ComRes have a poll in Sunday’s Independent and the Sunday Mirror. Most interestingly, it found that people agreed by 45% to 39% that John Bercow was right to refuse to invite Donald Trump to address the Commons, but also that people thought by 47% to 37% that the Queen should meet Donald Trump if he visits the country. As we’ve already seen elsewhere, the British public have little sympathy for Donald Trump’s immigration policy (33% think he was right, 52% think he was wrong) though it’s worth noting that the question wording went considerably wider than Trump’s actual policy (ComRes asked about halting immigration from “Muslim-majority” countries in general, whereas Donald Trump’s policy deals with seven specific countries they claim have an issue with terrorism or vetting).

The poll also had voting intention figures of CON 41%, LAB 26%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 11%, GRN 4%. This is the first ComRes voting intenton poll since way back in June 2016 – after one of the poorer performing polls in the EU referendum (the final ComRes poll had Remain eight points ahead), they paused their voting intention polls while they conducted a review into their methods. They have now recommenced voting intention polls with – as far as I can tell – no changes to their pre-referendum methods. ComRes’s view appears to be that the referendum was an exceptional event, and while the turnout model they adopted after the polling errors of 2015 worked badly there, it worked well at the London mayoral election, so is being retained for Westminster polls. For better or for worse, the ComRes results seem to be very much in line with those from other companies, with a Conservative lead in the mid-teens.

Full tabs for the ComRes poll are here.

While I’m here, I should also mention a BMG Scottish poll that came out at the start of the week (I’ve been laid low with a heavy cold). Voting intention in a second independence referendum stood at YES 49%(+3.5%), NO 49%(-3.5%). This is the lowest lead for NO that any Scottish Indy poll has recorded since the EU referendum. This was interpreted by the Herald as a response to Theresa May’s announcement of her negotiating stance on Brexit. I think that is somewhat premature – so far we’ve had two Scottish polls conducted since May’s speech, a Panelbase poll showing a very small (and not statistically significant) movement towards NO and a BMG poll showing a somewhat larger (but still barely significant) movement towards YES. In short, there is nothing yet that couldn’t be normal sample variation – wait for the next few polls on attitudes towards Scottish independence before concluding whether there is or is not any movement. Full tabs are here


325 Responses to “ComRes/Indy/Sunday Mirror – CON 41, LAB 26, LD 11, UKIP 11”

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  1. @BFR

    “You may believe your definition of ‘liberal’ is widely accepted, but I think you are wrong, and – worse – are misleading people about what the word really means.”

    ————

    Is it really me doing the misleading. You didn’t engage with my clear exposition of the everyday definition of Liberalism, because you know it’s right and instead split hairs off the point.

    Including. ignoring the press clearly supporting the liberal policies en masse in elections, or else accepting the economic aspect. Including claiming the NHS for the liberals Including ignoring the main thrust of how the Democrats embody much of liberalism and instead nit-picking over Trump. Including trying to redefine liberalism by what Cable says for votes. ]

    Worse still, trying to say I have an anti-liberal agenda when I don’t, You seem keen to defend your party though, even when I;m not talking about them. I didn’t say anti-discrimination was bad, or trade was bad. Some aspects in extremis, cause issues. But you pointed out this does tend to the Libertarian. But that’s another distraction to some extent because stuff like free movement and globalisation etc. has been accepted by many liberals.

    So you’ve nit picked over my fleshing things out to explain, but you have nothing against my core explanation of Liberalism being about social and economic liberty. Even if Cable sometimes says he isn’t.

  2. @Carfrew

    OK, one more time, as I am encouraged by your reply that this will be more productive than I initially feared.

    First, just to clarify, I am defending ‘liberalism’ rather than the LDems,
    – first because I do not see myself as exclusively tied to the LDems (although I confess I have voted LDem more often than for other parties)
    – second, because it is the philosophy itself that I believe in with some passion. I genuinely believe that liberalism offers the best opportunity for the general improvement and well-being of humanity.

    I agree that there is a continuum from authoritarianism to liberalism to libertarianism; I guess this is the classic authoritarian / libertarian second axis in widely published political models.

    My contention is that liberalism crosses into libertarianism where the concern for the harm done by the freedom is subservient to the freedom itself. If you are a liberal – IMHO – then freedoms can only be granted where they do not substantially harm others

    As an example, in a truly libertarian state drunk driving would not be illegal – it’s your choice and you take the consequences. In a liberal society, the harm to others overwhelms the preference for personal freedom. (And in an authoritarian society drink driving would be wrong because drinking – in principle – is deemed to be wrong – think Saudi Arabia)

    From that flows the fact that Cable was the definition of a liberal thinker; he assessed – rightly – the capacity for damage to the great majority of the population from excessive de-regulation of the banks, contended that the price to be paid generally for the freedom of banks to speculate more aggressively was substantial, and therefore the ‘freedom’ of the banks should be curtailed.

