The monthly Ipsos-MORI political monitor for Reuters has topline figures (with changes from last month) of CON 35%(-5), LAB 42%(+2), LDEM 10%(+1).

Reuters strangely headline it “Conservatives’ support falls slightly”. I’m delighted to see the media not over-egging changes that probably aren’t meaningful (the previous MORI poll showing Labour and the Conservatives equal looked like something of an outlier in hindsight and, given there is no obvious trend against the Tories in recent polls, this poll is more likely showing a reversion to the mean)… but it does seem somewhat incongruous against an apparent 5 point drop!

YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun today has figures of CON 37%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%


227 Responses to “MORI/Reuters – CON 35, LAB 42, LDEM 10”

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  1. OldNat

    To be fair, I think MORI are just trying to find out the general sympathy of Britain’s population as a whole to the various sorts of options. In the same way you don’t expect many people to know every detail of the Parties’ manifestos in a general election.

    I though the interesting thing was the contrast with the 35% for ‘Scottish independence’ in the ST YouGov and the 24% here when people were given more options. Though I suspect a ‘whatever the Scots want’ position, that would still get the most support.

    It also amused me that two groups who differed much from the general belief (by 52% to 44%) that the Scots would vote for independence ‘tomorrow’ were broadsheet readers and the Scots themselves.

  2. Roger Mexico

    I’m not sure that anyone would be surprised to find that English tabloid readers are spectacularly ignorant about Scotland. :-)

  3. Roger Mexico

    Meant to add –

    I agree that most English people would currently support the ‘whatever the Scots want’ position. Despite the efforts of their press to persuade us otherwise, they are by and large a decent people – like most others.

  4. I don’t think there will be any “Obama effect” helping the incumbent government but his speech (depending on how many watched it) might actually boost all three parties.

    Obama’s speech endorsed the Labour position on the economy, the social safety net, and deficits. He endorsed the Tory position on free enterprise and foreign policy. He endorsed the Lib Dem view on individual rights and liberties.

    I guess it depends on which issue receives the most attention or is the most important in the minds of the voters but it might make one like all three parties a bit more.

  5. Mmmm-it seems that according to the MORI political monitor I was wrong to assume that -“But I think the downside for Cons is much greater than for Labour” in the event of economic failure.

    In answer to the question ” If the economy gets worse who is most to blame”, The Global Environment & the last Labour Government get equal top place ( 22%), closely followed by the Banks ( 21%), with Cons & LDS-or Cons coming off lightly at 17% & 10% respectively .

    But the bad news for the Government is that Economic improvement would be credited mostly to the Global economy ( 43%) , with Cons & LDs , & Cons getting little credit at 18% & 15% respectively.

    One can read this as economic outurn being neutral for the government, & a succesful outurn being more important for Labour than for the government !!

  6. Just watching BBC Look North and we were reminded that an Uddersfield Lad called Arrold won 4 general elections in a row for his party not too long ago.—- those were the days.

  7. @SOCAL

    “Obama’s speech endorsed the Labour position on the economy, the social safety net, and deficits.”

    I don’t think that’s true at all.

    His Press Conference statement said that deficits need to be reduced, and we should not leave unsustainable debt on to our children-but that each country would have “its own speed” for deficit reduction.
    Clearly this last caveat is simply a truism.

    Anyway we know that Obama’s political instinct is for stimulus upon stimulus, and that he has been forced to tack right in recognition of the scale of USA’s fiscal imbalances.

    The Westminster Hall speech gave a ringing endorsement of the sort of economic philosophy espoused by any UK Conservative :-

    “Adam Smith’s central insight remains true today: There is no greater generator of wealth and innovation than a system of free enterprise that unleashes the full potential of individual men and women.”

    THis at the heart of what DC & GO believe.
    It is what TB believed.
    It remains to be seen whether EM adopts this belief too-or listens to the siren voices on his left preaching that “free enterprise” is evil & that it enslaves .-the very opposite of Obama’s stated belief.

    Clearly DC & BO got on well-and BO received a good reception & press here.

    But for me the star of the show is Michelle Obama.

