There is a new ComRes poll out tonight for the Independent. Topline voting intention figures, with changes from their previous poll a week and a half ago, are CON 40%(+4), LAB 31%(+1), LDEM 18%(-5). As with ICM and YouGov, that represents a sharp drop in Liberal Democrat support, though ComRes are showing a rather lower level of Labour support than other companies.


487 Responses to “ComRes/Indy – 40/31/18”

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  1. Another poll showing an increasing Tory lead.. Not much news otherwise..
    Labour probably about right 30/31 ish

    didn’t Comres get labour correct at the Ge?

  2. Comres have seemed to show a much higher support for others than in the other phone pollsters. Interesting

  3. The fact the Conservatives have maintained and very possibly added to their ratings whilst the Liberals have seen a marked decrease in theirs is somewhat confusing.

    Labour still remain unsurprisingly poor, however could it be the case that those Centre and Right Lib-Dem voters are behind the Tories and those on the Left are drifting to Labour?

    The winners appear to be the Conservatives, the Lib-Dems losing ground and Labour bobbing around at their pre-election ratings.

  4. The serious question coming from the past few polls is…what will come first….the Orange Tories hitting single figures or a leadership challenge on Clegg. If you get the first….the second will surely follow.

  5. Labour to hold its nerve. Lib Dems in crisis

  6. “The fact the Conservatives have maintained and very possibly added to their ratings whilst the Liberals have seen a marked decrease in theirs is somewhat confusing.”

    No it isn’t. At all.
    Cons get honeymoon period, libs had a lot of anti-cons voters, then joined a cons govt. Seems pretty straightforward to me.

  7. Virtually every poll since the election has put the coalition vote at 58/59 – but this has a surprisingly poor Labour vote.
    Don’t actually think polls at this stage of the electoral cycle mean very much.

  8. Much too soon after the election to read anything into the Government-Opposition breakdown.

    But…

    This is dangerous news for the LD’s: swing voters starting to see no difference between them and the Conservatives and- months and years in advance of tax hikes, service cuts and benefit removals actually biting- are transferring from LD to Conservative.

    As aforementioned fiscal retrenchment bites it is likely that both Conservatives and Lib Dems will get a poll hit: so Libs are losing both now at this stage and also later in the business-political cycle. Proverbial squeeze.

  9. This poll has similar readings to many others in the months before the election. Not sure that that much has changed – except the benefit the LD’s gained from the ability to present their case at the election has now gone.
    It is not impossible if the coalition gets a hit that some Con votes will move back to the LD’s – particularly if some LD’s make their opposition to certain aspects of policy known – as some are doing now. There seem to be some voters who oscillate between LD and Con and would never vote Labour.
    Personally I think that Cameron has come over very well – which undoubtedly helps Conseervative ratings.

  10. Johnty

    “Don’t actually think polls at this stage of the electoral cycle mean very much.”

    In UK terms, I agree. However, Scotland and Wales have national elections in less than a year. Since sub-samples are pretty useless, it would be interesting to see what effect the Coalition/Budget etc are having on LD support in these nations.

    Alas! Someone would have to pay for such polls, so I doubt that we’ll see any.

  11. Eoin
    Right criticism of 1981?
    I remember it. My mother, father, aunt and uncle were all sacked in a space of 6 months. None of them ever worked again. Two of them are still alive so 30 years. The same applied to most of my relations in Paisley. So initially hard to see it as insufficiently right wing.
    However, as some posts may be hinting the unusual feature of that government was that destroying the unions was all. Therefore keeing the sacked quiet was critical. Hence disability payments, HB etc … and increased government spending.
    As a councillor it is hard to stay patient with someone (was it Wayne) who thinks public sector workers are high paid. Most are very low paid but mark this a very large majority of the indigenous low paid. If there are mass redundancies just wait to see what our poorer areas will be like

  12. @Oldnat
    I agree – politics in Scotland in particular are so different from England. I would imagine that LD’s in Scotland will try to distance themselves from those in the Westminster Parliament.