    Others disagreed, either:
    – because they were libertarian enough to believe that the price, if it occurred, was worth paying (although I suspect there were few of those),
    – because they incorrectly assessed the risk of damage as much lower than it was (few politicians are as well versed in practical economics as Cable)
    – because they were focused on the perceived political benefits of de-regulation and ignored the risks.

    Only the second category in this list could be described as liberal – the first are libertarian, the third as simply political, but definitely not liberal!

    I agree with you whole-heartedly about the damage of excessive de-regulation and globalisation, just as risky in my opinion as excessive protectionism and over-regulation; both have the effect of protecting and enriching the elite at the expense of ordinary people.

    I also agree that some liberals have been way too slow to recognise the genuine harm caused by globalisation and mass migration amid the blizzard of rubbish put about by the more authoritarian right; it has been a failure not just of liberals but of one nation conservatives and democratic socialists as well. Only the libertarian right genuinely don’t care about these impacts…

    So in essence, liberalism, as I both understand and support it, is about defending freedoms where they do no harm, managing freedoms where they bring downsides, and striving to be fair and rational rather than dogmatic when addressing the claims of competing freedoms.

    Does that make any sense to you?

    Oh, and on the NHS etc, I totally agree that Labour were responsible for implementation and deserve huge credit IMHO for doing so; however Beveridge and Keynes were both liberals by philosophy and political inclination, and both Social Security and the NHS were designed by them using liberal principles. They are, essentially, liberal policies.

  3. @ Andrew111 @Carfrew @BFR

    The problem with defining liberalism, socialism etc. is that the academic definitions will be quite tight, but the vernacular definitions will be attached to the policy choices of the party most associated with the particular label. That has been demonstrated by the discussions between you. This is problem of practical as opposed to theoretical politics:
    Aneurin Bevan (whom I think most would accept was a left wing socialist) said “priorities is the language of socialism” that indicates the need for pragmatism which politicians often adopt: it is that pragmatism that takes them away from the tight academic definitions of the various labels and why “A” can say that the Soviet Union operated Authoritarian Communism and “B” can say that it was a command based state controlled capitalist government whilst the purists of the Ivory Towers of Academe pull their hair out and say “it was none of those things, read my book”.

  4. By the way AW

    Do pollsters analyse the raw data from other pollsters using your own methodology to check the sense on data collection techniques?

  5. Good morning all from a bit dull and mild central London.

    GRAHAM
    AC
    “Re -the chart in Ashcroft’s tweet. That graph is all very well , but it is distorted by being too Yougov centric given that circa half the polls included in the moving average are likely to have come from the Yougov stable. A similar moving average – ignoring Yougove – would have produced a much more stable picture – which ,I suspect , is more accurate. My gut feeling is that Labour are currently on 28/29% across GB – though perhaps doing rather better in England & Wales than those figures imply because of ongoing weakness in Scotland”
    ___________

    Crikey there is no pleasing you lol. I provide the facts and info and you move the goalposts!!

    Okay, lets try and find some common ground. The Ashcroft graph I provided most certainly will have contained YouGov polls which you have issues with. That’s fine…You think Labour are actually polling around 28%/29% so firstly let’s take the lower figure of 28% and – 3% MOE = 25% (Not that far off YG) higher figure 0f 29% – MOE = 26%, again not that far off from the YG polls.

    If we round up the way with MOE we then have 31% & 32% however, we’ve not seen any consistent polling recently to suggest Labour are in the early 30’s yet so my guess would be Labour are currently polling around the mid to late 20’s. 26%-28% showing that the lower figure of 26% is not far off from YG and the higher 28% is not that far off from other pollsters…….Happy? ;-)

  6. WB – good post re Liberalism etc.
    Self-declaration can be misleading.
    Cable can self-declare to being liberal but his time at Shell suggests the opposite plus I was being pedantic when calling him a Social Democrat as that was his route to the LDs.

  7. @BFR

    Yep, can accept much of what you said about competing freedoms etc., a useful, kinda utilitarian way of looking at it.

    OK, so supposing we accept Cable’s view concerning regulating banks because of greater harm in not doing so.

    However that is cherry picking summat favourable a bit, because if we apply the same logic to their u-turn on austerity, I think you know I would have a field day with that.

    I do think at least some one nation peeps and socialists have always been wary of dangers of globalisation etc. because they remember why we put safeguards in in the first place following the Crash etc.

