There is a new ComRes poll in tomorrow’s Independent on Sunday. Topline figures are CON 37%(nc), LAB 39%(+1), LDEM 11%(-2), Others 13%. The poll is very much in line with recent trends – Labour’s small lead is being consolidated and the Lib Dems are falling ever lower. ComRes, for some reason I’ve never quite fathomed, tend to report higher levels of other support than most other companies.

Note that changes are from the last ComRes poll conducted online, in mid-November (ComRes carry out monthly online polls for the Independent on Sunday, and monthly telephone polls for the Independent. My policy here on UK Polling Report is to draw comparisons from the last poll by the same company using the same methodology, so I compare online to online, and phone to phone).

The other questions show no surprises. ComRes don’t do regular leader approval trackers, but they’ve asked if people think the three leaders are proving to be good – the results are very similar to what YouGov’s regular trackers are showing here: people evenly divided on David Cameron, negative about Clegg and somewhat negative about Miliband (though with a large chunk of don’t knows). Ipsos MORI’s monthly leader ratings here are slightly different, with Clegg and Cameron slightly more positive, and Ed Miliband still recording neutral ratings.

Going back to the ComRes poll, 64% of people agreed with the statement “Water cannons should be used against demonstrators if they are violent”. This is very much in line with a YouGov poll in the week which found 69% supporting the use of water cannons.

The weekly YouGov/Sunday Times poll is still to come tonight (plus any other polls I haven’t been forewarned about!)

UPDATE: The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%. Of the last 6 daily polls, 4 have shown Labour ahead, one Tory lead and one tie – suggesting the underlying position with YouGov is a small Labour lead. Rogue polls and random sample error aside, it looks as though Labour are going to be ending the year ahead in every company’s polls.


140 Responses to “ComRes/Sunday Indy – 37/39/11”

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  1. @ Old Nat

    “I know a couple of the heterosexual Scots Tories – they’re nice people as well.”

    I have no doubt. I think my grandparents once met Malcolm Rifkind (a straight Scottish Tory) and they seemed to really like him and thought he was a nice guy.

    Lord knows I’ve been in enough political minority groups (e.g., young, college educated, anti-Iraq War voters for Hillary Clinton) that I could probably relate to the gay Scottish Tories.

  2. Mark Stevens, Julian Assange’s solicitor, when asked by Richard Bacon on Five Live what he thought of Rifkind’s statement that Assange had caused immense damage replied ‘the man is an imbecile’.

    Still, if Socal’s relatives thought him ‘nice’, that I am sure is significant too.

    Do you know any ‘nice’ politicians? I’ve never met one.

    Why was I listening to RB on 5L? We were in the car in France and it was all the BBC I could get.

  3. @ Amber Star

    “If it is the recession, then this truly was a silly time to launch ‘the big society’.

    If it’s because people resent donating money to pay for public services that they believe the state should pay for, then perhaps there will never be a ‘good’ time to use the voluntary sector for anything except discretionary services.

    Or, a more chilling scenario, perhaps the government has done a grand job of making people resent their money (whether taxes or donations) being spent on the public good.”

    The concept of “big society” confuses me because in the U.S., there really isn’t reliance on private charity groups to do all this work the government would otherwise do. Charity groups provide extra support for people not support in lieu of government support.

    And I don’t want to put down charities or what they do (I think they serve important functions). But the reality is, a lot of people give to charities or support charitable organizations because it is a great business mechanism. The Rotary Club exemplifies this (I’m sure there are Rotary Clubs in Great Britain). Rotary club members meet once a week at some nice hotel, have a great lunch, and donate money to good causes. Nearly all the members join though because it gives them a chance to improve their business contacts and enhance their reputation in the business community. There’s nothing wrong with that and it’s great if additional spending money that members have goes to those who need it. But I think there’s a recognition that this charity work doesn’t and can’t take the place of the government providing essential services to the people.

    The other thing too is that is problematic with this concept is that government is accountable to the people in a way that charities are not. If you have elected officials who screw up services or schools, you can vote them out of office and bring in new people to put things in order. Charities are really not accountable in that way.

    And perhaps there might be some confusion with the U.S. structure because the federal government spends so little on social services compared to governments of Europe. This is true. But that’s because the federal government was not set up to provide social services. The federal government has no general police powers. Instead, state governments do and they provide the big bulk of public spending. Ironically, some of the reddest states in the union are some of the most socialist. Alaska is a prime example where the government pays residents to live in the state (funded by taxes on big oil and gas companies) and pays for a whole host of services that people take advantage of.

