Ipsos-MORI’s monthly political monitor poll has been published here. Topline figures, with changes from last month, are CON 40%(+3), LAB 40%(-1), LDEM 9%(-1) – so putting Labour and the Conservatives neck-and-neck.

Needless to say, this is an unusual finding – the only other polls this year not to show a Labour lead were a couple of Opinium polls and the ICM poll straight after the budget. The ICM and YouGov polls conducted at the same time and subsequent to this one haven’t shown any obvious narrowing of the Labour lead. I suspect it’s down to weighting – Ipsos MORI do not do any political weighting of their sample (due to concerns about changes in levels of false recall and the fear it would weight out genuine volatility in public opinion) and the sample this month has significantly fewer respondents saying they voted Lib Dem in 2010… which given what has happened to the Lib Dem vote since then, one would expect to impact negative on the support recorded by Labour and the Lib Dems.


135 Responses to “MORI show Lab & Con equal on 40%”

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  1. Phil,

    Thanks for the url.

    – “Have you noticed that although the “most seats” market has moved significantly in response to the latest poll, the constituency betting markets have yet to do so? It suggests that there’s still a bit of value in SNP positions. Mid Fife would appear nailed on now… ”

    In the middle of the night I got a fair sum on Fiona Hyslop in Linlithgow, at 13/8 (both PP and VC).

    She only needs a 0.5% swing to gain the re-drawn seat from Mary Mulligan. It would be very odd indeed if Hyslop didn’t manage that modest task in the current circumstances.

    This is essential reading if you are betting on east coast constituencies:

    http://scottish-independence.blogspot.com/2011/04/labour-collapse-in-lothian.html

    I think the east/west pattern is going to be very different in this election. The LAB/CON/LD to SNP swing will be bigger in the east than in the west.

  2. Phil,

    I see that that PP price on Hyslop has gone now. Still there with VC though.

    – “And the Cons 8% majority in Galloway doesn’t seem safe enough to warrant 5/1.”

    Due to the frankly ridiculous early pricing from both VC and PP I am quids in on both Fergusson (Con) and McLeod (SNP) in Galloway & West Dumfries. But I’m totally screwed in Scobie (Lab) gains it from 3rd place!

    Aileen McLeod only needs a 3.9% swing to take it from Fergusson (the Presiding Officer), so why on earth she is priced at 5/1 is a mystery to me.

    Looking at my records, I got 40 quid on her at 6/1 on the 13th. I got a hedging sum on Fergusson at 2/1

  3. Stuart,
    I’m sure that Anthony would class that as a Voodoo poll, so I’m glad that you also make that comment on your site.

  4. Stuart

    Likewise re Galloway. I spotted the arb too.

  5. Phil, there have been lots n lots of Arbitrage opportunities during the last couple of months. In fact, it would require some skill NOT to have made a profit out of this election.

    One almost feels sorry for the bookies.

    Almost. :D

  6. Labour longer than Evens for first time:

    Bet365 has just become the first bookie to price LAB Most Seats at longer than EVS: now 6/4.

    Best SNP Most Seats price is EVS with Coral. I doubt that’ll last more than a couple of hours once everyone wakes up this morning.

  7. LAB just hit 2.68 over at Betfair!!

    Crikey, the markets are going bonkers.

    Remember, polling day is still a long way off. Nothing is in the bag.

  8. Running those poll numbers through my own spreadsheet gives numbers similar to the Sun’s, rather than Prof Curtice’s.

    SNP 63
    LAB 44
    CON 11
    LIB 7
    GRN 4
    OTHS 0

    Now, there may be a couple of others – opinion polls wont pick up on small local variations (I’m thinking of George Galloway here).

  9. ARB ALERT

    Wonderful arbitrage opportunity right now:

    Coral SNP Most Seats 2 (57.26 GBP)
    Betfair LAB Most Seats 2.68 (42.74 GBP)

    Invest 100 GBP in the right proportions and get 14.43 GBP profit. Guaranteed.

