I was expecting a Populus poll tonight, but normally they drop me an email to say when the figures will be published on their website and – so far – no email, so it’s looking doubtful.

What has turned up is the monthly poll for ComRes, which has the Conservatives on 44% and Labour on 30%. The Conservatives are up 1 point on ComRes’s last poll, putting them at the highest score they’ve recieved so far in ComRes’s relatively short history, but Labour are up 4 points, so the Tory lead drops slightly. No idea what the Lib Dem figure is yet.

It is obviously a far small Conservative lead than that shown in YouGov’s recent polls. While YouGov have produced three polls since the local elections showing the Conservatives with a lead of 20 points or above, so far it hasn’t been reflected by any other pollsters. In the case of Populus and MORI, that’s because they haven’t produced any polls at all since then – we’re due polls from both of them. For various methodological reasons I wouldn’t expect any pollsters to produce Tory leads as large as YouGov, but it will be interesting to see how close they get.

UPDATE – the full figures are CON 44%(+1), LAB 30%(+4), LDEM 16%(-3). The poll was conducted between May 30th and June 1st. That sharp drop in Lib Dem support is against the trend of all the other recent polls, which rather unnoticed by commentators – who have understandably been concentrating on the whopping great Tory leads in the polls – have been slowly but surely increasing their support in polls over the last few months. There’s no obvious reason why the Lib Dems should suddenly lose support, so colour me a bit dubious on that finding until we see it supported elsewhere.

35 Responses to “ComRes show 14 point Tory lead”

  1. Anthony , the Comres website has the detailed data on a poll it did for the Daily Politics Show on party leadership which you don’t appear to have covered .

  2. The LibDem figure is 16% (just Google news ComRes).

    I am inclined to give YouGov more credence than ComRes, given the former´s newly earned reputation for accuracy.

  3. I agree with Andy D; YouGov would appear to have more accurate figures than ComRes.

  4. WMA 44:27:18. ComRes are the most erratic of all the pollsters with a Std of 3.1/3.2. I really doubt whether this is a turnaround in Labour’s fortunes.

  5. The SKY News site ( Yeah, lets use the word News loosely) has thefollowing quote,

    “Mr Cameron’s party is ahead of Labour in every region of Britain except Scotland and enjoy a 10 point lead in Labour’s former stronghold in the north of England.”

    So Scotland still bucking the UK trend, but again it’s a four party system.


  6. I imagine all the pollsters will register a drop in Lib-Dem support this month. Remember, last weeks YouGov poll had the Lib Dem’s stationary, despite a further drop in Labour support.

    Its the same every year. The Lib’s get more exposure in the spring due to the local election campaigns, but as soon as June arrives with the spotlight off them, the Lib-Dems start dropping back again. In the local elections, Nick Clegg was down 1% on the vote share that Ming managed in 2007. The Lib’s were nowhere in Crewe and Nantwich. If the opinion polls this month do show a drop in Lib Dem support, as I expect, then it’ll be clear that Nick Clegg isn’t performing much better than Ming in the current political climate, where support has massively shifted to the Tories.

  7. I was interested to see that historically (apparently), YouGov polls have produced the most accurate reflection of public voting intention ie. for the results of Local Elections, London Mayoral Election and the Crewe and Nantwich By-Election.

    There is obviously an accepted political interviewee weighting bias with certain polling companies, so history shows those which most actually reflects reality. One can never be sure which poll to believe!!

    Whichever way one votes, surely that is what is most valuable – a near accurate reflection of public mood – not one which will make a political party feel better!!

  8. never trusted comres alway inacurate like icm and mori but yougov do have some street cread again after so many good sets of polling data

  9. Must be the first time a Labour leader has been pleased to be 14% behind.

  10. I can’t see any reason why Labour would be up 4% since the the last Comres poll so we’ll just have to wait for the next tranche of polls to see if its really happening or whether this is a rogue.

  11. As I have tried to explain before much of the poll to poll variation in Comres is down to the much more variable weighting they use .
    Take from the detailed data the LibDem figures . They found in their sample 113 people who voted LibDem in 2005 , 119 people who say they will vote LibDem now and with weighting reduced that to 113 . The previous Comres/IOS poll had in their sample 128 people who voted LibDem in 2005 the same number who said they will vote LibDem now but with weighting Comres increased it to 134 . We should also note that ICM weight to a past vote at the last GE of 13% Comres seem to be now weighting to 11% this alone will give around a 3% difference between Comres and ICM headline LibDem figures from the same base data .

  12. Anthony, there has actually been one published Populus poll since the local elections – in The Times on May 6th showing Conservatives on 40%, Labour on 29%, Lib Dems 19%. Our regular slot for The Times is fieldwork beginning on the first Friday of each month, with results published the following Tuesday. Our next poll is, accordingly, this weekend, with data out a week today.

    The variance that has emerged between YouGov and the telephone pollsters is very interesting & deserving of more detailed examination.

