The monthly online poll for ComRes in the Indy on Sunday has topline figures of CON 28%(nc), LAB 37%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 19%(+1). Clearly there is no significant change from last month (although that itself is interesting – the UKIP score in this poll matches the party’s high with ComRes, so the decline we’ve seen from UKIP’s post local election high from almost every other company is absent here).

The rest of the poll has lots of my beloved agree/disagree statements, but of particular interest is one that was a repeat from way back in 2009. Back then 58% of people agreed that citizens of other EU countries should have the right to live and work in the UK, four years on, with immigration within the European Union having become more of an issue, that figure has dropped to 23%, with 57% disagreeing that EU citizens should have the right to live and work here.

216 Responses to “ComRes/Indy on Sunday – CON 28, LAB 37, LD 8, UKIP 19”

1 2 3 4 5
  1. RedRag and Chatterclass two excellent posts.Don’t know why people are mentioning your trousers by the way must be some kind of fetish thing.The Conservatives are scared that is why you see the Ed is crap routine time and time again.It is an anything but the ConDems election coming,and if Labour can put out some nice costed policies then i see the Tories going into meltdown.

  2. If policies are costed they won’t be nice!!

  3. Sky is always the same. It goes out of its way to put down Labour. But the media, apart from Independent and the Mirror is also anti-labour. Quite simply the Tories have to poll around 42-44% percent to give them an outright majority over Labour as long as Labour remain between 36% and 40%.. If Labour polls just 1% more than the Tories that gives them an overall majority. The task facing the poisonous Tories is thankfully almost impossible.

  4. Can i just say food banks have tripled in the last year alone,and if this is affecting these so called “strivers” who are actually working.Then it will come down to a cost of living more than an Economy growing.Anyone getting poorer isn’t going to look at Labour and say it is your fault.Then you have the knock on effects of family and friends seeing relatives struggling whilst working which will cause resentment towards the current lot in charge.If you are poorer since the ConDems came in you are not going to vote for them again.A huge amount of my friends and family voted Conservative in 2010 because they disliked GB.Now they regret it and are going back to Labour ,how many others in the country voted for Lib and Tory and now regret it.

  5. RIN

    Change” costed” with “sensible” got carried away.

  6. The food banks thing should be deeply worrying for any party. This is a highly developed economy, but we have thousands of people who can’t eat without charity help. That’s frightening, and it’s regressing horribly. How many people in 1993 had to rely on food parcels?

    This is a relevant issue to VI, because especially near the election, it won’t matter to a lot of people how much DC says the economy is growing if people are starving and can’t afford to heat their homes.

  7. John Pilgrim,well of course Miss Piggy is a class act.

  8. My corrosively cynical take on the whole leadership thing:

    The media pack almost always seems to have it’s favoured candidate in any leadership election of the main parties. And if a party should fail to ‘do the right thing’ and elect the media’s darling, then it’s very rare for them to decide they were wrong. Instead they bend their will to ‘proving’ to the world that they were right all along, that *their* guy indeed should have got the job, not the dweeb who actually did. They do this with all means at their disposal.

    They are the Kingmakers, by divine right the Electors of this Holy Political Empire, and they really don’t like it when we peon’s get uppity and go against their judgement, and since everyone’s image of a party leader is almost entirely a media construction…well.

    Ed Miliband was not their favored candidate.

    I don’t believe this is in any way restricted to the Labour leadership. I’m never going to vote Tory except to keep someone even further right out. But how bad at their jobs were Major, Howard, Hague, and IDS *really*?

    …and how the hell would I ever find out? All I actually ‘know’ about them, all I’m ever going to ‘know’ about them, is their media image, pretty much.

    Yeah, yeah, ‘Part of a party leaders job is manage the media’. That just means that the guys running the news studios and in the editor’s chairs are right in their belief that they’re the real electorate, and not we dummies who might merely cast ballots.

    So, tho’ the vote of the Electoress of NewsCorp may currently be in abeyance, the wisdom ofthe Prince-Archbiship of The Daily Mail, and the opposition to the Count Newsnight-Palatinate, shall surely guide the course of our future Elections! All hail the true and rightful Electors of the Empire!

