ComRes’s monthly poll for the Independent is out, and shows topline figures of CON 45%(+5), LAB 26%(-2), LDEM 17%(-1). Changes are from the last ComRes poll, carried out at the end of March.

The figures are almost the same as yesterday’s YouGov poll in the Sunday People. We haven’t had any post-budget figures from ICM, Populus or MORI yet, but so far it is looking as if, between the rows over MPs expenses, “smeargate” and the budget, we have seen a further shift against Labour and we are back into Tory landslide territory. Obviously there is a long way to go until a 2010 election, but the June local and European elections aren’t looking pretty for Labour.


355 Responses to “ComRes show 19 point Tory lead”

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  1. @Jack R “It wasn’t meant to end like this for Labour….”

    What do you mean?

    If you look at the history books, every Labour government since Ramsey McDonald in 1931 has ended because of financial mayhem.

    This one is following the script to the letter.

  2. Cliff is right, Healy, Wilson, Callaghan- there was a reason people rather voted tory for 18 continual years- they couldnt trust labour. By 1997 they felt they had to vote for someone else, and all of our worst fears have been realised.

    When John Major took the country to the stump in 1992 he said “we must avoid the ultimate disaster of a labour goverrnment”- I believe that after 2010 that sentiment shall return with a vengence.

    The only difference this time is an unelected labour party could be replaced by a less toxic centre-left and now well established liberal democrat party on the left- indeed they almost did it in 1983 when they as a party were a lot less established and financially sound- just imagine what mightt happen now in the race to be the next con governments opposition

  3. dean thomason-

    labour to lib dem is only 1.8% swing in the lib dems favor so no labour MP with a majority over 3.6% is a risk from the dems at this time so only a few seats hear and there mostly i’d say in the north, but NC’s sheffield hallam seat will take a pounding on current polling and his majority may be cut to just 5.2% or 2340 with labour a distance third. as for my own area leicestershire, the north west of the county will go blue for sure i have family who live up there and when they had the locals in 2007 the tail i got was that labour got kicked out through incompadance and not doing anything for the district and its still very much that way now apart from the BNP aking a good showing in some seats. in the rest of the county rutland and melton which is my own area will stay and get much more blue as melton town area gose blue instead of red and yellow, in leicester the picture is much diffrant as labour are still very dominant hear and wil only lose a few votes, the key is leicester south and a good showing ells where will do the tories favors, the EU elections will be the one to whatch and the break down of results will show if leicester is turning and finally on to the very marginal loughborugh it will go blue

  4. Channelling Chris Newey – I’m optimistic. We’ve got the Tories on the hop. Cameron must be a scared man today

  5. The Petition to Brown to Resign is now #6 in terms of no of signatures, and will soon be #1. If this gets to over 1M people Brown would be under serious pressure – 5-10M and I think it would be irresistable.

  6. Interestingly if i was brown i would prefer to lead the party to defeat in 2010 than to resign before the election. if you look at John major he recieved far more praise and respect for the way he behaved in defeat and is generally seen as an honest man.

    That could be Browns Legacy that he honrably lead his party even though he couldn’t win.

    Labour are going to lurch to the left with their next leader i wouldn’t bet against a John McDonNell leadership in 2010

  7. @onthejob – “Labour are going to lurch to the left with their next leader i wouldn’t bet against a John McDonNell leadership in 2010”

    If Labour lurch that far leftwards they can forget the 2014/15 election.

    However a temporary lurch to the left is probably inevitable if there’s a Consersvative landslide that wipes out most of the Blairites.

  8. i Don’t Disagree Cliff. you only need to look at at Labour Home and these people honestly believe that becoming far more left wing is the answer. I think it will be a two term Conservative Government if the tories pull it off. (nothing in the bag could still lose blah blah blah)

    you would think that aprties would learn Michael Foot Anahilated wiliam hague destroyed. Got to stay in the Centre.

  9. The voters clearly reject the notion that the money has all been gambled away by capitalism-gone-mad, and appear to believe that it’s all been spent on one-legged dance troupes and wages for the feckless.
    Who am i to argue otherwise?

