A new ComRes poll in the Sunday Independent has topline figures, with changes from the most recent ComRes poll of CON 43% (+4), LAB 32% (+1) LDEM 12% (-4). I’m please to note than on his blog reporting the figures John Rentoul is drawing a comparison from the most recent ComRes poll in the Indy, rather than the older one in the Sunday Indy. The poll was conducted between the 12th and 13th November – Wednesday and Thursday – so as with YouGov, the fieldwork straddles the PMQs exchange about “baby p” and it’s hard to say if any effect would show up or not.

This is the first poll from any pollster for a while to show any significant boost in the Conservative vote – the trend has been of slight falls in Conservative support and Labour recovery. As ever, I’d treat a poll that appears to contradict the trend in all the other polls with some scepticism unless we see some other polls showing a Conservative boost – that goes double given the extremely low Liberal Democrat score, equalling their lowest recorded under Clegg.

The other questions in the poll found 48% of people thought that the team around David Cameron was lightweight, 57% thought that Gordon BRown should not take most of the blame for unemployment. 54% of people still think that Labour will lose the election regardless of who leads it (for comparison, 68% thought this in July).

Finally, and most significantly, 75% thought that any tax cuts should be paid for by cutting spending rather than borrowing more, only 17% disagreed. With all the parties proposing various tax cuts the dividing lines are becoming, firstly, the specifics of which tax cuts they are proposing, and more fundementally whether they should be funded by borrowing or not. There have not been many questions directly addressing it yet, but as in this case, those I’ve seen have all show a very hostile public reaction to extra borrowing.

23 Responses to “But ComRes show Tories recovering”

  1. Anthony. Cannot find the tables of voting intentions by pollster. – can you help, please?

  2. Collin – on the frontpage they are linked from the right hand side underneath all the recent polls. On pages without a right side bar they all move over to the left hand side (so right now they should be almost directly to the left of this comment!)

  3. I cant really see the ‘others’ having 13% of the vote at a GE but of course it is possible. 12% for the LIbs? I can’t really see that happening either. If you look at a margin of error of around 3% then this poll could easily tie with YouGov.

    It just goes to show how polls done virtually at the same time by two different pollsters can provide very different results. Strange that but all within the leeway of course and with the margins of error, both could be right!

  4. I also doubt 12% for the LDs, although I would welcome it.
    It’s possible.

    But if Labour is doing better, and Conservatives keep a lead, we could see a LD squeeze to 15,
    although until recently I’ve assumed 16-19.

  5. According to the present evidence of the polls it might be assumed that come the election they will gain between 15% and 18% of the votes.

    But if we should be cautious about drawing early conclusions about how well a party will do, it is particularly the case with the Lib Dems.

    After a difficult leadership election they enjoy a good level of unity and stability. And their conference showed that with a good share of media publicity they have the potential to do better than 18%

    Joe James B, why you or anyone who says they believe in democracy would want the Lib Dems to do more poorly defies rationality.

  6. I am actually more inclined to believe in this poll rather than the you gov commissioned for Yougov. Why? I read the comments on all the papers postyed this morning (Times, Guardian, Indepe, the BBC) and have ample opportunity everyday to carry out a straw poll at work. Everything I have heard and read so far makes me believe that people have started to question the economic competence of the Prime Minister and his spending plans, this is highlighted in the fact that people have asked for tax cuts to be bpaid for by spending cuts rather than additional borrowing.
    As a lib dem I am disappointed by our showing in the polls, I think Nick Clegg has not made his voice heard, or rather he is being drowned out by the reasonabe Vince Cable…so another election coming up for Party leader…

  7. DJ – Careful of judging polls by anecdotal evidence on the comments of BBC articles or people you know. That way madness lies…

    Comments on websites are always skewed towards the critical, people in your office (or my office, or anyone’s office!) are a very narrow group – for a start they all are working age, live in roughly the same area and work in the same sector!

