The monthly ComRes poll for the Independent is out tonight. Topline figures are CON 34%(+4), LAB 37%(+1), LDEM 10%(nc), UKIP 12%(-2). The three point Labour lead is the lowest ComRes have shown since last September, and the 34% for the Conservatives the highest since last November.

The drop in the Labour lead and the fading of UKIP support is very much in line with the pattern we’ve seen in the daily YouGov polls, in ICM’s poll this month and in line with the sort of figures Populus are now showing… though it’s worth noting that MORI and some of the new online companies aren’t yet picking up the same pattern.

As to why the polls are narrowing, the harsh truth is that we really can’t tell. There is always a temptation that I see people falling into to reach for the issue you personally care about and ascribing changes in the polls to that (or “why the change in the polls shows that politicians should do the thing I like”) the reality is we can’t tell*, all we can do is look for rough correlations in timing. Personally my best guess is that’s its the result of the ongoing improvement in economic optimism we have seen over the past few months, a rather more controlled Conservative message and the decreased level of publicity UKIP have been receiving.

(*Whenever I make a point like this someone makes the suggestion of asking people. Oh were it so easy! Firstly, if you ask people who gave a different answer 3 or 4 months ago if they’ve changed their mind many won’t realise they have. If you ask why to those who have consciously changed their mind you get lots of don’t knows, general grumbles and some reasons that may be genuine causes, or may be post-hoc rationalisations for complex decisions we probably don’t even understand ourselves.)


424 Responses to “ComRes/Indy – CON 34, LAB 37, LD 10, UKIP 12”

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  1. Well I suppose an average 32 could conceivably be called the Mid 30’s does that make 40 the low mid 40’s?

  2. @Steve,

    There’s a difference between saying ‘in the mid 30s’ and ‘heading back to the mid 30s”.

    The last 4 polls out in the last few days have the Tories on 34, 34, 33 and 34. I would agree that the Tories are now probably on about 33% all things considered.

  3. “Good Morning all, on Ignatius of Loyola’s day.”

    Are you sure you’re not just making these days up Chris?

  4. Of course, the Tory VI is irrelevant if Labour can stay on 37%+….it will be curtains for Cameron regardless.

  5. @Colin Davis – ” …Gordon B was intensely disliked.”

    Not sure if that is entirely correct… it’s debatable even whether the Duffy incident had any real effect. The Sun’s campaign about Brown’s “disrespect” (ie poor handwriting) towards the family of a dead serviceman was widely percieved to have backfired.

    Rawnsley’s book was more influential, spreading a bad smell thoughout the commentariat – from then on Brown was treated with contempt for his supposed maladjusted personality, mockery about his appearance, the stilted smile etc.

    Part of the new-found confidence among Conservatives is that Miliband contines to have very poor ratings, and that when the time is right they can relentlessly portray his “weakness”. Much will depend on Labour’s ability to counter this media strategy.

  6. BB

    Part of the new-found confidence among Conservatives is that Miliband contines to have very poor ratings, and that when the time is right they can relentlessly portray his “weakness”. Much will depend on Labour’s ability to counter this media strategy.”

    Of course timing wil be everything: my own feeling – based on what I know or observe about EM – is that this will be done more convincingly that many want to believe – when the time is right. I woud guess the build up will be from the conference this year and even more in 2014.

  7. ignatius

    “Thereafter he went to Manresa, where he began praying for seven hours a day, often in a nearby cave”

    Blimey!

  8. “Thereafter he went to Manresa, where he began praying for seven hours a day, often in a nearby cave”

    Boris?

  9. NICKP

    @”Boris?

    Certainly not :-

    “Ignatius wrote the Jesuit Constitutions, adopted in 1554, which created a monarchical organization and stressed absolute self-abnegation and obedience to pope and superiors ……….
    ……….Famous Quote of Loyola:
    “ That we may be altogether of the same mind and in conformity with the Church herself, if she shall have defined anything to be black which appears to our eyes to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black. For we must undoubtingly believe, that the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of the Orthodox Church His Spouse, by which Spirit we are governed and directed to Salvation, is the same; .”

    Wiki.

    I can think of a few politicians who would go along with that creed-but not Boris!

  10. It would be interesting what the response would be in polling, if this question was asked.

    Can the UK adequately fund Health & Social Care costs in future years without increases taxes ?

    I suspect that Tory VI would show a majority that say that the UK can fund this, without increases taxes. This is on the basis that savings can be made and that they don’t believe in increasing taxes.

    Labour VI would show a majority supporting increased funding through tax increases and I think Lib Dems would also show a majority, but less so than for Labour.

