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.


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. Whilst the UKIP rise is very interesting – is the big story not the Conservative fall…. other side of the same coin???

  2. If UKIP maintain this level of support, it is going to become very tempting for many Tories to do a deal with them. i.e if you don’t put a candidate up against me, then I will support a no vote in a referendum and push for a referendum on an in/out vote at the earliest opportunity.

  3. Lord Ashcroft conducted a poll on ukip and Europe was barely mentioned as to reasons for supporting the party, ukip as Tim Montgomorie commented has become the dustbin of anger from tt he bedroom tax and cuts to welfare from the left to anti gay marriage the granny tax and those wanting lower taxes in inheritance and top rates of tax. Eastleigh showed a similar increase of votes from lib dems and Tories the idea ukip are disaffected Tory supporters is a myth.

  4. Corkscrew – not really. The apparent drop in Conservative support is not significant (it is just bringing ComRes into line with the wider polling picture after their unusual figures last month – essentially they are just a month behind in showing the unwind from Cameron’s referendum pledge).

    The rise in UKIP support over recent months hasn’t really been mirrored by an increase in the Labour lead over the Conservatives – its still around about 10 points – so while it’s produced some lower Conservatives figures, those must be being matched by some lower Labour figures or the lead would have changed!

  5. I find ComRes to be an interesting pollster – with them Conservatives managed to maintain close to their 2010 GE levels throughout 2011 – all other companies showed a dip in Tory support after the 2012 buget/local elections, but it is more marked on ComRes graphs (and ICM perhaps). If they only started polling in 2005 then 28% must be an all time low.

    Btw, another freudian slip above: “rather incongruous five point Tory lead that stuck out like a sore thumb”… though I’m not suggesting you need to see someone about that AW.

  6. Ashcroft found that 10% of UKIP supporters might vote Con at a GE, & 34% don’t know who they would vote for at a GE.

  7. Think there’s a slip of the pen there, Athony – last month wasn’t a 5% Tory lead, which would indeed have stuck out!

  8. Was just about to say the same to Billy Bob – that would have REALLY stuck out!

  9. With a ‘four party’ system potentially emerging in England, is it time to put the crude ‘Labour lead’ measurement to bed?

    If Tories continue to decline and the main beneficiaries are UKIP, Lab lead will obviously rise even if Lab remains stationary or declines at a slower rate. Similar issue with Lab support largely coming from ex-Libs. Lab lead has been smaller on similar absolute VI, than Con lead in the Brown era.

  10. I’m amazed that ComRes didn’t change their method again to get the UKIP on 18%; they’d have got a ‘highest ever’ headline from it which, in the past, seemed to be their criteria for method tweaks.

  11. Wales 30 points, England 3 points.

    Almost as big a shock as the 1970 GE result.

    Contrasting emotions in our household.


    THanks Anthony, the voice of reason and rationale as always.

  13. Ha – what a joke? Are we really meant to believe this? Lol.

  14. The point surely is that no pollster disagrees about the trend, only the extent of it. Thanks for those graphs AW, puts it all in a nutshell.,

  15. @ R Huckle

    If UKIP maintain this level of support, it is going to become very tempting for many Tories to do a deal with them. i.e if you don’t put a candidate up against me, then I will support a no vote in a referendum and push for a referendum on an in/out vote at the earliest opportunity.
    Why would that temp the UKIP to withdraw candidates? The individual promisor could simply renege after the election if there was no formal Tory/UKIP pact.

  16. More polling grist to the mill here, with this latest ComRes suggesting that the recent ICM showing UKIP declining to 7% was, how shall we say, deserving of some liberal dollops of healthy scepticism!

    That said, I think a general picture is now forming from across all the pollsters. The Tories are clearing living in that scary nether-land of 25-28% and, if I wasn’t the sober soul I am, and was more prone to hyperbole and melodrama, I’d start thinking of terms like meltdown here. It is quite obvious that the UKIP post-Eastleigh surge is beginning to hole the Tories below the waterline and I can well understand why Conservative supporters are thinking of all sorts of scenarios why most of this desertion will return their way come May 2015. It must be the only means by which they can get to sleep at night, especially with local elections barely 6 weeks away and another opportunity looming for Farage to frighten the Tory horses some more!

    In some ways, we’re probably missing the bigger picture by concentrating on what has happened since Eastleigh. UKIP had done most of their dirty work with a proportion of the Tory vote some 6 months ago and this was probably what lay behind Cameron’s EU Referendum gambit. His private polls must have been telling him he was haemorrhaging support to UKIP all the Eastleigh by-election did was more or less put this message up in big bright red lights that spelt danger.

