A quick update on some polling figures from the last few days.

ComRes released a new telephone poll for the Daily Mail on Friday. Topline voting intention figures were CON 37%, LAB 32%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 12%, GRN 4% (tabs are here.) On the EU referendum ComRes had voting intentions of REMAIN 54%, LEAVE 36%, DK 10%.

YouGov also released new figures on voting intention and the EU referendum on their website. Their lastest topline VI figures are CON 39%, LAB 30%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 17%, GRN 3% (tabs are here). On the EU referendum they have Leave slightly ahead – REMAIN 38%, LEAVE 42%, DK/WNV 20%.

Finally Ipsos MORI also released EU referendum figures (part of the monthly Political Monitor survey I wrote about earlier in the week). Their latest figures are REMAIN 50%, LEAVE 38%, DK 12%.

There continues to be a big contrast between EU referendum figures in polls conducted by telephone, and conducted online. The telephone polls from ComRes and Ipsos MORI both have very solid leads for remain, the online polls from ICM, YouGov, Survation and others all tend to have the race very close. In one sense the contrast seems to be in line with the contrast we saw in pre-election polls – while there was little consistent difference between online and telephone polls in terms of the position of Labour and the Conservatives (particularly in the final polls), there was a great big gulf in terms of the levels of UKIP support they recorded – in the early part of 2015 there was a spread of about ten points between those (telephone) pollsters showing the lowest levels of UKIP support and those (online) pollsters showing the highest levels of UKIP support. It doesn’t seem particularly surprising that this online/telephone gap in terms of UKIP support also translates into an online/telephone gap in terms of support for leaving the EU. In terms of which is the better predictor it doesn’t give us much in the way of clues though – the 13% UKIP ended up getting was bang in the middle of that range.

The other interesting thing about the telephone/online contrast in EU referendum polling is the don’t knows. Telephone polls are producing polls that have far fewer people saying they don’t know how they’ll vote (you can see it clearly in the polls in this post – the two telephone polls have don’t knows of 10% and 12%, the online poll has 20% don’t knows, the last couple of weekly ICM online polls have had don’t knows of 17-18%). This could have something to do with the respective levels of people who are interested in politics and the EU that the different sampling approaches are picking up, or perhaps something to do with people’s willingness to give their EU voting intention to a human interviewer. The surprising thing is that this is not a typical difference – in polls on how people would vote in a general election the difference is, if anything, in the other direction – telephone polls find more don’t knows and refusals than online polls do. Why it’s the other way round on the EU referendum is an (intriguing) mystery.

243 Responses to “Latest ComRes and YouGov polls”

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  1. @carfrew

    Beforee VAT there was Purchase Tax, not as ubiquitous as VAT but could still add considerably to the cost of items.

  2. Carfrew – “My parents bought a house for about three grand in the early sixties”

    I rest my case! In the 1960’s only half the population was able to buy a home. Your lucky parents bought one cheap because a bunch of other people were locked out of the market.

    You are essentially a Rupert who is moaning about how everything has gone to the dogs because the horrid hoi polloi are competing when they’ve no business to! :-)

  3. @Candy

    You keep going on about income tax and assume it locked people out, without offsetting against VAT, rent, utilities, mortgage assistance, wages good enough for a single earner to support a family DESPITE the tax etc. etc.

    Plus the downward pressure on property prices from all the house building

    It’s a bogus argument. Homes were affordable much of the time…

    And so, ok boomers didn’t have to contend with as much globalisation. So? That’s another advantage they had. It’s not necessary boomer’s fault,* but this isn’t about blame anyway.

    But it really isn’t all about globalisation. You are completely ignoring the end of politicies of full employment, mass housebuilding, etc., and trying to pin it all on globalisation. Which just isn’t the case…

    So you can forget trying to trap me in some trashy gambit, haha…

    * unless maybe they voted for it…

  4. @Candy

    “I rest my case! In the 1960’s only half the population was able to buy a home. Your lucky parents bought one cheap because a bunch of other people were locked out of the market”


    I already said there were mortgage restrictions then. Not too many boomers were old enough to buy a home in the sixties, my parents weren’t boomers, the era when boomers really started cleaning up was the eighties.

    I mean, syzygy was only 14 and going to the Roundhouse. I’m on the cusp of boomerdom and wasn’t even born when they bought the property. You’re completely at sea with this…

    Focusing on the sixties on this matter is a red herring.

  5. @Carfrew

    If tax wasn’t the reason for low home ownership in the 60’s, what was?

