ComRes have their monthly online poll for the Independent on Sunday & Sunday Mirror out tonight. Topline figures are CON 42%(nc), LAB 27%(-2), LDEM 7%(nc), UKIP 15(+2), GRN 3%(nc). You have to go all the way back to 2010 to find a lower Labour score than 27%.

It is important to note that ComRes’s post-election polls are significantly worse for the Labour party than polls from other companies: since the general election ComRes have shown Labour with an average of 29% and a Conservative lead of 11 points; other companies have on average had Labour on 32% and an average Conservative lead of 6 points. Suffice to say, while this is a bad poll for Labour even by ComRes’s standards, it’s not some great slump in Labour support. The reason the Tory lead is bigger than in recent polls giving them a lead of only six or seven points is down to ComRes having a different methodology, not a sudden fracturing of support.

If you are interested in the specifics of this, the reason for the gap is probably ComRes’s new turnout model. Rather than weighting people based on how likely they claim they are to vote, ComRes estimate people’s likelihood to vote based on demographic factors like age and class. In practice, it means weighting down young people and working class people who are more likely to support Labour.

At the moment polling companies’ methods are in a state of flux. Some companies like ComRes have made substantial changes to address the errors of the general election; other companies have made only modest interim changes while they await the results of the polling review. Even those who have made changes say they may well make further changes once the review reports. It means we have some quite varied results from different companies at the moment. Once the review is done and dusted and everyone has made all the changes they are going to make it may be that results are once again quite similar to each other… or it may be that we won’t be able to tell who has taken the correct approach until we see the results of the 2020 general election.

Anyway, looking at the rest of the ComRes poll they repeated their favourability questions about party leaders, finding a drop in Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings since September. 22% now have a favourable perception of Corbyn (down 2), 50% have an unfavourable perception (up 8). In comparison 38% of people have a favourable impression of David Cameron (up 3), 42% have an unfavourable perception of Cameron (no change).

Of course if Jeremy Corbyn does make it to general election he won’t be facing David Cameron. So while there may be a large gap between perceptions of Cameron and Corbyn, the gap between perceptions of Corbyn and Osborne is significantly smaller. Only 25% of people have a favourable perception of Osborne, 44% an unfavourable perception. Osborne’s perceived rival for the leadership, Boris Johnson, has much better ratings – 44% have a favourable perception, 27% an unfavourable perception. Boris Johnson though seems to be judged on a whole different basis to other politicians, but perhaps that’s a topic for another day.


184 Responses to “ComRes/Indy on Sunday – CON 42, LAB 27, LD 7, UKIP 15, GRN 3”

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  1. @Pete B

    One of the reasons I was vehemently against the concept of student loans was the message it sends to the young. “Not only is getting into massive debt perfectly OK, kids, but we’re actually going to insist you do it”.

  2. Neil A
    Yes. Of course no-one has to take out a student loan if they get a part-time job while at uni. My son didn’t take one, and one of my step-granddaughters is working while she’s at uni.
    I’m sure there must be millions similar.

  3. PETE B & NEIL A

    I accept life on benefits shouldn’t be attractive and generous so much so it would encourage work shy couch potatoes to do just that, sit on the couch.

    Saving £5 per month or saving any amount each month is great but in reality for some that could mean the difference between going without a mean or not topping up a electrical pay as you go meter.

    Probably most of us if not all of us on UKPR don’t really know what it would be like to be unemployed and living in poverty but I think the UK government tend to put the unemployed all under one generic umbrella when in reality it’s a broad church of needs out there.

    I do accept there is a difficult balancing act but the provisions for someone who has lost their job for whatever reason and who has also paid a great deal in tax over the years may be extremely worried and disappointed at the amount of help available to them.

  4. #meal

  5. @PB

    Tuition fees are 9k per year. On top of that, students will now be expected to borrow 8k per year to maintain themselves. That’s not a part-time job. That’s a full time job.

    On my course I had about 60 hours a week of study time (lectures, practicals, practical write-ups, tutorials and revision). I did work part time, but there’s no way I could have earned 16k pa.

  6. @AC,

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hardnut Tory claiming benefits claimants are living on easy street and all a bunch of skivers etc, etc. I am just sticking to my guns and insisting that my initial insistence that starvation is not an issue in the UK, based on my personal experience of working in communities where poverty is common, was not just some detached “Marie-Antoinettery”.

    We can’t come up with viable solutions if we don’t look at the problems honestly.

  7. Neil A

    I don’t think such attitudes are limited to “hardnut Tories”!

