ComRes’s monthly telephone poll for the Daily Mail is out today and has topline figures of CON 42%, LAB 28%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 9%, GRN 6%. The last time the Conservatives reached the heights of 42% in any poll was way back in 2010. Full tables for the poll are here.

The poll also had a bank of questions on perceptions of the four Labour leadership contenders and whether people would vote for them. In my last post I wrote about how such questions really don’t tell us very much: none of the candidates are well known to the public, and how people would vote with x or y as leader is an extremely hypothetical question – what policies will they follow? How will the media and public react? Will the party be united, split or riven with dissent? I don’t know and neither do the poll respondents.

For what it’s worth though, the main finding here was how little there was to choose between the candidates. ComRes asked if people would vote for Labour with the four candidates, the spread was between Burnham and Corbyn on 22% down to Kendall on 18%. They asked who had what it took to be PM, Burnham, Cooper and Corbyn were essentially in a three way tie on 23%-24%. Given the standard margin of error on a poll this size, it suggests the wider public really aren’t that enthused by any of them.


860 Responses to “ComRes/Daily Mail – CON 42, LAB 28, LDEM 8, UKIP 9, GRN 6”

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  1. None of my Tory friends at the time urged me to vote, must be said…

  2. All these comparisons to 1983 are stupid anyway as it is 32 years ago. Back in 1983, were people trying to analyse 1980s politics through the lens of the 1951 election? Perhaps Tony Benn was.

    Corbyn could well bomb, but the 1983 analysis is bunk.

  3. The Monk
    Maybe I’m missing something but I can’t see that Carmichael has a case to answer. Any lie he may have told (or conspired to tell) was about someone who wasn’t a candidate at the election, let alone one of his opponents in Orkney.

    They’re not actually going after him for what the leaked memo said about Sturgeon (how could they when the inquiry found that the memo was written in good faith?) – the complaints are that he lied about himself when he said he didn’t leak it. Personally I think that’s a rather thin excuse to force a by-election but what do I know?

  4. @Rob Sheffield

    The significance of the oil price goes beyond the benefit to govt. coffers from oil tax. And beyond ’81/82.

    Firstly because the high oil price had created an inflationary nightmare. Once the oil price dropped, that went away.

    Secondly, because of the economic boom that resulted.

    In response to the oil crisis, economies moved to be less dependent on oil. Japan for example, went more heavily nuclear, we had the dash for gas, and cumulative efficiencies in manufacturing etc. also add up to make us less dependent, so oil price doesn’t have quite the same impact these days, but back then, Jesus…

  5. @Hawthorn

    Historical data is pretty much all we have to go on. We can’t go by the future.

    How do you know the sun will rise tomorrow? Because it always has*. You might say it’s predicted by the General Theory of Relativity, but that is itself inferred from historical data.

    * if tomorrow it didn’t rise, that might present something of a challenge to the theory, promoting something of a revision, though that might be the least of our worries…

  6. Carfrew

    If there is one thing that following polling has taught me, it is that it is pointless to make predictions based on polling.

  7. It’s something of a straw man to insist on comparing Corbyn to the outcome electorally of a Bennite manifesto, if Corbyn is not currently pushing a Bennite manifesto, but cherry-picking something more populist.

    Given Corbsie’s past, the salient things therefore are:

    – how much of his past would currently be successfully pinned on him, and how much do voters care/impact on VI

    – would Corbs remain populist once leader, or would he suddenly reveal an inner Stalinist…

  8. Funtypippin

    Although Section 106 doesn’t explicitly state that the untrue statement has to be about another candidate that is clearly the intent. Any other interpretation would be perverse (and turn election literature into a legal minefield).

  9. @Hawthorn

    Ah, but I’m not talking about making predictions in this instance. I’m just talking about the utility of historical data in guiding analysis.

    That said, once tests one’s analysis via experimental outcomes, true. But polling outcomes are very complicated. Instead one can restrict oneself to more contained aspects, subsets.

    You can therefore note a potential impact of split votes on electoral outcomes. The full analysis of all the factors determining the outcome overall is summat else, involving oil prices, Falklands and much else besides…

  10. Carfrew

    We may be talking at crossed purposes. I trying to rebut the argument about 2015 being a simple re-run of 1983. It could well end up being a disaster, but not for that reason.

    I am just thinking terms of the underlying political economy and public attitudes. I am just about old enough to remember 1983 (as a young child) and it was a different country to the UK in 2015. Likewise, 1951 was different again (when my father was about the same age). 1951 was different in ways that might surprise UKIPers according to my father by the way!

