ComRes’s monthly poll for the Independent is out tonight and has topline figures of CON 28%(-5), LAB 36%(-1), LD 11%(nc), UKIP 12%(+1), Others 13%(+5). A significant drop for the Conservatives, and a significant increase for minor parties. The eight point lead for Labour is the largest ComRes have shown in their telephone polls since March. Full tabs are here.

I’ll make the usual caveats about big movements in polls – they could be the sign of something, or could just random sample variation (the big increase in “others” looks particularly odd, so do remember Twyman’s Law – if something looks unusual or interesting in a poll, it’s probably wrong). At the end of last week I did say that it looked as though the Labour lead in YouGov’s daily polling could be creeping upwards, perhaps on the back of energy prices being all over the news. On the other hand, the Survation poll at the weekend and the Populus poll this morning don’t show any sign of a widening lead. At the risk of being ever so dull and predictable, wait and see what the continuing trend shows.

Meanwhile looking at the rest of the poll ComRes found the same widespread support for Ed Miliband’s promise to freeze energy prices that we’ve seen elsewhere – 80% support the policy, 17% oppose it. However only 41% of people actually think Miliband would deliver on the promise if Labour formed a government, 52% think he will not.

As I mentioned above, earlier on today we also had the twice-weekly Populus poll. Today’s figures were CON 33% (-1), LAB 38%(-1), LDEM 12%(+1), UKIP 9%(-1), Others 7%(-1). Full tabs here


181 Responses to “ComRes/Indy – CON 28, LAB 36, LD 11, UKIP 12”

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  1. STATGEEK
    you need to mail all the polling companies and tell them they are doing to wrong… non partisan comment

  2. @Statgeek

    “Of course, it could all be twaddle.”

    Indeed, and I fear it may well be.

  3. Statgeek

    Which agrees with the ukpr polling average, so it’s unlikely to be far wrong

  4. “Of course, it could all be twaddle.”

    Didn’t Chris Twaddle miss a pen. for England once?

    To be fair just about everyone has at some time -usually when they took one.

  5. It was a shame for ole Jesus that he did all his miracles before sound recording, film, telly, the internet, Skype etc etc were there to silence the doubters.

  6. “Didn’t Chris Twaddle miss a pen. for England once?”

    Yes and so did Gareth Statgeek, if I remember rightly, although it could have been Southgate. I get easily confused these days!

  7. @Statgeek

    You could be on to something, and as you are the expert you probably are.

    What I am not sure of is what happens when the unweighted sample is turned into a weighted sample. If they are weighted on the basis of their 2010 vote to correspond with the known proportions of voters at that election, then I understand what you are doing. I think this would mean that the sample could then by multiplied by the proportion in the population to give a further weighting.

    (Likely, as how can voters be analysed in advance by region if a proportion of mobiles, i.e. without dialling code, are used to telephone the sample?)

    If the sample is already weighted by region, then there is the danger of double-factoring regionally.

    If only my old maths teacher Mr Avazian could see me now – perhaps he would have his head in his hands? I have to go out now, but will read any reply with interest.

  8. @ Statgeek

    That’s the same as the UKPR average.

  9. crossbatty

    “confused”

    Same with Gareth – he thought the goal was a lot higher I seem to recall.

  10. bcrombie:
    “There is a lot of interesting work going into understanding this part of history – the Roman time in the Middle East – and religion actually gets in the way of our understanding rather than helping it in my view”

    Funnily enough, I think almost the complete opposite. Too often theologians and historians don’t read/speak to each other. Both are impoverished as a result. I am often dismayed at the lack of historical context of those studying religion of this period, and equally dismayed by ignorance of basic theology by historians/classicists. Both then misread the historical data. As it happens, the interaction of the social/historical context and theology is my own research area (though a few centuries later than Jesus).

  11. From the previous thread re Jesus etc.
    I was brought up an agnostic (no really!) and became a Labour supporter, I then had an epiphany and became Christian (nothing extreme,just good old CofE) if anything my Labourite tendencies have deepened as a result. Before l became Christian l had always been attracted towards Deism (the view that whether there is a God or not,it would be better ,for society if people assimed ‘there was and behaved accordingly) bit like us users relationship with Anthony l suppose….

