There are three new polls tonight, and they all show a post-budget swing towards the Conservatives.

YouGov/Sun: CON 39%(+2), LAB 32%(nc), LDEM 18%(-1)
ComRes/Independent: CON 37%(nc), LAB 30%(-2), LDEM 20%(+1)
Opinium/Express: CON 38%(+1), LAB 28%(-2), LDEM 18%(+3)

YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has a 7 point lead, up from 5 in their Sunday Times poll and equalling the highest they’ve had the Conservatives this month. ComRes show the Conservatives unchanged, but Labour dropping two since the end of last month. Opinium have a ten point Conservative lead.

The changes themself are not massive, but every poll since the budget has shown a trend back towards the Conservatives. There seems little doubt that the budget has shifted things back towards the Tories a bit. The question now is whether it lasts, or whether it is just a brief downwards blip for Labour that will pass as new events (like the Conservative tax announcement or whatever coverage tonight’s Chancellor’s debate gets) take over the political news agenda.

UPDATE: Lib Dem figure from Opinium corrected (you’ll have to wait till tonight for tonight for it to get corrected in the sidebar)

508 Responses to “YouGov, ComRes and Opinium show Tory lead growing”

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  1. PLEASE tell me my attempt to reasonably answer Richard O didn’t sound like Bumpy????

    Wolf MacNeill – Ch4 just confirmed it was indeed a roadtest

    “Tainted stardust, but he is still stardust” – Evening Standard. If that’s their view, he couldn’t have done too badly.

  2. I stand corrected EOIN, I tried to check the dates, but it’;s not my Forte. So, Blair was only one point less “popular” as some polls show DC now then?

  3. The illusion that things would ahve been alright had TB stayed is cookoo land… the polls do not bac it up at all…

    statistically GB appears to have steadied the ship, and even has an outside chance of recovering some of the lost votes….

  4. arr, my old friend Sue.

    I do think there is hypocrisy with Mr Blair. He was a very good speaker, and was exactly what Labout needed in 1997, but since leaving office he has made quite a bit of money in the US, some from oil firms operating in Iraq, and there are serious questions about the various off-shore companies he has set up to avoid paying UK tax.

    I might be a Conservative supportor, and I am a stong supportor of the Afghanistan campaign, but Iraq was wrong. Saddam Hussain was the elected leader of a country that presented less than zero threat to the UK and US. Was he a nice guy, no, but neither are half the leaders in Africa and the rest of the middle east. I am ashamed myself that the Conservatives supported that war. Blair coming back will just get us back in to this debate.

    All the positive points you make, once you strip away the baggage, are exactly what Conservative supporters would say about Mrs Thatcher. The difference is she wasn’t obsessed by her legacy.

  5. I hope this sounds balanced by the way, as I know how reading partisan posts is sooooo boring!!!

  6. @Sue,

    Those figures were not Blair’s popularity

    they were the percentages of the actual labour party….

    2000 = 30%
    2004 = 35%
    2005 = 35%
    2006 = just before GB’s takeoever 31%

    Blairism has never really been especially popular…. there was no credible alternative….

  7. Well look here I dont want to split the Labour party in 2 by starting an argument about Tony Blair. But perhaps we should let the polls decide whether his star studded persona enhances the Labour campaign. The only thing missing in my life is some good photo’s of Mr Blair with George W Bush on the front page of newspapers.

  8. EOIN,

    I agree with your point. I was very frustrated that during the Blair years, there was no alternative and little opposition, which I think is bad for democracy. Conservatives were so hammered in 1997, that they split themselves apart for 10 years over issues such Europe, what they realised they had done to Maggie etc.


  9. Colin – I suppose it hits a raw nerve. There are indeed many who genuinely think Blair was wrong about Iraq.

    Then, there are undoubtedly a few million Tories (NOT all, some) who actually just hate Labour and it’s a good stick to hit them with (After all the Tories supported the war and encouraged Labour to act earlier)

    Then there are the millions who did and still do support the war, who see a nascent democracy starting to blossom in Iraq, who remember Saddam and all he did.

    The narrative has been totally drowned out by the vocal and righteous part of society who hate the war, but they are NOT the only voice and any of you who know my postings so far know I HATE kneejerk reactions – whether they come from me, my party or anyone else.

