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. Is Labour too high?

  2. My query above is mischievous, but I do just wonder if Labour are having a ‘Libdem’ experience.

  3. It certainly isn’t good for Labour.

    The party gaining (slightly) is UKIP. Is this a refelcetion on recent events in Paris?

    The UKIP performance in the Oldham West by-election is going to be interesting one way or the other.

  4. The split between ComRes and the other recent polls is interesting and begs the question are any of them in anyway correct yet? IMO for what it is worth if there was an election tomorrow I would expect the Tories to win with a lead of about 10% of the vote, giving them a very comfortable majority. Of course there will not be an election tomorrow and who knows what will happen in May 2020, far too soon to speculate.

    Recent Council by-election results have shown the Tories taking seats from Labour, UKIP and the LibDems, not that it means much as AW often tells us.

  5. The Telegraph has a report saying Labour canvassers think they’ve lost half their support in Oldham West & Royton, (although I’m not clear which date this is being compared to).

  6. @TOH

    Recent Council by-election results have shown the Tories taking seats from Labour, UKIP and the LibDems, not that it means much as AW often tells us.

    I’ve checked here:

    From October onwards, the Conservatives have gained three seats – one from Labour and two from the Lib Dems.

    Labour have gained three – two from the Conservatives and one from Independent.

    The Conservatives have held eight, Labour seven.

    It’s looks not much is changing at local level.

  7. @Andy JS

    That Telegraph report confused me too… seemed to suggest they’d canvassed before the GE and got 32%, and lost half of that… all of which seems odd. Of course, if LAB support in canvassing really was being halved that suggests an absolute collapse, as canvassing can usually be relied on to over-estimate support…

    A few journalists have reported sources saying it might not be looking great on the ground for LAB which does suggest it probably isn’t looking great on the ground for LAB. It would be quite something for them to lose this…

  8. SNP on 5%.. Not sure why Anthony misses out mentioning them. Perhaps because they are pesky separatists.

  9. The Con-Lab gap is clearly too wide here, but I don’t think the UKIP figure is that far off – certainly 15% is closer to the truth than the 7% they got in the last poll. AW, how have ComRes’s UKIP figures compared with other pollsters’?

  10. Since the election I have joined the Labour Party, paid a full subscription and entered into a kind of political coma. In this somnolent state I am aware of two contrary feelings. First, Jeremy Corbyn wants to do a lot of things of which I thoroughly approve and which the previous leadership should have supported with clarity and conviction. Second, I have no sense that he has the capacity to put them into effect or indeed do anything very much at all. I am wondering whether these meanderings of mine have been prompted by Mr Corbyn’s enemies of which he clearly has many or somehow stem from the inherent wooliness of a good man in the wrong job, I certainly wish he would get on with disproving the second possibility, If not, I have a vague premonition of electoral disaster.

  11. I think the Autumn Statement will be significant. We don’t know where Osborne will go with it and he is slightly on the back foot. But no positives for Corbyn suggests he’s going to struggle with anything. The Tories survived worse years with Cameron.

    I don’t think a Blairite is the answer though. Liz Kendall is doing well; but theres certainly a group who still haven’t realised they need to at least offer something to the left to win an election.

  12. AndyJS says that according to the “Daily Telegraph” Labour have lost half their support in Oldham West. I have not read this report, but supposing that it is so Labour would still win if their former voters abstained. If, which appears to me more likely, a third or more of these voters go to the Tories or (as I would think nore likely) UKIP, then Labour will lose the seat.

  13. Frederic: here’s the report. It’s a bit difficult to understand exactly what amount of support Labour have lost compared to what, precisely.

  14. @Charles

    ‘I am wondering whether these meanderings of mine have been prompted by Mr Corbyn’s enemies of which he clearly has many or somehow stem from the inherent wooliness of a good man in the wrong job, I certainly wish he would get on with disproving the second possibility, If not, I have a vague premonition of electoral disaster.’

    The onslaught on Mr Corbyn certainly shows no sign of slowing for the moment. Every newspaper, but the Mirror and Morning Star, has a supporter (or two or three) of Liz Kendall writing a negative piece every day, and the BBC seem to follow the papers in their news bulletins*. Given that, it is hardly surprising that the Labour message is confused… (What is also surprising is the disproportionate air and print space given to the 4.5% of the membership who supported Liz Kendall.)

    However, the man has not been in place for a 100 days yet and the next GE is 4.5y away. Prediction of an electoral disaster for the LP seems premature. The next few years hold some tricky times for the Conservatives, and we do not know how they or a Corbyn LP will respond to those events. The 4.5%ers have a clear agenda in wanting Jeremy Corbyn supporters to lose heart (although I don’t think that they can have thought through how they will actually effect a change of leadership without causing a mass exodus of the membership).

