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. I’m not sure if I believe jail is a deterrent though BTW. Like I said, I think people often lose sight of the fact that the justice system is as much for justice for the victims as it is for deterrence.

  2. “Why join THE REAL WORLD if you don’t have to”

    Insulting.

  3. @Matt – “Why is it that we have become progressively more lenient with jail sentences over the past 50 years, and yet, the number of prisoners and murders has sky-rocketed since the 1930s/1940s? That is the question we should all be seeking to answer.”

    Regarding murders I just wanted to correct some misconceptions in your post. The UK murder rate fell consistently from 1900 to 1960, then rose relatively sharply from 1965 – 1995 – doubling in that time. Since then it has fallen, and is now at a 20 year low. Actual murder numbers are virtually the same last year as in 1979, despite a significant increase in the population.

    UK is currently around 46th in the world in terms of murder rates – below countries like Iceland, France, Australia, Bulgaria and the Seychelles to name a few.

    In terms or murder at least, we live in an excellent country where the last 15 years have seen some dramatic improvements.

  4. @ Roland

    The Bookish dont account for the whole public sector. What about bin men, road sweepers, crematorium attendants and the like?

    In my case, I was a children’s social worker for 27 years working in some pretty deprived inner city areas with people who you would no doubt refer to as the ‘feral underclass.’ Believe me, this was not a nice safe obscure little niche . I retired recently on a third of my salary- by no means a king’s ransom.

    Perhaps people working in the pubic sector should be obliged to wear a yellow ‘P’ sewn on their clothes.

    I think Amber is right. Workers are workers regardless of the sector they are in.

    One final point, before I get off my soap box.

    Prior to the Coalition, I described my position as anything but the tories and would haves voted Lib Dem in any seat where they were 2nd to the cons. I believed that the Lib Dems were a centre left party. Clearly I was wrong. The Con/Dem alliance left me feeling I needed to do something tangible rather than just moan. So I joined the Labour party.

    I am not sure what to do if/when the AV referendum is held. I think I will be voting against it.

  5. To prove my open mindedness and willingness to support sense from the coalition, I’m delighted to see .Ken Clarke reducing our dependency on prisons. Cause more crime than Vodka and Red Bull.

  6. Just visited the Gruaniad website and saw an image of DC giving forth at today’s PMQs. To his right is NC – looking pretty glum and wistful.

  7. Eoin

    “Your not suggesting that all those who do public service, teachers, nurses, police officers- do so purely out of laziness or lack of ability at finding more profitable employment are you?”

    No-though it is interesting that you think I might have.

    No-certainly not. That would be to make sweeping generalisations about a disparate group of workers. It would also impute to individuals , general features of cultural difference with the private sector.

    All of that would be wrong.

    I think there is a cultural difference though.

    Apart from periods of State contraction, the public sector employee does not face the level of risk attached to job security , that the private sector employee does.

    The private sector imperative -producing a product or service, which is of sufficient continuing quality & relevance to ensure that enough customers buy it with their hard earned cash-is absent.

    Union representation for Public Sector employees is now much more significant than for Private sector workers. The three groups you mention are all represented by vociferous employee associations.

    All of these things make a difference in my view-they can produce a culture in which the employee is the key figure rather than the “customer”. (a)

    Of course-you will argue ( as you just did) that this is countered by the idea of “public service”.(b)

    In my humble opinion the former attitude (a) is manifest in some areas of the public sector, and where it is, it negates the latter.(b)

    You mentioned three sectors.

    I have personal experience on a (sadly) periodic basis of (a) in the Nursing profession. I have experienced attitudes which would involve dismissal in a different culture. Nursing is not what it was.But do individual nurses still “care” for patients?-yes of course.

    The police force has a significant record of absenteeism & sickness, and its overgenerous early retirement entitlement is famously utilised to the full.
    Are individual Police Officers diligent in their service to the community -yes of course.

    The quality of teaching -I am sure you will acknowledge-is a constant source of controversy-and concern to parents.
    Are there good & effective teachers-yes-for example at the Church School & Grammar School attended by my daughters two children.
    Are there lazy, inadequate, poorly trained, disinterested teachers-yes-for example in the Middle School attended by two of my son’s children-who explain their complete disillusionment with their schooling on their Facebook sites.