    I just don’t remember the events of the seventies that lead the erudite analysts here to say “it always ends this way for Labour” Where were the rampant free-market capitalists then, unless you count David Bowie?

    The fact is that when the cashiers called time, the talented, entrepreneurial wealth-creators were shown up as losers.

    New Labour’s mistake was to cosy up to these people, scared that they might dodge tax and flee to Switzerland if they didn’t. As if they would!

    I agree that lurching to the left of centre would be a mistake, but it’s daft to say this has been caused by leftist policies. Tax is lower than under Thatcher. A lurch to the left would still leave New Labour to the right of many in the Tory Party.

  10. JohnTT

    Do you really think that Brown’s lack of popularity is because the voters have pinned the “blame” for the recession on the wrong man?

    Do you not recognise that Brown himself is a problem-recession or no recession?
    Do you not agree that Brown’s propensity to deny any responsibility for the UK banking crisis is a factor in his current plight?
    And do you not remember the long periods of Tory Poll leads during Brown’s premiership which pre-dated the recession?-what was the reason for them?

    And is Stephen Byers blaming the public for incorrect analysis? No he is blaming Brown.

    For me the whole Labour philosophy is epitomised in Ms Harman’s “Equality Bill”.
    Presented to a depressed & resentfull public in the middle of a recession, with Labour bombing in the Polls , Harriet’s answer?……

    …..Yet another Top Down, centralised edict to construct the New Jerusalem by statutory enforcement , “Policed” by yet another “Inspectorate” of highly paid , highly pensioned jobsworths foisted on the taxpayer.

  11. M
    the “next inexperienced, ignorant younger generation”
    ius exactly who you are hoping will listen to you.

    Nothing you write suggests you’re anything other than completely blinkered. If the tories campaign saying “We were right alll along, the electorate should not have voted Labour in 1997”, then wouldn’t most “polder”, experienced people feel a bit uncomfortable?

    Unfortunately for us all, I think there’s a lot more gullibility around that allow bone-headed, self-righteous banging onto prevail over factual analysis.

  12. Colin –
    No, I was having a pop at the knuckle-headed approach of the blinkered, and I would never “blame the electorate”.

    The Icelandic electorate have just given their verdict, and voted out the (center-right) incumbents.

    I’ve no doubt the electorate reasonably attach blame to Brown for the recession, but it’s because he failed to hobble the free-market bankers as they burned all our money, not because he allowed =trade unionism to rule the roost.

    It’s plain wrong to lump the failures of industrially-decaying 1970’s Britain in the same category.

    Do you remember who Lawson, Lamont, and co blamed for the bust of the late eighties/early nineties? It was us. They held the people responsible for over-stretching themselves. At least Brown isn’t blaming the electorate, or coming out with crass remarks like “get on your bike”

  13. the whole Labour philosophy is epitomised in Ms Harman’s “Equality Bill”.

    Exactly! They think it should not be “left to the market” to decide whether women get paid on the same basis as men! After all the market has had 40 years to self-correct. Do you think it’s right that men should get more than women because they are men?

  14. John TT

    Brown comes out with “crass remarks” like “British jobs for British workers”, which the BNP have taken over to use for their campaign. Will you hold the sub-Prime Minister to account for this idiocy if the BNP win seats in the European Parliament? You should.

  15. The Grauniad appears to be fielding Harriet Harman as its preferred successor to Brown. If it gets its way, that’s Labour consigned to the opposition for the duration of her reign.

    i suspect Labour will go through what the Tories went through pre-2005 – a succession of lacklustre leaders, none of whom have a cat in hell’s chance of winning an election, until eventually someone comes up through the ranks and puts Labour back in the game.

    Brown’s legacy will be dire, not “honourable”. He’ll be remembered with loathing and contempt by many, and as the man who sealed Labour’s fate by many more. He’s been a disaster. I can’t think of any mainstream politician I’ve disliked and despised more and I know I’m not alone in that.

