Tomorrow’s ComRes poll for tomorrow has also surfaced – the topline figures are CON 38%(-4), LAB 29%(nc), LDEM 19%(nc). There’s a sharp drop in Conservative support since ComRes’s last poll, but it actually reflects a straight reverse of the changes in ComRes’s previous poll. In their poll a week ago “others” dropped 4 and the Conservatives gained 4. This week its gone straight back in the other direction again!

UPDATE: ComRes also asked some questions on family policy. The public were pretty evenly divided on the Conservative proposal to give tax breaks to married couples but not cohabiting couples, 47% thought it was a good idea to 50% saying it was a bad idea.

182 Responses to “ComRes show polls narrowing again”

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  1. @BARRY P
    I think you are on to something here Barry. The rather bad tempered approach constantly not answering the question but repeating statistics, it dos’nt do much for GB at PMQ, in front of Chilcot on the 6pm news it won’t be great.

  2. Roland :
    “52% of respondents thought that Tony Blair has deliberately misled the country, with 32% thinking he “genuinely believed in the threat”. 23% of respondents thought that Blair should “face war crimes charges”.

    Pity the question wasn’t asked re Brown – it would have given a more relevant clue as to what to expect.

    The word “trust” in this context it’s different form the regularly posed “who do you trust (to get the economy right, on terrorism, the NHS etc)

    Do you think he’s honest? is a question that I think you’re right to expect Cameron to be ahead of Brown on.

  3. @JOHN TT
    Of course, if Cameron had held down a major cabinet post for years and then taken over from say Howard as PM, what would his honesty rating be then ? I would like to think a bit higher than Browns, but who knows.

  4. Roland – I think the length of time as the incumbent has an effect on the integrity of the people involved (so I don’t think Cameron would necessarily have preserved his honest image better than Brown has) but the hypothesis aside, you mention “bad-tempered” above, and I think that that negative attitude has an effect on what people think of him as well, in terms of his integrity.

    People who lose their rag are not usually seen as being as honest as those who appear to be benevolent (espoecially in the face of hostile interrogation)

  5. John TT I have to disagree with your last statement. The public find it hard to trust any politician since the expenses’ scandal. As to your Cameron comment, issues such as breaking a promise on a referendum, false green credentials, suspect poster and Edlington comments have in my opinion made him seem less trustworthy. Brown on the other hand seems to be seen as a seasoned warrior, hence the 80% who think he is trying to do a good job, in the latest marginal poll.

  6. LIN – as examples of the benevolent effect of a benevolent-seeming attitude, I can offer Tony Benn, Vince Cable, and Ken Clarke from each party.

    Their demeanour lends them a more trustworthy air than those who are seen as bad-tempered.

    I wasn’t making a part-political point, and as Roland pointed out, any edge that Cameron has over Brown leaves him damned with faint praise.

  7. and Alex Salmond of course.

  8. Just to reiterate;

    Cameron did not break any promises over a referendum. That is an allegation that could more accurately levelled at the government although even they have the “its not a Constitution, its only a Treaty” get out clause.

    With regard to Chilcott, I think the point is that it is far too gentlemanly and lacking in punch to get anyone riled. I suspect that if you stole someone’s wallet in front of the panel, they would politely ask you “Did you steal that man’s wallet?” You would reply, “No I didn’t”. They might press you by saying “Really? Are you SURE you didn’t steal that man’s wallet?” Then you would say, “I am confident that I did not steal that man’s wallet and I have been consistent throughout in denying that I stole that man’s wallet”. The enquiry would then move on, politely, to something else.

    Brown is very unlikely to lose his temper. He will simply state that on the information he was shown he genuinely believed that Hussain had WMD and he reluctantly concluded that military action was necessary to disarm him. It will be suggested to him that he didn’t provide sufficient funds for the military to do their job properly and he will deny this, saying that at all times the necessary provision was made. And that will be it.

    The whole thing is a complete non-event. Apart from, as I say, getting the word “Iraq” back on the news agenda.

  9. Well so much for the ICM marginals poll!

    It’s supposed to be a poll of “constituencies which are currently held by Labour with the Conservatives in second place”.

    Of the 7 Scottish constituencies included, the Tories are in 2nd place in only 3.

