There is a new Angus Reid poll up on their site here. Topline figures with changes from last month are CON 33%(nc), LAB 42%(+1), LDEM 8%(-2), Others 17% (including UKIP unchanged on 7%). There isn’t much change on last month – Angus Reid do tend to show some of the biggest leads for Labour.

Secondly there is a ComRes poll of Londoners, the first I can recall seeing since Brian Paddick was selected as the Lib Dem candidate (and, therefore, the first to have a voting intention question with a proper candidate names for all parties, rather than featuring “a Lib Dem candidate”). Voting intention in the mayoral election stands at Boris 48%, Ken 40%, Brian Paddick 7%, Others on 4%. In a run off between Boris and Ken, they have first and second preferences totalling Boris 54%, Ken 46%.

As far as I can recall the last proper ComRes poll of London voting intentions was in March (there was one that asked which candidate people were inclined to support in September, but it was a small sample and wasn’t really comparable), and showed Ken very narrowly ahead, so this suggests a move towards Boris though, given the difference in the question now that other candidates are known, I wouldn’t read too much into that.

83 Responses to “New Angus Reid and ComRes polls”

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  1. 9 point lead.

  2. I seem to recall before the 2010 general election, Angus Reid polling showed Labur languishing in third sometimes, but regularly several points behind Tories even when second (with Tories in 49s and Labout in high 20s). So it’s quite a turnaround as far as that polling organisation is concerned. Have they changed methodolog to even out the tory support overstatement? If the methodology is the same then that suggests an actual massive lead for Labour in their sample.

  3. Looking at the last 10 or 12 polls there could now be the first indications of the Conservative vote starting to take a hit.

    Albeit not much of one – so far.

    The next few polls might confirm this. Or they could show it to be just be sample variation.

  4. Max – in the last Parliament Angus Reid’s weighting targets were significantly more positive for the Conservatives than all other companies (I won’t go into detail, but the reason was they didn’t account for false recall).

    Currently past vote weighting models used by most pollsters are assuming virtually no false recall, so Angus Reid’s weighting targets are not dissimilar from other companies any more – the reason (or at least, one reason) for their previous pro-Tory skew has basically vanished.

    Since the general election Angus Reid have tended to show larger Labour leads than many other companies. The reason for that is unclear.

  5. Boris is doing a good job of being seen as a critic of the govt and in particular being eurosceptic. Also he appears to be fighting for londoners which is his job. I think he knows that this is a far as he can go in politics, there is realistically no chance of him becoming a cabinet minister or prime minister, so he will pull out all the stops to keep his job and if that means stomping all over DC then so be it. I can see him winning this one, certainly if anyone wants to beat him they have to be as flamboyant as Boris, ken used to be in his own way but has he still got it and is he still seen as a party outsider. Lembit would have been a perfect candidate for the libdems for all the reasons that he wasn’t suited to being a member of parliament. I don’t know much about Brian paddick but his name is boring so that’s strike one!!!

  6. Boris is high profile & in campaign mode all the time. I was really surprised that Ken had a small lead in the last poll. This is more what I expected, but still disappointing… one hopes for a nice surprise & :-( when it doesn’t arrive.

    We must expect Ken & his team to put a really good campaign together. He could win big in his heartlands – if he gets support from popular, high profile London MPs e.g. Chuka, Sadiq, Diane etc.

    In the ‘Boris friendly’ areas, Ken is going to need a team which is willing to take a bit of stick but keep plugging away at it.

  7. SNP 7 point lead!!

  8. I think that the interesting thing will be whether the recent stories will have a significant effect on Conservative support. So far the May Borders issue doesn’t seem to have had much of an impact, but would the combination of OECD now saying they expect a recession (rather than many people seeing it as avoidable through cuts), recent budget U-turns by GO (Plan P as it’s been dubbed), Union strikes and recent environmental blunders (Tar sands) cut the Tory lead down to ~32% across the polling board? I expect so, if not worse.

    I suppose a lot also depends on the opposition. Labour so far despite having had plenty of ammunition haven’t used it particularly well in my opinion, and the normal lead of ~5 points is probably more or less in line with an opposition who haven’t experienced major PR disasters yet (though I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong!). It’ll depend on how they respond to the strikes (I think their current sitting on the fence pleases nobody and annoys everybody), and how they target the government on economy mismanagement (something which I think they’ve been shy on, just because many people still blame them for the current state).

