The BBC is reporting a new Ipsos MORI poll with topline results of CON 36%(-7), LAB 24%(-2), LDEM 25%(+8!). So far I can’t find any mention of it elsewhere, and consequently don’t know the fieldwork dates (though I guess from the figures it must have been conducted at a similar time to the other polls that have shown a big conference boost for the Liberal Democrats).

The BBC’s report says this is the first time Labour have been in third place since 1982. I’m assuming that’s referring to just Ipsos-MORI polls. More recently one ICM poll earlier this year put the Lib Dems in second, as did a Populus poll just after the Liberal Democrat conference in 2004.

UPDATE: More details are now up on MORI’s website here The field work dates were September 25th to 27th (that is, Friday to Sunday). According to MORI’s commentatary the big shift is largely down to changing certainty to vote. MORI take only those rating their likelihood of voting as 10/10 for their topline figures, so it can have a dramatic effect.

59 Responses to “MORI show Lib Dems in second place”

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  1. Andy is correct that it does not matter to whom Labour lose votes. This was evident in the Euro results – Lab votes disappeared in all direction (but by far the largest destination was the sofa).

    Unlike Germany (or the Euros) votes for UKIP, BNP, Green, MRLP or whomeever will not translate into MPs for those parties, but they will mean sitting Lab MPs looking for new jobs. For ever Lab seat taken by “others” (in England), there will be at least two taken by LDs, and for every Lab seat taken by LDs, there will be at least five taken by Cons.

    In Scotland we will see Lab seats fall in all directions – the extent of the Lab melt-down in Scotland could actually be one of the stories of the night – akin to, if not quite as complete, as the Tory massacre in 1997. (ie Lab may well lose more Scottish seats in 2010 than Cons did in 1997, but they won’t be entirely eliminated.)

  2. Andy Stidwill – I agree, further more, there is a large group of ante labour voters who will vote either Con or LD, as illustrated by the swings between these parties. It follows that tactical voting will ensure the number of MPs these parties achieve will be much higher than the their % of the vote suggests. The reverse of the ante Con vote of the last three elections.

  3. If we had the German system in this country it would, superficially, mean that Gordon Brown would be able to carry on as PM in a coalition with the LDs, assuming they’d agree to such a deal. But in reality people would probably vote differently under such a system, with UKIP and Greens for example doing much better since people would know they’d be able to win seats.

  4. Anthony,

    A sort of follow up to a question I asked elsewhere, but is their any evidence ( and this seems to show it) that a chnage in likelyhood to vote as the conference season arrives drives changes more than switching between parties.

    I could see it as possible that the conference season focuses the attention of that part of the electorate who aren’t that interested in politics rather than those with a definite political preference.

    If there was evidence that DK’s fall at conference time it could also be a part explaination for why polls six months out seem a good indicator of election results.

    If these six month pre polls also often coincide with conference season then they may pick up the views of those who will actually vote bettter than polls at other times of the year when the section of the electorate who will vote but aren’t sure who for are less engaged.


    Q1… Does the DK level fall in conference season?
    Q2… Have the six month out Polls that predict the result been at Conference time and
    Q3… Does any firming of DK’s account for much of the conference bounce.

    In effect is this about people coming off the fence as much as crossing it.


  5. I dunno what NBEALE is on about…

    You don’t even need to slap those tables into Excel and map a trendline on ’em to see the long-term trends and the turning points.

    Conference season 2007 was a turning point, when Brown chickened out of an election, and the LibDems indulged in yet another leadership debacle… the trajectory of Labour despite undulations has been a steady drop of about 5% per quarter, and about 5% increase for the LibDems over the whole 2 years!
    Whereas the Tories have been effectively on a plateau over the last two years… not very conclusive for them… they should at least be matching the Lib Dems… it’s the expenses scandal that has effectively scuppered the Tory knockout… too many reminders of “Tory sleaze”.

    …Thank god we don’t have the German system, can you imagine!

  6. Promsan,

    NBeale was referring to the pattern (if one can call it such) of polls pre / post conference season. I did an anlysis of these which is on the Pre-conference round up thread. Basically, the only conference season which saw any significant shift in polling position pre / post was in 2007. But, as I argued in my previous post, even that was merely a continuation of the underlying trend from August/September carried forward into October.

    As to the German system…. My abiding recollection will be of the day Kohl lost his FPTP seat in the Bundestag, only to return as head of the CDU list for his home region. In other words, even if the good folk of Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath had the temerity to reject Brown, he would still be back at Westminster as head of the Labour list for the Scottish Region – assuming the Labour Party would place him at the head of its regional list. This is actually the system currently used for Holyrood.

  7. If a list system is used it should be an open list so people can choose which list members they prefer to be elected. It’s not democratic to have someone at the top of a list who’s guaranteed to be elected in my view.

  8. Promsan. I live in a constituency the LibDems are actively targeting, and I live in a ward that gets heavily canvassed. But I haven’t seen a canvasser since the Summer, when obviously they came round for the Euroelections. Only the usual LibDem councillor activity of letters to the papers and so on.

    Some of the Labour activists have not deserted their annual conference in Brighton! But if you are implying they are a “rare species” these days, I wouldn’t disagree.

    Actually, “Others” seem to be the most enthusiatic at present. The independent, Money Reform Party, candidate where I am had a stall in the middle of the city on a number of occasions over the Summer.

  9. P H-J
    I don’t see the trend of which you speak myself.
    As for Scotland; I am a Scot, and I despair of the situation… I think if independence did ever happen though, the landscape would change dramatically… the SNP and S-LP (Labour) and S-LDP, have precious little between them to me, once the union is no longer at stake… If McTrump is a taste of things to come, I can imagine even the People’s Republic of Scotland going through similar convulsions as are happening in England now, and a major political tectonic shift taking place.

    I don’t know if the slips of paper they shove through the door have as much impact as bad rumours about the local alternatives do… the local windbags, taxi drivers, barflies etc… I think can have a slow roast effect on perceptions, all tossed into the mix of news at ten, today, radio 2 and the quasi-quality newspapers.

    But yeah, who of quality would put themselves forward for parliament these days, never mind endure the masochism of being a Labour activist?!
    I think Labour are going to panic, and lose their cool, get distracted by relative irrelevancies of the NP (as opposed to their greater threat, the LDP).
    Though I’m quite sure “Others” will have plenty to keep feeling chirpy about over the coming years… especially in council elections.

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