Over the last week we’ve had no fewer than five YouGov polls showing the Conservative lead shrinking to only six points, but apart from a 7 point lead from ICM we haven’t had much from other pollsters to see if they are picking up the same trend – Angus Reid tend to show very different Labour figures anyway, and we have no recent historical trend data from Harris to compare.

Tomorrow’s Telegraph however carries the figures from a new Ipsos-MORI poll that shows a very similar lead to YouGov. The topline figures are CON 37%(-3), LAB 32%(nc), LDEM 19%(+3). We have to go all the way back to December 2008 to find a Tory lead as low as five points.

The poll was conducted between Friday and Monday last weekend.

278 Responses to “Ipsos MORI show lowest Tory lead since 2008”

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  1. @Neil A

    Actually, the Rich often do run up massive debts. However, the Rich also usually have a lot more equity and possessions they can use as collateral.

    And they can benefit somewhat from the adage that “If I owe you £20, it’s my problem. But if I owe you £20 billion it’s your problem.” having a lot more leverage to restructure their debts.

    The Rich are not immune to the lure of easy credit, they just have better chances of surviving mismanagement of it.

  2. @NeilA

    “I don’t remember anyone from Cameron’s family defaulting on their mortgage or running up 20k in credit card debts…”

    Very wealthy people (I suppose you could rephrase that and say ‘rich’) in various financial centres across the world but mainly New York and London; who thought they were very clever and totally untouchable; decided to run a confidence trick where they- on the one hand accepted all aplications for loans (of all types) from all-comers and then- on the other hand, proceeded to secretly parcel them up with apaprently non toxic material and then sell it on.

    It was a massive fraud.

    These ‘rich’ people infected the entire financial system and actually almost succeeded in doing what 50 years of the cold war could not: bring down capitalism.

    Only the common sense of our social democrat governments- just in UK spending (in direct injections and guarentees) over 300bn quid- saved us and the system from totally collapsing.

  3. @C.L.A.D

    Probably (though that might depend on whether or not its a hung parliament or an outright win).

    I imagine that they’ll probably be, after removal lorries have been cancelled, a swift cabinet reshuffle. I know if I was GB (shudder) the first thing I would do (if I won) was drive over to the Foreign Office and give that treacherous git David Milliband a swift kick in the balls (bullygate be damned). ;-)

  4. “But why must ordinary folk bare the brunt? It was the richest who made this mess, and it ought to be the richest who pay.”

    How do you eradicate a £90 billion structural deficit then? Who says anyway (except labour propagandists) that eradicating that will only hurt or be aimed at ‘ordinary folk’? There is no reason to suppose that tory cuts are going to be any different than labour cuts.

    Tories have said for instance that they will ring fence the NHS. The PBR figures show massive cuts in departmental budgets’ 6% year on year. Thats labours PBR. If these polls show anything (and labour have stayed level despite a dwindling tory lead) they show a nation in denial.

    YouGov have produced a string of daily polls – effectively one poll thats designed not to fluctuate – they show 6. Others earlier in the month show 9 7 12 6 8 14.
    MORI are prone to extremes – they may be spot on of course, but they are prone to extremes. Lets hope they encourage Brown into an election.

  5. Maybe the contributor meant the Bankers when he referred to the rich causing the recession.

    The rich wanted to get even richer and did all in their power to entice the peasants to borrow more and way beyond their means. If the rich had been more sensible and had a modicum of intellect, they would not have made all the mortages and credit cards Neil talks about, available to the mere mortals in the first place and that is why the greedy rich, who are the bankers, are mainly to blame for this recession.

    If you offer a poor, hungry man the chance for a loaf of bread on borrowed money, it’s fairly obvious most will take it. The same applies to a nice house or car, the opportunity was offered by the rich to the poor and boy did they take it! If the rich banks weren’t jostling to see who could lend the most in the first place, there would have been nothing for the peasants to jostle over now would there!