  11. @Funty

    “the complaints are that he lied about himself when he said he didn’t leak it. Personally I think that’s a rather thin excuse to force a by-election but what do I know?”

    I think the basis of the problem is that had the truth been known prior to the day of the election. Carmichael may not have been elected.

  12. @STATGEEK

    But telling a lie is not an offence against the Representation of the People Act unless it is told about another candidate.

    It may be reprehensible but unless it can be shown to be an offence in electoral law then there are no grounds to overturn the result of an election.

  13. ToH
    Thanks for the support. I had belatedly come to the same conclusion myself.

  14. @Hawthorn

    I agree about 2015, or even 2020, not being a simple rerun of 1983.

    Indeed I have myself drawn a number of distinctions, e.g. Impact of oil etc.

    However, would stop short of saying nothing useful from previous elections can be derived and usefully applied in current contexts.

    The issue of a split vote, for example, which plagued Labour in 2015.

    one could argue Corbyn is already influenced by an analysis of 1983, in sticking to policies that are populist. There isn’t anything like as much criticism of Corbyn’s policies as espoused* compared to the horrors that folk imagine might be inflicted on us once he reveals the Stalinist trapped within.

    I don’t think Stalin ever slapped VAT on storage tho’, so it could be OK.

    * aside from a determination that only private banks should be allowed to create money for themselves out of thin air, to spend on gambling in the markets or inflating asset prices, with predictable consequences…

  15. @Pete B

    Yes Pete, unable to reason in argument, you belated resorted to an ad hominem as per, lol…

  16. @Carfew

    “How do you know the sun will rise tomorrow? Because it always has”

    Well technically the sun never rises; the Earth spins on its axis (and that’s my entry for the annual contest for the title of ‘biggest pedant’).

    “would Corbs remain populist once leader, or would he suddenly reveal an inner Stalinist…”

    Corbyn Kent dramatically whips off his glasses and tears open his shirt to reveal his true identity as Stalinman!

    Fighting for nationalized railways, people’s quantitative easing and the true Labour way.

  17. Carfrew

    Historical data is pretty much all we have to go on. We can’t go by the future.
    How do you know the sun will rise tomorrow? Because it always has*. You might say it’s predicted by the General Theory of Relativity, but that is itself inferred from historical data.

    You’re right of course, there’s nothing wrong with making predictions about the future using historical data.
    Making predictions about the past based on a single data point on the other hand…

  18. @Funty

    I think Hawthorn has a point. I tend to resist polling predictions myself ‘cos it’s a hell of a hostage to fortune.

    If one reads Hawthorn’s comment as caution over extrapolating too much from the past, rather than just dismissing the past, then it’s good advice…

  19. That last sentence should say ‘future’, not ‘past’. It’s always idiotic to make predictions about the past!

  20. @Monk

    So the rules are naff. Voters care less about rules and more about their elected representatives being honest (relatively speaking).

  21. @ Carfrew

    Plagiarising Hume about the Sun, even unintentionally, is plagiarism :-). His other one is even more interesting whether the Sun rises because of the rooster’s “song” or the rooster sings because of the rising Sun.

    As to VAT and Stalin – after the war there was a policy of annually reducing prices (partly to compensate for the inflationary financing of the war effort, partly to force firms to increase productivity. Another policy abolished by Khruschev, who was a Trot, so maybe just maybe, not Stalin is the one one should seek in JC II. On the other hand YVS was born in a poor family, and in December …). None of the state socialist economies knew a comprehensive VAT system as they followed the liberal principle of hostility against indirect taxation (even if the Libdems embraced it.)

  22. @STATGEEK

    That was the idea behind recall elections (not passed by the last parliament).

    But the law is the law and, when you think about it, if you make telling a lie during an election a criminal offence then you are on a slippery slope among several cans of worms.

  23. PETE B

    Classic response from Carfrew, he always has to have the last word. I suggest you ignore as there are many many people who feel like you and I on this issue.

  24. @Monk

    Slippery slope it is. I’d rather be on that, than wading through the lies of the status quo.

  25. I feel the salient point in regards to Mr Corbyn is his historical baggage and in consequence the inevitable repeated need to qualify , explain and contextualize his numerous comment and actions mostly in regards to foreign policy and issues with security and where his sympathy’s lie in reference to states and organisations regarded as perceived or possible threats. On the economy , welfare or Europe many of his positions don’t seem that problematic or out of step from not only party members and supporters but seem to me share plenty of consensual ground with his fellow candidates and the PLP in general . My main worry is that his deep grained distrust and Manichean default position of viewing the U.S, E.U and N.A.T.O as inherently corrupt and sinister and by dint any enemy or adversary of said organisation’s tending to gain his patronage and support as principled and sympathetic fighters of the oppressor might well gain credence amongst the idealistic , radical and those who view themselves primarily thru the lens of anti-capitalism ,anti-imperialism but will put off , worry and bemuse many of the broader electorate .