  10. @Richard – “Q1 figures expected to show growth Of 0.7%. not too bad”

    The NIESR are still predicting 0.7% Q1 growth, but these are the same people who prefdicted +0.5% for Q4 2010 a week before the -0.5% estimate came out. Their record isn’t great.

    A number of forecasters are predicting a negative number, althugh they are in the minority. HSBC is forecasting +0.4%, the CBI +0.2%

    I think it’s a bit touch and go but most people expect weak growth, getting even weaker in Q2.

  11. Alec

    The Japanese supply chain problems will impact-worldwide.

    But we should concentrate on the fundamentals of the UK economy.

    The Times today features BoE agents scores on Employment Intentions/Spare Capacity/Profitability/Investment Intentions/Exports -for Manufacturing & Services sectors.

    The contrast is stark-and very encouraging in the context of policy to rebalance the UK economy .

    The three most positive signals from Manufacturing are Employment Intentions/Investment Intentions & Exports.

    Even Services has a positive Investment Intentions , despite negative signals on other factors.

    THese are the indicators which will matter to BoE MPC, and to GO-and ultimately to voters if they translate into jobs.

    The Public Sector will lose jobs-it took on unsustainable payrolls.

    The Finance Sector will not be pushing unsustainable consumption with lax credit .

    The BIG question is -will Private Sector Manufacturing fill those gaps ?

    The signs are positive-but it is a medium term game…..hopefully one in which the economic cycle matches the political cycle :-)

  12. @ Colin
    I run a small engineering business – had real trouble sourcing electronic parts well ebfore the Japanese disaster – as a result delayed delivery and took a big profit hit. This was due to the world recession leading to reduced stock levels – this will take years to unwind and will hold back manufacturing regardless of UK Government policies. From my business (as opposed to policial) perspective DC is whistllng in the wind – he does not understand how the private sector works

  13. @Colin – you obviously read the good bits. This from the Telegraph.
    h ttp://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/8464811/UK-manufacturers-losing-out-to-foreign-rivals.html

    The same BoE agents scores are citing the lack of capacity in manufacturing and the inability to substitute imports as a major potential drag on the economy.

    Osborne has got the entire recovery strategy wrong. He is reliant on a favourable exchange rate to boost exports and cuts in public spending and CT tax which he thinks will automatically lead to increase private sector activity. There is no theoretical or practical example that this second factor actually works – it’s an ideological belief. (On the CT taxes, detailed research from Finland actually showed a reverse relationship, with fewer job creations after CT cuts, probably as these were funded, like Osborne’s, from removal of investment tax breaks).

    His practical measures on higher education spending and investment allowances are precisely the measures that will harm our ability to rebalance the economy and increase productive capacity, and is particularly poorly designed for the high investment manufacturing sector. As with so many things, this government is good at saying one thing and doing the exact opposite.

  14. If Gordon Brown is the most favoured candidate across Europe to become the next Managing Director of the IMF, Cameron is pitching his judgement against that of several other more expreienced Europn leaders.

    If Gordon wants the job , and many objective commentators see him as the architect of the 2007-08 global recovery strategies, and most therefore regard him as best equipped it would be churlish and unstatesmanlike for Cameron to try and stand in the way.

  15. STUART DICKSON

    I may have missed something, but is this the best place to encourage people to bet on the Scottish elections?

    Your website is notionally pro-Scottish independence but seems to be as concerned with beating the bookies at their own game.. Now, I know some would say that the bookies are better at predicting political outcomes than the polls but most of us know that is rubbish as the bookies’ odds are based on where the money is going which in turn is based on guesswork by various individuals who might or might not be making informed judgements.

  16. UK retail sales rise 0.2% in March. [expected -0.4%], up 1.3% on the year..

    Remember inflation dropped 0.4%
    Houses stabilised 0.3% up.
    Mortgage repayments accelerating
    Unemployment dropped 17k
    156K jobs created [reducing social service payment forecasts by £158m this year]
    Trade Export gap narrowed £1bn
    PMI still over 50.

