There is a ComRes poll out tonight. The full details are embargoed until ten o’clock, but Andrew Grice has already posted that the Conservative lead is down to seven points, from points in ComRes’s previous poll a week and a half ago.

I’ll update at ten, but certainly this poll appears to be echoing the trend we’ve seen in all the other polls since the country officially exited recession on Tuesday. So far Ipsos MORI, YouGov, BPIX and ComRes have all shown the Tory lead shrinking and heading into hung Parliament territory.

I think that Populus’s monthly poll may also have been conducted over the weekend – if it was, we should get that tonight or tomorrow as well.

UPDATE: The full figures are CON 38%(nc), LAB 31%(+2), LDEM 19%(nc), so the narrowing of the lead is down to Labour increasing their support – like YouGov, BPIX and MORI, ComRes have Labour up above 30% and in the case of ComRes it is the first time for almost exactly a year.

37% of people agreed that Labour can take credit for getting Britain out of recession (a minority – 59% disagreed – but obviously 37% is more people than actually support Labour, so is probably not a bad finding). The other additional questions aren’t particularly enlightening. 40% said they trusted Brown more than Cameron to help the economy to recover (52% disagreed, but obviously we can’t automatically stick them in the Cameron column as they may be people who trust them both, or trust neither of them). The same applies to the 24% of people who believe the recession would have ended earlier if the Tories had been in power – the 69% of people who disagreed can’t be taken to be people who think the Tories would have done worse, some will think the two parties would have done equally well or badly.

Finally 82% said they agreed that Cameron should be clearer over what he would do about the economy. The Indy have put this as a subheading on their front page, but frankly it’s a fairly pointless question. A good sign of a decent question is whether anyone can really agree with the opposite – and how many normal people would say “I think David Cameron should be much vaguer and less clear about his plans for the economy”?


167 Responses to “ComRes show Tory lead down to 7 points”

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  1. I feel a bit sorry for Dave and George really. They must be hoping for negative growth in the next quarter’s GDP figures but can’t really say that unless they want the accusation of being unpatriotic to stick. That’s not what we voters expect from the boys in blue.

  2. Here here. We all have a common interest, otherwise we wouldn’t be on here.

  3. Is there a reason why my posts are now suddenly “awaiting moderation” ?

  4. Wouldn’t go as far as to say they hope for negative growth Valerie. What the Conservatives should be concentrating on is their own strategey to deal with the financial situation and put this to the nation. So far, all the Conservatives have done is attack Labour.

    Whilst the majority of the country is dissolusioned with Labour’s failures, the Conservatives to date have gained merely because of dissatisfaction with Labour, Brown in particular, and not as a result of smart and slick election strategey on their part. Personally I don’t believe Cameron will fire up the jet engines of the Conservative party until the big day is announced in terms of policy publicity- but will this be too late for him to gain any decent majority?? Interesting.

  5. Does anyone know when the day is likely to be announced (assuming it will be May 6th) – is it usually 4 weeks before?

  6. @ Sunbeam

    In a spirit of restraint, I question whether the Tories are likely to be helped out of their current downslide by threatening people with the prospect of five more years of Brown. Actually, it’s pretty unbelievable anyway, looking at the rate of wear and tear he’s suffering, and perhaps when he’s at his most prominent in the campaign people might even start to think ‘Vote Brown, soon get a Milliband, could be worse’.

    Leaving such speculation behind, I think Cameron and Osborne’s problem is not the nailing of Brown but – as many have posted – getting their own act together. With the election likely to be called in about eight weeks time, they have almost no scope for any more slip-ups.

    If it’s only slip-ups – rather a lot in a short time to be sure, but maybe that’s it – then it can still be fixed by excellent strategic management from now on.

    But the pattern and imperceptibly gradual acceleration of the misjudgements – from the opportunistic hostage to fortune on EPP withdrawal when running for leader, through to the Stern blunder this week – increasingly seems to point to strategic management itself being Cameron’s problem. For that there are no quick fixes, only a slow unravelling of the project under full public gaze, as happened to John McCain.

    If this is a reasonable assessment, then by the end of next week, I think we’ll have a better idea of whether it’s ‘only’ slip-ups or far more serious, by the middle of next month we’ll know for sure. And by election day, three leadership debates later, so will the electorate.

    And on that basis, 3-4% of the electorate, up or down from 39%, will make the difference between outright Tory majority and, at worst, their possible failure even to be the largest party.

  7. Surbiton – all comments with a link in get automatically held back for moderation.

    Mike – whether or not they tried to blame it upon global factors, polls showed that a majority of people did hold the government at least partially to blame for the recession, though an even higher proportion of people blamed the banks and bankers.