  16. “They held the people responsible for over-stretching themselves.”

    And are “the people” blameless now?

    Are they not to be criticised when taking on debt they could not afford to repay?

    Why is personal responsibility so beyond “the people” ?

  17. If the cabinet had any courage, they would lock Brown in his office with the proverbial glass of whisky and loaded revolver, and declare Jack Straw leader with a specific timetable for an autumn election.

    Straw should make it clear that he is a caretaker until after the inevitable defeat, with a view to Labour holding a leadership election in spring – ideally announcing new leader in time for the local elections next May.

    Any pretence that Labour can somehow pull it around and Brown should soldier on is an insult to the country and would result in a far worse defeat in 2010.

    The idea that Labour could hold a leadership election before going to the country is now a non-starter, and is neither in the interest of the country or the Labour party.

    Sadly, I fear that Labour lack the courage to force Brown out, and he is so deluded he will simply hang on until dragged out of Downing St. So we are condemned to another year of drift and disaster.

  18. @John TT
    “Do you think it’s right that men should get more than women because they are men?”

    Of course not. But Harman’s view on equality is that you should employ the woman on the grounds that she is a woman, if two candidates are similar (my dictionary must have a funny definition of equality).

    Most women I know would be disgusted to think they’d been given a job simply because they are a woman.

    Back on polls – well, what is there to say. Barely 1 in 4 people support the current government.

  19. When a bank decides to authorise its employees to gamble hundreds of billions of pounds away.

    The “people”? Which ones? The British, or the Americans? Sure, it was a mistake to sign up to a mortgage without any job or capital, but , ok a very Labour idea, they were Mis-Sold. Like the endowment policies in the eighties.

    Is it beyond reason to expect corporate responsibility, rather than blaming the customers when the wheels fall off?

    Cynosarges – the context of that remark makes it clear he was not on about protectionism, but about wealth-creation, but you seem to be agreeing that bonkers interpretations seem to have an unfortunate effect on people’s voting intentions.

  20. John TT

    The NINJA mortgages in the US were handed out by the banks in response to Government action (Clinton policy). Since many of these were then either assigned to Freddie-Mac / Fannie-Mae or bundled up into CDOs, the Banks thought that they had passed on the risks they did not wish to take in the first place. There was also an assumption that the government would support those who fell behind with their payments on mortgages they were encouraged to take by the government.

    Who was mis-sold here ? The poor for taking on debts they could not afford, or the banks for following the government’s guidelines ? Both perhaps ?

    Just goes to show that you can’t trust the government !

  21. John TT,

    Problem is that I, and many others like me, just don’t see all this ‘inequality’ in the workplace.

    Girls and boys all get paid the same rates where I work as I know they do in the public sector also. In fact the public sector employs a great deal more of the former.

    If you take a year off to have a kid and work part time for a while, sure, your gonna be a bit lower down the pay scales, so what?

    You can’t make what’s not equal into equal. It’s not logical. Maybe if Labour did something about all the fathers who abandon their spouse and kids soon after baby arrives I’d give my backing.
    But they wont because they don’t believe in all that horrid two parent ‘family’ stuff do they?

    No morality. Just sticking plasters to solve problems their own class/gender wars have created in the first place.

    Nothing to do with the economy it’s everything they stand for that I dislike. Many seem to agree with me too according to the polls.

  22. True, Paul. The ninja borrowers were the only ones left.

    If it hadn’t gone pop, the next in line would have been domestic pets, taking out mortgages on their baskets and kennels.

    All the fault of Tiddles and Thumper.

  23. Ivan – as far as I know, it’s the lack of transparency that’s being addressed. If there are good reasons why Mrs gets less than Mr, then fine. Transparency will lead to fewer unfair discrepancies, not undeserved equality.

  24. ‘the whole Labour philosophy is epitomised in Ms Harman’s “Equality Bill”.

    Exactly! They think it should not be “left to the market” to decide whether women get paid on the same basis as men! After all the market has had 40 years to self-correct. Do you think it’s right that men should get more than women because they are men?
    ‘….

