The last of February’s regular monthly polls has rolled in – Ipsos MORI for Reuters have topline figures, with changes from January, of CON 35%(-3), LAB 41%(+3), LDEM 12%(nc). A six point Labour lead is the largest any poll has shown since before Cameron’s European veto in December.

The normal caveats apply of course, sure, it could be a sign that we are headed back to pre-veto situation, but equally it could be a blip. Looking at the wider pattern of polls we can be relatively confident that there has been some level of movement back towards Labour since January, but the polls seem to be averaging at around a 1 or 2 point Labour lead, so we are not yet back to the 4-6 point leads we were seeing last Autumn.


164 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Reuters – CON 35%, LAB 41%, LD 12%”

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  1. I think there are possible hints that Clegg’s policy of differentiation from the Tories may be working, albeit at the very margin, with extra Labour votes coming off the Conservatives’ total, not the LDs’, for once.

    Ironically, the lower the Conservatives go, the more the Coalition is cemented in place, since it means the chorus of “cut and run” on the Tory right is silenced.

  2. A good poll for Labour.

    Given the NHS saga , the trend must surely be correct.

    Whether the share or the gap are correct-who knows?

    A sobering analysis for DC by Brogan in DT today.

    I think he is spot on about the change needed for a Con victory.

    But an improving economy will help , and talk of green shoots seems to be gathering strength.

  3. Averaging the previous 12 months of IpsosMORI polls would give something like Con 36%, Lab 40%, LD 12%… and that is the general picture they arrive at using the “absolutely certain to vote” criteria.

    The combined effect of a positive-Cameron/negative-Miliband press campaign must have encouraged the Tories that they have a potential to close the gap.

  4. Colin
    Thanks for mentioning the DT article. Nice analysis.

    My attention however was caught by the headline:An asteroid with a one in 625 chance of striking Earth in 30 years’ time has been identified by NASA

    If I’m still above ground in 2036 I guess a collision will be a ‘good’ way as any to depart. Gives me something to aim for…

  5. Bound to be published as soon as I said they were probably skipping this month. :?

    Details now up here:

    http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/2925/ReutersIpsos-MORI-Political-Monitor-February-2012.aspx

    with all the links to tables, charts etc

  6. MIKEN

    :-)

    Looks like a Labour win in 2037 then?

  7. Last nights YG poll I think was an outlier, as some of the polling appeared to be outside of recent patterns.

    I suspect that Labour have increased their lead from 1-2% to about 4%, due to recent problems for the government.

    I think the LD’s will start to pick up a bit. Nick Clegg has suddenly realised that they cannot just be loyal coalition partners to the Tories and must stand up for their own policy positions. Cameron wants to get his policies through the HOL, so needs the LD’s on board and therefore will concede amendments to bills where he needs to.

  8. IpsosMORI are showing a bare VI of Con 33%, Lab 43%, LD 12% (80% expressing a VI).

    Headline figures are based on the 55% who are crertain to vote.

    33% compares to the occasional 40% from YouGov. (If I understand it, YouGov don’t take likelihood to vote into account to quite the same degree at this stage of the electoral cycle.)

  9. Sorry if there is thread about this somewhere else – I looked back but couldn’t find one.

    The Prospect poll on welfare (analysed by Peter Kellner here : http://labs.yougov.co.uk/news/2012/02/27/charity-ends-home/) threw up a very interesting nugget.

    Only 11% support cuts to disability benefits while 29% think they should be higher.

    As ever, I have issues with all of the question framing for this poll, but I should have thought this figure deserved more attention.

    The attitudes mentioned in Peter’s article are not based on facts – well, that in itself has never stopped policy. nonetheless, the welfare reform bill is not in difficulty on the whole over the cuts that get broad support – the benefit cap and UC.

    It is overwhelmingly in trouble over disability cuts and the nasty details within them. The fact that the public don’t even support those kinds of cuts should surely be as important a warning bell for Con politicians as opposing welfare is judged to be by Peter for Labour?

