ComRes have their monthly online poll for the Indy on Sunday and Sunday Mirror tomorrow. Topline voting intention figures are CON 38%(-3), LAB 29%(+2), LDEM 7%(-2), UKIP 16%(+1), GRN 4%(+1). The Conservative lead has dropped five points since last month, but that still leaves it at nine points (ComRes’s online polls tend to produce the largest Conservative leads of all the companies, largely because of ComRes’s new turnout filter that is based on socio-economic data. The nine point lead is actually the smallest ComRes have shown in their online polls since the election – up until now they’ve shown a Conservative lead between 11 and 15 points). Full tabs are here.

Ahead of the budget there were also a few economic questions. More people think George Osborne is doing a bad job as Chancellor (41%) than a good job (31%), but Cameron & Osborne have a 16 point lead over Corbyn & McDonnell on which pair people would trust to run the country’s economy (45% to 29%).


64 Responses to “ComRes/Indy on Sunday – CON 38, LAB 29, LD 7, UKIP 16, GRN 4”

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  1. Labour continue to trail. When will members accept that far-reaching action is required if the party is to recover into an electable alternative government? Britain is in danger of becoming a one-party state.

  2. @John Hodgson

    Presumably when those advocating the “far reaching action” stop advocating Conservative policies as a platform for Labour success.

  3. This specific ComRes poll is actually the ‘best’ they’ve shown for Labour since the 2015 GE, in that it’s only a 9-point Conservative lead.

    But I’d agree with John Hodgson that the overall polling picture looks grim for Labour in an unprecedented way.

    Looking back at the past fifty years, every time a Conservative Government has been elected, Labour has had at least ONE opinion poll lead within twelve months.
    Using the historic information on this site, that ‘first Labour lead’ has come as follows:

    Sept 2010 (4 months after GE)
    Aug 1992 (4 months, again)
    April 1988 (10 months)
    Feb 1984 (8 months)
    June 1979 (1 month)
    Nov 1970 (5 months)

    In other words, Jeremy Corbyn has failed to do what Wilson, Callaghan, Kinnock, Smith, and Miliband did, as Labour leaders of the opposition, in at least being the repository for voters disaffected with a Tory government. What is really unique about the present polling position is that while the government’s ratings have turned negative, the opposition has not benefitted.

    The only comparable performances by leaders of the opposition have been by Hague and IDS after Blair’s landslides in 1997 and 2001.

  4. @James E

    Ukip and the SNP have a lot to do with that. Let’s see what happens after the EU Referendum and after DC leaves the building.

  5. Don’t see that at all, RAF.

    Even if Labour and SNP’s positions in Scotland were reversed, Labour would still be consistently behind the Tories in UK polling, but by perhaps 2-3 percentage points less. And UKIP have attracted at least as many former Tory voters as ex-Labour.

    Your post suggests that you’d expect Jeremy Corbyn to establish some kind of polling lead for Labour in due course – perhaps in the event of a ‘Leave’ vote. Is that right, and if so, when?

  6. Prof Howard fpt

    Sounds like David Torrance.He is a Scott political journalist (and an ex Tory SPAD).

    http://davidtorrance.com/about/

    Given the polling numbers for a long time his comments are hardly earth shattering!

  7. @James E

    Labour has a lot of problems that are not really Corbyn’s fault.

    – Ukip destroyed their chances in Midland marginals at the GE.
    – The SNP surge is permanent and will lead to Scottish Independence sooner rather than later. There is nothing Labour can do about this.
    – The PLP refuses to understand that memberships are crucial to any prospect of electoral success. If a Party choses to divorce itself from its membership it will only have itself to blame.

    However…

    – The Tory party is also riven with internal division
    – DC’s position is weak regardless of whether he wins or loses on the EU Ref. I suspect Labour’s position will be better if he wins as his members will not forgive him.
    – DC has been an electoral asset. None of his possible successors will have the same impact with the voters, levelling the playing field.

    Just my thoughts. I stand to be corrected by polling!