    Regarding Keynes, while not a socialist per se, it was Keynes who pointed out the problem with economic liberalism, how when demand collapses and you have liquidity traps etc. the market fails and you need state intervention.

    I suppose you might charitably say liberalism realised its own failings to some extent. But it does seem a bit cheeky for liberals to claim it when a critic of liberalism wrote it and Labour commissioned and implemented it.

  8. Excellent new thread

  9. @Carfrew
    Oh dear – our messages crossed – so maybe I’m not so encouraged after all…

    ‘Is it really me doing the misleading. You didn’t engage with my clear exposition of the everyday definition of Liberalism, because you know it’s right and instead split hairs off the point.’

    Ah well…
    First, please don;t tell me what I think or know – it’s rude. I don’t ‘know’ you are right, I believe you are wrong in some fundamental aspects.

    Second your ‘clear exposition of Liberalism’ is, as I have illustrated, IMHO internally inconsistent as well as inaccurate and incomplete;

    Third, I’m sorry you think I am nit-picking, but really I’m not; it is the core of the debate we are having.

    You appear to be defining liberalism as belief in the reduction of regulation and control, social or economic.

    I am pointing out that:
    a) this is not a valid definition of liberalism as it omits a key plank of the philosophy; that is, the necessity to consider the amount of harm engendered by a freedom before supporting it; ignoring this means you are discussing libertarianism, not liberalism.
    b) from a practical, current perspective, a major figure that you, yourself, define as anti-liberal has just been elected on a platform of tearing up regulations and controls. This either destroys your definition of ‘liberal’ or requires Trump to be a liberal masquerading as something else!

    So, with apologies, I don’t concede that I am nit-picking; I consider your argument to be significantly flawed.

    However I do not expect you to agree or change your stance, so I guess this is pointless to continue, and I have much else to do.

    Have a good day…

  10. @WB

    Sure, there is a tension between the ideologies and their application in practice by parties. There can be differences between them. This makes it tricky, but not worthless to analyse.

    By looking at the differences, you can see what is going on. Eg, do the press back parties, or ideologies. I would argue from the evidence it’s more about which party best supports their favoured ideology.

    You can also divine ideological battles within parties, different factions among VI, parties with similar ideologies competing in the same space, and much, much more.

    I mean, it’s maybe not as good as considering the virtues of Thorium, or Polywells, but still…

  11. @BFR

    “First, please don;t tell me what I think or know – it’s rude. I don’t ‘know’ you are right, I believe you are wrong in some fundamental aspects.

    Second your ‘clear exposition of Liberalism’ is, as I have illustrated, IMHO internally inconsistent as well as inaccurate and incomplete”

    ——–

    You didn’t demonstrate an inconsistency. You usefully extended it though.

  12. Liberalism!!……….who mention that?

    It’s a great word to say after you have eaten something messy like a Subway meatball marinara Sandwich and half the sauce ends up on your face.

    Just say “Liberalism” but heavily emphasise the two L’s and you will find that your tongue will be forced out from your gob and it’s then you have the perfect opportunity to lick clean that messy face.

    As for the actual definition of Liberalism…I’ll leave that to others.

  13. @BFR

    “You appear to be defining liberalism as belief in the reduction of regulation and control, social or economic.”

    ——–

    no. I defined it clearly in terms of social and economic liberty. Which may involve deregulation etc.

  14. @BFR

    “this is not a valid definition of liberalism as it omits a key plank of the philosophy; that is, the necessity to consider the amount of harm engendered by a freedom before supporting it; ignoring this means you are discussing libertarianism, not liberalism.”

    ————–

    I have already said I like your addition. How commonly accepted it is is summat to look into.

  15. @BFR

    “b) from a practical, current perspective, a major figure that you, yourself, define as anti-liberal has just been elected on a platform of tearing up regulations and controls. This either destroys your definition of ‘liberal’ or requires Trump to be a liberal masquerading as something else!”

    ———–

    No, I do not define liberalism with reference to Trump. I just threw that in as a point of interest in terms of his campaigning approach and regret it now because you are clinging to it rather grimly..

  16. @BFR

    “So, with apologies, I don’t concede that I am nit-picking; I consider your argument to be significantly flawed.

    However I do not expect you to agree or change your stance, so I guess this is pointless to continue, and I have much else to do.”

    ————

    I am quite prepared to change my mind, and indeed do so when warranted. And you haven’t demonstrated a fundamental flaw. Liberalism is still about freedom, it’s just that it can get a bit complicated with competing freedoms.

    Personally I think such exchanges are useful in refining one’s position even when there’s no cause to change it, e.g. with the competing freedoms thing.

