ComRes has a new poll in tomorrow’s Independent, presumably their final call for the AV referendum. Topline referendum voting intention taking into account likelihood to vote and excluding don’t knows and won’t votes stands at YES 34%, NO 66%. 32 points is by far the largest lead we’ve seen for the NO campaign, up from 20 points in the last ComRes poll a week ago.

Standard voting intention figures meanwhile were CON 34%(-1), LAB 37%(-4), LDEM 15%(+2), Others 14%. Changes are from the previous ComRes telephone poll a month ago. This is the lowest Labour lead ComRes have shown in their telephone polls since last year, and the highest Lib Dem score any pollster except ICM have shown since last year.

The poll was conducted between Thursday and Sunday over the long bank holiday weekend – on that basis, I’d better add the same caveat I did to the TNS poll about being cautious about polls conducted over long bank holiday weekends that show unusual results. Wait and see if other polls show the same towering lead for AV – I expect we’ll have more to chew over tomorrow night.

Meanwhile we also have the daily YouGov figures (not conducted quite so much over the bank holiday weekend -fieldwork was yesterday afternoon to this afternoon!). Topline figures there are CON 37%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%.

148 Responses to “ComRes show landslide lead for NO2AV”

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  1. “…NC looked very glum today.”

    He looked really uncomfortable at last weeks’ PMQs when DC excelled with his Winner quote.

    “The weeks & months ahead will be very interesting.”


    And heard today that house prices have fallen a little.

  2. Alec

    “the Lib Dems have successfully created the impression that they are the progressives and Cameron is the ‘no change’ option.”

    Or, to look at it from another less anti-Tory angle, it could be said that “Cameron has successfully shown that Conservatives are the party of stability and Lib Dems are the party who instil uncertainty”

    Re AV, DC said from the start that he would fight on the ‘No’ side and I don’t think that he intended it to become a battle of political parties as it is now portrayed by the media/degenerated into (although of course they were always going to have a big say in it as vested interests).
    Cons and Lib Dems always knew they would be on opposite sides of this debate. Both sides have made claims that could be said to be misleading (although I would say that the ‘No’ side has missed off the key points for votiing ‘No’ rather than being misleading) and Libs like Huhne are looking like grumpy, desperate losers/attention seekers. Ironically this could influence the vote against ‘Yes’ because AV has already been desribed as a voting system for bad losers who don’t get enough 1st prefs to win under FPTP.

  3. Anthony,

    When looking at the referendum data, I noticed that the “no” lead only really opens up when the data shown excludes don’t know’s and won’t votes. Have you repercentaged this from the raw data, and if so, why the recent change? Plotted in the format the tables on this website show it, the Yes vote has not dropped appreciably – it’s bumped along between 30 and 40% throughout and in fact the penultimate score was their third highest score since the beginning of your table! If a genuine reduction in DK/WV is responsible for the widening gap, it could be that the increased “No” votes could be “soft” votes who don’t turn out on the day, and it could be much closer than it seems?

  4. I don’t fall for this rubbish of ‘core support’. I think that both the Tory and Labour poll numbers could possibly hit the low 30s, especially as both the Tory and Labour support is pretty soft at the moment. The fact that 12 months ago Labour only scored in the high 20s at the GE, coupled with the more recent Lib collapse demonstrates this IMO.

    In fact, I fully expect – like many – for Conservative support to plummet in the next year to 18 months, and for Labour’s polling numbers to increase significantly. I think that the next year will, whatever happens, be the low point for the Tories in terms of polling.

  5. I think it is possible to discern a core support.

    But I also think that parties ‘core support’ in the truest sense of the word are much much smaller than e suppose..

    I guess one measurement would be a voter who would refuse to transfer his vote to anyone else,

    Another measurement might be a voter who will continue to vote for a party regardless of how much it approves of indivual policies

    Another measurement might be simply those who have a) never swtiched their vote b) who turn out time and time again to vote for the same party..

    Back any of these measurement a core vote for a party is tiny..

    Of an electorate of c.45mill, the fact that 8.6m voted reds in 2010 already puts their maximum core vote at c. 19.5% of the electorate..

    The truth is that it is probably much smaller than that again…

    None of this is at al relevant.

    Winning an election is as much about energising the vote as it is getting your core vote out..

