ComRes released their latest poll of marginal seats today. As regular readers will recall, ComRes’s marginal polls cover the 40 most marginal Con-v-Lab seats (25 Conservative held, 15 Labour held). Unlike Lord Ashcroft’s marginal polls (which are actually a series of individual constituency polls in seats that are marginals, which we can aggregate together to get an extremely large sample across a group of marginal seats) ComRes’s poll is a more traditional marginals poll – a single poll of a group of marginal seats, meaning it gives us a measure of those seats as a whole, but has far too few people to tell us anything about the individual seats within that group.

Latest voting intention figures in these marginals with changes from the last time ComRes polled them in September is CON 31%(+1), LAB 39%(-2), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 18%(+1). These seats had Labour and Conservative equal at the last election so an eight point lead here is the equivalent of a four point national swing and a one point Labour lead in national polls…pretty much exactly what the national polls have been showing lately (actually if you look at the crossbreaks of the poll they suggest a swing towards the Conservatives in the Conservative held seats, a swing towards Labour in the Labour held seats, but given the sample size of those two groups and that the poll is only weighted at the level of all forty seats I wouldn’t put too much weight on that).

Note also that, judging from the tables, ComRes have switched over to prompting for UKIP in their main voting intention question in this poll – as with their last national poll, it does not seem to have had a major effect (UPDATE – I think this is because ComRes have changed turnout weightings, so that there is a tighter turnout filter for the Greens and UKIP than for the main parties). Tabs are here.

There should be another batch of Lord Ashcroft polls of individual marginal seats later this week.


147 Responses to “ComRes poll of marginal seats”

1 2 3
  1. generalelection.uk.forecast gives SNP a 48% chance of gaining Orkney & Shetland . Also 51% chance of winning Glenrothes.
    Both seem gibberish to me!

  2. Colin

    It won’t be that easy to disentangle the causation of any change.

    Today, the Scottish Government published its legislative programme.

  3. “generalelection.uk.forecast gives SNP a 48% chance of gaining Orkney & Shetland . Also 51% chance of winning Glenrothes.
    Both seem gibberish to me!”

    Who cares?

  4. Graham

    As I understand their methodology, they readjust their projections as data like constituency polls become available – we have almost nothing of those in Scotland, so they won’t have much except a Scottish UNS to go on.

    I’d expect their Scottish forecasts to sharpen considerably, once Ashcroft produces his promised constituency polling here.

    On their site, they do say that they don’t factor in all the data about individual constituencies – hence O&S.

  5. I reckon that the BNP, the Welsh Nats, and Sinn Fein have exactly the same chance as the SNP of taking O&S.

    It’s the only seat that has been Liberal throughout my life, and the one LD seat that will be left in the (unlikely but not impossible) event of a total meltdown.

  6. 1% lead for Tories in tonight’s YouGov.

  7. moe of slight lab lead which has been the position for a couple of weeks now.

  8. YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Tories take one point lead, Lib Dems drop to fifth: CON 33%, LAB 32%, LD 6%, UKIP 16%, GRN 7%

    (no one else posted this? strange…)

  9. So it purely seems that we got 3 MOE polls on the same day.

  10. CON 33%, LAB 32%, LD 6%, UKIP 16%, GRN 7%

    Well Well Well 3 holes in the ground……Well no not exactly .

    Should I call the proverbial (TAXI?)

    No of course not, that would be very immature but you know where I am if anyone needs to call one.

  11. 07052015

    In 2010 ukip plus eng democrats plus bnp was 8.6 in Donc North so fairly large racist right wing base to start from.With ukip currently polling l5 plus on their own then there will be labour seats where they push tories into third.

    It’s a good point but you’ve underestimated the figures:

    BNP 6.8%

    E Dem 5.2%

    UKIP 4.3%

    Total 16.3%

    As opposed to the Conservatives with 21%. So even then there was a possibility of them being overtaken to the right.

