There is a new ComRes poll in today’s Independent. Topline figures with changes from last poll a week and a half ago are CON 40%(nc), LAB 27%(-1), LDEM 18%(-1).

Clearly there is little change in the levels of support for the main parties. Notably this is also only the second poll since the BNP’s appearance on Question Time. Like YouGov at the weekend, there is no significant boost for them – they are at 2% in this poll, up from 1% in the last poll, but pretty much par from the course (ComRes already had them at 2% in their poll at the start of October).

Of course, it does still leave us with the contrast between YouGov, ComRes and Populus, who are all showing a narrower Tory lead than before the Conference season, and ICM and Ipsos-MORI who are showing the lead up at 17 points. If it persists in next month’s polls I’ll have to have a closer look at what’s causing it.

On other questions, ComRes have had a stab at measuring tactical voting. Thay found 36% of non-Labour voters agreed with the statement “I would consider voting for a party I do not support just to try and keep Labour out of government” – that included 41% of Tory voters and 33% of Liberal Democrat voters. Of course, to put it in context we’d really need to know what people would say if asked the same about the Conservatives, and how people would have answered the question at previous elections. More grist for the mill, but we still haven’t really got a good way of predicting levels of tactical voting.

23 Responses to “ComRes show 13 point Tory lead”

  1. I just wrote that at present Labour are set to get at most 27/28% then this poll appears! Based on the same level of turnout as the last GE this would see Labour drop below 7.5 million votes.

    Anything above 28% is beginning to look beyond the realms of a realistic possibility for Labour!

  2. A comfortable 66 seat majority with this poll – perhaps 80-90 if the marginals unwind more than the safe seats.

    Still looks odds-on for a Tory victory whichever way you look at it.

  3. “a narrower Labour lead” – typo I presume.

  4. Anthony

    Clearly I can’t read :-)

  5. I am slightly stunned to see another 40% for the Tories. They were doing so well on around mid forties before the expenses scandal has its negative impact.

    They have promised to reduce MPs pay by 5% and freeze it for the rest of the parliament. In addition, they have said they would reduce the number of MPs by 10%. All of this should improve their support measurably. I can only think that the message of these measures has not got through to public yet.

    In the end, as recent weeks and months have taught me, that with these floating voters its all about mood and momentum.

    Just now none of the parties seem able to mould the mood and create a momentum in their favour.

  6. As people have pointed out before, the expenses scandal does seem to have damaged both main parties slightly. The Tories were around 2-3% higher about a year ago in most polls compared to now.

  7. Although looking at all the recent figures there is a strong possbility that the Tories are on 42%. Perhaps the next 5 or so polls will confirm the real position.

    The polls prior to the conference season and the last 4 polls do very strongly suggest that Labour are firmly on 27%. And with the inevitable mix messages about the economy between now and June its hard to see how Labour can possibly lift people’s mood in their favour.

    My own inclination is that Labour will lose a lot of hearts and minds in the run up to the election.

  8. Philip JW

    Why should it matter what a party says about their future plans to limit corruption at Westminster when the public considers that the UK political class will simply find other ways of continuing previous practice.

    There needs to be practical demonstration that MPs understand and accept that they were wrong to do what they did, before change will happen.

    Just compare the response of MPs and MSPs to both the level of abuse and their reactions to public concern.

  9. You can look at it another way. Labour is like a heavyweight champ that refuses to go down. They have climbed up to the high twenties even with all the negative news.

    Brown was saying the recession and UK was coming out of recession when GDP then shows Brown was wrong and UK now has a smaller economy than Italy which Brown ten years ago said would never happen under labour’s watch.

    There is a report also that labour put in place mass immigration for political gain and to rub the tories nose in it.

    For Labour to still be standing after all this is a sign that the electorate still has a labour lean after putting them in power so long. The incumbent party historically gains in the months before the election and that would put a hung parliament into play with brown refusing to give up power.

  10. I think Labour can still make a fight of it if they can somehow find a way to inspire their base, but it’s difficult to think exactly how they might be able to do that. Time is running out for them to find some ideas that might work however.

  11. The tories have never been the same since the economic crisis. Even with Labour and the Bush administration allowing the Lehman Brothers fiasco the economic crisis has helped labour.

    Labour knocking the tories on big cuts has hurt the tories even though those cuts wouldn’t take effect until 2011.

    In the local elections of 2008 the tories were at their peak and the tories got 44 percent and polls throughout the summer of 2008 showed 20-25 percent leads.

    The expenses scandal knocked off points from all parties but labour now seems to be back into the high twenties.

    Labour to be within striking distance of a hung parliament at this point has to give comfort to Brown.

    Blair in 1997 at this point had far bigger leads.

