ComRes has released a new poll on the AV referendum commissioned by the NO2AV campaign. Topline figures, weighted by likelihood to vote in the referendum and excluding don’t knows have the NO campaign ahead by 60% to 40%, the biggest lead the NO campaign have recorded so far.

I always urge some caution in polls commissioned by the campaigns themselves – but in this particular case the tables appear wholly and entirely above board. It is a standard survey asking how likely people are to vote, and then asking them the bare, unadorned referendum question. Note that the regular ComRes polls on AV for the Independent on Sunday are carried out online, so this is the first recent ComRes telephone survey on AV.

There is also a new poll by a company called ICD Research in the New Statesman, which shows NO ahead by 14 points: NO 53%, YES 39%, undecided 9% (repercentaged to exclude don’t knows it would be a 16 point lead for NO).

I’m not aware of any previously published political polling by ICD, but it appears to have been an online poll, weighted by age, gender and region but not politically. Both the ICD and ComRes polls were conducted over last weekend, so both slightly predate the YouGov/Sun poll conducted early this week.


413 Responses to “Two new polls show NO campaign well ahead”

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  1. Well said Mr Fletcher. Left-wing politicians need to grow a sense of humour. I understand that the lady in question is unmarried. A husband would help to keep her on the straight and narrow.

    Anyway, re the AV poll. I think I’m going to vote Yes because it will annoy the Tories and most of Labour.

  2. @ John Fletcher

    The line taken by some that this was an insult to the Labour party is just jealousy and envy IMO
    —————————————–
    See my eatlier comment about how threadbare an argument “envy & jealousy” is.
    8-)

  3. @ John F

    Pass a law that says all ex-Labour PM’s must be invited to all Royal occasions…
    ——————————————————–
    No. If you’d read my comment, which David B was replying to, I want to see the royals subject to the same rules, taxes etc. that apply to rest of society.
    8-)

  4. Cherie not curtseying for the Queen? Maybe the Blairs were not invited in a battle over ‘snubbing’ rights… perhaps the palace were afraid that Labour PMs would politely decline to attend due to having more important things to do. ;-)

  5. @ Amberstar.

    Ref your 2 comments.

    I simply don’t agree with you and never will.

    During the wedding we phoned my wifes family in Colombia. They were all glued to their sets, though they though the kiss was a bit reserved.

    Far far more people both in this country and the world like the Royals than dislike them.

  6. @Robert Newark – “ALEC just because someone doesn’t watch the wedding does not prove that they are anti-Royalist somehow.”

    Nor, by the same logic, does watching denote someone is pro royalist. That wasn’t the point I was making though – I was merely offering a critique of how the media covers many large events and assumes that we are all interested. I also had football world cup campaigns in mind, where huge numbers of English people really can’t wait for England to be knocked out and for the hysteria to end.

    And –
    “Although not a wedding watcher, I do love the fact that our country is steeped in history & all the pomp & ceremony which goes with it.”

    Me too – the visual richness of the pageantry we do on such occasions is impressive in my view. I wouldn’t want to change that.

  7. @ Amber

    “His encouraging people to ignore local government & hold street parties, apparently whenever & wherever they liked.”

    Did he really do that?

    Absolutely disgraceful !

    These matters must be approved by officials after due consideration, & lots of form filling.

    Whatever next-we’ll have people wanting to enjoy themselves without approval all over the shop-local councils simply will not be able to cope.

  8. @ Pete B

    I understand that the lady in question is unmarried.
    ——————————————-
    Angela Eagle is married.
    8-)

  9. Roger Mexico

    The small amount of land and property that the Crown Estate has bought in Scotland isn’t really the issue – it’s the eabed and foreshore rights that matter.

    While the CEC is a reserved matter, they don’t actually own the Crown Estate, they just manage it. The property rights of the Crown in Scotland are not reserved however.The Scottish Law Commission was quite clear –
    “The Crown’s prerogative functions are not reserved, nor is property belonging to the Crown. The Crown’s interest as proprietor of the foreshore and seabed and the public rights held by the Crown in trust for the public are therefore not reserved.”

    While the preferred solution is simply to transfer the whole of the CEC operations back to Scotland, and that is the current thrust of policy, we could actually just take the property back.

  10. I thought that the Royals, including the Queen, do pay taxes now, on their personal income.?

  11. As a Labour voter I am seething with indignation at the deliberate royal snub of my party and it has decided me once and for all that they should be denied all public money and kicked out of all their government functions.

