There is a new(ish) Ipsos MORI poll in the Observer. The topline figures, with changes from MORI’s previous poll in mid-October, are CON 37%(-6), LAB 31%(+5), LDEM 17%(-2).

The poll was actually conducted last weekend at the same time as ICM’s Guardian poll, prior to the Queen’s speech, David Curry’s expenses accusations and the recent floods (before anyone suggests any of them might have contributed to it!). In ICM’s case the lead shrunk, but the Tory vote actually stayed the same, and the effect was to bring ICM in line with the sort of figures all the other pollsters were showing. This poll is clearly very different – it shows a 6 point collapse in Conservative support and represents by far the lowest Conservative lead for almost a year.

As ever, I would urge extreme caution on any poll showing a large shift in voting intention, especially where there is no obvious reason for a large, short term movement. Until we get the tables we can’t dig around to see exactly what is behind the movement, and until we find another poll supporting this shift, I wouldn’t get too excited/paniced (depending on your point of view!)

124 Responses to “Ipsos MORI show smallest Tory lead since 2008”

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  1. No wonder it wasnt published last week and that no one wnated it LORI bviously thiught it was rogue themselves. Take it as just another poll and not indicative as nothing has happened to shift such large amount of votes to or from any parties to warrent this. I’d wait for a few more to see what if anything is happening. its all conjecture anyway but fun for a few days.

  2. excuse the spelling please in previous post, few to many bevies lol

  3. As you say GREAT caution with this shift.
    It just cannot be right, End of!!

  4. Alec-Alec-it’s for you-oo.

  5. @Stephen: I have to say I needed a few bevies when I saw this one!

  6. The Observer did buy it , Stephen . As Anthony says we need to see the full data tables amd IMO the 6-10 likely to vote voting figures .

  7. Stephen – if only it did work that way. A poll showing unexpected results is far more newsworthy than a dull sturdy one.

  8. Anthony:

    Where we differ is that I would urge extreme caution on any poll showing even a small shift in voting intention, where there is no obvious reason.

    I’m Unitarian and I don’t believe anything.

  9. If this poll was done last weekend it would have taken peoples views on the whole sun letter row?

    That may explain a big shift?

  10. Actually a point to ponder on. What if and only what if labour actually won the election after promising to bring the deficit down by half in four years through binding legislation, how will they do it? I do hope they tell us in the pre budget report or is that asking to much.

    Just because a poll shows the unexpected does that mean we can just dismiss all the other polls that have been so consistent for so long as not worthy and not showing the true picture?

  11. I suspect these figures are due to a combination of a rather inaccurate poll plus a post by-election blip for Labour.

  12. Still the last few polls do all appear to be moving in labours favour

  13. Oh dear. Not just a straw to clutch but a mirage straw, made of magic unicorn breath …

  14. Sorry i am new to this site.

    Can anyone explain why in the calculation of the weighted average poll the ipsos Mori one from 15th November gets a weighting of 0.31 compared to the ICM one on the same day which has aweighting of 0.85?

  15. Is it too soon to celebrate? I don’t usually drink but I might have some red wine ;-)

  16. ALJ-I should have that drink incase it’s another mirage.

    If it turns out to be a real oasis you can drink yourself blotto-whilst I wander off into the desert.

  17. BigJohn – firstly, welcome :)

    Secondly, on the same page as you got those figures from there’s an explanation of where they come from. The difference is basically down to the track record of the two companies, and more importantly, that MORI do not politically weight their samples (the difference that makes, why ICM do it and MORI don’t, is explained here)

  18. Thanks for the explanation Anthony

  19. Colin don’t wander all alone into the desert. There’ll be enough room for you around the oasis:-) btw Sky news says that there is a definite drift to labour in recent weeks. Is that right?

  20. If this poll is correct i had better learn a new language and sell my house before the housing market collapses.
    It does seen a large swing for not a lot going on to the real voter.

  21. Mark Johnson – “It just cannot be right, End of!!”

    Technically it can, although with such a large shift you’d want to see some others giving the same results before relying on it.

