The monthly ComRes poll for the Independent is out tonight. Topline figures are CON 34%(+4), LAB 37%(+1), LDEM 10%(nc), UKIP 12%(-2). The three point Labour lead is the lowest ComRes have shown since last September, and the 34% for the Conservatives the highest since last November.

The drop in the Labour lead and the fading of UKIP support is very much in line with the pattern we’ve seen in the daily YouGov polls, in ICM’s poll this month and in line with the sort of figures Populus are now showing… though it’s worth noting that MORI and some of the new online companies aren’t yet picking up the same pattern.

As to why the polls are narrowing, the harsh truth is that we really can’t tell. There is always a temptation that I see people falling into to reach for the issue you personally care about and ascribing changes in the polls to that (or “why the change in the polls shows that politicians should do the thing I like”) the reality is we can’t tell*, all we can do is look for rough correlations in timing. Personally my best guess is that’s its the result of the ongoing improvement in economic optimism we have seen over the past few months, a rather more controlled Conservative message and the decreased level of publicity UKIP have been receiving.

(*Whenever I make a point like this someone makes the suggestion of asking people. Oh were it so easy! Firstly, if you ask people who gave a different answer 3 or 4 months ago if they’ve changed their mind many won’t realise they have. If you ask why to those who have consciously changed their mind you get lots of don’t knows, general grumbles and some reasons that may be genuine causes, or may be post-hoc rationalisations for complex decisions we probably don’t even understand ourselves.)

424 Responses to “ComRes/Indy – CON 34, LAB 37, LD 10, UKIP 12”

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  1. Now this is interesting.

  2. So this does seem to be down to UKIP-reclamation tactics from the Conservatives, since Labour are actually up. Now we’ll wait to see what happens after the European elections and local elections.

  3. Putting these figures in to the UKPR seat calculator gives the following:

    Lab: 341 seats [+83]
    Con: 262 seats [-44]
    LD: 21 seats [-36]

    Labour would be just 15 seats over the winning post of 326.

  4. Labour consistently 37/38/39/40 in almost all polls – at that level hard if not impossible for Tories to secure a majority.

  5. The heavy promotion of UKIP is a risky strategy. It could potentially hurt the Conservatives – but not if the outlines of a 2015 Con/UKIP understanding are already in place. On the otherhand, it serves to place the emphasis on traditional Tory themes, and keep the leadership on its toes.

    Atm it looks like protest LDs who have been leached away from Labour are proving a touch more sticky than Con newspaper-reading demographic.


    Simply the best headline you’ve ever seen;

    “Do try not to get your penis stuck in a toaster.”

  7. Another poll where Cons increased at the expense of UKIP while Lab remains around the 37 – 40 mark.

  8. Looks to me like the UKIP rise (and fall) which has confused the poll figures over the last 6 months has masked a 3 point or so drop in Labour support since the start of the year. This could have been gradual and is now only noticeable because the Tories have pulled themselves back to where they were at the start of the year.

    I would love to know what is the reasoning of those who said they were going to vote UKIP 3 months ago and now are not sure or moved to other parties. Obviously you can guess that this is due to lack of publicity but it really doesn’t say much for those people and makes their vote (or at least the above 10% section) looking very flakey indeed.

  9. @ Alec

    Reminds me of one of the few funny lines in “Goodnight Sweetheart”…. “Losing your penis is no reason to betray your country”!

  10. Well – the minute I start talking about no one except YG putting Tories above 31%, everyone starts scoring them above 31%.

    Definite movement here it seems, and I would agree with AW that the slow rise of economic optimism must be seen as the prime candidate for this. Today the Telegraph reports three top economists think the UK is approaching ‘escape velocity’, so more good news of sorts, although I’m mindful about everything economists told us pre 2008.

  11. Labour lead continuing to shrink. With 2 years to the UK General Election, I think Labour are in real trouble, they should have at least a double figure lead at this stage. In saying that, Ed is in a much better position than Johann up here in Scotland. Anyone seen her by the way?

  12. What was UKIP’s YG peak? Maybe 15%? At that point Cons were polling about 29/30% and UKIP support seems to have hardened around 10%. That leads me to believe that the Conservatives are pushing to regain that ‘loose right’ of about 5% of voters.

