Tonight we have the first voting intentions since the General election. ComRes in the Independent on Sunday/Sunday Mirror have voting intentions of CON 38%, LAB 34%, LDEM 21%. From the general election the Liberal Democrats are down and Labour up, presumably a direct defection of Liberal Democrat voters who are more inclined to Labour and opposed to the party joing the Conservatives in coalition.

41% of respondents thought that the Liberal Democrats had sold out their principles, with 47% disagreeing. This included 34% of Liberal Democrat votes. 35% of respondents agreed with the statement that Nick Clegg should have opted for a coalition with Labour rather than one with the Conservatives, that includes 33% of Liberal Democrats (presumably 33% of remaining Liberal Democrats, as opposed to 33% of those who voted Lib Dem in 2010).

ICM in the Sunday Telegraph have voting intention figures of CON 38%, LAB 33%, LDEM 21%. The figures there are almost identical to ComRes, and show the same pattern – a 3 point or so shift of support from the Lib Dems towards Labour.

ICM’s other questions found 64% of respondents backing the coalition as the right way forward. Asked about specific policies, 75% backed keeping inheritance tax and increasing capital gains tax in order to increase the personal tax allowance, 63% supported fixed term Parliaments, 56% backed a change to AV. ICM also asked about the Labour leadership – 32% backed David Miliband, 11% Harriet Harman, 9% Ed Miliband, 8% Ed Balls and Burnham and Cruddas were both on 2%. Bear in mind, however, that leadership questions like this reflect recognition to a great degree – most people will have little or no idea who Andy Burnham or Jon Cruddas are. If you go back to questions on the Tory leadership straight after the 2005 election Ken Clarke tended to be the winner, with Cameron around 2%-4%.

960 Responses to “New ComRes and ICM polls”

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  1. @Amber Star
    I think of you more as ‘anchor’ which is a busy role than most so I would not expect you to reply to everyone. You are under enough fire as it is ;) and you have replied to me umpteen times. But thanks very much for the message anyway.
    :) :)

  2. @ Sue Marsh

    About a week after the emergency budget
    That’s pretty much what Laszlo said, I think :-(

    I know sue knows this, but for anybody who doesn’t:

    Recession = 2 Quarters of negative growth.

    Therefore Laszlo saying that – barring a Christmas bounce – we will be in a ‘double dip’ recession in Q4’10 or Q1’11 means exactly the same as Sue’s more concise answer.

    i.e. We will be in a recession but won’t have the numbers to prove it until 2 quarters of government statistics confirm.

  3. Cozmo – Surely not? I have been all at sea with all this economics and Great Thinkers stuff.

    With no polls, all we can do is argue about each other’s ideology. All very pointless really. Still, you and I can still joke about stuff.

  4. Leslie, Cozmo, that is terrible.

    I just jump in and spout off regardless. Call me pushy, while you are both just measured!!!

  5. Laszlo,

    Sorry for the time-lag in responding to your reply to my post some hours ago but I have other things to do.

    Re Enron, actually, they were brought down by fraud pure and simple. The fraud was in creating false revenues to support the high leverage, but it was fraud nonethless. The reason for referencing it is that if we focus on juts one figure (in Enron’s case it was the “top line”) we end up misunderstanding what it actually means. That is what happened in the “boom” that was merely the re-cycling of inflated assets into current spending thorugh easy credit. Our increased consumption was financed by unsustainable debts rather than real improvements in output.

    Apologies for teh sophistry in the penultimate paragraph. Basically, it is acceptable for Govt to fund unproductive expenditure as a transitional arrangment while opportunities are being created for unproductive assets / resources to be redeployed to more productive uses. The classic example of this is support for short-time working which enables valuable skills to be preserved. However, prolonged support merely leads to feather-bedding and creates a mis-allocation of resources. Hence all such schemes need to be carefully considered and be time limted.

  6. @ Amber Star

    Almost. Last year’s Christmas, considering that it was recession one, was exceptionally good. So, if the budget takes out 30 billion in 18 months (10 billion in half a year), then it will actually make a Christmas bounce less likely. It’s very difficult to predict the time lag (most regression models are quite arbitrary – looking for best fits), but I assumed 12 weeks. Then 4-6 weeks to go back from growth to zero and the rest is the recession.

  7. @Sue Marsh
    Yes – lack of polls & could do with more jokes. I have noticed many posters have disappeared, perhaps because the GE is done and dusted. It would be a shame to lose newbies though so perhaps regulars could reach out to them a little more? I can’t post tomorrow as I am babysitting my grandkids, which will be lovely, but I will still have withdrawal symptons. No UKPR. I offer my apologies in advance for going AWOL !! :)

  8. @ Sue Marsh

    I would love to discuss poll figures. Where are they? And when it comes to explanation, are the explanations much different than during the last two days?

