The monthly online ComRes poll for the Independent on Sunday/Sunday Mirror is out this weekend and has topline figures of CON 28%(-3), LAB 37%(+1), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 17%(+3), Others 9%(-1).

It shows an increase in the Labour lead, putting it much more in line with the lead in other companies’ recent polling (last month’s online ComRes poll had a rather incongruous five point Labour lead that stuck out like a sore thumb), but the finding that will get the attention is probably the UKIP 17%, the highest they’ve had from ComRes and matching their highest from any company.

This may be a good opportunity to update the chart I do every couple of months showing UKIP support, adding a bar with UKIP scores since early January when I last updated it.

graph

As you can see, there is still a huge gap between the level of UKIP reported by different pollsters, with ICM’s polls over the last two and a bit months showing them at just over 7%, while ComRes and Survation show them at 17%. The biggest reason for the difference still seems to be down to mode, with the telephone companies all consistently showing lower levels of UKIP support than the online companies (the exception is YouGov, whose figures are far more in line with those from the established telephone companies). As I’ve said before, this online/telephone gap implies one of two reasons, or a mixture of them. It could be down to interviewer effect, of people being more willing to admit to a computer screen than a phone interviewer that they are supporting UKIP, the alternative would be some sort of sampling issue, of the sort of people many online companies are ending up with in their panels containing more of the people likely to support UKIP. We cannot tell what explanation is more likely, or whether it is down to something completely differently.

Whatever figure is more accurate, the trend is consistent with UKIP support continuing to grow (the two companies that don’t show an increase in UKIP support, Angus Reid and Survation, have not done a national GB voting intention poll in February or March, I expect if they had they too would have shown a further UKIP increase. ComRes’s increase is one of the biggest because of a methodology change. Populus have not published a GB voting intention poll yet this year.)


91 Responses to “ComRes/IoS – CON 28, LAB 37, LD 9, UKIP 17”

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  1. Re; Dr Foster – when I was in the medical stats business (for full disclosure, I worked for a competitor), Dr Foster were seen as being very much better at marketing and lobbying than producing a full range of good-quality data.

    This was some time ago, however, and Dr Foster was relatively new and trying to break into other markets that they have now left, and they may be better now since they linked formally with the DoH (probably their aim at the outset).

  2. That Cyprus savings snatch is horrendous.

    Close the Banking system & nick £5bn of peoples savings-just like that!

    ( What happened to the EU Depositirs Protection rules-100k euros I thought ?)

    An awful lot of Brits-expats-and military too.

    This is certainly a crossing of a Rubicon for the EZ.

    Bank run in Cyprus when they open the system again I should think.

  3. @Colin – “Something went missing in that dash for Foundation status -care.”

    I’m really not so sure we can make such bald statements. While I will happily admit to a constant need to improve, and I am willing to accept institutional failures, I think there is a concerted attempt from certain vested interests to denigrate the NHS. These interests include politically motivated sections of the press, but there are others parts of the media too lazy to research correctly, so I fear we are seeing a process of myth creation going on here.

    A really good example is the reported ‘fact’ that patients at Mid Staffs were ‘forced to drink water from flower vases’.
    This was widely reported across all media outlets, but the actual evidence for this appears to be completely untrue.

    Flowers in vases were banned from Mid Staffs patient units before the period under examination, for hygiene reasons. Patients therefore did not have access to these.

    According to the independent audit , there was a single case of an elderly women suffering severe dementia, whose family made a special request for here to be allowed flowers by her bed. As part of ‘patient care’ the ward managers agreed to this. There was a single incident where it was thought that the highly confused women may have drunk from the vase, but this was never seen or confirmed.

    Looking at some of what was actually said in the recent inquiry, the people who produced the excess deaths figures admitted under questioning that their methodology could not actually predict excess deaths, and to do this would be to miss use the data, yet they are still briefing the press in identical terms.

    I’m sure there was neglect at some level in Mid Staffs and elsewhere, and this simply isn’t good enough, but I am also genuinely concerned that myths regarding NHS performance are being railroaded into the public consciousness, by people with strong financial interests in making this happen and a government happy to accede for their own political ends.

