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. Adrian B,

    I think 1997-2001 was the most centrist in practice. Rhetorically it was the most left-wing.

    2001-2005 saw some left-wing issues come to the front e.g. that was when the fox hunting debate got very heated. That was also when the most radical minority rights legislation went through.

    2005-2007 could have easily been the first few years of a tentative Tory government, except for the Labour attitude to civil liberties.

  2. DAVID

    “And it must mean that the two factions in Labour stop bickering.”

    Doesn’t look like that is likely given all this Purple & Red business.

    Surely there is a range of opinion in all the three main parties-that’s never going to go away.

    Cameron-like Blair before him seems to be holding his internal coalition together ( better than the one with LDs some might say !)-but it’s easier when you are in power.

    In opposition, policy definition & reflective navel gazing is bound to produce the eternal tension between the search for popularity, & party principles.

  3. Bill Patrick, As a Labour voter since 1976 the reason the tory vote hasn’t collapsed is because Ed Milliband has failed to get rid of Balls. He is a repugnant man who comes across on TV as a bully and is to closely assosciated with Brown. If Labour were to drop him they would advance in the polls. The same applies to a lesser extent to that ghastly sidekick of his Yvette Cooper.

    I also have to say that during the whole period of 1997-2010 Labour were never left wing. They were right or centre right the whole time. Again I compare this to my voting for them since 1976. What has happened isthe whole political spectrum shifted rightward.

  4. @Bill Patrick – I would suggest caution in overreacting to either this poll, or the medium term situation. When all is said and done, last night we had a Labour lead of 7%, and today they are level pegging. Mori show movement to the Tories, ICM against.

    What does this mean? Not a great deal. Polls wobble within MOE and sometimes outside it. Certainly, the Tory vote hasn’t collapsed, nor have people fallen back in love with Labour. I do feel though that the doommongers on the left that post here sometimes forget that less than twelve months ago Labour suffered their worst general election stuffing in history. For them to even be level is actually quite remarkable, even if some of their support is quite soft.

    Cameron isn’t the sparkling man of the future some of his accolytes would have had us believe. In government as in opposition, he fails to convince, and despite what we were told, he entered government unprepared and without a clearly thought through plan. From NHS and forests, via Libya and growth strategies
    to no frontline cuts and being the greenest government ever, we’ve got a government that is singularly failing to convince on virtually every front. Even the deficit projection is £44b worse than in June.

    You can carry these things for a while, especially when your main opponents are still licking their wounds and unsure of their place and there’s a referendum to hide behind, but eventually the drift of indecision and incompetence wears the voter down and your number comes up.

    This isn’t to say he won’t win in 2015 – as elections are a choice from several, rather than a judgement on one, he might just manage a second term, but I would have to say the signs for this aren’t great.

    Whatever people say, I have always maintained that the government position is unstable, and Tory MPs and Cameron himself have consistently shown a lack of courage when under fire in recent years. This is not the bragging, self confident Tory party of the 80s. Deep down, they get very panicked when the polls dip. I still think we’ll have a new government by 2013, possibly 2012. I’m not attempting to predict what colour it will be be however.

  5. He doesn’t give up does he ? :-

    C4 News :-

    “Asked on a campaign trip to South Wales if there was “a home” for the Business Secretary in the Labour Party, Mr Miliband said: “Of course, and there’s a home for any Lib Dem who wants to come and join our Labour party…I think we are now the natural home for progressive politics because we are the only party that can meet a credible claim on social justice.”

    He added: “The Conservative-led Government is a betrayal of many of the principles that Lib Dems stood for. I hope as many as possible will either jump ship, or come and work with Labour.” ”

    VC looks & sounds more & more uncomfortable-all the noises off about the nasty Tories & the everlasting parading of his principles.

    VC seems to criticise “Tories” more than he does Labour.

    EM is quite right to identify him as the weak link in the chain.

  6. Definite outlier – others are on 1% for goodness sake!

    The Tories have definitely recovered a bit of late, but Mori and their non-weighted sample and Angus Reid aside, the current picture looks like a Lab lead of 5% or so.

    Curious that both the ICM poll (which typically shows lower Lab figures and higher LD figures)) of two days ago, and yestetday’s YG both showed movements towards Labour (albeit within MOE).

    It’s very fluid and anyrhing could happen in May.

  7. Alec

    “This is not the bragging, self confident Tory party of the 80s. Deep down, they get very panicked when the polls dip.”

    Sounds like you would prefer a bit of Thatcherite stridency Alec :-)

    Just to point out that then they were in power alone. Now they are in Coalition with an increasingly flaky bunch of LibDems.

    It’s the LibDems “polls dip” which they seem to spend all their time worrying about.

