Why Corbyn’s approval ratings are so varied: His popularity has NOT plummeted

The image says it all, really: The three polls we’ve had in the last few days have all been asking different questions, so of course they get different answers.

So, contrary to what you might hear from Conservatives and Labour intolerants – sorry, sorry, ‘moderates’ – voters are not turning against Jeremy Corbyn in droves.

Here’s Mike Smithson, from the Political Betting article where This Writer found the image:

With question marks still hanging over voting intention polling there’s been a lot more focus on leader ratings which seemed to have performed far better as voting indicators at GE2015.

But here’s a thing. Over the past five days we’ve seen three completely different pictures of how Mr Corbyn is doing from three of the UK’s leading pollsters. Just look at the chart above.

With Ipsos-MORI things are not going too badly for the new red team captain. YouGov has him a fair bit lower and right at the bottom is ComRes.

The reason is that the three pollsters ask very different questions. For forty years Ipsos-MORI has used the satisfied/dissatisfied question. YouGov’s main measure for more than a decade had been on “well/badly” while in the 2010-2015 parliament ComRes… switched to asking about favourability

Source: politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » The Great Corbyn leader rating divide

Mr Smithson continued with an opinion about the way the Labour leadership has been faring recently: “You can understand why many CON backers are satisfied. Looking on him in favourability terms is, however, a totally different matter.”

Oh, really?

I can’t do anything about his opinion but I can at least put the record straight regarding the ComRes ‘favourability’ rating – because he’s only telling part of the story. Here’s the UK Polling Report:

The reason the Tory lead is bigger [in the ComRes poll] than in recent polls giving them a lead of only six or seven points is down to ComRes having a different methodology, not a sudden fracturing of support.

If you are interested in the specifics of this, the reason for the gap is probably ComRes’s new turnout model. Rather than weighting people based on how likely they claim they are to vote, ComRes estimate people’s likelihood to vote based on demographic factors like age and class. In practice, it means weighting down young people and working class people who are more likely to support Labour.

Source: UK Polling Report

So ComRes has weighted its polling against Jeremy Corbyn by asking a differently-angled question from the others, and by then weighting the answer against young voters and the working class – who are precisely the people Corbyn has energised into becoming involved with politics once again.

Even though these people are saying they’ll vote, ComRes has decided they won’t, and skews its results accordingly.

A review of polling methods is taking place at the moment, due to the inaccuracy of the polls leading up to the 2015 general election, and some pollsters – including ComRes – may change their methodology after it reports.

That will be a good thing – because, the way ComRes is going at the moment, we could be even more badly misinformed before the next election than we were at the last one.

And intention polls do change the way people vote.

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


1 thought on “Why Corbyn’s approval ratings are so varied: His popularity has NOT plummeted

  1. perry525

    My experiance is, that YouGov carefully choose who they will ask. This means one is not invited to take part in some polls. As YouGov are pretty sure of your answer, and they don’t want a rusult that will upset their sponsor.

Comments are closed.