    You are essentially eulogising an era where the majority were unable to buy. That’s a very peculiar definition of “things were easy for people in the olden days”. Unless by “people”, you mean the.middle classes. In which case I agree with you – things were much easier for the middle classes in every way back then thanks to privilege plus some nifty class suppression.

    That horrid Mrs T with her lower middle class pretensions ruining everything by opening things up. The proper place for the working classes is down the mines, getting black lung and dying early and leaving their families no assets because they didn’t earn enough. They were delightfully happy in their dark underground world, and we the middle classes were happy too in our sunlit world of no competition and cheap houses and free university. The silly cow ruined everything. :-)

  6. Candy, there were functional alternatives to buying.
    Many elected to rent because it was cheap available and secure.

    Buying was far less likely to be a investment hedge or a money grab by btl landlords. Prices were far lower.

    I just don’t grasp your point.

  7. Incidentally there’s a review of Marianne Faithful at the Roundhouse in the Times today…

  8. Justvto change the subject slightly; accepting, as I do, the Mr Corbyn has a clear and overwhelming majority within his party, does anyone know how many of his votes came from £3 Tories? Just curious, no point being made.

  9. @Mark W

    Re: grasping Candy’s point. You’re a brave man, but anyway…

    …Candy is trying to show that boomers who were too young to buy property at the time or who maybe weren’t even born yet were nonetheless cruelly locked out of the housing market by the swingeing income tax that somehow wasn’t offset by VAT, tax relief, cheap rents, affordable deposits, affordable bills, secure employment and earnings that despite the heinous tax could somehow support a family on a single wage etc etc.

    It’s not so,etching you get to see every day…

  10. So etching = something. And to think Microsoft just paid squillions for the predictive text thing…

  11. @CMJ

    Take your point about regional variations. Time was when London prices shifted and we in the sticks followed suit about a year later. It is possible that the regional and London markets have somewhat decoupled, perhaps because London is now much more linked to foreign capital.

    This might well mean that my admittedly primitive 17 year rule might be less likely to apply. Perhaps Government has acquired greater capabilities when it comes to managing rapid property price changes.

    I have always questioned using interest rates to quell property booms, which seems to be a sledgehammer. If London has indeed decoupled, I can see interest rates rising to choke off a London property surge, when the rest of the country is wondering why. I would use variable stamp duty to head off a boom, and stamp duty could even be raised in London only.

  12. @Millie

    I think the right approach would be to not use interest rates, but if house price inflation increase, loosen/tighten mortgage lending criteria (ie the multiple lent vs income).

    London house prices are so grossly decoupled from the rest of the UK, it’s beyond fixing in my view. However, if you want to choke off the London housing boom, couldn’t you just be little less tax friendly to rich Russians, Arabs, the other parts of the world’s grossly wealthy who launder their ill-gotten gains bring their financial assets here?

  13. @Carfrew

    You keep mentioning VAT and “affordable bills” – but even with the VAT rise, the cost of clothes and toys is the same or less than in the ’90’s thanks to globalisation. The cost of white goods is about a third, and the cost of electronics and computers is about a fifth. Meanwhile the average wage is about three times what it was in the ’90’s and taxes are down sharply and the personal tax free allowance is up sharply.

    So disposable income has increased by a considerable amount. There’s also a minimum wage which they didn’t have back then and sweatshops have disappeared (I understand they were common in the pre-minimum wage era).

    The only thing that has increased is the cost of fuel – the oil price was about $15 per barrel in the 90’s, it’s $30 now – but may go lower. Fuel duty is way up though, but that’s to combat climate change – surely you are not arguing it should be reduced so everyone burns more fossil fuel just because that’s what they did in the olden days?

    @Mark W

    If people were so happy renting why was there such a rush to buy when Mrs T made it easy to buy council houses? Answer, people hated renting and wanted to own. They particularly didn’t want the misery of renting in retirement. They didn’t like their miserable existence being kept firmly in their place, taxed to pay for the education of their betters while they were forced down coal mines, dying early from black lung, leaving no assets to their families. You can see what they thought of all that by how they voted – since 1979 the Conservatives have been in govt for six terms and Lab only three terms all of which were New Labour.

  14. @Candy

    A minor (or miner) point.

    As someone who came from a mining area (South Yorkshire), I can assure you that:

    a) people did not feel forced down mines


    b) voted against it by voting Conservative.

    The pride they felt in their own community lives on, and the Conservative are still despised as much as during the miners strike. Memories run deep, generationally deep.

    If the option to reopen the mines was there, there would be great interest.

  15. @Candy

    Nah, you’re still being way too selective. Some technology etc. is essential, but a lot of what’s cheap isn’t that essential. That’s often why it’s cheap. If you work out the cost of essentials, which you are largely ignoring, it’s rather different. Rent, various utilities, knacker peeps’ disposable income. It’s not just that but things like the cost of socialising too, because of business rent and rates, VAT, drink taxes and so on.

