There are three new polls tonight, ComRes in the Indy, Populus in the Times and YouGov in the Sun. Populus and ComRes both show increased Labour leads, YouGov confirms the increased Labour lead they have already shown since the budget.

YouGov in the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%.

Populus in the Times has topline figures, with changes from last month’s Populus poll, of CON 34%(-3), LAB 38%(-1), LDEM 11(nc), Others 16%(+3).

ComRes in the Indy has topline figures, with changes from their last phone poll as month ago, of CON 33%(-4), LAB 43%(+3), LDEM 11%(-2), Other 13%(+3). The ten point lead from ComRes is the first double digit lead Labour have enjoyed from any company since last March and ComRes’s biggest since 2005.

The other questions in the Populus and ComRes polls deal with the budget, and echo the findings we’ve already seen in the YouGov and ICM polling over the weekend that the reduction in the 50p rate of tax and the “granny tax” are deeply unpopular. One positive finding for the Conservatives in the Populus poll is that despite the cut in the 50p tax rate the poportion of people who think the Conservatives “represent ordinary people, not just the better off” has remained constant at 31%, rather than dropping. This doesn’t entirely surprise me, most people thought the Conservatives cared more about the rich anyway, the cut in the 50p is probably going to entrench existing damaging views of the Conservatives rather than create new ones. Personally I suspect it’s the “granny tax” that has done real harm.

About a third of the the Populus poll and ComRes polls were conducted after the Conservative cash-for-access story broke. ComRes remark that their voting intention figures on Sunday showed a much larger Labour lead… I wouldn’t read too much into this yet, the margin of error on a third of a poll of 1000 people is huge, and it may just be that ComRes got more Laboury people on Sunday. The YouGov poll, which unlike the two others was conducted wholly on Sunday and Monday does not show a further shift to Labour, but as ever is just one poll. Let’s wait and see what impact, if any, the access scandal has…

UPDATE: Sigh, looking at the reaction on Twitter people are already getting excited over the portion of the ComRes fieldwork that was conducted after Sunday, which had a 17 point Labour lead – including people who, frankly, should know better. That’ll be based on 350 people, with a consequentially large margin of error, and would only have been weighted as part of the larger sample, not weighted in its own right.

UPDATE2: On Thursday I said keep an eye on the 60+ crossbreak. Now, age crossbreaks are very volatile and it’s wrong to read too much into one wacky result, but now we’ve got three YouGov polls since the budget showing sharply reduced Tory leads amongst over 60s (Labour are marginally ahead today). In ComRes’s poll there is a hefty Labour lead amongst 55-64 year olds, and a single digit Tory lead amongst over 65s. In contrast ICM at the weekend still had a big Tory lead amongst the elderly, so the traffic isn’t all one way. Keep an eye on it, but it’s starting to look like the Conservatives may have taken a knock amongst those affected by the granny tax.

182 Responses to “New ComRes, Populus and YouGov polls”

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  1. @R Huckle

    Boris? Seriously?

    I agree that Hague would be a good bet.

  2. great point crossbath in 2000 the hauliers were heroes to tories and the right for disrupting fuel supplies. the people who are whining today were strangely lacking in criticism then. i sense the right are becoming very worried over the state of the tory party.

  3. @Paul

    “great point crossbath in 2000 the hauliers were heroes to tories and the right for disrupting fuel supplies. the people who are whining today were strangely lacking in criticism then. i sense the right are becoming very worried over the state of the tory party.”

    If I remember rightly, the period of the fuel blockade was the only time in seven years that the Tories briefly led Labour in the polls. It soon evaporated, but you can see why they got terribly excited about it at the time. I don’t think they were worried about the disruption and chaos that was caused, they were much more concerned with the embarrassment it caused Blair’s Government. Now of course, it’s all about “protecting the public so that they can go about their lawful business”.

    Humbug comes in many colours and flavours.

  4. I’m not sure that the Government will do well out of a Tanker drivers’ strike. They might, initially – but when they begin using soldiers to drive the trucks, I think they could come unstuck. Jim Murphy will use it as a reason to raise all the defence spending issues/ cuts. It’ll likely be a lose/lose for both Parties, IMO.

