Sky News have already released the monthly ComRes poll for the Independent here and show topline figures of CON 31%(-1), LAB 43%(+4), LDEM 8%(-2), UKIP 9%(-1). A significant increase for Labour and the largest Labour lead they’ve shown in their phone polls (albeit not significantly different from several 11 point leads they showed last year).

The poll was conducted between Friday and Sunday, so after the allegations about Lord Rennard and at least partially after the downgrade of Britain’s credit rating. Surely they are what’s caused the shift in the polls? Not so fast…

The Lib Dem score looks bad for the party, and it’s the lowest ComRes have shown the Lib Dems in their telephone polls. However, let’s not forget all our usual caution* – it is just one poll and the changes are within the margin of error. Wait and see if it is picked up in other polling.

The Labour increase meanwhile is less mysterious. When there is a movement in the polls it is natural to look at the last few days for an explanation for what might have caused it. Natural, but wrong, as in many cases the previous poll was a whole month ago and the cause of any change could have happened at any point. In this case the last ComRes telephone poll was just after David Cameron’s pledge to hold an EU referendum and showed Labour dropping by three points. As we saw in the YouGov daily polling, that narrowing of the polls from the EU pledge was very short lived indeed – so the most obvious explanation to the change in the poll is an unwinding of the referendum pledge effect, taking us back to the region of the 11 point lead ComRes showed in December.

And the downgrading of the credit rating? If it does have an effect it maybe too soon for it to show up in this poll anyway. Let’s wait for a couple more polls and see what happens.

(*unlike, it would appear, the front page of the Indy, most of Twitter, etc, etc. Sigh)

30 Responses to “ComRes/Indy – CON 31, LAB 43, LDEM 8, UKIP 9”

  1. First this Evening.
    Interesting poll movements. Labour seem to have improved its showing and the Lib dems seem to be in choppy seas.

  2. This might be an unusual angle regarding the Scottish independence debate but if Ed Miliband actually wins in 2015, Alex Salmond, Old Nat, John B Dick and co. can count on my vote in the ‘next’ indy referendum. ;)

  3. I’ve just seen the news that Boris reacted angrily and not being scrutinised. I can’t fathom it, surely a politician would prefer not to have to answer questions on their policies?
    Also as the Conservatives have over 1/3 of the Assembly members the other assembly members can’t veto his budget, so I can’t really see what he was upset about.

    Also looking to Italy, apparently we might be heading for Gridlock US style but in reverse, with the right wing party in control of the senate, but the left wing party in control of the house.

    How would they decide the Prime Minister in this case? Would it be whoever gets a majority in the house? I.e Bersani?

  4. MiM

    This explains it. From the Times Online:
    “Labour, Green and Lib Dem members voted to bypass the opportunity to question Mr Johnson because his deputy, Victoria Borwick, was not present for the opening statement.
    The absence of the Conservative Deputy Mayor would have granted opposition members the two-thirds majority needed to pass an amendment that would scrap a 7p-a-week council tax cut. ”

    So just the opposition being opportunistic. I think his deputy actually arrived in the nick of time to save his budget . Looks like it all backfired on the opposition.


    tables in link.

    I can see Labour increasing their lead following the credit rating downgrade and with people seeing their bills going up, without any increase in wages to cover them.

  6. @Chris Lane 1945

    Good evening. Have you anything worth reporting back following your foray into Eastleigh?

  7. Ah

    Rob I think I understand. They wanted to skip the questions so that they could rush to the vote and vote down his budget. But instead, as she made it in time, all that happened was that the opportunity lost their chance to scrutinise.

  8. @Anthony Wells

    “Let’s wait for a couple more polls and see what happens”

    Well come on, out with it! There’s no need to wait for one more of those polls – just tell us what you already know (please).

    When I were a lad, YouGov used to release their polls at 10pm…..

  9. The Centre Left believe they will take the Piedmont Region, and with it a plurality in the Senate – La Stampa

  10. Calum Smith
    Yes. Pretty unusual. But when will the “next” referendum be? Salmond I think has said that there will not be another for a generation
    Oil boom? Yes. Thats me. It all started when Labour took over in Aberdeen! Seriously, changes in taxation are only part of the explanation. A bigger part is the attraction of the safe haven aspect of the UK. Even before recent changes took effect, half of all profit made in Scotland was made in the 93 oil and gas companies almost all of which are based in Aberdeen. For Scotland and the UK to get most out of this boom, it is crucial that the governments support the development of Aberdeen. But I would say that. The UK has never before taken oil sufficiently seriously. It is high time now.
    Interesting things happening at local level. Tonight a councillor in Arbroath left the SNP removing the majority in one of the very few councils they hold (Angus). There is a by election pending in Moray with an interesting background and in Highland a councillor has resigned from the SNP group following election expense difficulties. Labour won a by election last week in South Lanarkshire (with the SNP third) giving Labour an over-all majority.

