ComRes has a new poll in tomorrow’s Independent, presumably their final call for the AV referendum. Topline referendum voting intention taking into account likelihood to vote and excluding don’t knows and won’t votes stands at YES 34%, NO 66%. 32 points is by far the largest lead we’ve seen for the NO campaign, up from 20 points in the last ComRes poll a week ago.

Standard voting intention figures meanwhile were CON 34%(-1), LAB 37%(-4), LDEM 15%(+2), Others 14%. Changes are from the previous ComRes telephone poll a month ago. This is the lowest Labour lead ComRes have shown in their telephone polls since last year, and the highest Lib Dem score any pollster except ICM have shown since last year.

The poll was conducted between Thursday and Sunday over the long bank holiday weekend – on that basis, I’d better add the same caveat I did to the TNS poll about being cautious about polls conducted over long bank holiday weekends that show unusual results. Wait and see if other polls show the same towering lead for AV – I expect we’ll have more to chew over tomorrow night.

Meanwhile we also have the daily YouGov figures (not conducted quite so much over the bank holiday weekend -fieldwork was yesterday afternoon to this afternoon!). Topline figures there are CON 37%, LAB 42%, LDEM 10%.


148 Responses to “ComRes show landslide lead for NO2AV”

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  1. SoCal Liberal & Charles Stuart

    If your theory about those watching the wedding being more available to answer pollsters is correct, then the TNS poll in Scotland indicated that Labour supporters were fleeing to the hills, while SNP supporters were waving their Union Flags and marvelling at Kate’s dress.

    Mmmm.

  2. @ Alec
    “First thing I would say is that we should all vote on the merits of the system, not on the basis of who is promoting which side.”

    I will vote on the merits of the system! But many Labour voters will not. The Lib-Dems in the North have been posing for years as a radical-progressive alternative to Labour & many of their supporters feel deeply chargrined by the Orange Book ideology that this “progressivism” disguised & will be bemused by this late appeal to their fair-mindedness.
    The Libs also “shocked” by the grinding negativity of the Tory-No campaign. But the current bunch of Tories are petty in-fighters bred in the closed world of “special advisors”. I spent the Royal Wedding hiding in my shed but I was alert enough to recognise the spite that lay behind the decision to bounce Brown off the wedding list. Clegg has all the body language of a rabbit caught in a car’s headlights. All the more surprising given that the Libs can fight as dirty as anyone.

  3. RobbieAlive

    Do I detect a faint whiff of cynicism about politicians from your post? :-)

  4. The royalists could have been outside at street parties when the phone rang.

  5. @ Mick Park (11.08)

    ““and bearing in mind Peter Bell’s assertion that positioning on the NHS will be a more significant factor for LDs than the AV referendum result…”

    Something I also ascribe to.
    The NHS reforms are colossal in every way. Politically, logistically and in their consequences.
    But how the Lib Dems approach them and their stance with their coalition partners on what to do about them will be seen through the lens of the AV result.”

    ————————————————————-

    Mick,
    I think and hope that you are wrong. Irrespective of the AV result, LDs (MPs and other supporters) must fight against the Lansley changes. As you say, the proposed changes are colossal (and I admit to not appreciating all the hidden changes in the bill) and if this goes thro will wipe out the remaining support the LDs still hold. I, for one, could not canvass for a party which has played a part in destroying the NHS.

    However, while I will be dissappointed, a No victory will not stop me supporting and working for the party and imo would not cause us to lose any votes. Therefore I do not see the AV result having any effect on the LD position on the NHS bill. Positioning on the NHS MUST not be a function of distaste at the Con behaviour re the NO vote.

  6. Does anyone know how accurate the polls (if they were any) were on the EC Referendum in 1975?

  7. @ Old Nat

    “Do I detect a faint whiff of cynicism about politicians from your post?”

    If Scotland gets complete independence will you cease to post on this site? This may influence my views on the subject.

  8. If Scotland gains independence, I very much hope Oldnat would continue to contribute to this site.

    He’d have to think of something new to talk about, mind you… ;)

  9. RobbieAlive

    After independence, I’ll be like SoCalLiberal – posting from abroad on the idiosyncracies of your politics. :-)

  10. A straw for the Yes camp to grasp at…

    Perhaps others would like to share their experience, but I’ve met very few unsure but inclined to ‘No’. To me, No voters seem a very decided bunch. On the other hand, there are a *lot* of very tentative ‘Yes’ supporters.

    If my experience is representative (and I’ve no basis to make such a judgement), then it’s possible the DKs may break stringly for Yes. Add in the effects of geographically differential turnout, and that makes it a much closer call than this poll would at first sight suggest.