    I repeat what I’ve said before; the rise of UKIP is a big, almighty problem for the Conservative Party, not Labour or the Lib Dems, and if I was Miliband or Clegg, I’d be cheering on Farage with great gusto from the sidelines. I used to imagine Thatcher doing something similar in 1983, kneeling down in front of an Alliance election poster saying, “Thank you David, and your little sidekick, the other David. Oh, thank you both very, very much indeed!” My enemies enemy is my friend, remember! lol

    Still, after our fine win in the vital six-pointer against QPR this afternoon, I’m off to the Skinners Arms for one or two lotions!

    ………….and I will be avoiding any celebrating Welshmen I see wherever possible!!

  17. This looks like a new ICM Wisdom Index:

    Lab 36, Con 30, LD 18

  18. I’m not sure that doing a deal would be the wisest move for UKIP if they want to become a serious political party. They need only ask the Lib-Dems what happens to the levels of support of a party benefiting from the protest vote when that same party gets into bed with one of the larger parties who people have been increasingly turning against. I don’t think UKIP’s newfound support is solid or loyal enough to withstand what many might consider a betrayal.

  19. All I see from the UKIP surge is the country is very slowly drifting to the right. If you accept the Tories are right of centre and UKIP is to the right of the Tories.
    Dispite those that think EM will be rejoicing, the otherside of that coin is the likelihood of them gaining seats in the south and maybe some seats further north begins to deminish with the rise of UKIP of course the same applies to the Tories.
    Maybe we will see in the upcoming council elections how strong UKIP support really is if it’s strong then UKIP could be a problem for both main parties if not then as we approach the GE I wouldn’t be suprised to see a drift back to the main parties and then we will see were most of UKIP support comes from.

  20. @Turk,

    Nope I don’t think that’s right. A sustained boost from UKIP will harm only the Tories. You might be right if we had AV or PR, but we don’t.

    The big question is whether the current UKIP surge is a fad or whether something fundamental is going on in Tory ranks (perhaps as a result of the Gay Marriage issue, or general disillusionment over austerity).

    It’s far too early to say. Logic suggests that the Euro elections will be the high tide of the surge. What really counts is a) how the Tories react to the challenge and b) what happens after the Euros.

  21. @Colin – (FPT) “My God !

    I’m getting increasingly dubious about these stories. the source of them is the Dr Foster Intelligence company, who claim to be the leader in medical statistics and information provision. They charge hospitals tens of thousands for analytical data that many independent analysts seem to question (as was done at the Mid Staffs inquiry) and in particular their stats on ‘unnecessary deaths’ look somewhat dubious. An independent review of Mid Staffs cases of neglect found that ‘possibly’ one unnecessary death may have occurred (although to be clear, it was not challenging cases of neglect).

    I’m increasingly distrustful of some of the pronouncements from the Dr Foster group, as they have a clear financial interest in persuading trusts that they need to adopt their own monitoring methodology.

    I’ve now read

  22. The obvious all be it unlikely alternative to a Tory/UKIP deal would be a Tory split with UKIP as a right of centre SDP.

    I am still doubtful about UKIp’s rise come an election or for that matter a Tory swing to the right surviving the glare of a general election.

    The Tory press might like the idea of abandoning the ECHR but it would mean leaving the 47 member Council of Europe to create a club of two.. The UK and Belarus, Europe’s last dictatorship!

    Would people really vote for that.


  23. @colin

    You may be right. My own guess is that it would be difficult to say without looking into their statistical methods in a lot more detail.

    I don’t think that the Staffordshire inquiry was definitive on this. They seem to have been studying individual cases and looking for people who were, say, given a wrong injection or otherwise more or less ‘killed’. However, additional deaths could have occurred because the individuals died from perfectly understandable causes (say complications after surgery) and it seems to me difficult to be know whether such deaths are ‘necessary’ or unnecessary without looking at groups of cases and using some statistical procedure,

  24. @Colin and Alec

    Apologies my last post was addressed to Colin and meant to go to Alec.

  25. I think this poll (and others similar) shows discontent with politicians in general – if it is handily forgotten that UKIP contains such things too, plus some mid-term blues. I don’t think unless UKIP hit say 25% they will get enough seats to have serious influence in parliament beyond making a Conservative government impossible.

    While Labour are on c. 40% it does not matter that much how the centre right is divided in FPTP – it’s still a centre left victory of some sort, unless perhaps by some seemingly unlikely event either UKIP vanishes or does a deal with the Conservatives.

    As for me, I’m now watching the events in Cyprus, ie the levy on savers. I’ve read about people thinking that by voting UKIP and leaving the EU they might escape such things. Not so easily avoided, I think.

