Tonight’s monthly ComRes phone poll for the Indy has topine figures of CON 35%(nc), LAB 38%(-4), LDEM 15%(+3), Others 12%(+1). Changes are from ComRes’s last telephone poll a month ago. The three point lead is the lowest any poll has shown since April, and the lowest ComRes has shown since March. Leaving aside ICM, who consistently show higher support for the Lib Dems anyway, it is the highest level of Lib Dem support in any poll for over a year.

I will give my normal caveats about being careful about polls showing sharp movements – sure, they could reflect a genuine change in public support, but they could equally be normal sample error. The poll does, however, come after a YouGov/Sunday Times poll showing Labour’s lead dropping and it would not be particularly surprising to see the Liberal Democrats enjoy some degree of a boost from their conference. Even if other polls do show the same don’t get too excited about it – there is every chance Labour will have their own boost in the polls later this week and the Conservatives in a week’s time. Conference season is often a rollercoaster of polls going up and down as each party gets its own shot of positive publicity, wait and see what it looks like when the season is over.

The rest of the ComRes poll had trust in the economy questions (Cameron & Osborne were trusted by 30%, Miliband & Balls by 24%) and a question on whether Miliband and Cameron has what it took to be a good PM. 22% of people thought Miliband had what it took, 39% thought Cameron did.


268 Responses to “ComRes/Indy – CON 35, LAB 38, LDEM 15”

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  1. Once upon a time, when a Department made a major mistake, the buck stopped with the Secretary of State. Whether the mistake was made by the politicians or the civil servants, it was the Secretary who bore responsibility for the Department’s performance.

    Somewhere along the line, the job spec for Secretary of State was re-written, and “Teflon Shoulders” was written into the “Essentials” column.

    McLoughlin’s performance this morning was a perfect example of the modern approach. Pin the blame on “Them” (the Civil Servants) with the intention of distancing “Us” (the politicians) from the responsibility.

    One is left wondering: what exactly ARE Ministers and Secretaries there for? And when political successes come along, will Ministers publicly announce that it was all down to the Civil Servants and nothing to do with the politicians?

    I am one of the ones who argues that politics and politicians are not as black as they are painted. But it’s a bloody tough gig when the politicians act like this.

  2. @NickP
    Interesting that officials suddenly discover ‘technical errors’, just in time before the Judicial Review would have uncovered the truth.
    Maybe there will be more revelations.

  3. The idea that the Conservatives can claw back 8% or 10% or more does not detract from the fact that they have to do it, that they have to come up with something to address the real scoreboard pressure that Labour are putting them under.
    Labour have had a 40%+ rating for about six months, are looking confidant and their leader has come up with what may become a great speech, one that has the potential to resonate from now until the next election.
    Of course the conservatives could win the next election, but the longer they leave it to put in a good performance the harder it will be and they know it.

  4. Working at home this morning and momentarily flicked the TV on to check the news headlines.

    BBC Breakfast Time. Some non-descript light entertainment star being interviewed by Susanna Reid. Suddenly, the audio track is interrupted by a hectoring female voice from the back room shouting, “What the f*** is happening!?”

    When the video goes viral, remember you heard it here first.

  5. Course, I’m assuming the rogue audio was from a BBC back room. I guess it’s possible that it was going from Conservative Central Office.

  6. Interesting article Mr. Fringe.

    “By contrast, a naive strategy of simply guessing that the incumbent party would win exactly half the vote would have done better, missing by an average of 5.8 points and a median of 4.3 points.”

    From time to time the MAD calcs I do can get the same answer (or within MoE) as when I take the average of the max and min of a sample set. There’s no real scientific basic for that, but more often than not, it’s close. See the max/min for the past 30 polls:

    http://i48.tinypic.com/i728nm.png

    …and the MAD:

    ttp://i45.tinypic.com/30kftwz.png

    Now the MAD data suggests that Labour has a 9.9% lead on the Conservatives. The min/max averages come out at Lab 42.5, Con 33 with a difference of 9.5%.

    I sometimes wonder if we go a little too far to find the truth. :)

  7. TINGED FRINGE.
    Thanks for the figures, which show indeed, that Labour’s leads under Kinnock were wiped out in the years up to the 1987 and 1992 GE defeats.

