Two new polls tonight, and both show a one point Labour lead. ComRes’s monthly telephone poll for the Independent has topline figures of CON 37%(-1), LAB 38%(nc), LDEM 14%(+2). Meanwhile the daily YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%.

The gap between Labour and Conservative is obviously the same (and seems to be very typical of recent polls showing the two main parties pretty much neck-and-neck.) There is more contrast with the Lib Dems: YouGov normally give the party their lowest scores, the 14% from ComRes is one of their better scores of late from a non-ICM pollster.


291 Responses to “ComRes and YouGov both show 1 point Labour leads”

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  1. @Alec

    OK no harm done.

    Regards

    Howard

  2. Martyn

    Ipsos MORI VI poll for Holyrood now out.

    http://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Scotland/ipsos-mori-scotland-salmond-satisfaction-poll-2012-tables.pdf

    Constituency vote (those certain to vote)

    SNP 49% : Lab 23% : Con 13% : LD 10%

    According to Scotland Votes, that would give the LDs 2 constituencies (Orkney and Shetland ) : Tories 2 constituencies (Eastwood and Etterick etc ) : Lab 1 constituency (Dumfriesshire ) : SNP all the rest.

    (Anthony – Apologies if this breaks your guidelines)

  3. @the Other Howard
    I have spoken to lots of medics who have said they would never go to a private hospital if they had anything seriously wrong. All the emergency services like crash teams are not available 24 hours in a private hospital.

  4. @Lizh – that was broadly my point. The private sector naturally focuses on easy to treat conditions and very often, insurance policies have all kinds of limits and exclusions which means that the NHS gets called in when things go wrong or are more complicated to sort out.

    This doesn’t necessarily mean private provision isn’t a good option, or that the interest of the public cannot be served well by mingling private and NHS care. However, it does mean that drawing direct comparisons between performance and efficiency is difficult. Some analyses try to argue that private is more efficient that NHS, but these nearly always seem to fail to account for the fact that the NHS takes on more difficult cases to start, suppressing their ‘efficiency’ on an unadjusted analysis.

  5. It seems to me that most of the complaints about the NHS are not strictly clinical. It is more about indifferent care and slow administration.

    People “go private” not to enjoy better survival rates or to receive more professional surgery, they do it to be seen quickly, and to be looked after well by people who are nice to them.

  6. @ Neil A

    I am afraid my personal experience of the NHS hospital service includes essential tests refused and on more than one occasion and with very different conditions. The first time was in relation to what turned out to be a cancerous condition and the other very recent experience is cardiac related.So I have to pay twice (firstly with taxation for a failing service) and secondly to get excellent healthcare. I am happy to pay for my healthcare but expect value for money, locally I have not had that from my hospital service.

  7. Hi Anthony,

    Sorry to post here but want to say that I am being blocked by Cloudfare (or whatever it is called) from accessing the website. More than that even if I fill in the capthas for ‘temporary’ access literally nothing happens.

    I have full virus check and do not have viruses additionally this is a new PC bought at Christmas with up to date Windows 7 software etc.

    Have been able to post this by using firefox but just wanted you to know as I think this may be stopping a lot of legitimate people coming onto your site.

  8. @ The Othr Howard @ Alec

    “A bit of a cheap jibe I think. I tried to use the NHS but it was useless so i was forced to go private, nothing boastful about that but I am afraid typical of the abuse that puts me off commenting on this site.”

    I’m glad you & Alec have made it up, but if you think that was abuse I suggest “you get out more often”, as the saying goes.

    As F. Engels said when asked to “list his favourite occupation”: “chafing & being chafed”.
    PS. Walking down Oxford Rd., Manchester, yesterday I was dismayed to see that the Victorian post box where
    Engels posted his letters to K. Marx in London had been demolished to make way for a [hideous] new building; & was then relieved to see that in fact it had been relocated a few yards away. The Pankhursts must also have used the box, as it stands 250 yards away from their old [preserved] house.

  9. Of course, if you need serious urgent emergency treatment… You’re going to the NHS anyway.

    The Private sector doesn’t really do emergency care very well, the only existing ones in the UK amount to walk in clinics for stitching cuts, dispensing expensive laxatives, putting ice packs on sprains, and centres of excellence in charging hypochondriacs for blood tests and x-rays. Even in the US, Emergency care is ultimately paid for by the state because otherwise it wouldn’t happen.

