ComRes’s monthly telephone poll for the Independent is out tonight, and has topline figures of CON 32%(+4), LAB 38%(nc), LDEM 9%(-3), UKIP 13(-1). Changes are from the last ComRes telephone poll at the end of March, before the death of Margaret Thatcher and before the recent narrowing in the polls which this poll obviously reflects to some extent.

UPDATE: The Sun have also tweeted tonight’s YouGov poll, which has topline figures of CON 30%, LAB 39%, LD 11%, UKIP 14%. The UKIP score is the highest that YouGov have yet shown for the party. As ever, one shouldn’t read too much into a single poll but given the publicity that UKIP have received over the last few days it would not surprise me to see an increase. I would not expect lots of publicity about a handful of loony council candidates for UKIP to do them much harm to what is largely an anti-immigration, anti-government, anti-establishment and protest vote – people are sending a message, not picking a government. If anything the coverage of them, and the implication that other parties are taking them seriously enough to bother attacking them, could well help.

101 Responses to “New ComRes and YouGov polls”

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  1. @Bluebob

    I didn’t specify the BBC – I was referring more to the newspapers.

    FWIW I think the BBC is broadly balanced.

  2. Steve,

    Not all negative.

    Unfunded spending of 120 billion would be a significant boost for demand in the economy which I expect would lead to a reduction in unemployment and growth. It is a much bigger stimulus than anyone else is proposing. Worth a try, but why give it all to the rich?

    The stimulus would have to be removed once the recovery has got going of course, but the extent of that would depend on how much growth there is.

  3. The BBC take much of their news agenda from the press…

    Hence hardly anything about the Lords and the NHS the other day.

    Rowson did a cartoon about it…

    Check out the BBC invisibility cloak etc…

  4. The problem with the UC rollout is if it is not ready or when it goes live across the country it goes bang… it will be seen as a failure

    I can see many problems that are going to happen with the live update system… of course whether the public get to know or if a gag is placed over the procedure…

    When any new system goes live it will cause exceptions within the system, it is at that point real people will suffer, in big business when introducing a new software system they take into account it will take years to actually get it working correctly and keep the old system running alongside so the customer sees and feels nothing… I actually get the feeling IDS is going for all or nothing…

  5. Colin – no, 18% of 2010 Tories said UKIP (while it doesn’t really matter in the greater scheme of things, the sheer ubiquity of this error really grates on me! 18% of 2010 Tories say don’t know or won’t vote, 22% of the rest – that is 18% of 2010 Tories – said UKIP. Even otherwise sensible people like John Curtice keep making the same damn error!)

  6. Anthony,

    That’s because the YG tables are misleading. Under
    Other Parties Voting Intention it should say:
    [Excluding Don’t knows and Wouldn’t votes]

    I’ve always assumed that all of the other rows include DK and WV but since the headings are inconsistent it isn’t completely clear…

  7. I think the LD 9% on Comres may turm out to be an outlier or at least at the very edge of MOE.


    Don’t interrupt It’s fun!

  9. AW


    Recognising your expertise in the matter, clearly makes for an understanding of your frustration.

    However. in light of your observation that “sensible people” like John Curtis can make make the same sort of error as simpletons like me , may I make a suggestion.

    The words :-“Headline Voting Intention
    [Excluding Don’t knows and Wouldn’t votes]” do not do the job you think they are doing.

    Idiots like me-as well as cognoscenti like Curtis still look at a column of figures :-71 +4+2+23 & make that 100.

    Why not express those numbers as :-
    C 58
    Lab 3
    LD 2
    Other 19
    DK 18

    …and drop the words in brackets , which few appear to read.

    One doesn’t always read OPs armed with a ready calculator.

  10. BB

    Well spotted.

    I think it must be a Freudian thing of some sort-or Yungian?

  11. HAL


  12. Hal
    If it was in the form of funded (ie borrowed) spending for infrastructure development you would have a point.

    However,as far as I can tell and tbh UKIP’s economic polices other than saying they would save money by leaving the EU are a bit thin on the ground what they propose is a tax give away, massively skewed towards the wealthiest, combined with a reduction of disposable income for anyone who doesn’t currently pay NIC (Eg the over Pension aged)

    This in general means less spend in the UK ( lower incomes spend the highest percentage of their income in the UK )and more off shoring of wealth by the richest.

  13. Interesting polling yesterday (Comres and YG) with Comres displaying a firmer ‘bounce’ fo Con, due to the large gap between their polls. I did not discover the fieldwork date of Comres.

