Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor is out, and has topline voting intention figures unchanged from a month ago CON 33%(nc), LAB 43%(nc), LDEM 13%(nc).

The poll also contained a question on the AV referendum, which amongst those certain to vote (presumably using MORI’s usual 10/10 filter), 49% would vote YES, 37% would vote NO.

UPDATE: Full tabs are here. MORI are indeed using their normal 10/10 likelihood to vote filter (that is, only including people who say they are 10/10 absolutely certain to vote in the referendum). This increases the YES lead fron 7 points to 12 points.

56 Responses to “MORI/Reuters – CON 33, LAB 43, LDEM 13”

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  1. While voting intention polls are relatively stable, oscillating between a narrow & more comfortable Labour lead (generally the latter at the moment), the polls appertaining to the referendum are another matter, with quite wide fluctuations between No and Yes leads depending on the pollster. I can’t really get a handle on what is actually happening, and I’d be interested in who you think is ahead on this question, Anthony.

  2. Barnaby – I haven’t had change to look at MORI’s actual table or questions yet, so I can’t comment there.

    The thing to remember about MORI though is that they do not use any political weighting (for perfectly principled reasons – I don’t personally agree with them, but there is logic to their position). This means their samples have far more Labour identifiers than other companies.

    Now, in their voting intention figures this has in the past been cancelled out by their strict likelihood to vote filter which used to help the Tories, meaning MORI’s VI figures were in line with other companies. Recently the “turnout advantage” enjoyed by the Tories seems to have faded in MORI’s polls, so they have started showing the highest Labour leads.

    In other questions though, which aren’t filtered by turnout, we normally find MORI showing better results for Labour than other companies.

    In terms of AV, if MORI are finding Labour supporters much more pro-AV than Conservatives, their sampling may explain some of the difference. If AV supporters are much more likely to be certain to vote and they are indeed applying the same 10/10 filter, that may also be a factor.

  3. Barnaby – tabs are up now. The turnout filter did indeed have a big impact (increasing the YES lead from 7 to 12), and MORI did indeed find Labour voters very much in favour, and Tories very much against, so the absence of political weighting may have had some minor impact too.

  4. Filtering by Likelihood to vote seems eminently sensible for a poll that is likely to only attract 40% of the electorate. Filtering by only those certain to vote might be a bit stringent, but on the one to ten scale it seems to make sense to me to have a cut off point somewhere.

    Nevertheless, I am very surprised by Mori’s 13% lead for Yes2AV. It could well be that a lot of the undecideds may come round to the no side, there is afterall evidence in other polling to back that phenomenon up. Also by removing all the unLLVs & DKs, what you are left with would exaggerate the lead, simply by proportion.

    Even taking all methodology out of it, it is clear the MORI are registering the Yes campaign retaining bouyant support.

    I wonder what the wording of their question was…… I’ll go find out.

  5. Greenbenches – I’ve seen a number of polls before in which a certain percentage said they were “certain to vote”, but then the turnout was actually lower than this percentage.

  6. How many English council seats are due for election on May 5th and where are these to be held ?

    Have a feeling that most people won’t vote in the referendum unless they are voting in another election. Therefore the local elections and where they are held could be key to whether there is a YES or NO to AV.

    I have already assumed that in Scotland and Wales where there are parliament/assembly elections, that there will be a significant majority in the YES camp.

    If there is poor turnout in England, the referendum votes in Scotland/Wales could win it for the YES camp.

  7. Barnaby,

    Thanks for that. As a yes2AV[er] that cheers me but only in the heart. My head has a nagging doubt about this one.

  8. Having gone and taken a look at the MORI tables there are three main findings

    1. At present, the UK uses the ‘first past the post’ system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the ‘alternative vote’ be used instead [was the question asked]

    2. Labour supporters are very enthusiastic about AV, aslo high levels of support among the lower social classes… Lib support interestingly is not as overwhelmingly behind it as I’d though they’d be…

    3.. Ed M leads DC in the approval ratings… Ed is -9% DC is -13%

  9. I went and asked Ipsos about their AV poll and got the following response

    1. Likelihood to vote does make a difference in terms of extending the yes lead

    2. Question wording made a difference

    3.Not mentioning date extended the yes’s lead

    4.Everything to play for since the public are not decided

  10. The Electoral Reform Society who are in charge of the referendum, have apparently donated over £1m to the YES campaign, plus staff and resources.

    Surely a conflict of interest as they can’t be running the process and funding one side. They could benefit as an organistation, if there was a YES vote.

