Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor has now been published. Topline figures with changes from their last poll in mid-September, before conference season, are CON 33%(+3), LAB 43%(+2), LDEM 9%(-4), UKIP 6%. The Labour lead remains pretty steady at around ten points, again roughly the same sort of Labour leads MORI have been showing since May.

Part leader satisfaction ratings are Cameron minus 29 (from minus 24 last month), Miliband minus 12 (from minus 9 last month), Clegg minus 45 (from minus 43 last month).

309 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 33, LAB 43, LD 9, UKIP 6”

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  1. MIM

    Has the situation in England changed?

    It used to be the case that councils were prohibited from recycling the revenues received from council house sales into anything other than debt reduction.

  2. With reference to the recent thread, I am worried that work is getting more part-time and precarious. So more and more people are self-employed or working for agencies. This in turn means that they carry the risk. If times get hard their employer can simply say that there is no work or cut their hours. All this suits the employer and may well as is often argued encourage them to be less wary of hiring in the first place. In this situation it seems to me likely that the rich will get richer, unions weaker, and the poor relatively poorer while immigrants get more and more of the blame. I believe this is called having a ‘flexible labour market’ (or at least these things are a likely consequence of having such a market).

    I suspect that all of this has fairly deep roots and will go on almost irrespective of which party is in power. What I would like is a party that had a comprehensive and well thought out range of policies for tackling the consequences of a ‘flexible labour market’ and enabling people to have meaningful working lives despite its probably inevitable existence. To be fair I am not sure what these polices would be. Any suggestions?

  3. And, banks, not bands.
    Oh God, bloody Bono

  4. Oldnat I’m saying how it should be spent not how it is currently spent. Council houses should build more homes with the revenue they make.

  5. @MIM

    Amber, Unions only work when everyone sticks together, if you have a strike and some people go into work still you are undermined.
    There is always an excuse for being afraid, if you look for one. Sometimes you have to make a stand; even if you feel that you may loose out because of it, you have to make a stand yourself & hope that you can persuade others that you are right.

    Sometimes management will change their position. Support for workers can come from unlikely places. Who’d have thought that Tesco customers would say that every little doesn’t help, if it comes from paying people less than minimum wage?

  6. maninthemiddlebutslightlyoffcentre for PM.

    I’m fed up with this debate and so I agree that you are correct in all respects M-in-the-M [or whatever your real name is]

    I do regret though that life is not as simple as you seem to think it is because if it was then the solutions wouldn’t have caused so many people so many problems.for so long.

    Ann in W:

    “wojjer fink” is Welshish. thought you’d have known that

  7. @ RIN

    Don’t be advising folk to join unions, they will get sacked. With unemployment as it is joining a union is just too much of a risk
    Actually you can’t be sacked for joining a union; it would be unfair dismissal.

  8. MIM

    Fair enough.

    Labour don’t seem to want to help – Tories/LDs are offering further discount bribes to reduce council tax.

    The English Greens don’t seem to have a policy on this, so you could be rather unlikely to see any of your parties reversing Thatcher on housing.

  9. I’m going to jump into the immigration argument, its true what MiM says about working class folk feeling threatened by competition for jobs leading to lower wages, and the influx that came from eastern Europe came at a time where it looked like the supply/demand pressures would have led to quickly rising wages, and that must have been a hard blow to struggling working people. But what MiM and other working class folk don’t realize is that the bank of England was prepared to crash the economy by raising rates to prevent any rise in wages and it was only the influx of cheap labour from eastern Europe that convinced them not to. The BoE has had a 1.5 million Target on unemployment for a long time now, this doesn’t mean that they want unemployment to be 1.5 million or less, oh no, they are very reluctant for unemployment to go below 1.5 million and are prepared to crash the economy to save the economy if it gets much below that. Of course it not just the BoE that has this policy just about all central banks have that as policy

  10. “council tax” = “council stock”

  11. Amber

    That’s a good joke. In theory it might be true but you would be a fool to try it in real life if you ain’t got nothing to fall back on

  12. Well Paul we truly balance each other then as I dislike all of them!

  13. Paul,I may live in Wales,but I am not Welsh(alas) or not,Therefore Wojer think
    Is highly offensive to my sensitive perception of the English language.I too am
    A little tired,so I will say goodnight.Regards,Ann.