    Much as I am horrified at tales of patients lying in their own excrement, I am equally horrified at the lies and distortions being fed to an eager press.

  4. @Colin – “Something went missing in that dash for Foundation status -care.”

    I’m really not so sure we can make such bald statements. While I will happily admit to a constant need to improve, and I am willing to accept institutional failures, I think there is a concerted attempt from certain vested interests to denigrate the NHS. These interests include politically motivated sections of the press, but there are others parts of the media too lazy to research correctly, so I fear we are seeing a process of myth creation going on here.

    A really good example is the reported ‘fact’ that patients at Mid Staffs were ‘forced to drink water from flower vases’.
    This was widely reported across all media outlets, but the actual evidence for this appears to be completely untrue.

    Flowers in vases were banned from Mid Staffs patient units before the period under examination, for hygiene reasons. Patients therefore did not have access to these.

    According to the independent audit , there was a single case of an elderly women suffering severe dementia, whose family made a special request for here to be allowed flowers by her bed. As part of ‘patient care’ the ward managers agreed to this. There was a single incident where it was thought that the highly confused women may have drunk from the vase, but this was never seen or confirmed.

    Looking at some of what was actually said in the recent inquiry, the people who produced the excess deaths figures admitted under questioning that their methodology could not actually predict excess deaths, and to do this would be to miss use the data, yet they are still briefing the press in identical terms.

    I’m sure there was neglect at some level in Mid Staffs and elsewhere, and this simply isn’t good enough, but I am also genuinely concerned that myths regarding NHS performance are being railroaded into the public consciousness, by people with strong financial interests in making this happen and a government happy to accede for their own political ends.

    Much as I am horrified at tales of patients lying in their own excrement, I am equally horrified at the distortions being fed to an eager press.

  5. @Chris Riley – that’s quite interesting. I’ve just had a lengthy reply to @Colin put into automod, so it might pop out again in due course.

  6. I am interested to know what has happened to collective cabinet responsibility for the Leveson business. If it does not apply here, why does it apply for other issues (e.g. the NHS changes)?

    Did Clegg take a harder line and insist the coalition would be over if Cameron tried to enforce collective responsibility? What exactly happened?

  7. Turk

    “All I see from the UKIP surge is the country is very slowly drifting to the right. ”

    What country is that. then?

  8. ‘“All I see from the UKIP surge is the country is very slowly drifting to the right. ”’

    I dont; the same amount of people are rightwing, they are just moving from the Tories to UKIP. Note the increased vote for Labour.

  9. @Colin – I think you’ve raised a fascinating question on the Cyprus bailout. My understanding is that the EZ is taking this hard line with Cyprus as their banking system is renown for tax evasion and money laundering, but to me this seems typical of the entire approach of the EU.

    If there is wrongdoing, punish the wrongdoers and protect the innocent. However, the interests of the institution with EU thinking will always outweigh the interests of the citizen.

    If human rights legislation is to mean anything, surely it must mean that innocent savers in Cyprus should be entitled to the same rights and protections as in any other EU country? I can foresee some interesting court cases going on here.

  10. I find it extraordinary that “everyone knows” that the Cypriot banking system is stuffed full of illicit funds from Russia. Why doesn’t someone do something about it?

    Where else does “everyone know” that money laundering is rife? The City, presumably?

    It seems like the “Jimmy Savile case” of financial crime.

  11. 7-Day Weighted Averages for each of the 2010 Subsamples (Warning: Subsamples)

    Pre-Eastleigh:
    2010-Con
    Con 76, Lab 6, Lib 1, UKIP 15
    2010-Lab
    Con 3, Lab 91, Lib 2, UKIP 2
    2010-Lib
    Con 11, Lab 39, Lib 38, UKIP 5

    Current VI:
    2010-Con
    Con 73, Lab 6, Lib 2, UKIP 16
    2010-Lab
    Con 3, Lab 89, Lib 2, UKIP 4
    2010-Lib
    Con 8, Lab 35, Lib 42, UKIP 10

  12. @neil A – I’ve regularly read reports stating that anything from 105 – 25% of the turnover in the City is illegal money. It seems to be common knowledge, but the implications and costs of doing anything about it seem to big and too embarrassing.

