The YouGov/Sunday Times poll this morning showed a four point Labour lead, interpreted in some quarters of the commentariat as showing an advance for Labour after the Paxman interviews. As ever, it was only one poll. Now we have a second post-Paxman poll, a ComRes telephone poll for the Daily Mail & ITV, and this one shows the complete opposite – CON 36%(+1), LAB 32%(-3), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 12%(+2), GRN 5%(-2) (tabs).

If the four point Labour lead in this morning’s YouGov poll equalled their best this year, this poll is the biggest Conservative lead ComRes have delivered since 2010. Where YouGov showed Miliband’s ratings improving, ComRes show Cameron widening his lead as best Prime Minister.

There is no great mystery here, I expect we’re just seeing normal sample variation. I said this morning we needed to wait for some more polling to have any idea whether the Paxman interviews had really had any effect, whether there was a consistent trend. With two polls now showing movement in opposition directions there certainly isn’t yet. It could still be that the rest of the week’s polls show a similar movement to YouGov and the ComRes poll was just a blip… or that the rest of the week’s polls show a similar movement to ComRes and the YouGov poll was a blip. I’ve a sneaky suspicion though that we’ve just happened to see two outliers in opposite directions, and we’re going to see lots of polls showing no clear movement. Time will tell.

442 Responses to “ComRes/Mail/ITV – CON 36, LAB 32, LD 9, UKIP 12, GRN 5”

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  1. @RM

    Personally as regards Bercow I wonder whether Dave was involved. I suspect Gove has gone feral.

  2. @Alan

    As I understand it the 14 day period only applies if the Government loses a confidence motion. If Cameron resigns because he knows he would lose a confidence motion (i.e. the Opposition has an overall majority) the FTPA doesn’t apply – he would formally advise Brenda that Miliband was her man for the job.

    If, however, there were ongoing negotiations between Opposition parties he could be obliged to squat in Downing Street as Gordon Brown was, and Ted Heath before him.

  3. It would be nice if some change did occur in the polls as five more weeks or so of debating what is essentially MOE will be very depressing.

    Who knows what will happen though given the nature of this particular election. Crosby is noted isn’t he for fierce attacks late in the day when the momentum makes it hard to answer the charges? So Conservatives hoping for that late and all important swing may be satisfied after all.

    I do think there is room for Labour to at least worry a little about what Cameron might do to hang onto power in any circumstance. He showed with the ‘english votes for english matters’ speech the day after the Scottish referendum that he (or someone else in the shadows) is quite politically astute when it comes to leftfield strategies.


    I loved the idea of a feral Gove! LOL

  4. @Catoswyn

    I think the EVEL thing was pure Crosby. He is noted for the “wedge strategy” – i.e. exploiting divisions in the opposition – but I doubt that even the man himself expected it to work as well as it has.

    I have always thought that a Gove is something like the “Borogove” from Caroll’s Jabberwocky -” a thin shabby-looking bird with its feathers sticking out all round, something like a live mop”.

  5. 07052015
    ‘Just watched Coalition -relies more on the Adonis book version of events rather than Laws book.In particular makes it clear Clegg made brown a red line.
    So he must know whats coming if Labour is largest party.
    Harman far more involved than I reckon she was.Ashdown more sceptical than maybe he was.Miliband seen but not heard.Balls just a bruiser.
    March 29th, 2015 at 11:45 pm’

    I enjoyed the programme, hard to know for certain how true it was to events but it felt right and was a gripping programme, even though we knew what the outcome was. Also felt most of the main players came out of it with some degree of sympathy at the end. I am not a fan of Clegg but could see the real issues he had to contend with, similar for Brown and Cameron. Even Mandelson, wonderfully played by Gatiss, dripping with slime, came across as a very human person.

  6. With eleven days to go to the nomination deadline it appears that the parties are still working toward a full slate in England:

    Conservative 532
    Labour 530
    UKIP 526
    LD 525
    Green 498


    SNP 59
    Labour 59
    Conservative 59
    LD 59
    UKIP 37
    SGP 31


    Labour 40
    Conservative 40
    UKIP 39
    Plaid Cymru 39
    Green 34

    I’ll wait to see the results of the April 2nd seven party and April 16th five party opposition debate and wonder if Clegg has made the right call to only appear April 2nd and April 30th.