  14. Tricky things unions. RMT have just called their members out at First Bus in Cornwall and Plymouth. First Bus have just scrapped their services in North Devon. Can’t see this ending well. Of course fewer buses more work for RMT members on First Great Western trains in Cornwall. GMB let their textile workers go a few years ago partly because the officials wanted a more left-wing union.

  15. @ RIN
    That’s a good joke. In theory it might be true but you would be a fool to try it in real life if you ain’t got nothing to fall back on
    Actually, I believe that joining a Union is amongst the categories for which you have immediate protection. Even if you have less than qualifying service (was 1 year, going to be 2 years), I believe you can claim unfair dismissal were you to be are sacked for joining a Union. So it can be a good idea to join one.

  16. Pete B

    I believe that a loyalty to humanity overrides any sense of obligation to citizens of a particular state that might happen to coincide with my own.Is it seriously to be suggested that those armed with relief supplies should deliver their cargoes on the basis of answer to the question ‘Where were you born?’.

  17. No Graham not “where were you born” because that’s racist, but if you are a citizen because a governments priorities should be the people it serves. A starving/homeless person in a foreign country is not more important than a starving/homeless person in our own country. Race or birth don’t come into it. We shouldn’t be helping other people overcome their problems while our own people continue to suffer the same problems.

    If you’re a parent you don’t give food to other people’s kids while your own starve.

  18. Anyway, back to the 538 blog

    When people bang on about computer models, I kinda turn into Mickey Flanagan and start saying things like “You don’t need to do that, just do this” like an Essex plumber. Anyhoo, let’s have a look at Natey-boy’s downstairs bathroom, see if he’s had the muppets in. Looks at methodology, (http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/methodology/ ), sucks teeth, kicks off as follows:


    Part 1
    * Lists a lot of polls
    * Weighs them[1]
    * Does an average[1]
    * Fiddles about with it a bit more[2]
    * Comes up with an answer[2]

    Part 2
    * Gets a lot of non-polling data: contributions, incumbency, favourable/unfavorable ratings, etc[3]
    * Does a model[3]
    * Comes up with another answer[3]

    Part 3
    * Combines the two answers[4] to come up with a number for the position *now*

    Part 4
    * Fiddles it a bit more[5] to come up with a number for the position *on election day*

    Part 5
    * Remembers errors from his previous predictions since 1998[6] and slaps similar error bars on his number

    Part 6
    * Does a computery thing for Congressional elections[7]

    My take on this is that is a valid approach, both transparent (we can check his sums) and complete (we can tell how he predicts stuff now, and how he extends that number to election day). So yay: he has several magic boxes, he runs polls in one end and piece of paper with “the winner is” comes out the other. Cool.

    Bad points.
    A) Kinda vulnerable to black swans, especially parts 4 and 5. I’d prefer this model close to the election rather than way out.
    B) It’s one of those big, continually accreted models. He’s been working on his methodology for some time, he’s continually corrected his model, hung lots of bits on it. Fine. But models like this become unwieldy and incomprehensible after a while, full of things that made sense then but not necessarily now.

    Neither of those things are dealbreakers, btw. It looks sorta ok.

    Regards, Martyn

    [1] Stage 1. Weighted Polling Average
    [2] Stage 2. Adjusted Polling Average
    [3] Step 3: FiveThirtyEight Regression
    [4] Step 4: FiveThirtyEight Snapshot
    [5] Step 5. Election Day projection
    [6] Step 6. Error analysis
    [7] Step 7. Simulation.

  19. Ann In W:

    Well I’m not overly happy about “Wojjer fink” being spely wrong

    TWO J’s are standard.

    MinM: I don’t think you’ve quite got the concept of “starving” because there is no food in your region, no crops, no clothes, no cover and no help unless richer countries offer it.

    Perhaps you can quote a few similar situations in the UK?

