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”

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  1. Howard – one of the candidates standing in Dartford has on his party’s website that his message to residents of Dartford West is that if elected he will work hard on their behalf and always be accessible and accountable to them. Which I am sure will reassure the residents of Dartford East, where he is the candidate.

  2. No wonder Osborne was in tears recently – first the IMF telling him to rethink his austerity policy and now Fitch has downgraded UK’s triple A to double A+

  3. Charles .. As a fellow lurker, I know exactly what your wife meant about the regular characters on this blog becoming part of her life… as indeed she was one for me. I’m so sorry that she has left you with such sadness but that is inevitably also a tribute to her being. Take care of yourself.

  4. WILLY
    “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 ?”

    No it’s not now tell your friend to stop suggesting jokes that have been all over the internet as the solution ;-)

  5. There was recent discussions on this Board about whether the private or public sector was more efficient. The Office of Rail Regulation has found that the state owned East Coast franchise requires only 1% of state funding whereas the nine private franchises cost the state between 3% and 36% in state funded subsidies.

  6. @Steve

    Will the job adverts for the 20000 new teachers needed for the population bulge mention the ‘perks’ you outlined?

    Work for us:
    Real terms pay cuts
    Reduced pension payouts
    Longer hours
    Less Holiday
    Continual vilification by your Minister
    Try to impose your will on 30+ unruly 16yr olds at the age of 68.


  7. Interesting graph in the DT about home ownership rates, which were rising consistantly in the post war era until 1991 when it leveled off, it’s now started dropping, but what surprised me was how the right to buy policy seemed to have no effect on the rate of change in home ownership where I expected to see a huge spike

  8. Sorry link here

    Though there might not be much point in posted the link when it’s behind a paywall

  9. Here in Wales,the first person has died from the measles epidemic.I hope
    The government has contingency plans in place,because there will be huge
    Numbers of people requiring immunisation if it spreads to England.I had measles as a child and it was awful.

  10. @Charles
    Like others here, I just want to offer my own condolences and best wishes. Your eloquent posts earlier were very moving.

    On the subject of Gove and education, his latest pronouncements on longer and more working weeks show a real determination to antagonise teachers even more. It strikes me that teachers may not be a core part of the Tory vote but alignment with these policies could seriously damage Lib Dem support in that quarter. Is there any polling data to confirm my stereotype of teachers in England being Lib Dem and Labour voters? And might Gove be deliberately attempting to weaken his coalition partners by encouraging a LD -> Labour swing in a constituency he would not expect to win over anyway?

  11. CHARLES.

    My God bless and keep you in your grief.

  12. Anthony

    These two anecdotes we came up with are such, of course, but I think it may explain why the May 2013 English shire county election results will, by this poster, be taken with a pinch of UNS, together with a drizzle of incumbency and a dash of outright contempt.

  13. Peewee

    I don’t give a stuff about the teachers, wot about the kids, they already have long working weeks and it’s unpaid or better said deferred payment. The summer holidays are really the only time IIIwhen they have the time to be children without the stress of worrying about unfinished homework. It seems to me that they are being punished for the crime of being children

  14. Osborne launching legal challenge against the financial transaction tax…

  15. LizH

    I would think that China’s down grade by Fitch will have Osborne and other western leaders much more worried, if China because of reckless internal borrowing goes down the tube the rest of us won’t be far behind.

  16. @Charles

    Very sorry to hear of your loss.

    We say “Inna iillahi wa inna illahi rajioun”. From Him we come and to Him we return.

    I’m sure Devonian is in safe hands.

  17. @Rich

    Interesting. Presumably on the basis that it indirectly discriminates against the UK, and secondly because he would argue the Euro countries have used the wrong legal basis – this should a matter for the European Council where the UK would be able to veto it.

    It’s a fascinating legal argument. For me anyway.

    I think Osborne will lose. But I haven’t got time to go into why just yet. If he does lose, it will confirm that a multispeed Europe even on, serious matters can be consistent with the EC Treaty. (PS, I always use EC to describe,the Community pillar of the EU to avoid confusion with the integovernmental parts of the EU).

  18. As you were on that story in the Indy :-

    “Ed Balls has shot down reports that Labour is preparing to fight the 2015 general election on a pledge to outspend the Conservatives.

    The Independent claims Mr Balls and Ed Miliband are set to reject calls for Labour to match Tory spending pledges ahead of the vote.

    But the Shadow Chancellor told LBC Radio this morning: “I can say exclusively it’s wrong.”

    He called the idea that the party would “bet the house” and announce their tax and spending plans now “totally irresponsible”.

    Politics Home.

  19. @CHARLES

    I am sorry to hear of your loss…I used to quite like her few but detailed posts.

  20. ” Fitch now forecasts that general government gross debt (GGGD) will peak at 101% of GDP in 2015-16 (equivalent to 86% of GDP for public sector net debt, PSND) and will only gradually decline from 2017-18. This compares with Fitch’s previous projection for GGGD peaking at 97% and declining from 2016-17 and the ‘AAA’ median of around 50%.
    From Fitch Ratings

    “- Fitch previously commented that failure to stabilise debt below 100% of GDP and place it on a firm downward path towards 90% of GDP over the medium term would likely trigger a rating downgrade. Despite the UK’s strong fiscal financing flexibility underpinned by its own currency with reserve currency status and the long average maturity of public debt, the fiscal space to absorb further adverse economic and financial shocks is no longer consistent with a ‘AAA’ rating.”

