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. Another personal attack on EM by DC .Defo high risk in civilised england but maybe aussies like this stuff.

    Be interesting how miliband responds and how the other parties play it.

  2. One interesting thought is the continuing Greek Tragedy.

    Unless the ECB relents, it’s likely Greece will run out of money on April 9th. Cue financial chaos, market meltdown etc etc.

    ‘It’s an uncertain world’ looks a good message against this backdrop, especially if Cons came reinvigorate the ghost of 2010 with the ‘we don’t to be like Greece’ refrain.

  3. James Peel
    Agreed, as it stands the only pollster I take genuinely seriously is YouGov, it would take about ten polls from Ashcroft showing healthy Tory leads for me to believe things have moved in the Tories favour. Unless of course Ashcroft shows a Labour lead in which case all is forgiven, lol joke.

  4. The FT have a nice election page

    http://elections.ft.com/uk/2015/projections

  5. Unicorn
    Thanks for yr post at 1.12 pm. Indeed, my thanks to you and several others who analyse the polling data.

    I have been thinking about the potential effect on Lab VI of EM’s popularity improvement. Assuming that his unpopularity has previously been factored into past Lab VI figures, any improvement should lead to a commensurate improvement in Lab VI. Well, at least that’s the theory…If it doesn’t happen, should we assume that EM’s unpopularity didn’t affect Lab VI?

  6. @ Omni

    Interesting! They appear to think that the LDP will hang on to half its seats in Scotland.

    The Scots will have to tell us how credible they think that.

  7. National Con to Lab swing since 2010 is about 8%, giving the current neck-and-neck picture.

    This latest Wales poll has only 5% Con to Lab swing, and Scotland we know is far less than that – must effectively be Lab to Con swing with the scale of lost Lab support.

    Latest London poll is about 8% swing, in line with national polls. Ashcroft marginal polling shows swing in the marginals about 8%, in line with national polls.

    So where are Lab outperforming the national Con to Lab swing to make up for Wales &Scotland? Improving turnout in their safe seats? Or showing a flicker of life (if not seat-winning life) in parts of the country where the Libs had replaced them as the non-Tory option?

  8. Unicorn

    To tackle this I have taken records of the YouGov/Sunday Times leadership % figures (GOOD job and BAD job) from the first poll in 2014 up to and including yesterday’s poll. (I couldn’t extract enough detail from their recently tweeted graph, so I went back to the original pdf files).

    I hate to break this to you:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/j9hk9ld35z/YG-Archives-Pol-Trackers-Leaders-Approval-280315.pdf#page=6

    (I assume from the word ‘files’ that you went back to each week’s ST poll)

    I agree completely with rest of your comment – there is real movement and this is Miliband’s best score for over a year, but the media did seem to have gone a bit mad on it. Which I suppose compensates for their insanity in the opposite direction for most of the last four and a half years.

    The tracker files are actually very useful, but you do sometimes need to root around as one file may contain several questions and it’s not always obvious what is where.

  9. @Pete B

    If that’s the case, folk who would tend towards Lib Dem and folk who tend towards UKIP must have a similar view of Europe and the EU…

  10. I held the view that GB’s unpopularity cost Lab the equivalent of some 3% in VI. But I don’t recall seeing any analysis of how much Lab lost because of GB in 2010.

    Will EM’s regained / renewed popularity bring a 3% boost to Lab VI?

  11. @little red rock

    I should have mentioned, they take those forecasts from ElectionForecast. It’s not a new projection, but I like it because they list all the marginal constituencies and interesting places to follow.

    I think the Economist have the best data hub:

    http://www.economist.com/uk2015data

    You could spend hours playing with all those charts

  12. On the question of DC etc being nasty to EM, and how Lab and EM should respond.

    EM and Lab should rise above it and focus on Lab policies, the Con record and Con policies current and going forward. However, EM and Lab should repeat that this is what they are doing.

  13. Eddie
    ‘National Con to Lab swing since 2010 is about 8%, giving the current neck-and-neck picture.

    This latest Wales poll has only 5% Con to Lab swing, and Scotland we know is far less than that – must effectively be Lab to Con swing with the scale of lost Lab support.

