The monthly ComRes phone poll for the Indy is out tonight and shows almost no change from last month. Topline figures are CON 32%(nc), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 9%(nc), UKIP 10%(-1). ComRes also asked people what was most important to them about the economy in the coming years. Top came ensuring economic growth on 41%, following by increasing wages above the rate prices rise (25%), keeping down inflation (17%) and cutting the deficit (12%).

Meanwhile the daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 41%, LD 8%, UKIP 13%. It looks as if yesterday’s 2 point lead was indeed a blip, though today’s may be the same: the average in YouGov polls since the Autumn statement is a Labour lead of around about 5 points, so the two point lead and today’s eight point lead look like outliers in opposite directions.

With ComRes’s poll done, we’ve had all of the regular monthly polls from ComRes, MORI and ICM and we’re headed towards the Christmas break. YouGov don’t poll over Christmas, so will come to a halt this weekend. I’m not sure whether or not Populus or Opinium will continue over the holidays.

197 Responses to “ComRes/Indy – CON 32, LAB 37, LD 9, UKIP 10”

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  1. YouGov/Sun poll tonight: Labour lead jumps back up to eight points: CON 33%, LAB 41%, LD 8%, UKIP 13%

    Just about to post this and AW has already done it.

    A bit odd have these 2 polls showing very different results, when the previous polls have been steady. Perhaps someone at YG has been enjoying too much Christmas sherry.

  2. Good Evening All.

    Labour in good heart then as we all come into the pre-GE year, in 2014.

  3. Chrislane

    Not so sure about that. Labour should be much further ahead to be confident of winning the election.

    Remember Scotland 2011 – Labour 15 point ahead weeks before the election turns into SNP landslide.

    That may have been an exceptional performance by Salmond and co but a turnaround of 10 rather than 30 points would be par for the course. Therefore Labour could be heading for heartbreak not good heart.

    Also note Comres joins Populus in putting SNP ahead on Scottish crossbreaks – what is it with YouGov samples?

  4. Alexander,

    I’d be interested to see that Scottish 2011 pre-election poll in context, because I suspect that it would almost certainly have been a blip.

    The significance of the Labour lead, slim as it is, is that they’ve held more or less the same share of the vote for the last three years now, and have not fallen behind the Tories in any poll for nearly two years.

    The Conservatives, as with most governments, have seen their popularity diminish over the same stretch of time. While there is still some time to go, their self proclaimed economic recovery has not translated into votes as they anticipated.

    It is important to remember this key fact: the Conservatives did not win a majority in 2010 – they needed to form a Coalition. With the LibDems seemingly collapsed into their core vote for the foreseeable future and the subsequent rise of UKIP as a right-wing protest vote, the Tories would need to do better than 2010 in the next election in order to win it. There is little evidence that they can do this.

  5. I don’t think any party will have a15 point lead come the next election its going to 5 to7 % at most. one thing that is worrying for the Tories even though there is good economic data the vast majority of people are worse off than they were in 2010. people will vote with pockets at the next election.

  6. Alexander Anderson & CL45

    Surely it should be “head not heart” with polling analysis …

    …. current volatility between SNP and Labour (and the proven willingness of large numbers of non-Tory voters to switch their votes between a nationalist social democratic party and a UK social democratic party) suggests Scottish GE and UK GE results are not good comparators. One objective conclusion to be drawn from Scottish voting trends over the last 25+ years is that a large majority of Scottish voters will do everything they possibly can to ensure that the Conservatives are kept out of power in their country.

    ……as for “par for the course” it is very unusual for any full term Government in the UK to INCREASE its % share at the next Election. I think you have to go back to 1959 for an example. Hence there are few takers for the idea that Cmeron will get mroe than the 36%

  7. …(previouos post contiued, sorry pressed wrong button)

    …more than the 36% he got in 2010.


    Never quite got this “Labour should be much further ahead” line – why exactly?