    I think that after the polldrums, we’re about to enter into a slightly more turbulent polling season. :D

  9. “Angus Reid do tend to show some of the biggest leads for Labour” !!!!

    Oh, how times have changed!

    It seems only like yesterday I hated Angus reid for the huge leads it gave to Cons before the GE.

    Now I love AR polls…

  10. RiN,

    Brian Paddick was the most senior ranking openly-gay police officer ever. He’s now a business school lecturer.


    You forgot the UKPR mantra – Don’t look at the Scottish cross breaks! :-)

    Though when you do, the concern for Labour must be that is yet another poll where the cross breaks show Milliband being as unpopular in Scotland as in the South of England : for the LDs, that Clegg is again more unpopular here than anywhere else.

    And these are all polls concentrating on Westminster politics, where the received wisdom (prior to May) was that Scots would vote in their own little ways for Holyrood, but would loyally return to Labour (or LD in the Highlands).

  12. UKIP one point behind the LDs again. Eventually they should beat the LDs in a poll. I wonder whether the press would pick that up and make the LDs falling into fourth a big story.
    That might give UKIP a boost as voters might think a vote for UKIP as less of a wasted vote.

  13. Also I see that BBC are reporting a COMRES poll that is heavily in support of the strikes.

    h ttp://
    h ttp://

    Quite different to other polling on this subject

  14. Most polling (including YouGov’s) seems to me politically motivated, i.e. run to prove that, for instance, the public don’t like strikes.

    I think the public is broadly sympathetic, but if you ask a question like, “do you think it is fair that public sector workers should get pensions that are much better than yours funded by your taxes”, you won’t necessarily reveal that broad sympathy.

  15. NickP – any particular reason why you are accusing me of gross professional incompetence/malpractice?
    Or why I should pay hosting fees for you to do it on my own website?

  16. Damn it. I want a London mayor poll where BoJo overtakes Ken on 2nd preference votes. I would *love* to see the Tories grilled over whether they should denounce their own victory in the London Mayor election as unfair.

    Still, I can always add this to the long list of AV and AV-like elections where the candidate with the highest number of 1st preference votes won and ask them just how many they expected to be won the the second OR THE THIRD!!!!!! [jarring chord] “best” candidate.

  17. Perhaps Labour would have done better with someone new, ie not Ken yet again.

    The OECD warning of recession should make the government unpopular, but will be seen as a new recession or part two of the last one? If the latter then voters won’t be rushing quite so much to Labour, perhaps instead going to UKIP.

  18. Anthony

    Did I do that?

    I thought I was making a point about why polls were carried out and for whom. I wouldn’t expect you to ask such a loaded question, but nevertheless questions can be loaded.

    Apologies for suggesting you did, though.

  19. U-huh, clients may well want that (though actually media clients don’t usually – support, oppose or country divided! is still a good story. It’s pressure groups who come hoping for a particular answer).

    It is the pollster’s job to make sure the question ends up being fair and impartial, and the best attempt at judging *actual* public opinion. We fail in our professional duty if the questions that end up being asked are politically loaded (and no, I’d rather you didn’t accuse any other pollsters of that either. I’ve never permitted comments here from people accusing pollsters of political bias, as it is normally people not being bothered to understand the differences in voting intention methodology properly – i.e. “pollster B deliberately give party X good ratings because they are bunch of party X supporters” when the case is really “pollster B shows higher ratings for party X because of the way they deal with don’t knows or likelihood to vote”)

  20. Actually, what the BBC reported is that a majority thought that Teachers are “entitled” to strike.

    You could easily answer yes to that even if you are Norman Tebbit.

  21. Without being parti pris….I think I mentioned to Anthony about the phrasing of a particular question in a poll and he responded with the natural alternative which even I immediately saw was loaded and worse….

    Part of the problem is always words and I’m sure they always be refined but part of the p[problem for those interested in this stuff is that we bring our personal slant to the analysis…even as we believe we are being dispassionately unbiased.

    I’m sure these questions are therefore run by several analysts by pollsters and I’m equally pollsters are always open to improving a question….it’s just that sometimes the suggestions we might make may turn out to be more loaded than those we implicitly criticise….

