It’s Saturday night, so I’d expect lots of polls for the Sunday newspapers. The first out of the traps are ComRes, ICM and MORI.

ComRes for the Sunday Mirror and Independent on Sunday has topline figures of CON 34%(-1), LAB 28%(+3), LDEM 29%(+2). This is an increase for Labour, but may well be a reversion to the mean after some rather odd ComRes polls in the week. The previous ComRes polls were their rolling polls for ITV news and, as we discussed at the time, they appeared to have included an extremely Conservative sample from Monday, which produced 9 and 8 point Tory leads that looked rather anomolous at the time.

The second new poll is for ICM for the Sunday Telegraph, and has figures of CON 35%(+2), LAB 26%(-2), LDEM 31%(+1) – so in contrast they have the Conservatives rising and Labour falling. As with ComRes, the Lib Dem boost remains healthy.

Finally there is an Ipsos MORI poll in the News of the World, which has the most surprising result. Their topline figures with changes from the last poll are CON 36%(+4), LAB 30%(+2), LDEM 23%(-9), so they have the Lib Dem boost almost entirely unwinding. Ben Page of MORI has has just been on Sky – and hats off to him for giving a responsible and measured account of the poll rather than claiming it shows something spectacular. Ben said they’d checked their figures very carefully, scratched their heads, but they have to publish them… but he did re-iterated that one in twenty polls are rogues. That’s about as close as pollsters come to warning that one of their own polls they’ve just released might be a rogue!

Then again, it might be the start of a trend. We should have more polls to come later tonight (at the very least there will be YouGov in the Sunday Times) so let’s see what they say.


210 Responses to “Sunday polls – ICM, ComRes and MORI”

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  1. @Ash,

    Id rather say closer to the time. My feeling is that the audience will be much bigger. Back up to 10 million. That will be the Libs last big chance to shine.

    @Wandering Welsh

    If Anthony puts a thread up for it I will. It seems to upset a few when I hazard a guess at 6/5/10 ;)

  2. This looks like the beginning of the end of the Liberal surge. Every time I read a poll, they are losing more and more votes. I think odds for a Tory majority are now evens.

  3. @Panktot,

    Good question.

    SNP/Plaid straight up.

    Then you would think fairly evenly split between blue and red…

  4. @NBeale 6.07pm
    That has been the case from the start. It never has been possible for Labour to win the popular vote. The best they could do was a narrow (10-15) seats “win”, if that.
    I think your charts will probably confirm this.
    The LDs have though exceeded expectations thus far (including my own), and perhaps altered the face of British politics forever.

  5. As stated in my earlier post, the 4 polls out today give averages of:-

    Conservatives – 35% (up 1%)
    Liberal Democrats – 28% (down 1%)
    Labour – 27.75% (up 0.25%)

    Using the Electoral Calculus website, this translates as follows:-

    Conservatives – 278 seats
    Labour – 251 seats
    Liberal Democrats – 89 seats

    An interesting point to note is that if we end up with a LibLab pact, it would only have a 14 seat majority over all other parties on these figures. John Major had a larger majority than this in 1992 and with deaths and defections, only just about hung on to his majority. The question has to be asked therefore, how long exactly would a LibLab pact hang on before it became a minority Government?

  6. Sue M

    Good post. I too believe it’s all up in the air still and will not believe many polls until they all are within 3% of each other over a longer period.

    Whether Eoin’s crystal ball has validity can only emerge after a while but how Nick Clegg can keep the limelight merely with the daily tripartite photo ops and nothing else beats me.

    My point about the division of seats from 2005 is that whether the UNS average is Con plus 1 – 3 or Lab min 4 – 6 is not of the essence. If LD were plus 6 I should be overjoyed for obvious reasons but the question is whether the marginals may vary more than usual from UNS and not uniformly – even contrarily.

    It is the LD surge that makes the latter variance in marginal outcomes possible and I take on board the points made by people like FrankG.

  7. @James,

    That is good data…. I ran some calculations on a high LD turnout with a moderate Conservative performance. It was even tighter for a Lib-Con pact… Labour do not have to do very well to prevent a Lib-Con even getting a majority… c.293 seats with a total loss of 50+ seats for reds would still prevent a Lib-Con pact.