    So sure, the Private health care sector can get a huge head start on efficiency, by not having to pay for the messy cases.

  10. Hmm…

    Certainly bad timing to be on housing benefit and live in London this year…

    http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/02/10288441-olympic-housing-crunch-london-landlords-evict-tenants-to-gouge-tourists

  11. @JayBlanc

    “Private health care sector can get a huge head start on efficiency, by not having to pay for the messy cases.”

    And by not paying anything when they mess it up, or when there are complications that extend beyind the contracted care period…

  12. @ Jayblanc

    I agree of course I would and that is why I want the NHS largely privatised so competition ensures real efficiency and value for money as per my original post.

  13. @The Other Howard

    And as I pointed out, it doesn’t work that way in the US. The Private hospitals hate emergency care, and will do their best to avoid it.

    What the US health care system provides for emergency care is Glut or Famine. You either have an over-stretched ER that is only supported by the state or a charity, or you have an ER attached to a private hospital that is otherwise empty because they only accept admission of patients who pre-approved it from their insurance provider.

    I was lucky that the time I got ill in the States and needed emergency re-hydration by saline drip, I ended up with the latter. I could have been in the wrong place, or with the wrong insurance firm, and had the former.

  14. @Robbiealive – “I’m glad you & Alec have made it up, but if you think that was abuse I suggest “you get out more often”, as the saying goes.”

    Perhaps a little unfair? It’s worth remembering that everyone has different sensibilities, and when writing anonymous posts in the privacy of our own lives, we often forget that others have had different experiences and that our ‘jokes’ may sometimes fall flat. Black words on a white background don’t always convey the same emotion to the reader that thewriter intended.

    Clearly, @The Other Howard appears to have had some pretty dreadful and inexcusable experiences with his local NHS providers. I cracked a joke about Surry types, but had I been through what it sounds like he has been through, I don’t think I would have found my humour quite so sidesplitting.

  15. Since this thread is dominated by NHS England, here’s an English study of NHS Scotland

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5iOPDNP8l9FhDDRZaZxmtfoK_eO2g?docId=N0257511328065055442A

    “Partnership in the NHS in England and Wales is also built on a shared commitment to high-quality patient care, but partnership in NHS Scotland is unique.

    “That’s because from an early stage it was also based on a strong consensus over the organisational structure that would best deliver the NHS’s founding principles.

    “This involved a move away from most of the market-based reforms introduced from the 1980s onwards – reforms the NHS in England continues to pursue.”

  16. @Oldnat – I was going to post a link to a blog by Tom Forcedyke on the BBC sports pages relating to rugby union. He has crunched the numbers for the 6 Nations results from the last ten years, and came to the conclusion that while Scotland have the second lowest number of straight wins, taking into account a basket of other measures, such as wins per club, wins per player and wins per income of the national union, Scotland comes out as the best performer.

    Just thought you might be interested.

  17. Alec

    Thanks for that. We have a family dinner tomorrow after the Calcutta Cup match. Win, lose or draw, we’ll enjoy the game and the consequent alcohol fuelled post match analysis!

  18. UK GE may yet be very far, but French PE is now very near, and all VI polls now converge: Socialist candidate F. Hollande has an average 7 point lead over outgoing president Sarkozy and a 16 point lead in the runoff. This is nothing short of amazing, never an incumbent was so doomed. This period is very critical, because at 80 days of the election day usually the numbers do not change much (and certainly never in favor of the incumbent when there is one). At the same point (end January – beginning February) in 2007 Sarkozy had an average 5 point lead over Royal for the 1st round and a 6 point lead for the runoff, and this was the exact outcome of the election. Of course if these predictions come true, the French right will be in total disarray also for the GE of June, since it will be a tough battle not only against the candidates of the socialist–green alliance, who are anyhow in the lead, but also against the center and the far right, who have until now promising predictions (average 13 for the center and 17 for the far-right). So maybe we are in for a major turn in the heart of the EU, after so many victories of the center-right in the past decade.

  19. Steve Richards has a very interesting article in the Independent today, suggesting Cameron is an unlucky leader, Milliband is a lucky opposition leader and that the next election will be an epoch changing event more similar to 1945 or 1979 than 1997 (eery echoes of what a few of us posted on here some weeks ago?).

    He ends with this – “Cameron and Osborne are awestruck that in every opinion poll voters placed Tony Blair precisely on the centre ground. They want to be in the same place as their hero at the next election. But what it means to be on the centre ground is changing fast now and will have changed even more by then.”

