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. @John

    That’s harsh. You’ve broken the hearts of a generation of budding woodchucks who just wanted to win the caber toss.

  2. NigelJ

    I was about to say I think that one takes the biscuit… then I remembered another poll and the diversions on that thread.

    Colin has it right when he notes we are enjoying ourselves. After all, Anthony only left us 7 lines and no tables – and just look what we have made of it.

  3. @Mark M
    Roughly 14 stone, 7 feet, into a bush. Little buggers are strong.

  4. ‘It’s just that Labour supporters ALWAYS seem to get personal! ;-)’ Ivan the terrible bore

    Wrong Ivan; I’m not a Labour supporter. that’s again your typical assumptions at work. You need to realise that if people analyse your view ansd spot your lack of logic it does not mean that they either agree or disagree with you. It merely means that they fine your logic skill risible.

    And I point out that my comments were about your poor arguing skills, not about you. As such your statement above is a fallacy on two points.

    One, I am not a Labour supporter (I’d be interested to see how you support that statement) and secondly nothing I said was personal ( I solely analysed your weak argumentative skills). As scuh your comment wa merely that of atabloid mouthpiece (that’s apersonal by the way, you can respond to that with an emotional comment if you like)

    So again you have shown your inability to analyse a comment. To you it seems that any comment against your views is axiomatically a pro-labour position. It’s not. All I have done (again, overall) is show the weakness and lack of logic in your views.

    All yopu have done is taken a personal response.

    Grow up.

    (But hey. I suspect you are the useless Oracle and we all know – if true- you argued against 60 opinion polls to say Obama would lose so really you should just retire…)…

    So again you prove my point about your inability to argue (but this time you didn’t pull out any magic predictions for the future, so that’s an improvement. Well done)

    You needed to work into a rebuttal of me using words like patronising – and accurate.

  5. @All – we should all start a petition to have anthony allow all discussion to be like this :-)

    That should result in some gnashing of teeth Anthony grinding his way through the decaying control which now seems more of a veneer over the truth. Capping it all off with what we would actually all like to be doing on this site drilling into the detail and filling in all the holes giving each other a good pasting whilst brushing hurtful comments away and trying to prevent a rot at the center of government – ok that’s my contribution done :-)

  6. @Jack – I think I missed the point of Ivans post, I think it was done to provoke a childish response from you. However I see that you have responded from the higher ground as usual – well done :-)

  7. Pages 20 and 21 of today’s Times certainly gives some credence to my encounters with Tory researchers in that pub near Westminster Bridge. One thing I forgot to mention in my comment (about 200 contributions back) is the two things that are worrying the Tories come the GE and those are (1) the possible impact of Brown going and a credible person taking over and (2) the exposure of the 17 millionaires on the Tory front bench once the campaign got going.

  8. Being a millionaire isn’t really a big deal these days. If you’ve paid off the mortgage on your own house, and have inherited your parents’ house you’re more than halfway there, most likely.

    I admit it’s still a minority of the population, but being a millionaire isn’t exactly mega-rich these days.

  9. That’s true enough. You only have to look at popular culture to see how the language has changed…

    “Millionaire Bruce Wayne” is now “Billionaire Bruce Wayne”

    The Six Million Dollar Man would barely be able to afford a bionic knee-cap

    And since the onset of the credit crunch news reports that used to speak of millions and billions, now seem to talk of billions and trillions.

  10. “the exposure of the 17 millionaires ”

    Strange word to use.

    If you know that there are 17 of them, how can they be concealed?

    And why does it matter?

  11. No idea. I don’t exactly see the headlines “Exclusive – Rich People in Parliament” causing too much of a stir.

    That, and the Labour front bench is hardly representative of the working classes either. I don’t see that being an issue unless the Tories make an issue out of it (e.g. too much denial).

  12. I don’t think Brown will go without losing a general election and he’ll put that off as long as he can too. He’s the type whose fingernails will leave deep scratchmarks as he’s dragged screeching from office.