  12. labour’s polling continues to be very poor. Mili should go…though the tories are pretty poor too. Call me simple, but I don’t see how a swing of 4% from con to lab in the marginals is a good poll for the tories.

  13. PRESSMAN
    Allan

    [NewsUK] are aiming for the spectacular. It was made clear to Cameron from the highest level that a majority must be the aim, as only this can deliver the necessary changes that [they want] to see. I’ve no doubt the largest party will be the Tories but [people at NewsUK] want and most of us, expect more. Particularly as we will see the most brutal and intense campaign in British electoral history
    _______

    Well it’s going to be some spectacular if you lot are going to push the Tories into majority territory. I’m not saying it’s impossible but I really can’t see it happening looking at the current polling trends although I do admit the Tories have narrowed the gap down to at least neck and neck over the past month or so.
    ……
    ” Particularly as we will see the most brutal and intense campaign in British electoral history”
    ____

    Yeah something tells me it’s going to be a right ole dirty campaign leading up to the GE.

  14. Yes roger misread the columns in wiki.Didnt Donc have an english democrat mayor .ED has been target of entryists from ex bnp.

  15. @Pressboy 9:44 pm

    I see that my definition of ‘subtle’ differs from NewsUK’s.

  16. STATGEEK

    “YouGov/Sun poll tonight – Tories take one point lead, Lib Dems drop to fifth”
    ____

    I’m getting carried away and we will find out when the tables are published but 8% others leaves quite a lot of room for the SNP to play about in. Lib/Dems could well be joint 5th with the SNP or even 6th?

    I’m guessing the SNP are polling over 50% in the cross break with others sitting at 8% without the Greens!!

  17. @Allan

    “I’m getting carried away and we will find out when the tables are published but 8% others leaves quite a lot of room for the SNP to play about in.”

    CON 33%, LAB 32%, LD 6%, UKIP 16%, GRN 7%

    I make it 94% and 6% for others. Better luck next time. :))

  18. STATGEEK

    Ooops Sorry I was adding UKIP at 14%. Like I say, getting too carried away.

  19. Fascinated by the idea of Christine Grahame contesting Berwick for the SNP.

    It’s the seat I grew up in and my parents still live (and vote) there.

    Firstly let me say – she won’t win.

    However this is the perfect time to contest it. It’s basically a safe Tory shire seat which just hasn’t had a Tory representing it for 40 years.

    Alan Beith won it at a by-election in 1973 after the Lord Lambton call girl scandal, held on in 1974 and has then built up a personal vote ever since. Natural Tories and Labour voters alike vote for him every time and are going to be looking for a new home next year.

    The Conservative candidate Anne-Marie Trevelyan has campaigned relentlessly on a dual the A1 platform and is a strong favourite but expect an announcement on A1 dualling – probably the Morpeth Felton section – from George Osborne next week to try and seal the deal.

    Christine could potentially take the Alan Beith personal / Anyone but Tory / betrayed by Lib Dems / expat Scots / general protest vote and pick up 10-15% of the vote to come third.

    There’s certainly an audience in Northumberland for a none of the above protest candidate. Could it be Christine Grahame?

  20. @ HOOF HEARTED 4:07 pm
    Re: r&S
    In a by.election both ukip and Tory can throw everything at it. In a GE, surely the Tories that are spread thin, not ukip, who can target

    Ah, but money. UKIP have loads of rich backers, so can throw £100,000 at a by-election without even blinking. But the spending limit for a General Election is so much lower, that they need tactics that work without vast sums of money. Their success in EuroElections has also depended on high spending. The evidence from 2010 was they couldn’t run a constituency campaign that gained real traction within GE spending limits. Time will tell whether they have figured it out in the mean time.

  21. The trend ought to be parity either now or pretty soon given the direction of travel. The speed of decline of Labour’s lead does not seem enough to let the Conservatives get an OM or do without the LD’s.

