The full results of Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor are now up here. The voting intention figures were in the Mirror yesterday, but some of the more interesting results were instead published in the Observer today.

Firstly we have the economic optimism figures. As with YouGov in the Telegraph, these show an improvement since the announcement that Britain has formally exited recession. 44% of people expect the economy to get better over the next 12 months, 24% expect it to get worse for a net figure of +20.

I was also pleased to see MORI repeat their question on whether people like Brown and/or Labour, and whether they like Cameron and/or the Conservative party. This was last asked in summer 2008 when the Conservatives were enjoying a towering 20 point lead. Back then it showed Cameron was far more popular than the Conservatives (54% liked him, compared to 42% his party), but Brown was much less popular than Labour (29% liked him, 39% his party).

Now Gordon Brown’s likeability has increased to 35% (up 6), compared to Labour on 38% (down 1). Cameron’s likeability stands at 45% (down 9), his party 39% (down 3). Not surprisingly given the Conservative lead in the polls has gone from 20 points to 8, Brown is seen as more likeable and Cameron less so than in 2008. However, the shift really does seem to be in how the leaders are seen – how much people like the parties they lead has moved much less.

Despite that Cameron remains a plus for his party, with 6% more people liking him than his party, while Brown remains a drag on his, liked by 3% fewer than Labour are. In both cases though the gap between leader and party is much smaller.

113 Responses to “More from MORI’s monthly monitor”

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  1. Jim Roland.
    How do you “scare” people into voting for you?
    March them to the polling station at gunpoint and go into the booth with them?

    Valerie :-)

  2. [name removed – AW] Stop moaning about other people. There is always going to be partisan excitement in evidence from both sides here and I think it’s best just to ignore it when it goes over the top, especially when the poster is talking about polls and not going much off topic!

  3. Thank you Jack, well said. The reason I don’t like partisan comments is because they breed other partisan comments, people feel the need to respond to them in similarly blinkered terms, and before long it’s a pointless slanging match.

    It’s descended far too much into “You’re just being blindly partisan”, “No you are just being blindly partisan” of late, and in many cases those people are right – the other people are being partisan (though the people who whine the most are also often the worst offenders).

    So, I’m going to be draconian for a while. No silly party partisan comments, no accusing other people of being partisan, no deliberately provoking the others into an argument, no whining about what I’ve moderated and what I haven’t (if it’s a bonkers partisan rant and I haven’t moderated it, it probably means I’m having my tea or something, or my mood has improved), no long screeds about why X party’s policy on Y is rubbish.

    Above all, post in the *spirit* of non-partisan discussion. Even if you don’t think what you are writing is partisan*, what matters is whether people from a different political viewpoint are going to see it as a partisan rant.

    (*If you think what you are writing IS partisan, but there’s a special exception because you are explaining polls, or evening the balance, or replying to thingy, then you are wrong. There aren’t any damn exceptions)

    If I find anyone in my moderation queue too much then I’ll ban them pour encourager les autres.

  4. Its my contention that, up to now, Cameron has been given a fairly easy ride by the media. He is seen as the golden boy while Brown has been portrayed as a brooding Cyclops almost beneath contempt and expected to take all the punches.
    As the election draws nearer, Tory policies are bound to be looked at in more detail and Dave and his colleagues are going to face tougher questioning.
    I’m looking foward to seeing how he copes with any hostile questions in the Leaders’ debates.

  5. Anthony
    Hope that was’nt too partisan. I haven’t abused anybody.

  6. Not at all Valerie, perfectly pitched :)

    Personally though, I think the media have a greater tendency to tow the party line as the election approaches – so those newspapers who are likely to back the Conservatives (Sun, Times, Express, presumably the Mail and possibly even the rather anti-Cameron Telegraph) will probably be less critical of them as we near the election, with the Mirror, Indy and Guardian becoming more so.

    And without provoking a bonkers BBC bias argument, I don’t think they have refrained from holding the Conservatives to account up to now. The main change from them as the election approaches will be the increased coverage they will be obliged to give the Lib Dems.

  7. I think Cameron has certainly been getting a worse time of it these past few months. I’d still say he gets a better run of it than Labour, but I would say that.

    Nevertheless, stuff Cameron might have got away with a year ago isn’t proving so easy now. Look at Newsnight’s reaction to the slip-up on funding for extremists in schools – they went nuclear on him.

    I don’t disagree that it’ll change again as we near the election – the Sun will pull every dirty trick in the box, the Mail and Telegraph will fall in line and the Times is going to have to endorse Cameron if Finkelstein wants his peerage, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Desmond keeps the Express relatively neutral. Nevertheless, Cameron has for the past few months had a rather harsher treatment in the media than previously. And I say that as somebody who would like it to be three times harsher.

