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”

1 2 3 4
  1. @NORBOLD

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

    Well there’s plenty of evidence beyond the Gospels and epistles of Paul of the historical figure called Jesus. Whether he is whom Christians believe HIm to be is not for history.

    Whatever this Jesus was, if we are to believe what we’re told in the Gospels and Epistles he was neither capitalist nor socialist in their strict philosophical meanings. He urged the rich to give away all they had and take up their cross and follow him; he urged the poor to bear their misfortune knowing they would share the little they had and thus be closer to his ideal.

    *************************************

    Setting aside this….I still think EM reminds me rather of Thatcher in her years in opposition – 1975-79. He strikes notes that strike a wider hord without quite ever being in striking distance of easy personal likeability. Thatcher was widely believed to be a liability and some polls showed in 1979 that if Heath had been leader he would have won a large majority.

    I do not say this to comfort myself in the dark of my night but rather illustrate my view that some politicians make weather whilst some make news. In different times both make it to the top and at the top they can morph from one to another. I think Mr Powell reminded us that all political careers are doomed to end in failure.

  2. @NORBOLD
    As for Jesus being the first socialist, you’d have to prove first that he existed at all…
    Well there’s plenty of evidence beyond the Gospels and epistles of Paul of the historical figure called Jesus. Whether he is whom Christians believe HIm to be is not for history.
    Whatever this Jesus was, if we are to believe what we’re told in the Gospels and Epistles he was neither capitalist nor socialist in their strict philosophical meanings. He urged the rich to give away all they had and take up their cross and follow him; he urged the poor to bear their misfortune knowing they would share the little they had and thus be closer to his ideal.
    *************************************
    Setting aside this….I still think EM reminds me rather of Thatcher in her years in opposition – 1975-79. He strikes notes that strike a wider hord without quite ever being in striking distance of easy personal likeability. Thatcher was widely believed to be a liability and some polls showed in 1979 that if Heath had been leader he would have won a large majority.
    I do not say this to comfort myself in the dark of my night but rather illustrate my view that some politicians make weather whilst some make news. In different times both make it to the top and at the top they can morph from one to another. I think Mr Powell reminded us that all political careers are doomed to end in failure.
    Report comment

  3. It has been obvious for some time that energy prices are the key to winning the next General Election, the party that is seen to be on the same side as the energy companies, (who the general public now detest with a vehemence it normally reserves for paedophiles) will lose. Miliband has realised that, but he much go further and prove he is going to put the robber barons on a short leash, if he can convince the British people of that, he’s home and dry, nothing else matters.

  4. @ Postage

    Shucks – foiled again.

    I wonder if Angela Merkel thinks of them as Meinungsumfrageniedergeschlagenheiten, though that may be down in the dumps rather than the calm area near the equator.Thank goodness we don’t have any bloggers from Norway -oops!

    Still all to play for then?

  5. @Ernie I am not yet convinced that the widening of the Labour lead is real. My assumption is that the Conservatives are around 34 and Labour around 38. So 40 is not surprising for Labour and 31 is not that surprising for the Conservatives.

    I think this as an insurance policy. I would like the Labour lead to be widening. However, if the underlying position is as I said. It would not be that surprising for Labour to get 35 and the Conservatives 37 and if this should happen I want to be able to stay calm.

    Other people seem to keep immensely detailed statistics on all this, and may be in a position to say that the lead genuinely is stably bigger. In which case I will be only too happy to hear it!

  6. “Cameron is in a hard position”
    I don’t see it. 0.7% increase in GDP in the past quarter, if it keeps up gives you 6% increase in the national economy during the run up to the GE. Good luck to them. He and GO believe that this will trickle down to create wealth and employment, and Clegg has tied himself and the LDs to their coat tails. Now he should get on and run the government, . All the rest is froth and second phaser stuff like the cost of living, energy prices, hospital performance, immigration and schools, plus minority issues like pensions, care of the aged and the disabled, and housing. Oh,and bankers’ bonuses.