    Taking those school girls from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in London,( the school she paid a surprise visit to two years ago.) to Christ Church College Oxford & telling them:-

    ” We passionately believe that you have the talent within you, you have the drive, the experience to succeed at Oxford and universities just like it across the country and the world.’ ……..

    ” ‘Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Learn to use your voice. Ask questions… ask stupid questions! Be laughed at. Get it wrong: trip, fall… and then get back up.’”

    “It’s cool to be smart”

    Inspirational-they will remember that all their lives-she is really something else.

  8. COLIN

    EM is much too sensible to be swayed by ‘siren voices from the left’ if they existed in any force – which they don’t!

  9. DAVIDB

    I give him credit for being so-but keep hoping he will succumb :-)

  10. Colin:

    Great rhetoric enables each listener to hear his own views echoed in the speaker’s words….and Obama is a master of this style of public speaking. But there were as many phrases that might be interpreted in contrary fashion….

    And for much of its history the Conservative philosophy was not particularly attached to what is more accurately described as liberal economic theory. Its aristocratic paternalism was more at home with social democracy than it was with theories about free markets as sole source of all that’s good….

    And being a Conservative Party I imagine it will abandon its present enthusiasms for the market when the intellectual fad for them passes.

    A Conservative Party is always more interested in being in power than political ideology….

    And President Obama is drawn from the more radical wing of the Democratic Party…but deftly warps his radical views in the preacher’s pieties which hugely influence poltical discourse in the USA

  11. @Oldnat

    I’m happy for you to stay, if you’re willing to accept the idea of devolution max as opposed to full independence? Wouldn’t like to ruin my nice flag or our “special” relationship now would we?

  12. @John Murphy
    Maybe Obama was radical in his community politics days, or when a senator. There has been nothing radical in hos policies since becoming President. And his apparently most radical policy – universal healthcare – was not his policy at all but Hillary’s.

    This is not to deny that Obama may like to be bolder but he lacks the courage of his convictons and often falls meeklly into line when challenged.

  13. As an interesting insight into what has happened at the low-skill end of the UK jobs market – the first-base of opportunity for many of the working class youngsters Michelle Obama was trying to inspire – comes from some ONS figures just published.

    Basically, between 2002 and 2011, the number of low skill jobs in the UK has remained steady at around 3.2 million, but the number of UK-born people in them has fallen from 3.04 million to 2.56 million. So basically, UK born people have lost half a million jobs to incomers, either from the rest of the EU or from outside. At higher skill levels, there was a similar but much smaller effect.

    And then we wonder why we have a chronic youth unemployment/NEETS problem. We are basically kicking out the ladder from under young, working class people’s feet.

    h ttp://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=901

  14. @RAF

    Yes I agree many would characterise him as a hesitant radical…maybe who’s wasted the best part of his first term…

    But then again it maybe that recent American Presidents…with little practical experience of doing very much often take two or so years to settle properly into office….

    But rhetorically Obama is let’s say more Bobby Kennedy than Jack Kennedy….certainly more Hubert Humphrey and Lyndon Johnson than any Democratic president since 1968.

    Of course isn’t that interesting in itself….Humphrey and Johnson were pretty much mainstream Democrats in the 50s and 60s – children of New Deal politics – it reminds one of how far to the right we’ve travelled since those times!

  15. Jack93

    As Margo McDonald pointed out to the detestable Finnie today “You can do both”. :-)

    I’m a gradualist. Devo Max first, then Independence.

    As to your “nice flag”, I’m sure that England/rUK will continue to use a flag long past it’s sell by date. It wasn’t till 1801 and the Union with Ireland that the English Royal coat of arms finally dropped the fleur del lis of France!

  16. I note that Peter Kellner is entering the fray on the constitution of the UK.

    http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2011/05/what-salmond-will-do-next-snp-referendum/

    I’m rather surprised by Kellner thinking that he is saying anything new. His “second prediction” is hardly an inspired guess. Anyone who has listened to what the SNP have been saying for the last four years could have told him that.

    I think his third prediction is wrong. The UK Government will call the second referendum on “substantially more powers” for Holyrood, not the Scottish Government.

