There are two new voting intention polls tonight, ComRes in the Indy and YouGov in the Sun (tweeted by the Sun Politics team here).

The YouGov/Sun figures show another small Labour lead, CON 36%, LAB 38%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 10%. This comes after the Labour lead shrinking to one point in YouGov’s weekend poll for the Sunday Times.

The ComRes/Indy poll on the other hand has figures of CON 31%(+1), LAB 36%(-2), LDEM 9%(-1), UKIP 11%(nc). Compared to last month’s poll it does actually show Labour’s lead falling by three points, but that may just be because last month’s lead was a bit larger than usual. The average lead in ComRes telephone polls over the last nine months is five points – just like today’s.

So where does that leave us? Well, the reality is that because polls have a margin of error the messages will usually be a bit contradictory, that’s why it’s best to wait a bit and look at the averages. The Populus, Survation and YouGov polls do suggest a reduced lead, ComRes doesn’t. Even if there is one, it doesn’t mean it will last. Time will tell.


366 Responses to “New YouGov and ComRes polls”

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  1. First up? ICM will be interesting.

    Undoubtedly the polls are tightening…it’s unclear how long this will last…the european elections could change the dynamics.

    I had thought that the polls would tighten till may and then labour would re-establish a reasonable lead and get elected in 2015.

    After the budget performance, however, I think there are real questions about Miliband. His lack of a narrative or a programme could prove fatal.

  2. First:

  3. Not first.
    Evening All.
    PETER CRAWFORD>
    I agree with your analysis of EM. Minority Government beckons, IMO.

  4. The fun thing about “Time will tell.” is that by the point that time tells you something, that trend is in the past, and you’re waiting for time to tell you about the next trend, and by the point ………

  5. Peter Crawford
    I think watching too much Parliament TV could unduly influence your view. I only endured the TV News sound bytes (or bights or bites) of the Budget and Miliband’s extract was fine (as he would have intended). It was just ‘remember you are all worse off’.

    I agree with NickP. It would appear to be the ‘getting old’ that have come across a couple of points to Con, without them coming from Lab But the tables need examination.

  6. Hmmm ???

  7. “@ peter crawford

    After the budget performance, however, I think there are real questions about Miliband. His lack of a narrative or a programme could prove fatal.”

    This is a bit unfair, because the government did not provide Miliband with a copy of the budget speech before Osborne stood up. The convention is that a copy of the chancellors budget speech is provided with redactions before the chancellor makes their speech. This may be the reason why Cameron and Osborne were grinning at Miliband.

    At previous budgets it has been possible for the opposition frontbench to have speed read the budget and to have given some pointers for their leader to include in the response speech. This is why Miliband only responded in very general terms that did not react to the budget content.

    Labour are currently in the process of working out their manifesto and it will be independently costed. It is bit too early to start announcing too many policies, as things may change over 14 months.

  8. R Huckle
    My remarks to PC apply to you. Believe me, the voters do not watch budget speeches (not the ones who could float, anyway).

  9. R Huckle

    “The convention is that a copy of the chancellors budget speech is provided with redactions before the chancellor makes their speech.”

    I didn’t know that.

    Assuming that to be the case, Milliband made a major mistake in not starting off his speech by making that very point.

  10. As i have said before. He didn’t need a preview of the budget to produce an adult critique of the last 4 years economic policy.

    If Mili thinks he can win an election by going on about “toffs, Eton and the Bullingdon”, he has another thing coming. New Labour wouldn’t have been so crude…

    I suppose he’s playing to his base, and this may get him to 35%, but he won’t get much more than that. I also think there is an anti-labour vote which if mobilised could see the tories hit 38%… they realise this and that’s why they are desperately trying to get the grey right wing vote back. I can’t see how you can explain lifting the ISA cap to £15k other than by trying to woo back elderly right wing voters.

  11. It is a bit rich to expect an unprepared response to the budget with pension
    Minutiae in the bear pit of the commons.Labour need to steady the buffs.Rumours of Millibands death are greatly exaggerated .

