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. This clutch of polls – with yougov to come – are all fair-weather for the CamCon’s.

    As I thought last night, a small working maj for CamCon is looking increasingly likely – the main affect of the LD rise is the Lab fall, proportionately a larger fall than for CamCon.

    Weather for 6/5 still looks unsettled, showers or longer outbreaks of rain and cool !

    Lab cannot decline for so long – since 2001 really – and expect to play any part in government from 7 May.

  2. Tony Dean – Of course it is possible, but then anything is possible now.
    For that scenario to happen, Clegg would have to have a real game changer up his sleeve. Something truly earth shattering. Another good performance won’t be enough – surely the second debate has shown us that?
    It also means the Tories would have to LOSE vote share from 2005 and the Labour vote would have to completely collapse.
    On the day it is surely more likely that both Lab and Con will poll a little higher than their core votes and the Libs could poll anywhere between 30 (their current share) and 22 (a reasonable assessment of where they would have polled without the debate surge.
    At the moment, I don’t really think I can predict anything, But if I’m as dispassionate as I can possibly be, I suppose something like Con34-36 ,Lab32-34 Lib 22-26 is about as far as I can go.
    (Before anyone scream that Lab 32-34 is too high and partisan based on today’s polls, I base it on a belief that the Tories have started to pull back some of the vote they lost to the Lib surge and that Labour will do the same when the dust settles.)

  3. @Jack,

    There was a Tory marginal during the week

    it was only 0.5% down on the marginal poll when the Tories were flying high.

    Still very valid in my view. But then I am very fond of marginal polls.

  4. Tony Dean

    Anything is possible – but 40% Lib Dem means a (say) Con vote of 28% and Labour of 24%, both their natural minimum in my opinion.

    This would put the Lib Dems on or about a majority of 1 or so.

  5. @ Peter Chapman

    You are spot-on Peter. LibDem HQ target seats which have recent evidence of good local momentum in their direction – plus a good local candidate: not ones that appear in sequence from an election 5 years ago. This is why the main parties are always mystified by lack of activity in promising seats “on paper” – and then stunned at the Manchester Withingtons of this world.
    A tip: If you want to have a better guess at where LibDem threats really are, look at where they have local gains since 2005 and where there are candidates with tip-top CVs!!!

  6. @Sue Marsh

    There is nothing partisan about predicting higher Labour figures. Don’t worry anyting is possible like you said and I agree with your post.

  7. @Rosie P

    “Lab cannot decline for so long – since 2001 really – and expect to play any part in government from 7 May.”

    Sorry to disappoint you: BUT if Labour are able to form a coalition with the Lib Dems (in whatever a permutation) they both CAN and WILL.

    Whatever their vote share or seat tally.

    Sorry to disappoint you #2: NO polls at the moment or in recent trend indicate the Conservatives are “on course” for a small majority.

    So its a bright blue sunny day “on 6/5” then ;-)

  8. @ Sue Marsh

    On current poll evidence and trends – and GE outcomes, sadly I cannot see Lab securing over 28 poss 29%.

  9. @ Rob Sheffield

    I love you really !

    I love a dreamer too, especially when then can put it so succinctly!

    If there is a coalition – and I still think CamCon will have it – NC will not do any deal with Lab with such a poor overall %. So he would more likely do a series of short term deals with CamCon to see how things go.

  10. ROSIE P:
    This site’s average, skynews poll of polls, bbc poll of polls, and a few others average still show a different trend to what you are predicting.

  11. Rosie P – Perhaps it makes more sense when you look at the GAP between Con and Lab.
    The Cons fell just as much as Lab from the Lib surge – actually a little more and were polling 32s and 31s – their 2001 figures. They are now pulling back to 35 ish but Labour are polling 28s and 29s too. The Lib Dems putting Lab in third skews things a bit, as it makes Lab figures look much worse, but the gap between Con / Lab is still around 5.5 – a little higher on today’s figures alone.

  12. @ EOIN

    I am now more confused – perhaps it is my age !

    I am in Dumfries, Clydesdale and Tweedale (DCT) and the MP is the blues only Scottish MP, David Mundell.