  22. I saw an interesting, if slightly unbelievable post on a blog recently. It suggested that given the Conservative party’s new, more anti-EU stance, some pro-EU folk in the party may try to fix the election (which is relatively easy to do these days, with postal votes, and next morning counts) to produce a hung parliament – possibly with Labour as largest party.

    In order to do this without arousing suspicion they need to make a hung parliament expected. It was suggested that Sky news were participating in this as they have been talking up Labour’s chances, and the possibility of a hung parliament recently without any polling justification. Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine have also been coming out of the woodwork saying a hung parliament is likely.

    Of course I’m not suggesting anything about the way this poll was conducted, it’s just coincidence – but it could be used by the “hung parliament is most likely” mob…

  23. This poll is awful, it would mean a hung parliament and the survival of Brown, are the Tories never going to recover? They should be at LEAST 15 points ahead in ALL polls right now to be confident of Victory in May. I am VERY converned, Simon

  24. @Neil: I must confess that I would put tales of conspiracies firmly into the ‘tinfoil hat’ category.

    I would not be all that surprised if some Tory ‘wets’ were slightly alarmed at the rather Eurosceptical turn the party has taken, but elections are about more than a single issue and the EU is hardly chief among them; and I consider it also somewhat unfeasible that Tory supporters would deliberately attempt to sabotage their own party’s chances at a GE.

  25. The headlines in the Sunday Telegraph and the Sunday Times are going to quickly reverse the ‘Labour improving’ trend. Hard evidence of Blair’s lies on war in 2002 and Mandelson dividing the Government. I wonder if any evidence of the circumstances behind Dr Kelly’s death are going to appear soon.

    As a result of the web of deceit that has been spun, the Labour party is dying a slow and painful death in front of our eyes.

  26. Simon but a hung parliament might mean a conservative/lid-dem coalition. Brown would have to resign then!

  27. Sorry I meant lib-dem

  28. For the Tories to be down 6 and Labour to be up 5 indicates a seriously rogue poll, particularly when reasons for it are non existent.
    A few too many polls show the Tories at below 40% though, maybe indicating the reason why Clarke and Hesseltine may air on the side of caution.
    This is the sort of poll Labour need to keep seeing before a hung parliament becomes a serious possibility.

  29. Blair has gone

    Mandelson has become a team player

    The economy is improving

    Slow death is a very strange view

    In my opinion labour voters will return to some extent and wouldnt be surprised if the latest poll, even though it probably exaggerates the position of labour currently, was nearer the mark than the 17 point lead polls by the next electon

  30. Of course I am excited – it points to a hung Parliament and moves towards a Labour win – no doubt due to Cameron’s lack of policies being exposed, confusion over Europes, and Brown finally getting credit for saving the economy from the Banker”s recession. But let’s be realistic, one poll is not enough and it is obviously an aberation.

  31. RC
    ‘As a result of the web of deceit that has been spun, the Labour party is dying a slow and painful death in front of our eyes.’

    I understand what you are saying but are you right? If this is just a blip then fine.

    However, if not, I did not believe that it is possible for Labour to poll over 30% and they can.

    The one thing that kept me going when labour was flogging our gold for a pittance, robbing our pension funds, spending our money on NHS computer systems that did not work and waging an illegal war was that when the wheels came off they would suffer.

    The wheels have long ago come off but there they are riding high in the polls.

  32. Looks like an outlier. I’d be amazed if the next poll to be published is similar to this one. The numbers themselves are uncannily similar to those in the one poll published during the 1997 election campaign which gave the Conservatives hope that they might not be facing a landslide defeat.

  33. Don’t know if I’m allowed to mention certain things on here,
    BBC news review says the poll boost for labour comes after the Glasgow win and the Sun’s attack on Brown. Sounds reasonable.

  34. Big John,

    Mandelson has become a team player.

    Are you seriously trying to make out that that amphibians re-emergence from the slime is a positive for Labour in the eyes of the electorate?

