The monthly ComRes telephone poll for the Independent is out tonight and has topline figures of CON 28%(-3), LAB 38%(-5), LDEM 12%(+4), UKIP 14%(+5). There are some significant shifts in all the party’s figures, and unusual figures for most of the parties. The Conservatives are the lowest ComRes have shown them in a telephone poll this Parliament, Labour at the very bottom of their normal range, the Lib Dems their highest for five months, UKIP their highest ever. The broad direction of travel in the figures isn’t surprising, other polls from other companies have also shown UKIP on the rise and the Lib Dems recovering a bit, but the degree of it here is a bit startling. I would advise the usual caution I apply to any poll showing stark changes in party support.

Meanwhile the weekly poll for TNS BMRB is also out tonight. They too show a big jump for UKIP, but in their case not the Lib Dems. Topline figures are CON 27%(+1), LAB 37%(-2), LDEM 10%(-3), UKIP 17%(+4), Others 10%(+2).

63 Responses to “New ComRes and TNS BMRB polls”

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    I wasn’t thinking of HMRC under Homer ( I try not to)-I was thinking of the findings of Keith Vaz’s Committee about her tenure at UKBA.

    I wonder if she took a supply of cardboard boxes to HMRC with her?

  2. NICKP

    Perhaps this explains-you need to listen to the interview with Vaz.

  3. Anthony.

    On your graph of Voting Intention since 2010, the horizontal axis should read 2013-not 2008.

  4. @ Colin

    Re Lin Homer

    Two very difficult departments to run, but by the sounds of it, lack of leadership in getting to the crux of problems and revealing all information, so you have a chance of resolving.

  5. For the love of god will Eurosceptics ever grow up.

    Time and time again we get the same “Old Chestnuts” and “Aunt Sally’s”

    “We need a proper debate on Europe” and “There is no democracy in the EZ”

    We have debated Europe for decades, in every forum and we do it every day, those that call for a “proper debate” are people who just don’t like the result of the proper debate that we’ve had.

    As to democracy, all the governments are democratically elected and make open decisions that their electorates can form an opinion on and if they don’t like the rest they can vote for someone else.

    Those who say there is “No Democracy” are those who don’t like what on this occasion democracy has produced.

    In 540 or so days we will be voting on Scottish Independence and I hope we win, but if we don’t it won’t be because we haven’t had a “Proper” debate or because there is “No Democracy”, it will be because we lost fair and square.

    I won’t be happy and will still support Independence because I think it’s right, but I won’t endlessly whinge about it and think it’s not fair because, I am not thick and I am not a bad loser.

    For a nation that claims to believe in fair play and playing the game people don’t half moan when things don’t go their way.


  6. I really have two views (hopefully it’s not pathological) about the Cyprus question.

    I think the whole thing about voting by Parliament is a red herring (an Eurosceptic red herring). Here you have two banks that became insolvent (OK partly because of their lovely investments in Greek sovereign bonds, but it’s a different matter, partly because of the recession). So, it is an insolvency issue: first you write off the shareholders’ interest and then that of the creditors’ (depositors). Why is it the end of democracy if it is not voted on? The Cypriot government doesn’t have the resources to recapitalise these banks because they are in the Euro (so they cannot print money) and because the public wouldn’t buy Cypriot state bonds. (As I said some time ago, I consider the British bailout of Lloyds and RBS to be breach of the law as the BoE should have first declare the banks insolvent, write off all shareholder interest and then the state could have recapitalise them. It could have been done overnight. Instead the government gave the shareholders a lovely present from the nation. If done properly, there wouldn’t have been a panic.).

    Now comes the other side. Some EZ banks have been bailed out by the ECB. So, Cyprus was discriminated. And it does have the flavour of big power diplomacy. And it was on political (Merkel doesn’t want to loose the elections) and foreign policy/PR ground (the Russians…). And the real issue: the whole thing doesn’t solve anything – it doesn’t make the situation worse (10 billion worth of painkiller – not very good, when you need something stronger), but does not help.