    About time we had a republic. I mean who the hell do they think they are? I for one will NEVER bow and scrape to somebody because of an accident of birth or for any other reason.

    They have succeeded in polarising the country even more rather than making any attempt to unite it.

    Get rid of them.

  12. @ Colin

    Here’s my point which you are, I think, pretending not to understand:

    Does David Cameron’s party-on directive only apply to royal occasions or throughout the year?

    If it is okay for royalists to ignore the rules, why not everybody else? Why shouldn’t we hold raves, dances & parties in the street every day of the year, whenever we believe that there is an event, anniversary or cause which we believe needs celebrating?
    8-)

  13. @AmberStar
    I did of course mean married to a man. It’s a bit of a generalisation, but in my experience heterosexual married couples have a more mature and humorous approach to life than members of other persuasions, whether it be celibate priests or others.

  14. PETE B

    So its good and reasonable behaviour to snub the Blairs because that ghastly little woman, Cherie, doesn’t know her place – what poppycock.

    If the royals, egged on by Cameron, haven’t really understood that it was Blair who saved their bacon during the Diana death business then they have a problem and so have we.

  15. @Amber

    I feel the same. My ambivalence too has been rocked a bit.
    Whether Knights of the Garter or not, it was mean spirited not to invite Brown and Blair, in the way that it was mean spirited of Cameron to intervene in Brown and the IMF job. I don’t buy that this was a private occassion. It certainly didn’t feel very private! Out of respect for the office of Prime Minister, Brown and Blair should’ve been invited.

    Hmmm…wouldn’t surprise me if this boost in patriotism damages the Yes campaign even further. Perhaps that’s what the No campaign will really go for in the next week…that FPTP is British/ AV isn’t…

  16. Nick Poole

    Great spoof post! Sounded just like my Auntie Anna when she wasn’t invited to her cousin’s second wedding!

  17. Or it might have been her second cousin’s wedding.

  18. @ Nick Poole

    Get rid of them.

    __________________________________________

    Would you do this unilaterally or would you first seek the approval of the electorate by say including it as part of a Labour Party Manifesto or offering a referendum.

    If it did become Labour Party policy that would be excellent. It would assure us of Tory governments for the foreesable future. :D

  19. Let’s have a referendum on it, shall we?

  20. @ Pete B

    It’s a bit of a generalisation, but in my experience heterosexual married couples have a more mature and humorous approach to life….
    ——————————————-
    I’d suggest that your experience is somewhat limited. I find that being unmarried is no bar to my having a sense of humour. e.g. I’m LOL at your using priests to hide your barely concealed bigotry against gays. :-)

  21. @ Nick Poole.

    Fine by me.

    Who are you going to replace the Queen with a Head of State ? An Elected President? How long will they serve for? What will be the cost?

    Even if the Royal Family isn’t perfect I think the MP expenses scandal showed that politicians can be just as bad if not worse.

    The AV referendum is about to show that the British are esentially conservative (little c) and they would never vote to get rid of the monarchy for the foreseeable future especially given the alterntives. IMO.

  22. The hackery from both sides never ceases to amaze me. If Gordon Brown had said something similar to, say, Theresa May, the Tories would have bashed him for it.

  23. John Fletcher

    So a no vote to AV would mean keep the monarchy? eh?

    If we get a Yes…can we get be rid of them? I’d be happy to have a president. Look at Obama compared to our next king-to-be.

    If the windsors are so popular let them stand for monarch every ten years. If they are so beloved they’ll win, won’t they?

    I’ll vote for Ken Livingstone.

  24. @Nick Poole,

    You’re a lefty, so you would. No offence.

    Most Brits prefer Prince William and the monarchy to President Obama or President Bush.

    Sour grapes because your party was snubbed.

  25. Aside from the leftie indignation and rightie fun poking, the perception of a wedding snub is being taken very seriously in many diverse quarters.

    Although it won’t affect votes or make substantial waves in the real world, I believe it is a big mistake. I’m not alone in this, and the big surprise is that many commentators from across the spectrum have suggested that it is petty, small minded and demeaning to the royal family.

    I was particularly struck by Stephen Glover writing in the Daily Mail. He made it quite clear that he can’t stand Blair and thinks Brown almost destroyed the country, but was man enough to say that he also recognises that each of them gave body and sole in the service of their country in the best way they thought possible.

    He was very clear that they should have been invited and was singularly dismissive of the various Knights of the Garter/private function excuses that were given. (Lets be honest – these are really rather pathetic excuses – it was a state occasion in all but name – why invite the North Korean ambassador if it wasn’t?).

