Tories pushing towards 50 per cent with ComRes

Two UK pollsters have tonight released surveys prepared for tomorrow’s Easter Sunday newspapers: they tell two very different stories.

The focus is likely to be on ComRes’ poll for the Independent and Sunday Mirror, which shows the Conservatives on an extraordinary 46 per cent of General Election voting intentions. Not only is this their highest of the year with any pollster (across 33 national polls in total), their score is equal to those of their main opponents – Labour, Liberal Democrats and the UK Independence Party (UKIP) – combined. Commentators will no doubt be scouring the history books for past large poll leads that match this 21-point gulf.

With the governing party rises four points compared to ComRes’ March poll, the Labour opposition is flat on 25 per cent with just under three weeks until local elections throughout Scotland and Wales and in parts of England. The Scottish Nationalists (SNP), Lib Dems and UKIP all lose a point. ComRes highlights that one in three 2015 UKIP voters and one in six 2015 Lib Dem voters have now switched allegiance to the Tories.

Perhaps reflecting the current disarray of the Labour opposition, 41 per cent of those interviewed agreed that ‘there is a need for a new centre-ground political party in Britain’. That included 58 per cent of Lib Dem, 47 per cent of UKIP and 43 per cent of Labour voters.


Chart by Visualizer


While the ComRes poll is a perhaps slightly exaggerated version of the general state of British public opinion, tonight’s other survey, from Opinium for The Observer, is far out of line with all other recent polls. Here the gap between Conservative and Labour support, at nine points, is in single figures for the first time in two and a half months – and it was another Opinium poll on 31 January that last showed this position.

The 38 per cent score for the Conservatives is one of only six polls giving them below 40 per cent in 2017 – and three of those have been Opinium surveys. Meanwhile the Lib Dem result of 7 per cent is well below the run of polls in recent weeks which have put Tim Farron’s reviving party on between 9 and 13 per cent. A difference of just two points between the Lib Dem and Greens (on 5 per cent) will seem questionable to many. Conversely UKIP achieves its joint highest poll of the year at 14 per cent.

Another curiosity of this poll is that, even while the gap between the two main parties has narrowed from 13 to 9 points, Prime Minister Theresa’s May net approval ratings have improved further from +17 to +21. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn improves too: but from -36 to -34.


Voting intention, per cent (change on 18 March in brackets):

  • Conservatives 46 (+4)
  • Labour 25 (nc)
  • Liberal Democrats 11 (-1)
  • UKIP 9 (-1)
  • Greens 4 (nc)
  • SNP/PC 5 (-1)
  • Other 1 (-1)

Fieldwork: 11.04-13.04.2017. Release date: 15.04.2017. Participants: 2029. Method: Online poll with weighting for past vote.


Voting intention, per cent (change on 18 March in brackets):

  • Conservatives 38 (-3)
  • Labour 29 (+1)
  • Liberal Democrats 7 (-1)
  • UKIP 14 (+1)
  • Greens 5 (+2)
  • SNP/PC 6 (-1)
  • Other 0 (-1)

Fieldwork: 11.04-13.04.2017. Release date: 15.04.2017. Participants: 2002. Method: Online poll.


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