    After all that is over, Scotland will be much more autonomous within the UK, and the SNP will continue to campaign for a more equitable arrangement between the nations that inhabit these islands.

  17. If major changes to the NHS bill are not made, will the Lib Dems walk away from the coalition ?

    Clegg today signalled that he expected major changes and for the bill to return to the HOC committee stage. This was news to Lansley and the Dept. of Health.

    I am glad Clegg is flexing his liberal muscularism. Perhaps he can sack Lansley while Cameron is away at the G8 in France. Not that he has this power.

  18. It’s a rather strong statement that he wants to take things back to committee with a substantially re-written bill. Of course, it is escentially what was required of him by the Conference motion, but there was always the fear that he might ignore that.

    If we assume that Clegg would have allowed the bill to pass, if he could do, then that says the votes to get it through are not there. Which suggests that even if Clegg doesn’t take Conference motions seriously, the PLDP does.

    This results in the Liberal Democrat general membership having a veto over all legislative policy. We may all need to take some time to digest that change in the balance of power.

  19. R HUCKLE

    Clegg has got to do something otherwise the growing perception that the Lib Dems are washed up time servers living and loving the power even if its only for a few years every hundred will grow and grow.

    Cable’s latest pronouncements that the Lib Dems real level is now 15% and that’s not too bad, is representative of the sort of false optimism which is keeping Lib Dem acivists from going into a total strop at the moment.

    When the realisation really hits the Lib Dem ‘family’ that there is a fair chance of them ending up the fourth largest party in the HofC after the next GE (behind the DUP) there’s going to be fireworks.

  20. John Murphy

    Thanks-but as I said I am much more interested in what Mrs Obama does & says.

    She is a terrific role model for young girls-particularly black girls.

    Her message -“it is cool to be smart” is central to what she is trying to do-which is to get young black children to embrace education, aspiration & achievement.

    Boy could we do with some of that message here.

    Cammo should sign her up.

  21. Hey guys.

    I just wanted to know what people’s opinion about this new political ideological direction that is being discussed in length now amongst political nerds like myself and members within the Labour Party about “Blue Labour”.

    Encase known off you are familiar with Blue Labour I do not know what it is offically yet but from what I read from it’s thinkers, supporters and fans is that Labour should revisit and attract lost votes with working class voters that have defected to the Tories or have not been bothered to vote without losing middle class vote. It claims this can be done by pursing a more “socially conservative” platform concerning immigration, multiculturalism, gay rights, crime and family values but adopting a more left-leaning, progressive economic footing by encouraging more community based incentives, workers ownership etc.

    Not taking a view I just wanted to know what people on here think about it. My question is what do people on here think about Blue Labour? Would this help them get disenfranchised working class votes? And will being more socially conservative and economically left help or not? I am especially interested in hearing what Labour members/supporters/core voters think on here.

    Thanks = )

  22. @JayBlank – “… that says the votes to get it through are not there.”

    And it says that though it can be great to grandstand on the world stage, facts on the ground can change quickly while a PM is out of town.

    Also, how long could Nick Clegg remain as a figurehead leader?

    On the plus side, the longer deadlock lasts, it cuts down the need for constant u-turns.

  23. *jayblanc*

  24. Oldnat

    “I note that Peter Kellner is entering the fray on the constitution of the UK.

    h ttp://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2011/05/what-salmond-will-do-next-snp-referendum/

    I’m rather surprised by Kellner thinking that he is saying anything.”

    I’m rather saddened that someone whom I used to respect should have lost all credibilty by writing about something he understands so little.

    To say that the SNP “borrowed Labour voters” for the Scottish parliament election betrays a Westminster focus that is preciscely what you need avoid in order to understand Scottish politics. In fact that failing, in generations of UK governments, is the proximate cause of the growth of the SNP from a handful of kilt-wearing romantics, poets and artists.

    It would be just as bad at the othe end of the telescope for an SNP supporter to say that Labour “borrowed SNP voters” for the UK election. These are people who use the best vehicle available to vote against the abhorrent Tories. They are not supporters of Labour or the SNP, and about a two thirds of them came from the LibDems anyway.

