BMG’s latest Westminster voting intention poll, the first since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, shows the Conservatives opening up a 6-point lead over labour. The Poll also sees The Independent Group for Change (formerly Change UK) receiving a share of below 0.5%.
The poll was conducted between 7th – 12th August and surveyed 1,515 GB adults.
Whilst the changes to the Labour and Conservative shares are relatively marginal in relation to last month’s figures – the Conservatives are up by 3 percentage points (from 28% to 31%), while Labour are down two points from July (from 27% to 25%) – the direction of the shifts do now mean Labour trail Boris Johnson’s Conservatives by 6 points.
The Liberal Democrats continue to maintain their support (19%), as do the Greens (7%).
The Brexit Party’s vote intention dropped a further 2 points to 12%, 6 percentage points lower than in June when they received an 18% share (see note on methodology change below). Meanwhile, The Independent Group for Change, who polled 3% back in May, saw their share of the vote fall below 0.5% for the first time.
Readers should keep in mind that the historical record of polling shows that there is a 9 in 10 chance that the actual share lies within 4 points of the estimates provided by this poll.
**A note on a change to the format of our voting intention question**
BMG’s voting intention question is asked in two stages. Prior to this month, we asked respondents to select from Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, SNP (if living in Scotland), Plaid Cymru (if living in Wales), or “another party”. Those respondents who selected “another party” were presented with parties who are less established or who typically attract less support. This list included the Brexit Party, The Independent Group for Change (formerly Change UK), the Green Party, and UKIP.
As pollsters it’s important that we maintain methodological consistency where possible in order to ensure consistency for tracking purposes. Any changes should be made on the basis of evidence.
Since last month, BMG has reviewed the format of our vote intention question. Running a Random Control Trial (RCT) test, we showed half a representative sample the original version, and half the sample a version where all the parties featured in the initial list. The results showed only marginal differences for the Greens and the Brexit Party in terms of vote share received, all within the margin of error. Thus, including them in the “another party” list did not appear to be suppressing their support.
We feel that, given there is no indication of an “artificial” boost for either the Green or the Brexit party, we have decided to include them both in our initial prompted list. The results for this month’s polling is the first time we have done so.
There is no exact science as to when a party should be included in the initial prompt, but our testing would suggest that both parties are now attracting enough support, which appears solid irrespective of question format, where it is reasonable that they feature on the initial list without any clear risks of inflating their support artificially.
BMG continues to review our polling methodology and any future changes will be outlined on our website.
Methodology, fieldwork dates, and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.
Please note that our method has changed after the 2017 General Election. Full details can be found here.
For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.
Paul Bedford – Research Executive