Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor is out this lunchtime and has topline figures, with changes from last month, of CON 35%(+3), LAB 44%(-2), LDEM 9%(nc), UKIP 7%(+4). The poll shows a shift back towards the Conservatives, but this will largely be a reversion to the mean after last month’s slightly wacky sample. Meanwhile the 7% for UKIP is the highest MORI have shown them since the general election, although their highest ever from MORI was 8% back in 2009.

117 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 35, LAB 44, LD 9, UKIP 7”

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  1. I think they all have Lab in 40-43 territory, Con in 30-35?

  2. November’s MORI sample was so wacky that the change could be reversion to the mean in its entirity.

    Party leader net satisfaction ratings: Miliband -3, Cameron -19, Clegg – 33.

    Balls and Osborne level as most capable chancellor. Both are IMO acting as a drag on their respective parties’ prospects.

  3. @Colin (FPT) – “But there don’t seem to be any votes in it for the government.”

    You’ve often pointed to household income figures as being poor/better. I think this could be the key.

    In the 1980’s we got used to higher unemployment, with other groups feeling distinctly better off. The government appeared relatively untroubled by the unemployment numbers.

    This time, while unemployment is lower, there has been a more general hit on earnings and living standards. As this affects more voters, perhaps the electoral hit is greater?

    Maybe in political terms, Lamont really did get it right – it was a price worth paying.

  4. Alec

    Nasty but true

  5. Alec

    A reply for you on the last thread

  6. @Alec

    But as Lamont found, that isn’t a sustainable attitude in the long run either. The full quote is “Rising unemployment and *the recession* have been the price that we have had to pay to get inflation down. That price is well worth paying.” Long term uneployment stagnates a workforce and in it’s self leads to recessions that bring down general standards of living.

  7. jayblanc

    “in it’s self” is an apostrophe abomination.

  8. @NickP

    I’d say Lab 40-44 is about normal, with regards Con I’d agree with you.

  9. ALEC

    I’m not sure about your characterisation of unemployment in the 80s-who is “we”?

    I have a feeling that I have read statistics on fiscal policy in the Thatcher years-and the slash & burn rhetoric doesn’t actually match the reality.

    And she certainly wasn’t bequeathed an 11% X GDP Deficit to deal with.

    I haven’t got the energy to check the data vs Thatcher’s era, & compare it with this administration, but my perception would be that the steady fall in unemployment now is not translating into feelgood / VI change because :-

    Pay vs prices currently = a 1% reduction in spending power.
    Public sector workers in large numbers are not well disposed to the government for obvious reasons.
    The constant talk is of welfare benefit cuts.
    The constant imagery & news from Europe is not confidence building.

    ie there is an overiding atmosphere of uncertainty, both at the individuals own level, and at his/her perception of what is happening in Europe.

    I don’t know if any of that is true of course-and I know even less what it would take to boost voter confidence , still less VI for the Government side.

  10. Anthony

    Don’t you have a special naughty step for the grammar police, personally I feel that hanging is too good for them

  11. ALEC

    I know I am from the crinkly ( if not crumbly yet) generation-but our views are no less part of the mix.

    All I can say is that I hear more & more of my friends talking about their fear for the future of their children & grandchildren.

    ….a feeling that something fundamental has changed economically, and that looking for a future which mirrors the good times of the past will just lead to huge disappointment.

    ….and the feeling that no politician will ever say that.

  12. From last thread:


    “The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 for August to October 2012 was 71.2 per cent, up 0.1 percentage point on May to July 2012 and up 0.9 on a year earlier. ”

    Yes, but the employed have to pay for the 0-120 year olds too.

  13. Simple reason why any drop in unemployment won’t translate to better polling

    House prices!!!!!

  14. I think we can approximate that the Labour lead is currently around 9-11% if you take into account all pollsters.

  15. @Colin – I wasn’t seeking to make any particular political point, to be honest. It is a fact that unemployment in the previous Tory administration was generally higher, both in numbers and in % terms, and that the peaks in recessions were much higher, than in the period from the mid 1990’s onwards.

