The sensational figures showing the Liberal Democrats up to 35 per cent are real, but are taken among the 4,000 people who watched the debate knowing that they might be asked their view afterwards. This is known as panel conditioning and exaggerates the effect, which is in turn felt only among the minority of likely voters that watched the programme. So ComRes have also estimated national voting intention, assuming the views of those that did not watch the debate are unchanged.
This produces a modest Lib Dem bounce and a seven-point Conservative lead over Labour. Full figures at ComRes in a moment. Meanwhile, ComRes boss Andrew Hawkins's press release:
Of the 4,000 sample of viewers who watched the debate, their voting intentions are now Conservative 36%, Labour 24% and Lib Dems 35%. This compares to their stated voting intentions prior to the debate which stood at Conservative 39%, Labour at 27% and Liberal Democrat 21%.
ComRes interviewed 4032 GB adults on 15th April by an automated telephone survey immediately after the ITV1 Leaders’ Debate. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults and weighted by past vote recall. Respondents were selected from a pre-recruited panel of people who agreed to be contacted by telephone following the leaders’ debates to give their views. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full data tables will be available shortly at www.comres.co.uk.
National Voting Intention
To extrapolate the impact of the change in voting intention figures for viewers of the debates the national voting intention is modelled taking into account: (i) viewing figures for the debate (Peak of 10 million – approximately 21% of the population); (ii) projected turnout –nationally and among viewers. Therefore, the national vote share result takes into account ComRes’s latest voting intention figures published on Wednesday 14th April and the voting intention of respondents who watched the debate polled on 15th April.