    Portpatrick is in the Dumfries & Galloway seat which is already red – Russell Brown


  13. Ian Kemp

    To add to what Eoin said, the reason the Tories kept D,C & T last time was the anti Tory vote in D & C was traditionally Lab and Lib Dem in T(weedale) which had just been added in after boundary changes.

    If Labour can persuade the T bit they’re the opposition they should get in.

  14. Re Sue,
    Yes it seems some of the soft Tory support that went LD had drifted back.
    Like you I think a simlar amount of the soft Labour than wqent LD support will come back also but nearer the GE.
    We could be wrong though.
    At 35% or so average the cons are 3% away from 38% that will imo be enough to get an overall majority.

    In fact does not sage Eoin think they will hit 38% before falling back?

  15. 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?

    Libdems have actually recovered slightly from thursdays bashing if you throw out the unweighted mori poll

  16. Ignoring the above.

    I note today Labor has created an idea for further Stalinist targets, namely everyone should be seen at A + E inside 4 hours today. I was at A and E last Thursday week – and operated in a brand new Hospital (one week) – you are already assessed for your need the second you go in the door. And some were there for no reason at all.

    So, if there happens to be a spate of real emergencies (such as Friday and Saturday night) the paranoid excessive hypochrondriac who the staff all know will need to be seen ahead of what the medical staff deem an emergency if they have sat for longer than the 4 hours. DAFT.

    I don’t like Tories either- here is a fine example of the NHS working well (big government) but Labor has not realised we are all sick to death of pointless micromanagement which is at the heart of new Labour.

    But, in case any Labor people vaguely in their hierarchy are reading; let professionals do their job and get rid of targets.

  17. Prediction foeGE
    cons 37
    libs 24
    lab 26

  18. I think the Labour vote will be higher than currently predicted, but it will be no higher than 31%. The Tories will score approx 36% and the Lib Dems 28%.

    My current prediction is a Lab minority government. I think the Lib Dems and UKIP will prevent a sufficient Tory breakthrough to make them the party with the most seats.

  19. Rosie P

    I agree with you that Clegg will not do a deal with Labour if they have the lowest percentage of the parties and certainly if that percentage is 25% and 27% and the Conservatives are on say 36%. The LibDems would simply appear as opportunists who are the same as the other two parties and their committment to PR over the years would be shown to have been fake. Clegg has said he will side with the largest party in a hung parliament – although he has been cagey as to whether that is largest in terms of seats or percentage of vote. If the Tories are the largest in terms of both then I feel he will go with them.

  20. Its starting to happen even early than I predicted the other night.
    Very gradually we are moving towards figures which will give the tories a working majority. The rise in the Liberal vote at the expense of Labour but not the tories will mean a tory government for a decade-and the end of electoral reform for a generation.
    Nick Clegg’s performance in the debates is bringing about change all right-but the very opposite of what he wants.

  21. Roger/Ian

    The problem for labour is that Tweeddale have been voting Lib and Lib/dem since the 1960s so it’s far from easy, i suspect, to overturn that sort of voting tradition, especially with LD support up nationally. I’d suggest it is possible in that area that LDs would prefer to keep the Tory!

  22. I think those in the main parties who support ditching FPTP are being overly optimistic about their own chances under a proper PR system such as STV.

    It’s very likely that support for all 3 main parties would fragment with STV because minor parties would suddenly have a real chance of winning seats. The LDs themselves could probably kiss goodbye to polling over 20% because a lot of their support would switch to the Greens for example. So it wouldn’t quite have the effect the LDs are hoping for.

  23. @Ian

    My fault for the confusion.

    The lads are over canvassing in BOTH over three successive weekends.

    The SNP switch will seal it in Dumfries I am sure. To be clear… no Blue seats in ScotlandI often get the two elopement sites mixed up ;)

  24. I suspect that this polling has less to do with the Debate, and more to do with the barrage of Anti-LibDem press articles from the Daily Mail and Telegraph. And perhaps by the same, plus the Sky and Sun, reporting the debate as a win for the tories.

    It may well be a mistake to assume this has burst the LibDem bubble however. And there is possibility for a backlash to come against this, if a national newspaper were to endorse the LibDems for instance.