  8. To take your points in order, RAF.

    – assuming the you are right about UKIP scuppering Labour’s chances in the midland marginals , is Jeremy Corbyn the answer for the Labour> UKIP defectors ?

    – you may be right about the SNP surge being permanent. The interesting thing, to me, about the SNP is that if you strip out the Scottish Nationalism, their economic policies are centrist, with a little bit of left-of-centre populism. While I don’t think that Labour could emulate this across the UK, they could do a lot worse than to match some of the SNP’s narrative.
    – I’m not convinced that following the direction of your party membership is necessarily the key to electoral success.

    On the Tory side, I’d agree that DC is probably an asset, and that from the moment he called the EU referendum (as opposed to when he was asking for people to support his re-negotiation) he has opened up the Tory party’s divisions on Europe. However, I’m not convinced that Labour will be the beneficiary of the post EU referendum fallout.

  9. RAF

    “The SNP surge is permanent and will lead to Scottish Independence sooner rather than later. There is nothing Labour can do about this.”

    They can always repeat 2014, and work with the Tories. :-)

    I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Sturgeon announced a new campaign for independence “this summer”.

    The tactics will depend on the Brexit vote, and its dynamics.

  10. Supporting Scottish independence in your referendum would have done nothing for Labour’s electoral prospects in the UK as a whole (with or without Scotland in the UK) – which is what RAF and I have been discussing.

    I interpreted Sturgeon’s speech as a retreat from what had previously been offered. The “new case” for independence is needed because the “old case” (especially oil @$113/barrel ) looks silly.

  11. RAF

    Based on the recent Full Scottish YG as to how people voted in indyref, and plan to vote in euroref, most Scots are “Unionists”.

    What is critical is which Union(s) they are thinking of.

    Both UK & European Unions 30%
    European Union only 30%
    UK Union only 25%
    Neither UK nor European Unions 15%

  12. James E

    Most people recognise “:-)” as a smiley – not a wholly serious comment.

    In any case, I was responding to a particular comment by RAF.

    As to the summer campaign, feel free to use whatever description you wish. However, it will be conducted in potentially different circumstances. Only a very foolish politician fails to adjust tactics to changed circumstances.

  13. I think it’s time for Labour supporters to face up to the fact that they have no chance of winning an election with the current leadership.

  14. Have there been any recent polls about Cameron’s effectiveness as leader, as opposed to his economic competence? He appears to have done hmself, and sadly the UK, serious damage with foreign leaders, not least Obama, over the European Referendum and other matters’ but I wwould like to know wether this has affected his standing with Britisih electors. Surprisingly, I suspect not.

    If Labour continue to appear unelectable after the May 2017 elections, I suspect we are going to go into unknown territory in that some other party may came into prominence from nowhere. I don’t know which one – it may well be one that does not exist. Incidentally, if something of this sort does happen, it will knock the pollsters’ attempts to correct for differntial response rates and other forms of bias for six.

  15. @ RAF

    I largely agree with your three-point assessment.

    The only question really is – can the LP get people register and more importantly walk to the voting booths.

    I have serious doubts about it for two reasons. The most important is that the division mark between the Conservatives and Labour is still pretty blurred (i don’t understand why they don’t use Yougov’s attitude survey – unless they don’t trust pollsters for some reason). Secondly, there is not a word about future – the elections will be in 2020. If they were confident of their analysis, they could make the narrative of the future. Absolutely nothing about it.

    Yet, I think Labour will perform quite well in May in England (and Wales), but it is not an indicator for 2020.

  16. There are far fewer polls being published at the moment compared with earlier electoral cycles, but I would – yet again! – point out that in the Parliaments of 1987 and 1959 it took Labour 2 years to move into the lead on a continuous basis. At the same stage of the 2001 Parliament the Tories were lagging Labour by 12 to 23% depending on the poll , yet in May 2005 lost by a mere 3%.
    In the 1966 Parliament Labour still led the Tories at this stage – a poor predictor of what was to happen at the June 1970 election!