  11. Peter Bell.

    “Irrespective of the AV result, LDs (MPs and other supporters) must fight against the Lansley changes.”

    The AV result isn’t going to make them less likely to fight against it. The opposite will be true.

    “Therefore I do not see the AV result having any effect on the LD position on the NHS bill.”

    I do. The reason tuition fees was such a debacle wasn’t just because of past promises. It was also because of how the Lib Dems behaved with the Bill itself. They were split and didn’t know whether to support or abstain or oppose so gave out all the wrong signals.

    If the NHS reforms are to be stopped (not just respun as Cameron plans with maybe a new health secretary) then Lib Dem backbenchers and the leadership will have to get their act together. Ironically the AV result will help unify them but they are going to have to accept it’s going to unify them against their coalition partners. AV also means that Clegg has far less room to soft pedal on them and try and gloss over their impact. If he tries this he deserves to reap the consequences.

    The lens I am talking about the Lib Dems seeing through is one of realisation that their partners do not have their best interests at heart.

    Because you are absolutely correct in thinking these NHS reforms will wipe out the remaining support the LDs still hold. They bear all the hallmarks of this governments poll tax.

  12. @ Charles Stuart

    “I’m hoping for a “Yes” win, not simply because that’s how I intend to vote but because I love it when the polls are totally and utterly wrong! On this occasion, I think that Socalliberal has a definite point. I think that across all parties, traditionalists were more likely to watch the Royal Wedding and they are also more likely to vote “No”. Some other poll showed a 10% “No” lead the other day and I don’t think that opinion could change that quickly.

    I suspect that normal weighting by intention to vote won’t work this time. I think that in each election many people intend to vote but don’t and I think that phenomenon will be at its extreme in the referendum. I suspect that there will be a huge differential in turnout between those who favour “yes” and those who favour “no”. I still think that the result will be absurdly close. Of course, my opinion is only a gut feeling that doesn’t actually have any evidence to back it. We’ll just have to see what happens but my pre-count assessment of the Canadian election was quite good, I think.”

    I think AV will fail and I don’t the result will be close. I don’t think it will neccessarily be by as wide a margin as this poll suggests. I say this out of having had experience with referendums. Being below 50% in the polls usually means defeat for an initiative. The yes vote on AV has always been low and well beneath the 50% marker even in polls where it has lead the no vote or been only closely trailing. I do sympathize with you in loving when the polls are wrong (well…..I should caveat that I like it when the polls are wrong and it benefits the side I want to win).

    In politics, I feel that mathematical and scientific formulas don’t work for making predictions. Gut feelings can be perfectly valid. I was right about Ontario. All sorts of Liberals unexpectedly lost their seats, not because of an upswing in the Conservative vote but because of vote splitting with the NDP. But outside Toronto, there may have been a switch of right wing Liberal voters in Ontario (this term btw is an oxymoron to me) to the Conservatives just to keep the NDP out of power. That whole election could be looked at as a domino effect led by Quebec. Quebec voters switched to the NDP, abandoning the Bloc Quebec. This led the NDP to tie the Liberals in national polls which in itself created a national wave that ultimately pushed the NDP slightly ahead of the Liberals. Then, lots of left wing unaligned anti-Conservatives began switching their votes from the Liberals to the NDP with the intent of keeping out the Conservatives. But that led to some Liberals switching their votes to the Conservatives to keep the NDP from forming the government. All this led to the Conservatives, while getting basically the same share of the popular vote as last time, winning a majority….mainly based on vote splitting in Ontario and Atlantic Canada even though they seemingly lost seats everywhere else.

    Btw, do you think the Liberals can recover from this defeat?

  13. @ Old Nat

    “If your theory about those watching the wedding being more available to answer pollsters is correct, then the TNS poll in Scotland indicated that Labour supporters were fleeing to the hills, while SNP supporters were waving their Union Flags and marvelling at Kate’s dress.

    Mmmm.”

    It’s a silly theory but it’s one that gets floated around. It could go the other way too. People wouldn’t neccessarily pick up the phones during the royal wedding celebration and would be annoyed with getting polled. Btw, (and I know this is anecdotal) I’ve been checking with friends and family who watched the wedding. None of them respect, believe in, or desire monarchy (as some people on here have suggested). It was for the fashion, celebrity gossip, and the whole fairy tale aspect of it.

    Because most Scots presumably weren’t watching the wedding, I’m not sure this polling theory would apply to the MSP polling.