  13. Johnty
    Some fptp LD MSPs will not experience a negative effect beecause they are faux Tories already. Mind you the Tories may have a go. Others will be toast no matter what. Interesting to see who doesn’t stand eg Jamie Stone in Caithness. He is not standing and both snp and Labour will fancy it.

  14. barney crockett

    “Some fptp LD MSPs will not experience a negative effect beecause they are faux Tories already.”

    Surely the effect isn’t dependent on the right/left wing tendencies of the MSP, but of the LD voters in their constituencies.

  15. These polls are both interesting and irrelevant.

    Interesting because it shows the electorate are on board with the coalition – and they should be !!

    Irrelevant because Lab will not even be in the picture until they have picked a Milliband and shadow cabinet reshuffle. And the coalition honeymoon period will be over in the new year – cuts + vat rise etc etc.

    I genuinely believe 75%+ of the electorate understand and broadly agree with the tory (no sorry – coalition) policies on cuts etc —-but when the constant local + national news stories report on job loses, closures of local services etc – a fickle bunch they might become.

    Mervyn King (BOE) stated before GE who ever wins will probably be unelectable again for a generation.

    Personally i hope they tackle the debt crisis, benefit culture, public sector pay and pensions, immigration and encourage job creation across the uk. And have the courage to bring our brave troops home within 3 yrs if not sooner.

    As for the Lib Dems – let me state i applaud their great risk in going into coalition, all this talk of their support evapourating is nonense, absolute nonense. They will be rewarded by the public and historians for doing the right thing. Their voters will recognise that their policies on income tax allowances, CGT etc are being implemented. However AV will be difficult.

    Finally all you posters knocking the coalition and their first 2 months in power are tribal, in denial, and unrealistic of the problems the uk faces.

    Good day all.

  16. “….it would be interesting to see what effect the Coalition/Budget etc are having on LD support in these nations.

    Alas! Someone would have to pay for such polls, so I doubt that we’ll see any.”

    Oldnat, there was a YouGov poll for Scotland last month.

    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/YG-Archives-Pol-ScottishScotsman-100504.pdf

  17. The ICM poll showed Labour gaining the lion’s share of Lib Dem loss, and this one shows the Conservatives. Dare I suggest all this shows is that different polling companies are doing different re-weighting strategies for the Lib Dem vote share?

    Add on ‘feel good/feel sad’ factor from the World Cup, the Honeymoon effect, Labour Leader uncertainty… All this is distorting the polls. Take it all with a pinch of salt, even the big losses of the LibDems which could well be a variety of artefacts.

  18. JUST AS A BIT OF FUN AS THE BBC NORMALLY SAYS HEAR IS THE EFFECT UPON SEATS WITH THE CURRENT POLLING NUMBERS.

    SCOTLAND

    LAB +4
    CON +6
    LD -5
    SNP -5

    NORTH EAST

    Labour +1
    Conservative +1
    Lib Dems -2

    NORTH WEST

    Labour +2
    Conservative +3
    Lib Dems -5

    YORKSHIRE AND HUMBER

    Labour +1
    Conservative 0
    Lib Dem -1

    EAST MIDLANDS

    no overall changes in seats

    WEST MIDLANDS

    LAB +2
    CON 0
    LD -2

    EAST OF ENGLAND

    CON +1
    LAB +1
    LD -2

    WALES

    CON +1
    LAB +1
    LD -2

    LONDON

    LAB +2
    CON +3
    LD -5 (vince cable just holds twickenham maj 3%)

    SOUTH EAST

    CON +4
    LAB +1
    LD -4 (huhne out swing 7.5% to con)
    GRN -1 (lucus loses brighton pravillion)

    SOUTH WEST

    CON +12
    LAB 0
    LD -12 (only foster, laws and williams stay in.

    TOTAL

    CON 338 +31 (I HAVE INCLUDED THE SPEAKER)
    LAB 273 +15
    LD 17 -40
    PC 3 0
    SNP 1 -5
    GRN 0 -1

    CON MAJ 26

    SWING CON TO LAB 0.1%

  19. The coalition faced its first rebellion last night when two Liberal Democrat MPs voted against a budget proposal to increase VAT to 20%.

