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. Cameron is in a very hard position. If he tries to move the Conservative Party percentage up by appealing to UKIP then he strengthens the switch overs from Lib Dem-Labour and could attract even more to Labour or may lose a small percentage of his own party to another party. If he tries to up the Conservative percentage by moving towards what many perceive as the middle ground then he may alienate those that have moved to UKIP.

    It’s this damned if I do damned if I don’t scenario that seems to be keeping the Conservative percentage in the low thirties. As a party they need to somehow do one without scaring the other.

    Either that or pray for the Lib Dem to have a significant swing back and hope the swingback comes virtually all from Labour. However even this has a risk, as the Conservatives themselves do have a fair proportion of 2010 Lib Dem voters.

  2. ComRes would be really chuffed at how deeply we are going into their poll. [so to speak]

  3. @ Neil A

    After the collapse of state socialism mushroom poisoning went up in the Ukraine and Russia because hungry people picked all the edible mushrooms, so the late comers had an increased chance of picking the wrong ones…

  4. @Lazslo,

    I think Egypt was always the jewel in the crown, but from what I can recall reading, the rest of North Africa used to be far more fertile than it is now, and was blighted by deforestation, leading to the expansion of the Sahara into what had been fertile terrain (and the extinction of Hannibal’s hardy little African Forest Elephants).

    I suppose my point is that we shouldn’t, as a species, take the consequences of our failures out on the species around us.

    I am sure that once the Indonesians have destroyed the last of their wild forests and eroded their soil to a wasteland, the killing and eating of Orangutans will seem like a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

  5. @RR

    “1% for the Lib Dems in Yorkshire and Humberside……wonder if we get to a stage in one of the polls where there will be an area on the mainland UK that ends up with 0% for the Lib Dems?”

    You had me looking for a second. Best I could find was YG’s 28th May 2012 – Scotland 1%.

  6. “1% for the Lib Dems in Yorkshire and Humberside ”

    Seems high.

  7. @ Statgeek

    I expect that 1% was rounded up. ;-)

  8. Statgeek – I remember seeing that Scotch Lib Dem result and thinking we would never see that again for any of the main parties. It does beg the question of how low can they really go?

  9. Red Rag
    “If he tries to up the Conservative percentage by moving towards what many perceive as the middle ground then he may alienate those that have moved to UKIP. ”

    I think he’s already alienated them.

  10. I note that the Scottish cross breaks on Comres has Lab and SNP level for Westminster and Populus has NATS ahead.

    Now these cross samples may mean very little or indeed nothing in themselves but I still believe that Grangemouth is a game changer for this reason.

    Salmond seemed last week to be the only politician not frozen with fright at the prospect of Grangemouth closure and has rightly received great credit for working purposely to keep it open. He was, for example, the only one to realise to achieve anything from INEOS then there had to be a worked up alternative.

    On the news today of the Dean’s resignation it may seem to many that Labour Party internal politics fatally weakened the workforce’s negotiating position with INEOS. Publication of the report will tell us one way or the other,

    On other debating matters the devolved Scottish Government does not have the power to nationalise.

    However Salmond clearly has no fears of public ownership as the current buy out of Prestwick airport from a willing seller shows.

    I say a game changer – not perhaps for the referendum but for the respective standings of Labour and SNP.

  11. Anthony

    Here’s a thought.

    You said, “ONLY (my emphasis) 41% of people actually think Miliband would deliver on the promise if Labour formed a government”

    You COULD have said, “A landslide-esque proportion of the electorate think Miliband would deliver on the promise if Labour formed a government.”

  12. @Lefty

    In the interests of balance:

    A massive landslide-esque proportion (59%) of the electorate think Miliband would not deliver on the promise if Labour formed a government.

    ^^

  13. Statgeek

    Aye. I see my humour missed the mark.

    Well, how about this. A massive, landslide-esque proportion (50-odd% plus) of the electorate voted for parties who didn’t want Austerity Now in 2010, but that’s what we got.

