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. You only ever get “the government which you voted for” when the party you voted for gets into power, whether your country is the size of Liechtenstein or the USA.

    What is the polling evidence, by the way, for differences in attitude to independence in different regions of Scotland? Are there any meaningful variations?

  2. AmberStar
    @ Allan Christie

    I’m tyring not to be horrible here but he does sound like a duck in distress stuck in a Tory duck pond. having learned he’s been caught fiddling expenses..
    That’s a rather silly comment.

    Come on, don’t you have a sense of humour? ;)

    Yes Salmond and his double chins are a product of eating to many curries at the Raj in Leith at you and my expense but all within the rules!!

    Please don’t get me started on Labour expenses sleaze..We would need a whole new forum. ;)

  3. @ Allan Christie

    Come on, don’t you have a sense of humour?
    No, not when people are falsely linking Ed M with expenses fiddling.

  4. SMukesh
    `The alarm bells were already ringing!!`
    As the great Blair said,`you can challenge me,but you can`t undermine me`…
    The Tories at present are not as united,Europe still divides them and the Tory PM is having to go through hoops to keep everyone happy

    Totaly agreed with that but I was really referring to them in the latter stages of being in opposition leading up to the GE where under Cameron they did appear to be united.

    But of course Europe is the Tory party’s achilles heel coupled with the fact they have a junior coalition party to keep happy then unity has never been more important. Sit back and enjoy it… ;)

  5. Allan

    Have you considered changing your name to Allen :evil:

  6. AmberStar
    @ Allan Christie

    Come on, don’t you have a sense of humour?
    No, not when people are falsely linking Ed M with expenses fiddling

    Sorry Amber but I think you missed read my comment. I never accused Ed of fiddling expenses but said he sounded like one in my joke.

    For the record, I think Ed is as honest as they come!! Of course I’m not talking on party policy here. ;)

    `Sit back and enjoy it`

    I`ll get the reclining chair ready :)

  8. Robin 12.36

    So equality belief/prejudice is alright but religious belief/prejudice isn’t. Wonderful. Thanks for your explanation.

  9. richard in norway

    Have you considered changing your name to Allen

    I’m not sure how the deed poll system works but I’m quite content with Allan lol. ;)

  10. Some mildly heartening news amidst the gathering economic gloom: –

    “Manufacturing output levels across the eurozone reached a six-month high during January, a sign that a slide into recession may be avoided.

    The output index, Markit’s purchasing managers index (PMI) that measures the level of growth across 4,500 companies in the eurozone, has now risen for three successive months, levelling out at 50.0.

    Despite a poor final quarter in 2011, this figure means that there has been no change in manufacturing output levels during January, signalling that the sector has stabilised.

    This suggests that the rate of contraction may have peaked back in October 2011. Led by a resurgent manufacturing sector in Germany, which saw its largest increase for seven months, output continued to fall across the rest of the region as a whole but was the smallest contraction for four months.”

    Praise be to the German economy once again!

  11. Crossbat

    So the UK is leading Europe into recession

  12. @R I N & ALLAN
    The slight confusion regarding the spelling of Allen’s forename, reminds me of the strangeness of the name itself. In the English language, nobody is called Visigoth, or Vandal, or even Hun. Yet Alan and its derivatives is a popular name in all three countries and a principality.
    It sounds good, so I suppose it caught on, however, the Alans were as blood thirsty bunch of Caucasian tribesmen as any. The next time you see a drunken thug destroying a bus shelter, you may say “you bloody Alan”.

  13. @R in N

    “So the UK is leading Europe into recession”

    As a supporter of the coalition, you may say that but I couldn’t possibly comment! lol

  14. @cross bat
    Totally amazing is it not ? Could it be because the Germans have a very well deserved reputation for the finest products money can buy, in almost every area?

  15. chouenlai
    ” the Alans were as blood thirsty bunch of Caucasian tribesmen as any. The next time you see a drunken thug destroying a bus shelter, you may say “you bloody Alan”.

    Watch this space, we’re massing at the border..Fee-fi-fo-fum I smell the blood of an Englishman. ;)

    I don’t do bus stops though!!! ;)

  16. @Ken (11.43pm last night) – “Although the implications are potentially negative for some, the de-leveraging of businesses and individuals is, IMO, a very good thing.”

    The trouble is, we’re not deleveraging. See this link I posted a couple of days ago;

    These figures suggest that there is no deleveraging in terms of overall UK debt, and indeed this is what the OBR has predicted and Osborne is relying on.

