The monthly online ComRes poll for the Sunday Indy and Sunday Mirror is out tonight. It has topline figures, with changes from their last online poll a month ago, of CON 31%(-2), LAB 43%(+2), LDEM 10%(nc), UKIP 8%(-1). The twelve point lead is the largest ComRes have shown this Parliament in either their online or their phone polls.

The fieldwork was done between Wednesday and Friday, so most of it would have been finished before the results of Thursday’s election. It is too early to expect any impact from them in the polls. Normal caveats about the poll apply anyway: sure, it could be the sign of a further shift to Labour, but equally it could be normal variation within the margin of error.

UPDATE: Tonight we also have the fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer. Their topline figures, with changes from a fortnight ago, are CON 32%(+2), LAB 39%(-2), LDEM 8%(-1).

195 Responses to “New ComRes and Opinium polls”

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  1. @jim
    I think you are looking at the world through ukip tinted glasses.

    Poll after poll shows that Europe barely registers in voters concerns, the NHS barely leaves the top three.

    So to think that a position on Europe will trump a policy on the NHS is wishful at least. To think it will resonate with Labour voters shows you have no understanding at all of an average Labour voter…in notice Lynton Crosby has cropped up, he of the Tory dog whistle policy… Well to Labour the NHS isn’t so much dog whistle as Standard, Drum and Rallying Piont.

    Your thinking ( if representative of UKIP) shows why they are really only an issue to the Right of the Tory party, your concerns are off the map from the area where the election will be fought.

    Also 58% wanting to leave the EU, is really shaken ground. Given that referendums nearly always favour the Status Quo, there has been little or no real debate, just attacks from the antis and business hasn’t begun to warn real people that their jobs would be at risk….I. Would wager a large sum on that figue being overturned in a campaign where most of the big name politicians supported staying in.

  2. Good Morning All.

    GRAHAM. Many thanks for the Fulham swing in 1986. Have you got a source for all the stats please?

    I thought the Fulham result in 1986 was stunning, and led Neil K to declare: ‘My cup is fulham and running over’ (o dear).

    So: Corby saw Labour doing just 2% better than Labour did in 1986; and Mrs T won a landslide in 1987.

    However, as ALEC points out, the Left of Centre vote will be less split this time.

  3. I think the main worry for UKIP is this – what if the referendum happens?

    Win or lose, UKIP lose their tactical anti-EU supporters.
    And then you’re left with a party that is stuck with the same position as the Conservatives – it can’t decide whether it’s a socially liberal capitalist party or a socially conservative capitalist party.

    Take it’s policy on gay marriage – it claims to be a libertarian party that wants the ‘state out of people’s lives’, but gives some of the reasons for opposing gay marriage because only a small minority want it and because it poses a threat to the position of the established church (and thus the monarchy).
    Hold on – Libertarians defending the established church?
    (This is part of the larger policy of ‘fully supporting the monarchy’ and ‘opposing the disestablishment of the church’).

    On defense – increase defense spending by 1% of GDP.
    In 2011 we spent 2.6% of our GDP on defense – the highest in Europe.
    Surely a libertarian party, which should be neutral on the world stage, should support a reduction in spending so we could be closer to somewhere like Switzerland? (0.8%)
    The big state-small state party?

    And then there’s the whole section –
    “Recognise the numerous threats to British
    identity and culture” and support for restoring the ‘traditional ways of life’.
    A libertarian party supporting cultural traditionalism?

    So once the issue of the EU is swept away, closer scrutiny will be made to a party that is effectively the Republican party – a conservative party that dresses itself up in libertarian language.
    And unfortunately that’s already where the Conservatives largely sit (perhaps a little to the right of them) – so what’s stopping supporters then returning to the Conservatives?

  4. “(perhaps a little to the right of them)”
    Should be clearer – I mean UKIP sit to the right of the Conservatives as a whole.


    Re EU being a top issue among voters, it never will be, unless a major row occurs and then it will only be a temporary issue. As Nigel Farage will tell you, it is silly EU rules that are behind some of our problems. As he pointed out, EU rules permit UK companies to move their profits to Ireland or Holland to obtain a lower tax rate. I am actually pro EU, but if there are rules that are damaging UK interests, then I think some of these rules should be renegotiated.

