Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor poll is now out in the Evening Standard (which seems to have become its new home after living at Reuters for 18 months or so). Topline figures, with changes from last month, are CON 33%(-2), LAB 43%(+5), LDEM 9%(-3).

It’s a big shift towards Labour, but this is probably something of a reversion to the mean after a bit of an outlier last month when MORI showed a much smaller Labour lead than most other companies. The 9 points for the Lib Dems is the lowest that MORI have shown for a year.


279 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 33, LAB 43, LDEM 9”

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  1. To put things in perspective, the unemployment figures are still 170,000 more than in May 2010. There’s a long way to go before we even start to improve on the 2010 position.

    NickP: you have to explain why the perfect storm will actually result in the coalition breaking up. LDs to pull out? Hardly.

  2. @ NICKP

    Peter Kellner may think that, but I think we won’t get anywhere near 2015 before an election and Labour will win with a big majority.

    Perfect storm brewing of levinson, cuts, austerity and no growth and borders, with aa large dose of unfairness mixed in.

    Labour in next May.

    _______

    In fairness Nick you did say KL would win in london :)

  3. BLUEBOB

    @”In fairness Nick you did say KL would win in london ”

    Yes indeedy !

    I’m hanging on to NickP’s every word for that very reason :-)

  4. Ken was second, wasn’t he?

  5. “@bluebob

    Very pleasing news with regards to unemployment, If we can get a few more good news stories like these it will then become interesting to see any effect on VI

    If no movement is seen, well then we are in trouble. ”

    Hope it is moving in the right direction. However, it will interesting to see how this reduction came about. Lets hope that businesses are creating jobs that are lasting and not just temporary roles that have been created.

    Many companies take on people up to March on a temporary basis, so they can be trained up, to cover permanent staff who have annual leave May to September. Some of these roles then reduce from September.

    I note that some UK companies are starting to bring back manufacturing jobs from China and other cheaper labour markets, as the cost differential has narrowed. If this continues, we could start to see an increase in jobs, providing the UK maintains a competitive exchange rate. The spanner in the works is the Eurozone weakness as, this could cause sterling to rise.

  6. @ Nick P

    Regarding Ken, he came much closer to beating Boris than the polling suggested. I’m wondering: Will he stand as an MP & maybe even be in the Labour cabinet?
    :-)

  7. @ NICKP

    Ken was second, wasn’t he?

    Unless coming second is now classed as winning i would still say you got it wrong :)

    @ R HUCKLE

    Yes the Eurozone, i feel all that has happened so far will be just a side show of what is to come.

    It will end badly for many im afraid, just how much it affects us is still unkown but we have to be in a better position than any other country currently in the Eurozone.

    So you could say in the near future the UK will be the best and safest place in europe :)

  8. I don’t know about Ken. He’s his own man.

    What will force an early election? Or what could?

    Home Secretary resigns. Hunt sacked. NHS in trouble. Back benchers agitating about Europe. Ex-NI staff start to go to jail and/or squeal.

    An issue which the PM decides to force through to regain his backbenchers but the LDs won’t support?

    Can we think of such an issue? Perhaps Europe related?

  9. @ Nick

    Home Secretary resigns. Hunt sacked. NHS in trouble. Back benchers agitating about Europe. Ex-NI staff start to go to jail and/or squeal.

    Only the NI issue could cause a collapse as far as im concerned.

    It would have to be along the lines of

    “David Cameron and Rebecca Brooks go naked horse riding together whilst buying drugs from a dealer in south london” type of revelation.

    Not very likely is it.

  10. @ Bluebob

    “So you could say in the near future the UK will be the best and safest place in Europe :) ”

    Not really, as the situation is really complex. 50% of the UK’s trade is still with Eurozone countries, with only 3% with China. The problem with the collapse of the Eurozone, is that sterling could rise in value significantly and our exports to the EU, as well as elsewhere could be screwed. The UK is used by some global companies, as a base for doing trade with Europe. If Europe is in a mess, some could bailout and move elsewhere.

    I would not profess to be an economic expert, but I think the mess in Europe is potentially very damaging to UK interests. A safe haven, but at what cost.

  11. @NickP

    There are many issues that could force an early election. Europe isn’t one of them. It may be an issue that the Lib Dems feel strongly about, but that is the one area where public opinion looks to be overwhelmingly behind the Conservative position. The Lib Dems must know picking a fight over this to the point where it forces an early election would be political suicide.

