ComRes’s monthly poll for the Independent is out, and shows topline figures of CON 45%(+5), LAB 26%(-2), LDEM 17%(-1). Changes are from the last ComRes poll, carried out at the end of March.

The figures are almost the same as yesterday’s YouGov poll in the Sunday People. We haven’t had any post-budget figures from ICM, Populus or MORI yet, but so far it is looking as if, between the rows over MPs expenses, “smeargate” and the budget, we have seen a further shift against Labour and we are back into Tory landslide territory. Obviously there is a long way to go until a 2010 election, but the June local and European elections aren’t looking pretty for Labour.

355 Responses to “ComRes show 19 point Tory lead”

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  1. Given that we’ve now had three polls all showing Tory leads of 18/19 points when if ever would Labour feel that replacing GB is the best option especialy as that would inevitably lead to an early GE?


    After June (?defeat)?

    Party Conference in October ?

    After GE (?defeat) ?.

  2. Well I was just thinking that David. Labour is going to face a massive defeat in June and I really do wonder what Labour will do when that happens, I suspect we may start to hear rumours about “rebel” MP’s and coups etc. Of course, in reality that won’t help as when a party starts arguing, they will only fall further. This poll is dreadful for Labour (I am a supporter myself) and I am just wondering what the summer polls will show (i.e how big the tory lead)

  3. It appears that between McPoison, a budget that doesn’t add up and Brown offering MP’s 150 pounds (without receipts) just for turning up, that we’ve moved towards landslide territory. With three blunders in rapid succession, I don’t think that any pollster will ever be able to separate the effects of each blunder, but between them, the public mood has moved on.

    A lot of Labour backbenchers are going to be very worried, now. How are they going to react?

  4. Say the lead is 17-19 now all the way to the local elections, and then Labour are destroyed at the locals, and the national Tory lead is still 17-19 at that point in June with there being no reason to expect a reduction. Can GB really survive June in that case?

    Surely Labour have absolutely nothing to lose at that point forcing GB out. Even if it gets publicly very messy.

  5. Its going to get very seriously bad for Labour. I suspect the poll in June will have them at 21/22 with the Tories 50/52 then I think Brown will stand down !

  6. David D,

    If it were to happen I think it most likely to occur in the aftermath of the June elections. All of Brown’s last hopes have been exhausted; the ‘do nothing’ attack, the G20 meeting, the budget, even trying to take the initiative on MP’s expenses has backfired. There really would be nothing on the horizon for Brown to look forward to and similarly nothing for Labour MP’s to pencil in as Brown’s last chance. So if it were to happen then I suspect they would replace him over the summer and attempt to start again with the October Party Conference.

    That said this is probably one of those situations in which what the Party feels obliged to do will either make no difference or make it worse. Can you imagine the reaction of the public to a governing Party which changes its leader during a recession? Not good I’m guessing.

  7. I think a 27% average opinion poll rating could very well lead to a disastrous sub-20% showing in the Euro elections. Labour could sink below 10% in a region like the South East with ratings like this.

    The Tories won’t poll 50% in the Euro elections because of support for minor parties. A score in the high 30s would be a good result for them.

  8. Don’t forget, so long as he is PM and hasn’t been booted out as leader he can ask for a dissolution. If it gets really bad for him best thing he can do is hold that threat over his party (turkeys and Christmas) resign in Oct/Nov (“Only fair to young family” “More to life than politics”). At least then he wouldn’t have been defeated.

  9. It has been clear for months that Gordon Browns Labour Party have been well out of touch with the electorate. The Conservatives faced the same problem after their last stint in power. This time I sense there is a real feel that the country has been let down by mismanagement. I live in the centre of Sunderland and have many friends from all political persuasions but I believe there is now a real change of opinion happening with many previous anti Tory voters listening to David Cameron and their candidate for Sunderland Central Lee Martin with increasing enthusiasm, something I never dreamed of happening in Werside. It is up to the Conservatives now, play their cards right and according to tonights poll , Electoral Calculus suggests Sunderland Central will elect a Conservative MP at the next election, that indeed would be ground breaking..

  10. He will shuffle the deck chairs on the Titanic after the locals/Europeans.

  11. Just seems the polls just keep getting worse for Labour, I wonder how some of the Labour activists we sometimes witness on here will spin this?

  12. Awful poll for Labour. The local and european elections are only 5 weeks away. Short of a well dealt with national disaster I can’t think how the government is going to regain the publics favour. An absolute drubbing awaits them in May.

