UK Polls, Polls, Polls - TDS
Analysts at TD Securities explained that it is premature, in our view, to think that the UK is out of the woods.
"We have now seen four polls released this week, with only one showing a Remain win, two a dead-heat, and one showing a Leave majority. With the recent deterioration in polls and a month still to go before the event, we believe the market’s recent surge in optimism looks premature and remains vulnerable to an unwind.
To put last week’s uptick in sentiment into context, it is important to note that we’ve been here before. During the third week of April, we also observed a similar spike in expectations for a Remain win. But like in late-April, we saw last week a higher share of telephone polls (vs. online polls) in the headlines akin to the dynamics in late-April.
As we’ve previously argued, this matters because the telephone polls have consistently favoured a Remain win by about ten percentage points. Online polls, in contrast, tend to be more carefully balanced and some have frequently pointed to a Leave win. Using the most recent six surveys as a “poll of polls”, or sentiment measure, the perceived surge in support last week was due to an increase in the frequency of telephone poll results, rather than an outright shift in sentiment towards a Remain win.
Results in likefor-like polls have mostly remained stable, and indeed the release of three polls this week has brought this “poll of polls” down by half. So while we remain relatively sceptical about the ebbs and flows of the headline poll results, we have seen some signs that opinion among key constituencies within the UK electorate may be starting to shift. Specifically, one online poll that has consistently pointed to a ‘Leave’ vote came in with both sides tied at 45% in its latest (24 May) release. A second, telephone-based, poll published the day before indicated that a majority of older and conservative-leaning voters were now favouring the ‘Remain’ side. This constituency had previously provided core support for the Leave campaign."