  7. turk

    “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.”

    I thought the supposedly improved economy was supposed to improve Tory fortunes?

    For most people the economy is actually their income vs their outgoings (and those of their friends, relatives and neighbours…society even).

    The bedroom tax, universal credit, end of DLA (welfare) and “go home” vans and ban the burka don’t seem to be the vote winner expected. Neither free schools as they get entangled in the anti-Muslim rhetoric and of course financial irregularity.

    I wonder how pro-Gove all those people with school age children are? I can tell you purely anecdotally that here in true blue Surrey he ain’t too popular.

    If welfare reform implodes and the reduction in supposed structural deficit doesn’t lead to widespread jubilation, waht is left?

    Can’t be many royal events left. Maybe England will win the World Cup in Brazil? (Wearing red like last time?)

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

    Well, there goes my prediction of a Tory and Lib Dem resurgence in the polls on the back of healthy Q3 growth figures!

    It does make you wonder what combination of circumstances, or even single events, is going to lift the Coalition off the rocks. I’ve been surprised, pleasantly of course (!), by the relative stability of the polls these last 18 months or so and how impervious they’ve appeared to be to political events that, on the surface, you would think were highly propitious for the governing parties. Royal Weddings, Olympic Games, Red Ed the Hopeless One, Labour own goals, EU Referendum pledges, clampdowns on benefit cheats, clampdowns on illegal immigrants, Mid Staffs and now green shoots of economic recovery. Yet, the polls persistently refuse to do no more than occasionally twitch.

    I know one or two people have got excited about some short term flux here and there and isolated polls but the long term trend of a solid, if unspectacular, Labour lead has remained relatively undisturbed since March 2012. This plays into my hunch that there’s more to the Government’s problems than can be fixed by a run of positive economic data. If I was Crosby I’d be advising the Tories to concentrate on just being a bit more human and likeable, less obsessed with trying to get Labour’s fingerprints on everything that goes wrong, accept that Labour got quite a few things right in Government and say so, drop the shrill sloganeering and just concentrate on governing well. I think their persistent unpopularity is mainly down to a lot of the electorate having a very dim view of their leading personalities and, put crudely, not liking them very much as human beings. This is much more of a problem for a Government than an Opposition.

    My advice to Labour, much more sincere and less ambivalent, will remain between me and Ed! lol

  9. @John Pilgrim

    There are several assumptions there – that the growth rate will continue, and that he has all the time before the election in which to change people’s minds.

    There is also the problem that GDP is an abstract calculated value that no-one actually experiences. The “froth” and “second phaser” stuff is what people experience. The job of the Conservatives will be to focus on the big picture of economic improvement and hope that the press follow their narrative. For Labour the job will be to emphasise the lagging indicators that most people will be experiencing. Thus the same situation could seem very different depending on who controls the narrative.

  10. John Murphy

    “As for Jesus being the first socialist, you’d have to prove first that he existed at all…
    Well there’s plenty of evidence beyond the Gospels and epistles of Paul of the historical figure called Jesus.”

    No there isn’t.

    No one has the slightest physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no artifacts, dwelling, works of carpentry, or self-written manuscripts. There are no letters mentioning him or any other official documents.

    There is no contemporary Roman record that shows Pontius Pilate executing a man named Jesus. There is not a single contemporary writing that mentions Jesus. All documents about Jesus came well after the life of the alleged Jesus from either unknown authors, people who had never met an earthly Jesus, or from fraudulent, mythical or allegorical writings.

    There were a few historians around Roman Judaea in the first century, such as Tacitus and Pliny the Younger, as well as other people who recorded events of the time, including the philosopher Philo. It seems strange that, they didn’t write anything about Jesus at all. No mention of miracles or crucifixion or anything. No feeding the 5000, none of the resurrections or walking on water or healing or anything. There are no writings other than the biblical accounts. Only one makes any mention of him, Josephus, and his testimony is thought by many to be forged. However, even if accepted, it makes no mention of any of the miracles, the resurrection etc. etc. No testament to Jesus’s supposed divinity.

