ComRes released their monthly telephone poll for the Daily Mail last night, topline figures were CON 39%, LAB 30%, LD 9%, UKIP 12%, GRN 4%. While the nine point Conservative lead looks similar to most recent polls, note that ComRes have been showing larger Conservative leads of late (typically around 12 points) so comparing like-to-like this represents a narrowing of the lead. The poll was conducted over the weekend, prior to Jeremy Corbyn’s speech (tabs here)


241 Responses to “ComRes/Mail – CON 39, LAB 30, LD 9, UKIP 12”

1 2 3 5
  1. So they ask if Corbs is a threat to security, but not Cameron?…

  2. Changes from last comres phone poll
    Con -3 Lab +2 UKIP +3 LD+1 SNP-1 Grn-2 Oth0
    Changes from last comres poll (online)
    Con -3 Lab0 UKIP -1 LD+2 SNP-1 Grn+1 Oth+2

    Lab up 2 since Corbyn election, Cons down UKIP up…same pattern as elsewhere?

  3. Just out of curiosity Mr Wells could you tell me is the 26% of claimed labour supporters preference for Cameron over Corbyn as p.m. unusually high or not compared to previous opposition leaders ?

  4. In answer to someones question about whether Russian targets in Homs governnante are ISIS, no. Most of the non government controlled areas in Homs are ISIS, but there are a number of towns shortly to the north of Homs itself run by al-Nusra. They’ve been surrounded for a long time, it seems like russian bombing is trying to clear out this pocket.

  5. Mark Sadler –

    Haven’t gone back to check, but it seems high to me. Ed Miliband obviously used to poll badly on best PM questions too, but typically that was because a big chunk of Labour voters used to say don’t know, while Conservative voters almost all said Cameron. Not many Labour voters used to say Cameron.

    That said, I’m thinking of the YouGov “Who would make the best PM question”. The ComRes question is structured a little differently, so it may not be atypical.

  6. Talking of polls, after 41 years as a voter, I finally lost my polling virginity over the weekend and was asked to participate in a Populus opinion poll! When I asked the person who phoned me on who’s behalf was he conducting the poll, and where and when its results would be published, he said he was unable to reveal that, but I’m guessing it will appear either in the Times or under the guise of Ashcroft.

    There were a number of things that intrigued me about the experience, not least the slightly skewed line of questioning on Corbyn (see Carfew’s post above) and the lengthy questions on other non-political subjects such as gambling and Premiership football (!!) that preceded the voting intentions and political questions. These came fairly late in the day and at a stage when I was losing the will to live, and my abiding impression of it all was how rushed the questioning was and how difficult it was on occasions to hear the question properly. On voting intentions, the caller listed the parties so quickly that I didn’t actually hear him mention Labour!

    It was also interesting to hear him say that he was ideally looking for someone in the 18-34 age range and, before he rather reluctantly agreed to include me as a 55+, he did ask if there was anyone in the younger age groups in the household. He confided to me that it was hellishly difficult when conducting phone polls to find younger respondents both available and willing to participate. He said old fossils like me were nearly always the people who tended to answer the phone!

    I’ve become increasingly sceptical about the accuracy and reliability of political opinion polls, particularly after the debacle of the last election, and my experience last weekend did nothing very much to restore my faith. I was left thinking how shambolic it was and how easy it must be to lapse into a mode whereby you’ll say anything to get the caller off the line. Even a wizened old politico like me had had enough after 15 minutes of it!!

    :-)

  7. Thank you Mr Wells for your prompt and courteous reply. I just find it striking that when considering the fact that a leader with a 60|% 1st vote preference mandate can also find that a quarter of his base supporters doubt his capacity for leadership. I just wonder if any opposition leader has had to climb such a mountain in persuading his own followers on top of reaching out to the broader electorate ?

  8. ‘It’s hard to call any poll which shows the Tory party 9 points ahead good for Labour, however the fact Labour’s numbers haven’t gone down and shown a very slight increase on the whole since Corbyn was elected will be a relief to Labour supporters and a concern to Tory strategists.’

