There is normally relatively little polling for local elections for a variety of reasons, not least the uneven pattern of contestation across the the country. However ComRes have done one, with interesting topline figures. Local voting intention in those areas with local elections on Thursday stands at CON 31%, LAB 24%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 22%.

Now, we need to make a number of important caveats in understanding this:

It is NOT comparable with normal voting intention polls. It only covers the areas with local elections on Thursday, which are most rural Conservative shires and doesn’t include any Metropolitan counties… hence the fact the Conservatives are ahead. Neither is it comparable with the shares of the local election vote that the BBC and Rallings and Thrasher will calculate (the “Projected National Share” and “Equivalent National Vote”). These are both projections on what support would be across the whole country, not just where local elections are happening.

To understand the figures we need to know the votes last time round, which including the two councils (Durham and Northumberland) that actually last voted in 2008 were Con 44%, Lab 13%, LDem 25%, UKIP 5% – so the changes are Con down 13, Lab up 11, Lib Dem down 13, UKIP up 17. This suggests considerable bigger swings than Rallings and Thrasher have predicted. By my estimates it would produce getting on for 500 Conservative losses and 250 UKIP gains, if it is giving an accurate picture… and local election predictions are not something that there is much track record for. We shall see

UPDATE: Peter Kellner and I have been pondering the number of UKIP seat gains if they do get 22% (the joys of the YouGov office on a morning before an election!) and how on earth you model gains when they are tripling the number of seats they contest. It’s very difficult, but I suspect I have overestimated it a bit… though even assuming a higher base level of support in the areas they didn’t contest in 2009 (and therefore a lower swing in the seats they did) if they do get 22% they should still be looking at well over 100 seats. Suffice to say, how many seats UKIP will get on Thursday is still incredibly hard to predict.


376 Responses to “ComRes poll on local elections.”

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  1. @Josh C

    Please dont tell me who to vote for or not for.

    Thank you

  2. It’s election day, so not much point discussing anything pollingwise until we have some actual results to dismember and review.

    In that light, I found this story very interesting – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/10032665/Young-desire-wealth-but-dont-want-to-earn-it.html

    I’ve been pondering recently on the meaning of things, and in particular on the general social changes I have seen in my life. The immediate sparks for this were the excellent continuing long term decline in crime, despite some really rather bad economic times, and the research last week suggesting the UK is more peaceable and low crime than at any time in the last forty years or so.

    Throughout my childhood and younger years, the constant refrain from the right of the political spectrum was that the liberal social attitudes that originated in the 1960’s were gradually infecting society, and the declining public standards could be traced to the ‘assault’ on family values originating from this time. This was the key battle cry of the Thatcher government, in many ways.

    What is fascinating, is that the current crop of evidence, which seems to be getting stronger by the day, pins many changes on a later era, and a different cause.

    If the liberalisation of society was at fault, as this has continued apace since the 1980’s, we would expect to be seeing further social breakdown and consequent negative impacts on crime, violence, work ethic and general social well being. In fact, the precise opposite has been happening in many of these areas, and where we are seeing problems emerging, the dates don’t fit the theory.

    Where we do seem to be generating problems is in the physcology of entitlement in the younger generations. The growth of expectation, narcissism, and desire for material gain without the hard work attached, is being very well plotted by researchers, and, oddly enough, always seems to date more from the 1980’s and 90’s than the previously demonised liberal decades.

    I’ve long felt that the ‘UKIP Tendency’, if I can use the term, that consistently seems to believe that society is going to hell in a handcart, may one day get the shock of their lives, when they find out they they are at the heart of a great social paradox. Namely, that those people who believe only they hold the key to a strong and stable society, were actually the tools by which we created so many of the problems that they now rage against.

  3. @Alec,

    I agree with a lot you say, but the entitlement part can’t be traced back to the 80s. I strongly believe that social media and celebrity culture during the 90s and continuing on now is a huge factor. In the 80s I only wanted what I could see, which wasn’t a great deal. Wealth is celebrated and just a clickable view away everywhere now.