  6. @sealpup

    “Minds were made up a long time ago for many people; many to not even bother voting – why would you? What do you get for your vote? Freedom? No. Employment? No. Justice? No. Healthcare? No. Patronisation? Yes. Lies? Yes. Corruption? Yes. Fear? Yes.”

    Ah the anarchist-libertarian vote (except you don’t do you) !

    I’ll be willing to eat humble pie on GE+1 if there has not been significant TV in this election.

    Plus on “peoples minds being made up years ago”- I could not disagree more.

    Someone said on another thread that a lot of people will make their minds up in the booth- and I agree.

  7. While remembering that polling is not an exact science I am inclined to believe that the actual postion is now Con 38 Lab 30 Lib Dems 20 and others 12.

    I am very optimistic that this is case, and that there is a good chance that the Lib Dems will ‘steal’ 3 points from both Labour and the others.

  8. I really hope it is as close as the polls say, with most polls suggesting it is, I think that a hung parliament is very likely, reguardless of how well the Tories are or are not doing in marginals. I would like to see some reiable polls in marginals, and no doubt that will narrow during the campaign. Exciting times ahead.

  9. I also think there is a good chance that the Cons will ‘steal’ 3 points from Labour and 1 point from the others – the final result being Con 42 Labour 24 Lib Dems 26 and others 8.

    I await words of scorn from Labour lovers and Lib Dem haters!

  10. Trevorsden – one of the stark differences is on the question of means testing. Labour has introduced tax credit systems that affect marginality in the tax system (where the most vulnerable maddeningly always seem to lose out)


    It’s the Tories who are now saying “if you earn £50k + you can’t have the child trust fund or whatever it is”

    The impression given is that everyone is going to have to work a bit harder and a bit longer (for not much reward). And that abandoning universality will bring back “withering on the vine” re universal benefits like child alllowances.

    In the final analysis, rhyming with 1992, Osborne looks too young to give hope to the people he needs.

    Shallow ?

  11. So the non-rich are too stupid to realise that a mortgage 5 times your salary, a 15k car loan and 3 maxed out credit cards is a recipe for disaster? Its all the banks’ fault for lending money to the innumerate? So the majority of the population are innocent of blame because they do whatever the banks tell them? And you’re proposing to let these people vote??

    Please! The bankers (well some of them) misbehaved, but the idea that all of the blame, or even most of it, lies with them is just garbage.

  12. @PHILIP JW

    “I am very optimistic that this is case, and that there is a good chance that the Lib Dems will ’steal’ 3 points from both Labour and the others.”

    Nationally I’ll be very surprised if they get more than 19/20%: if they do its more likely to be Tories jumping ship.

    In 2005 they gained around 4/5% from disaffected Lab voters who liked the anti war message. They are more likely to get what they got in 2001 or 1997 (19.5; 18).

    This time its about ‘GROT’ (or rather something that says “Keep Them Out”) as it was called in 1997.

    Lib Dems quite possibly could get more seats than the national level would imply due to lab and green voters switiching to them where they can beat the Tory. Where lab is best placed to see off a Tory challeneg some LD’s will vote Lab.

  13. Happy to oblige:

    “the final result being Con 42 Labour 24 Lib Dems 26 and others 8.”

    Sorry- that really does deserve the moniker “space cadet” !!!!!!

  14. Double dip alas does seem to be looking increasingly likely, and will be interesting to see which way the 4th quarter growth figures are revised tomorrow (fri)…if we still are in recession or look to be heading for double dip, be interesting to see how that adds to the mix – could go either way I guess…make people more afraid of cuts, or more afraid of Labour?

    Dave’s address on Sunday should be interesting to watch to see how he calibrates his approach…given polls and tomorrows figures…

  15. Philip JW you can see my – still accurate – username, but I have noticed that you have become a little more partisan as the polls have closed (before you seemed much more an observer despite acknowledging – like me – your preferences)

    No offence meant just an observation
    Tories will still win a comfortable majority in my opinion but – with plenty of time for things to change back in their favour – their majority looks like it could be a little less than was once thought

  16. The upside of the Darling ‘forces of hell’ slip – is that I think it could reinforce his credibility in the eyes of the electorate, and along with other recent events, paradoxiacally highlight the breadth of Labour’s team – ie. ok we may not like GB that much but there are other heavyweight people in the team…it’s not just GB…

    Again the vulnerability of Con strategy maybe focussing to much on depending on the the brand of ‘Dave’ maybe?

