This months polls seem to have bunched together to an absurd degree – yesterday we had ICM, Populus and YouGov, now we also have Angus Reid, TNS-BMRB and Ipsos MORI (plus of course, another YouGov daily poll tonight).

MORI have topline figures of CON 38%(-3), LAB 38%(-1), LD 12%(+1). Unlike most of the rest of the recent polling this is actually a slight move against the Conservatives although it still leaves the two parties neck and neck. The leader approval ratings are also very negative for Ed Miliband, dropping to minus 26 from minus 16 a month ago. It does also have an interesting political implication for inside the Westminster bubble – up until now the Labour party have been using MORI’s leader ratings to claim that Miliband’s leader ratings are broadly comparable to Cameron’s at a similar stage in his leadership. It was quite a tendentious claim anyway (Cameron’s ratings were around minus 5 or 6 at this stage), but it certainly cannot be sustained any longer. Miliband’s approval ratings are now heading into Hague or IDS territory.

TNS-BMRB have the most positive figures for Labour we’ve seen recently, with topline figures of CON 37%(+2), LAB 40%(+2), LDEM 10%(-1), Others 13%(-2). Figures for Miliband are again more negative though, the percentage of people telling TNS they have confidence in him to solve the country’s problems has dropped to 22% from 25% in October. 38% said they has confidence in David Cameron (down from 41%).

Angus Reid also have Labour holding onto a small lead, although it has fallen sharply since November, with topline figures of CON 35%(+2), LAB 37%(-5), LDEM 11%(+3). Again, Ed Miliband’s figures have fallen sharply – his net approval stands at minus 31 (down from minus 20 in November).

UPDATE: YouGov’s daily poll meanwhile has topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 38%, LD 9%, so another one with a small Tory lead. Overall we now have ICM & YouGov showing narrow Tory leads, ComRes & MORI showing Labour and the Conservatives level, Angus Reid, TNS and Populus showing narrow Labour leads.


486 Responses to “New Ipsos MORI, Angus Reid and TNS-BMRB polls”

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  1. BT
    If we apply the veil of ignorance, you can see that the Christian who refused to do her job *wasn’t* being discriminated against.
    Employee X cannot use religious ideology Y to argue they are exempt from task Z. This would apply across the board.
    So I could claim, that as a worshipper of Eris, I am exempt from working on the 5th, 6th, 13th or 23rd of each month – and I’d find that I would get the sack, despite my strongly held beliefs.

    Equally nobody is stopping her from holding her beliefs – only that if her moral position is stronger than her employment contract, she invalidates that contract.

    Now – it would be discrimination if they introduced a rule which said ‘Employee X can use religious belief Y to exempt them from task Z, as long as that religious belief is not against gay marriage’, because that would be a rule which would not be held universally.

    This isn’t ‘equality’ (i.e left-wing ideology) but impartiality (i.e centrist ideology).

  2. @BT – “People don’t seem to understand that these views are not personal…”

    In any religion there are hundreds of schools of thought, and as many shades of interpretation as there are individuals endowed with rationality.

    When it comes to sex, as somone pointed out the other day, New Testament dude hardly mentions the subject – many more of his recorded utterances relate to morality in the financial sphere ;) . Perhaps Paul got a bit carried away claiming divine authority for his own opinion.

    I don’t like ignorant prejudice against religion either btw.
    But perhaps people should be more open about their individual belief system… consider for a moment if someone in a life-threatening situation was reliant for care on a person who chose to believe in a jealous god – one who had decreed death/eternal damnation to non-believers. :(

  3. CHOUENLAI………..You will be interested in this link…….

    http://www.olebill.zoomshare.com :-)

  4. ALLAN

    THanks.

    THe discussion I listened to on the radio today was interesting.

    Apparently the SNP proposed question is known as a “soft” question-as opposed to a “hard” question.

    It invites response to a “positive”-the acquisition of something; and is more likely to evoke Yes .

    A “hard” question invites response to a “negative”-the loss of something ; and is more likely to evoke No.