  4. From the Graun, more on the impact of UKip on Toroes…

    “Nick Clegg has claimed that the struggle on the right of British politics caused by Ukip’s surge was pulling David Cameron away from the centre ground and making day-to-day progress in the coalition Government more difficult.”

    “Clegg cited Conservative policies on welfare, Europe and climate change as the three pre-eminent examples of Cameron being pulled right, and conceded that his coalition partner was no longer the same political animal as presented before the 2010 general election.”

    … However I don’t suppose it’s occurred to Clegg that his own party may have been pulled right since taking a seat in government…

  5. @ crossbat11

    ‘“News from the front: “Voting is steady”.”

    At my local polling station that usually means they saw a voter about half an hour go!! lol’

    Yep, you’ve got it!

  6. “If, as you suggested in an earlier post, you’ll probably vote Labour at the next election why are you “concerned” and “fearful” about the Conservatives making mistakes in their reaction to UKIP success? Wouldn’t their “mistakes” make it more likely that Labour would win?”

    Simple. I’m a pro-democracy independent. I want voters to have a good a choice of parties as possible, with the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, UKIP and Greens all putting forward the best possible campaigns they can muster.

    If the only reason Labour win the next election is because the Conservatives were too busy tearing themselves to shreds than put up a decent fight, I will be disappointed.

  7. Young people may “desire wealth but they don’t want to earn it” but presumably they do want to achieve wealth within the law, given: “The immediate sparks for this were the excellent continuing long term decline in crime.”

    So, I think the truth is that young people don’t know HOW to “earn” wealth because it seems pretty clear that nobody gets rich by hard work.

    People get rich by luck, speculation, garnering media attention or, perhaps at best, seeming to have an ‘amazing’ idea like e.g. Facebook or being exceptionally good at sport.

    And young people don’t consider the hours of practise that’s required to become good at sport or writing games code or coming up with something like Facebook or performing on stage to be work although the people who do these things, for the most part, say that it is hard – but enjoyable – work.

    So I don’t think civilization as we know it is coming to an end. People did the football pools or dreamed of becoming great snooker players or pop stars or whatever when I was young (which wasn’t yesterday!).

  8. h ttp://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/more-than-10000-violent-criminals-escaped-conviction-in-england-and-wales-last-year-after-saying-sorry-8596741.html

    not all crime is dropping, rather concerning really

  9. Although the penny did not drop immediately there are two reasons for the wild uplift of predicted support for UKIP in today’s elections compared to 2009. Throughout the shires UKIP candidates received in the region of 15 to 20% .Of the vote where they fought seats. When the votes received overall were added together and divided into the total turnout it was way down because they contested relatively few seats. Take Kent for example where the average vote received seat by seat was 14.36% but when they are all added together in the 28 seats where they appeared it adds up to only 5.89%. The truer figure of support for UKIP in 2009 was the party’s share of the of the EU election on the same day as the county elections. That figures was not far short of 22%.

  10. One of the things that tend to be forgotten is that to get evidence-based policy you need data.

    That data (like pols) needs to be collected, compiled and analysed impartially and that implies some independence from politics. Hence Civil Servants etc.

    The “nudge” semi-pro group that is being partially privatised assumes some agreed consensus about what is “desirable” as far as behaviour is concerned. So we get some strange incrongruences. Jobcentres are redesgned to give personal attention and help get people back to work and this is found to be a success, at the same time as policy is moving us towards the stick of welfare removal and privatising jobsearch and online benefit application.

    Joined up thinking?

  11. Could there be a touch of Clegg-mania about the UKIP ‘surge’? The only evidence of actual voting we have is the Eastleigh by-election, where – despite the media attention being all-UKIP all-the-time – the seat was held by the incumbents. The UKIP put forward their (IMO) best ever candidate & concentrated all their resources in the one area but they still couldn’t take the seat.

    So, I think the news of tomorrow could well be: UKIP fail to topple Tories.