    I wonder, for instance, if we were to show people how much is spent on pensions (by far the biggest chunk) and on tax credits to support those in low paid work, and on HB to support those where rent is simply unaffordable for working people, THEN were shown the figures for the groups they “don’t like” would it change their perception?

    I wonder if we will every start framing this debate with any evidence, facts or statistics, or if a media intent on vilifying welfare will continue to shape public opinion around a false portrait of hoardes of marauding scroungers?

    It is simply way too convenient to say “Ah well, the public don’t like welfare, they think it costs too much” I should have thought at the very least psephologists would be interested in finding out what people actually think, not what they think about a mythical, amorphous group of monsters hiding in the closet.

    Odd debate, odd lack of analysis, odd acceptance of headline issues – and attitudes as commonly found amongst those who usually have much more inquiring minds as those who don’t know the name of the PM.

    (Sorry if this is in wrong thread, feel free to remove or move to more appropriate thread.)

  10. sue marsh

    You are very wise.

  11. This should worry the Tories…If IPSOS-Mori is accurate,Labour are getting the swing voters back and the NHS issue has still a couple of months to run…If Labour can keep the momentum,they could have a double-digit lead by April

  12. @Sue Marsh

    Fascinating to see you on NN in the recent past with Emily Matlis… and the slightly rattled Chris Grayling. ;)

  13. I think it’s a little early to say we’ve returned to the old polldrums, when recent YG has C consistently at 38-40%. A few YGs at the new level would be required. At the moment Ipsos is an outlier.

  14. Hi guys!!

    Sorry I didn’t say hello, as ever, bull-in-a-china-shop!!

    Do you all remember that Wayne character? He was certainly right about “interesting times” eh?

  15. @SMUKESH

    “This should worry the Tories…If IPSOS-Mori is accurate,Labour are getting the swing voters back and the NHS issue has still a couple of months to run…If Labour can keep the momentum,they could have a double-digit lead by April”

    If.

  16. Sue Marsh

    It’s great to see you posting here.

    Keep up the good work!

  17. Some suggestion of posters picking the polls that fit with their party preferences. In a years time the NHS will probably have declined in its importance to voters and the economy will be back as the main driver. If we are seeing green shoots and the economy starts to pick up then Labour could be left on the wrong side of the economic argument. If however the Eurozone continues to hold back growth then a small Labour lead will be justified. I honestly can’t see how a party without policies other than opposing anything that moves can get a double-digit lead. We need vision and hope not sniping from the sidelines. EM just hasn’t got what it takes I’m afraid to say and faced with a DC/EM decision there will only be one winner. The NHS is not an election decider in my view and I work in it.

  18. Sue

    Always nice to hear from you. Some of us do keep an eye on your activities and blog with admiration and a bit of worry about the possible personal cost to you.

    There is surprisingly little polling which includes the financial detail of what is being discussed, though there was an interesting contrast in this recent Sunday Times poll:

    http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/6195qkb1kr/YG-Archives-Pol-ST-results-17-190212.pdf
    (page 4)

    First question:

    In 2010 the government announced they would abolish child benefit for households with a higher rate taxpayer. Do you support or oppose this policy?

    Support wins 64% to 25%.

    Second question:

    Under the new rules child benefit will be withdrawn from households with a higher rate taxpayer, that is, where one person in the family earns around £42,000 a year or more. It would still be payable to families with two basic rate taxpayers, even if their total income was more than £42,000. Do you think this is fair or unfair?

    Unfair wins 68% to 24% – a reversal of the figures.

    Of course people might still support a policy they believe to be unfair. Also the change may have been triggered by two extra pieces of information, both the anomaly and the fact of where the higher rate starts (some people may have thought it referred to the highest £150k rate). Still it does show the effect of explaining things in greater detail can be large.