  26. Alec/Colin

    Enough in itself to vote YES irrespective of any other consideration.

  27. Adverts from the free speech network. The name leads me to suspect that its an example double think?

  28. I’m interested to know if there is any proof of the UKIP claim that at Eastleigh at least a percent of their vote came from people who had previously not been, or had stopped, voting at all. Are there any figures or facts to support this?

    If they really are addressing this part of the electorate then it could be fruitul. A large chunk of the population don’t go out to vote at all and if UKIP can persuade even a percentage of these out of the door then they will not have to rely on just stealing the voters from other parties.

  29. 1 million pound fines the advert is saying as part of the toughest press regulation in the world!! Lol I would be impressed but I’m pretty sure that’s a maximum rather than a minimum. Of course I believe in very tough penaltys for corporate crime, 10% of annual turnover.for the first offence 50% for the second and 100% for the third. I doubt that a 4 offence would occur. Its my version of 3 strikes and you are out

  30. Clare

    I believe it and you are right to point this out

  31. I have been following the Cyprus bailout levy; it will be interesting to see whether the proposal of bank equity in exchange for the levy is enforceable. A government can impose taxes but can it impose a private sector equity investment on the customers of banks? It will be interesting to see whether this part of the proposal appears in the final legislation &, if it does, what the ‘shape’ of it will be. IMO, at the end of the day, it will be government ‘bailout’ bonds which will be issued, not equity in the banks themselves. We shall have to await developments.

  32. It amazes me how little the political class/media/people commenting on here understand what is happening with the wave of UKIP.
    All I ever hear from these factions is UKIP splitting torries or torries voting UKIP instead, what is it you guys simply don’t understand when the evidence is so clear in front of you.

    Ukip’s wave isn’t just tories who are pissed, far from it, they make up a mere minimal faction, it’s people who have had enough, people who have never voted before, people who see their party lib/lab/con becoming so similar it makes no difference which one you vote for, the main base behind UKIP is we see something new, a fresh start, a new hope, we are sick of being lied to, promises gone back on, corruption, you may except it and treat it as a game but we have had enough, it’s time for someone else to have a go, if UKIP go back on their promises the BNP will be back.
    Stop under estimating UKIP, in reality it’s the people, the media tried to silence UKIP, the 3 main parties tried, they all failed, the future is very uncertain now in politics.

  33. @Clare

    The problem with campaigning towards people who don’t vote, is they don’t vote. Now, it may very well be that the rise of UKIP draws some non-voters back into the habit of going to the polls.

    But how many of them will realise “Oh yeah, should have voted today” at 10pm. Or go to the polling booth, and be turned away because they threw their voter registration form in the bin. And I suspect a lot of the UKIP’s support comes from those who habitually tuned out ‘the election’ and may find it very hard to undo that habit.

    Some polls try to include this variable by asking “how likely are you to vote”, but that’s not infallible. The last Ipsos Mori puts those who thought it likely to certain that they would vote at 81%, which would be a very high turnout against recent elections.

    You can go further by limiting it to those who say they would certainly vote, but then you have the problem that people say they are certain when they really mean likely. And a lot of people who would certainly vote, are modest and say they’d only probably vote.

    Hence talking about ‘soft polling numbers’. The current relatively high UKIP vote is a fine example of ‘soft polling numbers’, a group of people recently swayed into noting their support, but not tested by time or result. The numbers could firm up, either by being consistent over time, or by showing actual results in a by-election. But till now, it would be unwise to assume UKIP will go into the election still having a national vote share higher than the Lib Dems.

    I actually do think that’s possible, but I wouldn’t even want to give the odds on it happening. It would certainly be unwise of the CCHQ to ignore UKIP as a threat to marginals. But I’m not sure what they can do about it.

    “Pandering to their right flank” doesn’t actually appear to be working. And I’ve discussed this before, I think that every time Cameron makes some shallow anti-EU posturing or social issue dog-whistles, he’s just giving them enough scraps of red meat that they’ll want ‘the real thing’ from UKIP.

    Cameron’s attempts to draw his right wing back to him, seem to just be counter productive legitimisation of UKIP policies. At least to those on the right wing of the Conservative party. I do think at some point those defecting to UKIP will end up doing a fairly large amount of soul searching once they realise who they’ve thrown in with. At that point they might move back, and towards the moderate centre of the Conservatives. But that might take another couple of election cycles.

    Alas, Cameron’s problem is that he ended up in Government before he finished modernising his party.