  8. Amber – As you seem to be lurking, PLEASE tell me what your genius charty friend says will happen next. He predicted these terrible polls for Labour, but you said this was not how he saw the outcome.

  9. @RogerH

    “The Tories are probably most vulnerable to panic as the party trailing so far behind expectations”

    Aren’t Labour a bit behind their party faithful’s expectations too? At least Cameron has always said that it’s a huge task to overturn the amount of seats needed for an outright majority, 100+ I think. Some of the more recent polls are suggesting Conservatives would win most seats so I don’t see panic, more like acceptance that they may only achieve 70-80% of the goal they set (not bad) and accept the will of the people for a hung Parliament.

  10. @EOIN

    if the gap between tory and labour stays and the liberal vote drops down , then its a tory win

    but can people honestly see this happening ?

    the tory press would love it

    but I think the people will not ……I think people have seen through murdochs slaves

  11. @Welsh,
    Not necessarily…

    Polling booth jitters, turnout, marginal performance…

    I think a 36blue 34red would give it to reds…. a 33%red might even be enough with support from the celtic parties…

    There is a real chance brown could win the last debate and the realisation that economic management of the country is at stake will see a late surge for red… they have already been closing the gap with blue for some time..

  12. Both Harris and ICM overstated Labour’s position by 2 points in their final poll before the 2005 GE. As both have just given Labour 26% it is probably the case that Labour are not doing better than 25%.

  13. @EOIN

    as always with all posters, I repect your slant on things

    I see it as it is at the moment , based on averages of polls

    I certainly cant see a rise above 30 of labour vote

    and I can only see a blue increase on red, not the other way around ?

    unless I am reading things wrong ?

    regards

  14. @Eoin
    @All

    Please, pretty please, does anyone have an idea if Lab are ahead or behind in their Scotland % vote from GE2005 ie 39.5%. My impression was that they were slightly above this figure on 41-ish. Can anyone remember?

  15. James

    It’s an interesting prospect, but in that situation you forget that most of the others would naturally support a Lib/Lab pact on most issues.

    Nationalists are mostly to the left and would be keen on PR.

    In NI: the SDLP actually sit on the Labour benches; SF won’t be there at first (I reckon they’ll take their seats within 2 years, but that’s another story); DUP though social conservatives (at least publicly!) are into public spending in a big way.
    The current independents (including Lady Sylvia) mostly favour Labour.

    This will boost a Lib/Lab majority on most issues quite a bit. And remember after the great clear-out the MP’s of all parties are a lot younger and less likely to die!

  16. @ Eoin

    “Labour do not have to do very well to prevent a Lib-Con even getting a majority… c.293 seats”

    Wow Eoin, that would be quite a way from where the polls have been of late. Playing with UKPR’s predictor we’d need to see something like 32 / 30 / 29 to give Labour that many seats I think and they haven’t had 30% for the last 23 polls apart from tonight’s Mori that most are discounting as a “rouge” :o

    I’m sure there are other variations on a theme that might work but I just don’t see Labour getting most seats now and neither do the bookies, not that you can trust them of course ;o

  17. why does everyone assume that Brown will win the last debate? 10p tax rate, increase in NI, no more boom and bust, highest rate of unemployment since 1994, inflation over its target, deepest recession since 1930’s – there is plenty of ammunition for Clegg and Cameron

  18. I regret to concede that presently the Cons are on about 34/35. But I do assert that the Lib Dems around 30/31 and that I expect them to improve over the remaining few weeks.

  19. Yougov:

    Tory:35
    Lib Dem : 29
    Lab: 27

    Polls all over the show

  20. @ SUE

    He actually predicted “next” polling event being LD support crashes by 10% – but I ignored him, so MORI got their ‘exclusive’ on posting this little gem of a poll!

    I think maybe he has [email protected] the pollsters ;-)

    I will ask him to stop messing around & run a proper election prediction :-)

  21. i am of the opinion that the Lib Dems have much the greater head room and Eoin is right next Thursday’s debate is their opportunity> Clegg does have a good narrative to tell> I don’t think either Brown or Cameron have a positive message.

    So don’t think 28/29% currently as anything other than consolidation of the suppport they have stabalised at.

    There is some time to go and lots that can happen.

    I did think apart from the headroom.Paul Croft summed it up well.

