The monthly Ipsos-MORI poll for the Evening Standard is out today, and has topline figures of CON 30%(+1), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 10%(nc), UKIP 11%(-1) – so no obvious change from last month. Full details are here.

MORI also repeated their semi regular question comparing whether people like the parties and their leaders, asking whether people like each party and its leader, the party but not the leader, the leader but not the party, or neither. 63% of people now say they don’t like Ed Miliband, up from 56% in Oct 2012 and 51% in Jan 2011. 30% say they like Miliband, a net score of minus 33. In comparison Gordon Brown’s worst score was minus 36 in July 2008. On the party he leads 49% of people say they like Labour, and 43% say they dislike Labour giving them a net score of plus 6 and meaning they are still the party that people have the most positive opinion of.

Looking at the same questions for David Cameron, 43% of people like him, 52% dislike him (a net score of minus 9, slightly better than last year but less positive than when he was in opposition). For the Conservative party 39% have a positive view, 57% a negative view (a net score of minus 18). The pattern we’ve seen before continues – David Cameron is still more likeable than his party (-9 compared to minus 18), while Ed Miliband trails behind his party (minus 33 compared to plus 6). Neither prevents Labour having a lead in voting intention.

For the first time the like him/like his party question included Nigel Farage and UKIP. Farage was liked by 27%, disliked by 50% (a net rating of minus 23); UKIP were likely by 25%, disliked by 52% (a net rating of minus 27, so Farage slightly more popular than his party).

232 Responses to “Ipsos MORI/Standard – CON 30, LAB 40, LD 10, UKIP 11”

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  1. Re. the lists of unanswered questions for 2015, one of the New Statesman columnists pointed out that oppositions have won decisively with less popular leaders (the Tories in 1979) or when they were less trusted on the economy (Labour in 1997), but never won with both. Normally I don’t set much stock in precedents, but that might be one to watch.

    @ Roger,

    Agreed on Populus, but how plausible their topline figures are sort of doesn’t matter, because they poll so regularly that as with YouGov we can use them to track trends. And they’re getting roughly the same trend YouGov is: Labour holding steady, the Tories up by ~2%.

  2. @Richard in Norway – that 27% reduction in power consumption since 2005 isn’t too far fetched. If you realise that we have, for a hundred years or more, seen a reduction of more or less a steady 1% pa in the energy density of the economy (eg we can produce the same amount for 1% less energy consumption each year on average) that would give us an immediate reduction of 8% or so anyway.

    With an 8% fall in output from the recession, you would expect a similar fall again (although I appreciate time periods here vary) but as the biggest drop seems to be in high energy manufacturing businesses, the recession could have had a bigger impact. [The closure of the Alcan aluminium plant in Blythe for example has led consequently to the closure of a neighbouring cola fired power station].

    You then need to factor in high prices, falling incomes, and the effect on the domestic sector, as people try to reduce bills. Then there are specific developments that are becoming much more commonplace with things like voltage optimization and the switch first to CFL bulbs and now increasingly to LEDs.

    The trouble is, our aging power supply network is closing down faster than the demand reduction, so the gap is getting slimmer every year.

  3. Of course, that should have been ‘coal fired power station’ – otherwise we’re in the realms of energy drinks…….

  4. ‘General Belgrano – 323 dead – Sun headline ‘Gotcha’, Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and countless over people have had their deaths celebrated.’

    Doubtless many will celebrate the deaths of Bush and Blair on account of their evil deeds.

  5. @Phil Haines

    Are you a polling export ?

  6. Alec,

    What is the timescale for bringing new energy infrastructure to the market (from the start of planning, to the wheels turning and electrons racing)?

    And which are the fastest projects to bring online? (I am guessing solar farms fastest, nuclear plants slowest).

  7. There are frequent references on here to ‘ the election is two years away’ and ‘ we are still in mid-term’. In reality neither statement is any longer true – the election is – at most – now less than 21 months away, and we have almost reached the 2/3 point of this Parliament. I suggest that we have passed ‘mid-term’.

