The monthly online ComRes poll for the Indy on Sunday and Sunday Mirror is out and has topline figures of CON 28%(-3), LAB 39%(-4), LDEM 9%(-1), UKIP 14%(+6). The poll shows a big increase in UKIP support since ComRes’s last online poll which was prior to the Rotherham fostering row and by-elections that gave UKIP a publicity boost last month.

Looking at the tables there appears to have been a slight methodology change. ComRes used to weight turnout differently for minor parties than than for the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats – for the big three they included everyone who said they were 5/10 likely to vote or more (weighted proportionally), for other parties they included only those who said they were 10/10 likely to vote. At first glance it looks like they are now treating all parties the same, which would have boosted UKIP support, though it certainly wouldn’t account for all of a six point increase!

The poll also included a question on government’s policy of increasing benefits by 1%, under the rate of inflation, for the next three years. There was some comment on this earlier this week because YouGov and MORI polls on the subject were showing contrasting results –

YouGov asked if Osborne was right or wrong to raise benefits by 1%, lower than the rate of inflation. 33% thought it was right, 35% thought it was wrong and they should have been increased by inflation or more, 19% thought they should not have been increased at all.

MORI asked a similar question, but didn’t mention it was for three years and gave three examples of benefits affected: jobseekers, income support and child benefit. They found 11% thinking they shouldn’t rise at all, 16% that they should rise by less than inflation, 59% that they should rise in line with inflation and 10% that they should rise by more.

The reason for the big difference is perplexing. I’ve seen and I can think of various possibilities, none that stands out above others. It could be that YouGov mentioned it was for the next three years, while the MORI question didn’t so people thought more about the general principle than what should happen now. Another possibility is that it was down to MORI giving the example of child benefit, which affects many more people, and resulted in a different answer. I’ve also seen suggestions that public opinion moved drastically in the small gap between the two polls fieldwork, which given it was all of two days seems particularly unlikely.

Anyway, today’s ComRes poll asked their own question and found more people in support of the government’s policy than opposed, though not by a big gap. ComRes asked if people agreed or disagreed that “The Chancellor, George Osborne, is right to cut most state benefits by 1% a year for the next three years, in real terms (taking inflation into account)” 42% agreed, 36% disagreed.

The wording is interesting because YouGov and MORI have both presented the change as an increase, but below inflation. ComRes presented it as a real terms cut. The terms mean exactly the same of course, but not everyone will realise that, and simply in terms of language “cash increase” will always sound better than “real terms cut”!

It doesn’t appear to have made a vast difference anyway, since ComRes also asked about it in a poll for ITV News earlier this week, which phrased it in terms of an increase and didn’t even mention inflation “George Osborne was right in his Autumn Statement to limit increases in most welfare benefits to 1%”. One might have thought the wording of this statement was far more positive for George Osborne than the version ComRes used for their Indy/Mirror poll, but the results weren’t that different – 44% agreed, 33% disagreed.

UPDATE: The fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer is also out and has topline figures of CON 29%(nc), LAB 39%(+1), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 14%(+1). There is no significant change from their last poll, which had already shown a boost for UKIP.


89 Responses to “ComRes/Indy on Sunday – CON 28, LAB 39, LD 9, UKIP 14”

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  1. So it couldn’t have been the mention of child benefit that suddenly swayed people to want a real terms increase? People tend to favour benefits that they actually get.

  2. In my view, to present it as a ‘cut’, is misleading. A cut is a reduction and there has not been a reduction, there has been an increase, albeit, not as much as the 35% (presumably the beneficiaries) want.

  3. UKIP eating into Con, Lab, and LD proportionally to the parties VI — everyone seems to have taken a hit from them equally. :-)

  4. :-)

  5. Smilies not working?
    :-(

  6. The fortnightly Opinium poll for the Observer is also out and has topline figures of CON 29%(nc), LAB 39%(+1), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 14%(+1). There is no significant change from their last poll, which had already shown a boost for UKIP.

  7. It’ll be very interesting to see how the Tory Right react, many of them will feel emboldened to increase their attacks on Cameron, one or two might even feel they’ll be better off representing UKIP in the house.

  8. UKIP up in three polls?
    MORI, COMRES, and OPINiUM?.
    :-)

  9. All parties worried but Cons for sure…Seems like carrying a double-edged sword on a high rope.Move to the centre and UKIP rises.Move to the right and lose the centrists.

  10. How many times have ComRes changed their methodology since 2010? They are my least favourite polling firm because of their on-going tweaking!

