Two new polls tonight, showing contrasting pictures. I already mentioned Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor in passing earlier on, but for the record their topline figures are CON 36%(+1), LAB 37%(-4), LDEM 11%(-1), Others 16%(+4). Like ICM’s poll earlier in the week they have Labour’s lead dropping, though unlike ICM (which had a boost for the Tories at the expense of others), MORI have the smaller parties increasing at the expense of Labour.

Meanwhile YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 43%, LD 9%. An eight point lead for Labour is the highest YouGov have shown since the start of December, before David Cameron’s veto, so there is certainly no sign of a narrowing of the Labour lead there. If anything it’s the opposite, though I will add my normal caveat about not getting too excited about individual polls. Sure, it might be the start of bigger Labour leads, or we might be back to smaller Labour leads tomorrow. Watch the underlying trends, rather than getting excited about individual polls.

Nevertheless, it’s interesting that we’ve seen ICM and MORI both showing Labour falling relative to the Conservatives (albeit, the actual shifts in the two polls were different) while the YouGov daily polls are still showing solid Labour leads. While pollsters may have different house effects, they are all polling the same population at the end of the day so normally show the same trends.

It is possible for them to diverge (for example, YouGov don’t weight by likelihood to vote, so wouldn’t pick up a trend that was solely turnout based) it would be unusual though. I’d still expect them to settle down into a clear trend over the next few weeks.

Tomorrow is budget day – for those who missed it earlier on, my pre-budget summary of YouGov’s recent budget polling is here.

175 Responses to “New MORI and YouGov polls”

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  1. @Ken

    Totally agree with your post. George has put the country first and as you say in three years time all will be forgiven if the economy is performing well. However personally i was disappointed that he is not cutting back more. This country is never going to flourish again until we make real cuts to public spending, and i stress the word real ie spending reducing not increasing more slowly!

  2. I have absolutely no idea what effect the budget will have on the polls, with an 11 point spread between 2 polling companies, how can we second guess them. But I would hazard a guess that the media narrative will move negative, since George tends to ignore them, in the interest of the economy, of course. It’s almost as though he is taking the, ‘meeja’ on, I hope so. :-)

  3. Good early evening.


    I agree about Ed today, I hope that is not partisan.

    I also thought it was interesting to see the Govt Front Bench.

    I noticed their laughs at the Wallace joke by the Chancellor.

    The Deficit figures seem to be a surprise.


    The rule of Law was extended to having civil rights laws in the North of Ireland, including the franchise. Heath insisted on their implementation, which contributed to his 1974 fall from power- his party would have been the largest in the House after the Feb 28 1974 Election if he had not alienated the Unionists.

  4. THE REAL HOWARD………Quite, it’s refreshing to have a Chancellor brave enough to stand up to the overpaid twerps at the Beeb, et al, and principled enough to do what’s right, rather than what suits tomorrow’s headlines. Labour spin doctors must be cringing, having advised their man to put up a populist response for a few cheap headlines. :-)

  5. Speaking (typing) as one who was 65 last June and in consequence has a personal allowance next tax year of £10500, I am well pleased with this budget. My allowance will be matched by everyone else quite soon and I will no longer be a special case. Why should I be ? Being 65 does not cost me any more to live than when I was 30, further, I am about to get £5.30 per week pay rise on my state pension, plus lifts in the GMP element of an occupational scheme. I have known Ros Altman for many years, she is doing a job of work which requires her her to “stick up for pensioners” and bad mouth any government (she is no friend of Labour) who does not grant OAP’s £2000 per month, therefore her opinion is as valid as Bob

  6. Chris Lane:

    “I agree about Ed today, I hope that is not partisan.”

    Surely one of the signs of the apocalypse.

  7. A thought occurred to me. Assuming one of the key objectives of this (and any) government is to reduce unemployment/increase employment, and increase the tax take, what effect of the increase in allowances will this have with the aims to increase part-time jobs, apprenticeships, and the like?

    I presume these people will have zero tax for the most part. If these people were not claimants, there’s not change to the deficit. I suppose indirect taxation will increase though.

