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”

1 2 3 4
  1. CARFREW
    “What are the odds that the tax credit cuts are massively popular, but the Corbyn effect is disguising this?”
    ______

    Should that not be ” massively unpopular?”

  2. Candy

    Tax credits are soooo open to abuse. The way it works means that after a 1/2 hour conversation with th tax credits people they might transfer into your bank account more than £1,000 a month. That’s a lot of money for almost anyone, so the temptation and bad incentives are huge and include:

    Subsidised hobby businesses where you claim to work 30 hours
    Millionaires claiming, it is income based with no reference to capital
    Buying capital assets to create a tax loss in a business with underlying profitability might allow you to claim
    With a limited company structure you can determine your own income and therefore decide what to claim
    If a couple split up, the credits are decided by the earnings of the remaining parent perhaps without reference to the potentially high earnings of the partner that moves away. Surely the first responsibility is for the high earner to provide for the family

    Whilst I understand that many deserving people hugely benefit from it, to be sustainable it needs sorting out so it is not abused. Bring on the universal credit.

    I suspect these abuses are understood in the real world, hence the lack of movement in the polls.

  3. It seems possible to me that the real VI effect of tax credit cuts will not be direct, but via increased unemployment.

    Unemployment grew surprisingly little in this recession and has been a non-issue for some time. But it was the willingness of employees to accept below-inflation wage increases that allowed employers to keep them on, and it was tax credits that bolstered the willingness of the low-paid to work for low wages. Looked at the other way, tax credits subsidised employers to hang on to surplus labour (which in turn clobbered productivity).

    When tax credits are cut at the same time as wage bills are steeply raised by the living wage thing, employers are going to look hard at who they employ. At the moment it’s steel workers who are suffering, but when really big employers like Tesco start cutting back sharply, unemployment could really jump. That may be disguised by continued economic growth, but it may not. A couple of years from now, things could look very different.

  4. @Allan

    Should that not be ” massively unpopular?”

    ———–

    I think other people have the “massively unpopular” thing covered, I was just trying to look at it from the other angle…

  5. These are truly shocking figures for Labour and I am surprised Indie did not splash them. The Cons are 12% ahead and I think its really 2010 when Lab got such a low figure. This of course as we know is leftist leader Mr. Foot Territory in 1983 when Lab scored lowest since 1918.God help us all, not good for our democracy let alone a modern opposition party who need a smart, clever, centre Left leader

  6. Anyone else getting book recommendations a t the minute? I’m getting “Project Fear” and “Call Me Dave”.

    Nothing about Corbyn as yet…

  7. Shame about Scotties in the Rugby. So close…

  8. Fraser
    “The impact will be when people (many likely not quite expecting it) see their earnings slashed”

    Just a small pedantic point. No-one will be losing earnings because tax credits are not earned. They will be losing benefits.

    Tax credits had the effect of making previously independent wage earners dependent on state benefits. I don’t want to get in trouble with AW so will not say whether that is a good or bad thing.

  9. @ Allan Christie

    I was thinking along those same lines, I think those who are hoping that “tax credits” will prove to be a “poll tax” moment for Tory polling figures are in for a disappointment.

    With a moderate leader Labour would probably have made some headway on the issue but it will take an awful lot more than that to get previous/ or potential Tory voters to vote for Mr Corbyn.

    I say that as someone who was a Labour party member until a few months ago and at the moment cannot really envisage any circumstances under which I would be voting for a Corbyn-led party in 2020.

  10. CARFREW
    @Allan
    “I think other people have the “massively unpopular” thing covered, I was just trying to look at it from the other angle”
    _____

    Hmm, you should spend your time more wisely. ;-)

  11. OLLYT

    ” I think those who are hoping that “tax credits” will prove to be a “poll tax” moment for Tory polling figures are in for a disappointment.
    With a moderate leader Labour would probably have made some headway on the issue but it will take an awful lot more than that to get previous/ or potential Tory voters to vote for Mr Corbyn”
    ____

    Absolutely agree and although the policy itself may be unpopular (as reports suggest and the slight backtracking from the Tories ) the alternative for disgruntled middle ground voters would be to turn to Labour but that wont happen under ole Corby and those who will be affected most by the tax credit cuts, the low income earners, will be voting Labour anyway.

    The only poll tax moment I can forecast for the Tories will be the fallout from the EU referendum. The party is split over Europe and the reforms many are calling for just wont happen.

