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. I am really surprised that the LibDEm Conference produced a movement from Labour to them-if indeed this is the reason.

    But if that is the reason, then it is very significant, because it indicates the LibDems CAN retrieve votes lost to Labour, by dint of their OWN actions & policies.

    That has big implications for the GE .

  2. With all the parties talking about offering an EU referendum, could we start to have more polls on how people would vote, in or out.

    At the moment I’m sure it’d be in or out, but I’m scared the EU would pull the same trick as they did in Ireland which is have all the main parties, and a big money steamroller move in and overturn the result.

  3. ComRes tables are here:

    http://www.comres.co.uk/polls/Independent_Political_poll_2ndOctober2012.pdf

    On the economy the figures are confused by the question being asked for Cameron/Osborne, then Miliband/Balls as agree/disagree, rather than head to head. Both get similar levels of disagree 62/64 but higher DKs for the Labour team.

    Also, what’s it with the ‘Females 50+’ column?

  4. “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.”

    Bearing in mind recent (if not very recent) polling of Con 33% Lab 43%, those popularity figures actually look quite bleak for the two Eds at present. Let’s see what their conference brings.

  5. Colin
    ‘I am really surprised that the LibDEm Conference produced a movement from Labour to them-if indeed this is the reason.’

    Could be just a blip. However the conference expressed IMO fairly left wing views and anti-Tory views. This may have produced a movement from Lab to LD, which ironically has helped the Conservatives cut the gap.

    Perhaps Labour will now win this back, reducing the LD poll and increasing its lead. Time will tell.

  6. Maninthemiddle, by “scared the Eu would”, do you actually mean “scared all the non-extreme political parties, along with any business that doesn’t want economic collapse” ? Just asking, since your assessment of wha “the EU” can do is about on a par with the deluded phobes who seem much more interested in attacking what they hate the idea of existing, rather than what actually does.

    Also, yes, you’re probably right, the answer would likely be in, or out.

  7. I’d expect the Labour polling (and Ed’s personal ratings) to climb in the next week as the effects of the Labour conference and media coverage start to take effect.

    Good polling for the Tories though. No doubt about that. Yougov will probably go back to an average 10 (or so) point lead tomorrow though!

  8. Seems a bit fishy to me.

  9. Totaly agree with Colin and any rise in the Lib/Dem vote will spell disaster for Labour as clearly they are the main benefactors of wobbling Dems!!

  10. Good Evening All.

    Labour just needs to bring in. IMO, a strong leadership team that appeals to apolitical people, a clear set of achievable targeted policies, underpinned by a left of centre philosophy of fairness.

  11. Not an unreasonable poll, wouldn’t be surprised if the GE result wasn’t pretty much in that ball park, in fact I would be looking at, Con 35, Lab 35 Libdems 18.

  12. The Labour lead will climb back up again during the coverage of the next week….this poll is probably also a bit out.

    However, it does indicate that the next GE is still very much wide open.

  13. On course for the definte hung parliament and the likely LibLab coalition.

    Though the next CR/Indy after the Lab and Tory conferences will show the Libs down again to circa 11.

  14. This isn’t a big change from the ComRes/Independent on Sunday (O) 2012-09-21 which had Labour at +4.

    It seems less dramatic when compared to the last one for the Independent weekday issue. 35C 39L 10LD.

    Not, on the face of it, a move from Labor to LD; it looks like a move from Other to LD or undecideds choosing LD post conference.

    So, we have Comres showing a very small Labour lead; bolstered by intermittent YGs.

    And we have the other firms showing Labour leads of 10 – 16 around the same period; also bolstered by intermittent YGs.

    What fun; there’s something for everybody & we can all enjoy the mid-term, conference jitters together. :-)

  15. @Rob Sheffield,

    “On course for the definte hung parliament and the likely LibLab coalition.”

    I think you’re right. The problem is that any future coalition is likely to be much weaker, especially as the Libs are likely to be down significantly (seats-wise) after 2015. What price on another GE within a year after the 2015 GE?