    George Osborne has his recovery.

    Labour need a plan B.

    ohh that’s right the cuts! the cuts!

    CSR said spening 2010 = £700
    March Budget said £710

    On top of that

    +£1bn to voer Uni hike in tuition fees to £8.6k on aerage
    0.7Bn from special reserve to cover Libya
    £1bn delay on MoD savings
    c.£7bn in new PFIs

    Also 10% penalty on HB for long term unemployed is undone..

    that’s nearly £20bn extra that October week 3 CSR..

    George Osborne Hedged his bets… spending a little more and cutting a little slower

    the IFS say 0.6% real term cuts this year.. it may well turn out to be 0.3%.

    In effect, it will end up amounting to LESS than Darling’s 2011-2 plans.

    Given that this thread shows a 40% 40%, and generally blues are in and around the 2010 level of 36-7%, they are in my view well on their way to securing re-election.

    Unless Purple Labour or Blue Labour can stop them perhaps?

  17. aberdeencynic,

    Perhaps not. But, compared to the Social Contract or even the Universal Credit, the minimum wage was a labour market reform of astonishing timidity. Even by its own logic, it was timid and unsubstantial. However, politically, it was a masterstroke.

    A good encapsulation of Nu-Labour’s first four years in office. Devolution was a similar timid fudge, which in the long run has proven quite unsustainable which is why no-one thinks that the 1998 settlement is viable anymore. But, at the time, it was a masterstroke and managed to get a lot of unionists and nationalists singing Labour’s praises.

  18. SoCalLiberal,

    Rights for the LGBT community; protections against sexual and racial discrimination; that sort of thing. Actually, a lot of progress on that front was in 2000, suggesting that Labour’s first term wasn’t entirely a waste.

    Even someone like me, who is generally anti-Labour, can admire much of what they did during that period. Labour’s record on liberalism is very mixed: for the various freedoms lost, there were some freedoms gained. (Although civil partnerships were another timid Nu-Labour fudge.)

    As usual, it was a question of power to the articulate interest group. If one has a centrist, vapid ideological base, it will be the articulate interest groups who shape policy. So the LGBT community got rights insofar as this was compatible with keeping religious groups on board; greater protections against racial discrimination, but fewer against government surveillance; greater rights for women, but a very right-wing drugs policy etc.

  19. @Stuart Dickson

    Wonderful arbitrage opportunity right now:
    Coral SNP Most Seats 2 (57.26 GBP)
    Betfair LAB Most Seats 2.68 (42.74 GBP)
    Invest 100 GBP in the right proportions and get 14.43 GBP profit. Guaranteed.

    What if it were a dead heat? Would neither pay out?

  20. @DavidB

    If some of us choose to discuss polls in the context of implications for betting markets, and vice versa, then you can always ignore us. It’s not partisan to do so, so what’s the problem? Likewise you can always ignore Stuart D’s investment advice (I use investment as technically an arbitrage opportunity is not a “bet” but a win-win combination that guarantees a return).

    I would disagree with a statement that a prediction based on polling data is always more accurate than betting odds, just as I would also disagree with a statement that betting odds always provide a better prediction than polls. In the current case of Scotland, the betting markets seem to be injecting a dose of reality by suggesting that the SNP are marginal favourites but still no more than that in the race for most seats. That’s probably realistic given that it’s only this one MORI poll that are showing the SNP way ahead.