    FPTP, eh? Bloody hell!

  14. @Lefty

    No one wanted austerity. Financial events made it so.

    (I guess your humour is lost on me again…) :-p

  15. L HAMILTON

    Lab & SNP polling the same on the wee Scottish cross-breaks have been common in polls (other than YouGov) for quite some time. I don’t think you can draw any conclusions from current events.

    More importantly, there is serious sexism rampant on this site!

    Amber got many congratulations for having managed to increase the annual increments since her natal day.

    RAF has been largely ignored! Felicitations to RAF must be made mandatory.

  16. Laszlo
    @ Neil A
    “Yes, or the whole of Africa (I think Carthage was the main wheat exporter – certainly after the Punic wars. But I could be wrong.)..”

    Not “the whole of Africa”. It’s the North African Mediterranean fringe from the Nile Delta to Morocco that was the Roman bread basket – the rest of Africa was not affected, but if you can travel 50 to 100 km inland across the what is now mainly desert from Roman military town to military town, islotaed by desertification of what were monoculture wheat producing areas, exported through coastal towns like Tripoli as well as Carthage, It was the disruption to this wheat supply that led to the policy of “Carthago delenda est.”

  17. @Oldnat (since you’re still up and around at this time)

    I was just reading:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-21110521

    “Many Slovaks thought the state was too Prague-centric and many Czechs thought they were subsidising Slovakia.

    In neither country was there a popular majority for independence.”

    (That sounds familiar!!)

    “Slovakia’s deputy prime minister, Miroslav Lajack, said: “I wouldn’t advertise it as a model. Every case is different”.”

    “One disadvantage he identified was a loss of influence in the world.

    “The international weight of both republics together is less than the former Czechoslovakia,” he said.

    In Slovakia, one former minister said it was better to have gained a voice of their own. ”

    Two smaller voices in exchange for one large one. Less attention, but two votes (I imagine the two countries would agree on many international matters, in the same way Scotland and England would agree on many similar matters).

    This Independence thing is fun. One day I get all unionist, then I get all nationalist. Tomorrow, I think I’ll try ‘anarchist’.

  18. ” islotaed ”

    Neat the way you sneaked some Latin into the above, JP.

  19. “Cameron is in a very hard position. If he tries to move the Conservative Party percentage up by appealing to UKIP then he strengthens the switch overs from Lib Dem-Labour and could attract even more to Labour or may lose a small percentage of his own party to another party. If he tries to up the Conservative percentage by moving towards what many perceive as the middle ground then he may alienate those that have moved to UKIP.”

    With respect, aren’t you just stating the basic problem of any political party?

    Move in one direction, win some votes and lose some: move in the other direction, and the opposite happens.

  20. rosieanddaisy
    You’ sussed me, you cheeky pups.

  21. Old Nat

    Fair point about the cross breaks but that is not really what I am on about.

    Seems to me that the sure footed handling of the Grangemouth crisis by the SNP Government – Swinney and Salmond – in contrast to the mishandling and politiking of the Labour leadership (Scottish and UK) will heavily re-enforce the impression that the SNP are a better bet to be running Holyrood.

    That may – or may not – spill over to the referendum campaign but as far as the next Scottish election is concerned it is really significant.

  22. L HAMILTON

    We can both hope that is the case! Whether that will affect Scottish VI at Westminster and/or Holyrood remains to be seen.

    Having been in and around politics since 1960 (hence the “old” in oldnat), I have seldom found that one particular event produces significant shifts in opinion – rather that if multiple events are generally positive for a party, then there is an incremental shift.

    In the case of a governing party, such events can successfully counteract the usual tendency towards disenchantment with that party.

    The continuing high ratings of the SNP (and its leadership) tend to confirm that events (and their handling of them) have been viewed positively by voters.

    The Wings/Panelbase poll had an interesting question as to how people thought they might vote in 2016 if the Scottish Parliament were to be independent or still devolved. 3 years out, it can hardly be predictive but interesting nonetheless.