    That throws up issues such as

    voter registration
    transporting to booths
    inpsiring Dks/WNVs to change their mind…

    The Democrat PArty’s registration drives in the Rio Grande Valley are a good case study to juxtapose the declining relevance of core vote vis a vis energising the other apathetic masses..

    Of course we collectively are useless at that it the UK, so instead we chomp around the centreground chasing ABs, Worcester Women & Mondeo Men…

    A perfectly viable strategy, I suppose.

    Horses for courses.

  6. @marchondowntheline

    What on earth are you on about?

    The ‘Yes’ campaign raised and spent nearly £1m more than the ‘No’ campaign!

    And the biggest single donors by far – Rowntree and ERS – were for ‘Yes’.

    The position is the exact opposite of what you claim!

    Full list of donors


    Peter Cruddas £400,000

    Jonathan Wood £100,000

    Michael Davis £100,000

    Lord (John) Sainsbury £100,000

    Michael Farmer £100,000

    John Caudwell £75,000

    Lord (Philip) Harris £75,000

    Lord (Graham) Kirkham £75,000

    FIL Investment Management Ltd £50,000

    Mark Samworth £50,000

    James Lyle £50,000

    Sir Donald Gosling £50,000

    John Spurling £50,000

    The Funding Corporation Limited £50,000

    IPGL Limited £50,000

    Edwin Healey £50,000

    David Mayhew £30,000

    Christopher Rokos £30,000

    Lord (Stanley) Fink £28,000

    Andrew Sells £25,000

    Lord (Charles G) Leach £25,000

    Lord (Simon) Wolfson £25,000

    Killik & Co LLP £25,000

    JC Bamford Excavators Ltd £25,000

    Ivor Braka £25,000

    Lord (David) Wolfson £25,000

    Jeremy Hosking £25,000

    John Nash £25,000

    Arbuthnot Banking Group plc £20,000

    Nicholas Jenkins £20,000

    Hugh Sloane £15,000

    David Ord £10,000

    Andrew Brannon £10,000

    William Cook Holdings Ltd £10,000

    Peter Hargreaves £10,000

    Rhoderick Swire £10,000

    Charles Caminada £10,000

    Naguib Kheraj £10,000

    GMB Union £10,000

    Richard Hoare £10,000

    Robin Fleming £10,000

    Electoral Commission £114,000

    Adrian Beecroft £50,000

    Graham Edwards £50,000.00

    Alex Knaster £50,000

    Jonathan Wood £50,000

    Lord (Stanley) Fink £25,000

    The Shore Capital Group £25,000

    Odey Asset Management Group Limited £20,000

    Randox Laboratories Limited £20,000

    Terence Cole £10,000

    Nick Finegold £10,000

    George Robinson £10,000

    Britt Shaw £10,000

    Charles Wigoder £10,000

    Small donations £248,130

    Total £2,595,130

    Yes to Fairer Votes

    Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust £1,021,000

    Electoral Reform Society £1,146,096

    Electoral Commission £114,000

    Paul Marshall £75,000

    Brian and Margaret Roper £85,000

    Make Votes Count £20,000

    Crispin Allard £20,000

    C A Church Ltd £15,000

    Brompton Capital £100,000

    C&C Alpha Group £50,000

    Anthony Jacobs £50,000

    Alan Parker £30,000

    Cru Publishing £25,000

    Unlock Democracy £19,338

    Andrew Wainwright Reform Trust Litd £15,000

    Nat Puri £15,000

    Roland Rudd £10,000

    Ramesh Dewan £10,000

    Neil Sherlock £8,000

    Small donations £278,069

    Donations in kind £330,119

    Total £3,436,622

  7. @Eoin – I would agree with that analysis of core vote. A parties core vote is the number of fully committed voters it has, until they decide to change their minds. Of course there are groups who will more naturally lean one way or another, but everyone has a point at which they say enough is enough, with measurements of core vote levels bascially being to second guess where that point lies for different groups.

  8. Alec,


  9. 2 questions:

    1. To Labour supporters: If it is true that roughly 60% of Labour supporters and MPs are intending to vote NO, then what does this say about Ed Miliband’s authority and respect within the party? Everything? Nothing?

    2. To betting folks: why do bookies pay out before the event?

    Answers gratefully received.