    Their own polls haven’t dipped since the GE, which some might consider surprising given the unpopular things they are doing, and the never ending catalogue of mismanagement which you identify for us so diligently ;-)

  8. @Alec

    I think it helps DC that he’s being attacked from both the Left and Right flanks of his big tent. This makes him seem more reasonable and moderate. This impression of DC may actually be trumping his clear Right policies on the NHS and Tuition Fees. Perception in politics can be far more important than actions.

  9. Alec,

    I am not overreacting to this poll. This poll and the other polls show that my prediction of a collapse in the Tory VI were premature, if not totally inaccurate.

    I admire the courageous prediction of an early election.

  10. @colin – “Just to point out that then they were in power alone.”

    But they were alone in opposition, which was when my impression of them being highly excitable was formed.

    “Their own polls haven’t dipped since the GE, which some might consider surprising given the unpopular things they are doing, and the never ending catalogue of mismanagement which you identify for us so diligently”
    Like I said, it’s a choice of several options – Labour are not yet credible enough.

    I think that the coalition is the main reason why their support has held up in many ways, with right leaning Lib Dem/Tory waverers probably moving across to the blue camp. My point really though was that we’ll see some choice eruptions within Tory ranks if and when their poll numbers do start to look particularly poor.

    Cameron is not liked by many Tory backbenchers (not least the A list intake of 2010) and hasn’t got many out and out loyalists in the senior party ranks. He has even developed a reputation for shafting his own ministers when pre agreed policies get a bit unpopular, after less than a year in power. All governments hit tough times, and when you do, you need deep and strong loyalties. Dave doesn’t have this, and they don’t see him as a winner either. There is trouble ahead.

  11. Alec

    Thanks

    I don’t share your view of DC -or of his future as leader & PM.

    But then-we are both biased aren’t we ? :-)

  12. Oh dear, I’m quoting Bruce Anderson now. :(

    “Don’t blame the Coalition – its incoherence comes from the top.”

    Another u-turn… this time on which suit to wear for the wedding.

  13. I agree with Alec, I think there are underlying tensions in the gvt. I think this might be supressed until 2013 though and a GE in 2014.

  14. RAF:

    Others are on 11 in this poll.

  15. Latest twitter from: Angus Macleod
    Details of Times/Sun poll on Newsnight Scotland tonight. Devastating for Gray and Labour.

  16. PS anyone outwith Scotland with Sky access can watch Newsnight Scotland (aka Newsnicht) on channel 990 at 22:00 UTC / 23:00 BST Monday-Thursday

  17. Andy W,

    I don’t think Ed Balls is either much of a help or a hinderance. He annoys some people, on the one hand; however, on the other hand, he’s one of the most effective people in the shadow cabinet and he’s a tough shadow for any minister. As a backbencher, he’d be a Tony Benn-esque problem for Miliband.

    Of course, left wing and right wing are hopeless distinctions, especially given their relativity. I would argue that the 1997-2001 government was in practice centrist (if only by the default of almost no effective action; it was full of gimmicks like the minimum wage and the Golden Rule) the 2001-2005 government was centre-left by the standards of the time except on foreign policy and the 2005-2007 period was plainly centre-right.

  18. Tonight’s YouGov:

    36-43-9
    -24 approval

  19. @ Bill Patrick

    I can assure you for some of us the minimum wage is not a ‘gimmick’.

  20. @ Robin,

    Thanks for that – another scintilla of evidence that there is NOT a Tory recovery.

    One thing I have absolute confidence in – the Royal Wedding will not have a shred of lasting effect on VI on 5th May (unless Ed M manages to accidentally trip the bride up on the way down the aisle!).

  21. @Robin

    “Tonight’s YouGov:
    36-43-9
    -24 approval”

    It looks like your rather perceptive series of observations on the current state of the polls are somewhat closer to the mark than those made by some of the other more excitable contributors to these pages.

    That said, if tomorrow’s YouGov poll narrows a little, be prepared for a cacophony of calls for Ed Miliband to fall on his sword and a fevered discussion about what Cameron ought to do in his second term!

  22. I think this is just poll variation within the margin of error. This poll has been one that has showed the Tories and Labour closer than other polls.

    @ Bill Patrick

    “2001-2005 saw some left-wing issues come to the front e.g. that was when the fox hunting debate got very heated. That was also when the most radical minority rights legislation went through.”

    What do you mean by radical minority rights?

  23. Adrian B

    Maybe the Royal Wedding is already having an effect on VI in Scotland! :-)

  24. @ Adrian B

    “One thing I have absolute confidence in – the Royal Wedding will not have a shred of lasting effect on VI on 5th May (unless Ed M manages to accidentally trip the bride up on the way down the aisle!).”