    I seem to remember Labour under Mr Miliband were often ahead of the Tories in the polls, but he himself was seen as neither a credible alternative PM or having any economic credibility. For Labour to be at 30% after over five years in Opposition, with a brand new, albeit completely unknown leader, is hardly going to have Tory strategists losing sleep. By the way, the public are far smarter than to be swayed by outlandish newspaper headlines. They rejected that nonsense about Miliband’s father, but still came to the sound judgement that he was not capable of being a PM.

    You know the rest.

  9. I am still very concerned that the polling industry is drawing the wrong conclusions from the review of what went wrong before May 2015.

    Certainly, the turnout of Labour supporters compared with their level of certainty to vote was askew compared with the declared likelihood of Conservative voters.

    However, is this truly quantifiable? Is it the main reason for what went wrong?

    Nothing has been made of my previous suggestion that there is a hidden, reserved, electorate that does not engage with pollsters willingly – and that that very cohort are disproportionately swing voters.

    Crossbat11’s recent experience is very telling – especially the willingness of those conducting polls to shift so randomly from one household member to another in the hunt for people of the right age group. Also, the reluctance, but acquiescence, in interviewing Mr.Crossbat11 after all.

    Similarly, the posing of political questions at “exhaustion stage” near the end of the survey, and the rushed reeling off of party names – none of this inspires confidence in the final figures obtained in this way.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the polling industry adjust their various methodologies to calibrate in the underestimation of the Tories in 2015, only to find at some future election that Labour outpoll predictions because the hidden cohort have swung again, undetected?

  10. A lot of interesting, thoughtful posts today.

    @Tony Dean (and Crossbat)
    I wonder if the pollsters could improve their accuracy by improving the training and performance of the interviewers? In addition to adjusting the methodology.

  11. I am astonished they ask banal stuff before the meaty stuff. I had always assumed the political stuff was done separately from the consumer surveys.

    Is this normal?

  12. Ned Ludd:

    Usually I just lurk and read, but some particularly thoughtful and incisive analysis from you in recent threads forces me to say thanks. Keep it up!

  13. “Also, the reluctance, but acquiescence, in interviewing Mr.Crossbat11 after all.”

    ———-

    Well they may have interviewed him…

  14. …but does that mean they inevitably used his data?…

  15. “By the way, the public are far smarter than to be swayed by outlandish newspaper headlines. They rejected that nonsense about Miliband’s father, but still came to the sound judgement that he was not capable of being a PM.”

    ———–

    But then check what happened to the salience of immigration as an issue – and what happened to Labour’s VI in the process – following the press onslaught on immigration…

  16. Newspapers do have their own agenda, as does the BBC for instance, but their main aim is to sell newspapers. Therefore they will print stories that they think will attract readers. IMO they tend to follow public opinion rather than lead it.

  17. Why are we getting such different results for UKIP from different pollsters? This poll has UKIP on 12% but the previous Ipsos MORI one has them on 7%. I am not a statistics expert but this is near the limit of statistical error and I think it is more likely to be due to some non-random measurement, or methodological, problem, which needs to be identified.

  18. Looking at the list at top right of this page, every other poll in September has UKIP between 13% and 16%. I’d suggest that the 7% is an outlier which will always happen occasionally with relatively small samples.

    That doesn’t mean that there isn’t also some methodological effect though. For instance one guess would be that UKIP supporters are disproportionately white middle aged working class males. When the pollsters do their jiggery pokery to ‘adjust’ the figures to be in line with proportions in the general population, this could have the effect of cutting the UKIP figure.

    I’m sure some of the more expert statisticians on here could explain it better (or shoot me down in flames)!

  19. @Pete B

    “IMO they tend to follow public opinion rather than lead it.”

    ————-

    To the extent that this is true, they can of course pander to prejudice etc.

    But in any event they can easily lead opinion by controlling what the public do or don’t hear about.

  20. “….they can easily lead opinion by controlling what the public do or don’t hear about.”

    That might have been true twenty years ago, but with the growth of social media, blogs etc, they don’t control it very much any more. Also, of course, for the same reason (internet) their influence is declining.

  21. @Frederic

    There isn’t really as much limit to statistical error as one might think. Roughly five percent of polls would be expected to lie outside of the margin of error.