    It’s worth noting that some of our biggest and finest banks (HSBC – your ‘local’ bank) have been fined massive sums after admitting things like breaching sanctions against Iran and laundering Mexican drug money.

    If only the media could bring the same level of searing indictment to banks and bankers as they do to benefit claimants and migrants we might start to get somewhere.

  13. Colin
    It’s a bit of a Catch-22 situation with the Cyprian banks. If the EU keeps bailing banks out without any pain on the side of the less stable countries, it’ll encourage less stability. Which then could lead to banking collapse.
    If the EU doesn’t bail them out, their banks might collapse.
    And if the EU bail them out with these conditions attached, it could cause a bank-run, which causes the banks to collapse.

  14. Alec

    They were not fined, they agreed to pay a settlement without accepting culpabllity.

  15. @jayblanc

    I agree with your analysis – since the GE Cameron has had to continually feed the Right – essentially that puts them in the mood to eat him whole.

    Personally I think the situation would have been no better, perhaps worse, if Cameron had secured an overall majority. As you say the modernisation was only skin deep. Coalition has served the PM by delaying the inevitable.

    The one firm commitment so far has been from Nigel Farage: there will be no pact while Cameron is leader. There had been open enthusiasm for a pact (Frabricant etc) on the Conservative side before Farage made that conditionality explicit. Noises off from Daniel Hannan/Toby Young etc continue to advocate the Canadian Example.

    If we were to translate that example to the UK, then the next Con PM would in fact be coming from the UKIP wing. That said, the Progressive and Reform parties did all start life as Conservatives.

    Janet Daley yesterday was saying Cameron must find his soul – which she thinks must be further to the right than anything he has presented us with so far.

    It really will come down to that but will, as you suggest, UKIP supporters accomode themselves to this more rightwards centre-right Conservatism? Cameron has already appointed Crosby who is setting out that direction.

    In 2014 the Coalition will in all likelihood come to an end, perhaps earlier amidst some confusion – unless Cameron has given them the real red meat by then I wouldn’t rule out a leadership challenge, all we are lacking as yet is a credible candidate.

  16. I think it is pretty silly for the Free Speech (mmm..not sure that is the correct term for them) folk to advertise on UKPR – we are too well informed to be swayed by Ads – so it’s a bit insulting – they are wasting their money … which is no bad thing.

  17. @John B Dick/Jack

    “I dont; the same amount of people are rightwing, they are just moving from the Tories to UKIP. Note the increased vote for Labour.”

    You raise a fascinating question here. The churn in voting intentions is never symmetrical and one party up 2 points and another party down 2 points aren’t necessarily linear movements between the two. They can be, but there is quite often a complex flow going on underneath the headline figures. Hence the danger of the “up two, down two” references. Of course, some significant VI movements are fairly easy to diagnose, such as the Lib Dem movement to Labour in the wake of the formation of the coalition. No psephological gurus required to tell us what went on there, I don’t think. Equally, while I don’t doubt that the UKIP vote is made up of many and varied former voters of other parties, or no parties at all, we’d be naive, wouldn’t we to argue that the bulk of it isn’t a sullen and rootless right of centre vote? If we accept that, and I think we should, then it is a fairly logical thing to argue that these very low voting intention ratings for the Conservatives now must be due, in the main part, to the UKIP surge; a surge that was detected in the polls well in advance of the Eastleigh by election.

    Now does this mean, as Turk argued, that the UKIP emergence proves that we’re drifting rightwards as a nation? Answers to polling sub-questions on issues like immigration, foreign aid, benefits and the EU would support the hypothesis; they consistently show a “right wing” consensus on these matters. However, no party, and that’s essentially been the Tories over the last 20 years, advocating the sort of policies that one would think would appeal to these “majorities”, has won an election in this country. Generally speaking, when push comes to shove, these centre-right policy prescriptions don’t prevail when people elect governments. Strange, but true.

