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. John B

    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?

    No, the SNP was slightly over-represented in the Scottish subsample, though not to an unusual level. The Scottish subsample is based on the usual tiny sample (76 weighted to 53[1]) and matches the sort of figures we’ve seen in such things recently.

    The low Labour result is in part due to lower LTV figures and maybe also unwillingness to answer polls at all. The Conservative vote seems solid and so does the SNP’s at the moment.

    The same thing applies to the two Aberdeen by-elections, which had lowish turnouts (25% and 26%) which was probably responsible for the small jump in Tory percentages. The always-sensible Doug Daniel:

    reckoned that the SNP vote had changed little from May where they did particularly well in those wards. So certainly the SNP are still riding high, but there doesn’t seem to be any swing from May. The poor dears will just have to satisfied with 50%.

    [1] So the BNP 2% is only one person. Possibly with bad hearing.

  2. @RAF

    I suspect it’s more regional than anything i.e. in those areas in south eastern England and London in particular, that have been most affected by big population changes have seen the largest increases in traffic levels and traffic jams. Especially in and around London, which now has a lot more residents than even 10 or 15 years ago.

    It seems that in future house building, resources and and population changes are going to be more evenly spread throughout the UK. Common sense has at last prevailed, it seems.

    @Alan Christie,


  3. @ Mr. Nameless,

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

    First thing that’s gone right for his campaign for a month…

    Although the three of us don’t have a great record of backing winners. He really needs T’Other Howard’s endorsement.

  4. Of course, it’s worth noting that migration is but one cause of population increase in the UK. The birth rate has climbed in recent years. It’s worth remembering that.

    With government policies now to financially penalise those who have more than 2 children, as well as reducing benefits overall, will this change the birth rate in future years? Single parenthood, in particular, seems to be taking a big hit. Would a reduction in the birth rate be a good or bad thing? I’ll leave others to decide.

    Of course, if the Tories are in power for at least another 10 years, which I personally think is very likely, the last question is particularly relevant IMO.

  5. I didn’t realise the SNP were indulging in the old Off Balance Sheet PFI ruse.

    Seems like the “authorities” insist on calling a spade a spade.

  6. Poll by “Research Now” (no, me neither) of ordinary members of the public who’ve been watching the leadership election:

    Burnham 30%
    Corbyn 24%
    Cooper 24%
    Kendall 21%

    Interesting if not all that useful.

  7. Labour must not renege on what they are about. Corbyn is the man.
    He espouses left wing policies and thinking, not Torylite. Go for it , offer the people socialism. If they reject it, try again and again and again. Eventually the people will accept the truth. There is only one truth: Socialism.

  8. ivers10

    Agreed about VI being a dubious set of numbers at the moment.

    Perhaps more useful is the “Generally speaking, do you think of yourself as …..” question.

    As always the geographic samples aren’t internally weighted in a poll like this, but do indicate where a party has the potential to get at least their base vote.

    Scotland : SNP 43% : Lab 15% : Con 12% : Grn 6% : UKIP 5% : LD 2%
    N Eng : Lab 43% : Con 19% : Grn 5% : UKIP 9% : LD 5%
    Mid Eng : Lab 27% : Con 36% : Grn 4% : UKIP 9% : LD 7%
    S Eng : Lab 24% : Con 25% : Grn 4% : UKIP 6% : LD 11%
    Wales : PC 14% : Lab 26% : Con 16% : Grn 2% : UKIP 6% : LD 8%

  9. @Nigel;

    Children do better when taught by good teachers. Being a good teacher is hard – you need to be understanding, a good leader, smart, really dedicated, and so on. The sort of people that have all those qualities can make a lot more money in other jobs, which means that the people that remain are either those who’re sticking with it out of nothing but a want to help kids, or those who fall into it and perhaps aren’t the best at what they do. Given that, it seems pretty obvious improving teacher pay *does* put children’s interests first because it gets better teachers.

  10. There’s an example here: that plots PISA scores against teacher salaries.

  11. Some interesting facts about the population explosion of the Uk.

    I will be 100 then and most likely dead but I fear for the kind of country my grandchildren will have to live in.

  12. @ AmbivalentSupporter

    “With government policies now to financially penalise those who have more than 2 children, as well as reducing benefits overall, will this change the birth rate in future years? Single parenthood, in particular, seems to be taking a big hit. Would a reduction in the birth rate be a good or bad thing? I’ll leave others to decide.”

