UKIP surge as gay marriage hurts Cameron

John Rentoul

NigelFarage11 300x200 UKIP surge as gay marriage hurts CameronUKIP has risen to 14 per cent, its highest ever rating in a ComRes poll, in an exclusive survey for The Independent on Sunday tomorrow, shared with the Sunday Mirror. Labour enjoys an 11-point lead and the Lib Dems have fallen to fourth place, five points behind the party led by Nigel Farage (pictured).

Conservative      28% (-3)
Labour             39% (-4)
UKIP               14% (+6)
Lib Dem           9% (-1)
Others             9% (+1)

(Changes since last month’s ComRes online poll; vote shares add up to 99% due to rounding.)

Andrew Hawkins, chairman of ComRes, commented:

The Conservatives are leaking votes to UKIP – one in five (19%) of the party’s 2010 voters say that they now intend to vote UKIP. There is good evidence that many UKIP voters are erstwhile Conservatives on the rebound: large proportions are negative about David Cameron and George Osborne on the economy, and about Mr Cameron’s handling of gay marriage.

Leadership ratings

David Cameron is turning out to be a good Prime Minister

Agree 27% (-2 since October) Disagree 52% (+2) Net agree -25

Ed Miliband is turning out to be a good leader of the Labour Party

Agree 24% (-5) Disagree 43% (+3) Net agree -19

Nick Clegg is turning out to be a good leader of the Liberal Democrats

Agree 14% (-4) Disagree 62% (+6) Net agree -48

The economy

I trust David Cameron and George Osborne to make the right decisions about the economy

Agree 25% (-1 since October) Disagree 55% (+4) Net agree -30

I trust Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to make the right decisions about the economy

Agree 21% (-3) Disagree 52% (+3) Net agree -31

Most respondents were gloomy about their economic prospects: 57% expecting “my family to be worse off over the coming year”. But one measure in the Autumn Statement was well received. We asked if people agreed or disagreed with the following:

The Chancellor, George Osborne, is right to cut most state benefits by 1% a year for the next three years, in real terms (taking inflation into account)

Agree 42% Disagree 36% Don’t know 22%

Other polls with differently worded questions have produced sharply different findings on this subject. YouGov found that 52% thought benefits should rise by less than inflation or not at all. Ipsos MORI found that 59% said benefits should rise with inflation.

We also asked if people agreed or disagreed with the following statements about the economy:

The Government should increase spending on public services

Agree 47% Disagree 25% Don’t know 28%

The Government should cut public spending to reduce the deficit

Agree 32% Disagree 40% Don’t know 28%

These statements suggest that public support for balancing the budget is weakening, with nearly half of respondents wanting public spending to be raised. Although 16% of respondents in the survey agreed with both “the Government should increase spending on public services” and “the Government should cut public spending to reduce the deficit”.

However, more people blame the euro crisis for our economic difficulties than the Government’s policy of deep cuts in public spending:

The recovery is taking longer than expected mainly because the Government is cutting spending too deeply

Agree 45% Disagree 28% Don’t know 27%

The recovery is taking longer than expected mainly because of the problems in the eurozone

Agree 55% Disagree 19% Don’t know 26%

I expect my family to be worse off over the coming year

Agree 57% Disagree 23% Don’t know 20%

I plan to spend less on Christmas this year than last year

Agree 54% (-7 since November 2011) Disagree 34% (+8)

I expect the economy will start showing signs of improvement soon

Agree 25% (-5 since October) Disagree 52% (+4)

Gay marriage

David Cameron is showing leadership by pressing ahead with a law to allow gay marriage even though some people in his own party oppose it

Agree 34% Disagree 44% Don’t know 22%

Among current Conservative voters, 46% agree but 31% disagree. Among 2010 Conservative voters, only 36% agree while 46% disagree. The most notable opposition is among UKIP voters – 19% think David Cameron is showing leadership on this issue but 74% disagree.


The increase in donations to food banks shows that the British public are more compassionate than they used to be

Agree 48% Disagree 22% Don’t know 30%

Tax avoidance

I currently boycott the products or services of some companies because they do not pay their fair share of tax

Agree 34% Disagree 50% Don’t know 16%

ComRes interviewed 2,002 GB adults online between 12 and 14 December 2012. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults and by past vote recall. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at the ComRes website.

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  • David Lord

    Well I agree totally agree with kgbarrett. I’ve been a tory voter for all my voting life, and after reading Owen Jones’ article in The Independent today I will be voting UKIP in future. It seems to me that pretty well at the top of the list of priorities for a government to achieve, is the reasonable management of OUR money, after all, no money, no health service no education etc. In the entire history of our country no Labour government has EVER left office without a disasterous financial situation behind them. Why are politicians not held accountable for their failures in reasonable money management?

  • Pacificweather

    Let us suppose Ukip wins a bi-election. Let us suppose there are the usual 6 candidates. Let us suppose that Ukip win with 17% of the vote. No, let’s be generous and give them 22%. How does that prove they are not fruits, loonies and closet racists? Let us say that 15% are indeed fruits, loonies and closet racists and the rest just want to give the other parties a good kicking.

    Surely, if you are looking for that kind of proof, their EU election wins are statistically more significant.

  • Pacificweather

    Only in Britain could the Tories do to Ted Heath what they did and get away with it. Mrs T never gained as many Tory votes as Mr H achieved. He came within 4 percentage points of getting a majority. Only Stanley Baldwin beat his record since universal adult suffrage.

  • greggf

    Maybe Heath has been unduly maligned Pacific; he was certainly preferable to his arch rival Wilson. But it always seemed to me at the time that he couldn’t or wouldn’t translate the popular will of the electorate into effective policies, (and then there is his legacy of the deceptive attitude on Europe).
    Taming the militancy in the unions, dealing with the miners, a high value sterling and uncompetitive industry were issues that Mrs T managed to successfully confront and which, by the late 1970s, were evident needs to all.

  • Pacificweather

    I think you are right, he was unfairly maligned. Unemployment was relatively low. There were fewer days lost throught strikes than under Thatcher and she only reduced the power of the unions by demolishing the industries which they dominated first before creating new legislation.

    Heath’s downfall was the three day week to preserve coal stocks for power stations. The public bought the idea until a TV station flew a helicopter over the massive coal heaps at power stations. I would have loved to have been ale to ask him how he thought he could get away with it. It was supposed to be a spontaneous response to miners strikes but the company I worked for installed generator at least a month before the announcement.

    I am not sure what you mean by the deceptive attitude on Europe. He was a pro Common Market but so were a majority of the public at the time.

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