    The Government should basically say that they’ll charge the fuel companies a lot of money, if the army are deployed as ‘strike breakers’. This would get the employers to the table, where hopefully the issues can be resolved without the strikes taking place.

  5. I also think the Government need to handle the Tanker drivers’ dispute with a great deal of care. They appear to think that they can just call in the army as ‘strike breakers’ – to avoid inconvenience to the public & loss of profits by business which is hardly a national emergency, is it?

    I’m not sure that all the public will see this as something we want the army to be doing, quite frankly. It may be seen as inflammatory enough to justify a national strike. And were that to be the case, it’s virtually impossible to know what the eventual outcome would be.

  6. Crossbat

    “Humbug comes in many colours and flavours.”


  7. @Sergio

    Last time I checked, the NUT were not one of the unions which supported Labour.

    If however, they’ve changed their mind, I’m sure we’ll be pleased to take their money – however Ed wont have time to have dinner with every teacher in the country….

  8. RHUCKLE……….Be careful what you wish for, if any Blair/Brown arrangements have been made by the Tories, I imagine it would be along the lines of Cammo/ Osborne, if GO gets his hands on the tiller you lefties will be calling for Maggie to come back. :-) :-)

  9. @ Rojo

    It’s not a problem, in fact it’s my bad. I should have guessed but I had it in my mind that a new right wing poilitical party had formed :) .

  10. @AMBER

    Who else should fill in, if the strike occurs? Civil servants?

  11. Amber Star

    If there is a national strike that would certainly constitute an “event” and I doubt the unions would get much support (outside the ardent Trots) for escalating things so far.

    The coalition would probably bring in even tougher legislation against strikes (50% of those balloted to vote in favour for a strike to become legitimate has been mooted in the past).

    I’m sure that an argument can be made that an national fuel shortage could be seen to be an emergency, I don’t think people saw it as an issue of “strikebreaking” when the army covered for a striking fire service (if anyone can provide polling data from that far back I’d be impressed). I suspect we’ll see scenes of people cheering “our boys” as they arrive with the fuel across petrol stations nationwide. I don’t think anyone jeering “our boys” will get much sympathy at all.

    I suspect people will think of themselves first and consider anything that directly affects them as more important. I can’t see many people boycotting petrol stations that get their fuel from the army and in fact would be grateful that they could carry on their everyday lives.

    Would labour go so far to call for (or support) a national strike? I think that would be a very “brave” move. I suspect Ed will try to place himself firmly on the fence trying to avoid committing himself either way as usual when it comes to matters of union unrest.

    I also don’t think trying to blackmail the companies with exorbitant fees for use of the army is sensible, it might well cost them more that a regular delivery but squeezing them until they bleed out of spite isn’t in the national interest, what matters is getting the fuel delivered.

  12. My theory, largely based on the firefighters’ strike, is that once you’re earning more than the majority of the country, public support for a strike drops very quickly.

    I suspect people like me currently on 14K find it hard to believe that someone on 44K is that hard done by.

  13. As always the issue of strikes will bring up debates about how a democracy should function and how contractural disputes can be resolved.

    Any question of insiting that there is a 50% turn out would put into question the election of almost ever councillor in the UK. How many council elections have 50+% turn out not many.

    Why is it that people assume that if you dont vote you are against the proposal. What if the ballot read Do you want to continue working under the current conditions? and 80% vote yes on a turn out of say 40% do we assume that 68% of those polled dont?

    All of the posters on here can see the flaw in the aguement often used by governments of both colours to say that there is no support for any particular action as less than 50% of those polled support the ballot. Democrocary is what we have and unless people are stopped from voting you can not assume that they support or other wise any question put to them on the ballot paper.

    The other question which never seems to be asked is that of the standing of a contract between an employer and employee. There are two sides to a contract and the withdrawing of a right to with hold the labour part of the contract while allowing the employer side of the contract to impose their terms is far to one sided.

    While a strike is a blunt tool it is the only tool which employees can use to effect a change in working practices or the terms oft heir employment. As such it should only be used as a very last resort. Voting for a strike is often used as a means to force employers to the table around which a solution is found.

    A bit of a ramble but I hope you get my piont democracy is to valuable to be riden rough shod over for short term gains.

