Election 2019

General election poll tracker: How do the parties compare?

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Check the latest opinion poll trends with the poll tracker, which measures how people say they are going to vote at the next general election.

Party support: 19 November 2019

Party Average (%) Likely range
CON 40 (36-44)
LAB 29 (25-33)
LD 15 (11-19)
BRX 7 (3-11)
SNP 4 --*
GRN 3 (0-7)
UKIP 0 --*
PC 0 --*
TIGfC 0 --*
* Because the SNP and Plaid Cymru only campaign in Scotland and Wales respectively, and UKIP and The Independent Group for Change are standing candidates in so few areas, the margins of error for their support across Great Britain is likely to be less than +/- 1%

Analysis by BBC senior political analyst Peter Barnes

18 November 2019

Writing updates on the election campaign polls is beginning to get a bit repetitive.

Once again, the changes since last week are basically following the same pattern as we've seen before.

The Conservatives are up and Labour is also up a bit. The Brexit Party is down, and the Lib Dems are also a bit lower than before.

In fact, the Conservatives are now pushing towards the 43% they actually achieved across Britain at the general election in 2017.

As we noted last week, pollsters are adjusting their methodologies to take account of the fact that the Brexit Party has withdrawn in Conservative-held seats.

That ought to help them hold on to seats they're defending.

Perhaps slightly counterintuitively, though, it might mean Boris Johnson needs a bigger lead in the polls to be sure of winning an overall majority of MPs.

Piling on extra votes in safe Conservative constituencies, thanks to the absence of a Brexit Party candidate, probably won't translate into extra seats in the House of Commons.

Northern Ireland

A poll by LucidTalk covering the election in Northern Ireland was also published last week.

These are few and far between, and the poll was conducted before the official election campaign got underway, so it's very hard to get a good sense of any trends.

But compared to the 2017 election, the poll suggested the DUP and Sinn Fein losing vote share with the Alliance and SDLP going up.

If the actual election result goes a similar way it could mean the smaller parties making gains in terms of seats at the expense of the big two.

Out of 100 people who are likely to vote, about...

  • 40 say they will vote CON , But it could be between 36-44
  • 28 say they will vote LAB , But it could be between 24-32
  • 15 say they will vote LD , But it could be between 11-19
  • 6 say they will vote BRX , But it could be between 2-10
  • 3 say they will vote GRN , But it could be between 0-7
  • 3 say they will vote SNP
  • 0 say they will vote PC

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There's about a 90% chance that the true support for each party lies within the ranges shown above, which means there's a one in 10 chance that it lies outside these ranges.

* Because the SNP and Plaid Cymru only campaign in Scotland and Wales respectively, the margins of error for their support across Great Britain is likely to be less than +/- 1%

Previous updates from Peter Barnes - 13 November 2019

We are starting to see the pollsters respond to the tactical voting arrangements by parties.

YouGov's latest poll removed the Brexit Party, Liberal Democrats, Green and Plaid Cymru as an option in seats where they have stood down.

The most notable, if unsurprising, effect was for the Brexit Party.

Their support roughly halved from 9% to 4% as they roughly halved the number of constituencies in which they are standing.

Other pollsters have said they will follow suit.

We can expect further changes as nominations close and it becomes clear who is standing in each constituency.

So there will be even more movements in the poll tracker over the coming weeks.

Some of it will be, as ever, down to the changing political landscape.

But some will be down to pollsters' efforts to measure that landscape more accurately.

Credits

Produced by Irene de la Torre Arenas, Debie Loizou, Becky Rush, Steven Connor, Tom Francis-Winnington, Alexander Ivanov, Felix Stephenson, Robert Cuffe, John Walton and Ed Lowther