    Latest London poll is about 8% swing, in line with national polls. Ashcroft marginal polling shows swing in the marginals about 8%, in line with national polls’

    In each case the swing is half the figures you have stated. Effectively it is calulated by taking the change in party lead and then dividing that figure by two. Thus, in Wales the Labour lead over the Tories in today’s poll is 5% higher than in 2010 – representing a swing of 2.5% from Con To Lab.

  14. whereas the last election was all about Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems I increasingly think this election is all about the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon. I had thought that it would be all about UKIP but there doesnt seem the momentum behind them that there is with the SNP.

    It is the SNP seats that will decide this election. The better they do then the harder the election is to call.

    the other issue that interests me is the BBC debate minus Clegg & Cameron. I just don’t understand this. To be invisible to the electorate a couple of weeks before polliing day is a pretty risky strategy. I can only imagine that they thought Ed Miliband would cause his own downfall. If he performs as well as he did last week then I think that the Tories have a problem..

  15. Steve
    “If he performs as well as he did last week then I think that the Tories have a problem..”

    Which may explain DC’s recent personalised attacks, some might think?

  16. Graham – point taken. Same question for national swing of 4%, Wales swing of 2.5% and Scotland whatever the Lab to Con swing is!

  17. Steve,

    I think Ed will be the target for the other 4 “opposition” parties. He could get duffed up pretty badly. Although Paxo tried and didn’t score many hits.

    Now that I think about it this gives Farage an opportunity to attack Cameron at the seven hander and then have a crack at Ed in the five hander. But Ed will have had the chance to measure Farage’s style and tactics and he might do better than DC.

    I wonder if DC’s team thought this through when they agreed.

  18. @steve
    partially agree with you in terms of seats.yet with UKIP’S high poll rating and most coming from Con.Whilst it may not amount to seats,their share in the marginals will also have a big affect in Labour taking advantage.
    So I thing the UKIP vote share will be crucial for who wins

  19. @LRR

    I think if the FT offered Sturgeon 36 seats today she’d shake on it.

  20. @RM

    I hate to break this to you:

    Curses! It took me an hour to extract those figures individually.

    I can’t see how to reach this tracker file from the YouGov homepage. On the RHS of the page I am offered a lift of four different tracker files (not including this one). Are there ways of accessing an expanded list of such files?

  21. @LRR

    Why on earth did Clegg agree to be left out of the 5 leaders debate? In fact why did DC and Clegg agree to it? Seems a big miscalculation

  22. @Bramley

    The difference with Jim Murphy is that he has announced in advance that he is leaving to do another job in a years time.

    If I was interviewing someone for a job and they said they planned to apply for another job in a years time I wouldn’t think it unreasonable to ask if they were planning on doing both jobs simultaneously or if they’d be resigning from the job I was offering them.

    If he can’t answer that question I don’t see why I should vote for him.

  23. Spearmint

    I think most of the backbenchers think [Bercow is] 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.

    That’s all true. Though I suppose you have to be a bit of a pompous tit to be Speaker in the first place, otherwise all that gold braid and William Morris wallpaper would drive you mad.

    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.

    I presume he thought that he would have enough support from the payroll vote and the implicit three-line whip to over-ride the usual awkward squad because much of the non-Tory opposition would have left for electoral business. Hence the last minute surprise of it.

    The Public Whip analysis is now up:

    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-03-26&number=188

    and shows that the Tory rebels weren’t that numerous (23), vocal and well-informed though they may have been. What defeated the motion was that Labour actually manged to round up a lot more people than expected. Their turnout was actually slightly greater than the Conservatives managed, possibly helped by Bercow taking lots of emergency questions while the troops were rounded up on Thursday morning. I also suspect that many shamefaced Tories sneaked away, unable to support the leadership but unwilling to offend them. Together will most of the Lib Dems there voting against (10 to 4, so much for Clegg’s backing) and a little bit of minor Party support, it was enough to defeat the government by 26 votes.

    As cunning plans go, the whole episode was more Baldrick than Machiavelli. I also wonder if even many of those MPs who did back it ended up feeling both irritated and slightly dirty about the whole thing. It all seems a lot of work to keep Nadine Dorries happy, even if it had succeeded.

  24. @Little Red Rock

    I think the FT “projection” is only talking about the LD losing four seats out of the four they have handpicked. They are also saying that Labour will hold five out of the 27 they have selected.

    I don’t see any clear guidance as to how the other 32 seats in Scotland will go, except that the projection says 36 in total for the SNP.