  25. JimJam – that of course is the great fear for those of my persuasion now. We MUST maintain the 5 point gap with the Tories, and pull back into polling figures beginning with a three!!!

  26. BPIX poll
    lib dem-30

  27. Dave.. nothing’s happened yet. They’re just polls, is this Yougov confirmed?

  28. Tony Dean / Peter Chapman

    You’re completely right about targeting – I reckon that Lib Dems will get 90 – 100 seats even if the national vote falls to the low-mid twenties.

    However many of these seats are ones they would pick up anyway with a national vote in the upper twenties, so it’s not till they hit the early thirties that they win really big because of national swing.

  29. NHS

    One of the things which really annoys me is the plethora of pointless change which both Tory and Labour love. My wife, son and and I have all had to have various operations in one year(and none ever before-what a year!) and all were dealt with brilliantly. Two weere emergency and one was planned.

    And yet people want to wast emoney tinkering. Stuff latering the NHS–let all the current changes settle and let professionals make the decisions. Politicians alter too many ways.

    I’d vote for any party which for every law or policy implemented was matched by the withdrawal of a policy or law.

    (Example- school healthy eating; 2nd helpings of healthy eating in schools not allowed so children go home hungry and eat the home rubbish and the remnants of the healthy school lunches have to be thrown out! True . It’s really good in EBD schools in particular where the essence of the parents there are dysfunctional.)


    DCT – thanks for the explanations – we will have to consider reverting to plan A I think and vote tactically

  31. EOIN
    “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?..

    I obviously don’t know if the Tories will obtain an overall majority but I do know their targeted seats if won would give them a very comfortable overall majority. It is rather naive for you to suggest that they took for granted they would win the Lib Dem targets.

  32. @Mike

    Forgive my naivety :)

  33. You Gov

    Con 35

    Lib Lab 28

  34. MIKE/EOIN, given DC apparently diverted from the North East to spend an extra day in the South/South West you could interpret that as a degree of anxiety and that their private polling in those SW marginals was indicating that they were not performing as they had hoped?

  35. What everyone is forgetting is this is a general election that has never happened before, at least for 50 years or so anyway, and yet we see the same old method of poll taking. Even the BBC hasn’t been able to come up with a three-way swingometer and generally, the media still does not know how to handle this beyond the interviewer asking the Tory: “Are you sorry now you let Clegg into the Leader Debate?” Then asking the Labour person: “How does it feel to be last in the polls”, or “What will happen if the come third but have the most seats?”. Finally to the Liberals: “What party would you prefer to join a coalition with?”.

    The big unanswered questions are what are the people that didn’t vote last time but who are going to vote this time going to vote for. Are the young going to come out to vote and how many BNP/Green/Ind Party are going to go over to the Lib Dems due to the £10,000 tax allowance putting £700 in low/middle income workers.

    The Labour and Tory percentages may be pretty accurate, but I think, across the country, there is too much fluidity for pollsters to pick up what is really happening on the LD front.

    I don’t expect Nick Clegg to make any big mistakes in the next debate, or generally, and that, with the fact that the Lib-Dems always gets more votes than their polling suggests (generally 4-7%), I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Lib Dem’s getting 35-39% of the vote even when their polling sub 30%.

    This is the brand new situation, regular polling is going to be seen wanting come May 6th. Even posters on this site are not stepping back and seeing the whole picture, and if they are not, the media and public at large certainly aren’t.


    Maybe so – I realise that the situation is a bit different to 1997, but a number of the Lib Dems 27 (?) gains at that election were not actually top-targets – I think including Vince Cable’s – though I might be wrong their.

  37. @ SUE

    Geek report:

    – So if I said that LAB will be only 2 points behind the CONs by the end of this coming week, you’d be surprised.

    – Vote Clegg get Cameron has gained more traction than Vote Clegg get Brown.
    CON leaning LD have already shifted back to CON; because they may as well vote CON if that’s who Clegg favours.

    – LAB leaning LD are poised to move back to LAB (unless there are tactical reasons to stay with LD). This will take LAB to within 2 points of CON.