Full polling data

Date, Pollster and Sample Conservatives
Labour
Lib Dems
Brexit Party
Green
SNP
UKIP
Plaid Cymru
The Independent Group for Change
19 November 2019, Ipsos Mori and Sample size: 1,228 44 28 16 3 3 4 0 1 0
19 November 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 1,628 42 31 15 5 2 4 No data available 0 No data available
19 November 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,606 42 30 15 4 3 4 No data available 0 No data available
18 November 2019, ICM and Sample size: 2,010 42 32 13 5 3 3 No data available 0 No data available
18 November 2019, Kantar and Sample size: 1,176 45 27 16 2 3 4 0 1 0
16 November 2019, Deltapoll and Sample size: 1,526 45 30 11 6 2 3 2 0 No data available
16 November 2019, Survation and Sample size: 1,010 42 28 13 5 3 3 No data available 1 No data available
15 November 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 1,014 44 28 14 6 3 4 0 1 No data available
15 November 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,670 45 28 15 4 3 4 No data available 1 No data available
15 November 2019, BMG and Sample size: 1,506 37 29 16 9 5 2 0 0 0
14 November 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 1,615 41 33 14 5 2 3 0 0 0
14 November 2019, Panelbase and Sample size: 732 43 30 15 5 2 4 1 0 No data available
12 November 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 1,428 40 30 16 7 3 4 0 0 0
12 November 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,619 42 28 15 4 4 3 0 1 0
11 November 2019, Kantar and Sample size: 1,165 37 27 17 9 3 3 1 1 1
11 November 2019, ICM and Sample size: 2,035 39 31 15 8 3 3 1 0 No data available
10 November 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,014 37 30 17 9 3 4 0 0 0
9 November 2019, Deltapoll and Sample size: 1,518 41 29 16 6 2 3 1 0 0
8 November 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,001 41 29 15 6 2 5 0 1 0
8 November 2019, Panelbase and Sample size: 1,046 40 30 15 8 3 4 1 No data available No data available
8 November 2019, Survation and Sample size: 1,670 35 29 17 10 1 4 No data available 1 No data available
8 November 2019, BMG and Sample size: 1,504 37 29 16 9 7 2 0 0 0
8 November 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,598 39 26 17 10 4 4 0 0 0
6 November 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,667 36 25 17 11 5 4 0 1 0
5 November 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 6,097 36 30 16 11 3 4 0 0 0
4 November 2019, ICM and Sample size: 2,047 38 31 15 9 3 3 1 0 No data available
4 November 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 3,284 38 25 16 11 5 4 0 1 0
2 November 2019, Deltapoll and Sample size: 1,500 40 28 14 11 2 3 1 1 0
1 November 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,834 39 27 16 7 4 5 1 0 0
1 November 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,004 42 26 16 9 2 4 0 1 0
31 October 2019, Panelbase and Sample size: 1,001 40 29 14 9 3 3 1 No data available No data available
31 October 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,032 36 28 17 10 3 4 0 1 0
31 October 2019, ORB and Sample size: 2,025 36 28 14 12 4 5 No data available No data available No data available
30 October 2019, Survation and Sample size: 1,010 34 26 19 12 1 4 No data available 1 No data available
30 October 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,639 36 21 18 13 6 4 0 1 0
28 October 2019, Ipsos Mori and Sample size: 1,001 41 24 20 7 3 4 0 1 No data available
28 October 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 11,590 36 22 19 12 6 4 0 1 0
25 October 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,634 36 23 18 12 6 4 0 1 0
25 October 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,001 40 24 15 10 3 5 1 0 0
21 October 2019, Deltapoll and Sample size: 2,017 37 24 19 11 3 4 1 1 0
21 October 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,689 37 22 19 11 7 3 1 1 0
18 October 2019, Survation and Sample size: 1,025 32 24 21 13 2 4 No data available 1 No data available
18 October 2019, Panelbase and Sample size: 1,008 36 27 17 11 3 4 1 No data available No data available
17 October 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,067 33 29 18 12 4 4 0 1 0
17 October 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,001 37 24 16 12 4 4 2 1 0
15 October 2019, Kantar and Sample size: 1,184 39 25 18 8 3 3 0 1 0
15 October 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,625 37 22 18 11 5 4 1 1 0
11 October 2019, Panelbase and Sample size: 2,013 33 30 17 12 3 4 1 No data available No data available
10 October 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,018 33 27 18 12 4 4 No data available 1 No data available
9 October 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,616 35 22 20 12 6 4 0 1 1
6 October 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,006 33 27 19 13 3 4 1 1 No data available
4 October 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,006 38 23 15 12 4 5 1 0 0
4 October 2019, BMG and Sample size: 1,514 31 26 20 11 7 3 0 1 0
1 October 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,623 34 21 23 12 5 3 0 1 0
27 September 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,623 33 22 21 13 5 4 0 1 0
27 September 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,007 36 24 20 11 2 5 0 1 0
25 September 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,635 33 22 22 14 6 3 0 1 0
25 September 2019, Survation and Sample size: 1,011 27 24 22 16 3 4 No data available No data available No data available
20 September 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 2,006 30 23 22 14 5 4 0 0 0
20 September 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,004 37 22 17 12 4 4 2 1 0
19 September 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,050 29 27 21 13 5 4 No data available No data available 1
18 September 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,608 32 21 23 14 4 4 1 1 0
16 September 2019, Ipsos Mori and Sample size: 1,006 33 24 23 10 4 4 0 0 0
13 September 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,002 37 25 16 13 2 4 1 1 0
12 September 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,057 28 27 20 13 5 4 1 1 1