    This is before things like student loans, zero hours, etc. etc., versus gains on privatisations, carpet bagging Building Societies etc.

    The more fundamental point, is an issue with demand pricing and lack of competition in certain sectors. So if clothes fall in price, that just allows energy companies to fleece ya some more. Exacerbated because with it being more necessary for both partners to work, there’s less time to shop around.a

  16. @Candy

    Also, things like transport… Read an article – I think in the Times, not sure – where peeps here are paying rather more for their trains to work than on the continent…

  17. @Candy

    Another problem, is boomers awash with cash, pushing prices up for others. Especially gigs, grr…

  18. @Candy

    Plus you are ignoring the fact we used to be rather closer to full employment and could bring a family up on a single wage, as opposed to all this zero hour, piecemeal minimum wage stuff… For GRADUATES, I might add.

  19. @Candy

    Oh, and I don’t know either you know this, but storage has shot up too…

  20. Whether

  21. @ Carfew

    Marianne Faithful was at St Joseph’s Convent, just around the corner from my parent’s house, in Reading… but before my time! She’s had a tough life… I think that she deserves credit for how she’s turned it around.

  22. @Carfrew

    Transport is more expensive – but as I said, that’s deliberate to combat climate change.

    Everything else is cheaper. People can afford to compete in the housing market, go on holidays abroad, even binge drink on saturday nights, because they have more disposable income.

    As for “full employment” – we were only close to that in the past by excluding the female half of the population from the workforce – indeed after WW2 there was a backlash against women frS

    The only way to turn things back to how they were is to a) jack up taxes to decrease people’s disposable income so they can”t compete in the housing market or b) to appeal like MarkW for the working classes to know their place and stay in the rental market including the misery of renting in retirement out of a fixed income, because the middle classes deserve to buy cheaply and the working classes should not get above themselves by competing with them and making houses more expensive but accept that their place is to rent and own no assets.

    Like I said, your utopia is dependent on suppressing other people. It’s interesting that this is coming from the left.

  23. Part of my sentence got deleted – mean to say that after WW2 there was pressure for the women who had manned the factories in the war to stay at home because the men who were coming back from the front wanted those jobs. Like I said, it was a fake full employment.

  24. @Candy

    Well, they have green taxes abroad too. But whatever the reason, costs a lot.

    Whether women were excluded or not is a red herring. The point is that employers had to offer better wages and conditions. Such that could bring a family up on a single wage. No need for tax credits and stuff.

    Your idea that it’s cheaper to live now, with the cost of property and rent what it is, and utilities – such that boomers need a handout, the need for tax credits, the prevalence of zero hours, etc. etc. the way you used to only need one wage… Nah…

    And your remedy, nope, there are other methods. Forcing more competition, investing in housing to pull down costs, creating some proper jobs (like for flood defences) etc.

  25. @Candy

    “Like I said, it was a fake full employment.”


    Like I said, it’s irrelevant. The point is whether employers struggle to hire, whereupon they have to offer better wages etc.

  26. Plus it means families don’t struggle without any breadwinners for months or years…

  27. P.S. As to “bring up a family on a single wage” – only if you accept the lowest of standards. These people couldn’t afford to raise a deposit to buy a house, to save anything, to accrue any assets.

    They coped on a single wage only by accepting their place which was grim poverty with no savings and no assets, no cushion, renting in places with outside toilets.

    On pretty much most objective measurements poverty has

    I doubt any of these people would want to go back to that world, no matter how much that would benefit the middle classes

  28. @Carfrew – “Like I said, it’s irrelevant. The point is whether employers struggle to hire, whereupon they have to offer better wages etc”

    Actually they don’t – they can outsource to China, or introduce bots.

    I asked a while back if you were anti-globalisation and you ducked the question. But it sounds like you are- and that too is about locking a group of people out in order to build your utopia…

  29. Meanwhile, there are polls!

    YG asks the EU question in GB and finds –

    Remain 44% (Sco 62%)
    Leave 56% (Sco 38%)

  30. Here’s another way of looking at this necker cube: the top-end tax rate was 90% in the 1960s and then was reduced to 75% and 60% in the 70s and 80s. So this may well all be explained by the vast increase in disposable income to the very wealthy, who could then sink it into assets like houses which halted the building of houses to a degree and pushed up the prices. So both the lower- to mid- middle and working classes got excluded from home ownership to enable the wealthy to buy up loads.

    I throw it out there for consideration.