    Bob Russell and Mike Hancock voted with Labour to oppose the increase, which has alarmed many Lib Dems who warned during the election of a Tory VAT “bombshell”.

  20. DWIN

    “Finally all you posters knocking the coalition and their first 2 months in power are tribal, in denial, and unrealistic of the problems the uk faces.”

    You noticed that too eh?

  21. ComRes are beginning to look a tad out…

    ICM got the closest at the GE and the are quite a bit out from them….

    Can anybody tell me their fieldwork?

    My own reading of the polls is that blueys are a bit higher than this and others are quite a bit lower……

  22. Although ostensibly Labour ought to be disappointed, the party will actually not be too distraught to be slightly up on the general election figure without a leader. When the leader is elected, Labour will hope and expect to take closer order to the Tories, as some other polls already are starting to suggest.

  23. DWIN/Colin – For goodness sake, 42% of people polled recently are against these cuts. Lib Dem voters are very uneasy. The US and scores of prominent economists are against the cuts. Or are thee economists “Tribal” too??

    I’m getting a bit sick of being insulted for holding a different view to you.

    Enjoy being in power, enjoy that the cuts are being put through your way, enjoy that at the moment, the country seem broadly behind you, but keep your own opinions and leave others to theirs.

  24. @Dwin & Colin – “Finally all you posters knocking the coalition and their first 2 months in power are tribal, in denial, and unrealistic of the problems the uk faces”

    Speaking for myself, I disagree. By contrast I think you have fallen for the conventional view of life as espoused by a dicredited financial industry and have merrily travelled along a worn out path of tried before policies that only work in fiscal terms at enormous long term social cost, leading to a further crisis of a ‘structural social deficit’.

    The biggest issue is not over cuts – I have repeatedly highlighted huge areas to cut spending or improve tax returns that would not affect anyone in the bottom half of earnings, but you generally remain silent over these – tribal, in denial and unrealistic perhaps?

    The other issue is timing. While you didn’t believe Darling’s growth forecasts (as I didn’t) he did extremely well on the deficit projections. I believe growth figures will still be overestimated, but now that Darling’s hyper cautious deficit projections have been replaced with more optimistic ones I suspect the deficit will not fall as much as expected.

    This isn’t so much about the UK but about the world economy. Colin used to lecture us about the amount of debt still remaining on bank books and with consumers. This hasn’t changed just because we have a Tory PM. I’ve already read media articles advising consumers to ensure they don’t more than £50K in individual UK banks and not to hold Euro notes issued in Greece, Spain or Portugal as they expect them to be worthless overnight as these Euro countries collapse.

    Mounting massive spending cuts that will also slow the economy against this background is very dangerous indeed. These kinds of cuts should come later, with other big cuts now that have little or no immediate economic impact much more appropriate.

    Is this tribal? I don’t know. I certainly haven’t seen much from Labour that suggests they agree with me.

  25. On the polls, the general story has been of a small net loss of support from the coalition parties with a varying boost to Labour – in some cases quite a big boost – since the election. This is before we see the actual impacts of the cuts, so I’m not sure we can really say that this means the public is going to be right behind DC.

    Interesting headline story on R4 this morning with Hugh Ord warning of cuts in police numbers and services. What is going to be interesting in many areas is the response of the shire Tories. In my area they campaigned vigorously against the attempt to close our local police station, unitary authorities and even last week we had a Tory councillor campaigning against a possible merger of police forces.

    There’s going to be a tidal wave of changes like this, in many areas proposals that were initially proposed by Labour but defeated by Tories. This is where government becomes difficult.

  26. @Sue Marsh
    “The US and scores of prominent economists are against the cuts. ”

    I think the latter part of the sentence may be true – but the US? At the moment the Republicans look likely to make large gains in the Congressional elections – and their anti-state classical Liberal views make the Coalition Government look like left wing Democrats. Even with the current Congress with Democratic majorities the Keynesians are having great difficulty getting policies through. So my reading is that it is a mistake to think that Obama and Krugman speak for the US.
    In this climate it would be very difficult for the UK alone to avoid substantial cuts – even the French are are at least talking about eliminating their deficit – and they haven’t done that since about 1978!

