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. @CrossBat,

    I think it’s undoubtedly to keep the press on his side. Having the press on your side is a very powerful weapon in politics. Whether it will be enough to save him in 2015 is, of course, another matter…..

  2. For “Hand-break” READ “Hand-brake”

  3. CrossbbattyII

    “I miss contributions from Paul Croft, of late, and wonder where he is. Anyone know?”

    I agree. I miss his quick wit and humour and I hope he intends to return one day.

    I’m glad to see the back of him meself – sarcastic git.

  4. @ Statgeek

    I tried hard to make the acronym A.R.S.E, but it just wouldn’t work…
    A Room Surplus Equals Extortion.
    Okay, it’s A.R.S.E.E., so the floor is open for a better suggestion. :-)

  5. He’s back! !

    We need a Paul Croft Monitor. ..

  6. Here’s looking at you, Paul ;-)

  7. I can’t help feeling this is th e dog days for the Coalition, now. Don’t know how it will happen, but I can’t see how it can go on much longer.

    Cameron might be planning to lose the vote and then force an election in short shrift to get the Press blazing for him.

    Followed I suspect by a landslide for the Eds.

  8. @ Howard

    Just catching up with the news. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I can truly empathise as my late father died of alzheimers after an illness of 7 years. My wife and I cared for him for all but the last three of those years, but then it became too much for us to handle and he went into a home. Almost all our potential family inheritance was spent on his bills.

    Politically, I don’t know what the solution to this is, as with the rapidly increasing incidence of dementia, in its various forms, for us to put the financial burden of this illness on the state would require massive rises in taxation. It is a real conundrum.

  9. Very glad you are back, Paul.

  10. @Paul
    Skin off your nose.

    A Room Surplus Equals Extortion.
    Okay, it’s A.R.S.E.E., so the floor is open for a better suggestion. :-)
    Oh, Amber, you temptress!
    No I can’t!

  11. @Paul Croft

    “I’m glad to see the back of him meself – sarcastic git”

    Well put. I should be careful what I wish for..

  12. OK so I was perusing the Telegraph and discovered that MPs are getting another hundred squids for their second homes.

    Which does leave one wondering if they have any spare rooms that, you know, oughta be taxed and stuff. ..

  13. @ NickP

    “Cameron might be planning to lose the vote and then force an election in short shrift to get the Press blazing for him.”

    Can he force an election under the new fixed term parliament rule? Wouldn’t the Ed’s form a minority caretaker govt in this parliament with LD and SNP covert or overt indulgence?

  14. Charles:

    @Paul Croft

    “I’m glad to see the back of him meself – sarcastic git”

    Well put. I should be careful what I wish for..


    I was sort of quoting Mr. Wells actually – one can only take so much censorship of mildly humorous comments before the spontaneity [and peasure of writing] is lost.

    Sadly I have no control of the tone in which comments are “heard”, just in how they are actually intended: I can still enjoy reading here though.

  15. tony dean

    I’m sure that the current PM could force an end to the coalition, and I’m pretty sure that Ed would go to the country rather than govern for long in a minority.

  16. @ambivalent supporter My experience of dementia is very very out of date (although unfortunately, probabilities being what they are, I may get a totally different and altogether more direct experience of it in the not too distant future).

    Anyway for what its worth ages ago there were some excellent mainstream services that could be really useful, They included what was then called home help, district nurses, day centres of different kinds, sitting services, short breaks, holidays on which you could take the elderly person etc. In addition there was a lot of good practical advice potentially available from the Alzheimer’s society, carers groups and so on. And there were various allowances which could be used to purchase particular kinds of help.

    The problem was that this help was provided piecemeal and far too late. Good packages if available seemed to be associated with good geriatricians or psycho-geriatricians who took a wide view of their responsibilities and had the political clout to get their will put into effect. These, however, were the exception rather than the rule and the result was that the general level of support for carers was very poor.