  31. Harry Harpham, MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, has passed away from cancer aged 61. It’s been the worst-kept secret in S6 for some time sadly.

  32. Oldnat,

    I don’t know what the impact of Labour’s Scottish income tax hike proposal will be, but I would say that the Tories are most likely to see some gain but at most a very small one, whereas either Labour or the SNP could see significant positive/negative impact… Or none at all!

    (How’s that for a bold prediction?)

    Labour do face a choice between risking alienating their remaining supporters (many of whom are presumably centre/centre right unionists) and trying to make some headway against the SNP. I don’t think there’s much they can do that doesn’t involve gambling on those risks.

    I also wonder if they’ll change leaders if things go very badly in May. They’ve already been going through them at a rate of one every two years, recently accelerating to about one a year. You’d have to be pretty sad to be able to name all the Labour leaders in Scotland since 1999 without looking it up.

  33. “who could then sink it into assets like houses which halted the building of houses”


  34. @OldNat

    Wow… What’s the change on that poll?

  35. @Candy

    “Actually they don’t – they can outsource to China, or introduce bots.”


    Jesus. But in the era of full employment, which is what we’re talking about, that wasn’t so much the case now was it? You’re just wasting time blatting ideas without thinking them through.

    And no, I am not against globalisation. That’s more needless blatting. The more trade the better as far as I’m concerned, providing we avoid the downsides including sweatshops etc. etc.

    But I do think we need enlightened policy to make the most of it and not leave us needlessly vulnerable.

  36. @Bill


    I have a suspicion that that sentence came out wrong… :p

    To clarify; halted building of affordable housing to a degree (local authorities couldn’t use the Right to Buy money to build new houses)

  37. Oldnat,

    An interesting scenario: say rUK votes to leave, Scotland votes to stay, but the result in Scotland is 55-45% to stay. Do the Nats take the risk of campaigning on such a result? Do the unionists say that such a result is indecisive? It’s hard to know who would be in the stickier position!

    (I don’t think we’d see Indyref II if the result in Scotland is very close e.g. 52-48% to stay.)

  38. @Anarchists Unite

    The only problem with your thesis is that the percentage of households who own now is higher than in the 1960’s.

    The percentage of households who owned was about 45% in 1961 and is 64% now. See


    It reached it’s highest level in 2001 under new Labour – 69%, at a top when the top rate of tax was 40%.

    It’s not the disposable income of the rich that’s the driver but the disposable income of the ordinary man. As the basic rate of tax started to drop in the 80’s people were able to save a deposit and home ownership surged.

    The “utopia”era of the 1960’s were great for the middle classes but only because the working classes were locked out of the housing market…

  39. Bill Patrick

    “(I don’t think we’d see Indyref II if the result in Scotland is very close e.g. 52-48% to stay.)”

    Another bold prediction – you are on form tonight. :-) But agreed.

    The TNS Scots polls since the UK GE have asked the EU question.

    Vote : May 15 : Sep 15 : Jan 16

    Remain : 49% : 47% : 44%
    Leave : 19% : 18% : 21%
    DK etc : 26% : 29% : 29%

    Not a huge shift, and I’d guess that most of the DKs won’t end up voting anyway.

    The political calculation as to whether the EU ref result justifies indyref2 will be more nuanced than the overall result, though.

    SNP supporters in TNS are least likely (of the major parties) to vote Remain – slightly lower than Tories – but primarily because more fall into the C2DE socio-economic groups. However, a huge majority of them will vote Yes to indy.

    Will pro-EU current voters for Unionist parties change their minds on Scottish independence if there is Brexit?

    Will some current indy supporters want to remain in the UK Union if Scotland is taken out of their preferred Union?

    I’ll be as bold as you and suggest that there is insufficient data to make a prediction!

  40. Apparently, according to a Daily Mail online poll, 92% want to quit the EU.

    (cough cough, dodgy poll…….)

  41. A reversal of the switch from Direct to Indirect Taxation would surely be pretty progressive and be of benefit to lower income groups. On that basis it is not at all clear to me how restoring Income Tax to 33% or higher whilst at the same time reducing VAT to 8% would make it more difficult for poorer groups to contemplate house purchase – indeed in so far as their disposable incomes would increased they would be better placed to do so. It is also often forgotten that back in the 1950s and 60s many working class people did not pay Income Tax at all – or very little.

  42. @Candy

    Just so you know, Have made some clarifications for you on the disposable income thing in the next thread.

  43. @Catman

    “Apparently, according to a Daily Mail online poll, 92% want to quit the EU.
    (cough cough, dodgy poll…….)”


    It’s amazing really, since we never joined it properly in the first place…

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