    This seems to me to be a dangerous strategy. Assuming they win them all (and make no mistake, not all of them were Tory before), that still leaves them short on 2010 by a couple of points on 34/35%, and if they can’t grab voters from elsewhere they’re in trouble.

    If they pull in Kippers, they risk alienating the (smaller but still relevant) LD-leading Liberal Conservatives. If they try to win over Labour/LD voters, the Kippers will leave again.

    It doesn’t seem to be like it’ll be enough to win back the UKIP support. They have to harm Labour or wait for Labour to harm themselves in some way, because with Labour at 37+ it’s going to be very hard to stop them at least being the biggest party.

  13. The amazing thing about all of these polls is how solid the Labour vote is, (despite dismal Ed.) it just isn’t moving. How much Lord Howell’s gaffe will affect polling is difficult to say although it’ll probably reinforce Northern beliefs that the Coalition is a Southern based conspiracy against them.

  14. Weird as it seems, a potentially winning strategy for the Coalition would be renationalisation of utilities and railways. It’s been long enough since Major for people not to see it as a U-turn. It’s popular with LD, Lab and UKIP voters. The only ones who’d oppose it are the true-blue Tories, who, in the words of Denis Healey, have nowhere else to go.

  15. A least it’s reasonably exciting now.

  16. Crikey Labour lead down to 3%?

    Could be the vans!

  17. @Shevi

    “…Reminds me of one of the few funny lines in “Goodnight Sweetheart”…. “Losing your penis is no reason to betray your country”!…”

    I was eating tuna when I read that. It’s all over the wall now…:-)


  18. “The drop in the Labour lead and the fading of UKIP support is very much in line with the pattern we’ve seen in the daily YouGov polls, in ICM’s poll this month and in line with the sort of figures Populus are now showing”

    Gripping stuff but still a long way off the election and my prediction is that the polls will get even closer over the next couple of months.

    UKIP are receiving less media exposure (any publicity is good publicity) and naturally lost Tory voters are drifting back to mother goose.

  19. I would like to make a comment about red being the only shade you’ll see on the electoral map in 2015, but then AW would censor me, so I won’t.

  20. On the subject of red YouGov commissioned a poll on red trousers.


    London 20%
    South excluding London 12%
    Wales and English Midlands 10%
    North of England 12%
    Scotland 9%

    London 46%
    South excluding London 48%
    Wales and English Midlands 48%
    North of England 41%
    Scotland 40%


    London 34%
    South excluding London 40%
    Wales and English Midlands 42%
    North of England 48%
    Scotland 51

  21. The National Wellbeing release is now out: see here

    I know many people seek indicators for the outcome of the next election. I like polls but (because of the variable number of parties) the “nowcast projected forward” technique of Nate Silver won’t work. RodCrosby on the other site cleaves to the “PM satisfaction” indicator but although I find the argument coherent, I’m not overconvinced.

    But I can’t help suspecting that the National Wellbeing survey may, in a small set of indicators, might on some level be useful.

    Anyhoo, I’m blathering…


  22. John Pilgrim Fpt
    Klicky Bar (?) Featured in stories about ‘The Wolf of Kabul’ IIRC , who was British pretending to be Afghan. Great stuff! Although a million miles away from where our society has ended up,back in the Sixties we were still being groomed to run an Empire. …
    But then again we’ve been fighting a war in Afghanistan for a dozen years now. So maybe Klicky was bang on the money?

  23. Not much discussion on here about the fact that this poll points to Labour having only 15 seats to play with in terms of having an overall majority. That isn’t a lot of seats to have as a cushion in mid-term…

  24. EWEN
    You may not have noticed but now we are fighting for the Evil Empire, and the reasons why we were playing the Great Game. which was to do with stopping the Russians getting a blue water port in southern Baluchistan or at Karachi, were still behind their extension of their Central Asian Soviet Republics in the 80’s. Hence CIA and SAS support for the creation of the Taliban. Time for the return of Clickey Ba, I suggest.

  25. @Allan – the Rest of South breaks on that poll are counter-intuitive, as the Mayor of Bristol largely based his winning campaign on wearing red trousers.