    There’s going to be some marginals created by the rise of UKIP and the decline of the LD’s (ie stealing votes from one party, and adding votes to another, thus putting victory in the sights of some other party) that would not normally be so, requiring some extra careful polling to detect these places. That sounds expensive, but elsewise parties could be throwing resources at the wrong places.

  22. Just taken a more careful look back over recent polling. Greens are now above 6% more frequently than below 6% with YouGov over the last month-plus (and the over 6% includes an 8%, whereas 5% is the lowest YG score for the Greens since 13th Oct). Greens level with and ahead of the LDs is also happening with increasing frequency – tonights is the first time Greens ahead of LDs twice in less than 10 days (all pollsters), and level or ahead 5 times in 10 days is also a record (prior to the current 5 times, never more than 3 times in 10 days).
    Similarly, taking a 10 poll running average (mean) of the LD-Green gap, this fell below 2% for the first time on Nov 17th and has remained 2% or below ever since, being currently at 1.7%

  23. Peter Cairns (SNP)

    Help ma Bob…lock up your kids, the Scots are coming!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-30217248

    But will they stop at Derby this time?

    Ashcroft polled Berwick 21-28 August:

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Berwick-Upon-Tweed-Full-tables-Sept-14.pdf#page=7

    and got the following reply for his constituency question:

    Con 33%

    Lib Dem 30%

    Lab 16%

    UKIP 17%

    Green 3%

    Interestingly the Lib Dems were ahead before likelihood to vote was taken into account, so it may be that there is a potential vote that could get them back in with a decent campaign. Both Tories and Lib Dems have strong candidates and local government presence so it looks very tight.

    Because Ashcroft doesn’t give names in his question, there might be a false personal vote for Beith included, from people unaware he is stepping down. But Trevelyan got quite a big swing against him in 2010, so that may have been fading anyway.

    A tight race might not be the best place for the SNP to intervene if they were looking for any sort of result, and the constituency is a lot more than the town of Berwick. Standing is also the sort of thing that might cause more bad publicity that good, especially in Scotland itself with non-Scots. And because it’s not a seat where Labour is strong, there won’t be ‘taking the argument to the enemy’ aspect to it.

  24. Peter Cairns (SNP)

    Help ma Bob…lock up your kids, the Scots are coming!

    ht tp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-south-scotland-30217248

    But will they stop at Derby this time?

    Ashcroft polled Berwick 21-28 August:

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Berwick-Upon-Tweed-Full-tables-Sept-14.pdf#page=7

    and got the following reply for his constituency question:

    Con 33%

    Lib Dem 30%

    Lab 16%

    UKIP 17%

    Green 3%

    Interestingly the Lib Dems were ahead before likelihood to vote was taken into account, so it may be that there is a potential vote that could get them back in with a decent campaign. Both Tories and Lib Dems have strong candidates and local government presence so it looks very tight.

    Because Ashcroft doesn’t give names in his question, there might be a false personal vote for Beith included, from people unaware he is stepping down. But Trevelyan got quite a big swing against him in 2010, so that may have been fading anyway.

    A tight race might not be the best place for the SNP to intervene if they were looking for any sort of result, and the constituency is a lot more than the town of Berwick. Standing is also the sort of thing that might cause more bad publicity that good, especially in Scotland itself with non-Scots. And because it’s not a seat where Labour is strong, there won’t be ‘taking the argument to the enemy’ aspect to it.

    [reposted as original had two links]

  25. Unicorn

    Basically, calculations using Ashcroft marginal data indicate that the LDs are losing about half their support in each constituency on a proportional basis together with a further uniform reduction of about 3%. I won’t repeat the calculations here as they have already been set out very recently.

    If this is correct, then LDs will be suffering greater-than-UNS VI losses in their own seats: by definition this is where their share of the vote started out highest and so falls most under proportional vote loss.

    I should point out that Ashcroft has looked at quite a good sample of Con/LD and my LD vote-reallocation formula is basically just a summary of his own explicit findings.