  9. Never watch Sky so can’t comment… but one or two observations on newspaper endorsement. Ok, newspaper readership is on the decline – less so with some important certain-to-vote groups – but it may be indicative of the broader media sympathy/bias which affects floating/Dk voters.

    Labour have twice won an election with the support of only one newspaper… Feb and Oct 1974 (Daily Mirror).

    Labour lost in 1979, 1987 and 1992 with the support of two papers (Mirror, Guardian).
    In 1983 it was the Mirror only (Guardian supported the SDP/Liberal Alliance).

    The run of Blair victories were supported by the Sun, Mirror, Express (2001), Independent (1997, 2001*), Times (2001, 2005) and Guardian (1997, 2001, 2005*).

    Pre-1969 The Sun did not exist… it was a syndicalist newpaper named The Daily Herald which (along with the Mirror) always supported Labour.


    I’m guessing The Sun might well push UKIP for the EU elections but revert to Con at the general election.

  10. I wonder what the answer would be if the question had been “Should British Citizens be allowed to work in live anywhere in the EU?”

    At least 2.8 Million Brits now work, live or have retired to other EU countries – all would lose their right of residence (apart from Ireland) if we left.

  11. Eric – not long ago YG asked both questions to a split sample (IIRC) finding predictably conflicting answers. On holiday so cant be bothered to look it up!

  12. I just wondered if the ‘Ed is rubbish’ campaign is not intended as a strategy to turn voters off voting Labour, but a mounted campaign to turn voters off voting.

    ‘A plague on all their houses’

    The Tory and LD voters are always said to be more reliable than the Labour voter, and there is no level of turnout required for a legitimate election result. Voter disillusion/apathy is probably an advantage for the coalition parties.

  13. Eric,
    Anecdote alert but recently one my parents was saying we should not allow EU citizens to work in the UK.
    I politely reminded them my that sister worked in Spain where she met a guy got married and produced 2 grandchildren which would not have been possible without free movement of labour.

    That’s different was the reply but they could not tell me why.

  14. How much does the growth of food banks effect VI. I suppose the first thing to realise that nearly all, if not all, EU countries have seen a rise in food banks particularly in countries like the UK, Germany, France, Holland, Spain and so on, so it’s not a problem unique to the UK, and it’s a direct result of welfare cuts in all those countries brought on by the worst recession for many years.

    Will food banks effect VI well it depends as ever on your point of view, you could say that it is disgrace that a civilised country has to rely on food banks to feed the poor, or you could say food banks are an inevitable result of recession and the fact free food is available is the big society in action.

    There does not seem to be any effect on VI at the moment but I havan’t seen that question ask in any polling so it’s difficult to say. Can food banks be used in the political sense not on there own, but together with the mantra of things are getting worse certainly.

    Of course if a political party is going to use that approach then the public perception will have to be things are infact getting worse, and there in is the difficulty of that strategy, because as we see from recent polling people are beginning to believe the economy is getting better with more people than ever in work.

    It will be interesting to see how political parties address the problem of food banks in the up coming party conferences, not to see if they attack each other over the matter we can take that for granted, but to see if any party has a better plan. Of course you could say easy put welfare payments up, but no newly elected party in 2015 is likely to do that, and even if they did, food banks would stay open as they were on the rise pre welfare cut’s.

    Which leads me to the final and more controversial point are food banks in danger of becoming a self generating charity in as much even if benefit payments were generous and the economy booming would we see the end of food banks or would free food always be an attractive proposition for some.

    My own view is at the moment food banks are an absolute necessity and hopefully as things slowly improve the use of them will decline, but because they have become a established charity whoever governs the country food banks certainly won’t be abolished any time soon.

    Yes, Ms Piggy is a class act, and clearly PM material.
    I am just sorry that we are not getting Ed’s and DC’s spitting images.

  16. TURK
    “It will be interesting to see how political parties address the problem of food banks in the up coming party conferences”

    I think the effect will be not from party treatment of the problem but from the problem itself, as an indicator of the wide gap in earning and wealth between the top 5% and large numbers of the population whom one would not normally expect to be dependent on charity.
    VI may in the end be determined by the sense that something is badly wrong, and who can fix it, regardless of who may be though responsible for the recession.