    * Nick Robinson even took it upon himself to write to his contacts at the BBC expressing concern at what he saw as undue bias against Jeremy Corbyn… and he is no lefty, having been chair of the Young Conservatives at Oxford.

  15. @SYZYGY

    He seems to be simply too far on the left to be electable for the british public. Right-wing parties including the center-right won an overall majority of the vote half a year ago.
    If the Conservatives are just doing an average job the next 54 months Boris Johnson will win in a landslide.


    Did some of your relatives die on the Titanic?

  16. I doubt the Oldham by-election will tell us very much at all. I suspect UKIP will do well and take votes from the conservatives. I also suspect some of the Labour support will go to UKIP, but not as much as they gain from the conservatives. The end result will be a very close election.

    Does this mean that the Conservatives Labour will crash at the next election, or UKIP will soar, I doubt it.

    We have been here many times over the years. First ther Liberals and then UKIP have done very well in by-elections but come the General Election most of that will wither away. At the last General Election UKIP only got 12.6% of the vote, despite getting double this at by-elections in the 5 years previously.


    Thanks for your response. I was reflecting on the results from last Thursday when the Tories took three seats. I was also careful to say it is probably of no significance.


    I think your correct it is likely to be close with tactical voting from Tories going to UKIP.

  18. I’d tend to agree with NeilJ about Oldham and I’m quite certain it will mean very little. Except that if Lab lose it will put further wind in the sails of the hopeless (I’m using the expression in electoral terms rather than a comment on their skills/policies) Kendallistas and their chums in the meeja.
    Fascinating presentation yesterday from Ben Page of Ipsos Mori, focused on Local Gov in London but I suspect having wider applicabilty. Local government funding sharply cut but nobody much seems to have noticed (note: poor people who are heavily dependent on social services most certainly have noticed, but they’re not statistically significant). Over the next period this will continue. It’s a moot point whether people will start to notice but Ben pointed to that old saw about the frog in a pan of water: at the moment it’s warm and toasty with his council tax frozen. In another few minutes he suddenly realises he’s cooked.
    The other question is how the GO brand plays out. He still manages to put out that he’s a financial genius despite continually missing every one of his targets. Will the frog wake up to this too?

  19. @TOH

    No problem.

    By elections are subject to so many wierd local factors, I agree they are meaningless on the whole.

  20. @Charles

    You may be right. But then very few politicians ever manage to put anything into effect or do very much at all. Some of them manage to act well enough to give you the impression that they do. You see the same thing every day in your workplace, I expect. That’s all it is though, an act.
    Might as well give a regular, well intentioned bloke a try for a change.

  21. @SYZYGY Thanks for thoughtful reply
    @McClane Not as far as I know. Do you think that we have a family predilection for joining a sinking ship?

  22. @Guymonde

    Social services managers know how to make money. Sharon Shoosmith anyone?

  23. What seems clear is the conservative vote is somewhere between 38%-42% currently labour between 29% and 32% the rest seem to be all over the shop anywhere between 8-15%

    How does Corbin ratings compare to Hague or ids?

  24. Good morning all from a sunny cold crisp East Ren. The ground isn’t quite frozen here yet but what does appear to be frozen across Scotland is the Labour VI. Not for the first time they are behind the Tories and frozen in the mid teens.

    UK poll
    “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”

    I think this is a more accurate form of methodology. As we know Chelsea tractor suburban driving Mr & Mrs are far more likely to vote than White van man and his public transport user partner.

    The more affluent the constituency the higher the voter turnout is and although voter turn out doesn’t matter in rock solid Labour or Tory seats it can make all the difference in marginals where the more affluent areas are more likely to come out to vote than the working class areas.

  25. On Syria Stewart Hosie SNP deputy leader has said ‘No support for bombing without a chapter 7 UN resolution’. That is entirely consistent with the recent SNP conference resolution, so will keep the activists happy.

    The SNP position is basically ‘Without a UN resolution Syria becomes another Iraq and military intervention will make matters worse’ which is a fairly strong argument.

    So, SNP have positioned themselves well IMO. The SNP are no more pro-military intervention than Corbyn but they are navigating the tricky political waters well. For example Hosie earlier this week was clear regarding ‘shoot to kill’ of course it should be used.

  26. @Allan Christie

    It is the method used in the USA it’s called a turnout model. The reason some pollsters got it wrong last presidential election was their turnout model under-estimated African-American turnout – believing it would be less than the first Obama vote.

    But, I think a turnout model is the way to go, it has been proven pretty effective in the USA and it is fairly easy to discover your mistakes.

