Latest ComRes poll

A new ComRes poll in the Independent on Sunday has topline voting intention figures – with changes from the last ComRes poll – of CON 46%(nc), LAB 25%(+1), LDEM 16%(-2). Once again the position appears to be pretty much static. The poll was conducted on the 20th and 21st August.


27 Responses to “Latest ComRes poll”

  1. I thought it was Con up 1 not nc.

  2. I remember finding an old copy of The Sun on the day of the 1979 election.
    “A message to Labour supporters. Vote Tory this time.”

    It seems like some of this is happening again.

  3. Kerry – the Indy on Sunday will draw comparisons from the last ComRes poll in the Indy on Sunday. I draw comparisons from the last ComRes poll, which was in the Independent (not on a Sunday).

  4. if this polling continues think what it maybe like after the party conferance season

  5. It is perhaps surprising that it is psephological business as usual. Brown and Labour are clearly hoping to benefit from Team GB success at the Olympics; but neither this not the general feel-good effects of Summer holidays, and its accompanying “no news is good news” seem to be increasing Labour support.

    One might wonder in particular whether Team GB success would help Labour get votes back from the SNP in Scotland. The SNP seem to fear this, judging from recent radio stories in which they try to point out that following a Referendum on devolution in 2010 there might be a Scottish team at the 2012 Olympics. But judging from the small change in support for the three major parties, and therefore Others (who are mostly SNP if this is a GB poll), Labour are not gaining from the SNP either. Which is of course particularly significant given the impending by-election in Scotland.

    It is looking more and more that the situation is like the 1992-1997 Parliament, when the voters made their mind up after Major’s withdrawal from the ERM. Northern Rock rang the alarm bells over the economy. Given the lack of growth in the world economy and decline in North Sea oil revenues, Labour could only regain support, if at all, by a major redistribution of wealth within the fixed pot. But when they are imposing below inflation pay increases, so much easier than addressing the causes of inflation now led by prices, not wages, which are more than wiped out by increases in utility bills, Labour don’t seem to get this when it comes to practical action. The other major parties don’t have answers either, but as they are not in Government they don’t take the psephological flak.

    It is perhaps worth mentioning that all the tabloids in the newsagent nearest me sold out early over the Gary Glitter business, and the Government appears to be seeking to cash in on this by yet more Home Office legislation. On my analysis, such reaction to popular emotion won’t now help Labour from a psephological point of view. There is no spin, political management, or action on social or legal matters, that can get round the core point that the voters have turned against Brown and Labour for economic mismanagement, as the electors see it. From their point of view Labour have to concentrate on getting the UK out of its economic mess, and be seen to do so.

    P.S. to John James Broughton. Thanks for your point. I also remember the famous Tory posters in 1979 “Labour isn’t working.” I wonder how many voters would have turned Conservative in 1979 if they had seen that this cynical Tory advert was a terrible promise, not a factual observation. And Cameron needs to clarify before the election his own hard economic choices e.g. whether to cut taxes or promote the social justice of the cohesive society for which nineteenth century Conservatism aimed.

  6. Frederick, I find it disappointing that you attack an advertisement as somehow ‘cynical’ and suggest that the joys of hindsight can be used to caricature the motives. I presume therefore that you see all political advertising – perhaps advertising itself – as ‘cynical’? Suffice it to say I disagree.

    On the endless gobbledegook about what kind of Conservative David Cameron is (or should be) I find it rather odd that we hark back to a supposed age where the Conservative Party strove for “social justice”. Now I see Disraeli as the greatest Tory prime minister but am wise enough to recognise his aim was to capture the emerging lower middle class and artisan vote (we call them C2s these days or white van man when we’re being rude). Hence jingo, the cult of Empire and the flag.

    Or maybe your 19th century Conservatism is the Conservatism of Robert Peel – free trade, open seas, an end to prtection and subsidy?

    Or perhaps the sceptical Conservativism of Robert Cecil and Balfour?

    All the strands of thought within modern Conservatism were present in the 19th century including the idea of low taxes, non-intervention and the minimum state. But today’s Conservatism has been forged in a different world – where high taxes are the norm, where the gross legacy of socialism and communism still determines the positioning of centre right political parties and where the public’s expectations of its government are largely undeliverable.

    In this climate Cameron is doing well – some of his acts and sayings appear a little cynical but right now gently steering Gordon Brown (and maybe the labour Party too) towards oblivion is the most sensible tactic and rather more sensible than a silly argument about tax and spend – the argument Labour wants the Conservative Party to host.

  7. One mention of Europe and any proposition that the Conservatives support free trade is shown to be blown out of the water.

    Similarly the David Davis (a man who supports the death penalty) episode showed the disingenuity of any Conservative civil liberties agenda.

    Conservatives only believe in freedom insofar as it is on their terms – what a joke!

    And Cameron is not doing well enough in the polls under current conditions. It’s like he’s being congratulated for scoring off a lucky deflection and hitting the post a couple of times while half the opposing team have gone off injured suffering cuts, bruises and serious concussion from fighting among themselves over substituting their heroic centre-midfielder in a gesture of sportsmanship after he scored a hat-trick of direct free-kicks!

