Yesterday I wrote about how manifesto policies don’t really have much effect on voting intentions. Today’s ComRes poll for the Daily Mirror neatly illustrates it.

The poll asked about the individual policies in Labour’s leaked manifesto and found strong support for almost all of them. Banning zero hours contracts, renationalising railways, building more council homes, keeping the pension age at 66, increasing tax on those earning over £80,000, bringing back train conductors were all backed by a majority of respondents (and most of the other policies they asked about received more support than opposition).

After all those questions on Labour’s policies ComRes went onto ask which party people thought had more realistic and well-thought through policies. After having approved of nearly all of Labour’s policies, respondents went onto say that the Tories had the more realistic and thought through, by 51% to Labour’s 31%. Asked if they would be more or less likely to vote Labour having heard about all these new policies 34% said more likely, 47% said less likely. Asked who was running the better election campaign, 42% said the Conservatives compared to 20% for Labour.

One can perhaps rationalise this as people liking Labour’s policies but not thinking they are realistic or thought-through (supporting something is, after all, not necessarily the same as thinking it’s realistic), but it does underline that what makes a party attractive or not to voters is about an awful lot more than a shopping list of policies that meet with public approval.

ComRes also asked the “like the party/like the leader” question (getting people to say if they like both the party and its leader, just one or the other, or neither). While the results don’t come as a great surprise, it nicely illustrates exactly why the Conservative campaign is focusing on their leader rather than their party and the Labour campaign really isn’t: 49% of people said they liked Theresa May, 11 points ahead of the Conservative party on 38%. In contrast only 27% of people said they liked Jeremy Corbyn compared to 46% who like Labour, a nineteen point deficit compared to his party.

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300 Responses to “ComRes poll on the leaked Labour manifesto”

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    History suggests that the polls will probably still understate the Tories lead on polling day.
    Also, it is almost certain that the UKIP support will fall further( especially when voters intending to vote UKIP are unable to do so. as UKIP are not on their ballot paper( this will very likely push up the Tory vote).

    Really interesting to see if tonight’s polls show a further reduction in UKIP vote and any significant movement in the huge gap between Tories and Labour.

  2. We have got so used to predictions of massive Tory majorities that we risk forgetting why the election was called.

    – In the last Parliament, there were 286 MPs voting for a “meaningful final vote in Commons and Lords” – which would have given the Lords a veto.

    – 286 MPs could be seen as friendly towards the idea of a last minute change of plan. (The Commons can always sack the government, it is giving the veto to the Lords that was the giveaway.)

    – So, Theresa May had to ask herself, were there enough potential defectors in her own party to add to that 286 come 2019?

    So, Theresa May does not a majority of 100 or 200, she just needs the answer to that last question to be “no”. In this regard she can probably add the Unionists to her majority and a handful of Labour leavers, assuming they survive.

    PS: I do not know why UKIP don’t stand down in Labour Leave constituencies. Replacing Kate Hoey with a LibDem would be as much a lost vote for Brexit as losing Bill Cash – it also signals that UKIP are not just the hardcore wing of the Tory party.

  3. @ Lmzdee

    “I think social media might play a big part this time with the huge pro corbyn and anti tory whirlwind on there even if its what causes the youth turn out to be higher”

    It’s only a anti Tory whirlwind on the websites you visit, which I imagine would be left leaning ones.

  4. @aberdeenangus

    I agree with you. I believe Labour VI will be closer to 25% than 30% on election day and that the turnout amongst Labour supporters will be depressed.


    I think you have summed up the Labour situation pretty well. But I do think you underestimate the damage Corbyn’s Bennite pacifism and baggage is doing to the Labour brand which the Blairites realize. No Centrist is going to vote for that and Labour cannot win with out the centre.

    The Tories manage things so much better. IDS was dispatched relatively quickly once his unelectibility became apparent in a relatively bloodless coup despite having gained decent amounts of seats at two consecutive local elections. And the Tories made sure they went for a coronation rather than to the membership who put IDS there in the first place. They’ve always understood that Leadership comes first, before policy. Nobody wants to sail with a bad Captain.

  5. @Alberto

    Whilst I recognise the narrative you give on whats been happening in the Labour Party it is only one version of the truth, and very much the world seen through the eyes of the left-wing of the party and those who felt betrayed by Blair, there is another narrative.

    In the other narrative Ed Miliband made a fatal error of judgement in implementing rules for electing the leader which had the unintended effect of shifting the selectorate dramatically to the left.