    I suppose that the Conservatives might try to end the coalition over the Lib Dems refusing to support an anti EU-Bill. But as this would put the Conservatives in breach of the coalition agreement rather than the Lib Dems, and the likely outcome would be either a general election with large Labour gains, or a Lib/Lab/Nat coalition without an election, I can’t see them being serious about that.

  12. Unemployment figures good for the Tories…What is especially good is it has fallen in areas where there are lots of marginals and rose in the North and South where the safe seats are.

    The NI issue could easily collapse the government if it evidence of collusion or corruption regarding BSkyb emerges…It is a coalition government after all and Lib Dems have voted with Labour against Murdoch in the select committee verdict

  13. Good point Smukesh, about the areas where unemployment has fallen.

    The only way i can see a early election coming is if two things happen :

    Actually after thinking more on it i can only think of NI sleaze with goverment involvement.

    The other options would be suicide for one of the parties so would not happen.

  14. nickp

    What will force an early election? Or what could?

    Well by definition we’re all election freaks, but it does have to be pointed out that a change of government can happen without an election. The coalition can split either by decision of the Lib Dem leadership or due to pressure from the grassroots. Alternatively the Conservatives could change leadership and/or split.

    Given current polling, neither Party should be very keen for an immediate election, so a minority Conservative government could continue, indeed if the polls became closer and more uncertain, you could even end up with a minority Labour one.

    To actually get an election you’d either have to have to get both Labour and Tories agree to and vote for it or (much more likely) a government to lose a vote of confidence. If then no other administration is able to be confirmed in office with in 14 days, it’s election time. But even that requires either complete Parliamentary chaos or a majority of MPs who actually want an election but don’t agree on anything else.

    So effectively, apart from HoC breakdown, the only way you can get an election is when a combination of Parties or groups have a majority but all believe they will improve their numbers in an election. This isn’t impossible, but it requires either unusual circumstances or a lot of self-delusion.

    bluebob

    It would have to be along the lines of

    “David Cameron and Rebecca Brooks go naked horse riding together whilst buying drugs from a dealer in south london” type of revelation.

    Don’t be ridiculous. South London?. Posh peope have their dealers come to them (or their staff).

  15. Onr left field idea for the Euro could be to allow the Greeks to leave for a fixed time say five years to allow them to rebase their economy and return to the Euro at the prevailing rate at the fixed date or at a rate of 1.4 Euros to the Greek Euro if the rate is higher than 1.40.

    This could have the effect of a 40% devaluation and put a base under the currency hence save the possibility of a complete run on the banks.

    Once they return to the Euro they would have cost base which reflects the true nature of their economy and hence be able to compete.

    The Euro would be saved andthete is a blueprint for others to follow. Allowing a planned devaluation in those economies, while protecting the Euro at the same time.

  16. Before anyone says anything more about the changes in unemployment and what good/bad news it is, can you go back to Chris Neville-Smith’s comment on the previous page and read the Guardian piece by Ben Goldacre he references? Alternatively you can read it on Goldacre’s own blog here:

    http://www.badscience.net/2011/08/untitled-1/

    which does have the advantage you don’t have to read the comments on the G’s website afterwards and lose all faith in humanity (and it isn’t automodded)

    The point is that unemployment figures are based not on a complete survey but on sampling, just as an opinion poll is. Now like Chris I couldn’t find the Margin of Error for this month on the ONS site before I lost the will to live, but the article gives one for last August’s survey that is +/- 87,000 and unless they’ve changed their methods much it shouldn’t be much different today.

    Now the MoE on say last night’s Labour poll percentage of 43% is around 2.3 points. If the poll tonight shows it has gone to 42% or 44% most of us would regard it as just normal statistical variation of absolutely no significance. Yet a change of 45,000 in unemployment is exactly the same thing. true it’s more likely than not there is some sort of slight drop, but not much more likely than not and really should be ignored.

    And whatever you do, please don’t do Scottish cross-breaks on it. :(

  17. I haven’t checked the records history but I would hazard a guess that unemployment drops in late March early April every year.I know it does in my town.It’s also true to say that unemployment rises every year around September.
    The clue is in the sentence ” Lowest unemployment since last Summer” .

  18. It’s also true to say that these are very likely part time short term ( Seasonal ) jobs.

  19. Spring/Summer seasonal jobs help to reduce unemployment stats, especially in seaside & tourist areas. IIRC under Mrs T many tweaks were devised to reduce the stats.

    One tweak was that, if a half-time job was lost, it counted as just that – half a job. But if a half-time job was created it counted as a whole job. Labour continued these tweaks so their figures also had to be treated with caution. I don’t know what the current practices so I would be happy to hear from someone who is more clued up than I am.