  9. Hi Alexander Anderson!

    Is that your real name or are you just hijacking it from that fabulous old Scots railway poet? Love him!

    I think you’re being way too pessimistic. Rory H has the nail hit splat on the head, for my money. Labour’s 38 average is so constant it needs explaining, not fretting over (if you’re Labour) or thinking it will vanish (if you’re not.)

    p.s. I may have said that before.

  10. Anthony
    I see you did an update top left. Thanks. Nice to be reminded of teh current state of play.

    I read in La Repubblica that someone has discovered that David Cameron looks very like Catherine the Great in one of her portraits (in middle age). Gave a look and see if you agree.

    Down on the right hand side.

  11. @Rory Hughes

    “The significance of the Labour lead, slim as it is, is that they’ve held more or less the same share of the vote for the last three years now, and have not fallen behind the Tories in any poll for nearly two years.”

    I think you might well be getting to the heart of the reasons why some of the more thinking Conservative strategists are getting very worried. I think they might well have been more relaxed by occasional gargantuan mid-term Labour leads as long as there was the normal volatility. It’s the consistency of the Labour VI that I think may be really spooking them.

    They know they have to hole Labour below the waterline, and do so quickly. The question is, what silver torpedo do they have in their arsenal?

  12. Er, top right, good stuff this Chilean Merlot, £3.99 from Lidl and £2 off further, if you by half a case.

  13. or buy, hmm, perhaps too good.

  14. So it’s top right for AW’s update and lower right for Catherine /DC.

    Hey, no typos.

  15. AW has updated his graphs and, even before tonight’s 41%, they still illustrate very well the robustness of the Lab VI over the latter part of 2013. That floor of 38%, breached for a period over the late summer, has now been restored with YouGov. It’s the volatility of the Con VI that is leading to fluctuating leads.

  16. “YouGov don’t poll over Christmas, so will come to a halt this weekend.”

    The financial significance of which is that, just in time for Christmas, Paddy Power will be paying out on that market for “Lib Dems not to reach 14% with YouGov before 2014”. Something to sweeten the withdrawal symptoms arising from an addiction to daily polling.

    (Not that I’m claiming 2013 to have been personally successful betting wise, a wager led by too much wishful thinking over Eastleigh having just about cancelled out the gains from the above.)

  17. Rory Hughs

    The big Labour lead in Scotland was consistent across nearly all pollsters in the early Spring of 2011 – I think peaking at 18 per cent but double figures in all.

    It is unusual I concede to get this degree of turnaround during an election and I think there were special factors in play. Salmond fought an inspired camapign and was much more personally popular than Ian Gray.

    However it is not unusual for Government’s to recover their position as the election approaches eg the evaporation of the Labour lead between 1987 and 1992.

    There are three other factors which would concern me if I were a Labour supporter and I speak as a certain non Tory voter.

    1) UKIP will fall before General Election and the Tories will rise as a result.
    2) Cameron is not my cup of tea but is more popular or at least less unpopular than Milliband.
    3)The Tories economic narrative is flawed but probably seen as less flawed than Labour’s and will be as long as Milliband hangs on to [] Ed Balls.

  18. Howard

    Yes, that portrait
    Tom Pride, previously of this parish, had it on his website a few days ago…

  19. Alexander Anderson,
    ‘However it is not unusual for Government’s to recover their position as the election approaches eg the evaporation of the Labour lead between 1987 and 1992.’

    It is also worth being aware that most post-war General Election campaigns have tended to produce a swing against the incumbent Government – if only marginally on occasions. This was true in 1955, 1959,1964,1966,1970, Feb 1974, Oct 1974, 1987,2001, 2005 and 2010. Pro-Govt swings occurred in 1951, 1979, 1983, 1992 and 1997. Moreover, in both 1979 and 1997 the Opposition lead was so big that some recovery by the Government was pretty likely ,whilst the 1983 campaign saw a shift from Labour to the Alliance which had the effect of boosting the Tory lead over Labour.

