The monthly Ipsos MORI political monitor for Reuters has been published. Topline figures are CON 34%(+2), LAB 40%(+1), LDEM 15%(+4). All the main parties are up, and other parties sharply down, but this will be largely a reversion to the mean after a rather odd MORI poll with a unusual sample last month. The Lib Dems are up to 15% – whereas we expect high Lib Dems from ICM, this is unusual for MORI, who for the last five months have had them between 9% and 11%. I’ll add my usual caveat about any unusual shifts in the polls – it may be the sign of something, or may just be a blip. Wait and see if it is reflected in other polling. Full tabs are here.

Incidentally, given I’m normally so ready to be rude about poor newspaper reporting of polls, I should give credit where it is due to the measured and reasonable reporting of the poll by Reuters, which correctly says that the figures are broadly unchanged and that it is too early to say whether the Lib Dem increase indicates a sustained shift in attitude. Entirely correct!

The YouGov/Sun daily polling results yesterday are here. Topline results are CON 36%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%. On Libya, the proportion of people thinking the intervention is going well has crept further up: 54% think it is going well, 25% badly. However, suport for the intervention has returned to being pretty evenly split – 39% think it is right, 40% think it is wrong.


251 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Reuters – CON 34, LAB 40, LDEM 15”

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  1. This made me laugh:

    Paul Vigna @paulvigna, host of WSJ.com’s Markets Hub, and writer and editor of Dow Jones Market Talk, has tweeted:

    I have an advance copy of Bernanke’s Jackson Hole speech, and I can tell you the markets are going to be disappointed.

    Bernanke is going to launch into a point-by-point takedown of the Star Wars prequels, and propose banning their further distribution.

    He spends an unusual amount of time ripping apart the whole idea of the midichlorians, and calls Lucas a “lazy” storyteller.

    It’s quite a departure for the Fed chairman, and while the market may sell-off on the speech, Star Wars fans will finally have their revenge

    Of course, it’s possibly I’m looking at the wrong speech. I’ve got a lot of papers on my desk, now that I think of it.

  2. I thought there was a bloodless war in Libya with no looting, yet the Independent reports that rows after rows of corpses lie on the streets and that UN is warning auction houses to look out for looted Libyan artefacts.

  3. @Robert C – I know. That’s what makes the coalition’s plans to cut R&D, university research and investment allowances even more peculiar.

    Osborne’s March of the Makers made for a great 24hr news slogan, but my question would be how many makers will we have left, and where exactly will they be marching to?

  4. Re Bernabanks Star Wars speech (sorry – can’t see who you are due to the site glitch) – he might as well have said this as far as the markets are concerned.

    Thaat’s the funny thing about markets – players were telling us yesterday that the Fed can’t do QE3 for all kinds of reasons. Then when the Fed say ‘we’re not doing QE3 for all kinds of reasons’, the markets panic and crash.

    ‘Chickens’ and ‘headless’ are the two words that come to mind.

  5. It’s clear to me that the economic othodoxy of the last 30 plus years has failed, and it’s clinging to it that is becoming the problem.

    The choices are either:

    redistribute some wealth through taxes on assets; or

    protect those assets by spending your wealth on a lot of private armed police

    Even some of the most wealthy are calling for higher taxes on themselves. They can see the alternatives in the pictures of burning cars and our already full prisons.

    Printing money basically devalues it. Those who haven’t got much will therefore quickly have hardly anything at all.

  6. “I thought there was a bloodless war in Libya with no looting, yet the Independent reports that rows after rows of corpses lie on the streets and that UN is warning auction houses to look out for looted Libyan artefacts.”

    Yes. So far, no-one has yet devised a method of fighting a war where you can avoid killing combatants. When stun rays are invented I’ll be the first to campaign for their introduction.

    If and when credible reports of civilian warfare emerge I’ll take that seriously. But do you really believe it’s would have been all tea and biscuits if it had been Gadaffi loyalists taking Benghazi by force?

  7. @ Liz Hancock”

    ““I thought there was a bloodless war in Libya with no looting, ”

    If you are refering to the looting of the grotesque Sadam like palaces & villas of Gaddaffi’s children & henchmen-given the poverty in which so many ordinary Libyans seem to have lived , I think it understandable.

