ComRes’s monthly poll for the Daily Mail is out, topline voting intention figures are CON 40%, LAB 28%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 10%, GRN 5%. The poll also asked about military intervention in Syria. By 56% to 33% people supported British airstrikes against ISIS in Syria and while the public are opposed to sending British group troops against ISIS, it’s less overwhelming than most of the polls I’ve seen in recent years that have broached the topic of sending British ground troops into conflicts – 49% are opposed, 41% would support. Tabs are here.

415 Responses to “ComRes/Mail – CON 40, LAB 28, LDEM 7, UKIP 10, GRN 5”

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  1. @Robert Newrak

    The fact that many motorways are crowded (though I recently found the M74 – M6 stretch as far south as Lancaster an absolute delight with courteous drivers allowing plenty of space between vehicles) says more about GB’s inability to provide a decent train network than it does about anything else. And no-one is forcing anyone to live in the crowded south east of England. Plenty of space northwards and westwards…….

  2. Back to the polling:

    Did I read correctly in the Com/Res poll that people underestimated their SNP vote in May (i.e. SNP is underrepresented in the polling group), and yet VIs still showed SNP up on actual May figures?
    Who is to save us from this one-party state? Can no-one come up with some decent opposition?

  3. @Omnishambles

    That statistic is trotted out pretty regularly, but by ‘full’, I suspect Robert N is referring to our infrastructure, services, hospitals, schools, housing, etc. Indeed, he specifically mentioned motorways.

    My take on this is that we can absorb net immigration but only on a modest scale. It is really all to do with resources and public realm. Those who say that immigrants pay more tax than they receive, in my view, completely miss the point. The significant fact is that whilst they contribute fairly to the running costs of this country, they place great strain on our public realm, without having made any contribution to it.

    We have spent centuries developing a society that is equipped to handle a certain number of people: but we cannot take 5 million more people every ten years. Population growth is fine, and we have coped with it for a very long time, but not on the present scale.

    In East Devon, we are expecting our population to grow by up to 40% in 20 odd years. They will no doubt pay their taxes, but how on earth will our infrastructure cope: schools, roads, car parks, sports fields, and we are currently closing our hospitals! And then we have to build 1000 homes a year in our AONBs.

  4. Robert Newark

    “the UK is an island and frankly it’s virtually full, certainly England is. Just travel any motorway to confirm.”

    I travel quite frequently on motorways and I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.

  5. Omni
    Interesting link but rather meaningless when no comparison with other countries. On the basis that we have a housing shortage, the motorways and railways are jammed, the schools are full, as are doctors surgeries and dentists and hospitals struggle to cope, then by my reckoning, the country is pretty full.
    Part of the problem is that the uk is a long and narrow country, whereas the likes of France and Germany are much squarer. It is much easier to construct new transport links in those countries to relieve pressure.

    Laszlo the safe haven idea is a temporary fix, so that life can go on as normal without disruption whilst asylum seekers are processed. I didn’t mean as a permanent solution. The current situation cannot endure. Something drastic has to be done. If you have alternative ideas that do not involve the blanket admittance of every Tom, Dick and Abdul, then I would be interested to hear.

  6. Motor vehicle traffic is broadly static and has been for several years (around 500 billion veh/km per year).

  7. @Omnishambles,

    Three points about the “fullness” of England.

    1) Whilst its true to say that much of the “urban” areas of England is quite green (London in particular looks a bit like a forest from the air), the corollary to that is that much of what we call “rural” is hardly unspoiled countryside. Travelling by road obviously skews perceptions a bit, but in most of England you enter the next village less than a minute after leaving the last one, and there are plenty of places where there isn’t really unbroken countryside at all, just “linear towns” strung along the road networks with the odd field or two in between. Then you have the industrial estates, farm buildings (not stone houses, mind you, massive metal and concrete hangars), builder’s yards, garden centres and what have you. It is quite difficult to stand anywhere in the countryside and not be within sight or sound of human activity.