  22. Oops no. They said “justified.”

  23. I’m a Londoner….not a fan of either the incumbent or the challengers…

    I always thought Ken would have a mountain to climb…and to be honest his best hope is government unpopularity….and differential turnout working maybe against Boris this time as last time I seem to recall it worked in Boris’s favour….

  24. John –

    I try to restrain myself from criticising specific questions in polls – let he who is without sin, etc, etc. Instead I try to explain the potential differences between different ways of asking them. A subtle difference I grant you – I doubt many people reading the blog at the weekend would have been in much doubt that do not favour the idea of prompting by minor parties in voting intention questions, for example.

    No one is perfect, there are many different ways of asking a question, and often no right answer. Bias in particular questions is in the eye of the beholder – if someone wants to rubbish a question (or subsciously doesn’t want to believe what it is telling them), there is always a different way it could have been asked, something that could have shown a different result.

    All we can do is stick to good practice and do our best (and with experience, comes a knack of spotting potential biases and a knowledge of good tricks of the trade to balance a good question). It often does help to have colleagues with different political views to give second opinions when writing questions too!

  25. OLDNAT

    Yes I agree we should not look too much into the Scottish Subs but it can be fun. :) As you say though, it’s not looking too good for Millyband or Clegg in Scotland and that perceived wisdom of Labour loyalty creeping back looks to be wobbling if not shaking.

    I don’t know about you but I’m really looking forward to the council elections in Scotland and in particular Glasgow. Hillhead, I say no more.. Except the 13% tun out lol. ;)

  26. Anthony….

    I think you’re right…and teasing out the truth is often more difficult than ever one imagines….it makes it an interesting profession…

    As you’ve observed before often many of us who comment here may not like the message the polls bring…we may think the public in general misunderstand and are prejudiced….but this really is the real world and if we want to know what it thinks we’re all better for knowing uncomfortable truths…

  27. @Nick P

    Also the poll question ask about ‘public sector workers’ not just teachers.

    As I said before quite a different result – the field work for Comres is quite old 18th-20th Nov so before yesterday’s YouGov. So it probably isn’t down to a shift in opinion. The difference must be down to wording.
    YG asked about support for 3 groups of public sector workers, while COMRES asked if public sector workers were justified in going on strike.

  28. Conservatives must be hoping there is some methodology to blame for their low showing.

    Their last 35% with Angus Reid was on 6th Jan… low thirties for the best part of a year now.


    Hopefully we’ll get the Ipsos-MORI Scottish Public Opinion Monitor next week. Fieldwork should be going on at the moment.

    The locals should be interesting, as this will be the second go at STV elections. I suspect that there will be fewer Independents this time round, so we may get a better picture of party support levels.

  30. Nick p

    As I remember the great Norman was in favour of a total ban on strikes by public servants, most probably all strikes by anyone at all

  31. @BILLY BOB
    Conservatives must be hoping there is some methodology to blame for their low showing.

    Not at all. We believe it about as much as we believe the Daily Star poll yesterday.

  32. @John Murphy
    Agree regarding Ken, Boris and coalition in the poo.
    That Boris is quite nicely in front, at this conjecture, in these conditions, shows Ken is past his sell by date. London has a Tory following, it has a Labour one also. I cannot help thinking that another Labour politician, perhaps a younger mixed race female, would do rather better.

  33. Thinking about the ashcroft poll, its a shame that he wasn’t interested if a lib/lab govt would have been better than this one. He asked if a pure Tory govt would have been better and a pure labour but not a pure lib and not lib/lab or even a national govt.


    Boris, like Ken has a maverick quality if like Ken he’s also less maverick that he appears in the limelight…..

    Though I’m certain London is better off with a London-wide authority the problem with elected Mayors in our celebrity driven culture is that substance will always lose out to star quality….and whatever quality stars bring they rarely shine the dull light of competence into the dark recesses of government.

  35. John

    I would go further and say that London in particular needs a flamboyant figure to lead it. It must have something to do with self image

  36. RiN

    Presumably the Chingford Skinhead was in favour of airline pilots striking since he led one such strike in the 60s. Different class of striker to miners, bin men and hospital porters perhaps..

  37. Regarding the OECD’s prediction of recession across Europe.

    I think if this comes home to roost (although -0.1% is only 0.2% worse than +0.1% growth so should be “in the noise”) It’ll be a blow, it also offers the opportunity of a very low hurdle for George Osborne to beat, especially if the rest of Europe does stumble into a flat-lining European recession.