  17. PHILIP JW:

    “….30, 29, 31. 30. 30. If that’s not static, what is?”

    I’m not great at sums but my English is ok:
    Is it five 30’s?


  18. This election took a dramatic turn when lehman brothers collapsed on september 15th. All these other issues mean absolutely nothing.

    Brown’s numbers surged like Bush’s did after 9/11. People keep governments in power during a crisis and if it wasn’t for that Labour would have lost this election.

    In 2008 local elections tories got 44 percent and were down to 38 percent in 2009.

    There was a chart that showed gordon brown had negative ratings even among labour voters and a week after lehman’s collapse brown had 80 percent positive ratings.

    This has been further inforced with labour’s fearmongering about tory cuts. When in fact there will be barely any cuts until april 2011.

    In 1992 when the economy was bad voters kept the tories in power and in 1997 when the economy was much better voters gave labour a massive majority.

    This is a different era so I don’t know when the tories would benefit from the economy getting better. Labour also will be changing the electoral system to protect themselves for the next election because traditionally it would be hard to win a fifth term.

    Next October there will be a referendum to change the voting system which will leave the tories with 25 fewer seats and labour with 25 more seats. Add in the massive immigration and it is hard to see Labour ever out of power again.

    UK is now a permanent one party system forever. The conservatives that want to keep Brown in power for him to clean up his own mess will be sorely mistaken. WIth a new electoral system conservatives will be out of power forever.

    These conservatives think that if Brown wins he will have to make cuts and will only last 12 months and a true conservative like david davis will lead tories to a huge majority. Brown will last five years and no one will oust him and in a new electoral system labour will win more seats in 2015.

    The left is rallying around Brown for fear of tories winning while the right is aiming their fire at Cameron because of Lisbon and wants to lose thinking if the tories win they will get blamed for cuts and that Cameron will govern as a liberal anyway.

    Gordon Brown could be the PM for the next 15 years with the way the system is set up.

  19. Neil – my mortgage has from time to time been many times more than five times my “salary”, Same with many small business people, no doubt.

    The issue is to do with confidence.

    The system stopped considereing individuals and started relying on ridiculous financial modelling. That was free market capitalISM. Anything with ISM at the end is a recipe for disaster, don’t you agree?

    I get the impression the People want neither the micro-management of a local snoopy bank manger nor the antithesis

  20. @Rob Sheffield

    I think it’s quite possible that marginal-swing will be countered by the Lib Dem anti-Conservative tactical voters. Resulting in the seat result being not too different than the one predicted by UNS.

  21. Tom – I agree re Darling. Labour had been defined by Brown/Blair. As soon as Blair went, Brown was the only one in the team.

    A very Clever thing would be for Brown to allow Darling (and even Milliband) the same power that he had claimed from Blair as Cof the E)

    The Tories’ top team were beginning to look more experienced than Brown’s (osborne apart unfortunately)

  22. CONS drifting to the right because it was getting difficult to tell the difference between CONS & NEW-LAB.

    LD are winning their votes. I’ve said on a couple of threads that I expected the LD vote to be higher.

    I’m tempted to give people the benefit of my chrystal ball prediction but Everybody would call me a space cadet, so I’m resisting temptation ;-)

  23. @John TT,

    What I object to is the way the crash was portrayed as if ordinary people had just been minding their own business, sensibly doing things as they had always done them, and then the nasty bankers came along and took all their money to spend on Ferraris.

    If your business can afford to pay your mortgage, and you haven’t lied to the bank in order to get a larger loan than you’re entitled to, then fair enough. But lets not forget that the root cause of this credit crunch is not the new way of packaging debt (stupid as that was) it is the fact that this led to loans being sought and obtained by wholly unsuitable individuals, and their applications being greased through by the connivance of a whole plethora of people most of whom were not bankers.