10 September 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,619 32 23 19 14 7 4 0 0 0
9 September 2019, Kantar and Sample size: 1,144 38 24 20 7 3 4 1 1 1
8 September 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,016 30 29 17 13 4 3 1 1 No data available
7 September 2019, Deltapoll and Sample size: 2,049 31 28 17 13 4 5 1 0 No data available
6 September 2019, Panelbase and Sample size: 1,013 31 28 19 15 2 3 0 0 0
6 September 2019, Survation and Sample size: 1,006 29 24 18 17 3 4 No data available No data available No data available
6 September 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,009 31 27 20 13 3 3 1 1 0
6 September 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,676 35 21 19 12 7 4 0 0 0
6 September 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,009 35 25 17 13 3 5 1 0 0
4 September 2019, Hanbury and Sample size: 995 33 26 17 14 3 4 0 1 0
3 September 2019, ICM and Sample size: 2,041 37 30 16 9 4 3 1 1 No data available
3 September 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,639 35 25 16 11 7 4 1 1 0
31 August 2019, Deltapoll and Sample size: 2,028 35 24 18 14 4 4 0 1 1
30 August 2019, Survation and Sample size: 1,020 31 24 21 14 3 4 No data available 1 No data available
29 August 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,867 33 22 21 12 7 4 0 1 0
28 August 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 2,006 34 22 17 13 8 4 1 1 0
23 August 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 2,019 33 21 19 14 7 4 0 1 0
23 August 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,005 32 26 15 16 4 5 1 1 No data available
21 August 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,687 32 22 20 12 7 4 0 1 0
19 August 2019, Kantar and Sample size: 1,133 42 28 15 5 3 5 0 0 1
14 August 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,625 30 21 20 14 8 4 1 1 0
12 August 2019, BMG and Sample size: 1,515 31 25 19 12 7 3 1 1 0
11 August 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,011 31 27 16 16 4 3 1 No data available No data available
11 August 2019, Survation and Sample size: 2,040 28 24 21 15 3 4 No data available 0 No data available
9 August 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,003 31 28 13 16 5 4 1 1 0
6 August 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,628 31 22 21 14 7 4 0 0 0
30 July 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 2,066 32 22 19 13 8 4 0 1 0
30 July 2019, Ipsos Mori and Sample size: 1,007 34 24 20 9 6 5 1 1 0
27 July 2019, Deltapoll and Sample size: 2,001 30 25 18 14 4 4 1 1 2
26 July 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,697 31 21 20 13 8 5 0 1 0
26 July 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,006 30 28 16 15 5 5 1 1 0
25 July 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,029 28 27 19 16 4 3 1 No data available No data available
24 July 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,715 25 19 23 17 9 4 1 1 0
17 July 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,749 25 21 20 19 8 4 0 1 0
16 July 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,038 25 28 17 19 5 4 1 No data available No data available
11 July 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,025 24 28 15 20 5 3 1 No data available No data available
11 July 2019, Survation and Sample size: 1,012 23 29 19 20 3 4 No data available 1 No data available
10 July 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,671 24 20 19 21 9 5 0 1 0
7 July 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,010 25 28 16 19 5 3 1 No data available 0
5 July 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,002 23 25 15 22 8 5 1 1 1
5 July 2019, BMG and Sample size: 1,532 28 27 18 14 6 2 2 1 1
3 July 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,605 24 18 20 23 9 4 0 1 0
25 June 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 2,059 22 20 19 22 10 4 1 1 0
25 June 2019, Ipsos Mori and Sample size: 1,043 26 24 22 12 8 5 1 No data available 0
20 June 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,009 20 26 16 23 6 4 2 1 1
20 June 2019, Survation and Sample size: 2,016 24 26 18 20 6 3 1 1 1
19 June 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,641 20 20 21 23 9 4 1 1 0
14 June 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,672 21 21 19 24 9 3 0 1 0
10 June 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,702 17 19 22 26 8 4 0 1 1
9 June 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,017 23 27 17 22 5 3 1 1 1
7 June 2019, BMG and Sample size: 1,520 26 27 17 18 6 3 1 1 1
6 June 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,670 18 20 20 26 9 5 1 0 0
5 June 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,663 18 19 22 25 9 4 No data available 0 No data available
1 June 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,644 18 19 23 23 10 5 No data available 0 No data available
30 May 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,005 17 22 16 26 11 4 1 1 1
30 May 2019, Deltapoll and Sample size: 2,449 20 26 16 24 5 4 1 1 4
29 May 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,763 19 19 24 22 8 No data available 1 No data available 1
22 May 2019, Survation and Sample size: 2,029 28 33 13 12 3 3 3 0 2
21 May 2019, Panelbase and Sample size: 2,033 21 31 13 19 5 4 3 No data available 4
20 May 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,005 22 26 12 25 4 4 2 1 2
17 May 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 9,260 24 24 18 18 6 No data available 2 No data available 2
17 May 2019, Survation and Sample size: 1,000 27 32 13 13 3 5 2 0 2
16 May 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,009 22 29 11 24 3 4 2 0 3
14 May 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,655 25 25 16 18 7 No data available 2 No data available 2
14 May 2019, Ipsos Mori and Sample size: 1,072 25 27 15 16 7 4 3 1 2
13 May 2019, Hanbury and Sample size: 2,000 21 30 13 19 5 4 2 No data available 6
13 May 2019, Kantar and Sample size: 1,152 25 34 15 10 3 5 4 2 1
12 May 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,028 20 27 13 20 4 3 4 No data available 6