    To give you a more concrete example of how betting odds can be useful in moderating opinions based on polls alone, look at the Welsh Assembly. We recently were discussing here the likely Labour seat count that would be consistent with the last opinion poll there. ITN were suggesting 31 seats, Britain Votes 35, and Anthony Wells 33. Now having looked at Britain Votes, their prediction relies on Labour achieving a 13% swing against PC in Arfon and an 8%+ swing (from 3rd) against PC in Aberconwy. The respective bookies odds on Lab on those seats are 11/2 and 7/1 – i.e. in both it will be a surprise if Lab takes them. I think that’s a useful additional perspective. It serves to confirm my feeling from looking at the specific seats that Britain Votes are wrong in their interpretation of the poll and/or that overall Labour lead in Wales will be less in general than the poll suggests.

  21. Eoin, I love your posts! You must be the most ‘non tribal’ red on this site, never afraid to give credit where credit is due, no matter to whomsoever it is due.

    I have missed something though. Please can you explain the following:
    Orange bookers; blue Labour & Purple Labour. The latter two are presumably ‘right wing’ reds? But for example, who would you put in those categories? Is Blair blue or purple & what would EM & EB, be?

    Apologies for a probable daft question.

  22. You can only cry wolf for so long.

    The reality for most people is, though money is a bit tighter than before, the “cuts” have not bought the calamity the Balls and Co promised.

    We have survived a horrible winter and now the sun is out with two 4-day weekends on offer including a Royal Wedding, it is no surprise to me that the Tory vote is recovering.

    The economic news out today is of increased sales and the borrowing for the last financial year 5 billion less than predicted.

    The No to AV campaign is also showing a healthy lead.

    I think Cameron, Osborne and Co will have a very pleasant Easter.

    The Ed’s on the other hand must be wondering where it all went wrong. Second in the Scottish election as well as the poll lead nationally narrowing or even dissappearing.

  23. I picked up on twitter that the regional voting question in the MORI poll prompted the four (main?) parties by name.

    This is likely to underestimate the Green vote and number of MSPs (they are only putting up regional list candidates I think). The likely impact would be on LD and SNP list voting (noting the voting Compass groupings).

    I think it is about time that polsters recognised that Patrick Harvie’s party will be the most likely kingmakers and that we are looking at the potential for a majority of MSPs supporting independence (as the Greens also do).

    Can anyone confirm this is the case?

  24. @the green benches

    It’s £450 million over on the tuition fee increase not £1billion and even that £450 million figure based on a false assumption that doesn’t take into account bursaries and fee waivers that will drive down the average fee to somewhere nearer to the goverbnebts original estimates.

    You also seem to have missed the borrowing figures out today that came in almost £5billion lower than predicted in the March budget and almost £8billion lower than predicted at the CSR.

  25. @John Fletcher

    “the “cuts” have not bought the calamity the Balls and Co promised.”

    Really. This year’s cuts have been in effect for a total of 3 weeks. And last year’s comparatively small cuts had the effect of completely stalling the recovery, snow or no snow.

    Let’s wait for next week’s growth figures, shall we? Anything below a 0.5% increase will represent negative growth over the last 6 months. I think many would regard that as a calamity.

  26. *governments

  27. @Leetay

    “the borrowing figures out today that came in almost £5billion lower than predicted in the March budget”

    So, the predictions made at the time of the budget, when there was only a week to go to the end of the month, were £5billion out? Does anyone else find this incredible?

  28. Of those certain to vote (Mori Scottish poll)
    81% were born in Scotland
    14% elsewhere in th UK
    5% outwith the UK
    (All EU citizens resident here can vote)

    Notable difference in VI

    Consituency
    SNP 47% : Lab 33% : Con 9% : LD 8% – born Scotland
    SNP 321% : Lab 35% : Con 18% : LD 23% – born elsewhere UK
    SNP 36% : Lab 36% : Con 13% : LD 11% – born outwith UK

    List
    SNP 45% : Lab 32% : Con 9% : LD 6% – born Scotland
    SNP 24% : Lab 36% : Con 21% : LD 11% – born elsewhere UK
    SNP 31% : Lab 11% : Con 26% : LD 9% – born outwith UK

    They aren’t of course, homogenous groups in terms of identity. One might speculate that incomers are higher earners and more likely to vote for the Coalition parties.