  27. I read comments here from people saying a Labour loss in the Oldham by-election would be ‘meaningless’.

    A rock solid Labour safe seat falling while said party is in opposition and not government, making tough and unpopular decisions? It would be a catastrophe for the Labour party to lose this seat.

    I can’t believe Labour supporters are already trying to spin a devastating defeat before it’s even happened!

  28. Bernard,

    Labour has only been out of power for 5 and a half years. You can’t expect the positives of being in opposition to manifest in so short a period.

  29. Quite a wide range in poll findings at present largely due to the adjustments mentioned by Anthony. Tories -36 – 42% with Labour 27% – 34%. Worth noting that Comres have been consistently out of line with other pollsters since late May.

  30. It’s fascinating how @SYZYGY and @Guymonde attribute the opposition to Corbyn as being from “Kendalists”, complete with mention about how she only got 4.5% of the vote.

    Why do you believe that the opposition is coming from Kendal rather than from Cooper or Burnham supporters (or the people in their wings of the Labour party)? Or are they being written out of the story because it sounds better to mention Kendal’s 4.5% and pretend the 36% who voted for Cooper and Burnham don’t exist?

    If Corbyn is toppled, it won’t be the “Kendalists” that succeed, but someone from the Cooper/Burnham wings. Which means they stand to gain the most from Corbyn’s self-inflicted mishaps…

  31. @Charles

    You got it. I have to admit that this joke was probably too obvious.

  32. By 2020, following the referendum, I would guess that UKIP will be a largely working class, anti -immigration party, The Conservatives will be their usual selves – a broad church, and the Labour party, if they keep their present leadership, will be sharing out what is left of the left with the greens and Lib Dems in England. That would put Labour a long way below 27%.

    Most Labour MPS will know this and realize that it can’t go on much longer but will have to get their act together quickly to avoid disaster. I’m not at all sure that they can or will.

  33. Ukip’s odds continue to shorten for the Oldham by-election, whilst Labour’s drift.

    It could be close, as the Tories will be squeezed.

    In the long run, it is perhaps of no great significance, except that it was important for Corbyn’s credibility that he hit the ground running, and capitalised on the euphoria of his supporters. He hasn’t. He does seem ‘woolly’ and his failure to recognise that Islamic State need to be confronted militarily has shown fatal weakness and lack of judgment.

    Months ago, in anticipation of a Corbyn leadership victory, I said that a Labour meltdown, whilst unlikely, was nevertheless a possibility. Now that Corbyn has begun poorly, I really think Labour could implode.

    But the LibDems are anonymous, the Kendallites are eclipsed, and the Greens have embraced Corbyn. Goodness only knows how opposition to the Tories will become organised. It is not a healthy situation

  34. The problem with weighting down young people doesn’t take into account the main positive political effect that Jeremy Corbyn has had and that is to galvanise the young to political activity. If anything the turn-out model should show an increase in the young vote as compared to previous elections not play it down.

  35. @Norbold

    I expect they are waiting for the real life example of Oldham to see if “young people” really bother to increase turnout or not.

    From elsewhere on social media, the reports from Oldham are that the new members arn’t even bothering to campaign, it’s been left to the old moderates. If they won’t campaign, they won’t vote either, especially as in real elections you can’t do it electronically from your sofa.

  36. Via Britain Elects

    Westminster voting intention:
    CON: 37% (-)
    LAB: 30% (-1)
    UKIP: 15% (-)
    LDEM: 7% (+1)
    GRN: 4% (-)
    (via BMG / 11 – 17 Nov)

  37. Big day tomorrow for defence and security – the 2015 SDSR. Happens once every 5 years. It’s a fairly important political event in its own right I guess.

    Usually it might have an effect on VI by painting the government as “strong” or “weak” on defence, but this time round I think any effect will be limited as we already have the Syria airstrikes thing and ISIS going on in the background.

  38. Candy
    As it happened I voted for Burnham but being a democrat, an activist, and loyal by inclination I am working hard for our (very) democratically elected leader(and I didn’t mention 4.5%) as are my MP and everyone I’ve talked to in our local party. One of two things will happen: 1.Corbyn will grow in stature and thoughts of a challenge will recede or 2. Corbyn will lose stature and support within the party will drift away from him. It will not drift to the far right of the Labour Party as characterised by Liz Kendall but almost certainly to an emerging new face or a heaviy remodelled older one in the centre or centre left of the party.
    Haven’t been to Oldham but locally here we have not seen a lot of action from new members and most of what we have seen has been from middle-aged to older people, though I’ve yet to meet a new member who is on the right of the party.

  39. The polls seem to have been steady, despite the major events of the past week or so, but what’s important is WHERE they have been steady. I think that Labour can be in a position to take power in 2020 (though not by themselves) but they’re probably going to have to make use of every last month of the next 4.5 years. At this time in 2010, they had already won over the Red Dems, which ultimately meant that 2015 was a major disappointment rather than a total disaster.