    Percentage vote share for an indy Parliament first, (for a devolved Parliament in brackets)

    SNP 35% (30%) : Lab 22% (20%) : Con 11% (13%) : LD 4% (5%) : Green 3% (2%) : SSP 2% (1%) : Other 2% (3%) : Don’t Know 18% (21%).

    As with the referendum, the undecideds will determine what happens. Fortunately, with a better electoral system than the unrepresentative Westminster FPTP nonsense, voters outside marginal constituencies will be able to influence what Government they have.

  23. Update : Labour lead at 9 – Latest YouGov/ The Sun results 28th October – Con 31%, Lab 40%, LD 9%, UKIP 12%; APP -28 http://y-g.co/HrycyT

  24. No sign of economic boost for the cons!

  25. I wonder if there’s a sort-of Parkinson’s Law of how many “nearly” comebacks the Tories can make before the public come to a more fixed decision.

  26. Ashcroft Polls! Scotland polls!
    http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2013/10/camerons-caledonian-conundrum

    Feb-Mar 2013 10007 respondents
    Con 15, Lab 45, Lib 8, SNP 25

    June Holyrood VI – June 1000 respondents
    Constituency –
    Con 13, Lab 29, Lib 4, SNP 30
    List –
    Con 11, Lab 25. Lib 13, SNP 36%

    October 4-8th 2013 – 1039 respondents
    Con 18, Lab 40, Lib 6, SNP 31

  27. Latest YouGov looks pretty balanced, weighting-wise.

    Crumb of comfort for the Cons will be that the Midlands/Wales is practically neck-and-neck. Looks like that is where the election battleground will be.

  28. same old story though Lab 38-40% on YG and Tory VI varying?

  29. We’re almost back to where we are before the Summer – all that clawback by Crosby has been undone by one policy announcement

  30. @ Chris,

    More by the lack of a coherent response to one policy announcement, I reckon. It’s not that Miliband’s energy price freeze is so good, it’s that “Put on a jumper!” is so inadequate.

    This is another self-inflicted wound, although Labour did helpfully hand them the knife.

  31. I said at the time that “put on a jumper”, like the 5% cut for the rich at the same time as clobbering the poor, really could be a game changer.

    The problem is that even if Tory pollsters find that benefit cuts and low tax are popular, framed the wrong way they are just nasty and seem to confirm the party of the rich label.

    Still tending towards the Con 30 Lab 40 LD 10 UKIP 15 in 2015 which would suit Red Ed very well indeed.

  32. Several questions in latest YG about Europe but several important issues squeezed into just one question on whether people like you will – “suffer directly from cuts in spending on public services such as health, education and welfare”.

    Also two thirds of respondents are very/fairly worried about whether they may have enough money to live on in the next two or three years. Not much sign of a feel good factor there then. The chancellor’s claim that ‘ we are on the path to prosperity’ looks a bit threadbare.

  33. It is largely conjecture about what has caused the recent widening of the gap, assuming the widening is real and not random variation (I assume it is real). I could equally well say it is due to a general improvement in perceptiom of Ed Miliband’s qualities – and could be equally wrong.

  34. 41% think Ed would keep his promise. 40% would vote Labour. Is there some sort of correlation here…?

    By the way, the answer is yes.

    As for Jesus being the first socialist, you’d have to prove first that he existed at all….

  35. Statgeek.

    That is a rather partisan comment on the economics, but no matter. The point I was trying to make was that having policies that “only” 41% of people like and believe you can deliver is the stuff that election victories are made of. In our ridiculous electoral system, 50-odd% of the electorate can viscerally despise you, your policies and the very air you breath, but it won’t matter. I refer you to the 1980s for example. So the use of the word “only” in AW’s article is justified if we are looking at the absolute support for EM and his energy policy, but thoroughly misleading when looked at through the prism of what you need to do to win an election.

  36. I think abandoning the green agenda is the end of DC’s Tory rebranding.
    Seems a small thing but it is the final nail after the bedroom tax and Go Home vans. The re-brand is shot.

