There are two new polls tonight, both with good news for the Conservatives, though neither are particularly significant in themselves.

ComRes’s monthly telephone poll for the Independent has topline figures of CON 37%(nc), LAB 36%(-2), LDEM 12%(+1), Others 15%. The changes from the last ComRes telephone poll at the start of the month are not significant in themselves, but it’s the first time that ComRes have shown the Conservatives ahead since October last year.

Meanwhile the daily YouGov poll in the Sun has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 41%, LDEM 8%. In the last week YouGov’s daily poll has had a very steady six point lead for Labour, it’s been three weeks since it was as low as two points. I’ll urge my usual caution about polls showing movement – sure, it could be the start of a trend, but it could also just be normal sample error.

220 Responses to “New ComRes and YouGov polls”

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  1. Dur, not 18%. 15%

  2. NickP,

    I suppose we’ll have to dust off the old tricks from the 1960s and 1970s that were used to avoid income policies. Of course, that increases (legal) tax avoidance and it’s an inefficient form of compensation, but the “multiples” policy is a blunt enough instrument to be easily resisted.

    A better approach would be to increase the marginal value of labour as a factor of profits by encouraging more investment as a percentage of national income, e.g. by introducing a progressive consumption tax. That would change the split of profits between wages and dividends from capital, as well as encouraging a healthy movement in our society from reckless spending to sustainable saving.

  3. Top Hat –

    The fuller version of the saying I always use is “Oppositions don’t win elections, Governments lose them… but oppositions can lose elections.”

    If a government is doing well, there’s nothing much an opposition can do to win. If a government is doing badly, then can still win if the opposition is too awful for the voters to contemplate!

    For example, in 1992 I think the government had probably done badly enough to be defeated… but people didn’t want to vote for Kinnock. To some extent 2005 was probably a similar case, Labour had done enough to lose to a good opposition… but were able to beat Michael Howard’s Tories.

  4. @Neil A

    That just goes to show bad it was for the Tories, if it is remembered as being even worse than it actually was!

  5. Tophat

    It was the brown paper envelopes which really did for major, large numbers of die hard libdems voted labour and equally large numbers of reds voted libdem, I remember it well, Neil Hamilton being humiliated in one of the safest blue seats in the country by a tv journalist in a white suit. I voted labour even though I thought there was no chance, but it seemed like it was my patriotic duty to help get rid of such a ………(I don’t want to get moderated) I was shocked when the local labour candidate romped home.


    “And a fine Scottish Young Liberal you made in your duffel coat, I am sure.”

    Duffel coat?

    This refers back to a previous discusson,where OldNat admitted to some Liberal allegiance in his youth, and also to wearing a duffel coat. However, it was a fashionable duffel coat, whereas I wore a rather tattered one.

  7. Bill Patrick

    I’m sure you are right, but I didn’t understand it. So it may not be a vote winner.

    Wages that are actually related to the the rest of the work force…isn’t that what Hutton recommended about executive public service pensions? That they are multiples of lower grades?

    If it works in the public sector it must work in the private sector.

  8. Lurker/Chou,

    Permit me.

    The coalition HAS been hammered in the VI polls. They are down something like 12-14% on their combined vote compared to the GE.

    Now, I’m not sure what Chou defines as a hammering, but that seems to me like a pretty steep drop in 18 months.

  9. Top Hat,

    Apparentely, polling from the period suggests that many Tories gave up on the party back after Black Wednesday and never came back. It clearly wasn’t either Labour’s attractiveness that pulled the disatisfied Tories away (since so many stayed at home in 1997, hence the nearly 6% fall in turnout) nor was it the sleaze that initially drove blue voters away from the Tories.

    Black Wednesday wasn’t the whole story of the landslide, but it was the opening shout. After that, it became very hard for the Tories to claim the credit for the economic brilliance of 1993-1997, despite the fact that many of their policies were vital to the low-inflation and steady growth of that period.

    The lesson: nothing is free, including disasters at the beginning of a parliament.

  10. Latest YouGov:

    Con 37%, Lab 43%, LD 8%

  11. Billy Bob

    How do you know?

