This month’s Ipsos MORI political monitor is out and has topline figures of CON 30%(-2), LAB 41%(-1), LDEM 13%(+2).

Meanwhile this morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline voting intention figures of CON 34%, LAB 43%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 8%.

In both cases the polls are very much in line with each company’s respective recent polling – no sign of a big shift towards Labour.

UPDATE: Quick note – the Green party are on 8% in the MORI poll. It’ll probably be a freak result, given nothing quite that striking has shown up elsewhere, but still worth noting. I don’t have a big database of their past results, but it equals their highest ever score from MORI (they last hit 8 points in 2009 around the European elections and expenses scandal, and in 1989 around the European elections).

49 Responses to “New YouGov and Ipsos MORI polls”

  1. According to Greg Oglaza on your link, the Tories “They have a secret weapon, they say, and his name is Ed Miliband.

    They believe most people voting will not see him as prime ministerial material, a very dangerous assumption, and a strategy that could prove fatally flawed.”

    Fatally flawed, indeed. Are they hoping for a 1992?

  2. Not another Scottish thread!!

  3. @statgeek – fpt

    I’d be more inclined to treat the 6s as an oddity. It is over five weeks since we saw an 8, and nearly 10 weeks since we saw a 7. Apart from the two a fortnight ago I can’t see another 6 since early April. Conversely, we have seen a 14% lead for Labour on Yougov much more recently than that, and half a dozen 12s in the last few weeks, which makes the 13 look not so out of line.

    I agree the next five polls from YouGov will provide a clue as to whether the recent edging up of the Labour lead has levelled off… or some other dynamic kicking in.

  4. I am surprised that with the fluctuations of the Conservative Poll Results we have not seen a corresponding rise in the UKIP Poll. Can anyone explain this?
    Also… How would a potential meltdown of the LibDems affect the overall results in terms of seats at a General Election?

  5. @Anthony W

    Regarding the unexpectedly large average Populus/ICM gap, one explanation is ICM’s 2010 non-voter adjustment could be having more of an impact than is fully apparent from the tables.

    From the first ICM tables you can use the mean turnout weighting for each set of supporters to calculate what the VI shares should be before the 2010 non-voter adjustment. The difference between that result and that in the penultimate table (before the don’t know reallocation) to to gauge the net effect of the 2010 non-voters on those who do express a voting intention,

    Typically when I’ve done that calculation in the past the 2010 non-voters generate a narrowing of the ICM lead by only 2%, rather than the 4% needed to explain the difference with Populus.

    However, what you can’t discern separately is any impact that the non-voter filter may be having subsequently on the final don’t know/refusal reallocation. If the Conservative don’t know/refusals contained a higher % of 2010 voters than the Labour ones, then the reallocation of don’t knows by ICM would have more of an effect on eroding the Labour lead than would the Populus treatment of the same data. In which case, ICM’s non-voter filter would be causing more than a 2% narrowing overall.

    There’s certainly some logic to ICM’s treatment of 2010 non-voters, but there are risks too. If Labour started genuinely to appeal to some of its previously apathetic core support, such that they were more likely to turn out than in 2010, then ICM would be in danger of ignoring and therefore understating the polling impact of that reengagement.

    On the other hand, the above could be overanalysing things. Populus are clearly very volatile (6% followed by 15% – really?) and ICM have relatively small samples. Together with a low frequency of polling, perhaps some of the apparent difference is just down to chance in terms of sampling variation.

  6. So it looks like the Populus poll was probably a bit of an outlier.

  7. @independantchris1

    With the caveat that you should treat everything I say with caution… UKIP voting intention has looked fairly stable for quite a few months now, maybe 10% of the 2010 Con vote has switched to them for the time being. UKIP are planning a new logo/relaunch next year, and hope to attract more serious funding. Perhaps they will attract people who see the party more as a vehicle in itself, rather than something of a pressure group directed at keeping Tory candidates eurosceptic. They will also hope for a Tory MP to defect, giving them a voice in parliament.