  26. CRAIG

    Yawn

  27. @Laszlo

    “Plagiarising Hume about the Sun, even unintentionally, is plagiarism :-). His other one is even more interesting whether the Sun rises because of the rooster’s “song” or the rooster sings because of the rising Sun.”

    ———-

    I thought everyone knew about the Hume thing so wouldn’t need to cite. In my defence, I did go on to add some value with the Relativity thing.

    Admittedly, Hume died over a century before Einstein, so hard for him to do likewise, but that’s just an argument for Hume to have worked a bit harder…

  28. Laszlo

    Thanks for the refugee info.

  29. ToH
    Agreed.

  30. Monk

    Your assumptions about S.106 in the RPA may not be as solid as you would like.

    See the comments of the judge in the Lutfur Rahman case.

    The statutory wording:”is deliberately wide: ‘for the purpose of affecting the return of any candidate at the election.’ Although s 106 usually refers to statements made to the detriment of a candidate, the wording is wide enough to encompass a false statement made in favour of a candidate (for example, that he was a substantial philanthropist or had been awarded a medal for bravery) which might affect his electoral chances, albeit positively rather than negatively.” [para 104] – HT Peat Worrier.

    I suspect that Lady Paton and Lord Matthews will be diligent in their application of the law in this case, as in all others, but perhaps may be happy to avoid giving themselves the distinction of voiding the election.

  31. @ Carefrew

    It’s OK, just don’t forget the spellchecker that you promised :-)

  32. @OLDNAT

    The bit of S106 you have omitted is:

    makes or publishes any false statement of fact in relation to the candidate’s personal character or conduct

    Under any reasonable reading of the act, only misstatements about a candidate are covered.

  33. A few days ago I had some kind word about the back office operation of the Labour Party.

    I would like to update it …

    My wife’s affiliate ballot paper still hasn’t arrived, so she rang the LP. Oh , we sent out the papers (for this postal addresses) on the 25th but it may take 10 days to arrive. Can I have your email address (the union questionnaire didn’t ask this elementary information), so we can send it by email.

    Possible explanations:
    1) that 6-foot statue in the front garden depicting a man with moustache has an affect on sending the ballot papers
    2) the LP uses snails instead of Royal Mail to deliver the papers out of spite against the union
    3) they want to save money on postage
    4) the purge is now taking the shape of “whoever is not complaining won’t vote, and the complaining ones are clearly entryists, so they will be purged.”
    5) the back office lost the p, it is not very promissing for the vote count.

  34. Lost the plot … Promising … Whatever …
    I will use the computer … No tablet … No phone
    I will use the computer … No tablet … No phone

    …….

    End of penitence.

  35. The Monk

    Indeed.

    Alastair Carmichael was a candidate in O&S. Hence the basis of the proceedings that “as a candidate” he told untruths about his personal character or conduct.

    That he told unthruths has been admitted in his initial legal response. Hence Andrew Tickell’s summary of the key aspects of the case –

    On the admitted facts, it is clear (a) Carmichael did lie about his knowledge and involvement in the leaking of the memo (b) he did so during the election campaign and (c) he could not have believed that the statement which he gave to Channel 4, denying any knowledge of how the leak occurred, was true. As a result, the case seems likely to focus on three questions:
    1. Can section 106 be applied to false statements about a candidate’s own personal character or conduct?

    2. Did Carmichael lie “for the purpose of affecting” his own return as MP for Orkney and Shetland?

    3. And, were the lies he told of a “personal” character? Or did he lie only about his political character and conduct?

  36. @OLDNAT

    It’s probably worth mentioning that apart from being a lawyer, Andrew Tickell is also a prominent nationalist. But, as a lawyer, Mr Tickell must be aware that is the 32 years since that act was passed, no suggestion has ever been made that it has any application other than to false statements that one candidate makes about another.

    In English law the intention of Parliament in passing an act is taken into account when interpreting that law. I assume that principle is also applied in Scottish Law. I’m afraid that this comes across as an act of vindictiveness by the local SNP.

    I’m not in any way trying to excuse Carmichael’s actions which are clearly reprehensibie, just suggesting that misapplying RPA is not the answer. Is it really be desirable to have election results decided in the courts other than in the very special circumstances covered by S106?