    And yes, I would like to see humour. Like Martyn’s about 36 hours ago (or longer?…)

  9. @ Sue, Cozmo, Leslie

    I didn’t mean to start the landslide…. Colin made a comment to Sue (I think) about ‘waste’. I countered with a private sector analogy to public sector spending (it was intended to be light-hearted).

    Colin & James Ludlow then got somewhat excited & began implying that I had gone to a special school for Labour/ Commie economists.

    All very amusing to me, because I am a private sector business analyst & ‘economist’ ;-)

    Then Jack, Lazlo, Xiby & Roger (amongst others) posted comments of such quality as is rarely seen on an open forum such as this.

    I am going to copy & paste this thread into a word document & keep it for future reference.

  10. Laszlo – No offence, I’ve found it all very informative.

  11. As I lamented recently, to fully understand politics, one needs a degree in economics, philosophy, psychology and sociology with a good smattering of history and international affairs..

    Amber, Laszlo, Xiby – I have learnt a lot, especially about buying pizzas ;)

    Cozmo and Leslie – Never meant to exclude :)

  12. @ Paul H-J

    I agree with you about Enron, but it was really only an extend version of the cheabol’s practices prior to 1997 in Korea. I also agree with you on the extension of this to government policy. This is what happened. Where probably we don’t agree (I don’t know) that it has been going on for at least 80 years in different forms – creating artificial (and less artificial) demand so that the firms could carry on with essentially the same business model.

    I also agree with your explanation about the time-limited nature of “unproductive” expenditure and the consequences of this if it ceases to be time limited. I especially agree with your example about the skills, because it shows how difficult the problem is: in the UK in some industry (electronics) skills are maintained at firm level; in some industry at sector level (software, biotech); in some industry both (creative industries, like BBC). Now, towards the last two years the government tried to develop something more flexible (mainly because of lobby pressures and because of Mandelson), but it was too late and too half-hearted.

    I think nearby the Danes have a policy that is fairly effective: highly flexible hiring and firing system and extremely strong and generous, but time limited social welfare (supported by a very extensive vocational training and retraining system). Unfortunately British governments want the best of the two: flexible labour market and means tested, but timewise almost unlimited benefit system and it does not work. Immigration does help a bit in this (but also a direct consequence of it), but then it causes social problems etc…

  13. Sue,

    That’s why an Oxbridge PPE degree is considered a good foundation for politicians !

    (No, sorry, I don’t have one of those, but I did do the foundation A levels, then studied international law.)

    Paul H-J

  14. @ Paul H-J

    Or Classics (Greats) or Geography. I find it fascinating the investment banks and specialised consulting firms in the City still give preference to these, when it comes to recruiting…

  15. Laszlo,

    “Where probably we don’t agree (I don’t know) that it has been going on for at least 80 years in different forms ”

    You’re right., we don’t agree. More like 200 years !

    Paul H-J

  16. @ Sue Marsh

    Analogies with fast food, not only pizza (sorry Amber) are excellent for anything.

    There is an interesting case of Manhattan Bagel Co. with marvellous parallels, like production driven distribution growth switching to distribution driven production growth, missed due diligence, lack of expertise, sudden switches in strategic directions, takeover, etc.

    Mrs. Field’s chocolate cookies are also recommended for analogies.

  17. @ Paul H-J

    Then we do agree :-). Just wanted to be less controversial :-)

  18. Goodness me, you’re all off again, business degrees, philosophy, classics Oxbridge…. to understand politics…

    Maybe those pople working in the NHS and education etc, in public sector and with ordinary people might have learned quite a lot about politics, and I suspect facing pay cuts they might learn a whole lot more, classics? goodness me , what a waste of time.

  19. Re Geography and gthe Classics, Geography skills are similar to research skills, and Classics tend towards the ability to reason and think a little bit logically (and even ethically – we can biut hopr!)

    (Cue satire of City decisions gone bad.)

    Economics, on the other hand, is guesswork plus sums. Usually ends with the wrong answer (but cloaked within a five-year forecast, by which time the economist has usually moved companies)

  20. @ Pam F

    You are perfectly right.

    Nevetheless a compulsory course in “Science for the citizen” or “Mathematics for the millions” would not go amiss.

    Ghosh, I’m getting old :-(

  21. Laslo: I’m a Science teacher, and teaching the future citizens just what you suggest!

  22. Pam F – a grounding in the classics, if you include the inventors of democracy, would possibly have led the likes of Alistair Campbell to spare us the “art” of spin (aka lying).

