Two polls tonight. First YouGov’s regular daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 42%, LAB 37%, LDEM 13%. The Government’s net approval rating is nil – 40% approve and 40% disapprove.

Secondly there is a ComRes poll, with significantly different figures. They have topline figures of CON 38%(-1), LAB 34%(+1), LDEM 18%(+3). This is a much higher level of Lib Dem support than YouGov are showing, up from 15% in ComRes’s last poll, apparenly at the expense of “others”. Interestingly enough, ComRes’s press release says that the proportion of Lib Dem 2010 voters who have defected to Labour has risen from 15% a month ago to 22% now, which is rather odd given the rise in overall support – presumably they have picked up enough support elsewhere to cancel it out.

121 Responses to “New YouGov and ComRes polls”

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  1. @ Stuart,

    You are right the the Scottish Conservatives always get more votes that is polled for them but not sure of the reason for the discrepancy , mind you it’s better than it used to be so maybe the polling companies do compensate in some way.
    I think Conservative voters are probably in “clusters” but not as pronounced as once was , hence the difficulty in winning parliamentary seats.
    I think the Conservatives will do okay next year in the Scottish Parliament elections if they push the introduction of tax raising powers for the Scottish Parliament and the need to build up a robust private sector.

  2. Stuart,

    Thanks for that.

    We have a party like that in Ireland. They are Fine Gael, or “West Britons” (slur). If the viscreal for blues is endemic in Scottish culture, there are probably limited in their potential growth.

  3. Oh Steven, how can I resist that? (Sorry everyone this will be a long post….)

    The problem is I only tested Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and David Miliband, because they were the three I couldn’t decide between, so it probably won’t help you unless you are only interested in those three. Now I really wish i had done all 5.


    If someone asked me what went wrong with the Labour Party, I would say:

    The members became a machine that won elections, but we were nothing more. Generally ignored, rarely listened to, rarely engaged with. It was impossible to interact with ministers, Conference became like a celebrity line up. Worse still, there was even at times a sense we weren’t respected or even liked very much.

    For me, that was the most important thing I wanted to change. I want a representative team of women, men, rich, poor, black, white, gay, straight. I want my party to reflect its members. I want to fight “the shrug” that has convinced 30% of the country not to vote at all.

    IMO Labour and all of politics has to change or die.

    As I started to get literature from all the candidates, they all said they had to re-engage with members (like me) and they wanted a more representative cabinet.

    Well, I’m sorry, but I’d heard it all before, so I decide to see who would actually put their money where their mouth was.

    So, My first test was “How accessible are these Men?” I would judge it on how easy it was to find contact details for them, and whether they actually replied to me in person (or indeed at all). Would I be able to talk to them directly? (Surely if not, then the “cabal” looked unlikely to be breached.)

    My second test was “HOW will you re-invigorate Labour” Words are fine, but I wanted tangible action that would effect change, not just talking.

    Thirdly, how would they ensure a wider range of candidates stood for Labour.

    1) Ed Balls had no contact details but email (he never replied) BUT he made the effort to come to Brighton and meet real members in someone’s garden. I spoke to him for 10 minutes. He advocated good old fashioned campaigning but all through a political term, not just at election time. He said he would introduce a Diversity Fund to help under-represented groups get elected and end undemocratic imposed selections.

    So, on all 3 he scored well, but, he didn’t set me on fire. I really liked him, loved his politics, but didn’t get the sense that the party would change very radically.

    2) David Miliband had emails and phone numbers. I phoned and spoke to someone, who suggested an email address to send my questions to. I didn’t hear anything for 10 days, but then I got a quite thoughtful reply (not from DM, as follows) that actually answered my questions. (You’d be surprised how often that hasn’t been the case)

    “As part of his campaign, David is also training 1000 future leaders in the skills and techniques of community organising so Labour can once again be a living breathing movement in communities. This will help rebuild membership and reach out to new constituencies of people. He is also targeting a doubling of party membership by the next election.

    Most importantly, David is raising money to fund a Leadership Academy – this would provide support and mentoring for Labour party members, so that they are fully prepared for when the PPC lists open if they decide to run as a candidate.”