  7. Should say about the full Welsh that all the changes from the last poll by the same company (YouGov / ITV) are very small.

    What it does confirm though is that Labour have stopped the decline in their rating that had gone on for the last couple of years. They were polling at about 50% early in the Parliament and were starting to drop into the 30s, but that has now stopped and appears to be slightly reversing.

    It doesn’t imply huge changes in seats from 2010. Labour picking up a couple in the Cardiff area and the Tories gaining one from the Lib Dems.

  8. @ Simon
    “About 99% of the readers commenting on the latest ComRes poll over on MailOnline appear to think the poll was rigged!”

    99% of Mail Online readers commenting that the latest ComRes poll was rigged are idiots.

    You have two options as I see it.

    a) There is the advice from Anthony – listen to it, ignore the idiots and you will learn something.
    b) Ignore Anthony, listen to Mail Online commentators & risk becoming one of the idiots – it’s your choice.

  9. James

    Thanks for the Welsh poll link.

    Judging by Roger Scully’s previous blog, [1] where he used the constituency data from YG, the “might hope” tag still applies to the Lib Dems in Wales clinging on in a seat.

    With the even greater collapse in Scotland, and what I understand to be in a poor position to withstand Lab in the North the LDs look like becoming just a small regional party in the south of England.


  10. Re Welsh Poll

    Worth remembering re the Welsh poll that the way UNS works projections based on UNS will keep predicting a Lib Dem hold of Ceredigion no matter how low the Lib Dem vote falls nationally so long as PC stay static nationally.

    I still think looking at the assembly numbers and those saying they will consider Voting Plaid that there is a fight on in Ceredigion between Plaid and Lib Dems.

  11. Bramley

    “There is the advice from Anthony – listen to it, ignore the idiots and you will learn something.”

    Wise advice. Most of us who have followed Anthony for some years have learned an enormous amount.

    However, we retain our innate capacity for idiocy. It’s just that instead of being an ignorant idiot, I’m now a reasonably well-informed idiot! :-)

  12. @Prof Howard

    Being in control of Conservative Party strategy has no bearing on how people respond at the polls. He can try to woo voters with various tactics, but he doesn’t get to *decide* how they respond, or the precise timing of a ‘crossover’.

    Moreover, Crosby has been feeding the media with predictions of a crossover month after month – and it hasn’t happened yet. It’s pure spin.

  13. @James

    Thanks for the link to the Wales poll. No signs of swingback there.

  14. @ Prof Howard,

    He seems to have decided to have the cross-over late this time

    I remember in 2005, when he also decided to leave the crossover until very late in the campaign…

    @ Alan,

    The 14-day clock only begins ticking once a vote of confidence has been tabled and lost. The government could have a Queen’s Speech and a Budget voted down and still survive unless an actual motion of confidence has been tabled.

    With Bercow in his current mood I assume absolutely everyone will to be allowed to table a confidence motion against Cameron the second his arse hits the Speaker’s Chair, so it’s sort of a non-issue, but technically that’s the answer.

  15. Do you think that Conservative vote distribution might be becoming more “efficient”?
    I mean, is it possible that Tories are primarily losing votes to UKIP where they have a large lead (and where there is limited risk of Labour takeover) while possibly gaining ground in Con-Lab marginals?

  16. @ Roger Mexico,

    I think most of the backbenchers think he’s a pompous tit, but he’s their pompous tit. Which he is. Although the Good Governance crowd (Bryant, Bone, Carswell, Goldsmith, Flynn et al.) adore him.

    What’s interesting is that Gove ever thought he could get away with this. I could have predicted a Boneite rebellion over this vote, so it’s strange he couldn’t. Oh Govey. Labour will miss him when he’s replaced as Chief Whip.

    @ Postageincluded,

    Personally as regards Bercow I wonder whether Dave was involved. I suspect Gove has gone feral.

    He was involved enough to rush back from Coventry just to vote in it. And I doubt William Hague takes his orders from Gove. They were, to coin a phrase, all in it together.