    I insist not !!

  35. I think according to Anthony’s swingometer just one more point for Labour and they would have 17 more seats than the Tories in the GE.

    Of course if this is a trend, then this figure may grow over the next few months. As for the Tories, with friends like the Sun, who needs enemies.

  36. The poll of polls still say a tory victory of 58 majority. Do not get to excited yet Labour. Recent polls that are only a week old gave the tories a 14 point lead. It’s a freak poll and labour need to get more polls the same to be confident.

    I must say we are still in recession, unemployment is still rising and labour have destroyed democracy in Britain. I cant see the country turning its back on the tories just because we SHOULD come out of the worst and longest recession soon. Debt rising and the country is finished. Come on people do not buy Labours rubbish and lies.

  37. Is there a poll of polls on this site?

  38. One more thing if that poll was done last week, I would love to see one now which would bring in the queen speech.

    Lets be honest it was a terrible joke. Under 6 mins and nothing about expenses, afghan, or any serious policy. So much for being serious on implementing kelly. I thing you will see a swing towards the tories again because cameron destroyed Brown and showed him for the incompetent lier he is.

    Labour have no idea, no policies and are completely out of touch with the country. I would love brown to bring on an election and lets see what happens. Hopefully he will get excited by the polls and call a GE but he will probably bottle it. Roll on GE.

  39. AL J

    Yes there is and it shows a Tory win of 58 seats. Before this poll it had a Tory win of 70 seats.

    This is one poll out of a lot. I would not take it as read as there is no other agreeing with them.

  40. I am also new to all this and finding the opinion here fascinating. from looking back at the data at other key times (ie expenses etc) there has not been a shift of this size in the polls for a long time. Certainly can’t see it coming from the ‘Sun’ story. In my book this hasgot to be a rogue poll but I will leave the number crunching to those who actually know what they are talking about.

  41. The lead in this poll doesn’t feel right, and I see no reason why Cameron’s previously solid support should fall so sharply. In this regard, I would agree the poll result overall is something of a rogue. However, we now have two polls, conducted at the same time, showing a big rise in Labour support to around 30%. These follow a better week for Labour in terms of coverage. This may indicate something, although we need a couple more polls with similar results to really confirm it. However, given that these polls are a week out of date, it’s also possible that any positive effect for Labour has dissipated and their suport falls back. If so, this would still indicate there are significant numbers of voters still prepared to back Brown if circumstances change, so it does make life potentially more interesting.

  42. Danny Boy

    Yes I do believe Labour has passed its lowest point and I think not all the electorate will see Dave and William as slime free either.

    As a betting man i notice 2 weeks ago Sky bet had total labour seats under/over 195.5. Candy from a baby IMO.

    They now have this as under/over 205.5. I would still go over. I reckon Labour are still well short of hung parliament territory but as the recession will be over i wouldnt rule it out

  43. Anthony,
    When using the Swingometer function I notice that the LibDem % for 2005 is shown as 23.7. Should it not be 22.7?

  44. Could someone please tell me where the poll of polls is. Thanks

  45. Another good reason to urge polling caution is that the YouGov site seems to be utterly beset by technical problems recently…

  46. AL J

    Click on Nov 2009 in Archive section

  47. Thanks Big John. Much appreciated;-)

  48. Graham – yes, it should. Amazed no one has pointed that out before!

    Ryan – erm, it’s an Ipsos MORI poll, it wasn’t done by YouGov.

  49. As a poll watcher more than a loyalty to any party, I hope beyond hope this isn’t rogue. This election has been statistically boring for at least 6 months now, having it competitive would be much more interesting.

    Also, if Cameron actually lost the next election, that would be both amazing and terrifying, you thought Labour couldn’t lose in 92, this would put it to shame.

  50. Perhaps David Cameron should start thinking about finding a coalition partner just in case this is any indication of a trend. I don’t normally set much store by MORI results but someone’s got to be right, or at least more right than wrong.

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