  10. Sergio – the answer to no. 2 is for good publicity / PR / attract new customers etc

    YouGov’s final AV poll tonight has an 18 point lead for no (59-41) BTW.

  11. Sergio,

    AV within Labour was an open vote. Strictly speaking it says nothing about Ed M. One may argue an a) more authoritarian leader b) a more charismatic leader may have cajoled/inspired more around to his way of thinking. But by inverse logic, one may argue the fact that an absence of railroading shows an improved level of democratization within the party.

    With the absence of polling data dealing specifically with your point, you are left to viewing things through your own paradigm/zeitgeist whatever convoluted term they put on it…

    Thus a red who less favorable to EM will argue it weakens him, and vice versa.

    In short, by asking a question like that you are likely to invite answers with an MoE greater than an Angus Reid poll.

  12. Colly and TGB,

    Thanks both for your helpful answers.

  13. @ Eoin,

    Brilliant post – I’ve always thought the commentators on this site that say “Lab’s core is 29%” or “Con core is “30%” are using a meaningless measure of core support.

    Many people who voted Labour (and Cons) in 2010 would have been floating voters. Just because Brown was very unpopular it does not naturally follow that only “the core” supported Lab in 2010, or that they couldn’t go lower/they will naturally recover under a different leader.

    It would be very interesting to see from 1997 how many of those who voted Labour then were “lifelong Labour voters” and how many in 2010 had voted Tory in the previous election (or in other elections).

    The very fact that most elections are decided by the swing voters who switch from Lab to Tory (roughly 6% last time) would suggest that party support is very fluid.

    Probably slightly worrying for a LD who thinks “we can’t go any lower than 10%” – well you could easily do that if there was a civil war in the party, an attempted ousting of Clegg, and/or a break-up of the coalition which the public blamed on them breaking their promises.

  14. On the uptick in LD support in Com Res. This could indeed show that when the LDs in cabinet show their teeth to their Con masters it does result in an increase in their support and some LDs who may stay at home decide it’s worth voting for them …

    … or you could look at YG and see LD stuck on 10% and get really depressed and blame the AV referendum.

  15. Final YouGov Poll for Wales
    (+/- in brackets compared to mondays Poll)
    Lab 47 (+2)
    Con 20 (0)
    Plaid 18 (0)
    LD 9 (+1)
    Others 6

    Lab 43 (+2)
    Con 19 (-1)
    Plaid 18 (0)
    LD 8 (+1)
    UKIP 7 (0)
    Green 3 (-1)
    Others 3

    So not much movement really all within the margins of error. Possible looking good for UKIP if this holds true. Labour are also going to probably be in the range of 30-32 seats IMO.

  16. TGB

    I think the Ed Miliband issue is an interesting development……from 1997-2010 we seldom if ever saw more than half the Labour party disagreeing with its leader. I appreciate AV is a free vote within the party, but I do wonder if, having broken ranks once, it may be a little less difficult for Labour MPs to do so again.

    Ed himself will be redeemed by the local election results come Friday but it seems that there is potential for the AV vote to be a harbinger of more serious discord to come.

  17. Sergio,

    There is not much that I am allowed to say on this matter.

    I should point out that there is a cracking website that measures dissension in Westminster chambers…

    Labour MPs rebel yes. LDs do also. But the largest amount of dissent has come from Cons. A point to add to your theory is that Debbie Abrahams rebelled almost upon entrance. Other ‘new’ MPs rebelled also.

    But Professor Crowley also points out that there were massive rebellions during previous Labour leader’s tenures.

    In fact, the main conclusion seems to be that red MPs can get away with rebelling more than blue because the general fixation among the UK media is ‘Tory unity’.

    I don’t know if any of this is true, but your best place is that website.

    E Mili’s political capital will ebb and flow and he will have to careful how he expends it, but I think that true of most opposition leaders.

  18. TGB

    TVM – what is the url of the website?

  19. I sent my postal votes off last week. I voted Labour in the council elections and ‘No’ to AV. I would have voted ‘Yes’ for PR. I don’t hold with the view that AV is simply the first step along that road and think Nick Clegg should have held out for a PR referendum.