  8. Wolf MacNeill

    FPTP helps Labour in Scotland and severely disadvantages Conservatives.

    In 2005 as I remember, the number of Labour votes nationally divided by the number of MP’s elected was about a third of what SNP voters and a ninth of what Conservative voters were needed to elect one MP. LibDems were better off than Cons, I think.

    That’s why you can look forward to a 30+ Scottish Labour MP’s majority over Scottish Conservative MP’s voting on English issues. (SNP and Con don’t vote).

    In the unlikely event that Labour hang on, they surely won’t have a majority exceeding 30. If the realisation that a Labour majority could not happen either without FPTP or without Scotland dosn’t give Conservative English nationalists the boke, then the growing confidence of the SNP pointing out how England needn’t ever again have a Labour government certainly will.

    It would take a 5% swing to SNP to displace Labour, and the SNP would then be the over-represented party.

    In fact it is very difficult to hit AS’s target 20 seats and they don’t look like getting more than half that this time, but next time round, a little nudge will deliver the FPTP Jackpot and 30+ SNP MP’s is quite possible and even likely assuming Labour in disarray, an insensitive Conservative government, Trident, SP Labour losses to SNP, the 6th SP Labour leader in 12+ years (the last five were each less succesful than the one before), little new blood in Labour and above all, continuing the counter-productive unremitting negativity of the Labour opposition in Scotland.

  9. I am someone who believes that the media usually reacts to a situation rather than creating it. If the media portrayal/treatment of Cameron has become harsher I think it is because his stock has been falling rather than the other way round.

    That’s the real danger of stumbling in politics; your shortcomings can become the story and there can be a snowball effect. Most voters prefer to vote for a “winner” than a “loser”.

    Having said that, the past three years have been quite a rollercoaster, particularly for Brown. Brown bounce followed by a descent into the pits, followed by another Brown bounce, followed by a slightly smaller descent followed by what looks a little like another, smaller, bounce in the past week.

    Its certainly a much more interesting election than it was looking like being last year.

  10. IMHO I don’t think giving the LibDems more coverage is going to help them. The BBC had an interview with Vince Cable on spending cuts – he seemed to suggest that apart from abolishing the Armed Forces he wouldn’t cut anything else.

  11. Re Brown’s tantrums

    The book that may contain the allegations:

    End of the Party by Andrew Rawnsley

    Is being advertised here on UKPolling for pre-sale via Amazon. I’m sure it will be a fascinating read for all political anoraks ;-) [myself included]

  12. Apparently there’s a new ComRes poll tonight with a lead of 7%

  13. @ John B Dick

    You are spot on: ‘FPTP helps Labour in Scotland and severely disadvantages Conservatives’.

    In 2005 it took:
    2,333,887 votes to elect 59 MPs, ie 40239 votes/MP.

    Labour got almost double their ‘fare share’, with 22128 votes to elect each Labour MP (2005 Total 41 )
    while ALL the other main parties were under- represented, the Tories grossly so, with:
    -52808 votes to elect each Lib Dem MP (11,cf 13 ‘due’)
    -68711 to elect each SNP MP (T 6, cf 10 ‘due’) and
    -369388 votes to elect the one Tory MP (cf 9 ‘due’)

    Up to now, Labour have obviously been content with that outcome, the Tories too because they have much bigger FPTP fish to fry throughout the rest of the UK, and the SNP are happy to grind any available axe for their greater cause.

    Only the LDs and the totally unrepresented smaller parties and independents are truly discontent and who’s listening to them? If the Tories were still a committed Unionist party, they might consider PR as a necessary part of the requirements for holding the Union together, but as a rest-of-the-UK party, fancifully dreaming the mirage of long term Bavarian CSU-type hegemony, they seem increasingly in thrall to those who’d happily see Scotland gone.

    @ Wolf wrote ‘I don’t think giving the LibDems more coverage is going to help them. The BBC had an interview with Vince Cable on spending cuts – he seemed to suggest that apart from abolishing the Armed Forces he wouldn’t cut anything else.’

    This looks unlikely but maybe Wolf is right and Uncle Vince has lost it. Did anyone else hear Cable say anything resembling the above? In any case, if the LDs are to benefit by 2-4% from increased coverage, as they usually do, it will only be when that actually happens, ie once the election is called. If they start to rise significantly before then, there’ll be yet another fascinating new element in this intriguing GE battle.

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