ComRes’s monthly poll for the Independent has a Conservative lead of 14 points. The full topline figures with changes from last month are CON 40%(+2), LAB 26%(-5), LDEM 20%(+3). The poll was conducted between Apr 25th and 27th.

Nothing much new here but a confirmation of the trend, the Conservatives seem to have an increasingly stable double point lead, more polls are showing Labour pushed below the 30 point level and, without much real remark, the Lib Dems are gradually increasing their support – this is the first time since last April that a pollster other than ICM have shown them at 20% or above.

We still await the possibility of an ICM poll on the London elections. MORI have confirmed there’s nothing more to come from them for the mayoral contest, and we know that there is still a YouGov poll to come. ICM, over to you…

UPDATE: Just a thought, that’s only a six point gap between Labour and the Lib Dems. If the Lib Dems moved to second place it would be a huge boost for them and their image as real contender. Lib Dems winning here and all that. Still – just an idle thought, it’s a long way away yet.

42 Responses to “ComRes show 14 point Tory lead”

  1. I will be intetested to hear your take on their methodology.
    We had it being favourable to the Tories and then not at all.
    26% Ouch.

  2. I like the new layout. I particularly like the new font which makes my spelling mistakes look more professional :-)

  3. Anthony,

    On your last point a lot depends on what the Labour core vote is, and if the Lib Dems can proportionally do a lot better than they are doing now.

    Would though be fascinating.

  4. Anthony, some of the Lib-Dems support could be because they are getting more attention due to the local election campaign.

    In ComRes’s April 2007 poll (again during a national local election campaign) the Lib-Dems polled 22%. Looking at it that way, Clegg is doing WORSE than Ming. ;)

  5. I think GIN could well be right about the Lib Dems rising as a result of the campaign. If they do well on Thursday, it might well be sustained in the polls after the election. I suppose it depends how the votes relate to seats.

    26% is a remarkably low figure, but it doesn’t feel like Labour have hit rock bottom yet. There’s always the risk that MPs lose their discipline again, as they did when Brown was trying to pressure Blair into stepping down. Mike ” The Oracle” might have to revise his core vote figures downwards…

    How I wish we had elections up here in Scotland. Nothing until next year!

  6. GIN – But isn’t 20-22% common half decent LibDem territory regardless who who is in charge? You could also argue that in 2007 they weren’t in the middle of a Labour/Conservative squeeze (or at least less).

    The lack of labour to libdem movement isn’t really surprising though. The people who are hacked off with Labour now are those who bought into Tony Blairs Labour who can be trusted not to raise taxes – they’re never going to go across to the LibDems (who’d likely tax them more). The core labour vote is surely staying loyal for fear of handing Cameron a victory/landslide?

  7. Gin H – there is no Lab/Con squeeze now. Lib Dems, as ever, are not riding high(ish) on merit, but on the back of a failing Labour Party.

  8. It’s funny how the Lib Dems have come from nowhere to be back at the 20% mark. Maybe Clegg has brought back some of their former supporters from 2005.

  9. I think the Lib Dems are swallowing anti-Labour votes that are not yet going to the Tories. I suspect there are a number of Labour voters who will switch to LibDems first. It may be just a stepping stone, or they may stay there, we’ll have to see- but I suspect in a general election they will split to Conservtaive or Labour.

  10. Thursday is not going to be a good night for Labour and the core problem is the public’s perception (rightly or wrongly) that GB has metamorphosed from the ‘iron chancellor’ to a PM who cannot make up his mind and is susceptible to pressure. It may be that GB is being advised badly and isn’t really like that at all but it’s the sort of perception which will be difficult to shift. Public sector may well try and take advantage of this perceived weakness to organise a series of strikes around inflation and pay which will make things worse. If Labour hasn’t shown signs of getting back in the game by the autumn then a lot of Labour MPs contemplating the loss of their seats are going to start thinking the unthinkable and GB will have to face up to the sort of pressure he applied to TB and not just from Blairites. It’ll be interesting to see how he reacts to this and there may be only one solution as the public contemplates the disunity and angst.