    The massive arms caches & tank assemblies-together with the tacky gilded opulence of the regime’s houses must surely demonstrate to libyans what the Gaddaffi clan’s priorities were-if they didn’t already know.

    In Libya under Gaddaffi, if you were family-or favoured with patronage your life was one of comfort & riches-if you were not you got arrested for parking near to his compound-or saying anything against the regime.

  8. @CHRIS NEVILLE-SMITH
    “But do you really believe it’s would have been all tea and biscuits if it had been Gadaffi loyalists taking Benghazi by force?”

    It is the hypocrisy of it all that annoys me. We actively support riots and looting in other countries because we don’t like their government but when our disaffected youth do the same because they don’t like their government, they are severely punished by them.

  9. Looks like the African Union are still refusing to recognise the NTC. I wounder how long until that position is reversed or if it is ever reversed. Plus should Gaddafi escape on a plane, would that South Africa would welcome him to live in exile there?

    I always welcome higher taxes on the rich, especially on hidden wealth like investments, assets or stocks which is where I turn to Clement Attlee’s quote attacking voluntary donations and charity – “Charity is a cold grey loveless thing. If a rich man wants to help the poor, then he should pay his taxes gladly, not dole out money on a whime” – The Social Worker. IMO a very underrated orator and master of wit.

    Then again, having said that when I hear Billionaire Warren Buffet preach about how he is “undertaxed” even though he blantently admitted that he get’s tax cuts because he gets income by investments and charity I find his comments about the US government should raise taxes very confusing. Yes, I do believe taxes should be raised on the rich, however, what is stopping Buffet just signing a cheaque to the Treasury if he feels that he has a “moral obligation” to contribute the pain feeling the country by voluntary sending the money he has cheated in tax cuts by donating it to the US Treasury. I think if the US were to analysis this in that way he may come as very patronising to the eyes of middle america.

    Warren Buffet asking higher taxes did grow on me and initally I thought that could serve as a good platform for the Democrats until I did begin to analysis this in another way that through charity. If I was a Republican Presidential candidate I would not worry about Buffet’s comments and I would actually try to turn this upside by saying on T.V. infront of a US auidence well Mr Buffet if you so principaled, get your cheaque book out, sign your name and you know where to post it and same goes to the rest of you. I think most American’s would actually agree with that analysis and would begin to question people like Buffet and potentially stall American’s siding him.

    Remember, taxation was introduced to serve as a legislative and legal binding so that the Government/Crown would actually collect the right share and if they did not then it’s a risk but you are aware of the consequences. Before that, much income was collected via donations, fee’s, land duty, church donations etc. etc. Taxes are designed not because people were crying out to pay more taxes back in the 17 and 1800’s but because it would force people to give up income, easier to monitor, collect and would not rely on people paying willingly. Taxes are in a way designed to annoy people, no one likes it but they know if they didn’t pay they are aware of the consequences sort of punishment outweighs the benefits.

  10. “It is the hypocrisy of it all that annoys me. We actively support riots and looting in other countries because we don’t like their government but when our disaffected youth do the same because they don’t like their government, they are severely punished by them.”

    If we assume, for argument’s sake, that trashing a locally-owned shop to nick a pair of trainers in your size is comparable with protesting against 42 years of totalitarian autocratic rule, I still have one question:

    How many UK rioters were killed by our police or army?

  11. charles neville-smith

    I don’t believe the English rioters were trying to overthrow the Government.

    Yet.

  12. @ LIZ HANCOCK

    “. We actively support riots and looting in other countries because we don’t like their government but when our disaffected youth do the same because they don’t like their government, they are severely punished by them.”

    Are you seriously equating :-

    The looting & burning of independent small shops
    & neighbourhood house & flats-in a pluralist democracy where peaceful political protest is open to anyone .

    and

    The looting of regime villas & palaces , during a revolution & uprising against a four decade long dictatorship of bloody & brutal supression of political opposition.

    ??