    As it is a big day in NL, perhaps time to reflect that the PVV (Dutch UKIP) is now once again the largest party there, according to Maurice de Hond (their AW) sitting on 27 out of 150 second chamber seats (their HoC) or 18%. So under PR I conclude that UKIP might well achieve similar here. It is also worth remembering that they also have a ‘saga’ party for over 50s that has climbed to 11 seats (7.3%). So the real Victor Meldrew percentage is probably a quarter of all voters.

    I hope these comparisons from your Dutch correspondent are found interesting, as we have not heard from our Continental Correspondent Virgilio of late.

    My family has gone on a centerparcs type break to escape the, er, excitement, of the investiture. Charles and Camilla will have an interesting floodlit trip this evening over the huge central river (The Ij) where Rembrandt van Rijn sketched the servant woman’s body hanging on the north side after she had been executed for murdering her mistress.

    The Dutch Royal family are tolerated but for 24 hours only in republican libertarian Amsterdam and are allowed in only once per year, to their own Palace, on the Dam! It was Napoleon’s brother Louis’ palace, once.

    Not many people know that. :-)

  14. Mind you it’s a bit academic as Farage has as much chance of participating in the next government as my cat!

  15. So the real Victor Meldrew percentage is probably a quarter of all voters.

    -Nonsense my wife assures me I am the One and Only real Victor Meldrew.

  16. Steve

    UKIP would not give a tax rise to an average pensioner, Nigel Farge has said he does not support a tax rate for all anymore(from question time last week)! The 31% is just tax and NI rolled into one and no tax on first £13,000, which helps the worse off! Basic rate tax payers will be no worse off [snip] This will help growth by increasing the demand(purchasing power) of many who have been hit hard by inflation.

    A pensioner on £13,000 will get a £600 per year tax cut. Richer pensioners may be worse off, but whats wrong with that?

  17. Well the governments unfunded approach doesn’t seem to be working.

    Reducing taxs for the poor will lead to job creation and an increase in many taxes like VAT, when people spent their money.

    Say im on £13,000, get taken out of tax on my income. So instead of paying 30%(tax and NI) on my taxed wage of £4,000(£9000 currently tax free) I am £1200 better off, so I spend it in the shops paying VAT, the shops employ extra staff, a saving on housing, JSA, housing benefits etc. The employee now pay tax and the business makes more so pays more in corporation tax. Now the business owner will have more money to spend him/herself and more money to invest. That’s how it works.

    Longer term more growth means we all pay less tax.

  18. Comres -thanks to our colleague Katie (last thread) I found out the fieldwork was ‘between 26th and 28th April 2013’.

    So before the EM interview on BBC Radio 4, Katie. Thank you for being such a ‘quick off the mark’ poll poster.

  19. Steve,

    A difference in terminology. I would call spending not matched by tax rises or cuts elsewhere “unfunded”. You would expect borrowing.

    I look forward to seeing your cat’s manifesto.

  20. The interesting thing about the county elections is that only about half of the people that say they will vote in the polls will actually vote.

    The question is: which half? In principle the vote shares could be up to double the figures in the polls. So UKIP could get up to 28% of the vote if all theirs turn out.

  21. @Steve

    “Farage said recently that they have changed their flat rate policy to include a 40% top rate which even if it’s true still amounts to an additional average £100,000 tax cut for millionaires.”

    May I protest at the use of ‘millionaire’ to describe those who have an annual income of a million or more? A millionaire means someone whose total assets add up to one million or more. I guess there are thousands of home-owners (especially in the south-east) who come into this category, but their incomes in most cases will be far less than a million a year. (P.S. This does not mean that I support this UKIP policy, or indeed any aspect of the party, but the misuse of the word – innocent in your case, I’m sure – is one that Labour seems to be using to muddy the waters.)

    With regard to the BBC’s impartiality I thought their web-site account of EM’s interview yesterday gave the impression that he had spoken reasonably sensibly, but I then listened to the whole of the actual interview and thought he came over very badly indeed. I don’t believe, however, that any individual act of reporting proves a great deal about the overall BBC position.

  22. @hal

    “Today’s YG tables can be found from the column “recent results in politics” on news/categories/politics/”

    Thanks Hal

  23. A pensioner on £13,000 will get a £600 per year tax cut. Richer pensioners may be worse off, but whats wrong with that?

    – Even if a £3,000 pa increase in personal allowance for 11 million pensioners was remotely feasible , cost £33 Billion a Year, at any income above £19,000 (which is hardly filthy rich) Pensioners on the UKIP plan would be worse off.

    My cat will be publishing His Manifesto soon.