  17. On the actual poll reported: I find it interesting that UKIP are maintaining their position in the polls despite the recent divisions and sackings. I suppose it just shows how little attention most people pay to politics.

    It seems that Farage has yet to grasp that a real political party has to be a broad church. The Tories range from Redwood to Clarke, and Labour from Blair to Corbyn. In UKIP it seems that any slight divergence from Nigel’s position means a sacking or expulsion. I wonder when or if the internal divisions will affect their poll ratings.

  18. @ Candy

    Excuse me, but go back and look at Chart 10.

    The participation rate of women and men 16-19 is almost identical between at 34.5% and 33.5%. Women between 20-24 are over two thirds at 67.7% compared to men at 73.9%.

    Women between 25-54 are nearly averaging 74%, which is way higher than the 57% you quote.

    Where the participation gap is widest is among women 55-64, where nearly 59% are participating as compared to nearly 70% of men

    And then women over 65 the participation rate is 15% as compared to 23% for men.

    This suggests to me that a generational shift is going on, which you and others seem to have missed altogether.

  19. Pete B

    YouGov have Kezia Dugdale as a UKIP member – so that’s a pretty broad church. :-)

    You raise an interesting question though.

    Could it be the difference between how people see a party that has a realistic chance of being elected, as opposed to one they vote for as a protest “against the Establishment”?

  20. In terms of general election VI I would think that the Labour figure is misleadingly high. It will include both those who are Corbyn supporters and those who would generally support Labour and expect Corbyn to be gone by 2020. One group or the other is going to be disappointed. In terms of local elections however, they may be quite accurate and may even underestimate Labour’s chances in a low turnout election.

  21. @RMJ1
    “It will include both those who are Corbyn supporters and those who would generally support Labour and expect Corbyn to be gone by 2020.”

    By the same token, there could be the reverse effect. Let’s say people who would like to vote for a Corbyn Labour party but currently say they will not vote Labour because they currently do not expect him to be there come election time. Or people who would view Labour except for if Corbyn is charge, and expecting him to still be there say they won’t vote Labour.

    Four years out, all we can really be sure of its that no matter what happens, there will be churn. Your narrative might prove true but it could well turn out to be rubbish.

  22. Back to the beginning @RAF
    “Presumably when those advocating the “far reaching action” stop advocating Conservative policies as a platform for Labour success.”

    There are general pressures of economics, human nature, world events, trust in individuals, which determine who wins elections, so do consider that some policies may simply not work, no matter who advocates them.
    Which of two parties offering essentially the same policies wins may come down to the electorate’s judgement of the party leaders’ competence and motivation – who will in practice be the chief beneficiaries of a workable policy put into effect by A or B, and who will suffer most from the policy’s inevitable downsides?
    Voters are quite capable of rejecting both self-serving chicanery and unrealistic idealism, but can vote for a party offering neither only if it is available. Maybe that is why turnouts are down.

  23. @ John Hodgson

    ” Britain is in danger of becoming a one-party state. ”

    I’m confused by your reasoning.

    When the two main parties are essentially offering variations on the same direction of travel then I would suggest we would have a de facto one party state anyway.

    Whether one is a supporter or detractor of Jeremy Corbyn you surely can’t argue that the electorate have no choice.

    If they choose to reject what he is advocating .. well thats democracy for you !

  24. I worked out yesterday that Labour since 1945 has won an election on average every 8.9 years, and won an election from opposition every 17.8 years.

    Let’s compare to the main centre-left parties from other countries since 1945 (or the start of democracy, whichever is closer).

    Parti Socialiste (and forerunners):
    Average (Presidential) election win gap: 17.75 years.
    Average win from opposition: 37.3 years.

    Social Democratic Party (Germany):
    Average election win gap: 23.7 years.
    Average win from opposition: 35.5 years.

    Australian Labor Party:
    Average election win gap: 7.1 years.
    Average win from opposition: 23.7 years.

    Liberal Party of Canada:
    Average election win gap: 5.1 years.
    Average win from opposition: 17.8 years.