    The variablity in the Con voting intention imo is also down to the number of Con 2010 voters who ‘don’t know’, and the percentage of their 2010 vote who say they will vote Labour in any particular poll sample.

    On the effect of a collapse in the LD vote, my guess is that for very one seat Labour gains from LD, Tories gains two from LD, and Lab gains five marginals from Con.

  8. @Anthony

    “…….– no sign of a big shift towards Labour.”

    Not in the very recent polls, admittedly, although Populus might suggest so, but all the polls have picked up a big shift towards Labour since March; a shift that has held firm for over 6 months now.


    “…………They have a secret weapon, they say, and his name is Ed Miliband.”

    It seems fairly clear amongst most of the Tory commentariat, particularly people like Finklestein and Montgomerie, that this is the peg that they’re going to be hanging their electoral hat on. In a closely fought, even contest, likeability of party leaders can prove crucial, but history tells us that if the political tide has gone out for you, and your government is deemed to have failed, then the political capital wrapped up in leadership ratings is worth diddly-squat. Wilson in 70, Callaghan in 79 and Major in 97 spring to mind

    If you ask me, and I understand the politics of it all, the Tories are trying to destabilise Miliband at a time when they may just be fearing that he’s making some political headway. That’s why they are seizing on what, in my view, is highly ambiguous polling data. The more reflective and, dare I say, thoughtful Tory thinkers are more doubtful about investing too much in Miliband’s alleged unelectability. I think, rightly, they are detecting a threadbare and highly dubious electoral strategy in the making.

  9. @NickP – anyone hopig for a rerun of 1992 is really clutching at straws for the following reasons
    1 Major got the same % vote as 87, so it really was a case of voters returning and fearing a change – don’t want to labour te point but Cameron needs to increase his vote and that is very rare.
    2.Dumping Thatcher allowed Majore to be “change-lite”, that can’t happen in a one term government.
    3. Labour’s vote appears to be a very consistant Core 30% plus 10% anti-tory voters who were prepared to support the Lib Dems and now are not. This may decrease slightly as Labour voters where they are a very poor third think a rump Lib Dem party will support Labour and they have no choice, go back to the Lib Dems. But even on a steady as she goes Labour should get a minimum 35-38% of the vote. (which will keep the Tories out)

  10. The big difference was that in 1992 a switch to Labour would have been a seismic and possibly frightening change. You could argue that going back to Labour now, sans-Brown, would feel like the country returning to its natural home. It’s the Tories who appear threatening to the things we want to keep.

  11. Yes I think it’s a mistake to underestimate Miliband or rely too much on his perceived unelectability. I now feel that 1992 and possibly even the whole of the 1980’s was, if not a one-off, something that happens very rarely.

    EM seems a reasonable but not extraordinary candidate for the job of PM, nothing outstandingly bad or good. There’s been plenty of wins in the past for suchlike, often depending on the other main party goofing things up and/or a bad economy, or disunity. It looks as if something of all these things will be a factor at the next election.

    Unless the Conservatives can put some meat on their supposition that EM would be a bad PM, and turn it into a valid argument, then it seems they will be falling back solely on fingers crossed that things get better economically.

  12. @NICKP

    Ed Milliband is not very known at the moment. He didn’t appear at all over the summer and he often lets his spokespeople speak so he is not on the news much. So I am not sure that the polls are very reliable.

    I wonder why Tories think he is a secret weapon? What is it about him that is going to turn so many voters off?

    Regarding 1992 I think 2010 was more like 1992 – as voters gave a party they were not over enthusiastic about a chance – then came the ERM and Omnishambles. If anything this feels more like 1992-97 where the government makes a mistep early on and never recovers.

  13. @SoCalLiberal – fpt

    Thanks for posting the link to polling for the 36th Congressional district California. Raul Ruiz has a decent favourability score, low unfavourability and higher don’t knows. I think I heard that he is getting some decent campaign funds, which in a close contest would make a difference. I’m guessing a big factor will likely be (as in other parts of the country, Texas included) the level of Hispanic voter registration.

    Btw listening to Mitt Romney ramble on for over an hour will take some stamina, I might give it a go later.