    Professionally (though probably not socially) we will both have come across those whose lives (for whatever reason) might be described as “disorganised” (at best).

    My concern centres around the assumptions, by some, that everyone is capable of organising their lives with a view to forward planning.

    In the deprived communities that we have both worked in, there is a significantly higher proportion of those with intellectual disability (once called mental retardation).

    While the answer may not be to “throw money at them”, it certainly isn’t to “punish” them for a failure to successfully engage with procedures designed for those with greater skills.

  8. The tables for the ORB poll for the Independent aren’t up yet, but judging from last month’s they only give people the Remain and Leave options and you can’t register that you don’t know or wouldn’t (or couldn’t) vote. It seems a little unrealistic.

  9. @Oldnat,

    You’re right of course. Often the reason someone is out of work, or otherwise in financial difficulty, is because of aspects of their life which also impact on their ability to manage their life effectively.

    This is probably an argument for better social services rather than for higher benefit payments though (and of course the cuts to local authority social care departments are even harsher than to the DWP and Tax Credits).

    I don’t think anyone’s punishing them. Where I part company with the government is in trying to influence behaviour without offering people an alternate path that encourages better decisions. I am fine with the “bedroom tax” if people decline the offer of a move to a smaller premises, and I am fine with changes to benefits (I think Universal Credit is a great plan) but I think increasing the Tax Credit withdrawal rate is going in exactly the wrong direction.

    Interestingly the BBC is carrying an article about increasing rates of malnutrition in the UK. It isn’t terribly forensic though. There are hints within it that suggest most of the problem is with the elderly, the one group who’s incomes have actually risen – and a group for whom the problem of malnutrition often has other causes than poverty. They mention increased referrals of children too, and have quotes from people linking this to poverty, but there’s no examination of the nature of the families concerned.

  10. @PETE B

    “Those with political differences can always find common ground somewhere!”

    ———

    Well, I suppose a difference might be that I’m not that political. But yeah, I’m all for common ground. I even go to Lidl a bit more thanks to Colin. I take note of all sorts of stuff I never bothered with so much before thanks to this place. Like today in the Times, the latest on our looming power shortages, thanks to Alec, and latest developments in cuts and policing ‘cos of Neil (today there’s a bit of hoohah in the Times about the idea of the financial sector contributing more dosh towards policing their sector). I read Scotty news, have got my eye on an allotment in the nearby park, and I’m toying with watching Game of Thrones. Prolly gonna give Ken’s Limoncello recipe a go too.

    Obviously one reads polling too (though ever since AW suggesting that it’s basically broken because they can’t afford to do properly randomised trials it feels a bit like doing it out of sympathy).

    Unfortunately, this interest is not always reciprocated, e.g. regarding Storage and Thorium, but one lives in hope…

  11. Neil A

    Maybe “punish” was the wrong word. Perhaps they are simply much easier targets for hard pressed DWP staff, who have been given targets for sanctioning.

    As to the “bedroom tax” – are there lots of one bedroom properties available in your area that folk could move to? It’s not the case here, or in many other areas.

    If the solution isn’t available, then the strategy seems unreasonable.

    While I don’t have any fundamental objection to Universal Credit (though the fiscal settlement may cause problems with its implementation here), the move to monthly payments may intensify problems for many.

    Like the insistence that housing benefit be paid to the applicant, and not the landlord, it seems to be a strategy designed to increase “personal responsibility”, but in practice will cause even more severe problems for those for whom planning their lives is hard already.

  12. “Often the reason someone is out of work, or otherwise in financial difficulty, is because of aspects of their life which also impact on their ability to manage their life effectively.”

    ————-

    But having not much money impacts on one’s ability to manage one’s life effectively. Harder to plan, harder to cope with crises, harder to invest in support networks, harder to invest in things which save money, or in getting bargains when available etc.

    But as Rowntree noted, it is often compound problems that take people down, several things happening at once. Many are lucky, and only have one problem at a time…

  13. @oldnat

    “As to the “bedroom tax” – are there lots of one bedroom properties available in your area that folk could move to?”

    ———-

    I think everyone should move to Neil’s manor if there are, because not only that but the landlords pay all the bills!!

    This is very different to some landlords elsewhere, who install meters and all sorts. But Neil’s patch is commendably meter-free…

  14. @PETEB

    Ah yes, and as a lecturer in one of those post-92s that take the role of expanding HE, those students on zero-hour part-time jobs are one of the banes of my life. As if it’s not difficult enough that the local schools make a mess of their education, the endlessly flexible hours they have to work make it difficult to get any group of students together for teaching. Is it any surprise that content ends up curtailed?