    On the face of it, useless, but when you scratch the surface, deeply empowering and enabling.

  23. You weren’t being excluding, Sue! You wear your politics on your sleeve and that’s just fine.

  24. Laszlo

    Sorry I didn’t mean to chide you – it’s just I went out, so I wasn’t able to reply as quickly as I would like.

    As far as experience goes, of course you’re right. It’s even more dangerous if people rely on it without reflection. Who was it that said?:
    “Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”

    It’s just the narrowness and homogeneity of the experience of the Westminster elite that I find so worrying – and I include the upper echelons of the Civil Service, the various branches of the media and the endlessly proliferating think tanks and lobbying firms in that as well.

    In fact one of the main problems is a lack of feeling among them of the connection between numbers and reality – a sort of enhanced numeracy.

    This isn’t just the usual politician’s tendency to rely on figures for support rather than illumination (“as a drunk does a lamppost”). Very few of them have any scientific background and there’s a sort of indignation against any attempt to assess the consequences of political actions against reality. There’s real resentment against both the importance and objectivity of science and anger towards its failure to provide automatic support and certainty when they want them. Perhaps the real disquiet is because science has its own independent ideology and methods, scientists insist on trying to looking at things objectively and the politicians realise that this approach is appreciated more by the public than their own.

    You can see examples of this resentment recently in the debate over drug policy; the complaints against NICE not approving this week’s fashionable drug; or attacks in the media against the idea of global warming.

    Of course for politicians the classic area where numeracy and democracy meet is in opinion polling – to long-windedly return to the purpose of this site. Just as actors claim never to look at reviews, pols always dismiss polls while following following them avidly if often inexpertly. And there’s also that resentment that those other than the elected representatives may actually have a better understanding of what the public really want.

  25. @ Pam F

    Then there is hope. I mean it honestly and with the greatest respect.

    Thank you.

  26. Pam F – I’m totally with you re “business studies ” though!

  27. @ John TT
    “Re Geography and gthe Classics, Geography skills are similar to research skills, and Classics tend towards the ability to reason and think a little bit logically (and even ethically – we can biut hopr!)”

    I’d argue that science and engineering degrees would give a better grounding in research and logical thinking.

  28. Yay, successful posting from my Blackberry! Although it got moderated cos of new IP address I assume.

  29. Mention of democracy prompts a recommendation:-

    Portillo”s R4 prog. today ( possibly part of a series)

    An excellent trawl through “democracy” from Athens on with many fine academic specialists contributions.

    Athenian Democracy was not what I thought it was -at all!

    Concerted attempts by the founding fathers of the US & French revolutions-not to mention the Russian one-to avoid anything like it.!

    Bit of a shaker-very thought provoking-highly recommended.

  30. Owain – fine, never really studied either. As long as we don’t start advocating MBAs…

    Not enough engineers and scientists (though was it not rocket scientists who provided the finance sector with the equations that led to CDO’s and the banking collapse?)

  31. Thanks Colin – your references to research material more than makes up for your occasional wind-ups :)

    If I can make my i-Player find it, I’ll listen when I have a mo.

  32. @ John TT
    I hadn’t heard that about the rocket scientists. I know that a cousin of mine, an actuarial mathematician, is working on some ‘better’ equations. I’d imagine it could be a misunderstanding as I understand that pure mathematicians can move between jobs in superficially different areas such as rocket science or banking services without much trouble.

  33. john:-

    Democracy on Trial-Episode 2

    I need to iPlayer episode 1-missed it.

  34. Oh and my rather cunning ex-flatmate did a degree in engineering intending to follow it with an MBa. Best of both worlds.

  35. @ Roger Mexico

    Thank you, I really enjoyed your post.

    Of course, it’s Keynes, though I have a preference, in this context, Franklin’s often misquoted saying about experience being a DEAR teacher.

    I agree with your points – removal from reality, elitist world view that creates a particular pattern in communicating with the rest of the country, about attacks on science on populist grounds, the lack of reflections, the loss of perspectives (hence while they believe that they gain the today, the today does not exist, because there is no room for past or future), the allowance to quackery (though as if there was some reversal in that), etc.

    Just to keep within the subject, but connect with the point about removal from reality. If instead of calculating in pounds (revenue) and price sensitivity of the market, the consultants would have put down: in order to make it break even how many people would have to cross the gates of the Millenium Dome, how many people would have to be catered for (including toilets), cleaned after, etc., there would not have been a chance for approval. But with pounds and the post-modernist business narrative with it, it became removed from the reality. Now the same applies to budget cuts, cuts in university funding, cuts to regional development agencies, efficiency savings, enhanced customer support in public services, etc, etc.