  13. Have also had a look at the detailed data for Labour in this poll compared to the last IOS poll . The weighting effect is even more curious .
    In the IOS poll they had 241 people who said they voted Labour in 2005 reasonably close to the 22/23% figure ICM weight to , and they reduced the unweighted number of 192 saying they would vote Labour now to 177 . In the latest poll they had 274 people who said they voted Labour in 2005 so clearly a more Labour sample in this poll than in the IOS poll . You would logically therefore expect a much bigger reduction in the Labour figure of those who now say they will vote Labour . In fact this figure of 210 ( higher than the 192 in the IOS poll as you would expect from a more Labour sample ) is only reduced by 2 to 208 .
    To summarise the headline figure for Labour in this poll shows a 4% increase . The raw unweighted data had 2% more Labour supporters than the previous poll but from a much more Labour slanted sample but instead of weighting for past vote correcting this downwards as it should do logically it unaccountably adjusts it in the other direction .

  14. My mistake Andrew – it was after the locals but only partially after the Boris result. The difference is interesting – I’ll probably do a proper article on it after your next poll!

  15. Is it just me, or do ComRes polls always show quite wild swings from month to month, which aren’t reflected in other polls?

  16. The ComRes figures confirm the high level of Conservative support, and we’ve got a new forecast out which increases the predicted Conservative majority to 138.

    I’ve been trying to find out from MORI why they haven’t produced any data since April. Any ideas anybody?

  17. Will , partly it is because Comres weighting by past vote is based on an average of only the last 4 polls rather than ICM 20 and Populus 10 polls .

  18. Not much to say on this POLL – all the POLLSTERS except YouGov seem very cautious about when to publish POLLS or how to obtain the results – it does’nt make any sense whatsoever that Labour have jumped 7 points since the recent elections – I would say this is a nice little break for all Brown supporters on here and elsewhere to to see a 3 in front instead of behind a 2 ! Enjoy !

    10% lead for the Tories in Labour heartlands mentioned above comes as no surprise – i live in the North East , hard to find a Labour supporter up here anymore – they have become secretive like the Tories used to be.

    Scotland looking healthy for the Tories – now vying for 2nd place with Labour !!

  19. Mike, surely in part the 7 point jump can be in part explained by the elections being local elections and the polls refer to a General Election? We know people’s voting habits differ between the two.

    As for the north-east polls I think it varies a lot. Certainly in inner city Newcastle the Tories are a species that is close to extinction.

  20. i have a feeling that left wing parties are in for a very difficult 50 years.the era of big goverment must be over,bad service,poor output,quangoctats with nothing to do.
    tories enjoy.blair was a blip or end of an era,saying not putting taxes up and increasing them by a record amount,with very little to show,except 2million extra employees.
    personal responsibility is now the name of the game.

  21. With regard to Phillip’s comment-what goes around comes around.

    Who would have thought under Thatcher that there would ever be over a decade of Labour Govt. With an international eye; who would have thought in Australia under Howard a few years ago that Labour would now have control of the Federal Govt and every single State govt. for the first time in what, 50 years??

    Do not assume philosophic change; the people just get tired / bored with one set. And that govt. also runs out of energy, gets too obviously corrupt etc. And so the circle turns and the other lot has a go. It’s worth noting in particular that change is most likely to happen in Western countries at times of economic downturn…

    To be honest the large parties at Westminster are all on the same side, it’s just a question of emphasis…

  22. the switch to labour from lib dem could be explained by press coverage that Clegg was planning to back Cameron

  23. Paul Smith
    “the switch to labour from lib dem could be explained by press coverage that Clegg was planning to back Cameron”
    Really? Such coverage as there was -and it was miniscule-was of the kind of idle press speculation-that would’nt in my view change the voting intentions of a single person.
    I am not aiming at you Paul but yet again I am wondering why folk read so much into one poll.It is true that as the local elections fade the Lib Dems tend to lose ground but given the present unpopularity of the government I harbour strong doubts that we are witnessing a switch from Lib Dem to Labour. If ‘Populus’ next week show a similar pattern then I will take it more seriously.
    With ‘others’ still showing at a relatively high level I am much more interested in who other than the SNP in Scotland is attracting this support. Can anybody shed any light on this?

  24. Others must be the BNP and Greens

  25. Wolf,

    In Scotland Others is predominantly Greens followed by the SSP/solidarity and the Christian parties . The BNP are there but nothing like as high as England.

    The fact that in some polls the SNP is getting as high as 40% ( I don’t for a moment think we will get 40% in an actual Westminster election) means that we make up close to 3% of the Others total for the UK.

    Oddly enough I’ve noticed that even though it often doesn’t show as a region in it’s own right in poll splits there doesn’t seem to be a welsh surge in the PC vote to match what the SNP is doing in Scotland.

    So just like Scotland, Wales must have it’s own dynamic.


  26. STEPHEN said :- “As for the north-east polls I think it varies a lot. Certainly in inner city Newcastle the Tories are a species that is close to extinction.”