  14. @ Neil A

    “If Scotland gains independence, I very much hope Oldnat would continue to contribute to this site.

    He’d have to think of something new to talk about, mind you…”

    I agree.

    Old Nat will find new things new to talk about simply based on the fact that he’s a supporter of independence seeking movements all over the world (whether it’s the Quebecers, the D.C. Statehooders, the Somalilanders, or any other groups around the world who seek independence).

  15. While people could see a No vote as a win for Labour, I think that now it’ll be a definite loss for Ed Miliband.

    Ed Miliband has put his full force behind AV but his MPs generally haven’t.
    And the split is largely between Ed supporters who want reform (of many different sorts) and New Labour partisans who didn’t want Ed in the first place.

    If Ed can’t whip his party in to taking the party line on an issue that doesn’t really hurt Labour’s electoral chances in the long-term, how is he going to control them over any other reforms?

    And I have to say, after watching Young Voter’s Question Time, Tristan Hunt has put me off Labour (not completely, but these things chip away).
    Any left-wing AV supporters who the LDs lost and who are still unsure about where they stand may be put off by such partisan arrogance.

    If things improve (economy, employment, etc) and Labour doesn’t stop taking the LibDem defectors for granted (i.e they convert them for Labour, not just assume they’ll automatically vote Labour), they’ll be back down to 30% in the polls by 2015, IMO.

  16. “BTW how does Anthony arrrive at a polling average of 34-38-14?”

    I was wondering the same thing. I suspect an error has been made somewhere because Labour have been around 42/43 for months in most polls so I can’t see any way that the average could drop by so much in such a short space of time.

  17. It looks like the weighting is wrong on the ComRes/Independent poll which is seriously skewing the numbers.

  18. “BTW how does Anthony arrrive at a polling average of 34-38-14?”
    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/uk-polling-report-average
    Yougov –
    37, 42, 10 – Weighting 0.97
    Comres –
    34, 37, 15 – Weighting 15.2

    You’re welcome ;)

  19. “In politics, I feel that mathematical and scientific formulas don’t work for making predictions. Gut feelings can be perfectly valid.”
    And your gut feelings are surely caused by a complex neural-net ‘calculation’?
    So formulas probably work just as well, we just haven’t discovered them yet.

    Sorry to be pedantic, but I have a pet peeve with the whole ‘gut reaction’ thing, with the implication that it isn’t just a complex neural calculation. ;)

  20. I appear to be commenting on the wrong thread. Everybody is here! (If you want to read my words of wisdom, see previous TNS thread. It could earn you a fe quid. “COULD”!!)

    Anyhoo, the Scottish Sun is having a good larf today. Click on their “slideshow”:

    http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/holyroodelection2011/3562355/Are-top-politicians-trumps-or-chumps.html

  21. Alec

    Thanks for your response on cliffs-typically generous.
    The Times today has bullish numbers on office block construction-but mainly in SE.

    On AV I read over the last few days that :-

    GB offered NC a referendum on PR ( Source was Owen I think)

    Caroline Lucas put an ammendment down in HoC to add PR to the Referendum question-LibDems voted against it.

    The LibDem World is strange indeed :-)

    I’m not surprised at this poll-the general reaction I pick up is either disinterest, or -what’s the point, I would only make one choice anyway.

    Have there been any studies/polls in Scotland on the level of understanding of their voting systems, and/or the level of satisfaction with them?

  22. So GB offered PR (and to stand down himself?)?

    And the LD voted AGAINST adding PR to the AV Bill?

    I can understand why they did what they did. But as Colin says, a strange old world, politics.

    I still think the factors that favour AV Yes (No voters not bothering, weighted to Wales and Scotland) will give the YES camp a good chance. We will see.

    Whatever the result, it won’t change the landscape much for most of us, but it will make those coalition relationships more interesting.

  23. @ Tinged Fringe – “And the split is largely between Ed supporters who want reform (of many different sorts) and New Labour partisans who didn’t want Ed in the first place.”

    Where is Andy Burnham on this? I haven’t seen anything explicit on this, but all the other candidates and their prominent supporters for the Labour leadership are firmly in the Yes camp… with the notable exception of Margaret Beckett who is most decidedly a supporter of Ed Miliband.

    Some Labour MPs have refused to distribute Yes campaign literature because of the tendency to characterise MPs as lazy and corrupt.