  17. Despite Millibands poor ratings, Labour figures are robust and seems to be firm. Why are the Tories so far behind?
    This has to start worrying Tories as simply pointing to oppositions natural needing to be doing well and enjoying huge leads doesn’t wash when you consider the leads Labour had in government 97-07. After just half a term out of 13 years of government voters seems to be returning to Labour despite the apparent and over emphasised failings of its leader.

  18. A couple of people suggested that saying ”Ed is crap” is no different from saying ”DC’s a posh boy”. But there is quite a big difference. People only started saying, ”DC’s a posh boy” because it seemed to match the drift of Coalition policy. The accusation had credibility only in the light of what the Coalition actually did. The accusation, ”Ed is crap”, is based on nothing Ed has done. It simply reflects the fact he and his team have kept their intentions to themselves. Wise or unwise, strategically, this infuriates the right-wing media, and their ”Ed is crap” response has little to back it up that can’t be blown away with a demonstration that he isn’t.

  19. One of Labour’s key messages this year should have been ‘Welcome to Food Bank Britain’.

  20. Turk

    So what you are saying is that every recession sees an increase in the use of food banks? That’s odd because I don’t remember food banks from any other recession I’ve lived through

  21. “Instead of sending people to jobs, our job centres are sending people to food banks.”

  22. As John Pilgrim says, food banks presumably have to be taken with other things – zero hours contracts, growth of insecure agency working, people on ‘salaries’ working for far less than the minimum wage, various sorts of ‘self-employment’ that can hardly count as employment, drops in wages and so on. All this looks very odd in the face of what is apparently a growth in the economy, and well publicised instances of people at the top drawing enormous salaries, failing spectacularly, and then walking away with magnificent packages (Fred the Shred, and the man who headed City Bank, for example).

    My personal perception is that all this is very hard to reverse and has little to do with any political party. That said, my feeling (and perhaps that of many electors) is that the Conservatives are more likely to see this as part of the natural order of things, set right if at all, by voluntary action in the big society, while Labour in theory should be about setting it right through less fallible means. So in theory it should all help Labour.

    My personal grouse against Labour is that they don’t seem to me to be on to this issue with the passion and analytical rigour that it deserves. And in the vacuum that is created by this lack of a coherent analysis and explanation, other explanations – immigrants, Gordon Brown, the public sector, welfare scroungers etc – come to fill the gap.

    “It’s the rich what gets the pleasure, it’s the poor what get’s the blame, it’s the same the whole world over. Ain’t it all a ….shame”

  23. I still feel that ‘Ed is crap’ is a slightly dangerous line to take.
    You have to be certain that you can completely nail this, and that the public sees that Ed is indeed crap, by the time of the next election.

    At present, Tories are setting the scene for the electorate to think ‘Ed isn’t quite as crap as I thought he was’. While not a ringing endorsement, such a sentiment would actually become an electoral plus for Labour. Tories are banking on resistance to vote Labour because Ed is crap, but if people conclude he isn’t that crap, by highlighting this, the Tory campaign would effectively have helped neutralise a big negative for Labour.

    Of course, this largely depends on what Ed does, and whether he is indeed crap. It’s only a few weeks ago when even Dan Hodges was saying how good Ed had been, after he pulled off one of his big speeches. I wonder……

    Risks ahead all round, and I don’t pretend to know which way this will go, but by campaigning on the Ed is Crap ticket, Tories are effectively handing Labour the initiative to prove or disprove this. What they do with this is up to them, but I always feel it’s far better for a party to campaign on those areas that they control, rather than hand all the attention to the other side.

  24. @RiN – Tory administrations periodically like to find new ways to display economic distress. In the 1980’s they discovered homelessness, today it’s food banks.

    Next year – who knows?

  25. The last time I believe so many people were reliant on the charity of others for food would have been during the Miners’ Strike.

    I do agree Labour need to draw attention to it (and to be fair, their recent messages on the cost of living are in the ballpark if they keep it up) since it’s a terrible manifestation of the problems in our society.

