ComRes’s monthly online poll for the Independent on Sunday is out today and has topline figures of CON 42%(nc), LAB 29%(-1), LDEM 7%(nc), UKIP 13%(nc), GRN 3%(nc). There is no significant change in support since last month. For those intrigued by the big difference between pollsters (ICM had only a four point Conservative lead, compared to thirteen points here), remember that polling methods are in a state of flux, with all the companies looking at their methods following the failures in May. Different companies have overhauled their methods to different extents, and even those who have made changes have said they may yet make more. ComRes have introduced a new turnout model based mostly on socio-economic factors like age and social class, and this is why they are producing larger Conservative leads than other polls. Tabs are here.

On other matters, I’ve finally started to update the swingometers on the site. The new version of the simple GB swingometer is now up here, now with added UKIP. Currently it just assumes a static SNP vote, as GB national polls are of so little use in measuring support for a party standing only in Scotland – the updated version of the advanced swingometer allowing for separate figures for Scotland, Wales and England will be along in due course.

172 Responses to “ComRes/Indy on Sunday – CON 42, LAB 29, LD 7, UKIP 13, GRN 3”

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  1. Couper
    I take it you mean approval ratings of leaders, or perhaps party record. I think that’s a good point. A lot of us said that Miliband was totally unelectable, despite Labour’s significant lead at some points in the last parliament. Could the image of an unpopular leader change some voters’ minds at the last moment, so that they either don’t vote, or change their vote because they just couldn’t see that person being Prime Minister?

    The significant factor is whether more potential Tories will be put off by Osborne (or Boris) or potential Labour voters by Corbyn. I see that one Labour lord has resigned the whip because of Corbyn.

  2. Couper

    As I’ve commented before, gauging a leader’s popularity according to questions where lots of people haven’t got an opinion isn’t very useful.

    When asked “To what extent do you approve or disapprove of the way Nicola Sturgeon is handling her job as Leader of the SNP”, I’d expect a large proportion of those in E&W to have no opinion – just as those in Scotland probably don’t have an opinion as to how “Carwyn Jones is handling his job as Leader of the Labour Party in Wales”.

    Consequently, I find the responses by Party VI of the big 3 parties in England more interesting (by definition in a GB poll, the huge majority of them live in England!).

    Among Tory & UKIP supporters (where you would expect to find more British/UK Nationalists) around a third have no opinion, but those who do are overwhelmingly disapproving of a leader who is doing well, and thus threatening the continuation of their nation.

    Labour supporters are much less interested. (43% have no opinion) while those who do have an opinion break 2:1 in approving of her.

  3. Tweet –

    “Liberals with >70% in early counting in Newfoundland and Labrador. They got 38% there in 2011.”

  4. “I am very curious by the assertions that tax credits are bad, and obviously have to go.

    “The point of them is that they reduce the marginal tax rate – ie “make work pay”, and this, philosophically speaking, is what all parties are in favour of. Conservatives in particular have been very keen to reduce marginal tax rates, and this is part of IDS philosophy in reforming the benefits system. Free market Economist magazine has been a strong supporter of tax credits.”

    The tax credit taper is being retained in the Universal Credit system, which will rationalise all benefits (including tax credits) into one system. At least that is the idea.

    The big change attracting the most complaint is not related to income-dependent benefits, it’s related to benefits attached to children.

  5. Canada presumably now the biggest country run by a Liberal party – not that there are many to choose from (Australia doesn’t count).

  6. Interesting that Trudeau won by outflanking the NDP from the left on the economy by promising deficit spending on infrastructure.

    Mulcair thought that promising a balanced budget would show the NDP were fit to govern. Whoops.

  7. To be fair Canada was not exactly in a great economic position and the need to spend was driven by a need to replace oil revenues. Publics are really quite obvious about when and why they want to change governments. Its why I think the Tories will struggle if they ever clear the deficit, the attention will turn to other matters that they still haven’t made themselves particularly strong on – which is why Blair won in 1997 – the public wanted investment and good services.

    Likewise its why the right in Labour lost to Cobyrn I feel. Tony Blair did not roll over the left to win leader nor did he pander to both sides (i.e. Burnham); instead there was an alliance across the wings of the party around the reformers and they won by providing something to the left. The message cannot just be ‘the left can’t win elections so we can ignore you’; fact is the right can’t win elections for Labour unless they hold onto the lefts vote – Scotland is evidence of how this can not be taken for granted as are the Greens in England.

    I think the floating voter the parties crave after like to use political parties rather than having any real ideology. The Tories were probably right that the Lib Dems big mistake was going back on their achievements – it allowed the SNP line to hurt them and the Tories to show themselves as the only way for the public to achieve their goals.

  8. The Canadian voters appear much more willing to move between parties than those in the UK do. Is there any theories why that is? Or maybe why people in the UK are so wedded to one party only?

  9. Sorrel
    I think the UK voters are much more flexible than they used to be. e.g. The rise of SNP, UKIP and to some extent the Greens.

    In 1955 96% of voters went for either Tory or Labour. In 2015 it was 67%.

  10. because everyone in this country is narrowminded and largly stupid

  11. Hawthorne – “Interesting that Trudeau won by outflanking the NDP from the left on the economy by promising deficit spending on infrastructure.”

    According to the Canadian redditors, the election was decided on wedge issues not the economy.

    This is what happened according to people on the election thread there:

    NDP was leading in the nationwide polls with a strong showing in Quebec. Then the supreme court ruled in favour of a muslim woman who wanted to wear a niqab, and NDP said they agreed with this decision. There was a huge backlash in Quebec the most islamophobic part of Canada, led by the Bloc Q, and followed by the Conservatives. NDP’s poll ratings dropped 13% overnight – most of it went to the Liberals who didn’t comment on the issue. The Bloc didn’t benefit from their wedge politics, instead the Conservatives got 11 seats in Quebec.

