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. @Turk – “… 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.”

    As has been pointed out, I think you completely misunderstand how food banks work. They don’t simply give out food to anyone who turns up, and you can’t stay reliant on them indefinitely. It just doesn’t work like that.

  2. Current Public Works Loan Board rates;

    Between just under 4% and 4.5% over 20 years, probably higher over longer periods.


  3. I find the arguments that because other countries have food banks it’s ok that Britain has them, well strange I suppose. It’s a kind of fatalism, such is the way of the world and there is nothing we can do about it

  4. It’s a curious kind of reverse logic that people have – if we cut benefits everyone would find work, if the food banks shut down people wouldn’t go hungry – that makes me wonder if they know why these things exist in the first place. They need a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past.

  5. @ SKapusniak,

    I agree, although to be honest the rightwing press would go after any Labour leader and the Guardian is in a state of existential confusion at the moment and has no idea what it wants.

    Mind you, it really doesn’t help that the Labour Party itself keeps getting in on the act (look at YOU, John Prescott.)

    @ Syzygy,

    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.

    The Coalition are pushing through individual voter registration even through they already know from Northern Ireland it will have the effect of pushing a bunch of people off the rolls, and so far there is no plan to mitigate the consequences.

    So prima facie it does seem like they are trying to reduce voter participation.

    (Whatever you may think of individual registration- I’m actually in favour, but it needs to be tied to a serious campaign to register people or it’s just a way to purge the rolls of everyone who isn’t paying attention.)

  6. On food-banks becoming self-perpetuating, I agree with Turk. I don’t think that charities are geared towards actually solving problems & I don’t think they spend people’s money any more wisely than governments do – often less wisely, IMO.

    Charities get in the way of governments being held responsible for the results of their policies. And they prevent government workers from being a real frontline in holding the government to account. e.g. If you are a job centre worker, benefit interviewer, social worker, teacher, health worker etc. & you can refer people to food-banks, it ‘lets you off the hook’ & thereby de-politicises you.

  7. And yes I was referring to the nature of money being debt, again!! It really is the only issue that matters

  8. @ Syzygy

    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.
    I agree that could be the strategy. And, if it is, it’s a very nasty political strategy.

  9. @Peter Cairns – Thanks for correcting my misperception on the costs of borrowing. I equally have no idea how much it would cost to build a council house for (say) a family of four in different parts of the country, how planning regulations might affect this, what rents council tenants might be expected to pay for this, and how much in practice of this would be paid by benefits. Nor do I know how many jobs one can expect to create per extra house built, or how much tax they might produce one way or another. Nor do I know how demographics are likely to affect the demand for housing or what the impact on cost would be of a given number of new houses. And no doubt I don’t know much else beside. Hopefully somebody (perhaps on UKPR) knows these things or if not somebody is trying to find out.

  10. Re. Food Bank Britain, most of the direct problem isn’t actually poverty wages and the pitiful JSA rate (although these contribute because they mean people have no savings to fall back on).

    What usually pushes families over the edge is the combination of unstable, temporary employment and the DWP’s enthusiasm for sanctioning people on spurious grounds. There’s about a three week gap between the time someone applies for unemployment benefits and the time the money comes through (now with an arbitrary additional week because George Osborne wants to encourage people to look for work when they lose their job instead of collecting the unemployment benefit they’re entitled to), and many people fall through that gap. Many more get hit with arbitrary sanctions, and even if they win on appeal and eventually get the money they have to survive without it until the appeal goes through.

    I agree there is no way in hell Labour will raise working-age benefit rates (although they at least tie them back to inflation, which would be a good start), but they could substantially reduce food bank use by relaxing the sanction rules, or even just by refraining from setting illegal sanction targets.

  11. “Hopefully somebody (perhaps on UKPR) knows these things or if not somebody is trying to find out.”
    Me too. I would like to know how funding works for building social housing. Why is funding for new build seen as “undesirable public borrowing” whereas if you take out a mortgage to buy / build a private home it is seen as a sound investment ?

  12. RiN”
    ” I take it your a fairly old chap” -Turk (himself probably no sping chicken? You seem to be holding up alright. How are you on the dance floor?