    Interesting contrast, though, with the assumption that “immigrants vote Labour” meme that is regularly seen being made by right wingers.

  29. Denzil – I don’t know what prompting MORI use, it is unclear from their question. Normal practice is to prompt using just main party names, but it’s sometimes done differently for regional vote (e.g. in YouGov’s polls we prompt only for the main parties in the constituency question…. but include minor parties as well in the regional question).

    The twitter comment is from James Mackenzie, who I expect has actually asked MORI – he’s not the sort to sound off without actually checking – so it probably is the case.

    Whether it is right or not to prompt for smaller parties in the regional question is an open question. It isn’t a case of fairness, its a case of what gives the most accurate result.
    In normal, FPTP elections the question is straightforward – prompting by minor parties results in overestimating their support, so it is not done.

    In elections under other electoral systems where minor parties stand everwhere, have a real chance of winning, and where people have got used to voting for them, it’s an different question.

    Right now, however, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the levels of Green support in YG polls (which do prompt for the Greens) and MORI polls (which don’t), so it may be a moot point.

  30. @Alec

    “you obviously read the good bits.”

    In general I prefer them to the bad bits-whatever turns you on Alec :-)

    Thanks for the link -which contained this very sanguine comment :-

    “Simon Ward, chief economist at Henderson, said the Bank’s reaction to the findings demonstrated that it has been behind the curve on inflation. “I’m puzzled by their puzzlement,” he said.

    “It was always likely to take time to build new capacity, and there have been credit constraints”

    Clearly the lack of capacity -allowed to develop over years-is still encouraging imports but is one of the drivers for the upbeat investment intentions.

    We shall see who is the better judge -you or GO-in due course Alec.

    @ Robin

    “So, the predictions made at the time of the budget, when there was only a week to go to the end of the month, were £5billion out? Does anyone else find this incredible?”

    Not at all-the variance represents less than 1% of State Spending or Income.

    Given the vast array of data to be collected & the time lags involved , this is an entirely unremarkable figure.

  31. John Fletcher,

    If Ed Miliband is panicking, he’s a fool. He should have his eyes on 2015 and the things he can do to affect the outcome of that election have nothing to do with regional politics or VI polls.

    Ed’s focus right now should be on the following four things, in order of reverse importance:

    (1) Policy review.

    (2) Local election in England.

    (3) Building up party finances.

    (4) Expanding grassroots membership.

    If he can get those four right, he has a very, very good shot at winning a majority in 2015. If he gets distracted by short term gains, opinion polls and cheap stories, he’ll suffer the same fate as Hague: a little gain here, a good soundbite there, but nothing to show come the election.

  32. “So, the predictions made at the time of the budget, when there was only a week to go to the end of the month, were £5billion out? Does anyone else find this incredible?”

    I do.

  33. This is OT but may possiboly have some relevance to the London mayor election…

    The Pensions Regulator is to investigate the mayor’s pension moves in relation to Visit London.

    http://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/pm/articles/2011/04/regulator-to-investigate-mayors-pension-move.htm?wa_src=email&wa_pub=cipd&wa_crt=news_2&wa_cmp=pmdaily_210411

  34. a thorught came to mind with so many elections taking place the risk of spoilt ballots must be very high, as happend in scotland at the last scotish parliment elections, in my own area we are facing three votes one for the district council, one for the parish council of which i am a candidate in that election standing for a second term and the voting system reform vote, it may get very confussing for older residents in this years polls.

    on the other hand i am hoping for a high turnout as this will normally fall into my ball court, a prediction made by a local resident in my village showed me 9% ahead which is good news but still two weeks to go.

  35. I think that the narrowing of Labour’s Lead is to do with the focus of the media changing to the upcoming royal wedding on Friday the 29th. As soon as the focus of the press has changed back to the political scene with the cuts etc., in 2-3 weeks, Labour’s lead should rise to anywhere between 7 and 11 points.

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