The monthly ComRes telephone poll for the Independent is out tonight and has topline figures of CON 32%(+4), LAB 37%(+1), LDEM 9%(-2), UKIP 11%(-1). Changes are from ComRes’s previous phone poll (as opposed to their parallel online polls for the Sunday Indy) conducted at the end of last month.

Meanwhile today’s twice-weekly Populus poll also recorded a five point lead for Labour, in their case the topline figures were CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 7%. Populus tabs are here.

Also out are the tables for a recent YouGov poll on immigration (it was published in the Times on Saturday, but tabs went up this morning here). Note firstly that while immigration has actually fallen over the last couple of years, the vast majority of people (73%) think that it is continuing to rise, only 7% think it has dropped over the last couple of years – a reminder that official statistics on the news are often not noticed or not believed. There is an equal lack of awareness of what government policy is on immigration. 37% of people say they have a good idea or a fairly good idea of what government policy on immigration is, but even then people are rather overestimating their knowledge – only 19% could actual pick out David Cameron’s stated aim of reducing net immigration to the tens out thousands.

Also interesting to note is people’s differing attitudes towards different groups of immigrants. 72% of people think the country should allow fewer (or no) unskilled immigrants, but people are actually far more welcoming about other groups. 63% are either happy with current levels or would like to see more skilled immigration, 68% are happy with the current or higher numbers of foreign students coming here. People are even split over asylum seekers (though we deliberately avoided using the actual phrase!) – 48% would be happy with more or the current levels of people fleeing persecution, 38% think there should be fewer or none at all.


393 Responses to “Latest Comres & Populus VI, YouGov on immigration”

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  1. @OLDNAT
    “I understand what independence means. It was your understanding of the term “proper independence” that I was asking about.
    It may be a vain hope, but I had hoped that you had some understanding of your own terminology.”

    —————

    Well it’s not rocket science Oldnat. Independence is the opposite of dependent. I used “proper” to distinguish it from the SNP take on Independence, which is actually dependence.

  2. @Oldnat – “It may be a vain hope, but I had hoped that you had some understanding of your own terminology.”

    I sense @carfrew has complete understanding of his own terminology, and furthermore, in a very few words he has communicated that understanding so the rest of us can now also understand it. His stance seems abundantly clear to me.

  3. I thought that the lesson of the Euro was that one could not have currency union without some kind of political union (either that or a mighty ‘democratic deficit’).

    It also seems to me that we have benefited from devolution because the Scots and Welsh not only do things differently to suit themselves but also often in ways that it might well suit the rest of us might to copy.

    And no doubt this could be true of a greater measure of economic devolution. The question is at what level this should take place (maybe Shetland could see a bit of advantage in some independence for itself as well) and also what form it might take and what the implications then on for the political arrangements.

    So I hope the Scots vote ‘no’ but also turn their impressive minds to the question of how these less extreme versions of independence should be resolved and managed,

  4. I may be way behind the curve but I know someone on here will be better informed than me –

    As I understand EU law all new applicant countries have to accept entry into the Euro as part and parcel of membership.

    In theory if Scotland is a new political entity why would other member countries allow her different terms to any other new member? And any of the newer members of the EU ( or even the Rep of Ireland) who might regard the Euro as a bit of a burden might surely feel obliged to veto any negotiation which allowed Scotland such a freedom or demand that freedom for themselves….

  5. I’m quite struck by the fact that the SNP document appears to be far less about what independence means in itself, but is focused much more as an SNP election leaflet.

    We are supposedly talking about a constitutional settlement that should be capable of withstanding the next 300 years, yet the document seems more intent on discussing policy matters for the next four year electoral term.

    Personally, I find that very depressing, but not unexpected. I was moderately supportive of the SNP when they won power, but as we have neared the independence vote I have become increasingly alarmed by their failures and distortions.

  6. TARK

    LOL

    I doubt there ever any temptation to “go all Braveheart and saltires”

    No point in partisan debating on the politics of this. We can agree that the polls will be interesting.