  8. Typo: ‘no change to the deficit’.

  9. Paul – you may think that about EM’s performance, which I saw as well, but i could not possibly comment.

    CB the back of fag packet policy to show LD 2010 conference we all in this together is a mess as others have said.

  10. @Ken.

    Who cares about the polls now, it’s how they vote in 2015 that matters. The Labour lead will probably increase a bit more and no doubt a lot of seats will be lost in May but as long as he sticks to his principles i look forward to a proper Conservative government in 2015.

  11. THE REAL HOWARD…….A real prospect, given the current strategy, and I’m sure George has a few surprises for us yet. The underlying trend for the UK is very positive, IMO. It’s been a good day for the realist party. :-)

  12. THE OTHER HOWARD……..Apologies for mishandling you, I don’t know where I got THE REAL HOWARD from. :-)

  13. @ Statgeek

    Part-timers & apprentices? Most were already below the tax threshold. There’s nothing in this budget for them.

    I’m left-wing on economic issues simply because I’m a libertarian – I would be a free-marketeer if the economic free-market worked in the same way that a ‘free market of ideas’ worked.

    I’m not necessarily against market-based economics – I’d be for a completely free-market if, for example, it were a free market of co-operatives.
    Or if we had a decent negative income tax, so those at the bottom could make employment and consumer choices without market coercion (which also is a very Friedmanite idea).
    And it’s why I’m for anti-trust/etc legislation – to protect small businesses from market coercion from larger businesses.

    I’m also a panarchist so ultimately I’m for a free market of governments too – for non-geographical government, we should have non-geographical states.
    So the federal government would handle defence, judiciary, etc and then each person would be free to choose which “state”/panarch they belong to.
    So a socialist, who chooses to be a “socialist citizen” would pay their federal taxes and then their “socialist taxes”, whereas a right-wing libertarian would de facto pay their federal taxes only (their “state”/panarch would set taxes at 0%).
    Then within that federal system, each government would compete for citizens.

    So to put it another way – it’s not that simple. ;)

  15. @ Ken

    Labour spin doctors must be cringing, having advised their man to put up a populist response for a few cheap headlines.
    Au contraire, even Tory supporting ‘talking heads’ are saying Ed’s speech was ‘a belter’.

  16. Also – to be on topic –
    I’ll be very, very surprised if the budget doesn’t hurt Tory VI and help Labour’s – especially after the ‘Granny Tax’ narrative that’s been going around.

    But, I agree with Other Howard – if Labour can’t sustain it over the next few years, then it won’t matter, in 2015, what lead they get over the next few days/weeks.

  17. @ Tinged

    Then within that federal system, each government would compete for citizens.
    Or compete not to have the citizens they don’t want.

    I think you must have written your comment with tongue firmly in cheek. If not, it is one of the most divisive ideas which I have ever read ..a world underclass, citizens of nowhere, wanted by nobody, true outcasts. It is an appalling idea to anybody who is(or tries to be) a social democrat.

  18. Jim Jam

    Isn’t it rather expensive to do sums on the back of a fag packet now?

  19. Amber,
    I’m less cynical than you – if there really are that many social democrats out there, they’ll accept this ‘underclass’ with open arms.

    But I don’t think we’ll get very far with this –
    It’s the First International all over again. You’re taking the side of Marx, I’m taking the side of Bakunin. ;)

  20. AMBER STAR………….That’s my point. :-)

  21. Seems like a very confused budget by Osborne

    Ed`s squeezed middle looks good today

  22. Alan – but George and his friends can afford it.

  23. @ Tinged

    I’m less cynical than you – if there really are that many social democrats out there, they’ll accept this ‘underclass’ with open arms.
    With all due respect, that doesn’t make sense.

    As far as I’m concerned, Social Democracy is predicated on citizenship. You are a citizen of your birth state, regardless of whether your governments &/or fellow citizens want you or not. So it’s not a question of ‘accepting’ fellow citizens which others reject; it’s not in my gift to give or deny them citizenship. They are citizens, whether I like them or not.