  13. Andy C:

    “Looks like the African Union are still refusing to recognise the NTC. I wounder how long until that position is reversed or if it is ever reversed. Plus should Gaddafi escape on a plane, would that South Africa would welcome him to live in exile there?”

    My guess is no. The African Union’s latest position is that they won’t recognise the NTC as long as there is still fighting. They must be aware that complete defeat of Gadaffi’s forces is not far away now, so this sound like to me like they are preparing for a U-turn.

    Some of the nastier African regimes might harbour him, but I think South Africa, for all its rhetoric, will consider Gadaffi more trouble than it’s worth. Whatever funding Gadaffi might have given them in the past, he is of no further use, and the thought of putting yourself at a disadvantage when buying Libyan oil is likely to be enough of a disincentive.

  14. Not quite sure how the planes bombing in Libya now fulfils the UN resolutions. Surely we are now breaking international law and should be before the ICC? Or is it ok to break international law when you are on the winning side?

  15. Chris –

    If I recall correctly Angola, Zimbabwe and Uganda have all been reported as being willing to take him.

    South Africa appears to be rebuffing any suggestions of him seeking asylum in South Africa.

  16. NTC will be much more focussed on recognition by the Arab League, and their eastern neighbour Egypt, than the collection of despots in the African Union-a Gaddaffi creation.

    I would have thought most ordinary Libyans have by now seen & heard quite enough of the activities of Sub Saharan Africa, -Gadaffi’s source of choice for mercenaries.

  17. @Jack

    “Not quite sure how the planes bombing in Libya now fulfils the UN resolutions. Surely we are now breaking international law and should be before the ICC? Or is it ok to break international law when you are on the winning side?”

    Whether or not it breaks international law makes no difference to the ICC unless a war crime is committed. And contrary to what most people think, military action without a UN mandate – even military action clearly against international law – is not a war crime in itself (and neither is military action which you disapprove of). War crimes are a very specific set of offences related to civilian warfare, execution of prisoners, torture and other aspects of how a war is fought. The key difference between war crimes and other international laws is that in war crimes, individuals can be held personally responsible for the action.

    Whilst some people might want all breaches of international law to go to the ICC, that would almost certainly result in every senior member of every government being in the dock.

  18. Liz Hancock

    Quite apart form the bizarreness of your comparison on lootingin UK/Libya, you also say “We ACTIVELY support riots and looting in other countries because. . .”

    Who are the ‘We’? Did you catch a glimpse of David Cameron and Theresa May waving guns and nicking jewellery on the streets and villas of Tripoli or something, or what has caused your incredulation?

  19. Have to say I side with @Colin and @Chris NS on the Libya vs London looting debate.

    Everyone can agree that in an ideal world there would be no uncontrolled aggression and conflicts would only ever be between combatants, but there really is no moral equivalence between what is happening in Tripoli, regrettable as that is, and the entirely uncalled for violence on the streets of the UK. Particularly if efforts are being made to accuse the coalition of somehow colluding in the Libyan disturbances.

  20. @jack
    In this case the “winning side” is the side of right. Just as the same RAF bombed the hell out of German cities between 1942 and 1945. I sure you Jack, did not approve of that either.

  21. Thanks Anthony,
    that seems credible, but YouGov is now showing growing difference from all the other polls including the other online companies.

    If it was simply consistent I’d accept those reasons, but growing divergence suggests it may be worth another look, to consider the effects of frequency.

    How big is YouGov’s sampling pool and how often would an average member of their panel expect to be questioned?

    How does this compare with the practices of other companies?

    Given YouGov has now been operating for a number of years at more than 20x regularity I think it’s fair to ask how many times panelists have been polled and whether this may have a reinforcement effect as a new and additional factor to consider when interpreting results.

    Have they overfished their pond?

    In particular we might ask how often any methodology might produce an ‘outlier’ result as evidence of comparability – from visual inspection YouGov’s volatility rate may be direct indication that reinforcement is occurring.

    As a YouGov panelist myself I’ve begun to notice trends in my own responses and I find it difficult to believe such a feedbeck effect is completely non-existent among other panelists too.

    And given the bulk of political poll results are being produced by a single daily method we may worry that this is having a distorting effect on debate – if we were to judge by the flow of comments on this blog some selective overemphasis may be a fair assumption to make.