    Giving less benefits to people who have many children is not penalising them. It is not their money in the first place. You are falling into that unpleasant mindset of the state owns people and the fruits of their labour and then decides what they are allowed to keep. The mindset of taxing people less is the equivalent of a hand out. That nasty mindset did not help Ed Miliband’s Labour at the last election.

    Why should these people get more of other people’s money just for having lots of kids? The government is rather deciding to penalise less those who actually have to pay for other people’s kids.

    As for the birth rate, yes, we need young people so there are people capable of work such that those in old age are supported, but what is the optimal birth rate for that? Do you know? I dont, and I doubt you do. Is the optimal birth rate lower than what it is now? The same as what it is now? Higher? Do you want an ever increasing birth rate, i.e. a pyramid scheme? If you do it sounds like you have not thought that through with regards to finite resources.

    You “leave it for others to decide” but why dont you tell us what you think should happen to the birth rate and why to give us a helping hand in deciding.

  13. @Robert Newark;

    It might be worth asking your grandchildren what *they* think about their future before being worried on their behalf. While I can’t speak for your grandchildren specifically, judging by voting patterns most younger people seem to be concerned more with the fact that they’re seeing the cost of their education rocketing, their healthcare becoming slowly more limited, and their welfare support taken away than they are the prospect of more people.

  14. @ Top Hat

    “Given that, it seems pretty obvious improving teacher pay *does* put children’s interests first because it gets better teachers.”

    The skill set you mention would indeed be a dream to have in all teachers. It is an awesome requirement. But improving teachers pay would be a more attractive option if you could simultaneously get rid of all the teachers who “perhaps aren’t the best at what they do” and are just striking to be paid more for mediocrity.

    Paying people fortunes with the skill set you mention to get them into a teaching career may not be optimal use of resources anyway though. Maybe outcomes for society are better in aggregate if we keep these people in industry, producing, innovating.

    Where do people really learn how to be productive and at what age? I dont know, but I sure developed an awful lot of valuable skills in my 20’s and early 30’s. Maybe having the best and the brightest teaching 8-18 year olds is not optimal for society.

  15. TopHat
    My grandchildren are a little young just now to hold those sort of opinions, the eldest is just 12. Therefore I am entitled to be concerned on their behalf.

  16. Robert Newark

    From the link you provided:

    “Immigrant mothers accounted for more than half of the increase in births, but the fertility rate among British-born women also rose sharply. ”

    I wonder how many of those child-bearing British-born women are second or third generation immigrants? Some might see this as a good or bad thing, but the country will certainly be radically different from how it was, and is now.

    You said “I fear for the kind of country my grandchildren will have to live in.” I share your concerns.

  17. @Robert; will you repent when they’re 18, then? :p

    As someone who will almost certainly be around comes 2050 barring tragic misfortune and is a grandchild, I’m not fussed.

    “Britain to be biggest country in Europe by 2050″

    We are already the biggest country in Europe. The amount of fatties in the UK is horrific. I’m beginning to think a few of them have got stuck in the channel tunnel and the government are blaming the” migrant swarms” for fear of losing the fat vote.

  19. @ JimmytheGreek

    Makarenko, one of the great pedagogists of the 20th century, put in the equivalent remark in the second volume (in the very end) in the Road to Life. Almost word for word. Indeed, pay the good teachers well, and weed the rest out. However, you have to keep the question alive: who does the weeding. It’s not a bureaucratic exercise, and you have to be aware of the workplace animosities. It doesn’t mean it is impossible, just you need environment, and the right people.

    The principle is right, the intended outcome would be delivered, but how?

  20. “The main attraction of the UK to migrants is surely our language”

    The political class have been running a stealth amnesty for decades by not deporting illegals and then giving them leave to remain / citizenship after a certain number of years.

    It’s easier to get citizenship in the UK than anywhere else in Europe.

  21. @Omnishambles

    “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,”

    Counter point 1) So we’re full for the current level of infrastructure?

    Counter point 2) So don’t add more people until there is more money.

    Counter point 3) There’s never going to be more money (per head) because adding millions of low skilled people pushes down wages and pushes up housing costs thereby squeezing discretionary income and is therefore obviously deflationary.

    Obvious as in blindingly.

  22. I see Livingstone, Galloway & Hatton are queuing up to join the Corbyn bandwagon.

    The whole thing gets more bizarre by the day.