    I went on the Movement for Change training and to the rally. I was truly inspired by the idea of making Labour a movement again and actually training people in negotiation and taking action. Real change was happening around the country and I found it very exciting.

    I have had endless phone calls and emails supporting me as a Community Organiser and today I got a phone call. The chap said,

    “Thanks for coming on the training and to the rally. Would you like to come to Manchester as a thank you. There will be another rally and you’ll get to see the new leader speak”

    It was the first time in 19 years of activism I’d been acknowledged, thanked or rewarded.

    3) Andy Burnham Had email and phone details so I phoned. An aide sitting with him on his Battle Bus called me back in minutes and asked me to send my email straight to her.

    After 11 days, I got a direct response from Andy as follows:

    “I know you spoke to Jo last week, and I’m sorry it’s taken so long to give you a full response. As you probably know, we’ve been travelling round the country on our battle bus for the past few weeks, talking to members. My tour has taken in places across the UK, including those without a Labour MP or even Labour councillors. When I visited Eastbourne, local members told me I was the first frontbencher to visit since Michael Meacher. That, to me, isn’t good enough. If anything, we should be doing more to support members in those areas – not just giving them Voter-ID targets. In my manifesto – which you can find on my website. I have said that we need to be a more active Party. We need to be more visible as a force for good in our constituencies and communities, and not just the members, but MPs too. Councillors shouldn’t be the only ones to shoulder the burden. We have to work together to get things done.

    I have said from the very beginning of my campaign that, under my leadership, there will be no more parachute candidates, no safe seats reserved for favoured sons or daughters. The choice of candidates must lie in the hands of local constituencies, not the national or regional party operation. I have also pledged to do more to support those who want to stand, either at a local, national or European level, through better training and mentoring.
    I hope this helps you, and again I’m sorry it’s taken a while to get back to you.
    Best wishes

    I loved his answer. He really “gets” ordinary Labour members imo and I believe him when he says things, I don’t get the impression it’s just empty promises.

    There was one final hidden test. I mentioned that I’d always wanted to work in politics just to see if any of them put their money where their mouth was and offered me any real advice.

    None of them did :(

    So on balance, I scored

    Ed Balls 7/10 Steady, approachable, genuine,

    David Miliband 9/10 Genuine dialogue, Actual training, courtesy, Movement for Change, first email response.

    Andy Burnham 8/10 Easily the most human, the most passionate. Engaged directly.

    My conclusion : All three impressed me, but David inspired me.

    **I have factored in the vastly different budgets available to the candidates. I accept that DM had the resources to contact me so much and set up the training. I concluded however, that he didn’t have to do any of it. He could have spent it all on posters and chauffeurs or something.

    I know that was a REALLY long post, but I hope it might have been interesting. I genuinely tried to look at all he candidates afresh, attend everything I possibly could and judge as objectively as possible.

  4. Oh AW, I’m REALLY sorry, I realised my epic post was in mod because of a link just as you cleared the original out. Please feel free to cut the early one, sorry again.

  5. Sue,

    Good post. Nice read.

  6. @Sue Marsh
    Excellent Post. It has helped me make up my mind at last! Thanks.


  7. Various!
    Sorry for the inelegance of expression!
    The comment on A Salmond was that he has given up on the referendum in Parliament as a prelude to launching a campaign “over the heads of the parties” for an independance referendum. Without any doubt it is a gamble on the unique appeal of A Salmond (or not).
    I try hard not to fall out with those supporting Labour. However my view is that on the big scale, centripetal forces will be much stronger than centrefugal ones for the forseeable future. As is evident on this site but also far beyond the biggest real impact of the separitist discourse is to enrage those in the south. I think the uk is more likely to get bigger than smaller. Decision-making can though be devolved and devolved further. I am a fan of Switzerland.

  8. Barney,

    Do you mean you like Switerland’s Consociational Demoractic system or their preponderance fro referenda? Or both? I am interested.

  9. Eoin
    Both … but I realise that it is difficult to transpose. I thik BTW that they are considering (in an unhurried Swiss way) centripetal moves with a reduction in the number of cantons.