  25. MIBRI

    You need to be careful when you talk about UKIP VI coming from the Conservatives (or Labour for that matter).

    Given their high score, the fact that the Tories are down about 2-3% on their 2010 score would suggest that UKIP voters tended not to be Conservative or Labour in 2010. It looks as though some of their VI is from ex-Lib Dem too.

    This distinction is important in guessing whether they are going to move to Con (or Lab) before polling day. If my suspicion that they are long-term disillusioned voters is correct, then it would make it seem unlikely that their VI will unwind much.

  26. As Omni says, it appears to just be a lift of Election Forecast. Who are saying 2 LD holds at present (Kennedy and Carmichael).

  27. @Unicorn

    Curses! It took me an hour to extract those figures individually.
    ______________________

    Apologies, I thought you would see it. Attached to the twitter feed graph I sent there was a link to the story on the Yougov website, and in the story there is a link to the pdf that Roger sent.

    You can generally find the yougov trackers by looking in archive.

  28. Unicorn

    You need to go to the Archive:

    https://yougov.co.uk/publicopinion/archive/

    click on the Menu button (three horizontal lines – sometimes you just want to kill all graphic designers) and then use the Filter button(s). There is a Category called ‘Political Trackers” and this is in the file marked ‘Party Leaders Approval’, though other related questions are in ‘Party Leaders Perceptions’.

  29. @Couper

    You know Nicola better than I. But If I were her, 36 seats would be at the bottom of my expectation range. 45 for the 45 would be my battle cry!

  30. @Hawthorn,I don’t have any reason to dispute what you are alluding to.All I can say is those I have spoken to are disaffected tories as those they are speaking to.
    Time will tell

  31. NorthumbrianScot
    “The difference with Jim Murphy is that he has announced in advance that he is leaving to do another job in a years time.

    If he can’t answer that question I don’t see why I should vote for him.”

    So according to you, he:

    “has announced in advance that he is leaving to do another job in a years time”

    but then you say:

    “If he can’t answer that question I don’t see why I should vote for him.”

    Which is it ? It can’t be both !

    However you decide to vote is entirely your own business but at least be honest with yourself & don’t try blaming JM for telling you something you don’t want to hear.

  32. Bramley,

    I think NS’s question was:

    “Are you going to quit or do both?”

  33. @Roger Mexico

    Thanks for the correction.

    I should have checked rather than relying on memory, yes, Jonathan Evans did hold the seat from 1992 to 1997, elected on a majority of 130 and a turnout pushing 86%! The Lib Dems have held it since with variable majorities and a declining turnout.

    I had seen the Ashcroft poll, but noted that it was at or around the UKIP high watermark following the post-defection by-elections so to an extent thought the numbers would have declined slightly since then of their own accord.

    Agreed that the LibDems have as much to gain from any further decline in the UKIP vote as the Conservatives, but have a sense it may not be as straightforward as the figures first suggest.

    My theory, very difficult to prove or disprove from polling, is that this UKIP VI may comprise of a significant number of the ABT tactical voters who have previously kept the LibDem MPs in Westminster.

    In a way these are the ‘red-Kippers’ which people talk about in the north of England, socio-economically the south of the constituency, on the fringe of the former Welsh coal field, has much in common with these Northern English seats.

    The Labour VI has also been in long-term decline in the constituency from 34.4% in 1987 to 10.4% in 2010. In the absence of wholesale demographic change, it would seem at least possible that these ‘Labour votes’ continue to be ‘lent’ to the LibDems and for a while have ‘gone over’ to UKIP.

    As such for the LibDems to win these votes ‘back’ from UKIP may be a question of convincing ABT voters to give them another chance, rather than enticing back committed LibDem voters.

    The other factor worth bearing in mind is that the most ‘electable’ party, the LibDems with ‘only’ 47% discounting voting for them (48% say no to the Conservatives) is not a world away from the least electable: Plaid Cymru with 57% ruling them out (Labour are on 55%, UKIP on 53%). Making this much more of a multi-party marginal in sentiment than the most recent GE result would lead one to believe.

    On your points that the squeezing of Greens and Plaid are crucial, this has always happened in the past as the race coalesces around a 2/3 horse race, so I would assume that it may well do again and the party most able to do this will have a greater chance of success. I would have to say that this looks more favourable to the LibDems.