    Labour MPs haven’t got the guts or the alternative candidates to oust him sooner. Possibly they’ll flubber him to political death though.

  13. I’d love to understand how the message currently being presented by labour biggies is being recieved by the populus: – “Gordon is Badly Advised”, “we need collective leadership”, “someone should be with Gordon to assist him in avoiding political landmines”, “Gordon need to give a clear vision (presumes someone will tell him what it will be). I’m not sure these comments will help the labour party in any way other than as a rallying call to the party members. From my perspective it reads that Labour has no head, noone is steering the ship.

    The really interesting one is the calls from David Blunket to say that we did not elect the leader we elected the party and we should almost forget about GB in terms of the election and go back to electing the labour party……tosh it just seems to go from bad to worse. If this isn’t a sign that Gordon has lost both his political compass and political authority then I don’t know what is. They’re talking about you as though you’re not even relevant to the next election. You’re already being brushed under the carpet or consigned to your room when the visitors come round.

  14. @Keir

    if I can attempt to keep this non-partisan. The thing about Blunkett’s view there is, what do Labour have left to offer? They have fallen into the ‘Labour governments run out of money’ situation and don’t appear able to rescue it. For 12 years the solution has been to hose money at the problem. For the most part that was a successful, if occasionally inefficient, solution. That cannot be done now.

    This was neatly summed up when one of the reasons given for their stance on the Gurkhas was that it would cost £1.4bn to let them all in. The first thing I imagine a lot of people thought would be ‘well you found hundreds of billions for bankers and you can’t find £1.4bn for those who fight for us’.

    Their leader is deeply unpopular with the voters and the party, unless they have a surprise package of reforms up their sleeve, just don’t seem to have anything to offer given the current situation.

  15. It was forecast by the emminent “Oracle” a while back that the Labour Party will not survive the next election – that Britain will become a 2 party state between the Tories and the Liberals (whatever name they may have at that stage after some Labour Party members join them). Perhaps they will be called “The New Labour Social Liberal Democrats” – that would get them some good keywords on Google !!

  16. On the Gurkha point – I don’t think Brown was wrong in refusing them entry – he just timed it wrong when he is on a downer – there is absolutely no reason at all that the Gurkhas should have an automatic right to live in Britain. They got paid a probably a 100 times more than they would in their home country – it was job !

    Plenty of nationalities and countries have fought with Britain especially during the 2 world wars – like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Rhodesia, India etc – they are’nt allowed an automatic right to live here !!

  17. While I agree with James about Brown’s willingness to depart (non-existent); I think Keir is right in that leading members of the Labour party are clearly talking as if he is already history. That cannot be good for Labour, and we will undoubtedly see it reflected in future …whatsits..thingummys.., you know the stuff we are supposed to talk about in this site.

  18. Big Al
    I don’t think the central tenets of new Labour are about to disappear.
    The great sea-change towards a country that likes a smaller state, freedom and trust to individuals is as far away as ever.

    Particularly because the current situation was brought about not by a failure of left-of-centre ideology, but by a perverse adherence to free-market principles by a Govt that didn’t seem to trust its own “new” ideology.

    Labour will recover, and adhere to principles that are not objectionable to most. In contrast, the SDP grew out of disillusionment with a bonkers ideology. No such ideology threatens the foundations to-day.

    There’s no great clamour for the conservatism of Redwood, Tebbitt etc, notwithstanding those who think we were wrong to get rid of Major in 97.

  19. On the subject of Brown being ousted…

    I seem to remember comments less than a year ago, before the “Brown bounce” that suggested that, unlike the Tories in recent years, the Labour Party has as yet little formal method of ousting a leader.

    Also, who will take the mantle? An upcoming leader will not want the taint of loss. An “old statesman” could take the mantle, Howard-like, but the current Labour seems too fractious and nervous for the party to act as one over the next leader, when this might dictate the future direction of the party greatly.