  4. @Amberstar – my understanding is that the reported reason for the fall in donations is due people looking to save money, rather than any ideological reasoning.

    @Howard – “This is all very well lefties, but actually nothing’s happened yet.”

    In the nicest possible way, I’m afraid that’s absolute nonsense. There are tens of thousands of public sector workers now receiving formal notices that their jobs are under threat so the redundancies can be put into effect by the end of March and still meet the statutory 12 week notice period. I don’t know many public sector workers, but even I have three aquaintances in this position.

    On the topic of charities, it appears that local government funding cuts amounting to 15% of total income on average are being reported by many charities. Much of this is for core functions which is rarely covered by trusts or lottery funding. It’s a very big hit for many charities and it’s clear that the response will be reduction in service levels offered.

    Lib Dems can argue about the rights and wrongs of what is going on and who should be held to blame for it, but this Clegg inspired blindness to reality does not serve anyone well.

  5. @Socalliberal – “The other thing too is that is problematic with this concept is that government is accountable to the people in a way that charities are not.”

    Nail, head, and hitting, I think.

  6. @ Howard

    “Mark Stevens, Julian Assange’s solicitor, when asked by Richard Bacon on Five Live what he thought of Rifkind’s statement that Assange had caused immense damage replied ‘the man is an imbecile’.”

    Actually I think Rifkind is right even if he is an imbecile.

    “Still, if Socal’s relatives thought him ‘nice’, that I am sure is significant too.”

    I wasn’t trying to make a judgement about Rifkind, I was just being tongue in cheek silly about Scottish Tories.

    “Do you know any ‘nice’ politicians? I’ve never met one.”

    I have actually. Several in fact. I’ve also met some politicians who were truly awful people. The interesting thing is, ideology doesn’t seem to drive personality or behavior among politicians. I’ve met some conservatives who were actually decent people. And I’ve met some liberals who were downright awful.

    Now I haven’t met that many but what I’ve found is that (1) many politicians reflect the wide array of personality traits in society, (2) reasonable people can disagree on their perceptions of the same politician, and (3) many politicians are in private nothing like their public personas. But I wouldn’t paint with too broad a brush.

  7. @ Howard

    “This is all very well lefties, but actually nothing’s happened yet. I suspect many of your fears (hopes?) may materialise but we are still awaiting the big cuts.”

    I’m not waiting for the big cuts. I don’t want any of it.

    The cuts are around – but many people don’t see it.

    Charities up and down in the country are cutting back. Service providers are cutting back (some have their projects killed half way through and now they have to pay compensation to the staff they took on for the project, thus reducing funding available for other projects). That anti-drug organisations are closed everywhere in the country? Bus companies thinning their services. People in local governments are given P45 before the jolly festive season.

    What do you mean “nothing happened yet”? Do you know that in many government departments people have to reapply for their job before 31 January? Do you know that in the NHS widespread early retirement schemes are in operation and they loosing their most experienced clinical and non-clinical managers?

    Yes, it may go worse. So far, the conservative led government suddenly threw money in whenever it saw publicity danger (especially the health service) – but since it’s everywhere, it’s less and less successful.

  8. @Roger Mexico

    Thank you, good points

    @Garry K

    John Murphy is under the impression that (should the AV ref fail) there will be a PR referendum from Red. Could you tell him which Red MP or union rep is agitating for a PR referendum in the 2015 Red manifesto? Because I’d hate for him to cast a vote on the expectation that there’ll be a PR referendum and then be disappointed.

    @Amber

    I did look on the Guardian website for the chaos thing, but couldn’t find it. Linky?

    Regards, Martyn

  9. I find it simply incredible that Labour have picked up 13 points in a little over six months. It seems to me all the reasons the public rejected Labour for – now want them back for the same reasons.

  10. Judging by 1947 and 1962-3 the snow won’t be doing the Government much good. Mrs Thatcher would probably be clearing the runway at Heathrow as we speak.
    Don;t the civil servants go on strike every year anyway?

  11. @Martyn

    `the tuition fees affair resulted in much Yellow angst, minor Blue rebellion, disquiet amongst the middle-class and chatterati, demonstrations, public unrest, etc. But the bill proceeded remarkably smoothly (passed Commons first time, Lords first time, few changes): from concept to statute book in a few months.’