    I fully anticipate He will be the only candidate who can lick His own Arse

  24. @Wolf
    “UKIP U-turned on supporting HS2 when it realised how unpopular it was. To be blunt UKIP might be semi-fascist but it’s been a lot more effective on this issue than the Green Party.”

    UKIP have managed to get a LOT more media coverage than we have over the last 12 months. Which makes it a lot easier for them to get a message out to the public than it is for us. Although, to be fair, they’ve been putting a lot more emphasis on HS2 than we have.

  25. Is there really any point in stopping wealthy pensioners’ bus passes? I mean, logically speaking, how many rich/wealthy pensioners actually use the bus regularly/at all compared to, say, their cars?

    I can understand more with heating, but bus passes??? Surely, it would cost far more to administer than it would ever save.

  26. @ Simon

    If you apply that logic to low earners why not apply it to others, like myself for example.

    I pay 40%, if that stayed in my pay packet i too would have extra money to spend and therefore would add growth to the economy.

    Sadly i do not think that will wash with GO

  27. @Bluebob

    I agree more people need to be taken out of the 40% tax band.

    Also, why should pensioners pay less than me in tax on their earnings over £13K? I have a mortgage to pay and sky high bills as their is 1 wage to feed 6 mouths? Before you start 3 and 4 are twins, and I thank the wonderful NHS for saving number 4.

  28. Steve – but dogs can lick other parts which may be impressive if any dogs stand against your cat of course.

  29. Ambivalentsupporter: it must vary a lot. In London for example the free pass includes the Tube if I recall rightly, so for an active 65-75 year old travelling around London most days it could add up to pretty significant sums per year.

  30. SIMON

    So Pensioners on £25K a year Should pay £3,000 more a year in tax while those on £25K a week will get a tax cut of £120,000 a Year.

    It’s your party mate perhaps you can explain the logic in that?

    [No, he really can’t as this is NOT a site for challenging or defending party’s policies – AW]

  31. Great to hear that Simon, sadly i have only bad memories of the NHS with our first child, Nearly killed my wife due to a polish doctor who was more worried about a shift change than my wife losing several pints of blood.
    After the event all they worried about was being sued.

    We always said sombody will die in that hospital giving birth and 3 months later a mother and child sadly did.
    In saying that they did make up for it with the second child though, but that was at a different hospital.

    On the pensioners issue i am in the they have paid their dues camp so will tolorate a tax break for them.

  32. @Bluebob
    “I pay 40%, if that stayed in my pay packet i too would have extra money to spend and therefore would add growth to the economy.”

    There is a difference between high earners like yourself, and those at the bottom of the scale. Low earners spend a much higher proportion of their income, and high earners are far more likely to send their money out of the country. Therefore, you get a greater multiplier effect by cutting taxes at the bottom end than you do by doing it at the top.

  33. JIM JAM

    My Cat Has pointed out that He is the Only Candidate that could walk away from a drop off the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

    Due to the benefits of a Non fatal terminal velocity and four legs.

    Other Candidates , including but not exclusively those of the Canine variety are welcome to prove Him wrong.

  34. I am totally NOT in the ‘paid their dues camp’ Today’s pensioners came out of school to full employment, apprentiships, free higher education. They bought up all the council houses raking in profits, they bought into the privatisations raking in profits. They retired far earlier than any of us will be able to do. Gave very little back if the state of the economy is any measure. Are better off than both their parents and their children and didn’t even fight in the war.

    They are a special interest that have had it very good and it is time they were in the mess they created with the rest of us.

  35. GreenChristian,

    Im not a high earner, i wish i was but im not.

  36. @Bluebob
    “Im not a high earner, i wish i was but im not.”

    If you’re paying the 40% tax rate on any part of your income (as you claimed earlier), then you most certainly are a high earner. If you think you’re not, then you probably spend an awful lot of time with other high earners, very little time with the rest of us, and are subconsciously assuming that your high-earning friends are about average.

  37. @ GreenChristian

    If you think you’re not, then you probably spend an awful lot of time with other high earners, very little time with the rest of us.

    Without going into my financial details too much i have spent many years as you put it ‘with the rest of us’
    I worked my way up to be in a position where i do feel lucky but i live in a part of the UK that has stupidly high house prices and such other things.

    I class a high earner as £150k fwiw
    A low income would be upto £20k

    We are a one wage family also so money never goes as far as you may wish.

  38. TNS BRMB poll long overdue- have they stopped doing them or gone to once a month?

    @ Crossbat

    Where are you? Bit cheeky Villa going 5 points ahead of Wigan with 4 games left, but as Nate Silver would have said, if he had been asked, “you can’t argue with thte stats and if Wigan always escape on the last day of the season then the stats say they will continue to do so”.