  11. No, Not MORI, TNS-BMRB. Sorry.
    Can I have my smilies back please, someone.
    :-(

  12. Smukesh

    Do the Tories have any centrists voting for them?

    This is the problem I always found with Cameron’s move to the left, simply taking slightly more lefty positions won’t make the left vote for you, they will just hate you, slightly less.

    AndyO :)

  13. Testing smilies.
    :-)

  14. No. Smilies b*ggered.

  15. @amber

    Thanks for the information. Perhaps I will have to buy a hut somewhere and live in it for a while.

  16. @MIM

    Not sure really…Take the 1% benefits rise for example.Half like it,but am sure there are swing voters who think this is too hard on the poorest.

  17. A lot of polls showing Cons below 30…Will Youguv follow suit tomorrow?

  18. Crikey, these polls are getting grimmer and grimmer for the Tories, aren’t they? I know Anthony hasn’t commented at all on the Tory VI share of 28% in this poll, but it must be their lowest rating with a major and reputable pollster like ComRes for many a long day, isn’t it?

    I wouldn’t get terribly preoccupied, to be honest, with the micro-data of polling sub-questions on the Autumn statement. They may be of some frivolous short-term interest, but they’re essentially ambivalent and, depending on how the question is framed, even contradictory but it’s quite obvious they have very little, if any, impact on voting intention. Look at this ComRes poll, for example. People seem fairly supportive of Osborne’s below inflation benefit increase, if the sub question data is to be believed that is, yet the Tories have seen 3% shaved off their VI rating. “Yes”, says polling respondent, ” I originally supported the Tories and I quite like Osborne’s 1% benefit increase, but I’m going to vote UKIP now.” Que, as Manuel might say?

    By the way, we’ve had endless prompted discussions on UKPR on why Labour aren’t doing better, why the Lib Dem vote has collapsed, what’s behind UKIP’s rise, what will happen in Scotland, etc etc. When are we going to start to discuss the causes and implications of what appears to be the early, tentative signs of a meltdown in the Tory vote?

    Just a thought, but it might be more worthy of debate than somebody initiating a 400 post thread about the “weirdness” of Miliband and why this could be depressing Labour’s vote! lol

  19. UKIP at 14% on two polls!! one showing + 6%?. Ouch someone is taking a hit.

    On the benefits polls. Most people who think of benefits think of JSA and Housing benefit.
    So could you not just ask…

    Q1.. Do you agree or disagree with the government that housing benefit should be capped?

    Q2.. Do you agree or disagree someone on £70 weekly JSA should have their JSA increase with in line of inflation?

    [snip – AW]

  20. The UKIP surge doesn’t surprise me: most Tory supporters in the provinces are probably bewildered by Cameron’s priorities at the moment.

  21. Good Evening All, lovely beach run and footy today

    CROSSBAT 11.
    Why do you think Labour is not ahead by more, and is this due to Miliband?

  22. Slippery Slope is on the way to Tipping Point. Both are beautiful, scenic destinations and at the current rate of progress the Tories should arrive early in the New Year

  23. CROSSBAT¹¹

    “When are we going to start to discuss the causes and implications of what appears to be the early, tentative signs of a meltdown in the Tory vote?”

    “Just a thought, but it might be more worthy of debate than somebody initiating a 400 post thread about the “weirdness” of Miliband and why this could be depressing Labour’s vote”
    __________

    Why don’t we all compromise and discuss both?..I mean both are very important issues. ;)

  24. Ooops I have been naughty tonight. One comment has been snipped and the other moderated.

    Yeah okay I had a go at the Tories (sorry about that) but come on most of my comments on here over the past few months have been favorable towards them.

  25. Queue the usual over-reaction and media fenzy

  26. Sunday’s Opinium/Observer poll asked people if they would be prepared to pay slightly more for goods and services if they knew that the companies they bought from paid their staff the living wage. A total of 47% of respondents said that they would probably or definitely be prepared to pay more, against 37% who said that they would probably or definitely not be prepared to, while 16% said they did not know.

    Among likely voters for the three main parties, Lib Dem voters were most in favour – 57% said they would be inclined to pay more – with 26% saying that they would not be prepared to pay more for such goods.

    Among likely Labour voters, 53% were inclined to pay more and 33% were not. Among likely Conservative voters, 48% were inclined to pay more and 41% were not.

  27. Amber – surprised they managed to find 37% of people to yes to a “are you a selfish bastard?” question. Sigh.

  28. Just to point out that many if not most people who receive child benefit don’t actually consider themselves benefit claiments and the same is also true of pensioners in receipt of the state pension.