  12. Jonathan

    Thank you for the very polite way of disagreeing…

    I agree with you to the extent that historical fact is nothing without the cultural context, and in this time the culture was definitely Judaic.

    In this respect they do need to speak to each other. The religion though is only important in terms of the culture it brought and so a Christian theologian brings little to this as it had no real cultural impact – Jesus was not a Christian.

    The cultural context in the Middle East at this time was more the pagan-based Romano one coupled with the monotheistic Jewish one. Religion and important, but not the sole, component

  13. ewen

    “nothing extreme,just good old CofE”

    Well if all religions were about cups of tea abd charitable deeds that would be fine.

    They’re not though.

    My own view is that a belief in a god is the most tragic red herring that the world endures and that morality should not need someone mythical to oversee it.

    A belief that “this is yer lot” should be enough to make the majority of us want it to be as good as possible for as many as possible, rather than believing that if we massacre a large number of our fellow human beings then some sort of heaven awaits us.

  14. Heavens above, I haven’t read the context, but how on earth did Jesus arrive here? Atheist, moi, but I rather think the New Testament is quite a good source, B Crombie.

    It’s certainly not a single source, and there are numerous gospels other than those chosen by religious authorities many years later to support the catholic position. You are right, they all date from well after the supposed death of Jesus, however.

    The founding of the early Christian church is also documented, though – as Gibbon commented – the surprising thing is that so few of the well-known Latin authors give them much of a mention.

    What makes me take the Bible very seriously as a source is the half-remembered detail of the Biblical accounts, the sudden surpring – and often shocking – little details of what they recall happening in the Passover week. Manufactured accounts (I would sugegst) rarely have those little inconsistencies and those little half-explanations, of which you have to read between the lines. ‘Manufacturers’ tend to tidy things like that up. (I say ‘shocking’, and I mean things like after the last supper, (writing quickly and not checking the source back,) ”How many knives have we got?” ”Three.” ”That’s enough.” This goes against the entire narrative of the gospels, and no ‘manufacturer’ would have left it there, surely? Even if the, I think implausible, religious gloss on this (Jesus was saying, ”Stop it, that’s enough!”) is correct, why leave such misinterpretable things in the text, if you’re making a story up?

    No, I’ll go with Jesus as history, and the gospel story of a terrifying gamble, a week of tight-lipped, tense excitement, massive miscalculations – on Jesus’ and on the zealots’ parts – and religious authorities, wrong-footed at first, but then acting with ruthless speed. For me it’s history all right.

  15. I too had a few thoughts on the Jesus thing, before realising the world had moved on. These were (and I’ll correct some bad typing on the previous thread):

    ”Heavens above, I haven’t read the context, but how on earth did Jesus arrive here? Atheist, moi, but I rather think the New Testament is quite a good source, B Crombie.

    It’s certainly not a single source, and there are numerous gospels other than those chosen by religious authorities many years later to support the catholic position. However, you are right, of course: they all date from well after the supposed death of Jesus.

    The founding of the early Christian church is also documented, though – as Gibbon commented – the surprising thing is that so few of the well-known Latin authors give the Christians much of a mention.

    What makes me take the Bible very seriously as a source is the half-remembered detail of the Biblical accounts, the sudden surprising – and often shocking – little details of what the writers recall happening in Passover week. Manufactured accounts (I would suggest) rarely have those little inconsistencies and half-explanations, between the lines of which you have to read. ‘Manufacturers’ tend to tidy things like that up. I say ‘shocking’, meaning things like, after the last supper, (I’m writing quickly here and not checking the source back,) ”How many knives have we got?” ”Three.” ”That’s enough.” This goes against the entire narrative of the gospels, and no ‘manufacturer’ would have left it there, surely? Even if the, I think implausible, religious gloss on this (Jesus was saying, ”Stop it, that’s enough!”) is correct, why leave such misinterpretable things in the text, if you’re making a story up?