    All we have is the Bible, which itself was written many years after the events it portrays. As a historian myself I wouldn’t just accept one source that is not supported by any other evidence whatsoever.

  11. I love a good conspiracy theory, but that Jesus was an elaborate hoax is a bit too far for me

  12. John Murphy&Norbold,
    I happened to watch Scorceses very interesting film The last temptation of
    Christ,the other evening.During the famous dream sequence St Paul said
    “I created the truth out of what people needed and they believed”.So perhaps
    A historical Jesus is irrelevant anyway.By the way,do we have any accurate
    Historical evidence that Buddha existed?I think not.

  13. “Crumb of comfort for the Cons will be that the Midlands/Wales [in YouGov] is practically neck-and-neck. Looks like that is where the election battleground will be.” (NickP)

    I agree. One difficulty with looking at the regional breakdown is that YouGov assign the data to regions of which one is Midlands and Wales, while Populus and ComRes have Midlands as one region, and Wales and SW as another. Hope I have understood correctly.

    It does make comparison between polls more difficult, while we wait for the only poll that counts as they say.

  14. @RiN

    So you believe in Mohammed, the Hindu gods, Zeus, Odin and all the erst as well I suppose as they couldn’t all be hoaxes could they?

  15. @Alister

    Ha! A great German word, whatever it means – frankly I dozed off before getting to the end of it – but for words that can give you a near-death experience you should try Finnish rather than Norwegian; “kaksitariffikolmivaihevaihtovirtakilowattituntimittari” is a sort of electric meter. I can’t imagine how they can discuss fuel bills in Finland. It’d be next summer before you worked out your best tariff. Come to think of it, we manage the same trick wothout the long words….

  16. rest not erst!!!

  17. Alister1948

    We keep moaning about the regional agglomerations (ICM do it differently too) but I suppose the pollsters want to have some individuality and this is it (apart from methods of course!).

    Parochially, I note that while the pollsters score the other three parties wildly differently, they all generally give the LDs the same score (see October list above right). Strange, that.

  18. PostageIncluded

    I offer the Dutch ‘arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzekeringsformulier’.

    (literally ‘unavailableforworkinsuranceform’).

  19. Muhammad is also an historical figure, as is Buddha, but Zeus and Odin and the Hindu gods are fictional creations

  20. Why are Zeus and Odin fictional creations? They weren’t to the people that believed in them in the same way that Jesus isn’t to the people that believe in him, but as for evidence, there’s just the same amount. What makes one a hoax and a conspiracy and one not?

  21. I can’t offer a ridiculously long Norwegian word, while we do put multiple words together we don’t get as silly as the germans

  22. P.S. There are currently about 950 million followers of Hinduism. Why is that different?

  23. @Anne in Wales

    Buddha is actually a rather similar case to Jesus, religious evidence is all we’ve got, but the story is sort of plausible – we know that other people were doing that sort of thing in that part of the world at that time. Both religions struck it lucky early on by going official, Asoka was Buddha’s Constantine.

  24. RiinN,whether they existed or not is irrelevant,people believed they did.The
    People who built the temples of Karnak or Paestum believed in their Gods as
    Much as people do today.

  25. Negative campaigning, does it work ?

    Has there been any polling done by Yougov or other company into political campaigns, as to what people like or don’t like ? I would think that had there been such polling, it would show a massive majority disapproving of negative material and a massive majority preferring positive information being provided.

  26. Oh dear, I must apologise to you all and AW by inadvertently setting off Wars of historical and narrative interpretation.

