Ipsos MORI’s monthly political monitor is out, with topline figures of CON 27%(-3), LAB 40%(-2), LDEM 11%(+4), UKIP 13%(+4). It suggests a boost for the Lib Dems and UKIP in the aftermath of Eastleigh, but little difference in the Labour lead (most of MORI’s polls in the last few months have shown this degree of lead).

MORI also have some economic questions in advance of the budget. George Osborne’s approval rating remains strongly negative – 60% are dissatisfied with how he is doing compared to only 27% who approve. As with most recent polls, MORI show Labour and the Conservatives pretty much neck-and-neck on the economy. 26% think that Labour have the best policies, 27% the Conservatives. Asked if a Labour government under Miliband and Balls would do better or worse than the current government at running the economy 26% think they’d do a better job, 31% a worse job and 38% think they’d do much the same.

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286 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 27, LAB 40, LD 11, UKIP 13”

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  1. Which party do you think has the best policies on
    the economy?

    CON 27%
    LAB 26%
    LD 8%

    Extremely tight, I think Yougov’s numbers on this question are extremely tight too.

    I think 27% is the lowest I have seen Conservative support?

  2. It appears that all those pollsters who report intermittently and sporadically are converging around this sort of configuration now. Labour at about 40 or just below, the Tories languishing in the high 20s, Lib Dems rallying to early teens and UKIP flirting in the mid teens. We’ve even had the odd YouGov along similar lines!! The UKPR polling average of Lab 40 Con 30, Lib Dem 11, UKIP 14(?) feels about right to me, although I think the Tory VI is drifting in a remorselessly downward direction. These high 20s for them are tending to come more frequently now.

    As for the economic confidence questions, I wonder if next week’s Budget may mark a tipping point in this Parliament when disillusionment with the Government’s economic policy starts to outweigh negative memories of Labour. If so, then, almost by default, Balls and Labour may start to win on this crucial voting intention determinant. The “I’m not the other lot” political stardust then starts to work its magic! Cameron got sprinkled with some of this precious material from 2008 onwards but it didn’t quite get him over the line in 2010, although not being Gordon Brown worked wonders for him. Miliband and Balls will hope to be beneficiaries in a bigger way, I suspect, come 2015.

    If and when Labour overtake the Government on economic trustworthiness, then it may become terminal for the Coalition. We need to keep a close eye on this one.

  3. Con last on 27% with IpsosMORI in January 2003… this differs from UKPR tables. At first I thought this was for reasons to do with changes to headline figures, but there must be a discrepancy somewhere because both measures (absolutely certain to vote/all adults naming a party) give the same figure:



    Opinium had them on 27% last week, Angus Reid in January.

    26% with TNS-BNRB in December 2012. Before that ICM in December 2002?

  4. Allowing for Margin of Error that could actually represent :

    Con 24%
    Lab 43%

    I know that’s pretty unlikely. But it is within the Margin of Error…

    Scary territory for the Conservative party?

  5. 26% think that Labour have the best policies, I find this hard to understand as Labour have not put out any specific policies as we know that the government would get the Treasury to do a hatchet job on them.

  6. CON 25% (-4), LAB 38% (0), LD 11% (0), UKIP 15% (+1), OTHER 10% (+1)


    When were the conservatives last this low?

  7. Roger

    Frankly in common with most oppositions with an unpopular incumbent administration there is really very little to be gained by publishing a detailed manifest 2 Years prior to an election .

    IMO The Labour Party have struck about the right note identifying a few populist measures which aim to target those who appear to be avoiding the recession ie the Mansion Tax

    The Government are stuck with a situation where there own 2010 targets are clearly going to be missed and I suspect Labour’s game plan for 2015 will be along the lines of you trusted the Coalition for a Term ,they let the public down ,is it credible to trust them again?

    The conservatives have to move from a level around 27% to around 40% by 2015 if they wish to form the next administration.

    It will be interesting if they establish a plan that is credible . Next weeks budget could be crucial.

  8. Blimey.

    Seriously bad figures for the Tories.

  9. I think the conservatives are doing remarkably well, considering they have lost us our triple A rating, and are plunging us into a triple dip recession.