    At the moment, the UK faces a dilemma, because the coalition is trying to find savings of £20bn in healthcare costs and I think Labour ahead of the last election also said they would have to make savings. Given the problems within the various hospitals highlighted in the Keogh report and Mid Staffs, I would question whether the NHS can make the savings proposed, while dealing with the problems in the NHS, some of which involves under-staffing. The question is then what can be done to bridge the funding gap ? Some savings can be made, but I doubt they would be enough to adequately fund the system.

  11. I don’t like to remember the 31st of July it is too sad

    31st July 1988 – Last Playboy club closes

  12. From St Ignatius Loyola to bunnies only on UKPR!

  13. @Billy Bob, Paul Croft

    “Ed M just isn’t PM Material” is already priced into polling, and as we all see doesn’t really drag it down.

    The problem with the idea that the Conservatives will “bring out the guns and target Ed” during the campaign, is that the guns have been pounding on him already. The attacks on Ed were all launched practically right from the point he became Labour Party leader. Every gaff a headline, every mistake a ‘catastrophic blunder’.

    But they’re not making a dent into Labour’s figures.

    Added to that, the Conservatives appearing to base their campaign on personality politics could very well *hugely back fire*. Who wants to vote for a gang of bullies picking on the geeky kid?

    Now, it could be that there’s some awful behaviour by Ed that’s been kept hidden, and can be brought out to disrupt the campaign… But I kind of doubt it.


  14. Political satire at its cutting best !!!”

    Sorry you disagreed Anthony; you’ve probably read and heard more than me though.

    …………………………………………………………………………………..

    JB

    As I wrote, I think people are going to be surprised. In a way they are shooting theirseves in their right foot as expectations are being forced so low, so consistently that he is virtually certain to confound them.

    Added to that I think he is very intelligent and has a strategic timetable in place – made much easier with five years’ advance notice of the GE date. Rather better than five weeks I’d say.

  15. @STEVE
    “…From St Ignatius Loyola to bunnies only on UKPR!..”

    Bbunnies? D-did you mention…bbbunnies?!

    Bunnies aren’t just cute as everybody supposes, they got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses, and what’s with all the carrots, what do they need such good eyesight for anyway? Bunnies, bunnies, it must be bunnies!

    (Sorry, couldn’t help it…:-))

    rgdsm

  16. I suddenly wondered if a right-to-die campaigner could be sentenced to death in China ??

  17. @jayblanc

    You make some fair points, but I’m not entirely convinced. AW sits on the fence a bit, but he does now and again hint that the “best PM” measure might become more of a deciding factor closer to the election. My guess is that unpolitical floating voters/certain-to-vote don’t knows would be more influenced by those kind of concerns.

    Miliband could ignore the attacks and hope his positive messages are reported sympathetically by the press. The attidude of Labour MPs and the party generally will be crucial.

    In 2010 the reponse was to ignore leadership questions and concentrate on individual constituencies… campaign literature for example largely banished any picture/mention of the leader/PM (Gordon Brown not an asset). By contrast Tory literature focused almost entirely on Cameron respectfully setting his credentials before the electorate. You can argue that Labour did quite well in 2010 considering. The fact remains that Labour morale was very low from 2009 conference onwards… convinced (partly by media attitudes) that they were heading for defeat.

  18. High Court ruling on Lewisham hospital cuts.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23518732

  19. The problem with the “right to die” campaign for and by people who are seriously ill, is it can never be granted, the campaigners are starting at the wrong end of the argument.

    There should be first of all a “right to live” All disabled people should have a legally enforceable right to independent living written into law, I think that is the place to start, not at the wrong end of the spectrum.

    Until this happens we could never be sure it is not our failure to offer the care required for fellow human beings; to live an independent life within our society that is the problem.

    We have just had a well known criminal try and move to a different prison where they would not keep force feeding him, it cost the tax payer £500.000 to keep him where he is I believe.

  20. @ Ozwald

    Re: Lewisham Hospital – I’m looking forward to reading the full text of the Judge’s remarks. The case seems to have arisen because funds were to be diverted from Lewisham hospital to protect another hospital’s PPFI investors from the impact of its potential bankruptcy.

  21. “If the government is to mount a campaign of this nature, it is incumbent on it to ensure that it does not exaggerate or lie, in breach of the advertising code of practice. On the face of things, this advert falls far short of the standards insisted on by the ASA. I have accordingly asked it to rule urgently on its acceptability.”
    ————
    The ‘vans’ have been referred to the Advertising Standards Agency. On a matter of detail – but nevertheless, at least some effort is being made to raise the standard of this (IMO, obviously politicised advertising) by the Home Office.