  26. Good Morning folks.

    Con 34%
    Lab 40%
    LD 10%
    UKIP 12%

    APP -29

    6-7% seems rather constant.

  27. Disagree that Labour’s lead has been shrinking recently with yougov – consistently for several weeks Labour at 39-40 pts with Tories jumping from 30-34 maintaining the consistent lead of 6-7 points – am I missing something?

  28. @Chris

    Looks very much like a UKIP to Con shift, and perhaps the odd previous Lab to UKIP shifting back too.

  29. A while back we saw the nicely symmetrical 30/40/10/15 percentages for YouGov, which I treat as a sort of benchmark.

    It’s clear using that the Lan has dipped slightly overall, but we have seen a stubborn 40 a couple of times recently, UKIP has dipped slightly too from that 15. And Con has clawed its way back from 30 towards 35.

    So we seem to be about 34/35, 38/39, 10, 11/12 on YG at least.

    Lab want 40. Big question, can Con realistically get a bigger vote share than 2010? I have always thought no, but these are unusual times.

    I would say at the moment we are heading towards 35/40/10/10 with LDs carefully placed vote helping them retain more seats than 10% suggest.

    Still a big Lab win if I’m right. Con are far more likely to lose vote share from now on than gain, I suggest.

  30. What the last few months have shown:

    1. Where UKIP get publicity they attract loose voters mainly from the Tories
    2. These loose voters are receptive to Tory pushes on “dog whistle” issues but not entirely trusting of the Tory leadership

    Come the election we’ll see a lot more UKIP publicity which should reinforce their vote by pointing out the perceived failings in the Tories that loosened them from the blue column in the first place. My gut feel is that of the 5% or so Tory/UKIP swing voters they’ll end up with roughly half each.

    What that means for the Tories is that whilst winning back UKIP voters is a key component to rebuilding their support its nowhere near enough to push them over the line. They need support from elsewhere, and the problem is that the more you blow the dog whistle the harder it is to win support from the other parts of the political spectrum. For me the key to the election remains this UKIP vs Tory battle.

  31. Nickp from your point if view I think that is very optermistic.i would not bexsurprised to see 5% go back to the lib dems by the next election from labour and if tge conservatives can do a deal with ukip then…….

  32. onthedoor

    “do a deal with UKIP”?

    I think that would be curtains for both.

  33. A JS

    “Not much discussion on here about the fact that this poll points to Labour having only 15 seats to play with in terms of having an overall majority. That isn’t a lot of seats to have as a cushion in mid-term…”


    Probably because it has no relevance with two years to go to a GE.

    Discussing potential problems of a Labour Govt with a small majority in 2018, based on just one of two polls on the same day in 2013, does seem a waste of time surely?

  34. I think labour cose to 40%, given their dreadfully low profile is fine. Cons getting back towards their GE % is impressive but the significant thing really is the disproportionate hit the LDs have taken, having lost well over half of their VI since 2010 on a consistent basis.

    The campaign will be decisive but I find it hard to imagine, given the last point, that LDs led by Clegg will get much of that back.

    Both lab and Cons will have to choose very carefully between what they wish to do and who they wish to attract most, as they clearly both have a significant core vote to rely on and, potentially, build on.

  35. RICH

    @”A least it’s reasonably exciting now.”


  36. On the door – what the LD vote level whilst important is not as crucial as how that vote is spread.
    If we accept that Lab should hold all their existing seats (they may lose a handful in special circumstances or in Scotland) the battle grounds are LD and Tory held marginals.

    IMO many Lab leaners will hold their nosed and vote LD in LD/Con marginal and conversely the LD vote in Tory held Lab target seats will drop significantly above average and split heavily in Labs favour, perhaps worth 15-20% net of the LDs 2010 vote. It is very difficult to apply a general rule to current LD Lab targets with the length of incumbency and other local factors having a greater influence; there are not many of these but how they go could alter ant hung parliament negotiation dynamics.

  37. yougov front page is giving the wrong information again !

    Lab 40
    Con 34
    LD 11
    UKIP 10

    App – 28

    are the correct poll figures for today.