    I think that Brown will not be pushed aside easily, and Harman et al. are quite happy to position themselves for the post-election battle, rather than sacrifice themselves in the next election, when the sacrifice won’t obviously boost Labour.

  20. Richard – Labour have a very formal method of ousting a leader, all card votes at conference and suchlike.

    It is so difficult though it’s highly unlikely to ever happen in practice. I’m sure if Brown was ousted it would be by informal methods, like a cabinet rebellion or the Labour equivalent of men in grey suits.

  21. @Anthony Wells

    Ah, I stand corrected.

  22. “the Labour equivalent of men in grey suits.”
    White coats?

    Highly unlikely, as there’s no choice, and no obvious change of course. In a year’s time, Brown might just be able to say we’re pulling out of recession. No-one’s going to deny him that possibility, it wouldn’t make any sense.

  23. Anthony – you’re back!! You have been missed

    I think we are all very much looking forward to your next NEW post :-)

  24. @Anthony – don’t believe them, I have been totally non partisan whilst you were gone, it’s just those mad lefties that keep trying to smear me :-)

    @Mark M – About being non partisan, well there was nothing I said that has not been repeated by staunch labour supports. Brown has no authority and no respect from the majority of his party. That is not Tory dogma nor liberal sentimentallity, it’s the truth not partisanship.

    I was noting more that “supportive” words of Mr Blunket in his “defense” of Gordon – it felt to me as though he was just putting the final nails into the coffin of gordons authority.

  25. @JohnTT
    “Particularly because the current situation was brought about not by a failure of left-of-centre ideology, but by a perverse adherence to free-market principles by a Govt that didn’t seem to trust its own “new” ideology”

    I have to disagree with that second part. The left-of-centre ideology failed in the 70s and we haven’t been back to that under Blair/Brown. In order to defeat the right, New Labour came up with the Third Way, an attempt to merge the free-market with government intervention,mostly through heavy regulation.

    It was a very successful initial idea as Labour got to spend heavily, as per their left beliefs in the big state, while using their regulated market to drive up tax revenues and create growth. Unfortunately, the failure of the regulator meant that banks were taking on too much risk (partly the banks’ fault for taking the ‘regulator approves so lets do it’ route) in order to create this growth. In my view, this crisis is a failure of the Third Way, not of free-market capitalism.

    But then, I am a rightie so could well be biased :)

  26. @Keir

    I was actually agreeing with you, not accusing you of being paritsan. I just put in the bit about ‘non-partisan’ so that people would realise I wasn’t trying to make a party political point by saying ‘what does labout have left to offer?’

    I agree, Blunkett isn’t helping Brown but I don’t see him being forced out before an election. Still, have we ever had a PM not even make it to his first election before being ousted by his party?

  27. “Labout”? and “Conservatin?”

    Mark, I think the Third Way is a little left of centre – minimum wage , tax credits, over-measurement etc. It certainly is not”nationalisation” or raisingoverall tax levels. They were hamstrung by having to rely on borrowing rather than taxing in order to spend.

    “the regulator approves so let’s do it” . True, but I’ saying that if the regime had been a little more “rightie”, they’d have approved too – a little more “leftie” and they might well have stuck their noses in and smelt a rat.

  28. “White coats?”
    Very very funny john!

    “Still, have we ever had a PM not even make it to his first election before being ousted by his party?”

    That prospective legacy must haunt Brown. I really think he is capable of saying & doing anything now-and most certainly will not step down except for ill health.
    His C4 interview yesterday was extraordinary.

    The pressure on him must be very great.

  29. “They were hamstrung by having to rely on borrowing rather than taxing in order to spend.”

    john-In what sense were they hamstrung pre-recession?

    From 1997 to 2002 Brown reduced national debt from the 49.8% he inherited to 38.5% .

    Tax revenues were rolling in during the boom years.

    He then started running annual deficits to push up public spending, returning National Debt to 50% ish by 2008.