    Meanwhile, in other parts of Canada, when they saw the NDP ratings fall in Quebec, they switched to the Liberals as the best anyone-but-Harper vote. Apparently the Atlantic states (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland etc) hate Harper with a purple passion because he slammed them all as welfare dependents. This is the first time the Liberals have made a clean sweep of the Atlantic.

    They were announcing the results of the Atlantic states before the polls had closed in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia – apparently the law changed this year because they decided people would know anyway because of social media (!). The Albertans apparently hate Trudeau because of something his father did in the 70’s (wasn’t able to work out what that was), and switched to Conservative to stop him (their regional govt is NDP but everyone was abandoning them in this Harper vs Trudeau fight). The big Pacific cities (Vancouver) went Liberal.

    According to the Canadian redditors the whole thing turned on who was best placed to defeat Harper – unlike Cameron he’s socially conservative and was introducing some strange laws (like first and second class citizenship), and the Canadians got tired of it.

  12. @John Smith

    “because everyone in this country is narrowminded and largly stupid”

    Cf ‘Do not believe what I say”

  13. Good evening all from Westminster North.

    Today I received a pair of corporate football match tickets for Chelsea V Liverpool 31st Oct. Never been to Stamford Bridge before so a little excited.

    Anyway something is bugging me…


    “They were announcing the results of the Atlantic states before the polls had closed in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia”

    I never knew Canada had any states at all? Canadian Maritimes I think is the term.

    It was a landslide win for the Liberals and it will be interesting if ole Corby can take some comfort from the fact that they won on an anti austerity and anti war ticket?

  14. @Allan Christie

    I shouldn’t have called them states – I believe the correct term is provinces.

    As for comparisons to the UK – I suppose NDP’s problems in Quebec parallel Lab’s problems in Scotland, also for reasons of identity. Harper’s social conservatism isn’t paralleled anywhere in Britain (he was modelling himself on the US Republicans from what I can tell).

    Justin Trudeau is very good looking and I’m sure that was a factor too :-)

  15. Fascinating reading prospects/peter kellner’s polling article which crystalizes my views in regards to Mr Corbyn’s policy strength’s and weaknesses .The pluses being his expressed wishes to tackle inequality thru the living wage and the setting of limits for rental rises on private homes plus his nationalising agenda the minuses being in general his foreign /defence policy stands and his opposition to the benefit cap . Now the questions are is he capable of swallowing his pride and principle’s and adjusting his political outlook to accommodate the broader potential labour voting base ? and if so can he bring on board the more evangelical corbynistas to instigate and develop this compromised manifesto?

  16. So pollsters did quite well in Canada.


    Sociological explanations, I imagine. In Britain it used to be said that ‘Class is the basis of British politics; all else is embellishment and detail’ (Pulzer, 1967). This was clearly an exaggeration when it was written and has become less true over time but class identification is certainly still a key factor in voting decisions. Many people will say that their family/their region/their employment sector ‘is Labour’ or ‘is Conservative’. I’m not sure that’s true in Canada or North America generally – indeed, it can’t be because the Conservative Party was only founded (from a merger of earlier centre-right parties) in 2003 and the NDP in 1961. That all means more switching.

  17. Crossbench, Labour & Libdem peers may vote through a ‘fatal’ motion which sends the tax credit cuts legislation back to stage 1 of the legislative process.

    Salisbury convention does not apply, it is being argued, because David Cameron specifically ruled out tax credit cuts in a televised (public) event during the short campaign.

  18. @Amber Star

    Salisbury convention not relevant here (indeed, the Lib Dems have indicated they’ll breach it when they feel like it anyway). More relevant is principle of Commons ‘financial privilege’, though there is precedent for the Lords amending welfare bills.

    It should be said that the very rare fatal mation, if it happens (the Lords usually only ‘regrets’ statutory instruments it doesn’t like) would entirely defeat the SI. That doesn’t mean it necessarily couldn’t happen – but the govt would have to amend it into either the Welfare Reform and Work Bill (more logical, but the Lords would feel they could block) or the Finance Bill (there is a very strong convention that the Lords doesn’t amend these). Of course, having to amend in would mean a debate in the Commons and that wouldn’t be easy now that unease has grown on the backbenchers.

  19. @RAF
    ‘Orborne will not win the next GE for the Tories. He has 5 years to fall flat on his face and has made a promising start.’

    Actually he now only has 4.5 years left – we are already beyond the 9% point of this Parliament!

  20. Suggestions are that peers have been warned off going for the ‘fatal’ motion; likely to mean a ‘regret’ motion instead.

  21. @ Jack Sheldon

    Thanks for expanding on the possibility of the tax credit cut being blocked by the Lords.

    Interesting that the tax credit cuts may have to be in the finance bill. That would force Osborne would to ‘own’ the cuts policy. How ironic if Osborne, having laid a trap for Labour, then walked into it himself! His rivals for the leadership will be ROFLOL.

  22. ‘In 1955 96% of voters went for either Tory or Labour. In 2015 it was 67%.’

    But that is really a false comparison – simply because in 1955 there were very few other candidates contesting seats. Most were Tory v Labour straight fights with a mere 110 Liberal candidates, and this meant that in over 80% of constituencies support for both main parties was artificially inflated by being in receipt of second preference votes from people who otherwise would have voted Liberal or another smaller party.

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