  19. LEON
    `The NHS is not an election decider in my view and I work in it`

    Good to see a Tory NHS worker…Am sure there are many more like you and ofcourse some of them may not like what the government is doing

    If Labour does get double digit leads,(a big if),then the doubters start to shift from Ed Milliband to Clegg or Cameron…I quote you Liam Fox from last week on Sunday Politics` There`s a price for not winning the election and that price is this coalition`…It din`t get the publicity but one can detect that he is blaming Cameron for not winning the election…Just one of the many variables as we live through `interesting times`

    Take two government plans-The NHS bill and Workfare.If they are perfect then why is the government modifying one and why is most of the medical profession and public,including Tory supporters opposed to the other?…You cannot expect an opposition party to support such controversial plans.

  20. Hackgate claims another scalp as James Murdoch has just resigned as Chairman of News International

  21. I think Blair’s Lab got 43% (1997), 41% (2002) and 35% (2007).

    Which means anything above 40% is doing very well indeed. If in 2015 Lab get over 40 and Con don’t improve on their 2010 total, I suspect even with boundary changes, Lab will have a big enough majority to govern. I see no evidence that Lab’s vote will collapse.

  22. The “Scottish poll” mentioned in the Times isn’t a new poll. They’ve just released the details of a question that was asked in the Scottish public Opinion Monitor from January.

    http://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Scotland/pa_scotland_SPOM__independence_economy_issues_tables_%2027_2_12.pdf

  23. NickP,

    I agree that with 40% Labour would be unassailable. However, that’s a big if. There remains the well-founded suspicion that the upper quartile of that VI is “soft” and some of it will dissipate back to the LDs (or others) come the GE, for various reasons including tactical voting. Therefore even if present polling indicates Lab on 40 and LDs on 10, it would be a brave (wo)man who bets on those being GE numbers.

  24. @Smukesh(FPT)
    “Youguv swinging around as usual…I notice that with other polls,the Labour seems to have increasing leads…ICM-Labour ahead by 1,Populus- by 2,ComRes-by 3,Opinium-by 4.
    I half-expect Ipsos-Mori to show a 5 point Labour lead”
    ______________
    I did check in case rounding error had robbed you of some bragging rights but the tables confirm it’s a 6% Lab lead. MORI don’t weight by past vote recall but do ask about it: the tables show Con 202, Lab 157, LD 106, which doesn’t suggest a sample biased towards Labour. So there’s no obvious evidence to treat this as an outlier.

    The mean lead over the 6 companies is now 2.5% (or 2.8% on the old January ComRes methodology). Definitely seems to have edged up. And it’s unusual to see YouGov at the lower end of the range.

  25. IpsosMORI’s 55% who are certain to vote looks a little on the low side, unless turnout hits an all time low in 2015.

    2010: 65.1%
    2005: 61.4%
    2001: 59.4%
    1997: 71.4%
    1992: 77.7%
    1987: 75.3%
    1983: 72.7%
    1979: 76%
    1974 Oct: 72.8%
    1974 Feb: 78.8%
    1970: 72%.

  26. Interesting table Billy Bob. 3 out of the 4 lowest turnouts since 1970 have resulted in an overall majority for Labour, the exception being 2010.

  27. ‘LEON
    `The NHS is not an election decider in my view and I work in it`’

    Oh yes it is. Anything that potentially impacts on everyone is capable of deciding an election. These forced changes where everyone who works in it is against the changes is an example of something which the person in the street wont like. [Snip – AW]

    Why cant we have just occasional bipartisan policies rather than total pointless reinventing the wheel when every new govt gets in? I’d probably vote for a party who actually said ;’well Dept XYZ’ is going pretty well, so we may need to tinker with it but really more of the same will do…

  28. Leon
    “I honestly can’t see how a party without policies other than opposing anything that moves can get a double-digit lead. ”

    Yes, I’ve often wondered how DC and the Cons managed this while in opposition, too.

    I think it’s what Oppositions do…until it becomes essential to lay out policies. It wasn’t until late in the last Parliament that the Cons started releasing policies IIRC.