    Or perhaps not

  20. MM
    ‘No Graham not “where were you born” because that’s racist’

    That is a ‘non sequitur’ – people can be born in different countries yet still be of the same race. Likewise, people of more than one race may be born in the same country.

  21. Colin

    “…and I have heard that constituencies with a high number of those people who throw cabers seem to have a high Scots Nationalist vote.”

    Half of the caber tossersI’ve seen are from outwih Scotland, and most of these from Germany.


    Just as well that Paul is probably unaware that the successful caber tossing is defined by straightness.

    Otherwise, who knows to what depths of stereotyping he might sink! :-)

  23. RiN

    The BoE has had a 1.5 million Target on unemployment for a long time now, this doesn’t mean that they want unemployment to be 1.5 million or less, oh no, they are very reluctant for unemployment to go below 1.5 million and are prepared to crash the economy to save the economy if it gets much below that. Of course it not just the BoE that has this policy just about all central banks have that as policy

    Is 1.5m the BoE’s NAIRU Richard? I suppose that would be about right if the UK has 30m of working age. Isn’t it true that in neoclassical circles 5% unemployment is the equivalent of ‘full employment’. Another of the mad mythologies of monetarism.

  24. @ Man in the Middle

    “Berlusconi sentenced for 4 years, banned from holiding political office for 3 years? Is that political ban 3 years after his 4 year term in jail? Surely it’s an EXTRA 3 years Otherwise it seems a bit irrelevant to have the political ban shorter than the prison sentence, is he going to hold office from inside prison for his first year? Or is it 4 years in jail, then another 3 years free from jail but still banned from office?”

    The guy is a regular Rod Blagoevich. I wonder why though the Italians can’t ban him from office for life as the Illinoians did to Blagoevich.

  25. @ Norbold

    “What about 2000? Or is that last bit of the first sentence meant to suggest that the votes in Florida were not counted in accordance with voters’ intentions? Even if it does, it does show that the popular vote and the college vote are not necessarily the same thing.”

    That’s what I’m saying. If you look at the 4 times this happenned, this really came down to something not related to what voters actually intended. That much is known about 2000. It’s pretty clear that several southern states in 1876 voted for Sam Tilden only to have those states awarded to Rutherford Hayes. 1824 didn’t have a candidate winning any majority and Congress had to elect the President.

    Anyway, my point is, it’s a system that tends to work and ultimately reflect the ultimate choice of American voters.

    @ Wolf

    “Unless Obama wins the majority of the US vote he will have no authority whatsoever. Not that he’s a particularly strong President now.”

    Um…says who? You? The British Crown? Is the Queen trying to reassert herself? Are you there to correct the Constitution? To quote Old Nat: That’s not how the system works.

    And btw, by your logic, the following Presidents would not have had any authority: John Quincy Adams, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, Grover Cleveland (both times), Benjamin Harrison, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and (last but certainly not least) George W. Bush. Also, of questionable authority under the regime of Wolf (and presumably Queen Elizabeth II) are Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan who both won only a fraction more than a majority.

    Now I’ve lived through a couple of these Presidents and I’ve studied the rest and I can assure you that they all had authority.

    Oh and I think any President who (against the advice of his own Secretary of Defense and Vice President) decides to personally authorize a Navy Seal mission deep into the heart of a foreign country (who we’re not at war with and is armed with nuclear weapons) in what could be at best a 50-50 shot of getting the world’s #1 terrorist mastermind, which if failed would have surely ended his Presidency, is a strong President. Also, any President who is able to enact universal healthcare (in light of the fact that nearly every President for over 100 years tried and failed to do so including FDR, LBJ, and Nicon) is a strong President.

  26. For those of you who have ever wondered how I get to vote (and how I did in fact vote this year):

    Part I:


    Part II:

    h ttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45755883/vp/49576863/#49576925

    Believe it or not, I did not vote the same way as Lawrence did on every single ballot question (plus we didn’t have the same ones due to being in different districts in some cases).

    @ Mitz

    “I don’t know how Rep Israel arrived at a figure of 29 but it is certainly an interesting suggestion. Essentially, it would mean that a candidate would have to win the state by state electoral college by at least 285-253 to be absolutely sure, otherwise his or her opponent could take the White House via a win in the popular vote.”

