ComRes “Battlebus” poll for The Independent points to Cameron holding on as PM next year

John Rentoul

S742 aec s type 300x200 ComRes Battlebus poll for The Independent points to Cameron holding on as PM next yearIn The Independent tomorrow, ComRes launches a new “Battlebus” poll in 40 of the most marginal Conservative-Labour seats.

The figures are:

Con  33% (-4)
Lab  35% (-2)
LibDem  8% (-10)
UKIP  17% (+14)
Other  7% (+2)

Figures in brackets show changes since the 2010 general election results across the constituencies. These are the numbers to focus on. Labour is doing better than the Tories in these 40 seats, having fallen back less as UKIP has gained, but Labour has failed to close the gap on the Tories by enough to put Ed Miliband in Downing Street.

What matters is the change since the last election. If we apply the changes to the 2010 national shares of the vote, the numbers come out thus:

Con  33% (37% in general election, Great Britain)
Lab  28% (30%)
LibDem  14% (24%)
UKIP  17% (3%)

So this poll suggests, unlike previous marginals polling, that the Conservatives are doing better in the marginals than in the country as a whole, with the equivalent of a five-point lead.

Feed those national numbers into the Electoral Calculus uniform swingometer and it makes the Conservatives the largest party on 301 seats, a net loss of four, with Labour on 280, gaining 22, and the Liberal Democrats on 39, losing 18.

The poll has some interesting findings on the most important priorities when deciding who to vote for at a general election, and which party is most trusted on each:

1 Keeping down the cost of everyday items, such as food, energy and travel (Labour)

2 Controlling immigration (UKIP)

3 Managing the NHS (Labour)

4 Promoting economic growth (Conservatives)

But I think it is the change in voting intention since 2010 that counts, and this is not a great result for Labour a year before the general election.

The “Battlebus” is an excellent addition to the armoury of polling data. Congratulations to our partners at ComRes for designing it. We hope it will be a feature of Independent, i and Independent on Sunday election reporting over the next year, and that a London Battlebus might feature in the Evening Standard and London Live.


ComRes interviewed a representative sample of 1,030 GB adults living in the 40 most marginal constituencies where the Conservatives and Labour shared first and second place between them at the last General Election in 2010. Of these 40 constituencies, 25 currently have a Conservative MP and 15 currently have a Labour MP. Each constituency is represented in the sample equally, with results weighted to be representative of all adults in all 40 constituencies as a whole. Data were also weighted by past vote recall. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. More information on the ComRes website.

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  • Ciaran Goggins

    Mr R*nt*ul used a typical sample of 1000 of his pals called Fiona and Tarquin who joined Labour in 1997.

  • Ciaran Goggins

    I hate Milidiot, so John is doing well.

  • Pacificweather

    It’s a headline. You know: man bites dog. That kind of headline.

    Nevertheless it is as accurate as any other headline, especially the one at the top of the page. Having said that, all polls are predictions, even the ones that purport to be a snapshot of how the electorate believe they would vote if there was an election tomorrow. It might rain tomorrow and change the game.

    If, as you say, marginals analysis has been a sound indicator, then the ComRes analysis indicates Labour will win 40 marginal seats. Sounds like a prediction to me.


    Absolutely no way could it be a prediction. Labour almost aways loses ground when in opposition 12 months from a GE. ComRes would adjust their figures for that. I thought you would be aware of that.
    And I thought you were different from the others!!

  • Allan D.

    How many Lib Dem seats will the Tories take? This will offset any losses to Labour.

  • Pacificweather

    JR always does that, partly because he does not understand arithmetic and partly just to wind us up. Having said that, you don’t need to extrapolate because it is the marginals that decide who will win the election. If Labour have 35% of the vote in all 40 marginals (insufficient data and unlikely) then they stand a good chance they could win the election. Mrs. T. famously lost 2% of the vote and gained 52 seats in her second election. That’s the power of marginals in a post code democracy.

  • Pacificweather

    We are all different from the others. That’s what’s so good about us. You can be assured that JR and ComRes will come up with many more contradictory predictions before the GE.

  • Tim Fulcher

    The problem with this analysis is that swing’s are not uniform across the seats/country so there will be some gains/losses at the edges that change the final result. At the moment its looks very close but the Tories problem is they need a 7% swing to get a majority so the best they can hope for is a hung parliament and the Lib Dems will be more likely to go with labour especially if the maths mean there is a majority of Labour plus Lib Dems. Will be very difficult for Tories plus Lib Dems to come to coalition agreement. My guess is very messy election with UKIP picking up a handful of seats and Labour just short of overall majority. Its all to play for

  • Pingback: Labour’s local election results: “not good enough” | John Rentoul | Independent Eagle Eye Blogs

  • Colin Thompson

    Meanwhile in the real world Labour and Ukip will see off Cameron and the Tories in the General Election. There will be a Labour Government with a small majority.

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