IoS Poll: Tories maintain big lead but Corbyn offers 'positive difference'

Jeremy Corbyn has more positive support after three months as Labour leader than Ed Miliband did at the same stage of his leadership

John Rentoul
Saturday 12 December 2015 20:36
Graphic by Henrik Pettersson
Graphic by Henrik Pettersson

Jeremy Corbyn has more positive support after three months as Labour leader than Ed Miliband did at the same stage of his leadership, according to the monthly ComRes poll for The Independent on Sunday. More voters say Mr Corbyn is “turning out to be a good leader of the Labour Party” (25 per cent) than said that of Mr Miliband in December 2010 (17 per cent). But Mr Corbyn is more polarising: 46 per cent disagree that he is a good leader compared with 32 per cent for Mr Miliband.

The poll finds that Hilary Benn, the shadow Foreign Secretary, outscores Mr Corbyn as a possible “good leader”. His speech in favour of air strikes in Syria was greeted with applause from both sides of the Commons last month. However, much of Mr Benn’s support comes from Tory voters: 42 per cent think he would be a good Labour leader, compared with 25 per cent of Labour voters. More than half of Labour voters (56 per cent) think Mr Corbyn is a good leader.

On the subject of the bombing in Syria against IS, 47 per cent of voters agree with it; 33 per cent disagree. But deploying ground troops remains unpopular, with an increase from 25 per cent to 32 per cent in those who agree there are “no circumstances” in which troops should be sent there.

Mr Corbyn will be encouraged that 40 per cent of voters still agree he “offers a positive difference from other politicians” and that 37 per cent say he is “treated unfairly by the media”. These figures have barely changed since his election as Labour leader.

The Conservatives retain a commanding lead (11 points) in voting intention. This is down from last month’s record 15-point lead, but the change is probably not significant.

Con 40% (-2)

Lab 29% (+2)

UKIP 16% (+1)

LD 7% (0)

Green 3% (0)

The poll finds that voters support David Cameron's objectives in his renegotiation with the rest of the EU, but is sceptical of his ability to deliver.

We also asked two questions about the recent floods in Cumbria.

We asked about Christmas spending: the third question revealing that pressure on household budgets has lessened since four years ago.

Finally, we asked about the idea of a basic income, a radical simplification of the welfare system that may be tested in Finland, and which has attracted some interest here. Under the plan, all citizens would be given the same income, perhaps £500-600 a month, to replace all benefits and the state pension. It would be paid to everyone whether they work or not, the theory being that it would increase incentives to work. However, the idea gets a thumbs down from the British public: 53 per cent disagree with it and only 18 per cent agree – the rest don’t know.

ComRes interviewed 2,049 GB adults online between 9 and 11 December 2015. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults. Data were also weighted by past vote recall. Voting intention figures are calculated using the ComRes Voter Turnout Model. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at the ComRes website.

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