Ipsos-MORI’s monthly political monitor poll for Reuters has topline figures of CON 33%(-5), LAB 43%(+4), LDEM 13%(+2). This is the biggest Labour lead since the election that never was in September/October 2007 and significantly bigger than the leads of 4 or 5 points that YouGov, ICM, ComRes and Angus Reid have all been showing this month – note the small increase in the Lib Dem score too, something else which has been consistent across pollsters this January.

Note well that this poll was conducted before the GDP figures were released – a know a lot of people will be anxious to write stories about the negative economic figures producing a ten point Labour lead. They would be wrong, the fieldwork for this poll predates the figures.


60 Responses to “MORI show 10 point Labour lead”

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  1. Does anyone do any polling as to whether the consistent use of “Tory led coalition” rather than just “coalition” makes any difference to which party people blame for government actions? I suspect it is just coincidence that the Tories seem to be on a downward trend and the LDs on an upward trend, but I’d be interested in any evidence.

  2. 33 is a very low number for Con. I’d be wary of putting too much weight on it.

  3. The MORI poll isn’t in fact that inconsistent with ICM’s polling data, as opposed to the interpretation that ICM put on that polling data. Here is the detailed data from ICM’s Jan poll, just published, showing changes from each equivalent table in December:
    – ICM Voting shares before any adjustment for either likelihood to vote or reallocation of dont know/refusals (Table 2) were:
    Con 32.4.0%(-1.6%), Lab 43.3%(+0.7%), LD 13.1%(+1.8%)
    – ICM voting shares after adjustment for likelihood to vote but before reallocation of DK/refusals (Table 3) were:
    Con 34.4%(-2.2%), Lab 40.8%(-0.4%), LD 12.8%(+2.0%)
    -Published ICM voting shares (Table 4 – after adjustment for likelihood to vote and reeallocation of DK/refusals) were:
    Con 35%(-2%), Lab 39%(u/c), LD 13%(+2%)

    In summary, ICM’s adjustments for likelihood to vote and DK/refusals turned an 11% Labour lead into a 4% headline lead. The scale of the difference takes one’s breath away.

    The issue is – are ICM’s assumptions that underly such adjustments of this scale credible? If they are, then polls which don’t make broadly equivalent adjustments (YouGov and MORI for example) must be overstating the Labour lead, in terms of what would actually happen at a TGE. And if they are not, then we should take more care to look at the full set of ICM’s data, rather than just the headline figures that they choose to publish first. (Note: I’ll give my own opinion on this separately, rather than mix opinion in with the facts in this post).

  4. I think once support begins to fall away, it tends to accelerate as people follow the lead of others, all other things being equal.

    Unless the conservatives can pull some rabbit from the hat pretty soon, I would expect the lead to widen rapidly. It would appear they are pulling out dead rats at the moment.

  5. typos above

    Table 2: Con 32.4.0% should read 32.4%

    and published shares LD13%(+2%) should be LD 15%(+2%)

    apologies

  6. Interesting trend from the Conservatives towards Lib Dems.

    Is supporting the Lib Dems rather than the Tories becoming the acceptable way of backing the coalition?

  7. Phil – MORI do make an adjustment for likelihood to vote, in fact, they tend to make the most extreme adjustment for it.

    (The tabs for this one aren’t up yet, but looking at recent ones, the impact of MORI’s likelihood to vote filter seems to be dropping. I’ll have to have a better look, I may most more on this later)

  8. Mori do no not weight to past vote though, am I correct Anthony?

    I was chatting to Opinium’s boss yesterday and he was justifying not weighting by past vote by saying that they had tried it and found it had made them less accurate…

    I’ll reserve comment on what I think of his response.

    Not weighting to Past Vote could allow for populism to creep in, I think, perhaps more of a bandwagon effect…

    MORI’s tables strike me as reasonably similar to ICM’s before ICM start applying their various methodologies to them.. [minus the LTV of course].

    Still, its a 10% lead for reds! :)

    The closest comparable data for me is 1979-3.

    Back then blues embarked in the first term on a set of unpopular polciies when they thought were the medication the country needed… fiscal tightening and al the rest..

    reds hit 56% in an 1980 poll to take a lead of c.26%.

    I’ll not spin the significance, if any, of that.. I’ll just throw it out there as food for thought.