    Quite frankly, it’ll be better if they worked a year or two to save up a bit then did their degrees. As it is, a fair few can’t commit enough to their studies to make a decent go of it.

    And if yours earn enough to pay their way without student loans, you are not talking the standard minimum wage that most of my students get.

  15. Carfrew

    Your missing the point on leadership. I’m not arguing whether or not we need it, but it’s what the public expect in a Prime Minister. The two most important factors in the last election were that the Tories were viewed as having a better leader and better at running an economy

  16. An extraordinary Poll by YouGov in this morning’s Times.

    Well now we know who will win the War of The Mandates-it won’t be the Labour MPs.

  17. @Carfrew,

    I wasn’t imagining the “bills included” room by the way. They are advertised as such.

  18. Turkey has just shot down a Russian jet.

    And there was me thinking everyone was working together against Isil.

  19. Have to give YouGov credit for refusing to be involved in the Sun ‘are you a Muslim’ poll. Survation don’t seem to have covered themselves in glory with their sampling methods.

  20. …………and when you consider the question asked -is JC “doing well”?-its even worse for Labour MPs opposed to him.

    If Members think that a response like yesterday’s on the Defence Review is “Doing Well”-or even worse; that “Doing Well” is ignoring opinion in the HoC & the country at large, and just saying the things you want him to say , then collapsing VI & continued press criticism won’t help the MPs at all. For Members such a state of affairs may actually be ” Doing Well”.

  21. @ToH

    “Your missing the point on leadership. I’m not arguing whether or not we need it, but it’s what the public expect in a Prime Minister. The two most important factors in the last election were that the Tories were viewed as having a better leader and better at running an economy”

    —————

    Well, that’s your contention. I might argue that indeed you are the one missing the point, that overall the public aren’t that fussed about leadership as evidenced by the fact that it doesn’t even crop up in the top ten most salient issues in polling and that when it comes to what cost Labour votes it was things like the rise of the SNP and UKip due to nationalism issues etc. rather than stuff like leadership. On account of the fact that Lab did appear to lose votes to SNP and UKip etc.

  22. @NEIL A

    “I wasn’t imagining the “bills included” room by the way. They are advertised as such.”

    ———-

    Bit of a straw man there Neil, as I didn’t contest the matter. I have no doubt you are one hundred percent correct in your assertion, that it is indeed possible to find a room with bills included. I mean, some peeps live bills-free with their parents.

    It’s the extent to which one can reliably find landlords for all willing to cover all the bills that is at issue.

    Similarly it may be true that you can devise a suitably nutritious diet on JSA. It’s just that there’s nothing much left for bills or STs or coffee if your friends come round and you have to try and find bargains for just pennies in thrift shops and even then no budget for underwear, or household cleaning products and you’ll be reading your library books in the dark cos no bulbs etc…

  23. @Colin

    I am not sure the times poll is as good for Corbyn as it is being spun. Only 66% of Labour members think Corbyn is doing well? Sturgeon gets about 97% of SNP VOTERS probably 100% of members and Cameron gets around 90% of Conservative voters in approval ratings.

    So a third of the part are not a happy with their leader?

  24. Alec

    Re Russian jet.

    A real “bang your head on the table” moment.

  25. The Labour Party opinion vs public opinion polls seem to be spun with the implicit assumption that public opinion is immutable.

    As for the Labour voter vs all voter, we can conclude that the country is split down the middle. This should not be news to anyone.

  26. Turkey seem to be using the Syria situation to bomb and attack the Kurds, who are on our side fighting ISIS and now they down a Russia plane – whose side is Turkey really on.

  27. A former Foreign Office official has said that Russia will do very little in response.

    So that’s Russian tanks bombing over the border tomorrow then…

  28. There’s no doubt that the Labour Party’s membership and affiliates has shifted a long way leftwards, which seems attributable partly to the huge influx of far leftists who joined or rejoined in order to vote for Corbyn after the GE. At the same time, some centrists are jumping ship, which in turn increases the proportion of far leftists.

    It’s hard to see how the Labour Party can survive this as a viable party of government, given the huge differences between leftist Labour views and public-at-large views on so many key issues (defence being the most obvious at present). The PLP can’t oust Corbyn while he remains so popular with the membership but it also knows that with Corbyn at the helm, the chances of winning a GE are almost non-existent.

