New ComRes poll

There is a new ComRes poll in tomorrow’s Indy. Topline figures, with changes from their last poll a fortnight ago, are CON 40%(-1), LAB 24%(nc), LDEM 21%(+3).

So, an insignificant drop for the Conservatives, but a jump in Lib Dem support. That’s the highest score for the Liberal Democrats in any poll since mid-July, also ComRes. The last time another pollster put them that high was all the way back at the end of May.

It’s also the closest the Lib Dems have been to overtaking Labour for a while. This has threatened to happen several times this Parliament (and once or twice individual polls have indeed shown the Lib Dems in second place). In this case though, the Lib Dems are higher than they are in most other polls, and Labour are lower than they are in most other polls, so I’m going to resist getting all excited about it again!

31 Responses to “New ComRes poll”

  1. ComRes polls seem to be the least consistent.

    What is it about their methodology that makes their figures bounce around so much compared to other pollsters?

  2. The combined Labour and LD vote seems to be at least 45% in most polls. Maybe that means the Conservatives will be hard-pressed to go above 42% or so.

    The LDs target will be to go into the election campaign on at least 20%. With a current average of 19% they may do it.

    Maybe it’s worth a flutter on the LDs beating Labour in votes at the next election.

  3. 80 seat majority for the Tories with this poll

  4. Taking all the polls since June (see table on this website) the tories are averaging a 15 point lead. The Lib Dems are on an average of just under 19% so assuming 92% is achieved by the three main parties (as 2005) the result could be 44:29:19 by the time we reach the election.

    Still a sound Tory victory of 106 seats assuming they maintain the average lead.

  5. Is it just me or does everybody on here seem to want the LDems to replace Labour as one of the two main political parties, i may just be reading it wrong but it seems like that to me:P Not that im complaining i would like to see it aswell, was just curious if im correct:P

  6. @Michael

    Yes, I think that’s the predominant view. I don’t really think it’ll happen; the LibDems need to make more inroads into Labour “safe areas”, and I think they wasted the opportunity in 2005 to attack Labour.

    But who knows? If Labour can follow Brown with a Foot Mk. II, the post-2005 election might give the LibDems another shot.

  7. From the July 26th the Cons have polled until now 42 41 43 42 41 41 43 42 42. These figures strongly suggest the Cons are most probably on 42%

    The Lib Dems have polled 18 18 19 18 18 19 17 18 17 so are most probably on 18%

    Labour have polled 24 27 26 28 24 25 26 26 28. Note there is a 4 point variation in Labour’s scores compared to the Cons and Lib Dems 3. In my mind this makes Labour’s estimated score to be less certain. But they do most strongly suggest that Labour are on 26%

    Armed with these facts I think it can be said that the last 2 polls actually add weight to these estimated positions.

    Comres polled Con 40 Labour 24 Lib Dems 21. I am not aware of any good reason that the Lib Dems should suddenly jump up 3 points and Yougov’s poll done at the same time again shows them to be on 18.

    If we accept the that Comres poll has overestimated the Lib Dems position by 3 points those point mostly probably should be distributed 2 to the Cons and 1 to Labour. This would give us Con 42 Lab 25 Lib Dem 18.

    Yougov polled Cons 40 Lab 27 Lib Dems 18. If we simply accept that the Yougov poll has underestimated the Cons score by 2 points we should most probably subtract them from Labour’s score. This would give us AGAIN Con 42 Lab 25 Lib Dems 18.

    This possibly, perhaps suggest that Labour have dropped 1 point. Admittedly this is a debateable, well , point. But we have just had a significant rise in fuel duty.

    Still I’m confident that there is an excellent chance that Con 42 Lab 25 Lib Dems 18 is an accurate estimate of the preconference season position of the three main parties.

  8. @Philip JW

    What’s the basis for those assumptions? The logic seems to be rather circular…

  9. Is there any reason why Coms Res have recently shown Labour lower than all the other pollsters.
    Questions, order of questions, methodology?

    8 out of the last 10 have Labour 25-28 with 2 coms Res putting them on 24%. In July Coms Res had Lab on 23 when 4 others around the same time showed 24,25,26 and 27.
    Either Coms Res are the most accurate or they are out of line or maybe these 3 are just at the low end of MOE.
    Some posters follow the mantra of take Labours lowest score (PB inspired I think), is the sensible?