  9. These polling numbers put paid to any idea Cameron might call an election this year.

    But I see a viable exit strategy for Lib Dems that think the coalition is turning into a disaster: pick a big fight with the Tories over, say, NHS reforms – not in the coalition agreement – and pull out of government. Put Miliband in number 10 for a few months, long enough to scrap tuition fees, then head off for an Autumn general election.

    Anyone buy this scenario?

  10. On a poll of polls of the big 4 [I’d include MORI and exclude AR] we have the following

    MORI 33 43 12
    ICM 35 39 15
    YG 38 42 10
    ComR 35 41 11

    Average 35 41 12

  11. @Phil

    That was very interesting reading, would be interesting to see a similar analysis for this MORI poll. The MORI poll findings are what I expected to see yesterday in the YouGov poll, given that MORI was before the -0.5% GDP figure and the YouGov afterwards. But maybe MORI picked up on a trend that the -0.5% GDP news might accelerate. But if Labours lead is still 5% then the MORI poll is still within Margin of Error but at the extreme end.

  12. I would suggest a little caution with this poll. Given the timing, it is a little out on a limb with other pollsters. The trends are the same, but the scale of movement seems a little unreal.

  13. @Hal

    I can not see Labour going for that, they would want an immediate election. And I think the LibDems would want to get it over and done with so that they could go away for a bit and reorganise. But I can see the “fake” disagreement from the LibDems working as a way for them to get away from the Tories.

  14. this seems to be a continuing trend that I have noted since the start of the year – that the Lib Dems are no longer getting the blame for the government decisions.
    Yes the poll lead for Labour is increasing but if anything the Lib Dems support is increasing.

    It appears the target for attack this year has very much turned on Cameron and Osborne.
    Osborne who remained hidden for most of last year made I think a fatal error with his skiing trip over Christmas. He has now taken over from Nick Clegg as public enemy number one

  15. @ Hal

    “Anyone buy this scenario?” No, it’s just wishful thinking. The poll trends tend to weaken the hand of the Conservatives, giving Lib Dems more influence. So why would they cut and run now simply to put Labour back into power? The same massively unpopular cuts are going to have to be made sooner or later, whoever is in power. You think Labour would have a free run on introducing a graduate tax? Anyway, on this polling scenario, Labour would have a majority without the Lib Dems, so what’s in it for the LDs?

    My forecast: no election before 2015

  16. Steve

    “Yes the poll lead for Labour is increasing but if anything the Lib Dems support is increasing.”

    Isn’t it thr case that the Labour lead is increasing BECAUSE LD are taking support from the Tories.

    Seems to me that the only real polling story since the GE is the gyrating LD voters in May.

  17. Now that a poll of polls has blue securing less voters than that which they acquired at the last election, we can say we have reached the point where the blue honeymoon has officially ended.

    It was one of the longest political honeymoons in living memory.

  18. AW – Thanks for putting me right re MORI and likelihood to vote. To avoid sowing confusion, I’m resubmitting the earlier post below suitably amended for this and typos.
    _______________________________

    Here is the detailed data from ICM’s Jan poll, just published, showing changes from each equivalent table in December:
    – ICM Voting shares before any adjustment for either likelihood to vote or reallocation of dont know/refusals (Table 2) were:
    Con 32.4%(-1.6%), Lab 43.3%(+0.7%), LD 13.1%(+1.8%)
    – ICM voting shares after adjustment for likelihood to vote but before reallocation of DK/refusals (Table 3) were:
    Con 34.4%(-2.2%), Lab 40.8%(-0.4%), LD 12.8%(+2.0%)
    -Published ICM voting shares (Table 4 – after adjustment for likelihood to vote and reeallocation of DK/refusals) were:
    Con 35%(-2%), Lab 39%(u/c), LD 15%(+2%)

    In summary, ICM’s adjustments for likelihood to vote and DK/refusals turned an 11% Labour lead into a 4% headline lead. The scale of the difference takes one’s breath away.

    The issue is – are ICM’s assumptions that underly such adjustments of this scale credible? If they are, then polls which don’t make broadly equivalent adjustments must be overstating the Labour lead, in terms of what would actually happen at a GE. And if they are not, then we should take more care to look at the full set of ICM’s data, rather than just the headline figures that they choose to publish first. (Note: I’ll give my own opinion on this separately, rather than mix opinion in with the facts in this post).

