The monthly Ipsos MORI poll for the Evening Standard is out today and has topline voting intention figures of CON 29%(+2), LAB 38%(-2), LDEM 10%(-1), UKIP 15%(+2). Full tabs are here.

The poll also repeated some questions on whether Ed Miliband was ready to be PM, and the Labour party ready to return to government. 66% of people thought Miliband was NOT ready to be PM compared to 24% who thought he was (an improvement from 2011 when MORI last asked the question and only 17% thought he was ready). In comparison 29% think Labour are ready to form a government, 58% think they are not.

There is a temptation to look at questions like this and think “Oh Labour have 38% support but only 24% think Miliband is ready to be PM, so more than a third of Labour voters don’t think he is ready”. It doesn’t necessarily work like that, though in this case it isn’t far off. Voting intention figures exclude don’t knows and won’t vote, so are not comparable in this way. You need to look at the detailed tables here. For what it’s worth, and obviously there is a long time to go and these figures have tended to improve over time, 50% of Labour voters think Miliband is ready, 37% disagree.

In the meantime, how good or bad are those figures? Here is MORI’s historical results for the question for leaders and parties. Looking at mid-term figures (rather than when the question has been asked in election campaigns) in 2008 43% thought David Cameron was ready to be PM, in 2003 30% of people thought Michael Howard was ready, in 2003 just 16% thought IDS was, in 2000 18% thought Hague was. The figures for Tony Blair were much higher – in 1994 59% of people thought he was ready to be PM.

Yesterday there was also a new Angus Reid poll, which had topline figures of CON 27%(-3), LAB 39%(nc), LDEM 8%(-2), UKIP 16%(+4). Changes are from the Angus Reid poll in the Sunday Express at the end of January (note that the Angus Reid website instead gives changes from their poll in early January, hence the mismatch).

Finally this morning’s YouGov poll for the Sun had topline figures of CON 30%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 12%… so back to normal after that seven point figure yesterday. I hate to say I told you so, but…

292 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 29, LAB 38, LD 10, UKIP 15”

1 2 3 4 5 6
  1. @charles,

    So sorry to here, and what a thought provoking well put post.
    Best wishes,

  2. Rich/Carfrew

    Ray Kurzweil’s analysis of growth in computing efficiency is fascinating. He had looked at figures from the mid-19thC to today, through 5 or 6 technologies (mechanical adding machines, punched card readers, valve computers, transistor computers, IC computers) and found that a variant of Moore’s Law holds.

    Kurzweil claims that every 18 months to 2 years (I forget the exact period) the number of calculation operations you can buy for $1 doubles. And that the relationship has held throughout all these technology changes. Kurzweil’s take is that, when a technology reaches its practical limit, it becomes economically viable for the paradigm shift to a new technology to take place. But of course this sometimes needs considerable public support to ease the transition (e.g. Development of IC technology.)

    Just out of nerdy interest, I did a rough check on Kurzweil’s Law from personal experience. In 1993, I started as a research assistant at a university, conducting computer models of structural analysis. Very demanding of technology at the time. My boss pushed the boat and spent 3000 quid on a PC with a 66MHz processor. State of the art at the time.

    Today, for £500 you can get 8-core 2.5GHz laptops. More or less 20GHz of processor speed or a 300 fold increase in speed for 1/6th the price, even ignoring inflation, which suggests something like a 2000-fold increase in calcs per unit cost over 20 years (a bit more if you take inflation into account)

    A doubling every 2 years would have produced a 1000-fold increase and an 18 month period would have produced an 8000 fold increase, so Kurzweil’s Law appears to be holding.

    Which raises all sorts of questions about the development of IT and society over the next generation. By the time my 5 and 6 year olds are finishing their PhDs in 20 years time, according to Kurzweil’s Law, we’ll be able to get 20-100THz of processing power for £500. That is almost literally inconceivable computational power and has huge implications for the way we will address numerical problems. In my own field, modelling of structural and mechanical behaviour has moved in the last 20 years from being the preserve of academic specialists (and even then, limited in scope) to being commonplace in the workplace, and phenomenally detailed & able to capture the basic physical processes underpinning mechanical response. Perhaps the next 20 years might see a similar improvement in modelling of more complex socio-economic processes?