  8. @ Alec

    “In terms or murder at least, we live in an excellent country where the last 15 years have seen some dramatic improvements.”

    Yes, I agree. And I’m quite sure it’s a resultant of conflicting factors of those 15 years. The vast majority of homicide is down to socio economic factors (44% of all female victims are killed by their former or current partners, in the majority of homicide cases both the murderer and the victim belongs to lower socio-economic groups, alcohol plays a major role in male-male cases, etc.) – prison cannot not work in changing these patterns. Reducing domestic violence and killing babies have a major effect on homicide statistics.

    But this is the problem with this figure (though I understand that you replied to Matt) – it actually does not show whether security increased or not.

    Actually imprisonment figures are not comparable for such a long period – for a number of reasons (some of them are quite obscure) as the Home Office states it on its website.

    There is also a very strange seasonality in prison population: you have a sharp increase in nearly every January, then a general tendency of reduction over the year, but then the next January figure jumps again and from a higher level than a year earlier. Thankfully, I don’t have to dig in this odd phenomenon.

    Furthermore, there is a massive gender discrepancy in crimes (and reoffending). This was the reason why in the 1990s in Andalucia the regional government paid higher subsidy to firms for employing men than women (it was later thrown out by the ECJ on the basis of sexual discrimination). All the statistics shows that the higher the male employment level, the lover the crime level.

  9. @VALERIE
    You are right I would refer to them as the ferral underclass. Why only 1/3rd pension after 27 years? I am not being nosey but pensions was my 2nd career.
    The reason I mentioned the clever bookish type was in responce to Eoin who advanced the theory that often the better brains go into the public sector. You will notice whilst disagreeing with Amber I used van drivers as a comparison. As for the yellow P, Labour have only been out of office 2 months, we hav’nt got round to rounding you up to go East yet.

  10. Of course, the Private Sector has a terrible drag on it’s productivity.

    Profit.

    Now, we all applaud re-investment, entrepreneurship, innovation etc.

    But just in case we were to fall into the moral trap of claiming the Public Sector have it all their own way, it might just be that there are some unscrupulous bosses who squeeze as much profit from their business as they can, paying the lowest wages, employing the fewest numbers of staff at the lowest possible salary in order to make 30, 40 50% profits or even more.

    Good luck to ’em perhaps, and if they spend this profit on wine, women and song, then the economy benefits. If however, they stash it in the Caymans, avoid tax, and gamble it away in Vegas, then one could argue their private sector endeavour doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

    This is NOT how I see business, but is only as slanted as some attitudes to Public Sector I’ve read recently.

  11. @ Valerie

    I hope you don’t mind me asking but is it fair to assume that in a LD/Con marginal where Lab is a distant third you would now vote Lab even though that might let the Tories in?
    I value your input to this question as I think the coalition will end up skewing tactical voting in a FPTP election. Tories will still back LDs in LD/Lab contests whereas Labour supporters will be less ready to back LDs in LD/Con contests.

  12. @VALARIE
    This matter of the LDs you mention is (to me at any rate) very interesting. Perhaps it is because I can remember farther back than P Ashdown and co. They have not always been a kinky version of Labour you know and I was pleased to hear Eoins veiw, which pretty much agreed with mine, that some of them are quite “old” Liberal in their economic views.

  13. Using average salaries either pro- or anti-public service is just wrong. To use mean averages as evidence standard deviation is also needed.

    Unfortunately not even median figures are useful here because of the differences in employment structures, tasks, responsibilites, etc. I can experience it when working with ex service men (officers and high level officers) who try to identify their tasks and responsibilites in a private sector structure.

  14. @SUE MARSH
    You put me to shame, supporting Ken Clarke like that.
    Had Postman Pat made a comment like Clarke’s I would have been shouting “Labour supporting the criminal again”. Because I trust old Ken I am quite prepared to see what he comes up with. Quite wrong on my part and very fair of you.