10 May 2019, BMG and Sample size: 1,541 27 30 18 10 6 2 3 0 3
10 May 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,004 22 28 11 21 6 4 4 No data available 4
9 May 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,034 19 27 14 20 5 3 3 1 7
9 May 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 2,212 24 24 16 18 7 No data available 2 No data available 2
7 May 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,000 25 30 11 17 5 3 4 1 2
30 April 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,630 29 29 13 15 5 No data available 2 No data available 3
24 April 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,787 27 30 11 14 5 No data available 4 No data available 3
24 April 2019, Panelbase and Sample size: 2,030 27 36 8 13 3 4 5 No data available 4
23 April 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,004 26 33 6 17 4 5 4 1 4
17 April 2019, ORB and Sample size: 1,546 26 29 8 14 4 4 5 1 5
17 April 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,755 29 30 10 12 5 No data available 4 No data available 3
16 April 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 1,061 23 33 7 14 3 3 5 1 9
12 April 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,007 29 36 8 No data available 4 5 11 1 No data available
11 April 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,843 28 32 11 8 5 No data available 6 No data available 3
8 April 2019, Hanbury and Sample size: 2,000 31 40 8 No data available 5 4 8 1 No data available
8 April 2019, Kantar and Sample size: 1,172 32 35 11 No data available 4 5 7 1 No data available
7 April 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,018 32 32 7 No data available 3 3 9 0 9
5 April 2019, BMG and Sample size: 1,500 35 34 11 No data available 5 4 6 1 No data available
3 April 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,771 32 31 12 5 4 No data available 7 No data available No data available
29 March 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,008 35 35 9 No data available 5 4 9 0 No data available
25 March 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 2,110 36 33 11 5 4 No data available 4 No data available No data available
24 March 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,030 33 33 8 No data available 3 3 7 1 9
22 March 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,002 36 35 7 No data available 4 5 9 1 No data available
21 March 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,063 34 35 8 No data available 4 3 7 1 6
19 March 2019, Ipsos Mori and Sample size: 1,050 38 34 8 1 4 5 7 1 2
17 March 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,033 34 35 8 No data available 3 3 6 1 7
15 March 2019, Survation and Sample size: 1,007 35 39 10 No data available No data available 3 5 0 No data available
15 March 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,756 35 31 12 4 4 No data available 6 No data available No data available
15 March 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,008 38 34 8 No data available 3 5 8 1 No data available
11 March 2019, Kantar and Sample size: 1,152 41 31 8 No data available 6 5 6 0 No data available
8 March 2019, BMG and Sample size: 1,510 39 34 12 No data available 4 3 5 1 No data available
5 March 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,042 36 34 8 No data available 3 3 6 0 8
4 March 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 2,172 40 31 11 3 4 No data available 3 No data available No data available
1 March 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,003 40 34 9 No data available 3 4 7 1 No data available
23 February 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,672 41 30 10 2 4 No data available 5 No data available No data available
22 February 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,008 40 32 5 No data available 4 4 7 1 6
19 February 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,861 41 33 10 No data available 4 No data available 4 No data available No data available
19 February 2019, Sky and Sample size: 1,034 32 26 8 No data available 4 4 8 1 10
18 February 2019, Survation and Sample size: 1,023 40 36 10 No data available 2 3 5 No data available No data available
15 February 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,005 37 37 8 No data available 4 4 7 0 No data available
11 February 2019, Kantar and Sample size: 1,145 40 35 10 No data available 4 4 3 1 No data available
8 February 2019, BMG and Sample size: 1,503 38 35 13 No data available 5 3 5 1 No data available
5 February 2019, Ipsos Mori and Sample size: 1,005 38 38 10 No data available 3 4 4 1 No data available
4 February 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,851 41 34 10 No data available 4 No data available 4 No data available No data available
1 February 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,008 41 34 8 No data available 4 4 7 1 No data available
30 January 2019, Survation and Sample size: 1,029 38 39 9 No data available 2 3 4 No data available No data available
18 January 2019, ICM and Sample size: 2,046 39 40 9 No data available 3 3 5 0 No data available
18 January 2019, Opinium and Sample size: 2,006 37 40 7 No data available 4 5 7 1 No data available
17 January 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,031 38 37 10 No data available 3 3 6 1 No data available
15 January 2019, ComRes and Sample size: 2,010 37 39 8 No data available 3 3 7 0 No data available
14 January 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,701 39 34 11 No data available 4 No data available 6 No data available No data available
14 January 2019, Kantar and Sample size: 1,106 35 38 9 No data available 4 4 6 1 No data available
11 January 2019, Survation and Sample size: 1,013 38 41 10 No data available 2 3 4 No data available No data available
11 January 2019, BMG and Sample size: 1,514 36 36 12 No data available 5 3 6 1 No data available
7 January 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 1,656 41 35 11 No data available 3 No data available 4 No data available No data available
4 January 2019, YouGov and Sample size: 25,537 40 34 10 No data available 4 No data available 4 No data available No data available