    On another front: I looked at a very balanced and well-resourced news review on Aljazeera on the
    Egypt crisis. There were two main outcomes: one that the military in Egypt and its ME supporters have gone back to mid-60s rejection of any politicised Islam as a basis of government or involvement in elections, so will put an end to the Muslim Brotherhood as a political force; the second, very clearly enunciated by the Foreign Minister in the interim regime, that this is a matter of eminent domain. This is an Eguptian domestic matter. They will not take any instructions or interference from any other country.. Goodbye to the US-Egyptian-Israeli detente? A signal to the miliary in Pakistan? V. interesting.

  13. I have read some of the posts with interest but have to disagree that the Tories will depend on “ED is rubbish” in 2015. That seems to be what the right wing press is pushing at the moment and what a lot of the electorate believe, looking at the polls. However if the economy continues to grow as I believe it will, and as ordinary voters start to benefit then i think the election strategy will be based on ” Look at the mess Labour left, we have made a good start to sorting it out, let us have a working majority, so (we the Tories) can finish the job, and the good times will roll again”

    That seems a good basis for fighting the next election from a Tory point of view.

  14. I should have added that the “Ed is rubbish scenario” may well continue but as a sub plot to the main economic argument.

  15. Actually there is no need to borrow money to build public housing, govt borrowing is just paying private entities to print money. Why should the state pay someone 4% a year to do what the state can do for free?

  16. @mrnameless – “Blair, Mandelson and Campbell who would nod along with whatever people said for votes.”

    I mean this in the nicest way possible… but might that look a bit like lazy journalism. :)

    New Labour, whether you agree with it or not, was a project designed to draw a line under the infighting of the 70s and 80s and present the electrorate with a sharply defined alternative to Tory rule. Mandelson in particular was arguing from 2008 onwards that whatever else changed, people had to have a clear idea of what Labour stood for… he (as Campbell had been) was also very robust, and timely, in rebutting false characterisations of the party or its leader:


  17. The only problem with what you propose Other Howard is a lack of force in the argument.

    The economy continuing to grow (inevitably very slowly) is unlikely to connect with ‘ordinary’ people starting to feel a benefit – let alone remotely returning to the standard of living they had in 2010 – because there has been such a major shift in resources from the poor to the well-off under this Coalition.

    The ”mess Labour left” is no more than the mess Labour’s leaving coincided with, the ”good start to sorting it out” depends on slow growth leading to ordinary people benefiting, and the lopsided sharing of the pains and the gains of austerity makes it painfully apparent (to all but the gainers) that ordinary people won’t.

    Who will care about the sub-plot, do you think, when the ”main economic argument” is so flimsy?

  18. Note on leaderships ratings and approval to balance off the food-bank / nasty strategy thread (calling them Con, Lab Lib for simplicity):

    UK – Con level, Lab drop, Lib rise
    London – Con drop, Lab drop, Lib rise (to go second)
    RoS – Con drop, Lab drop, Lib rise (to go second)
    M&W – Con rise, Lab drop, Lib rise
    North – Con rise, Lab drop, Lib rise
    Scot – Con rise, Lab drop, Lib rise (Cameron rises above Miliband in Scotland !!)

    Miliband at lowest level in 2013 at -42 points, Clegg at highest 2013 level at -47 points. Cameron steady at -15 points.

    Government approval ratings are higher this week than any point in the last six months (the one exception being a 0.4% drop in M&W…this is August average, so it might rise or drop more yet).

    Approval average is slightly higher than Mar’12, but lower than Feb’12, which had Lab leads of 1-5 points, which opened to 6-10 points after the budget.

    So given the approval / ratings, I predict (for the sake of light hearted humour) Lab leads of 3-5 points overt the next week. Perhaps Con at 33-36 and Lab at 37-40.

  19. @ Billy Bob,

    Fond though I am of Peter Mandelson, I’m not sure

    “Did Gordon ever hit you?”
    “We’ve had our fair share of disagreements, but I like to think I took my medicine like a man.”

    is quite the robust defence of Gordon you are suggesting it was…

  20. @Spearmint

    Hold on, is that true? Gordon Brown physically hit Peter Mandelson at some point? That’s quite a big thing, y’know…


  21. @Billy Bob

    While not going in policy, Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell were formidable in campaign strategy and delivering the message (whatever that was, and what we think doesn’t matter for this discussion).