  12. I see ComRes have landed squarely in the middle of my -1 to 11% lead window.

    Tories definitely seem to be up a bit with YouGov- we hadn’t had a 36% for them since December and now we’ve had two. It will be interesting to see whether the boost persists all the way to the European elections.

  13. OldNat
    The voters do not watch ….. oh, forget it, I’m wasting my time. :-)

    Nick Robinson (BBC /ITN producer) has more influence than Miliband.

  14. PC
    @”I can’t see how you can explain lifting the ISA cap to £15k other than by trying to woo back elderly right wing voters.”

    You have far too narrow a view of the spread of ISA holders-and the number of them.

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/isas/statistics.pdf

  15. “After the budget performance, however, I think there are real questions about Miliband. His lack of a narrative or a programme could prove fatal.”

    In addition to what others have already said it’s also a little hard to respond to something when it turns out the Government haven’t worked out the details of the policy they announced yet.

  16. Sorry to repost these questions – a new strand opened while I was typing.

    While I am keenly interested in politics and follow the opinion polls each day, I confess to not studying them in great detail.

    It may just be based on my own assumptions, but I have always thought that the over sixties are more likely to vote. If so I therefore guess that the changes to ISAs and loosening of pension regulations will appeal to this age band and will most likely explain the movement in post-budget polls.

    Would any of those who study the polls more closer, or even our fine host himself, be able to answer these questions.

    1. Are the over-sixties more likely to vote?

    2. Are poll samples adjusted to take account of this, or are the opinions of this age group given more weight as a result of other ways of determining who is likely to vote?

    3. Do the cross-breaks? of the recently narrowed polls point to a shift in the VI of this age group?

    Apologies if this is going over old ground, I am an occasional visitor to this forum.

  17. JOSHC

    Yes, but that is the job of the leader to do the difficult thing.

  18. The last time Con polled 36 or better in consecutive polls was mid-March 2012. Food for thought.

    Five-poll average:

    Con 34.6%
    Lab 38.0%

    So we still need 3 or more in a row, and given the circumstances, most folk will be looking for a week or two of polls.

  19. @josh. Nah, his performance was way off.

    had a friend to stay at weekend, labour floating voter a good description. No chance of me converting him to Cons, but his view on EM was weak and uninspiring. Not a good sign for Lab if this is a wider view, which I suggest it might be. Many on the left might despise New Labour, but they were politically well organised and very smart…

  20. Howard

    “The voters do not watch ….. oh, forget it, I’m wasting my time. :-) Nick Robinson (BBC /ITN producer) has more influence than Miliband.”

    What those voters who watch the news (and if they don’t then Nick Robinson etc have zero influence) see is what they are allowed to see. Normally that focuses on a political row.

    Nick Robinson et al would have been quite likely to have focused on Miliband lambasting the Coalition for breaching convention an being 9insert abuse of your own preference).

    Of course, that assumes that there is such a convention that R Huckle suggests.

  21. For those who missed by comment in the last thread, can we please stop it with the “Miliband was/was not rubbish at budget response” argument.

    Ian from Lichfield – most polls are weighted/filtered by turnout, so if one age group are more likely to vote than others (and indeed, older voters are) it will be reflected in the poll. The main exception is YouGov, who only weight by turnout in the run up to elections.

    Impossible to really say if the crossbreaks of recent polls show a sharper narrowing amongst older people. They are small and erratic cross breaks and you really need more than a few days data to make any judgement at all

  22. Ian from Lichfield

    1. Yes. My age group votes more regularly than young folk (just as my age group voted much less regularly than our elders, when we were young!)

    2. Some pollsters take likelihood of voting into account when they weight their headline figures. You need to check which ones do – though someone on here will be able to tell you.

    3. No idea!

  23. Does begin to appear that we’ve passed the high watermark of the post budget bounce, with some signs that Lab VI has held. Normally, if this was just from one source, we would expect to see the bounce unwind a little.