    As I don’t think AV has any particular merit, my vote was influenced by my desire to inflict damage on the Coalition. I don’t think Labour need fear a GE. They are ahead in the polls after all ! I think the Lib Dems have made a big mistake in getting in to bed with the Tories and taking every opportunity to rubbish Labour‘s record. As a Labour supporter I don’t hate the Lib/Dems. If anything I feel sorry for them as I don’t think their future is very bright and Clegg looks positively ill.

    I must confess, as an erstwhile Brown supporter, I am looking forward to seeing all the blood on the carpet once the results are known. Looking forward to tomorrow night!

  20. I don’t see that EM suffers damage when the Yes2AV campaign fails.

    Much more significant IMO will be the scale of the No victory. If it is massive, what damage will this inflict on the LDs? Consider this – the LD party exists almost for no other reason than electoral reform. A massive defeat of this cherished policy will tell LDs that they have little if any hope of changing the way in which GEs are held.

    Will this realisation drive LDs to (re)consider whether they should be closer to Lab or Con perhaps within a formal pact?

    IMO the AV ref result is a watershed/defining moment for the LDs.

  21. Sergio:

    I don’t know if Anthony would like us to put up other site’s URLs (though it isn’t really a rival site, if it’s the one I’m thinking of) a Google search for “Revolts Cowley” should bring it up.

  22. And in the Labour Leadership election I voted for Ed Balls first and Ed Milliband second, so I’m quite happy. :-)

  23. Mike N

    Yes – it’s a classic case of “if you don’t know the answer, don’t ask the question”!

  24. @Eoin/Alec/Adrian/Amb Voter

    I think the key to this debate is defining the word “core” when the adjective is applied to the composition of a party’s vote. If we define “core” as those voters/supporters who would never contemplate ever voting any other way, no matter what the prevailing political circumstances may be, then I’d agree that such people represent a relatively small, although not insignificant, number of voters.

    However, if you then broaden the definition to mean a minimum vote share, a figure under which it is almost inconceivable that a party will sink, then “core vote” becomes a much more interesting concept. Let’s take the 1997 election for the Tories and the 1983 election for Labour. The Tories polled 31% in 97 and Labour 28.5% in 83, all time low figures for these two parties in the post war era. Conceivably, they could poll lower, of course they could, but when you consider how bad the prevailing political weather was for them in those years, is it likely? So “core” may become to mean a a “lower threshold”. The composition of the Tory lower threshold of 31%, and Labour’s 29%, may change and churn but it seems to me very unlikely that either party would ever garner a lower percentage share in a General Election.

    Of course, the other fascinating part of this same argument is what are the upper thresholds of each of the party’s support; how high could they climb in terms of percentage vote share? What, essentially, is the maximum potential support they could attract?. The answer to that question holds the key to the next General Election. I have a view, which I’ve occasionally shared, albeit tantalisingly, but I’m keeping my powder dry for now!

    @Anthony W

    I read somewhere recently that Peter Kellner had written an interesting piece about the “churn” that is going on beneath the apparently static VI shares in the YouGov daily tracker polls. I’ve tried to find it but, so far, without success. Does it exist?

  25. “Consider this – the LD party exists almost for no other reason than electoral reform.”

    Ouch! I know a number of LD members and supporters who would beg very strongly to differ!

  26. “I must confess, as an erstwhile Brown supporter, I am looking forward to seeing all the blood on the carpet once the results are known.”


  27. Quincel, considering I link to Phil’s website on the sidebar, I don’t think I’d mind ;)

  28. Anthony – As I recall, I first found the website through you mentioning it anyway. But better safe than sorry.

  29. @ Sergio

    as a Labour Party member, I like Ed Miliband and think his position re. AV is prinipled. He has said he supports it and has kept his word. What a refreshing change! 8-)

  30. Quincel

    I remember last year at about the time of the GE that at least one regular LD poster (Howerd, I think) said that once the LDs had achieved electoral reform he and other LDs would scatter to the four winds.


  31. Valerie

    I agree he’s been principled, but it’s interesting that he has not taken the party with him on this.

    After this vote I would very much like to see a cross party group develop in favour of PR.

  32. Nick H,

    It is possible to ascertain upper thresholds, i have done so, but the do fluctuate..