    The government has built it’s entire economic strategy on a huge increase in household debt, meaning that overall debts will grow, not decrease, according to Osborne’s plans.

    Osborne is planning to be a debt raising chancellor, not a debt reducer, which is why the rhetoric around his plans is complete nonsense. All he has done is take a small part of the government debt and focused on that, but to deliver the reductions in the structural deficit he is expecting consumers in particular to increase their debts, and – to offset the impacts of the cuts – by much more than the government debts will reduced.

    As a plan, it is coherent, but fundamentally misguided. I agree with you that we urgently need to reduce comparative debt levels, but frankly if that is what you want, I can’t see any reason why you should support this government – they’ve told us they want to do the precise opposite.

  17. Richard in Norway

    So the UK is leading Europe into recession

    It’s alright for you to sit there and gloat in oil rich independent Norway with its huge oil fund but back here in the UK and in particular Scotland we can only dream of such riches, although I use the word “dream” with caution. ;)

  18. Allan

    It’s not my fault you pissed your oil wealth up against a wall

  19. @Chou

    “Totally amazing is it not ? Could it be because the Germans have a very well deserved reputation for the finest products money can buy, in almost every area?”

    Indeed, especially products like machine tools. Whenever we set up a new manufacturing facility, rest assured that most of the equipment and tools will be bought in from companies like Siemens, Bosch and Henkel and one of the key requirements for our engineers is a fluency in the German language!

    They don’t make bad cars either, or so I’m told!

  20. Richard in Norway

    It’s not my fault you pissed your oil wealth up against a wall


  21. Is the plan to convert public debt into private debt, let them go bankrupt and then write the debt off that way?


    How should we do that? Keep house prices high by making inteest rates zero and not taking repossession action. Wait till asset prices rise again (about five to ten years) then bankrupt the lot of them and take their houses.

  22. Crossbat

    And they score good goals too!!! ;)

  23. @BT

    The problem with Lillian Ladele was that she felt that her particular views on civil parnerships meant that she could dictate to her employers about the duties she carried out, and by extension, that her beliefs entitled her to withold services which people have a legal right to – because she disapproves of them.

    If the courts had backed her up that would have set a very strange precedent.

    Her and other cases are better settled in employment tribunals – that is if employers have mishandled the dispute or are not able/prepared to accommodate them in a position which does not cause offence.

  24. I can’t see how she can argue that as a registrar she shouldn’t register legal same sex civil parnerships. It’s the law and nothing to do with relion.

    A comparable case might be somebody objected to mixed race marriages on religious grounds, or to a marriage between, say, a Muslim and non-Muslim.

    The Law trumps religious bigotry and thank God.

  25. @Allen Christie

    “And they score good goals too!!!”

    I know, the [email protected]*rds! The last time we played them in the summer of 2010 in South Africa, the game caused me to damage both my foot and a very pleasant piece of furniture in our living room. When Frank Lampard’s perfectly legitimate goal to make it 2-2 was disallowed, I launched a very ill advised kick at what I thought at the time was a soft pouffe. I was mistaken, alas, because it was a much harder based stool and I came off decidedly worse. The stool cannoned into a small table that was holding a rather delicate vase. The vase crashed to the floor and broke into many pieces, causing my wife, who was watching her one game of football of the year, to banish me to the upstairs spare room, whereupon I watched the remainder of the disaster on a black and white TV set, nursing a severely bruised foot (and dented national pride)!

  26. @crossbat
    The sadness is, that the writing was on the wall before the Great War. The British allowed themselves to believe their armaments, tools, cars, domestic goods, whatever, were better than “bloody foreigners rubbish”. I think the penny started to drop during WW2, by then it was late, but not to late. Post war, we still did not get the message and the rest is modern history. In their own way the Italians are a little bit the same. Their tackle can be [email protected], but it can be brilliant, they are very clever engineers if they feel like it. And of course, whatever they produce willa be..a bella . If not durable, bella.

    btw I drive an Italian car.

  27. Billy B

    Thanks for responding and at least considering both sides somewhat in contrast to the intolerance of some other posters. :(

    At no point did Ladele wish to withhold any services, she merely wished to be excused from carrying them out herself as she had a conscientious objection which, whether you agree with her stance or not, is quite a different matter. The fact is, there were plenty of others who could have done the service without any inconvenience to her employers at all, but they chose to make an issue of it to get rid of her in spite of the well-reported fact that she was an otherwise dutiful and exemplary employee (therefore your choice of word ‘dictated to her employers’ etc is a bit harsh if you see what I mean).