  37. @Statgeek

    “Slippery slope it is. I’d rather be on that, than wading through the lies of the status quo.”

    ——-

    I was thinking the same thing. Couldn’t we just give it a go? Just for a little bit? Just as a kind of pilot. Even just to see their reaction. Pleeeeeaase let’s give it a go…

  38. I should go on the record as saying I’m quite worried about the whole Carmichael thing because if he gets into real trouble and there is a by-election I think it goes without saying the SNP would have a very good chance of winning it and I believe it may have been Nostradamus who predicted that the Liberals losing Orkney and Shetland is one of the harbingers of the apocalypse…

  39. “I believe it may have been Nostradamus who predicted that the Liberals losing Orkney and Shetland is one of the harbingers of the apocalypse…”

    ————-

    OMG, you mean it’s true? About the Apocalypse?? I was just joking about the Corby thing…

  40. Carfrew
    “OMG, you mean it’s true? About the Apocalypse?? I was just joking about the Corby thing…”

    Christ now that you mention it if you connect all the dots things do look bad!!!!

    (Proceeds to don a gas mask, grab a tin of spam and go hide in a hole in the ground)

  41. The Monk

    Last time I checked, Tower Hamlets was in England, so your observation about English courts giving precedence to what they thought Parliament was trying to say, and not what it actually said, seems somewhat bizarre.

    As, I have to say, is your implication that a lawyer who does not share your political beliefs should not be trusted.

    Perhaps you have some insight into the political affiliations of Heather Green, Senior Lecturer in Law at Aberdeen University? I have no idea of her stance, but she raises similar questions to Tickell – because they are legal, not political, questions.

    This ruling turned on the court’s understandable concern not to criminalise the sorts of claims and counter-claims about spurious or broken political promises that often characterise campaigns. Also relevant was the need to respect the Article 10 right of election candidates to speak freely in criticism of opponents. Neither consideration would justify a restrictive reading of s106 in Carmichael’s case.

    As the High Court intimated in Woolas, “a statement about a political position can go beyond being a statement about his political position and become a statement that is about the personal character or conduct of a candidate”. The court continued (at para 114):

    “A clear illustration is to accuse a candidate of corruption, even if that corruption involved the conduct of a public or political office. What is being said about the candidate is not a statement in respect of the conduct of a public office, but a statement that he is personally dishonest and committing a crime. The statement is not to be characterised as one about his political position, but one in relation to his personal character.”

    Transposed as follows, this doctrine captures Carmichael’s conduct:

    “A clear illustration is to claim to be a candidate innocent of misconduct within a ministerial office. What the candidate is saying about himself is not a statement in respect of the conduct of the ministerial office, but a statement that he is personally honest and innocent of any breach of the personal ethical principles which happen to constitute also part of his public obligation to abide by the Ministerial Code.”

    His false statement reached beyond matters of his public or political integrity and became a statement about his personal character. His assertions were not hybridized claims about his political and private personalities, but were crystallised by their context into a clear communication about his personal integrity. The last element of the offence concerns his purpose in making the misstatements. Did he make them “for the purpose of affecting” his return as an MP? Perhaps his intent was broader, related to damaging the electoral chances of SNP candidates in general, but it seems plausible that his wider purpose encompassed the narrower goal of preserving his own vote share in Orkney and Shetland. Given that his seat was saved by a margin of around only 800 votes, it does not seem unreasonable to think that his actions may have been dual-purpose, embracing the required statutory intent.

    Presumably, you have also read the opinion (and updates) from Prof James Chalmers of Glasgow University. Again, I don’t know his political views (but he is a witty and entertaining writer on legal issues).

    http://schooloflaw.academicblogs.co.uk/2015/05/28/the-people-versus-carmichael-what-would-have-to-be-proven-for-legal-action-to-succeed/

    Your academic credentials to pontificate on legal matters may well exceed these three – but we don’t know – do we?

    The judges in the Election Court will decide if the plaintiffs are “misapplying RPA”

  42. @Funtypippen
    “It’s always idiotic to make predictions about the past!”

    Usually. Especially if you get them wrong.

  43. @Mark Sadler

    It would be best for him not to explain his past and focus instead on the present and future. He’s started to do this already by de-personalising the contest by advocating democratic populism.

  44. MORI poll in EU on the EU.

    https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3621/EU-citizens-think-things-across-the-union-heading-in-the-wrong-direction-but-committed-to-membership.aspx

    The study of more than 7,000 people in nine countries, shows:
    * Large and increasing majorities in most countries saying things across the EU are going in the wrong direction.