    Labour’s was 43% in May last year, now it is c.50%
    Tories was c.47% last year, now it is c.43%
    Yellows was conceivably 63%, now it is 32%.

    these calcs are based on AV data of those willing ot give 1st or 2nd prefs.

    Upper limits are problematic of course because they never materialise

    so this data may not be to many’s liking

  33. @ Sergio

    Well I voted no to AV but I don’t feel that reflects on Ed Milliband’s leadership. I think Labour supporters feel it’s ok to make their own minds up

  34. My local Lib Dem MP – a nice guy who I voted for – admits that the national party has “fractured its core vote”:

  35. Valerie

    Not sure if Ed Mill is principled on AV, more like opportunist – he was fairly safe either way, has now offered LDs an olive branch with his support and has gone more quiet/weak/lukewarm on it all more recently so as not to be too tarnished with its expected (though not guaranteed IMHO) defeat.

    Of course he still ostensibly supports AV – he would have been the biggest object of scorn in the country if he’d done a u-turn once the polls firmed up ‘No’s lead.

    To be fair, think he’s been fairly shrewd – it was a funny one to call if you didn’t really give a monkeys like most people in this country and wanted to concentrate on policies that matter.

  36. @ Colin, Mike N.

    Clegg has looked glum @ PMQs for months? He looks like the guy with toothache in the”before” bit of an advert for an expensive patent pain killer.

  37. @BT

    Fair comment re. EM’s opportunism.

    I think EM is a shrewd politician. A lot of people under estimate him. I’m happy for him to be leader

  38. I have a feeling Clegg is going to resign

  39. @Robbiealive.

    I agree re. Nick Clegg. Not a happy bunnie! 8-)

  40. @BT

    “I would say that the ‘No’ side has missed off the key points for votiing ‘No’ rather than being misleading”

    Good grief. You can’t be serious. Almost their entire campaign has been based on lies. And perhaps they couldn’t think of any key points for voting ‘no’.

  41. Why would Clegg resign?

    He will probably lose his seat at the next GE.

    Might as well keep being Deputy PM for as long as he can!

    And then off to be a European Commissioner.

  42. Robbiealive
    I think it will require an extraction to cure NC’s toothache!

  43. Fandango

    I think he’ll resign because, following terrible local election results, the No vote, and the problems he has with his coalition partners, his position will be untenable. People in his own party will see him as the problem – you only have to look at the No campaign’s ads to see that.

  44. “He will probably lose his seat at the next GE.”

    Thanks to FPTP he’ll probably be able to hang on there.

  45. ‘I like Ed Miliband and think his position re. AV is principled. He has said he supports it and has kept his word. What a refreshing change! ‘

    Not sure how to take this remark. If Parties says what they think and then stick to it they is principled?

    1. A huge proportion of Con said they would vote against AV, will probably do so and thereby followed their election pledge.
    2. A huge proportion of LD said they would vote for AV and will probably do so and thereby have broken their manifesto pledge.
    3. Over 50% of Lab seem to be voting against AV and will probably do so, thus breaking their election pledge.
    4. Under 50% of Lab seem to be voting for AV, will probably do so and thus honour their election pledge.

    On this topic from the above which party is more principled?

    Which party offered LDs a deal whereby they would impose AV without even a referendum in order to stay in power? Which party is said to have even offered PR in order to stay in power?

    Take the rest of the remark ‘What a refreshing change!’ how you will.

  46. @Frank G – “Which party is said to have even offered PR in order to stay in power?”

    “Now way, not in a million years” – That is reportedly Ed Balls reaction when LD negotiators got to “PR legislation” in their list of demands (the negotiating strategy seems to have been listing what the Tories had offered, then invite Labour to outbid).

  47. @The Last Fandango Well you cannot deny that the No camp have spent thousands on advertising all over the internet. The Yes Campaign have not done that. I have had endless No2AV letters posted to me – not one Yes one (although i know someone who did have one) and fair to say I threw every one in the bin. I thought the No2AV campaign has been highly personal to Nick Clegg and as a Labour member I have felt EMBARRASSED to be a member when see the Labour NO campaign – promoted by a Tory nonetheless – putting out this literature.

    And from May 2010 – March 2011 I was voting No. In the space of one week I turned into a Yes activist.

  48. The ComRes poll reflected almost exactly the actual result in the council elections. Uncannily so. Wow.

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