    In regard to UKIP hurting the Tories, if the polls are correct, then UKIP have picked up about 10% of previous Tory votes. If the Tories lose at least 10% of their vote to UKIP, then they could lose a number of marginals.

  6. @ Amber Star

    “Michael Howard didn’t win.”

    Don’t let actual facts and reality get in the way now. :)

    I’m not sure how much a campaign staff can really do for a campaign. Not as much as a campaign staff typically wants to think and give itself credit for. Case in point, the same group of people who ran Labour’s campaign in 1997 ran their campaign in 1987. I’m sure they made improvements in their campaign strategy and tactics in those 10 years. But obviously not enough to account for the dramatic difference in results.

    I feel like the people in politics who have the greatest ability to influence an election are those damage control/clean up staffers who come in and take over a damaged operation. I’m not sure if they have a name (sometimes they go by different titles and descriptions). David Gergen comes to mind. Vincent Gray’s (Iain’s cousin) second chief of staff does too. Susan Kennedy (in her capacity of working for ex Governor Gropenfuhrer as his chief of staff after disastrous 2005 special election results) comes to mind as well. Those people who are brought in to help a failing political operation but aren’t neccesarily doing things that are in and of themselves political.

    If Crosby is being brought on to shape up 10 Downing Street and get the trains running on time, then he may be of great use to David Cameron and the Tories. If he’s being brought on for purely political purposes (sharpening the message, conducting polls, writing speeches, dealing with the media, creating attack lines), it probably won’t help too much.

  7. Chris L – yes Fulham is a bit of a warning to ‘over optimistic’ Labourites.

    2 big differences in Labour’s favour are of course the LD position in contrast to the ‘Alliance’ – so no split left of centre (in England); and the state of the Economy, a pre- Election tax cut of the size engineered by Lawson is almost certainly not going to happen.
    Hence another hung parliament is likely but you and I probably disagree about the size of the LD block.

  8. @SoCalLiberal

    Between 1987 and 1997 Labour campaign staff learned a huge amount from the campaign of Bill Clinton. The street campaign was updated from paper to a computerised system. Voters voting patterns were recoded and tracked. The ground game changed hugely, and was far more professional.

    At the same time there was Excalibur, a database of comments and speeches that meant whenever a Conservative announcement was made the press received a rebuttal – sometimes before the Minister involved was aware of the announcement!

    Of course this wasn’t the whole picture, but to say things hadn’t changed is wrong.

  9. Are we really arguing that Labour are in the same state as they were in the eighties?

  10. @Chrislane1945 – by your own reasoning, it looks like Corby is a stunning +2% result for Labour.

    Beyond that, parallels with 1986/7 are entirely bogus. Apart from the SDP split, we also had the Lawson boom and the Big Bang. The 1987 election was fought against a backdrop of a rapidly growing economy, something unlikely to happen in 2015.

    This was a very substantial boom, leading to a very substantial bust soon after. While it proved highly effective electorally for the Tories in the short term, at the time, I wondered why so many commentators seemed to think that the Tories knew how to run a stable economy. It was clear to me at the time that a huge inflationary boom would end in tears, yet Lawson is still wheeled out on occasion to pontificate about affairs economic.

  11. @nickp

    “Are we really arguing that Labour are in the same state as they were in the eighties?”

    I agree that it is pretty irrelevant. So many things have changed to make it impossible to predict what will happen in 2015. The UK economy is predicted to go into a triple dip recession during 2013, with more businesses closing and jobs lost. People are going to get increasingly fed up of this coalition government, if they believe they have made matters worse.

    The 1980’s was when many of the current problems started. Investment bankers and speculators making loads of money, without understanding the consequences. The Tories won mainly as Labour looked like a party of the 1970’s, with hardcore socialists making up a fair chunk of the party. Neil Kinnock, John Smith and Tony Blair changed Labour to a mainstream party, where may people could see them as being in the centre ground of politics.

