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. Polls looking increasingly poor for Labour, just when the deepest cuts of all should be handing them plenty of attack opportunities.

    I think @Colin has scored the bullseye. Labour have accepted Corbyn has a mandate, but he now must lead. As @Chris Riley reminds us, Corbyn is probably the last person on earth you would look to for a leader, and in due course, many of his backers will come to realise this.

    There are so many avenues for his policies to be brought out*, but he seems incapable of the basic organisation and strategy that his party desperately needs.

    [* For example, we are currently searching for a Russian submarine off the coast of Scotland, asking the French and Canadians for help, because we don’t have the capabilities to defend our own territorial waters. This is because we spend half the defence budget on a nuclear deterent, which becomes useless if the delivery mechanism for it is tracked and destroyed by the enemy, and can’t afford the basic defence stuff.

    Right or wrong, a case could be made that Trident is exposing us to military threat].

  2. This is getting into Marie Antoinette territory.

  3. @alec
    “This is because we spend half the defence budget on a nuclear deterent”

    We spend around 6% of our defence budget on the nuclear deterrent. In other words 94% of the defence budget is not spent on Trident.

    Lack of maritime patrol aircraft was a huge mistake but blaming this on Trident is nonsense. Even if we made the decision to scrap the Vanguard submarines back in 2010 we would still have had to pay for the decommissioning and so on.

    Out of everything in the entire British armed forces, Trident is the most expensive thing to scrap in the short term (measured in several years), and it’s the short term which mattered for replacing the MPA.

  4. I wasn’t aware that Marie Antoinette had nuclear warheads.

  5. “This is getting into Marie Antoinette territory.”


    In debates gone by, those saying no one need go without, were asked to show how it was possible to come up with a budget on JSA etc. to cover the cost of food and bills, including astronomical energy costs (even more if metered) and factoring in the necessary but incidental costs like light bulbs, razors, wear and tear on appliances, bit of social so you don’t go crazy etc. etc.

    All on £75 a week or whatever it was. No one dId of course. So we get the sound bytes sans evidence.

    One might ask again, but there’s no need. No one’s liable to be coming up with a realistic budget any time soon, and AW and indeed all of us can relax on the matter. Nice to have something settled, eh?

  6. Not sure about the whole politicians leading us thing. Which peeps on the board really feel they need leading? I mean, have you seen what happens when they try to lead? From Iraq to Omnishambles, it can be distinctly underwhelming. We are not blessed with a surfeit of Churchills, and this isn’t the Blitz. What’s wrong with, you know, representing us?


    If memory serves me correctly the contest for which Corbyn claims a large mandate in winning was called The Labour Leadership Election-not the Labour Representation Election.

  8. @Omni – I can agree that my figures were not ‘factchecked’, but I suspect the actual cost of Trident is a tad more than the 5-6% of defence spending that the MoD often try to claim.

    Aside from running Trident, we’ve already spent at least £2B on planning work for the replacement since 2007, which would amount to around 20 of the P8 replacements for Nimrod, so in many ways the point still stands.

    As I mentioned before in relation to Corbyn’s appointment of ken Livingston to lead the Labour review on Trident, there are many very senior defence people who believe that replacing Trident does not represent good value for money, and this really was the point I was trying to get across – but I accept I plucked a distorted figure out of thin air.

  9. Syria is really bringing the War of Mandates centre stage :-


    “…Jacob Rees-Mogg…seemed so upset about Parliament’s scrapping of vellum…”

    Victoria Coren isn’t the only one who quietly adores Jacob Rees Mogg (although whether that would extend as far as letting him anywhere the levers of power is entirely a different thing). As silly as it might sound, he is entirely right about the parchment thing: good-quality acid-free paper will only last you about 200 years, nearly all film stock from the 1910’s is unwatchable, storage media from the 80’s/90’s (laserdisk, floppy disks) are hard/impossible to read, but vellum will last you the millennium. If you’re interested in the survival of the state across centuries, it’s a non-trivial issue.