    That’d be pretty cool though. It’d make for some great television coverage and it would help Ed Miliband boost his name recognition (is he even invited to the wedding?)

    @ Crossbat11/Nick H

    “That said, if tomorrow’s YouGov poll narrows a little, be prepared for a cacophony of calls for Ed Miliband to fall on his sword and a fevered discussion about what Cameron ought to do in his second term!”

    People can be a little bit jumpy. Things can change very quickly in politics and people shouldn’t be so busy to make long term conclusions based on daily poll movements within the margin of error.

  25. ANDY W

    I don’t think this message board is an appropriate place for you to express your opinions about Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper.

    Unlike you I have met Yvette Cooper and like most objective commentators I regard as very capable and an excellent communicator.

  26. @Quincel

    I can’t count. Sorry.

  27. Re tensions in the coalition; Peter Bone MP (Con, Wellingbrough) has just been on Newsnight saying that he hopes the coalition will end ‘sooner rather than later’ and when it does he wants to see more Tory policies. It was in relation to the EU budget negotiations and he was clear that he wants to see Cameron slap down the Lib Dems and refuse any budget increase.

    We always assume its disgruntled Lib Dems who will pull the plug, but Cameron’s rather friendless leadership may well have battles to win or lose on the other flank.

  28. @ Old Nat

    “Maybe the Royal Wedding is already having an effect on VI in Scotland!”

    In what way? Are Scots, who are completely uninterested in this wedding (and possibly think it should be private) getting annoying with excessive news media coverage and leaning towards voting for the SNP as a result? The idea being “boy if we were independent from those people, we wouldn’t have to hear about this anymore.” I have a news flash, your news media will still likely talk about it. :)

    Btw…..JM is voting against AV. He had a very well reasoned and intelligent peice on his blog about why that I think (I know your side doesn’t particularly care for him but he’s really underrated). And he had a very interesting line that reflected something you had said on previous occassion (I don’t know if he and you simply think alike as Scots or if he’s just adopting your philosophy):

    “My general view is that the smaller the disagreement in politics the higher the octane of the rhetoric.”

    http://jimmurphymp.org/2011/04/19/put-aside-the-cleggphobia-and-then-vote-no-to-av/

  29. SoCalLiberal

    I don’t disagree that Murphy is a very smart politician. If he was like Iain Grey, he wouldn’t be a threat to my side of the constitutional debate.

    Royal Wedding – In a recent poll almost half of all Scots wanted to keep as far away from the Royal Wedding as possible.

    Lots of Scots (however, they vote) don’t really like the Union Flag. My local store’s HQ is in Mamnchester and have ordered them to have Union Flags in the store. The Manager says she will have them down the instant the Wedding’s over. She finds it embarassing to have them there

  30. Toyota is closing down in Derby for a fortnight and will reopen 1 1/2 days a week only after that, with other big car companies showing similar problems due to spares supply issues.
    These are major sectors of the manufacturing export market and with people already thinking that Q2 could be worse than Q1 as consumer spending slumps, these shutdowns have been very badly timed.

  31. New Scottish poll putting SNP ahead by 10%.

  32. I took the liberty to work out the average for the past week which works out at:

    CON 36% , LAB 41%, LDEM 10% OTHER 13%

    This is the average of the populus, comres, icm , ipsos mori and every yougov poll from the past week.

    So that’s an average 5% lead for Labour over the Tories but an average 5% lead for the government over Labour.

  33. All that was revealed on Newsnicht was SNP lead Lab by 11% in plurality seats and 10% on the list.

  34. BZ

    But also Ipsos-MORI being used by News International instead of YouGov.

    Maybe they have sussed that YouGov’s panel selection for Scottish polling lacks reliability?

  35. @Alec
    Q1 figures expected to show growth Of 0.7%. not too bad

  36. @Oldnat
    Since historically YouGov has overestimated SNP in Holyrood, you could be right….

  37. @SocalLiberal

    “People can be a little bit jumpy. Things can change very quickly in politics and people shouldn’t be so busy to make long term conclusions based on daily poll movements within the margin of error.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more. What we all have to recognise about opinion polls on voting intention is that people are being asked how they would vote “if there was a General Election tomorrow” when they know that there isn’t going to be one for quite some time. In many ways it is the ultimate hypothetical question and, while many respondents won’t ever change their stated voting intention come what may, a proportion of those polled will be basing their responses on passing whims and fancies that may not stand the test of a real polling booth, should they ever choose to venture into one, that is!