  23. COLIN

    “I see Livingstone, Galloway & Hatton are queuing up to join the Corbyn bandwagon.

    The whole thing gets more bizarre by the day.”

    Do you mean by joining the bandwagon they are expressing their support for Jeremy Corbyn? So, tell me,oh wise one, who did you expect them to support?

  24. “The whole thing gets more bizarre by the day”

    Option 1) They were wrong over immigration
    Option 2) They weren’t left wing enough

    anything but option (1)

  25. I don’t understand why the French don’t just get rid of their problem at Calais by deporting the people congregating there to England by train via the Channel Tunnel.

  26. A propos nothing very much at all, with regard to optimum birth rates, I understand that an individual is likely to be at their most productive ( or earn the most money ) at the age of 47.

    And that a country’s economic performance is very closely correlated to the number of 47 year olds in its population.

    I’m not sure how this informs policy, short of shooting people when they reach, say, 58.

  27. @JimmyTheGreek,

    Right, you are. I really meant ‘discourage’.

    As for my opinion, yes I do think we should try lower the birth rate.

  28. Spearmint

    “He really needs T’Other Howard’s endorsement.”

    I have no real interest in who is the next Labour leader i have not been following events very closely so cannot comment on who will win. I do suppect that the only one of the four who could possible worry the Tories and then only slightly is LK. I gather she is unlikely to win and may well come last.

  29. @Omnishambles

    I’m afraid your argument for spending on infrastructure, when Osborne has eliminated the deficit is frankly a bit weak. Jam tomorrow.

    The fact is that immigration is straining our services and infrastructure, and we are having to run to stand still.

    This manifests itself most clearly in respect of housing, where we are struggling to accommodate our resident population, let alone deal with the extra burden represented by immigrants. We can absorb net immigration, but not on the scale we are presently attempting.

    The solution to housing is not New Towns, although I have no problem with the idea. What is needed is localism: allowing local people to identify the small sites and development opportunities, that every community can absorb without difficulty. The kind of organic growth that we have achieved for centuries. Instead we have a market dominated by big builders and the affordable industry, who only want to build estates of identical featureless boxes with tiny windows. Plus a government and public sector apparatus that completely misunderstands the problem, and offers clueless solutions.

    There are plenty of suitable places to build in England, but the current system cannot identify them. This includes London: when I visit this great city, I am always surprised at the amount of semi-derelict and under-exploited development opportunities that seem to exist all over the place.

  30. Pete B
    “I wonder how many of those child-bearing British-born women are second or third generation immigrants? Some might see this as a good or bad thing, but the country will certainly be radically different from how it was, and is now.”

    A very good point. Already many cities are unrecognisable even from the 1970’s. When will crossover be? That’s when they will run the country and sharia law will be introduced. As I say, I won’t be around but I fear for the kind of country it will be for my grandchildren.

    Bizarre but not surprising. It’s the re-emergence of Militant Tendency. Kinnock must regret backing EM because he is the one who has caused the mayhem. Firstly by allowing anyone to vote for £3 and therefore allowing easy infiltration of outsiders and secondly for resigning so quickly, when he should have stayed on, whilst the party debated what it was about, decided and then held a leadership and thirdly for not controlling the selection of new mP’s, who seem to be all very left wing. Harman is doing her best but is fighting a losing battle.

  31. @Robert Newark

    “Bizarre but not surprising. It’s the re-emergence of Militant Tendency.”

    If you think Livingstone was militant, you didn’t live in London from 2000-2008. You like many others are making two important mistakes:

    1. That anything remotely left wing within Labour will be a rerun of the early 80s when that was over 30 years ago and those days are long gone. The world has changed. The battles have changed. Corbyn 2015 will be different to Corbyn 1980 because no two times are ever the same, and in any event he is a principled pragmatist not a raging extremist.

    2. That a change of direction for Labour is intrinsically a bad thing. Clearly what you feel about this depends on your politics. But the idea that such a shift is necessarily doomed to failure is unproven because if has yet to happen in recent times. Actually, that’s not entirely true. Much of Blair’s early premiership was left wing. And that didn’t turn out to be a disaster.

  32. “What is needed is localism: allowing local people to identify the small sites and development opportunities, that every community can absorb without difficulty.”

    That sounds like a good way to bring housing construction to a complete halt.

    “The kind of organic growth that we have achieved for centuries.”