  26. being hungry or without a home is after all about lifestyle choices…

  27. How much does the growth of food banks effect VI. I suppose the first thing to realise that nearly all, if not all, EU countries have seen a rise in food banks particularly in countries like the UK, Germany, France, Holland, Spain

    HAve you any evidence to support this for other EU countries does the figure come any where close to the 600%+ rise in use in the UK since May 2010 and the nearly 80% rise in the last 6 months alone?

    (Source CAB)

  28. Jim

    Ah yes but whose?

  29. A couple of people suggested that saying ”Ed is crap” is no different from saying ”DC’s a posh boy”. But there is quite a big difference. People only started saying, ”DC’s a posh boy” because it seemed to match the drift of Coalition policy

    -Well self evidently Cameron is a posh boy (not too many less than Posh ex Old Etonian Millionaires are married to Earls Daughters)

    However it is a entirely irrelevant if He were any good at His job.

    The Jury is out on Miliband, as leader of the opposition isn’t a job in itself , it is effectively PM in waiting and on that basis the crapness level has been set pretty high by the current incumbant

  30. @RIN

    That is the point, is it not?
    And yes I was taking the wet…

    It seems that being hungry or homeless or both, could well be an attractive proposition as long as free stuff is involved…

  31. JimJam,

    “That’s different was the reply but they could not tell me why.”

    I had a similar thing yesterday at a “Yes” stall in Dingwall high street.

    I guy was adamant that we couldn’t get rid of Trident.

    I asked him why not and havd the folowing exchange;

    “because you can’t!”
    “Why not?
    “Because it’s impossible you couldn’t do it!”
    “Why exactly is it impossible”
    “Because it is!”

    I should have stopped at that point but a combination of curiosity and liking to test my arguments against strident opponents (a bit like I often to here) meant I kept it going for a good five minutes.

    At the end he was still resolutely opposed but he had got no closer to giving a rational explanation as to why.

    It’s back to my old friend Cognative Dissonance, people will order the facts to suit the income they want.

    They feel unease about hearing foreign accents in the shops so Foreigners shouldn’t come over here because; We’re full, the don’t understand our culture, their chaging everything. etc etc. widely held beliefs not really supported by the evidence.

    When it comes to us going abroad that’s different because if it wasn’t they we couldn’t get what we wanted.

    The guy in Dingwall who was on about Nato and Tridents response when I pointed out that Post Franco Spain negotiated the removal of US nuclear weapons and the despite over Gibraltar had’nt stopped them joining replied;

    “I don’t want to hear about Spain or anywhere else this is about us and we can’t do it because it’s impossible”

    One of the things I have always liked and still do about grass roots Labour activists is the way they will confront these kind of attitudes and argue on the doorstep for fairness as opposed to Blair, Mandelson and Campbell who would nod along with whatever people said for votes.


  32. What Labour are missing is a coherent response to the crisis of capital. The rise of food banks is a symptom of a financial system which has lost grip with so many people’s realities. When you work and having paid the rent and bills can’t afford to feed yourself, you know the system is broken.

    But how to fix it? For Osborne he appears to be trying to reflate the housing bubble. A short term hope that the Lucky people who own houses will feel better off, with the £12bn cost being provided by the £11.8bn stripped out of benefit payments. But as this hikes rent ever higher – and thus makes life unaffordable – it can only ever be a short term policy. I have plenty of policy ideas but all have a similar problem.

    For example: We start running out of power in 2015 but thanks to the success of privatisation and the rigour of the market, the provision of new nuclear power stations is now a decision for the French government (EDF). Solution – build our own power stations. Or a lack of affordable housing and mass unemployment? Build 100k council houses.

    Plenty of solutions and my colleagues to my left push them hard. But we don’t have the money to do any of these things and would leave the door open to (likely successful) Tory attacks of Labour blowing money we don’t have. To the contrary you can’t return to status quo ante and restore a financial system that has literally bust the developed world. Not can we afford not to spend money – Spain may be in a worse predicament than us but it has far better infrastructure. We needed to spend an ocean of money on housing, transport and energy infrastructure just to catch up.