  34. Good Morning All.

    Happy St Patrick’s Day to everyone.12% lead in YG.
    Interesting to see how Nick Clegg moves over the Leveson crisis.

  35. ALEC

    I hope you are right.

    I fear you are wrong.

    Something went missing in that dash for Foundation status -care.

    I think Hunt is focused on bringing care back up the priorities. So the issue should be a historic one.

    Which doesn’t help aggrieved relatives.

  36. 70% of Catholics think their church should allow priests to get married ( officially one presumes).

    Extraordinary .

  37. Sub 30s looking very worrying.

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

  38. Con 29, Lab 41, Lib 12, UKIP 12
    Approval -38

    Leadership Approval
    Cameron 32 (-2)
    Miliband 30 (+3)
    Clegg 18 (nc)
    Osborne 17

    Net Approval:
    Cameron -30 (-6)
    Miliband 25 (+7)
    Clegg -54 (-1)
    Osborne -50

    “Do you think the government’s strategy for strengthening Britain’s economy and bringing public finances back into balance over the long term…” (Changes on Oct 2012)
    Has started to work 7 (-7)
    Has not yet started to work but will fairly soon 12 (-2)
    Has not yet started to work but will eventually 24 (+5)
    Is not working and is unlikely to work 45 (+1)
    DK 13 (+3)

    “How much confidence, if any, do you have in David Cameron and the coalition government to steer the country out of the current economic crisis?”
    Total Confidence – 33 (-4)
    Total No Confidence – 66 (+5)
    DK 5 (-1)

    Do you think Osborne should remain in the job?
    Remain – 17 (-3)
    Should be replaced – 51 (-2)
    DK 32 (+5)

    What should the government do with government spending?
    Should cut spending more and use the money saved to reduce government borrowing – 15
    Should cut spending more and use the money saved to cut taxes – 17
    Should keep spending cuts at their current level – 25
    Should cut spending less, funded by borrowing more money – 11
    Should cut spending less, funded by increasing taxes – 14
    DK – 17
    It should be noted here that the smallest group with DKs is Tory voters and the largest group with DKs is Labour voters, which distorts the figures of ‘support for Tory heterodox plans on spending’ over ‘support for Labour heterodox plans’.

    What should the government do on taxes?
    Should cut taxes, funded by bigger cuts in public spending – 17
    Should cut taxes, funded by borrowing more money – 7
    Should keep taxes at their current level – 38
    Should increase taxes, using the money to reduce spending cuts – 17
    Should increase taxes, using the money to reduce government borrowing – 5
    DK – 16

    It’s a shame that these questions weren’t asked all together, given that the number of plans here are:
    Keep taxes the same – Keep cutting the same (Borrowing the same)
    Keep taxes the same – Cut more (Reduced borrowing)
    Keep taxes the same – Cut less (Increased borrowing)
    Reduce taxes – Keep cutting the same (Increase borrowing)
    Reduce taxes – Cut more (Borrowing the same)
    Reduce taxes – Cut less (Increased borrowing)
    Increase taxes – Keep cutting the same (Reduced borrowing)
    Increase taxes – Cut more (Reduced borrowing)
    Increase taxes – Cut less (Borrowing the same)
    [Note: I realise that Keynsian economics would say that we could borrow more in the short term (keep taxes the same, cut less or keep cutting the same but reduce taxes) to borrow less in the long-term, but I’m just putting forward the short-term issues. The questions would be phrased as YouGov does.. ‘.. even if that means more borrowing’]

    So there will obviously be a disconnect in result between the spending plan question and tax question because you’re only comparing some of the options against each other.

  39. COLIN.
    Good Morning to you.
    The question of marriage for priests is complex and looks a bit like this:
    i. Could the Pope allow Priests, who left Ministry in order to marry, to return to active Priesthood?

    ii. Could men who are married already be admitted to Priesthood? (As in the Russian and Greek Churches)

    iii. Could priests who are still active in Priesthood-Ministry be allowed to marry and still remain Priests? (The Armenian Church allows this; the others do not).

    iv. In terms of women priests, the Pope has not the authority to change the ‘doctrine’. In any case the Russian and Greek Churches, with whom the ‘Papacy’ is seeking unity are implacably opposed to women priests…. I think it will come one day, but not in my life time, I am 58 in May.

    I hope ‘we’ do take action on this. At the moment we are nicking priests from Africa.

    Nevertheless, married priests is no panacea for ills, I think.

    Hope that puts the picture fairly. Numbers of seminarians are rising in ‘the West’. The period 1920-1960 saw a major above trend growth of ‘vocations’ and the period from 1960 to circa 2000 saw a massive drop below trend.