    Both parties (Tory and Labour) historically had learnt the lesson that Party members are naturally more inclined to select a leader at the extreme of the respective spectrum rather than one deemed more electable. Both parties had mechanisms in place to mitigate against this – its just for some reason in 2015 certain Labour MP’s forgot this lesson and allowed Corbyn on the ballot. They seriously underestimated the resentment in some sections of the membership, failed to recognise that this who had joined post 2010 under Ed tended to be more to the left and blind to the possible implications of the rule changes. In political terms this is one of the most significant errors in modern politics. – and one which the PLP has been trying desperately to rectify.

    The selection of Corbyn as leader can also be interpreted as a monumental act of self-indulgence by the (extended) Party membership, and effectively abdicating power to the Tories for the foreseeable future.

    You didn’t have to be a Blairite to foresee that Labour were heading for electoral disaster under Corbyn – anyone with any political awareness could see it. Some in the PLP did try to co-operate with him, but from the get go he and his close allies started setting up parallel structures to the official party, Corbyn didn’t consult with others and showed very little evidence of possessing the skills to run a modern political party. There was no real talk of bringing the party together from Corbyn or his supporters – more of extra-parliamentary action, de-selections and purges. Corbyn just did not have the leadership skills or inclination to bring the different wings of the party together.

    So virtually all of the PLP recognised that he was an electoral liability (not just the right wing of the party). The key reason why a move was made against him after the EU ref was many in the PLP believed that an early election was highly likely. There was a hope that the experience of the EU ref had turned enough party members against Corbyn (personally I think Corbyn got a bit of a bum deal over the EU ref tbh).

    Neither side is completely blameless for the current state of affairs, but the real tragedy is that it was avoidable. Those who suffer will be those who Labour purports to represent.

    The gods make blind those that they wish to destroy.

  6. “its just for some reason in 2015 certain Labour MP’s forgot this lesson and allowed Corbyn on the ballot”

    ACtually, when the bar for nominations was raised to 15%, and the left of the party objected because this looked like a mechanism to reduce the runt of the party having a candidate on the ballot, the PLP promised to support the nominations of candidates from minority groupings within Labour to widen the debate. The PLP were doing just as they promised. This promise led to Kendall also being on the ballot – but there was no struggle to get support given to that wing of the party but that may not always be the case.

    The proposed reduction of the nominations barrier to 5% will allow the right of Labour to present candidates without having to borrow support as well as the left.

  7. RP @Edge of Reason

    Thanks for the Register link.

    As a computerer for over 50 years – I started coding in Assembler on an IBM 1620 in 1966 – and still do some system design and even a little coding despite having been officially retired from a UN agency for more than a decade.

    Getting caught out by the ransomware could happen to anyone but if the article is true with “Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt cancelled a pricey support package in 2015 as a cost-saving measure” then the Cons do have a problem.

    As Wilde’s Lady Bracknell put it: To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

    In this case it is much more than carelessness and more like the behaviour of a miser, which of course it appears to have been.

    This should be a godsend to any party which actually believes the 4 UK NHS systems are “a good thing” provided the media report it.

    Tomorrow’s political TV programmes will be bound to cover it even if the Con press don’t, but at least the Observer, Mirror and Indy will. That may even result in the “brexit” press having to cover it to compete, albeit with a very watered down take on the issue.

    Given UKIP’s views on privatising the NHS, it might even make a few of their erstwhile supporters thin twice about voting Con, but anyone who previously supported Lab, LD, Green, PC or SNP will have a much harder decision to make in supporting Cons.

    A small caveat would be that the SNP and Lafur might get similar claims made against them. The article mentions no Welsh or NI hospitals but does mention Lanarkshire, which the SCons may try to blame on the SNP.

    Does anyone know whether XP support was negotiated by HMG for all 4 NHS systems or were they negotiated individually prior to 2015?


    Latest Opinium poll: Con 47% (+1) Lab 32% (+2) LD 8% (-1) Ukip 5% (-2)

  9. @Glenglhis

    I am not aware of any obligation in the rules for the PLP to nominate members of minority groups – and in all of the previous recent contests the hard left (for use of a better term) had failed to get on the ballot.

    I remember talk at the time of 2015 leadership contest of people using arguments such as this – eg having a broad discussion, but cant recall a previous commitment to it by the PLP. Be interested if you could point me to a ref where this commitment was made prior to 2015.

  10. “in all of the previous recent contests the hard left (for use of a better term) had failed to get on the ballot.”

    Not true. Diane Abbott stood in the 2010 Labour leadership contest.

  11. correction – sorry Glenghlis but forgot Diane Abbot got on the ballot with Ed Miliband’s vote in 2010, so please ignore

    – and in all of the previous recent contests the hard left (for use of a better term) had failed to get on the ballot.