    2) Its not just about space for houses. There is less water per inhabitant in England than in Tunisia, and our road networks are bursting under the strain of the existing infrastructure. We don’t have enough airport space. Our countryside and beaches are chock full of litter. Not to mention the question of food security. Yes, we stopped being self-sufficient a long time ago, but we are getting more and more exposed to any future crises re: food supply that arise from climate change or catastrophes.

    3) Any loss of green space represents a loss of habitat for wild species. We seem to treat these as separate statistics for some reason. One article will talk about 10,000 new homes being built, then next about a reduction in the populations of rare species. These are two sides of the same coin. Every new house means fewer birds, fewer insects, fewer animals (apart from maybe seagulls/rats/urban foxes). Perhaps every developer should have to publish an estimate of the net loss of wild birds / animals in their brochure. As things currently stand, no one gives a monkeys unless its bats or butterflies (and recently not even then – 200 houses near a bat colony in Chudleigh). Of course, sometimes the countryside doesn’t provide great habitat in the first place, and if the developers include habitat areas in their plans it helps (the new Sherford development near Plymouth for example has a country park that will cover almost 50% of the farmland lost by the creation of the town – and they are promising to create specific habitats within it).

  8. @millie

    “That statistic is trotted out pretty regularly, but by ‘full’, I suspect Robert N is referring to our infrastructure, services, hospitals, schools, housing, etc. Indeed, he specifically mentioned motorways.”

    That does not make sense. Our services and infrastructure is saturated, sure, but the UK is not full. We can alleviate the problem by investing more money into improving infrastructure and building more housing. This is hard right now because there’s not much money to spare, but once the deficit is eliminated and the debt pile starts to fall, more money will be freed up (in 2015/16 we’re forecast to spend £36bn on servicing debt). The bigger problem is the political awkwardness around where to build more housing.

    It’s worth trotting out the statistic every now and then because a lot of people seem to think Britain is more physically full than it is.

  9. Robert Newark

    A radical solution might be putting the warmongering elements back in their boxes and not wrecking some of these countries in the first place.

  10. As for the migrants at Calais. Well, yes of course we could take them in and barely even notice. The problem is that the few thousand migrants currently there would swell to tens of thousands in the space of weeks if it became known that the UK government was dishing out amnesties.

    Besides which, if you’re a refugee, and you’re in France, that’s a done deal. You should apply to the French government for asylum. When and if your case is adjudged to be genuine, you will be given leave to remain, and in short order you will be able to move to the UK legally anyway. Europe as a whole has to accept that the situation in Libya and Syria will inevitably increase the flow of genuine refugees, and I have no issue with admitting those who have been found to be at real risk of persecution. But for that process to happen on UK soil should be very much the exception rather than the rule.

  11. @Hawthorn,

    The worst of all the crises was in Syria which is the result of a repressive regime and the Arab Spring. No warmongering in sight.


    @”SNP baaad…”

    Do you feel the same aversion to :-

    Tories baaad
    English baaad
    Westminster baaad


  13. Back to the polling:

    Did I read correctly in the Com/Res poll that people underestimated their SNP vote in May (i.e. SNP is underrepresented in the polling group), and yet VIs still showed SNP up on actual May figures?
    Who is to save us from this one-party state? Can no-one come up with some decent opposition?

    If you find this mythical beast called ‘opposition’ please send some to England.

  14. Neil A

    I think that is a rather naive reading of the Syrian situation.

    Assad would not be under threat from Isis had Iraq not collapsed next door, and I fully expect that some of the opposition groups would have had some “assistance”.

    Obviously Assad is a despot but he is sadly preferable to the only likely alternative.

  15. MILLIE

    @”The main attraction of the UK to migrants is surely our language: either they already speak it, or it is the best one for them to learn.”

    I think that is a pull factor.Another couple which has come at the top of their list via tv interviews recently :-

    No ID cards -so we won’t be sent back.& can disappear into the black economy.

    The country is not “racist” like France or Germany.

  16. @ Mr. Nameless,

    Such an approach would leave me and tens of thousands like me politically homeless.

    While the Labour Party has not shown extraordinarily good judgement over the past weeks, I don’t think it has yet gone mad enough to start taking advice from Robert.