  20. Anyone seen the Sun front page today?

    Not sure what the ‘Or Else’ is, but it sounds ominous.

  21. Also, that’s nice labelling of “UK” for the readers there.

    And red lines? That’s Stalinist nonsense, Cameron will have you know.

  22. @Phil Haines

    “…The financial significance of which is that, just in time for Christmas, Paddy Power will be paying out on that market for “Lib Dems not to reach 14% with YouGov before 2014…”

    Jaysus H Everloving Ker-rist, there was such a market?! I could have made money from that! See, if PBdotcom stopped banging on about its usual b****y hobbyhorses and highlighted each month’s markets and political valuebets, I’d’ve known about that and maybe made some money!

    (stomps off in high dudgeon)

    Anyhoo, since I’ve been on this beat I’ve made three predictions that I can remember, namely:

    * Euro to survive until 2014 (specifically “Germany & Greece to still be in Euro on Jan 1 2014”)
    * Coalition to run full course (specifically, “five throne speeches”, which isn’t the same as “Cabinet to contain at least one LD until election day 2015”, which may not happen)
    * Small (v small) Con majority in 2014 (withdrawn after boundary changes fell apart)

    The first one looks as if it’s going to come true (yay, me!). I was thinking of extending it to Jan 1 2018, but they may do in quiet contemplation what could not be done in fear and anger, so I’ll cash in my metaphorical winnings on that one. The second one is also going to come true, I feel. As for the third: well, I dunno: could go either way, tho I do acknowledge the “right-wing split vs a unified left” makes a Tory majority less likely.

  23. Alexander Anderson

    Three things that would concern me as a Tory voter:

    i. UKIP taking even 5-10% of the vote will lose votes in key marginals (see some indications from survation polling)

    ii. No party leader is popular and so will have limited impact on VI. Cameron failed to win in 2010 with an even more unpopular PM

    iii. The lack of economic improvement for the majority of voters will undermine the ‘growth’ propaganda from the Government

    There are numerous others, all of which are based on opinion, including vagaries of FPTP etc.

    All we have to go on at the moment that is factual are the data coming from polling which shows a consistent Labour VI, volatility in Tory VI. UKIP being difficult to gauge due to lack of historical data and differing treatment by pollsters. LD seemingly becalmed at a low level.

    If you have some recent data (and not just harking back to an election and polling from 21 years ago) that supports your comments then please share it or I suggest we try to stick to the polling facts

  24. Mr Nameless

    A quite appalling front page there – it seems we know where the focus of the right is coming up to election day.

    What would really be sad is for Labour to react to this in their normal way when it comes to immigration and trying to out-tough the Tories (who knows, or really cares, what the LD say on this)

    Immigration (and emigration) is always of need for discussion and revision but surely as a country we are better than this?

    It is funny that a political class that is so happy with the free movement of capital and goods is so against the free movement of people, even within a still fairly restricted Schengen framework.

    I can understand with the economic slump (but with this super Osbornomics growth we will need immigrants to support the ageing demographics……no, I don’t believe it either) there is more focus on immigration, but it needs to be careful how it is presented so as not to pander to those with less savoury views (including certain Australian advisors)

  25. “Anyone seen the Sun front page today? ”

    £5 off when you spend £40 at Aldi?

    Seems reasonable to me.

  26. @BCrombie

    Hasn’t experience to date shown than raising the EU like this just raises UKIP’s profile to the detriment of the Conservatives?

    I don’t see any threat to Labour’s VI as voters with the most hostility to the EU probably left Labour a long time ago.

  27. Five poll rolling average:

    Con 33.8
    Lab 39
    LD 8.8
    UKIP 12.2

    Lab Lead 5.2

  28. Alex
    Few questions,
    What criteria do you place on ‘winning’? Highest VI? Most seats? Forms a government? Majority?
    How far ahead should Labour be ‘by this point’ and according to what assumptions?
    At what point in time would the current Lab VI be sufficient enough for Labour to win? 1 month out? 3 months out? 6 months out?