  12. RP – yes I remembered just after posting

  13. @barbazenzero

    There was never an XP support contract, all government departments were told, based on GCHQ advice, to remove XP and windows 2003 years ago before support expired. The licence to upgrade are all included in the enterprise agreement.

    XP is red herring anyway, payload has to get in and it has to deploy, then it has to spread. Government has a cyber control policy designed to prevent this. So it is most likely that someone with admin perissions with internet access (shouldn’t occur) downloaded something.

  14. CON: 47% (+1) LAB: 32% (+2) LDEM: 8% (-1) UKIP: 5% (-2) GRN: 2% (-)

    (via @OpiniumResearch / 09 – 12 May)

  15. Thats a second poll to show labour up on 32, The lead has narrowed a little 14 and 15 point leads from todays polls


    Buzzfeed had a good piece on what people are sharing

    I just believe it will for the first time bring the youth vote up a little causing the polls to under estimate Labour.

  16. Personally I think the Tories have no problem because the truth will not be spoken. It’s the old ploy, starve a public body of money till it fails than say we have no choice but to privatise – then lots of people make lots of money and only the poor lose services because they can’t pay.

    It’s absolutely clear despite the repeated nonsense that was everything to do with starving the NHS of funding and the Tories, especially Hunt, should be in trouble.

    But who is going to call them on it? Labour will, but they’ll just be called names by the supposedly neutral commentators.

  17. Is it me or is this site getting very partisan.

  18. LMZDEE

    This suggests a squeeze on smaller parties as voters focus on Tories and Labour. Labour are showing signs of a genuine uptick ( but still within MOE)
    But Tories are also showing uptick ( again within MOE) almost certainly benefiting from reduction in UKIP share.

    Tories will be happy if other polls show similar as they have not really opened up yet( other than possibly pushed hard in traditional Labour heartlands up North). LD look like a busted flush and on this basis will be looking for another leader on 9/6.

  19. Oh and Porrohman – anybody who didn’t spot your opening post with its “I used to work for the NHS and the managers just wanted to download games all day and use pirate software”, really hasn’t been on the internet long enough.

  20. Since Septemeber 2015 there has been a relentless attack of Corbyn by almost all sections of the print media, Sky News, ITV News and the BBc. They have given May an easy ride despite her abject failure as Home Secretary over her immigration policy success. They have not even challenged her decision not to enter live debates with the other leaders because they know she is a weak performer unless she has a pre=prepared script sitting in front of her.

  21. Todays polls give Tories majorities of over 100 and a freehand to do what they want.

    This would be a disastrous result for labour: if these figures occur….

    Todays figures only give hope to cynical Corbynites (clearly a couple in this thread) who would love to run the Tony Benn 1983 playbook = claiming that 30% ‘voting for socialism’ is a great victory!

  22. @nickp

    Eh? can you explain what you mean please?

  23. “…can you explain what you mean please?”

    To whom?

  24. Me

  25. Rob S

    And blame it all on right wing press.

    I think that most people can make their own minds up about Corbyn and that includes a fair number of hard working Labour MPs who will be thrown out because of the chaotic way he leads the party.

    But hey 30% is a massive success – astounding and very worrying as we need a credible opposition ( who will that be?)

  26. Too partisan!

  27. Rob Sheffield

    Yes Orb gives 100 majority and Opinium 114, very little movement.

  28. Microsoft support for obsolete operating systems isn’t simply a matter of paying a fixed annual maintenance fee. Cost of support escalates year on year as the number of customers using the OS decreases until it become prohibitively expensive. I’m guessing that use of XP in the NHS is limited to a small number of systems running software which wouldn’t run on a newer OS. The solution that most businesses adopt is to isolate obsolete systems on a separate network which is isolated through firewalls. It’s not exactly rocket science.

    Good cybersecurity is in any case more a matter of rhe organisation’s culture than the amount it spends. Simple solutions like quaranting incoming emails with executable attachments amd disabling removable media like memory sticks will keep out any but the most advanced attacker. But those sorts of defences are unpopular and need a culture shift to get adopted.

  29. @RP + Glenghlis

    Having realised my error I went back and looked at the voting in the 2010 contest and its quite interesting if you at which MP’s who voted Ed rather than David Miliband, given that the latter was seen as the Blairite candidate and Ed as the move to the left candidate. Some of the most prominent critics of Corbyn (Benn/Umunna) voted for Ed.