  10. ‘26% think that Labour have the best policies, I find this hard to understand as Labour have not put out any specific policies ‘

    One view is simple – 26% of of people think the Governments polices are so bad that anything is better…

  11. “26% think that Labour have the best policies, I find this hard to understand as Labour have not put out any specific policies”
    From the previous post:
    “This is not to say that attitudes to benefits are unusual in some way in being based upon a poor understanding of the issues. I expect this is typical and we’d find it in almost any policy subject we cared to ask about. Most people don’t waste much of their time worrying about the details of how the country is run, what the government spends, how policies work and so on. Our views of policies are based not on a detailed understanding of the issues, but on crude impressions and heuristics.”

  12. The decline in Conservative support is seriously worrying for Cameron; UKIP’s surge and of course weakening the Conservative’s capability to hold key marginal seats against Lab/LD is of great worry to the Tories.

    It is good to see Miliband focus on the importance of local regional banks, an idea which has been floating around “Blue Labour” and Glasman and which is heavily based on the German model of banking. A welcome move.

  13. It would appear we approaching ‘rabbit out of a hat’ time, presumably the Budget.

    I suspect it would have to be like the Chancellor’s previous electoral coup, (only he wasn’t then) of ‘you can become a millionaire and keep it’ (albeit after you are dead). I notice he didn’t actually implement it now he is Chancellor.

    I’ve just lost my Mum (91) the other day.

    I shall inherit the maximum allowed for people in care homes to retain, of £23000 (less £4000 for funeral expenses). This is because all the rest of my parent’s capital in their house went on those expenses over the years of care until the limit was reached. So all that which my father and mother worked for and saved their entire working lives went up in smoke as a result of her dementia. Had she had some other appalling illness, and become a bed-ridden, the care costs would have been nil. The NHS would have picked them up. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

    Perhaps GO will have something in that area to announce. It will need to be something startling like that, I suppose.

  14. Howard

    Sorry to hear about your mum

  15. Both the Tories and Labour down due to the lib and UKIP surge, though the Labour lead has remained pretty static at about 10 or 11 points or so.

    Despite this being worrying for both parties, the Tories will be the most concerned because if UKIP poll anywhere near where they are at present then you can only see Labour winning outright (and handsomely). Even if UKIP poll only around 6% on polling day, a Tory-led government would look very unlikely.

  16. Howard
    Sorry to hear about your loss.

    All –
    Interesting detail from the Ipsos Mori poll –
    Half the sample (482 weighted, so warning on figures) were asked
    “People have different ideas about the best way of dealing with Britain’s economic difficulties. Which of the following do you most agree with?”
    Two options
    “Britain has a debt problem, built up over many years, and we have got to deal with it. If we don’t, interest rates will soar. That’s why tackling the deficit and keeping interest rates low should be our top priority.” 52%
    “Without growth in our economy, we are not getting the deficit down and are borrowing more.
    We need more Government spending on investment to kick-start our economy and a temporary cut in taxes to support growth” 41%

    But rephrased..
    “George Osborne argues that…” 37%
    “Ed Balls argues that..” 53%

    Big shifts with all non-Conservative voters (WARNING: SUBSAMPLES) when chancellors are prompted.

  17. @Howard,

    “Sorry to hear about your mum”

    Seconded. My nan has severe dementia and lives with us. I know firsthand how awful dementia is and how stressful it is for not only the person concerned but also their close relatives.

  18. Yes, thanks very much. I just hope nobody thought I could not suffer bereavement and be incapable of discussing a very important issue.

    If one takes the Frank field view, one wonders why my parents did not booze and cruise their way through life instead of what they did.

    Just to stress it would not have worried me if it had all gone. Having not to subject my wife (oh yes, we men know who would have had to cope) was of inestimable value.

    We keep people in prison to save themselves and others from their problems for free. Huhne and Archer are worth millions.

  19. Tories polling in record lows in tonights polls ?

    Not backing Leveson may be seen as unpopular after the hacking etc. It makes Cameron look like he is desperate for favourable press relations, even though I do see his point that state regulation of the press may be a slippery slope.

    Next weeks budget is unlikely to help with popularity for the Tories. The Lib Dems appear to have come through the worse and have picked up, particularly since Eastleigh. Also I think it is pretty smart of Cable briefing that he wants more emphasis on growth and hints at disagreements with Osborne current policies.