  27. ALEC

    “the amount of debt still remaining on bank books and with consumers. This hasn’t changed just because we have a Tory PM. ”

    This is a very important point. You are right to remind us of it. Another Banking crisis is not out of thequestion ( though IMO it would be regional, rather than Global )

    However, I do not think this militates against pruning bloated State sectors back. After all, Sovereign Debt is still debt-and much of it on the books of Banks.

    Sovereign Debt incurs interest-which crowds out spending on public services . This is true whether you describe that debt as “structural” or “cyclical”-it still costs.
    I personally do not think that the State should be consuming more than 50% of its countries economy.

    ( cue torrent of faux academic econobabble)

    There is clearly now a transatlantic rift on deficit management ( why don’t we talk about DEBT management ? )policy. But the Obama approach is not without its critics, and US debt & deficit financing is not proven as the correct approach-yet.

    I have just been reading the reports on THe Times Business Conference. The delegates endorsed the governments plans & were pretty upbeat. I find it encouraging.

    I cannot think of a better way of expressing my thoughts than Cameron’s at that Conference:-

    “The Government must live within it’s means”

    “It must make work pay”

    “It must make Britain earn its way in the world once more”

    I do think that their is a perfectly credible argument that overblown State spending & Structure “crowds out” initiative & enterprise in the all important Private Sector.

    Of course business leaders , in calling for the State to “get out of the way” so they can take the strain, do not have the responsibility of social welfare.
    That is a valid State function, and I am not without concerns that in the laudable efforts to shake the anti-work inertia out of our welfare system, there might be unintended casualties. I voted Conservative in the full knowledge that my daughter’s income ( Disabled, Not ambulant, Divorced , mother of two, working part-time-Degree Course part time) might be compromised by welfare benefit reforms. So far I see no sign of it, and I do not believe that people like DC & IDS would ever contemplate policies which removed safety nets from those who really need them.

    But I understand the concerns on the matter.

    Two other articles I recommend in the Times today Alec :-

    How Jean Chretien cut the deficit bu “just saying no” & having “no exemptions” ( has DC got this right on NHS ring fence?)

    Rachel Sylvester on Labour’s ball & chain-the influence of the Unions over it’s leadership election , & the outcome-a “no pay cuts-no redundancies” taboo.
    She also highlights an electoral college which allows some people to have up to five votes…………democratic reform anyone? ;-)

  28. So why are all these LD GE voters switching to Cons?

    Was there really a 4% block of voters who weren’t really LDs at all, but just realists wanting Cons to sort things out, who were spooked by the Labour “same old Tories” line?

    Was that 40/30/20 the underlying truth all along?

  29. OK, lets try that again then.

    I’m not against cuts (getting bored of saying it) I’m against the scale of them and to a degree the timing.

    I don’t really need to hear all the right wing arguments again, I get it, I just don’t want to be called tribal for holding a different view. That’s just insulting.

    Colin – You are quite happy to get in little digs over what YOU read or believe (democratic reform anyone?) Let he who is without sin……

  30. IMO popularity ratings will be more meaningful as vague headline proposals turn into reality. For example, according to the Gruniad over 80% of familes on housing benefit in Westminster stand to lose their homes due to the capping of the local housing allowance for families in the private rented sector, announced in last week’s Budget. Over 80% of the 5,430 housing benefit claims in the borough would breach these limits.

    Looks like these “undeserving” folk will have to join the refugee columns and walk alongside the unemployed homeseekers who have also been told to “get on yer bike” and find a job ( and a home ) in some other town / county.

    It is of course unreasonable for folk to remain in homes which they cannot afford. If they are disabled or elderly then they should find a home which is within their means.

    Maybe the solution is for the local Councils to pool their funds and construct some large buildings where the “undeserving poor” can sleep in dormitories. Very cost-effective. Men would sleep in one wing. Their wives and kids would sleep in another. [Stops them breeding and adding to the problem you see]. In order to discourage them from loafing about sponging on others they could be given useful work to do, break some rocks, sew mailbags perhaps.