  12. Extraordinary piece in ST today about a “network” of “elite” figures around & plugged into Leveson.

    Common Purpose-an “elite training ” organisation is linked to Media Standards Trust ( which urged Leveson to recommend statutory controls of the Press) & Hacked Off.

    Common Purpose “alumni” include senior Police Officers who have given evidence to Leveson, & a former Chair of OFCOM who is a Leveson Assessor.

    Common Purpose shares a Trustee with Bureau of Investigative Jornalism who prepared the illfated Newsnight accusations ( and who testified to Leveson about it’s “gold standard” journalism”).

    The shared Trustee is Sir David Bell-a Leveson Enquiry Assessor.

    Common Purpose has 35,000 “alumni” in every area of public life.

    From The Sunday Times

    This sort of stuff about high level networkers makes my blood run cold & makes one wonder who actually pulls the real levers of power in this country.

    I will be reading Leveson’s recommendations with a slightly different eye now-I hope Cameron will too.

    It is somewhat mirrored by the scandal just emerged in France in connection with the elite , publicly funded higher education college , Sciences Po.

    Enough to send one to the Barricades !

  13. Colin

    Don’t buy the snake oil off Murdoch and Dacres. It’s transparently invented to fight off any sort of external oversight of their behaviour.

  14. @ Colin

    Newspapers are having a go at Leveson because they are worried about being regulated.

    As for shadowy groups of people who really run the country, we have had these people for centuries. It is nothing new.

  15. Colin

    If you replaced “Common Purpose” with “Cambridge” or “Oxford” would it sound so suspicious? I suspect all of the statements would still be true.

  16. @Alec

    I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis.
    As someone who got financially stuffed by the Lawson Bust — remember the house-price crash in ’89 — things are not the same now. I don’t think there is any prospect of the government engineering a boom for 2015.


  17. @Colin

    How do I join? Have they got a web-page?


  18. Good Morning All, again.

    JIM JAM. The Liberal block will be holding the balance between Labs and Cons I think.

    Fulham 1986 was a prelude to a Labour loss, despite the Hudson Kinnock film.

  19. I think its pointless comparing bi-election results now and with the 1980s.
    Between 1979 and 1992 the tories won over 40% of the vote in four subsequent elections with it only going down incrementally until the 1997 labour landslide.
    Since 1992 the tories have got nowhere near that, with their best showing in 2010 with a distinclty unimpressive 36% when they had everything in their favour.

    Now the tory poll rating since 2010 is not much lower than its general election result – their polling on average around 33%. Furthermore, the votes they have lost have gone to UKIP in what looks to be a classic protest vote. ITs reasonalbe assume that many of thsoe votes will return to the tory fold.

    So its not unlikley that the tories might equal their 2010 performance -given that their poll rating is not hugely less than their general election vote share, may even buck historical precedent and improve on slightly on 2010.

    Now under the conventional wisdom this would be bad news for Labour, as they dont seem to attracting any of the voters who voted tory in 2010.

    But Labour have inhertied a huge chunk of former lib dem voters, adding over 10% to their dismal 29% share of the vote in 2010. If labour can keep most of these lib dem ‘deserters’ they can win the next election quite comfortably. Talk of ‘swings’ between labour and tory are deeply misleading IMO. Labour dont need to win a single tory vote from last time.

    Whats puzzling is that Ive seen little or no analysis or punditry that supports this – or even explore it. Because if these assumptions are gerneally correct – lib dems have gone to labour and will stay there, UKIP are disgruntled tories who will drift back – then it will profoundly affect party elecion strategies – and means Cameron’s task is well nigh impossible.

    To me the $64 million question is ‘how much supprort will the lib dems lose to labour at the next election’? All the evidence so far suggests the answer is ‘enough for labour to win a decent majority’.

    If the labour/lib split in the ‘anti-tory’ vote is over – then the whole fabled area of the ‘centre ground’ has moved away from the free marktet right where thatcher placed it.

    If Andrew is reading this – Id really like to know if any research has been, or is being done into this question.