    The 2005 details are

    Ochil & South Perthshire
    Labour majority of 688 over Scottish National Party

    Aberdeen South
    Labour majority of 1,348 over Liberal Democrat
    Edinburgh North & Leith
    Labour Co-op majority of 2,153 over Liberal Democrat
    Edinburgh South
    Labour majority of 405 over Liberal Democrat

    Edinburgh South West
    Labour majority of 7,242 over Conservative & Unionist
    East Renfrewshire
    Labour majority of 6,657 over Conservative & Unionist
    Labour majority of 4,767 over Conservative & Unionist

    Anyone see similar mistakes in England or (more probably) Wales?

  10. I was just about to completely agree with you John TT and then you slipped in Alex Salmond! Ruined it just at the last…

  11. @ Roland Haines

    “….in front of Chilcot on the 6pm news it won’t be great.”

    Rather depends on who’s doing the editing, e.g.Sky News,BBC, big difference in what you are offered, how ‘well’ or how ‘badly’ he performs.

    Probaly the most important piece of TV editing anyone will have had to do in the last few years in terms of voter appreciation.

  12. Good spot OLDNAT. How come Crewe & Nantwich is in the list. Does it still count after the by-election?

  13. @ Neil A

    “Brown is very unlikely to lose his temper”

    I disagree. He may not raise his voice or bang on a table but, if pressed on a deliacte point, his expression and mannerisms will give away the fury inside. I think it’s mainly arrogance that someone has the audacity to question his authority or decision.

    He is terrible in controlling his emotions externally. A man to play poker with, and beat.

  14. Jack – Nice one! I could slip out of that by saying Alex was in there as “damned with faint praise”, but I admit I was only trying to curry favour wityh the Scots! He does have a friendly face though.

    barry (again hopefully non-party-political) it’s not about controlling emotions (the cameras will always detect the underlying emotion), it’s about motive.

    The best persuaders are the ones whose motive is to do some good to the outside world. The ones whose image lets them down are the ones whose motive is to do some good for themselves.

    Which is why Lin is right when she points out that the espenses scandal has caused great harm to the image of politicians.

  15. Mike Smithson on PB, (comment not headline):

    “Poll News
    The Guardian’s ICM poll for January will be out tonight. I’m told they it could be up on the paper’s website “after 6pm”

    The last ICM poll had 40-30-18”

  16. Brown won’t be pressed on any points, delicate or otherwise.

    A proper enquiry would involve asking someone a question, getting their (dodgy) answer, then waving documents or other evidence in their face that contradicts it and accusing them of lying. That’s how people get riled.

    The bottom line is that this enquiry has no power to sanction anyone. There is nothing to be lost by just sitting there and denying everything. I’ve sat in many interviews with offenders and I see it all the time.

  17. @ ALEC

    “As a general point Roland, I would ask forgiveness that I apparently continually express concerns about the Tories. It’s just that they are comfortably in the lead and look likely to be the next government in one form or another, so I am looking at them in much greater detail. If Labour look like they might win, you’ll see more of my criticisms of them, and if my party ever take the lead in the polls (that would be a shock) I’ll have a few choice words to say about some of their (our) policies.”

    Alec, I think many on this site, including myself, respect your comments but in order to be unbiased, wouldnt it be wise to also point out the problems & issues this present government are causing now and not if they happened to be ahead in the polls. After all we dont want the pro government supporters on this site getting ahead of themselves and believing that everything thing this government is doing is right. After all they have made some almighty gaffs since they have been in power

  18. “after 6pm”

    Boo! to pollsters/newspapers releasing figures when I’m on the train :(

    Jack – yep, by-election gains are largely disregarded for these purposes. If the Tories “hold” Crewe and Nantwich it will be regarded as a Tory Gain.

    Oldnat – it appears that it must have been lowest Tory swing to gain, rather than Tories in second place then.

    Neil A & Lin Rees: this is not an appropriate place for discussing whether politicians are honest or not (since it will inevitably decline into Labour supporters saying X and Conservative supporters saying Y). For our purposes, all that matters is what the polls show the public think… and Lin, please, that is a pathetic attempt at cherry picking. 80% think Brown is trying to do his best (which isn’t particular surprising, one would have to really hate the poor man to think he wasn’t even trying), but the same poll also asked how many people though he was doing a good job. This is a grown up forum about polling, so please look at the broad range of polling regarding attitudes towards Brown, rather than taking a single figure out of context.

