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. Hmm,.large Tory lead I’m surprised with the tax credit debacle


    Someone retweeted the poll with this
    “For context, the figures for this time 5 years ago were CON 41 LAB 39 LD 11”
    So obviously that’s a big drop, but where did the 10% go? Looks like 2-3% to the SNP and the rest to UKIP. That’s a big chunk of UKIP’s VI which seems to be coming from ex-Labour.
    UKIP/Labour churn is interesting because the actual policies are very different

    But those aren’t the correct figures from five years ago – as ever with ComRes you have to compare like with like. Those appear to be the figures from ComRes’s telephone poll. If you look at the equivalent online poll:

    the results are:

    Con 40% (now 42%)

    Lab 34% (29%)

    Lib Dem 14% (7%)

    UKIP 4% (13%)

    Green 4% (3%)

    SNP 2% (5%)

    PC *% (*)

    Other 1% (*)

    which isn’t quite as dramatic. It still shows the big nett gainers as UKIP and the SNP at the expense of both Labour and Lib Dems, though outside Scotland it might be a mistake to think the movement was all direct. There does seem to be a solid 20% or so of the UKIP vote which is ‘Left’, except presumably on immigration and/or the EU. But some of the increase for UKIP will Conservatives moving to them compensated by movement to Con of Lib Dems and Lab.

  3. Isaac
    The tax credits cuts have yet to be implemented, most people will be either totally unaware of the cuts or unaware as to the extent to which it effects them. If there is going to be a effect on the polls from the policy it will be after people get their letters In the new year outlining the cuts.

  4. Very surprised at this.

    Fully expected Con to take a hit after the Tax Credits row really blew up this week. That woman on Question Time spoke for millions. I’ve always felt moments of true genuine passion like that have more impact than just another politician saying how bad they are.

    Genuinely think this tax credits issue will be Cameron’s poll tax moment, and even likely to kill of GO’s chances of the premiership. [snip]

    Also we are all used to politicians allowing themselves some wiggle room between what they do and promise, but there is none here. Cameron said they would not be cut twice in the election, now they are being cut. There’s no defence.

  5. What percentage of peeps are liable to be affected by these tax credit cuts, and how many already vote Labour?

    (And what kind of possible secondary effect, as parents see what’s happening to their offspring…)

  6. @roger mexico

    Thanks for the correction

    Did we ever find out how many 2010 Lib Dems went to UKIP? On the surface it’s the most unlikely switch but I think I remember there were quite a few. The ‘party of protest’ people.

  7. Carfrew

    The whole reason it blew up is because it is aspirational tory voters effected. This wasn’t the usual labour councillor plant saying how bad the tories were, this was an actual tory voter, part of the aspirational block needed for a Conservative win, many of whom are effected and many whom aren’t effected will still sympathise.

  8. ISAAC

    “tax credit debacle”

    What debacle? I presume you mean that you don’t agree with Government policy.

    This is a very good poll for the Tories and more in line with what I would expect their lead to be at the moment. At this stage in a parliament the headline lead is of little significance and I’m more interested in the detailed questions in the poll.

    On the economy the DC & GO lead JC & JM by 48% to 29%. I’m surprised JC & DM got as many as 29%.

    On divided party questions the Labour party is seen divided by 64% compared with 16 undivided. Past polling shows the voters hate divided parties.

    Not good reading for Labour.

  9. If you dig down into the figures It appears a lot of this Tax Credit scare seems to be hot air. I really don’t see it being a political issue at all. Indeed I suspect Labour will drop It by the end of the year when It’s seen to have gained little traction with the public.

    Many of the greatest savings seem to come from restrictions to New claimants (so limited associated hardship to current beneficiaries) and the more immediate reductions run to a few hundred in the VAST majority of cases NOT the £1300 claim being spoken of in the news. With more tax free allowance and a few hundred a year added through gains in wage to lower earners the effect should be rather muted.
    There simply will not be people turfed out of their homes because of this. It is no where near as costly for It’s ‘losers’ as Poll Tax threatened to be. They are not the same thing at all!

  10. @Isaac & MitM

    Thanks for the info. Maybe Georgie will modify things in the Autumn Statement?…

  11. @ToH

    “I presume you mean that you don’t agree with Government policy.”


    No, that’s you up to your old tricks of trying to make it seem like peeps are falling foul of Anthony’s comment policy!!