    UKIP will have done themselves no favours by bringing in an outsider, or even imposing a local candidate of their choosing, as you say this is not a good look in any rural area, especially in a County where party politics is a newish and unsuccessful innovation in local government.

    One last caveat based on personal experience which – memory lapses above excepted – was quite extensive, is that the constituency effectively operates as a series of disparate politically entities separated by sizeable distances, quite like some Scottish seats. I can quite imagine pollsters having a difficult time constructing a truly representative sample here.

    Finally, apologies for going on at length about a single seat, but in a sense it was to acknowledge the added layer of complexity UKIP brings to lots of LibDem / Conservative marginals, and to affirm my view that the LibDems still face the same challenge of bringing together an ABT coalition if they are to hold seats like Brecon and Radnor and that this may be more difficult after 5 years in government.

    A challenge, but not insurmountable, perhaps.

  34. Still think the result in Scotland will make no difference as to who forms the next Government, at most it may decide if Labour is a minority Government. If the SNP vote does reflect the current polls then they will have most of the MP’s in Scotland, but they will not bring down a Labour Government.
    Who forms the next Government will largely be decided in England. The only way the conservatives can form the next Government, either a minority or majority one, is decidedly beat Labour there. At the moment there is no signs of this happening

  35. PI/Spearmint

    Thanks for answer re: resignation vs vote of no confidence.

    Sounds like it would be a case of “I have to stay here until those two do a deal”.

    If they can’t do a deal before parliament opens, I guess there will be a vote of no confidence and they’ll have 14 days to do a deal or go back to the country. If Labour don’t budge, I suspect the SNP would rather there not be an election but be quite happy to vote down everything until Lab/Con had to work together on a vote of no confidence/there shall be an election.

  36. MIBRI

    I think there will be lots of ex-Tory and ex-Labour voters in the UKIP VI, but my hunch is that a lot of them will not have voted for either of those parties in 2010.

    A positive aspect of UKIP is that they do seem to be enthusing people to vote.

  37. So day one… my doormat was thick with leaflets from Lib Dem and Conservatives and my email inbox had my first direct email from my current lib dem MP. It seems David Cameron even felt called upon to write to me personally :)

    Learned one interesting and relevant point out of the whole lot. Decided I might use any election paperwork to make something out of papier mache.

  38. @Hawthorn,yes I do agreed,they have engaged a lot of people and that can only be a good thing.

  39. Catoswyn
    Perhaps you should make one of these – http://paper-design.wonderhowto.com/how-to/make-origami-spinning-top-0149564/ – you could have a spinning top made out of some top spin!

  40. @Hawthorn

    Given their high score, the fact that the Tories are down about 2-3% on their 2010 score would suggest that UKIP voters tended not to be Conservative or Labour in 2010. It looks as though some of their VI is from ex-Lib Dem too.

    It is probably not necessary to speculate and draw inferences on such matters. The Britsh Election Study has very recently published rather detailed breakdowns of where each party’s current support has come and also where their 2010 supporters have ended up.

    This distinction is important in guessing whether they are going to move to Con (or Lab) before polling day. If my suspicion that they are long-term disillusioned voters is correct, then it would make it seem unlikely that their VI will unwind much.

    The BES graphics show that Ukip’s current support comes from Con (vs Lab) in the ratio approx 4:1. But as you say this doesn’t mean that they will all go back ‘home’ on May 7. So, we can’t assume there will be. 4:1 gain for the Tories (cf Lab) if Ukip VI falls away.

    An analysis I posted about a week ago [1] suggested that ‘mobile’ ( as opposed to now committed) Ukip supporters may favour Tories in the ratio 2:1, and so I would suggest that this is a better ratio to work with in such calculations.

    [1] My calculation was based on a linear regression analysis with Ukip VI as the dependent variable and Labour’s margin over the Tories as an independent variable. The best fit showed that a one-point drop in Ukip VI was associated with (from memory) a 0.26 point rise in the Labour. This would occur if 64% or the drop went to Labour and the rest to the Tories or – if 20% went elsewhere that would leave 53% for Labour & 27% for the Tories.

  41. @Unicorn

    “The whole programme was awash with references to a ‘flat’ start to the Tory campaign, criticism of Cameron allowing discussion to focus on leadership changes, and talk of a “spring in the step” for Labour.”

    For what it’s worth, my reading of this discussion, was that it was broader than simply the polls and referred to their ‘feeling’ of the last week probably taking into account the Cameron ‘announcement’ on leadership, the ‘failed ‘speaker coup’, ‘not debate’ and poll.