  12. PETE B

    Not all but most people will see their income drop under Ozzies rules.The living wage will come no where near to mitigate the lost income from removing tax credits.

    Personally the proposals don’t impact myself and are not a vote changer for me but like I said in another post had Labour had a more electable leader then I reckon the Tory VI would take a hit.

  13. I always thought that tax credits had nothing to do with me or my family. This was until my daughter, at a dinner party with friends, got into a discussion about the subject. It turned out that many of her friends were claiming child tax credits despite being relatively well off. This was because, as they told my daughter, tax credits take no account of assets, only your income matters.

    My daughter was persuaded to apply and it turned out that she was indeed eligible. In fact she could have been claiming for years. This despite her and her husband having considerable assets, particularly in property. They don’t earn huge wages but they don’t need to. She claimed for a couple of years but has since stopped as with increasing earnings, the amount became relatively small.

    The reason my daughter claimed at all was that she didn’t see why she why she should miss out when all her friends were claiming and her taxes were helping to fund them. She sees the whole thing as ridiculous.

    People like my daughter and her friends would probably see the abolition of tax credits for people like them as a good thing. They only claim because they feel stupid if they don’t and others do. The letters, when they arrive, will be welcomed. This is not something that will change their votes.

  14. Allan Christie
    I agree with all that. My only quibble with Fraser was that he spoke of loss of ‘earnings’. Benefits aren’t earned.

  15. @Allan

    “Hmm, you should spend your time more wisely. ;-)”

    ——————

    wow Allan, you’re a time management guru as well?? Who knew?…

  16. Please, not another tax or benefit discussion. It’s semantic pedantry.
    The bedroom spare room tax subsidy thing was awful.
    Thanks x.

  17. @Carfrew

    Telling people they should spend their time more wisely is wisest way to spend your time.

  18. Mark W
    I did say it was pedantic in my first post.

    RMJ1
    Your daughter and her friends are perfectly justified in claiming their tax credits. they didn’t create the system, and if they don’t claim they are simply subsidising those that do.
    I’m about 6 months from being an OAP and gave up work owing to ill health. Much to my surprise, I’m getting about £50 a week from the state for being unhealthy. I don’t need it, but never look a gift horse in the mouth.

  19. The Telegraph is reporting Cabinet discord over whether collective responsibility should apply to the EU referendum – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/11939358/EU-Referendum-Six-Tory-Cabinet-ministers-demand-freedom-to-campaign-for-Brexit.html

    My thoughts are as follows:

    1/ The PM is entirely right not to announce a decision on this yet. If he did confirm the suspension collective responsibility now it would give ministers license to say what they want about Europe for potentially two years, which wouldn’t be helpful. He should only announce anything once the renegotiation has happened.

    2/ I would be astonished if collective responsibility wasn’t ultimately suspended. Not suspending it would cause resignations he could do without and likely exacerbate divisions. There will, however, most likely be instructions that ministers supporting ‘Brexit’ shouldn’t criticise the PM and his renegotiation but should make a case for exit as a matter of principle.

    3/ If collective responsibility is suspended some might still resign, seeing the chance to campaign for ‘Brexit’ as an opportune moment to leave government.

    4/ If collective responsibility is suspended I expect the vast majority of ministers would still support the PM’s renegotiation. In the long run being on the other side of the argument from the PM is still a big risk – probably too big a risk for most junior ministers looking to climb the ladder.

    The Telegraph says six Cabinet ministers want to leave. Three are easy to work out: IDS, Michael Fallon and Chris Grayling. Working out the rest is much harder – May, Javid and Patel??

  20. PETE B
    Allan Christie
    “I agree with all that. My only quibble with Fraser was that he spoke of loss of ‘earnings’. Benefits aren’t earned”
    ______

    That’s being a wee bit taddy pedantic. ;-)

    I’m just noticing the buzz words tonight appear to be pedantic and pedantry.

  21. CARFREW

    “wow Allan, you’re a time management guru as well?? Who knew?”
    ____

    No one until you let the cat out of the bag.

    CATMANJEFF

    Exactly.

  22. I posted earlier on the thread.

    John McDonnell has promised to reverse these tax credit changes, I thought it was generally agreed that tax credits were bad & the argument is about the tax & minimum wage changes not compensating enough.

    So is this a smart move by John M?

  23. @Catman

    “Telling people they should spend their time more wisely is wisest way to spend your time”

    ————–

    It kinda tells you everything and nothing though, dunnit? It’s like telling someone “You should make loads more money!!”