    I’m really not too sure about this at present, but I have an idea that Lab might not be altogether too displeased at this point. This was Osborne’s election budget, and he has confirmed that the poor macro economic figures mean that there isn’t scope for a generous giveaway.

    What I also suspect (although without a scrap of hard evidence) is that we might have witnessed the reverse of the normal government/opposition policy announcement dynamic.

    Usually, oppositions throw in eye catching policies to get noticed, which the government then steals. Here, Osborne has handed Labour notice of his key targets. Labour now can come back with something of their own.

    There are many ways to make annuities better value, which would directly help Tories target group, and it will be interesting to see Labours response.

  24. AW

    Thank you for your answer Anthony. Not only do you run an excellent forum but you are able to put a lot of information into a short paragraph.

  25. Re. Miliband and the budget, let me just make a few general points which I hope will not fall foul of Anthony’s strictures.

    1) Very few voters watch the Budget. Even fewer watch the Opposition Leader’s response. The papers wouldn’t have covered it even if it had been the greatest budget response ever given.

    2) MPs do watch it. Ed Miliband’s huge task- a task at which so far he has succeeded better than any of his predecessors- is getting the Labour Party to hold its nerve and not collapse into a mess of infighting. Small poll leads and poor Commons performances make that task more difficult.

    3) People will watch the debates and some of the talk show interviews. Situations will arise before the election (and certainly afterwards, if he becomes Prime Minister) in which Miliband must respond on his feet to unexpected questions or circumstances. I’ve seen him do this very adroitly as Energy Secretary in the previous government. I have to say I have not seen him do it in the Commons or in interviews since he became Opposition Leader, although he’s performed fairly well at conference Q&A sessions.

    4) Situations will arise before the election (and certainly afterward, if Labour win) in which the Labour Party will need to set out a credible economic prospectus for government.

    I don’t see why any of these challenges should be insurmountable, but I think it’s overly optimistic to suggest they are not challenges.

  26. Alec
    A year or more back, when colleagues were berating Miliband’s lack of policy announcements, I wrote here that he did not need anything like that and just to stick tight and watch it all unfold.

    Being in opposition is child’s play compared to being in government, as a certain DPM, who was so enamoured with getting a limousine, is finding out.

  27. The Tories have picked up a bit at the ‘expense’ of UKIP and the Don’t Knows. The Labour VI is right where it always was, however, and continues to have to be explained.

    The same explanation might also suggest that the traditionally expected narrowing of the polls and the so-called incumbency effect won’t affect Labour’s 38% of ‘voters’ either.

  28. Is it tomorrow that we have the exciting debate between Clegg and Farage?

  29. As we’ve learned from Labour on Syria and the energy price freeze, maintaining a boost for long is hard. Maintaining it until the Euro elections sounds very difficult indeed.

  30. AiW,

    Nope, April 2nd. I’ll be excitedly watching…

  31. In both YouGov and ComRes the UKIP/LD share is 20%,
    but one has Con/Lab as … 36/38
    the other has Con/Lab as … 31/36

    So other major things being equal the one with the smaller labour total gives the smaller Tory total.
    Me being simple would have thought that the poll with Labour on 38 would show the smaller Tory figure.

    Who has the missing 7% votes in ComRes?

  32. OldNat

    Thank you for your reply – I am surprised as I had always assumed you to be a young man;-)

    I am genuinely surprised by your assertion that today’s pensioners did not vote so often when they were young. Another assumption of mine was that today’s pensioners were more likely to vote partly because they valued democracy more after the war and partly because there were far clearer differences between the policies of the political parties.

  33. Hookeslawe,

    Should be there in the data but usually the SNP, Plaid Cymru, and the Greens will make up ~6% of that, sometimes the BNP or Respect get a voter or two (but this can produce big percentages if the BNP voter is an old lady in Wales!).