  11. @alec

    The 5-6% of the defence budget claim is verified by the fact checker website and they link to the MoD’s declared accounts

    So I don’t think that claim is dodgy.

    BTW today the MoD’s cost estimate for Successor has gone up from £25bn to £31bn, plus a £10bn contingency. So there’s an obvious increase but still far less than the figures you see most people quoting. Sure you’re right that the £2bn on the replacement could have been spent on the P-8s if we decided not to replace the deterrent, but that’s different to the original claim about scrapping what we have.

    The thing is, the numbers are huge but they’re spread over many years. The annual defence budget is something like £45bn. So if you have an expensive project like Successor and the total cost increases by say, £15bn, it doesn’t have much effect on the annual budget because the cost is spread over decades.

  12. @Carfrew,

    Challenge accepted.

    A single person under 25 in my area who was looking for work would be entitled to £57.90 per week JSA. They would also be entitled to a single room HB rate of £72.21 per week.

    Rooms in furnished shared houses in my area start at £65-£70 pw including all bills (WiFi broadband amongst them).

    So there would be no need to subsidise housing out of JSA, leaving it entirely for other spending.

    Loaf of bread 33p
    6pints milk £1.30
    250g butter £1
    6 free range eggs 85p
    500g cheese £2.74
    500g yoghurt £1
    6 slices bacon £1.56
    8 turkey burgers (just under 1kg meat) £4
    750g beef mince £2.92
    8 onions £2
    1kg broccoli £1.46
    1kg carrots 57p
    1kg swede 97p
    2.5 kg potatoes £1.69
    2.4 kg apples £3
    10 bananas £1.50
    Replenishment of toiletries £5
    10 stubbies of French lager £3
    Top up of spreads/herbs/spices £2
    Mobile phone top up £5
    Bus fare £5
    Couple of pints at the pub with crisps £10
    Prescriptions Free
    Stationary for job applications Free
    Membership of Library Free


    Not great, and I can perfectly well see why if you were offered some free food you’d take it. But not starvation.

    I prefer living on £525 a week (4 times the above) but I work very hard for that.

  13. @Neil A

    Ah, they have to just live in a room, happily with all bills covered. Are there sufficient of these to go around? I could of course add a few regular items to your list… Like tea and coffee, or cereal for example. Not sure £5 for toiletries cuts it, what with the price of STs and bog roll etc., and then there’s domestic cleaning products, bulbs, appliances… Oh and, erm, clothing, laundry costs, bedding etc., but credit due for giving it a go.

    No excuse for leaving off storage costs though…

  14. @Colin

    Yes, I am aware that they called it a leadership election, I am calling into question its desirability from our point of view, as opposed to the party machine. Flint may wanna be led, not so sure about the rest of us.

  15. Neil A
    Nice one. I knew it could be done, but didn’t have the energy for the legwork. I’m sure people will quibble over exact prices etc, but you’ve proved that in principle it can be done. In fact it looks a far better diet than I had at 25, though my beer bill was much higher and I smoked! I was working of course.

  16. @Pete B

    Of course it can be done if you don’t bother wearing clothes etc.

  17. Carfrew
    Never heard of charity shops? You can pick up decent clothes for a few pence.

  18. @Pete

    Also, worse, much worse, is he has no coffee budget. He didn’t even include essentials like a New Scientist subscription!!


  19. @Pete B

    It’s a bit hit and miss tho, innit. And do you wanna buy socks and underwear etc. second hand?

  20. It”s also time intensive when you need to be looking for work…

  21. I’m not wealthy, but reasonably comfortable. When my dad died a few years ago I inherited some of his clothes. I drew the line at underpants (you can get 3 new for £1), but am wearing his socks now.

  22. @Pete B

    relieved that we agree on the underpants.