    I didn’t ascribe this to ‘slash and burn’ at all, and I would completely agree with you that the characterization of the Thatcher years as such is wrong. They initiated a squeeze in the early 1980’s, but then let rip the Lawson boom – a huge inflation of the money supply that led to the inevitable bust. For a bunch of avowed monetarists their behaviour was distinctly two faced.

    The point being made, which I think we both agree on, is that this time around, for whatever reason, the negative factors that you correctly in my view identify, are being shared round much more evenly than the 1980’s unemployment. The consequence may well be more widespread discontent with the government.


    Yes-of course.

    The demographic time bomb embedded in western welfare state arrangements.

  17. ALEC

    Sure thing.-I wasn’t addressing the point to you-but to perception of those years in general.

  18. @Colin

    Same experince as you, friends and relatives worried about what the future holds for their children and grandchildren.

    The welfare state as we know it know has no long term future for the same reasons, the tax paying base will be too small.


    Topic sent me off to Wikipedia :-

    “Giuseppe Carone and Declan Costello of the International Monetary Fund projected in September 2006 that the ratio of retirees to workers in Europe will double to 0.54 by 2050 (from four workers per retiree to two workers per retiree).
    William H. Frey, an analyst for the Brookings Institution think tank, predicts the median age in Europe will increase from 37.7 years old in 2003 to 52.3 years old by 2050 while the median age of Americans will rise to only 35.4 years old.

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates only 39% of Europeans between the ages of 55 to 65 work. If Frey’s prediction for Europe’s rising median age is correct, Europe’s economic output could radically decrease over the next four decades.

    Austria’s Social Affairs Minister said in 2006 that, by 2010, the 55 to 64 year old age bracket in the European Union would be larger than the 15 to 24 year old bracket. The Economic Policy Committee and the European Commission issued a report in 2006 estimating the working age population in the EU will decrease by 48 million, a 16% reduction, between 2010 and 2050, while the elderly population will increase by 58 million, a gain of 77%.

    The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the European Union will experience a 14% decrease in its workforce and a 7% decrease in its consumer populations by 2030.”


  20. Colin

    That’s why the underclass keep dropping sprogs, they instinctively know that there will be no pensions for them

  21. I thought we needed sprogs to pay taxes later? And immigrants, who also need to have sprogs.

    The bulge of baby boomers will eventually die off. And since the world population is still growing, there should be some more tax payers along soon.

    Might get a bit crowded here and there, mind.

  22. The problem with unemployment figures is that no one believes them, (certainly when they show an improvement) they have no credibility.

    As for comparisons with the 80’s, much of the unemployment then was due to the decline in heavy industry, which was very localised. Unemployment is much more wide spread now, although then as now the South is getting away quite lightly.

    Interesting to see that big jump for UKIP.

  23. @David – “The problem with unemployment figures is that no one believes them, (certainly when they show an improvement) they have no credibility. ”

    Evidence please?

    Certainly seems a very odd statement to make that a set of figures are believable when they go one way, but unbelievable if they go the opposite way.

  24. Miliband ahead of Cameron on leadership ratings.


  25. Nick p

    Of course instead of importing care workers, we could export our old folk. I’ve mentioned this before but I know of a few hundred thousand flats going cheap which could easily be converted to care homes?!?!

  26. “That’s why the underclass keep dropping sprogs, they instinctively know that there will be no pensions for them”

    Can I just say ,what has this comment got to do with polling.Dont know if it’s a joke or an attempt at sarcasm ,but could you please refrain from it.I come here to read about polling facts an such not to see silly comments.

  27. @ ALEC

    I believe that unemployment stats are based on estimates and not actuals. The reason being is that they cannot provide actuals, as numbers of people signing on fluctuates on a daily basis.

    From what I have seen I think more would be employed , as there are a lot of temporary warehouse, logistics and retail jobs, leading up to the Christmas/New Year period.

    Due to the number of part-time jobs, it would be interesting whether there has been an increase in working tax credits being taken up.

  28. Couple of words of caution on the horror stories of aging populations.

    Firstly, don’t assume ever rising life expectancy. There is beginning to emerge some quite strong evidence for reasons to think this isn’t going to be a one way street. There is certainly a diverging pattern of aging between different social groups, so we are likely to see some groups extending their life span, while other remain static or rise more slowly. Circumstances might move people into and out of these groups differentially, so it’s possible that this could affect life expectancy averages.