  34. I’ve just discovered that I’ve been talking to myself and a bloke called “Ed from Somewhere” on a moribund thread for the last hour! Here’s the gist of what I said, which I think is still pertinent to tonight’s polls: –

    The early evidence of these post budget polls is that the Tories have made little inroads into the Labour vote and have benefited primarily, or so it appears, from a proportion of don’t knows/won’t says/fence-sitters* (* delete as appropriate), deciding to plump for them. Labour, perversely, have held fairly firm and in the one poll where they have dipped significantly (Survation), their vote doesn’t appear to have gone to any of the other parties, rather it has evaporated into the “don’t know” mush. This has become a bit of a trend when Labour have lost VI; there is no corresponding benefit accruing to the other parties. Those comforting days that dear old Eoin so enjoyed where “red was down and yellow up and blue was down when red was up etc” have gone. It’s far muddier waters that churn now; just another feature lending itself to the glorious unpredictability of it all.
    I’m still of the view that this stickability in Labour’s VI, circa 38% come hell or come shine in YouGov, is the cuckoo in the political and electoral nest. Unless the Tories can really hole this vote below the water line, then they simply can’t win, not unless large segments of the UKIP and Lib Dem vote collapse their way and float them well over the 40% mark come May 2015. They simply have to, at some stage, get big chunks of the current Labour vote to come their way.
    They’ll be happy to see that the budget has narrowed the gap between them and Labour, certainly in the short term, but I suspect they’ll be very disappointed to see Labour still on 37-38% in YouGov. Big artillery barrage from Tory guns and Labour still standing with a few shots in their own locker to come, I suspect. Don’t forget possible friendly fire too in the shape of the Euro and local council elections.
    UKIP look to be withstanding the Tory budget barrage pretty well too. Farage and Miliband have donned the hard hats and dug in for now. Under fire but surviving and maybe interesting counter-attacks to come.
    Game on. Both the main parties on manoeuvres now,
    Report comment

  35. Debate on Sky News and LBC this Wednesday evening. Turns out they did kinda pip BBC to the post afterall…

  36. The reason Miliband as leader of the opposition did not receive an advance redacted copy of the Budget was due to the convention being terminated by a certain G Brown.

  37. A few questions for the Tories to be asking themselves before bed:

    1) Where are their votes coming from politically?
    2) Where are their votes coming from geographically?
    3) Why can’t they break Labour’s lead?
    4) How can they win over Labour voters?
    5) If they can’t, how can they win enough UKIP and LD voters to be three points clear of Labour?

  38. The ‘worlds leading liberal voice’ is on top form tonight.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/24/labour-tories-populus-comres-polls-jon-cruddas

    Since when has a 5% gap been ‘neck and neck’?

  39. Undoubtedly the polls are narrowing. The question is with Britain’s dodgy electoral system is it enough for the Tories. The electoral reform chick that Cameron got rid of over a row with the Lib Dems could yet come home to roost.

    Also I really doubt now any of this talk about UKIP winning the Euros in May. UKIP seems to be the eternal Bridesmaid, always the Bridesmaid and never the Bride. In other words they constantly fail to win anything, the best they can ever achieve seems to be second.

    With this little boost occurring before the Euros could the Tories in fact sneek in in May as they have done ever since 1999.

  40. Ian from Lichfield

    Flattery is always welcome! :-)

    While a higher proportion of all relevant age groups (remembering that I had to be 21 to vote) voted in the 60s than now, it was still true that fewer young people than older people voted.

    On the whole, it’s wise to consider the outpourings of the oldies as to the deficiencies of the young to be wrong, biased, signifying their memory loss, self-praising garbage.

  41. Mikis

    Thanks for that.

    Seems to be a fairly bad idea to be ruled by a Parliament run by conventions that can be arbitrarily swept aside by whoever happens to be in power.

  42. New TNS-BMRB poll on the Macbethian question.

    Given their idiosyncratic way of weighting the non-voters in 2011 to 50% of the weighted sample, excluding Don’t Knows is even more important with their polls.

    Yes 40% (-1)
    No 60% (+1)

  43. @CROSSBAT11

    “I’ve just discovered that I’ve been talking to myself and a bloke called “Ed from Somewhere” on a moribund thread for the last hour!”