    Camerons inability to impose himself on the intellectual debate raises serious doubts about his ability to govern (or am I confusing him with Boris?) from which the tories will undoubtedly suffer in future polls.

    Cameron should be well over 50% by now, and this conference season will be his last chance to hit that psychological barrier before the jitters start to strike.

  8. I think the 50% thing is a red herring, very few governments have managed to reach it in GE’s. If the Tories were doing better in Scotland they would have probably reached it by now, however they don’t need to do well in Scotland to win and they are doing well in the areas where they have to.

  9. You’re not being fair Thomas, the liberties enjoyed by all of us are necessarily ‘limited’ when we choose to break the law of the land. That is how we are able to remove the ‘freedom’ of murderers and rapists etc by sending them to prison.
    An opinion on the use of the death penalty, such as that held by David Davis, does not prejudice ones views on civil liberties per se.
    Some people would like to see more liberty for ‘good’ law abiding folk and perhaps less for ‘evil’ violent sorts.
    The difference between Labour and Conservative opinion here is stark and one of many reasons why just shy of 50% of the public appear to have made their choice to give Davis, Cameron and Co a shot at power.

  10. The post I made was not a cheap political point, but a reference to this poll which shows the Labour identifier figure is more respectable.
    There’s a significant group of people who see themselves as Labour, but are planning to vote Tory next time – like in 1979 when Labour actually had a slight lead on “What do you see yourself as basically?”

  11. To me the borrowing of Conservative policies by Labour has simply made things worse for them. It may well be that “fed up” Labour voters will switch simply because they hope things won’t be much different, apart from more competently run.

    I would echo the above sentiments about Cameron. It’s one thing to have power dropped into your lap because the outgoing administration has made a mess of things and the electorate have had enough of them, another thing entirely to do the job well enough to win subsequent elections. I find myself wondering how long before everyone is fed up with Cameron too.

  12. Although I’m a Tory supporter, I actually value a competitive party system, and hope we don’t have a result like in 1983 or 1997.

    Labour’s best hope now I think would be to shore up their core vote and get more of them out to the polling stations.

    Cameron is well aware of the difficulties more than he is given credit for. If he follows his instincts, and explains to people why austere measures are needed in 2010-14, I think the government should get a second term. It’s winning the first time which is still the challenge, although it looks likely.

  13. Europe – free trade? I fail entirely to see any connection! The EU owes its origins to a protectionist agreement over iron & steel and remains essentially a protectionist ramp that does more damage to the world’s economy than good.

    As to the Conservative Party’s problems over free trade – these remain. Heath’s support for Europe was in part an emotional response to the horrors of WWII and in part his grocer’s instinctive support for managed trade. There remain many within the party (including Cameron with his trendy support for so-called ‘fair’ trade) who are not instinctively supporters of free trade.

    On the more general point, the posts above illustrate Cameron’s problem. One set (the Frederick Stansfield’s of this world want Cameron to persist with the social justice stance, to eschew tax cutting and to focus on those issues of ‘fairness’. The other set consist on those who see this social stuff as soft and want hard economic choices, tax cuts and a ‘get on you bike’ culture. Cameron cannot stray too far from the instincts of the latter as these are many of the Party’s hardest workers but he needs the former to win. Up to now he’s done OK and the partnership with Osborne (almost ‘good cop, bad cop’) is a real bonus.

  14. “Camerons inability to impose himself on the intellectual debate raises serious doubts about his ability to govern”

    Thomas-amongst your regular contributions of over wordy piffle this little gem is a classic-what on earth does it mean?

    “To me the borrowing of Conservative policies by Labour has simply made things worse for them.”

    Keith I think you touch on the key point.
    In yesterday’s Sunday Times, Portillo opined that in the probable event of a Conservative GE victory, New Labour would revert to Labour & lurch back to the left.
    He says “The party needs to decide anew what Labour is for.”

    Blair’s brilliant move towards the centre & the welcoming arms of the disenchanted Tory middle class of 1997 has paid handsome electoral dividends for his party.
    But it has been an uncomfortable journey as he acknowledged in his ” I wish I had been bolder” speech.

    Well now the money is spent, the public sector reforms are still awaited & time has run out.

    “Education,education education” now sounds as vacuous as did “Cool Brittania”, whilst the widening income gap and declining social mobility must depress most proper Labour MPs, as these failures impose themselves on the electorate in crime & social breakdown.

    The increasingly desperate Blairite hand was proferred again last week by Adonis the schools minister.In praising City Academies he said they should become “akin to private schools”-“they should adopt common features of independent schools such as strict discipline, broad curricula and extensive after-school activity programmes,”.
    In praising the effect of parental choice he said “I want every parent to be a pushy parent. It is a jolly good thing,” -and this from a man whose boss is Ed Balls !

    Even GB himself is reported today as saying-reference sporting excellence-“We want to encourage competitive sports in schools, not the ‘medals for all’ culture we have seen in previous years,” he said. “It was wrong because it doesn’t work. In sport you get better by challenging yourself against other people.”