    This is something I have been pondering recently, and where I diverge significantly from the certainties expressed by @Rob Sheffield and @Chrislane1945.

    I can fully understand their viewpoints that Labour wins the centre or fails, and in many ways this will still apply in 2015. I guess it has to, from a simple mathematical point of view.

    The bit they might be missing is that the centre ground in 2015 may not be the centre ground they are currently standing on. All things change, and yesterdays centre ground could well be tomorrows marginalised fringe.

  20. @Oldnat – “Thanks for that. We have a family dinner tomorrow after the Calcutta Cup match. Win, lose or draw, we’ll enjoy the game and the consequent alcohol fuelled post match analysis!”

    Have I missed a day, or are you on the pop early again?

  21. Alec

    :-)

    Us retired folk get a bit hazy (even when sober) as to which say of the week it is. 7 day weekends are so good!

  22. Regarding the ongoing NHS dispute. Believe it or not, there are pros and cons to this.

    Public medical advocates need to accept that:
    * NHS service is bad and has gotten worse, e.g. GPs make fewer housecalls
    * Some NHS staff are hugely overpaid: I saw a stat this week that says the *average* GP salary is £109K. That is *way* too much – it was ~£40K in ~1997 for longer hours
    * The NHS nursing career structure is messed up: the greater emphasis on diagnostic skill and nurse-practitioners deprecates the brute-force manual work and empathic aspects of the job – somebody has to lift the patient, hold their hand while they cry, and cope with the vomit.
    * NHS handles things like long-term/chronic illness very badly
    * UK dentistry is genuinely absolute rubbish.

    Private medical advocates need to accept that:
    * NHS handles things like emergency medical/surgical provision, pregancy, neonates and paediatrics very well
    * NHS immunization programs resulted in an enormous drop in child mortality (and a consequent massive boost in life expectancy). This is why the UK had *two* baby booms, not one
    * UK health prior to the invention of the NHS was appalling.

    All need to accept that:
    * When you discount advances like anaethesia, external viewing (Xrays/NMR scans), immunization, transplants, radio/chemotherapy and antibiotics, medicine now is similar to, say, the 1900s. So if the condition you have is not amenable to those things, then whether you get better or worse has a chance component whether you are in the private or public sector.
    * Some things medicine just can’t cure. If you have pancreatic cancer, for example, you are going to die quickly.
    * Surgeons are plumbers with scalpels who occasionally kill people without punishment. Not miracle workers.
    * GPs are doctors who were too dumb to learn a specialty. If it’s complicated, just go straight to Casualty. If it’s simple, just go straight to your pharmacist.

    Regards, Martyn

  23. @Oldnat

    “7 day weekends are so good!”

    Err – no! Usually no polls at the weekends, so how would we spend out time on here, especially if we can’t talk about the forbidden subject or quote from the unmentionable paper!

    :-)

  24. @Oldnat

    Thank you

    @Virgilio

    Thank you

    Regards, Martyn

  25. Martyn,

    And all the political parties support giving the dumn Doctors a greater role in commissioning.

    My beef with the NHS is how out of date their admin systems are compared to GPs.
    Little things like having to phone to ask for a change of appointment, why not email cheaper and more efficient.
    When arriving for an appointment having to queue to tell them, no touch screen facility.
    It is not just the conveniece its the extra cost which public sector managers are not great at minimising especially when invesment is needed as contraints are in place.
    Ther equation to me is simple, if the savings made by using the private sector are greater than the profits the providers make I have no ideological objection to its’ greater involvement as long as cherry picking is avoided.
    No one now questions refuse collections being done by the private sector for example as the savings over the old in-house providers was clear even after a profit made.

  26. Well, this fiasco over the head of the SLC is somethng of a banana skin for the coalition and especially the Cons.

    david (two brains) Willets signed off the arrangement, I believe. Did it not occur to him that this what he was agreeing to was a tax avoidance arrangement, and oen of the kind which has ‘annoyed’ the Treasury and HMRC for many years – hence the IR35 rules?

    I imagine joe publci won’t be happy…

  27. Two brains may have start dissembling (apologies to posters under 35)

  28. @jim Jam

    Amen

    @others

    I made a mistake: i meant liver cancer, not pancreatic cancer. Although given their location, one becomes the other very quickly… :-(

    Regards, Martyn

  29. @alec
    You may have found what Steve Richards has to say about the death of Conservatism and the inevitable rise of Social Democracy, despite all available evidence, but I for one would not.