  24. The Conservatives are pushing out leaflets like confetti in my home constituency – a brand new seat which is a Lib Dem/Con marginal. It’s actually getting peoples’ backs up now; people are already sick of them. The trouble is; all bar one of my Labour voting friends are voting Lib Dem to stop the Conservatives winning and local polls suggest that the Lib Dems will win. I strongly suspect that will happen in most such marginals. I also suspect many Lib Dems will look at the situation in Con/Lab marginals and try to stop the Conservatives winning those seats to deny them a majority.

    I think a hung parliament now looks inevitable. The Conservatives will probably gain some 80+ seats from Labour but the Lib Dems may hold their own against both parties quite well (losing a few to the Conservatives and gaining a few from Labour), and this will stop anyone getting more than 300 seats.

  25. I think Osborne, who seems to me more associated in the whole narrative with drastic cuts and hairshirts has the biggest image problem…poor guy can’t help his appearance but he doesn’t exude warmth like Cameron…

    And then many of the rest of the Cabinet perhaps still bring too many memories of last Con administrations and the ‘nasty party’…even Jon Redwood seems to be regularly wheeled out on television.

    This is not to say that Labour don’t have all the heavily document image problems, but in these scary economic times, I think image, subliminally or otherwise, with the message of radical cuts – which Daily Mail etc are, helpfully for Labour I think, giving wide publicity to, may become more of e problem for Cons than hitherto.

    I for one am watching with baited breath to see how it all plays out…

  26. This election is going to be decided in the marginals. I still think the tories are favourite with a terrible budget coming and the economic figures due on april 23rd. We will be back in recession again and that is worth a boost for the tories. it’s going to be close. it could be 92 again but with an opposition win this time.

  27. To: Amber Star

    Whats the track record of your chrystal ball like?:)

    Did it see the economic crisis coming?

    If so do you have another one?

  28. Sorry i have to say that I disagree as in the marginals the Tories seem to be between 8-12% ahead in the marginals put together. I think this will decide the election and the tories are best placed to take what they need.

  29. Interesting piece in today’s Times by Sam Coates:
    “Grassroots members surveyed by the ConservativeHome website, however, have called for the party to move to the right. A survey of 2,352 members this week found that more than eight out of ten believed that promising to cut net immigration would appeal to floating voters.”

  30. @ NEIL A

    RE: Loans to unsuitable people.

    I’m expecting Anthony to step in & call a halt to this any second now but there is no evidence that people who were given mortgages & loans are failing to make the repayments (in the UK at least).

    In the US, people are walking away from negative equity in their property because US loan structure allows them to do so. The lenders NOT the borrowers gambled on property prices continuing to rise.

    Some UK banks & investors bought parcels of US mortgages without understanding the way US loans are structured. They believed that the terms were much the same as UK mortgages because they were too lazy to check, to mean to pay lawyers etc.

    Ordinary people did NOT, on the whole, borrow beyond their means. And in the US they were absolutely entitled to walk away from loans that exceeded the value of the collateral.

    My apologies, Anthony. More finance geekery, I’m afraid.

  31. @ NEIL A

    “I don’t remember anyone from Cameron’s family defaulting on their mortgage or running up 20k in credit card debts…”

    Maybe because we are paying his mortgage!

  32. @ TOM

    I’m embarrassed to say, my chrystal ball did see the crash coming. Unfortunately it seems to channel my personal, sub-conscious knowledge. Now if it was able to show me the numbers for this week’s Euro lottery, it would really be worth something!!!

  33. @ DAMIEN

    RE: Maybe because we are paying Cameron’s mortgage!