  23. lol

  24. Those with political differences can always find common ground somewhere!

  25. I would leave out the cheese and buy some cheap pasta, porridge oats and flour (for crepes which I am addicted to). I would also lose the broccoli and buy some tinned tomatoes. Some things would then last more than a week so a bit would then be left for clothes and laundry. Everyone has their own likes and dislikes but this is a pretty good diet, certainly not starvation rations.

  26. Forgot the tea but that costs about 30p per week.

  27. It may be that not everyone understands how a food bank works. Usually, only around 5 vouchers per year per family is permitted.

    More detail here.

  28. ON
    That explains why I was turned away. I thought if there was some free food going, I’d have some. A bit like filling your pockets with bottles at an office party.

  29. Good evening all from Westminster North.

    NEIL A

    Very interesting breakdown on the ole weekly shopping bill and housing/rent cost.

    I’m dead on 25 years of age and boy all I can say is thank lordy I’m in work. I don’t know where you went shopping but I’m looking at my own shopping bill and I’m at £67.21 on my 6th item and the monthly rent for the flat I’m in (Maida Vale) is £1750 per month although that is 3 quarters paid for by the company I work for who just so happen to own the entire block of 8.

    Even if I were to sell my own place back up in ole East Ren so I could buy something in London I reckon I would be struggling to find an affordable home that could be easily to commute from into work.

    However back to your breakdown, yes I could live off that amount and find accommodation to suit my budget but unfortunately it would probably mean having to move to somewhere extremely rundown where job prospects are almost non existent.

  30. Pete B

    You should have gone to the Lords dining room. :-)

  31. RMJ

    “I would leave out the cheese” . “I would also lose the broccoli and buy some tinned tomatoes”

    8th on my shopping list is Broccoli and Stilton Quiche. You don’t know what you’re missing. :-)

  32. @AC.

    My example was a real-life one, from Plymouth.

    We’re not exactly a booming economy here, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say job prospects are “non-existent”.

    I am from London, so obviously I understand that housing there has become a Gordian Knot. Of course, in your area HB for shared accommodation is £136.52 pw but you’d be extremely lucky to get even the dingiest room for that amount.

    On the other hand, if you’re able-bodied and living in Central London, then if you can’t find a job you’re probably not really trying.

  33. Many councils expect JSA claimants to contribute a sum towards council tax too.

  34. ON
    Do you have to be a lord, or just be invited by one? Mind you, I’d have to nick a lot of stuff to pay for the petrol to get down there.
    I feel we’re drifting slightly(!) away from polling. It seems likely that the Tories will try to have a vote on bombing ISIS in Syria soon. This is apparently quite popular with the electorate. I wonder what the effect on the polls will be if the bombing is voted for, but Corbyn votes against? I understand he’ll be giving Labour MPs a free vote?

  35. Neil A

    “Every foodbank is different.”

    Not really. The Trussell Trust (by far the biggest foodbank organisation in the UK) foodbank in Forfar operates the same policy as the one I linked to earlier, and every other one in the organisation.

    Your link refers to the Salvation Army foodbank, and refers specifically to attempted personation, which they have taken measures to stop.

    There are, of course, also charities which operate soup kitchens which require no referrals – other than turning up.

  36. ON
    “There are, of course, also charities which operate soup kitchens which require no referrals – other than turning up.”

    Link? I could do with some hot soup in this weather,

  37. @Neil A

    My goodness far too little bang for your buck.

    Pasta (cheapest & lots of it)
    Tomato cup a soups for the pasta sauce
    Sell By Bread (lots of it)
    Cheapest margarine

    Breakfast – Toast
    Lunch – Pasta
    Dinner – Pasta

    Once or twice a week treat – tuna added to the pasta.

    It is not the first week that is the problem, its the fifty, tenth, fiftieth. Unexpected costs, debt, it is no life at all.