  22. I would be careful about the polls at this stage, since we’ve effectively had a “long conference season” for Labour since about July, in which they’ve had a lot of exposure. Much of that has been negative, but not all, or even the majority, and (perfectly legitimately) they’ve effectively had the stage to themselves for most of the time since the election.

    Once the conference season is over and things have died down, I think we’ll get a more lasting impression. Right now both Labour and the Tories are doing well, but that’s in part because UKIP, the Lib Dems and the Greens have been almost entirely ignored, and the main challenge for these parties is reminding voters that they exist.

  23. @Pete B

    Maybe influence is declining a bit, but they control the agenda that gets reflected elsewhere, on the Beeb, and social media, in polling and indeed on here where we frequently are discussing the issues du jour as prescribed by the mainstream media.

    That’s why RiN got cheesed off, becuz not enough attention to fundamentals like the nature of money and banking etc., which the media tend to ignore.

    Peeps get their info. mostly from the mainstream, and if the mainstream, for example, gloss over how debt doubled in the last parliament, no surprise if peeps think the last government were paying down the debt…

  24. Carfrew
    Perhaps you’re right. If the MSM hadn’t glossed over the growth of debt we wouldn’t have all this anti-austerity nonsense.

    On polls: I hope there’s another one soon. It will be interesting to see if the furore about whether Labour would be prepared to use nukes has registered with the voting public.

  25. In terms of VI I don’t think Labour can fall much below 30% unless something catastrophic happens. This of course is voting intention. Whether this means actual votes is another thing entirely. My impression is that Conservative supporters are much more likely to take the huff and not support their party in an opinion poll. They will then still actually vote for them when push comes to shove. I had thought that UKIP might have changed all this but it seems not.

    Conservatives will be very pleased with the Comres numbers. Cameron has endured a great deal of criticism lately, in its own way just as potentially damaging as that surrounding Corbyn, but it seems to have had limited effect on his relative popularity and there is still the Tory conference to come.

  26. @Pete B

    “Perhaps you’re right. If the MSM hadn’t glossed over the growth of debt we wouldn’t have all this anti-austerity nonsense.”

    ———–

    Well the media hasn’t glossed over the debt, it still goes on about the debt, hence the demands for Austerity. It’s just that because it doesn’t draw too much attention to how it’s grown more recently, and all the debt thereby being placed at the door of the Brown administration, this allows the pro-austerity stuff to keep getting promoted, and the anti-austerity stuff hasn’t had much of a look-in. How could it, if peeps think Austerity is bringing down the debt?

    Incidentally, in the earlier days of the last parliament, Tories were getting a kicking in the press, Omnishambles etc., because of Levenson, and Labour did well in the VI stakes.

    Then when Ed M. took the press on himself over the Leveson thing, we saw the assault on immigration, welfare and Ed M., with predictable VI consequences.

  27. MARK SADLER

    […] is the 26% of claimed labour supporters preference for Cameron over Corbyn as p.m. unusually high or not compared to previous opposition leaders ?

    The most recent figures I could find were from the end of April (f/w 27-28 Apr):

    http://comres.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Daily-Mail-ITV-News-Political-Poll_29th-April-2015.pdf#page=24

    where the same questions were asked about Cameron v Miliband

    Cameron better 51% (Lab voters 19%)

    Miliband better 32% (Lab 68%)

    Don’t know 17% (Lab 13%)

    In this poll the equivalent[1] figures are

    Cameron better 54% (Lab 26%)

    Corbyn better 30% (Lab 66%)

    Don’t know 16% (Lab 9%)

    It’s not massively different[2], but the interesting thing is that people are as, if not more, definite after two weeks of Corbyn as four and a half of Miliband. Some of this may be down to the structure of the question (there’s no Neither or Someone else options for instance), but it also reflects the barrage of negative publicity that has been thrown at Corbyn, so that people feel they ‘know’ more about him.

    ComRes don’t seem to have asked the PM question back in 2010, but in the equivalent poll (pub 1 Oct 10) 47% said they didn’t know if Miliband “was a good choice of Labour leader” or not[3]. It all illustrates how the comparison with initial ratings of other opposition leaders can’t really be valid, despite them being made so enthusiastically.