  12. @Chris Neville-Smith

    “Simple. I’m a pro-democracy independent. I want voters to have a good a choice of parties as possible, with the Conservatives, Labour, Lib Dems, UKIP and Greens all putting forward the best possible campaigns they can muster.
    If the only reason Labour win the next election is because the Conservatives were too busy tearing themselves to shreds than put up a decent fight, I will be disappointed.”

    Political parties exist in all democracies and provide the voters with choice. They represent, somewhat imperfectly, policy platforms, ideologies, values and beliefs that appeal to people with similar views and who broadly share their outlook on life. This doesn’t mean “my party right or wrong” and it’s perfectly possible to disagree with some of the policies, and not like some of the party’s politicians, but still support the party because it offers the best vehicle for bringing about the sort of sociey you want to see. Neither does this mean that you oppose the existence of other political parties even though they may represent fundamentally different views to yours. As a democrat, you may oppose them in elections and argue with them but you recognise their right to exist in a healthy democracy. But you still want to beat them, don’t you and if that means that you revel in their misfortunes and weaknesses because it helps the party who you want to be in power, where’s the harm in that? It’s called seeking party political advantage and is a key part of a functioning democracy.

    I don’t want to destroy the Conservative party, nor do I want to gratuitously wish them harm, but if they make political mistakes that benefits the party I want to win, then I’m entitled to be a happy bunny aren’t I?

    Do you think Thatcher would have preferred a strong and united Labour Party in the 1980s rather than the divided, ineffectual and chaotic one that she had arraigned against her instead? I rather think not although, by your idealistic and democratically pure standards, maybe she should have!

  13. @Amber Star. No, political betting (and others) are predicting they might even take south shields! Anyone got any news about how that’s going?

  14. Sue

    I have seen 2 lib dems and 1 labour with the same name standing against one another, they all got virtually the same votes, but in the end 1 labour and 1 lib dem got elected. Bet people just ticked two next to each other
    —————

    I remember a by election in the 90s in a Con-LD marginal where a Con-supporter stood as a Literal Democrat and polled enough to make the difference between the Con winner and the LDs.

    Naughty.

  15. “Could there be a touch of Clegg-mania about the UKIP ‘surge’?”

    Maybe, but the 2010 precedent for the Lib Dems does not apply here. In 2010, it looks like a lot of people who said they’d vote Lib Dem changed their mind on polling day when they knew that a Lib Dem vote could let the Conservatives in and voted Labour to stop this. Or Vice versa. That shouldn’t be a threat for UKIP because a vote for UKIP won’t let in a government of any colour this time round.

    There could be another unexpected unknown factor that counts against UKIP today. But, equally, there could be an unexpected unknown factor working in their favour. And that’s just the number of votes. No-one seems sure how this will translate into seats.

    So whilst the news of tomorrow could be “UKIP fail to topple Tories”, it could also be “Tories in Meltdown as UKIp take A, B and C.”

    Anyone who makes a firm prediction today is guessing. Anyone who makes a firm prediction today who turns out to be right is a lucky guesser.

  16. @amber star … and Ashcroft did post Eastleigh polling. They did particularly well with C2 and DE voters. As PB points out, that is the south shields demographic.

  17. Wes

    Should anything be read into the fact that this poll showing a big surge in support for the anti-gay-marriage UKIP was conducted for the anti-gay-marriage group C4M? Or is that a coincidence?

    There may be something to that – I commented on this last night – though it’s probably more a side effect of the methodology used (which might have been tilted a bit to help C4M’s aims).

    In a “new readers start here” way can I remind everyone that the ComRes poll is only of those areas on England voting today and as these are fairly Blue on average it should over-represent the Parties strongest in those areas especially the Conservatives. The poll has not been reweighted so as to be representative of the country as a whole which is why there are say only 10 people in the sample from London[1].

    So the figures should be ‘bad’ for Labour compared to all-Britain polls because they do not included their strongest areas. In some ways the most interesting fact is how the Conservative figure is only about the same as their more general one.