    Secondly, lifestyle generated health impacts are just beginning to filter through into aging. While we’ve nailed smoking and industrial diseases to a large degree, fat, sugar, alcohol and lack of exercise are having an obvious impact on younger people, and some of these cohorts are beginning to approach old age. Many medics believe life expectancy will begin to fall in due course.

    A third factor is a bit more random. You won’t find many biologists who completely reject the idea of a major contagion event. We’ve seen many more cases of inter species transmission as we travel deeper into wild areas, and international travel is one of the best ways to transmit infections quickly.

    We’ve also got issues around drug resistance, an issue where humans are currently losing the battle against the bugs. Most civilisations think they are invincible before the crash, and ours is no exception. Whether such epidemic events differentially kill older people is a moot point, but we shouldn’t assume all trends are fixed.

    Even if current trends continue, in the UK we are projecting the elderly population to grow by about 1.5% annually, but the economy by about 2.5% – so the proportion of wealth needed to service the elderly will fall. The question then becomes getting the right taxation system to collect the necessary money.

    The key factor is going to be worker productivity. If we can keep that increasing, there’s no reason why we can’t deal with the supposed future trend. There is an issue with ensuring sufficient workers in the care sector, where productivity is difficult to increase.

    The other factor goes back to an earlier point. The elderly don’t all need lots of care. Those who have led unhealthy lifestyles are likely to die early, while those who don’t will see longer active lives. The actual time spend needing care seems to be largely static, regardless of lifespan.

    So whatever happens, there are likely to be more old people available to look after old people.

  29. shaun:

    Probably best to accept that not everyone has the same virtuous intent and that ideas of humour vary. Because of that not every post will be one you will necessarily enjoy reading.

    Such is life.

  30. Ipsos Mori is like a yoyo. Up. Down. Up. Down.

    I wounder what the next sequence would be?

  31. Shaun

    Sorry, was a comment made sarcastically but coming as I do from the underclass and knowing that its not the extra benefits that are the cause of the higher birthrate as many would have us believe, I’ve been thinking for a long time about what it is. As a group we are extremely suspicious of all govt statements, if told that the sky is blue we look up to check. So having known about the demographic timebomb for a long time and thinking through the likely consequences allied with the prevailing economic theories I came to the conclusion that state pensions would in all likelyhood be seriously reduced or abolished, knowing also that the main reason for the decrease in bithrates in the early part of the 20th century was the introduction of the state pension(it could be debated, but seems likely) and that highbirthrates in developing countries are a form of old age insurance, I theorized that the underclass was subconsciously aware of the potential troubles ahead and was taking instinctive action to mitigate that. What it has to do with polling I don’t know, except that instinct is a big part of planning for the future and a big part of voting intention

  32. FPP

    I actually think Scotland will be fine on its own and that Salmond is the only politician who could move the vote that way.

    I can also quite see why they would want independence – I’d vote for it myself but in my case I’d still be lumbered with the same system.

    Why don’t you move north and vote YES? You only need to live here for 6 months then you can vote.

    Yes Salmond is a formidable opponent but has still got his work cut out to convince a YES vote.

    Well you could always ask for AV if Ed becomes PM, hmm perhaps not.

  33. Richard,

    Thank you for the apology.I come here to get away from the scrounger,feckless,work shy and underclass rhetoric pumped out by the daily press.I have a sister slowly being consumed by luekaemia and crippled with arthritis at the age of 39.She claims benefits not because she is an underclass or a scrounger,but because she has no choice now.Such a shame she has to jump through hoops to get benefits she paid into the pot for.Our country scapegoats the weakest in society ,and let’s the real culprits off alla bankers and politicians who create the mess in the first place.

  34. Lib/Dems still struggling around the 8% mark. Nothing new for them.

  35. Seeking info: How many people are on the Work Programme or Workfare or whatever. Do they count as employed or unemployed ? Or is there a special category for ‘in limbo’ ?

    Similar questions I suppose for those on training schemes.