    It’s not people like Ladele who are intolerant. People don’t seem to understand that these views are not personal and people like these would still give their right arm to help such people in other circumstances which bear no relevance to the deeply-held belief in question, as much as they would help the next person. Homophobia (which does exist amongst Nazis etc) implies hatred and despisal. There is ample testimony that people like Ladele and other Christians that have made the news for similar reasons don’t do hate, and are worlds away from homopobia in its true meaning, yet they get tarred with the same brush as the Far Right. It’s their accusers that do the intolerance IMO.

  28. @NICK P
    This person sees homosexual union as an abomination in the eyes of God. The marriage of two different races has nothing to do with anyone but the bride and groom.
    The marriage between two different religions is the same.
    But we are talking, male and female here, procreation and all that. This lady, and many Muslims and African or North American Christians, take a view that unless it is male and female marrying, it is totally unnatural and against the laws of God. BTW, I say live and let live, but I can see her point.

  29. @NickP

    Additionally, the “They can just assign her to the marriages she does approve of” is a bogus argument. Her Employer, the state, is required by law to not cause discrimination to those seeking use of civil functions. Removing her from service is discrimination, because it’s only gay couples who will get told “Sorry, you’ll have to wait till next week because we don’t have anyone willing to accept your submission at the moment.”

    Her employer wants to rectify the situation and comply with the law, she does not. Do we really want a world where a single religious employee may dictate terms of which parts of the law the company will follow.

  30. ALEC………..Excellent article but nothing new. Commentators are always banging on about the fine balance between, ‘too far, too fast’ and, ‘ get the deficit down quickly’. The reason that the rating agencies are fairly sanguine about the UK is because they agree with Osborne’s policies, they have other reasons too, but on the whole their analysts see a steady ship and a strategy that gives them comfort.
    Incidentally, if you can find me a party with a better strategy, and the right leadership, I would consider changing tack, however, given over 3 more years of Coalition rule to look forward to, and a real judgement to be made at the end, I somehow don’t think I would be convinced. :-)

  31. “This person sees homosexual union as an abomination in the eyes of God. ”

    She can hardly do her job then, can she?

    Sincerely held bigotry is still bigotry, is it not?

  32. CROSSBAT11………..Off thread topic a bit, but what the heck…deadly Doug was in the Fleet Air Arm based in, what was then, Ceylon, on demob he stuck around to do a civvy job and came to love the place.
    After the tsunami in 2005, he decided he should have a whipround amongst his friends and business colleagues to buy food and medical supplies for the Sri Lankan victims. Upon investigation he learned that, more than food and medics, they needed jobs, since their boats had been smashed, and fishing was their livelyhood.
    Doug raised well over £100k, bought 42 boats, liveried ’em up in Villa colours, and named ’em all after Villa players. Each boat provided work for 9 Sri Lankan families, so Doug is not just a legend amongst you Asda’s. :-)

  33. Allan Christie
    alex anderson

    “I think one of the virtues of the Scottish Parliament is the PR system which means that the only circumstances in which you can have one party rule is the situation (as at present) where a party is able to appeal across the community and the country.”

    I think you have something there. I wouldn’t find it easy to explain the arithmetic, but the fact that a party is, for the first time, not concentrated in one particular region, is quite significant.


    Everybody in Scotland understands exactly what independence means. Oldnat gave you a progression through various stages of understanding andperception aand poineed out that the SNP and the Scottish voter were 40 years ahead of the English latecomers. The suggestion that some might not think it means leaving the union or the UK parliament is just silly.

  34. Nick P

    So we are back to the argument that bigotry (your word not mine) is alright then (eg against people who believe in the bible) as long as it’s not bigotry against gay people.

    The more this is discussed, the clearer it is who the intolerant and angry ones really are I am afraid, although they won’t appreciate my saying so.

    I rest my case, have a good evening all.

  35. If somebody’s religious belief means they discriminate illegally against other citizens then I’m afraid they will fall foul of the law.

  36. yes, Osbourne might be seen as trying to move the debt and hope it disappears somewhere during the process. It relies on private individuals being able to finance more debt and having banks willing to lend it to them, probably with little or no security. That seems to me bordering on wishful thinking, and even if it did come to pass on the scale necessary, isn’t that the reason we are in the situation we find ourselves?


    @”it’s only fair they should set the tone of the question.”

    THe tone of the question is irrelevant.

    It is the meaning of the question which is vital.