    Priceless ;-)

  34. Blair and Brown were a winning pair. Enough voters in our system obviously trusted them for 3 elections against what was on offer
    Iraq is out of the way
    Brown is still heavy weight whether he is liked or not doesn’t seem to matter- bullygate had no effect and may have been postive for Brown.
    Darling has been right on the economy – has experience
    Labour has several supporting ministers
    Cameron and Osborne don’t match Blair Brown of 1997
    Cameron ditched Tory heavyweights. Cameron brought Clark back when everyone knew he had different policies
    Cameron and Osbourne are wobbling.
    Osbourne is back to doom and gloom with no clarity.
    There is still a Tory line that it is Browns recession
    Public have TV they know it is global
    The two teams are unequal

  35. Fine, whatever. There’s no credit crunch. No repossessions. There was no need to reduce effective interest rates to zero. The economy’s booming. No wonder the country loves Brown. He’s abolished unhappiness and showered miracles on us all…

  36. Craig U

    EVERY election is decided in the marginals. If a seat is safe for any party election after election, then there is no change in that seat, and it is totally unimportant.

    That may be what you were saying, and if so I think it needs to be said more strongly!

    Indeed, within the marginal constituencies, the core vote (if they turn out) are equally unimportant.

    Most people posting on political sites are meaningless as far as elections are concerned – they are already committed (or should be :-) ).

    The people who decide elections are the people who don’t care that much about politics.

  37. @ NEIL A

    RE: There’s no credit crunch. No repossessions. There was no need to reduce effective interest rates to zero.

    I’m inclined to agree with you. Interest rates should’ve been higher during the good years, inflation targets should have been loosened & property price increases kept within the inflation index.

    This would have left much more wiggle room in the economy. Zero interest & almost zero inflation leaves no wiggle room at all.

    So why didn’t Brown do this? Because some public sector pay & pensions are index linked & they would’ve sky-rocketed with the increase in house prices. Being prudent, he avoided this by taking property out. The BOE applauded this thrifty short-termism. As did the opposition (Conservatives).

    There’s always a price to be paid in unintended consequences. And it’s always easy to be clever after the event.

  38. Neil A – I Totally agree with your substantive answer to me – but the defaults were far more in the US (in the millions!) than here, and the abuse by brokers of the “liar loans” far worse over there too.

    Here, the BBC4 Treasury prog I mentioned earlier makes it absolutely clear that the Treasury has never been able to convince the elected minister that we should live within our means.

    Yes it’s all the individuals’ faults, compunded by irresponsible short-termism in the banks and brokerages.

    Why then blame the Govt? It’s like blaming the Police for Crime, when it’s clearly the ctiminals’ fault

  39. @ OLD NAT

    With all due respect, I reject your comment that a few voters in the marginals decide the outcome of elections.

    Every safe seat needs its traditional? tribal? (call it what you will) voters. They are what makes the seat safe.

    Remember how many ‘safe’ CON seats fell to LAB & others in 1997. Everybody’s vote counts.

  40. What this poll shows us is the relative narrowing in the polls weve seen in every other pollster over the last week or so. The fact that it was pretty much conducted this weekend reflects this.

    I dont think any party should be taking this particular result as significant. It primarily reflects the general trend at the moment. I dont think anyone in their right mind (unless their a die hard Labourite or a strong anti conservative) really belives that Labour can win this election.

    There is strong evidence to suggest a hung parliament, but the evidence in the marginals is also noteworthy. Unless there is some significant shift in public opinion towards Brown and Labour (which we havnt seen to a significant degree) Labour are prob going to be out of power by the end of this election.

    In alot of ways this would be far better for them than if they won. The 1992 election showed us how a party that had been in power for soo long could just cling to power but then collapse at the next election.

  41. I know the answer is “the regulations should have been better” so please let’s not divert into policy arguments.

    One of the main bits of ammo for the Tories is “Brown’s mess”

    Whatever happens in the TV debates, that will still ring in the ears in the booths IMHO

  42. Is it just me, or is this moving too fast? 7 days ago we were talking about the lead averaging 8 or 9, now it’s down to 5. There hasn’t been a catastrophic Tory disaster in that time, so why have the Tories dropped as much as 3 points in a week, that’s not right.

  43. Amber

    Can you believe it 5%? ;-)


    Moving fast -I wonder how far it will go!!