  11. A new food scandal is emerging in Germany, with reports that up to 150 egg farms have been mislabeling their output as organic.

    Possibly minor in comparison to the horsemeat scandal, but it’s an interesting development, and this suggests that European governments are beginning to think that trusting self policing in the food industry isn’t a great idea as far as consumers go.

    Being a little partisan here, the greens have been arguing for a good long while that the rules by which the EU operates are too comfortable for business, and the democratic deficit that exists tends to mean that political parties are much keener to serve the interests of influential lobby groups rather than citizens, and lobby groups don’t come much bigger than the food and farming lobby.

  12. Getting mighty tight in the Lower House. Berlusconi now just 0.4% away from being top dog. Amazing. Polls have been narrowing all night there.

  13. @ ALEC

    I am sure that Horse has been entering the food chain as Beef for years. I noticed a case involving a burger chain in the US going back to 1981, where their 100% Beef patties contained Horse.

    I have stopped buying any processed meals now and buy only meat that I recognise in its natural form. It takes longer to prepare meals, but perhaps I will save on wear and tear to my microwave.

  14. @Phil Haines

    What do you think about the CentreLeft believing they’ll be the largest bloc in the Senate?

    Either way, it would be a disaster for the CL if they “lose” the lower house.

    Interesting stuff.

  15. Caum Smith

    Judging by the bloggers, many of whom I suspect are furth of Scotland, there are many who use the independence debate to promote policies which are incidental to independence – eg UKIP policies re windfarms, immigration.

    There are extreme free-marketeers who think a Scotland which cannot support a “bloated” publc sector will be forced to adopt their philosophy. This is bcause they believe it to be inevitable. Scotland has a larger public sector than England therfore it must drag an independent Scotland down faster than UK or England mustn’t it?

    There are others who see independence as the means of securing constitutionaly, many left policies which Labour is not trusted to defend, and there are even outright Socialists who hope for a cumulative shift to the left enduring long after independence.

    Others think the chances of leaving the EU – or of joining the euro – will be better with an independent Scotland. They can’t both be right.

    Then there are the republicans. A debate on a written constitution is an opportunity to promote their agenda.

    Unless you just dislike EM, then I should warn you that an independent Scotland will not follow the Westminster neo-liberal consensus.

    That is half the point of independence.

    It is not likely in the forseeable future to be a republic. It is more likely to take the euro than leave the EU. It will be well to the left of NewLabour, as far left as Harold Macmillan and the Butskillites even.

    Christian Democrats, still loyal to the Conservative party will get their consciences back, and they have the most to gain. Denis Canavan will take confession from, and give absolution to, NewLabour Authoritarian Followers.

    Scotland will have a relaxed and innovative policy towards immigration until r-UK leaves the EU. The foreign minister,who is of Kenyan/Pakistani heritage (a kent his faither) who could take an innovative path in diplomacy which nobody else could, and he might even be of service to the rest of the EU. He’s worth a 5/-bet on being FM.

    Scottish traditions and values, rooted in reformation strategy and Matthew 25, will address Elizabeth Warren’s concerns about “The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class”

    Integrated development in rural areas will allow us to approach food security. Quality food and drink will improve the quality of life and health. Public Health (as distinct from the meaning of state health service) will take precedence over commercial interests and just about anything else. The quality and univerality of state provision in Education and Health will improve steadily though not as quickly as it deteriorates in England.

    Just assume that we will be doing the opposite to whatever the Government is doing in England and you will be right more often than not.

  16. Calum Smith must be sorry he asked , the hint is in the surname !

  17. @ManInTheMiddle

    The President of Italy is elected by a joint session of both houses. He then appoints the PrimeMinister. This was explained on the BBC this evening and I’ve checked it on Wikipedia so probably approximately true.

    The Beeb were also saying earlier in the evening that Italian exit polls are enormously unreliable. I wonder why?

  18. Pretty grim for the Liberal Democrats in a comres Poll after some troubled times with the Rennard allegations. However a new Ashcroft Eastleigh poll taken Friday-Sunday gives the party a 5 point lead on 33 %. Figures are virtually identical to the last populus survey with just Labour up a notch on 12 % and the rest unchanged. Of course could be very tight indeed with the Conservatives and UKIP challlenging.