    Obviously I appreciate your connection to the company, but in the name of objectivity I’d like to urge you to combine your data and abilities to bring a potentially new perspective.

  22. @Chouenlai

    “In this case the “winning side” is the side of right. Just as the same RAF bombed the hell out of German cities between 1942 and 1945. I sure you Jack, did not approve of that either.”

    Actually, wrong though it was, that was not a war crime at the time this happened. During the second world war, the only real international law in force was concerned with the treatments of prisoners of war and internment of enemy aliens. Civilian warfare was considered just one of those bad things that happens during wars.

    It was only after the Holocaust was discovered that attitudes changed to what was acceptable in a war, and that is largely where we get the rules of war crimes that are in force today. But if you think we should start retrospectively charging people with war crimes for things that weren’t against the Geneva Conventions but should have been, that truly would be on the path to victor’s justice.

    (Things get a bit more complicated with the Nuremberg trials, but as far as the Holocaust is concerned, I don’t have much patience for the argument that it wasn’t against the rules at the time.)

  23. This is probably not the place to have this discussion so my final comment is that we didn’t go into Libya for humanitarian reasons but for oil. We are hypocrites not to admit it.

  24. If it was about oil:

    1) Wouldn’t it have been more cost-effective to let Gadaffi do his worst and carry on business?

    2) Why aren’t we also bombing Syria whilst we have the chance?

  25. @ Alec

    “I know. That’s what makes the coalition’s plans to cut R&D, university research and investment allowances even more peculiar.”

    If it is borrowed money and ineffectively targeted, there is no reason why those budgets should be above being questioned. When you are borrowing 11% of GDP, everything should be reexamined.

  26. @Robert C – “If it is borrowed money and ineffectively targeted, there is no reason why those budgets should be above being questioned. When you are borrowing 11% of GDP, everything should be reexamined.”

    I don’t disagree with those sentiments, but these cuts didn’t go towards reducing the deficit. Osborne explicitly said he was using these cuts to pay for a Corporation Tax cut for big companies and the relaxing of taxation regulations on multinationals. This includes gems such as the fact that big multinationals can now claim tax relief on losses made overseas against profits make in the UK.

    The complaint of many business people is that Osborne has not cut business support, but rearranged it, and done this in a way that greatly reduces its effectiveness. He has done what big multinational corporations asked him to do and has fundamentally misunderstood how mainstream companies work.

  27. The British government should step in and offer Gaddafi and his family sole use of one of the many uninhabited islands in the Falklands if he is found guilty at the Hague – much better than a nice cosy Dutch cell.

    Give the Gaddafis a JCB and they could spend the rest of their lives digging bunkers and tunnels.

  28. Steve Coogan’s lawyers have received a letter from Glenn Mulcaire naming the NOTW executives who asked him to hack phones.

    He was ordered to name them to the lawyers of Max Clifford, Elle McPherson, Jo Armstrong, Gordon Taylor and LibDem Simon Hughes.

    So I suppose the ball is in their court.

    I think it’ll be politically difficult for Simon Hughes to not name the executives, especially given his position of having parliamentary privilege.

  29. DAVIDB

    “The British government should step in and offer Gaddafi and his family sole use of one of the many uninhabited islands in the Falklands”

    I thought the Argentinians were daft to invade Port Stanley. If they had simply occupied the vacant islands in the Malvinas, they would have had a much better claim to the resources of the South Atlantic.

  30. @ Colin

    The massive arms caches & tank assemblies-together with the tacky gilded opulence of the regime’s houses must surely demonstrate to libyans what the Gaddaffi clan’s priorities were-if they didn’t already know.
    ————————————–
    Have you visited the UK’s London foreign office lately? What do you think of the Scottish parliament?
    Massive arms cache? What’s your opinion of Trident?

    Would you show understanding of UK’s ‘relatively’ poor people who looted because the above shows what the UK governments’ priorities are!!!

    Let’s show understanding toward Libyans who loot because they are ‘relatively’ poor compared to the opulence of their government buildings but those in the Uk who are ‘relatively’ poor ought to face a severe sentence for nicking a pair of trainers.