  44. Amber Star

    I suspect we are disagreeing on the definition of a “safe seat”.

    By definition, a seat that changes hands wasn’t “safe”. There are elections in which a sufficient numbers of floating voters in some seats, may have been politically static for a few elections, and people may have been fooled into thinking they were “safe”, until a party in government is well past its “sell by date”. 1997 was one of these “big shifts”. However, even then 165 seats still elected a Tory.

    “Everybody’s vote counts” is a palpable myth. Labour votes haven’t counted in Banff & Buchan since it’s creation in 1983 (nor in its predecessor East Aberdeenshire).

    Their vote, however, do count in local elections and elections to the Scottish and European Parliaments. Only the Westminster system dismisses them as of no consequence.

  45. @Percy

    Darling wouldn’t allow Barclays and Lehman to do a deal to dave the world economy.

    Lehman Brothers was far to big to fail and Darling letting it fail set the world economy off the cliff.

    People like Bill Clinton said it was a disaster to let lehman brothers fail as it had 700 billion in assets and was involved in the half the world assets.

    Property values went crashing because of lehman and you saw that in dubai to greece to the uk.

    This fake myth that Darling has been good for the economy is so wrong. Darling and Brown double crossed barclays and lehman and set the world economy off the cliff.

    Lehman’s crashing sent so many other banks and economies crashing. Iceland wouldn’t have collapsed without lehman’s crash.

  46. @Percy

    Then once Lehman crashed Darling and people like Bernanke way overspent.

    UK borrowed 88 times more in 2009 than 2008 because of Lehman’s crashing. Future generations won’t be so thankful to the Darling and Brown era of massive debt.

    Brown and Darling allowed regulation to continue to be eased during the credit crunch and this was also a disaster for the banks.

  47. It is the ultimate hypocrisy to hear how Brown says he saved the world economy and saved the banks when Brown and Darling wouldn’t let Barclays do a deal with Lehman Brothers and set the world economy off the cliff. There would’ve have been a far weaker recession and not the need to pour all the money into the banks without Darling and Brown stopping Barclays deal.

  48. @Amber

    In Brown’s last speech as Chancellor in June of 2007 he was talking about a golden era when the credit crunch was well under way.

    Darling is quoted as Brown telling him the recession would be over in six months during the height of the crisis.

    Brown is still taking the most optimistic figures of 1.5 percent growth for 2010 and selling them to the public while the median forecast is far lower.

  49. May fly in the face of sanity, but I actually think Brown is begrudingly still viewed as a political heavyweight by the electorate.

    He was a formidable figure as chancellor for a long time, and try as people might, I don’t think the tories are ever going to be able to pin the record budget deficits of every country on the planet on to his shoulders.

    I just think he’s been pushing this quite a bit. A lot of fist banging recently, harking back to his chancellor days, and aggression in PMQs.

    You know. I’ve heard stranger things than Labour even setting up this “bullygate” thing themselves to just try and enforce the “hardman for hard times” message.

    Being known as a task master, who’s not afraid to crack a few skulls togethor, and general tyrant, in times of recession isn’t a bad thing in my book.

    Would have hit him hard 3-4 years ago. Not at the minute.

    I just mean that for all his failings, I think Brown is still acknowledged as a heavyweight in politics.

    Cameron may be more appealing in other ways, but it’s a question of whether “fresh young guy with ideas” really works in times such as these.

    I’m sure if 1997 election was being fought in a timeof recession, would Blair be really be beating experience campaigners like Major by so much? I don’t think so

    Labour front bench has some respected figures on it in my book. Begrudingly respected. But respected none the less.

    Harmann, Darling, Johnson, Millibands. With the big beasts in Mandleson and Brown.

    I’m really not convinced that guys like Chris Grayling, and George Osborne, and even Williamn Hague are much back up for Cameron.

    As in, if you did a poll on who is the more respected politician – Harmann or Osborne. I doubt it would be a pleasing answer for the tories

  50. @Jason, there is a reason that in nearly 100 comments nobody on here has responded to your drivel yet. Kindly take the hint.

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