  20. And, on the subject of the Lawson Boom — yes, I do take it personally, because I did get stuffed — house prices did not return to their 1988 values for *Ten Years*
    Governments of all colours are capable of boom-bust economics. Sometimes its home-grown, sometimes world-wide.


  21. Do Opinium ever carry out polls on Opium use? ;)

  22. ChrisL et al

    We keep reaching back into the past to dig out nuggets of out-of-context fact in order to buttress the argument that we cling to. We’re all guilty of it.

    Here’s a plausible context for poll results c. 86-87.

    Peter Kellner has commented that the 80s Tories were seen as bastards, but economically competent bastards. With that context, it makes all the sense in the world that they should get a kicking in a “blowing off steam” by election, but still romp home in the real deal a year later. Especially as the economy was booming by early 87.

    The current lot, as Kellner says, have not yet come close to securing a mantle of economic success. He suggested that they are in danger of being seen as incompetent bastards. With that context, I personally wouldn’t put a great deal of emphasis on lessons from a very, very different era.

  23. @Reggieside

    This is a good analysis if we want to predict 2015. You are absolutely right (IMHO) — key questions are
    (1) How much support will go back to Con from UKIP
    (2) How much support will go back to Lib from Lab

    The latter question occupies my mind — I can’t help feeling that this chunk of votes is ‘flakey’, and unreliable — will they vote, will they vote Lib?


  24. Lefty

    Can we say bastards on ukpr???

  25. Yes we can

  26. @lefty

    I agree with your analysis too — but I am worried (I am a congenital worrier!) about that chunk of ex-Libs, now Lab. Will they seal the deal for Labour in 2015?

    Worried smiley — :-( !

  27. Andyo

    I really can’t see the lib deserters going back to lib in large numbers, but whether they will turn out? Or perhaps vote for another small party(green) ? Is a realistic worry

  28. @RIN — look, everybody’s startin to worry now!

  29. Regicide

    ” Labour dont need to win a single tory vote from last time.

    “Whats puzzling is that Ive seen little or no analysis or punditry that supports this – or even explore it. ”

    I could not agree more, and have been saying this loudly for 18 months. This really is the elephant in the room that the commentariat is steadfastly ignoring, whilst it weaves complex theories of how events might tip the balance between Labour & Tory, and what precedent has to tell us.

    In my opinion, pre-81 precedent is nigh-on worthless. The Great Centre-Left Schism (1981-2010) means that electoral lessons from that period are applicable only to that period.

    Even DURING the Schism, the Tories were able to win only 1 wafer-thin majority and one minority in 5 General Elections. What chance do they have in the next 5 Elections now that the Centre-Left is re-united?

  30. @Andyo

    Yes – How flaky are the lib dem ‘deserters’? I feel – and hope – that they are not flaky. They are very very angry at Cleggss ‘betrayal’ and labour poll ratings have been solidly consistnet for nearly a year now.

    Now my understadning is that these voters are genrewally ‘left of centre’.

    They are not going to vote tory – so the battle for labour is really agasint the lib dems – as their is not much sign of labour losing votes to the likes of the greens.

    Surely labour policy and strategy needs to concentrate on keeping their lib dem deserters? not chasing tory/labour swing voters.

    Another interesting quesion is wether the lib dem deserters prefer Ed M or Dave M. My feeling is that Ed M is more appealing to them.

    C’mon pollsters! Get your research going!

  31. Actually, this could be an empirical polling question.
    How likely to vote are the ex-lib now lab block?
    If they say less likely, then ‘The Worry’ may be founded.

    This will be shown up by the different ‘house-effects’ from the polling companies — who treat likelihood to vote in different ways to calculate their final VI figures.

    Has anyone got time to do the analysis? or have it to hand already? AW?

  32. Colin,

    ‘This sort of stuff about high level networkers makes my blood run cold & makes one wonder who actually pulls the real levers of power in this country.’

    Errr…the ruling class? Your side?