    The Guardian has a datablog on the percentages by state of the type of people Romney was taking about (or down)… turns out they are more likely to live in nailed down Romney states like Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and less likely to live in Obama strongholds like Maryland and Massachusetts. Who they vote for, or whether they vote, is a whole other question.


  14. Surely, EM’s unfavourability ratings are already priced into the current polls. Is there some logic behind this tory thinking that I’m missing?

  15. The other big difference between 1992 and now is the Murdoch Press.

    They probably don’t like Milliband much, but how willing will they be to carry out the hatchet job on behalf of Cameron this time?

  16. In Ed Miliband’s case, I think the Tory strategists have mistaken isn’t popular for is unpopular.

    The plan,if you can believe Tim Montgomerie, is to attack Miliband for being pro-immigration (Ed’s a 2G immigrant), soft on crime, a front-man for the Unions & a deficit denying big spender.

    Apparently Osborne will make jelly of Ed M. Well, he said that about Ed Balls during the Libor thing & how did that turn out?

    Apart from economy, the soft on immigration, crime & Unions will all be okay for Ed, IMO. It will help him keep the Liberal left vote which has fled the LibDems!

    So, unless Osborne has sold Tim M a pup & the Tories have a secret strategy, there’s nothing which Labour wouldn’t expect in that list of attacks. Actually, they’re all known factors which I’d say are already priced into the VI. IMO, Osborne will have to raise the ‘threat level’ of these issues as well as attaching Ed to a much wider & deeper, negative public perception of them.

    The economy, it is anybody’s guess how it will eventually play out during an election campaign. Right now, it is a rollercoaster with the oft promised greenshoots usually being followed by disappointing actuals & downward revision of future forecasts. But Labour are still struggling to overhaul the Coalition lead on this, the most important issue.

  17. @Swampmongrel

    “Surely, EM’s unfavourability ratings are already priced into the current polls. Is there some logic behind this tory thinking that I’m missing?”

    I think their view is that the Labour VI is soft and only reflects passing disaffection with the incumbents as opposed to any real enthusiasm for the prospect of a Labour Government. They believe that the polling sub-data is telling them that when voters get into the serious environs of the actual voting booths on General Election day, and ponder on who they want to be their Prime Minister, they’ll cling to nurse through fear of something worse. They think that the polls, particularly the most recent Populus which, on the surface looks disastrous for them, are showing this. The evidence, or so they think, is based on the apparent lack of enthusiasm for Miliband and the respondents supposed preference for a Cameron-led administration when the relevant comparator questions are posed.

    My own view on this is that it is placing an awful lot of faith in Cameron as an electoral asset (his stand-alone polling ratings are dire) whilst, at the same time, assuming that Miliband won’t continue his slow, but sure, improvement in public perception. It all sounds dangerously complacent to me but, then again, I’m not a Tory supporter.

  18. TBH, I think we’re at the stage now where the only thing that can stop a Labour victory is Labour.

    The unfortunate reality is that the cuts the current government want cannot be stopped, only slowed, re-thought or delayed. It might be possible to avoid some cuts with better growth, but there’s no chance that economic growth will generate enough tax revenue to clear the entire deficit.

    The easy temptation Labour succumbed to at the start of the Parliament was to wait and see which cuts were unpopular then oppose them. That has to stop. If they do that at the next election, Jeremy Paxman will tear them to shreds when grilling them for what a Labour government will do.

    It won’t be too hard to come up with a credible plan that is, at worst, preferable to the Coalition one for all those people opposed to cuts on this scale. The danger is that Labour will delay and delay and delay, fearful of upsetting the unions, until when the times comes to spell out their plan they’ll find they haven’t got one.

  19. @Amber Star

    Mark Pack has something on a recent academic study about the millions spent by Lord Ashcroft in marginal constituencies:

    …literature to targeted voters through direct mailings (some 74 million items were sent out between October 2007 and polling day, with 17 million in the last five months before polling day.

