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How the Owen Paterson scandal reduced the Conservatives’ poll lead

Ben Walker joins the New Statesman Podcast team for a monthly look at the polls.

Days of “Tory sleaze” allegations have started to have measurable impact on public opinion. So, on today’s podcast, Ailbhe Rea is joined by New Statesman data journalist Ben Walker to explore what’s happening in the opinion polls – including the impact of the Owen Paterson scandal.

They look at the current state of the parties, what polls can and can’t tell you, and why the “don’t knows” really matter.

Then in You Ask Us, they answer a number of listener’s questions, including how polling methodologies differ and what it would take to get a hung parliament in the next general election.

Ben will be appearing regularly on the New Statesman Podcast for a monthly poll update. If you have a question for him, or any of the team, please email

How to listen to the New Statesman Podcast

1. In your browser

You can use the player above to listen in your browser right now. The New Statesman Podcast publishes twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays. All episodes are published to on the day of release. Subscribers to the New Statesman can access episodes a day early in our subscriber edition.

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2. In a podcast app

The New Statesman Podcast is available on all major podcast apps, including Apple PodcastsSpotifyAcastGoogle Podcasts and more. Search “New Statesman Podcast” in your favourite podcast app, and subscribe or follow to make sure you receive episodes as soon as they publish. While you’re there, please leave a review for the podcast – it helps others find the show, which in turn makes it possible for us to keep making it.

3. On your smart speaker

If you have an Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod smart speaker, ask it to “play the latest episode of the New Statesman Podcast”. The same command also works with virtual assistants on mobile devices.

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