    TONY WILLIAMS.
    They only need to claw back 5% from Labour.

  8. “McLoughlin’s performance”

    In fairness, Justine Greening ought to be getting questioned, since she was around during the tendering process.

  9. Isn’t is better to compare like with like.

    September 29th 1999 – 2 1/2 years into a new government, the new government were 23% ahead and went on to win a further two terms.

    Today 2 1/2 years into a new government the new government are 8% behind.

    At the moment it looks like a Lab majority,however events can drastically change the political landscape: The Falklands war, the SDP, changing the prime minister all contributed to Tory re-elections. There is the Scottish Independence referendum before the next GE.

  10. LEFTY

    THanks for your 12.00am

    I rather prefer Danny Finklestein’s view in today’s Times.

    I think you need to reflect the views of some of your political compatriots here-this was a speech for his party-not for real people in the rest of the country.

    When he has things to say to them , no doubt they will make their own judgement.

  11. CHRISLANE1945 but they have to do it, at present they look more like tearing themselves apart than doing it.
    The longer Labour stay at 40% the more pressure they are under, could look at it like being one nil down at half time and Labour beginning to look stylish against a disjointed conservative team.

  12. @COLIN

    Agree that Eds speech was to the party and only partly to the country.

    I have changed my mind on whether Labour should be offering many alternative policies now. I did think that they should announce many alternatives, but now think that the financial/economic situation is so unclear, that they would be foolish to do so. By 2015 the UK economy may be in a far worse state than it was in 2010. The interest on debt, may be over £50bn a year. The government will have made many unpopular changes to state spending, which Labour could not reverse.

    The choice at the 2015 election may be to maintain faith in coaltion parties who had failed or to back Labour when it was uncertain whether they had policies that would make any difference.

  13. Unfortunately the move to 7am for YouGov polls seems to have reduced the frequency of new threads.

    As we’re still being encouraged to focus on Com Res, here’s a thought. Their original unweighted sample recorded 2010 support of 199 Con, 251 Lab, 133 LD, enough to produce a Labour landslide in 2010. Reweighting to be representative of the actual result increased the number of 2010 Cons in the sample by 53% relative to Lab, and likewise increased the number of LDs by 43%.

    Such reweighting is quite in order, but when it’s necessary on quite such a scale because of the unrepresentativeness of the original sample, it’s harder to have confidence in the results, because of the various limitations of uniform weighting processes.

    I also wonder whether recalled 2010 voting responses can still be relied upon, when they’re quite so out of line with the actual result. Does the “spiral of silence” extend to past as well as current voting intention?

  14. Rail Franchise cock-up reports :-

    “The most senior civil servant at the department, Philip Rutnam, said: “The errors exposed by our investigation are deeply concerning. They show a lack of good process and a lack of proper quality assurance.

    “I am determined to identify exactly what went wrong and why, and to put these things right so that we never find ourselves in this position again..

    The Dft said it found evidence of significant flaws as its officials were gathering evidence in preparation for legal proceedings.

    These flaws stem from the way the level of risk in the bids was evaluated. Mistakes were made in the way in which inflation and passenger numbers were taken into account, and how much money bidders were then asked to guarantee as a result.”

    Guardian.

    “Speaking today, Mr McLoughlin said he was “very angry” about what had happened.

    He went on: “The original model didn’t take into account inflation and also some elements of the passenger number increases over a number of years,” he said.”

    Indy.

    Absolutely incredible.

  15. R HUCKLE

    THanks.

    I think your last para could turn out to be near the truth.

    I have thought, ever since 2010 GE that Debt & Debt Interest ( which was just short of £50bn in FY 11/12 by the way) would be the over riding economic factor)

    I still think that growth & unemployment will turn out to be a coalition plus by then.

    But nothing is going to remove the cliff face of Debt we will face , which was inevitable , given the 09/10 starting point of £157 BN annual deficit.-11% of GDP

  16. Colin

    Where’s Mussolini when you need him

  17. Rogerrebel

    Mussolini just changed the time tables to make it more likely that trains would arrive on time, a tactic which has been adopted by govt statistics in earnest

  18. Rog:

    “Where’s Mussolini”

    I’m sure he’s hanging around somewhere.

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