    And what happened to neck and neck? That suddenly looks like sizable Labour majority territory. Must have been some speech by Ed to work THAT fast.


    The Tories have maintained their mediocre rating since the election. Like many people, I do think of the Tories as being the main driver of the coalition.

    For the Lib Dem portion, the major cock-up was tuition fees (obviously). I suspect that telling people who voted for your pre-election policy that they were deluded for doing so is not a way to maintain VI. Even if the post-election policy was good (which I do not think it was BTW).

  13. Lurker.

    The way I dress is between me and my tailor.

    But to more (ahem) substantial issues, the 12-14% swing to labour is quite crucial, and despite Chou’s protestations, may well be decisive.

    Of course the Tory vote is going to hold up. They are doing exactly what they said on the tin pre-Election. Why would anyone who voted for them now be cheesed off?

    But the left-leaning LDs have now been lost for a generation. The majority of them will never go back to the LDs, at least not in my lifetime. THAT is the key outcome of the last 18 months. It finally puts to an end the Great Centre Left Schism, and as such, has transformed politics and polling.

    Nick Clegg deserves to be up there in the pantheon of greats who have done great service to the Left.

    Final point: The LD VI collapse significantly pre-dated the tuition fess fiasco. It began in June last year when the left-leaning LD voters realised what they had done, and by not much later than this time last year they were already flat-lining. I see not the slightest chance of significant numbers of those lost voters returning by 2015. Or by 2035 come to that.

  14. @leftyhampton

    I think that the decision to go into coalition with the Tories handed Labour a get-out-of-jail-free card. Had they gone for C&S, Labour would have been utterly stuffed. Either the Lib Dems would have been the main tormentor of the Tories, or Cameron could have gone for another election had he thought he could win.

    I also think that the a left schism may end end up being replaced by a right schism. If this is the case, that is excellent news for Labour under FPTP.

    However, Labour cannot rely on that alone. If Labour act sensibly (which mostly they are so far) they have a good chance. If they do not then Labour can still mess it up. Messing up would be reheating either Tony Benn or Tony Blair.

  15. There never was centre left schism, I’m afraid it all in your heads.

  16. @RIN

    A significant number of left of centre people voted for the Lib Dems/Alliance since the mid-1980s.

    That is no longer the case.

    As a Yorkshireman, most of the Lib Dems I met were indeed more centre-right orientated. So what you say is true to the extent that the “add up the Labour + Lib Dems to get the true left of centre” idea espoused by a certain newspaper was an illusion. However, there was a split in the centre-left vote.

    Personally, I think the country is about 1/3 left, 1/3 right and 1/3 neither or a bit of both. And that is just from the people who actually care at all.

  17. RiN.

    Of COURSE there was a Centre-Left Schism.

    Remind me tomorrow and I’ll stick up some numbers to demonstrate. Bedtime now.

  18. NickP,

    I don’t like Hutton’s idea for the public sector either. Wages should be based on what an individual brings to the table, not how hard they work or how much someone else in the organisation contributes.

  19. statgeek
    @TOP HAT

    “Labour already seems to have degenerated into the Not-Tory party, and almost defines itself by doing whatever the Tories won’t do. In fact, more worryingly, they’ve started to turn into the Not-SNP party, and are beginning to oppose the SNP just because they’re the SNP.”

    That’s about it, though the SNP are a Not-Tory party too, and the LiDems had good line in Not-Tory too but the London lot wasted it. Now even the Tories (or at least Murdo Fraser) are trying to be Not-Tory as bst they can.

    It’s a winner, in Scotland.

    If the SNP can claim the Labour Not-tory vote they could be in third word dictator polling numbers.

  20. Top Hat

    “If this is the case, then why does anyone even care about Ed? He’ll win if Cameron goes tits up, he’ll lose if Cameron doesn’t. It seems to me no matter who the Labour leader was, the situation would be identical.”

    You are right, it’s irrational but partisans often are.

    The right think he is weak and are enjoying any negative polling or press coverage. The left are defensive now, but the day after a lost election they will be out for the kill.

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