  11. Good poll for the LD’s. However the Scottish polls show them at about 12% losing out to the SNP and I wonder if the national polls are masking this?

  12. Mmmmm – 26% again – it’s getting to be a regular occurance / who would have thought – let me think ?

    This is about as low as you will see the Labour vote drop – they have now reached rock bottom and base of their core vote – it is highly unlikely to drop any lower – if it does on any POLL , it cannot be taken too seriously because as i have said – 26% is about it.

    The Liberal vote share is a one off leading up to the elections – it will fade back to about 16% to 17% towards the end of May – they also will NOT do well in the local elections – that will prove the POLLS wrong for them.

    Sorry DAVID BOWTELL – but no matter how much you dislike my predictions – the POLLS just keep proving me right – he he

  13. As for London – i have said before – this is going to be very close – but Johnson will win through / sticking my neck on the line here because it is close and a big hill for Johnson to climb – especially with Labour getting about 90% of the 29% immigrant vote.

    I suppose Ken can be seen as representing the immigrants and Boris the rest .

  14. I’m not convinced this is the lowest labour can go with just their core vote. Another 10% tax fiasco will cut it again.

    Glad to see the invisible man Cleggy on TV this evening. There must be an election around here somewhere soon.

  15. WMA 41:29:19 – Lab falling below the 30 barrier as predicted. I think there is a 10% chance (not more – yet) that Lab will fall to 3rd place – after all the Lab lead over Libs was 16 at the beginning of the year and it has now fallen to 10. I think we’ll see the WMA get to 43:27:20 in the next month or so.

    We now have the Retrospectives on the last YouGov and the error is still the same (6.8 vs 6.7). The last 4 YouGov polls have apparently over-estimated the C Lead by between 4 and 7.3 points: this is from a pollster that used to have a bias of 0 and a Std of 2.1.

    Anthony: Had ANYTHING changed in your methodology, or are we just witnessing a disconnect between those on Broadband and the rest of the population?

  16. “Just a thought, that’s only a six point gap between Labour and the Lib Dems. If the Lib Dems moved to second place it would be a huge boost for them”

    But the Libdems have already been second in 2004 (the backdrop was the Iraq war)and are likely to be second again.

    National vote shares I predict:

    Con 43% Lib 25% Lab 24%.

    Boris wins in London 52/48%

    Cons take Vale of Glamorgan (spelling?), Bury , North Tyneside, Cheltnham. Cons make 230 gains.

  17. Huge double digit swings towards Boris in Ealing, Brent North, Harrow and Hounslow.

  18. If anything I think the mood since the new year has solidified as “Time for change” or “Anyone but Labour”.

    This means that the squeeze that the LibDems felt when it looked like a close race has lessened.

    When it was close both Tories and Labour rallied to their party and floating voters split for who they wanted Cameron of Brown. It looks like the governments troubles have made floating voters come down firmly on the side of “Not Brown”.

    Some have moved to Cameron while others have moved to “A N Other”, meaning that it is now Labour who are being squeezed from two sides.

    The Libdems have benefited in terms of poll rating but with the Tories over 40% and the Labour heartland’s not their strong ground they could gain a lot of second places from Labour while losing seats to the Tories.

    Up here I think the Libdems will hold most of their seats but I could see then drop to 10.

    Worse I think will be the effect on them nationally in the long term as where as now they get 40% of their vote from 12 of the 59 seats I could see then go to something like 60% from 10 seats with nothing in the central belt.

    I am beginning to think that with the change of mood the SNP may well do better than the 10 seats I have predicted.

    That was in part predicated on people rallying to Labour to keep the Tories out. If however it’s feels like it’s all over bar the shouting then I suspect Labour voters will stay at home.