The dates in the table above show the final day of fieldwork for each poll.

11 November 2019

We are starting to see the pollsters respond to the tactical voting arrangements by parties.

YouGov's latest poll removed the Brexit Party, Liberal Democrats, Green and Plaid Cymru as an option in seats where they have stood down.

The most notable, if unsurprising, effect was for the Brexit Party.

Their support roughly halved from 9% to 4% as they roughly halved the number of constituencies in which they are standing.

Other pollsters have said they will follow suit.

We can expect further changes as nominations close and it becomes clear who is standing in each constituency.

So there will be even more movements in the poll tracker over the coming weeks.

Some of it will be, as ever, down to the changing political landscape.

But some will be down to pollsters' efforts to measure that landscape more accurately.

The trends that were noticeable in the polls a week ago have carried on over the last seven days.

The Conservatives have continued their steady upward progress. But the tentative signs of a Labour recovery have also become firmer.

Both parties' average scores are up, although they're still below the vote shares they recorded at the 2017 election - more than 10% below in Labour's case.

Going in the other direction, the Brexit Party are down to 9% in the BBC poll tracker - their lowest score since the party was launched in April.

And it's now clear that the Liberal Democrats have fallen away a little from where they were a month ago.

Wales and Scotland

YouGov has also published polls for Wales and Scotland.

In Wales, they have Labour up four points with the Lib Dems losing the same amount since the last poll.

Labour, on 29%, are now roughly on a par with the Conservatives on 28%.

Since there are so few Welsh polls probably the best we can say with any confidence is that it looks close between the two main parties - with Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party also in a close battle for third place.

The Scotland poll gave the SNP a very large lead on 42%, with the Conservatives in a clear second place, and Labour falling to its lowest score since before the last election - just below the Lib Dems.

However, that poll was conducted more than two weeks ago, before the election was even confirmed so it's rather likely that these figures are out of date.

There can be little doubt, however, that the SNP are currently on course for a strong result.

4 November 2019

It's nearly a week now since it became clear that there would be a general election on 12 December.

There have already been eight polls conducted since then - we can expect that from now on they will be coming thick and fast.

Over the last seven days the Conservatives have continued their upward trend in the BBC poll tracker whilst the Brexit Party are still drifting downwards.

There are also some early signs of a recovery for Labour. They've hit an average of 26% - their highest figure since the first half of September.

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats have fallen to 17% - their lowest since the start of June.

These movements are pretty small so far, though, so we will need to see if they continue in the coming days.

Is it all about Brexit?