  40. @Guymonde

    I think you are right – there is no way a Blairite is going to replace Corbyn, and I can’t see Burnham or Cooper making a comeback. It could be an ‘old guard’ safe pair of hands like Hilary Benn, and I note he is shortening with the bookies, but a new face from the centre/centre-left seems most likely.

  41. Someone front the centre of the party would be pretty much ideal.

    Left enough to be substantially different to the Tories but not so left wing as to scare the horses.

  42. @ Candy

    ‘It’s fascinating how @SYZYGY and @Guymonde attribute the opposition to Corbyn as being from “Kendalists”, complete with mention about how she only got 4.5% of the vote.’

    I specifically mentioned the 4.5%ers because the hostile voices in the press and on the BBC are overwhelmingly from those MPs who were backing Liz Kendall’s candidature. The Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham supporting MPs have, in the main, not been overtly attempting to undermine the democratically elected leadership.

    There are effectively 4 groups of Labour MPs: About 20 who would always have positioned themselves alongside Jeremy Corbyn; those who you call Kendallites who are very vocal about the need to depose JC; those like Liam Byrne who are quietly but actively devising an alternative policy package and who would still like to see Yvette Cooper as leader of the LP; and then those who generally supported Andy Burnham who are trying to give JC a chance because they accept his overwhelming democratic mandate.

    My mention of the 4.5% MPs was quite deliberate and intended to emphasise that the attention that their pronouncements receive is completely disproportionate to the support that they enjoy in the LP.

  43. Hawthorn:

    “Left enough to be substantially different to the Tories but not so left wing as to scare the horses.”

    I do actually believe those things to be mutually exclusive in the ludicrously polarised media environment we now live in.

    Miliband was an attempt to satisfy those two criteria at the same time, and it didn’t end well.

  44. @Lurkinggherkin
    Good point. But Ed, who I always backed for those very reasons had a kind of a wooden leg because of his personal style, particularly in the butty-eating stakes. An Ed with the smoothness of Cameron would be a different kettle of coconuts, I wager.

  45. As Ed said to Jeremy Paxman, “Who cares? [about Ed Miliband’s alleged weirdness]”

    I more agree with LurkingGherkin, that Labour are falling apart by being too many things to too many people. There is a vast yawning chasm between the white working class and the Guardian-reading Corbynistas, and again a huge gap between them and Middle-England Blairites (though the latter largely vote Tory anyway). Trying to appeal to all these groups simultaneously (not to mention the Scots, who are an entirely separate case now) has caused their messages to become so mixed that people don’t know what the party stands for. If you don’t have a message, people won’t vote for you.

  46. @polltroll

    I think “being too many things to too many people” is necessary in order to be a mainstream British political party. If Labour only appeal to Corbynistas or only appeal to white working class, then it’s game over as a prospective party of government

    Just look at the Tories, you’ve got your Ken Clarkes all the way through to your John Redwoods. There are yawning chasms between views on Europe, social liberalism, and a whole load of stuff.

    Yet people still vote for the Tories and they also have a message

  47. I cannot see how labour changing the leader will work lets face it whatever people may think he won a massive majority of the labour membership if they do go with a centre left leader the party will truly tear itself apart better to stick it out and rebuild if necessary in 2020 when the point has been proven

  48. This poll is much more in line with what I would expect to see given all that is happening at the moment, both internally within the Labour party and regarding the terrorist threat.

  49. Corbyn’s trouble is that he says things which are true, but now can’t be altered, alongside saying other things in a way which allows them to be interpreted as weakness or out of line with general opinion.
    eg It is probably true that had we taken no part in military intervention in Iraq, we might not be subject to quite the same hostility from ISIS. However the ISIS general approach is dreadful, and he never seems to quite get across clear opposition and the need to oppose their tactics as strongly as possible now we are in the position we are in, nor to realise that the possibility of negotiation with ISIS is probably zero, nor to accept that active condemnation of ISIS from the wider Moslem community is not as clear as many would like, because ISIS places an extreme interpretation on what is in fact there in the Koran. Add to that there is much truth in his objections to some consequences of Tory economic measures, but it is not clear what he would do instead. His ‘preferred options’ for foreign policy and economic measures all look like pie in the sky, with no clear workable immediate first steps to getting there.

  50. @panther

    The risk is that no point will be proved at all if Corbyn in hamstrung by non-stop attacks from the right of the party, whether he’s allowed to fight the 2020 general election or not.

    My suspicion is that it will take another Black Wednesday for Labour to win in 2020, pretty much regardless of who’s leader.

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