  22. Kinnock, Brown, now Ed Milliband, the butt of distorted derogatory,, rep-uports in the media, mostly in the News International organs, and disgracefyully in the Sun’s repeated slanders against Brown in the run-up to the 2010 GE: have, what? the attraction of seeing these men of intellect and great integrity dragged into the infantile muck? Not, I think, infantile in intent or in the power wielded by the discredited and vicious men who fund and direct the process. If indeed Ed is subjected to this same disgraceful treatment, I shojuld hope that a stronger legal process will be brought against it and its perpetrators, rather than needing a decent and gifted man, as Brown also showed himself and was know to be, to have to seek or resist the need to respond in his own defence.

  23. reports

  24. Can anyone give me a lecture on the ‘don’t knows’.

    My problem is that being naturally lazy I just look at the headline figures. These come to me after a great deal of data torturing and certainly after the don’t knows have been omitted.

    So I would like to know, what proportion they typically are of the sample; whether anything is known about how they are made up in terms of those who have voted for particular parties or didn’t vote; how many say they won’t vote next time; whether there is any evidence that they are more likely than others to have voted for different parties in the past; whether the putative rise in conservative fortunes is associated with a drop in the proportion of don’t knows; and generally whether their views on particular topics seem typical of the sample as a whole or of subsections of it.

    I have the greatest possible faith in the collective wisdom of UKPR (and indeed of its presiding guru AW). So is anybody without undue exertion able to cast light on any of this?

  25. Martyn as a young Police officer I used to go out with a ex bunny can’t remember Her being too keen on carrots but I think her nose twitched now and then

  26. It’s very likely that leadership qualities will become more important as the GE gets closer IMO, BUT I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion, like some seem to think, that Ed will lose the battle. It’s true that the public hasn’t really taken to him so far, but he’s clearly a very well-educated and intelligent man….he has the potential to change those negative perceptions and surprise people.

    Rather like the battle of the parties, the battle of the leaders is for 2015 is far from over IMO.

  27. Ambi

    as i just wrote, the critics are leaving him pretty much nowhere to go but up.

  28. @Paul,

    I agree.

  29. It’s very likely that leadership qualities will become more important as the GE gets closer IMO, BUT I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion, like some seem to think, that Ed will lose the battle

    -Doesn’t really matter Callaghan was more popular than Thatcher in 1979 and Major was 10% more popular than the rest of the Tories (Sympathy vote) in 1997.

    If Labour maintain the poll ratings they have had for the last 2 Years they are back in irrespective of any attempts by Lynton Crosby to make it about what Miliband looks like

  30. @Croft
    Yes, brain dysfunction, a heavy blow to the face could cause such an injury, rather than say a rupture, or a dislocated hip joint.

  31. PAUL CROFT and COLIN.
    Hello again.
    Yes, it is the day when Jesuits of all types including Pope Francis 1 remember Ignatius.

    Ed seems to need a conversion experience like he had.

    As to mentions of Neil Kinnock, I think he was a brave man, after 1983.
    However, he was very disruptive for the Callaghan Government.

  32. Charles,

    The biggest feature of the don’t knows is the gender imbalance. For example, yesterday’s YG has 11% of males are DK but 22% of females. This is typical.

    A very good question is why this is. Are the women A. knowledgable but undecided, B. uninterested, or C. unwilling to say what they think?

    Some clues about this come from the Populus figures. They record “Rather not say” as 2% for both males and females. So I think this rules out C. Their DK figures are 14% male, 25% female, and that does not include the “Rather not say”s.

    I don’t know how to distinguish A. and B. But whichever it is, it looks like a good election strategy is to target the undecided women.

    Another possibility for the imbalance is that the men feel the need to state a choice even if they are actually undecided. I suppose we could measure this if we had figures on churn from a panel pollster. But as far as I know we don’t.

  33. @ Charles

    Roger Mexico gave a very detailed answer to my question about DKs a couple (or three) threads ago.

    @ Roger Mexico

    Thanks for the response and apologies for the late thank you, but life got in the way to acknowledge the information right away.

  34. @ ChrisLane1945

    Today is St Oscar’s day…

    Hence the extra treats to my dog.

  35. CHARLES

    Taking WNV & DKs together, and expressing the sample breakdown inclusive of WNV/DK , in a typical recent YouGov Poll they represent :-

    23% of the total sample.
    13% of Con 2010 identifiers
    14% of Lab 2010 identifiers
    27% of LD 2010 identifiers
    and
    40% of non-2010 identifiers ( ? new voters)

  36. @ Chris Lane,

    Hung Parliament beckons I tink.

    If the Lib Dems really do get 0% it will be, certainly.