    Mr Mandleson is of good stock in this regard. I have been recently reading about his grandfather, Herbert Morrison, who did a similar task for the Atlee Government.

    I think the longevity of New Labour was influenced by this duo. I know the Conservatives despised them, but they would have given their right arm for two such capable operators.

  22. Colin Davis
    ” 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.”

    It’s pretty much winding up some senior people in the Labour party as well. I see that John Prescott & some lord mentor of EM’s, who I have never heard of before, have joined the Burnham clamour today. Funny how it’s always the right wing media blamed!

    We have always had food banks, they used to be called soup kitchens and are the Big Society in action, with caring people helping others less fortunate in a much more cost effective way than any Government programme.

  23. @Colin Davis

    Not what I propose, I am not a Tory although I tend to vote for them to help keep Labour out. It was my thoughts on what the Tory strategy will be and IMO it will probably work.

    Your comments are like mine (of the IMO type) and I disagree with most of your views re the effects of the Governments economic management on ordinary people. I count myself an ordinary person as I assume you count yourself.


    Interesting stats, thanks for such posts.

  25. I agree with you, Robert Newark. I’m not blaming the right wing media, I’m just noting it’s a big theme with them. And, yes, there are plenty of anti-Eds in the Labour party, but ‘Ed is crap’ relates nonetheless only to Ed’s inaction, for whatever reason that’s happening. So it’s an empty slogan that can be blown away if Ed’s up to it – whereas ”DC’s a posh boy” resonates because his policies have helped rather a lot of posh boys.

  26. “We have always had food banks, they used to be called soup kitchens and are the Big Society in action, with caring people helping others less fortunate in a much more cost effective way than any Government programme.”
    Maybe so. Might be a good idea for groups of parishes to club together and provide some sort of hostel to provide food and shelter for the homeless and impoverished. Perhaps give them some useful work to do to earn their keep and deter layabouts. .Just need to think of a catchy name for the buildings.

  27. @Amberstar – I would agree with you regarding charities. I worked for one for a very long time, and can attest to the fact that they can be mismanaged and wasteful as much as any other private business or public body, but often with far less oversight and control.

    I think there is also a level of charity frictional resistance, where established charities have a vested interest in maintaining themselves, sometimes without real thought of their intended beneficiaries. As you say, once they have sprung up to meet a need, that need can become their driving force, as opposed to what should be the ultimate aim of every charity, which would be to end the need that first brought into existence, shut up shop and go home.

    the links between public sector bodies and charities is also fraught with difficulties, with examples of charities over reliant on government funding as well as public sector bodies offloading responsibilities to third sector organisations on the assumption that charities must be better.

  28. Martyn

    Well he could have answered “yes and I enjoyed it”

  29. @ Martyn,

    We’ve no idea, because when Mandelson was asked the question he refused to either confirm or deny it but instead gave the answer I referred to above.

    In most cases I would take that for confirmation (because seriously, who answers that question with anything besides “Of course not, are you daft?”) but this is Peter Mandelson so there’s a 50% chance he was just trolling.

  30. @Petercairns – your mention of PWLB rates isn’t quite the full picture, as these are set by the Treasury. These include a margin of up to 1% over and above current gilt rates, so it would be possible for the government to make funding slightly cheaper to the PWLB if they chose to.

    In any event, I was very interested to read about someone else looking at the PWLB. I’ve been asking various questions of this potential funding source for a number of community projects I am involved with, to see if it would be possible to get council backing for PWLB finance for community owned projects.

    No joy as yet, but if we could invest at 4% instead of the 8% banks are demanding, we could see a whole host of profit generating projects get moving, owned and managed by local communities.

  31. Robert

    The only soup kitchens that I’m aware of in modern times are the salvation army for the down and outs, and they were always few in number, what seems to be discussed here is something that was supposed to be banished from modern society. Now I’m sure that you will tell me that the idea that in the near future small children will have to work long hours in sweat shops to help their families survive is a silly notion but 20 years ago you would have said the same about food banks. Where is it exactly that we are headed? Where will we end up if we stay on this path?