    UKIP also now seem to be regularly over 10%, mostly at the expense of the Tories. Will the Tories do a deal with UKIP before May 2015 ?

  20. Poor for Tories, no doubt about it. They need the Ukip vote, but it’s not going to happen as it stands.

    Very disappointed some people on the left are attempting to make political capital of the Popes appointment. I keep reading that its a Pope for today’s world, representing the more social and liberal movement people are making. This is of course utter rubbish, it’s just who the cardinals chose after what I would bet was a lot of internal politics. Right now, sadly, it seems anything can be squared to fit the anti-banks, anti-business, anti-aspiration agenda. If Miliband does look like getting in, I would love to see an indication that he will not fall in to this agenda, despite pressure from various groups with vested interests…

  21. @ Howard

    Sorry to hear of your loss. I have seen an Aunt with dementia in the same situation. In fact her story appeared in the Daily Mail, as I think the care home costs exceeded over £100k at the time in the late 90’s and again most of her estate was swallowed up by care costs. I think the Tories implemented this particular policy in about 1996. Labour did not change this policy during their term.

  22. Howard
    Sorry to hear about your loss.

    The same thing happened to my Mum she died 3 years ago after being in care for a year it only cost us £24000. The funny thing is as a pensioner she got £320 a month to live on in care it cost £2000 a month.

  23. @R Huckle – ” …desperate for favourable press relations”

    Sue Cameron has a piece today in the Telegraph about the No 10 strategy and communications team: a total lack of grip at the heart of government. “It’s all firefighting” according to civil servants.

    Oliver reportedly wanted to resign last year and had to be talked out of it, Cooper predictably is not keen on the Crosby influence, but according to Cameron’s (Sue that is, in another article) Whitehall sources it was no better in the old days: “Steve Hilton never came to meetings, looked at emails or read any Government papers.”

  24. HOWARD,

    Many condolences. My Mum, 81, is about to go to her God, and yes, the care home costs have been huge. Mum’s husband, my Dad, worked hard all his life.

    Agreed. Pope Francis is NOT a lefty. He eschewed all marxist movements when in charge of the Jesuits, and as Bishop.

  25. I think some people’s expectation and/or hope that the new pope is a socialist exposes the lack of real leftwing figures in politics

  26. RICHO

    Right now, sadly, it seems anything can be squared to fit the anti-banks, anti-business, anti-aspiration agenda.


    Actually I think you will find that most people are not campaigning for an end to banking, to business or to aspiration.

    What most people are anti, is the rigged game, lavish rewards for failure, banks hoovering up assets and not doing so much for business while misspelling, libor shennanigans etc etc etc

  27. Misselling, not misspelling, lol. ..

  28. If someone could come up with a different ‘rabbit out of the hat’ to my suggested initiative on geriatric / dementia care, I should be interested. It seems to me that the PM needs something of great impact. Having a row with the EU (or even EZ, incongruously) only seems to have a temporary effect on the polls.

    At present, I question whether the PM is wise to give an impression of being on the side of press barons. It would appear that this was a calculated move so I wonder what was behind it.

  29. @Howard

    Very sorry to hear of your loss. May she rest in peace.

    Elderly care is an absolute scandal. Pensioners are meant to be a very effective lobby. Clearly not on this issue.

    My mother-in-law has dementia – and she’s only in her 60s. Unfortunately, it’s becoming very common.

    My wife and I both come from cultures where one of the children look after the parents in old age (if possible). But it’s not possible in every case, and clearly everyone from every culture wants to do their best for their parents.

    How can care homes justify £2,000 a month? That close to the average gross wage. It’s outrageous. Where is that money going?

  30. @RiN/Chris L 45/RichO

    Who ever claimed that Pope Francis 1 was a socialist? He’s interested in the plight of the poor, equality and social justice but he’s coming at these issues as a Christian primarily, I suspect, not from any avowedly left wing standpoint. He’s from a solidly Argentinian middle class family, the son of a railwayman, and has spent most of his life within the strictures of the Catholic church. His involvement in politics has been minimal and he’s never publicly espoused any overtly political views from what I can tell having read up on him, although he has come close with his comments about the Falklands, I suppose. His record during the long night of the military juntas in Argentine suggests an expedient and pragmatic man, capable of accommodating with authority of whatever political hue.