  24. Tinged,

    good idea to explain the workings of Anthony’s poll of polls…

  25. Anthony,

    Your graphic in the ‘poll of polls’ section on the right hand side has gone skee-wiff

  26. Cheers for those who spotted the error on the graph/average (In the database I’d accidentally put the date for ComRes as being a year in the future ;) )

    Corrected now

  27. ‘Ed Miliband has put his full force behind AV but his MPs generally haven’t.
    And the split is largely between Ed supporters who want reform (of many different sorts) and New Labour partisans who didn’t want Ed in the first place.’

    Perhaps he should have had the courage to have a row with them. He’s left it too late now.

  28. Anthony,

    Could you clear up something for me please:

    I am under the understanding that the seat reduction to 600 will go ahead regardless of the AV result.

    Among Labour grassroots I have come across a lot who think the opposite.

  29. The Green Benches: that’s correct. The seat reduction and the referendum are not tied together. The choice is between FPTP with 600 seats or AV with 600 seats.

    There is the issue that no elections will be held under AV until the boundary changes have been implemented, but that’s not really a dependency on the referendum result. It’s true that FPTP would be used in theory if the boundary changes were rejected by Parliament, but if the AV referendum passed there would be great pressure to amend the legislation so that it was used for 2015 anyway.

  30. @The Green Benches

    The reduction to 600 seats for the next Parliament is already law. See section 19 of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011.

    The only contigent part of the Act is that if there is a yes vote then AV can only come into force at the time that the boundaries have been redrawn. See the explanatory notes to section 8:

    “If there is a “yes” vote in the referendum (that is, more people vote yes than vote no) then the alternative vote provisions must be brought into force on the same day as the coming into force of an Order in Council giving effect to the Boundary Commissions’ recommendations for altering the parliamentary constituencies made under the revised scheme in Part 2 of the Act.”

  31. CiM,

    Ta. The mind boggles that some could think this, so close to a referendum. I think the ‘yes’ campaign has conducted itself somewhat less than adequately.

  32. Fandang,

    My understanding also. Ta. Of course it is all academic now, but that it itself is fustrating.

  33. @TGB

    Is your point that some Labour voters think that by voting ‘No’ they will stop the 600 constituencies and the boundary re-draw?

  34. 1975 EEC Referendum, I remember it well…

    Result 67%/33% on the day

    MORI 67%/33%
    Gallup 68%/33%
    Marplan 68%/33%
    NOP 68%/33%
    Harris 72%/28%
    ORC 74%/26%

    Cheers: Bob Worcester

  35. Wow!

  36. Eoin – as others have already said, the relationship between the AV result and the boundary charges is all one way – AV is reliant on boundary changes, but boundary changes are not reliant on AV.

    The changes to the boundary commission rules have now been fully implemented and are law – primary legislation would be needed to change that. Their actual report recommending new seats drawn up under those rules will need to be approved by Parliament to come into force. The result of the AV referendum has no legal bearing on this at all.

    The AV referendum result is somewhat difference – a YES result will only actually come into force on the same that the the boundary charges recommended by the boundary commission come into force.

  37. Cheers Bob.

  38. The No campaign has benefited from millionaire donors from the Conservative Party and have adverts all over the Internet. I find most of them insulting. The Yes campaign don’t have millionaire donors placing adverts, they are relying on ordinary people like me giving up their spare time to leaflet. In fact I’ve stopped working on the Assembly Election to concentrate over the next two days to heavily leaflet to fairer votes.
    While it’s looking likely we’ll sadly lose – that’s something we can be proud about – we had a great team of hard working volunteers who fought against the millionaire Tories/No2AV. It’s a shame the Labour MPs didn’t back their leader on AV. That’s where the referendum will be lost – Labour voters voting no.

  39. ‘If things improve (economy, employment, etc) and Labour doesn’t stop taking the LibDem defectors for granted (i.e they convert them for Labour, not just assume they’ll automatically vote Labour), they’ll be back down to 30% in the polls by 2015, IMO.’

    I’m not convinced this will have much effect TBH. I don’t know if there could be a gradual wearing down of labour’s ratings.

  40. @Socalliberal

    “Btw, do you think the Liberals can recover from this defeat?”

    Yes, but they have probably only one chance. Their next leader needs to be someone really good, both politically and in terms of charisma/popular appeal. Come 2015, he or she needs to lead the campaigning and take the fight to the other parties. If the other parties lead and take the fight to the Liberals, I see the Liberals heading into a terminal decline.

    I think that Canada, like the US, is not a country where European-style social democracy can thrive. The NDP does not directly compare to Labour or other left-of-centre European parties.

  41. Anthony,

    Ta…

    Fandang,

    yes, that’s correct. Hard to dispel so close to the day… :(

  42. Paddy Power pays out on SNP Most Seats and Next FM Salmond

    NOW CONFIRMED BY PADDY POWER CUSTOMER SERVICE.