  10. Barney,

    It is a pity their model was not employed elsewhere. I can think of a few regions where it would have helped. The Iraq model is a poor man’s version. I am less a fan of the referenda but I can vouch for NI when i say that power sharing works. Have you a link on the Canton reduction?


  11. Congrats to the ‘rang-er’ (readhead) Julia Gillard. There is a tendency in Australian to approach diversity issues by stereotyping absolutely everyone with derogative nicknames – which is a shame.

    Don’t know if she will compare to the NZ premier Helen Clark for longevity, but she is showing tenacity.

    @Sue Marsh, interesting post. Did any of your friends meet David Miliband when he was in Brighton? Glad to hear Andy Burham has stopped off in the SE.

  12. Billy Bob – I went to see him in Brighton with my Mum.
    That was my first stop on the leadership campaign and I came away torn.

    I liked his answers very much, he seemed measured and thoughtful. He was very statesmanlike.

    At the time I worried that he was SO cerebral he may struggle to connect to voters, but I think he’s improved at this over the campaign. Also polls seem to show this not to be the case.

    I have absolutely no idea how I missed AB in Brighton

  13. Billy Bob:

    yes it seems that Gillard will continue as Australian PM, two of the three remaining independents have decided to back her (or at least, not oppose her) in confidence and supply. Everything else remotely controversial is going to be an interesting task to get through parliament.

  14. @Steven Wheeler

    Don’t you hate it when you forget the captcha code and have to rewrite everything?

    Use Mozilla Firefox- you don’t lose your text if you get the code wrong.

    On some machines/ places this is the same with IE but not worth the risk especially if its a long post.

  15. Barney said “centripetal forces will be much stronger than centrefugal ones for the forseeable future”

    Okay so I know my physics but please can someone explain what these terms mean in a political context?

    — composed using Firefox

  16. @Sue

    From that, it does suggest that DM is a lot better in picking out campaign management, and running the ‘ground game’ of supporters and activists. Which is actually a really good indicator of competence. (Look at how people who’ve run shoddy campaigns, but somehow managed to get in have faired!)

    ps, Do you mind if I quote you on my own blog?

  17. @Sue Marsh

    You know my views on Miliband D. When he was manoeuvreing against Brown I really took against him… he was caught in the “We can’t win with Gordon” mindset of so many in the party. That was not inevitable imo, but people I spoke to were very influenced by press portrayal and too dispondent… they fell for the story that he was a vote loser and didn’t even put his picture on campaign material.

    I believe that the whole expirience was a profound learning expirience for David, and that he had learnt his lesson well before the last election (that is were being cerebral or reflective helps). In contrast his brother Ed, if there is any truth in Amber Star’s post of a few days ago, appears (imho) to be still revelling in the power struggle and factionalism of Labour politics.

  18. @ Sue

    Thanks for the copious information on candidates.

    “Simon Burgess is standing for NEC”

    According to my SE ballot paper, Simon Burgess is standing for the NPF, but not the NEC. He can rely on my vote. I notice that no-one here has mentioned Deb Gardiner who is running for both.

    It is so very difficult to rank the future leader and I would like to see all candidatesworking together effectively in the shadow cabinet. I think it was Amber who mentioned EB as chancellor. Would this not risk history repeating itself?

    I am impressed by DMs actual committment to party organising which strikes me as something very important indeed, and you almost managed to convince me, I just have a problem with his policies.

    I am also having second thoughts about EB and EM based on some of the comments here.

    It was pointed out here that AB has no particular weakness, unlike other candidates. A new face didn’t seem to be a problem for Cameron, but maybe he would need to watch out for a Clegg style bounce.

  19. Zeph,

    The dispersal of power… eg. London or throughout the Uk. A fancy way of describing electing mayors, referenda, assemblies etc.

    Tories down 1, Labour up 1, surely the end for the forces of conservatism. However, the bobbies look most unlikely to pursue the phone tapping “scandal”.

  21. Connaught – a major contractor specialising in social housing, is on the brink of going into administration after a fall of £80m expected revenues due to councils cutting back orders after the emergency budget. Shares suspended. Connaught has 10,000 employees. However, the polls are steady so it seems that economic news is not affecting ratings.

    h ttp://

  22. Cozmo,

    good link. I am watching this story closely. I suspect it is the tip of the iceberg.