    Newcastle city centre is now dominated by Liberals – not that the Tories are extinct at all / the city centre should be Labour , but it is’nt ! The Tories are fully aware that they need to get deep into old Labour heartland as Labour did in the old Tory heartland in 1997 – they are making massive inroads , council seats in areas of the North East were falling like 9 pins to the Tories recently / areas like Washington , Chester-le-Street , Hartlepool , North Tyneside , Sunderland , Bishop Auckland , York , Durham – the Tories are seen in the North East as no longer the rich mans party , but the only escape from Labour beaurocracy and mismanagement in local and national government – that’s why my predictions have been so accurate , i have been listening to what’s been happening in my own area which was previously regarded as safe Labour territory.

    The Tories held their last conference in Gateshead – they know what they are doing.

  27. The same comment as above applies to Scotland – too many people keep talking about Scotland likes it’s something totally unique in British politics – NO it is’nt , only Northern Ireland fits into that bracket.

    The SNP unfortunately will become the dominant left leaning party in Scotland at the expense of Labour – the Tories will become the 2nd party in Scotland at the expense of the Liberals and anti independence voters.

    Tories in Scotland never went anywhere – they were just a sleeping giant waiting to wake up . The same applies to England and Wales at the moment , the giant has woken. They are the oldest political party in the world – too many people wrote them off in the last 11 years – it’s coming back to haunt them now.

  28. Mike the false oracle , the Conservatives have no seats in Durham managed to get around 10% of the vote in the recent Durham Unitary elections and at the end of 2007 had the princely total of 47 members in the combined Durham/Easington Constituency Association .

  29. The problem with Mike’s analysis is that he assumes that the Tories are the rightful government, and always will be. When the electorate vote for another party, it’s not because the other party’s policies are more appealing, but because they’ve made a mistake. The Conservatives don’t have a divine mandate; they are not the default ruling party.

    Scotland is unique in British politics. Why? Because there is a stable four party system in Scotland. Why is there a stable four party system? Because unlike England, Scotland has an extra political axis. You see, England operates on a left-right axis. Theoretically, the Labour party is on the left, the Tories are on the right, and the Liberals are somewhere in the middle. Scotland, however, has the traditional left-right axis *and* a constitutional axis. This extra axis makes room for more parties, and creates a political situation different to that in England.

    We see a similar situation in Canada, with three parties on the left-right axis, and Bloc Quebecois filling room on the constitutional axis.

    Even if you ignore the constitutional axis, your claims that Scotland isn’t unique in British politics doesn’t square with your assertion that the SNP is replacing Labour in Scotland as the party of the left. If this is the case, then surely that is unique. After all, there is no place in England where the SNP is the party of anything, not even the left.

  30. Mike Richardson’s view on Scotland has been expertly dismissed by ZX. Still, I can’t help pointing out that even if Mike’s vision of the future comes to pass, a Scotland where the SNP and the Tories were the two dominant parties would still inevitably be different, sorry I mean DIFFERENT, to the situation in England or Wales. Even while denying that Scotland is unique, Mike confirms that, deep down, he knows it is!

  31. Part of the problem with determining the vote for ‘others’ is perhaps that many of those who say they might vote for the Greens or the BNP ( or UKIP Wolf?) will not in fact have candidates for those parties standing in their constituency. Does this mean they won’t vote at all if their party is not putting up a candidate or as I suspect will they vote for their second choice? In a tightly fought contest that could be vital. It would be interesting if a pollster were to ask supporters of the minor parties-and here I exclude Plaid Cymru and the SNP- who they would vote for as a second choice.

    Peter Cairns is probably right when he says the SNP make up 3% of the 10/11% who say they will vote for ‘others’ and I guess that Plaid Cymru make up another 1% but that still leaves 6/7% floating around somewhere half of whom may not have a home to go to on the day but who will still be inclined to do their civic duty.

  32. I have previously tried posting here but without success. Let’s try once more.

    I am genuinely interested to know what people here think of the explanation given at the link below regarding why the opinion polls are so far out when it comes to the support received by the minor parties:


    This blogger is primarily interested in the BNP, but exactly the same arguments must apply to all the other small parties. Also, although he concentrates on YouGov, I note that the Populus poll published on 6/5 was equally off the mark when it came to the ‘others’.

  33. One interesting observation from Phillip is that taxes are up by a record amount. But taxes are in fact a lower share of GDP than under John Major. Income tax basic rate is now 20 p, not 23p. VAT on gas/electric is only 5%- down from 8%. Corporation tax is lower, Capital Gains Tax is lower. Fuel duty is a lower % of the price of petrol now than a few years back. The national debt is lower than in the 1990’s.

    It’s clear that everyone feels like they are paying more tax, maybe because of council tax. If they are, it must be because their wages are up, or they smoke a lot.
    Maybe folk are confusing huge payments to banks for the mortgage with paying tax to the government. If they borrowed from Northern Rock, they’re about right.

  34. Ever heard of stealth taxes Steve? Gordon Brown spent a decade raising taxes by the back door and avoiding the headline grabbers.There is no room left for manoeuvre and next year his luckless successor may either have to raise frontline taxes or cut public expenditure or both.Unless of course you actually believe the Treasury forecasts of growth in which case two men in white coats may shortly appear at you front door.