    This has been admitted by the Electoral Reform Society. See the article in todays Spectator.

  11. Ed Miliband being ahead of Dave Cameron is a new one entirely & I hadn’t noticed that. If this were to continue one of the Tories’ strongest suits, the perceived popularity of the latter compared to the former, would be gone, and this is bound to be a worry for the Conservatives if it’s borne out in other polls, especially since Ed M hasn’t been all that visible of late.

  12. R Huckle [today at 10:12] – there are no local elections in London, so that’s one place where the turnout will be low. I suspect this may “net off” the high turnout in Scotland and Wales, since I imagine all three are good areas for “yes”. (Talking of London – is there a power in the Bill to move the Mayoral election to AV, rather than the current hybrid method, in the event of a “yes”?)

    More generally, my heart is a “yes” and my head a “no” (much like poor Mike Smithson over at “Political Betting”, except I’ve not the slightest intention of opening my wallet). If I were running the “no” campaign, I’d be begging Cameron to keep his head down – “no” can win on the basis that people identify voting with making an “X” (which indeed is why we have the hybrid system for the London mayoralty) – but if it comes to be seen as a chance to kick the government, “yes” may well squeak through.

  13. An interestesting snippet from the revolts website.. apologies if it is too long I tried to be judicious about what I copied and pasted

    during the 1992 Parliament it was Labour MPs, not Conservatives, who had been the most rebellious: Labour MPs had defied their whips more often, in greater numbers, and over a much wider range of issues , than had Conservative MPs. Yet no one noticed, and no one cared”

    In turn, that makes rebellion easier. If the media aren’t going to report it, why not rebel? This helps explain why no fewer than 105 Labour MPs have cast at least one vote against their party whip since last May. That’s a whopping 41% of the PLP.

    The names near the top of the list will be familiar to most Westminster watchers. Dennis Skinner, who loves taking the fight to the Government, has cast 26 rebellious votes, and is ahead of the familiar trio of usual suspects – the Unholy Trinity? – in the shape of Kelvin Hopkins (15), Jeremy Corbyn (13) and John McDonnell (12).

    But glance further down the list of Labour rebels, and we can see a couple of interesting patterns. First, 17 new MPs have so far broken ranks, along with the newly-elected Labour MP, Debbie Abrahams,

  14. TBG

    Are ‘rebels’ good or bad for a party and its public image? Is it good for democracy?

    I imagine it’s less important that opposition MPs toe the party line.

  15. @R Huckle

    “Have a feeling that most people won’t vote in the referendum unless they are voting in another election. Therefore the local elections and where they are held could be key to whether there is a YES or NO to AV.”

    That’s probably part of it. Some who don’t normally vote in local elections will turn out because of the referendum. Some who wouldn’t bother with the referendum will because they’ll be at the local / regional election. I suspect LD local turnout will benefit from the referenum and the No vote will benefit from the usually solid Tory turnout.

  16. ‘TBG’ ((The Big Giant???)) should be TGB

  17. Mike,

    In an era of public scrutiny.. a mutiny here or there is probably good for an MP at constituent level… Voters are improving their understand of how their MP voted on certain issues.. see tuition fees as an example… so I think provided it is on principle and reflects some of the views of your constituents it can be a good thing…

    Worryingly, laziness at voting can be much more serious but little is done to flag it up. 27 red MPs refused to oppose the government’s NHS reforms. I checked, there was no pairing.. they simply didn’t turn up.

    In my campaign to bring a bill to the parliament to allow 16 year olds to vote, I have contacted MPs who have never voted on the issue, I asked them if they supported the idea they said yes.. a good example of lazy voting I think.

    Serial rebellers seem to build up a mass following in their constituency but it harms their career advancement.. redwood, bone, skinner, field..

    On some occasions it can be the end of you.. see Charles Clarke… so a mixed picture of which I am sure there is no black and white answer

  18. The tables have some interesting numbers. Asked which party they generally support, Con and Lab are on equal 35% and LD on 16%, yet voting intention is 33 / 43 / 13. People who still identify with Con and LD seem to want to vote Lab at the moment. Presumably, many of these will go back if the political weather improves.

  19. TGB

  20. R Huckle: “Surely a conflict of interest as they can’t be running the process and funding one side.”

    The Electoral COMMISSION are running the referendum.
    The Electoral REFORM SOCIETY are supporting one side.
    Confusingly similar names, yes.

