As I had rather hoped we are getting a real flurry of polls now – a new MORI poll in this morning’s Daily Mirror shows the Conservative lead dropping to 5 points, bringing it much more into line with polls from other companies than the 11 point lead they showed last time.

The full topline figures, with changes from their last poll, are CON 41%(-2), LAB 36%(+4), LDEM 11%(-4). The poll was conducted on the 10th and 11th of December. The Liberal Democrat score is the lowest they have recorded since October last year straight after Ming Campbell resigned, although MORI do tend to produce some of the lower scores for the Liberal Democrats.

We should get an ICM poll for the Guardian tonight. Their previous poll showed a fifteen point Tory lead at the height of negative press coverage about the PBR and I would be very surprised if they didn’t show a comparable drop in the Tory lead. If they do we may yet end the year with a broadly consistent picture across the polls – with companies all showing a Conservative lead down to single figures. That said, ICM aren’t likely to show the Lib Dems as far down as 11% and there are still another MORI poll, YouGov’s monthly poll, and probably another ComRes poll to come before we can draw a curtain over 2008.

UPDATE: Just for the record, I was looking at that 11% for the Lib Dems and wondering about prompting by party name. When Ipsos MORI used to do their interviews face-to-face they showed respondents a card with the party names on for them to choose from. Since they’ve switched to phone polling, it’s isn’t obvious how they prompt with party name. Could the low Lib Dem score be because they weren’t prompting with party name anymore? I’m happy to report it isn’t: MORI’s question is now “How would you vote if there were a General Election held tomorrow? Would you vote (rotate order) Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat or for some other party?”, with the SNP and Plaid included in Scotland and Wales respectively.


15 Responses to “MORI show Tory lead down to 5 points”

  1. Well, it seems that we’ve seen the end of the Brown Bounce. The Tory lead has been cut to 5% which, for all intents and purposes, puts the parties on around an even footing election-wise.

    It’s going to be interesting to see what happens after Christmas. My feeling is that the polls will swing on whether the devaluation affects Labour as people find their foreign christmas holidays cost a lot more than they thought.

  2. It seems a rather odd interpretation to suggest apoll which shows a significant reduction in the Tory lead demonstraes the end f the Brown Bounce. Quite the opposite – the Tory lead has been falling every month since the conference season and now for the first time in a long time Labour is predicted to be the largest party if there is a GE.

    A low pound means it is cheaper for outside investors to come to the UK and also that British goods are cheaper. That is more important than whether your twoweek holiday to Spain is more expensive! Also the pound is now stable against the dollar at a level close to its average over the last 10 years

  3. It only shows a large drop in Conservative vote from the previous MORI poll. Taking all the recent polls into consideration, the Tory lead stands at around 5%, rather than all the volatility we’ve seen lately (1% leads followed by double figure leads). To me, that suggests we’ve seen the end of the latest Brown Bounce – this is not to say that something else won’t come along and boost Labour’s support, but my feeling is that the recapilisation and PBR stimulus leaves them 5% behind.

    I agree with your comment that about the low pound, although on the whole it seems strange to suggest that it is a good thing that our currency has lost over 25% of it’s value in the last 3 months. I don’t have a two week break to Spain but there will be many who will, and will probably be quite shocked as to how much more everything costs. I was simply musing as to whether this would be enough to cost Labour in the next round of polls. You say “no”, I say “We’ll see”.

  4. Trevor Kavanaugh is predicting a February election, most people seem to think June would be good soaking up local and euro elections on the same day. I think May or October. June could mean anti euro / lisburn campaigns distract fromthe general election.

  5. I’m inclined to October unless labour pull ahead by 5 points or so before then – why lose a whole year if you are not clearly going to win? On the other hand you do not want to be boxed in and going at the last moment unless you have no choice. Therefore , if the polls are okayish, which I think means the same as now or better for Labour go in October. Obviously if we are back to a Tory doubledigit lead wait till 2010

  6. It will be interesting to see the polls this time next month, after the £60 Christmas bonus for pensioners and the increases in pensions, pensions credit, and child benefit. I predict a small Labour lead.

  7. Long may the end of the Brown bounce continue.

    I can only assume that tonights poll will be the same as all the others as when the last two polls that showed Conservative leads in double digits, there was leaks that Damian Green would be proud of giving thier results and we knew hours before they were officially announced.

  8. Paul Smith.

    ” could mean anti euro / lisburn campaigns ”

    Why, whats happening in Lisburn ? Something the citizens of that new City need to know about ?
    Or is it just your speell cheque bittin is out ?

  9. I agree – let’s see the bounce continue and get an election called asap.

    That should kill it once and for all.

  10. Given the speculation about various election dates I am a bit surprised that none of the pollsters are asking;

    “When do you think the next election should be called:

    Spring 09, Summer 09, Autumn 09, Winter 09, Spring 10, Summer 10, Autumn 10.

    Peter.

  11. This should be an exciting election whenever it is called, tense but exciting.
    I think Labour will win, the Government always tends to gain a few points in the campaign and Labour has an advantage this time in the way the vote will work.
    I think it would be interesting to see what would happen if Cameron got rid of Osbourne.

  12. Jack – “the Government always tends to gain a few points in the campaign”

    Erm, that isn’t actually true. The historical polling figures for the last four campaigns are linked to from the right sidebar on the front page of the site.

    In 2005 there was a very slight increase in Labour support during the campaign (YouGov’s poll closest to the announcement of the election had them at 36%, their final poll at 37%, ICM 38%=>38%, Populus 37%=>38%. MORI seems to show a decent increase, from 35% at the start to 38% at eve-of-poll, but the 35% is from the rogue poll that showed the Tories 5 points ahead, the MORI poll straight after the election was called had Labour on 40%.

    In 2001 the polls all showed Labour with significantly lower support at the end of the campaign than the beginning. MORI 54%=>45%, Gallup 49%=>47%, NOP 51%=>47%, ICM 48%=>43%.

    In 1997 Gallup showed an increase in Conservative support during the campaign, 28.5%=>31%. ICM showed a small one 32%=>33%. NOP and MORI both showed no change at all.

    In 1992, if you compare polls from the beginning and end of the campaign, the government tended to lose support. NOP 41%=>39%, ICM 39%=>38%, Harris 40%=>38%, Gallup 41%=>38.5%. MORI showed no change. All wrong of course, but they should have been just as wrong at the beginning of the campaign as the end.

    On past predencents, governments are as likely to lose support as hold their support during the campaign, and there’s no recent record of them making any substantial gain.

  13. I think 1992 is significant – if not substantial.

    What I certainly think happens is a party that is massively ahead tends to under poll because people don’t quite see the urgency in voting for them.

    The Labour votes in 2001 (and 2005 as Labour perceived to be easy winners still), aswell as the Tory vote in 1983, were actually slightly disappointing.

    1979 seemed to show the opposite to 1992 – the government did claw back in the polls – but it seemed to widen again in the result somewhat – perhaps the Tories were frightened that Labour could actually climb back and force a hung Parliament or even a shock, and made a big final push.

    1987 wasn’t bad for a government holding support in a campaign.

  14. In the 1979 campaign Labour were often around 40% – the trouble they had is the Tories were polling very high in the 40s.

  15. The rise in Others seems to offset most of the falls for the LibDems, so I don’t think they should be overly concerned at this result.

    I’m tipping for a GE in Oct 2009. The shenanigans around recent party conferences should have confirmed this long ago.