    @M Will the media & public except a 2nd unelected leader though, without a rapid general election? Labour could well do themselves even more damage.

    I know constitutionally they could do it, but I don’t remember a parliamentary precedent where 2 prime ministers in a succsession have not been elected.

  13. Surely the possibility would be of a November election if Brown is forced out over the summer. Can believe even Labour could run credibly longer than that with another new leader



    all in all a bad night for labour on thoes figures and don’t rule out a land slide yet to monthly predictions for april based on all polls this month is for a conservative majority of 106

  15. A repeat of last year coming up? A lovely summer for the Conservatives?
    But will Gordon Brown be able to turn things round again at party conference, saving his bacon and “looking good in a crisis” by the autumn?

  16. Andy

    really can’t believe that gordan can bounce again! Surely things are too far gone!!!

  17. Very interesting responses to my questions. Thank you all. However the next question is surely

    As GB also reads the polls and the forecasts of his own demise how will he react?

    Does this not depend on his character and how he sees his own position?

    Is he at least partly a bully? In which case might he hold the sword of a GE over his party and hope its effective and things will improve by the Autumn?

    Is he rather more a schemer? In which case might he call a GE now (4th June) and bring down with him his detractors, very many of whom will lose their seats and unlike him be without both a substantial income and a realistic way forward in career terms?

    Not an enviable choice but the options on a GE this year would seem to be shortening!

  18. @Andy – dead cats bounce, but surely not once they’ve rotted away

  19. Does anyone know if there will be a market for GB to do after dinner speaking or is there a different role he would take on once booted out?

  20. Sorry maybe wasnt clear in my earlier posting, if you put in to the Electoral Calculus web sites prediction option Sunderland Central on tonights voting intentions would give Wearside a Conservative MP.

  21. If, and I do mean IF things still look this bad in the summer, then the possibility of a leadership election is possible. Here’s how they’d manage it:

    1. Brown would resign on health grounds, siting his increasing vision problems. Not made up, he really is going blind as various comment pieces have pointed out over the last few years.
    2. Leadership contest run at party conference a la Tories.
    3. New leader says election will be April 22nd – earlier election would be bad for democracy due to low turnout caused by weather.
    4. 6 months of Labour trying to find a narrative to whittle down the Tory lead. They’re going to need someone who can attack Cameron’s “Age of Austerity” who can point out that its only austerity for the working man as the well off will still get their IHT cut and pledge to drop the 50p etc etc

    In all honesty it won’t do any good. I look at Cameron now and ask can he do any more damage to the country that Labour will have to do post election, and find myself struggling.

  22. Brown shambles on Expenses reform.

    Byers going for the jugular.& calling for “clarity” over Labour’s future.

    The Polls could get worse for Labour if this escalates.

  23. “The Government of the living dead”.

    It seems to have resonance because it sums up what people see every night on the news.

    I would be interested to hear from any Labour insiders as to the true picture of Labours view of Brown.

    From the outside it looks very much like the fall of Berlin in 1945. A leader who is determind to take the country and his party to total destruction because he can’t see that he is the problem and there is lack of impetus to remove him.

    I would also be interested if anyone has any predictors of turnout as it will need to be big for a landslide.

  24. As a Labour man I can’t help but laugh. Brown’s attempt to unilaterally steamroller through half-baked reform plans for expenses was funny. Making it an issue of personal confidence was funnier. Doing so on Youtube was so nuts as to be hilarious.

    If the game is up – and I still think there’s time for things to swing considering how volatile the polls are – then Labour should go for what they believe in. Which is why the budget was such a huge disappointment. £3bn to hit the child poverty target, to make it something very difficult for the Tories to scrap, would have been small change. Yet not a word was spoken of what had been a decade-long crusade.

  25. @chris northwest

    I agree. I think the mood of the country in general is showing definite signs that they want to give this government a proper kicking. Just listen to the tone of question time and other current affairs programs, interviews with the “man on the street”, talking to people in pubs and the almost universal disdain in the media.

    1997’s figures are the best indicator of likely turnout at a GE I should think.

    Brown in his bunker sums it up.

  26. Weighted Moving Average still 43:28:19 though the CLead is now 16 up from 14 due to rounding (really 15.5 up from 14.4). It’s clear that the ICM Guardian Poll was cloud cuckoo land – the Retrospective error was -6.6. The WMA CLead is higherst since 25/9/08.

    I still think it will get much worse for Labour and is terminal for Brown, but we will have to see. Events, dear boy ….

  27. How will the swine flu play out. Is it a chance for him to be a man of action and show leadership like the bounce last year?