  29. Robert Newark
    ‘n my view, to present it as a ‘cut’, is misleading. A cut is a reduction and there has not been a reduction, there has been an increase, albeit, not as much as the 35% (presumably the beneficiaries) want.’

    If benefits are increased by 1% when inflation is circa 2.5% the effect is a ‘real’ reduction of 1.5%. Surely this is obvious!

  30. Observer Opinium:

    All three party leaders have seen their personal ratings fall. David Cameron is down four points to -19%, while Ed Miliband is down three at -16% and Nick Clegg down three at -46%.

  31. AW:

    Agreed: sad thing is it suggests the real figure is even higher. Anything less than 100% is pretty bad in my view.

  32. @ChrisLane1945

    “CROSSBAT 11.
    Why do you think Labour is not ahead by more, and is this due to Miliband?”

    They’re recording double-digit leads with nearly all pollsters now but, as with most things in life, including our own vital statistics, we’d all like things to be bigger, wouldn’t we?? lol

    More seriously, I think serial Miliband detractors and sceptics will seek evidence for their misgivings in nearly every poll and however Labour is faring, they will seek and find polling data that suggests that Labour would be doing better with another leader. Is he an exceptionally gifted politician and outstanding leader? Possibly not, although he appears much more comfortable in his own skin now and, as I thought when the coalition was first formed, he’s been gifted two very important things; 10% of the 2010 Lib Dem vote and a vacated centre left political terrain on which to kick his ball unchallenged. Even if Cruddas’s policy review teams are only just the conscious side of comatose in terms of functioning brain activity and imagination, then there’s quite a bit to go at here, I think, and with an increasingly receptive electorate to talk to as well.

    Mid term verdict for Labour? Next election far from won, but a satisfactory work-in-progress project, methinks.

    A little like Paul Lambert’s fast improving young Villa side! lol

  33. I wonder if it’s time they started asking about Farage as well? He’s gradually getting more air time. It could be that his personal popularity is boosting UKIP.

  34. @ Anthony

    Amber – surprised they managed to find 37% of people to yes to a “are you a selfish bastard?” question.
    ———————————
    LOL!

  35. I’m curious as to what the Labour lead would need to be for people to stop saying it should be greater – 17%? 20%?

    They can hardly squeeze the Lib Dems any more, Tories are as low as they are likely to go and UKIP and other “minor” parties have grown a lot over the past few years.

  36. The rise in UKIP support in the polls appears to be reproducible, and it is likely to be due to switching from supporters of both main parties, not just the Tories. The recent 2011 Census data revealing a massive increase in immigration between 2001 and 2011 (including a doubling of the number of Muslims in the UK) is likely to boost UKIP’s support still further, given that they are the only significant party in England with proposals that if enacted would actually significantly curb immigration from both Europe and the rest of the world.

    The rise of a far right party such as UKIP does not augur well for the increasing number of people already in GB who are not ethnically British. However, while NF is impressive at times, he appears obsessed with the EU; a really charismatic nationalist demagogue (like AS in Scotland) could boost UKIP’s support to an even more dangerous extent. It is noticeable that xenophobic parties are advancing elsewhere in Europe, e.g. Front Nationale (in France), Jobbik (in Magyarorszag/Hungary) and Chrysi Avgi/Golden Dawn (in Hellas/Greece), because mainstream political parties are failing to address popular concerns.

    Unfortunately, [Ed Miliband]‘s comments on immigration are unconvincing and are unlikely to enhance Labour’s support amongst core English working class Labour voters in the Midlands and North of England. He is on shaky ground talking about this topic given his own foreign cosmopolitan background and would be better advised to keep shtum and let another Labour leader with a WASP background (not the shadow justice secretary Mr Sadiq Khan) address this issue.

  37. Daodao
    Use of terms such as ‘far right’ and ‘xenophobic’ in connection with UKIP is ridiculous. Just because they don’t subscribe to many metropolitan neo-liberal ideas hardly makes them extremist.

  38. I t seems to me that YouGov had better make an additional column for their polls, or swap L/Dems for UKIP

  39. I don’t think UKIP are a “far” right party. They are to the right of the tories for sure, but I see them more as how the Conservatives were in yesteryear, I wouldn’t go as far as to say “far right.” Similar to how if Labour reverted to its stances pre New Labour, I wouldn’t label them “far” left.

    Also I don’t think UKIP’s stance on immigration has anything to do with ethnicity. The BNP yes, base their rhetoric on terms like “ethnically British” but the only thing I hear from UKIP is to curb immigration, not stop it completely and hound people who have already immigrated in.