There's no doubt that Brexit will be a major issue at this election. But as the campaign gets underway, will other policy areas come to the fore?

Opinium has found that Brexit is a more dominant subject as the campaign gets under way than it was at the last general election.

Forty per cent of people in their latest poll said it was the single issue that was most likely to influence their vote. That compares with 18% at the start of the 2017 campaign.

However, when people were asked to name the three most important issues facing the country, 59% of respondents identified health/NHS compared to only 52% for the EU/Brexit.

That's a shift compared to their recent polls where Brexit has come out on top or in equal first place.

It's possible that by campaigning on non-Brexit issues the parties will be able to influence how much weight voters give to different subjects.

Panelbase's latest poll also puts the NHS/health as the top issue.

On the other hand, Deltapoll have Britain leaving the EU clearly ahead of health. The difference here could be explained by the fact they don't namecheck the NHS in their range of options.

28 October 2019

The last few weeks have seen a gradual, further strengthening of the Conservatives' position in the polls.

In the latest poll by Opinium they hit 40% - the highest figure in a single poll since the middle of August. They've also moved up to an average of 36% in the BBC poll tracker.

In the meantime, the Liberal Democrats have fallen away a little from their party conference highpoint to settle at that 18%-ish level they've occupied for much of the autumn while the Brexit Party continue to drift downwards.

Labour's average rating has essentially stayed flat.

Scotland

Because voting intention polls are fairly scarce in Scotland, it's difficult to identify trends. But the latest Panelbase poll conducted earlier this month suggests that the SNP continues to dominate.

Comparing polls to the 2017 general election result suggests Labour and the Conservatives are on course to lose votes, the SNP are roughly level with where they were, whilst the Lib Dems could gain votes.

The SNP's share in polls has floated between 36% and 43% for the last two years.

In our GB-wide poll tracker, that translates to 4%, occasionally dropping to 3% or rising to 5% since Scotland has just under 10% of the GB population.

That's why we don't suggest a margin of error range as we do for parties that field candidates across the whole of Great Britain.

Wales

Polls are even rarer in Wales - but the latest from YouGov, also conducted earlier this month, broadly matches others from earlier in the year.

The Conservatives are down from their 2017 election share but Labour has fallen back much more dramatically. From the 49% they achieved then, their share of the vote has approximately halved according to polls.

The Lib Dems are up sharply and the Brexit Party are performing far more strongly than UKIP did when voters last had their say.

4 October 2019

Last week was undoubtedly another dramatic one in British politics.

The Supreme Court ruled that the prime minister had acted unlawfully by suspending Parliament for five weeks. And the House of Commons was the scene of some the most ill-tempered debates anyone can remember.

On top of that, Labour's party conference saw rows about the future of deputy leader Tom Watson and Brexit policy.

And Boris Johnson found himself facing allegations that he had acted improperly during his time as Mayor of London by giving favourable treatment to his 'close friend' Jennifer Arcuri.

However, there's very little sign that any of this has had much impact on voting intention polls.

There is perhaps a little more evidence that the Conservatives have fallen back a bit from their high point a few weeks ago, but it's only a small movement.

One ComRes poll put them neck-and-neck with Labour on 27% - the first time they've not had a lead since Mr Johnson became prime minister.

But that poll's results included people who are very unlikely to vote on an equal footing with those who will vote.

It's an interesting result but doesn't feature in our poll tracker.

We use analyses that down-weight answers from those who are unlikely to vote and those figures aren't available from that poll.

The Liberal Democrats have ticked up one point to 20 in our averages, and there's been another YouGov poll which puts them in second place.

Leader ratings

More noteworthy have been polls asking people to rate the party leaders.

Ipsos Mori's leader satisfaction ratings go back to 1977. Their September poll has Jeremy Corbyn on the lowest net score of any opposition leader since their series began.

16% of people say they're satisfied with the way he's doing his job compared with 76% who say they're dissatisfied - a net score of -60.

All the pollsters who regularly ask this sort of question have Boris Johnson outperforming Mr Corbyn in terms of satisfaction, favourability or approval. His net score with Ipsos Mori is -18.

However, looking at attitudes about Mr Johnson more widely, and in historical context, they're not terribly encouraging.

Compared to previous leaders, his score is low for a prime minister at the beginning of their time in office - far worse than Theresa May's for example. And satisfaction in the government is extremely low: just 14% are satisfied whilst 81% are dissatisfied.

YouGov polls also suggest that Mr Johnson is scoring lower for competence, honesty and being a strong leader than at the beginning of September.