  17. To throw an amusing and true (but obviously ridiculous) statistic out there, if the entire UK had the population density of Portsmouth we could fit over 1.2 billion people here, with a population of about 63 million were a ways of that yet. Now obviously nobody is suggesting this for a second but it reinforces the point that using a word like “full” which implies were at bursting point and you cant move for bumping into someone is not helpful.

    As others have said not all the immigrants have to live in London and the South East although government policy dating back decades has made it so that it makes the most economic sense for any newcomer and indeed residents of these isles to move there. Was it not a Tory chancellor who in response to unemployed rioters responded “on your bike”

    To make matters worse the South East seems to be the spiritual homeland of the NIMBY voter so alas the extra infrastructure that those regions need is met with such constant opposition from the very same people who complain the motorway is too busy which results in a political quagmire which leaves less important regions like the North abandoned (explaining the massive variance in infrastructure spending per head between the North and South) which only exacerbates the problem further by encouraging more immigration to the South East and London because that’s were all the investment is.

    To conclude one can see that the knee jerk reaction might be to cry “WE’RE FULL” but alas those same people might just look to themselves and think maybe if they acted a bit more proactively in integrating the immigrant community not only into other regions but also the wealthier parts of the South which remain very homogeneous the problem might not be as dire as they think. Alas naïve wishful thinking though….

  18. @Colin

    Surely ID cards don’t impact black market and illegal working?

    I used to laugh when people defended ID cards to stop illegal immigration.

    People who enter the UK in trailers and work illegally are in the hands scumbags who know full well what they are doing is illegal.

    Legal ID cards are not used by people smugglers.

    Might you, it would open a new black market in fake ID cards…..

  19. @Rivers10,

    How exactly I am supposed to proactively integrate the immigrant community? Self-righteous, lefty twaddle, I’m sorry.

  20. @Catmanjeff,

    The value of the ID card proposal wasn’t really in the cards themselves, but in the national database that would have to be created to issue them.

    We are relatively unusual in the UK in not really knowing who the hell everyone is. Every other EU country I’ve dealt with professionally is able to provide a photograph, date of birth, last known address and basic information about any citizen you may be enquiring about. In the UK, we just can’t do that. The closest we have is the DVLA driving license database, but of course that doesn’t cover children or those who choose not to get a driving license. The most comprehensive database of who’s who in the UK is probably the open source information kept by companies like Equifax and Experian.

    EU police officers find our lack of proper information, and our benefits system, bizarre and ridiculous.

  21. We should get together (EU, US) a ton of cash and comsumer goods and then bribe the people in Libya, Syria etc to settle down and accept some benign dicatator of our choice. (the benign dicatator would introduce equality laws which would give women equal rights and allow gay marriage, freedon of expression, religion etc) so all the fleeing migrants can go back.

    Make sure they get TV and get them interested in Sport so they can watch cricket and soap operas which will leave no time for murdering and oppression of their fellow people,

    If you can’t beat them bribe them – simple.

  22. @Couper2802

    I think you have described the IMF.

  23. ID card would have been right.

    Yet ID card doesn’t stop illegal labour and the rest. And it certainly doesn’t reduce crime or increase resolving crimes if I have read the Eurostat crime figures right.

  24. Neil A
    Supporting more investment in in the regions, encouraging immigrants to move to areas outside of London and the South East (again by further investment in the regions or incentives for immigrants to live in the regions) relocate more government departments to the regions to provide more employment in these areas, devolution so these areas have the power to enact these policies etc etc

    Now obviously you personally cannot do all this but you do have a choice with your vote and the parties have differing views on the matter. You kinda have to read between the lines because obviously they all “support the regions” and “want a fair immigration policy” but some are a bit more proactive at it than others. Some prefer to make immigrants life miserable as a deterrent to them coming here rather than take affirmative action to move them were they can be integrated, some are more inclined to promote their own constituencies rather than think of the country as a whole, some are more inclined to make political capital out of an issue rather than take the difficult (any maybe unpopular) measures to resolve it. I can’t be more specific as it would violate comments policy but you should get my drift.