    How were they hamstrung-they used the tax revenues from a decade of economic growth , leaving National Debt at slightly higher levels than they inherited.

    Unfortunately, as we now know-huge chunks of that growth finished up as bankers’ bad debts and was seen to be illusory & unsustainable-hence the recession.

  30. 49.8% etc etc …of GDP.

  31. re The Third Way,:-

    Anthony Giddens, ( Blair’s Third Way guru )wrote an article in The Independent in June 2007 outlining it’s key tenets with reference to Gordon Brown’s then impending Premiership.

    The article included these four policy principles :-

    “…hold the political centre-ground. No social democratic party can succeed today through a class-based appeal. The point is to try to shift the political centre of gravity leftwards. ”

    “ensure the economy is strong. Securing greater social justice depends upon a robust economy, not the other way around. ”

    “invest heavily in public services, but insist that this is coupled to reform, to make the public services more effective, responsive and transparent. Choice and competition are essential to these aims; they are the means of generating reform and of empowering citizens who use these services.”

    ” create a new contract between state and citizens, based upon responsibilities as well as rights. Government should provide resources to help people shape their own lives; but should expect people to deliver on their part of the bargain. ”

    “don’t allow any issues to be monopolised by the political right”

  32. @John T T

    I would claim that, given John Major’s power-sacrificing but damage-controlling actions to the economy from 93-97, actually I suggest that righties would watch more closely, because the economy is “their thing”.

    I would suggest that lefties care about the economy as a tool for social change and spending (these are gross generalities, I know), then the maxim “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” might have prevailed in Brown’s thinking.

    Of course, I can’t prove this!

  33. @Richard Manns – not genralisms at all if you veiw labour as socialists and take the marxist veiw that socialism is an imperfect implementation of financial control as a path towards perfect communism

  34. @Richard Manns – not genralisms at all if you veiw labour as soci-a-lists and take the ma-rx-ist veiw that soc-ial-ism is an imperfect implementation of financial control as a path towards perfect comm-unis-m

    Sorry some word appear to be moderated so trying to get them through by adding stuff :-)

  35. Colin,

    Is that a prime example of left of centre accounting ? I had to double-check, but I make that five “principles”.

    Or maybe, there is only one principle (the last) and the others are tokens to pretend they are prinicpled.

    For the record, the concept of “class warfare” is anathema to most Tories anyway. The second, third and fourth have been natural conservative philosophy for decades, minus the emphasis on government doing the providing and “investing” (aka spending).

    So really, what Giddens was saying is:
    “steal all the right’s ideas / principles, but apply them through state control and public money, then tell the voters that those nasty conservatives would cut all this lovely spending.”

    John TT is correct in saying that there is no failure of “New Labour’s” ideology for the simple reason that it has none. Nor does it have any abiding principles other than the pursuit and retention of power. This is what Blunket means when he refers to a lack of coherent social policy .

    But if one has based one’s appeal on pragmatic competence, what then remains when you are shown to be an incompetent devoid of new ideas or any moral foundation ?

  36. @ Colin

    I now understand why Labour still achieves poll ratings of 25%. People like you believe Brown’s false debt figures. I suggest you go to the Office of National Statistics website, and look at the figures that Brown quotes. And then read down the page, to where the ONS places a disclaimer that Brown’s figures are not accepted by the EU because that are not calculated correctly. If you want to quote debt figures, obtain them from a reputable international authority, say the OECD or the EU.

  37. need more polls, we are in a dead patch for polls at this time untillthe election starts properly

  38. PAUL HJ

    No-it was centre right adding up I’m afraid-mine!
    I agree with your post & was contemplating that DC could happily subscribe to 2,3 & 4.

    1 is a means for the left to curry favour with the electorate, & 5 is a way to stay in power-these are party strategies, not political philosophies.