    While we’re on the topic of the failed Bercow coup, let us pay a special tribute to the genius on the Conservative benches who confused his left and his right and shouted “You won’t be doing that in a month!” after Bercow called for order to announce the vote. That guy is not going to be called to speak for a while…

  17. @ Marco Faraci,

    While this is conceivable, there’s no evidence of it in the Ashcroft polling as far as I can tell. Seat-by-seat effects seem pretty random- sometimes Ukip takes more from the Tories, sometimes from Labour- and the swing averages out to the national swing.

    If you take the view that the Conservatives have so alienated their CDE swing voters that there would be no swingback in this election cycle even if Ukip were eliminated, then it’s possible Ukip is acting like a sponge and absorbing discontent that would otherwise go to Labour. (I think this is true to a certain extent.) But this is all handwavey hypothetical stuff, and it doesn’t create the difference between national and constituency VIs that you’re looking for.

    The Ashcroft polls may be wrong, of course.

  18. In terms of UKIP support I observe that the six most recent pollster average is 14.5%, that the four pollsters before the Clacton and Heywod and Middleton by-elections averaged 15.8% and that the three pollsters before the Rochester and Strood by-election averaged 16%.

    So yes UKIP is down 1.3% to 1.5%, since those by-elections last fall, but does that mean you can count them out?

    They have, for example, been running third in Wales since May of 2014 and are currently only .3% lower than their four poll average for 2015.

    Once again, however, we have another national poll showing that LD is shattered at 24.9% of the 2010 Wales election results.

    As someone correctly observed there is no “swingback” in Wales and if there is no “swingback” in Scotland – is there really “swingback” in England?

    It really troubles me that every time we see larger sample national and London polls that “swingback” just is not a factor at all.

  19. The Welsh poll is very similar to those we’ve been having for a while. if there is a trend to make out it’s that Labour’s drift downwards has halted and that UKIP’s rise has stuck too. Given that the Tories have been pretty resilient here pretty much since the GE it could suggest that UKIP picked up a fair amount of Labour votes some of which are now returning.

    The discrepancy that’s worth commenting on, especially as the general picture is largely unchanged for months bar tinkering with the Labour VI, is with Ashcroft; his individual constituency polls have all shown a marked increase in PC VI (all in non target seats, although one, Carmarthenshire West, may be an Assembly target) inconsistent with the national polls. Given that his polls have consistently shown this and the ITV/YG ones have not shown this I suspect one is wrong.

    Can’t help also thinking that the Green VI will be squeezed; very little on the ground here; the question is will it go Labour or PC?

    @NorthumbrianScot; the assumption since the LD collapse in late 2010 is that Ceredigion is in play; smart money seems to be on a narrow LD hold but we shall see.

    However big picture here is, again not much change; I’d guess 2 Lab gains here (Cardiff N and Central); not sure Roger Williams will lose Brecon as predicted and probably not much change elsewhere.

  20. ON – I expect none of us on here are Idiots as we are all interested in politics.

  21. The rise of the SNP has had no impact or benefit for PC in Wales where they must be hugely disappointed with their polling.

  22. New ComRes/ITV poll for London

    CON 32
    LAB 46
    LIB 8
    UKIP 9
    GRN 4

    No changes because this seems to be their first London poll

  23. @omnishambles

    That’s quite a bit better for Labour than the YouGov or ICM polling of London.

  24. Political tench warfare – very nasty – very much in the spirit of the centennial of the Great War……

  25. @james

    Yeah. Tories, UKIP and Lib Dems are polling similar to the other London polls.

    Other than Labour the only difference is a low VI for the Greens. ICM and YouGov had the Greens sometimes above the Lib Dems.

  26. London is very much larger than Scotland in population terms.

  27. According to “TSE of PB” the London poll change, compared to 2010 us as follows.

    Lab +9.4% Con -2.5% LD – 14.1% UKIP +7.3%

    Should see many new London Labour MPs and quite a few Liberal losses.

  28. Yougov and icm both had labour on 42,tories 34 and 32 .

  29. OLDNAT
    “However, we retain our innate capacity for idiocy. It’s just that instead of being an ignorant idiot, I’m now a reasonably well-informed idiot! :-)”

    Please allow room for the reasonably well informed obsessives, zealots and self-opinionated.

    Jim Jam
    Or all of us.