    Isaac is clearly primarily concerned here with how others might perceive the policy…

  12. Has there been any polling on whether peeps are aware of tax credit changes and how much it might affect them?

  13. I expressed my surprise and disappointment that tax credits were targeted when it was first announced. For all their flaws, and their origins at the desk of G Brown, tax credits are the “most Tory” of welfare benefits – aimed at those who’ve actually got off their a*se and found work.

    I can see how they ended up in the crosshairs, both because in terms of large scale cuts to benefits its “that or the old people”, and because there are genuine concerns that they are a subsidy to exploitative employers and a pretty blunt instrument, but still they are a flawed angel rather than a devil.

    Not convinced the effect on Tory support will be all that dramatic, mind you. Most Tory voters are, like me, convinced of the overall, general wisdom of austerity and deficit reduction. If the Labour party moves over to the full anti-austerity cause, and the LibDems continue to be an irrelevant minnow, there’s not really anywhere else for people like me to go.

  14. For any issue to drive voters from the Government to Labour, two things need to happen:

    1) People strongly disagree with the Government
    2) People see the opposition offering a better proposition

    Even if people are at point 1, Labour surely haven’t done anything to get them to point 2 yet (if they can).

    @Neil A sums it up nicely.

  15. @Catmanjeff

    But couldn’t they stop off at Lib Dems or UKIP along the way, if Corbyn fails to get people to #2 ?


    Not so, he was clearly calling it a debacle, hence my comment. Nor has he disagreed with my comment. So I’m afraid you’ve got that wrong.


    I agree NeilA sums it up nicely.

  17. @Onlooker

    So why if it is only new claimants was the woman in the QT audience so angry?

    I know that the reduction for the 3rd child is only for new 3rd children.

    John McDonnell has said (on Twitter) that Labour will reverse tax credit cuts. This is a big mistake by 2020 people will be used to little tax credits and it will be very silly to bring them back.

    I think the issue is far better addressed via living wage and tax thresholds and relief (I’d bring back tax allowances for children)

  18. @ToH

    But debacle may refer to polling/electoral/perceptual outcomes, as opposed to whether the policy itself is of merit.

    Or the problems of reversing the position on the matter and polling impact, as opposef to whether tax credits should be cut.

    The interesting thing, is how many perceive an issue now, as opposed to what happens when people actually experience the cuts.

    Which is why before-and-after polling on perceptions would be handy.

    (Worth adding, that by making it explicitly about whether a policy is good or not, you may encourage comment on that in the process!!)

  19. That ’71 Tory MPs’ story is so-called research released by….Labour.

    Questions raised by this ‘research’ –

    How many of the people affected by the cuts are Tory/Labour swing voters?
    How many voters in those 71 constituencies will indeed be better off through higher tax thresholds and the living wage?
    How many of them are MORE likely to vote Tory, rather than less?
    How many Tory MPS do Labour need to try and frighten into voting with them on Tuesday?
    Could they all be the 71 golden MPs who are set to be ‘turfed out’ if the tax credit cuts are not reversed?
    How many people will remember this in 2020?
    Even if they do, will millions of Middle Class voters change the habit of a lifetime and vote hard left if Mr Corbyn is Labour leader?

    Reversing these cuts would be far more harmful to the Tories than toughing this out and explaining to the sensible people of this country why it is imperative the welfare bill is reduced.

  20. @MiM

    Very possibly.

  21. Is there any interest in a swingometer with the new boundaries?

  22. @Neil A

    It’s a bit like the chat about Grammar Schools.

    Just as many feel they would get their kids into a grammar, many may feel that continued rounds of the current economic diet many around the world are beung treared to will see them and their offspring do just fine, because OK at the moment.

    But if the trend is towards a polarisation whereby there’s just massive competition within an over-populated elite, with the rest excluded and no middle ground, then maybe they won’t do so well.

    At the moment, there are still plenty of pockets where you can be pretty carp at your job and still do OK. But as automation and globalisation eradicates these ever more…

  23. I nor agree or disagree with government policy on tax credits. Why? I don’t know if overall I will be worse off or not yet. Most voters vote with their pocket.

    It’s like free meals for under 7’s, I’m in favour as my 4 year old twins get them, when they are 7, I won’t care too much if they are cut. That’s why it’s suicide for any party to break the triple lock on pensions.