  12. Dan

    “Blair in 1997 at this point had far bigger leads.”

    I think Anthony would confirm that you can’t really compare current leads to to thos in the polls in the 90s. Most polling companies have changed their methodology significantly since then. It’s comparing apples and pears.

  13. In October 2004 Labour averaged 37% Then in the GE they gained 36%. Labour actually dropped 1 point in the run up to the election last time.

    At present Labour are averaging 27%. Based on what happened last time we should expect Labour to get 26% in the coming GE.

    Quite often governments save up their most popular measures for shortly before a GE, and avoid unpopular ones.

    But as King has pointed out we have reached the end of what is reasonably sensible to borrow. There comes a point when the interest on the government’s loan becomes so great that it is counterproductive to borrow anymore.

    Brown is out of money. And to be frank I think he is out out ideas with deceit his only weapon. Spending will rise by 0 percent !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Brown, a heavyweight champ, you said. Sorry to be so forceful, much more like a desperate gambler who doesn’t know when to quit!

  14. Philip JW

    Actually Dan described Labour (not Brown) as “like a heavyweight champ that refuses to go down.”

    The interesting thing about English politics is the continuation of Tweedledum/dee choices, when the public seems to see both major UK parties as having to choose between the lesser of two evils.

    The polling certainly suggests no great enthusiasm for either.

  15. What assumptions are made in these figures for certainty to vote? I believe this will be a key stat. at the GE and should be a feature in all commentaries on polls from now on – the motivation to vote as between Con. and Lab is, it seems to me, quite different.

  16. Phillip, I can never understand your predictions, the average stands at 41 27, yet you say more than 28 is beyond the realms of possibilty, and at the same time that the ‘real’ figure is probably 42?

    Has labour been getting a load of immensely good news I haven’t noticed that’d make us assume this is their realistic peak?

  17. Weighted Moving Average 41:27:18 so the WMA CLead is 14 very very close to the average over the last 193 days (which is how many days to the next election). Basically the polls remain static from a statistical PoV and there is no evidence that anything is making a difference.

  18. Is there any data on the likelhood to vote and/or strength of feeling. I still get the impression that there is a larger than usual group of dont know or weak support for both main parties, which could go either way. We also seem to moving away from looking at records to trying to predict future policies of the next administration.

  19. @Dan,

    Summer 2008 was a bit of a “blip” in the Tory lead. For a couple of months, after the Crewe and Nantwich By Election, they did indeed show leads in the 20s. But in early 2008 and late 2008 their lead was much as it is now. In fact October 2008 and October 2009 are eerily similar in opinion poll terms.

    Anyone can pick a short period in recent history when a party was doing very very well and compare that to their current standing to make it appear that they are doing comparitively badly. The truth is if you had had a conversation with a Labour in MP a year ago and asked “What would you think if this time next year the Tories were still 14 points ahead with a poll score of 40+ percent?” their answer would have been “That would be a disaster”.

    It seems the main news from a psephologists point of you is that there is no news. For all the talk of voters being “volatile” etc, what is really happening is that poll after poll is showing that the vote shares are basically static. Overall; Labour recovering slightly, Tories maintaining their position, LibDems not making any ground. I think this lack of polling news is what is driving the followers of this blog to distraction!

  20. Dan. November 2009 is not early Summer 2008! Most electors minds are focused now, if they are focused at all, on a real election in six months, not one years in the future. If I were DC I would be very happy with a 13+% lead that seems to be sticking with only five months to the off. “A lot can happen” “a week is a long time” and “events”, but a steady lead does look “set in”.

  21. Clearly the election is the Tories to lose and at this stage the only changes I can see might be an additional point or two to each of the main parties as inevitably the score for the others slightly falls away -the latter cannot compete in publicity terms.

  22. Neil A is right Labour would be satisfied with 8% or so lead, say 39/31 and the LDs must be disappointed by their lask of progress.
    I would only add that others @ 15% is too high, the BNP in the news may not only have lifted them a little but reminded some other susceptable voters that they do not have to vote for one of the main parties helping the other others. GReen UKIP)
    (OLD NAT I know but SNP/PC are others in this poll).
    As such 44/28/20 is probably about the real GE tomorrow score.

  23. @DAN

    dont hold your breath on the hung parliament dream.
    Labour are even less competetive in the marginals than their national share indicates and they would need a seismic shift back to them in these seats to hold any hope of a hung parliament.
    It just doesn’t seem at all likely as far as i can see.
    Brown appears hugely unpopular in the seats that won Labour the 1997 election.
    To say Labour are currently in touching distance of a hung parliament is a touch fanciful, the first 80 seats on the Tories target list look a dead cert and those alone would make them become the largest party.
    I appreciate things can change, but Britain appears to have made up its mind.