  38. Today’s YouGov tables puts the Lib Dems at 11 and UKIP at 10 (Note the error in the published headlines). This is the first time UKIP have dropped below the Lib Dems in several months. That said, the weighted sample number for UKIP was less than LD one day last week too. UKIPs polling decline continues, though Eastleigh and May’s local elections show that they can dominate the news when it matters.

  39. The Tories do appear to be moving towards 35% and the 18-24 year olds and over 60’s now regularly show a Tory lead. Are these young people spending too much time with their Grandparents ?

    In the other age brackets, Labour have a large lead, so I would question whether most working age people seeing the world in the same way. If you are working long hours and have not seen a pay rise for several years, while living costs have increased, then this would colour your view. However, if you are young living with parents or a pensioner you may feel differently.

  40. @ Jim Jam,

    I do wonder what effect Crosby’s dog whistling is having on the ABT tactical voters.

    Between the Charybdis of Ukip and the Scylla of offending some Lib/Lab waverers, I don’t think Cameron had much choice- the nervous breakdown the Tories were having for most of the spring was unsustainable, and he had to calm them down by any means available. But if the 2015 election strategy depends on picking up Lib Dem marginals in the South, blowing the nasty whistle might backfire. In an ugly contest you want to remain unobtrusive, not drive around in a big van with your face on it.

  41. Good Morning all, on Ignatius of Loyola’s day.

    I think being nasty is quite a formidable vote winner; we all say we do not like it, but it is quite a formidable tool in GE campaigns, and we are now into what Alistair Campbell called the Long Campaign.
    Nick Clegg is reported to have said that he was ‘surprised’ by the Go Home van.

    Hung Parliament beckons I tink.

  42. Like London buses you don’t see a 40 for a while then two come along together.

  43. @Martyn

    “For example, people aged 45 to 49 rated their life satisfaction lower than any other age group and Black people lower than any other ethnic group.”

    Both strong Labour-voting groups…

  44. Hung Parliament? Getting exciting? The imagination of the optimistic right (I would think) is running ahead of the facts. The Labour VI is constant, usually 38 to 40, and higher this time even on ComRes, which scores it low. The narrowing gap is irrelevant (with Labour at this level) unless the Tories swallow most of the UKIP votes in one gulp and Lab/LD voters don’t vote tactically. The Tories got most votes last time because they ma

  45. (Sorry last post sent itself, I’ll finish it)
    …because they managed to pin the crunch on Labour and Gordon B was intensely disliked. Having penalised the most disadvantaged in their response to the crunch, they aren’t going to knock that solid Labour VI, methinks.

  46. Huckle

    I don’t think there is any evidence that Tories are regularly approaching 35% I think the recent average in YouGov is actually 32% which is up 1 or 2% but still around 5% down on 2010.
    Labour have consistently polled +10% on 2010 results and these averages has generally been reflected in by-election and Local election results

    While some recent YouGov Polls have placed the Conservatives ahead in the 18-24 no one else has and AW has advised us to ignore this inconsistency (when does an inconsistency become a question of polling methodology).
    The Populus poll put Labour ahead by 20% in this age group.

    40% is not bad the Tories have not been ahead of Labour in Any Poll since 2011

  47. Putting these figures in to the UKPR seat calculator gives the following:
    Lab: 341 seats [+83]
    Con: 262 seats [-44]
    LD: 21 seats [-36]
    Labour would be just 15 seats over the winning post of 326.
    Put the Latest YouGov figures (and the average figures ) into the UKPR calculator and you come up with Labour being a substantial 75+ over the winning line.

  48. In any case if Labour Get the most votes and most seats in 2015 (which does seem likely on the balance of probabilities) it will be very difficult to see how the LD’s could do anything but support them.

  49. @Steve,

    I personally think the UNS will be next to useless for the next GE…but we shall see, I guess.

    Interesting times…the Tories heading back to the mid 30s but Labour staying stubbornly 38%+….still much to happen, and I expect there will still be many changes in the weeks and months ahead. The really interesting period will be 5 or 6 months before the GE when quite frankly anything is possible….squeaky bum time, using Alex Ferguson’s famous phrase.

  50. Allan Christie

    On the subject of red YouGov commissioned a poll on red trousers

    But surely polls on red trousers are just too, too 2012, my dears?

    (sometimes going into automod is worth it)

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