  24. @Carfrew

    The world you describe is a world where the Citizens Income would be very useful.

  25. @Carfrew

    Time to throw your clogs into the spinning-jenny.

  26. @Catman

    If they they reliably did what’s useful life would be a lot easier.

    Sometimes they do the opposite of useful!!

    Like putting tax on storage.

    Would be useful to see some polling on the Citizens’ Income. So they prolly won’t do any…

    P.s. regarding TMS vs CS Lewis, there’s still time…

  27. @Mico

    “Time to throw your clogs into the spinning-jenny.”


    Nah, I quite like change…

  28. @Isaac

    ‘Most voters vote with their pocket.’

    I think that’s only partly true. I think most voters are swayed more by leadership and the economy, and if those two traits are stronger in one party over another, your point usually takes care of itself.

    And would a significant percentage of voters go to another party to claw back a thousand quid, or fifteen hundred quid a year in benefits, only to see the wider economy damaged, or indebtedness increase, or other taxes increase, or a jobs recovery put at risk – therefore harming their prospects far more greatly?

  29. This way of factoring in propensity to vote based on socio demographics doesn’t take into account the corbyn affect of bringing younger people more into politics as well as people who stopped voting altogether because they didn’t feel connected to new labour. The poll looks wrong compared to what’s going on

  30. “And would a significant percentage of voters go to another party to claw back a thousand quid, or fifteen hundred quid a year in benefits, only to see the wider economy damaged, or indebtedness increase, or other taxes increase, or a jobs recovery put at risk – therefore harming their prospects far more greatly?”


    I think it was Neil A who once

  31. Oops.

    I think it was Neil A who once cited polling that suggested Scots would vote for Independence I’d it meant they’d be £500 better off or summat.

    Don’t remember him giving a source, but don’t recall it being challenged either…

  32. @Bernard

    “…and explaining to the sensible people of this country why it is imperative the welfare bill is reduced.”


    Many peeps may be on board with that. The issue is what peeps may see as the best means of doing that, whether it’s ideally cutting tax credits for their graduate offspring working in a coffee shop while getting rejected for jobs in the legal world that they studied for…

  33. Of course its not always true.

    Swingeing cuts to the police, and a 15% cut in my take-home pay, didn’t stop me sticking with the Tories in 2015.

    There’s a part of me that thinks that, whilst I am in favour of cutting spending I don’t like what that means in practice. If I was a government minister, would the police look like a good place to take a pound of flesh? Probably. Better than the alternatives anyway.

  34. Thanks Neil!!! Good to see the police on the ball with the evidence thing!!

  35. Isaac

    Oh dear Isaac, “It’s like free meals for under 7’s, I’m in favour as my 4 year old twins get them, when they are 7, I won’t care too much if they are cut.”

    On here it seems you’re supposed to pretend to care about other people for some reason.
    Anyway, to comment on the polls. Tory percentage as high as it’s been for months. No sign of a Corbyn bounce, and UKIP holding steady despite little or no publicity. This suggests to me that their core vote is pretty steady at 10% plus.

  36. @Pete

    I think technically on here no one is supposed to know whether you care about anything except polling…

  37. It is possible that the tax credit changes are unpopular, even among Tory voters, but the Corbyn factor is offsetting the effect on VI.

    Has there been no polling on the changes yet or have I forgotten about it?

  38. Neil A
    Quite right.

    I tend to agree with Bill Patrick too. I think that the cuts to tax credits might be a bit too stringent, but can see the logic behind getting them out of the way early in the Parliament. And the Corbyn effect might well be offsetting the unpopularity.

  39. What are the odds that the tax credit cuts are massively popular, but the Corbyn effect is disguising this?

  40. Midlands figures show the task confronting Labour:

    May 2015 Tories plus UKIP on 56%
    Now – 57%

    Until that combined figure drops to around 45% I don’t see Labour winning a General Election.

  41. Issac

    This might help, it helped me understand the changes.
    I know it is from the Mirror, but it explains it better than any broadsheet, that I have seen, when trying to work out the effects on my family.

    Regarding if it will have an effect on polls, when the letters go out in December and the cuts take effect in April would be the time.
    As I guess most people , will not know about the changes as yet.