  16. I know it’s a bit sad to only comment on polls that are good for your own party but this is a cheering one for Lib Dem activists. We’ve had such a battering over the last two years. This is the best ComRes figure since May 2011.

    Of course it may be a very short-term post-conference blip, but my sense is that the media is giving Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems a fairer hearing now. Perhaps not all that hard after two years of derision…

    I’m with Rob Sheffield on the prospects of a hung parliament and LibLab coalition in 2015. Many left-leaning LDs like me would be quite happy with that prospect.

    However, I’m afraid I can’t resist the temptation to remind Rob that, in the days when I posted more regularly, he used to insist that the Coalition would collapse in 2012 or 2013. He seems to have changed his tune on that point. I always said it would last the full five years. That’s still my view.

  17. So a solid labour lead of 10% disappears,why,because Clegg has said he is
    Sorry?Rather hard to believe.

  18. @David,

    Would a LabLib or a ConLib coalition in 2015 last very long in 2015 with much weaker arithmetic?

    The one thing that this current coalition has always had going for it is numbers.

  19. @Ann in Wales,

    “So a solid labour lead of 10% disappears,why,because Clegg has said he is
    Sorry?Rather hard to believe.”

    Agreed. It’s probably not totally reflective of the current situation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a small proportion of Labour’s vote has gone to the Libs. It probably will go back to Labour again during the next week though.

  20. It’s worth pointing out, before anyone gets too excited that as with all telephone polls the numbers are smaller and are reduced further by higher levels of Don’t Knows and Refuseds. The above percentages are based on a weighed sample base of 575. UKIP are 4% (they always do badly on phone polls) and Green 3%, by the way.

    As far as I can tell (ComRes’s phone tables are a bit odd)the big change is indeed in the drop in the number of 2010 Lib Dems now choosing Labour. But it seems more likely to be a blip than anything else

  21. Like it or not the libdems have lost 40% of their 2010 vote. People like me – broadly centre left/social democrat – will not support them again, even tactically. I would think the libdem vote at next election will be around 13-14% – which is certainly better than their current polling numbers- but I very much doubt if it will be much higher than that.

    Libdem sympathisers/supporters will, of course, look for consolation in the odd opinion poll that suggests a recovery. We all seek comfort somewhere or other. But remember practically all opinion polls pre 2010 election considerably overestimated libdem support.

  22. Interesting. I’ve always thought there would be a Lib Dem recovery of some sort and that this would most likely come from Labour, and if this is the case than Labour have to guard against hopes they they can sit back and let the Tories make a mess – they need to positively win back support.

    However, this could be sampling errors, as @Rob Sheffield suggests.

    After all, apparently there are only 100 Lib Dems in the North Sea.

  23. Apologies – I clearly ruined the last thread with an ill timed intervention on fish, and my last comment on this thread risks a similar debacle and was clearly out of plaice.

  24. Quite a propaganda coup for the Tories.

    BBC, Sky, ITV, Sun, Mail, Express, Guardian, Independent, UK MSN/Yahoo, Press Assiciation, Metro, The Times of India, you name it… they all ran with the 80% of swing voters / 72% of all voters think/believe/say Ed Miliband is too WEAK to be Prime Minister / doesn’t have what it takes / too weak to be a credible PM / just too weak / not suitable, etcetera, etcetera.

    This has been raised every time Miliband’s name has been mentioned on the BBC over the last few days. Rather a lot of coverage for one private (Populus) poll for the Conservative Party.

  25. Was all the phone polling from BEFORE the Labour conference? Because I could see how a Labour run to the right would make some swing Lib/Lab swingers say, “Well, better a hapless lot of lefties who at least agree with me on ID cards/Iraq/PR/drugs/gay marriage/rehabilitative justice etc. than a more competant party who don’t match my left-wing principles anymore.”