  33. Ken

    You are a naughty boy

    ” However, adding real value, for instance, a field of wheat from plough to Greggs is obvious. Thin air money does of course exist, but we invest in real money opportunities”

    Very true but extremely misleading. Yes indeed banks do make loans to productive business but that is a very small, vanishingly small part of their portfolio. The vast majority of bank lending is connected to real estate, corporate takeovers and derivative bets, less than 5% is lent to productive business and most of that to large concerns, loans for startups and SME expansion are a very very small share of bank lending

    I just know that you will counter with figures which will include buy to let investors and PFI ventures etc, but we both know that British banking has never been good at supporting British business unlike their German counterparts

  34. @reggieside

    The english/germanic root of by/bye does appear to be ‘bi’ but that is not how it is now spelt… there is a latin prefix bi- (meaning twice).

    So we have an indo-european amalgum, by-election/bye-election to denote a supplementary election.

  35. Regiside
    “Surely labour policy and strategy needs to concentrate on keeping their lib dem deserters? not chasing tory/labour swing voters.”

    Yes, yes, yes (in a Meg Ryan stylee).

    THAT is the core of the disagreement that I have with RobS et al who suggest that Labour had to reach out to the centre-right. Apart from the fact that the centre-right is a very small community (according to AW’s poll figures a year or so back) such a move risks alienating the huge constituency that has returned to the fold since 10.


    It`s worth remembering that every vote enticed from your main opponent is worth two.

    Also that polls like ICM expect that some of the Lib Dem voters will return to their parent party in the run-up to 2015,especially if Clegg is replaced

  37. Colin

    Extraordinary piece in ST today about a “network” of “elite” figures around & plugged into Leveson.

    Common Purpose-an “elite training ” organisation is linked to Media Standards Trust ( which urged Leveson to recommend statutory controls of the Press) & Hacked Off.

    Yes, yes, but how many of them are lizards?

    I do appreciate however how traumatic the idea of investigative journalism must be when you are only used to to other kind.

  38. I agree that among Labour supporters and I suspect Tory voters as well, people are more concerned about the Economy and things like the NHS rather than the EU, although I think it’s wrong to suggest that the NHS is any more a core issue for Labour supporters than any other party, to think so is all rather old fashion left wing twaddle as everybody uses the NHS.
    However the issue of Europe will loom larger next year when the restrictions on labour movement from Romania and Bulgaria come to and end, if we see the sort of mass immigration figures we saw with Polish workers we may well see a movement of both Labour and Tory voters moving into the UKIP camp and the support for a out campaign grow.

  39. CHRISLANE 1945,
    Most of my stats are from memory and from byelection notes accumulated over the years – though I have confirmed the Fulham data from Wilkipedia.
    Whilst the ‘swing’ at Corby was only 2% higher than at Fulham in 1986, the implied national ‘lead’ is quite a bit different..The 10.5 % swing at Fulham from 1983 implied a Labour national lead of circa 6%. Corby’s 12.6% swing from 2010 implies a national lead of circa 18%..
    A point often overlooked re 1987 is that until early 87 the main parties were very close in the national polls and there was a widespread expectation of a Hung Parliament .. Then along came Labour’s disastrous performance at the Greenwich byelection at the end of February 87 resulting in a triumph for Rosie Barnes and the SDP.This gave the Alliance a surge of momentum at Labour’s expense for several months – confused many anti – Tory voters as to who to support to ‘get the Tories out’ – and a sudden big jump in the Tory lead.. Had there never been a Greenwich byelection, there must have been a good prospect of the two main parties remaining close in the polls and raises the question as to whether Thatcher would have risked an election in June 87. She may well have waited until the Autumn – or indeed delayed until 1988.

  40. The other key question is about turnout. Labour has massive support amongst the under 25s/under 35s but less support amongst the over 65s. We know from the Libs at the last GE that a lot of younger voters who say they will turn out in pre-election polls, don’t. Whereas the over 65s are a lot more likely to turn up on polling day.

    Will the Lib Dem youth factor haunt Labour, or can they go break this pattern and get younger voters out to protest against the coalition???

  41. Colin

    Take a deep breath and think about it.

    Murdoch has by far the most to lose from Leveson. His rags have been running ever-more aggressive stories, trying to cast aspersions on the process. It is a classic approach, trying to obscure the crimes that emerged from his stable. They have been shameless in giving acres of newsprint for hagiographical pieces for the friends who supported them through Leveson (Mensch, Hunt).