    I think Gidden’s hope that Brown would subscribe to The Third Way was fanciful. Blair could have told him that Brown never believed in 3 ( other than the spending bit!) & spent most of his time trying to ensure Blair couldn’t implement it.

    Perhaps Giddens just needs to wait till next May now.

    Cynosarges.

    The debt figures as % GDP were ONS figures-if you can point me to different figures which are credible I would be interested.
    Borrowing forecasts by GB ( or anyone else for that matter ) are a different matter entirely !

  39. People getting fed up with the excessive number of comments on this poll, for want of another on following days, might care to look at the discussion which is going on in relation to the constituency of Worcester.

    The basic issue being discussed is how national opinion poll figure should be translted into predictions for individual seats.

    The view I have expressed in relation to Worcester is that when it comes to commenting on individual seats, pundits just do not believe that the swing will be as large as the opinion polls will suggest. E.g. people may expect that the swing in individual seats will be perhaps 8% when the opinion polls suggest 13%. But past precedent, e.g. in 1997, suggests that when the opinion polls suggest a very large swing it actually happens.

    This problem could be reduced if we had larger polls, like the excellent PopulusHome one last Autumn, that enable information to be provided (if at a fee!) for individual seats.

    It follows that, unlike Stuart Gregory, I would actually like fewer polls if this meant that the resources were instead deployed to larger polls. But of course the crucial factor in deciding what polls will be conducted is what clients (including newspapers) will pay for. And I suspect that pollsters are taking some well-deserved leave to relax before the European and County elections.

  40. On a slightly different subject, I am rather cynical of the oft-quoted argument that the Budget 50% tax rate was not really intended to raise money, but was only a political gesture to wrong-foot the Tories.

    The logic of this argument is that if Darling were now to say “I’ve listened to those of you who argue this and you’re right, the 50% rate won’t raise much money. Accordingly, we have decided to increase the rate to 70% instead to double the take.” then those who make this argument should logically support such a policy.

    I don’t think I’m being too cynical in doubting that the Tory front bench would be cheering such a policy!

  41. Near genius Leslie. If one logically supports the raising of renue through a punative tax on £150K+, at lets say 70%, then the net result would be an exodus of the rich and a deterent to net inward investment to the UK. Which….. would result in less tax.

    The irony in your assertions is; there would be cheering on the front bench of the Tory part as New Labour would have effectively committed suicide.

    Your not cynical you’ve just not thought it through.

  42. Anthony, I note that in the box below the “running average” of “how would you vote if there was a general election today graph”, includes the “would not vote at all” option for YouGov and Populus.

    Bearing in mind that the last two polls where YouGov, was there any significant percentage for this option out of interest?

    @Neil,

    I realise you might find the idea of a low result for UKIP a bizarre idea, and it isn’t wishful thinking on my part.
    The reason I think they are going to collapse is because so many of their established faces are disappearing; they are completely off the radar and have been for ages; and they are becoming completely pointless as an organisation.
    Much of their support is disgruntled Tories, and there are more UKIP-friendly Tories about (I thought Dan Hannan was a UKIPper at first!).
    Those UKIP voters who wanted to make a point to the Tories have done it, and are smart enough to see where the momentum is going, and what good news for their POV an increased Tory presence in the EU parliament is, bearing in mind the Tories have swept across Local Gov and nabbed the London Mayoralty.
    The other UKIPpers for whom the Tories are too left wing, and are filled with resentment about the establishment I think are likely to vote in anger for the BNP; leaving a paltry few stalwarts in a crumbling organisation with little funding or sense of purpose.
    UKIP have also got direct competition from the well funded Libertas, and they have other rivals ready to grab the quirky vote.
    Look at areas like East Anglia – you’ve got that One-Man-and-his-Dog party; and then there’s the English Democrats I suppose, who at least have more of a point to them than UKIP.
    Whatever you say, I just can’t see UKIP doing much; I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up as just a one-man-band by the Euro-elections after these ones coming at the rate they’re going; I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if they lost 4 of their MEPs, simply by having their vote split by other minor parties.