    Incidentally, I am by no means a supporter of the war, I was undecided at the time, cynical at others, but now, today, I am happy to see democracy grow and fear subside a little.

  10. Richard O ‘I might be a Conservative supportor, and I am a stong supportor’

    It really is ‘supporter’ Rich. I expect you have the same problem as I. My spell-checking dictionary sometimes gets infected with my repeated typos that I inadvertently accept.

  11. ‘@ SUE MARSH
    Many people think Tony Blair was wrong about a lot of things, but especially Iraq. My question is how can a left of centre European support a man who became a puppet of a Republican Neo Con with 7 brain cells (5 are sleeping)?

  12. Blair’s TV News snippets on all channels were only about GB’s strong leadership so I think he did the business that he wanted to do. The question is whether that will be seen in the Wednesday night YouGov poll.

  13. I won’t answer any more. I’ve made myself clear, if I say more, I’ll lose any ability to be reasonable AND get in trouble, so I won’t answer.

    Very good point though Richard O about my list of favourables re TB and Maggie. Scarily, you’re quite right.
    Having said that, I can see why Tories loved/love her and I accept she captured the zeitgeist and carried it for some time. My opponents ought to give me the same balance

  14. Your right about the Tories supporting the war, but it doesn’t mean it’s right. Afghanistan was a no brainer, as you simply can’t allow a country to be training terrorists as guests of the ruling elite. It’s just a shame the wider world didn’t act sooner. Iraq was different though.

    For the record, I have little doubt the country is probably a better place for the people, but that doesn’t mean its right. There are lots of bad places in the world with unpleasant people in charge.

    Anyway, just look what we are all doing!!! discussing Iraq, and thats TBs fault appearance for you!

  15. great Sue, we have some common ground!!

    and also for the record, I would concede Maggie polarised opinion even more than Blair.

  16. My main point is that I must point out the inaccurate narrative that everything was rosy when Tony was here….

    At times during his premiership, the Labour party was deeply unpopular.

    He left office averaging 31%

    As long as that point is accpeted I am happy to say no more…..

  17. So that I can put Tony Blair’s exit into context, the last 60 polls of Major’s government saw the Tories average 30%

    With all their differences over europe and their sleaze, T B beat them by 1%

  18. @ SUE
    “Colin – I suppose it hits a raw nerve.”

    Yes I can see that-you should support what you believe-no problem for me.

    ” There are indeed many who genuinely think Blair was wrong about Iraq.”

    There are-he frustrates me on the issue.
    I believe it was a just war for good reasons -but we now know
    a) He used a subterfuge to persuade us to vote for it- I wish he hadn’t.
    b) It was appallingly badly planned-that’s where the massive mortality came from-that’s what I can’t forgive him for.

    ” I am happy to see democracy grow and fear subside a little.”
    And so am I Sue-but the price was much much higher than it need have been.
    All the same it was a fiht for the democratic rights of ordinary people-unlike Afghanistan-propping up a corrupt regime whose attitudes to & treatment of women is little better than the medieval nut cases they replaced.

  19. EOIN – I am curious to know if you ever saw TB speak live? Not trying to continue a pointless debate, just curious.

  20. Roland (how can a left of centre European support a man who became a puppet of a Republican Neo Con with 7 brain cells (5 are sleeping)?)

    Don’t be so horrid about Rupert Murdoch and his son :)

    Cameron is no Blair.

    (Personally I expect Eric is thanking his sainted aunts that he changed his name before writing those powerful novels!

  21. Blairs appearance – the TV reports especially will be good for labour. He only need do three more speeches in the campaign. It’s been a pep up for many, he can go quiet now until after Easter.

  22. @ Sue,

    I dont think I have. My objection is less Iraq that you would presume. Peter Kilfoyle summed it up (today) better than I could.

    He ‘gave us’ peace here in Belfast, maybe I should thank him for that?

  23. Eoin,

    Good point again. We should all agree to move on from TB and the big obvious issues from his time. Plenty of new challenges now, not least the economy.

    Tonights guesstimate I reckon;

    Cons 37
    Lab 30
    Libs 21


  24. I agree Richard O, but I’m finding EOIN’s answers quite cryptic and don’t see why an Irishman shouldn’t give his view on TB if it relates to peace. I know it goes against AWs edicts on polling, but I am now very interested, and would love to know what EOIN thinks???