    That is a really good idea. It is extremely hard to amend the Constitution, anything that’s done requires a dramatic deal of support. This is something that could actually get left and right together. I don’t know where he came up with the number from but it’s fine with me. I think the number has to be somewhat large in order to make it worthwhile. As long as we’d be amending the Constitution, we might as well also stipulate that in cases of a 269-269 tie, instead of Congress picking the President and Vice President, the popular vote winner would win.

    This part would be controversial but as long as we’re enacting the 28th Amendment, might as well enact a 29th extending the franchise to all the currently disenfranchised American citizens of the various territories and allow their votes to be counted towards the national popular vote total even if they can’t be assigned a state.

  27. @ Andy O

    “will this give a boost to Obama’s chances — does GDP influence VI in the US?”

    It does and it doesn’t. It’s not a great number, nothing to really brag about. What will move people is how they feel generally about the economy and more than any number can do. Really, the number seems to correspond to the feeling.

    If people feel like the economy is improving and getting better, that will help Obama’s chances. If people don’t, it will hurt them.

    The big key in this election are of course blue collar whites. They weren’t crazy about Obama to begin with and hhe struggled with them in the 08′ election. Also has struggled with them in terms of his approval rating throughout his term. But while losing them more than Kerry or Gore did in the south, he did win the ones in the north (and presumably those out west). He may not need them to win a second term (especially if there’s high Latino and black turnout) but he needs them again for a decisive victory.

  28. Martyn,
    Isn’t saying ‘ Kinda vulnerable to black swans’ like saying ‘Are Bears Catholic?’ or ‘Are Gorillas Intelligent Anarchists?’ – they’re statements of obvious fact.
    Every forecasting model (no matter how close to the event) is vulnerable to black swans so surely it goes without saying?

    Mori ‘likeability’ ratings –

    I like Ed and Labour – 28%
    I like Ed but I don’t like Labour – 9%
    I like Labour but not Ed – 23%
    I don’t like either – 33%
    Total likes Ed – 37%
    Total dislikes Ed – 56%
    Total likes Labour – 51%
    Total dislikes Labour – 42%

    I like Dave and the Tories – 25%
    I like Dave but not the Tories – 16%
    I like the Tories but not Dave – 10%
    I don’t like either – 44%
    Total likes Dave – 41%
    Total dislikes Dave – 54%
    Total likes the Tories – 35%
    Total dislikes the Tories – 60%

    I like Nick and the LibDems – 16%
    I like Nick but not the LibDems – 13%
    I like the LibDems but not Nick – 24%
    I don’t like either – 39%
    Total likes Nick – 29%
    Total dislikes Nick – 63%
    Total likes the LibDems – 40%
    Total dislikes the LibDems – 52%

    So we get three distinct patterns emerge – Cameron seems to be keeping his party up, Labour is up despite Ed and Nick is pulling his party down.

  29. @Martyn

    All predictive statistical analysis based on historical comparison is vulnerable to Black Swans.

  30. Socal & others

    According to the RCP website, the latest opinion polls in the US presidential election suggest that it is too close to call, with the national vote 47.0 vs 47.9 % in favour of Romney and the electoral college divided 201 Obama/Biden, 191 Romney/Ryan and “Toss Ups” 146 (states where the candidates’ projected vote share differs by less than 5%). With the winning target being 270, it seems to me that everything is still to play for.
    If Obama does win despite losing the national vote, there would be a strong case for reforming the electoral system. It is disappointing that in the UK, the LDs (whose core values are supposed to include fairness and equality) have now stated that they will try to block an equalisation of constituency sizes and thus perpetuate the unfair bias towards the socialists in UK national elections (yet another of NC’s U-turns).
    Domestically, I guess that Romney would be a breath of fresh air, as he ticks the 3 Rs (right, radical, republican), but as a non-US national, I am concerned about his interventionist approach to foreign policy, which differs from traditional GOP values.