    These enterprises would need to be administered by a “Board of Guardians” or suchlike of course, which has the merit of keeping a few more of the managing classes in a living.

    Now what does it all remind me of ?

    h ttp://www.workhouses.org.uk/Southwell

  31. @Stuart Gregory

    Even if there was a general election tomorrow, there is no way that the Conservatives would win an extra six seats in Scotland and the SNP would be almost wiped out, whatever the polls say.

    I would expect the LDs to suffer a bit North of the border – they will almost certainly fall back in areas where they were providing challenge to Labour like Edinburgh North and Dunfermline. I would expect them to lose a few FPTP MSPs next year, but maybe get a few back on the regional vote and finish up maybe 1 or 2 seats down, but the Tories might also lose 1 or 2 seats overall.

  32. @Alec
    The banking problems are still a major concern. There are banks going under every week in the US.
    The 20 year Japanese growth nightmare is largely due to their banks not sorting out their toxic assets from the 1980’s property boom early enough. This has resulted in weak lending and weak growth. After their banking crisis in 1992 the Swedes forced the banks to mark their bad assets to market before they were eligible for govt guarantees. Sweden recovered but it was an isolated problem and the global economy was growing.
    It is the lack of honesty in banks’ balance sheets that will hinder growth in the West. Until it is resolved and we know who the winners and losers are I would agree with spreading your deposit risk.
    Another concern is that the measures taken in the US are just not working. I expect feeble growth from there as well. I’m sure that they will try another round of fiscal stimuli and QE but it’s like pushing on a string unless the banks return to lending.
    On a different timescale the BBC reported a growing number of strikes in China for better wages and conditions. This will lead eventually to an erosion of China’s competitve position and an increase in its own consumer demand. The beneficiaries will initially be the neighbouring countries however the West will benefit as technology replaces labour.

  33. Cozmo – Excellent idea and would fit perfectly into the identity of the “Big Society”. I’m sure this could be taken on by the voluntary sector. Maybe we could even offer these enterprises out for private tender/ I’m sure business could find a way to make them even more cost effective!!

    Please remember , though, there would need to be a separate area for the disabled who will be joining them in extremely large numbers. No point putting them with the able bodied inhabitants, or before you know it they will have shared their unfortunate genetic markers.

    Oh and similar establishments would be a wonderful solution to those young girls who think that by getting pregnant they will get a home, they would be much better off all mucking in together – they can help each other with childcare and wet nursing.

    (the last one is an actual policy suggestion)

  34. @Sue Marsh
    :) :) :)

  35. @Colin – I think your last post is a much fairer assessment. The US is still officially pro stimulus – they can get away with this as the dollar is the world’s reserve currency. Other nations have to be a bit more cautious. I doubt that if there is another banking crisis it will be particularly regional – Spain is way bigger than Lehman”s and unlike Greece is unsupportable. If Spain went, it would be show time.

    I think it’s also completely wrong to ring fence the NHS. In practice it will make other department cuts unattainable. Do we really think we can cut 35% from the Home Office without completely screwing up policing, courts and justice, prisons and immigration controls?

    What I am very concerned about is the impression given, particularly from Osborne, that welfare cuts are the real target. I agree there is a pressing need to simplify, adjust, make the system more logical (pro work) and in some places cut. Likewise Unions need to start representing their public sector workers more effectively – wage restraint, pension reforms and working practices reviewed in exchange for jobs would be a good start.

    Where the coalition has so far failed is in attacking the problems at the other end of the scale. While poorly organised state spending can drag down the economy, so too does the excessive capturing of wealth at the other end. We know from experience that ‘trickle down’ economics doesn’t work. So why has Osborne made the banks richer? Why does he permit the top 1% to capture £10b of pension tax relief. Why does he tackle excessive pay in the public sector but ignore the private sector distortions? Why has he rejected quite reasonable tax proposals on wealth and assets to help close the deficit?