    That’s because it wasn’t a bill at all, but an affirmative resolution procedure for a statutory instrument. This had two consequences:

    – it required only a single vote in each House, rather than three readings and a committee stage;
    – amendments proposed by backbenchers were (?had to be) rejected by the Speaker without being put to a vote.

  12. laszlo

    i’m very disappointed in you. i thought you were an independent leftist commentator maybe even with Marxist sympathies(which would be a good thing) but you have revealed yourself to be a party hack, this quote from your latest post

    “So far, the conservative led government ”

    less than a day has passed and already you are slavishly using the new name for the govt as decreed by our dear leader.

    shame on you laszlo you have a brain you shouldn’t let other people do your thinking for you

    :-) :roll:

  13. CBI: “Higher than anticipated increases in living costs”

    Predicted sixfold increase in interest rates over the next two years being reported on tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph front page, along with 10% house price fall and negative equity fears.

  14. @Amber

    “If it’s because people resent donating money to pay for public services that they believe the state should pay for, then perhaps there will never be a ‘good’ time to use the voluntary sector for anything except discretionary services.”

    I’m sure I’m not the only person who absolutely *never* gives to charities whose primary area of interest is in the UK. My view is that by doing so I am encouraging those in power to abdicate their responsibility.

  15. @hdan

    Thank you: I genuinely did not know that.

    @Bert

    Yup. People are infuriating that way.

    @Billy Bob

    A sixfold interest rate increase would be to a whole…3%pa! Shocking!

    As for house prices…From memory, the average house price in 1997 was £70K, the average house price at the height of the boom in October 2007 was £210K. Under Red, house prices tripled in an enormous bubble, penurising Generation Y at a stroke and creating the biggest cross-generational wealth theft since Herod’s murder of the first born. If the ConDems are engineering a 10% fall in house prices…well, thank God for that, and about b****y time.

    Regards, Martyn

  16. @Martyn – The stress was on “higher than anticipated”.

    If the majority are under wage-freeze conditions for the foreseeable future, while inflation climbs (as well the “shocking” mortgage repayment increases), and cumulatively the incidental announcements (future electricity generation projects to be funded by raised tarrifs) keep coming week by week… then the cost of living will become a significant factor imo.

  17. @Richard in Norway

    But it IS a Conservative-led Government. I don’t see anything partisan in calling a spade a spade.

  18. @ Richard in Norway

    Right now I’m throwing ashes on my head as penitence :-).

    Terrible mistake :-). How easy to pick up slogans… That bearded author you mentioned would be ashamed of me :-)

    Otherwise you are perfectly right. Sharp.

    _________________

    More seriously. No, I don’t hear the birth cry (scream) of a new system (or a progressive government) in the pains of the cuts – I leave it to others to hear it – but I believe they hear their own wishes, rather than the objective evidence of sound…

    Since it is a polling discussion board – all my understanding points to many real, everyday human misery, largely because of the recession and secondly (!) because of its management, which this time happens to be carried out by the coalition. Providing that they stop rejoicing it, it could be the case that it is not translated to the gain to the opposition. And I’m pretty sure the opposition knows it – see the behaviour of the Labour party leadership and the leadership of the three major trade union alliances.

    What could translate the resulting waste of the management of the recession into a lead of the Labour Party if the ministers and many prominent MPs of the coalition cannot hide their joy of what is actually implemented.

  19. @Billy Bob,

    Oh, I see what you mean: thank you.

    @Phil

    The question is not why the Coalition is called the CLG (© Amber 2010). The question is why the Coalition wasn’t called the CLG last week.

    Regards, Martyn

  20. @Martyn

    “If the ConDems are engineering a 10% fall in house prices…well, thank God for that, and about b****y time.”

    A short-term depression in house prices is simply setting things up for the next boom. The only way to get a long term reduction in house prices is to enable the building of more houses. I’m struggling to see any policies that aren’t taking us in the opposite direction.

  21. @ Phil

    RiN hinted at two things and nicely, elegantly connected them. One is that I’m politically left of Labour (which is not too difficult), only affiliated to Labour through the trade union, moreover have been courting the ideas of that 19th century bearded author, which causes all kinds of mayhem with in political views anyway.

    The other is the comment in the Observer that the leader of the Labour Party banned the expression “coalition” and expressed his desire that Labour politicians should call it “Conservative led government” – which is, as you correctly said, quite precise. I think he made a tactical (even strategic) mistake with this, even if it is much more precise than “coalition”.