    That may be recent perception and perhaps Peter Kellner can be forgiven for not being up to date, though evidence has been growing since before devolution, as the SNP has become a party with a presence in most parts of Scotland.

    One word shocked me into realising that he knows as much about Scotland as I know about countries I have only visited for a few days.

    “Bishops”

    It also explains your surprise.

    I don’t think I could ever give serious consideration to anything he may say about Scotland in the future.

  25. Andy C

    I thought that Labour were piloting the “Blue Labour” concept in the Scottish GE.

    Their right wing social populism bombed more than somewhat.

  26. @Andy C

    Frankly, I think it’s a dead idea walking.

    Let’s face it, the kind of social-conservatism that includes back-tracking on gay rights is going to go down like a lead weight. It’ll do little to attract the reactionary “working classes” who like to blame things on “political correctness” or “health and safety gawn mad”, because they’ll vote for real social-conservatives not conservative-lite. And It’ll certainly turn off the Lib-Dem converts who are firmly social-liberal.

    “Culture War” politics is even being abandoned by the Republicans in the US, who are growing to realise there aren’t any votes in being against gays any more. I can’t understand at all why the “Blue Labour” movement think taking notes from the Daily Mail is ever going to help Labour.

  27. To sum up the above in a quick soundbyte. Yes, sometimes it works to steer your party back into the centre… But take it too far and you’ll drive head on into oncoming traffic.

  28. Andy C

    The actual ‘Blue Labour’ term derives from a series of essays and responses to them that are published here:

    http://www.soundings.org.uk/

    I’ve only done the most superficial of skims, but in so far as it’s trying to reclaim the Labour tradition, rather than treating 1997 as Year Zero, I think it’s all to the good. In particular the snobbishness of New Labour, especially towards Unions and those not in the ‘professional’* classes has long needed to be got rid of.

    However the danger is that it reverts to be a wallowing in nostalgia about the ‘decent’ working class or that attempts to re-impose a long-lost moralism (which being Britain starts and ends with sex), which of course those in the ‘lower’ classes suffered from the most.

    The ‘Blue’ designation was particularly stupid and bound to put most Labour backs up automatically. Though it may be a reference to small percentage of women contributors (maybe they’ll produce a pink one for the laydeez)

    * Though Heaven knows what profession most of that shower actually followed.

  29. @Andy C
    “Blue Labour”, if such a monstrosity ever comes to life, will be the death of Labour tout court. No right-winger will vote Labour because of this, and many left-wingers with sensitivity on progressive social policies will go away. Let us hope that Labour is not that suicidal. For the sake of comparison, the French Socialist party has included in its new program the institution of same-sex marriage, with full adoption rights, as an evolution to actual civil unions (PACS), also introduced by Socialist-Green-Communist government of L. Jospin, and this has not prevented them to actually top the polls – even Marine LePen has adopted a more tolerant stance on these and similar matters in comparison to her father. Should the PS reverse this policy (which is never gonna happen), the Green vote would sky-rocket ( I would certainly vote for them in that case) and the socialists would lose a considerable part of their electorate.

  30. Meanwhile your nightly YouGov has arrived here:

    http://today.yougov.co.uk/sites/today.yougov.co.uk/files/yg-archives-pol-sun-results-260511.pdf

    Con 37%
    Lab 43%
    L/D 8%
    UKIP 5%
    Nats 3%
    Grn 2%
    BNP 1%
    Oth 1%

    Approval 52 – 33 = -19

  31. Andy C

    My thoughts are that Labour should stop strategising and instead work with trade unions and business to develop policies that are about sensible investment in Britain. The approach should be about Britains place in a changing world and how labour can help shape the policies that lead to more prosperous future.

    If Labour concentrate their time on political strategy and policy themes, they won’t get anywhere. They need to get their sleeves rolled up to work with people that can help formulate actual policies, that they can implement if elected.

    I am sure that if you asked people what ‘blue Labour’ was about, it was about moving Labour to the policital right of centre nearer to the Tories.