    I gather that now you are entitled to a carer’s assessment but I have no idea of how well or badly it works. Similarly I have no idea of the average quality of the services available although the little I do hear does not much encourage me.

    I am sure that you are aware of whatever entitlements you may have. However, you do not mention any support from outside your immediate family and in the past it would have been the case that persistence might pay off.

  17. @ Amberstar

    A Room Surplus Equals Extortion.
    Okay, it’s A.R.S.E.E., so the floor is open for a better suggestion. :-)

    I’d drop the “equals” bit, giving:

    A Room Surplus Extortion, thereby getting A.R.S.E.

    The Equals bit seems to be superfluous.

  18. @Paul Croft

    Paul, as someone who perhaps takes things too seriously, I did not always realise many of your comments (especially to me) were meant to be light hearted. Nevertheless I have always appreciated your comments and I hope you will continue posting and would ask Anthony to allow you a little bit of leeway.


  19. @Paul Croft

    I’m relieved you’re not ill! what I like so much about this site is the sheer variety of talent and information on display. And your contribution is surely unique and (for me) an important part of the mix. So hopefully this has been just a short sin-binning and the spirit (ok whatever) will prompt you to contribute yet again. No need to reply as this is all a bit off the main point of what we are supposed to be about as I understand it.

  20. I think it was paul wot copped the hump not AW although I could be wrong.

    Are you going to do your thread monitoring again, PC? It’s been omnishambles in a brewery round here.

  21. @Paul C

    I started to think that it was Arsenal losing to Spurs and then exiting the Champions League that had caused your departure. Those results and your disappearance did appear to coincide!

    Anyway, welcome back/


    @”(what is it by the way?)”

    A change in HB rules.

    Just had one of those newsletters from my County Council.

    Pages 8 & 9 ( of 20) are headed “Welfare Reform-what do the changes mean for you ?”

    The first item is “Changes to Housing Benefit”, which starts ” From April there are new Housing Benefit rules if you live in a council or housing association property-they are …..”

  23. CB11
    :@”I must confess, I can’t quite fathom Cameron’s motives for declaring UDI on the implementation of the Leveson proposals and scuppering the cross party talks.”

    High Grant said on DP yesterday , that he had agreed with Labour that unless Leveson was implemented in a way acceptable to Hacked Off, they would continue to table amendments to Government Bills whenever & wherever it was possible in order to introduce bits of Press regulation.

    Grant said they could , by this means, “bring the Government’s legislative programme to a halt”

    DC mentioned this at his Press Conference & said he couldn’t risk that. So he is putting Cons’ proposals to a vote to get the mater settled. If Clegg/Miliband table amendments which are passed om Monday-DC said that will be the law .

    So Hugh Grant has essentially forced this.

  24. “A change in HB rules.”


    That involves the levying of a charge by a public body that isn’t voluntary and has legal force behind it.

    I.e. a Tax.

  25. @”That involves the levying of a charge”

    .er …….no-it doesn’t.

    It involves -as my County Council ( who are implementing it ) explains……………a reduction in Housing Benefit.

  26. Of course it’s a reduction. Because they are levying a charge. You wouldn’t expect it to increase now would you.

  27. @”Because they are levying a charge. ”

    No -they are not.

    They are reducing the amount of HB paid to claimants whose circumstances fall within the ambit of the new HB rules.

    My CC provides two examples-in one an HB payment by the CC of £120 pw falls to £ 53 pw.-in the other an HB payment by the CC of £20 pw falls to £6.84

  28. It’s a charge for a spare room

    No spare room, no charge.

    All you are doing is describing how it is levied.

    None if which alters the fact there’s a charge for a spare room

  29. @”It’s a charge for a spare room”

    No-it’s a payment to the claimant in respect of less accommodation- a smaller HB entitlement .

  30. Yes it’s a charge deducted at source like PAyE. We already went through that.

    How it is levied doesn’t alter the fact it’s a charge.

  31. @”Yes it’s a charge deducted at source like PAyE. We already went through that.”

    No it isn’t.