  24. While the continuing to implement a policy which will take many out of income tax altogether was no surprise, it was still welcome. Many of my colleagues would like to see the threshold start at £12, 500 as soon as possible. I am sure that when I was young my mum and dad and those of many of my pals paid no or little income tax. We also need to see the NI, a horrible stealth tax which has risen significantly in recent years reduced to a sensible level perhaps 5% for all, rather than current 12% reducing to 2%. This would be fair if the current threshold for 40% taxpayers was also raised significantly. Likewise employers’ contribiutions should be reduced from 12% to 5%.

    Corporation tax reduction will be popular with business, although small business will be disappointed that after years of a chancellor that favoured both the public sector and big business over the small business person that more has not been done to help these businesses thrive; however I anticipate that future budgets will address this point.

  25. ‘@JIM JAM
    Miliband and Harman can also afford it, so can their friends and family. If you wish to persist in the 1920’s class war so beloved of your party, choose leaders from working class backgrounds like you did back in the day.

  26. @ Henry

    I am sure that when I was young my mum and dad and those of many of my pals paid no or little income tax.
    That’s because corporations & the wealthy were paying lots & lots of tax.

  27. @HENRY
    Many of my colleagues would like to see the threshold start at £12, 500 as soon as possible.

    Bravo Henry, so would many of my colleagues, I am sure it will happen. When it does this “robbing pensioners” horlicks will be well and truly put to bed. Why should I receive a greater level of tax free income than a single parent ? Laws interview today excellent.

    Okay – let’s put it another way.
    Let’s say that the UK federalises fully – the federal government is a minarchist government, which handles defence, etc.
    So let’s say that England decides to continue as a high-tax welfare state and Scotland decides to be a low-tax state without a welfare system.

    People would then, within the UK, have a choice – they could live in England (with welfare state) or Scottish (without). [More likely it would be opposite, but this is just an example].
    But whether you were a Scottish or English citizen, it wouldn’t deny your Union-citizenship.

    With me up to this point?

    Essentially what I’m saying is that this system would be unfair as it would be a geographically bound system.
    If I were a citizen of England but I happened to live in Scotland, I would be robbed of the welfare state and be forced to pay Scottish-tax (or vice-versa, a Scot in England).

    But since Welfare is non-geographical (thanks to advances in banking and communication technology), there’s no reason an English-citizen living in Scotland couldn’t pay English-tax but not Scottish-tax and enjoy the English-Welfare system.
    This still doesn’t deny your Union-citizenship.

    Again, following me?

    So, if we abstract out the non-geographical state functions so they aren’t bound by geography, then we might as well do one better and abolish the concept of the geographic state.
    That way, a ‘Scottish’ citizen could live in England and enjoy the ‘Scottish-Welfare’ system, a monarchist could live under the ‘Kingdom of Windsor’, a socialist could live under the ‘Free Socialist Republic of Great Britain’, etc

    Get it?

  29. @amber
    I was a child in the 50’s and working men earning £11 or £12 per week most certainly paid tax, relatively, probably as much as a £25000 PA workers pay now.
    High earners were well and truly “cured” of Mr Attlee and
    Sir Stafford, with their 19shillings and 6pence in the pound.

  30. It was an open goal.

    And Ed thumped it into the back of the net.

    The whole coalition front bench looked so embarrassed.

    It was an absolutely calamitous budget for the Tories as the opinion polls will soon show.

    The evidence for cutting the 50% rate was very weak indeed. They clearly didn’t want to give it another year because then it would have been clear it was bringing in piles of cash. The rich would have really started to squeal.

  31. tingedfringe

    “I can’t see Osborne doing something, at this point, which would be politically damaging to the Tories unless they’re playing the long-game and once the economy recovers, their message will be ‘The pain was worth it’… ”

    That could only be the case if they believed their own propagada. If true, they and the rest of us certainly are “all in it together” and what we are “in” is probably automderated.

  32. TingedFringe

    Would all these different “states” have a different currency?

    If not, sign me up as a state of one and pass the cheque book!

  33. @ian anthony james
    You may think that, you may very well think that, indeed you doubtless hope and pray that. However, I think you are wrong. We are in the right place to find out.
    I would wait to see what happens before I say “Osbourn Fantastic” and other silly partisan comments to match yours.

  34. @ Tinged

    Get it?
    No actually, I don’t.