    So, “Ed is crap” comes from the inability of the Labour team to produce a solution to the unsolvable. I do not want to hear detailed policies for 12 months because anything published now will be outdated by next summer. But I do want to hear vision, and unnoticed by the media spinners and Blairites like Cameron and progress types, Ed is eulogising Clem Attlee. I therefore hope that the big vision will be to rebuild the country smashed by economic failure. Attlee did so much with a country that was smashed in every way and destitute. Things aren’t that bad now, it can be done again.

  33. ALEC
    “@RiN – Tory administrations periodically like to find new ways to display economic distress. In the 1980?s they discovered homelessness, today it’s food banks.”

    The emergence of food banks, also in the US, are a different indicator to that of homelessness, which was seen mainly as a condition of single people, and could be addressed by shelter. Food banks seem to be a system for the survival of families and may indicate a deeper problem. If we see the break-up of families, with unemployment or insufficient wages (at present masked by the phoney employment figures Charles refers to) linked to food shortage and to loss of shelter, we will have a condition of poverty which defies the usual economic indicators.

  34. Ian

    Then you need to look at the nature of money

  35. I suspect that food banks will not affect VI much at all.

    Those using them are likely to be so far adrift from the political classes, they won’t vote, thinking all parties are the same (a view I have sympathy with).

    The main parties have hardened their rhetoric towards welfare greatly. It’s quite simple – if the incomes of the poorest are reduced, the need for food banks will rise.

    Sadly we are creating an underclass, so adrift from society, reforging the links will become harder and harder. Tough love rhetoric is entirely counter productive, in my view.

    If we don’t tackle this, UK 2020 will have the deep division and social breakdown seen on the US.

  36. RiN
    Very gnomic. The nature of money as in the supply of it into the economy, its relationship to employment, its value as measure by how long you need to work to buy a Big Mac or to buy a 3 bedrooom semi in Norwood?

  37. @Ian Bailey I really like the sound of your ideas (Does that make me far to the left – if so I have learnt something today). But do these ideas really have to be presented in a way that makes them look radical? Why, for example, could we not borrow money at rock bottom interest rates to build the houses you want, charge rents that at least cover the cost, and perhaps include a measure of shared ownership to claw back some of the money and please the strivers? Is raising the minimum wage going to be so disastrous, given a possible effect on reducing the number drawing benefit while in work etc? I don’t know the answer to these questions, but I want someone who will articulate the vision with your kind of intensity and then do the detailed work necessary to defend the policies when the time comes to present them and rebut the attacks. For all I know Labour is doing the latter, but at the moment it lacks the passion I would welcome.

    And incidentally if we are now embarked on spending 81 billion on cutting fractions of an hour off various journey times are there not better ways of spending this money? Why not, for example, use it to give outstanding on the job training to a high proportion of the unemployed (some of them building your houses for example)? Presumably this is because it is not capital expenditure or something, but a highly skilled workforce seems to me the best kind of capital a country can have.

    And why not please Peter Cairns by abolishing or mothballing Trident? Doubt it would change his vote but you never know.

  38. @John Pilgrim

    I think he means nature of money as debt. But he doesn’t like it when folk repeat themselves so maybe it’s something else now, lol.

  39. One of the things I have always liked and still do about grass roots Labour activists is the way they will confront these kind of attitudes and argue on the doorstep for fairness as opposed to Blair, Mandelson and Campbell who would nod along with whatever people said for votes.

    During the Eastleigh by-election I saw a video of this exchange between John O’Farrell and a voter –

    “Vote Labour?”
    “No chance.”
    “I don’t like your policies, I don’t like your leader and I don’t like you”
    “Yeah, but why else?”

    The Labour Party are nothing if not optimistic.

  40. Steve

    Re food banks in EU countrys.

    Germany has seen a massive rise in food banks over the last few years from 1993 when there was 1 to 2013 there are over a 1,000 supporting 1.5 million people.

    The figures for country’s like France and Spain are even worse, I realise some people only want to see this as a UK problem but it’s worldwide, the figures for countries like the USA are even more staggering, but of course nothing like those experianced in third world countries.