  40. Interesting budget ‘exclusive’ from The Sun:
    Osborne to invest £10bn in house building and increase income tax threshold to £10k.

    So £10bn in spending cuts from elsewhere or ‘borrowing more to borrow less’?

  41. Pre-Eastleigh 7-day weighted Average:
    Con 32, Lab 43.2, Lib 10.8, UKIP 8.7
    Approval: -34.8

    Current 7 Day Weighted Average figures:
    VI: Con 30.2 (-1.8), Lab 41.2 (-2), Lib 11.4 (+0.6), UKIP 11.6 (+2.9)
    Approval: -37 (-2.2)

    Con 32 (-2), Lab 43 (-2), Lib 11 (nc), UKIP 12 (+3)
    Approval -37 (-2)

  42. TF – as always appreciate your number crunching and confirms what we collectively have been suggesting.

    Since Eastleigh UKIP have gained 1-2% from both Lab and Cons net and that LD lifting a little, in fact over 1/2%, roughly an extra ‘supporter’ for every 20 before . Also, It may be that they have gained off the other 2 and lost a few to UKIP which may mean gaining harder support than that lost. Will they hold this modest boost on top of the earlier 2013 lift, we shall see?

  43. If UKIP starts to enter the mid to high teens, what the Tories might start to have to fear is a Labour landslide, not because Labour is doing good, they’re doing pretty badly IMO; the problem is that the split in the Right Wing vote tends to exaggerate landslides when they happen. The 1993 Canadian Election comes to mind. I see it looking significantly worse for the Tories than the Swing Calculator suggests.

  44. “Con 32 (-2), Lab 43 (-2), Lib 11 (nc), UKIP 12 (+3)”
    Should read
    Con 30 (-2), Lab 41 (-2)..

    Jim Jam
    Well we have the post-budget figures to deal with by next weekend. That could be interesting.

  45. Don’t like all this advertising by these free speech people, no doubt funded by the press. They appear to only give half the story. They don’t mention that this new Royal charter body will not really be independent, but will be appointed by the press media and have a code of conduct that they have written.

    The statutory underpinning is to make sure that the Royal Charter body is trully independent and this is what the press do not like.

  46. Balls and Osborne both on Marr this morning and I look forward to the body language between them when they perch on the same couch together at the end of the programme!

    Another sub 30 for the Tories in the latest YouGov, a pollster that tends to have them a little higher than other polling organisations. I don’t know if we have a number-cruncher out there with the patience and perseverance to calculate it, but I’d be interested in comparing the VI ratings average for the four parties in non-You Gov polls with the rolling YouGov average. I think the difference between the Tory VI and UKIP VI averages would be stark.

    Of course, as I’ve said before, the post Eastleigh movement showing an equal Tory and Labour VI reduction, more or less commensurate with the UKIP rise, only tells us a small part of what has been happening over the last 6 months. UKIP have done most of their damage to the Tories pre-Eastleigh. The Tory to UKIP movement, by far the most significant of all the voting migrations, occurred some time ago and this was detected when UKIP started appearing in the high teens in the polls some time ago. Post Eastleigh polling data is a bit of a red herring, to be honest.

    @Ambivalent Supporter

    I think you may be right, although Labour in the high 30s, low 40s isn’t doing badly, especially after the 2010 result. Might/could be doing better possibly, but hardly “doing pretty badly”. That might be a tad harsh, I think.

  47. “I don’t know if we have a number-cruncher out there with the patience and perseverance to calculate it, but I’d be interested in comparing the VI ratings average for the four parties in non-You Gov polls with the rolling YouGov average”
    Two problems I see-
    1) You’re comparing Apples with Oranges
    2) The infrequency of the other pollsters means that the possibility of error is much larger

  48. Well, if nothing I am a realist, and these polls are getting pretty scary for the Tories. UKIP really hurting their vote, and whilst they might be taking 1-2% from Labour, what seems to be the case is that the core 35%+ vote of Labour is much more solid than the top up Tory vote above 28%.

    Much as I like Theresa May, I don’t think it would change things hugely. At this rate I think Cameron himself might be unemployed in circa 2 years.


    Thank you.

    It all sounds terribly complicated-I expect that’s half the problem in such a bureaucratic & powerful institution.

    I shouldn’t think there are any “panaceas”. Human beings do bad things sometimes.

    But I think 70% of your faith are correct in believing that married clergy would help.

    And I think the 62% who think your Church has handled child abuse badly, are correct too.

  50. R HUCKLE

    @”Don’t like all this advertising by these free speech people, ”

    Love it !

    Funniest thing on UKPR for a very long time .

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