  19. Phiil Haines

    I ain’t Chris Laine but I have been trudging the not -so-mean streets of Eastleigh today and I can report that IMO it’ll be closer than one might have thought a week or so ago.
    The LDs are putting out some amazingly sophisticated and expensive literature,more like mini ‘Country LIfes’ than leaflets! Paddy Ashdown must have drummed some cash up from somewhere,although if I was agent for any of the other parties I would be crawling ovr the LDs expenses with a fine toothed comb.

  20. Wise words from Anthony….

  21. How long before we conclude that losing AAA was a dud in terms of shifting public opinion or is this a slow burner

  22. Voters are well aware of the debt problem in the UK , ratings from agencies who were ignorant of the problem as the debts mounted will be taken with a large pinch of salt

  23. Apologies if I’ve missed 3it, but has there been any indication as to the Eastleigh turnout? High for a by-election but still lower than GEs, or just low?

  24. @RiN

    I suppose if the other agencies follow suit, it would be more significant. Given GO’s response today, he might have stemmed the immediate criticism. I was expecting him to be fairly mauled…and that’s enough about the HoC from me!

  25. @RAF

    No opinion, but I’m willing to take your word for it.

    Lord Rennard must be watching Berlusconi’s comeback with envy.

    And the vote shares in the Lower House could easily be mirrored in Eastleigh on Thursday – currently 29%, 29%, 25%, 10% for the four main parties.

    This is a useful link:

  26. @RAF
    And this is what exactly happened. Piedmont went to center-left (the missing sections were all from Turin,which always favors c-l). So the final result for the Senate is as follows:
    Center-left 31.6% – 122 seats
    Right 30.7 – 117
    5 Stars: 23.8 -54
    Center (Monti) 9.1 – 21
    Others 1 seat (French-speakers of Val D’Aosta). These numbers include the senators elected by Italians abroad (4 center-left, 2 Monti)
    The (almost) final result for the Lower Chamber (Parliament) is as follows:
    Center-left 29.5
    Center-right 29.1
    5 Stars 25.5
    Monti 10.5
    On the basis of these numbers, C-L has OM (340 seats plus some seats from Italians abroad), the rest is divided proportionally between the other 3 alliances.
    So logically Bersani should be called to form the next government, he has the numbers in Lower House but must forge an (almost improbable!) alliance in the Senate either with Berlusconi or with Grillo (the seats of Monti are not enough). There is no other outcome, there cannot be new elections, as some commentators suggested, because the two Houses cannot be dissolved even if all the parties agreed on it, since President Napolitano is in the last semester of his term and in this case the Constitution denies him this right!! So even if everybody agrees to have new election (probably with a new electoral law, this one is an aberration!), they must first elect a new President after the completion of Napolitano’s term and then go to new GE. But who governs till then?
    On a political level, now, independently of the technicalities of the electoral law, the big winner is of course Grillo and his aganist-all protest movement. All other parties have lost in terms of percentages. The Right lost 19 points (from 48 in 2008 to 29 now), the center-left 4 (from 33.5 to 29.5), the radical left 5 (from 7.5 to 2 and out of parliament). The center won 4 points (from 6.5 to 10.5) due to the new party of Monti Civic Choice (8.5), the other two centrist formations are now almost extinct. These losses render absurd the triumphant declarations of some lieutenants of Berlusconi, they had their worst result ever and the PdL, the party of Berlusconi, is third, in terms of votes, in both Houses (21-22, whereas in 2008 it had 37-38), and the Lega Nord also lost half of its electorate (from 8 to 4%)
    But of course the result is also very disappointing for the center-left coalition, they were not able to counter the populism of Grillo and now they must govern in a very difficult context and with alliances very hard to forge and even harder to keep together.
    Bottom line: Italy did it once more! Its chaotic tendencies are now stronger than ever in a period of great economical and social uncertainty.

  27. @RichardInNorway

    The Downgrade isn’t as dramatic or as sudden an event as Black Wednesday (let alone 2008!) but it feels like the same sort of event.

    Compare John Major. He pinned his credibility on ERM membership and a strong pound. Even though leaving the ERM (and a weaker pound!) was beneficial to the economy, Major’s government couldn’t take credit for it. It looked like an accidental success to the voters.

    My suspicion is that if Labour can keep the Downgrade alive as an issue it will, to a limited extent, innoculate them against any revival in the economy. That is, it will act as a brake on Tory revival, rather than a boost to Labour VI.

  28. Where’s the new thread monitor- he must be fast asleep.

  29. Blimey!!! I can’t be expected to keep up with this: I was on my cocoa break.

  30. @Phil Haines
    Thanks for the link. I’ve been following on LaStampa/Rai, but your link is very mobile friendly.

    Thank for that. I was waiting for the Piedmont results.
    Can Napolitano not just resign? That would make things a little easier.