    Living in a marginal constituency I lost count, but I do remember two or three (“Dear Billy Bob… signed David Cameron”) in the very last week before polling day. Pack seems confident Ashcroft will be willing to stump up similar sums for the next election.

    Other studies have suggested Labour’s targeting was extremely well focused in 2010, albeit on a smaller budget.


  20. Billy Bob – I am very cautious about whether the effect of Ashcroft’s spending (or probably more importantly, the campaigning plans associations getting the money were made to draw up in exchange for it) can be accurately measured.

    The paper Mark references, and all other attempts at measuring it, are based on comparing seats Ashcroft invested in against those he didn’t. The problem is that this division is not random. Ashcroft picked the seats he thought were the Conservatives’ best bets, and seats that didn’t meet targets for progress saw their funding reduced or dropped… so even if Ashcroft’s actual spending had no effect whatever, we should still expect to find the Tories doing better in those seats, assuming Ashcroft was good at identifying the better bets.

  21. In 1978 Jim Callaghan was more popular than Thatcher with the Public .

    In 1996 John Major Consistently out polled The Tory Party in terms of popularity.

    We all know how those two scenarios played out.

    If the Conservatives best hope is the marginal lead in terms of Prime Ministerialness currently held by Cameron they are doomed.

  22. The Evening Standard majoring on all that Dave vs Ed stuff in the MORI Poll.

    All fine & dandy-but no substitute for a VI lead .

    Perhaps it indicates that DC might come out of a GE campaign better than EM-but that’s a long way off yet.

  23. @Anthony Wells

    Difficult to quantify as the swings varied markedly between >5%, and <5% in various marginals. We can't measure what would have happened without Ashcroft's intervention (in the seats were his intervention was significant and consistent).

    Imo centralised direct mailing and advertising made up for a distinct lack of human resouces (traditional canvassing) in some marginals which the Conservatives did manage to win.

  24. Chris Neville-Smith

    “TBH, I think we’re at the stage now where the only thing that can stop a Labour victory is Labour”

    If not, we are only a few weeks away from that point.

    The slghtest adverse movement in the next few polls in the coming weeks (not months) could be chalenging to the steadinesss of the Tory troops under fire. If a more rightwing, younger and impatient 2010 intake fail that challenge then only an unprecedented and inconceivable economic improvement could save them.


    “In 1996 John Major Consistently out polled The Tory Party in terms of popularity”.

    I think they may soon be needing someone with his experience of conflict resolution, never mind his popularity,

  25. couper2802 @ NICKP

    “I wonder why Tories think [EM] is a secret weapon?”

    Wishful thinking and clutching at straws. Not a reliable indicator.

    They will be OK if DC can learn to walk on water by Christmas. We will know by then.

  26. All the sudden hype about how DC is so much more ‘presidential’ than EM is a nonsense IMO.

    The Tories are overlooking the thing that counts – the x in the box & the last election did not return them as winners & unless things change enormously between now & May 2015, I very much doubt they will win then either.

  27. I note that Clegg “believes there is a group of people that will listen” to his apology on English tuition fees – not for raising them, but for pledging that he wouldn’t.

    The “group” seems likely to be restricted to Coalition supporters, and probably not many of those in his own party!

  28. “The OECD administers its own tests in core subjects for 15-year-olds in 70 different countries every three years. The last results issued in 2010 showed the UK fell from 17th to 25th for reading, 24th to 28th for maths and 14th to 16th in science.!


    That Gove bloke-what does he know eh?

  29. Nick Clegg using a politcal broadcast ahead of Lib Dem conference to apologise about University Tuition Fee increase. In my opinion a mistake to apologise at this late stage, as I think it just keeps the issue alive.

    I can see the Lib Dems VI increasing as the GE nears. Those Labour voters who will vote LD tactically to stop the Tories, will continue to do so. Yes some might waste their vote on Labour or other party, if Labour have no chance of winning, but I think most will vote LD, with a bad taste in their mouths, as they come out of the voting booths.

    But in areas where Labour has a chance, the LD’s will do very badly and the Tories may suffer as a result.