    William and his advisers has committed a major mistake which some will not forget in a hurry. This is a shame, as any non executive head of state needs to be a unifier, not a divider. Royalty is also not immune to public ire and he should also reflect on the troubles his father and grandparents have had in recent years.

    Will a future Labour Prime Minister be quite so keen to deflect public anger at a future monarch as Blair did on the death of William’s mother? They might not have liked his interference, but monarchs fall when they lose the faith of the public. The queen very nearly lost that faith over her response to those events and Blair was quick to recognise the danger.

    I think the decision was small minded and rather unintelligent. In life, you should always seek friends – even if you are royalty – you just never know when you might need them.

  26. @ Nick Poole

    So a no vote to AV would mean keep the monarchy? eh?

    ————————————————————————-
    That is not what I said and I think you know it :D

    _________________________________________

    I’d be happy to have a president

    You might be, but I am pretty sure most Brits are not.

    __________________________________________

    Look at Obama

    Funny isn’t it. The Royal Family are hugely popular in the USA. They can’t get enough of them.

    Thats what getting rid of a monarchy and then 200 plus years of having presidents does for you.

    Remember last time we got rid of a King we had such a miserable time of it that we only lasted for 10 years before inviting the Monarchy back. in the form of Charles II

  27. An interesting postscript from Tom Harris, MP –

    “If Blair and Brown had been invited and Major and Thatcher weren’t, I suppose Tories wouldn’t complain?”

    Worth thinking about for a moment or two.

  28. @ Alec.

    Never happen. John Major is a member of the MCC.

    It wouldn’t be cricket. LOL :D

  29. My impression is that Charles is the likely culprit. I don’t imagine the queen would have been that closely involved in the guest lists.

  30. @John Fletcher –
    “Remember last time we got rid of a King we had such a miserable time of it that we only lasted for 10 years before inviting the Monarchy back. in the form of Charles II”

    You conveniently forget that just 28 years after accepting the monarchy back Parliament ran his successor out of town and invited their own chosen monarch to take their place under legally binding constitutional agreements that defined the rights of the people through Parliament.

    A good deal of Cromwellian reforms also endure to this day – so those 10 years weren’t entirely wasted. The path to our modern and much cherished democracy was long and complex, and I would argue that Cromwell had significantly more to do with that that any of the monarchs we have lived under.

  31. I think we should all put our anoraks on and march to the palace.

  32. “Funny isn’t it. The Royal Family are hugely popular in the USA. They can’t get enough of them.”

    As was Thatcher, while Gorbachev, for instance, is far more popular in the West than in Russia. (And ‘hugely’ popular might be a slight exaggeration.)

  33. @ Alec

    You conveniently forget that just 28 years after accepting the monarchy back Parliament ran his successor out of town
    _________________________________________

    I did not forget and in fact you make my point perfectly.

    Even if James II was replaced because of his Catholic beliefs they did not make the mistake of replacing him with a commoner but sensibly stuck with a Monarchy.

    They had suffered the consequences the years of the Comonwealth and were not about to make the same mistake again. Bless them.

  34. A “commoner”?

    Do actually believe in this breeding blue blood eugenics? More like in-breeding if you aske me.

    Commoners, indeed.

    Snobbery and balderdash.

  35. @ Nick Poole

    A “commoner”?

    __________________________________________

    It is a legal term

    In British law, a commoner is someone who is neither the Sovereign nor a peer.

  36. For what it’s worth, I agree that Blair and Brown should have been invited, and I think the reasons given for not doing so are pretty thin.

    I also think it would have been very much in the interests of the Monarchy to have done so. Those who are Labour Loyalist but Royalist are a large and important constituency in the UK and well worth courting.

    I think it pretty unlikely that Cameron had a hand in that decision, however. And I don’t think it is likely to be an issue that the electorate will dwell on.

    Republicanism is a very tricky issue for the Left in the UK. Most left-wing politicos are instinctive Republicans (for obvious) reasons, but it has always been a vote loser. I remember when Willie Hamilton was drafted in for a Swansong as Labour candidate for the South Hams in 1987. He was one of the only declared Republicans around, and although South Hams (what is now Totnes) was utterly hopeless anyway, his views on the Monarchy were a massive albatross.

    I don’t agree with those who say that the core reason for opposing Monarchy is envy or jealousy. Republicanism is a perfectly logical and rational position. But it is an issue that divides Labour activists from their voters, and for at least another few decades it would be wise for the Left to reign in their objections to being reigned over.

  37. About time we started some reforms that would be popular. Leave the NHS alone and get rid of the Lords and the Monarchy.