    * Less than half feel that their personal standard of living has been enhanced by EU membership.

    * No increase in support for leaving the EU since 2014 – and in Britain the proportion who want to leave has fallen.

    * Majority support among respondents in non-Eurozone countries for working towards joining the Euro – with the exception of the UK.

  45. @ Hawthorn

    Point taken.

    My reference to ‘centrist Tories’ was unfortunate shorthand meant to refer to Osborne’s recent budget which suggested that this was the direction of current Tory thinking.

    Bear in mind that some posters are referring to Cameron as ‘centre-left’!

  46. That EU poll reported by @Oldnat is interesting. There are some huge forces at work within the EU, and I’m not at all sure anyone really has worked through the implications.

    Since the Greek crisis passed ( for now) there has been a marked upsurge in the skirmishing between senior political figures in Europe about the future shape and direction of the EU.

    Senior ministers in Italy and France have called variously for a full political union, full fiscal union, and much greater transfer of national powers to an EU government with a much enhanced budget and a full finance ministry. They have explicitly argued that economic policies of Euro group nations are no longer just national responsibilities.

    Meanwhile, the Germans are desperately trying to row against this tide, arguing that powers need to be removed from the commission, desperate that the EU doesn’t transmogrify into a full transfer union.

    These are two diametrically opposed views of the future of the Euro group in particular, but the wider EU as well.

    While the time scales are somewhat longer, this looks to me like the pattern you see within mid stage romances. Partners have met, fallen in love, and started to do things together. Once they’ve settled into a kind of routine, there comes the point when either the relationship changes and deepens, or it cools off and breaks up. It’s one way or the other, with no option to carry on in the same way.

    There seems to be some fundamental decisions coming down the track for the EU.

  47. The Monk

    It’s probably worth mentioning that apart from being a lawyer, Andrew Tickell is also a prominent nationalist. But, as a lawyer, Mr Tickell must be aware that is the 32 years since that act was passed, no suggestion has ever been made that it has any application other than to false statements that one candidate makes about another.

    Although Tickell is a supporter of Scottish independence, he’s not an unthinking SNP fanboy and criticises them often enough, especially on legal issues. If you look at his latest piece on Lallands Peat Worrier[1] from which OldNat has quoted:

    http://lallandspeatworrier.blogspot.com/2015/09/lights-camera-court-people-versus.html

    he’s just laying out the arguments that might be used. From reading his stuff in the past, I rather got the impression that he’s dubious about the chances of success. But election courts are odd things and not frequent enough for enough casework to have built up over the years.

    As he points out there’s nothing in the Act to say that the false statements need only to apply to opponents rather than oneself. After all it’s easy to imagine cases where a candidate might lie about relevant experience and not be discovered till after election. And enough voters might well have chosen on that false prospectus.

    Whether that is the case here is another matter, doubt it myself. But judges seem more interventionist than in the past[2], so it’s possible that Carmichael will be caught out.

    [1] Alex Salmond’s second favourite website apparently. After this one.

    [2] I actually thought that this was very much situation with the Tower Hamlets judgment and some of the charges for which Rahman was convicted were a bit strained (mainly because his worst actions turned out not to be illegal – election law is in serious need of reform).

  48. Alec

    I like your simile of the EU as being a romance going through a crisis. :-)

    Makes a lot of sense.

  49. @OldNat

    There’s a simpler way of looking at the issue. The PF would be unlikely to bring charges against AC’s alleged impropriety as the alleged conduct did not affect the result of the election. There is therefore no clear public interest in bring a prosecution. This differentiates this case from the Woolas and Rahman ones in which the individual’s conduct was said to be decisive in winning the election.

  50. @ANARCHISTS UNITE

    “How do you know the sun will rise tomorrow? Because it always has”
    Well technically the sun never rises; the Earth spins on its axis (and that’s my entry for the annual contest for the title of ‘biggest pedant’).”

    ———-

    Much as one might admire your determination to get things accurate, worth bearing in mind that it seems some peeps find a rational, logical case to be unfair, tantamount to a wind up. No one knows why. Regarding Corbs, intriguing as to whether he continues in the populist vein, or turns further left, or once burdened by the role, just compromises and triangulates in the Blairites way. Obviously Groupies4Corbyn presume one thing, while his opponents Corbyn4Exorcism have another. Such polarised opinions of the same person quite takes one’s breath away.

    Also, he’s running out of phone boxes to change in.

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