There are three new polls tonight, and they all show a post-budget swing towards the Conservatives.

YouGov/Sun: CON 39%(+2), LAB 32%(nc), LDEM 18%(-1)
ComRes/Independent: CON 37%(nc), LAB 30%(-2), LDEM 20%(+1)
Opinium/Express: CON 38%(+1), LAB 28%(-2), LDEM 18%(+3)

YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has a 7 point lead, up from 5 in their Sunday Times poll and equalling the highest they’ve had the Conservatives this month. ComRes show the Conservatives unchanged, but Labour dropping two since the end of last month. Opinium have a ten point Conservative lead.

The changes themself are not massive, but every poll since the budget has shown a trend back towards the Conservatives. There seems little doubt that the budget has shifted things back towards the Tories a bit. The question now is whether it lasts, or whether it is just a brief downwards blip for Labour that will pass as new events (like the Conservative tax announcement or whatever coverage tonight’s Chancellor’s debate gets) take over the political news agenda.

UPDATE: Lib Dem figure from Opinium corrected (you’ll have to wait till tonight for tonight for it to get corrected in the sidebar)

508 Responses to “YouGov, ComRes and Opinium show Tory lead growing”

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    I have never trusted Blair, I have never been taken in by him or been comfortable regarding his motives. That is not an unusual attitude within the population except I flatter myself I came to it much sooner than most. This is the end of the matter.

  2. The best (and most expensive) restaurant in my area is already fully-booked for lunch and dinner on Friday 7th. May – unheard of, five weeks in advance. Somebody must be expecting to have something to celebrate. An amusing voodoo poll for marginals- it may be the same all over the country.What is the name of the best restaurant in Broxtowe? NPMP would know, give it a ring.

  3. Roland:
    “I flatter myself etc…” Well done.

    “That is the end of the matter” yes it is, and I shall continue to regard your “lowest form of life” comment as despicable.


  4. Paul

    Am I allowed to LOL ? ;-) ;-)

  5. Paul,

    Chill out mate. Roland isn’t the first to describe Blair as a very low form of human life (NB: not “lowest”) and I’m sure he won’t be the last either. It’s just an opinion, and Roland is not saying Blair is as bad as Hitler. Or at least I don’t think he is. Is he?

    Anyway, there are many much worse things in the world to get cross about. At least Roland is funny and doesn’t post “40 30 20 10 ner ner ne ner ner!” every half hour like some of the blue rinsed types here.

  6. Can someone please say, simply, via the “uniform swing” mechanism, how bigger lead do the Cons need for a majority???

  7. On this matter nobody can accuse Roland of being partisan, since everybody is in agreement.

  8. @Jon

    I reckon 9….

    though there are a lot of complications to that….

    some say 7…….

  9. Al: You don’t need my permission but yes, of course. I must say though that I have been making a serious point in this: I really don’t think the language used is appropriate to this – or any other – site.


  10. Eoin: “Everyone’s in agreement.”

    I missed that poll and the way in which the question was posed. Got the details?

  11. Thanks, Eoin…… dissapointingly small lead neccasary! I’d heard so many people tell me Cameron had a mountain to climb…. 9 points ahead after 13 years of the same gov’t and a massive reccesion is hardly a mountain to climb.

  12. Paul

    Thanks, but don’t be stressed – I appreciate your point and just think as we approach the actual election things will get more tense. I hope we don’t have a civil war on Anthony’s site or half of us will be on NS :-)

  13. Jon,

    Try experimenting for yourself with the “make your own prediction” swingometer on the top left hand side of this page. Incidentally, the 40 30 20 10 that some Tories here are so fond of predicting, amusingly produces a hung parliament, Conservatives 3 short…

  14. Mitz:

    40/30/20/10 !?!?

    I missed that: who’s predicting that then?

  15. Looking like a small Con Maj.
    As mentioned a couple of days ago the Cons own Polls show a bigger Con lead in the maj seats.
    I wonder if the Jonna Lumley press conference will move the Cons even further ahead?

    LASTLY….. Was it me or did Blair look very orange today???

  16. @ Mitz

    Be assured, if the results are 40/30/20/10, we will see Cameron in number 10.

  17. Not sure if anyone has mentioned this as i haven’t had time to trawl the thread, but New Statesman have reported a ‘poll’ of Twitters that predicts Labour 35%, Tory 34%, Lib Dems 22%. Its based on counting the number of times a candidate is mentioned in a tweet and in Japanese elections was accurate 90% of the time.
    I know it sounds baloney, but the study says Lucas is on course to take a seat for the Green in Brighton and they might also run Clarke close in Norwich, the SNP are falling back and the Lib Dems are holding up in the SW. The details are interesting and there is at least some evidence to back these up from conventional polls.

  18. No doubt about it Barry – I just found it funny that these beautifully cascading figures don’t produce a Con majority on UNS when our friend from Chadderton has been bellowing them triumphantly from the rooftops since about March 2006.

  19. Surbiton posted a link to the full document at 1.52pm, Alec. Very interesting too.

  20. Maurice;

    “Was it me or did Blair look very orange today???.”

    I thought Tony certainly did: impossible to say about you I’m afraid

    The publicity given to the anti-Tory element of Blair’s speech seemed fairly positive to me. Those who hate him will sneer, those who vote Labour all the time will vote Labour again – so it can only have a marginal effect. The thing is that’s probably all that’s needed to stop a Tory overall majority therefore it’s a risk worth taking I’d say.

    This thing hasn’t begun yet though.

  21. @ Jon 3.42 p.m.
    No, no-one can say what percentage the Conservatives need for a majority using the uniform swing figures. You need to take into account any differences due to marginal seat voting, effect of incumbency and effect of MPs ‘ expenses fallout, tactical voting, local issues etc.
    The UNS is a mere indication of support for one party or another at the time the opinion poll is reported and since the different polls give a wide range of UNS results, it is difficult to draw any conclusion from its value. Disregard any posts on here that claim a particular poll is in general good for one party or another, they are simply partisan and wish to influence other readers. Thankfully, since the readership is comparitively small, their comments make absolutely no difference to the outcome of the election. They are simply preaching to themselves and like-minded supporters.

  22. Saltfordman,

    If a certain poll one day shows, say, 38-31-19 and then the next day by the same methods produces 35-33-20 then that second poll can be said without any shred of partisanship to be “good” or “an improvement” for the party now on 33. You are absolutely right that UNS should not be taken as a hard and fast indicator of election outcome, but don’t trot out arrogant platitudes like you own the place.

  23. @Colin Green………………..Isn’t our language full of fun….A Tory labour of love, is, a Labour love of labour ! :-)

  24. Alec,

    I would trust it about as much as much as an election prediction based upon the colour of beer that people drink.

  25. Maurice – AW shot you down in flames about the Tory polling. Unless they produce all tables, he suggested they were nonsense.

    Alec/Surbiton – sadly, AW said something similar about Twitter polls etc last night :(

    Re the little debate about Blair and insults, AW would certainly cull any opinions I cared to put about Maggie. For what it’s worth, terms like “ZanuLabour” make me sick – I suggest anyone using them goes and lives in Zimbabwe for a while.

    No doubt this is why AW likes us all to avoid such personal attacks/judgements, and I DO understand why Paul Croft got cross.

  26. So basically then Saltfordman, none of these polls REALLY count…? That’s how I read what you’re saying, and that the masses on here are wasting their time…?
    I’m not sure I totally disagree with you if that’s what you are saying and to repeat one of the most hated phrases on here……The only poll that matters wil be on …” fill in date here”. ( If GB ever tell us !)

  27. Re the Twitter thing. As I said earlier, I am not a twitterer (or whatever the correct term is) but I will be looking out for the results of their research with interest. I have no idea as to whether or not their methodology has any merit (head says “no way!”; heart says “yeah, but what if…”) but if their findings are anywhere near to the final mark it will be something to make us all sit up and take notice. Note – they are not claiming that they WILL be able to predict the election outcome, they say that they are conducting an experiment to find out whether or not this kind of research CAN predict an election outcome with any accuracy.

  28. Polly Ticks – but surely in that case you and Saltfordman are on the wrong site? This being a polling site and all?

  29. @ Mitz
    Nonsense, the second poll in your example is simply within margin of error and no-one can take it as an improvement or otherwise.

  30. If it came across like that Sue it wasn’t meant to. I still think there’s a lot of validity in the polls and I enjoy reading them and discussing them. I was just commenting on how Salt (for short) saw them and described them to someone. I think we all agree( those that have even a tiny bias) we will read mostly what we choose to read in them..Fair enough..?
    May I also say knowing your preference, I have been and am very impressed with your subjective and very non-partisan commenting of late. It does you credit and I hope that doesn’t sound patronising.

  31. @SALTFORDMAN…………………..The truth is out there and the posters on this site are determined to find it ! I think of this as a sort of on-line Bletchley Park, with everyone searching for the Enigma code………at the moment we’ve only got the numbers…..but don’t worry, some of the best polling brains in Britain will crack it………my contribution…..

    C 40
    L 31
    LD 19

    Whirrrrrrrr ! :-)

  32. @ Polly Ticks
    You are mostly correct in my opinion, the only value of the polls is as a long term trend of opinion. So, I would advocate visiting the site once a fortnight, disregard most of the partisan comments and look for a trend in the values since you last visited.

    I put my prediction :
    Cons 40% Lab 29% Lib Dem 22% Cons Lead 11% in to the seat pedictor on this sight and on to Calculus Electoral sight, UK report gave Cons Maj 4 Seats
    Calculus Electoral gave Cons Maj 12 seats.
    You would need 12% lead to get your figure of 30 seats.

  34. I would not give any particular due to the twitter thing (to given them their due, they aren’t really claiming it does – they just say it is an experiment. It is the secondary media stuff that is bigging it up)

    The Japanese experiment it was inspired upon correctly called about 80% of seats as far as I can see from their report. Unfortunately, in the Japanese general election 74% of seats were won by the same party… if you’d called every damn seat in the country for the same party you’d have got 74% success rate. If you mess about with the methodology enough, clearly you can get something that passes the sense check.

    About 6% of so of people have used twitter, about 2% are regular users. They are disproportionately very young, very liberal (and if they are twittering about candidates, very involved in politics). Wittering on about a candidate does not equal support, etc. Really – don’t get excited over it.

  35. I wonder if the subliminal message contained in Blair’s endorsement of Brown’s experience and judgement [this is the main thrust of the extracts on tv] is: “He may be dull and grumpy and not as charismatic as me [OR DAVE – that’s the subliminal bit] but he is the right sort of leader for us in difficult times.”

    If so it could be quite a clever device.

    How I long for PR and an end to the nonsense of tactical voting.

  36. OK Salty, how’s this? A few months ago, the Conservatives had a 20 point lead in some polls (clear, comfortable majority territory); in the last month the average Tory lead across the polls has come in to 7-8% (probable hung parliament, or at best wafer thin Tory majority). I would say that this marks a bit of an improvement in Labour’s fortunes (or if you prefer a dowturn in Conservative fortunes) – would you say that it is an insignificant change?

  37. @ Mitz
    You have got the idea, you quote a long term trend.
    Now come back in another few months, no-one will have missed you.

  38. I think that’s very kind and not at all patronising Polly Ticks, thank you

  39. Paul,

    Or perhaps the subliminal message is to Labour MPs – “I might have won you the election, but you’re going to lose, now”.

  40. Cheers mate, so happy to have lived up to your standards. I look forward to when you post again in a few months time to get us all back into line again.

  41. A poll of Twitters! Lol, whatever next.

  42. @Paul,

    Sorry Paul I was busy. I respect your preference for gentlemanly treatment of Tony Blair. Henceforth I shall refer to him only in politest of terms……. ;)

  43. @ Paul Croft – Blair’s speech was the best assessment of the Labour position (and Conservative for that matter) I’ve heard for…. well…. since he went really.
    There are no two ways about it, he is a master orator. The speech was electrifying, mesmerising, genius.
    I know, I know, there will be calls of “partisan” but read the transcript, it goes so far beyond any of the drivel we’ve heard lately, from either party, it’s not even on he scale.
    If I’d heard Cameron make a speech that good I’d say so and I’d be very, very afraid.

    Now the question for me is will any of the voters that matter hear it? I doubt it.

    So to answer your question, I don’t think subliminal messages were the point, I think they remembered what Al – J and I forgot. He’s a world class politician and they gambled on his baggage being outweighed by this. I’m not sure it is.

    PS – In discussing “Events” saying something was very good isn’t partisan in itself. I’m not sitting here rabidly endorsing TB, far from it. Otherwise I can’t comment on anything a Lab politician does but I can comment on the Tories and that doesn’t make sense. I said Osborne was good last night, I think Cameron was rubbish on The Politics Show. Analysis.

  44. We all have to be very careful – one person’s analysis is another person’s unfounded opinion.

    I didn’t see Cameron on The Politics Show – what about his appearance was rubbish?

  45. The problem with Blair’s intervention is that we’ll all be disputing what the cause of the next YouGov poll result is Blair or COE debate! Of course some of the inputs are presumably ‘put in’ yesterday.

  46. Andrew Hilton in his ES column today, looked at growth rates following recessions. He noted that in the 7 years after 1981-2, the average growth rate was 3.6% per year. He also noted that from 1994-2000, the average growth rate was 3.5% per year, with 1994 being 4.4%. His colclusion is that Labour’s forcast for growth next year of 3.5%, far from being over ambitious, is par for the course.
    I don’t know if this will feed into the polls, but it is interesting nonetheless.

  47. @Raf,

    In the run up to 1997 Ken Clarke vowed to get inflation to 1.7%…..

    Before the days of the independance of the BOE.

    Nobody believed him. Alas, the result came through bang on election day… it was too late to be of any benefit.

    Not sure it would have altered the result but there you go….

  48. Re Blair speech: I voted Labour in 2005 (in a marginal) because of Tony Blair. The speech was very good. I will not, however, this time around because it’s all very well him being part of the campaign, but he’s not going to be in charge: Gordon Brown is.

    I went to a Comprehensive shool in an ex-mining town and am now at a hedge fund. I am a natural New Labour voter, but the party has just lurched too far to the left. If there is a hung parliament, or a Labour victory, I (and many other market professsionals) will be selling a very large amount of Gilts and Sterling. The memory of the policy chaos of the 1970s has largely been forgotten (while the pain caused by Thaterism as many have pointed out on here is “legend”), but things will get very bad if this happens and cuts in public spending will be far more severe.

    Re: the margins of error aspect of the ONS and GDP, this is a well-known issue that the ONS are exceptionally bad at measuring GDP around economic turning points (for example in the early-80s, the GDP trough was subsequently revised 2.5% higher).

  49. @Mitz

    You really do need to come down off your high horse and come down to earth with a bump Mitz on the reallity that if Labour Poll 30% come May 6th and the Conservatives Poll 40% then it is surely a certainty that DC will be PM and we shall have a Conservative majority, may be a small one but never the less a Conservative government.

    If Labour poll 30% and Gordon Brown ends up staying as PM because he ends up with more seats than the Conservatives there will be uproar and a great many Labour voters although happy Labour stay in power will be VERY uneasy about the ‘Popular’ vote situation.

    It just aint going to happen Mitz! :o

  50. RAF

    Trouble is, those figures weren’t forecast coming out (if indeed we are still… just..we’ll soon find out) of the worst recession in 60 years…

    Maybe they are comparable… maybe they aren’t.

    Discuss ?

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