  7. Alec,

    Maybe it’s the median voter factor: those deeply committed on principe to independence are already won over; those deeply committed to being Scottish and British aren’t going to be won over; the people who CAN be won over are primarily those interested in something else which can be somehow attatched to the constitutional question.

  8. ALEC

    It was clearly stated that the Paper comes in two parts.

    1. The mechanisms through which independence would be brought about, and the broad intentions of those negotiations. (That was what the Electoral Commission said both sides should do)

    2, The SNP vision of how they would use the powers of independence, should they be elected in 2016.

    This doesn’t seem the correct site for people to talk of what they perceive as “failures and distortions” in other political parties.

  9. The last time Scotland voted No we got Thatcher. My fear is that Scotland votes No and the Cons win the 2015 GE and then use the No vote to undermine the Parliament and we end up with a privatised NHS, tuition fees and other Tory things.

  10. Thanks Alec. I thought I’d put it in no-brainer fashion, to put an end to the linguistic quibbling that threatened to rear its head. Didn’t take long for him to try and bail and plea for us to stop discussing it!!…

  11. Hi Phil Haines, re:

    ”If NS is right in thinking that Scotland can choose to walk away from an appropriate (Barnett formula?) share of the UK’s accumulated national debt, then that would open the eyes of the rest of us. In which case I would expect that Wales, the North, the Midlands, South West, East of England, South East and most of London would eventually follow Scotland’s lead. Leaving the UK to consist of the City of London, which would then carry the responsibility of funding the entire accumulated UK deficit.”

    I reckon the City of London would opt out of it too. They always said they weren’t to blame, after all. That would leave the debt hanging in the air somewhere, and all the various newly independent countries could then band together to form a new union, which was debt free. Just like that.

  12. Alec – yes, the white paper is in essence two documents, falling on the side of what looks like an election manifesto. I didn’t detect a sense of portention or majesty in the quest to irrevocably change the constitutional make-up of these islands. To my mind, it demeans the moment when the SNP lays out how it wishes to dissolve the union. You and the Graun put it better than I did.

    OldNat – the polls will be fascinating, and now informed by 679 pages of meat! It’ll be exhausting.

  13. COUPER2802

    Or that Lab win the 2015 and 2016 GEs and Andy Burnham carries out his wish to harmonise the NHS across the UK. I doubt that that would be much better.

    I was surprised to see Alastair Darling on the Daily Politics saying definitively that all the UK parties had looked at the Barnett formula and agreed that their should be no change to the situation whereby Scotland (as the 3rd highest region of the UK) gets much higher identifiable public expenditure.

    Can anyone confirm the accuracy of his statement?

  14. Brian Taylor has an interesting article on the status of the White Paper (referring to the negotiations bit of it, not the SNP vision bit).

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-25092199

    “This is a clear and significant difference of interpretation. Alex Salmond sees the White Paper as a prospectus. UK Ministers see it as a wish list.

    Politically, however, it might be argued that, should the people of Scotland vote for independence, the momentum would lie with those advocating the contents of the White Paper, particularly as those contents will have been exhaustively examined and debated.

    It is, however, germane to note the dispute.

    It will be relevant in the referendum debate. Unionists will say – they are already saying – that Mr Salmond cannot, by himself, deliver what he is promising. Nationalists will say – they are already saying – that a popular mandate in the referendum would trump any Unionist objections.”

    That ties in rather well with Bill Patrick’s “median voter factor” post. Those committed to either side will choose the interpretation they prefer, but which will the undecideds prefer – demands for absolute guarantees, or that popular sovereignty should prevail?

    As so often in politics, the debate is often conducted between two sides who are actually not taking part in identical debates!

  15. Couper2802,

    A Tory win is LESS likely if Scotland votes no.