  31. I wonder if Anthony Wells will do a round-up of the U.S. polls at some stage.

    I’m beginning to sense that Romney may win the popular vote, as he seems to be holding a small but consistent lead in nationwide surveys, especially the Gallup ones I’ve seen. The electoral college vote is likely to go the same way unless the popular vote is very close. Traditionally the electoral college has been marginally slanted towards the Republicans because of the over-weighting of small rural and mountain states in the electoral college, though this failed to happen in 2004. Given the lopsidedness of the deep south against Obama, I would say it may marginally benefit Obama this time but if Romney ends up winning the popular vote by the kind of marigin implied by some recent Gallup surveys (e.g. 7% or 5%) then Obama is toast.

  32. “If Obama does win despite losing the national vote, there would be a strong case for reforming the electoral system”
    From the Republic Party platform –
    “We oppose the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact or any other scheme to abolish or distort the procedures of the Electoral College. We recognize that an unconstitutional effort to impose “national popular vote” would be a mortal threat to our federal system and a guarantee of corruption as every ballot box in every state would become a chance to steal the presidency.”

    The ‘states rights’ folks would go nuts at a directly elected presidential system – especially as, IIRC, the system benefits the republican party as ‘republican states’ tend to have a disproportionate number of EC votes.

  33. OldNat:

    Your reply to my witticism is rather lost now that the somewhat mild, Two Ronnies double-entendre has been moderated out of existence.

    Must remember that humour is not permitted.

  34. Try a little more subtlety Paul, as in my original response to JBD,which was the source of his further response, to which you replied with all the subtlety of a Tory Whip on a Bike .

    MInd you, I think it went way over his head .

  35. RiN

    @”The BoE has had a 1.5 million Target on unemployment for a long time now, this doesn’t mean that they want unemployment to be 1.5 million or less, oh no, they are very reluctant for unemployment to go below 1.5 million and are prepared to crash the economy to save the economy if it gets much below that. ”

    Yes, I have read that the BoE National Unemployment Targeting Section ( NUTS) is getting a little worried at recent trends.

    However the Savings Income Destruction Unit ( SID ) is exceeding all it’s targets. Mervyn is very pleased I believe & has been telling everyone …” If you see Sid-tell him”.

  36. Colin;

    That was subtle – surely?

  37. Croftee: “I don’t think you’ve quite got the concept of “starving” because there is no food in your region, no crops, no clothes, no cover and no help unless richer countries offer it.”

    Most aid is not in fact directed to relieving starvation or extreme hunger, which mainly arises when there is a climatic disaster or warfare, or both. Food shortages in the Third World arise in the long term because of poor distributional capacities, or, recently,because of price inflation from the global economic crisis. Food aid is often counterproductive because it is subsidised, especially for example US v. large-scale mechanised rice production, and so competes with small-famer production on family farms of less than a hectare throughout the main producer countries; in consequence most aid in reality is aimed at strengthening transportation, marketing and production systems, and at human resource development, both in agriculture and in industrialisation; not to compete with our industries and workers but to provide a balanced world economy and markets for our producers. Getting it right is pretty difficult, not helped by sheer b.i.

  38. Paul

    Oh all right then-since it’s you.:-)

  39. You could not make this up. Apparently last Thursday a load of high explosive devices were stolen from a freight train, while on route between Cumbria and Oxfordshire. Surely in these times of terrorist threats, you would think that there would be a high level of security for these transportations.

    If these are not found pretty quickly, no doubt questions will be asked of the government, as to why they are not ensuring effective security. If this is down to cuts being made, I would expect someone to get a kicking. Security must surely come before cuts.

  40. JBD:

    ‘Twas Mr Middle that brought “starvation” in the UK into it.


    Had I placed my comment on Jocks and cabers the other way round then conveiably that would have been rude.

    Re Mitch and his bike and “You haven’t heard the last of this” I wonder if he he woke up to the news thenext morning and thought “Result !!!”

  41. @ John Pilgrim

    I find your comments really interesting. Often you convey more in a hundred word comment than can be gleaned from reading several long articles on the subject.

  42. PAUL

    Could be …….but I think he might just be a pillock.