  38. Couper
    But by then you’ll have found a job.

  39. There are a couple of polls…

    ComRes Con 40(+2)Lab 29 (-4) LibDem 8 UKIP 11 Green 3 SNP 4

    And an interesting poll of Labour members for the Times

    66% think Corbyn is doing well
    88% of those that voted for Corbyn think he is doing well

  40. NEIL A

    My apologies I was referring to London when I wrote about having to move to somewhere run down etc if out of work.
    ” Of course, in your area HB for shared accommodation is £136.52 pw but you’d be extremely lucky to get even the dingiest room for that amount.”

    You’re not kidding. Near where I am there is an outside toilet (with key) for a weekly rent of £125.00. I reckon the person daft enough to rent it can probably afford to wipe is arse with Waitrose finest 5 ply napkins.

  41. Pete B

    There’s EU polling.

    No “Don’t know” option in the OBR poll (which seems odd).

    Some 52 per cent of people say Britain should leave the EU, while 48 per cent want to remain…..

    Some 69 per cent of 18-24 year-olds want to remain in the EU, while only 31 per cent want to leave. Support for EU membership declines steadily with age among older groups, with only 38 per cent of those aged 65 and over wanting to remain and 62 per cent in favour of leaving….

    A majority of the AB and C1 top two social groups want the UK to stay in the 28-nation bloc, but there is a majority in favour of leaving among the C2 skilled manual workers and bottom DE group.

    Support for EU membership is highest in Scotland (60 per cent) and Wales (56 per cent) and at its lowest in the South West (40 per cent) and Eastern England (43 per cent).

  42. And a EURef poll

    Remain 48 (-5)
    Leave 52 (+5)

  43. ON
    Thanks for that. The age and regional breakdowns seem more or less in line with other polls I’ve seen. I find it interesting that the older generation, who can remember life before the EU, are most against. Particularly when older people are usually supposed to be more in favour of the status quo, and more risk-averse. Have all our children and grandchildren been brainwashed?

  44. PETE B

    Couper does have a point though. It’s all very well getting by on the weekly job benefit allowance but it doesn’t take into account any unenforceable crises such as an unexpected one off high bill or what happens if there is a family crises and you have to shell out £50 or so in travel costs to go visit?

    The amount the government say you can live on is extremely borderline and there may be additional help out there for people in crises but I can bet it will an extremely complex process to access it.

  45. @Couper,

    “No life at all” and yet better than the life lived by half the planet.

    My point was that I’ve never come across anyone in the UK who was undernourished as a result of poverty, unless this was caused by some other factor (usually substance abuse). Of course, failed asylum seekers are generally homeless, and live on charity (like the £10 a week stipend from the BRC), but that’s because they’re not supposed to be here.

  46. COUPER2802
    And a EURef poll
    Remain 48 (-5)
    Leave 52 (+5

    It will be the Paris effect and i’m not at all surprised there has been a shift although this is just one poll.

  47. Pete B

    There seems to be no reason to suggest that the young have been “brainwashed” instead of the oldies!

    Life experiences and expectations are more likely candidates for differences. Hence the expected age, class, education and regional/national differences.

  48. AC
    I was taught to save from an early age (about 5), so that I always had a little bit of money for emergencies. I tell my own children (even the one living in poverty) to put even £5 a month aside if they can’t afford anything else. I don’t think I’m unique in this. Has this tradition stopped? I find it hard to comprehend that there can be people with no savings at all.

    I do agree that the government figure is borderline, but generally there are other benefits that can be obtained. If it was more generous it would just attract more work-shy layabouts. It’s a difficult balance.

  49. @AC

    £50 for travel would represent a month of foregoing the pub and a slight reduction in phone use.

    Of course, whatever income level people are at, there is always a possibility that something will derail them. That’s certainly true for me. A serious problem with our family car would mean 6 months of no social activity at all. Our dog getting sick would mean no weekends away all year.

    I am not sure the benefits system can really manage that. It’s not designed to give you a fulfilling life, just to sustain you until something better comes along.

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