    Because you are ignoring the fact of ‘resources’ which are geographic in nature. Therefore, I will choose to physically live here, where lots of infrastructure exists & we have plenty of water, but be a citizen of whichever state seeks to attract me by having the lowest taxes or citizen input in the form of effort (if all this is predicated on ‘cashless’ societies where the citizen input is effort rather than money).

    You are basically hard-wiring one lamentable aspect of the current global capitalist system which we have – which allows those with wealth to take advantage of infrastructure which they neither paid for nor expended any effort on, then elect to be ‘somewhere else’ when the bill arrives.

  35. @ Tinged

    from Alan:
    Would all these different “states” have a different currency?
    If not, sign me up as a state of one and pass the cheque book!
    There you go. Alan will ignore all those governments which are competing to have him as a ‘citizen’.

    Alan will live here & choose to be a citizen of nowhere until the resources run out &/or the infra-structure collapses. That can be somebody else’s problem.

  36. I see we will now see pension age rise automatically in line with increased life expectancy. Will it go the other way too?

  37. @ Roly

    I was a child in the 50?s and working men earning £11 or £12 per week most certainly paid tax, relatively, probably as much as a £25000 PA workers pay now.
    I think you are probably correct. Henry was either speaking of a different time, or he was mistaken. My parents & grandparents almost certainly paid tax at least the same rate as we do today, probably more on income but less on VAT (because I think we didn’t have VAT back then).

  38. The interviews on tv news were interesting:-

    Two teachers “over the moon” at keeping Child Allowance & paying less Income Tax……………the biggest giveaway ( £3bn pa+) …….public sector workers happy………..squeezed middle unsqueezed a bit ( quite a bit actually)

    Votes in this for the Government ?-could be.

    One Pensioner-pissed off………..the biggest clawback ( £1.5bn pa)…..better off pensioners ( £10k to £24k)see PAs frozen till everyone else catches up.

    Votes to Labour……….from Conservative inclined demographic ?….I doubt it.

    Then there’s the top rate of IT reduction. A gift of a headline to EM. So GO must REALLY believe that it currently militates against growth-net of the tax collected.

    As sir Humphry might say-very brave Minister……..a vote loser?——-I reckon so………I think it was a mistake because it takes the spotlight off the stamp duty & pension relief cap & additional bank levy

    Still-we will see when AW spells it out for us.

    :-) .

  39. @ Nick P

    I see we will now see pension age rise automatically in line with increased life expectancy. Will it go the other way too?
    And will the pension age be regionalized, like welfare & public sector pay? Can I live in Edinburgh but move to Glasgow where life expectancy is lower & begin drawing my state pension when I am 55? Will I be deterred from doing this because pension payments will also be regionalized? It is simply all too much!

    I am beginning to believe I have fallen down a rabbit hole & this week isn’t really happening…

  40. Roly – you do realise I was talking about George being able to buy fags so he could have packets to work out his CB policy on.

    We will all have our own views about the various measures fairness, you may notice I have not given mine.

    My only comment on the budget measures has been about the tax system now being used to execute the CB taper. When the policy was first announced after being devised on the metaphorical fag packet; when objections were raised one of the main defences was that this is simple.

    Now we will have a complex method that will involve code changes etc. I actually agree with the principle of higher earners not getting CB but think this measure is incoherent and too anomalous, as another poster says a couple with joint income of £100k will get in full but not single earner family with a £60k earner.

    BTW – my Dad who is 75 in March thinks age related tax allowances are a nonsense and I tend to agree. Of course the opposition will make a point of attacking but like MIRAS abolition (attacked by the cons at the time) Labour will not promise to reverse in their 2015 mainifesto.
    A non-issue at the GE.

    Okay – let’s try again.
    Under the federal system in the US, what currency does each state use? Answer – the shared currency of the US dollar.
    A minarchist federal government would be responsible for the currency of the Union, because it is a public good. Simple.

    As far as infrastructure goes – it would depend on the scale of the infrastructure.
    I’m not talking about abolishing the ‘national’ (union) government or about abolishing local government – you’d still have those.
    So roads, for example, could either be handled by the national government or the local governments – depending on which way we established the constitution.