  28. @Ian – that decade long crusade has got to have been the worst campaign in history. With the waste alone from other project (for example ID cards) labour could have (if it actually had the political will to do it) bought children out of poverty. Instead they looked at stats and trialed a few things and brought in a few partners and achieved little actual benefit to the many – sure some children did better, but many more were left with nothing. The thought that in this their final budget they could have put a political ruingfence around some money should have been the least they could do. I hope for all our sakes that the tories step up and actually take this cause and make it their own and I really do think that DC has the principles (at least in this area before anyone else argues) to do the right thing.

  29. Do we really think that Labour can change leader yet again without calling a General Election?

    I don’t….. If GB goes then Labour will have no authority to govern in my view and public pressure will force an election.

  30. @M funny I was just discussing that and we are shocked that he is again missing this opportunity to act. He failed to act quickly in the gloucester floods and it appears he will be late to the party on this (WHO just increased the rating for the to level 4)

  31. I suppose the biggest decider of the next election will be,

    If your a non voter does the certain prospect of the countries finances in meltdown motivate you to vote.

    More didn’t vote than voted for Labour last time, will that change due to the complete economic disaster we are headed to?

  32. I think Labour have got to leave it as late as possible (Sep/Oct) and then go for a quick GE with a new fresh leader – the only options that might save a few seats are Alan Johnson or relative unknowns like Jon Cruddas or John Denham. Brown and Labour blew their chance of victory in 2007, what a mistake that is looking now.

    The next mistake would be to install someone like Ed Balls or Jack Straw. Gordon Brown seems determined to destroy the Labour party – he has bullied his way to the top, ignoring members, so I doubt he will listen now. The only way to get rid is a bloody battle – are Labour MPs up for it? Surely with these poll figures they should be, but I have been saying that for a while now and still they are spineless.

  33. Is this it for politics in Britain now?

    Step 1: Vote in new party due to hatred of current government that has become too used to power.
    Step 2: Re-elect new party as things seem to be going OK.
    Step 3: Re-elect party again because, whilst thing’s are starting to look bad, this lot can’t be worse than the previous party we voted out in step 1.
    Step 4: Realise that the incumbant party are a bunch of corrupt, incompetent career politicians who are so full of hubris they deserve to be publicly humiliated by a crushing defeat in the polls.
    Step 5: See Step 1.

  34. Stuart Gregory,
    You say the swing is 8.9%. ?
    How do you justify that please but then I am not an expert – just a poll watcher addict!
    I thought it was nearer 11% but what figures do you use? I thought at the last election it was 35 – 32?
    Or do I have to involve the Lib Dems?

  35. in terms of the local elections in june, i think the labour party will do very baly in deed and could lose scores of county seats to he tories the key coutys to look out for are derbyshire if the tories take this labour cankiss th election good by, nottinghamshire could go to the tories with a medimum swing as there are lots of marginal seats in the central part of nottinghamshire, lancashire if the tories win this its over ad labour may not get over 200 seats at the 2010 polls, also to take into acount is that the likely hood is on the same day as the genral there could also be locals as well so another drubing is on the cards for that night so all to do for labour as there poll rating slumps more and more and more…………………………………

  36. laz henson, i work on a monthly base with every poll for that month i.e every poll in april ect, ect.

  37. This poll really does re-enforce a sense of “living dead” to this government; I honestly feel like it is 1996 all over again- and the longer the government hold off the G.E. the more unpopular they are getting as people simply want to vote for “change” or simply give them a kicking. Rightly or wrongly.

    The Conservatives are now enjoying growing support in the North, Wales and even in Scotland they are getting above 20%- recently getting 21%, its our best performance in 15 years in a Scot poll. Still, only seeing 6 MPs from Scotland however- much more to be done by D.C in the outer regions (I mean outside midlands) if he wants to see a strong majority with a representative mandate for the whole of the country.

  38. Stuart Gregory,
    I can understand that but surely not good to include a result from 4th April – which appears to be bogey?

  39. i count no poll as a bogey, or to put it the same way as i did to a committee member last night “if it costs that much it cost that much i exspect to be paid” in polling tems that means if a poll say “A” has a 8pts lead but another poll say “A” has a 15pts lead the average of that is an 11.5% lead and thats that the average of all polls is the monthly average not just discarding polls beacuse there not wat we want them to say.

  40. Ah! I see, an 8.9% swing on Aprils average polling. I was going to say, in agreement with Laz, that the swing for this poll is over 11% from the last election.