  16. couper2802

    “The last time Scotland voted No we got Thatcher. My fear is that Scotland votes No and the Cons win the 2015 GE and then use the No vote to undermine the Parliament and we end up with a privatised NHS, tuition fees and other Tory things”
    ________

    Big difference now is that we have a Scottish Parliament and if it’s a no vote and we end up with another Tory government trying to impose unpopular polices on Scotland then I would expect the SNP will be returned yet again as a majority government and publish another white paper.

  17. “A Tory win is LESS likely if Scotland votes no.”

    Can’t see it’ll make any difference in 2015 even if it votes yes.

  18. TARK

    “The SNP has avoided the temptation to go all Braveheart and saltires about this”
    __________

    Well they did hand out shortbread before the launch to reporters ;-)

  19. All the Polls Suggest Scottish Independence is far more popular in England than in Scotland!

    Yet the SNP constantly moan on about the objections to independence from South of the Border ignoring the fact that 3 out of 5 Scots apparently don’t want it either

    Maybe the SNP should ask for the vote to be held in England Only ,they would stand some chance of winning!

  20. rogerh

    “A Tory win is LESS likely if Scotland votes no.”

    Can’t see it’ll make any difference in 2015 even if it votes yes
    _______

    I might be wrong but I don’t think there has ever been a UK election where Scotland has stopped the Tories from winning by voting Labour, ie the difference of the majority needed to the amount of Scottish MPS returned as Labour MP’S…that aside I do think if its a YES vote then England might just become that little more bit Tory and a bit more appealing.

  21. @ Allan,

    There were a few in the 60s/70s where no Scotland would have meant the difference between a Labour majority and a Labour plurality, I think, but none where it would have stopped Labour from being the largest party. Of course, back then Scottish Tories were not an endangered species.

  22. Does anyone understand why the Government don’t just move the damn nukes now? (Or whenever a bit of money becomes available.) The Scots don’t want them, the English do want them, and they bring in jobs. There are plenty of English ports (Portsmouth, anyone?) that could desperately use the investment.

    Is there something unique about Faslane that makes it the only acceptable place to dock a nuclear submarine in the British Isles?

  23. There were a few in the 60s/70s where no Scotland would have meant the difference between a Labour majority and a Labour plurality,

    -1964 AND 1974 If I recall correctly.

    Cameron would also have got a majority in 2010

    However, Labour would have won with a 100 + Seat Majority in the First Two Blair victories and would also have won in 2005.

    Up until 1955 the Largest Party in Scotland was the Conservative Party.

  24. Former UK Independence Party MEP Godfrey Bloom has revealed he is considering running for Parliament as a “motorists’ champion”.

    -We could be in at the birth of the Clarkson Party!

  25. @Spearmint

    “Is there something unique about Faslane that makes it the only acceptable place to dock a nuclear submarine in the British Isles?”

    Apparently so. Something to do with water depth, remoteness, ease of getting to the Atlantic, plus a whole host of other things that I forget. Milford Haven was the second-best option, until an oil terminal was built there.

    As for bringing jobs, only about 500 of the jobs at Faslane are directly connected to Trident; the rest are associated with the naval base overall and would not necessarily be affected by removal of the nuclear submarines.

    (I’m about to go out, so if I don’t respond to anyone who responds to this, it’s not through rudeness.)

  26. Interesting finding by the CPS in the Mitchell case.

    Just One officer to face criminal prosecution several are facing disciplinary sanctions however the following struck me as note worthy.

    Bernard Hogan-Howe, the Met commissioner, said no action would be taken against PC Toby Rowland, the officer on duty in Downing Street who was involved in the alteration with Mitchell and who said he had been called a “pleb”, after the CPS concluded there was insufficient evidence to suggest he was lying.

    Rowland’s handwritten notes of the encounter, plus records of a conversation he held with his superior immediately afterwards, were examined by the police and the CPS as part of the inquiry. He has never been arrested.

    Saunders revealed that in coming to their decision not to charge the majority of the eight individuals arrested – five officers and three civilians – prosecutors had viewed a vast amount of CCTV footage which has not been seen in public before.

