CONSERVATIVES 37% (nc)
LABOUR 36% (nc)
LIB DEMS 14% (-3)
Tory lead still at just one point
The IoS ComRes poll is just out and represents no change between the two main parties but a sharpish slump in the Lib Dem share.
Clearly Labour will be delighted with the numbers though I would have expected Brown’s party would have done better given the Lib Dem movement. Normally a Lib Dem decline leads to a Labour boost – but not here.
It’s hard to make many other observations – the detailed data should be out later this evening when I will update this piece.
UPDATE AFTER LOOKING AT THE DATA: A striking feature of the data is that Labour’s “retention” figure seems to be down while the Tory one is up. The numbers show that only 67% of those who said they voted for the party in 2005 will do so next time – less than a fortnight ago it was 72%. This compares with an 86% retention factors for the Tories up from 82% at the end of November.
On the regional splits, which we’ve always got to be careful about, the Tory share in Scotland is down from 17% to 12%. The Labour figure is constant.
Amongst those “certain to vote” it’s CON 41%: LAB 33%. This was 39% to 33% in the previous poll at the end of November.
Second update – could it be down to weighting changes:
Anthony Wells of UK PollingReport raises the issue of the ComRes weighting system which seems to have been much more favourable to Labour in this poll than the last one at the end of November. This is what Anthony writes:-
Looking at the recalled past vote in the survey, the reverse in the Lib Dem support does indeed appear to be more down to the make up of the sample than a great decline in support. In the last poll 12% of respondents said they voted Lib Dem in 2005. In this poll 9% did – so only three-quarters as many Lib Dems. It also makes it look rather less like unambigously good news for Labour. In the last poll 20% of the sample claimed they voted Tory in 2005, 24% Labour. In this poll only 18% said they voted Tory last time, 26% said they voted Labour. No change in the poll is not good news for Labour if the political make of the sample was more Labour to start with.
I should add that I am very confused by ComResâ€™s past vote weighting and why it varies so much. I did think that perhaps the first table in their pdf results was showing the unweighted recalled past vote, which ComRes then use to generate their target weightings. Having asked Andrew Hawkins about it though he tells me those are the weighted figures, which seems very strange to me.
I could not agree more. The ComRes data is the least clear of the pollsters and it is difficult to work out how the past vote weighting operated.
Whatever we must remember the second golden rule:-