    Just watched Jeff Randall’s “Born Bankrupt” on SkY news channel. ( it’s on YouTube)

    It makes me think that the youngest age demographic ( who tend to be Labour supporters) should be voting Conservative, in order to reduce the Debt mountain & Tax increases we bequeath them.

    And the generation who , in the decade before the credit crunch , pushed household debt from 90% to 160% of disposable income , and voted in a 50% increase, in real terms, in Government spending (1), should be voting Labour, in order to keep handing the bill on to future generations.

    I liked Willett’s remark in the programme about a US car sticker which says ” Be good to your children-they choose your retirement home “.

    yr 2000 £ 338 bn
    yr 2010 £ 660 bn

    £338 bn inflated =£439bn
    £439bn to £660bn = + 50%

  43. JohnP:

    Sorry: dunno why I wrote JBD when I was responding to your excellent post

  44. Here are some of the recent YouGov/Economist polls (compared to other contemporaneous polls). YouGov moved from RV>LV October onwards, all other polls are LV.

    Sept 17th: Romney 44%, Obama 49% [O+5%]
    (Rasmussen, R+2%; AP-GfK O+1%; Reason Rupe O+7%).

    Sept 24th: Romney 43%, Obama 48% [O+5%]
    (Rasmussen O+1%; Bloomberg O+6%; DKos/SEIU/PPP O+5%).

    Oct 1st: Romney 44%, Obama 49% [O+5%]
    (Rasmussen O+2%; CNN O+3%; ARG O+3%).

    Oct 8th: Romney 46%, Obama 49% [O+3%]
    (Rasmussen R=O; ARG R+1%; Fox R+1%).

    Oct 15th: Romney 46%, Obama 47% [O+1%]
    (Rasmussen R+2%; UConn O+3%; Ipsos/Reuters O+2%).

    Oct 22nd: Romney 46%, Obama 48% [O+2%]
    (Rasmussen R+4%; AP-GfK R+2%; PPP R+2%).

    RealClearPolitics do not show YouGov polls in their “All General Election: Romney vs. Obama Polling Data”… so presumably YouGov results are not included in RCP averages.

  45. Colin

    I think you might have been employing sarcasm when you were talking about the ” National Unemployment Targeting Section ( NUTS)” but if you read the minutes of the monetary policy committee since it was set up you will quickly see that I’m right. Of course they aren’t as direct as that, they talk about “tightness” in the labour market or “accelerating wage inflation” in certain sectors(ie the low paid) but the meaning is clear and reading the fed minutes you see the same pattern. As Norman lamont said ” high unemployment is a price worth paying to prevent inflation” the problem now is that the amount of unemployment needed to keep a lid on inflation goes up as wages decrease

  46. Billy Bob, those polls are all incredibly out of line with other polls. Obama is not leading by 5 points nationally. Yougov are inexperienced when it comes to American elections.

    The RCP average is mathematically based, and used by all media organisations, and in 2008 was able to correctly predict 49 out of the 50 states, and correctly got Obama’s win margin within 0.4% In fact they were a little skewed towards Obama, they thought he would win by 7.6% in fact he only won by 7.2% so much for right wing bias.


    Re: blackswannishness.

    Yes, I know: I was making a point badly and being pretentious in the process. The point was not that a black swan can mess things up, the point was that if you don’t go back far enough the number of things that can be black swans is too large (like when young people in the 2008 crash were surprised because they weren’t around for the 1987 crash).

    Modelling is more an art than a science and has contradictory stresses: the art lies in knowing where to balance. If you choose too few variables your model is too simple and the errors go up. If you choose too many you saturate your model and although your errors go down, the use as a predictor also goes down. If your cutoff is too recent, the number of things not covered goes up. If your cutoff is too distant, you miss new patterns. If you add too few corrections your model is naive. If you add too many corrections your model is incomprehensible and introduces personal bias. And so on.

    Regards, Martyn

  48. RiN

    I know that you’re correct… its NAIRU. The idea that inflation is steady at approx. 5% working population therefore in their wisdom (?) neoclassical economists consider full employment to be when there is 5% unemployment. I’m just saying.. obviously I think its bonkers.

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