  5. Colin

    Well the SNP do see independence as a positive thing, so its hardly surprising that they ask a positive question. But they do have a mandate to pop the question, no one else campaigned on the referendum question therefore no one else has a mandate to frame the question.

  6. Colin

    When we have the ref on Europe(if?) Will the labour party which lost the election and didn’t have the Europe ref as a part of their platform get to frame the question?

  7. @ Alec, Ken & chouenlai

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/9031478/America-overcomes-the-debt-crisis-as-Britain-sinks-deeper-into-the-swamp.html

    Re the above article and the position of the UK. I think Alec has a point about the consequences of the governments current strategy. i.e they could see an increase in overall debt, while only starting to bring under control increase in government debts.

    But I guess the alternative plan being put forward by Ed Balls, could increase the debts even more . From what I can fathom, Ed Balls wanted a temporary cut in VAT, a one year NI tax break for small businesses to take on new staff and to bring forward long-term infrastructure projects. These would cost billions of pounds over the next few years and I am not sure where they are getting the money from. Labour were complaining that the government were having to borrow an extra £158bn to pay for failure, but surely their plans would add to this. None of the measures they propose would provide additional revenues above the cost of the measures.

    I know Alec is not saying that there is any other party offering a better alternative to the coalition. The article in question does not mention any alternative way forward for the UK either.

    I think the current economic situation is like being visited by the grim reaper offering you three ways to die. The result could be the same, but perhaps one option might give you a little breathing space just in case an angel comes to the rescue. It is just at the moment, I don’t think anyone has a clue whether there is an angel or not.

  8. Richard in Norway

    @” But they do have a mandate to pop the question, no one else campaigned on the referendum question therefore no one else has a mandate to frame the question.

    I think that depends.

    If the question invites a response to the specific prospect of leaving the UK, then there can be no misunderstanding of it’s meaning & implications.

    If the question is ambiguous about the precise nature of the separation being proposed , then it follows that some responsibilities & costs in respect of Scotland may remain with rUK. ( Allan, for example, appears to envisage the responsibility for defence & security of and “independent” SCotland as remaining with rUK)

    In these circumstances, not only do I think that the UK government is entitled to a role in drafting the question, the people of rUK clearly have the right to participate in the referendum.

    And even the SNP question as drafted will necessitate a further consultation with the people , after a negotiation of the terms of separation in the event of a YES .
    Depending upon the degree of residual responsibility for Scotland left with rUK, that consultation would have to include the people of rUK as well as those of SCotland.

    This is a 300 year old political, monetary & fiscal union we are talking about. The effects which will flow from Scotland departing it will be hugely varied, and subject to the most wideranging fiscal considerations-for both parties.

    It is not as simple as saying-this is an SNP show-stay out of it.

  9. @ Neil A

    “We make our laws collectively, and expect everyone to obey them once they are passed. We cannot allow anyone, for any reason, to think they can be exempt from them.”

    100% agree. (What is it with the two of us agreeing on so much?).

    A law of general application that is not enacted with the intent to restrict the religious practices of others does NOT restrict religious liberty.

  10. This comment from the DT link which Alec posted is interesting :-

    “Much trouble could have been avoided if Labour had stuck to two simple rules: a budget surplus late in the cycle (instead of 3pc deficits) as achieved in Scandinavia and even by Spain, and loan-to-value limit on mortgages of 80pc (instead of 120pc) — ideally falling to 70pc, or even 60pc if needed to choke a boom, as pursued in East Asia.”

    If Gordon hadn’t believed he had consigned boom & bust to history………who knows ?

  11. Colin

    I’m afraid it is as simple as saying its the SNP show. Losers don’t get a say!! Apart from the fact that this opens up a whole can of worms as regards the Europe ref. Imagine if the French want a say in the wording of the euro question!!!

    But of course this is all theater, DC doesn’t really believe that the Scots will vote yes and he is using this opportunity to look like a strong leader and shore up the VI in the all important southern marginals. A bit of Scots bashing might deliver the extra one point in VI which is the difference between losing and winning the next GE.