20 September 2019

As our poll tracker graph shows, after a year and a half of only gradual movement, the period since February has been pretty tumultuous - perhaps reflecting what has been going on in politics.

The creation of the new Change UK Party - since renamed The Independent Group for Change (or TIGfC in our chart) - and then The Brexit Party had a major impact.

Added to this has been a sustained increase in support for the Liberal Democrats and a clear boost for the Conservatives after Boris Johnson replaced Theresa May as prime minister in July.

That is just the picture in Britain-wide polls. In Scotland, we have less evidence to go on, but it seems as though the political drama has resulted in a rise in support for the SNP, as well as the Lib Dems, at the expense of the Conservatives and Labour.

Conference bounce?

Polls over the last week have been good for the Liberal Democrats, even taking into account the strong year they've had. The party seems to be a few points higher now than it was at the start of the month.

They will hope that the improvement is a consequence of their new policy on Brexit - a promise to revoke Article 50 if they win a majority at the next general election.

However, it could just be a conference bounce.

It is fairly common during party conference season for each party to see their numbers boosted immediately after their turn in the sun. Often though, this fades away within a couple of weeks and things go back to roughly where they were before.

We will have to wait and see if that happens this time.

Mind the gap

It is always important to treat polling figures with caution, but at the moment there is an additional reason for concern: more variation between the different polling companies than normal.

This month, there have been cases where two polls published on the same day have wildly different figures - for example, the Conservatives on 28% in one poll, but 37% in another.

Clearly, in an election those two different vote shares would mean dramatically different outcomes in terms of the make-up of the House of Commons. So any attempt to read off from current polls to the expected election result would be foolhardy.

Nobody really knows why the variation is so large. Some of it is probably down to differences between how each company analyses their raw polling data, but it's hard to see how that can be the whole story given the size of the gaps.

Methodology: How was the poll tracker chart put together?

What is a poll tracker?

Our poll tracker lines show an average of results from the polls to date.

Each dot in the chart above shows one poll result for a party.

There are too many individual dots to keep track of: even on one day there can be very different results for one party from different polls.

So we summarise all that information with a line that averages those results.

It bounces around less and makes it easier to tell the signal from the noise (or the trends from the blips?).

Which polls do we use?

We use polls conducted by members of the British Polling Council.

As of September 2019, that's BMG, ComRes, Deltapoll, Hanbury, ICM, Ipsos Mori, Kantar, Opinium, ORB, Panelbase, Sky Data, Survation and YouGov.

Most of the polls included cover Great Britain, although some do poll the whole of the UK, but as a result we do not have separate data for parties that only stand in Northern Ireland.

We use results that exclude or downweight those who are unlikely to vote and people who do not express a preference.

We include data that are in the public domain: some polling companies will not publish all data for all parties at the same time and so we update the poll tracker as data become available.

What is the margin of error?

The margin of error is plus or minus four percentage points.

This means that there's a 90% chance that an election held tomorrow would give national vote shares within four points of our estimates for each of the parties.

And there's a 10% chance that it would be outside that range. We base these figures on a British Polling Council analysis of the results of the final set of polls before each of the elections from 2001 to 2017.

What about parties that only campaign in Scotland or Wales or stand only in a few seats?

The approach mentioned above doesn't quite work for parties that only run in Scotland or Wales or are standing in only a few seats, like UKIP or The Independent Group for Change. The electorate they are appealing to is smaller and this makes their possible vote smaller when it is projected across Great Britain or the whole of the UK.

This also means that their margin of error is smaller than that of those parties that stand across Britain and is likely to be less than + / - 1%.

We have more coverage of politics in Scotland and Wales on their national politics pages.

How do we average the polls?

Our estimate of a party's support is a rolling average of polls to date. Bigger and more recent polls have more influence on our figures.

We also limit the influence of any one poll or of those polling firms who poll very frequently to prevent our results being too dependent on one source.

In a little more detail: the average is weighted by sample size. The more people polled in a particular survey, the more weight we will give it, up to a threshold of 2,000 people.

On the other hand, the older a poll is the less influence it has on the average figure we calculate. We also give less value to any polling firm that has data for more than 5,000 people in a fortnight. A typical poll may cover about 1,000 people.

Why is there a margin of error?

Because a party isn't guaranteed to get the same vote share in an election as it did in a poll the previous day.

Polling a sample of the population has often been likened to tasting soup. If the soup has been well stirred then you need to have only one spoonful to get a sense of what the whole bowl is like.

