ComRes lead down to just 8 points

ComRes lead down to just 8 points

CON 38% (40)
LAB 30% (29)
LD 20% (21)

And is Labour winning the Muslim vote?

There’s a new ComRes poll which was taken on Tuesday and Wednesday shortly after the Gordon Brown TV extravaganza on ITV. It’s been commissioned by the think-tank, Theos, which as well as finding out about voting intentions also looks at the question of religious beliefs and the coming general election.

The headline voting intentions are broadly in line with the pattern that we see from ComRes – reasonably significant moves from one survey to another. So every other ComRes poll, it appears, is quite good for Labour.

This, combined with the YouGov six point lead poll, all adds to the narrative of the possibility of a hung parliament and will give further heart to Labour. Could it also tempt Brown into an earlier election?

The poll reveals some striking differences among religious groups. Despite the Iraq war and concern about anti-terror laws, 57% of Muslims intend to vote Labour. Only 32% of Muslims are ‘absolutely certain’ to vote, however – well below the national average of 47%.

For the Conservatives, support amongst those of no religion has grown sharply since 2005 (up from 21% to 34%) but amongst Christians it has only grown from 38% to 40%. Amongst Christians, however, 48% say they are ‘absolutely certain’ to vote, a figure which rises to 61% amongst Christians who say their faith is very important to their lives.

One reason for the Conservatives’ limited gains amongst Christians is that only 21% of people believe that the Conservative Party has been the friendliest towards the Christian faith over recent years, only fractionally different from the 20% for Labour. 9% say the Liberal Democrats.

However, Labour is seen as most friendly to Islam by 36% of the public, while 10% say the same of the Conservatives and 7% say it of the Liberal Democrats. Among Muslims, 49% say that Labour is most friendly towards their faith.

The Liberal Democrats poll best amongst people who say they do not belong to any religion, scoring 26% compared to 20% overall and 18% amongst Christians.

  • Radio 4’s “The Westminster Hour” at 10pm. I’m making my monthly contribution on polling this evening.
  • Mike Smithson

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