    So, is the opinion-forming agenda of large chunks of the media a little out of step with the population? I think Blair was cowed by the assumption that we are an intrinsically right of centre country, and governed accordingly with one eye always on Daily Mail editorials, but I think the jury is out on the subject. There is an argument that even through the hegemonic days of Thatcherism, there was a left of centre majority of voters against her but it was split down the middle and, accordingly, was electorally impotent in our FPTP voting system.

    Many, many shades of grey in this argument and generalisations are dangerous. Support in the polls for the NHS and policies like rail re-nationalisation, progressive taxation and a levy on bankers bonuses could lead us to conclude that the country was essentially a left of centre one.

  18. Crossbat11 &c.
    Or maybe you are both correct and the country is drifting both right and left… possibly the “consensus” neo-liberal “centre” is beginning to wane (in the face, it must be said, of its palpable failure).

  19. Colin

    “If UKIP isn’t a md term protest vote , things look bleak for Cons.”

    Yes, but that’s a big IF, as Jayblanc and others have pointed out.

    It is entirely possible that FPTP, too many novice candidates whom the leadership will come to regret, and “events” will give UKIP a result so disappointing to their less savvy and previously disegaged supporters that their VI will returm to pre-2010 levels.

    They may well be back in the game one day, but by slow incremental growth.

    If they were to do impossibly well, they could grow from this point. If they don’t, (having raised expectations) they will be set back decades.The press will ignore them and previously non-voting and Con-voting supporters will revert.

    After 2015 the Westminster elite can return to the comfort of a two-party alternate government.

    The alternate “B” team is necessary should the natural party of government become stale or corrupt. This is the best of all possible constitutional arrangements because one-party states are a bad thing favoured by communists and dictators.

    Brief and infrequent government by the “B” team, however unpleasant it may be, has to be endured in the interests of protecting democracy.

    So Cons used to tell me, anyway.

    The UKIP threat is a narrative that makes easy (= cheap) journalists copy.

    It may well be partly counterbalanced by increased intention to vote for the big two parties.

    It can’t be good for Cons but it isn’t their biggest problem.

  20. @Richard in Norway – “They were not fined, they agreed to pay a settlement without accepting culpabllity.”

    I don’t think you are correct. The FT reported that HSBC and Standard Chartered agreed to pay fines of $2.8B in total over money laundering accusations (see http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/643a6c06-42f0-11e2-aa8f-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2NnJ5xqY7)

    The article states
    “Stuart Gulliver, HSBC’s chief executive, said: “We accept responsibility for our past mistakes. We have said we are profoundly sorry for them, and we do so again. The HSBC of today is a fundamentally different organisation from the one that made those mistakes.”

    That reads suspiciously like an admission of culpability.

  21. Crossbat11 &c.

    “Or maybe you are both correct and the country is drifting both right and left… possibly the “consensus” neo-liberal “centre” is beginning to wane (in the face, it must be said, of its palpable failure).”

    Or maybe the countries are drifting both right and left?

    If what the government is doing to the NHS in England were happening in Scotland there would be blood on the streets.

  22. I’m going to see Billy Bragg. Here’s some lyrics:

    I was a miner
    I was a docker
    I was a railway man
    Between the wars
    I raised a family
    In times of austerity
    With sweat at the foundry
    Between the wars

    I paid the union and as times got harder
    I looked to the government to help the working man
    And they brought prosperity down at the armoury
    “We’re arming for peace me boys”
    Between the wars

    I kept the faith and I kept voting
    Not for the iron fist but for the helping hand
    For theirs is a land with a wall around it
    And mine is a faith in my fellow man
    Theirs is a land of hope and glory
    Mine is the green field and the factory floor
    Theirs are the skies all dark with bombers
    And mine is the peace we knew
    Between the wars

    Call up the craftsmen
    Bring me the draughtsmen
    Build me a path from cradle to grave
    And I’ll give my consent
    To any government
    That does not deny a man a living wage

    Go find the young men never to fight again
    Bring up the banners from the days gone by
    Sweet moderation
    Heart of this nation
    Desert us not, we are
    Between the wars

  23. John B Dick
    as I say to the friends I made in my time in Scotland: if you go, can we northern English come with you?