    If you enjoy reading very badly tainted garbage, I recommend David Irving.

  30. @ALEC
    You may have found what Steve Richards has to say about the death of Conservatism and the inevitable rise of Social Democracy INTERESTING, despite all available evidence, but I for one would not.

    this is what I should have said,—-APOLOGIES

  31. @Chouenlai – well clearly you’ve obviously read him. I had no idea he was predicting the death of anything.

  32. It is being reported that the Forfeiture Committee had decided not to annul Goodwin’s knighthood in 2009 after the collapse of RBS because his case didn’t fall within the rules of forfeiture of honours. As nothing has changed since 2009 the decision taken now is said to be politically motivated after the intervention of Cameron.

  33. OLDNAT

    Ipsos MORI VI poll for Holyrood now out.

    http://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Scotland/ipsos-mori-scotland-salmond-satisfaction-poll-2012-tables.pdf

    Constituency vote (those certain to vote)

    SNP 49% : Lab 23% : Con 13% : LD 10%
    ___________

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOF!!!!!!!! :) :) :) :) :)

    According to Scotland Votes, that would give the LDs 2 constituencies (Orkney and Shetland ) : Tories 2 constituencies (Eastwood and Etterick etc ) : Lab 1 constituency (Dumfriesshire ) : SNP all the rest

  34. LIZH

    @”As nothing has changed since 2009 ”

    You have missed the key factor:-

    The FSA report ” The Failure of the Royal Bank of Scotland” dated December 2011.

    But I’m sure there was political pressure too & the FSA report provided the first bit of leverage for such pressure.

  35. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    There was another poll today which relates to something which we are banned from talking about. Shame that, because it was seriously flawed.

  36. Liz,Well, quelle surprise!

  37. @Colin

    I have not read the FSA report but this is what the Indy is reporting:
    “But the FSA report, while critical of the Royal Bank of Scotland board, did not single Mr Goodwin out for censure. Giving evidence last month to the Treasury Select Committee Bill Knight, one of the FSA report’s two external supervisors, said there was “no evidence” of Mr Goodwin’s incompetence. He added that the report, overall, did not amount to censure of Mr Goodwin.
    Sir Tom McKillop, who was chairman of RBS during Mr Goodwin’s time, still has his knighthood.”

  38. @ Alec

    Centre ground of politics ? Where is it now and where do you think it will be in 2015?

    Personally I don’t think most people know exactly where they are on the political spectrum. I would describe myself as a social democrat, with attachment to some things which would be considered left wing and I am also in favour of policies that would be considered right wing. On the left wing side, I believe in state provision where competition is not in the public interest and on the right wing side I believe that some state provision can be outsourced to the private sector.

    If this recession continues to be really bad until 2015, with unemployment high and people struggling on squeezed incomes, then I would predict that people would look to the state i.e government help. This is where I believe that the coalition have no choice but to offer some personal tax cuts within the next year or so and more employer incentives to create jobs. The government will hope to do this, by saving on benefits and on some department spending.

  39. Just supposing Huhne is charged and found guilty…will there be a by election?

  40. @Alec

    “Steve Richards has a very interesting article in the Independent today, suggesting Cameron is an unlucky leader, Milliband is a lucky opposition leader and that the next election will be an epoch changing event more similar to 1945 or 1979 than 1997 (eery echoes of what a few of us posted on here some weeks ago?). ”

    SR may well have written that. Who knows- he may well also be telling himself that it is the truth. But really- Cameron unlucky and EdM lucky. That’s *desperate* clutching at straws.

    and

    “The bit they might be missing is that the centre ground in 2015 may not be the centre ground they are currently standing on. All things change, and yesterdays centre ground could well be tomorrows marginalised fringe.”

    The centre ground in 2015- an incomplete list:

    * Small-as-possible/ Big-as-necessary state default position: rather than a Big state OR Small state default position;
    * Belief in a mixed economy rather than bias towards the public sector OR private sector;
    * Not pro-Union and not pro-Business;
    * Meritocracy rather than by birth or privilege;
    * Jobs and benefits to strivers rather than dependency;
    * Jobs and benefits to UK citizens and not an open door policy to all comers which the UK economy cannot afford;
    * Pro Europe but not Europhile;
    * Balance between Economic Development and Sustainable Development- as opposed to one or the other at all costs
    * Progressive taxation that is fair and does not act as disincentive to the highest earners
    * All graduates to pay for HE based on their annual earnings
    * A strong defence capability used ‘smartly’

    How many of these is Cameron dragging his paleo-conservative wing towards ? How many of these is EdM currently to the left of- in some cases quite significantly?