    [1] This may be because they are voting from holiday homes which aren’t their main address or ComRes may be using postcode analysis where the boundaries don’t coincide. For example some BR codes are in Kent.

  18. If UKIP take South Shields off Labour that would be an astonishing result. It would certainly take the headlines!

    If they get anywhere close that would be headlines, I think.

  19. @Norbold

    You strike me as being one of the few contributors here today who can actually post with genuine humour and at least I do appreciate it (and you being involved in the election too!).

    Wasted my typing with my last comment, evidently.

  20. CN-S

    @”Simple. I’m a pro-democracy independent. ”

    As you have discovered from CB11’s irritated & uncomprehending outburst, you are probably in the wrong place to express such a complex & difficult philosophy.

  21. @Chatterclass – “…political betting (and others) are predicting they might even take south shields! Anyone got any news about how that’s going?”

    Unless it’s changed since this morning, I think you’ll find Mike S was predicting a ‘big result’ for UKIP in SS, not a win. He seems to be suggesting a result above 20% with them in second.

    @Tojim – “not all crime is dropping, rather concerning really..”

    It pretty much is. Your confusing reported crime with the punishments meted out. Convictions are falling, which I am reliable assured is nothing to do with spending cuts. Reported crime itself, including violent crime, is also falling.

    The government’s position on crime is odd, as Tories always claim to be tough on law and order issues. In the past this translated into a massive boom in crime, whereas in this period in office it is translating into letting criminals off with a caution, even some very violent ones.

    This is one reason I am so in awe of politicians.

  22. Crossbat11,

    If you are a politician and all you want is an unrestricted and uncontested few years of power, then absolutely: you want the opposition to be a shambles.

    If, however, you are a member of the public, then ideally you want government and opposition to both be strong, to make sure that both are at the top of their respective games and doing the best for their constituents and their country.

  23. Back in the real world – PMI data from UK manufacturing (yesterday) and construction (today) both show continuing declines, but much less severe than in previous months. Both sectors appear to be stabilizing. manufacturing in particular reported a reasonable upturn in export activity, which is very welcome.

    This begins to sound a bit more positive, although I’m wondering how well the service sector stands up to a downturn in household income data recently reported.

  24. ALEC

    @”This begins to sound a bit more positive, although I’m wondering how well the service sector stands up to a downturn in household income data recently reported.”

    Oh you are a worrier Alec.

    I’m sure GO is appreciative.

  25. @HOWARD

    “You strike me as being one of the few contributors here today who can actually post with genuine humour and at least I do appreciate it.”

    Thank you Howard. Some people take all this political stuff far too seriously….

  26. @Alec – RE:Crime

    I think you’re reading too much into cause and effect, and I don’t for a second believe that left v right has anything to do with the current change. Certainly not a lack of Conservative government if you see the links I provide later.

    http://www.mapsofworld.com/world-top-ten/countries-with-highest-reported-crime-rates.html

    UK crime is more than half USA, while US population is 5x the UK population, which either suggests we have a big crime problem, or the USA does not have a big crime problem (either statement tends to go against the grain).

    We have more crime than Germany, despite having 3/4 the population. This lends some credence to previous part that the UK has a crime problem. Then we see France. Despite it having a greater population, it has half the crime.

    Or does it? All these stats are as good as the crime reporting. The USA, Germany and France could be worse for crime reporting than the UK.

    I would be very wary of taking stats over a long term period, as recording methods change. See:

    h ttp://www.statistics.gov.uk/resources/graph2_tcm119-28051.jpg

    Note that crime starts to drop with the new reporting system. That tends to tell me that the reporting system is designed to produces drops in crime stats, which is pointless. However, if we believe that graph, crime started rising once Labour took over in 1997, then dropped off in 2005/06 after the new reporting system was adopted. None of the data shows the new coalition’s stats.

    If there is a single causality that we can guess at; I would guess at the Internet and technology in general. Organised crime will always move to the highest yield, lowest risk option (similar to shareholders, funnily enough), and that will be electronic and identity crime. The youth will be more into Internet pursuits, and will be more geared to avoiding street-based peer pressure situations, such as ASB crime and petty crime.