    Of course men and women should get equal pay for equal work-but the slack argument pointing out that overall men and women earn different amounts does not reflect the oversupply of women in low paid professions (where the men in those jobs also earn low pay) and the fact that more women take time off work for childcare reasons, and, as such, have less experience.

    Solve all this paperwork Labour nonsense and just pass a simple law of ‘equal pay for equal jobs’ and any company not so doing gets fined 10% or so of gross turnover which then goes to the person who was not paid the right amount. That would stop all the nonsense and get the result quickly.

  25. @John TT

    “the context of that remark makes it clear he was not on about protectionism, but about wealth-creation”

    I would accept that defence if Labour had not intentionally misrepresented Boris Johnson’s comment on a Tony Blair visit to Africa to claim that Johnson is racist. Labour demonstrated that they considered it acceptable politics to misuse quotes out of comment as a political tactic, and now you are crying “unfair” when the BNP turns the same tactic on you. If Labour chooses to occupy the gutter, then it shouldn’t complain if it gets covered in slime.

    Your party chose to intentionally use a “bonkers interpretation” to smear a politician, and now you cry foul when you are on the receiving end. Double standards.

    So returning to my question, Will you hold the sub-Prime Minister to account for his idiocy if the BNP win seats in the European Parliament?

  26. I’m pretty sure that we already have legislation supporting equal pay for equal work, and have had it for quite a while.

    Am I missing something here?

  27. Jack – there is such a law, but it doesn’t work because of a lack of transparency. How can the woman I sit next to report the company we work for if she doesn’t know I get more than her?

    Paperwork Labour nonsense? That reminds me of the argument that all public services should be scrapped, apart from the armed forces, police and judiciary. The paperwork has to be done by some-one – you can be sure the “office of budget responsibility” will be staffed by pen-pushers filling in forms all day long if Cameron gets in and creates it.

  28. Your party chose to intentionally use …

    It’s noT “my party”, and of course I’m consistently against mis-quoting , and abhor “spin”. We’re all a bit selective in use of “evidence”, that’s fair enough, but accusing Johnson of racism is just as bad as accusing Brown of protectionism.

    So no, if the BNP gets a seat that will be a failure of the other parties to put a convincing argument against them.

  29. The thing that I just can’t get my head around is: WHY would Brown WANT to win the next election? Surely it must be obvious to him that even if by some miracle (or the opposite of a miracle) Brown pulled something massive out of the hat and managed to hoodwink the voters (again), surely even he now realises that another 5 years in power would be a gutwrenchingly awful experience? How could we all, how could the country; indeed how could even the LABOUR PARTY stand such a thing? It’s a really unbearable prospect.

    Given that, WHY bother continuing until May/June 2010? It really will be a horrible experience to be a labour minister/MP/activist over the coming 12 months. It’s quite difficult to see how they could now doubt that forecast. Why prolong the agony? Every month that passes will inflict more, greater and deeper LONG-TERM damage on the labour party. By 2010 they may well be utterly despised. Let’s be clear, it’s already going to take a LONG time for the party to come back from this calamity – but over the next 12 months, they could very well make that much worse.

    Conservative MP in Chorley? Could happen……

  30. If the BNP gets a seat, it will be the result of Labour’s failure over a decade to heed majority opinion on immigration levels.

  31. Brett – the reason is what some on this thread would call “scorched earth”. The 50p tax rate will be difficult to avoid. I can imagine other left of centre policies being offered up in order to dare the conservatives to repeal them.

  32. Having said that, if Darling is correct about growth figures (and everyone else is wrong), then who knows what the voters will make of it all?

  33. “if Darling is correct about growth figures”

    And we all thought the Oracle had fanciful predictions :)

  34. @James Ludlow

    I am afraid I disagree with your reasoning on the BNP getting representation. The current (and preceding) governments must take the blame for lack of real debate over the benefits and downsides of immigration but I find all parties still far to xenophobic in their comments.