  8. The Scotlad figures from ComRes are;

    Labour 32%, Tory 19%, Libdem 15%, SNP 26%, Others 8%.

    After Glenrothes pretty much what I would expect Labour back ahead is behind by way u from the last election, the Tories third and the libdems way down from the last election.

    As ever the rest of the Scottish figures show Scotland far more pro Brown than Cameron on the issues questions, although I did notice a much higher number of don’t knows on the question of Camerons team.

    Could it be that with the focus on Salmond v Brown that the Tory front bench isn’t getting the exposure North of the Border that the Tories would like. If I was Tory central office i’d suggest some more IDS type visits to Easterhouse by front bench spokes people over the next year.

    that and the entire shadow cabinet to come up and meet at the scottish tory conference in the spring.

    Finally just for fun here’s Alex Salmond as Rev I M Jolly on Children in Need.



  9. Whoops…. something went way wrong in the first paragraph ( that’s what you get for not proof reading), it should have read.

    After Glenrothes pretty much what I would expect Labour back ahead……… with us behind, but way up from the last election……., the Tories third and the libdems way down from the last election.


  10. Philip JW, the Lib Dems got squeezed in the London elections, so it’s possible there may be a flight to both Conservatives and Labour next time.

    That said, media coverage in an election campaign almost certainly should give the Lib Dems 18%+, rather than the sort of scores indicated by Yougov and BPIX.

  11. The Comres detailed tables show rather odd figures again particularly for the LibDems and Labour . The figures for how people say they voted in 2005 are
    Con 20% Lab 23% LibDem 8% Others 7%
    ICM and Populus weightings are pretty similar
    Con 19-20%
    Lab 23-24%
    LD 13%
    Oth 5%
    Both ICM and Populus normally find a rather higher Labour figure in their samples and weight the Labour figures downwards and usually find aeound 10-11% L:ibDems and weight upwards .
    The Comres figures hence have a relatively low Labour figure and an abnormally low LibDem figures but they no longer seem to weight for this and the LibDem weighted figure only goes up by around 1% from 72 to 79 voters . ICM and Populus would both have weighted the LibDem figure much higher and with this raw data have a published LibDem figure of 16-18% .
    The published Conservative lead would also be lower with both Populus and ICM with this raw data .

  12. Mark – ComRes do still weight by past vote, but I’m not certain about the past vote figures. The figures in the first table for past vote often look really odd (there was one instance where the Conservative were above Labour, for example) – but when I asked Andrew Hawkins about it he said those were the weighted figures… but weren’t the figures they weighted *to*.

    I can’t work this out – I would have thought that by definition if the weight by past vote then past vote in the poll matches the figures you weight to. It is all very strange.

  13. I don’t think either of these polls tell us that much new – although they usefully help confirm what was apparent.
    The Labour government has clearly regained ground as the economic crisis has worsened – partly because people are looking to them in the hope they have the experience to fix it, and partly because the international dimension and the idiotic behaviour of certain banks has shown other forces at play.
    ( Personally, I don’t entirely accept it’s all outside events because it has exposed very poor regulations, and we’re worse prepared because of the poor public finances).

    The Conservatives have struggled to put over a convincing case for about 6 weeks.
    In the summer, and through the May elections, it was easier to score pot shots at the government without being put under much scrutiny.

    Although the declining poll lead is a concern for the Tories, the fact that there is still a significant lead, with only 2 or 3 polls showing any slippage below 40-41, does indicate to me that Labour will find it harder to get much higher even if the Tories do nothing.

    But there will be other twists in this.
    Plummeting inflation, and possibly interest rates (if they’re passed on) , more affordable housing, sales, could actually make a lot of people feel quite well off a year from now – if they keep their jobs, and feel they will keep them. if.

  14. Anthony , I have also queried the Comres past vote weightings on a previous poll and did not get an answer which I could understand your post just confuses me even more LOL .