    But it doesn’t tie in with Ashcroft’s polling in LD-Con marginals. If you look the 15 he most recently polled:

    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/LORD-ASHCROFT-POLLS-Wider-Lib-Dem-battleground-September-2014.pdf#page=3

    and consider the Constituency voting intention, then the Lib Dems are only losing 29% of their 2010 vote[1], not 50% plus 3 points as you suggest.

    There’s a lot of variation between constituencies of course, some of it attributable to who the MP is and if they are standing again, but it suggests that these marginals are less losable than even UNS would predict, once you take into account constituency factors and how voter reply when asked to consider those.

    [1] Based on those figures, correcting an obvious error for Eastleigh, but not checked otherwise.

  26. @Ben

    Just taking a peek at the 10-poll rolling averages:

    http://www.statgeek.co.uk/polling/periodic-averages/twelve-month-trendlines/

    The Lib Dems are 4th in UK, London, RoS, almost 5th in Midlands & Wales, have dropped to 5th in the North, and might crop into 5th in Scotland.

    If this keeps up, the LDs will be 5th in the UK by May. Imagine going from 3rd to 5th and from government to…anyone’s guess at present.

    It looks like the Greens are taking the role of ‘protest party of the left’.

  27. @Ben

    And the rumour is there may be an opening for a party of the left in Scotland soon, if the SNP don’t get there first

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/scottish-labour-leadership-could-former-bricklayer-neil-findlay-be-labours-biggest-headache-yet-9871403.html

    “Unite’s general secretary, Len McCluskey, said the election of Mr Murphy would be a “political death sentence” for Labour in Scotland”

    or
    “According to one prominent Labour MP: “The emergence of Neil Findlay as a possible leader – someone with little experience and less impact, spouting policies that barely register as credible to the main party – shows how much trouble Labour are in in Scotland.”

    Seems they are doomed whoever they elect.

    If the Greens want to be credible they need to start polling in double digits and start gaining a few seats like UKIP have done. Scotland looks like the perfect opportunity to start making that impact. Maybe you can even get the unions to back you!

  28. @ Ben

    I’m doing some more work on the Green surge… One characteristic of surges is that they don’t go in a straight line. Peaks and plateaux, but I can’t see anything to suggest that the Greens are going to give back their gains. I would not be surprised to see them poll in double figures.

  29. PS: Not sure if you saw this, including why this is not like 1989…

    http://www.ncpolitics.uk/2014/10/more-than-just-green-chutes-once-in.html

  30. The statement of Pope Francis to MEPs in Strasburg on Tuesday suggest that both he and the Catholic Church may have an influence in views on migration and on the EU which will have salience. On both h;is statements merit study for two reasons: both for their policy content, and for the fact that they represent researched and well informed analysis and a radical position which will have resonance in UK politics. On migrants that the EU must not stand by and see the Mediterranean become graveyard, or migration become the basis of slavery; on the EU itself: ” “There has been a growing mistrust on the part of citizens towards institutions considered to be aloof.
    “As a result, the great ideas which once inspired Europe seem to have lost their attractiveness, only to be replaced by the bureaucratic technicalities of its institutions. ..”.

  31. Easy for him to say. Argentina is a little too far for boats full of immigrants to reach.

  32. On Doncaster North:
    I think the odds are that Milliband holds on, but there’s a very good chance of UKIP coming second:
    -The “right-wing three” (UKIP, ED, and BNP) polled over 16% (16.3%-ish), one of their best combined performances in the country.
    -The Tories got only 21% last time, meaning that on a straight hoovering-up of the “miscellaneous right”, UKIP would be on the Tories’ heels and ahead of the LibDems…
    -…who have themselves bled votes to UKIP. Granted, they’ve dumped votes everywhere, but UKIP has been a net beneficiary of them. That’s probably enough right there to kick UKIP ahead of the Tories…
    -…except that the Tories have also dumped votes to UKIP and are averaging about 3-5% less than they got in 2010.