  36. Apologies for posting a lengthy and rather intense comment that arrived in the middle of everyone feeling a bit battered by them. :)

    Actually I’d second Colin’s suggestion of listening to Portillo’s programme about democracy – though it barely mentioned the alternative Nordic/Germanic roots that are actually more relevant to British traditions.

    Though of course as a Manxman I look down on your newbie English 800 year old parliaments. ;)

  37. @JOHN TT

    I’m not convinced. Most Oxbridge essay subjects seem to be largely about learning to BS – some also involve rote learning excessive amounts of completely impractical information too. Learning to BS could help you a lot as a politician but you’d learn that just as well from any other essay subject there – English or even Biology or Biochemistry would probably be just as good.

    Imo what you need to understand politics is just enough time and determination. No need for Oxbridge.

  38. @ John TT and Owain

    Quite a large proportion of MBAs in prestigeous courses have engineering as their first degree.

    The increase in MBAs, yes, I understand all the dislike, helps Anglo-Saxon capitalism – it works only if managers can be quickly replaced, so there is a need for producing a lot of them. This is one of the biggest changes in UK business. In the late 1980s 60% of British managers did not have a degree. Different type of management.

    Having said that some of the MBAs (but far from all) are intellectually more challanging than standard humanities Mscis. Declaration of interest: I do teach MBAs in two courses/modules.

  39. Laslo:
    Mrs. Field’s chocolate cookies are also recommended for analogies.

    How did you know?? I don’t make them….

  40. @ Roger Mexico

    What would then the Icelandics say (on the top of their vulcanos) about the Althingi?

  41. Laszlo

    I love “the post-modernist business narrative”. If ever a phrase summed up the last three decades . . . :)

  42. @ LASZLO

    “in order to make it break even how many people would have to cross the gates of the Millenium Dome, how many people would have to be catered for (including toilets), cleaned after, etc., there would not have been a chance for approval. But with pounds and the post-modernist business narrative with it, it became removed from the reality”

    I don’t understand what that last sentence means.

    But the story of the Dome is very simple.
    Conceived, originally on a smaller scale, under John Major’s Conservative government, as a World’s Fair-type showcase to celebrate the third millennium- Tony Blair greatly expanded the size, scope and funding of the projectt declaring that it would be “a triumph of confidence over cynicism, boldness over blandness, excellence over mediocrity”.

    It was political hubris & posturing which “removed the Dome from reality” to use your phrase.

    The rest, as they say, is history.

  43. As you were mentioning MPs with Scientific background, thought i’d mention the disgraced Labour MP Dr Ian Gibson -he was my old lecturer, and often spoke on scientific issues. Pity he cheated us though.
    (Hmm, no kidding the CAPTHCHA code is FUKU) Same to you Ian.

  44. @ Colin

    The consultant report for the MD used only pound figures (aggregated ticket prices) and some demand elasticity stuff plus some really post-modernist language. Essentially, what was left out was converting the pound figures to number of people, it would have come that for 365 days, 16 hours a day something like 30 people should have crossed the gates every minute. There would not have been any way to approve such a proposal (I know the politics behind it).

  45. I rather think that the forum is suffering from post-election stress disorder, or else severe opinion poll withdrawal syndrome.

  46. Laszlo

    Having hurriedly googled it: the Althing started a bit earlier (930) but was discontinued for 45 years in the 19th century. The Manx claim to have the oldest continuous parliament.

    Having said that our historical records are far worse than theirs, so we’re basically trying it on

  47. LASZLO

    So-very bad budgetting then. Useless businees plan.
    Poor management.-overlain by political hubris & grandstanding.

    The classic example of why Governments cannot manage businesses ?

  48. @ Roger Mexico

    Yes I know quite accidentally from advising a Manx company trying to get into the Norwegian market using Norse arguments.

  49. Pam F – Oh, I couldn’t agree more. isn’t this the problem with politics?? Think of the stick Prescott got. (Sickening) “Yeurrrgghhh, he was a WAITER!! On a CRUISE SHIP!!”

    All these Oxford boys (boys you note) undoubtedly could argue for England but do they have a CLUE about people? Ordinary, everyday people???

    Doubt it.

    We need a few economists of course, but we really HAVE to find some articulate, intelligent people – Mum’s, dad’s, Pensioners, Students. What else is the Labour party for????????

  50. @ Colin

    Yes, like the horse at the Veterianian Faculty on which you can demonstrate all the possible diseases that horses can get.

    I’m still not convinced that governments cannot run businesses, though :-) if they have to.

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