    Congrats to the wise!

  43. Voodoo poll… or a political tornado on the way?

    Lib Dems in SIXTH PLACE on Lothian list:

    http://scottish-independence.blogspot.com/2011/05/lib-dems-in-sixth-place-on-lothian-list.html

  44. While it looks like it’s all over for the Yes campaign, I’m still waiting for a non bank holiday weekend poll to see whether it confirms the big shift to No seen in this poll or the big shift to Yes seen previously in the last YouGov poll.

    I admit to being very surprised with a No lead lengthening, as the impression I have had (which some others on here have also noted) is that undecideds have been moving to the Yes camp. Although trying to claim national poll movements based on ‘talking to some people I know’ is clearly totally pointless in terms of statistical rigour, there were a number of media articles, personal conversations and posters on here suggesting that former waverers and even some No voters had switched to Yes, while I had not seen or heard any anecdotal reports of anyone moving the other way.

    This backed up my sense that the general disdain for the conduct of the No campaign and the fact that the Lib Dem leadership had finally woken up and started attacking the Tories were beginning to make people think. YouGov suggests that feeling was right, this poll the complete opposite.

    If the result is a big No, it might not be so much of a disaster for the Lib Dems (or Milliband). The conduct of the referendum has very neatly driven a wedge into the coalition and offered Clegg an opportunity to distinguish himself from Cameron.

    @Colin has suggested that we need to wait and see how coalition relationships settle down after the various election campaigns before we really judge the tensions, and I think he is correct in that. However, even if they do settle down to a degree, the Lib Dems have successfully created the impression that they are the progressives and Cameron is the ‘no change’ option.

    On voting reform, it looks like this chimes with public opinion for now, but if I were a Lib Dem I would be seeking to build on the sense that they are the reformers while the Tories are always stuck in the past.

    However it pans out, by ditching his promises (a not irregular occurance with Cameron by now) and allowing some pretty vitriolic attacks on Clegg, Cameron has done the Lib Dem leader a big favour. The starry eyed idealism has gone and he now knows he isn’t is a coalition for the national interest, but is tied to a partner with self interest as the only driving force. From now on Lib Dems will be the same, and I rather suspect they might start to tone down the rather hysterical parroting of the ‘Labour is evil’ line that the Orange bookers were so keen on in favour of a more balanced approach to potential supporters on the left.

  45. Isn’t the ComRes shift more in the proportion saying they’ll definitely vote (which is the basis for the 66:34) than in the overall responses?

  46. Good lesson in politics at PMQs today. Now that he is in government, Cameron claims credit for falling crime statsitics. When in opposition, Cameron claims falling crime statistics are wrong.

    PMQs itself seemed pretty dull, with neither side having a particularly good day. However, I suspect that Milliband will emergy the more satisfied in the long run. There is already a lot of media interest in the case of the 32 years experience police officer being forcibly laid off and then invited to return as a voluntary officer as the force had insufficient frontline officers.

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of such cases and regardless of the overall situation, governments find combatting the one off silly stories very difficult, with this kind of attack often hard to rebutt effectively. I think Milliband has his good days and his bad days, but his long term strategy could be quite effective.

  47. SNP to win Edinburgh Western from 3rd place?

    Colin Keir has just gone odds-on FAV to Gain Edinburgh Western from the Lib Dems.

    SNP 10/11 (VC, WH)
    LD 5/4 (PP)
    Lab 16/1 (VC)
    Con 33/1 (WH)

  48. Alec

    “On voting reform, it looks like this chimes with public opinion for now, but if I were a Lib Dem I would be seeking to build on the sense that they are the reformers while the Tories are always stuck in the past. ”

    I have to disagree.

    My feeling is that the general public simply do not think of it in terms of “future” & “past”.

    I really believe that the public have considered the matter in terms such as “relevance”, “better”, “worse”, “fairer”, “sensible” etc…….ie the merits of the case ……which the YES campaign have so very clearly failed to make a convincing case on.

    I must say NC looked very glum today.

    The weeks & months ahead will be very interesting.

  49. @Socal Liberal

    So you find my comments to be “insensitive” and “offensive”.

    Clearly, I’ve struck a nerve.
    I’m happy to leave things like that.
    8-)

  50. “Lib Dems in SIXTH PLACE on Lothian list:”

    I thought Tavish Scott had the same hunted look in his eyes that Gray has.

    As you say Stuart, too early to say for sure but clearly not a good sign for the LDs.

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