    Let’s see how he performs as a Pope, but there’s nothing much to suggest from his background that he’s anything other than a conservative safe pair of hands. It’s ludicrously premature to say anything else about him yet, isn’t it?

    @That Old Bloke

    “Scary territory for the Conservative party?”

    Well, if the TNS/BRMB poll is to be believed then, yes it is. Who’d have thought that we’d ever see a national opinion poll that put UKIP within 10 points of the Tories? We’re getting into quasi-Alliance territory, aren’t we (tongue slightly in cheek!)? UKIP are grievously damaging the Conservatives and whilst they’ve no doubt dented Labour post Eastleigh, they’re eating away at the core Tory vote essentially, and have probably been doing so for upwards of 12 months now. Whereas the Labour and Lib Dem drifters will probably return to base when the Eastleigh hubbub has subsided, I think the Tory defectors have made a more permanent and philosophically based move. They may be more difficult to tempt back “home” and might feel that they’ve found a more comfortable home in UKIP anyway.

    Kilroy Silk when UKIP leader, admittedly in one of his more hubristic moments, said that the mission of his party was to destroy the Conservative Party. That may still be a little far-fetched, but I think that they could be starting to represent a mortal electoral threat to the Tories now. Farage is out to get Cameron and is probably thinking that the 2014 Euro elections could be the moment he applies his coup de grace.

  31. The Tories are in deep trouble I believe.

    In Tory seats (2010 GE)), if the second place party stood still, and UKIP pinch 10% off them, they would lose about 80 seats.

    The real danger is Labour beating them in the north and cities, the LDs hanging on in Con/LD marginals and a UKIP squeeze.

    Unless the economy miraculously improves greatly, it’s looking sticky.

  32. @crossbat11

    Farage is out to get Cameron and is probably thinking that the 2014 Euro elections could be the moment he applies his coup de grace.

    A bad Tory result vs UKIP in 2014 will be very interesting. All those nervous MPs less than a year from the GE will be very twitchy…

  33. @CatmanJeff

    LDs holding off the Tories in the South.might be enough on its own to give Lab an OM.

  34. Some folk think the Tories need the UKIP vote.

    Do they?

    Don’t they need to move back towards the CENTRE of British politics? And reclaim votes from the LibDems and Labour?

    I don’t see any evidence that moving to the right wins General Elections.

    Neither here nor in the USA….

  35. @CatmanJeff

    What I mean is that Lab may not even need UKIP to cause the loss of Con MPs, as long as the LDs hang on in the South and are routed in the North.

    One area of the country that has probably become critical for the Tories is the Midlands.

  36. I have examined Yougov’s best party for the economy question (from June 2010) by CUSUM:

    h ttp://ozzyscorner.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/best-party-cusum.jpg

    It shows that Labour hasn’t really gained, but since the pasty tax the tables for George Osborne have turned.

    The rise in ‘None’ corresponds with the Tory fall, and that basically voters have little faith in any party on the economy.

  37. On a related note, whilst not religious myself, I did find Pope John Paul II somebody you couldn’t help but warm to. In fact, for somebody in his position, it’s almost impossible to imagine anybody with more charisma,

  38. @ RAF

    I agree.

    If all three (UKIP rise, Lab in North, LD holding on), you might have the ‘anyone but Conservatives’ thing starting to happen.

    This could turn into a big Labour majority.

  39. @That Old Bloke

    “Don’t they need to move back towards the CENTRE of British politics? And reclaim votes from the LibDems and Labour?”

    It probably depends where the voters are in 2015.

    The problem for the Tories is that much of their vote at present is centred around people (mainly pensioners) who find the UKIP line attractive. The rest of their vote is concentrated amongst the wealthy, who largely find Osborne’s economic approach to their liking.

    The,Tories cannot fight from the centre therefore when their key constituencies are some distance to the right of centre, or far beyond that. Which is unfortunate, as a UKIP/Osborne line will not win the next GE (on current trends).