  30. I wonder if the Daily Mail will use this one?

  31. I was referring to the national poll of course!

  32. @ Mikey; PC may be disappointed but not sure they are that surprised; there are obvious reasons for this which include a different approach to nationalism in Wales when so many people live close to the border and are intertwined with the English economy; Wales’ well documented economic weaknesses make a “stand alone” narrative more difficult; PC’s association with language nationalism gives them a strong core but it can be hard breaking out from there. The fact that most Welsh people read English print media makes building a profile for the party more difficult and finally Welsh Labour have been much smarter than Scottish Labour (and I’ve seen enough of both to compare them) at stealing elements of the nationalists’ clothes. The fact that they so obviously agree on so many things makes it much harder for PC to launch a full frontal assault based on anything other than opportunism

  33. Latest Populus VI: Lab 34 (+1), Con 34 (+3), LD 8 (-1), UKIP 15 (-1), Greens 4 (-1), Others 5 (-1). Tables here:

    Hmmm- so evidence such that it is suggests that Yougov may have been the outlier. Populus don’t normally have them level- all eyes on Ashcroft now.

  34. @shevii

    Interesting gender split in Populus between Con and UKIP.

    Con are 31% male, 36% female = 34%

    Ukip are 19% male, 10% female = 15%

  35. If it was an outlier,from labours point of view it was a very useful one,good
    headlines over the weekend and raising doubts on whether Cameron did win
    the debates after all.Tonights You Gov will be interesting indeed.

  36. I accidently came across these ICM tables for the South West from Jan-Mar. I think Howard was looking for some more information from there

    They have a separate cross break for LD Held seats and that comes out as

    LD 36%
    Lab 23%
    Con 18%

    So Lib Dems still in the lead in their held seats

    BUT, based on a sample size in that cross break of 13, so rather meaningless if you consider the MOE on that!

    But still, I know Yougov sometimes do consolidations of their polls for the South West – a cross break by who currently holds the seat like ICM do may provide some meaningful information about Lib Dem prospects if we have a larger sample.

  37. Latest Populus:

    Con 34 (+3)
    Lab 34 (+1)
    LD 8 (-1)
    UKIP 15 (-1)

    The last twitter campaign: #cameronmustgo, resulted in the Tories drawing with labour. Now the latest one: #millibandmustwin seems to be having the same effect- tory increases

    My conclusion?

    Twitter is a total waste of time.

  38. Populous better for the Tories than Labour? They jumped 3% compared to Labours 1%.

  39. Fascinating set of polls. 24hrs on, it now seems that the ST YG was a tad premature, even though it’s result matched most commentators assessment of the debates.

    Meanwhile, an extremely good London poll for Labour, and a not more than reasonable polls for them in Wales.

    Really very engrossing, if you are into this sort of thing.

  40. Political tench warfare – very nasty

    Tench are gentle fish – now sharks or piranhas would be very nasty. Perhaps the tench could be fitted with laser beams? ;)

    More MoE variation from Populus. Polls as a whole suggest that the “debate” had little impact.

  41. Populus:

    CON 34 (+3)
    LAB 34 (+1)
    LIB 8 (-1)
    UKIP 15 (-1)
    GRN 4 (-1)

    I say squeeze it.
    Squeeze it good.

  42. Paddy A says snp coming south to burn down westminster,refers to the balkans.Will do wonders for libdem campaign in scotland.

    Livingstone says campaign for PR will take off after GE.

  43. PR: I think the AV+ that was recommended by Roy Jenkins might be a good idea.

  44. I seem to have missed Welsh poll?

  45. JIM JAM

    James put a link to the Full Welsh further up the threat.

  46. Chris in Cardiff

    Spot on in your analysis of PC in Wales.Agree with all that you say.

  47. My friend Charlie (for context, he once drew up a map of constituencies coloured by their 16-17 year old population, to explore what would happen if the voting age was lowered) has a preferred voting system which is similar to Scotland’s AMS, but with AV constituencies instead of FPTP. Probably has a name.

    Sounds good to me.

  48. That’s an excellent London poll for Labour. However two successive very good national polls for the Tories. It would be a brave person to call the General Election right now.

  49. I would be interested in whether SNP and Labour could agree to a system. I think the SNP won’t want to move away from FPTP for Westminster.

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