    It will then come down to who can get their supporters out, not a problem for the Tories, and whether the SNP can get Labour and LibDem voters to switch in sufficent numbers. I think the Tories although they will do better still have little chance to get either LibDem or SNP supporters to switch.

    If Labour voters stay at home the SNP will be close to 10 seats, If they switch over the Alex’s 20 target isn’t impossible……. but it’s still a tall order.


  19. Once more I have to agree with Peter Cairns: Anyone but Gordon Brown. If allowed I’d like to ask him how this effects the SNP.

    I believe “The Herald” has announced that Ineos will scrap a £200 million upgrade (and 650 new jobs) because of Scotland’s hostility to enterprise. [Ineos has scapped a similar programme in Germany, despite government funding.] Add to which 350 jobs are going at JVC (due to flat-screens being cheaper to produce in Eastern Europe).

    How will the SNP fair under this environment? Could the economic malaise (atleast outside of the public-sector) reflect upon Labour and the SNP?

    I am sure Anthony will publish the Scottish voting break-down. [Or is that now posted under the Scottish blogs?]

    It is just this: I cannot seem how the Tories can be blamed for any down-turn in Scotland. How will this be spun…?

    P.S.: The Royal Navy seems secure. Can’t see Labour making all those Scottish shipbuilders redundant in the next two years! ;)

  20. Anthony

    Just thought I’d say this version of the new layout works well on Mozilla; much better than the previous revised version. Many thanks.

  21. Peter – Any thoughts on the Tories in Scotland? Has any more of this exuberance rubbed off up North?

  22. No wonder that there has been panic in the Labour camp this last week or two: why Brown was called on to concede on the 10p tax issue. All to no avail! The mood on the doorsteps will have been frightening. Added to the gloom, whether the Governments faul or not, is the steady rise in energy bills including pricesd at the pumps. Not good, but if Ken Livingstone pulls it off in London, or comes close, it proves that candidates matter and this has got to be good for democracy.

  23. Hi Anthony,

    Thanks as ever for the great coverage in the run up to the elections.

    A quick question about your last point. Has there ever been a time in recent polling history where the Lib Dems have hit second place, either by overhauling Labour or the Conservatives? I presume we would have to go back to the SDP to find a third party doing that well?

  24. Fluffy,

    Grangemouth is just an industrial dispute it could happen anywhere. so far no one is blaming the Government, North or south of the border.

    This being Scotland people are more reluctant to blame the workforce. The mood could change if their is another strike and the government doesn’t make sure we get petrol and diesel from elsewhere.

    In the long term it will probably be used by labour and the unions to call fro nuclear and clean coal, although unless they want to add that workers in any new Power Station lose the right to strike it won’t sove the problem as like I say this is an industrial dispute.

    In the end Ineos will either upgrade grangemouth or sell it, and given the oil market world wide and a lack of refining capacity the result will be the same anyway.

    As to JVC it’s been met pretty much with a shrug as with the rise of China we have seen electronics manufacturing shrink it Scotland slowly over the last decade or so. Again people don’t like it but they aren’t blaming the government.

    Oh and never underestimate what the Scots will blame the Tories for.


    I think the tories are ahead of where they were but again probably more to people who left to vote LibDem or SNP to try to oust a Labour MP than any new converts. It’s a feature of Scottish Westminster elections that with the main battleground being in the South East up here we have war by proxy with a lot of seats actually being decided out with Glasgow by tactical voting.

    In Scotland, my enemies enemy is my friend…….


  25. Thanks Peter. That’s pretty much what I was thinking – I’m just curious about the Tories position. When I lived in Scotland (7 good years!) the Conservatives where mostly about as unpopular as it can get, and I am interested to see if they make any headway.

  26. Nick – sort of, straight after the Brent East by-election in 2003 there were a couple of polls that showed all three parties within touching distance. The Lib Dems never overtook either of the other parties, but there was one YouGov poll showing them equal second with Labour on 30%, and one Populus poll – probably the most unusual poll of recent years – that showed them in equal first position, with all three parties level on 31%.