    Democratic Party (USA):
    Average Presidential election win gap: 8.9 years.
    Average win from opposition: 17.8 years.

    What’s interesting is that there doesn’t seem to be any real correlation between the frequency of centre-left election wins (look at France!) and how left of centre or otherwise the country has tended to be. Look at France and Germany, both pretty evidently more social democratically inclined than the USA or Australia have been.

    Is that down to national temperament or the ability of the centre-right parties to adapt and triangulate to adopt social democratic ideas?

  25. OldNat – “I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Sturgeon announced a new campaign for independence “this summer”. The tactics will depend on the Brexit vote, and its dynamics.”

    The dangers are on the SNP side.

    For a start according to the following:

    https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/708711977397440512

    Scotland // EU referendum poll: Remain: 48% (-7) Leave: 31% (+3) (via YouGov / 07 – 09 Mar)

    Then there’s the horrific Scottish govt stats released last week showing a £15bn deficit (9.7% of GDP).

    The Yes voters tend to be mathematically challenged and will not understand the significance. The No voters will understand however. For Scotland to join the EU they will have to get their deficit down to 3% of GDP. One way to do this is to privatise NHS Scotland which costs £12bn, and the deficit then comes down to £3bn.

    The Yes voters might be so enthusiastic about both the EU and independence that they’ll be glad to make that type of sacrifice. No voters will be thinking, “we really need to get that Sturgeon woman out of office!” :-)

  26. Unfortunately what unionists think is of little electoral impact in Scotland right now. I understand there are some in Scotland who would prefer to remain in the union but vote SNP for different reasons, but even if they all moved over to unionist parties then SNP would probably win a majority in May.

    Unless I misinterpreted that last sentence… by “no voters” did you mean “people who vote no” or “zero voters”?

  27. @ Graham

    “There are far fewer polls being published at the moment compared with earlier electoral cycles, but I would – yet again! – point out that in the Parliaments of 1987 and 1959 it took Labour 2 years to move into the lead on a continuous basis. At the same stage of the 2001 Parliament the Tories were lagging Labour by 12 to 23% depending on the poll , yet in May 2005 lost by a mere 3%.”

    It’s worth remembering that the economy was booming at the times of the 1987 and 1959 (!) elections which you cite in defence of Corbyn’s poor poll ratings. The Tories also enjoyed large majorities after both those elections. Your point would, of course, be vindicated if Labour moves into a continuous polling lead in the next 14 months. So we’ll see soon enough if that happens.

    As for 2001 – the Tories’ improvement came on the back of their removing IDS in 2003.

  28. Mr N
    That’s an interesting analysis. Could you amplify on your findings a bit? For instance how do you define winning an election? Is it an outright majority or being the party with the largest number of seats?

    Also, is there a correlation between the length of time between election victories, and the voting system in place? e.g. Do parties in countries with FPTP experience shorter periods in the wilderness?

  29. “The SNP surge is permanent and will lead to Scottish Independence sooner rather than later. There is nothing Labour can do about this.”

    Little in politics is permanent.

    Didn’t Margaret Thatcher predict after the 1979 General Election that the Callaghan Labour Government would probably be the last Labour Government ever?

  30. @ Old Nat

    Those YouGov/Times numbers you posted I assume are being compared to field work previously done February 1st-4th in 2016?

    Looking at the YouGov site they have still not published the numbers you posted on the previous thread.

    That said I note that YouGov’s last poll in 2011 overestimated Labour. LD and Green, actual with last You Gov poll in brackets:

    SNP 44% (35%)
    Labour 26.3% (32%)
    Conservative 12.4% (13%)
    LD 5.2% (7%)
    Green 4.4% (6%)
    Other 7.7%

    The Daily Record and Sunday Mail newspaper article that went with the poll also makes interesting reading:

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/holyrood-election-2011-result-on-a-knife-1102129#iDfLX5jZKrx9bsKc.97

    So I am wondering whether this time around with the SNP clearly in the lead, whether some of the swing voters might not try other options.