    I’m only a minor historian without recent major accreditation. When I studied Tudor history but historical evidence was admitted to consideration on all sorts of contexts and for all sorts of reasons. where we have only one surviving subset of documents – and they are not by the way all contained in the canon of scripture – we must be careful as historians how they are treated but as I understand things we do not dismiss them out of hand. Thus, the lives of saints composed in the middle ages is not an historical source of narrative evidence but it is a rich source of how medieval men and women thought. In addition there are bits of narrative in there which can be corroborated. Similarly, More’s History of Richard III poses as a narrative but actually is a polemic. Thus it has to be treated in a guarded way but it may still be useful to establish evidence.

    The same I would argue is true of most of the source material on religions.

    Again, I apologise for setting of this hare but at least we’re not contravening the rules of making cheap party points!

    I wish everyone a splendid day as I return to my masterwork on Bishop Gardiner.

  27. R Huckle
    I am sure you will be proved correct if the poll question was put but it doesn’t mean a thing. Only negative campaigning works, but of course can be fruitless, because the other sides are doing the same (unless they do it less effectively).

  28. John Murphy,how interesting.Was he also nicknamed Dr double coat,or am I
    Getting confused?

  29. Postage, Howard, RiN
    Tak

  30. I think Neil Kinnock would say “Negative campaigning works” :-)

  31. STATGEEK

    Was off to bed before I saw your post.

    The Velvet Divorce is an interesting study. Not directly comparable, as you point out, but there are obvious similarities. One of the differences is on testing public opinion.

    The BBC is guilty of rather overstating the case. Unlike present day GB, only one poll was ever conducted on the issue. In 1992 “only 37 percent of Slovaks and 36 percent of Czechs said they would vote for a split in a referendum, but more than 80 percent said they considered a break inevitable.” (NYT report)

    It’s a bit like being definitive about VI based on a single ComRes poll!

  32. Andy JS – “With respect, aren’t you just stating the basic problem of any political party?”

    Historically no. When either Conservatives or Labour moved to the centre ground to try and win over the middle ground voters there was really nowhere else for those on the left or the right of their particular party to go, so would either still vote for them because of fear of the other party or not vote. Now the conservatives who do not like the party moving to the centre ground have UKIP. It is a big change.

  33. @John Murphy

    You have set ther cat among the pigeons, and you haven’t even started on the history of socialism yet!

    In all honesty, were I Doctor Who I wouldn’t be suprised to find a religious troublemaker called Yashua being crucified in the 30s AD. That sort of stuff happened then. I wouldn’t be surprised either that his father was called Yussef – both were common names then among Jews. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised to find 2 or 3 figures who might be good candidates for the “Historical Jesus”.

    What would surprise me is miracles, or the resurrection, or the virgin birth, or the ascenscion. And I would find it surprising if what this historical figure had to say about his religion bore more than a passing resemblance to what Christians say their religion is today. The baggage that the “historical Jesus” carries is the big issue.

  34. NORBOLD

    “No one has the slightest physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no artifacts, dwelling, works of carpentry, or self-written manuscripts. There are no letters mentioning him or any other official documents.

    There is no contemporary Roman record that shows Pontius Pilate executing a man named Jesus. There is not a single contemporary writing that mentions Jesus. All documents about Jesus came well after the life of the alleged Jesus from either unknown authors, people who had never met an earthly Jesus, or from fraudulent, mythical or allegorical writings.”

    For the benefit of people who are “running away from history” Michael Green’s “Runaway World” lists some classical sources of evidence: Pliny “Epistles” 10.96, Tacitus “Annals” 15.44, Julius Africanus quoting a lost work by Thallus “History” Book 3, Suetonius “Life of Claudius” 25.4 and Josephus “Antiquities of the Jews” and “Jewish War”, particularly “Antiquities” 18.3.3.

    Of course the primary sources for the life of the Lord Jesus Christ are the four Gospels and it is there many people down through the centuries have been led to “a living hope.” In spite of all the mocking criticism and scepticism in that time they still stand as a living testimony to the Rock, over which many have stumbled.