  20. MK was interesting today at the BoE Inflation Report Q&A session.

    I was struck by his clear statement that whilst UK Banks have a Liquidity problem ( which BoE is addressing with QE), they do not now have a Solvency problem-unlike EZ Banks.
    He left questioners in no doubt that whilst he acknowledged ECB’s “heroic” efforts to provide liquidity, the key problem is one of solvency, which has not been addressed.

    He also said that the “interesting” economic question was not whether Ez loses membership , but how it corrects imbalances in Competitiveness& Trade which have produced the huge Debtor Creditor imbalances.

    It will be interesting to see if Hollande pushes his EuroBond idea, with the implicit mutualisation of EZ Debt & all that implies for Germany.

    What will Merkel’s response be today.

    I noted in PMQs today that EM tried to lead DC into a “have you talked to Hollande about EU growth plans yet” debate.
    DC responded with a from Hollande that more spending was not the only way. In the Merkel/Hollande Press Conference, Merkel cautioned that the two of them needed to define what they mean by a “growth plan”.

    If this PMQ salvo was an initial indicator that EM is going to pin his attack to a “too deep/too fast-watch Hollande spend EU out of recession” tactic, I wonder if Hollande & Merkel will disappoint from Ed’s point of view.?

  21. DaveM

    Does anybody know the actual cost of changing your currency in terms of the production and issue of new notes and coinage, changes to automated vending products, signage etc etc.

    It’s got be immense, hasn’t it, although I can see its job creation potential!

  22. CROSSBAT11

    @”job creation potential!”

    If it happens-hopefully at DeLaRue , the world’s largest commercial currency printer.

  23. Crossbat –

    Go back and look at news stories from the switch to the Euro (e.g, here’s estimates of what people think it cost the Netherlands:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1664312.stm

  24. The rescue by Spain of Bankia is astonishing.

    Bankia, formed in 2010 from a merger of sevenregional savings banks led by Caja Madrid, has the most exposure to Spanish real estate among the nation’s banks.
    The company turned to the stock market only last July to raise capital..

    The IPO attracted about 347,000small investors on a generous dividend promise.

    The issue price was 3.75 euros.

    The Spanish State has bought it out & shareprice is around 1.80 euros-a loss of 50% in a year , costing the IPO subscribers$ 2 bn

    I read the other day that the Greek Stck Market has declined by 90% !!.

    We hear a lot about Bank losses-but not so much about the people bearing them-the shareholders.

    Not all are large institutional investors.

  25. @Crossbat11

    A cheaper way would be an overprint on existing Euro bills – existing technology would cope (and anyone who wanted to overpay by using real Euros would be free to).

  26. The statistics hide individual gains and losses of course. Thinking back to before the time of the article cited by Anthony, I saw my large savings in NL rise from a rate of 60p for a euro to last year at 90p, and that as well as the interest I received, of course lower due to EU’s lower inflation .

    Now in the last months my euros have shrunk from 90p to 80p but clearly I am well up. That is only true if the euros are to be spent over here of course..

    When we plan our holidays abroad, we only go to EU countries. There is no need to go anywhere else and I do not need to convert currency of course. Also I can look at prices of goods and air fares, etc, and if they are favourable in euros, then I buy the products accordingly.

    The ordinary chap cannot speculate in currency (or anything else really). You just have to float on the tide.

    It must be exactly the same for a US resident. It’s great to travel across a continent with just a 50 euro note and a cash card in your pocket. Same for Americans.

  27. Good Evening All.
    Gorgeous day here.

    The last thing we need is a euro chaos.

    I really hope that Mrs Brooks is treated with true justice by the media at this time, and that her political and private friends are loyal at this time.

  28. smukesh

    “Unemployment figures good for the Tories…What is especially good is it has fallen in areas where there are lots of marginals and rose in the North and South where the safe seats are.”

    But the biggest regional fall in the data was in Yorkshire and Humberside which is not marginal territory: at least no more than any other region!

    In any case the rise is all accounted for by PT- otherwise known as ‘underemployment’.

    FT jobs fell gain. That is not good for the government.

    Neither is dragooning Mervyn King into being a Osborne mouthpiece/ cheerleader: which- whether he actually is or not- he certainly sounded like today!

  29. ‘had done’ sorry (and it is in moderation for inexplicable reasons as I write).

