ComRes have a new poll in the Independent tomorrow. The topline figures, with changes from the last ComRes poll, are CON 40%(-1), LAB 28%(-2), LDEM 18%(+1).
Labour are lower than in other recent polls, but we’re seeing roughly the same gap between the Conservative and Labour as we have in all other recent polls. Interestingly support for “others” is at a relatively high 14%, though ComRes do often weight people who voted “other” in 2005 to a higher level than the other phone pollsters, and often show higher support for them in their topline figures. For the record the breakdown for the others here is Green 3%, SNP 3%, BNP 2%, Plaid 1% and UKIP 1%.
While I’m here, this morning’s Telegraph had some more details held over from last week’s YouGov poll, dealing with the issue of MP’s expenses. Not surprisingly public opinion towards them was extremely hostile. 68% of respondents thought that MPs salary and allowances scheme was too generous, with 23% thinking it was about right and a paltry 4% thinking they should be given more. Over three-quarters of people thought the second home allowance should be reduced or abolished (comprising 32% who wanted to see it reduced and 46% who wanted it abolished altogether).
Asked how much abuse went on, respondents thought “gross abuse” of the expenses system was common amongst MPs – though most thought there were some straight MPs! 13% thought more than 600 of the 646 MPs were grossly abusing the system, 55% thought more than 200 were. Only 10% thought less than 50 were.
Asked about possible solutions, 33% said they it would be better if there were less allowances and MPs were instead given a higher salary. 56% said it would be better if there was no salary increase, and expenses were checked more thoroughly. 12% said don’t know, and I expect had the option been given to just stop giving MPs lots of their expenses it would be been a preferred option!