  15. Matt

    Why is it that we have become progressively more lenient with jail sentences over the past 50 years, and yet, the number of prisoners and murders has sky-rocketed since the 1930s/1940s? That is the question we should all be seeking to answer.

    every since i can remember there have been these shrill voices complaining that we are too soft on crime, so sentences get longer more jails get built but crime goes up faster. it’s all very sad

    logically the right wingers have got this one right but in the real world it just falls to pieces. just look at the usa, just hopeless

    do you remember “Short sharp shock” i did three weeks of that(peacenik) great stuff; cross country runs, shoveling coal, parades at dawn, loads of disciple, no smoking, no sweets. after just three weeks of it i was fitter than i had ever been, i could have outrun any copper i think. a wonderful training academy for criminals,

    no wonder crime went though the roof in the 80s

    Britain has the nastiest prisons (there are cushy nice prisons but they only for those that have the right tie) but the reoffense rate is sky high, prison does not work apparently.

    we should try to find out what works, forget the moralizing, i mean seriously if the best way to reduce crime is for Theressa may to give offenders a big fat slobbery kiss, then IMO she should do it, whatever works

    my son was a bit naughty a while ago, but instead of threatening him with police, jail and so on…………. i threatened him with social workers. he been a very good boy lately,

  16. @LASZLO
    As an ex Army Officer who went into the private sector in the early 80s, I know exactly what you mean. However, even back then we were very adequately forwarned that there would be a big difference in attitudes. Of course with all comparisons to do with the military, the x factor blows it out of the water.

  17. @ Roland

    Yes, it is the case. It seems to me that there are three major short-term shocks. One is the inability of many company executives to understand what an officer who was responsible for a couple hundred million pound budget and over a thousand people can bring to them. The second is the officers’ need of training (at least many officers’ need) to be able to actually say this (one such an officer was given the horrible advice to describe himself as a divisional manager in an interview for a private sector executive job). The third is the social shock of antagonisms between different levels and different groups and the lack of reciprocity (in spite of the different social groups from which the private and the officer corps are recruited, the antagonisms are not there really).

  18. @LASZLO
    I know why some ex officers struggle. Even today the think an 18 year old office junior is going to behold them like an 18 year old recruit does. Clearly, more than ever now the young person could not care less what they were in the Forces. The one good thing that Irish troubles left us with is the use of civilian titles. People no longer swan about the building known as Major Brown, or Squadron Leader Baker ect. Your comment about the Major General who described himself as a Divisional Manager amuses me. My last post with Abbey National was Divisional Director.

  19. @ Roland

    Good guess of the rank in my example :-), congratulations, only it’s the wrong branch of the armed forces, but roughly the equivalent rank, but we leave it there.

  20. Furious absolutely furious!

    I am appalled with Ken Clarke’s “soft on Crime don’t lock em up” policy.

    What is wrong with locking up someone in a cosy hotel (sorry prison) with an A La Carte menu every day, Sky television, pool and snooker room, Internet access, A copy of the daily mirror each day, etc etc.. Honestly has he completely lost it?

    Still… We live in exciting times, so why am I surprised?

  21. Aleksander – I think you’re absolutely right. In my seat, for instance, Labour are a distant, distant third and over the years the Libs have campaigned almost exclusively on “Labour can’t win Here”. Over the years, thousands of lab voters have voted Lib as an “Anti-Tory vote”.

    It actually won’t matter much as the seat is so safe Tory, but nonetheless, I can’t wait to see what happens to the Lib vote here. I have had oodles of conversations from those like Valerie, who “held their nose” and now not only have no chance of Lab representation, but no protest vote either.

  22. Come on Wayne, it’s too early to let the blinker slip, chin up old bean.
    Ken will probably form some kind of colony to get rid of criminals altogether or re-introduce the death penalty. All is not lost!

  23. @Roland.

    Local Authority pensions come out as 1/80 of salary for every year worked. So 27/80’s is about a third. I believe changes are in the pipeline but this idea of gold plated pensions for LA employees is absurd. I read somewhere that the average pension for a full time LA worker is 7 – 8K.

    @Aleksander

    In a Tory/Lib Dem Marginal I would vote Labour. I would not consider voting Lib Dem. Now, I think, Tories and Lib Dem’s are cut from the same cloth. My hope is that the Coalition slowly unravels , by which time (And by God it’s taking time) Labour has a new Leader and can take the fight to the Centre Right in the ensuing GE.