    So in this instance, the government got some blame for things going wrong, and they appear to be getting some credit for things getting better again. This isn’t really the place to discuss whether they deserve either ;)

  8. It is a fact that economic recoveries are usually under way for the best part of a year before they become apparent to the general public. Until then they are only known to those people who read business pages.
    it does however serve as a warning to Cameron and co not to get to get totally bogged down in economic issues. In my view there are many good reasons for a change even if the recession had not happened. It is up the the Tories to articulate them.

  9. @Wolf Macneil – I would agree with your last post. Are we seeing a series of minor Tory slip ups that will soon be forgotten, or is this part of a serial pattern of poor strategic thinking? Readers here will know that I have long held that Cameron has a real weakness in strategy and I have held the view for some time that he would have a short post GE honeymoon before the whole show starts to unravel. In polling terms, I feel the twin dangers for him now will be the rising economic confidence figures and increasing mistrust of his policies. It seems pretty clear that the first is now happening, and the last crop of polls does suggest this might be helping Brown’s popularity recover somewhat. It’s too early to tell if the second is happening yet, although skimming through the media he is taking a bit of a pasting from left and right this week. I thought Mandelson’s ‘Laurel and Hardy’ line was potentially very cutting. Labour are getting sharper and if there are many more Tory slip ups they will have a chance to make this image stick in people’s minds.

  10. @Mike

    “I find it odd how Labour can claim credit (and be given it by a substaintial minority of people) for getting the UK out of recession but blame the “global environment” for entering the recession.”
    ————————————————-

    I think Labour get a bit of a free pass on the country going into recession because people don’t believe the Conservatives would have done anything different had they been in power. I also think that although it hasn’t had a massive difference in people’s opinions of Labour, most people when pushed would say that policies such as quantative easing etc were the right way to get us out, which the Conservatives for the most part opposed.

    However, I don’t think this is something that will have a big bearing on the election which I believe will be decided in the South-East marginals.

  11. I am sure that Labour will win the election. I wish I could put money on it. Anybody fancy a wager?

    Labour will win the election with 7 seat overall majority.

  12. Given that people seem to think it’s time for a change & they’re fed up of Brown & Labour, but they’re unconvinced by Cameron & the Tories, I find it baffling that the LibDems are static.

    @THEGREATGONZO

    I agree that people probably don’t believe Cameron would have done anything different from Brown in the years building up to the economic crisis.

  13. If people don’t believe that Conservative policies would have been any different to Labour ones, why do most Labour supporters hate the Tories so much?

    Personally I believe that the Conservatives would probably have spent less on public services, and taxed less, than Labour in the decade before the credit crisis. That is after all what the other parties have been saying ABOUT the Conservatives during that time. The question is really whether those policies would have left the UK better or worse prepared for the credit crisis. I certainly don’t see any evidence that the Tories were any more perceptive about the problems of the asset bubble than the government, or that their solutions would have been any different, but that doesn’t mean that the economic climate would have been exactly the same under their stewardship.

  14. Ben

    I’m not yet convinced that Lab have broken through a ceiling of 30, and that it isn’t MoE. Maybe they will in the few weeks ahead, but don’t count on it.

    Wolf Macneil

    “And on what grounds were the LibDems, plus Kenneth Clarke and a handful of other Tories, so sure that it wasn’t?”

    I don’t know about KC but the LibDems have their own briefing on military matters.

    Benm

    “(Don’t necessarily think Labour deserves a fourth term, I’m more of an ABT – Anyone But Tories!)”

    Surely not yet another Scottish Poster?

    Alec:

    “Maybe the ‘clunking fist’ will have the day after all?”

    Could it be that that is the “Strong Leader” the C2’s admire?

    Derek Pierson:

    “Given that people seem to think it’s time for a change & they’re fed up of Brown & Labour, but they’re unconvinced by Cameron & the Tories, I find it baffling that the LibDems are static.”

    I’m baffled too, and in rural Scotland they are in competition with the SNP who have a higher impact because they are in power in the SP. People on these pages are saying Lab and Con aren’t doing well, but neither are the LibDems and FPTP will shaft the SNP and Scottish Conservatives.

    Is it only the Greens (if they win a seat) that are going to be pleased with the result?

  15. Looks like an ICM poll is on its way as they have just called me. First time I have ever partaken in a political poll.

  16. Neil A, I know it’s off-topic, but in a civilised tone, I suspect you’re right about the hypothetical Tory public tax & spending policies.

    However,

    Hypothetically, I suspect the level of debt would have been around the same, pre-crisis. There was no Tory call for the level of debt to be reduced at the time (that I can find)

    So, as you say, lower spending would have meant lower taxes, rather than lower borrowing requirements.

    So the response to the banking disaster could have included increased borrowing, but also increased taxation in those areas where they would have been decreased earlier. The tax system would have had more wriggle-room.

    We would be having the same arguments as now on the level and timing of the debt-reduction plan though.

    Andrew – does the fact that you’re in the next ICM figures give it more credibility, or less? :)

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