  27. Looking at the Comres detailed data , the LibDem figures are the best for any recent poll . The 108 people who say they voted LibDem in 2005 grows to 139 ( 141 after weighting ) now . There is still a small shift of 9 voters from LibDem to Con but a net 20 move from Labour to LibDem . The Scottish subsample hasibDems on an astomishing 22% Conservatives 15 and SNP/Lab 27 each . With this raw data ICM would have given a headline LibDem figure of 23/24% and Populus around 22% .

  28. Mike “the oracle” Richardson:
    “This is about as low as you will see the Labour vote drop – they have now reached rock bottom and base of their core vote – it is highly unlikely to drop any lower”

    “The news of the petrol shortages and queues at petrol stations – even though not a government mess – they will get the blame and the POLLS will show an ***even lower POLL rating for Labour*** just prior and during the elections on 1st May”
    April 25th, 2008 at 5:34 pm – Mike “the oracle” Richardson, YouGov – Tories take 18 point lead


  29. I have a query about the apparent lack of coverage of the polls in the broadcast media. There has been plenty of coverage of political stories in general on both Channel 4 and the BBC, but I don’t recall anything about opinion polls. Is there a reason for this? Is it because they are generally commissioned by newspapers and the TV therefore isn’t interested? Seen as prejudicial to the local elections on Thursday? Pro-Labour bias against publicising poor polls for the govt? Or have the stories been there and I just haven’t noticed?

  30. Phil C –

    Can’t say anything about Channel 4, but the BBC’s guidelines for reporting polls are here and explain a lot!

    In short the position seems to be that the BBC do not report voting intention polls in their own right, only to give context to other stories.

  31. This is my first post, after having spent quite some time reading comments on here lately. I’ve been very impressed with the level of discussion on here and hopefully I can try to add to it in the future.

    I’m a Conservative candidate in a safe Labour area in Barnsley and have been particularly struck by the extent of negative feeling about Labour this year, compared to last year. This is shown in quite a few ways, but specifically a lack of Labour posters (last year there were significant numbers, this year I’ve only seen a handful) and comments from voters, many of whom report that they won’t be voting for Labour again in the forseeable future (many not voting for me either, which suggests that there is an element of honesty in their comment).

    Barnsley has a strong Independent presence which has almost wrestled control of the council from Labour. Up to last year, any fall in Labour vote had tended to go to them with little or no increase in the Conservative vote, but this year I’m getting a far better reception. I’m one of the few Conservatives to be working their ward here, but I sense that we will see a small increase in the Tory vote throughout Barnsley this year. This is a big development as this area had been fairly immune to any national increase in Conservative support in recent years and I believe we need to pick up a few seats around here to form a government.

    Another significant thing I have noticed is that there is a lot of anti-Labour feeling, rather than anti Brown. Last year, for example, people had issues with Blair, but still supported the local councillors. The councillors haven’t done anything noticably different in the past year, but now people seem to have more issues with them. This suggests to me that the rot has really set in for Labour and that “time for change” is starting to become accepted thought.

    Hopefully my comments haven’t come across as partisan. I’ve been quite surprised by some of the reaction I’ve had and thought that my experiences may be of some interest to people here.

  32. alasdair,
    the scottish tories are no longer fact it was a suprise that they were not squeezed when the snp looked like they were going to win.the blame for the strike is going to labour,unrest etc,general feeling they are rubbish.
    the snp are in the position new labour were in 2000.people/press are not willing to blame the snp yet.we have not got this wrong syndrome.
    it will come when they start to introduce negative enterprise measures like local income tax that will sting people on £50/60,000 and over.
    the conservatives have an opportunity.when the snp are seem as another new labour,spin and higher taxes,then the tories will gain rural seats from them.a cameron win in 2010 followed a second win in 2013/14 should see gains for the conservatives.