  14. I think there are a few people on here who need to do a bit of ” Googling ” and find out what this threatened strike is all about. As far as I can see it has very little to do with pay and more to do with safety.
    I have just read an article in the paper that shall not be named but there are plenty of others if that is not to your taste.
    By the way I don’t have a view one way or the other about the rights and wrongs of this particular strike threat but I do think we should be aware of the whole story before passing judgment in either direction.

  15. ‘Any question of insiting that there is a 50% turn out would put into question the election of almost ever councillor in the UK. How many council elections have 50+% turn out not many.’

    Let alone parliamentarians, especially in the House of Lords…

  16. Firefighting is an emergency situation. Getting fuel to e.g. an ambulance depot is an emergency situation. Nobody except an extremist would want ambulances, fire-engines etc. to be without fuel. And the strikers would certainly agree to some of their number driving tankers to deliver supplies for use by the emergency services.

    Ensuring that everybody can fill up their car without quequeing is not an emergency. And to bring in the army to break a strike so that people aren’t inconvenienced. It is a risky tactic, for the Government to choose to use the army to cover commercial deliveries.

    Personally, I do not think it will come to that. I think the Government will be sensible & encourage the employers to work with the Unite towards finding a solution.

  17. Anthony,
    Was surprised at first that my 1204 in response to Ken was ‘awaiting moderation’ (First for me since the GE debates when you correctly stopped us all bigging up our Guy).
    I notice now, though, that you have taken out Ken’s post that I maybe should have not responded to; so pls remove mine if you can, JJ

  18. @ Chris Neville-Smith

    I suspect people like me currently on 14K find it hard to believe that someone on 44K is that hard done by.
    Yes, indeed. This is often how the public perceive such things.

    May I ask, which Union are you a member of?

  19. @DAVEM

    “While a strike is a blunt tool it is the only tool which employees can use to effect a change in working practices or the terms oft heir employment. As such it should only be used as a very last resort.”

    Well said!

    And then, only if a strike can actually achieve the objectives. Striking for a 50% pay increase (as an extreme example), will not get the support of the public, nor will most employers suffer it.

  20. Striking is a tactical weapon used when the country is in greatest need……..dockers during the war, motor industry when we needed exports, transport during the Olympics, fuel tanker drivers during a time of high prices, air traffic at Easter, you name it, when your country needs you, your Union will call a strike. I expect our service personnel, risking their lives on our behalf could strike, but it’s not in their nature. The only industry that could bring the country to its knees in days however, is banking, if bankers strike, the country grinds to a halt. But don’t worry, as a responsible and public spirited banker, I’ve no intention of joining the industrial action……we’ll keep it all working, in the public interest of course. :-)

  21. Thanks Ken,

    I’m glad the £100bn of bailout money was money well spent!

    You certainly do hold the country together … apart from the time the entire global financial system nearly collapsed …

    We really do have so much to thank you for :-)

  22. JIM JAM………..Although it was consigned to Room 101, I did catch your response, I thought that, like all your posts, it was a case well put, thanks.

  23. ADRIAN B……….Thankyou, I think the industry supports around 1.5 million people, and the entire infrastructure of the commercial/industrial/public sector, complex, and, of course, you’ll get your money back…..!
    By the way, one of our, ‘Masters of the Universe’ was Gavin Davies, Director and Senior Partner in Goldman Sachs, Gordon Brown’s friend and adviser, and of course a significant donor to the Labour party……….he often popped in to No11 and Chequers for a non-advisory chin-wag with GB and Sarah, probably didn’t have dinner though, far too ethical for that. :-)

  24. Wasn’t Gavin Davies one of Ken Clarke’s wise men? maybe Lamonts it’s a long time ago?

  25. Picked this up from The Greenbenches.

    Since Cameron became Tory leader, over £160 million has been donated to the Tories.

    Here is a list of donations up to 2011.

    There is no way Labour could compete with that and therefore the sooner they agree a cap on donations, the better it will be in 2015.

  26. R Huckle,

    So why won’t Labour agree the cap on donations, as the Conservatives have already proposed?

  27. @Ken

    Not to worry – strike or not bankers have brought this country to its knees.