    It’s all going swimmingly as far as I can see. Still got Byers to go in the media in coming days and hopefully, nearer the elections, Browns jowly mumbling and overexagerated fake smiling on TV to scare off a few more punters!

    I realise how partisan I sound but I will say one thing for Labour, they’re good for a laugh.

  41. It does remind of the last 2-3 years of the last Conservative government doesn’t it? Or is it worse, since we are in a nasty recession and back then things were getting slowly and steadly better.

    At the moment the government seems quite paralyzed – unable to take decisive action in case it upsets any of the small number who still believe in it.

  42. That swing of Liberal to Conservative ought to worry many Liberal MPs right now- and can anyone tell me the swing average of labour to liberal? (given that the only way the liberals can avoid seeing their number halve they need to get labour hits)?

  43. There’s a slight similarity to last year.
    Slightly stronger opinion poll ratings at the start of the year for the government seemed particularly undone by the budget (or rather the previous year’s budget in force).

  44. The only way, as has been said, that Labour can avoid a total disaster come election night is (and I say it with disappointment as a Labour supporter) to get rid of Gordon. get someone like Alan Johnson in charge and then call the election right away. I am sad that Gordon Brown doesn’t seem to realise that he is not appealing to people and many good MP’s will lose their seats. That’s the saddest thing, due to his decisions etc, many able MP’s who really care about Labour and really want to make a difference to the lives of their constituents are likely to lose their jobs, that’s what upsets me. A year ago I supported GB during those bad summer polls, this time I wont and I am sure many Labour supporters feel the same. I can’t see the polls improving, and clearly the public aren’t happy. It wasn’t meant to end like this for Labour….

  45. Jack, I’d suggest former foreign affairs sec. Jak Straw- he’s the most popular replacement for Brown apparently (from opinion polls a long while back I think)- even so, he only managed 24%

  46. Labour’s best chance may be to pick a new Labour and immediately go for an election to capitalise on what would surely be an extremely short honeymoon period. But no-one has the guts to oust Brown, and he himself is intent on fighting the next election which he alone believes he can win.

  47. Jack R

    I don’t see a Labour way out of this. The amount of debt that Gordon has run up can only be reversed with major pain.

    If you turn around to all of the electorate that have believed in Labour through the last 12 year and inflict “Tory Cuts” on them then you would be toast for eternity.

    Labour needs a period of oposition blaming the nasty tory’s for cutting services. Once the Tory’s are hated for the pain as in the 80’s then you may have a chance again. Although this could easly be counter with Labour Government give the British economy Cancer but the Tory’s are blaimed for administering Chemo.

    There is also a problem with this as the Labour Government ‘s alway run out money is a major hit as it is back up by history.

    We are in for interesting times.

  48. Chris Northwest,

    I fear you are correct. There will always be the next inexperienced, ignorant younger generation prepared to give Labour a go. The five year olds of today who in 13 years will be ready to vote and who have only ever known a Tory government.

    And whilst they can read the history of all the Labour borrowing/spending/debt disasters over the decades, they havent actually *experienced* it. And just in time to ensure we dont ever truly get ahead as a nation, in Labour will come to once again build up crippling, generation destroying debts.

    Its really up to the 20-35 year olds of today to educate their children Re: Labour. But then we all think we know better than our parents at 18 so who knows how effective that would be.

  49. The June elections will be bad but that’s not the end of it. In July MPs’ detailed expenses get published. That could be far worse. The papers are already dropping hints of what we can expect to read about – holiday homes put on expenses, 4 TVs bought and charged within 4 years – and many MPs are believed to be fearing for their jobs. If ministers are involved, which is likely, that could be catastrophic.

    They probably should get rid of Brown but the problem is if they changed leader twice within a term, the pressure from the media and the public to call an election would be huge. They have no legal obligation to call one but they’d be an enormously unpopular government running with a second “unelected” leader. They would either have to call one, knowing they’d lose, or risk growing even more hated and facing a bigger wipeout next Spring.

  50. “@M funny I was just discussing that and we are shocked that he is again missing this opportunity to act. He failed to act quickly in the gloucester floods and it appears he will be late to the party on this (WHO just increased the rating for the to level 4)”

    Well, maybe its actually a good thing he is not trying to take advantage. I mean honestly, everything he touches at the moment seems to end in disaster. I have only just now heard his comment that led to the supposed snub in Pakistan. And well, I think *that* comment was an attempt for him to sound statesman like and like a brave strong leader and look what happened.

    “Im here in the crucible of terror.” LOL. I mean honestly. “Im here”??? Talk about trying to sound like a hero.

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