    (The Electoral Reform Society does offer election-running services to companies, charities, etc. but doesn’t have anything to do with government elections)

  21. Eoin – being a rebel doesn’t help MPs at the ballot box. Phil Cowley has done proper regression analysis on the figures, how rebellious an MP is has almost no effect on their electoral sucess (the lone exception to this was tuition fees in 2005 – Labour MPs who rebelled against tuition fees did slightly better. Nothing else – including things like Iraq where you might have expected an impact – made any difference at all).

  22. Looking at these numbers (and particularly the figures for EM and DC) prompts me to wonder whether at some time in the future The Sun and other newspapers under Murdoch will switch from supporting the Cons and DC to supporting EM and Lab. Murdoch senior will want to be seen supporting the winner of the next GE and will also want to reflect the majority view of its readers.

    Of course Murdoch junior (who I recall is a personal friend of DC?) may be less inclined to switch.

    And, who knows or can predict what will happen to VI in the short and long term.

  23. R Huckle

    The Electoral Reform Society who are in charge of the referendum

    Oh no they’re not. It’s the Electoral Commission which is in charge of the referendum. The only connection between the two is the word ‘Electoral’. You might as well claim this site is a front for UKIP, because both start with the words ‘United Kingdom’

    To be fair the Spectator article is pretty confusing. It mostly seems to be denouncing the Electoral Reform Society for being in favour of …er… Electoral Reform.

    It also claims that the ERS is a massively profitable outfit whose commercial interest in a new, complicated Westminster voting system is clear. Well it’s not clear to me, unless the Government is thinking of privatising the vote counting and giving it to the ERS. (If they did privatise it, the contract would probably go to some multinational who would refuse to let us know who was elected on grounds of ‘commercial confidentiality’).

  24. @ CIM

    “The Electoral COMMISSION are running the referendum.
    The Electoral REFORM SOCIETY are supporting one side.
    Confusingly similar names, yes.”

    Electoral Reform Society has a business arm called Electoral Reform Services, which in turn owns a software company called Xpress Software Solutions.

    The latter two companies have major business interests in running elections for UK LA’s & other bodies.

    ERS hasn’t donated £1m for no reason :-)

    Intriguingly Carina Trimingham Chris Huhne’s partner is campaigns director at the Electoral Reform Society .

  25. Anthony,

    Ta, I hope Mike N picks up your post…

    I wonder what keeps those dinosaurs in their seats all these years? Personal charm, or simply a heckofa safe seat..

  26. cim & Roger

    Point taken. I only skimmed through the Spectator article, hence the confusion.

    The serious point I suppose, is the funding of the YES & NO campaigns. There needs to be upfront clarity of who is funding these, rather than after the event.

  27. “Ta, I hope Mike N picks up your post…”

    Your hope is justified

  28. @Mike N – “Murdoch senior will want to be seen supporting the winner of the next GE… ”

    Ed Milliband has a spot writing for the Sun now I think (not that I have actually seen it :) ).

    The word on BSkyB is that NI can pre-empt any objections that the Competition Commission would be able to raise (also the threat that they can permanently damage Offcom’s rep with judicial review if it does go that far).

  29. Colin

    ERS hasn’t donated £1m for no reason. Well of course it hasn’t. It’s a society that campaigns for electoral reform (the clues in the name). So it’s donating money for reform of elections.

    For what it’s worth, their companies don’t actually run any Local Authority elections – the LA’s own Electoral Registration Officers and Returning Officers do that. What they do do is supply the EROs and ROs with things like specialised stationery, software and so on, rather than each individual council having to invent its own. Obviously this attempt to save money on back office services by using commercial companies must stop immediately.

    As for the Spectator’s insinuation that the ERS and its companies try to keep their connections secret, visiting any of their websites shows a box saying “Click above to visit our other sites”. With links between the three. Still it was good of the Spectator to make it clear to the vast majority of us who have no access to this new-fangled interweb thing. After all the ERS has only been around for a hundred or so years, so the Spectator must have thought it about time to investigate this new kid on the block.

    As far as Huhne’s partner being involved in this, I’m rather more relaxed about that than Spelman’s and Lansley’s partners being lobbyists in the industries they are Secretaries of State for.

    (Though I do find it depressing the small world in which these people all live – do they ever have a proper conversation with anyone outside the magic bubble. And as Dorothy Parker once remarked “Some of them are men and some of them are women. This means there will always be more of them”).

    Still Colin, I am deeply touched by your’s and the Spectator’s concern that somebody might give a donation in order to influence a political outcome that would suit them financially. I hope you are sitting down when I tell you this, but it is not unknown for individuals and private companies to do the same. I look forward to the Spectator’s campaign to ban all political donations.