    I do think that Miliband is playing the long game of setting up his supporters to not be disappointed after 2015 and to avoid being the Santa Claus party. As with Cameron/Osborne’s gamble at the 2009 conference of setting up the Tories to run on an austerity platform, it’s a big risk but if Labour win/get in government in 2015 then I would expect their support to be as robust as the Tories’ has been, because low expectations are harder to disappoint.

  26. It will be interesting to see if Labour in fact do get a lift in the poll’s from there conference. EM has had quite a bad press review in some of tomorrow’s paper’s, and a couple of the most recent polls show perhaps the Labour lead has begun to slide. Of course he may make a speech tomorrow that will reach beyond Labours core voter’s and attract back those liberal voter’s that have returned to the fold.
    Those that had a laugh about Clegg and his apology may just find he has the last laugh and position’s his party to form part of the next government..

  27. I think attention (or a-Tench-un?) needs to settle on the Conservative figure of 35%. They’re clearly still doing no better than in 2010.

    If the LD’s can creep back up to 18%+ by pinching back Labour votes, that might be enough to prevent an outright Labour win, possibly putting them in a position (albeit a difficult one) to challenge for government.

    Below that, they’d be floundering. (Oh, I couldn’t stop myself!)

  28. @ambivalentsupporter

    ‘weaker arithmetic’

    Not sure about that. I think the Lib Dems could well win at least 30 seats in 2015 (the UKPR UNS Projection currently awards them 23 seats with just 10% of the vote). I think it is plausible that 30+ Lib Dems could give the largest party in a hung parliament a working majority (ie essentially the current position). They would be far and away the most plausible and attractive coalition partner for both Labour and the Tories. It’s hard to seen any of the unionist parties working well with the SNP…

  29. Alex

    ” After all, apparently there are only 100 Lib Dems in the North Sea.”

    Not quite sure what you are trying to imply here, is it

    1) libdems are a bit fishy

    Or

    2) there are more libdems in the north sea than in the UK

    Please clarify

  30. RICHARD IN NORWAY

    Well, according to this analysis, it’s quite likely that a fair number of the LDs are in the North Sea – at least in Orkney and Shetland. :-)

    http://jienotjay.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/the-slow-death-of-scottish-libdemmery-by-numbers/

    “the LibDems are dead as a functioning political party. Those seven constituencies – out of 73 nationwide – account for 32% of the total Scottish membership, with one – Edinburgh South – holding on to 314 souls and thus providing over 10% of the total figure. The other 66 seats share 2,096 folk between them, an average of 31.75 (the philosophical debate as to what constitutes three-quarters of a LibDem is for another time). When you factor in the other areas of comparative strength for the party, but for whom no stats were available (e.g. North East Fife, the Borders), it’s entirely reasonable to assume a membership of less than 10 in some seats, with near to zero activists.”

  31. Oldnat

    Thanks for cheering me up

  32. @OLDNAT

    Ahh, if the Lib Dems are dead as a functioning party in the North, the question is where are their voters going?

    Some say Labour. Some say Conservative. Some say SNP.

    I’ll take a punt at them flocking back to the LD fold around 2014.

  33. I think something shocking could soon happen in British politics, at this rate there is no way the Conservatives can win in 2015, but I just can’t see Ed, or Labour even getting back in so soon.

    As for my point on the EU Charles, I am referring to the big EU money machine which rolled into Ireland and outspent the NO campaign 20 to 1, turning a Solid No into a Solid Yes. Whatever your opinions of the EU, Pro or Against, one side outspending the other 20 to 1 can not be deemed fair. Imagine how you would feel if it were the other way around?

    At the moment the UK public is solid on wanting but but already we are seeing the scare stories and bully tactics from those wishing us to stay in. Things like we’d lose our free trade, or lose our influence in the world, or have to implement their policies with no say over them, are just simply ignoring South Korea, who don’t have to implement EU rules, are still pretty big on the world stage despite having a smaller economy than us, and also have a free trade agreement with the EU countries.