    She said: “Much of the press reporting to date has assumed that the CCTV recordings show that the gate officer lied about the words used during the incident.” But she said the edited footage that has been aired by the Channel 4 Dispatches programme “did not show the full picture.”

    Saunders said: “It is clear from the footage that there was sufficient time for the words to have been said either as described by the gate officer or as described by Mr Mitchell …

    “It does show there are a small number of members of the public present immediately in front of the gate … this is consistent with the officers’ account that several members of the public were present … No officer ever mentioned ‘crowds’ being present – this was first mentioned in Channel 4 News/Dispatches programmes.”

  27. SPEARMINT

    “There were a few in the 60s/70s where no Scotland would have meant the difference between a Labour majority and a Labour plurality, I think, but none where it would have stopped Labour from being the largest party. Of course, back then Scottish Tories were not an endangered species.”
    ____

    I never looked at it in that way but yes you’re correct. Maybe Labour do have a lot to loose hence the reason they are leading the United together campaign with Tories etc.

  28. I suspect a Yes vote could be followed by an SNP surge in 2015, at Labour’s expense. Reasoning: Unionist voters won’t bother to turn out, Separatists will.

  29. @Kitsune, Spearmint,

    My understanding is that the benefit of Faslane is not the submarine docking, but the warhead storage – which is currently done on the banks of a very remote and unpopulated loch, connected by water to the base.

    Nowhere else offers a port with access to the ideal environment for storage. But in extremis I am sure arrangements could be made. Plymouth would be quite happy I’m sure to try and arrange a site somwhere up the Tamar valley where silos could be built. There are villages around but it’s not too densely populated once you get a couple of miles north of the City.

  30. SPEARMINT

    Does anyone understand why the Government don’t just move the damn nukes now? (Or whenever a bit of money becomes available.) The Scots don’t want them, the English do want them, and they bring in jobs. There are plenty of English ports (Portsmouth, anyone?) that could desperately use the investment
    __________

    They should move them to Merseyside or the Thames, they too have big centres of populations like west central Scotland.

    Then watch public opinion in England follow the Scots.

  31. @coupar2802 – “The last time Scotland voted No we got Thatcher. My fear is that Scotland votes No and the Cons win the 2015 GE and then use the No vote to undermine the Parliament and we end up with a privatised NHS, tuition fees and other Tory things.”

    Why would a devolved Scotland have privatised NHS and tuition fees under devolution if Tories win in Westminster? They only get these things if the Scottish government votes for them – a bit like independence. Your point is complete nonsense I’m afraid.

  32. @ Martyn, Phil, etc.,

    Although you can’t use the regional crossbreaks to estimate the “real” level of Ukip support- all the usual caveats about crossbreaks apply, plus the pollsters don’t yet know how to calibrate their Ukip numbers so it’s unclear that even their topline figures are giving an accurate measure of Ukip support- you can use them to get an internal reading of where the topline figures are coming from.

    This is what I, and I assume Statgeek, are trying to do when we look at 2010/regional crossbreaks- if YouGov show Labour’s VI going up I want to know what’s driving it, whether it’s because they suddenly have an influx of 2010 Lib Dem voters, whether they’ve become very popular in London but not in RoS, etc. And because we’re comparing the crossbreaks to previous crossbreaks, we can measure that, even if all the crossbreaks have a systemic bias. The raw numbers may be wrong, but the derivative for the crossbreak correlates to the derivative of the overall VI with that pollster.

    Since Ukip VI has changed so much over the past year, you can definitely answer the question “In which regions has ComRes picked up a big increase in Ukip VI?” It’s important to recognise that this question is not the same as “In which regions does Ukip have the most support?” and may give a different answer. But even so I think the answer might be interesting.

  33. NEIL A

    Loch Long isn’t that remote! It’s only 27 miles from RNAD Coulport to Glasgow City Centre. :-)

  34. @ Kitsune and Neil,

    Thanks! Whitehall’s apparent intransigence on this issue makes much more sense now.