    So putting the Tories in third behind UKIP does not seem radical. The more important question is going to be relative positioning in a case like this (i.e. 45-25-20 is a lot different than 40-30-20).

    As to Miliband personally, a point bears out there as well: At least in the US, there’s been a phenomenon of Senate leaders getting slammed about when up for re-election. This is at least in part because while a stray Senator has a bit of wiggle room vs. the party’s platform, a leader is stuck with it. Likewise, the same may attach to a leader (and even more to a leader seen as having such a mediocre performance as Miliband…I could see a few Labour voters wanting to vote him out personally to help the party!).

  33. John P

    Apart from the callousness and inhumanity of stopping the patrols to intercept the migrant boats, one thing about it strikes me as completely odd.

    Those wanting to halt the patrols claim that these are encouraging more people to make the journey because of the chance of them being rescued if it goes wrong. But people aren’t travelling to be rescued but to get into the EU. If you stop the patrols the boats won’t be intercepted at all, most will make it through and there will be more illegal migrants not less. Presumably that will encourage even more to make the journey, not less.

    It’s as if they are trying to prove they are being serious by being cruel, even if that means they are less effective in what they claim to be doing, which is stopping illegal migration.

  34. ROGER
    My direct experience is of the vietnames boat people. The 100,000 who were in camps in Hong Kong in 1989 were there because they were economic migrants, may minors sent by there families, and because the US and the other 23 or so Governments who were members of a SE Asia asylum and refugee programme did not,, on a case by case basis, recgonise them as political asylum seekers. Their families were close to destitution – in the Red River Delta area because of land shortages. The cost in terms of subjection to danger of death at sea, was worth it for the main reason that the wellbeing of their families appeared to them to depend on it. That, if also true of N.African illegal migrants, doesn’t answer the problem,, but does provide a basis of understanding of need for the provision of humanitarian and planned responses, of the kind the Pope was calling for. Stopping the patrols would be not only ineffective, for the reasons you cite, but also an abandonment of a civilsed tradition in the treatment of refugees and economic migrants which is basic to a moral society- and to a reasoned relationship to the rest of the world.

  35. Forget about UKIP winning Doncaster North, there is always a strong turnout for a party leader, even one us unpopular as Miliband. Party leaders have often defied national swings against their parties.

  36. @Richard

    Len McClusky – ‘Electing Murphy will be the death sentence of Scottish Labour’

    I’m sorry be overtly political but this is the same man who got Ed Miliband elected…which has led to death sentence of Scottish Labour and big problems elsewhere. If they had chosen a strong, popular, leader I doubt we would have seen such a strong YES performance or the sluggish Labour polling across the UK. Brown did more in a couple of days than Miliband and Lamont did during the entire Scottish referendum campaign. I wouldn’t believe anything McClusky says.

  37. RM
    The flaw in your argument is that those picked up are taken in to the EU, the object of the migrant therefore being achieved.

  38. Richard
    Labour in Scotland doomed? Again? Posters have been saying that since I first posted here. And one day it might be true. In fact everything is still to play for. Whoever is elected leader will get a monstering many timed worse than that experienced by E Miliband. But sensible policies well put could still see Labour do well in the forthcoming UK elections. Being attacked by L McLusky isn’t something only Scottish Labour politicians experience. It will be hard for thse outside Scotland to remember that in the last UK election, SNP expectations were also very high and A Salmond said that he would make the UK dance to a Scottish jig which did not turn out to be what happened. There is a crisis but Laboour is not doomed.

  39. @ NumberCruncher

    Yes, I had seen the link. I await your updates with interest: speaking of which, any chance of another to http://www.statgeek.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/ld-green-uk2.png ?

    Thanks

  40. Another good poll for the Tories from YouGov. Considering the standing of UKIP at the moment they should be relieved. Still to early to say bye-election result has had no lasting effect on the two main parties, we need more YouGov polls.