  28. r huckle thanks for that link of donors,never seen that before, i’m sure they were expecting at least a one seat tory majority in 2010 after spending 160 million quid in donations. particularly as brown was so unpopular.

  29. Ken

    I do feel for you City types. After all you must think it’s scandalous that these tanker drivers could hold the country to ransom. That’s your job.

  30. JIM JAM……….Sorry, I misspelled Gavyn, ( as Gavin ) Yes he was one of, ‘the three wise men’, and, at one time Chair of the BBC, a huge mistake IMO. His wife is Sue Nye who was GB’s secretary. Although he is Red through and through, he runs a hedge fund and several private equity outfits, a very, very rich man indeed, Gordon uses his house in the Hamptons for holiday purposes, and of course to rub shoulders with US bankers. :-)

  31. ROGER MEXICO………..Quite, and we are better at it. :-)

  32. CRAIG…………Wrong, the country was never on its knees, just leaning a bit ! :-)

  33. Meanwhile a new wave of strikes laid on by Labour’s paymasters kicks off tomorrow with the National Union of Teachers going on strike in London for the third time in 9 months, deliberately depriving children from poorer families of their education.


    Actually, the NUT isn’t affiliated to the Labour Party. I found this out in two minutes using Google.

    Unless people get their facts right, they lose credibility and their posts aren’t worth reading! 8-)

  34. Amber Star

    So hospital workers who rely on their personal transportation to get to their place of work would be unaffected by such strikes, or care home workers or people in the police service, fire service or any other person what inability to get to their place of work would result in a direct increased risk to the public. What about a nuclear power station that is understaffed?

    I understand that the union mentality is that people should be paid by the amount of harm they can cause by striking, as opposed to the amount of value they add to society. This is where the theory of unions diverges from the practical side of them.

    In that regard, then bankers are fully worth their pay as noone can cause more harm to the system than them! ;)

    It’s one reason why I support Boris’ idea of unmanned trains for the underground inside 10 years. They already have incredibly high rates of pay due to persistent union action holding the public to ransom (and increasing fares directly), the only way to reduce fares is to replace drivers with computers, (which works fine for DLR). The drivers has pushed their “cost” (in terms of salary + the inevitable number of strikes each year) so high that replacing them makes a lot of sense. The Olympics to them is just another opportunity to blackmail everyone into paying them even more as they know they could cause serious harm by holding a strike then.

    It’s an inevitable result that people who can be replaced will be more likely to be replaced if they strike regularly as the additional costs to a company are real and have to be accounted for (baggage handling at airports is now largely automated partially for this reason)

    In the future when we have vehicles controllable by computer (we’re close to this stage now) the likelihood of future strikes will be taken into consideration when companies look at the cost of replacing their drivers with computers.

  35. @Alan

    There will never be “Unmanned” trains on the London Underground network. No underground system is currently safe enough to be run without operators on the trains, specifically to aide passengers should the car break down in the middle of the tunnel.

    Let’s say this again, there will never be “Unmanned” trains on the London Underground. There are already “Driverless” trains, the distinction is that “Driverless” trains as on the DLR have an operator who controls everything on the train except speed and stopping at the station. Moving that to the Underground lines would not reduce staff in any way, and would not give clear improvements without drastic redesign of almost all stations.

  36. @ Sergio

    So why won’t Labour agree the cap on donations, as the Conservatives have already proposed?
    Labour would be quite happy with £10k per individual, as proposed by Lord Kelly. ‘Tis the Tories who will not agree. They want to keep their £50,000 club.

  37. Jayblanc

    Fair enough, my nomenclature was imprecise.

    I suspect the “operators” of DLR trains are on less than their “driver” counterparts and strike less. There would be still be a significant saving of cost (and increased service) to replace drivers. The more militant the drivers are, the sooner the point at which it becomes cheaper to replace them all with a computerised system arrives. It’s bound to be a factor when the calculations are made.

  38. On the same theme as my last post donations are the bed rock of democracy when they are fair and democratic.

    The big difference between large individual payments from the well off and those from a union is simple. As a consumer who has bought and paid for the goods sold by a company to make a profit for the owner I have no say in where the profit/income is spent.

    As a union member I have to agree to pay the political levie, hence that is an individual decision. If the £10,000 cap is applied to union donations you are preventing a democratic use of funds which as a union member you have volunteered.