  19. Will the News International affair affect Cameron and the Tories. Cameron seems fairly closely connected with Rebecca Wade, socially at least.

  20. ComRes 27/1/11 [Souce ITV/Independant]

    The Prime Minister has the trust of 37 per cent – down from his 43 per cent rating last October. Mr Osborne, the Chancellor, has the trust of 25 per cent – down from 32 per cent.

    Although Labour is ahead of the Tories in most opinion polls, it has not yet regained its economic credentials. Only 18 per cent of people trust Mr Miliband to sort out the country’s economic problems and only 14 per cent Mr Balls. They trail Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, who scores 24 per cent.

  21. The election this year, (odds against I would have thought autumn 2012 is my guess) scenario may not be too fanciful, it all depends on May. If the Libdems see themselves heading for destruction a better sooner than later mood may descend.

  22. @ Anthony

    I’ve just put these figures into the graphical swingometer for interest’s sake, and it says Berwick-Upon-Tweed would go to “Other” – which I can’t work out at all?

    [Craig – it’s an error. To reduce the size of the file I try not to include too many decimal places in the share of the vote for each party in each seat, so occassionally figures will produce a dead heat in a seat, which it spits out as an other. I shall have to go in and add an extra digit to the Berwick shares – AW]

  23. Eoin – MORI do not use any form of political weighting, past vote or party ID. As a result there is normally a significant contrast in the political balance of their weighted samples compared to other companies.

    Not weighting a panel to past vote is, um, a brave decision. It basically leaves you at the mercy of the political balance of a demographically representative group of your panel, whatever that may be or become (if your deliberately recruit your panel to be politically representative then you may as well weight by it, since you have already decided targets you wish to recruit to).

    The problem with weighting by past vote and the reason MORI don’t do it is the question of volatility. Does it change quickly over time? If so weighting by it risks cancelling out genuine volatility amongst the electorate, if not then it irons out sample error and makes your figures more sturdy. (Though if you have a panel and you ask political weighting questions when they join or at the time of an election, this problem disappears. I really can’t think of any good argument against using political weighting if you are a panel based company)

  24. It has all been about this May since the GE last May!

    if the coalition survives then I see no reason to think it won’t survive until 2015

  25. @THEGREENBENCHES

    Don’t you mean one of the shortest?

  26. Not sure if relevant but this from the Guardian has me giggling (another journalist Dan Evans accused of hacking Kelly Hoppen’s voicemail).

    …a senior News International executive has claimed that Dan Evans’ defence is that he phoned Kelly Hoppen’s number for legitimate reasons and accidentally accessed her voicemail when the keys on his own phone got stuck.

  27. A repost from the YG latest poll thead..

    Just Lab two points ahead of the Cons? That’s disappointing and frankly incredible. I mean, what has happened to that joe public would ‘abandon’ Lab in favour of the Cons (and/or LDs)? This doesn’t make sense – so it must be down to MOE, IMO.

    The Reuters/Mori poll showing a ten point Lab lead is much more to my liking. But this size lead at this stage seems incredible, too.

  28. @Steve

    That’s a bit of a tautology.

    I think the likelihood of the coalition surviving full term are low, and the pressure just keeps piling on. As I’ve said before, I’m not considering putting a £20 bet on there being fresh elections before the end of this year, because the strain on government is already near what I think must be a breaking point. I do not think the Liberal Democrats will ‘stick it out’ if they decide that the coalition agreement is turning into a political suicide pact.

  29. First of all 10 is an exagerration and the lead is probably still somewhere nearer 5-6.
    Anthony you say above
    ”Note well that this poll was conducted before the GDP figures were released – a know a lot of people will be anxious to write stories about the shrinking economy producing a ten point Labour lead. They would be wrong, the fieldwork for this poll predates the figures.”

    Don’t wish to be pedantic but what I think you mean is that the figures showing a shrinking Economy has not produced a 10 point lead.

    The data is recording the last 1/4 with the negative effects of the shrinkeage still hurting in the first quarter.

    In this sense the shrinkeage is likely to be a major factor in the Labour lead as people have and are, experiencing the effects before the figures come out. (same with Dec inflation number).

    What is clearly true is that any added impact in terms of credibility etc and the Economic debate from the provisional GDP figures being released has not impacted any polls yet.

