result for the Tories among remain voters and people living in Scotland, since Corbyn became Labour leader.

Here's the head to head voting intention among demographics:

So, its a surprising and probably optimistic result for Labour.

But still, it must raise Labour spirits.

More: Why Jeremy Corbyn needs every young person to vote, and then some

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