    Polls are fascinating though, and enlightening too on occasions. They do have a real impact on the morale of party loyalists and, when conducted close to actual elections are quite accurate indicators of outcomes (not foolproof though!), but we all fall into the trap of treating them like the proverbial tablets of stone. They feed the partisan devils in all our souls!

    @Andy JS

    “New Scottish poll putting SNP ahead by 10%.”

    Now, this is a poll, taken as it was only days before actual voting takes place, that is interesting and significant. A 10% SNP lead at this juncture in the campaign suggests an outright SNP majority in Hollyrood and that will have enormous implications for both Labour and the UK Coalition Government. Do we think an emboldened Salmon will press ahead with a Referendum on full Scottish independence if he surges into power on the back of this sort of mandate, assuming, that is, that the poll is accurately predicting the outcome?

  38. .Roseanna Cunningham ?61 seats for the SNP on Facebook

  39. John Ruddy

    Good try! :-)

    These figures have beden posted on PB (unconfirmed!!!)

    Constituency
    SNP – 45
    Lab – 34
    Con – 10
    Lib – 9

    List
    SNP – 42
    Lab – 32
    Con – 10
    Lib – 8
    Other – 8

  40. Is there something about the past week or two that has seen such large swings in public opinion in both the AV referendum and the scottish election polling ?

    I’m sure most of it can be put down to intensified media focus on the elections and referendum but they are still surprisingly large swings.

    I don’t think Salmond or Gray will think it’s all over based on one poll but an SNP minority administration is at least it is beginning to look far more likely than it was.

    Those who warned of the perils of Gray’s strategy of trying to pretend this wasn’t a scottish election and that it wasn’t a straight two horse race between SNP and Labour may be amused that even Gray himself is backtracking from this disasterous strategy now.

  41. Anthony,

    Ipsos/Mori Poll For Holyrood. in Times

    [strange that Ben told me there wasn’t one].

  42. From behind the paywall:

    John Curtice seat projection
    (+/- change from notional 2007 result on new boundaries)

    SNP 61 seats (+15)
    Lab 45 seats (+1)
    Con 10 seats (-10)
    LD 9 seats (-8)
    Grn 4 seats (+3)
    (oth 0 seats (-1))

    Total = 129 seats

    65 seats required to form majority government

    SNP + Grn = 65 seats
    Unionist grand alliance: Lab + Con + LD = 64 seats

  43. The is the first poll to show the Scottish Tories doing worse (relatively) than the SLDs since the London coalition was formed last year.

    Personally, I refuse to believe that Annabel’s bunch will lose as many as 10 MSPs. In fact, I doubt they will lose many at all. Perhaps max 5.

  44. Interesting results from Scotland for the Holyrood poll, not least that the coalition parties are between them polling just 18% on the list vote. Nonetheless, this is only one part of the bigger UK picture and a poll of local election voting intentions in another region of the UK ought to merit just as much attention or perhaps even more given that Scotland’s party divisions are not typical of the UK. I have to own up to a financial interest in the Holyrood polls due to the constituency betting markets but otherwise I’d be less focused on them.

    Note also the Labour vote is holding up in Scotland in terms of GE voting intention, judging from YouGov regional splits.

    In terms of the bigger picture, I’m willing to trade one rather dubious UK MORI poll for two more recently conducted YouGovs, both of which show Lab on 43% with a 7% lead.

  45. Funnily enough, The Times’ sister paper the Scottish Sun, does not use those Curtice seat projections. Instead they say:

    SNP 63 seats
    Lab 44 seats

    I think I’ll stick with Cutice’s more modest analysis.

    In reality, even 55 seats would be an amazing success for Salmond’s team.

  46. Phil,

    “Note also the Labour vote is holding up in Scotland in terms of GE voting intention, judging from YouGov regional splits.”

    I totally agree.

    And not just YouGov’s Scottish splits, but even ComRes:

    http://scottish-independence.blogspot.com/2011/04/latest-westminster-vi-sub-sample.html

    Speaking of which, has anyone got the latest Angus Reid url?

  47. @Oldnat
    I didnt say that Yougov are overstating SNP support – just that they have in the past. Thats a matter of record. They could have corrected for that, and have now been underestimating it.

    We wont know how accurate these polls are until the results are declared, but postal votes are hitting peoples doorsteps as we speak, and these results at the moment do not spell good news, if accurate.

  48. But John, the SNP have NEVER been the incumbent governing party in any previous elections. I’d throw the pollster form book in the bin if I were you.

  49. Stuart D

    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 for the SNP given the existing 9% notional SNP majority over Lab plus incumbancy effects, yet 1/2 is still on offer. And the Cons 8% majority in Galloway doesn’t seem safe enough to warrant 5/1.

  50. Angus Reid poll is here

    http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/

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