  24. Did anyone see the Sunday Politics interview with Adam Afriyie
    I am not sure how important in the Tories this guy is but he really, really was no way backing Cameron as leader at the 2015 GE.

    I am really suprised I though leadership talk was nonsense but I am not so sure because surely if Cameron was secure Afriyie would not risk his own career.

  25. CB11, you right that the movement is not straightforward and TFs albeit flawed (he says himself due to being not weighted subsets) analysis supports what many of us intuitively felt.
    That post Eastleight the UKIP lift has come from all 3 parties, in fact more proportionatley from the LDs. This could either be the flaws showing or the ‘protest’ vote finding a new home whether euro-phobe or not.

    At the same time the LDs have taken back support lost since the GE to both Cons and Labour at similar levels.

    IMO – much of this LD lift will prove sustainable and as the GE appraoches all 3 main parties (UK) will recover off UKIP with the Tories gaining back the most as they have to lost the most.

    Summary of 2013 so far, OK for Labour, Encouraging for LDs, worrying for Cons. (Excellent for UKIP but under fptp psepholigically less significant but relevant in what the cons may do to try to attract back support costing them in the centre perhaps?)

    FWIW – I think the chances of another omnishambles budegt are very slim and that GO will pull some rabbits out of the hat to make the immediate impact of the budget on VI minimal.

    As welfare and local services cuts start to bite affecting not only headlines but people or people we know I reckon the LDs have done enough to pin the most blame for the ‘perceived’ excesses on the Tories who may see a modest reduction in VI until the conference season unless some event intervenes.

    Levison minimal BTW imo other than helping LD differentiation.

  26. @COLIN

    “…Funniest thing on UKPR for a very long time…”

    * They banned the “Flintstones” in Dubai
    * So the people in Dubai don’t watch it
    * But the people in ABU DHABI DOOOO…

    Pause.

    You’re welcome.

    rgdsm

  27. looks like everything’s gone red this weekend… Wales’ giving rugby lessons out for free, Spirit of ’45 on in my local cinema and Billy Bragg back on a proper tour with audiences and everything.
    Shame there isn’t a decent left of center English soccer club anymore – have to stick on a St Pauli video methinks.

  28. ALEC Re Mid Staffs, I am content with the Francis Report’s conclusions & the campaigners’ stories .

    I am pleased with Hunt’s initiatives on care.

  29. Cheesewolf

    As my one-time Lab MP said, “Independence is a terrible thing to do to the English”

    It’s a metropolitan myopia problem isn’t it? Otherwise, with competent government and a parliamentary system fit for purpose, there would be no SNP.

  30. ALEC

    I think some of Cyprus’s savers may not be so “innocent” if reports are to be believed.

    But Russians apart , an awful lot of ordinary folk-retired expats etc-have been hit.

    I am reading that the Cyprus Government wasn’r exactly averse to this measure-so where the real impetus came from is interesting.

    What is the security of a savings deposit in Spain, Portugal, Greece……..?

    Yes-court cases galore I should think & widespread nervousness about the whole EZ banking set up -yet again.

  31. Alec

    Only courts can impose fines and the banks in question as usual admited mistakes but not guilt because mistakes are not the same as deliberate policy. This has been a long standing tradition in banking regulation that nothing is ever taken to court and the financial institutions accept that mistakes were made but do not accept guilt that would leave then liable to civil cases. Of course the real problem with nothing ever going to court is that the public never get see what evidence has been collected and during court cases other crimes can come to light

  32. The justification for not taking financial institutions to court is that it could cause financial panic and the collape of unrelated institutions. Too big to jail as some commentators have put it

  33. “It could be down to interviewer effect, of people being more willing to admit to a computer screen than a phone interviewer that they are supporting UKIP”

    ——————————————————————————-

    Could it also be an “Internet Troll” effect, where people feel they can say what the hell they like because it’s on the internet?

  34. I am no expert and will happily stand corrected if I am wrong.

    But as I understand Cyprus has a tax system which allows millionaire expats to reside while paying a tax rate of 5%.

    If this is indeed the case .

    Surely the lesson that our government should take on board isn’t one that you need to cut further and deeper but that you need to maximise the tax take from those with the deepest pockets.