    One thing that never changes is this: far leftists and their green fellow travellers always assume that their approach is somehow moderate i.e. centrist. That their position is shared by the millions of non-committed politically disinterested voters out there who will decide the next election- people who they rarely if ever have any communication/ contact with.

    It is why they can (rather pompously) state that the ‘centre ground has shifted towards us’- and it is why they are often so bitterly disappointed and angry with the voters after yet another election defeat.

  41. ROB SHEFFIELD

    “far leftists and their green fellow travellers”

    I’m sure that the Scottish Green Party has some “far-left fellow travellers” in their ranks, though they might well object to being labelled “fellow travellers” as opposed to “part of”.

    Sensible people, however, would be hard put to it to place any present or former Green MSPs as “far left”.

  42. LIZH

    Thanks.

    I am no apologist for McKillop-neither he nor Goodwin appeared to understand the risks being generated in credit trading.

    I quote from the FSA report :-

    “One of the three areas investigated by Enforcement Division was the conduct of Mr Johnny Cameron, Chairman of RBS’s Global Banking and Markets (GBM)
    division, in respect of key decisions made and potential control failings within GBM. This focus reflected the significance of GBM’s losses in the failure of the bank.
    Losses incurred by GBM (excluding ABN AMRO) on credit trading activities played a major role in eroding RBS’s capital base and undermining confidence.
    Over 2007 and 2008, these losses amounted to £2.5bn in structured credit (e.g. CDOs), £2.3bn in related monoline insurance and £1.4bn in leveraged finance.”

    However McKillop’s knighthood was received for services to the pharma industry-not banking.

    I get the impression that you are not in favour of removing Goodwin’s honour.

    I can understand anyone who feels that there was something of a search for a scapegoat about it.

    But I feel no sympathy for the man.

    It is just a pity that those politicians who fawned & basked in his reflected “glory” , not to mention the regulatory officials who watched him construct the world’s biggest hand grenade , have not also been put in the tumbril.

  43. @Rob Sheffield

    That list is… well, little more than a nice round statement that pretty much any party currently existing in the UK can claim to be for. Including the Conservatives.

    The only contentious one being “Pro Europe but not Europhile”, and I’m not sure what that actually means.

  44. OLDNAT

    Ashcroft?

  45. Colin

    Neither Mrs Nat or myself has found anyone (of any political persuasion) that has any sympathy for Goodwin personally.

    At the same time, neither of us has found anyone who finds scapegoating of one person, an acceptable way for the Establishment to behave.

  46. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    That’s the one.

  47. “* Small-as-possible/ Big-as-necessary state default position: rather than a Big state OR Small state default position;
    * Belief in a mixed economy rather than bias towards the public sector OR private sector;
    * Not pro-Union and not pro-Business;
    * Meritocracy rather than by birth or privilege;
    * Jobs and benefits to strivers rather than dependency;
    * Jobs and benefits to UK citizens and not an open door policy to all comers which the UK economy cannot afford;
    * Pro Europe but not Europhile;
    * Balance between Economic Development and Sustainable Development- as opposed to one or the other at all costs
    * Progressive taxation that is fair and does not act as disincentive to the highest earners
    * All graduates to pay for HE based on their annual earnings
    * A strong defence capability used ‘smartly’

    I’d vote for that :-)

    ………..I think I did :-)

  48. OLDNAT

    Well all I will say is that the 3rd question is totally misleading..What are the 33% agreeing too lol.

    Ooops sorry back on topic.
    CON 39%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%…Hmm not as exciting as the Holyrood poll but the Lib/Dems are on double figures in Scotland so that should keep them happy. ;)

  49. OLDNAT

    @”Neither Mrs Nat or myself has found anyone (of any political persuasion) that has any sympathy for Goodwin personally.
    At the same time, neither of us has found anyone who finds scapegoating of one person, an acceptable way for the Establishment to behave.”

    Yeees….the armchair default position.

    Comfy-but unhelpful.

  50. COLIN

    Glad to hear that you didn’t vote for University tuition fees.

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