  35. Postageincluded,

    That would be quite a good situation for the SNP to find themselves in. If they lose the referendum, forcing Labour into an SNP-Lab coalition at the price of Devo-Max would be a decent second best.

  36. @Oldnat (quoting Brian Taylor) – “Politically, however, it might be argued that, should the people of Scotland vote for independence, the momentum would lie with those advocating the contents of the White Paper, particularly as those contents will have been exhaustively examined and debated.”

    I think this is an interesting irrelevancy, that Brian has covered as he is required to demonstrate balance. As with some other debates though, the reality is often that the need to show balance actually detracts from the facts of the case.

    There would be absolutely no political momentum outside of Scotland in favour of the contents of the White Paper. Absolutely none. rUK voters have not been consulted, and the Westminster government would have the duty to represent the best interests of those wishing to remain governed ultimately from Westminster. A 100% turnout with a 100% Yes vote wouldn’t make the blindest difference to this simple fact.

    Your concept of ‘popular sovereignty’ is similarly misguided. ‘Popular sovereignty’ is probably that Scotland can have independence if they want but can get st*ffed if they want to keep the pound etc etc – it just depends where you draw the electoral boundaries.

    A yes vote will note have the slightest bearing on the stance taken in negotiations by the rUK government, who will be under the most enormous pressure not to concede anything to the Scots that would be unfavourable to rUK.

    That is why any attempt to claim that the SNP offer is a prospectus is completely bogus. They have no real idea what they can actually deliver once the negotiations have been concluded, which is why they got themselves in such a tangle about keeping secret legal advice on EU membership that they never sought in the first place.

  37. @Alec

    Because I do not trust the Tories. Do you think that Thatcher would have allowed the Scottish Parliament to operate as it does today? An Ideologically driven Con gov’t could easily pass legislation to undermine the Scottish Parliament using the No vote as an excuse.

  38. Alec

    You seem awfully keen on terms like “nonsense”, “bogus”, etc today.

    Quite why expanding the black hole in the rUK balance of payments, or increasing costs to rUK businesses selling into their 2nd biggest market would be favourable to rUK is not immediately clear.

    In any negotiations, the parties will agree on matters which are to their mutual benefit, and fight their corner on other matters.

    Unless, of course, one side is determined to make its own people suffer, out of bloody-mindedness. That would seem to be a very un-British attitude to take.

  39. @Coupar2802 – Sorry, but your last post really is complete nonsense. It is totally and utterly incomprehensible to argue that a Westminster government could overturn a legitimate referendum vote that was decisively in favour of devolution just because it wanted to.

    If that really is the level of debate in Scotland, then I’m afraid the Scots are in even more desperate trouble than I thought.

    @Oldnat – “You seem awfully keen on terms like “nonsense”, “bogus”, etc today.” – Indeed – there’s a lot of it about.

    “In any negotiations, the parties will agree on matters which are to their mutual benefit, and fight their corner on other matters.”

    Indeed – that’s exactly what I’m saying. What the SNP are saying is that they will get whatever they want. ‘Bogus nonsense’ are the two words that spring to mind.

  40. Chatterclass

    That 75% figure (normally quoted as 70%) originates, I think, from this Reuters article http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/10/31/uk-britain-property-tax-idUKBRE99U0B820131031
    based on research by Knight Frank.

    The research actually says rather the opposite from what you (and Reuters) suggest, that 85 to 90% of new builds go to UK residents and 93% in outer London which is probably what we are focusing on for housing flight.

    By the way, I agree with most of what you say, but this canard about foreign buyers (quickly translated to Russian money-launderers) militates against the solution to the problem: lots of development sites around here but NIMBY controversies about developing them are reinforced by stories that they’ll all be bought up by foreign criminals and kept empty, just creating a blot an the landscape. (By the way, the same people argue that the new residents will overrun our schools and healthcare services which is an argument with a lot more legs)

  41. Alec

    ” What the SNP are saying is that they will get whatever they want.”