    No, I’ll go with Jesus as history, and the gospel story of a terrifying gamble, a week of tight-lipped, tense excitement, massive miscalculations – on Jesus’ and on the zealots’ parts – and of religious authorities, wrong-footed at first, but then acting with ruthless speed. For me thait’s history all right.

  16. Colin Davis

    There are inconsistencies in the Gospels alright (massively so) and they all try to make out Jesus as some sort of deity – as the Bible is supposed to be the truth then only those four Gospels are surely relevant, trying to back claim other writings is undermining the Bible which by consequence undermines the whole thing.

    Your argument is irrefutable – they must be true because they are so different, whereas if they were the same then that would be proof they were true as well. I find this circular argument unconvincing to say the least. The reason they get away with it, is the word beginning with F.

    The Gospels can be used to help identify the historical narrative but the timing and context are key. As I said in a previous post, Jesus and Christianity became a personality cult that developed much further. One of many that were bubbling around at the time. We have seen many times how these thing can catch on and taking the Gospels as the ‘truth’ is akin to accepting Mao’s Little Red Book as describing his life and teachings in an honest and truthful way.

  17. Colin Davis,
    I think what is known as the Synoptic problem is a strong argument for the
    Existence of a historical Jesus,but I don’t think this is the place to expound it!
    What an interesting discussion this has been.

  18. Surely it would be a little tricky to set off an explosively expansive personality cult, within living memory, to a personality who never existed?

    Sure, have a personality cult around Kim Jong-Il if you want. But if I wanted to start a personality cult based around Mr Wing Wong Wang Dang Dong of Gerrard Street, Soho I think I might struggle..

    (sorry not intended to be racial in any way – just needed to invent a name that sounded implausible, and the context was Korean. About which I know pretty much nothing..)

  19. @RosieandDaisie,

    I think your dad’s view of religious belief is rather clouded by the world view of a small minority of just one of the large religions.

    Massacres don’t require religion. Ask the Tutsis.

    And actually, for all the crimes of self-professed Christians and Jews throughout history, I think the injunction “Thou Shall Not Murder” has stayed a few hands that might have remain unstayed had they been attached to atheist arms.

  20. It’s no doubt inaccurate to say that there are 330 million Hindu gods (a figure of speech) but producing evidence of absence would seem to be a tall order, especially as they reside on planets in other star systems, and in other dimensions.

    Personally I find it rather attractive idea that there might be advanced beings who, having have dispensed with technology, flit from star-system to star-system apparently for fun.

  21. “Massacres don’t require religion. Ask the Tutsis. ”

    I know that. But what many have done and do is other prizes in “another life.”

    I am not for one moment suggesting that morality would automatically improve, sans religion, but there would be at least one less excuse for it and it could improve the focus of those who are on the “right” side of morality and do care about all life on earth.

  22. Neil A

    Who said he never existed? – I for one think it is very likely that someone did exist of that broad name and description who could very well have been a complete pain for the authorities

    There were numerous Judaic cults around that time, this was one of these and if jesus was a charismatic leader then it is plausible that a cult could have built up after his death and then snowballed after the Fall of the Temple.

    Jesus ben Joseph – charismatic Jewish troublemaker (potentially someone who was also very keen on helping the poor) – probably yes. Jesus Christ, Son of God – nah, don’t buy that one!

  23. @Rosie and Daisie

    You sound like Jesus

    “Yes, woe upon you hypocrites. For you go to all lengths to make one convert, and then turn him into twice the son of hell you are yourselves”

    I think He also hated religion. He spent most of his ministry denouncing it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1IAhDGYlpqY

  24. Just a thought.

    Can you imagine the ride that Paul Dacre would have given Jesus if the two if them had been professionally active at the same time? Illegitimate bloke who left a decent, solid job to run round the country preaching subversive nonsense? Dacre would have had his minions rooting through the remains of the loaves and fishes looking for carcinogens, and running articles on his loony mother who, a source suggested, had been copulating with angels. You can see the articles: “Mad preacher tells YOU to give up earthly goods. But our research has uncovered evidence that a shady eastern aristocrat gave HIM a pot of gold as a present when he was born. We say, don’t listen to hypocrites.”