  34. STATGEEK

    “Some say Labour. Some say Conservative. Some say SNP.”

    I’d say some to all 3 parties – plus others to the Greens. There have always been lots of different strands in Liberalism. Those with a Crofters’ Party background unlikely to react in the same way as many of those in East Dunbartonshire.

  35. MANINTHEMIDDLE

    “already we are seeing the scare stories and bully tactics from those wishing us to stay in.”

    Co-incidentally, I’ve been seeing those for most of my political life. :-)

  36. ManInTheMiddle

    “I think something shocking could soon happen in British politics, at this rate there is no way the Conservatives can win in 2015, but I just can’t see Ed, or Labour even getting back in so soon”
    __________

    Possibly a coalition between UKIP and the Greens?

  37. STATGEEK

    “I’ll take a punt at them flocking back to the LD fold around 2014”
    __________

    http://tinyurl.com/9ry9xf8 :)

  38. @MITM

    “I think something shocking could soon happen in British politics”

    Just for fun, I got up the electoral calculus regional predictor, gave the Con and Lab both 37%, Lib 15% and gave the SNP and Plaid Cymru 90% to simulate an Independent England. Also clicked into the 2013 BC changes.

    A difference of three seats between Con and Lab. If nothing else, it shows how levelling the BC changes would have been.

  39. Allan Not that shocking!

    I think something will happen, maybe a Eurozone country being forced out, or perhaps an exodus of business from France because of the new tax, that will turn the game on it’s head.

    Already we are starting to see green shoots in the UK, with Mr Obama all but certain to be re-elected in November, perhaps the UK will benefit from an improving American economy.

    Of course I could be completely wrong and Ed could indeed be PM in 2015, I just have trouble seeing it.

  40. ManInTheMiddle

    I think the only shocking thing we will see in 2014 is Labour chucking away the election however that said I do see a positive….Scottish Independence… So it’s not all doom and gloom. ;)
    ……

    “Of course I could be completely wrong and Ed could indeed be PM in 2015, I just have trouble seeing it”
    …….

    So does his brother David!!

  41. There is a long way to go to the election, and as Anthony says, there are likely to be quite a lot of fluctuations in polls over the conference season.

    However, on Miliband as potential Prime Minister – surely he’s at least as unelectable as Michael Howard, IDS and Hague? Whether we like it or not, many voters are influenced by the perceived attributes (or lack of same) of the party leaders. If they don’t like the leader of their preferred party they’ll stay at home. if they are genuinely undecided they’ll vote for someone else.

  42. Uh oh!

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/labour-party-conference-austerity-to-continue-warns-ed-balls-as-conference-attacks-pay-freeze-1-2558398

    “SHADOW chancellor Ed Balls warned the UK’s austerity measures would continue under Labour and ruled out a “post-election spending spree”, as the party conference voted against the coalition government’s public sector freeze.

    Mr Balls used his keynote speech in Manchester yesterday to suggest he would stick to the coalition government’s spending limits for the first year in power.”

    …so let’s forget the last 30 months of austerity criticism. These political types are rather short on memory these days. Oh, to be able to start each day with a clean slate (I leave no politician out of this).

  43. @ Billy Bob

    This is the gift that keeps on giving.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/allen-west-p orn-star-letter-wife-angela_n_1929812.html

    If his opponent and his campaign are smart, they won’t bring this up. Still, it’s kinda funny coming from this self-righteous moral crusader. It kinda reminds me of the time he had condemned the Congressional Black Caucus for having a national job fair only to have Representative Maxine Waters point out that he had sent his own unemployed brother to said job fair. He’s scary but fairly entertaining nevertheless.