  32. Well, fair do’s, none of us can see the future, but the weighting of the pains of the austerity party towards the shoulders of the poorest is hard to deny (isn’t it?) And the blaming of Labour for the 2010 mess is easy to do but hard to substantiate.

    I imagine it will be frowned upon on this site, but I am interested in why someone should so earnestly seek to keep Labour out. For all its failings and frailties, it doesn’t subscribe to a philosophy which allows a few people to amass for themselves the lion’s share of a society’s limited resources – and that surely is basic morality? Why people should think that resisting selfishness and greed leads inevitably to evils worse than the enforcement of poverty is a moral conundrum for me, and I am always fascinated to hear people’s opinions as to why this should be the case – provided that sort of thing is allowed on this site.

  33. Colin Davis

    It’s not allowed on this site but we do it anyway until we get send to the cold desolate wastelands of pre mod, otherwise known as the naughty step

  34. ps that last post of mine was to Other Howard, and the first line should read ”pains of austerity”, as I guess you guessed.

    “I find the arguments that because other countries have food banks it’s ok that Britain has them, well strange I suppose. It’s a kind of fatalism, such is the way of the world and there is nothing we can do about it”


    Yeah, it is a bit weird. Like, no matter how much they cut provision, or let the corporates mess it up, it’s okay because… It’s worse somewhere else!!

    Strangely, they don’t appear to apply this logic to the wealthy. Instead of taking some more money off of them and going “why are you complaining, people have less in the third world”, no, they let them have more money.

    The latest vehicle is a resurgence of buy-to-let mortgages, dirt cheap ‘cos sponsored by the government house-funding thing…

  36. @Colin Davis

    We will not be able to persue that line of discussion as AW will intervene. What I will say is that I totally disagree with you view of what Labour stands for indeed I believe that it results in the opposite, nor do I believe it holds any moral high ground. All IMO of course.

  37. Alec “How food banks work”

    The trouble with just picking the quote that suits your point as usual, you fail to mention that I thought food banks were doing a good job at present, as for people abusing the system to claim food ,there are a myriad of rules and regulations that surround benefit claiming are you suggesting that there is no abuse of that system which often rely on doctors reports from social workers.

    And actually I do know how food banks work as we contribute about 2% of the none cerial fresh food from the farm to the Trussell trust through our supermarket outlets, which I wasn’t going to mention but quite franky I find the sweeping assumptions of some on these posts quite irritating.


    “It’s not allowed on this site but we do it anyway until we get send to the cold desolate wastelands of pre mod, otherwise known as the naughty step”


    If it helps any, plain vanilla automod feels like premod at times…

  39. Absolutely fair do’s, Other Howard, and I have to go out anyway, but it looks like you do believe that ”resisting selfishness and greed leads inevitably to evils worse than the enforcement of poverty,” and why that should be the case in many people’s minds is still a conundrum for me.

  40. Colin Davis

    Good post agree with you entirely

  41. Colin

    And again

  42. @Colin Davis

    I just do not agree that Labour “resisting selfishness and greed” far from it but as you say lets not persue it. I have got to go out as well.

  43. I just worry that food banks will become normalised as a method of feeding the poorest in society.

    I do not want to A N Other Governments in the future keep squeezing the poor, knowing charities will feed them.

    Charity is no replacement for ensuring all people who work get a living wage, and those who cannot earn have a dignified level of support to allow themselves to fed, housed and clothed with dignity. That is a Governmental responsibility.

  44. @ Colin Davis

    1. Trickle down – if rich people are rich enough & you ‘rub shoulders’ with them, some of their wealth will transfer to you; &/or
    2. Trickle up – a few, by hard work or merit or luck, will trickle up to join that wealthy elite. As the lottery advert says: It could be you! (Or your kid, if your elbows are sharp enough); &/or
    3. Wealthy people got wealthy for a reason, they are special (e.g. were chosen by god, worked harder than me, were more talented than me) & therefore they deserve it & also because they are special, they probably know what is good for the country & what is good for me.
    Hence charities paid for by the wealthy will be best at deciding who is deserving & who isn’t; they will intuitively know – due to their sponsors being appointed by god or being ‘successful’ people – how to help the deserving achieve their potential & how to make the undeserving pull their socks up.