    My own money is still on a one seat Labour majority, going by Ed Miliband’s previous record of just squeaking in over the line. Although I agree with Paul and Ambi that the press could hardly be unkinder to him than they already have, and agree with… er, Ed Miliband… that he was the best of the 2010 leadership candidates, I nevertheless think he is a problem for Labour.

    For one thing, people who have been skipping past the Sun’s nasty articles about him will begin to read them as the election draws near. For another, we have two more years in which the Blairites can throw embarrassing, disruptive public tantrums about him, and at this point I have zero confidence in their ability to behave like grown-ups who want to win an election.

    @ Roger,

    I thought I didn’t care, but your link has shifted me firmly into the NO camp. Dear god, my eyes.

  37. RR

    More determined perhaps?

  38. I wonder how Stafford hospital is going to play out at the next GE, there are quite a lot of angry people in Stafford, and as far as I know; very few deaths confirmed as a result of negligence out of that 13 000 figure that was banded about, it makes me a little uneasy to see this happening.

    This result could quite easily tip the balance towards conservatives losing the seat I think it will be worth keeping an eye on at the GE…

  39. Ex-Tory treasurer Cruddas wins £180,000 libel damages
    Former Conservative co-treasurer Peter Cruddas has won £180,000 libel damages over Sunday Times allegations about charging to meet David Cameron.

    The High Court in London also ordered the newspaper to pay £500,000 in costs.

    The businessman, 59, complained that the articles in March last year suggested he had corruptly offered the chance to gain unfair advantage through secret meetings with the PM. (Cash for Lasagne)

    He also criticised the Tory leadership, saying: “The fact remains that, when the story broke, the behaviour of the Conservative Party made the whole thing a lot worse.

    “The fact that Mr [David] Cameron said it was quite right I resigned [when] he didn’t have my side of the story.”

    He added: “The Conservative Party, by not giving me support… and lining up to criticise me in public, made the situation a lot worse.”

    The Sunday Times said it was “dismayed” and would appeal against the judgement.

    -So a defeat snatched out of the jaws of victory

  40. It’s odd how Cameron always turnsout to have bcked the wrong horses (Coulson, Hunt, Fox), and thrown the wrong ones (Cruddock, plebgate) to the wolves.

  41. @Amber
    Re Lewisham hospital full judgement. If you follow this link then scroll down to where it says “the full verdict is here” you can download it in Word format.

    http://lydall.standard.co.uk/2013/07/full-details-judge-quashes-jeremy-hunts-illegal-attempt-to-downgrade-lewisham-hospital.html

  42. @Nickp
    I know, and it still looks as if he is going to PM in 3 years time. Life’s a bitch.

  43. @Colin – Thanks that seems useful to me. They’re bigger than UKIP then. But why do you lump wnv and don’t know together? Is there evidence that Don’t knows are as likely not to vote as WNV?

  44. roland

    You haven’t been paying attention.

  45. My apologies Anthony, I didn’t realise you’d done some pruning when I made my previous comment.

  46. CHARLES .

    Laziness.

    From this morning’s You Gov-DK only , expressed in the same terms & in the same order as my post to you :-

    15%
    13%
    10%
    21%
    17%

    UKIP expressed in the same terms-ie of the total sample including DK/WNV was 7.7% ( ie 10% X 77%)

  47. @ Ozwald

    Re Lewisham hospital full judgement.
    ————
    Thank you for the link.

    I think Jeremy Hunt will be making a political error if he decides to go ahead with the appeal.

  48. The Staffs hospital Trust dissolution is actually because the Trust has run out of money. Bad management, as has been repeatedly said, is the issue here, not whether it’s the NHS or its Trust status at fault and therefore whether it’s the Blue or Red team’s philosophies that are wrong (and both could legitimately be blamed here) is irrelevant. It was badly run, and it would have been badly run under whatever Government was in power.

    Wrt Lewisham, I am old-fashioned and think a Secretary of State found to have broken the law, again, no matter what team he belongs to, ought to resign.

    We don’t do that sort of thing any more unfortunately.

  49. CL 1945

    @”As to mentions of Neil Kinnock, I think he was a brave man, after 1983.”

    Specifically 1985-agreed.

    …but on the other hand there was 2004, and of course 2005.

    I suppose the fires dim after two decades.

  50. It’s Jeremy Hunt, so I think we can safely conclude the appeal is going ahead. Not like the Tories have a chance in that area anyway, what do they care if they piss of the locals?

    Bit of a missed opportunity, though. Here’s an NHS disaster that genuinely is Labour’s fault, and he’s squandering the political capital on unpopular hospital closures?

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