  30. Billy Bob
    “Ed Milliband has a spot writing for the Sun now I think ”

    Oh, I ‘read’ The Sun. (Just for the sports coverage and other titillation.) I’ll have to look closer for EM’s column.

    (And I used to read The Times.)

    I’d prefer The Mirror but the wife likes The Sun.

  31. R Huckle

    The Spectator article actually does say “So the company in charge of administering the referendum on AV is itself funding one side of the campaign.” So it’s easy to see why you were mislead. Though of course you weren’t being paid for your political ‘expertise’.

    As far as the funding of the campaigns goes, I think the YES side is being open about it (which is why the Spectator knew about ERS). However the NO side seem to be revealing their sources of funds only after the campaign. (Corrections accepted).

  32. Mike K

    “but if it comes to be seen as a chance to kick the government, “yes” may well squeak through.”

    February 24th, 2011 at 11:03 am

    You obviously hadn’t noticed that Nick Clegg is also in government, and a whole lot more unpopular than DC, who is at least in the region of parity in approval ratings.

  33. I’m not surprised by this poll. The YouGov polls have have shown little change overall in its numbers.

    I am reading the crosstabs and I have to say that I’m slightly surprised by the age gaps. I wouldn’t have expected support for Labour to be so strong among the very youngest voters who have grown up only living under a Labour government. The gender gap seems counterintuitive too with Labour and Tories tied among men but Labour sporting a substantial lead among women.

  34. After a bit of digging around, I’ve discovered that ERS has (sort-of) been awarded the contract for the next two London-wide elections. According to a London Elects press release from last September To ensure a smooth and swift result London Elects has recently completed their first task, awarding an electronic counting contract to IntElect, a joint venture between DRS Data Services Limited and Electoral Reform Services Limited

    I’m sure ERS will do their best – and they seem very efficient with their own in-house vote counting for society elections and things like the Labour party leadership. However electronic counting has been trialled a number of times in London and given rise to a lot of problems. The Open Rights Group did a report on the last London elections that raised a lot of worrying questions and although different companies will be running the count this time, a lot will still be relevant.


    (This is the press release with some useful links in it and you can then click through to the report).

    One thing that has to be noted is that even by the estimate of those promoting it, electronic counting doesn’t save much money. According to the London Elects press release above, the cost for the next two elections will be £6.8 million, while the cost of doing both manually would be £7.2 million.

    Incidentally weren’t there not very successful attempts to electronically count the 2007 elections in Scotland? How did that go and what’s happening this time?

  35. Roger Mexico

    In 2007, the electronic counting itself went OK, but for some reason there were interminable delays in announcing the results.

    Westminster has decided (the poor souls up there can’t be trusted to make their own arrangements for their own Parliament) that we are to have manual counting this year.

  36. Anthony,

    Is there a YG Wales in the pipeline?

  37. @Socalliberal – “… Labour sporting a substantial lead among women.”

    Possible factors: spending cuts disproportionately driving up female unemployment; also child benefit, and threats to public services affecting children and seniors.

  38. Also on “very youngest voters”: tuition fees. EMA (education maintainance allowance) only affects 16-18 year-olds, even so it could be contributing to general feelings among the age group.

  39. Roger

    “I hope you are sitting down when I tell you this, but it is not unknown for individuals and private companies to do the same.”

    I was-and I took it pretty calmly-thanks :-)

  40. @BillyBob, SocialLiberal
    The preference of women voters for progressive parties tends to be a constant pattern in many countries, such as the USA, France, Greece etc. Also female vote is more concentrated to the mainstream (center-right, center and center-left parties), while the electorate of far left and especially of far right is predominantly male.

  41. (Continuing the previous post).
    In France, for example, the typical voter profile for the different parties is as follows:
    Far right: Young, urban, male, lower education
    Center-right: Old, rural, male or female (no significant variance), middle education
    Green: Young, urban, female, higher education
    Socialist/center-left: Middle age, urban, female, higher education
    Communist/Far left: Middle age, urban, male, middle education

  42. Would be intresting to see breakdown of vote by education level

    Tory roughly level with Lib Dem, both considerably higher than Labour would be my guess, I could be miles out

  43. Controversial Joe – We could start over with the “light-hearted” research Colin Firth recently commissioned from University College’s Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience – which showed right-wingers had a more pronounced amygdala while left-wingers had thicker anterior cingulates.

    From my expirience intelligence does not necessarily correlate with educational attainment/training, however, historically intellectuals might show a left bias.