  22. There is a reason why only 30% of people from the marginals knew that they were living it marginals. Ironically, it is because they are not. The 6.9% swing required in some of these seats has not occurred often. Lots of Labour voters will wrongly presume that they are in safe seats. It is one of the reasons that reds stayed away from the polling booths in 2005. Abstainers over the Iraq war. When they see big blue buses driving around their estates, it will dawn on them that thier seat could fall, Thus, knowledge that they are in fact living in a unsafe seat will slowly dawn on them. In these specific seats, turnout could climb by between 500-1,000 extra voters. I think many of them disgruntled reds. It would account for c.2% on the red majority if it could be gained. Thus instead of saying the Tories need 6.9% to capture these seats. I think it would be viable to view it as 8.0-8.5% in some cases. The bottom line is that it will be just enough to save some of them. How many it is hard to say. I have looked at them I think it is possible up to ten.

    In addition to this I have long discounted yellows tactically voting for reds. I do however think it is quite likely that reds where they need to will vote SNP or Lib D. These I have calculated could see 5 seats escape the Tories grip on May 6. In addition to this I do see a reverse swing a la Matt Hoggard in Scotland. Dundee East I think will go red and Dumfries will go red. This will be at the expense of 1 Tory and 1 SNP. I need to look at Galloway’s seat before I make my min dup but I am countenancing the possibility that this seat could go red. On top of this there are 3 SDLP MPs from Northern Ireland who take the Labour Whip. The DUP have intimated at length that they are not certain to as was previously assumed, a deal with blue. They fear cuts in NI and dont think the electorate would forgive them.

    The net result is that 20-25 seats which the Tories are banking on will not in fact be there come the final sharing out of seats. This begs one very important question. How do the Tories get to 323?

    Remember the Tories had planned to get 23 seats from the Lib Dems.

    The long and short of this is that a majority with Cletic Party support is much easier for Labour than the Tores. Even with only modest performance at the polls.

  23. Adrian…why does everyone assume that Brown will win the last debate?….

    The debate is irrelevant(IMO). Brown did very well last time, but he was voted down. It really doesn’t matter if he is convincing, the polls will say otherwise… Very sad

  24. Frank G ‘Please, does anyone have an idea if Lab are ahead or behind in their Scotland % vote from GE2005 ie 39.5%. My impression was that they were slightly above this figure on 41-ish. Can anyone remember?’

    From memory, I think that last Sunday’s Scotland on Sunday poll, as reported on a previous thread, had Labour 39, LD 27, but I’m not absolutely sure.

  25. @ James –
    “Using the Electoral Calculus website, this translates as follows:-

    Conservatives – 278 seats
    Labour – 251 seats
    Liberal Democrats – 89 seats

    An interesting point to note is that if we end up with a LibLab pact, it would only have a 14 seat majority over all other parties on these figures. John Major had a larger majority than this in 1992 and with deaths and defections, only just about hung on to his majority. The question has to be asked therefore, how long exactly would a LibLab pact hang on before it became a minority Government?”

    James – as SF do not take up their seats, there are 646 MP’s.
    If Labour and the Lib Dems had a joint 340 seats, they would therefore have a majority of 340 – 306 i.e. of 40, NOT 14.

  26. Give MORI credit…an overnight spike of 7 for Other probably also struck them as a bit out there to try and pass off.

  27. Frank G
    “Please, pretty please, does anyone have an idea if Lab are ahead or behind in their Scotland % vote from GE2005 ie 39.5%. My impression was that they were slightly above this figure on 41-ish. Can anyone remember?”

    The latest figure ( MORI) shows the following

    Labour 36%
    SNP 26%
    Liberal Democrats 20%
    Tories 14 %

    That would Give the following

    Labour 40 Seats
    Lib Dems 11
    SNP 7
    Tories 1

  28. @Red Rag Yougov:

    Tory:35
    Lib Dem : 29
    Lab: 27

    Polls all over the show

    Not really – actually we are seeing a consistent picture… (apart from the oobvious Mori rogue)

    Lab about 27/28% (down a bit) LD stable at 29/30% (good result for them), Con up slighly at 34/35

    Lab will recover a bit at the expense of the Tories in after the last debate. Its going to be a balanced parliament