  24. Jack S
    That’s a very interesting article. The way I read it is that Cameron and his allies have already decided that they will vote to stay in the EU regardless of the outcome of the so-called renegotiation.

  25. COUPER

    “I thought it was generally agreed that tax credits were bad & the argument is about the tax & minimum wage changes not compensating enough.”
    _____

    That appears to be the crux of the matter.

    Anyway I’m off to bed….Hope this cheers some peeps up.

    https://www.facebook.com/YourChristmasCountdownOfficial/photos/a.410226755709379.98087.105582329507158/967485223316860/?type=3&theater

  26. @Couper

    I suppose he had to say what he said today. But by 2020 the debate will have moved on, probably several times, and reinstating tax credits at 2015 levels will seem a ridiculous thing to do.

  27. @Allan C

    “No one until you let the cat out of the bag.”

    ———-

    Well, it’s possible they still haven’t noticed…

  28. @ Couper 2802

    John McDonnell has promised to reverse these tax credit changes, I thought it was generally agreed that tax credits were bad & the argument is about the tax & minimum wage changes not compensating enough.

    So is this a smart move by John M?

    It should be win-win for JMcD.

    If JMcD’s Party will legislate for a real living wage, then tax credits should be relatively low anyway, so he can promise to reverse the tax credit cuts without it blowing a hole in his budget.

  29. Amber

    I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a Tory Chancellor in 2020 promising to abolish tax credits completely, while simultaneously promising to introduce a real(ish) Living Wage.

  30. @ Old Nat

    I wouldn’t rule out that possibility either. Then it will come down to whether the promise of the real(ish) living wage is believed when it’s being ‘promised’ by the Tory Party.

  31. Canadian election tomorrow should be fun. I was just reading NC’s piece on it

    http://www.ncpolitics.uk/2015/10/canada-the-question-i-keep-getting-asked.html/

    Apparently Canadian pollsters don’t publish their tables. There won’t even be an exit poll. So while we may get annoyed at British polling companies… at least we have it better than the Canadians.

  32. @ Pete B

    In work benefits are earned.

  33. Amber

    Agreed – but isn’t that the whole basis of success in elections?

    For every party/politician – “I can say what I like, but will the necessary voters to get me elected, believe me, and trust that I will deliver?”

  34. Tax credits are a strange way of boosting the incomes of low paid people. In effect, they mean that taxpayers subsidise employers that pay very low wages. A legally enforced living wage that forces employers to pay their staff properly seems a much better way to go.

    But with regards the poll, it’s clear that Corbyn’s Labour Party will need a lot more than this issue if it is to win over substantially more voters. Most British people are doing OK and not looking for a ‘transition to socialism’ (as one Corbynite put her hopes).

  35. Carfrew

    Fascinating sporty weekend. England so close in the Cricket and Scotland so close in the Rugby. The rugby has panned out as i suspected, the four stongest teams (all southern hemisphere) are through to the semi’s and rightly so in my opinion. They are just better than the Northern teams at the moment although the gap is closer than it has often been. I was very impressed with Argentina who eventually crushed Ireland although it was close at one point. If they hold their discipline i think they will beat South Africa and make the final.

    Allan Christie
    I take your point about the Tories post the EU referendum but will they be as split as Labour are currently (see my earlier post and the Comres tables)?

  36. TOH

    Argentina were terrific-I think the Pumas play Australia in the semis Howard.

  37. A Bishop who presumably knows something about the subject-his remarks on Western Foreign policy on Assad have made me think, I must say :-

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article4589712.ece

  38. Colin

    Yes they do, and on current form should beat them.

  39. @ToH

    Yep, good sporting weekend. Annoying that “bad light” stymied our hopes, but that’s cricket. On the Rugby, a long-standing suspicion of “flair” players tends to hamper us, as in the footie at times. But twas often thus…

  40. Re: Tax credits…

    Obviously a far-from-optimal solution. But if you just cut them sans anything better, you push peeps into looking for more work that isn’t there, leaving them short of cash and depressing wages.

    Thus, the issue, as ever, is finding ways to create employment. (Until maybe such time as we can up automated productivity enough that we can afford a citizens’ income…)

  41. I thought right wingers liked the idea of people working for benefits. However, they seem to have a problem with tax credits. Odd.

    The electoral problem for the Tories on this is not just clobbering their poorer supporters, but also clobbering their small business support base.

    On why the poll isn’t reported? Because it is Comres, whose polls are even more carp than the other companies.

