The full tabs for the ComRes European election poll are now online here. The poll also asked Westminister voting intention and produced topline figures of CON 26%, LAB 37%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 20%. It did not use ComRes’s normal method, excluding the reallocation of don’t knows and their normal squeeze question, so it is not directly comparable.

The strangest thing about the poll though is the relationship between Westminster and European voting intention. I could be reading it wrongly, but it looks as though there is hardly any relationship at all. The overwhelmingly majority of people who said they would vote UKIP in a Westminster election said they would vote UKIP in a European election, as one might expect, but the other figures look very odd. Amongst Conservative Westminster voters, 12% would vote UKIP in the European elections, 39% Labour and 22% Lib Dem. Amongst Westminster Labour voters, 6% would vote UKIP in the European elections, 30% Conservative, 31% Lib Dem. Amongst Westminister Liberal Democrat voters, 2% would vote UKIP in Europe, 35% Labour, 33% Conservative.

People do, of course, vote differently at Westminster and European elections, but not to this extent. If we compare it to the Survation poll at the weekend, the vast majority of people who said they’d vote Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem for Westminster said they vote the same way in a European election. YouGov found the same when they asked back in January. ComRes’s previous European Election poll in January didn’t give cross-breaks for current Westminster voting intention, but the 2010 cross-break did at last suggest the majority of Labour and Conservative 2010 voters were sticking with their party in the European elections. I can’t work out exactly what has gone wrong in this latest poll, but it certainly looks very strange.


66 Responses to “More on that ComRes European poll”

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  1. I’d expect it to take a bit more before the Conservatives start really breaking ranks – dipping below UKIP could certainly do it if that happens, though it looks like for everyone bar Survation that’s outside a reasonable MoE still. One suspects that the Woolwich stuff will be given a few more days and then the fire will be turned back on the Tory leadership though; seems like it’s only been a temporary shield at best.

    Does anyone know if there’s been any polling on the data and comms bill? Whilst I must admit to a bias of really not wanting it passed, if the Tory strategy of a Labour pact to pass it works it seems like it could potentially be a boost to the Liberals who would then have a real “liberal” issue to stand on.

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  2. James

    Don’t worry arming the rebels is going to go down like a lead baloon with the public, that sub UKIP may well happen in a “blip poll”

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  3. @ Paul C

    Are you doing okay? You ‘sound’ a bit sombre – which is totally understandable but still…

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  4. Arming the rebels seems a bad idea. Given we have had days of ranting on this site about getting involved in foriegn wars and now we are getting involved in another one.

    My concern is: who should we be arming and can we be sure the arms get into the right hands and stay there and most important whoever we are arming they don’t turn against us.

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  5. Sorry meant to add do we know what Labour’s policy on arming the rebels is? Last I heard of Douglas Alexander he seemed to be against.

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  6. amberyee

    You must be perpiscaciously sidekick – I am feeling un petit peu low but am surprised it would come out of my tie pin a few words.

    Could be two days of playing Bach and Brazil in the sunshine in the garden followed by the onset of autumn, cold and wet, but, quien sabe?, moods is wot I like to call “funny.”

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  7. Julia R – He’s been v. quiet on twitter for the last few days so I thought he might be.

    Mike – no typo. The poll has the Lib Dems on 8% for Westminster and 18% for European elections, rather underlying its oddness.

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  8. The Labour Party’s line on arming the Syrian rebels has been summed up by Douglas Alexander:

    “The EU-wide arms embargo has ended because agreement within the Member States could not be reached, and because significant disagreement remains about the merits of sending arms to Syria’s opposition.

    “Russia’s announcement that it will send S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to President Assad further underlines the real risks of this conflict escalating into a regional war by proxy, leading to further suffering for the Syrian people.

    “When he returns to Parliament to explain the collapse of the arms embargo, William Hague will face questions from MPs across the Commons who – like other European Member States – remain unconvinced by the case he makes.

    “Syria is awash with arms, and today it remains unclear how escalating the conflict with British-supplied weapons would help bring about a peaceful political transition after two years of increasing violence.

    “If the UK Government now intends to supply weapons to Syria’s opposition, it must set out to the House of Commons how it will prevent weapons falling into the wrong hands, and how this step will shorten Syria’s civil war rather than prolong it.”

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  9. Syria’s a difficult one. On the one hand, arming the rebels is extremely problematic as they don’t have proper structures to arm. On the other, Assad sitting out a bloodbath until he regains power through sheer fiscal attrition and superior foreign backing isn’t an attractive option either. On the third hand (turning into Ganesh briefly), we can’t realistically intervene militarily, on the fourth we can’t stop Iran and Hezbollah from doing so. My suspicion is that something will end up sparking a regionalisation of the conflict, the extremely explicit Hezbollah-Syrian axis is like waving a red flag in front of an IDF-logoed bull.

    I can’t see it all being a game-changer electorally though, somehow. I don’t think many people would support arming the rebels if you polled them on it, buuuut at the same time how many people are there for whom that’s going to really change their VI? The lack of British troop involvement in an arming-based plan makes it far less electorally explosive than any actual intervention.

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  10. James Baillie

    Does anyone know if there’s been any polling on the data and comms bill? Whilst I must admit to a bias of really not wanting it passed, if the Tory strategy of a Labour pact to pass it works it seems like it could potentially be a boost to the Liberals who would then have a real “liberal” issue to stand on.

    Yup both in the latest YouGov and Survation. There’s a link in my comment here:

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/7520/comment-page-2#comment-838896

    and quite a lot of discussion about the Bill later in the thread

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  11. So how come these rebels have got money to buy weapons?

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  12. New thread!!

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  13. @RiN
    I don’t think they have to pay for them.

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  14. @ RiN

    On credit (on assets to be sold after they on)? Maybe some odd Near East sovereign funds?

    I doubt if without Western intervention the rebels can win. If the S-300 are delivered and they know how to use them (as many of the personnel were trained in Russia, they probably can), there’s no chance of a Western intervention. Other regional countries would think twice – because of Israel.

    Historically it’s interesting that France and the UK push for the implicit intervention. They had quite an argument over the control of Syria.

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  15. AW
    “The poll has the Lib Dems on 8% for Westminster and 18% for European elections, rather underlying its oddness.”

    Not so odd. Those who support being in Europe know that the LDs are unequvocally pro, and remember that they have performed seriously there. On Westminster they have cooked their own goose through the coalition and abandonment of election commitments.

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  16. There’s a major hint as to why this poll result is strange, and it’s in the opening paragraph: “excluding the reallocation of don’t knows”. If the method is different why would you expect a result comparative to earlier surveys?

    There is no earthly reason why 39% of Con voters at Westminster would plump for Labour in Europe, or 30% of Labour voters would vote for European Tories – unless, of course, they were the re-re-allocated don’t knows.

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