  35. @R Huckle

    I rather suspect negative campaigning falls into that difficult category of ‘things people say they don’t like, but which influences them anyway’.

    We see it all the time – when asked, people tend to say they are not influenced by what they see in the media or on TV, but then they act as if they are anyway.

  36. Here is me surprised to see the Labour lead extending again, I really thought it would be a long slow slide from now till election time, at which time the two main parties would be nearly neck and neck.

    Will we see 10% Labour leads again this parliament? I didn’t think so during the summer, now I think it possible again.

    EM has sure taken the pressure off himself.

  37. @RedRag

    “Now the conservatives who do not like the party moving to the centre ground have UKIP. It is a big change.”

    You make a very good point and the outcome of next election may well come down to how many of those who are telling pollsters now that they’d vote UKIP actually end up doing so in May 2015. The general consensus appears to be that a good chunk will return home come crunch time in order to keep Labour out, and that’s probably been true in the past, but it may be an assumption too far in the current political climate. Think May 2010. There was a large slice of what could be called natural Tory voters who declined to support the party even when presented with the opportunity of kicking out an unpopular Labour Government. They probably sat on their hands rather than voted UKIP, but the key point is that they withheld their support of the Tories, risking a Brown victory in doing so. Their alienation from Cameron’s brand of modern conservatism trumped their fear and loathing of Labour.

    In May 2015 they may well have a credible alternative; a UKIP led by a charismatic leader with electoral success under his belt in 2014, and offering candidates up in every constituency.

    Could the British Right split in the same way that the Left did in the 1980s?

    Intriguing stuff.

  38. @Stutter

    Can’t be bothered to contest all your supposed non-scriptural sources for the “Historical Jesus” but for the benefit of those who might be taken in, all of these sources are dubious, to say the very least. Rational Wiki gives the full gen.

  39. Court of Appeal has found against the Health Sec in his cuts to Lewisham.

    That’s not going to help Government VI.

  40. @Stutter

    Well John is clearly not a primary source, and it’s questionable if the other gospels are either. They are certainly historical secondary sources.

    Of course absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. There is surprisingly little contemporary information about many historical figures, so it wouldn’t be surprising not to have a detailed account of the dramatis personae of a small outpost of empire

  41. Not wanting to continue to much this religious discussion, I would like to place myself in Postage’s camp on this subject.

    I read Zealot by Reza Aslan recently and it seemed plausable and the writer is a scholar in religious history who can read the original texts (those that exist.)

  42. Sigh. I don’t know of a single serious historian of the period who doubts that Jesus existed. You have a multitude of documents dating from around AD50 onwards (so like us talking about the early nineties) that assume a) someone called Jesus existed and b) he was executed by crucifixion. These documents include letters from a variety of authors and what we now term gospels. Which is more likely – that someone called Jesus existed and was executed, or that multiple writers from separate parts of the empire all colluded in inventing someone, and coming up with sayings/deeds, over the next fifty years or so?

    You can argue about the meaning of Jesus (and there is vigorous scholarship about this – see the writings of Crossan, Borg, Sanders, Wright, Keener etc). And you can argue about whether he was a socialist. But if you question the existence of Jesus, be aware that you are part of an eccentric fringe of serious academic history.

  43. There have been alternatives on the right and left previously, but they have not been credible alternatives. The last such person I can remember reading about was Willie Gallacher who I believe was elected for Fife as a communist in the 1940s – but someone will let me know if that is not right.

    Somehow UKIP have managed to escape the charges of being…a little strange…that had stuck to earlier right-wing groups, and have established some credibility.

    I still doubt that they will win a single seat, but as often discussed here the level of support they are on now is just the level that would hurt the Conservatives most – not a higher level which would attract voters of all persuasions, not a collapse which would send their supporters back to the Conservatives.

    Still, UKIP are lucky to have the euroelections of 2014 before the GE in 2015.