  22. laszlo

    so glad you were not offended by my little jibe

    i love your posts

    i belive that it’s only the fear of communism which keeps capitalism healthy

    :lol:

  23. @Laszlo, Martyn.
    Thanks – I was well aware of the background. The issue is that “coalition” is seen as positively misleading language. Miliband is entirely correct to be concerned over the image the term conveys IMO. But on reflection, given the risk of also being labelled just a brainless party hack for using the officially approved alternative, maybe it would be better to adopt the original and snappier term “Conservative government” (copyright 2010) in all contexts other than those where the junior partner seems genuinely to be exerting some influence, which at the moment seem pretty thin on the ground.

  24. From the Telegraph:

    “A substantial part of the growth reported in recent months will likely be wiped out when the Office for National Statistics (ONS) releases updated figures on Wednesday.”

    David Cameron/ George Osborne were quick to mock Ed Miliband & Alan Johnson for expressing doubt about the preliminary growth figures. It’s looking like the red team were correct in assuming that the announced figures were too high.
    8-)

  25. Martyn
    How did you do the copyright symbol?

    Amber turns everything into initials.

  26. Amber Star

    Whatever the latest growth figures they will be Labour’s fault /triumph. since the government has not achieved anything significant yet, as I keep reminding everyone. The latest riposte was about civil servants having to reapply for jobs

    *in the future* Alec and Laszlo

    I did not say it’s not going to be appalling, but simply it isn’t yet.

    Let’s not do ‘reverse Wayne’ who claimed better figures were down to the new government weeks after it took office.

  27. SoCalLiberal

    “That has got to be like one of the smallest groups on the planet…….openly gay Scottish Tories. Probably competes in size with “Republicans for Walter Mondale” (three of the nicest people you could ever meet).”

    – We’re not that unusual!

  28. @ R in N

    “i belive that it’s only the fear of communism which keeps capitalism healthy”

    That’s surely a bit of a wayward feeling. It might just be me, but the last time I saw something writhing and hacking on its death bed whilst being injected with adrenaline my first thought wasn’t “that looks healthy” :)

  29. @ Howard

    “Whatever the latest growth figures they will be Labour’s fault /triumph.”
    “Let’s not do ‘reverse Wayne’ who claimed better figures were down to the new government weeks after it took office.”

    Whilst that is true, the green goblin has been doing a Wayne for the past few months.

    And the mantra of opposition is “when life gives you a lemon, make lemonade”.

  30. @ Richard in Norway and Billy

    “i belive that it’s only the fear of communism which keeps capitalism healthy”

    I have serious doubts about this (at least in this phrasing), but it is certainly true that in the 40 years after the second world war in Europe at least (in the US it was mainly the memory of the great depression) the perceived threat of the potential attractiveness of communism helped (by overcoming the resistance of the elites) to introduce many welfare elements.

    It seems that “having an enemy”, or perceiving the situation as “doing it or die” can help governments taking responsibility for the economy and gives a much higher degree of freedom for interventions to the economy. Not necessarily good, but it is there. You can see it in the ability of the Soviet Union in channelling resources to industrialisation, armament and food production until the 1960s, when these were sorted and the subsequent decline in the ability to set priorities or in Korea, where the perceived (or real) threat created a successful economic development that crumbled once the US downgraded the importance of South Korea and the state was captured by the cheabols.

  31. @Amber

    The figures mentioned in the Telegraph are for Q2 i.e April to June and in particular a revision to the construction sector which was very buoyant. This was probably weather affected last year as they will be this year. I think only one poster felt these figures which straddled the election period had anything to do with coalition policies. As I remember these growth figures were quoted as justification that the GB/AD plans were right all along. Neither EM or AJ had even been elected/appointed at the time.

    I do agree that GDP figures are notoriously unreliable and are revised for years later. The media obsession with ‘a double dip’ has brought them to centre stage. GDP data will pass into the background to be replaced by the unemployment figures and then the inflation data.

  32. @ Aleksandar

    “I do agree that GDP figures are notoriously unreliable and are revised for years later. The media obsession with ‘a double dip’ has brought them to centre stage. GDP data will pass into the background to be replaced by the unemployment figures and then the inflation data.”

    I agree and your point about the media obsession is new and sharp.

    Apart from unemployment and inflation, probably also public borrowing figures will come to the centre.

  33. Strathdon:

    “How should someone vote in the following circumstances?

    What on earth do we do?”

    Your name [and Barney] suggests that you have another option.