  32. ” It’s suggested that the name ‘Blue Labour’ came from a reaction to an opposite trend in the Conservative Party called Red Tory, but was also chosen to suggest a hint of sadness, nostalgia and loss.” (Wikipedia)

    “Mrs Duffy and millions like her had good reason to be angry. It wasn’t her gratitude problem. It was our ideological problem.” (James Purnell)

    “It’s also ‘blue’ because it’s a sad moment – in a Miles Davis kind of way.” (Maurice Glasman)

    Moving on…

  33. Virgilio

    ““Blue Labour”, if such a monstrosity ever comes to life, will be the death of Labour tout court. ”

    It came to life in the Scottish GE, and had the result you suggest.

  34. Well,I visited my mother today,who is an old age pensioner,but fortunately not totally dependent on her state pension,God help those who are! She was concerned about a huge electricity bill,when she has gas central heating,and the cost of food.People,even those
    relatively well off,are starting to see their standard of living
    decline;this is the reason for the goverments decline in the polls in my opinion.

  35. Best Labour VI for a month. Taking the average over the last week, they’ve now recovered pretty much the entire post-election dip and are back where they were for most of March and April.

    Tories are still holding on to the 1 point bump they got from the election, but it seems to be pretty much all UKIP/Tory waverers, so not very noteworthy.

    LDs currently at their lowest weekly average since the dark days at the turn of the year. The elections have shown them that they face annihilation of they don’t do something. And shredding the NHS bill seems a likely start…

  36. No apparent Obama bounce so far. Labour’s highest poll rating for five weeks.

  37. @Ann (in Wales)
    Good point and well made. Also, if people are starting to worry about their energy prices in late Spring, that is not a good sign.

  38. Re the Blue Labour discussion. I think that Labour’s main problem is that they have alienated much of their traditional support. I know quite a lot of working-class people (some of my best friends … etc :) and most of them are very disillusioned with all politicians. A few vote Tory, and a few Labour or other things, but to the extent that they have any interest in politics at all they feel betrayed and ignored.

    There are many areas of concern that are simply not represented by any mainstream party.

    For instance – death penalty for some murders.
    Trade with the EU, but close borders so foreigners can’t take jobs.
    Deport foreign criminals
    Social Liberalism has gone too far – e.g. Homosexuals should be tolerated but their relationships should not be on an equal status to marriage.

    There are various others. You might argue that these perceptions are incorrect, but nevertheless the perception that the political class is a metropolitan self-called elite out of touch with ordinary people is very real. Labour needs to get more people who have had real working class jobs and fewer people who have gone straight from University into politics.

  39. Pete B

    “I know quite a lot of working-class people”

    Your servants perhaps? :-)

  40. Oldnat

    Your servants perhaps? :-)

    Yes. Some of them really are frightfully good eggs. If it wasn’t for their accents and ignorance, one would almost take them for human beings. :-)

  41. @Colin

    “Thanks-but as I said I am much more interested in what Mrs Obama does & says.
    She is a terrific role model for young girls-particularly black girls.
    Her message -”it is cool to be smart” is central to what she is trying to do-which is to get young black children to embrace education, aspiration & achievement.
    Boy could we do with some of that message here.
    Cammo should sign her up.”

    Shame she’s a Democrat then, Colin!

    @AndyC

    I’m very concerned with this Blue Labour proposal. As someone who has always been socially liberal and detests social conservatism, I don’t like the idea of the party going into a more socially conservative direction policy wise. If I wanted that, I would just vote Tory!
    The proposal could also jeopardise Labour’s chances among its left-leaning supporters at the next GE.
    Labour must re-establish the electoral coalition of working class and left-leaning professional voters that rallied behind the party in 1997 if it is ever to be elected back into power. We can not achieve this aim if we fail to attract either of these voting groups. There’s a big mountain to climb and Blue Labour is not going to put us back on top.

  42. Apparently Tory backbenchers lead by Nick de Blois are suggesting a number of red lines on the NHS bill some of which are red lines that Clegg says he wants to cross (eg – the role of Monitor).