    ——-

    Well I was still following it, Crossbat, if that helps any (which it probably doesn’t, but still…)

  44. @CROSSBAT11

    A very sensible analysis of the situation in your last two posts.
    I will be very interested to see whether the Tory confidence is still so high after the Euro and local elections, The Conservatives face perhaps there biggest challenge at the local elections since the last GE and of course we will see the UKIP potential in the Euros.

  45. @OldNat & Ian from Lichfield

    I haven’t got the data to hand, but estimates of the gap between age groups show that it widened dramatically in the 90s. Before then the difference between oldest and youngest varied between 10 and 20%, but it widened to nearly 40% in 2005.

    There will always be a life-cycle element when it comes to civic behaviours like voting, as people take on many more responsibilities as they age through their 20s & 30s and as such will feel they have more at stake.

    There is however also a strong cohort effect. British society is simply far less cohesive than it was in the 1950s, when today’s elders were young. That means there are many more people who feel they have no skin in the game, and abstain accordingly. I’m part of this 20-something cohort who rarely vote and as we age we will become more likely to vote, but we’ll never turn out in the same numbers our grandparents did because most of us simply never developed the same bond with public authority at a young age.

  46. DrunkenScouser

    I couldn’t find my source data either! :-) But I wouldn’t disagree that the disparity in voting between the young and the old has increased.

    Thanks, young people! You have ensured that my generation continues to grab most of the limited resources going. My pension rises, while you can’t even get a permanent job.

    As to “British society is simply far less cohesive” Is society as, or more, cohesive in any state? I don’t know of evidence one way or the other.

    That there has been a growing disconnect between political parties and people in most countries would seem to be obvious from membership figures as well as voter turnout.

    Even in Scotland, where there has been significantly greater engagement with, at least. one aspect of politics, nothing suggests that this will carry on to voting in elections – though I hope it will.

  47. What happens if Scotland votes yes in September, then in 2015 Labour gets a majority but a majority smaller than their number of Scottish MPs?

    Even more so, what if their is a hung parliament and a Lib Lab pact, but the removal of the Scottish Labour (and a few Libs) brings the Cons up to an overall majority?

    In either scenario could their be a change of Prime Mininster, and indeed governing party(ies) overnight without an election?

  48. Maninthemiddle

    “could their be a change of Prime Mininster, and indeed governing party(ies) overnight without an election?”

    Why should that be a problem? Up to the point of independence, the UK would have a Parliament (which decides who the Government is) based on the results of the votes of those in the UK. After independence you would still have a Parliament based on the votes of those in rUK, who could (as they always can) decide who the Government is.

    That England might have a change of government for their domestic affairs would be entirely down to their having voted to have their governance determined by those elected elsewhere.

    While such a choice seems a bit daft to me, they would be hoist by their own petard (to quote their greatest playwright).

  49. @ Oldnat Drunken Scouse
    “I couldn’t find my source data either! :-) But I wouldn’t disagree that the disparity in voting between the young and the old has increased.”

    After 40 seconds of gruelling research I managed to do it for you.
    Type into Google, p. 4.

    It shows things are worse than one might think!
    The proportion of 18-24s voting halved! from 1964 to 2005 ( to 38%) tho it did show a big jump in 2010 [Was the latter enthusiasm for Lib-Dems?] .
    The pensioner proportion in the same period has remained pretty static at 75-77%.
    file:///C:/Users/Norriepops/Downloads/SN01467%20(2).pdf

  50. @ Oldnat Drunken Scouser
    “I couldn’t find my source data either! :-) But I wouldn’t disagree that the disparity in voting between the young and the old has increased.”

    After 40 seconds of gruelling research I managed to do it for you.
    Type into Google, p. 4.

    It shows things are worse than one might think!
    The proportion of 18-24s voting halved! from 1964 to 2005 ( to 38%) tho it did show a big jump in 2010 [Was the latter enthusiasm for Lib-Dems?] .
    The pensioner proportion in the same period has remained pretty static at 75-77%.
    file:///C:/Users/Norriepops/Downloads/SN01467%20(2).pdf

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