    In 2011 I suspect soft Greens and possibly soft LD voters went to SNP to ensure SNP won even with their list vote.

    The SNP/Labour difference I would attribute to a sampling error rather than a last minute switch.

    I am going to assume that YouGov has tried to correct that this time and realize that polling accurately for the smaller parties can be difficult though the Canadian pollsters appear to be able to pull it off – most of the time.

    I do not doubt that the Conservatives are ahead of Labour in both the constituency and AMS vote, but what may come as a shocker is if UKIP oust the LD for the last seat in the AMS vote in some regions.

    I also think that if the Lib Dems are at 6% in the constituency vote, that means they are down from 8% last time and that could spell trouble for them in Orkney where the SNP candidate almost tied the Independent in 2011 for second place.

  31. @James E
    ‘As for 2001 – the Tories’ improvement came on the back of their removing IDS in 2003.’

    That is not correct. The Labour lead did shrink significantly in the second half of 2002 and into 2003. Indeed by Sept 2003 some polls were giving the Tories a lead – even with IDS still in charge!

  32. @Andy Shadrack

    The point was a comparison between women in the UK and USA.

    Take a look at the following for the UK:

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/compendium/participationratesintheuklabourmarket/2015-03-19/participationratesintheuk20142women

    The overall labour participation rate for British women is 74.5% compared to 57% in the USA.

    For women aged between 16-24 it was 61.2% (probably skewed by 16-18 year olds staying on at school), and for women aged between 25-49 it was 79.8% For women aged 50-65 it was 72.4%. And 11% of women over state pension age work.

    Pretty much for every age group, women in Britain are more likely to work than women in the USA. though you are correct in that the gap is widest amongst older women. But this is the main reason why we haven’t had big baby booms from the 1980’s onwards.

  33. P.S. For 50-something British women – they would have just come of age in the early 80’s and voted to put Mrs T in power (women skewed heavily towards her). Then they probably emulated her by working.

    Also a generation of women under 49 were in school when she was in power, she was in the background even if they weren’t paying attention – so they think women in power/women working is quite normal.

    The the USA there is a conservative/religious movement that believes women shouldn’t work when they have children. This got killed in Britain immediately the conservatives elected a woman leader and then women in the country made her PM.

  34. Pete B,

    I defined winning an election as forming the government – whether as a majority or as head of a coalition or minority government – or in countries with a Presidential system, taking hold of the executive. For example, the Norwegian Labour Party has been the biggest party at every election since the war, but can’t really be described as always winning because they haven’t always formed governments.

    I can’t see any correlation between voting systems and wilderness periods – Australia has preferential voting and the ALP are often in power, while Canada’s FPTP often returns the Liberals to power.

    However, I do see a link between continuity of parties and electoral success, despite received wisdom about new forces sweeping aside the old. The Australian Labor Party, UK Labour and the Democrats are over a century old and all relatively successful – compare to the really quite recent Parti Socialiste and the SPD which, while old, was effectively destroyed and reformed by the war.

  35. Andy

    While people like John Curtice & Britain Elects were publishing the YG/Times numbers from Saturday morning, I wouldn’t expect the tables to go up on the YG site till Monday.

    What is of polling interest is the much more sophisticated set of weighting measures that YG are using., compared with other pollsters.

    Will these turn out to provide more accurate numbers? We’ll find out in May.