  44. Anthony @ Eoin – being a rebel doesn’t help MPs at the ballot box. Phil Cowley has done proper regression analysis on the figures, how rebellious an MP is has almost no effect on their electoral sucess

    MP’s. maybe not. Is this just another thing in which the Scottish Parliamet is very different?

    Denis Canavan and The Margo were rebellious at a much higher level. In May we will see the scale of John Farquhar Munro’s personal vote now he isn’t standing.

  45. @John BD

    Didn’t Canavan win an election against the official.Labour candidate? If so, there are examples of that outside Scotland. George Galloway in Bethnal Green and Bow, Ken Livingstonagainst Frank Dobson for London Mayor in 2000, and the MP who recently passed away in b.gwent.

  46. John B,

    I found it intriguing got hear of Cowley’s research and I guess to have to take it at face value, in the absence of counter research to the contrary…

    I am trying to decide how things work in the NI context, I guess a serial offender might run the risk of looking like a pariah figure… but as you say they sometimes escape the unpopularity of the party in general..

    i wonder if it matter whether the party is in power or not?

    Did Barry Shearman lose his seat does anyone know off hand? he was not very nice to Gordy..

  47. @SocalLiberal

    “I am reading the crosstabs and I have to say that I’m slightly surprised by the age gaps. I wouldn’t have expected support for Labour to be so strong among the very youngest voters who have grown up only living under a Labour government. The gender gap seems counterintuitive too with Labour and Tories tied among men but Labour sporting a substantial lead among women.”

    Even though Labour hasn’t always boasted the coolest of either leaders or politicians, and Ed Miliband is probably another in the noble line of the deeply uncool, they have nearly always held leads, usually quite significant ones, in the 18-25 age category. Some time ago I trawled through some polling data and found that in all elections since exit polling information became available in the 1970s, Labour only once lost this lead, in 1983, and even squeaked a 1% advantage in the May 2010 debacle. In most elections, whether lost or won, their leads in this age group have been substantial.

    Why might this be? Well, there appears to be an innate aversion to Conservative politics against most of the young who express an interest, although we have to acknowledge here that those who are genuinely interested in politics amongst this age group are worryingly few and far between. Apathy, disillusionment and genuine disinterest tend to win the day and the young now form a high proportion of the 35-40% of the country’s adult population who no longer participate in our elections. Still, those that do tend to side with the left and this may be the temperament of exuberant and optimistic youth rearing its head coupled with the perception that a certain naffness surrounds the Tory “brand”. Not many young people are naturally drawn to the establishment party.

    An intriguing thought as our politics, thank God, continue to defy the so called inalienable laws of endless repetitiveness and the rules of orthodoxy. What if the young became truly politicised again and start to get actively involved? What could the consequences of that reawakening be and who would reap the benefits? Could the coalition government be inadvertently gifting Labour their biggest political fillip in a generation; a reunited British Left and a re-politicised youth?

    More questions that make the current politics as intriguing and unpredictable as they’ve been for 40 years in my opinion.

  48. BT [2:35pm] Yes, I do know we have a coalition government. Perhaps someone here could point me in the direction of a poll which shows how many voters know it. I suspect a significant proportion (of those who take little interest in such things, obviously) think that if we have a Conservative Prime Minister we must have a Conservative government – a statement that was true from 1841 to 1997.

  49. @CrossBat11

    I’d suggest that Labour’s lead in young voters reflects the innate selfishness of the electorate. As we get older, we tend to acquire more wealth, that we don’t want to share. Whereas younger voters are more interested in the general good (i.e. things that will benefit them). This reflects the fundamental difference between Tories and Labour.

  50. Do we have any idea from any of the polls in which type of seat the Labour vote is up most. The reason I ask this is because there is some scattered evidence that Labour is making significant advances where they were previously very low indeed, in third, or even fourth place. Indeed, in Rodborough in Gloucestershire they came from 12% to 31% to take a previous LD/Con marginal by 3 votes! Although exceptional, this trend of doing well where they have been out of the race since the early 1980s with the launch of the Alliance seems general. However, the sting in this tale would seem to suggest that a large chunk of the Labour advance in the national vote is in constituencies where they were third behind LDs. Perhaps the Lab tactical vote for LDs established over 30 years has unwound? This however, would not gain Labour any seats at all. It will most likely lead to Conservative gains from the LDs. I wonder if, on a smaller, localised scale, if this is what we will see at the locals in May?
    Is there any national polling evidence to support the hints of this trend currently occuring in council by-elections?

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