    How large will % vote gained be to Con gains be from the UKIP drop? And according to what data?
    And the important one – where will the fairly stable 30%ish of Lib to Lab switchers go? Greens? Back home? Not vote?

    Dream scenario for Cons would be collapse in UKIP, gains from Lab and LIB>Lab switchers not voting.

  29. It turns out that my brain cannot output English this early.

    UKIP question should read, ‘Assuming a UKIP drop, how large will the Con gains be?’

    Not so sure about that. Labour should be much further ahead to be confident of winning the election.
    Remember Scotland 2011 – Labour 15 point ahead weeks before the election turns into SNP landslide.

    -Just as a matter of record Labours vote share in the 2011 Scottish GE was within 1% or 2% of it’s share in 2007.

    The huge SNP Gains were from the Tories and Lib Dems.

    I can’t see the relevance of this in a Westminster GE.

    A decent You Gov Poll for Labour but both Today’s and Yesterdays were within MOE.

    The real lead is probably around 6% and Labour continues with its virtually uninterrupted run of support around 38-41% which it has enjoyed with a few blips for Three Years.

  31. Anyone seen the Sun front page today?
    Not sure what the ‘Or Else’ is, but it sounds ominous.

    -Or Else we are going to tow Britain to the South Atlantic?

  32. Problem with Scottish polls is the Westminster issue; I feel whilst Scottish Labour imploded, there is some argument to be had that people were to some degree supporting Labour in Westminster, and once the campaign got going and the Scottish focus began, voters moved to where they had actually always been – despite their polls answers earlier.

    The ‘Labour should be doing better’ argument is kind of ridiculous when the public already voted for the key economic policy of the government and the economy to some degree is going ‘okay’. Labour have successfully moved the argument to real money terms and the money in peoples pockets; come the election this will probably be the defining ‘manifesto’ argument for the next parliament.

    Also Sun front page is pretty ugly, especially boxing UK off and putting a bunch of font over the rest of Europe; you can certainly see the nationalist slant to it all, along with the ‘English Red Line’.

  33. Not sure what the ‘Or Else’ is, but it sounds ominous.

    – Or else Murdoch will openly transfer his and The Sun’s allegiance from the Tories to UKIP?

  34. AW has already posted my view of yesterdays and todays YouGov, looks like a 5 poiny lead for labour with their vote steady at around 38%.

    I remain happy with my forcast of the election in 2015. Have a good day all. Nice lloking morning for some gardening.

  35. Sorry, should be “looking morning”

    Not sure what the ‘Or Else’ is, but it sounds ominous.
    – Or else Murdoch will openly transfer his and The Sun’s allegiance from the Tories to UKIP?

    -I doubt it NI likes to pretend it has the mood of the nation and will probably support that party most likely to win so they can claim it’s the “SUN WHAT DONE IT!”

    Of course the Octogenarian Right Wing Owner might go off on a frolic of His own.

    It would be quite amusing to see the Sun support UKI P , expect a campaign to be launched for the immediate introduction of PR on May 8th 2015 the Day after UKIP win no seats.

    This will be a major change from their Position IN 2010 espoused by Becky Age 18 : 38,26.38 Who in Her Column on Page 3 ,strangely located next to a picture of a half naked young women, avowed Her concerns about the effect of a PR system on stable government!

  37. Much more pleasing result today – probably an outlier the other way and lead still 5-6 points.

    Sense increasing nervousness by Tories and Tory supporting media around the stubbornness of Labours lead given ‘positive’ economic news and labours ratings on the economy – despite this still moderately comfortable lead. Could be a tricky few months as we move into the final year for Cameron.

    My view it will be lab 37 con 32 lib 13 Ukip 10 – happy days

  38. I guess it’s natural to talk increasingly of the GE as we get closer and closer, but the return of the ‘Labour should be doing better’ meme is a little pointless. The coalition and the collapse of the Lib Dems, plus the rise of UKIP, make current circumstances significantly different to the last few elections, and assuming old certainties stay the same is unwise, especially as many posters have previously pointed out, the swing back to incumbents isn’t actually much of a certainty anyway.

