Director of Political and Social Research

Our latest daily polling figures for The Sun (fieldwork 10th - 11th April; sample size: 1,455) are:

  • Conservative 37%
  • Labour 31%
  • Liberal Democrat 20%
  • Others 12%

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Since the budget and the formal beginning of the election campaign the Conservative lead in our daily polls has widened, typically to between 8 and 10 points with the Conservatives often hitting the 40% figure. 40% is not in itself necessary for the Conservatives to win the election – it is the swing in the marginal seats that counts – but it serves as an easy heuristic for the sort of lead the Conservatives would need in order to win outright. In our most recent poll the Conservatives dropped to 37%, but it is too early to tell whether that is the start of a trend or a temporary blip.

Since the election has started we have adjusted the method we use for our final voting intention figures. In our final polls for the 2005 general election we factored in how likely people said they were to actually vote, this year we have started to factor this in right from the beginning of the campaign. The effect is normally to very slightly increase the Conservative lead (on average it makes a difference of 1 point) as Conservative voters typically tell us they are slightly more likely to vote than Labour voters.

Our poll for the Sun today found the public thought that David Cameron and the Conservatives “won” the first week of the campaign. 32% thought Cameron had the best week, compared to 16% for Clegg and 16% for Brown.

The week ahead has both the manifesto launches and the first of the televised leaders’ debates. Our polling in the past has shown people expect David Cameron to triumph, but this means he faces the pressure of expectations. The publicity boost that Nick Clegg will receive by being given equal stature to Brown and Cameron may end up having more impact. We will be carrying out immediate polling straight after the debate to gauge the public’s verdict.

Additional questions

Putting aside your own party preference, who you think had the best first week of the campaign?

David Cameron: 32%

Gordon Brown: 16%

Nick Clegg: 16%

Don't know: 36%

Putting aside your own party preference, which political party have you found the most impressive in the election campaign so far?

Conservative: 25%

Liberal Democrats: 16%

Labour: 13%

None of them: 35%

Don't know: 11%

And putting aside your own party preference, which party leader do you think is getting their message across most clearly?

David Cameron: 31%

Gordon Brown: 15%

Nick Clegg: 13%

None of them: 28%

Don't know: 14%

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