    Over time, with the new peer pressures of being online after school, more and more kids will gravitate (or have gravitated) to the online world. They kids stay online as adults, and have probably a larger base of friends in said world, with a wider range of ideas and outlooks.

    Social mobility by association?

    If we look at the timeline…(from wikipedia):

    “It is estimated that in 1993 the Internet carried only 1% of the information flowing through two-way telecommunication, by 2000 this figure had grown to 51%, and by 2007 more than 97% of all telecommunicated information was carried over the Internet.”

    What of the explosion of online anti-social attitudes. such as twitter and facebook bullying? More people onlne, including the bullies. However, they can’t readily gravitate from being bullies online to petty thieves outside. It’s warmer, comfier and safer inside.

    We are now getting those who were pre-primary in 2000 hitting working age now. They have had a childhood of online gaming, online chat, and online social media.

    That’s my guess, anyway. :)

  27. @ Colin

    But it’s not only Alec who is “a worrier”. 58% of people (according to ComRes) believe the government are getting it wrong on the economy & it’s time for a change.

  28. @ Colin

    A career with the Daily Mail awaits you (LOL), given CB11’s perfectly reasonable comment, which is merely persuasive of his point of view, has morphed into:

    “As you have discovered from CB11?s irritated & uncomprehending outburst..”

  29. @Colin

    “As you have discovered from CB11?s irritated & uncomprehending outburst, …………..”

    Don’t you mean irritating and comprehensive? lol

  30. Well many babyboomers are relatively protected from Various aspects of the economy so no need to worry. They don’t half moan about QE and pensions tho’

    No one knows why…

  31. With regard to UKIP’s actual results in terms of seats won, I suspect some people may be getting a little over-excited (particularly Anthony first thing yesterday morning). It’s worth remembering that the 2009 seats[1] up for grabs were contested on the same day as the Euro-elections in which UKIP got 16%. But on the same day there were only elected 7 UKIP councillors across the whole of the counties. Even allowing for differential voting on the Euros and many fewer UKIP candidates, this reminds us how difficult it is for such an evenly spread party (in support terms) to make headway.

    [1] Alec discussed Durham earlier on which had those seats up in 2008 (as did Northumberland). If anything the polling then was even better for the Conservatives and worse for Labour.

  32. @ ALEC In that light, I found this story very interesting – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/10032665/Young-desire-wealth-but-dont-want-to-earn-it.html

    I think this has been said about every new generation for years. When I was young ( a long time ago!) we were accused of all wanting to be in a group like the Beatles or the Stones. Obviously it’s true for a certain %age in every generation but most I think have a more realistic expectation of life.

  33. AMBER

    True-but then Alec does tend to run with the herd a little!

    [email protected]”perfectly reasonable comment, which is merely persuasive of his point of view,”

    So you thought “:your idealistic and democratically pure standards, ” was a compliment did you?

  34. CB11

    I actually meant what I said CB.

    But we could compromise on- “amusingly tetchy defence of partisanism”-if you like ?

  35. @ Colin

    “amusingly tetchy defence of partisanism”
    ————————
    Keep up this standard & you’ll be writing for the Graun,

  36. @ Roger Mexico

    It’s worth remembering that the 2009 seats[1] up for grabs were contested on the same day as the Euro-elections in which UKIP got 16%. But on the same day there were only elected 7 UKIP councillors across the whole of the counties.
    ———————–
    Yes – but how many candidates did the UKIP have up for the local elections in 2009; have you factored that in?

  37. alec

    “Back in the real world ”

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Where is that ferackerly? Is it any good? Is Colin there?

    { ‘cos I’m thinking of emigrating depending}

  38. AMBER

    Never quite sure , these days, whether references to the Graun from your political neck of the woods are meant as compliments or criticisms.

    Anyway-I think my command of spelling & grammar might qualify me for that organ.