In the same way, a well-conducted poll of 1,000 people can, most of the time, give us an idea of what the country as a whole is thinking.

But it's not 100% precise, so, the margin of error gives a sense of how the results might change with a different sample of 1,000 people.

This margin of error only applies to national vote share: converting that into seats in Parliament is much harder and less precise.

Why do polling companies give such different answers?

There are also systematic differences between polling companies who approach people in different ways, who ask different questions and who analyse the results differently.

We list the main polling firms and the questions they ask below. Polling companies also analyse their data differently. They make choices about how to weight each respondent.

For example, if a poll of 1,000 people is made up of 550 men and 450 women, it is unrepresentative because it does not reflect the profile of the UK population (51% female).

So the answers of female respondents should be given slightly more weight than male respondents in the analysis so that the final results are 51% based on female answers rather than 45%.

That's not controversial, but adjusting for past vote or likelihood to vote is harder. Some pollsters ask respondents who they voted for last time and weight the sample to try and ensure it matches the political make-up of the general population.

One problem with doing this is that a certain number of people will incorrectly recall who they voted for last time - and a few will even lie about it. So polling companies often use a variety of further methods to improve the accuracy of their weighting.

That variety of methods leads to a variety of answers. Most companies then weight or filter by likelihood to vote so that the answers of people who are most likely to vote are given the most prominence in the results.

Finally, several pollsters reallocate a percentage of "don't knows" to the party they voted for last time. This is to get around the problem that emerged following the 1979 election with the phenomenon of "shy Tories" or the "spiral of silence" - people who do not want to discuss their voting preference but who will still vote.

Our approach, excluding "don't knows" from our polltracker, is slightly different.

It is like saying that they won't vote or, if they did, their voting preferences would look quite like those who do express a preference.

Questions asked by each pollster:

Many polling companies changed their methodology when the candidates lists were released to account for those parties that are standing only in a few seats.

BMG

If a general election were held today, which of the following parties would you vote for?

Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, SNP (if living in Scotland), Plaid Cymru (if living in Wales), Green Party, Brexit Party, another party

Prior to August 2019, Green Party and Brexit Party were only prompted for if the respondent answered "another party". Following a randomised controlled trial, BMG decided to move those two parties into the main prompt list. The Independent Group for Change and UKIP remain in the secondary prompt list.

ComRes

If there were a (UK) general election tomorrow to elect MPs to Westminster, would you vote Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Brexit Party, SNP, Plaid Cymru, or for another party?

Deltapoll

If there were a general election held tomorrow, which party would you vote for? SELECT ONE: Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, UK Independence Party (UKIP), Scottish National Party (SNP), Plaid Cymru (PC), Brexit Party, Green, Some other party

Hanbury Strategy

If a general election is held in October before the Brexit deadline of 31 October, which party would you vote for?

ICM

If there were a general election tomorrow, which party would you vote for?

Ipsos Mori

How would you vote if there were a general election tomorrow?

Kantar Public

Voting intention for next general election - online pre-coded list: Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Green, SNP, Plaid Cymru

  • Note: Brexit Party and The Independent Group for Change were not included in the pre-coded list but respondents had opportunity to select subsequently

Opinium

If there were a general election tomorrow, for which party would you vote?

ORB

If there were an election tomorrow, which party would you vote for?

Labour Party, Conservative Party, Brexit Party, Liberal Democrat, The Independent Group, UKIP, Green Party, SNP, DUP, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Fein, Ulster Unionist Party, Women's Equality Party.

Panelbase

Who would you vote for if a UK Parliamentary election took place tomorrow?

Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, The Brexit Party, SNP, Green, Change UK (The Independent Group), UKIP, Other.

Sky Data

If there was a general election tomorrow and candidates for all parties were standing in your constituency, including the new "Independent Group" of former Labour MPs who have split from the Labour Party, how would you vote? Conservatives, Labour, Independent Group, Liberal Democrats, Other, UKIP, Green Party, SNP, Plaid Cymru

Survation

Respondents were asked who they would be most likely to vote for if that election were tomorrow, with the responses "Labour", "Conservative", "Liberal Democrat" prompted in a randomising order, and other parties displayed if respondents selected "Another Party".

YouGov

If there were a general election held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?

Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Scottish National Party (SNP), Plaid Cymru, Brexit Party, Green, Some other party (if this answer selected then respondents are prompted the following: UK Independence Party (UKIP), Women's Equality Party, Independent Group for Change).