  38. Amber

    Omitting Brown and Blair was a bit odd, but I suspect they just couldn’t stand the thought of the Blairs coming (or maybe they thought Cherie would flog off the invite on ebay). The Browns (who seem to have got on well with the royals) were ‘collateral damage’

    One thing that struck me was they never actually released the full guest list – only about a quarter were actually listed, a lot of those by title. The media pack has now disappeared from the official site, but it produced a fascinating display of lazy journalism – every piece in the Press about the ‘celebrities’ involved was copied from it word for word. So I suspect the stories and complaints about Blair not being invited came from their side rather than the Palace making a point of it or, perish the thought, original research.

    Despite the fact that they are shameless attention seekers it would still still have been better to invite the Blairs – and similarly the Duchess of York (though she seems to have got her own back by advising her daughters on headgear). Still what’s a wedding without a row over who’s invited?

    The point is however that an awful lot of people on the left complaining about the irrelevance etc of the monarchy, can’t then start complaining because so-and-so was left off the guest list or that David Cameron should have arranged to put them on. It not only looks envious it also looks hypocritical.

  39. @ The Sheep

    “I’m going to make the case that the US lives in a far more anachronistic mindset than the UK, and with far more damaging consequences.

    Your law is bound by a fetishistic regard for an 18th Century piece of paper (you are in a minority if, as I suspect, you take a Jeffersonian attitude to the Constitution). Most of what you see of our monarchy is a combination of 19th and 20th century invention together with a gradually evolving political settlement. I estimate we’re probably somewhere between 1880 and 1920 in terms of political evolution, whereas you’re pretty much stuck in the 1780s.

    More seriously, as your Constitution seems to all intents and purposes to be impossible to amend at this stage, how is it going to cope in 100 or 200 years?”

    You just spent untold millions, at taxpayer expense, on a lavish royal wedding as well as everything that accompanies that wedding simply because the groom has an expectancy to become king someday…..a position which is inherited, not subject to popular will, and has its powers allegedly derived from the will of god. And Americans live with a more anachronistic mindset? Allrighty then. :)

    The Constitution was intended to be a highly flexible document, capable of coping with change over time (as it seems to have done masterfully now for over two hundred years). There are very few things in the document that are set in stone. Many of its commands are vague and open to interpretation. The Constitution was also intended to be very hard to amend as well, that’s why it’s only been amended 17 times in 210 years. This has helped make the document serve as protection for those in unpopular minorities.

    @ Billy Bob

    “Blair could have attracted anti-Iraq sentiment, extra security concerns (plus Obama etc), and the presence of Michelle and Carla Bruni would have detracted attention from the Middleton girl.

    Cameron had a good wedding and for Miliband (who recieved no mention whatsoever from the BBC) it will have been an introduction to the stifling interplay of deference and partronage still exerted within the establishment.”

    Obama and Bruni would have detracted attention from Middleton. Cameron wanted this wedding to be his big coming out moment too where people could get to know him as the British PM. I heard this is the first time in some 350 years that a British royal in line to the throne has married a commoner. Perhaps that’s a testament to Labour’s 13 years in office. Winnowing down the number of eligible nobles who could be a potential mate for Prince William.

    I think it was nasty to not invite Blair and Brown and smacks of zero subtlety. Hell, even Dubya knew how to be more subtle than that!

  40. @ John Fletcher

    You clearly live in a time warp where no doubt having an unelected second chamber is a hallmark of the finest democratic practice just like classifying citizens as commoners is perfectly ok.

    The rest of the democratic world has a good laugh to itself whenever a Brit gets up on their high horse about “British democracy”.

    As my granny used to tell me ‘people in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones’.

  41. @ Nick Ok

    Unless I am mistaken, the royals only pay taxes on a ‘voluntary’ basis.

    Any Labour government which wanted to take a robust response to the royal family politicising themselves need only put them on the same tax footing as the rest of us. A just & fair way to show ‘we are all in this together’.

    IMO, Once there is no tax benefit to being royal, they will withdraw from public life to enjoy what remains of their wealth in private. No referendum needed.
    8-)

  42. @ Neil A

    But it is an issue that divides Labour activists from their voters
    _________________________________________

    A voice of commom sense .

    I think you might add acouple of others to the list.

    Immigration and Benefits.

    There seems to be a disconnect between the politically correct Labour activists and the essentially conservative (with a little c) white working class.

    I am following the Blue Labour movement with interest.
    and its attempt to formulate policies that will reconnect with them.