  8. Perhaps you’re technically correct, but I am not sure there is much difference between the 2 year point and the 4 year point. It will be the last 12 months, and more specifically the last 5 months that really matter.

  9. Doesn’t “mid-term” encompass the whole of the Parliament between the end of the early honeymoon grace period where the media and the public give the Government a pass for errors and the beginning of the campaign period when the polls start to narrow (say, six months before the election)?

    I don’t think anyone is using it in a strictly numerical sense.

    That said, the “Go home!” vans may indicate we’re already in the campaign period…

  10. Neil A
    I think it will be the day of the election.

    I am trying to come to grips with my namesake’s ‘polling export’.

    Has Anthony got a job with Gallop?

  11. No, I’m a polling import.

  12. Richard in Norway/Alec

    I assume that you’re referring to the drop discussed in this Guardian article:

    That only refers to to the energy used by households. Business and industrial use will be separate and, as Alec points out, that is influenced by recession and so on.

  13. In respect of postwar elections I believe that the final 6 – 12 months have only proved significant in Feb74-3-day week etc – 1979 -Winter of Discontent – and 1983 – Falklands War. Some might add 1987 to the list ,though I am not quite so sure.In the other elections it is not obvious that much did change in the months leading up to polling day.. A change that may turn out to be more significant than the commentariat has yet grasped is that the PM can no longer press the Dissolution button at a time of his own choosing to take advantage of a surge in popularity as Thatcher did in 83 and 87, as Wilson did in 66 and Macmillan in 59.

  14. @ JimJam

    I think you are dead right that the key question is how will EM be viewed as the GE approaches and non anoraks start to take more notice of him.
    If Labour have learned anything from the 2010, it’s that a good candidate with a strong, local activist supported campaign can succeed regardless of the leader, media vindictiveness, national narrative etc.

    I think that perceptions of Ed Miliband may become less important during the campaign period, assuming Labour have good candidates for seats they don’t hold – but I’m sure that opinions on this will vary. :-)

  15. Neil A

    If you set aside how efficient either Nuclear or solar energy is in comparision with each other.
    I suppose it would depend on how many solar energy farms you would need to produce the power of one Nuclear plant.

    How much land you would have to obtain and how long it would take to get planning permission for either solar or Nuclear although of course both energy sources are nuclear powered just that one happens to be on the sun.

  16. Or how many holes you need to dig to dispose of the waste, or is that for future gens to do?

  17. @Neil A – solar is usually relatively quick, but also very limited capacity. To get a peak output of 1MW you would need around 0.8ha of panels, but this would probably only generate around 850MWh of power a year.

    With planning and supply chain issues, you could possibly get something like this up and running within a year, but it would be pretty tight. Then you need to work out if it’s financially viable.

    Combined cycle gas power plants are the quickest to build, which generally an 18 month construction time, but there’s quite a deal of work to do before then on planning, and I’m guessing that the lead time on equipment ordering would also add to the actual construction time.

    A 500MW gas plant is by no means out of the question, and with a 60% utilisation capacity you would be looking at around 2.6m MWh output a year. You would need about 3,000 massive PV arrays as described above to generate a similar amount.

  18. oh I forgot, we have all that northern wasteland we could use…

  19. Fukushima is still a major problem, they haven’t managed to contain it and highly radioactive water is flowing into the Pacific ocean, they still have to move all the spent fuel rods before the holding pools collapse if anything should go wrong in the process then emigration to the southern hemisphere would be a very good idea. I’m really not sure about building more conventional nuclear plants cos when things go wrong they really go wrong

  20. Graham,

    I’d certainly add 1992 and 2010 to that list. 1997, 2001, 2005 were already a foregone conclusion anyway….it was just a case of how big the majority was.