    Will be a test of his policies on infrastructure and on partially underwriting mortgages and business loans to see if he can buck the trend and “save us from recession”. If they can, I think it would at least lend credibility to “Plan A”.

    I agree with spending more money on stuff the UK needs, I disagree with spending money on simply anything, on the theory it’ll somehow lead to more growth than the amount borrowed plus the increase interest repayments.

  38. @Roger Mexico (FPT, re opinion on the strikes)
    “This whole area makes me think of Anthony’s favourite word ‘salience’. I wonder if issues such as this can have a comparatively low salience in general, but matter an awful lot to those that they affect directly. As Anthony pointed out the political preferences of public service workers don’t at the moment differ much from private one, but a feeling of being let down by the government might cause a big shift among them. My point is that sometimes things can have a low general salience and yet cause a change in voting patterns, because those that care about such things care about it a lot.”

    That’s a very pertinent point, perhaps even a salient one.

    All very true. Its getting so we will have Simon Cowell as PM and Tess Daly as Mayor of London.


    I’ve nothing against personality… flamboyant or other…but for good politics and government surely it should be in addition to other gifts…and not in place of them….

    Please do not call Lord Tebbit “the Chingford Skinhead”.
    We in the party much prefer ” a semi house trained polecat”. Norm got poor old Sunny Jim so angry, that he came up with that beautiful name.

  42. John

    I would tend to agree but I think londoners want a larger than life character more than a competent one. I think that other cities will have different preferences, therefore I feel its unfair to judge the concept of elected mayors on the ken and Boris show.

  43. As a Londoner, formerly resident in Chingford, I feel I should perhaps leap to the defence of my beloved mother-city.

    London, as any fewl kno, is actually run by its Borough Councils. There was no actual need for a London-wide authority or for a London-wide mayor. Hence we have the luxury of voting on the basis of looks, larks or lunacy as beyond a sort of vague overseer role on transport and culture, our mayor is basically a mascot.

    This contrasts with other “Mayoral Cities” in the UK which are actually run by a mayor, and where the electors presumably feel that minor details like “knowing what the heck you’re talking about” are important in a candidate.

  44. Roland

    If you are offended by Lefty’s slur on lord tebbit, I better not tell you that I refer to all yobos as tebbits


  45. What about all the poor skinheads who are offended by being compared to Norman Tebbit?

    Also, am I the only person to be highly amused that the BNP candidate goes by the name of Carlos Cortiglia? It turns out he is half-Italian, half-Spanish and comes from Uruguay. (These immigrants, come over here, take our jobs, stand for our anti-immigrant Parties…)

  46. Ahh Chou. The great exponents of the political put down are, I fear all dead never to return

    Churchill on Atlee (several times).
    Healy on Howe.
    Banks on Hague

    They don’t quip them like that anymore. If the best the current lot can do is “Calm down dear”, it’s a sad reflection on their wit.

  47. What ever happened to that campaign to get the SI unit of compassion named the Tebbit. One of the sticking points was the argument over whether a Tebbit was actually measurable with current equipment. Most people’s compassion would have had to be measured in Giga- or Tera-Tebbits.

  48. Neil A

    Coming from Doncaster, I can categorically state that knowing what the **** you are talking about was not a necessary condition for election to Mayor in 2009.

  49. @Chou
    Welcome back, where have you been?

    Did you notice the poll in favour of HS2 in the Sunday Times? Pretty meaningless IMO, in the absence of any context of costs (even the official costs at this stage, before they really start to escalate as they invariably will). I suspect that any polls taken early in the lifetime of the disasterous Edinburgh tram will also have shown a majority in favour.

  50. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that Brian Paddick could win the mayoral race?

    @ John Murphy

    “I’m a Londoner….not a fan of either the incumbent or the challengers…”

    I know the feeling and I am sympathetic.

    If I may ask, who do you plan on voting for?

    @ Old Nat

    “You forgot the UKPR mantra – Don’t look at the Scottish cross breaks!”

    I think there’s a sound reason for doing so and it’s not a partisan one against the Nats. It’s that the samples are incredibly unreliable and produce wacky results that don’t give an accurate representation of the electorate’s mood.

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