    Well Cameron must be smiling like the Cheshire Cat as he nods in agreement at these Damascene Conversions -and hopes that the electorate would rather have a Conservative Government to implement Conservative policies.

  15. My God that must have hurt-Baroness Jay, in describing GB as an “electoral liability” compares him unfavourably with her father-“Crisis?-what crisis” Jim.

    The press claim that Milliband has refused to be moved in any re-shuffle.If this is true then GB really has lost all authority over his party.

    My recollection of John Major’s political demise is that Sleeze & Black Wednesday had less efeect than his increasingly desperate efforts to impose any authority on his Parliamentary Party.

    His struggle with the “bastards” completely negated the five years of economic growth which were the true legacy of exit from ERM.The lesson for GB would seem to be that if he cannot impose his authority on his MPs, then any economic upturn next year-unlikely as that now seems-will not save him.

  16. I see Thomas has made a very partisan post.

  17. JJB, I note that it is only Conservatives who are irritated by my moderately anti-conservative argument.

    May I ask: which party do you think I am a supporter of?

  18. Cough! Cough! Comments-policy! Cough!

  19. You are of course right Anthony, but I think it is worth testing the sustainability of a ‘neutral non-partisan discussion’ when and where an anti-partisan comment is countered by a pro-partisan assumption.

    As an independent, I like to think of myself as open to reason, however the openly-biased commenters here seem to think they can disengage from reasoned dialogue in an attempt to close down discussion – clearly some Conservatives think they can afford to alienate the likes of little old me!

  20. Erm, no. This is my website, and it’s a benvolent dictatorship, not a democracy. The policy is sustained by me occassionally shooting people pour encourager les autres.

    If you are posting a comment and you KNOW it will be taken as a partisan attack you are not posting within the spirit of the site, and that is the golden rule here.

  21. I think Thomas has got it the wrong way round.
    Better to be open about one’s political views but engage in non partisan discussion. That’s the aim.

    To say you’re independent, whilst posting attacks on one party or another (whichever it is) is the wrong way round.

    That said, he makes some good posts.

  22. I am open about my political views and I find it hard to take any accusations of partisanship without pointing out the selective vision imbued in that accusation.

    I think it is helpful to those who I may be criticising to highlight any blindspots they may have, or at least, to provide observers with a demonstration of how crticism is dealt with by those of that persuasion.

    Counter-intuitive commentary also provides a remarkable antidote to conventional orthodoxy – which can spark discussion afresh and encourage thinking to be kept relevant by being constantly aware of the perpetual tension which exists between trend and counter-trend.

    I’d hate for this site to go stale on us, as it is a valuable resource which provides a service beyond any call of duty.

    So I must ask how discussion is to have any value if it is to remain absolutely neutral and raise the question whether non-partisanship is simply just another side to take?

    Either neutrality or non-partisanship should be sufficient to avoid turning the forum into a policy minefield and keep it on the topic of polls, but strung coyly together one negates the other and leads readers to make unfair allowances about commenters, thus growing the potential for group-think.

    I would point out that the politics of the format and medium do create a slight invisible bias, which may or may not be related to the external or internal contexts of the national mood or any authorial intent, so strict policing of the comments policy is likely to be virtually impossible anyway – and where would we be without all the self-proclaimed impartial observers and oracles!

  23. Simon:

    “Heath’s support for Europe was in part an emotional response to the horrors of WWII”

    Quite a few of his generation had “an emotional response” to WWII. Heath was there.

    To put it at the most basic, the EU is a device to ensure that never agaiin is ther war between France and Germany. The first Europeans who have reached the age of military service after WWII now have grandchildren approaching the age of military service.

    Neither they, nor their mothers, have had the fear or expectation of being required to fight in such a war, send their sons to die or have their towns and cities bombed.

    Those who are less fortunate often do get a little emotional.

  24. In the interests of equality perhaps you’ll also permit me to post that of the current Parliamentary Labour Party:

    29 have been accused of spousal abuse,
    7 have been arrested on suspicion fraud,
    9 have been accused of writing bad cheques
    17 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses,
    3 have been sentenced for assault,
    8 have been arrested on suspicion shoplifting,
    71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit ratings,
    14 have been arrested on suspicion drug-related offences,
    84 have been arrested on suspicion of drink-driving,
    21 are currently defendants in lawsuits.

  25. Of course you can, but since it’s utter nonsense it’ll only make you look daft. You really shouldn’t believe spam emails.

  26. …exactly, if it were ‘simple’ nonsense it wouldn’t require a response because people would immediately see it for what it is.

    I’m sorry to have to point out the old truism that good referees are invisible, but your appearance exposes your inconsistency in applying your own rules. This issue would not have needed to come under closer inspection if all comments and commenters were held to the same standards of neutrality and/or non-partisanship.

    So while I’m happy with non-partisanship I must question whether your definition of neutrality is not unbiased itself in any way – does neutral in this context mean inoffensive and anodyne, or does it mean fair and balanced?

    Irrespective, just as the Dutch discovered in 1940, you can’t be neutral about neutrality.

  27. On this site, my definition is infallible on the grounds that I pay the bills. Post in the spirit of the comment policy, or don’t post. It is not open to debate.