  29. FrankG

    Latest poll I can find is a YouGov with fieldwork dates 14-21 April

    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/YG-Archives-Scottish-Sun-21.04.pdf

    Taking likelihood to vote (LTV) into account:

    Lab 36
    L/D 23
    SNP 21
    Con 16
    Oth 4

    There’s also an Ipsos/MORI for similar dates and figures – but the site’s hanging on me

  30. I think that Mori just exagerates the trend a bit. If anything, I think that Onepoll is the outliner/rouge.

  31. @eoin

    a very well reasoned post and I agree throughout with your analysis

    Re the scottish seats the deprivation of national airtime for the SNP has undoubtedly had an affect as also has the fact that they are opposing a labour govt. Should the cons win, the SNP would regard 2015 as a huge opportunity as Scotland will undoubtedly be targeted for re-allocation of resources, reduction of Westminster representation, refional job reductions etc

  32. FrankG

    Latest poll I can find is a YouGov with fieldwork dates 14-21 April

    h t t p ://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/YG-Archives-Scottish-Sun-21.04.pdf

    Taking likelihood to vote (LTV) into account:

    Lab 36
    L/D 23
    SNP 21
    Con 16
    Oth 4

  33. @Kyle Downing

    “I think that Mori just exagerates the trend a bit. If anything, I think that Onepoll is the outliner/rouge.”

    For reasons I explained earlier, I think they both are.

  34. @Michael
    @ Wolf MacNeil

    Thanks both of you,much appreciated

  35. @ EOIN CLARKE

    ‘Dundee East I think will go red and Dumfries will go red.’

    I am interested in why you think Dumfries will go red – we had been thinking of tactically voting red to get blue out but looking at the figures, decided it wasn’t a ‘goer’ so were going to return to the yellow fold.

    Your comment therefore interests me – how sure are you please ?

  36. The MORI marginal poll showed that no seat from target 50 upwards would go blue. That means that Labour would have 290+ Add SDLP (3) and the 3 gains I speculated about and you have them touching 300. Of course the Libs could take up to 17 seats from them but I think 10 is more realisitc. It might leave Red and Celts on c.320 and Tories and Libs on c.320 That would be quite a result……. (one which I dont think while happen but is still highly possible)

  37. Is there anybody at all who thinks the following scenario possible:
    Immediate pre- 3rd Debate polls average:
    Con 35 (+/-3)
    LD 30 (+/-3)
    Lab 27 (+/-3)
    Followed by Clegg outright win of 3rd debate, and new LD surge to:
    Con 32 (+/-3)
    LD 36 (+/-3)
    Lab 26 (+/-3)
    Leading to final weekend surge to 40 (+/-3) for Clegg and thus an absolute LD majority.

    Conventional wisdom says this is “impossible”. However, I remember back in the dark ages when David Penhaligon was asked how he won Truro (prior to Feb 74= safe Con) in October 74, he answered “We won because we didn’t know it was impossible!”

  38. @Ian Kemp

    Good question

    I have friedns campaigning in PortPatrick today. They tell me two things.

    One the local Labour structure is very poor (hence a bunch of Belfast canvassers)

    Two the SNP support base seem to be intimating that they would vote tactically just to see the last blue nose fall.

    I know privately, though I have not said before, that Trade Union strategists are pushing an anti-Lib message but that is probably less relevant here.

    Even better than all that, Oldnat thinks it will fall and I am very happy to take his word.

    Anecdotally, I was in Gretna a while back, I can see why it has previously been blue (and still is). It might as well be England.

  39. Is ‘Tim Collard’ writing in the Torygraph really Eoin :-)

    “**Despite the polls, we Labour campaigners are thrilled by the mess the Tories are in **

    It’s easy to see which of the two major parties is looking more frightened this weekend. The unanimity with which the Tory-inclined press called the second debate for Cameron smacked of a desperate attempt to seize back control of a narrative which was beginning to escape them. Admittedly, the Tories are still just about ahead in most polls, and Labour appear to be in serious danger of coming third. But it’s not looking like that from the point of view of the Labour grassroots. The cats round here in Lancashire have all come up the M6 from Cheshire.