    But I bet economists will still screw-up their Excel spreadsheets.

  3. @Charles

    My condolences to you and your family at this sad time.

  4. Charles, what a loss. I can only echo everybody else’s thoughts.

    Sod the polls, at least for the day.

  5. @Charles

    My condolences to you and your family.

  6. Charles,
    So sorry to hear of your sad loss. May she rest in peace.
    God bless

  7. Charles, I did not know your wife but I offer sincere condolences for your loss.

    Take care of yourself – it is too easy to forget about your own health when dealing with the loss of a loved one.

    And if I may – good to have felt your friendship for even a short while, DEVONIAN. vale atque ave.

  9. Charles,

    I am sorry to hear your very sad news.Please accept my condolences .
    As a Spiritualist – and a medium myself – I don’t actually believe in death beyond the physical body – I am firmly convinced that the mind and conscious awareness survives and have received – and given – much evidence to that effect. . None of this detracts from the loss of the physical presence , however – particularly when so unexpected.

  10. Many, many thanks for all who have posted on my wife’s death. I was moved and comforted (although also made to realize how invidious it is to mention anyone by name when so many contribute so well)

    But also I have inadvertently seemed to have diverted the site from its business of polling and politics. I think I am somehow learning through all this that death is the price of life, and somehow gives it point. It was the life on this site, the lively debate, the erudition, the wisdom and the occasional astringent remarks that so delighted my wife.

    So my suggestion would be that if anyone wants to say anything condoing, I would indeed like that very much, but that they only do so in addition to other contributions. Otherwise I am afraid that Anthony will put her in some kind of ghostly moderation..

  11. @Charles
    So sorry for your news. Although the tunnel is dark and the silence is deafening, it does get better. Courage.

    And to avoid moderation, some thoughts on the upcoming locals. Yesterday we got canvassed by the LibDems despite a prominent Lab poster in the window, and this being a supposedly safe LD ward. When I canvassed long ago we were told to avoid houses that clearly expressed their VI, since we’d be unlikely to change their minds and for sake of time if nothing else. When I swung this by a local Lab organiser they said that both Con and LD are fearing meltdown in this neck of the woods.

    Which leads me to think that 2 May will have some stonking surprises …

  12. Condolences charles,only just seen your post. On today’s poll it’s interesting Labour is stable but the tory figure seems to change more dramatically from poll to poll.still in moe though.

  13. Nick was the misspelling of guardian as guardain a deliberate tribute to guardian mistakes? :) the sun is also going behind a paywall isnt it? Now if only Labour supporters can get the mail and express to do likewise.

  14. @ LEFTYLAMPTON………….You would be interested in Moore’s law, named after the co-founder of Intel, Gordon Moore, he also noticed the growth trend.

  15. @Charles

    I’ve only just seen your post and please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your dear wife. Obviously, I had no idea that you and Devonian were man and wife, but I do remember going out of my way to read what both of you had to say whenever you posted.

    This is obviously a very sad time for you but yours sounded a remarkably happy marriage and I’m sure in time, you will be able to look back fondly and cherish the wonderful times that you shared together.

  16. @ LEFTYLAMPTON………..Apologies, you mentioned Moore’s law in your post, I should have gone to, Specsavers’.

  17. @Tark
    “Yesterday we got canvassed by the LibDems despite a prominent Lab poster in the window, and this being a supposedly safe LD ward…..Which leads me to think that 2 May will have some stonking surprises …”

    I live in a Con/Lib marginal and I have never seen Labour delivering leaflets specially in the area I live in. However for the local elections on 2nd I have been asked to deliver leaflets (which I will happily) in my and surrounding roads. I agree 2nd May will have some surprises.

  18. Charles, please accept my condolences at this sad time. I look forward to the time when you are able to contribute again.

    Your words and the many heartfelt responses to them are what makes this a great site.

  19. Tark
    ” Yesterday we got canvassed by the LibDems despite a prominent Lab poster in the window, and this being a supposedly safe LD ward.”

    I live in a very safe Tory seat & the only literature I have had has been from UKIP & Labour.
    The UKIP candidate is the only one to knock on the door & introduce himself.