    …..and for the two Eds :-

    “- Despite significant progress in reducing public sector net borrowing (PSNB from a peak of 11.2% of GDP (GBP159bn) in 2009-10, the budget deficit remains 7.4% of GDP (excluding the effect of the transfer of Royal Mail pensions) and is not expected to fall below 6% of GDP and GBP100bn until the end of the current parliament term. The slower pace of deficit reduction means that the next government will be required to implement substantial spending reductions (and/or tax increases) if public debt is to be stabilised and reduced over the medium term.”

    No wonder EB repudiated that Indy article.

  21. Colin

    “- Fitch previously commented that failure to stabilise debt below 100% of GDP and place it on a firm downward path towards 90% of GDP over the medium term would likely trigger a rating downgrade. Despite the UK’s strong fiscal financing flexibility underpinned by its own currency with reserve currency status and the long average maturity of public debt, the fiscal space to absorb further adverse economic and financial shocks is no longer consistent with a ‘AAA’ rating.”

    Aye. Because that 90% figure is set in stone as the value beyond which Very Bad Things happen isn’t it?

    Irrelevant bodies making irrelevant judgements over irrelevant targets.

    I expect out 10 year bond yields to do precisely nothing in response to this non-news.

  22. Colin and Lefty
    The DC ‘veto’ was to not take part in an agreement to restrict government deficits to 3% of GDP (that in varying degrees of time of achievement, all the EZ countries committed).

    Was this an expression of strength or of weakness?

  23. SMukesh welcome back. Haven’t heard from you here in a long time.

  24. @LIZH

    Thanks a lot…Been dealing with `stuff`…I get the feeling that the weather has depressed people`s interest in everything including politics…With the onset of sunshine,hopefully things will start looking up.

  25. SMukesh, the future is looking rosy with the onset of sunshine and other things too. I better not be too prescriptive or AW will moderate me.

  26. Charles – my belated but sincere condolences to you. As we say in the Jewish tradition, I wish you long life.

  27. @LIZH

    `the future is looking rosy`

    lol.We`ll know come May.

  28. I do not think that labour supporters should get too excited about these May
    Elections.Apparently most are in places that labour do not well in.

  29. HOWARD

    @”Was this an expression of strength or of weakness?”

    The former clearly.

    He wants the UK Parliament to decide what our Fiscal Policy will be, and over what timescales we implement it.

    It’s what most people, across the political spectrum want in UK-apart from a few Euroloonies who still think the EZ a success.

  30. Ann in Wales

    I don’t think the local election results matter at all. Although they will bring some surprises I think. I think the future (2015) is rosy.

  31. LEFTY

    I was just being naughty- Balls berating GO with the importance of a warning from an organisation which forecasts that Balls will be cutting more costs & increasing taxes has a pleasing irony about it.

    Actually, I suspect GO takes the Fitch reasoning more seriously than Balls does.

    As for the 90% -I think we established that whilst there is probably no cliff in the downward progression of GDP as Debt rises , there is a relationship which sees one fall as the other increases.

    We also established that economists don’t seem certain which causes which-so one presumes people like Fitch & GO-if not Ed Balls-will continue to worry about too much sovereign debt.

  32. Ann in Wales

    I should have said: the future is bright, the future is not orange.

  33. Oh no, the moderator has got me. I better sign off now before I get into more trouble.

  34. Colin. I know you were sparring. I was just doing the same. We’re both big boys.

    As for reduced growth and debt, yes they clearly DO go hand in hand. The question is, which way is causality.

    This piece published a day or two ago suggests that causality doesn’t run in the direction that policy makers have implicitly assumed during the Age of Austerity.

  35. I think the problem with Ed Balls and tax and spend, is that what happens if that doesn’t work?, do we just keep spending? I doubt his plan b is increased austerity, but what if the irony was that bigger spending led to forced severe austerity if that spending didnt work and just increased debt with zero or little growth. The luxury of opposition is you don’t need a plan b.

  36. @Charles

    I was genuinely saddened to hear about the passing of your wife. I’m not sure there’s anything I can say that will help, but I’m sure you have my sympathies and those of everybody else on this site.

    Kind regards, Martyn

  37. Colin

    ‘…you had really poor parents & no extended family.’

    Yeah. And who cares what the experience of school is for losers like that, eh? Losers.

  38. @Charles

    That was a very eloquent and moving tribute to your wife and the values that she held. May I join numerous others here by offering my sympathies for your loss.

  39. To spend or not to spend? It’s just that the size the national debt is such that Austerity alone will take a long, long time to pay it down – assuming the deficit is sorted out first. I doubt people can or want to wait 10 (20?) years treading water while the debts are paid.

    It’s hard to be sure which of the two main parties is in the bigger fix because of this. No wonder UKIP are doing well, being as all the other 3 major parties are either in power or fairly recently responsible for running things.