    It is also unclear why the IMF was involved. If it is dealing with two banks, the IMF shouldn’t have a role (would have been interesting if Cyprus had tried to get money through the BIS). The World Bank has actually expertise in this – why were they not involved?

    Just a very roundabout way to say that it smacks incompetence, political calculations, horror to the people of Cyprus etc. But certainly not a breach of democracy (the existence of the City of London then is a breach of democracy too) and not an EZ mechanism issue (short of fiscal union, the monetary union cannot do anything else).

  7. @Colin Thanks for continuing my education on ‘structural deficits’. My initial inquiries (via a very short Wikipedia stub) suggest that the basic idea makes sense but that the actual measurement of the thing is highly contested. So neither William Keegan nor George Osborne should be chucking the term around without numerous caveats and footnotes.

    For what it is worth, I suspect that much of our basic structural deficit has to do with a) our changing demographic balance and b) the ease with which money can be moved about and the consequent loss or casualisation of unskilled jobs and c) the resultant inequality (reinforced by the housing market) which means that the rich get richer and seek to secure their wealth from the taxman while the poor who have never been much good at doing this become a drain on the exchequer rather than an asset.

    I also suspect that most voters don’t share The Other Howard’s heroic disdain for the Scandinavian model and would actually likely to have Scandinavian levels of government spending and American levels of taxation.

    And sensing this ambivalence politicians of all parties are failing to put forward policies of the boldness that is required, and resorted instead to focus groups, tinkering around on the middle ground, and seeking to win approval by irrelevant or damaging but popular measures and the scapegoating of their targets of choice (bankers, scroungers, immigrants, Gordon Brown, George Osborne or whoever).

    So what I look for on this site and sometimes find are deeper analyses of what is going on, challenges to the way I see things, and constructive ideas on the way forward. And thanks to you and others my education continues.

  8. Is anyone else worried that Old Nat may be going? Up to him, of course, like up to the Scots if they leave the Union. But as I see things, both would be a great loss.

  9. @Charles

    If you go back through the thread you’ll notice a new post from Old Nat has appeared just before the “I give up” post.

    I think it was more an expression of frustration with the capricious and auto-mod software.

  10. New Thread.

    And hopefully Old Nat will be back. If not, at least we know he has given up in disgust as opposed to just disappearing – which had a few of us quite worried about him the last time he vanished from this site.

  11. @ Charles

    Yes, structural deficit is a useless construct – one can make any assumption and then adjust the reality to it… In terms of economics, if one doesn’t accept (either its original or its Keynesianised version) the golden path of growth theory, then it doesn’t make sense.

    Also it is subject to very interesting short term fluctuations… For example, how do you measure the long-term sustainable growth – cf. the entry of let’s say 300,000 East-European working population’s entry to the UK labour market – how does it affect it (I assume it would increase, but then it happened in 2004 and most left by 2009).

    The relative increase in banking in the UK GDP upsets the structural deficit, because in reality banking doesn’t contribute to the value added of the economy (with the exception of services to foreign customers). So, the growth of banking in reality reduces the long-term sustainable growth rate.

    Finally, on the basis of the mainstream economics, the four markets’ (goods, money, investment, labour) degree of freedom is 1 – the number of variables is one fewer than the number of equations (to overcome the problem, they introduce the “natural rate of unemployment”, “inflation-neutral growth”, “structural deficit”, etc.)

  12. @Peter
    Indeed. At times it seems like we debate Europe endlessly, to the exclusion of much else that we OUGHT to be discussing (not on this site, I hasten to add).

    Most of the major “events” in the tory party over the last 30 odd years revolve around Europe in one shape or another, and even in the last Labour Government, reading Alastair Campbell’s diaries, you can see how the Euro ensured major debates inside and outside Government.



    I agree that “structural deficit” is a moveable feat.

    Now that Sweden has a superb Finance Minister with a pony tail , I am warming to the modern version of the “Swedish Model”-it has changed quite a lot.

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