  21. The Other Howard (and indeed the Original)

    It’s not whether I ‘like’ a particular poll’s result or not it’s whether I think it is producing an accurate reflection of what public opinion is or not. I think what Populus is doing is a bit flawed and gave a longer explanation why in a comment earlier this month:

    I’m not claiming to be an ‘expert’, but the whole point about opinion polls is their openness – that anyone can look at the tables and draw their own conclusions. Which is also the point of this blog, come to think of it, rather than just say “Yay, my side is up” or “Boo the other side is up”.

    Spearmint is right (as usual) about the Populus polls still being useful because there are so many of them we can look at the changes to VI even if the actual figures are a bit dubious. The number means that you can average several, rather than worrying if that month’s poll happened to be a rogue one. But it would be even better if the figures were not possibly distorted.

    Though it’s also a bit irritating that Populus is very close in methodology to the other frequent poll, YouGov. It would be nice to have different ones that could be compared.

  22. AmbivalentSupporter,

    Re-1992. That was a year the polls were simply wrong – and had probably been so throughout the preceding 12 months! Highly likely – with hindsight – that Major would have done better a year earlier in Spring 1991 a few months after becoming PM and in the aftermath of the Gulf War. To that extent, therefore, I don’t think much changed in the final 12 months. I would add that I remain of the view that Kinnock’s Sheffield rally performance a week before polling day made the difference between a Hung Parliament and a small Tory majority – but there was nothing inevitable about that in that Kinnock did not have to lose control of himself in such a way.
    Re – 2010. I am not sure the result would have been so very different a few months earlier.No particular reason to expect the Con margin over Labour to have been increased or reduced. We had the Clegg factor, of course, following the first Debate – but had the election taken place in 2009, doubtless the Debates would still have happened and the Clegg factor whenever!

  23. I think what the other Howard is getting at is – some people on here usually find another way of interpreting a poll if it doesn’t quite suit their personal opinion.

    So, hand on heart Roger in Mexico can you honestly say that if the Poll as originally stated had shown a bigger Labour Lead and showed the Tories well down would you have bothered to show the ‘other’ figures?

  24. @Graham,

    Maybe, but a late swing towards the Tories was big a contributing factor.

    Re :2010, the Tories were a long way ahead at this stage of parliament. It was only in the last year or 6 months that their lead narrowed considerably. In hindsight, it seems much of their support was soft.

  25. *was a big contributing factor*

  26. AmbivalentSuppoter,

    re-1992 I believe that Kinnock’s Sheffield antics gave the late swing a firm push!

  27. New thread

  28. @Graham,

    “re-1992 I believe that Kinnock’s Sheffield antics gave the late swing a firm push!”

    You may well be right.

    Also another factor which people often forget….newspapers affected GE results a lot more in those days…as circulation figures have fallen considerably and people get their news online and from multiple news sources, I think the media’s affect on general elections has lessened somewhat.

  29. Sine Nomine

    I think what the other Howard is getting at is – some people on here usually find another way of interpreting a poll if it doesn’t quite suit their personal opinion.

    So, hand on heart Roger in Mexico can you honestly say that if the Poll as originally stated had shown a bigger Labour Lead and showed the Tories well down would you have bothered to show the ‘other’ figures?


    Actually it’s the low rating for UKIP to which I am really drawing attention. The method also increases the share of the Conservatives and the Lib Dems and it might knock a point or so of Labour, though these are mainly side-effects. But the rise of UKIP has been one of the big stories since 2010 and what Populus does gets rid of a lot of that change.

  30. Thanks Alec,

    My general thoughts are that responsibility for power shortages that occur in 2014-2015 probably lies with the last government, although the current government will no doubt have to answer for their failure to address the problem and prevent those problems continuing and worsening beyond that.

    From your assessment it seems possible that if the Coalition had immediately set in train a response in 2010 by commissioning gas power stations, they might just have come online in time to help. But only just.

  31. Why is any govt to blame if there is a shortage of electricity, isn’t it all private sector?

  32. Well, yes. But Alec was raising the possible political impact of power cuts in 2015. The public would surely blame the government. But which one?

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