    Michael – it is in the Tories interest for the LDs to overtake Labour guarrenteeing at least 3 terms.
    Won’t happen (this time at least) Lab core vote too high and anti Lab voters will mainly go Tory except a few seats where LDs are in a strong second place to Labour. In fact expect less LD seats regardless of votes as they may well lose many to the cons in the SWest.
    Labour of course hope that as the GE approaches the latent anti-Tory feeling within many will coalesce around them, we will see.

  10. We have to see more polls to see where the land really lies! To make wild assumptions on here, as many are doing is just folly!

  11. WMA 41:26:19 though as Anthony says it’s too early to get excited about the closing of the Lab:LDem gap. This was down to 3 on the WMA in late may/early June. Politically there “ought” to be a big swing away from Lab to LibDem and C given the shambles of the Brown leadership, but there is essentially zero evidence for this in the polls as yet.

    FWIW ComRes has a retrospective Std of 3.2 but Ipsos/Mori has 3.4. The most accurate is YouGov with 2.6. The most consistent is BPIX which has a Std of 2.1 but a whoppping mean error of 2.4!

  12. @ Michael

    I would also like to see the Libdems beating Lab into second place (at least it number of votes as obviously they cant in seats given electoral bias) but I am afraid until the funding situation for the parties changes it is unlikely to happen in a GE. The blind/loyal (delete depending on your allegiance) support of Lab by the unions means Con and Lab will out spend LibDems nearly 6 to 1 and starve them of air time.

    A pity as I think the country would benefit from three string parties all with a chance of power.
    (for the record I write this as a Con voter)

  13. I am not sure the majority want here want to see the Libdems come second as much as they want to see Labour come third.

    On current voting 60% don’t support labour with two thirds of them Tory supporters.

    If this site broadly follows the national trend, and I suspect it does, then two out of three posters probably want to see the Libdems do better than Labour, but two out of three of them want to see Labour do badly not the libdems do well.


  14. To continue with the Coms Res outliers or not line.Before christmas it was them who had labour 1% behind (37-36) in 2 polls whilst the rest had leads 3-7%.At the time many posters argued that Coms Res where not reliable. I accepted this as they did seem out of line with the rest, now perhaps they are understating Labour.Do they have different weightings adjustments to ICM and YouGuv?
    CharlieJ – I am sure you have a desire for democtratic compettion but many do wish to see a strong third party as it disproportionately helps the Cons.
    Under TPTP a strong third party helps exaggerate the majority in seats terms whoever wins (much smaller majorites before the ‘Alliance’ in 83) but the Tories benefit more due to the higher core vote.
    It is only the boundary inbalances which have hid this in the recent Elections.

  15. @ Jim Jam

    Why does the existence of a strong third party “disproportionately” help the Tories? There are far more Con/LD seats than Lab/LD seats, so unless you assume that the vast majority of LD voters would vote Labour, if there were no LD party, those seats would be solidly Tory.

    I think you’re assuming that the LD party constitutes a division of an otherwise natural grouping of the left, where the current polls (more LDs support Cameron than Brown) and the inter-war collapse of the Liberals (half the deserting Liberals, including Churchill, joined the Tories) suggest otherwise.

  16. I agree with Peter Cairns analysis of whether people “want” LDs to beat Labour, as opposed to simply wanting Labour to do badly.

    Leaving aside what individuals may want (usually based on their personal position / preference) we should perhaps look more realistically at what “may” happen, and, if it did, what the consequences might be.

    Firstly, we should distinguish between the likelihood of LDs winning more votes than Lab and the likely tally in seats. Since the LD vote is more widely (and hence thinly) spread than the Lab vote, LDs would either need to drastically change the distribution, or the quantum, of their support in order to overtake Lab in MPs. Put simply, neither of those are within the current range of probable outcomes, and however badly they do, Lab will still have more MPs than LDs.

    Secondly, we should consider the regional breakdown of party support. It is evident that the LDs will not even come close to Labour in terms of votes, still less seats, in either Scotland or Wales. But should we take England as a whole or by region ?

    Across England, it is probable that the result in terms of votes will still be Con:Lab:LD, as it was in 2005, but the gap in votes between Lab and LD may be far closer than that between Con and Lab. The actual distribution of seats is somewhat harder to predict, but the order will almost certainly be Con; Lab; LD.

    It is just about possible that LDs could overtake Lab in terms of votes in England. If so, they would be in a somewhat similar position to that of the Cons in 2005 – save that they would be second not first. But does it matter ?