  29. PHIL
    `I did check in case rounding error had robbed you of some bragging rights but the tables confirm it’s a 6% Lab lead`
    I am happy to be wrong in this way ofcourse

  30. jack
    “Why cant we have just occasional bipartisan policies rather than total pointless reinventing the wheel when every new govt gets in? I’d probably vote for a party who actually said ;’well Dept XYZ’ is going pretty well, so we may need to tinker with it but really more of the same will do…”

    I think that is what Cameron said about the NHS before the election. No more top down reorganisation etc. That’s gooing to be the real vote loser. He promised to leave it alone [Snip – AW]. Like the university tuition fees pledge only much more important to nearly everybody.

  31. I do think people get carried away with single polls, especially if it reinforces their own political persuasion. We are over three years away from a general election.

    We will see when Ed Miliband attempts to present himself as a credible alternative PM [snip – welcome Isaac… but probably not a non-partisan way to describe Ed Miliband! AW]

  32. I suspect we will see a General Election by May 2013. But I might have to wait a while before I can say “I told you so”.

  33. Isaac,

    The grand irony of these polls is that Labour won’t want to get rid of EdM whilst they are ahead – a wish shared by the Tories.

  34. I’m happy with Ed M.

  35. So am I Nick.

  36. @Sergio – “Labour won’t want to get rid of EdM whilst they are ahead.”

    Ironically this the first time IpsosMORI has recorded a net dissatisfaction with Ed among Labour voters… 44% satisfied, 48% dissatisfied.

  37. @Leon

    The NHS will certainly be a decider in the next election. It looks like Cameron will force these reforms through and if he does because there is such massive blanket opposition to it, everything that goes wrong in the NHS (and I worked in it too for a great many years) will be blamed on the Tories, the Lib Dems and the reforms, whether it is their fault or not, this is human nature. It wasn’t Labour’s fault what happened when we suffered the worse global financial crisis for over a 100 years, yet Cameron and Osborne managed to successfully pin the blame on them.

    This will translate into votes and I think we are beginning to see this coming though now, tbh I do not take much notice of YG, I intend to look at them once a month in the future and leave it at that.

    As for “green shoots” in the economy, where are they? the last person I knew who mentioned green shoots was Tory chancellor Norman Lamont I think? While singing in his bath and his green shoots got trodden down too. For many reasons like banks increasing writing off bad loans and so still not lending to small businesses and without this it is hard to see where growth will come from. (I so hope I am wrong, I hate seeing my children suffering because of this)

    However, if the NHS Reforms prove as bad as virtually everyone says they will, then the fall out from that is going to be colossal and this will have a devastating effect on the Tories polling. The electorate will wonder why they insist on going through with it when thy had all the evidence to suggest cut and run.

  38. Sergio

    “The grand irony of these polls is that Labour won’t want to get rid of EdM whilst they are ahead – a wish shared by the Tories”

    Ooops- I am no fan at all of EdM but the actual ‘grand irony’ of these polls is that if these are the kind of numbers Labour and Tory get at the next GE it won’t matter that EdM is leader of the Labour party !

    Of course thuogh these kinds of numbers wont be where we are most probably come that election (whenever it is).

    **
    Sue M

    Nice to hear from you again: keep up the good work.

    ***

    Leon
    “I honestly can’t see how a party without policies other than opposing anything that moves can get a double-digit lead. ”

    IMHO- as stated for months (and talking strictly YG)- no party is going to have a double digit lead in this most unique of parliamentary/ electoral/ political scenarios.

    We may see one or the other parties inch up to 8 points or so ahead at one stage; but I don’t think that will have any real legs.

    I fully expect there to be 1-3% tops between Labour and Tory at the next GE.