    Many of the events may not have registered for many voters or in sustained VI but would certainly have been felt intensely in the Westminster bubble which MPs and the commentariat inhabit.

    One other effect the polls may have had on the ‘flat start’ for the Conservatives is that some among their number of MPs would have had the realisation, along with their Lib Dem coalition partners that they face personal defeat in a few weeks time. The same fate awaits only a handful if any of the then sitting Labour MPs if current polls are to be believed.

  42. @Mibri, yes fair enough about the UKIP potential share of the vote. This is still the real unknown of the election – how many votes they are likely to get. At least it is looking likely that the SNP will get several more seats than previously. With UKIP I havent got a clue what is likely to happen

  43. On the canvassing question, I live in Rochester and Strood and we have had Labour round already. Hopefully means more of a fight than during the by-election.

  44. @Hawthorn

    Sorry. Repeated post to make it look the way I had intended.

    Given their high score, the fact that the Tories are down about 2-3% on their 2010 score would suggest that UKIP voters tended not to be Conservative or Labour in 2010. It looks as though some of their VI is from ex-Lib Dem too.

    It is probably not necessary to speculate and draw inferences on such matters. The Britsh Election Study has very recently published rather detailed breakdowns of where each party’s current support has come and also where their 2010 supporters have ended up.

    This distinction is important in guessing whether they are going to move to Con (or Lab) before polling day. If my suspicion that they are long-term disillusioned voters is correct, then it would make it seem unlikely that their VI will unwind much.

    The BES graphics show that Ukip’s current support comes from Con (vs Lab) in the ratio approx 4:1. But as you say this doesn’t mean that they will all go back ‘home’ on May 7. So, we can’t assume there will be. 4:1 gain for the Tories (cf Lab) if Ukip VI falls away.

    An analysis I posted about a week ago [1] suggested that ‘mobile’ ( as opposed to now committed) Ukip supporters may favour Tories in the ratio 2:1, and so I would suggest that this is a better ratio to work with in such calculations.

    [1] My calculation was based on a linear regression analysis with Ukip VI as the dependent variable and Labour’s margin over the Tories as an independent variable. The best fit showed that a one-point drop in Ukip VI was associated with (from memory) a 0.26 point rise in the Labour. This would occur if 64% or the drop went to Labour and the rest to the Tories or – if 20% went elsewhere that would leave 53% for Labour & 27% for the Tories.

  45. Could someone explain to me how P.Cymru leader Leanne Wood managed to get invited to the leaders’ debate?

    P.Cymru are a minor party even in Wales, never mind the rest of the UK and their 3 MPs (could fall to 2 at GE2015) could not hold the balance of power at Westminster even if they wanted to as the only UK party they could possibly support would be Labour.

    The DUP’s Nigel Dodds has far more right to be there than her.

  46. UNICORN

    Thanks, I had missed that. Shame that UKIP and “Other” both come out as purple in Fig 2.

    If UKIP are currently on about 15, then even if all the 2010 Conservatives returned to Conservative voting, that would only get UKIP down to about 9%-ish.

    They also have more non-2010 voters than any other party except Green. I would not be surprised if some of their ex Lib Dem vote were Labour 2005 voters.

  47. On further thought, the last sentence should read Labour 2001.

  48. @Roger Mexico

    Interesting information on the Speaker elections vote.

    The fact that more LibDems voted ‘no’ than took Clegg’s instruction might lead some to the conclusion that his authority is not what it was, though I believe it was a free vote for them.

    Just as noteworthy is that so few LibDems were actually present – three quarters of their MPs being elsewhere, presumably starting the campaign early.

  49. @RM

    Thanks for the pointers to the YouGov archives. That should save me a lot of tedious work in future.

    I am hoping that the ‘View’ versions can be dropped straight into spreadsheets.

  50. Unicorn,
    From those British election Study figures it looks as though nearly 20% of UKIP’s support comes from 2010 LibDem voters.
    Statgeek please note!
    Voters do what they like, not always what we expect. Also, many voters don’t vote on policies. Reasons can vary from “I’ve always voted this way”, to “My father always voted this way” to “I hate anyone likely to be in government, but it is my duty to vote”.

    My argument is that UKIP will pick up many of the third
    group who used to vote LibDem.

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