    Hmmm…
    8-)

  31. Amber

    To be fair to Colin, by “houses” I think he meant personal redidences.

    In which context, I leafletted Ross Finnie’s house in Gourock in June. To be fair, it wasn’t gilded. :-)

  32. Oranjepan – the active YouGov panel (i.e. people who actually respond to surveys, excluding people who have become inactive) is about 350,000 people – you can do the maths about how often that means an individual will be invited to take part in polls, though obviously people in some demographic groups will be invited less often, some more, and some people people will get invited more often by sheer random chance (equally, some people will go years without ever getting a political survey, though everyone will get at least one or two consumer polls a month)

    We aggregate the data up at the end of each month to do analysis of subgroups, and of the 50,000 or so people that do the daily polling each month, there are normally a few hundred who have done it more than once that month.

    Put simply though, the panel is constantly getting new people, so if there was any great panel effect then looking just at the responses of people who’ve joined the panel recently would give different results to those from long-standing panellists. The panel team do things like that to manage panel quality… there’s no evidence I know of of any panel effect.

    Oldnat – they did just that on some of the other British islands in the area they had a claim upon. The Argentines occupied the unoccupied Southern Thule in the South Sandwich islands from 1976.

  33. @ Andy C

    RE: Warren Buffet.

    It is not possible to make voluntary payments to the IRS except on account i.e. for a future tax liability.

    And to show that I am non-patisan on this if nothing else, I made this point at the time Hazel Blears was marching around waving a big cheque to HMC&E over here!

    Unless Ms Blears changed the tax status of the house she sold from PPR to non-PPR, she simply made a payment to her tax account which would ensure either:
    1. A stonking refund when she submitted her tax return; or
    2. No taxes to pay for several years by ticking the no-repayment box (i.e. hold as a credit on her tax account).

    To summarise, the world’s wealthy cannot simply volunteer to chip in a few $Bn as you suggest – they need to be properly taxed.
    8-)

  34. @ Old Nat

    My apologies, I should’ve said: Chequers, the newly refurbished Downing Street & what’s the name of that palace which William Hague & Nick Clegg have as their official country residence?
    8-)

  35. @ Alec,

    It was Colin’s comment that opulent state buildings are illustrative of the Gaddafi government’s priorities which set me off! Because, unless I missed it, he has yet to suggest the Uk’s opulent state residences be sold off to reduce the deficit or used as social housing in an effort to ameliorate the huge demand for affordable homes to rent.

    How can he support a UK government which makes the deficit its priority; & openly admits they will cut it by making people unemployed & possibly homeless whilst at the same time condemning the Libyan, Gaddafi lead government, for not putting the people first?
    8-)

  36. @ Amberstar;

    Gladstone once said of number 10 ‘Never has anyone held so much power and had so little to show for it.’

    It is worth remembering the PM lives in a cubbyhole in the loft, the rest of the building is basicly a badly built Georgeon town house thats been turned into offices.

    Regarding recent polls, as a novice who knows nothing, recent polling in general seems to be a little bit eratic from week to week. Is there usually a scientific reason fo such volatility, or is it a genuine reflection of opinion? Surely, if everyweek producers an outlier, there is something else going on?

    A

  37. Many say that anyone earning over £40,000 should be taxed a lot more too. IMO no one needs a salary of £50,000+.

    Not saying I support high taxation – just making the point that a lot of people claim that even those further down should pay a greater share too.

  38. Anthony

    If they had left it at Thule and similar, they might still have been there!

  39. I can’t help but feel that all these wealthy/rich multi-millionaires are only saying they want to pay higher taxes because:-

    1) They know it will probably never happen. It will never be made policy.
    2) They are so filthy rich that a million here or there will not make much difference anyway.
    3) They are doing it for PR. They want to sound good/generous.

    Said like a true cynic, I know. 8-)

  40. @ Colin,

    NTC will be much more focussed on recognition by the Arab League, and their eastern neighbour Egypt, than the collection of despots in the African Union-a Gaddaffi creation.