    So you, living in a certain area, would pay both your union-taxes and your local-taxes – the national government would handle defence, much like it would in a federal UK.
    Your local government would handle local-geographical systems, much like it would under a federal UK.
    I’m not talking about abolishing the state – that would be anarchism. I’m talking about federalising the state in to it’s logical units.

    So things like defence would be handled by the national (union) government, because that is clearly a public good. You would pay federal tax to pay for this and elect a federal government.
    You would also have local government, which would handle local public goods – you would pay local/council tax and elect a local government.

    Then each ‘state’ government would be non-geographical and handle all other aspects of government – such as welfare.
    You would choose which government you belong to and pay taxes to that government (while still paying local and federal tax).
    Much like someone in the US will pay federal, state and municipal taxes.

    Is that cleared up enough now?

  42. Tinged Fringe

    So if I elected to join the “state of Alan” of which I was the only member, I could set my own tax rates, (as well as my own salary as “Supreme Leader”), and if I ran a deficit I could borrow on the international market using the federal entities credit rating to cover it?

  43. ALAN
    In a federal system, should state governments be allowed to run debt-fuelled deficits based on their federal government’s credit rating?
    Seems to be an argument about federalism in general, rather than my utopian federal system specifically.

  44. @ Tinged

    Is that cleared up enough now?
    No. Because welfare is a long-term comittment – so how can governments compete for citizens based on their welfare policy unless each citizen opts in/out as soon as they reach a certain age? And the government administering the welfare option which I select at that time cannot change it during my lifetime? So it’s like a personal insurance policy.

    And if welfare is a lifetime, personal ‘pot’, who will pay for the people who cannot contribute?

    And if they can change it, how is that any fairer/ different to what we have now?

    If the ‘offering’ government cannot change their ‘offer’ how will they attract new citizens?

    But if they cannot change their welfare offer are they really a government? Aren’t they just administrators of an immutable pension/ welfare system. My government of choice is Standard Life, kind of thing?

    Sorry to be obtuse – but I really don’t ‘get’ it. :-(

  45. Jim Jam

    While I agree the CB changes do create anomalies, the salaries at which these anomalies take place are so high that it’s not going to be a real issue. It’s not elegant but any elegant solutions involving means testing of couples would cost more than the savings

    It’s a reasonable balance between fairness and savings. The single earner at 80k already pays more income tax than a dual income family both at 40k but people accept it. People on such incomes will accept this as well.

  46. 3 + years of polls, that’s about another thousand polls to deliberate over until the next election. AW constantly reminds us not to get too excited by the immediate, so, I will view the next few polls in the relative context……….I will enjoy my side’s goals, but I will reserve my celebrations for the final whistle. :-)

  47. The link below is well worth exploring by anyone tempted to buy Osborne’s myths about the cut in the 50p tax rate and much else.

    I’ll believe Osborne’s claims to be tackling tax avoidance when Richard Murphy is found a post as a government Treasury minister, in the style of Digby Jones. Now that really would worry a lot of corporate accountants. But it’s much more likely to be under a future government than this one.

  48. Amber,
    Much like any geographic nation state, there would be a citizenship agreement between citizen and state.

    So if I moved to France, I would be subject to the welfare system of France – if they required a certain level of input (years worked, for example) before I could claim a pension, that would be their decision. But the government could change it’s welfare policy at any time.
    Much like living in England would be the same.

    So of course the government can change it’s welfare policy – whether that government is dictatorial or democratic.

  49. Amber Stare

    Welfare? Us here in the state of Alan, don’t need welfare, we can proudly boast a 100% employment level!

    Obviously you are right, if people can choose a different set of “rules” at will:

    Someone who is unemployed will choose the most generous out of work system,

    He finds a low paid job, he moves to a state that offers him the best benefits/tax ratio possible.

    He gets a promotion a few years later, he moves to a much lower tax state where healthcare is expected to be taken privately.

    He becomes CEO, he moves to a 0% tax, everyone looks after themselves for everything “state”.

    Clearly without anyone at the top, the lowest “states” would rely on massive borrowing to sustain themselves. It sounds a bit like the Eurozone really!

  50. PHIL

    What on earth makes you think that Murphy is an objective voice?

    Haven’t you read his list of funding sources?

    If you want a rational commentary on Murphy’s stuff I recommend :-

    FCA blog

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