    Er, no. Prior to the Town and Country Planning act in the 1940’s, the British housing market operated on the now very foreign idea of private ownership of land: if you officially owned land, then you actually owned the land, and you could build on it. So when there was a big boom in housing demand after Britain left the Gold Standard system in the 1930’s, we actually had massive housing construction to match the demand. It was a strange and alien time, from our perspective.

    In their saintly wisdom, Attlee’s government saw the absurdity of this stupid idea, and put all land in the hands of those who know best: the men in Whitehall. So we now live in a country of planning permission, where you can have the deeds and pay the taxes, but you don’t have the right to build a house. (I remember being stunned when visiting friends of the family as a kid and finding out they had to go through a huge amount of paperwork to build a house on a field they’d bought.) We’ve increasingly enjoyed the benefits of the saints’ genius ever since.

  33. @Colin

    If I do, I don’t air any of the issues in this place. That’s the point.

  34. Rivers10

    Most of the regular contributors here are old (ish) and while that brings the benefit of knowledge and experience, it does also tend to lead to entrenched views. So your fresher thoughts are very welcome.

    The debate about overcrowded motorways etc is a case in point. I very much doubt that many recently arrived refugees spend their time contributing to jams on the M25, or forcing ‘indigenous’ Brits to stand on their commuter trains.

    We have a problem with the concentration of growth – both economic and demographic – in London and the South East. We have very little in the way of effective region policy to counteract that. That is a consequence of our abandonment of planning in favour of laissez-faire economics. Maybe that is one factor behind the surprising popularity of Corbyn. “Let’s plan for a better future” could be a powerful slogan.

    But one point: hands off Shropshire. The county is already providing more than its share of new town growth in Telford, which if I remember correctly is scheduled to get another 20,000 new houses and 50,000 population (in a county of c. 450,000).

  35. @Lazlo

    Well I do not know of Makarenko as I am not well read, but I think I found what you are talking about:

    “These were the demands of mine which irritated Klyamer so much:

    1. The discharge of the entire staff of Kuryazh without any discussion whatsoever.

    2. The number of teachers in the Gorky Colony to be fifteen (forty was considered the norm).

    3. Teachers to be paid not forty, but eighty rubles a month.

    4. The staff to be selected by myself, the trade union retaining its right of objection.

    These modest requests made Klyamer almost weep with vexation.”


    Indeed, sounds like a plan to me. But yes, how to implement it? I have no idea. It certainly isnt a bureaucratic exercise. How could a bureaucrat recognise the 15? Not a chance. There must be some Makarenko types around though, if we can recognise them.

    But still thats not the big problem. These modest requests will make the unions almost weep with vexation. Good luck with that one!

  36. How do you all put hyper links?

  37. Loughborough would be ideal for new housing. It would be an excellent commuter hub between Derby, Nottingham and Leicester.

    Leicestershire is extremely dependent on its central city at the moment, and transport is accordingly rubbish. From Ashby to Loughborough is something like five buses a day, all tiny and all expensive and slow.

    East Midlands Parkway station has no bus services, despite being in the middle of nowhere (I have to walk 40 minutes down country roads to get home from there).

    All of these things would be helped by an extra ten thousand houses to the west of Loughborough, along the A6 out towards Hathern, Shepshed and Kegworth. Increased population means more lucrative bus routes.


    @”who did you expect them to support?”

    Anyone who espouses their own particular vision of the “correct” Labour Party.

    So I would have expected them all to support Corbyn :-)


    @”Bizarre but not surprising”

    Agreed. If Hatton & Galloway get anywhere near positions of influence in the Labour Party that will tell us all we need to know.

    I see JC came top in the CLPs. Just another indication perhaps of the schism opening up between activists & the PLP.
    Ed Balls has come out of purdah to voice concerns. Burnham had things to say about JC’s supporters.

    The irony of Corbyn responding with a call for “unity” within the party will be lost on few in the PLP :-)

  40. I see some of you are afraid for your children’s future cos of too many people arriving with brown skin and clogging up the M25.

    All this talk of higher birth rates in people who are not the same colour or culture as you is thoroughly depressing scaremongering.

    One contributor goes so far as to imagine how many children the children of immigrants will have as they perhaps imagine their poor grandchildren being denied pork pies and wassailing.

    Half my neighbours are non white, a similar proportion Moslem . I have a mosque at the end of my street and a church at the top. Many of my neighbours have poor English but all their kids are bilingual.