    In the current situation, they are utterly untrustworthy. If today’s ST says Sunday 18 November 2012 across the top, I’d recommend checking a calendar just to confirm.

  42. @smoukesh
    “It`s worth remembering that every vote enticed from your main opponent is worth two”

    But you also have to factor in how many of your existing voters (i.e. left of centre lib dem ‘defectors’) will be alienated by targetting policy at tory swing voters.
    In addition it is surely far easier for labour to retain its present chunk of lib dem defectors than win over tory voters.

    WRT the lib dems improvong their poistion – they’ve been flatlining on 10% for over a year now. Like labours rating their are no volitile movements suggesting ‘flakyness’ – if anyhting the only movment in the lib dem vote share is that it is gone down slightly. They’re only hope of reversing htis is to ditch clegg and bing down the coaltion – and from what lib demers are saying they are very far from doing that.

    A switch to Cable jsut before the next election will jsut look like desperate opportunism. Again – we need to see some detailed research into the lib dem deserters – what might bring them back, why they left etc. Many of them will also have been more labour but voting lib dem tactically.

    A note on UKIP. If UKIP are taking some votes from labour (and im not convinced they are in significent numbers) then its even more of a worry for the tories – as it means that they cant assume that most of the UKIP vote will go tory in the GE.

    RE: previous bi-elections. Comparing the present poltical landscape with the 80s is about as useful as predicting the next GE on the basis of the local authority elections in Moldova. In the 1880s.

  43. Reggie/Smukesh

    I’d be fascinated to see polling in why 1million+ voters left Labour for the LDs between 97-05. My hunch is that a big reason was the macho approach to foreign affairs and human rights. In other words, by playing to the Right, Blair lost the vital liberal centre-left.

  44. @leftylampton

    Its certianly why I stopped voting for them.
    I wouldn’t vote for them now if Dave M was in charge either.

  45. I didn’t leave them for the lib dems though!

    but yes – that is a good question.

    I defeinitely think that vested rightwing interest within and without the LP are deliberatly avoiding the lid dem deserter issue and are very keen on promoting the ‘labour must capture the tory vote’ angle.

  46. Good Afternoon All.

    GRAHAM. Thanks!

    LEFTY L: ROB S is surely right about Blair’s appeal to the centre right and the centre left, and the centre. Attlee and Bevin did this in 1945.

    Ed is making a speech appealing to the ‘right’ tomorrow on the EU.

    In any case I think that no solid blocs really exist.

  47. @Colin

    The press love conspiracy theories, especially if they think that they can make political capital out of them. I seem to remember at the time that Mandelson and Chris Smith, two openly gay politicians, were in the Cabinet that the Daily Mail, in its ever charming way, invited us to ponder whether a Gay Mafia was running Britain! Richard Littlejohn still bangs on about it now when he gets an excuse!

    I’d ignore them, if I was you, especially if they are emanating from a Murdoch newspaper that is desperate to discredit Leveson.


    You said “…I’d be fascinated to see polling in why 1million+ voters left Labour for the LDs between 97-05…”

    Iraq. You’re welcome.


  49. NICKP

    Of course it is.

    I expect that they will fight their corner.

    But away , it’s good to see that the lefties here are comfortable with more shadowy organisations pulling the strings of power.

    Tinged Fringe restored my faith a little yesterday-should have known better.


    ……….remind me …..who are the “ruling class”?-a run down over say the last decade would do……….thanks.


    Investigative journalism is what we need & I hope will retain.

    As you say “the other kind” just had a car crash-hopefully a very very expensive one.


    I think that’s just stupid nonsense.-but feel free to express it.

    If I have to choose between the Times / ST & Newsnight/ BUreau of “Investigative” Journalism right now …….let me see……….

  50. Reggieside

    Much appreciated your posts this morning and hope you keep them coming. In fact a good bunch all round (except for that Sunday paper generated claptrap – although the responses were chuckle-worthy).

    Looks like NC will have to go by next year’s LD conference then?

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