    If this is typical in safe seats, it is no wonder there is concern & alarm about UKIP in the Tory ranks.

  20. “I remember half term in October when I was at school in Aberdeen was called the tattie holiday, the period when kids would go to the fields to pick potatoes.

    I am sure Michael spent may a happy day spud picking when on Hols from The Private Robert Gordon’s College.

    -Michael Gove

    Labour’s not so secret weapon.

    Let’s ignore the fact that the most successful education system outside of Asia (Finland) Has shorter school days, longer holidays, no selection, no formal external exams, hardly any fee paying schools, no uniforms, happy students ,values teachers and leaves them free of political interference.

    I look forward to the Local Elections when we will have some real figures to digest

  21. STEVE

    @”Let’s ignore the fact that the most successful education system outside of Asia (Finland) Has shorter school days, longer holidays, no selection, no formal external exams, hardly any fee paying schools, no uniforms, happy students ,values teachers and leaves them free of political interference.”

    Yes -lets.( after adding the level of qualification required to teach in Finland , to your list)

    Lets perhaps look at why the top three are so different in approach-but so successful in outcomes-and accept that this subject is not served by simplistic & superficial commentary:-

  22. @LizH @Chordata
    Personal bias aside, Lab have been running the most intense campaign here. No sign of Con or UKIP. LD to be fair have been pretty good at staying in touch with regular leaflets etc, but they are really feeling the heat.

  23. Charles: Although Anthony is an evil man I don’t think he would moderate something which is more important than any poll.

    As others have said take of yourself.


  24. @Charles

    Like everyone I was deeply moved by your post and would like to express both my sadness but also respect for the memory of someone who was clearly special to many people. I hope it may be of some comfort that when you lose someone close to you they live on in you in various ways… they don’t ever really go away.

  25. Colin

    I suspect the experience of UK students has far more in common with those of another Northern European Country than it does with Either Hong Kong or South Korea.

    However,I fully agree that this should be left to educational professionals which of course completely rules out our Education Secretary.

  26. I am only an occasional poster – even more occasional since being in permanent pre-moderation after losing my rag with a highly partisan and provocative young Tory who claimed himself to be the King of Kent!

    Alas. I apologise again for what it is worth. Not much it seems.

    Anyway, my sincere condolences to you Charles. There has been a recent tragedy in my family and I know how difficult and painful life is sometimes.

    The betting markets haven’t moved at all in recent weeks. Looking at next GE Overall Majority market with Ladbrokes, it is still 5/1 against for Con and Evens for Lab.

    It seems the bookmakers cannot (yet) see how the Tories can improve on their 2010 showing. Even at 5/1 I am not tempted.

  27. Ken

    No worries. I’m surprised you could find anything in my typically verbose post.

    I am not made for the Twitter age…

  28. @Charles – I very sorry to hear of your loss. There really isn’t much I can say, other than to agree with your last post and say that your moving contribution, while painful I’m certain, helps to reaffirm values we hold and appreciate blessings that we have. I wish you the best and hope that, as has been my experience, the more immediate painful memories are gradually replaced with a fuller and more rounded set of memories of loved ones, where their best qualities and greatest times come to the fore in fond remembrance.

    In honour of your wife and partner, I also wanted to post this –

    It’s relevant to recent exchanges over education, but also for two particular things that I noticed.

    Firstly, Nelson writes about the language Gove uses – whether Labour would reverse his changes if they won in 2015. There is a language emerging now from the government which suggests they are expecting to lose. Interesting, in itself.

    Secondly, Nelson writes this – “By the next election some 240,000 places will be needed, but free schools are expected to deliver just 8,000. The next few years will be bulge years. Mr Gove had not envisaged this when he took over at Education almost three years ago. Officials had not, then, realised that the effect of the mass immigration of the Labour years would mean a boom in primary school pupils.”

    I suspect the idea that officials three years ago didn’t know there would be a high demand for primary places is a nonsense. These things are well modeled, and in 2010, those children forming the bulge were already registered at birth, so the problem was entirely known.

    Migration and its effects on birth rate may be the cause, but simple timing tells us that this was already in the system by 2010. This appears to be an attempt by a friend to absolve Gove of responsibility for a major structural failure. Opting for free schools was a political choice, based on dogma, and an expensive one to boot.