  37. @Spearmint

    DC needs to be more nuanced. His strategy (and it is a strategy, not merely a tactic) has been to portray EM as an enemy of business. He has supported this approach by siding four-square with business leaders at every available opportunity to accentuate the Tories’ pro business credentials.

    However Ed has turned the tables by crafting a pro-consumer/pro-competition narrative. In other words, he has simply said, he’s not anti-business, he’s in favour of a genuinely competitive marketplace, where the consumer is king. It’s a difficult narrative for DC to counter without appearing to defend oligopolies.

  38. @Couper2802

    If you are right, we may see the LDs clawing back some voters from the Tories.

  39. I suppose the big question is how much is “framing the narrative” and how much is true?

    What is the difference between Lab and Tory? What would they do differently?

    For me, as a public servant, I suspect that even if my pay remained stalled under Labour ar least the name calling might stop.

  40. “The problem is that even if Tory pollsters find that benefit cuts and low tax are popular, framed the wrong way they are just nasty and seem to confirm the party of the rich label”

    Very true. It may sound all very well for Cameron to say he wouldn’t obsess over every headline and poll (as he said when elected) and get on with the job – but this looks a bit stupid if you don’t pay enough attention to it and end up with omnishambles budgets and labels that stick and therefore lose the election irrespective of how well you have actually governed overall.

    There are so many times when they seem to change the subject onto something they prefer rather than stand and defend policies that are eminently defendable – therefore the opposition narrative is the one that sticks in the ‘floating voter consciousness’.

  41. raf

    Do you think Linton Crosby does “nuanced”? Unless you count dog whistles that everybody can hear?

  42. IMO politicians tend to fit people into neat slots but the real world is not so simple. Benefit cuts affect businesses because millions of people have less in their pocket. The energy prices rip-off harms businesses in a similar way. Millions of customers with less in their wallets and purses. Cuts = redundancies so same thing, the tills will not ring so merrily.

  43. Slightly off topic but I think rosieanddaisie is related to Paul Croft.

    Just a hunch!!

  44. @Ozwald

    There dosn’t seem to be much change in the “how do you feel” polling since last time, so if Labour are rising a little in YG I can’t see that as a reason.

    Thanks for your expressiion of concern about me last week, but no, the mail privatisation didn’t affect me at all, because my label refers to Russian Post, a service too bad to find any buyers.

  45. “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.”
    __________

    I think Major got it right on energy and at least his idea would actually work.

  46. Neck-and-neck/tie x days ago, now in Labour landslide territory.

    Outliers or not, is it time to call the end of polldrums (copyright Amber) ?

  47. OLDNAT

    “As with the referendum, the undecided will determine what happens. Fortunately, with a better electoral system than the unrepresentative Westminster FPTP nonsense, voters outside marginal constituencies will be able to influence what Government they have”
    ___________

    Here here absolutely…

  48. @Alister

    Nah. We’re still becalmed. I tend to look at the median of the last week’s YG. Today that gives a Labour lead of 6% which is about what it’s been since the budget. At most these ups and downs are aftershocks from the conference season.

  49. Oh dear a few days of better polls with two out of four polling companies and were straight back to Labour have won, Tories Doomed blah, blah, blah.

    As AW has pointed out this slight move in the polls is almost entirely down to the public putting some of the blame for rising energy prices on the government for not as yet doing anything about raining in the energy companies.

    However the assumption by some that the Government won’t do anything about energy prices other than suggest putting on a extra jumper is highly unlikely. After all their politicians and they will see how the public have reacted and know to do nothing is not an option, if they don’t realise that then they are doomed.

    The trick will be for the Tories is to make there proposals over energy seem more dynamic than a price freeze in the public mind, if they can do that it will nutralise the single issue that Labour seems to have made an impact with the public on of late and turn the attention back to the other main issues like the economy welfare immigration and so on with no doubt a corresponding move in the polls.

  50. reining not raining thinking of the flooding we had yesterday.

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