  41. It alarms me a little when folk argue that food banks are the consequence of people just wanting free stuff, or the inevitable consequence of recession, when we’ve had recessions before and we haven’t seen this rise in food banks.

    Like, people say unemployment is because people don’t want to work, without considering that we don’t have enough jobs. When we did, most worked.

    When you look at Swingeing rises in cost of living, it’s not hard to see how some may struggle. I don’t think this is lost on the coalition, they just hope those with houses will feel gains on property will offset cost-of-living/stagnant wage losses…

  42. I should add, this isn’t dissimilar to under Labour, when people took on more debt to support their lifestyle, underwritten by property value increases…

  43. RIN

    “I don’t remember food banks from any other resession I’ve lived through”

    Since this is the worst recession since the 1920’s I take it your a fairly old chap, but you must remember, I believe they called them soup kitchens then.

  44. Interesting thread today because the points being made come from such different views of how our political system works. For myself I’m not convinced that political stratgems like “Ed is useless” are provably efficacious. They are used because there is some evidence that they’ve worked before – but the evidence is usually very selective: Kinnock, for example may have been “unfit to govern”, but a lot of other stuff could have contributed to his defeats, so it’s more an act of faith for Tories to use a similar mantra against Miliband than a cogent plan. “It’s the economy stupid” is as unprovable.

    Not that these memes are pointless- they give activists a script which is important for party coherence. But when compared to the experiences a government puts the electorate through in 5 years do they change many minds?

  45. Yes, they were more common when we had more neoliberal policies in the past, let the financial sector screw up, with a reduced welfare safety net, and accepted mass unemployment.

    A situation we are returning to. When we had full employment, that was a brake on poverty. Then when we abandoned that, we kept the majority happy by compensating with rising house values. But this creates a disconnect politically and economically…

  46. TURK
    ” but of course nothing like those experianced in third world countries.”
    Nice sentiment, but that is not the way it mainly works. To make an unjustified generalisation: the big difference is the rural-urban divide, with in most Third World countries some 60 to 70% living in the rural areas, a high percentage on their own small area of lan), and dependent on agricultural production and the marketing of surpluses, local trade and migrant labour for cash earnings. With no social welfare or social security for majority, reliance on the land and often seasonal returns to work on the family holding are the mechanism for the avoidance of poverty. It’s the loss of land, often through the march of industrial plantations, or land expropriation by city dwellers or officials which triggers poverty.
    That can throw up some dreadful poverty, but mainly not food banks.

  47. Turk
    “would free food always be an attractive proposition for some.”

    Free food from the food bank is a sign of the utter desperation of those who have no other means with which to feed themselves & their family.

    It’s not a case of rolling up & getting your fill – there must be a referral from either the job centre / GP / social worker & the allocation is for 3 days worth of basic food supply & for a maximum of 3 consecutive occasions.

    What it is not is a source that a wealthy country such as the UK should be proud of.

  48. Haven’t been provided any data yet, but wouldn’t surprise if food banks rise elsewhere, because rises in cost of food and other commodities is not local to the UK.

  49. There is a myth about “Rock Bottom Interest Rates”.

    Short term rates may be historically low at 0.5% but you can’t get long term borrowing at anything like that.

    We focus on the month to moth rate for EU economies refinancing past borrowing for current expenditure purposes but if you want to borrow billions for hundreds of thousands of homes or a new generation of nuclear power stations you will need to borrow it over between 25 and fifty years.

    These rates are lower than a decade ago but not substantially and certainly not rock bottom.

    When a Councillor on the Resources Committee a year or so back I used to go through the Highland Councils borrowing figures ever few months to review when we should be borrowing or repaying and what we could expect to be paying for what we borrow now in a decades time.


  50. On reflection I’d like to withdraw my last post regarding homelessness and foodbanks etc. It was intended as vaguely humorous, but it probably would come across as against the spirit of the comments policy as it stands.

    I guess AW is on a day off, otherwise it probably would already have disappeared, but do your best to ignore it from now on.

1 2 3 4 5