    Except that isn’t what they are saying. Misrepresenting (indeed caricaturing) the views of those you disagree with, is a tactic used by politicians to scare the voters. It’s not very useful in helping us to ascertain what the effects on polling will be.

  42. @Alec

    I am not saying they could disband the parliament (although they did disband the GLC) but they could definitely undermine it. My fear is that if England continues to vote Tory Scotland we be unable to sustain a different idealogical system while remaining in the UK.

    Fundamentally if Scotland continues to reject Conservatism and England continues to vote for it – aren’t we just too different to get along and might be BetterApart?

  43. The relevant info for the impact of Scottish independence on Westminster is NOT elections for forty years ago. Far too much has changed for a useful comparison. The 2010 result is more important.

    Scottish independence means one lost seat for the Tories, but 58 seats off the other parties. Say the result in 2015 is 38-37-10 in Labour’s favour and Scotland had voted “yes”. Labour would start with a majority of 4, but would lose their majority after 2016 and the Tories would be the largest party (and in a position to do deals with the Lib Dems and NI unionists). 38-38-10 and the Tories could form a coalition (albeit with a small majority) with the Lib Dems.

    I’m not saying that Scottish independence definitely WOULD make a difference; only that it makes the Tories’ task a lot easier, and Labour’s task much, much harder.

  44. @Oldnat – Quite right – accept your point.

    I was clearly being a bit daft there. I thought Alex S said he would keep the pound, stay in Nato, get rid of nukes at Faslane, and have automatic accession to the EU.

    What was I thinking?

  45. Iain Gray’s question in parliament today was priceless. “The Scottish Government say they are going to set up an ‘oil’ fund, where’s the money going to come from for this oil fund?

    Subway for Iain anyone?

  46. ALEC

    “What was I thinking?”
    ______

    Nuclear powered windmills?

  47. On things people really DO NOT care about Andrew Mitchell must be up there ahead of Falkirk.

    He is giving a press conference just now – which will no doubt be all over tonight’s news.

  48. The more I read the white paper the more it’s looking undeliverable with the occasional sleight of hand. There is way too much dependent on the goodwill of others, which is a dangerous assumption. Contrary to Sturgeon’s assertion this afternoon, there is no enthusiasm whatsoever in the EC for Scottish membership. Rather the opposite. I think the SNP needs a crash course in decoding diplomacyspeak if she honestly thinks that.

    Since it looks like the retention of sterling is a sine qua non for the SNP, in the event of a Yes vote the UK govt (sorry, I dislike ‘rUK’) can offer a referendum for England, Wales and NI on the issue, using the SNP’s own logic about the dividing up of national assets.

    But that is mischievous, at least for now. Although, if Yes did win in September, I would very much like to be consulted via referendum if I want my taxes to explicitly underwrite the government of a different country.

  49. @Steve re CPS

    I’ve just watched an extraordinary press conference with Mitchell on Sky news.

    He is denying everything & basically saying that he is correct & that everything else is a lie – even the non-edited CCTV that has been reviewed by the CPS but has not been released to the media.

    His good friend David Davis MP has run through a presentation of the CCTV images &

    Perhaps it would be a good idea for MP’s to remember why the gates are there in the first place & that swearing at a police officer, whose job it is to ensure the security of those within Downing Street, really isn’t a good idea.

    I have never seen anything so bizarre as these two MP’s & their reactions to this whole sorry mess.

    Heck, let’s do away with the police force – let Mitchell & Davis solve every crime because they obviously think they can interpret & present evidence to say whatever they want it to say !

    Mitchell & Davis Investigators has a good ring to it no ?

    What a bloody fiasco.

  50. TARK

    ” I would very much like to be consulted via referendum if I want my taxes to explicitly underwrite the government of a different country.”

    So would I. Fortunately, no one is suggesting that, so it’s a bit of a “nuclear powered windmill” to tilt at. :-)

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