  30. Yes Rob, i found his delivery somewhat less than professional. What was it? ‘eurozone tearing itself apart’, gosh I bet they are quaking over there.

  31. ROB

    @”Neither is dragooning Mervyn King into being a Osborne mouthpiece”

    Are you seriously suggesting that MK was told what to say by GO -and said it ?

    If so-which bit?

  32. “But the lesson at the heart of Sir Mervyn’s lecture is a useful one for UK policymakers. They tend to think that the messy survival of the euro would always be better for the UK than messy euro exits.

    But that could very easily be wrong.”

    Steph.Flanders.

    GO mouthpiece ?

  33. HOWARD

    @” What was it? ‘eurozone tearing itself apart’, gosh I bet they are quaking over there.”

    Don’t you think they have been quaking since the Greek people refused to vote ina government?

    And don’t you think the quaking has reached fever pitch at the prospect of a Neo Communist Greek Government who will decline to accede to EU/IMF conditions for providing the money it needs to pay it’s state salaries?

  34. Ah, I have just tried a few words and one of them triggers it. They were ‘s*nk, eu*o, d*llar, cas*no, and v*yeur’.

  35. Ah, so it is one of them, my money is on ‘v*yeur’.

  36. Colin

    I’m not sure I understand what you are asking. Apols.

    I am in touch (some language ability) with the northern states and their press, and my genreal impression is that, unlike UK government, they have a deep feeling of wishing to be solid with the south, but are insisting on budgetary discipline. They are however reasonably relaxed that should hjose states stick their head in the sand, then they should leave. It’s up to tem, as it indeed it will be up to us one day.

    It will of course be something to deal with when the euro rises again as a result of the ne’er do wells leaving.

    That’s what I get from northern Europe.

  37. More apologies for typos,Ii pressed enter before reviewing.

  38. @Smukesh – “Unemployment figures good for the Tories…What is especially good is it has fallen in areas where there are lots of marginals and rose in the North and South where the safe seats are.”

    Bit of an odd analysis there if you don’t mind me saying so. Even if it was correct, if Tories think that protecting their heartlands is a valid political strategy, then they should remember that they failed to win in 2010 because their heartlands just weren’t enough.

    Unless and until the Tories can demonstrate 4 or 5 seats in Scotland, a similar number of new gains in the north, and make better progress in London and other urban areas, then they can forget any notions of winning a majority. They haven’t won a working majority since 1987. I really don’t see any reasons why they should start winning one now.

  39. I wonder if this will help. I’m listening to Faisal Islam on channel 4 who is echoing the PM’s apparent ‘advice’ that it is up to the northern states to bail out the Pigs. Well, their attitude is that if UK thinks that it is suffering from the southern problem then it can join in doing something about it, as can any other state that thinks the problem is impacting their state. The euro currency is not the root of the southern states’s problems. Their problems are that they borrowed money they had no hope of servicing. That would have been the same in any currency.

    I think that sums up the northern attitude and I can’t really explain it better.

    I should be annoyed if the south left for the reasons I mentioned earlier. Mind you, holidays would be as cheap as they were under Franco and Salazar and s*d the currency conversion costs. How’s that for a parochial take?

  40. Harsh words from Merv King today, although for much of his talk I thought I was listening to the weather forecast, albeit with a pretty dull delivery.

    C4 are reporting that 1.2B euros in cash have been withdrawn from Greek banks on Monday and Tuesday and the central bank has stopped supporting banks. We’re now seeing the folly of the political game that Merkel has tried to play.

    Some ferociously bright German master strategist thought it would be wizard to spook the Greek voters by beginning to suggest that they would leave the Euro if they didn’t cough up. This has broken the one support left for Greece – namely the notion that no one would ever be allowed to leave the Euro. Markets now realise that this could happen, because the German’s said so, and are beginning to act accordingly.

    Of all the delusional games the Eurozone leaders have played for the last three years, this probably takes the biscuit.

    I do sometimes wonder quite how such a crop of people can rise to the summit of politics in their respective nations. It’s astonishing how at every single stage of this crisis, the EZ leaders have somehow managed to fail to find a solution that has the remotest chance of working.

  41. @Howard – “The euro currency is not the root of the southern states’s problems. Their problems are that they borrowed money they had no hope of servicing. That would have been the same in any currency.”

    I’m afraid that’s wrong. If the southern states had retained their own currencies, markets would have punished them long ago. Excess credit would have led to inflationary bubbles, leading to interest rate rises, unemployment, reduction in credit etc, with currency valuations wobbling all over the place as markets took a view on the financial capabilities of each nation.