    If, however, we look at votes in indvidual English regions, then we may well find that there are several where LDs are well ahead of Lab, others where they remain well behind, and some where the two are very close. This could matter, not just in terms of seats. There will perhaps be some regions (maybe SW, SE or East) with more LD MPs than Lab MPs. Even were LDs to fall behind Lab in total votes in England, they could find themselves having out-polled Lab in more than half the English regions. LDs could then claim a stronger mandate to be the official opposition to Cons in England.

    The LD position in such a scenario would also be further reinforced by LD success at local level – in particular if LDs make additional gains at Lab expense in 2010 local council elections to consolidate their lead oevr Lab in terms of councillors. While there is still some way to go in terms of Councils, that point could be reached c2012.

    That may be meaningless in the next Parliament, where Lab will probably still have 2-3 times as many MPs as LD. But could have implications for the level of LD support, and seats won, at the following GE.

    But, as I have previously commented, that is merely one of several possible scenarios. The key challenge for the LDs is that there is no evidence that this is their vision, nor that they have a clear strategy for achieving it.

  17. Slight worrying slide in the Conservative vote in the last two polls. Could still just be margin of error though so impossible to tell right now.

    Would have hoped the Cons would be safely floating around 41-44 right now. As always though, further polls will tell. Hopefully just statistical noise.

  18. As far as the Lib Dems go.

    I think they are currently hamstrung by being unsure of which way they should go. They seem to flounder between trying to displace the tories and to displace Labour (with a curious focus until recently on the Tories), and as a result just end up looking untrustworthy to the members of both. NIck Clegg’s personal problem is that he just looks like Cameron mark 2, but without quite the same ruthlessness or political savvy.

    I think if they are ever to displace Labour or Cons they need a march better differentiated ‘Liberal Democratic’ standpoint, whether socially democratic or classically liberal. They don’t really stand out in voter’s minds on either of these issues though, whether against labour civil authoritarianism or Conservative Free Marketeering.

    What do other people think?

  19. Richard M,
    There are 2 reaons:
    First, in the shott term the Cons will get most votes and seats at the next GE so a split vote must help them.
    Second, if the scenario Paul sets out occurs (which to be fair he doubts himself) it would take the LDs until 2023/3, maybe the one after to have a chance at a GE (or I guess for Labour to re-invent and have a chance)
    As such 3 terms, possibly 4, guarenteed for the Tories unless they are egregiously bad.

    Moreover, the LIb Dems and Labour woiuld be busy attacking each other rather than the Tories as well adding to the adavantage.

    Also I think mathemtically the Tories benefit more due to a higher core vote but if this is true then it is ‘deserved’ for having than core vote.

  20. I said it yesterday and I will say it again:

    We have to see more polls to see where the land really lies! To make wild assumptions on here, as many are doing is just folly!

  21. Is this the poll that had the seperate figures on Trident? If so – should these be taken seriously? I saw several figures on “investment” type questions, and they seems quite poorly worded from a quick glance…

  22. The fact that Darling has won the battle with Brown on opening up a more honest discourse on spending may possible assist Labour, as might recent reports about the technical end of the recession. We need to see more polls to know whether some slight movements are significant, but I don’t expect polls to flatline from here to the next GE.

  23. The LDs will probably be crushed at the next election, in a still close (seats) election over the economy.
    They are about 2 points higher than in late 2008 because, I suspect, Labour has been low almost into the core vote.
    A few excited supporters here, but it’ll probably be 16 or 17% again before long.

  24. Alec,

    Has Darling “won” that battle ?

    It strikes me that what we are really seeing is that individual members of the cabinet now feel able to set out their own position – with an eye to post-defeat leadership bids – without fear of being disciplined by No10.

    Darling used to have a solid reputation in the Labour party, which took a serious knock last year when he was seen to be Brown’s poodle in HMT, with Brown effectively running economic policy from No 10. Since Darling first stood up to Brown back in February, his reputation and standing have recovered – as proven in his ability to face Brown down over the botched reshuffle in June.

    What Darling said in his speech made sense – though it may not go far enough. But it is at odds with what Brown himself has said or appears to want.

    So. Whom should we believe – the PM or his Chancellor ? And what does that choice tell us about the condition of the government in general, and the status of the PM in particular? Were Labour to somehow win the next election, would Darling be able to deliver ? Or would he be dumped in favour of the more compliant Mr Balls ?