  41. @ statgeek

    ” LDs almost 5th in Midlands & Wales”; well they’ve been 5th in Wales by a distance in all polls since about 2012 ; the battle for fourth between UKIP and PC is tight but there’s daylight between them and the Lib Dems (who may however still keep 2 out of their 3 seats on 5% of the vote)

  42. @Roger Mexico

    “..the LDs are only losing 29% of their 2010 vote..” [in their Ashford marginals]

    I’ll recheck my calculations at the earliest opportunity and get back with an update at the earliest opportunity (probably tomorrow, given commitments..)

    The regression formula for Ld vote change was:

    Current LD VI = 0.47 x (2010 LD % vote) – 3%.

    One possible reason for the discrepancy (I haven’t checked yet..) was that I used the corrected VIs given in the second line of the Ashford tables and not the unmodified figures in line 1. If you used, Line 1 figures this might explain part of the discrepancy.

    Another possibility is that the overall pattern is moderated by an incumbency effect. I used the data from all marginal polls taken between August and October, and it could be that the LD/X subset is set apart from the others. I need to check it out..

  43. “Lord Ashcroft tweet
    Released tomorrow polling in Doncaster North showing UKIP 2nd so if Tories tactically vote for UKIP Miliband loses”

    All the seats in the vicinity of areas that had grooming gangs operating with impunity for the last 16 years are potentially vulnerable although it would probably take a perfect storm to get wins rather than good seconds.

    The best way to get wins imo are 1) focus on the political class’ cover up of what was happening rather than the perpetrators (cos reasons) and 2) use guilt tripping on Lab and ex-Lab voters to get them to stay home / switch.

  44. “Released tomorrow polling in Doncaster North showing UKIP 2nd so if Tories tactically vote for UKIP Miliband loses”

    Or vice versa presumably if their combined vote is more than Labour’s.

  45. OLDNAT

    @”It won’t be that easy to disentangle the causation of any change.
    Today, the Scottish Government published its legislative programme.”

    Indeed-I watched part of it. NS is a very self-assured politician. I got the impression that the ancient landowners won’t like what is coming.

    Smith today-reports are that Lab conceded 100% Income Tax powers & Cons conceded Scots Mps voting on rUK Budgets.

    Lab UK MPs reported to be very unhappy.

    I wish I could see through all this to net effect on GE 2015. I can’t, but it seems like the most important things for determining the future at Westminster are happening in Scotland.

  46. Colin

    “Smith today-reports are that Lab conceded 100% Income Tax powers & Cons conceded Scots Mps voting on rUK Budgets.”

    I heard that as well. It’s one of the reasons I find it increasingly hard to consider voting the Tory party. It’s so undemocratic, if Scotland has 100% income tax powers in Scotland then English MP’s should have 100% income tax powers in England. I cannot believe MT would have agreed to such an undemocratic anti-English arrangement.

  47. TOH

    I don’t know what is going on.

    We are slipping into a Federal UK by default-all driven by Scottish public opinion.

    I read one comment from a “senior” Tory that such a concession would not be “sustainable”.

    There are games being played here I think centered on Labour’s hold on Scotland & Con’s hold on England.

  48. Colin

    I would have thought this would produce a further significant boost for UKIP assuming Farage comes out strongly against such a move.

    You could be right about the federal Britain thing, it’s what the EU wants. After remembering the dead of two World Wars it seems neither were necessary as Germany will control Europe soon, which I guess is why Putin has been acting as he has.

  49. Colin

    The problem is that we are not slipping into a federal UK. There are no Federal Institutions being proposed by anyone. All we have is incredibly lopsided, almost undemocratic, devolution.

  50. Interested, Colin

    No “almost undemocratic” about it, what is proposed is undemocratic!

    Sorry cannot continue this discussion as I am stewarding at an Art Exhibition. Have a good day.

1 2 3