    Letting any machine required for an “internal” system have full internet access is clearly crazy, but why does the Register link which RP provided say: A large part of the organization’s systems are still using Windows XP, which is no longer supported by Microsoft, and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt cancelled a pricey support package in 2015 as a cost-saving measure?

    The grauniad article ROBIN posted also says: Thousands of computers still running Windows XP at risk after Government Digital Service opted not to renew support in April [2015].

    Both articles seem to imply that there was some support arrangement in place until April 2015, which would presumably have provided some malware prevention. Are you saying these articles are untrue or that any Microsoft “fix” would have been ineffective?

    Re your later Is it me or is this site getting very partisan, I agree, which is why I haven’t been posting much lately.

  31. New Comres poll

    CON 48-2 LAB 30+5 LD 10-2 UKIP 5-2 GRN 3=

    Hope nobody gets over excited by this just brings Labour into line with the others

  32. NickP – “the Tories, especially Hunt, should be in trouble.”

    How do you explain NHS Scotland having 11 out of 14 hospitals infected by this virus? Given that Jeremy Hunt doesn’t have any control over them?

    Or how this thing has affected orgs worldwide from Renault to Nissan to Deutsche Bahn and Telefonica?

  33. CANDY…….Nail…head….hit…! ;-)


    The article is misleading, but not strictly untrue.

    You basically have some form of enterprise agreement, it comes with updates and support. But it’s for a specific product set and specific updates for a specific time. Every OS has a life span for which the manufacture offers support. Microsoft roadmap this well in advance. The agreements include update assurance allowing you to update your software to the latest version.

    No support contract in the world would have solved this or prevented it, upgrading to the lates OS may lesson the risk but not remove the risk.

    The problem here is process and people. THE MONK is spot on.

    Anyone working at a high level in ICT faces the same dilemma every day, security vs. Convienanve. The bigger and more devolved the estate the harder to secure.

    But it isn’t rocket science. I would suggest to all polictical parties to stay away from this as it risks them showing they don’t know enough on the subject.

    Contracts, tools etc are all side issues. It’s people and process and then people again.

    This is the way of the world, I have been lucky in that I argued the point in my own organisation around 5 years ago that this would happen and we need to make security part of our every day culture. It’s. A never ending fight, but it’s not one for politicians IMO.

    But to answer the question, a specific XP support contract would not have prevented this incident.

  35. The fact that some other organisations outside the NHS have been affected hardly means that the NHS or the government have no questions to answer.

    Today Microsoft released a security patch that defends Windows XP against the ransomeware. The wording of their announcement would suggest that the patch had already been made available to companies with a private support contract but is only now being made available to everyone else –

  36. “How do you explain NHS Scotland having 11 out of 14 hospitals infected by this virus? Given that Jeremy Hunt doesn’t have any control over them?”

    I leave that to Nicola (or the non-partisan OldNat) to explain.

  37. @Porrohman,

    How do you reach that conclusion?

    Microsoft knew about the issue in March, and issued the patch for supported operating systems in March. The implication is that they also had a patch available for XP but didn’t release it to the general public, but presumably did release it to those on support contracts.

    Of course, there are two ways that this ransomware could affect a system – one is if it was unpatched because no patch had been released (e.g. because it was an old operating system and not on a support contract) and the other is if it was unpatched because (in the case of a newer operating system, for example) the IT staff had postponed application of the patch.

  38. Can anyone honestly see Corbyn polling better (32%) than Miliband (30%) or Brown (29%) on the day?

  39. All the most recent polls are showing UKIP being squeezed further. This tranche of voters seem to be splitting more evenly between Lab and Con. It will be interesting to see the tables.
    There has been much speculation here about the destination of UKIP voters who discover they can’t vote for their preferred party. Are these latest polls an indication that they shouldn’t automatically be added to the Con column?
    It is possible that Con leaning UKippers could have left long ago, perhaps the remaining ones are not keen on Con.

  40. @NickP


    Regarding the virus, the chap who hit the “kill switch” has written an article explaining how he stopped it propagating:

    He also made the following comment: “Although ransomware on a public sector system isn’t even newsworthy, systems being hit simultaneously across the country is (contrary to popular belief, most NHS employees don’t open phishing emails which suggested that something to be this widespread it would have to be propagated using another method)”


    Some additional perspective/detail on whether the govt could be hit with accusations of negligence.

  42. Andrew Myers

    “Can anyone honestly see Corbyn polling better (than 32%).”

    Probably not – but the real problem for Labour is the Tory score consistently in the mid to upper forties – landslide territory. (and before the Conservatives have unleashed whatever it is they are about to unleash)

    Hello from Bournemouth East.
    I do not think that Jeremy Corbyn will do better in the popular vote than Ed M or Gordon B.