    AS posed in the Referendum Question-what does “independence” mean?

    Is it defined in the Consultation document?

  38. @NICK P
    People who believe in the laws of God, hold them as very much more important than the laws of man.

  39. SOCALIBERAL…………..I did indeed watch the SOTU, however I have deep distrust of campaigning politicians, especially the ones that have a rabble rousing oratorical style…….I’m afraid that creating a mood is no substitute for getting the job done, reading from teleprompts showing words such as, ‘breathe’ ‘pause’ ‘energy’ ‘body language’ etc., does Obama no favours as far as I’m concerned.
    I should add that I’ve never been a follower, so I definitely don’t ‘get ‘ the rhetoric buzz……….perhaps I’m missing something. :-)


    @The suggestion that some might not think it means leaving the union or the UK parliament is just silly.”

    Maybe -maybe not.

    Certainly everyone at Westminster speaks of Scottish independence , very much in terms of the break up of the Union.

    But the point is,-does the question , as posed invite , the respondent to consider leaving the Union.

    It does not-and I have heard academics on the radio today explaining why & how the answer to the question :-
    Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?

    will produce a different answer to the question ( for example):-

    Do you agree that Scotland should leave the United Kingdom in order to become an independent country.

  41. ”@ NICK P
    The fact that you do not believe in the Christian God, but more the teachings of Karl Marx, does not give you moral superiority over this woman, nor her over you. However, you use of the word bigot suggests that you dismiss her view point in an instant. If I said “any employee at the MOD, who is for one sided nuclear disarmament, should loose their job”, how would you view that

  42. @Chouen Lai

    I expect any employee of the MOD who disabled the countries nuclear deterrent based on a belief in unilateral disarmament certainly would lose their job.

  43. “This person sees homosexual union as an abomination in the eyes of God. ”

    Fine. But if her argument rests on God then it *cannot* be relevant to the role of a registrar. Religion is explicitly barred from registry marriages/civil partnerships (even the use of hymns or readings referring to God), so religious arguments are entirely irrelevant to registrar-conducted unions. The union is not taking place “in the eyes of God”.

    In any case, what if every registrar had the same view? That would clearly discriminate. So it would not be acceptable for the last-appointed registrar to hold those views, and if that is the case the same should be applied to all holders of the post.

  44. @ken
    Your post to Alec @4.33. I quite agree. Further more your comment reminded me of the great cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather, (Old Bill).

    Flanders 1917 at the front .

    YOUNG RECRUIT …….”ere this bloody holes full a freezin water and mud ”

    OLD BILL……. “if you knows of a better hole, go to it”.

  45. @robin
    You make a good point, it is not a religious matter, it is civil law. You are right.


    LOL, I think the next time England play Germany you should wrap yourself and all the contents in the house up in bubble wrap, less damage to you and your house when the final whistle blows. ;)


    “I think you have something there. I wouldn’t find it easy to explain the arithmetic, but the fact that a party is, for the first time, not concentrated in one particular region, is quite significant”

    North-South-East-West-Village-Town-City and Island hopping the SNP swept all before and not to mention folk from all social backgrounds. . :)

  48. 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.

    There are, of course, well publicised examples of where we do exactly that by creating exemptions for particular groups. Usually Sikhs (motorcycle helmets, bladed articles). I don’t have a strong view about this because I am a great admirer of the Sikh community. But the fact is that we do pick and choose which battles to fight on diversity issues.

    Ideally, we should only make laws where it is absolutely essential to do so (that’s my libertarian side coming out). If it’s acceptable for a Sikh to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, then helmets can’t be so important that we criminalise other citizens for failing to use them, etc.

    If we make a law that same-sex couples can marry (or the equivalent) then it should be because we consider that law is essential and that noone should be allowed to refuse to apply it – whatever their reason.

  49. Colin

    @”it’s only fair they should set the tone of the question.”

    THe tone of the question is irrelevant.

    It is the meaning of the question which is vital.

    AS posed in the Referendum Question-what does “independence” mean?

    Is it defined in the Consultation document

    Well okay maybe not the tone but the wording. It’s the SNPs mandate but what say did Salmond have on the AV referendum?

    Look if you’re on the Unionist fence then of course you will want the wording to suit you but as long as the public understand they are voting for “Independence from the UK” then they can word it what every way they want.

    We have over two years to discuss independence before the vote, I’m sure the Scottish electorate by then will have grasped what independence means. No need to panic yet. ;)

  50. Neil

    I always struggle to get my motorcycle helmet on over me turban

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