    PAYE is a tax on income , deducted from your pay & transmitted to HMRC.

    HB is a welfare benefit you receive from your CC.

    You pay your rent.
    You have as many rooms as you like, and/or can afford.
    Your CC decides how many of them it will help fund under the new HB rules-and you have to pay for the rest .

    No “charge” or “levy” is involved.

  32. Already been through that last time. Just because youare on benefits does not mean there is no charge. If there’s a spare room there’s a charge. As I explained before…

    Plus there is nothing in either the dictionary or legal definition of tax that says it doesn’t apply if on benefits. As explained before. ..

    You’ll tie yourself up in knots trying to claim that people on benefits can’t be taxed because on benefits. As I showed last time with the VAT example.

  33. @”If there’s a spare room there’s a charge”


    You just pay your rent to your landlord.

    You claim your HB & receive it from your CC.

  34. How it is levied is immaterial. .. you will experience a charge. ..

  35. TOJIM


    I do care ( a bit) what it is called.-but I understand that the name doesn’t matter to those affected by the new HB rules.

    Hadn’t caught up with MPs “second homes” ??

    Not more troughing surely ?-will go look for this.

  36. It’s in the Telegraph Col. ..

  37. TOJIM

    The “second ” homes , I presume are their constituency homes.

    IPSA has increased the total amount that can be spent on rent and bills from £20,000 to £20,100 from April 1 this year.

    That’s 0.5% pa-but it should be zero.

  38. Did the ‘spare room subsidy’ exist anywhere on paper before the bedroom tax came into existence? If not then you can’t remove something which didn’t exist in the first place. In that case it would be a not-so-cleverly-hidden tax.

    And I’m a little unclear. Is private accommodation affected by this? If not then it’s clearly a tax on those in social housing. Both groups are claiming HB after all.

  39. Tojim

    I agree it’s an attack on the poor those people who are living in cramped accommodation who have been waiting on a council waiting list sometimes for years for a larger home for themselves and there kids, only to have it blocked by that couple down the road, who’s children have left home but ther parents are still living in the same three bedroom council house, yeah that’s really fair.

  40. Tojim


    “I agree it’s an attack on the poor those people who are living in cramped accommodation who have been waiting on a council waiting list sometimes for years for a larger home for themselves and there kids, only to have it blocked by that couple down the road, who’s children have left home but ther parents are still living in the same three bedroom council house, yeah that’s really fair.”

    If they live in social housing and pay their rent but don’t claim housing benefit, why would it be any fairer? Come to that, if an old lady lives in a mortgage-free mansion with 20 spare bedrooms, while your family lives in a shoebox with extended family, why is that fair?

    How does the bedroom tax fix that?

  41. For crying out loud, take it elsewhere. No more bloody stupid arguments over what the thing is called. The government call it an under-occupancy charge, its opponents call it a bedroom tax, as far as I can tell the closest thing it actually has to an official name in the regulations implementing it is the “maximum rent (social sector)” – which obviously doesn’t really describe it particularly well, as it means the maximum rent in the social sector that HB will pay for, not the maximum rent people will pay!

    But all that aside, you are all well aware that you are referring to the same thing, so keep the silly partisan back-and-forth about what the right name is and whether it is a tax or not off my website. Final warning before people start getting put on the naughty step.

  42. Same goes for further discussion on whether it is a good policy or not.

  43. What the arguments did indicate is that the policy is seen very differently by the different sides.

    However I don’t think that the policy itself will have any significant impact on the opinion polls – Conservatives think its good, Labour think its bad, plus ca change. The remaining hurdles – wrt the polls – will be any potential legal challenges, and if it can be implemented effectively.

    Even then I suspect it will have a marginal impact. Possibly the Government will seem to be slightly more effective or slightly more incompetent as a result…

  44. A quick heads up to the polling geeks (most of you):

    A comparison of the 30 polls on Sunday last week and after today’s poll for UKIP across the UK:


    A seven % and three 8% polls have dropped out, while two 11% and two 12% polls have been added. They are still red though as the balance of the MAD has still to tip, but note how the position of the MAD 8.8% is closer to the left end of the image than the before. The closer the MAD is to the centre of the 30 polls, the more likely it will stick around.

