After the wild moves in Ipsos MORI’s last two polls, which showed the Tory lead tightening to 6 points and then spiking back to 17, we’ve almost the mirror image from ComRes. Their last poll showed a 17 point, and tomorrow they have a new poll in the Independent that shows a sharp reduction. The topline figures, with changes from their poll just over a week ago, are CON 38%(-3), LAB 29%(+5), LDEM 19%(-2).

Whereas the big movements with MORI were down to the lack of political weighting allowing a sample with a very perculiar amount of 2005 Labour voters, with ComRes my guess it is the rather more mundane explanation of a rogue poll – in hindsight the 17 point Tory lead in their last poll looks wholly anomolous, the only other pollster showing such a low Labour share of the vote was Angus Reid, who seem to consistently show a lower level of Labour support for methodological reasons. If we put ComRes’s previous poll to one side and look at the one prior to that, the shifts are far smaller, with the Conservatives up, Labour up 2 and the Lib Dems down 1 – no significant movement in itself, but chiming with the recent slight strengthening for Labour.

So, as we head to the end of the year (YouGov/Telegraph is still outstanding in theory, but I’m not sure when it will arrive), we still have quite a broad range of polling figures, with leads between 9 and 17 points – from a hung Parliament to a Tory landslide. The Conservatives are in the range 38%-43%, but of the 12 polls in December 9 have put them at 40% or 41% – that’s a noticable difference from November when 7 out of 10 polls had them below 40%. Lib Dem support ranges between 16% and 21%, but mostly between 18% and 20%. The real variation is in the level of support pollsters are finding in Labour’s support, from 23% to 31%. However, the lower figures there are either AngusReid or that single ComRes that appears to have been a rogue, and other figures are in the tighter range of 26% to 31%. That leaves us with an average lead of around 11 points or so – on a UNS right on the cusp of a hung Parliament, though in practice it would probably result in a Conservative majority.

(As an aside, if you are following the polls in the glorious rumourmill of Twitter then the 3 point Tory lead in MORI on Sunday has been followed by CON 40%, LAB 31% in this poll. Boy, are polls in the general election are going to be fun there!)

164 Responses to “New ComRes poll shows 38/29/19”

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  1. Rob Sheffield,

    I expect that UKIP will poll better than last time, perhaps with 3% of the total vote, rather than 2%. If the County Council elections are any guide, their best votes will come in seats that are safe for the Conservatives, (or in some cases, safe for Labour) whereas in marginal seats, their voters will disproportionately favour the Conservatives over Labour.

  2. Merry Xmas Anthony and all his gang.

  3. @ jay blanc

    ‘legitimising them as potential winners,’ don’t we live in a democracy or is this a two party state ?

    aww diddums Jay Blanc !! Did the nasty voters go and spoil your two party dream ? Tell you what why not abolish all parties except Labour and Tory and make membership compulsory better still how about only one party being allowed!!

    The debate should be between any registered party that is fielding candidates in the vast majority of all UK constituencies currently that means only the big three qualify

    Clegg is included because the Lib Dems got 22% of the vote last time versus 33% Tory and 35% Labour.They are hardly a fringe party !Electoral Law rightly compels the broadcasters to be fair and base coverage on the shares of the votes at the last election.

    Like it or not and many Tories don’t (‘we want to win power on our own’)the days of two party domination are dying so TV debate needs to reflect that.

    There is also the small matter of what happens in a hung parliament scenario which makes Clegg a highly relevant player

  4. Um… I did mention before that I was a Lib Dem supporter didn’t I? I’m just a realistic one.

  5. @ Jay Blanc

    Your comments seemed somewhat at odds with that and somewhat typical of many on Conservative Home.

    Anyway your comments were interesting to read and its better to provoke a strong reaction than non at all !

    Merry Christmas

  6. @Jay Blanc

    Rereading your comments I apologise I think the pre Christmas Dinner yellow mist descended !

    All the best etc

  7. Rob Sheffield

    You have made some interesting contributions recently, along with OLDNAT as usual, but
    ‘I’d also like to see a Darling Vs Osborne Vs Cable debate as well…one can only imagine there being a single catastrophic loser in that debate…!’

    Should that not read two and I don’t include Vince Cable.

  8. @Davey

    Vis tactical voting by UKIP voters.

    I just cannot see it this time- especially on the right flank of British politics: there just is not that same ‘GROT’ mood music that you had in 1997.