    If we have a schools places shortage, it will be Gove’s responsibility. I’m frankly rather tired of a government that continually lectures us on responsibility, but then say limply ‘it’s my officials fault’ when they screw up.

  29. @lefty

    Thanks for your post on Moore’s Law etc. Moore’s Law gives much to think about… including, given the Kurzweil reference, the “singularity”. So I’ll get back to you on it after the weekend probably.

  30. STEVE

    @”However,I fully agree that this should be left to educational professionals which of course completely rules out our Education Secretary.”

    So you missed my point-which was that the league tables you are so keen to utilise in support show that three different approaches produce the top three outcomes..

    One set of “educational professionals” ( to be defined of course) doesn’t have all the answers.

    That’s why we have elected politicians Steve-to decide.

    And the politician who decides on education is the Education Secretary. It will be so under a Labour government too.

  31. colin

    Having enough schools for the amount of schoolchildren seems to me the first requirement, before we start deciding what is important in British imperial history to teach.

  32. @ Charles

    Otherwise I am afraid that Anthony will put her in some kind of ghostly moderation..
    He would never do that. But perhaps you would like to read contributions about other things to give yourself something else to think about, if only for a moment. Alas, I cannot let this sad occasion pass without adding my own small tribute.

    I read & enjoyed all your wife’s contributions; & she will be missed here. I admire her for a life well lived in the service of others which you have described so movingly; also for the love & respect she clearly engendered in those closest to her.

    I hope you have all the strength & support which you will need to deal with grief as a validation – perhaps even a celebration – of her life.

    Please think of us as your ‘friends’ too. And if it would ever help you to do so, I would enjoy reading your comments about what your wife might have said about a topic in addition to your own thoughts.

  33. STEVE

    I expect you approve of this :-



    Clearly “enough schools” is as important as “good teachers” & a “good education”.

  34. Alev

    Actually Nelson is quite supportive of Gove’s acedemic programme and makes the point that the unions hold to much power in the Labour party, see it’s easy to hold a partisan point of view from reading the same article.

    As for your comment that the Tory party have given up on the next election, where is the proof of that, with a slight decrease in gap between Labour and the Tories recently, I would think that given that well known margin of error, things are pretty close with 2yrs to go, if I was DC, I would be thinking even if I cant win outright which is not impossible, I could still hold off Labour getting back into power.
    We will see how well EM recent commitment to outspend the coalition and raise taxeswill go down with the voters maybe the French will show if increased spending actually works, anymore than austerity has. One of the biggest myths is that if austerity doesn’t work or should I say is very slow to work then spending more is somehow a better course of action, actually it’s just a recycling of an old failed idea even though it’s trumpeted by some as something new.

  35. Sorry ment to write Alec not Alev keys next to each other must get some new glasses.

  36. TURK

    @”We will see how well EM recent commitment to outspend the coalition and raise taxeswill go down with the voters ”

    That was an interesting one. Though there seems to be a bit of distancing by Labour from the Indy. article.

  37. So sorry to hear your very sad news Charles.

    It would seem that one by one the props that support Osbornes increasingly
    Rickety economic strategy are collapsing.I refer to the latest warning from the
    IMF and the discrediting of the two economists he heavily relied on for his
    Deficit reduction program .

  38. My daughter has just taken a post teaching abroad, children from ages 1 – 14 during the day only 4 hours mon – sat, no class size over 20 (average is 15 with teaching assistants), and older students and parents at evening classes… why?

    Simple really, pay and conditions and being valued as a teacher…

  39. Having thought about it, I think Ed Milibands strategy of saying that Labour would spend more than the Tories, is actually pretty smart. There were would be no point in Labour saying that they would match the Tories spending plans. Firstly people would not believe that they would do so, because certain policies indicated higher spending . Secondly, people would ask they why should risk changing to Labour, if they were going to offer more of the same.

    Labour need to have a clear plan of the changes they want to see, what the cost difference is of this plan compared to government/Tory plans and what positive differences their plan would deliver for the country. If Labour run a positive campaign and don’t get involved in negative campaigning, then I can see them win with a majority. Voters I think are very tired of political parties running negative campaigns attacking their opponents, without just straighforwardly putting their own case.