  33. Peter Cairns,

    Are the SNP still pro small-businesses. [Plans for changes of Corporation Tax would suggest so.] If so, how is your party going to handle the reduction of civil-servants sans independence.


    Sorry if this breaks the rules. Should Scottish questions be quarenteed (sp?) to the Scottish blog? Just Pete is the only guy we can have a sensible conversation with. [Unfortunately the reverse does not apply. :) ]

  34. well it’s that time of the year one day to go and it’s just looking very bad for labour not only in london but in parts of the north, i’ve just been reading the local news papers for some yorkshire areas and they are all talking about a labour slump, so are the manchester papers, bury looks good for the cons and all councils on a nife edge will go one way or the other.

    my prediction

    CON +250-270

    LAB -280-310

    LD +030-060

    OTH -000-030

  35. Stuart , Labour are only defending around 750 seats in England , many of these are very safe even in the worst of times , They are not going to lose 1/3rd or more of the seats they have up this year .

  36. Especially as the seats that are up for grabs are ones that were last fought in 2004 when they did particularly badly. Despite the overall control of the council being tight here in Barnsley, they are unlikely to lose control this year as they are defending relatively few seats, and those that they are tend to be safer ones.

  37. The BBC’s guidelines for reported polls seem quite reasonable to me (an opinion poll is pretty much a “manufactured” story so actually I approve of them not being headlined outside elections). However, surely there is currently enough context? We’re hearing stories about loss of support for Gordon, political correspondents speculating on MPs’ opinions and reporting off-the-record briefngs, and unrepresentative vox pops in the street. So surely it would be reasonable to report on the current state of electors’ opinion?

  38. Mark – do you know if the total seats being defended for each party are easily available anywhere? I looked and couldn’t find them.

  39. I haven’t been able to find any either. I tried looking for the 2004 results as that would give an indication, but whenever I’ve found them they seem to give the total seats for the councils, not just the ones that were up for election.

    It would be really useful information to have and I assume that places like the BBC have the information but just haven’t put it together.

  40. Just looking out of the window got me thinking. It’s raining pretty hard at the moment, and I believe it’s set in now for a few days.

    In London this will probably have a similar effect to normal (slight anti-Labour effect), as it’s so close, but I wonder how it will effect the local elections.

    I can see an anti-Labour effect for the traditional reasons, but this may be increased by wavering Labour supporters who would probably have gone out when it came to the crunch, but won’t if the weather is bad.

    However, what about traditional Labour supporters who had decided to vote Liberal, for example? Will they look out of the window tomorrow, see the rain and conclude that abstaining is enough and not bother getting wet? I think that is possible.

    Then there are those who have previously not voted but really want to show the government a thing or two. Many of them will have decided which alternative candidate they will vote for and not bothering would be letting the government off the hook. I suspect that many in that case will make a point of voting whatever the weather.

    I may be way off the mark, but I suspect that bad weather tomorrow will have a rather worse effect on Labour that it would usually. It will probably help the protest parties, but I’m not so sure about the Lib Dems and Conservatives.

  41. Anthony , sorry no the number of seats being defended by each party is not readily available . The Plymouth website gives the number of wards one by each party in 2004 but that takes no account of losses/gains due to byelections/defections and there is also the few councils having allout elections this year and the new shadow unitaries where results can be compared to 2005 but they will not really be gains/losses .

  42. One thing that annoys me is that councils are routinely shown as being “no overall control” which gives you no idea who’s running it. Surely it would be much better if they were described as “Labour minority administration”, “Conservative/LibDem coalition” etc. My own local council for example, Hart, is currently governed by a combination of the Tories and a “local” party. This would have the effect of showing better the balance of power – and also where parties other than the main three are important locally, although of course the media and political establishment seems to have a built in bias against any form of pluralism. Alternatively, I look forward to seeing Wales and Scotland described as being under “no overall control”.