    Greenbenches – whilst labour nead a big lead to develop not as big as 80/81 for 3 reasons, no chance of suicide note manifesto, left vote less split and no liklihood of a Galtieri. Need 45-50% for a year though at least imo

  30. @Eoin – I picked up on the trust figures in this poll also. Tories are tweeting that only 14% trust Balls to sort out the economy, but as with the headline Labour lead I think they should show some caution.

    I for one will be keen to see what happens to Ball’s trust ratings after the GDP figures that predate this poll. As ever with these numbers, voters judgements are not taken in isolation looking at one side only – it’s much more of a zero sum game. If confidence in Osbourne is hit because of a shock economic contraction, trust in Balls will rise, even if Balls hasn’t done anything to merit the change.

    @Others – with regard to Labour wanting an election – I think they would want to be very careful at this stage. They have a decent lead, but the underlying numbers are much less favourably. If the electorate is asked to make an actual voting choice, as opposed to express their frustration through an opinion poll, I think the headline and underlying numbers could converge a little more.

  31. Perhaps I shouldn’t say this on a polling website, but it does seem that interim opinion polls are not particularly significant less than a year into the Parliament and in circumstances where the coalition has stated that it will govern for 5 years come hell or high water.

    I don’t think anybody can seriously argue with the proposition that it takes several years for a Government to make an impact on the nation’s economy so I would not think that much importance will be attached by the parties to the polls until around 2014.

  32. Jim Jam –

    Yes – you are right or at least, you are right in regard to my flawed language (in fact I’m going to go and change it). Personally my guess is that the increased Labour lead is due to the VAT rise bringing home to people that the cuts really do affect them, not just other people.

  33. Garry G,

    I meant longest…

    Alec,

    Balls should climb in aprovals.. I trust YG’s figures but I never pay much heed to ComRes if I am honest, especially their non VI stuff.

  34. Jim,

    I just caught your snippet… there may be some paralells if yellow were to ressurect themselves…
    As for desired % lead or figures required, I think Amber has it spot on..

  35. Sergio,
    Some would say that this goverment has already made a
    very significant impact on the economy,and not for the good either! However I agree that they are in it for the duration whatever happens.

  36. Anthony,

    Just caught your reply [I’m losing it]. Yes I agree with all of it.
    In terms of those that weight to past vote in the manner populus/ICM/ComR do, they say the take an average of the previous 15.. as part of their weighting [each to a differing degree I know], but what if thier poll follows a GE, surely tey dont use the previous 15 before the actual election do they?

    The reason I ask is that Populus’s previous 15 stretch back over a year and ICM’s until recently steetched back to pre-May…

  37. Eoin – presumably not, since then they’d have been asking about 2005 past vote rather than 2010 past vote. Remember they don’t have to rely on just their published political polls to gather the data, they could stick a past vote question on other polls to gather it.

  38. Two quick points. GaftheHorse asked whether the consistent use of “Tory led coalition” rather than just “coalition” makes any difference to which party people blame for government actions?

    Government v Coalition may affect how people respond to some questions – see pages 29-30 of this pdf

    ht tp://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Polls/polmonitorJan11charts.PDF

    Even the change on the economy is just within the MoE. However even this would show the unpopularity of the term ‘coalition’ rather than the effect of who leads it.
    There’s lots of fun charts in the pdf though, so have a browse.

    Meanwhile, also from Reuters-MORI, an early front-runner for most loaded question of the year:

    Please tell me which of the following statements comes closest to your opinion?
    The government should increase taxes on banks, even if it makes the British banking sector much less competitive
    or
    The government should not increase taxes on
    banks because they are important to Britain’s
    economic recovery

    Despite this, option 1 wins 50% v 42%.

  39. I think this sort of polling is probably coming our way by the summer, now seems a little premature.

  40. I’m most inclined to believe The Greenbenches’ average. It makes sense. I can see the tories stagnating at 35% but not dropping below it.

  41. @TheGreenBenches

    “It was one of the longest political honeymoons in living memory.”

    Unless, that is, you can’t remember back to all those many eons ago, or should that be Eoins ago, to the jurassic period (1997-2000) when a certain Mr Tony Blair and his party enjoyed personal and voting intention ratings, respectively, that were consistently in the stratosphere. Also, unlike Cameron and his fellow honeymooners, they didn’t fall behind the opposition within the first few months of taking office either. In fact, they remained well ahead for much of their first 8 years in government.