    This makes me think that perhaps the next election will not be decided so much by ideas, as by demographics and whether one side (left or right) is well united or badly split. Atm, it looks like a Labour landslide, not because they have a brilliant plan for what to next (as of yet) but because the LD’s went into coalition and some right wingers are fed up with DC and like UKIP better.

    It ought to devolve to ideas, plans, great leadership etc, but then again, it might not.

  40. @LizH

    I think that’s an argument for closing some unused rail lines. A lot of the network in Scotland and Wales would come under that category

  41. @ Colin

    Assuming a Labour government in 2015, Ed Balls & Mark Carney will, together, strive to get back the UK’s AAA rating. It would be a triumph for Carney; & for Labour, a way to bury the long running myth that they can’t manage the economy. If Ed Balls wants to become a legendary Chancellor, a return to AAA would be a remarkable way to do it.

  42. Bear in mind, everyone seems to be thinking that the only way to reduce the % of debt to GDP is to reduce the debt/deficit.

    I think even a small child could point out that you could also increase GDP to achieve the same effect.

    I believe this is what Ed & Ed have been saying for some time – it will eventually hit home.

  43. @Charles

    I’m sorry to hear the news. You have my deepest sympathies and condolences. May she rest in peace.

  44. I think ideology gets in the way. I don’t think you have to be a nationalise everything Marxist to think that, IN THIS SITUATION, a large scale (social) house building programme directly funded by the state might boost employment, increase spending (demand) and maybe even deflate the housing bubble a bit.

    That doesn’t mean that from now and forever the State should build houses, or that there should never be private construction or market conditions again. it just means it could well help NOW.

    But rightists will hiss Socialism or Communism and on the left they would seek to bind it up into some all encompassing model for the future. Why? This is for now, in five years we can do something different.

    I son’t think “small Government” vs “big Government” is helpful. It leads to nonsenses like Group4 instead of the police/army. A4E instead of Jobcentreplus etc. We are supposed to be a mixed economy, let’s forget dogma and do what will work now and worry about Ideal Situations when we have one to work with.


    @”And yet somehow you now see that failure as manifest in adverse revisions to the debt to GDP ratio as a reason to rubbish the alternative approach that Balls has very consistently argued for.”

    Actually I was simply trying to see how EB could express his policy in terms which include UK Credit Rating as a marker.

    It seems clear to me that -at least going on Fitch’s logiic-a downgrade would be a marker of EB’s objective-ie higher Peak Debt to GDP & a longer trajectory to it’s falling.

  46. AMBER

    @”If Ed Balls wants to become a legendary Chancellor, a return to AAA would be a remarkable way to do it.”

    It would-though my own view is that it wouldn’t be that remarkable-for him or for GO.

    It is merely a question of time. GO has already extended it. EB would do so further.

    Both moves increase peak Debt to GDP to a level that the Credit Agencies see as a downgrade trigger.

    So both GO & EB are looking through the Agency fears.

    THe difference between the two is not really on DEbt management , but fiscal policy-good old fashioned tax & spend.

    ie-it isn’t the extra time which they both want to have-but what you do with it which separates them.

  47. Colin
    “THe difference between the two is not really on DEbt management , but fiscal policy-good old fashioned tax & spend.”
    I think it’s much more fundamental than that – Osborne believes in Say’s Law of classical economics (that supply creates it’s own demand) and Balls believes in Keynes (the demand creates it’s own supply).
    Both fairly good interpretations of NGDP=Output*Price.

    So for Balls, tax and spend is a means to an end, not a end in itself – we have a demand deficit[1], so government should create demand, either through spending or printing money (and then if he’s following Keynes/Lerner properly, reduce government demand once a private sector recovery occurs to avoid inflation).
    Osborne believes the opposite – that increased government spending can only hamper private sector growth and can only lead to inflation.

    Obviously we’ll see which theory plays out as correct over the next few years – if Osborne is right, then Labour won’t be in power in 2020 – if Labour are right, they will [2].

    [1] In Ed Ball’s view – I’m not stating necessarily that we do have a demand deficit.
    [2] Scenario 1: Labour win 2015, mess up the public finances, Tories in 2020. 2: Labour win 2015, fix the public finances, win in 2020. And vice versa for Scenarios 3 & 4.

  48. DAMIAN

    @”Yeah. And who cares what the experience of school is for losers like that, eh? Losers.”

    Any human being. Any decent teacher.

    If you use “loser” in the sense I detect from your post -that is simply to heap insult upon deprivation.

    Lack of a supportive family and parents is a massive set-back for any child. How often do we see the tragedies which result?

    The State has a role here-and I am pleased to see the interventions being made by the Government in this area.

    One can only hope that these , and initiatives like this will help :-

  49. Tinged

    @”Obviously we’ll see which theory plays out as correct over the next few years”


    I have a feeling you Scenario 1 might emerge as a tacit Conservative GE strategy !!

  50. No fan of Balls, but even I could see it would be rather ironic if he got the AAA+ credit rating back. lol

    Still think if they brought back Darling it would hugely help the One Nation tag.

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