  42. @ Hawthorn – if some people are to ‘work for benefits’ then, as the State would be paying their wages, they should be working for the State rather than the private sector, surely.

    As for this being an electoral problem for the Tories, we’re a long way from the next election but my feeling is that Osbourne will tweak things very soon to mitigate its worst impact.

  43. ‘On why the poll isn’t reported? Because it is Comres, whose polls are even more carp than the other companies.’

    Lol.

  44. Bernard

    “‘On why the poll isn’t reported? Because it is Comres, whose polls are even more carp than the other companies.’

    What evidence do you have for that comment?

  45. @TOH

    After the last election, the onus is on the polling companies to demonstrate their veracity.

    What I would say is that ICM came out of the last election better than most, and they typically have a smaller Conservative lead. Given that their polls would have been rebased since the last election, some of the distortions that occurred should not be so significant for the time being.

    @Watchit

    I don’t think many Conservatives would agree with that, otherwise they would not indulge in public sector outsourcing.

    I agree that it would be remarkable if Osborne did not do something to help people hit by the tax credit reduction. However, the mitigating factors would have to kick in before the letters drop. He has also tied himself to the wheel of having a surplus “in normal times”. He would need to find money elsewhere (no doubt with an equally unpopular measure), which turns it into a politcal “whack a mole” problem.

    If the work situation of the unfortunate voter from Folkestone is typical (and it would surprise me if it was) then the economic conumdrum of the relatively low unemployment/low productivity/high self-employment may be solved. It could also be that a important prop of the UK house of cards economy is about to be kicked away.

    The big difference to the bedroom tax debacle is that it will affect people higher up the income scale, so peeing off more voters (and voters who might vote Tory).

  46. The above should read (and it would not surprise me if it was for many voters)

  47. News that Caparo Industries, the steel company owned by the Blairite Labour Party donor Lord Paul, is likely to go into administration.

  48. The tax credit changes as written don’t seem that dramatic. The biggest changes are being grandfathered in, so the people who would really “lose” are people who are not gaining anything from the system at the moment anyway.

    “I thought right wingers liked the idea of people working for benefits. However, they seem to have a problem with tax credits. Odd.”

    The history on this is interesting and there is certainly an element of my-party-right-or-wrong, from both parties. Tax credits are a half-hearted implementation of Milton Friedman’s negative income proposal. In principle the negative income tax would prevent a welfare trap because benefits would taper slowly with income, meaning that working always pays more than being out of work. So in principle tax credits are a right wing policy.

    In a party political sense, though, tax credits bring a lot of the middle class and particularly the lower middle class to whom Thatcher appealed into the benefits system. This arguably makes them more likely to identify as state clients and therefore more likely to vote Labour. The Tories are probably calculating that the short term damage a long way from an election is a reasonable price to pay for a larger independent middle class in the long term.

    But that too shouldn’t be overstated because the Universal Credit will retain many aspects of the tax credit system. The specific restriction that attracted most complaint – on indefinitely increasing subsidy of very large families – is probably going to disproportionately hit low income immigrant families, not Home Counties Tories. That is an aspect of the policy that many will privately be happy about but wouldn’t want to publicly state as justification for their support of it.

  49. Tax Credits have to end. So I am not sure why after the pain of the next few years of people adjusting to not having tax credits, promising to reverse them is a vote winner.

    On DP the Labour MP was questioned as to how the change was going to be paid for, she did not have an answer. DP quoted a figure of 4 Billion. I am not sure Labour has thought this through.

    The problem of low pay can be solved by higher tax thresholds, higher minimum wage and maybe the return of the ‘additional dependents allowance’ (my favourite). It makes no sense to tax the low paid – stop that.

  50. It seems clear that GO will tweek WTC reform to mitigate pain at the low income end. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him adopt Frank Field’s suggestion.

    NS reported this quote from FF’s letter to GO

    “”There is one cost neutral policy in particular which could protect National Living Wage-earners: a secondary earnings threshold paid for by a steeper withdrawal rate for those earning above this new minimum rate.

    “This option would retain the existing £6,420 income threshold but introduce a second gross income of £13,100, the equivalent of working 35 hours a week on the National Living Wage. For gross earnings between £6,420 and £13,100, the taper rate would be kept at 41 per cent. The lowest paid working families, therefore, would experience no reduction in tax credit income compared with the current system. To keep the policy cost neutral, gross earnings above £13,100 would need to be tapered at 65 per cent.”

    Good chap, Frank Field.

1 2 3 4