Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor is out with topline figures of CON 32%(-1), LAB 46%(+3), LDEM 9%(nc). Changes are from MORI’s October monitor.

The 14 point Labour lead is the largest MORI have shown this Parliament and 46% the highest Labour have been, but before anyone gets too excited it is almost certainly due to a particularly odd sample, rather than a genuine shift in support.

As regular readers will know, most pollsters these days use some form of political weighting – in most cases weighting how people say their voted in the 2010 election to what the actual result was, adjusted slightly to account for people’s known shortcomings in accurately reporting their vote (known as “false recall”). MORI are one of the few companies who don’t do this – MORI’s reasoning is that they believe that degrees of false recall can change quickly, and weighting by it therefore risks weighting out genuine changes in support. In contrast companies like ICM and Populus believe that false recall exists, but changes only slowly over time, meaning that recalled vote is suitable for weighting as long as false recall is accounted for.

In practice the phone companies are assuming quite a low level of false recall at the moment, so most polls have past vote weighted very close to the actual results of the 2010 election:

  • Populus’s samples normally have 23% people who voted Conservative at the last election, 19% people who voted Labour, 15% who voted Lib Dem, 42% who voted for other parties, didn’t vote or won’t say. This equates to CON 37%, LAB 30%, LDEM 23%.
  • ICM’s samples normally have 23% people who voted Conservative at the last election, 19% people who voted Labour, 14% who voted Lib Dem, 44% who voted for other parties, didn’t vote or won’t say. This, again, equates to CON 37%, LAB 30%, LDEM 23%.
  • ComRes’s samples normally have 23% people who voted Conservative at the last election, 19% people who voted Labour, 14% who voted Lib Dem, 44% who voted for other parties, didn’t vote or won’t say. This, again, equates to CON 37%, LAB 30%, LDEM 23%.
  • This month’s MORI sample has 22% people who voted Conservative at the last election, 27% people who voted Labour, 14% who voted Lib Dem, 37% who voted for other parties, didn’t vote or won’t say. Roughly speaking (as we don’t have the figure for others), this equates to CON 32%, LAB 40%, LDEM 21%.

So this month’s MORI sample has significantly more people who voted Labour in 2010 than people who voted Conservative, and has about a third more 2010 Labour voters in its sample than other telephone polling companies. Unusual sample and, consequently, an unusual result.

It is important to note that this sample is NOT typical of MORI, so don’t go away with the idea that MORI consistently have vastly more 2010 Labour voters in their samples than 2010 Conservative voters – they don’t. Most of the time MORI’s samples are far more in line with other companies and their results are also normally very much in line. It’s just this month’s sample that’s wacky.


34 Responses to “Ipsos MORI – CON 32, LAB 46, LDEM 9”

  1. Bit over the top innit?

  2. UKIP??

  3. Any idea when we get PCC results?

    It’s all kicking off in Israel this has been building up for ages now, but still when it happens it takes you by surprise. Can’t believe it’s escalated like this.

  4. Man in the Middle – Wiltshire is counting overnight, and results will supposedly be around 4am.

    All other police forces start their counts tomorrow, results expected to start coming in around noon.

  5. MiM

    And just after the US election as well, shocking!!

  6. good evening all.

    Thanks Anthony for the analysis.

    Romney has made some mad comments, I see.

    Any Corby exit polls?

  7. Yeah, I stayed up til Half 5 for the American election. Don’t think I’ll be doing the same this time.

  8. Nope, by-election exit polls are ancient history, been many years since there has been one.

  9. Anthony. Thanks.

    I remember Vincent Hanna telling us the Ashfield poll was wrong, that night.

  10. I much prefer the American system where has soon as the polls close, you can just see the votes filling in straight away, and the experts can compare to exit polls to accurately predict the outcome etc.

    The US knew the results of their elections at half 11 Eastern time, no chance we’d ever get an election result by half 11

  11. Just come back from local polling station. The rather disconsolate officials told me that at 9,40 pm the turnout was 7 per cent but that they believed turnout elsewhere in the city was higher. So things might not take too long to count.

  12. Fall in retail sales in the UK, and Eurozone back in recession, more bad news, stamping out the little bit of good news we had earlier on.

  13. I really do like Frais Fromage the UKIP leader on tonight’s Question time. Now you can see why the Tories are worried!!

  14. @Anthony
    I’m not sure I follow you old bean. Are you saying the IpsosMori sample is wrong this month? ;)

  15. This poll is actually very good for the tolries. Comparing to 2010 it only shows a 3% swing Con->Lab.

  16. @Howard

    Did you really say “innit”?

    Can’t concentrate i’m afraid. The legendary Chris Eubank is on the box.

  17. Chris Grayling caught out lying on Question Time, was lovely to watch

  18. Anthony you are completely wrong. :D

    This is not an “unusual sample”. This is a completely normal sample. If you look at the unweighted recall of respondents in the latest phone polls you get the following figures:

    Actual:
    Con 24% Lab 19% LDem 15% Other/No vote 41%

    Populus:
    Con 24% Lab 23% LDem 14% Other/No vote 39%
    (0+4+1+2 = 7 points out)

    ICM:
    Con 20% Lab 21% LDem 12% Other/No vote 47%
    (4+2+3+6 = 15 points out)

    ComRes:
    Con 19% Lab 26% LDem 11% Other/No vote 46%
    (5+7+4+5 = 21 points out)

    MORI:
    Con 23% Lab 27% LDem 15% Other/No vote 35%
    (1+8+0+6 = 15 points out)

    So apart from Populus (with its larger starting sample of 1500 rather than 1000) the MORI poll is completely in line with the others.