  25. Colin hits a point that unifies the Iraq question and the more general question of how Blair mis-trusted the instincts of the people and required spin and subtefruge to assist his attempts to win arguments that the people were quite ready to support without being lied to.

    Lies were perceived to win votes while the truth waited for the bus to nowhere.

    What struck me the other night was the fact that the debaters were all prepared to give Guru-Murthy a straight answer to the effect that cuts were oming that would be steeper than Thatcher’s. No premium expected for spinning a lie there now then. Are we making progress? Hope so.

  26. @Sue, Labour’s populairty droped for a reason. You have to be honest about the fact that it was not all Iraq.

    Brown has had datagate, expenses, credit cruches, three coups and he can still muster a higher % than Tony Blair left with…

    If it is any consolation my top ten Blair weaknesses Brown has none of them.

    As for peace, Bill Clinton, Albert Reynolds, John Major, and Gordon Brown did as much as Blair to help move us closer to peace, yet Blair always seemed to grab a larger slice of the credit…..

  27. TB ‘may’ pick up a point or two initially for Labour, though I even doubt this personally, but overall he will undoubtedly be a double whamy against Labour. Firstly it will deter many Lib/Dem leaning Labour supporters from voting Labour and will also persuad many Conservative leaning Lib/Dem supporters to vote Conservative to make sure Brown does not get elected.

    TB may secure the Labour ‘core’ support – doubtful again, but remember this is actually shown by polls over the past couple of years to be in the low 20% points. The gamble by Mandelson has now been played, everyone knows TB is campaigning for GB even if TB does not appear again, the damage is now done to Labour.

    I think todays appearance by TB will be seen as a turning point after the campaign, it will definately strengthen Conservative supporting voters resolve and as an additional bonus to the Conservatives may even make those who were thinking of voting UKIP reaffirm their support for the Conservatives.

    For TB to be an asset to Labour he would have had to have been regarded by the general public as respectable and honourable, someone to be admired, these are things he is not thought to be. (I am starting to wonder if Mandelson and co. are actually deliberately trying to lose this election?)

  28. John TT Good point, I hope so too.

    The spin issue interests me greatly. It is right I think to say Labour became way too obsessed with it in the end and maybe GB is improving in the polls BECAUSE he isn’t very good at all that and is what he is?

    The problem with spinning came from our total inability to present our ideas with any clarity or hold together a cohesive party until New Labour came along. It was needed in 97, we had to break the tradition of shooting ourselves in he foot at every turn. Coupled with that, the Tories had been using media advisers for years (What was Maggie’s guy called, I forget. He slaughtered us for years)
    It was vital we started to claim a coherent narrative and sadly, it went too far. I can see WHY it did though.

  29. Eoin – Major was hampered by his weakening mandate and Rev Paisley’s arm-locking tactics. Mowlen added something, and the Catholics (yes it is a religious conflict) made peace in a spirit of forward thinking too.

    Now, we are faced with the prospect of an electorate asking for co-operation in much the same way as the Irish were asking, only there’s more livelihoods than lives at stake in the GE.

    A hung parliament is an opportunity rather than a nightmare,

    Personally, i can see mileage in Brown offering to hold a PR referendum with a commitment to hold a GE based on the cpopularly preferred best option (cross-;party agreement to decide which options to offer) and to hold that referendum in 2011.

    Then he should offer to go after that election and do something for a living that his family could be proud of.

  30. Did you mange to read, in my request for a more balanced approach by the media, a desire on my part that corruption should have been left unreported? If so can you select the quotes for me?

    What I suggested was very simple: support for the many excellent, hard-working mp’s, of all parties and none, that we should be proud of, but never recieve any publicity or acknowledgement.

  31. @John TT,

    Mr paisley is British! not Irish.

    A general election based on a referendum has worked for unpopular PMs before.

    I quoted an example yesterday (II refrom bill 1867).

    Yes, it might work.

    BNP would be rubbing their hands with glee, I think the government could lose the referendum on the extreme party fear….

    I think it would fragment the liberal democrat vote- as greens would becoem the new cool party for the young to vote for..

    remember in most europena countries 5-10% green vote is pretty normal….

  32. Sue Marsh – the key to the effective use of rhetorical techniques is Motive.

    If you are honest and require yourself to be true, then your “spin” will work.