  30. Now that Mr Clegg has apologised over tuition fees, I will be abandoning Labour and once again supporting the Lib Dems.

    Odd. That doesn’t seem to be happening. Ho-hum.

  31. The Lib Dems traditionally bump along mid Parliament in the 12 – 16 % range so it’s a mistake to take their current ratings as the basis for a GE projection .

    Ed Balls rough ride at the TUC might indicate that its Coalition lite policies could soften Labour’s vote to the extent that many voters wont swallow Labour’s demonisation of the LDs.

    The GE is as wide open as ever

  32. COLIN

    The PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) study measures a sample in each participating country – MoE is, therefore involved. As Anthony frequently points out, journalists have a poor track record in reporting such things accurately.

    A “fall” of two places in the ranking might be “real”, or sampling error, or due to the fact that more countries took part in the 2009 exercise.

    In any case, the UK sample is boosted by each of the 4 educational administrations involved, so that additional analysis is available for each of them.

    Gove is presumably wise enough (or at least wiser than a DT journo) to have looked at the English data, since his responsibility is for English education.

    Looking at which countries do particularly well (and better than any of the countries in the UK) is likely to suggest schooling models that might be worth looking at to see what they are doing better.

    For example, in science in 2009, these six countries had significantly higher scores than Scotland (I think they outperformed each of Eng, Wal, & NI too – but you can check that for yourself).

    New Zealand

    Sweden (which, I understand, was the chosen model for the English Free School programme) scored worse.

    “That Gove bloke-what does he know eh?”

  33. OLDNAT



  34. There seems to me to b a whiff of desperation in the focus on Em and his
    Alleged undesirable traits/characteristcs.Surely it should be his policies that
    Should be under scrutiny.Perhaps, lke a good card player,he is not showing
    His hand until the end game?

  35. I see Clegg has apologised for making the pledge not for increasing the tuition fees…Very similiar to the classic `I am sorry that you feel upset about my actions (but I am not sorry for doing what I did)` trick.

  36. ” …the Green party are on 8% in the MORI poll.”

    The IpsosMORI table 4 (page 4) Greater London column shows

    Con 21%, Lab 45%, LD 14%, Green 20%, Other *

    and the South column shows

    Con 31%, Lab 37%, LD 15%, Green 14%, UKIP 2%, Other 1%.

    Green generally seem to be upweighted in the other tables, and taking votes equally from 2010 Con and Lab, with more from LD… am I reading the tables correctly?

  37. Billy Bob – you are looking at the correct table, but the regional crossbreaks are best ignored. The London one, for example, is based on only 65 people so strange and wacky results are to be expected and are (a) not a problem and (b) useless in terms of telling you anything.

  38. Timing of the Clegg apology for making (not breaking as SMUKESH correctly observes) seems odd to me. Too long before the next election to make a differnece? Or is it to appease his troops ahead of the conference?…either way, will be intersting to see if it registers on the VI over the next week or so. Don’t think it will personally.

  39. @Billy Bob

    Here’s a purely hypothetical question. If Ipsos MORI made a major error in compiling their monthly political monitor, say some sort of error in transposing data, would they come clean and correct their findings? Or just carry on in the hope that no one would catch on to their error?

  40. Phil – MORI, I am pretty certain, would come clean.

    People like Roger Mortimore and Simon Atkinson are very upright sorts, and it was notable that when they got the London election wrong in 2008 there was no arse covering or excuses, they were admirably straightforward in saying they’d got it wrong and they’d go and work out why and make corrections.

    Not to mention, it is quite hard to make major cock-ups on these things. You’d have to make a special effort. I think we got the labels wrong on a voting intention table once (we sorted the data high-to-low but didn’t sort the labels along with it, so I think it had Greens labelled Respect and Respect labelled Greens) but it was just a case of putting up corrected tables the next day. The sky didn’t fall. The world didn’t end.

    Bit more embarrassing when newspapers have gone to press with it – for example here – but again, in that circumstance ComRes rapidly corrected the error.

  41. The Green figure would seem particularly remarkable in a poll which has the Lib Dems up; as according to the YouGov breakdown the vast bulk of votes the Greens are picking up at the moment are former Lib Dems.