    Where MORI differs of course is in not using past recall to adjust its results. Now you can argue that weighting on past vote and/or Party i-d will give you a ‘truer’ result. To some extent that depends on the reasons why the recall differs from the actual result.

    If the cause is a poor sample or a bias in its structure then adjustment may help. But if the problem is Conservative or Lib Dem voters in 2010 saying they voted Labour (or to a lesser extent if they say they didn’t vote) then you will be reducing the Labour percentage invalidly. It’s a matter of assessment of what the mixture of reasons for the discrepancy in recall is.

  19. Joe R

    This poll is actually very good for the tolries. Comparing to 2010 it only shows a 3% swing Con-Lab.

    Er 10.5% actually

    [Con 37% to 32% = -5%. Lab 30% to 46% = +16%. Average (5 + 16)/2 = 10.5%]

  20. @ Roger Mexico

    Awesome! :-)

  21. @Amber

    I’m sure Anthony will be back :)

  22. When I worked at MORI our “recall” question always yielded a lead for whichever party happened to be ahead in the voting intention polls of the time. So, for example, in 1985/6 a plurality of respondents thought they had voted Labour at the previous (1983) general election. We would certainly never have dreamt of weighting by voter recall, and it beats me how the other polling companies have managed to improve on this (lack of) accuracy.

    Anyway, this new 14-point lead is an outliner – but it won’t be once Labour wins the Corby by-election. All polls will have the Labour lead up into the teens by the weekend, but it’ll shrink back to 10 per cent within a fortnight.

  23. Is Corby counting tonight or tomorrow?

    We all know Labour has won, main this is who came 3rd

    Lib or Ukip. I’m thinking UKIP could edge it, would at least give us something to talk about.

  24. Indeed,a veritable clash of the polling titans!

  25. @MITM

    Reading Telegraph’s live blog of QT (yes – a live blog of QT) as I stopped watching the TV version some time ago.

    Re: Abu Qatada – Grayling was asked why he has never been arrested or charged. He responded that you needed evidence for that. Which presumably you don’t need to detain a man for 10 years.

  26. Populus and ICM, with their “spiral of silence adjustment” are in effect working to a theory that people can be relied upon to disclose their 2010 vote accurately, but not their current voting intention.

    But if you’re embarrassed about disclosing your intention to vote for an unfashionable party now, wouldn’t you be just as or even more embarrassed about disclosing the fact that you did vote for the same party previously? If so, the past vote weightings would be wrong due to false recall and that would go some way to countering the effect of the spiral of silence adjustment.

    So does anyone know whether empirical research has been done to try and test the impact of past recall? Or are we just reliant on accepting the polling companies assumptions at face value?

  27. @Roger Mexico,

    “Joe R

    This poll is actually very good for the tolries. Comparing to 2010 it only shows a 3% swing Con-Lab.

    Er 10.5% actually

    [Con 37% to 32% = -5%. Lab 30% to 46% = +16%. Average (5 + 16)/2 = 10.5%]”

    According to AW the other day, if Corby behaves according to the national polling picture, Labour should win with a comfortable majority of around 15%. These figures of a 14% Labour majority, if correct, would suggest that Corby is going roughly according to national polling figures (possibly slightly under) and not the 24% swing Ashcroft’s poll was predicting. Whether this is better or worse than expected for Labour/the Tories depends on your partisan position, I guess.

  28. Either way, good headlines for Labour and bad ones for the Tories (and Cameron) tomorrow.

  29. @MitM

    On the other hand, if the LDs do edge it, you can at least have a larf at my expense, literally.

  30. NO RAF

    That’s not what Grayling was caught on.

    He said on the show that if it was only a teacher giving a clip round the ear then that wasn’t a big deal.

    He was then asked by an audience member to confirm he’d just said it, and he completely denied it, and then the entire audience shouted “yes you did!”

  31. Robert Peel got at least one vote in the West Mercia Police Commissioner elections today.

    Lol

  32. …………….and my spoilt paper at least boosted the turnout by 0.000001%.

    Might make all the different between a single figure and double figure percentage turnout.

  33. Robin Hood

    When I worked at MORI our “recall” question always yielded a lead for whichever party happened to be ahead in the voting intention polls of the time. So, for example, in 1985/6 a plurality of respondents thought they had voted Labour at the previous (1983) general election. We would certainly never have dreamt of weighting by voter recall, and it beats me how the other polling companies have managed to improve on this (lack of) accuracy.

    Thanks Robin that’s fascinating and explains why MORI remain steadfastly opposed. I’m not completely against adjustment using past vote, just pointing out the problems – especially with phone polls where you can’t have a past record. As Phil points out the arguments are similar to those around whether you use ‘spiral of silence’ adjustments and if so by how much. Simply weighting to past vote is a bit like assuming all the reluctant/shy voters will go back rather than the 50% or 30% that those models use.

    The pollster that does have the best data on past vote – YouGov seem to ask all their panel on joining and after the most recent general election – don’t actually use it for weighting, preferring self-described Party-id. Again there are good reasons pro- and con- for this (I suspect the pro-s win) but it’s a bit ironic.

  34. @MITM
    “That’s not what Grayling was caught on.
    He said on the show that if it was only a teacher giving a clip round the ear then that wasn’t a big deal.
    He was then asked by an audience member to confirm he’d just said it, and he completely denied it, and then the entire audience shouted “yes you did!”

    I never suggested it was.

    But I have to say, that’s one of the funniest things I’ve read on this board :) :). It’s hilarious!