  43. @PETE B

    “This business of a snub to Labour seems delusional to me. Let’s remember that it was not a state occasion, and that Mrs Blair insulted the Royal Family by refusing to curtsey.
    Imagine you had thrown a barbecue and invited neighbours who were rude to you. Would you expect your son or grandson to invite them to his wedding?”

    Frankly if I’d invited neighbours over, and then expected them to bow or curtsey for no other reason than the family into which I was born, then they would rightfully refuse and think I was stupid and ridiculous. Cherie did the right thing.

    It is not rude to treat someone as your equal. And, in fact, I’d place an elected official such as Tony Blair in higher esteem than an hereditary monarch who, in my humble opinion, has absolutely no legitimacy whatsoever.

    You really would think that in the 21st century we’d move beyond this archaic nonsense.

    The alternative does not have to be an elected president (although that would be better), we could simply abolish the monarchy without any replacement and the world will not stop turning on its axis.

  44. OldNat

    I don’t think we disagree on the Crown in Scotland, and the littoral management which is the main thing that the CEC does there; but the Crown Estate does also have that additional property (less than £200 million I think) and I assume that bit is reserved. As far as bringing the operations back to Scotland, I assume it is all done from the Edinburgh office anyway, so it should be easily done, though whether it would be worth it is another matter.

  45. @Moraylooninbrussels

    ‘You clearly live in a time warp where no doubt having an unelected second chamber is a hallmark of the finest democratic practice just like classifying citizens as commoners is perfectly ok.’

    Is this a preview of a plan to change the ‘House of Commons’ into the ‘House of Citizens’?

    Is ‘Common Law’ about to become ‘Citizen Law’?

    Is ‘common sense’ also not to prevail?

  46. @ moraylooninbrussels

    You clearly live in a time warp where no doubt having an unelected second chamber is a hallmark of the finest democratic practice just like classifying citizens as commoners is perfectly ok

    __________________________________________

    The law classifies them as commoners not me. I was simply using the correct term in both English Law and Language for anyone who is not a Soverign or Peer. I am not responsible for the language itself and I make no apologies for its correct use.

    So far I have not expressed an opinion on the Second Chamber but I do believe it should be reformed and be elected. It is esentially a revising chamber so experience counts. I have yet to make my mind up as to the best system to elect them.

    The rest of the democratic world has a good laugh to itself whenever a Brit gets up on their high horse about “British democracy”.
    ___________________________________

    Let them. Water off a ducks back to me. Don’t really care what the rest of the world thinks of us.

  47. @ Roger

    The point is however that an awful lot of people on the left complaining about the irrelevance etc of the monarchy, can’t then start complaining because so-and-so was left off the guest list or that David Cameron should have arranged to put them on. It not only looks envious it also looks hypocritical.
    ——————————————————–
    Not so. If the royals want a ‘united’ Britain, they must be careful not to become a PR opportunity for the Tory Party. And to characterise a desire for fairness & political neutrality as ‘envy’ will harm them – & all who play the ‘envy’ card.

    At some point, we worms will turn; we’ll pick up that ‘envy’ badge & wear it with pride. We will ‘envy’ their priviledge & special tax status; & in the spirit of ‘envy’ we will take it away from them. But we’ll call it fairness. We can do PR too. ;-)

  48. @ John Fletcher

    Relieved to see you’ve escaped the time warp ;-)
    As long we agree that the second chamber should be elected, then I’m happy to discuss about what system would be best to do so.

    You were, I’m sure, using correct English but it’s still archaic to call all the rest of us (you and me included I suppose) commoners. Just because something is written in law doesn’t make it right (or at least up to date).

    As for the rest of the World (well I actually said democratic World), I would argue it does matter that the UK has an unelected upper house when various politicians (from the left and right) spout off about this or that ‘poor show, overseas’ or criticise, for instance, the European Parliament as being ‘undemocratic’ (I’m not an MEP or parliamentary staffer before you ask).

  49. Amber

    “Does David Cameron’s party-on directive only apply to royal occasions or throughout the year?”

    I feel sure he meant on any occasion which seems to warrant community celebration.

    He has spoken out against the H&S spoilsport edicts from Town Halls before putting difficulties in the way of Village Fetes etc etc.

    Not sure about “raves” though. Do they count as “community” parties-or are they usually rather speratist, divisive & intolerant ?

  50. “they did not make the mistake of replacing him with a commoner but sensibly stuck with a Monarchy”

    That sounds like you buy into the whole commoner and royalty concept to me, John. Hardly a neutral statement of Law.

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