  15. I think Peter Cairns’ makes an interesting point, namely that as competition between the two major parties increases all thrid parties get squeezed.
    However it also seems clear that squeezes cannot last forever as additional parties work as a stabiliser on polling figures and eventually they will be given the opportunity to fight back and score for themselves.
    On This Week last week, it was interested to hear Portillo, Abbott and Neil comment “Poor Nick Clegg, what more can he do?” – does this mean he is starting to convince them?

  16. If you take this poll out the others minus BPIX show generally the same thing, a closing lead. If Cameron, Osbourne etc overstates the hardship of the coming recession and it turns out to be a softer fall than people are predicting, Labour will, right or wrong, take all the plaudits.

    Looking over the last few months, I am, with a heavy heart, anticipating a Labour lead just past Christmas. Cameron is continually in Browns shadow. He can’t even get the media on side and most of them support our party.Osbourne is a busted flush and if he stays he will take the party down with him.

    Before anyones says I am over reacting. I have looked back through quotes from yourselves for the last six months saying that it can only get worse for Labour,the Labour party is finished, Brown Bounce wont last long and the last time I spoke it was, don’t be worried if Browns bounce only gets them within 10% we have nothing to worry about.

    Worst of all Mike Oracles has predicted we will win the election…..might as well put my money on Labour and take the good price before everyone realises what he has posted.

  17. Anthony, I only commented on the way I do because I work in an industry which is seen as staunchly labour (heavily unionised etc), and I cover roughly 500 miles a day and talk to different depots each day. There are things I have to point out, Labour can no longer rely upon the union members support although they still have the unions support but there again we have had Unite and Unison also express that their members would not uniformally vote labour as in the past. I know you cannot rely upon the comments in papers, but when the guardian readership were uniformally tearing strips off Brown last week, I no longer think that the labour house is safe as it once was, the foundation base is crumbling away, which may be why the other parties beyond the trasditional three are starting to rise.

  18. I don’t think Labour could ever rely upon the union members votes, I worked for the Post Office for over 7 years and I don’t hink I met one Labour supporter, that was about 20 years ago! Are there any figures for the split of support for Labour, Conservative, Leb Dems and others in any recent/past polls?

  19. It looks like the US have torpedoed Brown’s bank rescue.

  20. PETER RUSH – Thank you for noting my well respected & accurate comments from time to time on this great website of Anthony’s (apart from my miscalculation of the USA results – has taught me a lesson to stick to what i know – British politics and mindset).

    As I have said previously over the past few weeks – if this is the best that Mr.Brown can do in the POLLS after all the media coverage he has had & false messages about the cause of the credit crunch and borrow more money solutions – for the Tories to still be floating around the lower 40’s & the only boost he has to show is a Liberal decline – sorta sums up the real boost he is apparently having – very unstable indeed – just keep watching as i have said before. These POLLS are just a blip – people looking for any kind of solution – Brown appears competent at the moment – time will tell.

    Watch this space – as the old saying goes “you can fool some of the people some of the time , you can’t fool all of the people all of the time”

  21. ” He can’t even get the media on side”

    The TV news coverage certainly has changed in tone.
    It is now much more supportive of Labour than it was when their Polling figures were so dire.

    On Sunday Sky didn’t mention the ComRes Poll-but did mention the You Gov one.
    Ditto on the Marr interview with Osborne-who reminded Marr of it as a former Editor of The Independent.

  22. Gary,

    I always remember my brother telling me that while on strike as a boiler maker back in the seventies they had a union meeting in the pub where they decided to reject the managements pay offer.

    As the settled down to a pint after the meeting one of the guys who had supported the strike picked up a copy of “The Sun” looked at the front page and said,

    “Look those lazy bastards at Ford are on strike again”.


  23. Peter, I think there is a name for this syndrome! Someone carried out a study and noted that everyone complains when someone with a bicycle gets on a train carriage, anyone with a bicycle already on the train complains just as much.