Now, take this British Election Survey with a modicum of salt. Particularly the visual graphics which, if you read them too directly, can be misleading. It’s complex, but the detail tells an interesting story.
This is the tenth wave of a big survey with massive sample sizes that go way beyond the average polls. According to the notes:
7,351 respondents took all of the first 10 waves of the survey, 24.3% of respondents who originally took wave 1. Wave 10 was conducted by YouGov between 24th November 2016 and 12th December.
I’ve not been able to get at the detail. There’s an awful lot of it and I have neither the necessary software nor a smart enough computer to render it properly. But here are some of the highlights:
- Only 56% of Remainers and 56% of Leavers said they would vote for the same party as they voted for in 2015. Remain is more fragmented than Leave, where the Conservatives have the largest chunk of the vote.
- There’s a large number of undecided voters – the “don’t knows” constitute the third largest “party” for both Remain and Leave voters.
- Many UKIP voters have defected to the Conservatives. Since leaving Europe is now official Conservative party policy, some voters may being seeing less of a need for a separate party.
- 2015 Labour voters have been defecting in high numbers. While Labour Leave supporters have been more likely to leave Labour than Remain supporters, they also started with more Remain voters. They are losing similar numbers from Remain and Leave.
- Liberal Democrat revival from Remain voters was fairly small at the time of wave 10: only 10% Labour Remain voters and 8% of Conservative Remain voters had defected to the Liberal Democrats.
- There are indications that the SNP vote may be splitting along EU referendum lines. They only managed to retain 55% of their 2015 voters who supported Leave compared with 83% of their voters who supported Remain.
Remember two things: this survey, huge as it may be, was completed before Christmas; and two, note the enormous size of the Don’t Knows. Still, interesting times ahead. “Perfidious Albion” appears to be converging disparate minds upon a single course of action.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty