The figures for ComRes’s rolling poll tonight are CON 35%(nc), LAB 25%(-1), LDEM 27%(+1), with changes from yesterday. The poll is made up of samples from Monday and Tuesday.

In the comments below the last post there was quite a lot of discussion about the maths of the rolling poll, and whether the consistency of this poll supports yesterday’s big jump in the Tory lead that ComRes found, but none of the other pollsters did.

As far as I’m aware ComRes’s rolling poll is interviewing 500 people a day, and each days figures are made up of the last two samples. What appears to have happened this week is that ComRes had figures pretty much in line with other companies in their Monday poll – suggesting pretty normal samples on Saturday and Sunday. Their Tuesday poll dropped the Saturday sample and added the Monday sample, which pushed the Tories up 3 and knocked Labour and the Lib Dems down 2, suggesting a Monday sample with a very large Tory lead. Today’s figures keep that very Conservative Monday sample, but replace the Sunday data with data from Tuesday.

The fact the figures haven’t changed implies that Tuesday’s data is much the same as Sunday’s, and that ComRes’s bigger Tory lead is all down to a strange sample on Monday. ComRes only do their rolling poll between Monday and Wednesday, so we won’t get any figures tomorrow. If we did, then the Monday sample would be dropped and replaced with data from Wednesday, and would probably have shown the Tory lead shrinking again.

564 Responses to “ComRes rolling-poll – 35/25/27”

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  1. I’ve heard it suggested that the polling after tonight’s debate might reflect on the leaders as follows, what does the team think……..

    – if Cameron wins, it will be said he was expected to as he’s “all PR and no substance”. If he loses he’s bombed in the eyes of the faithful. So a lose-lose really

    – if Brown wins, everyone will be cheering his underlying robustness and character. If he loses, everyone expected him to so it’s not a big problem, so a win-win I guess

    – if Clegg wins, it will be said he was sort of expected to as the new fresh face in town and on the back of last week’s performance. If he loses, it will be because the old ranks ganged up on him. So another win-win.

    Makes you wonder what the polls would say with another 4 or 5 parties invited onto the stage ?

  2. @Tony Dean: core vote (if such a thing exists) would seem to be declining, so reference to voting 13 years ago is irrelevant.

  3. Amber – may I put in for some fruit & nut please (hats not shorts, obviously)

    I just hope to-night’s debate is properly inter-active and not just a series of prepared little speeches.

    I’d also like to hear some nice Rogerian technique deployed. I think it would be a winner, even if it’s only used once or twice. There’s too much adversarial speech-making and not enough conversation.

    Wouldn’t it be refreshing if instead of ninety seconds at the end, one or more of them cjhose to deliver a one-liner? (Like “outside, Posh-Boys”)

  4. Steve

    My point is today is the pivotal day of the GE. Its all about momentum. Over the last few days the polls have more or less stood still save for Comres on the back of Monday’s odd polling..

    If the yellows get 28% on May 6th they will be very happy indeed.

    I have to declare that I do not vote in UK elections, I call it the way I see it,

  5. Given that foreign policy is the topic, I suspect DC will make a big play for the UKIP vote tonight. It could be worth up to 2%, which could make a big difference in the marginals.

  6. @polemi

    That is absolutely NOT what that You Gov trakcer is showing.

    Clegg is positive 523 (down 151)
    Cameron is NEGATIVE 208 (up 2)

    Clegg more topical? by 732!

    By volume Clegg is ahead by 33% aprox.

    As for the other polls (except comres) they continued to show the Lib Dems neck n neck with tories with in the +/-3% of statistical error.

    Strikes me there are far too many tories on here engaging in wishful thinking rather than proper statistical analysis!

  7. @Derek Pierson
    Point taken and I kind of agree with you. I was using 1997 as an illustration of a lower, not higher, core vote.

  8. Does everyone think we will see these debates in future elections from now on?

    I am of the opinion that the rise in the Lib Dem support shows how unpredictable public response is to these debates and how much of a strategic error it was for Cameron to push for them.

    In retrospect, it looks like Blair was right all along not to debate when he was well in the lead in the opinion polls.

    Surely when we come to the next election the party leader who is well out in front beforehand will remember what has happened here and find some way to sneak out of it.

  9. @Dan

    Re. your comments about Cambridge in 2005. A very similar situation nearly happened in Oxford East for similar reasons, and the LibDems turned a safe Labour seat into a wafer-thin 900-vote Labour/Lib marginal. I believe it is No.4 on the Liberal target list this time round, but what has surprised me is the near-total absence of a Liberal presence in my area. I’ve had just one (fairly bog-standard) leaflet through my door (though admittedly more from Labour). I’d have expected a lot more, given the importance of the seat.

    And while I’m doing anecodotal stuff … I teach at an all-girl secondary school (not in Oxford), and was astonished by the interest that students have suddenly shown in the election. My Year 10 History class had (as usual) about six different conversations running at the same time, but they were all about the debate, Nick Clegg and the perceived negative impression they’d got of DC. That’s quite a surprise in what is a fairly safe Conservative area. There’s no sign of their interest waning yet, either.

  10. @john tt

    “Wouldn’t it be refreshing if instead of ninety seconds at the end, one or more of them chose to deliver a one-liner?”

    Especially if it was a sucker punch to one of the others – a put down at the end of their 90 seconds.

  11. @ SUE

    Tony Blair has often been [unfairly?] accused of subverting the democratic process & being arrogant; yet I cannot imagine a situation where he would have told another party who their leader should – or should not – be in order to meet with his, personal, demands.

    Nick Clegg’s pronouncement on this is staggeringly arrogant & mis-placed!

  12. The scope for LD boost has been and gone. That is that. They may show soem resurgence into a 33ish but I would venture to say we will not see it go higher.
    The Labour and Tories have bottomed out and we are already seeing a gradual recovery in YG for example.

    As for the debate itself. Clegg is on soem very akward ground. Sky news have deliberately chose very specific questions to keep them on task.

    Yellow views on Trident will play well with the young. I am not sure Euro or Europe will though. Clegg will ahve to very careful to be seen to be pro-Troops in Afghan. i doubt he will get much credence for IRaq.

    Cameron has to be very very careful. IF he trumpets an anti-Euro line and a pro-Armed forces he will miss the big picture.

    How do we get Britian competing with India and China? How do we prevent collapses of Banks? How do we get IMF plans for a tax on banks? How do we deal with Iran? To all of these questions, one person stands above the rest in being able to be persuasive.

  13. @john tt

    “Wouldn’t it be refreshing if instead of ninety seconds at the end, one or more of them chose to deliver a one-liner?”

    Especially if it was hard hitting to one of the others – a put down at the end of their 90 seconds.

  14. @Tony Dean

    “You reckon the LD core vote is about 18%. In my view this is much too high for their core vote: under Ashdown in 1997 they only polled 17%”

    A good year for the Lib Dems has historically been when the centre / centre left vote has split

    1983 = 25.4%

    1987 = 22.6%

    1992 = 22.6%

    2005 = 22.1%

    But this is not thus far a typical year !!

    But I would say these numbers- where in the first three for a variety of reasons Labour were not an attractive proposition to be the next government, and in 2005 the Iraq war split the centre left- are a far better guide to what may be the core vote than 1997, 2001….

  15. @john tt

    “Wouldn’t it be refreshing if instead of ninety seconds at the end, one or more of them chose to deliver a one-liner?”

    Clegg = “Don’t let the corrupt old parties back in”

    Brown= “I agree with Nick”

    Cameron= “I need to go to the toilet”

  16. Colin Green – I agree, and the most powerful moment will be for the final speaker in the final debate.

    The final words – it would be so tempting to try to deliver 280 words as the final speaker, but WAY more powerful to deliver fewer than 12.

  17. Or 140 characters…

  18. @Tony Dean

    “You reckon the LD core vote is about 18%. In my view this is much too high for their core vote: under Ashdown in 1997 they only polled 17%”

    97 was 13 years ago. The core vote of LD now includes a lot of under 30s – many of whom couldn’t vote in 97. At the same time, 13 year’s worth of older voters have died off, to put it politely, and older voters are more likely to be cast in the red/blue mould.

  19. Rob Sheffield :) I hope I haven’t started something!

  20. @Rob Sheffield
    Yes Rob, I agree that it is a bit invidious using different political eras to estimate core votes. Indeed, Derek Pierson quite rightly asks the question whether such a thing exists at all. But since one hears a general assumption that such a thing does, it might be worth trying to quantify.

  21. As for the Debates tonight in terms of subject handle tonight’s debate is Clegg’s strongest ground. You may or may not agree with him or his party. His background dictates that he should be very comfortable debating it.

    That’s why i say together with MSM unprecedented and concerted blitz and the on-line trolling, today is the pivotal day.

    The blues need to go through the yellows to get to the reds

  22. Clegg to Cameron: So which side will your party be on in an in/out referendum on the EU?

    Cameron to Clegg: Ummmmmmm

  23. Whatever happens tonight – Cameron will win easy, well that’s what will be reported on ITV and the rest of the Tory press – no doubt about that.

  24. Crime, Immigration, Big Society, It is all gone.

    Global economic cooperation or being at the heart of europe, hmmmmmm I think not.

  25. Hi everyone,

    Long time lurker, first time poster. Well, this is actually my second post, but my first is stuck in moderation (at 3.33 – I may repost it once cleared if it gets lost in the backlog!). If I understand the workings of this site correctly, this post will probably pop up first!

    Aaanyway… :)

    @ JohnTT

    Good point about the power of the “last word”. Am I right in thinking that the shuffle will put GB in the middle and NC on the right (as we look at the screen) next week? That would presumably give Clegg that intriguing benefit…

    Also, can I just say I find the split of opinion between whether tonight is a strong/weak topic for Clegg quite amusing!

  26. @ Polemi

    @ Fingerbob69

    Follow this link to see what YouGov itself makes of Clegg’s popularity – or lack of it – in the wake of the media onslaught:

    h t t p ://

  27. Loving the clever ‘Nick Clegg’s fault’ irony on Twitter today, mocking the likes of the Daily Mail, who don’t quite know what to do about the evaporating Tory lead. Favourite one so far: Nick Clegg was seen two weeks ago poking Eyjafjallajokull with a stick :D
    Daily Mail et al will never understand the sophistication of the British electorate and realise that people only laugh at their attempts to pervert democracy. Shame on the Torygraph too, who I thought was above the childish antics of the Murdoch press and Mail.

  28. The Lib Dems ARE an OLD PARTY.

    Remember Lloyd George?

    1915 ?

    Cash for honours?

    The Lib Dems are OLDER than the Labour Party.

  29. Sue and others:

    hate to rain on your parade, but the first UK politician to suggest nationalising the banks was definitely Vince Cable, and Labour pooh-poohed the idea for some time before GB claimed it as his own. This is partly where St Vince’s big reputation in financial circles (even apparently amongst business leaders)comes from.

    So I for one would be extremely cross to see GB claim all the credit for it! But fair play, he came round in the end and did the right thing (next stop real PR rather than AV??)

    It would be so much easier just to have the Lib Dems doing the right thing straight off instead of having to filter it through the Labour delaying machine! Just needs 40%… One more heave…. (Ok that probably scuppered Clegg for tonight!)


  30. Robert C

    What is your post conveying other than that we already knew?

  31. @ Surfdoc

    Yes, I posted about “NickCleggsFault” earlier today. The web stats are certainly interesting:

    Twitter – 20,000 “NickCleggsFault” tweets (and counting) in 1 day
    Facebook – RATM LD group, 125,000 members added in a week
    YouTube – 160,000 views for the first debate in a week (NB: YouTube only counts a “view” if you watch the whole thing, does not include all the smaller excerpts that are up there) – First debate still the sixth most-watched show on the channel, nearly a week after it happened

    This is why the 18-35 vote is SO important, and SO hard to predict. Especially the students who, since they are often concentrated in a particular constituency, can dramatically affect a particular seat.

    But will they all turn up? Have enough of them registered in the first place? Since so many don’t have landlines, can the phone pollsters get hold of them? (Is ComRes a phone pollster, by the way?)

  32. @Robert Corbishley

    “The Lib Dems ARE an OLD PARTY. Remember Lloyd George? 1915? Cash for honours? The Lib Dems are OLDER than the Labour Party.”

    No, The LIBERAL party are older than Labour. The Lib Dems are a merger of the Liberal party and the SDP. They are therefore very shiny and new. ;)

  33. On the core vote issue, you can’t guage a core vote from 15 -25 years ago with electororal turn out 75%+ compared to 60% last time, and no evidence of an increased turn out this year. Also the Lib Dem core vote is always impossible to fix because so many people vote tactically in two party constituencies whoever are the two contesting top spot.

  34. Andrew McCaig – hopelessly not about polls, but what you say isn’t s=trictly true. Darling was not against nationalising, he just saw it as a last resort.

    Cable was in the enviable position of being able to make a punt without having to follow it through.

    The shareholder legal action for compensation would have been much stronger if the other options for NR had not been pursued.

    I do lookl forward to this site returning to normal.

  35. Well LibDems want an ‘IN / OUT’ referendum on Europe, sometime in the future, perhaps 15 years, and they want UKIP to vote for them. Mind you the referendum will only occur if there is a major sovereignty issue.

    Strange don’t you think that the LibDems will not put the question about the sovereignty to the referendum, oh no just an ‘IN / OUT of Europe’ question (ref. Simon Hughes on Politics Today show, today). But then again what was it that the LibDems notes said that were found in the back of a taxi, something about not being honest or avoiding the issue, well that is what they are doing.

    Also it would seem according to NC own words we, the ‘British’, are worse than the National Socialists of Germany of the 1920’s/30’s/40’s. Well Simon Hughes could not answer that question, his response was that he had not read the papers! Well I think we must have done something a bit noticable to be worse than the National Socialists, I mean the killing of millions of Jews, Gypsies, Communists, Socialists, Pacifists, Homosexuals, Liberals (yes Liberals were sent to the concentration camps too), indeed the list just goes on and on. Now can anyone guess what NC says is the British Cross that is worse than the National Socialists – of course most on here can because they know about it – we British feel that we are the best – hell what a crime that is (not)!

    I know of 5 people who have today swapped from being suddenly new LibDem supporters to not being, of those five 4 have returned to their old party affiliations (3 Labour and 1 Conservative) the other (a Conservative) has decided not to vote (at the moment).

    The Knight in shinning armour, which NC tried to paint himself as, is suddenly seen to be worse than either of the others.

    This gives me no joy writing this, especially as it would seem to reinforce annecdotally an expected rise in the Labour vote share if fairly widespread and the dash of a dream of true electoral reform in this country.

    Oh, and by the way, the 5 are by profession/employment:

    1 doctor
    1 accountant
    1 gardener
    2 factory workers in a papermill.

    Whatever you may say about the press and news media in this country remember that if they tell the truth then they actually support our democracy – no matter whether we as individuals or groups like what they tell us or not. For example where would the expences scandel have been without the Telegraph?

    I expect by the middle of next week to see a substantial fall off in LibDem support. It is a pity because I really thought they had a chance this time to change the politics in the UK.


  36. @Colin

    If we were to adopt that attitude then new Labour is even more new.

    The Whigs are as old as hmmm……?

  37. @Surfdoc

    “Nick Clegg was seen two weeks ago poking Eyjafjallajokull with a stick ”


  38. @I miss Charlie Kennedy….

    Putting up taxes!

    what a man! :) :)

  39. I think that TV ratings will be well down tonight compared to last week.

    1) it is on Sky News – and even if a lot of people can get it, there will be lots that will forget that it is being shown there and/or can’t be bothered to change channels
    2) there is no longer the novelty factor
    3) there are 2 big football games tonight involving British clubs

    5 or 6 million maybe at best

  40. Andrew McC
    Northern Rock

    No that’s not right. He suggested it as an option but was continually giving his commentary rather than anything else, as a resident pundit on Newsnight (it seemed). He then firmed up after it became clear that the Government was actively considering it, having explored other options along with that one, which was always the fallback, and thus did not need active consideration until the end.
    The Government acted with total calmness throughout and explored all the options. The only people that were not right in their decisions were those who drew all their money out and forewent their high fixed term interest by foreclosing their accounts. Their choice and arguably for being too clever in the first place. It’s the story of investment like Equitable Life, south sea bubbles and the rest.

  41. @Everyone

    Blimey I’ve never seen so much straw clutching in my life – :o

    At this moment (before tonights debate) we have:

    The Conservatives slightly up with the all important lead between Blue & Red a bit larger than a few days ago.

    Labour are slipping further and further into the electoral abys point by point !

    LDs have peaked and are also slipping back point by point. !

    I am also well aware that anything could happen tonight and over the next 2 weeks but as it stands NOW the GAP that really matters is widening :o

  42. @Steve

    The debate is live on Radio 4 if you can’t get sky news.

  43. Greece has just been downgraded again by Moody’s and the wheels are falling off. This could help DC argue about the need to cut the deficit now.

  44. @Robert Corbishley

    The LibDems ARE a new party established in 1988, being a merger between the Liberals attending their Special Assembly and their followers in the consituencies, and the SDP organization and a minority of their MPs. Liberal Constituency Associations were sovereign bodies and could thus not be legally required to become part of the LibDems (or Social & Liberal Democrats, as they were then called) and many continued to be, and still are The Liberal Party, with 30+ coucillors nation-wide. The three SDP MPs wound up their party in 1990 I believe?

    Having come from a National Liberal family (our last leader was Sir John Nott, who wound the party up in 1968, amalgamating with the Conservatives) many of us followed Sir Frank Medlicott (Con & Nat Lib MP) back to the Liberals during the Thorpe era. I was working for Liberals preofessionally when they merged with SDP. I refused to join the new party, but continued to be employed by them as an agent for a further few months. I allowed my membership of the Liberals to lapse when all Liberal MPs abandoned the historic party and joined the new party with its SDP ex-Jenkinsite Labour type internal structures – not historically Liberal!

    So, no, the LDs are not the Liberals of old!

  45. I have to say that Nick Robinson’s BBC blog has amused me all day today. Full scale war between Tories and Lib Dem supporters.

    I think it is inevitable that we will see some real fireworks between the two youngsters in tonight’s debate. I don’t think GB has anything to lose tonight if he plays it right.

  46. @Steve – I agree – next weeks will be the game changer.

    Hope Brown’s been storing some good lines of attack so far not used i.e. Bailed out the Banks and could double our money and business leaders against paying extra tax; well duh where’s these guys responsibility and interest to the wider economy?

  47. @Dan the man

    Thanks for that. I think that much better explantion backs me up.

  48. Looking at online reaction today but also general conversation with non Lib Dem friends I think there is actually going to be a backlash against the Tory press on this. Maybe not immediately but I think it will grow unless the attacks tail off.

    This from a Tory supporter: “Was out at lunchtime and saw the front pages of the papers – jesus is there a good few having a right pop at Cleggy. If he wins tonights debate **** knows what tomorrows headlines will be – “Clegg r***s babies” maybe?

    This from a Labour supporter: “And I’ll now be switching my vote to lib debs tbh”

    The attacks will simply reinforce Tory core support who want to believe them anyway – but may end up driving many into the arms of the Lib Dems as from my perspective it is anger with the old establishment (which includes the papers) which is driving a lot of the ‘change’ agenda.

    The fact that some of the national papers have apparently lost any objectivity in this election is a problem for the Tories. How can they reasonably be supported on the ‘cleaning up politics’ when these newspapers – which are now inextricably linked with them – have clearly lost the plot over Clegg.

  49. Dan the man
    Since so many don’t have landlines, can the phone pollsters get hold of them? (Is ComRes a phone pollster, by the way?)

    They do not figure in the polls by definition. ComRes phones folk.

    You need a landline to be on YouGov or Opinium or AR for your computer and anyway you had to be on a year ago or so.

  50. Paul Bristol – I hope he doesn’t, but brown could capitalise on the fact that NC and DC look and sound similar and nothing at all like himself.

    He could play the same trick as Clegg did last week if he DC and NC get into a tussle.

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