    The sad fact is that both side play politics with funding, the simple and fair way to overcome the problem is to limit donations to a maximum of £50, including individual political levy payers, Then a top up from a fund of £1 per elector shared out on the rolling average of the last five elections.

  39. @ Alan,

    Most public sector workers, particularly those in the ‘caring’ professions, turned up for work when the fuel blockaders tried to bring the country to a standstill. Why were they ‘bringing the country to a stand-still? They wanted their businesses to make bigger profits.

  40. I have a feeling that AW is going to have a fun time moderating tonight when he gets on.

    If we stick to what polling information we have – during the 2000 fuel protest, Labour’s VI dropped from the high-40s/low-50s to mid-30s so a similar proportional drop for the Conservatives would be to drop their VI to the mid-to-high 20s, which would probably be politically devastating.

    But, there are a couple of major differences to then – even if there is the distinct similarity of rapidly rising fuel costs and the perception of a government who doesn’t care – the Labour party was still polling relatively high so still had a lot to lose, the fuel protests were perpetrated by motorists and not by ‘the unions’ and the protests were openly backed by the opposition.

    All things that will be different this time – a Tory party that may be relatively close to it’s ‘core’ support and an opposition that wouldn’t dare back the strikes.
    So it’s unlikely to have the same polling effect – no matter how much those of us who’re against the coalition would like to see the Tories take a VI hit.

  41. @ Ken

    The only reason that banks are ‘indispensable’ is because people no longer have cash thanks to Mrs T legislating against workers being able to demand that their wages were paid in cash.

    I’d love for the banks to go on strike; then people would go back to being paid in cash & paying cash for things. Once we’d sorted that out, the banks could strike as often as they liked & nobody would miss them. We’d just buy a giro at the post-office to pay any bills where the creditor wasn’t local & stroll on with our lives.

    The public’s bank dependency is a deliberately ‘engineered’ product of the Thatcher era. I’d like to see a government with the bottle to reverse it.

  42. Well I will be interested to see how the moderation goes but off to watch Sunderland progress to the quarter finals now.

  43. Boris will have one almighty battle with Brother Crow, who described the idea as “ill conceived”.

    There are unmanned trains apparently-wouldn’t you have guessed-in Sweden.

    Bob wouldn’t have been happy in that SocDem paradise :-)

  44. @Valerie

    I should imagine the number of Labour party members in the NUT would be rather high and the number of councillors as a percentage even higher.Only Unison and UCU would be higher

  45. Tinged Fringe

    I agree with you on most of the points – I do not see the potential fuel strike causing much change in VI unless the situation becomes really chaotic

    I must take you up on one point though – the fuel blockades were by ‘motorists’ – there was a strong link to certain elements in the Tory party.

    It is somewhat strange that those who supported the fuel protests are now vocal in the other direction. I do not think Labour will openly support the strikes as the Tories did the fuel protests.

    What a strange country we live in when a democratic decision is taken and legal industrial action launched in portrayed in this light while 12 years ago a rag-tag band of malcontents were lauded as the saviours of the country against the evils of taxation!

  46. Wolf


  47. @Wolf

    And your point is?

  48. @ Bazsc

    Snap! :-)

  49. Amber Star

    I agree that the first wave of fuel protesters weren’t effective in stopping fuel getting to stations and the “country was not brought to a standstill” as the effect was much lower than predicted. People were able for the most part to get to work with localised pain in various parts of the country.

    I don’t know the predicted effect of the strikes, I’m sure someone has run various simulations to find a best case and a worst case. If the worst case results increased risks to the public then it’s reasonable to take emergency measures to prevent this.

    I suspect the public will support this argument if presented, although mainly because it’s in their interest to be able to carry on their lives as normal as possible.

    I think the public would see a general strike in response to this as a ridiculous overreaction. The fact that it’s being suggested as a response probably highlights an overeagerness for a confrontation from the unions.

    Who knows where that route would take the country? It’d certainly dwarf the latest squabbling over an effective 0.25% tax rise on over 65s with a fairly precise income level!

  50. I’d be grateful in Anthony could delete my latest comment on the Denton and Reddish thread. I shouldn’t have got sucked in to that argument.

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