    My strict Moslem neighbours regularly give me yummy food, during Ramadan others join in. At Xmas we get Xmas cards and more food. Many of my moslem neighbours put up Xmas trimmings too. We chat, share garden tools, you know, normal neighbour stuff.

    Next door up one is from Bangladesh and arrived six years ago and is a geologist\sureyor. Down one is a family who arrived last year from syria, their children looked scared for months but laugh now.

    Now consider that I am 50 six foot four and sport a skinhead hair cut in the summer. We own two huge dogs, a French mastiff and a presa canario . My partner is 25 and camper than carry on up the khyber, and a man like me.

    All my neighbours of whatever skin colour or theistic persuasion treat me generously and in a kindly fashion.

    If I can get on with my neighbours now with my rep I am sure these grandchildren of yours will be fine.

    Polls consistently show that many people have very negative ideas about immigrants and immigration that are just plain wrong, and so is this this Malthusian paranoia for the future.

  41. I think it’s easy to forget that the biggest problem is in terms of overpopulation the UK is not migration per se, but the UK’s relatively high birth rate. Whilst it’s undoubtedly true that the two are inevitably linked to some extent, the likes of Germany, Italy etc, actually have higher levels of immigration than the UK but their populations, along with much of the rest of Europe, are either stable or decreasing over time.

    Why is the UK’s birth rate so stubbornly high by European and Western standards? Is it cultural? Is it the welfare system? I personally suspect it’s a bit of both. Maybe this will shift as societal and welfare changes really start to take effect?


    But you did-you came to criticise what you described as “SNP baaad” posts.

    Hence me enquiring whether you objected to derogatory posts by SNP supporters about the things I listed.

    I note that you didn’t reply to my question.

  43. Better access to education for women, as well as giving them better career options both in the UK and worldwide is the way forward. So is better access to contraceptives and family planning.

  44. @ Colin,

    It’s not particularly ironic. The left wing of the party never flounced out, and unlike Benn in 1981 Corbyn didn’t stand in order to trigger a showdown between the left and the right. I’m sure he’s as unhappy about this acrimony as anyone else.

    This is a mess that is almost entirely of New Labour’s own making.

    And Galloway and Hatton are not only not in a position of influence, they don’t even have a vote in this contest.

  45. Back to more interesting and less divisive stuff.

    I wonder if the messy and very public leadership selection process is actually in of itself doing labour some good.

    My partner has joined the labour party as a result of engaging with the process and I am on the brink of rejoining. You tube video of hustings garner thousands of views often, big halls are stuffed.

    I think this blatant exposure and the three pound thing may well be rebuilding peoples respect for labour. It surely plays against the elitist label politicians are currently all tarred with.


    The “irony” I had in mind was that of an MP with Corbyn’s record of “loyalty” to Labour leaders in HoC, calling for “loyalty” in the Labour Party now that he wants to become its leader.


    I didn’t say Galloway & Hatton have a vote-I was commenting on their stated desire to rejoin the Labour Party if Corbyn is leader-and suggesting that if they do , ( together with Livingstone) , reach positions of influence within such a party, that will herald a particular change in the Labour Party.

  48. @Mark W,

    I don’t think Labour’s leadership battle has been particular good or damaging for the party IMO. Most ordinary folk are pretty indifferent to such things.

    I personally hope they go for Corbyn as he at least seems the most genuine, even if he is much too far to the left for me to agree with him on many issues. Whoever they choose, I think 2020 is likely to be a difficult election for the Labour party. However, this leadership election process does give the party a chance to reflect, change direction and move forward. They should seize this opportunity before it’s too late.

  49. Colin, are you equally amused by the way Churchill crossed the floor of the house a few times and was a serial rebel ?

    Being a rebel can clearly be construed through less partisan binoculars as an asset.

  50. There is a bigger picture that needs to be seen on migration in general.

    The world population is rising, as in parts of the world where infant mortality and life expectancy were terribly bad, basic health care is improving the situation. Hopefully we can agree this is a good thing.

    At the same time the world is consuming more resources than the planet can sustain, inflicting massive environmental damage to it as well.

    The gap in inequality is huge, and given finite resources exist, the half of the world with plenty needs to somehow share better with the other half.

    Can advanced nations just pull the shutters down, trying to preserve what it has against this?

    I think there has to be a different solution to blocking the world out. This solution has to mean a more equitable sharing of resources across the world and within nations themselves.

    Unless this happens, the pressures of migration will just increase without relenting.

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