    I feel it’s far better to focus on fundamentals instead, and work from there.

    For me, there are three fundamentals that we can all, more or less, agree on.
    1) Labour will improve on 2010 vote share
    2) Lib Dems vote share will fall
    3) UKIP vote share will rise

    This means for certain that Labour will pick up seats, even if LD votes also go to the Tories or UKIP takes votes off Labour.

    However, there are the second order fundamentals – perhaps not absolutely certain, but apparently highly likely.

    4) UKIP takes votes (and critically, members) disproportionately from Tories
    5) UKIP support increasingly seems to be more clustered and less averaged out than previously
    6) Polls suggest it’s more likely that nationally, Tory support in 2015 will be below, rather than above, 2010.
    7) Polls and results indicate Lib Dems continue to hold up much better in Lib Dem/Con marginals than in Lib Dem/Lab seats.

    There are a string of other factors that could alter, including polling showing UKIP having a big impact in Con/Lab marginals, Lab doing better in key marginals, and Lab recovering in Scotland.

    I would agree that even having talked about fundamentals, in politics, nothing is ever completely certain. However, even if we are talking about a sustained economic improvement between now and May 2015, the fundamentals still apply.

    Almost every single fundamental runs against Tories and in favour of Labour. About the only one that could be positive for Tories is the fact that the Lib Dem collapse might gift them a seat or two in Scotland – but if they really are fighting off UKIP in their heartlands, then this would be almost a complete irrelevancy.

    Tory MPs are reported to be settling back into a deep depression, and frankly, I can see why.

  39. @Martyn

    If you still don’t trust your powers of prediction*, there is an arb out there at the moment:
    SNP to win 7 or more seats at GE: evens (Stan James)
    SNP to win 6 or less seats at GE: 11/10 (PP)

    Evens for the SNP to do better than their lousy (6 seat) GE result in 2010 looks like a snip, so personally I wouldn’t bother with the arb. Evens on about 9 SNP seats would be more realistic.

    I agree about the appalling plonkers on PB. I prefer to share betting tips with the civilised crowd here, of all political persuasions.

    (*Given your call on the Euro when all looked doom and gloom, I don’t see why not.)

  40. Correction, that 11/10 is with Ladbrokes not PP.

  41. Electoral Calculus are currently Predicting a Labour or Lab Lib Coalition after the GE AT 88% .

    A Tory or Tory/ LD coalition at 7%


  42. EM has suffered jokes about looking like Wallace, and now we have DC being suggested as bearing a strange resemblance to Catherine the Great.

    But I find this one even stranger and somewhat disconcerting…


    A relief to see the Lab lead on YG restored to normality. I was beginning to think we were witnessing a significant turning point in VI.


  43. Oops

    Merry Xmas and best wishes for 2014

  44. One of the problems with academic psephology is that it deals in dry statistics, particularly percentages, and tends to ignore the fact that when we talk about “3 or 4%” of the electorate switching here and there, we are actually talking about millions of voters changing their minds. So, if we assume that the current opinion polls are broadly representative of the electorate at large, for Labour to decline by 6%, to the low 30s, and for the Tories to garner most of that lost Labour support to rise to the upper 30s, the sort of turnaround required for them to win in 2015 incidentally, something like 1.8 million voters will need to switch between now and 2015. That’s an awful lot of people.

    Now, we all know big swings can occur, quite late sometimes too, but let’s think about the likelihood of this number of voters changing their minds. I’m not a Tory election strategist, but I get the feeling that they think this big switch will occur for two basic reasons: –

    – Most voters will feel a rise in their living standards by May 2015 and fear that a change in government will put this at risk. Even though these people are currently saying that they would vote Labour in an election held tomorrow, they’ll see, come actual decision time, the folly of that sentiment and whim and reward the incumbent government instead. In other words, they’ll cast a vote to keep out the party they currently say today that they’d like to see in government.