    – LD will be polling between 5-10 points adrift of the CONs by end of this week.


    LAB tanked after the budget & “Cuts worse than Thatcher” remark from Darling. Labour = Pain. Then OSCAM changed the narrative by presenting a situation where UK is so well off we can afford ‘tax’ cuts. Voters heaved a sigh of relief.

    Now Cameron has made cuts real again by specifying regions that will feel the most pain when the cuts program begins. Conservative = Pain.

    This may seem illogical & unfair to CON supporters; well that’s how LAB supporters felt when AD did a very servicable budget, was honest about cuts & sent LAB’s rising trend into an abrupt reverse.

    LAB will be catching CON next week (so I am told).

  38. Latest YouGov / Sunday Times poll: Con: 35; Lib Dem: 28; Lab: 27.

    Yes.. depressing times

  39. If Cameron wins a majority it’ll probably be because of big swings in the Midlands and Lancashire not because he wins a lot of LD seats in the SW.

  40. Can i point out that the closest prediction to how events and numbers will change has been EOIN’s. Though the changes did come at a slightly slower pace then he predicted, the trends he pointed out have by and large materialized.

    I am now finding it hard to find evidence supporting my assumptions that Lib will stay at around 28% and that the Cons will not go past 35%. I was also predicting a return to around 32% to Lab by this stage and that too does not seem to be happening.

    So hats off for EOIN and i am hoping that he keeps predicting it correctly as the end result he has steadfast predicted is one that is to my liking.

  41. The MORI poll shouldn’t scare or delight anyone too much. We’ve had (by my rough calculations) 50 polls since the election was called, and I suspect we’ll have 30-35 more before polling day comes along. So more than 80 altogether.
    If 1 in every 20 polls is a rogue (can we please stop saying ‘rouge’ now? – it’s just getting annoying), then that means that at least 4 of them during the campaign will be rogues. ComRes’s last Monday appeared to be one, Mori’s tonight also seems to be. Still room for two more! The only annoying thing is that these ones get more attention because the media loves everything that’s sensational and unexpected. So let’s not chop anyone’s head off over it.

    As far as I can see, looking at it dispassionately, the LibDem surge has subsided slightly, but only a little – the LibDems are still consistently ahead of Labour, and let’s not lose sight of how extraordinary that fact really is in historical terms. Would be very interested to see how may “safe” Labour seats do a Withington on 6th May and elect Lib Dems.

  42. @Amber star

    There is desperation in what you are saying. Labour are nowhere near the levels you are talking about.

  43. YOU GUV ??

    35 28 28

    is that what is coming through ?

    thats status quo isnt it ?

  44. The correct Yougov figures are

    Con 35
    LD 29
    Lab 27

  45. ***new YG and BPIX thread…..

  46. UK_John – “the fact that the Lib-Dems always gets more votes than their polling suggests (generally 4-7%)”

    In 2005, the final polls predicted a Lib Dem vote of 22.4%. They actually got 22.7%, so the polls were almost exactly right. In 2001, the final polls predicted a Lib Dem vote of 17.6%, they actually got 18.8%, so underestimated by only about 1%.

  47. Keith – MORI never weight buy past vote, since they believe it dampens down genuine volatility. There’s a full explanation if you read the FAQ about sampling (linked on the sidebar on the left)

  48. Malcolm Hewson

    I suspect Twickenham would have been a Lib Dem target in 1997 (and elections before that), but in general it depends what you mean by targets.

    If you mean those most likely to fall on swing you’re right. Many of these seats have the third party (usually Labour) reduced to a minimum so there’s no more votes to come from them.

    In addition many voters who nationally are being persuaded to vote Lib Dem have already been persuaded in these seats. You can’t win them over twice.

    However the other concept of target seat is those where Lib Dems have been campaigning hard and usually making progress in local government. They have already convinced a lot of voters to come over to them since 2005, but there are still some third party/potential voters available. So strong campaigning in the constituency and/or a smaller national swing than would be necessary on paper will win them the seat.

  49. thanks Anthony

  50. Polls tend to under estimate support for governing party,i think result will be Con 36% Lab32% Lib 26%

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