  12. Apparently the SNP proposed question is known as a “soft” question-as opposed to a “hard” question.

    It invites response to a “positive”-the acquisition of something; and is more likely to evoke Yes .

    A “hard” question invites response to a “negative”-the loss of something ; and is more likely to evoke No.
    __________

    Colin I’m no expert on linguistics or what ever its called but it’s the SNPs mandate and as long as its in the spirit of the rules then it’s not an issue.

    Maybe we should have a referendum on the wording.. ;)

  13. Richard

    Thanks-a pretty cynical view on a hugely important subject.-you are probably right to be cynical -sadly.

    re your “When we have the ref on Europe(if?)”, the Guardian has an excellent piece on the “fairness” of the SNP question.
    Included is this reference back to 1975 :-

    “This is how the EEC Referendum question was phrased back in 1975.

    Do you think the UK should stay in the European Community (Common Market)?

    The equivalent phrasing would be …

    Do you think Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom?

    I’d be interested to hear what the experts would say about the phrasing of the first question. The government of the day wished to remain part of the EEC. Had they wanted to leave would they have asked …

    Do you think the UK should leave European Community (Common Market)?

    … therefore retaining ‘yes’ as the response that gets them the outcome they desire?”

  14. richard in norway
    Colin

    Well the SNP do see independence as a positive thing, so its hardly surprising that they ask a positive question. But they do have a mandate to pop the question, no one else campaigned on the referendum question therefore no one else has a mandate to frame the question
    _________

    Hear Hear!!! :) :)

  15. More opinion on the question of the question this time from Professor Robert Cialdini of Arizona on Today (2 h.53mins).

    Loaded and biased is his verdict on Alex Salmond’s “Do you agree” version… “It sends people down a particular cognitive shute designed to locate agreements rather than disagreements” – (giving the oportunity to agree with something that is assumed in the question to be the prefered option is a one-sided or loaded question).

    Do you agree or disagree? is a balanced question. Asking a one-sided as opposed to an even-handed question can result in a 9% difference in the support for a given proposition.

    h
    ttp://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01b1ljk/Today_26_01_2012/

  16. Allan

    Well I had to do something to get in your good books after spelling your name wrong repeatedly, but don’t be offended I do it to everyone

  17. Well this was the question asked in Quebec

    Referendum question

    On September 7, 1995, a year after being elected premier, Jacques Parizeau presented Quebecers with the referendum question, to be voted on October 30 of that year.

    In French, the question on the ballot asked:

    “Acceptez-vous que le Québec devienne souverain, après avoir offert formellement au Canada un nouveau partenariat économique et politique, dans le cadre du projet de loi sur l’avenir du Québec et de l’entente signée le 12 juin 1995?”

    In English, the question on the ballot asked:

    “Do you agree that Quebec should become sovereign after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership within the scope of the bill respecting the future of Quebec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995?”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_referendum,_1995

    Jesus Christ talking about being long winded!! ;)

  18. Reposted from yesterday for anyone interested in the hard/soft question:

    Michael Keating, professor of politics at Aberdeen, on PM (38 mins), explained the difference between a ‘hard’ and a ‘soft’ question:

    Opinion polling consistently points to the fact that any question that mentions separation/leaving/outside the UK is a ‘hard question’ and gets significantly less support than a ‘soft question’ of the type favoured by Salmond, which only mentions being an independent ‘country’ (a further softening of the original wording suggested by SNP which talked about being an independent ‘state’.

    h
    ttp://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01b1g9b/PM_25_01_2012/

  19. RICHARD

    Well your comment has more than made up for it. :)

  20. Allen

    No wonder they lose that ref, what an awful question. My instinctive reaction was to say no

  21. @ Tinged Fringe

    “If we apply the veil of ignorance, you can see that the Christian who refused to do her job *wasn’t* being discriminated against.
    Employee X cannot use religious ideology Y to argue they are exempt from task Z. This would apply across the board.”

    Exactly.

  22. richard in norway
    Allen<<<<<

    No wonder they lose that ref, what an awful question. My instinctive reaction was to say no
    ————-

    Same here :) but it was a narrow win for the no vote by 1%.