    The idea that the Euro plays no part in this crisis is fanciful. It is the design of the system that permitted such enormous bubbles to be funded way after any rational system should have allowed markets to intervene.

    It isn’t the only cause by any means. Cheap goods from China and a reluctance to tackle asset bubbles are also prime candidates, but the Euro has a big influence on these factors also in the struggling nations. The southern states have suffered for far too long for artificially depressed interest rates in a German dominated system.

  42. HOWARD

    @The euro currency is not the root of the southern states’s problems. Their problems are that they borrowed money they had no hope of servicing. That would have been the same in any currency.”

    But it is part of it Howard.

    If they had monetary sovereignty & their own currency, they could devalue .

    Of course , over time, the market will build the risk of everlasting deficits & repeat devaluations into lending rates.

    But to say that the euro is not a factor in EZ periphery indebted countries is to ignore the central thrust of economic criticism of the euro project:- It was & is a monetary union without fiscal union & therefore without fiscal control.
    It is a Central Bank without a Treasury . A Central Bank without a country.

    So far as your Dutch friends being relaxed about a Greek default-do they understand all the implications?

    I doubt anyone does-but I think MK was right to caution that it’s effects will be felt here.

  43. @ROB SHEFFIELD
    `But the biggest regional fall in the data was in Yorkshire and Humberside which is not marginal territory: at least no more than any other region`

    @ALEC
    `Bit of an odd analysis there if you don’t mind me saying so.

    Perhaps I put it wrongly…Unemployment increased in North East,North West,South West,and by a smaller margin in the South East and fell in the other regions.Labour have an upper hand in the North and Tories in the South along with Lib Dems in the South West.So the decrease in employment in these regions will probably not have as great an effect on winnability of the major parties.
    Whereas the fall in unemployment in the Midlands and Yorkshire may help the Tories if the margins are very close.We are ofcourse a long way from the election.

  44. @ALEC

    “Unless and until the Tories can demonstrate 4 or 5 seats in Scotland, a similar number of new gains in the north, and make better progress in London and other urban areas, then they can forget any notions of winning a majority.”

    Scotland is not worth the effort versus 4 or 5 extra seats in England. That’s the way it is. Everytime a Westminster politician from out of Scotland comes North, the SNP vote share strengthens just a little.

    Easier to get 4 or 5 in England, and hope for 2 or 3 in Scotland.

  45. Turnover of senior civil servants (25% have resigned since May 2010 – in some departments 40%) is reaching epic proportions.

    Ian Watmore who took over one of Gus O’Donnell’s posts – permanent secretary to the cabinet office – has lasted less than five months in the job, and could be the first in a fresh exodus:

    h
    ttp://blogs.channel4.com/gary-gibbon-on-politics/

  46. @PAULCROFT
    `nice to see that, with true, caring, we’re all-in-it-together tory sentiment, unemployment is seen as ok if its in safe seats`

    I am sure everyone wants unemployment down.But if the Tories had to choose four regions for higher unemployment,they probably would choose the safe regions.

  47. @Colin – the Euro is one area that we both seem to agree on.

    @Howard – the other factor that you failed to recognise when blaming the problems on individual states borrowings, rather than the Euro, is the connection between those borrowing transactions and the currency itself.

    As no country can leave the Euro, and a Euro default was unacceptable, lenders in effect assumed they were lending to the Germans, not the Greeks/Portugueuse/Italians etc. The currency enabled the lending to continue, more than just through low interest rates.

  48. As regards the Southern states – the Euro is fundamental to the particular mess that they are in. without it, they would have has to devalue years ago and their level of borrowing would never have grown to this level and they would now be more competitive in Global markets. Euro is absolutely at the root of all of this.

    As regards an event to bring down coalition – I will stick my neck out with the only one with that potential. Coulson’s trial! It may prove a damp squib but has potential to sink both PM and chancellor. That ought to do it

  49. @Anthony W

    Thanks for that link to the article on how much it cost the Dutch to move from the Guilder to the Euro in 2001. The £3.2 billion it cost them 11 years ago must be worth over £4 billion now and I wonder if the Greek banking system could sustain those sort of costs. Wouldn’t it be ironic if they used some of the Franco-German and IMF bail-out money to free themselves from their Eurozone straitjacket? Would that be a case of the Greeks biting the hands that fed it or, as far as the Eurozone and IMF are concerned, a golden handshake worth paying to rid themselves of an unwelcome and non-paying member!?

  50. ALEC

    Yep

    :-)

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