  42. @Anthony Wells

    Thanks for your answer.

    I’m still wondering if Green pick up 39 respondents (exactly the same number as LD) in Greater London + South, doesn’t that help explain why they reach the 8% overall?

    London/South: 39 out of 188 (or should that be 253, if so I’m having trouble making the total add up).
    North/Scotland/Midlands:18 out of 320.

  43. If the green surge is not a sample error could it be HS2, second runway or disappearance of sea ice?

  44. @Anthony Wells

    Thanks for the assurance re MORI.

    I’m still wondering whether with the Green and UKIP rows next to each other there could have been some sort of clerical error at the data input stage. On the raw data, in the South as a whole (over 1/3 of the sample so it’s a bit hard to totally disregard the crossbreak), the Greens have 31 and UKIP 6. In the rest of GB they have 21 each. The low result for UKIP in the South is just as notable as the high result for the Greens .

  45. @Billy Bob

    We’re both still wondering!

  46. @Phil

    Let’s hope it’s not a case of fools seldom differ!

  47. Greens did well with Ipsos-MORI last month too, better than UKIP (who often seem to do worse in telephone polls):

    I wonder if it could be a confection of how the interview goes. I people have said they will vote, decide not to pick one of the three main Parties and then say Green because it is the first ‘Other’ to come up. It only seems to happen with England – presumably the way questions are asked if different in Scotland and Wales.

  48. @Colin, OldNat

    PISA rankings are not comparable between exercises as more countries are added each round. The OECD explicitly say this and are known to be irritated when people do it.

    Michael Gove knows perfectly well you can’t compare the rankings. Not only is he not statistically illiterate, he has been told plenty of times. The last time Gove went big on this, the excellent More Or Less on Radio 4 demolished his claims, and it’s disappointing to see the DT (which is generally very weak on education issues, unfortunately) talking nonsense.

    In fact, the difference in ‘mid table’ of the PISA rankings in each year is very small and the margin of error on scores is far more than the difference between countries several places apart. I haven’t had the chance to look in detail at the new figures (although one interesting finding from Education at a Glance that has gone totally unreported in the UK is that the salary premium for having a degree has gone up since the recession began – a wholly predictable outcome, but for those of us in the field who did indeed predict it, nice vindication), but last time, for example, the margin of error was enough to mean that the UK’s place in most of the league tables was around + or – 5. In fact, last time, all that had happened was that pupil performance against PISA metrics hadn’t changed.

  49. I don’t usually comment on here because I understand about myself that I can be partisan, however, today I’m going to be making an exception.

    Mori has asked these questions during the summer when Cameron has raised his profile at the Olympic Games and Ed Miliband chose to keep out of the limelight, this will have had an affect.
    I also find it odd that Labour averages between 9 to 12 points ahead of the Tories and Anthony Wells seems to disregard this as being “no great shift to Labour”, yet this has been the way for around 6 months and shows no sign of abating.

    Over the next couple of years I suspect Labour will crank up and what I expect to happen as next general election nears is to see attacks of Cameron’s integrity.

    Why doesn’t one of the pollsters ask the public if they think either Cameron or Miliband is a bully and a misogynist as this would I am sure give a completely different result.

    As ever the proof of this particular polling is in the question sand the way those questions are asked, which could explain why Miliband and Labour have been consistently ahead of the Tories and why now they are very slowly starting to move even higher and the Tories fall further back.

    One other caveat, 2013 is the year that the Health & Social care Act starts taking real effect, the NHS is already showing signs of collapse, with this in mind I predict the NHS above all else (even the Tories catastrophic handling of the economy) will be the most single cause of voter hemorrhage for the Conservatives as it will be a huge factor. Anyone hoping that Lib Dems will start taking back their voters and this in turn helping the Tories is going to be very disappointed as the Lib Dems are viewed as complicit with the Tories over the possible destruction of the NHS!

    This is NOT partisan (although I admit my allegiance is to Labour) , this is how I see it mapping out.