  24. Well at least nobody can say that Ken Clarke has up set the LDs and their voters. There will be a small revolt in the other direction on this. The ang um and flog um committee will pipe up but the LDs can sleep with their consciences. Upset the sandal and beard committee one week, upset the ang um and flog um’s the next week, divide and conquer. Daves on the ball despite his crap education.

  25. @VALERIE
    80ths yes a bit mean, I assumed (dangerous) 60ths.
    Then obviously you would be getting on for 50%.

  26. Well at least nobody can say that Ken Clarke has up set the LDs and their voters. There will be a small revolt in the other direction on this. The ang um and flog um committee will pipe up but the LDs can sleep with their consciences. Upset the sandal and beard committee one week, upset the ang um and flog um’s the next week, divide and conquer. Daves on the ball despite his dodgy education.

  27. What is it with Conservatives? That nice Mr Clarke tries to make big cuts like they’ve been demanding and all they want to do is complain. ;)

  28. SUE MARSH

    I have written to Ken today.
    I haven’t minced my words:
    First I had to tell him that he looks bloody stupid in that wig.

    second he should think seriously about his bird watching hobby in future.. If he let’s all those criminals on the loose he might find someone nasty in those bushes he hides in with his binoculars in hand!

    Interesting thoughts, exciting times!

  29. @ Matt

    Why is it that we have become progressively more lenient with jail sentences over the past 50 years, and yet, the number of prisoners and murders has sky-rocketed since the 1930s/1940s? That is the question we should all be seeking to answer.
    —————————————————–
    I honestly believe that the improvements made in policing & forensics mean more crimes are reported/ detected & more criminals caught.

    Domestic violence used never to be reported. Child abuse & such like – never reported. I could go on.
    I am pleased that attitudes have changed towards these things. Of course prevention would be best; does anybody know how to achieve this without infringing people’s civil liberties? 8-)

  30. @Roland
    It does make me smile when people of my aquaintance say ‘oh it’s all right for you on a public sector pension”.

    But I’m not trying to spin a hard luck story. I am solvent. Rather than buy AVC’s I paid off my mortgage and drip fed sums into various Investment Trusts. More a Cava socialist than a Champagne one.
    Talking of which, that sun must be over the yard arm

  31. @WAYNE
    You are as bad as Tony Blair, he resented elderly men wearing wigs and stockings.

  32. @Sue Marsh

    Sue, I live in a Lib/ Labour Marginal which the Lib Dem won by 900 Votes. Throughout the campaign the Lib Dems said the Tories cannot win here. Our MP is now saying that voters should be “grown up” and accept the coalition. And it’s ok cos he is to the Left of Labour on lots of issues. Grrrr! :-)

  33. Colin,

    Much as I hate to admit it I agree with a fair bit of that. But the occupations in themsleves are noble endeavours all the same.

    wealth creation on the other hand just does not appeal to many…. you need a fair bit of testosterone to survive in that world! And a pacemaker! :) And a very understanding partner for that matter…. and an ability to switch your brain off… I’ll stop now :)

    Admit it bird watching beats it hands down?

  34. @AMBER STAR
    I agree with you on this Amber and would add that when people are arrested there is much more chance of it being the RIGHT person than years ago.

    However, a reason for some of the increase is the imported crime which is so very much in evidence in London and elsewhere. I think finally this is being talked about, a good step towards dealing with it.

  35. Amber – After all, Marital Rape wasn’t really outlawed in the UK until 1991. 1991!!!!!!!!

  36. @SUE MARSH
    I’v been a martyr to it.

  37. Roland – lol despite my better judgement

  38. valerie

    i think you are being a little hard on the libdems. just look at the budget without the libdems there would have been….

    no increase in CGT

    a decrease in inheritance tax

    vat on food and clothes(probably)

    no £250 pay rises for the lowest paid public workers

    no bank levy

    no increase in IT thresholds

    even lower corp tax(likely)

    this was always going to be hard, labour would not have increased income tax, they had 13 years to do so and DIDN’T

    the cuts are bad but they won’t happen, it’s just not possible. i’m surprised that the city is taken in by these fantasy-land cuts.

    the fact is that we are only 15% of the govt and therefore there is a limit to what we can achieve

    it is a shame that labour never introduced PR, they could have had a radical few years and then locked reforms in place with PR safe in the knowledge that the the tories would never have an absolute majority but instead they spent 13 years looking over their shoulders worrying about the next election

    BTW as libdem i have of course voted labour on occasion but i doubt that i shall again. every time i imagine doing so i see david blunkett and his harlot comment. i can’t vote tory either, the memory of MT speaking the words of Francis of Assisi is etched on my memory

  39. @ Sue

    I completely agree with the sentiment expressed.