  25. @ Neil A

    This map (I can’t stand for it’s validity, doesn’t quite support the drinking water problem.

  26. Candy & Neil A
    Good posts and I agree with all your points.

    “Motorway traffic is broadly static…”
    So you have travelled on the M25 & M1 on a Friday too. It’s full and woe betide anyone who suggests widening the either to 12 lanes in each direction. We’re bloody lucky the Victorians built the railways because they sure as he’ll wouldn’t get built now.

    So Full then is somewhere between 65m and 1.2 then. Can you imagine what kind of a hell hole the uk would be with a population of even, half a billion? Like climate change, let’s plan and that means strictly limiting how man can come into the country each year.

    NEILA on ID cards. It’s bizarre that the uk does not have them and that people are not counted in and counted out of the country. It’s no big deal in any other country.

  27. CMJ

    I think its about knowing who is in our country & why.

    We know neither , about what one suspects is an awful lot of people.

  28. @Robert Newark

    So you have travelled on the M25 & M1 on a Friday too. It’s full and woe betide anyone who suggests widening the either to 12 lanes in each direction. We’re bloody lucky the Victorians built the railways because they sure as he’ll wouldn’t get built now.

    On some travels many moons ago, I got talking to a chap who was a road planner in the US.

    He told that roads with more and more lanes get so badly inefficient, it’s not worth doing after a certain point.

    To prove this, have you ever tried to drive around Los Angeles?

    It’s a hell hole.

  29. I believe that 80% of the land surface of the British Isles is owned by 258k families. The remaining population occupies about 10%, 4% being urban built up areas. I wouldn’t call that full but it is true that the bit that is occupied by the vast majority has a high density of people.

  30. @Lazslo,

    That map is largely a reflection of the efforts made by governments to provide drinking water, not the availability of water per se

    If you’re cleaning and serving up enough water for 70m people, that doesn’t necessarily mean you could clean and serve up enough for 140m, if there is not enough water to process in the first place.

    Of course there is always de-salination, but the energy cost is prohibitive.


    What does an incentive to immigrants to live in a region look like? Are you proposing to literally pay someone £100 a week to live in Liverpool? Wouldn’t it be fair to offer that money to scousers as well? Or do we deny government support to anyone living in London and the Southeast, to encourage them to move out?

    Immigrants move to where there are communities they feel comfortable. In reality that means communities where their group is already numerous. Besides which, in your original post you said “integrate”. Providing an Iraqi with a flat in Glasgow doesn’t help him integrate. The best way to integrate immigrants is to have fewer of them.

  31. @Laszlo,

    What are you doing believing crime figures!!

  32. Robert Newark

    The stats say that traffic is steady, which includes motorways. The methodology for major roads at least is robust.

    The truth is that the M1, M25 (and M6 in Brum and M62 in Manchester and Leeds as well) have been awful for a long time. The point is that recent immigration has not made it any worse.

  33. @Syzygy,

    I actually like the fact that so much land is sequestered away by the lairds and ladies, rather than made available for development.

    I don’t really care who has the title to any given acre of England, just what it looks like and how much wildlife habitat it can provide. I’m sure the Duke of Buccleuch’s house is lovely, but I doubt it covers very much of his 240,000 acres with concrete.

  34. LASZLO

    If the human rights are that bad in Hungary then surely they are in breech of EU rules and should get the boot. Would save us in the UK a lot of money having to subsidize Hungarian housewives thatching their roofs while their husbands are over in the UK ripping up the copper from our railways!!..or is that the Romanians?,.. ;-)

    Also..I don’t believe the situation in Syria or Afghanistan is any worse than here in the UK because more UK nationals appear to be migrating to Syria and Afghanistan than Syrians and Afghans migrate to the UK……..maybe they have better weather, I don’t know!! ;-)

  35. Robert Newark
    That comment was tongue in cheek I obviously don’t advocate a population anywhere near half a million. If you want the honest answer I think as things currently stand (politically, economically and technologically) Britain would be a hellhole if we exceeded 100 million.