    Yeah after reading that question I'm more than convinced it should be a simple question.

  23. @ Richard in Norway

    “No wonder they lose that ref, what an awful question. My instinctive reaction was to say no”

    And to think, it only failed very narrowly.

  24. Early polls indicated that 67% of Quebecers would vote “No”, and for the first few weeks, the sovereignist (Yes) campaign led by Parizeau made little headway.

    Final vote 49.42% “Yes” to 50.58% “No”.
    Very interesting!!!

  25. Some Con rightwingers are arguing that very point. that everyone in the UK should have a say.

    If it were anyone else, I would think they were wrong and hadn’t thought it throug.,

    These are the very people who would want to leave the EU on a referendum and they would not want the French and the German’s and others in a number of countries they probably couldn’t accurately list would get a vote and outnumber the home population would be anathema to them.

    Some of tose who would get the vote are EU citizens living here as immigrants that the tory right

  26. want to leave

  27. JOHN B DICK

    I don’t think anyone takes the Con right wingers too seriously. They get a lot of their aspirations from the London Evening Standard and it’s Scottish equivalent is called the Dandy!! ;)

  28. Independence is a separate state, and a seat at the UN.

    Independent states do have sharing arrangements for the maintenance of such things as cross border tunnels, water and power lines.

    That dosn’t involve a common legislature. Either party is at liberty to make different arrangements for its own responsibilities unilaterally as it suits them.

    Devo-max is not independence. It is a continuation of a union on different terms.

    The SNP want independence. The Scottish people want more devolution. The UK parliament needs to make them an offer. If it isn’t good enough, then it will be refused.

    Self determination will follow.

  29. @ BT

    ““A senior academic from the University of Oxford has said courts in the West are putting equality issues before the right to religious freedom.””

    That senior academic has no idea what he’s talking about. At least in the U.S. and he groups us in with everyone else. One’s religious freedom does not mean the right to impose your religion upon others or to disobey constitutional laws of general application simply because you don’t like them. No one can tell a religious institution who to accept as members, who to hire, who to marry. And people are free to join those religious institutions that have bigotry as one of their core beliefs. That’s fine. It’s the price of living in a free society. But you can’t then use that membership to make broad claims about your right to ignore certain laws.

  30. @Allan Christie – Early polls indicated that 67% of Quebecers would vote “No”…. Final vote 49.42% “Yes” to 50.58% “No”.

    If those opinion polls framed the issue with an even-handed question… and given the actual referendum question, then that would back up Chiadini’s theory of loaded questions resulting in a 9% swing. ;)

    h
    ttp://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/1995_Quebec_referendum

    “Polls held two weeks before the vote showed the “Yes” side with as much as a 5% lead over the “No” side.

    In the final days several polls indicated that the “No” side had a slight lead over the “Yes” side, but well within the margin of error.

    A poll released just weeks before the November 30 vote showed more than 28% of undecided voters believed a “Yes” vote would simply mean Quebec would negotiate a better deal within confederation, meaning that they would continue to use Canadian passports and elect members of parliament in the Canadian House of Commons.”
    .
    .

  31. Speaking of referendums, anybody know how long before pollsters do polling of the mayoral referendums for May this year?

  32. @ Allan Christie

    I’m not sure how the deed poll system works but I’m quite content with Allan lol.
    ——————————————
    I have a question: Are you resident in Scotland? Or is your enthusiasm for the Salmond & the SNP coming from an English perspective? Because the deed poll for name changes is a system for England & Wales which isn’t used in Scotland.
    8-)

  33. Billy Bob

    Come on its politics, we only pick out the parts which suits our own arguments. ;)

    Seriously the point I was making was the questioning and how close the final vote was so as I did say..we do need a simple question.

  34. AMBERSTAR.

    Yes I do reside in Scotland and I might be wrong but is it not called the “UK Deed Poll Service” which does cover Scotland?

  35. Ah okay Amber under Scots law a deed poll is not required.. I stand corrected.. :)

  36. C39 L40 LD9 APP -21. Hmmmm

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