    In the next election that matters most to some of us, I have suggested that the probability that the Greens will get back most of what their underlying natural level of support would suggest they are entitled to, and that that could by itself determine the result so that Labour would be the largest party in the fourth Scottish Parliament.

    Because what is lost in the constituency may be compensated for on the list, a sizeable shift in votes is required to make a difference in seats. It matters not if the LibDems lose many of their 3rd and 4th place votes in most regions for they may have a long way to go before it affects list seats. The highland incumbencies have high personal votes and majorities, are not directly affected by English education issues and LibDems in the Scottish Parliament will certainly not have the opportunity to go into coalition with Conservatives.

    The SNP will offset some lists votes lost to the Greens by gains at the expense of LibDems but perhaps I have too readily assumed that the effect of LibDem losses will be of little benefit to the SNP because it will be shared with Labour and the Greens.

    The Westminster late surge to Labour was no doubt because Labour presented themselves as the the best, indeed only effective, defense against the bogymen.

    The same reasoning gives the opposite outcome for the Scottish Parliament. The SNP didn’t do too badly in getting a share of ex-LibDem churn, which shows that ex-LibDem voters as whole are not averse to voting SNP. Perhaps for the Scottish parliament, the same floaters that saw Labour as the best buy for the UK parliament will take a different view when they compare the SNP’s record in government with the negativity on offer from Labour and current lack of talent.

    My analysis is based on the assumption that very few in Scotland vote for a political party, and that most vote against. Not only that, but PR has trained them to look at each vote afresh so that past voting is a poor predictor.

    There will be some who will offer consistent reasoning to vote Labour for Westminster, SNP or CON for the SP constituency, Green or SNP on the list and for a LibDem or independent councillor.

    I’m not quite in that position myself, but I could envisage circumstances in which I would.

    I can’t envisage any circumstances in which I would be voting for CON other than for the SP constituency, or Green for other than for the list or EU.

    It would be just possible for each vote to be different, but that would depend not so much on having good candidates, but rather on some below average ones opposing them as well.

    Apart from that, few former Scottish LibDems voters are affected by the fees for attending English Universities, and some had MP’s who voted against so North of the Central Belt, LibDem is mostly a viable option for the ABT’s so LibDem losses may not be as great as for the next UK election.

    If that were so, then the return flow of Green votes may see Labour “win”. If many ex-LibDem voters pass over Labour in favour of the SNP, they could compensate the Green churn and maybe even as much as double the SNP lead over Labour.

    What matters is where the ex-LibDem votes go to, and how many of the ex-Greens stick with AS for FM.

    The certanties are that the CON vote is unaffected by anything other than generation death; the Socialists are sitting this round out whtever the outcome of the Sheridan trial, and the result is to close to predict.

  34. @ Aleksandar

    There is comment on Q3 GDP also being revised downward by the ONS.

    The figures have been made a political football by all Parties. Therefore, it will be kicked around whether it is a good KPI or not! But you know that already, I think.
    8-)

  35. Somhairle @ SoCalLiberal

    “That has got to be like one of the smallest groups on the planet…….openly gay Scottish Tories. …”

    “- We’re not that unusual!”

    … in Morningside and Ramsey Gardens you mean?

  36. @ Somhairle?

    “We’re not that unusual!”

    Are you a Republican for Mondale or a gay Scottish Tory? Or both? :)

    Either way, I can relate. But it’s still not a particularly large group.

  37. @martyn – “A sixfold interest rate increase would be to a whole…3%pa! Shocking!”

    You’re right, in the sense that 3% would still be a historically low interest rate. However, the key facet of this story that you really shouldn’t ignore is that the predicted return to such a very modest headline rate would leave 3m homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages. [Begs the question of why we call them ‘homeowners’ – they clearly don’t own them].

    The slashed interest rates have laregly hidden the severe problems of indebtedness and have allowed banks to pretend that assets they own are still worth the paper they are written on. The recent rise in house prices has help maintain this fiction, and conversely gives the banks an incentive to pile in with foreclosures if they get a hint of defaults – why wait for the next price crash?

    The focus of the bailouts was on rescuing bank balance sheets, and keeping people in work. The focus was never on getting the debt out of the system – that’s still there. If interest rates rise without the debt being worked out and people start losing jobs, 3% suddenly looks like a mountain.

  38. Somhairle

    “We’re not that unusual!”

    I’d guess that gay, Scots Tories supporting independence are a bit unusual though!

  39. @Howard

    I cut-and-pasted the © from h ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright

    Regards, Martyn

  40. Does it work from windings? ©

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