  36. SHAUN.

    Many thanks for your post. May God bless your efforts and your sister. Concern for the vulnerable is vital for a good society.

  37. ALEC

    @”Even if current trends continue, in the UK we are projecting the elderly population to grow by about 1.5%
    annually, but the economy by about 2.5% ”

    Make that 1.5% + 100% in the over 65s by 2050.

    …and I wouldn’t be too sanguine about that economic growth figure over an extended period either.

    Of course , you are right that forecasts are forecasts-but they do seem to point in the same direction-an ageing population. By the way-on your idea of health issues as mitigation -the increase in life expectancy in UK during the 20th C was 30 years so I wouldn’t count too much on a mass die off of crumblies due to their hedonistic youthful lifestyles.

    The diseases of old age will be a major factor in healthcare costs. The NHS will cease to be what it used to be-a facility for making people better after brief illness -and become a facility for treating the repeated effects of the afflictions of old age. THis factor alone has huge societal & fiscal ramifications.

    So I think we should take seriously , forecasts of a much greater proportion of older people & you don’t have to spend too much time thinking up some difficult economic consequences :-

    Here is a quote from a UK based economic consultancy :-

    “The 25-54 age group, which has historically been the wealth creating demographic, grew 44% between 1970-2010 to 392 million in the West and brought with it three decades of almost constant GDP growth. This age group will shrink from 392 million in 2010 to 369 million in 2030.
    Today, the 55+ age group already makes up 29% of the western population at 272 million. By 2030, the UN forecasts that this population segment will be 364 million, around 36% of the West’s population, ”

    So consumption patterns -and volumes will
    One of the characteristics of the 55+ age group is that they consume less and save more as they focus on retirement and those lower than expected pension incomes.
    THese changes will feed into UK economic growth & perhaps make exports rather than domestic demand even more important-thus putting further premiums on third world growth which every european country will be chasing. EConomic growth could actually be depressed by a proportionately ageing population.

    Meanwhile, as has been said a proportionately smaller group of working age taxpayers will be asked to shoulder the increasing burden of welfare, healthcare & social costs for the burgeoning elderly. Unfunded state pensions will not come from an investment fund set aside for the purpose, but from that smaller group of future taxpayers.

    If economic growth itself is slowed by lower domestic consumption patterns, those few funded DB pension schemes left in in the private sector will tend to greater deficits as investment returns fall & will be finally abandoned. Private sector workers will be exposed to the investment risk & much smaller provision in their DC scheme membership.
    THe huge public sector DB schemes-funded, unfunded or quasi funded will call more & more upon future taxpayers to fill the funding gap.

    ……….or you could be right & there won’t be a problem
    ( winking thingy)

  38. Paul Croft,

    I accept others find humour in picking on weakest in society,and enjoy doing it.Im far from virtuous.

  39. OZWALD

    THe change in numbers of people on “Government supported training & employment programmes” is shown at P6 of the ONS December Labour Market Statistics bulletin.

    I think most of the schemes are covered here-no doubt you can access the up to date report on each :-


  40. ALEC

    “Anyone who thinks demographics is irrelevant nonsense might glance to Japan. It experienced a baby boom slightly earlier than we did, says Hodges. Japan’s ‘Boomers’ hit the peak wealth creating age between 1977 and 1994. The Nikkei peaked in 1989 with government bond yields at 8% and growth at 4%. It has been around 1% since – regardless of the government’s stimulus efforts.

    The implications, said the governor of the Bank of Japan earlier this year, are “profound”. There will be “differences in timing and magnitude” but eventually all developed countries should expect “a decline in growth potential, a deterioration of the fiscal balance and a fall in housing prices.” Hmm. Look around you. See any of that?”

    Money Week
    Oct 2012

  41. @Colin
    Thank you for the link

  42. There are currently 170,000 people in workfare and the work programme.540,000 in assessment stage of ESA or so called limbo.68,000 under 24’s have taken up full time education in the last quarter so would explain the huge fall in 18-24 s off the list.I do not know how many would be counted towards the fall in unemployment,but if it’s anything like the OBRs set of economic figures.I would imagine quite a few will count towards the falls.

    P.s. there are also apprenticeships,0 hour contracts ,sanctions and people who have just given up.