    I am a conservative voter but am also a believer in more not less immigration (this is not he place to discuss the rights and wrongs on that issue).

    The BNP get votes because the main parties refuse to engage them in legitimate debate and expose the majority of BNP representatives as the racists they are. By ignoring the BNP with a side comment as a bunch of racists without open debate allows them to get a much better showing than the true reflection of voters opinions on their policies.

  35. I think there is a way for the Tories to repeal the 50p tax rate and not be seen to be favouring their natural constituency. Under Gordon Brown as Chancellor, the UK’s tax code was so mangled and made so complicated that it would be easy to argue that the whole thing should be torn up and a totally new tax code created.

    If I were Chancellor following a 2010 GE, I’d raise the personal allowance to a level that is equal to 1.25 times the minimum wage of a person over 21 working 40 hours per week. I’d then abolish tax credits because they’re an expensive and complicated method of assisting the low paid. With a much larger personal allowance, far fewer people would need help anyway. But part of this solution would be to raise the standard rate of income tax to a point that ensured that all those on £30,000 a year or less were better off and those earning more were slightly worse off. (There’s a need to raise taxes overall.) Drastic cuts could be made to benefits payments, without too much harm to the poor. That would leave health and education unaffected by cuts.

    I think that there is a need to cut government expenditure by at least £100bn in the first year, with expenditure restored over the next three years. I think that the country can afford nothing else, unless we’re going to make the standard rate of income tax 50p and VAT 30%.

    I wonder, will a Tory government be brave enough to accept that cuts have to be made and that these cuts have to be severe?

  36. “Is it beyond reason to expect corporate responsibility, rather than blaming the customers when the wheels fall off?”

    It probably is john!!

    I agree entirely with you about corporate responsibility.
    I am in favour of a law to allocate criminal responsibility to corporations as well as individuals.

    I would like to see a much harsher treatment of the UK bankers who brought us to this-they should be led away in handcuffs to goal as they are in US. Yes the Banking market failed there too-but by god they have made them pay-the public humiliation of the CEOs of the big three car companies was another example for us.

    We are weak & lilly livered with these people-they should be hammered.

    Why should the customers be blamed?-because some of them ran up ( still run up) massive credit card debts to pay for consumer goods they could not afford-yes credit was cheap-yes it came through their letter box every day-like through mine-but they did not have to take on unsustainable debt.
    …because some of them bought houses they could not afford-some of them bought houses they didn’t need to rent out. Just because some spive in a “mortgage brokers “office pushes money at you unrelated to your income-or even lack of income-you don’t have to take it.It has to be repaid.

    So-yes the exploitative bankers & money pushers should be punished severely.

    And their “customers” must take the blame for their fecklessness-and pay back their loans….I don’t want to be burdened with them…I didn’t take them out.

  37. “if Darling is correct about growth figures”

    And we all thought the Oracle had fanciful predictions ”

    I’m not sure I deserve to be mentioned in the same post as the Oracle – perhaps you are comparing Darling with the Oracle?

    What was so irritating about The Oracle was that he was occasionally spot on with his predictions :)

  38. “I’d then abolish tax credits because they’re an expensive and complicated method of assisting the low paid. With a much larger personal allowance, far fewer people would need help anyway”

    Some Tax Credits have played an absolutely vital role in providing financial viability to families where the opportunity to work is restricted, but the desire to do so is considerable.

    It is only Working Tax Credit , for example, that seperates a disabled lone parent with two school age children, who can only find & carry out work for limited hours per week , from penury-or constant parental support.

    Increased Personal Tax Allowances are no help to such a family.

  39. Who is impersonating Colin?

  40. Scorched earth policy??

    Surely you can’t be saying that Gordon Brown DOESN’T have a moral compass?????