    Another story of interest,

    h ttp://

  23. Jay – Feel free, I would have liked to say more about the Movement for Change, but I’m aware that the post was already extremely long, off topic and poor Roland must have run out of patience with me weeks ago ;)

  24. @BILLY BOB
    My daughters brother in law is an absolutely hilarious Ocker from Early Beach. I find his nick names for one and all very funny. But I am not surprised you do not. When one considers it has been 400 years since the puritans and levellers developed their tragic attitudes not much has changed. Sense of humour by-passe’s and pc nonsense suit you very well.

  25. @SUE
    How could you think that ? I love debating Labour leadership candidates. (Typical Tory liar.)

  26. Roland – You are tolerance itself. (Typical Labour PC flim-flam)

  27. Howard,

    A bit of a gender analysis from that ComRes poll (Independent)

    “There are signs that men are more opposed than women to the Liberal Democrats’ decision to join forces with the Tories. ComRes found that only 15 per cent of men would vote Liberal Democrat in a general election today, compared to 21 per cent of women.”

  28. @Eoin
    Thanks for the link on the education issue. Interesting article indeed. The quote from Steve Smith says it all.

    “At a time when many of our competitors are investing in higher education and research as a way out of the recession, we cannot afford to be left behind,” says Steve Smith, president of Universities UK.

    I read that President Obama has ordered a boost in USA spending on infrastructure as a way of staving off recession. But on this side of the pond Connaught are being sunk by major cutbacks in spending in the social housing sector. Clearly if you cut back on public spending there are knock-on effects for the private sector. How long before we see a U-turn ?

  29. @Roland Haines

    This for you :) :

    h ttp://

    I agree there is something refreshingly egalitarian about the humour, but tragically there is still a hierarchy of nicknames and insults in the Australian expirience.

  30. @ Sue

    Thanks for your post, it was very interesting and reinforced my feeling that I’d voted for the right candidates.

  31. Cozmo,

    I agree. It is a very basic choice. Invest or cut. Those that convolute the choice are the real issue. The blues said they would cut faster and deeper. Clegg said cuts would be savage. 59% voted for savage, fast, deep cuts. And so that 59% have them. Reds also voted fro worse cuts that Thatcher. Never ebfore have the UK people been more unified on policy.

    This, unfortunately, is the ugly downside of that policy. I do not support cuts, and never have. Efficiciencies and tax rsies would have done for me. But I am in a very very very small minority. Thus, as a democrat, i wish the coalition all the very best of success in getting it right.

    Sadly, Connaught’s demise does not fill me with any great enthusiasm that success will follow.

    I wonder if the leader type is not more responsible for gender choice than policy. A Ken Clarke or Paddy Ashdown, perceived as wise old dogs with lots of “blokey” appeal and life experience for the men.
    A Nick Clegg (he of a thousand boudoirs) for the ladies.

  33. Sorry Roland, this is a better link

    h ttp://

  34. Roland,

    Yes it could be that. It depends on how ‘hot’ Clegg is. Most teenagers would laugh at his boasting of 20 (or was it 30) women to be fair. Michael winner’s stats on the other hand, they are a feat.

    I think it more likely that women prefer constructive politics whereas on balance men are noted for their appetite for the punch and judy stuff.

  35. Roland

    It doesn’t seem to work for the ladies though. The last leadership poll showed that the two “lookers” (Miliband (D) and Burnham) actually polled worse with women than with men. Not that you’d know from some of the talk about Burnham on this Site. [ducks to avoid flying objects]

    Maybe, to adapt an old American joke, it’s because AB and DM remind women of their first husbands.

  36. @Eoin
    “Never before have the UK people been more unified on policy”
    Agreed. Sounds a bit Churchillian too! I hope that the Coalition are successful in cutting out “the waste” ( though we hear less and less about that claim nowadays). I am prepared to be patient for a while and watch the story unfold. I do think it is a waste though when talented youngsters are unable to find a Uni place. As for the social housing sector, keep a weather eye open for privatisation of housing associations.