    I predict a jump in the UKIP MAD data if Sunday’s poll comes in at 10% or more.

  45. Well at least we can discuss what effect it will have on polling when it unravels. My guess, not a lot

  46. Poverty and Inequality seems to be steadily rising as an issue on the Ipsos Mori Trends/Issues thing.

    In February it was level with education and crime and only five points off the NHS. ..

  47. The bedroom tax wont have an immediate effect on polling other than to further cement the ‘nasty party’ image of the tories in many voters minds. Most people are unaffected and – although awareness is growing – unaware of its full effects on it victims.

    Whilst this wont decrease the tory share of VI – it may very well make it harder for them to win new recruits. I think – and hope – that the government has reached the limits of popular support for its assault on people on benefits.

    What will hurt them is if and when the bedroom tax falls apart due to growing opposition – particularly if non-payment makes it unenforceable. This will add to the perception of incompetence – particularly around Ian Duncan Smith.

  48. Anthony is right. “Everything is what it is and not another thing”. Nevertheless perceptions also matter since ‘If men (sic) define situations as real they are real in their consequences’ And words can shape perceptions (Thucydides has Pericles speaking of people being ‘overpowered by a phrase’)

    So presumably the phrases ‘poll tax’ ‘stealth tax’ ‘ ‘death tax’ ‘jobs tax’ ‘xxx tax’ have done their objects no favours in the public mind. And hence the arguments over whether they are justified. It seems to me that this is very unfortunate and not the way to have policy arguments, but I suspect that it was ever thus.

    (This post dredges the barrel of my stock of quotations. See it as an attempt to avoid the naughty step. Or at least if sent there to be so in the company of Butler, Thomas, Pericles and Paul Croft)

  49. COLIN
    “So Hugh Grant has essentially forced this.”

    May I draw your attention to Amber’s post a few days ago,, and to her reference to the Labour website detailing the News International’s and more specifically the Sun’s repeated and untrue allegations against Gordon Brown, conducted to the unrelenting theme of his allegedly high non-Parliamentary earnings and personal gains while in office?
    You and I have occasionally crossed swords over the matter of making references to sources essential to an argument or assertion on this blog. The present matter involves a press attack on an essentially decent and honest politician, apparently for purposes of political influence, and was at the heart of the Levenson enquiry, and I suggest at the heart of the Labour Party’s unyielding concern not to let this calumny be repeated. Could I ask you, and others, if you have not already done so, to read the Labour website, which I repeat below, with care?

    Its gist is that, quite apart from the specific earnings being known to the Sun to be entirely devoted to charitable or to legitimate party expenses, and in no case to his personal gain, the newspaper eight times over a period of months repeated or added to these allegations, then withdrawing them and repeatedly made apologies for its misrepresentations.

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


    Is this not a case where, if the Conservative Party or the Government did not pursue the realisation of the purposes of the Levenson enquiry and recommendations – for example if it avoided Mr Grant’s or other private voices being heard and acted on – it might have won a minor evading skirmish but lost a major war against misuse of the freedoms of the press and against premeditated attack, not just on honourable politicians and public figures, but on democracy. And would that not set a seal on the public perception of the Conservative Party as ready to win an electoral battle at the cost of democracy?
    As for Hugh Grant, let me repeat an earlier posting: for evil to prevail it only requires good men to do nothing.

  50. Actually I found today’s latter posts, with which I have just caught up, hilarious (perhaps I needed cheering up). It was better than Puss in Boots in 1956 (oh yes he is!).

    I love our press (as you all know). Our PM has dragged himself over to the mainland for more tiresome discussions but the press relieved him of talking about that by just asking about press censorship.

    I don’t suppose the average viewer even knew there was an EU summit or where he was being interviewed.

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