    :-)

  41. Where is the “Oracle” these days? has he been banned?

  42. Brett – he lost it at the bottom of a think tank.

  43. Well we are feisty this morning.

    There was some discussion of sub-prime and the Clinton administration’s policy to push lenders to lend to sub-prime borrowers. If anyone here saw Niall Ferguson’s series on the Ascent of Money they will have seen that when Fannie Mae (I think) was created in the 1930’s it split the US into black and white areas and only underwrote mortgages in the white areas and effectively created prime and sub-prime. Quite jaw dropping really. Rightly, in my view, the Clinton administration tried to do something about this – pity they did it in the middle of a financial mania.

    But lets face facts. With all the easy money floating around (created by the Central banks and government policy) the spivs would have found something else if sub-prime hadn’t been available. The problem is the deadly combination of spivs, a crazy, short-termist bonus system and easy money.

  44. Back to the polls.

    I’ve been saying all year that Labour needed to use the G20 and budget as a springboard to a June 2009 GE. IMO, it was their last, best chance. What a mess they’ve made of it and the mood seems to have moved decisively against them. What can save them? The only thing I can see, in the short term, is that we end up with a flu epidemic and all the elections are cancelled. I’d hate to see it for many reasons, not least because Labour deserve their roasting at polls.

  45. Charles Stuart – I think you are thinking on the right lines. A wholesale restructuring of tax and benefits to make it fairer and simpler is long overdue. Failure to do this is one of Brown’s strategic errors which he shares with the previous 18 year Tory government. It is quite astonishing that if you work more than around 20 hours per week on minimum wages you pay both income tax and NI.

    I would throw in another simple reform. Abolish the upper earnings limit on NI contributions and caculate a flat rate paid by everyone on all income over the bottom threshold. Ensure the new rate is tax neutral, so it raises as much as we get now, but it would work out as a tax cut for everyone under around £60 – 70K with a rise above that, but in a totally transparent and fair way.

    To date only the LD’s have begun to start thinking about rebalancing the tax system with the £10k allowance.

  46. “Who is impersonating Colin?”

    No one Neil.

    The WTC circumstances I describe are intimately known to me…so they inform my view of politics.

    What is strange about that?

  47. JOHN TT-

    i don’t know about an election this year i’ve seen no sign of it, if an GE election was being held this year i would have ad the locations of ballot boxs in by now and how many there will be, and i’ve had no sign of that yet so not looking good for this year, and in 2007 when we all thorught that gord would call an election he had put every thing in place, the polling station data came out location and number of ballots boxs per station and just before to go sign was pu up he changed his mind he will do the same again and lose big if he dose i do not think labour will get back in in one election it will be more like 3 or 4 elections, and i would not rule out a lib dem govenment with the (right) leader thay can go a long way but NC is rubbish killer vince would have done a better job.

    where is the orical got to not see nothing of him?

    if the tories win power which baring a merical labour they will (swine flu anyone) i would like to see two things

    1. a cut in corpration tax of 2p

    2. a cut in income tax of 2p and the scrapping of the govenments planed 2011 0.5p rise in income tax

    the other things that if labour get back in unlikely i know would be (no tax rises) and a rise in the back pay to £6.10 per hr as soon as they win the election

    so a lot to do

  48. any ideas of why my comment is being moderated again?

  49. My personal view is in support of Friedman’s “negative income tax” system, where welfare and taxation are processed at the same time. Sadly no-one is radical enough to propose that as it eliminates targetted welfare, even though it completely eliminates the damaging welfare trap.

    e.g. Colin, in your example I suspect the parent is in a situation where, should both time and opportunity for more working hours arise, she would lose her WTC and end up worse off.

  50. Alec – if you mess with the tax system, you can never win because you will always create more (very loud) losers than winners, whatever you do.

    I’m all for simplification, but replacement of the tax credit system with a 10K threshold would make losers of the very people you appear to want to help – those earning between £10k and £20k.

    The biggest winners will all be the wealthiest.

    If Cameron suggests such a move, he’ll have to face the losers. I can’t see it happening.

    There’s something very strange about attitudes to “supertax”. If say as many as 20% of us actually realised our aspiration to earn £150k (and therefore feel vicariously clobberred now), what on earth would happen to inflation? We’d be blessed with 6m millionaires.

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