    So far it’s all very lopsided, with the method of fiscal correction chosen the one that has greatest impact on the less well off as well as adversely affecting short and medium term economic growth the most. What we’ve got is a myopic approach to the issues and the talk of a radical rethink of state finances is just that – talk.

  36. @Cozmo – “Over 80% of the 5,430 housing benefit claims in the borough would breach these limits.”

    But Cozmo – have you never thought of what will happen if this does occur? With numbers like this, the first reaction will be the dropping of rents on the housing market as they will be unaffordable to large chunks of the population. Buy to let investments will become less viable. House prices will stabilise. General rent levels will ease back. A big market distortion will have been eased.

    Far too many landlords are making a good living on the back of the tax payer through HB. I don’t relish the pain felt during such an adjustment and steps should be taken to alleviate this, but HB has been propping up an over inflated housing market for too long.

    Labour actually introduced a very reasonable and successful scheme whereby HB recipients were allowed to keep 15% of any savings they could make on rents through negotiations with landlords. I seem to recall they scrapped it after getting cold feet about claimants getting back more than they anticipated. It merely showed that without any incentive, HB recipients have no interest in seeking good value for the taxpayers payments and landlords have the exact opposite – they are best served by excessive rents and poor value to the taxpayer.

    This is a classic area where an intelligent government could make significant changes with the impacts shared between claimants and landlords. Labour did this but bottled it, Osborne just opts for the route most painfull to claimants.

  37. @Cozmo – “Over 80% of the 5,430 housing benefit claims in the borough would breach these limits.”

    But Cozmo – have you never thought of what will happen if this does occur? With numbers like this, the first reaction will be the dropping of rents on the housing market as they will be unaffordable to large chunks of the population. Buy to let investments will become less viable. House prices will stabilise. General rent levels will ease back. A big market distortion will have been eased.

    Far too many landlords are making a good living on the back of the tax payer through HB. I don’t relish the pain felt during such an adjustment and steps should be taken to alleviate this, but HB has been propping up an over inflated housing market for too long.

    Labour actually introduced a very reasonable and successful scheme whereby HB recipients were allowed to keep 15% of any savings they could make on rents through negotiations with landlords. I seem to recall they scrapped it after getting cold feet about claimants getting back more than they anticipated. It merely showed that without any incentive, HB recipients have no interest in seeking good value for the taxpayers payments and landlords have the exact opposite – they are best served by excessive rents and poor value to the taxpayer.

  38. @Cozmo – I’ve had a post on housing benefit put into moderation. Either I’m on the naughty step or there is an inadvertant trigger in the post.

    All I was saying was that if the exodus of claimants from some areas happens if benefit rates are cut, rents will fall. Landlords are making a lot of money from housing payments. My other post goes into a bit more detail.

  39. Alec
    thanks

    Interesting post.

    Top end pension contributions tax relief is a constant theme of yours.
    Maybe you have a point.

    I think your call for “Unions need to start representing their public sector workers more effectively – wage restraint, pension reforms and working practices reviewed in exchange for jobs would ” is well placed-and without hope.
    I hope I am proved wrong, but I see some itching for the “battle” to come.

  40. @Alec
    I accept your point about rents falling in response to an exodus. I still feel for those for whom tiz too late because they have already been forced to get on their bikes and seek a home elsewhere. But I do agree that there will be downward forces at work.

    On the other side of the equation is the ever lengthening queue for social housing in a situation where very little new stock will be built. This is not a partisan point as I was very critical of Labour’s dismal failure to deal with the shortage of social housing. They have much to answer for.

    IMO it is not easy to see the true picture by focusing on single issues. Some folk claim that there is widespread support for cutbacks and I accept that ( for the time being ) but I believe it’s not so simple. Tiz easy to say you don’t mind an extra million or so joining the dole queue – provided of course you are not on the scrapheap yourself.

    You may not mind the housing shortage provided you have a roof over your head. But you might think again when your kids can’t afford to leave home and your Study has now become a crèche for your grandkids!

    Nuff said for now. Time for another coffee. :)

  41. ALEKSANDAR.

    What an interesting & informative post.

    Thank you.