  39. Rob — see my earlier post on Labour’s numbers.

  40. I see that Ed M has had to distance himself from his benefactor-in-chief, Len McClusky today, after brother Len declared his intention to disrupt the Olympics, Unite are a union full of the milk of human kindness and have entered into the Olympic spirit by planning to spoil the enjoyment of a generation of young people. Thanks brothers, you make us proud. :-)
    I wonder if Ed’s rejection of Len will affect his polling figures ? Or perhaps, the public will support Len’s plan to humiliate us in international eyes, and of course undermine his own membership at the same time, back to the dark ages for them. :-)

  41. Isn’t people power great. The Government has dropped the work experience sanctions and I think there will be a big change in NHS Reforms as well. Donations to 38 degrees now stands at £201,499 and over 14,000 people have contributed so far. I predict once those billboards go up there will be a change in VI next week.

  42. SUE MARSH…………Welcome back, I hope you stay awhile, it’s a treat to read your beautiful prose. :-)

  43. @ Old Nat

    “The “Scottish poll” mentioned in the Times isn’t a new poll. They’ve just released the details of a question that was asked in the Scottish public Opinion Monitor from January.”

    Interesting. I’m looking at the breakdown. Those who don’t believe Scotland should be an independent country outnumber those who do but they’re not a majority. At least in the weighted polls (unweighted polls may be different).

    Interesting that most seem to think economic conditions won’t change with Scottish independence. But among those who do, it seems that a slightly larger number believe things will decline than those who believe things will get better.

    I have to admit that it’s not particularly easy to follow the document.

  44. Here’s a laugh…..After a lifetime spent slagging off tax dodgers, it turns out that Ken Livingstone is using a tax avoidance scheme to save himself thousands on his massive earnings, before, during, and after his Mayoralty. The Evening Standard reports it this evening as a, ‘staggering example of double standards’. He registered two companies to channel his earnings of several hundred thousand pounds from speaking engagements, thus enabling him to avoid a considerable tax liability. Pot, kettle, black…….Ken. :-)

  45. BillyBob,

    Of course more than 55% will vote which will be nearly all those say now they are certain to vote plus 10-15% other voters but IPSOS/MORI would argue uisng only certain for 2 reasons I can think of.
    First, obnvioulsy, as thery are not certain to voter they are more likley to find Eastenders more important on GE night. Perhaps more subtle is the view that being not certain to vote means you are less committed to the party you say you would vote for as if you were committed you would be ‘certain to vote’ – these non-committed votes are therefore more susceptible to switching or abstaining.
    Key point though surely is that as long as methodology is consistent we can judge trends by pollsters (NB Coms Res possible adjustments)

    Sergio – re Lab 40% I think you are correct about their being a soft element but quartile is probably pushing it; some of the returning LD votes are firm so perhaps a soft quintile or even hexile (is that the right term) meaning a new base of 32-34%.

  46. KEN

    Wonder if your namesake was avoiding 50% income tax ?

    :-) :-) :-)

  47. @ Gracie

    Some of us approve of the NHS reforms although not happy that they have been watered down, and feel they do not go far enough

  48. @ Gracie

    ‘the last person I knew who mentioned green shoots was Tory chancellor Norman Lamont I think?’

    Norman Lamont did indeed mention green shoots in October 1991 and was ridiculed by all and sundry at the time. However subsequent analysis of the GDP data showed that he was in fact entirely correct and the economy had bottomed in Q4 91.

    More recently Baroness Vadera did the same in January 2009 and was also ridiculed with one newspaper even running a ‘springwatch’ on said shoots. I am reasonably sure that in retrospect she will be proved correct.

    At the risk of joining this elite band I do see green shoots however I do feel that any recovery will be very anaemic largely because the banking system is impaired.

  49. COLIN………..The Standard have printed some of Ken’s quotes tonight, one such, ” rich ba****ds ” who, ” just don’t get it”, referring to people taking advantage of precisely the type of scheme he uses, only Ken would have the chutzpah to try to get away with this type of hypocrisy. :-)

  50. KEN

    Yep-pragmatic these old Trots aren’t they?

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