    I’ve seen a lot of comments from Corbynites to the effect that they think they can win over huge swathes of the electorate over the next 4 and 1/2 years but this seems pie in the sky to me. Labour won’t win Scotland back because it cannot compete with the SNP on the crucial nationalist front. Corbyn will be 71 years old and will have clocked up heaven knows how many missteps by then. Is he able to become a smoother political operator, willing to make the compromises necessary to win over vast numbers of voters? It seems unlikely. He has bad instincts and he’s a zealot who cherishes his personal political purity over even the lives and security of those he’s hoping to one day lead as PM. So where does Labour go from here? Does it stumble on, staring wipeout in the eye? Does it split? What? Is there any viable future for this venerable party in the short term, or even the long-term?

  29. I think there are two mistakes in the general view of ‘food bankers’.
    The first is that intelligent, well-organised people like the ones who contribute here imagine that everybody has the same level of ability. They do not. Many of those in need have very limited life skills. The bureaucracy, whether it be the DWP or council, writes in language filled with jargon that even I with a degree and a professional qualification find incomprehensible. To people whose literacy makes the Sun challenging it might as well be in Greek.

    Rules (probably for good reasons) are complicated, and this points the way to the second mistake – many people’s extreme poverty is a result of clawback of previously overpaid benefits, which in my experience is often overturned upon appeal. I’ve just been through a situation where a single mother was assessed to have been overpaid more than £8000. Her housing benefit was stopped which led to her having a court date set for eviction for rent arrears of around £2K. All this was pretty obviously nonsense and all the benefits have been restored but in the meantime she has been forced to make repayments of the ‘overpaid’ amounts which left her in a difficult fix in terms of making ends meet as well as the obvious stress. I don’t know if she visited food banks but it would be understandable if she did.

  30. On the ability thing, which is important.

    ‘cos some peeps are wont to think that some don’t manage their finances well enough.

    To some, this may be a choice, they’re just being negligent. But managing finances well means being able to do things like calculate proportions and percentages on the fly which many struggle with.

    Or… Maybe once they could do it with aplomb but are now old and frail and have to ask someone like me in the supermarket if a 3-for-2 offer is worth having or not.

    We live in a confusopoly, with capital and sometimes the state intentionally making calculation and choices difficult.

    This may not matter if one has the ability and the time, is maybe retired. But otherwise, you may trade some money for time.

    In reality, many who have the ability to calculate all the best options don’t because too burdensome. So they trade money for time. But if you don’t have the money to trade, and need the time to look for work?

    Or are on a low wage and again can’t trade money for time? You can’t be as efficient.

    Of course, the more “Darwinian” argument that lies behind some thinking, is that if they don’t have the ability to work out the best option, that’s just tough, survival of the fittest and all that.

    This is an unenlightened view, in that we tend to live in a social setting where we rely on each other. Thus, the person rubbish at maths might be brilliant visually, and vice versa. It’s not much cop if we select out of the gene pool a load of peeps with great visual skills just because the supermarkets were allowed to keep ramping up the maths requirements for your weekly shop.

  31. Yes, Carfew, and the other thing to take into account is that the ability to try new things is a luxury.

    I frequently snag something new (oxtail, pork belly with bone in) as part of my weekly shop (generally when marked down/on offer). We’ve found some nice new meals that way and when it’s awful or I cook it badly (liver was a disaster) well, there’s always a pizza in the freezer or the chippy.

    But.. if that something new was a large part of my weekly budget suddenly the opportunity cost of getting that rather than something I’ve made a thousand times is much higher, even if the Ol’ Faithful dish is expensive this week. Add to that anyone picky eating in the household (children do not become magically less picky due to dire financial straits) and it gets hard.

    Then you add the cost of heating food – ovens cost to run, fridge and freezer cost to run, microwave is much cheaper, kettle is cheaper still and you know it’s not healthy to live on tins and pot noodles buuuut you can’t afford much else. I have two freezers and fridges for three people because it means we can buy when things are cheap and eat out the freezer when we need to. Those shared accommodations someone referred to earlier – what do you think they get for storage? Maybe one shelf of the freezer and one of the fridge?

    At which point you’re not just talking “it’s hard to stock up” but it’s hard to even get a week’s shopping in there without going out of your space. Three for two becomes impossible if you can’t safely keep it stored. And all this means going back and forth from the shops more so if you don’t have a local big supermarket you’re either paying for the privilege of using your local shop (frequently more expensive and without half the offers, does not always stock ultra cheap lines) or to travel back and forth. None of these choices are free.

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