  17. TOH
    ““Already filled. I developed one years ago based on chocolate. Mind it should never be actually worn as it tends to make the head very sticky in warm weather. It’s just held in reserve for incorrect forecasts.”

    I imagine that great Liberal, Paddy Ashdown bought one then, after his famous election night forecast.

    (Please don’t take me to task on whether he really is a liberal, a socialist, a liberal socialist, or a socialist-libertarian-liberal, with conservative tendencies:)

    On the economic front the BofE nudging a bit closer to hitting its inflation target.

  18. @BFR

    Anthony doesn’t want it to spill over into the new thread, but a couple of things to consider, which can explain a bit of the difference between us.

    Reading around, it seems like the Americans see liberalism more your way, bigger on the welfare thing, following Roosevelt etc., and the more Libertarian stuff is, well, Libertarian. Whereas in Europe, Liberalism is seen as being somewhat closer to the Libertarian.

  19. S Thomas,
    “headline ought to have been- “Remainers clutch at straws-again”

    This is a website for people interested in opinion polls and considering probabilities of things, you know. For trying to make reasoned arguments albeit based upon inadequate data. Perfectly fine to express your view that you believe remaining in the EU is unlikely, but you can do better than polemic.

    I saw another poll being touted today suggesting the public is by no means happy with the way Brexit is going. In particular they do not seem to be buying the argument that they all voted for the hardest of brexits. I am sure the conservatives have a much more nuanced view on this. If they see the public mood changing, then their message will be unchanged: ‘we obey the people’.

    Whether they can make that stick and stay at 40% or so is another matter. A nightmare scenario for them would be continuing with Brexit if the mood had changed firmly against it.

    Oldnat
    “Might be worth keeping an eye on those WNV folk (whom we normally ignore ”

    I certainly am. There seem to be quite a lot of them, including a disproportionate number of former labour who are currently boycotting the vote. A favourable wind might bring them back to the fold. The situation is of course different in Scotland, where there is a clearly socialist nationalist party which would manage to encompass the two halves of the labour vote, were it nationwide.I still think the SNP could do well if it started to stand south of the border.

  20. Catmanjeff,
    “If the Lib Dems poll like that, Labour will likely lose both seats”

    Which would be most interesting, especially for labour. It might tell them and us that a policy of Leave light will not win for them. If they end up splitting vote with the libs, they are going to lose. There seems to be some debate above about whether pollsters are muddling lib and lab voters, and it may be they have significant commonality which is causing the problem.

  21. @alec

    I am glad someone else has mentioned the balance of trade crisis, even if I doubt we agree on much.

    Presently, the country is not paying its way. Where we doubtless part company is that I think migration has not helped as recently practiced. To increase population is to increase consumption. Unless the increased population increases our production of goods or exportable services, that consumption must be paid for by borrowing.

    So a French banker helps with exportable services – value added, hurray!! The staff at you local Pret are doubtless excellent people, but they do more add value than the footmen or lady’s maids in Downton Abbey used to. A lot of migration is in terms of the latter. We can’t pay our way, but we get people to wait on us.

    Things might get frightening with Brexit, but the present model of ever increasing immigration will fall of a cliff unless we can keep pace with producing actual value.

  22. Postings

    Could someone run the difference between the peoples liberal party and the liberal party of the people past me again. And none of your Menshevik Revisionist nonsense either!

  23. Danny

    “remainers clutching at straws again”

    Your point is fine as far a sit goes but does a government resign when it falls behind in the polls.?Does it give up on its manifesto?It wins an election and carries out its programme. Parliament voted to allow the British people to decide. They did in the largest vote ever cast on thes e islands and any party Labour or Tory would have had to put it into effect.

    Suppose the reverse had happened and remain had won but it was
    followed by some unpopular ECJ decisions which made cameron sick and opinion polls moved back in favour of Brexit. if anybody had said that parliament should therefore go against the referendum and leave the EU or indeed have another referendum i doubt if much favourable comment would come from remain supporters. Indeed one can imagine the comments.

  24. Finally,

    Is my money safe on a double labour victory. Odds of 3-1 and the whippet is looking forward to a slap up meal?

  25. @Joseph

    “A lot of migration is in terms of the latter. We can’t pay our way, but we get people to wait on us.

    Things might get frightening with Brexit, but the present model of ever increasing immigration will fall of a cliff unless we can keep pace with producing actual value.”

    ———-

    This is a classic example of Brexiter failure to properly consider knock on effects.

    It isn’t just a question of how much value migrants might add themselves, but in doing these jobs they free up the local populace to do other, higher value jobs.

    Then there is the loss of people to fill jobs we really do need, like nurses.

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