    I suspect that a key calculation being made by Mr Darling is that if he does not successfully differentiate himself from Mr Brown, not only will he no longer be Chancellor next May, he may also be visiting the Edinburgh SW Job-centre with his parliamentary P45 in hand.

    If – and it is an ever bigger IF these days – Darling can retain his seat, he will undoubtedly play a leading role in the reshaping of Labour. His influence from the red benches – unlike a certain other Peer – would be much smaller.

  25. Check out today’s FT, seems fear of downgrade is over.
    Apparently we have more long debt than anyone else so Interest rates rises won’t hurt as much.
    Are the any economis graduates out there who can favour us with an analysis?
    Even last night on Newsnight Phillip Hammond was using this threat as the main justification for deeper and quicker cuts in the deficit than Labour’s proposals 50% by 2014.

    BTW I went on PB last night to see what it is like, if some of think this site is Tory dominated thay ought to take a look there – truly partisan but virtually all preaching to the converted and I won’t be going on again.
    Also ‘the Oracle’s’ has found a home that suits his approach better.

  26. @Paul HJ – your comments are all very valid and I wouldn’t disagree with any of them. I suspect Darling has flexed his political muscle and a weak Brown has to do his bidding. The financial markets are also important here, as they appear to be happier to have Darling calling the shots than Brown. I suspect the November PBR will be very imortant. Darling seems to be laying the ground for some action on spending cuts that may help build Labour credibility on the debt issue, and no doubt he will also look to use these to presssure Cameron and create some distinctive differences. Who knows? As an individual taxpayer, I personally feel more comfortable to see this approach now appearing to take hold in government as opposed to Brown’s politically inspired gamesmanship.

    @Jim Jam – I noted the reports that appear to suggest fears of a downgrade are receding (but don’t let Rich hear us say that). What will be interesting will be that although most of the economic indicators are currently well ahead of the mainstream predictions from even 6 months ago, the one figure that hasn’t followed this trend is the public debt numbers. In many ways this is the most important number. The next few months will be critical to see if a better overall economic performance takes the edge of the debt mountain, and this will have great significance as to the relative strength of the Labour/Tory strategies on debt at the GE. The more positive news on the jobs market is promising, but not yet enough to give us any confidence that the public debt will be any better than expected.

  27. Although Darling’s speech was full of the usual euphemisms , he was clearly trying to replace Brown’s version of things with a degree of honesty.

    He has a lot more to spell out yet-and being Chancellor will have to. If he sticks to this sort of tone then he will be a serious foil for Osborne & Cameron.

    Whilst the media will want departmental shopping lists of cuts, I can’t see either Darling or Osborne wanting to spell them out-rather monetary “envelopes” & percentages of GDP etc.

    But the main battleground under Darling’s approach will be comparative timing. That could produce traction for Labour-unless the public just want shot of them regardless.

  28. Alec / Colin,

    Yes, I agree that Darling’s honesty can help restore Lab credibility in economic sphere. But…

    The key issue is credibility in delivery. Can we be sure that Darling will be retained as Chancellor in a future Brown Govt. ?

    The public is entitled to be sceptical, and this will restrain any recovery on the Lab vote.

  29. But supposing the Labour offering is a Darling lead government, with no GB.?

  30. Colin,

    Not likely to be an option until the election after !
    (Assuming Darling retains his seat and can see off the other pretenders for the crown)

  31. Stephen W:
    “[LibDems] seem to flounder between trying to displace the tories and to displace Labour (with a curious focus until recently on the Tories), and as a result just end up looking untrustworthy to the members of both.”

    ‘flounder’ is the wrong verb, and as there are far more voters who aren’t members of any party I don’t think they’ll be losing any sleep over not appealing to people who’ve already made their minds up not to vote for them.

    “NIck Clegg’s personal problem is that he just looks like Cameron mark 2, but without quite the same ruthlessness or political savvy.”

    Firstly I wouldn’t credit Cameron with exceptional ruthlessness or savvy (after Howard and up against Brown my dead granny would be a favorite with the tory’s resources, despite seeming determined to alienate his donors and membership).

    And secondly I think any leader of a party would be glad not to be judged according to the terms of a competitor.

    Just because you have a bias against the Libs won’t stop my wife telling me Clegg has convinced her to swing behind them and that I should too.