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ComRes is third pollster to give narrow lead to Out campaign... but "In" set for big win if PM can claim successful renegotiation

By Tim Montgomerie
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Sunday morning update: The ComRes poll's topline finding that Labour's lead was down to 6% has been echoed in other polls. Four Sunday newspaper polls all have Labour's lead below 10%.

  • In YouGov's survey for The Sunday Times (£) the Conservatives were up 5% to 33% and UKIP were down 4% to 10%. Labour's overall lead was just 6%. Very poor for this mid-term stage of a parliament.
  • In a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday the Tories were up 2% and UKIP were down 2%. Modest but in line with the other polls suggesting something of a trend.
  • Angus Reid for The Sunday Express found a 3% increase in Tory support but also a warning to Cameron to shift focus to the economy.



For what it's worth - at this very early stage of the In/Out campaign - ComRes becomes the third pollster to record the state of public opinion towards Britain's membership of the EU.

  • ComRes (for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror) finds that 43% agree with the statement that "if a referendum were held on Britain’s membership of the EU, I would vote for Britain to leave the EU". 33% disagree.
  • In yesterday's Times (£) Populus found that 40% would leave the EU and 37% would stay. 23% are yet to make up their mind. Unless the No campaign begins to persuade those DKs then they will vote for the status quo if precedent holds.
  • YouGov had a similar percentage as Populus. 40% would vote to leave. 38% would vote to stay.
A second question, asked by YouGov, gives us a better indicator of the result, all other things being equal. If Cameron can claim to have renegotiated Britain's relationship with Europe there's a two-to-one majority for staying:

Screen Shot 2013-01-26 at 17.40.14

The figures on the left refer to the start of the week and the figures on the right to the end of the week, after the PM had delivered his speech.

ComRes also finds that Labour's lead has narrowed from 11% to 6%. The vote shares compared with the middle of last month are Conservative 33% (+5); Labour 39% (-); Lib Dem 11% (+2); UKIP 10% (-4). At the start of this week ICM also recorded a narrowing of the gap between the two main parties (to 5%).

In other good news for the blue corner, ComRes finds that 42% of voters think David Cameron is good at representing Britain's interests in Europe. Just 22% say the same of Ed Miliband.


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