    For a start, any surge in Lib Dem votes will take effect largely in the south, where we weren’t building up too many hopes in any case. First-time voting No. 1 son will probably go for them, but he’s in Surrey so doesn’t risk disinheritance. It won’t do us much harm in Labour/Tory marginals in the North. Secondly, I’m not at all sure about this supposed “Lib Dem surge”. The evidence suggests that the “Clegg effect” is not taking votes from the other parties; it is galvanising people who might not otherwise have voted at all (like No. 1 son). But you can answer opinion pollsters without getting off your backside; how much of this armchair enthusiasm will translate into trudges down to the polling station is quite another matter. We activists know well how hard it is to get out those voters who have given us a firm promise; people who have become instantly enthused by a TV show will be a lot less reliable. The Lib Dem vote is as soft as Lib Dem grey matter.

    Canvassing experience in North Lancashire corroborates what I have always said: that there is a very large disaffected Labour vote which might or might not come out for us. But anti-Tory sentiment is as strong as ever. Yesterday I knocked on the door of a young chap, too young to remember the Thatcher era, who said he just wanted to vote for whoever would keep the Tories out. Our only problem will be to convince such people that, despite the telly, there is no point in voting Lib Dem: sorry, but it just isn’t Clegg country up here. We’ve just stormed to victory in a tricky council by-election, the opposition split with beautiful symmetry between Tories, Greens and Lib Dems.

    And so it’s squeaky bum time for the Tories rather than for Labour. A defeated Gordon Brown (not that I am even acknowledging such a concept) would simply admit that his time was up and leave the field. A defeated David Cameron will be torn limb from limb by his party, and doesn’t he know it. The sharks are definitely circling.”

  40. @EOIN

    what is the differential between a labour majority in a balanced parliament , and a tory majority in a balanced parliament ?

    it just seems a few little percentages either way and we get wild forecasts on here

    regards

  41. Eoin

    labour has lost a tad of support nationally on recent polls since the mori marginal poll was done and the blues seemed to have gained a bit/

    but sure your scenario plays

  42. @Tony Dean

    “Is there anybody at all who thinks the following scenario possible”

    Possible or Probable? It is certainly one of the more exiting possible outcomes. Lab and Con would be about equal on seats with LD more than 50 behind.

    To be fair, I would love it if LD won the most votes but the least seats, if only for the reactions of the suits in the news rooms. And I would wake up laughing at Rupert Murdoch.

  43. @Tony Dean: I don’t think Tory vote will fall below 34/35%, so the LibDems would need a big fall in Labour. I think that’s unlikely, but not impossible.

    The 3rd debate is dangerous for Brown, in that his role in the economic crisis could expose him & his willingness to quote inaccurate numbers could tell against him.

  44. I think is quite possible that people have been persuaded through fear tactics, that a hung parliament is not a good idea.

    This could be the reason for a slight increase in poll ratings for the Tories. Will this be continued ?

    Why are many polling company executives, still predicting a small Tory majority or atleast as a minimum a Tory minority government? What do they know that we don’t ? Is there further polling data in swing constituencies that have not been released ?

  45. do the main polling companies normally weight for 2005 voting %ages before releasing the figures.

    and if so, why do you think mori didnt bother this time?

  46. The actual results in seats could be quite suprising I think

    The Lib Dems a targetting about 100 seats (and they are not always those you would expect)

    I think this could have a big effect on seats won whether the final % vote is 23% 0r 30%

    The Lib Dem targetting even at General elections can have a big impact
    eg Manchester Withington (a seat the Lib dems should not have won?)

    What do others think will be the effect of constiuency campaigns?

  47. If you throw out the unweighted mori poll, surely the libdems have held on well after the murdoch media assault the other day?

  48. @tony

    Yes I think its possible but the Lib Dems Need + 41+ to win outright

  49. @Rob,

    I liken the Labour Support base to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. It is only when they are at Stalingrad that Marshall Zhukov will rally the troops. Just as John Major did in 1992. People do not hate Labour. There has never been a poll tax moment.

    @Wandering Welshman.

    The best website for computing various election outcomes is the Daily Telegraaphs. It has a swingometer for yellow-blue red–yellow red-blue and you can do a close up on each constituency.

    I think 36/34/22 is the most likely outcome.

  50. BBC shows clip of Elvis impersonator being ropped in to sing about Brown!!!

    Are Labour now TRYING to turn themselves into a joke?

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