    I wonder if these people are the 1 million private sector jobs created in the last few years,I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be the case.Bit of creative accountancy maybe,would explain why we’re scraping along the bottom with GDP and still creating all these jobs.

  43. Now they tell us.A week ago the OBR provided useful forecasts for the
    autumn statement.Now their chairman or spokesperson usefully announces
    That”he would not risk his reputation on these figures”For goodness sake!

  44. COLIN et al
    May I suggest that given the changing ratio of active working population to dependents, there needs to be a policy shift, and, importantly, an informed public debate, on the need for an extended working age and extended educational and training at the start of careers, and for these extensions to the present pattern to become the norm? Both contribute on the one hand to the quality of life and to life-long productivity of the people concerned and their families, and on the other to the value of economic production and to the balance between drawings from and contributions to revenue. I should add that these considerations have been the basis of my household’s education and employment during the past thrity years, and that it is at the level of the household that the important information and decisions have to be locatied; hence the need for this to be, as I think Frank Field and others have recognised, a matter of proloinged and well-informed public debate throughout society.

  45. Colin

    “I have a feeling that I have read statistics on fiscal policy in the Thatcher years-and the slash & burn rhetoric doesn’t actually match the reality.”

    Not sure what figures you are recalling, but that story doesn’t tue with the ONS figures I have.

    There was a very slight uptick in Govt spending as a proportion of GDP during 80-82 (went up from about 42% to 44%). That was a very low increase in the face of a horrific recession and a tripling of unemployment. I trust that it will not be considered a partisan comment to note that the very tight fiscal stance in 80-82 was to a great extent the cause of that tripling in unemployment, and the much looser fiscal response in 08-09 is to a great extent the reason why unemployment “only” doubled in the teeth of a much fiercer recession. It’s a matter of political preference whether the increase in debt is worth the reduction in unemployment.

    Anyway, back to the 80s. After 82, Govt spending as a proportion of GDP collapsed to about 34% by 1989. That was the lowest level since the 1930s.

  46. I note a few saying that the new unemployment figures wont move the polls. Like many things people will relate to their own personal circumstances when they hear things like “unemployment falls at highest rate for decade”. When it was announced on the tv in my works cafe three people shook their head in disbelief and two people said “b*ll*cks” at the same time, which produce a bit of laughter.

    There will be many areas where the unemployment rate has fallen, however, many will be part time low paid jobs. Quite a few of these newly employed will have been paid more at previous jobs or have been told to take the job or you will get your benefits stopped.

    Not really endearing them to the parties of government.

  47. Unemployment falling some Labour supporters suspect figures fiddled. Economy flat lining Labour supporters believe figures.
    Unemployment falling some Tory supporters believe figures. Economy flat lining Tory supporters say the figures are only predictions and guesswork.
    Both Leaders use sets of figures about the same subject that seem to prove completely opposite views.
    It’s no wonder support for institutions and Politicians is falling with an adverse effect on voting numbers.
    With the similarity between the parties and confusion over figures and attempts to reign in the press it would not be beyond the realms of possibility for a new party to form that is willing not to tell the truth, but to tell a very big lie and be seen as the new way forward.

  48. @Red Rag

    I have spoken to a few people who are unemployed, but because of the type of work they are looking for, they have been told to register as self-employed… not quite sure how that works.

    I have heard that supermarkets etc increasingly put their workers on 4 hour shifts. That is probably convenient for some people, but not all. Perhaps there is a productivity bonus to be had from employing two people at 4 hours a day compared to one person for the full 8 hours?

  49. I see Rebekah Brooks received nearly 11 million pounds after resigning – that’s a lot of country suppers, even allowing for inflation.

  50. @Turk
    “It’s no wonder support for institutions and Politicians is falling with an adverse effect on voting numbers.
    With the similarity between the parties and confusion over figures and attempts to reign in the press it would not be beyond the realms of possibility for a new party to form that is willing not to tell the truth, but to tell a very big lie and be seen as the new way forward.”

    Absolutely. There are a lot of similarities to the 1930s in the current situation. Let’s hope UKIP fill the gap and not something more sinister.

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