  40. Colin

    Actually I do.

    However, you won’t attract the best and the brightest by paying them less , denigrating their professional representatives going “Yaddayadyada” when asked a difficult question, make them work longer hours for less money and pretend that their self funding pension scheme isn’t self funding!

    An Education minister of what ever political persuasion who actually valued the profession and professional opinion would be a start.


    Two countervailing trends in the credit market. Business lending down, mortgage lending up.

    With several signs now that the mortgage market is finally benefiting from the previous government scheme, I do wonder why a further scheme was announced in the last budget. I appreciate that this new scheme was targeted on new builds, but the commonly held view amongst industry experts seems to be that it would increase prices. This may not in itself be a bad thing, within limits, but if the housing market was already recovering organically, why spend money on a further stimulus, rather than target investment, which is clearly struggling.

    Overall, growth based on investment rather than a housing boom is far preferable. Can’t help feeling this particular policy strategy is wrong, and will have some less pleasant long term effects.

  42. Incidentally Colin

    I never mentioned league tables.

    But if you want to look at most Finland normally comes at or close to the top and doesn’t have the same problems that some of the Asian systems have ,including high suicide rates amongst students.

    Perhaps you can answer a simple question.

    Why would you ignore the experience of a country a few hundred miles away with a similar social and economic structure and choose as your exemplar one 12000 Miles away with a very different culture instead?

    I think we both know the answer and it is nothing to do with educational excellence and everything to do with political dogma.

    [Steve – quit it, this is not a place for political debate – AW]

  43. I do wonder if certain policy makers would prefer small robots rather than small humans. Of course education is important but if at the end of your life the only thing you can remember from your childhood is being incarcerated in a learning institution, well…………

  44. Arn’t we supposed to be really discussing various Opinion Polls and associated things on here?
    It does get a bit heated usually by the same ‘Partisan’ people.
    Its rather obvious who some people support but they shouldn’t be vitually SHOUTING their Politics at us!
    The odd hint is fine but please leave out the heavy politics people.

  45. Academic performance of pupils in schools is largely the function of social factors and not schools and teachers. Just look at the decline in Eastern Europe since 1990.

    Cuts can start at the department. Department of Education doesn’t really have any useful function that couldn’t be fulfilled by existing bodies.

    @ Charles

    I’m really sorry for your loss.

  46. AW

    Sorry subject close to my heart.

  47. Charles.
    Just come in for this and going out again. My very best wishes to you after such a shock.

    I will hope to read you here again one day, when you feel like it, hopefully not too long in the future.


  48. A friend of mine sent me this, some of it sounds good and some a bit OTT. Is it the answer to all our problems ?

    Please find below our suggestion for fixing the UK’s economy.

    Instead of giving billions of pounds to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

    You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

    There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.

    Pay them £1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

    1) They MUST retire.
    Ten million job openings – unemployment fixed

    2) They MUST buy a new British car.
    Ten million cars ordered – Car Industry fixed

    3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage – Housing Crisis fixed

    4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university – Crime rate fixed

    5) They MUST buy £100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week …..
    And there’s your money back in duty/tax etc

    It can’t get any easier than that!

    P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of parliament pay back their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances

    If you think this would work, please forward to everyone you know.

    Let’s put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home.

    This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.

    They’d receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc and they’d receive money instead of paying it out.

    They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.

    Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.

    A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.

    They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

    They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool and education.

    Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ’s and legal aid would be free, on request.

    Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.

    Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.

    There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

    The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay £600.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.

    Think about this (more points of contention):

    Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Appleby almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the county of Cumbria?

    And, they even tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 125,000 illegal immigrants wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

  49. RiN

    @”if at the end of your life the only thing you can remember from your childhood is being incarcerated in a learning institution, well…”

    … had really poor parents & no extended family.

  50. I don’t know whether Charles will read this but perhaps even he may smile.

    One of my local County Council candidates has sent me a leaflet in which he promises to ‘get those pot homes filled in’.

    I have emailed him to ask why he wants to destroy the abodes of Bill and Ben and does he realise that Little Weed is in tears.

1 2 3 4 5 6