  44. @ Old Nat

    The Washington Nationals (a.k.a. the Nats) have won the National League East tonight. Now you may know nothing about baseball but you should appreciate that your team (at least in name) has made history. The Nats lost their game tonight but their nearest rivals (the Atlanta Braves) also lost their game and are now mathematically eliminated from winning the division title. It’s the first pennant for the Nats and the first pennant for a Washington, DC baseball team since 1933. It’s the first season that the Nats have had a winning record since they moved to DC. I hope they’re able to go far in the playoffs this year (maybe Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon can be their international goodluck charms).

  45. YouGov
    Con 34, Lab 43, Lib 9
    No sign of a similar bounce here.
    Expect coverage to say, ‘Labour down to 9% lead with YouGov, epic fail!’.

    “The problem is that any future coalition is likely to be much weaker”
    “Based on what evidence?”
    Not necessarily – while there are many likely scenarios where a Lab/Lib coalition has a weaker number of seats – when it comes to a equally comparative Con/Lib coalition, the Lab/Lib will always have stronger numbers.
    Take the 35/38/15 – if that were Con 38, then Con/Lib may just about scrape a coalition with support of DUP, equally a Lab/Lib/SNP (/PYC) coalition would be possible.
    But have that as Lab 38 and the Lib/Lab coalition has 365 seats, with Lab on 337 (small majority on it’s own) – one seat more than the current coalition.

    Pete B
    “However, on Miliband as potential Prime Minister – surely he’s at least as unelectable as Michael Howard, IDS and Hague?”
    “Based on what evidence?”
    As I showed, using the MORI figures, Miliband in his first two years is doing better than Cameron, better than Kinnock in satisfaction rating.
    http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mb8a7l3Gdo1ryf5szo1_500.png
    This is far better than Hague, IDS and Howard who remained, generally, in their 20s for satisfaction – all better than Foot – whereas Ed has glided through the 30s.
    Ed is in Cameron/Smith sort of satisfaction rating levels.

    But as I pointed out in the previous thread, Cameron’s satisfaction rating shot straight up not long after this period because of events – the collapse of western capitalism.
    Just as Ed’s shot up toward the end of the graph, due to omnishambles.

    So if events largely define the movement of satisfaction, when it comes to these middle-satisfaction (not Hague, not Blair) leaders, then we’re looking at the next election not being defined so much by personalities, but by the actions of the government.
    So if it goes well for the government, expect Ed to become Kinnock but if it goes badly, expect him to be Cameron.

    Of course, if Miliband turns out to be Kinnock, expect the next election to be 34/37/19 – no change for the government, slight Labour increase, slight Lib fall.
    Which in terms of seats, does mean Labour are still ahead (thanks FPTP) and could scrape together a (probably not very long lasting) coalition with the LibDems.
    But that would be too simple – the problem with historical comparisons of elections is that we have such little data to work with, that we really can’t make these generalisations.

  46. And to make a further addition to the post – it doesn’t mean that Miliband won’t *become* a Hague/IDS/Howard as his faces more media exposure.
    The ‘What a Geek!’ narrative might stick and plunge him down in to that sort of territory and leave him there.
    But we have no indication of that yet – and until we do, it’s best to go by what we have.

    If he does end up falling that low, Labour have the opportunity to replace him.

  47. tingedfringe

    Labour on 37% compared to 29% last time would hardly be a “slight increase (?) In fact it would be better than Cameron got last time.

  48. “Labour on 37% compared to 29% last time would hardly be a “slight increase (?) In fact it would be better than Cameron got last time.”
    Ah, sorry – I meant 37/34/19 – Cons on 37, Lab still 3% behind but, thanks to FPTP, on more seats and able to scrape a coalition together.

    Hope that’s clearer.

  49. My understanding has always been that the Dad’s Army episode with the affronted German officer promising revenge after the Occupation was a metaphor for right/left wing politics and the GE in Britain. On this assumption, the Labour Party and Ed Milliband (soggy chips) have, during the Conference season, simply reculées pour etre mieux sautéés, and with vinegar and salt please; possibly with some mushy green peas.

  50. @PETE B
    There`s atleast one big difference between Ed and Howard,IDS,Hague…Think again

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