  42. Pay heed to ComRes at your peril. They have performed quite poorly recently with their polling. considering that ICM have been very close to teh GE result in 2010, 2005, 2001, 1997 and they disagree considerably with ComR….

    does anyone have a link to the tabulation or field work dates?

  43. @Alec
    I agree with your points. I have also been sent to the mod dungeon. Dunno why. I will sign off for now. :)

  44. Does anyone have a link to polls from 79 – 91? I’d like to see the effect of budgets, world events etc on the polls from the Maggie era. (Anthony, your charts with the events in bubble would be ideal, but I can’t find one)s

  45. @ COSZMO

    “Looks like these “undeserving” folk will have to join the refugee columns ”

    ….mmm…nice & emotive ……..alternatively-also from the Guardian-Phillipa Roe :-

    “For the past two years, at Westminster city council we have led the campaign to completely overhaul the housing benefit system. Under the previous government, the rules allowed families on housing benefit to live in some of the most expensive real estate in the world at the taxpayer’s expense……….There was also little incentive for them to move or work, as under the benefit laws they would lose much of their generous housing payments. At the same time, we are acutely aware that some low-income working families have been waiting for years to move from overcrowded council flats to larger properties………..Before this announced change, anyone could find a very expensive property to rent in Westminster and claim housing benefit, regardless of whether they lived locally, or even if they came from abroad.If they could prove they were eligible, we had to pay out up to £2,000 a week in some cases. To afford this rent in the private sector, a household’s income would have to be £300,000……….Following the budget, some housing charities have voiced concerns that the cut in benefit will lead to an increase in homelessness. While we respect their views, it is important to point out that the current system has artificially raised rents. When the new, lower housing-benefit rate is in place, we believe that rents will automatically fall as landlords will not be able to charge such high sums……..Moreover, the new changes will not take hold until April 2011 and we have time to plan and forecast what the housing needs of Westminster will be. For our part, we are doing all we can to increase the supply of affordable housing. For example, in March we launched the biggest council house-building programme that central London has seen for a generation, with almost 500 homes being built by 2015”

    Just a different way of looking at the facts.
    .

  46. Alc
    Rentals are unlikly to fall primarily because people would come from abroad. If previous governments had believed rentals would fall if HB was cut then they would have reduceed HB. They didn’t want to pay it

  47. Sue,

    Anthony has a good chart from 87…. if you want to know reactions to specific events wikipedia the date of the event and then compare the before and after polls..

    Pre-87 polls are plenty but then are not all collated onto one chart (not that I know of anyway).

    Reactions to specific events can be massive…

    Cheriegate had a bigger reaction than Iraq if my memory serves me correctly..

    The botched election / datage of 2007 was bad for Brown

    Needless to say your poll tax, falklands, black wednesdays had some significant impact for blues

    we will have minimum 1 over the events every two years

    I think Rob Sheffield used the phrase ‘slow burn’ – well slwo can become firebomb at the blink of an eye…. but crucially it can go either way

    a wee war with Iran could send blueys soaring in the polls…

    alternatively Inflation / interest rates and unemployment “the famous blue lagoon cocktail ” could send them hurtling as deep as a flailing oil pipe in the gulf of mexico. :)

  48. @Colin
    I accept some of your points. We must agree to differ on others. In Greater London the problem of “essential workers” will not go away. Transport, nurses & ancillary workers, refuse collection, street cleaning, etc etc. A very long list of people who are needed, and who often have to be on duty at very unsocial hours, and at short notice just to keep the capital operational. But many of them simply cannot afford to live within range of their essential duties without some sort of subsidy. Various initiatives have been tried and failed.

    Areas such as Westminster are special cases I agree, but the local council has also benefited from the enhanced council taxes generated by the high property values.

    If it is right to force poorer folk out of these areas then surely Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne need to re-visit their words about “protecting the poorest and most vulnerable people” ??

  49. Cozmo,

    Would there be a case for abolishing Council Tax? (could be replaced by graduated rise in come tax)

  50. Coszmo
    For example, according to the Gruniad

    Grauniad surely Cozmo (you need two a’s)

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