    [1] ComRes are also now publishing and publicising figures based on likely voters, ie the results after the same filtering and weighting they use for their final VI figures has been applied. I’m slightly dubious about this process (though it’s nice to have both) but in any case these aren’t available for April.

    [2] The Lab figure will be based on a sample of around 250 so more variation would be expected.

    [3] This still got spun as “Labour voters are notable for their lack of enthusiasm – only 50% agree, 14% disagree and 36% don’t know”, whereas all it really reflected was that few people expected Ed to be elected and so hadn’t had time to form an opinion.

  28. Four and a half years of Miliband, not weeks, obvs.

  29. Thank you RODGER MEXICO for your efforts to bring some content and context to my inquiry. As you have yourself pointed out it is quite striking that the don’t knows are significantly lower for Mr Corbyn compared to Mr Milliband when you would think that the formers very short time in the job as opposed to Ed’s near full term appraisal would have the opposite effect alas I’m not sure what it means but I suspect it could be of telling importance. On to a different issues Mr Corbyn and the growing furore over is views on trident , he states he can not even contemplate the use of trident under any circumstances which is hardly a surprise to anyone vaguely aware of his political world view to this date , But then again he would I expect give the same response to air-strikes , invasion task-force and other forms of aggression which rather begs the question can a prime minister be a pacifist?

  30. @Mark Sadler

    Given pressing the button is the most extreme act of war anyone can do, I don’t think anyone really knows how they would act given that decision cropping up for real.

    If someone was quite confident of the circumstances in which they would launch a nuclear warhead, I would think that in itself should be proof they aren’t fit to make that decision.

  31. MARK SADLER

    @” which rather begs the question can a prime minister be a pacifist?”

    It does if Corbyn really believes that he can be both-or indeed actually wants or plans to be the former.

    I’m beginning to wonder.

    Meanwhile the former NATO chief has called Corbyn’s stance “dangerous”.

    Watch this space-much more to come. :-)

  32. It would appear that JC isn’t a pacifist, just not very keen on war….

    http://news.sky.com/video/1559097/is-jeremy-corbyn-a-pacifist

  33. @Colin

    Do you not think the view of a NATO Chief might be considered to one-sided?

    Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas,

  34. No UK PM is ever likely to contemplate a first strike-that isn’t the point.

    The point is that once you say you will never use it-Trident ceases to be a deterrent.

    Or as Sadiq Khan put it on DP today-if the other guy knows you won’t use it, it’s useless.

  35. CATMAN

    What matters is what UK voters think.

    If they are ready & waiting for a pacifist Prime Minister who declares that he will never retaliate to a nuclear attack on UK -then JC wil be that Prime Minister.

  36. What happens if a terrorist group uses a nuclear bomb though? Who do we post the retaliatory strike to?

    Has Cameron said he’d use the nuclear button? If so, under what circumstances? Retaliation only, or do preemptive strikes count? If preemptive strikes do count, then what is considered sufficient evidence (remembering that this once happened:
    http://archive.wired.com/politics/security/magazine/16-03/ff_nuclearwar?currentPage=all)?

    Also France and Russia, our two closest nuclear state powers, have 300 and 2,000 warheads respectively, to our 120 (of which 40 are deployed and ready to go at any one time). Call me a pessimist but in nuclear to nuclear combat I see us getting beaten fairly soundly.

  37. @Nedludd

    I agree with much of what you say but it remains true that nuclear states do not go to war against other nuclear states; and that non-nuclear states do not go to war against nuclear states. Politically, therefore, being a nuclear state does provide an advantage in international relations.

    The G published a report on labour divisions on this issue earlier today. The upshot was in the even that the UK is still a functioning (and nuclear)state if the Chief of Defence Staff tells the PM to launch the missiles he MUST do so – he doesn’t even have a choice! Only if the UK is deemed a non-functioning (and nuclear) state (defined as Radio 4 being off the air) does the PM make the call.