    – Voters, when looking at the party leaders in the crucible of a general election campaign, will suddenly realise that Miliband is not Prime Ministerial material in comparison to Cameron. Their pencils will hover over the ballot form, hand a quiver, and they will recant their past intention to vote Labour and decide to put Cameron back into Downing Street. The cock will crow thrice in the far distance.

    All possible, but 1.8 million people???

    I only pose the question as the clock begins to tick down towards May 2015. It’ll be 2014 very soon.

  45. @Martyn – I do recall your prediction that the Euro would survive to 2014 – well done. I also recall my prediction that the Euro would not survive in it’s current form, although I didn’t put a date on that, and I too remain feeling confident. Indeed, some of the changes already initiated suggest I might already have met my own terms, but I think more fundamental changes are likely.

    The last couple of months has seen the somewhat complacent ‘All’s Quiet on the Euro Front’ attitude by Brussels gradually evaporate, with a significant downturn in the EZ and signs of much more serious economic disorder in places. Greece is now expected to need another bailout, and the figures from Italy are dreadful. Unemployment at 12.5%, youth unemployment at 41%, and total growth over the next three years combined of just 0.3% predicted. With the recent public protests there, this can’t last, with Germany sitting pretty.

    My sense is that the last bout of ructions was seen across the EU as a financial problem, but with EU flags being burned in Italy, this time the anxiety seems to becoming focused on the nature and structure of the EU itself. The problems haven’t been solved, and the questioning has moved up a level, into some really quite dangerous territory.

    I think that unusually, the Euro 2014 elections are going to be highly significant, and I don’t rule out a major Euro crisis this year.

  46. EM has suffered jokes about looking like Wallace, and now we have DC being suggested as bearing a strange resemblance to Catherine the Great.
    But I find this one even stranger and somewhat disconcerting…

    The Bastard Child of the Russian Czarina and Spencer the Posh Train

    Actually the resemblance to both is bordering on the Uncanny .

    For Balance
    I have recently heard Ed Miliband being described as looking like a Human Platypus.

    My wife assures me I have a remarkable resemblance to a Fat, Balding, Miserable Old Git.

    Here was I thinking I was still the spitting image of a Young Imran Khan

    Not so much of the Fat Missus!

  47. @Crossbat
    ” It’ll be 2014 very soon.”

    Yes, and it’s worth bearing in mind in the context of those mantras along the lines of “Governments mostly regain popularity as the general election approaches”.

    The same data could be used to come up with a mantra of “Governments mostly regain popularity in their fourth year”, bearing in mind that until now four years between elections was the norm, and that since Attlee in 1950 (and then by the slimmest of margins) governments going the full five years have not been reelected.

    So given that we’re now well into the fourth year, and that based on the past norms a May 2014 GE would be nearly upon us, the Conservatives ought to be looking for a recovery now rather than in a year’s time, if historical precedent is to be relied upon.

  48. Interesting household finance data from Market this week. Everything is still negative, with households reporting worsening finances in the last month. However, there was a very small rise reported in earnings, and a large improvement in people’s views of the next 12 months, even though this was still below the 50 mark than signals growth.

    Overall, the slide in consumer confidence might have stopped, but everything still suggests households are getting worse off.

  49. AA

    ” the master of disaster, Ed Balls.”

    Nicely poetic insult [this sort of subjectivity is not what we’re here for by the way]

    What’s it supposed to mean?

  50. I think Alec’s post of 8.38 has it about right, and also the later comment about the significance of next year’s euroelections. Not sure about the state of opinion in Italy but I am willing to carry out some field research in April in, say, Venice…

    It’s getting near that busy time, so in case I do not get to post again on here until 2014 have a great holiday, and in the meantime I’ll just have a quiet word with my friend Professor Quaterm- aaaaaaargh!

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