  44. @CB11

    “Their alienation from Cameron’s brand of modern conservatism trumped their fear and loathing of Labour.”

    I’ll go further and speculate that many were just disaffected with politics and don’t / didn’t see a difference between one and the other. The turnout figures in 2015 will be telling, given that turnout has been on the rise since the lows of 2001.

  45. Is there a generally agreed upon reason turnout in 2001 was so low?

  46. @MrNameless

    The Labour majority was too large to expect a change of government, and the Conservatives hadn’t made a large enough case / hadn’t moved on from ’97.

  47. Assuming that the latest dip in Tory VI is related to price hikes by the energy companies, I don’t think they need to worry, by next year it will be a distant memory and it’s very unlikely that the energy companies will raise prices next year right before an election where they won’t want a to be a major election issue

  48. Nickp

    “I thought the supposedly improved economy was supposed to improve Tory fortunes?”

    It has, don’t mistake a small drop in Tory fortunes with two polsters out of four as anything other than media attention at the moment focused on the single issue of energy bills.
    EM has had a clear run so far as he caught the Tories flat footed with his energy freeze proposal.

    But as I said earlier if the Tories can come forward with proposals to actually cut bills something that isn’t going to happen with a freeze, then we will be back to other matters such as the economy fairly quickly and that is an area that has helped Tories close the gap between the two parties and will continue to do so.

  49. Jonathan

    It is possible that he is a myth – I think it is unlikely but we live in different times to then and the historical record is sketchy.

    As I said, I sit with Postage in that he probably existed in some form as a historical person but apart from that it is almost to impossible to say what is true or not.

    Most of the writings about him come from a period after his death so we need to be careful reading too much into them, as the mythologizing has already begun. Personality cults are not new and exist until the present day. If someone unearthed some writings from North Korea in 2000 years time they may think that the leaders were the incarnation of a deity

    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

  50. I’ve just been crunching some numbers. What what you all say if I told you that the data tells me that the current Labour lead is…

    …wait for it…

    …4.9%

    (Waits for partisan responses)

    No really.

    The thing that got me crunching the numbers was the most recent two polls’ fluctuating data. Take London’s most recent five polls (with Labour leads):

    Con 33 Lab 44 (11)
    Con 36 Lab 38 (2)
    Con 29 Lab 43 (14)
    Con 43 Lab 32 (-11)
    Con 26 Lab 53 (27)

    As we can see, there’s a tiny bit of variation there :)). Not even worth taking the average of those, as they are obviously too far apart to all be valid if we want to measure London as a whole (but which ones are?). For what it’s worth, the average lead for the five is 8.6%, while the MAD data (30 polls) says 10.2%.

    Then it occurred to me that my UK MAD data is calculated straight from the UK YouGov data, as opposed to the sum of the regional MAD data. I wondered how close one was to the other. The regional MAD data is as follows:

    London: Con 32.0%, Lab 42.2%
    RoS: Con 41.2%, Lab 28.1%
    M&W: Con 35.3%, Lab 38.9%
    North: Con 27.3%, Lab 49.8%
    Scotland: Con 20.0%, Lab 40.9%

    Then I converted the data to national levels, using the population percentages:

    London (12.8%)
    Rest of the South (32.5%)
    Midlands & Wales (21.4%)
    North (24.6%)
    Scotland (8.7%)

    This gave me the following data:

    London: Con 4.1%, Lab 5.4%
    RoS: Con 13.7%, Lab 9.1%
    M&W: Con 7.6%, Lab 8.3%
    Nor: Con 6.7%, Lab 12.3%
    Sco: Con 1.7%, Lab 3.6%

    All of that totals to: Con 33.8%, Lab 38.6%, which means we have a lead of 4.9% nationally.

    Of course, it could all be twaddle. If not, it does raise the question that if averages which omit outliers are to be used, shouldn’t they done on a regional level first, then applied nationally?

    And for what it’s worth, the current MAD nationally is 6.0%

1 2 3 4