    Furthermore, to debunk the ethnicity theory, they talk about using our commonwealth instead of the EU, which actually has more ethnicities, than the EU which is predominately white.

  40. Dont think you can equate UKIP with Golden Dawn – who are unashamedly violent, full on neo-nazi thugs.

    Farage is not a fascist, or a white supremacist and hasn’t come out with anything out there racist. But UKIP certainly appeal to the xenophobes. And they certainly dont appeal to people from immigrant backgrounds.

  41. I’m not a Ukip supporter but it does make me uncomfortable when wanting to control immigration is equated with being racist, as this is what turns people to more extreme views, when there reasonable views are mocked and insulted by the elite.

    I think we do need a debate about immigration in this country without name calling such as racist, fascist or xenophobe.

    I genuinely believe that for most people it’s resources not race. When you see millions of British citizens OF ALL RACES, unable to find a job, and then see that the government is letting more and more people in, it does stick in the throat.

  42. Amber/Anthony

    I think you’ve also got to remember that there’s a central paradox here. People may be genuinely in favour of something but unwilling to make an individual sacrifice unless everyone else does too. It’s a societal version of the Prisoner’s Dilemma where individuals will be better off if they cooperate, but without that cooperation being enforced the safest way to be is selfish. (“But, Yossarian, suppose everyone felt that way.” “Then,” said Yossarian, “I’d certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way, wouldn’t I?”).

  43. PAUL CROFT.

    15%lead is a convincing lead, imo, at this stage of the game.

    However, I agree that we may well be looking at tories having fewer seats than Labour in 2015.

  44. About the 37% saying they wouldn’t be more likely to buy something if it was pricier because of the living wage, obviously some of that is down to selfishness, but how many of that 37 ideally would like to be able to, but have such trouble making ends meet, that they simply couldn’t buy the pricer stuff? Are they selfish too?

  45. The point that I was trying to make is that if the mainstream political parties fail to address people’s concerns, e.g. about immigration, then there will be a rise is support for more extremist parties, which is what we are seeing with UKIP’s increasing share of support in recent opinion polls. I was not suggesting that UKIP are neo-fascist, but they do have a subliminal xenophobic message. When they refer to the commonwealth, they actually mean “kith and kin” in Australasia/Canada etc, not the Indian subcontinent.

  46. UKIP is no way equivalent to Golden Dawn! They are not far right or racist.

    I do not support them. But I will not let smug liberals label them something they are not.

  47. @ daodao
    ” He is on shaky ground talking about this topic given his own foreign cosmopolitan background and would be better advised to keep shtum and let another Labour leader with a WASP background (not the shadow justice secretary Mr Sadiq Khan) address this issue.”

    Rather than finding a wasp to pander to populist ignorance, would it not be better to explain coolly, rationally, and clearly why immigration is, and always has been, beneficial to BOTH immigrant and host populations in both economic and social terms.

  48. Man in the Middle – I wasn’t suggesting they were selfish, “Are you a selfish bastard?” question is just a term I use to refer to questions where social desirability bias is a big problem.

    Basically, there is no cost to saying you’d do the right thing in a polling question, so people are more likely to claim they’d do the thing they think of as morally right or socially desirable than they are actually are to do it in real life.

    The best example I’ve seen was after the tsunami in 2004. Populus asked people how much money, if any, they personally had given to the appeal. If you worked out how much money people claimed to have given, it was actually twice as much as was raised in the UK for the appeal – that’s social desirability bias.

  49. bail

    “smug liberals”

    Yeah, they really are just too pleased with themselves aren’t they?

  50. The treat to the Tories from the rise in UkIP support is slightly exaggerated by some of the posts recently, the truth is firstly the increase in UKIP support is coming from both the main parties not just the Tories.
    Perhaps more importantly UKIP does not at present have the necessary financial backing to field enough candidates to contest that many marginal seats, and in those it does, they could just as likely to be Labour or Liberal marginals that are contested especially if slight drift of Labour supporters to them gains any legs.
    The other factor is UKIP’s main policy’s that attract support are regarding the EU and immigration, if Cameron begin to see UKIP a real threat he could bring forward any in/out vote on the EU and do more to restrict immigration, and hope that the 10% lead Labour have at the moment if maintained leading up to the next GE will close.
    Finally many people who are Tory voters are angry with Cameron over a number of things but if the choice is vote UKIP and let Miliband in, I suggest many will return to the fold at the next GE as no doubt Labour supporters will, with the caveat that working class voters in deprived areas are more likely to be Labour voters who have lost jobs to foreign workers so may feel that UKIP’s message on Immigrations calls louder than Milibands.

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