  35. @RiN – I understand. It’s interesting that the banks have allowed the reporting to talk of fines and wrongdoing, without issuing any challenge. Presumably as they too don’t wish to air dirty linen in public.

  36. Steve

    The govt will only learn the lessons it wants to

  37. @Coupar2802 – “I am really suprised I though leadership talk was nonsense…..”

    I’ve heard this a few times, and really scratched my head about it.

    Cameron has never been liked by the bulk of his party – tolerated yes, liked, no. He has return the feeling amply, especially to many of his own backbenchers.

    It’s been clear, even since before the GE, that the knives would come out for Cameron quickly if things didn’t go well, and there is little loyalty for him. As far as I was concerned, the internal party stresses have been obvious for a very long time, and the much more remarkable thing would have been not to have speculation about a leadership challenge in these circumstances.

    This isn’t to say that a challenge would be successful. Somewhat perversely, I suspect that the expectation of defeat is helping Cameron. While it encourages opponents to speak their mind about him, it discourages them from actually mounting a challenge. Far better to take the 2015 hit, ditch Cameron and then take your chance to rebuild. Taking over now and losing in 2015 naturally puts any challenger come leader back on probation and makes blaming the predecessor more awkward.

    I don’t really see any other prospect than continued rumblings for the next couple of years, with possibly an actual challenge later this year. Cameron really doesn’t have much going for him, and Tories know this. While he remains an asset to them, his value is shrinking.

    While this is in part a natural consequence of governing, especially in hard times, there seems to be a growing recognition in Tory ranks that he simply isn’t very good. I’m trying not to be partisan on this, but I think you would struggle to find anyone who seriously argues that this government has displayed competence and effectiveness in the practical matters of government, such as policy formulation, practical delivery and political communication. There is an increasing air of shambles in and around No 10, and I don’t think Tory backbenchers rate Cameron’s abilities. Their faces when they heard Milliband’s ‘is there anything you could organise in a brewery’ gag were telling, in my opinion.

  38. @Chris Riley, Alec, Colin

    There’s much else of immediate interest going on and Dr Foster is essentially a long-term concern. Nevertheless I would be very interested in Chris’s take on the general “;Foster method” and its appropriateness.

    My own view, for what its worth, is that Dr Foster have overstated their case by talking of this number of unnecessary deaths. Picking the tail of a distribution will always produce some whose score is accidentally exaggerated and who will revert to something nearer the mean if left to their own devices. Even those who consistently score badly (and according to Dr F there were only four of those out of the 14 currently being investigated) may be doing something like recording their data in ways unlikely to be doing them favours or taking in patients who are high risk in ways that the system does not recognise).

    For these reasons I would not personally regard this kind of data as doing more than raising a serious question. It would be only if one found that the poor results were in keeping with other data collected in a different way and pointing in the same direction that one would start to think of cause and effect..

    All that said, I do think that this kind of approach can do a lot for public services. In fields about which I know more (not difficult as I know nothing about health data) there seem to be quite unacceptable variations in the apparent outcomes achieved by public authorities, institutions etc and it seems to me that this approach does offer one way of concentrating minds and raising overall quality.

    As Chris seems to have been a professional in this field. I would be very interested in his general views (as opposed to his views of Dr Foster who may or may not be a charlatan)

  39. @Alec,

    I don’t think that, given the circumstances it is in, this government has been particularly worse than any other in the range of functions you list.

    QPR have done terribly under Redknapp. That doesn’t mean Redknapp is a bad manager.

    There have been dire moments – chief amongst them last year’s budget – but I’m afraid you are being a little partisan.

    If Hercules had only completed half of his Labours, he would still have been a great man.

  40. I’m quite shocked by the random nature of the Cyprus tax on savings. It seems pure luck as to who gets to take a hit. Someone with wealth in other things like property, shares etc gets away without paying a penny even if they are richer.

    Also economically it sends out a bad signal to other EU Countries. I am sure there will not be a run on European banks tomorrow but if a country starts to look dodgy again then the precedent is ‘well look what happened in Cyprus better get my money out’.

  41. Tells you all you need to know about the EU and just how important we leave asap.

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