  40. CROSSBAT 11.

    I agree to a very large extent with your analysis. I think that prior to being Pope, he took a non-structuralist approach to the problems of ‘the poor’. Compassion and support to people as individuals in their suffering. This was diffterent to the approach of Camara and of Romero, in Brazil and El Salvador.
    Pope Francis is also, I think, part of the ‘evangelical’ catholic movement, which is not radical in a secular political sense.

  41. Sorry to hear about your mother, Howard .. and glad that you don’t have to worry any more about her health and happiness.

  42. I’m trying to understand DC’s decision today. Surely he could have kept “cross party talks” going till 2015, that’s hardly a new tactic in parliamentary politics. What happened to cause him to break off talks, without setting up a soft landing first. Was he getting out in front of it so he could abandon talks before the Lib Dems and Labour could do it first?

  43. @ Jayblanc

    I agree with you.

    I find it an odd decision, and I don’t understand his strategy one bit either.

  44. Interesting set of polls. YG seems to have the lead easing, but these other polls suggest deep weakness in Tory VI. Either way, it looks like Tories have been hurt, although I don’t see them really being at 25%. Labour have also eased, but this wouldn’t matter if replicated in a GE. I haven’t done the calculators, but I suspect that losing a couple of per cent if you are in the low thirties/high twenties will lose far more seats that losing a couple of per cent in the forties.

    The budget really could be quite interesting. While I have deep sympathy with @Howard, I don’t think we’ll see much in terms of immediate announcement on care costs. This is a potentially costly move, and they have already signaled their intentions on this. Also, while a critical issue, I suspect its VI resonance is actually quite low. Only 1 in 5 families will be affected, and the benefits are much longer term. I think Osborne is looking for something for the next 12 – 18 months.

    I think there are very deep problems at the heart of No 10 at present. The minimum alcohol price is a symbol of both Cameron’s poor grasp of policy and his weak hold on power. The government is floundering, and there doesn’t seem to be any purpose and solidity.

    I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to predict for the budget. They’ve already rejected ‘shock and awe’ tax cuts, and the fiscal prognosis doesn’t look great, so room for maneuver seems really limited.

  45. RAF
    The care costs are fully justified as of course three shift adequate care needs almost one to two ratios of staff to patients, note ‘patients’.

    The problem with dementia is not the simple fact of memory loss but the consequences. First the patients (not guests in my view) have to be warded, in other words prevented from escape. Prior to my mother being ‘incarcerated’ she was wandering around the town at 4 in the morning in her nightgown (like that -out of the blue). Many die that way.

    Then there are the falls. Even close care patient contact will not prevent those. Then there are the ‘impossible to predict’ other accidents. Believe me, if you think you have dealt with every possible danger to a frail dement person, they will confound you. They have the capacity to fool strangers, who will berate you for not trusting them! My mother hung around by the front door of the home and convinced some naive visitors who knew the entrance door code that ‘ my husband is waiting for me in the car park’ and before you could say ‘don’t be silly -she is dement’ was off down to town!

    I don’t need to extend this do I? We need proper funding and please not expect ordinary folk to have to deal with this – and it is only going to get worse as the years roll by and my generation becomes dement. I hope this is seen as an apolitical comment, but if not – to hell with it. I haven’t said which party I would trust to deal with it, have I?

  46. Re: Leveson, I expect David Cameron wishes to avoid the ‘trashing’ which the tabloids give Gordon Brown.


  47. @Howard

    Very true. That’s my experience too.

  48. Eric Joyce has been arrested for fighting in a Parliament bar (again!)

    Could we see a by election in Falkirk.

    2010 Result:
    Conservative: 5698 (11.2%)
    Labour: 23207 (45.7%)
    Lib Dem: 5225 (10.3%)
    SNP: 15364 (30.3%)
    UKIP: 1283 (2.5%)
    MAJORITY: 7843 (15.4%)

    Can’t see Labour losing it but if the Tories and LibDem’s decided to back the SNP it could be close on a low turnout, although I suspect people are more likely to want to give the Tories a kicking.


  49. @Amber

    Meanwhile, Tony Blair…

    Gordon always came across as a decent man, so this does not surprise me.

  50. Eric Joyce has been arrested again after an “altercation” in a Commons bar.

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