    YG Scottish weightings – Unweighted Weighted
    Age by Education
    Men Over 65 – 119 98
    Men 50-64 High education – 26 23
    Men 50-64 Mid education – 81 75
    Men 50-64 Low education – 47 44
    Men 25-50 High education – 76 68
    Men 25-50 Mid education – 73 94
    Men 25-50 Low education – 23 52
    Men Under 25 High education – 12 9
    Men Under 25 Mid & Low education – 45 51
    Women Over 65 – 90 127
    Women 50-64 High education – 33 26
    Women 50-64 Mid education – 74 66
    Women 50-64 Low education – 53 48
    Women 25-50 High education – 99 82
    Women 25-50 Mid education 103 97
    Women 25-50 Low education – 32 49
    Women Under 25 High education – 15 11
    Women Under 25 Mid & Low education – 69 52
    2015 Vote
    Con – 139 126
    Lab – 230 203
    Lib Dem – 68 63
    SNP – 373 418
    Other – 57 29
    Dont know / Didnt vote – 203 231
    Political Attention
    Low (0-2) – 130 204
    Medium (3-7) – 650 652
    High (8-10) – 290 214
    Social Grade
    AB – 357 139
    C1 – 324 230
    C2 – 169 68
    DE – 215 373
    Birthplace
    Scotland – 784 867
    Rest of the UK – 216 108
    Outside UK – 70 96
    Referendum Vote
    Yes – 433 429
    No – 541 524
    Don’t Know / Didn’t Vote – 96 117

  36. A Scottish question.

    After beating France, but giving England the Championship, is this the definition of mixed emotions?

    ;-)

  37. CMJ

    No.

  38. Exit poll from Germany.

    CDU, as expected lost one state to the Greens, one to SPD, and held one (but AfD got over 20%).

  39. via Kai Arzheimer

    19.21: Next coalition in Sachsen-Anhalt could be CDU-SPD-Greens. If the Greens are in

    19.20: The dust is slowly settling. Amazing how fast these pesky Germans count. Eat your heart out, Britain

    19.17: Which means that so-called Grand Coalition is no longer viable

    19.15: New data for Sachsen-Anhalt: AfD 24.2. Second strongest party, not much less than CDU

    19.08: New data for Rheinland-Pfalz: Greens exactly at threshold (5pct). AfD at 12.5%

    19.05: New data for Baden-Württemberg puts AfD at 14.9, SPD at 12.8

    19:00: To state the obvious: massively increased volatility. And higher turnout.

  40. @ OldNat

    The wards enter the count into a database, it is checked at the constituency level, but essentially it is done, and they can also release data as the ward counts come in. Hence the speed.

  41. “Didn’t Margaret Thatcher predict after the 1979 General Election that the Callaghan Labour Government would probably be the last Labour Government ever?”

    Some in the Labour party and outwith it would argue that she’s been right so far.

  42. Bill Patrick

    What a deliciously wicked comment. :-)

  43. “Didn’t Margaret Thatcher predict after the 1979 General Election that the Callaghan Labour Government would probably be the last Labour Government ever?”
    Some in the Labour party and outwith it would argue that she’s been right so far.

    Fair comment…

  44. German result doesn’t justify the coverage it’s been getting over here. Looks like fairly standard mid-term losses to me, not of the order that suggest the CDU are in any danger come the federal election. And worth noting both CDU losses were to pro-refugee parties. AfD are at the stage UKIP were at here a couple of years where they are new and a cause of panic to the political establishment, but I expect before long they will realise they can be contained.

  45. I’d just like to thank all the Scottish posters on here for their team’s gifting the Six Nations to England.

  46. “Didn’t Margaret Thatcher predict after the 1979 General Election that the Callaghan Labour Government would probably be the last Labour Government ever?”
    Some in the Labour party and outwith it would argue that she’s been right so far.

    Fair comment…

    And one I would have agreed with, until I was reminded what a Conservative Government looked like.

  47. Pete B

    England earned it – just happy we could help you out (by finally winning a 2nd game!).

  48. ON
    I’m gobsmacked! I was expecting some kind of wild Braveheart-type response, but thanks for your generous comment. And congrats to the Scotland team on their victory.

  49. Pete B

    I’m gobsmacked! I was expecting some kind of wild Agincourt-type response to your old enemy being defeated! :-)

  50. Re the Scottish YG weightings that I quoted upthread, the new ones since February seem to be –

    Political Interest
    Educational level

    while Newspaper readership (always a somewhat bizarre concept of trying to tie Scottish papers into some kind of equivalence with the London press) seems to have been dropped.

    These look like sensible changes.

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