  39. @Colin

    “I actually meant what I said CB.
    But we could compromise on- “amusingly tetchy defence of partisanism”-if you like ?”

    You mustn’t confuse support for a political party with one-eyed partisanship, nor should you automatically associate objectivity, balance and independence of mind with people who go out of their way to parade their non party political affiliations.

    Both are dangerous assumptions.

  40. Looking like Labour might win extra seats on Lancashire County Council but not enough to take control – just hearsay of course, but would be a bit of good news for the Tories if true!

  41. Oddschecker has 1/25 on for a labour victory, 14/1 UKIP, 50/1 Tory.

    Matching Eastleigh vote will be an amazing result for UKIP.
    2nd from nowhere was remarkable, not sure why people now think they should have won the seat. Maybe they are worried.

    It really will be interesting to see which party losses out to UKIP and what share of the vote they get.

  42. CB 11

    You sound like Peter Cairns.

    ps.

    I wasn’t “confusing ” or “automatically associating” anything really.

    Was just commenting on your response to C N-S

    pps-“parade” does give the game away CB-I mean you could have said “explain”………now couldn’t you?

    ppps -and “dangerous assumptions” is just something which people who prefer different assumptions say to the people they disagree with. It’s a sort of more grammatical version of ” yeah but , no but “

  43. I was speaking to this lady at playground, a strong Labour supporter and hates tory, she said.
    “I might vote for another party, but dont want to say which one!” She was talking about UKIP.

    So maybe many people wont want to admit this to pollsters(strangers) and maybe UKIP will have better result. There is still a “stigma” voting UKIP, or at least admitting it.

  44. @Sue – so this woman hates Tory but would happily vote for an even more right leaning party – most odd indeed!

  45. @Colin

    pps-”parade” does give the game away CB-I mean you could have said “explain”………now couldn’t you?

    No, parade is much the more appropriate verb in the context of people who go out of their way to deride people who are members of, and/or activists on behalf of, certain political parties. They claim special qualities of objectivity because they say they have no affiliation with a particular political party but, if you examine what they have to say about politics, it is often disingenuous and barely concealed party political bias flying under fraudulent non-partisan colours.

    Faux impartiality and bogus non-partisanship are holier-than-thou traits and, as such fairly unattractive ones.

  46. Been to vote in sunny Dorset,according to old Bill on the door, about 30 people have voted, the rush will be after 5pm but end at 6pm when the villiage pub opens.
    Stop press the green candidate is not expected to win.

  47. @mark

    Well she must like something they offer, or want to protest!

    We need Left of centre anti-european party dont you think, maybe the greens would do a lot better being anti-EU.

    Many pro-europe parties, yet many people are anti-europe, seems strange.

  48. @Amber Star

    I noticed earlier you posted that you cannot get rich by hard work. That must be tongue in cheek, I know plenty of people who got rich by hard work.

  49. @ Crossbat11,

    “Do you think Thatcher would have preferred a strong and united Labour Party in the 1980s rather than the divided, ineffectual and chaotic one that she had arraigned against her instead?”

    Probably not, but I think it would have been immensely to her benefit- or at least to the benefit of the Tories as a whole. She did foolish, extremist things that did long-term damage to the Tories’ electability and internal cohesion and her own career because she wasn’t frightened of the Opposition. Likewise, Blair would not have been so cavalier about Iraq if he’d had reason to believe the resulting erosion of Labour’s core support would cost him the next election. Weak oppositions make for dogmatic, out-of-touch governments.

    Speaking of which, apparently the Shadow Cabinet have been anonymously briefing that they’re worried Ukip might take South Shields? It’s probably a damage-limitation strategy for when Ukip get a solid second place, but jeez, that’s a slightly embarrassing position to find themselves in. And there’s nothing wrong with the candidate, either- local, a woman picked from a dual-gender shortlist, she seems nice- so if they’ve got a problem it’s a national one.

    Still, Labour will probably have some good news tomorrow. The Tories are fighting a three-fronted war out there, and I don’t see how that can end well for them.

    Good luck to everyone standing or campaigning!

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