  39. @BB

    All about perception then…

  40. @Bluebob
    “I class a high earner as £150k fwiw
    A low income would be upto £20k”

    Whilst your low income figure is quite a sensible one, I would class somebody on £150k as “very rich” rather than just being a “high earner”

    As for how far your money goes, very few people find that their money goes as far as they would wish. There’s a strange thing about human psychology and spending habits (at least in Western society) that we never have as much as we would like. Very few people will admit to being rich.

  41. James Baillie,

    “it must vary a lot. In London for example the free pass includes the Tube if I recall rightly, so for an active 65-75 year old travelling around London most days it could add up to pretty significant sums per year.”

    I can’t really see many wealthy or rich older residents of, say, Kensington using their free bus/tube pass, but I may well be wrong. I know that the vast majority of elderly people where I live who are wealthy or rich do not/very rarely use buses.

    For the amount of money that it would cost to mean-test, I don’t think it will raise much, so I question whether it would be cost-effective measure at a time of austerity.

    Heating allowance…that’s totally different IMO.

  42. @Jim Jam
    LD vote at 9% – I think it is a difference in weighting. Com Res has tended to have them at around 8%-9% (there was one at 12%, but that might have been the outlier).
    If you look at the unweighted data, they are polling about that or below.
    I suppose that one has to consider the imcumbent effect. They are certainly the most effective at getting their message out locally (I have a LD MP). Ashcroft’s marginals polling showed that where they are in competition with Tories, their vote is holding up. With Labour, collapsing completely.

  43. AmbivalentSupporter

    I can’t really see many wealthy or rich older residents of, say, Kensington using their free bus/tube pass, but I may well be wrong. I know that the vast majority of elderly people where I live who are wealthy or rich do not/very rarely use buses.

    Lousy example – Kensington and Chelsea ranks 9 in the list of LAs with no car in the household:

    But then no 1 is City of London which is hardly famed for its poverty. There is just much less stigma about the wealthy using public transport in London. In turn this may explain why London gets I think about the same the public transport subsidy as the rest of the country put together.

    But the general point is correct – better off pensioners will use their cars (or other peoples), so the actual saving would not be great. Not that that would stop them doing it – look at child benefit.

  44. @COUPER2802

    Your generalizations fail to take into account the relative hardship of young couples in the 70s by comparison with the way people live today, but anyone who struggled to pay mortgage interest of 16%+ under Wilson and Callaghan will tell you that it didn’t feel as if we were profiting at the expense of others. Personally we couldn’t afford to drink, ate cheap mince, had a small black and white television, and had holidays staying with the in-laws. So no foreign holidays or meals out, and of course none of the expensive electronic gizmos that have been invented since that enhance the quality of life and that most people seem able to afford and take for granted today.

    Having said that, I certainly think that the fuel allowance should be counted as taxable income and taxed therefore at the individual’s highest rate. I agree this is hardly an earth-shaking reform, but it does have the merit that it could be done without extra administrative costs eating up the savings. It also strikes me as a modest reform that both Labour and Conservatives could put in their next manifesto without losing VI.


    Everyone can point to instances of individual struggle and we can all agree that medicine and technology have advanced. But pensioners nowadays have had a far easier ride than the younger people are going to have. It is a shame that the pensioner generation is not able to had over a society that is more properous, has more opportunities and is fairer to the next generation the type of society that they were handed by their own parents.

    Rich pensioners should be taxed the same as everyone else and their should be no special universal benefits for them as on the whole they don’t deseve them.

  46. New thread. :-)

  47. I just think pensioners should pay the same tax as working people, that is fair.

    As far as I know the top band of tax is yet to be decided by UKIP, and I would like it kept at 45%, any lower and many supporters would switch to Labour.

  48. @COUPER2802

    We can agree that universal benefits are unjustified and that pensioners should pay the same tax as those who work. My point about the past was illustrated with my own personal experience, but was intended to make the much wider point that some young people today lead a much more extravagant life-style than my generation did, while complaining about the difficulty of finding a deposit. I am aware, however, that I am straying from the purpose of the site and so will say no more.

  49. ‘We can agree that universal benefits are unjustified’

    I think the key issue though is that the second you make benefits not universal

    a) the most desperate are the least likely to fill in the paperwork to get the benefit
    b) How many people are employed to check the paperwork? Is it better to give Universal benefit and have fewer people checking paperwork

    Some benefits should be for all and paid for by direct taxation – for example abolish the licence fee and pay the BBC by a set grant. How much time, cost and effort are currently wasted keeping a check on who pays licence fees? (And don’t say it cant be done – Australia did this in the mid 1970s…)

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