    Mr Wheeler isn’t really showing much confidence with (for him) a paltry £100 grand, is he?

  43. …that’s not to say I don’t think UKIP can turn it around. I think a lot can happen over the next few weeks that could shuffle percentages up or down 5% for any of the parties.

  44. UKIP

    Anyone seen it any local / national papers?

    I haven’t.

    In a time of worldwide economic and health crises the limited view of UKIP is again shown to be pointless.

  45. @Neil

    Incidentally, here is my (rough) prediction for the national shares of the vote:

    Conservative: 37%
    Labour: 18%
    UKIP: 14%
    Libdem: 13%
    BNP: 8%
    Green: 5%
    Nats: 4%
    Others: 1%

    I think that’s nearly realistic; but far too optimistic for UKIP: the BNP are more likely to get 14% than UKIP are!
    I just don’t see UKIP replicating their last result – not because their policy (singular!) isn’t supported, but because they are fading as an organisation. The BNP, in contrast, are on the rise; and like the Tories momentum has a fair bit to do with it. You’d expect the Greens to do well, what with all the ecoreligion about, but they just don’t come across as competent – same for the LibDems; they make the right noises, but apart from Vince, they simply don’t inspire confidence. So I think the momentum is with the Tories, and the nationalists (BNP, SNP, PC).

    (My “Nats” guesses were national btw, and higher than yours! I think the SNP should do alright, better than PC I reckon.)

  46. Leslie – The IFS research suggests that 43% would return the most tax in terms of trevenue, taking into account behavioural/avoidance cahnges. Treasury research suggest 60% is cliff-edge.

    Both extremes are difficult to analyse because there’s so little empirical evidence.

    Colin – Paul is right to point you in the direction that “to most Tories class warfare is anathema”. It’s the minority of Tories who are claiming to be about to wiel the power that I’m worried about. Most of my friends are tories, and they’re just as worried as I am aboiut that minority.

    Given our initial hostility, I’m surprised how much I agree with Richard Manns. New Labour is (was?) all about using economic success to bring about social change. The mistake IMHO was to try to do it through deceitful means.

  47. @Jack,

    You’re right they’re invisible; but it’s not their “limited view” that’s the problem… it’s their limited funding; and limited publicity, due to their limited membership and limited organisation.

    Protectionism and nationalism is the opposite of a “problem” in terms of zeitgeist: it’s the natural psychology in global storm, to retreat to home.

  48. @ John TT

    I think the Labour instinct to do a “Robin Hood” makes sense if you regard the state as a sort of living organism; and private companies as other living organisms in the same ecosystem… the public sector is the body, and in times of famine, it’s its instinct to take on more fat by feeding off as much of the other organisms it can to stay alive… like a giant red tapeworm {!}.

    It’s totally silly, because by making more and more people clients of the state in one way or another, and making it more and more difficult to “reproduce” new living systems (i.e.: new companies), it creates a vicious cycle of less and less to feed off.

    The healthiest thing to do right now, would be to create loads of special economic zones and new/small business incubation zones, and sack half the civil service in stages, and start inspiring people to use their skills to make money for themselves rather than parasitically via government.
    You could have solved a lot of the housing problems by using Cottars laws to swap people’s mortgages for special Cottars tenancies, and free up their wallets for more positive purposes than financing unsustainable mortgage interest.

  49. “It’s the minority of Tories who are claiming to be about to wiel the power that I’m worried about.”

    I really don’t understand why john,.

    Isn’t there always social grouping in any society to some extent or another?

    I can’t see why the group to which a politician belongs, or has come from should be a factor for us to worry about-except where it causes that person to have no understanding of the condition of others; or to have a hatred of others based on their social grouping.

    I don’t see any Soames, or Skinners in prospect for the Tory Front Bench.

  50. Please send St Bernard with Brandy and freshly baked polls and remove all historians from this site.
    Go on make my day!

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