  42. ManInTheMiddle – “Fully expected Con to take a hit after the Tax Credits row really blew up this week. That woman on Question Time spoke for millions.”

    She doesn’t though, that’s the point. There are 15 million people in work, but only about 4 million receive tax credits in total (working tax credit and child tax credit).

    And only about a million people will be affected, most of whom already vote Labour, so there is no vote to be lost. It’s worth remembering that in the last Parliament the govt removed tax credits from about 1.8 million people (middle income earners) and also removed child benefit from higher rate taxpayers and still managed to get a majority.

    Then we also have to look at who the tax credit changes are affecting. The most vulnerable are employees – it won’t be easy for them to persuade their employer to pay more to make up for it, though they can start looking for a better paying job. I notice some supermarkets are recognising the problem and are raising wages anyway to keep the staff.

    Self employed people like that woman on QT can cope the easiest because they have greater control over how much they earn. All that nail salon woman needs to do is go to the independent hairdressers in the area, ask if they can refer people to her nail salon business. Perhaps run a manicure service in those hairdressers three days a week and give the owner of the hairdressers a percentage of the profits for using their premises. Or if she prefers to work from home, perhaps put up a poster in said salon in return for giving the owners a manicure, and simply make up the income by getting extra customers or raising her prices slightly if the market can bear it.

    That’s if she’s running a real business. If she’s just pretending to be self-employed in order to claim the credits, then this law should end that “scam” – she needs to re-register as unemployed and attend her local job centre and find employed work.

    We shall find out whether the “people in work” numbers have been inflated by pretend self-employed folk as some on the left allege. If they have, the sooner we unearth the problem the better.

  43. @ Candy

    In spite of your careful wording, you are flying very close to libel…

  44. One of the oddities of the polls since 2010 is the (almost) complete lack of responses to broken promises (now about tax credits, but I have counted 17 promises that were openly made by Cameron or one of the cabinet ministers and were reversed).

    Consequently, I have to conclude that the public is not interested in policies as such (but it is valid for Corbyn too), but a more general intuitive assessment. It is not a big surprise (people don’t buy policies like baked beans, their action of choice is more important than the attributes of the policies parties use to establish their brand).

    If it is a case, Corbyn is doing the best action (changing the action of choice rather than the offer), while the so called centrists with their focus are actually for a perpetual Conservative government (unless the Tories become completely incompetent – I still think that the tax credit and “living” wage could be perceived as such).

    It is, of course, possible that Corbyn’s track doesn’t even exist, or that there is not enough manpower to make it passable.

    This is not what the polls are saying, but it is a reasonable (in my view :-)) deduction from it.

  45. I’m expecting a separate tax credit type arrangement to be retained for self-employed people.

    I don’t think that the government will be minded to ‘force’ self-employed people onto the unemployment register.

  46. @Laszlo

    I’ve giving her the benefit of the doubt and assuming she’s just terrible at running a business. Not everyone is cut out for hustling for customers, which is why we will always have more employed than self-employed people.

    But the state shouldn’t be in the business of subsidising failing businesses – if we don’t subsidise failing steel works why should we subsidize nail salons? Everyone should be treated the same.

    If people’s businesses are failing the sooner they admit the fact and switch to employed status the better.

  47. An unpopular policy can not show any movement in the VI until its implemented because the public expect the plans to be changed. There have been plenty of policies where we see exactly that. The impact will be when people (many likely not quite expecting it) see their earnings slashed and don’t see their wages change in response.

    Fact is we have a Tory government trying to implement what is essentially a tax increase to fund a budget that’s bigger than they expected and a country whose productivity is a lot lower than they expected.

    I don’t think it will end well for them but we’ll have to see what happens. Labour still need to deal with the lack of diversity and talent in the party to really counter them.

  48. Good evening all from Westminster North. Had a lovely week back up in Scotland…ah the heather, shortbread, tartan, Celtic and of course the 32 lead the SNP have over Labour.

    Now… Ole Corby appears not to be making any inroads into the Tory VI here in England and I reckon under another leader Labour would have taken chunks off the Tory VI over the Ozzie tax credit shambles but tick tock the cat ate the hamster…………who is the Labour shadow chancellor?

    I hate to be brutal here but as long as Corby and McDonnell, “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti” …sorry I got sidetracked for a second but as long as that pair are leading Labour then the Tories will have a free hand.

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