    If Cameon has just enjoyed one of the longest political honeymoons in living memory then I need to gently advise my good wife to re-evaluate our newly-wed fortnight in the Loire Valley in the summer of 1983!!!

    Maybe I’m getting older than I thought, but am I the only person on this site who’s living memory stretches over 11 years!?!?

  42. Wondering if anyone watched the Andrew Neil doc last night on BBC2 about the retaking of politics by the privileged few (on all sides of the political spectrum)?

    His general prognosis was that the death of grammar schools has allowed the Eton/Oxbridge axis unchallenged access to the levers of power, and while he didn’t go so far as to call for a return to old fashioned grammar schools he did firmly suggest that some form of selective state education was needed.

    However, he inadvertantly tripped himself up by stating that the dominance of politics by Oxford PPE graduate types is only apparent in Westminster and not in the Scottish or Welsh assemblies, and they have also not had grammar schools for a long time.

    He did highlight the increasingly significant SpAD-reseacher-MP-Minister conveyor belt, with the real benefit of privileged education being the ability for high level networking rather than academic excellence (my interpretation) and this seems much more significant than the type of state schooling we have in my eyes.

    After the program, I did have a thought about one simple way to help return politics to the people and undercut the Westminster centric dominance of a tiny minority.

    How about an electoral reform preventing any candidate from standing for election who hasn’t lived in the constituency for at least 2 years prior to the date of the election? It instantly removes the worst of the carpet bagging examples (Tristram Hunt in Stoke for example, where a local party stalwart of 20 years standing was prevented from getting onto the selection ballot) and would swing the internal party power balance back towards local party members and away from central party candidates lists that are increasingly the cause of the well connected elite takeovers.

    The more I ponder this, the more I think it would be a very simple and straightforward way of taking politics back for ordinary, local people.

    Apologies Anthony if you don’t want a discussion veering off in this direction, but I appreciate the range and style of contributors on this forum and I’m fascinated to hear what others think of this if you could permit an off topic conversation.

  43. Crossbath

    “one of”

  44. Crossbath,

    I’ll make it simple for you
    [graph attached]

    http://eoin-clarke.blogspot.com/2010/11/do-voters-have-buyers-remorse.html

  45. Alec – I don’t mind things going off thread onto non-partisan talk of electoral systems if it isn’t the most recent thread on the site.

    And for what it’s worth, in principle I would oppose all such restrictions on people being able to stand as candidates. If people want to elect some carpetbagger from the other side of the country they should be able to, and ergo if parties want to put up some carpetbagger from the other side of the country they should be able to (ditto I wouldn’t like term limits (if the US public had wanted to give Clinton a third term, they should have been able to) and am not even particularly keen on Phil Woollas being banned from attempted to stand again after his original election had been voided – if people want to elect a proven liar, they should have the opportunity to. Obviously neither Labour nor probably the electorate would have touched him with a bargepole, but I’m dubious about the principle of not letting him try.)

    The chap from Stoke could and did stand as an independent, people didn’t want to elect him, they chose Tristram Hunt, as was their right. At the end of the day, the voting public clearly hold party affiliation as a more important factor than where a candidate comes from in deciding their vote, it is their decision and the law should not force their hand if we dislike their choices.

    One can equally pick examples of very decent and subsequently popular MPs with no previously existing link to the constituency. Nick Palmer, the former MP for Broxtowe, lived in Switzerland before being elected. I can see no reason for a law that would have banned him from even putting himself before the people of Broxtowe as a candidate.

  46. @Anthony – I appreciate your views, and I would generally agree with them. However, it’s a bit like all women shortlists. For many reasons it’s not a great solution, but in my view we have a developing crisis in democracy that is harming governments ability to function and in such circumstances there is a need for some level of action to rectify the situation.

  47. Alec – I think big problem under our system with consituency link is that it makes it difficult for a Scouse Tory or Home counties Labourite to ever get a seat unless they up sticks to go and live somewhere in order to work a seat. This would be even worse than a central office candidate imo.

  48. Amber -if you are there or Eoin.
    Please remind me of your stance on the lead labour need, how long for etc.

  49. JIm Jam –

    Labour need a lead of a couple of points, between 7am and 10pm on the 7th May 2015 (he said, taking a purist attitude to the question).

  50. Very good Anthony :-)

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