    But strictly speaking it’s not true as there has never been a law in England that allowed marital rape (that was the decree of the HoL) – classic case law anomaly – as courts could apply something (Hale’s interpretation) without it being a law, and of course the decision’s date is 1991.

    ht tp://www.leeds.ac.uk/law/hamlyn/rvr.htm

  40. Jamie’s School Dinners, RIP.
    Free School Meals Pilot too.
    I am desolate.

  41. @RICHARD IN NORWAY
    What a splendid job for the coalition. If the LDs can get across how much they have prevented us swine from introducing our final solution for the British Workers, as you just have, they will last 5 years.

    Thanks for reminding me about Baroness Finchley and St Francis. What about Gordon Brown and open government. What a laugh it all is.

  42. @ Richard in Norway

    I can only vote for policies, not against a particular individual’s comments, or I’d never vote again. 8-)

  43. ROLAND

    if the boot was on the other foot you would be carping on about how the blues had prevented the lonny librals from joining the euro

  44. Actually, that was the Inde.
    The Telegraph made it clearer that even fellow Tories were incensed by Lansley’s remarks and the healthy standards for school meals are enshrined in law.
    Phew.

    Whilst I don’t necessarily agree with them, there are members of this government I feel truly mean well (IDS, Gove) but would the blues on here tell me honestly – is Lansley not a bit of a liability?

  45. amber

    has any high-up red apologised

  46. @ RICHARD IN NORWAY

    ” the reoffense rate is sky high, prison does not work apparently. ”

    I have just listened-spellbound-to an ex senior probation officer on BBC24 destroy everything KC has said. He had stats coming out of his ears.
    He made me feel I am correct to mistrust KC’s approach.

    ……..this chap said that re-offending rates fall as sentences lengthen. ie short sentence-back in a week or so. Long sentence-had enough -want to stay out.

    His solution-rack up the sentences for repeat offenders. Seems sense to me-they don’t have to re-offend-they don’t have to be in prison.

  47. “The UK murder rate fell consistently from 1900 to 1960, then rose relatively sharply from 1965 – 1995 – doubling in that time. Since then it has fallen, and is now at a 20 year low. Actual murder numbers are virtually the same last year as in 1979, despite a significant increase in the population. ”

    It’s still double what it was back in the 1950s. The fall in the number of murders in recent years is also more down to demographic changes than a change in moral code, or better policing. The proportion of young males, for instance, has decreased significantly in the last 3 decades. The Libs touched on this before the GE. Virtually all Western nations have seen the same trend.

    Of course, as Lazslo has said, security is also much better nowadays too. This makes it much harder for burglaries to take place. The fear of crime also means that people are also much more wary about venturing outside late at night. This decreases the pool of potential victims (fortunately).

    I was really disappointed in the Tories for these changes. I certainly didn’t vote them in so that I can be attacked by a gang of thugs and expect them to not receive anything beyond a few paltry hours of meaningless community service. What has happened to the idea of ‘justice’ in this country?

  48. By justice, I don’t necessarily just mean deterrence – I mean proper justice for the victims. I presume their opinions matter little any more. That much has become clear.

  49. I suppose at least everyone now knows that tax evasion, burglary, stealing, assault etc. are not going to lead to proper punishments anymore.

  50. @ Eoin

    “you need a fair bit of testosterone to survive in that world! ”

    At the senior level -yes. But for those who do not like-or cannot take-the pressures of commercial business ,I think the Puiblic Sector is a safe haven-because its an easier life in general. ( I am sure there are exceptions-dealing with drugs, social problems etc)
    Implicit in this is that there will always be slack in the Public Sector back office.

    “And a pacemaker! ”

    Got one of those !

    “And a very understanding partner for that matter…”

    At any level of responsibility yes. I had ( have ;-) ) one.

    “Admit it bird watching beats it hands down?”

    Natch-but I enjoyed it when I enjoyed it.

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