  37. Roger,

    Grr… AB is ‘hot to trot’ and that is that. Thankfully, for those in the centre at least, I do not think is in fact a trot. [Ducks to avoid intelligent retort].

  38. Getting back to the ComRes poll, has anyone else had a chance to look at the details? As I posted last night (11:26pm) as far as I can see, the increase in Lib Dem defections to Labour compared to August in the press release isn’t in the figures. I’m probably missing something obvious, any ideas?

    (I’m comparing to the previous Indy poll by the way not the Mirror one)

  39. @Roland Haines

    Off topic. You are a perceptive person, I do suffer an inherited purtanical/cavalier conflict at times.

    Something you said a while ago confirmed one of my perceptions. If you will permit me, and with the greatest respect : All the best to you and yours.

  40. Roger,

    Can you post the links so I can take a look?


  41. Anthony

    BBC are reporting this poll as new (ComRes). It does not seem very new to me. Can you confrim whether or not it is a new poll of Labour councillors?

    h ttp://

  42. @Eoin

    To be fair, since they were all talking “deep cuts”, it’s not fair to say that people chose that over something else.

    However, the Conservatives were the only ones proposing this fast paced and ‘front loaded’ series of cuts. But I can’t see the obvious electoral mandate for that.

  43. Eoin – well, it’s a newly published poll, but it’s of Labour councillors, so only of interest in determining how the election will go if we can assume that Labour councillors represent the views of Labour members in general, which we can’t.

    On top of that, it does indeed appear to have been done around the end of July, so it isn’t really any more recent than the YouGov poll of party members.

  44. oin

    September poll is:

    ht tp://

    August poll is:

    ht tp://

    In both cases I’m looking at page 3 of the pdf (page 2 of the tables)

  45. Jay,

    well the Greens advocted avoiding cuts…

    No you are right. A YG poll showed people favourbaly disposed towards tax increases.

    but GO made the choice fairly clear to people, scrap NI rise… start cuts immediately. That got blue two million more votes than our plan.

    It is too late to wind back the clock now but Balls and Brown’s strategy was better for Labour. Unfortunately Brown was that weak he could not stand up to Darling et al.

  46. @Sue

    I read your post on the Lab Leadership after I had voted. It was really informative and may have changed my preferences. Who knows really?.

    Anyway my choices were

    Ed Balls – because I think he is tough, experienced and will take the fight to the Coalition. When he was on QT with Vince Cable I thought he really showed the blessed Vince up. I know people worry he is tainted by his r/ship with Brown. I think, that as time passes, Gordon’s reputation for economic competence will recover and he will be seen as less of a liability to the people who worked closely with him.

    D M – Again, experienced. To be honest a bit weedy, in my view, but he is said to frighten the Tories, so that’s good enough for me!

    AB – Don’t know much about him, but I can see the Labour people on this site have a lot of time for him and his policies.

  47. @Sue
    Meant to add a thankyou for your hard work!
    :-) :-)

  48. Valerie – Thanks. (I DID work very hard :) )

    I was more impressed with all three than I expected to be.

    I think any of the three would make great leaders.

  49. The sample size of the poll is pretty small as well (265). Details here:

    ht tp://

    They don’t give a non-response rate, which with such a specialised group would be interesting ; ie from how many questionnaires e-mailed out to Councillors they got a valid response (rather than “mind your own business”). Also everyone seems to have voted down the list till they reached a Milibrother, which might not be typical.

    Actually, with the delay, the whole thing looks like a summer job project to me, that ComRes have given/sold cheap to the Beeb for a bit of PR. (cynical moi?)

  50. Anthony,

    Ta for that.


    I took at look at both tables as you suggested.

    ironically the biggest story in that table for me is the preonderance for 7% of LDs to refuse to say how they voted in May 2010. Is this the emergence of a new wave of shy-Libs. If you look closely at the Green refusals to say past vote vis a vis the numbers admitting to have previously voted yellow, you will see further evidence of what I mean.

    It appears about 3-4% of Labours c.34% is coming from LDs. Given that Reds got c.30% in May it does sound about right.

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