    I see to remember that the polls tend to overestimate the Labour vote

  44. @ChrisLane1945,
    The polls have all updated their methodology since 2015. No one knows yet whether they are overstating Labour this time round.

  45. @rp

    True, but Microsoft don’t do support contracts in that way. XP support expired as an offering in 2015. Microsoft gave yerars of notice, most people upgraded or isolated their XP systems.

    HMG could of negotiated a separate contract, it would of been very expensive and would just of delayed the inevitable without assurance been planned into the system design.

  46. THE MONK

    I agree with you entirely re Good cybersecurity.

    However, your guess that use of XP in the NHS is limited to a small number of systems running software which wouldn’t run on a newer OS is more debatable. Since Microsoft merged “home” and “business” operating systems into XP all later versions [Vista, 7, 8 & 10] have been pretty good at backward compatibility. Even if your guess proved to be correct, provided the source code of the relevant software was owned by the national NHS systems there should be little difficulty in recompiling them for newer operating systems.

    If I had to guess, the problem would be more about the hardware and operating system costs of replacing the old PCs. That’s certainly not exactly rocket science, although it does strongly suggest that HMG were at least as much concerned about the cost of replacing what are certainly obsolescent PCs and servers as they were about maintaining the software.


    Every OS has a life span for which the manufacture offers support. Microsoft roadmap this well in advance. The agreements include update assurance allowing you to update your software to the latest version.

    Quite so, except that Microsoft did offer to extend support to HMG at a price.

    No support contract in the world would have solved this or prevented it, upgrading to the lates OS may lesson the risk but not remove the risk.

    I’d be interested in how you know this, but given that Microsoft made the offer it would have been them who carried the can for [and had to resolve] this issue had HMG paid their price.

    Anyone working at a high level in ICT faces the same dilemma every day, security vs. Convienanve. The bigger and more devolved the estate the harder to secure.

    But it isn’t rocket science.

    Quite so, again. I’m happy to be able to say that I helped the UN agency I used to work for to become paranoid on security issues and they have not been compromised to date. Good for you in doing the same for your enterprise.

    But surely what matters is that there are only two possibilities HMG had to deal with in 2015 having been in office 5 years and facing a UK GE….

    Either they needed to replace a huge stable of obsolete [or at best obsolescent] of both software and hardware for the 4 x NHS or they needed to extend its safe working life for whole of the next parliament and hope to kick the issue down the road until a new HMG had to make the same decision.

    Hunt may well have employed the most competent advisors he could find in the negotiations with IBM but ultimately the buck stops with him and HMG as a whole.

    I’m with RP on this issue.

  48. CANDY @ NickP
    How do you explain NHS Scotland having 11 out of 14 hospitals infected by this virus? Given that Jeremy Hunt doesn’t have any control over them?

    You imply that you have the evidence I was asking for.

    Please provide the link which confirms that the common NHS systems in the four “home” nations are NOT provided by Hunt’s NHS.

    Or how this thing has affected orgs worldwide from Renault to Nissan to Deutsche Bahn and Telefonica?

    How many hospitals do those enterprises run?

  49. Some balance is called for. Corbyn is not exactly offering extreme economic policies.

    The Liberals attempting to portray them as extreme have actually been more about following extreme policies themselves.

    We used to have a mix of private and public, at neither extreme, while now the neoliberal seek to progressively eradicate public ownership and regulation year on year. They tend progressively to the extreme.

    In terms of social liberalism, free movement is extreme also.

    These Liberal policies are not centrist, and are rejected in terms of polling on free movement, free schools, nationalisations etc.

    And when conveyed in an actual Liberal Party, since before the war they only get decent VI when pretending to be left wing. When they come clean as Liberals, VI collapses again.

    This is why liberals have to co-opt other parties.

    It would not be a surprise to me if Theresa doesn’t actually unleash the fogs of war on Corbyn, because to Conservatives, as opposed to Liberals who snuck in, Old-style a Labour are bedfellows, as in the fifties. One Nation Toryism is about, guess what, stability, about Conserving, not a dash to hand everything over to Corporate Global interests. If Theresa wants to ditch the Liberalism, she needs Corbyn to deflect the Liberal press.

    She knew she had to get rid of the Liberals in her party quickly, because they are not going to want to abandon their host. Oblivion otherwise beckons if they have to revert to joining an actual liberal,party.

  50. Daily Mail reporting some GP’s want to charge people for appointments. Thin end of the wedge if this comes about.

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