    I think the voters who have left the Tories over the last 5 years for UKIP (like those who have left Labour for Greens, LD’s and fringe Trot parties) are not going to be in the business of tactical voting next year. This does not feel like that kind of election i.e. one where the lost middle class lefties for example flock back to Labour as they fear a majority for Cameron, or similarly where betrayed Eurosceptics decide to hold their nose and vote for the Tories.

    It feels more like 1992 with Brown as swing-voter repellent as Kinnock- but with no great enthusiasm for Cameron i.e. Major. The vote then was Con 42.2 Lab 30.8 LD 22.6 which on a uniform swing gives 36 majority to Tories.

    BUT: into that you have to factor UKIP (in rural and suburban southern/ eastern England constituencies), BNP (in urban white working class areas all over England), Green (in student and middle class lefty places especially in southern England) and Respect (in constituencies with a large Muslim population concentrated into key wards). UKIP take mainly from Con but also LD; BNP mainly Lab but also Con; Greens take from Lab and LD equally; Respect well who knows! Only a few percentage points (i.e. a few voters in each hundred) have to shuffle these 1992 type numbers and you are quickly due to the electoral math into a whole new ball game which you can largely file under ‘Hung Parliament’.

    Plus you also have the expenses scandal poisoning the image and popularity of the sitting MP- which in southern and eastern England is a majority conservative scenario. Watch for opposing candidates- in every constituency where the sitting MP (of whatever party) is not standing down- plaster their constituency with copies of expenses claim forms from 2005-2008.

    All in all a very complicated and very interesting election to come next year for political junkies like myself…

  9. @Colin

    “Read what I said my friend -the first person singular is absent & deliberately so. Humility is a Christmasy kind of thing don’t you think?”

    Well of course it is: and you have not shown an ounce of it! Rather smug self-righteousness, itself not a Christmassy sort of thing (note the spelling ).

    Oh by the way- in said posting you began the final sentence of that triumphant peroration with the words “I agree”…!!!

  10. @oldnat


    I am non-aligned in the sense I don’t have a single preference in a positive sense.

    But I guess, likewise in reverse, I *am* aligned in the sense of a utter revulsion for one specific party.


    When I did the uniform swing calculation just now (transposing 1992 for 2010) it should have said *18* rather than 36- which underscores the potential slender thread of victory for whoever next year even more I think.

  11. i am normally a independent minded person but as far as the next govenment i can see no way of getting any other than a conservative govenment with the lib dems near level pegging with the labour party or a conservative govenment that has no real oppisition

  12. OldNat:

    “Here the polls suggest that the Tories are not seen as likely to be a good government for Scotland – even by 20% of those who will vote Tory for the Scottish Parliament!”

    That’s a measure of tactical voting, not a measure of right-leaning voters view of the appropriateness for Scotland of UK Conservative’s policies. A similar proportion of SNP voters for the Scottish parliament see the SNP as irrelevant at Westminster and are bored by the independence debate.

    Conservatives are a wasted vote in all but a few constituencies. Under Ms Goldie’s leadership, they have garnered their list potential, though the long term trend is very marginal decline.

    “Middle Class Lefties” or if you prefer the rational and tactical negative FPTP voter who is anti-Con, may well form the largest political grouping in Scotland, exceeding the total of committed core voters for all the parties together.

    You overlook the posibility that, where there is no risk of electing a Conservative, they may choose to vote against a Labour incumbent. This is how the SNP stands to win the FPTP jackpot, not in 2010, but after a short hung parliament. An ignorant and insensitive Conservative government and an impoverished and self-destructive Labour party is all you need.

    The dilemma in some constituencies, such as Argyll, is that you even if you were unimpressed with the LibDem incumbent, voting for the third placed SNP risks letting in the Conservative.

    On the other hand, we know that LibDems are losing votes and the SNP are gaining, so not going with the flow might also have the outcome that you most want to avoid.

    In that particular case there isn’t a big risk, because if the % loss of the poll the LibDem currently has is at the lower end of what is possible, the Conservative would need to take an improbable proportion of them for the seat to change hands. The greater the % loss of the LibDem share of the vote, the smaller proportionate split in favour of the SNP that is necessary for the SNP to win.

    That’s why I don’t dare to predict the winner, but I’m sure the Conservative will be in second place. Labour can’t be squeezed any more and have nothing to lose.

  13. Rob Sheffield & OldNat

    If Labour do hang on, it won’t be by much and surely can’t be more than the Scottish contribution to the majority over Conservatives. That will be 31-33 in my reckoning.

    If England gets a Labour government again, you know who to blame.

  14. A new ICM poll appararently shows the Greens leading in Brighton Pavilion, by 35%, to 27% for the Conservatives, and 25% for Labour.

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