  25. Leftylampton – also encouraging people in jobs to leave them and scrounge on others; scandalous public behaviour with scandalous women; boozing with traitors and undermining family values.

    bcrombie – historically, perhaps we’re in agreement after all. Only for this period it’s Jewish theology which is key for understanding.

  26. @BRCrombie.

    I was just going from the assorted posts along the lines of “there is no historical evidence of Jesus” etc, etc.

    I think it is fair to assert from the evidence that there was a “Jesus”, and just about reasonable to assert that he was a significant religious figure.

    Noone can of course “prove” that he did any of the things attributed to him in the Gospels. That’s sort of axiomatic. If he really was a miracle worker, then anyone who saw his works was probably converted. Ergo their reports of what he did would be part of the religion, rather than a dispassionate commentary on it.

  27. @Lefty,

    I don’t think anyone would be in any doubt where Dacre is headed when the Day of Judgement comes. Or “just another working day” as they call it in the DM editorial office.

  28. RiN
    Not “fictional creations” in the sense that “somebody” – Paul or otherwise – made them up, but social mythologies, as are all the worlds religions and gods, in some sense or other, whether myths of origin, specific sources of land rights or kinship/tribal groupings, or of the creation of humankind, or of the nature of society. We all mythologise to explain or justify our own social situations and beliefs, but society seems to do it collectively, read Durkheim, Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, and a number of works by Claude Levi-Strausse (not the creator of Denim, but the other one), or Edmund Leach, Needham and their schools for the good stuff.
    As such Jesus was the first socialist, makes sense in terms of the collectivism, emphasizing family and mutual communal support, which may well have been afoot through long periods of oppression and colonialism in the 1st to 4th Centuries. Its rise can possibly be correlated with the spread and decline of the Roman empire, given its parallel rise in the Middle East and the UK.

  29. Hi B Crombie,

    Never said we should take the Bible as the truth, and certainly not as truth about a deity, but as a historical source. Nor did I say we should base anything on the sameness of, or difference between, the gospels, so I don’t put my hands up to circular argument. I did say, however, that some of what we have seems unlikely to have been made up and gave an example.

    It’s a pretty good yardstick, historically (I think) to say that unless there is evidence pointing to manufacture (such as there would appear to have been in the Christmas story: ”All these things happened in order that the prophesy be fulfilled…” ) it’s best to start by assuming that word of mouth has preserved at least something of what really happened. When there is also reason to think that manufacture is unlikely, there seems even more reason to make that assumption.

    The story of Passover week that emerges from the gospels is certainly not the story the church would like us to believe, but quite a lot of history in it there certainly is, I would argue.

  30. NEIL A

    “Massacres don’t require religion. Ask the Tutsis ‘

    The Tutsi (Hima) are “mythologically” derived from an invasion of a superior race from the North, and so occupy historically a superordinate role in all the communities of Rwanda over the subordinate Hutu. In support of this myth of this origin (common throughout Eastern Africa), they are Nilo-Hamite speakers, like the Masai, Nandi and others of the great athlete tribes of Kenya and its northern neighbouts, but are different in living in common communities with the Hutu, peacefully. Their position is supported in religion by supposedly ancestral descent and inheritance which gives them widely superior leadership and land rights. It was the mix of this unequal division of land and authority in conditions of extreme land shortage and population increase which gave rise to the massacre. It’s this mix of religious origin of supposedly unfair control of land and wealth that, reaching critical limits, underlies a number of massacres, including periodically in N. Nigeria, for example, though there it’s Moslems and Christians.
    You’ld be surpised how close this analogy is to understanding (“strange linkages”) both the mythologising process which underlies religions, and the reason why we are discussing it on this site, that is, its relevance as a driver of political intent, ideas about the proper division of wealth and property in society origins which underlies some aspects of conservatism, liberalism and socialism.

  31. Dear Anthony, apologies for the question at the start of this thread. Little did I know it would spawn a monster.

    Regards,

    Red Rag!

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