    What I was merely saying was that full we are not. We have room to alleviate problems, for example to resolve the housing crisis rather than continuing urban sprawl we should maybe have a new generation of New Towns. A self contained settlement requires less space than a suburb of equal population, and thankfully we have easily enough space to find sites for this next generation of New Towns.

    Also we don’t know where technology will take us. I read an interesting fact that today commute times in London are the same as they were in the mid 19th century in the days of horse drawn carriages, the difference is the amount of traffic has increased hugely so its still progress. For all we know in 20 years time we could all be telecommuting so traffic wont be an issue, the birth rate might have plummeted so pressure on schools and new housing will be negated, architectural engineering might have developed to the extent that we’re building mile high skyscrapers to house all our commercial activities thus negating the space issue even more and medical care has been near totally automated meaning there is no such thing as a shortage of doctors. This is all assuming our population growth continues (which I highly doubt it will for a plethora of reasons)

    I don’t want to go all Sci-Fi here but I really feel that this is one of many issues were people are applying 20th century solutions to 21st century problems.


    Apologies for re-stating your point. I read the thread backwards :(

  37. Perhaps the issue is that we really need to start moving any population growth away from densely populated regions (i.e. London, the south east and parts of the Midlands) and towards more spasely populated areas like Scotland, Wales, parts of northern England etc. That way any resource constraints at a regional level can be re-distributed on a national scale, meaning that things are shared out much more evenly.

    Scotland, Wales, parts of the north etc. have loads of land that could be set aside for more housing if done carefully and in an environmentally sustainable manner. It could help the local economy too, so a win-win situation.

    A recent article I read online suggested that the government is already looking at ways to re-house migrants in areas where resources are less scarce and land more plentiful i.e. spread the burden more evenly throughout the whole of the UK. Makes sense to me.

  38. ID cards? Who mentioned that? Just more state control by the snoopers and some even want it to be compulsory for everyone to carry an ID card with them.

    I know where I would tell them to stick it. No government will tell me what I must carry with me when I leave the house……………..No sir!!

  39. @ Neil

    I also love that there is land and habitats for wildlife but I suspect that we won’t agree about the descendants of the Norman Conquerors having so much control over it.

  40. @ Neil A

    I don’t know what should I do with crime figures :-)

    As to the ID card, the only time it would have been handy in Hungary was when I didn’t have it on me, hence I was fined, and as I didn’t pay the fine on time, I was fined for that too …

    It wasn’t helpful at all in the mid 1980s, when I had to find a person for an environment study in the archives to get the address at the police station and I had full access – mind, it was before computers.


    It’s not as simple as that. I watched one MP in parliament tell the PM that 500 migrants had been settled in Rochdale , 300 in Cardiff and so on. He then pointed out that only 3 had been settled in the PM’S constituency.

    My constituency (Should know it by now, East Renfrewshire) has very few if any migrants living in it but next door Glasgow has taken in several thousand. Like the PM’s constituency East Ren is quite affluent and average house prices are well above the national average and are mostly owner occupied.

    Rural areas (London the exception) tend to have higher house prices than towns and cities and homes are out of the reach for millions of UK nationals so would it be fair to resettle migrants into areas where houses are not affordable for the majority of people in the UK? or would it not be better to spend some money on the crumbling social housing in our cites and giving asylum seekers a comfortable home at less expense?

    A city the size of Glasgow can easily take in several thousands of asylum seekers if done with respect to other people from the city who themselves are facing hardship and don’t feel they are being left out. Trying to resettle several thousands of migrants into a rural area where the largest town might only have a population of 12 thousand would be very unpopular and problematic.


    What you think of ID cards is irrelevant.

    For the purposes of this discussion , what is relevant is the perception of the many people who travel half the globe in appalling circumstances to Calais so they can gain illegal access to UK.

    And their perception of the comparative attractions of this country which make those journeys worthwhile includes the absence of ID cards and the attendant risk of being challenged by the Police & deported.