    These are the rarely challenged narratives which seem to drive the belief of ‘ordinary’ people that they themselves & other ‘ordinary’ people are undeserving simply because they are ‘ordinary’.

    I could go on at great length about how children’s fairy stories, athletes thanking god when they win etc. etc. all feed the narrative from our earliest years but it would fill too many comment boxes!

  45. @R HUCKLE (fpt)

    “My experience of state education is that the quality of teaching is very inconsistent, with some teachers able to spark interest in a subject and others just going through the motions of covering any subject without checking understanding of most pupils. I think in independent schools, often with smaller class sizes, the teachers spend more time creating interesting lessons and they challenge pupils to check their understanding.”


    The matter of small class sizes crops up quite often in debates on public vs state schools, with people suggesting small class sizes allow teachers to individualise the lessons more, do more one-to-one teaching etc.

    Maybe it’s changed but in my day I don’t think they made much use of the small classes to individualise lessons. However, what most people don’t think of, is that where it did make a difference, was homework. Because you have fewer pupils’ work to mark. So if you have a class of 12, you can set them twice as much homework and still have less to mark than a teacher in a state school with a class of 30.

    Having been in the state sector where homework had been something like making Dougal the Dog out of a fairy liquid bottle with some orange wool glued on and with the top painted black for the nose, or maybe winning a groovy multicoloured eraser for writing a story, I soon became acutely aware of this iniquitous arrangement and decided I should be the one who decides how much I should do. Especially since completing it could result in being given more to do, their appetite for marking seeming undiminished even if I churned out reams of the stuff.

    What was wrong with these people, I wondered. Didn’t they have pubs to go to, hobbies to do, wives to do? At that age, I did not know much about the wife thing, but it seemed to me, that if one had a wife, one might not wish to be telling your amorous partner to hold on while you finished marking another couple dozen of Carfrew’s differential equations….

    Then it became clear some of them did have other things to do because alternatively, sometimes you would get more to do and… maybe they wouldn’t mark your stuff!! And you never won something multicoloured or anything. Whichever way you sliced it, it was all wrong, especially when I had the revelation that this homework thing would hamper our Oxbridge chances so maybe I wouldn’t do it much at all. I would do something else instead. (Which wasn’t the conventional arrangement and didn’t necessarily go down all that well, but they were getting used to me by now…)

  46. 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,


    -I acknowledge that this isn’t a UK only issue and that other countries have a problem to.

    However,no other European Country has seen the rise of nearly 800% in Food Bank Dependency in just 3 Years and a Near Doubling in Just the last 6 months seen in the UK and trying to portray it as an international issue only I think is ignoring that something critical is happening in the UK since 2010.

    These are figures endorsed by the Trussell Trust .

    Well done on your support for such a worthy organisation.

  47. “So given the approval / ratings, I predict (for the sake of light hearted humour) Lab leads of 3-5 points overt the next week. Perhaps Con at 33-36 and Lab at 37-40.”


    Interestingly from your figures Statty, Cons are up in the Midlands, where be dragons, sorry, marginals, and curiously, down in the South…

  48. Having been in the state sector where homework had been something like making Dougal the Dog out of a fairy liquid bottle with some orange wool glued on and with the top painted black for the nose, or maybe winning a groovy multicoloured eraser for writing a story,

    -Damn that’s probably why I didn’t do so well in Applied Maths too much making characters from the Magic Roundabout and too little Calculus!!

    “Boing” said Zebedee” Maybe later” said Florence

  49. Catmanjeff

    Not sure if it’s a govt responsibility, but at the very least they shouldn’t pursue the opposite, I’ve been reading a lot of stuff written about policy makers assumptions of structural and/or necessary unemployment and it seems the goalposts have moved a long way with 7% being considered the high end of desirable unemployment and 6 being the low end, in other words full employment has been redefined

  50. @Spearmint

    You’re quite right, I hadn’t seen that bit before… Mandelson wasn’t staff though, and humour did seem to diffuse the topic at that point in the interview.

1 2 3 4 5