  38. Nedludd (and others)

    The whole point of the nuclear deterrent, as Colin has tried to explain, is not that we would use it first, or that we would fight and lose a nuclear war; it is that any country that attacks us with nukes (and probably pretty well wipes us out) will know for certainty that they themselves will be very seriously damaged, by at least losing a few of their major cities. Therefore the idea is that they won’t try (and so far they haven’t). To those saying that the Cold War is over, firstly Putin is getting very aggressive and secondly can they guarantee that some belligerent dictator will not get control of a nuclear arsenal in the next 30 or 40 years?
    Also all this stuff about us being a tiny insignificant island is garbage. It shows a complete lack of self confidence. We’ve still got about the 5th largest economy and armed forces in the world. We’re not Andorra!

  39. I obviously have to clarify my query as I like any right minded person would not want some trigger happy sociopath in charge of the button , my wider point is that can a public person with avowed pacifist sentiments seriously reconcile the responsibilities and obligations that come with being prime minister in regards to the morally difficult dilemmas which would inevitably face them when dealing with defence , counter intelligence, international incidents and threats to national security and obligations to aid allies.

  40. RAF
    That’s interesting about who makes the call. Am I right in thinking that under certain circumstances the sub captain opens his sealed orders and then acts accordingly? Which would mean in effect that he makes the call.

  41. @RAF

    “it remains true that nuclear states do not go to war against other nuclear states; and that non-nuclear states do not go to war against nuclear states”

    Correction: ‘it remains true that nuclear states have not yet gone to war against other nuclear states’

    An important qualifier. Like the supposed truism that ‘democracies do not go to war with one another’, it’s important to keep in mind that just because something has not yet happened, does not mean that it will not happen.

    Also non-nuclear states do not go to war with nuclear states is prima facie wrong – China fought the US in the Korean War, as did Vietnam. Both were, at the time, non-nuclear states fighting a nuclear state. (Famously, of course, MacArthur wanted to drop a bomb on Beijing, but Truman fired him before that became a reality)

  42. RAF

    “it remains true that nuclear states do not go to war against other nuclear states; and that non-nuclear states do not go to war against nuclear states”

    Nuclear states have been fighting wars against other nuclear states (using non-nuclear proxies) for the last 60 years.

  43. @ RAF

    ” if the Chief of Defence Staff tells the PM to launch the missiles he MUST do so – he doesn’t even have a choice ”

    Everyone has a choice … what happens if he refuses ?

  44. Kentdalian

    Under such a set of circumstances, if the military believe themselves to be legitimately in control – they arrest/shoot the PM and press the button anyway, if that is what the military have decided to do.

  45. OLDNAT

    Thought that might be the answer somehow.

    So it’s under millitary control not political control.
    Sounds scarey to me

    Think I’d rather not have one at all in that case.

  46. @Nedludd

    I agree with your points

    To those who say non-nuclear never attack nuclear one word Falklands.

  47. @AU
    Also non-nuclear states do not go to war with nuclear states is prima facie wrong – China fought the US in the Korean War, as did Vietnam. Both were, at the time, non-nuclear states fighting a nuclear state. (Famously, of course, MacArthur wanted to drop a bomb on Beijing, but Truman fired him before that became a reality)”

    The Korean War started out as a civil war. The Chinese only got directly involved after MacArthur tried to cross into China. It was never intended either by the US Government or the Chinese Government that the two countries would directly go to war with each other.

    @Pete B
    “Am I right in thinking that under certain circumstances the sub captain opens his sealed orders and then acts accordingly? Which would mean in effect that he makes the call.”

    The PM writes a letter on coming into office containing orders to the sub captain in the event the the UK becomes a non-functioning state and a call needs to be taken on the use of nuclear weapons. I understand that the letter merely says, “Yes – go ahead”, or ” No – under no circumstances” or words to that effect (stripping away the pleasantries).

    But you might be right. If a PM in a crumbling state gives orders not to proceed, in a letter possibly written a few years after he assumed office, would the sub captain make his own call to the contrary?

  48. In any case, since Armageddon will have occurred, the Rapture will have been triggered, and the righteous will be happily soaring upwards.

    The only people left on Earth will be those of us heathens, not already destroyed by the missiles.

    Since more than 40% of Americans believe this nonsense, it shouldn’t be discounted as a factor in political/military thinking!

1 2 3 5