  43. To say that traffic congestion isn’t getting worse is simply wrong. When I started my current job 3 years ago I used a short section of the M25 approaching Dartford and initially traffic was nearly always clear. Over time it has become almost completely unusable due to the increase in traffic volume that I now use alternative routes (quite a bit further sometimes but definitely quicker). And the recent ‘improvements’ at the Dartford Crossing have done nothing to improve this yet – although perhaps it would be even worse had they not happened – who knows?
    And we have our famous Operation Stack which is currently creating complete chaos across the whole of the Kent road system.
    Immigration has been extremely high in recent years and I don’t see any other plausible explanation to the deteriorating traffic conditions.
    Rant over (for now)!

  44. COLIN

    Ah okay I’m not against in principle of ID cards for asylums seekers because we do need to know who is coming into the country and keep some sort of tracker.

    However like most other people in the UK, I always have my driving licence, debit cards (don’t do credit cards, just encourages me to spend more) and other stuff like gym cards and library cards in my wallet so I carry more than enough info already on me without having a bit of plastic giving away my whole life in a chip.

    I don’t believe for one minute ID cards will make our borders any safer as someone pointed out further up the page.

  45. @Democracy

    Maybe it’s Canary Wharf types in transit to and from Bluewater.

  46. Alan Christie
    This is what I meant by affirmative action, there are obviously logical reasons for it but many feel that immigrants are being dumped in the long abandoned poorer areas of the UK. Action should be taken to get more people into the wealthier areas (multiple ways of doing this)

    I also accept that dumping the immigrants in rural areas is equally problematic. The solution is as I suggested develop a new generation of New Towns in places like Lincolnshire, Shropshire, Dorset, North Yorkshire, Stirlingshire, Northumberland or Wiltshire. These homogeneous, sparsely populated lands adjacent to major metropolitan areas and not located in the South East are perfect sites for New Towns not just to house immigrants obviously but also to remedy the housing shortage across the country thus killing two birds with one stone.

    This is a much more pragmatic, forward thinking and humane solution compared to the “pull up the drawbridge” view expressed by some.

  47. RIVERS10

    There is certainly a problem with overcrowding in the SE and London does take a greater share of non UK nationals than any other part of the UK for whatever reason they have come to live in the UK.

    I see where you are coming from with regards to creating new towns for migrants and others but surely the amount of asylum seekers we are taking in doesn’t warrant us to start building new towns for them?

    I know thousands if not millions of people around the World would love to flee war torn zones and despots but most don’t have the physical or financial ability to do so which brings me to this point.

    Those who have made it to France and other EU countries have paid people several thousands to get here where the average wage in some the countries they have come from is only a few hundred pounds a year. That’s like me paying someone £200,000 to get me into Germany, where would I get that money from?

    Something tells me that the people who are really needing asylum don’t have the means to get here and many who have arrived in my opinion are suspect.

    We don’t live in a perfect World and maybe if the West would change course from its hawkish bomb bomb bomb diplomacy then we wouldn’t be discussing the traffic jams in Kent

    That aside, genuine asylum seekers who do make it to the UK should be taken care off but shouldn’t expect a lifestyle depicted in brochures.

  48. The latest local election results from Aberdeen suggest that the SNP swing is intensifying.


    I think you’re right.

    Kincorth, Nigg & Cove by-election result (30th July) :

    SNP 61.0% (+26.9)
    Labour 19.1% (-18.8)
    Conservatives 9.8% (+4.4)
    Liberal Democrats 6.5% (-1.6)
    Greens 3.6% (n/a)

    Hilton, Woodside & Stockethill by-election result (30th July) :

    SNP 55.1% (+19.6)
    Labour 25.1% (-19.9)
    Conservatives 11.4% (+6.0)
    Greens 4.2% (+1.6)
    Liberal Democrats 4.1% (+0.2)

    Scottish subsample figures from a new GB-wide ComRes poll : SNP 54%, Conservatives 19%, Labour 14%, Liberal Democrats 5%, Greens 3%, UKIP 3%, BNP 2%.

  50. Abby Tomlinson (she of Milifandom fame) is supporting Andy Burnham for leader.

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