    If you actually go and look for figures on honesty, it actually gives rather a mixed picture: depending on how you ask it Brown sometimes comes out ahead of Cameron.

  19. Mark R – Even better not to criticise any particular party at all.

    That way no-one gets ticked off (in either sense), and it is a bit more challenging to come up with something interesting than just to spout off the usual guff.

    Why don’t you set up a site for partisan discussion of the polls?

  20. Over on Political Betting Mike Smithson is speculating whether a General Election will be called TOMORROW for some time in February.

    Strange at it sounds he suggests that the GDP figures due out tomorrow and likely to show that Britain is at last emerging from Recession will be the catalyst to finally puck up the courage to call the election.

    Apprantly the reason for such speculation was that a number of Ministers were seen entering and leaving Number 10 earlier today.

    I don’t believe this will happen myself but if it did it would mean that he could avoid the Iraq Inquiry before an election after all.

  21. @ NEIL A
    “Brown is very unlikely to lose his temper. He will simply state ……”

    I agree with you NEIL.

    He will have the advantage of being Prime Minister.
    So he can, as you suggest-state “this is the way it was” in a Prime Ministerial sort of way-and I just don’t see the potential for a forensic questioning of a serving PM from the Chilcott panel.

    They let Campbell grandstand for hours.

  22. Colin – which is why I thought it strange for Clegg to call for it so loud that it forced the issue.

    If he’d left it, he could still have used the issue to beat Brown with. Is he really expecting Chilcott to expose Brown? It’s as likely that Brown will manage to explain himself without causing too much damage, and thereby reduce the impact of the issue later.

    There is a possibility that Brown will do as you suggest (and even benefit from the experience when it comes to the TV debates)

  23. @ John TT

    I find your remarks to say the least aggressive and out of order.

    You dont have to bother reading or responding to my comments if you havent got anything constructive to say other than harping on about partisan and non partisan all the time. I havent bothered responding to your comments before and its no surprise either

  24. @ RICHARD :-
    “speculating whether a General Election will be called TOMORROW for some time in February.”

    This would mean no Budget, which would imply a strong political desire not to have one,

    The reasons for this are very interesting to speculate upon.
    I have no doubt that Cameron would do so in public.

    Perhaps it was both of them, but it was Amber Star who raised the News of the World “is Brown trying to do a good job” poll.

  26. @ John TT

    “the cameras will always detect the underlying emotion”

    Of course they will but, that is not my point. We have no guarantees whatever the cameras pick up will be transmitted, selective editing.

  27. It would probably be Brown’s luck that if he calls the election for February the whole of Scotland and northern England will be brought to a standstill by massive snow drifts on polling day. :-)

  28. Roland – Well Lin was the one I spotted using it to illustrate how well thought of Brown was. Other people have mentioned it – and I’m sure some perfectly reasonably, and others probably not (it’s certainly been similarly abused on Mike Smithson’s site!)

  29. I have no idea whether Cameron is honest or not. I just object to people claiming to have caught him lying when they haven’t. It’s not like there aren’t plenty of politicians we HAVE caught lying.

    Calling Cameron’s referendum promise a lie is just politics. I apologise for being provoked, AW!

  30. @BARRY P
    This whole TV thing interests me. Imagine TV debates between
    Churchill and Attlee, or Thatcher and Kinnock. Would we have a different perception of former political leaders had they debated on the telly? Evenly matched, Wilson and Heath, Labour win,
    Blair and Howard, Tory win Macmillan and Gaitskill.
    Best of all Alex Salmond and Simon Cowell. (Salmond win).

  31. Anthony:

    John B Dick – EasterRoss is a Scottish Tory, so of course that’s what’s interesting to him!

    I think this belongs elsewhere, but I’ll try to humour him in future, we can’t afford to lose him as we won’t easily find another,

  32. Mark R – It’s not aggressive to point you towards the comments policy – if it were, Anthony would rightly moderate out my comments.

    Barry – true, but I can’t quite imagine a TV producer editing out shots that make Brown look shifty.

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