    I would have thought most ordinary Libyans have by now seen & heard quite enough of the activities of Sub Saharan Africa, -Gadaffi’s source of choice for mercenaries.
    ——————————————–
    That is at the heart of the revolution, actually.

    One side sees themselves as Arabs, the other side sees themselves as Africans. Hence the derogatory nick-name: “Frizzy-Head” for Gaddafi. It is a racist epithet used against Africans i.e. mocking/ insulting their afro hair.

    Are you really saying that the Arab world has no despots & dictators whilst Africa is full of such men? I will refrain from listing all the Arabic royal families & unelected leaders but I do think you are being incredibly partisan (racist is too strong a word so I’ll settle for partisan) in your assessment of the Arab’s political world versus Africa’s.
    8-)

  41. @ Liz Hancock

    ” we didn’t go into Libya for humanitarian reasons but for oil”

    Well in the unlijkely event that you live a life in which the consumption of oil / oil based products is completely abesnt , I will happily absolve you of the interest in the stuff which the rest of humanity possesses.

    However-if you are an average member of our European Union, you will know that our population has been buying 70% of friend Gaddaffi’s oil.

    Of course, the Libyan people didn’t benefit too much from your custom-a lot of libyan oil receipts went on tanks , guns & missiles; training terrorists around the world, employing terrorists around the world, arming terrorists around the world………and an oppulent gilded existance for Gadaffi’sa family & those in his patronage.

    I think NTC intend the Libyan people to decide what they want to do with their oil revenues.

    That seems like a good thing for us to have done-don’t you agree?

  42. Note: When I say further down, I mean anyone earning, say, £45,000 or more. That way, those lower down than this (say) could have their tax rates reduced. 8-)

  43. Colin

    “people to decide what they want to do with their oil revenues.”

    Odd. I know lots and lots of people very close to here who want to do exactly that. Are you offering to help them?

  44. However, as I posted the other day (to Colin), the ability to accumulate wealth is fundamental to any successful capitalist economy. Rather than focus on increasing tax rates for the rich (which at 50% income tax are high enough already IMO), the government’s efforts should instead focus more on closing any loopholes so that tax cannot be avoided and taxpayers have to pay the full rate.

  45. @ Colin

    Of course, the Libyan people didn’t benefit too much from your custom-a lot of libyan oil receipts went on tanks , guns & missiles; training terrorists around the world, employing terrorists around the world, arming terrorists around the world………and an oppulent gilded existance for Gadaffi’sa family & those in his patronage.
    ——————————————–
    And your evidence is?

    Old Nat might say, with equivalent justification, that Scotland’s oil revenues have been used for buying tanks, guns & financing ‘terrorism’ in Libya, Iraq & other countries where UK interventions have massively exceeded their UN mandate.

    You are throwing a lot of partisan stones in a glasshouse, Colin.
    8-)

  46. Excuse my typos. I’m posting on my ipad this evening.

  47. AMBER

    Thanks.

    I’m familiar with your views in general-and Libya in particular-though there are a few new ones in those posts !

    I suppose I need to respond to this little beauty though-tedious as it is to need to do so.:-

    “Are you really saying that the Arab world has no despots & dictators whilst Africa is full of such men? I will refrain from listing all the Arabic royal families & unelected leaders but I do think you are being incredibly partisan (racist is too strong a word so I’ll settle for partisan) in your assessment of the Arab’s political world versus Africa’s.”

    The answer is NO-and I’m very pleased to see that there are less of them by the month , as their people finally decide enough is enough & put their lives on the line for their freedom

    I am dumstruck with admiration & awe at these incredible people.

  48. Amber

    “Old Nat might say” I might indeed – but your phraseology is better than mine, so I’ll content myself with

    “Oldnat says what Amber said he might.” :-)

  49. OLDNAT

    “Odd. I know lots and lots of people very close to here who want to do exactly that. Are you offering to help them?”

    Do you need “help”

    You live in a democracy.

    Ask the people to support Independence & when you get a YES -insist on it.

    I doubt any Scots will be shot for doing that :-)

  50. Amber

    I’ll let the Libyan people decide what they want in their upcoming elections.

    I ‘m glad they didn’t have to rely on you for their freedom.

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