The monthly ComRes phone poll for the Independent has been published and has topline figures of CON 35%(+2), LAB 42%(-2), LDEM 12%(+2), Others 11%(-2).

ComRes also asked a hypothetical voting intention question on how people would vote if Vince Cable was the Liberal Democrat leader. Like YouGov have done recently they first asked a control question asking how people would vote with the current party leaders, which had vote shares of CON 35%, LAB 39%, LDEM 14%, Other 12% (as YouGov have found in the past, mentioning Cameron, Miliband and Clegg in the question seems to reduce Labour’s support… although in this case ComRes’s method was slightly different to their normal question as it omitted the “squeeze question”).

ComRes then asked how people would vote if the leaders were Cameron, Miliband and Cable, producing results of CON 34%(down 1), Labour 38%(down 1), Lib Dem 18%(up 4) – suggesting the Liberal Democrats would indeed do substantially better with Vince Cable as leader than with Nick Clegg as leader.

I will add all my usual caveats about hypothetical party leader questions – they are asking people to say how they would vote based on what they imagine the party would do if X was leader, when in reality they don’t know what policies they would pursue, what direction they would take the party and so on. Nevertheless, such polls do help shape the political narrative and it is not exactly helpful for a party leader to have polls showing alternative leaders would be doing better than them.

I would expect to see more polls along these lines in coming days (YouGov have done the same in tomorrows Sun and someone in the comments here reported being asked similar questions by ICM in a telephone interview over the weekend, although ICM do carry out fieldwork for other companies so it is possible that it was the same poll).


55 Responses to “ComRes/Indy – CON 35, LAB 42, LDEM 12”

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  1. In regard to the cabinet reshuffle, apparently Ken Clarke is going to act as a mentor to George Osborne.
    ———————
    Reaction from Labour to this news:
    Ed Balls is going to continue to act as a tormentor to George Osborne. ;-)

  2. @Lefty

    “Osborne’s entire economic argument has been based on the overwhelming necessity to retain AAA and keep bond rates down above all else, by addressing the deficit. Growth was secondary to that.”

    “I suggest that, given the evidence that is accumulating, the onus is on those who supported the Government’s approach to explain in detail why the alternative would have been even worse.”

    Without addressing the deficit, the debt will rise more quickly than the country can remove it, and the AAA rating keeps the interest on the debt as low as possible.

    There is also the scope for the US to increase protectionism to suits its own ends (not all of which actually helps in the long-term), and can give its own industries a small shot in the arm. The UK generally can’t do this, as their overheads will be more UK-external than the US.

    The UK’s services sector contributes approximately 75% of its GDP, and has been largely flat in the past couple of months, so the economy will not shift until either it grows, or other sectors start making substantial contributions to the GDP (not likely in the short-term).

    See:

    http://www.ukti.gov.uk/investintheuk/sectoropportunities/financialprofessionalservices.html

    “The UK ‘s Financial and Professional Services sector generated a Trade surplus of £40bn in 2010, significantly more than any other sector and is equivalent to 3% of UK GDP.

    Financial and professional services enable businesses to start up and invest in expansion. And financial and professional services create opportunity in the economy generating nearly 2 million jobs; one pound in seven of GDP; and a £40bn trade surplus.

    The financial services industry accounted for 10% of UK GDP and 11% of UK tax receipts.

    The sector currently employs 1 million people, more than 66% of whom work outside London, and underpins the businesses that drive jobs and growth. Another 900,000 people are employed in associated professional services.”

    In short, our GDP is still at the mercy of the financial services sector, especially when you consider that it enables all the other sectors.

  3. Statgeek

    “Without addressing the deficit, the debt will rise more quickly than the country can remove it, and the AAA rating keeps the interest on the debt as low as possible.”

    As I’m sure you know, there has been no correlation whatsoever over the past decade or two between the bond rates and the debt levels of countries with sovereign currencies.

    And it’s not just about countries which can throw their weight around (like the USA) or with particular domestic savings strengths (like Japan).

    Look at Canada. Over the past 20 odd years, it’s Govt debt to GDP rose from ~70% in 1990, to 102% in 1997, then fell to 66% in 2008 before rising to 85% now. And throughout that rollercoaster debt ride, there has been a long, slow, almost uniform decline in Canada’s 10y bond rates, from 12% in 1990 to 2% now, with only small and transient blips along the way.

    Look at our own bond rates. UK 10y bond rates were more or less static from 2000-08 at ~5%. Since then, our Govt debt has exploded. Yet the bond rates started to collapse in late 08 PRECISELY at the time that our deficit appeared to be running out of control.

    This argument that the deficit must be addressed uber alles, or the bond vigilantes will have us for breakfast simply flies in the face of all the available evidence. And by hanging our entire economic policy on that one hook, we are taking a colossal and terrifying gamble with our long term economic health.

  4. Just checked on the BBC website. The re-shuffle continueth.

    This must be the first Cabinet re-shuffle to take place over a longer time period than geological erosion.

  5. @Billy Bob.

    I can’t imagine the economically liberal wing of the LDs maintaining much credibility, after an election, unless the social liberal wing have abandoned ship to the extent that they’re the only ones left.

    Re: Cable. Whoever’s the leader, I don’t think that the LDs are going to be able to be able to credibly outflank Labour on the left where they’re in direct competition. Not with Conservatives in government and Lib Dems working alongside them. A Cable leadership may, however be able to calm tactical voters in Lib-Con marginals, which would harm the Tory’s prospects and the prospect of another Lib-Con coalition.

    @Statgeek:

    Just look at this:

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/british-debt-history/

    In fact just have a look at all of Paul Krugman’s blogs on the UK it will answer all your questions. ;-)

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