    If Clegg backs down again (he did recently over the appointment of Ashcroft to some committee having politely asked Cameron not to make the appointment) then he and the Lib Dems will have lost all credibility, unless Clegg’s reaction to being over-ruled again is to bring down the coalition, in which case he might just rescue the Lib Dems from oblivio through that action.

  43. Pete B

    :-)

  44. Oldnat

    I was actually making a serious point though. The attitudes I outlined are not uncommon, and yet are not represented by any mainstream party.

    Whether one agrees with these attitudes or not, the consequence of them being ignored by the main parties is either voter apathy or a drifting to other parties.

    Apathy is bad for democracy, though it is arguable that a drift to other parties would be good for democracy in principle.

  45. @David B

    Agreed 100%. This is Clegg’s last throw of the dice. If he’s successful, he might just have saved his party from being completely wiped out at the next election. If he fails, I don’t think I need to say what will happen next.

  46. Pete B

    I refuse to re-enter the discussion on class again!!!

    I have heard similar arguments from people who would be classified as AB by the sociologists.

    However, i wouldn’t expect a “mainstream” party to reflect a minority opinion, or one that they know would result in the country being removed from membership of the Council of Europe, and consequently the EU.

    As far as I know, the BNP are in favour of capital punishment, so that if those who wish that want to vote for it …..

  47. Personally I think Blue Labour will bomb with traditional Labour voters (in a socialist/left-wing/liberally tolerant/liberal middle class sense) and the conservatives, even social conservatives who are perhaps working class tories and do think immigration and multiculturalism has gone too far wont buy it.

    The left won’t vote for that because it will go agaisnt the principal of progressive politics, social tolerance.

    The right might like the policies but won’t buy it because they would consider the Conservatives as the “natural home” for social conservative politics and anti-multiculturalism/tough immigration and crime. So it wont be they won’t like but do not trust Labour on it. Also it would mean attracting the Daily Mail, Express, Telegraph reading middle class voter who believe the state should do more on intervening on crime, immigration and censorship but less on economics which Blue Labour won’t be.

    Personally, Blue Labour would not inspire me and I speak as a small “c” social conservative. I believe abortions are too liberal but should not be illegal, I believe in family values, in marriage (including gay marriage but thinks the Church should adopt their own policy but the law should give them the option to allow it), I believe adultery should be illegal but perhaps only financial penalities to start with, I oppose legalising drugs and if anything should be tougher.

    Anyway, I could go but the social conservative issues Blue Labour speak off is not the kind of politics I could absorb or as a Labour member vote for and would even go as far as leaving. Why? Because although I think we need to get the balance right when we talk about freedom of speech/expression and hate crime laws (including issues which might offend others) if Labour would to introduce policy which would actively discriminate gays then I could not swollow that. Finally, despite my social conservatism I hold very liberal views concerning immigration and multiculturalism and I think the way the media talk about immigration and connecting them with the economy is a vicious assault on tolerance and what I consider British vaules and morals.

    So yet speaking as a small c social conservative but left-wing on economic issues, public services and immigration Blue Labour just would not appeal to me.

  48. Oldnat
    “I have heard similar arguments from people who would be classified as AB by the sociologists.

    However, i wouldn’t expect a “mainstream” party to reflect a minority opinion”

    Yes, I wasn’t arguing that these are purely Working Class attitudes, just that if Labour want to recapture the Working Class they need to take these sort of views into account.

    I would also argue that many of these attitudes – e.g. death penalty and getting tougher on/leaving EU are not minority opinions in England at least; which is precisely why they should be represented by a major party.

  49. Interesting pIece of research (can’t find the link atm) about stereotyping/prejudice, which involved asking people questions a) when there was litter on the floor, b) everything cleaned up; or a) with a chaotic bookshelf in the background, b) a nice tidy bookshelf.

    Conclusion: when the environment is messy/untidy people revert to more streotyped/prejudiced thinking patterns in an unconscious effort to “restore order”.

  50. Pete B

    I don’t really understand the argument that a “major party” should adopt philosophical and political positions that are anethema to it, just to get some votes.

    That has to be the ultimate in cynical politics (OK, I know that Labour have some history here, but then, in Scotland at least, I don’t see them having a philosophical position any more).

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