    I appreciate from your posts (the ones I read are at the bottom of threads since I no longer have time to read regular 3-figure threads here) show you to be as honest as your opposing posters like eg Colin in your beliefs albeit a flirter of the naught step)

    The mistake that they (poliitcians) are all making is to be driven by the goal of power rather than the goal of virtue. They take the art of excellence and try to turn it into science, measuring KPI’s and motivating staff with re-hashed rubbish dereived from what appears to have worked in other countries’ elections.

    The roots are worth re-visiting. What would the inventors of democracy 9and the parallel art of rhetoric) think of us? They’d be cringing in my view.

  33. I think it’s a genius idea Paul Croft. Absolutely genius and I’d help you push a Facebook group calling for it!!

  34. my prediction for tonight is
    Con – 37
    Lab 32
    Lib – 20

  35. Yes Sue, I’ve often thought I was a genius.

    My initial comment should have been addressed to Colin by the way. [It’s jolly hard remembering the details when one is a genius.]

  36. Eoin – I don’t see where I said Paisley wasn’t British (Aren’t we all at heart? Even the yanks and the Iraqis? :) Don’t answer, anyone!!)
    I think a referndum on a voting system will be in the Labour manifesto, and I believe the other parties in a hung parliament will insist that enough options are considered.

    I think the British will deal well with coalition Govt, and the best way to inhibit the growth of Nationalism is to give it oxygen and allow the effects of British humour to kill it off.

  37. John TT – We are in total accord. There is a youtube clip The Fighters Not the Quitters or Against the Odds that explains exactly why I will always believe what I do. I’m sure there is a similar Tory one.
    Perhaps they should be shown on a loop from now until the election.

  38. Where that falls down John TT is that the electorate would be loathed to believe him as he has promised referendums before and then failed to deliver,,so why believe him now..?

  39. Never stop believing Polly Ticks

  40. @john TT

    “much the same way as the Irish were asking” Unionists are not Irish :)

    You overall point is a very very good one, I was expressing similar sentiments a while back

    The British population, however, I feel would reject PR for a GE.

  41. But do you really think the public would believe him again….?
    Just watching the TB report on Sky now by the way. Heard it on the radio havn’t seen it yet though

  42. @Polly

    red lines polly red lines, Brown secured lots of them… plus in fairness to him 2005 mainfesto was not his….

  43. Polly ticks – no reason, just a thought that might endear Brown, open the way for a dignified exit after a positive contribution.

    The electorate have always been lied to (according to my 95 year-old grandmother) and always perceive that some of what they say is truthful, some false and some subject to the exigenceies of Politics. In other words, we’re not thick, and we are prepared to keep an open mind.

  44. Hmmmm..still undecided. Good speaker though he is, I’m still to be convinced wheeling him out is a good idea. Maybe as Joey Jones just commented..Damned if they did, damned if they didn’t. Lesser of 2 evils maybe….? We’ll soon see…

  45. Eoin – I asuspect we agree on more than we disagree -I don’t want to get into Poltics,but I wish you well and hope you agree that we’re all People of the People constiuency aka The World :) as well as the sub-parties we choose to ally to.

  46. @John TT,

    To avoid any confusion- I am an Irishman :) :)

  47. Polly
    You would not need to believe him. The seats in the House would compel the referendum, at least that’s what I assumed John was prognosing (new word).

  48. Polly Ticks – it isn’t so much what he has said or how he has said it that will concern Labour and Conservative alike, but what he is going to say over the coming weeks (and how)

    I have no idea, but I suspect there will be equal worry going on all round

  49. For me, a major reason for the increase in the tory lead over the last few days is the strikes.
    British Gas and the civil service/council strikes didn’t get much publicity.
    The Bitish Airways strike affected more people and the link between Labour and Unite probably did more damage.

    But then over the weekend, the rail strike was announced.
    I heard TV presenters talk of “the first rail strike in 16 years” and a “srping of discontent”.
    Now there’s even talk of an underground strike.
    It reminds older voters of 1979 and old Labour.

    If the rail strike goes ahead, it will afffect millions, be headline news all next week, and it will be less than 4 weeks until the election when it finishes.

    Labour will be praying it will be called off.

  50. Eion – the first smiley confused me, and the second made me smile :) Slainte

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